Monday, December 27, 2010

TRON tributes

OK, so I dig the new TRON: Legacy movie and Daft Punk soundtrack.

So, I thought I'd check in on a few artists I follow, and see if they're doing anything TRON-inspired.

Turns out, yes -- so here are a few that I particularly liked:

Sam Flynn by *stanlydan on deviantART

CLU 2 by *stanlydan on deviantART

Gangsta-Tron Cover by ~mase0ne on deviantART

Tron - Buzz enters the Grid by ~iamclu on deviantART

Ghost Rider- TRON-ified by `diablo2003 on deviantART (this is my personal favorite out of all 5 of Marc Brooks TRON Marvel covers from last month -- I like this kind of synergy).

MARVEL TRON by *Enymy on deviantART (But check out the winners and runners-up -- especially David Murdoch's Magneto piece, or all of the Deviant Art-hosted entries).

Just a sampling of the awesome stuff you can do with figs and parts from Onell Designs. These may replace Stikfas for me (depends how they are to animate).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

SDCC: Hasbro Marvel toy panel

I'm way too into Hasbro Marvel toys, with my main gripe being I can't find the ones I want easily at all.

So the best news for me was that re-orders for all of the current series figures.

My favorite lines are the Marvel Universe 3.75" scale figs, the Super Hero Squad, and the too-little-loved-of-late Marvel Legends figures.

2011 Finishing Out:

Super Hero Squad - Helicarrier, quinjet, and S.H.I.E.L.D. car! Battle for Asgard TRU exclusive!

Marvel Universe - there will be a dark purple variant Galactus.

2011 previews:

Big focus on Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America.

New toys based on the upcoming Avengers animated series.

6-inch Iron Man Legends will debut, and be a mix of movie and classic comic book figures.

There will be Captain America toys, which will be fine, if I don't have to buy one with a sculpt of Chris Evans face.

The only Super Hero Squad thing that hit me excited was The Blackbird vehicle.

For Marvel Universe, Olivier Coipel is the packaging artist.

Cyclops! Apocalypse! Spider-Man 2099! Spider Woman! Original Avengers 3-pack (including tiny Ant Man and The Wasp)! Frost Giant and Loki giant pack (the former is _sick_)! Bill Foster and Ragnorok Clone Thor! Sentinel and Wolverine giant pack!

2012 Previews:

2012 will see the return of the Marvel Legends line "in a big way"!

No commitment to the build-a-figure (BAF) plans, which I'm fine with.

There will obviously be products for all three Marvel movies.

And there were some teases for Marvel Universe 3.75" scale vehicles.

SDCC: Marvel Cup o' Joe

Always entertaining, witty, and snarky.

The panel was a bit canniballized by Marvel's own Thor / Kenneth Brannaugh event at the same time.

Panelists included Joe Quesada, Arune Singh, Axel Alanso, Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, C.B. Cbulski, Jeph Loeb, and Mark Pannicia.

Harkins and Jeff Parker will be taking over Hulk.

Avengers 3 will debut in 2011, with art by Ed McGuiness.

There will be a Tron: Evolution backstory series.

There was a logo teaser due in 2011, that I sadly didn't recognize.

There was a bit about the Disney acquisition of Marvel, how Marvel is given the economy to do what they do well, and some complementary words about Disney / ABC CEO Bob Iger as a leader.  Very positive, encouraging stuff, but I'm biased.

There were a lot of teases to teases for the 4:15 Avengers panel, which I'll be missing, because of our own Disney Epic Mickey panel.

Quesada gave a great summary of the decline of the comics industry in the late 90s, and Marvel's amazingly paced rebuilding of each individual character and book before getting too ambitious with cross-overs. I also like his making sure cross-overs like Civil War contained in the core series, without forcing people to by non-core books.

Fraction is hilarious (in-person or via Twitter), and teased there may be more Iron Fist in his future ("Though to be fair, I have dumb ")

Any Disney characters they wish you could write?

