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Udon Announces Tezuka Artbooks, Kill La Kill Manga, And More Manga Classics Titles

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Udon Entertainment unveiled an impressive line-up of books for the coming year at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday night, including the English-language translaton of the manga of Ryo Akizuki Kill La Kill, and not one but two Osamu Tezuka artbooks. Osamu Tezuka Anime Character Artbook is a collection of sketchbook drawings and designs, while Osamu Tezuka Anime Character Illustrations collects his animation model sheets.

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I, Vader: Kieron Gillen & Salvador Larroca Talk ‘Star Wars: Darth Vader’ [Interview]

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Few in the Star Wars universe are more enigmatic, more revered, or more quoted than Darth Vader. And yet, despite being introduced to Vader's conflicted adolescence and troubled past in George Lucas' most recent film trilogy, we are still not fully aware of who the galaxy's most sinister villain really is beneath that obsidian faceplate. Sure, some of us root for the rebels. Some align with the Empire. But we all, without a doubt, want to peek under the mask of the most interesting villain in the universe; especially during that mysterious time between the first Death Star's destruction and The Empire Strikes Back.

Now we finally get more pieces of the personality puzzle with a story taking place during a time when Vader's vengeful thirst for power solidifies. It's a period explored before in various Expanded Universe stories, but never before by Kieron Gillen (Young Avengers, The Wicked + The Divine) and Salvador Larroca (Invincible Iron Man, Uncanny Avengers). Their new ongoing series, Star Wars: Darth Vader, is one of three new series announced by Marvel at Comic-Con International in San Diego over the weekend, the first since Marvel acquired the Star Wars comic book license as a consequence of Lucasfilm's acquisition with Marvel parent Disney.

We spoke to the creative team, cover artist about the psychology of sci-fi's most famous villain and what to expect from the new ongoing series.

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Unapologetically Strong: Mark Waid & Terry Dodson Talk ‘Star Wars: Princess Leia’ [Interview]

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Princess Leia is, of course, one of the most famous characters in science fiction, and very arguably the most famous female character. She's iconic, recognizable, and quotable. Leia is a character with a lot of implied depth that the Star Wars movies didn’t fully explore, even across three films in which she appeared. Of course, hardcore Star Wars fans could tell you a lot about Leia's numerous adventures in the Expanded Universe of novels, comics and games, but as evidenced by Marvel's plans to start anew with its own adventures that are fully canonical with the films and new animated series, there's something to be said for offering film fans a fresh start with this most important character.

That start is to be facilitated by some of American superhero comics' most popular creators: writer Mark Waid and penciller Terry Dodson, who along with editor Jordan D. White spoke with ComicsAlliance about their auspicious new gig.

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Marvel Studios At San Diego: Latest On ‘Ant-Man’ And ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’

Marvel Studios/ScreenCrush
Marvel Studios/ScreenCrush

Marvel Studios held its annual crowdpleaser panel in the vastness of Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday afternoon. The casts of Ant-Man and Avengers: Age Of Ultron were both on hand -- but there wasn't much in the way of announcements, beyond confirming a lot of things we already knew. No new movies announced. No casting news that hadn't already leaked long ago. But with those disappointments suitably girded against, here's what we learned...

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Photo Gallery: The Creators of San Diego Comic-Con 2014, Part 3

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Among the colorful cosplay, massive booths, interactive displays and walls of merchandise at Comic-Con International in San Diego — colloquially known as SDCC — remains the most important component of the show: comic book creators. ComicsAlliance photographer and Loikiamania podcast host Pat Loika hit the show floor to catch the men and women who tell our favorite stories in sequential art and captured the enthusiasm that comes from fans getting to meet their favorite storytellers at one of the biggest conventions of the year.

Check back with ComicsAlliance throughout the weekend for more of Pat’s great photos from San Diego.

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Amy Reeder Talks Rocket Girl, Kickstarter And Redeeming ’80s Fashion [Interview]

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Amy Reeder made a name for herself in the comics scene with Fools Gold from Tokyopop, but became a favorite of comics art lovers for her excellent occasionally breathtaking work on Vertigo's Madame Xanadu, which saw the versatile stylist to depict a complex and beautiful heroine across vast expanses of time and in all the aesthetic luxury that affords. Her profile rose further with a major level up on Batwoman, synthesizing her manga storytelling influence with tightly rendered yet loose and dynamic action. Whether you quiet scenes with exquisite facial expressions and palpable mood, or diverse body types in the throes of big splash-page comic book action, Reeder's got you covered.

Possibly the most Reeder book ever, Rocket Girl is about a teenage girl who's a cop in the future sent back to the middle of the 1980s to investigate Time Crimes, and in so doing discovers secrets that reveal her utopian home-time isn't so great after all. The premise allows Reeder to indulge herself fully, and in the best sense possible. Full of action, fashion and drama, Rocket Girl is a pleasure to read -- partly because it's obvious that its artist has so much fun drawing it.

We sat down with Amy Reeder at Comic-Con International in San Diego to talk about Rocket Girl, Kickstarter, and the evolution of her unmistakable style.

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Force Works: Marvel Announces Three New Star Wars Titles From All-Star Creative Teams

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The Cup O' Joe panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday featured one of the biggest announcements of the weekend as Marvel unveiled 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.

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 mini series; 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.

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Photo Gallery: The Cosplay Of San Diego Comic-Con 2014, Part 2

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As you know from our weekly Best Cosplay Ever feature, we are big fans of cosplay at ComicsAlliance. The comics, sci-fi, gaming and fantasy communities’ talents for homemade disguises, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics are definitely on display this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, and you’d better believe our own Pat Loika is on hand to document as much as he can. Scroll down for some exceptional examples of superheroic cosplaying talent that we spotted in San Diego!

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Wonder Woman Looks Like Wonder Woman: First Image From ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice’

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Our sister site ScreenCrush is in Hall H right now for the Warner Bros. presentation of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. What's arguably the most anticipated element of the Zack Snyder film has nothing to do with either of titles characters. Nope, it's Wonder Woman, whose visage was finally revealed and captured for your enjoyment in the most sophisticated cell phone camera technology available. Feast your eyes on Gal Gadot as DC Comics' Amazon princess.

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Photo Gallery: Those Wonderful Toys Of San Diego Comic-Con 2014

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Even if you're not a toy collector, there's something inescapably cool about the action figures, statues and other gear on display at fan conventions. Whether they're massive and costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars, or little itty bitty things that still cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, the toys found at San Diego's Comic-Con International serve the dual purpose of advertising new collectibles for those so inclined, but also standing as three-dimensional tributes to the comic book superheroes and other characters upon which Comic-Con and so much of fan culture was built -- in many cases, actually designed by the artists whose work we love so much.

For the non-collector, these are just really exquisite pieces of fan art, especially as seen through the lens of ComicsAlliance's SDCC photographer Pat Loika, who spent a lot of time in the DC Collectibles and Sideshow Collectibles to document what two of the industry's leading toymakers had to show off at the San Diego show.

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