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Great vintage science fiction art up for auction - Frazetta, Wally Wood, Virgil Finlay

Heritage Auctions is auctioning off the Jerry Weist Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art and Books on September 11 in Beverly Hills. Some amazing pieces of art and artifacts are being offered.


This 1966 Frank Frazetta painting from a Ray Bradbury paperback book cover is estimated at $40,000-$60,000. I have a feeling it will go for much more than that, even though it doesn't feature one of Frazetta's trademark curvaceous woman brandishing a spear or zap gun.

Screen Shot 2011-08-22 At 10.27.38 Am

Only 200 copies of Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451 were printed with an asbestos cover. What lucky future mesothelioma victim is going to get this copy, signed by the author? Opening bid is $3000.

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Girl Genius steampunk badges: zeppelins, trilobites and Tesla Rangers

So far, the standout retail moment at this year's World Science Fiction Convention in Reno are the very reasonably priced "Girl Genius" badges from Kaja and Phil Foglio, inspired by the Hugo-Award-winning webcomic of the same name. Worked with great trilobite and zeppelin motifs, the badges were apparently manufactured by the same supplier who does the collectible pins for the Disney parks, and have a good, solid heft. I'm also VERY fond of the old-timey sheriff's badge (cogtoothed, not starred) emblazoned with TESLA RANGERS and enlivened with little electrikal curlicues.

The New Airship Entertainment Online Store

History of War Comics event at Imperial War Museum, London, this Friday and Saturday

Alex sez, "At the Imperial War Museum, London, a two day event is taking place to celebrate and investigate the history, popularity and cultural impact of war comics. On Friday 19th and Saturday 20th August, academics, critics, experts and comic book creators are converging at the museum to talk about their work. Guests include Roger Sabin, Garth Ennis, Pat Mills, David Collier, Mikkel Sommer, Ariel Kahn and Paul Gravett. On Friday 19th there is an all day academic conference about war comics, tickets £30 / £15 concessions & students, which includes Pat Mills' talk about Charley's War, also available as a separate ticket for £6.

"On Saturday 20th, there are talks and workshops by Collier and Ennis plus panels on small press and international war comics featuring World War II veteran Eileen Cassavetti (published by her daughter Francesca Cassavetti), Sean Duffield, David Blandy and more. Tickets for Saturday's talks and panels are £6 each and the day is capped by a free film screening of the documentary The Comic Books go to War plus Blandy's short film Child of the Atom. This is a major London cultural institution taking an interest in a medium that is often dismissed for its supposed inability to convey depth and historical event and features rare appearance in the UK by the international guests."

Tickets (scroll down)

“Panel Borders” & “Reality Check” (Event details)

Podcast about event from ResonanceFM

(Thanks, Alex!)

Superhero aprons to order

Bethany Sew-and-Sew makes delightful superhero aprons to order for men and women. Perfect for livening up your dinner prep with a round of shy Bat-Chef and stern Super-Girl saucier. There's also Mario versions, as well as Sailor Moon, Harry Potter, the Incredibles and so on.

Character Aprons!!! (via Neatorama)

Paul Krugman: save the economy by staging an alien invasion hoax

Paul Krugman has an unorthodox suggestion for saving the economy: stage a fake alien invasion like the one the superhero Ozymandias pulls in Watchmen:
Think about World War II -- that was actually negative social product spending and yet it brought us out... If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive build-up to counter the space alien threat, and inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months. And then if we discovered, "whoops, we made a mistake," we'd [still] be better... There was a Twilight Zone episode like this, in which scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace. Well, this time we need it to get some fiscal stimulus.
Economist Paul Krugman Endorses 'Watchmen' Alien Invasion Plan for Fiscal Recovery (Thanks, Laura!)

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Hey, Kids! The World You're On... has CORPORATIONS!

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A charming comic about an ugly animal

Why you gotta hate on the hagfish?

Marvel to comics retailers: we'll give you limited edition singles if you destroy our competitors' products

Marvel Comics has offered comics retailers access to a limited-edition variant cover run of "Fear Itself #6," but only if the comic-shops destroy their No. 1 issue of DC Comics' Flashpoint and send 50 covers to Marvel:
Make no mistake, this is perfectly legal. The comic-shop proprietors would be destroying their own property, and it is their right so to do. However, this seems little different than someone buying books to burn them.

They would destroy a work of literature with the express intention of preventing another person from reading it. Anyone who does this is engaging in censorship, and Marvel Comics is agent provocateur.

This is not the first time Marvel Comics has tried this, and, according to them, previous efforts have netted tens of thousands of covers.

Marvel Bribes Retailers to Destroy DC Comics

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Is "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" a TRUE STORY? (Yes, and you're living it.)

