Casting Internets

shootfirstIf you don’t buy my friend Justin Aclin‘s upcoming Dark Horse comic S.H.O.O.T. First, you suck.

I recently discovered a site called Humans Of New York that I can’t get enough of. A photographer walks around NYC, snapping pictures of people and asking them questions then presenting them on the site. Sounds simple, but that’s why it’s so interesting.

Oh my goodness, you guys, this Screen Junkies Honest Trailer for Batman & Robin is super-great-fantastic. Thanks to The Mary Sue for bringing it to my attention!

As a kid, I read The Giver more than any other book. The adaptation is shaping up to be quite a film. Jeff Bridges is in it and according to Deadline, Meryl Streep’s on board too. I will certainly see this flick.

Not quite sure what to think about the CBGB movie. If it’s got even a fraction of Please Kill Me in it, it should be alright. The Ramones look like gods in the first trailer over on THR, so that’s a step in the right direction.

Variety‘s telling me that there’s going to be a Disney Imagineering documentary. I went on the Behind the Magic tour at Disney World which was fascinating, so this should be even better.ace mccloud centurions custom

Not too long ago, I talked about how much I enjoyed the concept of Centurions and wondered why it never made a comeback. Now there’s a killer custom of Ace McCloud by Hemblecreations as posted on ToyNewsI that looks all kinds of rad. That’s internet synergy, yawl.

Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer is hilarious, you should check it out. I will definitely check out her Judd Apatow-produced film, Deadline reports.

Transworld Business, an action sports website I recently discovered, tells me that Oakley’s doing a 6-part web series featuring skateboarder Bob Burnquist showing off his own personal skatepark. The part where he skates around a helicopter made me super nervous.

Right after the X-Games, Nyjah Huston wrote this fantastic column for THR about the greatness of his sport and its potential for inclusion in the Olympics. I’ll throw my vote in for that idea right now.

Danny Way told ESPN might return to the X-Games, bringing a whole new gigantic ramp thing to the proceedings. Yes, make this happen.

I’ve always been interested in how Alice Cooper balances his normal life with his stage one, something he talked to Esquire about recently.walmart-library-5

Web Urbanist posted these amazing pictures of a Texas Walmart that was converted into the largest single floor library in the country.

I picked up The Tom Tom Clubs’ latest record Downtown Rockers this year and have really grown to dig it, so I’m glad to hear they told Rolling Stone they’re likely to get back together and record later this year.

Brilliant physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson talked about science and how it needs to be more prevalent during SDCC. (via Spinoff).

If you’re like me and wondered why the producers on Real World and The Challenge don’t seem to be interfering as much when things get violent, Variety did an interesting write-up on why.sam bosma-lisbon

Finally, go check out the larger version of Sam Bosma‘s Lisbon drawing. It’s wallpaper-worthy, no doubt.

To My Mind, Amazing Spider-Man Is Superior

amazing spider-man poster

Like a lot of people, I was dubious when I head about plans to reboot the Spider-Man film franchise so quickly after the previous installment (there’s only 5 years between Spider-Man 3 and Amazing). I’m also about the only person on Earth who doesn’t like Spider-Man 2 (too overwrought) and one of the many people who actively disliked Spider-Man 3, so more Spidey on the big screen wasn’t something I was interested in whatsoever. So, why’d I wind up watching it last night? Pretty simple: we’ve got a Starz’ family movie channel replacing the absent CBS on our cable and it happened to be on. With a general feeling of, “Eh, why not?” and our daughter loving Spider-Man, my wife and I figured we’d give it a shot.

And, you know what? I really enjoyed this movie. I’ll say right now that it’s been years since I watched Spider-Man and my memories of that film have absolutely been tarnished by the sequels, but Amazing compared favorably to that other film as far as I’m concerned. I liked the “figuring out his powers” scene a lot for instance and not just because it included skateboarding.

