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Here’s The Thing Episode 16: Why Do We Love Super Mario? [Video]

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If our weekly Ask Chris column isn't enough of definitive comic book (and pro wrestling) opinions for you, good news: ComicsAlliance is proud to present Here's The Thing, a series of videos where you can join our own extremely opinionated senior writer, Chris Sims, as he dives into comics history to explain why you're wrong and he's right.

This week, Chris takes a look at one of his favorite characters: Mario, the high-jumping, kart racing, princess-rescuing plumber from Nintendo's enduringly popular Super Mario Bros. games and spinoffs. ! He loves that guy, and odds are pretty good that you do too. But why? And how much of a character does Mario really have?

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Mondo To Release ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ Music On Limited Edition Vinyl [Video]

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The boutique merchandise arm of the celebrated Austin movie theater the Alamo Drafhouse, Mondo's about to level up with its most ambitious music plan yet: a series of vinyl-only releases of Danny Elfman's music from Batman: The Animated Series.

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The Arkham Sessions: The Psychology of Stalking In ‘Batman: Mad As A Hatter’

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How far would you go to earn the affection of someone you love? Send them a roomful of gifts? Surprise them at their doorstep? Advance the science of neurotechnology to a whole new level by developing mind-controlling head accessories?

Through the practice of animal experimentation (of course), scientist Jervis Tetch has found a way to manipulate neuronal connections of brains in order to "control another creature's mind." But rather than use this new power to increase his wealth or destroy the Batman like most of Gotham's Rogues would do, Jervis decides to use mind control to manipulate his office assistant, Alice, into falling in love with him. As he heads further and further down the experimental rabbit hole, however, Jervis realizes more drastic measures are required to win Alice’s love.

Home invasion, kidnapping, and mind control take this episode of Batman: The Animated Series to a new level of creepy; writer Paul Dini ingeniously entertains the imagination of young viewers with Alice in Wonderland themes while also suggesting levels of subversion -- possessiveness, coercion, stalking -- that adult viewers find unshakably disturbing.

In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we explore the delusions and dangers of obsessive, unrequited love as only personified by the Mad Hatter.

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The Economics of Digital Comics: Journalist And Educator Todd Allen On His Important New Book [Interview]

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Digital comics sales are a huge area of growth for the American comic book industry, rising faster than even ebook sales for traditional publishing. Digital accounted for $90 million dollars worth of sales in 2013 and as an increasingly accessible distribution platform for comics creators, is sure to become more and more integrated into the business of making comics.

Journalist, educator and digital media expert Todd Allen is currently running a Kickstarter for his ebook The Economics of Digital Comics, which helps explain the intricacies of the digital comics landscape for fans and creators alike. Also the author of The Economics of Webcomics, Allen's already well exceeded his modest funding goal. ComicsAlliance sat down with Allen to discuss his work and the digital business of comics.

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Truly Ridiculous Metalocalypse Mashup Proves Batman Is The Most Metal Superhero [Video]

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With the exception of Thor, who is an actual Norse god known for beating giants to death with a hammer, I think it's safe to say that Batman is the most metal superhero of all time. Yes, Iron Man has that one song and that's very good, but Batman reacted to seeing an actual murder in front of his eyes by learning karate, living in a cave and punching out a clown. If that's not metal, then friends, I don't know what is.
As a result, a video by YouTube's ArhyBES that mashes up the Dark Knight with the dark metal of Dethklok, the fictional band in Adult Swim's Metalocalypse, is oddly appropriate, even if it has slightly more F-bombs than you usually hear from the Caped Crusader.

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Filed Under: , , , Category: DC, Humor, Video

Here’s The Thing, Episode 15: Why’s Mark Waid’s ‘Flash’ Run So Great

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If our weekly Ask Chris column isn't enough of definitive comic book (and pro wrestling) opinions for you, good news: ComicsAlliance is proud to present Here's The Thing, a series of videos where you can join our own extremely opinionated senior writer, Chris Sims, as he dives into comics history to explain why you're wrong and he's right.

This week, a reader wants to know just what the big deal is about Mark Waid's run on Flash in the '90s, and, as tends to happen with this sort of things, that simple question sends Chris into a lecture about the history of the DC Universe and the underlying themes, with an argument that Flash is the third most important character in DC History.

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Stan Lee’s Least Favorite Part Of A Movie Is The Only Place Jack Kirby’s Name Can Actually Be Seen

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Ravage 2099 and Stripperella co-creator Stan Lee has been channeling Andy Rooney in a series of videos on World of Heroes called "Stan's Rants." Like those missives of the late American broadcaster, these clips are mostly benign "cranky old man" bits. His newest one is about how he hates being on hold, for example.

But the video above, which is from last week, is a knife in the guts of less famous comics creators -- which is to say, nearly all of them. In the video, Lee complains about having to sit through long credits at the end of movies, including superhero movies.

"Nobody knows who [these people] are, nobody can read them and nobody cares," he says, astonishingly.

But here's the problem: Those credits are usually where the names of comics creators who wrote and drew the characters the movies are based on actually get seen.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Movies, Opinion, Video

‘Sailor Moon Crystal’ Is 75% Eyes, 100% Awesome [Review]

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I'm not even close to kidding when I say that one of the most exciting things about life in 2014 is that we're experiencing an amazing renaissance of Sailor Moon. Not only has the manga been reissued in its entirety from Kodansha, and not only is the classic series being released uncut with two episodes every Monday on Hulu, but Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, a new series based on Naoko Takeuchi's original series, made its worldwide premiere last weekend.

This is, for someone who loves Sailor Moon as much as I do, a pretty big deal, and Crystal's first episode lived up to the hype by being an absolutely gorgeous new version of Usagi's first outing as Sailor Moon. The thing is, Crystal was designed to be a far more strict adaptation of the source material, and while it definitely succeeds on that front, that's also its biggest problem.

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ADHD’s Captain America Statistics Song Reminds You America Is Terrible [Video]

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Independence Day. That time when Americans come together to celebrate our liberation from Great Britain, barbecue, and contemplate the depths of our disgrace.

That last one has been a little easier to process thanks to Fox's Animation Domination High-Def, also known as ADHD, who've taken the theme song from the vintage Captain America animated series and replaced the lyrics with some shameful statistics collected from the CIA's World Factbook.

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Let’s Broaden Our Minds: Novelist Craig Shaw Gardner On Adapting Batman ’89 For Prose [Interview]

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Though it might seem a bit strange from today's perspective, tie-in novels used to be a huge part of genre movie merchandising – they gave fans a way to take home the experience of their favorite films in the days before the home video explosion, and provided studios with an additional method of promoting their projects in bookstores, department stores, and on newsstands.

And like everything associated with Tim Burton's Batman film, Craig Shaw Gardner's novelization was a sales phenomenon, spending much of 1989 near the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Gardner's book expanded on many of the film's plot lines and character arcs, and gave readers some insight into earlier drafts of the film's screenplay with a number of passages based on sequences that had been reworked or cut entirely from the final movie (in fact, it made substantially more sense than the finished film, as Gardner was able to craft his story without being bound by a strict two hours of screen time.)

As part of our 25th anniversary coverage of Batman '89, ComicsAlliance spoke to Gardner about the challenges he faced and the fond memories he has of adapting Tim Burton's blockbuster for prose.

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