Friday, May 11, 2007

Pop Artifact! Major Matt Mason Week!

Pop Culture Roundup May 11, 2007

The surviving members of Pink Floyd reunited for a recent tribute to the group's late founder Syd Barrett.

Guitarist David Gilmour, bassist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Rick Wright all appeared on stage at the "Syd Barrett -- Madcap's Last Laugh" gig, held at the London Barbican venue.

But it would appear the long-feuding Gilmour and Waters have yet to bury the hatchet. The pair appeared separately, the BBC reports, and were not photographed together.


The fourth season of "Battlestar Galactica" is reportedly its last.

EDWARD JAMES OLMOS: ...This is the final season as we speak. All of us are very saddened by that, but we always knew there was going to be a conclusion and we would find Earth, so we will be finding Earth this season.


Scotty, report to the bridge.

A search team continues to look for a rocket carrying ashes of the actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on "Star Trek," almost two weeks after it hurtled to the edge of space from New Mexico, the company behind the launch said on Thursday.

Remains of the Canadian-born actor, who died two years ago at the age of 85, blasted off from a remote launch site on April 29 carrying a payload that included the ashes of astronaut Gordon Cooper and several experiments.



Butt him, Superhorse!


NBC has picked up the new "Bionic Woman" for next season.

"The Bionic Woman," from exec producers David Eick, Glen Morgan, Jason Smilovic and Michael Dinner, stars Michelle Ryan as a woman remade into a techno wonder (on a show itself remade from a 1970s hit).

Also: The Daily Mail has posted the first shots of Michelle Ryan as the Bionic Woman.


Gina Holden will play Dale Arden in the Sci Fi Channel's new "Flash Gordon" series.

Holden, who also appeared in The Butterfly Effect 2 as well as the upcoming Alien vs. Predator 2, will play Flash Gordon's love interest in the show, which is based on the classic SF comic-strip franchise.


Paul McCartney's upcoming LP, Memory Almost Full, will be available for official download and Beatles' tracks may follow.

But while the Beatles' catalog has been under lock and key for years, it turns out that the chance to click-wheel one's way through Rubber Soul may have arrived at last.

McCartney said in an interview for Billboard's May 11 issue that a deal to clear the way for digital distribution has been "virtually settled" in light of the settlement of a lengthy trademark dispute between Apple Inc. (the Mac maker) and Apple Corps (the Beatles' company).


The Hammer Horror studio is back from the dead! the brand that defined the great British film alongside Ealing comedies and James Bond is back in business and plans to make more movies to terrify a new generation of fans.

Responsible for the classic horror series of Dracula, Frankenstein and Quatermass, alongside such gems as Blood from the Mummy's Tomb and the Sweet Scent of Death, the company will repackage some of these old favourites but also plans new productions, inspired by such modern horror movies as the just released 28 Weeks Later.


NBC has launched a Web series that takes a behind-the-scenes look at "Heroes."

The eight installment series will go inside the making of “Heroes” and will begin rolling out exclusively on on May 21st. The same day, “Heroes” Character Profiles will launch on the site as well. Additionally, the popular “Heroes” online graphic novel continues this summer with new chapters. The announcements were made by Vivi Zigler, Executive Vice President, NBC Digital Entertainment and New Media.

Vintage DC Comics house ad

Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

DVD: Katharine Hepburn 100th Anniversary Collection

This six disc set is out May 29 and is available for pre-order from Amazon now.

Katharine Hepburn 100th Anniversary Collection features the beloved screen legend in some of her most memorable roles, and will also include special features such as Oscar-nominated vintage shorts and classic cartoons.

About the Films:

The Corn is Green (1978)
Katharine Hepburn stars in director George Cukor's exquisite television version of Emlyn Williams' beloved play about a dedicated teacher who is determined to make a difference in an early 1900s Welsh mining community. This is Hepburn's 10th and final collaboration with her dear friend Cukor.

Dragon Seed (1944)
Hepburn headlines this dramatic saga of the World War II Chinese war effort, playing heroic Chinese peasant woman Jade in this adaptation of the bestseller by Pearl S. Buck (The Good Earth). Stellar support includes Walter Huston and Aline MacMahon (Academy Award® nominee for her stirring performance) as a long-married couple whose peaceful farm life is disrupted by enemy troops - and plunged into a tumult of hardships, wartime atrocities and fiery resistance.

DVD Special Features:
* Vintage short Romance of Celluloid: Twenty Years After
* Classic cartoon Happy-Go-Nutty
* Theatrical trailer
* Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Morning Glory (1933)
Hepburn earned the first of four Best Actress Academy Awards® for her portrayal of stage-struck Eva Lovelace, a role with strong parallels to Hepburn's own theatrical beginnings. The story of an innocent country girl who seeks fame and fortune on Broadway, Eva's story encompasses setbacks, human frailties and courage, talent and triumph.

Special Features:
* Oscar®-nominated Pete Smith short Menu
* Classic cartoon Bosko's Mechanical Man
* Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Sylvia Scarlett (1936)
This offbeat movie marks the first of the four screen pairings of legends Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, who play half of a roving team of swindlers and performers. Hepburn's gender-bending dual roles as Sylvia and Sidney caused consternation then, but today the film finds an avid cult following. And Grant's performance as a ne'er-do-well cockney con artist gave him a role that showcased for the first time his wider talents.