While still doing the origin thing (which I actually missed as we turned the movie on about 10 or 15 minutes late) the movie focused more on Peter Parker as a high school kid. Before Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) inevitably passes away, but after Peter discovers his powers, he embraces his new abilities as well as the scientific projects he gets to work on with the one-armed Dr. Connors. They’re working on a limb regeneration experiment that Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) winds up using on himself, which turns him into the Lizard, a process that drove him so crazy that he utilized a device to try and spread the lizard-izing chemicals all over NYC. Meanwhile, Peter’s flirting with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and meeting her dad (Denis Leary) who doesn’t like the vigilante running around his city.

First and foremost, I adored Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. I’d only ever saw him in The Social Network and wasn’t sure how he’d play as one of the world’s most iconic superheroes, but I thought he killed it. He nailed the darkness that comes from the loss of a loved one along with the general high school angst. This isn’t just the story of Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man, but the story of a boy dealing with the loss of his father figure while also working through actual parental issues and you feel that throughout the film. Then, a few minutes later, he’s doing the whole jokey thing which is clearly his way of embracing his new life. Some people complained that there wasn’t enough joking around, but that made sense with this story which gets pretty intense pretty quickly.

I also appreciated what they didn’t do in this movie. There’s no “With great power comes great responsibility” or wrestling match or Mary Jane or J. Jonah Jameson or Norman Osborn. Those elements are there in various forms, but after seeing those things done already, it was nice to see them skipped over this time around. My biggest concern going into Amazing was that it would be far too much of a rehash. Sure, director Marc Webb ((500) Days Of Summer) makes nods to the comic book and movie origins but also puts a spin on them that makes sense within the context of this film.

amazing spider-man poster 2

I should also note that I’ve never read Spider-Man comics aside from an Ultimate Spider-Man binge-read I did years ago that got me up to around the #100 mark (I didn’t dig it). So, while watching this version of the story I wasn’t concerned with “Hey, that’s not like the comic” or constantly comparing it to the hundreds of comics I’ve read (like I did with Dark Knight Rises and Man Of Steel). Thanks to that disconnect I was able to just sit back and enjoy the film.

Oh, the special effects are rad too. I know they did as much practically as they could, but even the super CGI-y scenes made sense and looked pretty good on my TV. I’d still like to watch the movie on Blu-ray at some point to really see how good or bad it looks.

I dug the movie and so did my kid actually. It’s funny the little things here and there that she picks up on. There’s a part where Peter’s supposed to pick up eggs but gets sidetracked. My wife and I both joked that he forgot the eggs when he got back to the house and our daughter kept asking about the eggs throughout the movie. Unfortunately, she fell asleep before that was all wrapped up at the end of the movie, yet another reason to watch the movie again!

Rocky 7 To Focus on Apollo Creed’s Grandson

carl_weathers_rocky Sylvester Stallone’s got at least one more Rocky movie in the works. According to Deadline, Sylvester Stallone will return as the Italian Stallion in a film called Creed that follows the exploits of Apollo Creed’s grandson as Rocky comes out of retirement to train him. Since Carl Weathers’ character didn’t fare so well against Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, don’t expect him to come back. His grandson will be played by Michael B. Jordan (ChronicleFruitvale Station). Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler is helming the project and co-writing with Aaron Covington.
michael b jordan chronicle

Per Deadline:

Raised in an upper-crust home thanks to the ring riches earned by his grandfather, the young man doesn’t have to box and his family doesn’t want him to. Yet, he has the natural instinct and gifts and potential that made his grandfather the heavyweight champion until Rocky Balboa took his crown in 1979′s Rocky II. Creed’s grandson needs a mentor and turns to Balboa, who is out of boxing completely and not eager to return.

I’m not nearly as familiar with the Rocky films as I should be, but every time I see the first few, I enjoy the experience. Plus, even though I haven’t seen 2006’s Rocky Balboa, I love that movie for helping Stallone get back into the kinds of movies he should be making instead of goofy 90s junk.

