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25 Jul 14:20

I was designing a one-page brochure for a client that was supposed to provide the copy. When the...

I was designing a one-page brochure for a client that was supposed to provide the copy. When the copy arrived, it was a four-page Word document. 

Me: Umm, I think you’re going to have to remove some of copy, there’s no way we’ll be able to fit all this text into a one-page brochure.

Client: Are you sure?

Me: I’m absolutely sure!

Client: Okay, we’ll reduce the copy to one page. I’ll send you a new file.

Ten minutes later, an email comes in.

Client: Okay, it was tricky, but we finally got the text to fit.

I open the attachment, and, amazingly, they managed to get the copy down to one page.

Unfortunately, they didn’t remove any - they just used a size 3 font. 

19 Jul 02:15

A guide to visiting Free!’s Iwatobi (Iwami, Tottori)

by Khursten Santos

Chillin' in Uradome!

When I planned my trip to Japan last April, I had one non-negotiable location.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t a fujoshi spree in Ikebukuro. Nor was it even paying homage to Akihabara.

There was one thing that I really wanted to do in Japan — I wanted to see Haru, Nagisa, Makoto, Rei, and Rin’s hometown, Iwatobi. I honestly love beaches and I loved the scenery I saw in Free. I thought, if I’d visit the place, I’d get to appreciate the boys’ life a little more.

If I visited Iwatobi, my fujoshi life for this year would be complete. Maybe.

Hence, I turned to Japanese websites and found out that Iwatobi was based on Iwami, a coastal town in Tottori! I couldn’t resist the temptation and researched all things Iwami.

With season 2 happening, I hope this post inspires you to visit this awesome town! 

PLANNING YOUR IWAMI TRIP

Before you pack your bags, one of the things you could consider is how long you will be staying in Iwami. There are two ways to enjoy Iwami: day trip or overnight/weekender.

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Sakura tree by Iwami’s train station

I suggest a day trip for those who really just want to see the sights, take some pictures, and doesn’t want to spend a night in the town. I also strongly suggest this to travellers who are already in the Kansai area. It takes two hours just to get to Iwami from Himeji station so you actually lose half a day just getting in and out of Iwami. It also takes two hours to leisurely go around the Free! sites with a bike (you can rent one from the tourist office) or three hours to leisurely walk it. Now, don’t think that means the places are far. It kinda is and kinda isn’t. You can honestly finish your Free! tour in an hour but that means constantly walking around and seeing everything in a zip. Which isn’t fun. I think.

I suggest the overnight/weekender trip for those who want to immerse themselves in the town. If you’re planning to do a Free! cosplay shoot, by all means, please spend a trip overnight or weekender. I suggest the weekender (2 nights) for travellers who are either coming from afar (Tokyo or Fukuoka) just to go to Iwami. It’s honestly a long and tiring trip. You’d probably dread just spending a few hours there to walk and bike and then travel again. The weekender allows you to rest for your first night and then you can play around the next day before you travel again in the morning.

If you want to know some activities that you can do in Iwami, please visit the Iwami’s tourism website. I’ll go into them a little later too, if you’re interested.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Seaside Uradome!

Seaside Uradome and towards the Uradome Swimming Area

For folks who want to spend the weekend in Iwami, be prepared to brush up your Japanese because most accommodations in Iwami are locals and would find it very difficult to accommodate you if you can’t speak Japanese. If you’re afraid of your Japanese skills, there are larger hotels in Tottori which can accommodate you.

My rusty spoken Japanese managed to get me by in Iwami so I think you’ll be fine. Besides, the people in Iwami are really helpful and accommodating and granted that if you can string a few sentences and at the very least you can understand the folks, you’ll be fine.

The Iwami Tourism website has a wealth of information on accommodations. I’ve also been informed by a friend that you can also book hotels in Iwami at Rakuten Travel (which is an english site). Make sure you choose the accomodations in the  浦富(Uradome) area. Accommodations range from $24/night to $110/night. Usually, the cheaper rates are for sleeping accommodations only. On the other hand, some hotels offer breakfast and evening meals. If you want a taste of local food, this is a good option to take since there’s not a lot of restaurants in Iwami.

When doing your reservations and you live abroad, it would be best to choose a hotel with a website or a working e-mail. In my case, I booked a room in Seaside Uradome which was a really nice hotel at the Uradome coast and is right smack at the beginning of the Free! sights.

Seaside Uradome has an online reservation. This reservation is, unfortunately, is Japanese only. They will call your number after you make a registration so be sure to put in your number and be ready to talk to their manager. If you worry that they won’t be able to call you (since you’re living abroad) be ready to give them a call. The manager here is really nice and she’d be happy to accommodate your reservation. Apparently, when I went there, I was the first foreigner from Australia who went to her hotel. She’s had other guests from other parts of the world.

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The sign outside Beach-in Takesou

Another popular hotel is Beach-in Takesou. This hotel is right smack where Arasuna shrine and the Uradome coast scene. This is popular among Japanese fans because it’s cheaper than Seaside Uradome. Both hotels/inns sell Free! goods and Iwami-only merchandise. That said, only Beach-in Takesou has a guestbook for those who go to Iwami for Free! (although you can sign this even if you’re not staying in their hotel)

Between the two, I prefer Seaside Uradome because of the convenience of their website, great location, clean ambience and rooms, and fantastic local food.

GETTING THERE

Iwami Station

Next stop, Iwami! Remember, if you want to do Rei’s morning run, stop at Oiwa! Do note that Rei’s an experienced runner!

The easiest way to get to the town Iwami is getting a shinkansen train from Himeji to Tottori and then catching the local San’in train from Tottori to Iwami. Check Hyperdia for the best trains to catch the Tottori train to Iwami. If you’re using a JR Railpass for your travel, it shouldn’t be a problem since Iwami is a JR station. That said, there is a section of the railway that’s privately owned, hence be prepared to pay 1820 yen extra per trip. 

It’s a long train ride to Iwami and can range from 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on which train you manage to catch. Still, it’s quite a scenic route and it’s a perfect ride to actually buy an ekiben and enjoy it in the train. I do strongly suggest to make sure you arrive in Iwami at least during lunch. That way, you can still catch the local transport (a mini-van or the bike rental from the tourism office).

By the way, make sure that when you travel to Iwami, you’re travelling light. Having a large luggage around would make things tad difficult since the trains to Iwami are a bit smaller.

On your train ride, keep note of your stop before Iwami, Oiwa. This stop is where Rei hops off to run to Iwami. It’s a long way to Iwami from that station so I’d have to give Rei some kudos for running that far. Such an awesome boy!

GETTING AROUND IWAMI

Iwami Station

Once you arrive in Iwami, you have three choices when doing your Free! tour. You can either take (a) mini-bus, (b) bike, (c) taxi, or (d) walk. All of these options are available as soon as you step out of the station.

The mini-bus parks next to where the taxis are lined up. It looks like a mini-van at most and hardly looks like a bus until you notice people riding it or that a driver is waiting inside. Taking the mini-bus does require some Japanese skills but fret not, I can give you some key phrases to learn. Just remember that there are two directions for the buses in Iwami. One bus heads to Tottori and the other bus heads to Tajiri Port. If you’re coming from the train station, be sure to ask the driver, “Tajiri-ko made ikimasen ka? Tajiri-ko ni tomete kudasai.” (Is this bus going until Tajiri port? Please stop in Tajiri port). Don’t forget to ask the driver how much the fare is before alighting the van. And don’t worry about missing the stop. The driver is also super accommodating and will tell you when you are at Tajiri port. I suggest this for people with some luggages, for people who are staying in Seaside Uradome (just change Tajiri-ko to Seaside Uradome), and for people who are not fond of physical activities.

