Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Releases: August 1, 2007

New releases for this week. The pick of the week is obvious. It seems like just yesterday that World War Hulk only at issue 2. Man, they sure do grow up fast these days. Enjoy the continued mayhem that the Hulk is bringing down upon the Marvel Universe with World War Hulk #3. New Releases: August 1, 2007

Marvel at Ankiel

Marvel just can't seem to stop. Continuing to capitalize on the freight train of publicity that they're riding, they've decided to get into baseball (beyond beating DC in the softball game at SDCC). Deadspin (via Our Sports Central) reports that they're making a comic featuring Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Rink Ankiel. If you're looking to pick this bad boy up, look for the cover featuring the superheroes listed above, standing triumphantly in front of AutoZone Park (presumably basking in the defeat of an opponent). The first 1500 fans to the game between the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals AAA affiliate) and Omaha will be the lucky recipients of this piece of Marvel history.

"We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting event with the Redbirds and Marvel Comics," Lasting Expressions' Tony DeSantis said. "Memphis is known as one of the premier Triple-A teams in the country, and this event only furthers their recognition in the league."

Rink Ankiel's superpowers are...

The Futurama is now

Futurama is a gem of a show that Fox didn't really give enough attention to. It was on when The Simpsons was in its prime, so everybody saw two Matt Groening products, and watched the more historic one. So when word first came out that we'd see Futurama on Comedy Central, we were ecstatic. And then, silence. We were promised the new episodes, but there was never any followup as to when or how many. Until now. TV Squad reports that on November 27, Futurama will hit stores as a full-length feature film on DVD (in high definition nonetheless). 3 more films will follow, each broken into 4 episodes, which will all air on Comedy Central. This was all announced at SDCC this past weekend, and Groening and the cast definitely took their shots at Fox for canceling the show way too early. Here's hoping that this animated gem's return doesn't kill it like a certain other Simpsons ripoff's return did, which is just a shell of its former self (and is written by manatees). So you have 16 new episodes to look forward to (or 4 new movies). Any way you look at it, its promising. Futurama returns

Dark Horse celebrates 20 years of manga

Last year, Dark Horse comics celebrated 20 years of bringing good comic fun to the reader. Known for their dearth of Star Wars and Buffy comics, they've always been among the classiest and reputable small comic companies around. And now it seems that they have the potential to get bigger. This year, Dark Horse will celebrate 20 years in the world of publishing mangas in English. So for their 21st birthday (technically), they've teamed up with manga writing supergroup CLAMP, responsible for hits such as RG Veda, X, Chobits (not to be confused with IGN hottie Jessica Chobot), Tsubasa and xxxHOLIC. Instead of the traditional manga format, Dark Horse is looking to pioneer a new format, known as a "Mangette." What makes it different? The new material will be presented in a small digest (roughly 80 pages) and then condensed into to TPBs later on (with bonus material). And for those of you brushed up on your Japanese, the Japanese word mangetsu means "the full moon." Breaking down the kanji in mangetsu you'll find the symbols for "fulfilled" and "monthly," which pretty obviously means these writings will be a monthly occurrence. And how does CLAMP feel about this? "Mangettes are a completely brand new experience for us, too, and we're really happy to be working on this. And we're really looking forward to the day when we can bring you this new story from CLAMP, and the day when we can meet our fans face-to-face to hear what you think about Mangettes!" Dark Horse CLAMPs down on Mangettes

Monday, July 30, 2007

It be that site named Zuda, ALERT ALERT

I can't stress the importance of these here tubes enough. On a daily basis, they provide us with just about anything we can possibly imagine (like this here blog). Thankfully, there are some higher ups that feel that way too, and have decided to reach out to the non-superpower inclined in us comic book readers. Over the weekend, DC announced Zuda Comics. Timmy: What the hells is a Zuda Comic? Me: I'm glad you asked that question Timmy. Zuda Comics is a website committed to allowing anyone that can access the Internet to get their comic out to as many people as possible. By signing up for the site, you can upload original creations, have the at large public vote on them, and if you're really as good as you think you are, you'll get a one year contract to presumably write/pencil/ink/etc. to your heart's content. As anyone working on a comic knows (and believe me I know, but I also don't have art since I can't draw, so if anyone out there is looking for a writer to work with them, let me know, because I have a good story in mind), its hard to break in. We're not all named Alex Ross, or have the last name Lee. So for all of us true believers, this is a great opportunity. So get your best superhero costume on, sharpen those pencils (or flex those keys on the keyboard), and get to work on the next big comic. Zuda Comics

SDCC: DC

Not to be outdone with SDCC news is DC, who had a few tasty morsels of news that they wished to share as well. -World of Warcraft comics in the works (one of the worst kept secrets) -Heroes graphic novel in the works -News on The Dark Knight -Eisner award winning creations -Loss to Marvel in the softball game While their site isn't as a recap-friendly as Marvel's, it still does a decent job of getting you up to speed with the DCU. DCU updates from SDCC 2007

Joker "semi" funny

So, now that we're only a year away from The Dark Knight, the news is starting to come fast and furious. And with the wonders that are the internets and ebays, comes Youtube. And Youtube my friend, you have brought us fantastic wonders of videos, like this one, which shows Joker's fancy new semi in action. Check it out if you want a slight spoiler about the movie. I haven't watched it, but why should I deprive those that hate surprises?

SDCC: Marvel

Whew. What a whirlwind weekend of news that turned out to be. With SDCC 2007 under the belt of the collective comic book world, we only have SDCC 2008 to look forward to (which hopefully I'll be attending). Throughout the day, I'll be giving brief recaps of all the major players at the table, and who came away winners. Marvel, as should be expected had a massive showing, wielding influence the way Thor wields his hammer. Here's a brief recap of Marvel events: -Artist Esad Ribic (Silver Surfer Requiem) is exclusive to Marvel -Marvel beat DC in the annual softball game 16-9 -A story combining Hulk, Punisher and Venom is in the works, as a tribute to artist Ariel Olivetti -Tons of news about Amazing Spider-Man and One More Day -Oh, and Sabretooth died last week So, take a look around the Marvel recap page, and website, and find some more tasty tidbits of news. You won't be disappointed, I promise. Marvel is marvelous at SDCC 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Why so serious?

