Archive for TV

“Transformers: Robots in Disguise” Premiere – More and Less Than Meets The Eye

“Transformers: Robots in Disguise” premiered this past weekend on Cartoon Network.  The pilot episode, split into two parts, sets up the general theme for this new cartoon, and in so doing, it proves that RID is both more and less than meets the eye.

That may seem contradictory, but it’s true.  On its surface, what does “Robots in Disguise” seem to hold in store?  Robots.  Check.  In disguise.  Check.  Heck, Bumblebee even says it when they scan Earth modes.  So,in so naming the show, RID is less than meets the eye — it wears its oil pump on its sleeve, to use a horrible metaphor.

Ah, but that’s not all the show is about.  To be a bit spoiler-ish without getting into minute detail of the pilot, the general gist is that the Mini-Con Fixit’s ship of Decepticon prisoners crash landed on Earth, letting loose all the cons on board.  It’s up to Bumbmlebee, Strongarm, Sideswipe, Grimlock and Fix-It to find and capture the escapees.  And it’s here where things are more than they seem.  This is a rather unique premise for a Transformers show.  Yes, we’ve had variations of the “Find the X of the week!” format — the O-Parts in the original “Robots in Disguise” show, the Cyber Planet Keys in “Transformers: Cybertron”.  Even the original appearance of the Mini-Cons in “Transformers: Armada” fell into that trap at times.

This feels different, though.  Each episode looks like it will be a find-and-capture a new Decepticon theme, but it doesn’t feel derivitive in some way.  Perhaps it’s because the first escapee, Underbite, is such an awesome character that you forget the conceit.  He’s loud, he’s big, he’s destructive — and you love him for it.

Grimlock, too, seems to take cues from other Transformers dinosaurs, and not just in name.  Dinobot, from “Beast Wars”, was a Predacon turned Maximal.  While we don’t see Grimlock take on the Autobot symbol this episode, he does help Bumblebee and crew find Underbite.  And even then, Bumblebee puts him on probation, rather than giving him his freedom outright.

Plus, it’s Bumlbebee in charge!  We haven’t had a Transformers series without an Optimus or Megatron as leader since…. since… well, since never.  “Beast Wars” may not have been about Truck Optimus vs. Vehicle/Tank/Gun Megatron, but it was still Optimus and Megatron.  Hasbro feels secure enough to let Bumblebee take point after the events of “Transformers Prime”, and that is fantastic.  It allows new life to be present in the Transformers mythos, and it’s a welcome change of pace.

The animation style is different than what we’ve had in the most recent shows.  It’s computerized but not 3D modeled like “Transformers Prime.”  It looks hand-animated, but it’s not, and it doesn’t have a cartoony look like “Transformers: Animated”.  It’s stylized, it’s colorful, and it sets itself apart from “Prime” and pretty much most of the past 20 years of cartoons.

I wholeheartedly welcome “Transformers: Robots in Disguise”.  If only it weren’t going to be shown at an ungodly early Saturday morning timeslot.  Oh, well.  That’s why we have DVRs.

Wizard World Presents ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Panel Featuring Sir Patrick Stewart, Moderated By William Shatner, August 24 During Chicago Comic Con

Below is the press release announcing a special “Star Trek: The Next Generation” panel at Wizard World Chicago.  Six TNG members will be in attendance, and the panel will be moderated by William Shatner himself.  The reason for this panel?  It’s been twenty years since the finale, “All Good Things” aired.

Twenty years?  Good Lord, I’m old.  See the press release below and hit the jump for more.

Wizard World Presents ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Panel Featuring Sir Patrick Stewart, Moderated By William Shatner, August 24 During Chicago Comic Con

Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden Reunite For Special Celebration Of 20th Anniversary Of Final Episode At Rosemont Theater

Fans of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” the highly successful 1987-1994 follow up to the original “Star Trek” television series, are in for a special treat as six of its stars reunite for a unique celebration of the 20th anniversary of the program’s final episode on Sunday, August 24 from 5-6:45 p.m. “Captain Kirk” from the original, William Shatner, hosts as the “TNG” bridge crew of Sir Patrick Stewart (“Captain Jean-Luc Picard”) Jonathan Frakes(“Commander William T. Riker”), Levar Burton (“Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge”),Michael Dorn (“Lieutenant Worf”), Marina Sirtis (“Counselor Deanna Troi”), Brent Spiner(“Lt. Commander Data”), and Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”) relive the memories of the program’s seven-year run. Read more

C2E2 2014 – The Valyrian Steel Booth

C2E2-Logo-Horizontal

The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo hit the Windy City again this past weekend, and ASM once again had a great time!