Fraction: Balu the Bear (for his daughter)
Alonso: Goofy (and Deadpool)
Quesada: "A story where Mephisto breaks up Mickey and Minnie; it's called 'One Mouse in Time'."

Friday, July 23, 2010

SDCC: Iron Man anime debut

I was able to attend the SDCC premier of the Iron Man anime series debut, and it was gorgeous, and exceeded my expectations - and I'm a comics and anime fan.

The ongoing series (one of 4) will broadcast on G4 television in 2011, be set in Japan, produced by the inimitable Studio Madhouse, and dialog will be in Japanese with American subtitles.

The 24-minute episode revolves around Tony Stark's humanitarian initiative, his desire to retire iron Man, and his introduction of a new set of armor, and ... other stuff (I hate spoilers). My only wish is that they'd showed opening and ending credits. We anime fans eat that up.

Iron Man is the first series, Wolverine is the second, X-Men the third, and Blade the fourth.

While nothing was said about the timing of the other three series, head of programming John Rieber did say there will be a rolling release of the various series.

They did show world-premier concept images from the Wolverine anime, including Logan, Yuriko, and Omega Red (Jeph: "Doesn't he look bad-ass?").

SCOOP: After the panel, while I was thanking Jeph Loeb for, well, basically being him, he said the four series all occur in one world, and the characters will show up in each others series. Teh shizzle - You read it here first.

And as a meta commentary, observing them the last few days, so many companies could learn so much from Marvel and execs like Loeb:

* How to create new expressions of an IP, authentic to the property, and authentic to the expression itself.

* How to tease and launch a new product - especially at Comic-Con.

* How to run a comic-con media reveal panel - gracefully handle technical challenges in stride, manage questions, and keep things moving.

* How to be confident in your art, and be cool, professional, pleasant, and personable, without revealing things they shouldn't, and without being douchey.

* More, but if I say it I'll look like I'm sucking up to the family, and/or I'll get myself trouble.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

SDCC: Welcome to the Digital Age

Marvel is wicked impressive in it's transmedia penetration (I hate the former new buzzword, so I added the second to make it sound dirty).

Anyway, I didn't want to miss this panel, covering, the "Your Universe" initiative, Motion Comics, and more.

There was a convention preview of a Thor & Loki motion digital comic,which will coincide with the release date of the film, which looks amazing.

Next up was the browser-based Marvel Super Hero Squad game, which I checked out earlier today, and looks really fun for kids. Those Amazing Society developers are talented folks.

Then on to digital comics, which are doing well on Apple platforms, but no info about whether the experience will get any less painful on Netbooks.

There was also an announcement of Ultimate Thor releasing day and date in print and digital form. The announcement fell a little flat with the audience, which is too bad, because it's a pretty big deal, along the lines of Steve Soderberg / Mark Cuban day and date experiments.

During the QA, the panel revealed the more mature Marvel online video game from Gazillion is still under way.

There was an interesting diversion about digital comics creating a "discovery forum" for comics that's lacking since comics have moved away from non-specialty shop newsstands.

SDCC: DC Comics' 75th Anniversary panel

I attended the DC Comics' 75th Anniversary panel, which had amazing, amazing panelists, who got to share fun, unknown anecdotes, and "turning point moments" for the publisher and the industry. (All moderated by Paul Levitz.)

Jerry Robinson has been with DC in one form another for 70 of those 75 years. Stunning. He shared that Citizen Kane had a big creative juices-type influence on the early, intimate staff.

Mr. Robinson talked about the future of the comics from the view of the past, where he recognized foreign cultures more appreciated comic art as fine art, and needed to be preserved, and he started galleries and movements to support that.

Then on to Dennis O'Neill, whose Batman first captured me. Neat nod to Jenette Kahn, and her encouraging the DC staff to own their art form proudly, and to champion it. (He's been doing this 45 years?)

