Friday, December 02, 2005

Pop Artifact!

Christmas Comics!

Fresh Aeon Flux pics

This week's most-alarming comic book cover

What in God's name...

New comics previews

Mile High Comics has first looks at: All Star Batman and Robin Special Edition #1; Batman and the Monster Men #2; Hard Time Season Two #1; Jonah Hex #2; Superman Secret Files 2005; Swamp Thing #22; Team Zero #1; Y The Last Man #40; Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #3; Marvel Team-Up #15; Marvel Zombies #1; New Excalibur #2; New Warriors #6; Sentinel #2; Spider-Girl #93; What If: Captain America #1; X-Men Colossus Bloodline #4 and X-Men Unlimited #12.

Quick hits

"Goldfinger," silly!

"The Simpsons" gets literary with voice guest appearances by authors Jonathan Franzen, Michael Chabon, Tom Wolfe and Gore Vidal next season.

Kids DO love comics, says the Great Curve. And it's true. My boy loves Gemstone's Donald Duck comics, "Teen Titans Go!" and "The Batman Strikes!" Not to mention assorted DC Archives/Showcase and Marvel Essentials/Masterworks volumes. Give a kid a comic today.

New on iTunes: That's Why We're Marching: World War II and the American Folk Song Movement - Various Artists; Musics of Hawaii: Anthology of Hawaiian Music - Special Festival Edition - Various Artists; Pete Seeger - Singalong Sanders Theater, 1980 - Pete Seeger.

Mike Sterling recalls the fun, bizarre Andy Helfer/Kyle Baker "Shadow" series DC published in the 1980s. I loved that book...

Heritage Comics is offering up more than 300 original pieces of Mad Magazine-related art in an upcoming auction.

Chances are good the regenerated "Doctor Who" series will air on U.S. TV sometime soon, but after it turns up on DVD. The first season DVD set is due out in the states Feb. 14.

Comics creators post their Christmas wishes on the Sequential Tart. I'll take a Jack Kirby original, please.

Comics Continuum has details on the "X-Men 3" trailer, which debuts on the Web on Monday.

Newsarama has some George Perez preview art from JSA #82, out in February from DC.

Jack Black modeled his "King Kong" performance after Orson Welles.

Great Moments in Comic Book History

Wonder Woman Vol. 1, #162: The Amazon Princess notes women of "man's world" wear entirely too much clothing. How do they swing?

New DVD releases for December 2005

New DVD releases for Dec. 6, 2005

24 - Season Four

Batman - The Animated Series, Volume Four

The Dukes of Hazzard (Unrated Widescreen Edition)

Everybody Loves Raymond - The Complete Fifth Season

Fantastic Four (Widescreen Edition)

Green Acres Season 3

He Man & She Ra:Christmas Special

Law & Order - The Fourth Year

M*A*S*H - Season Nine

MacGyver - The Complete Fourth Season

The Rockford Files - Season One

Roseanne - The Complete Second Season

Superman - The Animated Series, Volume Two

Walt Disney Treasures - Disney Rarities - Celebrated Shorts, 1920s - 1960s

Walt Disney Treasures - Elfego Baca and The Swamp Fox: Legendary Heroes

Walt Disney Treasures - The Adventures of Spin & Marty - The Mickey Mouse Club

Walt Disney Treasures - The Chronological Donald, Volume Two (1942-1946)

New DVD releases for Dec. 13, 2005

The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Unrated Edition)

Airplane - The "Don't Call Me Shirley" Edition

Dukes of Hazzard - The Complete Fifth Season

Farscape - Season 3, Collection 1 (Starburst Edition)

Frank Miller's Sin City (Recut & Extended Edition)

Gilmore Girls - The Complete Fifth Season

King Kong - Peter Jackson's Production Diaries

Miami Vice - Season Two

Rock 'n Roll High School - Special Edition

Scooby Doo in Where's My Mummy

The Simpsons - The Complete Seventh Season

New DVD released for Dec. 20, 2005

Battlestar Galactica - Season 2.0

Brothers Grimm

ER - The Complete Fourth Season

Party of Five - The Complete Second Season

Serenity - Widescreen Edition

New DVD releases for Dec. 27, 2005

Dark Water (Unrated Widescreen Edition)

The Shield - The Complete Fourth Season

TV Golden Age Theater:Vol 1

TV Golden Age Theater:Vol 2

Twilight Zone:Season 5

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pop Artifact! Captain America cap gun

Christmas comics!

