The Midnight Comic Club Episode 9 – Frankenstein Everywhere Else

Welcome to the ninth meeting of the Midnight Comic Club! In the third and final look at Frankenstein-related comic books we plunge into the waters of Dick Briefer, EC Comics, Warren, Image, Dark Horse and a variety of other companies. In this episode we see writers and artists experiment with all kinds of variations on the theme ranging from setting and sex to superheroics!

As always, I mention a lot of titles in the episode. I’ll link to them here and also show off some images below to help create a fuller experience. Frankenstein: The Mad Science Of Dick Briefer, The Monster Of Frankenstein By Dick Briefer, the Jack Davis-drawn “Mirror, Mirror On the Wall ” can be found in glorious black and white in Fantagraphics’ ‘Taint The Meat…It’s The Humanity, Creepy Archives Volumes 1 and 2, Eerie Archives Volume 1, Top Cow Monster War, Doc Frankenstein, Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son Volume 1, Madame Frankenstein and Frankenstein Underground!

Buffy Season 8 Trade Post: Volumes 1 Through 8 & Fray

buffy season 8 volume 1 the long way home

It’s vampire week here on UnitedMonkee! Let’s kick things off with one of their all-time biggest enemies, Buffy The Vampire Slayer! Like most of the internet, I loved the series (yes, even the first season). Even so, when Dark Horse first announced they were continuing the show’s adventures with Season 8, I was a bit skeptical, even though series creator Joss Whedon was acting as executive producer of the whole thing. See, back in the day, I bought a ton of Buffy comics from Dark Horse until I realized that they were just kind of filling in holes and playing with the mostly un-chronicled summers. Later on I picked up the Buffy Omnibus volumes and read in the intro that that was part of the whole deal because they didn’t want the comics to step on the toes of the show. As a reader, though, I got a bit bored reading about Season Three characters when Season Four was in full swing, but that’s old water under an old, far more crankier bridge.

The timing thing was obviously no longer an issue with the show being off the air. And, adding to the “good” column, Whedon would have an unlimited budget to work with and some of the best names in comics, TV and film like Brian K. Vaughan, Brad Meltzer, Georges Jeanty, Drew Goddard, Jane Espenson and Karl Moline.

Really, there was no chance I wasn’t going to start reading this book because I was working at Wizard at the time and free comics were everywhere. Like my fellow Buffy fans in the office, we got to reading and really enjoyed it. I might have been a little taken aback by the whole idea of this army of Slayers working around the world S.H.I.E.L.D.-style, but once I got used to it, I was all in. Continue reading Buffy Season 8 Trade Post: Volumes 1 Through 8 & Fray

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.

Star Wars Trade Post: Legacy Volume 1 & Tag & Bink Were Here

star wars legacy vol 1 brokenStar Wars Legacy Volume 1: Broken (Dark Horse)
Written by John Ostrander, drawn by Jan Duursema
Collects Star Wars Legacy #1-3, 5-6

Man, Star Wars is just in the air right now, isn’t it? I read both of these books a few weeks back when speculation was running rampant about who would be directing the next episode of Star Wars for the now Disney owned Lucasfilm and rumors were swirling that there might be spinoff/non-episodic entries in the franchise. After reading Star Wars Legacy and Tag & Bink, I was all the more convinced that the latter would be a fantastic idea because just look at how diverse these two comics are. You’ve got a straightahead, in-the-future action adventure in Legacy featuring almost no characters from the origina trilogy and a comedic Rosencrantz and Guildenstern look at the events of, first, the original films and then the prequels. In fact, I’m way more familiar with Tag and Bink, so I refer to any “comedic look behind the scenes of a piece you’re already familiar with” by their names instead of Shakespeare’s characters.

Anyway, as I mentioned, Legacy focuses on the future of the Star Wars Universe relative to the original films (as the cover bust says, 125 years after Jedi) and focuses on a descendant of Luke Skywalker called Cade. As a teen, Cade was training to be a Jedi like his father before him and his grandfather before him, but most of the group was slaughtered by Sith agents. Cut to present day and Cade’s a bounty hunter working with Jariah Syn (who hates Jedis, but doesn’t know Cade is/was one) and Deliah Blue (who loves Cade). Cade’s doing his best to avoid the Jedi thing, but it very much falls into his lap and he’s reunited with some of the survivors of his old group while also meeting the daughter of the new Emporer (who is not the main Sith bad guy, that’s Darth Krayt).