DSC_1000We had no idea Valyrian Steel was going to exhibit at the show, which is odd seeing as we are huge “Game of Thrones” fans and pretty much follow everything they post on Facebook.  However, our lack of foreknowledge proved to give us quite the surprise when we walked past their booth on the way to get lunch and immediately were stopped in our tracks by all the pretties.

DSC_0998On hand were their new Unsullied helm and Loras’ helm as well as their impressively massive helm of The Hound.  They were letting folks lift and try out the Hound’s helmet, which I found to be extremely heavy, as a good replica of it would be.  The helmet for Loras looked quite lovely, which suits the character.

 

 

DSC_0982I also got a chance to look longingly at some of the swords on display, including both the novel and TV version of IceLongclaw, the sword of Jon Snow; Robb Stark’s sword; and scabbards to match. In addition, the statues of Tyrion and Jon Snow with Ghost were on hand.

It’s a miracle I didn’t just hand over my credit card to them right then and there.

Pictures may not do these works of art justice, but check out the gallery just the same.  Hopefully we’ll see them back at C2E2 2015. Read more

Funko Proves There’s Always a Sharknado in the Banana Stand

Funko sent over some new images of upcoming pop vinyl figures in there Pop! Television line.  First off, in honor of the upcoming soon-to-be-a-classic Sharknado 2: The Second One, Funko is giving us a Sharnkado Pop!.  The best thing?  It’s probably a better actor than Tara Reid *rimshot*.  Sharknado will be available in June.

sharknado

Next, the Bluths are back as the cast of “Arrested Development” makes its way into vinyl format.  Featuring eight regular releases and a chase figure, you can recreate your favorite AD scenes and then cruelly cancel the show because you don’t promote it properly and run it up against the Olympics and then have to wait for years for Netflix to come save it and sorry I’m not bitter much.

*ahem*

Also available in June, these figures will feature two versions of Michael Bluth (both as the office guy and in his Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana Stand uniform), Gob Bluth in his magician’s outfit (cue “The Final Countdown”), Buster Bluth as both an Army volunteer and after he lost his hand, Tobias Funke showing off his “Never Nude” outfit, George-Michael as he works in the banana stand, and George Sr. dressed in his classic prison orange jumpsuit (“No touching!”)

The one you really want, though, is the chase Tobias Funke figure as he tries out for the Blue Man Group.  Classic.

tobias funke blue man

Funko Launching “Game of Thrones”® Amazon Exclusive Pop! Bundle

Want to win one of these bundles? Check out Funko’s Facebook contest between 9:00am PT on 4/4/2014 and 11:59pm PT on 4/6/2014!  Two separate winners will be chosen.  Good luck!

FUNKO LAUNCHING GAME OF THRONES® AMAZON EXCLUSIVE POP! BUNDLE

Collection includes exclusive t-shirts and never-before-seen figures from the company’s popular Game of Thrones Pop! series

EVERETT, WA – March 13, 2014– Funko is excited to announce Game of Thrones Amazon Exclusive Pop! Bundles featuring items themed from one of pop culture’s biggest franchises, the hit HBO® series Game of Thrones

 

The Game of Thrones Amazon Exclusive Pop! Bundles, available for pre-order now to celebrate the highly anticipated Season 4 debut of the series, April 6 on HBO, are packaged in two variations based on two of the HBO series’ most popular characters: Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.

