Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Slowing Down

A funny thing has happened the last couple of years.  I've found myself loosing interest with things that used to be so important to me.

Creativity is slowly ebbing away and what's really startling is that I don't care.  Drawing has all but disappeared from my life, writing is relegated to reviews and reading has become a bore-at least reading fiction books have.

I guess I've come to the age that book plots have become far too familiar.  If a fiction book doesn't grab my attention in the first two chapters I never finish it.

I still like reading comic books, magazines, collecting toys, etc. but they don't seem quite as important as they used to.  I'll soon be 61 and (let's be honest) I won't be around too much longer.

All that trouble I went to to collect things will mean nothing once I'm gone.  So.....I plan on selling off my collection soon after my retirement and using the money to travel with my wife and enjoy the few years we have left.

I used to be terrified of death.  I'm in no hurry to die but death has become less something I dread and more like the next step in my existence.  I'm so thankful to God that I know where I'll be spending eternity.

It will be an exciting day when I get to meet up with dearly departed loved ones and friends and my Savior.

It's been said that you'll never see a U-haul behind a hearse.  There's nothing here that I'd want to take with me.

I've had a good life-nothing exciting- a little boring-but a good life-safe, loved and my needs met.  Who could ask for more?

I hope when my time comes that all the collectibles I've accumulated have gone to others who will enjoy them and cherish them as much as I have.

Life is not about being still.  It's about moving forward.  This life is only the beginning.  I get to spend eternity with my savior Jesus Christ.  Amen to that!

Star Trek "Strange New Worlds”


Artist/writer John Byrne is a huge Star Trek fan-especially of the original series.  Like myself he watched the series when it first came on the air back in the 1960s.
 
Before the days of VHS and DVD Star Trek fans clamored for anything Trek-be it audio recordings, photos, toys, etc.

One favorite was the Photonovels produced in the early 1970s.  The paperback books took actual color photos from film supplied by Paramount from episodes of the original series and arranged them on pages with dialogue balloons and captions. Twelve Star Trek Photonovels were produced.

Combining his love of Star Trek and the Photonovels John has compiled his own Photonovel by taking stills from various TOS episodes and creating an entirely new story.

“Strange New Worlds" takes readers back to one of Trek’s earliest episodes: the second pilot-“Where No Man Has Gone Before” and reunites Kirk with his long lost best friend whom through a freak accident gained godlike powers forcing Kirk to kill him-or so he thought.

Returning to the scene of the crime Kirk meets up with his old friend who has now transcended human flesh and has become a creature of the cosmos.

As with any John Byrne script there are plenty of twist and turns and John even slips in a few tributes to the series he loves so much.

A big hoorah to John and IDW for publishing this tribute to TOS and Photonovels.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nick Cardy: The Artist At War



Legendary comic book artist Nick Cardy (who recently passed away) started his artist life at a young age.
 
During WWII Nick manned a tank (earning two Purple Hearts) and took his drawing pad with him wherever he went.  

Whenever he had the opportunity the young artist would turn out pencil, ink, wash and watercolor illustrations capturing the war and its effects around him.

Most comic book collectors associate Nick with the Teen Titans and Bat Lash who he drew for DC Comics during the 1960s.  Much more than just a cartoonist, Nick was proficient in many forms of art medium.

Now Titan Books has released a hardbound book (by Nick Cardy and Renee Witterstaetter) that showcases his WWII art accompanied by photos and commentary by Nick. 

More than a book about Nick’s art it is a collection of images of an era and the most devastating war in world history and its long term effects.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Diablo, Dead, Alien, Iron Man Homer and Ender’s


Insight Editions presents five new spectacular titles that are sure to satisfy the appetite of any movie, fantasy, horror, sci-fi and animation lover. 

Leave it to Homer Simpson to write an entire book about slothfulness aptly titled: Homer Simpson’s Little Book Of Laziness

It’s the perfect handbook for the procrastinator, “I’m too busy” and I hate “honey do” lists sort of guy.