Taking the taxi is the best option for those who don’t want the hassle at all. Again, they’re lined up in front of the station. Just a note, finding a cab in Iwami station is easy but finding the taxi back is quite difficult. Also, cabs in Japan are mighty expensive. Unless you’re a big group, this should be your last resort.

Taking the bike is probably the most popular and best option among visitors I saw in Iwami because quite a lot of girls actually rent them. To rent them, you just have to go to the Iwami Tourism Office which is to your left as soon as you exit the train station. You can rent the bike for 500 yen/day which is not so bad. All you have to say to the people in office is “Bike rental onegaishimasu,” and you’re pretty much on your way after paying and filling up some forms. You can also get the Free! map which will help you get from the Iwami train station to the Free! sites. With the bike option, you don’t have to worry about the direction of the buses or hoping to find a taxi. That said, navigation skills are required when biking around town. Having a GPS on your smartphone and google maps also helps if you’re not good in reading maps. But worry not, I will be providing a translated map for you guys a little later.

Walking, as I said earlier, is also a good option. I tried walking from Uradome coast to the station and back and it took me a leisurely hour and a half to do that. That meant I had time to stop by convenience stores and the information office and even leave a message and all that. It’s also not a difficult walk. There’s no crazy uphill and there are nice pedestrian lanes for you to have a leisurely walk on. From the Uradome Coast to Tajiri Port, it takes an hour and a half of walking. And this is with all the crazy pictures you could be taking along the way. Just in case, have your google map ready in case you get lost!

But before you get around, make sure you stop by the Iwami Tourism Office which is at your left once you exit the station.

IWAMI TOURISM OFFICE

Iwami Tourist Information Office

Apart from being the place where you can rent a bike, the Iwami Tourism office is one of the places where you can get the Free! Iwami Town Location Map (and it’s free!), shop for various Free! goods, and leave a message for Iwami and other fans in the Free! notebooks. :D

Free! goods in Iwami!

If you also want to ask for any information like restaurants open or activities you can participate in town, this is the best place to go. Again, some Japanese skills are required to converse with the staff but they are very much helpful. If I’m not mistaken, there are cooking classes in the Iwami office too so if you’re interested, you can join a cooking class! It’s a good glimpse of the town and if you have like an empty passport or a travel notebook, you can stamp your notebook with their local stamp!

Free! Fan Notebook!

Another fun thing to do is signing the Free! Fan Notebook! There’s tons of fellow fans who visit Iwami and they leave their twitter names, draw fan art, and such! OR, in the case of my friends, it was a place where they can leave messages to the town or to future visitors.

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A message for me from friends who got lost. ;3;

Message to Iwami!

A message for the awesome Iwami. Also, super sorry for my horrible drawing.

Visiting the tourism office gives you a good preview of Iwami life. Now, once you’ve done your shopping and more importantly, got your Free! Location Map, it’s best to start visiting the Free! sites.

VISITING THE FREE! LOCATIONS

Translated Iwami Area Map

So here it is the awesome Free! Location map. Just click on the images to see something bigger but let this only be a guide for those who are bad with maps or has difficulty understanding Japanese.

I have to thank the Iwami Tourism Office for having a dedicated page for this and for making these brochures with Kyoto Animation. It’s probably one of the most organized location trips I’ve been to in Japan. It’s honestly quite straightforward and accurate. And for everyone’s convenience, I’ve also marked the routes and translated the locations in English, in case the kanji doesn’t get to you.

Free-locations

If you’re visiting Iwami alone, I’ve noted the 6 sites which are right next to each other. As I said earlier, you can walk this or ride a bike. The town’s very safe and the walk is scenic and leisurely and you’ll be done in no less than two to three hours for this section. I, unfortunately, did not visit the tunnel or other sites (like the Tottori sand dunes which was used in the ED), but I think you’ll have a good time going through these places.

If I can make something simple of this map, there are three areas you can visit: Iwami Station Area, Uradome Swimming Area, and Tajiri Port Area.

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The road in front of Iwami station. Just go down this road and turn right to go down the highway that leads to Uradome coast

The Iwami Station Area is a good start and quite straight forward. If you follow the line that I’ve drawn, you would be stopping/passing by Lawson and Family Mart featured in the series. The route I’ve drawn also leads you to the Uradome Swimming Area.

Translated Tajiri and Uradome Area Map

A more detailed map of the Tajiri and Uradome area

The Uradome Swimming Area is basically the beach you see throughout the series. This starts from Seaside Uradome and you can walk by the beach until you reach the small island with the tori which we see all the time in the beach scenes.

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The large building at the end of that row Beach-in Takesou. This place also has Free! posters on its windows!

Beach-in Takesou that faces the coast!

You can feel it, can ya? Hanging out with the boys here!

Free! stylings on the windows of Beach-in Takesou!

Beach-in Takesou sure is proud of their Free! Heritage

Just a few steps to the left of Beach-in Takesou is Arasuna shrine. Arasuna shrine also has a lookout point, but the route going to that place is a bit difficult to go to and is quite dangerous so don’t go there unless you’ve got a good sense of balance and knowledge of how to be careful in mildly dangerous high places.

Arasuna Shrine

A fifteen minute walk further left of the Uradome Swimming Area is the Tajiri Port. The port is quite bustling with fisherfolk and locals. At that time, there were many fisher folks who were harvesting wakame so a lot of them were drying them out in the sun.

Tajiri Port

From the port, there are stairs that leads to the lookout point. If you want to take the scenic shot of Tajiri port used in Free, then please take this stairs. Half-way through your climb is the place that looks like (a) the place where Haru talked with Makoto in the evening and (b) where Rin paid respects to his dad.

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The awesome Iwami ladies drying their wakame. Behind them, you can see the stairs heading to the lookout point!

The Tajiri lookout point is just as beautiful as you saw in the series! BTW, the round thing they sat on was really a seat (and a place where they dry their wakame). It’s not a covered well because I think it’s just too high and too narrow to be a well for anyone.

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Now I’ve heard from a friend that this lookout point could be closed on some days. If that’s the case, you just have to head straight towards the Tajiri Shrine (Haru’s House) to go to the lookout point (which has a path at the right side the temple).

Tajiri Port Bus Station

The building with the red roof is the shaded Tajiri bus station

The path towards the Tajiri Shrine begins from the Tajiri port bus station. From the bus station, you will see the famous row of Iwami manholes.

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Just follow it until you notice the shrine stairs and then Makoto’s house.

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Makoto’s house!

Head up higher and you’ll find Haru’s house (which is the shrine) and head towards the right to find the lookout point.

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The stairs to Haru’s house!

Now this post is TLDR to add my entire feels about this place but I’ll leave that to my album which captured my interest and feels about the town.

What I can say with great joy and brevity: Iwami is a lovely and beautiful town just as we have seen in Free’s Iwatobi. It’s a quiet place so it’s not the kind of place where you expect a party happening, but it is for travellers who love to take a quiet beach break or for fans like us who would like to immerse in the world of Free! The people were all lovely. The food was awesome. The scenery is just as I had imagined. Watching Free! after visiting Iwami made the place more real to me. And while I doubt I’d ever cross a swimming team in Iwami, I do now understand Haru’s fascination for water, Makoto’s kindness, Nagisa’s enthusiasm, Rei’s beauty, and Rin’s love for this town that will always be his home.

