Archive for July, 2013


Star Wars Invite

Petco is inviting Comic-Con attendees and the general public to a special event in San Diego this week.  Petco has created a Star Wars themed party Friday night, July 19, 2013, from 4-7 p.m. at the Hotel Indigo in downtown San Diego to coincide with its launch of Star Wars themed pet toys and apparel for dogs.  Locals and frequent Con attendees will recognize San Diego as one of the best places around for having pets and this Friday you and your dog(s) are invited to this event.  And if you don’t have a dog already (why not?) come meet shelter dogs from the San Diego Humane Society looking for a good home and maybe you’ll make a connection with a new forever friend.

And because it’s Comic-Con weekend, costumed Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and other Star Wars characters will be in attendance for photos with people and their furry pals.  The Petco event attendees will also have the opportunity to have movie caricatures drawn of you and your pet, complimentary treats and giveaways, and a chance to win products from Petco’s new Star Wars Pet fans collection.

Check out some of the new outfits for your nerdy hound:

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beware the batman batmobile

If you find typical animated series on Cartoon Network visually boring, this new series is for you.  DC Comics’ DC Nation on Cartoon Network has finally achieved a satisfying blend of eye-grabbing visuals and smart storytelling in its newest animated series, Beware the Batman.   A follow-on to Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Beware the Batman is a fresh take on Batman that opens up possibilities for a long-term animated series with interesting villains of the week similar to those we enjoyed with the 1960s live action Batman series, but skip the camp and humor for some gritty situations and snappy dialogue.

What first will draw viewers to Beware the Batman is the high-resolution, three-dimensional effect of the cutting edge CGI animation itself, similar to the realism we’ve seen in Tron: Uprising, but even more so like the stylish visuals in The Incredibles.  Although the Batman himself may be the least eye-catching of the hundreds of Batman incarnations out there, he has his own style here that may grow on viewers.  But Alfred, the villains, Tatsu Yamashiro, all look incredible.  Wayne Manor is a beautiful mansion on the edge of a cliff, something you’d expect to see from Richard Branson.  Gotham looks like the moody covers to The Dark Knight Returns.  The action sequences are full of explosions and chases offered up in ways you haven’t seen before, too, with realistic and futuristic 3D technology effects like those in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report.

Alfred and Batman

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Red Sonja by Doran

This Wednesday Dynamite Comics will take on a reboot of the fierce and beautiful she-devil with a sword, Red Sonja.  We’ve previewed Issue #1 and were happy with the result–full of swordplay and the mythic dialect you’d expect from the heroine originally found in the pages of Conan the Barbarian.  The big news is that the new series is written by Gail Simone.  Known for many comic book series, but particularly her gutsy Batgirl and Wonder Woman, Simone’s fans will find her Red Sonja a worthy new addition to the pantheon of strong women characters in comics.  With some nice classic Conan-style artwork by Walter Geovani, Dynamite will no doubt have a winner with this new series.

Red Sonja by Scott

Simone’s Red Sonja story has bits and pieces of archetype characters and settings.  In Issue #1 keep an eye out for a new take on Akira Kurasawa’s classic save the village story.  She also includes enough backstory to allow new readers easy accessibility to the character and her medieval high fantasy world.

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Jeff Bridges in Seventh Son

How can you get any cooler than Jeff Bridges’ hacker/video game mogul character of Flynn in Tron?  As The Dude in The Big Lebowski?  Two new trailers will no doubt elevate even diehard Jeff Bridges fans’ views of this singularly awesome genre actor.

We already previewed the first trailer for next week’s release R.I.P.D. here at borg.com R.I.P.D. adapts the Dark Horse Comics paranormal cops series and stars Ryan Reynolds as Nick Walker and Bridges as Roy Pulsipher, a gun-toting badass that makes Bridges’ Rooster Cogburn from the True Grit remake look like a wimp.  This new trailer for R.I.P.D. relies heavily in its attraction on the coolness that is Mr. Bridges.  Add to it that mammoth revolver and this movie looks like a guaranteed summer blast.

