APE Photo Extravaganza, Day Two

October 2nd, 2011 by Kyle

Here’s what we saw on day two of APE 2011 in beautiful San Francisco:

They started lining up early for the second day of APE!

Above: One of the areas for panels. Below: Some of the exhibition space.

The action in the galleries.

And the con floor.

You can find comics about anything at APE.

And I do mean anything.

A not-so-encouraging message from the show floor.

This was a bit more cheerful.

A sentiment we certainly can all agree with!

I know what you’re thinking: “That’s all great, but how was the babeage at APE?” Well, let’s look at that:

Mrs. Lower Mainland herself, illustrator Tara Nakano!

Browncoat girls are always winsome.

Ladylike... and mysterious!

Sweetly gothloli!

A harlequin shows off her style.

An exciting con like this will tucker you out! A couple of attendees take a rest between rounds on the floor.

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APE Photo Extravaganza, Day One

October 2nd, 2011 by Kyle

Here’s what we saw on our first day of the Alternative Press Expo 2011, at the San Francisco Concourse:

The grand entrance to the San Francisco Concourse

The main hall at APE

More of the main hall.

The NPC Comics table at APE 2011

A long view of the NPC Comics table, and the floor at APE

APE is such a friendly place that you can even add your own art to it!

Sage advice found at one of the tables.

Hmm... perhaps you should consider joining a different denomination

Mom? What have you been doing?!

Not quite Churchillian, but I still appreciate the thought.

Fail Win!

When I said I wanted to find some Chicks at APE, that's not exactly what I meant

Va va voom! Now that's more like it!

And another one - a cute girl in a cute dress patrolling the con floor

Very noticeable - there were a lot of iPads being used as digital artwork displays on the con floor. I spotted at least a couple dozen of them in use this year, whereas last year, I counted exactly one.

Also noticeable - a table offering free cupcakes! That's definitely the right way to attract an audience!

One of the more colorful tables at APE this year!

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Thoughts On Madoka Magica

April 28th, 2011 by Kyle

We just finished watching the last episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. The verdict?

This is the best anime series in a over decade, now stands at #4 in my own list of greatest anime series of all time (behind only Legend of Galactic Heroes, Macross, and Cowboy Bebop), and is guaranteed to be a classic.

This series does for the Japanese concept of the superhero (which is what magical girls are) what Watchmen did for the western concept of the superhero – and does it every bit as devastatingly effectively. And, as with Watchmen, nothing in the genre will or can ever be the same after this.

It also is something with some very important messages for adolescent girls – be careful what you commit to; consider consequences; don’t throw away tomorrow for temporary happiness today; don’t trust appearances; don’t believe words just because they come out of a pretty face; find out exactly what’s in a contract before you sign it; if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is; don’t assume that everyone else has the same sense of morality that you do; there’s such a thing as being too nice to others; some wishes don’t come true, and often it’s better that they didn’t.

That it’s beautifully animated in an amazing, distinctive art style is just icing on the cake.

A true masterpiece.

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Kyle Goes To The Happiest Place On Earth!

April 21st, 2011 by Kyle

For classic gaming fans, that is. Here’s a gallery of pictures taken during Kyle’s trip to Barcade, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s a bar… it’s an arcade… it’s Barcade! Microbrew beers on tap, and all games are still just a quarter. Here are the pics:

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Kyle Is Sick Of Great Visuals

April 17th, 2011 by Kyle

There’s been a revolution in filmmaking in the past few years, as powerful computing technology has made effects and techniques that used to be complex and difficult easy, and made ones that were impossible possible. It has put in the hands of directors the ability to create visuals that could only be dreamed of only twenty years ago. What once could only be imagined is now ubiquitous.

And I for one am totally sick of it.

This thought started brewing inside me when I walked out of Sucker Punch, and it’s taken me a while to really formulate it, but here it is: All these amazing new filmmaking tools haven’t given us better movies. Hollywood directors and producers think they have, but they really haven’t. In fact, there are examples of filmmakers who have visibly, undeniably had better tools turn them into worse filmmakers.

Of course, George Lucas is probably the most obvious and prominent example of this. He should have spent less time during the creation of the prequels worrying about special effects, and more worrying about storytelling, character development, and dialog. Lots has been said about this, and there’s not much I can add to it.

