Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pop Artifacts! Batman trading cards

Vintage DC Comics house ad

Don't forget to vote!


Pop Culture Roundup Nov. 7, 2006

Booksteve has some cool house ads from Gold Key and Whitman comics.


Robby Reed of Dial B for Blog unmasks! And he's taking a blogging break until next spring, sadly. Take it easy, Rob, and thanks again for designing my blog logo for me!


Deal alert: Amazon is offering 50 percent off on HBO-related DVDs, including season sets of "The Sopranos," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Six Feet Under" and such.


"Casino Royale" is getting good early reviews.

"It's a terrific debut," wrote the Daily Telegraph's Sinclair McKay, summing up a weekend of praise from British newspapers eager to get their reviews out early.

"From the very start, he steps with full assuredness into Sean Connery's old handmade shoes."

The Times' Wendy Ide appears to take a swipe at some of Craig's five predecessors in the role by concluding her review: "His main asset quickly becomes evident. He can act."


Deal alert: Also discounted now at Amazon, a whole range of "Doctor Who" DVDs.

DVD new releases Nov. 7, 2006

Cars (Widescreen Edition)

The West Wing - The Complete Seventh Season

The Sopranos - Season 6, Part 1

M*A*S*H - Season Eleven (Collector's Edition)

Beverly Hills, 90210 - The Complete First Season

JAG (Judge Advocate General) - The Complete Second Season

Police Squad! The Complete Series

James Bond Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 (10 pc) (The Man with the Golden Gun / Goldfinger / The World Is Not Enough / Diamonds Are Forever / The Living Daylights)

James Bond Ultimate Collection, Vol. 2 (10 pc) (A View to a Kill / Thunderball / Die Another Day / The Spy Who Loved Me / License to Kill)

Doctor Who - The Hand of Fear (Episode 87)

She-Ra: Princess of Power - Season 1, Vol. 1

Doctor Who - The Mark of the Rani (Episode 140)

The Marlon Brando Collection (Julius Caesar / Mutiny on the Bounty 1962 / Reflections in a Golden Eye / The Teahouse of the August Moon / The Formula )

Harvey Toons - The Complete Collection

Lassie Come Home/Son of Lassie/Courage of Lassie

Edward R. Murrow - The Best of Person to Person

The Best of Carson, Volume 1

Doctor Who - The Complete First Season, Vol. 1

Doctor Who - The Complete First Season, Vol. 2

Doctor Who - The Complete First Season, Vol. 3

Doctor Who - The Complete First Season, Vol. 4

Francis Ford Coppola Presents William S. Burroughs' The Junky's Christmas

More upcoming DVD releases

New CD releases Nov. 7, 2006

The Road to Escondido by J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton

The Studio Albums 1967-1968 by The Bee Gees

Sinatra: Vegas (Box Set, 4CD/1DVD) by Frank Sinatra

Peel Sessions 1991-2004 by PJ Harvey

Surfer's Choice by Dick Dale & the Del-Tones

Sings for Soulful Lovers/Seven Letters by Ben E. King

This American Life: Stories of Hope & Fear by American Life: Stories of Hope & Fear

Produced by George Martin: Highlights of 50 Years by Various Artists

Hey Jude by Wilson Pickett

Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong by Louis Armstrong

Disney: Music Behind the Magic by Disney: Music Behind the Magic

More upcoming CDs

Monday, November 06, 2006

Don't forget to vote!


Pop Artifact! Batman trading cards

Vintage DC Comics House Ad

Pop Culture Roundup Nov. 6, 2006

A Wonder Woman Day to raise money for women's sheleters in Portland, Ore., was a rousing success, reports the Beat.

The free all-ages event, organized by best-selling author Andy Mangels, included a trio of comic book artists signing Wonder Woman comics, as well as a silent art auction with over 100 of the world’s top artists contributing original art, plus raffles, costumes, rare memorabilia, and more. In the aftermath of the event, the total amount raised was determined, with 100% of all monies going to two of Portland’s most protective women and children’s shelters — Raphael House and Bradley-Angel House. The total raised was $15,405.33!


