Baltimore Comic Con ’14 — Harvey Awards, ‘Princess Leia’ and Robocop Cosplay

Baltimore Comic Con traditionally boasts a huge lineup of some of the biggest names in the comic industry and the 2014 edition did not disappoint.  Over the last three days downtown Baltimore was inundated with a huge dose of geek culture tempered only slightly by the opening of the NFL regular season.  Here’s a quick hit list of some of my favorite news bits to come out of the weekend.

Artist Herb Trimpe (Incredible Hulk) received the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award during the Harvey Awards ceremony on Saturday night.  I had the opportunity to meet Trimpe at Baltimore Comic Con back in 2009 and found him to be a genuinely great guy and consummate professional. Congratulations Mr. Trimpe. [via Comics Beat]

During the Marvel Universe panel Mark Waid talked about his upcoming Princess Leia mini-series which takes place after the destruction of Alderann.  Waid said she could be the “princess of nothing” or do her duty to find a home for her remaining people out in the galaxy.  With the recent eradication of the greater Star Wars Expanded Universe, these new titles are all part of the new-canon as overseen by LucasFilm and Disney [via Bleeding Cool]

My Interweb buddy Brad snapped some great shots of cosplayers at Baltimore Comic Con and my absolute favorite has to be this Robocop.  Check out his Instagram feed for more from the convention floor. [via @mouthdork on Instagram]

 

 

The Latest ‘Arrow’ Season 3 Trailer Teases A Date Night for “Olicity”

A brand new trailer for season three of The CW’s superhero smash hit Arrow has made its way online and provides a tantalizing look at what to expect when Oliver Queen and his partners start to take back Starling City.  And from the looks of things it appears that I will be able to make use of the “Olicity” tag I started using at the end of last season.

The third season of Arrow premieres October 8th at 8/7c on The CW

via [IGN]

Four Potential Premises For ‘The Walking Dead’ Spin-Off

Well it appears that AMC has officially announced a pilot order for the companion series to its ratings juggernaut ‘The Walking Dead’.  There is literally nothing known about the cast or the setting of this series; however some are lead to believe that it will be a prequel of sorts.  Additionally, creator Robert Kirkman has stated that it won’t be based in Georgia nor will it pull from the comic series.  No one has any idea what is going on but let’s run down a few possibilities that are fueled by nothing more than speculation and nerd rage.

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The Walking Dead: WWZ 2

At this point in the series we know nothing about the zombie outbreak, other than a few scattered descriptions during the series’ first season.  Is it possible that we will see something akin to World War Z with governmental agencies attempting to stop the apocalypse?  This is a safe play and I have a hard time believing that AMC would go this route as they are essentially in control of the gold standard of the zombie at this time.  Odds 100:1

The Walking Dead: Omaha

Even though The Walking Dead is a veritable cash cow for AMC, they would be silly to revisit the zombie apocalypse in another major metropolitan market and squander this opportunity. By taking the narrative to a rural setting in the Midwest they can tell a story that is more of a gradual apocalypse.  You’d have farmers and ranchers dealing with a sudden influx of refugees from an infection that has only been heard about on the television and radio. The midwest is hot right now just thing FX’s Fargo … but with zombies and less Billy Bob Thornton. Odds: 50:1

The Walking Dead: Hawaii UH-OH

In most zombie fiction islands tend to fare pretty well (with the exception of Dead Island of course).  What if we find our new protagonists in a society that has survived due to their geographic location and isolation from major population centers?  Would the have an obligation to help out the dwindling number of survivors left on the main land or would they just say ‘fuck it’ and gorge on pineapple and poi?  Odds 35:1

The Walking Dead: BRAAAAAAINS

An hour-long drama told exclusively from the perspective of the undead.  Imagine the horrifically kinetic scenes as the infected begin to turn and start craving the flesh of the living.  I am thinking they could shoot a lot of this from a “first player shooter” perspective with just nonstop corn-syrup blood spurting and screams of agony.  It’ll be relatively cheap, you could have mostly extras and stunt people in make up.  This show would just print money!  Odds 750:1

As outlandish as these premises may be, I’ll leave you with a quote from Robert Kirkman lifted right from the AMC press release:

“There are many corners of ‘The Walking Dead’ universe that remain unseen in the shadows. Being given the opportunity to shine a light into those corners and see what lurks out there is an absolute thrill.  

via [/Film]

The Toy Hunt Is Over For Jordan Hembrough …

It is being reported that the Travel Channel has officially put Toy Hunter on indefinite hiatus. While by all accounts Jordan Hembrough is a very enthusiastic collector of all things plastic, the schtick started to wear thing about half way through the second season.

