Friday, October 07, 2005

Pop Artifact! Halloween!

Vintage Halloween comic book cover



Found at the Grand Comic Book Database.

Quick hits

Salon has loads of MP3s of poet Dylan Thomas reading his works available for free download. (Non-subscribers must watch an ad first).

Bubblegumfink has some Boris Karloff-narrated tales available for download.

An interesting entry by Mark Evanier on the origins of that Spider-Man "with great power comes great responsibility" quote.

Today in exotica:


"Wallace & Gromit" guy Nick Park is teaming up with John Cleese for a stop-motion comedy.

Did Jack Kirby create "Lost"?

Ok, so the similarities aren't quite as apparent as those between oh, let's say, "The New Gods" and "Star Wars," but this model sheet Kirby did for his "Devil Dinosaur" series really caught my eye. The stuff about a hidden "phantom continent" and off-spring of "a man and wife research team who died fighting the primeval wilderness" is pretty "Lost"-like.



The scan is from Jack Kirby Collector issue 43 from TwoMorrows Publishing, copyright of characters/illustration: Marvel Characters Inc. and the Jack Kirby Estate.

DVD cover art

Here's a look at the covers of some new and upcoming disks:







Thursday, October 06, 2005

Pop Artifact! Halloween!



Vintage Halloween comic book cover



Found at the Grand Comic Book Database.

"Lost" clues, season 2, episode 3

ABC's official recap:

Orientation
Air Date: 10/05/2005
We back up in time once again to see the journey into the hatch from Kate's perspective, where she escapes the pantry and overpowers Desmond using a gun found in the hatch's armory - damaging the computer in the process.

Desmond explains that he has been living in the hatch for several years, entering a series of numbers into the computer every 108 minutes in order to "save the world." He instructs Jack and Locke to watch a film called Orientation, which explains the origins of the hatch and its purpose on the island, while he attempts to repair the computer.

Meanwhile, Michael, Sawyer and Jin are tossed into a trap in the ground and must try to figure out how to escape. A woman, whom we recognize from the airport, is thrown in with them, only to turn against her fellow survivors.

Unable to fix the computer, Desmond flees, leaving Jack and Locke at odds over what to do. Locke must convince Jack to take a leap of faith and take over Desmond's job, just as Helen convinces Locke in the flashbacks to take a leap of faith and let go of his anger over his father.

Sayid ultimately fixes the computer, and Jack and Locke embark on a two-man job without definitive purpose.


Clues and speculation:

* Desmond was on a "round-the-world" sailing race (alluded to in his first flashback appearance with Jack) and ended up stranded on the Island.

* Desmond was taken in by "Kelvin," who brought him to the Hatch and taught him about the Button.

* We learned Desmond, indeed, has to press the Button to reset that clock every 108 minutes. He isn't clear what will happen if he doesn't, but indicates the ramifications may be bad. He referred to the practice as "saving the world." He worked with Kelvin doing this, but Kelvin died at some point.

* Desmond said he'd been there three years. The orientation film makes reference to project teams being changed every 540 days (which may explain Desmond asking Locke, "Are you him?" when they first meet"), so obviously that practice has been abandoned. Why?

* 540 is 108 times 5.

* There are a whole lotta guns in the Hatch.

* The orientation makes reference to an "incident," which is why the button must be pushed.

* Does the incident have anything to do with Danielle, the French woman's team? Is she part of the Hanso Foundation's project?

* The film also makes reference to the strange electromagnetic forces in "part" of the Island.

* Did the electromagnetic forces have anything to do with the plane crash? Do they somehow make the Island invisible?

* The orientation film Locke and Jack watch introduces them to the Dharma Initiative, of which the Hatch is identified as the Swan Section (this explains the swan sympbol inside the Chinese octagon symbol adorning pretty everything down in the Hatch).

* The Dharma Initiative was the brainchild of two university psychologists and is funded by Alvar Hanso, a Danish industrialist and weapons magnate.

* ABC has launched yet another "Lost" related Web site: http://www.thehansofoundation.org/, which is made to look like Hanso's official site.