I STILL Think The X-Games Is Awesome

x-games sloan big airTwo years ago I wrote a post about how I thought the X-Games is awesome. I still agree with everything I wrote there, but have found a completely new and different reason to love these games: inspiration. I find it amazing how men and women can devote themselves to any particular activity, hone themselves into machines and perform that activity to the best of their ability. I appreciate that level of skill in everything from football and film to singing and skateboarding. Plus, what better expression of independence is there than rocketing down a ramp and doing flips in the air?

When I watch the X-Games, as I did this past weekend when the now-touring event hit Munich, I was constantly amazed at the level of skill these people achieved to do amazing things, conquering previously held rules in the process. Humans aren’t supposed to launch themselves dozens of feet in the air and land safely. They’re even less likely to do the same thing, not land correctly and walk away alive. These are people who see a challenge and attack it with everything they have until they either conquer it or, well, break.

I’ve done my best to catch the last few X-Games contests and the event that I love the most is called Big Air. This is when a skateboarder or BMX rider comes down a gigantic slope, hits one of three ramps, flies over a big gap while doing a trick, lands on another ramp and then hits a half pipe that’s also gigantic only to throw a second trick. Above you can see Chad Kagy’s Gold Medal-winning run from this year’s BMX Big Air contest (for a first person POV view of the whole thing go here). But, the guy who’s really captured my imagination during the past two games has been skateboarder Bob Burnquist, who’s 36 and not only still winning Gold Medals, but also beating kids, half and two-thirds his age (Munich Bronze winner Tom Schaar is 14 while fourth place winner Jagger Eaton is only 12!).

The fact that Burnquist has stayed healthy enough to keep competing consistently in a sport he loves is inspiring to me as is just about everything I saw everyone do during Big Air. It’s basically humanity saying, “Forget you, nature, I’m going to figure out a way to fly.” I love that spirit and have tried using it as a way of driving me to do the things I love. I currently have the image at the top of this post as my desktop wallpaper because it makes me think, “If this dude can do something crazy like that, I can write a few pages today.” Sure, it’s a little cheesy, but it’s better than one of those “Hang in there” posters with a cat, right?

Doc Double Feature: Waiting For Lightning (2012) & 30 For 30 The Birth Of Big Air (2012)

waiting for lightning I’m a sucker for skateboarding documentaries, you guys. So, when I was flipping through Netflix Instant options and came across Waiting For Lightning, which focuses on Danny Way and his attempt to jump over the Great Wall of China on his skateboard, I was definitely interested. In addition to sounding pretty interesting in and of itself, I was very, very vaguely familiar with Way thanks to his inclusion in the Skate series of video games. Director Jacob Rosenberg takes the opportunity of using Way’s record breaking skate stunt as a springboard to dive into the man’s incredibly interesting past.

Way’s early days were pretty rough. His mom and dad got married and had two kids, but after moving back to California his dad got locked up in prison where he was murdered. His mom wound up marrying a guy who sounded pretty great, but she never really dealt with her husband’s death and it wound up eating away at her and that relationship which lead to a split and a series of crummy fill-in dads. All of that, mixed with what sounds like an inborn desire to prove himself and an older brother whose friends were all into skating all lead to Way trying his damnedest to nail every trick he saw and could think of.

He quickly rose through the ranks of skating where he latched on to several other people who filled the father role for him — some of which who were tragically taken from his life — but it wasn’t enough. Way was one of the guys who really got behind the idea of building giant ramps for big air competitions. That all lead into the idea of jumping the Great Wall which was equal parts terrifying and inspiring.

Actually, I found this entire movie inspiring. You’ve not only got Way’s burning desire to continually top himself, but also this story of a kid whose support system was ripped away from him and yet found a way to survive and thrive. This film also finds ways to present some incredible skateboarding tricks in ways that make them look as graceful and complicated as profesional dancers. That ability to train and twist the body into doing things above and beyond normal human abilities is just fascinating to me.

