Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pop links: Jack Kirby, Christopher Eccleston as John Lennon

Grantbridge's blogging hiatus didn't work out (I know how it goes), so here he is back with a cool 1970s Jack Kirby tale. Other good stuff there as well, including a George Perez Batman portfolio.


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One-time Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston is playing John Lennon in a new BBC mini-series.

The 45-year-old has donned glasses and grown his hair to take the role of the musical legend for new BBC4 drama Lennon Naked.

In a newly released publicity shot the former Time Lord wears a replica white suit worn by Lennon in 1968 at an art gallery with wife Yoko Ono.

The one-off 90-minute film, which looks at Beatle’s life from 1967 to 1971, will be part of the BBC’s new spring drama season.

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Disney reveals John Carter of Mars movie details

The long-awaited Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation has started production. Details from the press release:

WALT DISNEY PICTURES’ “JOHN CARTER OF MARS” BEGINS PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY IN LONDON


BURBANK, Calif. (January 15, 2010) – Principal photography is underway in London for Walt Disney Pictures’ “JOHN CARTER OF MARS.” Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton brings this captivating hero to the big screen in a stunning adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings.

Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom Series,” the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter, who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants.

Produced for Walt Disney Pictures by Jim Morris (“WALL•E,” “Ratatouille”) and Colin Wilson (“Avatar,” “War of the Worlds”), the live action/animation film marks Academy Award®-winning director/writer Andrew Stanton’s (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”) first foray into live action. Stanton directed and co-wrote the screenplay for Disney•Pixar’s “WALL•E,” which earned the Academy Award and Golden Globe® for Best Animated Feature (2008); Stanton was nominated for an Oscar® for the screenplay. He made his directorial debut with Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” garnering an Academy Award-nomination for Best Original Screenplay and winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature (2003). He has worked as a screenwriter and/or executive producer on Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life” (which he also co-directed), “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Ratatouille” and “Up.”

“I have been waiting my whole life to see the characters and worlds of ‘John Carter of Mars’ realized on the big screen,” says Stanton. “It is just a wonderful bonus that I have anything to do with it.”

The stellar ensemble cast is led by Taylor Kitsch (NBC’S “Friday Night Lights”, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) in the title role, Lynn Collins (“50 First Dates,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) as the warrior princess Dejah Thoris and Oscar® nominee Willem Dafoe (“Spider-Man 3,” “Shadow of a Vampire”) as Martian inhabitant Tars Tarkas. 

The cast also includes Thomas Haden Church (“Sideways,” Spider-Man 3), Polly Walker (upcoming “Clash of the Titans,” “Patriot Games”), Samantha Morton (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “In America”), Mark Strong (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Body of Lies”), Ciaran Hinds (“Munich,” “There Will Be Blood”), British actor Dominic West (“300,” “Chicago”), James Purefoy (“Vanity Fair,” “Resident Evil”) and Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”). Daryl Sabara (“Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” “Spy Kids”) takes the role of John Carter’s teenaged nephew, Edgar Rice Burroughs.

The creative team includes Oscar®-nominated production designer Nathan Crowley (“Public Enemies,” “The Dark Knight,” “Batman Begins”), costume designer Mayes Rubeo (“Avatar,” “Apocalypto”), cinematographer Daniel Mindel (“Star Trek,” “Mission Impossible III,” “Spygame”) and video effects supervisor Peter Chiang (“The Reader,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”).

Vintage DC Comics house ad


Friday, January 15, 2010

Criminy! Another great Darwyn Cooke illustration


Awesome Darwyn Cooke Batman and Robin illustration

Give this man an all-ages regular Batman series now please. Or a regular series of any sort, for that matter. This pic is currently up for auction on eBay.


Dick Dale live on KEXP- NPR music show

The king of surf guitar is still smoking:

Iron Man 2 teaser poster


Animated Batman meets the Justice Society

Images for tonight's episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
The Golden Age of Justice
"An aging JSA is faced with the return of their worst enemy, Per Degaton, as he returns from suspended animation to enact a plan for world domination, while Black Canary helps Wildcat face his greatest regrets."

Great images. Looks like Hourman forgot to put in his dentures, though.


Upcoming Buffy the Vampire Slayer maquette from Sideshow Toys

It's cool:


New Robyn Hitchcock with John Paul Jones, Nick Lowe, Johnny Marr appearances on the horizon

I confess to not having kept up with Hitchcock's works over the past few years, but he's always great to hear. This new one sounds like it could be a good one:

Robyn Hitchcock this spring will release the 3-years-in-the-making Propellor Time, an album recorded with current back-up band The Venus 3 — R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Young Fresh Fellows’ Scott McCaughey and ex-Ministry drummer Bill Rieflin — and featuring guest turns by the likes of The Smiths’ Johnny Marr, Nick Lowe and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin.

Due out March 22 on Sartorial Records, Propellor Time was recorded in six days during the summer of 2006 with the same Venus 3 lineup featured on that year’s OlĂ©! Tarantula, according to a release announcing the new album. Those sessions, in fact, were featured in John Edginton’s documentary “Robyn Hitchcock: Sex, Food, Death… and Insects.”

Wolfman - Perez reunite for new Teen Titans graphic novel

The Marv Wolfman-George Perez New Teen Titans series was one of my favorites as a lad. Don't know if this project will stir the same feelings, but it's still kinda cool to hear about:


A few things to ponder while you recover from the headline and that amazing George Perez cover.
120 pages of classic, New Teen Titans action.
George Perez and Marv Wolfman together again.
So, yes. The OGN will hit stores this year. What more is there to say? Let’s check with Marv, shall we?:
“It’s all the regular Titans, obviously because the story was plotted back then it’s Troia, in that costume, Nightwing, Cyborg, Changeling, Danny Chase, Jericho, Starfire, and a number of others but they’re all there. This isn’t a big surprise. What this really is, is the uncovered story that had been done at the height of the Titans. And except for the actual dialoguing, that’s exactly what it is. Because as I said, George drew 80 of the pages back then.”
For more from Wolfman and Perez, check with COMIC BOOK RESOURCES for interviews with both legendary creators about their return to the Titans.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pop links: Tintin, Jim Mooney, Jack Cole, Steve Ditko

Cool find: An online story specializing in Tintin items.



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Here's a cool-looking new tome by 20th Century Danny Boy blogger Daniel Best.



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Check out a selection of Plastic Man creator Jack Cole's "Windy Breeze" one-pagers.



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A selection of public domain Steve Ditko sci-fi tales.


Vintage DC Comics house ad: All Star Comics


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vintage DC Comics house ad: Golden Age Green Lantern


New comics Jan. 13, 2010

Complete shipping list:

DARK HORSE COMICS

NOV090031 AGE OF REPTILES JOURNEY #2 (OF 4) $3.50
NOV090047 BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #31 JEANTY CVR $2.99
NOV090046 BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #31 JO CHEN CVR $2.99
OCT090012 CONAN THE CIMMERIAN WEIGHT OF CROWN ONE SHOT (OSW) $3.50

DC COMICS

NOV090138 ACTION COMICS #885 $3.99
NOV090136 ADVENTURE COMICS #6 $3.99
NOV090130 BATGIRL #6 $2.99
NOV090127 BATMAN #695 $2.99
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
OCT090264 BATMAN THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD TP $12.99
OCT090198 BATMAN WIDENING GYRE #4 (OF 6) $2.99
NOV090146 BOOSTER GOLD #28 $3.99
NOV090117 CATWOMAN #83 (BLACKEST NIGHT) $2.99
OCT090245 DEAD ROMEO TP $19.99
Doc Savage: The Silver Pyramid
OCT090246 DOC SAVAGE THE SILVER PYRAMID TP $19.99
NOV090150 GREEN ARROW BLACK CANARY #28 $3.99
Human Target: Chance Meetings
OCT090298 HUMAN TARGET CHANCE MEETINGS TP $14.99
NOV090159 MAGOG #5 $2.99
NOV090119 POWER OF SHAZAM #48 (BLACKEST NIGHT) $2.99
NOV090161 REBELS #12 $2.99
NOV090209 RED HERRING #6 (OF 6) $2.99
NOV090202 SCOOBY DOO #152 $2.50
NOV090124 SECRET SIX (BLACKEST NIGHT) #17 $2.99
NOV090163 SHIELD #5 $3.99
NOV090197 SUPER FRIENDS #23 $2.50
OCT090316 TEARS OF A LAMB VOL 07 $9.99
NOV090162 TITANS #21 $2.99

