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Comics Relief: Classic 1980’s DC Comics Style-Guide Artwork

Welcome to our Wednesday Edition of Comics Relief, where today we’ve got news on Marvel’s new badass Uncanny X-Men line-up, Michael Bay’s new high tech comic book line, and lots more. But first, step into the Way Back Machine with us, as DC Comics’ Style Guide from the early 1980s has turned up in its entirety online for your viewing pleasure. Read on for more details…

Entire 1982 DC Comics Style Guide Pics Show Up Online

You might not know the name José Luis García-López, especially if you’re a younger comics fan, but you’ve almost definitely seen his artwork featuring the DC Universe characters on everything from t-shirts, to mugs, to greeting cards, to you name it. The reason for this is that back in 1982, DC hiredGarcía-López, who had already drawn several high profile comics for the publisher, to create the company’s “Style Guide,” a 200-page book of illustrations meant to define the looks of the major characters at DC for artists and licensing purposes.

These images were used for decades on merch and toys and still are used to this very day. The book itself has never been up for sale, as only a few were created and just meant to be used internally by DC Comics and their licensors, but a copy has found its way to fans of the artist who uploaded all of the images inside to their Facebook page, where you can see each scanned page. José Luis García-López’ work is the definitive version of these characters for an entire generation of fans, no matter how badly DC might wish to “New 52 them away” in the mind of the general public. Yeah, good luck with that. [Newsarama]

Elementary School Bans Little Girl’s “Violent” Wonder Woman Lunch-Box

Speaking of artwork from the DC Style Guide, some Wonder Woman images from that very guide are on display on a lunchbox that was recently banned from an unnamed elementary school (all we know is that it’s somewhere in the U.S.). A imgur user posted a letter from the school asking a little girl’s parents, named Daniel and Sarah, to not allow the Wonder Woman lunch box on their campus because it “shows violent images” and characters who “solve problems through violence”, therefore violating the school’s dress code.

If the lunchbox in question had Diana punching out the Cheetah, I could maybe see their point, but as you can see from the images below, the lunchbox in question just shows images of Wonder Woman running with a smile on her face, and a profile image. What’s offensive about that? To “Daniel and Sarah” whoever you are, wherever you are… take your daughter out of that stupid school and place her in one that respects the Amazing Amazon please. PS: I’m a grown-ass man and I have that lunchbox on my shelf. I turned out allright. Mostly. [The Mary Sue]

Rumor: DC Tells Editors To Stop “Batgirling” Their Books

While we are still on the DC tip, here’s a little bit of discouraging news about the publisher (or at least it’s bad if these rumors are true). What we do know IS true is that DC has seemingly lost some $2 million dollars in revenue against expenditure after the Convergence event and their June “DC YOU” mini-relaunch. That relaunch saw the publisher take a looser approach to storytelling and continuity, an experiment that worked with books like Batgirl and Harley Quinn.

But it seems that approach hasn’t worked for a lot of the other books they launched, and the new costume-less “everyone knows he’s Clark Kent” Superman just hasn’t been selling the way they wanted it to, just as one example. DC’s Dan Didio has allegedly told his editors to “stop Batgirling” books that don’t need it, and go back to the tried and true formula on most of their comics.

Another rumor floating around says that DC is also going back to a tighter continuity again, and although Batgirl and Harley Quinn and certain books where that approach worked are being left alone, expect Superman back in the cape and Wonder Woman back in the bathing suit sooner rather than later, and a less overall experimental, Image Comics-style vibe coming from DC once again. If true, this is unfortunate, because I think DC was showing a lot of forward thinking in their new approach. But at the end of the day, comics fans are more conservative than you might believe. [Bleeding Cool]

New Jack Kirby Exhibit Comes To Southern California

If you read this column and are a comics fan at all, then you know the importance of the late Jack Kirby to the comic book industry as a whole. And if you happen to be in the Southern California area for the next month, you’ll be able to see some of the master’s work on display. Opening this week and continuing until October 10, Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby at CSU Northridge’s main gallery is the largest ever display of Kirby’s original artwork to be held in America, and is being curated by Professor Chris Hatfield, who teaches CSU’s own Comics and Graphic Novels course.

Comic Book Apocalypse will mostly focus on Kirby’s sci-fi and superhero artwork after 1965,which many agree was the pinnacle of Kirby’s career at Marvel and later, DC Comics, where he created the New Gods mythology. The gallery will showcase artwork for all of his professional career, including all publishers, of which there were many aside from the big two that he contributed art to over the years. You can find out more about the exhibit by clicking on this link here. [Comic Book Resources]

451 Media Group Introduces New Immersive Digital Comics

Did you ever wish Transformers and Bad Boys director Michael Bay would bring his talents to the world of comics? No? Well, too bad, because the man behind Pearl Harbor and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, through his 451 Media Group, has announced its plans to produce printed graphic novels that feature digital video accompaniments for mobile and tablet devices. These comics will debut at this year’s New York Comic Con with a sneak peek on Machinima.

Using Touchcode technology, the ink used in the printing process will enable readers to use their touch-screen-enabled devices to unlock exclusive content. While my “I’m an old man/get off my lawn” knee-jerk reaction is to say comics are just fine the way they are and don’t need all that extra bells and whistles thank you very much, if you watch the video below you’ll see that it’s actually kind of cool. And if Michael Bay’s name wasn’t attached, admit it: you’d be way more excited about it. [CBR]

New Brian K. Vaughn/Marcos Martin series from Panel Syndicate Teased

Panel Syndicate, the digital publisher created by Marcos Martín and Brian K. Vaughan, released a teaser on Twitter this week showing that the creative team behind the 10 issue series “Private Eye” is embarking on some kind of all new project. When a fan asked if it was a new series, their reply didn’t leave much room for interpretation, as they simply said “Indeed.” No other details were given, but a new book from this creative team is reason enough to get stoked a little bit ahead of time.  [Panel Syndicate]

Marvel Announces Full New Uncanny X-Men line-up

Of the many new X-Men titles being launched this fall with All-New Marvel, maybe the most exciting is the new Uncanny X-Men series from writer Cullen Bunn, which features a team of, shall we say, less than polite mutants like Sabretooth, Mystique, Fantomex, and Psylocke, all led by the X-Men’s former #1 adversary Magneto. Now Marvel has revealed the cover to the first issue from artist Greg Land, which showcases two more new members: former Generation X and X-Factor member M, and Archangel.

What’s interesting about seeing Archangel in the lineup is that the former horseman of Apocalypse shed his razor sharp wings and became a version of his old feathery self, with no memory at all of his former life, in the pages of Uncanny X-Force a few years back. Now he’s seemingly back in his razor-winged glory. How exactly he goes back to his more badass persona is a mystery, but with his younger time-travelling feather-winged version still out there in All-New X-Men, Marvel probably wanted to differentiate between the two in a more obvious way (not to mention we’ll be seeing the razor-winged Warren Worthington in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse movie). You can check out Greg Land’s cover for Uncanny X-Men #1 below. [Comic Book Resources]

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