Sakai + Schweizer present a new Usagi Yojimbo ornament for 2022

Usagi and Tomoe share a snowy moment in the latest limited-edition wooden ornament.

Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai has once again teamed up with artist and woodworking expert Chris Schweizer to offer a Christmas ornament featuring Sakai’s signature creation — and his signature, too, if you’d like.

This is the third year that they’ve offered an ornament featuring the samurai rabbit in a seasonal pose — this time he’s also joined by Tomoe. While Sakai provided the artwork, Schweizer handcrafted each wooden piece. When he’s not drawing comics like The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton, Schweizer creates and sells wooden pieces and papercraft, like this Die Hard Christmas ornament, this collection of Santas from around the world and this Lord of the Rings chess set.

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Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game officially launches in 2023

Marvel will release a core rulebook and an adventure featuring Kang next summer.

Following the release of the “playtest rulebook” this past spring, Marvel has announced plans to release the core rulebook for their Marvel Multiverse table-top role-playing game next June. That’ll be followed by an adventure book titled The Cataclysm of Kang next July.

If you’re confused, don’t be — the previously released rulebook was essentially a beta test of the new gaming system, allowing Marvel to get feedback from players before releasing the final rules.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with the volume and quality of the feedback the narrators and players gave us on the Playtest Rulebook, and we truly took it to heart for in the core rulebook,” game co-designer Matt Forbeck told Marvel.com. “We have a huge playtest update coming out soon that streamlines the game and makes it even easier to understand and play. I can’t wait for fans to try it out ahead of the full release of these books next summer!” 

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Harley + Ivy adorn these new Pumas designed by Jen Bartel

DC’s power couple appear on shoes and shirts designed by the artist, which can be found on the Foot Locker website.

Puma has released a new collection of shoes and shirts designed by artist Jen Bartel featuring Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. The shoes went on sale on the Foot Locker website and in select Foot Locker stores earlier today.

“This collab was truly a labor of love that started nearly 2 years ago, and of all the collections I’ve had the opportunity to design for Puma, it’s definitely my favorite,” Bartel said in her Substack newsletter. “Very excited to finally be able to share it with you in full!”

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Belgium celebrates their comic heritage in their new passport designs

Tintin, the Smurfs and more populate the new design.

Comic fans in Belgium are getting a fun new treat — their government commissioned French design and engineering consultancy Thales Group and Belgian tech company Zetes to redesign their passports, incorporating in comic strip artwork featuring Tintin, the Smurfs and more.

Hergé’s The Adventures of Tintin and Peyo’s The Smurfs both originated in Belgium, and Tintin, his dog Snowy and companion Captain Haddock can be found in the new design. The Smurfs, meanwhile, can be found studying a globe and strolling across the Earth.

Check out this video to see more:

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Ohioan launches ‘Banned Books Box’ subscription service

The first month’s box will include a copy of ‘Gender Queer,’ along with a lapel pin designed by creator Maia Kobabe.

Ariel Hakim, a librarian former library reference associate in Northeast Ohio, has put a timely spin on the subscription box idea with the Banned Books Box, which delivers banned books and graphic novels to your door each month.

And December’s selection couldn’t come at a better time; it’ll feature Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, a graphic novel that has been making headlines recently in Virginia, Michigan and Florida as school districts face a barrage of criticism from overzealous parents for including it on their library shelves. (Kobabe recently responded to critics in a write-up published by the Washington Post).

“Maia wrote this graphic novel that parents of high schoolers have found in the school library and been completely vocal about how offended they are by some of the images,” Hakim told Cleveland Scene. “Maia wrote it to explain to family members about what non-binary means. Maia came out as queer and then several years as non-binary. When I decided that this was the book I wanted to use, I emailed the agent to see about getting signed books, and we got some book plates, and then Maia designed an enamel pin that will be one of the pieces of the book box. I like the book a lot, and I think it’s entertaining and educational. I love memoirs. Just reading anyone else’s story written in a sincere way is something I will always enjoy.”

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Sakai and Schweizer re-team for a new Usagi Yojimbo ornament

The hand-crafted wooden ornament is limited to 200 pieces.

Stan Sakai and Chris Schweizer have teamed up again to offer a Christmas ornament featuring Sakai’s signature creation Usagi Yojimbo (and his signature, too, if you’d like).

