Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New comics Dec. 24, 2008: Billy Batson #3, American Flagg

Here's what looks good/interesting to me. Click the title links to order discounted books from Amazon. Proceeds help support this site.

I love this title. It's created with heart, humor and truckloads of visual imagination. If you miss comics that are fun, you need to check it out.

AMERICAN FLAGG DEFINITIVE COLL TP VOL 01 I'm not a big Howie Chaykin fan, but I know lots of people loved this series and are happy to see it available in collected form.

Spirit movie review roundup

Scenes begin seemingly at random and end abruptly. Actors plays characters at full bore. Dialogue has the crude energy of '30s Hollywood melodramas but rarely any wit or engaging subtext. All emotions are forced, and relationships get explored half-heartedly.

Gabriel Macht is sturdy but dull as the restless Spirit. Samuel L. Jackson chews the graphic scenery as Octopus, while Scarlett Johansson seems to get lost in that same scenery as his weirdly docile sidekick Silken Floss. Eva Mendes plays jewel thief Sand Saref as one-note temptress, while Paz Vega as a French assassin and Jaime King as an underwater nymph go for the same effect. How many vamps can a movie contain?

...One thing about "The Spirit" is that it's never dull. Then again, the same can be said of Chinese water torture.

Orlando Sentinel:
Unadulterated Miller is like comic-book David Mamet, ripping the competition for fanboy fealty. "You'll believe a man can't fly" and somebody's as "dead as 'Star Trek.'"

Shot on that "Sin City"/"300" computer-generated set, it's not a place for an expansive story or subtle acting. But everybody looks gorgeous in this dark, funny cartoon of an action movie.

Which is to say, this is colorful. This is wild and kind of funny. This is adventurous, even. But don't try this again.

Minnespolis Star Tribune:
I suppose "The Spirit" could be worse, though it stretches the imagination to say just how. It's not easy to make a thriller that's both incredibly convoluted and intensely boring, laboriously narrated yet befuddled, but Miller — creator and co-director of "Sin City" — triumphs on all these counts.

Paste Magazine:
If we lived in a reality where the dead could rise from the grave to enact vengeance against sins unforgivable, golden-age comic scribe Will Eisner would have good reason to revisit Frank Miller.

...The noir sensibility that Eisner invented is mutilated into graphic novel pornography, producing a film that will rest in peace as a cult failure that's as laughable in its misexecution as it's tragic in its failed potential.

McClatchy Newspapers:
"The Spirit" is not a typical movie, and thank goodness. It would have been an insult to Eisner to have created a standard big-budget action film. Under Miller's guidance the result is a loyal and loving tribute.

Land of the Lost movie poster unveiled


Monday, December 22, 2008

Action figures: Doctor Who Age of Steel Cybermen and Fires of Pompei Set

Here are pics of two new Doctor Who action figure sets:

The Age of Steel Cybermen set, which includes:

1x Cyberman from "The Tenth Planet" (1966)
1x Cyberman from "Tomb of the Cybermen" (1967)
1x Cyberman from "The Invasion" (1968)
1x Cyber Leader from "The Next Doctor" (2008)


Each figure comes with a piece to assemble the Cyber Controller from "Tomb of the Cybermen" (1967).

The Fires of Pompeii Gift set, which includes a 5" Roman Soldier and an 8" Pyroville Soldier from the second episode of Season 4.


See more Doctor Who action figures at Amazon.

Pop links: Mah Na Mah Na!, Dollhouse clip, Herb Alpert Christmas, EC Comics naughtiness

PCL LinkDump traces muppet performances of that infernally catchy tune, "Mah Na Mah Na." You can download the original Piero Umiliani version of the tune from Amazon.


Entertainment Weekly has a clip from Joss Whedon's upcoming series "Dollhouse." More "Dollhouse" at our sister site.


See Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass play "My Favorite Things" and "The Christmas Song" on the Ed Sullivan Show, 1969.


Portzebie points out some subliminal naughtiness artist Joe Orlando slipped past his publisher in a 1952 issue of EC Comics' Tales from the Crypt.