Finally, I was drawn to this movie as a father. Every father, no every man, needs to watch this film to see what kind of impact a father/male role model can have on a person. I don’t believe that a male or female influence is more important than the other, but it’s monumentally important to have a balance in all things in life. Danny Way had to search for his balance and he eventually found it in the fathers and men who encouraged him to follow his passion of skateboarding. He used that drive to achieve things that, literally, no other person on the planet has achieved. That’s a testament not only to his skill, but also to the men and women who were there for him in his formative years.

30 for 30 the birth of big air The experience of watching Waiting For Lightning reminded me of a mini-documentary I saw on ESPN a few months back and was similarly captivated by, The Birth Of Big Air part of the network’s 30 For 30 line-up. This film, directed by Jackass creator Jeff Tremaine, shines the spotlight on Mat Hoffman, a BMX rider whose desire to ride higher and harder than anyone else has earned him a place in sports history.

Hoffman and Way actually share quite a few similarities, which shouldn’t be too surprising considering they did very similar things on different man-powered vehicles. Both were driven by a desire to learn and top themselves, which included flying through the air to death defying heights. Both invented numerous tricks. Both have suffered serious injuries in the process (Hoffman’s doctor says he’s broken every extremity available). Both were also fueled by the deaths of loved ones, in Hoffman’s case it was his mother.

While Waiting For Lightning documents Way’s desire to jump the grand canyon, Birth Of Big Air shows Hoffman’s struggles to achieve world records and get recognition for the work he was doing. It’s an intense journey that has resulted in recognition, but also plenty of worrisome injuries.

The problem I have with guys like Danny and Mat is that they’re both dads who feel the need to push themselves as hard as possible in order to prove their abilities or even show how great they are to their kids. This bothers me because you’re directly risking your life to impress your kids whereas I believe you need to have a longer view of life that includes sticking around and taking care of your children. But hey, that’s why I’m sitting on my couch blogging about guys soaring through the air and not doing it myself.

Doc Review: Skatopia – 88 Acres Of Anarchy (2007)

skatopia When I saw Skatopia: 88 Acres Of Anarchy pop up on Netflix, I was intrigued. I’ve watched plenty of movies about skateboarding, both fictional and documentary, so when I saw this thing about a dude whose been building a huge skatepark on his property for years, I figured it was worth a look. I had no idea the rollercoaster of emotions I’d feel while watching, though.

First, the basics. Brewce Martin is a skater who tried for years to build a place where he could skate and enjoy himself, but kept finding static until he moved to a southeastern part of Ohio (my home state) where he bought the titular 88 acres and started building. Far from being wealthy, or great at paying his bills, Martin has made the creation of Skatopia a group effort, allowing people to stay on his property in everything from old trailers to lean-tos. The concept is pretty simple, they do work and they get to not only stay there but also skate the place. It’s become a kind of Mecca for skaters as one of the many transients says during the film. To help keep things rolling, Brewce holds a few annual parties to help bolster income which he then puts back into the park. One of the main points of interest and conflict comes from the 60 day prison term Martin winds up serving to take care of an assault and battery charge that he says was actually an attack on himself where he was simply defending himself.

From watching the film I feel like I got a pretty good sense of who Brewce is as a person, partially because he lays a lot of things out on the table, but also from watching him interact with people. He just wants to live his life how he wants to live it which mostly includes skating, partying and fooling around, none of which is bad on its own. But, he’s got a toddler daughter with his girlfriend and that’s one of the main sources of discomfort and worry for me as a viewer throughout this film, but I’ll get back to that in a bit. He freely admits to having problems with fidelity, authority and rage, all of which are hinted at or overtly shown in the film. But he’s also a control freak, which is interesting considering he doesn’t want anyone telling him what to do. The subtitle of the film — 88 Acres Of Anarchy — is actually bullshit. Skatopia is a dictatorship, run by Brewce. He’s got a solid set of rules that might have a lot of bend to them and space for individuality, but if you cross him, he will come down on you, either with violence or expelling you from the kingdom.