Deal alert: Amazon has Paul McCartney's new live concert DVD available for 40 percent off: $14. 99.


The Groovy Age of Horrow recalls the 1970s series of Vampirella paperback novels. Penned by Ron Goulart, the books included:

Vampirella, No. 1 : Bloodstalk
Vampirella No. 2: On Alien Wings
Vampirella, No. 3 : Deadwalk
Vampirella No. 4: Blood Wedding
Vampirella No. 5: Deathgame
Vampirella No. 6: Snakegod

Click the links to check for available used copies via Amazon.


Marvel Comics has announced the release "The Incredible Hulk" in theaters June 27, 2008. It looks this film is a "do-over" rather than a sequel to the poor, and poorly performing previous "Hulk" movie.

Directed by top rising star Louis Leterrier (Transporter 2, Unleashed), The Incredible Hulk will return to the roots of the long-running comic series, combining a well-developed storyline with incredible action and fun. Zak Penn, who previously collaborated with Marvel on X2 and this summer's smash hit X-Men: The Last Stand, is writing the script. The project is being produced by Avi Arad, Kevin Feige and Gale Anne Hurd and will be executive produced by Michael Helfant, David Womark, and Ari Arad. Marvel Studios is currently casting the project.


Electric Tiki is planning an animated-style "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" figure. Probably the closest thing we'll get to the once-planned "Buffy" cartoon series.


A soundtrack album of Murray Gold's music for the new "Doctor Who" series is out Dec. 4 in the UK.

...the album will feature Murray Gold's version of the Doctor Who theme, plus many of his various incidental scores from Series 1 and 2.

The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon contributes a version of Song for Ten (from last year's Christmas special) and Love Don't Roam, which will feature in the Runaway Bride.

Also included is the much-requested Doomsday - the song that played during Rose's trip to Bad Wolf Bay in Episode 13 of Series 2.

Other tracks include Cassandra's Waltz, Harriet Jones, Prime Minister, plus the themes specially created for the Doctor and Rose.


Let's face it, the cover design for IDW's new collection of "Dick Tracy" comic strips looks more than a little like the distinctive design artist Seth and Fantagraphics came up with for the series of "Peanuts" reprints. Comics212.net ain't happy about it.

New "Heroes" cast pic

See the Best Heroes Sites on the Web.

Upcoming items from TwoMorrows Publishing


Alter Ego 64 focuses on the Fabulous Fawcett Favorites-and Filchock,
too! Featuring: A previously-unpublished cover painting by DON NEWTON,
of Captain Marvel Jr. and Captain Nazi! ROY THOMAS’ special
issue-by-issue analysis and appreciation of OTTO BINDER and C.C. BECK’s
1943-45 four-color "The Monster Society of Evil!" serial featuring Mr.
Mind, Dr. Sivana-all that and World War II! Film model-maker ROGER
DICKEN’s theory that Captain Marvel was modeled after German
boxer MAX SCHMELING! Plus a special double-size FCA (Fawcett Collectors
of America) section with MARC SWAYZE, EMILIO SQUEGLIO, C.C. BECK, MAC
RABOY, et al.-hosted by P.C. HAMERLINCK! Also, JIM AMASH interviews
MARTIN FILCHOCK, Golden Age artist for Centaur comics (Mighty Man,
Fire-Man, Owl, Electric Ray, et al.)! Plus MICHAEL T. GILBERT and Mr.
Monster’s Comic Crypt-and MORE! Edited by ROY THOMAS.

The 100 page (plus cover), saddle-stitched 8 1/2" x 11" magazine with a
full color cover and black-and-white interiors retails for $6.95 in the
U.S. and ships 10 January 2007.



