Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The DOCTOR WHO Series Six Trailer Debuts


Blimey.  Now we're talking.

The BBC has uploaded the first full-length trailer for Series Six of Doctor Who onto YouTube and as you might expect, there's all sorts of things to keep Whovians around the world chattering away on the internets.

"This is the Doctor's darkest hour," says River Song, "He'll rise higher than ever before and then fall so much further.  This is the day he finds out who I am."

The Eleventh Doctor kissing River (Hello, hallucinogenic lipstick?), the TARDIS rocketing out of a crack in space, River spinning around blasting things with a laser gun, creepy doll-faced things...

Ominous Omega-like voice that may or may not be Omega:  "Fear me.  I've killed hundreds of Time Lords."
The Doctor:  "Fear me.  I've killed all of them."

Rory in a TARDIS console room looking exactly like the one belonging to the Ninth and Tenth Doctors (See above screenshot), the Doctor dressed as a sad clown, a pirate reaching out to a hovering female ghost (A Gelth?), a panicked Amy about to shoot something...

"I've been running my whole life.  Now it's time for me to stop."

Oh, Easter weekend just can't get here fast enough.  Here's the full trailer...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

David Lynch's Original TWIN PEAKS Map


"Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."
-- Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks



The website Big Think has taken us back to the creation of the classic ABC television series Twin Peaks by examining the original map that co-creator David Lynch drew up in order to help sell ABC executives on the series.  The moody artwork captures the tone of the series, referencing some familiar names such as Sparkwood ("Sparkwood and 21" was the intersection where murder victim Laura Palmer jumps off James Hurley's bike late and night and runs into the woods), Pearl Lakes (where Leland Palmer said he first encountered the demon spirit BOB) and Ghostwood National Forest (home to the pine weasel species used by Benjamin Horne in order to stop the Ghostwood Estates development project).

Other names like Lower Town, Meadow Lark Hill and The Flats are never mentioned in the series, while the "Lucky Hiway" is labeled 21 and is probably Washington State Route 21.  More detailed maps of the fictional town of Twin Peaks can be found in Welcome to Twin Peaks: An Access Guide to the Town, published in 1991 by Pocket Books.  Essentially a parody of a traveller's guide book, it also includes a history of the Native Americans around the area, background on the Packard Sawmill, and a list of songs on the jukebox at the Double-R Diner.  For a more detailed analysis of the original map, though, check out the Big Think page at the link above.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Amy Adams Satisfies "Craving" for Another Superman Cast Role


In just ten years, actress Amy Adams has gone from a "Freak of the Week" to the woman who becomes Superman's wife, Lois Lane.  Nice upgrade.

The Los Angeles Times reported today that Adams has landed the role of Lois Lane in the upcoming Superman: Man of Steel  film by director Zack Snyder.  Beating out other rumored actresses such as Kristen Stewart, Olivia WIlde, Rachel McAdams and Mila Kunis, Adams joins Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Diane Lane as Martha Kent and Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent in the reboot project scheduled for release in December 2012.  Adams has been previously nominated for three Academy Awards as a supporting actress in the films The Fighter (2010), Doubt (2008) and Junebug (2005).

Oh, and...um...she was also a fat-sucking vampire on the TV series Smallville in the first season episode "Craving" that originally aired in 2001.

In the episode, Adams played Jodi Melville, an overweight Smallville High student obsessed with becoming thin.  After downing a diet drink composed of liquified vegetables grown from soil mixed with radioactive Kryptonite meteor rocks, Jodi undergoes a dramatic loss of weight and becomes thin.

Of course, since these were the early "Freak of the Week" years of Smallville where someone would gain a different set of abilities from something irradiated with Kryptonite and go on an inevitable rampage just about every single week, Jodi soon runs into a bit of a problem.  It turns out her new thinner body now requires a constant consumption of fat -- lots of it.  She uncontrollably binges, devouring all sorts of food from her kitchen and then wisely decides to go driving in the pouring rain at night while scarfing down hamburgers and milkshakes.

In a total Smallville drinking game cliché, she predictably ends up in a car accident as a deer steps out into the middle of the road.  The deer is struck and as Jodi gets out of the car to check on it, her stomach rumbles ominously.  Then, in the big money shot, her mouth extends ridiculously out of proportion and she proceeds to consume the deer right there in the middle of the road.