And, to a certain extent, he has to be like that. He’s dealing with a group of individuals who have basically shrugged off the regular working world. They just want to skate. Some of them are jazzed about actually being a part of building up Skatopia, which is fantastic, but others look like they’re just there to drink a lot of Pabst Blue Ribbon and possibly partake in various illegal narcotics (nothing’s overtly shown, but if there aren’t at least a half dozen meth heads in this film, I’m one of the Z-Boys). When he’s locked up, things just don’t get done. Partially because his minions don’t want to work, partially because their king isn’t pushing them to get things done and partially because he is the wheeling, dealing brains behind the entire operation. Still, he gets out in time to finish enough of something to throw a party that seems like a success.

So that’s all well and good. I’m not the type that wants to tell adults how to live their lives (though I’m fairly certain some of the Skatopia inhabitants were under age). My only real problems with this guy revolve around his young daughter. My kid’s about as old as she is in the film and I just can’t help but feel sorry for her. It’s great that her dad is a free thinker, but he also throws a party that involves drinking, drugs, fire, fireworks, explosions and all manner of other craziness. Where’s she in all that? Who’s looking out for her? There’s a scene where her mom brings her to visit her dad in prison that broke my heart. That’s where I think I turned on Brewce as a character. For me, a person’s number one priority should be protecting their children and I worry that she’s in an unsafe environment without much supervision. There’s also the seemingly looming threat of all the things Brewce has specifically told us viewers about himself that keep gnawing in my brain when it comes to his daughter: he’s violent, irresponsible, bad with money, all things that tick in the negative when it comes to fatherhood.

And yet, I find myself agreeing with a lot of what Brewce has to say. He pulled his older son — who’s 20 in the film — out of traditional schools because he doesn’t like how they indoctrinate people. I can relate to that. He thinks that all people need a balance in their lives between the negative and positive, searching for that thing that makes them feel good. Yeah, I’m on board with that too. However, while I agree with him on many things, I personally wouldn’t let those ideas supersede my role as a father, which I think is where there’s a disconnect for me when it comes to the man.

It doesn’t help that this is a strange, meandering documentary with characters coming and going without notice or follow-up. You see Brewce, his minions and their exploits for an extended period of time to get an idea of what life at Skatopia is like, but it feels like there might have been some kind of director- or editor-driven message behind the whole thing that isn’t quite clear. For instance, there’s an entire scene where Brewce and the boys invite some strippers over to the place to hang out the night before he goes to court. There’s absolutely no point to this scene and yet it goes on for quite a while and really skeeved me out when it came to Brewce and his people. I’m not sure if that was the filmmakers’ intent or not, but I kind of think it might be. Otherwise, why not show other footage of more interesting things happening? You could have used that time to give a little bit more context to what the heck was happening during the party, which could probably have its own doc all to itself.

SKATOPIA DVDI did a little looking around after watching this movie and came to understand that Brewce was actually pretty drastically injured in a 2010 explosion at a tire factory that put him in a coma for a while. There’s not a ton of information on Wikipidea about what’s happened since then (Brewce himself doesn’t have a page, but the park does), but I get the idea he’s doing alright and Skatopia is still going strong.

At the end of the day, I’m not sure if I’d recommend this movie. On one hand, it certainly immerses you in a lifestyle you may or may not be familiar with. On the other, it’s oddly put together and features people who range from soft and cuddly to worrisome and troubling which might turn you off. I say give it a shot and see what’s going on in a place that some consider heaven and others would avoid like hell.

Toy Commercial Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Buddies

This post took longer to put together than just about any other in TCT history. First off, I wrote a whole thing about how I stumbled upon a WWF toy commercial after watching Rowdy Roddy Piper in They Live which made for a great theme this week. Then I did a UnitedMonkee search only to discover that I not only already posted this commercial (back in 2010!), but also wrote a very similar write-up. With that scrapped, I figured I’d look around for one about the pillow pal WWF guys which are actually called WWF Wrestling Buddies. 

