Wednesday 15 August 2012


The Newsroom
1x04 I'll Try to Fix You

2x02 Episode 2
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]


Dirty Laundry (2012)
[#62a in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

A ten-minute Punisher fan film, premiered a couple of months ago at ComicCon, from the production company of & starring the star of the 2004 version of The Punisher, Thomas Jane. It's kind of a pitch for how the franchise should be brought to the big screen, and it's rather good. You can watch it here.

The Saint's Double Trouble (1940)
[#63 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]


Idolized #0 & #1 by David Schwartz & Micah Gunnell

Zero issues are a funny business. When they're released mid-run (as DC are doing next month with all their titles), they make sense as prequels. But before the series itself starts? Why isn't it just issue #1?

Here, the first superhero comic from Aspen (as they proudly proclaim in various places) offers a bit of setup... as well as revealing what look like future events in the comic. Now, maybe this isn't a problem, but it sure looks like they're spoilering their own series to me.

The other thing that interests me is that this doesn't seem to be promoted as a miniseries, but surely it's got a finite life? Once Superhero Idol is over, surely you can only go so far before it begins to move far from its original concept? Surely this is why the very-similarly-themed America's Got Powers is only six issues? There are options, of course -- you continue with the characters regardless of how it began; you reset with each new season of the TV show; etc -- and it might be interesting to see where they choose to go with it.

The actual first issue is more setup, really. If #0 establishes the premise, #1 establishes the lead character. Unfortunately it does this through an awful lot of telling and not showing -- it's her audition, at which she stands around and talks us through her life. Comics allow us to see snatches of this as she talks about it, but still, it's being narrated, not really shown. But it's an interesting one, actually, and the concept and balls Schwartz has set into play are interesting. Plus Gunnell's art is nicely cartoony, yet still expressive and exciting when needed.

I made sure to read this quickly (over all of the other comics I have stacked up) because despite ordering it ages ago Forbidden Planet seem to have failed to send me a copy, so I thought I better read it (coughonewayoranothercough) before it was impossible to get anywhere else. On the quality of these first two, I think I'll keep going.

Revival #1 by Tim Seeley & Mike Norton

Described as "A Rural Noir", Revival looks set to be The Next Big Thing from Image, publishers of The Walking Dead -- and look how that turned out. Copies of The Walking Dead #1 now change hands for prices in excess of $1,000 (according to Bleeding Cool Magazine), so this isn't just a good read but also potentially an investment. If I could sell this in however-many-years for half the cost of The Walking Dead #1 after the-same-number-of-years, I'd be a happy bunny (and it'd be a pretty stunning return on investment).

But that's not my main aim, because I'm not One Of Those People. My main aim is to enjoy it as a read, and it is a damn fine read. It feels exactly like a TV pilot, actually, as it establishes multiple major characters and plot threads. One great thing about it is it dives into the middle of the story: in one small area of Wisconsin death has stopped, but so-called Revival Day was sometime weeks or months ago (it's not specified, but it's clearly A While whilst still being Quite Recently) -- the world knows what happened, but not why or how, while debates still rage about how to deal with it going forward.

The other extraordinary thing it does is, in 25 pages, feel like an entire pilot episode. If you watched this on TV, with this much incident, I imagine you'd feel satiated. It's not action-packed, but with an HBO-y Mad Men-y pace -- entirely befitting the kind of genre-but-intelligent stable it's going for -- it'd slot right in. And there's plenty of threads and mysteries set in motion to keep it going, too. Definitely one to stick with.


Movie Cities' Olympic Promo Posters
(from Empire)

What if the 2020 Olympics weren't taking place in a real city, but One From The Movies? In this fun piece, Empire imagines how the promo posters for 13 such cities might look.