Archive for August, 2012

Behind the scenes of AWESOME-tober-fest…

Posted in blogging, Halloween, holiday with tags , , , , on August 31, 2012 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest banner

Well, here we are, the first week in September. You know what that means? AWESOME-tober-fest is only a month away. Less than a month away, actually.  And as I announced earlier, the theme for this year is Movie Maniacs.  I’ll be investigating books, comics, movies and TV shows featuring our favorite movie killers; Jason, Freddy, Leatherface, Michael Myers and Norman Bates.  Since we are a month out, I am in full on “go mode” to get things read, watched and written for this year.

You probably don’t realize this, but I start planning AWESOME-tober-fest in January or February.  I decide on a theme and start listing out all the different media (books, movies, comics, TV shows, etc) that I can include for that topic.  These lists usually involve yellow post its.  I have a post it for each media which lists all the candidates for inclusion that year.  I print out a free October calendar from General Blue calendars online and start mapping out what is going to happen during each day of AWESOME-tober-fest.

Here are pics of the notes/calendars I have for last year’s (2011 – Vampires, left) and the year before’s (2010 – Werewolves, right) celebrations.

AWESOME-tober-fest notes

I usually try to get all of my stuff done by the first week or two in September.  As I finish reading books and comics and watching the movies I usually write up my articles as soon as possible so I can get my immediate thoughts.  Then I’ll edit and modify as it gets closer to October.  I’m still trying to finish up the books and movies as we speak but a lot of the material is getting done.  I’m liking how things are looking so far.

I’m really excited about this year’s AWESOME-tober-fest.  I hope you guys are as well.

2012 banner
This year I will also be participating in the Halloween Countdown celebration that is hosted by the blog Countdown to Halloween. I’ve participated in that for the last four years or so and it’s a lot of fun.  Many other bloggers participate as well.  It’s co-run by my good friend Shawn Robare from Branded in the 80s.  Check it out if you get the chance.  They are also gearing up for the month long celebration.

Creating a team of 80s ninja killers

Posted in movies, ninjas, pop culture with tags , , , on August 29, 2012 by Paxton

LEB

New assignment from The League. This week we are pitted against an evil conglomerate that is protected by an army of bad ass Russian ninjas (Russian ninjas, wha-?!).  So I need to put together a team that does nothing but kill goddam ninjas.

It would be too easy to say, “I’ll take the JLA” or “The Avengers” and be done with it.  However, I’m going with non-super powered heroes.  As a matter of fact, I’m staying away from all supernatural characters.  I’m going to treat this as an 80s movie/TV project.  Which means I will also limit myself to characters from the 1980s, so no Jack Bauer (sad face) or Jason Bourne (well, the Matt Damon version).

So, let’s do this.  The five members of my own personal team of ninja killers from the 1980s:

The Master
1. John “The Master” McCallister (The Master)- The older, wiser ninja leader.  Plus Lee Van Cleef is just BAD ASS.

Sho Kosugi
2. Sho Kosugi (Ninja Trilogy) – I didn’t pick a character here, I picked the actor mainly because Sho transcends the characters he plays. It doesn’t matter if I pick Cho Osaki from Revenge of the Ninja or Shiro Tanaka from Rage of Honor. They are all the same bad ass ninja mo-fo and I need him to help defeat the ninja army.  Plus, he catches ninja arrows IN HIS TEETH.

Scott James
3. Scott James (The Octagon) – Scott James was built to kill f’n ninjas.  He single handedly takes on a terrorist organization comprised of deadly, deadly ninjas (led by the awesome Tadashi Yamashita) with just his wits, super fast roundhouse kicks and copious amounts of chest hair.  Qualifications ACCEPTED, Mr James.

Joe Armstrong
4. Joe Armstrong (American Ninja) – Another dude created to kill ninjas.  Joe here defeated one of the fiercest ninjas ever, the Black Star Ninja (played, again, by the awesome Tadashi Yamashita).  He’s the American Ninja and he’s on this team.

Jonathan Cabot
5. Jonathan Cabot (Gymkata) – Former gymnast turned master of the deadly martial art Gymkata, which is a mash up of gymnastic moves and the ninjitsu fighting style.  I only need to make sure that the team goes to places that have things like high bars and pommel horses just lying around so he can “do his thang”.

More ninja killers from around the League:
1. Shez Crafti’s Ninja Force 5
2. Green Plastic Squirt Gun also recruits Chuck Norris as well as Ash
3. Memories of Toymorrow recruits a bunch of awesome ninjas to fight ninjas
4. The Man Who Stares at Toys recruits Sarah Connor and Tackleberry
5. Cool and Collected recruits a malfunctioning robot and the hot chick from Buck Rogers

Bionic Reviews: Cyborg #2 – Operation Nuke by Martin Caidin (1973)

Posted in Bionic Man, books, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2012 by Paxton

Bionic Review
SMDM Book

This is an ongoing feature where I read, watch and review books, comics and TV shows featuring The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman.  Click the Bionic Review banner to see the Bionic Review archive page.  Click the smaller banner to see only those specific reviews.

One year after Cyborg, in 1973, Caidin released his followup Steve Austin novel, Operation Nuke.

