Category Archives: fanboy

Will 2014 be the new Season of the Witch

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The answer is yes.. If you’ve been watching any of the new tv shows like Sleepy Hollow, American Horror Story or have heard news of Maleficent or Into The Woods, than you know that Witches are the new Vampires, but how did it get to this point? We were burning them two hundred years ago. How has something so steeped in mystery and misunderstanding become the new face of Hollywood?

This is when I tell you that we at MITNG, in our relentless need to get this kind of information to you, spoke to one of the leading experts in the field of the Occult and Demonology, SORRY….I had promised Craig and them…wait, what? What I meant to say is, that I did some web surfing, in a vague effort, to help you understand these purveyors of magic, just a little bit better and how they have and always will be, ripe for the picking in Hollywood.

As far back as I can remember, the world has always been fascinated by witches. The female witches in particular, represent a level of independence, that most men found threatening and alluring, although they would never admit it. The first record of a witch goes as far back as the Old Testament. Although what I’m about to tell you was supposedly omitted from the Bible years ago, it still stands as one of the first records. The story goes like this…in the beginning when G-d had already created man and he was lonely, he created a woman. Most of us know this woman to be Eve, but did you know there was a prototype? According to Jewish myth, the first woman was a very strong and independent succubus/witch, named Lilith and unlike Eve, Lilith wasn’t created from the rib of Adam, but was made from dirt, filth and sediment and not pure dust, to be exact, but for all intents and purposes, she was the physical manifestation of “his equal”. So when G-d said she had to obey Adam and have kids for him and yadda yadda yadda…Lilith wasn’t having any of it and ran away.

(Via. Gnosis.org)

Adam complained to God: ‘I have been deserted by my helpmeet’ God at once sent the angels Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof tolilith-by-DonatelloDrago3 fetch Lilith back. They found her beside the Red Sea, a region abounding in lascivious demons, to whom she bore lilim at the rate of more than one hundred a day. ‘Return to Adam without delay,’ the angels said, `or we will drown you!’ Lilith asked: `How can I return to Adam and live like an honest housewife, after my stay beside the Red Sea?? ‘It will be death to refuse!’ they answered. `How can I die,’ Lilith asked again, `when God has ordered me to take charge of all newborn children: boys up to the eighth day of life, that of circumcision; girls up to the twentieth day. None the less, if ever I see your three names or likenesses displayed in an amulet above a newborn child, I promise to spare it.’ To this they agreed; but God punished Lilith by making one hundred of her demon children perish daily; [5] and if she could not destroy a human infant, because of the angelic amulet, she would spitefully turn against her own. [6]

Whether fact or fiction, it’s a pretty ballsy move, to place a woman in direct defiance of G-d, especially in those days. I like to think the scribes were living vicariously through Lilith, thus they were able to anonymously speak out about their feelings toward the church by making her the embodiment of evil. This incarnation laid the ground work for women to look to her for guidance

Moving on.

For the true historians…forgive me if I jump around a bit. I’m not an expert.

The witch would undergo several manifestations before becoming the “wack-job on a broom stick” version, we know today. I think it’s pretty safe to say that that image of her came along when witch hysteria was taking hold of England. A lot of that had to do with the Black Death (1348-1350). That sickness wiped out millions, so when people began questioning why, many began providing their own answers. This and the Spanish Inquisition of 1478, created fertile ground for the persecution of practices deemed to be Satanic. There were even some who worshiped the same God, who were being persecuted, and had to flee. Whether true witchcraft was even being practiced during those times, I don’t know, but there are reports.

One such report comes from Ireland, Kilkenny to be exact. Dame Alice Kyteler (1280 – later than 1325) was the earliest known person to ever be formerly accused of witchcraft. Her, so called crime, predated the Black Death and the Inquisition, so perhaps she was legit. We may never know, because she skipped town before she could be formally tried, but her gimp…oh that poor bastard, was tortured until he confessed he was a witch and served under Alice. He was burned at the stake. She was also accused of money lending , adultery and murder so there’s a lot going on in this saucy tale. Behold.

The case was brought in 1324 before the then Bishop of Ossory, Richard de Ledrede, an English Franciscan friar. The bishop wrote to the Chancellor of Ireland, Roger Utlagh ( Outlaw ), to have her arrested but this rebounded on him, the Chancellor being her first brother-in-law. In fact de Ledrede himself was jailed by Sir Arnold le Poer, the Seneschal of Kilkenny, her fourth brother-in-law. John Darcy, the Lord Chief Justice traveled to Kilkenny to investigate the events and vindicated the Bishop, who again attempted to have Dame Alice arrested.

After some months of stalemate, one of her servants, Petronella de Meath, was tortured, and confessed to witchcraft, implicating Kyteler. After this, Kyteler was condemned. She fled the country, presumably to the Kingdom of England. She appears no further in contemporary records. The Bishop continued to pursue her lower-class followers, bringing charges of witchcraft against them. Petronella de Meath was flogged and burned at the stake on November 3, 1324. Her daughter apparently joined Kyteler in England. Kyteler’s son William Outlaw was also accused inter alia, of heresy, usury, perjury, adultery, and clericide. After “recanting”, William escaped relatively lightly, being ordered to hear three masses a day for a year and to feed the poor.

This was one of the first European witchcraft cases and followed closely on the election of Pope John XXII (1316–1334), to the Papacy. In 1320, he had witchcraft added to the list of heresies.

Then of course there were the Salem Witch trials of (1692-1693) and we all know how that went down, but I think Salem is  where most American’s formulated their opinions about what witches were and unfortunately, most of those opinions were wrong. With all religion comes paranoia, the Puritans having fled England to practice their faith in the new lands, were all alone in this strange world, so new ideas had to be formed to keep the flock from straying and when anyone is given something precious, especially a child, and that thing promises power, sometimes it’s too good to pass up. Things like knowing the future or beguiling an infatuation, is a time honored tradition and is primarily what witches were used for. This dates back to the Oracles at the Temple of Delphi. Course they didn’t call them witches then, in fact they became useful in swaying political decisions…you see where I’m going? We all see what we want to see, but what the fuck does all this have to do with witches in Hollywood. Nothing…I just thought you might like to know a little history and now for the good stuff.

There are two men, I ordain, for being solely responsible for ushering in the era of the witch into Hollywood and the effects can be felt to this walt-disneyday. Walt Disney (pictured left) and Victor Fleming (lower right). Walt Disney, as you all know, gave animation a new face with films like Snow White,Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Victor Fleming directed the one film that canonized the broom and pointy hat, The Wizard of Oz. Of course you can’t mention these artist without mentioning the source material Oz (L.Frank Baum) and…well pretty much every Disney film produced in the late thirties and early forties, The Brother’s Grimm.

Victor Fleming, circa 1933. Courtesy Photofest.  These two “single-handedly”, made witches cool. They gave them a face, some likable some, not so much, but they were always memorable and seemed to be what audiences wanted. Course, no witch film was ever complete back in the days, without a song or two in the film, but films with music in them was what Hollywood was serving up for a very very long time. The witches on film today tend to be a bit more serious. They’ve gotten rid of the striped socks and replaced them with fishnet stockings in most cases and tube socks and sneakers, in others.

In 1964 television brought the cauldron to tv with Bewitched starring Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York, until March 25, 1972, when the show was cancelled. In the seventies directors touched, ever so lightly, on the witch genre, but at a time when horror was all anyone wanted to see. So we got films like Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” and Daughter’s of Satan (1972). This new look on the craft was exploitative to say the least. Most of these films back then contained young women dancing around a fire naked or being tortured sexually by church inquisitors. No more song and dance and no more yellow brick roads, the witch had a new look or at least appeared to have a new look and it wasn’t all good. That is, until the eighties.

To keep up with the magic, film directors like Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg, were throwing down, directors needed to reinvent this genre again. Offer up some magic, but with a real story and real consequences. The 80′s saw witch films such as The Witches of Eastwick, Warlock (1989), Spellbinder (1988), The Little Mermaid (1989) and Teen Witch (1989).

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It’s important for you to notice that because these films most certainly involved women, these films could easily be referenced as the state of women at the time the film was made. Witches of Eastwick found three powerful witches (Susan Surandon, CHER and Michelle Pfeiffer) set upon by this demon played by Jack Nicholson. During this time you had films like Working Girl…get it? I don’t know, I was trying to make a connection, but failed miserably. However, the witches in the 80′s are getting sexy again, well…there was never a time when witches weren’t sexy, but you get my meaning. What’s also funny, but obvious, is that most of these films are watched by women.

You see I’ve always said women are the Earth Mother’s. Their ability to create life, connects them “like no other” with the spirit world. Divination, clairvoyance, astrology, incantation, are mostly practiced by women. Sure, there are a few warlocks out there, but most of the problems that are called upon by a witch to cure, usually entails that of a feminine nature. Mind you, this is neither good nor bad, but something I noticed hanging with Wiccan’s ( a pagan religion introduced in 1954) and working at a mineral store, in Orlando Florida. We all want to connect with something higher, it just so happens that higher seems too high at times and sometimes it’s easier to connect with something tangible, that’s not to say witchcraft doesn’t have it’s share of the fantastic, but so does the Bible. We do what works.

So let’s fast forward the chronometer pass the 90′s, past movies like  Hocus Pocus (1993) , Witches (1990, a brilliant film I must say)  and The Craft (1996) to the 2000′,s where we see the rise of the vampire. Stick with me, I am going somewhere with this.

If there was ever a period in time when the witch in Hollywood most certainly saw it’s imminent defeat, it was in the early 2000′s. Films like Queen of the Damned (2002), Day Watch (2006), Let the Right One In (2008), Twilight series, Underworld and True Blood, were all the rage and virtually wiped out any memory that witches even existed. Sure you’d could still find books being written about them, but for the most part Hollywood wasn’t having it, the vampires were too strong. It seemed adult and tween novelist, were doing any and everything to make these bloodsuckers more likeable or sexy. But in 2005-2010ish, a strange thing started to happen on shows like True Blood, the story took a  turn for the whimsy. It began incorporating/crossingover, by having the vampires battling witches. Around that same time the Bill Willingham book FABLES was being considered for adaptation by ABC. A hugely popular book that chronicles the lives of real life fable character’s who had been exiled from their home world. The story’s central character’s are witches from children’s story, given a modern twist of course. So now, nearly a decade later, A shift starts to occur and the witches are slowly coming back.  ABC, unable to secure the rights to FABLES, creates their own version of the story and calls it Once Upon A Time (not to be confused with Once Upon a Time: In Wonderland, but kinda sorta the same) also due out this fall. That show is followed by another fairly-like show Grimm and just like that…they are back…and now, in the year of our Lord 2013, we have shows like American Horror Story: Coven, Sleepy Hollow, Witches of East End, Oz the Great and Powerful, Hansel and Gretel, Disney’s Maleficent (based on the character from Sleeping Beauty), Snow White and The Huntsman, PIXAR’S Frozen, Into the Woods (based on the Broadway musical) so on and so forth.

In hindsight they only took a break for about ten years before reemerging, but this emergence happens to be with great fervor. It’s like something snapped, cause people are loving themselves some witches right now, and that’s fine, they do have a history of doing well in the cinema, but will they be portrayed in the right light? I’m optimistic, especially with the level of writing coming out of the studios these days and rightfully so. They do exist and have existed for thousands of years. They even live near you. No, they aren’t wearing anything special, outside of a five star pendant of quartz wand around their neck, but they are today’s practicing modern witches. I don’t know enough about them to really go depth about what their lifestyle entails, but there’s enough of them in the U.S. alone, to warrant a certain level of respect when portraying them on screen. I’ve visited places like Salem, Mass, Cassadega, Fla and Sedona, Az and I’ve seen the covens and they are good people and are respectable followers of Earth magic.

Alright some of the shows like AHS and Sleepy Hollow do tend to do a good job of not making them completely cheesy and let’s be honest, I don’t think America’s gonna buy into that any more, but there are still some movies/tv shows, that shouldn’t be made, but we will have to wait and see if I’m right. Nevertheless, expect to see a lot of them in the near future cause something tells me they aren’t going away anytime soon.



 

The film that was illegally shot at Disney “Escape From Tomorrow” gets a trailer

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Central Florida, my hometown, has a reputation for putting out films that get people at festivals, like Sundance, talking. The last one, I believe, that spread like a wildfire was the 1999 Eduardo Sánchez, Daniel Myrick directed film The Blairwitch Project. Now, almost 14 years later, we got another director/Full Sail graduate, named Randy Moore, whose gone and done the unthinkable. For anyone who lives in mouse town, you know you don’t cross the rodent, but that’s precisely what he did when Randy Moore shot almost an entire film at Disney World and Disney Land without the mouse getting wind of any of it.

Escape from Tomorrow, is an amazing exercise in guerrilla film making, and even won the eye of Roger Ebert and was shown at Roger Ebert’s 15th annual film festival in Champaign, Illinois (Randy Moore’s home state), just before he past away. I compare the buzz, the film received, to the buzz The Blairwitch received awhile back. It seems everyone loves to watch naughtiness on film and what better way to be naughty, than at the place where dreams come true.

This was a very clandestine operation to shoot apparently. They even went as far as to edit the film in S. Korea, to keep the white gloves of oppression of their beloved material. Too far? I think not, my only question is why haven’t they been put in mouse jail yet?

Synopsis:

Escape From Tomorrow is described as a postmodern, surreal voyage into the bowels of “family” entertainment as a middle-aged father loses his sanity during a close encounter with two teenage girls on holiday, all while trying to keep a straight face with his family after losing his job on the first day of vacation.

To my knowledge, Disney knows all about the film and has even placed the flick in their online supplement to Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia according to Wiki. My guess is that they are going to wait to see how well the film does before pulling a Song of the South on the entire thing. My advice to Randy is to hide this mutha, cause if this flops, he can expect to see Goofy, Donald and the entire cast of The Mickey Mouse Club, ready to smash his ass.

The film stars Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, Annet Mahendru, Danielle Safady and Alison Lees-Taylor and arrives on demand and in limited theaters on October 11.

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Has the Jedi mysticism in Star Wars been lost over the years

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The years have not been kind to the Jedi, a once benevolent group of mystics who occasionally had to do battle with the forces of evil to create balance in the universe. Remember when Star Wars was just about Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Darth Vader? It’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to say those names and actually feel that same level of honor, one might feel, being inducted into a secret society.

This was another one of my random thoughts, I had while slinging hash at my job and thought “hey…maybe there’s others out there who feel the same way”…so I decided to expound on it.

Call me crazy, but when you watch Star Wars: A New Hope, didn’t you get the sense that the Jedi’s were still a bit aloof, even when they were accepted by the Republic. They still seemed nomadic in their ways and very hard to understand at times and like searching for a new Dalai Lama, a Jedi seemed to me to be very…very hard to come by even before the slaughter, but not anymore.

How many Jedi’s does this Star Wars really need?

For me, the answers simple, but for those hellbent on making JEDI-star-wars-jedi-23833947-1024-768money off this franchise, the answers “there can never be too many”. Now with the Star Wars :The Old Republic MMORPG, everyone and their uncle can be a  Jedi, as if in Ben’s time, they were just handing out lightsaber’s  like government cheese.

Perhaps it’s because I haven’t read any of the spin off novels and comic books, except Timothy Zahn’s “Heir To The Empire”, but hasn’t this always been about the movies and not the books?

Sure, I too envision a world of yet unheard of Jedi, all with new and fascinating force skills, and belonging to interesting new races, but one must draw a line between recklessness and tangibility…yes, even in fantasy, this is what makes fantasy great. Isn’t it?

I didn’t need to see the Jedi Council in “The Phantom Menace”. Why couldn’t it have been just another level of the myth, one that we all subscribed to, but didn’t literally have to see? I mean can anyone, outside of the hardcore, name the members of the council or the race they belonged too? I know I can’t.

Councilrots

This wasn’t the only thing that bothered me, assuming the Jedi were the Templar’s of their time, there was nothing to suggest a monk lifestyle other than the robes they wore, which brings me back to Ben, in the first film. He was unlike any of the so-called Jedi we saw in Episodes I, II and III. He was like the “Oracle” in The Matrix. Simple, careful, always aware of his emotions and above all…humble. Certainly not the order we saw in the prequels with their spacious penthouse view of Coruscant. There’s nothing about the Jedi’s in the new movies that says ancient or mystic. In that way, I could see why something like the Sith would want to destroy them, but I highly doubt George was thinking about this when he embarked upon creating that reheated piece of fodder known as ‘the prequels”. He was just going for flash, forgoing any of the mysticism we became fond of in “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back” and replacing it with smoke and mirrors. Now everyone has the force, Leia, Han Solo, their kids and all the while, the ones who’ve remained more benevolent, clandestine, and shrouded in secrecy is the Sith.

I will even go as far as saying that “the “Sith” is the last bit of true Star Wars left, ironically enough”.

They are the one’s Hollywood unknowingly have made an “anomaly” in all this mess. We got bit’s and pieces of who they are in every film, but no visit to their planet or meeting with the council or glimpses into what it takes to become one. Again, if you’ve read any of the Dark Horse comics you already know a lot about the Sith, but for the majority of moviegoers, there’s nothing. This is the model the Jedi’s/George Lucas, should’ve followed before he decided to blanket the screen with so many meaningless characters and colorful light sabers. This over saturation made the loss of their kind even more unceremonious than it already was. Not only were thousands of Jedi slain, we only knew the names of only a handful of them.

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What’s real important to understand is that when George Lucas wrote A New Hope, back in the seventies he, as a film student, was deeply into Akira Kurosawa films like “Rashomon”, “Seven Samurai” and “Ran”. He peppered “A New Hope” with all sorts of Japanese inspired aesthetics like Luke and Ben’s Hakama garb and even replaced Samurai katanas with light sabers. The colors white and black, used in the Tao symbol for balance, are also represented throughout the film, demonstrating duality and then there’s Yoda, who was essentially a small green version of Pat Morita from The Karate Kid. Course there’s the blatant Nazi symbolism embraced by the Empire, but I  want to get into that.

What I’m saying is it took Luke Skywalker three films to become a full fledged Jedi. He had to learn how to control his emotions and discipline himself, a fact that was done away with with the introduction of Medichlorian’s in the prequels. The images of Luke doing the handstand in the swamps with Yoda and him taking the shots from his impromptu blast-shield training on the Falcon, are still etched in my mind. Now, no longer is this rigorous training necessary when your born with this ability. Really? Could they have made the Jedi anymore elitists?

Look, for every short coming the Star Wars franchise has faced in the last decade, there are a million more yet to come, but can we at least agree that the franchise has lost that bit (I use that term lightly) of magic that made the original great? No artist, I know, has ever finished a song, painting or script without stepping back several times to look at what he or she has done and asking themselves “It this still me?”, “Is this still inspired?” These are questions, I’m afraid, George never asked himself, instead, as if he had no idea what he’d created two decades ago, he proceeded to go more west with the storyline than east, like he originally intended.

I won’t even ask you if whether approaching Star Wars from A New Hope point of view, is even worth it anymore, but it would be nice if the reigning science fiction/fantasy mutilator J.J. Abrams, would take this into consideration as he begins work on Star Wars Episode VII, but given his track record with Star Trek, I ‘d say don’t count on it and with that I leave you with the immortal words of C3PO…”We’re doomed.”

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Why Pacific Rim is more geek friendly than most geek friendly films

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Most of you already know about my love for Pacific Rim. I found it to be highly inventive and fun, but I found this article on Tumblr today that digs deeper into why this film forges new territory while others continue to tread water.

WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN” is a blog on Tumblr owned by a Pac-head (I just made that up), but it’s someone whose a tumblr_ms4edeg07B1saapdjo1_1280serious Pacific Rim fan. This guy cosplay’s and does write-ups on the complexity of the film all the time. This recent post went into the nerdy characters on Pacific Rim Herman Gottlieb played by Burn Gorman and Dr. Newton Geiszler played by Charlie Day. His post shines light on some very interesting points regarding these, would be outsiders, had it not been for Guillermo Del Toro‘s forward thinking.

Here’s an excerpt from his post.

2) Not marginalized for being geeks.

Here’s a biggie: Newt & Hermann, despite being geeks, are not defined by their relationship as it compares to the non-geek cast. There is no “nerds vs jocks” thing going on.

They are not marginalized as “The Other”. Their comedic role comes from their relationship with each other, not from being nerdy. (Note when Hermann goes into his “handwriting of God” spiel, Newton – a fellow nerd – is the one that laughs at him. Other movies would have Herc or Pentecost be the ones to be all “yo, dude, tone down the math feels for us normal peeps”) The people most likely to suffer from their character flaws are, really, just Newt and Hermann. Pentecost gets mad at them for arguing, but he gets mad at a *lot* of people in the movie for arguing.

Back to the concept of “Othering” geeks: Take a look at all the scenes in the lab. Consider all the other movies where the mere presence of a non-geek character in a geek’s “lair” is a source of discomfort or comedy. None of that here. It’s very refreshing.

Interesting stuff huh? Just one of those things that kind of floats past you as the robots and kaiju go at it, but subconsciously you absorb, ultimately forming your opinion about the film. I guess looking back, I should’ve noticed it, but being a Del Toro fan, I wouldn’t expect anything less. He’s always thinking outside the box…well except for the Russian’s and Chinese in the film, but hopefully we will get their stories in the sequel.

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Suspiria themed bar discovered in Tokyo, Japan

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Leave it to Japan to come up with a cool idea like this. FEAR.net came across some images of a bar in Japan that is meticulously designed like a set in Dario Argento‘s Susperia called Cambiare. The bar is located in Tokyo’sGolden Gai” district. An area of Japan where there are tons of hip clubs and bars like this. As you see from the pictures below the attention to detail is pretty scary. Absolutely no stone was left unturned in this fantastic tribute to the classic horror, which incidentally will be getting a reboot that’s directed by David Gordon Green and stars Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan, The Hunger Games). Sometimes it all comes to together without even trying.

Checkout the bars Facebook page for more details.

 

Some highlights from the Phoenix Comic Con 2013

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The annual pop culture event of the southwest, The Phoenix Comic Con, just wrapped up over memorial day weekend and man was it filled with a shit ton of craziness. Let’s begin with my day one. The showroom floor was set up slightly different than last year, but the exhibitors were in the same hall. Artists, comic book vendors and fanboy/girl merchants abounded.

There was ,however, one booth that caught my eye the moment I walked in. It was the Anomaly booth. Anomaly is an augmented reality graphic novel about greedy corporations and our role as interstellar ambassadors, none of which are doing too well when the story starts. The intense art is only half the fun with this book. The book is equipped with augmented reality technology. You download an app and point your ipad or smart phone at the pages and voila, the Anomaly world pops out at you in 3D. We are currently working on the full review of this amazing novel…stay tuned!!

EARTH 2717: THE 3RD GOLDEN AGE BUILDING A BETTER TOMORROW TODAYThe planet we call home slowly dies beneath us.Most humans now live in teeming surface “Terrarium Cities”, off world colonies or orbiting space stations. All of earth’s resources have been depleted.All corporations, nations and technologies have merged into THE CONGLOMERATE whose Enforcer Battalions now conquer whole planets to feed Earthlings insatiable appetites.THE CONGLOMERATE which began with the spirit of the best mankind had to offer, saved humanity from itself by taking us to the stars has become the most ruthless profit machine to ever exist.

ANOMALY OFFICIAL WEBSITE

While there I also got a chance to checkout a few panel discussions with some amazing people like Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) from the original Star Trek series. Timothy Zahn author of Heir to the Empire and Dark Force Rising and J. Micheal Straczynski, screenwriter for Babylon 5 and the soon to be released, Wachowski television series, Sense 8. The discussions were surprisingly well organized and highly informative.  On the down side, some panels promised exclusive images from upcoming films that they weren’t able to deliver on, instead giving us footage from previous Blu-Ray releases that had special behind the scenes footage.  Most of which, the guest in attendance had already owned and had watched.

There were also a number of very talented artist and writers in attendance such as Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Eric Esquivel (The Blackest Terror), Radi Lewis (Tech Watch) and uber artist Geof Darrow (The Shaolin Cowboy) and they were all gracious enough to spend time talking to their fans and taking pictures, evidenced by some of the ones I took of them below.

The event went off without any hitches and we were able to make a few contacts and take pictures of some amazing cosplayers. The event seems to be gaining steam and having spoken to a few writers/artists, they seem to be all in agreement that a more toned down con that focuses more on the craft is in order and the PHX CC is among one of the best in that capacity. Can’t wait til next year!

COPLAYERS of the Phoenix Comic Con 2013

 

Second trailer for Iron Man 3 arrives…with friends!

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I did a little reading on the Mandarin (Iron Man‘s arch nemesis), after watching the first trailer for Iron Man 3. What I gathered is he’s an idealist, kind of like Che Guevera, but a million times smarter. He is the Tony Stark of Indochina, but without his money and once again Tony’s father projects have had an indelible impact on his childhood. The part of The Mandarin is being played bycomics_the_mandarin, none other than, the super talented Ben Kingsley, you can hear his voice throughout this trailer actually. It’s an all too familiar formula to have the villain giving these poignant monologues for film trailers nowadays. The idea is to make the audience feel vulnerable and selfish. I promise this won’t be a post about the corruptible power of money, but it is funny how two blockbusting villains have been these so called modern day Robin Hoods, I speak of Bane (from The Dark Knight Rises) and The Mandarin of course. I don’t know where I was going with that, I just thought I would share this bit of Hollywood sociology. So yes, the trailer, it features some outstanding special effects along with a host of “Iron Man-ish” friends who show up at the end. I think they are those soldiers you see in the room at one point in the trailer, you tell me. It should be a fun ride and one I think, in 3D, should blow a few minds. Enjoy.

Iron Man 3 is directed by Jon Favreau and stars Robert Downey Jr.,Don Cheadle,Guy Pierce, Ben Kingsley and Gwyneth Paltrow (who swears this is the last one…whatever!). Iron Man releases in theaters on May 3, 2013.

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Marvel’s “Guardian’s of the Galaxy” needs you. Free comic books anyone?…their free!

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It’s sad when you think you’ve missed out on a bit of your childhood because you didn’t know about certain Marvel comic book character’s, but when Vertigo comics entered my world, I gave up superheroes for some real story telling. I’m not dissing the efforts of Marvel comics, just saying that I’ve never gone back. So it makes sense why they are releasing  free digital comics for their latest adapted movie Guardian’s of the Galaxy. Don’t know who they are? Neither do I, but Marvel is about to spend tons on making sure you do before the movie arrives August 1, 2014. At least now I know how my wife felt when she saw The Watchmen for the first time, but she did wind up liking it, so here’s to new experiences. Why the “GOTG” you might ask? Because they tie into The Avengers universe somehow…silly. This is all about branding every damn toon Marvel has got and with Disney holding the checkbook now, you can guarantee they are going to do just that. Back to the story, I tried to find a definition of who “GOTG” are and I must say, even after the explanations on Wiki and Marvel Wiki, I still have no fucking clue. Here’s what I have so far, bear with me…it’s lengthy.

Via Wiki:

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In the aftermath of the Phalanx invasion of the Kree, Star-Lord decides to form a team of interstellar heroes that will be proactive in protecting the galaxy, rather than reacting to crises as they happen. To this end, he recruits Adam Warlock, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora,Phyla-Vell (the new Quasar), Rocket Raccoon,and Groot, with Mantis as support staff. On the recommendation of their ally, Nova, the group establishes a base of operations on the space station Knowhere, which possesses a teleportation system with near-universal range. An intelligent, telepathic dog named Cosmo is Knowhere’s chief of security and works closely with the new team. After a confrontation with the Universal Church of Truth, the team meets a semi-amnesiac man who identifies himself as Vance Astro – Major Victory of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Astro’s declaration inspires the as-yet-unnamed team to adopt the “Guardians of the Galaxy” name for their own.When the team learns Star-Lord directed Mantis to telepathically coerce the heroes into joining the team, they disband.

Rocket Raccoon decided to continue Star-Lord’s mission and started a search for the missing members. He asked Bug to join the team, as well Groot’s return to full size and the addition of Mantis and Major Victory as field members.

Meanwhile Star-Lord was banished to the Negative Zone by Ronan the Accuser for his actions during the Phanlanx’s attempted conquest of the Kree Empire. There, he finds himself in the middle of King Blastaar’s fight to break into 42 and use its portal to invade Earth. Star-Lord allies with Jack Flag to defend the prison and contact the other Guardians for rescue. Rocket’s new team successfully brings both of them back, and Flag becomes a Guardian.

Elsewhere, Drax and Phylla begin looking for Cammi, but on their search they talk to a seer who tells them about an oncoming war. Phylla was able to wake Moondragon from the dead, but lost her Quantum Bands in the process. The consequence for Phyla is that she is now the new avatar of death. They went back to Knowhere and did not follow up on the search for Cammi.

Got it! Good! I’m sure the effects will be amazing, but what’s really going to bother me are all these punk ass thirty something’s who will swear to being true Guardian’s…fans, just so when the trailer hits, they can turn to whomever their seated next to and say “Gawd… I’ve waited all my life for this movie.”, perhaps you have,but not me…so shut the fuck up! Okay…I’m a little jaded, you wanna know why? It’s because the comic books I enjoyed growing up haven’t been adapted yet. I’m still waiting on my Sandman movie! Too risky Hollywood? Well risk has been what has kept you guys on the top for so long. Anyway, Entertainment Weekly  published some of the artwork being used in Marvel’s stand alone issues for GOTG, in order to get us caught up on some of the lesser known characters. Wait…there are well known character’s?

The following comes Via@ Collider who we owe a dept of thanks for posting EW’s article…let’s pay it fucking forward shall we?

Starting with Drax the Destroyer (available now), Marvel’s four free issues centering on the Guardians of the Galaxy are available through the Marvel Comics app.  Written by Brian Michael Bendis, the first story in the series gives a good introduction to Drax and shows that he’s quite the badass as he defends himself against some substantial threats.  (There’s also a nice teaser appearance at the end by another Guardian.) guardians-of-the-galaxy-infinite-comics

The presentation on your smartphone or tablet keeps the iconic panel feel of classic comics with a high-tech method of swiping to advance the story.  As Bendis says:

“An Infinite comic book is exploring the new world of digital publication but still maintaining the essential elements that makes a comic book a comic book.  Most digital comic books are essentially scanned pages that the reader has limited ability to manipulate, but an Infinite comic makes the reader part of the sequential storytelling. Each one is sort of a prologue to the very first issue that lets the readers know who these characters are and what their individual goals are outside of the team. What makes Gamora tick? What secret is rocket raccoon hiding? What cost comes from being one of the galaxies most famous warriors like Drax the Destroyer?”

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Finally, Bendis commented on the heroes themselves and how well they’ll fit into Marvel’s slate of feature films:

“They are very unique individuals but there’s something very classical about them as a group, like Robin Hood and his Merry Men, like Firefly, like Han Solo and Chewbacca. The Guardians are characters that have risen above their terrible upbringing and have chosen to do something worthwhile in this lifetime. That makes them heroes. The fact that they are so unique, the fact that most of them are one-of-a-kind, makes them all the more heroic.”

Still nothing…I know right? Did I need to be 15 again to really spring a leak about this film, or am I just that old? Maybe I need to pick up a few of these free comic books just so I know who theses toons…Dow! Damn you Marvel, you did it again! You did it again!

Guardian’s of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn (Slither, Scooby Doo) and stars Chris Pratt and James Momoa. No one else is confirmed yet. The film releases August 1, 2014.

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Emerald City Comic Con – Day 3

Dark Horse's The Massive

Garry Brown and Brian Wood of Dark Horse's The Massive at ECCC 2013

Garry Brown and Brian Wood of Dark Horse’s The Massive at ECCC 2013

By the time Sunday rolls around, if anything, the momentum at the con has picked up, not decreased, especially on the artist’s floor where content creators are assembled en masse.  The vibe on the floor is celebratory, energetic.  The lines to collect autographs from artists at Image, Dark Horse, DC and others are already formed just a few short minutes after the doors have opened.

I swing by to say hi to Brian Wood and Garry Brown, writer and artist (respectively) of Dark Horse’s The Massive, who were on hand to generously supply smiles, autographs, and free limited edition prints of art from The Massive.  And yeah, of course I snagged myself a handful of all of that.  Who wouldn’t?

With still a little more than half an hour before my first panel is set to begin, I wander through the crowds and finally find myself at the LGBT kiosk where writer Alex Woolfson was on hand to talk about his sci-fi graphic novel, Artifice.  I grilled Alex a bit in the spirit of the last day of the con and asked him playfully to give me the “elevator pitch” for his story.  Synthetic humans?  Off-world romance?  Corrupt corporations?  I have to tell you, I was sold 5 seconds in.  The level of storytelling is thought provoking and engaging.  I couldn’t put it down.

Alex Woolfson's Artifice

A panel from Alex Woolfson’s graphic novel: Artifice. Illustrations by Winona Nelson

One of the great experiences I’ve had as a comic con newb is being able to get up face-to-face with the content creators responsible for some of the most exciting, cutting edge work on the market.  The level of accessibility the con affords you is almost ridiculous.  I encourage you to take advantage of it.  Almost everyone you’ll talk to at the con is as excited to be there as you are.

The big draw on the final day of the con are panels that will discuss how creators currently working in the field (and those looking to break in) can include more diversity in their respective mediums.

In the “Women in Webseries” panel, creators of JourneyQuest, Clockwork Infinity, Geek Seekers, Chop Socky Boom!, and Standard Action convened to discuss the freedom of the format, how their shows originated, and their future plans.

What’s exciting about the webseries medium is how, as mentioned by Darlene Sellers (Chop Socky Boom!) “it opens up the storytelling world to everyone.”

The webseries format has gained significant traction over the last few years, and if you’re unfamiliar with one (or all) of the titles I mention, I encourage you to check them out.  All are free to watch online.  If you’re interested in getting involved locally,  Washington Filmworks is committed to providing funding assistance to filmmakers utilizing technology to get their stories out there.  Check out their site for more information on tapping into this great resource: Innovation Lab.

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Women in Webseries Panel: (L-R) Elizabeth Heile, Jen Page, Darlene Sellers, Trin Miller, Joanna Gaskell

If you’d like to check out archived video streams of ECCC 2013, you can purchase an all-inclusive, forever pass from flipon.tv

On Twitter: @emeraldcitycon or

Breaking News: Chris Nolan is now producing “The Justice League” and might bring back Christian Bale

Nolan-No-Justice-League

And now you know what happens when your switching between World of Warcraft and Facebook at 12:07 a.m. You wind up hearing a rumor like this one and have no other choice than to do a write up on it as soon as possible. This whole JL (Justice League) thing is really getting out of control. First it’s in the works, next it’s being scraped, now Christopher Nolan is going to produce it and wants to bring back Christian Bale for the role of The Dark Knight. Not only that, rumor has it that Christopher Nolan has completely taken over anything having to do with these characters at DC. So basically, DC has given Chris the keys to the kingdom at least according to Latino Review. As many of you already know, Christopher Nolan is already producing Man of Steel directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Amy Adam’s and Michael Shannon, so yes there is an interest on his part, but Justice League? This is getting so complicated right? So many characters, so little time to merchandise the shit out of them, but something tells me Warner Brother’s has a plan. Does it make sense to have Chris take this on? Yes, but do I want him too…I don’t know yet. I’m going to run with Latino Review’s theory as to why this is all happening and at such a break neck pace. Disney has The Avengers sequel all set up and J.J. Abrams about to breath new life into the Star Wars franchise. That being said Chris and Zack are working together on the highly anticipated Man of Steel, but even that can’t guarantee box office numbers, but what can is an actor who brought in cumulative what Iron Man, Captain America and Thor couldn’t do collectively, one billion dollars. Is this all starting to make sense? Warner is pulling out the big guns to combat a potential disaster if they can’t cash in on the bankability of these characters right the fuck now. So there you have it. Chris could be the new face of DC. We’ll all see how this all washes out in the coming days, but in the meantime keep your eyes and ears peeled, this could get messy.


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