I’d say, it was worth the distance. I had so much fun and I honestly plan to visit this place again. Maybe, in future fish!

27 Jul 14:20

"I’m open to the idea of paying you"

“I’m open to the idea of paying you”
29 Jul 08:58

Wonder Festival Summer 2014 Report Part 5: Mecha, Monsters, Memes and more

by Disposable Henchman
kate

Space Dandy ship and QT look nice! That Titan head is creeeepy. Lots of other cool and random stuff.

Rounding out the rest of the Wonder Festival garage kits we've got robots from the past, present and future, monsters of all shapes and sizes and a dash of bishounen to keep things spicy.  

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29 Jul 11:05

Live-Action "Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit" Casts Heroine

by Scott Green

Haruka Ayase (the lead blind swordswoman in 2008's Ichi, the lead voice in Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror) has been cast as Balsa, the 30-year-old female bodyguard-for-hire heroine of an NHK live-action drama adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen Award winning author Nahoko Uehashi's culture fantasy Seirei no Moribito (Guardian of the Spirit).

 

Filming starts this summer on the project, planned for Spring 2016.

 

Two volumes of Moribito have been released in English by Arthur A. Levine Books. Media Blasters released the anime because Viz rescued the license earlier in the year.

 

 

 

via AsianWiki

 

------
Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain't It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.

28 Jul 01:30

SDCC 2014: LEGO

by Pedro Cortes

Let our continued San Diego Comic Con coverage slide into your eye-holes and seep your brains in toy-filled goodness. Next up is the LEGO booth, filled with enough bricks to keep a city entertained. And keep a city entertained they did, as they had several bins full of bricks to keep the kiddos amused. Whenever a kid would finish something, they'd announced the kid's name and declare them a master builder. It was adorable

What was interesting was that there were new reveals every day, so every time you came back you'd find something new. Of all the things shown throughout the con, the best had to be Tumbler. On top of being a Batman kit, it looked pretty great and was huge. I love me big kits.

Any of these kits catch your eye?

SDCC 2014: LEGO screenshot

Read more...
28 Jul 09:59

Wonder Festival Summer 2014 Report Part 2: Good Smile Company Area Part 1

by Disposable Henchman
kate

D'awww Conan!

Just thinking about the new wave of goodies from Good Smile Company has me grinning ear from ear. Make sure you take breaks between posts or else your face might start to cramp up!

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29 Jul 00:48

Wonder Festival Summer 2014 Report Part 3: Good Smile Company Area Part 2

by Disposable Henchman
kate

Chamber!!!

Good Smile Company continues to deliver the goods. What upcoming figures are you looking forward to the most? Sound off in the comments and don't forget about all the amazing stuff in our previous post!

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27 Jul 05:20

Udon Entertainment Licenses Kill La Kill Manga, More

kate

There is way more awesome stuff in here than Kill la Kill manga adaptation.

3 more Manga Classics, 9 artbooks, Robotech artbook project, Katamari comic
28 Jul 20:00

Bento Books Adds Shin Megami Tensei Spinoff Novel Series

Quantum Devil Saga novels written by game series' Yu Godai
29 Jul 10:00

No.6's Kino Starts Setsuna Graffiti Manga

Story of boys who aim to be firework technicians launched on Monday in ARIA
26 Jul 22:01

perbast: Rin: imconfused, whats he doing? is he flying is he...

kate

I laughed too hard.





perbast:

Rin: imconfused, whats he doing? is he flying is he sliding?
Rin: taking baby tap dance steps

so i made this and its all rin’s fault

watCHA! CHA! HA! *tappa tappa*

ok i’m almost sorry about making this but also not

28 Jul 04:16

Interview: Celebrate Twin Peaks with Kenneth and Ross

by Beat Staff

By Alexander Jones

Twin Peaks fans have been eagerly awaiting the Twin Peaks: The Complete Mystery DVD since it was announced. During the panel for the show on Saturday night, some mysteries about the show were revealed, such as both the Fire Walk With Me and the deleted scenes from the original show. Meaning, that this is as close as we are going to get to everything about the show ever shot on one single DVD collection. With the added bonus of a visual HD restoration to the package–speaking of the packaging, this includes a wonderful package featuring the ominous face of Laura Palmer in the flesh or more like wrapped in plastic. Take a look at the following interview conducted with CBS General Manager Kenneth B. Ross, along with actress Kimmy Robertson chiming in towards the end in order to get the primer on what to expect for the new DVD box set. TwinPeaks_EM_BRD_3D_Oslv

During that call at the panel you mentioned that you acquired a full 88 minutes worth of footage, and that you also scored it and restored it. So how long did it take between the team getting the new footage, and then getting it ready for the showing on Tuesday?

Ross: David and his team are the ones that did it. I really don’t recall exactly how long the work took because I was so immersed with all the details of working it out, and France was involved and it was CBS, and it was David Lynch, and it was MK2, and this had been going on for years literally. The physical post-production work took about 8-9 months to deliver the elements.

After all this time, this television show has really become iconic, and it has influenced so many other pieces of media from comic books–to other television series. Do you have any idea on what has sparked the new interest on the show? At the panel beforehand there was a good amount of people in attendance.

Ross: I think that you know in the entertainment business, and I think I said I touched on this on the panel so I apologize if I was repeating this, but I there’s a word called ‘classic’ some people say ‘cult’ some people say ‘classic’ some say ‘evergreen’ you know the Sound of Music is still loved today. I was involved in putting the I Love Lucy Christmas special on CBS last Christmas, and it got the highest rating in the time setting. You know a show that was fifty plus years old because people still love Lucy. Kimmy: I watched it. twin-peaks TP_EP02.023Ross: People love I Love Lucy. This is one of those properties, and there are not a lot of them, but a bunch of them where the love, never the flame, never the fire, never and so what it’s about is it’s showing it in a way that it has never been experienced before which is what we are trying to do–in terms of technology to make the experience as satisfying as possible picture, audio, etc. By showing more than you’ve ever seen before–new high definition scenes, deleted scenes from the series, lastly what the fans have been clamoring for for nearly 20 years–the Fire Walk With Me deleted scenes. Then you have the entire fan base to them. I read a tweet that Brian showed me that made me as happy as I can be when we walked into this room, because I had said all along you come to Comic-Con. I have been a comic collector since I have been a kid. Comic-Con for me was I live in New York, I used to go to to the McAlpin Hotel, I am talking about 40 years ago and buy comic books that were in baggies you know with my friends and that’s what Comic-Con was you know. There was no show business, no Hollywood, no actors, none of that, and now I don’t have to tell you guys what it is; but I knew that this property Twin Peaks was like a pillar of Comic-Con and the Comic-Con community. Just like Star Trek for example. People here would go wild and love it, and the tweet was; I heard Marvel announced something blah blah blah, Twin Peaks is coming out at Comic-Con and this is amazing. That is sort of my answer to your question, it is sort of as relevant as it has ever been. TwinPeaks_EM_BRD_3D_Beauty_Grey I actually think it’s more relevant than it has ever been because there is so much media drawing from it.

Ross: As you say, think about the shows where the creators you know, I mean David Chase has said that inspires him and on and on and on think about the shows that wouldn’t exist today if not for Twin Peaks having come out and changed the landscape of television.

