Casting Internets

airborne vhs notebook

My pal Rickey Purdin did one of my all time favorite 90s movies Airborne over on his excellent VHS Notebook Tumblr.

My other pal Alex Kropinak did an amazing stop motion trailer for David Ezra Stein’s upcoming children’s book Dinosaur Kisses. The video’s above, see how he did it over on his blog.

league of extraordinary gentlemen volume 1

There’s going to be a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen show on Fox? Huh. (via TVLine)

Jon Negroni took a lot of time to come up with a timeline that supposedly sets every Pixar movie in the same universe. There’s some huge logical leaps many of which are based on the idea that Easter Eggs (visual or verbal nods to other films) mean something more. It’s fun and a little crazy, but also a lot crazy.

Hey have you seen the new action movie and video game news site called Explosions Are Rad? You should check it out.

There’s a Rambo video game in the works according to Topless Robot. I like the idea of this news, but I’m not sold on the quality based on this trailer. Still, if the mechanics aren’t terrible, I’ll probably dig the game.

J.W. Rinzler and Mike Mayhew’s adaptation of George Lucas’ original Star Wars script, called The Star Wars, from Dark Horse is something I will aim to read in trade. (via CBR)

THR reports the Duplass Brothers’ Togetherness got ordered to series for HBO. This is good news for the world.

There’s a Calvin & Hobbes documentary called Dear Mr. Watterson. What else do you need to know? (via The Mary Sue)

Fearnet did a cool list of George R. Romero’s projects that never actually happened. That dude was involved in a LOT of dead or morphed projects!

Tony Shasteen Vincent Price

Tony Shasteen’s Vincent Price art over on Ashcan Allstars is fantastic.

My fellow Happy Endings fans will be interested in reading this TVLine interview with the show’s creators who talked a bit about the end and where they would have gone next season.

Like a lot of people I watch most of Sharknado. Before the movie even hit, GQ did an interesting article on The Asylum as they were filming Atlantic Rim. Interesting stuff.

I’m not done with Sharknado links. THR talked to the film’s VFX supervisor and also analyzed of the film’s success and what that might mean for quality shows on the network moving forward.

I Tweeted this out, but while looking through my wife’s old Martha Stewart magazines I came across this ingenious idea for a hidden office space made out of two book shelves hinged together. I don’t even have the space for something this small these days, but if I did, I’d be all over it.

Rolling Stone talked to Pete Wentz about Fall Out Boy’s recording session with Ryan Adams. I need to hear those tracks.

The Fwoosh ran down the first wave of M.A.S.K. figures, if you were a fan of this line like I was, this’ll be a nice walk down memory lane.

huckleberry_66batman

Tom Whalen‘s 66 Batman poster is fantastic.

My favorite news of the week comes from this ComicAlliance story explaining that Dark Horse is taking over the EC reprints. I adore the copy of Weird Science Volume 2 I have and want more!

Stacie Ponder analyzed the importance of landline phones over on her Final Girl blog. Entertaining as always.

Finally, I feel for Riley in this clip where she says that girls want to play with girl toys as well as boy toys. Can we finally cut this gender specific BS, please? Thanks to The Mary Sue for posting.

Casting Internets

First up, go check out my new toy blog called Toy Chest Central.

I really enjoyed this CBR interview with Judd Winick about Justice League: Generation Lost. I haven’t read the last few issues of that book, but I was digging what I read. I’m excited to catch up in trades. I’m getting really excited to see Sucker Punch. The trailer’s been all over TV and then you’ve got these awesome retro pin-up style posters as seen on /Film. As you might expect, I’m a big fan of Jason Chalker‘s James Bond posters. You can see the one for Dr. No here and follow the link to see his take on Goldfinger.

I’m disappointed to hear that DC’s First Wave line is getting the axe. I liked that they didn’t try to cram characters like The Spirit or Doc Savage into the regular DCU even going the other way and including different versions of DC characters in this new pocket universe. The problem to my mind is that they expanded too quickly and had trouble getting the First Wave series itself out on time. Bummer. (via The Beat)

I haven’t been watching Jimmy Fallon much, so I’m thankful to Rolling Stone for posting a link to this video of Bell Biv DeVoe and The Roots performing “Poison” on his show. This song took on new significance when I got to Wizard and started hearing it at the bar every time we went out. Then, even more a few years later when I saw Skeletor perform it in Philly. Good stuff.

