It doesn’t take much wandering around any Disney theme park to realize you’re surrounded by possible stories. The success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise proved that the translation of ride to media can work. However, it’s not a method suited for every ride and movies aren’t always the proper outlet – enter Marvel Comics. They’ve worked closely with Walt Disney Imagineering to launch the Disney Kingdoms line of comics. The series will showcase adventures based on theme park lands, characters, or attractions. I have one word for this: Yay!

The first comic in the series, Seekers of the Weird, will be out in January of next year and will be five issues. A synopsis from Inside the Magic:

“Seekers of the Weird” will be the first all-new adventure inspired by Disney’s legendary – but never built – “Museum of the Weird” attraction dreamed up by famous Imagineer Rolly Crump in 1965. The Museum of the Weird was to be home to a collection of mystical curiosities said to have been unearthed from all corners of the globe, originally conceived as a spooky walk-through attraction connected to The Haunted Mansion. Crump’s innovative designs were left on the drawing board, now resurrected in comic form.

Ahhh! This is going to be so much fun. The beautiful cover pictured above was done by Mike del Mundo, and I hope they tease interior art soon.

(via Inside the Magic)

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It’s almost time for the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game. I know I won’t be the only one giving up a few hours (or more) playing with the blocky heroes. To help celebrate the release, Marvel’s releasing a set of variant covers by Leonel Castellani for a ton of its titles. They’ll be available in beautiful colors or in cool pencil sketch versions. The latter will be harder to find, but if you really want them, just keep an eye on eBay. I especially like the Deadpool and Loki covers!

See more covers and sketch variants after the break.

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It seems like superheroes should be above mundane tasks. Seeing them pick up the dry cleaning isn’t as exciting as watching them take out out the big bad, so it’s rarely illustrated. Artist William Wray has captured the quieter moments though. Imagine Supergirl texting or Batman and Spider-Man taking a break together or Captain America at the valet stand picking up his car. All these scenarios could happen and Wray’s moody art style gives them weight. It makes you pause and wonder what if.

See more everyday superhero paintings after the break.

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What happens when you give comic book geeks free run of a comic book store for three nights?

This parody of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” called, what else “Comic Book Shop”.

It’s pretty nerdtastic, the lyrics are smart, it has comics, cosplay and a rapping Bane. It should also be noted that any comics being mistreated were Free Comic Book Day comics, so no need to worry ;-)

You can also check out the lyrics and cast/crew details on the You Tube video which is available after the break.

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The entirety of the comic book universe is vast. There are so many decades of history and characters that it’s hard to summarize all of the twists and turns in a tidy package. Tim Leong might just nail it in his new book though. Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe takes you through the years with handy charts, bar graphs, timelines, and more. Pure educational eye candy.

You’ll examine how the Punisher decides whether to kill someone, what kind of relationships characters in the Marvel universe have with each other, and so on. He used official handbooks, visual chronicles, trading cards, and comics and graphic novels among other sources to pull the data. It was undeniably a ton of work, but it looks like it came together nicely. This is going on my wishlist.

Examples of the fabulous infographics and the cover of the book after the break.

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This is heart-breaking. I’m all for art, but this sculpture by artist Andrew Vickers was made by destroying $20,000 worth of comics. Here’s the official description of the piece from the Heroes: Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary exhibition at the s1 Artspace in Sheffield.

Stoneface Sculpture – Andrew Vickers will display a piece of his latest work, ‘The Paper Boy’, inspired by the artist’s fascination with the mystical and made from a rare collection of recycled comic books. His work embarks on a change from his usual media of natural stone, using metals and reclaimed stuffs, but revisits the familiar female form in the unveiling of a new sculpture ‘Earth’, and a reworking of ‘Naked’, a stone sculpture war memorial re-displayed on canvas in digital print form, alongside a number of more recognisable superhero facades, timelessly captured in stone.

What the artist didn’t know was that the collection of comics, which he found in a dumpster, included some very rare and collectible gems. He only found out when comic fan Steve Eyre saw the sculpture and recognized the value of some of the titles.

“First of all I thought ‘Fantastic’ as, visually, it is a beautiful thing, but then as I walked round it, certainly on the inside right leg, there was a cover of Avengers number one. I’ve got a copy of that, which was published in 1963, that is worth well over £10,000. Then I started looking and there are six comics on this that together would be worth, even in the condition you can see, £20,000.

Hear that? It’s the sound of collectors everywhere screaming, “No!” at the thought of those issues being glued to a bunch of chicken wire.

See more pictures after the break…

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Every week Comic Book Resources does a cool feature where they round up a collection of art with a uniting theme. Last week it was comic book characters put together with Game of Thrones characters. Yes, it is a freaking fantastic idea.

As you can imagine, the results that rolled in are fabulous. Just look at the above image! It’s Kitty Pryde meets Daenerys and it is the best thing ever. I know I’m not the only person who loves those two characters. Seriously – my head might explode. Thanks to artist Josh Gowdy for creating this awesome piece!

See a couple more wonderful mash-ups after the break.

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Comic Book Keyboard

comic book keyboard

(via Boing Boing)

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If any of you have a collection of comic books, you know that the boxes – both long and short – come in white. Just plain white. They’re boring, and I’ve thought of decoupaging them or decorating them before because they are visible in my office. Someone has finally decided to make a business of providing decorated ones, but they need your help. Boxes in Action is a Kickstarter project that plans to make the boxes part of the collecting. They make vivid designs – starting with Captain America and Iron Man – in limited editions.

The Kickstarter project will help fund the design of the next box. I love the concept, but I’m not sure how they’re skirting copyright laws. Furthermore, I’m surprised that neither DC or Marvel has pursued something like this as a way to advertise their comics.

Check out another design and the project video after the break.

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It’s not quite a romance made in heaven, but Harley Quinn and Deadpool make quite the couple in this version of The Notebook. The idea belongs to artist Marco D’Alfonso who submitted his work to Comic Book Resources The Line It Is Drawn series. Last week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, the challenge was for artists to pair up two comic book characters in a romantic scene. I suppose for these two, dancing in a rain of blood would qualify.

See more romantic pair-ups after the break…

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