Friday, December 12, 2008

MARVEL AVENGERS MOVIE: A long way off, comicbook fans.

The far off in the future Marvel Avengers movie could be considered both a journey and a destination...

A while ago, Marvel Entertainment announced that they were going to start producing their own movies; this was a major shift in the way that they had been doing business: before this, Marvel had been happy to accept the upfront cash by selling the movie rights to a character/franchise to a movie studio and letting them do all the work while garnering a share of the profits. By deciding to go the route of producing their own feature films while hiring studios to just make them under Marvel's supervision, Marvel is taking on a huge load of risk but is set to reap a huge load of success if this goes the way they expect. Apart from monetary success. Marvel would also be the proud owner of well made comicbook movies which is something that we don't always get enough of.

One obvious reason that Marvel wanted more control over their franchises would have to be because they have a bigger plan in mind; they want to set up a string of successful and well made films showcasing their brand - ie. their most iconic characters. Of course the best way to do this and guarantee that the films are made in the order that you want them to be made and released is to be the one making them. Marvel has decided to make the Avengers movie their target movie: the movie that is the light at the end of the tunnel for comic fans.

Marvel has a number of other movies scheduled for release before the Marvel Avengers, such as Iron Man II, Thor, Ant Man and Captain America, and all of these films are in some way serving to build up the hype for the Marvel avengers movie. you don't want this kind of build up derailed by a studio deciding that they won't be releasing the movie according to schedule after all.

Content wise, avengers should be interesting; by the time this movie is being shot, the cast should be in large part decide by the casting of prior movies. Iron Man, Captain America. Ant Man, Wasp maybe), the hulk, and any possible supporting characters that might be carried over from previous projects would almost all be decided before the avengers goes before the camera. I personally think that the casting of Captain America is one of the most important decisions facing Marvel at this time: such an iconic character has to go over well with the moviegoing audience if Marvel is to see any huge success with the Avengers movie. Captain america: The first Avenger is obviously from its title the lead in to the Marvel Avengers movie - as well as the fact that it is scheduled to be released a couple of months before the Avengers movie.

The Marvel Avengers movie is scheduled for a July 15th, 2011 release and is already being anticipated by Marvel Zombies everywhere...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Buying Collectibles Online

Collectors are a particular lot in that they harbor a rabid interest in objects in which other people may not immediately perceive the value. But, regardless of what those who are not colloectors think, there is a massive market for rare antiques, artwork, comics, stamps, sports memorabilia and items derived from popular culture. Up till now, getting a hold of these items was difficult. Now however, the internet has made it easy to find these items.

There was a time when the only way to purchase collectible comic book items was either at trade shows trade shows, auctions or through mail order catalogues. Obviously, it's a lot more work to visit a trade show than it is to visit a webpage. Using the checkout function of a website is also a lot easier than having to write a check and mail it to a PO box. Clearly, the additional convenience of placing an internet order is a major plus when it comes to finding and placing an order for collectibles on the internet.

As well, the internet has seen prices drop on several rare collectibles. The reason for this is that on the internet searching for and finding the items is not a difficult task. Prior to this, if a rare collectible such as a 1950s comic book was only available through 10 stores in the United States, {most collectors} wouldn't have been aware that the comic book existed unless they went and visited one of the stores. Now, all 10 stores could advertise the comic book on Ebay simultaneously. So, even though the comic is a rare item, the scarcity factor is reduced and this brings the price down.

And speaking of price drops, Ebay's listing fees are pretty small as opposed to placing mail order ads. Instead of paying $500 for a magazine ad, Ebay charges a small listing fee and takes a cut of the sale. This reduction in overhead is another factor that lets the seller lower prices as well. As such, buying online is a much more cost effective option than following the traditional method.

Something to be aware of however: it is difficult to determine the condition of an item if one is buying via the internet. Photographs of what is for sale may not completely depict an accurate representation of the condition. Therefore, it is imperative that you make sure there is a return policy in effect. If the item is not in the condition you were led to believe then you should have the option of having your money refunded.

