Archive for February, 2007

J.J. ABRAMS TO DIRECT STAR TREK FEATURE FILM FOR PARAMOUNT PICTURES IN THEATERS CHRISTMAS DAY 2008

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Official press release
HOLLYWOOD, CA, February 26, 2007 — "Star Trek," one of the most popular and successful franchises in the history of movies and television, returns to the big screen under the creative vision of J.J. Abrams, the force behind "Lost," "Alias" and "Mission Impossible III" for Paramount Pictures.

The team behind the film will include Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (‘Mission Impossible III") who wrote the screenplay and will executive produce with Bryan Burk. JJ Abrams and "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof will produce. The film will begin shooting this fall for a Christmas Day 2008 release.

One of the most popular film and television franchises of all time, "Star Trek" has encompassed 726 total episodes for television in six different series, beginning with the original 1966-1969 series created by Gene Roddenberry. The 10 "Star Trek" films have grossed in excess of $1 billion at the worldwide box office. The original characters have been named among the 50 greatest TV characters of all time and the Enterprise has lent its name to two proposed spacecrafts.

“If there’s something I’m dying to see, it’s the brilliance and optimism of Roddenberry’s world brought back to the big screen," said Abrams. "Alex and Bob wrote an amazing script that embraces and respects Trek canon, but charts its own course. Our goal is to make a picture for everyone — life-long fans and the uninitiated. Needless to say, I am honored and excited to be part of this next chapter of Star Trek.”

Brad Grey, chairman and CEO, Paramount Pictures, said, "We could not be more thrilled to be back in business with J.J. Abrams. The revival of the ‘Star Trek’ franchise is an important part of Paramount ’s turnaround."

About Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global company that produces and distributes filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading entertainment content company with prominent and respected brands including Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks. The company’s labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, DreamWorks, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studios, and Worldwide Television Distribution.

Fact Sheet
"Star Trek" is one of the most popular film and television franchises of all time:
– 726 total episodes for television spanning six television series
– Original series, created by Gene Roddenberry, aired on NBC from 1966-1969
– 10 movies, grossing in total over $1 billion at the worldwide box office
– Hundreds of novels
– $3.5 billion in consumer products
– 3 million visitors of Las Vegas’s "Star Trek: The Experience" since 1998
– Over 60 interactive software products since 1991; games in production for current and next generation game platforms

J.J. Abrams is a talent widely admired by audiences and critics alike:
– Winner of two Emmy Awards for "Lost"
– 17 million viewers each week for "Lost"; a top-ten show
– Hailed by the New York Times as "one of the most exhilarating storytellers in television"
– Director of "Mission: Impossible III"
– Creator of "Alias" and "Felicity"

"Star Trek" has influenced the culture:
– NASA’s first test shuttle was named "Enterprise"
– The first commercial passenger carrier into space, Virgin Galactic, has announced that the first spacecraft of the line will be named V. S. S. Enterprise
– An episode of the original "Star Trek" featured television’s first interracial kiss
– Spock, portrayed by Leonard Nimoy, was named one of TV’s "50 Greatest Characters Ever" by TV Guide

And the winner is…

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Today was the election for Mayor of Dearborn.

Spoilers behind cut.

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Craig Ferguson … voice of reason

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

I thought he was amusing on The Drew Carey Show. I found him funnier on his late night show than Craig Kilborn was. Now, after watching several episodes, he’s actually seeming like a guy I’d like to meet and chat with. And what he said here was, I think, pretty cool and pretty admirable in this day and age.

And here’s what Craig Ferguson said in an interview a few days later.

I personally WILL make fun of Britney still, just a little bit now and then. But I can’t help but agree with several of Craig’s points.

Just food for thought.

What If… Bill Nye had been bitten by the radioactive spider?

Monday, February 26th, 2007

I was able to tour the Marvel Superheroes Science Exhibition now at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada. (That’s me in the infra-red colors and also next to the sign at the end of the video.)

This is the kind of thing you’ll like, if you like this kind of thing. I think the two websites I linked to above can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect. There are a few more notes on the exhibit in my Extended Entry.

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Crossgen Books released by Checker

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Checker Books has the license to print more volumes of CrossGen’s trade paperbacks. For instance, Volumes 1-4 of Sojourn were released by CrossGen, but they never got around to issuing trades for the rest of the series, so now CrossGen has released Volume 5 this month.

Today, I created a new CrossGen trade paperbacks store, with the new Checker releases front-loaded to page 1. I don’t know if Checker can republish any out-of-print trades (some of the later trades such as the second volume of Way of the Rat appear to have been printed in very low numbers and are hard to find).

I’d love to see more volumes of Route 666 and Ruse, as well, plus trades for Brath and El Cazador.

Checker, it appears, has the rights to the books and isn’t paying the creators anything. It sucks, especially since I’m friends with Dixon and Scott Beatty and I really think an honest company would throw some small payment their way, but Checker is under no obligations to make good on CrossGen’s commitments. I know, bloodless corporations are unfair and all that, but DC, for example, has paid Chuck and the artist some royalties for redesigning Firefly into a marketable character, even though they had no legal obligation since they were redesigning a character that DC owned.