Just check out Bridges in this cool new trailer for R.I.P.D.:

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Oliver and Rochev

Summer Glau, star of Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and guest actress on Alphas, Chuck, The Cape, Dollhouse, The Big Bang Theory, The 4400 and Angel, adds another genre TV series to her already extensive catalog of roles.  Glau will be portraying Arrow antagonist Isabel Rochev in a recurring role on the second season of the CW’s Arrow opposite Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen.

Green Arrow readers will recognize Rochev from the 2010 Green Arrow #1 (Volume 4), created by J.T. Krul and Diogenes Neves.  Rochev, who the CW revealed will be the Vice President of Acquisitions for Stellmoor International, a company looking to take over Queen Consolidated, was a minor but interesting character from the recent past in the Green Arrow universe.  In the comic book series, Rochev worked in the diamond mines of Siberia in her youth.  When she met Oliver Queen’s father Robert visiting her village, he inspired her on to bigger and better things.  Eventually she came to take over Queen Industries.  She saw herself as Robert’s true love and had a goal of eliminating Oliver.  She managed to get her hands on Moira Queen’s wedding ring, and wore it along with a strange mask.

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Nerd HQ 2011

Matt Smith!  Eva Green!  Aaron Eckhart!  Tatiana Maslany!  Joss Whedon!

Nerd HQ returns again for its third year as an added stop for Comic-Con attendees next week from July 18-21, this time changing its venue to the home of the San Diego Padres at Petco Field, via the Gaslamp Gate.  As with past years the highlight of Nerd HQ will be its panel series with admittance limited to 250 attendees. We attended the first Nerd HQ back in 2011 and were able to talk to Zack Levi (Chuck) and catch the panel and autograph signing with Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, Enterprise, Men of a Certain Age) discussed here at borg.com. Nerd HQ offers an option for those who could not get tickets to Comic-Con and those Comic-Con attendees who want to sample some of the events outside the annual “greatest show of the year.”  Compared to the large audiences at Comic-Con it also offers a more intimate opportunity to ask questions to major genre guests who are only a few feet away.

Tickets are for sale today beginning at noon Pacific Time, and with 250 seats per panel they will sell out quickly.  Each panel costs $22 with all proceeds going to charity.  Last year the events raised $140,000 for Operation Smile.

Here is the initial schedule of panels, the scheduled guests, and a quick link to where to buy tickets today:

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Sandman-Overture-CV1

Just as Comic-Con celebrated the 20th anniversary of Jeff Smith’s Bone comic book series in 2011–and every year seems to bring another landmark to celebrate something–Neil Gaiman will be attending panels at Comic-Con this year promoting the 25th anniversary of his popular Sandman series, which ran until its 75th issue published ten years ago.  Comic-Con will be featuring artwork by original Sandman artist Dave McKean on a new convention T-shirt and his work will be featured on the cover of the 2013 SDCC Program Guide, handed out to guests with one of several giant swag bags as with past years.  Tied to the anniversary, DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint has amped up the promotion of a new six-issue prequel series to Sandman, titled Sandman: Overture.

Another follow-on to a classic comic book property?  The difference between Sandman: Overture and Before Watchmen is Gaiman’s participation–he is not only endorsing the concept but unlike Alan Moore’s absence and disapproval of Before Watchmen, Gaiman is writing the story, with artwork by the stylish Batwoman artist J.H. Williams III and covers by both Williams and McKean.  “This is the one story that we never got to tell,” Gaiman said in a Vertigo press release. “In Sandman #1 Morpheus is captured somehow.  Later on in the series, you learn he was returning from somewhere far, far away – but we never got to the story of what he was doing and what had happened.  This is our chance to tell that story, and J.H. Williams III is drawing it.  It’s the most beautiful thing in the world.”

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back_to_the_future poster

Some of your favorite classic movies from the 1970s and 1980s are coming to a theater near you in digitally-restored editions this July and August.  Cinemark Theaters are presenting two-day, three showing, retro screenings of Grease, Back to the Future, Animal House, American Graffiti, Ghostbusters, and Dirty Dancing as part of the Cinemark Classic Series.

And you can purchase tickets to five movies for only $25 or all six movies for $30.  There’s something for everyone, with a great selection of movies that look great on the silver screen.

Click here for a list of participating theaters across the United States.  Here is a preview of the Cinemark program series:

Showtimes (local time) are as follows:

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the-x-files

Mulder and Scully will be back together again, at least for thousands of fans attending The X-Files 20th Anniversary Panel in Ballroom 20 at San Diego Comic-Con later this month.  In interviews in past years they have indicated a third movie or other X-Files reunion was possible and maybe they will share more about that as David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson join series creator Chris Carter and writer/producers David Amann, Vince Gilligan, Howard Gordon, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, John Shiban and Jim Wong.

We previewed here at borg.com last month another part of the 20th anniversary celebration–the continuing adventures of Scully, Mulder, the Lone Gunmen, the Smoking Man, Skinner and the rest of the paranormal in The X-Files: Season 10 monthly comic book series from IDW Publishing.

x-files460

The X-Files ran nine seasons, from 1993 to 2002, with recurring roles and guests roles from Robert Patrick (Agent Doggett), Annabeth Gish (Agent Reyes), Mimi Rogers (Agent Fowley), Adam Baldwin (Knowle Rohrer), Michael McKean (Morris Fletcher), Veronica Cartwright (Cassandra Spender), Willie Garson (Henry Weems), Terry O’Quinn (Lt. Tillman), Leon Russom (Detective Miles), Darren McGavin (Agent Dales), Denise Crosby (Dr. Speake), Lucy Lawless (Shannon McMahon), Michael Bublé (submarine sailor), Cary Elwes (Asst. Director Follmer), and Luke Wilson as Sheriff Hartwell in the fan favorite episode “Bad Blood.”  It was also made into two movies: The X-Files: Fight the Future in 1998 and The X-Files: I Want to Believe in 2008.  And it had one spinoff–the short-lived 2001 TV series The Lone Gunmen, feature the quirky trio played by Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood, and Dean Haglund.

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We3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

Commentary by Jason McClain (@jtorreymcclain)

I think the Internet exists at its core for three basic things: seeing people in various stages of undress to ogle beach bodies, looking at photos that proud parents post of their progeny, and single folk and childless couples with their pictures of pets.

When I watched the pilot of the TV series The New Normal, the choice to adopt a child by two men in a committed relationship hit a snag, so the couple at the core of the story looked at pet adoption.  I can’t call that cliché because that truth exists for a lot of couples and single people out there as pets fill that spot in so many lives of wanting to share unconditional love.  Yes, it is a well-trod joke and yes, as a plot device I wouldn’t call it “fresh”, but that’s because just like crazy in-laws or perceived infidelity, everyone can relate to it.  The key is finding the heart behind that moment and making the situation unique while relatable.  In the case of The New Normal, it was pushing around a baby carriage with a puppy inside.

We3 takes putting a puppy in a man-made object to a completely different level.  I recently finished the trade hardback that compiles all three individual issues of this series (written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Frank Quitely) as it tells the story of a dog, a cat and a rabbit outfitted with cybernetic exoskeletons that enables them to fight and battle with just about any enemy.  (Editor – would that make them Aniborgs?)*  Each animal brings its own specific skills to its cybernetic life and how the scientists created and augmented the animals draws out those natural abilities.  To get feedback in both directions, the animals even have automated speech systems to translate thoughts into words.  Their English communication is rudimentary, as you’d expect, but wonderfully written and the concerns of We3 exhibit how I believe animals would think about home, solitude and food.

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