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Tag Archive: Kickstarter


   

Joey Spiotto is an artist whose works are immediately recognizable.  He has his own whimsical take on characters fans know and love–unique, but much like comic book cover artist Skottie Young he makes popular characters his own.  Spiotto is well known for his parody covers for Little Golden Books–his Storytime series takes sci-fi, fantasy, and other pop culture favorites and uses a Muppet Babies-type change-up to show us characters as wee ones on the cover of their own little kids’ book.  He’s taken on every franchise from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Terminator 2, Robocop, and Lost, to the Hamilton musical, from Mad Max: Fury Road, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, They Live, and Tron, to Donnie Darko.  How often do you see one series of anything include homages to both Mr. Rogers and Donnie Darko?  Individual prints of his Storytime series can be bought here and many have been compiled in his book available here at the artist’s Etsy store.

Now in stores is Spiotto’s latest book, Firefly–Back From the Black, a look at the characters of the fan favorite sci-fi series in the artist’s style and brand of humor.  A latecomer to the Firefly series, Spiotto counts himself a fan, and he shows it through his many obscure references in page after page of single panel drawings.  This is one where those who aren’t Firefly fans probably won’t understand what’s going on, but for those who are fans all the key characters are covered–spoofed, parodied, and maybe poked fun at more than a little bit.  You’ll find plenty of images of Jayne sporting his cunning hat, including one of his Mom sewing his hat for him–an off-screen scene every Firefly fan has imagined.  Fans of Spiotto’s first movie tie-in, 2015’s lovable look at Ridley Scott’s Aliens, Alien Next Door, will also like what the artist does here with the Firefly crew.  The kind of book you’d see getting as a Christmas stocking stuffer for those dreaming of a return of Firefly, or a nice add-in to a future Firefly Cargo Crate, Firefly–Back From the Black is now available here from Amazon.

   

Spiotto fans also have just under a day left to take advantage of the artist’s Kickstarter campaign to launch a compilation book of his High Fidelity series of prints–it’s fully funded, but some great deals and incentives are still available.  In this series he takes a similar twist on popular films and series as with his Storytime prints, but with High Fidelity the format is vintage 33 1/3 vinyl LP record album covers, and the characters become bands.

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One thing missing from the latest round of Star Wars toys is the miniature catalogs that were included in playsets and vehicles back in the 1970s and 1980s.  These were not only features of Star Wars toys.  Other lines, such as LEGO brick sets, included similar booklets.  As a kid you either learned about the next round of Kenner toys from commercials tucked between Saturday morning cartoons or the big deal for all kids each year–the Sears and JC Penney Christmas catalogs.

Along with the inserts and catalogs, kids would learn about new toys from other sources, like advertisements in comic books, magazines, and even local newspapers.  It’s these advertisements that Star Wars fan and chronicler Philip Reed has collected for his next book about toys.  Now fully funded is his latest Kickstarter campaign, A Galaxy of Action Figure Savings–a companion to last year’s Collect These Figures and Accessories–a 96-page hardcover book loaded with more newspaper ads, toy photos, commercial screenshots, and images of related marketing materials.

We’ve read Reed’s eighth of now nine books on the history of toys, last year’s Collect These Figures and Accessories, an unofficial overview interspersed with trivia and close-up photos of marketing materials and the actual trilogy tie-in toys spanning 1977 to 1986.  It’s easy to spend hours gawking at these artifacts of the past again, comparing prices, and studying those items that may or may not have made it to store shelves.  But fair warning, comparing the costs of action figures to today’s prices is a bit depressing.

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terminator-board-game-banner

You still have 12 days to get in on what has become a fully funded Kickstarter campaign for a new tabletop roleplaying game.  Half wargame, half tactics game, The Terminator: The Official Board Game is an asymmetrical strategy game in the making for 2-5 players played across two game boards: one in 1984 and one in 2029.  It’s all based on the original 1984 science fiction classic, James Cameron film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

One player takes control of all of Skynet’s forces, including Hunter Killer machines and Terminator cyborgs.  The rest of the players take the role of the human resistance, like Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, struggling against the impossible odds of the machine uprising.  Each of the two game boards play differently: 2029 focuses on light troop and resource management in a lopsided battle for dominance.  1984 focuses on personal missions with high stakes and intense pacing.  Missions arise through the course of gameplay, and have players make decisions in 1984 that will affect the future, erasing and adding components in real time.  You can download and try your own paper version of the game now, including game boards, game cards, tokens, and rules at this link.  Take a look at a full half hour video of gameplay below.

term-card-a    term-card-b

In well under a month since the Kickstarter began, the crowd-funding campaign was full funded.  A wide variety of game purchase options remain available, as well as great perks for donors.  Check out all the options at the The Terminator: The Official Board Game here.

