Podcast - Episode 131: Dream Casting the New Gods Movie

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There's gonna be a New Gods movie (probably)!

Dave has drafted an extensive list of actors he would like to see play his beloved Fourth World characters. I think it's pretty solid.

If you want a quick intro to the New Gods, we recommend watching this three-minute clip from the Superman animated series:

If you want to watch a very awkward, but also very sexy, interview with Sebastian Stan from the set of Infinity War, you can check this out:

My boy can fill out a t-shirt.

And speaking of which, this is the photo I showed Hillary of artist Jorge Jimenez. She did not believe he is a comic book artist, and I can't blame her:


I mean...how? What?!

Anyway, I would totally be down to finish his roughs or whatever.

See you next week!

Podcast - Episode 73: The Image Revolution

Dave and I have decided to not do a Best of 2016 episode this year because those things are BORING.

Instead, we have taken a trip back to a simpler time by watching the 2014 documentary, THE IMAGE REVOLUTION, about the creation of Image Comics in the 1990s.

The documentary features clips from the 1991 series, The Comic Book Greats, which was hosted by Stan Lee. You can see full episodes of Stan the Man talking to "greats" like Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefeld on YouTube:

I didn't really read superhero comics that much in the 90s because they were so ugly and confusing and just didn't appeal to me at all. Besides the occasional Jim Lee X-Man comic, I mostly ignored them. Most of my 90s superhero intake was in animated form.

As a result, comic books in the 90s have always just baffled me. It's a bizarre island where no attention was paid to storytelling or art or character development. And yet it was the most successful the comic book industry has ever been.

But, like all things that are all flash and no substance, the bottom fell out hard. Fortunately, Image was able to continue on, and even flourish, and today is a place where some of the top talent in the industry have the ability to tell their stories the way they want to tell them. As much as we roll our eyes at the comics Image was putting out in the 90s, the idea of Image as a publishing house for creator-owned properties was important and is responsible for some of the best comics on the stands today.

Enjoy! We'll be back next week to talk about Rogue One!

Podcast - Episode 32: Captain America (1979)

Dave and I spent Valentine's Day watching the 1979 Captain America TV movie together. It was...not a good movie. But it WAS a good time.

We switched up how we do our recording this week and now I am in charge of mixing and editing and such and I think it sounds pretty good for my first kick at the can! Next week it will sound even better! Full disclosure: I do a fade-in at the beginning because there was something weird happening with the headphones so I am full-on yelling into the microphone for the first few seconds. Then I mellow out.

So, yes, the 1979 Captain America movie is amazing. But before we get to that, we talk about some other fun things, like the whole Rob Liefeld NY Times fiasco. If you haven't read it yet, here it is. He seems like a real sweetheart.

And if you want to read about Todd McFarlane's HARD R HORROR Spawn movie, you can check that article out here.

By the way, if you aren't familiar with what Dave and I are talking about when we mention the DC Super Hero Girls line, this is what we mean:

You can watch little cartoons on the site. I can't make a decision on this stuff. If I had a daughter, is this something I would be excited for her to watch. I honestly don't know! Tell me what to think!

Here's that awesome looking Dr. Strange Pop Vinyl toy we talk about:

And here are the new toys that I am saving up to buy, because do my kids really need shoes?

More info on those toys here.

There was a new Civil War trailer this week. It aired during the Super Bowl and was definitely the highlight of the game (well, this and Beyonce). It's about 40 seconds of awesomeness, including a lot of new Bucky footage!

I am so excited I can barely function. I mean, LOOK!!!!!:


I mention the hilarious (and heartbreaking) Winter Soldier memories mission in the Lego Marvel's Avengers video game. You can see that mission in this helpful gamer's video:

Here's a little taste of that Civil War Prelude comic, which you can only buy digitally for now. You can find it on Comixology here. Here's a little taste of Bucky in his Romanian hide-out, remembering the bad times:

Ok, so this Captain America movie. As you may recall, I bought the DVD that collects both of the 1979 movies for Dave for Christmas. Here is the trailer for the first one:

From that trailer you might think this movie is a reasonably fast paced. It is not. It is the slowest movie ever. Like, when an oil truck is dumping crude onto the road as part of a (bad) plot to kill Steve Rogers, they show ALL of the oil dumping out of the truck. They paid for that oil, and we're gonna watch every last drop of it hit the pavement.

This movie did not leave much on the cutting room floor, I'm guessing.

