Friday, May 26, 2006

Pop Artifact! Aurora "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" submarine model



"Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" on DVD.

Vintage DC Comics House Ad



See the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

Review roundup: "X-Men: The Last Stand"

Here's what folks are saying:

Christian Science Monitor: ...I think one reason the film series, as well as the "X-Men" Marvel Comics, are so popular with young people is because of its central metaphor. From Superman and Batman on down, quite a few superhero or antihero comic figures have led double lives, and this split appeals particularly to teenagers still experimenting with who they are. The mutants in "X-Men" are an exaggerated version of this split: Not only do they have superhuman powers, but they are vilified by humans for having them.

... suppose it's asking too much of Ratner to impart some kind of visionary flourish to the proceedings. But without it, these comic-book movies all tend to look the same. The "heart" of the story - the choice these mutants must make about their mutancy - rarely comes into play.


Miami Herald: The Last Stand doesn't play out as a grand final adventure (although, much like a Rolling Stones farewell tour, there's some doubt as to whether this really is the end). Instead, it's a disappointing chapter in what until now has been a highly entertaining, even thought-provoking series.

...Ratner seems incapable of infusing his overly busy story with nuance, depth or the wonderful wry humor that connected us so thoroughly to these characters in the first place, and so their sacrifices never register. Singer's films were peppered with small moments that felt epic. Ratner's film just feels awfully small.


Detroit Free Press: ...the rich theme gets lost in a mass of new characters and director Brett Ratner's preference for the visceral over the emotional.

Belfast Telegraph: X marks the spot... where director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) reduces the X-Men to a soulless, brainless clatter.

The third and final film in the series reduces the epic battle between good and evil to a barrage of computer-generated special effects and slow-motion trickery.


Washinton Post: Displaying none of Singer's finesse or judgment, the new director, Brett, aka "Ratner," makes a hash of the story and characters his predecessor brought to such complex, sympathetic life, delivering a pumped-up exercise in mayhem, carnage and blunt-force trauma.

The Guardian: Against the odds, this third X-Men movie (inevitably referred to as the last in the "trilogy", to torture completist-geeks into buying the DVD) turns out to be a lively and likeable picture - a fun summer blockbuster, which is capable of being scary and even rather affecting.

Knight Ridder: ...die-hard fans of the popular series...can forget the chat-room anxiety generated when their hero, Bryan Singer, director of the two previous ``X-Men'' movies, handed over the reins of the popular franchise to the more paint-by-numbers Brett Ratner (``Rush Hour''). (Singer moved on to just one lone guy in tights, directing ``Superman Returns.'')

True, Ratner is no Singer, but in ``The Last Stand'' he delivers the goods with gusto.


See the Best X-Men Sites on the Web.

Lost: Is this Jack?

Making a big hubbub on the "Lost" message board over the past 24 hours: Is this guy--one of the two Portuguese-speaking guys in a snowbound electromagnetic anomaly monitoring station depicted at the end of the season finale--Matthew Fox, the same actor who plays series regular Jack?



Looks a lot like him, but the part is credited to an actor named Len Cordova.

There's a nice comparison/contrast post here.

See the Best Lost Sites on the Web.

Pop Culture Roundup May 26, 2006

Deal alert: Amazon has 42 percent off sale on "Futurama" and "Simpsons" DVD box sets.

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Reggae/ska pioneer Desmond Dekker has passed away.

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Papercutz "Nancy Drew" graphic novels are selling like hot cakes in book stores and are set to become even more widely available soon.

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A 17-cut CD of songs inspired by the works of writer Neil Gaimin is set for release soon. It includes tunes by Tori Amos, Thea Gilmore and others.

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Sci.com teases the next season of "Lost."

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DVD: Perry Mason Season 1, Vol. 1 due July 11

This set features the first 19 episodes from season 1 (1957-58) on five discs. No word on extras.

It's available pre-order from Amazon now.

DVD: Amazing Stories: Complete First Season due July 18

This set will include all 24 episodes of the Steven Spielberg produced-anthology show,which aired from 1985-87. No details, yet, on extras.

It's available for pre-order from Amazon now.

