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Jan 062012
 

I had never seen a motion comic before until I saw Astonishing X-Men – Gifted (Marvel Knights). It’s so amazing how it was all put together with comic book images brought to life as the story unfolds.

In this feature, Professor Xavier is on sabbatical and had left Cyclops in charge along with Emma Frost, a former villain who can read and control minds. The rest of the X-Men team consists of Beast, Wolverine, and Kitty Pride, who is a mutant that can walk though walls.

As much as the X-Men want to continue as a superhero team, there’s plenty of friction between them. With Jean Grey dead, Cyclops now sleeps with Emma. Kitty doesn’t trust Emma because she remembers when Emma was a villain and what she’s capable of. And of course, Wolverine is still just Wolverine.

Cyclops relates the X-Men team with the Avengers and the Fantastic 4. He comes to the conclusion that the reason nobody hates those superhero groups is because they wear superhero costumes. So Cyclops suggests new outfits like Wolverine’s yellow spandex, Cyclops’s blue tights, and Beast’s new shorts.

The main villain the X-Men face in this adventure is an alien named Ord, who has a blade weapon that can slice through anything. After rescuing a group of innocent people from Ord, the press still doesn’t see the X-Men as heroes even with the new outfits. Despite the results, the X-Men still use the superhero costumes on their missions.

Meanwhile, geneticist Dr. Rao has developed a cure to make mutants normal. After she goes public about it, the X-Men have a difficult time trying to figure out if Dr. Rao should use it. However, Beast is actually interested and decides to analyze a sample from Dr. Rao to see if it really works.

After Beast finishes analyzing the cure, he discovers that it’s not only real, it was actually experimented on the bodies of dead mutants. The X-Men decide to go back to the lab, but only for re-con, despite that Wolverine would rather destroy the place. You know Wolverine, he’s the type that would rather shoot first and ask questions later.

While searching the building, Kitty discovers an underground complex. She explores on her own and finds Colossus. Kitty eventually brings him back up after getting some rest. It will take every ounce of energy she has to do so.

Now that the X-Men know too much, Ord takes off with all of Dr. Rao’s research in his spaceship, but not if Wolverine has anything to say about it.

This is an excellent six-chapter motion comic, which was written by Joss Whedon. In a future post, I’ll be talking about the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8 motion comic, also written by Joss Whedon.

Sep 062010
 

I am fortunate to live in an area where I can attend so many conventions and meet so many amazing people.  Sometimes celebrities at conventions don’t participate in Q&A’s and sometimes the celebrities I meet don’t have much to say but are very nice all the same.  That was the case when I met Elisabeth Rohm and Jewel Staite, both are very lovely ladies.  They were both extremely nice and friendly.

Elisabeth Rohm – Best known to Whedonverse fans as Detective Kate Lockley on Angel.  I met Elisabeth at the 2008 FX show.  She was pregnant and appreciated me kneeling down to have my photo taken with her.  She also mentioned the autograph photo I chose was her “sexy pose”.  I would have to agree.

Jewel Staite – Best known as Kaylee Frye in both the Joss Whedon show Firefly and the 2005 film Serenity.  I met her at Mini MegaCon 2009. I also remember Jewel from her role as Heidi Gotts from the short-lived FOX show Wonder Falls. Of course I watched most all of the episodes on DVD because FOX cancelled Wonder Falls before it ever had a chance to survive.

Well it’s been one year since I started my blog. It is my hope that you have enjoyed my posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them. I look forward to sharing my convention adventures, and my thoughts about other entertainment venues during the upcoming year. Thank you for your support. Also, I want to thank my sister Stacey for all her help and encouragement over the past year.

Mar 062010
 

Okay, I admit it. This show was a little before my time, but I still remember seeing it years ago. The Best of the Electric Company and The Best Of The Electric Company – Volume 2 (1971-1977) was so much like Sesame Street that I used to think the two shows were one and the same. It didn’t help that they were on PBS, back to back. The only major difference was that Sesame Street had a main story line that intertwined with the songs and skits and The Electric Company didn’t. Works for me, since the songs and skits were my only favorite parts anyway. There is a updated version that premiered on PBS in 2009, but it’s nothing like this one.

Some of the most memorable reoccurring segments include Silhouettes, Letterman, and Spiderman. Oddly, Spiderman never actually speaks. His dialogue only comes out as comic book balloons. The “Silent ‘E’” song was pretty catchy. As it turns out, Tom Lehrer, one of the top artists on The Dr. Demento Show, performed it. Many of my favorite artists and songs came from there.

