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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April 11th, 2012
06:28 PM ET

Stan Lee launches his own comic convention

LOS ANGELES (CNN) - Wherever superhero creator Stan Lee goes, a crowd of comic book fans seems to gather, but now Lee's making it official with his own comic convention.

"Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo Presented by POW! Entertainment" launches in Los Angeles in September and is expected to spread with shows around the world, according to Lee and his "partner in crime" Regina Carpinelli.

Carpinelli grew up as a big fan of Lee's many superhero characters, including Spider-Man and other Marvel Comics fixtures such as the X-Men, Thor and Iron Man.

Having Lee's name on the marquis and his POW! Entertainment helping with promotion is "making history," said Carpinelli, who compared the former Marvel Comics chief to Walt Disney, Einstein and Shakespeare. "What more can a convention want; this is magic we're making here."

"Despite my legendary shyness, I thought that would be a great idea," Lee said.

Grown men have been seen crying after shaking hands with Lee at comic book shows.

"I have that firm grip," Lee said. "I squeeze their hand so hard, what are they going to do?"


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The world's first steampunk bedtime story
St. John Murphy Alexander and Steamduck on the cover of "Her Majesty's Explorer."
March 5th, 2012
12:21 PM ET

The world's first steampunk bedtime story

Author Emilie P. Bush isn’t shy about saying her latest book, “Her Majesty’s Explorer,” meant to get your little one's cogs and wheels turning, is the world’s first steampunk bedtime story. The illustrated children’s book, which released last Tuesday and jumped to No. 1 in Amazon’s “Hot New Releases,” follows the adventures of automaton St. John Murphy Alexander and his not-so-rubber ducky, Steamduck.

Already the author of two adult steampunk novels, Bush is also the mother of two young daughters – whom she calls her “built-in focus group.” When she went to a steampunk panel for young adult literature at Dragon*Con last year, all of the authors agreed on one thing: “What is missing in the steampunk genre is there are no picture books,” Bush remembers them saying. “I was already working on this and thinking, ‘finally, I have found a niche before somebody else!’ ”

Together, Bush and her illustrator, William Kevin Petty, have an original children’s book that caters to a specific subculture. But the charming concept wasn’t always easy. Petty is an Army officer and was stationed in Kuwait and Iraq during the process. He created some of his most whimsical illustrations for the book while witnessing horrors during his tour. FULL POST

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Sony goes steampunk with gaming laptop
An artist designed the removable steampunk case for the gaming laptop. The computer keyboard also was steampunk'd.
January 10th, 2012
10:50 AM ET

Sony goes steampunk with gaming laptop

What happens when you combine a laptop nicknamed The Beast with a subculture that is sweeping across the nation like a maelstrom? Sony has been steampunk’d, and the company asked for it.

Marrying modern technology with an elegant Victorian aesthetic is what steampunk is all about. So when social commerce specialist Reena Leone, a relative newcomer to Sony, decided to spruce up her geeky workstation with another subculture twist, steampunk seemed liked the perfect solution.

But she didn’t want to just “glue some gears on it and call it steampunk,” as the viral video goes. Leone needed a fully functioning VAIO F laptop she could use for work, with steampunk incorporated in the casing, utilities and desktop. The finished product, featured in a video from Sony on its Web show, "SGNL," has been making the Web rounds.

More than a few people want to swipe that steampunk laptop right out from under Leone, but she’s only willing to let it travel to cons and shows for now - no house calls allowed.

CNN Geek Out chatted (and yes, geeked out) with Leone for a few moments about her new steampunk laptop, and talked about if Sony is really considering more subculture mash-ups in the future. FULL POST

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Vader takes on 'Hitler' in historical rap battle
December 22nd, 2011
04:25 PM ET

Vader takes on 'Hitler' in historical rap battle

It's not every day that you see actors portraying Darth Vader and Adolf Hitler battle it out, in rhyming form. On YouTube, however, it has now happened twice.

Nice Peter (Peter Alexis Shukoff) and EpicLLOYD (Lloyd Ahlquist) have been delivering these "Epic Rap Battles of History" for more than a year now on YouTube, and the start of their new "season" of rap battles sees a rematch between Vader and Hitler, the first of which received well over 45 million views. (Warning: All these videos include strong language that might be offensive to some viewers). Thus far, Nice Peter and "Epic Rap Battles' " YouTube accounts have a grand total of 360 million page views.

The rematch, with its homage to "Return of the Jedi" intro, already has more than 7 million views. (Again, discretion is advised on these videos, as some may find the humor or language offensive).

These videos are a peek into the epic good-and-evil dynamic that is explored in many favorite fan franchises, not to mention that they poke fun at historical figures, something history geeks enjoy. In some cases, these kinds of exercises (not unlike Spike's "Deadliest Warrior" series,) might also be seen as another way to look at, and get a sense of comfort about, world history. FULL POST

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