Archive for February, 2008

It Was At That Moment That I Realized…

February 29, 2008

scrubs3.jpg…that when the end looks inevitable, life can sometimes give you an extension to carry on.

I was having a J.D. moment there — head tilted slightly to the left as my inner voice reflected upon the news that I woke up to this morning. My all-time-favorite television show (yes, I said “all-time-favorite”) may not be be going quiet into that dark night, just yet. According to the Hollywood Reporter, ABC is in negotiations to pick up 18 episodes of Scrubs, which has been airing on NBC for the last seven seasons.

The fate of Scrubs unfinished seventh and final season has been in doubt due to the recent writers’ strike. NBC — which if you ask me, has treated Scrubs to something akin to the ugly red-headed stepchild — had aired six episodes of the seventh season, and is reported to be airing five more episodes beginning in April, but had yet to commit as to whether or not it would give Scrubs a proper send-off for it’s final season. There was talk of executive producer and show creator Bill Lawrence producing a series finale to go direct to DVD. Now, it looks as if that might not have to be the case.

ABC Studios (formally Touchstone) actually produces Scrubs, so the move only makes sense. But, according to Variety, NBC is now crying “foul” and claiming that they have first refusal to extend the show beyond this current unfinished season. This is the same network that has continuously shifted Scrubs throughout various time slots and provided very little marketing support for. Can the peacock get any more petty.

I was crossing my fingers that I would just get a handful of additional Scrubs episodes after the last new episode aired back in early December. I had all but given up hope on seeing an actual proper series finale being produced and aired. Now I might be getting 18 whole new episodes. Thank you, ABC.

Justice League: The New Frontier

February 28, 2008

newfrontierdvdcover.jpgYesterday I took some time off — well, about 75 minutes anyway — to catch a brand new straight to DVD movie that would’ve worked quite well on the big screen. There’s a buzz on the internet that director George Miller (Mad Max) is back on track with the on-again-off-again production of a Justice League of America live action movie that might be out in 2010. (I’m really not sure how this is going to be pulled off, but that’s a post for another time.) But, in the meantime I can highly recommend the artist Darwyn Cooke inspired Justice League: The New Frontier — a stylishly animated epic that shines a new light on the iconic super heroes that you thought you might have known all there was to know about.

Inspired by the best-selling graphic novel by Darwyn Cooke and produced by the multiple Emmy award winning animation legend, Bruce Timm, The New Frontier is the epic tale of the founding of the Justice League. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are all here of course, and so are Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Flash — whose incredible origins will be told for the very first time. Strangers at first, these very different heroes must overcome fear and suspicion to forge an alliance against a monster so formidable, even the mighty Superman can not stop it. If they fail, our entire planet will be “cleansed” of humanity.

I have to admit, I like this current trend of direct to DVD animated “adaptations” (for lack of a better term) based on recent comic book series like Marvel Ultimate Avengers and Superman – Doomsday — though some are better than others. Justice League: The New Frontier is definitely on top of the list with it’s stylish look at super heroes in a cold war paranoia era. This feature offers a fresh alternative to the current string of live action super hero movies such as the current Spider-Man, Batman, and X-men franchises.

While there are a number of top-notch talents providing the voices that seem to be perfectly casts, such as David Boreanaz (Angel) as Green Lantern, Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) as The Flash, Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) as Wonder Woman, and Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) as Superman. But, the true star of the movie is really the stylish art and look of the characters that seems to capture the feel of Post-War America. Again, this is credited to Darwyn Cooke and Bruce Timm — both of who can seem to do no wrong in my book.

There are a number of different formats available on disc:

I also cannot recommend Darwyn Cooke’s original DC: The New Frontier that served as the model, as well as the story, for the animated film — DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 1 and DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 2.

