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‘Wayward’ and the Weird Mythology of Japan

Wayward and Weird Japan

Jim Zub and Steve Cummings' Image series Wayward offers readers a fantastical tour of the imagined supernatural underworld of Tokyo, with a cast of young heroes all touched in different ways by mystical forces. It's a fantastically entertaining series that's rooted in the real mythology of Japan, thanks in part to the research of expert monster scholar Zack Davisson, who also provides back-up essays in every issue of Wayward that shed light on Japanese culture and superstitions.

Davisson has been kind enough to share with ComicsAlliance a series of slides detailing the mythological roots of Wayward's many monsters, describing where the monsters come from and showing how they've appeared in both traditional art and in the pages of Wayward. We'll let Davisson explain further, in his own words:

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It’s Morphin’ Time: Best ‘Power Rangers’ Art Ever

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In August of 1993, the immortal words “It’s Morphin’ Time!” were first broadcast to an unsuspecting public on the Fox network. More than twenty years later, it is apparently still time to morph, because the Power Rangers are poised on the precipice of another pop-culture explosion thanks to the upcoming comic series and third major movie.

To celebrate this enduring pop culture phenomenon, we've compiled a gallery of art inspired by the show’s earliest incarnation, along with some great ideas for redesigns and updates of the classic characters.

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Sketchbook Spotlight: The Art of Evan ‘Doc’ Shaner

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Convention season is well under way, offering fans the chance to come face to face with their favorite artists, and offering artists a chance to meet the people their art has inspired. Conventions are also a chance for fans to show their appreciation by commissioning original pieces featuring some of their favorite characters, and every convention produces a feast of amazing works that deserve to be shared with a wider audience. With Sketchbook Spotlight, we’re picking out some of the best.

Evan 'Doc' Shaner is probably best known to fans as an artist who loves to celebrate the two-fisted pulp joy and derring-do of superheroes --- a love exemplified in his work on Flash Gordon at Dynamite, and his too-brief turn drawing the Big Red Cheese in Convergence: Shazam. It also comes through in his sketches, and we've collected a few favorites here, including commissions, warm-ups, and personal pieces. We also asked Shaner to participate in our short Sketchbook Spotlight Q&A.

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Filed Under: , Category: Art, Galleries

Gallery: Best Deadpool Cosplay Ever

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We've collected images of some of the best Deadpool cosplayers around from the past few years, showcasing their excellent creations. They're sure to impress Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld, who created old Wade Wilson back in 1991 in New Mutants #98. One of them even has his own yellow word balloons! I bet Ryan Reynolds won't have that!

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Filed Under: Category: Cosplay, Galleries, Marvel

Gallery: Best ‘Steven Universe’ Fan Art Ever

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Steven Universe is a show about a lot of things, including sharing donuts with friends and learning to dance and falling in love with someone you were never supposed to fall in love with. It’s warm and wonderful and it is a joy to watch unfold. To celebrate the show, we've compiled this gallery — a small, but significant sample of the fan community’s passion for the silly little hero who, with the help of his friends and a cheeseburger backpack, might just save the universe.

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Ranking Every Superhero Movie Post-Credits Scene

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As Ant-Man opens in theaters, we’re once again reminded to keep our big superhero-loving butts in our seats throughout the duration of any comic-book movie’s closing credits. (For Ant-Man specifically, you’re going to want to stay all the way to the very end, for an extra post-credits scene.) It’s become a superhero movie staple to have a scene tacked on to the end of the film that either teases an upcoming sequel or spinoff, pays off an unresolved storyline, or just sprinkles on one last dash of humor. We’ve gone through all the superhero post-credits scenes that have ever made their way to the big screen to rank them.

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Filed Under: Category: DC, Galleries, Lists, Marvel

Beware Gentle Giant’s Super Powers and Secret Wars

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Nostalgia is a powerful drug. Now that almost all the kids that were collecting the likes of Kenner's Super Powers and Mattel's Secret Wars toys are closer to 40 then they are their pre-teen years, there's a built-in audience for revisiting these memorable action figure lines. What's more, these eternally young-at-heart fans now have disposable income, and can afford re-issues that are solely for collecting and not playing.

While you may initially scoff at the idea of paying around $100 for a jumbo-sized Secret Wars Wolverine or Super Powers Superman, it's hard to quiet the child inside when you see Gentle Giant's modern replicas in person. Not only are the figures captured from the original plans, but the packaging too is rendered almost exactly as it was all those years ago. The value of how cool it will look on your shelf immediately begins to tip the scales from how much just one of these figures will impact your wallet. These figures, as well as Gentle Giant's Star Wars and Batman: The Animated Series lines, toe the line at the intersection of comic art and nostalgia.

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Best ‘Super Mario’ Art Ever: A Tribute to Satoru Iwata

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Gamers of all ages and all console allegiances around the world have mourned the recent loss of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. To celebrate his life and work, we’ve put together this collection of art inspired by Nintendo’s most famous character and most enduring mascot, Super Mario! Leave us your thoughts or happy Nintendo memories in the comments and let us know if there are other games you’d like to see us explore in a future Best Art Ever feature!

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Filed Under: , Category: Art, Galleries, Gaming

Spider-Man and Judge Dredd Sign Up With ThreeA’s Bravest Warriors

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ThreeA has long been crafting original figures and collectibles based on the art and designs of co-founder Ashley Wood, but in recent years, the company has expanded its reach with a variety of licenses in comics, animation and films. That essence of Wood's aesthetic is still ever present though, and his influence still informs the design sense for many of ThreeA's upcoming pieces.

At San Diego Comic-Con this year, the company went all out with a major presentation of its upcoming slate. Normally included as a small part of IDW's booth, ThreeA's installation this year was set up like an art show, and showed off a great deal of promising figures in a range of scales and sizes. With figures from Frederator and 2000 AD, as well as Marvel, it appears the company is finally ready to make a big splash in the market beyond its original works.

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Brock Otterbacher Talks About Mondo’s Figure Future and TMNT Love

Mondo SDCC '15 Reveals

In recent months, commemorative poster-creating powerhouse Mondo has expanded its reach to more realms of film-inspired memorabilia. While the Austin-based company has been pumping out vinyl soundtracks, VHS re-releases and clothing options, to name a few, Mondo has only just begun dipping its toes into the figure and statue game. However, this year at San Diego Comic-Con, Mondo made a big splash, offering early looks at a variety of new comic and movie-based pieces inspired by some of the most iconic characters and creators of our generation.

We spoke with Mondo's Creative Director of Toys and Collectibles, Brock Otterbacher, about the company's fresh slate of offerings, and how he hoped to stand out in an ever-crowding market. With new items based on Hellboy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the way, Mondo is clearly setting the bar high for itself. Factor in the wealth of artists and creatives at Mondo's disposal, and you have a company that seems poised to make a major dent in the collectible space (and wallets) in 2015 and beyond.

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