August 2011

The Golden Age of Video – Incredible Mashup

I’m away on my honeymoon right now but in order to not shirk my Bunkerly duties, I’ve queued up 10 awesome vids for you dear people. Enjoy!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFM140rju4k&w=640&h=390]

This has been one of my favourite youtube clips ever since I came across it on the excellent Best of Youtube podcast and I’m actually kinda surprised that I’ve not posted it before. It’s a wonderful music video made up of clips from tonnes of classic movies and TV shows and is as finer a piece of editing and remixing as you’re likely to see. It’s by a chap called Ricardo Autobahn and you should check out the rest of his work on the strength of his name alone.

I just dare you to try and name every film shown here.

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(Assuming I’ve not been eaten by a bear, I should be on my way home from Canada tomorrow. Given the length of the flight and inevitable jet lag, it may be a couple of days before real me is back on here, but as soon as I’m rested we’ll be back to business as usual. I hope you enjoyed the break as much as I did…probably).

The Deadliest Wrestling Move Ever Created?

I’m away on my honeymoon right now but in order to not shirk my Bunkerly duties, I’ve queued up 10 awesome vids for you dear people. Enjoy!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOcjq4siu7A&w=480&h=390]

Those of us who like a bit of pro wrestling are already used to seeing some pretty odd finishing moves. I myself was in the front row when Lenny and Lodi debuted “The Gay Bomb” (the less said the better). Of all the moves however Chuck Taylor has seemly created the most terrifying!

Thank god for the heroism of Soldier Ant!

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Star Wars Auditions: Mark Hamill

As a follow up to the earlier article re: Star Wars Auditions we at Beyond the Bunker have unearthed (found on Youtube) Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford having their first chat about massive radiation readings and what to do when more than a thousand ships with more fire power than ever before blasts the living crap outta something. C’mon Mark – use the force!!!

Harrison Ford was brought in after Lucas worked with him on American Graffiti. He had to take on Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.

The Secret Copy/Paste of Walt Disney

I’m away on my honeymoon right now but in order to not shirk my Bunkerly duties, I’ve queued up 10 awesome vids for you dear people. Enjoy!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh84g8rC2oA&w=480&h=390]

Disney are the pretty much the undisputed masters of early hand drawn animation but even they were not above cutting a few corners here and there. In order to get films done on time, animators would often reuse cells from previous films, replacing the characters but keeping the movements. In this fascinating little  film, youtuber Dabedoo has collected a whole truck-load of such examples.

The most amazing thing to me is how recent some of the examples are. Wonderful stuff.

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Star Wars Auditions: A Casting Couch far, far away

Lucas shared a joint-casting session with long-time friend Brian De Palma, who was casting his own film Carrie. As a result, Carrie Fisher and Sissy Spacek auditioned for both films in each other’s respective roles. Lucas favored casting young actors without long-time experience. While reading for Luke Skywalker (then known as “Luke Starkiller”), Hamill found the dialogue to be extremely weird because of its universe-embedded concepts. He chose to simply read it sincerely and was selected instead of William Katt, who was subsequently cast in Carrie.
Lucas initially rejected the idea of using Harrison Ford, as he had previously worked with him on American Graffiti, and instead asked Ford to help out in the auditions by reading lines with the other actors and explaining the concepts and history behind the scenes that they were reading. Lucas was eventually won over by Ford’s portrayal and cast him instead of Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, Sylvester Stallone, Christopher Walken, Billy Dee Williams (who would play Lando Calrissian in the sequels), and Perry King, who wound up playing Solo in the radio plays.
Many young actresses in Hollywood auditioned for the role of Princess Leia, including Cindy Williams. Carrie Fisher was cast under the condition that she lose 10 pounds for the role. Aware that the studio disagreed with his refusal to cast big-name stars, Lucas signed veteran stage and screen actor Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Additional casting took place in London, where Mayhew was cast as Chewbacca after he stood up to greet Lucas. Lucas immediately turned to Gary Kurtz, and requested that Mayhew be cast. Daniels auditioned for and was cast as C-3PO; he has said that he wanted the role after he saw a McQuarrie drawing of the character and was struck by the vulnerability in the robot’s face. Awww.

Check out Kurt Russell’s audition for Star Wars below. Poor. Little too relaxed there Mr Russell. Not sure who the other guy is but I’ll pretty sure there’s a McDonalds somewhere in California that is very well run as a result of this audition.

Bunker backs Miles Morales as Ultimate Spider-man!!

With the riots taking the streets apart all over England (in particular in London) there is a distinct lack of respect on the streets right now. At times like these, any sign of anyone moving things forwards is welcome and Brian Michael Bendis has tried to do this with Miles Morales, the new incarnation of Spider-man in the Ultimate line.

