Boom! Studios just announced today that they’re going to be making comics based on Pixar properties like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and WALL-E. Most exciting though is that someone finally wised up and decided to do an Incredibles comic. I’ve been wanting one of those since the movie came out, but have been afraid that if one ever did come out that it wouldn’t live up to expectations. With Mark Waid writing it though, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.
The art above isn’t from the upcoming comic, though how cool would Mignola covers be on an Incredibles comic? Almost as cool as Darwyn Cooke covers, which are what we’re actually getting. It’s like Christmastime!
I didn’t really understand what it was when I linked to that cool-looking DVD case before, but fortunately someone left a comment pointing me in the right direction. Here’s an in-depth review of it. Apparently it’s a $50 Blockbuster item, though I imagine that we’ll be able to pick them up a lot cheaper at the end of the summer.
I’ve kind of lost interest in Masterpiece Theater since they finished the Jane Austen marathon. Kind of lost interest in Jane too. Oh, well.
But I’m starting to get interested again thanks to their summer plans for Masterpiece Mystery. Looks like they’re getting rid of some detectives I’ve never heard of and are replacing them with Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Kenneth Branagh as Kurt Wallander. I’ve never heard of Kurt Wallander, but I love Branagh, so I’m in for that.
I’m not nearly as excited about Sacha Baron Cohen as Holmes (and Will Ferrell as Watson) in a Judd Apatow comedy. It’s not that I think humor is an inappropriate approach to Holmes – Without a Clue is awesome – it’s just that I’m going to need convincing that this will actually be funny.
I Want to Believe
Here’s a cool interview with Chris Carter about the new X-Files movie that only increases my hope that it’s going to be really good. He also talks about possible plans (and a date) for a third X-Files film.
The Dracula Horror Series
Christopher Mills turns us on to a series that sounds way cooler than its title suggests.
A wheelchair-bound scientist and his Puerto Rican ex-New York cop assistant travel to Transylvania, where they revive Count Dracula with the intention of using the Lord of Vampires as their agent in a war against evil. They figure to control the Count by surgically placing a mechanical implant into Dracula’s chest that, should the fiend defy them, will drive a sliver of wood into his heart. The scientist has an implant of his own – if his heart should stop beating, it will send a signal to activate Dracula’s.
They succeed, and over the course of the series Dracula is pitted against giant vampire bats, voodoo masters, satanic cults, Elizabeth Bathory(!) and other forces of evil, while constantly scheming to free himself and take his revenge upon the crazy crime fighters.
The International Horror Guild has announced the nominees for best works of 2007. I always discover at least a couple of good books thanks to this list every year. Nice to see Ben Templesmith’s Wormwood nominated for Illustrated Narrative. I’ve got Shaun Tan’s The Arrivalsitting in my reading pile too. Need to get to that.
I was wondering the other day about who today’s Hollywood superstars are. With Tom Cruise all out of favor, who are the Harrison Fords and Bruce Willises of modern times? Russell Crowe maybe? Brad Pitt. Angelina Jolie.
I was also trying to figure out who the new action stars are. Who are today’s Schwarzeneggers and Stallones? Jason Statham, obviously. Maybe Matt Damon. And seeing stuff about Eagle Eye is making me wonder if Shia LaBeouf isn’t on his way to becoming the next blockbuster king. Part of me is rebelling against that idea, but I don’t know why. He was awesome in Crystal Skull.
It makes me wonder though. What’s the general consensus on Shia? Do we love him or are we tired of him already? And if I’m missing any other modern superstar actors or action stars, let me know that too. Indy pocket watches
Speaking of Indiana Jones, I think I’ve found my new timepiece. I love that airplane logo.
Staying on the subject of Indy, wouldn’t you like to play a game where he has to fight watermelon-smashing comedian Gallagher? The correct answer is: No, you really wouldn’t. Turns out, it’s a lot more fun to think about than it is to actually play.
No word on whether it will include secret tunnels running below the Atlantic, but Alan Moore has some details about the next League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series starting at the end of the year from Top Shelf.
It’s as if we feel freed from the conventions of boys’ adventure comics, and so it’s a lot more atmospheric, it builds to a tremendously bloody climax, it’s a slow build. We’re thrilled with it. It’s got some songs in it, it’s a musical.
I think I’m going to miss the boys’ adventure angle, but we’ll see. Moore also says it’s going to be a three issue volume with each issue being 72 pages.
As promised in the trailers: very cute and sweet. I was hoping for more than cute or sweet though, like with Ratatouille,Toy Story 2 or Finding Nemo. All of those movies touched me. They made me re-feel things I’d forgotten about. The robots weren’t able to do that for me. I liked them all and wanted them to be okay, but they didn’t tell me anything about me, so I didn’t like it as much as some other Pixar stuff I’ve seen.
Also, I have serious questions about life on that spaceship.
Four out of five Fred Willards.
