May 2012

Tout L'Armour: Iron Patriot shots from Iron Man 3

Yo and behold – Iron Patriot spangles up proceedings in Iron Man 3. These on-set shots from the new Avengers movie (already in production – good work Marvel!!) reveal a very starry eyed surprise for one Mr Anthony Stark. Interesting choice of Bad Guy that might’ve suggested that yet again, the Mandarin has been put on the back-burner for the new movie. But no…

While Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce have already been confirmed to take on nemesis roles in the upcoming film, it seems that there is another villainous character on the scene.

The discovery of Iron Patriot as a potential third villain (played by James Badge Dale) suggests things might be getting a little crowded on set for part 3. Considering that no comicx book adaptation with more than one full-on super villain has ever truly worked it seems like a weird gambit on Marvel’s behalf but if anyone’s gonna pull it off… watch this space.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2152633/Iron-Man-3-villain-James-Badge-Dale-seen-Iron-Patriot-set.html#ixzz1wTVwUG8i

Reports of the Eagle Awards Death "Greatly Exaggerated"

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While live tweeting the Eagle Awards last Friday I reported the shock announcement by MCM’s Brian Cooney that the Eagles would be ending their 30 year run with immediate effect. Well, it turns out that things are not quite what they seem.

Eagle Awards organiser, Cassandra Conroy issued the following press release today, stating that not only was the announcement false but that MCM had made it without the permission of the Eagles themselves.

I wanna say quickly that full credit for this story goes to the guys at Geek Syndicate. I’m merely passing on the press release they were sent. The Eagles’ relationship with MCM is something of a quagmire and I’m trying not to be one of the many people who has a loud opinion on the matter, but I figured since I was one of the people who broke the original story, it was only right to report the response.

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Thursday, May 31, 2012

EAGLE AWARDS CONTINUE TO FLY HIGH

“People often say ‘Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet’ and this is one of those times,” announced Eagle Awards chair Cassandra Conroy.

Referring to an announcement made by MCM Expo’s Bryan Cooney at the conclusion of 2012 Eagle Awards ceremony on Friday night, she added, “To paraphrase Mark Twain: The reports of the Eagles’ death have been greatly exaggerated.

“Neither my father (Eagle Awards founder Mike Conroy) nor I attended Friday night’s ceremony, which we were boycotting in response to actions that are now being reviewed by my lawyer. Thus we don’t know exactly what Bryan said,” she explained. “However, with Bleeding Cool posting that Friday night’s ceremony was ‘the end of the road for the Eagle Awards after 30-some years and from next May, there’d be something called The MCM Awards instead.’ and others suggesting that next year the Eagles would be transformed into entirely new awards. I feel the need to put the record straight…

“The Eagles are neither dead nor morphing into anything else. MCM Expo is in no position to announce, imply or indicate otherwise,” Conroy stated. “In fact no third party can casually discard what my father has developed over the past 36 years. The Eagles will continue to soar into 2013 and beyond. We’ll be announcing further details of our plans for next year in the near future.”

I imagine we’ve not heard the last of this rather messy situation. It’s a shame to see two organisations that I like very much going at it like this but I guess all’s fair in love and comic book awards.

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Dan's Blog: MCM Debrief

For my part, I spent Sunday cosplaying as white trash.

The very first year that Steve and I appeared at the MCM Expo the event fell upon the same day as a Millwall game. It’s not a detail that I would remember were it not for the fact that it meant that my first experience of the con was sitting on a packed tube full of confused skinheads and teenagers dressed as cats. There has probably never been a more perplexed railway carriage anywhere in the world and I found myself developing an instant fondness for this oddball of a con.

I mention this story first because really the teenagers dressed as cats (and Pokemon and cardboard boxes and pretty much anything else you can imagine) are the heart of MCM. That’s not to say they are the only audience there (in terms of floor space, it’s probably the biggest comic con in the UK) but at its very core the event is about people who say the word “random” a lot, cutting loose and having fun. As a result, MCM has always had a kind if energetic buzz about it that you just don’t find anywhere else and it’s this buzz that is the key to why this year’s event was so successful.

MCM has taken some flak over the years for its rather diverse (random, you might say) range of exhibits. While other cons focus on comics or movies or trading or whatever, MCM goes for a bit of everything but in times such as these it’s exactly that kind of diversity that you need. If you’re only going to go to one comic con then the obvious choice is the one that lets you see as much as possible. MCM is not so much a comic convention as a convention for the sort of people who like comics. It’s a subtle distinction but one that breeds the kind of extremely loyal fanbase that descended in droves upon the Excel Centre last weekend.

