Fans, colleagues remember 'Dark Shadows' star Jonathan Frid
Jonathan Frid played vampire Barnabas Collins on "Dark Shadows" from 1967 to 1971. Frid died Saturday at age 87.
April 20th, 2012
10:37 AM ET

Fans, colleagues remember 'Dark Shadows' star Jonathan Frid

Before "Angel," before "Vampire Diaries'" Damon and Stefan, and before "True Blood's" Bill, there was the original television vampire: Barnabas Collins.

Jonathan Frid, who portrayed the character on the soap opera/horror series, "Dark Shadows" from 1967 to 1971  - the film adaptation of which hits theaters on May 11 - died on Saturday at the age of 87.

Many fans first heard about the loss of Frid on Thursday, when his "Dark Shadows" co-star Kathryn Leigh Scott paid tribute to him on her website:

"I am so grateful to have worked with Jonathan, and to have known him as the charismatic, entertaining, complex and plain-spoken man that he was. What fun we had working together! He was irascible, irreverent, funny, caring, lovable and thoroughly professional, and in the end became the whole reason why kids 'ran home from school to watch' 'Dark Shadows.'

"I am so grateful that nearly five decades later, Jonathan, David Selby, Lara Parker and I were invited to play cameos in the new 'Dark Shadows,' directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins. How wonderful for the four of us to work together again and celebrate the legacy of 'Dark Shadows.' I won’t ever forget the moment when the two Barnabas Collinses met, one in his late 80s and the other in his mid-40s, each with their wolf’s head canes. Jonathan took his time scrutinizing his successor’s appearance. 'I see you’ve done the hair,' Jonathan said to Johnny Depp, 'but a few more spikes.' Depp, entirely in character, replied, 'Yes, we’re doing things a bit differently.'"
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Where past meets present meets future: My weekend with the steampunks
The participants of S.T.E.A.M.Fest show off their best costumes and gadgets.
April 19th, 2012
04:13 PM ET

Where past meets present meets future: My weekend with the steampunks

I am the first to classify myself as a geek. I wear the moniker as a badge of honor, rather than one of shame.

Yet, at times I do find myself embarrassed, not because of my geekiness, but rather because my geekiness is both limited and selective. I will eagerly discuss the reboot of “The Best Show of All Time,” also know as “Battlestar Galactica;" Han absolutely shot first; I aim to misbehave. I enjoy “dressing up” as a zombie; I have a soft spot for sweet transvestites from Transsexual, Transylvania; I call my boyfriend “my Dark Knight.”

But I can’t say much about about Bioshock or Skyrim – video games, right? – or “Akira,” or most other anime. Every year, at Dragon*Con, when I get nearly overrun by throngs outfitted in goggles, petticoats and pocket watches or waving mechanical arms, legs and weaponry, I simply snap photos in awe.

I don’t “get” steampunk.

This is where S.T.E.A.M.Fest 2012 comes in.

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The Aquabats: Superheroes who rock Saturday mornings
The Aquabats, masked and ready to save the day for an entire generation of kids.
April 19th, 2012
11:52 AM ET

The Aquabats: Superheroes who rock Saturday mornings

Editor's note: Erika D. Peterman is a Florida-based writer and editor, and the co-creator of the comics blog Girls-Gone-Geek.com.

Words like “quirky” and “wacky” have been attached to alt-rock band the Aquabats, but “nerdy” is equally applicable to five guys who perform as superheroes wearing masks, rubber helmets and bright blue shirts reminiscent of the Fantastic Four.

All of which makes them naturals for a children’s television show.

After a long journey to the small screen, the Orange County band - whose members go by the names The M.C. Bat Commander (Christian Jacobs), Eagle “Bones” Falconhawk (Ian Fowles), Crash McLarson (Chad Larson), Ricky Fitness (Ricky Falomir) and Jimmy the Robot (James Briggs) - has finally brought its colorful brand of whimsy to Saturday mornings. “The Aquabats! Super Show!” landed on The Hub television network in March, and there isn’t anything quite like it in the realm of modern kids’ programming.

Billed as “the first musical, crime-fighting super-group in history,” the band travels in a custom RV and breaks into songs like “Hamburger Rain” and “The Good Life,” a paean to doughnuts. They fight villains like Man Ant, an insect-human who wears a suit and tie. In addition to animated segments involving onion spaceships, there are live-action bits including commercials for the monster repellent “Mummy Spray” and a used-car ad featuring Bear Cosby, a person in what appears to be a wolf costume.

That barely scratches the surface of the hijinks.

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Don't be afraid of 'Ghostbusters' No. 8
Don't be afraid of no ghost -- just check out "Ghostbusters" No. 8.
April 18th, 2012
09:15 AM ET

Don't be afraid of 'Ghostbusters' No. 8

Hello again, fellow comic readers!

There is no doubt who you’re gonna call for this week’s pick, IDW's new "Ghostbusters" comic!

I am a huge fan of the movie and the first couple seasons of the cartoon, "The Real Ghostbusters.” Until now, I never read the comics for fear of ruining my memories of the franchise.

Our brilliant Geek Out friend Daniel Dean from Titan Games and Comics in Smyrna, Georgia, was of the same mindset when we saw the preview for this series.

“I was super stoked when this new series was announced because I've been following penciler Dan Schoening for years online,” he said.

“Ghostbusters"  No. 8, out today, is a standalone issue, or one-shot as they call it in the comic book industry. The next issue will kick off a new four-issue story arc, so this is a perfect jumping-on point for new readers.

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'So You Created a Wormhole' authors combat bad pop culture time travel
A diagram from "So You Created a Wormhole" illustrates the danger of traveling through time and killing one's own grandfather.
April 17th, 2012
12:47 PM ET

'So You Created a Wormhole' authors combat bad pop culture time travel

Let's be upfront about it: Phil Hornshaw and Nick Hurwitch aren't scientists.

But the friends definitely have a love of the science of time travel, which they poured into their new book, "So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel."

Hornshaw and Hurwitch have seen way too many bad time travel movies and they have the same questions as other sci-fi fanboys and fangirls: "It’s hard to walk out of a time travel movie and not go, 'How do these things sync up?'" Hornshaw told CNN Geek Out.

"Phil and I are longtime geeks," Hurwitch said. "The atrocities of time travel plot devices began to stack up. We simultaneously came up with an original time travel show [still in 'drawing board phase'] and a guide book on how to do it properly."

Hornshaw said that their interest in theoretical physics and astronomy came from a lifelong interest in science fiction; the pair have been friends since third grade in Novi, Michigan.

"We read Michael Crichton’s 'Timeline' back in high school, and both of us were into the concepts from that book," he said. "What we wanted to do with the guide was to make it as simple as we could because it can get so expansive. We pay a lot of attention, but we don’t study up on anything more than what we’re interested in."

"In the book we’re more concerned with how science affects plot, as opposed to how it affects science," Hurwitch said.

Read more about their research and the best and worst moment in pop culture time travel after the jump:
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