This Week's Top Pop Culture News
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SXSW 2013: Marvel, Comixology and the Growth of Digital Comics
Comics were easy to spot at this year's SXSW with high profile appearances by Comixology and Marvel as well as cartoonists Matthew Inman delivering a keynote address and Ted Rall offering a short presentation on models of syndication for political cartoonists. But there were also other comics professionals on hand, among them Erin Polgreen, cofounder of Symbolia: The Tablet of Illustrated Journalism.
Comixology and Marvel certainly made their presence felt, even beyond the spectacular meltdown of the Comixology servers after the Marvel announcement offering 700 free #1 issues of Marvel comics—let’s be clear, this is a really great deal, maybe a little too great—through the digital comics vendor over two days. Unfortunately the mad online rush to take advantage of the offer brought the House of Ideas down, crashing the Comixology servers and Web site and the promotion is on hold until further notice. The Comixology and Marvel announcements were made at SXSW Gaming Expo, now held at the Palmer Center, on Sunday on a stage plunked down in the middle of a giant (and darkened) exhibition hall constantly exploding with the crackling, blaring, chaotic sounds of hundreds of videogames of all kinds being played in every corner of the hall.
Otaku the Mornin' To Ye: Geeky Cocktails for St. Paddy's Day
SF x Tekken
After the success of our guardian piece, we were approached by a PR agency (The lovely Sponge Marketing) who were handling the UK launch of Streetfighter x Tekken and wanted some custom cocktails created to help promote the game in the specialist press.
The brief was to craft 6 drinks whilst making sure that they appealed to a mixture of markets including lads mags – which is why we couldn’t pass up creating ’Furry Cup’, the Kuma inspired drink.
Zorro Lawsuit Filed
A lawsuit in federal court will answer the question of whether Zorro is a public domain property that can be exploited at will, or subject to licensing by Zorro Productions Inc. The suit was filed by Robert Cabell, who published a Zorro musical based on the first Zorro story from 1919 and the Douglas Fairbanks film released in 1920. Cabell says that Zorro Productions Inc. has "engaged in a campaign of intimidation and coercion" against him to prevent him from licensing a new production of the musical and to force the licensee to use a musical from ZPI instead.
Poppy Hill Opens in L.A. and N.Y. on Friday
Goro Miyazaki’s acclaimed 2D animated feature From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-Zaka Kara) will begin its New York run this Friday, thanks to indie studio GKIDS. The film was the top-earning animated feature in Japan in 2011, grossing almost $54 million and outdrawing two Pokémon features. It also won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Animated Feature.
Set in early 1960s Japan, Poppy Hill is more intimate than Miyazaki’s directoral debut, Gedo Senki or Tales From Earthsea (2006). Every morning before leaving for school, the industrious Umi Matsuzaki (voiced by Sarah Bolger) flies signal flags in the yard of her seaside home in Yokohama in honor of her father, who was lost at sea during the Korean War. When she meets Shun Kazama (Anton Yelchin), the editor of their high school newspaper, she gets involved in the efforts to preserve “the Latin Quarter:” Plans are afoot to demolish the beloved but dilapidated building that houses the school clubs. A believably awkward romance quickly develops between these likable teenagers.
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