'Dancer' delivers intrigue
May 16th, 2012
05:28 PM ET

'Dancer' delivers intrigue

Greetings, fellow comics readers!

This week is an excellent opportunity to show those newly interested in comic books (perhaps due to a certain $1 billion grossing movie) that comics aren't just about superheroes.

The best example of what's possible without a man in tights is this week's first issue of "Dancer," from Image Comics.

This series is not just your usual "retired assassin chased by sniper" story. In this case, the assassin's ballerina companion is a major part of the ultra-violent action in Milan, Italy.

Daniel Dean of Titan Games and Comics in Smyrna, Georgia said this title caught his interest because it is written by Nathan Edmondson, most recently known as the writer of DC's "New 52" series, "Grifter."

“More importantly to me, and people in the store, he produced ‘Who is Jake Ellis?’" said Dean. "Really, really great stuff.” FULL POST

Master of the Whedonverse
Writer/director Joss Whedon on the set of "The Avengers."
May 1st, 2012
02:10 PM ET

Master of the Whedonverse

As T-shirt slogans go, it doesn't get more direct than this: "Joss Whedon is my master now."

It's a shirt common at fan conventions and anywhere else diehard pop-culture devotees gather. And few fan bases are as fervent as the one devoted to the third-generation television writer.

Few would have guessed that the premiere of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" 15 years ago would launch such a following for its creator. But the enthusiasm of "Buffy" fans helped Whedon build what is referred to as the "Whedonverse."

The Whedonverse includes "Buffy;" its spinoff, "Angel;" "Firefly" - which, 10 years later, is discussed by fans now more than it was during the short time it was on the air; "Serenity" (the "Firefly" movie); another short-lived but devotion-earning series, "Dollhouse;" and most recently, the critically acclaimed horror movie Whedon co-wrote and produced, "The Cabin in the Woods."

But on Hollywood's big stage, all of that is dwarfed by the $220 million "The Avengers," the upcoming action movie written and directed by Whedon. It is the unique culmination of four years of superhero films by Marvel Studios, that have all featured at least one character that will appear in "The Avengers."

With Whedon on the cusp of such a big moment in his career, it bears pondering just what it is that inspires such devotion among fans, who will surely line up alongside the masses to see Iron Man and the rest crack wise and fight off Loki's army. FULL POST

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LeVar Burton, Renaissance geek: From 'Trek' to 'Transformers'
LeVar Burton voices the role of Doc Greene on the Hub's Saturday morning series, "Transformers Rescue Bots."
April 26th, 2012
03:09 PM ET

LeVar Burton, Renaissance geek: From 'Trek' to 'Transformers'

LeVar Burton is anything but ashamed to admit it.

“I fly my geek flag proudly. Absolutely," he told CNN Geek Out. "I’ve always been interested in gadgets and technology and I’ve always been a reader. Back in my day, if you were really into calculus and wore a pocket protector, that was the image. I never had a pocket protector, but some of my best friends did!"

The actor, 55, is best known for "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (along with "Roots" and "Reading Rainbow") and will join the cast of the Calgary Expo this weekend to celebrate its 25th anniversary. But since then, he's continued to pop into the geek canon in animation, prime-time comedies and film - most recently, voicing the role of Doc Greene on the Hasbro Studios Saturday morning series, "Transformers Rescue Bots," on the Hub.

"I was aware of ['Transformers' following] but I was not a 'Transformers' aficionado," he confessed. "I knew it had a large fan base. My son is in his early 30s. When I told him I was doing a 'Transformers' spinoff, he was over the moon, because that was his thing. That was one of his favorite cartoons. It's cool to become part of another strong franchise. I love it."

Burton is getting back into voiceover work with "Transformers" and the recent animated film "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies," after doing more than 100 episodes of "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" in the 1990s.


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Filed under: Brainiac • Fandom • Squee!
Robert Rodriguez on the lure of grindhouse cinema
Robert Rodriguez (center left) and David Arquette (center right) on the set of the grindhouse cinema homage "Roadracers."
April 25th, 2012
05:22 PM ET

Robert Rodriguez on the lure of grindhouse cinema

Grindhouse films have been a constant throughout director Robert Rodriguez's career. "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" was announced last week, and the prequel will bring back much of the original cast of 2005's "Sin City." Rodriguez fans are still waiting for a sequel to the 2007 film "Grindhouse."

But what is it about grindhouse features that has fascinated Rodriguez and frequent collaborator Quentin Tarantino? What do fans around the world love about the debauched, low-budget flicks churned out at sleazy theaters and burlesque houses, which can easily be seen as disposable and, quite literally, trashy?

"You had to work within a system," Rodriguez told CNN Geek Out. "A filmmaker might have had a story they really wanted to tell, but they are working for a company that says, 'You just gotta put a**es in seats. You gotta have sex; you gotta have violence, nudity. If you want to, tell your bleeding heart story within that, but the movie's gotta attract an audience.' I liked that split that goes on. I liked putting it in this crazy, raunchy fun setting and see if you can really tell the story."


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Fan raises funds to make 'Static Shock' film
Stefan Dezil stars as Static in his short film, "Static Shock Blackout."
April 24th, 2012
11:39 AM ET

Fan raises funds to make 'Static Shock' film

Static has enjoyed a good amount of success for a superhero since the DC Comics character was introduced in 1993.

The comic book series "Static Shock," became a Saturday morning cartoon series, which lasted for four seasons starting in 2000. It was also part of DC's "New 52" titles, introduced last August, although the series is ending after eight issues this month. (DC Comics is owned by Time Warner, the owner of CNN.)

One medium the character has yet to crack, however, is the big screen, and Stefan Dezil hopes to change all that.

Dezil raised the money to shoot a 13-minute short film about the character, and - like "Archetype," a science fiction success story - he hopes the film will show a feature-length film could work. The result is "Static Shock Blackout."

Dezil spoke to CNN Geek Out about the project.

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Filed under: Comic Longbox • DC Comics • Squee!
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