When I saw this show on the “Noggin” channel a while back, I’ve noticed that big stars like Rita Moreno, Bill Cosby, and Morgan Freeman were among the regular cast members. Interesting, it makes me think of how many stars start out on creative shows like this. Such as Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In, Saturday Night Live, and Hee Haw.

The DVD sets also feature interesting factoids about the series. One that really stood out was that head writer Tom Whedon is Joss Whedon’s father. It’s definitely a different style from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Another interesting factoid was that Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Joan Rivers, and Mel Brooks were all voice actors for some of the animated segments. What I don’t understand is why they were never credited for it.

Overall I think this show is an excellent educational show to help children to read. Now if only there was a version for older kids, like teenagers and college students. It would just have tougher words and segments that would be more for a grownup audience. That could’ve helped me in high school… a lot.
Sep 302009
 

The creative series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as the lead. Now attending high school in Sunnydale, Buffy not only has a new watcher, but a Scooby gang as well. One thing I don’t understand is that in the movie version, Buffy was a senior. On this show, she starts as a sophomore. That’s a little strange, but then again, the series does work better with more of the seasons taking place at the high school. Smart move, Joss Whedon.

Buffy wax statue

In case you were wondering. This is not the real Sarah Michelle Gellar with me. It's a statue from Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Las Vegas in 2004.

Other than vampires, this show has creative takes on other types of old monsters like zombies, werewolves, robots, witches, ghosts, fairytale creatures like the Gentlemen, Hansel and Gretel, and even Dracula himself. There are also many different types of demons. Just like how Futurama has many different types of aliens and mutants. As much of a drama as this show is, it’s also got it’s share of comedy.

As if all of those monsters weren’t difficult enough, the various monsters aren’t the only threats the hellmouth had to offer. There were times that Buffy and the gang were confronted by magic spells and curses. Such items include; animal possession, a student turning invisible because she was being treated that way, everyone turning into whatever Halloween costume they were wearing, drinking beer that turns college students into cavemen, worst fears coming to life, and the ever popular, everybody suddenly breaking into song. Now that’s creative material.

The fight scenes are amazing. When a vampire is killed, they turn to dust with a neat effect. Too bad it doesn’t work the same way with killing demons.

There were some other great characters also.  But one character who went through a major transformation was Spike (James Marsters).  He started out as a tough villain.  Then he had a chip put in his head that prevents him from harming any humans, which forced him to be a good guy.  He was a pretty useful member of the Scooby gang though.

Charisma Carpenter at Mini MegaCon 2009

I met a lot of cast members from this series at several different conventions.The cast members I’ve met so far are; Nicholas Brendan (Xander), James Marsters (Spike), Clare Kramer (Glory), Julie Benz (Darla), Juliet Landau (Drusilla), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Amber Benson (Tara), Adam Busch (Warren), and Camden Toy (various demons).

Clare Kramer at FX Convention 2009

I’d have to say that out of all of the Buffy cast members that I’ve had the opportunity to meet, Clare Kramer, who played the evil goddess Glory in season 5, was the sweetest.

Amber Benson, Emma Caulfield, and Charisma Carpenter at Mini Mega Con 2009

 Look for pictures of other cast members from Buffy the Vampire Slayer on future posts.

Sep 182009
 

Five years before the series premiered, Buffy the Vampire Slayer starred Kristy Swanson as the high school cheerleader turned kick butt vampire slayer, chosen to save the world from a vampire threat. None of the other characters from the series were in this film, even the watcher was different. Of course, this was back before Buffy transferred to Sunnydale.

I met Kristy Swanson at MegaCon 2008. She didn’t say much. She asked me if I was a Vinnie, like Vinnie Barbarino. I said yes. She smiled and that was it, pretty much.

One part of the movie that really stuck out was when Benny (David Arquette) uses a hotdog to play a trick on Buffy.  Then she takes out a knife and cuts it quickly. That used to creep me out, but not anymore. Other actors I’ve recognized were Hillary Swank and Paul Reubens.

When the vampires get killed, they don’t turn to dust with a neat effect, like on the series or the Blade trilogy. I’ll tell ya. What a rip off. I’ve got to hand it to Pike (Luke Perry) though. He fights vampires about as well as Xander does.

This movie had an interesting concept, but the story line could’ve been better. I heard that Joss Whedon didn’t even want anything to do with the movie after the producers changed his original script.

Personally, I would much prefer a Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie based on the series.

Kristy Swanson