Friday, November 21, 2008

X-Men Origins: Wolverine pics

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Lost season 5 promo poster

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Pop links: Astro Boy trailer, Mac Raboy art, deal alert on Buffy DVDs, Kirby's Thor at DC!, New Order CDs suck, more

Watch the first trailer for the upcoming animated Astro Boy film.

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The New York Times recounts the films of Carole Lombard, the subject of a new retrospective in the Big Apple. I love her screwball comedies.

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Golden Age Comic Book Stories
spotlights the work of the great Mac Raboy--including a few of his rarely seen Dr. Voodoo stories from Whiz Comics and a series of Flash Gordon puzzles he illustrated.

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Today's deal alert: The Complete Buffy the Vampire Slayer set for $69.99 today only at Amazon, regularly $199.98.



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Dial B for Blog explores the hidden history of Jack Kirby's Thor.

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If you're a New Order fan, you might want to hold off on buying those Rhino reissues of the band's back catalog.

Rhino Records reissued "collector's editions" of New Order's first five albums, which all originally came out in the 1980s. Each one features a bonus disc, with 7- and 12-inch versions, instrumentals and remixes.

But alert fans quickly complained of about 300 errors, mostly relating to poor sound quality on the bonus discs. The pops and crackles on many of the tracks suggest they were transferred directly from commercially available vinyl recordings rather than from the original master tapes.

The discs were released in Britain last month, and music magazines there, such as Q and Mojo, did not mention any of the technical shortcomings in their rave reviews.

But Peter Hook, the bass player with the defunct group, said in his MySpace page that the reissue project was a "mess." He blamed the label for not sending out advance copies so that he and his former bandmates could do some quality control.

Despite the discontent, Rhino released the discs in the United States last Tuesday, and U.S. fans noticed the same problems. Rhino, an affiliate of Warner Bros. Records, plans to reissue the reissues, and will allow fans to exchange their dud CDs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Star Trek movie pics

Some of these I think have been posted here before. Others may be new. At any rate:

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Pop links: Screaming deal on Python DVDs, Conan radio drama, pulp cover scans galore,

Today's deal alert:



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Listen to a full-cast audio production of Robert E. Howard's Conan tale "Queen of the Black Coast."

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Golden Age Comic Book Stories presents a gallery of Famous Fantastic Mystery pulp covers.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Coraline movie pics

Here's a batch of images from the upcoming animated adaptation of Neil Gaimin's "Coraline."

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Online BBC archive documents genesis of Doctor Who

Check out this cool online archive of pictures and documents charting the creation of "Doctor Who" back in 1963!

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Pop links: Listen to new McCartney album free, Stan awarded Medal of Arts, Batmania, lost Doctor Who eps found, Marvel World, more!

NPR is streaming Paul McCartney's new "Fireman" album. It's not too bad, actually. Not as dance/electronica as his past Fireman releases. In fact, the single is downright bluesy.

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Stan Lee was awarded a National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal at the White House yesterday.

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Jon's Random Acts of Geekery features a Castle of Frankenstein article about the 1960s Batman craze.

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Golden Age Comic Book Stories presents a batch of Tarzan and Western illustration art by J. Allen St. John.

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Four words: Monty Python YouTube Channel.

For 3 years you YouTubers have been ripping us off, taking tens of thousands of our videos and putting them on YouTube. Now the tables are turned. It's time for us to take matters into our own hands.

We know who you are, we know where you live and we could come after you in ways too horrible to tell. But being the extraordinarily nice chaps we are, we've figured a better way to get our own back: We've launched our own Monty Python channel on YouTube.

No more of those crap quality videos you've been posting. We're giving you the real thing - HQ videos delivered straight from our vault.

What's more, we're taking our most viewed clips and uploading brand new HQ versions. And what's even more, we're letting you see absolutely everything for free. So there!

But we want something in return.

None of your driveling, mindless comments. Instead, we want you to click on the links, buy our movies & TV shows and soften our pain and disgust at being ripped off all these years.


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Tapes of 1960s "Doctor Who" episodes previously thought to be lost forever have turned up in Thailand.

