The Ministry of Truth (Minitrue)

Resplendent in Newspeak and Doublethink.

London Film & Comic Con 2010

Showmaters really did put on a fantastic show yesterday. So much to keep all those there entertained and enthralled. Particular kudos for the DC Comics Exhibition which was excellent, rounded off with a goodie bag which included a limited Alex Ross ‘Green Lantern’ print and a copy of ‘Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic’ on DVD!

There was much more room in EC2 this year also, what with the DC show, larger video gaming area and mini-theatre for live streaming from crunchyroll.com. Therefore, unlike previous years, I hardly ever found myself pressed up against unwelcome body parts. Phew! The crew also did a fantastic job keeping it all running smoothly, and aside from a little hiccup regarding Shatner’s photo queue, they hardly faltered. They do a great job.

A plethora of toys, comics, DVD’s, posters, clothing and various other merch kept the dealer’s tables buzzing with traffic and the sound of opening and closing cash tins. So much great gear, never enough cash! (bit too much ‘Twilight’ crap, but it’s this year’s fad so…). I picked up a nice ‘Quatermass 2’ reprodution print, an inexpensive Joker canvas print, a reproduction Freddy glove (finally! I regretted not getting one back at LFCC ’07. Could have had Robert Englund sign that too.), another Gundam kit, a ‘Flash’ figure and the find of the day: a die-cast ‘Starsky & Hutch’ model ’76 Ford Torino! In the words of one Arnold J. Rimmer: “marvellous!”.

As for the guest, they we’re really well set out with both ‘Star War’ guests and William Shatner having been separated from the other, more generalized guests. This meant that it was easier for the traffic to move around the main signing area than in previous years and it really worked.

As for The Shat, it was hardly surprising that both the autograph and photo lines were HUGE, with the former a little more organised. Naturally, being so popular it really was an ‘in-and-out’ experience. No chatter, no personalisations. This was ok by me, but some, including the really annoying couple in front of me found this hard to accept (she kept faffing about with her camera!).

Robert Rankin was as warm, charming and dapper as ever. He always has a tale to tell and every show he’s at I always pick up his latest book, this time, ‘Retromancer‘. He even signed a limited print too while we talked for a moment about his yearly appearance at LFCC.

Sean Pertwee was cheery and full of his usual brand of swagger. Happily added ‘Sausages’ to my ‘Dog Soldiers‘. Just as I suspected, it wasn’t the first time he’d done that!

Tom Noonan looked somewhat nervous but was nonetheless polite and friendly. I figured it was probably that he rarely does conventions and therefore was somewhat overwhelmed by the reception he was receiving.

Julian Glover was a complete gentleman in every way and really rather busy. Very quiet but utterly charming. Whilst signing my ‘Quatermass & The Pit‘ DVD, he asked me if I still thought the film stood up today. I do and said so. It remains not only one of my favorite Hammer movies, but one of my most treasured flicks of all time.

Greg Rucka was just exceptional. After signing the story ‘Delivered’ from the ‘Hellboy: Odd Jobs’ collection, we talked about the origin of the story and it’s inspiration. He proceeded to tell me about the time when working at DC in NYC when, at the end of the day he and a few of the DC guys would sit at sundown in Central Park and have a smoke. As dusk set in, he would marvel at the change in the park’s population. Change as in species. Rats. Hundreds would descend at twilight to relcaim the park as their territory and this, Rucka recounted, unnerved him somewhat (‘Delivered’ tells the tale of Hellboy loosing his gun (the Samaritan) in Central Park, whilst looking astounded at the rats taking over the park in a similar fashion. In his attempt to discover who (or what) has taken it, he is introduced to Mick, a six-foot talking rat, who arranged for the theft of the gun so he could introduce himself to Red in an attempt to forge dealings with the BPRD. A quintessentially ‘Hellboy’ notion)

I didn’t take a multitude of snaps, but here’s what I did get:

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July 18, 2010 Posted by | Comics, Film, Sci-Fi | Leave a comment

Blogs ‘n’ Tweets from LFCC ’10

I’m gonna be at Earls Court tomorrow for the annual London Film & Comic Con, from Showmasters. It’s THE big event to attend every  year and always eventful. So, seeing as I’m now running my own blog, I’m gonna be tweeting from the Con via JonCottage/twitter.com or by trending #lfcc.

My autograph list this year is pretty small compared to previous years, with Sean Pertwee, Julian Glover, Tom Noonan and Greg Rucka. I might see if I can get into Sean Young‘s queue for a signature on my ‘Blade Runner‘ BluRay, but the biggest name event of the day will be my photo op with The Shat! Yep, William Shatner will be at EC and I’m getting my pic taken with him. I’m taking the VHS sleeve from ‘Undiscovered Country‘ with me if the chance arises to get his auto but his line’s going to be shocking so I’m not holding out much faith there.

What with The DC Comics exhibition, Warner Bros. providing one of the Tumblers from ‘The Dark Knight‘ plus talks, anime streamed directly from crunchyroll.com and, of course, the dealers room; it’ll be a busy day!

