Archive for the ‘Nerd News’ Category

Today Was Star Wars Day?

May 4, 2009

starwarslogoI woke up today to numerous greetings of “Happy Star Wars Day” — mostly all over Twitter. Did I miss something? Was there a geek meeting, or nerd memo circulated that I was unaware of? Now, I understand the pun of the reference in regards to today’s date and a line of dialog spoken throughout the Star Wars movies. Today was the fourth of May. “May the Force be with you” is uttered numerous times by various Star Wars characters. “May the fourth be with you” and “May the Force be with you”. Clever — kinda.

It has always been my assumption that May 25th was Star Wars Day — signifying the day that the first Star Wars movie was released in 1977.  Admittedly, “May the twenty-fifth be with” doesn’t quite sound very similar to Jedi mantra, but… “May the fourth be with you”? I don’t recall Obi-Wan Kenobi speaking with a lisp. And, I certainly don’t remember Cindy Brady being a member of the Jedi Council. But then again, maybe that’s how she managed to get Joe Namath to pay a visit to her “sick” brother, Bobby.

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Major Matt Mason To Soar Again

March 26, 2009

majormattmasonsoarsBefore there was G.I. Joe (Adventure Team), before there was Big Jim, before there was Action Jackson… There was Major Matt Mason — the very first action figure that I ever owned. I couldn’t have been more than three or four years old, but I remember the day that Major Matt Mason first soared into my life. I had just awoke from a mid-day nap (wish I could still take those) and staggered out into the living room to find just about every Major Matt Mason and the “The Men In Space” action figure and accessory strategically and carefully laid out on the floor. An older kid that lived in the same apartment complex was moving and he was leaving all of his Major Matt Mason toys to me. Score! And thus begun my long time addiction to action figure. (If only I still had every action figure I ever owned. I have to admit that I don’t own many nowadays.)

But, why am I bringing up Major Matt Mason now? On Tuesday, Variety reported that Universal will be developing Major Matt Mason, a live-action motion picture to star Tom Hanks.

If you’re not in the know (or haven’t clicked on the Major Matt Mason link above), Major Matt Mason was one of the first action figure toy lines. Created by Mattel, the line was based on an astronaut and his crew and their adventures on the moon. Who better than Tom Hanks, who starred as astronaut and commander James Lovell in Apollo 13 and served as executive producer, co-writer, and co-director of From the Earth to the Moon?

Now, if there were only a Major Matt Mason comic book…

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No Heroics Happy Hour

March 21, 2009

noheroicscastukWell, it was bound to happen, the British comedy series No Heroics is flying over the Atlantic to the U.S. — capes and all — to be adapted for a comedy pilot for ABC. The initial announcement was back in February when The Hollywood Reporter announced that ABC picks up comedy pilot ‘No Heroics’. The show is to be co-written by Jeff Greenstein (Will & Grace, Desperate Housewives, Friends) and the British series creator Drew Pierce. The two are also executive producers, along with Andrew Zein. ABC Studios is producing the show.

But, this last week the news was heard a little louder when it was announced that Freddie Prinze Jr. was cast to star in the U.S. adaptation.

“Sigh.” Those of you that are familiar with me and my work know where I’m going to go with this…

As far back as 2002, shortly after the second issue of (Super) Hero Happy Hour — the self-published comic book co-created by myself and Chris Fason — was released I found myself with “Hollywood” representation and I was meeting with various producers and production companies about turning our little comic book about super heroes hanging out in a bar into a TV show about super heroes hanging out in a bar. This was really the first foray into comic book creating and publishing that either Chris and I had ever made. (Super) Hero Happy Hour (Huh? I just found out that Hero Happy Hour has a Wikipedia page. Neat!) It was exciting times. I found myself making the forty minute to an hour drive up to L.A./Hollywood for meetings that I felt completely out of my league with. Back then, the plan was to do Hero Happy Hour as an animated series with big-name talent providing the voices. I was amazed at some of the names that would be thrown about — Bruce Willis, Pierce Bronson — it was crazy. It was almost dreamlike. I thought I had it the jackpot right off the bat with my very first comic book.

But, it was about that time that I received an overnight letter from both Marvel and DC, and I thought, “Hell, yes! I’ve been noticed.” Well, I was noticed alright. I was noticed for trademark infringement. Marvel and DC co-own the trademarked term “super hero” and they weren’t to thrilled with me using it in the title of my self-published comic book that was starting to get a little Hollywood attention. I was served with a cease and desist letter. That is when we changed the title from Super Hero Happy Hour to Hero Happy Hour. Whether there was a connection or not (I doubt it), after a couple of years the Hollywood talks began to slow down to a crawl and eventually dried up altogether.

Then about a year ago or so, I heard about the new British comedy No Heroics — about super heroes hanging out in a bar. Now, I’m the last person who’s going to argue that it’s the most original idea in the world. But, the similarities between Hero Happy Hour and No Heroics caught me a little off guard. And, it was a little show over in Britain — some 5,448 miles away. Now No Heroics is coming over here to my neighborhood, and I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. It’s an opportunity lost. An opportunity that had it happened could’ve changed my entire life.

But, there’s no point in crying over spilled beer at a bar where super her– Oops. My bad. Sorry Marvel and DC. There’s no point in crying over spilled beer at a bar where heroes hang out at. I still do hope to publish more Hero Happy Hour comic books. I have scripts in the can, and notes and ideas for numerous more issues. Unfortunately, my partner in crime, Chris Fason is unable to belly up to the bar and tackle the artist duties due to being a good father, husband, and providing for his family with a paying solid job. (You go, Chris!) If I’m able to find the right artist to help out there will be more Hero Happy Hour comic books.

In the meantime, until No Heroics makes its U.S. premiere feel free to check out these issues and collections of Hero Happy Hour that you can find and/or order online…

gpnk-00001_sHero Happy Hour #1 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Scott Morse. Imagine pulling up a stool to the bar and sipping a frosty pint of your favorite beverage as you listen in on the conversations of the “regulars” that frequent the neighborhood tavern. But, this establishment is unlike any other bar. The Hideout Bar & Grill caters to the super heroes of First City, and provides more than just a place to wash away the troubles of serving and protecting society as crime-fighting crusaders. For these regular heroes it is “a place where everyone knows your name” — secret identity or not. Available for free at wowio.com.

gpnk-00002_sHero Happy Hour #2 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Jim Mahfood. It’s Tuesday night, and it’s Ladies’ Night at the Hideout Bar & Grill, the local watering-hole for the super heroes of First City. Join a quartet of super heroines as they let down their hair, deconstruct the “boys club” of being a super hero, and unwind after a hectic day of saving the world from madmen, maniacs, and monsters. Available for free at wowio.com.

gpnk-00003_sHero Happy Hour #3 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art and cover by Chris Fason. It’s time for “Another Round” at the Hideout Bar & Grill, the local watering hole for the super heroes of First City. The evening starts out quietly enough with the crime-fighting duo of Night Ranger and Scout joining Guardian and new-super-hero-in-town, Randal. But, that’s all about to change when a less than desirable clientèle shows up to ruin the heroes’ happy hour. Available for free at wowio.com.

gpnk-00004_sHero Happy Hour #4 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Ragnar. Could it possibly be last call at the Hideout Bar & Grill? Phantom Dread and a band of super villains show up to crash the Hero Happy Hour. Add six parts super villains, five parts super heroes, one part nervous bartender, shake well, and you’ve got… the ultimate barroom brawl. Available for free at wowio.com.

gpnk-00005_sHero Happy Hour #5 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Dave Crosland. Worlds collide when reality television invades the Hideout Bar & Grill in “Reality Shots.” The loyalties of the “dysfunctional duo” of Night Ranger and Scout are put to the test when they’re personal agendas, as well as their own unique (if not skewed) perceptions of reality clash with one another. Available for free at wowio.com.

gpnk-ssf01_sHero Happy Hour: Super Special Flashback — A bunch of comic book creators walk into a bar… The Hideout Bar & Grill. Join Tom Beland (True Story, Swear To God), Dave Crosland (Everybody’s Dead), Scott Morse (Soulwind, Southpaw), Todd Nauck (Wildguard, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man), Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Batman: Gotham County Line), Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Wormwood Gentleman Corpse), Dan Wickline (1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad), and many other comic book writers and artists as they belly up to the bar to offer their take on patrons of every super hero’s favorite hangout. This collection contains all of the original stories from the Hero Happy Hour Super Special 2004, as well as an additional healthy pour of bonus material. Available for free at wowio.com.

idw-00006_sSuper Deluxe Hero Happy Hour: The Lost Episode — Available at last–the long-lost episode, “The Fall and Rise of Kingfish,” with bonus material and special features! Return to every hero’s favorite watering hole, The Hideout Bar & Grill, and join Guardian, Night Ranger, Scout, Rusty the Bartender and the rest of the regulars as they defend First City from the marauding Shadow-Soldiers from Dimension Z. Happy hour turns sour as one of their own loses their life in the line of duty and the group has to come to terms with the loss of a colleague. This re-mastered “lost episode” includes never-before-seen specially enhanced scenes, interviews with the cast, outtake and blooper scenes, and additional bonus material. Available for purchase at IDW Publishing.

ind0omni_sHero Happy Hour: Omnibus 01 — Did you miss any (or, dare we say, all) of the first five issues of Hero Happy Hour? Well, unlike missing out at “last call,” you’ve got the chance to partake in all five of the original rounds with the super hero gang from the Hideout Bar & Grill. This special digest-sized collection contains the “super” feature stories from the first five fan-favorite issues. “I actually wish I would have thought of it.” – Brian Michael Bendis. “With a concept that’s as ingenious as a two-for-one happy hour and laughs that hit faster than a shot of Wild Turkey to your dome, HHH won’t leave you skunky.” – Wizard Magazine. Available for purchase at Indy Planet.

Oh, and to Jeff Greenstein and Drew Pierce… Feel free to pick up a couple of issues for yourselves. Let me know if there’s anything in there that you like. I’ve got more, plenty more. And, to be honest with you, I would might writing for a television show with a subject matter that I’ve already done years (not to mention pints) of research on as well as being very dear to my heart.

Cheers!

Comic-Con Registration, Check!

March 17, 2009

comicconlogoHow did I spend my St. Patrick’s Day (well, night actually)? I took care of my 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International Professional Online Registration. The letter showed up over the weekend and registration opened up on Sunday. Friends and colleagues have mentioned that they’ve begun the process of getting ready for the “big show” — a process that does take four months to get prepped for.

If there is one thing that always rings true in regards to the San Diego Comic-Con, it’s that it somehow shows up before you know it. Like many other “professionals” I’ve spent the months before previous Comic-Cons getting ready to promote and pitch. When I’ve had a table or booth in the past months of preparation would take place in regards to the look and function of the set up — including building an authentic-looking mini-bar with a bank of four beer taps in order to promote Hero Happy Hour. I’ve had t-shirts and stickers printed to offer as giveaways. There are the countless printings of mini-comics — both constructing xeroxed copies of ash-cans as well as keeping your fingers crossed that your print-on-demand order shows up on time. And, of course, there are the business cards — do not forget the business cards.

But, this year I’m doing things a bit different. Although, I’m all signed up as a “professional” I’m going more as a fan, as well as using the opportunity to see old friends. The last couple of years I’ve prepped to promote myself, armed myself with pitches, and busted my ass to arrange meetings with editors and publishers. Then there were the years that I worked at IDW Publishing and had a booth to attend to. The three years before that, I had my own table/booth to manage to promote GeekPunk and Hero Happy Hour. Now, while those may have been the most rewarding years, I’m looking forward to going to this year’s con with more of a vacation state of mind.

And, let’s not forget about the hotel room. Any regular attendee that has made the pilgrimageto San Diego for the Con know that securing one’s lodging for the show can often be more challenging to obtain than the most exclusive of convention-only exclusives. You think getting your hands on that ultra-rare, limited only to 500, repaint action figure that you have to enter a raffle for and get your pass punched is a challenge? Luckily, this will be the third year that I’ve arranged to bunk with friends at a condo, as opposed to a hotel room.

Odds are San Diego will be the only comic book convention that I’ll be attending this year. And, now that I’ve got my lodging taken care of, my professional registration done, and not having to worry about all that prep work in order to promote myself to publishers and/or editors that would have a cigarette outside or be in their own pitch meeting trying to sell their latest property to Hollywood.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in San Diego in July. And, of course… There will be drinks.

Pirat Tales Available For Download

February 19, 2009

pirattaleseagleoneSo, you say you missed out on getting a copy of and reading the comic book, Pirat Tales: Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails — created and written by yours truly. Well, avast, ye rattie. Ye be in luck. Issues one and two of Pirat Tales: Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails is now available for electronic download at Eagle One Media.

Not only that, but Doomed #2, in which I adapted Robert Bloch’s short story Warm Farewell, is also available for download. So, do this humble blogger a solid (or three) and download one (or all three) — and be sure to let me know what you think of ’em.

Below is the official press release…

IDW Publishing and Eagle One Media Join Forces to Give Comic Fans an Innovative New Way to Enjoy IDW’s Unique Library of Titles

(San Diego, CA; February 18, 2009) – IDW Publishing, known for its wide array of comic books and graphic novels, has partnered with Eagle One Media to start a comprehensive backlist on the Web. Featuring a range of books from the Eisner-nominated artist and co-creator of 30 Days of Night, Ben Templesmith, to the Presidential Material: Barack Obama and McCain comics, to work by acclaimed artist Ashley Wood, each title will be available for download as a PDF for a minimal $1.99 fee.

Eagle One Media’s President, Eric Reichert, is excited about this new relationship. “Being able to work in partnership with IDW to make a significant number of their comics available for download to fans worldwide is a great opportunity for us. We’ve simplified the process so that comic fans can easily and quickly download complete PDF-style issues to their computer. They can also print the issues and save them to more than one computer if needed.

“Plus, with a sales price below the printed books, we give fans the opportunity to discover and try out comics which they may not have had access to in the past, in an innovative format. IDW joins our growing list of publishers who have made their comics and graphic novels available in our retail download store at: www.eagleonemedia.com.”

Chris Ryall, IDW’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, added “I love seeing our comics expand into areas that allow readers to sample books that are new or unfamiliar to them. Eagle One’s formatting is clean, quick, and easy for anyone who wants to read comics on their computer, and when you consider that you can download an entire issue of the 72-page Doomed magazine for $2, a great value, too.”

This pairing ushers in a brand-new platform for fans to enjoy IDW’s extensive backlist, with titles to appeal to a wide array of fans. Currently available for download are Blood-Stained Sword, Cobb, CVO, D’Airain Aventure, Doomed, Everybody’s Dead, Grumpy Old Monsters, Igor, Lore, Lost & Found, Pirat Tales, Presidential Material, ShadowPlay, Singularity 7, Snaked, and Zombies!: Feast. This already impressive backlist will be frequently updated at Eagleonemedia.com.

Go Animate. Alright I Did…

February 11, 2009

oneredshirttogoSo, I was checking out my “Nerd News” last night and my usual routine of course took me by TrekMovie.com. While there I gravitated toward the article Make Your Own Star Trek Animations At GoAnimate.com – Trek Movie Takes A First Look.  This in turn lead me to GoAnimate.com. I was instantly hooked and spent about an hour and a half playing with this new animation creator featuring nifty looking Star Trek characters.

I jumped right in — not bothering with any tutorials or reading any how-tos. I beamed right into the mix of things and started to create my first Star Trek cartoon. I had no plan on what I was going to produce, but what I did come up with (while rather simple) I feel is worthy enough to share. Please check out One Red Shirt, To Go and let me know what you think.