Researcher Damian Finucane claims to have traced nine early episodes to Thailand, including the seven-part Journey To Cathay serial in which the time-traveling Doctor joined Marco Polo on the Silk Route. They were sent for broadcast on the country's now-defunct Channel 4 in 1967.

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I'm Learning to Share has posted a great gallery of images from 1950s-70s Scholastic Books. I remember ordering these things through my school book orders as a kid.

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Sanctum Sanctorum Comix pays a visit to Marvel World!

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Marvel raises comic book prices

Take a look at Marvel's 2009 solicitations and you'll see that a number of titles are making a price hike: from $2.99 to $3.99. That's a hefty increase during tough economic times.

It doesn't look like DC is following suit quite yet, but generally, once one of the Big Two makes a move like this the other follows.

This type of inflation is probably inevitable. Hell, comics were 20 cents a pop when I started reading them. But it'll be interesting to see how this recession will affect the industry. I'd imagine that readers will cut back on the titles they pick up. Particularly if they're a dollar more expensive. What will that do to the business model of endless, interconnected "big events" aimed at making readers buy more comics to get the whole story?

Will we see a return to more self-contained titles? More one-issue stories?

I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of titles bite the dust. And, since it's ultimately more economical to buy comics in collected "graphic novel" form, what impact will the downturn have on the whole notion of monthly titles?

We live in interesting times.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New comics Nov. 19, 2008: Kirby Demon Omnibus, Marvel Saga 2, Stan's Soapbox Collection

Here's what looks good to me this week. Click on links to order items from Amazon. Proceeds helps support this site!

JACK KIRBY'S THE DEMON OMNIBUS

ESSENTIAL MARVEL SAGA TP VOL 02

DOCTOR WHO FORGOTTEN #3

SPIRIT SPECIAL #1

STAN'S SOAPBOX THE COLLECTION

UNCLE SCROOGE #382

WALT DISNEY'S COMICS & STORIES #697

Marvel Comics Feb. 2009 solicitations: More Marvel Index, Classic Invaders, Thor and Strange Tales Masterworks

Marvel has released it solicitations for February 2009. Here's what looks interesting to me.

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OFFICIAL INDEX TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE # 2
The Story: Continuing the chronicle of the Marvel Universe, starting with Spider-Man (from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #53), Iron Man (from TALES OF SUSPENSE #72 on) and the X-Men (from 1963's X-MEN #52 on).Follow the history of the Marvel Universe as it unfolds month by month with the All-New Official Index to the Marvel Universe. Each issue provides synopses for dozens of individual comics, including back-up strips, introducing you to the characters, teams, places and equipment that appeared within, providing vital information about first appearances, where they last showed up and where they appeared next!
Rated A …$3.99


The first issue of this isn't out yet and I look forward to seeing how all this info is presented. It's a fun idea and provides a sort of companion piece to all those Marvel Masterworks, Essentials and Omnibus books.

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THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ # 3
The Story: THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ #3 (of 8)
Written by ERIC SHANOWER
Pencils & Cover by SKOTTIE YOUNG
The journey of Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Woodman, The Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion along the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City of Oz continues peacefully until they encounter the Kalidahs! These fierce creatures with heads of tigers, bodies of bears and sharp claws launch a ferocious attack against the quintet! It will take every resource they can muster for the ragtag bunch to survive this deadly encounter.
All Ages …$3.99

Likewise, I haven't see the first issue of this mini. But the artwork looks delightful.

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INVADERS CLASSIC VOL. 3
COVER BY: GIL KANE
WRITER: ROY THOMAS
ARCHIE GOODWIN
DON GLUT
PENCILS: FRANK ROBBINS
ALAN KUPPERBERG
CHIC STONE
THE STORY:
Cap, Namor, Torch and company face a riddle in Egypt when the sizzling Scarlet Scarab comes down against BOTH sides of the war! Agent Axis, Master Man and the Teutonic Knight are also arrayed against the Invaders — but how do they deal with a less tangible nemesis, prejudice both home and abroad? Featuring the formation of the Kid Commandos, the empowerment of Union Jack and the origin of Toro the Flaming Kid! Guest-starring the Mighty Thor, the Mighty Destroyer and NOT the Frankenstein Monster but a remarkable facsimile! Collecting INVADERS #22-23 and #25-34.
224 PGS./Rated A …$29.99