But Lucas is not the only one to fall into this trap. Look at the movies James Cameron made in the 80s – classics like The Terminator and Aliens. Look at what he’s made lately with all the technology at his control – Titanic and Avatar. Neither of those were awful films, mind you – but both were weak and cliched stories that would have been nothing without their handsome stars or impressive visuals. In fact, the storyline of Avatar was nothing without those things – when it was called Delgo. Certainly, they’re nowhere near as smart and innovative as Cameron’s early films. Avatar’s budget was 36 times bigger than The Terminator’s budget – which is the better film?

Here’s another one – between 1985 and 1995, without modern effects technology, Robert Zemeckis directed the Back to The Future trilogy, Romancing The Stone, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Forrest Gump. In the last ten years, with it, he’s directed The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey, and produced Mars Needs Moms. Need I say more?

Or how about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? I’m a Crystal Skull defender, by the way – I think it’s just as good as the original trilogy. Just as good – but not better. And certainly not any better because of any advances in visual effects.

Who isn’t sick of the likes of Skyline, Battle Los Angeles, or Sucker Punch? Yes, we’ve always had action, horror, and sci-fi films that have been big, loud, and dumb. But the technology hasn’t done a thing to make them any better.

So, Hollywood, step back from the computers and get back to writing strong stories with memorable characters and well-written dialog. You will, in the end, make better movies than you’re making now. Yes, in the hands of someone with a strong aesthetic vision, these tools can make great things possible. But even that’s hit and miss. The Wachowskis made The Matrix. But they also made Speed Racer. Better tools do not make better artists, nor do they necessarily create better art. If they become a crutch, or a substitute for the abovementioned characters, story, and dialog, then they become a hindrance rather than a help.

And so they have.

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Episode 75 Show Notes

March 1st, 2011 by Kyle


Episode 75: Remembering An Icon

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Starters:

  • @The_Rooster doesn’t get why Mad Max is a classic
  • RIP Dwayne McDuffie
  • RIP Nicholas Courtney
  • Happy 90th B’day Abe Vigoda

Geek News:

  • From the Hollywood Desk:
  1. Christopher McQuarrie writing Star Blazers adaptation
  2. Superman casting rumors: Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Viggo Mortensen as Zod
  3. Remake Corner: The Bodyguard
  4. Wrath Of The Titans to use post-conversion 3D
  5. James Nguyen having a Birdemic II pledge drive, memberships from $25 to $1000
  • From the Television Desk:
  1. Star Trek: The Animated Series available for free online streaming
  2. Thundercats reboot trailer online
  3. Firefly fans band together to buy rights, give to Nathan Fillion
  • From The Comics Desk
  1. United Feature Syndicate folds
  • From the Gaming Desk:
  1. Xperia Play: €650/$900
  2. Nintendo 3DS causes “mass eye pain”
  3. Blizzard theme park coming to China
  • From the Anime Desk:
  1. Lucky Star to get stage show
  • From the Cellar:
  1. Egyptian couple names their newborn daughter “Facebook J. Ibrahim”

Five-Minute Reviews:

Pick Of The Week:

Saturday Morning Rewind:

Stuff You Should Know About:

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Episode 74 Show Notes

February 22nd, 2011 by Kyle

Episode 74: No, WE Directed The Room!

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Starters:

  • RIP Joanne Siegel
  • Happy Birthday @fancyfembot
  • Happy Birthday Simon Pegg

Geek News:

  • From the Hollywood Desk:
  1. James Franco may star in live-action Akira
  2. Harry Potter screenwriter brought in to rework live-action Akira
  3. Fans raising money for Robocop statue in Detroit
  4. Shane Black to direct Iron Man 3
  5. Filmmaker Sandy Schklair says that he actually directed The Room
  • From the Television Desk:
  1. Firefly to air in HD on Science Channel
  2. Justin Bieber bloodily murdered – on CSI
  • From The Wrestling Desk
  1. The Rock returns to WWE Raw
  • From the Gaming Desk:
  1. Boy attacks mother with hammer over Playstation
  • From the Anime Desk:
  1. Tokyo Gov. Ishihara declares manga writers “despicable”
  • From the Cellar:
  1. Bill Murray wins Pebble Beach Pro-Am
  2. Nvidia codenames latest chip “Kal-El”
  3. James Nguyen to release memoir of creating Birdemic; begin book tour

Five Minute Reviews:

Saturday Morning Rewind:

Pick Of The Week:

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Episode 73 Show Notes

February 15th, 2011 by Kyle

Episode 73: Hot Doggin’ It

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Starters:

  • Lee & Dan think Cannonball Run is worse than Battlefield Earth?
  • RIP John Barry
  • Happy Birthday Jules Verne
  • Happy Birthday John Williams

