For those of you who don't obsess over third-tier Sanrio characters, here's the best way I can think of to describe it: Hello Kitty is like Superman. She's the most iconic and tenured character on the roster, a worldwide symbol who's synonymous with both the company and an entire genre, which in her case would be cute, incredibly marketable corporate mascots. But just as DC doesn't end with Superman, Sanrio has a whole roster of other characters, deep cuts that occasionally get really, really weird. And this week, they have added a new one to the roster.
Her name is Taburerona, and she is essentially an overmotional iPad who works as a tour guide and wants you to buy Sanrio's new line of 8-Bit Hello Kitty merchandise.
So here's a sentence you probably didn't think you were going to read today: For the latest project involving beloved international icon Hello Kitty, the Sanrio company has launched a new webcomic that recasts Kitty as a strawberry-themed superhero called Ichigoman who fights monsters with the help of her giant robot. And in the first issue, the monster is an angel.
The manga comes courtesy of Toshiki Inoue and Shakua Sinkai (with Kitty's original designer, Yuko Yamaguchi, credited as well), and it's scheduled to update on the fifteenth of every month --- and you can actually read the first installment right now.
In case you haven't been keeping up on the anniversary celebrations of your favorite Japanese cuteness icons, this year marks the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty. To celebrate the occasion, Sanrio -- which has recently been pretty cagey about whether or not Hello Kitty is actually a cat -- put out a hardcover featuring artists from all over the world, with comics celebrating 40 years of adorability.
One such creator was Karl Kerschl, the artist of the upcoming Gotham Academy, who contributed a sci-fi-inspired three-page strip that is absolutely delightful. There's just one problem: The third page was rejected by Sanrio for implying that Hello Kitty is actually a cat.
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.
As everybody keeps saying in a rather dazed manner, it's stunning the amount of good to very good to excellent comics being produced at the moment, and I have a litany of fantastic and favorite people working in comics right now; a good portion of whom I've discovered via work published online. One of these is ace Swedish artist Hanna K., who you may know of her via her excellent Legend of Zelda comic which blew up Tumblr. Her Tumblr is the best place to acquaint yourself with her work: she makes wonderful, giffed comics, like this one, called Owl Cafe. She's also published a couple of books with Swedish publishers, Peow! Studio; Third Wheel, a beautiful, fluro-blue riso-graph tale about a couple of kids encountering a strange being in a ruined future, is due for a September re-stock. I recommend keeping an eye out for that re-print so you can nab yourself a copy. If you need further convincing, you can see a gorgeous eight-page preview of it here.
Here's another reason to love Hannah K.- this week she tweeted some pictures of her notebook showing off an adorable, ultra-modern, and very comfy-looking teen Catwoman re-design.
This week the world was rocked by the reveal that Hello Kitty, global icon of cuteness, was not a cat. After being revealed during Sanrio's corrections of a museum exhibit celebrating Kitty's 40th anniversary, the news quickly went global, shocking the world and causing people to question everything they had ever been taught, abandoning the laws of God and man in order to tear down a society built entirely on lies.
Well, it turns out that the hours we spent laying on the floor questioning our own existence might've been a little premature. Following up on that initial correction, Kotaku got in touch with Sanrio's Tokyo headquarters, whereupon they were informed that "It's going too far to say that Hello Kitty is not a cat. Hello Kitty is the personification of a cat."
So.. that should clear everything up. Except for the part where Kitty definitely still owns a cat of her own, I mean. That's still weird as all heck.
If you're not already, you may want to sit down, and if you're already sitting down, you may want to go ahead and clear off a spot on the floor so that you can lay there and stare into space thinking about how everything you have been told in your life has been rooted in lies and deception. Are you sitting? Good.
So it turns out Hello Kitty is not actually a cat.
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.
In the world of superhero comics, we're most certainly no strangers to so-called "good guys" going bad, but at long last, even we have to wonder: Is no one immune to the siren call of supervillainy?! Is there no one so wholly devote to the cause of good that evil cannot sink its cruel talons into their soul?! Can any wholesome cuteness triumph over the wicked inclinations of life as an arch-criminal?!
It seems it cannot, because now, Hello Kitty has become a supervillain. Or at least, she's dressing like one in the latest licensing collaboration between Sanrio and DC Comics, which features everyone's favorite icon of cuteness cosplaying as a trio of Batman villainesses.
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