From there, it's an expected downward slide for Jodi as she sucks the fat out of a fellow high-schooler that regularly torments her about her weight, leaving him in a coma.  Then her Stomach From Hell almost causes her to snack on her crush, Pete Ross, but Clark Kent shows up (in the nick of time, of course) and sends her hiding in her greenhouse.  Naturally, Clark follows and ends up in trouble because the greenhouse is full of Kryptonite.  Jodi bashes Clark over the head with a shovel, but is repulsed by her own reflection and goes into rock star hotel trashing mode on the greenhouse.  She smashes a gas line and some lights, causing the necessary sparkage, and the greenhouse goes boom.  Clark does his hero thing and protects Jodi from the explosion, then makes sure she gets sent to Metropolis General Hospital.

"Craving" was Amy Adams' only appearance as Jodi Melville, so we have no idea what happened to the character afterwards.  Either Jodi's body ended up consuming itself or she's in a lab somewhere or she's hanging out behind a McDonald's waiting for a human-sized Happy Meal.  I don't suppose there's still time to work her into the Smallville finale scheduled for May, is there...?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cyborg is a DC Comics Big Gun...So Where's His Comic?

Okay, it's way past time to give the DC Comics character Cyborg some ongoing comic book series love.

Created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Victor "Vic" Stone debuted along The New Teen Titans in DC Comics Presents #26 in 1980 as a young athletic man made half-machine by his scientist father in order to save his life.  He became a Titans mainstay throughout the team's various incarnations and ultimately became a mentor to the current group.  Following a six-issue mini-series, he became a member of the Justice League of America.  He was in The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians animated series that evolved out of Super Friends and the 2003-06 Teen Titans animated series on Cartoon Network.  And of course, he's even appeared in live-action on a couple of episodes of Smallville, along with being included in various video games and action figure lines throughout the years.

In recent DC Comics material for promoting the return of letters pages and an upcoming DC Nation series on Cartoon Network, Cyborg is shown alongside DC Comics' biggest guns --  Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and The Flash.  And yet for some strange reason, he's the only one who has never had his own monthly ongoing series.

In fact, as a featured solo character with his own logo on the cover, Cyborg has only appeared in just a handful of comics.  The first was his revealed origin in 1982 in Tales of the New Teen Titans #1, although the remaining three issues of the mini-series each focused on a different Titans member.  Then there were two issues of Teen Titans Spotlight -- #13 in 1987, which was written by none other than Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, and #20 in 1988, which paired him with Changeling.  Cyborg's biggest solo emphasis, though, happened in 2008 when he got a six-issue limited series of his own, DC Special: CyborgSo for those of you keeping score, that's nine whole Cyborg comics in thirty years.

So as a longtime Titans fan, it seems to me that with a three-decade-old character who has considerable background with both the Teen Titans and the Justice League, there should be no reason he couldn't support his own ongoing series with a decent creative team behind it.  Let's make it happen, DC.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Is BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN the Framework for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES?

With Variety claiming that actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is going to be portraying Alberto Falcone, the serial killer known as Holiday, in director Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, it certainly appears as though the central plot of the film will be based around the classic story Batman: The Long Halloween by writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale.  Set in Batman's earliest days as a crimefighter, The Long Halloween  is about a series of serial killings taking place each month on holidays by the murderer dubbed "The Holiday Killer." 

The Long Halloween has already been referenced in Nolan's previous Batman film, The Dark Knight, with the phrase "I believe in Harvey Dent" (the comic book limited series' final line uttered by Dent's wife Gilda) used in the film by Dent's friend Bruce Wayne during a fundraiser gala for Dent.  In addition, Alberto's father Carmine Falcone was introduced in Nolan's first Batman film, Batman Begins, as the central crimelord of Gotham City before being driven insane by the Scarecrow's fear toxin.

Actress Anne Hathaway has already been confirmed as playing Selina Kyle/Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, which adds to the possibility of The Long Halloween being the framework for the upcoming film.  Catwoman is featured quite a bit in the limited series and in its sequel, Batman: Dark Victory, where it is heavily implied that she is actually the illegitimate daughter of Carmine Falcone.  It's possible Nolan could be borrowing some story elements from Dark Victory as well in order to flesh out the characters and give some of them their respective resolutions shown in the comic book sequel.

