Jan 29, 2010

Picasso Superheroes

Last week some woman fell into a Picasso at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She's an adult art student. It WAS a $100 million dollar Picasso called "The Actor." Now it's a Picasso with a 6-inch hole. While it's being repaired I suggest they hang one of these in it's stead.

Dubbed "Art So Awesome It Will Melt Your Face Off," these Picasso/comic book mash-ups were painted by Mike Esparza. Featured here are his takes on The Flash, Punisher, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man but click on over to the site and you'll find many more like Thor, Hellboy, Hal Jordon and Doctor Manhattan, just to name a few.

Esparza lists his influences as Andy Warhol, Alex Ross and of course, Pablo Picasso. He also has a section of geek/genre icon portraits and others done up pop-art style. He's just one of a few talented artists under the Wonder Bros collective which also features a small section of Superman art. And in case you were wondering, the Picasso Superheroes are available in prints. Hopefully their superpowers will grant them some sort of special protection should an art student with their shoelace open walk by...

Fangirls Frenzy!

Whilst I was out in Los Angeles, a very delightful journalist named Cary Ashby from the Norwalk Reflector and his own blog, Cary's Comics Craze, posted a lengthy interview he did with myself and fellow writer Stephanie Carmichael (aka WITA). It got lost in the crazy LA shuffle so I'm here now to bring you a few excerpts and links to all the rest!

Fangirls frenzy (CCC exclusive interview pt. 1):

CCC: Would you consider yourself a DC, Marvel or indie girl?

Pantozzi: “I’m almost strictly a DC Comics fan. Those were the characters I was most familiar with growing up so it was easy to delve into their universe. I’m a huge Batman fan so I real just about every title he’s in. Right now I’m also really enjoying seeing the new Batwoman take center stage in DETECTIVE COMICS. What Greg Rucka and JH Williams III are doing there is just phenomenal. The GREEN LANTERN books are also at the top of my list which I never could have predicted I’d be so into. Geoff Johns writing plays a big part in that; he’s just endlessly talented.”

CCC: Most of the comics-oriented films featuring females have been box office duds. Why is that? What needs to be done to make future films appealing and successful (in terms of box office and creativity)?

Pantozzi: “I think people aren’t used to or comfortable with women in a starring role where they are all-powerful. More often then not, if a woman has a starring role in a film it’s a romantic comedy. That’s what people expect. I also think name recognition is a big deal. ‘Elektra’ was a flop because to the non-comic reading public she was a nobody. Why would they bother going to see the movie? Because she was seen in another superhero film that didn’t do that well either?

CCC: What’s it like being a “fangirl” in a culture seemingly dominated by males? What kind of response do you get from the general public and/or fanboys when they discover you’re a fan?

Pantozzi: “Some people are shocked to learn I read comic books or love sci-fi, but most people, if they’re into the same thing, will just think it’s cool. Of course every once in a while you’ll get a smart aleck who thinks you must be lying and tries to test your knowledge of said culture. I take great pleasure in flexing my giant geeky brain to put them in their place.”

Power Girl, a DC heroine infamous for being drawn with large breasts showing a lot of cleavage, is a character Pantozzi said she has “recently grown to love.” “I’ve always thought she was a cool, tough chick, but since Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Amanda Conner started her solo book she’s really become one of my favorites. Some people, men and women alike, shy away from her because she’s famous for her rather large cleavage that’s out there for the world to see and gawk at. But if people actually took the time to read the book and get to know the character you’d see past the giant chest,” Pantozzi said. “More importantly, it’s a fact of life. There are women in this world with large breasts and yes, some of them choose not to hide them,” she added.

And there you have it folks, click on the links to read the rest of the interview! If you're in the deliviery area you might have noticed a portion of it was actually in the Norwalk Reflector printed edition. Thanks a lot to Cary for letting me be gab about my favorite subject. :)

Jan 28, 2010

Femme Fatales FTW!

It's been well established I love a girl who can kick ass and take names. One of my favorite lady killers has and always will be Nikita. The Hollywood Reporter just announced the CW is working on a new version of her. If they screw this up, I'll kill them. Seriously. I've been trained.

There's a pretty big name attached to the pilot. McG will be serving as executive producer according to THR. Peter Johnson, co-executive producer for CW's Supernatural and NBC's Chuck will join him. Writing the script for the pilot is Craig Silverstein, who's worked on episodes of The Dead Zone and Bones previously and failed to bring a Fables adaptation to the small screen in 2006..

