Born on this day in 1954, Matt Groening's instantly recognizable visual style, off-kilter humor, and knack for depicting the innate dysfunctionality of personal interactions have defined him as one of the most influential cartoonists of the late 20th/early 21st century. From self-publishing comics in the late '70s, to overseeing a multi-media empire in the new millennium, he's followed an unorthodox and unlikely path to fame and fortune, without compromising his idiosyncratic vision.
With October just around the bend, that means it's time for cooler weather, cooler costumes and the biggest comic book convention on the east coast. Yes, New York Comic Con is bearing down on us faster than we're prepared to deal with it, but that's okay. We'll make do. In addition to incredible amount of stuff happening at the show, there will be a lot of great stuff up for grabs.
As busy as Funko was at San Diego Comic-Con, its plate looks to be equally as filled at NYCC this coming year. This week, Funko is unveiling all of its planned exclusive items, with a new batch coming every single day. While the availability of each is likely to be a bit more open than it was at SDCC, these things will still be limited. If you're hoping to get any, definitely plan ahead and around any and all panels you hope to make it to this year.
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.
The competition was brutal during last weekend's Annie Awards, the International Animated Film Society's celebration of an uncommonly strong year in animation for film, television, commercials and games. For example, it stung to see our beloved Teen Titans Go! lose the award for Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children’s Audience, but that the winner was the similarly excellent Adventure Time made the pill easier to swallow. But easier still was the master Katsuhiro Otomo taking home the Winsor McCay Award for lifetime achievement in animation. That pill is good for health.
Like about 50,000 other people my age, I used to have that famous Simpsons poster with every character in one shot. The amazing thing about it was that it made you realize that the number of characters in the show's then 10 year history was ridiculous, and trying to name all of them was an addictive game everyone who came into my dorm room in college decided they needed to play.
And though it only had 7 seasons, Futurama boasts a similarly robust collection of characters, with some recurring and others only showing up briefly, but memorably, in one episode. Either way, if you're a big enough fan, they all matter to you, and now Australian artist Unrellius has produced a similarly amazing Futurama poster featuring damn near every character who appeared on the show.
It's been over 1600 years since St. Nicholas of Myra first punched someone out for heresy right in front of the emperor, and in that time, he's mellowed out from a surprisingly violent theological hard-liner to the jolly old gift-giver that we know today as Santa Claus. He's beloved by children all over the world, owns a set of flying reindeer and has an origin story more complicated than most X-Men, but there's one area where Santa Claus is truly lacking: action figures.
Seriously, with the possible exception of Robin Hood, there has never been a character so beloved that is so dreadfully underrepresented in posable plastic. There are, however, a few options, so for those of you in dire need of something to fill that vacant spot in your miniature Christmas village, we're making like elves and doing our best to rank the 10 best Santa Claus action figures! Or at least, you know, the ten that actually exist.
In yet another moment clearly meant to remind you that you are no longer young, The Simpsons is about to air it's 24th "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween special. Any current or lapsed fan of the show is familiar with a few of the traditions that go into the annual episode, including the altered opening and horror-inspired Couch Gag. The theme continues this year, and this time the producers of the show brought on Guillermo del Toro to create the opening. Just under three minutes long, the animation features guest appearances by a few comic characters, as well as a nod to Futurama, and some inspiration from Mad magazine and former Hellboy artist and frequent del Toro collaborator Guy Davis.
After 14 years of amazing animation, mathematical humor, annual cancellation threats, and Hedonismbot, Futurama's series finale aired last night, bringing to a close one of the best animated series of its time, and possibly ever. And to further celebrate the show's run you can check out this eBay auction of original Futurama art, revealed at this year's Comic-Con and signed by nearly the entire cast of the show, as well as series creator Matt Groening, Executive Producer David X. Cohen and Bongo Comics co-founder Bill Morrison, who illustrated the piece.
Since the folks who make Futurama often don't know if it's coming back for another season, sometimes it feels like the show has had half a dozen different series finales. That said, my favorite is still "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings," which features Fry switching hands with the musically gifted Robot Devil so he can play the holophonor for Leela. It's a memorable episode, and has compelled one fan, Harrison Krix of Volpin Props, to make his own holophonor, and it's pretty impressive.