Saturday, June 04, 2011

New 12-inch Shadow figure

Here's a great-looking new 12-inch, pulp-based Shadow figure from Go Hero Executive Replicas, available via Sideshow Toys:

Full list of future Paul McCartney remasters and rarities

What comes after the soon-to-be-released remasters of Paul McCartney's McCartney I and II albums? Lots, according to this listing procured from Wog Blog.

There are no dates here, and I imagine few dates have been set for these releases. Still, I figure we'll see the awesome and formerly underrated (more and more people seem to be singing its praises in recent years) Ram by the end of this year. And the rest will fall into place after that. I'm excited to hear some of the planned outtakes and demos releases.

Paul McCartney solo reissue/remaster campaign 2011-2016:

1 Band On The Run 3 cds 1 dvd
2 McCartney 2 cds 1 dvd
3 McCartney II 3 cds 1 dvd
4 Ram 3 cds 1 dvd
5 Venus & Mars 2 cds 1 dvd
6 Speed Of Sound 2 cds 1 dvd
7 Wings Over America 2 cds 2 dvds
8 Linda McCartney Wide Prairie 2 cds 2 dvds
9 Wild Life 2 cds 2 dvds
10 Red Rose Speedway 2 cds 2 dvds
11 London Town 2 cds 1 dvd
12 Back to the egg 2 cds 1 dvd (probably the Back To The Egg TV Special)
13 Wings Live 1979 (NEW TITLE) 2 cds 1 dvd (Probably Glasgow audio and Hammersmith DVD)
14 Tug Of War 2 cds 1 dvd
15 Pipes Of Peace 2 cds 1 dvd
16 Give my regards to Broad Street 3 cds 2 dvd
17 Press To Play 4 cds 1 dvd
18 Choba B CCCP + Prince's Trust Birthday Party 2 cds 1 dvd
19 McGear / Holly Days / Whippets / Country Hams and Surprises 4 cds
20 Flowers In The Dirt 3 cds 1 dvd
21 Tripping The Live Fantastic 3 cds 2 dvds
22 Unplugged 2 cds 1 dvd
23 Off The Ground 3 cds 2 dvds
24 Paul Is Live 2 cds 2 dvds
25 The Fireman Vol 1 & 2 ( Strawberry + Rusches ) 3 cds 1 dvd
26 Oobu Joobu , liverpool collage, Daumier's Law and crazy stuff 3 cds 1 dvd
27 Flaming Pie 2 cds 2 dvds
28 Run Devil Run 2 cds 1 dvd
29 Driving Rain 2 cds 1 dvd
30 Back In The US / World 3 cds 1 dvd
31 Chaos & Creation in The Back Yard 2 cds 2 dvds
32 Memory Almost Full 2 cds 1 dvd
33 Electric Arguments 3 cds 1 dvd ( reissue )
34 Liverpool Oratorio 3 cds 2 dvds
35 Standing Stone 3 cds 2 dvds
36 Working Classical / A Leaf 2 cds 1 dvd
37 Ecce Cor Meum 2 cds 1 dvd
38 The Studio Outtakes (NEW TITLE) 1970 / 1989 4 cds
39 The Studio Outtakes (NEW TITLE) 1990 / 2014 4 cds
40 The Rude Studio Recordings (NEW TITLE) 1970 / 1997 4 cds
41 The Demos (NEW TITLE) 1960 1979 4 cds
42 The Demos (NEW TITLE) 1980 2016 4 cds

Friday, June 03, 2011

DC reborn?

Big news on the comics web this week, of course, is that DC is "re-booting" its entire franchise, starting everything fresh with more than 50 "first issues" of old and new superhero properties. Other genres: war, horror, etc., are also promised.

As part of this, digital versions of the comics will be offered the same day paper versions are released: Both versions priced at $3.99, with the digital version dropping to $2.99 after it's been out a week.

I figure most folks who find this blog are a little like me: Old. I grew up in the Bronze Age and have seen a re-boot or two. They all seem to have the same trajectory:

  • Big event, big hype and excitement: A new beginning! Everything changes! New readers will jump on board.
  • Big sales, mainly due to curiosity, speculation and those who have fallen for the hype.
  • Enui sets in.
  • Aging fans gripe about the changes.
  • Publisher backtracks: Dropped continuity is restored, issue numbering is restored, new titles and characters are dropped. Few, if any, new comic book readers are created.
  • Everyone waits for the next big event.
It's ok, publisher's need to try new stuff to jazz up their lines. Fans needs to see new approaches. But the underlying promise is unfulfilled: The changes don't work to revitalize the comics market, they don't revitalize the medium and characters. They stir the pot a little, but everything remains the same.