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Soldering is Easy: CC licensed HOWTO solder comic

"Soldering is Easy" is a great comic-book primer on soldering; I field tested it this week at the Vancouver Hackspace's table at SIGGRAPH 2011 and managed to solder up a perfectly passable blinking lights kit with only minor burns for my trouble (a major feat, given a) my general clum, and b) my specific jetlag). It's CC licensed, natch.

Soldering is Easy

XKCD on the password paradox: human factors versus computers' brute force

Today's XKCD, "Password Strength," neatly illustrates the research from this paper (PDF) by Philip Inglesant and M. Angela Sasse from University College London, with the ironic conclusion that we've trained our users to use passwords that computers can easily guess and humans can't possibly remember.

Password Strength

Clever and fun Calvin and Hobbes street art

What a great appreciation for Calvin and Hobbes: a little street art of the pair sliding down a public stair-railing. calvin & hobbes (it's summer holidays....) (via Neatorama)

Gweek 011: "Why we get fat"

In this episode, Mark reviews the psychological thriller Tropic of Night by Michael Gruber, a health book called Why We Get Fat, by Gary Taubes, a comic book called All Nighter, and the Canon S95 digital camera

Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comics books, science fiction, games, gadgets, and other neat stuff. In this episode, Mark reviews the psychological thriller Tropic of Night by Michael Gruber, a health book called Why We Get Fat, by Gary Taubes, a comic book called All Nighter, and the Canon S95 digital camera.

Download Gweek 011 as an MP3 | Subscribe to Gweek via iTunes | Subscribe via RSS | Download single episodes of Gweek as MP3s

Cosplay of excellence: Gender Bent Justice League

Liz Ohanesian covers counterculture, cosplay, and cool music for the Los Angeles Weekly. She hit Comic-Con with photographer Shannon Cottrell, and came back with some great photo-essays. "I thought you might be interested in seeing our favorite cosplay of the con," she writes, "they're The Gender Bent Justice League." Above, Kit Quinn as Superma'am and Tallest Silver as Batma'am.

Gender Bent Justice League is a group of cosplayers who have taken characters associated with DC's Justice League and transformed them into something that is more Rule 63 than it is crossplay.

"A couple of us like to do female versions of preexisting male characters. One of our friends, Psykitten Pow, she had a female Flash," says Tallest Silver, who organized the group and who dresses as Batma'am. "One night, we were all hanging out and I said how funny it would be if we had a whole Justice League with swapped sexes."

Batman logo in equation form

A Redditor called "i_luv_ur_mom" posted this math teacher's amusement, an equation that draws a lovely Bat-signal.

Do you like Batman? Do you like math? My math teacher is REALLY cool

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Billy Dare trapped! But, meanwhile.....

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The Complete Zap Comix, coming next year!

First published in 1968, Zap Comix is considered to be the freaky forefather of the underground comix movement that still thrives today. Created by R. Crumb, the Zap #1 solely featured his work with subsequent issues introducing such groundbreaking artists as S. Clay Wilson, Robert Williams, Gilbert Shelton, Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Paul Mavrides, and "Spain" Rodriguez. Today, Fantagraphics Books keeps the Zap spirit alive and so I was thrilled to learn that they've just announced the forthcoming publication of The Complete Zap Comix. The 800 page, two-volume, slipcased, hardcover set will hit stores in Fall 2012. From Fantagraphics:
Zap1Cvr “Fantagraphics’ The Complete ZAP Comix, as designed by Victor Moscoso, will be a classy item for the bookshelves of underground comics fans — those who can afford it, that is,” said ZAP artist Gilbert Shelton. “I imagine most of the original readers wish they still had their copy of the first edition of ZAP # 1, which sells for over ten thousand dollars now, if in perfect condition. But part of the secret of the success of underground comix was that they werecheaply produced and turned yellow and fell apart quickly, and also that they were borrowed and never returned by one’s friends, thereby forcing you to buy another copy. This will not happen with the new collected edition, which will be produced under the most rigorous of quality control.”

“Much as the effect EC’s MAD had on the mid-20th Century, ZAP was equally influential and disruptive to cultural mores at the end of the 20th Century, but without the hindrance of the old comic book code that cramped graphic novel expression for 40 years,” said ZAP artist Robert Williams. “I’m very pleased that Fantagraphics will release this long-awaited compendium of ZAP Comix.”

“When Robert Crumb started ZAP in 1968, no one had any idea that it would still be alive 45 years later,” Shelton added. “This exercise in anarchy — there were never any rules, restrictions, or editorial policy — is still the flagship of the underground comics movement. I tried, and failed, to get my fellow ZAPsters to correct their spelling errors, but they would not be subjected to such editorial tyranny.

"Fantagraphics to Publish The Complete ZAP Comix"