Personally, I bailed on Toy Hunter when he started having celebrity “clients” on every other episode.  To address rumors Hembrough posted a statement on the Rebel Scum message boards:

The show was not cancelled, my contract was up after four years, and I wanted to work on something else. I got a “once in a lifetime” chance to work with not only a movie studio, but a theme park as well.. and still continue commentary for both Marvel and DC. It was simply “the next level” for me.

 

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Hembrough stated that he is working on several projects including a show for the “international market” that will be officially announced shortly.  Even though Toy Hunter started to wear thin on me I certainly wish Hembrough luck in his future endeavors.

via [Toy News International]

Even Kurt Russell Thinks This ‘Escape From New York’ Reboot Is Bad News

The Escape from New York reboot has been in talks for years.  There is nothing we can do to stop it, because this is a thing that will be happening because producer Joel Silver demands it.  Over the last week rumors began to swirl that Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim, Sons of Anarchy) is the top choice among producers for the lead .. and I’m not sure how I feel about that.  The only metric I have to base Hunnam’s ability on is his performance in Pacific Rim; and he does not strike me as having the necessary gravitas for the role.

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What concerns me more than casting rumors is that StarLog is reporting that the new Escape from New York will be a “more team-based, as Snake Plissken traverses through a treacherous New York landscape with a rogues gallery of criminals who look to leave the island-turned-prison in exchange for the rescue of the captured U.S. President”.  How is a team-based Escape from New York considered to be a good idea?  Why change something that worked so well before?  See … this is exactly why we can’t have nice things!

In an interview with IGN earlier this year Kurt Russell was pretty forthcoming on this thoughts regarding the  Escape from New York remake and touched on a scenario such as this:

 So, to me, it’s important I think that, unless you’re going to change the dynamic — and if you’re going to change the dynamic, then you’re getting into something I’d have to see and say, ‘Well, why do you call it Escape from New York?’

This Escape from New York reboot will be a hollow shell and a pale imitation of John Carpenter’s dystopian classic.  At this point the only thing that could make me feel better about this film is casting Timothy Olyphant or Karl Urban as Snake Plissken.

via [StarLog, First Showing & IGN]

 

The 5 Best ‘Ghostbusters’ Products Ever Released

With Ghostbusters returning to theaters this weekend in celebration of the films thirtieth anniversary this would be as good a time as any to look back at some of the best Ghostbusters themed merchandise ever released.

The Real Ghostbusters Proton Pack (Kenner, 1987) - There are few role play toys that could even compare in terms of screen accuracy when the Proton Pack was released in Kenner’s third wave of merchandise based on The Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  I had a Proton Pack and pretty much every kid on my block had one too.  Hind sight being 20/20 I wish I would have treated it with care based on the prices it now garners on the secondary market.

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Ghostbusters Breakfast Cereal (Ralston, 1986-1989)

There was a period of time where licensed breakfast cereal was king!  Everything from Gremlins and E.T. to Batman and G.I. Joe could be consumed in sugary form.  The Ghostbusters breakfast cereal was essentially Fruit Loops … but spookier.  Ralston went on to rebrand the cereal for Ghostbusters II and The Real Ghostbusters at times with ‘special edition’ hologram boxes.

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Ghostbusters Series 1 (NECA, 2003)

Back in 2003 NECA secured the license to Ghostbusters.  However, they were unable to secure the likeness rights of the actors.  The first and only series of figures consisted of non-human characters from the film: Gozer, Slimer, Vinz Clortho Terror Dog, Zuul Terror Dog, and Stay Puft.

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 If you ever happen to find any of these figures in a flea market pile … snap them up!  They had a short run and their prices on the secondary market are legendary.

MattyCollector’s Ghostbusters Prop Replicas (2011-2013)

While Mattel’s collector specific brand MattyCollector may have bungled the Ghostbusters 6″ Action Figure line, they excelled in the prop replica department. During the run MattyCollector produced a ghost trap, PKE Meter, ECTO Goggles, and Neutrino Wand.  While the line is all but dead, there are hopes that someday they will produce a full scale proton pack to round out the cosplay needs of today’s Ghostbusters fans.

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Hi-C Ecto-Cooler (Minute Maid, 1986-2001) - In the history of high-fructose beverages there is only one that has truly enjoyed cult status.  Starting in 1986 Hi C rebranded their Citrus Cooler by plastering the image of Slimer from The Real Ghostbusters onto the packaging and viola … Ecto-Cooler was born.  Ecto-Cooler went on to be sold under two different names until 2001.  Unfortunately the only way to enjoy it these days is to home brew your own.

 

Did These Stormtroopers Escape JJ Abrams ‘Mystery Box’?

