Pop Artifact! Thor figure

Pop Culture Roundup July 31, 2007

According to what he said at the recent San Diego Comicon International, Joss Whedon has a couple new "Buffy"-related projects coming up: First the current "Buffy" comic from Dark Horse will continue into "season 9," with the return of everyone's favorite by werewolf Oz expected. Also, maybe, in the works is the long talked about "Ripper," a BBC TV series that would chronicle the early days of Buffy's watcher, Giles.


Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni died yesterday, the same day as the great Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.

Mr. Antonioni is probably best known for “Blow-Up,” a 1966 drama set in Swinging London about a fashion photographer who comes to believe that a photograph he took of two lovers in a public park also shows, hidden in the background, evidence of a murder. But his true, lasting contribution to cinema resides in an earlier trilogy — “L’Avventura” in 1959, “La Notte” in 1960 and “L’Eclisse” in 1962 — which explores the filmmaker’s tormented central vision that people had become emotionally unglued from one another.


Fred Hembeck remembers talk show host Tom Snyder.


Inkworks plans a series of new trading cards based on the upcoming Flash Gordon TV series on the Sci Fi Channel.

In addition to being able to use images from the series, which stars Eric Johnson (who played Whitney Fordman on Smallville) as the eponymous hero, Inkworks will also be able to include images from the rich comic book (and comic strip) history of the classic Flash Gordon property created by Alex Raymond.


Read an interview with mysterious Dial B for Blog/Dial B for Burbank creator "Robby Reed" (who also kindly designed the logo for this site).

2007 Eisner Award Winners

Here's a list of comics creators awarded Eisner Awards at the 2007 Comicon International in San Diego:

Best Short Story“A Frog’s Eye View,” by Bill Willingham and James Jean, in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Batman/The Spirit #1: “Crime Convention,” by Jeph Loeb and Darwyn Cooke (DC)

Best Continuing Series
All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)

Best Limited Series
Batman: Year 100, by Paul Pope (DC)

Best New Series
Criminal, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)

Best Title for a Younger Audience
Gumby, by Bob Burden and Rick Geary (Wildcard)

Best Humor Publication
Flaming Carrot Comics, by Bob Burden (Desperado/Image)

Best Anthology
Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, by Bill Willingham and various (Vertigo/DC)

Best Digital Comic
Sam and Max, by Steve Purcell

Best Reality-Based Work
Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)

Best Graphic Album - New
American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)

Best Graphic Album - Reprint
Absolute DC: The New Frontier, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)

Best Archival Collection/Project - Strips
The Complete Peanuts, 1959-1960, 1961-1962, by Charles Schulz (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project - Comic Books
Absolute Sandman, vol. 1, by Neil Gaiman and various (Vertigo/DC)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
The Left Bank Gang, by Jason (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Japan
Old Boy, by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi (Dark Horse Manga)

Best Writer
Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Daredevil (Marvel); Criminal (Marvel Icon)

Best Writer/Artist
Paul Pope, Batman: Year 100 (DC)

Best Writer/Artist - Humor
Tony Millionaire, Billy Hazelnuts (Fantagraphics); Sock Monkey: The Inches Incident (Dark Horse)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
Mark Buckingham/Steve Leialoha, Fables (Vertigo/DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Jill Thompson, “A Dog and His Boy” in The Dark Horse Book of Monsters; “Love Triangle” in Sexy Chix (Dark Horse); “Fair Division,” in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

Best Cover Artist
James Jean, Fables, Jack of Fables, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

Best Coloring
Dave Stewart, BPRD, Conan, The Escapists, Hellboy (Dark Horse); Action Comics, Batman/The Spirit, Superman (DC)

Best Lettering
Todd Klein, Fables, Jack of Fables, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall; Pride of Baghdad, Testament (Vertigo/DC); Fantastic Four: 1602, Eternals (Marvel); Lost Girls (Top Shelf)

Special Recognition
Hope Larson, Gray Horses (Oni)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)

Best Comics-Related Book
The Art of Brian Bolland, edited by Joe Pruett (Desperado/Image)

Best Publication Design
Absolute DC: The New Frontier, designed by Darwyn Cooke (DC)

Hall of Fame
Judges’ Choices (2): Robert Kanigher and Ogden Whitney
- Ross Andru & Mike Esposito
- Dick Ayers
- Wayne Boring
- Joe Orlando

Other Awards:

Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comics Writing: Gardner Fox, George Gladir

Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: David Petersen

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Neil Gaiman

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award:
Earth-2, Sherman Oaks, CA, owned by Carr D’Angelo

Upcoming Marvel Legends figures for 2008

Unveiled at the recent San Diego Comicon International, here's some upcoming stuff from Hasbro's Marvel Legends action figure line.

Hasbro Marvel Legends Series 4 action figures

Nova, Astonishing X-men Beast, Black Bolt, yell0w-costume Daredevil, Tim Bradstreet Punisher, Tigra, build-a-figure Nemesis

Hasbro Fantastic Four build-a-figure wave

Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Human Torch, Thing, Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, Sub-Mariner, Moleman, build-a-figure Ronan the Accuser

Hasbro Marvel Icons figures

yellow-costume Daredevil, Nightcrawler, red-costume Daredevil

green-costume Phoenix, Collossus, red-costume Phoenix

Jean Grey Black Queen

Human Torch, Silver Surfer

Spider-Man build-a-figure wave

Tonner Dolls DC Comics, Spider-Man figures

These high-end (i.e. spendy) dolls are made by the Tonner Doll company as part of a DC Stars lineup. Some are available via Amazon, just click the links.




Supergirl Kryptonian Casual

Supergirl Casual Identity

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman Amazon Princess

Wonder Woman Office Savvy

DVD new releases July 31, 2007

Hawaii Five-O - The Second Season

Babylon 5 - The Lost Tales

300 (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)

The History Channel Presents Last Stand of the 300 - The Legendary Battle at Thermopylae

Dallas - The Complete Seventh Season

Popeye the Sailor: 1933-1938, Vol. 1

Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 4 (Act of Violence / Mystery Street / Crime Wave / Decoy / Illegal / The Big Steal / They Live By Night / Side Street / Where Danger Lives / Tension)
Suspense: The Lost Episodes Collection, Vol. 1

Sabrina the Teenage Witch - The Second Season

The Archie Show: The Complete Series

Space 1999 30th Anniversary Edition Megaset

20 Million Miles To Earth (50th Anniversary Edition)

Thunderbirds 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition Megaset

Illegal / The Big Steal (Film Noir Double Feature)

Crime Wave / Decoy (Film Noir Double Feature)

Act of Violence / Mystery Street (Film Noir Double Feature)

Where Danger Lives / Tension (Film Noir Double Feature)

They Live by Night / Side Street (Film Noir Double Feature)

Pulp Fiction Art - Cheap Thrills and Painted Nightmares

More upcoming DVDs

CD new releases July 31, 2007

Love Letters From Ella by Various Artists

You're Getting Better: The Word Jazz Dot Masters by Ken Nordine

Elvis Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley

Live at the BBC V.1 by Lloyd Cole & The Commotions

Fractured Mindz by Dave Davies

More upcoming CDs

Vintage Marvel Comics house ad

Today's video: 1976 Mego action figures ad

Pop Artifact! Spider-Man pinball game

Pop Culture Roundup July 29, 2007

Fred Hembeck draws the original X-men.


Talk show Tom Snyder, of "Tomorrow Show" fame, has died.

Known for his improvised, casual style and robust laughter, Snyder conducted a number of memorable interviews as host of NBC's "The Tomorrow Show." Among his guests were John Lennon, Charles Manson and Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols.


Jon Favreau, director of the upcoming Iron Man film, will script a comic book about ol' Shellhead as well.

The ...four-issue Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas mini-series, which is slated for release around the time that the Iron Man movie debuts on May 2nd, 2008. Favreau will be working with Adi Granov, the artist who designed the Iron Man suit used in the movie.


Image Comics has plans to publish new comics series based on some of Jack Kirby's late-career creations, says Image Publisher Erik Larsen.

It will be two books to begin with. Silver Star covers Earth - Captain Victory covers all space and both will be packed with awesome Kirby characters and concepts many of which have only appeared as sketches. The idea is to introduce these characters one after another the same way that characters were introduced in other Kirby books over the years. What I'd like to do is feature Jack's original drawings and whatever notes he might have had in the back of the books to give readers insight into what Jack drew and what we had to work with. In the Silver Star book, for example, there are a few drawings that feature characters that didn't make it into the book. In Jack's original Silver Star pitch there was a whole gang of guys that wound up on the cutting room floor and Jack redesigned his "Angel of Death" character so much that he doesn't look like the same guy. That original design was cool as all hell and I want to put that design to good use. Jack has numerous cosmic characters that would fit right in to Captain Victory and Earthbound characters would be right at home in Silver Star and we can mix and match as well, having cosmic characters appearing in Silver Star and non-cosmic characters popping into Captain Victory.


You can nab the new Marvel Legends Stan Lee action figure here. The figure, along with this She-Hulk figure, is only available from Hasbro or at this year's San Diego Comicon International.


It's the 50th anniversary of the great R&B label Stax Records and NPR is presenting interviews with some of the great musicians who made it what it was. First up: Booker T and the MGs guitarist Steve Cropper.

More Stax: PBS' "Great Performances" profiles the label in special this Wednesday. Check yer locals.


The New York Times' profiles Portmeirion, the eccentrically designed town on the Welsch coast that served as the setting for the cult TV series "The Prisoner."


Keith Richards is penning his memoirs. What he can remember of them anyway...


IDW Publishing has a new Doctor Who comic book series in the works, and will be republishing an old one.

...current TV series script editor Gary Russell will pen the series with Nick Roche ("Transformers: Devastation" and "Transformers: Beast Wars") providing artwork. "Doctor Who" showrunner Russell T Davies will oversee the book.

IDW will also begin reprinting Dave Gibbons' run on "Doctor Who Monthly" from the 1980s. Originally presented in black and white, the books will now be colored using new techniques.

Vintage Marvel Comics house ad

Today's video: Archies car ad

Pop Artifact! "Signed" Superman picture

Pop Culture Roundup July 27, 2007

Cartoonist Darwyn Cooke and inker J. Bone are leaving DC Comics' The Spirit title after issue 12.

Cooke also revealed that he has two graphic novels planned over the next two years - one an all ages fairy tale, and the second, more in the vein of his Catwoman work, centering on a man who's life is unraveling as he deals with modern life.


In other Darwyn Cooke news, the voice cast of the animated adaptation of his "Justice League: The New Frontier" straight-to-DVD film will include David Boreanaz as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Kyle MacLachlan as Superman, Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman, Neil Patrick Harris as the Flash, and Jeremy Sisto as Batman.


A 30th anniversary of the Sex Pistols only real album, Never Mind The Bollocks ... Here's the Sex Pistols, is due out Oct. 29--on vinyl.

The set will be available on heavyweight vinyl with a 7" insert of "Submission" and a poster -- just as it was when it was originally released on Oct. 29, 1977.

The Pistols will also reissue their four classic singles: "Anarchy in the U.K.," "God Save the Queen," "Pretty Vacant" and "Holidays in the Sun" throughout October on 7-inch vinyl. Jamie Reid's original artwork and heavyweight paper sleeves will be faithfully reproduced, according to Virgin.


Rhino Records is releasing a four-CD Heavy Metal Box Oct. 2. Here's the track list:

Disc 1:
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," Iron Butterfly
"Summertime Blues," Blue Cheer
"Easy Livin," Uriah Heep
"Highway Star," Deep Purple
"Billion Dollar Babies," Alice Cooper
"Lost Johnny," Hawkwind
"Bad Motor Scooter," Montrose
"Working Man," Rush
"Man on the Silver Mountain," Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
"Detroit Rock City," Kiss
"The Ripper," Judas Priest
"Cat Scratch Fever," Ted Nugent
"Lights Out," UFO
"Godzilla," Blue Oyster Cult
"Demolition Boys," Girlschool
"White Witch," Angel Witch
"The Phantom of the Opera," Iron Maiden
"Neon Knights," Black Sabbath

Disc 2:
"Ace of Spades," Motorhead
"Am I Evil?," Diamond Head
"Nice Boys," Rose Tattoo
"Attack of the Mad Axeman," Michael Schenker Group
"Denim and Leather," Saxon
"Blitzkrieg," Blitzkrieg
"Gangland," Tygers Of Pan Tang
"Witching Hour," Venom
"You've Got Another Thing Comin'," Judas Priest
"The Number of the Beast," Iron Maiden
"Star War," Raven
"Say What You Will," Fastway
"Black Funeral," Mercyful Fate
"Animal (F**k Like A Beast)," W.A.S.P.
"Mean Streak," Y&T
"Holy Diver," Dio
"Queen of the Reich," QueensrØche
"Whiplash," Metallica

Disc 3:
"Rock You Like a Hurricane," Scorpions
"Metal Health," Quiet Riot
"Into the Fire," Dokken
"Balls to the Wall," Accept
"Round and Round," Ratt
"I Wanna Rock," Twisted Sister
"The Boulevard of Broken Dreams," Hanoi Rocks
"Big Bottom," Spinal Tap
"Midnite Maniac," Krokus
"I'll See the Light, Tonight," Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force
"Crazy Nights," Loudness
"Shake Me," Cinderella
"Watch the Children Pray," Metal Church
"To Hell with The Devil," Stryper
"A Little Time," Helloween
"Wrecking Crew," Overkill
"Caught in a Mosh," Anthrax
"Peace Sells," Megadeth

Disc 4:
"Still of the Night," Whitesnake
"Rock Me," Great White
"Talk Dirty to Me," Poison
"Bathroom Wall," Faster Pussycat
"Hall of the Mountain King," Savatage
"Kiss Me Deadly," Lita Ford
"Hail and Kill," Manowar
"Trial by Fire," Testament
"Welcome Home," King Diamond
"South of Heaven," Slayer
"One," Metallica
"Cult of Personality," Living Colour
"Youth Gone Wild," Skid Row
"Cowboys from Hell," Pantera
"Beg to Differ," Prong
"Dead Embryonic Cells," Sepultura


The "Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition" out Nov. 13 includes all three cuts of Steven Spielberg's 1978 film in a multi-disc DVD set or all on one packed high-definition blu-ray disk. According to the press release:

The Original Theatrical version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind was released on screens in 1977 and was never available on home video. Spielberg released a re-edited Special Edition theatrically and on VHS in 1980 wherein he deleted several smaller scenes and added other sequences including scenes of Dreyfuss inside the alien mother ship at the end of the film.

In 1998, the Collector’s Edition was released on home video with a limited theatrical run and featured Spielberg’s definitive director’s cut with changes, some small and subtle, as well as a change eliminating the interior mother ship scenes from the end of the Special Edition, thus restoring the original ending. The Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition is the first collection to include all three versions of the film.


There'll be both old and young Spocks in J.J. Abrams upcoming "Star Trek" film. And William Shatner is likely to return, too.

Leonard Nimoy isn't through with Spock yet.

The 76-year-old actor will don his famous pointy ears again to play the role in an upcoming "Star Trek" film due out Christmas 2008.

...Nimoy was joined by the newly named young Spock, "Heroes" star Zachary Quinto, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Nimoy.


Dark Horse Comics is reviving its Dark Horse Presents anthology comic online--with some big names attached.

"MySpace Dark Horse Presents" takes its cues from the original Dark Horse Presents, a hard copy comic book published from 1986 to 2000, where high celebrated comics including Frank Miller's Sin City and Paul Chadwick's Concrete, made their mark in issues of the anthology and were later spun off into their own standalone comic franchises.

The inaugural August issue of "MySpace Dark Horse Presents" goes live on MySpace today and will include the following comics:

-- Sugar Shock, the debut new comic from artist Fabio Moon and Joss Whedon, creator of the popular television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly, and author of the highly successful Dark Horse Comics miniseries, Fray, among others

-- The Umbrella Academy by artist Gabriel Ba and Gerard Way, lead singer of the band My Chemical Romance

-- Samurai by Ron Marz and Luke Ross

-- Comic-Con Murder Mystery by Rick Geary


Actress Karen Allen will return in the upcoming fourth Indiana Jones film, it was announced at San Diego's Comicon International yesterday.


Johnny Depp is set to appear as vampire Barnabas Collins in a big-screen "Dark Shadows" film.

Pop Focus: Land of the Giants

"Land of the Giants" was another of producer Irwin Allen's campy-colorful 60s TV sci-fi series (the others included "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "Lost in Space" and "The Time Tunnel"). It ran on ABC from 1968 to 1972.

There were 51 episodes in total--all of which are were recently released on DVD in an appropriately sized giant box set. The nine-disk package includes all sorts of additional goodies, too, including the show's pilot episode, an issue of the LOTG comic book, trading cards, iron-on patch and more.

The show focuses on the adventures of Earth people who, in futuristic 1983 are traveling on a commercial spacecraft from Los Angeles to London when they're zapped by a mysterious energy beam (are starting to get the sense the creators of "Lost," may've watched this show as kids?) and are immediately transported to a plant remarkably like their own. But much, much bigger. And they're still tiny. You can imagine the sort of problems that might arise for the teensy castaways.

In the years since it's aired, the show has become a bit of a cult item and excitement about the box has been high.

To celebrate, here's a collection of LOTG-related info, links and images we hope you'll enjoy.

"Land of the Giants" Cast

Gary Conway as Captain Steve Burton
Don Marshall as Dan Erickson
Don Matheson as Mark Wilson
Kurt Kasznar as Alexander Fitzhugh
Stefan Arngrim as Barry Lockridge
Deanna Lund as Valerie Scott
Heather Young as Betty Hamilton

Numerous stars also made guest appearances on the show, including Jonathan Harris from "Lost in Space" and Alan Hale Jr. from "Gilligan's Island."

Best "Land of the Giants" Sites

The Irwin Allen News Network

Land of the Giants Wikipedia Entry

Giants Log

Deanna Lund (official site)

TV.Com Land of the Giants Page (Episode guides and more)

"Land of the Giants" photo gallery

"Land of the Giants" pop artifacts

Magic slate

Lunch box

Viewmaster reel

Jigsaw puzzle


Model kits

"Land of the Giants" comic book cover gallery