Monday, February 28, 2011

Guest Post: GW Thomas on Buck Rogers: The First Space Hero

I've never had a guest post before, but GW Thomas runs the very excellent Adventure! blog and not only are our blog's names similar, but our interests are so close that I was thrilled when he agreed to write a series of articles about classic Space Pulp heroes for me. And even more thrilled when he decided to cover them in chronological order, because my particular brand of OCD is all about chronological order. Thanks again, GW, and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

People often forget where things begin. Take Buck Rogers for instance. If you asked anyone about Buck you’d probably hear about the new comic book or the old TV show with Gil Gerard or if you were lucky the old newspaper comic strip. But these and other incarnations of Buck were not the first. Buck Rogers began in the Pulps and is really the first true Space Hero. He was the first and because of that, for many years Science Fiction was known as “That Buck Rogers stuff.” (Said with a sneer usually.)

Buck started out in the world as Anthony Rogers. He was featured in two connected stories, “Armageddon 2419” (Amazing Stories, August 1928) and its sequel “Airlords of Han” (Amazing Stories, March 1929) by Philip Francis Nowlan. The magazine these stories ran in was the first all-Science Fiction Pulp, created by Hugo Gernsback in 1926. It shouldn’t really be surprising that the first Space Hero appeared in the first Space magazine. Gernsback was a crusader for Science, believing technology would change the world into a paradise. His background was radio and electronics and his magazines appealed to these kinds of readers, with lots of gadgets and pseudo-scientific speeches about them.

The plot of “Armageddon 2419” concerns the evil Han (yes, this was the era of Yellow Peril and racism is found in these stories) who take over the World. Anthony Rogers is a man from our time who is put to sleep by a mysterious gas in a mine and wakes to find his beloved America under the Han’s cruel thumbs. He joins a group of resistance fighters, who armed with their flying belts, take on the Han and begin to win back their homeland. Wilma Deering is one of these plucky rebels and the two eventually fall in love. In the sequel the rebels win the world back from their oppressors and all is well. Sounds clunky and just a little silly, doesn’t it? But Nowlan’s style was straight forward and the action scenes with flying men fighting the nasty Han ships are exciting and colorful. We all like to cheer for the underdogs.

At this point, Anthony Rogers is not yet Buck. On January 7, 1929, the National Newspaper Syndicate began a comic based on Nowlan’s story and Anthony became Buck, named after the 1920’s cowboy actor, Buck Jones. The strip was written by Nowlan and drawn by Dick Calkins. Beginning as an adaptation of the stories, the comic changed into tales of space and other fantastic adventures. It was in the comics that characters such as Black Barney, Killer Kane and Dr. Huer were added. The sign that Buck was influential far beyond those two original stories was that he was imitated. Flash Gordon began as a comic strip on January 7, 1934. Ironically, the man who played Flash in 1936, Buster Crabbe, would don the silver underwear to play Buck in 1939.

“That Buck Rogers Stuff” was here to stay. Radio, television, comic books, movie serials. All popular signs that Buck Rogers had gone from fighting the Han to becoming an SF icon, a fate some SF writers lamented. Adventure Science Fiction had begun and the pages of the Pulps, from Amazing Stories to Astounding Science Fiction to Thrilling Wonder Stories, would feature brash heroes who fight against fantastic enemies and win. Space adventurers would appeal to fans for generations to come. George Lucas, when he created his Star Wars franchise in the 1970s was thinking back to those Buster Crabbe serials and longing for the color and excitement they had. And all thanks to “That Buck Rogers stuff” and the first hero of space.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Kolchak: The Night Stalker Files #2

Earlier this week I reviewed The Spider #1 for Robot 6, but it’s not the only recent Moonstone book I’ve read. Nor is it the only one that offered an encouraging introduction to a character I’ve heard a lot about, but don’t have much personal experience with.

I do know a bit more about Kolchak than I did about The Spider. I have vague memories of watching a TV movie or two as a kid and I’ve checked out a couple of stories in one anthology or another, but none of those have actually helped the character for me. On the contrary, they gave me the impression that Kolchak’s misfortune and demoralization are such integral parts of the concept that there’s no hope that he’ll ever achieve any kind of success. I at least need the illusion that a hero may succeed, so when failure becomes a built-in part of the concept, I lose interest.