I don’t want to get too deep into the connections and triangles, but I do have to say that John Ostrander is fantastic at making comics. He not only gives great single issues stories, but also works so damn well in arcs with foreshadowing and moving the story forward that it makes you realize how bad some other writers are at it. Everything of his that I read, I wind up loving from the original Suicide Squad and GrimJack to random 90s Valaint Magnus Robot Fighter issues. I’m very interested in getting the rest of these trades and seeing where this story goes, it’s a good one, one that actually make for a great film series in and of itself. Someone get on that.

I want to talk about Jan Duursema’s artwork for a second. She’s fantastic on this book and does all kinds of work from panel to panel. The characters look lived in gritty was the first word I thought of, but there are too many negative connotations to that term in comics, they don’t look like action figures that were just taken out of the packages. At the same time, they look heroic and iconic. That might sound like a contradiction, but think of how Indiana Jones looks on screen, that’s what I’m talking about. Duuresema does do something interesting in the book though, every few pages it looks like one panel doesn’t get inked, so that panel comes off softer in comparison to the others which might be because of inker Dan Parsons or colorist Brad Anderson. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about these panels. On one hand they kind of take me out of the story because you’ve got a less polished looking panel in the middle of “finished” looking ones, but on the other I wonder if the art shift is an indicator of something important that I’m missing. Thoughts?

Star Wars Tag and Bink Were HereStar Wars: Tag & Bink Were Here (Dark Horse)
Written by Kevin Rubio, drawn by Lucas Marangon
Collects Star Wars: Tag & Bink Are Dead #1-2, Tag & Bink II #1-2

As I mentioned above, Tag & Bink is a comedy book featuring a pair of Rebel fights who wind up finding their way into the background of just about ever major scene in the Star Wars films. Remember the Emproer’s red-clad Royal Guards? Yup, that was them. Same with the two Stormtroopers who Obi-Wan tricked to get to the generators. How they get there and why is the real fun of the book. And yes, this book is a ton of fun, Rubio actually got the gig making these comics after making a fan film called Troops.

Like with Legacy, I don’t want to get too far into what makes this book funny because talking about humor can be super boring and, worse, unfunny. So, to fill space past saying, “Hey, if you like funny and Star Wars, do your best to dig up one of these trades,” I’m going to mention how both of these comics remind me of working at Wizard. I actually got the Tag & Bink book for free while working at Wizard and was either turned on to it by my co-workers or if they were talking about the book in the magazine before I started working there. Also, at one point, the ToyFare guys did a feature on the series and were raving about it around the office (this was before I joined the team). They even did a really cool feature in the mag that was a kind of wish list for characters from the comic. This memory came back to me when I was reading through the first volume when I kept recognizing characters even though I’d never cracked one of these comics. I want to say I even helped get artwork for that feature, so there’s even more of an old school connect.

Anyway, if you dig Star Wars and haven’t gotten too far into Dark Horse’s Star Wars comics, I’d recommend giving these two books a shot because they’re both high quality and also show the width and breadth of this franchise.

Casting Internets

Guys, it’s been a ridiculously long time since I did a Casting Internets post. Work and life got in the way of my internet reading, but here’s what I found interesting over the past month or so.

I’ve done a ton of CBR writing since last I posted. If you’re interested, head on over and check out my author page on the site.

I also interviewed the President of the Eagles in a roundabout way by doing this piece for Marvel.com about the poster they and Marvel made for Brian Dawkins. I also did some NYCC coverage for them, but you’ll have to search around for it.

The amazing Alex Kropinak took part in Empire Strikes Back Uncut and I weaseled my way into doing the voice for Yoda in this 15 second clip. Go check it out. Now.

Speaking of Star Wars, check out this R2-D2 NES mod posted over on Ubergizmo. I’ll take one, thanks.

One more quick Star Wars-related thing. The coolest thing I saw at NYCC was this huge Lego city that combined Star Wars, DC Comics, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who and a lot of other geek faves.

My pal Kiel did an awesome interview with Once Upon A Time co-creators Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz for Spinoff.

Can’t remember who sent me this, but Jim Mroczkowski, perfectly encapsulates what I’ve been struggling to vocalize when it comes to the silly idea that comic readers are a community instead of a group of people who like to absorb entertainment a certain way.Scott C. did a Road House Showdown!!!! And then he did The ‘Burbs!It won’t happen, but I would love to go see Halloween on the big screen on Halloween.