If you don’t remember, these were Tonka plush toys based on popular wrestlers of the day. This might seem like a strange mix, but actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The whole idea of wrestling is performing crazy moves on your opponent, so what better way to let kids get in on the action than by giving them garish stuffed opponents to body slam all over their bedrooms?

And that’s exactly how these toys were played with if memory serves. Even though I wasn’t into the WWF two of my good friends in the neighborhood were and they had plenty of merchandise. Remember this was the late 80s/early 90s so you had lots to chose from. We would perform whole Royal Rumbles with these guys and it was a lot of fun. The commercial really captures that, though I don’t think we ever made his parents walls quiver and shake quite that bad. 

Friday Fisticuffs: Universal Soldier: The Return (1999) & Sudden Death (1995)

universal soldier the return After being so impressed with Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning, I wanted to go back and check out the other movies in the Soldier franchise, just to remind myself of what had happened. I didn’t expect them to be as good as the latest installment, but I was curious to see what had been done in those other films and how the mythology had been handled. The first movie isn’t on Netflix Instant and neither is the third, but The Return was, so naturally, that became the next one I watched. Turns out it wasn’t terrible, but definitely has a very 90s vibe to it.

What was so 90s about it? Well, one of the central figures in the film is a computer called Seth (or more likely S.E.T.H., though I don’t feel like looking up the reason) who spends the first part of the movie existing as a cube in a ball at the end of some kind of robot construct. He basically looks like a Trapper Keeper from the same year, but sounds like Michael Jai White. There’s also a character named Squid who plays the hacker in the movie. He has blue hair, fancies himself some kind of cyber anarchist and makes every character in Hackers look GQ. Oh the 90s.

Anyway, the film follows Jean-Claude Van Damme’s character from the first film, Luc Deveraux. For some reason he’s not a UniSol anymore, though I don’t know if they every explain how or why. I remember almost nothing from my first viewing of that movie, so this was a curious development. He does hang out with and train UniSols, though, with a few pals. Everything’s going okay until one day — a day when a news crew is in the building, of course — SETH figures out that the program is going to be shut down. He then unleashes all of the Soldiers from the military’s command and sets them against Deveraux and company. The local General wants to just blow the building up, but Luc can’t allow that because,  yup, you probably guessed it, Seth kidnapped his daughter. SPOILER WARNER, the following video is the final battle from the movie, so watch at your own discretion:

Hokey, contrived and over-used plot lines aside (what do you really expect from a 90s action movie?), I had a pretty good time with USTR. In his prime, Van Damme was one of the best action guys around, not the greatest actor in the world, but able to play concerned father while kicking ass at the same time. I was also impressed with both White and Bill Goldberg’s performances. Why didn’t either of these guys really hit in the film industry? They both cut imposing figures — Goldberg is like sculpted meat in this thing — and can handle themselves in a fight scene, so what happened there? Anyway, if you’re in the mood for a mostly fun action romp, give this movie a look, but don’t expect the greatness seen in Day Of Judgement which gets better and better in my memory the more “just alright” and downright-bad action movies I watch.

sudden death

For me, JCVD’s movies are like potato chips or whiskey and sodas, I can’t have just one. While clicking through Netflix Instant I saw that Sudden Death had been added to the list of flicks. I have trouble remembering which of these movies is which and it doesn’t help when Netflix claims the film takes place in a baseball stadium (it’s a hockey game).

Van Damme stars as the difficult to kill Darren McCord, a firefighter in Pittsburgh who had some bad luck with a blaze. After that, he’s having a hard time of things and has taken a safer job as the fire marshall of the Civic Arena. Or something. There’s a lot of details in this movie that seem way too complicated, but we’ll get to that more in a bit. McCord takes his son and daughter to the last game of the Stanley Cup finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks, game that the Vice President is also attending. Powers Boothe takes this opportunity to kidnap the VP and hold him for ransom. That’s the simple version. There’s more about unfreezing bank account numbers and setting the time table of the caper to the game itself, but all you really need to know is that Powers Boothe is the bad guy, something that becomes eminently clear the moment you look at this guy. Have you seen him on Nashville? He’s gotten more evil looking as he ages. I think he’d make Hannibal Lecter uncomfortable at this point.

