Friday, February 29, 2008

Will Arnett is a Geekanerd:
Loves That Call of Duty 4

Check out our previous " a Geekanerd" segments.

Weekanerd NYC: Supes Bday, David Bowie Fanart, and King Kong Classic

Friday, February 29
Happy birthday Superman! Please note this is not some sort of lame publishing date sort of birthday, but Kal El's actual birthday, as cited by editor Julie Schwartz. Given that today is leap year, Kryptonian days are different than earth days, and a number of other crazy factors, this birthday thing is much more complicated than it seems, you can read about it here but it honestly it was too much even for me. THE POINT IS: 50% off all Superman merch at Jim Hanley's. This probably opens them up to lots of nerd arguments like, "Absolute Dark Knight: Hard Cover Edition is totally about Superman! He's in it, isn't he? He's an essential component of the story, he's in the last act!"

David Bowie sketch party and King Kong, after the jump...

Saturday, March 1
I hope you aren't sick of hearing about these David Bowie themed events, because I'm not sick of writing them. Dr. Sketchy's offers life-drawing sessions with a heavy emphasis on sexiness and geekiness, two things you so rarely see together. This month's event will feature the lovely Madame Rosebud in a variety of David Bowie guises, which promises to be all sorts of androgynous fun. Table reservations are all booked, so show up early ($10 at the door) if you want to grab a spot on the floor.

Sunday, March 2
This is the absolute place to be this weekend if you have any interest in King Kong whatsoever. Come to the 1pm show to enter the Fay Wray Scream-Alike contest for a chance to win a year's Film Forum membership, a King Kong 2-Disc Collectors Edition DVD, a trip to the top of the Empire State Building, and a chance to scream on the Today's Show! I promise you that is the most you will ever win for your ability to scream like a girl. Hit the link for a list of very respectable celebrity judges and more neat prizes.

Tales of the Black Freighter Confirmed as Anime DVD Extra

Empire Magazine has confirmed that the Watchmen comic-within-a-comic Tales of the Black Freighter won't be appearing in the film but will appear as an anime-style short on the DVD release. Gerard Butler of 300 fame glory will be handling the voiceover. I must admit I'm a little saddened to know that they won't be weaving the two stories together... It was one of Moore's major stylistic coups in the book and I feel like it could have worked in the movie if handled well. Though I suppose maybe they were running out of time. Extended Cut, anyone?

Via Blog@Newsarama.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spielberg Says "No" To Digital Projection for Indy IV

It appears that Steven Spielberg is trying to make sure his new Indiana Jones movie isn't screened in anything but its original format--beauteous 35mm film. This comes as somewhat of a slap to digital pioneer (and Indy executive producer!) [and killer of beloved franchises!] George Lucas. I'm behind this decision, as Indy has always had a nostalgic sensibility, with throwback special effects and an earthy aesthetic. It's not a shiny clean franchise, so projecting it exclusively on dirty film just makes since. I'm also taking this concern over the presentation as a sign that Spielberg really cares about this film, which hopefully means he is proud of his work and hasn't ruined the franchise. Note this is all subject to change if Steven has "a last minute change of heart."

Via JoBlo, which also mentions that you can buy Indy's shoes.

Neil Gaiman Gives It Away

Neil Gaiman has my lifelong allegiance for having written Sandman, the ten volume tome that helped to remind me in my formative college years that comics could be brilliant and were worth taking seriously. Starting today Neil Gaiman's similarly deity-themed book, American Gods, is available in it's entirety on Harper Collin's website, a promotion intended to celebrate the seventh anniversary of Gaiman's blog. Gaiman fans were able to vote for which of his book's would be available for free, and American Gods won by a landslide. This creates a neat little narrative circle, as the blog itself was born out of a promotional stunt to document the writing process of a little book called....American Gods. Ah, closure! You can read the book by clicking the "browse" button on this handy widget...

Analysis after the jump...