Special Features:
* Vintage Fitzpatrick TravelTalk short Los Angeles: Wonder City of the West
* Classic cartoon Alias St. Nick
* Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Undercurrent (1946)
This noir-styled melodrama directed with deft, screw-tightening skill by Vincente Minnelli sets a brooding tone. Newlywed Ann Garroway (Katharine Hepburn) is blinded by happiness, unable to see the true nature of her husband (Robert Taylor). She overlooks the menace that creeps into his words and trusts him when he says his mysterious, long-unseen brother (Robert Mitchum) is a psychopath. This is a suspenseful psychological thriller, with doubt and fear lurking under the surface.

Special Features:
* Oscar®-Nominated Theater of Life short Traffic with the Devil
* Classic cartoon Lonesome Lenny
* Theatrical trailer
* Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Without Love (1945)
Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn team for the third time in the romantic comedy Without Love, playing a couple doing their part for the wartime lodging crunch by sharing her Washington DC home. Donald Ogden Stewart adapts Philip Barry's play (five years earlier, both helped shape Hepburn's comeback movie The Philadelphia Story). Supporting stars Keenan Wynn as a bon vivant, Lucille Ball's wisecracking Girl Friday and Gloria Grahame's flower girl add to the movie's urbane wit and warmth.

Special Features:
* Vintage Crime Doesn't Pay Short Purity Squad
* Classic cartoon Swing Shift Cinderella
* Theatrical trailer
* Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

DVD: The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg

This film makes its DVD debut July 17 and is available for pre-order from Amazon now.


The re-release of Jerry Aronson's biopic, The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, timed to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of "Howl," suits this wonderful documentary and proves Ginsberg central to all radical artistic and political movements of the past 60 years. The feature-length film, segmented by decade, provides ample footage of Ginsberg's life; but extras added into this package, including footage of his memorial and 35 interviews with artists inspired by the visionary poet--from Beck to Lawrence Ferlinghetti--solidify Ginsberg as an American cultural icon. The film unravels Ginsberg's obsession for life and death around his mother's nervous breakdown and his father's affinity for poetry. Interviews with Ginsberg from each decade, both amongst his Beat friends like Burroughs and Huncke, and later with talk show hosts William Buckley and Dick Cavett, show the author's progression from sexual politics in the '40s and '50s to the "politics of ecstasy" in the '60s and '70s, when he founded the Flower Power movement with Tim Leary, and later, Naropa Institute. Ample footage of Ginsberg's stepmother provides a sensitive outsider's opinion on how he blossomed into one of the most spontaneous minds of the century. The film transcends simple Ginsberg descriptions by framing his life with historical happenings to contextualize the author's words and actions. The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg reminds the viewer that there is no better example of an artist devoted to a life of letters, activism, and idealism than the original beatnik.

DVD: Picket Fences season one

The first season of this cult series is out June 19 on six disks.

It's available for pre-order from Amazon now.


Season 1 is the first season of the critically acclaimed series from creator David E. Kelly ("Ally McBeal", "Boston Legal") starring Tom Skerrit and Kathy Baker, in the story of a sherriff and his family in Rome, Wisconsin, a town where things never seem to be business as usual.

Plot: Jimmy Brock is the Sheriff of the town and likes to think he's the centre of attention. His wife Jill is the town doctor; they have three children: Kimberly, 18, Matthew, 13 and Zachary, 10. A lot happens in this small town from bizarre murders to rape, assault, drunk driving, kidnapping & spontaneous human combustion. It seems that all the crimes that have occurred in the whole of the United States have at one point or another happened in Rome and they have to deal with it in their own quirky way.

Marvel Comics Pop-Up Books

Published by Candlewick Books, the Marvel True Believers Retro Collection features pop-up version of classic art by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and others to provide a quick overview of the origins of favorite Marvel superheroes, their villains, important storylines, etc.

They're pretty spiffy, actually, and lots of fun for us fans of Silver- and Bronze-Age comics.

I believe Hulk and Fantastic Four volumes are in the works, though I haven't seen them.

Click to order either from Amazon:

The Amazing Spider-Man Pop-Up: Marvel True Believers Retro Collection

X-Men Pop-Up: Marvel True Believers Retro Collection

Today's video: Duane Eddy performs "Shazam"

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pop Artifact! Major Matt Mason Week!

Pop Culture Roundup May 10, 2007

Tim Roth will appear as villain the Abomination in "The Incredible Hulk," according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film stars Ed Norton as Bruce Banner and Liv Tyler as Betty Brant.


TwoMorrows Publishing has announced digital editions of some of its great comic book-related magazines, such as Back Issue and the must-read Alter Ego.

...beginning with our July issues, we’ll begin offering digital editions of all our new magazines, at only $2.95 per download (way less than half the price of the printed versions)!

