Friday, February 17, 2012

Video Featurette on Darth Maul's Clone Wars Return!

Yeah, he got cut in half, but thanks to *insert unfeasible explanation later* Darth Maul got better! He's going to be back on the Clone Wars next month and apparently will be getting all emo about the dapper man that halved him - Obi Wan Kenobi!

MTV Geek (and if you read their article you'll quickly realise that I should have said: ZOMG MTV GEEEK!!!!!>!!<$$@551111") have posted a new behind-the-scenes video and have also announced the news (that was leaked months ago) that the Force Unleashed and the Bastard-American Being Human's Sam Witwer (no relation to the Transformers' pal Sam Witwicky) will being playing the role.

Darth Maul was originally voiced by refined English gentleman and comedian Peter Serafinowicz who has been usurped by an American because his surname was too hard to spell. Or, if you read MTV Geek's article perhaps I should have said, "ZOMG! DREAMY HUNK SAM WITWER CAN TOTES PUT HIS LIGHTSABER IN MY PANTS". Seriously. Go and read that article.

Anyway, the good news is that Sam Witwer gives 100% commitment to everything he does. Even that time Bumblebee was crying because Sam had to go to college. Check it out, it's a great clip:

Get More: MTV Shows

And note that we still haven't gotten a glimpse of Darth Maul's mysterious bottom half. So my squeaky mop bucket theory is still yet to be disproved. SQUEAK. SQUEAK. SQUEAK.

Stryder's Favourite Comics - Release Date 2/15/2012 PART I

This week there were SEVEN comic books from the New 52 that I wanted to read.  That's a lot of text in one post here on Fruitless Pursuits, particularly when I'm doing an overview this month too.  Therefore, after careful consideration taking actual MINUTES out of my day, I decided to split this week into two posts!!

For your ADD-Enhanced reading pleasure, here are the first four books, all set in everyone's favourite urban nightmare, Gotham City.  First up:

Batman #6 - The Court of Owls is in session!  Poor Batman has been wandering through their nefarious maze all last issue until he was stabbed through the back by their enigmatic enforcer, Talon.  This issue Talon is waiting to finish the job and kill the Bat!

Batman is broken, battered, bruised, drugged, hallucinating, bleeding to death and seemingly defeated before the council, whom his drug-addled mind sees as owlish monsters.  However, Talon may have made one little mistake in his fight with Batman...could it be enough to give Bruce the chance he needs?  Read the issue and find out!  This epic tale isn't finished yet!  It may never be! 

Overall Run: 

-Great dynamic artwork and  story-boarding give what is arguably DC's biggest book a great look and feel.  Truly some of their greatest work!
-Amazing, in-depth plot that gives us a whole new facet of the Batman's universe which feels both fresh and timeless.  Weaving ancient secrets with modern Gotham in an ingenious way that will echo throughout Batman's history.  Instant Classic! 
-Special mention to the "maze" issue #5 for using clever printing techniques to make me feel just as lost as Batman!  I've never seen this done and it rose the level of the whole run for me! 

-Hmmm.  The only thing I can think of is that it seems odd that this whole Court of Owls thing was able to exist under Batman's radar for so long.  I have faith that this will be explained soon, however. 

Score:  5 out of 5 Beat-down vigilantes!  This is a new standard that other comics can be held up to!  Excellent work!!!

More from Gotham City after the JUMP!

Thank GIF it's Friday

As clearly captioned, this wonderful thing is from . Watch on loop a few times for ultimate effect.

Dynamix Tenth Doctor vinyl figurine

Wowza! I'm a bit behind the news on this one (apparently it was announced last month sometime), but I just stumbled across it today, and I must admit, I'm in love.

"Taking inspiration from the Doctor Who IDW comic series, Dynamix Ultra-Stylised Vinyl Figurines offer unique interpretations of your favourite characters from the world’s longest-running sci-fi TV show.
From his spikey hair, to his trademark flowing trench coat and pinstriped suit, the Tenth Doctor strikes a confident pose ready for his next time-travelling adventure.
Produced in a Worldwide Collectors Limited Edition of 3000, each figurine comes with a Doctor Who logo base and is packed in a window display box." 

I admit the colour of his suit is a bit horrible and makes it look like he's wearing pyjamas, but I am such a sucker for vinyl statues, animated interpretations, and er, David Tennant, that this one is pretty much a 100% must-have for me.

Visit Big Chief Studios for more photos and to pre-order.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

INTERVIEW: We Talk to Michael Price, Writer of the 500th Episode of The Simpsons!