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cyclotron

If you happened to watch the men’s or women’s cycling races at this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, you know cycling can be exciting (and dangerous!).  We don’t know if the latest technology in cycling will result in top racing speeds, but the coolest design we’ve seen since the Montague Hummer folding bicycle was introduced in 2002 is the new Cyclotron.  The hubless “smart bike” is inspired by the Tron video game, especially the lightcycle style from the 2010 movie Tron: Legacy.  If only it came with a Daft Punk helmet!

The Cyclotron is the idea of a company called Cyclotron Cycles, and the result is a successful funding campaign with 132 backers that raised more than $50,000 via Kickstarter this past July.  Funders are still welcome to participate, with bike order options between $1,330 for a 12-speed and $2,990 for the deluxe 18-speed model still available.  Not only is the design state-of-the-art, so are the extra features.

It’s made from ultra-lightweight “space grade carbon fiber” with spokeless, airless, 6,000 mile capable wheels that actually can store your groceries or supplies as you travel.  What?!?  The website has the details.  The Cyclotron has an electronic gear box and chainless drive train.  Integrated smart lights and Halo LED wheels will make you visible at night like no other bike (and you’ll look very cool, too).  It has a bike laser lane projector to alert those around you.  And if you don’t like the futuristic lightcycle look (gasp)–they offer decals to change the look altogether.

cyclotron-to-the-grocery-store

Check out the Cyclotron in action:

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Barrens variant issue 1 cover    Barrens Issue 1 Timmins

Writer CW Cooke (Solitary) and artist Bryan Timmins (The Monster King) are bringing a new kickass heroine to comic book shops next year.  New comic book independent publisher Project-Nerd Publishing is launching the post-apocalypse series Barrens via a Kickstarter campaign that will be winding up this week.  It’s the publisher’s first series and is sure to be the next big thing.  The minimum Kickstarter pledges to go forward have been met, but there are plenty of incentives that will prompt you to check out the campaign and pick some up for yourself.

Timmins calls Barrens a “Futuristic, Post-Apocalyptic, Punk Rock, Action-Adventure story.”  Timmins’ powerful, action-packed style and colors may remind you of DC Comics illustrator Jock or earlier classic comic book artists Moebius and Hergé.

Esme cosplay cover variant

The world is barren.  Just a few major cities remain and they are inhabited by the wealthy.  With their money, they survived the warfare… the virus.  But others survived too.

Those who won’t serve the wealthy live in the barrens, surviving on their own.  But with how dangerous the barrens can be, the wealthy actually need the filthy.  Hired escorts are paid handsomely to bring the wealthy from one city to another.  Protecting them on the journey.  Others are paid to act as mercenaries, task forces, and more.

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Toe Tag Riot logo

Matt Miner, writer of the ground-breaking series Liberator from Black Mask Studios, which we reviewed previously here and here at borg.com, is back again.  This time he’s launched a Kickstarter project that is now in its final week.  Miner’s latest idea is both cool and crazy.  It’s over-the-top, yet gritty and real.  It’s got zombies taking on real-life villains like no one has done before.  It’s Toe Tag Riot–and it’s crunch time–time to get this project funded so this unique voice can get his book into comic book stores everywhere.

Miner has teamed up with fellow Occupy Comics artist Sean Von Gorman (Pawn Shop, FUBAR, Houdini) and colorist John Rauch (Invincible, Star Trek, Venom), with cover artist Tristan Jones (Hoax Hunters, Ghostbusters, TMNT, Silent Hill) and cover colors by Doug Garbark (In the Dark, Liberator, Prophet) to tell the tale of a punk rock band that turns into zombies and takes on bigots, racists, and misogynists.

Toe Tag Riot band

Here’s the description from the Kickstarter campaign:

Enter Toe Tag Riot:  a struggling streetpunk band of the early 2000s who’re cursed with temporary, recurring zombification that transforms them whenever they perform their music!  Meant to destroy their career, the woman who cursed them clearly understands nothing because Toe Tag Riot’s new monster-punk look only propels the band into punk rock stardom.  Ethical sometimes-zombies that they are, our brave decomposing undead musicians resist their urges to snack on NORMAL human flesh and only make meals of the scummiest, grossest, and vilest scum that litters this Earth!  Finding that the transformation back into regular, filthy, punk rockers is taking longer and longer each time, the band goes on one last cross-country tour, chasing the cure to what ails ’em and hilariously/brutally slaughtering the worst of humanity along the way to an explosive showdown with The Westboro Baptist Church.

