'Avengers' vindicates geek community
Chris Hemsworth, left, stars as Thor and Chris Evans stars as Captain America in "The Avengers."
May 8th, 2012
07:00 PM ET

'Avengers' vindicates geek community

Editor's note: Aaron Sagers is a New York-based entertainment writer and nationally syndicated pop-culture columnist. He has specialty knowledge in "paranormal pop culture," has lectured at conventions nationwide on the topic and is a media pundit on supernatural entertainment. He covers pop culture daily at ParanormalPopCulture.com and can be found on Twitter @aaronsagers.

So yeah, I loved “The Avengers.”

Let’s simmer on that word for a few: love. Love for a movie is a pretty significant emotion, and yet I stand by it. While not perfect (the gripes are ridiculously minor), the film was a pure joy. It delivered on the promise of a Marvel-ous adventure with Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and (finally) an awesome, Incredible Hulk.

But this isn’t a movie review.

Instead, it’s more of an “I told you so,” to Hollywood power brokers locked into the philosophy that audiences crave dark heroes and sober plot lines, and that the geeks who grew up loving the source material could not be trusted to make a blockbuster. FULL POST

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Rejoice, Free Comic Book Day is here!
Free Comic Book Day! Like Christmas for comic book fans!
May 1st, 2012
02:58 PM ET

Rejoice, Free Comic Book Day is here!

Hello again, fellow comic readers!

This week’s pick is not a comic, but a day, and it is one of the most wonderful days of the year for comic fans, this coming Saturday, May 5: Free Comic Book Day!

Free Comic Book Day, or "FCBD" as the cool kids call it, is just what is sounds like - a day for you to go to your local comic book shop and pick up some free comics. Most of the top comic publishers create special books just for this day, usually a one-off comic book or the kickoff to a new story line or series.

Daniel Dean of Titan Games and Comics in Smyrna, Georgia, gave us a few tips for getting the most out of FCBD at a comic book store near you: FULL POST

Indian geek uprising: Comic book fans, artists come into their own
Abhijeet Kini, a comic book illustrator, poses with a poster of some of his original work like "Angry Maushi" and "Bappida."
May 1st, 2012
09:10 AM ET

Indian geek uprising: Comic book fans, artists come into their own

This is the second article of a two-part series exploring the Indian comic book industry. On Monday, we explained the growth of the Indian comic book industry. Today we look at the dilemma of being a geek in India and the status of comic book artists.

By Umika Pidaparthy, Special to CNN

Abhijeet Kini, a Mumbai-based comic book illustrator and animator, did not think there were other comic book enthusiasts like him in India.

“There are a lot of comic book collectors who have blown their salaries on comic books, and I thought I was the only one around,” he said.

In fact, the artist was pretty clueless about Indian geek culture in general.

That is until Kini attended the first Comic Con India in 2011.

He said he was amazed to see not only a big crowd at the convention, but people actually participating in cosplay (short for costume play). Kini was even more surprised to see people dressed as lesser-known characters from edgy Vertigo Comics and Image.

That scene repeated itself at the second Comic Con India (CCI) in February. Not only did many comic fans show up as the Avengers, the Joker and Freddy Krueger, there were also a plethora of new comic books, screenings, workshops by local artists and publishers and even an appearance by “Fritz the Cat” creator Robert Crumb. In all, there were around 80 participants and 35,000 attendees.

FULL POST

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April 30th, 2012
12:36 PM ET

The Indian comic book industry: Comic Con and beyond

This is the first of a two-part series exploring the Indian comic book industry. Look for the second part of the series - about the dilemma of being a geek in India - on Tuesday.

By Umika Pidaparthy, Special to CNN

If Batman and Superman ever packed their bags and moved to India, they would find that they have a bit of competition.

The superhero turf already belongs to figures such as Super Kudi and Pavitr Prabhakar.

They're the Indian equivalents of American mainstays Supergirl and Spider-Man’s Peter Parker, but they're just a small part of the growing Indian comic book industry.

That industry is more than mere translations of American comics. It’s a multilingual fantasyland, with themes ranging from mythology to humor to horror. In fact, Indian comic artists and graphic novelists say that there is hardly any room for Western superheroes today. This is clear to anyone who took in the comic offerings at February’s Comic Con India in New Delhi.

[Editor's note: Several of you inquired about the language of these comics in the comments. These comics are published mostly in English, while some are in Hindi and other local languages.]

FULL POST

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'DC Nation' shorts show cute side of superheroes
The DC Nation "Super Best Friends Forever" shorts are as much about being a teenager as battling bad guys, an animator said.
April 27th, 2012
09:32 AM ET

'DC Nation' shorts show cute side of superheroes

Superheroes can be a dark and brooding lot, even when they’re in cartoon form. That may be one reason that DC Nation’s fanciful, animated shorts grabbed so much attention when they started airing in March on Cartoon Network. (Both DC and Cartoon Network are owned by Time Warner, which owns CNN.)

Interspersed with the full-length “Young Justice” and “Green Lantern” cartoons, the shorts bring an off-kilter charm to DC Nation’s Saturday programming block: Baby Superman crawling faster than a locomotive, Chibi-style Teen Titans, a Claymation Joker (created by Aardman Animations of “Wallace & Gromit” fame) and a particularly zany Plastic Man.

“The DC library is so vast and cool that we always want to introduce people to new characters or maybe characters they wanted to see animated,” said Peter Girardi, senior vice president of series and alternative animation at Warner Bros., who likens the shorts to a mini film festival. “We reached out to tons of studios and creators. We said, ‘Hey, rather than us tell you some characters to use, why don’t you just tell us the characters you always wanted to play around with?’ The tougher part is they have a minute and 15 seconds.”

FULL POST

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