Author Archive for Brandon Staley

This Creepy Joker Bust was Designed by an Oscar-Winning Makeup Artist

This Creepy Joker Bust was Designed by an Oscar-Winning Makeup Artist

The Joker wasn’t designed to be a pretty face to look at, but a new bust from DC Collectibles takes the Clown Prince of Crime’s mug to all-new levels of disturbing. That’s not surprising, though, considering that the bust was designed by Rick Baker, a seven-time Oscar award-winning makeup and hairstyle artist whose filmography includes some truly terrifying visages — Hellboy, Men in Black II and Videodrome are just a few films to which Baker has added his personal touches.

The bust, which was designed, sculpted and painted by Baker, will (appropriately) be released in October. If you like what you see, though, you’re going to have to act fast. Only 200 of the busts, which stand at a 1:1 scale (that’s right, you can have a life-sized Joker head in your home), are slated to be produced.

RELATED: Black Panther Lives (On Your Shelf) in New Hot Toys Collectible Figure

By all accounts, the Joker bust looks so unique because DC Comics gave Baker full control from start to finish. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Baker recounted how the process of working with DC began, noting that he never thought the company would go for what he had in mind. Still, he got the green light all the way through.

“When DC Collectibles approached me about this project, I told them I was interested, but wanted complete control of the design,” Baker said. “I figured they wouldn’t go for it, but to my surprise, they said, ‘OK.’ I insisted that I would need a proper amount of time to create the bust and their answer was, ‘Take whatever time you need.’ I asked if I could choose the character and they said, ‘Fine.’ I told them I wanted to make a version of the Joker that’s never been done before,’ and they replied, ‘Sounds great.’ I then said, ‘You guys are just too difficult,’ and left. [Laughs] Seriously though, I didn’t expect DC Collectibles to keep their promises, but they did. I had a blast sculpting my version of the Joker and exploring his twisted and demented personality.”

RELATED: Verdict: This Judge Dredd Figure Gets the Grimace Just Right

The bust has arrived just in time for New York Toy Fair, which is set to begin on Saturday, Feb. 17 and conclude on Tuesday, Feb. 20. DC Comics was also keen to reveal a few more figures prior to the fair opening its doors, such as the cast of the current Doomsday Clock run and two statues depicting Batman and the Joker based on illustrations by Gerard Way. The Joker busts will be numbered and released through DC Gallery.

The post This Creepy Joker Bust was Designed by an Oscar-Winning Makeup Artist appeared first on CBR.

Verdict: This Judge Dredd Figure Gets the Grimace Just Right

Verdict: This Judge Dredd Figure Gets the Grimace Just Right

Pop Culture Shock Toys has announced when its latest Judge Dredd figure goes up for pre-order, and if you’re not into it then you’re probably breaking some kind of dystopic mega city future law or something. The figure will go up for pre-order on Feb. 5, with an estimated arrival date of somewhere between February and April of 2019. It retails for $799.99.

The Dredd 1:3 Cursed Earth EX figure stands at 1/3 scale and is made from full polystone. Crafted from a mix of digital and traditional sculpting, the figure includes an environmental base, a swapped clenched teeth portrait and a removable radiation cloak. The figure stands at 71 centimeters high, 32 centimeters in diameter and 38 centimeters wide.

RELATED: The Reggae Origins of Judge Dredd

The Judge Dredd figure hearkens back to the 1978 Cursed Earth storyline, which is the second extended storyline the series received. The Cursed Earth follows Judge Dredd as he leads a land-based assault on Mega-City Two, which has been stricken with a virus that causes regular people to group up in violent mobs. Much of the extended story followed Dredd and his crew as they traveled across the irradiated American wasteland.

The Dredd 1:3 Cursed Earth EX figure will open for pre-order on Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. PST. The figure is priced at $799.99 with discounts available for customers who pay in full or opt into a payment plan.

The post Verdict: This Judge Dredd Figure Gets the Grimace Just Right appeared first on CBR.

Quesada Pens Open Letter on Social Media’s Impact on Comics

Quesada Pens Open Letter on Social Media’s Impact on Comics

Joe Quesada has penned an open letter about the state of the social media and its influence on the overall comic book community. Quesada is the Chief Creative Officer at Marvel Comics and held the Editor-in-Chief position at the company from 2000 to 2011.