Eight To Anticipate In May

February 27, 2008

Issue 234 of Previews came out today showcasing comic books, graphic novels, books, toys, and other items that will be available to comic book shops beginning the month of May 2008. Below is a list of the first eight products that caught my attention that I’m anticipating on getting my grubby paws on.

indinajonesadventures-dh.jpgIndiana Jones Adventures: Volume 1 (Dark Horse) — In the deep winter of Northern Europe, Dr. Henry Jones Jr. is about to undergo one of the most harrowing archaeological digs of his career! Amidst a deadly blizzard, he must find an ancient monument and unlock its secrets before someone with much darker intentions gets there first! Yet there are trials awaiting any who would lay claim to the artifacts of mysterious warriors from long ago. Kid-friendly and brimming with the very best parts of Indiana Jones, this is a story for anyone looking for stunning visuals, thrill-a-minute storytelling, and one unmistakable archaeologist!

While promoted as “Great for all ages!” I’m all over this for the art, as well as the simple fact that I’ve been an Indiana Jones fan since I first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark 27 years ago. I dig this style of art — one of my favorite things about Dark Horse’s Star Wars Clone Wars Adventure series.

thewarthattimeforgot.jpgThe War That Time Forgot #1 (DC Comics) — A lone USAF pilot, about to warn his superiors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, finds his craft suddenly crash-landing on a mysterious island populated with prehistoric creatures and soldiers of wars of the past, present and future – including Tomahawk, Firehair, and Hans Von Hammer, the Enemy Ace! What bizarre force has compelled these military masters of every era to inhabit the same strange territory? Can they survive without killing each other or being devoured by dinosaurs?

This sound like the very concept that comic books were invented for — besides the capes and spandex type of stories. With eight issues planned this should be a fun ride. Writer Bruce Jones won me over with his run on Hulk and I look forward to seeing what he cooks up here.

batmangothamaftermidnight.jpgBatman: Gotham After Midnight #1 (DC Comics) — When the full moon rises and casts its eerie glow over the land, the creatures of the night come out to hunt and feast and prey on the innocent citizens of Gotham City, and only one man stands in their way: The Batman.

I dig Batman, but to be honest, I haven’t exactly kept up with all of the Batman books. Nowadays I’m more of a collected trade reader when it comes to the Dark Knight. Well, this book looks like it’ll bring me back to checking in with Batman on a monthly basis. I enjoy reading Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) when he plays in the sandboxes of others and artist Kelley Jones does up a bad-ass Batman.

firebreather_01.jpgFirebreather #1 (Image) — Back by popular demand, the adventures of Firebreather continue in this all-new monthly title. High school is tough enough for normal kids, but when your Dad is a city-stomping giant monster who expects you to follow in his footsteps it gets even tougher.

I loved the original Firebreather mini-series that was out a couple of years ago and I look forward to the first issue of the new ongoing series. Phil Hester is back as writer and the art is being provided by Andy Kuhn. If the ongoing series is anywhere close as fun as the mini-series there’ll be no disappointment. Tell your comic shop proprietor to go ahead and add this title to your pull-list.

zombiesh-1-cvr.jpgZombies!: Hunters #1 (IDW Publishing) — On a remote Caribbean island, four wealthy thrill-seekers come to stalk the most dangerous game on the planet: the living dead. But with an ex-CIA commander as the showrunner and a Haitian voodoo priest providing the prey, things on this outlaw safari are bound to go wrong. Very wrong!

Zombies are fun. Who doesn’t like zombies — as long as your reading about them and not running from them. But, the real reason I’m anticipating this book is the art of friend Don Figueroa of Transformers fame. Having worked with Don in the past I can’t wait to see what he’s scribbling up for this series.

calibercover.jpgCalibur #1 (Radical Comics) — The Arthurian legend as retold in the American Old West, with all of its great symbolism, magic and spirit of adventure. The Knights of the Round Table are all gunslingers bound by a code of honor to protect the weak and defend the innocent until they are undone from within by their own moral corruption. In this tale, Caliber itself is a tattooed six-gun, given to Arthur by the Indians and imbued with supernatural power. The secret of the gun is that it is never loaded with bullets, but when a man with Justice on his side is holding it, it can fire. When it does, it fires Thunder itself and never misses.