Marion Cotillard, Levitt's co-star in Nolan's other film Inception, has also been rumored to appear in The Dark Knight Rises, although early speculation pointed to her portraying Talia al Ghul, daughter of the villain Ra's al Ghul, who appeared in Batman Begins as played by Liam Neeson.  However, if The Long Halloween is indeed the central plot, it seems more likely that Cotillard will be playing Sofia Gigante Falcone, Carmine Falcone's legitimate daughter and sister to Alberto Falcone.  Interestingly, Sofia also becomes a serial killer Dark Victory, known as the mysterious Hangman, after being severely damaged and forced to use a wheelchair after the events in The Long Halloween.

And with the villain Two-Face being integral to both comics stories, it certainly makes you wonder if the character actually died at the end of The Dark Knight.  Aaron Eckhart is listed as next filming The Expatriate for 2012, the year The Dark Knight Rises arrives in theaters, but maybe he'll find time to work some scenes as Two-Face into his schedule...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

DAMN Good Comic of the Week -- DOCTOR WHO #2

Now this is the Doctor Who monthly comic I've been wanting to read.

After last issue's disappointingly lighthearted start to the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who comics at IDW Publishing, we finally have a proper story that captures both the look and feel of the television series.  Part One of the three-part "Ripper's Curse" storyline features the Eleventh Doctor and his current companions, Amy Pond and Rory Williams, traveling to England in September of 1888 in the hopes of attending the debut of the Football League.  Of course, this is Doctor Who, so the TARDIS crew instead ends up in Whitechapel, London during the notorious murdering spree of serial killer Jack the Ripper.

Series writer Tony Lee turns in a sharp script here, with references to Johnny Depp's portrayal of Inspector Frederick Abberline in the 2001 Ripper film From Hell, along with Amy and Rory taking on the aliases of Miss Marple (Yes, an Agatha Christie shout-out) and Inspector Clouseau respectively.  One particularly cheeky reference comes when Sir Charles Warren looks at the Doctor's psychic paper and perceives Rory to be the Earl of Upper Leadworth, supposedly the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous literary character Sherlock Holmes.  Now, the actual inspiration for Sherlock Holmes was Dr. Joseph Bell, a surgeon involved in several police investigations, including (Wait for it) the Ripper murders.  Lee also seems to have captured the voice of Smith's Doctor faster than he did David Tennant's and gave the ending of the story's first part a very traditional cliffhanger.

The artist for this issue is Richard Piers Rayner, known for some stunning work on such titles as Hellblazer and the Doctor Who Magazine Seventh Doctor comic strip entitled "Evening's Empire," which began in November 1991 and then remained unfinished until finally arriving two years later in the magazine's 1993 Autumn Holiday Special.  Rayner produces some lovely work here as well, creating the moody atmosphere necessary for this type of story.  His depictions of the characters are typically photorealistic, which makes it somewhat jarring when Rayner's art suddenly ends after page nineteen and is replaced with Horacio Domnigues for two pages and then a third artist, Tim Hamilton, on the final page.  Hamilton is apparently the artist for the next issue, so it seems this issue is unfortunately all we'll get to see of Rayner's return to the world of Doctor Who.

Don't let that discourage you from picking this up, though.  If you're in the mood for a solid Doctor Who comic book story, "Ripper's Curse" is...well...just what the doctor ordered.

Friday, March 18, 2011

DOCTOR WHO Series Six Prequel Coming "Soon"


Is it just me or does the long-awaited return of Doctor Who in "The Impossible Astronaut" in just over a month seem like an eternity away?

Well, it seems the kind folks at the BBC's official Doctor Who website are doing something about that.  According to an article posted earlier today, there will be a prequel to the opening two-part story of Series Six "very soon."  Written by Doctor Who showrunner and "The Impossible Astronaut" scribe Steven Moffat, the prequel will star Stuart Milligan and introduce us to the world that the Doctor, Amy and Rory encounter next in a "scary and mysterious" sequence while supposedly teasing the story's monster.

The article goes on to mention that this is the first of three prequels made by the Doctor Who production team that will premiere on the website over the duration of Series Six.

Looks like Silence is about to fall...

First Official Image of Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman

The DC Comics Source blog debuted the first official picture of actress Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman for the pilot for a proposed NBC television series based on the DC Comics character.
 
