What will you be doing in 2033? If the past twenty years indicate anything, we’ll be hobbling up to the counter at Elite Comics for its 40th anniversary. What were you doing in 1993? Clint Eastwood was winning Oscars for Unforgiven. We first heard Jack Nicholson telling us we can’t handle the truth in A Few Good Men. Sigourney Weaver returned for Alien³ and Michael Keaton donned the batsuit for the last time in Batman Returns. Deep Space Nine debuted on TV along with Lois & Clark and The Jon Stewart Show. Winding up their series were Quantum Leap, Hee Haw, Doogie Houser, Cheers, Late Night with David Letterman, and The Wonder Years.
In the comic book world, 1993 was the biggest year in comic book sales in history. Batman’s “Knightfall” story arc was in full swing. X-Men saw its 300th issue. Mike Grell released his four-issue Green Arrow Year One story in a limited series called The Wonder Year. 1993 was a big year, but it was also the beginning of the end for 9 out of 10 comic book retailers in the country. Marvel Comics was on its way to bankruptcy. Only the strongest comic book shops survived. Thanks to comic books being adapted into movies beginning in 1997–with more than 25 box office, comic book adaptation hits since then–comic books themselves started to climb again in popularity.
One of the survivors over the long-haul of the past two decades is Elite Comics in Overland Park, Kansas. Proprietor William Binderup has been keeping our pull lists and delivering the newest titles every Wednesday, and tonight he’s celebrating with cake, drinks, and more, and everyone is invited to celebrate 20 years of Elite Comics. He’s even bringing in a band. Adam WarRock will be kicking off his ten state tour tonight at the store. And pick up a new shirt and a Bryan Fyffe limited edition print.
So if you’re in the Kansas City area, get over to Elite Comics tonight at 11842 Quivira, Overland Park, Kansas, and party like it’s 1993!
Jacobs Brown Press has announced that its detailed account of Star Trek, the original series, These Are The Voyages TOS Season One, by Marc Cushman, is now available in the UK and throughout Europe via Amazon. Fans in the UK can purchase the book at www.amazon.co.uk; in France at www.amazon.fr; and in Germany at www.amazon.de.
We reviewed These Are The Voyages TOS Season One here at borg.com back in July and recommend it to fans of the series because of its detailed account and voluminous reference material. These Are The Voyages TOS Season One pulls information from all these sources plus resources like Starlog, Daily Variety, and TV Guide articles as well as delve into an archive of production work papers from the UCLA Performing Arts Special Collections never before tapped for such an exhaustive work on the series. These Are The Voyages TOS Season One is a treatise on Trek, a comprehensive history of a crowning achievement in science fiction, but also a history of television itself in the 1960s.
Co-written by Susan Osborn, Volume One clocks in at a hefty 600 pages, with a foreword by John D.F. Black and Mary Black. If book one is any indication, Star Trek fans will have another thousand pages of densely packed content to sift through in the coming months as later volumes are released. A three-book boxed set will be a must.
If you already have a shelf full of the 40 years of non-fiction books written about Star Trek, you may not think you need another book on the original series. However, if you don’t, and even for those who think they know everything about Star Trek, you will find These Are The Voyages TOS Season One an exhaustive, indispensible resource and a most compelling and interesting read.
You can also check out the Roddenberry.com website where the publisher is making available signed copies of Volume One of the series. Books can also be purchased in the U.S. at Amazon.com here. If you want to check out many other past Star Trek books, you can find an extensive list of resources we previously discussed here.
Much more so than we can tell from previews of the coming DreamWorks film Mr. Peabody and Sherman, which we previewed earlier at borg.com here, a new monthly comic book series based on Jay Ward’s classic animated series has all the heart that made the original loved by millions. Mr. Peabody is the genius dog, of course, who takes his boy Sherman back and forth across time like Doctor Who and his TARDIS or Doc Brown and his DeLorean.
The original animated series-within-a-series called Peabody’s Improbable History, which was featured in episodes of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, is as classic as classic gets, and fans can recite episodes decades after it first aired for kids in the 1960s and re-aired to kids in reruns in the 1970s and beyond.
Issue #1 of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, written Sholly Fisch with art and colors by Jorge Monlingo, is funny, appeals to all ages, and captures the spirit and look of the original. Here’s a preview of Issue #1 courtesy of IDW Publishing, now in comic book stores everywhere:
*In memory of Jenny, who waited beside me many hours this year as I wrote for this website, tail wagging and always there for me. You will be missed.
Dozens of adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan have made it to the big screen and TV, and the newest version is out next year. It’s not another Disney adaptation although the 1999 Disney version was pretty good. This new version offers some nice animation in its first international full-length trailer. It includes some futuristic concept updates to the original story, as seen in the trailer. And it includes the voice of one of those actresses we can’t get enough of–Jamie Ray Newman.
Check out this first international trailer for Tarzan:
Tarzan is scheduled for release in theaters February 20, 2014.
The Six Million Dollar Man himself, Lee Majors will be one of the featured guests at the next Planet Comicon comic book and pop culture convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Propelled to sci-fi icon status in the 1970s because of his five-year stint as the astronaut Steve Austin who became the first modern cyborg, Majors was already known to Western fans for his roles on The Big Valley and The Virginian. And the action figure with his likeness remains one of the best-selling toys of all time.
In his post-borg years Majors starred as stuntman Colt Seavers in The Fall Guy. Not a year has gone by since his five years on The Fall Guy that Majors hasn’t appeared as a guest actor on TV series after TV series, including having a key role in Season 2 of TNT’s Dallas reboot this year.
After meeting up with the Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner at Planet Comicon 2013, we’re doubly psyched to see one of our favorite borg actors in person. We’re looking forward to meeting the man who sported that red track suit and, backed by the sound effects and famous techno theme song, became the guy that OSI’s Oscar Goldman promised us each week “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the
capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.”
Planet Comicon 2014 will be held in Kansas City’s giant Bartle Hall, March 14-16. Ticket sales will begin December 1, 2013. Check out the Planet Comicon website link at the bottom of the borg.com home page in the coming weeks for more announcements. Planet Comicon 2014 promises to be the biggest show in more than a decade of being one of the Midwest’s premier fan conventions. borg.com will again have a presence at the show with updates all weekend.
Review by C.J. Bunce
Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, authors of Star Trek 101, the Secrets of Star Trek: Insurrection, and the Star Trek 365 series, have compiled a new book in the Topps retro series of bubble gum-inspired books that includes the The 60th Anniversary of Bazooka Joe we previously reviewed here at borg.com. It’s Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, and it’s a must-have for fans of 1970s trading cards and the original Star Trek series.
Back before videotape you’d watch a TV show or movie and never have much hope seeing it again unless you were lucky enough to find it rebroadcast later. Keys images from your favorite films or TV series could be found on lunch boxes, T-shirts, school folders, and comic book covers if you were lucky. Bread companies would sometimes stick trading cards in loaves, and you’d be lucky to collect three cards from any collection. These included cards from Star Wars and Star Trek. Topps had great success with its series of Star Wars cards, but you may not be aware that the company released a series of Star Trek cards prior to that series, in 1976. It’s this series of classic cards that are the subject of a new book just released by Abrams.
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It’s a strange coincidence that 50 years after the death of President John F. Kennedy a controversy has surfaced involving a Superman comic book, President Kennedy, and original comic book art. The controversy involves the original artist, Heritage Auctions, and an agreement made just after Kennedy’s death.
Heritage Auctions had initially planned to auction 10 pages of original artwork from Superman Issue #170 today in conjunction with the anniversary of the President’s assassination (along with several Dave Gibbons original cover art pages for Watchmen). The auction house agreed to pull the lot in light of a lawsuit brought by 91-year-old artist Al Plastino, who claims that the original art was to be gifted to Boston’s Kennedy Library by DC Comics decades ago.
The Superman comic book, which featured the story “Superman’s Mission for President Kennedy” has its own interesting history. Plastino was working on the Kennedy story art the day Kennedy died, and the project was halted until DC Comics got permission to issue the story to honor President Kennedy, authorized by President Lyndon Johnson himself. The story involves Kennedy enlisting Superman in his initiative to get America’s youth physically fit. It includes a full-page drawing of Superman waving to an image of Kennedy above the U.S. Capitol–the art that was to be sold at auction today. The story was finally published in July 1964 with a note on its last page announcing the original art would be donated to the JFK Memorial Library at Harvard University.
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The earliest modern source for what it means to be “borg” is no doubt Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, perhaps the most famous and widely reproduced work of fiction–and certainly the most adapted over the past 200 years in books, plays, television, and movies. Originally titled Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus, Shelley wrote her book in a series of notebooks from an idea she had from a dream while pondering what to write for a competition to write a “frightening tale”.
Published first in 1818 with a run of 500 copies, her original manuscript notebooks survived. If you happen to be more than a few decades old, you remember the days of pages of handwriting, before word processors and PCs, and long before the days when schools stopped teaching handwriting. Tasks we can perform quickly today only years ago took far greater effort, and the thought of writing something as lengthy as an entire book long-hand seems so very archaic in 2013. And exhausting.
Original handwritten page from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein manuscript.
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At first look at Mickey Lam’s detailed cityscape panels you’ll wonder why he isn’t drawing a regular monthly series. His first comic book is the black and white Mr. Yang Fights Aliens, Part 1. By day Mr. Yang is a schoolteacher. One evening he is awakened in his Peckham neighborhood and observes a kidnapping–a kidnapping of a homeless man by an insectoid alien race. Can this schoolteacher, who would rather work on balancing his own life issues, like keeping ahead of work and finding a girlfriend, save the world?
Lam is a self-taught illustrator based in London. He has a degree in biomedical materials and was a secondary school science teacher before committing to illustration work. In addition to creating art for clients, he creates his own comic books to experiment with his style and improve his skills. Lam’s cityscapes in particular will appeal to fans of Moritat–DC Comics’ Jonah Hex series artist.
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Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce
First, let me say that I’m struggling to figure out how to review this for people who haven’t read the book (really?). Although it’s been almost 20 years since my last read, so much of what I just saw is wrapped up in what I remember, and what I wanted to see, that it’s difficult to give this an objective viewing. So I’m just going to give up trying.
Ender’s Game follows a talented young (young) military cadet, Andrew “Ender” Wiggan (Asa Butterfield, Hugo) as he navigates his way through a complex future military academy. Picked at birth, soldiers begin their training in childhood, all in preparation for a massive war with Earth’s longtime, poorly-understood alien enemy, the Formics. The title refers to the computer simulations and novel physical training undergone by the students at Battle School. What makes Ender’s Game different from any other sci-fi bootcamp movie (like 1997′s Starship Troopers, itself an adaptation of the science fiction classic by Robert Heinlein, which was poorly received but which borg.com editor C.J. and I both enjoyed) is the focus on the emotional arc of the adolescent hero. Where Starship Troopers is a straightforward shoot-’em-up action flick, Ender’s Game is a little more complex, delving into the psychology of indoctrinating the young to kill, and examining the effect of this training on young Ender himself, as he grows from a scrawny little picked-on genius to a brilliant military commander. Oh, yeah—and it’s a damn good shoot-’em-up action flick.
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