Quick hits

Comedian Ricky Gervais ("The Office," "Extras") will produce a series of 30-minute podcasts for the U.K. Guardian.

Some Christmas sharity in the form of a Three Suns album from Pinocchio's Easy Listening Corner today.

Meanwhile, Rato Records shares an EP of tunes from the "Hatari" soundtrack.

Actress Christina Cindrich has joined the "Spider-Man 3" cast.

Yahoo! Movies has a "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" teaser.

The DC Showcase Presents "Superman Family" volume mentioned yesterday will include Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane stories from Jimmy Olsen #1-22 and Showcase #9, says here. Future volumes will chronological reprintings forcusing on the two Superman supporting cast members. Great news!

"Lost" clues: season 2, episode 9 "What Kate Did"

Official ABC recap:

What Kate Did
Air Date: 11/30/2005
As dawn ushers in another day on the island we see Jin and Sun sharing an intimate moment that is long overdue. For them the sunrise represents a new beginning -- a second chance at love. And we get the feeling that they're not going to let this one slip through their fingers.

We find Kate high up in a tree picking fruit from the tall branches. As she slides back down the trunk, she slips, almost falling and spilling several mangoes to the jungle floor. As she crouches to collect them, she hears something behind her and turns to see a magnificent black horse standing in the morning mist. But that's not possible…is it?

In FLASHBACK we see a younger version of Kate as she waits on the stairs of her modest house. When a pickup truck swerves down the dirt road and stops in front we get our first look at her mother's choice for a father -- "Wayne." He's happy to let Kate help him to bed, as long as it affords him another chance to lay his drunken hands on her. So when Kate tells him goodnight, she really means it. We see her go outside and ride off on her motorcycle as the house behind her explodes into a giant fireball.

In the Hatch, Sawyer is still delirious with fever as a result of his blood infection. As Jack checks his wounds Sawyer calls out for Kate. When Jack leans in a little closer he hears Sawyer say something that makes him a little dizzy himself. "I love her." And before he has time to process what that means, there is Kate herself anxious to take over his care once more.

Jack attends the funeral services for Shannon and it's very difficult for everyone involved to keep a dry eye as Sayid says a final goodbye to the woman he loved. Meanwhile, back in the hatch, Kate has a very scary episode with Sawyer that shakes her to her core, so when Locke and Jack finally return to the hatch they find Sawyer unattended and the clock on the computer dangerously close to zero.

Back in FLASHBACK, we get to see the beginning of Kate's "relationship" with the Marshal when he arrests her at the bus station after trying to flee the area. While transporting her back to Iowa, in the thick of a brutal rainstorm, they swerve off the road and crash into a telephone pole, allowing Kate her first chance at escape. After pushing the unconscious Marshal out into the rain, Kate looks to see what it was that forced them off the road. And standing there, in the middle of the road, just as placid as can be, is a very familiar-looking black horse.

On the island, as Kate struggles with her feelings for Jack and Sawyer as well as with her sanity, Eko provides Locke with the missing piece of a puzzle that may ask more questions than it answers. Jack reaches out to Ana Lucia at a time when she needs a friend more than ever, and Michael discovers something new about the computer that just might hold the key to getting back his son.

Clues and speculation

* The black horse is yet another case of mysterious animal events/appearances on the show. We had the polar bear of course, the bird in Walt's flashback, Vincent the dog having something to do with the ghostly appearances of Walt...

* "Lost" island is plum-full of murderers: Sawyer, Kate, Ana-Lucia have all very deliberately killed people. Is this a reason they're on the island, or just part of the overall apparent theme of redemption?

* Are dead people able to manifest on the island, or are the crash survivors hallucinating things? Jack sees his dad several times, Kate's father seems to be manifesting himself through Sawyer.

* Lot's of father issues on this show: Jack, Locke, Kate, Sun... all of em have bad dads.

* Eko and Locke are peas in a pod, both being "men of faith." They believe fate plays a role on what happens on the island.

* It'll be interesting to see the "director's cut" of the training film those two spiced together. Why was the film cut? Seems like somebody was trying to hide or disguise something about the Hatch and/or button.

* Why are there "blast doors" in the Hatch? To keep something in, or out?

* How/why is Walt communicating with the computer? Or is he?

* Is that Sayid on the TV screen in the background of this scene?

* The preview for the next episode features Eko reciting Psalm 23. Of course, 23 is one of the mysterious numbers featuring often on the show.

Other stuff

* There's a new (to me) entry in ABC's official "Lost" diary.