Top 10 comics, DVDs, CDs, action figure May 26, 2006

Via Amazon:

Comics - Graphic Novels:

1. V for Vendetta
2. Y: The Last Man Vol. 7: Paper Dolls
3. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
4. The Complete Peanuts 1959-1960
5. Watchmen
6. Serenity: Those Left Behind (Serenity)
7. Hell in a Handbasket
8. Superman Returns
9. X-Men: The Complete Age of Apocalypse Epic, Book 2
10. X-Men: The Complete Age of Apocalypse Epic, Book 3

DVDs

1. High School Musical
2. Deadwood - The Complete Second Season
3. Kingdom of Heaven (4-Disc Director's Cut)
4. Boston Legal - Season 1
5. Underworld - Evolution (Widescreen Special Edition)
6. The 4400 - The Complete Second Season
7. M*A*S*H - Season Ten (Collector's Edition)
8. Final Fantasy VII - Advent Children (2-Disc Special Edition)
9. The Boondock Saints (Unrated Special Edition)
10. The West Wing - The Complete Sixth Season

CDs

1. Taking The Long Way - Dixie Chicks
2. All the Roadrunning - Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris
3. Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions - Bruce Springsteen
5. Living With War - Neil Young
6. Surprise - Paul Simon
7. Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
8. Home - Dixie Chicks
9. 10,000 Days - Tool
10. St. Elsewhere - Gnarls Barkley

Action Figures

1. South Park Figure: Cartman
2. South Park Figure: Hip Hop Cartman
3. South Park Figure: Kenny
4. South Park Figure: Big Gay Al
5. Marvel Legends Gift Pack Spider-Man classic Feasome Foes Gift Pack
6. The Corpse Bride 12" Fashion Doll
7. South Park Figure: Officer Barbrady
8. Batman Begins Action Cape Batman Figure
9. 12" Robocop Battle Damage
10. GI Joe Valor vs. Venom Ninja Cobra Imperial Procession

DVD: Incredible Hulk Complete First Season out July 18

Here are the details:

"...Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." Mild-mannered research scientist David Banner (Emmy nominee Bill Bixby) finds he must offer this heroic warning after exposure to gamma radiation transforms him into the terrifying and enraged Hulk (Lou Ferrigno). Bursting from comic book pages into this 4-disc DVD set, the Complete First Season of The Incredible Hulk boasts all ten heart-pounding episodes, plus a preview episode from Season Two. Must-see bonus materials include the two original feature-length films, an introduction from The Hulk himself (Ferrigno), and in-depth commentary from producer Kenneth Johnson. Intense. Immense. Incredible!

The set is available for pre-order from Amazon now.

"X-Men: The Last Stand" international character posters















Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pop Artifact! Spirit mask



Vintage DC Comics House Ad

Pop Culture Roundup May 25, 2006

Download a new Beatles beatleg podcast.

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Booksteve remembers the 1970s "World's Greatest Superheroes" comic strip.

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PCL Linkdump celebrates the Hip Hypnotist.

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Hembeck remembers Freddie (and the Dreamers).

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Lost Clues: Season 2 Summary



If you haven't been watching reruns or DVDs, here's a brief refresher on what happened last season.

Key events:

* A group of passengers on Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on a seemingly deserted island. They can't contact the outside world and nobody has come to rescue them.

* The island is inhabited--by a group of ragged-looking folks called the Others and a lone Frenchwoman named Danielle who claims the Others abducted her daughter, Alex, many years ago. Alex, now an adult, is an Other but is sympathetic to the crash survivors.

* The Others abducted three children and several adults from Flight 815 and are responsible for killing several survivors. They briefly kidnapped crash survivor Claire, who was pregnant at the time, but she was able to escape.

* The crash survivors discover an underground "hatch" on the island, which is inhabited by another lone person, Desmond.

* This hatch, and others like it discovered later, are part of the Dharma Initiative, a mysterious research project created by the Hanso Foundation--an organization set up by a Danish industrialist. The crash survivors learn all this via a sketchy "orientation" film and another orientation video found inside separate hatches.

* Inside the first hatch is a button connected to a large computer complex. Apparently, this button must be pushed every 108 minutes to keep huge electromagnetic forces in check. Briefly unleashed, these forces are what caused the crash of Flight 815. Or that's what Desmond believes.

* Desmond has been pressing the button for three years. He was on a round-the-world boat race when a storm brought him to the island.

* Desmond was rescued by a man named Kelvin, who was then manning the hatch and pressing the button. Kelvin orients Desmond to the hatch and button, convincing him of its importance to humanity.

* Having found a new person to press the button, Kelvin plans to abandon the hatch and leaves on Desmond's sailboat, which he'd secretly been repairing. Desmond finds out about the plan and accidentally kills Kelvin in an angry struggle. But he goes back to the hatch and continues pressing the button, convinced it's necessary in order to keep the world safe.