Shot of the convention floor. It’s very hard to convey the sheer scale of the event.

For our part, we were taken completely by surprise by just how busy the con was. We brought our usual hefty amount of stock, expecting it to last the entire event (especially given a slightly disappointing audience turn out at Kapow) but instead found ourselves completely sold out of copies of Moon by 5pm on Saturday. The result was that Steve had to scurry back to Essex on Sunday morning, while I tried to learn how you sell prints of characters from a book you don’t have (turns out, you generally don’t). By 11am we were back up and running however and went on to smash our all time sales record by some way.

Moon #1 completely sold out.

I should mention, in the interests of fairness, that we had a much better pitch than at Kapow, being as we were right next to the auditorium and the booth for ASDF (who I’d never heard of before the weekend but who I’m pretty sure most teenagers would readily kill for.) This naturally translated into better sales but the fact that we took more than twice what we made at Kapow and paid less than half for the table left me pondering whether we’ll keep Kapow on our calendar next year.

Organisation wise we’ve got no complaints. Comics Village (who run the comics side of the event) have gotten very good at pre-show communication this time around and having every table get a small blurb in the program was a nice touch. Despite the huge crowds, there was always a volunteer on hand when needed and they were (as has always been the case) extremely helpful and friendly.

The aftermath. Huge thanks to everybody who bought the book and to those who have sent us such kind feedback on it. You guys are awesome.

The one part where the organisation fell down slightly was in the execution of the Eagle Awards on Friday night. The Eagles themselves are probably a topic for another day but the very low audience turn out was a bit of a shame. Steve and I certainly appreciate being able to hog the free beer but I can’t help but think that if they were properly publicised and perhaps held on the Saturday night, the turn out would have been far better. We ran into only two non-comics industry people at the awards and they confessed that they’d only found the event by chance. Given the announcement about the demise of the Eagles, I wonder whether the lack of publicity was a deliberate move to send the awards off quietly with an eye to focusing on next year’s new “MCM Awards.”

The Eagles is but a small part of the overall event however and a low turnout for one small part is not enough to spoil the experience of what was in all regards a fantastic convention experience.

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If you picked up a copy of Moon #1 at MCM then we’d love to hear what you think. Send us an email at btbcomics@gmail.com or let us know on facebook or twitter!

Dropping Science: 121-Megapixel Earth

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6twFHqJ03_k&w=853&h=480]

 

I just got back from the Eagle Awards. I’ll write a proper report up about it at a later date but for now it should suffice to say that they were a lot of fun and there was a lot of free beer. With that in mind, I’ll refrain from going into anything too complex on this week’s DS.

Here is a super high res image of our planet looking all sexy and stuff. That’s pretty much all you need to know about it other than it’s Russian.

Yeah, science.

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Moon's Song of the Week: Run Boy Run by Woodkid

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmc21V-zBq0&w=853&h=480]

I was actually considering dropping this segment from the site a while back, since it doesn’t have an awful lot to do with comics and in many ways exists because I don’t have time to learn how This Is My Jam works. Then various people came up to us at Kapow last week and told us how much they were digging the music on the site, so it looks like Song of the Week is here to stay for the present. Glad you’re all enjoying it.

Woodkid is the musical alter ego of photographer and film maker Yoann Lemoine. This is significant because Yoann not only wrote and recorded Run Boy Run but also made the video and when I say ‘made the video’ I don’t mean he shot a vid of himself singing on his iPhone, I mean that he has gone and made one of the most beautiful music videos that you will see all year. The aesthetic reminds me a little of the excellent IOS game Sword & Sworcery (which you should play) in that it’s mournful and dark but with a deep underpinning of hope.

With luck that’ll be the most pretentious thing I say all day but it’s still early so let’s wait and see. Steve and I will be down at the Eagle Awards later tonight so follow @danthompson2099 on twitter if you want live updates and if you’re coming to the MCM Expo this weekend, come say hi!

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The First Gameplay Trailer for Marvel MMO

So here it is!! Marvel have gone even closer to taking over the universe by introducing a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (note the lack of RPG at the end of the title). I had to look all those acronyms up and I’m uncertain as to how it’s Massively Multiplayer but not role play as I thought the Role Play part was pretty straight forward to add. Clearly you can’t dress Wolverine in a tutu or make Iron Man a mystic with a goat as a pet – but you kind of have to ask – why not? In spite of this, the idea of being able to be any of possibly hundreds of Marvel Heroes is pretty fun. Available on the PC, at some point…

OVERLOAD 1 out now!!