DC's new move is a bit bigger and more radical the previous events and reboots, but I don't hold out much hope that it will change things for the better. Or change things much at all. See previews of the comics makes me even more depressed: Images that look pretty much the same in the mostly lackluster titles the publisher puts on the stand today. In fact, having grunge-era, fanboy darling Jim Lee as the artistic driver of all this seems like a bad way to do something "new." All the preview art I've seen looks inspired by him and his former Image cronies: Over-rendered and over-muscled, stiff, characters all sporting the same, menacing expression.  The new Aquaman looks like a jack-booted thug on his way to kick down your door in the middle of the night and put you on a train to someplace unpleasant.

I could be wrong. This could be the one re-boot that really changes things and sticks. But history informs me that this is highly unlikely.

Right now, I read views from fans and retailers who are worried about this. They're worried about their favorite characters changing, they're worried the current audience will go away.

Do these folks have memories? The current fans will buy this stuff, because they buy anything. Nobody new will buy it. But the existing audience isn't going away. If the new books are bad, they'll change back into being pretty much the old books. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the issue numbering reverts, too.
The digital factor is interesting. We'll see how it plays out. My sense is that fans my age don't want to read comics on a screen and younger fans would rather see images that move (and that they can shoot) when they fire up their gadgets.

I guess my eternal hope when I hear publishers promise to shake things up like this is that they'll really shake things up:

  • Focus on putting innovative, imaginative artists on titles and revitalize titles that way. Don't stick them with generic stories and art.
  • Re-think comics distribution and format. How can we get superheroes on more magazine stands? A commitment to a larger format? Should everything go to graphic novel format? How to you get titles where new, young fans will see them while not killing off the comic book shops?
  • Really start everything fresh. Do first issues that truly make it seem like this is the first time you're seeing Batman, Superman, etc. Wipe away all old continuity and create new stories. Focus on making every issue somebody's first -- so new readers who spot a comic someplace they actually go (i.e. not the comics shop), can pick it up, read it and get hooked without getting confused.
  • Make a commitment to other genres beyond the superhero world.
DC's obviously not going that far. We'll soon learn if they've gone far enough to change anything beyond the numbers on their comic book covers.

Still more X-Men: First Class pictures

Another batch of images from the movie, which opens today:

New York Times slideshow looks at cool, mid-centry design of X-Men: First Class sets

A slideshow here shows off some of the painstaking work production designers did to capture the early 60s look of "X-Men: First Class."

Tarzan movie trilogy in the works

Craig Brewer, director of "Hustle and Flow" and "Black Snake Moan," is reportedly set to write and a direct a trio of Tarzan films.

Dial B for Blog returning?!!

Looks like on of my, and many other folks', favorite, funnest comic book history sites is coming back with new stuff in a day or two.

Green Lantern movie featurettes

Here are a couple of shorts videos about the making of the new Green Lantern flick:

Hear BBC radio series on Kinks/Ray Davies

You can still listen to all three parts of "The Davies Diaries," a documentary/portrait of The Kinks and Ray Davies, here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Doctor Who boss: No daleks in new season

The daleks are taking a break in the upcoming season of "Doctor Who," producer Steven Moffat confirms.

"We thought it was about time to give them a rest. They are the most famous of The Doctor's adversaries and the most frequent, which means they are the most reliably defeatable enemies in the universe."

Moffat also discussed his use of dramatic cliffhangers at the end of each episode. Last week's episode The Almost People featured a shock twist that will lead into this week's mid-season finale A Good Man Goes To War.

He said: "The only thing that was missing when Doctor Who came back this time was that there weren’t enough cliffhangers. Do you remember in the old days? The music crashing in just as The Doctor finds out... well I love that. Plus it encourages the audience to come back. So we are bringing the cliffhanger back in force."

Music new releases May 31, 2011

Circuital My Morning Jacket

Director's Cut
Director's Cut Kate Bush

Director's Cut
Director's Cut Kate Bush

You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks
You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks Seasick Steve

Tutu Miles Davis