Geek News:

  • From the Hollywood Desk:
  1. Henry Cavill is Superman
  2. Kristen Stewart out as Lois Lane, in as Snow White
  3. John Woo’s The Killer to get 3D remake
  4. Star Wars toys make half a billion dollars in 2010
  5. James Cameron wants to film Avatar 2 at 60fps
  6. James Nguyen suggests heavy drinking to accompany Birdemic
  7. James Franco to make Threes Company movie
  • From the Television Desk:
  1. Dallas reboot coming
  2. Toby Whitehouse begins Being Human spinoff web series “Becoming Human”
  3. Wonder Woman TV pilot script revealed
  • From the Cellar:
  1. Comic-Con ticketing system crashes; 4-day w/Preview Night passes sell out in hours
  2. ANC declares “nyotaimori” to be “defamatory, insensitive, and anti-revolutionary
  3. Texas Bubble Boy attends high school by avatar robot
  4. William Gibson offers autograph for toner cartridge

Five-Minute Reviews:

Pick Of The Week:

Saturday Morning Rewind:

Stuff You Should Know About:

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Episode 72 Show Notes

February 2nd, 2011 by Kyle

Episode 72: Blue State

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Starters:

  • We’re not covering Kevin Smith
  • @JimCameron is now on Twitter

Geek News:

  • From the Hollywood Desk:
  1. Avatar 2 coming in 2014, shooting simultaneously with Avatar 3
  2. Matt Damon needs 2000 Bay Area extras for his new movie
  3. Two new Matrix movies?
  4. No!
  5. Sam Raimi to remake Evil Dead
  6. Kurtzman and Orci to develop Ender’s Game movie
  7. RiffTrax to riff Birdemic, Highlander
  8. In Soviet Russia, MST3K is ripped off by YOU!
  9. Noel Clarke campaigning to be Black Panther in future Marvel movies
  • From the Television Desk:
  1. Charlie Sheen enters rehab, 2 ½ Men shut down until further notice
  • From The Gaming Desk
  1. PSP2/NGP revealed
  2. May only have battery life of 4-5 hours
  3. Some upset that NGP 3G will not be free
  4. Playstation Suite brings PS games to Android
  5. Nintendo 3DS content to be locked to single system, no transfers
  6. OpenPandora handheld game system goes on sale
  • From the Comics Desk:
  1. Johnny Storm to go
  • From the Anime Desk:
  1. Evangelion-themed hotel room to open at Fujikyu Highland
  • From the Cellar:
  1. Wizard magazine ceases paper edition, new all-digital version coming
  2. China recruits Goose and Maverick
  3. Japanese men losing interest in sex; 36% not interested at all
  4. Resservoir Dogs XXX parody filming

Five-Minute Reviews:

Saturday Morning Rewind:

Pick Of The Week:

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Episode 70 Show Notes

January 26th, 2011 by Kyle


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Episode 70: You Sega, Don’t you?

Starters:

  • RIP Peter Yates, director of Bullitt and Krull
  • RIP David Nelson
  • Happy 10th Anniversary Wikipedia

Geek News:

  • From the Hollywood Desk:
  1. James Cameron blasts Battleship movie, Hollywood’s “story crisis”
  2. Missile Command movie optioned by Fox
  3. Hollywood making movie about dolphin with prosthetic tail… in 3D!
  4. Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby may be in 3D
  5. Birdemic coming to DVD, Blu-ray February 11th
  • From the Television Desk:
  1. Castle renewed for 2011-2012 season
  2. Big Bang Theory renewed through 2014
  3. ABC greenlights Charlies Angels reboot by Smallville writers
  4. New Clone Wars villain introduced; named “Savage Oppress”
  • From The Gaming Desk
  1. Sega installs games above urinals in Tokyo
  • From the Comics Desk:
  1. New Yorker cover takes on Spiderman musical
  2. Archie goes day and date on digital releases
  3. Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew returning, coming to Archie comics
  • From the Cellar:
  1. Ford Veritek revealed at CES
  2. Cyberdyne creates thought-controlled power suit HAL
  3. Samsung shows off flexible and transparent displays at CES
  4. Oldboy director Park Chan-wook shoots 30-minute short film entirely on iPhone
  5. AC Slater causes riot at Illinois bar
  6. Hanks raps
  7. Penthouse to create first 3D porn channel

Five-Minute Reviews:

  • The Green Hornet

Pick Of The Week:

Saturday Morning Rewind:

Stuff You Should Know About:

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