Now with COLOR! In Back Issue 20, peek behind the masks of many of your
favorite heroes in this Secret Identities issue, as we explore the
histories of four characters with unusual alter egos: Firestorm, Moon
Knight, the Question, and the "real-life" super-hero the Human Fly!
STEVE ENGLEHART and SAL BUSCEMA talk "Pro2Pro" about their Captain
America collaboration, and JERRY ORDWAY is spotlighted in a
career-spanning interview. Plus: a roundtable of Superman writers and
artists reveal the scoop on Clark Kent, featuring artwork by and
BONUS: a Superman and Clark Kent COLOR art gallery, with ultra-rare art
by CURT SWAN and others, and a Shazam! cover by Ordway, re-creating the
classic "Spider-Man No More" cover from Amazing Spider-Man #50! Edited

The 104 page with color section and cover, saddle-stitched 8 1/2" x 11"
magazine with a full color cover and black-and-white interiors retails
for $6.95 in the U.S. and ships 17 January 2007.



The industry’s buzzing about TwoMorrows’ groundbreaking new mag, ROUGH
STUFF, celebrating the ART of creating comics! In issue 3, editor (and
top pro inker) BOB McLEOD presents more NEVER-BEFORE PUBLISHED penciled
pages, preliminary sketches, detailed layouts, and unused inked
of art from throughout comics history! First up is a new, heavily
illustrated interview with JOHN ROMITA, JR. on his career, from his
early work on Iron Man, through to his current groundbreaking art on
Marvel’s ETERNALS revamp with Neil Gaiman! Then, we present extensive
galleries of unseen work by top artists P. CRAIG RUSSELL, MIKE ALLRED,
and YANICK PAQUETTE, who contribute commentaries on pencils, sketches,
and more from some of their most well-known comics work-examining what
went right and wrong with it, and giving background information to put
it all into historical perspective. Also: A pencil art spotlight on one
of the most talented creators in comics today, LEE WEEKS! A
retrospective art gallery on legendary Marvel Comics artist Big JOHN
BUSCEMA! Plus: Before-and-after comparisons revealing how images
from initial concept to published version, and more, all behind a new
ROMITA JR. "Spider-Man" cover!

The 100 page with cover, saddle-stitched 8 1/2" x 11" magazine with a
full color cover and black-and-white interiors retails for $6.95 in the
U.S. and ships 24 January 2007.


edited by Bob MCLEOD

by Danny FINGEROTH and Mike MANLEY

by Danny FINGEROTH and Mike MANLEY

by Michael EURY


by Christopher IRVING
Ships 21 February 2007

128 page Trade Paperback - by Christopher Irving
The Blue Beetle debuted in 1939, rivaling such icons as Superman and Batman for longevity in comics, but not in popularity until his recent death and resurrection as a result of DC Comics’ hit Infinite Crisis series. Now, Comic Book Artist magazine’s Christopher Irving explores the history and uncovers the secrets lurking under the cover of the character’s comics in The Blue Beetle Companion! Follow his 60+ years of evolution—from the world of Fox Comics to an in-depth history of Charlton Comics—all the way to the hall of today’s DC Comics. Find out what really happened to infamous Golden Age publisher Victor Fox, and get an in-depth look at the Blue Beetle radio show and Jack “King” Kirby’s Blue Beetle comic strip. Also, presented for the first time since 1939: the first appearance of The Blue Beetle from Mystery Men Comics #1! Featuring interviews with Will Eisner, Joe Simon, Joe Gill, Roy Thomas, Geoff Johns, Cully Hamner, Keith Giffen, Len Wein, and others, plus never-before-seen Blue Beetle designs by Alex Ross and Alan Weiss, as well as artwork by Will Eisner, Charles Nicholas, Steve Ditko, Kevin Maguire, and more! It also features an introduction by Tom DeHaven, the acclaimed author of the novel It’s Superman! and Derby Dugan’s Depression Funnies. Featuring a new cover by current Blue Beetle artist Cully Hamner, this is the ultimate look at one of comicdom’s longest-living heroes!

