The Road to Comic Con: Making The Most Of Your Time At Comic-Con

- 07-12-14Featured Posted by Shawn Schillberg

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You can’t see everything at San Diego Comic-Con.

No matter how many times you hear that, it really doesn’t sink in until you’ve experienced SDCC for the first time. At any given moment, there will be several things happening that you’d like to attend and you’re going to have to make some tough choices.

It’s a safe bet you’re still digesting the list of exclusive items that Comic-Con announced last week. We covered many of the highlights in last week’s column.

And before the rest of panels comes out (Thurs and Fri schedules have just been released) and completely overwhelms you, let’s walk through some strategies for making the most of Comic-Con.

In addition to the many panels that will be announced shortly, there will be so many other things competing for your time: cast signings, booth giveaways, lining up for exclusives, offsite adventures, screenings, after parties. Hell, crossing the street could take you fifteen minutes at peak and just getting into the convention center can slow you down if you go at the wrong time. (more…)

INTERVIEW: Brian Winkeler and Robert Wilson IV on Creating Slacker Heroes the ‘Knuckleheads’ Way

- 07-10-14Comics, Featured, Interviews Posted by Jason Tabrys

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On the shelf they stand there, lined up like toy soldiers with their glossy covers, quality paper, exotic inks (go with it, I’m trying to make a point) and a heaping dollop of imagination. These things combine to make not just comic books, but a pathway to adventure (too much?), but we sometimes forget how much effort goes into creating them.

Brian Winkeler and Robert Wilson IV came up from the streets of South Boston together (I’m lying) where they were raised up by a tough former boxer named Shamus O’Shea Gibson. Punished by the Gods for hot dogging it in the ring, Shamus had only one eye, but because of that, he taught Brian and Robert a lesson about the value of a dollar, the salve that is a blues song and the devil’s nectar that is Strawberry wine. Lessons that they would put into practice while working on the rail line as porters by day and card counters in the club car by night (again, these are lies). Tossed out of a moving train one too many times, the guys decided to settle down in Baton Rouge, run a saloon for left handed Americans and slowly work to tell their story in the pages of a comic book.

Knuckleheads is not that comic book, but it is pretty damn good and these guys have brought this tale about a slacker, his friends, a pair of alien made brass knuckles and a giant lizard that feels ripped off by the early death of [REDACTED] in Godzilla (and now I’m just projecting) from a self-published print book to the digital realm with Monkeybrain Comics and now to IDW for the release of Knuckleheads: Fist Contact, a trade paperback that earned raves from our own Leo Johnson and had one sexy critic compare it sexily to Shaun of the Dead in terms of its humorous tone. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW — ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ is the Spectacular Summer Movie 2014 Needed

- 07-10-14Featured, Film, reviews Posted by Jacob Knight

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is something of a miracle.

Ostensibly a remake of J. Lee Thompson’s Battles For the Planet of the Apes (the fifth film in the original series), Matt Reeves’ refashioning of that picture is nothing less than a stirring marvel of a movie, brimming with emotion and style in equal measure. Daring in ways many modern big budget franchise films would never dare, Dawn is the result of putting cinema and character first, a rarity in an age where commitment to brand is usually priority number one for studios when expanding upon previous summer cash cows. But beyond showcasing Reeves as being one of the most exciting directorial talents in mainstream American filmmaking, the second installment in this new series of Apes films yet again proves that Andy Serkis is a God working amongst mere mortals, pushing the craft of performance capture acting into uncharted qualitative territories. In short, it’s the movie of the summer and will easily end up being one of 2014′s best. (more…)

RETRO REVIEW — ‘In the Mouth of Madness’ and the Value of ‘Late Period’ John Carpenter

- 07-09-14Featured, Film, reviews Posted by Jacob Knight

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“Do you read Sutter Cane?” 

The 90s were a woeful decade for many a 70s horror filmmaker. Wes Craven may have changed the slasher game forever with his self-reflexive Scream series, but hasn’t made a picture worthy of his (truthfully already spotty) legacy since (unless you count the aughts’ My Soul to Keep – a film so inept it almost feels like an avant garde experiment). Dario Argento’s 90s output ranges from decent (TraumaThe Stendhal Syndrome) to unwatchable (The Phantom of the Opera). Meanwhile, George A. Romero’s sole solo directorial credit (The Dark Half) is definitely one of the more entertaining Stephen King adaptations, but that’s using both dreck like The Tommyknockers and Golden Years as well as Kubrick’s The Shining or Rob Reiner’s Misery as ends of the qualitative spectrum (meaning Romero’s movie is still hanging somewhere around Pet Sematary). Outside of Joe Dante*, whose feature track record went completely unblemished with Gremlins 2Matinee and Small Soldiers, the decade was somewhat of a nightmare for those who found their start in the gritty 70s, resulting in many horror fans closing the book on what’s viewed by some as the genre’s most auteur-driven period.

Which brings us to John Carpenter, a filmmaker whose ten year run (from 1978′s Halloween all the way up to They Live in 1988) could be considered one of the most impressive in the history of ALL cinema. Carpenter fizzled out in 1992, with the Chevy Chase-starring Memoirs of an Invisible Man marking the end of his marvelous winning streak. His anthology picture, Body Bags, was originally supposed to be a full series on Showtime (comprable to HBO’s Tales From the Crypt), until network executives suffered from cold feet and turned it into a one-off (admittedly mediocre) cable TV movie. It wouldn’t be until 1994 that Carpenter finally brushed the dust off his shoulder and produced what seemed to be, at the time, a comeback of sorts with In the Mouth of Madness, a film that could be viewed as the last true Carpenter masterpiece, as well as the beginning of the widescreen artist’s oft-decried “late period”. (more…)

DC Comics, Jeffrey Baldwin and the Value of Symbols

- 07-08-14Comics, Featured Posted by Jason Tabrys

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Symbols can mean different things to different people. The sight of the Christian cross, for example, can bring hope and peace to some and inspire a sense of dread or an eye roll from others. The Superman symbol, which is said to be the second most recognizable symbol in the world after the cross, is equally capable of possessing multiple meanings.