This is the second year that the duo have teamed for an ornament featuring a festive version of the samurai rabbit. While Sakai provided the artwork, Schweizer handcrafted each wooden piece. When he’s not drawing comics like The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton, Schweizer creates and sells wooden pieces and papercraft, like this Die Hard Christmas ornament and this collection of Santas from around the world.

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UK’s Royal Mail will issue DC stamps later this month

Jim Cheung’s artwork will grace envelopes across the United Kingdom starting Sept. 17.

After battling Darkseid and saving the multiverse multiple times over, the Justice League’s next task should be somewhat easier — ensuring mail is delivered across the United Kingdom.

Royal Mail provides mail service across the UK, and beginning Sept. 17, they will issue stamps featuring artist Jim Cheung’s renditions of several Batman characters as well as the Justice League. Characters range from Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to Shazam!, Supergirl, Batwoman, Joker and even Alfred.

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‘Marvel Multiverse’ tabletop RPG coming next year

Marvel will introduce the D616 System of play in 2022’s ‘Playtest Rulebook’ and look for fan feedback before the game’s official launch in 2023.

Marvel is getting back into role-playing games next year, as they’ve teamed up with author/game designer Matt Forbeck (Shotguns & Sorcery RPG, The Marvel Encyclopedia) to create the Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game.

They’ll start with the “Playtest Rulebook,” which will define the rules of play — the cleverly titled “D616 System” — and include profiles so fans can play as their Marvel favorites or create their own Marvel hero. According to Marvel, they’ll be looking for feedback from fans on the playtest rules before the game’s full release in 2023.

“As a lifelong Marvel fan and gamer, this project is a dream come true,” Forbeck told Marvel.com. “Fortunately, after writing a couple editions of The Marvel Encyclopedia and designing tabletop games professionally for over 30 years, I feel ready to help make this the best Marvel TTRPG experience ever. I can’t wait for everyone to have the chance to play it!” 

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Callen channels classic comics art in his new T-shirt shop

Buy shirts featuring Spacehawk, Stardust, Fantomah and more.

MAD contributor and Dirtnap creator Kerry Callen has set up an online store where he’s selling T-shirts he’s designed — and he’s channeling some classic comics in doing so.

“I love reading old, public domain comics, and I often wish I had a cool shirt or two,” Callen said on his blog. “Not a mere old panel on product, but something actually DESIGNED. So, I decided to make a few myself and place them on TeePublic.”

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McAvoy, Egerton, Dennings + more to voice ‘Sandman’ audiobook

The classic Vertigo series comes to Audible in July.

James McAvoy, Kat Dennings, Taron Egerton and Neil Gaiman himself will bring The Sandman to Audible this summer in the first of several audio editions of the classic Vertigo comic series.

It’s an inspired cast, as McAvoy voices Morpheus, Dennings becomes Death and Egerton takes on what should be a fun role, John Constantine. They’re joined by Michael Sheen as Lucifer, Samantha Morton as Urania Blackwell, Riz Ahmed as the Corinthian, Andy Serkis as Matthew the Raven, Bebe Neuwirth as the Siamese Cat and Gaiman as the Narrator. The production will be directed by Dirk Maggs, while Gaiman will also serve as Gaiman as creative director and executive producer.

Check out the rest of the cast below:

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Look (and sound) great with Brosseau’s comic book sound effect artwork and shirts

Pat Brosseau brings the sounds of comics to your torso or your wall.

Certain sound effects have become iconic in comics, whether it’s the “Snikt!” of Wolverine’s claws are the “BOOM!” of a New Gods Boom Tube. Letter artist Pat Brosseau, who has created such sound effects for many a comic, is now selling shirts and other merchandise featuring some of these sounds in an online store.

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Mattel announces Storm, Dark Phoenix, and Mystique X-Men Barbie Dolls

We mutants can do anything, right Barbie?

During the first day of the San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel and Mattel announced a new line of X-Men Barbie dolls, which include Storm, Dark Phoenix and Mystique. The dolls are a part of the celebration of the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics.

The dolls will be sold exclusively through GameStop, retailing for $54.99 USD each and are slated to be released in October. Preorders are open now. Here are the descriptions of each from their website:

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