Still, enough people whose tastes are otherwise similar to mine enjoy Kolchak, so I keep trying to find a hook to grab onto. One of those people is Christopher Mills, so it’s appropriate that he’s writing Moonstone’s new comic series, which looks to be just the handhold I’ve needed.

I don’t know what happened in Kolchak #1, but I don’t need to because the second issue starts a new story arc. In it, Kolchak has been fired from yet another newspaper, but is on his way to Miami where he’s been offered a new job with a tabloid. One of the problems I’ve had with Kolchak in the past is that in the stories I’ve read he insists on being taken seriously as an investigative journalist, when he’s in fact Jack McGee from The Incredible Hulk. It might be overstating things to say that he’s embraced his McGee-ness in Kolchak #2, but he’s at least come to terms with it and is apparently being rewarded for it. Being rewarded – in my admittedly, very limited perspective – is something that’s long overdue for this character and it’s allowing me to move past Kolchak’s haplessness and enjoy the rest of the concept: a rumpled, unlikely monster-hunter.

And for his first case, he’s looking for a Florida skunk ape (in spite of the cover, which – while cool – has nothing to do with anything in the book), so I’m totally into that too.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Quartet of Crime by Avery Butterworth

From front to back: Junkyard Kat, The Head Guy, Mary, Crazy Mouse, and the Cownt.

Since I shared that Quartet of Crime story last week, I thought maybe you'd like to see this QoC drawing by Avery Butterworth, who's done illustration work for White Wolf Games and The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Amazon of the Week: Marion Ravenwood

There are several reasons why Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best of the Indiana Jones films and Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) is at the top of the list. Although she plays the damsel in distress for a significant part of the movie, she never feels like she's filling that role. She's strong, she's capable, and if you're a guy in her way, she'll either seduce you, punch you, or drink you under the table depending on what the situation calls for.

Of the many problems Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has, the biggest is that it didn't continue the story of Indy and Marion. Kate Capshaw's whiny, spoiled Willie Scott is no substitute. And though Alison Doody's Elsa Schneider was pretty tough in The Last Crusade, she lost points by being a villain (though I should probably watch that again with fresh eyes; I just remember being disappointed at the time).

It was smart of them to bring Marion back for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but a shame that they didn't give her a lot to do. She wasn't nearly as tough and cool as she'd been in Raiders. But then again, neither was Indy.

Land of the Lost: Season Three (Episode Twelve: Scarab)

Sorry I couldn't get this done yesterday. Spent the day rescuing people trapped by snow. I may have watched a Shirley Temple movie too, but it had a surly lighthouse keeper and Buddy Ebsen as a dancing sailor, so it was also a very manly activity.

Season One: Part One, Two, and Three.
Season Two: Part One and Two.
Season Three: Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, and Eleven.

Episode 12: “Scarab”

While collecting firewood with Holly, Cha-Ka discovers a huge, golden beetle. Rather than continue to help with chores, he ditches Holly to catch the insect.

Back at the temple, the Marshalls are patient about Cha-Ka's laziness. As Jack points out, Cha-Ka doesn’t understand what it means to be part of a family that helps each other. They don't point it out, but this makes sense considering his background with the abusive Ta and Sa. Cha-Ka's defense for wanting to take the day off is that he worked yesterday, but the Marshalls explain that they did too. There’s still work to be done and they all need to pitch in and do it. That’s a great lesson for the young kids presumably watching the show, but also an indication of where the series was headed: less continuity and world-building; more adventure stories with moral lessons.

Cha-Ka gets what Jack and the others are telling him and promises to help, but before he has a chance, he and Holly argue over whether or not he should be able to keep the beetle. Holly contends that it’s wrong and that the bug should be let go. Cha-Ka ignores her, but as he’s putting the beetle into a cage, the insect bites him and flies away. It’s a painful bite and Cha-Ka decides he can’t go hunting for firewood after all. The Marshalls let him stay, but as soon as they’re gone he grins malevolently and trashes the temple.

His mischief doesn’t end there. Next he goes out to find Grumpy, taunts the T-Rex into following him, and leads the theropod to where the Marshalls are gathering their firewood. They escape – barely – and as they rest from the chase, Will notices Cha-Ka running through the jungle in the direction of the Lost City. They decide that Cha-Ka must be looking for them, so Will goes to get him while Jack takes Holly (injured while running from Grumpy) and the firewood back to the temple.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

You got your comics in my literature!