This Sunday in the US, The Simpsons will reach the massive milestone of an unbelievable 500 episodes! For most of us, the show has been around for a large part of our lives and is infinitely watchable and quotable. Even your least favourite episodes still have some of the funniest moments and lines to rival any other show. This a great time to reminisce and celebrate everything you've ever loved about America's favourite four-fingered, yellow, geometrically hair-styled family. 

And it gets even better. I had the huge honour of interviewing Michael Price, long-time writer and co-executive producer on The Simpsons, who also just happened to write the upcoming 500th episode!

Mr. Price generously shares a ton of fascinating information on his process, the behind-the-scenes goings on of the show, and hints to some very funny stuff we can expect in the future. This is unmissable reading, so join me after the jump to learn all about The Simpsons straight from the source! I am wearing a tuxedo while typing this!

The Best Multimedia Horror Story I've Seen in Some Time...

...and it's serialized at Reddit of all places.

Correspondence is an ongoing story that revolves around a cast of different characters all terrorized by...something. What's brilliant about it is not so much the story itself (which is good on its own), but the wrinkles the author(s) add in. For example, some of the characters have Reddit accounts, some emails sent to the addresses in the story actually work, there are images (such as the one above, which gave me chills in context), there is video. It's really, really, really well done.

I definitely spent a good hour following this rabbit hole earlier, and I can't wait for the next installment. Hopefully you'll enjoy this, too. It is NSFW if there is sensitivity to language and violence, and NSFL (not safe for life) if you read this after dark and have any intention of sleeping.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Super Button Mashers - Retro Video Game Art Gallery

Steff Bomb, designer plush extraordinare, is back with another amazing hand-crafted creation. This time it's a plush original Game Boy (with Tetris cartridge!)

Steff made this exclusively for the Super Button Mashers art show, which opened in Chicago last week.
A group exhibition where artists pick a video game (be it arcade or family console) from their past or present and reinterpret in their individual vision. -
Click through the jump for a collection of images from the exhibit, kindly provided by Andrew Hayward ( Andrew writes for such awesome publications as Nintendo Power, Paste Magazine, The Escapist, and everything else that you probably read.  :)

Stryder's Favourite Comics - Release Date 2/8/2012

Happy Valentine's day!  Because I love you all so much, and because I have no date and hockey doesn't start until 9pm, I just HAD to get last week's comics out for your perusal!  Not to mention that tomorrow's New Comic Day and here I'm still on last week!  So without further ado here we go!

Batgirl #6 - Wow.  Just wow!  Batgirl starts out where we left off last month, in a throw-down with a mind-controlled Bruce Wayne that she really, REALLY doesn't want to participate in!  Of course, that doesn't stop her from jump-kicking the man right in the face!  She's awfully apologetic about it afterwards though.

In all seriousness, this book is just fantastic.  There are 3 emotional, gut-wrenching moments in this one issue that have just elevated the whole 6-book run so far!  One moment almost made me cry!  There was also one small panel, a close up of Batgirl's face focusing on her eyes/mouth, with the caption "You made a bad enemy on the wrong day, Gretel.  I'm coming for you." That, in my mind, turns Barbara Gordon into Batgirl for real for the first time.  Before this, she's just been Oracle at best, PRETENDING she's still Batgirl.  Now she's truly made the transformation.  Criminals beware!  Great, great issue. 

Overall Run: 

-Excellent, slow building story line that really focuses on the inner workings of Barbara Gordon and her struggle to overcome the tragedy and dysfunction that has beset her life and that of her family
-Really expressive artwork, particularly facial expressions, force me to empathize with the characters

-Because of the slow moving plot and Batgirl's various mistakes in the first couple of issues particularly, some people may find the book dull.  More personality development than action. 

Score:  4.5 out of 5 elevator-riding Batcycles!  One of the best of the New 52!!

More from Gotham and beyond after the Jump!

What's Out? 15th of February 2012

Happy Valentines Day or Valentines Boxing Day depending on where in the world you are. Now's the time to forget about that lame stuff though, because new comics are out!

Nerd History: The Earliest Role-Playing Game

While poking around the intertubes for D&D 5e stuff, I tripped up on something I had never heard of before. My assumption has traditionally been that the D&D-type RPG we all know and love is where the roots of gaming start, or very close to it given the existence of Chainmail and other miniatures games. I was quite surprised, however, to learn of a game called Braunstein.

Braunstein was a variation on a wargame created by a man named David Wesley. As the story goes, Wesley tried to mix up his regular wargame a bit by assigning different roles to the other players. Things predictably went haywire, but the players loved it and wanted more. Thus, Braunstein, named after the German city the game intially took place in, was born.