As you can see, Palicki's costume appears to be mostly based on Wonder Woman's current costume that was designed by artist Jim Lee and drawn above by regular artist Don Kramer.  The jacket is thankfully gone, but the leggings appear to be a much lighter blue (presumably to resemble the traditional costume more closely).  Instead of going for traditional red boots, however, the designers have opted for blue to match the leggings.
Personally, I'm okay with the design considering it could have been much, much worse.  At least the '90s-style jacket of the Lee design is gone and there are no weaving gold shoulder straps.  Sadly, the costume is already getting some early negative reaction, mostly from people who presumably aren't reading the current Wonder Woman comics and are probably expecting an exact replica of the Lynda Carter costume.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Make Way, I'm Starting a GENERATOR REX Revolution!


Yes, the unthinkable has finally happened. 

Against all perceived notions of sanity and accepted universal reality, I'm actually writing comic books...for DC Comics, no less.  Don't believe me?  Well, I wouldn't either, so here as proof that such absolute madness now exists, I give you DC's June 2011 solicitations.  You may want to scroll down a bit until you see the words Cartoon Network Action Pack #61...

Okay, okay...Shhhh, calm down.  I know, I thought it was a terrible misprint as well, but there it is and now we're just going to have to come to terms with what's coming in June.  And hey, it's not like I'm writing something for Superman or The Flash, so at least you can have that small consolation as you spend the next few months heavily medicating yourself in preparation for what's to come.

So who should you blame for all this?  None other than Michael McCalister, my editor and longtime friend, whom I met through the Amateur Press Association TitanTalk way back in the Stone Age of the early 1990s.  This strange, strange group of fans of DC Comics' Teen Titans characters has managed to produce a number of comics professionals over the years and most importantly, my marriage to my beautiful wife Lori along with a number of lasting memories and friendships I still cherish to this day.  After taking over the editorial reins of DC's Cartoon Network Action Pack ongoing seriesMichael was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to pitch a few Generator Rex story ideas, which were thankfully approved by Cartoon Network and allowed to go to full script.  At last, my twenty-year masterplan of breaking into comics is now complete!

Cartoon Network Action Pack #61
I'm guessing many of you are probably unfamiliar with Cartoon Network's Generator Rex series, so you can find more information about the series and the characters here or even here.  After my first story in CNAP #61, I have a few more scheduled throughout the upcoming year but I'll discuss them more in detail as each one is officially announced.  I will say, though, that writing these stories has been a lot of fun and I've already seen some great advance artwork by Mike Bowden for issue #61.  If you're already a fan of the animated series, you might be glad to know I tried to capture the tone and feel of the show instead of just writing a version of it for young readers.  If you don't already read Cartoon Network Action Pack, I really hope you'll give issue #61 a try and let me know what you think.  Oh, and retailers, I think each of you should order at least a thousand copies or so...y'know, just to be on the safe side.

And so, it begins...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Casting Couch -- The SECRET SIX Movie


No, there's no film adaptation of Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore's Secret Six DC Comics series in development...yet.  But just to show you that a big-screen version of this delightfully-demented series is certainly within the realm of possibility, here are my casting picks for the Six along with a few of their enemies.  Take good notes, Warner Bros...

CATMAN/THOMAS BLAKE -- JOSH HOLLOWAY


Six seasons as James "Sawyer" Ford on Lost showed that Josh Holloway would be a natural pick for Catman.  As Sawyer, Holloway proved he can depict a damaged, conniving and sometimes downright feral character, so if there's a better choice out there, I haven't seen it.

SCANDAL SAVAGE -- MORENA BACCARIN


Although still primarily known as Inara Serra from Firefly/Serenity, Morena Baccarin has been playing the alien Visitor villain Anna on ABC's V remake for a couple of years now.  With her chopped, shorter hair, Baccarin is showing she can be edgier and more than just a pretty face.  She also happens to be Brazilian, just like Scandal herself.

DEADSHOT/FLOYD LAWTON -- TIMOTHY OLYPHANT


Having been recently introduced to the joys of the HBO series Deadwood, I'm pretty convinced that Timothy Olyphant has the perfect screen presence and intensity needed for Deadshot.  His Seth Bullock character could be a cold-blooded killer when needed and his performance in Live Free or Die Hard as Thomas Gabriel proved he was more than capable as a villain.

RAGDOLL/PETER MERKEL, JR. -- DOUG JONES


As anyone who saw the Hellboy films or the episode "Hush" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer knows, Doug Jones is an incredibly fluid and agile physical actor capable of the most amazing movements and gestures.  Casting Jones would probably save at least half the CGI budget needed to accurately bring the creepy and quirky Ragdoll to the big screen.