I was killing some time at Barnes and Noble the other night and noticed something cool in the Mystery section.

See it?

Here. Have a closer look.

That's Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard's comics adaptation of The Sign of Four, not in the Graphic Novel section, but right there on the Mystery New Releases shelf with the prose novels.

Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Eagle (2011)

My first instinct was to do refer to the quality of this movie as a roller-coaster, but that's not accurate. It's more of a bobsled ride. It's got some occasional, gentle slopes to keep you from feeling like you're plummeting into Hell, but the entire trip is downhill and you still end up lower than when you began.

It starts okay with Channing Tatum's Marcus Aquila arriving in Britannia to command a garrison there. If you've seen the trailer, you know the plot. His father once commanded the same area, but on an excursion into the wild North, he and his men disappeared with Rome's standard, a golden statue of an eagle. Marcus doesn't come to Britannia to find the standard, but when he's injured in battle and relieved of duty, he decides to fill his time with a quest. He takes with him his slave Esca (Jamie Bell), who's from the northern lands where Marcus' father went missing and can act as a guide.

As long as the story is about Marcus' personal quest, it does all right. Tatum makes Marcus likeable and the script leaves some doubt about whether or not his dad's death was noble and courageous or foolhardy and cowardly. Though most of the other Romans are too polite to speculate to his face, even Marcus wonders if his father may have deserted rather than fallen in battle. If the film had followed that path, it would've been a much better movie. The titular standard should have been a Maguffin for the real quest: solving the mystery of Marcus' father's disappearance.

Instead, the movie does both, which is what makes it uneven. When it's focusing on Marcus and his relationship with his absent father, it's not half bad. There's still too much shaky-cam and fogged-over camera lenses and weird flashbacks to make it Good, but it would've been Okay. Unfortunately, the eagle standard is much more than an excuse to go hunting for answers about Dad. We're supposed to take it seriously as an end worth pursuing, so that the Dad plot is wrapped up before the Eagle plot and we're still asked to care.

There's a scene early on in which Esca questions Marcus about the importance of the standard. Marcus tries to explain - something about "The eagle is not a piece of metal. The eagle is Rome" - but fails to adequately express it and settles for, "You're not a Roman. You wouldn't understand." Well, guess what, makers of The Eagle? I'm not a Roman either. I'm your audience and I need to understand if you want me invested in your story.

There's another scene towards the end of the film where the heroes are valiantly fighting against overwhelming numbers to defend the standard. (I hope that's not a spoiler that Marcus and Esca do in fact find the eagle at some point). As they battle, the camera switches to a high-angle view of the field with the standard in the foreground as the men fight below. I'm pretty sure it's meant to be inspiring, but it made me sad and a bit sick. It was like this hunk of metal was proudly watching over the meaningless violence and death it had inspired.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Cownt and the Quartet of Crime

I've mentioned this in a couple of interviews, but the Cownt wasn't created to be a standalone character. My brother-in-law and I were bored during a slow roleplaying game and came up with a bunch of weird people for an inept group of supervillains. The Cownt was only one member of the five-member Quartet of Crime, but he was easily the most popular.

After Gav and I did that first Cownt story for Tales from the Inner Sanctum, we played with the idea of doing a Quartet of Crime one-shot. We even got six pages of it finished before deciding that we were more interested in the Cownt than anyone else. I do love Crazee Mouse though..

The Quartet's scheme in the story, by the way, is very loosely based on actual events.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Amazon of the Week: Martha Jones

But first: some housekeeping.

If you missed having the Art Show post this week (or Pass the Comics or Quotes of the Week, for that matter), be sure to check out/subscribe to/follow the Adventureblog Annex where all that stuff is now. I know that starting Yet Another Blog is spreading myself pretty thin, so I'm going to pull back the content I  was putting into spin-off blogs Amazon Village and Dear Dairy. As fond as I am of the idea of them, I'll probably end up killing them for no other reason than to keep things simple and efficient.

So here's the plan. This blog will be much more about original content than it has been. Art, other people's comics, and quotes are in the Annex. News links are on Twitter. Personal stuff (and weird YouTube videos) are on Facebook.