Ships 21 February 2007

Enchanting—that is the best word to describe the artwork of Charles Vess. Whether with his book illustrations, his paintings, or his comic book stories, Vess’ work has enchanted readers for years. The winner of two World Fantasy Awards (one with Neil Gaiman for Best Short Story for Sandman #19; the second for Best Artist for Gaiman’s novel, Stardust, which will be a major motion picture in early 2007) and two Eisner Awards, Charles Vess has proven himself to be one of the greatest fantasy artists of our time. Chris Irving and Eric Nolen-Weathington are proud to present an in-depth look into Vess’ career and creative process in this latest volume of the Modern Masters series. This 120-page book features a career-spanning interview with tons of art, including many rare and unpublished pieces, a large gallery, and an 8-page color section on this true Modern Master: Charles Vess!

edited by Roy THOMAS - "Nick CARDY"
Ships 14 February 2007

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pop Artifact! Spider-man placemat

Vintage Comic Book Ad

Pop Culture Roundup Nov. 3, 2006

Via Bedazzled: A great collection of cartoon-themed LP covers.


Via the Beat: The Diamond comics distributing company has launched a branch to handle comics geared especially to young readers.

...the new division will be called Diamond Kids Group and said that comics and kids’ books are “the next platform for major growth” at Diamond.

Scholastic editor-at-large Janna Morishima will direct the new unit. Her role at DKG will be to help comics publishers reformat and relaunch comics in the book market, and to help trade book publishers learn and enter the graphic novel market.


Via Bubblegumfink: A whole mess of Archies YouTube videos.


The UK Guardian has an article about the restoration process being used to spruce up old "Doctor Who" episodes from the 1960s and 1970s.

This month's release of the 1969 Doctor Who story The Invasion will look pristine, as though it was made last week. This isn't because of a discovery of an original tape, though; the masters were long ago discarded by the BBC, replaced by a copy made by holding a film camera up to a TV screen. (This, incidentally, is why so much old TV looks grainy.)

See a Complete List of Doctor Who Episodes on DVD.


You can preview four tracks from the Beatles' Love here, the soundtrack to the new Cirque de Soleil show using new versions of Beatles music. Fabs producer George Martin and son Giles created "new songs" by combing/mashing up elements of existing Beatles tunes, including studio outtakes.

The album is out Nov. 21 in standard CD form, or a double disk set that includes a conventional CD and DVD Audio Disk. Clicks the links to pre-order either from Amazon now.

I wasn't sure how I'd like this stuff, but it's a lot of fun.


Wanna call up Clark Kent? Bruce Wayne? Peter Parker? The Comics Foundry has their numbers.

It Came from the Suburbs collects rare Kennedy-era rock

Out Nov. 21 from the UK's Ace Records, here's the skinny:

Ace Records continue to exploit the fascinatingly quirky Downey Records catalogue. This is the second in a series presenting the Southern Californian label’s output. While the much-lauded first comp was an instrumental collection, “Intoxica!”, this new one is a rock‘n’roll collection that refuses to draw any genre lines, as long as it all fits within the context of the Big Beat.

IT CAME FROM THE SUBURBS started with the working title of “Downey Teens”, and although not as evocative, that working title said it all. This collection brings us doo wop (including some unreleased rareties), quasi-rockabilly, teen ballads, honking R&B strollers, novelty pop and more, creating a patchwork of teen music from the Kennedy era, the strange years leading up to the Beatles and the British Invasion.

All that’s missing is Wolfman Jack and a cheeseburger with large fries and a vanilla malt. We have resurrected American Grafitti, but without the Golden Oldies! It’s the right timeframe, but in time-honoured Ace style, this comp brings you the best (and sometimes weirdest) in oddities.

The Downey vaults excavation continues in order to bring straight-from-the-masters quality, and in the doing of it, we keep discovering that the released sides (and the two or three hits on the label) were only a small part of the Downey story!

Here's the track list:

1. Richard's Bounce
2. Joe Cool
3. Lovin' Up A Storm
4. Understanding
5. Laura
6. Thump D De Dum Dum
7. Ho Doo The Voo Doo
8. Sweet Memories
9. Jay Walkin'
10. Country Star
11. Purty Baby
12. On It Hurts
13. Betty Boop
14. Chip Chop (My Fair Lady)
15. Well Of Loneliness
16. Nellie
17. She Came, She Saw, She Conquered
18. Astro - Romeo
19. Horny Aka Hot Dogger
20. 20 - Voo Doo Dolly
21. Cupid’S Clown
22. Dorothy
23. Yea Yea Yea
24. My Mary’S Gone
25. Gone So Long
26. Bwana
27. Dragon

The album is available for pre-order now for $19.98 from Amazon.

