This is something of a golden age for pop culture-themed art books. It seems like every week, a new volume comes on the market that illuminates some aspect of the history of popular art. In fact, there's so many great titles out there right now that it can be tough to figure out which are worth your time -- so we figured it would be a good idea to shine the ComicsAlliance spotlight on a few of the best things we've recently read.
The Noble Approach: Maurice Noble And The Zen Of Animation Design is a sweeping retrospective of Maurice Noble's art and legacy. It also offers a thought-provoking treatise on principles of animation design, compiled by author Tod Polson from Noble's notes.
When it was first announced that Disney was purchasing Marvel, the minds of many fans leapt immediately to the possibility of a Disney-Pixar animated Marvel movie. We're sorta getting that in November with 'Big Hero 6' but as that movie approaches, it's become very clear that it's not really much of Marvel movie at all, other than being loosely based on the obscure 90s comic. What fans really want to know is if we'll ever see a Disney or Pixar animated movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. John Lasseter, who runs both Disney Animation and Pixar, has your answer: no.
Comic-Con attendees who kept their eyes peeled may have been lucky enough to snag a copy of the first volume in Fantagraphics Books' series of reprints of Don Rosa's Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics, The Son of the Sun. (Some even got signed copies!)
Everyone else will have to wait until the book is available next month to get their hands on it, but Fantagraphics has at least given readers a taste of what they'll be getting. Check out a 17-page preview of the crisp, colorful, chronological reprints of Rosa's comics, which date back to 1987, after the jump.
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.
Just about one year to the day since Disney Television Animation's Phineas and Ferb enjoyed a visit from the heroes of Marvel Comics -- or an epic crossover event, if you like -- Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh' critically acclaimed and very popular musical comedy series will be the first to mashup with Star Wars since creator George Lucas' company was acquired by Disney last year.
Premiering next Saturday, July 26, on Disney XD, Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars takes place in what the studio actually terms "an alternate universe" in which the title characters and their supporting players inhabit the iconic roles of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
The promotional machine for Disney's big, animated fall film Big Hero 6 has really started ramping up with the announcement of the various voice cast members and a brand new trailer.
An odd quirk of the promotion for the film has been that it doesn't seem to mention Marvel Comics even one time, though the concept, characters and title come from a Marvel team that spun out of Alpha Flight and had a few mini-series over the years. Now it looks like Marvel's not even going to publish one of the comics that tie into Big Hero 6, a manga by Haruki Ueno. It's going to be in Kodansha's Magazine Special instead.
I have some complicated feelings about Big Hero 6, the forthcoming computer-animated Disney movie based on an obscure Marvel superhero concept. It seems like a weird choice for a Disney movie to begin with; a lot of the Japanese characters are no longer Japanese; and wasn't the whole deal with white comic creators appropriating Japanese culture to make Japanese superheroes sort of weirdly fetishistic to begin with?
But I've set all that aside for a couple of minutes to judge the new Big Hero 6 trailer on its own merits, and here's the good news; it's enormously charming. Surprise surprise, the people who brought you Frozen and the people who brought you The Avengers have a potential smash hit on their hands.
Disney has finally confirmed the voice cast for Big Hero 6, its big feature-length animated release for the year -- and also released a new TV spot for the movie. Big Hero 6 is notable for being the fifth film in 2014 to be based on Marvel superheroes -- though it's an even more fringe concept than Guardians Of The Galaxy.
In the comic, Big Hero 6 is a Japanese superhero team created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau, and first brought to the page in their own mini series by Scott Lobdell and Gus Vasquez. The movie moves the characters out of the Marvel Universe -- and out of Japan, kinda.
Ever since Fantagraphics started up their collection of Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse strips, I've been looking forward to finally getting to read "Mickey Outwits The Phantom Blot." This was the story that I'd heard of even when I wasn't paying attention to Disney comics from the '30s, the influential saga that provided Mickey with his most intriguing villain, and one that returned again and again over the years and inspired creators like Osamu Tezuka. It came with a pretty solid reputation, and when I finally got to it in the latest hardcover, I've got to admit that it lived up to it. It's every bit as exciting as I'd hoped it would be.
Unfortunately, it's collected in a book alongside some of the most grotesquely offensive stories that I've ever read. That's the sort of thing that spoils the experience a bit, even when you're making allowances for the time.
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