When does the creative spark begin, and when do you follow through with it?
We chat at borg.com each week about some of the best artists, authors, writers, actors, makers and doers around. Every creator is at a different place in a spectrum between wanting to do something and accomplishing their goals. Some may want to be the best out there. Some may want to get that first project in the hands of readers and viewers. Whether you’re trying to get that first comic book published, the first novel in the hands of an agent, the first movie playing on the big screen, everyone has to start somewhere. One route many people take is creating fan versions of existing properties. Some succeed by starting with fan fiction–either by writing a short story with the further adventures of a popular character, making a full comic book story, or a full-length novel. For legal reasons these won’t make you money, but they will allow you to work on the creating process. If you’re really successful at fan fiction you may just end up being noticed–noticed by someone who may give you more opportunities to do what you like to do, or better yet, your big break.
We found four fan works you might not have seen before that we think are worth taking a look at. First up, a long time ago in a small village in Ireland… there was a nine-year-old Star Wars fan named John White. Today John has two one-of-a-kind websites, one focusing on a 200-page comic book he wrote as a kid adapting Star Wars to comic book form in Star Wars: Age 9, and the other adapting Alien to comic book form in Alien: Age 11. Before you brush off the idea as “yeah, my kid does stuff like that” actually take a look at John’s knowledge and talent with layout, color, and design at such a young age (like the panel of the Millennium Falcon above). John has also filled in the gaps as a grown-up with new work and his new work could easily be found in the pages of today’s DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse, etc. Check this out from one of what I’ll call his “special edition” pages from Star Wars: Age 9:
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The largest independent comic book publisher and the third largest comic publisher overall, Dark Horse Comics has scored pretty well at movie theaters so far in its relatively brief 27 years as comic book publisher, with successful adaptations by its Dark Horse Entertainment division of its books The Mask, Time Cop, Tank Girl, Mystery Men, Hellboy, Sin City, 300, and Aliens vs. Predator. Finally, Dark Horse Comics has teamed up with Universal Studios to bring to the big screen one of its most popular long-running series, R.I.P.D., from the anthology series Dark Horse Presents.
Roy Pulsipher and Nick Walker are dead, but that doesn’t mean their stint in law enforcement is over. Both Roy and Nick are officers in the Rest in Peace Department, or R.I.P.D., sworn to serve the Almighty and protect the living from the evil monsters among us. If you haven’t read R.I.P.D. before, you can see a seven-page preview of the prequel comic book series, R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned, released this past winter in a trade edition and available at Amazon.com, here:
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Rounding out our week of dark-themed 2013 movie previews, Marvel Studios just released the first trailer for Thor: The Dark World, sequel to the hit film Thor that we reviewed here at borg.com back in 2011. We liked the first big screen run at translating the classic popular comic book series starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, and Anthony Hopkins. It’s probably the most notable for giving us the backstory of Hiddleston’s Loki, who became the villain bent on Earth’s destruction in 2012′s megahit The Avengers.
Hemsworth, Portman, Hiddleston, Skarsgård, and Hopkins all return as Thor, Jane Foster, Loki, Dr. Selvig, and Odin in Thor: The Dark World, and are joined by Chuck’s Zachary Levi as Fandral, Doctor Who’s Christopher Eccleston as Malekith, Get Shorty’s Rene Russo as Frigga, and Lost’s Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim.
Check out the first studio preview for Thor: The Dark World:
Thor: The Dark World hits theaters November 8, 2013.
Litographs is a company with a line of prints featuring the entire text of a book using the words themselves to form a picture. They sell these as prints/posters and on t-shirts. Want to own a beautiful picture of Alice falling down the rabbit hole that is also, when you look close, the entire text of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland? Want to walk down the street actually wearing a favorite book?
Peter S. Beagle, author of the fantasy classic The Last Unicorn (reviewed here at borg.com earlier in graphic novel form), A Fine and Private Place (we reviewed the comic book adaptation here, too) and many other great works announced today a limited discount Litograph design for The Last Unicorn. And until midnight tonight, you can get a $10 discount on your order by entering the code FORTUNA during the checkout process.