* Here's a pic of Hanso, who some posters online believe looks like Locke's dad:

(I don't think so.)

* The orientation film and the Hanso Web site both use the word "namaste," which according to this site "is an Indian expression used as a greeting or upon parting, by putting the palms of the hands together in prayer position. It means, 'I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me.'"

* Other theories about Hanso: He's in suspended animation; he's a clone of Hitler; he's the Smoking Man from "X-Files."

* According to the orientation film, the stations in the project were dedicated to studying six areas: meteorology, psychology, parapshycology, zoology, electromagnatism and utopian social something or other. The film distorts after the word "social."

* The orientation film makes reference to the Dharma Initiative founders working in the tradition of B.F. Skinner, a real-life behavioral psychologist.

* Polar bears are shown on the orientation film when the announcer mentions "zoology."

* Jack seems to believe Desmond is being used as a psychological quinea pig, left alone to press the Button. But freaked out by the improbability of meeting Desmond again on the Island, there's also some part of Jack that think maybe pushing the Button is a good idea.

* The Hanso Foundation Web site lists these projects:
--The Hanso Life-Extension Project
--The Hanso Foundation Electromagnetic Research Initiative
--The Hanso Quest for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence
--The Hanso Mathematical Forecasting Initiative
--The Hanso Cryogenics Development Imperative
--The Hanso Juxtapositional Eugenics Development Institute
--The Hanso Accelerated Remote Viewing Training Facility
And, in a hidden but currently inactive link at the end of the list, the Dharma Initiative.

* Seeing a picture in the Hatch of Desmond and a girl triggers a strong reaction in Jack. Does he know her?


* We were led to believe the folks that captured Sawyer, Michael and Jin are the Others. However, at episode's end, we realize Anna Lucia is working with them. It seems more likely they are fellow passengers but are distrustful of the castaways for some reason. Perhaps they think Sawyer, et. al., are the Others as well.

Orientation film transcript:

Lifted from this post:

"Welcome I'm Dr. Marvin Candle, and this is the orientation film for Station 3 (warble) of the Dharma Initiative.

In a moment you will be given (warble) simple set of instructions for how you and your partner will fulfill the responsibilities associated with this station. But first a little history:

The Dharma Initiative was created in 1970 and is the brainchild of Gerald and Karen Degroot. Two doctoral candidates at the University of Michigan. Following in the footsteps (warble) of visionaries such as B.F. Skinner (warble) imagined a large scale communal research compound where scientists and free thinkers from around the globe could pursue research in meteorlogy, psychology, parapsychology, zoology, elecrtomagnetism and utopian social (big warble and skip)....reclusive Danish industrialist and munitions magnate Alvar Hanso, whose financial backing made their dream of a multipurpose social science research facility a reality.

You and your partner are currently located at Station 3 or The Swan, and will be for the next 540 days. Now Station 3 was originally constructed as a laboratory where scientists could work to understand the unique electromagnetic fluctuations emanating from this sector of the island.

Not long after the experiments began however, there was....an incident. And since that time the following protocal has been observed: Every 108 minutes the button must be pushed. From the moment the alarm sounds you will have four minutes to enter the code into the microcomputer processor.

(warble and skip)

....induction into the program. When the alarm sounds either you or your parnter must input the code. It is highly recommended that you and your partner take alternating shifts. In this manner you both will stay as fresh as and alert.....(warble and skip) of utmost importance that when the alarm sounds the code be entered correctly and in a timely fashion. Now do not attempt to use the computer for any (thing ???)

(big warble and skip)

Congratulations, until your replacements arrive the future of the project is in your hands. On behalf of the Degroots, Alvar Hanso, and all of us at the Dharma Initiative. Thank you. Namaste, and good luck."


Tidbits:

* Here's an interesting post remarking on the similarity between the scenes where Claire and Michael respectively sign away rights to their children. Were the producers simply trying to save money by reusing the set? It seems more likely the scenes were deliberately parallel.