A quick history lesson. The concept started with the French film Nikita from The Fifth Element director Luc Besson. Then came the American version, Point of No Return starring Bridget Fonda. Finally, my personal favorite, the USA Network's TV series La Femme Nikita with the gorgeous Peta Wilson. All three shared the now-classic dinner scene where the new recruit must shoot her way out of a restaurant. Little-known fact: La Femme Nikita actually recycled a shot of that scene from Point of No Return to save money on the show.

So, will the CW's version be cut from the same mold that made these great female assassins? Not exactly. According to THR, "In this version, Nikita goes rogue, and a new assassin is trained to replace her." So basically this is Nikita: The Next Generation. It's the CW, what did you expect? I will say this, if they can convince Wilson to play the rogue Nikita in the first episode that would be pretty cool for fans. Even though the CW will probably cast some 15-year-old who I'll mumble under my breath about saying, "She's no Nikita!" I'm absolutely hoping for the best on this. One can never have too many dressed-to-kill female assassins out there. AMIRITE?

Jan 27, 2010

Hey, That's My Cape!: New Joisey Comic Con

New Jersey. Home of 24-hour diners, The Sopranos, Bon Jovi and me. Now the New Jersey Comic Con Wizard World Convention can call my fair state it’s home. Too bad no one will be calling the show anything at all because it’s a really long name.

You’ve heard of “event fatigue” in comics? Well prepare yourself for “convention fatigue.” This week Gareb Shamus, CEO of Wizard Entertainment, announced his NINTH convention for 2010. The NJCCWWC (good god) will be landing at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center October 15-17. “Much of my family lives or has lived in the Garden State,” Shamus said, “All my hometown friends there were bugging me to do this for them and their kids.” ORLY? Because it’s so hard to make that short train ride into New York City ONE WEEK earlier for the bigger and better New York Comic Con produced by Reed Exhibitions. I know I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Trains are such a drag.

Read the rest of my thoughts at Heartless Doll for this week's Hey, That's My Cape!

Jan 26, 2010

DoubleDCoverage #43

I'm back with this week's installment of DoubleDCoverage at the Girls Entertainment Network!

A high-profile amateur writer takes a stab at reinvention while a high-profile professional tries to recapture his past magic. One fails, one succeeds but which is which? Reviews for The Outsiders #26 and Starman #81 are ahead. Also, check out my star ratings for my other pulls from last week!

Click here to check out DoubleDCoverage #43.

Jan 25, 2010

Be A Hero

I interrupt your regularly scheduled Monday-morning geek fix for something else I'm very passionate about - finding a cure for Muscular Dystrophy!

On March 21st I will once again be getting "The Nerdy Birds" together for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's 7th Annual Metro NY/NJ Stride & Ride. I know I have a lot of new readers since last year's event so I'll give a brief history (feel free to skip to the next paragraph if you know the deal already). I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) one of over 40 different types of neuromuscular diseases that reside under the umbrella of MD. Since most children and adults with MD find it difficult to walk or cannot walk at all, MDA came up with the idea of Stride & Ride. It's basically your typical "walk for a cure" where you get people to sponsor you to help raise money for the cause.

Last year my team went well over our personal fundraising goal of $1000 thanks to all my friends and fans. The event was a huge success with over 500 striders raising just over $110,000 to help find a cure for MD! We're looking to go even bigger for this year's Stride & Ride which is again being held at the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, New York. It's a GIANT four-story mall with tons of shops, an IMAX theater, a regular theater, an ice rink, a ferris wheel and a carousel. The benefit of holding something like this in a mall is it goes on rain or shine. The other benefit of course is, you get to shop afterward.

Right now my team is myself and my parents, if anyone in the area would like to join "The Nerdy Birds" we would love to have you but of course what I'm looking for now is donations. People say this all the time but any amount you can give is a good amount, even if it's a dollar. I'm not joking. If all of my readers gave just one dollar it would start to add up quickly. Though, if any of you won the lottery this past year or are just plain rolling in dough, feel free to give more. :)

You can make your donation securely to MDA via my team homepage. I'm setting "The Nerdy Birds" goal for $1000 again but I'm hoping we can beat last years total. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. And, if you can help spread the word about this on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc that would surely help a great deal as well!

