See My SPX Panel: How Comics Get Reviewed
December 19, 2014

SPX 2014 panel: How Comics Get Reviewed

I hosted a panel at the Small Press Expo in September called “Pro Tips: How Comics Get Reviewed”. Brigid Alverson, Michael Cavna, Dan Kois, Heidi MacDonald, Douglas Wolk, and I talked about how to get coverage for comics and what editors and critics are looking for. Now, the SPX team have posted the panel video here, in case you’d like to see it:

Disney and Turner Classic Movies Team Up
December 14, 2014

There are a couple of things in this new Disney/Turner deal that I like the sound of.

Great Movie Ride presented by TCM

Disney is revamping its Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World with the help of Turner Classic Movies, which will get “Presented by” credits at the attraction.

TCM will periodically (four-five times a year) air a programming block called “Treasures From the Disney Vault” that will feature “vintage movies, cartoons, documentaries, and episodes of TV series like Disneyland and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color”. Exciting! The first block airs the evening of December 21, with some classic Mickey Mouse and Chip and Dale cartoons; the pilot of Wonderful World of Color, featuring a preview of the upcoming Disneyland park; The Reluctant Dragon, a 1941 movie about how Disney Studios created their cartoons; and more.

The ride changes are due to debut in the first quarter of 2015. The introductory film and the ride finale clips will be updated (and good thing, since they’re long overdue), as well as adding footage of Robert Osborne, the voice and best-known host of TCM.

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness Goes Inside Studio Ghibli
December 10, 2014

I know a number of my readers will be interested in this. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is a documentary about the workings of the famous animation studio that made such movies as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and The Secret World of Arrietty, Studio Ghibli.

It will be out on DVD on January 27 (list price $29.95), but digital download purchases are available now. Here’s a synopsis, followed by the trailer:

Granted near-unfettered access to the notoriously insular Studio Ghibli, director Mami Sunada follows the three men who are the lifeblood of Ghibli — the eminent director Hayao Miyazaki, the producer Toshio Suzuki, and the elusive and influential “other director” Isao Takahata — over the course of a year as the studio rushes to complete two films, Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises and Takahata’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. The result is a rare “fly on the wall” glimpse of the inner workings of one of the world’s most celebrated animation studios — creators of successful films including Princess Mononoke and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away, the highest-grossing Japanese film of all time — and an insight into the dreams, passion, and singular dedication of these remarkable creators.

The DVD bonus material will include The Kingdom According to Ushiko featurette, trailers, and English subtitles. Here’s a review of the film from when it played in festivals earlier this year.

Super-Fan Builds Makes a Groot Swing
December 8, 2014

The folks behind the Man at Arms YouTube video series have just launched Super-Fan Builds. It’s a similar show, only a bit less violent, as they expand creative vision beyond weapons.

In this first episode, the team builds a backyard swing based on Groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. It’s an amazing piece, although I found myself wondering just who was paying for the almost two weeks of time it took and how much the whole thing cost. Plus, there’s a cute kid to enthuse over the end result.

Groot Swing

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis Details Announced
December 7, 2014

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released more details on the next original DC universe animated movie. The 75-minute Justice League: Throne of Atlantis will be out January 27. It’s Aquaman’s origin story, as Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and the rest of the Justice League help him “prevent a war between the inhabitants of land and sea”. The Blu-ray Combo Pack (which includes a DVD and an UltraViolet copy) is list-priced at $24.98, with a DVD version for $19.98. The movie will be available earlier, on January 13, from digital retailers.

The voice cast is as follows:

* Aquaman – Matt Lanter
* Superman – Jerry O’Connell
* Batman – Jason O’Mara
* Wonder Woman – Rosario Dawson
* Flash – Christopher Gorham
* Green Lantern – Nathan Fillion
* Cyborg – Shemar Moore
* Shazam – Sean Astin
* Orm – Sam Witwer
* Mera – Sumalee Montano
* Queen Atlanna – Sirena Irwin
* Manta – Harry Lennix

Special Features on the Blu-ray will be:

* Scoring Atlantis: The Sound of the Deep – Every great film needs a great musical score. Filled with emotion, music takes us on a dynamic journey as we adventure with the hero. Throne of Atlantis takes us on that quest through the eyes of Arthur Curry.
* Robin and Nightwing Bonus Sequence – Producer James Tucker provides video commentary for this exciting bonus sequence where Robin and Nightwing join forces.
* Throne of Atlantis: 2014 New York Comic Con Panel – The entire, lively one-hour panel discussion between actor Matt Lanter, producer James Tucker, screenwriter Heath Corson, character designer Phil Bourassa, and dialogue director Andrea Romano.
* Villains of the Deep – From Ocean Master to Black Manta to King Shark, each villain operates from his own deep sense of conviction, presenting an incredible challenge for the hero in Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman. This documentary goes into the biographical details of the villains.
* A Sneak Peak at Batman vs. Robin – An advance look at the next DC Universe Original Movie with the creators and cast.
* Bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vault

The DVD contains the Batman vs. Robin sneak peek and the bonus cartoons. Here’s the trailer:

Jessica Jones Casting Sounds Like a Good Idea
December 7, 2014
Krysten Ritter

Photo of Krysten Ritter from her Facebook page

The Netflix Marvel TV shows announced a year ago — short series featuring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage — have begun casting for their debut in 2015. First up, Krysten Ritter will play Jessica Jones in Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones. Ritter was most recently on TV as the lead in Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and is also well-known for roles in Breaking Bad and Veronica Mars. I like watching her, and I think her sardonic style will suit the character. Jones is a former superhero who becomes a private investigator after suffering post-traumatic stress (in the comic series titled Alias).

Not as solid is the rumor that Luke Cage is to be played by Mike Colter (The Following, The Good Wife), but I hope it turns out to be true, since he’s good-looking and would be great casting.

Mike Colter

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