Thursday, February 21, 2008

Which Superhero Are You?

Your results:
You are Green Lantern

Green Lantern
Iron Man
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Pere Ubu Guitarist Jim Jones, R.I.P.

A blow to Cleveland music.

Jim Jones, Cleveland music scene stalwart and guitarist (and sometime keyboardist) for legendary art rockers Pere Ubu for some 15 years, died Monday (February 18) at his home after suffering a heart attack, according to Pere Ubu's Ubu Projex website.

Jones joined Pere Ubu in 1987, after serving as a roadie. Due to his declining health, he retired from the live band in August 1995, although he continued to record with Pere Ubu for some time after, playing on 1998's Pennsylvania and 2002's St Arkansas. Jones is particularly noted for his contributions to the more pop-oriented sound Pere Ubu embraced during his tenure with the band.

A life-long musician, Jones also played with Mirrors, the Styrenes, the Electric Eels, Foreign Bodies, Easter Monkeys, and Home & Garden.

According to a report in Cleveland newspaper The Plain Dealer, Jones was 57 at the time of his death.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Interview With Torchwood's Burn Gorman at Newsarama

Until a couple of years ago, you’ve probably seen Burn Gorman, but didn’t know him.

Then again, in barely a decade he appeared on sterling British TV shows and films as East Enders, Coronation Street and the film Penelope starring Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon (finally getting a true theatrical release in the U.S. this February).

Then, two years ago, he took the role of the hot-headed Owen Harper on the Doctor Who spin-off series Torchwood. There he co-stars with fan favorite Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and an equally talented ensemble cast protecting our planet from what’s to come in the 21st Century.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Paramount shuffle delays 'Trek'

Dramatically underscoring the need for movie-side execs to review slates following the long writers strike, Paramount on Wednesday bounced six films to new dates and moved two unslotted films to next year's calendar.

Other distributors were scrambling to complete similar reviews of their upcoming productions to determine what can or can't be delivered on scheduled dates. In some cases, films will move because of talent issues, but many film projects have been frozen in time when script rewrites weren't completed before the 100-day scribe walkout.

'Star Trek' arguably was the biggest film moved, with the intended Christmas Day release now set for the first prime date in the following summer boxoffice season: May 8, 2009. But 'Trek' appears something of an exception in the mix of itinerant pics, with its shift unrelated to script or cast considerations.

''Star Trek' is moving to summer because its has so much boxoffice potential,' Par spokesman Michael Vollman said. 'It does not need any script tweaks. They're two-thirds of the way through shooting, and we would have delivered a great movie at Christmas.'

Warren Ellis' Freakangels

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Marvel MMO Cancelled by Microsoft

'I don’t think it’s necessarily a case of what went wrong,' Kim told me. 'I don’t know that that’s the right way to put it. For us we look at our priorities and all of the things we have to do. It’s a tough space. It’s a very competitive space. And it’s a space that’s changing quite a bit. …When we first entered into the development and agreement of the development of ‘Marvel Universe Online,’ we thought we would create another subscription-based MMO. And if you really look at the data there’s basically one that’s successful and everything else wouldn’t meet our level or definition of commercial success. And then you have to look [and say]: ‘Can we change the business model for that? Is that really viable given how far we are in development? And so forth. Does Marvel want to do that?’ There’s a whole bunch of factors.'


Probably not safe for work. Mind you, I have no idea what any of it says, but it certainly does look like fun.

Tolkien Estate Sues New Line

LOS ANGELES (AP) The estate of 'Lord of the Rings' creator J.R.R. Tolkien is suing the film studio that released the trilogy based on his books, claiming the company failed to pay a cut of gross profits for the blockbuster films.

The writer's estate, a British charity dubbed The Tolkien Trust, and original 'Lord of the Rings' publisher HarperCollins filed the lawsuit against New Line Cinema on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Fox sues over 'Watchmen'

Well, now, isn't this fun...

20th Century Fox has initiated a legal battle against Warner Bros. over the rights to develop, produce and distribute a film based on the graphic novel 'Watchmen.'

On Friday, the studio sued Warners, claiming it holds the exclusive copyrights and contract rights to 'Watchmen.'