Jan 22, 2010

So says The Nerdy Bird.

Ok, now I've *really* made it.

Archaia Comics is releasing a deluxe hardcover collection of their mini-series Days Missing next month. The five-issue series was a collaborative effort between Archaia, Roddenberry Productions and a slew of talented creators. It followed a mysterious entity known only as The Steward who has the ability to "fold" time, removing horrific days from Earth's history and influencing them for the better. You may remember I reviewed a few of the issues for the Girls Entertainment Network recently. Upon closer inspection of the dust jacket you may find something familiar...

How cool is that? So, buy the hardcover Days Missing and get yourselves a little Nerdy Bird in the process! Ok you get a lot more than that. You get a really original sci-fi story brought to you by these guys too: Phil Hester, Frazer Irving, Dale Keown, David Hine, Chris Burnham, Ian Edginton, Lee Moder, Matz and Hugo Petrus. Plus, you get these never-before-seen special features:
  • A foreword written by the legendary Warren Ellis, award-winning creator of graphic novels such as Fell, Ministry of Space, Planetary and Transmetropolitan.
  • A gallery featuring all 16 covers of the five issues.
  • A collectible poster on the reverse side of the dust jacket, joining together all of Frazer Irving’s complete chase covers to Days Missing.
  • Interviews with all of the writers and Roddenberry Productions’ Trevor Roth , creator of Days Missing.
  • Revelation of the secret code contained in the Days Missing logo.
  • A stat sheet of The Steward, plus a tour of his library.
  • The evolution of a comic page, from script to pencils, inks and colors.
Archaia puts out really high-quality hardcovers (I own several) and I know this one will be no different. This series has something for everyone. The Steward takes on everything from real world problems like plagues, fictional characters like Frankenstein to a science experiment gone very, very wrong. The best thing is, he's just getting started. Days Missing is available for pre-order now and hits stores late February.

Jan 21, 2010

Nerdy News

We're crossing genres, mediums and quite possibly boundaries in this latest edition of Nerdy News. Get ready to scream. Whether it be in joy or madness I leave entirely up to you.

Twilight: The Graphic Novel has arrived. I knew it would be coming eventually, I just didn't think it would be quite so...terrible. Entertainment Weekly announced the graphic novel will be released March 16th from Yen Press. Artist Young Kim was charged with translating book to comic with the ever watchful eye of Stephenie Meyer. "When I got the dialogue with the images, I did a lot of tinkering," Meyer told Ew.

EW says this is Kim's first foray into graphic novels and um, I hate to say this but, it shows. Just take a look at the one page preview they have on the site. I know it's meant to be a sort of melding of Western and Asian comic techniques but that one page is just plain awful. Bella's hair is just floating in mid-air for no reason and don't even get me started on the word balloons. Maybe I can get a review copy of it...


Slightly more intriguing cross-medium news, Summit Entertainment, the folks who brought Twilight to the big screen, are planning to bring their super powered film Push to television. With a little help from someone who knows superheroes.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company is joining E1 Entertainment to develop the series. The pilot will be written by Watchmen and X-Men scribe David Hayter. "The concept behind the 'Push' feature film offers a broad and rich canvas on which to extend the story line and characters introduced in the feature film," said Summit co-chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger in a statement. "The project is also the perfect vehicle to initiate Summit's plans of producing programming for the global TV marketplace."

No word as to what channel they'd vie for or which actors they'd choose. It's doubtful they'd be able to secure Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning or Djimon Hounsou but either way I think this series has some legs. My expectations were rather low for the film which turned out to be a fun, super powered, sci-fi adventure. It could make a perfect replacement for Heroes once that show flushes itself down the toilet.


This news is equal parts dismaying and exciting. I'm still not sure which side I fall on. Fox is getting ready to develop a U.S. version of the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood.

How is this exciting at all? Well, Russel T. Davies and Julie Gardner are on board. And maybe, just maybe, John Barrowman will star. So says The Hollywood Reporter anyway. "As for the new show’s plot, the U.S. version will contain a global story line compared to the more localized sensibility of the first two BBC seasons," they said. And, as if I wasn't worried enough they're also saying Jane Tranter, executive VP of programming and production at BBC Worldwide in the U.S., might try and reboot Doctor Who for the U.S. as well.