It is safe to say however, that most collectible dealers are very conscientious and they do not sell merchandise that's not as advertised. Therefore, the majority of online collectible purchases will go smoothly and will meet all expectations.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tintin The Belgium Boy Detective Explained

Now a Tintin movie is reported to be released early 2010 it is good time to get behind the Tintin character? Tintin is a young Belgian reporter who through heroic action solves mysteries that are presented at the start of each comic book. Tintin was first introduced to the world in Tintin in the Land of the Soviets. Tintin was the creation of George Remi under he pen name Herge and was first introduced in a Belgium paper in 19289-1930.

Tintin and the Land of the Soviets was a political satire that poked fun at the Soviets claims to having a thriving economy and found an audience due to many people’s unease with the Soviet Empire. Remi himself had distrust for the Soviet Empire.

The Tintin comic series have an almost formulaic feel about it. Most of the books deal with Tintin having to solve a mystery of some kind whilst also having to write a story for his paper.

A great example of how a Tintin album works is Tintin and the Black Island. In The Black Island Tinitn sees a plane make an emergency landing and goes to try and help. Tintin goes to the pilots aid but it only results in the pilot trying to shoot him. Tintin then recovers in hospitable where he finds out that a similar plane crashed in a field in Sussex from the detectives Thompson and Thompson.

Tintin then obviously decides to investigate the mystery for himself. The adventure thus starts leading Tintin to be accused of assault and theft of a fellow passenger on a train journey and later kidnapped and forced to jump off a cliff (saved by his dog snowy before he is made too). The trail leads to an Island off Scotland where stories of a strange beast is said to kill humans. Tintin discovers the Island to be the hideout of forgers and cleverly captures them and holds them till the police arrive.

The reader will always see Tintin solve the mysteries put before him though some adventures are set over two books such as Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon. The wierd happenstance in many Tintin albums is that you will see Tintin solve crimes but more often than not hand in a finished article. The end of the comic strips often sees him receiving a hero’s reception along with Captain Haddock and Snowy.

Tintin is a heroic young man but lacks the color of many of the other characters that appear in the comic books. Herge created a chararcter in Tintin with neutral attitudes which makes him easier to understand.

On the release of the first Tintin movie in 2010 of a Tintin move trilogy should see Tintin becoming even more popular. The Tintin movie will be directed by Steven Spielberg andto find out more please visit the website Le Tintin Movie.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

HALLOWEEN: gifts and ideas for celebrating Halloween on a budget

Halloween is almost upon us once again, and the amount of items available in stores made me wonder why isn’t Halloween made into even more of an event? Maybe an unearthly Easter. Think about it- you could have jolly old Satan Claws come and fill your stocking with guts, surround your Halloween tombstone with goodies and rotting carcasses, and then you could all sit down to a pleasant Halloween dinner of roast pumpkin and Gutted Bystander. Really though, it could be turned into more than just simple Trick Or Treating and bobbing for apples, even in these financially erratic times.

Halloween can be a riot for both kids and adults, and can serve as a bonding experience for friends and families. Involving children in Halloween styled games can be a great way to entertain youngsters and educate them on traditional pastimes (even when their origins have become so obscured by popular culture). Dressing up can be fantastic fun for all, and properly supervised Trick-Or-Treating is a great thing for making memories.

But halloween shouldn't be limited to kids parties. With all kinds of themed events on in clubs, cinemas etc, there's lots that the adult Halloweener is able to sink their teeth into (sorry). There's a great deal of Halloween themed merchandise that make great gifts, such as licensed horror movie memorabilia and other merchandise such as action figures, posters, statues, and of course the movies themselves. You could check out things like the ever-creepy Living Dead Dolls, or movie collectibles created by MacFarlane Toys, NECA and Sideshow Collectibles.

