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Showing posts from November, 2008

Movies-and-More: December 2008

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Here's the run-down of December release dates for films, music, DVDs and books, as well as my box office predictions.

In Theaters Friday December 5th
Cadillac Records
Ciao
Extreme Movie
Frost/Nixon
Nobel Son
Punisher: War Zone
Truecrimes (Los Cronocrimenes)

Predictions: 1.Four Christmases ($17 million), 2.Bolt ($15 m), 3. Punisher: War Zone ($14 m), 4. Twilight ($12 m), 5. Australia ($8 m)

In Theaters Friday December 12th
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Dark Streets
Delgo
Doubt
Nothing Like the Holidays
The Reader (On Wednesday)
What Doesn't Kill You
Where God Left His Shoes

Predictions: 1. The Day the Earth Stood Still ($15 m), 2. Four Christmases ($12 m), 3. Nothing Like the Holidays ($10.5 m), 4. Bolt ($9 m), 5. Punisher: War Zone ($7.5 m)

In Theaters Friday December 19th
Gran Torino
Seven Pounds
The Tale of Despereaux
The Wrestler (On Wednesday)
Yes Man

Predictions: 1. The Tale of Despereaux ($34 m), 2. Yes Man ($26 m), 3. Seven Pounds ($18 m), 4. The Day the Earth Stood Still ($9 m), 5. Four Christm…

25 Best Christmas Songs

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I love the holidays, and with that comes my love for Christmas music, so this was a hard list to create. There's so many great classic Christmas songs, and so many new versions that have come about to perfect originals, as well as many great new classics...which is why I've come up with TWO lists for the best songs of the holidays. The first is the 25 best modern Christmas songs, and the second is the 25 best holiday classics. To draw a nice neat line between the two lists, I've decided that the list of modern renditions will have been in the past twenty-five years exclusively, while the classic list will encompass anything before that time. Without further adieu, here is the best music that the holidays have to offer...

25 Best Modern Christmas Songs . 1. Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song) - Amy Grant - A beautiful, heart-breaking song seen through the eyes of Jesus's mum.
. 2. All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey - Catchy as hell, sung wonderfully - this is trul…

Previews: February '09 Comics

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Here are the highlights from Previews Catalogue of comics shipping to comic stores in February!
Ape Entertainment
The Black Coat & Athena Voltaire One-Shot - Two comic characters from different eras find a connection through pirates' treasure in this book featuring two complete stories. Only $2!
Bluewater Productions
Female Force: Sarah Palin - Because nobody will care by the time this comes out.
Bodega Distribution
Daybreak (Volume 3) GN - The third and final volume of Brian Ralph's zombie comic!
Dark Horse
Dawn: The Worlds of Final Fantasy - Yoshitaka Amano's artwork that inspired the designs of the initial Final Fantasy games.
Turok: Son of Stone Archives (Volume 1) HC - The classic man-meets-dinosaurs comic gets collected in a nice format.
DC Comics
100 Bullets #100 - The final issue.
Batman Confidential #26 - Hard to believe that King Tut has never made a comic book appearance, but here's his debut.
Birds of Prey #127 - The final issue.
Emma (Volume 8) - Kaoru Mori's ex…

In Stores 11/26

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Here are the standout books shipping to comic shops tomorrow!
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Pick of the Week
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American Elf: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries of James Kochalka (Book 3) - James Kochalka just passed ten years of keeping a sketchbook diary, and here's the third collected volume of his insightful, funny, strange daily strips.
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Other Noteworthy Releases
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Black Jack (Volume 2)
Body Bags One-Shot
Bruce the Little Blue Spruce HC - An all-ages title, part of IDW's new
.....Shadowline imprint!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #19
Captain America: The Death of Captain America (Volume 3)
.....Premiere HC
The Comics Journal #294
Fight Or Run #1 - New Kevin Huizenga!
Harvey Pekar Conversations SC
Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 #4 (of 6) - Finally!
New Avengers (Volume 8): Secret Invasion Book 1 Premiere HC
Showcase Presents Sgt. Rock (Volume 2) TP
Sloth TP - Now in softcover!
Umbrella Academy: Dallas #1
X-Men First Class: Band of Brothers TP