JEANNETTE -- CHRISTINA COLE


I realize this is a pretty obscure casting pick, but Christina Cole from the episode "The Shakespeare Code" of Doctor Who and the BBC's Hex seems like she has the right look for the dark aristocratic banshee.  And as anyone who saw her in the "Victoria" episode of FOX's Human Target can verify, she knows how to fight, which is a must for any Secret Six movie.

BLACK ALICE/LORI ZECHLIN -- EMILY BROWNING


This one was admittedly a bit tough, but commercials for the upcoming film Sucker Punch made me think of Emily Browning for the role of Black Alice.  She seems capable of handling physically demanding fight scenes and her other roles give me the impression that she could easily pull off Alice's goth look.

CHESHIRE/JADE NGUYEN -- MAGGIE Q


With Bane tied up in Batman movie rights after Batman and Robin and the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises, I'm figuring he wouldn't be available for a Secret Six film.  So I'm replacing him on the team with Cheshire, who I feel would also provide the story potential for betraying the team at some point and either allying herself with the main villain or acting as the main villain herself.  Personally, I think Maggie Q from the CW's Nikita and Mission: Impossible III would be a solid choice for Cheshire, especially since they both have Vietnamese mothers.

VANDAL SAVAGE -- JOSH BROLIN


Apart from having Vandal Savage's rugged features and build, Josh Brolin is no stranger to villainous roles as anyone who saw the recent True Grit remake can attest.  It also helps that he has the acting talent to pull off such a long-lived immortal character and give him the appropriate sense of depth.  Plus, someone needs to make it up to Brolin after putting him in that godawful Jonah Hex adaptation.

JUNIOR/ALEXANDRA "ALEX" MERKEL -- HELENA BONHAM CARTER


Well, can you think of anyone better for Junior?  There can't be that many actresses willing to uglify themselves into psychotic and creepy villainesses with gender issues, but I'm betting Helena Bonham Carter would.  She's done a ton of roles in heavy makeup appliances and obviously has crazy and homicidal down.  If anything, she might be overqualified for the role.

Now to direct this trainwreck of supervillainy and psychological disorders, you need someone who can handle eccentric characters but isn't afraid to throw some punches or shoot people on a fairly regular basis.  Think David Lynch meets James Cameron.  Someone like Quentin Tarantino perhaps, but I'd be worried he would make the Six talk about things like Schoolhouse Rock or Rock'em Sock'em Robots for several minutes rather than letting the characters be themselves.  With that in mind, what does everyone think about Desperado and Sin City director Robert Rodriguez?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

HOUSE's Taub Drops DOCTOR WHO Fan "Bombshells"


First, it was The Late, Late Show's Craig Ferguson.  Then the Fantastic Four's Mister Fantastic.  Then Criminal Minds' Dr. Spencer Reid.  And now, you can add House's Dr. Chris Taub to the rapidly-growing list of admitted Doctor Who fans.

In last night's episode "Bombshells," Taub and fellow diagnostician/current roommate Dr. Eric Foreman are investigating a patient's bedroom for medical information when Foreman remarks that he sometimes hears Taub watching TV in the living room at 3 a.m.  Taub promptly explains, "That's when classic Doctor Who comes on the BBC."

So not only is Taub a Whovian, he's an old-school Whovian who presumably grew up watching the series on PBS or on VHS tapes.  I would, however, like to know what channel Taub is watching classic Who on, though.  BBC America is only airing the current series that began in 2005, but if he means the actual BBC in England, which is five hours later than America, then the BBC is somehow airing classic Who at 8 in the morning U.K. time.

But this is Doctor Who, after all, so I'm sure it's all a bit wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey and I'll explain later.  In the meantime, here's the actual scene that "Mentalpix" was kind enough to post on YouTube...

Revenge of the Cybermats in DOCTOR WHO Series Six


Filming for what is believed to be Episode Twelve of Doctor Who Series Six took place yesterday at the House of Fraser department store in Cardiff, Wales, revealing the return of one of Doctor Who's classic creatures, the Cybermats.  Not seen in a televised episode of Doctor Who since "Revenge of the Cybermen" in 1975, the Cybermats were used by the Cybermen for purposes such as sabotage and spreading a plague virus.

In the photo above by "Timeboyy" as part of a Flickr photo album taken during the location filming, Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith is shown looking at a Cybermat prop, which has understandably received a significant redesign since their last appearance.  The photo album also includes pictures of actor James Corden reprising his role of Craig Owens from last year's episode "The Lodger."