While we kept the file size down on our Free Comic Book Day downloads by using lower-resolution images, for our future digital editions, the images will be much higher resolution and crystal clear (and thus, larger files). Not only that, but our new PDF editions will feature much of the art from our printed magazines’ black-and-white pages in FULL COLOR!

As a special bonus, subscribers to our printed magazines will get FREE access to the digital versions of the issues in their subscription, which will generally be available 2-3 weeks BEFORE copies are even printed. So if you’ve hesitated to subscribe because our mags show up in your local comics shop before they’re in your mailbox, you can now see the whole issue digitally (and in color) weeks earlier, for no extra charge!

We’re offering these digital editions as a test to see if there’s a market for it, not a way to do away with printed magazines. But we’re relying on the honesty of our readers, to NOT share their digital editions with others. We rely on sales from every printed copy and download to keep the magazines going, and if readers illegally share these files with others, the TwoMorrows mags you love so much will cease to be published in any format. So enjoy the files, but make sure you pay for yours!

Cool idea. Though, I gotta admit I'm a bit addicted to the archaic idea of collecting print issues of things Alter Ego.


Donald Duck fights V.D.


Entertainment Weekly has skinny from "Lost" producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about their plans on wrapping up the show.

CUSE: ...We've done 72 hours and we have 48 hours to go.
LINDELOF: We're 60 percent done.
CUSE: We're over the top of the mountain and heading down the backside. And we believe that our most exciting storytelling is yet to come.


Cartoonist Darwyn Cooke talks to Comic Book Resources about his enjoyable new "The Spirit" series from DC Comics.

Cooke, who admits writing and drawing a monthly series is a heavy workload, says he is committed to the project through at least the end of 2008.

“I'm in for two years, and then who knows? As long as it's fun and we dial up the creative challenges as we go, I'm in. My role as full time artist may end at some point, though. It is a massive job on a monthly schedule.”


George Lucas plans yet more Star Wars movies.

Lucas tells me he will make two more live-action films based in the "Star Wars" era.

"But they won't have members of the Skywalker family as characters," he said. "They will be other people of that milieu."

Vintage DC Comics house ad

Best DC Comics Sites.

Lost clues: "The Man Behind the Curtain" ep. 20, season 3


We get a look into Ben's past and our first introduction to Jacob.

In flashbacks, we see that Ben's mother died shortly after giving him birth. He wasn't born on the island, as he's said in the past, but in a forest off a highway near Portland, Ore.

Later, we see that a motorist who stopped to help Ben's parents has invited Ben's father, Roger, to the island as part of the Dharma Initiative. Under the impression he's to receive a respected position, Roger is angry to learn he's being made a "work man."

We see Ben growing and observe Roger's descent in alcoholism. Roger is cruel to Ben. He blames Ben for his wife's death. Sad and angry one night after his father has ignored his birthday, Ben runs into the jungle and sees a vision of his mother. He wants to be with her, but his mother says it's too early.

Soon after, still in the jungle, Ben encounters Richard Alpert, who evidently isn't with the Dharma Initiative, but lives among the people the Dharma settlers call "hostiles." Richard is very interested to hear that Ben has seen his dead mother. Ben tells Richard that he wants to leave the settlement and his father. Richard tells him this can happen, but it will take time.

In the present time, Locke catches up with the Others, demonstrating to Ben that he's killed his father. Ben seems shocked and disturbed. It's apparant that Locke has a hold over the rest of the Others. They know about his link with the island's powers and Ben is threatened by this.

Locke demands to be shown the secrets of the island and Ben brings him to an overgrown cabin in the jungle where Jacob--the person Ben apparently takes orders from--lives. But the cabin appears empty.

Still, Ben starts addressing an empty chair, saying he's talking to Jacob. He has a conversation with this invisible person--a bit like Norman Bates talking to his mother--and Locke gets angry. He says Ben is crazy. There's nobody there.

Suddenly, though, the cabin begins shaking wildly--there's some sort of disturbance. Heading toward the door and facing away from Ben, Locke hears a voice say "Help me. Help me." But he thinks this is Ben, playing more games.

Back in the past, we see a grownup Ben heading out on an errand with his father, still a lowly work man. They drive Roger's VW bus up to a bluff on the island and Roger opens a beer. Ben confronts Roger, saying that he, too, was sad about his mother's death and he resented the way he'd been treated. Then Ben puts on a gas mask and opens a canister of gas that kills his father.

We see Ben go back to the Dharma settlement, where everyone also has been gassed. Richard Alpert and some other hostiles are there, also in gas masks.

In the present, Lock and Ben are on their way back to the Others' camp, but Ben has led Locke astray. He brings Locke to an open pit containing the skeletal remains of the Dharma settlers. He pulls out a gun and demands to know what Jacob told Locke. Locke insists that it was Ben talking. Angry, Ben shoots Locke and Locke falls into the pit. Mortally wounded, Locke says that Jacob said "Help me." Ben seems disturbed, but says Lock is now beyond help, or helping anyone, and he walks away.

Back on the beach, Sawyer and Sayid confront Juliet and Jack with the tape recorder Juliet has been using to send messages to Ben. They out her as a spy.