One of the things I tried at Amazon Village was to have an Amazon of the Week. I use the word Amazon loosely to describe any strong, independent woman, because frankly I can't come up with a better term. Lisa Paitz Spindler calls them Danger Gals, which is awesome, but I'm not stealing her name. Anyway, I love these characters and have meant for years to start a feature spotlighting my favorites, so here we go. The first three weeks will be reposts from Amazon Village and then we'll get into new ones.

Martha Jones probably won't be the only companion of the Doctor to be featured here, but she gets to be first because she's my favorite.

Yeah yeah, I'm as in love with Rose as anyone (other than folks who think it's cool not to be in love with Rose, of course) and was heartbroken by how her story played out. But it's Martha who really has my heart. First of all, I get the whole Unrequited Love Thing. I've been through that and it's just as terrifying as the Eternally Separated From The One You Love Thing, if not more so. And not to make Rose or anyone else seem unheroic in comparison, but Martha's a warrior for a) sticking in that situation for as long as she did and b) finding a way to continue sacrificing herself even once she'd pulled away from the Doctor.

More than any other Companion, Martha feels like she's got a life worth following outside of Doctor Who. We should've gotten a spin-off with her instead of Torchwood.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Caveat to this whole creators-recommending-creator-owned thing

When I wrote that post on the Creator-Owned "Revolution" at Robot 6, there was something I didn't point out because I figured it was already understood. But a couple of other people have mentioned it as important, so it's probably not as obvious as I thought.

The first person I noticed talking about it was Scott Wegener, one of the storytellers I mentioned in the article who has pledged to promote other creators' work to his fans. He wrote, "To the half-dozen (and counting) of you who have asked me to review your comic books: Please stop! I'm not looking for solicitations. When I get this worked out I only plan on touching on the books that I think are amazing. Work done by artists and writers who are at or near the height of their skill, and that inspire me in my own work."

That's admirable. As a reader, that's the kind of recommendation I want. I don't need a storyteller doing a generic review column with a lot of "this was pretty good." I want to know what these guys love.

Tom Spurgeon made a similar point:
One thing I will suggest if people are going to[...]start recommending and promoting their peers' work: consider being really tough in doing so. Alt-comics almost didn't survive the late 1980s and early 1990s, but one thing those comics did well is that if a creator from that period recommended another creator's work, it usually stood a chance of being pretty good. In the pre-Internet days, that was how I heard about Yummy Fur, for instance.

By the mid-1990s, most cross-creator recommendations in that world were deeply untrustworthy, a lot of glad-handing and people recommending work from their roommates and pals (and in a couple of cases I can recall, people with whom they wanted to sleep) regardless of the quality of the actual work. If you have genuine, engaged enthusiasm for a work, people will frequently forgive you sending them to things that aren't all that great. If they sense you're doing it because they're your friends or out of some general sense of advocacy, they usually stop listening.
All true. In my article, I stated my intention to buy more creator-recommended books and I did that because I trust the creators who've so far volunteered to make those recommendations. But as (hopefully) more creators join in, my resolve will die in a hurry if they don't have high standards.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Image looted from Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Captain Marvel vs. The Bronze Age

Jules Feiffer['s]...analysis [in The Great Comic Book Heroesis quite good. It's kids' junk. Kids' poison. Adults have their junk. Whether it’s booze or sex or whatever. Kids needed junk. And the junk was comics for years. That’s why it sought the level that it did.
--Bob Haney

This is a follow-up post to the one on the Silver Age I wrote last week. But where my focus then was in lamenting the lack of any sophistication in Silver Age comics, this week I want to talk about the way in which the Bronze Age tried to correct that flaw. I excerpted the quote above because it so accurately reflects what was going on in the Silver Age, but Haney's very next words in the interview are, "But all of a sudden, as much as comics were shamed and put down and attacked and vilified, we wrote a lot of 'literate stuff.' Quotes around the word 'literate,' in the sense that a lot of kids finally learned more about reading the English language from that than anything else. Because they would read comics but they wouldn’t read, maybe, what the teacher assigned."