* Before his sailing trip, Desmond was a member of the British military and he'd been imprisoned for "not following orders." He also was estranged from his girlfriend, Penelope Widmore. Penelope's father, apparently a very wealthy and influential person, pays Desmond off to stay away from his daughter. Desmond enters the sailing race, which is sponsored by Widmore, wanting to win and show up the elder Widmore.

* Once the crash survivors discover the hatch, Desmond also abandons it. He's missing for some time but eventually we learn he tried to leave on his sailboat. However, he was unable to sail away from the island. All his attempts at navigating away just brought him back.

* At the end of season 2, the button isn't pushed and the interior of the hatch starts to warp and destruct due to the electromagnetic forces. Desmond inserts a key into a switch designed to "terminate" the hatch station/project. There's a huge white out and, we're led to believe, the hatch and all those inside (Desmond and crash survivors Locke and Eko) vanish or are destroyed.

* The Others force Michael, the father of one of the kids they've abducted, to deliver them four more of the crash survivors: Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley. Michael also must free one of the Others, "Henry Gale," who the crash survivors are keeping in captivity. Michael frees Henry, killing two crash survivors in the process, and brings the four requested survivors to the Others. In exchange, the Others give Michael his son, Walt, and a boat with directions on how to leave the island.

* Michael and Walt leave in their boat. The Others send Hurley back to the rest of the crash survivors with a message: Don't try to retrieve Jack, Kate and Sawyer and stay away from the Others' part of the island.

* The Others plan to take Jack, Kate and Sawyer "home" with them. Where/what that means we don't know. We also don't know why they chose these three specifically.

* At the very end of the season, we see a pair of men stationed in a place that's very, very cold (one of the poles?) using equipment to monitor electromagnetic disturbances. They speak Portuguese. A piece of equipment registers something--most likely the destruction of the hatch--and they pick up a phone calling... Penelope Widmore. Finally, they tell her, they've pinpointed the location she's been looking for. So, does she somehow know Desmond was in the hatch and about the Dharma Initiative?

Other key points:

* There's a mysterious web of connections connecting several of the crash survivors. Many seem to have been "fated" to be on board Flight 815.

* Several 815 passengers have killed people in the past.

* Numerous strange phenomena take place on the island: People have visions, prophetic dreams, encounter things that shouldn't be there.

* A "monster" made of black smoke has been seen a number of times. It's been called a "security system" and seems to somehow evaluate whether people are a threat or not.

* The name Widmore pops up a few times. The pregnancy test Sun uses was manufactured by the company. There's also a building with a Widmore sign during a scene in London during one of Charlie's flashbacks. And Henry Gale's balloon was manufactured or sponsored by Widmore.

What we learned about the Others:

* They are wearing disguises to give themselves a "desert island" look--false beards, raggy clothing, etc.

* Henry Gale is evidently their leader, or a leader.

* They seem somehow part of or related to the Dharma Initiative but we're not certain how.

* They studied Walt, who seems to have some sort of psychic powers, and subjected him to "tests." When handing Walt over to Michael, Henry said they "got" more than they'd ever imagined or hoped from Walt. What they were after isn't known.

* They know the full and "real" names of those on Flight 815. And they have a particular interest in Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley.

* They characterize themselves as "good." In the past, they've abducted crash survivors because those survivors were "good people." Other survivors, they feel, aren't as good.

* Desmond and the Kelvin refer to the Others as "hostiles."

What we learned about the Dharma Initiative hatches/facilities:

* The plane crash survivors find the Swan, where Desmond has been holed up.

* Ana Lucia's group of tail section survirors find a hatch called the Arrow station.

* Eko and Lock find the Pearl station, which evidently has been set up to spy on the other hatches.

* Claire was kept in a medical hatch by the Others. Later she, Kate and Danielle find it.

* The Others have what appears to be a fake hatch. Just a door with a rock wall behind it.

* Locke sees several hatches depicted on a map on the interior of the blast door.

* The Other's also have a dock with a sign on it reading Pala Ferry.

* The pneumatic tubes used by those stationed in the Pearl hatch just pop up in the middle of nowhere in the island, the notebooks inside unread.

Character connections:

* Hurley owns the box company Locke worked for.

* Hurley and Locke both worked for Randy (at the Mr. Cluck's and the box company, respectively)

* Hurley, Libby and Locke's mother all were patients in the same mental ward.

* Jack meets Desmond as a doctor and later on the island.

* Shannon and Boone's father was killed in the car accident that injured Jack's future wife, Sarah.

* Sawyer is waited on my Kate's mother at a restaurant.