Kimmy Robertson: I heard Mark Burnett on the radio yesterday or the day before saying Survivor– that he got the guts to do that because of Twin Peaks. Survivor! Mark Burnett!

Ross: Another CBS show!

27 Jul 18:32

SDCC ’14: Why Saga Continues To Be The Best

by Beat Staff
kate

They are so great, this sounds as good as the panel at NYCC two years ago.

by Zachary Clemente

There’s something special about Image’s book Saga. You know it, I know it, the people who voted for the Eisner awards know it – heck, my mom knows it! On Saturday of SDCC ’14, Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson sat down with co-creators Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples to discuss their out-of-control success of a book, winner of four Eisner awards the day previous.

It was clear that Stephenson, who also edits Saga, had a set of specific questions that he knew would be interesting topics to discuss – keeping the panel at a good pace and setting an example for the sort of questions would illicit responses beyond a yes, no, or “I can’t talk about that”. He started off asking about how the book’s production has changed in the past 18 months or so, after they wrapped their first 6 issues.

Vaughan picked this up, saying that he’s learned that his job as writer has been to get out of Staples’ way as the artist. Interesting, this is exactly the approach writer Matt Fraction has with artist David Aja, to much success. Jokingly, they said that the amount of work Staples now does is much higher while Vaughan “has just gotten lazier – that’s the evolution!” In truth, however, as they’ve becoming more comfortable and confident working with each other, Vaughan has been able to really step back to showcase Staples’ ability to visualize the narrative in such a marvelous fashion.

Stephenson got them to discuss their approach to the covers of the book and the work their design and lettering collaborator, Fonographiks (aka Steven Finch). Both Staples and Vaughan are huge fans of the aesthetic of Kubrick’s 2001 and therefore found appeal with a clean style born out of a modern and minimalist approach – a character or two on top of a single color as a constant motif. For the title logo itself, they found it extremely important for it to be subdued, wanting to steer clear of the loud logos many readers are used to seeing. Instead, they wanted the logo to have an inviting and warm sensibility, welcoming readers to pick up the issues. Vaughan went on to discuss the importance of having the comics say “Chapter” instead of “Issue” on the cover and how having full control over every aspect of the book’s design was so liberating as situations like “when an ad for a goddamn Snickers bar comes in and ruins your dramatic scene” just aren’t a reality at Image.

Though a question on many a-reader’s tongue, Stephenson asked Vaughan on his stance of killing off characters in way that has gotten his work compared to the likes of George R.R. Martin or Joss Whedon.

Do I feel bad about murdering people? – Brian K. Vaughan

Vaughan first picked up the question reminding us that characters in fiction not ever dying is a recent phenomenon, as large corporations are built on top of legacies of beloved characters and the enduring support they get from fans allows them to continue – those characters just can’t die. He then goes into how Saga is kind of a way for him address anxiousness of life, fictional or otherwise, stating that “we read this stuff to prepare us for the worst.”

We’re all going to die terribly, so read our comic book! – Brian K. Vaughan

Staples and Vaughan were keen to remind the audience that Saga is fully and truly all about Hazel and though she is just a child now, she will grow and while her parents, arguably the current protagonists, are very important now – they may not be later. With that, they revealed the cover art for the first hardcover, collecting what Vaughan and Staples consider to be the first chapter of the series – issues 1-18 or trade volumes 1-3.

sagaHC

The cover, with a very prominent close-up of Hazel breastfeeding from Alana is a clear response to the backlash the book received when the first cover was revealed – showing the young couple with child to Alana’s breast. They had this to say on the subject:

Just doubling-down on our breastfeeding stance, aren’t we? – Fiona Staples

Some stores won’t even rack the first volume because the breast-feeding is controversial, but…fuck them. – Brian K. Vaughan

The panel was then opened up to Q&A from the audience. Most questions pertained to the plot, the possibilities of merchandise such as shirts, toys, plush dolls, and the alike – most of which were given expected answers of uncertainty. There will not be another run of the Lying Cat shirts, but they are not opposed to high-quality merchandise.

Additionally, when asked about their feelings of the possibility of an adaptation into another medium such as film or television Brian explained, not for the first time, that though he has worked in both other industries, he finds comics to be the vastly superior medium – though would not be opposed if they received an offer they just couldn’t say no to. Staples eagerly suggested, when queried, that the best game adaptation would be a Dungeons & Dragons styled tabletop roleplaying game to much applause.

One attendee brought up a point that’s been stewing in at least my head, which is the apparent and thorough multiculturalism represented in Saga. Vaughan honestly answered that it’s something he has to be keenly cognizant of as, when first writing the book, it took him a while to realize that “white” didn’t have to be the default. Apparently, when designing Alana, he told Staples that she shouldn’t be a red-head as “there are a glut of red-heads right now.” When she responded with “you know, she doesn’t have to be white,” he let out a defeated and embarrassed “oh…right.”

Another attendee brought up the page in issue 14, where lying cat devastated a whole readership in one day.

2013saga

While they approached this page like any other, Vaughan used this to discuss how, as a child, he found the iconic Slave Leia costume featured in Star Wars not sexy, but subjugated. His distaste for it is apparent with his wish to attempt to portray more realistic situations when war affects civilian life. I personally find this a fantastic stance on the subject and deeply appreciate that he’s coming from this sort of perspective.

Why do the robot people have dicks and stuff? – The next Attendee

The person asking this question did preface it with the fact that it was less touching. It did, however launch the duo into a discussion of soft sci-fi and how Saga is a romantic drama, wrapped in the trappings of a space epic.

Lastly, it was revealed that one of the main reasons that much of the technology in this book isn’t necessary metal spaceships and laser guns is because Staples doesn’t really enjoy drawing any of that – so Vaughan had to compensate, all for the better.

Overall, this was a Saga fan’s dream come true. Vaughan and Staples were receptive, amiable and inviting. They clearly have a spectacular rapport that’s equal parts professional and loving – they’ve put everything and more they have into this book and it clearly shows. As a fan, I’m loving it and as someone deeply invested in seeing comics grow and evolve, I’m in for the long haul. Thanks to Eric Stephenson for moderating with a charming ease, keeping the flow casual and friendly.

25 Jul 19:07

Learn How Satoshi Kon Edited Space and Time

by Amid Amidi
In his four features and one TV series, the late anime director Satoshi Kon developed a unique style of cutting and editing, says Tony Zhou in a new video essay.
23 Jul 12:40

"Love the logo! What font size did you use so we can reproduce it in Word?"

“Love the logo! What font size did you use so we can reproduce it in Word?”
24 Jul 21:30

Comic Con: Beyond the Panels

by Beat Staff
kate

Gotham zipline!?!

By Hannah Lodge

For some, the real glamour of San Diego Comic Con lies beyond the confines of the convention center. For four days, the Gaslamp quarter is transformed into an outdoor festival, with parties, guest appearances, live music, free food, and entertainment happening in parallel of the announcements and panels held behind closed doors. Here’s our line-up of unofficial events happening outside of the convention center halls.

sdcceventspic

Thursday and/or ongoing

Gotham Zip lining: From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday until Sunday, fans will have the opportunity to channel their inner batman and zip line (130 feet long, 30 feet high) through Gotham-esque landscape. Souvenir photos will also be available, and the event will take place between the convention center and the Hilton Bayfront. If the experience leaves you too exhausted to walk home, Uber will also be featuring Gotham-themed cars to pick passengers up for free rides. To hitch a ride, select the Gotham PD under the Uber slider in the app or follow uber_sd on twitter.