However, Juliet tells Sawyer to play the other side of the tape. He does and everyone hears Ben telling Juliet that the Others plan to raid the beach camp and seize Sun and any other pregnant women. Jack says Juliet filled him in on this plan and that she's turned against Ben. Jack indicates he and Juliet have secretly been cooking up a plan to defend the camp.

Clues, observations, speculation:

* Someone could be seen sitting in Jacob's chair, very briefly. So Ben seems to be telling the truth when he insists that Jacob exists.

* What is Jacob? A ghost? Someone from the past or future who can only be observed by certain people?

* Is Jacob a future version of Locke? That figure in the pic above looks a bit like Locke, if Locke had hair.

* How did Jacob want Locke to help him, and why?

* What's up with the ring of dirt/whatever around Jacob's cabin? Is it meant to keep something in or out?

* Like numerous other people on the island--Locke, Kate, Jack, Sawyer, etc.--Ben has father issues.

* Why was Richard Alpert so interested in Ben? Did he realize that Ben has certain special abilities? Perhaps, because Ben saw his mother, Alpert figured Ben also might be able to see and communicate with Jacob.

* Alpert seems to demand Ben make a sacrifice in order to join the hostiles. He has to kill his father and betray the Dharma settlers, much as Ben insisted that Locke kill his own father.

* Who are the hostiles/Others? Ben mentions that they were the previous inhabitants of the island, before Dharma showed up. Where did they come from? Or are they a renegade group of Dharma settlers?

* What happened after Ben and the hostiles wiped out the Dharma settlement? How did whoever was observing the Dharma project from the outside react? How was Ben able to recruit people from the outside and bring them to the island? Why have the Dharma food drops continued?

* Is the gas that killed the Dharma settlers the illness that's been remarked on in past episodes? Perhaps Ben and the hostiles told the Dharma people on the Outside that a disease had wiped out most of the people. People on the outside may think Ben and his fellow hostiles are legitimate survivors of the illness and are still working for Dharma.

* Richard Alpert doesn't look like he's aged much. How come? Not enough makeup to make the actor look old in his present-day scenes, or does his youthful appearance relate to the plot of the show?

* Ben seems pretty worried when he learns a parachutist has land on the island.

Book: DC Comics Action Figure Archive

This one looks like a blast: Penned by comics scribe Scott Beatty and due out this fall, this book features pictures of hundreds of DC-based action figures from the 1960s until today.

The 208-page hardcover is available for pre-order from Amazon now.

New and upcoming action figures May 10, 2007

13-inch Batgirl and Batman figures, order below

Complete List of Marvel Legends Action Figures
Complete List of DC Direct Action Figures

Here's a look at action figures available via your local comics shop or via the TIP!-supporting links below:

DC Direct Action Figures

Superman Last Son Action Figures
--Last Son Superman

Shazam Action Figures
--Dr. Sivana
--Captain Marvel Jr.
--Mary Marvel
--Billy Batson and Hoppy
--Captain Marvel

Superman Vs. Doomsday
Lex Luthor and Robot
Solar Suit Superman

Batman and Son
Ninja Man-Bat
Robin and Daimin
The Joker

52 Weeks
Animal Man
Booster Gold

DC Direct Reactivated Action Figures
--Wonder Woman

DC 13-inch Figures
Green Lantern
Lex Luthor
Martian Manhunter
Classic Batman
Batgirl gray costume
Batgirl black costume

Elseworlds Action Figures Series 2
--Red Son Batman
--Red Son President Superman
--Kingdom Come Jade
--Kingdom Come Spectre and Norman McKay
--Gotham By Gaslight Batman

Elseworlds Action Figures Series 3
--Kingdom Come Aquaman
--Red Son Green Lantern

First Appearance Series 4
--Blue Beetle translucent
--Blue Beetle
--Brave New World Atom
--Brave New World Martian Manhunter
--Brave New World Aquaman

Infinite Crisis Action Figures Series 1
--Earth Prime Superboy
--Alexander Luthor

JSA Action Figures
--Mr. Terrific
--Dr. Midnite
--Golden Age Atom 2-pack

Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer action figures
Battle Stretch Mr. Fantastic
Fire Blast Human Torch
Raging Thing
Silver Surfer

Hanna Barbera Series 3 Action Figures
--Fred Flintstone Quittin' Time
--Twinkle Toes Fred Flintstone
--Great Grape Ape
--Huckleberry Hound
--The Jetsons
--Secret Squirrel

McFarlane Lost series 2 action figures
--Crash site box set
--Mr. Eko

Marvel Figure Factory Sets
--Black Costume Spider-Man
--Invisible Woman
--Silver Surfer

Marvel Legends Action Figures

Hasbro Marvel Legends Action Figures Series 2
--Yellow Jacket
--Quick Silver
--Lord Asgard Thor
--Magneto Xorn
--X3 Jean Grey
--First Appearance Storm

Hasbro Marvel Legends Figures Series 3
--Bucky Barnes
--First appearance Captain America
--Marvel Girl Rachel Grey
--Heroes for Hire Black Knight
--Hydra Soldier
--X-3 Colossus
--Astonishing X-Men Cyclops