According to Comic Book Legends Revealed, Alan Moore wrote a BJ & The Bear comic (sorta). That. Is. Awesome. This is also awesome. (via Progressive Ruin)

I finally got around to reading this Rolling Stone piece written by Mikal Gilmore about hanging out with The Clash in 1979. Then RS talked to Gilmore about talking to The Clash back then. Both are worthwhile reads.

Maybe we’ll finally get Kill Bill The Whole Bloody Affair now that /Film says it’ll be playing at the New Bev in LA. I’ve been holding off on buying those flicks, which I love, in hopes of getting that version.

This is my all time favorite photo of The Ramones (via Only The Young Die Young)

News Of The Day: F Sharp Bell In Green Lantern Movie?!!!

I haven’t talked about it on the blog much, but I am a huge Green Lantern fan. I started reading the book back when Hal went crazy and have followed Kyle’s adventures ever since. Back then I always loved the concept of the Corps and space cops in general and wanted that concept to return much more than Hal Jordan. Anyway, one of my favorite GL stories of all time can be found in my favorite trade of all time DC Universe: The Stories Of Alan Moore (get that version instead of Across The Universe because DCU has Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow and Killing Joke!). A GL gets sent into a part of space where there’s no light, which means the idea of a Green Lantern holds no meaning. She meets an alien named Rot Lop Fan who becomes that sector’s F Sharp Bell. It’s a little story but it’s just so brilliant. Rot’s shown up a few times in background cameos though I don’t think he’s ever been directly referenced since then aside from Secret Files entries.Until now. ComicBookMovie.com has images of Rot along with six other Lanterns that may or may not appear in the upcoming movie. My guess is that he won’t play an important part in the story, but will be in some big group shots (think Galactic Senate but hopefully less boring). Considering that Geoff Johns has had a hand in the movie-making process and considering how well he mined Moore’s other short Green Lantern stories for the past few years, I would guess this is a bit of a tribute to the Snake god-loving British writer. Or just to me. Either way’s cool. They even gave him the F Sharp Bell symbol instead of the GL one. Nerdgasm!!!! This really makes me want to kick start my GL sketchbook again with a rot Lop Fan!

The Weirdness Of Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing is a pretty weird character and not just because he’s spent a few decades in the Vertigo universe being written by guys like Len Wein, Alan Moore, Rick Veitch, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Brian K. Vaughan, Andy Diggle and Will Pfeifer among many others. In his first appearance–the above House Of Secrets #92 from 1971–Swamp Thing is actually a different dude and not the more familiar Alec Holland. His name was Alex Olson and this was his only appearance. Swamp Thing was later resurrected by his creators Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson for an ongoing series starring Holland’s version of Swamp Thing. You can check out these early appearances in DC’s DC Comics Classics Library Roots Of The Swamp Thing hardcover. I’ve only read the intro by Wein and the first couple issues, but it’s pretty fun horror stuff. The series went along for a while and then the inimitable Alan Moore came along and added his unique view to the character, thusly introducing himself to the general American comics audience. Moore came along and started on the title with 1984’s Swamp Thing #20, eventually joined by artist Stephen Bissette. At that time the book wasn’t included under the Vertigo banner because Vertigo wouldn’t come into existence until 1993, yet, the Vertigo logo appears on many of the reprints, like the somewhat recent Saga Of The Swamp Thing volumes which seem set out to reprint all of Alan Moore’s issues (Swamp Thing #20-58, 60-61, 63-64, Annual 2). I’ve read some of this stuff, though not yet in the aforementioned Saga hardcover format, though I do have it on my to-read pile, possibly after I acquire a few more of the volumes. Like I said, the comic would go on to become a big part of Vertigo in the 90s and carry on through part of the 2000s, but that’s not what makes him such a weird character. That would be his exposure to regular people thanks to two movies, a live action television series, an animated series, two video games and a line of action figures. To put that into some kind of perspective, that puts Swamp Thing into the same place as characters like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and Wolverine. Yeah, just think about that for a moment. That’s right, Swamp Thing starred in not one, but two movies. The first one was written and directed by master of horror Wes Craven of all people and starred the bodacious Adrienne Barbeau and convention staple Dick Durock as Swampy, who unfortunately passed away last year. The flick came out in 1982, which puts it before Moore’s run on the book, though I’m sure it was a big influence on his writing. I know that I’ve seen the movie fairly recently, but I couldn’t tell you anything I remember about it and I didn’t blog about it, so that means I obviously need to watch it again. 1989 saw the follow-up to the Craven flick starring Heather Locklear and directed by Jim Wynorksi who directed Chopping Mall (which I swear I blogged about, but can’t find anywhere), Ghoulies IV and The Lusty Busty Babe-a-que starring Tough Love’s Rocky. I have zero recollection of this movie, but you’ve got to give it some credit for getting made (maybe).

