One of the great things happening this year for me and my fellow Scoobies is the birth of an extended Buffyverse in the comic book format. It wasn’t quite different when Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 and Angel & Faith launched the season. We experienced Scoobies have been through the years where we had both Buffy and Angel (and it was glorious!), so we’ve tasted that sweet wine before. But, over the last few months, things have changed. With the current Dark Horse Comics line-up featuring Buffy: Season 9, Angel & Faith, Spike: A Dark Place, and this week’s Willow: Wonderland by writer Jeff Parker and the art team of Brian Ching (penciller), Jason Gorder (inker), and Michelle Madsen (colorist), we finally have an extended (and shared) Buffyverse in sequential art format! It’s a good time to be a Buffy fan, and Dark Horse’s Willow: Wonderland #1 adds another beautiful layer to the world that Whedon built!
“A director is a kind of idea and taste machine; a movie is a series of creative and technical decisions,
and it’s the director’s job to make the right decisions as frequently as possible.”
- Stanley Kubrick
There’s a moment in the fantastic, new exhibit, Stanley Kubrick, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that will likely melt the brains of any bona fide film geeks. The exhibit is arranged thematically, and as you enter the space dedicated to The Shining, you see it: the Adler typewriter on which Jack Torrance attempts to write his new novel. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see there’s paper in the carriage with that chilling phrase, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” typed over and over again. It’s thrilling to see.
And, it doesn’t stop there.
Part of the pleasure of reading any great work is talking about it with your friends, sharing your discoveries, birthing crackpot theories, and shooting them down just as quickly.
Based on that, Marc N. Kleinhenz is having a ball. As editor of the new collection of essays Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows (Blue Buddha Press), Kleinhenz and his collaborators delve deep into the world of Westeros and draw out some amazing analyses of Martin’s epic series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
A video game journalist and regular contributor to the TowerOfTheHand.com website, Kleinhenz has gathered a set of essays that go far beyond the realm of typical “fan” sites, instead studying the literary aspects of the series thus far. Wisely, with its divergence from the source material, he and his associates only obliquely reference the hit HBO series, choosing rather to go in-depth on the original source material.
Reporting from AFI Fest 2012 Presented by Audi
Let’s take a moment and thank Mike Myers. And, Jason Bourne.
It was in 1997 that Myers unleashed Austin Powers onto the world. A send-up of mod, '60s spy movies, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (as well as its sequels of diminishing returns) left no detail of the spy movie unmocked. The James Bond movies were hit the hardest, but, then again, they were always the biggest targets. Myers played the dual roles of Austin Powers (he of the Connery-like chest hair) and the Blofeld-like supervillain Dr. Evil. Whether it was Roger Moore’s embarrassing use of the judo chop as a means of self-defense or the villains’ ridiculous plans for world domination or their inability to just shoot Bond in the head, Myers and company did an admirable job of pointing out for our amusement the more absurd aspects of the James Bond movies.
New on the Tube is a series devoted to reviewing relatively new television shows and determining how they may (or may not) appeal to their intended audiences, where the shows are going, and what can be done to make them better.
The result of a military experiment gone horribly wrong, Vincent Keller is a highly adaptable man with medical knowledge and a keen interest in keeping himself off the grid. Catherine Chandler, a brilliant NYPD detective, encounters Keller while investigating one of her crimes and finds out that the two of them have a shared history from the night her mother died. Determined to find out the truth about things, Catherine is often at odds with Keller’s desire to remain unknown to the government, as well as an overwhelming attractiveness between the two that sparks a lot of tension. The show airs on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) on The CW.
This ain’t no March of the Penguins! Like some passionate, forbidden collaboration between Walt Disney and Quentin Tarantino, Penguins vs. Possums is an angry stampede of fur and feathers like nothing you’ve ever seen before. By Sebastian Kadlecik, John Bring, and Lindsay Calhoon, Penguins vs. Possums initially catches your eye with the ridiculously fun concept, hooks you with tongue-in-cheek humor, and then reels you in so completely with its powerful story and character work. It is undoubtedly one of my favorite comics being made today.
The Thought Bubble Anthology is a collection of short comic stories collected for the Thought Bubble Festival in the UK. The festival is a celebration of comics, and that is reflected in the anthology. The comic is essentially a sampler with a focus on our love of comics.
Perhapanauts is a cross between the BPRD and Torchwood. The team is made up of several monsters, a psychic, and Jerry O’Connell from Sliders. No, that wasn’t an invitation to White Castle. The monsters on the team include Bigfoot, the Mothman, Chupacabra, and a ghost. If the premise doesn’t make you chuckle a little, then the comic should. I can say that this is one of those comics that does a great job of balancing several different layers of humor, from picking your nose with cheeto fingers to some things that are funny. In a one-page extra, we find the best superpower ever: ice-cream headaches.
What if The Manhattan Project wasn't just about building a nuclear bomb but was only one of hundreds of dangerous and potentially world-changing projects at work? The Manhattan Projects follows the geniuses behind the project and puts them up against all sorts of new problems which they must figure out how to overcome WITH SCIENCE! In this latest issue of The Manhattan Projects, the team continues to focus on the dangers from other worlds by turning to the Russian science think tank Star City with a most unusual offer.
There’s a full splash page in this comic where a Tyrannosaurus rex, wearing a robotic exoskeleton, charges in and shouts “Today for snack, it’s missiles, and I brought enough for everyone.” End of review. Just go by this comic right now; there is nothing else you need to know. What? You’re still here? Fine, I’ll review the comic, but, honestly, there’s a dinosaur that shoots missiles, how cool is that? Super Dinosaur takes every single daydream that you used to have as a seven-year-old and mashes them together into a funny, heartwarming, and incredibly entertaining comic book. It’s like they found a way to bundle all of the joyful energy of a grade school jungle gym into a monthly comic.