Friday, January 13, 2006

Coming on the This is Pop! Saturday Picture Page

More Batman TV series pics! Tune in tomorrow.

Pop Artifact! Peanuts Lucy statue

Vintage DC Comics house ad

"Underworld 2" pictures

Here are a couple of new ones:



Monty Python "Personal Best" DVDs

These volumes collect TV and movie highlights featuring all six members of the Python troupe:





Comics previews

Mile High Comics has first looks at: Ex Machina #17, Losers #31, Hellblazer #216, Lucifer #70, Seven Soldiers Mister Miracle #3, Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy #1, Testament #2, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #4, Generation M #3, Incredible Hulk #91, Marvel Knights 4 #26, New Mangaverse #1, Spider-Woman Origin #2, Uncanny X-Men #468 and X-Statix Presents Dead Girl #1.

Pop Culture Roundup Jan. 13, 2006

NPR reports on the 40th anniversary of the Batman TV series (remember to check out tomorrow's TIP! Saturday Picture Page, which pays tribut to the show).

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Via Robot Wisdom: A cool blog on Lego projects.

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Download a Rolling Stone MP3 interview with Elvis Costello and New Orleans musical legend Allen Toussaint, who are collaborating on a new album.

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Booksteve, posting at Bubblegumfink, remembers his days as a member of the Farrah Fawcett Fan Club. Speaking of Farrah, did you all see this Pop Artifact I posted earlier in the week?

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Via the Comics Reporter: An Italian site dedicated to cartoonist Milton Caniff. (The CR site wasn't working too swell when I posted this.)

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Datajunkie presents a virtual spinner rack.

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Planet Xtabay is counting down the 10 best exotica albums. Check out the rest of the site, too, for some great "found sound" sharity.

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More sharity: Rato Records presents the first solo album from Os Mutantes singer Rita Lee.

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Via Warren Ellis: Real superheroes! In Indianapolis!

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Steven Spielberg has a mini-series in the works for the Sci Fi Channel: "Nine Lives" will focus on characters who are each grieving over the loss of a loved one and somehow discover how to reunite with them in the afterlife through near-death experiences.

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More from Sci Fi: "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" will follow Stan Lee as he challenges contestants to create their own superhero in a six-episode, one-hour series.

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Action-Figure.com has pics of Lego's upcoming line of Batman sets.

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Via TV Shows on DVD: Out April 4, "Planet of the Apes: The Ultimate DVD Collection" will include all five original "Apes" films, the 1970s TV series, the "Return to the Planet of the Apes" cartoon series and the 2001 remake of the first film.

"Doctor Who" DVD delay explained

It's a good news/bad news scenario: A DVD set collecting the first season of the revived "Doctor Who" series was supposed to be out in the U.S. Feb. 14. Now it'll be out July 4 so the Sci Fi Channel can show the episodes on TV first.

Here's the low down from the BBC:

SCI FI Channel and BBC Worldwide Americas announced today a major licensing deal for the first series of the latest Doctor Who adventures.

The 13-part drama is about a mysterious time-travelling adventurer known simply as "The Doctor" (Christopher Eccleston) and his companion, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper). The Doctor and Rose risk death and danger, battling aliens and monsters.

The deal, brokered by Lisa Hofer, Director Co-Production & Sales, BBC Worldwide Americas, grants SCI FI Channel the first run rights for series one with an option for series two. The award-winning series will premiere on SCI FI beginning in March, airing Friday nights at 9.00pm.

Russell T Davies, Head Writer and Executive Producer told us: "The Doctor's made all sorts of journeys in Time and Space, but this is one of his most exciting yet! I'm a huge fan of the SCI FI Channel, and I'm delighted that Doctor Who is appearing on a channel that supports and enhances the entire genre."

"With its rich history of imaginative storytelling, Doctor Who is a true sci-fi classic," stated Thomas P. Vitale, SCI FI's Senior Vice President, Programming & Original Movies. "We're excited to add the show to our lineup."

Commenting on the deal Candace Carlisle, Senior Vice President, BBC Worldwide Americas, said: “The new production has fantastic storylines and production values and has already gained an iconic status around the world. SCI FI Channel is the perfect home for the show and will introduce Doctor Who to a whole new generation of fans in the US.”

