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The CBR Tiki Room is coming together!

Opens Friday at WonderCon in Anaheim!

The ultimate Captain America painting and Thundercats WOAH!

As I was doing some holiday shopping this past weekend I stopped by Wacko/Soap Plant on Sunset — one of the best gift shops in all of Los Angeles. They’re also home to the La Luz De Jesus Gallery, which currently has an amazing exhibition of Rob Burden’s epic action figure portraits. Presented in an over-sized, museum style format, they’re incredibly eye catching. But two in particular definitely caught my attention.

Captain America - DEAD!

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Is Hamlet ripping off Marvel? Srsly!

This weekend I stopped by a friend’s home for dinner. She just came back from London and was raving about seeing the latest production of HAMLET starring Michael Sheen at the Young Vic. Having read loads of Shakespeare back in High School, she knew I’d find the interpretation fascinating, but when she handed me the playbill for the production I was suddenly interested for another reason entirely.

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A Look Inside the CBR Cubby

At CBR’s Global Headquarters in Hollywood, CA, we’ve got a weird little part of the office that creates a small little cubby hole of sorts. When we built the office we decided to make it an area where we could display a bunch of the crappy Tijuana knock-off statues we’ve collected over the years. Here’s a look at it.

We’ve got all sorts of fun (AKA crappy) statues in there, such as the Thing, Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Optimus Prime, Wall-E and more! But there’s one shelf we here at CBR are particularly proud of. Here’s a look at it.

Thank you!

And yes, oddly, the 2009 statue is actually about 5% smaller than the 2011 statue.

BLACKHAWKS writer Mike Costa joins the DC Comics New 52 Wrap Party tonight in Hollywood

I just received confirmation that New 52 “Blackhawks” writer Mike Costa will join us tonight at the DC Comics New 52 Wrap Party at Golden Apple Comics in Hollywood!

Blackhawks #1

Who else could show up tonight? Who knows, but we have nine creators confirmed as of right now! Check out the full list of New 52 creators in attendance!. You don’t want to miss this party!

One more reason why you should come to tonight’s DC Comics New 52 Wrap Party

By now you’ve certainly hear about the DC Comics New 52 Wrap Party that’s taking place tonight courtesy of Comic Book Resources & Golden Apple Comics Hollywood. It’s going to be a fantastic night with eight amazing creators there to celebrate the launch of the New 52. In addition, there will be prizes and raffles, including this EXTREMELY rare signed baseball cap!

DC New 52 Signed Baseball Cap

Come to Golden Apple Comics tonight and join the fun!

Getting Ready for the DC Comics New 52 Wrap Party

So we’re getting ready for the DC Comics New 52 Wrap Party in Los Angeles Friday night, co-hosted by CBR & Golden Apple Comics. Follow the link for all the details! Today I’ve spent my afternoon printing out 13×19 poster sized versions of comic covers and artwork from books that will be represented at Friday night. Here they all are, side-by-side.

All of these posters will be mounted on foam core and we’ll have them around the studio tomorrow night when we’re filming our video interviews.

DC Comics

Gotta say, I love that Epson Stylus Photo R1900 printer — if you’re looking for a large format color printer with amazing quality, this is the one for you.

Again, that party is Friday, September 30th at Golden Apple Comics in Hollywood — be sure to stop by!

CCI: Jim Lee on the CBR Yacht!

Hey folks,

It’s time we started rolling out some photos of guests who came out to the CBR Yacht during Comic-Con International in San Diego! 2011 was our biggest year ever — the site saw it’s best convention traffic ever, we had our largest team of reporters and support staff ever and had more guests out to the yacht than ever before (I BELIEVE the count is 45, but I had to double check that). It certainly was the busiest convention I remember in recent memory — oh, and we won’t a little Eisner award (thanks!), too! It certainly ranks up there as one of the best Comic-Con’s I’ve been to in 19 years and I hope they just keep getting better.

One thing we were much more diligent about this year compared to years past is documenting all the guests that came out to the yacht. So, once a day until we’re out of photos I’m going to share a photo with you of one of our wonderful guests. First up, since we’re running his interview today, is DC Comics Co-Publisher and artist on Justice League Jim Lee, who was interview by CBR News Editor Kiel Phegley. More photos tomorrow — every day for some time — at 3:00 PM Pacific.