Ricky Jay Plays Poker compiles gamblin' tunes

Out Nov. 28, this set is a tribute to card sharp, illusionist, actor, author Ricky Jay.


21 songs of hustlers, reprobates, blacklegs, scallywags and the passions and pleasures of the game. The deluxe gift box also includes a bonus dvd starring Ricky Jay performing some unbelievable deception at the card table, a 72 page color book with an in-depth essay written by Jay and beautiful reproductions from his incredible collection of art and memorabilia and – if all that weren’t enough – a custom poker pack from the U. S. Playing Card Company.

Here's the track list:

1. Darktown Poker Club - Phil Harris
2. Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie - Bob Dylan
3. Turn The Cards Slowly - Patsy Cline
4. Five Card Stud - Lorne Green
5. Don't Turn The Card - Memphis Minnie
6. Politics & Poker - Howard Da Silva
7. Ace In The Hold - Anita O'day
8. Little Queen Of Spades - Robert Johnson
9. Etienne Gonna Die - Saint Etienne
10. Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold - Townes Van Zandt
11. Poker Playing Baby - Harris Willis
12. Gambler's Guitar - Merle Travis
13. Darktown Poker Club - Bert Williams
14. Dolan's Poker Party - Frank Crumit
15. Poker Woman Blues - Blind Blake
16. Wild Card - Tex Williams
17. Ace Of Spades - O.V. Wright
18. The Roving Gambler - Country Gentlemen
19. Bedspring Poker - Mississippi Sheiks
20. Ace In The Hole - Dave Van Ronk
21. Politics & Poker (Reprise) - Howard Da Silva

You can order the set for $34.97 from Amazon now. The CD also is available on its own for $13.98.

New and upcoming action figures Nov. 3, 2006

Superman/Batman series 4 figures, see below

DC Direct first appearances series 4 figures, see below

Complete List of Marvel Legends Action Figures
Complete List of DC Direct Action Figures

Here's a look at action figures available via your local comics shop or via the TIP!-supporting links below:

DC Direct Action Figures

Batman Dark Victory
--Commissioner Gordon
--Robin and Penguin

Batman/Superman Series 4
--Batman Beyond
--Kryptonite Batman

Crisis on Infinite Earths Series 3
--Weaponer of Qward
--Doctor Light
--Superboy prime

DC Direct Reactivated Action Figures
--Wonder Woman

DC 13-inch Figures
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Green Lantern
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Lex Luthor
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Two-Face
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Aquaman

Elseworlds Action Figures Series 2
--Red Son Batman
--Red Son President Superman
--Kingdom Come Jade
--Kingdom Come Spectre and Norman McKay
--Gotham By Gaslight Batman

First Appearance Series 4
--Blue Beetle translucent
--Blue Beetle
--Brave New World Atom
--Brave New World Martian Manhunter
--Brave New World Aquaman

Infinite Crisis Action Figures Series 1
--Earth Prime Superboy
--Alexander Luthor

JSA Action Figures
--Mr. Terrific
--Dr. Midnite
--Golden Age Atom 2-pack

Hanna Barbera Series 2 Action Figures
--Captain Caveman
--Fred Flintstone and Dino
--Johnny Quest
--Magilla Gorilla
--Penelope Pitstop and Muttley
--Tom and Jerry
--Yogi Bear
--Flintstones at the Drive-In

Hanna Barbera Series 3 Action Figures
--Fred Flintstone Quittin' Time
--Twinkle Toes Fred Flintstone
--Great Grape Ape
--Huckleberry Hound
--The Jetsons
--Secret Squirrel

Hasbro Spider-Man Origins Figures
--Set of 8
--Spider-Man Venom costume
--Green Goblin
--Doctor Octopus
--Iron Spider-Man
--Captain America

