Saturday, March 17, 2007

Special Edition Serenity this summer!

Joss writes below -

Yes, fanlings, there is going to be a 2 disc 'Special Edition' released this summer. You know why? 'Cause the 1 disc 'Normal Edition' has sold so well -- so maybe a little self-back-patting is in order for you guys. Way to keep her in the air.

It's too early to be sure what the Special Edition will contain, but here are some things we're going for:


Cast commentary -- assuming I can get a decent number of them in one room. They're very busy people, I'm happy to say.


The region 4 goodies, obviously.

The Tam Sessions.


New Yub Yub, and Greedo shoots first. So does that kid outside the trading station, the pilot who destroyed Haven, and Kaylee. And Richard Dreyfuss goes INSIDE the mothership.


An alternate ending, if you turn it off early.

Proof of the existence of a benevolent higher power -- uh, I mean, new key art.


And honestly, what more do you want? Don't answer that, I already know and it's unseemly. But I'm pretty excited here. Back to work, -j.

Take my Yub,
Take Yub Yub,
Yub Yub tak the Yub from Meee...dichlorians....

Buffy Revamped

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans can be called many things -- vocal, prolific, perhaps even rabid -- but they're seldom described as "patient." In the four long years since the last episode of the show's seven-season run, they've had to satisfy their Buffy cravings by poring over old episodes, dressing up at conventions, playing along with a variety of games, and slaking their thirst with Buffy-related books and comics. Many have found diversions in Joss Whedon's other projects like "Angel" and "Firefly." But since the closing line of the Buffy TV finale -- "What are we going to do now?" -- many fans have been dying to know exactly that: What happens next for Buffy and the Scooby Gang? Some inspired followers have even taken matters into their own hands, creating their own fan films and dozens of scripts for a would-be eighth season. But now, finally, the wait is over for an official Season Eight, and the Buffyverse is no longer confined to the special effects budget of a minor TV network. The canonical Season Eight takes place on the pages of Dark Horse Comics, with Joss Whedon himself writing the first few issues/episodes. And fans who miss the TV show's theme song and opening credits can always create their own.

Suggested Sites...

Dark Horse Comics: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - preview the first five pages of Season Eight here.

Whedonesque - collaborative blog covering the world of Joss Whedon, including posts and news from the man himself. - forums on everything in the Buffyverse, plus other projects from Joss Whedon and other Buffy-related cast and crew.

Television Without Pity: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - catch up on Seasons 1-7 with snarky episode recaps.

Buffyography - a bibliographic map to the Buffyverse.

IDW Panel from LA

Only a couple of the non-big two publishers held panels at WW:LA, but IDW was one of them. The company, responsible for buzzworthy books like 30 Days of Night and a boatload of licensed properties, held their affair Saturday morning, with only about three dozen fans on hand - although perhaps some were holding out for the arrival of Kiss's Gene Simmons, who was scheduled to join the panel a half hour into it to talk about his new joint publishing venture with IDW, "Simmons Comic Group" (or maybe people just partied a little too much Friday night. Or were still parking).

First up on the presentation was Spike: Shadow Puppets, described by Lynch as "Kind of a sequel to the 'Smile Time' episode," referring to the fan favorite season 5 Angel episode; he said it's also a sequel to his previously-published Spike: Asylum.

Ryall then told the crowd that Joss Whedon said in the new issues of Buffy/Angel magazine, "I am talking to Brian Lynch, about doing sort of a 'season 6 of Angel.'" Ryall then continued, "After Shadow Puppets, we will be doing some new Angel books, with Brian and Joss, picking up where the show left off. They will be post-show, and definitely canon, and co-written by Joss." Presumably this is the companion to Dark Horse's "Buffy season 8" that fans have been waiting for.

A couple of Star Trek projects - Star Trek: Klingons: Blood Will Tell, written by Scott & David Tipton and illustrated by David Messina (5 issues, starting April 2007) and Star Trek: The Original Series: Year Four, written by David Tischman and illustrated by: Kelsey Shannon, Steve Conley, Leonard O'Grady (6 issues, starting July 2007) - were briefly discussed.