* During the first Gulf War, Sayid is apprehended by U.S. troops under the direction of Kate's step-father.

* Ana Lucia worked for Jack's disgraced doctor dad, Christian.

* Sawyer and Jack's dad drank together.

* Locke did a home inspection for Sayid's love, Nadia.

* Eko meets a psychic who is the father of a girl who allegedly drowned but came back from the dead. The psychic is the same man Claire met with in season 1, and who gave her a ticket for flight 815, saying it was vital that she take the flight.

* The Other, Alex, is the daughter of crazy French lady Danielle.

* Libby gave Desmond the boat he was on.

* Kelvin Inman, the hatch man who rescues Desmond, looks exactly like a CIA agent Sayid met during the first Iraq war. However, the man Sayid met was named Joe Inman. Twins? Same guy?

Repeated lines:

* "See you in another life." Said by Desmond to Jack in episode 2.1 and said by Dave (Hurley's imaginary mental ward fried) to Hurley in episode 2.18. Said by Desmond to Locke at the end of season 2.

* Both Desmond and Henry Gale claim they were on trips "around the world" when they ended up on the island.

* An attorney representing Micheal's ex-wife tells him "For someone who wants his son back so badly, you don't seem to know much about him." The Others' Miss Clue/Klugh later tells him essentially the same thing.

* Many, many times throughout the series, characters say "don't tell me what I can't do." In the season 2 finale, Eko tells Locke "don't tell me what I can do."

Strange experiences:

* Kate sees a black horse on the Island. Sawyer sees it with her.

* Shannon and Sayid have visions of Walt.

* Eko and Locke exchange dreams.

* Hurley has visions of his mental ward pal Dave.

Outside references:

* In "The Wizard of Oz," Henry Gale is the name of Dorothy's uncle. At the end that story, the Wizard flies off in a balloon.

* Uluru/Ayer's Rock: Locale of the psychic Rose visits in episode 2.19.
More info:
Ayers Rock is a large magnetic mound large not unlike Silbury Hill in England. It is located on a major planetary grid point much like the Great Pyramid in Egypt.

...The Aborigines believe that there it is hollow area below the ground, and that there is an energy source that they call 'Tjukurpa' the dream time. The term Tjukurpa is also used to refer to the record of all activities of a particular ancestral being from the very beginning of his or her travels to their end. Anangu know that the area around Ayers Rock (Mount Uluru) is inhabited by dozens of ancestral 'beings' whose activities are recorded at many other sites. At each site, the events that took place can be recounted, whether those events were of significance or whether the ancestral being just rested at a certain place before going on.


* Pala Ferry. According to this message board posting, Pala is a fictional place created by Aldous Huxley. More from Wikipedia: "Island" is a novel by Aldous Huxley that was first published in 1962. It is the account of Will Farnaby, a cynical journalist and would-be poet who is shipwrecked on the fictional island of Pala. Island is Huxley's utopian foil to his dystopian "Brave New World." Is the "ferry" a boat, a helicopter, plane, some mode of inter-dimensional transport? Where the hell does it go?

* Hurley discovers and Sawyer reads "Bad Twin," a novel-in-manuscript by "Gary Troup," a passenger who died in the plane crash. This novel has actually been published and is commercially available in the "real world." It contains references/characters that may provide hints about events on the show.

* Other books shown: "A Wrinkle in Time," "Watership Down," "Turn of the Screw," "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret," "The Brothers Karamozov," "The Third Policeman," "Lancelot," "A Hood Crow," "High Hand," Rainbow Six," "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge" and "Dirty Work," "Our Mutual Friend." Many of these books contain themes similar to those explored on the show and may provide hints, or at least extra flavoring, to what's going on in the series.

* The Lost Experience was an ongoing multi-media promotion/game including Web sites, TV ads, etc., that provided hints re: the Hanso/Widmore aspects of the show during this past summer. More info on this front here.

Songs played during season 2:

Mama Cass Elliot - "Make Your Own Kind Of Music"
The Uniques - "My Conversation"
Drifters - "Up On The Roof"
Billy Joel - "Easy Money"
Dave Matthews Band - "Stay"
Staind - "Outside"
Skeeter Davis - "The End of the World"
Patsy Cline and Lorreta Lynn - "Walking After Midnight"
Pousette-Dart Band - "Fall on Me"
The Kinks - "He's Evil"
Perry Como - "Papa Loves Mambo"
Glenn Miller - "Moonlight Serenade"
The Duke Ellington Orchestra - "Just A-Settin' and A-Rockin"
Perry Como - "Catch A Falling Star" - [Plays on Claire's mobile]
Seeds - "Pushin' Too Hard"
Les McCann - "Compared to What"
Otis Redding - "These Arms of Mine"

People killed by crash survivors:

* Jack shot the U.S. Marshall to put him out of his misery.

