Thursday, July 29, 2010

COVER OF THE WEEK

Vampire, PA, #1, Moonstone Books

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

COVER OF THE WEEK

Fearless Dawn, #4, Asylum Press

NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THOR CONCEPT ART



/Film posted new concept art/banners for Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor from Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures. The art is set to premiere at the San Diego Comic Con this weekend but you can get an early peek right now. Be sure to click on the images for a closer look.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

NERD NEWS ROUND-UP


Sure it's only July but Christmas will be here soon. Hallmark has an ornament featuring The Andy Griffith Show that lights up and plays the theme song available in October.

If you love sleazy movies like Cat-Women of the Moon or Girls in Prison, then check out these vintage exploitation movie posters from 1939-1960.

And stop by Cult Trailers to see previews for The Werewolf vs The Vampire Woman from 1971, Malibu High from 1979 and many other sleazy classics.

Neatorama has Six Attractions You'll Never See at Disneyland (Unless You Already Did). For some unknown reason, Mickey Mouse Revue didn't make the list.

If you love Italian erotic comic books (and we know you do), then you're in luck. Dark Horse is set to publish the complete works of artist Milo Manara in English.

The upcoming Conan movie released new photos of the titular character over at Facebook.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

STAR WARS ON A SUBWAY CAR


Improv Everywhere is a New York improv group that likes to "cause scenes of chaos and joy in public places."

For our latest mission, we staged a reenactment of the first Princess Leia / Darth Vader scene from Star Wars on a New York City subway car. The white walls and sliding doors on the train reminded us of the rebel ship from the movie, and we thought it would be fun to see how people would react to a surprise appearance by the iconic characters. We spread out the actors along the train line, staging it so they would enter the right car at the right time.

Who knows, maybe the next Death Star will be shaped like a Big Apple.

RYAN REYNOLDS AS GREEN LANTERN PHOTO


Entertainment Weekly has the first look of Ryan Reynolds in the costume from the Green Lantern film. The costume is computer generated and definitely looks like it. In a word: lame. If the first photo is this disappointing, I don't hold much hope for the final film.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

COVER OF THE WEEK

Batgirl, #12, DC Comics

FIREFLY: THE 80'S VERSION


If Firefly had aired in the 80's, it might have looked something like this.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NERD NEWS ROUND-UP


Nicholas Hoult has been cast as the Beast, James McAvoy as Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Magneto in X-Men: First Class.

Ed Norton is out as the Hulk in the upcoming Avengers movie. Now if we could only get rid of Christian Bale as Batman.

A live-action film of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale The Little Mermaid is underway.

The Arctic magazine, Up Here, released a swimsuit issue to raise awareness about global warming.

Smells like Spidey spirit. Buy your bottle of Spider-Man cologne.

And when the stink of the cologne makes you sick, be sure to vomit in this X-Men toilet.

Monday, July 12, 2010

HARVEY PEKAR DEAD AT 70


I first learned about Harvey Pekar from his appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. He was angry, funny, sarcastic and rude. All the things you want in a guest on a talk show. He was eventually banned from the show but his comic book, American Splendor, was later made into a movie, bringing him more recognition. He died today at 70.

From Cleveland.com:

Harvey Pekar's life was not an open book. It was an open comic book.

Pekar chronicled his life and times in the acclaimed autobiographical comic book series, "American Splendor," portraying himself as a rumpled, depressed, obsessive-compulsive "flunky file clerk" engaged in a constant battle with loneliness and anxiety.

Pekar, 70, was found dead shortly before 1 a.m. Monday by his wife, Joyce Brabner, in their Cleveland Heights home, said Powell Caesar, spokesman for Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Pekar and Brabner wrote "Our Cancer Year," a book-length comic, after Pekar was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1990 and underwent a grueling treatment. He was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, and also suffered high blood pressure, asthma and clinical depression, which fueled his art but often made his life painful.