Lost series 1 action figures
--Hatch box set

Lost series 2 action figures
--Crash site box set

Marvel Figure Factory Sets
--Black Costume Spider-Man
--Invisible Woman
--Silver Surfer

Marvel Legends Action Figures

Hasbro Marvel Legends Figures Series 1
--Emma Frost
--Ultimate Iron Man
--Movie Beast
--Planet Hulk

Hasbro Marvel Legends Action Figures Series 2
--Yellow Jacket
--Quick Silver
--Lord Asgard Thor
--Magneto Xorn
--X3 Jean Grey
--First Appearance Storm

Marvel Legends Series 14
--Original Armor Iron Man (variant)
--Baron Zemo (variant)
--Luke Cage: Powerman
--The Falcon (variant)

Marvel Legends Series 15
--Beta Ray Bill
--Moon Knight
--Spider-Woman (variant)
--Quicksilver (variant)
--Thor-Buster Iron Man
--Wasp (variant)
--Captain Marvel (variant)

Marvel Legends Icons 13-inch Action Figures Series 3 Action Figures
--Spider-Man Variant
--Beast Variant

Marvel Legends Masterworks Sets
--Spider-Man Vs. Green Goblin
--Fantastic Four Vs. Mole Man
--Hulk Vs. The Thing
--Galactus Vs. Everybody

Marvel Select Figures

Best of Marvel Select Figures
--Grey Hulk
--Ultimate Spider-Man
--Green Goblin

Marvel Studios
--Dr. Doom with Mask
--Dr. Doom unmasked

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pop Artifact! Hulk placemat

Vintage Comic Book Ad

Pop Culture Roundup Nov. 2, 2006

"Lost" producers Damon Lindelhof and Carlton Cuse talk about the death of Mr. Eko.

TV Guide: Another actor leaves Lost just months after he's pulled over in Hawaii for a traffic violation. This is the part where you guys tell me there's absolutely no connection.

Carlton Cuse: We actually work very closely with the Honolulu police department, and they have final script approval.

Damon Lindelof: Look, we feel very strongly about traffic violations, no matter how minor they are. All we can say is that Evangeline Lilly got a parking ticket last week, and she better not count her chickens.


Via Bedazzled: Cute people-on-the-street singing Beatles tunes from the 1973 "James Paul McCartney" TV special (which really oughtta be available on DVD, shouldn't it?)


The Cartoon Network has pulled the new "Fantastic Four" series from its schedule.


"Doctor Who" picked up three prizes in Britain's National Television Awards.

BBC1's revived sci-fi show won most popular drama, most popular actress for Billie Piper and most popular actor for Scottish star David Tennant.

The show's second season, starring Tennant, is out Jan. 16 and is available for pre-order for $69.99 now from Amazon.


Beatles expert Bruce Spizer's has penned his last book about the Fabs' record label affiliations.

The sixth and final installment of Bruce Spizer's books on the Beatles American records shall be released in March, 2007. The Beatles Swan Song: "She Loves You" & Other Records covers all of the group's U.S. releases on labels that had the rights to only a limited number of Beatles recordings.


Sharity: The Jetsons - First Family on the Moon.


After nearly throwing in the towel on this whole blogging business, Bubblegumfink is back in a big way. Thank goodness! His spot is one of the most entertaining popcult sites around.


Deal alert: Amazon is having a huge sale on animated DVDs from Warner Home Video, including X-Men, Batman, Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry, Flintstones and many other titles.

"Lost" clues: "The Cost of Living" Ep. 5, Season 3


A still-injured Eko has fever dreams of his brother, Yemi. Awake, he sets off to the crash site of the small plane where he discovered Yemi's body last season.

While on the way, Eko briefly encounters the island's "smoke monster," but it does not harm him.

In flashbacks, we see how Eko assumed the identity of a priest following Yemi's death. And we learn how he confronted and killed militia members who threatened the church congregation. On his way to Yemi's crash site, Eko also has very real visions of these dead militia members. He also sees a young boy from the church congregation, who tells him "confess."

