On Gear Live: Geared Up: Predictions for the Upcoming iPhone Event with Sara Dietschy

Weekend Reading: John Carter, Captain Underpants & Stieg Larsson

Taylor KitschGreetings, Weekenders! Still up in arms about DC’s new logo? The wrongness of SOPA/PIPA? Forget it. Let’s just enjoy the internets while they’re still free:

The John Carter Files poses some questions about the upcoming John Carter movie.

Two new Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkey are coming in 2012.

Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is getting the graphic novel treatment via DC Comics (and their Vertigo imprint). Denise Mina - no slouch as a mystery novelist - is writing with Leonardo Manco, art is by Andrea Mutti, but just check out the kick-ass cover by Lee Bermejo. Omnimystery has all the deets.

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Tintin by Steven Spielberg

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Movies,

Tintin by HergeThe Adventures of Tintin won the Golden Globe award for Best Animated Feature Film.

You know who didn’t get thanked in Steven Spielberg’s acceptance speech for Tintin at the award ceremony Sunday night? The guy who created Tintin: Herge.

Spielberg did say that Hollywood gave him (and Peter Jackson) a chance to turn this “80 year old series of wonderful books into a motion picture.”

It’s hard to be too critical. He had less than a minute to thank people and it probably is prudent politically, socially and financially to thank the people who actually greenlight movies first.

But it would’ve been nice of him to slip in a little Herge mention with all the bankers and executives.

[Artwork: Tintin by Herge]

Read More | Spielberg's Speech

Weekend Reading: Ajax, Tintin, Chaykin & Barreto

Tintin MovieIt’s not just the weekend, it’s a long holiday weekend into a whole new year. Have a happy one with a few links to read.

Beau Smith writes a wonderful tribute to his friend and frequent collaborator, Eduardo Barreto.

If you’re tracking the future of digital comics, Appy Entertainment’s Paul O’Connor has an interview with the guy behind Operation Ajax, Daniel Burwen.

The writer Lance Mannion goes to see Tintin. There have been lots of reviews over the internets already, but I’m partial to this one. “In fact, The Adventures of Tintin [is] as good an Indiana Jones movie as Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. In parts, it’s as thrilling and new as Raiders of the Lost Ark. Throughout, it’s much better than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and a reminder that as great as the young Harrison Ford was what made the movies was the spirit of adventure that infused them, and that spirit was a boy’s (and girl’s) spirit.”

Click to continue reading Weekend Reading: Ajax, Tintin, Chaykin & Barreto

Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Movies,

Tintin Secret of the UnicornI like the Tintin books by Herge. They’re good, goofy fun built on crazy characters, wild coincidences and non-stop action.

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a Tintin movie coming out: The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn. It’s due at Christmas in the US (October in the UK) and the newest trailer has just been released.

The trailer looks a lot like Raiders of Herge’s Ark but it also looks like it might be fun, too. It has that dead-eyed Uncanny Valley look to it that you'll find in other mo-cap features like Polar Express.

But I'm still willing to give it a shot in the theater because of the people behind the software.

It’s co-written by Stephen Moffat (Coupling, Doctor Who and the new Sherlock Holmes series at the BBC).

The other co-writers are Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and Joe Cornish (who co-wrote the new Ant Man movie and directed the upcoming Attack The Block).

Tintin’s director is Steven Spielberg, who still has Geek Cred and certainly knows how to make a good adventure movie.

Click to continue reading Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn

Read More | Tintin Trailer

Weekend Reading: Joe Casey, Thor, Dr. Spektor and Drew Friedman

Superman ChristmasThe War on Christmas is nearly done for another year, and there’s just enough time left for the War on New Year’s. Let's see what you should be reading this week:

Joe: This is simply a great, honest and open interview with Joe Casey, comic book writer/creator and co-creator of Ben 10. Perfect holiday reading from interviewer Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter.

Thor: So there’s some controversy from an all-white group that’s upset that Marvel has cast an actor of color to play a Norse God in Thor. Ricky Sprague at Project Child Murdering Robot has a thought or two.

Polly: Animator Michael Sporn is happy that Dean Mullaney’s new book has arrived (as am I). Polly and Her Pals: the Complete Sunday Comics 1925-1927 comes from Dean’s The Library of American Comics via IDW.

Click to continue reading Weekend Reading: Joe Casey, Thor, Dr. Spektor and Drew Friedman

Weekend Reading: Batman, Tintin, Starlog and Jerry Bingham

Batman Confidential 50A big week on the internets, so let’s get right to it.

For me, the big news is that my pal Jerry Bingham is illustrating a 5-part story in Batman Confidential, starting in issue #50 that went on sale this week. If you’re on the fence about it, here’s a multi-page preview of it that’ll make you wish Jerry drew more comics. Fans of Batman: Son of the Demon rejoice!

Batman: Over at Project Child Murdering Robot, Ricky Sprague comments on the upcoming Christopher Nolan Batman movie with some language that might be NSFW but SWR (still worth reading)! Bonus shout out to Batman: Year One: “It was among the first of the modern age comic book character reboots that now seem to occur every other year or so. Mr. Miller's hardboiled writing was at its peak, and Mr. Mazzucchelli is one of the best illustrators ever.”

Biff! Bam! Pow!: Bob Greenberger at ComicMix tackles the eternal question: Is Legends of the Superheroes any good? “You have to love kitsch, bad writing, awful acting, and comic books to enjoy (or endure) these specials.”

