Friday, December 05, 2008

Paperback cover parade: Let's go to the movies pt. 2

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Lost Horizon

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Psycho

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The Invisible Man

Pop links: Online Dr. Who game, animated Dr. Who, Barbara Feldon sings, Disneyland posters, Jeff Jones art

Today's entry on the BBC Doctor Who Advent(ure) calendar: A cool game where you steer the TARDIS through a black hole!

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More Doctor Who: An attempt to animate "The Moonbase," one of the show's "lost" adventures.

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Barbara Feldon of "Get Smart" sings!

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Gorilla's Don't Blog presents more Disneyland attraction posters. We posted our own batch here a few years back.

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Golden Age Comic Book Stories presents some early stories by the great artist Jeffrey Jones.

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X-Men Omnibus Alex Ross cover preview

Via the Marvel Masterworks Message Board: Here's a preview of Alex Ross' cover to the upcoming X-Men Omnibus Vol. 1, which collects the first 31 issues of the classic series.

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See more Marvel Omnibus books.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dark Horse to reprint Gold Key Boris Karloff comics, Jesse Marsh-illustrated Tarzan, Spirit New Adventure Archives

Here are some highlights from Dark Horse Comics' solicitations for March 2009. Click the title links to pre-order the books, at a discount, from Amazon.

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BORIS KARLOFF TALES OF MYSTERY ARCHIVES
Various (W/A)
On sale May 12
FC, 256 pages
$49.95
HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16"

A circus performer terrorized by mysterious powers from beyond . . . a jade idol of a monkey that carries a curse on a South Pacific island drives a man to the brink of madness . . . an art gallery haunted by paintings that come to life at night . . . a dictator who sees enemies around every corner, but who can't see the threat right before his eyes.

For nearly twenty years, the comic-book series Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery wove stories of intrigue, suspense, and macabre drama. Hosted by renowned actor Boris Karloff, the comic featured contributions from some of comics history's most well-known creators: Alex Toth, Joe Orlando (EC artist and editor), Mike Sekowsky (Justice League of America artist), Frank Thorne, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Arnold Drake, Len Wein (co-creator of Swamp Thing and Wolverine), Al Williamson, Jerry Robinson (creator of the Joker), Dan Spiegle, and many others.

- Originally published by Gold Key and unavailable for three decades, more than thirty spine-chilling stories are compiled in a new collection.

- Features a new introduction by Boris Karloff's daughter Sara Karloff.

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TARZAN: THE JESSE MARSH YEARS VOLUME 1
Robert P. Thompson (W), Gaylord DuBois (W), and Jesse Marsh (A)
On sale Feb 25
FC, 256 pages
$49.95
HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16"

Dark Horse Archives is proud to present the first four issues of this influential Golden Age series in a handsome hardcover--kicking off a comprehensive program that will collect the first nineteen years of the classic title!

In 1947, artist Jesse Marsh left Walt Disney Studios--where he had worked on Pinocchio, Fantasia, and various animated shorts--to work for Western Publishing full time. Tarzan was one of his first assignments, with the iconic character's first original comic-book appearance in Dell Four-Color Comics #134. Tarzan #2 would begin Marsh's long-term collaboration with writer Gaylord DuBois. Their terrific work drew admiration and respect from readers and peers--Russ Manning among them--and Marsh's art inspired future comics creators from Richard Corben to Los Bros. Hernandez!

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TARZAN: THE JESSE MARSH YEARS VOLUME 2
Gaylord DuBois (W) and Jesse Marsh (A)
On sale May 20
FC, 224 pages
$49.95
HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16"

The original Tarzan comics are finally back in print after sixty years! This second volume reproduces six big Golden Age issues for readers new and old to enjoy, and all stories are by the dynamite team of Gaylord DuBois and Jesse Marsh.

DuBois and Marsh's nineteen-year collaboration on Tarzan produced a legendary body of work and an enduring vision of one of the world's foremost adventure icons. Marsh's art enthralled an entire generation of comics readers, influencing future creators the Hernandez brothers and earning the acclaim of such fellow professionals as Russ Manning and Alex Toth!

- Reproducing the now hard-to-find and pricey issues for fans and collectors alike, this archive series will collect the entirety of Jesse Marsh's career-defining work for the first time.