* If you go to ABC's Hanso Foundation site and click on the pic of Hanso some interesting stuff happens.

* See screen captures from the episode.

* See screen captures from the preview for the next episode.

* See the preview for the next episode.

See the Best Lost Sites on the Web.

DC superheroes saluted in new stamp series

From the U.S. Postal Service:

Ten comic book heroes will be saluted on the "DC Comics Super Heroes" stamps next summer. Half of the pane of 20 will be portraits of the characters; the other half will show individual comic book covers devoted to their exploits. The characters include Aquaman, Batman, The Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Plastic Man, Supergirl, Superman and Wonder Woman.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pop Artifact! Captain America puzzle

Vintage DC Comics house ad

See the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

New "Doctor Who" arrives in U.S. via DVD in February

The complete first season of the revived British sci-fi franchise arrives Feb. 14, according to the BBC.

More details from Sci Fi Wire:

The DVD set, virtually identical to one already available in the United Kingdom, will also feature audio commentary by cast and crew, including Davies, Piper, John Barrowman (Captain Jack), Mark Gatiss and Simon Callow; a new Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound mix on all episodes; more than five hours of "making of" interviews and behind-the-scenes footage; a BBC interview with Eccleston; and a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming holiday episode The Christmas Invasion, starring David Tennant as the new Doctor, which premieres this month in the United Kingdom.

Here's a pic of the UK set:

See the Best Doctor Who Sites on the Web.

Bond, James Bond

Here's the first promo picture from "Casino Royale," featuring new OO7 Daniel Craig and his big, big gun.

See the Best James Bond Sites on the Web.

"Lost" preview, season 2, episode 9, Nov. 30

* Read the official ABC teaser copy for the episode.

* See promo stills from the episode.

* View a preview clip for the show.

Come back tomorrow for TIP's clues-and-speculation report on the show.

See the Best "Lost" Sites on the Web.

Quick hits

An Aquaman pilot is scheduled for the WB.

Billboard reviews a recent gig by ex-Kinks leader Ray Davies, who has a new album coming out.

Writer/artist Stan Berenstain, creator of the Berenstain Bears children's books, has died.

First Hayley Mills, now Linda Blair, Booksteve confesses another old crush. (Headspinning and projectile vomiting makes it hard to love a gal, I think).

Looks like an upcoming DC Showcase Presents volume will be dedicated to the "Superman Family." Love these big 'ol reprints...

New comics Nov. 30

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

Giant Size Invaders #2

Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Vol 9 HC Ltd. Ed HC (#53)

Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Vol 9 New Ed HC

Mickey And The Gang Classic Stories In Verse Ltd HC

Ocean TP

Official Handbook Marvel Universe X-Men 2005

Ororo Before The Storm Digest TP

Punisher River Of Blood TP

Spirit Archives Vol 17 HC

Star Wars Clone Wars Vol 7 When They Were Brothers TP

Teen Titans The Future Is Now TP

Amazing Fantasy #15

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 10 New Avengers TP

Crypt Of Horror Vol 1 TP

Essential Silver Surfer Vol 1 TP New Printing

Essential X-Men Vol 2 TP New Printing

See a Complete List of Upcoming Comics.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pop Artifact!

See the Best Marvel Comics Sites on the Web.

Vintage Fawcett Comics house ad

Quick hits

The Teen Titans cartoon won't be back for a sixth season.

A new, ongoing Lone Ranger comic series is planned.

C.S. Lewis didn't want to see his Narnia books turned into movies.

"The Batman" Season One DVD cover art unveiled

The set is out Feb. 7 and available for pre-order from Amazon now.

Comic book birthday: Gill Fox

Covers from the Grand Comic Book Database.

Review: All-Star Superman #1

In some circles, this was the most-awaited comic of 2005. Why? Mainly because writer Grant Morrision--a fan favorite--promised an updated, version of the 1950s-70s fun Superman. You remember the guy. Had loads of superpowers but was still scared of Lois Lane. Did big, cool stuff with a smile on his face. Didn't have any issues when it come sorting good from evil.

In this grim'n'gritty age when superhero characters have been "humanized" into unpleasant, whining folks we'd rather not hang around with, a big, powerful, colorful, heroic Superman is what a lot of people want. People nostalgic for a sort of superhero book that no longer seems to exist, anyway.