Quesada’s statement, which can be read in full on his Facebook page, comes at a time when many industry figures have been debating the importance of social media, a medium that has the power to both amplify a creator’s voice and become a focal point for harassment.

RELATED: Valiant Acquired By Entertainment Company DMG

Quesada addresses the old ways of communicating with fans (reader mail sections and creator columns) before delving into the heart of the matter:

“For me the connectivity outweighs all the rest. It always has, even when it was just letters. The other insanely cool thing is that if you want to write a letter you still can, if you prefer to read letters columns there right there, those things haven’t gone away, go crazy! Or should I say, ‘Go Postal!’ Heh, I’m clearly terrible at this.

“And hey, I also understand how sometimes the harshness of social can make it all feel bleak, like there’s no community out there, but I believe there is and always will be, it’s just how we reach each other that will constantly change. Can’t wait for those Twitter brain implants. Fun!”

RELATED: Comic Legends: What Was Captain America’s Original Name?

Quesada ends the letter with a hearty thank you to comic book fans everywhere, readers and passionate commenters alike.

The post Quesada Pens Open Letter on Social Media’s Impact on Comics appeared first on CBR.

Marvel Names 2018 Slate of Featured ‘Young Guns’ Artists

Marvel Names 2018 Slate of Featured ‘Young Guns’ Artists

Marvel Comics has announced its slate of 2018 young artists to watch. The announcement is part of the company’s Young Guns program, which began back in 2004 as a way to spotlight emerging talent in the comic book industry. The program has been dormant since 2014, but has seemingly been rekindled this year.

Marvel has selected six emerging artists to recognize this year. Those artists are:

Pepe Larraz, artist on Avengers: No Surrender

Javier Garron, artist on a secret upcoming project

Marco Checchetto, artist on Old Man Hawkeye

Aaron Kuder, artist on Infinity Countdown

Mike Del Mundo, artist on a secret upcoming project

Russell Dauterman, artist on Mighty Thor

Past Young Guns have included the likes of Steve McNiven, Adi Granov, David Finch, Trevor Hairsine, Jim Cheung and Olivier Coipel in 2004. In 2006, Marvel dubbed Billy Tan, Clayton Crain, Pasqual Ferry, Ariel Olivetti, Simone Bianchi and Leinil Yu its emerging artists to watch for the year. Daniel Acuna, Stefano Casselli, Mike Choi, Marko Djurdjevic, Khoi Pham, Francesco Mattina and Rafa Sandoval received the honor in 2009. In 2014, it was Ryan Stegman, Nick Bradshaw, Mahmud Asrar, Valerio Schiti, David Marquez and Sara Pichelli.

RELATED: Marvel Signs Rogue & Gambit Writer Kelly Thompson to Exclusive Deal

“I still clearly remember the launch of Marvel’s original Young Guns campaign over a decade ago, crafted as an innovative way to recognize and promote the upcoming artists we believed in — and knew would one day be superstars!” Said C.B. Cebulski, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, in a press release. “From its inception, Young Guns has always been about living up to Marvel’s long legacy of identifying and hiring unique and groundbreaking talent to give our fans the best-looking comics on the stands. And here we go again! Introducing the class of 2018, six artists poised for greatness, whose art will grace the pages of some of the coolest comics of the year!”

While it’s certainly an honor to be acknowledged by one of the largest comic book publishers in the world, it’s also worth noting that this year’s slate is entirely male and has been active in the industry for quite some time – perhaps not exactly in the spirit of a program devoted to highlighting emerging artists.

RELATED: Dan Slott Leaving Amazing Spider-Man, Will Write Iron Man

Aside from working on their respectively, ongoing series, the Young Guns award recipients will create a special, limited-exclusive variant cover for six new books. Those books are Avengers #678, X-Men Red #1, Marvel Two-in-One #3, Doctor Strange: Damnation #1, Black Panther #170, and Amazing Spider-Man #797 (check out the gallery containing each below). The Young Guns variants will be available at certain retailers throughout the world starting on Jan. 31.