Interestingly, the Doctor appears to be wearing a dark green military-type coat similar to what he wore in his ninth incarnation instead of his traditional tweed jacket.  Also, Craig is shown as having a baby with him, presumably protecting it from the Cybermen for whatever reason.  With such disparate story elements, it certainly seems the first part of the Series Six finale has the potential to rival "The Pandorica Opens" in terms of layered storytelling.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

100 DAMN Good Posts...So What Have We Learned So Far?


When I started my blog relaunch of DAMN Good Coffee...and HOT! back on September 17, 2010, I had very little idea of where I wanted to take it.  As it happens, I still have very little idea but thanks to Blogger's handy Stats functionality, at least I get some impression of what you lovely and obviously very wise people who stop by are actually interested in reading.  So now, after my one-hundredth post of absolute nonsense, I thought I might share some of my observations for the two of you who might be interested in such uselessness...
  • The Really Good News:  DAMN Good Coffee is Trending Upward -- As you can see by the screenshot above, the pageview line keeps going up just about every month, reaching an all-time high of 2,283 views in February 2011.  So either I'm posting things that people are more interested in or I'm getting more traffic or some combination of both.  I'm guessing the latter, because the stats for my Top Ten most-viewed posts seem to have a post or two from roughly every month since I've started.  Either way, my many thanks for showing The Little Blog That Could some love.
  • Fringe + Twin Peaks = Pageview Gold -- Of those Top Ten posts, two of them are posts about the current TV show Fringe referencing the 1990-91 TV show Twin Peaks and both are in the Top Five with 410 and 193 pageviews respectively.  Of course, with Fringe's ratings being signficantly lower since FOX moved the series to its current Friday Night Death Slot, I worry about losing one of my favorite shows as well as what it's going to do to my pageviews if the series isn't around to reference Twin Peaks once in a while.
  • At Least My Doctor Who Rambling is Worthwhile -- Only three posts about Doctor Who have cracked the Top Ten, but "Doctor Who: Memories of Time and Space" is sitting right at the top with 410 and the other two have at least 150 pageviews.  A solid piece about Doctor Who is good for roughly 50 pageviews, double that if it involves something that happened on The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson.
  • Marvel Comics Pwns DC Comics -- I wish this stat was a little more evenly balanced between the two comics companies, but the simple fact here is that posts about Marvel Comics properties get more pageviews than ones about DC Comics properties.  Five posts about comics appear in my Top Ten and four of them involve Marvel characters.  The highest post, "ESPN and Marvel Twist the Knife in Cleveland's Back," currently clocks in at 354 pageviews and crushed the others on the Top Ten for months before finally being overtaken.
  • DAMN Good Coffee Has a Decent Following in Australia and Europe -- Oh, the United States rules the pageviews with 5,878 (U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!), followed by the United Kingdom (992) and Canada (334), but Australia (189) is up there while Germany (154), Italy (132), Spain (118) and France (118) make a surprising showing as well.  Some of that probably has a lot to do with my posts about Doctor Who, which has such a global following, but it does give you an idea of how small the planet has become since the Internets were invented.  But Brazil (65) and Denmark (49)...I really think you both can step your respective games up, don't you?
  • Want More Pageviews? Try Linking to Bleeding Cool and The Beat -- I post fairly regularly on higher-profile websites such as Rich Johnston's Bleeding Cool or Heidi McDonald's The Beat, depending on the article content, and doing so has resulted in an unexpected bonus of getting pageviews from both of those sites.  Posts such as "Somebody Finally Tells Alan Moore to STFU" (179) probably wouldn't have received as many views without people visiting those sites clicking on my links to DAMN Good Coffee, so my thanks to Rich and Heidi for allowing the linkage.  I figure the least I can do is send some of you back in their direction.
  • Some People Have Very Interesting Ways of Searching for Information -- The Search Keywords I see sometimes really make me wonder just what's really going in your brains at a particular moment.  Some of my personal favorites have been "Michelle Forbes Nude," "Hot Sex Teen Titans," "Doctor Sex" and "Alex Kingston Rampant Rabbit."  At least I'm not the only degenerate out there.
So that's all for now, I suppose.  Maybe I'll post an update after 500 posts, providing I haven't chased everyone off with my meaningless meanderings.  Until then, though, cheers for the blog love and here's hoping we can keep that trending line going higher and higher...

Friday, March 4, 2011

And There Will Come a Day, When THE AVENGERS Films in Cleveland


At least our idiot Governor, John Kasich, got this one right.

