Friday, January 20, 2012

Hunger Games movie poster

Jennifer Lawrence featured in a poster for the upcoming film based on the teen-lit sci-fi book.

Best books about The Avengers TV show

Books about the cult British TV series. Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

The Avengers: A Celebration: 50 Years of a Television Classic
The Avengers burst onto televisions screens in the 1960’s, and the show’s mix of wit, adventure and beautiful women became an instant hit!

Now fifty years on, Marcus Hearn has been granted unparalleled access to the show’s production archives and has collected together a fabulous array of material to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Avengers.

Lavishly illustrated, with many unpublished stills, behind-the-scenes photos, and snaps from the ABC & LWT private archive, this is a spectacular portrait of the world's best-loved cult action-adventure series, and its classic sequel, The New Avengers.

The Avengers: The Inside Story
Patrick Macnee tells all! The secrets of the hit TV series The Avengers are laid bare by the man who was John Steed.

Lavishly illustrated, with many unpublished stills, behind-the-scenes photos, and snaps from Macnee's private collection, this is a very personal portrait of the world's best-loved cult action-adventure series, and its classic sequel, The New Avengers.

In unflinching detail, Macnee reveals the true story behind the show, including his relationships with all four Avengers girls — Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Linda Thorson and Joanna Lumley — on and off the set!

The Complete  Avengers: The Full Story of Britain's Smash Crime-Fighting Team!
Since its first airing in 1961, The Avengers has become one of the most enduringly popular series in the history of television-reaching its height in the episodes where Patick Macnee starred as the impeccable John Steed opposite Diana Rigg's strong, sensual Mrs. Peel. The Avengers' world was always full of upper-class derring-do, a place of distinctly elegant high jinks-all portrayed with tongue firmly in cheek.

Now, television historian Dave Rogers has assembled into one volume the complete history of this long-running program, from the early episodes featuring Ian Hendry, through the glory days of Diana Rigg, to The New Avengers-and beyond. Drawing on extensive interviews with such Avengers cast members as Linda Thorson ("Tara King"), Patrick Newell ("Mother"), Honor Blackman ("Cathy Gale"), and, of course, Patrick Macnee-plus several of the show's writers-this volume provides:

-An overview of the series
-A complete, show-by-show episode guide
-A comprehensive collectors' guide to Avengers memorabilia
-More than 200 photographs of England's classiest crime fighters
-And an introduction by Avengers producer Brian Clemens.

Saints and Avengers: British Adventure Series of the 1960s
Series like "The Avengers" and "Danger Man", with their professional secret agents, or "The Saint" and "The Persuaders", featuring flamboyant crime-fighters, still inspire mainstream and cult followings. Saints and Avengers explores and celebrates this unique television genre for the first time. James Chapman uses case studies to look at the thrillers’ representations of national identity, and the world of the '60's and '70's. Chapman also asserts that this particular type of thriller was a historically and culturally defined generic type, with enduring appeal, as the current vogue for remaking them as big budget films attests.

The Avengers Dossier
"The Avengers" was the 1960s, defining the era with its style, politics and chic. Starting in 1960 as a gritty spy drama, the programme evolved into the hippest, most fondly remembered series of the decade. The first British programme to be networked in the USA, it spawned a hit single, "The New Avengers" and a legacy of writers and directors who went on to shape the next 20 years of TV. For the first time, this book provides a definitive and entertaining reference work on that cult programme. From an episode by episode listing, through interviews with the stars and a discussion of the behind-the-scenes politics, the reader is given an insight into every aspect of the series. The book also details the making of the "Avengers" movie, starring Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman and Sean Connery. With its first viewers recruited in 1960, and new enthusiasts added every day through constant repeats on British television, this programme has acquired a huge fan following. This is the definitive reference work which every one of those fans will want to own.

The Avengers on Location
The Avengers inhabited an extraordinary landscape of aristocrats, mad scientists, and spies, having only a tenuous connection with the realities of 1960s England. Filmed in a variety of locations in southeast England, many of the settings are easily accessible and remain virtually unchanged after 40 years. This guide to the locations for The Avengers, and numerous other classic television shows from the 1960s and 1970s, is an absorbing gazetteer of strangely familiar follies, pubs, hotels, and country lanes. "Then and now" photos accompany many of the entries in this compelling alternative history of cult television.

Diana Rigg: The Biography
The fascinating professional and personal life of one of today’s most talented actresses is revealed in this biography of Diana Rigg, one of the sexiest women ever to grace the television screen. Rigg’s high-profile roles are detailed—from the brilliant and seductive British agent Emma Peel in The Avengers to one of the most intelligent and impressive of James Bond’s women (and the only one who actually gets to marry him) in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Rigg’s time with the Royal Shakespeare Company and her current stage career are also profiled. This book tells the story of a rebellious and outspoken woman who has always lived life on her own terms, defying both convention and authority.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Trailer for Stan Lee documentary film

Here's a peek at "With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story"  a new documentary about the Marvel Comics creator set to screen this month at the Sundance Film Festival.

Much as I like Stan, I hope the flick pays some credit to Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and other Marvel co-creators who contributed to Marvel's success as Stan without nabbing nearly as much public acclaim.

Anyone out there seen it? I hope I can eventually get a DVD.

Wilco releases iTunes album Jan. 24 - features "Cool to Be Kind" cover

Wilco will release an iTunes album Jan. 24 featuring live-in-the-studio versions of some new tunes, plus a cover of "Cruel to Be Kind" in collaboration with that tune's originator Nick Lowe, who recently has been opening for the band.

Here's Nick's original version of his power pop hit. That's Nick's then-wife and Johnny Cash's stepdaughter Carlene Carter in the video, plus members of Rockpile:

New Shadow comics series on way from Dynamite

Dynamite Entertainment will launch a new monthly Shadow comic book series in April scripted by Garth Ennis with art by Aaron Campbell. Alex Ross and others will provide covers. The storyline is set in 1938.

Dynamite also is reprinting Howard Chaykin's 1991 Shadow series, originally published by DC, in a new collected edition.

DC Comics' new logo is stupid

Count me among those who think DC Comics' newly unveiled logo is a huge mistake.

The peel-away look is a nifty concept, but what does it have to do with comics or the comic book heritage of the superheroes DC is marketing in the movies, toys and television?

It would be a good logo for a company that manufactured adhesive products, maybe. But it doesn't make sense for DC.

Bring back the 1972 bullet! Chart below by Geek Rest.

IDW to publish monthly Popeye comic

Popeye comics are back! IDW Publishing has teamed comics scribe Roger
 Landridge (Muppets, Thor: The Might Adventure) with artist Bruce Ozella
 to continue the adventures of E.C. Segar's sailor man.

The first issue is due out in April and will include an alternate cover created by famed
 cartoonist Jules Feiffer.

DC Comics solicitations April 2012 - Kirby Challengers of the Unknown Omnibus, Sgt. Rock Archive 4, Sea Devils Showcase

Here are highlights from DC Comics' April 2012 releases. Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

On sale JUNE 20 • 320 pg, FC, $39.99 US$26.39
Now in one amazing volume collecting SHOWCASE 6, 7, 11 and 12 and CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN #1-8, these are the original 1950s tales of four death defying adventurers and their incredible exploits.

Written by ROBERT KANIGHER • Art and cover by JOE KUBERT
ADVANCE SOLICITED • On sale SEPTEMBER 19 • 256 pg, FC, $59.99 US
In this new, high-quality archive collecting tales from OUR ARMY AT WAR #126-139, Sgt. Rock battles a German sergeant who is his opposite number, protects a young war refugee, clashes with other Army sergeants, attempts to rescue a captured soldier and more.

Written by ROBERT KANIGHER, BOB HANEY and others • Art by RUSS HEATH, IRV NOVICK, GENE COLAN and others • Cover by RUSS HEATH
On sale MAY 23 • 512 pg, B&W, $19.99 US$13.59
In these stories from SHOWCASE #27-29 and SEA DEVILS #1-16, the Sea Devils battle creatures beneath the waves including The Octopus-Man, the Undersea Ghost, The Flame-Headed Watchman and more.