I’m really bummed to hear that Covered is donezo, what a great site.

In other bummer news, the dance/pop group LMFAO is apparently splitting up for now. That’s not really my zone of musical expertise, but I sure love those guys. The real question is, where does this leave Shuffle Bot? (via THR)

It’s official, Soundgarden’s got a new album called King Animal coming out on November 13th. I’m not the biggest fan of theirs, but I am very excited about this record. (via Rolling Stone)

This opening fold-out TARDIS bookshelf I saw over on Bookshelf Porn is pretty amazing. Only problem? Should bee bigger on the inside.

Not sure when or if I’ll get around to reading Michael Chabon’s new book Telegraph Avenue but Esquire‘s Benjamin Percy noted that it had some of the same problems I had with The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, a book I could not finish.

Check out this interview R.L. Stine did with The Washington Post about the Goosebumps books. I found his rules for those stories geared towards younger readers pretty interesting.

Like a lot of people, I’m only familiar with The Vaselines’ song “Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam” thanks to Nirvana’s Unplugged album. Even so, seeing Krist Novoselic playing accordion on the song with the band was surprisingly emotional. (via THR)

Not sure how I feel about Run-DMC reuniting, but it’s pretty cool that they got Jam Master Jay’s sons Jason and TJ to fill his gigantic shoes. I dug this interview with them on Rolling Stone. Dave Perillo‘s travel posters from movies like National Lampoon’s Vacation and Caddyshack are amazing.

Reading the HMAD review of new horror film Sinister makes me actually want to see it even though I’m not big on haunting movies.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote about the true story behind Argo including their own involvement in the ruse as well as Jack Kirby’s!Still not sure about the casting of Daniel Radcliffe as Ig in the film adaptation of Joe Hill’s Horns, but this photo on EW sure looks cool.

I love that Jason Statham keeps making the same kinds of movies, but bigger and bigger stars are now doing them with him. Parker. Boom.

Dolph Lundgren’s going to be on a TV show called Rescue 3. (via THR)

Jed Mayer’s IndieWire piece on going to see Dawn of the Dead over and over at his local mall is both a fun look back and a great set of observations about one of my all-time favorite movies. I haven’t seen any of the new Teendage Mutant Ninja Turtles show, but I’ve heard good things. As a long-time Metalhead fan, I fully support his inclusion in the current toy line. (via Toynewsi)

Once my oven’s back in working condition, I’m definitely going to make Smitten Kitchen‘s pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Definitely. I love Tales From The Crypt so much, you guys, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Glen Brogan drew him recently.

I haven’t been on the Masters of the Universe Classics comp list for about a year now. I miss getting those awesome boxes every month, but I’m going to miss getting the upcoming Four Horsemen-designed Castle Greyskull even more. Man, that thing looks sweet. Bandai’s Chogokin King Robo Mickey & Friends looks freaking amazing. I hope they sell it in the States. Everything should get Voltron-ized! (via Toynewsi)

Especially after the next few days we’re going to have here, I very much want to try The Southside as described by Michael Ruhlman. That reminds me, I should move the liquor away from the window…

Casting Internets

For once, I’m close to up to date on my Read It Later reading, so I figured I’d do a CI before Christmas comes and I ignore the internet fort a while!

In addition to my daily Spinoff posts, I also wrote a bunch of stories for CBR including an interview with Jim Valentino about Shadowline, Tim Seeley relaunching Bloodstrike as well as Seeley and Ron Marz on Witchblade.

James Kochalka once again captured one of the thoughts that runs through my head every day back on December 20th. So much coffee…Um, I almost can’t write how much I like this Gremlins poster from Mondo.

How freaking awesome is it that the Foo Fighters and their audience in New Zealand emitted volcanic tremors? (via Rolling Stone)From the world of sketchblogs, I’ve been really enjoying Scott C’s Christmas themed Showdowns and Glen Brogan’s 25 Days of Christmas entries.

I’m fascinated by places writers write, so I dig seeing Peter Straub’s entry on Write Place, Write Time.

Ron Marz did his most recent Shelf Life post on a similar subject: writing location. Makes me want a desk and and miss my old coffee shop hangout at the same time.