With Peter Parker killed in the pages of the Ultimate Spider-man series a short while ago a replacement needed to be found and Marvel have taken a brilliant opportunity and run with it. The Ultimate line is an opportunity for Marvel to present modern ideas over the out-dated or original ones. It is not a replacement for the Marvel Universe, Spider-man still swings around New York with a little less rhythmn in the main continuity as Peter Parker. But the Ultimate line is being used effectively here and Marvel and Bendis need to be applauded for their efforts.

The Death of Peter Parker (Ultimate Spider-man 160, Marvel)

Miles Morales is half-black, half-Hispanic and as a result representative of two groups that have been unintentionally marginalised in mainstream comic books. It’s a positive, challenging and brave step by a company that could, given its success, easily rest on its laurels. As such Marvel is still attempting to push the envelope and we here at the Bunker are resolutely behind the idea.

However, sadly, and unsurprisingly, it hasn’t taken long for the backlash to begin. The internet chatrooms and comment boards piling up with the usual bile and overly aggressive response to the introduction of Miles Morales as the web spinner. According to an article written by Cynthia Wright in the Atlanta Post entitled ‘Backlash To Black-Latino Spiderman Indicates We’re Not A Post-Racial Society,’ Cynthia highlights the backlash to the introduction of Morales. Below is the article in question….

by Cynthia Wright
Yesterday, USA Today released a story that Marvel Comics Ultimate Spider-Man would take its web-slinging hero in a new direction. Although, Peter Parker has played the Spider-Man character since its creation decades ago – the revamping of the Marvel comic is to attract a new generation of comic book readers, in response to its static past. So, it wasn’t really that surprising that Marvel decided to kill the character off around two months ago.
Unlike the comics’ overwhelmingly Caucasian days of yore – when it came to passing on the infamous red and blue suit – Marvel decided to push the envelope. Instead of embodying the usual stereotype for superheroes, the decision was made to pass the torch to a half-black, half-Hispanic teenager named Miles Morales.
Brian Michael Bendis, the writer behind Parker’s death and Miles arrival told the newspaper that it was long overdue, even in the more ‘diverse’ Marvel universe.
“Even though there’s some amazing African-American and minority characters bouncing around in all the superhero universes, it’s still crazy lopsided,” Bendis admitted.

Face of the Future: Miguel O'Hara - the half hispanic, half Irish Spidey of 2099

However, not everyone agrees with Bendis’ assessment, a quick glance through the comments of the USA Today article reveals that even if Marvel wants to be more contemporary that doesn’t give them the right to rewrite comic book history. Of course, it should be of no surprise that some white comic fans feel that iconic comic characters should be left unchallenged by today’s more political correct society – especially when it comes to a biracial teenager becoming the newest incarnation of one of their most beloved superheroes.
Over on the website Bleeding Cool, they decided to publish some of the more “enlightening” comments from the USA Today story in one of their Tuesday posts. The comments ranged from bashing the need to always be politically correct, to complaints over the comic books direction and the rage over the killing of the white Peter Parker so that Morales could replace him.
With several comic-based movies taking liberty when it comes to the race of their supportive characters (i.e. Nick Fury played by Samuel L. Jackson, Perry White being played by Laurence Fishburne), it is apparent that supporting roles are the only roles not susceptible to such a huge backlash. However, making the “minority” a main character is still seen as unacceptable.
As one commenter responded:
“Peter Parker could not be whiter. A black boy under the mask just don’t look right. This opens up a whole new story line with a whole new set of problems. Who is going to believe a black man in a mask is out for the good of man kind?”
So, a black man in a mask isn’t capable of helping out mankind? In a historical context, it wasn’t the black population using masks to strike fear and terrorize others in American society. How quickly that one caveat is forgotten.
Blatant ignorance aside, it is hard not to be offended by some of the reactions regarding Morales’ ethnicity. With the current demographics of New York being so diverse – it would make sense to have someone akin to Morales. It is about time that minority characters are given more precedence instead of being relinquished to the only role that seems deserving—the sidekick.

Star Wars Zone: The Darth Vader Sessions

Torn by good & evil and an incestuous love affair, a lonely and depraved Darth Vader has a nervous breakdown. It was created entirely by using the true voice of Vader, Mr. James Earl Jones HIMSELF!

Watch it love it live it! Spread the word… (the actual words Akjak – creator of this piece of comedy sith genius).

Wish I Had A Portal Gun – Aperture Science Rap

I’m away on my honeymoon right now but in order to not shirk my Bunkerly duties, I’ve queued up 10 awesome vids for you dear people. Enjoy!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8stmczxYq3Q&w=640&h=390]

College Humour have been pretty aggressive at taking down versions of this track on youtube, so hopefully the embed still works by the time you get this. Anyone who’s played Valve’s puzzle-opus will know that once you’ve thought with portals, you can never go back. In this track comedy geek site Dorkly have managed to express the desires of anyone who’s ever wanted to be ‘over there’ without the tiresome need for walking.

Just a warning though, the language is a little creative so it’s perhaps not one for the kids.

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Practitioners 38: Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania in 1960 and grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where he now lives.

