Archive for December, 2003

Butch Guice Heads To The Mount

Monday, December 29th, 2003

Butch Guice has rejoined the ranks of the employed with a new series from Humanoids. He’ll be teaming with Geoff Johns and Kris Grimminger on a Greek myth-centered 2-book series called Olympus.

The story will see hell breaking loose when a team of archeology students and a band of mercenaries are trapped together on Mount Olympus. And they both learn that there was more than a grain of truth in the legends.

Supergirl returns!

Saturday, December 27th, 2003

Sorta. Maybe.

Thank Newsarama and the Superman Homepage.

Big news for coming days

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

I’m still redesigning the Monitor Duty site. (I mean, more than just changing the stylesheet and logo for Christmas.)

Along with the site’s new design and look, we’ll be unveiling a contest! Look for that in the coming days, as it won’t be running for too long. Winner gets a copy of a not-yet-released DVD that all of us geeks are going to want to own. That’s all I can say about it for now.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

I don’t care if you have 56K dialup! Watch this trailer NOW!

It’s like someone poured “The Rocketeer”, the trailer for Pixar’s “The Incredibles”, “The Phantom”, “The Mask of the Phantasm” and “Superman and the Mechanical Monsters” into a cuisinart, hit frappe and then poured it into a film directed by Tim Burton.

I don’t know who directs this film. Amazingly enough, the Internet Movie Database hasn’t anything on this movie! It stars Jude Law, Angelina Jolie and Gwynneth Paltrow.

By the way, Superman and the Mechanical Monsters is very clearly referenced in this trailer, almost to the point of swiping. Uh, I mean, homage.

Matrix doesn’t get SFX nod

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

Neo Fuzzball by Robert Bavington MediasharX reports that two movies have been eliminated from the list of seven that can compete for a best SFX Oscar. The two movies are “Matrix: Reloaded” and “Matrix: Revolutions!”

That is baffling. The only saving grace of these two misbegotten Matrix films was that they continued the technical brilliance of the first movie, with a great many special effect sequences that were top-notch.

I will admit that there is some great competition this year, with “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.” But leaving “Terminator 3” on in place of one of the Matrix films is baffling. Terminator 3 didn’t strike me as being innovative in the SFX department.

And, I’m sorry, the CGI characters in “The Hulk” looked FAKE. I mean fake in the same way that the CGI in the Mummy looks fake. You know some programmers somewhere poured all their time and abilities into the characters, and it’s quite an achievement…but, despite all that, you don’t believe for a second that the person is actually there. It’s fakey. Meanwhile, the Jurassic Park guys have been making dinosaurs that blend so well you really are afraid that the person across from the dino is going to get eaten. It’s every-bit-as-CGI as the Mummy, but it doesn’t appear fake.

CGI should be a tool used to achieve an effect, rather than the central focus for the audience to gawp. The best use of SFX are the kind where the director’s commentary tells you that the 50-foot dam behind the guy isn’t even there, and you’d never have known if you weren’t told. Lt. Dan’s legs are clearly gone, and they’re not folded under Gary Sinise, either…but it’s all to serve the drama of Forrest Gump’s friend losing his legs, not to make you shout out in the theater, “I do believe his legs are really gone!”

The CGI and other effects in the Matrix films were often seamless, where you could easily forget that you’re looking at a special effect. I think that should at least make one of the films a contender…moreso than Hulk or T3.

I notice the not-yet-released “Peter Pan” is also on the list. Interesting. The remaining films are “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” and “X-Men 2: X-Men United.”

Marvel’s all-ages comics

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

marvellogo.jpg It used to be that if you wanted to get a kid a Marvel comic that was acceptable for him to read, here was how you did it: You went and bought any Marvel comic that was on the rack.

Now, you have to look for the Marvel Age title.

Oh well, it’s a start. Marvel’s trying to expand the audience, and that’s worthy of applause.

CrossGen releases for March 2004

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

cgelogo.jpg CGE soldiers on! Another full month of comics from CrossGen have been announced. Oddly enough, El Cazador will not be published in March. There is an El Cazador one-shot in its place, but it’s strange to allow a one-shot to replace the ongoing book.

The Ruse series of “Archerd’s Agents” one-shots continues with a story about an experimental submarine. Biggest announcement of the month is the beginning of Negation War.

The February announcements listed several TPBs including the first Route 666 traveler, and I know that’s a relief to many who worried that CrossGen had stopped producing trades. The only TPB in March is the second DemonWars book. This one’s in Traveler format. But come on…more CGE books, please! (I’m especially anxious to get more Sojourn Travelers so I can get caught up on this series.)

Oh, one thing caught my eye with the announcement for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang:

Can anything save Sir Charles Basildon and Stephanie Shelley from this albino arch villain?

Jeez, careful, Tony Bedard, or your book is going to get on the list of bad portrayals of albinos! Now, I hate to play up the whining of a put-upon grievance group, but I guess albinos have a better complaint than most. Albinos are always getting portrayed as assassins in movies, but albinism actually leaves most albinos with very poor eyesight.

