Buy Digital: Top DC Graphic Novels

American Vampire Vol. 1
Green Lantern Rebirth
Batman: Earth One Vol. 1
Identity Crisis
Superman for Tomorrow
Sandman Vol. 1
Justice League Vol. 1
All-Star Batman and Robin
Before Watchmen MinutemenSilk Spectre
Superman Secret Identity
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1
The Death of Superman
Daytripper Vol. 1
Batman and Robin Vol. 1
Superman Last Son of Krypton
Infinite Crisis
Batman Dark Victory
Batman The Dark Knight Strikes Again
Superman Birthright
Punk Rock Jesus
Batman The Court of Owls Vol. 1
Blackest Night
Batman Knightfall
Before Watchmen Nite Owl Dr Manhattan
The Killing Joke
Superman: Earth One Vol. 2
V for Vendetta
The Girl with TheDragon Tattoo Book 1
Final Crisis
Fables Vol. 1
Superman: Earth One Vol. 1
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 2
Batman The Long Halloween
Batman The Dark Knight Returns
Before Watchmen Comedian Rorschach
Before Watchmen Ozymandias Crimson Corsair
Batman Year One
Batman Inc. Vol. 1
Arkham Asylum
Kingdom Come
All-Star Superman
Batman Inc. Vol. 1 Deluxe
Sep 142012

Story: Liz Ohanesian

Photos: Shannon Cottrell

The first thing you’ll see when you walk into the lobby of  Stoopid Buddy Stoodios are the chickens. There are two fowl figures at the front desk, one large, one small, both with mechanical appendages. Just as Disney is forever associated with the Mouse, so will Stoopid Buddy have an eternal connection to the chicken, that is, the Robot Chicken.

Housed in two large buildings on the same Burbank block, Stoopid Buddy is an animation studio founded by Seth Green and Matt Senreich, creators of Robot Chicken and the production company Stoopid Monkey, along with John Harvatine IV and Eric Towner of the animation team, Buddy Systems. They opened last February, but are already making a lot of cartoons here, including some of the “Spy vs. Spy” bits for Cartoon Network’s animated MAD series, and the College Humor show Dinosaur Office.

Robot Chicken is the cornerstone of this company, occupying a good 16 or 17 of the 25 animation stages available in the building. Season six of the hit series, which premieres Sunday, is actually the first season of Robot Chicken to be made by Stoopid Buddy. However, many of the 9-to-5 inhabitants of this animation compound are familiar faces. It is, after all, owned by the show’s creators and two of its former animators. Many of the 70 people on staff here have been with the show for several seasons. Stoopid Buddy is ready for business and it’s all because of a few guys who are really into toys.
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Sep 122012

Photo by Shannon Cottrell

Have you ever wondered how Adult Swim’s Emmy and Annie-winning hit series Robot Chicken is made? Hard Road to Rad correspondents Liz and Shannon did, so they headed down to Stoopid Buddy Stoodios last week  to learn more. Stay tuned because this Friday, Hard Road to Rad goes behind-the-scenes of Robot Chicken.


Sep 102012

Story: Liz Ohanesian

Photos: Shannon Cottrell

Take a minute to think back to the late 1990s. SHAG’s paintings of mid-20th century scenes were all the rage and a new hit cartoon called The Powerpuff Girls brought an unusual retro-modern style to the small screen. Sanrio was now popular with more than just little girls and Paul Frank’s character, Julius the Monkey, was popping up on wallets across the country. Clean designs and cute characters were everywhere from CD covers to make-up packaging.

It was Paul Frank, in particular, whose work influenced a teenager in the Southern California city of Temecula. Michelle Romo wanted to do what he did, create adorable characters that could mark all sorts of products. “But,” she points out in the living room of her Eagle Rock home, “I didn’t know anything about anything because I was 18.”

Romo had an advantage in that her mom, a graphic designer, was making the transition from working by hand to working with a computer. As her mom learned programs like Illustrator, so did teenage Romo.
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Aug 272012

My Little Pony © Hasbro
Ponies by TOUMA & 6%dokidoki

Story: Liz Ohanesian

Photos: Shannon Cottrell

“Being passionate about something is what helps it be good,” says Caro, founder of the artist management company Sweet Streets and the woman behind a lot of the coolest art events we’ve seen these past few years. “There’s no way I could do what I’m doing without really loving it and being obsessed with art.”

Known professionally by a diminutive form of her first name (Caroline), Caro stumbled upon what she loved and ran with it. Now she manages five artists, including L.A. sensation Luke Chueh and Japan’s Shojono Tomo, and is working closely with Hasbro on the touring art event My Little Pony Project.