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At the 12:01 a.m. IMAX premiere screening of Marvel’s Iron Man 3, on May 3, 2013, IMAX will be giving away limited edition Mondo Iron Man 3 prints. The artwork, created by Detective Comics and Green Arrow: Year One comic book artist Jock, is a collaboration between Marvel Studios, IMAX, and Mondo, the Austin, Texas-based limited edition poster company. According to Walt Disney Studios, owner of the Marvel properties, the Iron Man 3 print will be the last entry in the IMAX 12:01 poster series–a series that began in 2012 with alternate poster concepts to promote the films. No idea what a Mondo poster is? They are only released in limited editions and tend to sell out fast, and are created by a myriad of artists. Here is the Iron Man 3 poster to be given away in this last IMAX 12:01 giveaway:
Prior IMAX 12:01 posters have been created for Oz: The Great and Powerful, The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, Real Steel, John Carter of Mars, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Amazing Spider-man, The Avengers, Frankenweenie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and Prometheus. One of the best of these fantasy/sci-fi throwback designs was created for Oblivion:
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No matter what you study in college sometimes you can’t get work in the summer because no one wants to hire for jobs with decent pay on a temporary basis. That’s how I ended up at Movies-to-Go, a pretty typical VHS chain rental store in the 1990s that went the way of the dodo bird when DVDs came along. You learn a lot about people generally while working a video store, disturbing things like the fact that I Spit on Your Grave and Faces of Death outpaced new release sales time and time again. At every store there were aisles of direct to video releases–some action, some sci-fi, some horror. All of them had one thing in common–someone spent a lot of time creating covers that would get renters to actually rent the movie, despite the fact that most of these movies weren’t worth renting. Some of these edge the others out, and as an employee I remember being able to rent free any film overnight that didn’t get checked out, which meant I learned to like a lot of films from John Carpenter, Jean Claude Van Damme and Bruce Lee movies.
Some of these B-movies weren’t really good enough to be called B-movies, and were nothing but grindhouse pictures that would be shown at the then dwindling drive-in theater’s weekend third late show. Others, like Denise Crosby’s Eliminators, Dolph Lundgren’s I Come in Peace, Guyver 2: Dark Hero, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer and David Hasselhoff’s Starcrash, and Captain America (1990), prompted one ambitious young Canadian filmmaker named Steve Kostanski to spend three years in the 21st century creating one of these 1970s-1980s-type B-movies, with a name like a made-for TV Syfy Channel movie: Manborg. The amazing thing is Manborg actually received acclaim as an official selection of not one but six international film festivals: Austin’s Fantastic Film Festival, Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival, Sweden’s Lund Film Festival, Switzerland’s Neuchatel Film Festival, Toronto’s After Dark Film Festival and the London Sci-Fi Festival. And Manborg is being released on DVD on April 30, 2013.
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Half animated film come to life, half martial arts movie, in G.I. Joe: Retaliation look for one of the best action sequences ever to hit the big screen. Darker and more grounded in the realities of today’s terrorism themed movies as opposed to the days of action war pictures centered on the Cold War, the sequel to G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is only slightly less fun than the first live-action look at the action figure-turned-animated show and comic book-turned-action figure again franchise. Whereas Rise of Cobra was steeped in toy references and faithful action figure costume re-creations, Retaliation has a plot that could have been pulled from the 1980s animated series.
After a disaster caused by a conspiracy between Zartan and the evil shadow organization called Cobra wipes out literally every active G.I. Joe but three, it’s up to new top ranking officer Roadblock, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to lead the charge to unravel the conspiracy and save the world. He’s joined in a superbly created, fast-thinking survival maneuver by Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), who must then find their way out of a deep water well. Despite being developed characters from G.I. Joe incarnations past, Flint comes off a bit like Hawkeye in The Avengers and Lady Jaye as the token female Joe in an era you’d think would be long past relying on jokes about women in the service. Still, they both make the best of it and the trio, along with Duke (Channing Tatum), the squad leader of the Joes in Rise of Cobra, they share some good chemistry and laugh out loud moments in the film. If there is any fault in Retaliation it is why the producers thought the plot required eliminating such a pantheon of other great Joe characters who were featured in Rise of Cobra, like Scarlett (Rachel Nichols), Baroness (Sierra Miller), Ripcord (Marlon Wayans), Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), or General Hawk (Dennis Quaid). It’s also a bit disappointing Bruce Willis’s General Joe Colton didn’t have a few more scenes. Willis, transitioning from action role to the wise general role, steals every scene and a partnership with Dwayne Johnson in another film, G.I. Joe or not, would be a fun thing to see.
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If you have any doubt Patton Oswalt (Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, Starsky & Hutch, The King of Queens, Dollhouse, Community, Caprica, Burn Notice) is a genius, or comedian, or improv performer, good actor, or all-around cool guy, this week should remove that doubt. borg.com writer Jason McClain is a fan of Parks and Recreation and has championed the series at borg.com here before. To advertise Oswalt’s guest appearance on the show last night NBC released this completely improvised scene of Oswalt performing a filibuster before the show’s city council. It illustrates a lot about how this guy’s brain works and that he’s solidly a genre fan like the rest of us.
So check out Oswalt’s vision for the next Star Wars movie (a cool Boba Fett opener!), tying in the Marvel Universe (Moon Knight! Wolverine’s clone daughter X-23! Hercules!) and some good ideas you could actually see J.J. Abrams taking seriously (um, minus the Chewbacca one, that is), as well as a good recall of tidbits of Star Wars and Marvel trivia.
The background extras really had their work cut out for them by keeping straight faces, although you can see five young guys in the back that are totally engaged in Oswalt’s story almost ready to crack.
Remember when summer movies were just plain fun? No need for dark and dreary, just adventure and excitement? No need for deep and poignant emotion, but an excuse to escape the heaviness of real-world problems for two hours? Only one of the new preview releases seems to have that escapist romp vibe, and that film is The Lone Ranger. Nothing serious there–just a goofy Western throwback with just a bit pulled from the classic original. And Johnny Depp doing the kind of crazy characterization that earned him an Oscar nomination in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Who cares if they don’t have futuristic special effects and instead rely on a good old-fashioned train chase scene for their action and adventure? To us it just looks like fun. Check out this fun and action-packed new trailer for The Lone Ranger:
But you can’t have just one trailer and call it a trailer park so we have three more you may or may not want to check out. Next up is the new longer preview for Man of Steel. Man of Steel is starting to crystallize as a film that has a strange casting problem. First, the lead, Henry Cavill, doesn’t seem to carry the mantle of Superman from any previews yet released–the zip, pizzazz, charisma, kindness and power of Christopher Reeve will forever be the comparison for anyone daring to fill the shoes of Clark Kent and his caped alter ego. A chin dimple doesn’t make Superman. View full article »
With the passing Thursday and public announcement yesterday of classic movie and TV comedian Jonathan Winters, we thought we’d post a few clips of some our favorite bits of his unique humor. In countless interviews Robin Williams counted Winters as his comedic inspiration, both men at the top of the world of improvisation. Born in Dayton, Ohio in 1925, Winters went on to serve in the Marines in World War II. His first TV appearance was on Chance of a Lifetime in 1954, and his 15-minute variety show The Jonathan Winters Show on October 23, 1956, sponsored by Tums for RCA on the NBC network included the first color video ever to appear on television. That’s right, it was Jonathan Winters who brought color to the TV-viewing world.
Every generation who watched TV encountered Winters in some way. He led the second generation of modern American comedic actors, following The Marx Brothers and Laurel and Hardy. He was known by some as the Hefty garbage man and by others for his recurring bit as Maude Frickert. Like many comedians in his and later generations, he released many comedy albums on LPs. In 1961 Winters first entered the world of sci-fi TV in The Twilight Zone episode “A Game of Pool” with Jack Klugman. He appeared in more than 50 movies and guest starred and starred on many TV shows in his 60 years as an actor, including repeated appearances in every major variety and talk show over the years.
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