The post Marvel Names 2018 Slate of Featured ‘Young Guns’ Artists appeared first on CBR.

Kirby & Kane’s Unpublished The Prisoner Comics to Be Released

Kirby & Kane’s Unpublished The Prisoner Comics to Be Released

Jack Kirby and Gil Kane’s elusive 1970s comic series The Prisoner is set to finally get a release. The series, which was never officially released to the public, was an attempt by Kirby and Kane to adapt the 1967 British espionage television series of the same name for Marvel.

Titan Comics will release a hardcover compilation of the unreleased comic series, dubbed The Prisoner: Original Art Edition, to be released this July. The book will contain an issue adapting the television series’ pilot, as well as 18 pages of Kane’s penciling work and an episode script penned by Steve Englehart.

RELATED: The Prisoner Returns with New Comic Series

The Prisoner television series ran for 17 episodes from 1967 to 1968 and followed an unnamed former British secret service agent who was abducted and rendered a prisoner on a remote island. A sequel comic series, The Prisoner: Shattered Visage, was created by Dean Motter and Mark Askwith, its initial four-issue run going from 1988 to 1989.

Titan Comics will revive the 51-year-old series again this year with a new comic from Peter Milligan and Colin Lorimer. The series will focus on the successor to Number 6, the unnamed protagonist’s codename on the island, and is set to be released this year.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

The post Kirby & Kane’s Unpublished The Prisoner Comics to Be Released appeared first on CBR.

Claremont Recalls Butting Heads with Marvel’s Jemas Over X-Treme X-Men

Claremont Recalls Butting Heads with Marvel’s Jemas Over X-Treme X-Men

Making comics is a team effort more than anything else. When a writer and an artist gel, amazing things can happen. Chris Claremont has worked in comics long enough to know this, and recently spoke about how defining a good partnership between a writer and an artist can be – and what kind of hot water it can get them into.

RELATED: Comic Legends: Was Ernst in New X-Men Supposed to be Cassandra Nova?

Claremont’s biggest claim to fame (there are many, after all) is that he is the writer responsible for redefining the X-Men. Claremont served as a writer on the Uncanny X-Men from 1975 to 1991, and would go on to continue working on various X-Men titles after that. He created some of the mutant team’s most iconic characters, and penned some of their most harrowing arcs. He also had the pleasure of working with many, many artists, such as Salvador Larroca. In Paste Magazine’s interview with Claremont, he recalled his time working with Larroca on ­X-Treme X-Men and how the two’s speedy output nearly put then-publisher Bill Jemas into hysterics:

“Salvador [Larroca] and I on X-Treme X-Men was a classic case in point. We started the book at the start of the year in ’02 or ’03. My agreement with Marvel was that I do two books a month, but they had no second book for me, so Salva can pencil two books a month, so I just kept sending him plots, and he kept drawing the book. By the time we got to April, we had a half dozen issues in the drawer, and at this point Bill Jemas’ head exploded. We would have gotten to the end of the summer with a full year’s complement of stories finished, without the first issue having hit the stands, yet. He felt that was a little excessive. My counterpoint was that it’s Salva, it’s me, it’s the X-Men: it’s going to sell. What’s the problem? His attitude was, You’re asking me to invest a five-or-six figure sum in an untried series. If it doesn’t succeed, what do we do with the pages? At which point, Claremont with his usual pat, says, ‘Not my problem.’ At which point, Bill made it my problem.”

Claremont didn’t elaborate further on Jemas’ retaliation, but, fortunately, his instincts proved correct. X-Treme X-Men went on to run from July 2001 to June 2004. Larroca ended up leaving to work on Namor after X-Treme X-Men’s 24th issue. He was replaced by Igor Kordey, who was slated to relaunch Excalibur in 2004, but was replaced by Aaron Lopresti before that book premiered.

The post Claremont Recalls Butting Heads with Marvel’s Jemas Over X-Treme X-Men appeared first on CBR.