Sure it looks more like a Toxic Avenger sequel than a legit superhero movie, but you’ve got to remember that there were very few legit superhero movies at the time (basically Superman, Superman II and that year’s Batman). Maybe I’ll check it out on Hulu. Anyway, after the release of the sequel, cable network USA kicked off a live action series in 1990 called Swamp Thing (you can watch the first season on Hulu or check out the full series on DVD) that also starred Durock. The show lasted three seasons, totaling 72 episodes, which puts it one season and 15 episodes behind Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman.

But a live action series wasn’t the only Swamp Thing on television in the early 90s as the USA version was joined by an animated series in 1991 which ran on Fox for only five episodes and tied in with a toy line from Kenner which outlasted the cartoon considerably. You can buy the full series on an out-of-print DVD. Before getting into the toys, which I do remember fondly, here’s a look at the cartoon opener which involves an awkward reworking of “Wild Thing” to fit Swamp Thing’s name in.

I have a very distinct memory of seeing this cartoon at my then-friend’s house when I was about 8. He had had a big sleepover the night before for his birthday, we were all eating breakfast while the show was on and there might have even been Swamp Thing-related cups and plates, which is probably why I remembered it lasting longer than it’s measly five episodes. Like I said though, the toys made a much bigger impression on me. I swiped these images from the ever-amazing Virtual Toy Chest, which has even more on display on their Swamp Thing page. What I liked about the line was the crazy action features. I was even able to work my version of the guy in this picture on the far left into ToyFare’s greatest action features feature which was a ton of fun to write. If you pulled his arm or leg the threads holding the figure in the upright position would loosen and he’d collapse into a pile of swampness. The middle guy completely glows in the dark as do his axe and mace while the guy on the right changes color with water making him look all brown (if memory serves).There were also a series of villains with rubber monster heads that went over their actual heads. Here’s a video of a guy’s collection of them on display in a room still in the packaging.

Oh, I almost forgot, here’s some footage of the game. There was a version NES and Game Boy, but it looks pretty subpar to me.

But, of course, the Swamp Thing media monster could not last forever and by the mid-90s he was relegated back the long boxes and comic shops for the most part. There has been talk about a new movie by Joel Silver, possibly in 3D and even talk about bringing the character back into the regular DC Universe which he used to be a firm part of. We’ll see where our weird swampy friend goes from here, but he’s already had a more impressive life than 90% of the comic characters out there.

An Alan Moore Kind Of Day (Kinda)

2008-08-31
4:44:44 am

Like every other comic fan (and apparently a lot of normal people, considering how many copies have sold on Amazon) I started re-reading Watchmen after watching the trailer. I wasn’t a huge fan of Watchmen when I first read it back in grade school or high school (can’t remember which). I do remember buying it at a Barnes and Noble after continuously reading about how awesome it was in Wizard. I think I basically didn’t get it back then. I’ve read it a few more times and enjoy it more and more with each read, especially after reading some more of Moore’s work. I’m only four issues in, but damn, this is an enjoyable read.