Knowing that there are many of us out there that are mildly excited about The Dark Knight, Warner Brothers debuted news at the SDCC regarding the film. They introduced a website called Why So Serious that is basically just a teaser site. But a teaser site is better than nothing. There's a police report proclaiming the Joker seeking out recruits for an army to maraud and terrorize the city of Gotham. And you can also poke around and investigate the Joker further if you're clever enough. Check out The Flipcyde for more details on how to get around the site if you need some help. Serious explanation (scroll down a bit for the information

This is my Sunday best!!!

Trying to make up for the debacle that was Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, EA has decided to take one more stab at a Marvel fighting game. Announced at SDCC (where else), and reported by Playstatic, EA is creating an unofficial successor to the original game. Here' what EA's Kudo Tsunoda (GM and VP of EA Chicago) had to say. "We looked at past comic-based games to find out what was missing and what was needed to successfully translate the intensity, excitement and fiction from comics into fighting games. We’re challenging ourselves to make a game that delivers on the Super Hero promises of past top-tier fighting games."

Vice President of Interactive, Marvel Entertainment, Justin Lambros, also added

"Marvel Super Heroes are a natural fit in the fighting game genre, so we’re excited to have Kudo and his team of fighting game experts put these characters toe-to-toe against each other on next generation consoles. This is a game that will deliver to both comic book fans and to fighting game diehards."

So if you have a PS3 (as it seems its a PS3 exclusive), be sure to keep an eye out for this one. Personally, I'm holding out for Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

Marvel fighting game sequel

Friday, July 27, 2007

Review: The Simpsons

Spider-pig, Spider-pig. Does whatever a Spider-Pig does. The lyrics to that song will be etched into your mind after seeing this movie. And I have to say, go see this movie. Now. Quickly. As a lifelong (well, Simpsons life) fan of the show, I'll admit I had my doubts. Yes, the show hasn't been nearly as good as it used to, and yes, people seem to keep reminding me of that. But its still better than half the other crap on TV. I won't lie though, I mainly watch new episodes at this point because I feel I owe it to the writers for doing something so long. I went into the movie with the same sense of obligation, but I came out very pleased. Everything that made The Simpsons TV show epic was perfectly incorporated into the movie. From the opening sequence that starts with the heavenly voices, to Bart writing on the board, to Burns being the grinch that he always is. Everything is perfect. And the movie doesn't kid itself either. It recognizes that its really just one long episode (it even only has 1 band and 1 guest star as cameos). But Groening and the writers seemed to have found the step they may have lost in recent years. The plot, as always, revolves around Homer. When he decides to disregard an edict to stop polluting, he causes the town of Springfield to be put in a dome by the EPA. By some strange twist of Simpson fate, they end up living in Alaska, where Marge decides she's had enough, and goes back to Springfield to clean up Homer's mess. And, like old hat, its up to Homer to show up and save the day, thus redeeming himself in the eyes of everyone until the next time he screws up. There is a slight retread of the Bart/Homer father son issues, and once again Bart is pushed close to the arms of Ned (its interesting that they didn't reference that at all actually, considering Homer took a baptism for Bart). The movie didn't have the benefit of being an episode in that it couldn't focus on lesser characters all that much, and you could tell that the writers tried to get every lovable character into the movie, even if it meant them showing up simply to say their catchphrase. But they pulled no punches, and earned their PG-13 rating. From Bart getting drunk on a nip of whiskey, to Maggie saying her first words (I don't know if that's her official first word, as she's said something in the show before), The Simpsons pretty much hits the gas and doesn't let up. And part of the reason its so good is that Groening includes his view on the world, making the satire work even better. Bart's playing a game called Baby Blaster (pro-abortion anyone), Homer thumbs through the Bible to proclaim that "this book doesn't have any answers." Everything was spot on hysterical and poignant, which leads me to one minor gripe. In the Simpsons, the jokes fly so fast and furious that its hard to catch up, and some of them you're laughing at so much you miss the next one. Well, try multiplying one laugh by about 300, and you have the movie theater audience. By no means a bad thing, but I'm sure there were a few jokes in there I missed because that audience was laughing so hard at the one before. Its hard for anyone to truthfully give you an unbiased opinion of The Simpsons movie, because everyone has seen at least one episode of the show. And, to be quite honest, it felt very surreal to be watching the movie, because its something that was rumored for so long, and eventually got to the point where it didn't seem like it was every going to come out. Its probably a sign of what's to come, as it wouldnt surprise me if this upcoming season is the last one. If that's the case, then it was definitely one hell of a ride. And the movie was perfect in every Simpsons way imaginable. Do yourself a favor, and go see it. Even if you haven't watched Simpsons in years, there's enough of the old school flavor in it that you'll appreciate what you're seeing. Rating: 80 out of 100

SDCC updates

I'd be slightly remiss if I didn't point readers to a site that is doing comprehensive coverage of the SDCC, as I'm only one writer who couldn't even make it to the big show. So head over to IGN for complete and up-to-date coverage of the events transpiring this weekend. I'm going to try and bring a few articles I've chosen to this site for perusal, so stay tuned. IGN SDCC updates