- "If I collected anybody, it was Jesse Marsh's Tarzan books. I collected those for years, and he was one of my stars." --Richard Corben

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WILL EISNER'S THE SPIRIT: THE NEW ADVENTURES ARCHIVES
Various (W/A)
On sale May 20
FC, 200 pages
$49.95
HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16"

In 1997, almost six decades after the character's first appearance in 1940, legendary artist and writer Will Eisner gave permission for a new series of stories to be commissioned featuring his signature creation, resurrected detective Denny Colt, also known as the Spirit, written and drawn by the most famous names in the comics industry. The call went out, and the response was nothing short of remarkable, with contributions from such creators as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (in one of their rare collaborations since Watchmen), Neil Gaiman (The Sandman), Paul Chadwick (Concrete), and Eddie Campbell (From Hell), amongst others.

In these pages you'll find new tales of Central City's protector versus familiar villains such as the Octopus and Sand Saref; witness his undying love for Ellen Dolan, daughter of Commissioner Dolan, the only man to know his secret identity; and glimpse what might be the Spirit's fate in an uncertain future.

- This collection features stories from the following best-selling, multi-award-winning creators from around the world: Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Neil Gaiman, Eddie Campbell, Mike Allred, John Ostrander, Tom Mandrake, Paul Chadwick, Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Joe R. Lansdale, John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, and many others.

- Designed to tie-in with DC's critically-acclaimed twenty-six volume Spirit Archives series.

- Cover by Watchmen artist and co-creator Dave Gibbons.

Burn your own Christmas music CD - great holiday downloads

There are a lot of great Christmas albums out there. But there's also something to be said for rolling your own. Thanks to--legal, actually--downloads, you can compile your own awesome collection of holiday favorites.

Here are songs that would make it on mine:

Louis Armstrong:













Gene Autry:








Beach Boys:









The Chipmunks



Nat King Cole









Bing Crosby








Vince Guaraldi / Peanuts




Burl Ives






Spike Jones




The Kinks




Eartha Kitt




Frank Sinatra






The Supremes












Stevie Wonder







Best Christmas Music Ever--our annual post

Hey, it's the time of year when you can play Christmas music without seeming crazy! In celebration, here's my annual rundown of my all-time seasonal favorites with mentions of new albums that seem like they may be good.

Click the title links to order CDs from Amazon. Proceeds help support this site.


A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector

Nothing says "Christmas" more than an album produced by a meglomaniacal accused murderer with a Napoleon complex. But, seriously, this is a great, charming album with lots of upbeat, exhuberant tracks from Darlene Love, the Ronettes, the Crystals and others--all backed by the fabulous Wall of Sound.


Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings by Gene Autry

I had Gene's original "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" album as a kid and listening to it was an annual tradition. His take on these seasonal favorites is so gentle and warm, plus his great spoken introductions--he nails what the season is all about: Family and friends and kids having fun.

This remastered, expanded collection was created in conjunction with the Autry estate and includes his original "Rudolph" album along with other Christmas tunes, including a couple of duets recorded with Rosemary Clooney.


White Christmas by Bing Crosby

C'mon! Do I really need to explain why everyone needs this? The seminal version of "White Christmas," anyone? Plus, better yet, "Mele Kalikimaka," baby.


Christmas Island by Leon Redbone

I got this one five or six years ago and it's become probably my most-played Christmas album. It's joyful and warm, just like Autry's Christmas recordings. The old timey arrangements and Redbone's one-of-a-kind mumbly vocals evoke a time when the snow was deeper, the air was colder, the fire was warmer and Christmas day seemed to last forever.


Elvis' Christmas Album

For crying out loud, read what I said about Bing Crosby's album up above! If you can hear music, you need this. It's nostalgic and campy but fun and beautiful to boot. Plus, it really shows the King's vocal range, from the the reverent gospel vocals of "Peace in the Valley," the blue crooning of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" to the rocking "Santa Bring My Baby (Back to Me)."


Beatles Fan Club Christmas Recordings 1963-70

Some day Apple will put this out as an official release and rest of the world (not just we Beatlemaniacs) will be able to experience the zany, funny Christmas recordings the Fabs' used to send out to their fan club members on flexi-disks each December.

If you haven't heard 'em, don't go in expecting a lot of Christmas carols and holiday standards. The "songs" that do appear--"Christmas Time is Here Again" and "This is to Wish You a Merry, Merry Christmas"--are dashed off and fragmentary. These releases are more about humor than music.