Nintendo Gaming Lounge: From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, the Marriott Marquis and Marina Ballroom will feature the Nintendo Gaming Lounge. Featured games include 3DS features like Super Smash Bros, Sonic Book and Siesta Fiesta and Wii U titles like Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad, Sonic Book and Skylanders Trap Team. Admission is free and no badge is required.

BioWare Development Team & Dragon Age Inquisition: From 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Thursday, Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry Lounge at 379 4th Ave (Jolt N’ Joes) will host coffee & donuts with the BioWare Development team and will demo the newest installment in the Dragon Age Series, Inquisition, which releases this fall. Demos will continue throughout the weekend. Admission is free and no badge is required.

Borderlands Laser Tag: From 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nerdist and 2K Games team up to bring Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel laser tag to Petco Park. The event will also feature an oxygen bar and live events. Admission is free and no badge is required.

Adult Swim Fun House & Dome Experience: Starting 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Adult Swim will feature interactive experiences at Petco Park parking lot. The Fun House is a giant castle that will force guests to crawl, side, and sing their way through. The Meatwad Dome Experience features a two-story, 40-foot Meatwad planetarium with animated content that requires a “this event has loud music, flashing lights, and  images that could trigger seizures” caution on the label. Admission is free and no badge is required.

Jay & Silent Bob Podcast: At 5 p.m. Thursday, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes will perform a live podcast to celebrate the release of their new book. The event takes place at the American Comedy Co. at 818 B 6th Ave. Tickets are $35 and include a signed copy of the book.

MTV Fan Fest & Fandom Awards: At 5 p.m. Thursday, Linkin Park will perform at Petco Park for MTV’s Fandom Awards. Entrance is free but requires a Comic Con badge.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Welcome Party: From 8 -11 p.m. Thursday, the CBLDF party will feature exclusive comics and a chance to mingle with creators like Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples, Scott Snyder, Chris Burnham, Nick Dragotta, Nick Pitarra. The party will also feature original artwork and an alchemy/fragrance lab from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Suggested donations of $10-$20 at the door.

NerdHQ Fan Party: Starting at 9 p.m., the annual Nerd HQ will kick off with a fan party at Petco Park. Admission is free and no badge is required.

Friday

Cape/Cowl/Create: From 12 -7 p.m. Friday, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment will celebrate Batman’s 75th anniversary with an art exhibit at the Hard Rock Hotel. The exhibit will include the unveiling of life-size recreations of The Dark Knight’s cowl headpiece and cape from the upcoming video game as well as talent appearances, including Zack Snyder, Will Arnett, Mister Cartoon, and Buff Monster.  Some of the art pieces will be auctioned for charity. Admission is free and no badge is required.

Boxtrolls Food Truck: Though the truck will be available throughout the Con, at 1 p.m. the truck will be at the Petco Park Interactive Zone to feature Bug Chef David George Gordon, who will demonstrate his edible insect creations. Event is free and no badge is required.

Appleseed Alpha Screening: At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sony will screen the animated movie Appleseed Alpha, from the author Masamune Shirow (creator of Ghost in the Shell). The event is free but first-come-first-serve (RSVP on EventBrite recommended) and will take place at Reading Cinemas.

Danny Elfman Concert: At 8 p.m. Friday, composer Danny Elfman will perform in a concert featuring the scores from Tim Burton movies. Highlights include Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Big Fish, and The Corpse Bride. Tickets are between $28 – $90 and the event takes place at the Embarcadero Marina, directly behind the convention center.

Adam Savage Incognito: At 9 p.m. Friday, Tested.com is throwing a celebration for cosplayers, featuring Mythbusters star Adam Savage. Savage will demonstrate some of his most memorable cosplay and will reveal a meticulous replica of one of his favorite movie props of all time.  The event is 21+ and will be held at Side Bar, 536 Market St.

Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Jammy Party: Adult Swim’s Tim & Eric will feature a first look at their new series, Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories, from 11 pm – midnight on Friday. The screening will take place at Petco Park’s parking lot (at the bottom of the pedestrian bridge) and requires pajamas and a free RSVP (RSVP on Adult Swim’s Comic Con page).

 

Saturday

Enhance Cosplay with Greg Nicotero: From 12 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Walking Dead special FX designer Greg Nicotero will demonstrate custom make-up designs for fans at the Super Hero HQ cosplay lab, located at the Courtyard by Marriott (100 Park Blvd). Free make-up touch-ups will also be available through the convention at the lab.  The event is free and open to the public.

George R.R. Martin Q&A: From 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, George R.R. Martin will conduct a public Q&A at the Super Hero HQ at the Courtyard by Marriott. The event is free and open to the public.

Heroes Brew Craft Beer Festival: From 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, beer aficionados will gather at the Embarcadero Marina Park North to sample from more than 40 breweries. The event will also feature food trucks, a costume contest and live music. Tickets are $45 ($20 for designated drivers).

ZombieWalk: Returning for its 8th year at Comic Con, the Zombiewalk will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday and starts at Children’s Park (corner of Island & 1st Ave). The event is free and open to the public.

Norma Reedus Q&A: From 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Norma Reedus (a.k.a. Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead) will do a live Q&A at Super Hero HQ in the Courtyard by Marriott. Reedus will also judge cosplay costumes and select and crown the King and Queen of Cosplay.  The event is free and open to the public.

The Walking Dead Escape: From 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Walking Dead fans can purchase tickets for the survival-driven event, which forces Survivors and Walkers to climb, crawl, slide and hide through brutal scenarios, to either live or become infected.  Tickets are $95 or walkers and $50 for survivors and the event takes place at Petco Park.

Doctor Who Comic Creators Signing: From 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, writer Nick Abadzis, artist Elena Casagrande, cover artist Alice X Zhang and editor Andrew James will be on-hand at the Comickaze store, 5517 AB Clairemont Mesa Blvd. In addition to signings, the event will feature quizzes and a Doctor Who costume contest.

Thrilling Adventure Hour & Welcome to Night Vale Cross-Over Show: TAH & Welcome to Night Vale will be teaming up at 8 p.m. Saturday at Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway. The event will feature Marc Evan Jackson, Craig Cackowski, Hal Lublin, Mark Gagliardi, and show creators Ben Blacker & Ben Acker. Tickets range from $24 – $122.

24 Jul 21:45

SDCC ’14: Comixology announces DRM-free backups for Image, Top Shelf, Dynamite, Monkeybran, Thrillbent

by Heidi MacDonald

With a line up of publishers yet unknown, Comixology has announced that from now on publishers will be able to choose a DRM-free option for their comics downloads. It’s both an acknowledgement of the reality of technology and a pretty forward facing move for a company that faces some skepticism since being acquired by Amazon. From now on when you download it, you own it. Simple as can be,

Not as simple. Whose on board? The original announcement included no names of publishers. Image, already DRM free would seem to be a natural, and perhaps other creator owned titles? Developing throughout the hour.

And the publishers have been announced:

@comiXology going DRM free for @topshelfcomix, @DynamiteComics, @ImageComics, @Monkeybrain_inc, @thrillbent

— The Beat SDCC (@ComicsBeatCons) July 24, 2014

“We’re excited to make this DRM-free backup option available to our customers and publishers today,” said comiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. “Our customers can keep a copy locally and continue to do their reading on comiXology in our industry-changing Guided View.”