Sincerely,

Jonah Weiland
Executive Producer, Comic Book Resources

Jim Lee & Kiel Phegley

The CBR Relaunch – Day Three Notes

Ok, so here we are on Day 3 of our relaunch and wow, it’s been another crazy day of bug fixes and planning.

To begin with, it’s the first day we ran the relaunched home page with a reskin and that caused a display issue with our video feature box in the latest version of Chrome and in some versions of Firefox. In the process of fixing this, we caused another problem that a number of you complained about of a jCarousel query causing some sort of infinite loop that would send us all into the sun and be the destruction of the planet! Well, nothing quite so dramatic, but it was causing a Javascript error for some of you. I’m happy to report the video feature box has definitely been fixed and the jCarousel query should also be fixed. If you’re still getting that weird error, try flushing your cache once again, but hopefully it won’t come to that.

We also discovered a major performance issue caused by our feature scroller. Some of you may have noticed it would physically slow your computer down by upwards of 50%. YIKES! We did some testing, some banging and were able to fix this. The home page should no longer cause any slow downs with your computer’s performance. I’ve done some extensive testing and now the site is much faster.

OK, the Twitter Widget – yeah, it’s broken and we’re looking at it. We know a lot of you check it out, so that’s a priority. If it’s not fixed soon, we’ll take it off production and bring it back once things are fixed.

What else are we working on? Well, we’ve brought in that second team and they’re working on installing numerous Ajax solutions to help increase home page download time. This should be one of the most significant improvements, especially for those of you browsing the site on your phones. They’ll also implement a number of behind the scenes improvements you really don’t care to know about, but they have ways to serve the pages micro-seconds faster across the board, which adds up.

Now, let’s talk iPhones/iPads. The new home page, as it’s currently set up, is performing better on the iPad and iPhone than it was two days ago. We’ve made a number of changes, including a temporary fix on our feature scroller that was causing really odd display issues when it would jump from one story to the other. We’re looking in to this further to see if we can have it work my more smoothly moving forward, but for the mean time the temp fix will do the trick. Additionally, when we get these Ajax solutions in place, the home page will download MUCH faster on those 3G iPhones and Android phones you all love. Give us a week or so to deploy that. We’ll get it done, then we’ll start addressing other ways we can get the site to work better on mobile devices (including the mobile version of the site, which we’ll work on post Comic-Con).

The other thing we worked on Wednesday was get that new server ordered and DAMN is it a fast machine. We currently have CBR running behind a pretty heavy cache, but this new machine might allow us to get out from behind that, requiring no caching what so ever. Regardless, the new machine really kicks butt and even if we have to maintain the caching will REALLY kick butt.

I’ve been responding to every one of your e-mails, responding to concerns posted on Twitter and our own message boards. The good news is the majority of feedback I’ve received has been very positive, but there are those of you who don’t like the changes and I can appreciate that. Just know that we’re taking all your comments under consideration and we’re not going to be done until the performance is at a place I deem satisfactory and the presentation is just perfect (I think we’re almost there on this point, with some minor adjustments yet to come).

Thanks again for your patience. I’ll continue to update you on our progress as I have news to share.

Sincerely,

Jonah Weiland, @jonahweiland
Executive Producer, ComicBookResources.com

The CBR Relaunch – Day Two Notes

Day two of the CBR Relaunch has begun and I think we’re in a better place than we were at 3:00 PM on Monday.

A number of changes have been made based on your day 1 feedback. First and foremost, apologies to our Internet Explorer users. We did not do enough browser testing with IE before our relaunch and that’s a mistake we’ll never make again. There were code compatibility issues and we now believe we’ve fixed all of them. If you’re still seeing issues, flush your cache and try loading the home page once again. If you’re STILL having issues, drop an e-mail to bugs (AT) comicbookresources (dot) com and we’ll get that sorted for you. Your feedback is absolutely encouraged and invaluable in improving our site for all readers.