IMAGE COMICS

AUG090405 CYBERFORCE HUNTER KILLER #4 (OF 5) BENITEZ CVR B $2.99
AUG090404 CYBERFORCE HUNTER KILLER #4 (OF 5) ROCAFORT CVR A $2.99
NOV090386 MICE TEMPLAR DESTINY #6 $2.99
OCT090385 SPAWN ORIGINS TP VOL 04 $14.99

MARVEL COMICS

NOV090545 AGENTS OF ATLAS TURF WARS PREM HC $19.99
NOV090448 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #617 GNTLT $3.99
NOV090460 BLACK PANTHER 2 #12 $2.99
NOV090462 BLACK WIDOW DEADLY ORIGIN #3 (OF 4) $3.99
NOV090544 CABLE PREM HC VOL 03 STRANDED $19.99
NOV090502 DARK X-MEN #3 (OF 5) $3.99
NOV090474 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #22 $2.99
NOV090477 MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES #19 $2.99
NOV090489 MARVELS PROJECT #5 (OF 8) $3.99
NOV090490 MARVELS PROJECT #5 (OF 8) EPTING COVER $3.99
NOV090503 NATION X #2 (OF 4) $3.99
NOV090553 ODYSSEY TP GN $19.99
NOV090517 PSYLOCKE #3 (OF 4) $3.99
NOV090495 REALM OF KINGS IMPERIAL GUARD #3 (OF 5) $3.99
NOV090546 RUNAWAYS ESCAPE TO NEW YORK PREM HC $19.99
NOV090459 SPIDER-MAN AND SECRET WARS #2 (OF 4) $2.99
NOV090562 SPIDER-MAN ELECTION DAY TP $24.99
NOV090542 SPIDER-MAN RETURN OF BLACK CAT PREM HC $24.99
NOV090488 STRANGE #3 (OF 4) $3.99
NOV090482 SUPER HERO SQUAD #1 $2.99
NOV090516 SWORD (MARVEL) #3 $2.99
Thing: Project Pegasus Premiere HC
AUG090566 THING PROJECT PEGASUS PREM HC $24.99
AUG090567 THING PROJECT PEGASUS PREM HC DM ED $24.99
NOV090559 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN TP VOL 22 ULTIMATUM $19.99
NOV090561 ULTIMATUM TP $19.99
NOV090521 UNCANNY X-MEN FIRST CLASS #7 (OF 8) $2.99
AUG090555 X-MEN ASGARDIAN WARS HC $34.99
NOV090522 X-MEN FOREVER #15 $3.99
NOV090524 X-MEN ORIGINS CYCLOPS $3.99

