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Father Of The Year Builds Life-Sized Transformer For His Son And Is Working On A Second

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When you get right down to it, it's not that unusual for kids who see one of the Transformers movies to tell their parents that they want a giant robot of their own. I mean, I don't want to blow anybody's mind here, but that's kind of the point of the entire franchise, to get those impressionable youngsters into toy stores so they can go home with their own Optimus Prime or Megatron. But for one child in China, a toy wasn't going to do it. He wanted the real deal. So his father built him one.

After catching the Transformers movie with his son in August of 2014, Wang Liansheng spent a year building a life-size version of Bumblebee out of discarded auto parts --- and now he's working on Optimus Prime.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Art, Culture

Restrictions And Revolution: ‘Omega Men’ And The Nine-Panel Grid

Omega Men, DC Comics

Ever since it debuted a few months ago, Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda's Omega Men has been one of the most engaging comics on the stands, and not just because of the story of the title characters and the intergalactic insurgency that has seen them manipulate the power structures of an entire planet and fake the death of Kyle Rayner before the series even started. Don't get me wrong --- all that stuff is interesting, and it makes for a fantastic read, but what really sets Omega Men apart is the visual style that its creators have adopted to tell their story.

Or, more accurately, about one very specific and very well-implemented element of the book's visual style: The Nine-Panel Grid.

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Filed Under: , , Category: DC, Reviews

First Second Is Going To Teach You About Dinosaurs With ‘Science Comics’

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Comics make for a pretty great teaching tool. I, for instance, spent my childhood learning virtually everything that it was possible to know about bat-shaped boomerangs and the differences between lasers and concussive force beams, knowledge that has served me pretty well as an adult. But what if there was a way to learn more about, say, actual science?

Wonder no longer, dear reader. Starting next year, First Second is launching a new series of educational graphic novels, set to be released quarterly and focusing on a single subject in each volume --- and first up, we're finding out all about dinosaurs. And also coral reefs, I suppose, but really, I think we all know that we're here for dinosaurs.

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Witness The Majesty Of Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez’s 1982 DC Comics Style Guide

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Even if you don't know his name, you're almost certainly already familiar with the art of the incredible José Luis García-López. Over the course of a forty-year career working with DC Comics, his incredible design sensibility led him to be the primary artist for DC's licensed products, meaning that it's his art that reached the widest possible audience and, in a lot of ways, defined how characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman looked in the eyes of the public.
And it makes sense that he would, too, since he was also the one who defined how those characters looked for DC Comics itself. In 1982, he was the primary artist of The DC Comics Style Guide, an incredible set of model sheets, color guides and dynamic reference poses --- and thanks to the Facebook group for García-López fans, you can have a look at the entire thing now!

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Filed Under: Category: Art, DC

The Transformed Man, Act 20: Elegant Chaos

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye vol. 7

I've never liked the Transformers. The franchise didn't get its hooks into me as a kid, and while I've tried to give it a shot as an adult, it never really clicked. But now, with a recommendation from almost everyone I know and a well-timed Humble Bundle sale that left me with three years worth (and counting) of IDW's More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise comics, I'm going on a quest to see if these comics can turn me from someone who has never cared at all about Optimus Prime into someone who uses words like "Cybertron" and "alt-mode" with alarming regularity. And Primus help me, it's working.

This week, it's time travel, parallel universes, and we're perilously close to being all caught up with More Than Meets The Eye!

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On The Cheap: DC’s Back To School Sale Has The Best Of Batman, Superman And More

Batman Adventures #10

Okay, seriously: Unless you're performing life-saving surgery or flying an airplane, then stop whatever you're doing and head over to Comixology right now. There's a massive Back-To-School themed sale going on until next Tuesday, focused on DC's all-ages titles like Batman Adventures, Superman Adventures and Impulse - and if you know anything about those books, then you probably already know that they're some of the best comics the company has ever put out.

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Bizarro Back Issues: Steve Ditko’s ‘The Missing Man’ Misses Just About Everything (1983)

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All things considered, Steve Ditko has had a pretty strange career. I mean, he co-created Spider-Man and Dr. Strange and Squirrel Girl, and went solo to create the Question, Blue Beetle, and Shade the Changing Man, and even nowadays, he's still going, quietly producing creator-owned work from a studio in Manhattan. But that stretch in between is where it really gets weird. In the '80s and '90s, he did everything from Mr. A to Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos. And then there was the Missing Man.

In a career that was full of characters so odd that one of them was even called Odd Man --- and he lived up to the name, I assure you --- the Missing Man might have been the weirdest. And as the name implies, it's not what's in the stories that's so weird, it's what's not.

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The Dark Judges Get A Nightmarish New Origin In ’2000 AD’ #1946 [Preview]

Dreams of Deadworld, art by Dave Kendall

Aside from Rob Schneider, the Dark Judges are probably Judge Dredd's most notable foes --- and they're definitely some of the most terrifying characters in comics. So terrifying, in fact, that they have inspired an actual nightmare for 2000 AD artist Dave Kendall, and since he's not one to let an opportunity for inspiration slip by, that dream has led to a new series exploring the origin of John Wagner and Brian Bolland's most horrifying creations.

Set after their all-encompassing genocide of the dimension that would become Deadworld --- once the judges determined that all crime was committed by the living, but before they discovered their ability to travel to Dredd's Mega-City One to try their hand at exterminating another world --- Dreams of Deadworld explores each of the four Dark Judges in turn in stories drawn by Kendall and written by Kek-W.

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Ryan Browne Launches Kickstarter For Expanded, Full-Color And Completely Improvised ‘Blast Furnace’

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If you're familiar with Ryan Browne's work from God Hates Astronauts, his ongoing series from Image, then you already know that he makes some weird comics. I mean, honestly, weirdness is kind of GHA's defining characteristic, right down to the first volume's focus on a superhero whose giant head explodes and is then replaced with a spectral cow. Now imagine what you'd get if there was absolutely no filter on Browne's creative process and a time restraint that meant he had to go with anything that popped into his head.

That's how we ended up with Blast Furnace: Recreational Thief, an "improv comic" project that Browne first put together in 2012, where he had to write, draw and letter a comics page in a single hour every day. Needless to say, the 130-page original makes for an interesting read, but now, Browne's bringing it back for a Kickstarter campaign set to double the length and add full-color pages.

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Filed Under: , Category: Crowdfunding, Indie

‘Arrow’ Star Stephen Amell Emerges Victorious At WWE SummerSlam

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For the past few weeks, the most interesting story going into WWE's SummerSlam event was definitely the tag team match that saw Arrow star Stephen Amell becoming the latest celebrity to step into the wrestling ring. Partnering up with the high-flying Neville, Amell was pit against Stardust, who has been laboring under the impression that Amell was, in fact, the real Green Arrow, Oliver Queen, with this whole "Stephen Amell" thing being a secret identity that fooled all of his viewers, and that his defeat of a superhero would allow him to take his place as pro wrestling's greatest supervillain.

If that sounds a little complicated, it is, but it was also pretty great. Last night, the match finally happened, and as you might expect if you're even slightly familiar with how celebrity appearances work in WWE, Amell and Neville got the win in a match that saw Amell diving from the top rope to the outside on both of his opponents to set up the victory.

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