* Some folks believe Michael's wife may have worked for Hanso.

* Some info on the number 108 as it figures in Buddhism.

* There's a Dharma Industries site up, don't know if it's official or not.

* Some interesting speculation about "Turn of the Screw."

* And some stuff about the other book featured in the show, "The Third Policeman."

* Go to the official site here, type in "theislandiswaiting" and you'll get another alleged script page from the series.

Quick hits

The Beatles wax figures--just their head actually--featured on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper are going up for auction.

Badfinger drummer Michael Gibbins has passed away.

Here's a trailer for the upcoming "Curious George" film.

Fred Hembeck on Famous Monsters.

Stately Wayne Manor -- not the TV version -- burns down

The mansion stand-in featured in at least one of the Batman films burned down last night, NBC reports.

Of interest is this note at the top of the story:

(Note: The "Wayne Manor" mansion seen in the "Batman" TV series was located in Pasadena. Some false reports put the series taping at 160 S. San Rafael Avenue, the home that was burned and the same impressive home where scenes from movies have been shot. But the "Batman" TV series was actually shot farther down the street, at 380 S. San Rafael. That mansion was purchased in 2005 by Paul McCartney.)

Marvel Legends series 12 and 13 pics!

Here's a couple of teaser sheets giving us a peek at what's in store for the next two waves of Marvel Legends figures:

Series 12



Featuring:
* Bishop (and variant)
* Astonishing X-Men Wolverine (and unmasked variant)
* X-23
* Sasquatch
* Maestro Hulk
* Iron Fist (and red costume variant)
* Apocalypse (build-a-figure with pieces included with other figures)

Series 13



Featuring:
* Lady Death Strike
* Abomination
* Loki
* Crimson Dynamo
* Green Goblin
* Blackheart

The Fatback Band: "(Are You Ready) Do the Bus Stop" -- Today's Best Song Ever



Waiting for mass transportation was never so danceable. With an infectiously groovy bassline, tight drums and spiky keyboards, this is pre-disco funk at its finest.

Still around today, the Fatbacks had their start in 1973 and lay claim to fame for recording the first rap single ever ("King Tim III (Personality Jock)," which came out a week or so ahead of the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight."

Availabile: Raising Hell or 21 Karat Fatback.

Comic book previews

Mile High Comics has sneak peeks of 100 Bullets #65, Action Comics #832, Fables #42, Green Arrow #55, Wildcats: Nemesis #2, Cable/Deadpool #21, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1, Gravity #5, Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #5, Marvel Knights 4 #23, Marvel Monsters: Where Monsters Dwell, Marvel Nemesis: Imperfects #6, Mutopia X #4 and Wolverine #34.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Pop Artifact! Halloween!

Vintage Halloween comic book cover



Found at the Great Comic Book Database.

Quick hits

Some cool LP sharity:

(Thanks PCL LinkDump and Bubblegumfink)

Comics Continuum has pics and an update on the "Smallville" version of Aquaman.

Electronic Arts will do a "Return of Superman" video game.

Dial B for Blog is gettin' Halloweeny this week.

The San Francisco Gate takes a good look at comics retailer Brian Hibbs' lawsuit against Marvel Comics.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer checks out Harvey Pekar's "The Quitter."

Peter Jackson will produce a film based on the "Halo" video game.

Will there be a comic based on "Lost"?

New Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys graphic novels



Out from Papercutz in December:

NANCY DREW GRAPHIC NOVEL #4
"The Girl Who Wasn't There"

Stefan Petrucha, writer
Sho Murase, artist

Nancy gets a call for help late one night from a girl she befriended
over the phone when getting technical support to help fix her
computer. When the line goes dead, Nancy is determined to get to the
bottom of things. Soon, Nancy, her Dad, and friends George and Bess
are on their way to India to find Kalpana, the girl who wasn¹t there!
It's only a matter of time before Nancy is captured by Sahadev the
crime lord and is being sacrificed to Kali!
Available in paperback or collector's hardcover.

