Nerd Alert! Lego Batman teases us; Comicshop founder passes

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      Welcome to Nerd Alert!, your weekly round-up of news from the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, comic books, animation, and all things nerdy. Just a short one this week, because there's a long weekend coming up and you have a lot of work to do. Or at least I do.

      THERE'S A LIVE-ACTION movie with Batman in it out right now, and to put it charitably, it's not quite living up to expectations, review-wise. (Well, apart from mine, because I expected it to be awful.) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice might stink, but don't count the Caped Crusader out just yet. The Lego Batman Movie doesn't hit theatres until 2017, but we've already gotten our first taste. This teaser doesn't actually reveal anything about the plot, mind you.

      AND WHILE WE'RE ON the topic of Lego-related trailers, here's one for the upcoming Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens video game, due for release in June. 

      ONE OF THE FOUNDERS of Vancouver institution the Comicshop has died. On Monday, the store's Facebook page announced the news that Ron Norton had passed away "following a courageous but all-too-brief struggle with an aggressive illness". In 1974, Norton and Ken Witcher opened the Comicshop in its original location (3638 West 4th Avenue). Four decades later, the store (now located at 3518 West 4th) remains one of the best places in the city to buy comic books and graphic novels. Norton is survived by his wife, Angie; his son and daughter-in-law, Ryan and Kacy; and his granddaughter, Zoe.

      ANIMATION GIANT Ub Iwerks was born on this day in 1901, which gives me an excuse to post "Steamboat Willie". (Not that I need one.)

      "Steamboat Willie" (1928) was the first cartoon featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse to be distributed (although not the first to be produced). Working with some guy named Walt Disney, Iwerks helped create those classic characters, along with the relatively less-remembered Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

      The animation pioneer, who died in 1971, is the subject of a feature-length documentary, 1999's The Hand Behind the Mouse. Check out a clip below (narrated by Sideshow Bob!):

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