* Kate killed her abusive step dad.

* Sayid killed his commanding officer and perhaps others as a soldier/interrogator.

* Sawyer killed the man he mistakenly thought was responsible for destroying his family.

* Ana Lucia killed the man who earlier shot her, Shannon and the Other, Goodman.

* Eko killed two Others and, during his drug-dealing days, many more.

* Jin may've killed people for Sun's father. He at least beat people up.

* Michael killed Ana Lucia and Libby.

* Charlie killed the Other, Ethan Rom.

Unanswered questions:

* What's up with the illness the Others, Desmond and Danielle all mention and the vaccine meant to prevent it?

* Why was Libby in the mental ward with Hurley and why did she conceal this fact from him? Was she really a clinical psychologist? Was it arranged that she give the boat to Desmond?

* On the "orientation" film, the speaker introduces himself Dr. Marvin Candle. In a separate orientation video Lock and Eko later discover, the same man calls himself Dr. Mark Wickmund. What's up with the name change?

* Did Jin father the baby Sun is carrying?

* What are we to think of the enormous bird that swooped down and seemed to say Hurley's name?

* What is the brick structure on the hill above the Other's camp? It looks like a battlement of some type.

* And what about the enormous four-toed foot statue Sayid, Jin and Sun see?

See the Best Lost Sites on the Web.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pop Artifacts! Flash Gordon buttons



More Flash Gordon.

Vintage DC Comics House Ad



See the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

DVD: "Teens Titans," "The Batman" season 2 sets due out Sept. 26

Details from Warner Home Video:

Teen Titans: Complete Second Season
Dangerous enemy or lifelong friend? That's the question of Season 2 when Terra, a free-spirited teen with awesome earth-manipulating powers, rolls into town. As a skilled fighter, she makes a powerful addition to the Titans' fight against crime, and as a fun-loving, no-holds-barred hero, she jives instantly with their team chemistry. But the Titans aren't the only ones interested in recruiting the new girl. Robin's arch nemesis Slade is on the prowl for an apprentice, and the combination of Terra's volatile powers and personal vulnerability make her a perfect target for his twisted plans. Trusting this newcomer could prove to be a fatal mistake for the Teen Titans! Throughout 13 action-packed adventures from the hit TV series (and Bombastic Bonuses too), this Deluxe 2-Disc Edition is earth-shattering entertainment!

The Batman: Complete Second Season
Riddle me this: who's the latest villain to set his sinister sights on Gotham City? Riddler, of course, and only The Batman has the answers to stop this enigmatic evildoer. In these 13 action-packed episodes from the hit TV series, Gotham's greatest protector stumps Riddler and other favorite villains like Joker, Mr. Freeze and Penguin, and his obsession with justice earns the trust of up-and-coming police detective Jim Gordon. When Gordon offers The Batman a tentative alliance - "Just help me make this city safe for my daughter" - another piece of the legend falls into place! Swoop onto this Deluxe 2-Disc Edition with All Season 2 Adventures plus Exciting Extras. See justice done as no other hero can deliver!

See a Complete List of TV Shows on DVD.

New "Superman Returns" picture

Dig the hair.



See the Best Superman Sites on the Web.

Pop Culture Roundup May 24, 2006

Sony plans to do an animated film based on Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel "Persepolis".

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Scholastic plans a series of graphic novels based on R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps" books.

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You'll like Check Out the Cool Wax.

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Apparently "X-Men 3: The Last Stand" features a surprise after the final credits.

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Lost preview, May 24 season 2 finale: "Live Together, Die Alone"



Read ABC's teaser copy for tonight's show.

Listen to the most recent offical "Lost" podcast.

Watch a preview for tonight's show.

See promo pics from tonight's show

Come back tomorrow for a summary of the show with observations/speculation.

See the Best Lost Sites on the Web

Review: Showcase Presents House of Mystery Vol. 1



Sure, superheroes get all the attention. But study a little bit about comic book history and you learn that some of the medium's best work--both writing and art--was done for other genres.

Consider the stable of gifted creators responsible for EC Comics' war, horror, crime and science fiction comics--widely acknowledged as some of the best American comics ever published.

In humor, we see excellent work by Carl Barks on the Disney Duck comics and Mad magazine's array of talented writers and artists.