When Caro was a child in Miami, she wanted to be an animator and an artist, so she did what was necessary to break into that field. She studied traditional animation and illustration in art school, then headed to Los Angeles for her break. She actually did start working in animation, first as a production assistant and then as a background painter at Nickelodeon Animation Studios. After a lot of long hours  spent painting on her computer, Caro realized making cartoons wasn’t what she wanted to do after all.

“It was a really rewarding job, but it wasn’t for me,” she says. “I need more interaction.”
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Aug 202012


Story: Liz Ohanesian

Photo: Shannon Cottrell

Doc Hammer gets recognized a lot, especially at San Diego Comic-Con. Sometimes they just shout out “Go Team Venture!” or “Doc Hammer!” Other times, they want to exchange pleasantries, maybe grab a cell phone photo. He stopped for one photo op as we tried to catch a hotel escalator. Even after we found a relatively secluded spot behind one of the convention hotels, someone approached him to find out if he was, indeed, Doc Hammer. A couple more people did really obvious double-takes.
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Aug 132012

Story: Liz Ohanesian

Photos: Shannon Cottrell

It’s the Wednesday after San Diego Comic-Con and dozens of people are filtering in and out of Meltdown Comics. The events of the past weekend creep into one conversation after the next. In the back of the shop, author/editor Robb Pearlman and I are recounting annual convention– Firefly, Adventure Time, and a few nostalgic nerd moments.

“Every year there’s this one booth and their tablecloth is the Superman sheets I had as a kid,” says Pearlman. “Every year I take the same picture of it and it’s comforting and heartwarming.”

An SDCC regularly, Pearlman goes to the convention primarily for work. He’s an editor for Rizzoli and also heads up the New York publishing house’s calendar division. He goes to SDCC in part to see how people are reacting to certain media franchises, particularly Rizzoli’s licensors. (They’ve released calendars for Game of Thrones and True Blood.) But, he’s also there to check out stuff he personally likes, such as “really cool action figures.”
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Aug 062012

Story: Liz Ohanesian

Photos: Shannon Cottrell

John Kricfalusi, also known as John K., still remembers the first cartoon he saw that made him want to create animated stories. It was Mr. Magoo. Specifically, it was the opening sequence of the UPA cartoon, when the incredibly nearsighted Mr. Magoo stares through the two Os in his last name as though they’re spectacles.  “All of a sudden his eyes pop open and he sees the audience,” Kricfalusi recalls.

He was only four or five when he caught the cartoon at a matinee in Germany, where his family was living at the time, but Mr. Magoo made a profound impact on the little boy who would grow up to create one of the best loved cartoon series of the 1990s. “I didn’t analyze, I just knew that this is very different from the world that I had been existing in,” says Kricfalusi of the experience. “This was a magical world. I wanted to be one of these magicians.”
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Jul 302012

Story: Liz Ohanesian

Photos: Shannon Cottrell

Zoetica Ebb is woman of many talents. Her art has appeared in galleries across Los Angeles. She’s contributed illustrations to projects like Occupy Comics. Her writing and photography has appeared in publications like ChinaShop. Ebb also co-founded the influential magazine Coilhouse and founded the popular personal style blog, Biorequiem. She’s an artist with a discerning sense of style and a keen eye for emerging cultural movements. Now she’s joining forces with New York event planner Shien Lee, whose party Dances of Vice helped usher in a new wave of high-concept, after dark entertainment, for the adventure of a lifetime. They’re on a mission to explore Beijing’s youth-centric, art-heavy subcultures for a series of video travel guides, called The Secret Guide to Alternative Beijing.  In order for that to happen, they need to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter by August 23.

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Jul 262012


From John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren and Stimpy, comes “Cans Without Labels”, a George Liquor Cartoon.

Pledge here:

Jul 232012

Story: Liz Ohanesian

Photos: Shannon Cottrell


On the first official day of San Diego Comic-Con, Franki Chan and his IHEARTCOMIX street team were dispersed across the Convention Center and Gaslamp Quarter. They strategically placed posters on walls and light posts and handed out flyers by the armload. The zombified image of Andrew W.K., illustrated by Chan himself, was near inescapable at the convention. Back in L.A., the IHEARTCOMIX interns were busy hitting up web forums and emailing blogs with links. The following night, W.K. would be headlining IHEARTCOMIX’s Comic-Con party. The only way you wouldn’t know about this is if you were oblivious.
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