Overload 1 was released this weekend at Kapow. Martin Conaghan of Fallen Heroes and Burke and Hare fame has jump started his new anthology title with a messy, darkened, pulpy bang. More of a squish really as the stories featured take you to the dark side of Human experience. Ignorance, psychosis, paranoia and political satire bleed out of every panel. I had no idea what I was getting involved in. I do now.

Issue #1 of OVERLOAD features a stunning cover by Graeme Neil Reid (2000AD, Judge Dredd Megazine, The Beano) depicting the Iron Lady in all her zombified glory, attacking the good people of London – taken from the inaugural issue’s headline story ‘Primus Inter Pares’ (“First Among Equals”) – which sees the UK overcome by the dead returning from the grave and former prime ministers attempting to re-take 10 Downing Street. Written by Gordon Rennie (Judge Dredd, Doctor Who, Dept of Monsterology) and Emma Beeby with art by newcomer Eoin Coveney, it’s a ‘biting’ satire on the country’s current political decline at the hands of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat alliance.

Omen (1 of 6 stories featured in OVERLOAD 1. Written by Geoffrey D Wessell and Drawn by… well .,,, me .. Steve Penfold….

Also featured in issue #1 is ‘Comort’ written by Dave Cook and Gary Crutchely (2000AD), a short story about the things in life we turn to when the chips are down.

‘Staring Into The Eye Of A Blackbird, You Can See The Things He Likes And The Things He Doesn’t’, written by Martin Hayes with art by Graeme Howard depicts the tale of a lonely young man whose existence disturbed by dreams of a mysterious blackbird that watches his every move…

Cy Dethan (Cancertown) scripts ‘Open Source’ with art by Aaron Moran in a story about protect something precious by keeping it hidden in plain sight…

While writer Matt Gibbs and James Reekie (The Ballad of Frank Satre) deliver the haunting ‘Otherworld Sailor’ – a tale about ancient religion and a shocking visitation.

OVERLOAD is intended to be a regular black and white anthology title showcasing the work of established talent, while introducing some new creators to the comics industry.

All material is creator-owned, with Overload reserving first reprint rights and some digital publishing rights. All deals are non-exclusive. We do not accept completed stories which have not been pre-approved. We do accept unsolicited idea submissions, but not unsolicited scripts. Submissions are by invite-only. For more information, send an email to: overload@copydesk.co.uk You can view a sampler of Overload #1 here: http://issuu.com/martinconaghan/docs/overload1

Some Thoughts on The Great Gatsby Trailer

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rARN6agiW7o&w=853&h=480]

The Great Gatsby is (and has been since I first read it at the age of 17) my favourite book by some distance. With that in mind I’ve been rather curious about the latest attempt to bring Fitzgerald’s great American novel to the screen. This time around the project is helmed by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo & Juliet) and stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role and if the trailer is anything to go by then things seem to be on track.

I’m still not totally convinced that Gatsby needs to be a movie and part of me can’t help but think that DiCaprio is too self assured to work as the lost, delusional Gatsby but I like all of Baz Luhrmann’s films (yes, including Australia. Australia’s great, bum off) and I’ll watch pretty much anything with DiCaprio in (miscast or not). The idea of casting Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway is an interesting one and from the trailer, looks to be a pretty sound decision. Maguire is a great character actor who deserves to be thought of as more than “that guy who played Spider-Man”.

The one thing that baffles me is why on earth, given the largely non-action based story, the movie is in 3D. Most likely it has something to do with studio pressure and the fact that Luhrmann wants to have a bash at it before the horse finally collapses. I would suggest that this is an example of 3D running faster, spreading it’s arms father and hoping for one fine morning…but that would make me a wanker.

Gatsby is out later this year.

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Oh and if you want to see a truly great (no pun intended) Gatsby esque film then you should watch Stephen Poliakoff’s Friends and Crocodiles. It’s not a version of the Gatsby story per-say but it has so many parallels that if you like Gatsby then you’ll love it.

Star Wars: Feel Los Muertos.

Mis Nopales Art brings us a new representation of arguably the most loved saga of our time: Star Wars. Living in California, José Pulido makes prints of pop culture icons in a traditional Mexican style reminiscent of Dia de Los Muertos.

For this and loads more examples (including a Darth Maul, Wolverine and Buddy Holly) haed on over to Etsy.com.

Anchorman 2 Trailer: F.U. Law of Diminishing Returns (and San Diego)

The second official teaser trailer for ‘Anchorman 2’ starring Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Luke Wilson. Ron Burgundy and the news crew reunite for more laughs. “This time there will be sub-machine guns and boobies”. Whammie!

There’ll be no boobs!! Not if it’s anything like the original. But there might be fights between them and the Channel 6 News Team. Only question is; where’s Veronica Corningstone?

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