Not at all what I expected, but I still really liked it. I’ve never watched Get Smart, but I imagined it was sort of like Inspector Gadget or the Pink Panther movies. I figured Maxwell Smart was one of those incompetent heroes who managed to bumble and slapstick their way to successfully closing cases. Steve Carell’s Maxwell Smart actually knows what he’s doing most of the time, but things just don’t always go his way.
The funniest bits were in the trailer, so I was disappointed in it as a comedy. I was pleasantly surprised though about how well it worked as a straight – if lighthearted – spy movie. Everyone in it was awesome from Carell to the Rock to Alan Arkin (who had way more to do than I thought he would) to Anne Hathaway.
Four out of five swordfish.
I like the premise. This would’ve made an awesome B-movie in the tradition of Day of the Animals or The Day of the Triffids. Absolutely nothing wrong with the plot. What’s wrong with it is all in the execution.
Shyamalan takes the movie way too seriously and tries so hard to ground it in reality – to make us feel what it would be like if this really happened – that he achieves the opposite effect. The performances practically quiver with the strain of looking sincere in the ridiculousness of the situation. I wanted so much to lose myself in the story, but the dialogue and the acting were so forced and fake that I never could.
Two out of five killer plants.
After seeing Wanted, I truly believe that if you sling your gun just right while pulling the trigger, you can curve a bullet. Okay, maybe not, but my problem with Wanted has nothing to do with unbelievability. My suspension of disbelief is quite healthy and the movie did nothing to compromise it. The story stayed true to the internal logic it set up for itself and it was a darn fine story besides. There were plenty of surprises and everyone stayed in character, even when doing so wasn’t the easiest choice for the movie to make.
My complaint is about the main character. The movie goes to such great extents to portray Wesley as a loser in the first act that it succeeds too well. I didn’t feel sorry for him; I pretty much hated him and felt like he was getting exactly what he deserved out of life. He was such a pushover and let people walk all over him to the point that I finally figured, “If this guy doesn’t care about himself, why should I?”
The movie eventually overcomes that flaw by turning Wesley into someone I like and can root for, but then drops the ball at the end by having him go back and revisit his old life from his new perspective. I’d rather he have left that life behind completely, but he still cares enough about the jerks who’ve made his life miserable that he feels he has to go back and prove himself to them.
If Superman was created as wish-fulfillment fantasy for kids, Wanted is wish-fulfillment fantasy for the cubicle set. If I hated my life as much as Wesley does, I might like Wanted more. I might feel challenged by the final line of the movie instead of thinking it sounded hollow and stupid.
Still, lots of cool action sequences, a really smart plot, and the movie raises some interesting questions about things like faith and loyalty.
I’ve been watching ABC Family’s new, comics-inspired series Middleman. It’s too soon for a full review, so I’m just saying here that it’s pretty awesome. The characters are charming and funny, the dialogue is clever, and the plots are insane. The pilot episode featured Chloe from 24 as a scientist whose supercomputer took over a gorilla’s brain and turned him into a Tommy gun slinging mobster.
The only complaint I have is the Power Rangers-quality effects. I’m gonna stick with it a while and see if I can get past that though because otherwise I love it.
My friend and sometimes collaborator Jess Hickman was recently interviewed about her work on volume 3 of Otis Frampton’s Oddly Normal series of fantasy graphic novels.
Essential Giant Monsters
I see enough Top Ten Giant Monsters lists that I don’t usually link to them (or many other Top Ten lists at all, for that matter). Robert Hood’s list is different. Rather than just assigning personal rankings to the multitude of giant monsters in the world, he’s created a comprehensive list of what he believes are the essential movies in the giant monster genre. It’s quite a check-list and would provide a good year’s worth of viewing material for anyone hoping to see them all.
This is the second recommendation from the friend who also told me about Peter David’s Tigerheart (which I picked up from David at Wizard World Chicago, by the way). My friend describesThe Lies of Locke Lamoraas a cross between Ocean’s 11 and Robin Hood with some fantasy elements thrown in. Sounds good to me. (Although I much prefer the cover I posted to the garish one on the US mass market paperback.)
It was inevitable. And bring ‘em on, I say. Even the Gamma Corps one where he’s leading She-Hulk and Doc Samson into battle.
John Carter movie “update”
Not really an update; just a reminder that the format of the developing John Carter of Mars movie could be anything. Live action, 2D cartoon, computer animation… nothing’s been ruled out. According to writer/presumed director Andrew Stanton, that will all be determined by the eventual script.
Oops. I forgot to do this earlier. Here’s what looks good this month at the movies.
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan: The Michael May from early June was way looking forward to a movie with a laugh-out-loud trailer in which Adam Sandler plays a bullet-catching super-spy. That’s the only reason I’m listing it. The current Michael May is hearing that it’s even worse than Little Nicky. That’s impossible, but my interest in it is still severely diminished. Still, I’ll give it a look on DVD and find out for myself.