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Veronica and Keith Mars

Just how big is the Veronica Mars movie that was funded by fans via Kickstarter last year with more than $5.7 million in contributions?  Kristen Bell posted on her Twitter feed last night the new full-length trailer for the March 14 release, and when I clicked on it I was viewer number 301.  It now has more than 675,000 views, in just a day.  That’s just those active followers of Bell & company.  It’s the first big genre news of the year and is further proof Hollywood should have stepped up and made this happen so fans didn’t need to.  The ultimate proof will be seen in March, when we get to see actual box office numbers.

Veronica Mars movie logo

Unlike the first trailer, this new preview is smartly edited, showing watchers enough of the story to remind us why we liked Veronica, her dad (Enrico Colantoni), and her friends from day one.  There’s plenty of Dick (Ryan Hansen) and Leo (Max Greenfield)–in fact they get some of the best moments in the trailer.  Even Jamie Lee Curtis and real-life Kristen Bell hubby Dax Shepard have cameos.  And a Neptune High School class reunion is a great excuse to bring back the rest of the regulars, including Percy Daggs III, Krysten Ritter, Tina Majorino, and Francis Capra.

Veronica Mars and Leo

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Orphan Black Tatiana Maslany as everyone

Well it’s been one long year, with plenty to do and see, plenty of good and not-so-good to read and watch, and we’re certain we read more and reviewed more content this year than ever before.  And that in no less way was true for TV watching.  At the same time we waded through all that Hollywood had to offer and honed in on the genre films we thought were worth examining.  We went back and looked at it all and pulled together our 25 picks for our annual Best of the Best list.  Today we reveal the best content focusing on the moving image, and tomorrow we’ll run through our picks for the best in print and other media.  We hope you agree with many of these great creations of the entertainment industries, and wish everyone a great 2014!

Year’s Best Fantasy Fix — The Wizard of Oz in Theaters.  It’s a film that has been viewed on TV so many times you might take it for granted.  It’s historically been on many movie reviewers’ Top 20 movies of all time.  But when you watch The Wizard of Oz on the big screen in the middle of a year of modern blockbusters you realize how it can stand up against anything Hollywood has to offer today, even after 70 years.  Remastering the print for a new generation to see it in theaters was a highlight for movie watchers this year.

Almost Human partners

Year’s Best Sci-Fi Fix — Almost Human, Fox.  Like Continuum last year, the new series Almost Human created a future world that is believable and full of extraordinary technologies based in today’s science and touching on social issues of any day.  And even putting aside its buddy cop and police procedural brilliance, every episode plunged us into future police grappling with incredible technologies–DNA bombs criminals use to contaminate a crime scene, identity masking technology to avoid facial recognition video monitors–it was the best dose of sci-fi in 2013.

Best TV Series — Orphan Black, BBC America.  What rose above everything on TV or film this year was BBC America’s new series, the almost indescribable Orphan Black From its initial trailers that piqued our interest, to the surprise series consisting of one actress playing multiple roles that dazzled from out of nowhere, magical special effects, and a unique story of clones and X-Files-inspired intrigue propelled Orphan Black to be our clear winner for Best TV Series of 2013.

Sleepy Hollow

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Liberator Issue 1 cover

Although the mainstream and critics will likely ignore Black Mask Studio’s new four-issue mini-series Liberator because it deals with politics head-on, it should be on your list of the best comics of 2013.  Fully funded from a successful Kickstarter campaign, with profits going to animal advocacy causes, Liberator puts its money where its mouth is, centering on two realistic heroes approaching their noble and hard-fought causes in different ways.  If you’re tired of the same old superhero vigilante with little but blowing up alien worlds at stake, maybe Liberator’s tantalizing tagline will help pull you in: “Real heroes don’t wear capes… they wear ski masks.”

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Community cast

It may be a sign that fans of much-loved TV series are finally having a say in determining what stays on TV.  With fans voting with their wallets last month to bring Veronica Mars to the silver screen via an unprecedented Kickstarter campaign, someone savvy at NBC programming must have realized the loyal fan following of Community was worth keeping by saving the half-hour comedy series.   Last night NBC announced Community will be back for a fifth season, moving it ever closer to the series not-so secret mantra “six seasons and a movie”.

The roars of thousands of series fans who chanted along with the montage of key scenes from the past three seasons at Comic-Con last summer said it all.  And it didn’t matter that Chevy Chase wasn’t returning to the series or the much liked show creator Dan Harmon was cast away, as show regulars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, and Donald Glover continued to provide all the fans want and more over the past 84 episodes.

Community McHale

Why do fans like the show?  The humor?  The characters?  The actors?  All of the above?  Watch the series cast talk about the show last year at Comic-Con:

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