The Valley (Bone, Jeff Smith, 1992)

Smith learned about cartooning from comic strips, comic books and animated television shows. He has cited Charles M Schulz’s Peanuts as a very early influence on his understanding of comics, some of the style of which are highly visible in Smith’s tome Bone, now a classic of the medium. He has also named Walt Kelly’s Pogo, which he discovered at the age of nine, as his biggest influence in writing comics. Smith began to create comics with the ‘Bone’ characters as early as 1970, at about the age of 10.

Smith graduated in 1978 from Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington, Ohio, where he was a classmate of Jim Kammerud; later on in 1986, Smith and Kammerud would co-found Charcater Builders, an animation studio in Columbus where Smith worked until 1992. After high school. Smith attended the Ohio Stae University where he created a comic strip called ‘Thorn’ for the Campus Newspaper ‘ The Lantern’ which included some of the characters from the Bone series.

In 1991, Smith created his company, simply entitled, Cartoon Books, in order to publish his comic book series Bone. Smith published 55 issues of Bone between 1991 and 2004, blending influences from Walt Kelly, Carl Barks and J.R.R. Tolkien. The black and white tale of Bone, Phoney Bone and Fone Bone into the mysterious valley populated by the Great Dragon, talking mammals,a beautiful young girl named Thorn, her grandmother and a horde of carnivorous fur balls named Rat Creatures, among others proved popular in individual format of 55 issues and 9 volumes were collected to present them. However, its the Bone saga in its entirety that reveals the depth and clarity of vision (as well as the lunacy and oddity) of Smith’s vision. Broad mythical themes play to Warner Bros cartoon physics (the snow falls out of the sky in a blanket in one go instead of as snowflakes and old ladies can outrun cows) in a story of immense scope and no shortage of silliness. Smith dotes on his characters, allowing each one to breathe and develop independently of all others, blending disparate characteristics and even dialogue styles to forma complete, populated and diverse world filled with giant, flat insects, giant mountain based wild cats and mysterious warrior cults (no, seriously).

The artwork begins with luxurious pencil and ink work and develops into fine line and detailed vistas and events, Smith’s style visibly developing over a very personal project.

Two additional volumes, Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails and Rose, collect a number of Bone prequels created by Smith, working with collaborators.

Following from Bone, Smith has developed Captain Marvel series for DC; SHAZAM! The Monster Society of Evil, published in four prestige format issues in 2007 and later collected into a hardcover. In 2008 he released RASL ‘ a stark Sci-fi series about a dimension-jumping art thief with personal problems.’ In 2008, a six issue preview was shown at the San Diego Comic-con, origianlly intended to be released in an oversized format. Onlookers and advisors were unanimous in their warnings about selling an oversized book so Smith, seemingly happy to oblige and accept advice reduced it back down as a black and white, normal sized comic book. However, the first trade paperback ‘The Drift’ is out in the original oversized format.

If anyone had any doubt as to the importance of Bone, Smith’s art featured in a pair of Museum shows during 2008. ‘Jeff Smith: Bone and Beyond,’ at the Wexner Centre of Arts and Jeff Smith: Before Bone’ at the Cartoon Research Library of the Ohio State University. That’s right. The Cartoon Research Library of Ohio. It’s real. In 2009, Smith was featured in The Cartoonist, a documentary film on his life and work.

In a new 32-page graphic novel released in 2009, specifically released through the children’s book line launched by Art Spiegleman and New Yorker Art Editor Francoise Mouly, for very young ’emerging readers’ called Little Mouse Gets Ready, Smith noted that it featured another character Smith created in his childhood, ‘a little grey mouse with a little red vest.’

Bone alone won 10 Eisner Awards and ten Harvey Awards. In 1995 and 1996 he won the National Cartoonists Society’ss award for Comic Books. Smith’s 1332 page single-volume paperback was named one of Time magazine’s list of Top Ten Graphic Novels of All Time.

To get any clear idea of comic book history you have no choice but to pick up Bone. It is simultaneously a quiet delight and a seminal work and belongs firmly in the annuls of comic book history as a timeless piece of visual literature and BLAT! sound effects.

Moon: The Bad Men um… Approacheth

A hero is nothing without his enemies. Where would Batman be without the disruptive influence of the Joker? Where would Superman be without the evil machinations of Lex Luthor? Where would Flight of the Conchords be without the Australian Embassy and Racist stall holders?

Now you’ve already met Agent Seven in Issue 1 of Moon but who is the shadowy puppet master pulling the strings behind the scenes? In Issue 2 we’ll meet a nemesis the likes of which Moon has never dealt. At the end of it vengeful soul from Man’s past will appear. In Issue 3 the main threat to the British Isles will be revealed. And then the true rivals will appear.

We realised early on that Moon is going to need to have a rough old time and by jove, that’s what’s happening. A whole host of enemies of innumerate shapes and various threats wait in the shadows. Moon is only as good as the threats he faces and we promise he’s going to get his arse booted about all over the shop.

Tally-ho for bad times ahead.

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