Friday, May 20, 2011

Wrestler Randy "Macho Man" Savage Dies In Car Accident

Well, that ruins my weekend.

Elizabeth "Miss Elizabeth" Ann Hulette, who played his manager, died of a drug overdose in 2003.



In other news, Jake The Snake Roberts, still alive

23 End Of The World Dates That Have Expired

I'm just going to put this right here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why Hellcat Never Hit It Big As A Superheroine

"Great Moments in Comics History: Iron Man #55"

Though to be fair, there were a lot of kooky stuff like that happening back then.

Rob Granito Tells All...

From "Bleeding Cool Asks Rob Granito Ten Questions. And He Answers." (emphasis mine)

BC: When Dwayne McDuffie died, you states that you’d enjoyed working with him. You had never worked with him. Why did you say that, and can you see why it angered people?
RG: Okay, I’m very glad you asked that one. I did work with Dwayne McDuffie, at least, I considered it working with him because he gave me pointers. I’ll tell you the story. A couple of years ago, at a con, I was doing fan sketches, and one fan asked for a sketch of Luke Cage, so I was like, cool. And I started it but didn’t really like it and decided to start a new one. So I ripped the other one up, and Dwayne McDuffie was going around the floor, and I had met him before, so he came up to look over my shoulder to see what I was drawing, you know, friendly and stuff. So he sees me doing this Luke Cage, and he started giving me advice, because he told me, this was such an important character to him from when he was a kid. And I was really getting off on it, you know? Because Dwayne McDuffie was such an influence on all of us. And it was so creative and so cool, we were just riffing on it together, like a real collaboration. Dwayne was telling me little subtle things, like “more gangsta” in the character’s expression, and telling me how Luke Cage was “from the streets” so he had to have this certain look in his eyes. I could tell he really enjoyed it, and it was one of the best pieces I’ve drawn, I wish I had kept it ! Actually, Dwayne told me, that was so good he wished he had it, and of course, now I regret not giving it to him. But that experience is one of my best memories and one I’m always gonna cherish, you know? That, to me, was working with Dwayne McDuffie, because he guided me and we collaborated and all I said was it was a pleasure working with him. I didn’t say we did that one show together or something. So I don’t get it. I mean, nobody can prove that didn’t happen, you know?"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Infant Clark Kent Somewhere in New Jersey

Mysterious object crashes into New Jersey, leaving large crater but no other trace:

Bonus: happens same day as "Smallville" series finale.

In other news, New Jersey apparently the new Kansas.

"The End Of The World For Dummies: May 21st Edition"

I was on the fence as to whether weigh in on this whole "May 21st is the end of the world" thing, but since so many people apparently believe it is going to happen (or so the media makes it seem), I feel the need to say something.

First point -- and I realize that most people consider this a minor distinction -- May 21st is designated in this theory as not the end of the world proper, but the "rapture," when then believers are all taken up in the hands of God leaving us poor SOBs to rot. The actual end-of-world date according to Family Radio Ministries, who started this whole thing, is October 21st. So there.

Second point -- Most Christians do not believe that May 21st is "Judgement Day." In fact, Family Radio has been very clear that most Christians are going to hell except for those that follow their radio ministry. This is because the leader of Family Radio, Harold Camping, has proclaimed "the end of the Church Age," and that his radio show is the only church his followers need. Further: that anybody who actively goes to church is going to end up in hell. Because the "church age" is over. And radio has replaced the church. Duh.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Image of Deadpool Found Melted Into Sidewalk

Yes, I had a vision of religious importance yesterday -- I found what looks like an image of the Marvel character Deadpool melted into the sidewalk:


What Should Tom Welling Do After Smallville?

I always thought that Welling should reprise his role of Clark Kent for the big screen, but since that clearly doesn't seem to be happening, what's next for the actor? There were unconfirmed reports that Marvel showed interest in taking him to their films, possibly for Doctor Strange. Still according to an update at the site What's Playing, this is what "sources" are saying about the matter:
"Sources - sources who would know - tell me (over email and then over the phone) that ‘Welling isn’t up for Doctor Strange, and hasn’t been approached for any Marvel property yet, ‘but that doesn’t mean there isn’t interest in him”. Um.. yeah… what I say? So there you go, the bigboys are likely interested in him but not for any particular role at this point in time."
So might we see Welling "defect to the other team" and star in a Marvel project? Would Doctor Strange necessarily be the best role for him? At any rate, I really enjoyed his work in Smallville -- I thought it radiated a sort of honesty and heroic quality that made Clark Kent an anchor character for the series -- and I hope he won't end up on the Dean Cain track of starring in films about Scott Peterson and various SyFy Channel apocalypses.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thor The Mighty Avenger Paper Doll

This nifty Thor paper doll set (click for bigger images) is by Kyle Hilton. Check out his Flannel Animal Paper Doll Library for paper dolls based on Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development, and more!