Mongol: (Limited release) I know precious little about Genghis Khan, but I’ve always been curious about him. Plus, the trailer for this looks amazing.
Kung Fu Panda: Already saw it. It was exactly what I expected: a fun movie about anthropomorphic animals kicking each others butts as only CGI martial artists can. The theater where we saw it lost sound for about ten minutes, but I liked it enough that I’m interested in sitting through it again to fill in what I missed.
The Happening: This is another one that I’m less excited to see now that it’s been out and people aren’t saying very nice things about it. Then again, people tend not to say nice things about Shyamalan movies and I tend to like his stuff anyway. Still, I was hoping that the buzz would be more positive.
Get Smart: Everything about this looks hilarious. Steve Carrell and the Rock can do no wrong anyway, but even Anne Hathaway – whom I can usually take or leave – looks very, very takeable here.
WALL-E: I’m not as excited about this as I think I should be (too much emphasis on the Cute in the marketing probably), but it’s Pixar and I trust them.
Wanted: Now this I’m excited about. And only a little because it’s Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. Mainly it’s the level of energy I’ve seen in the trailers. I’m expecting great things.
I’m not going to link to it, but I recently found out that another Michael May runs a conservative political blog. I don’t really feel like this is the place to talk about politics, but just to balance things out a little, here’s a link to Warren Ellis’ thoughts on Obama. They pretty much mirror my own:
I like what I know of Barack Obama. I’m glad it’s him. I have concerns — about the strength and breadth of his platform, and, frankly, about his safety, in a country where supporting a black man over a white woman is apparently worth confronting someone in email over — and I distrust the messianic Obamania I see here and there. I understand the sentiment and its roots, but I don’t like it: it invites the universe to fuck with your life. But, from my perspective over here in Britain, he has something America needs in a leader right now.
Is Sydney Pollack’s directing interfering with your phone call?
I’ve seen the Martin Scorsese one at the theater, but I didn’t realize there were others. Man, I’m going to miss Sydney Pollack.
What the heck. Here’s Scorsese’s too in case you haven’t seen it:
I’m not a big zombie fan. I know… heresy. Grab the stakes and torches. I just don’t care about Evil Dead: The Musical. I am a big Les Miserables fan though, so this poster for the zombie musical cracks me up.
Guillermo and Peter ain’t saying who’ll play Bilbo in the Hobbit movie, but they’ve definitely been thinking about it and this quote from Del Toro sounds very promising:
We are writing based on [Ian Holm's performance], but other than that, we have ideas [of who could play him] … I can tell you that it’s down to a few names that we all agree upon. And that our first choice … completely, magically, we said the same name. All of us!
Burn After Reading
I love the Coen Brothers and I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to see one of their movies. Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, and JK Simmons in a spy comedy? September can’t get here fast enough.
I quit reading Runaways when Brian K. Vaughan quit writing it. News of a Runaways movie makes me realize how much I miss those characters. Especially Molly (pictured above).
Night at the Museum 2
I’m not quite as thrilled about a possible sequel to Night at the Museum as I am a Runaways movie, but the first one didn’t suck and I’m all for any movie with the potential for more dinosaurs chasing security guards down hallowed halls.
Like all lovers of excellent superhero comics, I’m way looking forward to the return from hiatus of DC’s Manhunter. Comic Book Resources has a talk with series writer Marc Andreyko that’s got me even more pumped up.
Andreyko said he has the next six to eight arcs for “Manhunter” in various stages of planning but his goal is to hit the century mark with the title. “My dream is to get to #100,” he said. “So please, buy this book.”
If that panel doesn’t make you want to check out Sea Freak, nothing will. (Thanks, JK!)
…we felt the traditional action approach would be a cliche. The Radical version is different from all other comics’ versions and I felt my cover should underscore that quality. So, instead of casting it in spine-cracking action, I did the opposite: I visualized a silently inert, fearsomely intense Hercules, a Hercules just before the storm, a moment crackling with tension!
I just watched the NBC Scrubs “finale” the other night. As fun as it was, what a crappy way to end an even crappier relationship between the show and the network that’s screwed it over for the last seven years. Here’s to an excellent final season on ABC.
…when we first did the show, it was a drama with elements of comedy and lots of stupid sound effects. But some of the strongest episodes in the second and third year had character comedy. You can still do things like kill Brendan Fraser and have the lady that loved musical theater die and then sing a song at the end. This became a very Simpsons-esque show with incredibly broad, unrealistic moments and fantasies that were both in reality and not in reality. When you’ve been writing this show for seven years, it’s so easy to get into these patterns of writing the same jokes over and over: J.D. loves Turk, J.D. wants Dr. Cox’s approval, Elliot’s whiny and neurotic. But this year the stuff is really f–king good. I think our old stand-by fans are really going to dig these shows.