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REAL HEROES BYTE: If you are a fan of comics and comic art then you have heard of Bryan Hitch. The artist best known for his work on titles such as The Ultimates, The Authority, and JLA is going to try his hand at writing. In March 2014 he will release his first project as a writer when Real Heroes releases from Image Comics. The six issue limited series is described as its author as The Avengers meets Galaxy Quest. He goes on to add, “What can make them “Real Heroes?” Take those guys, Hollywood superstars, who play the worlds greatest heroes and take them to a place where they are asked to do it for real, take the responsibility for saving six billion lives. It’s a fish-out-of-water story for these guys, but it’s also a great way of getting to do classic superheroes with that modern voice. It’s a drama to be sure, but it’s also, I think, fun and occasionally funny. For me, it’s a fresh way of coming at the familiar. We are familiar with superheroes, and by making theses guys actors in superhero roles, it makes them likewise familiar with the same stuff, without coming at the material from the clichéd fan or geek perspective. They can become our voice and our way of seeing the difference between the fictional portrayal and what reality would be like if these powers, these threats existed.”
BOND BYTE: After various court battles that started in 1961 MGM has finally acquired the rights to the final outstanding Bond film, Thunderball. The 1965 film starring Sean Connery as the enigmatic 007 was written by Ian Fleming, Jack Whittingham, and Kevin McClory. McClory, in his 1961 suit against Fleming gained a partial copyright over the material. The lawsuits continued over the years. In 1997 Sony even tried to get in on the fun when they bought McClory’s rights for $2 million with the intent of making a Bond franchise of their own. MGM’s lawyers prevented that very quickly and it took another 17 years to get those rights for themselves. The details of the deal have not been released, but one has to wonder why now? Are they trying to remake the film, or is it just a collectors mentality that they just have to have them all?
TREK BYTE: If you despise “Black Friday” as much as I do then this Nerd Byte might be right up your alley. Syfy will be presenting a Star Trek Marathon on Thanksgiving weekend. The schedule is as follows:
Saturday, November 30:
- 11:00 AM: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
- 1:30 PM: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
- 4:00 PM: Star Trek: First Contact
- 6:30 PM: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
- 9:00 PM: Star Trek: Generations
- 11:30 PM: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Sunday, December 1:
- 2:00 AM: Star Trek: Generations
- 9:00 AM: Star Trek: The Motion Picture
- 12:00 PM: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
- 2:30 PM: Star Trek: Nemesis
“Let there be no mercy or forgiveness for they have shown none.” With these words, whispered into the wind, a mysterious young woman leaps into action with wild abandon, twin automatics blazing. Is she a brave and reckless heroine taking on a monstrous evil? Or is she a deranged angel of death? One thing is clear, whether she is dropping from a high window into a crowd of red-robed fanatical cultists, or facing down a horde of psychotic hillbillies, you don’t want to get in Violenzia’s way.”
“This is a new model for us,” said Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds. “Not a better model, but a different model. Richard Sala is one of our most beloved authors, and recently he has built up a considerable and new following online, via his Tumblr and other social media, so when he proposed Violenzia it seemed like the perfect opportunity to experiment with a digital-only release.” Violenzia is available today at comiXology.com.
WALKING DEAD BYTE: Its not all roses for cable television’s highest rated show. Frank Darabont, the show runner during the first season, who was unceremoniously replaced for season two, is not yet over his replacement. In a recent interview to promote his new show Mob City, a noir mini-series, Darabont took the opportunity to vent a bit. When asked if he still watches the show that let him go, he responded honestly, but not necessarily tactfully by saying, “Oh god no, why would I? If the woman you loved with all your heart left you for the Pilates instructor and just sent you an invitation to the wedding, would you go? There’s a deep commitment and emotional investment that happens when you create something that is very near and dear to you,” he continued, “and when that is torn asunder by sociopaths who don’t give a s**t about your feelings or the feelings of your cast and crew because they have their own reasons to screw everybody, that doesn’t feel good.” Despite his aggressive language, maybe he’s not too far off of the truth. Some of the actors that he worked with on The Walking Dead will be reuniting with him in Mob City including Jon Bernthal (Shane) and Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale). I don’t know why Darabont was let go, but the show’s continued success is hard to dispute. At least he didn’t go out like Shane and Dale (shudder).
MOON BYTE: Two great tastes are about to come together again. No it’s not a Recce’s Peanut Butter Cup, it’s something even better! Marvel Comics has announced that popular writer Warren Ellis will be putting his critically acclaimed skills to the task of re-vamping one of Marvel’s second tier characters…Moon Knight. Long known as a fringe character, the mentally unstable hero found some mainstream popularity as a Defender and Avenger. He was most recently seen in Marvel Comics’ Age of Ultron series. In past incarnations writers have had completely different takes on the character. Some focused on his supernatural side as the avatar of Konshu, the Moon God, some on his shadowy super agent side, and others focused on his battles with dissociative identity disorder, caused by using multiple alter egos over time. Ellis promises that his version, “unifies all the previous takes, making the character whole and taking him forward into a new kind of crime fiction.” He will also be bringing him back to his original roots in New York City, but that won’t be his biggest change. Ellis says he will shift the character away from previous writers’ emphasis on dissociative identity disorder. Ellis explains, “I’ve known people with D.I.D., I, they and any doctor can tell you [that] you can’t catch D.I.D. just from pretending to be other people. If that was true, every actor in L.A. would be hospitalized.” Look for this new approach to a great character in Moon Knight #1, by Ellis, and artist Declan Shalvey, this coming March as part of Marvel Comics’ All-New Marvel Now initiative.
NERDITORIAL: I’m going to diverge from my normal nerdy fare in this column to speak about something close to my heart in my everyday life. If you have read my bio, you know that I’m in retail (I still won’t divulge the company for many reasons). This coming week brings Thanksgiving which is a big deal for people in retail in a variety of ways. Sure, business is about to blow through the roof and as a retailer I am thankful for that. I do value my customers, their patronage pays my bills, keeps my kids fed and clothed and allows me to live a decent lifestyle. There are two things that I do want to speak about, even rally against. First, enough with the businesses being open on Thanksgiving. Retailers get two whole days (used to be three, but we lost Easter five years ago) per year that we are closed. Days that we don’t have to worry about anything work related, and can just enjoy our families. I don’t even mind being at work at 3am for an exhausting 12 hour day on “Black Friday” because for a few short hours on Thanksgiving I don’t have to give work a single thought. But that is changing. K-Mart in their ultimate greed is open at 6pm on Thanksgiving, Wal-Mart opens at 9pm. You know who isn’t? Do you know who values their employees and their families, Costco does. They will not open and I will shop there whenever I get a chance, just not on Thanksgiving. Stop the madness. Shop your hearts out on Black Friday, but on Thanksgiving stay home be with family, friends, your dog. You can change the world. Second, I want to ask all of you shoppers to slow down, calm down, and relax just a bit. The associate in your local store is not your enemy. You do not have to berate them, talk down to them, or otherwise treat them like sub-humans to get what you want. They are already there to help you get what you need. It’s not their fault that you forgot your coupons, that you lost your receipt, or that you waited until Christmas Eve to shop and all the good stuff is gone. Chill out, let them help you, let them retain their dignity in an industry that doesn’t appreciate them enough. They don’t have to lose for you to get what you need. Be kind, your kid could be in their position someday and you wouldn’t want them treated like garbage. Now get out there, shop, buy, give, celebrate, enjoy and be nice about it. Happy Thanksgiving! UPDATE from Dark Horse Comics: From midnight (PST), Friday, November 29 through midnight, Sunday, December 1, Dark Horse is offering 150 digital Star Wars comics for only $100. Bundle can be found here. It might be a nice Black Friday pick-up for the Star Wars comic fan on your shopping list.