I enjoyed this title as a kid--even the fence-dividing Frank Robbins art! Nice to see these collections.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE MIGHTY THOR VOL. 8
The Story: It’s time to take another trip up the Rainbow Bridge to fair Asgard with the greatest team comics has ever known, Stan “The Man” and Jack “King” Kirby! Their Thor epics are the peak of cosmic action and mythic adventure, and these ten adventures will show you yet again just why. It all begins as the Mighty Thor takes a journey across time into an apocalyptic atomic future where man is now mutate, but there’s no rest upon his return because then it’s the god vs. god when Thor does battles with Pluto, Lord of the Underworld! And battles aren’t the only thing you can bet on. Queen Karnilla pines for the noble Balder the Brave, while the amazing being known as “Him” (and known to Marvelites as Adam Warlock) takes the Lady Sif to be his perfect mate! Methinks that date may end in fisticuffs. Then it’s a battle through Loki to find, and learn the amazing origin of, the one-and-only Galactus! It’s a cosmic revelation as can only be brought to you by the King of Comics! But that ain’t all! There’s a knuckle-smashing showdown with the Thermal Man, the return of the Wrecker and a heart-wrenching astral adventure featuring Thor’s former ladylove, Jane Foster. Collecting THOR #163-172.
224 PGS./All Ages …$54.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-3498-5


'Nuff said!

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: ATLAS ERA STRANGE TALES VOL. 2
The Story: Join the Marvel Masterworks as we take another dip into the well of pre-Code madness from the era when comics were no-holds-barred and horror was king! You’ll be treated to dozens of tales from the dark side by such luminaries as Bill Everett, Gene Colan, Bernie Krigstein, Jerry Robinson and many, many more as they dig up the deepest, darkest tales of suspense and terror found anywhere this side of a mortuary. The Farmer takes a life, but what price will he pay when the chickens come home to roost? Is O’Malley’s friend really the kind of guy you want to hang out with? Find out what makes even a monster afraid, and discover the sure-fire solution to father-in-law trouble! The 1950s were a time of gruesome stories and great art, and Stan Lee’s Atlas had it all. What more can we say? The devil made us do it! Reserve that copy today! Collecting STRANGE TALES #11-20.
272 PGS./All Ages …$59.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-3489-3


More cool stuff from the pre-Marvel era!

DVD and CD new releases Nov. 18, 2008: Doctor Who season 4, Who at Kilburn, Monty Python TV and movie box sets,

Here's what looks interesting this week. Please click the links to order items from Amazon--and support this site!

DVDs

Wall-E (Widescreen Single-Disc Edition)

Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series

Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest

The Who At Kilburn: 1977

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson


McHale's Navy: Season Four


Daniel Boone: Season 6

Monty Python Holy Trinity (Monty Python and the Holy Grail / Monty Python's Life of Brian / Monty Python's the Meaning of Life) (6 discs)

The Complete Monty Pythons Flying Circus - Collectors Edition Megaset

David Lynch The Lime Green Set


Star Trek: The Original Series (Remastered) - Three Season Pack


Forgotten Noir & Crime Vol 4: Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard; Radar Secret Service; Motor Patrol, Mr. District Attorney (1941); Western Pacific Agent; ... of Monte Cristo: Roaring City: Sky Liner

CDs

The Who At Kilburn: 1977


The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 11A: 1971


Sunday at Devil Dirt by Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell

Welcome to Mali by Amadou and Miriam

Monday, November 17, 2008

DC Comics February 2009 solicitations: Adventure Comics returns, Batman annuals collected, Showcase Presents Ambush Bug, Golden Age Flash figure

DC has released its solicitations for February 2009. Here's what looks interesting to me. Click links to pre-order items from Amazon.

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BATMAN #686
Written by Neil Gaiman
Art by Andy Kubert & Scott Williams
Covers by Andy Kubert and Alex Ross
Variant sketch cover by Andy Kubert
“Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” part 1 of 2! Best-selling author Neil Gaiman (THE SANDMAN) and superstar artist Andy Kubert (BATMAN, Marvel 1602) join forces for a special 2-part BATMAN event! “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” is a captivating and mysterious tale the likes of which Batman and friends have never experienced before. Delving into the realms of life, death and the afterlife, Gaiman leaves no stone unturned as he explores every facet and era of Bruce Wayne’s life.
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers by Andy Kubert and Alex Ross that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. For every 50 copies of the Standard Editions, retailers may order one copy of the Variant Sketch Edition (with a cover by Andy Kubert). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale February 11 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US

DETECTIVE COMICS #853
Written by Neil Gaiman
Art by Andy Kubert & Scott Williams
Cover by Andy Kubert
Variant sketch cover by Andy Kubert
“Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” part 2 of 2! This second part of Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert’s special collaboration is sure to be a BATMAN story for the ages. This extraordinary tale, told as only Gaiman and Kubert can, explores the intricate relationships between Bruce Wayne and his friends and adversaries and builds toward an exciting and unexpected climax. It’s a classic in the making!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 50 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Andy Kubert), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Sketch Edition (with a cover by Andy Kubert). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale February 25 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US


I'm not a fan of events or variant cover silliness, but Gaimin and Kubert are a promising team. I've checked into the current Morrison- and Dini-scripted Batbooks lately and must confess that I find them interesting and entertaining, even though I'm not crazy about where mainstream comics have gone in recent years. I may check these out.

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ADVENTURE COMICS #0
Written by Otto Binder
Art by Al Plastino
Cover by Aaron Lopresti
One of the cornerstone stories of the DCU is reprinted in this special issue priced at just $1.00 featuring an important “Origins and Omens” backup tale! To celebrate the upcoming ADVENTURE COMICS #1, we’re reprinting a Silver Age classic from the title’s prior volume — ADVENTURE COMICS #247, the first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes! Witness Superboy’s first encounter with three super-powered teens from the 30th Century – Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl! Featuring a new cover by Aaron Lopresti that’s an homage to the original!
On sale February 4 • 32 pg, FC, $1.00 US


Here's a story that's been reprinted a zillion times. But it's cool that DC is resurrecting the Adventure Comics name. Always loved that title.

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DC COMICS CLASSICS LIBRARY: BATMAN — THE ANNUALS HC
Written by Bill Finger, Edmond Hamilton and others
Art by Lew Sayre Schwartz, Dick Sprang and others
Composite cover by Curt Swan and others
Some of the greatest Batman tales ever are collected in this new hardcover! Reprinting the classic BATMAN ANNUALs #1-3 from 1961 and 1962, this can’t-miss collection reveals the secrets of the Batcave, the Bat-Signal and more!
Advance-solicited; on sale April 22 • 256 pg, FC, $39.99 US


This, my friends, is awesome. It'll be a blast having these great annuals in between hardcovers.

THE BATMAN CHRONICLES VOL. 7 TP
Written by Don Cameron, Bill Finger, Jack Schiff and Joseph Greene
Art by Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, Jack Burnley and others
Cover by Jerry Robinson
The chronological reprinting of every Batman story continues with this new set of tales from the 1940s in which Batman and Robin meet Two- Face for the first time! Collecting BATMAN #12-13, plus stories from DETECTIVE COMICS #66-70 and WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #7.
Advance-solicited; on sale March 18 • 192 pg, FC, $14.99 US


More Golden Age reprints, in color, in an affordable package. What's not to like about that?

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: AMBUSH BUG VOL. 1 TP
Written by Keith Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming, Paul Kupperberg and Paul Levitz
Art by Keith Giffen, Robert Oksner, Carmine Infantino, and others
Cover by Keith Giffen & Bob Oksner
Collecting DC COMICS PRESENTS #52, 59 and 81, SUPERGÎRL #16 (1984), stories from SECRET ORIGINS #48, ACTION COMICS #560, 563 and 565, AMBUSH BUG #1-4, SON OF AMBUSH BUG #1-6, AMBUSH BUG STOCKING STUFFER #1 and AMBUSH BUG NOTHING SPECIAL #1 — whew!
Advance-solicited; on sale March 25 • 480 pg, B&W, $16.99 US