I’ll be posting an review blog with pictures from the Con sometime on Sunday.

http://www.londonfilmandcomiccon.com/

July 16, 2010 Posted by | Comics, Film, Movies, Sci-Fi | Leave a comment

Comic Book Movie Roundup

A couple of weeks ago I was FB messaging with an old friend, who, for the purposes of my blog, shall be referred to as ‘McDaddy’ (or, seeing as I love Apple Macs, I guess I should be the ‘Mac Daddy’? No? Ok).

It all stemmed from a link he sent me posted on YouTube from www.reelzchannel.com which talked about live-action adaptations of ‘Robotech’, ‘Ghost In The Shell’ and ‘Akira’ (for the record it’s a big Siskel & Ebert ‘two thumbs DOWN’ from me on all three). Here’s that link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_DarhYERwI

Anyways, I took the opportunity to evaluate the plethora of big-screen adaps of established comic-book characters. I think I’m bang on the money with my take on things. So, I thought I’d post them.

DC:

‘Batman’: Started poorly with the campy saga (Burton/Schumacher). Redeemed with Nolan (NOTE. Maggie Gyllenhall gives a performance in ‘The Dark Knight‘ that’s so poor that she has you begging for Katie Holmes to have taken that role again!).

‘Superman’: Classic start. Downhill from there, culminating in Singer’s dreadful ‘Superman Returns‘.

‘The Phantom’: As vacuous as the apparition.

‘Swamp Thing’: Reasonable casting, with Louis Jordan making a suave Arcane. Little else is that memorable though.

‘Constantine’: Is John Constantine a cynical, morally ambiguous, hard-drinking, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed Scouser in this? No. What’s the point then?

MARVEL:

‘Iron Man’: Almost flawless. It’s problem. Terrence Howard. Said problem removed for ‘IM2‘.

‘X-Men’ (inc. ‘Origins: Wolverine’): Overblown saga with some truly ropey performances (Halle Berry, James Marsden, Rebecca Romjin-Stamos…..). ‘X3‘ not as bad as some say but still below-par. ‘Wolverine’ does have Gambit but royally fucks up Deadpool.

‘Ghost Rider’: * enter your own derogatory comment here*

‘Hulk’: ‘Lee’s version is an utter travesty. Leterrier’s ‘Incredible Hulk‘ vast improvement, but not great.

‘Captain America’: Is there any more polite way of saying “shite”?

‘Spider-Man’: Un-gripping start, great sequel, diabolical third act. Showed some classic Raimi shots but not enough to keep you interested. Dunst is just tiresome in all of them.

‘Fantastic Four’: First movie. Boring. ‘Rise Of The Silver Surfer‘. It had the Silver Surfer. It had Galatcus as a huge fart cloud. Still boring.

‘DareDevil’: Moments of good action and faithfulness. Dreadful casting. The ‘Director’s Cut’ is much improved.

‘Punisher’: Lundgren’s is instantly forgettable. Thomas Jane is just as dreadful as Frank Castle. As for ‘War Zone‘, Ray Stevenson makes a pretty good Castle. Still ropey thanks to the casting of Colin Salmon and some dodgy dialogue. Get’s the level of violence and bloodshed just right to the source material, making this the best attempt so far.

The rest:

‘Hellboy’: I am biased, but a great start and a brilliant sequel . Extremely close to the source material and excellent casting. Didn’t really need the creation of John Myers to help the audience along though.

Alan Moore: ‘V For Vendetta’ still stands as the best adaptation so far. ‘Watchmen’ is the best we could have hoped for but is still flawed. ‘From Hell’ is ok in parts. ‘The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ was fucked from the outset.

‘Spawn’: Still waiting for the reboot. A great character utterly wasted on an under-developed script, atrocious dialogue and under-produced FX. ‘Clown’ looked reasonable at the time but hasn’t dated well.

’30 Days Of Night’: Ok. Not as astounding as the Niles/Templesmith series, just ‘ok’.

‘Wanted’: Was it? Really? No, didn’t think so.

‘Sin City’: More typical mysogonistic tripe from Miller (who should just not develop female characters EVER). Over-cooked, over-hyped and utterly tedious.

‘300’: Inferior to the graphic novel and drawn out to the edge of boredom. A good cure for insomnia though.

‘The Spirit’: (*see ‘Sin City’). Refer to the cliché of Will Eisner spinning in his grave.

To come:

‘Thor’: RSC master Kenneth Branagh bringing the son of Odin to the big screen? Really? Heavy on the dialogue. Little comic-book action to be expected. No balance.

‘Green Lantern’: Great character, especially as the Hal Jordan/Parallax is the one being worked on for the L/A. However, his superpower being a ‘glowing ring’? Expect ridicule. Also, Ryan Reynolds? Martin Campbell? Expect derision.

March 13, 2010 Posted by | Comics, Film, Sci-Fi | Leave a comment