I love the "pancake breakfast" accessory here.

Swimsuit With Image Of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi Causes Protests

Fashion designer Lisa Burke's new swimsuit -- emblazoned with the image of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi -- debuted at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week to controversy as Hindu activists protested what they said was a blasphemous use of a sacred image. Some Australian flag burning later, Burke released this statement:

“The image of Goddess Lakshmi will not appear on any piece of Lisa Blue swimwear for the new season, with a halt put on all production of the new range and pieces shown on the runway from last week removed. The use of images of Goddess Lakshmi was not in any way a measure of calculated risk taking, simply it was a desire to celebrate different cultures and share that through our brand.”
This is interesting, as I remember clothing printed with similar images of various gods and goddesses being all the rage 10, 15 years ago. Even now, you can pretty much find anything from t-shirts to baby onesies covered in the sacred images of many faiths. This also brings to mind the banned episode of Xena that featured gods from the Hindu pantheon.

I have been more mindful over the years about wearing the sacred symbols of other faiths as fashion; I at least want to reflect on what these images are, what they mean, etc. Regardless of whether you believe in such things as God/gods or not, these images do have a lot of symbology bound up in them and I think it's good to find out more and do your research. On the other hand, artists and designers like Burke might know very well what the meaning behind deities like Lakshmi is, and want to express that in their art -- the simple act of which might be considered sacrilegious by others.

Is the Lakshmi swimsuit case a matter of art vs. censorship or commerce vs. sensitivity to other cultures? Should Burke have backed down?

If This Summer's Movie Posters Told The Truth...

These mock-ups of truth-telling Summer movie posters are quite on the nose:

more here!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lady Gaga, As Interpreted By Jim Lee

When Lady Gaga sets to reinvent herself once again, maybe she should look up one of the 18 artists and designers featured in New York Magazine's "Hypothetical Gaga" slideshow.

Or she could just put her money on a sure thing and just get Jim Lee to do it:

"My goal was to showcase what made Lady Gaga so creatively dynamic—from her music to her costumes to her hair to her flair for theatrical performances—and interpret her as a thoroughly modern and contemporary superhero. Part otherworldly, part vixen, part Lady Darque, my take on Lady Gaga showcases the eclectic elements which define her talent and style."
What do you think?

"Aside From The Vampires, Lincoln Film Seeks Accuracy"

You mean...vampires aren't real? o-O

The New York Times reports on the upcoming film "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter":

"Mary Todd Lincoln, in shimmering evening wear, calls to her husband. They are late. A gaunt, black-clad president strides to join her in a horse-drawn carriage bound for Ford’s Theater. The rest is history. But not the usual kind. As the Lincolns depart, a vampire stares from his perch on the South Portico of the White House."
The author of the novel upon which the film is based also sort of cast the movie, in the context of current events, as sort of a Bin Laden metaphor:

"Seth Grahame-Smith, who wrote the pop-novel mash-up on which the movie is based, said he was beginning to suspect that his “Vampire Hunter” conceit tapped something deeper than originally planned. Speaking by telephone last week, he said he couldn’t help thinking of Lincoln and vampires on seeing President Obama with “his chest pumped up” after the killing of Osama bin Laden."
Have vampires stopped being the super-sparkly objects of affection for the masses? Are they now becoming al-Qaeda stand-ins? Is this progress for our favorite supernatural creatures?

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is coming out next 3-D, of course.

Black Swan/Star Wars Mashup T-Shirt On Sale Now On TeeFury!

What happens when Natalie Portman turns to the Dark Side in not one but two movies? This "Queen Swan" shirt offered today only at TeeFury gives us the answer:

I've bought TeeFury shirts before and at $10 and low shipping, it's a pretty good value (you know, if you like wearing your dorkiness "on your sleeve," so to speak).

Amazing Spider-Pics From The Movie Set

I don't know what's cooler, these revealing pics from the new Amazing Spider-Man movie, or the fact that some of them were simply snapped by a bystander (college student J Anthony Hall) and tweeted:

"Andrew Garfield chillin before the shoot"
Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors
More at Coming Soon and The Daily Mail

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Will Smith Starring In Quentin Tarantino's Latest? UPDATED with "Django Unchained" Movie Poster

This is intriguing news, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter:

"Will Smith has emerged as the frontrunner to star in Quentin Tarantino’s next film, Django Unchained, a spaghetti Western about a slave in the Old South who teams with a German bounty hunter to search for his wife.