One note – we will no longer be able to support the IE 6 browser. Heck, even Microsoft is no longer supporting IE 6. Thankfully, only 3% of our IE using readers are still on IE 6, so this should not be a problem for the overwhelming majority of you.

We had a number of Chrome users e-mail us about home page display issues. The good news is there’s a very simple fix – flush your cache! We’ve double checked the site on Chrome using both PCs and Macs and it looks beautiful! The same goes for Firefox – when in doubt, clear the cache!

What else? There’ve been a number of other changes made to the site today, specifically to fonts and some layout that needed cleaning up. We’ve also cut down on the number of images and stories loading on the home page, which has helped homepage performance quite a bit. That being said it’s still taking too long to load the entire home page. So, earlier today I spoke with an excellent Los Angeles Web development firm who’s going to join our dev team to focus on exactly these problems, employing a variety of technologies to help increase page load times.

CBR itself gets a little present as well — we’ve gone ahead and purchased a new server for the main site. The last time we upgraded the CBR server was February of 2008, so it’s definitely time! This new server is MASSIVELY faster, which will also contribute to speeding things up! It will take us about a week to get this new server online, so bear with us please.

That’s it for today’s update. As we continue to tighten things up around here and make changes, I’ll keep you posted. Please feel free to leave us feedback on Facebook, Twitter, by e-mail or in the comments section below.

Before I let you go, got some big news for you all later this week about our Comic-Con coverage this year! I know, I’m a big tease, but keep your eyes on CBR for the latest. Can’t wait to get down to San Diego!

Sincerely,

Jonah Weiland, @jonahweiland
Executive Producer, ComicBookResources.com

TERRA NOVA’s Jason O’Mara At WonderCon & CBR

During WonderCon in San Francisco this year, “Terra Nova” stars Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang stopped by the CBR Tiki Room to talk about the new FOX TV show. Today, we discovered this behind-the-scenes style video that Jason shot himself while at WonderCon, which includes his stop in the CBR Tiki Room — fun little view of the show from celebrity guest angle.

Some Notes on CBR’s Updated Design

Hey Folks,

As most of you have already seen, we pushed out some big design upgrades to the site today. While I’d love to report it went without incident, those of you who visit the site multiple times in one day (and thank you for that!) know we had our troubles. When we launched at 9:00 AM Pacific, we ran in to serious performance issues. So after 75 minutes of kicking things, we reverted back to the old site and went to work. We found some areas where we could cut down on server load and around 3:00 PM Pacific we pushed out the changes and here we are!

Some of you have reported problems with the new layout looking seriously funky in your browser. This is due to how your browser caches the style sheets on the site. In order to fix that problem, you’ll need to “force refresh” your browser or clear your cache. Simply pressing reload won’t do it. For instance, Mac users using Firefox should press Command-R to force the page to reload everything, which will solve any display issues you may have. And if the reports we’ve received are any indication, it appears that Chrome seems to have the biggest issues – trust us, the site does look normal in Chrome, but you may need to seriously kick your browser in order to get it to refresh its cache properly.

Now that the changes are live, we know there are some performance and minor display issues (especially on Windows using IE) that must be addressed. Load times on the home page are too long right now and we’ll have a solution for that in the coming days. We beg your patience and understanding as we move forward with this next phase of CBR!

We’ve actually been working on this redesign for about two months now and the primary reason behind this change was to present more information on the home page. The old home page was designed back in early 2008 when CBR had one blog and we published 5-8 stories a day. Here we are in June, 2011 and now we have three active blogs (and a fourth one, this one, that’s a bit less active), publish about 20 stories a day, 5+ reviews and 5+ previews daily. That’s a lot of content and we needed to find a better way to show it to our readers.

Thanks again for your continued support and as I have updates on our progress I’ll post them here. Thanks again and more details to come.

Sincerely,

Jonah Weiland, @jonahweiland
Executive Producer, ComicBookResources.com

UPDATE: After talking with Chrome users who’ve experienced problems with the new home page, we’ve found that a force refresh generally doesn’t do the trick and a clearing of cache does. So, if you’re still having issues in Chrome, try that.