In addition, BBC Video has moved the US release date of the DVD from February 2006 to July 4, 2006 to capitalize on the exposure from the TV broadcast. As part of the deal, BBC Video and SCI FI Channel have agreed to work together on joint marketing promotions to support the brand launch.


The real frustration, however, is that Sci Fi could've aired the dang series ages ago but didn't show any support whatsoever for the revival. Now that it's been a big hit in the U.K. however...

See the Best "Doctor Who" Sites on the Web.

Top 10 graphic novels, DVDs, CDs and action figures Jan. 13, 2006

At Amazon:

Graphic Novels

1. Fables Vol. 6: Homelands
2. Serenity
3. Watchmen
4. The Walking Dead Vol. 4: The Heart's Desire
5. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
6. V for Vendetta
7. Astonishing X-Men Vol. 2: Dangerous
8. Girl on Girl (Y: The Last Man, Book 6)
9. The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
10. Batman: Year One Deluxe Edition

DVDs

1. Wedding Crashers - Uncorked (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
2. Serenity (Widescreen Edition)
3. Firefly - The Complete Series
4. Battlestar Galactica - Season 2.0
5. Transporter 2
6. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
7. Lost - The Complete First Season
8. Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition)
9. The Lord of the Rings - The Motion Picture Trilogy (Special Extended DVD Edition)
10. Red Eye (Widescreen Edition)

CDs

1. Illinois ~ Sufjan Stevens
2. First Impressions of Earth [Explicit Lyrics] ~ The Strokes
3. Get Behind Me Satan ~ The White Stripes
4. Aerial ~ Kate Bush
5. Garden State [Soundtrack] ~ Various Artists
6. Chaos and Creation in the Backyard ~ Paul McCartney
7. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah ~ Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
8. Demon Days ~ Gorillaz
9. You Could Have It So Much Better ~ Franz Ferdinand
10. Picaresque ~ Decemberists

Action figures

1. Marvel Legends Sentinel Series Figure: 1st Appearance Spider-Man
2. Marvel Legends Sentinel Series Figure: Mr. Sinister
3. Batman Begins Total Control Figure: Batman
4. Marvel Legends-Sentinel Series-Angel Red
5. Marvel Legends Sentinel Series Figure: Omega Red
6. Marvel Legends Sentinel Series Figure: Black Panther
7. Marvel Legends Sentinel Series Figure: Mystique
8. Marvel Legends Sentinel Series Figure: Cyclops
9. Spider Man Classic Asst. 15 Rocket Blast Spider Man
10. Marvel Legends Gift Pack Spider-Man classic Feasome Foes Gift Pack

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pop Artifact! Green Hornet bendee

Vintage DC Comics house ad

"Lost" clues, season 2, episode 10: "23rd Psalm"

ABC's official recap:

The 23rd Psalm
Air Date: 01/11/2006
When Eko learns about the iconoclastic Virgin Mary statues, he reacts violently and smashes one open, revealing its contents to Claire. Claire won't speak to Charlie, reminding him that he's an addict. But Charlie lies and says he didn't know that there was heroin inside. Their conversation is interrupted by Eko, who demands to be taken to the place where the statues were discovered - the plane.

And in FLASHBACK, we learn that Eko knows all of this because this is the very plane that he intended to use to smuggle the drugs from his home in Nigeria.

It seems that when Eko was a young boy, the Nigerian militia came into his town, interrupted an innocent game of soccer, shoved a gun into his little brother Yemi's hand and demanded that Yemi shoot a man or they would kill him instead. Eko steps up and spares his little brother this horror by killing the man himself. The thugs recognize his bravery and give him the name of Mr. Eko - "a born killer" - thus initiating him as one of their own. They rip a gold cross hanging from Eko's neck and lead him away. His little brother Yemi picks up the cross and puts it around his own neck.

Eko continues down this path into adulthood, becoming a drug dealer, while Yemi grows up to be a priest. Eko devises a plan in which he will buy 300 Virgin Mary statues from the church and smuggle his drugs out inside them on one of the church's relief planes - all the while disguised as a priest. Yemi refuses the deal, but Eko reminds him that the money can be used to buy polio vaccine for the village and finally resorts to blackmail, threatening to burn down the church if his brother doesn't agree.