His turning point moment is the long lead recognition of comic hooks becoming mainstream and respectable.

Kahn talked about the growth of pride and craftsmanship in the industry, and Frank Miller, and Ronin.

Then to new co-publisher Jim Lee, and his 1986 excitement with DC books, though he talked in a more meta way about the political creators movement, the maturing of comics.

Lee talked about the upcoming generational shift that will make digital delivery of comics in the future very different from where they are today, and more natural in their consumption.

Dan DiDio (one of the laughy-est human beings I've ever seen) was up next, talking about his ABC days, meeting Kahn, and being more excited about the DC offices than working on things like M.A.S.H.

He talked about the original Crisis story line, and how DC let the tightly spun tale slip a bit, which did not make them as strong in the industry as they could have been if they'd "held the line".

Geoff Johns is the "new guy' from a leadership perspective, and shared his childhood passion about comics.

Johns talked about his time working with Richard Donner, and not able to get even a Green Lantern movie made, and now there are so many quality comic book movies beyond Batman and Superman - including a GL film.

(Sorry for the choppiness, but I'm trying to honor the panelists, and blogging from a phone sucks.)

SDCC: Mondo Marvel

Lot of series reveals:

Holy cow - 4 Captain America books? Mark Waid back on the character with Man Out of Time!

Ultimate Thor!

Ultimate Doom!

Strange Tales Volume 2.

An Iron Man and Thor book, from the "Marvel cosmic team".

New Power Man (new kid as the character; er ...) and Iron Fist.

Rocket Raccoon and Groot, coming out of the Thanos Imperative, and Mike Mignola back to Marvel to do covers!

Wait, the Thanos Imperative has Beta Ray Bill? Time to add that book to my pull.

Q & A:

Brian Michael Bendis says the Sentry will always be dead in his books. Yay.

Bendis says they're going to clean up the "magic issues in the Marvel Universe". Good.

Then he said Killraven is coming into the main Marvel Universe? I can't tell if he's joking.

"With our new Disney ties, and the expansion of Marvel Japan, we may see more work with Japanese creators."

(Can't wait to see the new Marvel anime line, like the Studio Madhouse Iron Man that debuts Friday.)

(They're giving away "pieces of Groot to good questions, with certificates of authenticity. Brilliant.)

Newly minted head of TV Jeff Loeb talked a bit about Marvel live-action. Very non-commital, but with a pledge of quality. Wonder what happened to Moon Knight that was filming in Vancouver in 2007?

Marvel still doesn't have the rights to Rom, but the Space Knights will be making an appearance in future Avengers.

There will be more Beta Ray Bill coming! No deets.

More Marvel horror characters will be making appearances.

Fun stuff, but not as big as 2007's Mondo Marvel.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Going to Comic-Con!

It's been a few years, but I'm back in sunny (ish, cloudy right now) San Diego for the pop-culture mecca that is San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC).

I'm here to work, but I'm also a mega fan of toys, comics, movies, video games, and all things iconic and story-driven.

I have a big ol' shopping list, hopefully some free time, and a rabid desire to see and do lots -- starting in with Preview Night tonight.

Follow me on Twitter. Track me down. Whatever. (Just don't be all stalk-y about it.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We are all responsible

People who know me know I'm big on the personal and societal accountability thing. Passionately so.

I was gonna rant about that, but I was listening to this song from Ana Johnsson again, and for whatever reason I'm regularly struck by the lyrics.

So instead of ranting, here are Ana's words:

"We Are"

See the devil on the doorstep now (my oh my)
Telling everybody oh just how to live their lives
Sliding down the information highway
Buying in just like a bunch of fools
Time is ticking and we can't go back (my oh my)

What about the world today
What about the place that we call home
We’ve never been so many
And we've never been so alone

You keep watching from your picket fence
You keep talking but it makes no sense
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are
You wash your hands and come out clean
Fail to recognise the enemies within
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are, we are, we are

One step forward making two steps back (my oh my)
Riding piggy on the bad boys back for life
Lining up for the grand illusion
No answers for no questions asked
Lining up for the execution
Without knowing why

You keep watching from your picket fence
You keep talking but it makes no sense
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are
You wash your hands and come out clean
Fail to recognise the enemies within
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are, we are, we are

It’s all about power then
Take control
Breaking the rule
Breaking the soul
They suck us dry till there’s nothing left
My oh my, my oh my

What about the world today
What about the place that we call home
We' ve never been so many
And we've never been so alone....