Jon Snow Bundle

  • Exclusive Jon Snow 100% cotton black t-shirt. Jon Snow in Pop! form printed on the front with the message, “Jon Snow wants you to join Night’s Watch. Defend the Wall. No experience necessary.” Game of Thrones logo depicted.
  • Snowy Jon Snow 3.75” Pop! Vinyl Figure
  • Exclusive Jon Snow 1.5” Pop! Key Chain

Daenerys Targaryen Bundle

  • Exclusive Daenerys Targaryen 100% cotton black t-shirt. Daenerys Targaryen in Pop! form printed on the front with the message, “Win or Die.” Game of Thrones logo depicted.
  • Newly revealed Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen 3.75” Pop! Vinyl Figure
  • Exclusive Daenerys Targaryen 1.5” Pop! Key Chain

Pre-order the Game of Thrones Amazon Exclusive Pop! Bundle now exclusively on www.amazon.com.

About Funko

Funko is a pop culture licensed-focused toy company located in Lynnwood, WA. Funko prides itself on being purveyors of all things pop culture. Funko has licenses with over 150 television shows, movies, and video game and pop culture titles. For more information, visit www.funko.com.

About HBO Global Licensing:

HBO Global Licensing officially licenses the HBO® brand for the development and merchandising of innovative product lines inspired by the network’s award-winning programming. With products created around classic series like the The Sopranos® and to current hits like True Blood® and Game of Thrones®, items include fashion apparel, jewelry, digital and CD soundtracks, games, books as well as exclusive, premium collections in partnership with upscale, designer brands. Merchandise can be purchased in retail stores nationwide, at http://store.hbo.com, and at the groundbreaking HBO retail hub, the HBO Shop®, located at 42nd and 6th Avenue in New York City. HBO Global Licensing products are also sold internationally across Europe, Asia and Australia.

The Hub Network Announces New “Transformers” Series in 2015

[UPDATE: Added image via http://thetransformers.tumblr.com/post/79891475098/the-hub-network-announces-brand-new-transformers]

The Hub Network, home of “Transformers Prime”, is continuing the story of Bumblebee as he grows into a leadership role.  Will Friedle will return as the voice of Bumblebee, and the show will also star Darren Criss, Constance Zimmer and Ted McGinley.  Set to take place years after the end of “Transformers Prime” this unnamed show will air in 2015, and Jeff Kline returns as Executive Producer.

No word on if Peter Cullen and Frank Welker will return as Optimus and Megatron.  Feast your eyes on the new design of Bumblebee, then hit the full press release after the jump.

New Bumblebee, image via http://thetransformers.tumblr.com/

New Bumblebee, image via http://thetransformers.tumblr.com/

Read more

Dark Horse Announces Exclusive Emerald City ComicCon Variants

MILWAUKIE, OR, MARCH 13 — As the pop culture world gears up for Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon, Dark Horse announces not one, not two, not even three, but four variant covers for this year’s show!

The first few months of 2014 will see some of Dark Horse’s biggest launches of the year, and we have chosen to celebrate with Emerald City variants for Serenity #1, Buffy #1, Veil #1, and a very special variant of Witcher #1.

First up is Veil, the much-talked-about new, original series by Greg Rucka and Toni Fejzula. For this year’s show, Dark Horse has tapped J. H. Williams III to create the variant cover. Limited to 500 copies, Veil #1 is sure to go quickly, especially with writer Greg Rucka in attendance!

Next, we have the hotly anticipated Season 10 premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with a variant cover by Season 9 cover artist Phil Noto, limited to 1,000 copies. Look for interior artist Rebekah Isaacs at this year’s show!

Another one for Joss Whedon fans: Dark Horse brings Jenny Frison on for a special cover of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1, featuring none other than the lovely Inara! A few lucky fans may even get actress Morena Baccarin herself to sign their copies!

Last, and certainly not least, legendary artist Stan Sakai has done a special cover of the upcoming tie-in series The Witcher, a canonical entry in the world of the Witcher video games, which have collectively won over 250 awards and sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide! All proceeds from the sale of this limited edition variant will benefit Stan and Sharon Sakai. Stan will be attending the show, in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of his landmark series, Usagi Yojimbo!

Each variant-cover issue will cost five dollars and will be limited to ten copies per person, per day! A set quantity will be available at the show opening each day.

Hope to see you at this year’s Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, WA, on March 28–30!