At the same time, Locke leads an expedition party--including Sayid, Desmond and new-to-us crash survivors Nikki and Paulo--to the Hatch located beneath the same crash site.

Everyone is worried about Eko, but Locke is certain Eko is on the way to the same place and they'll catch up with him there. Sure enough, the party meets Eko along the way.

Reaching the crashed plane, Eko discovers his Yemi's body is no longer there.

Down in the Hatch, Locke and the others begin messing with the TV screens. Eventually, one switches on, showing a view of what looks like yet another Hatch. Suddenly, a man with an eye-patch comes into view inside this other Hatch and abruptly shuts off the camera on his end so all we see is static. Locke and the others are startled, but excited that they've discovered someone else apparently on the island.

While the others explore the Hatch, Eko has visions of Yemi and speaks to him. Eko talks of his guilt over the things he's done, but says he had no choice. Everything he did, no matter how bad, was for the sake of survival. He views himself as a good man. Yemi--or the vision of him--then says, "You talk to me like I'm your brother" and angrily walks away.

Confused, Eko follows, shouting "Who are you?!" at the vision, which disappears only to be replaced by the smoke monster, which grabs Eko, hurtling him savagely into trees and the ground.

Hearing the monster sounds above, Locke and party rush out of the Hatch where they find Eko near death. Locke bends down close to comfort him and Eko whispers something in his ear before dying. Sayid asks Locke what Eko said and Locke replies, "He said we're next."

Meanwhile, back on Other Island, Jack tells Ben he realizes Ben is sick. Ben is taken aback and, privately, questions Juliet about how Jack learned this fact. Then, back again with Jack, Ben admits he's ill and says all his plans to break down and brainwash Jack to his cause are now useless. He'd hoped to make Jack want to help him. That said, Ben says he still hopes Jack will help.

Later, Juliet visits Jack, bringing a TV to show a movie. Jacks says he doesn't watch, but she switches on the set with the sound off as they talk. Aloud, Juliet says Ben is a good man and that she hopes Jack can help him. But on the TV screen there's a tape of Juliet holding up written signs that tell Jack to ignore what she's saying. The signs say Ben is bad. That the Others want a change. That if Ben died on the operating table, it would be for the best. Nobody would know Jack hadn't tried his best to help him.

Clues, observations, speculation:

* Why does the Big Black Smoke turn on Eko? Last season it looked into his mind--appearing to judge him--and left him alone. Does Eko's "confession" that he did violence to survive, offend the monster?

* What is the smoke monster? Is it really a "security system" controlled by someone? Or is it a sentient being? Is it the result of a Dharma experiment? Is it a member of the Dharma group, somehow transformed? Is it some form of body-less consciousness roaming the island? Or a mystical manifestation of the island itself? Do Ben and Others have anything at all to do with it?

* The notion of survival is interesting. If the smoke monster is a protector of the island, or is the island, it makes sense that it would be angered by Eko's statements. If a person is willing to do anything to survive, as Eko says he is, he could do great harm to the island or--in trying to get off the island--reveal it's location/existence. The smoke may not be evaluating the survivors in terms of morality, but trying to learn whether it/the island can co-exist with the crash survivors. The first person we're aware of the monster killing is the Oceanic pilot. It makes sense that the monster would see the crash as an immediate threat and attack the person it saw as "responsible" for bringing the plane down.

* Eko and Locke briefly discuss having seen the monster. Locke says he experienced it as something positive--a white light. Eko tells him "that's not what I saw."

* Locke views the island with awe. He credits it with allowing him to walk again. He has great reverence for it. Given this, the monster obviously wouldn't see him as a threat but as a potential ally.

* Are previous visions people have had all manifestations of the smoke monster? A vision of his dead father led Jack into the jungle. A vision of his friend Dave nearly led Hurley to jump off a cliff. It seems the monster is using visions to manipulate people.

* What's up with the white funeral garb the Others wear to Colleen's funeral? Is there a religious aspect to their community?