The funny thing about its evolution is how well it mirrors the edition wars of current D&D in a lot of ways. The more Wesley tweaked the formula, the less the players liked it, feeling boxed in by the rules and constraints. If you read some of the histories, you'll see how players even found ways to break the game relatively quickly.

Also funny: Wesley was not into the fantasy landscapes so much. The wargaming was almost a means to an end for him, having achieved the rank of major in the air force. Thus it's not entirely surprising that the ideas that he got for the game came from a variety of fairly heavy military and strategy texts, including a 19th-century military strategy book written by Charles Adiel Lewis Totten. Heck, one could make the argument that he might be responsible for the earliest role playing games.

Either way, the history of this is fairly interesting overall. Wesley himself posted a bit on a forum to correct some information, and this blog post has more information on some of the texts that influenced Wesley and his games.

The Book Was Better Episode 11: Alien

In space, no-one can hear your convoluted metaphors or pompous windbaggery. Unfortunately, this isn't space. Join us as we discuss the novelisation of the classic 1979 sci-fi film Alien, which has very little about aliens but a lot about cat psychology and space brothels.

For extra credit, you can read the novelisation in comic form, drawn by an 11-year-old who hadn't seen the movie. No, I'm serious.

Tuesday Bounty! Glorious Bounty LOVES You!

Hey it's Valentine's Day, you guys, and what better way for Edward J. Grug III and I to shower our unforgiving love on you than to gift you a brand new page of our webcomic: Glorious Bounty!

So we know that Bruce and Deevis are temporarily stuck in robot bodies, but just how much does Bruce remember of the proceeding ordeal, particularly the startling revelation that his brain belonged to a small girl? And what are they going to do now they're stuck in these bodies, anyway? Something new has to happen right?

What's with all the questions!? Click to enlarge and you'll find out.

Or if you have zero idea what's going on then why not read from Chapter One on the Official Site

We love you guys!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Toy Fair 2012: First Look At Lego Lord Of The Rings

Years ago, I would sit by the computer refreshing over and over and over waiting for images to surface from Toy Fair. But the toy industry has changed so much, as well as my tastes, that I almost forgot that it was Toy Fair week.

When I remembered, my first choice was obviously Lego. I need to see the upcoming Lego sets like I need food and water. And the ones I needed to see the most were the Lord of the Rings sets.

My site of choice is I've always gone there for images, and I have no clue if anyone else even posts images. I grabbed a few images from there to share, but if you want all of their galleries, check them out at

How cool are these?!

Click through the jump for a few images of the actual sets.

Kickstart the Week: Farmageddon - The Frenetic Farming Game by Phillip Kilcrease

I mentioned getting to play a pre-release session of Farmageddon last week, but we never gave it the proper Kickstart The Week feature. It's the little card game by 5th Street Games and designer Grant Rodiek that has tearing up the Kickstarter charts in the past few weeks. It's at 182% funding with 20 days to go. So what is it all about?

Click through the jump for more details and info.

Let's Read Batman: Knightfall!: Parts Two and Three!

Perch yourself delicately on my lap, Dear Reader, because we're going to continue to share Batman: Knightfall, the series of comics from 1993 in which steroid-abusing wrestler mastermind Bane snapped Batman's back in half. Bane is the villain in Christopher Nolan's upcoming Dark Knight Rises, so this is absolutely essential reading, so stay sharp, take notes, and if you missed it, read my report on the prequel and part one.

Last time, tricky shadow-lurking bastard Bane stole a whole lot of weapons and causes a giant prison breakout, releasing many of (an already ailing) Batman's biggest foes. Fighting his mysterious illness, Batman is forced to run the gauntlet, but so far has only gone up against C-list lightweights like the Mad Frigging Hatter.

But surely this time we'll get a bad guys from the big leagues, right? Maybe someone EPIC like the Joker? Or Two-Face? Or even Poison Ivy?

Oh great. So it's going to be one of those issues.

To hear about Batman fighting some no-name in a toy store, JOIN ME AFTER THE JUMP!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Clone Wars Recap S4 E18: Crisis on Naboo!

After three weeks of nefarious plotting, scheming, and bullshitting to Anakin, the plot to kidnap Palpatine is finally happening! Will it succeed, thereby changing the entire course and plots of Episodes III - VI? Uh... probably not. But it's a good excuse for some animated violence.

Thanks to the painful lingering after effects of Dan Ackroyd's Crystal Head vodka this recap will probably be a lot lazier than usual. But join me after the jump and I'll see what I can do...