Torchwood/Star Trek Crossover

I’m doing one of my usual “tooling around the internets” thing when I came across this cool thing. Back when Star Trek: Generations came out and William Shatner was doing the press for it, he appeared on a childrens’ show in the UK called Electric Circus. Check out who was interviewing him:

Yes kids, its Captain Jack himself John Barrowman. I showed Kathy the clip and she remarked that John’s hair looks worse than William’s and ironically its real. But I promised Kathy I wouldn’t post any links to Captain Jack/Captain Kirk slash fiction over at Hey, Martha!
Thanks to IO9 for the link.

Shepard Fairey Art Prints

Sometimes you take a look around your house and realize something needs to be added to the decor of your house. Something tells you it isn’t posters from Spencer’s Gifts (I’ve lived on my own for about 20 years and still have to realize that fact) You’d like to add something that will bring some class to your domicile. Something that will get the conversation going without being controversial.

One way you can add to the look of your home is to select one of the shepard fairey prints to add to your home.  But once you take a look at the different shepard fairey art prints that are available, you might have difficulty picking just one. Looking at the obey giant prints gets you to thinking where you can place it in your home.

What To Get: Outland The Complete Library

In 1989, Berkely Breathed retired Bloom County to undertake a Sunday-only strip called Outland, mainly to take advantage of more space in the Sunday comics. Although Breathed had made reference to shrinking comics pages in Bloom County, many did not think it was a sticking point with him until this announcement was made. Featuring a new character Ronald Ann, who could escape the grittier parts of Bloom County by escaping to Outland, where fanciful flights of fancy abound. Although the strip started with Opus the penguin as the only character to continue from Bloom County (other than introducing Ronald Ann in the previous strip to set up the successor) other members of Bloom County eventually appeared on the strip, and it called back more on its roots toward the end of the strip’s run. The whole Outland collection is in the book, along with some selection of Academia Waltz, Breathed’s college strip.
The deadline’s coming up to place your preorder, or you could go to Amazon and order Berkely Breathed’s Outland: The Complete Collection now. Right now, Amazon has it for $26.39 as opposed to DCBS’ $25.99 and the SRP of $39.99.
And if you haven’t got the Bloom County Library from IDW, or you’re missing a volume or two, why not order one today? It would help the blog out if you did, as we get a tiny percentage of the purchase and help keep the lights on here.
Bloom County: The Complete Library, Vol. 1
Bloom County: The Complete Library, Vol. 2
Bloom County: The Complete Library, Vol. 3
Bloom County: The Complete Library, Vol. 4
Bloom County: The Complete Library, Vol. 5

Lockers For Kids

Everybody who’s a parent knows this scenario: their kids comes home from school and doesn’t have something of theirs’. A coat, a book, their shoes (I know, but I bet there’s a few parents who have had to deal with that) and they have to try to get it back. Or their kid’s room looks like a bomb exploded. Their stuff needs better organized to prevent things like this from happening.
Having a place for children to put their things makes kids lockers come in handy. Whether you’re a school or business who needs lockers for kids, or you want to get childrens lockers for their room, you can find what you’re looking for at Kids Locker Shop. They have live help you can chat with, and low price protection before and after a purchase, along with a 30 day no hassle return policy. Great for finding just the thing you’re looking for.

Convention Ending

Steve Thompson writes about how the upcoming Cincinnati Old Time Radio Convention will be the last one. Among the reasons given are that the bigger stars are passing away (the ones people will pay to see) and the fans are getting older, lacking younger ones to take their place.
Is it just me, or does this sound like an indicator of the future of comic book conventions?

Babylon 5 Love

IO9 finally shows some love for Babylon 5 with this post giving you a good overview of the show and some recommendations for key episodes, if you’re overwhelmed and want to know where to start. Hey, I’ll admit that it is a bit of a slog to wade through the first season, both because they were getting settled in and the main story arc hadn’t really got started (that would be episode 13 “Signs And Portents”)  While I would say the first episode “Midnight on the Firing Line” would be a good indicator of whether or not you would like the show, if you get discs from Netflix, I would suggest making the second disc of season one the first one you watch, as it has two suggested episodes from IO9: “Mind War” and “And the Sky Full of Stars”, and the other two episodes on the disc are no slouches, either. Or you could get Babylon 5: The Complete First Season for only $15.99, or Babylon 5: The Complete Second Season for only $18.99 when the story arc starts kicking up to try out.

Cool Deals On blu rays

I just got a couple of sweet deals on blu rays on Amazon that I thought I would share with you.
The first one is for a movie called Secondhand Lions [Blu-ray], and I got it for $7.99. It stars Haley Joel Osmet as a young boy sent to live with his cantankerous uncles (Robert Duvall and Michael Caine) and he learns that crotchety doesn’t sum them up, and about life. I liked the film on Netflix and got the DVD, but the clincher for getting it, without spoiling too much, is that there’s a fictional comic strip illustrated by Berkeley Breathed. Look for Berkely Breathed’s Outland: The Complete Collection to be featured in a “What To Get” soon.
The second one I got was Some Like It Hot [Blu-ray]. Classic Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and directed by Billy Wilder. But the clincher was the price. Its usually $10.99, but under the image of the disc and the price on the left side of the page is a button you can click on to get $3 off, or $7.99. They’ve got other movies with the $3 off button under the picture and the price, and they are Walk the Line [Blu-ray]for $6.49 after coupon, The Usual Suspects [Blu-ray]for $6.99 after coupon, and The Last of the Mohicans: Director’s Definitive Cut [Blu-ray], Slumdog Millionaire [Blu-ray], and Crazy Heart [Blu-ray] for $9.99 each after coupon. How cool is that?

What To Get: Superman: Secrets Of The Fortress Of Solitude

Every month, its the same old story: the new comics solicitations come out, and I say I’m going to write on some of the things up for order, after I place my order. Then life gets in the way, and its too late. I’ll do it next month, I says. Repeat.
Well, I’m not going to do it this month. Maybe your friendly neighborhood comic shop will still let you place an order, maybe not. If not, I’ve got a couple of suggestions on how to get what I recommend.

Superman: Secrets Of The Fortress Of Solitude is a hardcover collection reprinting classic Superman stories featuring his Arctic retreat. Find out all about it with entertaining stories from Superman #17, Action Comics #241 and 261, Action Comics Annual #2 and #10, Superman: The Man Of Steel #100, and the piece de resistance: DC Special Series #26, the tabloid publication that you see in the illustration above. I had that comic, and in addition to the story and finding out about the Fortress, it talked about other comic stories that came before it that inspired the story that I’ll bet are included in the issues listed previously.  The book’s suggested retail price is $19.99.

As far as ordering a copy, my first suggestion would be to go to your comic shop and order it. I think the published cut-off date for customers to place orders has passed, but the retailer deadline hasn’t, so you should still be good there. If you can’t order it from a comic shop or want to find a comic shop to order from, you can find one at Comic Shop Locator. And may I suggest the one I use: DCBS. Not only is the deadline for ordering stuff this month the 25th, but I’ve been with them over 3 years, and have had great service throughout. Disclosure: I do not get anything from anyone signing up or patronizing their business. I just want to point out a great source for new comics. And DCBS has Superman: Secrets Of The Fortress Of Solitude for $10.99. Unfortunately, there are additional shipping and handling charges, and as I am in the same state as their store (Indiana) I pay sales tax, but that’s to let you know. They offer plenty of specials and you can save on getting your comics, but you don’t get them on Wednesdays. I have to wait until tomorrow to get this week’s books.

If you don’t want to deal with comic shops at all, you can preorder Superman: The Secrets of the Fortress of Solitude from Amazon, and this blog gets a few cents for the referral. But again, that is the third choice I suggest to you. To recap the order I suggest you get this book: local comics shop, DCBS, and order from Amazon.

Going Dark And Seeing The Light

You can’t access Wikipedia today, or Reddit or Boing Boing. Michael Moore’s site is black today as well. But before some of you start cheering and asking why that can’t be the case every day, you might want to know why that it is the case. I touched upon it on my other blog, and Ain’t It Cool News mentions it in a post that ironically explains why they’re not going black today. Its to protest the pending SOPA and PIPA bills that could curtail free expression on the internet. I made a passing reference in my other blog post about this topic mentioning the movie Tucker: The Man And His Dream. The film is based on the story of Preston Tucker and his attempt to start his own automobile company. The main conceipt of the film is that he wished to add innovations that are commonplace in automobiles now, but back then the automotive industry wasn’t as keen on them, so their response was to squash Tucker’s company. While that may have been the case, there were some actions Tucker did in starting his company that were questionable at best. I’d direct you to the Wikipedia page to read more about it, but its dark today. Just look up “Preston Tucker” when it is back up, and you’ll get more details.
But all too often, corporations are more likely to squash anything that would upset the status quo. There was something mentioned at the beginning of the film Fight Club that, if it isn’t true, I’ve yet to come across any information that would contradict it: Ed Norton’s character confides that automobile companies decide to do recalls and alter their existing automobiles on the market only when it would be cheaper to do so instead of paying out lawsuits from the damage their products cause. It looks to me that’s what’s going on with these SOPA and PIPA bills: they’re more to protect corporations’ interests than the people.
And with all due respect, I don’t buy the aspect of Peter David’s argument against SOPA that this is why we can’t have nice things. He makes the analogy that this bill is the outcome of internet users’ disregard for others’ rights like Uncle Ben’s death in the Spider-man tales was because he ignored a robber passing by who ended up murdering Uncle Ben. I’ve never liked being denied something because somebody else broke the rules, and denying everybody’s rights is easier than addressing the problem. I ran into it all through school: so-and-so broke the rule about eating candy in school, so nobody gets to eat candy ever at school. There were other examples all through school. I thought I couldn’t wait to be an adult and not have to be treated this way. Then there was my last job. They had the same approach to small infractions: so-and-so broke the rules, so nobody gets to do it. Again, why can’t so-and-so be punished, anyone else who is thinking of breaking the rules can see what happened to so-and-so, and not do it or else got what so-and-so got? At one point, it got so bad that they ruled that only one person could go to the bathroom at a time. There was a laminated pass you had to have to go, but that was lost. Then they had a small rock that you could hold in your hand, I’m not kidding. And yes, the topic of how sanitary that rock was was brought up several times. But so-and-so broke the rules, soooo….
But I do agree with Peter on one aspect of his argument: that there shouldn’t be a Robin Hood sense of entitlement when it comes to others’ rights. If you want a Calvin sticker, you shouldn’t buy a Calvin peeing on a logo or something else you don’t like. Bill Watterson didn’t want to have merchandising for Calvin And Hobbes besides the books, and that’s the way it is. Doesn’t mean you can create a copy of the Calvin And Hobbes dancing strip on a t-shirt and keep all the money since its not authorized. Ironically, Watterson found out that the infamous Calvin sticker was both too widely distributed and by too many small companies to effectively enforce copyright infringement. A ha! you say. That’s why something needs to be done, like SOPA. Yes, something needs to be done. No, not SOPA. I didn’t break the rules, why should I be punished?
And there’s another example in my life. My wife Kathy and I love listening to mp3s. I don’t like the Apple products because of DMR and how protecting their products ultimately hinders legal users, while the people its supposed to protect against find ways around it and continue on their way. But I don’t get an iPod and find out hacks around it, nor do I download music for free. We have Sony Walkmans, and buy either the CD itself (I still love having a physical product when I buy something, but) or buy downloads from Amazon. Last Christmas season, Kathy saw all the different docks they had for iPods and that even Sony made them for iPods, but none were at the store for Walkmans. I did some online research, and found a Sony Walkman Speaker Dock that she’d like on Amazon, ordered it, and she loves it. No trying to take something that I want just because I don’t like what they do, find an available alternative and patronize that. Its a capitalist society, the ultimate vote is the dollar. I don’t like one product, I buy one I do.
And in comics, the dollar as the vote definitely comes into action. Some of the creators that worked in comics did not get the compensation they should have, especially Jack Kirby. Do you think the Kirby estate got a nickle from the Thor movie or Captain America: The First Avenger? So those of us are struggling with how to address this. They can either justify it or come to a decision to buy the product, or you can decide like Steve Bissette to boycott those items until Disney/Marvel decides to do something about this discrepancy. The answer “they didn’t do the creators right, so I can help myself to this free” isn’t an acceptable response. Its just salve to soothe your stealing. And I respect Peter David as an artist to do this: his book “Darkness Of The Light” is coming back as an e-book, but right now its only available at Barnes & Noble as a Nook exclusive for the first 30 day. Both Peter and I talked about that here. I just checked, and it isn’t available on the Kindle yet. But right now, I could get the hardcover used for around $6.50 with shipping. But in my mind, I missed out on it when it was a book, and while I could get it now, as it is being sold used, Peter isn’t going to get any money from that transaction. But I believe in and support what Crazy 8 (his online publisher) is doing, so I’ll wait and get it on Kindle. Again, using my money to cast my vote in this capitalistic society. And again, not saying “I want it on my eReader and I want it NOW!” and finding illegal ways to achieve that goal.
That’s my thoughts on this topic, what’s yours?
Here’s John Rogers of Leverage, his thoughts on the subject. I liked the line “Any screenwriter who thinks he loses more money to piracy than to Hollywood studio accounting is a child.”
And here’s Wil Wheaton’s post, and another quote I like: “Why is it that when Republicans and Democrats need to solve the budget and the deficit, there’s deadlock, but when Hollywood lobbyists pay them $94 million dollars to write legislation, people from both sides of the aisle line up to co-sponsor it?” from Reddit Founder Alexis Ohanian on CNBC.
Mental Floss has a good, impartial overview of what’s going on with all of this.