Yemi attempts to stop Eko from taking the fateful flight, but gets shot in the process and is pulled on board, leaving Eko behind. When the military police arrive, Eko assumes his brother's identity as a priest - the identity he commands on the island.

Eko's past is brought to life when he and Charlie trek out to the plane, and in a strange island twist of fate, discover the body of his brother onboard, identified by the gold cross adorning his neck. Eko weeps over Yemi's body, says a prayer, then burns the plane and all of its contents - except for one statue, which he gives to Charlie in return for the one he broke.

Meanwhile, as the new people settle in, Locke feels the need to secure access to the guns and locks them in the armory. But Michael has other ideas - he wants to learn how to shoot. And though Locke knows Michael intends to go out in search of Walt, with whom he has been communicating with over the computer, he obliges.

When Charlie returns to camp, he swears to Claire that he isn't using and that he doesn't want to be kept away from Aaron. But that night, he treks out into the middle of the jungle and hides his statue amongst several other statues, his demons ever present…


Observations and speculation:

--When we first met Eko a few episodes back it seemed at first he might be one of the Nigerian drug dealers mentioned in the first season. But it soon became apparent he might be a priest. Then, last night, it became clear he was a drug dealer. And a priest!



--The Black Smoke Monster didn't abduct or hurt Eko, merely "analyzed" him. When the smoke covered his head, quick images from Eko's flashback appeared almost subliminally on the screen. Freeze-framing, we saw scenes of his brother, the church, a statue of Christ. What was the monster checking for? Why did Eko pass the test where, previously, it seemed like the monster hurt or "took" people? Remember last season, when it tried to pull Locke down into that hole? More thoughts.



--Check out these "Black Smoke" screen captures posted at 4815162342.com:









--Looks like Charlie's keeping his options open re: using heroin again.



--Is that really Walt talking to Michael over the computer, or is somebody pretending to be Walt?



--Charlie and Eko recite the 23rd Psalm. 23 is, of course, one of Hurley's mystery numbers. However, they recited it a bit wrong.

--There's more child snatching in this episode: Eko as a youth is taken away from his community/brother. On the island, of course, we've seen Walt taken, Claire's baby taken and the child survivors from the tail section taken.

--Both Charlie and Eko had brother issues. Early in the episode, Charlie is singing a tune by the Kinks--a band with serious brother issues.

--Do the weird "electromagnetic" features of the island apply to people? Consider: All the connections between the various characters. The fact that Jack and Desmond meet again on the island. Eko apparently is "brought" to the island years after his brother's plane crashes there. Are mysterious forces bringing these people together, just as a magnet attracts metal?

Other stuff:

--Screen captures from last night's episode and caps from the teaser for next week's show.

--The trailer for next week's show.

Pop Culture Roundup Jan. 12, 2006

Mmmmmm, ground meat!

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NPR interviews Burt Bacharach.

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Looks like "Justice League Unlimited" may be limited afterall. Production on the show's third season is winding up and there's no sign the Cartoon Network will ask for a fourth.

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Spike TV! has ordered a series based on the "Blade: Vampire Hunter" movies and comic.

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Holy 40th Anniversary, Batman!



Yeah, that's the lamest, most obvious headline ever.

But the Batman TV show debuted 40 years ago, so let's all celebrate tonight by sitting down on the couch, slipping the first disk of the "Batman - The Complete First Season" DVD set into the player and... there's no DVD set? Wha? Warner/Universal/DC still haven't got their act together to make some money when Every Single Other Lame TV Series is out on DVD already?

Oh well.

You'll have to make due with last weekend's This is Pop! Saturday Picture Page, featuring images from the classic series. If you blink really fast and shake your head violently it's almost like they're moving. Tune in this Saturday for even more pics.

Also check out part one of Dial B for Blog's history of the Batman show and TIP's list of the Best Batman Site's on the Web.

UPDATED with more links:

Superfrankenstein's tribute.

Fred Hembeck's "Batman" memories and clippings from 1966 mags and newspapers.

Upcoming DVD art

Click images to pre-order from Amazon: