Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tarzan 3D Press Conference

I'll cut to the chase here. A video of a press conference from last year with Tarzan stars Kellan Lutz and Spencer Locke has been posted online so take a peek. Among the topics discussed are the filming techniques and the approach to the characters so enjoy.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

ERB Comic Strip and Con News

Here's some info for Edgar Rice Burroughs fans. ERBZine has the details for the upcoming ERB panel at this summer's San Diego Comic-Con. From the site :

Friday, July 19, 2013
10:00 – 11:00 Edgar Rice Burroughs: Tarzan, Carson of Venus, and the Next 100 Years of Adventure
Join Jim Sullos (President, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Incorporated), Scott Tracy Griffin (Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration), Andy Briggs (Tarzan: The Savage Lands), Martin Powell (Carson of Venus), Steven E. Gordon (The Eternal Savage), and Diana Leto (The Cave Girl) as they discuss the future of the Burroughs universe online, on the page, and in theaters. Panel attendees can enter a drawing to win signed original art at the panel's conclusion. Room 28DE

In addition also announced is more upcoming comic strips for the official ERB site that will include a new Pellucidar strip and adaptations of The Cave Girl and The War Chief. Hit to subscribe and for more news.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Retro Comics: Tarzan #215

 With no new comic books this week to review I thought I would start a “retro” review section looking at older comics that caught my eye-and were cheap to boot! So to kick off we get a vintage Tarzan tale from the folks at DC.

In the first story, “The Mine,” Tarzan finds himself trying to do the right thing and save a group of natives from a vicious thug forcing them to mine for ore. Of course Tarzan gets hit on the head and thrown into the mine to work but basically takes the job and tells the other guy to shove it. With soldiers on side and the miners on the other it will take Tarzan’s wits-and his almost supernatural ability to survive cave-ins-to save the day.

 The second story finds Tangor, the hero of Beyond the Farthest Star facing his own problems. A downed craft has forced him to crash land in the waters of Poloda, only to be rescued by a race of amphibious creatures who through science gives him gills. Tangor puts that to good use when he has to fight off a giant squid and ends with him having to accept his possible fate as Poloda’s answer to Aquaman.

 Published in 1972, this issue of Tarzan is pretty slight. The opening story doesn’t have much meat on it to the point that no one outside of Tarzan even has a name. Part of that could be attributed to the fact that originally it published as a comic strip by the legendary Hal Foster with some additions to make it work in comic book form by Joe Kubert. The Tangor story is also pretty slight, with it coming across more as a tale for Aquaman to star in. Still they were fun relics from that era (and the hilarious ads that promised in 7 short weeks you can get a 4 inch chest and 3 inches extra on your arms with Joe Weider’s and the like caused a few giggles).

The major reason saving grace is the art by Foster and Kubert. While I'm sure more die hard fans can tell the difference, Kubert honors Foster's original work well. Foster's Tarzan is still one of the best and his art even on minor stories like “The Mine” is great. With a nice realistic touch, helped by great coloring and artistic vision it made the issue go by quickly. The art by Dan Green on the Tangor story is also strong and brings the story alive well.

I hope you guys enjoyed this. I might continue this in the future so until next time I’ll be swinging on a vine and work on that chest!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Comic Review: Dejah Thoris #26

This week's Dejah adventure finds her looking for fortune and glory kid. Fortune and glory.

Taking a break from Helium, Dejah visits an old professor and friend, Syl Mak. Studying a pillar from the dead city of Dorvas, Dejah and the professor decide to take an expedition there for more information. But the usual intrigues happen when they discover another student of the professor's has teamed up with a tomb robber named Sav Tanek to clean out the new found tomb. But with death traps and giant spiders Dejah has to save the day. No giant boulders appear in this story.

A fun stand alone sort, Dejah does Indiana Jones quite well-if more scantily clad-as writer Robert Place Napton gives the reader a break from the usual plots this series embraces. There is no fat on the story and a quick pace that moves from point a to point b with some verve and fun. 

The usual thumbs up for Carlos Rafael and his work. Nothing else to say there.

I know this is a short review but there isn't much to say except fans will enjoy the fun story and light adventure tone. See you next time.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Red Hawk vs the Moon Men" Coming Soon

I don't know much but according to ERBZine, the official Edgar Rice Burroughs web site will be adding a new comic strip based on the classic ERB trilogy to go with the Tarzan, Carson of Venus and new The Eternal Savage strips. More Kalkars! I wasn't able to find any more information so keep an eye on for updates.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Comic Review: Superman Unchained #1

With Man of Steel splitting audiences and critics I thought I would return to the comics and found this-a Superman without the angst and massive property damage. 

After a brief prologue set in 1945, Superman is busy tying to prevent a number of objects falling from space causing massive destruction. After saving the day and some brief encounters with Lex Luthor and Jimmy Olsen, Kal becomes concerned when an eighth object didn't fall where it was supposed to.  While investigating he gets attacked by missiles. Unknown to him its just the start of a bigger tale and a secret kept in the dark for decades.

If the plot description sounds vague well I don't want to spoil it. For those turned off by Zack Snyder's film this is the Superman you'll want. Writer Scott Snyder  and artist Jim Lee have crafted a cool comic book that brings Superman up to date but keeps him grounded in what made the character an icon. From his opening rescues to his confrontation with Luthor to Clark and Lois engaged in their usual back and forth this is a fun comic, something that went missing for quite a bit in Man of Steel and I appreciate the need for a fun and dynamic story.

Is there any problems? Well jumping in after the whole "52" reboots might cause some confusion for those who haven't kept up but otherwise it manages to entertain. Even without the red underpants.

So if you are disappointed with the film pick this up and you'll remember why Superman is a great character. Until next time have fun.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Movie Review: Man of Steel

I saw Man of Steel yesterday but have decided not to do the standard review. Instead I'll hit what I thought worked and didn't in this new take on the classic character.

Basically most of Man of Steel delivered if you want a popcorn action flick with lots of explosions. It had some great moments, some decent ones and quite a few bad ones, so here's the high and low points:

What worked:
--Henry Cavill as Kal-El. While some critics have taken him to task for being stiff I actually liked his take on the Last Son of Krypton. While not as effective or as charming as Christopher Reeve, Cavill captured this verison's take on the character as a loner trying to find himself in this world. He also-despite what has been noted-does have some light moments with Amy Adams' Lois Lane and Diane Lane's Ma Kent. I know some have mentioned that this one seems more mopier but outside of some arguments with Pa Kent not as much as has been made in the reviews. At least he doesn't whine about a cave of gold and tells people it's not his problem.

--The take on Lois Lane. Instead of the usual clueless reporter, Adams portrays Lois as an investigative journalist who gets to work and finds her story.

--The music by Hans Zimmer.

What didn't work:

--An overkill of action. I know that summer movies have to deliver big thrills but this one went overboard. The big smack down in Smallville is then dwarfed by not one but two massive scenes of Metropolis being totaled, all in some attempt to top The Avengers in the destruction derby sweepstakes. While I'm all for action some of this could have been chopped down.

--The final scene between Zod and Kal-El. I won't spoil it here but it left me cold and showed a decision that didn't work.

I know a more full review is needed but I need more time to think about it. So I'll add more later but for now I'll close by saying that Man of Steel works fine as a sci-fi film but needs some to go before it equals Richard Donner's classic. Until next time..

Monday, June 10, 2013

John Carter of the Round Table

Here is something for fans to read and debate. ERBZine has posted an interesting piece by Abraham Sherman that takes a look at "An Exploration of the Differences Between Edgar Rice Burroughs' Novel and Andrew Stanton’s Film." While some of his statements I don't agree with there is much I do and Mr. Sherman brings a level headed approach to the subject. So hit and see what you think.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Comic Review: Dejah Thoris and the Green Men #4

This week's comic book review finds Dejah on the run and some bloody retribution.

Following her escape last issue Dejah delivers swift justice to her kidnappers and sees a way to escape when Voro the Thark returns. But she decides to let the other captives get their revenge instead. Shortly afterwards John Carter and Tars Tarkas find her and the group put an end to the horror. Returning to Helium Dejah decides to keep quiet about her encounter to maintain the peace. But the peace is about to be rocked and her secret may be revealed.

At this point I was about to give up on this series. The "torture porn" aspects were off putting and the plot offered little redeeming qualities. So I was a bit surprised how well this issue was. Granted there is blood but it wasn't as off putting as earlier and the issue seemed to wrap up the story quickly. However it has been extended for another four issues so I wonder what writer Mark Rahner has in store. Personally this would have been enough here.
As usual the artwork is nice and bright courtesy of Lui Antonio so no complaints there. Also a thumbs up to cover artist Jay Anacleto for his work so far.

I still have problems with the story and I'm not thrilled with it going another four issues but that's not my call. I hope like this issue it improves. That's my two cents folks. If you disagree or agree leave a comment below.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Carson of Venus by Mike Kaluta

Here's some reading material for you guys. With the recent launch of the Carson of Venus comic strip, it is easy to forget this wasn't Carson's first comic adventures. In the early 1970s DC Comics hired artist Mike Kaluta to draw-and later write-an adaptation for their Korak-Son of Tarzan comics and thanks to ERBZine you can read the entire run on line. So hit and have some fun with Carson and Duare!

Dejah Thoris Sideshow Statue Revealed

Some Barsoom news from San Diego Comic-Con for you guys. Sideshow Collectibles has released first images of a Dejah Thoris statue for fan...