Manga Monday: Slam Dunk

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Slam Dunk (Volume 1)Takehiko Inoue . I'm not a fan of basketball. Or sports in general for that matter. But it turns out, the main character of this manga, Hanamichi Sakuragi, isn't either. In fact, he knows pretty much nothing about basketball. But he's tall, athletic, fast...and a pretty girl noticed him and thinks he should join the high school team. Hanamichi has never been a lady's man (he's been rejected fifty times), but he vows to win over Haruko Akagi, who happens to have a crush on a star basketball player, and whose brother is the coach of the high school team. In order to win a spot on the team, Hanamichi goes head-to-head with Haruko's brother and subsequently has to win him over, along with the rest of the team. But his battle doesn't end there, as he needs to get down the basics of the game (such as, you know, dribbling) before he can play with the other guys. Luckily, he has a lot of potential and is seen as worth the effort to teach. . …

The Dreamer #1

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Lora Innes
. The award-winning webcomic The Dreamer saw print this past week, through IDW Publishing. The book, by Lora Innes, follows high school girl Beatrice Whaley, a popular drama nerd whose crush has finally noticed her in a big way. But following a recent dream where she's transported to 1776 during the American Revolution, she can't seem to get a man from the past out of her head. His name is Warren and he's part of Knowlton's Rangers, a group of teachers, farmers, etc. turned soldiers, and he courageously saves Beatrice's life from the enemy and sweeps her off her feet. I can definitely see the appeal of the book - there's high romance, an interesting contrast between her life in high school and the dreamscapes of war, and the art is charming (although a bit stiff at times). By the conclusion of the first issue of the series, the characters are still a bit flat, but that could certainly change as the story progresses, just as the art could get a lit…

In Stores 11/19

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Here are the best-sounding books shipping to comic shops tomorrow! Kind of a light week... . Pick of the Week . Jack Kirby's The Demon Omnibus HC - From the early 1970's, this collects the entirety of the original beloved 16-issue series by Jack Kirby in a nice deserving format. That's 384 pages for just $50! . Other Noteworthy Releases . Daniel X: Alien Hunter GN Dead Space HC Fables (Volume 11): War and .....Pieces TP Fuzz and Pluck: Splitsville HC Heroes (Volume 2): Standard .....Edition HC Lagoon HC Punisher by Garth Ennis Omnibus HC Spider-Man: Kraven's First Hunt Premiere HC The Spirit Special #1 Star Trek: The Last Generation #1 Swallow Me Whole The Walking Dead (Volume 4) HC The X-Files #1 (of 6) X-Men: Magik: Storm and Illyana Premiere HC Young X-Men (Volume 1): Final Genesis TP Youngblood (Volume 1) HC

Manga Monday: Astral Project

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Astral Project (Volume 1)
marginal & Shuji Takeya
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Astral Project in a new manga from CMX, written by the author of Old Boy (as marginal is an alias for Garon Tsuchiya). The book is about Masahiko, whose sister has just died. He doesn't get along with his family, but takes a keepsake from his sister's room - an unlabeled CD that was in her player that must have been the last thing she listened to before she passed away mysteriously. On the CD is some jazz music that sends Masahiko outside of his physical body. He finds he can fly across the skies and move objects, unseen by others in his astral form, and can repeat the experience whenever he listens to his sister's CD. But this ability also raises plenty of questions, about his sister's death, about where the CD came from, and it only gets more complicated when he realizes that he's not the only one with the ability to leave his body. . I was really impressed with this manga. It's a great story, has a coo…

