Friday, October 17, 2014

Jet Puffin development

Actually did this during last Christmas and New Years.

Here's Jet Puffin again... 


I'm in love with this character. She lives in the universe of my Over the Mountain comic, but she's way too sexy to have around all the time.

She also goes by the name "Boffette" which is my female version of the term "boffin". Boffin is British slang for scientist or technician. (Her real name is Jeanette.) She has an armored power suit similar to Iron Man, but her approach is a more defensive attitude when confronting an enemy. Most of the time.

Jet Puffin would be a romantic interest for Herman Bear all right, but they would also be scientific rivals as well. Herman Bear is a naturalist at heart, and the cosmic forces Boffette tries to harness seem unnecessary... and too dangerous to him.

Boffette likes Herman, but sees the bear as a chauvinistic meddler who thinks women can't develop advanced technology, and handle great power. Point of friction I would think.

I've scribbling a story on this all year, let's see what happens...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Wander over Yonder - The Date

Stumbled across this on
Mochi posting stuff...

SPOILER ALERT!!!



(art copyright Disney, screengrabs by Mochi)


According to Wikipedia, Sylvia has to go out on a date with Lord Hater. The premise is that Hater's date doesn't show up, and he decides to destroy the planet out of revenge. Wander talks Sylvia into going out with Hater to keep him from blowing up this unnamed world.

Looks cute!

Leo the Tech Guy

 I still listen to AM radio, and Leo the Tech Guy has something interesting to listen to on those slow Sunday afternoons. When I'm tired of sports radio, Leo has callers asking about Windows, hard drives, apps, cell phones, you name it. It just takes a while for them to get on topic I'm interested in.

I'm usually in the car, and not ready to use the phone while driving. It's more of a nuts and bolts program than Digital Village on KPFK, but Leo is a much more genial AM radio host than the others these days...


(photo copyright Leo the Tech Guy, photographer unknown)


Friday, October 10, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy - Animated Series

(Updated 10-12-14)
Hope this is a real scoop, it looks good.

First, via email from a friend,
Then, a post on Facebook,
Now, through the Animation Guild blog,

 http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2014/10/newer-marvel-animation.html

Next, the Hollywood Reporter...

 http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/guardians-galaxy-animated-tv-series-739981

So don't tell anybody!


 "Bigger blasters?"




(copyright Marvel/Disney)

Sorry about the small size, had trouble with the embed.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Marvel settles with Jack Kirby estate



(Photo taken by Suzy Skaar for "The Art of Jack Kirby" (Blue Rose Press, 1993)

It's taken me more time than I thought to comment on this news item, and I hope I've learned a bit more about the artist/employer relationship. When it comes to Jack Kirby, and all the work he has produced, it stirs up a lot of passion in comic fans.

And that's not a bad frame of mind, but it may not be useful when dealing with our current business climate. (My commentary will naturally be biased towards the artist.)

When Disney acquired  Marvel Comics, it seemed like mixing oil and water. I could not see how Disney's wholesome, family image could be balanced with Marvel's gritty superhero themes. Except for the profit motive, of course.

Marvel Comics had been owned and passed along by quite a few different corporations over the years since the first Lee/ Kirby days.The issues of who created which characters, and who signed their rights of ownership away as work for hire seemed to settled.

No one knew who would create the next Mickey Mouse or Superman, so these guys cranked this stuff out just to earn a paycheck. Comics were considered disposable, like old newspapers. Case closed, or so it seemed.

However, I learned recently from a debate on LinkeIn that the families of Siegel and Shuster, the creators of Superman, had been getting some kind of royalties, or share of the profits that the Superman character had generated for DC comics over the years. 

"With great power comes great responsibility"

(Simpsons copyright Fox)

Even though I'm a comic fan, I missed this information somehow. My assumption is the public having an image of the families of the creators of Superman being "left to starve" created bad press. And so a new arrangement was made to cut the heirs of Shuster, if not Siegel, in for some of the profits. Guess I need to hang out at more comic conventions. 