So alone

You keep watching from your picket fence
You keep talking but it makes no sense
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are
You wash your hands and come out clean
Fail to recognise the enemies within
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are, we are, we are

It’s all about power then (we are)
Take control (we are)
Breaking the rule (we are, we are)
Breaking the soul (we are)
They suck us dry till there’s nothing left (we are, we are)
My oh my, my oh my

We are
We are (its all )
We are
We are, we are (take control)
We are
We are
It’s all about power
Then take control

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, and Video Game VO

Here's a brief video of Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson doing voice work for SEGA's upcoming Iron Man 2 game:

Like I said, it's brief, but it provides one small slice of a view into video game voice work.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day is a national event where local retailers give out free comic books as a way to give the medium exposure to new readers.

FCBD is a great way to test out books of all genres for all ages (I really recommend Owly for pre-readers).

If you're one of those folks I've gotten hooked on books in Texas or North Carolina, Several Austin area stores are participating, as are NC stores, and several are doing more than "just" giving away free books. Rogues Gallery in Round Rock, TX, for example is making a big event out of the day, with several industry folks in-town for signings and meet-n-greets (including "in the family" folks like Marvel writers Paul Tobin, Paul Benjamin; Artist Colleen Coover; and Carswriter Alan Porter of BOOM! Studios).

If you're intimidated with how to get started with what to read, store owners like Randy Lander (who ownsRogues Gallery) are great about suggesting books based on your TV, movie, and game preferences.

Below are the "official" free books, but several of the participants are ponying up additional free offerings of their own.

Previews available on the FCBD Website.

  • Archie's Summer Splash! #1
  • Doctor Solar/Magnus
  • Fractured Fables
  • G.I. Joe #155 ½
  • Iron Man/Thor
  • Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock
  • Shrek & The Penguins
  • The John Stanley Library
  • Toy Story
  • War of the Supermen #0
  • Sonic: The Hedgehog
  • Worlds of Aspen
  • Fearless Dawn
  • S.E. Hinton / Fame
  • Bongo: Free-For-All
  • Irredeemable #1
  • DC Kids Mega-Sampler
  • Del Rey Showcase
  • Green Hornet #1
  • Weathercraft!
  • The Overstreet Guide
  • Library of American Comics #0
  • Artifacts: First Look
  • Love and Capes #13
  • Iron Man: Supernova
  • The Tick #1
  • Oni Press Free-For-All!
  • The Sixth Gun #1
  • Radical: Bigger Books!
  • Atomic Robo
  • Freedom Formula: Speed Metal
  • The Stuff of Legend/Mortal Instruments Preview
  • Owly And Friends

Friday, April 09, 2010


There's an interesting featurette on "what's the deal with nuns in Japanese pop culture?" over on

It's got a couple of nuggets of interesting historical stuff, so it's a decent lightweight read. It is, however, a ridiculously shallow view (but hey -- it's Kotaku), and candy-coats at least one medium's portrayal of Judeo Christianity.

If you (for example) look at how Christianity is portrayed in Japanese animation (popularly, "anime"), like MD Geist and Evangelion (the latter of which mixes in Gnosticism and Kabbalism as the same thing), Macross, etc.) -- the religion is not popular. As a matter of fact, Christianity is often held up as the device from the West that literally brings about the end of the world.

That doesn't quite mesh with the Kotaku feature, which puts kind of a positive spin on Christianity's reception in Japan.