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Image Founders Panel

If you managed to score yourself access to the SDCC, there'e one room you have to be in: Room 6A from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM. Why? Awesomeness. For the first time ever, the seven original founders of Image Comics will reunite for a panel discussing everything Image. It also happens to be the 15th anniversary of the company's founding, which sweetens things just a bit. We're talking seven of the most influential personalities in comics: Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. The only one missing is Spawn himself. Below is the description from the SDCC website. FRIDAY, JULY 27 10:30-11:30 Image Comics: The Founders—Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino reunite for Image's remarkable 15th anniversary. Join the conversation as they explore Image Comics' beginnings, impact, and future in the comics industry. Moderated by George Khoury (author of Image Comics: The Road to Independence from TwoMorrows Publishing). Room 6A 7 Images of Greatness

Heroes graphic novel

So remember how I said it was kind of surprising that there wasn't all that much Heroes merchandise coming out? Well, DC is trying to change that (in addition to Ubisoft). USA Today says that DC plans on releasing a graphic novel based on 43 vignettes that appeared on the NBC website during the first season. And DC isn't pulling any punches on this either, as they're bringing in some really heavy hitters. Michael Turner, Marcus To, Mitch Gunnell, Phil Jimenez, and legends Alex Ross and Jim Lee. There will also be artwork of the great Tim Sale, who provided the eerie portraits of the future showcased throughout the season. Be sure to keep an eye on the shelves at your local comic book store for what's sure to be a great piece of work. Heroes graphic novel

Marvel SDCC 2007 Lineup

So, if you haven't heard by now, the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) is this weekend. And in leading up to the big event, I plan on bringing daily previews of the events on tap for the big show. Read on to find what you'll be seeing, or will be missing, if you're lame and can't go. So, the big show started yesterday. But it doesn't really start to hit its stride until today. To get you ready for all the comic action you can handle, here's a list of Marvel's presence at the show. These are just the panels at the show, so make your way to them if you can. Enjoy the show true believers. Marvel Panel Con

Watching The Watchmen

Just a quick personal note. This is my 100th post. Not much a milestone to many but myself, so I feel the need to give myself a pat on the back. I'm starting to hit my stride now, so stay tuned for continuous comic updates. The ever intriguing film adaptation of The Watchmen has just gotten a little more interesting as most of the final cast has been revealed. MTV Movies (via The Hollywood Reporter) has the scoop on who's playing who, and some of the names may surprise you. Patrick Wilson (Hard Candy) is playing Nite Owl, Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children) will play Rorschach (unfortunately, no Simon Pegg), Matthew Goode (Match Point) as Ozymandias, Billy Crudup (Almost Famous, Princess Mononoke) will play Dr. Manhattan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Grey's Anatomy...ugh) will play The Comedian, and Malin Akerman (Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle) will play the Silk Specter. After his phenomenal adaptation of 300, Zack Snyder get the directing node. One can one assume that authors Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons will be on hand to make sure the material isn't bastardized. The Watchmen almost complete

Jenna Jameson is a Virgin

Jenna Jameson really doesn't need anything else to do. She's conquered the porn world, become a best-selling author, and has actually been an inspiration for millions worldwide (women and men alike). So why shouldn't she have a comic book? Virgin Comics agrees. Shadow Hunter hits comic stores in December, with the 144 page book to follow next year. Jenna will write the comic, as well as star in it (no surprise there). A company press release describes Shadow Hunter as "the story of a provocative superheroine who survives a brush with death only to find herself fighting the legions of hell for her very soul." It also adds that "while provocative and sexy, [the comic] contains no nudity and is intended for a mainstream audience." She also has plans for taking the franchise beyond the comic, as in a movie (which I'm sure will carry an "R" rating). Ms. Jameson will be appearing at SDCC this Saturday, July 28 at 4:30 (making her first-ever appearance there, and of course I'm not going) to talk about the comic. So if you're there, you really better be at her press conference. If, for nothing else, to admire such awesomeness. Shadow Hunter Shadow Hunter Press Release

Han did shoot first

It was as if millions of voices of dorks cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. George Lucas was seen on the set of Indy 4 wearing a shirt that kind of defies Lucas. Its a shirt that says "Han Shot First." After years of denying that simple truth, that Han shot first and missed, killing Greedo with the second shot. After a halfass cover-up attempt in the re-release of the movies, where Lucas digitally inserted a first shot for Greedo, to keep Han Solo looking like a badass. Stop Motion Verbosity has the "shots" for you to take a look at, conveniently cropped to focus in on the most important part. The writer of the site, Adam Knave, points out that the fact that Lucas is talking to Harrison Ford while wearing the shirt is apt to cause a universal collapse. Although, knowing Lucas, he's probably just promoting the re-re-re-release of the original trilogy where Han shoots first, which is of course the way Lucas intended it. Good times. Han shot first

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Save the game, save the world

So, if you haven't heard by now, the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) is this weekend. And in leading up to the big event, I plan on bringing daily previews of the events on tap for the big show. Read on to find what you'll be seeing, or will be missing, if you're lame and can't go. With the hit that Heroes was last season, its really a wonder we haven't seen more merchandise from the franchise. Action figures, comics, posters. Its been quiet on the marketing front (at least that I've seen). So I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that there's a game in the works. According to Variety, NBC and Ubisoft are near an agreement for Ubisoft to make the Heroes game. Its expected that an announcement will be made at, you guessed it, SDCC. Also of interest is the impending arrangement between Ubisoft and Fox to create a game version of James Cameron surprise hit Avatar. The game and movie are due out around the same time in May 2009, which makes you wonder if it will suffer the "game adapted from movie" disease, because most of those games don't work out so well. Ubisoft likes the comics

THIS IS SAN DIEGO!!!!!!!