Hasbro Marvel Legends Icons 12-inch Action Figures
--The Punisher
--Doctor Doom
--The Human Torch
--The Silver Surfer

Marvel Legends Masterworks Sets
--Spider-Man Vs. Green Goblin
--Fantastic Four Vs. Mole Man
--Hulk Vs. The Thing
--Galactus Vs. Everybody

Marvel Select Figures

Best of Marvel Select Figures
--Grey Hulk
--Ultimate Spider-Man
--Green Goblin

Marvel Sideshow Toys Figures
--Black costume Spider-Man
--White Queen
--White Queen Exclusive

NECA 7-inch John Lennon action figures
--Black and white

NECA Grindhouse action figures
--Quentin Tarantino as soldier

Today's video: The influence of Captain Marvel Jr. on Elvis Presley

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pop Artifact! Major Matt Mason Week

Pop Culture Roundup May 9, 2007

"Veronica Mars" is over after this season, right? Maybe not, TV Guide reports. There's a possibility the show could return in a much-different form.

CW prez Dawn Ostroff is said to have responded very favorably to the trailer that series creator Rob Thomas shot for a potential reworking of the show with VM as an FBI agent (think Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs, only with way better hair and funnier dialogue). What's more, sources whisper to me that on the strength of that presentation, Thomas and Co. have been asked for more deets of the proposed revamp.

More from Variety:

"We pitched them two different versions of the show," [Thomas] said. "One with Veronica continuing in year two of college, and one in which we fast-forward four years and she's an FBI agent. I don't know which version they might order."

Reps from the CW and Warner Bros, which co-produces the show, declined to comment. The CW is scheduled to make its presentation at the upfronts in New York on May 17, which means that word on the fate of "Veronica" will come within a week.

If the show is coming back, in whatever form here's hoping they do something about the diminished quality in the scripts. This past season has been barely a notch above "Save the Bell"-level in terms of sophistication--a far cry from that excellent "Nancy Drew meets Buffy in Twin Peaks" first season.


Here's a lengthy interview with head Wilco guy Jeff Tweedy.

Vintage DC Comics house ad

Best DC Comics Sites.

July comics solicitations

We've looked at DC and Marvel's offerings for July, but here's a look at other items of interest available then. Click titles to pre-order from Amazon.

by Steve Gerber, Jack Kirby, & Alfredo Alcala The mad genius behind Howard the Duck teams up with the artistic visionary who brought us Fantastic Four, X-Men, and the Hulk! Destroyer Duck takes on GodCorp to fight for the Little Guy in this 25th anniversary collection of this historic comic. Includes the complete Gerber/Kirby run, and a new introduction by Gerber. SC, 7x10, 120pgs, B&W SRP: $8.99

by Jaime Hernandez The 25th anniversary Love and Rockets celebration continues with these first two volumes collecting the adventures of the spunky Maggie, her annoying best friend and sometime lover Hopey, and their circle of friends, including their bombshell friend Penny Century, Maggie's weirdo mentor Izzy - as well as the wrestler Rena Titanon and Maggie's handsome love interest, Rand Race. Also included is a whole cycle of wrestling stories starring or co-starring Rena Tinanon, whose return was memorably chronicled in the New York Times serial, "La Maggie La Locas." SC, 7x9, 272pgs, B&W SRP: $14.95

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2007, Love and Rockets is finally being released in its most accessible form yet: As a series of compact, thick, affordable, mass-market volumes that present the whole story in perfect chronological order.
This volume will collect the second half of Gilbert Hernandez's acclaimed magical-realist tales of "Palomar," the small Central American town, beginning with the landmark "Human Diastrophism," named one of the greatest comic book stories of the 20th Century by The Comics Journal, and continuing on through more modern-day classics.
"Human Diastrophism" is the only full graphic novel length "Palomar" story ever created by Gilbert. In it, a serial killer stalks Palomar—but his depredations, hideous as they are, only serve to exacerbate the cracks in the idyllic Central American town as the modern world begins to intrude. "Diastrophism" concludes with the death (the suicide, in fact) of one of Palomar's most beloved characters, and a postscript that provides one of the most hauntingly magical moments of the entire series as a rain of ashes drifts down upon Palomar.
Also included are all the post-"Diastrophism" stories, in which Luba's past (as seen in the epic Poison River) comes back to haunt her, and the seeds are sown for the "Palomar diaspora" that ends this dense, enthralling book.
SC, 7x9, 288pgs, B&W SRP: $14.95

by Various In Carl Barks' feature-length "Mystery of the Swamp," Donald Duck treks into the Everglades and meets the Gneezles - a clan of pint-size but murderous swamp gnomes! Next, it's piracy on the Caribbean when Mickey and Goofy set sail for "Spooks' Island," only to be captured there by a scientist vigilante. Freddy Milton and William Van Horn duck epics round out this king-size volume! (JAN073632) SC, 80pgs, FC SRP: $9.50