I'm not sure that Haney and I would've agreed on what constitutes literate, even with the quotes, but he's right that towards the end of the '60s and the beginning of the '70s, comics started to change. This is an oversimplification of the timeline, but as the '70s marched on, Haney and his contemporaries were let go and replaced with guys like Paul Levitz, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, and Denny O'Neil. In the interview, Haney doesn't offer much insight - other than a general "out with the old, in with the new" attitude - for why that happened, but it's not hard to put the pieces together.

Kill All Monsters! pp 39-41

Three more pages of Kill All Monsters! are up and we now have contact between Paris and Africa. But just who are those people watching the Kill Team and - more importantly - how is Akemi going to get home?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Cownt in "Get Outta Town"

An announcement about Tumblr doesn't feel like enough content today, so what follows is the complete first appearance of the Cownt from Tales from the Inner Sanctum, Volume 1. The book was a collection of horror stories inspired by the work of Steve Niles and was the first published work of both myself and artist Gavin Spence.

You can see that we were brand new to this whole Making Comics thing. I know I cringe at some of the text. I still like Gav's early stuff, but - as you'll see if you click that link above - he's improved a lot too since we did this. Still, it was a lot of fun and I'm proud of us for making it. Also of Jason Hanley for the lettering. He's awesome.

The Adventureblog Annex (or, Michael gets a Tumblr account)

And lo, there came a day when I realized that watching TV shows at their regularly appointed time just wasn't working for me. I didn't immediately buy TiVo though, oh no. I started taping everything on VHS to watch later, trying to keep up with six different video tapes while remembering what was on each one. My friends and family told me, "Mike, you really need TiVo. It was made for people who watch TV the way you do." And of course they eventually wore me down and now I love it.

I feel the same way about Tumblr. "I've already got a blog," I thought. "Why do I need Tumblr?" Because, Dummy, it's made for people who blog the way you spend a significant amount of time doing. I don't know why it takes me so long to figure this stuff out.

So, I've started a Tumblr and called it the Adventureblog Annex. The idea is to move stuff there from here that makes more sense on that platform. Namely: The Art Show, Pass the Comics, and Quotes of the Week posts. Stuff that doesn't take too long to look at or read. I've already started loading it up, so you can take a look and get a feel for what it's like. It's a bit random, but I'm hoping that'll be part of the fun.

What that leaves here is original content, which is what I think blogs are best suited for anyway. I may have to pull some features back from some of my other, newer blogs like Amazon Village and Dear Dairy in order to have things to write about [hmm...would I be more faithful to Old Sinner if I did it here?], but I'm going to figure that out later.

In the meantime, I hope you'll add the Annex to your RSS reader or follow it on Tumblr or whatever you like to do. And if you know of great Tumblr accounts that I should be following too, please tell me about them in the comments.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Pass the Comics: The Fury of the Whirlpool

Ibis the Invincible's Descent into the Maelstrom

Where he fights some turtle-people and chuckles about Those Darn Scientists. [Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

Ka-Zar faces The Wizard of Forgotten Flesh

It's only part one and Shanna's not in it, but it's got that sweet Russ Heath art. And lots of dinosaur-fighting and -riding and reptile-men battles and a voodoo priestess. [Diversions of the Groovy Kind]

Monday, February 07, 2011

Art Show: Cat Women


By Rick Burchett. [From the graphic novel he's working on with writer Christopher Mills]

Fanciful Submarines

By Andrew George Brown. [Lots more at Etsy by way of Wondermark]

From the Depths

By Matt Wiegle. [Seriously, if you're not reading his and Sean T Collins Destructor webcomic - from which this is a page - you're missing out.]

Aquaman: King of the Seas

By Braden D Lamb.

A Naiad

By John William Waterhouse. [Golden Age Comic Book Stories]

Princess Pantha

By Alex Schomburg. [Golden Age Comic Book Stories]

Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Zabu

By Brent Anderson. [Giant-Size Marvel]

Jungle Girl

By Red LYUBA. [More here]


By Jason Barton.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Elsewhere...Kill All Monsters!: The Ashcan

A few cool things happened this past week.

As announced on the Kill All Monsters! blog and Jason Copland's blog, we’re printing a very limited edition KAM ashcan. Depending on how quickly the printer works, Jason will be taking copies to ECCC in early March and I’ll have some a couple of weeks later at C2E2. If there are any still left, I’ll take some to SpringCon in May as well. If you’re not going to be at either of the March shows and don’t want to take your chances about SpringCon, the best way to get yours is to contact Jason either at j(dot)copland(at)telus(dot)net or through Twitter.