So, if you haven't heard by now, the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) is this weekend. And in leading up to the big event, I plan on bringing daily previews of the events on tap for the big show. Read on to find what you'll be seeing, or will be missing, if you're lame and can't go. The good thing about having an Xbox 360 (when you actually have it and aren't waiting for Microsoft to send you your third console back after the red rings of death...I'm not bitter) is that the Marketplace is pretty nifty. Whenever there's a big conference, you can count on logging into the Marketplace, poking around a bit, and checking out trailers and demos, and its almost like you're actually there. So why should SDCC be any different? According to Gaming Today, from July 26 to August 7, Warner Brothers fans will be able to view demos, trailers, interviews and more through Xbox Live Marketplace. I won't point out the fact (well, I will but in a snarky way) that Warner Brothers is in the HD-DVD bed with Microsoft. Which might explain the fact that there's also going to be a special screening of 300 for 6,000 attendees, who will be entered to win 1 of 10 Special Edition 300 Xbox 360 consoles (I swear you don't need a calculator to figure that sentence out). So log in (if you're 360 works), have a look around, and wish you were there. And don't forget to pick up 300 on DVD Tuesday. Its definitely a nice addition to any collection. SDCC comes home

SDCC takes a Sonic Boom to the gut

So, if you haven't heard by now, the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) is this weekend. And in leading up to the big event, I plan on bringing daily previews of the events on tap for the big show. Read on to find what you'll be seeing, or will be missing, if you're lame and can't go. What would SDCC be without some presence of video games? With the neutered E3 recently behind us, many game publishers are searching for the next big convention to showcase their wares. With that in mind, Capcom has decided to present heavily at SDCC, even more so than at E3. "Open gaming stations will be offered at the Capcom booth, featuring Zack & Wiki, Harvey Birdman, Mega Man Star Force, Mega Man ZX Advent, Ace Attorney, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Rocketmen, and Moto GP. Devil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles will also be available for play for those over the age of 17." Personally, I'd be most stoked for Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and Devil May Cry 4, if I were going. But I'm not, so I'll have to wait for the demos and videos to show up after the fact. They also plan on hosting a variety of contests, and giving away tons of Capcom goodies. Stop by their booths if you have the time. Capcom is everywhere at SDCC

Doomed to enjoy Comic Con

So, if you haven't heard by now, the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) is this weekend. And in leading up to the big event, I plan on bringing daily previews of the events on tap for the big show. Read on to find what you'll be seeing, or will be missing, if you're lame and can't go. Anyone that knows anything about comics knows someone named Superman. And anyone that actually watches cartoons knows that Justice League Unlimited and Batman: The Animated Series were two crowning achievements in television history. So when word of the "first-ever DC Universe animated movie from DC Comics and Warner Bros." comes around, you kind of perk your ears a bit. Well, the time for answers is now. Thursday, at the SDCC, WB will premiere Superman Doomsday to attendees, alongside the movie's creators. Bruce Timm (responsible for the fine pieces or work mentioned in the preceding paragraph) is producing, while Duane Capizzi (The Batman) wrote the script. Its inspired by The Death of Superman, and should be a rip-roaring good time. Check for the DVD release in a few months time. Or, if you're one of the lucky many attending SDCC, make your way into Ballroom 20 at 8:30 PM for 70 minutes of Superman. Animated. Superman Doomsday premieres

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Releases: July 25, 2007

Kind of quiet on the comic release this front, as I'm sure its the calm before the impending onslaught of comic news from this weekend. Anyways, my pick this week is Wolverine #55. Why this issue? Apparently, this is the end all fight between Wolverine and Sabretooth. And only one of them is walking away from it. I think we all have a pretty good idea of who's going to win, but it will still be gratifying to see the climax to their chaotic relationship through the years. New Releases: July 25, 2007

San Diego Comic Con Spotlight

So, if you haven't heard by now, the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) is this weekend. And in leading up to the big event, I plan on bringing daily previews of the events on tap for the big show. Read on to find what you'll be seeing, or will be missing, if you're lame and can't go. Star Wars. Where would geeks, dorks and comic book fans alike be without that spaghetti western space opera that George Lucas has mercilessly remarketed countless times to milk more money out of it. Its such a part of popular culture that you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that hasn't seen the movie, and its been parodied so many times that its really showing its age. And no comic convention would be anything without some mention of the epic trilogy (I refuse to acknowledge the aborted movies that were the prequels). So to make sure the SDCC gives proper attention to the culture that is Star Wars, they've dedicated an entire day to it. Yes kids, Friday, July 27th, is Star Wars Day. Every program that has anything to do with the epic movies will be exhibited on that day, in addition to of course a smorgasboard of other comic related goodness. Such seminars will include Dumpster Diving like a Jawa, or Placing Bounties like a Hutt. Ok, ok. Not really. But here's the real lineup: 10:30-11:30 Star Wars Day: Great Star Wars Books and Book News— J. W. Rinzler 11:30-12:00 Star Wars Day: What’s New and What’s Coming from Hasbro 1:30-2:30 Star Wars Day: Robot Chicken Sets and Toys 5:00-6:00 Star Wars at 30 Years with Steve Sansweet 6:30-7:30 Star Wars Day: Star Wars Trivia And of course, the rest of the event will be rife with programming for Star Wars, but do yourself a favor and pay tribute where tribute's due on Friday. Star Wars Day

Monday, July 23, 2007

World of Warcraft Comic official

So all that todo about certain members of Blizzard Entertainment meeting with certain comic book legend Jim Lee turned out to have a certain truth to it. DC's website lists World of Warcraft #1 with a release date of November 14. There will definitely be one variant cover, and possibly two. The one definite will be by Samwise Didier. If you're going to the SDCC, you'll definitely be hearing more about this. If not, stay tuned to this website, and you'll know details as soon as I know details. World of Warcraft comic official

San Diego Comic Con loses some of its Fox-iness

First off, let me say that since this upcoming weekend is the hallowed San Diego Comic Con, expect most of this week to be covering the event leading up to it. It may turn out otherwise, but I'm sure the internets and ebays will be abuzz with rumor and speculation about the events forthcoming. And second, the Fox above is not missing. Its just you have to run with any excuse that let's you post a pic of Ms. Fox, and it also happens that her name is Fox, and she's engaged to former Fox alum Brian Austin Green (bastard). Now that that's out of the way. It seems that SDCC and Fox aren't exactly on BFF terms at the moment. With the event so close, Fox all of a sudden pulled presentations of all their upcoming movies, everything from Aliens vs. Predator to Babylon AD. Yes, it is extremely strange (if you're asking yourself why they are pulling out this close to the convention). Apparently, after last year's presentation of the naked man wrestling scene in Borat (which was such a crappy movie I really don't see how everyone could rave about it as they did), SDCC got a little antsy about the "hardcore" nature of the material, and have thus banned all such material from the convention this year. Which doesn't bode well for Fox since all their material this year is rated "R." Are they trying to keep the event PG? Do they not pay attention to the overwhelming T&A prancing around the event in costumed attendees? Will this hurt Fox? Probably not, since they're such a big entity anyway. It could hurt since The Simpsons Movie debuts this weekend as well, but that has 18 years of marketing behind it, so I wouldn't be too worried. SDCC owes Fox for all the Star Wars geeks, so I would expect this little spat to not really turn into a long term silence between the two parties. CHUD reports on missing Fox

Friday, July 20, 2007

Comics and Emmys

If you're into award shows, you know there are a couple annual shows that are big. The Oscars obviously, Grammys (which have kind of become a farce), the Tonys (which has the theater/broadway following) and the Emmys, which rewards excellence in television programming. Well, a quick perusal of the nominee list shows that the Emmys respect the comics and comic related. Receiving a nomination for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming less than one hour) is everyone's favorite episode of South Park, "Make Love, Not Warcraft." Its up against episode of Avatar, Robot Chicken, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Simpsons. Also up for an award is Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms on Starz. Hellboy is nominated for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming one hour or more). Its competing against Goodwilt Hunting (Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends), Secrets of the Deep and Where's Lazio (Camp Lazio). Be sure to tune in to see if Hellboy or the kids from South Park can take home the gold. And if you can't tell by the picture, this writer is pulling for Jack Bauer to take home another Emmy (even though this season lost a few steps). Emmy noms coms

World of Warcraft Comicked?

I had to make up the word "comicked," and it looked better with a "k," so bear with me here. Rumor has it that Jim Lee is making an appearance at the San Diego Comic Con (which happens to be next week if you didn't read here yesterday or live under a comic rock). Well why wouldn't Jim Lee make an appearance at the biggest comic convention of the year...he's Jim Freaking Lee. But the aspersions are cast when you see who he's appearing with. According to the release schedule, Lee will be appearing with Chris Metzen (Blizzard VP of Creative Development) and Mickey Nielsen (Blizzard Writer/Voice Director) at a press conference. 3:30-4:30pm PDT -- WOW! It’s World of Warcraft!—Are you ready? Comics, collectibles, and online gaming are about to collide! How does the world’s most popular online game, World of Warcraft, plan to crash the comics and collectibles world? Find out here! As a special incentive, a collectible comic will be distributed to fans at the panel. Join Jim Lee (editorial director, WildStorm), Chris Metzen (VP of creative development, Blizzard), Mickey Neilson (writer/voice director, Blizzard), Hank Kanalz (VP/general manager, WildStorm), and Georg Brewer (VP, design and DC Direct creative) to discover the results of these combined forces! Room 4 So get your rumor mongering in while you can, as the comic con is only a week away. It looks like Wildstorm comics might become a Blizzard. World of Warcraft comic

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Silver Age...Golden Age...Digital Age

Clearly, we're in a new world these days. A world where just about everything is going digital. So why not comics? There have been a few attempts to digitize comic books into various forms, from ebooks to downloadable pdf files. According to Spong, one company, D2 (squared) Comics, will try and bring digital comics to in a slightly newer form to millions of new potential readers. These potential are readers also happen to be PSP owners. The idea is to create "digital print comics." The comics will "include original soundtracks, action directed by the comics' creators and DVD-style behind the scenes video and commentary." Personally, I'm a DS Lite kind of guy. But anything that furthers attention for comics is alright in my book. And the added features are definitely a nice touch. The company plans to start with The Cryptics and Strange Cases, both written by Steve Niles (of horror writing circles). If you have a PSP, you should check them it out. They'll probably be one of the more legal things on that homebrew concoction of yours. Comics on the PSP

Baltimore Comic Convention

I just love when one post sets up beautifully as a transition into another post. Earlier today I mentioned that the San Diego Comic Convention is coming to a town near you (if you happen to live in the San Diego area), but its selling out quite fast, and, for us East Coasters, its all the way on the other side of the country. How to fix that? By going to the Baltimore Comic Convention in September! Yes kids, for the weekend of September 8 and September 9, The Baltimore Convention Center plays host to the annual comic convention in lovely downtown Baltimore. On the guest list are the likes of Jim Lee, Mark Waid, Frank Cho and special Guest of Honor Mike Mignola of Hellboy fame. You can't buy tickets yet, but the convention's site promises that you'll be able to as it draws near. If you can't make it to San Diego, then plan on making it to at least Baltimore to get your comic convention fix. Baltimore Comic Convention

San Diego Comic Convention

For those of you that read the title, you know what this post is about: the annual geekfest known as San Diego Comic Con, the mother of all comic conventions. Its ironic that the best comic convention is held in the sunniest area of the country, when most of the attendees rarely see sunlight, but I digress (come on kids, you know I love the comics as well). Anyways, the event runs next weekend, Thursday July 26 to Sunday July 29 at the San Diego Convention Center. 4 day tickets have already sold out for the event, but you can still get 3 day and 1 day passes for the show. The Comic Con website has a handy overview of all things comic convention related, so stop by and get up to snuff (as it were) with the details. Some of the highlights from the event will be a spotlight on Neil Gaiman, some characters from Lost (if you can find them), the whole cast of Heroes, and news on The Watchmen movie. All that, plus tons more of comic related goodness. And no, unfortunately, this blogger couldn't get the time to make it to the comic convention this year, but I definitely plan on being there next year to bring some good coverage to the fine readers of this here blog. I am going to try and go to the lesser known Baltimore Comic Convention in September, in the always sunny (har) inner harbor of Baltimore. San Diego Comic Convention

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How much are Transformers worth to you?