I enjoyed the 80s Ambush Bug comics. Don't know how well they hold up, however. And I'm skeptical about how well Giffen's art will translate into black and white. I like his style but, frankly, sometimes it's so stylized that's it's a bit difficult to follow what's going on storywise. And the lack of color may not help matters.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA VOL. 4 TP
Written by Gardner Fox and Dennis O’Neil
Art by Mike Sekowsky, Dick Dillin, Sid Greene, George Roussos and Joe Giella
Cover by Neal Adams
The JLA continues to fight evil in this new bargain-priced volume collection JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #61-83. These epic tales feature the JLA debuts of the Red Tornado and Black Canary, plus the annual adventure with the Justice Society of America!
Advance-solicited; on sale March 11 • 544 pg, B&W, $16.99 US


On the other hand, these tales should look just dandy in black and white. These are Dick Dillin's first JLA issues, right? He was the JLA artist I grew up with. I loved his work.


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BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM #4
Written by Mike Kunkel
Cover and art by Mike Kunkel
This is it: the exciting conclusion to the face-off between Captain Marvel and Black Adam! With Black Adam back to full power and four of the seven Evils still at his side, Billy and Mary need to team up to figure a way to defeat him. All this, plus a trip to the Rock of Eternity! This issue is resolicited. All previous orders are canceled.
RESOLICIT • On sale February 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.50 US


I love this title. Great, fun stuff. The wait between issues has been a bit long at times, but well worth it. Kunkel is a funny, warm-hearted writer and has a great style all his own. If you enjoy fun comics, check this one out.

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THE FLASH: GOLDEN AGE 1:6 Scale Deluxe Collector Figure
Jay Garrick, the original Flash, is portrayed in his prime as the latest addition to DC Direct’s popular line of 1:6 scale deluxe collector figures – the first Golden Age JSA character to get the 1:6 scale treatment! This version of The Flash is dressed in an intricate and authentically detailed costume, including a chrome-plated helmet. The figure comes with a display base and is packaged in a deluxe 4-color window box with a fifth panel.
Advance-solicited; on sale July 8, 2009 * Collector figure * $99.99 US


I'd never buy this. But it's good to know it exists.

THE HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE SERIES 2 ACTION FIGURES
BASED ON THE ART OF GEORGE PÉREZ
Includes:
Creeper • 6.75” h
Aquaman • 6.75” h
The Flash • 6.75” h
Black Lightning • 6.75” h
The exciting new action figure line continues! DC Direct presents figures to add to the ongoing line that spans the history of the DC Universe, as presented by artist George Pérez in the classic book THE HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE!
Planned to include more characters than any DC Direct line ever, THE HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE will help fulfill the requests for many fan favorite characters.
Each figure features multiple points of articulation and a base.
4-color clamshell blister card packaging.
Advance-solicited; on sale July 15, 2009 * Action Figures * PI

I don't really think these figures look much like George Perez's art. But it's cool that there's a 70s-style Black Lightning figure available.


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Vintage James Bond paperback covers

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DC Universe Classics figures exclusives

Mattel has announced the following DC Universe Classics figures, exclusive to Toy R Us stores:

BATGIRL and AZRAEL, LIGHTRAY and ORION (now with a removable helmet!), CYBORG SUPERMAN and MONGUL and finally HAL JORDAN in his original uniform with a new ABIN SUR figure!

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Plus:

DC Universe Infinite Heroes 8-pack – Battle for Metropolis!

This fantastic gift set features 3 ¾ scale figures of Earth 2 SUPERMAN, “SHAZAM!”, CAPTAIN ATOM, LEX LUTHOR in Power Armor with real firing missiles, and finally 4 (count em!) LEXCORP Trooper guards with infiltration helmets on! All of these figures come delivered to the collector in a gorgeous window box package!


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Pop links: Lorna the Jungle Girl, The Eye, Star Trek Pez, 1968 Frazetta portfolio, Ditko's Killjoy, Dr. Who audio adventures,

Pappy presents a vintage Lorna the Jungle Girl tale, art by Werner Roth.

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Meanwhile, Fortress of Fortitude shares an adventure of The Eye!

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What geek could resist Star Trek Pez?

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Golden Age Comic Book Stories presents Frank Frazetta's Opar Press Portfolio from 1968.

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Check out Steve Ditko's shortlived 1970s backup strip, Killjoy.

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The BBC's Doctor Who audio adventures continue. Listen to them here.