The records are full of "Goon Show"-style jokes and general goofing around. The group's exhuberance and joyfulness come through loud and clear. You can hear how much they enjoyed being Beatles. Until they didn't. The 1968 and 1968 recordings, you can tell, were all recorded individually, apart from one another. But the Fabs still cared enough about their fans to make an effort.

Like I said, they haven't been officially released. But Google around a bit and you can find sound files for them. The pic above is the cover of the compilation LP of Christmas recordings the Beatles Fan Club sent out to fans in 1970, after the group had broken up.


Christmas with the Beach Boys

The original 1964 Beach Boys Christmas LP featured lots of Four Freshman-style takes on holiday standards over big band and string arrangements along with a handful of excellent Brian Wilson-penned originals. The best-known of those, of course is "Little Saint Nick," but others, like "The Man With All the Toys," are great too.

This expanded version includes later, not as good, Christmas recordings by the band along with some outtakes but why not have the works?


Christmas with the Chipmunks

As a toddler, I threw a copy of this LP across the room and smashed it to bits. I'm not sure if that was due to my age or whether I was annoyed by the Chipmunks' sped-up, screechy singing. Either way, destroying the record meant that I was missing out on a lot of goofy, nostalgic fun. I should buy the CD so my kids can annoy me with it.


A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra

Nothing says Christmas like an LP of songs sung by a short-fused, pugilistic egomaniac with possible mob ties. Really, though, Christmas songs are some of the best songs around, and Sinatra was one of the best singers. The combination is pretty much what you'd expect. Nice to have on while you sip a glass of eggnog or something stronger. Plus, you gotta dig Frank's hipster ad libs, ring-a-dings and singing-behind-the-beat brilliance.


Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas by Ella Fitzgerald

See what I said with Sinatra re: matching great music with a great singer. This one's a beauty.


A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Original Sound Track Recording Of The CBS Television Special

It's Christmas, right? This one is a must if just for the melancholy "Christmas Time is Here." Plus you get the rollicking "Linus and Lucy."


Merry Christmas by the Supremes

Don't they look cute in their Santa hats? The sound great, too, especially on the hip "Little Bright Star," which coulda shoulda been a Motown hit as great as any other.


Someday at Christmas by Steve Wonder

Not content with standards, Stevie put a few originals on his Christmas LP, too, including the upbeat "What Christmas Means to Me."


The Ventures' Christmas Album

I don't know if these surfers ever saw snow, but they twang'n'reverb a good carol. Part of the fun of this one is spotting the then-current pop tune the group quotes before launching into the Christmas song--like the Beatles' "I Feel Fine" that turns into "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." What an insane, inspired idea.

New Christmas albums

And here are a few newer holiday albums and compilations that seem worthy of checking out:

Songs of Joy & Peace ~ Yo-Yo Ma

A Swingin' Christmas ~ Tony Bennett

A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas ~ Kristin Chenoweth

This Christmas ~ Aretha Franklin

This Warm December: Brushfire Holiday's Vol. 1 ~ Various Artists

Little Steven's Christmas A Go-Go
~ Various Artists

Gonna Let It Shine, A Concert For The Holidays ~ Odetta

The Hotel Cafe Presents...Winter Songs ~ Various Artists

The Complete Christmas Collection ~ Doris Day

Putumayo Presents: Jazz & Blues Christmas ~ Various Artists

Christmas Cheer ~ The Boxmasters

Stocking Stuffer ~ The Fleshtones

Pop links: Laugh-in memorabilia, DeCarlo's Saturn Girl, Dollhouse details

Jon's Random Acts of Geekery presents a gallery of vintage "Laugh-in" collectibles. Do I own that LP? You bet your bippy!

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From No Smoking in the Skull Cave, a Saturn Girl pin-up by Archie artist Dan DeCarlo.

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Eliza Dushku dishes on "Dollhouse" (sorry for the alliteration. Too much Stan Lee as a kid), her new Joss Whedon-created sci-fi series. Spoilers apply.

