Saturday, June 29, 2013

Perth Supanova 2013 - Day 1 Teaser: The Hoff! Urban! Cosplay!


Supanova has finally exploded all over Perth's Claremont Showgrounds and we are deeply embedded in the pop culture trenches! We braved scratches from foam weapons and giant wings to bring you the best local coverage possible, a lot of which we will roll out over the following days as we are all super listless and yawny now. 

But we do have a bunch of photos to get things rolling and give you a taste of what went down on the first day. Including that crazy picture above of Kroton, the obscure Cyberman from the comics who retained his emotions and probably even cried or something! Did you know that under all that armour is our very own Courtney Coulson, frequent guest host of The Book Was Better and writer of Costume Critiques?! That is just one example of the great lengths our team will go to in order to assimiliate.

Much more... maybe even a photo of you... after the jump!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Supanova: George Perez's Comics Masterclass

Supanova is upon us once again. The really dedicated geeks amongst us descended upon Claremont Showgrounds in the cold for Preview Night. It's a chance to see some of the guests a little early at the official opening, see a couple special panels and get a head start on autograph tokens.

For me it was a chance to get some time with a living legend of the comics world. George Perez hosted an intimate little seminar, his comics masterclass. It was an opportunity to watch him explain his craft both verbally and physically as he sketched some rough pages live in front of the audience.

George of course is one of the legends of the industry. Having broke his teeth on The Avengers in the late seventies he moved on to such seminal works as The New Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, Man of Steel, The Infinity Gauntlet and the true classic Crisis on Infinite Earths. Personally, my favourite work was his late nineties run on The Avengers with Kurt Busiek. This is still, to this day, the definitive run on Earth's Mightiest Heroes in my opinion

So what did I learn from the old master tonight?  Hit the jump and find out!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Big Brother Power Rankings: Week One

So the houseguests are in, we got a closer look at a lot of the players, and we've already crowned the first Head of Household. Plenty of spoilers for last night's show beyond the jump.

For clarity if you're a superfan who trips up on this and watches the After Dark show and live feeds: I generally do not. The rankings are based on what happens on the televised shows three nights a week, although I do tend to take a lookback after the shows have aired to get some back story. So the rankings will never factor in something that hasn't aired on television yet, but may later factor in things that don't get televised after the fact (example: if Aaryn and Jessie have an argument on the live feeds but not the show proper, that won't be factored until later).

Enough shop talk, let's get to how the show went.

AFL & DC Team Up

Being a nerd and being into sport aren't as mutually exclusive as they used to be. There's no reason why you can't geek out over the storyline of your favourite show right before you discuss the effectiveness of your Captain's possessions in last night's game. In that spirit, the AFL have teamed up with DC & WB to bring us a series of tshirts merging our favourite team colours with the logo of the (super)man of the moment.

Confusingly, they don't feature all 18 teams in the AFL. I can rationalise that perhaps the West Coast logo would be a bit hard to incorporate into a pleasing merged design, but they persisted with Gold Coast (though to be fair, it ain't a good looking shirt). Even though my main team has been overlooked, I'm pretty happy that my second choice looks badass. Will definitely be getting an Essendon shirt.

All designs are available on the Online AFL Shop, and once they're gone, they're gone, so be sure to snap one up!

Perth Supanova 2013 Preview: The Fruitless Pursuits Stall!

Perth’s biggest pop culture convention, Supanova, is this weekend and Fruitless Pursuits will be there in force! For the first time we will be there with our very own stall and we will have lots of awesome stuff for sale. Plus we’ll be taking plenty of photos of cosplay and events to feature on our site!

You can come and find us at Stall L in Artist’s Alley, but if you’re having trouble finding us, look out for our giant poster showing off our brand new chibi caricatures, created by amazing artist and friend, Linda Foote...

It shows off all six of the Perth team who will be at the stall or roaming the floor, so keep an eye out for us. You’ll see these images (plus images of our American Team) popping up more often on the site moving forward, and hopefully they will assist in you getting to know us.

But in the meantime, check out the actual stuff we have on offer - including original playing cards, books, comics and badges... after the jump!

Supanova 2013 Cosplay Preview

After 12 months I've only just realised that Halo guy is wearing Fox Racing gloves
Without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite part of any convention is the cosplay. Sure, 70% of the characters are anime and I have no idea who they are, but it doesn't mean they don't totally kick ASS. It's so great wandering around the convention floor and seeing a Batman walking alongside an Effie Trinket, dodging a Minecraft Creeper. The beauty is that anyone can participate no matter their budget, and their costumes actively CONTRIBUTE to the enjoyment of the event. In short, cosplay rocks. Join me under the cut for a few of my favourite snaps from the last four years of Supanova, in preparation for the big weekend ahead.

Supanova Perth - Supastar Guests of Comics! (by Cem Selamet!)

