When you think of the Alien franchise, what iconic images come to mind? Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley in a giant power loader suit or going face-to-face with a Xenomorph? The first facehugger? Hicks, Hudson and Vasquez realizing they were facing something hopeless? Queen of sci-fi Veronica Cartwright’s scream at the first terrifying chest burst? Ridley holding Jonesy finally sighing with relief that they survived the alien onslaught? Dozens of these and other iconic images are packed into a new adult coloring book, Alien: The Coloring Book, coming this May from Titan Books.
The adult coloring book business is gaining steam with publishers taking extra efforts to see that the artwork inside meets the standard of the franchise. Alien: The Coloring Book has pulled together artwork that resembles the actors and key scenes from the movie, but also does so in a visually interesting manner and conforms to the whole point of these books: to give fans a chance to color their favorite scenes (in or outside the lines).
Creating scenes from all of the Alien movies featuring heroine Ellen Ripley are artists Leandro Casco, Wellington Diaz, Vinz El Tabanas, Salvador Navarro, Guilherme Raffide, Rubine, Vincenzo Zerov Salvo, Adriano Vicente, and Daniel Wichinson. Eighty pages provide Xenomorphs, chestbursters, Xenomorph eggs, your favorite characters, spacesuits, ships, Ridley Scott’s futuristic sets and H.R. Giger-inspired designs. One of the fun illustrations features Lance Henriksen’s cyborg Bishop playing mumbletypeg with the hand of Private Hudson (played by the late Bill Paxton).
One of the best in-universe, sci-fi, tie-in books that we have come across is part of this year’s celebration of the 30th anniversary of James Cameron’s Aliens. Insight Editions’ Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report is not only a great idea–a book that could have been a movie prop used by the likes of Paul Reiser’s junior executive Carter Burke–its execution is superb. Remove the title wrap and you have a mock leather-bound, heavy duty field guide that you might see passed around by the corporate types in the next Alien movie.
Written by Aliens, Star Trek, and Resident Evil tie-in novelist S.D. Perry with lavish artwork and designs by Markus Pansegrau and John R. Mullaney, The Weyland-Yutani Report pulls out all the stops to deliver a comprehensive Board of Directors summary guide to the findings and technology uncovered with the Alien movies beginning with Ridley Scott’s prequel Prometheus in 2012 to 1979’s Alien, to Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1986), and through to Alien: Resurrection (1997). (The Predator crossovers are not covered in The Report).
The most eye-opening data ties together–in a manner more clearly than portrayed in the films–Weyland-Yutani corporation and its founder Sir Peter Weyland, from details available in the films and information that was only character background that didn’t make it into the films. The goals of the corporation that were the fabric that connected all the films is investigated with some top secret findings (and some redacted), including the hierarchy and gross (as in chestburster) anatomy of the Xenomorphs, groundbreaking (future) scientific achievements of “The Company,” as well as weapons, ships, tools, and theories of alien beings and their connections to early Earthlings. (Learn even more about “The Company” at the corporate website here).
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.
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.
By C.J. Bunce
(Insert a spoiler alert here as a courtesy to anyone who really thinks a 50 year old film needs one!)
Sometimes you are at the right place at the right time. Having recently heard about the new Fathom Events series, where the satellite-video entertainment company transmits a one-night only event around to movie theaters across the country, I keep going back to the Fathom website to see what is next. And I marked my calendar when a Hitchcock film made the list. Last week we let borg.com readers know about this past Wednesday’s screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, a Turner Classic Movies presentation to celebrate the 100th year of Universal Pictures, on the cusp of the 50th year since The Birds first premiered.
A missed opportunity across the country is the failure to establish a regular, ongoing market for old movies being shown on modern theater screens. Only recently (OK, the late 1990s so not that recently) mass audiences were able to go back and see the original Star Wars trilogy in the theater and in the past year we were able to see more recent, but still years old, films in the theater well after their initial release, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Avengers films, and the Batman franchise. But for decades now “art house” theaters from time to time get old releases and screen these old films for a few weeks at a time. Usually the quality is poor, yet it gives new audiences as well as the older crowd that saw the films in their initial release an opportunity to discover or enjoy the films again.