“For those out there who have not joined the comic reading community because of DRM – you have no excuse now,” said co-founder and Director of ComiXology Submit John D. Roberts. “We’re excited about the launch of DRM-free backups today and look forward to announcing more innovative features as we move ahead with our mission of making everyone on the face of the planet a comic book fan!”

To obtain the DRM-free backups of their books, customers can go to the “My Books” section of comixology.com on their desktop computers and click the button that appears next to their books. Books and series from participating publishers will be available for backup starting today. Backups are available in high definition PDF and CBZ.

Customers will continue to enjoy all of their purchases – whether available as a DRM-free backup or not – on the comiXology platform in comiXology’s exclusive cinematic Guided View reading experience, anytime and anywhere.

With over 50,000 comics and graphic novels from more than 75 publishers, comiXology offers the widest selection of digital comics in the world. ComiXology’s immense catalog and cinematic Guided View reading experience makes it the best digital platform for comic and graphic novel fans worldwide.

Find your favorite comics and graphic novels at comixology.com and try the comiXology app available on all major mobile platforms.

24 Jul 19:20

Anime Sols Outlines 7 More Streaming Campaigns

kate

Yesyesyes take my money for Lil'bits!

Company will add Belfy and Lil'bit, Goku no Daibōken, Time Bokan, Temple the Balloonist, Wonder 3, Kerokko Dematan
20 Jul 19:02

ReturN: File 1

by Ho-Ling
「ジッチャンのことは誇りに思うけど、俺は俺だからさ!」
『金田一少年の事件簿:銀幕の殺人鬼』

"I'm proud of my grandfather, but I am myself!"
"The Young Kindaichi Case Files: The Murderer of the Silver Screen"

Last Saturday, a new live action TV series based on Kindachi Shounen no Jikenbo (The Young Kindaichi Case Files) started. Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo NEO features the same cast and production team behind the recent two TV specials (like January's Gokumonjuku Satsujin Jiken), which I liked quite a lot overall. I have been looking forward to this series, so I decided I will try to do reviews on every story as the series is running, like I did with the Detective Conan live action series. My main reason for doing these reviews is because now I have a good excuse to discuss some older Kindaichi Shounen stories, as I seldom do reviews on materials I've already read.

Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo NEO
Episode 1 (July 19, 2014): The Murderer of the Silver Screen


Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo NEO ("The Young Kindaichi Case Files NEO") started with a two-hour TV special (ninety minutes without commercials) based on Ginmaku no Satsujinki ("The Murderer of the Silver Screen"). Miyuki is scouted as the lead by genius director Kurasawa for the newest production of the school film club. Kurasawa won a prize with one of his earlier films, The Murderer Scorpion and is convinced his new one will be a hit too, with the help of Miyuki. It is however rumoured that everyone connected to the production of The Murderer Scorpion is doomed to die and behold, indeed film club members start to pop up in a rather murdered state (and wearing the trademark Scorpion mask). Can Kindaichi Hajime, grandson of the great detective Kindaichi Kousuke, protect his best friend Miyuki before she too falls victim to the Scorpion?

The original comic version of Ginmaku no Satsujinki was first released in 1998 and is a pretty minor story within the canon of Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo. When I first read it, I thought it was a rather mediocre story: a lot of the story relies on coincidence, the trick behind the main problem of a double locked room murder is extremely easy to solve because the presentation makes it rather obvious and while most Kindaichi Shounen stories are very formulaistic, I found that Ginmaku no Satsujinki had very little to differentiate itself from other stories, as it had no memorable characters / tricks / setting.


And to be honest, most of my feelings for the mystery plot still holds. I will admit though that for a production meant for TV (i.e. an audiovisual experience), the crucial plot points do really fit the medium and this is strengthened by the film club setting (i.e. showing actual footage). And as I said, it is not a particularly complex story and most viewers do like mysteries they can actually solve from the sofa. But even though I think this is a minor story, I do think it is a great story for the pilot of the new series.

Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo has traditionally featured many, many, maaaaany murders involving students, most of them students of Fudou High. And often school clubs form a setting for these stories. So it would make sense to start Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo NEO with a story involving students. And situated in Fudou High. And about a school club. The very first episode of the original TV series and the original animation series, The Seven School Mysteries Murder Case, had the same goals and intentions and as I mentioned in that review, it makes absolute sense in the context of the series. In Ginmaku no Satsujinki, there is also a good part where someone questions whether Hajime isn't feeling any pressure from being the grandson of the famous Kindaichi Kousuke; the answer is classic Hajime and Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo NEO proves that live action Kindaichi Shounen doesn't need any excessive brooding and grandfather traumas any more as featured in the 2001 and 2005 live action productions.


And overall, I think this was a solid pilot for the series. Of course, most of the people involved, including lead Yamada Ryousuke, already had a lot of time to get used to their roles, as the team had already produced two full-length TV specials. Also, stylistically, Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo NEO borrows a lot from the original 1995-1997 TV series, including the wacky Tsutsumi Yukihiro camerawork, a lot of the better known soundtracks (like Mysterious Mallets) and sound effects and even little things like the design of the school uniforms (though technically, NEO has no ties to the original series because there are some small inconsistencies with certain characters).

One new feature they added in the series, compared to the TV specials, is a special close-up shot of evidence which are framed as 'how done it' scenes. During the conclusion, all of these 'how done it' scenes naturally all appear  as Hajime explains how the murder was commited. These shots kinda makes the mystery-solving a bit easier, as you are informed very obviously that you saw somethin important, but it does make the game-element of such a TV drama more obvious and fair, I guess. I gotta see more to see if I like it or not.


And random trivia: Kamiki Ryuunosuke guest starred as Kurasawa, but in a distant past, he actually co-starred together with Yamada Ryousuke (Hajime) in the TV drama of Tantei Gakuen Q, which was created by the same writer/artist team behind Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo.

Anyway, great start of the series and I'm looking forward to next week's episode, which will feature an adaptation of The Game Mansion Murder Case. Oh, and if a case is spread over multiple episodes, I will wait with posting a review until the complete story has been broadcast.

Original Japanese title(s): 『金田一少年の事件簿N』 サブタイトル 「銀幕の殺人鬼」
23 Jul 21:04

The Beat’s Image Expo Coverage – SDCC ’14 Edition

by Beat Staff
kate

So many sci-fi titles, so great! I think I'm most curious about Tokyo Ghost (I love Sean Murphy's artwork), Southern Cross (ditto on Becky Cloonan's art), and Descender. Also I'm glad to see a title like Under the Mountains which is decidedly un Image-y.

by Zachary Clemente

Image Comics is rolling out their announcements fast and hard – holding one of their semi-annual Expos before the convention even official opens its doors. Keep your eyes peeled here for live coverage of exciting announcements from one of the hottest publishers today!

Capture

Update 1: While waiting for the Expo to start, the two projection screens on either side of the small stage show the following quote:

“The only rules are the ones we invent.” – Warren Ellis

Perhaps we’ll hear some exciting Ellis-related news? He already has Supreme: Blue Rose and Trees with the publisher – what else could he be up to?

Update 2: Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson opens with a  speech decrying the lack-luster “new” choices made by publishers of licensed characters and looks to ensure the titles he publishes embody the hope for a more diverse readership. Image Comics’ policy in two words: Move forward.

Update 3: The projection screens light up with a clip from the documentary The Image RevolutionClips of creators such as Brian K. Vaughan, Robert Kirkman, Rick Remender, Matt Fraction, Joe Casey, Erik Larson, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ed Brubaker eulogizing the Image Comics publication platform.