Tarantino stalwarts Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz also are circling key parts."

Sounds like box-office dynamite to me! I like Smith as an actor, though I think he doesn't always find himself in movies that make the most of his talent. I would imagine Tarantino has the vision to make it work. Plus: I love spaghetti westerns!

Ok, I just remembered Wild Wild West...

UPDATED: and while we are speculating, feast your eyes on this theoretical "Django Unchained" movie poster by Federico Mancosu:

Switching From Cable To Internet-Only: Pros and Cons

Our Clear modem
I had previously made a declaration that we were cancelling our cable TV service, but it was a bit premature. Now, I can say with all confidence: our cable is over. We turned it off and switched to Clear for just Internet service. All of our TV shows are streamed from Hulu Plus and Netflix, with an occasional Zune purchase through our Xbox 360.

This means:
  • No cable wires
  • No cable box/DVR
  • No need to get a separate box/set-up to watch stuff on another TV set (we just move the small slim Clear tower to another room and plug it in)
  • Saving about $150 a month
  • Access to whole seasons/complete runs of a lot of classic/cult TV, including X-Files, Xena, Lost, and, starting this Summer, most of the Star Trek franchise

    Some of what we no longer need
  • We can't watch most episodes at exactly the same time they are first-run (usually have to wait a day or at least the next morning)
  • Some TV shows, like Community, are available on Hulu Plus only as web exclusives
  • Have to carefully avoid spoilers until episodes are available
  • No "convergence" yet, have to flip through about three different services (all of which have a relatively small access fee)
So there you have it, the pros and cons of going cableless. It works for me (I have enough anime to watch until like forever), but it might not work for you. However, I think this online-only model is where things are headed, as part of a greater movement towards smaller devices and virtual media.

What do you think? Agree/disagree? Let me know!

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Amazingly Bad Fan Art"

Oh, I can go through endless pages of this type of stuff:

I'm of two three minds on it:
1. Yeah, it can be pretty funny in a WTF way
2. Some of it has that "outsider art" aspect of it -- especially the idea of reappropriating iconic characters for one's highly personal expression -- that takes it a little bit beyond just WTF for me (though the WTF might still linger not that far behind)
3. And then I feel guilty about indulging in the typical Internet gawking over stuff that isn't meant for me and which could not possibly understand

Am I overanalysing Tumblr much? Probably.
Images from Amazingly Bad Fan Art

Must Read: Kleefeld On Webcomics

I'm super-proud of the work Sean Kleefeld has done at MTV Geek on his column "Kleefeld On Webcomics" -- it's a great intro to the subject, so if you haven't read them already here's links to everything so far:

Kleefeld On Webcomics #1: Webcomics, A Primer
Kleefeld On Webcomics #2: Really Simple Syndication
Kleefeld On Webcomics #3: Why They Are Made
Kleefeld On Webcomics #4: Making Money
Kleefeld on Webcomics #5: Why Buy Them In Print
Kleefeld On Webcomics #6: The Difference Between Webcomics and Digital Comics
Kleefeld On Webcomics #7: Creating A Webcomic
Kleefeld on Webcomics #8: Catching Up
Kleefeld On Webcomics #9: Interview With Ectopiary's Hans Rickheit
Kleefeld on Webcomics #10: The Grey Area
Kleefeld on Webcomics #11: The Infinite Canvas
Kleefeld On Webcomics #12: What Do You Mean It's Over?
Kleefeld on Webcomics #13: Sparring With Newspaper Strips
Kleefeld On Webcomics #14: Innovation

Keanu Reeves To Be Kaneda In Live-Action Akira Movie?

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Actors ranging from James Franco and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Robert Pattinson and Michael Fassbender have circled the project in some form or fashion as the studio sought to find an A-list lead.

Now comes word that Reeves has held talks with the studio, with whom he already made the massively successful Matrix movies, for the part of Kaneda, the gang leader. Reeves doesn't yet have an offer for the role, but we hear the talks with his reps have been going well.

Now, this wouldn't have been too terrible...maybe 20 years ago. But the fact that this casting is going beyond just casting non-Asian actors (though let us not forget that Reeves has Chinese ancestry) and now looking towards far older persons to play these young roles (Reeves is currently 46) is troubling.

Further in the HR article:
"Reeves anchoring the project could serve as a strong lure for another A-lister to take the role of Tetsuo, the best friend."
George Clooney turns 50 today, maybe he'd be a good choice?