About Emerald City Comicon
With a record-breaking attendance of over 64,000 attendees in 2013, Emerald City Comicon has established itself as one of North America’s largest and most respected conventions of its kind anywhere in the world and has become the premier comic event in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 2003, ECCC is highly regarded in both national and international circles as one of the most fan- and family-friendly shows in existence. More information about ECCC is available at: www.emeraldcitycomicon.com

About Dark Horse
Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent such as Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Brian Wood, Gerard Way, Geof Darrow, and Guillermo del Toro, and comics legends such as Will Eisner, Neal Adams, and Jim Steranko, Dark Horse has developed its own successful properties, including The Mask, Ghost, Timecop, and SpyBoy. Its successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Mass Effect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Halo, Serenity, The Legend of Zelda, Game of Thrones, and Domo. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of both creator-owned content and licensed comics material.

Dark Horse Preview: ANGEL & FAITH SEASON 10 #1

AngelFaith_01Dark Horse continues the story of Angel and Faith in the debut issue of Angel & Faith: Season 10.  The previous comic season ended with Faith leaving London and Angel staying in Magic Town.  I’m guessing the two will meet up again at some point; otherwise, why would the comic be called “Angel & Faith”?

Victor Gischler and Will Conrad write and draw this comic, which will be released April 2, for $3.50, and joining them are Michelle Madsen on colors and Scott Fisher on cover art.

FX’S “The Strain” Offers Transformation Station “Rejuvenation Pods” to SXSW Attendees

STRAIN ASHCANLOS ANGELES, February 2014 – FX is bringing relief to fatigued South by Southwest attendees in Austin, Texas. The Strain Transformation Station will provide participants with the chance to recover from “the strain” of SXSW with 20-minute power naps inside custom-built Rejuvenation Pods. The pods are equipped with tablets showcasing exclusive content from the new FX original series, The Strain.

The Strain Transformation Station

  • Operating from March 7 through March 10, 12:00pm – 6:00pm
  • Located in the prominent downtown Austin location 419 Congress Ave. @ 5th Street
  • A hostess will be on hand to book power-nap appointments in 10 Rejuvenation Pods with additional sitting area/lounge
  • Appointments may also be booked ahead of time through the custom mobile site (www.thestrainpods.com)
  • The Strain Vaccine (branded energy shots) will be distributed in and around the venue
  • The Strain novels and special-edition comic books will be available for takeaway

Read more

Fillion, Shatner, Campbell, Glau Headline Celebrities At Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, April 4-6

Nathan Fillion, William Shatner, Bruce Campbell, Summer Glau Headline Celebrity Guests At Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, April 4-6

Adam West, Burt Ward, Ralph Macchio, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Sean Astin, Michael Rosenbaum, Eliza Dushku, Top Comics Creators Also Among Stars At Pop Culture Festival At America’s Center

ST. LOUIS, February 19, 2014 – Nathan Fillion (“Castle,” “Firefly”), William Shatner (“Star Trek,” “T.J. Hooker”), Bruce Campbell (“Burn Notice,” Evil Dead) and Summer Glau (“Firefly,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) are among the popular celebrities scheduled to attend Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, April 4-6 at America’s Center. The standout lineup will also include Daryl “DMC” McDaniels (“Run-D.M.C.”), Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings, Rudy), Adam West (“Batman,” “Family Guy”), Burt Ward (“Batman”), Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid, My Cousin Vinny) and many others. It is the fifth of 16 events currently scheduled in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

Fillion, Campbell, Glau, McDaniels and Astin will appear on Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6. Shatner will attend on Friday and Saturday; Macchio, West and Ward are scheduled for all three days. This marks the second Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con; a successful inaugural event was held in March 2013.

Superstar comics creators scheduled to attend include Eisner Award Hall of Famer Neal Adams(“Batman,” “Green Lantern”), Greg Capullo (“Spawn,” “Haunt”), Salvador Larroca (“Avengers vs. X-Men,” “Iron Man”), Ethan Van Sciver (“Green Lantern,” “Action Comics”), David Mack(“Daredevil,” “End of Days”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”), John Tyler Christopher (“Amazing Spider-Man,” “Avengers Arena”), and 50+ others to date. Read more