Prince To Release Two New Albums On September 30, 2014

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It’s been four years since Prince’s last new album, 2010’s 20Ten, marking the longest stretch he’s gone between new releases in his entire career. Making up for lost time, the legendary rocker has announced not one, but two new LPs, both of which will be released on September 30, 2014

Art Official Age, a solo album, consists of a 13-song tracklist. Over the last year or so, Prince has previewed a number of the tracks, including Breakdown, Breakfast Can Wait, This Could Be Us and Funknroll.

PlectrumElectrum meanwhile, marks the debut album from Prince and his band 3rdEyeGirl. This record contains 12 tracks. Of these, we’ve heard Pretzelbodylogic and Fixurlifeup. The album also includes an alternate version of Funknroll.

Pre-orders for both albums are now available via Prince’s website and include an entry to a flyaway trip to a special Prince concert at Paisley Park in October.

In the coming months, Price will also release a 30th Anniversary Reissue of his seminal LP, Purple Rain.

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Judge This By Chip Kidd

First impressions are everything. They dictate whether something stands out, how we engage with it, whether we buy it, and how we feel. In Judge This, renowned designer Chip Kidd takes us through his day as he takes in first impressions of all kinds. We follow this visual journey as Kidd encounters and engages with everyday design, breaking down the good, the bad, the absurd, and the brilliant as only someone with a critical, trained eye can. From the design of your morning paper to the subway ticket machine to the books you browse to the smartphone you use to the packaging for the chocolate bar you buy as an afternoon treat, Kidd reveals the hidden secrets behind each of the design choices, with a healthy dose of humor, expertise, and of course, judgment as he goes.

Judge This is a design love story, exposing the often invisible beauty and betrayal in simple design choices—ones most of us never even think to notice. And with each object, Kidd proves that first impressions, whether we realize it or not, have a huge impact on the way we perceive the world.

The 120 page hardcover will be released on May 5, 2015.

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Stephen King Announces Revival Tour Dates & Cities

On November 11th, Stephen King will embark on a six-city book tour to promote the release of Revival. The tour begins in New York City and continues through Washington DC, Kansas City, Wichita, Austin and South Portland. Dates and Cities listed here.

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Marvel Covers Artist’s Edition Hardcover

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Marvel Comics is the home of some of the greatest and most iconic cover images in the history of comics.  The Marvel Covers Artist’s Edition hardcover ($100) will feature an amazing “Best of” selection of gorgeous covers by a veritable who’s who of the medium.  Arthur Adams, Gene Colan, Jack Kirby, Frank Miller, John Romita, Jim Starlin, Jim Steranko and many more!

Brought to you by the same team responsible for the Eisner Award-winning Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer: Artist’s Edition and Wally Wood’s EC Stories: Artist’s Edition.

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Action Comics’ #1 Sells For Record $3.2 Million

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The finest known copy of Action Comics #1, featuring the first appearance of Superman, sold late this afternoon on eBay for a record $3.2 million. It’s the first comic to fetch more than $3 million at auction.

The previous record price of $2.16 million was paid in 2011 for a copy of the same comic once owned by actor Nicolas Cage. While both are rated 9.0 by the Certified Guaranty Company, the Cage issue had “cream to off-white pages”; this one is considered to be in pristine condition. They’re the only two copies of Action Comics #1 to receive that high of a rating.

This copy was acquired several years ago in a private sale by Darren Adams of Pristine Comics in Federal Way, Washington, and stored a temperature-controlled vault. He said the original owner bought the comic  from a newsstand in 1938, and then kept in a cedar box for about four decades until a local dealer in West Virginia purchased it in an estate sale. The issue then passed to a third person, who held onto it for 30 years.

Adams, the comic’s fourth owner, said he recently turned down an offer of $3 million, opting instead to sell it on eBay. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury.

An opening bid of $1 million was submitted Aug. 14 within four minutes of the auction’s opening; by the midway point of the 10-day sale, the price had risen to $1.95 million. Bidding reached the $2 million mark on Aug. 18, after which activity slowed for a few days.

There are thought to be only about 30 unrestored copies of Action Comics #1 in existence. The issue, which also included the first appearance of Zatara (overshadowed by the introduction of the Man of Steel by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster), sold on newsstands in 1938 for 10 cents.

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Hug Machine By Scott Campbell

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Who have YOU hugged today? Open your arms to this delightfully tender, goofy, and sweet tale written and illustrated by the incomparable Scott Campbell. Watch out world, here he comes! The Hug Machine! Whether you are big, or small, or square, or long, or spikey, or soft, no one can resist his unbelievable hugs! HUG ACCOMPLISHED! This endearing story encourages a warm, caring, and buoyantly affectionate approach to life. Everyone deserves a hug—and this book!