Another consideration: what are the legalities of releasing CrossGen’s unprinted work, possibly even finishing half-completed stories? Chuck Dixon had a finale for winding up Sigil with issue #43, but the book was suddenly canceled with #42. Could Checker release a Sigil volume 7 (which will be short, otherwise, covering only issues 39-42) with the finished story, making that last volume far more marketable? Same goes for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and many other works that were probably in various stages of completion when CrossGen imploded.

This way the fans get closure, Checker has more material to market (and more of a selling point for the volumes) and the creators could get a little payment for their work. It’s worth considering, if Checker has the legal right to do it. I realize Checker is a reprint company, but it’s not without merit.

And five cartoon mice control all international finance!

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Tom and Jerry cartoons are a secret plot of THE JEWS!

This guy’s all over the place. Walt Disney has gotten something of a rep of being an anti-Semite, not in the “printing literature” sense that Ford was, but having the standard ethnic stereotypes and opinions of the day…most obviously in the Big Bad Wolf disguising himself as a Jewish peddler in the original, uncensored version of the “Three Little Pigs”. Yet here the Walt Disney company is accused of an organized plan to change the world’s opinion of the Jews for the better using their animated mouse.

It’s rather surprising that this cleric does not know the name of the Disney Company’s cunning and winning mouse. You know. The leader of the club that’s made for you and me.

It’s not Jerry.

Tom and Jerry are not a Disney product (or is that “products”?), they’re Hanna-Barbera!

That said…this idea that in Europe the Jews were dismissed as “mice” is the whole basis for “Maus”. And it does make you look twice at that old Looney Tunes cartoon produced by the Sloan Foundation where the European immigrant mouse comes to America and learns about production and consumption.

Anime Charity Event Turns Out To Be A Scam!

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

AnimeFF was founded as a charity for breast cancer research, specifically the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The group launched the "Tour for the Cure" anime con and stated that all proceeds would be donated to breast cancer research.

Obviously they needed help for something that big and they recruited several people in the anime community, including those at Otaku.com and Richard Stott, founder of the Anime Vegas convention. MTV was ready to video tape part of the convention. Among the things that were set up for Tour for the Cure was an anime art contest where the winners were to get several gaming systems. These systems were donated by Duplicate Mass Industries, AnimeFF’s parent organization, which has ties to the gaming community.

And then, things went to Hell. It turned out that no one signed the contracts for the convention rooms. The convention had to become a single day thing when it had originally been intended to last three days. Several events were canceled. Guests were told that promised accomodations weren’t available.

At the end of the day, AnimeFF representative Jeff Borncamp told the convention center people that the con was over with, at which point he immediately left with all the registration money and dealer deposits. What was supposed to be a charity event turned out to be a “hit and run” scam on not only the anime/gaming community but on people who thought they were involved in donating money to breast cancer research.

TheOtaku.com has promised to dedicate their resources to bringing all the facts to light and ensuring that this kind of thing never happens again. Their posting about it can be found at THIS LINK.

This is a sad day for a lot of people, guys. Let’s hope the right people get their asses kicked in the end and that this kind of bullshit doesn’t happen again anytime soon (preferably ever).

Mystery Guests At NY Comic-Con!

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

According to MySpace.com, there will be a special panel happening at the Comic-Con on Saturday that has three mystery guests involved in it, each said to be a top creator. These guests will not be revealed until Saturday, but ComicBookResources give this one clue:

“Two of the Mystery Panel guests have not been previously announced as attending the New York Comic Con. Their appearance at the Mystery Panel will be a total surprise.”

It is said that, in keeping with MySpace events, this mystery panel will be a very informal “anything goes” event so fans can have as much fun as possible asking questions and spouting grievances. More clues will be reported as they are revealed.

Kistler’s Been Updating!

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

I have updated my AQUAMAN, POWER GIRL and DONNA TROY profiles to contain information regarding what happaned to them Post-Infinite Crisis, including who the new Aquaman is and what his connection to the original involves, as well as what the deal was with the cancelled MERCY REEF live-action show and what I thought about it.

I have also, upon request, updated my PRE-CRISIS MEMORIES OF THE DCU article so that it now references each single comic book issue in which the events I wrote about originally happened.

And I added a couple of details to Part One of the Wonder Woman Profile to include info I somehow left out. If you already read that profile recently and don’t want to re-read it, just go to the next section of this post and I’ll explain briefly the new information that is now there.

If you want to look at any of those other updated articles, click on the link to MY LIST OF ARTICLES.

Thanks for your time, everyone. Cheers!

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See you at MicroCon in April!

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

On April 29th, I’ll be appearing at MicroCon in St. Paul, Minnesota. I hope you’ll all show up!

This is going to be an interesting con. For one thing, thanks to ComicSpace I’m meeting many Minnesota-based creators and hoping to see them there. Also, this is the first convention since Phil Meadows took his leave from the Metro Med project (at least, in his capacity as the artist) and Shooting Star Comics closed up shop, so I’m now actively searching for talent and publishing. I’ll be doing a lot of portfolio reviews.