THE HARDY BOYS GRAPHIC NOVEL #4
"Malled"

Scott Lobdell, writer
Daniel Rendon, artist

Frank and Joe Hardy finish up a case helping a fellow ATAC (American
Teens Against Crime) agent, who sharp-eyed fans may recognize despite
her Alias. Things seem to quiet down when ATAC sends Frank and Joe
undercover to investigate a new Mall opening in Bayport, due to
several suspicious accidents there. But things get exciting when the
night before the big opening, Joe, Frank, and seven others are
mysteriously locked in the mall -with a murderer on the loose. If
that wasn't enough, everything that could go horribly wrong in a
mall, does. A flood caused by water beds. An electrocution at an
electronics shop. A bow and arrow used to kill in the Sporting Goods
store. A runaway elevator. A damsel in distress in the dress shop.
Fire in the food court. And much, much more.
Available in paperback or collector's hardcover.

The Velvet Underground: "Who Loves the Sun" -- Today's Best Song Ever



Sunshine pop from these dark-glasses and leather-clad refugees from Warhol's Factory? Yup.

The opening track of the band's final studio album, some fans at the time probably thought they'd picked up an album by the wrong group. But "Sun" is indeed the post-John Cale Velvets in an especially tuneful mood.

The song is marked by lovely, chiming guitar and cheerful group harmonies that bely the heartbroken lyrics ("Who Loves the Sun / Who loves the sun / Who cares that it makes plants grow / Who cares what it does / Since you broke my heart"). It even goes into Fifth Dimension-esqe "ba ba bas" on the chorus.

It coulda/shoulda been a hit. Instead, it serves as the first of several excellent tunes on Loaded, which also includes the Lou Reed classics "Rock And Roll" and "Sweet Jane."

Available: via iTunes and the remastered, expanded version of Loaded.

Out now!



Available now at yer local comics shop or via This is Pop!-supporting links:

Arkham Asylum Anniversary Ed SC

Batman Gotham County Line #1

Batman Strikes Vol 2 In Darkest Knight TP

Conan Volume 2: The God In The Bowl And Other Stories HC

Daredevil Redemption TP

Elfquest Archives Vol 3 HC

Jingle Belle TP

King Kong - King Of Skull Island TP

Krazy and Ignatz 1935-1936 A Wild Warmth Of Chromatic Gravy

Magnus Robot Fighter Vol 1 GN

Marvel Monsters Devil Dinosaur

Mary Jane Vol 2 Homecoming Digest TP

New X-Men Hellions TP

Quitter HC

Showcase Presents Metamorpho Vol 1 TP

Spectacular Spider-Man Vol 6 Final Curtain TP

Spies Vixens and Masters Of Kung Fu Art Of Paul Gulacy Dlx HC

Uncle Scrooge #346

Vertigo First Offenses TP

Watchmen The Absolute Edition HC

Zorro Vol 1 SC

CD new releases of note

Oct. 4

Solomon Burke That's Heavy Baby 1971-1973
Booker Ervin Tex Book Tenor
The Fall Heads Roll
Franz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much Better...with
Andrew Hill Andrew!
Elmo Hope Trio & Quintet
The Magic Numbers The Magic Numbers
Jackie McLean Consequence
My Morning Jacket Z
Liz Phair Somebody's Miracle
Ike Quebec The Complete 1945 Sessions
Ravi Shankar The Essential
VA One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found
VA These Ghoulish Things: Horror Hits for Hallowe'en
DVD Cream The Farewell Concert: Extended Edition

Oct. 11

John Cale, Tony Conrad, Angus Maclise, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela Day of Niagara: Inside the Dream Syndicate Vol. 1
John Coltrane One Down, One Up: Live at the Half Note
Gang of Four Return the Gift
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto Getz & Gilberto #2
King Crimson 21st Century Guide to, Volume Two, 1981-2003
Paul Weller As Is Now
Robert Wyatt Theatre Royal Drury Lane

"Krypto" cartoon spawns toys

Here's a roundup of nifty lookin' toys based on the Cartoon Network "Krypto the Super Dog" series.