This book was very in vogue within my circle of friends circa the summer of 2001. I loved the first few chapters but eventually grew tired of the main character, a strong silent type whose still waters never seemed to run terribly deep. I made it past the part where he gets tied to a tree for a few days (awesome, by the way) and left it at that. But I just may reread it now that it's so aggressively available. There doesn't appear to be anyway to download the text, so you've got to read it on Harper Collin's bookviewer, which is a pretty bare-bones eBook interface. Every time you turn the page a little loading screen pops up for about .5 seconds, which is annoying but is probably not a problem for those with a better internet connection than I. Several booknerds I'm acquainted with hate reading anything on a screen, but I think my aversion to that was cured when I started downloading comics- er, legal comics, I mean, like you know, Zuda. That's a real thing, right? Anyway, if anyone loved or hated American Gods, let me know if you think I'll like it now that I've grown more refined in my tastes and my attention span has decreased by about %45 due to our friend and overlord the internet.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spoiler or Tease?
Are These Heroes Really Skrulls?

If'n you don't know by now, Marvel Comics' next big event is "Secret Invasion," wherein it will be revealed that a number of the heroes we know and love have actually been Skrulls in disguise! Marvel has been sending us promotional images of different heroes Skrullified, with the tagline "Who do you trust?" So the question is... Are they just teasing us, or are these guys actually Skrulls? On one hand, I would like to think they are saving the dramatic reveals for the actual comics because that's going to be half the fun of reading them. However, these characters (with the exception of Wolvie) are just C-List enough to be sacrificed to the Skrull event. And if they were just trying to be inflammatory with these pics, wouldn't they use Spider-Man or Iron Man or Dr. Strange? I mean, Hercules and Hawkeye? Who cares? So maybe these are legit spoilers... Check 'em out after the jump.

Geekanerd Spotter: Johnny 5 Is Alive

This geek graf was spotted at the 59th and Lex subway station. Gift Bot 2007 indeed! I think that Wall-e has put Johnny 5 back into the public consciousness.

Past Editions of Geekanerd Spotter

Monday, February 25, 2008

Panel Discussion - Scans From Batman and the Outsiders #4, Mighty Avengers #9, Locke and Key #1 and More

Deja Vu - Batman and the Outsiders #4
Ooh, a reprogrammed evil robot joining the Outsiders? Good idea! What could possibly go wrong?!

Hydra Has the Sexiest Nurses - Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Green Mist of Death
No wonder those goons in green always go down without much of a fight... The infirmary is staffed by hotties of epic proportion!

Most Inappropriate Use of Expressionism - The Flash #237
This panel would not at all be out of place in a show exhibiting expressionist takes on the horror of war. I like that about it. This whole issue feels like a tremendous rush job in terms of art, so perhaps this was just a first attempt at "upset" that came out so over-the-top crazy the artist just couldn't resist actually finishing and turning it in.

This next panel, on the other hand, is a total disaster. Depth, perspective, scale and shading all mashed together in a three car pile up. DC, if a book is late, I can live with that. This hurts me.

Best Actor Award - Tyler, Locke & Key #1
Throughout this scene Tyler has such a wonderfully authentic look of fear. Even after his attacker is dead, he is terrified with what he's done.

Overkill Alert! - Mighty Avengers #9
What happens with Earth's Mightiest Heroes storm Dr. Doom's castle? THREE DOUBLE PAGE SPLASHES IN A ROW. Man o man. My opinion on this has vacillated between disgust and admiration. I'm not a big fan of Bagley's art and only buy the book for Bendis' words, so three solo Bagley pages didn't interest me on my first glance. But when going back, I realized that these pages were pretty good for Bagley, and that much action should be exciting. Once I put together more pieces and realized Bendis' whole idea with this book is to make it a really traditional superhero book (bringing back word balloons and all that), the splashes started making more sense. Still, I can't help but think something like this is a bit of a waste.

The Most Devastating FPS Weapon of All Time

Weekanerd NYC: Brian Cox, Comic Talk, and Late Night Gaming

Monday, February 25
Advanced tickets are sold out, but there's going to be some available at the door at 5:30pm. Now if you couldn't tell from the heading this talk is supposed to be about theater or somesuch nonsense, but don't let them get away with that. Rise up and demand Cox and McShane improvise a William Stryker / Al Swearengen showdown.