I have to admit — the main reason that I’m interested in this title is because I’m extremely jealous that I didn’t think of it first. Damn, this sounds right up my alley. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they put this yarn together now that they’ve spurred ideas of my own.

sinbad_01.jpg1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad #1 (Zenoscope) — Some call him a womanizer others call him charismatic, some think him a brute others a charmer but all know one thing- he’s a serious bad-ass! Zenescope Entertainment introduces a new series that will reinvent the legend of the one they call Sinbad. When he’s unjustly accused of murder and banished from his home city of Baghdad, Sinbad learns there is one artifact that might be able to ultimately clear his name, but the quest to find the prized relic is certainly not an easy one. From beautiful women to terrifying creatures to armies of blood thirsty villains, this is one epic fantasy/adventure series that will hook you in and not let go.

Alright, writer Dan Wickline is a friend of mine as well — but regardless of his involvement my memories of the old Sinbad movies featuring the stop-motion artistry of the master Ray Harryhausen have instilled an interest with me of the adventures of Sinbad since I was six.

Okay, that’s it for upcoming May titles. This might be a regular feature here. We’ll see next month.

Nose To The Write-Stone

February 26, 2008

The fourth issue script for Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails is done and sent sailing off. Now I’m working on the script for the third issue of the “Tinseltown Triplets” project. I’ve got a handful of pages that I want to tweak and adjust before sending them off to my writing partner in “tabloid crime.” The two subjects that are so radically different from one another I’m convinced that I may have done some brain damage when I shifted gears.

I really want to concentrate on getting as much writing done as I can in the next couple of weeks. I’d like to get the script done for the third issue of the the “Tinseltown Triplets” project done quicker than the second issue, and I realize that this relies more of an effort on my part than partner’s. I’ll turn the heat up, Neil, I swear. And, with only one issue left to script for the Pirat Tales mini-series (the first of what will hopefully be just the beginning) I want to keep the momentum rolling and hammer out the fifth issue script sooner than later.

I’ve got a handful of other projects in their infancy as well that I’d like to move off of the rear burners and get bubbling up front and center — but the two previously mentioned stews take priority.

Post 80th Round of Oscars®

February 25, 2008

Alright, I got six out of twenty correct with my picks for the the 80th Round of Oscars®. I’ve got to see more movies this year. Congrats to Diablo Cody for taking home the Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay for Juno, and to the Coen Brothers for kicking much with wins in the Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture categories for No Country For Old Men.

The actual award show itself didn’t seem as painfully long and boring as it has in the past, but it wasn’t all that exciting and enthralling either. The annual “In Memoriam” montage seemed shorter than usual and lacking a name or two. I understand that the tribute pays tribute to those in the movie industry that have passed away between the dates of February 1, 2007 to January 31, 2008, but… Roy Scheider, who passed away on February 10th should have been included with the memory of his passing so fresh in our minds. A year from now it’ll seem a bit after the fact to include the two-time nominated actor. Brad Renfro (The Client, Ghost World) who died from an accidental heroin overdose at the age of 25, on January 15th 2008 was also missing.

Speculating On The 80th Round Of Oscars® [AMENDED]

February 24, 2008

Back on January 22nd I speculated on the winners for the 80th annual Academy Awards. Here’s a quick rundown on what I picked with a few last minute amendments. Like a lot of folks I will be gathered with friends watching the event played out on television — the same house and folks that I watched the Super Bowl with. It’s a reason to get together with friends, eat junk food, throw back a couple of beers, and judge the appearances of those attending the actual event at the Kodak Theater.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men”

[AMENDED] Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Ellen Page in “Juno” – Having seen Juno now I’m going to have to go with my new crush Ellen Page on this one. Originally, I was going with Julie Christie to win for Away From Her.

[AMENDED] Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Ruby Dee in “American Gangster” – I’m going with more of an award for her body of work than this actual role. Originally I had Cate Blanchett picked for her role in I’m not There.

