Monthly Archives: January 2008

Finally, something that shatters my expectations.

Wow. Just…wow.

Asain Cult Cinema #57 - 15th Anniv. Issue

The cover of this goldmine of gushing fan reviews and editorials tips you off right away as to whether or not this is up your alley. Judging by what I’ve read so far, this isn’t only up my alley, but it runs down my whole block and takes over my entire city.

To anyone interested in digging as deep in they can into the dungeons of some of the most ridiculous (read: imaginatively outrageous) movies that have ever been made anywhere on the planet, this is absolutely essential. Don’t pretend like you’ve seen everything there is to see just because you’ve seen Riki-Oh and Ichi the Killer either. Whether you use the viewing lists and capsule reviews herein as a starting point or as a point of reference for an excursion already en route into celluloid doom, this will easily keep you busy for months.

Did I mention it’s only six bucks?

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Filed under film, horror, reviews

“shit, fuck, what” …my sentiments exactly.

Considering all the total shit that gets translated into English and put on store shelves nationwide, you would think that someone somewhere would have the “bright idea” to officially release any one of the Doraemon manga, shows or movies. As far as I know, there are zero Doraemon DVDs or manga currently available in America. To my knowledge, they never have been. To that I say:

Doraemon- shit,fuck, what

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Filed under anime, manga

ATTENTION CHICAGOANS (or those who wish they were):

Shohei Imamura

Already in progress is a two month, 18 film run of works by Japanese director Shohei Imamura at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. If you’re too lazy to click on any of the links, let me just say that The Ballad of Narayama and The Eel are both playing at the Siskel Center and both won the Palm d’Or (the top prize at Cannes). In short, if you’re skeptical and/or don’t give a shit, you should…and you should at the very least see those.

Synopses of scheduled films and showtimes can be viewed here. The series runs until March 4th.

(I had hesitated putting this up earlier, assuming that friends and strangers alike would hold me accountable for their possible dissatisfaction with any number of these films, but then I realized just how rare the chance is to get to see these at all, and changed my mind.)

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The birth of Batman…sort of (art by Mike Zeck)

Batman Re-creation of Web Of Spider-Man #32

The piece you see above is not from a cover, nor is it a splash page from a DC book you never saw. This illustration was actually drawn for a collector by Mike Zeck, and I definitely wish I was the one that had requested it! Honestly, I’m surprised this hasn’t made its way to the printers and become a poster. Just imagine this on a thicker stock, just-barely-off-white sheet, printed with a flat, deep black ink. Who wouldn’t want one?

I wouldn’t have known anything about this if it weren’t published in the June 2006 issue of Back Issue!, where it rightfully receives almost an entire page. I also wouldn’t have known that this is a re-creation of the cover from Web Of Spider-Man #32 had it not said so in the same issue. So what if I’m not up on my Spider-Man history? Give me a break. The G.I. Joe, Transformers and He-Man comics are also covered in this particular back issue of Back Issue! and I recommend getting your hands on a copy.

Below is the cover for Web Of Spider-Man #32. Notice the amount of space at the top left “empty” for the book’s logo and et cetera, and the space at the bottom left, left empty, literally. Notice how much better the Batman piece is because Zeck didn’t have to worry about anything else being shoved on the cover. The winged, sword-clasping headstone above The Dark Knight pushes the illustration from “pretty cool” to “utterly bodacious.” (You can click on both images twice to blow them up and gaze at them in awe.)

Web Of Spider-Man #32 sketch cover

You can check out some of Mike’s other stuff here.

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Filed under art, Comics

…and I’m sure you’re overwhelmingly impressed.

Not like you couldn’t have figured it out yourself, but a search bar has been added, and an addable RSS feed has been made incredibly obvious.

You can go to netvibes or Google Reader (or where ever you want) to plug in the a&o feed.

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John Henry? Check. Mark Twain? Check. Transformers? Uhh…check?

Shockwave - Hearts of Steel sketch cover

Yeah I don’t get it either, but it happened. I finally got around to reading the four-part Hearts of Steel series/line/mini-series and I’m pretty surprised that it actually works. Knowing full well that this is supposed to be fun and not critically acclaimed, historically accurate fiction, I had no problem going from one book to the next. Once I realized that it was an, “out-of-continuity, stand alone Transformers tale,” I thought, “whatever, it’s fucking robots…” and pleasantly made my way through them all.

The premise is pretty ridiculous, but that’s why I kept reading. John Henry and Mark Twain couldn’t have been the only characters that could’ve been used for this, but I guess they were the only people that the darts landed on when picking main characters from old-timey America. I just shrugged and went with it. Even for Transformers nerds this has to be an enormously hard sell, and I can just barely imagine this idea being pitched with someone saying something to the effect of, “No, no, no, it’ll be cool! Check out these sketches!” and then whoever at IDW (who published the books) saying, “That’s…that’s dumb…and what about Optimus Prime? What about Megatron? Not writing them in is crazy. You’re out of your mind…but if you can get it to sell, then we don’t give a shit.” Like I said, I don’t know why this even exists, but it’s still somehow worth reading. Or to be more honest, it’s worth looking at.

Some of the concept and cover sketches are actually a lot better than work that made it into the books, but it’s Jay Fotos’ colors that help Guido Guidi’s art stand out just enough to be memorable, but not absolutely incredible. Lots of browns and tans, and lots of subdued, well…everything. Guido Guidi doesn’t lay down artwork in every issue though. For whatever reason, issue #3 is without his talents and it definitely shows. There are even a few frames that are laughably bad and actually make me a little bit embarrassed to own the book. All in all, it just adds to the can’t-possibly-be-taken-seriously tone of the series.

I can say with a straight face however, that these would have made awesome toys.

You can (and should) check out the other IDW Transformers comics art, info and sketches at IDW’s site.

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Filed under Comics, Transformers

A Wondrous Belvederian Outrage!

If Punky Brewster, Silver Spoons and Facts of Life can (and have) made it to DVD, then why can’t Small Wonder and Mr. Belvedere?

“She’ll enchant you at first sight!”

…and the intro to Mr. Belvedere (Holy shit do I wish that was the opening to Mr. Belvedere.)

Here’s the real opening for it

In all seriousness though, why isn’t Small Wonder on DVD? I could honestly care less about piles of shit that I love to loathe like Mr.Belvedere, but ALF made it to DVD…and even fucking Bravestarr got released. Do the studios that made these honestly think that no one would buy them? That hasn’t stopped other studios from releasing pure sludge that I’d rather not take the time to list; people have been buying that crap too. Even more mind-boggling is that somehow the Captain N, Zelda and original Mario Brothers cartoons are out, but Silverhawks and M.A.S.K. have never been officially introduced to the sleek power of a Digital Versatile Disc. Even the Jaleel White (a.k.a. Steve Urkel) voiced Sonic the Hedgehog DVD is available. All the while stuff that should be at the ready to make gazillions of dollars like Transformers, G.I. Joe and even JEM have seen official releases, but are now out of print due to licensing issues. What kind of country are we living in?!

Click here to let the powers that be know that you want Small Wonder released on DVD. Click here to do the same for Mr. Belvedere.

Although it’s neither from the 80’s, nor a TV show, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is also unavailable in the US…many frowns. Hopefully this trailer will reverse those frowns.

Wait…is Webster not available either? FUCK…

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Filed under commentary, garbage