Comic talk and drunken video gaming after the jump...

Tuesday, February 26
Just about the only big weekly event in NYC that's unabashedly, unironically geekanerdy. Oh, and it's funny. This week's edition features Cable/Deadpool creators Fabian Nicieza, Reilly Brown, and Nicole Boose.

Wednesday, February 27
You're gonna buy new comics today anyway (aren't you?), so you might as well get a 20% discount on them! Yeah yeah, I couldn't find anything better going on today.

Thursday, February 28
These guys have Rock Band, two Wiis, a PS2, N64, NES, Atari and a buncha big screens. Sounds like a load of casual gaming fun, and word is free tequila may be flowing...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Locke & Key #1

This book begins as a sort of Straw Dogs tale of rural violence, with disgruntled teen Tyler walking in on his mother being raped over the body of his dead father while a second psychopath looks on. The terrified boy is driven to murder one of the killers with a brick, and his mother takes the other one down with a hatchet. Needless to say, the whole experience shakes him up a good bit. Not helping his mental state is the fact that he knew the killers, and maybe even had a conversation with one of them about a hypothetical dad-less existence. And just like in Strangers on a Train, the other guy took it a little too seriously. His father also seemed to know something was going to happen to him, and had arranged for his family to go live at Keyhouse, an old house in Lovecraft (ahem), Massachusetts that has been in his family for generations. And if you couldn’t guess, there’s something about that house

Writer Joe Hill is doing a great job setting up a real world with just a hint of the mystical, and I’m hoping as the series progresses it stays like that without ever going too over the top with fantasy. The art, by Gabriel Rodriguez, is clean and expressive and aside from the occasional amateurish bits it’s top notch. He puts an excruciating amount of detail into every setting–there’s not a single throwaway background in the whole book. I’m very excited to see where this one leads.

This review was originally published as part of Pop Culture Shock's "Picks & Pans".

A Three Year Old Explains Star Wars

Via /Film.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Head Tracking Actually Coming to Wii!

Remember when we brought you the video of tech genius Johnny Lee turning a Wiimote into a head tracking system to awesome effect? If not, hit the jump for that video and then get excited, because unlike the trillion other homebrew gaming innovations that never make it into an actual product, Joystiq says head tracking IS COMING. The only bad news is that it's coming in the form of Steven Spielberg's action puzzler Boom Blox, where I can't imagine it will be useful for anything more than a cool parlor trick. But hey, a published game is a published game, Spielberg is Spielberg, and soon some smart company will realize the tech is viable and it would make any first person shooter a must buy. Oh yes. We're almost there.

Hit the jump for that video and thoughts on the announcement from head tracking pioneer Johnny Lee...

On his blog, Johnny Lee had this to say about the announcement:
Reward the developers who decided this was worth including and send a signal to EA and the greater game development community that this is a desired step forward in the evolution of game play technology.

I'm proud. If this pans out, it'll be only 5 months between the initial research prototype to integration into a major product release. Sweet!

Just in case you are wondering: No, I don't get any royalties or benefits for the use of this technique in games. Personally, I'm much happier impacting the state of technology on such a large scale in such a short period of time rather than struggling to transform it into personal financial gain. In terms of my original intent behind creating the head-tracking demo, it has already been a wild success beyond my highest expectations.

Mario Kart Wii Gets a Trailer!

Mario Kart and I... Let's just say we have a very uncomplicated relationship. I love her forever, and in return she lets me be the best. And since Super Smash Bros has chosen not to engage me in a similar relationship, that makes Mario Kart my most anticipated Wii game. Just don't expect to find four Wii wheels in my apartment. They'll probably be $20 each... $20 of useless plastic.

Weekanerd NYC: Live Art, Classic Jack, and The Award Show That Almost Wasn't

Friday, February 22
  • Art Battles
  • 8pm @The Bleecker Street Theater, 45 Bleecker St, Manhattan
Not entirely unlike the Cut & Paste Design Tournament, an Art Battle is an exhibition of work that artists create right there in the gallery. It'll be like one of these cheesy speed-painting videos, but much slower and more artsy.