Click to continue reading Weekend Reading: Batman, Tintin, Starlog and Jerry Bingham

Weekend Reading: Kick-Ass, iPads, Vertigo Crime and Richie Rich

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials,

Kick AssLast week it was , now it’s The Losers, and coming up it’s Scott Pilgrim. Is this not the year of the nerd who loves popcorn? Let’s see what else there is to do while ordering our tickets…

Batman, Robin and Kick-Ass: Over at Something Old, Nothing New, Jaime Weinman longs for the return of a viable Robin character to the Batman movie franchise. Here’s a little taste of the longer and worthwhile read: “The thing about the concept of Kick-Ass is that it deals with an aspect of the Robin character that has been batted around in the comics from The Dark Knight Returns on, and even in the animated shows, but has never been dealt with in the movies: superheroes inspire kid copycats. In a weird way Robin is more ‘realistic’ than a man who, based on no apparent model except a bat, decides to fight crime in his underwear.”

The Losers: “This movie isn’t too violent because…hey look over there: a puppy!” Movie studio publicists work overtime for stories like this.

Click to continue reading Weekend Reading: Kick-Ass, iPads, Vertigo Crime and Richie Rich


Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials,

Lots more great fun on the internets this week: Darwyn Cooke’s adaptation of Richard Stark’s (aka Donald Westlake) The Hunter, the craziness of Tintin, a bit of Bosko, The Family Circus (no, really!) and some silly Star Trek stuff with Simon Pegg. Let’s get the linking party started:

DONALD E. WESTLAKE & DARWYN COOKE: The late Donald E. Westlake was one of America’s greatest crime writers. He wrote some great stand-alone novels like Kahawa and The Ax, as well as caper novels featuring John Dortmunder, many of which became movies: The Hot Rock, Bank Shot). Under his Richard Stark pseudonym he wrote some critically-acclaimed hard-boiled crime novels featuring Parker (many of which were made into movies: Payback with Mel Gibson and Point Blank with Lee Marvin). Both Payback and Point Blank are based on the same novel, The Hunter. Tom Spurgeon of the blog Comics Reporter has an interview that’s a must-read for Westlake/Stark/Parker fans. Spurgeon interviews Darwyn Cooke about his upcoming IDW adaptation of The Hunter. Ed Brubaker guest-stars in the interview.

STAR TREK: Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead and other fun films, gives an interview to the BBC where he talks about playing Montgomery Scott in J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek, and also playing on of the Thompson Twins in Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Tintin. Here he is talking about having his own licensed action figure: “As a fan of those things as a kid, I had plenty of action figures. To actually be one is a great joy, well, it’s five - two Shaun of the Dead, a Doctor Who one and two Star Trek figures. Yes, I play with myself regularly.”

TINTIN: This is from a couple of years ago, but it’s still hard to figure out who’s nuttier, Herge or his creation Tintin. Fortunately, Spencer Cook has the illustrated details, and it’s hard to argue his point. It’s easy to laugh with him though!

TINTIN II: And while Tintin may or may not be crazy, at least one of his fans is rich enough to part with a cool million to buy some original art. The Scoop at Diamond Galleries has the scoop.

BOSKO: Bosko was an animated series character created by Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising whose cartoon adventures “mirrored” whatever his competitor Mickey Mouse was doing over in his Walt Disney Cartoons. Over at David Gerstein’s Ramapith, he’s posted some fun samples of a Bosko comic strip that’s well worth taking a look at.

THE WORST COMIC BOOK ARTIST?: Steve over at Booksteve’s Library has an interesting historical question. He’s posted what he thinks may be the worst-drawn comic book story in history (or at least the Silver Age) and he needs help identifying the artist. Help a blogger out if you can. And read the whole thing while you’re over there; he’s posted the entire story. It’s a Secret Agent X-9 tale, but it bears no resemblance to the work of Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson.

LELA DOWLING: Here’s a book that fell through the cracks because its target audience isn’t necessarily the comic book fan, it’s beekeepers. Regardless of whether or not you’re a bee lover or bee hater, there’s some great cartooning here. When you get to the cover icon, click it and check out some of the insides to Uncle Buzzy’s Big Fat Book O’ Bee Cartoons.



TINTIN: The Secret of the Unicorn

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials,

He’s the ageless boy reporter who lives in a world of disguises, breathless escapes, and miraculous coincidences who’s forever getting bonked on the head by villains who are notoriously bad shots. Also, his best friend is a little white dog. He’s Tintin, created by the Belgian artist Herge (really, Georges Remi, 1907-1983) way back in 1929 and first published as a book (i.e. graphic album) in 1930. A total of 24 books were published over the years, taking Tintin everywhere from Egypt to America and to the Moon.

After years of yes/no/maybe, Tintin’s finally been greenlit by a movie team-up of Paramount and Sony and an army of producers including Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. Principal photography on the motion-capture 3-D Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (based on the graphic album originally published in 1943) has begun with Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) as Tintin and Daniel Craig (Mr. James Bond to most of us) as the infamous pirate Red Rackham. It’s due to arrive in 2011 and the cast also includes Andy Serkis (Hey! Look! Gollum!) and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead). The screenplay is by Steven Moffat (Dr. Who; Coupling), Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz; Shaun of the Dead) and Joe Cornish (The Adam and Joe Show). No word yet on who will play Milou (aka Snowy for American readers). My money’s on Frank Welker.

If you’re not familiar with the adventures of Tintin, you don’t have to learn a foreign language to bring yourself up to speed. You can get a lot of info about him at the Tintinlogist and you can score some books over at Amazon’s Herge Store.