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Cola Bottles Take Manhattan: Branded: The Trailer

From Directors and Writers Jamie Bradshaw and Aleksandr Dulerayn comes this twisted little tale of major brands ingratiating themselves into every day society in order to render the human race bloated and incapable of fending off a major invasion – at least that’d be my guess based on the zany trailer. Set in New York apparently, it’s strangely Eastern European looking in design.

With Max Von Sydow (looking surprisingly gaunt) and Jeffrey Tambor in seemingly strategically dramatic parts this looks like it might be a little bit of a joy to behold – if the trailer hasn’t given away the plot completely.

Not quite the new Dark City perhaps but potentially worth a look as an example of a medium size movie trying big blockbuster ideas.

Star Wars Trilogy: The Radio Show featuring Pinky / Christopher Walken / Bender

Ever wondered what Star Wars would’ve been like if Bubbles from the Powerpuff girls played Darth Vader? Well now you can. In an inspirational moment of genius at the Emerald City Comicon this year the organisers arranged a script reading of scenes from the original Star Wars script in voices of famous cartoon characters. The intros alone take about 6:45 seconds so scroll on to avoid any major spoilers. It’s not the Goon show or anything but a favourite moment is Pinky as the Storm Trooper on the Tantive IV and Christopher Walken as R2D2. A genuine joy to hear.

Enjoy!!

Dropping Science: Driverless "Road Trains"

We all dream of a future where we can drive to work without having to actually touch the steering wheel of our car (ok we don’t all dream of that but a selection of nerdy engineers who eat too much cheese before bed do) and now that future has moved a step closer.

The SARTRE project (that’s Safe Road Trains for the Environment to you and me) has been running since 2009 and aims to create a system whereby cars can tag onto the back of a “road train” and be guided at high speeds over long stretches of motorway. The project had its first test on a public highway recently with the aim of seeing if human beings would completely freak out if placed in a high speed convoy with no apparent means of control. The results seem to suggest that, yes they do, but they chill out again pretty quickly.

Ah, glorious science!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jQ1U9KZfWg&w=853&h=480]

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Moon's Song of the Week: 1904 by The Tallest Man On Earth

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMQgObtZtbY&w=640&h=480]

This week’s song comes courtesy of Swedish singer/songwriter Kristian Matsson aka The Tallest Man on Earth. It sadly doesn’t have a video but the quality of the song itself more than makes up for that.

It’s very easy to compare Matsson’s style to that of Bob Dylan (and to be fair he’s a self confessed Dylan fan) but it’s much more than a simple tribute act. 1904 brings back the feeling you had the first time you heard Blowing in the Wind but still retains it’s own identity. It’s also a lovely track to listen to in the sunshine.

1904 is taken from the album There’s No Leaving Now, and it’s out on June 12.

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(I had to pull a non-official video for this one as the official one had embedding disabled. As a result there’s a chance the record company may have this version pulled before this post goes live. Should that happen, you can view the official version HERE. Why anybody disables embedding on a video that they’re trying to promote is utterly beyond me, but hey it happens. The song’s still great.)

Watch a man turn into a blowfish in a short film (Fugu and Tako)

Watch as a man turns into a human pufferfish, but carries on with his normal life, in Ben West’s short film Fugu & Tako. The pufferfish man sings karaoke, drinks with the ladies, and passes out on a train (note the gills!). The detail is so intense you can even see the tiny stubble on the Pufferfish Man’s face.
West is a part of the Australian visual effects studio Robot. This is just the trailer, but let’s hope the full short film is out soon. Reminds us of a certain Moon faced boy… named Moon!! Turning heads into other stuff is fun!!

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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