Movies movies movies after the jump...

Saturday, February 23
If you're still trying to get your Oscar betting picks together, this film might deliver some insight on what it has historically taken to win the big ones, having won Best Picture, Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Director, and Screenplay in 1975.

Sunday, February 24
  • The 2008 Oscars
  • 8pm @ Various Places
There are many Oscar parties around the city, but none I thought looked particularly interesting or geeky, and all of which are expensive. It's a living room sort of event anyway.

Mother Nature Fights Back Against Robot Menace

This article from the Manhasset Press gives me some comfort... If my species refuses to recognize the danger posed by the innocent-looking robots they're letting into their homes, at least keener-eyed beings are doing what they can to stem the tide before it's too late. This brave hawk took it upon himself to seize Danny McGorry's FlyTech Dragonfly and tear it to shreds. Danny reports: "I saw the hawk tear off my toy's plastic wings and its Styrofoam body was ripped up and fell to the ground." Hooray, hawkian hero! And he's not alone. Mike Rush, a representative for the humanity traitors at WowWee, the company responsible for the Dragonfly and other insidious robots, tells Geekanerd:
After investigating the story, WowWee’s Customer Service Department determined that it has received 45 different calls over the past 2 months about hawks and other bird of prey swooping down and snatching consumers’ FlyTech Dragonfly out of the air.
What a valiant effort from our feathered friends! Sounds like they have the Dragonflies covered, but it may be up to you and me, dear readers, to deal with the WowWee Singing Elvis robot.

Leonardo DiCaprio Does Akira... Twice

Warner Bros is reporting that they've greenlit TWO Akira films to be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way. The movies will based on the epic original manga, in which the story of the animated movie was just a blip. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is on board for the troubled Tetsuo, and it's rumored that Leo himself may be taking up the role of Kaneda.

Via Ain't It Cool News.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Where the Wild Things Are to Be Completely Reshot?
BONUS: WTWTA Test Footage!

CHUD has some very bad news for us. You might want to sit down for this. The Spike Jonze adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are is apparently getting scrapped, rewritten and reshot. Warner Bros did it to Paul Schrader's Exorcist and now they're doing it to Jonze. And while the suits will be saying it's because of technical issues, CHUD says:
It's not because of technical issues, unless you want to consider the lead kid actor and the script technical issues. Sources tell me that the suits at Legendary and Warner Bros are not happy with Max Records, the actor playing Max, the mischievous boy who is crowned King of the Wild Things. Worse than that, they don't like the film's tone and want to go back to the script drawing board, possibly losing the Spike Jonze/Dave Eggers script when they do it. Apparently the film is too weird and 'too scary,' and the character of Max is being seen as not likable.
Surely the studio didn't think they'd be getting a straight kids movie when they hired Jonze, isn't a little late to complain? This news comes a week after some early test footage was leaked to the internet...

Jonze had this to say about the footage:
that was a very early test with the sole purpose of just getting some footage to Ben our vfx supervisor to see if our vfx plan for the faces would work. The clip doesn’t look or feel anything like the movie, the Wild Thing suit is a very early cringy prototype, and the boy is a friend of ours Griffin who we had used in a Yeah Yeah Yeahs video we shot a few weeks before. We love him, but he is not in the actually film…Oh and that is not a wolf suit, its a lamb suit we bought on the internet.
Still, it looks freaking awesome. I love that the monster is jealous of ROBOTS. I'm really upset I might never get to see Jonze's film realized. It was probably my most anticipated upcoming film. I'll leave you with the words of a concerned mother from an early test screening of the film (via /Film):
And some kids at my screening began to cry and asked their parents to leave, so that should give you an idea. The things are not cute. Max comes off a bit weird and off-putting. He slaps his mom and he seems confused and not charming at all. No rumpus, no big set pieces, no ‘state-of-the-art’ lucrative sequences just some running around on some desert place and thats that.
*sigh* It sounds so wonderful...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Emotional Trauma in Teen Titans: Year One

When you were a kid, were you ever struck by the idea that in this chaotic, unknowable universe, it was within the realm of possibility that you might wake up one day to find your parents no longer liked you, as in this horrifying Ducktales episode? In Teen Titans: Year One, the Justice League is being turned evil by an unknown foe, but the teens only figure that out after some supremely pathetic moments of emotional trauma. Just look at poor Wally in the above panel, as drawn by the supremely talented Karl Kerschl. The weight of his wet hair and mask make this panel exceptionally dreary. I will leave the significance of the Easter Island heads up to your discretion.