To DC Comics and their corporate overlords, the Superman symbol represents a cornerstone of their yesterday, today and tomorrow. As such, they guard that symbol carefully and accordingly.

Todd Boyce is a Canadian man who raised $36,000 on IndieGoGo to build a memorial statue of a five year old Superman fan in Toronto’s Greenwood Park after hearing about the boys tragic death. Unfortunately, Mr. Boyce’s request to use the Superman “S” was declined by DC. (more…)

The RadioBastard Podcast vs a Wizard on the Moon and Mittens the Vampire Kitten

- 07-08-14Featured, Nerd Culture Posted by Team Bastard

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Hello prospective listener, thank you for your interest in the RadioBastard Podcast. Do you like Star Wars flashbacks, duplicitous robots, second hand LEGOS, living in a virtual world, 11 variations on a Boston accent, a little man with a big heart and the continued effort to keep Dan Harmon‘s pantry well stocked with the finest in name brand crackers? That’s fackin swell, because we’re talking all about those things and more on RadioBastard!

Also, do you like details? You’re in luck! Here’s something close to that… sort of! On the show this week, Jeremy, Jason and Blastr.com writer Matthew Jackson discuss: (more…)

The Road to Comic Con: The Exclusives You Want, Need, and Might Actually Kill For!

- 07-02-14Cool Stuff, Featured, Nerd Culture Posted by Shawn Schillberg

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With just one short month until San Diego Comic-Con, hopefully your planning is well underway. Here at  Nerd Bastards, we started getting ready for this year on the plane ride home from LAST year’s SDCC.  This is the first in a series of columns aimed at helping you make the most of Comic-Con, whether you’re  attending the event or catching the highlights online from the comfort of home. Over the next month  we’ll cover getting to & around the con, surviving all 4.5 days of the show, can’t miss events/panels/ guests and of course, the precious exclusives. We’ll even get around to attending the con without a badge.

We’ll cover how to go about acquiring these treasures in a future column, but for now let’s take a look at the best exclusives that have been announced so far.  (more…)

‘The Leftovers’: The Worthless Quest for Answers, Chaos and Wild Dogs

- 06-30-14Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Jason Tabrys

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“Sam!” She cries out. Once, twice, three times before the screen goes black and we hear the clutter of confused 9-1-1 calls. A moment before, this frazzled mother was bemoaning the evolution of the coin-op laundry to a child that is now nothing more than gone.

I like how the tragedy splinters out like a pebble in a windshield. The mother, a child crying out, a car crash and then a scream. 2% of the population gone in an instant as the camera almost seems to spin till we’re dizzy on this small space of land. They’re the only ones in the world that have just lost everything, but they’re not. 140 million dead.

A blue ribbon and a blurred jogger fill the screen next. The names of the “missing” or the “gone” or the “dead” or the whatever are read off one by one over the radio in a way that is instantly familiar to anyone who pays attention on the 11th of September as all the TV networks broadcast the ceremonies from Ground Zero. There are multiple moments where you feel like Tom Perrotta and Damon Lindelof are talking about 9/11 in The Leftovers. (more…)

The RadioBastard Podcast Kicks Harrison Ford Into An Engine Intake (of love)

- 06-30-14Featured, Nerd Culture Posted by Jeremy R! Hudson

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Hello prospective listener, thank you for your interest in the RadioBastard Podcast. Do you like big damn monsters, PTSD Predator, bad descriptions of Marvel movies, Trekking the shit out of the stars and the delicate embrace of technology? Fantastic, because we’re talking all about those things and more on RadioBastard!
Also, do you like details? You’re in luck! Here’s something close to that… sort of! On the show this week, Jeremy and Jason discuss: (more…)

TOYS WE MISS: The Creepy Faced Hand Puppets Known as ‘Boglins’

- 06-29-14Cool Stuff, Featured, Nerd Culture Posted by James Daniels

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If there’s one thing nerds of a certain age universally agree on, it’s this: Toys (for kids and young adults) these days SUUUCK!

Oh, sure–today’s younglings have video games that would make 8 year old, Atari 2600 playing me drop dead of a pleasure-induced brain hemorrhage. And there will always be timeless classics like LEGO (and by the way: CURSE, children of today, for having LEGO Stores!). But as far as action figures–and their accompanying vehicles, playsets, and other miscellany go: The playthings of my 1980s childhood beat the piss out of anything the 21st century has yet to come up with–it’s not even a contest.

But this feature isn’t about how much new toys blow (that’s another feature), instead, the old and decrepit among the Nerd Bastards staff have decided to present you, the reader, with a series of tributes to the overpriced hunks of plastic of yore. Magnificent toy lines that make us forget how lonely and miserable our ACTUAL childhoods were.

In this weeks Toys We Miss column, I take you back to a marvelous era, when a toy’s worth was measured in how likely it was to put your little sister in therapy. We check out the creepy faced hand puppets known as Boglins(more…)