Oi.

Getting back to the settlement with the Kirby estate, a commentator on LinkedIn noted that this Lee/Kirby feud may have been old baggage that Disney did not want to lug around anymore. I can just picture their reluctant hands going down a little ways into those deep pockets and tossing the Kirby descendents a few bones. 

Whether the DC/Siegel and Shuster settlements set some kind of legal precedent will take more digging on my part. (Hooha!) But knowing the image Disney wants to portray may have spurred them into pouring oil on these troubled waters, even though it's quite late in the game.

Another thing that surprised me was how a faceless organization like Time/Warner could have made such a "warm and fuzzy" move with the Superman heirs. By faceless I mean that Disney had Walt, and Marvel had Stan Lee. But Time/Warner has no real "faceman", other than Bugs Bunny. 

Rant time: Business is business, and a deal is a deal, but maybe the world is getting tired of these huge media conglomerates winning ugly. Or else these corporations just want to avoid any more embarrassment.

But here's to Jack, still the King!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Godzilla and Ultraman - The Amazing World of Japanese Special Effects



(copyright NHK and Tsuburaya Productions)

Godzilla and Ultraman - The Amazing World of Japanese Special Effects
 
It's fun sneaking around "backstage". I missed the beginning, but in Godzilla and Ultraman - The Amazing World of Japanese Special Effects  they displayed their techniques for making miniatures that went back to traditional Japanese gardens. And just good old forced perspective. The host was a westerner who seemed to love Tsuburaya, and even was allowed on a miniature set to pose with Ultraman Victory(?) The special effects people added the classic energy beams coming out of his hands to blast a monster.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-vdH86F6ZQ

They also talked to the pyrotechnics guy about his wiring set ups. He had something like the western studios have, sort of an electric xylophone. He could "play" the device so the squibs would go off with the proper timing. They also talked about Manga, and a car commercial using Tsuburaya's techniques where the car has to outrun giant monsters on a twisting canyon road.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/tv/special/201408.html

I don't know if they will run this again, hopefully it will appear on the net somewhere. It's always great to see "old friends"!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Green Lantern vs. Tweety Bird

Green Lantern vs. Tweety Bird: I'm surprised that no one has done this mashup before. I must have too much time on my hands.

(All artwork copyright Time/Warner)

Lately, I've sort of been competing with Ross over at http://braveandboldlost.blogspot.com/

Ross does marvelous comic covers with different superheroes who would not normally get together. This is usually due to copyright issues between Marvel, DC and other comic book publishers. My mashups have a more humorous bent, and I feel like picking on Green Lantern this morning.

Most comic fans will know the back story of the Green Lanterns, and the limits imposed on them by the Guardians of the Universe. If you dig this cover, then I don't need to belabor the point. 

I'll admit that I enjoyed the Darkest Night series, but I always think twice when I pick up a GL comic. Looking back on Hal Jordan's rough past, I can see him taking the place of Star-Lord in "Guardians".
 I'm still skeptical of most super hero movies. Phantom Menace really let me down, and I saw Green Lantern on the plane once(and tried to walk out.)

(rimshot! sorry.)

 After a bunch of lerpy Silver Age adventures where a character like Tweety could cause as much trouble as Mr. Mxyzptlk or Batmite, Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams put Green Lantern on a much more dramatic course in 1970.

No more mustard, lemons or banana peels now folks.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Cartoon Sidekicks (or the Big Dumb Buddies who take all the abuse)

This is an addendum to the horse and rider entry. Plus I'm feeling nostalgic again.


I've also noticed the design elements such as the differences in sizes, shapes and height. Plus the different color scheme of the characters, and how they relate to each other. Most sidekicks seem to have less detail as well.

(Credits going clockwise) Super Chicken and Fred (by Jay Ward and Bill Scott); Beany and Cecil created by Bob Clampett, Tom Terrific created by Gene Deitch, and Rocky and Bullwinkle (Jay Ward and Bill Scott again).