Because he’s awesome and because his daughter gets dragged into things — what is it with JCVD’s kids movie getting involved with villains? — McCord has to face his fears and fight…ahem…fire with fire (ie violence with violence, sorry, couldn’t resist the pun). This leads to a series of fights with individuals in various parts of the arena including my personal favorite, one with a woman in the penguin mascot costume. It sounds goofy, but it actually makes sense given the plot.

What I really liked about this movie is that it took full advantage of the setting, one that you almost never see in films. Even the above penguin-lady fight is unique even though it takes place in a kitchen. I like that kind of ingenuity used in designing the fight scenes. There’s also a nice flow from confined to dangerously huge as not one but two battles take place on the dome of the Civic Arena. It’s nowhere near a perfect film because there are some goofy moments and the occasional bad effect (the showcase one at the end of the film looks 15 kinds of bad), but overall I had a really fun time with the movie and think you will too if you’re jonesing for some vintage Van Damme.

Casting Internets

If you want to see what I’ve been working on lately, head on over to my author page on CBR. I talked to Paul Pope and John McLaughlin and also did another installment of my collectible column Toying Around!justin aclin's star wars comic

My pal, one time boss and all around rad dude Justin Aclin talked about writing a Star Wars OGN for Dark Horse over on his blog. As you  might expect, I’m super proud of him and super jealous at the same time.

Karen Burger leaving Vertigo is pretty huge when you think about all the amazing series’ she helped foster. Good luck to her! (via The Mary Sue)

Everyone interested in comics and comic production should read Jim Zub’s breakdown of costs and profits for such books. Then he wrote about digital comics. Eye-opening stuff.

I fell in love with Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere when I first read it. I’m very excited about the BBC radioplay version that will include James McAvoy, Anthony Head, Benedict Cumberbatch and Christopher Lee! (via Hypable)phil noto 70s storm

I love Phil Noto‘s series of original art pieces that are supposed to be photos from Hank Pym’s collection. Dig this Storm he posted.

Esquire scored an interview with June Diane Raphael, the wonderfully funny co-host of one of my favorite podcasts How Did This Get Made and a  recurring player on the equally wonderful New Girl.experiencing nirvanaI’m pretty curious about Sub Pop co-founder Bruce Pavitt’s e-book about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana in Europe in 1989. $5 isn’t too steep, but is it only available on the iPad? That’s no good. (via Rolling Stone)

Billy Corgan talked to Rolling Stone about my first ever Smashing Pumpkins album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Rolling Stone talked to Jimmy Page about his days in the Yardbirds. I’m sure I knew most of this stuff from Hammer of the Gods, but it was still a nice read.

Speaking of music, I discovered The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” by way of a cover and fell in love with it. This Guardian story about the song’s origins are pretty interesting.

Whoa, this skateboarding video posted over on One Cool Thing A Day is AMAZING. Tricks you’ve never seen before, guaranteed.

I hope you’re enjoying 25 days of Doctor Who goodness over on the BBC’s Adventure Calendar.

I’m pretty excited about Comedy Central giving shows to Nick Kroll, Amy Schumer and Anthony Jeselnik. Here’s hoping I’ll actually know when they’re on. (via THR)

Speaking of funny people, Louis CK answered the Proust Questionnaire over at Vanity Fair.

Lastly, I’m grown to really love Judd Apatow’s movies. I always liked them, but as I get a little older I can relate to the truth and honesty in them a lot more. As such, I’m very excited for This Is 40, though I have no idea when I will see it. Until then, I’m happy reading interviews about him and Leslie Mann from The Chicago Tribune.

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…