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Hug Machine ($16.99) will be released on August 26, 2014.

You can read a sample of the book, find out where you can pre-order Hug Machine and more, here.

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Phineas and Ferb LOST Themed Episode To Air On September 29, 2014

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Disney Television Animation’s Emmy Award-winning animated series “Phineas and Ferb” pays homage to ABC’s hit series “LOST” with a special episode featuring story by “LOST” co-creator and writer Damon Lindelof and guest starring “LOST” fan-favorite Terry O’Quinn (John Locke), premiering Monday, September 29 (7:30 p.m., ET/PT) on DisneyXD.

The episode, titled “Lost in Danville,” also guest stars Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm in the Middle”) and Rob Morrow (“Numb3rs”).

In the episode, a mysterious locked capsule falls into Phineas and Ferb’s back yard and they struggle to open it, only to discover they have unleashed something they cannot control. Meanwhile, Perry learns that Dr. Doofenshmirtz has been abducted and tracks him to Seattle where another evil scientist Professor Mystery has his own sinister plan.

Terry O’Quinn voices Professor Mystery, with Jane Kaczmarek and Rob Morrow as capsule inhabitants Denise and Bernie.

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Phone Booth Gallery Announces Kevin Tong & Tom Whalen: Info-Rama Art Show Opening On August 23, 2014

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Phone Booth Gallery is proud to present, “Info-Rama,” an exhibition of intricate screen-printed infographics crafted by artists Tom Whalen and Kevin Tong. The exhibition opens with an all-ages reception on Saturday, August 23rd, from 7-10pm, at Phone Booth Gallery’s exhibition space at 2533 East Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803. “Info-Rama” remains on view through September 17th at the gallery and online at www.phoneboothgallery.com.

Infographics have a history that stretches back centuries. French engineer Charles Minard is credited with starting the trend in the early 1800s, making drawings detailing Napoleon’s invasions and pie charts tracking cattle-consumption. With “Info•Rama,” intentionally scheduled to coincide with the start of the school year, Kevin and Tom endeavored to design images that simultaneously functioned as art and resources and could potentially find homes on classroom walls. The screen-printing process used to make each one gives these objects a vividness and tactility that distinguishes them from most educational posters.

For the show, Tong, an illustrator whose work often ventures into the realm of fantasy, has designed a multi-part, brightly colored guide to human anatomy. He also created a fiery, futuristic-looking infographic explaining the life and legacy of forward-thinking engineer Nikola Tesla, after whom Tesla Motors is named. His brief illustrated history of the USS Los Angeles, the rigid Zeppelin airship built by the U.S. Navy in 1924, is noir-like, all black, white and gray.

Whalen, an artist who frequently re-interprets vintage design motifs in his work, has imbued his series of infographics with an old-fashioned whimsy. His guide to the first transcontinental railroad uses fonts reminiscent of Wild West signage, and the mountains looming in the background behind the train cars are simple and stylized. His brief explanation of the life and habits of the stegosaurus is similarly stylized, with the dinosaur pictured at center and colored purple and orange. Whalen plays with size and shape in each of his infographics, using a banner-like orientation for his guides to the Octopus and the Samurai but using horizontal orientations and standard rectangles as well.

Any educator who purchases a print from the show will receive a discount, but the information Tong and Whalen artfully present should appeal to anyone curious about how the world works, whether they have students to teach or not.

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Funko Announces Guardians of The Galaxy Dancing Groot Pop! Vinyl Figure

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Fans of Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy” are getting their wish fulfilled: a dancing Groot toy.

The charming character, who is seen wiggling to Michael Jackson in the film will be turned into a collectible figure by Funko through its Pop! vinyl toy line.

Marvel and Funko announced the bobble-head figure on Friday via their social media accounts, with Marvel saying “It’s real! The first official Dancing Groot toy, from the amazing folks at Funko.”

“Guardians” director James Gunn actually is the one performing the dance moves, which were then re-rendered as Groot in the final film. Vin Diesel voices the character.

The dancing character wound up stealing the final scene in the film, which Gunn had initially planned to place after the end credits. He wound up moving up the sequence when it proved just too cute to have audiences miss, he has said in interviews.

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Aaron Paul Hosting A ‘Breaking Bad’ Scavenger Hunt

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In honor of Breaking Bad‘s final year at the Emmys (they’re on Monday August 25, 2014), Aaron Paul announced via Instagram plans to put together a Scavenger Hunt on Monday August 25, 2014 which he’ll hide memorabilia — “signed Breaking Bad scripts, posters, dolls, action figures” — and artwork from the show “all over the Hollywood area.”

He says he’s doing it as a way to thank all of the show’s supporters. Follow Aaron on Instagram for more clues!

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