I promise that with the dwindling publicity the movie gets, I'll stop posting so much about them, but Transformers are one of the hot things right now. And what better way to capitalize on that buzz then by selling your entire collection of Transformers on ebay for $1,000,000? That's exactly what I was thinking. But first, a little backstory.

"Back in 1984, my husband, Anthony, was recovering from a serious motorcycle accident, which mostly meant spending his days in front of the television. Being like most 26-year-old men I know, cartoons were among his favorite form of television entertainment, so when Transformers was introduced that year it instantly became his favorite show.

It just so happened we were walking around the La Mesa, California Toys r Us one fine day that year, shopping for a gift, when, lo and behold, we ended up in the action figure aisle, right smack in front of the Transformers section (which didn't take up an entire aisle back in the day.)

"I promise, I just want one," Anthony pleaded, as he slipped Starscream into the shopping cart. (He knew I felt sympathy for Starscream because Megatron was always picking on him.)

Of course, one Transformer turned into five, then ten, then almost too many to keep track of as each shiny new box revealed a growing checklist that hounded us to 'COLLECT THEM ALL.'

And collect them all, we did! This collection includes every single Transformer produced in 1984, 1985, 1986, and all but a handful of pieces from 1987 (according to Hasbro's web site, we missed a set of five Targetmaster Autobots and three Decepticons.) There are even a few pieces from 1988 and 1989 for good measure.

So what happened in 1987 that thwarted our efforts to 'collect them all?' Well it turns out that Anthony never would totally recover from that motorcycle accident. He suffered from the genetic bleeding disorder hemophilia and a test done in August of 1987 showed that he had been infected with HIV by the anti-hemophilia treatment he was given while hospitalized for the accident in 1983.

HIV not only brought our Transformer collecting to an end, it also ended our dream of a family: the kids we thought would play with these toys one day; the toddler I thought would wear the t-shirt that is part of this collection. Anthony and I would not even get to grow old together; he died of AIDS in 1998 at the age of forty."

It really is a story filled with happiness and sadness at the same time, but ultimately, the collection went for $1,000,000. And the first Transformer he got was Starscream, who's the best in my book.

ebay Transforms $1,000,000

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New Releases: July 18, 2007

It's really hard to make a pick this week that isn't Hulk related (and that's not a bad thing), since its a big week for the World War that is the Hulk. So of the three World War Hulk related issues releasing this week (World War Hulk #2, World War Hulk: Front Line #2 and World War Hulk: X-Men #2), the pick has to be the originator, World War Hulk #2. But do yourself a favor and check out the other 2 as well. You'll be quite pleased that you did. New Releases: July 17, 2007

Dark Knight debuts

The Dark Knight is here! Ok, not the whole movie, but the teaser trailer at least. Superherohype.com (and with that name, you know there's gotta be some substance to the rumor) reports that the teaser trailer for the Dark Knight will debut before the epic film due out in 2 weeks, The Simpsons Movie. It also just so happens that Friday, July 27, is the same day as the Warner Brothers panel during the San Diego Comic Convention. So of course it makes perfect sense for the trailer to debut in two places on the same day. Throw in the fact that The Simpsons Movie is one of the last major blockbusters left this summer, and you have the perfect PR storm. Dark Knight Teaser Trailer

Monday, July 16, 2007

New York Anime Festival

Good grief, is it December already? Not really, but the New York Anime Festival committee want to make sure you have their convention dates scheduled well in advance. Those dates just happen to be December 7-9, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. The Javits Center was (and is ongoing) the site of the New York Comic Convention, and is actually a decent place for a convention. I was there for NYCC, and I was impressed with the layout (and Jessica Chobot dressed as Bullet Witch). You can buy tickets for the New York Anime Festival here if you want to plan that far ahead. Apparently, this convention is special because it will showcase the debut of Catblue Dynamite, the story (set in the Bronx in the '70s) of a girl named Blue who gets into a mess of trouble with the mob due to a Frank Sinatra album. The movie is directed by Romanov Higa, better known for Urda and Tank Swat 101. If anime is your thing, and you plan on being in the New York area that weekend in December, check out the convention. I'm sure it will be a good time. And if you want to be friends with the New York Anime Festival, check out their myspace page below. New York Anime Festival New York Anime Festival myspace Page

New Avengers/Transformers #2

The Transformer tie-ins just don't seem to be letting up, most likely due to the hugely successful movie that just about everyone has seen at least once (I know a few that have seen it multiple times). So, it shouldn't be a surprise that Marvel's New Avengers/Transformers #2 is hitting stores August 1, with some fanfare coming with it. The series is written by Stuart Moore (A Thousand Flowers), and the art is by Tyler Kirkham. IGN has a preview of the issue up on their site, with some spiffy looking pageshots, because we all like our comics having pictures in them. Apparently Dr. Doom is involved, which can only mean bad things for the good guys. New Avengers/Transformers #2 (via IGN)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Posting

No posting today kids, but I'll be back on Monday with new stuff for your enjoyment. Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Xombies (the "x" makes them different)

When you think of zombies, your first thought that comes to mind are probably those flesh-eating, intestine ripping creatures (sorry for the brutal wake-up visual) charmingly brought to life by George A. Romero (Land of the Dead). Well, not all creators envision zombies being that violent. Take Jame Farr for example. Farr envisioned a kinder, gentler zombie. One more keen on action and adventure, as opposed to bedlam and mayhem. His web comic, Xombies, takes place in Destiny City in the year 2042, where a reanimator's "curse" effectively turns everyone into zombies. This prompted the dead to rise up as Xombies, and the living just became Xombies (no rage involved here). The story is focused on Dirge, a Xombie leader who, (while maintaining a constant vigil on his close living friend Zoe) struggles to deal with the effects of being dead while at the same time trying to retain some morailty. If you're interested, you can head on over to the website, and poke around a bit. The web comics have been hugely successful (something to the tune of roughly 13 million downloads), giving Farr the opportunity to branch out into comic books and prose. If you're a fan of anything zombie, this may be the thing for you. Farr of the Dead

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

All the states bordering Springfield...