A Q&A followed before the arrival of Gene Simmons, with Ryall saying there's no plans for a “Star Wars/Transformers" crossover despite the success of those toys and no more "Transformers: Evolution in the near future but possibly in '08." Spike's old vampire girlfriend, Drusilla, won't be Shadow Puppets, but could be in “Angel season 6”, and so far they don't have Tank Girl reprints scheduled because they're not show about the situation with publishing rights.

Gene Simmons and his son Nick then arrived, roughly 25 minutes into the panel, with about 50 people at the panel by this point, and a few more joining as it continued. Ryall started a slideshow on the Simmons Comics Group projects, starting with Gene Simmons House of Horrors. "Gene understands comics, he knows comics" and wasn't doing it just to put his name on a comic.

"We're very serious about this," said Simmons, proceeding to compare comics to Greek myths in a somewhat rambling speech espousing his love for the medium. "We don't consider this throwaway stuff. It's the biggest art form on the face of the planet," citing the box office success of 300 as a recent example. He further explained that invincible characters aren't appealing to him, and he enjoys ones with flaws.

In discussing anthology title House of Horrors, he pointed out that the first cover is by Todd McFarlane, and sarcastically groused that "in return for that I got to fly to Tucson, Wombatville, somewhere Todd has a store, and do a signing." (the store is actually in Tempe, Arizona, approximately 100 miles north of Tucson).

Simmons' son, Nick, the writer and artist of "Skullduggery, another part of the line, described the concept. "If you verbalize any story like this, it's going to sound bizarre," he said, although he filled in that it's about a race of people "one rung above" humans, and that it's a "horror comedy where they shoot each other in the face more than once per issue."

Simmons discussed the rest of the titles that make up the line (five comics in total), including Zipper by Tom Waltz and Adriano Lozano, which starts in September. Simmons compared the character to the Silver Surfer in being neither good nor bad. Next up was Dominatrix, written by Sean Taylor, art by TBD (as in "to be decided," not some new artist with an unconventional name) and covers by Alex Garner, starting in August 2007. Simmons said it's about a "clandestine, reluctant super-heroine" and, a bit more on the nose, that "it's very CIA meets T&A."

The last book to be discussed was Indy: Race of the Galaxies, an 8-issue series about racing in space, written by Tom Waltz with art by German Torres (no release month announced). It's tied to Indy Racing League, which Simmons is involved in promoting, and targeted towards 12 to 14 year-old-males.

Ryall then spoke about Simmons' "passion for the industry," and being shocked that an iconic rock star had such a precise recall of specific comic storylines and creators.Gene closed out the panel, boasting that the old '70s Kiss comics "sold a million copies a piece" and that "now if an issue sells 10,000, you're lucky." He said he wants comics to gain mainstream popularity and sees his line as a step towards that goal.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Buffy Comic Gets New Print Run

Dark Horse comics, which just released the first issue of a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer "season eight" comic, announced that it will order a second printing. Orders have exceeded the initial printing of more than 100,000 copies of the comic, from Buffy creator Joss Whedon, which picks up the story of the Sunnydale Slayer from the end of the show's seventh and final season on TV.

"Admittedly, our expectations were already gigantic, but this has surpassed even those," Dirk Wood, Dark Horse's director of marketing, said in a statement. "We couldn't be happier about how this has launched and have high hopes for upcoming issues."

The upcoming second printing will feature a full-bleed version of the Jo Chen cover, with some of the design elements removed for a cleaner look, the company said. The new version will arrive in stores with an on-sale date of March 28, a week before the release of issue number two.

Happy Birthday Nancy!!

Happy Birthday Nancy Wilson!

Cameron Crowe, you are one lucky son of a gun.

Happy Birthday Alan Tudyk too. (Wash in Firefly/Serenity)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Take out the frostbite part and this story is hilarious!

MINNEAPOLIS - A North Pole expedition meant to bring attention to global warming was called off after one of the explorers got frostbite. The explorers, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, on Saturday called off what was intended to be a 530-mile trek across the Arctic Ocean after Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold temperatures drained the batteries in some of their electronic equipment.

"Ann said losing toes and going forward at all costs was never part of the journey," said Ann Atwood, who helped organize the expedition.

But the latest trek got off to a bad start. The day they set off from Ward Hunt Island, a plane landing near the women hit their gear, punching a hole in Bancroft's sled and damaging one of Arnesen's snowshoes.

They repaired the snowshoe with binding from a ski, but Atwood said the patch job created pressure on Arnesen's left foot, which led to blisters that then turned into frostbite.

Then there was the cold — quite a bit colder, Atwood said, then Bancroft and Arnesen had expected. One night they measured the temperature inside their tent at 58 degrees below zero, and outside temperatures were exceeding 100 below zero at times, Atwood said.

"My first reaction when they called to say there were calling it off was that they just sounded really, really cold," Atwood said.

She and Arnesen were prepared to don body suits and swim through areas where polar ice has melted.

Atwood said there was some irony that a trip to call attention to global warming was scuttled in part by extreme cold temperatures.

"They were experiencing temperatures that weren't expected with global warming," Atwood said.

This makes my head explode!

Iran outraged by Hollywood war epic

TEHRAN (AFP) - War epic "300", a smash hit in the United States for its gory portrayal of the Greco-Persian wars, has drawn the wrath of Iranians for showing their ancestors as bloodthirsty "savages".

The press, officials and bloggers have united in denouncing the film as another example of "psychological warfare" against Tehran by its American arch enemy at a time of mounting tension over its nuclear programme.

"Hollywood declares war on Iranians," said the headline in the reformist daily Ayandeh-No of the film which tells the story of the 300 Spartan soldiers fighting off ancient Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Movie's Star Trek. Period.

Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci, who are writing the 11th Star Trek movie, revealed a few key points about the top-secret script in an interview with Among the revelations: The movie will be titled, simply, Star Trek; it will take place aboard a starship; and they're OK with Matt Damon playing Capt. James T. Kirk.

Not that the writers confirmed that Damon had been cast, as rumored. "I'm the hugest Matt Damon fan ever," Kurtzman told the site. "If he became [Kirk], great."

Paramount has given a green light to Star Trek, with Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams directing, with an eye to a Christmas 2008 release.

As for the title, Orci said: It's Star Trek. "That's the intended title," he said. "I don't think we want to put any colons or anything on it." The writers wouldn't discuss details of the story, other than to say it is a reimagining of the franchise that will remain true to its history, but aim for the broadest audience possible. Kurtzman promised: "There will be more action in this movie than any Trek that's preceded it."

Orci added: "I don't know how you make Star Trek without a starship. You have to trek through the stars, so you need a ship for that. There, you got something out of us!"

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The LEGO Group Selects NetDevil To Create Branded MMOG

BILLUND, DENMARK - March 5, 2007 - The LEGO® Group today announced it has commenced a working relationship with NetDevil® to develop a massively multiplayer online gaming experience to further engage its dedicated and active community.

"As children around the world continue to spend more time online we are developing new and engaging ways for them to interact with our brand," said Lisbeth Valther Pallesen, Executive Vice President, Community, Education and Direct Division LEGO Group. "The LEGO brand represents construction, creativity and problem solving - values that compliment the MMOG market. By merging the online world of social interaction with physical play, the LEGO brand is providing new experiences for children, as well as fans. NetDevil’s technological capability, openness to work with a large community, and their enthusiasm for the LEGO brand made them a natural partner."

"Playing with LEGO bricks and developing online worlds are both creative activities. To bring them together is deeply professionally satisfying and we look forward to working with the LEGO team," said Scott Brown, President of NetDevil.