I like hearing Davies, Gardner and Barrowman but the only way I can see this series working is if Torchwood U.S. is really Torchwood U.S., the American branch of Torchwood. New local and characters but with references to the Cardiff office every now and then. But really, think about the content of Torchwood. Do you think for a second they're going to let Captain Jack make-out with men on Fox? It'll be like watching neutered Torchwood. BO-RING! And trying to make another Doctor Who is the Mt. Fuji of bad ideas. People who watch DW here in America aren't going to go within 100 miles of it and anyone else? Well, if they were interested in DW they would have already watched the original.

I really don't believe this is going to go anywhere much but I hate having to sit through the pain of watching it get developed, find a cast, air 3 episodes and then get canceled.

Jan 20, 2010

Hey, That's My Cape!: Her-Oes

Women read comics. I'm living, breathing proof. Not all female comic readers are like me, though. I'm knee-deep in continuity driven, rough-and-tumble, superhero comics on a daily basis. 

Some women like stories specifically about women, maybe they have special powers, maybe they're just like you or me. Some ladies prefer unique, original stories. One thing is for sure, there's no instruction manual for comic book publishers to look to when they want to reach out to female readers. That doesn't mean they're going to stop trying. 

This week, Marvel announced Marvel Her-Oes. Excuse me for a moment while I gag.

Read the rest of this week's Hey, That's My Cape! over at Heartless Doll where I discuss whether or not Marvel Her-Oes is a good thing and how the Birds of Prey are grown-ups.

Jan 19, 2010

DoubleDCoverage #42

I'm back with this week's installment of DoubleDCoverage at the Girls Entertainment Network!

They say cats always land on their feet, what about when they land in their original series? Also, a cat and a tiger fight like cats and dogs. Anyone know where I can find a demonic gargoyle? Reviews for Catwoman #83 and Secret Six #17 are ahead. Also, check out my star ratings for my other pulls from last week!

Click here to check out DoubleDCoverage #42.

Jan 18, 2010

Might as well cancel my Twitter account.

Last week was amazing for DC. They put out tons of exciting news for fans. And then Marvel had to go and sit on DC's proverbial hat by offering retailers Seige Deadpool variants for returned issues of Blackest Night tie-ins. I try to stay away from controversial comic book related news because I find it annoying to chime in on. And frankly, it kinda gives me a headache. But I could not pass up the opportunity to share with you this gem I found thanks to Heidi MacDonald over at The Beat. (Click the video to view directly on YouTube if the subtitles are too small here.)

Hilarious use of this oft-used scene if I do say so myself. "I'd cancel my Wizard Subscription but they're four months behind anyway," might be spot on but, "Retailers are rejoicing," is far from the truth. Newsarama has some quotes from a few annoyed store owners. "I'm not fond of insulting behavior," said Joel Pollack of Big Planet Comics. "I personally think Marvel looks petty by doing this." Comics Alliance heard similar stories. A retailer I spoke with said they'd rather donate the comics than rip them up and send them to Marvel.

Of course it didn't help that Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort acted like he was on the playground at recess saying, "We're doing this because we're in the business of selling content rather than Cracker Jack prizes." I'm guessing Tom hasn't eaten any Cracker Jacks lately because he'd notice their prizes are closer to Marvel's Avengers ID cards these days than the kick ass Corps rings hanging around my neck.* Yes, I made a necklace out of mine and yes, I'm hopelessly biased. :)

*Excuse me for being saucy this Monday morning, I had a bad weekend...

Jan 15, 2010

The Dead Will Rise And Shine

It's good to be a DC.

So much news came from the DC Comics blog this week I couldn't keep up. I figured a nice round-up on Friday was the answer. The only problem there is, I'm sure they're going to announce something else this morning/afternoon while I'm still asleep. But guess what? That's why George Lucas invented the edit button. "Silly Jilly, George Lucas didn't INVENT the edit button!" you say. Exactly.