The ashcan will have 28 pages (the entire first chapter of the story) of black-and-white interior art and a full colour cover, all in a landscape format. Again, this is going to have an extremely limited print run. Once they’re gone, they’re gone and Jason’s even going to include a small KAM ink drawing if you order from him. Price is only $10, which is a steal for Copland art.

And speaking of Kill All Monsters!,  I think it's been a couple of weeks since I mentioned that the webcomic is still updating with three new pages every Friday. If you haven't checked in for a bit, we've now seen some of the giant robots’ base and the Paris and Africa scenes are starting to connect.

This week I also had a story accepted to a prose anthology that I'm pretty excited about. More details as I'm allowed to reveal them, but the theme of the anthology will be a lot of fun. And in equally mysterious news, I was also invited last week to participate in a webcomic anthology that's going to be a blast.

Over at Robot 6, the latest Gorillas Riding Dinosaurs column was about the recent hullabaloo over creator-owned comics. I didn't mention Eric Powell's video, because while I agreed with a lot of what he was saying, I didn't think it was particularly helpful in the sense of offering any solutions for fixing the problems it identifies. As Tom Spurgeon says, that doesn't make it valueless, but I much prefer the thoughts of guys like Steve Niles and Skottie Young who have an approach they want to try.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Quotes of the Week: The irregularities of the privateering story

Not long ago, one of my children came home from her primary school with a library book about pirates. In it was a story about a Danish captain[...]who raided ships under the pretense that he was a privateer equipped with letters of marque by the Danish king. The document was impressive to look at and no one could read Danish anyway. It eventually turned out that it was no more than a license to hunt wild pigs, and that the captain was not a privateer but a pirate.

I had not heard this story before and, hoping to find the source, I contacted a friend by e-mail, an expert on privateers. He replied:

"No, I haven't heard of the Danish letter of marque story. It is a pity that children's books focus on the irregularities of the privateering story--it's misleading. Children should, instead, be offered a detailed statistical analysis of privateers by port, by tonnage range, by number of guns carried, by prizes taken--I know someone who could supply Puffin with the text."

My daughter did not think much of this idea.
--CR Pennell, in his introduction to Bandits at Sea: A Pirates Reader

I always get the feeling that if I don't link to profiles of the writer Beau Smith that someday he'll leave me to die in a saloon somewhere.
--Tom Spurgeon

Friday, February 04, 2011

Island Intelligence: Never Say Die


*Vaneta Rogers interviews various comics creators about the challenges of writing Aquaman. I especially like Smallville writer Mark Q Miller's quote: "What makes Aquaman Aquaman for me is the environmental activist angle and the nobility angle. He's very Shakespearean, in a way. A king with a cause. An Old World sensibility in the modern age. It's very cool." [Newsarama]

*Meanwhile, Aquaman gets his own Flashpoint mini-series with Emperor Aquaman. [The Source]


*The Goonies poster above was created by Justin Erickson for a special screening of the movie. [/Film]

*I'm looking forward to fully exploring /Film's set visit to Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Takeaways from the little I've read so far: Blackbeard should be awesome, but they're worried about Penelope Cruz's character. [Part One and Part Two, with more coming]


*Remember that Treasure Island TV movie for Sky TV that stars Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver and Elijah Wood as Ben Gunn? It's actually a two-part mini-series for SyFy and it also has Donald Sutherland as Captain Flint, who doesn't actually appear in the novel, but sets everything in motion via backstory. The show is filming now and scheduled to air early next year. [Spinoff Online]


*Lego's new Pirates of the Caribbean sets look amazing and include scenes from all four movies. [MTV]

*And oh look! There's the video game trailer!

[Topless Robot]

*It's not just Lego getting on board. Jakks has got all kinds of amazing playsets, figures, and other merchandise. [Toy News International; thanks, Ken!]

*But if it's Lego you like, wait'll you get a load of the lifesize Jack Sparrow from the presentation that launched all those wonderful toys. [Nerd Approved]

*Also: Lego Unsinkable Walker Bean. Not officially licensed, but even cooler for having been customized by a six-year-old. [First Second]

Tarzan Hates Cephalopods

[Golden Age Comic Book Stories]


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