Posts Tagged ‘24

22
Jul
13

All New Showcase Episode 292: San Diego Comic-Con 2013

AllNewShowcase2This week, Blake decides it’s high time the Showcase got a new coat of paint, a slightly amended format, and a much snazzier archive page. Welcome to the first episode of the All New Showcase! In this episode, Blake explains the reasons for the change before sitting down with Kenny and Erin to talk about all the news from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International. Witchblade Vs. the Darkness, the Simpsons meeting the Griffins and the Planet Express crew, Riverdale swaming with zombies, JMS taking on the Twilight Zone, new series for Harley Quinn, the return of Nightcrawler, Avengers 2 gets a title and Man of Steel 2 gets a guest-star! This and much, much more in the first All New Showcase! Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

And what’s cool this week? For Kenny, it’s Pacific Rim, for Erin it’s the works of the late Richard Matheson, and for Blake it’s The Argonauts!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

All New Showcase #292: San Diego 2013

Superman-Batman

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03
Aug
11

Classic EBI #102: How to Make a Couch Potato Read a Comic Book

In today’s all-new Everything But Imaginary column, I step back and take a look at the construction of Marvel Studios’ movie universe — and what they may have to do to keep it viable past the first generation of actors.

Everything But Imaginary #409: Making a Movie Universe

Going back to the classics, though, back in February 2005 I looked at ways to snare new readers from the realm of television, by using their favorite shows to identify comics that may be to their taste…

Classic EBI #102: How to Make a Couch Potato Read a Comic Book

As much as I’d like to, I’ve discovered that it is statistically impossible to read comic books all the time. (I learned this one Thursday morning at 3:45 a.m. halfway through Sandman: A Season of Mists when I suddenly gained the ability to see the music.) So last weekend I unwound by watching the first season DVD of the television show 24. Which, of course, made me think about comic books, because my mind is preposterously circular in that regard.

Although I had heard a lot of really good things about 24, I’d never been able to catch it at the beginning of a season and therefore have never watched it, but when an online retailer recently had the first season on sale for just $15, I saw no reason not to get it. By the second episode, I was hooked, and I wound up watching the entire 24-episode season in less than a week. The way the show works, in case you don’t know, is that each season chronicles one day in the life of Counter Terrorism Agent Jack Bauer (played with aplomb by Kiefer Sutherland). Each episode takes place in realtime and covers exactly one hour in Jack’s life. What really got me about the show was the challenge of writing such a thing, telling one story in 24 installments, making each episode make sense as a portrait of one hour, and still having each installment end at a point of high suspense without making it seem necessarily forced.

Once I’d seen the whole thing, though, I realized that I got a very similar feeling reading a comic book. Specifically, from the new Captain America series by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. Now a comic can’t play with time the same way that a television series can, but many of the other elements that make 24 so great are present in this series. A story is being told in installments, each installment has moments of action and downtime, and each one ends at a point of maximum suspense. (The first episode of 24, for instance, ends with Jack’s daughter being kidnapped and an airplane blowing up, whereas the first issue of Captain America ends with Cap’s old nemesis, the Red Skull taking a bullet in the chest.)

That sort of action, the spy drama, the structure is a great thing, and it make me think about how I always say that there is a comic book out there for everyone, if only they knew where to look. So while you 24 fans are trying to get your buddies to read Captain America, I’m going to suggest a few more TV/movie analogues to some great comic books.

(And I’m not just going to suggest Star Wars fans read the Star Wars comics. That’s too easy. And if they haven’t made that leap by now, they’re not gonna.)

For fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it would be easy to suggest Astonishing X-Men. The title is written by Buffy creator Joss Whedon, for one thing, and it’s got kind of the same “us against a world of evil” mentality, with a lot of drama, but a good bit of humor as well. However, I think an even better comic for Buffy fans may be Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways. The second series of this acclaimed title starts… well… today. The basic premise of the first series was that six kids discovered their parents were supervillains, part of a murderous cult that was planning to aid in the destruction of the world. The kids – some of them with inherited powers or talents, but others with nothing but their wits – set out on their own to save the world from their own parents. The second series picks up some time after the first, and I don’t yet know what angle the new version will take, but I’ve got no doubt that it will have that same feel that Buffy fans dig.