I hope you’ll join me there.

Things are looking up for Ralph Dibny!

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

You’re all wondering if I’m despondent after what happened to my favorite superhero this week in “52”?

Are you kidding?

SPOILER SPACE FOR THIS WEEK’S ISSUE OF 52

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Alan Kistler’s Profile On: THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER – Part 2

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

This is a continued from PART ONE.

So we’ve explored how he’s been treated in the comics. What about on television? Here then is …

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The Chuck-strich

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Hopefully you’ve all seen this by now:

As the Mountain Dew web site (which has a longer version) says, only Chuck makes fun of Chuck.

More Chuck Norris fun:

That was fast!

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Stunning! “For Your Consideration“, the latest Christopher Guest movie, was just in theaters at Thanksgiving and it’s out on DVD the week before the Oscars! Obviously, that was a planned rollout to coincide with the Academy Awards, since that is the subject of the movie.

I can’t wait to see it! Well, technically, I have waited to see it.

Help the Phantom help INVISIBLE CHILDREN

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

A new storyline in THE PHANTOM is set to run between issues #17, #18 and #19. Like a lot of the stories within this series, this one will be largely self-contained.

Here’s the twist: proceeds from the sale of each issue is going to be going to the INVISIBLE CHILDREN charity to help create safe havens for children in Uganda, where they can be fed and protected from exploitation.

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I did not expect that cameo on Heroes

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Not related to the topic of my post… but certainly upfront… I am terrible with names of people, real and fictional, so it only helps when everyone has a nickname… although Claude’s name is easy because I like that book.

All of this is to distract you with facts. The spoiler is “after the jump”

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Saints Meltzer and Marz?

Monday, February 19th, 2007

When I first heard of Identity Crisis, I was livid.

As a fan of the Dibneys, I had an immediate and visceral reaction to the news that Brad Meltzer had murdered Sue in one issue and raped her in the next, the retcon equivalent of necrophilia. And then there was the whole mind-wiping thing…

And then I read it, and I found it, for the most part, to be genuinely compelling and thoughtful. There were some parts that were a little silly (here, Jean, have this crossbow…?) and some parts that were a clichéd and underdeveloped (Captain Boomerang and Son!). But it was a superhero story that took superheroes seriously and enthusiastically, both as icons and as people. They make difficult decisions but I didn’t feel that those decisions tainted them in anyway: I didn’t feel that I was reading another tiresome adventure into the Dirty Spandex sub-genre.

As a story, it’s deeper and more pleasurable to read than, say, Infinite Crisis. No gore or nihilism in Identity Crisis. The trauma is largely off-camera– largely emotional.

At the same time, they still killed Sue. They still took a giant dump on my childhood. And I’m largely skeptical about any superhero story that requires that level of transgression to get its desired impact.

And yet– I’m very, very glad that Brad Meltzer wrote it. Not that it was written. I hate the fact that it was written. But I’m glad that Meltzer was the one who did it.

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Artist Bob Oksner R.I.P.

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Mike Evanier reports that Bob Oksner has passed away.

Bob worked on newspaper comic strips including Dondi. Bob did a lot of work on funnybooks, from Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis to Ambush Bug, but he also worked on Superman, Wonder Woman and even Elvira when she hosted House of Mystery. He retired from art completely in 1986.

Bob Oksner, 1916-2007. R.I.P.

Alan Kistler’s Profile On: WONDER WOMAN! ( Pt. 1 )

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Everyone’s got an opinion on her. "She’s an American ideal." "She’s a symbol of Greek myth come to life." "She’s a strong feminist icon." "She’s all about power." "The lasso’s silly and she looks like she’s gonna fall out of her top." "How can someone fight crime in bikini briefs and heeled boots?" "She can kick Superman’s ass."

She’s a star-spangled beauty who is a strange mixture of mythic and modern day elements and who has been all around the world in comics, television, video games and cartoons (and certainly on underwear and Halloween costumes). Even if you’ve never read a comic book in your life, you know the name "Wonder Woman" and have a take on her.

But how’d she start out? And what made her the person she is today?

Let’s begin, eh? Here then is the HISTORY OF WONDER WOMAN!

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HARVEY DENT HAS BEEN CAST!!!

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

In THE DARK KNIGHT, the sequel to BATMAN BEGINS, Aaron Eckhart has been cast to play the role of Harvey Dent. The general consensus from people seems to be that this movie will focus on Batman and Dent becoming friends, whereas the third installment will feature him as Two-Face (thus actually making us CARE about the tragedy of their rivalry, as opposed to BATMAN FOREVER which just told us that he went crazy after acid damaged his face and brain).
aaron_eckhart.jpg eckhart2.jpg
Eckhart’s past credits include Nick Naylor in THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, Sgt. Blanchard in THE BLACK DALIA, James Rethrick in PAYCHECK, and Doctor Josh Keyes in THE CORE. Here’s hoping he does us proud!