Milton Caniff (w/a) Celebrating the centennial of cartoonist Milton Caniff's birth, IDW Publishing will publish a six-book series, collecting the entirety of Caniff's groundbreaking newspaper adventure strip, Terry and the Pirates. The Sunday pages will be reproduced in their original color, alongside the daily black-and-white strips. Volume One contains more than 800 consecutive strips, from the series' beginning in October 1934 through the end of 1936. HC * 8.5" x 11" * FC & B&W * 368 pages, with index * $49.99

by Mark Morris It is almost Halloween in the sleepy New England town of Blackwood Falls. But, something long-dormant has awoken in the town, and this will be no ordinary Halloween. As nightmarish creatures prowl the streets, the Doctor and Martha must battle to prevent both the townspeople and themselves from suffering a grisly fate! (7463/1-8460727-0-0)

by Paul Magrs Tiermann's World: a planet covered in wintry woods and roamed by sabre-toothed tigers and other savage beasts. The Doctor is here to warn Professor Tiermann, his wife, and their son that a terrible danger is on its way! The Voracious Craw, a gigantic and extremely hungry alien creature, is heading remorselessly towards their Dreamhome! (7463) (C: 0-1-2) HC, 5x7, 256pgs

by Mark Michalowski When the TARDIS makes a disastrous landing in the swamps of the planet Sunday, the Doctor has no choice but to abandon Martha and try to find help. But the tranquility of Sunday's swamps is deceptive, and even the TARDIS can't protect Martha forever! (7463) (C: 0-1-2) HC, 5x7, 256pgs, B&W SRP: $11.99

This issue of Alter Ego spotlights Roy Thomas during the 1970s! It's a "you-asked-for-it" follow-up to issue #50, on Roy's stint as Marvel's editor-in-chief and one of the company's major writers. Plus, there's art and reminiscences of both Buscemas, Gil Kane, Neal Adams, John Romita, Howard Chaykin, Frank Brunner, Mike Ploog, Bernie Wrightson, Bill Everett, George Perez, Frank Robbins, Barry Smith, Frank Thorne, Herb Trimpe, and a passel of talented writers (including a guy named Stan)! Also, there's FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) with Marc Swayze, C.C. Beck, and others; Michael T. Gilbert and Mr. Monster; and a salute to Golden Age artist Lily Renee, Roy's fellow guest at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con! All behind a great Invaders cover by Gene Colan! Edited by Roy Thomas! Includes a free Preview of Rough Stuff #5, also shipping this month! (Twomorrows Publishing) (C: 0-1-2) Magazine, 100pgs, B&W SRP: $6.95

by Various In this issue, Superman Confidential creator Darwyn Cooke confides about his early career in animation, collaborating on Catwoman, re-pioneering DC's superhero mythology in The New Frontier, and providing his current takes on Batman, The Spirit, and Superman. Ernie Colon, the artist for the best-selling The 9/11 Report: a Graphic Adaptation, talks about representing one of the defining traumas of our age, as well as working on Casper the Friendly Ghost, Magnus: Robot Fighter, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, and his current weekly comic strip, SpyCat. Plus, the full-color comics section captures Marvel mainstay John Buscema's weird-crime comics from Wanted Comics, circa 1950. Magazine, 200pgs, PC SRP: $11.95

Lost preview May 9 episode

Click here for teaser text about tonight's ep. Then come back here tomorrow for a detailed roundup of clues and observations.

Also see:
The Best "Lost" Sites on the Web.
"Lost" Season 3 Episode Guide.
"Lost": Things we STILL don't know.

Comics shipping May 9, 2007

See complete lists:
DC Archives
DC Showcase
DC Trade Paperbacks
Marvel Masterworks
Marvel Essentials
Marvel Trade Paperbacks
Upcoming Trade Paperbacks - Graphic Novels

Comics shipping May 9, 2007


MAR070072 BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #125 (MR) $2.99
MAR070024 BPRD GARDEN OF SOULS #3 (OF 5) $2.99
JAN070077 OUTER ORBIT #4 (OF 4) $2.99
DEC060034 SAMURAI HEAVEN & EARTH VOL 2 #4 (OF 5) $2.99
FEB070069 SATANS ##### BABY (MR) $3.50
MAR070028 SECRET #4 (OF 4) $2.99
OCT060041 STAR WARS DARK TIMES #3 (OF 5) $2.99
FEB070090 STAR WARS LEGACY #11 $2.99


APR070259 AMERICAN VIRGIN VOL 2 GOING DOWN TP (MR) $14.99 $10.19 at Amazon.
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DVD: Super Friends: Legendary Super Powers Show

Out on two disks Aug. 7, this set collects all 16 episodes of the 1984 series that update the original 1970s Super Friends series.

The show includes voice work from Adam West, Casey Kasem and others and features Batman, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman and others (including the then-new Firestorm) battling the likes of Darkseid, Brainiac and others.

You can pre-order it now from Amazon.

Book: DC Comics Covergirls

Penned by longtime comics scripter/editor Louise Simonson, this book is out May 29.

Here's the skinny:

From the trailblazing Wonder Woman of the 1940s to edgy, girl-power-driven comics series like Birds of Prey, DC Comics Covergirls takes a look at the female characters of DC Comics throughout the company's history, and features many of DC Comics' iconic comic book covers.

