Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tarzan The Legend Lives



The classic Edgar Rice Burroughs tale of a young boy raised by apes is updated for today's audiences courtesy of Lionsgate.
 
Young John Greystoke, Jr. is left an orphan when his parents are killed in an helicopter crash in Africa.  In search for a mysterious new energy source the Greystokes never imagined that their search would lead to their tragic deaths.

John is soon adopted by a female gorilla and raised as one of her own. instantly he has an enemy in Tablat, the alpha male Silverback of the gorilla tribe, who considers him and outsider and threat.

As the boy (now named Tarzan) grows into young manhood he encounters Jane Porter, a young conservationist, he yearns for human companionship.  A few years later Jane returns with the unscrupulous entrepreneur William Clayton at her side.

Jane, interested only in conservation, is unaware that Clayton is searching for the rare energy source that Tarzan's parents were looking for.

When Jane realizes Clayton's true objective she finds herself in peril.  Tarzan intervenes to save Jane from both Clayton and Tablat.

Completely reimagined, Tarzan is a spectacular computer generated animated film that's fun for the whole family.

DVD/Digital extras include several featurettes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

U-Boat, Zero and Lightning




Hasegawa Hobby Kits Invites modelers to travel back in time to the war torn years of WWII as Allied and Axis forces battle to determine the fate of the world.

The United States was pitted against the united forces of the Japanese and Germans.  Man against man and machine against machine as both American and Axis forces fought ferociously in the air, on land, on the sea and under the waves.

The P-38J Lightning & B-26B/C Marauder Limited Edition, 1:72 Scale twin aircraft model kit recreates two workhorses of the Allied Air Force.

To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Normandy D-Day, Operation Overlord Hasegawa Hobby Kits presents not one, but two classic fighter aircraft responsible for turning the tide against the Axis Forces during WWII.

The Royal Navy provided two aircraft that helped the Allied Forces dominate the skies and land.

The P-38J Lighting with its long tapering fuselage and narrow profile was all business-downing enemy aircraft.  Fast, sleek and capable of pulverizing enemy aircraft the Lightning lived up to its namesake.  A single pilot cockpit, twin powerful engines, heavy armament and sleek profile made the aircraft light, maneuverable and deadly.

As with all Hasegawa Hobby Kits models the P-38J is easy to assemble, paint and decal when using the precise instructions.  Parts fit perfectly together with no lap overs or rough edges and parts remove cleanly from part trees with almost zero flashing. 

The B-26B/C Marauder is the heavier of the two aircraft and for good reason.  With its multi-manned crew, twin engines, heavy wings and tail section the Marauder carried an impressive payload of bombs necessary for destroying enemy emplacements, railroads, munitions dumps, rocket sites, troop gatherings and other vital enemy strong points.

A bubble front gunner port and upper-rear gunner port along with a tail gunner made the Marauder difficult to shoot down and formidable at close quarters.
          

The Japanese also had their own impressive aircraft.  But as impressive, and expensive, as their aircraft were the Japanese took special preparations to train their pilots in their use.

The 21st Kokusho A6M2-K Zero Fighter Trainer Type II Late Version '302nd Flying Group' Limited Edition Model scaled at 1:48 duplicates this superb aircraft.

The twin crew trainer has relatively short fuselage with large front and rear wings and tail fin.  A single tri-propeller motor powers the aircraft making it a fast and formidable fighter.
Full cockpit details, pilots and external details give this model the genuine 'look' of the real Zero.

The model may be displayed both with wheels up or down and with its additional fuel cells and armament the aircraft is both dangerous and capable of long flights.       
 

WWII was fought on many fronts: on the ground, in the air, on the water and under the waves.
The Nazi were masters of underwater warfare.  Its submarine fleet was second to none and feared by Allied Forces.

Often referred to as Aces of the Ocean the Nazi submarines with fast and lethal.  

While ultimately the Nazi were revealed to be the villains that they were they were nonetheless experts at warfare.

Four Nazi U-boat captains were made famous during the war and their combined kills were responsible for sinking 500,000 tons of Allied shipping.