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Ratatouille” (Walt Disney)

Achievement in art direction

  • “There Will Be Blood” – Art Direction: Jack Fisk, Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Achievement in cinematography

  • “No Country for Old Men” – Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design

  • “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” – Colleen Atwood

Achievement in directing

  • “There Will Be Blood” – Paul Thomas Anderson

Achievement in film editing

  • “No Country for Old Men” – Roderick Jaynes

Best foreign language film of the year

  • “Mongol” – Kazakhstan

Achievement in makeup

  • “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” – Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • Atonement” – Dario Marianelli

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “So Close” from “Enchanted” – Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

Best motion picture of the year

  • “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)

Achievement in sound editing

  • “Transformers” – Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

Achievement in sound mixing

  • “Transformers” – Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Transformers” – Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

Adapted screenplay

  • “No Country for Old Men” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

Original screenplay

  • “Juno” Written by Diablo Cody

Wondercon ’08

February 22, 2008

wondercon_logo.jpgSigh. Wondercon 2008 is now underway at the Moscone Center South in San Francisco — and I wish I was there. This is the first major comic book convention of the year as well as the kick-off of the comic book convention season — which seems to last from mid-February to the end of November. Unfortunately, as I accustom myself to the freelance writer lifestyle, I just didn’t have the funds to make the 425 mile trek north up the Pacific coast.

I’ve attended Wondercon twice before — last year and about six or so years ago. It’s an enjoyable show — not too small, but not overwhelming. It’s a good show to catch up with friends and colleagues in the comic book industry — swapping holiday seasons survival stories and sharing the big plans for the upcoming year.

If you happen to be attending Wondercon this year here’s a short list of things you can do:

  • Swing by the IDW Publishing booth (623) and tell them that issue 4 of Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now (featuring the story Nimby and the D-Hoppers adapted by yours truly) was your favorite issue of the series.
  • Stop by Chris Moreno‘s table in Artist Alley (AA58) and ask to see some art from the upcoming project that he’s working on with me and Neil Kleid.
  • See if Brandon “Ragnar” Johnson is hiding out at the Baby Tattoo Books booth (1035) and buy many of his books and much of his art.
  • Saturday from 11 to noon watch Ben Templesmith squirm while they spotlight him in room 220.
  • Hit the two after-hours events at Isotope The Comic Book Lounge. Friday night with Ben Templesmith, and Saturday Night with Darwyn Cooke and the Justie League: The New Frontier after party. (Be sure to pick me up one of the nifty limited edition pint glasses, thanks.)

Alright, I’m off to work so I can afford to go to WizardWorld L.A.

Angry Fanboy – 6

February 21, 2008

Jacked Back

February 20, 2008
Sorry, no mention of Summer Glau or Ninjas in this post. Just talking about me — or my back to be more exact. About every two and a half years or so I hurt my back enough to whine about and I just don’t want to move. Well, I apparently yesterday was the day to get back on track. I’m not sure how I did it, but I managed to pull my lower left back — a new spot of pain for me. I’ve got a lot of writing that I wanted to get done today, but I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to pull of now. Maybe I can get on a prolific run if I can get comfy with the laptop in bed. Okay, this is starting to sound like a Fialkov post

Peeps Time Again!

February 19, 2008

peeps.jpgI’m not a big candy or sweet-tooth kind of guy. Sure, I like my chocolate every now and then, or a good slice of cheesecake, but I’m really don’t go nuts over candy — that is, except for Peeps.

I broke into my first 10-count package of the little fluffy chicks yesterday — guilt free. I’m not going to beat myself up about my craving to consume Peeps — it happens once a year for about a month.

Although I love the little sugar coated marshmallow blobs I am particular about my Peeps.

  • They have to be the yellow kind. Although they are available in a number of different colors — such as pink, lavender, blue, and green — I only consume the yellow peeps.
  • “Chicks are my favorite, but I can do “Bunnies” in a pinch.
  • Although Peeps are now available throughout the year for different holidays like Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day, I only consume them during the spring when they’re released for Easter.
  • Sugar-free yellow Peeps? What’s the point.

So, if you’re looking to get on my good side you’ve got just over a month to procure some Peeps and hand ’em over. Come Monday, March 24th, I’ll be hitting all of the local markets and drug stores for their half-priced Peeps.

Note: Official Peeps website.