DVD new releases Feb. 20, 2007

The Prestige

Babel (Widescreen Edition)

Flushed Away (Widescreen Edition)

Alias Smith & Jones - Season One

Gandhi (25th Anniversary Collector's Edition)

Voyage to the Bottom of Sea - Season 2, Volume 2

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (Limited Edition Collector's Set)

Family Ties - The Complete First Season

Penn & Teller - Bullsh*t - The Complete Fourth Season

Keeping Mum

49th Parallel - Criterion Collection

The Alice Faye Collection (That Night in Rio / Lillian Russell / On the Avenue / The Gang's All Here)

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs: Criterion Collection

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

What's New, Scooby-Doo? - The Complete First Season

CD new releases Feb. 20, 2007

We All Love Ennio Morricone by Various Artists

Charlie Louvin by Charlie Louvin

1945-1950 by The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi

Can Cladders by The High Llamas

Rome: Music From the HBO Series by Jeff Beal

To Go Home by M Ward

High Coinage: Songwriter Collection 1960-1976 by Jackie Deshannon

John B. Sebastian by John Sebastian

The Four of Us by John Sebastian

Tarzana Kid by John Sebastian

Welcome Back by John Sebastian

Out of the Blue by Electric Light Orchestra

Out of the Blue: 30th Anniversary Edition (W/Book) by Electric Light Orchestra

Third by Soft Machine

Six by Soft Machine

Roots of by Sly & Robbie

Controller by Jonny Greenwood

All Tomorrows Parties - Nico Live by Nico

Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by Moody Blues

Seventh Sojourn by Moody Blues

Tipplers Tales by Fairport Convention

Bonny Bunch of Roses by Fairport Convention

More Upcoming CDs

Pop Artifact! Thor superhero club button

Vintage Aurora models ad

Pop Culture Roundup Feb. 19, 2007

The great comics artist Bob Oksner has passed away. Comics historian/writer Mark Evainer has more.]


Cartoonist Jay Stephens has info about and pics from his upcoming animated series, "The Secret Saturdays," airing on the Cartoon Network next season. Looks kinda fun.

Jay Stephens has created a new comedy/action series, in which Doc, Drew and Zak Saturday are a family of world-saving adventure scientists called The Secret Saturdays. Living in a hidden base, they are part of a network of scientists who protect against all the hidden and terrifying things in this world. To The Saturdays, ordinary folktales aren’t just legends -- they are real-life mysteries and adventures. Traveling from the hot Gobi Desert to the icy Marianas Trench, they explore ancient temples and bottomless caves and tangle with twisted villains like the masked madman V.V. Argost and his half-human/half-giant spider.


Datajunkie has a nice selection of Aurora model ads. We'll be posting some this week here, too.


The two-thirds of The Jam who aren't Paul Weller are reuniting.


You can see preview pics from episode 17 of "Heroes" here.

Best "Heroes" Sites.


It's Stretch Monster Week at Neato Coolville!

Lost March 7 episode preview

Scroll over hidden text for slight spoilers:

"Enter 77" - Locke, Sayid and Kate investigate a strange structure and its mysterious inhabitant. Meanwhile, Sawyer competes in a ping-pong competition to get back his belongings, on "Lost," WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

"Lost" stars Naveen Andrews as Sayid, Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond, Emilie de Ravin as Claire, Michael Emerson as Ben, Matthew Fox as Jack, Jorge Garcia as Hurley, Josh Holloway as Sawyer, Daniel Dae Kim as Jin, Yunjin Kim as Sun, Evangeline Lilly as Kate, Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet, Dominic Monaghan as Charlie and Terry O'Quinn as Locke.

Guest starring are Mira Furlan as Danielle Rousseau, Rodrigo Santoro as Paulo, Kiele Sanchez as Nikki, April Grace as Ms. Klugh, Andrew Divoff as Mikhail Bakunin, Francois Chau as Dr. Marvin Candle, Shaun Toub as Sami, Anne Bedian as Amira, Taiarii Marshall as waiter and Eyad Elbitar as Arabic man.

"Enter 77" was written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof and directed by Stephen Williams.

See the Best "Lost" Sites on the Web.

Pop Artifact! Captain Marvel buzz bomb toy

Vintage DC Comics house ad

Pop Culture Roundup Feb. 16, 2007

Fred Hembeck corners Superman about a rather disturbing episode from the first season of the Man of Steel's 1950s TV show.


Booksteve presents an anti-drug public service ad drawn by the great Frank Frazetta.


"Lost" continues to suffer in the ratings, despite this week's episode being by far the best of the season.

Wednesday's episode of the Emmy-winning drama pulled in the smallest audience for a new episode in its history, a relatively scant 12.8 million viewers when compared with its 20 million-strong heyday.

Despite ABC's best efforts to protect Lost from the ravages of American Idol and the encroaching threat of Criminal Minds by moving it to 10 p.m., the flashback-happy show instead lost about 1.7 million of those who tuned in for Lost's big comeback last week after a three-month hiatus.


Aaron Eckhart will star as Harvey Dent (the Gotham City district attorney who becomes Batvillain Two-Face) in the next Batman flick.


Sigourney Weaver and director James Cameron are reuniting for another sci-fi film.

"Avatar" is shooting entirely in 3-D. Weaver will play a veteran interplanetary explorer who serves as a mentor to Jake Sully (Worthington), a wounded ex-Marine thrust unwillingly into an effort to explore and exploit an exotic planet rich in biodiversity. Ultimately, he crosses over to lead the planet's indigenous race in a battle for survival.

Cameron wrote the script from an idea he nurtured for over a decade while working on the 3-D technology necessary to realize its wholly imagined world. Pic will be released in both 3-D and 2-D.

Fantagraphics announces Complete Pogo books

Fantagraphics, already at work publishing the complete runs of "The Peanuts" and E.C. Segar's "Popeye," has officially announced a project to do the same with Walt Kelly's "Pogo."


The first volume of Fantagraphics' POGO will appear in October, 2007, and the series will run approximately 12 volumes, reproducing roughly two years of dailies and Sundays per volume.

Each Pogo volume will be designed by Jeff Smith, the award-winning cartoonist and creator of the Bone graphic novel, and a lifelong admirer of Walt Kelly.

Walt Kelly (born Walter Crawford Kelly Jr.) was born in 1913 and started his career at age 13 in Connecticut as a cartoonist and reporter for the Bridgeport Post, his local newspaper. In 1935, he moved to Los Angeles and joined the Walt Disney Studio, where he worked on classic animated films, including 'Pinocchio,' 'Dumbo,' and 'Fantasia.' In the mid 1930s, he drew his first comics work for the future DC Comics. Kelly left Disney in 1941 rather than take sides in their bitter labor strike. He moved back east and began drawing comic books for Western Publishing Company and the Dell line of comics.

It was during this time that Kelly created the character Pogo Possum. The character first appeared in Dell's Animal Comics as a secondary player in the 'Albert the Alligator' feature. It didn't take long until 'Pogo' became the comic's leading character. After the Second World War, Kelly became artistic director at the New York Star, where he turned Pogo into a daily strip. When the Star folded in 1949, the Hall Syndicate took 'Pogo' into syndication, so that the strip soon appeared in hundreds of newspapers. Until his death in 1973, he produced a feature that has become widely cherished among casual readers and aficionados alike as a classic comic strip.

Kelly blended nonsense, poetry, and political and social satire in making POGO an essential contribution to American "intellectual" comics. As the strip progressed, it became a hilarious platform for Kelly's scathing political views in which he skewered national boogeymen like Joseph McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, George Wallace, and Richard Nixon. Kelly was considered a sufficient threat that his phone was tapped and the US Government corresponded with a newspaper reporter who claimed that the eccentric patois Kelly created was a secret Russian code.) Pogo is well known for its elaborate and ornate lettering and for Kelly's distinctive use of language and lush brushwork. It is one of the few comic strips that succeeded in blending humor and politics into an uncompromising and entertaining whole.

The consecutive run of Pogo has never before been systematically collected into book form. (Fantagraphics published a series of 11 softcover volumes reprinting five-and-a-half years of the strip in the '90s.) This will be the definitive series collecting all of his Pogo strips from 1949 to 1973. "Walt Kelly is unquestionably in the pantheon of great newspaper strip cartoonists," said Gary Groth, President & Publisher of Fantagraphics Books. "Our Pogo books will present Kelly's work the way it should be published -- in a beautifully designed hardcover format, with careful attention paid to reproduction quality, and with knowledgeable introductory material."

"I am very excited that Fantagraphics has chosen to publish Pogo in such wonderful books," said Carolyn Kelly, Walt's daughter. "For many years people have been telling me how much they want to own this series, and I am thrilled that Pogo will now be so carefully compiled and available to us. Ol' Walt would be proud."

"This collection has been a long time coming," said Jeff Smith, "I've been waiting for it ever since I was nine. I'm very happy to be helping the Kelly family and Fantagraphics bring this comic strip masterpiece to a new audience."

Top 10 graphic novels, DVDs, CDs, action figures Feb. 16, 2007

Comics/Graphic Novels

1. 300 by Frank Miller $17.99
2. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang $11.53
3. Watchmen by Alan Moore $13.59
4. Lost Girls by Alan Moore $43.50
5. Astonishing X-Men Vol. 3: Torn by Joss Whedon $10.64
6. Penny Arcade Volume 3: The Warsun Prophecies by Jerry Holkins $10.75
7. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi $10.36
8. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel $13.57
9. Those Left Behind (Serenity) by Joss Whedon $9.95
10. V for Vendetta by Alan Moore $13.59


1. The Departed (Two-Disc Special Edition) $20.49
2. Casino Royale (Widescreen Two-Disc Special ... $15.99
3. Flags of Our Fathers (Widescreen Edition) $17.99
4. An Inconvenient Truth $19.99
5. Cinderella III - A Twist in Time $19.99
6. Little Miss Sunshine $17.99
7. Borat - Cultural Learnings of America for M... $15.99
8. Babel $17.99
9. The Illusionist (Widescreen Edition) $16.99
10. The Guardian $16.99


1. Not Too Late by Norah Jones $9.99
2. West by Lucinda Williams $9.99
3. Continuum by John Mayer $9.99
4. Corinne Bailey Rae by Corinne Bailey Rae $7.99
5. Taking The Long Way by Dixie Chicks $9.99
6. Wincing the Night Away by The Shins $9.99
7. 2007 Grammy Nominees by Various Artists $9.99
8. Children Running Through by Patty Griffin $11.99
9. Daughtry by Daughtry $9.99
10. Begin to Hope by Regina Spektor $6.99

Action Figures

1. DC Comics Ultra Blast Batman $34.99
2. Ultimate Powers Superman Figure $23.13
3. Transformers Deluxe Classic Bumblebee Figure $10.57
4. Avatar Airbending Aang $2.49
5. Transformers Voyager Classic Megatron Figure $14.99
6. Transformers Voyager Classic Optimus Prime ... $26.99
7. Avatar Spirit Aang $2.99
8. Transformers Optimus Prime 20th Anniversary... $64.99
9. Transformers Cybertron Supreme Class Cybert... $45.75
10. Transformers Deluxe Classic Astrotrain $7.99

Pop Artifact! Captain Marvel watch

Vintage DC Comics house ad

New Spider-Man 3 pictures

See the Best Spider-Man Sites on the Web.

Pop Culture Roundup Feb. 15, 2007

From Mark Evanier: An animated bug-killer ad by Tex Avery.


Speaking of Tex, all of his "Droopy Dog" theatrical 'toons will be out on two-disk DVD set May 15. You can pre-order Tex Avery's "Droopy: The Complete Theatrical Collection" for $20.19 from Amazon.

Lost Clues: "Flashes Before Your Eyes" Ep. 8, Season 3


Desmond's ability to see the future surfaces again as he somehow realizes Claire is in danger from drowning in the ocean and rushes off to save her. Hurley and Charlie are suspicious but amazed and get Desmond drunk, hoping that he'll open up and tell them more.

We see Desmond having what may or may not be a flashback after the Hatch explosion. He's certain that his visions aren't just his life "flashing before his eyes," but that he's actually been transported back into time, back to London, where he's planning to ask his girlfriend Penelope to marry him, before he goes on the round-the-world sailing trip that landed him on the island.

It's like he's trapped in a time loop and he's convinced, if he changes things, he can end up with Penelope and not on the island. He sees Charlie in the flashback/forward, but Charlie thinks he's crazy, like they've never met. And maybe they haven't...yet. When trying to buy an engagement ring for Penelope, a woman in a jewelry shop tells Desmond he can't go through with the purchase, he's supposed to have second thoughts, so he'll end up on the Island, pushing the button. We don't learn who this woman is or how she knows what she does, or even if she's real, not a figment of Desmond's imagination. The flashback ends with Desmond being knocked unconcious and then awaking after the Hatch explosion.

He also tells Charlie that he wasn't just saving Claire from drowning. In his vision of the future, Desmond saw Charlie drowning trying to save Claire. So Desmond went instead. Earlier in the season, when Desmond erected a golf club lightning rod to save Claire's shelter from getting zapped, it was also because he had a vision of Charlie dying. Desmond gives Charlie the warning that, ultimately, fate will catch up with him. Charlie's days seem numbered.

Clues, observations, speculation:

* The episode touches on the same "what's fate, what's in my control, what if I'd done this instead" themes present throughout the series. Was it the various choices made by the characters that has resulted in them being on the island? Was it fate or happinstance?

* Busking on the London streets, Charlie is singing "Wonderwall" by Oasis, which contains the line "maybe you're going to be the one who saves me."

* The sign on Charlie's guitar case identifies him as "Charlie Hieronymus Pace." "Hieronymus" means "holy name." Also, Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch painter whose works depicted sin and human moral failings. More.

* Maybe more interestingly, this site details the life and work of a researcher/engineer named T.G. Hieronymus who "studied plants and minerals and their relationship with different forms of energy, including the emanation of energy from these materials" in the 1930s and developed theories about eloptic energy: "Eloptic energy radiates from or is is in some manner given off from, or forms a force field around, everything in our material world under normal conditions at ordinary room temperature and with out any treatment of any kind. The energy radiated from each element differs from every other element in frequency, thus we have a means to determine the contents of a material without disturbing the material or having to excite it in any way...Hieronymus concluded that, Eloptic energy can be used to analyze any material, even from a photograph, and it can be used to alter the material, treat it, disintegrate it. Plants , animals, humans, chemicals, drugs, everything...." "Eloptic" is a contraction of the words "electromagnetic" and "optical". Google around a little and you'll see references to Hieronymus' work and ESP, alternative reality, UFOs and more, plus lots of references to the Hieronymus Machine. Seems like the kinda wacky, weird stuff that might inspire the writers of "Lost."

* Desmond's last name is "Hume." The philosopher David Hume believed "all human knowledge comes to us through our senses." More.

* A painting in Widmore's office shows a polar bear, an upside down Buddha (an image remiscent of Ben hanging upside down in one of Rosseau's traps) and the Buddhist greeting "namaste" (used in the Dharma orientation films) spelled backwards. Namaste means The painting is similar to those seen in the Hatch.

* The digital clock in Desmond's home reads "1:08," reminding of us of the counter inside the Hatch.

* A delivery man in Widmore's office building mentions an "8:15" delivery. The plane that crashed on the island was Oceanic 815.

* The microwave buzzer in Desmond's place sounds like the computer alarm in the Hatch.

* In the pub, the jukebox twice plays "Make Your Own Kind of Music," by Mama Cass, a tune we first hear Desmond spin on the turntable in the Hatch.

* Widmore is a mean bastard.

* Is the lady in the jewelry shop the same as this woman who appears in the teaser for next week's show? I don't think so.

* The red tennis shoes sticking out from a pile of rubble seems like a joking reference to the "Wizard of Oz."

* "Admiral MacCutcheon," founder of Widmore's favorite whisky, is a character in Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

* The lady in the jewelry shop's last name is "Hawking," perhaps another reference to Stephen Hawking.

* There are ads for Oceanic Air and Apollo candy bars on the soccer field as Desmond watches the game on the pub TV.

New and upcoming action figures Feb. 15, 2007

Complete List of Marvel Legends Action Figures
Complete List of DC Direct Action Figures

Here's a look at action figures available via your local comics shop or via the TIP!-supporting links below:

DC Direct Action Figures

Alex Ross JLA series 5 action figures
--Lex Luthor
--Green Arrow
--Martian Manhunter
--Red Tornado
--Translucent Martian Manhunter

Batman Through the Ages
--Box Set

Batman/Superman Series 4
--Batman Beyond
--Kryptonite Batman

DC Direct Reactivated Action Figures
--Wonder Woman

DC 13-inch Figures
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Green Lantern
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Lex Luthor
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Two-Face
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Superman
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Shazam
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Flash

Elseworlds Action Figures Series 2
--Red Son Batman
--Red Son President Superman
--Kingdom Come Jade
--Kingdom Come Spectre and Norman McKay
--Gotham By Gaslight Batman

Elseworlds Action Figures Series 3
--Kingdom Come Aquaman
--Red Son Green Lantern

First Appearance Series 4
--Blue Beetle translucent
--Blue Beetle
--Brave New World Atom
--Brave New World Martian Manhunter
--Brave New World Aquaman

Infinite Crisis Action Figures Series 1
--Earth Prime Superboy
--Alexander Luthor

JSA Action Figures
--Mr. Terrific
--Dr. Midnite
--Golden Age Atom 2-pack

Hanna Barbera Series 2 Action Figures
--Captain Caveman
--Fred Flintstone and Dino
--Johnny Quest
--Magilla Gorilla
--Penelope Pitstop and Muttley
--Tom and Jerry
--Yogi Bear
--Flintstones at the Drive-In

Hanna Barbera Series 3 Action Figures
--Fred Flintstone Quittin' Time
--Twinkle Toes Fred Flintstone
--Great Grape Ape
--Huckleberry Hound
--The Jetsons
--Secret Squirrel

McFarlane Lost series 2 action figures
--Crash site box set
--Mr. Eko

Marvel Figure Factory Sets
--Black Costume Spider-Man
--Invisible Woman
--Silver Surfer

Marvel Legends Action Figures

Hasbro Marvel Legends Figures Series 1
--Emma Frost
--Ultimate Iron Man
--Movie Beast
--Planet Hulk

Hasbro Marvel Legends Action Figures Series 2
--Yellow Jacket
--Quick Silver
--Lord Asgard Thor
--Magneto Xorn
--X3 Jean Grey
--First Appearance Storm

Marvel Legends Icons 13-inch Action Figures Series 3 Action Figures
--Spider-Man Variant
--Beast Variant

Hasbro Marvel Legends Icons 13-inch Series 1 Action Figures

Marvel Legends Masterworks Sets
--Spider-Man Vs. Green Goblin
--Fantastic Four Vs. Mole Man
--Hulk Vs. The Thing
--Galactus Vs. Everybody

Marvel Select Figures

Best of Marvel Select Figures
--Grey Hulk
--Ultimate Spider-Man
--Green Goblin

NECA 7-inch John Lennon action figures
--Black and white

NECA Grindhouse action figures--Quentin Tarantino as soldier

Pop Artifacts! Captain Marvel picture puzzle

Vintage DC Comics house ad

Pop Culture Roundup Feb. 14, 2007

Via World of Kane: A "Man from U.N.C.L.E." image gallery.




Lynda Carter of "Wonder Woman" fame will guest-star as Chloe Sullivan's mother in the April 12 episode of "Smallville."


Speaking of Wonder Woman, will we ever tire of her wonderfully wacky Golden Age adventures?


Datajunkie shines the spotlight on Jack Kirby's wonderfully bizarre "OMAC" comics series.


DC Direct has a slide show of upcoming items unveiled during this year's Toy Fair convention. Here's one I might save my pennies for: the 13-inch-tall Batman figure in old-school costume.

Newsarama also has a DC Direct Toy Fair report with pics.

Complete list of DC Direct Action Figures.


Mike Sterling lists another 100 things he loves about comics.


A three-DVD box set including the "Doctor Who" adventures "The Keeper of the Traken," "Logopolis" and "Castrovalva" will be released June 5. The "New Beginnings" box marks the transition from fourth Doctor Tom Baker to fifth, Peter Davison.

Best Doctor Who Sites.


NPR has a feature on cartoonists Robert and Aline Kominsky Crumb.


ABC is really sweating the drop in ratings for "Lost," aren't they? First there was that "Lost Survivor's Guide" that tried to tell us the show was mainly all about the soap opera revolving around the Jack, Sawyer and Kate love triangle. Now, ABC.com announces that, starting today, will host "video back stories" to help new viewers learn about the aforementioned plus Locke.

I fear that if ABC continues along these lines, we'll see major simplifying of the show's mysterious storylines--the thing that makes the series unique. Remember the post Super Bowl Jennifer Garner-in-lingerie episode that dumbed down, and ruined, "Alias"? It could happen again.

Anyway, here's ABC's spin on this online "back stories":

ABC.com is giving "Lost" fans a Valentine's Day surprise with the first installment of four video back stories (Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Locke). Created to provide new viewers insight into the lives of the series' characters and to give fans an opportunity to see characters' back stories in chronological order, each video combines scenes from previously aired episodes. Every Wednesday four back story segments will debut on ABC.com until the end of the season (60 total).

Go to ABC.com for this season's previously aired episodes on its broadband video player. And as announced last week, ABC.com has also added several new features on its "Lost" site, including a new video podcast with executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, which offers a special sneak peek at extra content from the series' Season Three DVD, to be released later this year. Additionally, visitors to ABC.com will find a new exclusive feature called "Writers' Rotation" that showcases the favorite music and listening selections of members of the "Lost" production team, plus an updated version of "Lost & Found," which highlights not-to-be-missed moments in upcoming episodes, as well as excerpts from the official Lost magazine, updated games, photos and video clips.