All four U-boats are recreated in miniature form.  They are:

German Navy U-201 Kapitänleutnant Adalbert Schnee
German Navy U-552 Oberleutnant Erich Topp 7.U-Flotille
German Navy U-68 Korvettenkapitän Karl-Friedrich Merten
German Navy U-172 Kapitänleutnant Carl Emmermann

C. Montgomery Burns' Handbook of World Domination



"Excellent!"  From Insight Editions' The Vault of Simpsonology Series comes the book about the man everyone loves to hate: C. Montgomery Burns and his Handbook of World Domination.
Is there anyone more evil, conniving, despicable, obnoxious, condescending, egotistical, manipulating and loathing than C. Montgomery Burns, head of the nuclear power plant where Homer Simpson works?

If there were, Burns eliminated them years ago.

In the Handbook of World Domination readers learn abut the person of Burns and how his rise to power came about and his plans to take over the world.

Color-packed pages, filled with special inserts, chronicle the life and times of C. Montgomery Burns, his interests, his businesses, his vices and his wit and wisdom!?

Discover his attempts to live forever, his hidden cameras around the nuclear power plant, his office secrets, his business, his sarcastic wit, secret memos, employee stereotypes, his mass media outlets, the Stonecutters Society, his alter ego Fruit Bat Man, his power haircuts and much more. 

For the ultimate guide to power, corruption and evil, pick up the Handbook of World Domination.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Malfin and Fane



As much as I enjoy cartooning and illustration done here in the States I always look forward to Sketchbooks put out by Comix Buro.
 
It's refreshing to look at art done in vastly different styles than most American art.  European artists tend to be more daring and avante garde.  Often they tip convention on its ear and offer unique visions of subject matter as drawn here in the States.

Two new Sketchbooks have come out from Comix Buro and they are treats for the eyes and imagination.

No one draws the female figure better, or more varied, than Malfin-both clothed and nude.  Malfin also has a knack for exotic machinery, funny cartoons and bizarre alien life.

Fane has a talent for portraying emotions and action with his characters.  Transportation, group shots and bizarre characters are also Fane's forte.

Both artists are consummate professionals, adept at pencil, ink, color and design.  See for yourself-you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Previews, August


COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
Sonic Boom #1 l Archie Comics
War Stories #1 l Avatar Press
The Simpsons Comics Explosion #1 l Bongo Comics
Sleepy Hollow #1 l Boom! Studios
Jim Henson’s The Musical Monsters Of Turkey Hollow HC l Boom! Studios
Evil Ernie #1 l D. E./Dynamite Entertainment
Vampirella: Feary Tales #1 l D. E./Dynamite Entertainment
The Phantom #1 l Hermes Press
Ciudad HC l Oni Press
Hello Kitty: Hello 40 HC l Perfect Square
Zenith: Phase One HC l Rebellion / 2000AD
Q2: The Return of Quantum & Woody #1 l Valiant Entertainment



BOOKS
Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell: Dreamland HC l Art Books
George R.R. Martin: The Ice Dragon: An Illustrated Novel HC l Game Of Thrones
Andrew Loomis: I’d Love to Draw HC l How-To
Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method l How-To
Star Wars Art: Posters HC l Star Wars

MAGAZINES
Marvel Chess Figurine Collection #19: Hawkeye (White Pawn) l Eaglemoss
Marvel Chess Figurine Collection #20: The Mandarin (Black Bishop) l Eaglemoss
The Walking Dead Magazine #10 l Movie/TV
Star Trek Magazine #51 l Star Trek
Star Wars Insider #153 l Star Wars

TRADING CARDS
Topps 2014 Chrome Football Trading Cards l Topps Company
James Bond Archives 2014 Edition Trading Cards l Rittenhouse Archives
Topps 2014 Wacky Packages Series 1 Trading Cards l Topps Company

APPAREL
Guardians of the Galaxy: “Bro Bandit” Yellow T-Shirt l Previews Exclusive Wear
Deadpool: Monounder Snap Back Cap l Previews Exclusive Wear
Star Wars: “The Darth” Black T-Shirt l Previews Exclusive Wear
Captain America: “Pixel Shield” Heather T-Shirt l Previews Exclusive Wear

TOYS & STATUES
Sons of Anarchy: Clay 1-6 Scale Action Figure l Sons Of Anarchy
Sons of Anarchy: Jax 1/6-Scale Action Figure l Sons Of Anarchy
Robotech Transformable 1/100-Scale Action Figures l Robotech

IMPORT TOYS
Marvel: Jubilee Bishoujo Statue l Kotobukiya
Toho 12-Inch Series: Godzilla “1955 Version” Vinyl Figure l Godzilla
Toho 12-Inch Series: Anguirius “1955 Version” Vinyl Figure l Godzilla
Godzilla: Vinyl Wars Sofubis l Godzilla
Sailor Moon PS Petit Chara Land Series 3 l Treasures Of Akihabara
Doctor Who Figurine Collection #26: Scarecrow l Doctor Who
Doctor Who Figurine Collection #27: The Ninth Doctor l Doctor Who
Doctor Who Figurine Collection #28: Morbius Monster l Doctor Who
Daft Punk RAH Figures l Music
Daft Punk Be@rbrick 2-Packs l Music
Sherlock 1/6-Scale Figures l Sherlock
Titanfall Play Arts Kai: Atlas l Titanfall

COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES
Arkham Asylum: Harley Quinn Bust Bank l Batman 75th Anniversary
Batman 75th-Anniversary: The Dark Knight Returns Snap Back Cap l Batman 75th Anniversary
Batman: 75th-Anniversary: The New 52 Logo Neo 3930 Flexfit Cap l Batman 75th Anniversary
Harley Quinn: Monounder Snap Back Cap l Batman 75th Anniversary
Batman 75th-Anniversary: Symbol Evolution T-Shirt l Batman 75th Anniversary
The Big Bang Theory Q-Pop Figures l Big Bang Theory
My Little Pony Mystery Minis Series 2 l Funko
Deadpool Deluxe Fiber Filled Costume l Halloween
Marvel Heroes Molded Head Mugs l Marvel Heroes
Marvel: Infinity Gauntlet Pewter Keyring l Marvel Heroes

GAMES
Magic the Gathering TCG: Khans Of Tarkir l Wizards Of The Coast
D&D Attack Wing Wave 1 l Wizkids/Neca
Dc HeroClix: The Flash l Wizkids/Neca
Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men Set Up Box l Wizkids/Neca

DVDS & DIGITAL MEDIA
Beware The Batman: Dark Justice DVD l Animation
Ghost in the Shell: Rise BD/DVD l Anime
Arrow: The Complete Second Season l DC Heroes
Agents of SHEILD Season 1 l Marvel Cinematic Universe

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

40s All-American Ads



The 1940s was a decade of tremendous change.  At the beginning of the decade America was just coming out of a depression.  Times were still tough and industry was just starting to gear up.
 
When America entered WWII an unusual thing happened.  The government and private industry worked hand-in-hand.  Industrialization boomed and soon factories were churning out war materials and goods.  

The American worker found himself (and herself) back to work supporting the war effort.  Military equipment, vehicles, aircraft and more went to support the troops.

When the war ended the factories still remained.  Soldiers returning from the war were looking for steady employment and factories happily supplied them

Dozens of innovations came out the war and American soon entered its age of prosperity.  New products, time saving devices, homes, cars-you name it, were bought up by the hungry public.

Wall Street, American manufacturers, stores, retailers and advertising agencies took notice.
In response to American's never-ending hunger for 'new and improved', "time-savingdevices", and recreational needs, magazines, newspapers, billboards, TV, radio and a host of other advertising venues turned out hundreds-thousands-of ads and advertising.

Taschen and author Ed Jim Heimann have collaborated and turned out a huge hard back volume consisting of ads set during the 1940s.  Alcohol and Tobacco, Automobiles, Entertainment, Consumer Products, Fashion and Beauty, Food and Beverage, Industry, Interiors, and Travel are all given their due with full color and black and white ads featuring photos, clever art and copy and there's even a section on WWII.

It's the ultimate book about 1940s Ads, many of which became classic and still influence ads seen today.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction #714, July/August


Here’s what you expect in this month’s issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction:




Palm Strike's Last Case – Charlie Jane Anders
Subduction  – Paul M. Berger
The Traveling Salesman Solution – David Erik Nelson
The Day of the Nuptial Flight – Sarina Dorie
The Aerophone  – Dinesh Rao
A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i – Alaya Dawn Johnson

SHORT STORIES
Seven Things Cadet Blanchard Learned from the Trade Summit Incident – Annalee Flower Horne
End of the World Community College – Sandra McDonald
The Girls Who Go Below            – Cat Hellisen
Testimony of Samuel Frobisher Regarding Events upon His Majesty's Ship Confidence, 14-22 June, 1818, with Diagrams – Ian Tregillis
Five Tales of the Aqueduct – Spencer Ellsworth
Belly – Haddayr Copley-Woods
The Only Known Law – William Alexander

DEPARTMENTS
Books to Look For –Charles de Lint
Books – Chris Moriarty
Films: Girl Power in Dystopia – Kathi Maio
Coming Attractions                   
Curiosities –  Paul Di Filippo
Guest Editor: C.C. Finlay

CARTOONS
Danny Shanahan, Arthur Masear, J.P. Rini

COVER
Cover by Maurizio Manzieri For "Palm Strike's Last Case"

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Transcendence


Johnny Depp stars as Dr, Will Caster in Warner Bros. new sci-fi/action-adventure/thriller movie release on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD Ultraviolet Combo.
 
In the movie Dr. Caster is a leading researcher in artificial intelligence.  His latest project combines the unlimited intelligence of a computer coupled with the capacity to feel human emotions. 

Anti-technology terrorists seek to stop Dr. Caster's experiments but they succeed only in setting in motion his own transcendence.  Soon the doctor's thirst for knowledge begins to outstrip his emotions and what results is someone, or something, neither human or machine, or both.  

Will his wife and best friend manage to stop him before his thirst for knowledge and power threatens humanity?

Extras include several featurettes and trailers.  Is humanity ready for the next step of its evolution?  Be careful what you ask for.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Back Issue! #74, August


Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four changed everything for me as far as reading comic books goes.  I remember buying Fantastic Four #1 off the newsstand because of 'the funny looking orange monster." 

I was hooked from that issue I continued to read the FF religiously up and through the John Byrne issues.  After that point I kept up with the title buying issues dictated by the artists or writers.

Ask most FF fans and they'll agree that the Silver Age issues were the best.  I agree-to a point.  I've found that many of the Bronze Age issues had some of the best stories, killer art and many of the concepts introduced in those issues resonate throughout Marvel Comics' Universe to this day.

Back Issue! #74 from TwoMorrows Publishing examines the long neglected Bronze Age of the FF with  lots of original art, sketches, interviews and more.

Rich Buckler, John Byrne, George Perez, John Buscema and a smattering of other artists graced the book with their art while some now familiar names wrote the scripts.

Here's what Back Issue! has in store in this issue:

BACK SEAT DRIVER: Editorial by Michael Eury
FLASHBACK: The Fantastic Four in the 1970s Building upon the foundation laid by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
FLASHBACK: Human Torch Solo, a No-Go
Marvel’s kinda-sorta efforts to spin off Johnny Storm
BACKSTAGE PASS: The Fantastic Four and Other Things
A television history of the animated FF
INTERVIEW: Marvel Comics on the Air
Tune in to The Fantastic Four Radio Show!
WHAT THE--?!: The Impossible Man
The Bronze Age return of the pest who was never supposed to come back
OFF MY CHEST: The Fantastic Four: Going Cheap
Rob Kelly remembers the once-plentiful Mego FF figures
BRING ON THE BAD GUYS: Galactus
The Devourer of Worlds is not your average supervillain
FLASHBACK: The Fantastic Four in the 1980s
A time of maturity and change for the FF and friends
BACK TALK
Captain and Colonel Future, reader comments about BI #69, and some FF extras

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Alter Ego #127, August



TwoMorrows Publishing clues readers to a startling fact-Golden Age comic books featured some of the best art of any era of comic book history.
 
Take a look in this month's Alter Ego magazine and you'll discover that just because something is new doesn't necessarily mean it's better.  Here's what's inside:

Writer/Editorial: The Doctor Is In!
“Sincerely Yours, Busy”
Ken Quattro on Golden Age letters from Quality publisher “Busy” Arnold to
Will Eisner & Jerry Iger.
“My Comic Mom!!” – Part 2
More remembrances by Robyn Dean McHattie of artist and mother Vee Quintal Pearson.
Seal Of Approval: The History Of The Comics Code
Chapter 4 of Amy Kiste Nyberg’s 1998 work on comic censorship. Enter—Dr. Wertham!
“The Will of William Wilson”.
Still more of the long-lost 1940s “JSA” story—first time in color.
Mr. Monster’s Comic Crypt! Now That’s A Fan! (Part 3)
Michael T. Gilbert showcases more fans who are nuttier than you are!
Comic Fandom Archive: He Remembered Comic Books
Bill Schelly introduces Jim Harmon's seminal comics nostalgia piece—from 1957!
re: [correspondence, comments, & corrections]
FCA [Fawcett Collectors Of America] #187
P.C. Hamerlinck presents Otto Binder, Brian Cremins, C.C. Beck—and Pete Costanza.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Flatliners and Last Action Hero



Long before Kiefer Sutherland became famous as Jack in 24 Hours and Julia Roberts as Pretty Woman and six years after Kevin Bacon went Footloose, the movie Flatliners propelled each into mega-stardom.
 
The movie's premise was eloquent in its simplicity: several Med students decide to explore death by dying and being revived.

What results are horrendous nightmares, disturbing visions and psychological terrors that affect each student differently.

Excellent acting, powerful storytelling and suspense-filled moments combine to make Flatliners a cult classic.  Some lines shouldn't be crossed.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was without a doubt the number one action hero of the movies during the 1980s and early 1990s. To many movie goers' surprise Arnold was also an above average dramatic actor and a surprise plus as a comedic actor.

Never one to take himself too seriously Arnold took full advantage of his super stardom and reputation as an action hero-humor and all.

In 1993 Arnold starred in a movie some critics panned but the fans loved.  Using his action hero status, Arnold starred in Last Action Hero, a fantasy movie where reality and movie magic collided.

In the film a young film fan enters the world of his favorite action hero played by Arnold.  When Arnold's nemesis escapes into our world Arnold follows and (surprise) discovers that bullets, fists and falls hurt!

Combine his real world experiences and the clever actor and actress cameos in Arnold's movie world and you have a film that is both funny and action packed.
Both Blu-rays are available from Mill Creek Entertainment making for some high definition fun!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Antboy



Superhero movies are all the rage.  Big, blockbuster movies with tons of special effects wow audiences and rake in the money.  Batman, Spider-Man, The X-Men, Superman, Green Lantern, Thor, Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy--the list goes on and on in what looks likes to be years and years to come.
 
Who says superhero movies have to be big and flashy?  Superheroes come in all sizes.  That's the premise of the delightful new film from Denmark that stars a young boy, who is bitten by a super ant and becomes--your guessed it: Antboy!

A huge hit in Europe, Antboy is action/adventure/comedy that pits Antboy against his nemesis: The Flea. 

Playful jabs at other superhero movies make Antboy a real joy to watch.  It's charming, humorous and a real joy to watch as the young actors deliver a heartfelt homage to superheroes and prove that big doesn't necessarily mean bigger.

Clever and ingenious physical and special effects make Antboy the 'small' movie that delivers 'big' excitement, from Cinedigm.