Quizmas

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

What kind of Jedi are you? – Be Warned, there is a vulgarity in the quiz. (WHY do people do that?)

Sadly, I am not a Jedi. I am Han Solo. Actually, I had to fiddle with the results to get that one; I’d originally chosen all the horny answers that related to Padme but I didn’t like being young Anakin, so I changed them all to horny answers about Leia even though I never really like Leia.

Sales for November

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

Comic Numbers Slip in November

DC Comics has only four books in the top 25 if you include JLA/Avengers, which led the month. Let’s leave that one aside for the moment. Marvel dominates the Top 25, with only Batman as a real exception. Teen Titans and JLA also make the list. Everything else is Marvel, except for Transformers/GI Joe.

Kids get “cheap” Marvel comics

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

New ‘Kid’ Line Only Newsstand Marvels at $2.25

The newsstand price for all Marvel comics will be $2.99 but direct market prices will be cheaper. The only newsstand Marvels selling for $2.25 will be a new book called Marvel Age featuring many Marvel Universe characters and aimed at a young readers audience.

LOTR – 1/4 billion $$ in 5 days!

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

‘King’ Rakes In a Quarter Billion dollars

Wow.

That’s just…wow.

If there is anyone left at New Line wondering whether a Hobbit movie would be worth the money…

My “Return of the King” Review

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

Legolas Fuzzball by Robert Bavington I saw Lord of the Rings last Thursday. So why didn’t I post a review?

Because it’s all been said. It’s great and completes a mammoth masterpiece of movie filmmaking that should get a special Oscar for this one-movie-in-three-parts. That it has its problems and overdoes the slo-mo drama a bit much. That the 40-minute finale takes a bit too long. That Christopher Lee is missed and we can’t wait for the DVD Extended Edition. Even the most common observation: that it is so long and so packed with entertaining moments that there really isn’t a good spot to run to the restroom.

(more…)

Who’s linking to us?

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

Thought Balloons has added us to their links. Thanks, much!

PETA comics for kids bastards

Saturday, December 20th, 2003

PETA Lies To Children About Their Mommies

Fur flies over flier: PETA targets ‘Nutcracker’ kids

Archie Comics Succumbs To Manga

Friday, December 19th, 2003

Archie Comics, the seemingly last big comics company to jump on the manga bandwagon, has finally relented and will join their brethern by reshaping Sabrina the Teenage Witch into a manga title. The makeover will come courtesy of Tania del Rio, a winner of Tokyopop’s Rising Stars of Manga contest. This will mark del Rio’s first major comics work.

The new look will make it’s debut with next June’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch #58.

more Christmas comics

Thursday, December 18th, 2003

Steve Chung did more so I fulfilled my promise and expanded the list.

So go here to read that list.

Mr Chung did Teen Titans #13 and a Thanos tale published in 1993.

Merry Christmas

Theater Hopper on “Return of the King

Wednesday, December 17th, 2003

Training the buttocks to withstand nine hours of movie watching

Was the workout a success?

Second feat of strength

Ed Brubaker will arm-wrestle you for comics

Wednesday, December 17th, 2003

On Friday December 19th Ed Brubaker is arm-wrestling people at Isotope – the comic book lounge for free copies of the new Sleeper Trade Paperback. Beat Brubaker and you get Free Comics.

Unfortunately for most of the strong-arms out there, that’s in San Fransisco.

Don’t worry for Brubaker though; worry for the consumers, Brubaker lives on a farm. (Of course, I live on a farm and… I’m not a farmer).

This is an interesting promotion. It shows how serious he is about promoting his work.

Thanks to Newsarama for the wonderful article and be wary when you click the link…. there’s vulgar non-adult f-word-type language there.

The Ed Brubaker Over The Top Armwrestlethon will be held from noon to midnight on Friday, December 19th at Isotope – the comic book lounge 1653 Noriega St in San Francisco

For more information go to the article.

I, too will review The Lord of the Rings

Wednesday, December 17th, 2003

I’m seeing a matinee of “The Return of the King” at 5:20 PM, baby!

I love this.

I feel soooooooo….. I love this.

Darwyn Cooke interview regarding The New Frontier

Wednesday, December 17th, 2003

Newsarama gives us an interview with Darwyne Cooke, and revealing slightly more about The New Frontier.

I’m looking forward to this. At six books of sixty-four pages each that sums up to 384 pages total, longer than Crisis At Infinite Earths. This is something taking place in the Silver Age, which to me that means we can get a story mixed in thoroughly with the appropriate ‘sense of wonder’ which has been missing in all of these so-called ‘realistic’ titles with ‘realistic’ aproaches. This isn’t a retro-piece nor is it an “Elseworlds”. We have something taking place in the Pre-Crisis DC Universe!

It’s a period-piece which has the characters working and acting in their own ‘present day’. When their original first appearances took place, the 1950s were present day.

According to Darwyn Cooke this is “The Right Stuff for superheroes”. I’m going to love this.

I can name many fans that are or will as well.