Written by renowned comic book writer Louise Simonson, the book examines the evolution of the comic book women of DC Comics: the 1942 introduction of the most famous DC heroine, Wonder Woman, and her various incarnations up to the present; the creation of comic book spin-offs based on characters such as Lois Lane; and the recent wealth of fierce, female character-driven comics such as Supergirl, Birds of Prey, Batgirl, and Catwoman, featuring women who have no trouble being both sexy and strong-willed.

Famous featured DC Comics artists include Jim Lee, Alex Ross, Adam Hughes, J. Scott Campbell, Michael Turner, Tim Sale, and Jill Thompson. DC Comics Covergirls is a smart and in-depth look at the female comic book characters we've grown up with all these years, and is sure to appeal to new comic book fans and diehard collectors alike.

The book is available for pre-order now from Amazon.

DVD: The Incredible Hulk Complete Second Season

Out July 17 on five disks, this set is available for pre-order now from Amazon.

All 22 episodes are included along with an interview with Producer, Writer, Director Kenneth Johnson and a bonus episode from Season Three. We'll keep you posted on any other extras once they're announced.

Here's the cover.

DVD: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Global Warming Edition

Out June 5, this new edition of the sci-fi film that spawned the TV series of the same name seems more timely than ever.

Consider the plot:

A routine scientific expedition to the North Pole turns into a race to save all mankind when a radiation belt in space causes a fiery inferno on Earth. Admiral Nelson (Walter Pidgeon) and the crew of the atomic submarine Seaview battle saboteurs, giant sea-creatures and attacks by enemy submarines as they race to prevent global catastrophe.

Renowned disaster film producer, Irwin Allen, produces and directs an all-star cast including Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Peter Lore, and Frankie Avalon. The stunning visual effects and breathtaking underwater photography make this one of the most respected sci-fi adventure classics of all time.

This is a one-disk package with no word on extras yet. You can pre-order it now from Amazon.

Today's video: "Adventures of Captain Marvel" serial trailer

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Pop Artifact! Major Matt Mason Week!

Pop Culture Roundup May 8, 2007

An expanded version of Paul McCartney's upcoming album, Memory Almost Full, features three extra tracks.

...the three tracks are called "Why So Blue," "222," and "In Private."

You can pre-order by the expanded and regular editions of the album now from Amazon.


You can see a new, 15-minute Spinal Tap film here.

Featuring original cast members Christopher Guest, Michael
McKean and Harry Shearer, the short film looks at the fake band's preparations for the very much real Live Earth festival coming up in July.


Live Earth is designed to trigger a mass movement to combat our climate crisis.

On 7/7/07, Live Earth will be a defining musical event with more than 100 headliners performing live on all 7 continents and being broadcast globally through television, radio, web, wireless and other media platforms. These music artists will inspire an audience of more than 2 billion people worldwide to make meaningful and lasting changes in their lives to turn the tide on global warming.


Via Bedazzled: A gallery of teen-exploitation paperback covers.


Buffy and Angel magazine is shutting down. The final issue is cover-dated May and will be on newstands this month.

Best Buffy Sites.


See a new trailer for "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer."

Best Fantastic Four Sites.


Dial B for Burbank presents lobby cards from old Shadow movie serials.


The Sci Fi Channel plans a programming block of anime TV series. anime block will get off to a rousing start on Monday June 11th at 11 p.m. (ET, PT) with the U.S. broadcast premier of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Solid State Society movie (see "Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society"), which won't be available on DVD until July 3rd.


Exerpted from an upcoming issue of his great Alter Ego mag, Roy Thomas talks about adapting the first Star Wars movie to comics.


Doctor Who fans may dig "Dalek I Loved You," a memoir of growing up in Britain during the Tom Baker years.

Dalek I Loved You is an irresistible memoir of a childhood lived through the 1970s and 1980s. Writing with wit and humour, Griffiths takes us on a poignant and often hilarious journey through his childhood, where he first encountered Dr Who, into his teens where he is packed off to boarding school and discovers girls and David Bowie, onto his first formative years of employment at some hip but now defunct music magazines and into life as a father and husband who is now writing about his childhood passion for a living.

Best Doctor Who sites.


Canada's Globe and Mail checks in with Beatles producer George Martin.

Once Martin had the Beatles under his wing, the group's manager, Brian Epstein, began to send a bevy of Liverpudlians to Martin. He duly produced many chart-breakers for the likes of Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black and Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, among others. In fact, in Britain in 1963, for 34 weeks the No. 1 hit was a song produced by Martin. "It had never been done before," he said with undiminished pride, "and it never will be done again."

Best Beatles sites.

Lost season finale details

Highlight the hidden text for spoilers:


"Through the Looking Glass" - Jack and the castaways begin their efforts to make contact with Naomi's rescue ship, on the season finale of "Lost," WEDNESDAY, MAY 23 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

"Lost" stars Naveen Andrews as Sayid, Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond, Emilie de Ravin as Claire, Michael Emerson as Ben, Matthew Fox as Jack, Jorge Garcia as Hurley, Josh Holloway as Sawyer, Daniel Dae Kim as Jin, Yunjin Kim as Sun, Evangeline Lilly as Kate, Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet, Dominic Monaghan as Charlie and Terry O'Quinn as Locke.