The Acme Novelty Library #19

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Chris Ware. The latest installment of Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library opens with a short science fiction tale called "The Seeing Eye Dogs of Mars," a disturbing little story about a pair of couples who are sent to Mars to establish a settlement. Not long after their arrival, things go wrong, as the first supply ship doesn't arrive. This is a pretty engrossing story, but quite strange, with the protagonist doing some pretty awful things. Within the context of this volume, this science fiction story is actually a short work written by Rusty Brown's odd father, W.K. Brown, for which he received some acclaim. The rest of this installment of Acme Novelty Library then shifts focus to follow not Rusty Brown, but secondary character W.K. Brown himself, mostly delving into his past just before getting friendly with his wife. W.K. Brown is odd and awkward, as we've seen throughout the initial chapters of this series, and this just goes one step further to illustr…

Previews: January '09 Comics

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I've been sick, so it took awhile for me to get around to doing a long post like this one, but finally, here are the noteworthy books shipping to comic shops in January, from items found in Previews Catalogue...
Dark Horse
B.P.R.D.: The Black Goddess #1 (of 5) - A new B.P.R.D. tale!
Clover Omnibus Edition - The manga has been out of print for a long time, so here's an omnibus edition of the classic story by supergroup CLAMP!

DC Comics
The Compleat Death Deluxe Edition HC - Both Death mini-series by Neil Gaiman, as well as short stories from various places featuring the fan-favorite character. Only $34.99.
Final Crisis #7 - The final issue of Grant Morrison's epic crossover!

The Losers by Jack Kirby HC - Jack Kirby's World War II stories are collected for the first time!
Drawn & Quarterly
Kaspar GN - Quebec artist Diane Obomsawin's first translated work to English follows the life of Kaspar Hauser, a man surrounded by mysteryduring his stay in Nuremberg in the early 19t…

Heidi Klum is awesome!

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In Stores 11/12

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Here are the most exciting books shipping to comic shops this week!
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Pick of the Week
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight (Volume 3): Wolves At the Gate TP - The latest collection of Joss Whedon's season eight of Buffy gets collected this week, this one written by Drew Goddard of Cloverfield fame, featuring the return of Dracula into the main slayer's life, and many other shocks and surprises. A very good read.
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Other Noteworthy Releases
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Batman: Cacophony #1 (of 3) -
.....Kevin Smith's return to comics...
.....er, they did get the finished scripts
.....before publishing this issue, right?
Black Terror #1
Civil War HC
The Cleaners #1 (of 4)
The Dreamer #1
Fables Covers by James Jean HC
Fruits Basket (Volume 21)
Hulk (Volume 1): Red Hulk Premiere HC
Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Storm Front #1 (of 4)
JLA/Avengers TP
New X-Men by Grant Morrison Ultimate Collection (Volume 3) -
.....Final volume
Powr Mastrs (Volume 2) GN
Push #1 (of 6)
Salt Water Taffy (Volume 2): Climb Up Mt. Barnabus GN
Sa…

Manga Monday: We Were There!

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We Were There (Volume 1)
Yuki Obata . When Nanami Takahashi begins to go to a new school, all she wants is to make some new friends. Things don't go exactly as planned at first, but before long Nanami finds herself among friends and falling for an aloof boy, despite herself. Motoharu Yano also happens to be the most popular boy in school and seems determined to frustrate Nanami to no end. As the book proceeds, we see more of a tender side to Yano, however, and learn that things are much more complicated than they appear on the outside. That being said, it's kind of hard not to fall for Yano a little bit. This book actually won the 50th Shogakukan Manga Award, and it's no wonder with the beautiful art and the slow build of emotions and tension. I wasn't so sure I'd like this book from the initial chapters sampled in Shojo Beat a few months back, but I decided to give it a chance and I'm glad I did in the end. This is a fun romantic story and I'm genuinel…

