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Friday, February 21, 2014

Two Unrelated Comics-y Things, Both of Interest

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM

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  • From RoboCop vs. The Terminator by Frank Miller and Walter Simonson

1. ROBOCOPS AND TERMINATORS. Dark Horse is finally collecting one of the most under-appreciated classics of comics: 1992's RoboCop vs. The Terminator, by Frank Miller and the great Walter Simonson. I had a poster of this thing up in my room as a teenager (ladies); unlike most of the things my dipshit teenage self had posters of, RoboCop vs. The Terminator has actually aged incredibly well. This is one of those books that should never have been made in the first place, and could never exist in any medium other than comics—but the end result is somehow so batshit crazy, so perfectly weird, and so clever and melodramatic and fun and preposterous that it just works. (See above, complete with Simonson's great art and typically Frank Miller-y writing.)

The four-issue series has been out of print forever, but Dark Horse is putting out two editions in early July—a $25 hardcover and an oversized $125 gallery edition. Via the press release, which—probably because Dark Horse is as excited about this as I am—uses nearly as many exclamation points as the comic itself:

The super deluxe RoboCop verus The Terminator Gallery Edition ushers in Dark Horse’s new gallery series format—reprinting Walter Simonson’s original art at full size, exactly as it appeared on his drawing table! Relive Simonson and writer Frank Miller’s seamless blend of the RoboCop and Terminator worlds while marveling at the sheer virtuosity of Simonson’s draftsmanship in all its original glory.

In addition to the full story, the gallery edition provides the greatest insight available into Simonson’s process, with pages of his original pencils and promotional art faithfully reproduced, along with a revealing foreword by the artist himself!

This is great news. Read this book when it comes out, whether or not you had this poster up in your room.

2. BILL MANTLO AND ROCKET RACCOON. Marvel's marketing blitz for August's film version of Guardians of the Galaxy has begun in earnest, with a new poster (that might feature my favorite tagline ever) and a new featurette on one of the film's stars, the CG Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper.

Here's something to note re: Rocket Raccoon: Bill Mantlo, the writer who helped created Rocket Raccoon—a character that Marvel and its parent company Disney are soon going to be making a goddamn fortune off of—isn't doing great, thanks to a hit-and-run driver and the resultant brain damage. It's a devastating story, and one that hits on a lot of persistent problems in the comics industry—an industry where creators have failed to start a union, and one where work that turns out to be wildly profitable is often owned by massive corporations, not the creators. Mantlo's case is a particularly sad one, but as Graeme McMillian at the Hollywood Reporter notes, there's an upside to this Guardians publicity: People are pulling together to help out Mantlo. If you're planning on seeing Guardians, or if you've read any Rocket Raccoon comics, consider making a donation. Here's hoping Marvel does—or is already doing—the same.

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