There's a clip reel that has highlights from both movies. Based on it, the second movie (any clip where he's wearing the more classic looking Captain America suit) looks a lot more action packed:

Here's the thing about the costume in the first movie: the shorts are WAY too tight for ol' Reb Brown:

And this is how he looks as Steve Rogers:

I forgot to mention on the show that his eyebrows were such a mess. I was obsessed with fixing them.

We get very few sexy moments. This beach scene was one, I guess:

That's Steve Rogers doing what Steve likes doing best: lounging around.

I didn't even catch that he's an ex-Marine in this movie. I have no idea when they mentioned that. Because I say on the show that they should have at least made him a soldier or a former soldier. I guess they did. But now he just wants to drive his sweet van and look at the ocean. His sweet van, by the way:

But, man, that scene where Steve is given his shield for the first time? I wish I could find a clip because I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard. Here's a still:

So, yes. Amazing. And so boring. It's hard to believe this was ever made. Good job, 1970s.

That's it for this week. I hope you find this episode sounds better than usual. We are going to start using a mixing board and XLR mics next week, so that should sound even better! Thanks for listening!

The Future's so Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades When I Read Previews

I know the ISB has dissecting Previews covered, but I did at least five spit-takes reading this month's catalogue, so I had to write about it. It's full of crazy crap, as well as lots of stuff that I'm super stoked about. It's a rollercoaster ride of emotion.

First off, the cover:

Nope, those are not stautes. They're not busts, or action figures. These are photos of heads pasted onto the bottom half of busts. I know the July 2010 release means there's many months of sculpting time ahead, and believe me, I'm excited to see a little cold-cast plaster version of Vampire Bill. But seriously. Maybe wait until you have something substantial before you put it on the front cover? Even if it is the back front cover.

Who photoshopped this? Me? My cat? Actually, if Scrapperton did this, good job. But to anyone else, for shame.

I like how this is written like a newspaper headline; "Local Lad Krueger Makes Good in Neighbourhood Nightmares." This whole little piece of copy just rules. God, I'm seriously jealous. Writing for Previews is the best job in the universe. Especially making up the titles for those t-shirts.

Good lord, Marvel. This is some Krusty the Clown level merchandising. Do you have a sick mother in the hospital who desperately needs you to pay for an operation? Or do you have, say, a serious smack habit?

Hurray! Vertigo is making a figure of my favourite chocolate bar-loving, antler-headed cutie pie! A lil' Sweet Tooth to put on my bed side table!


Ziggy is read by more than 75 million people every day. No joke here. Just a fact.


A phrase never spoken by anyone at LBW:


RASL #7? In February? So we've had like, one issue this year, but now THREE will come out in the next three months?

Riiiiiight. Maybe scientists will also discover that cheeseburgers are the best food for weight loss. And I'll inherit a cheeseburger factory. Jeff Smith, I love you. That's why your lies hurt me so.

BUT, you know what's exciting? Raina Telgemeier's comic about braces. And the first issue of the new Demo series!!! So awesome. In my head, Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan are BFFs who live together in a big comic-themed house and get into wacky, comics-related high jinx together. Could be true. You don't know.

See? A lot of ups and downs here. Well, until next month, Previews. Maybe in January you'll have learned not to put Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose on the same page as a bunch of kids comics. But don't go changin' just to suit me, Previews.

I Hope They Put Bloodstrike In The Sequel.

One of the weirdest, couldn’t-make-this-up-if-you-tried announcements to come out of this February’s New York ComiCon was the news that Brett Ratner—the director of shameless popcorn fare like the RUSH HOUR trilogy, the third X-MEN installment, and the wholly unnecessary new adaptation of Thomas Harris’s RED DRAGON (to see it done right, check out Michael Mann’s somewhat dated but otherwise excellent MANHUNTER), was now lined up to direct a feature film based on Rob Liefeld’s YOUNGBLOOD. Not to be confused with the 1986 Rob Lowe hockey movie of the same name, YOUNGBLOOD was the inaugural title from the newly-formed Image Comics in 1992. Liefeld’s superteam ensemble has endured as a symbol of everything that sucked about the early nineties in comics, with its cast of characters seemingly cherry-picked from every superhero book of the previous decade  (a formula that would go on to serve WILDC.A.T.S., CYBERFORCE, and their assorted spin-offs well), its multiple covers and multimedia tie-ins, including action figures and an aborted animated series (well underway before even six issues had even been released), and a first issue that was supposedly a “hot” commodity, even though everybody who could ever possibly want one bought multiple copies anyway. Oh yes, there was also the art and story—Liefeld the artist is best known for tiny, triangular feet, speed lines in lieu of backgrounds, muscles that swell like sausage casings about to burst, and a range of facial expressions that include “angry”, “surprised”, some combination of the two, and not much else. And the writing! How bad is the writing? Image recently released an “Anniversary” hardcover compilation of the first several issues, with new dialogue by Joe Casey to replace the original script by Liefeld and Hank Kanalz. That’s gotta be some kind of first.

