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…

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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!

Casting Internets

Before I get into calling out the things I’ve written lately, I’d like to talk about a few other things I’m doing. First off, I’m on Twitter @PoppaDietsch. I started it to tell folks about my new dad blog called Pop Poppa, which you should also check out. Finally, I got back to posting on my Tumblr blog. Fun stuff.

I talked a lot about being busy before the con. Here’s the proof. I talked with Top Cow’s Matt Hawkins and Filip Sablik about Pilot Season, Joe Keatinge and Frank Cho about Brutal, Tony Lee about an upcoming MacGyver comic, Josh Fialkov about Pilot Season: The Test, Alan McElroy about Pilot Season: Anonymous and Landry Walker about Danger Club.

But that’s not all, I also wrote a pair of articles for Marvel.com about Black Panther vs. Daredevil and Villains For Hire!

My buddy Sean T Collins talks about his nightly Daddy Dance Party (something I can relate to) and the awesomeness of James Brown.

Sean also has a Spider-Man story that will be out in October. I will actually be finding a comic shop and purchasing this comic, that’s saying a lot.

Speaking of my friends writing comics, another pal Alex Segura is writing Archie Meets KISS. I can’t tell you how awesome this is to me. Congrats! (via CBR)

There’s a red carpet at Comic Con for celebs to walk down. TLo told me this here and here. So weird.

My favorite bit of news out of SDCC is that Fantagraphics will be doing creator-specific reprints of the EC masters. Amazing. (via Comics Reporter)

I’m also really excited about the guys behind the Crank movies and Gamer working on the next Ghost Rider flick. Actually, I don’t know if I’ve been this excited about a comic-based movie in a long time, that’s a winning combination. (via Wired)

George Harrison’s final album Brainwashed was pretty revelatory to me when it came out, so I’m really interested to see Martin Scorsese’s documentary on the former Beatle. (via Rolling Stone)

Casting Internets

Bangkok Knockout looks as awesome as The Protector and Ong-Bak. Can’t wait for this one to make its way to the states. If Magnet/Magnolia wants to send me an advanced review copy, I would not be opposed. (via /Film)

I don’t know what iOS is, but I want to find out now that I know that The 7th Guest will be available on it. That was one of the few computer games I ever got into and still remember part of the answer to the first puzzle, something like “The light is ruddy, the night is bloody.” I had to look “ruddy” up. (via IHeartChaos)

I don’t know what to think about the Toxic Avenger remake I read about on /Film. I love how weird, bad and violent the original was (it’s a big part of my childhood), but I can’t imagine a remake topping it. Who am I kidding? I’ll be there in the theater.

I’m not a huge fan of action figure reviews because they tend to be the same, but Fwoosh does a good job with them. Even better are the class pictures they put together like they just did with the 14th wave of DC Universe Classics. I especially like the JSA team shot.

The missus first told me about Cooks Source magazine copying a food blogger’s recipe and printing it without permission and then giving the original writer shit because, as they said, everything on the internet is public domain. According to a Wired story by David Kravets, Food Network is also investigating the mag. Ugh. How do people like this have any business being in journalism?

I’ve never seen The A-List on Logo and I kind of never want to because Tom & Lorenzo’s recaps make me laugh way too hard. This week’s post is no different. I really dig Ace of Cakes and really appreciate anyone who can turn something they love into a job they can share with their friends, so I’m happy for and jealous that Duff got to voice a cake-delivering robot on Clone Wars. StarWars.com talked to the chef about it.

Esquire.com‘s Tom Junod comparing President Obama’s decreasing charm to the idea of Miles Davis losing both his ability to play AND his mystique is an interesting one.

“Imagine Miles Davis losing not just his ability to blow but also his mystique; he might get his chops back, but the aura would be more difficult to restore, along with his ability to captivate audiences by turning his back on them. Of course, Obama has never turned his back on us, but so many Americans have turned their backs on him that it amounts to The Anointed One, as he is sometimes referred, being stripped of something that can never return: his anointment.”

NOOOOOOOOO!Jude Buffum‘s 8-bit NES character meat diagrams are fantastic. He did six, which you can check out here, but the squid from the Mario games is my favorite. (via Autumn Society)

Collectorfest FTW

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Forget about Big Apple Con and New York Comic Con, Collectorfest is where it’s at. The local Newburgh comic show was held this past Saturday at the Knight’s Inn about seven minutes from my house. Aside from not taking forever to get to like the aforementioned NYC shows, Collectorfest also wins the con wars because 1. it only cost $6 to get into, 2. there were no crowds to fight and 3. I actually got great deals on comics. One dude had about four short boxes I dug through and another had comics he was selling BY THE POUND! Aside from that admission, I only dropped $6 in the show and walked out with 65 comics. Not a bad day’s work. I’m pretty psyched to read most of the Nth Man run (a book I know nothing about), some pre-Peter David Aquaman, a few Reign of the Supermen-era Superman comics I missed, the Jack of Hearts mini and all those awesome licensed comics (M.A.SK.! A-Team). I’d been feeling kinda down all week, but buying several pounds of comics really lifted my spirits!