Robin and Aqualad look into the abyss, after the jump...

I just noticed that their speech bubbles are all wobbly since they're underwater. Awesome. But what I wanted to point out is that as Aqualad is left to ponder his own mortality, his emo-cloud of sadness is actually ink created by Aquaman's octopus pal. Insult to injury.

These panels are preceded by a splash page of Batman knocking Robin down with a backhand to the face, which is already enough to make me want to call 911. But what really puts it over top is this last panel with an anime-style Your-Parents-Are-Dead spotlight.

Here's a slapstick chaser after that depressorama...

I love how Robin uses a Batman-style cape maneuver to avoid the spray which is not even close to hitting him. Kerschl is truly a master of comic book character moments.

Hack Lawyer Challenges Fake Samuel L. Jackson to Duel

We haven't done much talkin' in these parts about Jack Thompson, the outspoken and certifiably insane lawyer who shows up from time to time on TV and the web to explain how video games rape and murder newborn babies and eat the remains. Kotaku has done a swell job of covering his exploits, so we won't go over his sordid history too much here. Anyway, he popped up again to blame the recent NIU shooting on video games, and NewsGroper's fake Samuel L Jackson responded:
And I was also fucking amazed when I read about Christian conservative attorney Jack Thompson blaming all this shooting shit on video games again, like there ain’t no other possible got-damn reason on God’s green earth for a motherfucker to go batshit and blow away another person.
And then Jack comes along, as he's famous for doing, and responds to the post in the comments... Without realizing it's not really Sam Jackson's blog.

Jack says:
Mr. Jackson, I enjoyed your post about NIU and about me. Unfortunately, you could fit what you know about school shootings and their causes in a sleeve of Titleist golf balls. I’m a six handicap, and would love to play you a match anywhere anytime.

Here’s a proposal: Why don’t you debate me on this issue of whether violent video games cause real world violence. I’ll do it anywhere, anytime. You name it.

I dare you.

Jack Thompson, 305-666-4366,

PS: Saw you in Black Snake Moan this weekend. I thought you deserved an Oscar for your performance. Brilliant.

NewsGroper jumps on the opportunity and begins setting up the terms of a debate, and even after realizing it's a fake blog Jack agrees to debate the fake Samuel L Jackson. Why? Because, as I said before, he's certifiably insane. Not too long afterward, though, Jack reneges:

You know, some people have died because of jerkballs like jackson and his spike tv vga award mentality, so I’ll take a pass. grow up.
Fake Sam Jackson does not appreciate that one bit:
First of all, what the fuck? Why dare me to debate, spend all day organizing that debate, then insult me and pull out like the Purple fucking Pie-Man coming on Strawberry Shortcake? And then you call me a jerkball? What the fuck is a got-damn jerkball? Is that like a tribble with Parkinsons?
And in the comments of the original post, all Thompson has to say is:
You gamer idiots.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Toy Fair 2008 Photo Round-Up

As much as we at Gnerd love the Javits center, we can't always make it to the various geek conventions that grace it's hallowed halls. So here's a round-up of Toy Fair 2008 photos from various sites around the net; each photo links back to the original sources, so if you see something you like, there's more where that came from. The above Obi Wan maquette is by Gentle Giant, via good ol' Rebelscum. Interesting how cartoon Obi Wan looks a bit like both Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness. Or maybe I'm seeing things.

Marvel, Heroes, Smallville, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Indy after the jump...

The Smallvillve Justice League! I don't know about Clark's face sculpt, but they do look neat as a set. Though I hope they can hold their cowls in their hands, they look kind of sad lying on the ground like that.