Here's a first post by new contributor Cem Selamet! Please make him welcome and look for more of him on the site soon...

There’s something really electrifying about meeting the very legends of industry who you’ve spent hours, months or years idolising their work. Like me, most fans will find it liberating to talk a writer about a scene that touched them, or an art panel that blew them away, having them turn the page back and re-read it a few more times.

This week in Perth, Supanova Pop Culture Expo will host a phenomenal lineup of writers, artists, and collaborators from the Comic industry. These Silver, Bronze and Modern Age comic creators are a definite must-see.

If you’ve ever been a fan of X-Men stories The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, or even nostalgically recall the 1990s X-Men: The Animated Series, you’ve got to meet Chris Claremont, the writer responsible for so much of Marvel’s X-Universe. Claremont’s time on X-Men holds the record for the longest stint (running from 1975 to 1991), and during this time he created and expanded not only the cast, but also explored a variety of social issues not being covered at the time in the comics industry. Claremont will be hosting a seminar (Saturday 3:10pm), and will be in the Supa-Star Signing Area over the course of the weekend. 

Many more... after the jump!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Avengers Assemble… in Perth?!

This week I sat down in a comfy chair and settled in to read my usual weekly stack of comics. As always I start with the Marvel books. I’ve been a Marvel reader for 20-odd years so they get priority. Anyone who’s seen my wrist knows I’m a huge Avengers fan, of course. The best Avengers book currently running? Easy. Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers. It’s a high concept, science fiction odyssey spanning the world and the universe. I love the scope, the gravitas of it all. His Avengers is always one of the first things I devour.

Now as I read issue #14 this week and appreciated Caselli’s gorgeous art I got a great surprise. The Avengers were headed to Australia. Now that is exciting enough but not only were they coming to my country, they were coming to my city!

That’s right! Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have landed in sleepy old Perth!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Review: Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

Consider a nation in peril where the king falls victim of a coup of "The Privileged," the gods are intervening in their own way, and you have a group of mages, Powder Mages who can effectively channel the power of gunpowder by consuming it and becoming expert tacticians in the process?

Yeah, I'm in.

DC Comics New 52 - Stryder's Weekly Top 5

Time for another round of my top 5 comics for the week!  This week's comics were released on June 19th, 2013....

Supergirl #21 - "I'm trying this new approach to problem-solving called 'not punching things in the face.'"

Poor Kara...home planet destroyed...crashed on a planet where everyone's afraid of her and no one trusts her...falls for a guy who turns out to be a creepy super-villain (not that the signs weren't there)...meets her Earth 2 counterpart Power Girl only to have her own ship/home confuse the two and try to kill her for being a "clone"...gets kryptonite poisoning and is literally (albeit slowly) dying!  It's no wonder that she's decided that Earth isn't such a hot place to spend whatever's left of her life before the kryptonite catches up to her!  So this issue Supergirl steals...well, it's a space-motorcycle essentially, from inexplicable scientist Dr. Veritas and off she goes for greener pastures!  Despite the good doctor's insistence that they can cure her if she'll just be patient! When is a teenager EVER patient?

So Supergirl is flying through space on her new bike when lo and behold she picks up a distress call from a planet of alien beings!  Careful though, Kara...if I know anything about space travel, it's that sometimes, when you come across things in space, well...they're a TRAP!!!  Cool reveal at the end of this issue, and I also LOVE the cover...

What else is going on in the New 52 this week?  Find out after the JUMP!

Review: Man of Steel!

This is a film about a leap of faith. The idea occurred to me early on and was reinforced around the midway point when a character explicitly uses that very phrase. Zack Snyder’s reboot, Man of Steel, is the story of our first alien encounter. It’s about Superman’s difficult decision to reveal himself to the people of Earth. Will they fear and despise him? Or will they embrace him? And I think, on some level, that is the same question that the filmmakers are asking of the audience - Are we finally ready to accept Superman’s cinematic return?

The film has been aggressively divisive, and I think that your ability to enjoy it depends on how large a leap of faith you are willing to take. It’s an earnest, melodramatic film, filled with sincere but schmaltzy moments of melodrama, and I think that if the prevailing angst is all a bit too silly for you, and you think that Henry Cavill in his cape and bodysuit is ridiculous, then it will be very easy for you to roll your eyes and have a cynical chuckle at all that transpires. If you’ve never understood the appeal of Superman then this isn’t a movie that will easily change your mind. However, if you’re interested in the mythology, the character as an enduring icon (75 years and counting), and gloriously grand scale sci-fi/action comicbookery - if you can get past the inherent silliness - then I really think there’s a lot to enjoy.

I’m not going to nitpick costumes. I’m not going to talk about how plausible all of this. If you see a movie called “Smurfs” then it’s going to have smurfs in it. This is Superman so you’re going to see his dorky red and blue costume and everything else that this franchise entails. My two questions instead are: How triumphant is Superman’s return? And what are the main challenges in bringing him back?