Warners plans to release next year a big-screen version of the popular comic book written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. The cast includes Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino and Malin Akerman. It is the studio's policy to not comment on pending litigation.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Steve Gerber, 1947-2008

Steve Gerber, a leading light in 1970s American comic books, a singular writer of odd and affecting comics for mainstream publishers, an advocate for and icon of creators rights, and the creator and co-creator of several characters including Howard the Duck and Omega the Unknown, died Sunday in a Las Vegas hospital. The cause of death is believed to be pneumonia, although he had been suffering from a long-term illness, pulmonary fibrosis. He was 60 years old.

Gerber was born in St. Louis in September, 1947. A comics fan as a youth, he began to correspond with legendary fanzine figures Roy Thomas and Jerry Bails at an early age. He participated even more directly in the early fanzine movement, by creating the publication Headline as a young teen. He attended at school as the University of Missouri -- St. Louis and the University of Missouri, finishing his degree and doing some graduate work at St. Louis University. He found early employment as a copywriter for a St. Louis advertising agent and wrote short stories at night.

When Geeks Attack

George Lucas is claiming that a 'Star Wars' convention has moved over to the dark side.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in nothern California, LucasFilm says that Gen Con, a company that puts on gaming conventions, failed to uphold a contract to deliver proceeds from a 'Star Wars' memorabilia auction to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

According to this complaint, Gen Con owes almost $1 million to the charity and to LucasArts for proceeds from an auction held at last May's Gen Con convention in Los Angeles. LucasFilm says it undertook expenses to advertise the auction to increase participation.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Las Vegas Is The Second Life LARP

DSCN1110, originally uploaded by Cleveland Desolation.

I posted the pictures that I took while in Las Vegas for my birthday. All that I kept thinking was that the city was like a giant, open air, LARP version of Second Life.

Veggies a 'perversion of nature'

We know how you lot like your scientific analysis: adequately researched, well-balanced and backed with solid evidence.

You'll doubtless enjoy this piece down at Pravda, then, which confirms what the nutritionally-savvy among us have known all along: that vegetarianism isn't actually an informed lifestyle choice, but rather a 'perversion of nature' pursued by protein-starved fanatics whose self-deception will surely drive them to an early grave.

Dwarves hidden in sports bags target Swedish coaches

Swedish police are quizzing 'people of limited stature' with criminal records following a spate of robberies from the cargo holds of coaches - possibly carried out by dwarves smuggled onboard in sports bags.

According to the Sun, the gang responsible pack their vertically-challenged accomplices into bags and stick them in with other passengers' luggage. The undercover operatives then rifle the hold for valuables before resealing themselves in their hiding place, to be extracted later by another gang member at the coach's final destination.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Denny O'Neil To Teach Comic Writing Course At NYU

Dennis O’Neil, prize-winning comics writer and editor, will offer a 10 week course in writing comic books and graphic novels at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The course will begin on February 13th and end on April 23rd. Classes start at 6:20 in the evening and end about two and a half hours later.

For more information, see the university’s home page.

For over 30 years, editor and writer Dennis O'Neil put the 'dark' in the Dark Knight and was the guiding force behind the Batman mythos. He has been called a living legend, a master of the comics form, a visionary, the thinking man’s superhero writer, the dean of American comics writers, and--his favorite--an erudite hippie. He prefers to think of himself as, simply, 'a working professional storyteller.'

Dennis, a native St. Louisan and graduate of St. Louis University, began his writing career as a newspaper reporter in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, over forty years ago. Intrigued by the creative revival of comics in the mid-60s, he came to New York as Stan Lee's editorial assistant at Marvel Comics. Next, he did freelance writing at Charlton Comics under editor Dick Giordano. When Giordano moved to DC Comics in 1967, he brought Dennis with him. There, Dennis scripted such titles as Wonder Woman, The Justice League of America and, notably, 13 issues of Superman, a run some aficionados say is a high point in the character's long history. In 1968, following the cancellation of the Batman television show, editor Julius Schwartz asked Dennis to revamp DC's Dark Knight. Dennis and artist Neal Adams took the character back to his roots and, adding sophistication and their own unique vision, created the version of Batman which has been an inspiration for the Emmy-winning Fox cartoon series, the mega-budget Warners movies and, of course, the current comics. In 1970, Dennis again collaborated with Neal Adams and Julius Schwartz to produce the Green Lantern-Green Arrow series that first brought him into national prominence. This series earned praise, awards and media attention for its ground-breaking combination of flamboyant fantasy with genuine social concerns such as racism, drug addiction, environmental dangers and Native Americans' problems.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Figures: Steampunk Justice League Modded Action Figures

Inspired by the comic book, Gotham by Gaslight by Mike Mignola and Brian Augustyn (Batman vs. Jack the Ripper set in the late 19th century), the modder behind these action figures sought to place the members of the Justice League in the Victorian era.

Inside the Monkeysphere

What do monkeys have to do with war, oppression, crime, racism and even e-mail spam?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Brian Wood - Comics Graphic Novels / Downloads

Brian Wood has released the design chapbook for Channel Zero as a PDF on his website. Channel Zero is a pretty incredible work, and if you have been reading Wood's DMZ comic without having checked out Channel Zero you need to fix that right now.

This is where the sensibility developed.

Public Domain is a 145-page collection of Channel Zero 'extras'... test pages, character sketches, short stories, unused artwork, photography... all material I generated while creating the Channel Zero world but that never saw print in the graphic novel. It was created, deliberately, very old school and low fi, using mostly a photocopier and a glue stick, the results being grainy and choppy and, in my mind, an accurate representation of how I used to work when I first started making comics.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Marvel Signs Interim Deal With WGA

Lionsgate and Marvel studios have signed interim deals with the striking Writers Guild of America, the union said.

The deals announced Thursday followed separate guild pacts with other independent production companies such as United Artists, The Weinstein Co. and David Letterman's Worldwide Pants.

The guild said such agreements confirm it is possible for writers to be compensated fairly and for companies to operate profitably.

Lionsgate's new projects include Sylvester Stallone's ``Rambo'' sequel, ``Saw 5'' and the TV show ``Mad Men.''

Upcoming comic-book film projects from Marvel Studios, a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment Inc., include 'Iron Man' and 'The Incredible Hulk.'

The writers guild, on strike since Nov. 5, is in informal talks with studio bosses to reach a contract agreement and end the costly 11-week walkout that has idled much of the entertainment industry.

Bound for glory? Kroll knows his work's explicit, so please don't call it porn

Eric Kroll has no interest in photographing nudes. But show him a woman in fur-lined panties and extreme heels bound to a chair -- with her consent, of course -- and he's all eyes.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Video Captured of Local Superhero

True20 Licensing Fee To Go Away

From the True20 website:

We’ve decided to change the terms of True20 licensing by removing the fees. Starting in May anyone can publish True20 material for free using the current Open Game License. We will be posting information on how that is going to work in a couple of months. This should be good news for True20 fans, as it’ll mean even more settings, adventures, and source material for the game.

and then there's this little tidbit about a new printing. It sounds like they've been listening to the fans:

We’ve decided to release a revised edition of the core rulebook in April. Let me be clear that is not a new edition. The plan is this: The rules content of the book will be unchanged. We will, however, be replacing the sample settings with the entire content of the True20 Companion. This will make the core rulebook a terrific toolkit and a great base for moving forward. The revised rulebook will also incorporate all the errata of both previous books. True20 Adventure Roleplaying, Revised Edition will be a softcover book that retails for only $29.95.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Thompson On Hollywood: Dark Knight's Nolan and DC Comics Pics

This little tidbit was buried in an otherwise interesting blog post about the Dark Knight movie. I don't think it should come as a huge surprise to anyone. I still haven't seen Superman Returns (and I'm not really sure if I am going to) and a lot of what I heard from people who did see it was underwhelming.

Personally, I think that he should have stayed with the X-Men franchise. It would have spared us that god-awful X3 crap.

Speaking of DC Comics pics, it is highly unlikely that Bryan Singer will return to shoot the next Superman movie. (The director is finishing up Tom Cruise's Nazi film Valkyrie, and prepping The Mayor of Castro Street). The next Superman we will see on the big screen will not be Brandon Routh, but a younger Superman among a cast of youthful superheroes in The Justice League. That movie will likely not be shot, however, until after the WGA strike is resolved. Warners is so happy with Dark Knight that their fondest hope is that Nolan will return to do another Batman.