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The Comics Alliance Guide to San Diego Comic-Con 2014: What To Do On Friday

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With hundreds of panels to choose from at San Diego Comic-Con, the show can be an overwhelming experience — and it’s far too easy to miss a panel you think you might have loved, or to find yourself on the wrong side of the con floor five minutes before a great panel is about to start!

Take heart, brave reader. ComicsAlliance has sifted through the schedule to offer up our pick of the best programming at the con. Today we offer our suggested highlights for day two, Friday July 25, 2014 — with an emphasis on comics programming. We’ll also let you know where and when you can find ComicsAlliance contributors at the San Diego show.

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Wizards, Lizards And Other Figments Of Fancy: A Birthday Tribute To Vaughn Bode [NSFW]

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Vaughn Bodé is one of the few comics creators whose work transcends genre and style – his art can't be compared to anything but itself, and can really only be described and categorized as "Vaughn Bodé style". In his brief career, he redefined the very idea of what a cartoonist could be, pioneering a drawing style that inspired and confounded, blending and distorting fantasy tropes with every pen stroke. His stories were filled with spaced-out hallucinations and a direct, earthy sensuality, and established him as a guru of graphic storytelling and the first proper rock star of the comics field.

To mark the occasion of his birthday, ComicsAlliance reached out to a handful of our favorite modern-day artists to offer their takes on Bodé – his characters, his style, his feeling, and his inspiration.

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Dark Horse Confirms 262 Creators (Really) Of ‘The Sakai Project,’ A Tribute To Usagi Yojimbo

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Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo is a favorite here at ComicsAlliance for a very good reason. For the past thirty years, it's been one of the most beautifully constructed comics on the stands, blending note-perfect character work with epic storytelling, building a world that feels real even when it's populated by wandering bunny rabbits and grumpy rhinos. Now, in celebration of the book's 30th anniversary, Dark Horse is putting out a massive tribute to Sakai and Usagi Yojimbo called The Sakai Project, with a roster of 262 creators paying tribute to one of comics' true masterpieces.

The Sakai Project will debut this week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, where it will be available at the Dark Horse booth for $29.99. All proceeds will go to Sakai and his wife, to help them with recent medical expenses. Check out the full roster of creators below!

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Hire This Woman: Artist Robin Robinson

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In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”

Cartoonist Robin Robinson writes and draws her own comics, including the currently ongoing webcomic Ushala at World's End. In addition to her work in comics, she's also an experienced picture book and middle grade book illustrator and sells prints on Etsy.

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DC’s ‘Batman: A Celebration Of 75 Years’ Collection Actually Lives Up To Its Title [Review]

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As much as I love Batman, and I think the record will show that I love Batman a whole heck of a lot, I haven't really been looking forward to sitting down and cracking open the new Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years hardcover. Last year's Superman anniversary hardcover was a disaster of revisionist history, 300 pages that would have you believe that one of the world's greatest superheroes did nothing for seven and a half decades but cry. With that in mind, I had no idea what DC Comics was going to do with Batman. If you'd asked me to bet on it, I would've put good money on a prediction that they'd craft a narrative that acknowledged Batman only as a scowling vigilante, consumed with vengeance and every bit as crazy as the villains he fought.

But it turns out I didn't have to worry. The Batman hardcover is exactly what it says it is -- a celebration of Batman across different eras, with a roster of stories that highlights one of the character's true strengths: How well he works across different kinds of stories.

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Geoff Johns Says DC Entertainment’s TV And Movie Universes Are Separate

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If you were hoping to see Arrow's Stephen Amell make an appearance as the emerald archer in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice or in the upcoming Justice League movie, DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has some bad news for you.

"We will not be integrating the film and television universes," he said at the Television Critics Association press tour for The Flash. Seems pretty cut and dried.

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Mondo Enters Collectible Toy Space With Astonishing Iron Giant Figure, The First Ninja Turtle And More

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Purveyors of extremely fine illustrated film posters and other cinematic and pop cultural celebrations, Mondo has been increasing its exquisitely curated presence in the comic book world. The boutique merchandise arm of the celebrated Austin movie theater the Alamo Drafhouse, Mondo has in the last several months hosted a 20th anniversary screening of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (with limited edition poster), presented a gallery show of Marvel Comics artwork by Mike MItchell, offered a gorgeous Elektra poster by Craig Drake, a Harley Quinn poster by Phantom City Creative, launched new convention, MondoCon, announced with new artwork by Mike Mignola, and announced a series of vinyl records celebrating music from Batman: The Animated Series.

It comes as only the best kind of surprise that Mondo will expand its operations into the realm of collectible toys, and the company has some auspicious products to announce its arrival in the new space. In addition to a vinyl figure based directly off of Kevin Eastman's very first drawing of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Mondo will release what's perhaps the most handsome collectible ever for The Iron Giant; a 16" figure with numerous accessories that's a fitting tribute to Brad Bird's excellent film about a killer robot inspired to heroism by Superman comic books.

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Will Eisner’s ‘The Spirit’ Jumps From DC To Dynamite

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In a surprising coup, Dynamite Entertainment announced that it has acquired the rights to Will Eisner's legendary domino-masked crimefighter The Spirit. The rights were previously held by DC Comics, which published both a comprehensive collection of the original strips and new adventures from creators such as Mark Evanier, Sergio Aragones, Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone.

Dynamite plans to publish new stories for the character, but has not yet announced creative teams or indicated when these comics might see print. Whether Dynamite has the rights to any archive material or plans to do anything with it remains to be seen. Dynamite Entertainment publisher and CEO Nick Barrucci called the acquisition, "a lifelong dream come true."

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Link Ink: ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ TV Spot, A ‘Street Fighter’ Toy Kickstarter And Al Jaffee Talks ‘MAD’ Fold-Ins

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Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.

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Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club Sequel Coming From Dark Horse With Art By Cameron Stewart

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Eighteen years after Fight Club first saw print, author Chuck Palahniuk is returning to the world of Project Mayhem for a sequel -- which will take the form of a ten issue comic book series illustrated by Cameron Stewart and published by Dark Horse.

Speaking to USA Today, Palahniuk promises that the comic will pick up ten years after the events of the novel (which ends a little differently to the 1999 movie adaptation) with the unnamed Narrator struggling to be a good father to his nine-year-old son Junior, and not to repeat the mistakes his own father made with him.

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