Do you want a fun Halloween in? Gather your friends, some suitably kitsch horror movies (Go for the cheese more than the darker stuff- zombie films, cheap B-movies, Chucky,  A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and its billion sequels, films you can shout at), Halloween snacks (stock up on kids snacks and themed sweets- there's nobody saying the grown-ups can't have some fun too), add some suitably camp music (I recommend 'Project 1950' and 'American Psycho' by the Misfits, and anything by the Cramps) and voila, you have the makings of a fun Halloween party in your own home. While that sounds like a typical night in at our place, there are people out there who are actually normal. Somewhere. I suppose. get your place decked out with fake cobwebs and plastic skulls and make an event out of it.

Looking for an evening's worth of viewing? A few recommendations for you:

The Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, An American Werewolf in London, Bad Dreams, Hellraiser, Evil Dead 2, Return of the Living Dead 2, Creepshow, Day of the Dead, Trick or Treat, Re-animator, Scanners, The Burning, Poltergeist, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, A Nightmare on Elm street, Class of Nuke ‘Em High (okay, this is a spoof but it still kicks ass),. TITLE. EVER), Dead Zone, The Gate, The Hunger, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Monster Squad, Sorority babes in the Slime-ball Bowl-O-Rama….. There's literally thousands of them. See what fun there is to be had.

There's a wealth of ways to go to make your Halloween memorable. Get things underway with a movie night as suggested above, then maybe go along to a themed party or pub night. Preferably dressed up. Check your local listings for events in your area that you can go along to and take part in, the more ludicrous the better. If all this sounds like a no-brainer, that's because it really is. With little effort you can transform this commercial event into something really enjoyable. Don't think of it as more cost- think of it as a break from normality and a way to have some fun down in these difficult times.  Halloween celebrations shouldn’t be all about handing out sweets to bored kids on your doorstep- it should be enjoyed and relished. I mean, how often can you actually run around dressed as a bloodied monk during the rest of the year? Actually, best not answer that question.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Buying A Supergirl Adult Costume - Things To Consider

If you're not sure what to wear to this year's Halloween party, or you have a trick or treater without a costume, Supergirl might be the perfect choice.  She's not as well known as Superman, but a Supergirl Halloween costume is enough to make any one of us a cool crime fighter this year.

Supergirl came to comics in the late 1950s, and ever since, she's been a popular hero.  For the entirety of her comics career, Supergirl has worn a version of Superman's red and blue, but with a short skirt.  There's some variation, though, and in the 1960s, fans even got to vote on what Supergirl was wearing!  The current version is the one most of the Supergirl Halloween costumes you find will be based on.  It features a blue and red leotard, boots, a cape, and a short red skirt.

Of course, even this outfit has lots of different interpretations.  There are kids costumes, toddler costumes, adult Supergirl outfits, sparkly ones, and more.  The simplicity of this costume means a less variable price range than many other costume types, but there are still lots of options.  For instance, some costumes include extras like false boot tops or boots.  Some are better made and use nicer materials, which means a slightly higher price.

Some people may wish to assemble a Supergirl costume on their own, rather than buying one.  This can be difficult, however.  That's because Supergirl is a relatively distinctive costume, and most of the pieces can't be bought in the department store or scavenged from your closet.  Instead, they all need to be made from scratch.  Stretchy fabrics can be a challenge to sew, causing many people to choose to purchase their Supergirl costume, instead.

Choosing to buy doesn't mean you don't get to try to save money on your costume, though.  After all, everyone wants to get the best deal possible.  Don't cut corners and buy the cheapest costume out there, however.  That can result in a low quality costume that won't last and doesn't look good.

What's a better option?  Do your shopping online.  That way, you can browse through the entire selection of costumes.  You'll be able to find the size and look you want, and you or your little hero can fly high this year without spending too much.  Online sellers can offer great deals on even higher end costumes, helping you save.

Just remember to buy your Supergirl Halloween costume early, and avoid letting extra fees damage your budget.  The amount you're really paying can be affected by shipping and handling, though the price might not rise much.  Just pay attention, and you'll get a great deal on even a small budget.

So, if you're not sure what to wear this year, make it a Super Halloween.  Supergirl Adult costume are a great choice for kids, and they're a fun part of a Super couples costume.  Dress your guy as Superman, and you'll be a matching set!