Update 4: Eric Stephenson returns to the podium to applaud the works of Image’s competitors and their own creator-owned platforms. He then calls out that “creator-owned” and “creator-driven” comics are not the same and that “creator-driven” is a term born out of old notions that needs to stop being banded around. Stephenson lays claims that Image is on the path to becoming the largest comic publisher in the business.

tokyoghost

Update 5: Rick Remender takes the stage to announce his 4th Image title. Joining the ranks of LowBlack ScienceDeadly Class is Tokyo Ghost with Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth. It looks gorgeous, not surprising for a Murphy & Mollingsworth team-up. Coming from world like Judge Dredd and similar types of action stories. Out sometime 2015.

“Incredible violence and gore that I haven’t been able to dig into before.” – Rick Remender

 

fromundermountains

 

Update 6: First Graham 8HOUSE story by Claire Gibson, Sloane Leong, and Marian Churchland named From Under Mountains looks to be a fantastic political drama set on a bizarre fantasy planet. Out Spring 2015.

“Not really about our fantasy boyfriends anymore.” – Claire Gibson

Update 7: Rick Remender delivers Eric a new Heineken.

 
Update 8: Joe Casey announces new book with Paul Maybury; Vahalla Mad where some gods come down for some drinking and fun. Coming from a similar visual language of classic Kirby’s Thor. It’s going to be far more lighthearted than his previous works and should be out early 2015.

Well I wouldn’t have a story if things didn’t go awry. – Joe Casey

 
Update 9: John Arcudi and James Harren of B.P.R.D. are releasing new book named Rumble. Out in December, 2014.

 

Update 10: Ray Fawkes bringing Intersect to Image. A complicated, nightmare world and has a fantastic painted style to it. Out in November 2014. First of a few books Fawkes is doing with Image.

 
Update 11: Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller bring The Humans to the stage. One of the few books brought to the publisher almost fully done and ready to go. #0 issue already available via self-publishing.
 

invisiblerepublic
Update 12: Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko take the stage and spotlight to announce their digital Kinski will be collected with Image in a “nice little, novel-like package”, out in November, 2014. They’re following it up with Invisible Republic - a human-scale sci-fi story, out  
southerncross

 
Update 13: Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger take the stage. A new sci-fi/horror mystery ongoing named Southern CrossIt looks really amazing, not surprising considering Cloonan and Belander’s previous works. Starting off as an Agatha Christie styled mystery story possibly featuring buckets of blood pouring from the holo-deck. Looking at “a wintery release.”

Think “Robotech” meets Stephen King. – Andy Belanger

 

descender

 
Update 14: Jeff Lemire takes the stage with Dustin Nyugen (!!!) to announce Descender about a little boy robot on the run from the entire universe. It’s definitely seems like the kind of emotional story that Lemire is very good at. Nyugen’s watercolors are to be a fantastic mix for the story. Apparently it was love for robots at first sight between Lemire and Nguyen. Out around March, 2015.

It was the crap I grew up with… – Dustin Nguyen

 
drifter
 
Update 15: Ivan Brandon returns to Image with his new book with Nic Klein Drifter out in November. Discussing a future of expansion beyond Earth about the dirty hands it takes to build the future – moving away from the notion of space being a clean and shiny place. It tells the story when you decouple humanity from the rigid and technologically-based world and back into a frontier setting.

I’ll give you…the drift. – Ivan Brandon

 
toothclawl
 
Update 16: Kurt Busiek, now with Image, bringing Tooth & Clawl with Ben Dewey and Jordie Bellaire and it looks hand-down gorgeous. A high-fantasy epic about animal-people. There’s globe-conquering boarding school of dogs, so we’re sold. Jack Vance meets Jack Kirby, says Kurt Busiek. The book should hit November.
 
untitled
 
Update 17: Declan Shalvey comes up to discuss his new book with previous collaborators Warren Ellis and Jordie Bellaire called InjectionJoined by Warren Ellis via Skype as he “hears all and sees all.” It looks wonderfully slick – we loved this team on Moon Knight and couldn’t be more pumped about this. Coming 2015.

Warren Ellis said he wanted to write a book for me and I reluctantly said yes. – Declan Shalvey

 
Update 18: Tula Lotay, artist on Supreme: Blue Rose joins Warren, Declan, and Eric on stage to discuss her new release. This is her first series and it is one of the most stunning debuts we’ve seen.
 
Thanks for joining us for this! Keep your eye trained on The Beat for more SDCC ’14 exclusive news!
 

22 Jul 19:42

THE IRON GIANT The Iron Giant Collectible FigureThe 16″ tall...



THE IRON GIANT

The Iron Giant Collectible Figure
The 16″ tall figure will have over 30 points of articulation, light features, and other fun surprises! Accompanying The Iron Giant will be a Hogarth figure, scraps of metal for him to munch on and a Seafood sign that has a removable “S” to put on his chest. He will also include an interchangeable head and gun attachment, giving a choice of displaying the figure as the regular version, or the “War” version! The figure was designed from the actual CG files used in the film, for ultimate accuracy.

Source: http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2014/07/sdcc-mondo-to-preview-iron-giant-ninja-turtles-toys/

Need this toy. Need to start saving money…

22 Jul 20:08

The Mouse Guard RPG 2nd Edition cover art. More info and process...

24 Jul 15:00

The Batmanologist Guide To Comixology's Massive 99-Cent Batman 75th Anniversary Sale

by Chris Sims

Okay, so there's good news and bad news. The good news is that ComiXology is having a massive sale on Batman comics, and has knocked a bunch of them down to 99¢ each, which means that you can grab some great stories on the cheap. The bad news? Since this whole thing is in honor of Batman's 75th anniversary, they've put 750 comics on sale, plus a handful of graphic novel collections. All things considered, that's a pretty good problem to have, but still, that can be pretty overwhelming.

Fortunately, we're here to help. As the World's Foremost Batmanologist, I've sifted through the sale to bring you safe bets for what you should be grabbing during the sale. Assuming you've got the obvious ones -- like The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One and the recent runs by Morrison, Snyder, and Capullo -- here's what to grab next!

Continue reading…

24 Jul 05:23

Things to do in Harajuku, Kyoto, Kobe, Shimokitazawa, Shibuya,...

















Things to do in Harajuku, Kyoto, Kobe, Shimokitazawa, Shibuya, Osaka, Akiba, and Roppongi! This is cute~ 

24 Jul 08:00

All-You-Can-Eat French Fry Buffet Begins in Japan

by Brian Ashcraft
kate

OMGAD!

All-You-Can-Eat French Fry Buffet Begins in Japan

I hope you've brought your appetite and love of french fries. Because in Japan, a fast food chain is rolling out an all-you-can-eat french fry buffet.

Read more...

23 Jul 22:29

Why Are Lazy, Ignorant Fat People So Mad At Me?

by thingsthatareawful

Annie’s Mailbox, 9 July 2014:

Dear Annie: I read your response to “Concerned Old Man in West Hills,” who didn’t understand why his niece was upset when he told her she was fat. You said it was rude to comment on one’s appearance. Why in hell do you think pointing out that someone is fat is so rude? They are obese, and they are killing themselves. What’s the big deal in saying so? I am 78 years old and weigh the same as I did in high school through effort and sacrifice. Give me a break! — Not a Rude Guy, Just Honest

Dear Not A Rude Guy, Just Honest,

I don’t know where fat people get off taking offense to being told that they’re fat—it’s not like they could possibly have been aware of their fatness before you, in your honestly benevolent glory, informed them of the fact. It’s like fat people think they have a right to exist in the world without being constantly berated for having a body. This is fat privilege—censoring well-meaning thin people, none of whom have ever come by their thinness through anything other than relentless effort and sacrifice. Your thinness is proof that you have human worth.