Every Ghostbuster Ever to Unite in New IDW Crossover Series

Every Ghostbuster Ever to Unite in New IDW Crossover Series

Every single Ghostbuster ever – all of them – will appear in the upcoming eight-issue IDW crossover series Ghostbusters: Crossing Over. The crossover event will see the Ghostbusters lose control of an interdimensional portal that has allowed them to communicate with spirits and Ghostbusters in alternate dimensions. If they want to contain the breach, they’re going to need the help of all the Ghostbusters – every last one of them.

The Ghostbusters: Crossing Over creative team consists of Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening and Luis Antonio Delgado. The trio have a long history with the Ghostbusters franchise. Burnham began writing Ghostbusters comics back in 2011. He was joined the same year by artists Schoening and Delgado.

RELATED: Stranger Things 2 Needed Reitman’s Permission To Use Ghostbusters Costumes

“This story has something for everyone who has ever loved an iteration of the Ghostbusters,” Burnham said in a press release. “The Prime team from the original movies? There. The Real Ghostbusters? Present. The Extreme team? Accounted for. Not to mention the characters from the video games, the 2016 movie, and the originals we’ve created for the comics! If you don’t like one character, don’t worry, we have others! BUNCHES of others.”

Burnham isn’t exaggerating. The Ghostbusters franchise exploded after the movie’s release in 1984. The animated series The Real Ghostbusters came shortly after, reuniting the core team (with the addition of a more domesticated Slimer) and lasted until 1991. In 1997, Extreme Ghostbusters brought a new generation of afterlife investigators into the fold. The animated series saw Egon Spengler training a diverse team of new Ghostbusters after a resurgence in supernatural activity makes it apparent the team is needed again. The most recent Ghostbusters reboot came in 2016, though several comic book series and video games populated the intervening years.

RELATED: Dan Aykroyd Wants to See a Ghostbusters Series on Netflix

“The biggest challenges from an artistic perspective is emulating the styles of the Real Ghostbusters, Extreme Ghostbusters, Sanctum of Slime and any other teams that may pop up,” Schoening said. “Not only do we want to honor the distinct look of the characters, but also the backgrounds and ghouls. Luckily and gratefully, we have already had a chance to play with many of those characters in previous books.”

Ghostbusters: Crossing Over #1 is due in comic book stores in March of 2018. The series will be written by Burnham, with art by Schoening and Delgado. The issue’s covers will be done by Joe Quinones, Tim Lattie and Schoening.

The post Every Ghostbuster Ever to Unite in New IDW Crossover Series appeared first on CBR.

Marvel EiC CB Cebulski Apologizes for Using Akira Yoshida Pseudonym

Marvel EiC CB Cebulski Apologizes for Using Akira Yoshida Pseudonym

Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, C.B. Cebulski, has issued a statement regarding his use of the pseudonym Akira Yoshida to write comics for the company in the mid-2000’s. Word that Cebulski had used the pseudonym only became a matter of public knowledge back in November, prompting outrage from readers and critics alike.

RELATED: Yes, the Cebulski-Yoshida News is Problematic – Here’s Why

Cebulski has downplayed the severity of the matter since then, but the issue hasn’t gone away. This weekend, Cebulski issued a statement in The Atlantic apologizing for pretending to be a comics creator of Japanese descent and playing that character off as real (such as in a 2005 interview with CBR):

“I’m truly sorry for the pain, anger, and disappointment I caused over my poor choice of pseudonym. That was never my intention. Throughout my career in anime, manga, and comics, I’ve made it a point to listen and learn from my mistakes, which is exactly what I’ve been trying to do with this misstep. Building honest relationships with creators has always been important to me, and I’ve continued to do that in my new position. I’ve spoken with talent close to this issue, and have had candid and productive conversations about how we can improve the industry and build better stories, while being mindful of the voices behind them. My passion has always been about bringing the best talent from across the world to work on the best stories in the world, and I’m hopeful that fans and creators alike will join us in that continued mission.”

Marvel Comics didn’t have an easy year. The publisher saw sales flag and the departure of top talent, like Brian Michael Bendis’ move to DC Comics in November, under its former Editor-in-Chief. Cebulski’s introduction was supposed to be a fresh start for the company, but the Akira Yoshida controversy has only dragged on.

The post Marvel EiC CB Cebulski Apologizes for Using Akira Yoshida Pseudonym appeared first on CBR.