* In this season's first episode, Juliet is shown crying. Is this because she's learned Ben is sick? And, if so, why would she now be encouraging Jack to help kill Ben?

* Ben seems mystified by the grand coincidence of a spinal surgeon--Jack--falling from the sky two days after he's learned he has a tumor on his spine.

* Ben says Juliet was selected to indoctrinate Jack because she bears a resemblance to Jack's former wife, Sara. How do the Others know what Sara looks like? Who from the outside world is giving them information like this?

* Why didn't Ben just leave the island to get treatment? When Walt and Michael left on their boat with directions on how to leave, Ben told them they'd be unable to come back. Is the same true for Ben?

* Who is Eyepatch Man and where is he?

* With his map of the different Hatch sites from last season, will Locke now try to search out all the other Dharma sites?

* Juliet brings Jack a cheeseburger. Last season, while captive in the Hatch, Ben sarcastically asked Locke and the others about having cheeseburger for his meal.

Heroes season 1 cast pictures

See the Best Heroes Sites on the Web.

The Best Heroes Sites on the Web

Heroes: Official Site
NBC's site includes cast info, a gallery, "Hiro's Blog," graphic novels featuring the "Heroes" characters, trailers for upcoming episodes, discussion boards, games and downloads. You also can watch the latest episode here online.

9th Wonders
Using a comic book-style, Marvel Bullpen Bulletins layout, this site includes news and opinion about the show. Includes cast and crew interviews, a discussion board and a gallery of images created by comics artists Tim Sale and Dave Stewart.

A fan forum/newsgroup with lots of discussion and image galleries.

Heroes: The Series
Including news reports about the show, episode reviews and teaser info for upcoming eps.

Heroes IMDB
Internet Movie Database page on the show, including cast and crew info, plot details and more.

Heroes Wikipedia
Always updated Wikipedia entry on the show. Includes character profiles, plot details, details on NBC's online "Heroes" graphic novels, details on the mysterious symbol that keeps cropping up in episodes and other trivia.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Pop Artifact! Hulk coin bank

Vintage Comic Book Ad

Pop Culture Roundup Nov. 1, 2006

Martin Scorsese is working on a Rolling Stones documentary.

Scorsese started filming Sunday during the Stones' performance at President Clinton's celebrity-packed birthday bash at the Beacon Theater, and will also film at the Manhattan venue Wednesday night.

The film will focus on the two concerts from the group's current "A Bigger Bang" tour as well as historical and contemporary behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. A recent concert in Austin, Texas, was also filmed.


A Jim Henson Henson Company-produced comedy special for grownups, "Puppet Up," will air on TBS Nov. 20.

"Puppet Up!" is a demonstration of what happens when the perilous and provocative forms of traditional comedy improv are mixed with a bunch of irreverent puppets. With a motley group of characters brought to life world-renowned puppeteers, "Puppet Up!" is truly innovative comedy. Performing the puppetry for the show are some of The Jim Henson Company's top puppeteers, as well as some of the country's top comedy improvisers.


Yeah, Halloween is done and you've got the leftover candy to prove it. But check out these cool retro-'ween images on Neato Coolville anyhow.


Apple's new iPod Shuffle is out Friday.

Nearly half the size of the original, the new iPod shuffle is just half a cubic inch in volume, weighs just half an ounce and features a minimal aluminum design with a built-in clip, making it the most wearable iPod ever. The new iPod shuffle contains one gigabyte of flash memory which holds up to 240 songs, and is priced at just $79.

Amazon has it available for pre-order now.


There's a new Beatles beatlegs podcast available.


Deal alert: Amazon is offering big discounts on upcoming Superman-related DVDs: "Adventures of Superman Season 5 and 6" DVD set is $27.99; Superman - The 1948 & 1950 Theatrical Serials Collection is $19.03; Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman - The Complete Fourth Season is $41.80, and the Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition is $69.99.

Battlestar Frazetta

Shared on the Kirby-L mailing list, here are a couple of ads for the 1970s version of "Battlestar Galactica," painted by master illustrator Frank Frazetta.