After all, they’re killing themselves—you can tell, because your honesty also affords you the psychic capacity to evaluate their physical health with nary a physical examination. You’re just trying to help—the same way you yell at people in California for carelessly living in an earthquake zone, and pull people out of cars before they foolishly put themselves in danger by using automobiles. Your concern for these lazy fat fatties is 100% centered on obesity-related health risks that you are uniquely positioned to identify with your eyes.

24 Jul 07:10

SDCC ’14: Images Expo Full Lineup Announcements

by Beat Staff
kate

So many sci-fi titles, so great! I think I'm most curious about Tokyo Ghost (I love Sean Murphy's artwork), Southern Cross (ditto on Becky Cloonan's art), and Descender. Also I'm glad to see a title like Under the Mountains which is decidedly un Image-y.

by Zachary Clemente

At Image’s pre-SDCC Expo,12 announcements were made, we covered it live, but here are the full details:

 

Rick Remender and Sean Gordon Murphy’s TOKYO GHOST:

tokyoghost

TOKYO GHOST welcomes readers to the isles of New Los Angeles, 2189. Humanity has become nothing more than a sea of consumers, ravenous and starving wolves, sick from toxic contamination, who have to borrow, beg, and steal for the funds to buy, buy, buy their next digital fix. Getting a thrill, a distraction from reality, is the only thing left to live for. Entertainment is the biggest industry, the drug everyone needs, and gangsters run it all. And who do these gangsters turn to when they need the “law” enforced? Led Dent and Debbie Decay, constables of the law, which is a nice way to say “brutal killing machines.” The duo are about to be presented with an assignment that will force them out of the decay of LA and into the mysterious lost nation of Tokyo.

 

Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson, and Sloane Leong’s FROM UNDER MOUNTAINS:

fromundermountains

Set in the isolated country of Akhara, rival houses face off in the struggle for political power and military security in FROM UNDER MOUNTAINS. Three unlikely figures—a lord’s daughter, a disgraced knight, and a runaway thief—will change the fate of their world, but the only hope of peace may lie with the mystery shrouded goblins and witches, and the ancient powers they command.

 

Joe Casey and Paul Maybury’s VALHALLA MAD:

valhallamad

VALHALLA MAD introduces a set of brand new characters: the Glorious Knox, Greghorn the Battlebjorn and Jhago the Irritator. The series depicts this

particular trio of fun-loving gods’ return to Earth—Manhattan, specifically—to drink and party and revel in their resplendent godhood after many decades of being away. Needless to say, they find a very different world than the one they last visited.

 

John Arcudi and James Harren’s RUMBLE:

rumble

RUMBLE is a strange book, that’s for sure—like a scarecrow-Conan fighting in a Louis C.K. TV show directed by David Fincher—with a supporting cast of odd characters, many of whom aren’t even human.  

 

Ray Fawkes’ INTERSECT:

intersect

Bodies shift and merge, warring with themselves. Blood rains from the skies. A child’s song is translated into toxic, thought-destroying whispers. Everything is changing. Everything is wrong. This is the world of INTERSECT.

 

Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller’s THE HUMANS:

humans

Apart, they are nothing… deemed by society as outcasts, misfits, losers, no good punks! But together, they are THE HUMANS! Follow Bobby, Johnny, and all The HUMANS as they fight and fly down the road to oblivion on a ride filled with chains, sex, leather, denim, hair, blood, bananas and chrome.

 

Gabriel Hardman’s KINSKI and Hardman and Corinna Bechko’s INVISIBLE REPUBLIC:

invisiblerepublic

KINSKI, previously a digital-only collection, both written and drawn by Hardman, promises to be a quirky crime thriller about Joe, a down-on-his-luck salesman who finds a cute puppy. The thing is, this puppy already has a home. What starts as a simple rescue mission from neglectful owners quickly escalates into a righteous crusade. Hardman announced a second project to be executed with frequent collaborator Bechko (HEATHENTOWN, Savage HulkStar Wars: Legacy). Described as a gritty sci-fi series, INVISIBLE REPUBLIC explores the secret history of one man’s rise to power after an unspeakable act of violence elevates him to folk-hero status on a war-torn planet seeking independence.

 

Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger’s SOUTHERN CROSS:

southerncross

Now boarding: SOUTHERN CROSS, tanker flight 73 to Titan. Alex Braith is on board retracing her sister’s steps to the refinery moon, hoping to collect her remains and find some answers. The questions keep coming though—How did her sister die? Where did her cabin mate disappear to? Who is that creep across the hall? And why does she always feel like she’s being watched?

 

Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s DESCENDER:

descender

DESCENDER will explore one young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet.

 

Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein’s DRIFTER:

drifter

Mankind’s colonization of the galaxy has left countless planets mined bare and lifeless in DRIFTER. A space transport crashes onto a backwater world whose unique properties set the stage for a story that combines the dark wonder of a strange and alien landscape with the struggles of an abandoned and lawless frontier town.

 

Kurt Busiek and Ben Dewey’s TOOTH AND CLAW:

toothclawl

In TOOTH AND CLAW, a secret conclave of wizards brings a legendary champion back through time to save the world, with disastrous consequences. Swords, sorcery, animal-wizards, gods, empires, golems of radioactive decay, crystalline badlands, con women, ancient armories, young love, mystery, blood and death and treachery and destiny…TOOTH AND CLAW is an epic story you won’t want to miss out on.

 

Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s INJECTION:

untitled

INJECTION explores how loud and strange the world is becoming, and the sense that it’s all bubbling into chaos—a chaos poised to become the Next New Normal—and that we did this to ourselves without thinking for a second about how we were ever going to live inside it.

“Each and every year, it is our goal to grow the comics marketplace with new creativity, and this current slate of talent is intent on doing exactly that,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “It’s nothing short of thrilling to be involved with so much unique and inventive talent, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work these amazing men and women are developing as we finish out this year and head into the next. We don’t pass out assignments or dictate directions here, we ask writers and artists what they want to do and let their creativity guide us. For some, relying on so much new material might seem like an uncertain way forward, but I prefer to look at every venture into uncharted territory as yet another path to the future. Thanks to these creators and more, that  future is looking brighter than ever.”

As always, keep your eyes keenly trained on The Beat for any and all coverage from San Diego Comic-Con 2014!

21 Jul 15:34

Holy crap, check out the awesome new Lego Batman Tumbler!

by Jesus Diaz

Holy crap, check out the awesome new Lego Batman Tumbler!

Behold the Lego Ultimate Collector's Series Batman Tumbler, a 1,869-piece vehicle built to minifig (mini-land?) scale. That means it's huge: 15 by 9 inches long, with a gorgeous interior cockpit. It'll come with Dark Knight Batman and Joker (the Heath Ledger version) minifigs for $200 this September.

Read more...

22 Jul 22:00

Social Media in Real Life

by Steve Napierski
Social Media in Real Life Just because this is another comic about social media in real life, that doesn't make it any less funny or any less spot on.

Personally, I know too many people who are obsessed with what they share and what people say about what they share on social media. Kind of scary, at times.



See more: Social Media in Real Life