Friday, June 19, 2009

ULTRAMAN '66 comes back to DVD

The folks at TVShowsOnDVD report that the out-of-print Ultraman: The Complete Series has been picked up by a Mill Creek Entertainment, which re-releases the set Sep 29. The new edition, a four-disc set with all 39 episodes, will only set you back about $15. Pre-order from Amazon.

Created by special effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya (Godzilla, Mothra), the 1960s television series Ultraman remains one of Japan's most beloved sci-fi exports. Airing 1966-67, the live-action series followed a high-tech police force and the gigantic alien superhero Ultraman as they battled to save Earth from invading monsters and aliens. Starring AKIJI KOBAYASHI as Captain Cap Toshio Muramatsu, SUSUMO KUROBE as Shin Hayata, AKIHIKO HIRATA as Professor Iwamoto, MASANARI NIHEI as Mitsuhiro Ide, and HIROKO SAKURAI as Akiko Fuji.

Related:
Icons of Sci-Fi: The TOHO Collection
Giant Monster Movies

Monday, June 15, 2009

Design your own Transformer!

In honor of the upcoming blockbuster Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, USA TODAY wants you to design the "ultimate Transformer". Submissions are due Thursday (June 18). Online voters pick their favorite Sunday (June 22), and the winner will be interviewed and have their design displayed in the paper's print edition June 26. Details and sign up here.

Related links:
ROBOT-13: Tech Vs. Myth
Good Monsters
Japan's Spider-Man Ep. 1
Transformers: Energon Ultimate Collection
Giant Monster Movies

Monday, June 8, 2009

Free comics!

My wife and I recently relaunched our website, StudioWell.com. The site is chock-full of comics and fiction and things. This month, we shine the spotlight on Penultimate Adventures -- a zany mash-up of superheroes, sci-fi, romance comics, and snack advertisements. We even added a brand-new pop-up text commentary -- if you're using Internet Explorer, hold your mouse over the images and the words should appear. (Firefox users: To read the commentary, control-click each image and check "Properties." You'll find it under "alternate text.")

Click here for more free comics online.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

ROBOT-13: Tech Vs. Myth

Making its public debut this weekend at the 2009 MoCCA Festival in NYC, Robot-13 is a rollicking comic book mash-up of Frankenstein and Greek myth. The series, created by writer Thomas Hall and artist Daniel Bradford, stars an ancient robot dredged up from the bottom of the ocean, with no memory where it came from -- and a mission to kill giant monsters.

The official press release:
MYTHOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY COLLIDE IN MODERN TAKE ON ‘FRANKENSTEIN’
Comic book creators debut new series at MoCCA Festival

BUTLER, NJ (May, 2009) – It was the most unusual catch the fisherman had ever seen: a robotic creation with a skull for a head! ROBOT-13 has no idea what or who it is, nor where it came from. All it knows is that it has an instinctual and irresistible drive to protect mankind from mythological creatures of destruction.

Two people who do know something about the creature are Thomas Hall and Daniel Bradford, the creators of this new comic book series from Blacklist Studios set to debut at this year’s Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art (MoCCA) Festival.

As fantastical and imaginative as the premise of ROBOT-13 is, it all came together organically for Hall and Bradford. “Daniel had this robot design he was working on, and I had been reading Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ at the time,” explains writer and co-creator Hall. “I thought there could be a connection. Frankenstein was really a product of its day. People wondered if science had any limits and whether it should have them,” he continues.

Hall decided it would be fun to play with a main conceit of the Frankenstein legend. “If something is created that can think and reason, what would that creation think about itself?”

The original Frankenstein novel was subtitled, “A Modern Prometheus,” as a nod to the titan of Greek mythology who stole fire to give to mortals. Mythology plays a role in ROBOT-13 as well. “There’s a very Ray Harryhausen-feel to something mechanical with a skull for a head,” notes Hall, referring to the man who created the special effects behind such mythological fantasy films as “Jason and the Argonauts,” “Clash of the Titans” and the Sinbad movies. “Naturally, we decided our robot should fight giant monsters from mythology, just like the ones in the movies we grew up with!”

The monster mash-up of the Frankenstein creature and Greek mythology goes beyond mere battles between behemoths, however. “In Greek mythology, there’s always the journey where the hero goes to find himself. Having our “creature” follow that hero’s path, looking for who he was, gives me as a writer some great stuff to use. And who doesn’t love a giant monster fight?” explains Hall.

Working together since 2003, Hall and Bradford front Blacklist Studios. Other projects include their first series together, a moody, supernatural tale of serial killers and the apocalypse called “Enlightenment,” and the raucous action-comedy “KING!,” about a certain side-burned, peanut butter-and-banana-sandwich-eating rocker turned monster killer.

Now, striking the balance between “Enlightenment” and “KING!” comes ROBOT-13 #1. The full-color comic book with 24 action-packed story pages retails for $3.00. Readers can choose between two covers: a photo-realistic painted cover by fan-favorite Jeff Slemons or an edgy, frenetic cover done in signature style by series co-creator Daniel Bradford. Don’t miss Robot-13’s pulse-pounding debut, as he is dredged from the depths to battle a terrifying Kraken in the epic adventure, “Colossus!”

More information about ROBOT-13 and other Blacklist Studios titles can be found online at blackliststudios.com. Readers can also visit ROBOT-13 at myspace.com/robotthirteen.
The comic has been getting a ton of press:

Newsarama: Robot 13 To Debut at MoCCA

Publishers Weekly The Beat: Preview: Robot 13

Comic Book Resources: Six by 6 | Six questions with Robot 13 writer Thomas Hall

Undead Backbrain: The Coming of Robot-13

Diamond Scoop: Off The Presses: Robot-13 #1

Ain't It Cool: AICN COMICS SHOOT THE MESSENGER: PREVIEWS - HOOD! TRANSFORMERS! DARKNESS! GODLAND! ROBOT 13! & MUCH MORE!

Spawn.com: ROBOT 13 COMIC BOOK PREVIEW

Frankensteinia: The Frankenstein Blog: Frankensteinian : ROBOT-13

Related links:
Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot: An Introduction
ICONIC: The Life and Death of Talos the Bronze
Honoring the father of manga
KAIJU comic!
Free Comics Online

Watch JOHNNY SOKKO free online

GIANT MONSTERS ON THE LOOSE!

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.