- Posted by Johanna on May 14, 2013 at 8:17 pm
- Category: Animation
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, billing itself as “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration”, will be held in Wisconsin July 29 – August 4. Previously “The Experimental Aircraft Association’s Fly-In Convention”, the event attracts over 500,000 aviation enthusiasts and 10,000 airplanes. Which makes it the perfect event at which to hold a special preview screening of the new Disney animated movie Planes.
In addition to running the film at the Fly-In Theater on Friday night, August 2 (one week before the movie opens in theaters nationwide), director Klay Hall will be present to discuss the making of the film. The Fly-In Theater is an outdoor facility with a five-story-high screen and full sound system that presents aviation and other action movies for AirVenture attendees.
That’s not the only movie-related event at the show. Remember the Rocketeer? Well, there’s a real-life version. Yves “Jetman” Rossy, the “world’s first jet-powered man”, will make his first public U.S. flights this summer at AirVenture.
Using a carbon-Kevlar jetwing with four engines, each of which capable of a 22-kilogram thrust, the Swiss aviator is able to propel himself through the sky at upward of 150 mph, controlled by a simple throttle in his hand. The rest of the controls are left to the human fuselage — Rossy himself — who simply uses his shoulders, body, and legs to steer, pitch, and descend.
- Posted by Johanna on May 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm
- Category: Movies/TV
With one successful superhero movie in theaters now, it’s still not too soon for Marvel to start promoting the next one. Here’s the first trailer for Thor: The Dark World, arriving in theaters November 8.
Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, with Natalie Portman apparently unfortunately used as a bargaining chip to pressure him. Tom Hiddleston as Loki is always fun, plus this sequel adds Christopher Eccleston and Zachary Levi to Kat Dennings and Jaimie Alexander (as the bad-ass Sif). In the film, per the official description, “Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos… but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.”
Of course, Hemsworth looks great in costume, whether fighting or at rest.
Meanwhile, Jane gets to visit his world, while Anthony Hopkins looks suitably Odin-like.
- Posted by Johanna on May 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm
- Category: Movies/TV
I don’t normally care that much about “action thrillers”, as this movie is billed, because they tend to be too violent for me, but I’m impressed by the cast of I, Frankenstein, due in theaters January 24, 2014. Here’s the synopsis:
Set in a dystopic present where vigilant gargoyles and ferocious demons rage in a battle for ultimate power, Victor Frankenstein’s creation Adam (Aaron Eckhart) finds himself caught in the middle as both sides race to discover the secret to his immortality. From the creators of the hit supernatural saga, UNDERWORLD, comes the action thriller I, FRANKENSTEIN, written for the screen and directed by Stuart Beattie based on the graphic novel I, Frankenstein by Kevin Grevioux.
(The graphic novel doesn’t appear to have ever been published. There are a first issue’s worth of pages at the link above credited to Darkstorm Studios, which hasn’t ever released a comic through Diamond in the last 15 years. I’m assuming that Grevioux wrote it, but I don’t know who the artist is, since there are no credits on the pages.)
The cast includes Aaron Eckhart (as what we probably aren’t calling the Monster), Bill Nighy (always a pleasure), Yvonne Strahovski (whom I loved on Chuck), Miranda Otto, Jai Courtney (I really should watch A Good Day to Die Hard), and more people I haven’t heard of: Socratis Otto, Mahesh Jadu, Caitlin Stasey, and Aden Young as Victor Frankenstein. The poster is lenticular, as helpfully animated here:
- Posted by Johanna on May 13, 2013 at 9:24 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
Graeme McMillan over at the Newsarama Blog catches a couple of odd Marvel announcements. (And speaking of that blog, is Graeme the only one left holding the fort? Look at this five-year-old page of contributors to remember what it used to be.)
First, there’s Marvel deciding that the upcoming Avengers: Endless Wartime is their “first” original graphic novel (according to advertising). This ignores that there were almost 40 of them back in the 1980s, beginning with The Death of Captain Marvel. Tom Brevoort explains the discrepancy away by saying that those older books were too short to meet today’s definition of a graphic novel. Funny, I’m not aware of a length requirement for the format.
Then there’s taunting the fans over Miracleman, or as they’re now back to calling him, Marvelman. Joe Quesada is telling curious readers to be patient with the company’s silence about the long-awaited reprints of the good stuff (by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman). When Marvel needed to sell the older books, that no one really wanted, they were hinting around about upcoming news. Now, it’s inconvenient, so fans should “go away, kid, you bother me”. (Can’t you see Quesada as Foghorn Leghorn? Only he’s not that Southern.)
I still think we’re never going to see the Miracleman reprints we want from Marvel. Back in the day, bringing them out would be a real service — but now, anyone who wants to read them can, on the internet. It’s not technically legal, but then, much of that case falls in that category.
- Posted by Johanna on May 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
Scott Kurtz has been creating PvP for fifteen years now. That’s an eternity for a webcomic, and bravo for him for keeping it going so long!
Now, to keep things fresh, the strip is bringing on a co-writer, Dylan Meconis (known for her webcomics Family Man and Bite Me). They’re billing it as the “PvP Writers’ Room”, which implies the intent to bring on additional staffers.
Meconis has previously written over two weeks’ worth of the strip in January, when Kurtz was injured, and she’s already been working with Kurtz on the current storyline.
“The problem with deadline-based comic strip writing is that sometimes you’re forced to go with your first idea over the best idea.” said Kurtz. “Being a part of a writing team on other projects I learned that with more than one writer, you can get the best idea and maintain the schedule.”
- Posted by Johanna on May 13, 2013 at 7:32 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
When are decision makers going to accept that digital comics are an extension to the market, not a replacement for print? Selling digitally will expand your market, not cannibalize it.
Brigid Alverson does an excellent job pointing out how wrong Mark Millar is to prevent interested customers from buying his new series digitally.
Certainly, it’s his choice. He owns the copyright (I’m assuming), so he can refuse to license the work if he wants. Just like movie studios used to refuse to allow their stars to appear on TV, way back in the day. And look how well that worked in keeping people from switching their viewing to their living room because it was more convenient for them! Instead of going out to the movies, they made new stars out of those who would appear where they wanted to view entertainment.
I’m also reminded of the days when people actively worked against paperback collections of comics because readers who wanted to buy in bookstores weren’t considered “real” comic customers, and the one true way to buy comics was as periodicals, every week. Now we’re fighting the same battles again, with certain people trying to ignore how customers will either buy the format they prefer or not at all. By trying to force them to print — thereby ignoring the now-significant number of buyers who don’t want physical comics or have no shop nearby — Millar is simply hanging onto the way things used to be, not the way they are now.
- Posted by Johanna on May 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel News
Several people have pointed out the problems with DC’s recent reading guide, the DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels and Chronology 2013. Most obviously, the women of the DCU get all of two pages. That’s all of them together, Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Batgirl, all get as much space as Green Arrow does. (But then, HE’s got a TV show! Which is what seems to matter.)
Personally, I wonder about a “reading guide” that feels the need to subtitle itself a “chronology”. Things shouldn’t be that complicated — but then, when you have a recent reboot and you’re still trying to sell the older books, without coming right out and saying “these don’t count any more (except when they do)”, I guess you’ve got a difficult tightrope to walk. I gave up trying to read the guide, because I found it both confusing and badly written, and I wasn’t all that interested in finding out what the company, DC Entertainment let’s remember, wants me to read when I have shelves and shelves of what I already know is the good stuff.
For instance — J. Caleb Mozzocco has put together his own list of recommended Wonder Woman reading, which is a much better selection. First, though, he gets in a few jabs of his own, such as this one:
DC Comics is the wrong entity to be championing that backlist, given the amount of time and energy they’ve expended telling the world that’s the old, lame stuff: The good stuff is all these shitty comics that look like bowdlerized videogame designs drawn by artists from 1993, the ones where the writers change every arc or so and everything’s so ill-considered we’re retconning stuff by the time we collect it in trade.
The Wonder Woman books Caleb recommends are all historical or out-of-continuity special-event volumes, but they’re easier to read than the current series and other recent attempts to make the character popular. His post is worth reading just for the image of the Wonder Woman library bookmark he starts with. Wish I had one, it’s lovely.
(Disclaimer: My husband KC edited the Adventures in the DC Universe comic, a collected volume of which Caleb recommends.)
- Posted by Johanna on May 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm
- Category: Animation
The 2014 animated feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios will be Big Hero 6, based on two Marvel miniseries. The “action comedy adventure” is due out November 7, 2014, and will be the first Disney cartoon adaptation of Marvel characters. It will be CG-animated and feature “comic-book style action”.
Based on this short first look, the appearance of the technological megapolis, called San Fransokyo, will be important. (I’m not sure why they just couldn’t use a future Tokyo, unless there’s some reason it’s important the movie be set in the U.S.)
And here’s a concept art image, tweaking a real-world landmark.
The plot involves “brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada” trying to foil a criminal scheme to destroy the city. He, his robot companion Baymax, and “a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters” work together to save San Fransokyo.
I’m glad to see some lesser-known projects getting media attention, and I liked the modern, youthful feel of the comics. Then again, anything that isn’t a 30-year-old franchise has an advantage in feeling fresh when it comes to corporate superhero comics. The concept was originally created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau in 1998 before the team appeared in two miniseries, the three-issue Sunfire and Big Hero 6 and the five-issue Big Hero 6. Those comics mixed new and established characters (in Sunfire and Silver Samurai), so it sounds like the idea is being tweaked if the movie team are all first-timers.