And how about Westerns? Alex Toth, John Severin and others turned in glorious work in the horse opera genre.

And that's just talking about mainstream comics--not getting into underground, alternative or "art" comics.

So, if you want to see a wider perspective of excellent comics work, it pays great dividends to look beyond the capes.

And an easy, cheap, place to start is this recently released Showcase compilation of DC Comics' "House of Mystery" title.

The book starts with HOM #174, published in May 1968, the first issue under the helm of editor Joe Orlando, a well-respected writer, penciler and vet of EC's glory days.

Right away, Orlando brought an EC-style edge and humor to the title, installing the creepy but comic narrator character Cain to provide intros for each issue's short stories, most of which ran anywhere from 6 to 12 pages. These were usually broken up by one- or two-page comic pieces by the great Sergio Aragones, whose hilarious cartoons-in-the-margin later became a key feature of Mad Magazine.

And, also in the tradition of EC, Orlando brought in a stellar cast of creators to craft the title's short'n'spooky stories. Highlights of this 500-page slab of fun include half a dozen stories by Toth plus a few nice ones by Neal Adams and the young Bernie Wrightson. There a few scattered stories, also, that appeared in 1950s issues of HOM, which Orlando chose to reprint, including one by Jack Kirby and a nice one with art by the great Mort Meskin.

I especially liked a few stories illustrated by Jerry Grandenetti--not a household name if you're mainly a superhero fan, but a guy who did loads and loads of war comics for DC back in the 1960s and 70s. His work here is excellent with lots of skewed, spooky angles and deep, deep shadows that really create a mood.

Scriptwise this stuff isn't exactly O. Henry or Poe, although it'd like to be. Many of the plots are just silly. A lot of the surprise twist endings aren't surprising at all. But some of them work quite nicely, particularly those written by Jack Oleck, another EC vet.

The Aragones' humor pieces also are blast. Many of his morbid scenarios easily stand comparison to the works of Charles Addams and suggest that Sergio was strolling the Far Side years before any of us ever heard of Gary Larson.

In terms of reprint quality: A nice thing about the horror genre is that the artwork does contain a lot of those deep, dark shadows and they translate very nicely into black and white. Toth's work, in particular, looks fabulous. Not any of the stories, really, suffers due to the lack of color.

My only complaint is the reproduction of the covers. They look like bad photocopies of the original comic covers. In fact, I'm certain they are bad photocopies. This is the kind of stuff Marvel has done a lot with its Essentials volumes. Generally, DC does a much better job on its reprintings, so it's a bit of a surprise to see such lack of care. As a result, some nice work by Nick Cardy and Adams, which should shine, just comes across looking murky and gray.

Still, it's only the covers and that's not enough for me to not recommend the book. Let's just hope DC does better next time around.

See a Complete List of DC Showcase Presents Books.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pop Artifact! "The Making of Doctor Who" book



Blogging in a Booksteve mode today, I decided to pull this from the shelf and share. It's a paperback I found many years ago in a secondhand bookshop during a family trip to England.

I knew just a little bit about Doctor Who at the time. American paperbacks reprinting some of the character's adventures started appearing in stores sometime in the early 1980s and I'd picked up a few based on the groovy cover paintings, which depicted the Tom Baker incarnation of the Doctor along with assorted Daleks, Cybermen and the Loch Ness Monster, etc.

It was by reading the back jacket copy on these novels that I realized Doctor Who was a British TV series with a long, long history. But since our local public TV station didn't air the program (as some stations around the U.S. did), it'd be a long, long time before I ever got a chance to see an episode.

This book gave me my first photographic glimpse of the series and outlined the general history of the character (up to 1972 anyway) along with lots of behind-the-scenes trivia about the show's production.

Penned by "Who" scripters Malcolm Hulk and Terrance Dicks (the latter wrote the "Doctor Who" novels I enjoyed most), it's a fun read. And the pictures are great. Click 'em to see 'em big.





See the Best Doctor Who Sites on the Web.

Vintage DC Comics House Ad



See the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

New Superman Returns international poster

Here's yet another new one:



See the Best Superman Sites on the Web.

Lost action figures coming

McFarlane toys has won the license to produce a series of "Lost" action figures, according to Newsarama.

The toys will be released this fall, according to the trade, with the first selection of six figures to include: Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Hurley (Jorge Garcia), Locke (Terry O'Quinn), Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) and Shannon (Maggie Grace). Along with the individual figures (which will ship with a scaled prop), McFarlane will also produce boxed sets including the figure with dioramas of locations seen throughout the series. According to the trade, future lines will include Sawyer and Mr. Eko.