Friday, September 12, 2008

MARVEL vs DC: Summer 2008

Well this past Summer has certainly been a most interesting one for the 'Big Two'. During this time we got to see both companies present their readers with their annual Summer event books, replete with a long list of tie-ins, such as the obligatory one shot specials, related mini-series and the countless number of tie-in issues of each company's regular titles.

The Marvel event book this year is Secret Invasion, and is focused on the Skrulls efforts to systematically infiltrate and then invade the planet Earth with the belief that it is the promised land for the Skrull race.

The DC event book this year is Final Crisis, and primarily involves the rebirth of the various New Gods characters (after their recent apparent demise) and a cunningly orchestrated assault on the heroes of the DCU by the reborn forces of Apokolips.

Although both Summer events are still unresolved as of the time of my writing this, I am pretty much ready to declare a winner here. Before I declare it though let me be clear: I was definitely anticipating both of the Big Two's event books this Summer - there really was no bias here at the outset. (honest).

After reading a number of issues of both series, as well as a number of the tie-ins (yes, I am a sucker for them every year) I would have to give the victory to ...


Now here is how I reached my decision on this.

Storywise, I have to admit that Secret Invasion had me more engrossed in its storyline early on; after the first two issues I was really wanting to see where the story was going to go next with all of the Skrulls devious infiltrations starting to bear fruit and their traps being sprung on the confused and bewildered Marvel heroes. Of course a decent start to a story isn't too hard a task for someone like Brian Bendis, the writer of this mini. I suppose where it started to go downhill for me was probably at about the third issue; by that point despite the interesting peripheral stories that Bendis was telling, the main storyline was starting to feel bogged down, with major heroes of the story standing around stuck in the Savage Land fighting each other as well as a group of apparent Marvel hero imposters. I knew it was eventually going to move ahead to a (hopefully) entertaining climax, I just felt that I was being asked to wait too long to get there. You know it is a bad sign when the crossover issues are more entertaining than the actual main series and that was where I was at by the third issue. Ironically, it was the Bendis written crossovers that I was enjoying more than his main event book. This is actually more of a compliment on the writing of his current Avengers titles rather than saying anything negative about Secret Invasion. However, crossover issues shouldn't have to be the saviour of the main book and unfortunately for Secret Invasion they are.

Artwise, secret Invasion was nothing special. I seem to be in the minority of people that actually don't mind - heck, even enjoy Leinil Yu's artwork on the New avengers regular series. For some reason however, even though many of the same characters are in it, I wasn't getting the same level of enjoyment from Yu's work on Secret Invasion. I will keep buying it and reading it to see where it all goes because I am still enjoying it to some extent, just not to the level I was at the start.

Interestingly enough, my experience with DC's Final Crisis has been almost the exact opposite to that of reading Secret Invasion; for me Final Crisis started out a bit slow - as I sometimes find Grant Morrison's work is guilty of doing, but really started to peak my interst after a couple of issues. Morrison has been subtley building up the tensions throughout this story while drawing many different threads together. On the surface the storlines seem to be disparate, but it is becoming evident that they will all be eventually tiying in towards a very big climax. Morrison's plotting here is very reminiscent of aspects of his work on 52. I have to wonder though if there was any kind of a company mandate for having the return of a certain scarlet speedster or if it was all from the mind of Morrison. These first few issues have beared rereading because Morrison is giving us so much detail in his scripts; there is some effective layering going on here.

The J G Jones artwork has been very solid so far and has really been fitting the mood of the story. Jones has a knack for drawing super heroes as pretty normal looking peole and is quite effective at capturing the feel of a chaotic and gritty environment (ala Bladerunner), and that style really suits the story here. Obviously I will be following this series to its conclusion as well.

There you have it, I picked an end of Summer winner even though we have not yet reched the end of this Summer's events. Okay, maybe it was a bit premature on my part but i was feeling the urge to somehow mark the passing of this year's Summer events, even though they will still be with us come Halloween...