Guest starring are M.C. Gainey as Mr. Friendly/Tom, Tania Raymonde as Alex, Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Blake Bashoff as Karl, Andrew Divoff as Mikhail, Ariston Greene as Jason, Sonya Walger as Penny, Mira Furlan as Rousseau, Brian Goodman as Pryce, Marsha Thomason as Naomi,
L. Scott Caldwell as Rose, Sam Anderson as Bernard, Lana Parilla as Greta, Tracy Middendorf as Bonnie, James Lesure as Dr. Hamill, Nigel Gibbs as funeral director, Loreni Delgado as pharmacist, Larry Clarke as customer and Kate Connor as doctor.

"Through the Looking Glass" was written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof and directed by Jack Bender.

See the Best "Lost" Sites on the Web.

Vintage DC Comics house ad

Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

DVD new releases May 8, 2007

The 4400 - The Complete Third Season

The Waltons - The Complete Fifth Season

Everybody Loves Raymond - The Complete Eighth Season

That '70s Show - Season 6

To Catch a Thief (Special Collector's Edition)

Cagney & Lacey - Season 1

Pirates of the Golden Age Movie Collection (Against All Flags / Buccaneer's Girl / Yankee Buccaneer / Double Crossbones)

That Thing You Do! - The Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)

The Caine Mutiny (Collector's Edition)

Battlestar Galactica (2004): Seasons 2.0 & 2.5

Classic Western Round-Up, Vol. 1 (The Texas Rangers / Canyon Passage / Kansas Raiders / The Lawless Breed)

Classic Western Round-Up, Vol. 2 (The Texans / California / The Cimarron Kid / The Man from the Alamo)

John Wayne Collection, Vol. 1 (The Quiet Man / The Sands of Iwo Jima / Flying Tigers / The Wake of the Red Witch)

John Wayne Collection, Vol. 2 (Rio Grande / A Lady Takes a Chance / The Fighting Kentuckian / Dakota)

More upcoming DVDs

CD new releases May 8, 2007

CD new release May 8, 2007

Keren Ann by Keren Ann

PROG by The Bad Plus

We All Love Ennio Morricone by Various Artists

Kids: Duets Live at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola by Joe Lovano & Hank Jones

Bad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions by James Blood Ulmer

Live 1969 by Simon & Garfunkel

Volta by Björk

New Moon by Elliott Smith

Com Lag (2Plus2IsFive) by Radiohead

Send Away the Tigers by Manic Street Preachers

Everybody by The Sea and Cake

Definitive Soul: The Coasters by The Coasters

The Pomus & Shuman Story: Double Trouble 1956-1967 by Various Artists

Code: Selfish by The Fall

Shift-Work by The Fall

Extricate by The Fall

British War Broadcasting 1938-1945 by British War Broadcasting 1938-1945

More Upcoming CD Releases

Today's video: "Shazam!" animated series opening

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pop Artifact! Major Matt Mason Week!

Pop Culture Roundup May 7, 2007

ABC has announced its plans from wrapping up "Lost."

The Emmy-winning adventure series will run for 48 more episodes over three seasons. Each season will consist of 16 episodes, which will air uninterrupted.

"Lost" executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who have been vocal about setting up an endgame for the show, have signed on to stay for the remainder of the series' run.

A typical season is 24 episodes, so this news really means ABC has elected to buy only two more seasons. They're just making it look like three.

Originally, five full seasons of the show were planned.

This may not be entirely bad news for viewers, though. Lately, the show has been great. But the first part of this season seemed a bit listless--lots of episode where not much happened. Maybe giving the creators a tight deadline to finish up will help keep the quality on track.


Dial B for Burbank continues his detailed look at the Shadow art of Jim Steranko. We have our own gallery of Steranko Shadow paperback art here.


Datajunkie shares a nice batch of painted Gold Key Comics covers from "Lost in Space," "M.A.R.S. Patrol," "Tarzan of the Apes" and more.


Variety focuses on the 30th anniversary of "Star Wars" with a look at early action figures inspired by the movie.

Vintage DC Comics house ad

More Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix pics

Today's video: "Shazam" live-action opening credits

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Closer DVDs

The Closer on DVD:

Complete First Season
Complete Second Season

Coach DVDs

Coach on DVD:

Complete First Season
Complete Second Season

Complete List of TV Shows on DVD.

Cagney and Lacey DVDs

Cagney and Lacey on DVD:

Season One

See a Complete List of TV Shows on DVD.

The 4400 DVDs

The 4440 on DVD:

Complete First Season
Complete Second Season
Complete Third Season

What I Like About You DVDs

What I Like About You on DVD:

Complete First Season

Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet DVDs

Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet on DVD:

Best of the Adventeres of Ozzie and Harriet

Melrose Place DVDs

Melrose Place on DVD:

Complete First Season
Complete Second Season

See a Complete List of TV Shows on DVD

Girls Next Door DVDs

Girls Next Door on DVD:

Complete First Season
Complete Second Season

See a Complete List of TV Shows on DVD