Friday, March 27, 2015

James Bond "Spectre" - first trailer

Pop culture roundup: Women and comics; Alan Lomax; Pvt. Snafu; special effects cloud magic

The Guardian has an excellent piece on the growing female readership of comics and how comics are changing as a result.
The success of Ms Marvel and Captain Marvel has little to do with identity politics and everything to do with great storytelling. When Carol Danvers had her first solo book as Ms Marvel in 1977 (“This Female Fights Back!”), she was burdened with being Marvel’s token feminist role model: a superpowered Gloria Steinem. The new Ms Marvel, however, is an ordinary adolescent wrestling with parents and school as well as the responsibility of superpowers. Fifty-three years after Stan Lee created Spider-Man, it’s hard for a straight, white man like Peter Parker to represent the gawky underdog. Like the half-black half-Latino Miles Morales, who became a second Spider-Man in 2011, Kamala Khan is a modern take on a classic archetype.


The online archive of musicologist Alan Lomax field recordings from around the world now includes more than 17,000 items from around the world. You can listen, for free, here.
“For the first time,” Cultural Equity Executive Director Don Fleming told NPR’s Joel Rose this week, “everything that we’ve digitized of Alan’s field recording trips are online, on our Web site. It’s every take, all the way through. False takes, interviews, music.”

Read a history of this Private Snafu World War II propaganda cartoons.
The talent roster behind the Snafu cartoons reads like a pantheon of animation icons: Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob Clampett, Frank Tashlin, and the “Man of a Thousand Voices” himself, Mel Blanc. Into this mix, add Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. “Dr. Seuss”), then working as a political cartoonist for the leftist New York newspaper PM, and the merry mashup is complete.


Every wonder how pre-CGI special effects masters created those wild cloud effects in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and other films? It starts with paint, water and a fish tank.

Fab Friday: Vintage Beatles lamp

More Beatles posts at The Glass Onion Beatles Journal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Video: Brian Wilson - Sail Away (feat. Chaplin, Jardine & Fataar)

Another teaser from Brian Wilson's upcoming "Soundstage" special on PBS.

Sci-fi Spotlight: At the Earth's Core

New comics March 25, 2015: Spider-Man Epic Collection; Big Hero 6; Jughead; Batman Meet Green Hornet, more

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Robin Bound
Spidey gets by with a little help from his friends! If he can survive a rematch with the Tri-Sentinel, this time without Captain Universe powers, Spider-Man will face a sidekick's revenge! But wait, he never had a sidekick. So who is the Secret Empire's cyborg powerhouse, Midnight? To get to the bottom of this mess, the web-slinger will need to do a little old-fashioned teaming up. How's Moon Knight, Punisher, Nova, Night Thrasher and Darkhawk?

Adventures into the Unknown Archives Volume 4
From storm-battered castles to secret laboratories to the oceans' depths, the golden age supernatural anthology comic Adventures Into the Unknown had every spooky setting audiences could desire and Dark Horse is collecting them all into deluxe hardcover archive editions!
A classic cover by Ogden Whitney sets the tone for our fourth excursion into the quirky realms found in Adventures into the Unknown! Enjoy "Beware the Jabberwock," "The Ghost that Didn't Die," and an excellent cover run by Whitney--as well as a plethora twisted tales! Classic monsters, convoluted crises, and ghosts of all sorts populate these entertaining stories from the early 1950s, with contributors including Fred Guardineer, Lin Streeter, Charles Sultan, and others. This volume features a new foreword by comic-book historian and Mr. Monster creator Michael T. Gilbert, as well as all original text pieces and letter columns!

Archie's Pal Jughead Archives Volume 1
You know Jughead as Archie's loyal sidekick, but wait until you see the trouble he can get up to on his own! Cheer as Jug matches wits with Archie's rival Reggie, gasp as he tests nutty experiments with his Uncle Herman, and marvel as he eats dozens upon dozens of burgers and shakes! With twice the mischief, twice the pranks, and twenty times the food, Jughead Archives takes you to the weirder side of Riverdale, in this uproarious volume illustrated by beloved Archie artists Samm Schwartz and George Frese! Collecting Archie's Pal Jughead #1-#8!

Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet
In 1967, television history was made when two masked crime fighters met in a historic crossover. Now, superstar filmmaker Kevin Smith and actor/comedian Ralph Garman join forces with artist Ty Templeton (BATMAN '66) to bring these two iconic characters and their famous partners together again. Set in the continuity of that earlier team-up, Batman, The Green Hornet, Robin and Kato must go up against a very different General (formerly Colonel) Gumm. What crime could be so deadly as to force these rivals to put aside their differences and join forces again? And what surprise does Gumm have up his sticky sleeve?

Big Hero 6, Vol. 1
When Hiro's kindhearted brother, Tadashi, vanishes through a portal to save him, the boy genius is devastated. But his big brother left something to help Hiro cope with his loss--a personal health-care robot named Baymax. And when what Hiro needs more than comfort is an explanation of his brother's disappearance, Baymax--with a few upgrades--may be just what the doctor ordered! With new friends and Baymax 2.0 by his side, Hiro is determined to get to the bottom of everything...and he might end up saving the world on his way!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

They made this: Darth Vader toaster

New Fantastic Four movie poster

Sci-fi Spotlight: The Astounding She Monster


New music March 24, 2015: Seasick Steve; Minus 5; James Brown, more

Click the links to order discounted CDs, vinyl or downloads from Amazon.

Sonic Soul Surfer by Seasick Steve

DVD and Blu-ray new releases March 24, 2015: Hobbit; Into the Woods; Mr. Bean; John Ford; Donna Reed; Wolverine; Tom Sawyer

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Special Edition) (DVD+UltraViolet)