Moving on:
  • There's always sunshine after the storm and there's a Brightest Day after the Blackest Night. It's a biweekly, 26-issue series written by (who else?) Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi, starting this April. Also big news, the cover artist will be newly exclusive David Finch. Speaking of exclusives, Tomasi just extended his exclusivity with DC for a few more years. Hooray!
  • Besides the new biweekly, you can also expect several other titles to display a Brightest Day banner. The relaunched Flash series with Johns and Francis Manapul, Titans with new creative team Eric Wallace and Fabrizio Fiorentino (and fictional team leader, Deathstroke), Justice League of America with ultra-secretive new characters and one more I'll get to later.
  • Johns is also taking on something even more positive and uplifting than something called Brightest Day. He's joining the Tiny Titans crew, Art Baltazar and Franco for issue #25 titled...wait for it..."A Brightest Day In The Afternoon."
  • I bet you thought DC was taking it easy with a biweekly this time around, right? How about two biweeklies? The second will alternate with Brightest Day and is called Justice League: Generation Lost. Who does it feature? Justice League International members Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Fire, Ice and Rocket Red. This one is being penned by Keith Giffen and Judd Winick. "He had me at Giffen," said Winick. Giffen and JM DeMatteis are also taking over Booster Gold. AND Paul Levitz is relaunching Legion of Super-Heroes in the spring.
You'd think we're done. We're not done. I saved my favorite bit of news for last. The Birds are back.

Not only are they back. They're back with Gail Simone and Ed Benes. Can you even comprehend how happy this makes me? Well, maybe you should refresh your memory. "It's going to be a blast. It's Black Canary putting her boot in bad guys' faces and the Huntress taking no *&^% from anyone and Oracle being smarter than anyone else in Gotham," Simone told Comics Alliance. "It's classic 'Birds of Prey' but maybe just a little tougher and a little naughtier. I've been given some really surprising approvals and I think long-time readers and newbies will find it quite unlike any other comic on the stands." Birds of Prey is the other Brightest Day influenced book to be announced.

With all the resurrected titles hitting the stores this month (Suicide Squad, Power of Shazam, Starman, etc.) and now the Birds of Prey ready to strike again, I query you dear readers: If you could resurrect one title, not just for one issue mind you but for a new ongoing, which would it be? Go back as far as you like (I know some of you have been reading comics a LOT longer than I have). And don't feel like you need to limit yourself to DC either. I'd bring back Catwoman and possibly Checkmate.

Jan 13, 2010

Hey, That's My Cape!

If you hadn't noticed, I like writing about comics. So when my boss over at Heartless Doll, the lovely Andrea Grimes, asked me if I wanted to write a weekly column about them I said ABSOLUTELY NOT, then came up with the most ridiculous name for it I could - Hey, That's My Cape!

I expect great things and so should you. Surprisingly, my first HTMC! column is not about superheroes! Here's a taste: 
From Vertigo Comics, The Unwritten appeared on almost everyone's lists for best new comics of 2009, and I'd have to agree. I don't take in too much non-superhero fare in my weekly trip to the local comic shop, but Mike Carey and Peter Gross' tale pulled me in immediately. I'd seen a preview of the first issue in another Vertigo book, and although it looked like a blatant rip-off of Harry Potter, it had the kind of twist I couldn't ignore. Something else I couldn't ignore? The one-dollar price tag. Sold!
Head on over to Heartless Doll and read the rest of HTMC!: The Unwritten.

Jan 12, 2010

DoubleDCoverage #41

I'm back with this week's installment of DoubleDCoverage at the Girls Entertainment Network! What’s this? Double-D on a Tuesday? Yup, new year, new rule. I’ve decided you’ll now get your dose of DC reviews the day before you go to the comic shop. That way you’ll have time to decide if you’d like to follow my recommendations. Sound good? 

Ok, this week was a doozy. HUGE freaking stuff went down in Blackest Night, just in time for it to take a month off of course. Plus, Tim Drake finally learns how to satisfy me. Ew, get your mind out of the gutter. Besides, there’s only room for one comic character in my fantasies and his name begins with “B” and ends with "–ayne.” Reviews for Blackest Night #6 and Red Robin #8 are ahead. Also, check out my star ratings for my other pulls from last week!

Click here to check out DoubleDCoverage #41.

Jan 11, 2010

Did you hear?

Nerdy Bird here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of the superhero elite. Hal Jordan has a girlfriend! Her name is Blake Lively, she's only 22-years-old and, get this...she's a blonde. Couldn't you just dye! I mean, die! And what's going on with Thor, Spider-Man and Jonah Hex? I mean, get it together guys, you're supposed to know what you're doing.