Now I’ve already got other animated short ideas bouncing around in my head. Hopefully, with any luck and a bit of motivation, I’ll produce a few more.

“Khaaan!” I Get An Action Figure?

January 8, 2009

I need a favor. I need someone to go to Toys ‘R Us and get me the new exclusive “Khaaan!” Admiral Kirk (As Seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) action figure. Back in my action figure collecting days (mainly Star Trek even) I made regular pilgrimages to Toys ‘R Us. I can’t justify spending the eBay prices (plus shipping) with my current budget. But this is a “must have” figure. I might have to roll out at lunch tomorrow and see if I can score one at the Toys ‘R Us that’s located a few miles from work.

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That may be the best Star Trek action figure… ever!

Majel Barrett Roddenberry 1932 – 2008

December 18, 2008

mbr-chapel-mccoyI got home from work today to find that my recently repaired DSL service working for for the second straight day in a row and was thankful to once again decompress while surfing the web. Unfortunately, my surfing brought me news of the passing of Majel Barret Roddenberry. Known to Star Trek fans like myself as Nurse Christine Chapel from the original series, Mrs. Roddenberry was also featured as Number One in Star Trek Original Series‘ pilot “The Cage,” as well as Deanna Troi’s mother, Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the voice of most of the onboard  computers of the ships of Starfleet — a voice that was often heard on a number of the various computers I’ve owned upon booting up.

Somewhere, someplace, I’ve got a copy of the picture accompanying this post that Majel Barrett Roddenberry autographed for me when I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Star Trek convention years ago. She was always a great ambassador for Star Trek fandom. It was recently announced that she would be  participating in the upcoming J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movie — once again as the voice of the onboard computer, a steady and reassuring aspect that has remained a constant throughout the various incarnations of Star Trek over the past forty plus years.

Unveiling The New Enterprise

November 11, 2008

It seems as if Entertainment Weekly has the inside scoop with all things related to J.J. Abram’s new Star Trek movie due out next May. Over at their Pop Watch Blog they’re offering up an exclusive first look at all new U.S.S. Enterprise. I know the look of the Enterprise is bound to generate a plethora of debates among the Star Trek united — but, I for one, am digging it. I feel that it definitely retains the “classic look” of the original Enterprise, while at the same time upgrading her to today’s standards while remaining a bit retro sixties-kitschy. Can’t wait to see it on the big screen.

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Pirat Tales Comic Book Now Available For Pre-Order

August 27, 2008

Diamond Comics’ September Previews Vol. XVIII #9 — the comic book shop catalog for product being released in November 2008 is available as of today at your local comic book store, and I have a huge favor to ask of you all. Please go to said local comic book store and pre-order a copy (or twelve) of the comic book that I created, Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1. The Diamond Order Code is SEP084132.

Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1
Dan Taylor (w) • Orlando Baez (a/c)

The infamous Captain Blacktail and his crew of swashbuckling rats set sail upon the high seas in search of a treasure equal to the ransom of kings upon kings. Many would-be plunderers have set forth to claim the treasure of the Cat O’ Nine Tails—only never to return. A young mouse known as Pip will find his life forever changed as he journeys to uncharted waters on an adventure with Captain Blacktail and the rat crew of the Vile Vermin.

*Retailers: See your order form for a special incentive
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

If you’re unfamiliar with the process of pre-ordering comic book titles from your local comic book shop it’s a rather simple and painless procedure. All you need to do is let your friendly comic book retailer know that you would like to order Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1 and that the Diamond Order code is SEP084132. If you do not know where your local comic book retailer is located you can use the Comic Shop Locater Service or call 1-888-COMIC-BOOK (1-888-266-4226). And, to make the process even easier, I’ve gone ahead and provided a Previews Short Order Form with the top line already filled out with Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1.

The deal is that initial order numbers play a huge role in the survival of a comic book series, especially a brand new premiering title — so every order counts. And, there is a special Pirat Tales: Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tales #1 Treasure Map Variant Cover available as a retailer incentive — so make sure that your local comic book retailer orders enough copies so you can get your paws on that booty. Thank you for your support.