A Gul Dukat Minimate?! My birthday wish came true! If your'e a trek fan hit the picture link, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Some Kingdom of the Crystal Skull figures, including Shia LeBouf in action figure form - he has truly arrived.

This is line is called Mighty Muggs, and they're pretty much everything I look for in a toy. Cute, simple, sharp, and hilarious. How fun would it be to stage a Hulk vs Thing battle with these guys? Heads will roll! The Star Wars line is equally brilliant...

Single chest hair included, ladies!


Gone but not for gotten. Nice five o'clock shadow.

I hear some people like this "Heroes" show. Tons more at Distant Creations, hit the photo link to check them out.

The duality of man.

I guess I'm the only geek around who doesn't lose it over movie icons rendered in lego form, so here you go. Lego Indy.

These Star Wars guys have custom faces, and a lot more character than Indy. This Anakin is from the upcoming AT-TE Walker set....

"Trust me with your childrens!"

A Plo Koon figure from the Republic Gunship set. Wasn't this guy supposed to be the new Boba Fett? Maybe he'll have his day in the Clone Wars cartoons.

Panel Discussion - Scans From Salvation Run #4, New Avengers #38, Fantastic Four #554 and More

Every week we at Geekanerd rip panels from our comics and put them on display here, recognizing the best, worst, and weirdest moments of the week. Click the pics for high res goodness, and beware some major SPOILERS.

Best Death Scene - Salvation Run #4
Salvation Run seems to be a good way for DC to get rid of a bunch of their C-List villains, but anyone who read and loved (and to read is to love) Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol knows that Monsieur Mallah and the Brain are no mere C-Listers, but are in fact one of the best couples in comicdom. As painful as it was to see Gorilla Grodd bludgeon Malla to death with with the brain's glass encasement, this Oscar-Caliber death scene is a fine way to bid adieu to the star-crossed pair. Even if the Brain does look like a bunch of thumbs in that second to last panel.

Writer Self Commentary - New Avengers #38
What's a writer to do when he has to fill a panel with boring exposition? Why, throw a bone to us readers by having a snarky character (Hawkeye in this instance) calling the writer on it.
PS - Spidey is wearing the ole' red and blue in this ish... Which means it's up to date with "Brand New Day." Why does no one realize they've forgotten Spidey's secret identity?

Now That's Comedy II - Simon Dark #5
PD fans will remember that Simon Dark was the recipient of this award about a month ago. Writer/Artist team Steve Niles and Scott Hampton have an incredible knack for this sort of dark, deadpan slapstick. Please note that the dude getting ripped asunder is some sort of evil magic zombie/ghoul, so don't feel too bad for him.

The Guilt Trip That Keeps on Giving - Fantastic Four #554
I guess if your best friend turns you into a hideous beast you are entitled to a few occasional favors...

Burn of the Week - Tiny Titans #1
Kids can be so cruel. And on-point.

Coolest Framing Device - Gotham Underground #5
We at Gnerd have mostly enjoyed this title for it's EC Comics style gorytelling, though this week Jim Calafiore really takes it up a notch. Throughout this plot-gap filling issue, panels are shaped like puzzle pieces and are used to highlight visual clues, or in this case, blot out the identity of whoever is moonlighting as the Spoiler. In this next page featuring the Joker, note that the puzzle pieces don't fit, but are instead laid on top of each other. Get it, cause he's crazy. Great touch.

Art Worth Praising - Bryan Hitch's in Fantastic Four #554
Bryan Hitch takes the Fantastic Four and turns them into what they were always meant to be... A family. A father, a mother, a brother and a best friend. These are not super sexy idealized eighteen year olds, these are people. Observe:
A father.
A mother. Be amazed with Hitch's ability to illustrate a sexy maturity!
Realistic human proportions. Never have you seen She-Hulk so realistically rendered in the company of other females. Look at how comparatively large she is, and how she slouches from her mass. And then the rendering of Sue's reaction to Ben calling Reed's ex-girlfriend hot? That's some goddamn great personality work. Bravo, Bryan Hitch.