We're a scant two weeks away from quite possibly one of the most anticipated movie releases ever. On Friday, July 27, The Simpsons: The Movie bows in theaters nationwide. But of course, you have debut the movie in a Springfield, as that only makes sense (plus its a really clever marketing gimmick). So the question becomes, which Springfield do you premiere it in? Well, one Springfield just found out. The winning Springfield is Springfield, VT. The town competed with 13 other Springfields from around the country in submitting videos showing their enthusiasm for The Simpsons for the bragging rights of hosting the premiere of the upcoming movie. They will host the premiere of the movie on July 21, with Matt Groening et al on hand to walk the "yellow" carpet. Coming in second place was Springfield, IL (my first guess for the "true" location), and third was Springfield, OR. And the winner is...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New Releases: July 11, 2007

With everything Marvel has going on lately, between Hulk wrecking shop and the Marvel universe dealing with the aftermath of Cap's death (not to mention that whole zombie thing), its hard to recommend anything from other publishers. But this week, I'm mixing things up a bit. This week, I'm recommending DMZ #21. If you've been reading this series, then you know its good stuff, as the writing is gritty and the illustrations grittier. Enjoy. New Releases: July 11, 2007

Monday, July 9, 2007

Who leaves Atlantis off the maps? Who keeps the martians under wraps?

Image Comics has always been one of the edgier and unique comic publishing houses, and a lot of that could probably be attributed to the incredible depth that Todd McFarlane brings to the table. Obviously, that kind of environment can be very encouraging to other authors to really take a seemingly odd concept, and run with it. Mike Oeming and Bryan Glass are doing just that, by creating a new comic debuting in September called Mice Templar. “Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is an amazing example of a backstory that is actually far longer than the main story it supports. But it answers all the questions of who, what, where, when, why and how? Mice Templar is a fantasy that I felt needed a backstory large enough to justify all of the epic shenanigans we expected to put our heroes through. As a result, the backstory kept kicking the adventure into a higher and higher gear. So the history and the main story itself kept pace with each other in their mutual development, as each influenced the other.” Now, the Mice Templar are not to be confused with the singers of the song in the title, but you get the gist of the reference. Having mice being recast in a fantasy/mythological realm is certainly an intriguing possibility, and could lead to some fine storytelling. Now, if only we can get the Mice Templar/Secret of NIMH crossover well, that's gold Jerry, gold. Mice Templar (sorry for the oldish link)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Can't keep a good girl down

When you think of video game rentals by mail, the first company you think of is Gametap. Apparently, just being a purveyor of games for rent wasn't enough, as they've decided to expand their horizons. How you ask? By creating webisodes of video game characters, of course. And who's first? Why none other than the busty vixen known as Lara Croft. The first episode of the ten part series called Re\Visioned:Tomb Raider Key's to the Kingdom Part I is already on Gametap's website, so head on over and check it out. The series is brought to you by Peter Chung, probably most famous for his tremendous work on Aeon Flux. Ms. Croft will also be voiced by Minnie Driver, who showed off her voiceover capabilities in the highly acclaimed Howl's Moving Castle. And the series is carrying its own share of comic book heavyweights, including: Warren Ellis (Thunderbolts), Gail Simone (Wonder Woman), Jim Lee, Christos Gage (Union Jack), Cully Hamner (Blue Beetle), David Alvarez, Brian Pulido (Lady Death), Louie Del Carmen (Rugrats) and Michael A. Stackpole (of Star Wars novel fame). And the best part of it all (besides the involvement of Ms. Croft) is that the webisodes are free! Enjoy. Lara on the web (and animated!)

Batman Spawns Gamble

Could that title be any more convoluted? Rumor (as always) has it that a new character has been added to The Dark Knight, a character in the form of the mob boss variety. In the absence of Carmine Falcone (as we can only assume he's still freaking out somewhere), other lower level mob bosses are looking to step up and fill the void in shady dealings. Enter Gamble, a character that no one seems to have heard of until now, meaning its probably a creation of Christopher Nolan's. Well, now that we've settled the "who is Gamble" inquisition, we can address the "who is playing Gamble" issue (and finish explaining the title of this post). According to the MTV Movies Blog, rapper David Banner (who I, admittedly, know nothing about because I feel like the rap game is in a sad state right now) tried for the role, but didn't get it. So who got the part? None other than Todd McFarlane alum (of sorts) Micheal Jai White (of Spawn and Exit Wounds fame...but mostly Spawn fame). This is a great casting call in my eyes, as White did a phenomenal job as Spawn, which was an underrated movie if you ask me. Spawn showing up in Gotham

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Its not all about Peter Cullen...