Cyborg 2 Cyborg #2

The original hardcover release is on the left.  At this point, the original book was being adapted into the first The Six Million Dollar Man TV movie. As you can see, the paperback cover for this book on the right follows the same design as the later cover for Cyborg with Lee Major’s face and the mention of the TV show at the top.  By the time this book hit paperback, The Six Million Dollar Man had three TV movies and was beginning its regular season run.

Cyborg 2 Operation Nuke

This is a good 70s “spy novel” but it’s not a great Bionic Man (or Cyborg) novel.  Literally, Steve Austin doesn’t use any of his superhuman bionic abilities until like page 135 (of 175 pages).  And he doesn’t use them again after that either.  Also, at the beginning of the novel, when he’s getting his assignment, he is asked how much he knows about nuclear devices.  Steve says that he had to actually build a nuclear device for one of his instructional classes with the military.  This is very convenient considering the plot.  And for something he did so long ago, the book makes Steve out to be a nuclear physicist with intimate knowledge of the inner workings of all nuclear bombs.  That got old after a while.

Steve Austin spends most of this book infiltrating a criminal military organization in order to find out who is the leader and where they are getting their nuclear weapons.  A task that doesn’t require the use of any bionic limbs.  He finally uses his bionics at the end of the book when he has to carry a nuclear device from one room to another and he manages to disarm that device despite not ever seeing the insides or how it was built.

So, this was a less than satisfactory story if you are coming in expecting bionic action like the first novel.  Even for a regular 70s spy novel it leaves a little something to be desired.  Another thing that makes it tough to read is Caidin’s writing style.  Caidin tends to describe things a lot.  He may start off a chapter or section of a chapter by talking about certain objects or the surrounding environment and it’ll take a page and a half before people start talking or some action pertaining to the story happens.  It causes the reader to “skip ahead” a bit to get things moving.  So, all in all, this was a very disappointing book.  Hopefully the next book will deliver more bionic goodness.

My Ultimate Saturday Morning TV Schedule

Posted in cartoons, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on August 23, 2012 by Paxton

LEB

New assignment for the League this week. And it’s another doozy of a topic.

You’ve been hired to program the ultimate Saturday morning experience for kids across the nation–create your own ideal Saturday morning cartoon schedule.

Unfortunately for the TV network that hired me, I hid a clause within my contract that specifies I’m in charge of ALL Saturday programming. Not just the morning hours. Queue the look of horror from the network execs. That’s right, everyone at the network, prepare your faces for Cavalcade TV.

Cavalcade TV

I’ve programmed an entire broadcast day with badass awesome shows designed to melt your brain and impregnate your wife.  So step back and prepare your face, chest and wife’s uterus for an invasion.  An invasion of pop culture awesomeness.

The broadcast day starts at 6am with:

Looney Tunes Tiny Tunes
6-8am – Looney Tunes/Tiny Toons – For this 2 hour block I would show various episodes of Warner Bros Looney Tunes and Tiny Toons.  I’d probably use the 6-7am hour for the former and the 7-8am hour for the latter. These are all classically awesome cartoons and I feel they are essential to start the day off right.  I’d probably also include the Loony Tunes/Bugs Bunny movies (Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, 1001 Rabbit Tales, Fantastic Island, Quakbusters, etc).

He Man logo D&D characters
8 – 9am – He-Man and the Masters of the Universe/Dungeons & Dragons – This is sort of the “fantasy hour” I guess.  Two of my favorites, back to back.

Super Friends Spider Man and his amazing friends
9 – 11am – Super Hero Block
– 9 – 10am – DC Super Friends – During this first hour I would rotate a bunch of the old, pre-WB DC cartoons; Super Friends, New Adventures of Batman, Ruby Spears Superman, Plastic Man and The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure.
– 10 – 11am – Marvel Super Powers – In this second hour I would rotate old Marvel cartoons; Spider-man and his Amazing Friends, The Incredible Hulk (1982), Fantastic Four (various series from the 60s and 70s).

Fangface Teen Wolf
11am – 1pm – Monster Block – I love monster based stuff.  Especially cartoons.  For this 2 hour block I’d rotate through some of my favorite monster based cartoons; Teen Wolf, Fangface, Drak Pack, Gravedale High, Groovie Goolies.

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Help Support Strange Kid Comix Anthology #3

Posted in magazine, pop culture with tags , , on August 21, 2012 by Paxton

Rondal over at Strange Kids Club has prepped and ready the third issue of his comix anthology. However, he needs our help to get it off the ground. Go check out the Kickstarter account for issue #3.  There is a lot of content packed into this issue of the anthology by a lot of really awesome contributors.

Here’s the amazing cover by Jason Edmiston:

SKC Comix #3

Like I said, Rondal has packed the issue with art by some awesome folks like Brent Engstrom, Jon David Guerra and John Rozum. There is also written content by such blogging luminaries as Brian Adams (Cool and Collected), Shawn Robare (Branded in the 80s) and myself (here).

You will not want to miss this.  Plus, each level of contribution has tons of extra swag you can grab.  Super secret production blog site, limited edition postcards and prints, ebook versions of the first two issues of the Comix anthology, plus much, much more.

So head over to this issue’s Kickstarter page, show your support for this most awesome collection of art and content.  You will not be disappointed.