What if you like a western? Something like Unforgiven, A Fistful of Dollars, or especially a fantasy-western like Stephen King’s Dark Tower series? Then you should be giving a read to Beckett Comics’ The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty. The book takes the classic fairy tale and transplants it to the American west, but it takes up the story near the end. An entire town has fallen asleep due to some ancient curse and a young boy, the only one to escape, is in search of a man to break the spell. When the title opens we find the boy and our unlikely hero, Cole, about to dangle at the end of a hangman’s rope. Cole is your classic tortured western hero, a gunslinger with a dark past he’s trying to atone for, even though he never believes he can. This is the sort of title that shows you how sometimes you can take two very familiar stories or styles, combine them, and come up with something totally new.

If you’ve got kids who are into (or if you yourself are into) something like Nickelodeon’s The Fairly Oddparents, you might want to check out the upcoming Mike S. Miller series The Imaginaries. Beneath all the comedy and slapstick, Fairly Oddparents is a series about the power of the imagination, and The Imaginaries is going to drip with that stuff. Folks who saw the recent preview in the Two Bits anthology know the idea – what happens to an imaginary friend when the child who imagined him no longer needs him? The pain of his parents’ divorce makes a child give up his own imaginary friend, Superhero G, who finds himself lost in an entire city made up of discarded imaginary friends. I’ve used the word “imagination” about a zillion times in this paragraph, but get ready for one more – this is the kind of comic that really tests the limits of the imagination, and that’s an incredible thing.

Maybe you just want to laugh. You’re into sitcoms like Newsradio, Scrubs or classics like I Love Lucy or Laverne and Shirley? Well man, why aren’t you reading PVP? Scott Kurtz’s comic strip is your classic office comedy – a group of geeks (and one troll) working together in a video game magazine. Throw in things like a competing magazine, a passive aggressive supervillain, frequent misunderstandings, romantic subplots, harried husbands and young crushes, and you’ve got all of the elements of a situation comedy. Kurtz, in fact, will frequently take the sort of stock situation that can be used in virtually any sitcom – a child (or troll) “runs away” after an older sibling (or co-worker) says something to upset him, and the others set out to find him, not realizing he just ran away to the broom closet. But Kurtz always has a little twist, something that makes it different from just another sitcom, something that makes it pop.

Cop dramas are huge right now. In fact, scientists estimate that if you were to play “Remote Control Russian Roulette” between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight (Eastern time) you stand a 97.3 percent chance of landing on a channel showing an episode of either CSI, Law and Order or one of their various spin-offs. So while you’re spinning that dial, why not spin over to the comic shop and try an issue of Gotham Central? Greg Rucka and the (sadly) soon-to-be departing Ed Brubaker have done a masterful job with this series, detailing the trials and tribulations of two groups of police officers (the day shift and the night shift) who have to keep the peace in a city with all of the regular muggings, murders, robberies and drugs of any major metropolitan area, but on top of that, are forced to deal with homicidal clowns, mad scientists, plant-women who can control your mind with just a kiss and some lunatic dressed like a giant bat trying to do their job for them. It’s a unique take on an old idea, and it hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserves.

Then there are the soap operas. And with them all of the lying, scheming, backstabbing, deaths, resurrections and sex you could want in any given issue of Noble Causes. Like most soap operas, this one focuses on one powerful family. The twist here is that “powerful” is meant in a literal term – these guys are superheroes. There are the parents, Doc and Gaia. There’s their oldest son, Rusty, who is trapped in a robot body and whose wife Celeste has left him and he’s now dating Cosmic Rae, whom he doesn’t know is an android. Race, their younger son, died in the first issue, but his wife Liz found another dimension where he survived and she’s moved there and everything is back to normal. Zephyr is pregnant by Draconis, the family’s oldest enemy whom Doc killed, and whose son Krennick claimed he was the father because he’s in love with her and has a tendency to hire prostitutes who pretend to be her. Then of course there’s Gaia’s other son, Frost, the product of an affair after Rusty was born, except no one knew she had the affair with a version of Doc from an alternate dimension. Oh, and Frost’s affair with Celeste is what ended her marriage to Rusty.

If you’ve watched enough soap operas to have the slightest clue what I said in that last paragraph, you should be reading Noble Causes.

The point of all this, friends, is that comics are a big, wide, diverse world. And if you look hard enough, you can find something for anyone. In fact, feel free to find some more – I’ll be interested to see what you all come up with.