I’m very curious how the Beach Boys will sound on their 50th anniversary tour. (via Rolling Stone)

Jeffrey Tambor has learned quite a lot of interesting things and passed them along to us through Esquire. My personal favorite bit: “The secret of life is to be surrounded by people who get you — just the people who get you.”
I haven’t seen any of the Peter Davidson Doctor Who stuff, but I very much like the Springfield Punx version of him. Fabio Moon drawing a Serenity story for Dark Horse’s Free Comic Book Day offering? Yes please.

Casting Internets

I’ve been holding on to these links for WAY too long. Like, back to NYCC long, so let’s get these out and move on.

As I mentioned in a previous Casting, I’m writing for Spinoff Online now, you can check out all those posts here.

For CBR, I wrote a ton of stuff including this Commentary with Ron Marz and Filip Sablik about Artifacts Volume 2, the Image creator owned comics panel at NYCC, David Hine about taking over The Darkness, the NYCC announcement that Extreme Studios is coming back, Dark Horse‘s NYCC panel, Robert Kirkman’s Skybound panel and the McFarlane panel.

Speaking of CBR, I was in the room for this interview with Patton Oswalt and had to stifle myself from laughing too loud. It’s weird seeing video of a memory but from a different angle. That Roots bit at the end was genius.

My pal and brand new member of the CBR family Brett White wrote a killer column about new Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales. It’s been out for awhile, but I finally had a chance to read.

Speaking of Brett, check out his Tumblr now for the amazing sketches he got at NYCC. I am jealous of his ability to talk to artists. Dorkly‘s graphic of Fifteen People You’ll See At Every Con is pretty accurate. I’d add “Adventure Time Cross Dressers,” “Dead-Eyed Journalists” and “Skanky Costume Chicks” to the list. (via IHC)

Dan Trachtenberg of Totally Rad Show fame will be directing his first feature called Crime Of The Century. I know I don’t actually know him, but I feel like one of my pals has made good. (via /Film)Mondo’s Trick r Treat, The Burning and Sleepaway Camp posters look amazing. I’ll take one of each. (via /Film)

TLo wrote about the first episode of the second season of Work Of Art on Bravo which features Sucklord, a toy customizer/kitbasher who used to get covered in ToyFare all the time. It’s awesome to see him on TV and I think TLo’s take on his performance in the first ep was pretty spot on.

Conan O’Brien sold a sitcom to TBS called Fat Chance according to THR. Nuff said.

The possibility of a Cannonball Run remake by Guy Ritchie starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney is a remake I could get behind. (via /Film)

I can’t believe I just discovered Jay Mohr had been blogging about Real Housewives of New Jersey recently! I could have been enjoying this Bravo blog all season!

Halloween Scene: The Thing From Another World Miniseries

In an unexpected twist of fate today, I paused The Thing to use the bathroom (too much information?). As I tend to do, I wanted something to read, so I started flipping through my to-read pile and was looking at the rather gruesome cover to The Thing From Another World #1. A few months back, I went to a small, but awesome hotel ballroom comic show and bought it and its counterpart on the cheap.

I didn’t even know what the book was. An adaptation of the movie John Carpenter based his version of The Thing on? That would make sense, right? Well, that’s not the case. These two issues actually form a follow-up to Carpenter’s movie, picking up a few beats after the end of the film.

And that’s kind of the problem. I mean, it’s cool to continue the story and I’m not one of those people who feels like source material is ruined by something that comes after the fact, but one of the coolest parts of Carpenter’s film is that “Why don’t we just wait here and see what happens” ending. What’s going to happen?! Well, this comic tells you and it’s not really as interesting as whatever the ending you envisioned in your head.

Don’t get me wrong, the story in these two issues isn’t bad by any means, but it’s not really necessary. MacReady wakes up and Childs has dragged him out into the ice. Then a boat comes and saves MacReady who almost immediately steals a helicopter and winds up crashing back near the outpost from the first movie. Here, a team of military people attack MacReady after seeing him torch all the corpses from the movie.

Of course, the thing has infiltrated the group and kills all but one of them. They then wind up back with Childs and yet another group of people. There’s a test like in the movie and then blammo, things get insane and the movie ends on a submarine!

As you might be able to assume from the description, writer Chuck Pfarrer packed an awful lot into two issues. What’s the point of putting MacReady on the boat if he’s just going to go right back to the station? Why waste all those panels and pages on something that’s not really important? Turns out Pfarrer is a screenwriter, so maybe he wasn’t thinking about the economy of the page. Who knows.