Whedon's Dr. Horrible out on DVD Dec. 19

Joss Whedon's straight-to-the-Web "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog" will be out on DVD Dec. 19 for those who don't have broad enough bands to watch it online. You can order it now from Amazon. Proceeds help benefit this site.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Lost season 5 cast photo

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Paperback cover parade: Let's go to the movies pt. 1

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The Third Man

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Forbidden Planet

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The Big Sleep

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My Man Godfrey

New X-Men Origins: Wolverine pics

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Pop links: Pretty Things on film, remembering Odetta, Airboy, Hal Foster's Tarzan

Via Bedazzled: "The Pretty Things," a cool 14-minute, 1966 film of the Prettys in the studio.

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NPR remembers the legendary folk singer Odetta, who passed away yesterday.

Here she is during an early 1960s performance at the Newport Folk Festival:



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The Fortress of Fortitude presents a Dan Barry-illustrated Airboy tale from 1943.

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Golden Age Comic Book Stories shares some Hal Foster Tarzan comic strips.

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Brian Wilson Lucky Old Sun DVD set for release

A DVD featuring a live performance and behind-the-scenes documentary of Brian Wilson's new album Lucky Old Sun is due out Jan. 27. You can pre-order it now from Amazon. A percentage of sales help support this site.

Here's the press release skinny:

Capitol/EMI will release a new Brian Wilson DVD entitled That Lucky Old Sun on January 27, 2009. A companion to Wilson's critically-acclaimed That Lucky Old Sun album, released September 2 on CD, vinyl and digitally, the DVD features more than two and a half hours of content, including a full-length live performance of the album, a new feature-length documentary and additional behind-the-scenes footage from the album's recording sessions, and some of Wilson's recently filmed promotional performances and interviews.

The new That Lucky Old Sun DVD features a full-length performance of Wilson's latest album, filmed live at Capitol Studios on May 19, 2008 in 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo audio, as well as a new feature-length film, Going Home, directed and edited by George Dougherty, which documents the making of the album and Wilson's return to his original record label, Capitol Records.

The DVD's bonus features include track-by-track audio commentary by Wilson and his That Lucky Old Sun songwriting partner and band member, Scott Bennett, for the live Capitol Studios performance, behind-the-scenes footage from the album's recording sessions, and recent promotional interviews and performances by Wilson for Yahoo! Music, MySpace and "Black Cab Sessions."

Filmed performance of entire album by Brian Wilson and his band (5.1 Surround / 2.0 Stereo)

-- That Lucky Old Sun
-- Morning Beat
-- Narrative: Room With A View
-- Good Kind OF Love
-- Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl
-- Narrative: Venice Beach
-- Live Let Live / That Lucky Old Sun (Reprise)
-- Mexican Girl
-- Narrative: Cinco de Mayo
-- California Role / That Lucky Old Sun (Reprise)
-- Narrative: Between Pictures
-- Oxygen To The Brain
-- Can't Wait Too Long
-- Midnight's Another Day
-- That Lucky Old Sun (Reprise)
-- Going Home
-- Southern California


'Going Home'
Feature-length documentary about the making of That Lucky Old Sun and
an exploration of Brian Wilson's life long personal and creative
relationship with Southern California.
Directed and edited by George Dougherty.

Bonus Materials
-- Track-by-track Capitol Studios performance commentary by Brian Wilson
and Scott Bennett
-- The making of That Lucky Old Sun: additional behind the scenes
footage from the album's recording sessions
-- Yahoo! Nissan Live Sets performance with studio audience Q&A
-- MySpace "Artist On Artist" interview: Brian Wilson & Zooey Deschanel
-- "Black Cab Sessions" performance


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

New Lost season 5 teaser video

New comics Dec. 4: Creepy Archives, Showcase Presents Supergirl, Doctor Who Classics, Disney Christmas Parade

Comics are out a day later this week. Here's what looks interesting to me. Please click the title links to order books from Amazon. Proceeds of sales help support this site.

Creepy Archives Vol. 2

Showcase Presents Supergirl Vol. 2

SUPERGIRL COSMIC ADVENTURES IN THE 8TH GRADE #1

DOCTOR WHO CLASSICS Vol. 2

WALT DISNEYS CHRISTMAS PARADE #5

Pop links: Specials reunion a go, Faces reunion a go, George said no to Jesus and more!

One of my favorite bands, The Specials, is reuniting for a 2009 tour, the BBC reports.

The gigs will see the line up of Terry Hall, Lynval Golding, Neville Staple, Roddy Byers, Horace Panter and John Bradbury reconvene.

The band are largely credited with the popularity of ska punk in the late 1970s and the emergence of the 2-Tone sound.

Rumours of an announcement had grown after the majority of the band made a special appearance together at this year's Bestival festival in September.


It's too bad group founder Jerry Dammers won't be along, however.

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Meanwhile, the reuniting Faces are looking for a bassist.

"We had a few fantastic rehearsals last week and we’re ready to go," revealed Ronnie Wood. "It’s like no time has passed by”. Original bassist and enigmatic Small Face Ronnie Lane passed away in 1997, meaning a whole list of four-string fanatics are lining up to join Wood, Rod Stewart, Ian McLagen and Kenney Jones onstage next year. "There’s a lot of guest bass players that want to do it - including Flea" says Wood.

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Bigger than Jesus: A newly unearthed interview with George Harrison reveals that the ex-Beatle was the original choice to play Jesus in "Monty Python's Life of Brian."

"They wanted me to play the part of Christ. At the beginning, when he's doing the sermon on the Mount. That's what they tried to get me to do. But I thought it was a bit too controversial,” Contactmusic quoted Harrison as saying in the interview.

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Speaking of Monty Python and/or Indiana Jones, I need one of these on my desk:

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And now for something completely different, a walrus playing saxophone:

Monday, December 01, 2008

New music I like: The John Henrys



More here.

New DVD, CD releases Dec. 2, 2008: the real Frost/Nixon, Yogi, Flintstones, Neil Young rarities, Colbert Christmas and more!

Here's what looks interesting this week. Click the links to order from Amazon. Sales help support this site!

DVDs:


The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Frost/Nixon: The Original Watergate Interviews


Perry Mason - The Third Season - Vol. 2


Saturday Night Live - The Complete Fourth Season

The Day the Earth Stood Still (Two-Disc Special Edition)

The Man Called Flintstone

A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All

Casablanca (Ultimate Collector's Edition) Blu Ray

Hey There, It's Yogi Bear

CDs:

Sugar Mountain-Live At Canterbury House 1968 (CD/DVD) by Neil Young

The Hits by Dave Clark Five

Easy Come Easy Go by Marianne Faithfull

Grimm's & Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales by Danny Kaye

Best Of Chess: Original Versions Of Songs in Cadillac Records by Various Artists

Pop links: Elvis Costello Spectacle, Dr. Who calendar, more Space Pirate, Supergirl preview and more!

The New York Times checks out Elvis Costello's new music interview show, "Spectacle," which debuts on the Sundance Channel this Wednesday.

Stylistically it is a blend of “The Dick Cavett Show,” “Inside the Actors Studio” and “Charlie Rose,” with singers like Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright and Smokey Robinson discussing their history and influences at length.

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The BBC's annual Doctor Who online advent(ure) calendar is up!

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A Cincinnati radio station TV station has changed its call letters to WKRP. There's no Johnny Fever on staff, however.

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Steve Buscemi may star in a Martin Scorsese-produced series on HBO.

Written by Terrence Winter and to be directed by Scorsese, "Boardwalk Empire" is based on Nelson Johnson's nonfiction book, which chronicles the 1920s origins of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Buscemi would play Nucky Johnson, a cunning businessman who runs a liquor distribution ring at the onset of Prohibition.


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Via Occasional Superheroine: The not-so-original origin of Emily the Strange.

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Pappy presents another Star Pirate adventure.

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Read about 20 pop song references in "Doctor Who."

* 4. I Am The Walrus (The Beatles) – The Three Doctors

Okay, you don't actually hear a sample, but when guesting Doctor 2 (Patrick Troughton) tries to explain who he is in relation to incumbent Doctor 3 (Jon Pertwee) he states “I am he and he is me,” to which baffled yet fab'n'groovy Jo Grant replies “And we are all together, goo goo coo choo?” She explains it's a song by the Beatles, and recorder-clutching Troughton is delighted - “Oh, how does it go?” putting it to his lips. Sadly the exciting drama of evil reality-eating antimatter, which looks a bit like Space Blancmange, cuts short the music lesson.


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Hey, there's a new Guns'n'Roses album out. Where's my Dr. Pepper?!


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Newsarama previews the pretty fun-looking Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade #1.

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