No one keeps a secret in Hollywood better than JJ Abrams.  On every project he works on there is a frustrating level of secrecy where nothing gets out unless he allows it.  When he was announced as the director of Star Wars: Episode VII there was a concern that a franchise that has thrived for so long among the fans would be locked away from them.

Overnight Star Wars fans got a look at the next generation Stormtrooper helmets that are said to featured in Episode VII.

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The above is being referred to as the “Jungle Trooper” as he’s been seen around the Pinewood Studios lot.  Others are speculating that it is a modern update on the original designs for the Snowtroopers as seen in Empire Strikes Back.

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If this updated Stormtrooper design is legitimate I am very, very excited to see what JJ Abrams has in store for Episode VII.  Also, I foresee Hasbro selling a veritable shit ton of action figures.

via [ Indie Revolver ]

 

Harry Knowles & The Missing Kickstarter: Episode II

It has been pretty well documented that Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News fame launched a Kickstarter campaign a year ago to fund a second season of his web series.  The Kickstarter was eventually funded to the tune of $128,029 on September 5, 2013 and almost a year later Harry has yet to deliver on his promise of a second season (and according to some backers any of the other incentives).  While Harry’s editorial style has never really been embraced by the site’s readers, affectionally known as Talkbackers, his lack of transparency during this Kickstarter campaign has really ignited a fire among them.

image via HollywoodReporter.com

image via HollywoodReporter.com

Harry’s recent review of Expendables 3 really seemed to rankle the Talkbackers.  It could have been the off putting hyperbole or the senseless name dropping … “I have a very interesting friendship with Sly“.   One of the top voted comments in that review has called out Harry with an ultimatum .. deliver on your promises or I’ll sue.

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After sifting though the comments I found myself wondering how far Ain’t It Cool News and Harry Knowles have fallen.  I took to Twitter to express my thoughts and quickly found myself in a dialogue with Mr. Knowles in which I asked him some very pointed questions about making good on his promises and the lack of transparency during the production of his series.

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Harry went on to elaborate that he has several episodes in the can for the second season of Ain’t It Cool with Harry Knowles but was advised to not comment publicly due to his production team asking him to “withhold responses until a formal air date” was solidified with an Austin PBS affiliate that has agreed to air his show.

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According to Harry all of his obligations have been met, but on the Kickstarter page there are people still claiming that they have yet to receive any of their Ain’t it Cool with Harry Knowles swag.  I did not back this venture nor do I know anyone who has so I cannot attest to the veracity of those claims.

When I first connected to the Internet Ain’t it Cool News was one of the first sites I haunted  on a regular basis.  For many years it was the place to get breaking news and spoilers.  I think over the years Harry lost his way and got blinded by the press junkets and celebrity friends.  I also think that the departure of some key writers saw a marked decline in the quality of reporting seen on the site.

Unfortunately for Harry this Kickstarter campaign has been an unmitigated disaster and any largesse he previously enjoyed within the geek community is diminishing at an astonishing rate.

Okay, So This Is The Best ‘Spaceballs’ LEGO You’ll Ever See

Leave it to Reddit to showcase another great Spaceballs themed LEGO creation.  This uncredited MOC showed up on the LEGO sub-Reddit earlier today and has garnered more than 3500 upvotes.  spaceballs_combAnd for those of you who don’t quite understand the reference I’ll direct you to this link.  At this point I think we can all agree that there really needs to be a concerted effort to have legitimate Spaceballs LEGO sets.

Come on AFOLs let’s get this up on LEGO Ideas already!

via [r/lego]

It Appears That ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ May Not Be Very Good

The live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot is presently sitting at a 38% rating over at Rotten Tomatoes.  The reviews that I have read so far have been anywhere from a middling summer action flick akin to Amazing Spider-Man 2 to the equivalent of a steaming pile of mutagen.

TMNT_rev1For those of you who may not have been following this film’s production, it was beset with much nerd rage and several WTF moments, particularly the last minute casting of Johnny Knoxville as the voice of Leonardo whose dialogue had been performed on set by another actor during filming.  Luke Y. Thompson from Topless Robot made effort to note in his review that,

“The last-minute stunt-casting doesn’t really work: Johnny Knoxville sounds notably out of place as the only overdubbed turtle … “

And let us not forget that the mere presence of Micheal Bay as a producer on the film sparked much outrage because well … he’s Micheal Bay.  Seven years after he put flames on Optimus Prime pop culture fans have refused to forgive him and continue to make claims that he has in fact raped their childhoods.

I for one will reserve judgment until I get a chance to catch this in theaters, but let’s be honest it can’t be as bad as Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.