Why am I talking like a Page Six columnist? You've probably heard by now, Carol Ferris has been cast for the upcoming Green Lantern flick and the actress is none other than Gossip Girl star, Lively. The Hollywood Reporter said the roll called for someone slightly older but the studio was impressed with her audition. Fans however, seem to be in an uproar about the casting saying Lively is too young and too blonde for the role. True, she looks closer to Hal's other gal pal, Cowgirl, but that's what wigs and hair dye are for.

Kerri Russel, Eva Green and Jennifer Garner were all said to have been considered to play Carol at one point but it's the youngster who gets to play opposite Ryan Reynolds. I would have preferred someone a little bit older and I've never seen Lively act but I'll tell you why I'm not up-in-arms. I like that she's not a big name actress. This is going to be Reynolds' movie and we all know it. To add to that, Carol isn't as vital to Green Lantern as say, Lois is to Superman or Mary Jane is to Spider-Man. Hal is out in space by himself, at least until the sequel when Carol gets that pretty pink stone (presumably). Hector Hammond, Abin Sur and Sinestro have yet to be cast but with production starting in just under two months you can expect word any day now.

Speaking of Spider-Man, what the hell are they doing? The fourth film in the franchise has given away their May 6, 2011 release date to Thor because according to THR, Sony and director Sam Raimi can't decide on a villain. Really? Shouldn't all of this have been decided a while ago now? "Like anything, it's a process," Maguire told THR. "We're just in the midst of the process. We have a lot of great stuff in terms of story and script. We're just trying to dial it in and get it ready as quickly as possible. Of course, these movies are a very big undertaking and take a lot more time than a drama or something more straightforward." Translation: We ain't got shit.

EDIT: Apparently John Malkovich just told the world he'll be playing Vulture in Spider-Man 4.

EDIT (Again): Spider-Man 4 is no more. Sam Raimi and Toby McGuire are out. The next Spider-Man film will be a complete reboot with script by Jaimie Vanderbilt. According to Deadline.com Raimi "felt he couldn't make its summer release date and keep the film's creative integrity." A statement from Raimi via THR, "Working on the Spider-Man movies was the experience of a lifetime for me. While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job."

Meanwhile, Thor is having it's own issues. THR reports Stuart Townsend, set to play Fandral, has left the film because of "creative differences." Considering shooting begins today, it's a good thing they've already replaced him with Joshua Dallas. Babel actress Adriana Barraza also just joined the cast last week. The troubles aren't limited to Marvel, Warner Bros. is also having some difficulty. They're bringing the Jonah Hex cast back for re-shoots at the end of the month. "Although no test screenings have taken place, the studio has decided to work on story and action during the shoots, working in 12 pages of additional script mixed in with some re-shoots," says THR. People, this is no way to make movies.

If I hear any more juicy news, you'll be the first to know!

X.o.X.o Nerdy Bird

Jan 8, 2010

Let Dead Vampires Lie

My fellow humans,

With today's release of the new vampire film Daybreakers, I think it's time to sit back for a moment and take stock in the state of the undead. I like vampires as much as the next gal. Ok, I like them a whole lot more than the next gal but that should just tell you how serious I am about what I'm going to say. Vampires need to be shoved in their collective coffins and buried deep underground for at least five years.

Granted, compared to some of the other vampire entertainment we saw last year, Daybreakers has a unique take. In their world, vampires outnumber humans and are beginning to run out of their one and only dietary supplement. It stars Ethan Hawk, Sam Neil and Willem Defoe and I find myself actually interested in checking it out. One thing it certainly is not is about teenage vampires. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

You all know by now I'm a Twilight fan but the blame for our own personal vampire epidemic lands squarely at Stephenie Meyer's doorstep. If it weren't for her grossly successful book series and subsequent film adaptations we wouldn't find ourselves wading through the graveyards we are today. I know people say Twilight neutered vampires but did you ever think there'd be something to watch on television called The Vampire Diaries?

This year will be no different. There are tons of vampire properties ready to be released. Let Me In, the American remake of Let the Right One In and Lost Boys: The Thirst (Yeah, they made a third one.) just to name a few. Hollywood bought just about everything with the word vampire in it hoping for another Twilight (I wouldn't be surprised if I wasn't far off with my picture.). Let me be the first to inform you, in case no one has bothered before now - IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. Call it cultural phenomena, call it insanity, what Twilight really was was lightning. And lightning never strikes twice.