WIZARD ENTERTAINMENT

NOV090574 TOYFARE #151 JAKKS UFC CVR $4.99
OCT098201 TOYFARE #151 LEGO HERO FACTORY OVERSHIP CVR $4.99

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COMICS

NOV090668 ANCHOR #4 $3.99
NOV090829 ANGEL #29 $3.99
NOV090607 ARCHIE & FRIENDS #139 $2.50
NOV090609 ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #205 $3.99
NOV090811 ARMY OF TWO #1 $3.99
AUG090776 BARACK THE BARBARIAN #4 (OF 4) (NOTE PRICE) $3.99
OCT090703 BETTY & VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #177 $3.99
SEP090996 BIG ADVENTURES OF MAJOKO GN VOL 03 (OF 5) $7.99
SEP090699 CARS #0 $2.99
NOV090684 CARS #2 $2.99
NOV090650 CODE GEASS LELOUCH OF THE REBELLION GN VOL 07 $10.99
OCT090747 CODE GEASS NIGHTMARE OF NUNNALLY GN VOL 04 $10.99
Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy Volume 9
OCT090995 COMPLETE CHESTER GOULDS DICK TRACY HC VOL 09 $39.99
SEP090682 DIE HARD YEAR ONE #4 $3.99
NOV090832 DOCTOR WHO ONGOING #7 $3.99
OCT090589 ED HANNIGAN COVERED $5.99
NOV090853 FALLEN ANGEL REBORN TP VOL 01 $17.99
NOV090673 FARSCAPE DARGOS QUEST #2 $3.99
OCT090851 GALACTICA 1980 #4 $3.50
NOV090850 GHOUL #2 $3.99
NOV090812 GI JOE MOVIE SNAKE EYES #4 $3.99
NOV090651 GUNDAM 00F GN VOL 02 $10.99
NOV090652 GURREN LAGANN GN VOL 04 $10.99
SEP090704 INCREDIBLES #4 $2.99
SEP090705 INCREDIBLES TP VOL 01 CITY OF INCREDIBLES $9.99
SEP090709 MUPPET PETER PAN #4 $2.99
OCT090804 MUPPET SHOW #1 $2.99
SEP090997 NINJA BASEBALL KYUMA GN VOL 02 (OF 3) $7.99
NOV090728 RED SONJA OMNIBUS TP VOL 01 $29.99
SEP090995 SILENT MOBIUS COMPLETE ED GN VOL 02 $14.99
OCT090706 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #208 $2.50
NOV090834 STAR TREK CAPTAINS LOG SULU #1 $3.99
NOV090738 THE GOOD THE BAD & THE UGLY #7 $3.99
JUL090950 TORPEDO HC VOL 01 $24.99
NOV090827 TRANSFORMERS ALL HAIL MEGATRON TP VOL 04 $17.99
NOV090823 TRANSFORMERS ONGOING #3 $3.99
NOV090696 WALL-E #2 $2.99
OCT090812 WALT DISNEYS COMICS & STORIES #702 $2.99
NOV090841 WEEKLY WORLD NEWS #1 $3.99
NOV090843 WEEKLY WORLD NEWS B&W NEWSPAPER EDITION #1 $3.99

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Review: Monty Python--Almost the Truth

It’s a comparison that’s been made before, and it’s quite apt: Monty Python is a bit like the Beatles.

The comedy troupe was groundbreaking. The Pythons changed the territory and altered the horizons of comedy. And the group’s members hit on a creative synergy that was powerful beyond the sum of its parts.

And, like the Beatles, the Pythons created work that lives on and is continually discovered by new generations of fans. The Parrot Sketch will never cease to be…hilarious.

All of which ensures that this documentary series—essentially a funnier version of “The Beatles Anthology”—has a built-in audience of fans both young and old. And viewers won’t be disappointed.

Originally aired on the Independent Film Channel, “Monty Python: The Lawyer’s Cut” features extensive and honest interviews with each of the group’s member minus the dearly departed Graham Chapman, who weighs in with abundant archival footage.

The group’s pre-history is thoroughly detailed in the early sections, which include tantalizing clips from pre-Python TV work on various British series, such as “The Frost Report” and “Do Not Adjust Your Set.” From there, the members discuss the origins and high- and low-points of each subsequent Python project, including the “Flying Circus” TV series and all the films: “The Holy Grail,” “The Life of Brian” and “Meaning of Life,” with detours to discuss the group’s LP records (that’s how I first got into the group) and other assorted projects.

Members discuss challenges—including personality conflicts (particularly between Terry Jones and John Cleese) and Chapman’s alcoholism—but in a very honest and forgiving way. Nobody seems to be holding any grudges.

Along with the Python’s there are a number of interviews with supporting players such as Carol Cleveland and Neil Innes and, I guess for the sake of perspective, chats with current comics such as Steve Coogan (quite good) and Russell Banks (completely bonkers), Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson (???) and Olivia Harrison, who talks about husband George’s love for and financial support of the troupe.

All in all, it’s all very well done and entertaining. However, I must say I hated the cod-Python opening credits for each ep, which are far more annoying than funny. Fast forward those bits to get to the good stuff.

DVD new releases Jan. 12, 2010: Simpsons 20th, Urban Action Favorites, Bugs Bunny's Cupid Capers

The Simpsons: The Complete Twentieth Season [Blu-ray]Urban Action Collection: 4 Film FavoritesBugs Bunny's Cupid Capers

CD new releases Jan. 12, 2010: Vampire Weekend, King Crimson, Sherlock Holmes OST, Waylon Jennings, T. Rex

ContraLizardSherlock Holmes: Original Motion Picture SoundtrackWaylon/Singer of Sad SongsFolk Country/Waylon Sings Ol' HarlanLove of the Common People/Hangin' OnSpaceball: The American Radio Sessions (Dig)