A Few Thoughts On New York Comic Con

Right off the bat, I’m going to say that I’ve learned over the last five years of attending New York Comic Con that big comic shows  like this are not my cup of tea. I don’t care about seeing panels for the most part (I’ll read about the news online), I’m not into getting celebrity autographs anymore (used to be when I was a kid), I don’t want to dress up, I like getting sketches but they’ve gotten pretty pricey and I generally don’t like standing in line. I do like flipping through cheap comics, perusing original comic art and buying cheap trades. Oh and seeing all my friends who come in for the show, that’s the best part. I guess I’m pretty simple when it comes to what I’m looking for in a show.

Basically, NYCC is too big, too crazy, too packed and the people walking around seem a little too rude for my tastes. Sure there’s lots of nice folks around, but the number of people absentmindedly flailing around the aisles with signs sticking out of their backpacks poking me in the face and pulling suitcases or hand trucks filled with comics taking me out at the legs is way too high. If I ran the show, I’d ask retailers and vendors to relax on the overly huge giveaways that just end up getting in the way. Weird Alien facehugger mask things? No problem there though they were littered all over the place, but those big huge Anime signs? Too much.

The costumes also caused a few different problems. I’m not saying people shouldn’t dress up, but try and be considerate of the people around you. Skintight’s alright, but carrying a giant hammer or sword? Ridiculous. I would imagine it’s also pretty damn uncomfortable after about 20 minutes. Oh, and if you’re wearing a costume that obscures vision, don’t act pissed off at me when you bump into me and don’t say “Hey, sorry.” I can’t tell you how many “sorrys” or “excuse mes” I dropped at the show. But even the costumes that don’t get in the way while you’re trying to walk the floor can be a pain when other people stop them to take a picture. I personally don’t understand the appeal of dressing up for these things, but to each their own. I understand wanting to take pictures of every Chewbacca or Scarlet Spider you see (I saw three myself) even less. But, if you’re going to do something like that, please, for the love of Mike, do it off to the side and not right in the middle of the aisle. Many of my problems with the show come down to basic human courtesy not being observed.

But not all of them. I went down to the show on my own during the day on Friday only from about 2 to 5 or so and the first thing I did was go down to get my press pass. I was shocked to see a line so long I half expected Jim Lee to be on the other end handing out free art and hugs. Nope, it’s the press room. I don’t really know what the hold up was. There were four or five volunteers helping people out and the guy who helped me was super nice, but it took a good half hour. I heard that this year, Reed accepted a lot more press credential applications, which was painfully obvious as I stood in line with a dude in a Viking helmet, people in costume and dudes running fan sites. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I think people from the press should handle themselves professionally.

The press line was just the first hint at how crowded and busy the show was going to be. Friday wasn’t terrible, but it still wasn’t easy to move around the show floor. I wound up spending my last hour of the show hanging outside with some friends and then took off. The next day, the missus and I planned to get down to the show around noon and it was ridiculously packed. We made our way to a few booths to see some friends, but even after that I was pretty tired of fighting the crowds, especially trying to get from the main show floor to artists alley which was not easy thanks to a gigantic Animal Planet structure they put in the back corner.Basically, this year seemed like a complete 180 change in the problem that people had the first year or two when they actually closed off entry onto the show floor because it was too crowded. The only problem with that was that some pros and panelists were actually kept from their tables and appointments.

I think artists alley has been in a different configuration each year of the show and this one was pretty good, though having the gaming stuff crammed back there lead to some more aisle-cluttering. In my opinion, the best year for the alley was when they had the whole thing on the upper level, but I hear this year, that area was being redone.

At first I thought about not even bothering with this post because it’s kind of like a hardcore horror fan taking Twilight to task for being aimed at teenagers, because these big shows aren’t really my thing anyway, but they should be my thing. Any comic fan should be able to go to a show, have a good time and take advantage of whatever the show offers. I know going in what I don’t want to bother with, but when I can’t even get to the comics, that seems like a comic show that isn’t being run very well. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the volunteers, but I didn’t have any problems with them. I was shocked that I never once saw a place to pick up programs. They could have been right in front of me, but the crowds were so thick that I couldn’t see them.

I don’t expect much to change with NYCC. It sold out on Saturday and Sunday, so it made huge money. Things that make lots of money tend not to get scaled back to make less money. Maybe some limitations on what attendees can bring into the show could be made (no giant hammers or suitcases on the show floor, but also give people an opportunity to access their comics at the rental place) and the aforementioned request for smaller, more manageable giveaways. A much more well handled crowd would also be appreciated and make the crazy number of people walking around feel less daunting. Even if nothing changed on the part of Reed and NYCC, it would be awesome if people just relaxed a little bit, weren’t chasing after people in costume to take a picture of them in the middle of the aisle and freely smashing into people without apologizing. I don’t expect the show to be completely turned around to fit my ideal show (quarter boxes as far as the eye can see), but it would be nice if the people in charge made a change or two to make the show a little more easy to swallow.

Adventures In Freelancing: Recent Links

After announcing the new recurring feature Adventures In Freelancing, I figured it would be a good idea to throw up some links to my work with a few comments about my process and that kind of thing.

My weekly TV column for Maxim.com continues to roll on. You can check out this week’s here and then check out the Writing Links tab up there in the right hand corner for past entries. I write We Like To Watch the week before it goes up by going through TVGuide.com’s schedule and writing notes about what new shows might be interesting to watch. With something like this, it’s key to keep your audience in mind, so I’m not going to write about how much I actually like Real Housewives of New Jersey or something like that, but I can poke fun at it. I try to match the voice of the magazine and other pieces I’ve read on the website. Adapting like that is key when writing for many different outlets.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been continuing to do lots of work for UGO.com’s The Goods section. I write a WTF Star Wars?! every single day, it’s usually the first thing I do in the morning. When my editor first pitched me on the idea, I thought it would last maybe a month, but I’ve got a whole folder filled with future entries and see a few things every day to add. So much Star Wars! I’m also continuing to work on a weekly DVD/Blu-ray column for them called Blu-sday which I picked up from my buddy Adam Tracey. This week’s entry can be found here and you should check out last week’s which isn’t based on new movies, but existing football flicks. For this one, I go through Amazon’s listings, open a bunch of tabs and narrow it down to five entries and then have fun with it.

My gig with UGO also includes list elements every week or so, which we try to tie-in with something happening that week in pop culture or something coming up. I did a Fall Toy Preview list of upcoming products that look rad, a list of great American spies based on George Clooney’s The American, the greatest Star Wars toys of all time and a list of geeky movie and TV locales you should check out when you’re in NYC for NYCC. I generally don’t read the comments for these things because they make me sad, but I got a chuckle out of the guy who asked why I forgot to put James Bond on the list of great American spies. Sigh. With the lists, I find it’s best to use elements you’re familiar with maybe a few you don’t know about thrown in to mix it up. You’re always going to have people hollering why their pick isn’t on the list. That’s the internet, everyone has an opinion, but some people get paid for theirs while others give them away.

Speaking of lists, a few of the ones I’ve written for Topless Robot have gone up like 10 NES Games Based on R-Rated Movies and the 10 Most Screwed-Over Children of Superheroes in Comics. The first I came up with after seeing a ton of surprising games based on R-Rated flicks. I’ve got a whole second list that could be used for a follow up if there’s enough interest which is why some obvious ones were missing (another comment section I read a few entries from). The second list was spawned from all the internet clamor over the death of Roy Harper’s daughter Lian in Justice League: Cry For Justice. TR is great because you get to really exercise your snakry muscles. With these I pitch the editor with ideas and he either assigns them or doesn’t, then I work on them when I can, turn them in and keep an eye on the site for when they go live. More topical ones get posted sooner, so staying current is key. I just pitched a few Halloween/horror lists that I’m excited to work on soon.

I’ve also been writing for ToyFare lately, but that issue is being closed right now, so you won’t see those efforts for about a month. I do believe that #159 is out right now, which means you can check out my feature where I got to interview my former boss Zach Oat and sculptors Tim Bruckner and Ruben Procopio about their upcoming book Pop Sculpture and all the Incoming writing. #160 has a feature I was really excited to write and I think turned out well, but you’ll have to wait and see what that’s all about. I love all the web work I do but there’s something really cool about going to a grocery or book store and being able to pick something up with your name in it.

Finally, I’ve done a lot of work for Marvel’s website. These pieces are either recurring monthlies like Five Favorite Avengers (with Bill Rosemann and Tim Seeley) and Earth’s Mightiest Costumes (Quicksilver) or specific assignments on upcoming projects like Ant-Man & The Wasp, Chaos War: Dead Avengers and the Iron Man 2: Public Identity trade. I really like doing pieces for Marvel because it keeps me in touch with the world of comics, which is what I cut my teeth on as a writer. It’s also a lot of fun talking with creators about their process and seeing what’s coming up.

So there you have it, this is what I do all day, every day. If you have any questions leave a comment or drop me an email at tjdietsch AT SYMBOL gmail DOT com.

UPDATE: I just spent way too much time re-doing the Writing Links section, giving each website or magazine their own page. Check it out and let me know if any of the internal links don’t work. Thanks!