Find out what I made of it all... after the jump!

The Book Was Better Podcast Episode 48: Grease! (with guest host Xavier Rubetzki Noonan!)

The Book Was Better is the podcast where two brave souls navigate the treacherous and hastily-written waters of movie novelizations!

This week Something Something Joystick’s Xavier Rubetzki Noonan makes his triumphant return as we delve into the swingin', fever heat of the novelization of Grease! What is the word? Grease is the word! So come on all you greasers, get greasy with Grease!

You can scoop it up right now from the official site, or why not subscribe to us on itunes like cool dude Danny Zuko!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Capey's Comic Convention Commission Etiquette

It’s 9am and freezing cold out the front of some convention centre. Geeks of all shapes and sizes are queued up, ready to pounce. For some it will be a mad dash to get a chance for a photo with their favourite celebrity, for others it’s to get that first bargain or rarity before someone else snaps it up. For me, it’s a sprint to artist’s alley to meet my artistic heroes of the comic world.

The comic penciler is part artist, part cinematographer, director, set designer and choreographer. In the film industry this would be the job of many talented people. In comics, it’s one supremely talented person. Also, unlike those other professions, you can get an original piece of their work, created just for you.  You can’t go and get yourself an original piece from legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins but you can have an original piece by the immortal George Perez on your wall. It’s really a unique thing in pop culture.

Now I’ve gotten good handful of pieces done and often get questions from people on the cost, how to go about it and so forth. I have commissions from Nicola Scott, Francis Manapul, David Yardin, Mark Brooks and Matthew Clark among others on my wall. I figured with Supanova coming up this week in Perth, Oz Comic-Con in Melbourne the week after and SDCC fast approaching, why not delve into it for you lovely readers.

Supanova Preamble - Preview: Supastar Guests of Television and Film

This weekend Supanova, Perth’s premiere pop-culture convention, touches down and promises to be packed with entertainment. As with previous years there is plenty to see and do for the whole weekend from visiting stalls and buying loot to meeting some of your favourite celebrities.

This year Fruitless Pursuits will be covering many aspects of the convention including Cosplay, Celebrity Panels, Stalls and Comic Artists.

Stay tuned this week for more information about what we will be covering and for all the convention highlights and stories in the week to come.

For now, follow me under the jump where I talk about the Supanova Supastar Guests from the Television and Film world that I’ll be checking out this weekend.

WASO and The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring!

Sometimes multiple things that I love collide and smoodge together in a way so infinitely pleasing that I raise my eyes to the sky and thank the nerd gods for their benevolence.

I adore orchestral music, always have. Often doesn’t matter what the music is, the experience of having it played by 50 - 100 of the countries best musicians will always conquer the professional recording. The West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) are no stranger to crowdpleasing romps that get all the nerds aflutter - they did a massively well received concert of the work of John Williams, and a separate rendition of the Star Wars themes, and have a similarly exciting follow-up planned.

Join me after the jump for more orchestral-swooning!

Book Review: Deadbeat: Makes You Stronger by Guy Adams

Having read a good number of books from Titan Books for the site lately (along with a good number on my own), I've found that Titan does one type of book exceptionally well, and that's the classic-style pulp novel, whether it be a fantasy title or even the crime novels they've been putting out over the last decade. Deadbeat is a new series for Titan by screenplay writer and author Guy Adams, and fits that mold perfectly, with a sharp story and interesting premise, while not taking itself too seriously.

Review: Sideshow Collectibles Babydoll (Sucker Punch) Premium Format Figure!

Regular readers will know that I unapologetically love Sucker Punch. I’ve reviewed The Art of Sucker Punch, the Hot Toys Sucker Punch 1/6th scale Babydoll and Amber. I’ve said so much about Sucker Punch that I’m just going to quote myself:
“It’s a lurid, uneasy fever dream that fails to adequately establish its own rules and often grapples to even make sense. It's part music video, part fairy tale, and part cartoon. It's a bold experiment - most would say a failed experiment - but I can't help but be entranced by the unfaltering audaciousness of it all. If you are able to concede its premise, then it plays out like a twisted burlesque/action version of Walt Disney's Fantasia - a series of music-backed experimental vignettes, tied loosely together by a shared theme.”
Much like Fantasia, not everybody wants to sit through it, but I love it, and I am especially entranced by the visuals. So I was absolutely thrilled when our very good friends at Sideshow Collectibles sent me their stunning Babydoll Premium Format figure to review. Regardless of your views on the film, this is well worth a look. Especially if you - like me - have been on the cusp about venturing into Sideshow’s Premium Format line of high end collectibles, because I am going to talk quite a bit about that line in general.

Find out what to expect and see many more pretty pictures... after the jump!