To a large extent, Morrison has delivered. Right off the bat, Superman here is heroic, hurtling through space to rescue an experimental craft from falling into a sunspot. Lex Luthor is in prison, where he belongs. Not the White House or in some towering office building, looking over the Metropolis skyline acting like he owns the place. Clark Kent is a bumbling clutz. There's a by-God planet on the top of the Daily Planet. And Perry White and Jimmy Olsen (who look like Perry White and Jimmy Olsen) are on staff there doing their jobs. Lois Lane is present, too, looking fabulous but not like how Kurt Schaffenburger drew her. Oh well, we can't have everything.

Other nice touches, Morrison knows we know Superman's origin. But this is an "All-Star" book, where creators are allowed to pick and choose the elements of past continuity they like and discard the rest. So he lets us know he's going with the basic elements and proceeds to recount them on the first page in a mere four panels. He also works in some Jack Kirby "Jimmy Olsen" continuity (The DNA P.R.O.J.E.C.T.) and hints there may be Bizarros ahead.

In short, Morrison is here to have--and provide--fun. A mock movie rating graphic on the last page promises the book is appropriate for general audiences, containing "Pulse-pounding, rip-roaring action to be enjoyed by all." Sounds like the recipe for a superhero comic to me. But one that's been mostly forgotten.

The title couldn't be more different from the silly cheesecake noir of Frank Miller and Jim Lee's "All-Star Batman," which courts the same old fanboy crowd while forsaking a broader audience.

Artwise, "All-Star Superman" is bright and beautiful. Frank Quitely's pencils, "digitally inked" with Jamie Grant's computer colors, are visually striking. Yet, as with many artists working in comics today, Quitely is more illustrator than cartoonist. He creates nice images, but they tend to lack flow and the storytelling is weak.

For example, a visual gag in the "Lois and Clark" epilogue at the back of the book doesn't come across too clearly. I had to scan it a few times to get what was going on.

Nevertheless, I'll be back for the next one. Along with a few issues of DC's "Solo" title, Marvel's recent "Spider-Man/Human Torch" mini-series and Mark Waid's revived "Legion of Superheroes," this is a superhero comic by creators who understand what makes the genre tick, who can tell fresh stories without distorting what these characters are supposed to be all about.

CD new releases for Nov. 29

New releases of note:

Les Baxter The Primitive and the Passionate/Balladeers

The Coasters Coast Along

The Crests
Sing All Biggies/The Best of

Gil Gilberto Nightingale

Ennio Morricone Crime and Dissonance

Doris Troy Sings Just One Look & Other Memorable Selections

Van Der Graaf Generator Godbluff and Still Life

OST Nick Cave and Warren Ellis The Proposition

Last week's new CD releases.

DVD new releases for Nov. 29, 2005

C.S.I. - Crime Scene Investigation Season 5

Family Guy, Vol. 3

Havoc (Unrated Version)

March of the Penguins (Widescreen Edition)

Sky High (Widescreen Edition)

The Tomorrow People - Set 2

More Upcoming DVDs

Monday, November 28, 2005

Pop Artifact!

Vintage DC Comics house ad

Visit the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

Comics previews

Mile High Comics has first looks at: Doom Patrol #18, JLA Classified #14, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere #5, Plastic Man #19, Amazing Fantasy #15, Black Panther #10, Captain Universe Silver Surfer #1, Exiles #73, Generation M #1, Incredible Hulk #89, Nightcrawler #12, Sentry #3, Wolverine #36 and X-Men and Power Pack #2.

Quick hits

Archie Comics and singing group The Veronicas have come to legal terms.

The Comics Treadmill remembers the zany Haney days of Brave and the Bold #s 77 and 78.

Charlize Theron studied geckos in preparation for her "Aeon Flux" role.

The New York Times reports on the Hollywood blockbuster-type aspectness of DC and Marvel Comics' latest "event" series. And here I thought they were just the same type of gimmicky maxi-series the publishers have been doing regularly for the past 20 years...

Dark Horse Comics is launching four new manga series.

After shooting him in the head, DC Comics plans to "honor" the Blue Beetle character by reviving him (or some manifestation of him) in a new series written by comics vet Keith Giffen. Newsarama has additional info about DC's post-"Infinite Crisis" plans.

The New York Times reviews Donovan's new autobiography.

ABC has released the fourth official "Lost" podcast.

Well, it's after Thanksgiving, so let the Christmas music sharity begin. Spread the Good Word has a nice x-mas mix featuring everything from the Sonics to Soupy Sales. And the FaLaLaLa seasonal sharity site is back up with new offerings.