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: February 9, 2005

I had very, very low expectations for the winner of this week’s favorite award, which may be why I was so pleasantly surprised, but I thought the first issue of Young Avengers was a great read. Four teenagers with looks, powers and names that mimic Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk burst on to the scene, and J. Jonah Jameson wants the scoop. In addition to using Jameson, the book also picks up on the elder Avengers and the cast of The Pulse to investigate these kids, trying to figure out who they are and what they’re doing, all of it building up to a last page that legitimately surprised the heck out of me. Considering that Allan Heinberg has never written comics before, I think he’s off to a great start.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast. E-mail him at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page.

03
Apr
09

What I’m Watching: 2009 Edition

As I sit here in the New Orleans Airport, waiting to head off to Nashville for a conference on “redesigning ninth grade,” I thought I’d take advantage of the time to post the movie list for the year thus far. Like the reading list I posted yesterday, I’m adding this to the links on the right-hand side of the page for the sake of anyone who’s actually interested in that sort of thing. Now when you feel like asking, “Hey Blake! Have you seen Wanted yet?” you can just click on the sidebar. Ain’t that cool?

Also, like for the books, I’ll include a link for those movies I’ve reviewed.

  1. DuckTales the Movie: Legend of the Lost Lamp; 1990-B
  2. Futurama: Bender’s Game; 2008-B
  3. 24: Redemption; 2008-B+
  4. Death to the Tinman; 2007-B+
  5. Rated R: Republican in Hollywood; 2004-C+
  6. Batman Vs. Dracula; 2005-C
  7. Hamlet; 1960-D (Movie); B+ (MST3K Riff)
  8. Confessions of a Superhero; 2007-B
  9. Storytelling; 2001-C+
  10. You’re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown; 1975-B+
  11. You’re the Greatest, Charlie Brown; 1979-B-
  12. The Black Cauldron; 1985-B+
  13. Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown; 1975-A
  14. A Charlie Brown Valentine; 2002-B
  15. You’re In Love, Charlie Brown; 1967-B+
  16. It’s Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown; 1977-C-
  17. Howard the Duck; 1986-D+
  18. Quarantine; 2008-B
  19. Coraline; 2009-A
  20. Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder; 2009-B
  21. Friday the 13th; 2009-C+
  22. The Karate Kid; 1984-B+
  23. Wonder Woman; 2009-A-
  24. Watchmen; 2009-B-
  25. Wanted; 2008-D
  26. This is Spinal Tap; 1984-B+
  27. Judge Dredd; 1995-D
  28. The Gamers: Dorkness Rising; 2008-B+
  29. Primer; 2004-B+
  30. Sheena; 1984-C
  31. Persepolis; 2007-B
  32. Surf’s Up; 2007-B-
  33. It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown; 1974, B-
  34. It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown; 1976, B+
  35. Vampirella; 1996-D
  36. Tales of the Black Freighter; 2009-A
  37. Under the Hood; 2009-B
  38. The Norman Rockwell Code; 2006-B
  39. Monsters Vs. Aliens; 2009-A
  40. Once Upon a Girl; 1976-C
  41. Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird; 1985-A
  42. Snoopy’s Reunion; 1991-B-
  43. It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown; 1984-B-
  44. William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet; 1997, C
  45. X-Men Origins: Wolverine; 2009, C+
  46. Star Trek; 2009, A
  47. The Phantom; 1996, C
  48. Vantage Point; 2008, B+
  49. National Lampoon’s European Vacaction; 1985, B
  50. Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest; 2007, B-
  51. The Odyssey; 1997 (miniseries), B
  52. O Brother, Where Art Thou?; 2000, A
  53. The Terminator; 1984, B
  54. Terminator 2: Judgment Day; 1991, A+
  55. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; 2003, C+
  56. Terminator: Salvation; 2009, A-
  57. Nightmare Circus; 1974, F
  58. Day of the Dead; 1985, B+
  59. The Call of Cthulhu; 2005, B
  60. The Running Man; 1987, C
  61. Grindhouse Presents Death Proof; 2007, C-
  62. Partly Cloudy; 2009, B+
  63. Up; 2009, A
  64. Across the Universe; 2007, C
  65. Tropic Thunder; 2008, B