The book also suffers from some muddy artwork by John Higgins that gets especially difficult to follow towards the end when the action really ramps up. It’s not easy keeping track of all the characters or the action. Pretty much everything that happens on the submarine left me scratching my head.

I feel like this review came off more negative than I wanted it to. As a potential, possible continuation of one of the greatest movies of all time, it’s interesting. There’s some cool ideas in there and Pfarrer captured MacReady’s voice really well, it just felt rushed.

Casting Internets

I thought I posted these links last week, so these are pretty much all pre-NYCC. Hope they’re still interesting.

I just started writing for Spinoff Online! You can keep up on my posts with this handy author link.

My pal Sean T. Collins is working his way through Mad Men and blogging about it. Check out this post about sex & violence, then look around for the rest!

Another pal Jim Gibbons talked to Robot 6 about moving from marketing to editorial.

TVLine says that Roseanne’s new sitcom Downwardly Mobile got picked up by NBC. This is very good news.

I haven’t seen the Chucky movies, but I’m psyched about the possibility of any horror video game based on a known character. Would be way better if it was Jason, but I’ll take the talking doll, I guess (via /Film)If Phil Noto draws the Beatles, I will link to it.

Flea talked to Rolling Stone about acting in Big Lebowski, Back To The Future 2 and The Chase, fun stuff!

Also via Rolling Stone, Petty Fest sounds awesome.

Archie’s bringing the Crusaders back, which is cool, but even cooler is the fact that they’re doing a Netflix-like subscription format. This is awesome and the others will follow suit soon enough. (via Robot 6)

Finally, I’m really sorry to hear about the passing of Mikey Welsh, one-time Weezer bassist. He played on the first new Weezer record I was a fan for and then went away. Sounds like he had some problems, hope things are better for him now. (via Hollywood Reporter)

Casting Internets

Wow, it has been way too long since I went through my reading material and shared them with you guys. Here’s what I’ve got, please excuse some of the older links.

First off, huge super congrats to my pal Megan for graduating nursing school! (via CKT)

I chatted with Joshua Williamson about his upcoming Image book Xenoholics and Ron Marz about all his upcoming Top Cow projects for CBR.

I also wrote about the Williams-Sonoma free comic by CB Cebulski and Todd Nauck to help benefit Share Our Strength AND took a look at Luke Cage’s costumes throughout the years.

Jim Shooter went on a storytelling rant I quite enjoyed, especially the part about how comic writers don’t introduce characters anymore. I also agree that too many comics now are derivative of old ones. So, so true.
Wynn Ryder did Leonard from Big Bang Theory over on his sketchblog The Daily Sketchjam.

/Film passed along a rumor that Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme might be in Expendables 2. That is amazing. Also, John Travolta. Eh.

HBO’s Tales From The Crypt series holds a very special place in my heart, so I’m definitely curious about a new version that will be less of an anthology and more of an ongoing series. (/Film)

Anyone who reads this blog on the regular will know that I’m a sucker for honest, behind-the-scenes stories and 1989 Captain America director Albert Pyun talking to CBR about his movie fits the bill absolutely.
Chris Sinderson mashed up Jack Kirby’s Kamandi with the Peanuts over on Drawbridge.

Tim Seeley’s writing Masters of the Universe minicomics through Dark Horse? Very cool. (via CBR)

I haven’t read GQ‘s oral history of The Dana Carvey Show yet because it’s 7 pages, but I’m excited to.

Brian Truitt wrote a great piece about MASK for USA Today. Good stuff. If you wonder what I thought about the new DVDs, click here.

As a big Hong Kong Phooey fan, I’m less concerned about the possibility of Eddie Murphy voicing the title character than I am of the movie being live action with a CGI HKP. Let’s go full on CGI with this one! (via /Film)If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and check out Phil Noto‘s blog where he’s doing a series of drawings in a late 60s style supposedly from Hank Pyn’s Photo Archives.

I’m a big fan of Alice Cooper, so I’m jazzed to hear that he’s got a new record coming out on September 13th called Welcome 2 My Nightmare. (via Rolling Stone)

/Film told me that Roseanne’s working on a new sitcom called Downwardly Mobile. I will absolutely, positively watch that.

Did you know that only Storm appeared in the 90s Spider-Man Secret Wars cartoon arc because of plane tickets? I didn’t either until I read last week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed.