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Watch Comics Alliance’s Chris Sims Spend Way Too Much Money On Sailor Moon Toys (Seriously)

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Comic-Con International in San Diego is nothing if not a great excuse to buy things that you can't get anywhere else, and folks, I am no more immune to the siren song of consumerism than anyone else. For me, my particular vice comes in the form of action figures -- specifically the Tamashii Nations S.H. Figuarts line of high-end Japanese action figures. At their booth last weekend, they had not only all five of the Inner Senshi from Sailor Moon, but they also had that giant Hello Kitty that Hello Kitty herself pilots so that she can fly around and battle against giant monsters, aka the single greatest thing that has ever been produced by the hands of man.
Obviously, I had to buy it all. So to justify my expense (and for tax purposes), join us on a journey to the floor of San Diego and find out just how much money I spent on toys. The answer will not shock you, but it may give you the impression that I should never have been trusted with a debit card.

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Gilbert Hernandez, Cat Staggs And Sean E. Williams Talk ‘Sensation Comics’ At SDCC [Interview]

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Next month, DC Comics will launch Sensation Comics, a digital-first anthology series featuring new Wonder Woman stories from a wide variety of creators and styles. This approach follows in the footsteps of the acclaimed Adventures Of Superman series, and is similarly structured – a new 10-page digital chapter will be released each week, and the stories will then be collected in a monthly print edition, with paperbacks presumably to follow.

During last weekend's San Diego Comic-Con, we got the chance to hang out at the DC booth and have a quick round-table conversation with legendary Love & Rockets cartoonist Gilbert Hernandez, Smallville illustrator Cat Staggs, and Vampire Diaries writer Sean E. Williams, and ask about what they have planned for their installments of the new Wonder Woman book.

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Best Convention Sketchbook Ever (This Week): Original Art From Comic-Con 2014

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Over the past few years, I've been toting around themed sketchbooks to conventions to get pieces of art from some of my favorite comic book creators, based on Jack Kirby's creations and tokusatsu heroes. This summer, however, I decided to switch things up a little and go with a much broader theme, since some people are not as familiar with the past 40 years of Kamen Rider as I'd like them to be. The result: A sketchbook full of my favorite characters.

Now that I've been through HeroesCon and San Diego, I've gathered up a pretty solid bunch to start out with, and they're pretty amazing. Check below for this summer's crop of sketches from artists like Chris Burnham, Tom Fowler, Joëlle Jones, Ben Dewey and more!

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Laughing At The Joker: Adam West & Developers Talk ‘LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham’

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LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is going to be a positively huge video game.

I got to see that first hand when I played a brief demo at DC's booth at Comic-Con International in San Diego last weekend. First off, it's got a huge playground for players to explore. The "Beyond Gotham" of the title refers to outer space, and the game will go to a whole host of different worlds. Then there are the playable characters--105 or so, according to the game makers, and they include characters in both their superhero guises and as their secret identities. A new feature enables players to change from Clark Kent to Superman using a phone booth, for example.

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Never Hesitated For A Second: Jason Aaron On Writing ‘Star Wars’ For Marvel [Interview]

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Arguably the "biggest" announcement of Comic-Con weekend was Marvel's unveiling of the creative teams for its first three all-new Star Wars comics. The new books have been hotly anticipated since plans for Marvel Star Wars books were first announced back in January, shortly after the company's corporate parent, Disney, acquired Star Wars creator George Lucas' Lucasfilm.

Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca will team for a Darth Vader ongoing series; Mark Waid and Terry Dodson will author a five-issue Princess Leia miniseries; and Jason Aaron and John Cassaday have been named as the creative team for a Star Wars ongoing series. The three series will launch through the first quarter of 2015, each telling original stories set between the events of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back — the obvious place within the original trilogy to expand the universe and explore the characters.

The core Star Wars title from Aaron and Cassaday will naturally focus on the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo as they go up against Darth Vader’s imperial forces. To learn more about the project, ComicsAlliance spoke with Aaron and series editor Jordan D. White (unfortunately Cassaday was not available for comment before publication time).

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No, You’re The Joke: The Cast Of ‘Steven Universe’ At Comic-Con 2014 [Interview]

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Cartoon Network's Steven Universe has quickly become one of my favorite shows on television. The action, the comedy, the fact that there's an episode all about secret underground pro wrestling where the lead character becomes a manager named Tiger Millionaire, these are all things that I tend to respond to pretty favorably.

That's why I sat down for a roundtable interview at Comic-Con International with Zach Callison (Steven), Deedee Magno (Pearl),Michaela Dietz (Amethyst) and Tom Scharpling (Greg Universe) to go behind the scenes and find out what their favorite episodes are, what the response has been, and the magical formula for turning into Aimee Mann.

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She’d Rather Not Talk About It: New ‘Spider-Woman’ Team On Jessica Drew’s Past (And Future)

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Last weekend at the "Women of Marvel" panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Comics announced a new ongoing Spider-Woman series that will debut in November, from writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Greg Land, which will follow directly on from events in the Spider-Verse crossover. We had the opportunity to have a quick chat with the creative team in the wake of the announcement, and ask a few questions about their plans for the series.

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‘Mad Men’ With Capes: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel Talk ‘C.O.W.L.’ At Comic-Con 2014 [Video]

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COWL is an Image Comics series which stylishly depicts an alternate history Chicago of the pre-”swinging” 1960s, when the (in)famously political city experienced all manner of socioeconomic upheaval — including the dissolution of the Chicago Organized Workers League. Also known as COWL, it’s a union for costumed superheroes, and its days are numbered.

Besides the very cool and original artwork of Rod Reis, we like COWL because it avoids some traps into which most non-Marvel and non-DC cape comics fall. Crucially, despite its “real-world” premise and period setting, COWL is not a Watchmen cover version, offering a decidedly less dour tone and honest-to-god superhero adventure blended deftly with its dramatic take on city politics. Sometimes it’s even really funny. The book also bucks the origin fetish of the superhero genre by introducing us to its intriguing cast not at the start of their sagas, but at what might be the end.

Last week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, we had a chance to talk to COWL co-writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel about their series.

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Starting With Character: Matt Kindt And Jeff Lemire Discuss ‘The Valiant’ [Interview]

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Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire, the co-writers of the upcoming miniseries The Valiant -- a prestige-format miniseries featuring Bloodshot, Geomancer and Eternal Warrior -- have each done superhero work in the past, but they've really made their names with creator-owned work that they wrote and drew. Kindt's Mind MGMT has taken off, and Lemire struck a chord with series including Sweet Tooth and Trillium.

Those credentials are part of why Valiant invited the two creators to work on the new miniseries -- one that's being touted as an entry point for new readers, but also as a turning point for the whole Valiant Universe. They've been given some wiggle room to develop a character-based story and put their creative voices to work. The result is something both writers seem really proud of, not to mention a story that's bound to look good, with artwork by Paolo Rivera.

We sat down with Lemire and Kindt at San Diego Comic-Con International to ask them about their collaboration, how their backgrounds in cartooning inform their superhero work, and how Valiant's universe differs from others.

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War Rocket Ajax Not-So-Early Edition: The Best And Worst Of Comic-Con 2014

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Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show, usually several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.

This week is a little different because Chris and Matt attending Comic-Con International in San Diego, and time fell into a deep, inescapable vortex. It certainly wasn't all bad, though, so the two of them are listing their bests and worsts of the show this year, including seeing celebrities in their element, watching the Gotham pilot, buying cool stuff, cosplay, the massive crowds, and so much more.

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