Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WIN A TRIP TO NEW ZEALAND: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Trailer Finally Hits

One thing I like about being a kiwi is the way the whole country gets in behind WETA Workshop, and in particular the movie production house's Lord of The rings and The Hobbit based films. It's hard to describe in words how New Zealand backs it's own in ways both big and small, but now the first trailer for the final Hobbit chapter is out, and if you watch past all the dwarves, elves, orcs, wizards and what not, there's an actual competition to wing your way to 'Middle Earth' to experience it all first hand for yourself.

While we can't promise a little dude whispering "My precious" will follow your every move while you are here enjoying your prize, it's a fair bet you'll get to see Wellington where both WETA and Rivendell call home and maybe drink a pint in Hobbitville too. Listen to Pippin's haunting tune theme the trailer and watch for the entry at the end. Great stuff.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

THE INDIE COMIC SPIRIT: Tokyo Ghost Sets Sean Gordon's Art Racing

Image Comics hit out with 12 new debuts named at Comic Con this weekend, and while writer Kurt Busiek marked a welcome return to the publisher, with the animal people sorcery tale Tooth & Claw set for November, the big winner of the bunch for my money (or whatever is left of it after doughnuts and pizza) is Tokyo Ghost.

This book teams writer Rick Remender with one of the best artists in the whole billuniverse that is the comics industry; Sean Gordon Murphy. He drew fictional universes fantastically in Vertigo Comics' Joe The Barbarian, and given enough creator room, he looks to do it all over again with Image.

Only this time, like Mad Max, Judge Dredd and all sci-fi tales worth telling, the hero has a bike. A REALLY big bike. As Image says;

TOKYO GHOST welcomes readers to the isles of New Los Angeles, 2189. Humanity has become nothing more than a sea of consumers, ravenous and starving wolves, sick from toxic contamination, who have to borrow, beg, and steal for the funds to buy, buy, buy their next digital fix. Getting a thrill, a distraction from reality, is the only thing left to live for. Entertainment is the biggest industry, the drug everyone needs, and gangsters run it all. And who do these gangsters turn to when they need the “law” enforced? Led Dent and Debbie Decay, constables of the law, which is a nice way to say “brutal killing machines.” The duo are about to be presented with an assignment that will force them out of the decay of LA and into the mysterious lost nation of Tokyo.

If Cops are showing up on your door right now, it's because you didn't click to enlarge those last few examples. Hey consider yourself lucky, last time I had the fuzz show up on my door it was because the neighbours were insisting my bedroom window needed curtains. Fascists. You want to talk about the past. That's where curtains come from! I'm progressive man. Beyond Thunderdome. Ain't no curtains in a Thunderdome. Right Tina? Damn right.

5 HITS FROM COMIC CON: David Finch Draws A Swamp Thing To Remember

Swamp Thing has finished being the dumping ground of the DC52, that is if the first looks at the pencils for David Finch's Wonder Woman run are to be believed.

One of the most unsung icons in the DC comics line, due to a landmark 80's run, mature readers imprint series at Vertigo and multimedia treatments, Swampy returned to the DCU in a pretty cheesy Captain Planet-esque manner, in the pages of Brightest Day. Despite following this by being one of the darkest and most beautiful looking books of the DC52 revamp, Alec went from towering success, raking in the green, to a pile of scrubland without marketing support, waiting for redevelopment and his time to come again, again.

Now expansion plans have to be in the works at DC. Not only has Swamp Thing recently tackled the likes of Aquaman, his throwing down with Wonder Woman is part of artist David Finch's debut arc on the amazon (November's #36), hoping to replant Diana's roots firmly back within the DC mainstream, having run as a pretty self-contained comic in previous writer Brian Azzarello's hands.

The natural way Finch's pencils render the bulk of DC's environmental mammoth, reminds me of the artists early issues of Batman: The Dark Knight, where Etrigan The Demon stole the show right out from under Bruce Wayne's cape and cowl, due to the very same talents.

Hopefully in 2015, this kind of dark symmetry between artist and creation help encourage DC to step outside Gotham, but bring the city's artistic best to bare on characters such as The Spectre, Jason Blood and Doctor Fate, to help get these guys moving again.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

5 HITS FROM COMIC CON: Ant-Man Poster Revives Heroes Of 'Crazy Imagination'

Sure, three actors have dropped like flies from the Ant-Man movie, since Comic-Con International opened it's doors, but in the release of this teaser poster, Marvel Studios have taken out one of the Top 5 Hits of the weekend before many other publishers have even stepped up to the microphone.

It does this, by reminding us all in a single image, what makes a comic (in either film and print) so amazing in the first place; a little bit of crazy, lots of imagination, and a hero brave enough to combine the two.

Sure Ant-Man is one of Marvel's oldest heroes, and one of the true founders of The Avengers, but for your average Joe Bloggs Mainstreamer, this poster heralds nothing more than the fact the House of Ideas next gambit is a size-variable hero who can tower above cities one minute, and ride ants into battle the next.

In a time where too many concepts try to bury the silver-age or even golden age aspects of their heritage, to appear 'realistic' or to be 'taken seriously', this Ant-Man teaser shows you can survive installing a sense of 'what if' and 'wow' and live to tell the tale. Here's hoping Ant-Man comics, if not comics in general rise to do the same before the film debuts July 17, 2015.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

THE COMICS' BEAT: Invisible Woman, Brother Eye, Aquaman, Batman, Rocket Raccoon and more in Children of Batman's 'Batface'

Sure heavy metal may not be for everyone, but when it's this funny it sure as hell is. Featuring an animated music video of Batman, Robin, Red Hood and Nightwing as a rock band like DC have secretly been planning since the 80's, the vid also ropes in Brother Eye, Superman, the Invisible Woman and a bazillion other comic characters into its tale.

Based on the song Face Fisted by Dethklok, this track features eight ladies, one Bane, the dangers of capes and a butt that can stop crime are just part of it's brilliance. Click play and thrash the laughs as the beats thrash themselves. 

 What do you think?