So I beg of you, please, for the love of Bram Stoker, STOP! Give vampires a rest. I know the Twilight Saga still has two films left and there are TV shows currently airing but after that, stick a stake in it, they're done.


Jill "I still can't decide between Angel and Spike" Pantozzi

Jan 7, 2010

Just Read

Lady Gaga has a hit song called "Bad Romance" and this is going to sound like a bad dream to some. But not to me. Lady Gaga is getting her own comic book thanks to Bluewater Productions. Don't worry...just dance, gonna be ok.

The comic is titled Fame, which just so happens to be almost the exact same name of Gaga's debut album (The Fame), but does not belong to the singer alone. Granted, she dresses like a superhero on a daily basis but the book is actually the start of a new biographical series from Bluewater that focuses on pop culture icons and celebrities. Successive issues will focus on Twilight star Robert Pattinson, musicians 50 Cent and Taylor Swift and soccer dad David Beckham.

The preview issue featuring Gaga will be Bluewater's offering at Free Comic Book Day this year. "Over the past year we saw an opportunity to broaden the scope of who reads comics," said Bluewater president and former marketing executive for E! and Lionsgate Darren G. Davis, "There were many who had never picked up a graphic novel or comic book buy our biography titles like Female Force and Political Power. Fame is the natural extension of that trend."

According to Bluewater, "the Female Force series will feature Nancy Pelosi, Michelle Obama: Year One and Ellen DeGeneres. Other biographies filling out the first half of the year's schedule include Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor, news anchor Meredith Vieira, and novelist Anne Rice. The Political Power series will feature Al Gore, Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton followed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Franken, and Rush Limbaugh." In the past they've featured authors J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer and politician Sarah Palin.

Artists and writers for the Lady Gaga section were not named in the Bluewater press release but the FCBD site lists S.E. Hinton, CW Cooke and Dan Rafter as scribes for the entire preview book and Vinnie Tartamella as the cover artist. I've never picked up a single one of these biography titles, which are in fact unauthorized biographies, and I wouldn't pay for this one either. Luckily for me, my love for Lady Gaga gets a free pass.

For further reading, take a gander at what Davis has to say about his new line of biographies, "Some have praised them, some just sit back and heap scorn because the subject matter doesn't fit their narrow view of what a comic book should be. But the argument is, and always will be, that these books sold. I sold more units for these titles this year than all of my other titles combined. There is a market for these titles." What do you think dear readers?

Jan 6, 2010

Holy Corset, Batman!

Whilst searching for some Batwoman attire for myself the other night (yeah, I do that sometimes) I stumbled upon this delightful item and purchased it immediately.

This illustration is titled "Batwoman 1899" and was put together by the user spyderfyngers at Zazzle.com. I've never been to the site before, it's along the lines of Cafe Press, but the shirts are ultra expensive for seemingly no reason at all. Unfortunately they were selling to a particularly niche that I fit quite comfy in and well, how often do you come across something like this? The answer: last month. Regardless, I snatched it up and will wear it with geeky Victorian pride.

Here's another shirt I found myself immediately drawn to. This one is considered a "Batgirl Costume T-shirt" by 80stees.com. "This Junk Food Brand shirt features a design just like Batgirl's costume from the waist up!" according to them. But, seeing as how Batgirl doesn't feel the need to display her name across her chest, they get a FAIL and do not get my $28. (Secretly, I still kinda want it.)

Right now, I'm sure you guys out there are thinking, "Gee wiz, Nerdy Bird, I wish there were some Batman apparel I could wear!" Never fear! I haven't forgotten about the fellas. How about a nice Batman G-String Thong? You can thank pmtreasurechest from Etsy.com for the thoughts this one puts in your head. "Lined for comfort. The size is one size fits most (medium to large)." Sorry small and extra-large, you're just going to have to find your Batman G-String Thong elsewhere.

Jan 5, 2010

But, Sir!

At midnight, on the cusp of the new year, Queen Elizabeth announced her New Year Honours list, the men and women who would be knighted. At the top was a man who was already used to being called Sir for 7+ years as Captain of the Star Trek Enterprise. I present, Sir Patrick Stewart.