  66. Good Luck Chuck; 2007, C+
  67. The Hangover; 2009, B+
  68. TransFormers; 2007, B
  69. TransFormers: Revenge of the Fallen; 2009, B-
  70. My Cousin Vinnie; 1992, A
  71. 1776; 1972, A+
  72. The Rocketeer; 1993, A-
  73. Independence Day; 1996, B+
  74. Short Cuts; 1993, D
  75. Comic Book Villains; 2002, B
  76. Riding the Bullet; 2004, B
  77. Fanboys; 2008, B+
  78. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; 2005, B+
  79. Chalk; 2006, A-
  80. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; 2009, B+
  81. Push; 2009, C+
  82. Donald in Mathmagic Land; 1959, A
  83. He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown; 1968, B+
  84. It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown; 1969, B
  85. Charlie Brown’s All Stars; 1966, A
  86. Green Lantern: First Flight; 2009, A
  87. The Dark Half; 1993, B-
  88. Cashback; 2006, B+
  89. Flight of the Navigator; 1986, B-
  90. Justice League: A New Frontier; 2008, A
  91. Ghostbusters II; 1989, B
  92. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; 2009, F
  93. District 9; 2004, A
  94. Ghostbusters; 1984, A
  95. Inglorious Basterds; 2009, A-
  96. Halloween II; 2009, C-
  97. Severance; 2006, B
  98. Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters; 1988, C+
  99. Countdown to Wednesday; 2004, B
  100. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen; 1988, B+
  101. Murder Party; 2007, B
  102. Hulk Vs.; 2009, B-
  103. Graveyard Shift; 1990, C+
  104. Saw V; 2008, C
  105. 9; 2009, B+
  106. Zombie Strippers; 2008, F
  107. Return of the Living Dead 3; 1993, C
  108. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies; 2009, B
  109. Zombieland; 2009, B+
  110. Toy Story; 1995, A
  111. Toy Story 2; 1999, A+
  112. Frankenstein; 1931, A
  113. Bride of Frankenstein; 1935, B+
  114. Son of Frankenstein; 1939, A
  115. Ghost of Frankenstein; 1942, C+
  116. House of Frankenstein; 1944, C
  117. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein; 1948, A+
  118. Trick ‘r Treat; 2007, A-
  119. Hobgoblins; 1988, F (movie), A (MST3K Riff)
  120. The Men Who Stare at Goats; 2009, B+
  121. The Time Machine; 2002, B-
  122. Animal Farm; 1999, B
  123. Planet 51; 2009, B
  124. Play it Again, Charlie Brown; 1971, B+*
  125. You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown: 1972, B*
  126. There’s No Time For Love, Charlie Brown; 1973, B-*
  127. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving; 1973, A*
  128. It’s a Mystery, Charlie Brown; 1974, B*
  129. Garfield’s Thanksgiving; 1989, A-
  130. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians; 1964, F (movie), B (MSK3K Riff)
  131. A Christmas Carol; 2009, B+
  132. A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa; 2008, B+*
  133. A Chipmunk Christmas; 1981, B*
  134. A Flintstones Christmas Carol; 1994, B+
  135. A Muppets Christmas Carol; 1992, A-
  136. Mickey’s Christmas Carol; 1983, A*
  137. The Small One; 1978, A*
  138. Pluto’s Christmas Tree; 1953, A*
  139. Santa’s Workshop; 1932, A*
  140. Prep and Landing; 2009, A-*
  141. Frosty’s Winter Wonderland; 1976, B+*
  142. Cranberry Christmas; 2009, B-*
  143. Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July; 1979, B-
  144. A Charlie Brown Christmas; 1965, A+*
  145. It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown; 1992, B*
  146. Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales; 2002, B-*
  147. I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown; 2003, B+*
  148. Happy New Year, Charlie Brown; 1985, A-*
  149. The Princess and the Frog; 2009, A
  150. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; 1964, A*
  151. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; 1989, A+
  152. Hogfather; 2006, B+
  153. Home Alone; 1990, B
  154. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas; 1974, B+*
  155. Elf; 2003, B
  156. A Christmas Story; 1983, A+
  157. Avatar; 2009, D+
  158. Night of the Creeps; 1986, C
  159. Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys; 2005, B
  160. Sherlock Holmes; 2009, B

Last Updated on December 31, 2009




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