So we all know that summer blockbusters aren't cheap. What's more, it takes a lot to make the special effects of a movie blend seamlessly with the physical objects/settings in the movie. So when a movie like Transformers comes along, and showcases breathtakingly realistic robots transforming and fighting, you may want to know what went into all that work. Popular Mechanics did the dirty investigative work to bring you the facts. Basically, lots of cars and lots of time in the garage. The $150 million dollar movie relied heavily on garage research. Traditionally the CGI process is to pre-build a creature, film it with a stand-in and then animate it to react to the actor in post-production. For Transformers, the idea was to move backwards, mainly to create a more organic feel to the robots in disguise. They used what was under the hood to get an idea of car components, and then designed a transformation process that would allow all the parts present to be able to shift around without bumping into each other. "We start with the end result first, then work backwards from there," says animation supervisor Scott Benza. "We'll start Bumblebee standing up in his pose in the composition of the shot, then collapse him down into something of a car shape, where we fold his arms in and hover him down close to the street. And then we deal with what we have to fill in the in-between." Its a really interesting article, if not just for the fact that you love Transformers. But if you're a gearhead, you'll probably like it that much more. Popular Mechanics knows how to build a Transformer

New Releases: July 5, 2007

In light of the spirited holiday celebrating American independence, new releases are shipping today (as opposed to their normal Wednesday ship date). And the pick this week is definitely a no-brainer (no, not Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness #5...get it, no brainer? Zombies?). This week's pick is Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America - Iron Man #5. Enjoy. New Releases: July 5, 2007

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Review: Transformers

After nearly a year of teasers, rumors and hype, the moment has finally arrived: Transformers has been unleashed upon the masses. Does it do its predecessor, the Stan Bush laden animated movie, proud? In two words: hell yes. The review is rife with spoilers, so if you haven't seen the movie yet, you may want to skip to the last paragraph. The premise behind the movie is simple: the Decepticons want to destroy Earth for the Cube, while the Autobots want to prevent the Decepticons from getting the Cube, and beginning a quest for universal domination. Of course, Megatron has been on Earth for thousands of years, but because he landed in the North Pole, he was frozen. Apparently, the American government decided to move him to the States and build the Hoover Dam around him to preserve and study him. Once all Transformers know that Sam Witwicky's (Shia Lebeouf) great grandfather found Megatron and the Cube, and etched the location into his glasses (that he shamelessly tried to hock on ebay to buy his first car), they all know they have to find him. The story seemed a little too frenetic at first, as it seemed that the tag team of Bay and Spielberg couldn't quite figure out how they wanted to pace the movie (more on their alliance in a bit). Eventually though, the movie settled down, and became what we all hoped it to become:fantastic. All the great things about the cartoon were maintained, from the transforming noise to Megatron's abuse of Starscream. And as far as stories go, it wasn't bad at all. Granted, its Transformers, and that's all you really need (because they rock), but the story was at least plausible, and not so totally far-fetched (from a coherency standpoint). There were some minor hiccups, such as how a kid living at his grandma's house could so easily crack NSA top secret files when experts can't, and the entire S7 storyline with John Turturro playing a neurotic agent, but other than that, the story was believable at least. The Transformers in this movie were slightly modified, but fear not, they're still true to form. In this version, they first appear as robots, and take the shape of something that they come across, to better blend in. The opening assault on the base in Qatar really sets the tone for the movie, as it becomes a constant blur of explosion and exposition. The focus on Shia Leboeuf's character is a nod to the animated movie, and his relationship with Bumblebee reminds us of E.T., which shouldn't really come as a surprise, as Spielberg likes to talk about a boy's relationship with an alien being. His story is what drove the whole movie, and all the other characters were really there to push his story along. The best thing about the movie (besides how INCREDIBLY hot Megan Fox looked) was the character given to the Transformers themselves. Even when they were in their vehicular form, you really got a sense of what they were about, and their thought processes. Bumblebee is given as much time to develop as Leboeuf is, and its strange to say this, but they really do develop a convincing relationship. There's actually more chemistry between Leboeuf and Bumblebee then there is between Leboeuf and Fox (this is most likely do to the fact that there is no way whatsoever a chick as hot as her would ever have anything to do with a guy like him, but I digress). And Leboeuf really turns in a stellar acting job here...I don't think the movie would have worked nearly as well if he didn't convey the awkwardness and sarcasm as well. Now, Bay and Spielberg. When I first heard that Bay was directing, I was worried it was going to be nothing but explosions and loud noises. Then we found out that Spielberg was being brought on to, if nothing else, lend some "credibility" to the movie. The two of the actually did an admirable job with the movie. My one complaint was that some of the camera shots were a little too tight, which isn't the best thing when you have robots fighting that are insanely tall. It was hard to fully appreciate the fights between the Transformers mainly because you couldn't really make out what was going on...sometimes it just looked like one big ball of metal. There were plenty of great one-liners in the movie, and there were some times when the movie had more of a playful feeling to it (the Autobots hiding from Sam's parents in his backyard springs to mind), as opposed to a feeling of doom from the Decepticons, which worked better than I expected. The Transformers showed more depth than the human actors, which isn't to say the human actors sucked, rather, the movie is about Transformers, so that's fine. I did get goosebumps the first time Optimus Prime spoke, mainly because Peter Cullen reprises his role as Optimus Prime. Bay even pokes fun at himself, as when the Autobots are crashing into Earth, a passerbyer says to his camera "This is better than Armageddon!" Be warned, that during some parts of the movie, you'll really feel like you're watching a commercial for Chevrolet cars. Not to mention the other numerous product placements throughout (Mountain Dew, Panasonic, Apple, Xbox 360 which promptly explodes). This is definitely a marketing VPs wet dream, so there you go. And there's a wealth of buxom women in dangerous situations, so you can easily tell what demographic the filmmakers know will most likely see this movie. Throw in the fact that Mikaela Banes (Fox) knows all about cars, and you really have anything a guy could ask for. Overall, I was floored. Honestly. I really didn't know what to expect from the movie, so I was very pleasantly surprised. The humor was perfect, the action was non-stop and the story was decent. Bay and Spielberg did a commendable job keeping the Transformers name true to its roots. So do yourself a favor, stop reading this now, and go see the movie. You'll be very happy you did. Rating: 80 out of 100