UPDATED:

Here are links to order Lost action figures from CMD store:

Lost series 1 action figures
--Jack
--Charlie
--Hurley
--Kate
--Locke
--Shannon
--Hatch box set

Lost series 2 action figures
--Crash site box set
--Sawyer
--Jin
--Sayid
--Desmond
--Sun
--Mr. Eko

See a complete list of new and upcoming action figures.

See the Best Lost Sites on the Web.

Verve releasing rare albums as download exclusives

The jazz label is making 28 out-of-print titles available exclusively through the Rhapsody download service beginning May 23.

They include:

Albert Mangelsdorff, Jaco Pastorius, and Alphonse Mouzon "Trilogue" (Live)
Alphonse Mouzon "By All Means"
Anita O'Day "Anita"
Art Blakey "The Complete Art Blakey on EmArcy"
Art Tatum "I Got Rhythm Vol. 3 (1935-44)"
Baden Powell "Estudos"
Ben Sidran "I Lead A Life"
Ben Sidran "Puttin' In Time On Planet Earth"
Ben Sidran "The Cat In The Hat"
Ben Webster and Don Byas "Ben Webster Meets Don Byas"
Bill Evans "Symbiosis"
Clark Terry "Clark After Dark"
Dexter Gordon and Slide Hampton "A Day in Copenhagen"
Don "Sugar Cane" Harris "Fiddler On The Rock"
Don Ellis "Soaring"
Duke Ellington "Collages"
Ella Fitzgerald "Songs In A Mellow Mood"
Freddie Hubbard "The Hub Of Hubbard"
George Duke "I Love The Blues, She Heard Me Cry"
Helen Merrill and Ron Carter "Duets"
Jean-Luc Ponty "Sunday Walk"
Joe Henderson "Mirror Mirror"
Marlena Shaw "Out Of Different Bags"
Monty Alexander "The Duke Ellington Songbook"
Oscar Peterson "Bursting Out With The All-Star Big Band"
Stephane Grappelli and the Diz Disley Trio "Violinspiration"
The Eddie Davis-Johnny Griffin Quintet "Tough Tenors - Again N Again"
The Jan Hammer Trio "Maliny Maliny"

Pop Culture Roundup May 23, 2006

Datajunkie rounds up a nice bunch of ads promoting vintage movie serials.

------------------------

Teri Hatcher will voice the mom in an animated adaptation of Neil Gaimin's "Coraline," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

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Joss Whedon has scripted a new, six-part "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" comic series due out in October from Dark Horse. The storyline takes place after the events of the "Buffy" TV series.

------------------------

The official James Bond "Casino Royale" site is up.

------------------------

CD new releases May 23, 2006

Chet Baker ~ Cologne Concert

Chet Baker, Len Mercer ~ Chet Baker With Len Mercer & His Orchestra

The Byrds ~ The Notorious Byrd Brothers [Hybrid SACD]

Miles Davis ~ Legendary Prestige Quintet Sessions [Original recording remastered]

Echo & Bunnymen ~ House of Blues - San Diego Ca 12/9/5 [Limited Edition]

Duke Ellington ~ Complete Gus Wildi Recordings

Bill Haley & His Comets ~ Bill Haley & His Comets

Bill Haley & His Comets ~ Bill Haley's Jukebox

King Crimson ~ Earthbound [Live]

King Crimson ~ USA: 30th Anniversary Edition [Live] [Original recording remastered]

Dudley Moore, et al ~ Beyond the Fringe (1962 Original Broadway Cast)

Gerry Mulligan ~ Complete Studio Recordings

Harry Nilsson ~ Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night [Original recording remastered]

Harry Nilsson ~ Son of Schmilsson [Original recording remastered]

Harry Nilsson ~ The Very Best Of

Billy Preston ~ Drown in My Tears

Django Reinhardt ~ Complete Recordings for Solo Guitar

Diana Ross ~ diana [Original recording remastered]

John Zorn ~ Moonchild

More Upcoming CDs.

DVD new releases May 23, 2006

The Cecil B. DeMille Collection (Cleopatra/ The Crusades/ Four Frightened People/ Sign of the Cross/ Union Pacific)

Deadwood - The Complete Second Season

Jim Henson's the Storyteller - The Definitive Collection

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Commercial Parodies

X-Men Evolution: The Complete Third Season

More Upcoming DVDs.

