An Attempt to Explain the Utterly Inexplicable San Diego Comic-Con

There are certain traditions that have snuck into our popular culture so quietly and casually that we don’t stop to think how ridiculous they are, and the San Diego Comic-Con (which concluded Sunday) is one of them. Just try explaining it sometime to someone who doesn’t know anything about comic conventions or blockbuster marketing: “Oh, well, it’s a big gathering for fans of comic books and genre films and television and basically all of the expensive things that Hollywood does. They all pack into a California convention center in July — some of them in costume as their favorite characters — and wait in ridiculously long lines so they can go into giant convention halls and geek out over things that haven’t come out yet, but which they think will be cool.” … Read More

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See Lady Gaga Play a Waitress in ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ Trailer

A lot of important entertainment news premieres at Comic-Con each year, much of which is entirely irrelevant to the world… Read More

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Flavorwire Exclusive: Preview ‘C.O.W.L.,’ the Comic Described as ‘The Avengers’ Meets ‘Mad Men’

Superheroes need to unionize. Imagine if Batman, tired of living that vigilante lifestyle, joined up with his fellow superheroes in order to earn a living wage while fighting for justice. That’s the premise behind the new creator-owned Image Comics series C.O.W.L. The title stands for “Chicago Organized Workers’ League,” and in this ’60s-set story, tired superheroes who banded together as C.O.W.L. are facing an uncertain future. It’s a fresh reimagining of superheroes who feel far more realistic than men in tights. Flavorwire emailed with C.O.W.L. co-writer Kyle Higgins, who’s expanding the world of his original short film, “The League.” Read ahead for Higgins’ insight and exclusive images from C.O.W.L. #2, available on Wednesday, June 25. … Read More

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How the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Came to Dominate ’90s Culture

For a bunch of layabouts who live in a subterranean cave and obsess over pizza, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had impressive staying power. No longer just a hazy ’90s memory, the heroes in a half-shell — Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo — are on the comeback trail, with a revived show on Nickelodeon and a Michael Bay-directed film coming out this summer with Megan Fox as April O’Neill. … Read More

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The 15 Stupidest Comic Book Superpowers

With X-Men: Days of Future Past hitting theaters this weekend and showing the world how super-cool superpowers can save the world (and also save a motley crew of friendships), now seemed like the perfect time to take a look at some lesser superhero powers. As the co-author of a book about teens with lame superpowers — The Misshapes, available in October — I wanted to see what the geniuses of Marvel, DC, and beyond came up with when they were bored and punchy. With 80-plus years of the American comic book industry available, there’s a terrible superpower for nearly every day of the week. … Read More

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Photographs of Superheroes Contemplating Their Existence in Nature

With the dark, moody reboots of the Batman and Superman franchises in recent years, it’s surprising that we haven’t gotten a long-winded and heavy-handed action film called something like The Loneliness of the Middle-Distance Superhero. But I guess I can be satisfied with The Quest for the Absolute from photographer Benoit Lapray (spotted via Faith Is Torment). Taking stark, beautiful pictures of the natural world and then inserting the recognizable images of American superheroes, the series fits in well with the current superhero zeitgeist, in which they are all very angsty and on the verge of existential crises. Think your life is tough? Imagine having to literally save the world from destruction all the time.  … Read More

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25 Essential Graphic Novels

Long dismissed as a less serious art form, graphic novels have finally started to gain more mainstream credibility over the last 20 years. There are many, many excellent examples out there, but if you’re looking for a place to start, start here! The world of the graphic novel is one that spans a wide range of authors, artists, styles, and subject matter, and this primer covers all the… Read More

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‘Captain America’ Star Anthony Mackie Is Right: Kids Deserve More Diverse Superhero Movies

Anthony Mackie is one of those underrated and substantially gifted actors who livens up just about any movie he shows up in, and his unique fusion of genuine warmth and unflappable cool is particularly welcome in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But his most important contribution to the comic-book movie universe may well have occurred off-screen, at a recent promotional roundtable, when he said this about playing a black superhero: “When I first got this role I just cried like a baby because I was like, ‘Wow, next Halloween, I’m gonna open the door and there’s gonna be a little kid dressed as the Falcon.’ That’s the thing that always gets me. I feel like everybody deserves that. I feel like there should be a Latino superhero. Scarlett does great representation for all the other girls, but there should be a Wonder Woman movie. I don’t care if they make 20 bucks, if there’s a movie you’re gonna lose money on, make it Wonder Woman. You know what I mean, ’cause little girls deserve that.” Or, to put a more cynical spin on his comment: why are all the comic book superhero movies about white guys? … Read More

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Flavorwire Interview: Adrian Tomine on Drawing Everyday People and Fantasies of Writing a Novel

Although he’s originally from California, if you look at any of Adrian Tomine’s many illustrations for publications named after the city that he currently calls home, it’s difficult to think of Tomine as anything other than a New York artist. His work for The New Yorker and New York magazine capture the everyday look and feel of contemporary New York City, with single scenes begging you to fill in the blanks for the rest of the story: the New Yorker out of his element (in this particular case, a Yankees fan in a sea of Red Sox caps), two readers on passing subways making eye contact, and the bored teenage tourist reading great literature set in the city instead of looking at the tourist destinations. If you’ve spent any prolonged amount of time here, Tomine’s illustrations are scenes with which you’re familiar. … Read More

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