"American Splendor" carried the subtitle, "From Off the Streets of Cleveland," and just like Superman, the other comic-book hero born in Cleveland, Pekar wore something of a disguise. He never stepped into a phone booth to change, but underneath his persona of aggravated, disaffected file clerk, he was an erudite book and jazz critic, and a writer of short stories that many observers compared to Chekhov, despite their comic-book form.

Unlike the superheroes who ordinarily inhabit the pages of comic books, Pekar could neither leap tall buildings in a single bound, nor move faster than a speeding bullet. Yet his comics suggested a different sort of heroism: The working-class, everyman heroics of simply making it through another day, with soul -- if not dignity -- intact.

"American Splendor" had its roots in Pekar's friendship with R. Crumb, the seminal underground comic-book artist. The two met in 1962 when Crumb was working for American Greetings in Cleveland. At the time, Crumb was just beginning to explore the possibilities of comics, which would later lead to such groundbreaking work as "Mr. Natural" and "Fritz the Cat."

When Pekar, inspired by Crumb's work, wrote his nascent strip in 1972, Crumb illustrated it. Crumb also contributed to Pekar's first full-fledged books, which Pekar started publishing annually in 1976.

"He's the soul of Cleveland," Crumb told The Plain Dealer in 1994. "He's passionate and articulate. He's grim. He's Jewish. I appreciate the way he embraces all that darkness."

Yet the darkness came with a humorous silver lining. As Pekar said, "The humor of everyday life is way funnier than what the comedians do on TV. It's the stuff that happens right in front of your face when there's no routine and everything is unexpected. That's what I want to write about."

Pekar often complained that he made no money from his comics, but they did not go unappreciated. He won the American Book Award in 1987 for his first anthology of "American Splendor." He was a regular guest on "Late Night With David Letterman," until they had a falling out. (Letterman declined to comment.) And in 2003, the film adaptation of his comics, also titled "American Splendor," won the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic films at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.

Pekar reacted to the prize with his characteristic mordant wit.

"I'm always shook up and nervous and I've got the hospital record to prove it," he said that night. "I wake up every morning in a cold sweat, regardless of how well things went the day before. And put that I said that in a somewhat but not completely tongue-in-cheek way."

Pekar was born Oct. 8, 1939, to Saul and Dora Pekar, who had emigrated from Bialystok, Poland. His father, a Talmudic scholar, owned a small grocery store on Kinsman Avenue, and the family -- who included Harvey's younger brother, Allen, a chemist -- lived above the store.

He graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1957, and went on to Case Western Reserve University, dropping out after a year when the pressure of required math classes proved too much to bear. He served in the Navy, then returned to Cleveland and a series of menial jobs before landing at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Cleveland as a file clerk, a job he would hold until he retired in 2001.

He was married three times, the last to Brabner, whom he met in 1983 when she wrote to him asking for an issue of "American Splendor." They were married on their third date, and a comic book naturally followed. "American Splendor No. 10" was subtitled, "Harvey's Latest Crapshoot: His Third Marriage to a Sweetie from Delaware and How His Substandard Dishwashing Strains Their Relationship."

They became legal guardians of Danielle Batone when she was 9 years old, in 1998, "raising her as our own," Pekar said.

After he retired from the VA hospital, Pekar continued to write jazz reviews and "American Splendor," garnering the accolades of his peers and critics.

In 1989, the New York Times Book Review said, "Mr. Pekar's work has been compared by literary critics to Chekhov's and Dostoevski's, and it's easy to see why."

The filmmaker David O. Russell ("Three Kings"), who was on the Sundance jury that awarded "American Splendor" the grand prize, said, "It's really great for people to see someone like Harvey Pekar, this guy who wants to remain authentic, isn't going to buy [garbage], isn't going to the malls, keeps on collecting old jazz music that's important -- that kind of independence."

In the 1994 Plain Dealer article, R. Crumb said Pekar's work examined the minutiae of everyday life, material "so staggeringly mundane it verges on the exotic."

Pekar himself summed it up as revealing "a series of day-after-day activities that have more influence on a person than any spectacular or traumatic events. It's the 99 percent of life that nobody ever writes about."

Monday, July 5, 2010

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