Also, we’ve received a number of reports from IE users about blue background with red type on the home page, which absolutely shouldn’t be that way. If you’re an IE user on XP and things are looking fine, let us know. This may be a browser compatibility issue and we’re looking in to this.

Marvel’s Heroes celebrate the NBA Champion…Miami Heat?

Those of you that are more sports inclined know full well that this year’s NBA Champions are the Dallas Mavericks, who dispatched the Miami Heat in six games (it really wasn’t even that close). It was a stunning upset for a team that was expected to go all-the-way when they added Chris Bosh and LeBron James along side superstar Dwayne Wade to the team last off-season, but Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and the gang proved too damn strong for them and, well, basically ruined their summer vacation. Marvel’s not making the Heat’s break any easier.

Farhan Abdullah was browsing a Miami area WalMart today and snapped this pic of a piece of merchandise that was probably meant to be sent to a third-world country, not the show room floor.

Marvel Congratulates the Miami Heat!

Sorry, Hulk — you backed the wrong team.

Thanks to Farhan for letting us reprint his photo and to Kate Stanton for the bringing it to our attention!

Buffy wines at Golden Apple

A Buffy signing Jane Espenso and Georges Jeanty is about to go off at Golden Apple in Hollywood and here’s a look at the custom bottle of wine they made for the occasion.

I have been chosen! The Green Lantern ring has arrived!

Received a fun bit of movie marketing in the mail today. It appears that I have been selected as the new Green Lantern of sector 2814 — take that, Hal Jordan!

Sitting on my desk as I entered my office today was a box from Warner Bros. I opened it up to find a bunch of green tissue paper — clearly we’re talking Green Lantern now.

When I opened the box, I found a DVD and a lovely little ring box. The DVD just had the latest trailer, but the real prize was inside the ring box — at first I thought, “Wow, Warner Bros. is asking me to marry them. I’m not sure I’m ready for a commitment.” But once I got over my commitment phobia, I opened the box to find the precious, err, the ring inside!

The ring is illuminated by a green LED, which really adds to the effect. The ring itself has a metal band with an emerald green plastic in the familiar Green Lantern shape. Even outside the LED, the “crystal” has a nice bit of glow to it. And on the inside is inscribed the name of the movie and the release date.

Also on the inscription it says, “Jonah, you are awesome and we want you in the Corps. Bad! Please, help us defend the galaxy! It’ll be awesome!” But no one else in the office today seems to be able to see that same inscription. Clearly it’s because the ring chose me!

Seriously, fun little bit of movie marketing. Thanks, WB!

LUCID Signing at Golden Apple Comics

LUCID letterer Shawn DePasquale (left) and writer Michael McMillian appear at Golden Apple Comics in LA for an advance release party.

Viagra Man? Please say it ain’t so.

I’ve seen super hero style imagery used to promote any number of items over the years and with the rise of super heroes in popular culture, we’ve seen much more of it recently. Some of it good, most of it embarrassing.

This past weekend I found myself in Ensenada, Mexico and as I walked down a street in their down town I passed this pharmacy who found a unique way to promote one of the many drugs they sell. Is this Viagra Man’s Fortress of Solidness? His Boner Cave? The Wang Watchtower?

I apologize for inflicting those horridly cliched jokes on you, but I think you can understand knowing I had to experience this bit of advertising.

FCBD 2011 in the South Bay

We’re still playing catch-up with more FCBD photos. Here’s a few snap-shots from various stores in and around San Jose, CA/ South Bay Area: Hijinx Comics, Black Cat Comics, Heroes, and Illusive Comics & Games. Illusive being the store in which writer James Robinson came to sign comics and chop it up with fans.

Ladies & Gentlemen, the BatMacTruck!

A couple of weeks back I posted some photos our good friend and CBR Video director Lincoln Morrison sent us from his trip to Bolivia. While those were some fun examples of knock off comics merchandise, this latest batch of photos is even better. As Lincoln was making his way around the country, he passed by this DC Comics inspired truck and took some quick shots for us to share with you. We’ve all heard of the Batmobile, but this BatMackTruck is something entirely new to me! Love it!

Batman, keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ …

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