But none of that matters.

What does matter is the feature's reminder to me of the term, "Nunsploitation" -- Exploitation films about nuns, popularized in Europe in the 1970s (while the West was doing backsploitation). And then Japan was off and running with nunsploitation through the 80s and 90s.

Fascinating cultural stuff.


Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday and my dad-in-law

Today is Good Friday -- that day where Judeo Christians remember the day Jesus died.

Wait -- What?

So here's the deal:

For Christians, Jesus died on Friday. He rose from the dead on Sunday. So, it was in restrospect that the Friday he died was "good" -- It probably didn't feel that good at the time.

This year, it's also the first anniversary of my dad-in-law's death -- and it somehow feels right that for this first one, it's on Good Friday.

I've said before Victor Wallace Tirabassi was a "good man who made people better." I'm not so foolish as to elevate him to any version of pseudo sainthood, but he is a real-world inspiration whose example that has driven me forward as a husband, dad, and worker, in some ways as much as my own dad.

A year ago, when dad died, my oldest asked if we could make the anniversary of his death a holiday -- "Poppa Day" -- to celebrate all of the good memories.

Smart kid.

And this year, Poppa Day and Good Friday share a date.

Original Posts:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Have mercy on me

Luke 18:13 - "But the tax collector, standing away, was unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'"

Monday, March 22, 2010

My daughter's perspective on my new job

My daughter gave me an excellent perspective check this week about my new toy job.

I'm in the process of traveling back and forth between Austin and North Carolina as we finalize our move back to Texas, so I was in NC last week visiting my girls and fixing home inspection stuff (and glad that I'm handy).

While driving for an errand with my oldest, she looked up from her book, and asked:


Yeah, Sweetie?

How's work going?

It's going great, Hon. I really, really like it.

Are you working long hours?

I am.

Are you making as much money as you were before?

No, but --

That's OK. At least you're working for two companies you like Marvel and Disney and they have all those characters you like so much and you're getting to play with them and doing something you love and you're making a GAME and people buy games because they want to do something fun and your job is to work making it more MORE fun for them.

Um ...

So it's OK if you're working long hours and aren't making as much money and are in Texas away from us for a little while.

I love you, Sweetie.

I know.

(Goes back to reading her book.)

Yeah, that worked.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Auditions and Blood Work

So, I had blood work drawn as part of routine physical, and that got me to thinking:
Getting blood drawn is like auditioning.

You really want to perform well with both, but you've done the real work weeks and months ahead of time, you kind of "fire and forget", and you hope the results are good (and really really hope they're not bad).


Sunday, February 21, 2010


I had the best of intentions (and still do) to do a post about the result of this decision, and its follow-on impacts.

But the short version is I'm working for Junction Point, making the Epic Mickey game for Nintendo's Wii console.

All of this means that I'm (a) working with Warren Spector, (b) working for Disney (and therefore Marvel), (c) making video games and other creative expressions. Friends and longtime readers* know what a head-exploding good thing all of this is for me.

And yes, I am now back in Austin, Texas, bouncing around from generous couch to generous couch (and sometimes even getting a bed), and bouncing back and forth between Austin and NC as I try to sell my house there, and take care of my family who's so awesomely sacrificing so I can pursue this crazy gig.

With all of this, I'm slow boating the "getting back into the Austin acting scene" (other than voice work), because new job plus crunch isn't conducive to me being out for a few days at a time for film shoots.

But I'm excited to get back into it here, because the acting landscape has changed surprisingly over the last two years, I'm jonesing to be back on a set, I'm burning the candle at both ends, and all this plus the whole not having a pot to piss in has made me ****ing raw and ready to do some daring stuff.

More soon(ish).

* Not the same thing.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Aaron Hallaway's new commercial

I like Aaron Hallaway. Talented guy (actor / writer / independent creative). Good friend.

He has a new commercial (he's about 43 seconds in) -- VeriSign's "Company Information" video: