Saturday, January 28, 2012

Clone Wars Recap S4 E16: Friends and Enemies!

After a rollicking, hand-stabbing, mass-murdering, bounty hunter filled episode last week, the Clone Wars returns with part two of the "Let's Foolishly Lie to Anakin About Obi Wan's Death" quadrilogy. And seriously, at this point just about anything could happen. Maybe Obi Wan will blind a child with a spoon.

Lock, load and join me after the jump to find out everything you need to know!

Why Daniel O'Malley's New Novel "The Rook" is an Early Front-Runner for My Favorite Book of 2012

I read a disgusting amount of books over the course of a given year. I work for a children's publisher, so I read a lot of young adult/chapter books as is, and I've come to love graphic novels, and while I will probably read anything you throw at me, my true reading relationship is with science fiction and fantasy.

 I love a good space opera. I prefer a long, drawn out, multiple book dragon quest. One thing I've struggled with, however, is urban fantasy. It may be more because I was raised on the sword-and-sorcery epic tales, but it's a genre that's always felt somewhat stilted and forced to me. The most well-known author (arguably), China Mieville, has consistently left me cold - the only book of his I've been able to finish is Kraken, and that's more due to my accepting of all things Cthulhu-esque than it being something that caught me. Much of the urban fantasy out there seems to exist more to tell a cop story or a noir-esque mystery with fantasy tropes, and, frankly, if I wanted that kind of book, I'd just pick it up.

The Rook is a new book by Daniel O'Malley that just came out two weeks ago. It's urban fantasy, for sure. It's also my favorite book in a while, easily the best urban fantasy book I've read period, and an early frontrunner for the best book I'll read in 2012 and best published in 2012. The Rook plops us right in the middle of the story - a woman, Myfawny Thomas, awakens to find herself surrounded by a circle of corpses, all wearing latex gloves. This woman? She doesn't remember who she is, either. Can't remember her name, her history, how she got there, who she is, nothing. There is a note in her pocket, however - the note directs her to a safety deposit box where she eventually learns that she is part of a major supernatural defense group in the United Kingdom, the Checquy. Thomas is a Rook, a high-ranking official, in the department. Oh, and someone in the department has gone rogue and wiped Thomas's memory, and it's up to this new blank-slate to figure it out. Thomas knew pre-wipe that this would occur at some point, and left copious notes, so... I hesitate to give much more away.

 I had an honest, legitimate blast reading this book and I think folks here who enjoy a good book would like this as well. If you have even a passing interest in urban fantasy (heck, any fantasy), mysteries, what have you, I give this my highest possible recommendation. The author has graciously offered the first four chapters on his website if you need to be further convinced. I promise, though, that this is worth your time.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thank GIF it's Friday

Getting in bright and early with this!! And I also made a conscious effort to not put in another cat gif. So I'm going to the polar opposite of a cat gif, which is obviously Michael Phelps.

Toys R Me

Lance Reddick (Cedric Daniels in the Wire) is an intense dude who runs a toy store

There's a similar guy in Japan

I think I might order online

Recap: Project Runway All-Stars, Episode 03

Why is this recap so late?!? It is because I'm a terrible person? Yes. Also it is very hot and my brain has melted and it's hard to do stuff. But now it's time to MAKE IT WORK!

The Phantom Menace Cereal Toys We've Waited 12 Years For!

Every kid loves Lucky Charms, right? Well, how about Lucky Charms with a free Star Wars toy?

As you can imagine, kids all over America are begging their parents to buy box after box of Lucky Charms, just so they can "Collect All 8" of their favorite characters.

But what is this magical toy? You will need to click through the jump just to see it's awesomeness. But there's more on the other side. We've got a full gallery of Star Wars / cereal combos.

Two Recent io9 Lists That Made Me Happy This Week

* Films lost to the ages: While so, so many people are sad that there are forever gone episodes of Doctor Who, but I mourn more for the plethora of completely missing films from early in the cinematic era. io9 offered a bunch - some old, some new - that may be of interest.

* 10 series to read while waiting for the next Game of Thrones: At this rate, we won't see the next Game of Thrones book until sometime in 2018, but I found this to be a good list. I've read or tried about half of them (I love Rothfuss in particular, and would recommend Tad Williams's Otherland over Shadowmarch even if it's not really fantasy), and if you're anything like me, a few more books to line up on your shelf isn't a terrible thing.

I Gotta Get Me 12-inches!

OK, two weeks I've been gone.

And admittedly, I'm not really coming back with a whole lot. But here's the thing. I'm not apologizing to any of you assholes. Since last I wrote, we've had not one but two deaths, some behavioral issues out the wazoo with my kid, some other shit, and to top it off? Yesterday I find out I have Meibomianitis.

Freaky huh? And I thought the lids of my eyes were just red and swollen from crying every day. Who F**KING knew?

Got my newsletter from Sideshow early this week. How's THAT for a jarring segue?

It was late of course because of my SHITBAG of an e-mail hosting service. Did I mention I am dumping them and now have a new e-mail address too? Yeah, been working on that as well.

Do I sound angry? I guess I am. Go figure.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yeah...when I saw this I almost shit my pants.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Godzilla on BLU-RAY

The Criterion edition of Ishiro Honda 1954 film Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira) is out on Blu-ray (or 2 disc dvd).

The extras included are:
  • New high-definition digital restoration (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
  • New high-definition digital restoration of Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Terry Morse’s 1956 reworking of the original (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
  • Audio commentary for both movies by film historian David Kalat
  • New interviews with actors Akira Takarada and Haruo Nakajima and special effects technicians Yoshio Irie and Eizo Kaimai
  • Interview with legendary Godzilla score composer Akira Ifukube
  • Featurette detailing Godzilla’s photographic effects, introduced by special effects director Koichi Kawakita and special effects photographer Motoyoshi Tomioka
  • New interview with Japanese-film critic Tadao Sato
  • The Unluckiest Dragon, an illustrated audio essay featuring historian Greg Pflugfelder describing the tragic fate of the fishing vessel Daigo Fukuryu Maru, a real-life event that inspired Godzilla
  • Trailers for Godzilla and Godzilla, King of the Monsters
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic J. Hoberman
The "Godzilla, King of monsters" is the American reworking of the original film. Pretty interesting they put these 2 versions together.

I'm pretty excited to get this one. You can find more info here 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lego Minifigures Series 6 Is Out! Photos & Bar Code / Bump Code Decoder!

I was on a Skylanders hunt tonight (a whole other story) and just happened to come across the new Lego Minifigures Series 6 at my local Toys R Us. I've been eagerly awaiting these ever since we saw the first leaked images.. so I grabbed the last 6 packs.  

After opening up the first two I knew this series was something special. Click through the jump for images of the ones that I opened (no doubles!), as well as the secret decoder for all of Series 6.

What's Out? 25th of January 2012

G'day, cobbers! It's Australia Day tomorrow! Don't forget tp stop by your fair dinkum comic shop and pick up some strewth crikey things to bring along to your barbie?
Let's take a true blue squiz at the dinky di release list:

Nerd History: The Cardiff Giant

There are few things I enjoy quite as much as a good hoax. My first memory of a hoax that stuck with me was going to one of the many New England theme parks, one of which had a shed with a window to view a red bat. Apparently, the bat was super-rare, etc etc - you look into the shed, and it's a baseball bat suspended via strings.

While I'm not a huge huge proponent of the Barnum-attributed ideal of a sucker being born every minute (in fact, that phrase originates from the exhibition of the Cardiff Giant), a recent blog posting from the American Antiquarian Society (which is located about 15 minutes from my house), reminded me of how gullible the human race can often be. Beyond the jump is the story of one of my favorite hoaxes, the Cardiff Giant...

The Book Was Better Episode Eight: Flubber!

How do write the book of a film that is 30% CGI dancing, 60% people falling over, and 10% plot? Well, first of all you make the type real big. Then you lay bare the insanity, psycho-sexual obsession, psuedo-autistic lunacy and bodily horror that is the novelisation of Flubber. Oh, the humanity!

Download it at our blog or subscribe on iTunes for free!

Tuesday Bounty! Glorious Bounty Multiplies!

Web comic Glorious Bounty, written by me and drawn by Edward J. Grug III, continues to ramp up this week with a brand new page! This is as good as Bounty has ever been so make sure you have a spot on the admittedly spacious bandwagon!

As a recap, last time Furious Bruce's head exploded after being crushed by a gimmicky robot that was supposed to reveal secrets from his past. Bruce's douchebag partner Deevis was attached to an explosive collar that would detonate if anything happened to Bruce, so naturally his head exploded too! Bruce awakes but something drastic has happened. Has his brain been put inside robot companion PK??

Click to enlarge or view it at the official site!

And it's never too late to become a Glorious Bounty reader! You can always start at chapter one, right here!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kickstart the Week: For The Win! - Zombies, Pirates, Ninjas, Aliens, and Monkeys by Michael Mindes

For The Win looks and acts like an abstract strategy tile game, but it's loaded with theme. Well many themes, actually. Zombies, pirates, ninjas, aliens, and monkeys all must battle (and also unite) in this new kickstarter project by Tasty Minstrel Games.

Click through the jump for more details and info.

Happy Chinese New Year of the Trogdor

It's the Chinese New Year of the Dragon so...

I miss seeing new Homestar Runner cartoons. I heard those guys are working at Yo Gabba Gabba now.

Clone Wars Recap S4 E15: Deception!

This week the Clone Wars kicks off a new four part story which continues the downward spiral into darkness and depravity. Ever wanted to see a beloved childhood hero impale a guy’s hand with a piece of cutlery? I’ve been wanting to see that for over 30 years, and Deception did not disappoint! (Unless it was a spork. That would be mildly disappointing). And did I mention that this episode is also jam-packed with some of the most notorious bounty hunters in the galaxy?
This is one of the good ones, folks, so if you have any interest then please be sure to check it out before joining me after the jump - because, seriously, I am about to spoil the shit out of it for you!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - Release Date 1/18/2012

Proving that not everyone at Fruitless Pursuits has given up on DC Comics, here's another week of comics reviews just for you!  Oh incidentally, since this column has become a more-or-less official weekly fixture, I'm looking for a proper name for it.  Any ideas?  Please share!  Now on to the reviews...

Batman #5 - Wow!  Batman is trapped in a crazy maze, bereft of his utility belt, forced to drink the tainted water to survive, and more or less slowly going crazy.  Watch as he tries in vain to solve the mysterious labyrinth of the owls!  One week in, and things are not looking up for the dark knight!  This book really tries to get into the reader's head...taking you through it's own labyrinth of topsy-turvy pages in an attempt to get you almost as lost at the poor befuddled Bat.  Very cool idea and decent got me!  I was literally reading the book backwards at one point.  I like it!  This Court of Owls story line has been the best thing in the DC universe to me anyway, with far-reaching implications that potentially change Batman's universe forever.  Talon is a great nemesis and I can't wait to find out what happens next!  Catwoman was going to be my favourite title this week, but Batman wins it in the end, hands down!  Sorry Selina!

Catwoman, Nightwing and more after the jump!