The small hardbound book comes in a two-side slipcover with a diecut window to show Homer at his laziness peak.

Inside the “Vault Of Simpsonology Series” book readers are given access to some of Homer’s “secret notes and observations” and are guided through the many undulating corridors of laziness.

My favorite section is Comic Book Guy’s Comic Book Adaptations Of Books You’ll Never Take Time To Read.

Home, work and play examples of laziness are given along with a quick identification guide to fellow ”Lazies.”

From fashion to the future Homer Simpson’s Little Book Of Laziness may be small but it tackles a big subject…mainly Homer’s lazy behind!

Marvel Comics hit it out of the park with its series of Iron Man and The Avengers movies.  Tony Stark’s mechanical alter ego was successfully brought to the Silver Screen in no small part due to incredible, practical armor created for the films by Stan Winston Studios.  Coupled with the impressive special visual effects the armor made the Iron Man and The Avengers movies rock!

Marvel Iron Man Manual is the know all and tell all book about Tony’s impressive armor.  From its introduction as the clunky and cumbersome Mach I armor it has transformed into the most sophisticated piece of personal ordinance and transport imaginable.

ALL of Tony’s armor are categorized, analyzed and spotlighted in this impressive technical manual.

Non-Iron Man armor and weapons are also given their due, as are Tony’s friends, enemies and military contacts.

A special section is also focused on some of his fellow Avengers and Loki.

If you love technical jargon and schematics as much as I do then you’re sure to love this book.  Packed with graphs, schematics, full color photos and technical how-to this handsome hardbound book is a true testament to Ol’ Shellhead.

It’s no secret that Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III video game is a huge hit.   Spectacular visual effects, an impressive storyline and amazing characters and settings all combine to make Diablo III a hit with fans.

I’m not an avid video game player.  I never personally played Diablo III but I know plenty of people who have and I’ve watched them as they delve into Diablo’s world.

After watching game play, looking over conceptual and production art and familiarizing myself with Blizzard’s topnotch character development I can understand why Diablo III is such a video game phenomenon.

The Diablo III Book OF Tyrael from Insight contains the story of the former Archangel who rallies humans to fight the forces of evil. The tome contains his personal notes and journal, illustrations and descriptions of both evil and good combatants.

Beautifully bound In faux leather, the book features an embossed image of a sword hilt with archaic symbols.  Gold leaf pages on parchment accent the time worn images within and the Times Roman text is highlighted by script-like headings.  The book appears old and almost reeks of magic and mystery.

The Ender’s Game movie, based on the popular sci-fi book, captures the essence of the book with slight cinematic liberties. Harrison Ford leads an all-star cast accompanied by a cast of new young actors and actresses in an intense story of invasion and redemption,

Adapting a novel (especially one filled with aliens, alien worlds, futuristic technology and spacecraft, to the screen is never easy.  Ender’s Game pulls it off spectacularly.

Ender’s Game Inside The World Of An Epic Adventure by Jed Alger is an encyclopedia of information about the making of the film.

Chapters include selecting the actors, pre and post production, concept art, computer modeling and special effects, physical effects and sets, the intensive physical training of the actors, character profiles, behind-the-scenes glimpses, alien creation, on location and much more.

Like the film itself the book is a sweeping vista of humanity’s last hope.

Color photos, art, sketches and informative text guide readers through the far-flung future conflict in space safely tucked betwixt its pages. 

AMC’s The Walking Dead TV series, based on the Image Comic Book series by the same name, caught everyone by surprise by its huge success.

I’ve watched it several times and its scared the heck out of me.  Talk about suspenseful and creepy!  The Walking Dead’ dead are marvels of modern prosthetics and makeup.

Insight Editions has gathered together classic scenes and posters from the series and combined them into a 40 Removable Poster Collection of high-resolution photos and art.

I dare you to hang these images on your wall.  Trust me, they are disturbing and you won’t sleep well at all. Just thinking about them sends chills up my spin. 