The Plain Dealer reported yesterday that Governor Kasich has announced that the upcoming film adaptation of Marvel Comics' The Avengers, scheduled for release in 2012, will be partially filmed in Cleveland, Ohio.  This news follows after The Avengers production pulled out of Detroit, Michigan in February after producers couldn't get confirmation that they would still qualify for Michigan tax incentives.

The Avengers, directed by geek god Joss Whedon, is the culmination of an incredibly ambitious masterplan incorporating actors and characters from the films Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.  Recent rumors concerning the film's plotline claim that the villain Loki (introduced in Thor) will be the architect of the scheme that brings the Avengers together, just as he was in the team's first appearance in The Avengers (vol.1) #1.  However, Loki will instead use the Cosmic Cube (introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger) to bring the shape-shifting aliens known as the Skrulls to Earth for an invasion.

Wayne Hill, chairman of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, claims that The Avengers will be the largest film ever made in Ohio and that filming is expected to start sometime this fall.  The truly important news here is that this will means jobs and an economic boost for the Cleveland area, which has been hurting badly over the past several years.

And in my own admitted self-interest, I just want to know if they're going to need any filming extras for crowd scenes or whatever.  I have some prior experience as an extra in The Adventures of Superboy episode "Roads Not Taken, Part 2," so if anybody knows anything about extra work on The Avengers, please drop me a line, okay?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Forget the iPad 2, Now I Want a Batmobile!


Okay, maybe an iPad 2 is a bit more in my price range (just) and yeah, it's not one of the cooler versions, but dammit, I want a Batmobile!

According to Forbes, the Batmobile used in the 1995 film Batman Forever is officially on the market.  Auctions America by RM is offering the vehicle tomorrow at its sale in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Apparently, the specifications for this Batmobile has a Chevy 350 ZZ3 high-performance motor with a body made from a "vacuum-bagged high-temperature epoxy fiberglass laminate."  Oh, and it has a maximum speed of 330 mph with a booster.  (Insert your Tim Allen grunting impression here.)

The downside, of course, is that the auction catalog estimates it between $200,000 and $275,000.  Also, Warner Brothers must approve the winning bidder before the sale is considered final, reportedly so they can make sure you won't be using the Batmobile to promote a Batman movie of your own.  Me, I'm guessing another reason is so DC Comics competitors, such as Spawn creator Todd McFarlane (who casually drops hundreds of Gs on home-run record baseballs), don't pull up in a Batmobile at this summer's San Diego Comic Con.

Still, if anyone with a bit of cash to burn is in the mood to buy me an early birthday present, I'd be willing to let you help me fight crime once in a while...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ferguson's LATE, LATE SHOW Goes to Gallifrey 22


CBS' The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson is becoming mandatory viewing for Doctor Who fans.

First, the late-night talk show had "Doctor Who Night" with current Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, then Team Ferguson followed that with an appearance by Professor River Song, played by Alex Kingston.  So what better place to go next than Gallifrey 22 in Los Angeles, one of the largest Doctor Who fan conventions.

In a segment titled "Who's Who??" that aired on last night's episode, frequest Late, Late Show guest and fellow Whovian Chris Hardwick and Craig Ferguson's assistant Bridger went to Gallifrey 22 and recorded some footage from the convention hallways.  Dressed as the Tenth Doctor, Hardwick introduced non-fan Bridger to the weird and wonderful world of Doctor Who, briefly meeting convention director Shaun Lyon along with others dressed as a Weeping Angel, Amy Pond starting to transform into a Weeping Angel, a couple more Amy Ponds wearing the sexy policewoman uniform from "The Eleventh Hour," a vampire bride from "The Vampires of Venice," the Eleventh Doctor, a baby Eleventh Doctor, and the aged Tenth Doctor from "Last of the Time Lords" who was introduced as Larry King.

And of course, there was a short encounter with a Dalek, giving Hardwick the opportunity to recite the classic line used by multiple Doctors, "When I say 'Run,' run!"  The segment ended with Bridger, now fully embracing Doctor Who fandom with an Eleventh Doctor fez and a Fourth Doctor scarf, emerging from the TARDIS along with several costumed convention attendees as shown above.

And thanks to Flydalenorth, the woman above who was dressed as a nicely obscure "Bubble Wrap Zoe" from "The Five Doctors," here's the actual segment for your enjoyment...