DC Heads to (Washington) DC for Pop Culture and Politics Event

DC Heads to (Washington) DC for Pop Culture and Politics Event

DC Comics is heading to Washington, D.C. for a pop culture event that will use the company’s superhero universe to tackle political and cultural issues in the real world. The event, titled DC in D.C., will be open to the public and run for two nights during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend at the Newseum venue in Washington, D.C.

The event will bring together stars and producers from various DCTV shows, like Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Gotham, Supergirl and Freedom Fighters: The Ray. The night will also include appearances by and panels with DC Comics comic book writers and illustrators.

RELATED: Free Comic Book Day 2018 Gold Titles Include Massive DC Event Tease

DCTV producers and actors confirmed to attend include Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter (Arrow, Black Lightning, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl and the upcoming Titans live-action series), as well as actors Caity Lotz (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Candice Patton (The Flash), Danielle Panabaker (The Flash), J.W. Cortes (Gotham) and Russell Tovey (Freedom Fighters: The Ray), with additional guests to be announced.

DC Comics creators in attendance will include Jim Lee, Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Shea Fontana, Agnes Garbowska, Tom King, Steve Orlando, Alice Randall, John Ridley, Mark Russell, Mariko Tamaki and Geoff Johns. The night will also include talks with guests from politics, government service, entertainment, business and academia.

RELATED: DC’s Young Animal Imprint Gets Major Revamp in March

The event will also host the premiere screening of the Batman: Gotham By Gaslight animated adaption of Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola’s Elseworlds tale. The screening will take place on Friday, January 12 at the Newseum Theater from 6:30-9:15 p.m. and will conclude with a question-and-answer session.

The following panels will be held in Saturday, January 13 at the Newseum:

  • “The Art of the Matter: From Sketch to Screen with Berlanti, Schechter” from 10:00-10:45 a.m.
  • “The Many Shades of Heroism: DC Heroes Through the African-American Lens” from 11:00-11:45 a.m.
  • “Wonder Women” from 12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m.
  • “The Pride of DC: The Art of LGBTQ Inclusion” from 2:00-2:45 p.m.
  • “The Aftermath: Battle & Trauma in Comics” from 3:00-3:45 p.m.
  • “Black Lightning Sneak Peek Screening” from 6:30-8:15 p.m.

DC in D.C. will conclude with an invitation-only world-premiere screening of the CW’s newest superhero show, Black Lightning, at the Warner Bros. Theater at the National Museum of American History in the Smithsonian. An afterparty will be held at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The post DC Heads to (Washington) DC for Pop Culture and Politics Event appeared first on CBR.

Avengers Head Back to Basics with ComiXology Originals Series

Avengers Head Back to Basics with ComiXology Originals Series

Marvel Entertainment and ComiXology have announced a new, original series, Avengers: Back to Basics, that will be available exclusively from the digital comics reading service. Avengers: Back to Basics will run for six issues on a bi-weekly release schedule. The series can only be purchased through ComiXology’s digital store, though it will be available to ComiXology Unlimited subscribers at no additional charge.

Avengers: Back to Basics is the latest in ComiXology’s line of original series, and not the first time the company has teamed with Marvel to create an exclusive. Other exclusive series include Black Panther: Long Live the King, The Immortal Iron Fists and Thor Vs. Hulk: Champions of the Universe. Marvel released over 10,000 titles on ComiXology last spring, all of which can be browsed under the ComiXology Unlimited program.

RELATED: Marvel Joins ComiXology Unlimited

Avengers: Back to Basics is written by Peter David, with art by Brian Level and Juanan Ramirez. Covers for the series are illustrated by Nick Roche and Chris O’Halloran. Avengers: Back to Basics follows a tale of Ragnarok, in which a solar eclipse heralds the arrival of a new Darkness. The Avengers must assemble if they wish to fight off the ancient evil.

avengers back to basics cover

Avengers: Back to Basics #1 will be available for purchase on ComiXology and Kindle (ComiXology is owned by Amazon) on March 7, 2018 for $2.99.

The post Avengers Head Back to Basics with ComiXology Originals Series appeared first on CBR.