Back in college, I made a deal with Em where I’d read the first Harry Potter book if she read a trade. I made the mistake of giving her Watchmen. The problem with giving someone with limited comic book experience Watchmen is that it’s just so damn dense that it’s hard to get through. I’ve also discovered by giving non comic book fans different books, that there is a mechanic to reading comics that fans take for granted that new readers don’t necessarily know. The most difficult thing tends to be which order to read the word balloons in (something I still have trouble with). It seems like it should be something uniform like top left, then below that and over or everything in the top row and then the bottom (like a typewriter). I’m definitely off on a tangent here, but I’m curious to see what people who bought the new edition based on the coolness of the trailer think and whether they’ll move on to other Alan Moore comics or other trades in general.

Speaking of Alan Moore movies and trades, Em and I watched League of Extraordinary Gentlemen tonight (a.k.a. LXG, hehe). I actually like this flick. It’s very obviously a huge departure from the first LOEG volume (one of my all time favorite comics, I even wrote a 17 page paper on it in college) but it does have some fun elements. Also fun was trying to explain how much I liked the comic book and how different the movie is and also how much I like the movie. She just started laughing at me and said I sounded like her trying to convince me to watch a chick flick.

In the end she enjoyed (didn’t love) the movie, which is pretty much how I feel. Now I’ve just got to try and get her to read the trade. She’s also looking to re-read Watchmen along with me, maybe I’ll get her thoughts on the book after we’re done.

Zone-ing Out

2008-08-28
3:25:34 am

Okay, so there’s a channel we get called My 9 that shows basically all syndicated shows. It’s not usually a channel I watch, but I happened upon a King of Queens rerun which had both comic convention staple Lou Ferrigno and comedian Patton Oswald (plus, remember when Leah Remini played Alyssa Milano’s friend on Who’s the Boss?). Anyway, during KoQ I saw a commercial for an upcoming episode of Twilight Zone which I SWORE had Heroes’ Adrian Pasdar and Shannon Elizabeth. So was I right?

 

Yup. I stuck around for the next hour as Forrest Whitaker introduced me two different episodes from the 2002 TZ relaunch. I’m a big fan of these kinds of shows (the original TZ of course, both the old and new Outer Limits and, my favorite, Tales from the Crypt) so I would have watched anyway (it also helped that Em was out running errands and visiting a friend).

So anyway, yeah the first episode of TZ I saw was called “Dream Lover.” In it, Adrian Pasdar plays a graphic novelist (that’s a comic book writer AND artist for the less pretentious). He was super successful with his first graphic novel and is trying to work on his second so he starts drawing this sexy woman in a towel who comes to life. He assumes she’s his muse and only he can see her, but it turns out to be a big twist (duh) and that SPOILER SHE actually created HIM! Oh snap!

I’ll be honest, I didn’t see that twist coming so it was a pretty welcome treat. Overall the episode was great. I couldn’t place the artist who drew all the comic book drawings (and IMDB wasn’t much help), but it looked like pretty solid art. Shannon Elizabeth’s character even drops (or tries to) a comic book in-joke with the line “Alan Moore couldn’t do better.” Now, this is funny for two reasons. The first is that Alan Moore’s name got said on TV (it’s still weird for me to see comic creators mentioned in the “real” media). But the REAL reason it’s funny is because Adrian Pasdar is DRAWING at the moment.

It’s a great episode to check out for comic fans, it even reminded me of a Tales from the Crypt episode where Harry Anderson plays a comic book artists whose creations keep coming to life (though I think they kill him or something, it’s been awhile).

Oh, one last thing, when Shannon Elizabeth first appears and Adrian Pasdar disappears at the end of the episode the effect is straight out of A-Ha’s video for take on me.

The second episode was a standard bad-guy-getting-haunted-by-kids-he-accidentally-had-killed story. The only thing that really elevated it was that Jason Bateman played the guy. Also, they made him agoraphobic, so he’s actually too scared to leave his house and once he really tries to the kids have locked him in with creepy kid magic. And by that I mean these kids are super creepy. Not, twins-from-The-Shining creepy, but close.

One day I hope to get the Tales from the Crypt DVDs or even the original Twilight Zone DVDs and do disc-by-disc or season-by-season reviews. Any PR people out there listening?