Strangeways: Murder Moon

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Matt Maxwell & Luis Guaragna. With the sequel to the first Strangeways graphic novel, Strangeways: Murder Moon, beginning to be serialized at Newsarama (this time with vampires called Strangeways: The Thirsty), I thought it would be appropriate to read and review that initial book in the series featuring werewolves in the Old West. The book follows Seth Collins (as does the new series), a former officer in the Army who travels to the town Silver Branch, seeking his sister who's written him for help. Unfortunately, once in the area, his wagon is attacked and all of the other passengers are murdered by a monster, save himself and a friend. It turns out that the town is being terrorized by a werewolf, and the citizens are eager to kill first, ask questions later with the new faces arriving in town. . So, fun premise. I'm not very excited about Westerns in general, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the story pretty engrossing. Unfortunately, there are quite a few cliches in …

In Stores 11/5

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Here are the books shipping to comic shops this week with the most potential for awesomeness!
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Pick of the Week
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Watchmen stuff! - In anticipation of the film (you may have heard of it), DC is releasing a hardcover edition of Watchmen this week, as well as Watchmen: The Absolute Edition. Also coming out by Titan Books (this has been in bookstores for a few weeks already, so you may have already seen and/or purchased it) is Watching the Watchmen, Dave Gibbons's account of the creation of this masterpiece, with plenty of goodies, designed by Chip Kidd and Mike Essl.
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Other Noteworthy Releases
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Absolute Sandman (Volume 4) HC
Alan's War GN
Aliens Omnibus (Volume 5) TP
Angel Omnibus TP
Claymore (Volume 13)
Counter X (Volume 3): X-Man TP
Daredevil by Frank Miller & Klaus Janson (Volume 1) TP
Diana Prince: Wonder Woman (Volume 3) TP
Disney's DuckTales: Gold Odyssey TP
Drain (Volume 1) TP
Essential Hulk (Volume 5) TP
Final Crisis: Resist #1
Fishtown HC
Freakangels (Volume 1) TP
Guardian of Metr…

Manga Monday: Bat-Manga!

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Bat-Manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan SCChip Kidd, Geoff Spear & Saul Ferris . I've been anticipating this book's release for awhile now. I went to the Bat-Manga! panel at Comic-Con and heard Chip Kidd talk about putting this book together and it sounded just fascinating. And the final product is really quite beautiful. The book is mostly a collection of comics by Jiro Kuwata, which are some really fun comics. They were made after the campy Batman television show had debuted in America and are kind of in the same vain - a bit cheesy and over-the-top, but they are very good and exciting as well. Batman and Robin fight villains we've heard of such as Clayface, but also some weird guys like Lord Death Man, who has the uncanny ability to keep rising from his grave. And this version of Batman isn't shy about using guns either. It's just too bad that some of these rare strips aren't completed in this volume, as the editors were unable to track a s…

Movies-and-More: November 2008

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Here's the run-down of November release dates for films, music, DVDs and books, as well as my box office predictions.

In Theaters November 7th
The Boy In the Striped Pajamas House JCVD Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Otto, Or Up With the Dead People Pray the Devil Back To Hell Repo: The Genetic Opera Role Models Soul Men The World Unseen
Predictions: 1. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa ($55 million), 2. High School Musical 3: Senior Year ($8.5 m), 3. Role Models ($8 m), 4. Zack and Miri Make a Porno ($6.5 m), 5. Changeling ($5.5 m)
In Theaters November 14th A Christmas Tale Dostana The Dukes Faded Memories House of Sleeping Beauties How About You Quantum of Solace Slumdog Millionaire (On Wednesday)
Predictions: 1. Quantum of Solace ($52 m), 2. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa ($24 m), 3. High School Musical 3: Senior Year ($5.5 m), 4. Zack and Miri Make a Porno ($4 m), 5. Role Models ($3.5 m)
In Theaters November 21st Bolt I Can't Think Straight Lake City Special Twilight
Predictions: 1. Twilight ($108 m), 2. Bolt ($59…