The show’s no-holds-barred, in-your-face action, blood and gore delights fans of the undead.
Speaking of chills, be sure to pick up a copy of Insight’s Alien Saga 40 Removable Poster Collection.  Alien is the granddaddy of outer space monster and horror films and its three sequels are just as creepy.

When the movie Alien premiered in 1979 the face of horror films changed forever.  The Alien films soon spawned three sequels all starring Siguorney Weaver (who many consider the first strong female action star).

The posters consist of pivotal scenes and poster from all four films.  They make excellent posters for display and like The Walking Dead posters they feature high-resolution images that practically ‘pop out’ at you.

Maybe ‘pop out’ is not the proper term to use when talking about the Alien movies.  Suddenly my stomach feels funny.  It’s just indigestion…sure, that’s all it is.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Previews, January 2013



COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
CROSSED: BADLANDS #50 l AVATAR PRESS INC
UBER SPECIAL #1 l AVATAR PRESS INC
EVIL EMPIRE #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS
MAGNUS: ROBOT FIGHTER #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN SEASON 6 #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
BUDDY BUYS A DUMP TP l FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
ATTACK ON TITAN: BEFORE THE FALL VOLUME 1 GN l KODANSHA COMICS
ATTACK ON TITAN: JUNIOR HIGH VOLUME 1 GN l KODANSHA COMICS
THE AUTEUR #1 l ONI PRESS INC.
NEMO: ROSES OF BERLIN HC l TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS
UNITY VOLUME 1: TO KILL A KING TP l VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC
RANMA 1/2 2-IN-1 VOLUME 1 TP l VIZ MEDIA LLC



BOOKS
SPIDER-MAN CHARACTER ENCYCLOPEDIA HC l COMICS
DOCTOR WHO :11TH DOCTOR SONIC SCREWDRIVER BOOK KIT l DOCTOR WHO
GODZILLA: LIGHT & SOUND MINIATURE BOOK KIT l MOVIE/TV
STAR WARS STORYBOARDS: THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY HC l STAR WARS
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S THE EMPIRE STRIKETH BACK HC l STAR WARS

MAGAZINES
MARVEL CHESS COLLECTION #5-6 l EAGLEMOSS
STAR TREK: THE OFFICIAL STARSHIPS COLLECTION #2 2009 USS ENTERPRISE l EAGLEMOSS
THE WALKING DEAD MAGAZINE #8 l MOVIE/TV

TRADING CARDS
TOPPS 2014 OPENING DAY BASEBALL TRADING CARDS l TOPPS COMPANY
PACIFIC RIM TRADING CARDS l CRYPTOZOIC ENTERTAINMENT

APPAREL
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER: “SHINY STAR” NAVY T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
CAPTAIN AMERICA: SHIELD BLACK HOODIE l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
BLOODSHOT BY RIBIC YELLOW T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
TRANSFORMERS: “MEGATRON PIXEL” SILVER T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
GHOST RIDER CHARCOAL T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
MY LITTLE PONY: “NON STOP PIXEL PIE” BLUE T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
GODZILLA: “SCREAM CITY” NAVY T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
THE SUB-MARINER GREEN T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
THE PUNISHER: “RED SYMBOL” BLACK HOODIE l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
VENOM: “FACE OF BROCK” BLACK T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
LOKI: “LOKIDOKI” CHARCOAL HEATHER T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
DEADPOOL: “HELLO LADIES” BLACK T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
TMNT: “GROUP LOGO” GREEN T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
UNITY: “TEAM” NAVY T-SHIRT l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
BOMBSHELL BATGIRL BY LUCIA T-SHIRT l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS
HARLEY QUINN: HEARTBREAK BY CONNER T-SHIRT l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS

TOYS & STAUTES
BATMAN 1966 ROBIN BUST l DIAMOND SELECT TOYS & COLLECTIBLES
MARVEL MINIMATES SERIES 56: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 l DIAMONDSELECT TOYS & COLLECTIBLES
VOLTRON 30TH-ANNIVERSARY LION GIFT SET l ANIMATION
UGLYDOLL KISS 11-INCH PLUSHES l KISS
DEADPOOL X-FORCE MINI-BUST l MARVEL HEROES
IRON PATRIOT 1/4-SCALE STATUE l MARVEL HEROES
THE WALKING DEAD: MERLE DIXON AS WALKER 1/4-SCALE STATUE l THE WALKING DEAD

IMPORT TOYS
MARVEL COMICS: AVENGERS NOW: CAPTAIN AMERICA ARTFX+ STATUE l KOTOBUKIYA
ATTACK ON TITAN: LEVI PVC FIGURE l ANIME
DOCTOR WHO FIGURINE COLLECTION #10-12 l DOCTOR WHO
DOCTOR WHO TITANS SERIES 4 MINI-FIGURES l DOCTOR WHO
AVENGERS IRON MAN MK.7 “COMBAT VERSION” ACTION HERO VIGNETTE l MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
AVENGERS THOR ACTION HERO VIGNETTE l MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
IRON MAN 3 MK.42 ACTION HERO VIGNETTE l MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
SCI-FI REVOLTECH #050: THE BAT VEHICLE l REVOLTECH
THE WALKING DEAD: PET ZOMBIE 1/6-SCALE FIGURE l THREEA
SAILOR MOON FIGUARTS ZERO l TAMASHII NATIONS

COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES
HARLEY QUINN BUST BANK l DC HEROES
CLASSIC JOKER BUST BANK l DC HEROES
DOCTOR WHO: ELEVENTH DOCTOR ELECTRONIC BOBBLE HEAD l DOCTOR WHO
MARVEL COMICS MYSTERY MINIS l MARVEL HEROES
POP! ROBOTS VINYL FIGURES l MOVIE/TV
STAR TREK: UNITED FEDERATION OF PLANETS FLAG l MOVIE/TV

GAMES
THE WALKING DEAD: BEST DEFENSE: WOODBURY EXPANSION l CRYPTOZOIC ENTERTAINMENT
FIREFLY RPG CORE RULEBOOK l MARGARET WEIS PRODUCTIONS
GODZILLA: CONNECT WITH PIECES PUZZLE BUILDING GAME l WIZKIDS/NECA
GODZILLA SERIES ONE MINI-FIGURES l WIZKIDS/NECA
PATHFINDER BATTLES: REIGN OF WINTER BOOSTER BRICK l WIZKIDS/NECA
THE SIMPSONS: 25TH-ANNIVERSARY SERIES TWO MINI-FIGURES l WIZKIDS/NECA

DVDS & DIGITAL MEDIA
DCU: JUSTICE LEAGUE WAR l ANIMATION
HULK & THE AGENTS OF SMASH: UNITED WE SMASH DVD l ANIMATION
EVANGELION 3.33: YOU CAN (NOT) REDO l ANIME
GAME OF THRONES SEASON 3 l GAME OF THRONES

Wolverine Versus Sabretooth



It’s been a rivalry that has spanned the centuries.  Starting out as family and friends Wolverine and Sabretooth are remarkably similar.  Both are ferocious fighters and have healing factors.  That is where the similarities end.

Sabretooth trods the road of the villain while Wolverine walks the path of the hero.  They do not like each other (hate would be a more appropriate description) and over the years they have clashed numerous times-usually to a standstill.

One clash distinguishes itself as one of the most ferocious and bloodletting slapdowns ever fought by Wolverine and Sabretooth. 

Wolverine Versus Sabretooth, written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by artist Simone Bianchi, is one of the most classic clashes ever conceived between the longtime enemies.

Shout! Factory and Marvel Knights Animation has taken the monumental conflict and translated it to DVD format with an incredible soundtrack, dynamic voice talent and state-of-the-art animation utilizing art from the series. 

Bonus features include a retrospective that includes interviews with the series’ creators.

For the baddest, bloodiest and bone-jarring battle ever seen in the pages of a comic book be sure to pick up a copy of the Wolverine Versus Sabretooth DVD.