New in stores this week: Transformers: Energon Ultimate Collection brings together all 52 episodes (more than 1,000 minutes!). Following the Transformers: Armada series, 10 years have passed since the war of the Mini-Cons and the apparent destruction of Unicron and Galvatron. The Autobots and Decepticons have entered into a secret alliance with humankind, building vast Cybertron Cities on Earth and in the solar system to mine for energon, the energy-rich mineral that Transformers need to survive. But in the darkness of space, evil begins to rise again ...
A lot of interesting stuff going on at Marvel Comics these days, including their big event "Dark Reign." I'm still racing to beat my deadlines (for my murder mystery trilogy coming out in 2009), so here are a bunch of links:
On shelves this week is Voltron Beast King GoLion Vol 3. This three-disc set features episodes of the original Japanese "super robot anime" television series Beast King GoLion, later edited and repackaged as the "Lion" version of the U.S. Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Having repelled the oppressive forces of the Galra Empire, the GoLion team hatches a daring plan to put an end to its tyranny once and for all ...
Another "giant monster" title releasing is Merlin and the War of the Dragons. An army of dragons invade the crippled English countryside and the apprentice wizard Merlin must confront the fire-breathing beasts.
New in stores is Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs Volume 1. From the creators of Voltron, and based on the anime series "Star Musketeer Bismarck," this 1980s animated space western finds the Star Sheriffs protecting the galaxy from the growing threat of the Outriders. Aiding them is RAMROD, the airborne battleship that transforms into a giant robot (voiced by Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime in Transformers).
These big comics "events" at Marvel Comics and DC Comics just make it harder and harder to follow their mainstream books. Newsarama has added up the total cost of the latest two events, Marvel's "Secret Invasion" ($378.78, counting all 125 tie-in issues) and DC's "Final Crisis" ($317.56, including the related sub-events "Death of the Gods" and "Countdown").
In theory, a company-wide epic story sounds really cool. In practice, it interferes with the ongoing arcs of the individual series, it requires the consumer to spend a lot of money to get the entire campaign, and even the best-coordinated efforts run into delays and even some chapters being released in the wrong order.
Oh, and [SARCASM ALERT] the best news of all? The price of comics may be going up. Again.
Our weekly lists of DVDs hitting stores have become so enormous (especially with some big titles coming out in four and five different versions!), I am going to start limiting posts to the current week and the following week. I am also going to stick pretty close to sci-fi and animated titles -- and hope to eventually start a weekly roundup of crime/mystery DVDs at my author blog (Learning Curve).
Now in stores, The Lone Ranger - 75th Anniversary Collector's Edition includes all 78 episodes from the first two seasons of the classic 1950s television series, select episodes from the '60s cartoon series, an episode of Lassie with The Lone Ranger, a 1950 episode of the Lone Ranger radio series, a commemorative book, an episode guide, reprints of rare comics and photos, and more!
New in stores is the 17-disc collection Batman: The Complete Animated Series. The box includes all 109 episodes of the acclaimed 1990s series, plus everything from the four individual volumes (including commentaries and featurettes). Exclusive to the new set is a bonus disc with a new documentary, and a 40-page collectible book.
For the past several years, several comic book publishers (especially Marvel Comics and DC Comics) have been recruiting writers from outside the comics sphere, including scribes from the worlds of TV, film, and literature. In fact, Marvel recently called on three crime novelists to each contribute an arc to Punisher: The Gregg Hurwitz-scripted "Girls In White Dresses" runs in Punisher #60-#65, through December; Duane Swierczynski follows with "Six Hours To Kill," appearing in Punisher #66-#70, January through May 2009; and Victor Gischler wraps up with "Welcome To The Bayou" in Punisher #71-#75, which kicks off June 2009. (Full story at Comic Book Resources.)
Other novelists who also write comics: Charlie Huston (Moon Knight), Jonathan Lethem (Omega the Unknown), Tamora Pierce (White Tiger), Joe R. Landsdale (Tales From The Crypt), Greg Rucka (Adventures of Superman, Detective Comics, and Wonder Woman ... in addition to his creator-owned Queen & Country), and Brad Metzler (Justice League of America). Ian Rankin, recently named ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards "Author of the Year," is writing a project for DC Comics' new imprint Vertigo Crime, which launches June 2009.
And then you have Max Allan Collins, who has trod both sides of the line for many years. In addition to the many projects he seems to have in the works at any given time, he has also written official tie-ins to CSI for both book publishers and for comics publishers; his graphic novel Road to Perdition became a movie and also a novelization (which Collins wrote); and his indie comic Ms. Tree recently found life as a hardboiled prose mystery from Hard Case Crime. (Not to mention several years writing the "Dick Tracy" newspaper comic strip!) His latest novels include The First Quarry, and Criminal Minds: Finishing School. Collins is also set to write and direct two sequels to Road to Perdition: Two sequels planned for Road to Perdition
In the coming days, I'm going to post some links to resources for comics writers. (If only for my own reference.)
Birthday greetings to composer extraordinaire John Barry, who turns 75 today! A five-time Oscar winner, Barry is best known for his lush, epic, often melancholic film scores. When I think back to being a 10-year-old sitting in that dark theater watching the 1976 remake of King Kong, even then I could tell that much of the film's epic power and sense of romantic doom was a direct product of Barry's score.
Barry, of course, defined the "sound" of James Bond, scoring eleven films: From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), Moonraker (1979), Octopussy (1983), A View To A Kill (1985), and The Living Daylights (1987), in which Barry had a cameo.
Variety celebrates his birthday with several articles about Barry's career in films, television, and theater:
We've added nine more titles to our (still getting there) exhaustive list of Giant Monster Movies. These all happen to come from The Asylum, the studio best known for its straight-to-DVD "mockbusters."
Longtime fan favorite comic Legion of Superheroes ends with #50. Of course, the relatively low issue number indicates how often the title has stopped and started (and relaunched with a new #1) over the years. But man, back in the day it used to be great.
On shelves today is the 15-disc Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection, sporting 28 films, production notes, theatrical trailers, six commentaries, and an exclusive book. Monster flicks in this set include Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy. (The box also includes the documentary "Abbott & Costello Meet the Monsters," from the original DVD of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein)
An anonymous whistle blower has been emailing news outlets regarding alleged activities going on in the offices of DC Comics. For legal reasons, it's best not to go into specifics here -- but if the allegations are true, then the stuff is bad. Really bad. One would hope DC Comics parent company Time Warner will get involved and do the right thing.
This blog is for fans of classic giant monsters and monster-fighters from the movies, TV, and comics -- including King Kong, Godzilla, Gamera, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, Dogora, Johnny Sokko and Giant Robot, Ultraman, Fin Fang Foom, Titano, The Host, and more. We also salute the classic genre and special effects films of Toho Studios Universal Studios, Hammer Films, not to mention the Frankenstein Monster, Count Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, giant robots, sci-fi, manga, and anime.
*Note: The affiliate links on these blog posts take you to the respective titles on Amazon.com. I get a commission from any sale—which means you get the same great price, but you also help support this blog. Everybody wins!