Comics shipping May 24, 2006

See complete lists:
DC Archives
DC Showcase
DC Trade Paperbacks
Marvel Masterworks
Marvel Essentials
Marvel Trade Paperbacks
Upcoming Trade Paperbacks - Graphic Novels


Comics Shipping May 24

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JAN063743 WHOA SPIDEY SENSE TINGLING VINTAGE T/S XL $16.99
JAN063744 WHOA SPIDEY SENSE TINGLING VINTAGE T/S XXL $19.99
FEB063758 WOLVERINE JAMES HOWLETT T/S LG $17.99
FEB063757 WOLVERINE JAMES HOWLETT T/S MED $17.99
FEB063756 WOLVERINE JAMES HOWLETT T/S SM $17.99
FEB063759 WOLVERINE JAMES HOWLETT T/S XL $17.99
FEB063760 WOLVERINE JAMES HOWLETT T/S XXL $20.99
FEB063595 X ILLUSTRATED COLLECTION INFINITY SC $47.99
FEB063596 X ILLUSTRATED COLLECTION ZERO NEW VERSION SC $47.99
MAR062840 X-MEN 3 MOVIE BEAST BUST $50.00
MAR062839 X-MEN 3 MOVIE JUGGERNAUT BUST $50.00
MAR062841 X-MEN 3 MOVIE STORM BUST $50.00
MAR062838 X-MEN 3 MOVIE WOLVERINE BUST $50.00
FEB063543 X-MEN LAST STAND MOVIE NOVELIZATION MMPB $6.99
JAN068060 YU GI OH TCG ENEMY OF JUSTICE BOOSTER DIS PI
APR064179 ZATCH BELL CCG DAWN OF ANCIENTS BOOSTER DIS $72

Monday, May 22, 2006

Pop Artifact! G.I. Joe Action Marine figure



More G.I. Joe.

Vintage DC Comics House Ad



See the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

UK Doctor Who complete season 2 cover art unveiled

Out in the UK this November, this set includes all the new "Doctor Who" episodes airing over there. The show's first season is set for release in the U.S. this July.



See the Best Doctor Who Sites on the Web.

"Lost" to be rerun free next season

Details from USA Today:

Next season, ABC's island mystery Lost will eliminate repeats, airing seven episodes in October and November, then taking a two-month break for a replacement series. When it returns in late January, the show will run 16 consecutive original episodes.

Pop Culture Roundup May 22, 2006

Turns out that too-good-to-be-true Amazon bargain on the "absolute" version of Darwyn Cooke's "DC: The New Frontier" hardcover collection was just that. Anyone who ordered the apparently massively discounted book received an e-mail saying there'd been a pricing error and that their order were canceled. So no $75 book for $12.99. How much Amazon is charging, however, is a mystery at the moment. The book is currently listed as not yet available and there's no price mentioned.

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On the other hand, Amazon is some for real deals on various action figures (including some Marvel Legends Showdown set and DC Direct items) here.

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Dial B for Blog remembers Steve Ditko's zany "Mr. A." What a barrel of laughs that guy was. Seriously, though, this is a very well done look at how Ditko incorporated Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy into in his comics. And it continues tomorrow.

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Poptique remembers Sgt. Bilko, who was way more fun than Mr. A.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Acapulco HEAT DVDs

Acapulco H.E.A.T. on DVD complete list:

Season 1

Fear Factor DVDs

Fear Factor on DVD complete list:

Complete First Season

Family Affair DVDs

Family Affair on DVD complete list:

Season One
Season Two
Season Three
Season Four

See a Complete List of TV Shows on DVD.

Superboy DVDs

Superboy live-action series on DVD complete list:

Complete First Season

Married with Children DVDs

Married with Children on DVD complete list:

Married with Children - The Complete First Season
Married with Children - The Complete Second Season
Married with Children - The Complete Third Season
Married With Children - The Complete 4th Season
Married With Children - The Complete Fifth Season
Complete Sixth Season

Complete list of TV Shows on DVD

Krypto the Superdog DVDs

Krypto the Superdog on DVD complete list:

Krypto the Superdog, Vol. 1: Cosmic Canine

King of Queens DVDs

King of Queens on DVD complete list:

Complete First Season
Complete Second Season
Complete Third Season
Complete Fourth Season
Complete Fifth Season
Complete Sixth Season
Complete Seventh Season
Complete Eight Season
Complete Ninth Season

See a Complete List of TV Shows on DVD

Jim Henson's the Storyteller DVDs

Jim Henson's the Storyteller on DVD Complete List:

Jim Henson's the Storyteller - The Definitive Collection

Big Valley on DVD complete list

Big Valley Season One