The announcement of a Ratner YOUNGBLOOD feature being developed was a bit of a shock at first, and the kind of story that sounded like some kind of elaborate, early April Fools’ Day prank—the director who, more than any other, makes film nerds’ collective blood boil, teaming with the artist whose name is the first to pop up when you type the phrase “Most Hated Man In Comics” into a search engine. However, upon reflection, there are a few things to consider before getting too worked up.

First, there is very little chance of a YOUNGBLOOD movie actually getting made. Comics are optioned all the time without ever materializing. The late 1980s magazine COMICS SCENE used to have a lengthy section at the back of each issue detailing which comics had been optioned by what studio, and who was attached to direct or star. I’d say maybe 4-5% of those films were ever made, and I might be being a bit generous—I don’t have the actual figures in front of me, but it was not uncommon to pick up an issue and read about the development of a CONCRETE feature, or how Francis Ford Coppola was THIS CLOSE to making a DOCTOR STRANGE movie. Even Liefeld, quite the Hollywood player in his heyday, has been down this road a few times already. He once created a comic series called DOOM’S IV, a thinly-veiled knockoff of THE FANTASTIC FOUR, for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. The comic was supposed to form the basis for a big-budget feature, but it never materialized. A few years later, he was said to be developing a property called THE MARK for Will Smith to eventually star in, featuring a premise that borrowed heavily from Marvel’s STAR BRAND series, which in turn owed a lot to DC’s GREEN LANTERN franchise (see a pattern forming here?), but again, the project languished in development hell. More recently, Liefeld was said to be working on a project with J-Lo’s production company—something about a sexy shrink for superheroes—but…well, you figure it out. The most likely possibility is that YOUNGBLOOD: THE MOVIE will see the light of day around the same time as that long-promised BLACK PANTHER movie with Wesley Snipes or IRON FIST starring Ray Park. You know, the guy who played Darth Maul? You’d pay good money to see that, right?

Second, if Ratner, or anyone for that matter, actually does the unthinkable and makes a YOUNGBLOOD movie, it will most likely bear little to no resemblance to the comic that spawned it. It’s much easier to imagine Ratner delivering a movie about a high-tech group of government operatives than a big, colourful, superhero movie. To be fair, the team in the comics was a government-sponsored organization, but I imagine the costumes and superpowers would probably get tossed in favour of guns and armour and the like. It’s cheaper, easier, and less ridiculous-looking—in fact, I’m sure it’s this type of thinking that led to WANTED looking nothing like the comic it was allegedly based on, and is just as likely behind the G.I. JOE movie due out this summer. The cast of the YOUNGBLOOD comic aren’t exactly household names (for most people, the name Shaft will conjure up images of Richard Roundtree rather than a guy whose bow has no string), and the comic is far, far from respected even among the fan community, so I’m pretty sure no one will mind if more than a few liberties are taken. Liefeld won’t even care, I’m sure, so long as the check clears.

However, one possibility still occurs to me—a remote one at best, but one that carries with it a certain masochistic thrill: what if Brett Ratner, rather than running from the comic book’s, ahem, distinct visual stylings, embraced them? What if he pulled a Robert Rodriguez or a Zack Snyder and did his level best to replicate YOUNGBLOOD on the movie screen exactly as it appeared in Rob Liefeld’s comics? Utilizing the actual panels from the comics themselves as virtual storyboards, Ratner could make YOUNGBLOOD: THE MOTION PICTURE the most faithful comic book-to-screen adaptation since SIN CITY or 300. Think about it--with state-of-the-art prosthetic makeup appliances, the actors could be made to look uncannily similar to Liefeld’s depictions, with jutting pectoral muscles that resemble matronly bosoms, chins so square you could cut your finger on them, and eyeballs that sometimes have pupils, but often don’t for some reason. CGI could be utilized to bring specific panels to life in widescreen glory, with nary a poorly-drawn background or physically impossible pose compromised. It would be the most gaudy, horrifying, and insane-looking motion picture in history, and it would almost certainly bomb at the box office. But dammit, it would be honest. Obviously, I have no expectations of anything remotely resembling this scenario taking place, but it sure would be more funny and interesting than what we’ll likely see if this movie ever gets made.

And hey, at the very least, Ratner could always hire Joe Casey to rewrite the dialogue for an “Anniversary Edition” fifteen years later.