Of course Star Trek is what we all known him best for but Sir Patrick has had a far more varied and illustrious career. In fact, his knighthood comes in the form of "service to drama." How's that for an honor? He's said his "great joy" is theater, he was part of the Royal Shakespeare Company for 16 years and continues to take the stage today. His most recent appearance was with X-Men co-star and fellow Knight, Sir Ian McKellen in "Waiting for Godot" on London's West End.

Stewart told the Telegraph, "In particular the past six years have given me acting opportunities that at one time I could not have imagined possible.” Could he be referring to his Family Guy episodes perhaps? Probably not, either way, a more deserving Knight you could not find. Congratulations Sir Patrick!

On New Zealand's New Year's Honours list this year is Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his "services to film," Peter Jackson. The director's work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy "broke box office records around the world, won Jackson international accolades, and prompted a spike in tourism to New Zealand," according to the Hollywood Reporter. "I didn't think anything would surpass the 2004 Academy Awards," he said, "but I was wrong." The 2004 Oscars was where Return of the King took home a record breaking 17 awards.

Sir Peter's early work skewed toward horror and his latest works include a producing credit on District 9 and the current box office entry, The Lovely Bones. Now he's diving right back into Middle Earth. The script for both Hobbit films is said to be completed and he, as well as director Guillermo del Toro, will begin filming shortly. He's also producer for all three TinTin adaptations. The first, The Adventures of TinTin: The Secret of the Unicorn with director Steven Spielberg, is set for release December of 2011.

Side note: Does anyone else miss chubby Peter Jackson? This new skinny version kinda freaks me out.

Jan 4, 2010


It doesn't take a genius detective to figure out that pictures help ease the imagination, so it's no wonder wannabe movie makers are now relying heavily on comics and graphic novels to sell their ideas to studios. One recent example? The holiday's box office success - Sherlock Holmes.

There have been countless incarnations of the famous Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character but none quite like this take by director Guy Ritchie. Before Ritchie, producer Lionel Wigram created a treatment for the film but decided to go the extra step. "It's one thing to write that the new Holmes has a bohemian or rock-and-roll attitude, as Wigram was going for, but it's another to show a piece of art which embodies it," said Borys Kit of the Hollywood Reporter.

And so Wigram, showing tremendous wisdom, contacted Gregory Noveck of DC Comics to find an artist to work with. Noveck connected him with Deadman, Sandman and Savage Sword of Conan artist John Watkiss. "Wigram used his own money, $5,000 of it, to have Watkiss draw up scenes from Wigram's story, working with the artist to come up with the best take. Wigram then bound them in a comic book form and published a small amount of them in order to pitch his take," said THR.

The creation wasn't a true comic, basically just fancy storyboarding (there weren't even word balloons), but it was impressive enough Warner Bros. exec Dan Lin and president Jeff Robinov gave it the green light. "What he drew was what I imagined, but better," said Wigram. "And if you compare Guy Ritchie's screen version to the images, there's a direct connection. Watkiss deserves a lot of credit and recognition for this." The film has made $140 million domestically since it's Christmas Day opening, not bad for a dusty old detective from 1887, but that five grand must be looking pretty shabby right now in comparison.

According to THR, "There was talk of DC making a 'Holmes' comic, maybe using the images, maybe not, but the movie project found itself fast-tracked and swept away once Ritchie and then Robert Downey Jr. came on board, and Wigram never had a chance to revisit the idea." Of course with movie/comic tie-ins running amok these days I wouldn't consider the idea shelved just yet.

The movie itself, which I took in this weekend, was just as entertaining as the trailers made it look. Detractors of Ritchie needn't worry, Sherlock Holmes doesn't come across like his standard fare. The size and scope are tremendous and beautiful with every piece of the puzzle fitting in just so. Jenny Beavan and Melissa Meister's costume design is worthy of an Oscar nomination as well as Hans Zimmer's jaunty musical score. (A note to soundtrack collectors, the boxing scenes Irish song is not included on the disc. It's "The Rocky Road to Dublin" by The Dubliners.)

The actors were perfect fits as far as I'm concerned. Rachel McAdams and Jude Law were fantastic supporters of the increasingly dashing Robert Downey Jr. He played Holmes with a casual brilliance and more than a little intellect. In fact, this Holmes reminded me of two modern characters. Jason Bourne, for his ability to use anything at hand as a weapon of mass destruction and Batman, for his pure deductive skills and the personality not to brag about them.

Will there be a sequel to this modern period piece? No shit Sherlock!