Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Movie Novelizations that should exist Part II: The Canon Ninja Trilogy

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2018 by Paxton

So, as you know, I love movie novelizations.  I read them. I collect them.  I review them.  I talk about them on a podcast.  I love reading and talking about novelizations with people.  It gives me joy.  Being so steeped in novelization lore, there are times I’ll be digging through book stacks at a used store looking for novelizations and see something that makes me say, “THAT got a novelization?!”  Then I stare at this oddball movie novelization and wonder why *that* got a novelization but not some other cult movie I’m very fond of.  It happens more than you think.

It’s at these times that I lament these missing novelizations and so I decide that they *have* to exist so I need to create them myself.  Well, I need to create the cover, I don’t actually go out and write the novelization.  However, I won’t lie, the thought of actually writing a novelization *has* crossed my mind.  Shawn Robare and I have talked about it several times.  I’d totally do it for something like Young Guns or Krush Groove.

Anyway, back to the covers.  One of the very first novelization covers I created myself was for Young Guns II.  I did it with the aforementioned Shawn Robare who created the novelization for the first Young Guns movie.  We had so much fun planning out those covers and also creating vintage Young Guns trading cards that I wanted to do more.

Then I created the cover to a Krush Groove novelization which was pretty dope.

Then, in the official first installment of this “Should Exist” series, I created Mario Puzo Superman novelizations as well as Breakin’ novelizations.  These continue to be really fun to do, guys.  I want to make more.

I actually made a bunch of these covers but I’ve been lax about putting them out there.  Well, a few days ago, a few of us over on Twitter were bandying about as we are want to do and we created a bunch of faux novelization covers on the fly.  CT over at Nerd Lunch created a pretty awesome Xanadu cover.  And someone requested that we do a Ninja III novelization.  Funnily enough, I already had plans to do that one so I cobbled it together.  Here it is.

Ninja 3 - The Domination movie novelization 2

I love this movie and I really wanted to do it justice. I picked Norma Fox Mazer as the author because she had written the Supergirl novelization the same year as Ninja III was released, 1984.  I figured, strong female protagonist in both, Mazer would be great.  If Mazur is too busy my second choice would be Leonore Fleischer, the queen of the movie novelizations.

Now, as I finished this I realized, I’m going to have to do the entire Canon Ninja Trilogy, right?  There’s no getting around it.  So my wheels started turning.  I started thinking that I wanted all three covers to…somewhat…match.  But does that make sense?  The previous movies came out in 1981 and 1983, so how could they really look similar?  Then I started thinking about Friday the 13th.

Back in 1986, Simon Hawke novelized Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.  That novelization was popular enough that the studio commissioned him to go back and novelize the first three movies in the franchise.  So Parts I and II were novelized for the first time in 1987 and Hawke re-novelized Part III as well (it was the only film that had been novelized previously).  So, using this model, I decided that Canon was very happy with the novelization that Mazur turned in for Ninja III, so they commissioned her to go back and novelize the first two movies as well; Enter the Ninja and Revenge of the Ninja.  And here they are.  Click to see either of these bigger.

Ninja 1 - Enter the Ninja movie novelization Ninja 2 - Revenge of the Ninja movie novelization

And the plan is that they’d all be released around the same time which would mean they all get matchy-matchy covers and this would also publicize the older movies a bit as well.  And as you see, I wanted to play up the fact that these are all part of a “series”, so I added the Ninja I and II titles.

And here is the full set of Canon Ninja Trilogy movie novelizations in all of their glory.  Click it to see it BIGGER!


I have more of these to come. So stay tuned.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2017: Goober and the Ghost Chasers (1973)

Posted in cartoons, ghosts, monsters, pop culture, TV shows, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2017 by Paxton

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Today I’m going to talk about the cartoon series Goober and the Ghost Chasers.  It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and aired in late 1973.  It was created to capitalize on the popularity of Scooby-Doo.

Much like Scooby-Doo, the show involved a group of teenagers and their dog driving around solving mysteries.

Goober, obviously, was the dog.  He had similar mannerisms to Scooby.  Sort of a coward.  Very goofy and jokey.  He talked.  But it’s interesting, it’s not directly acknowledged in the cartoon if the teens can understand Goober when he talks.  They talk to Goober, but when Goober talks, it’s usually directly to camera and the teens never give any indication that he talked or that they heard he talked.  It’s weird.  The teens were Ted, Tina and Gilly.  The teens worked for a supernatural investigation magazine called Ghost Chasers.  Obviously Ted = Fred.  Tina is very much a cross between Daphne and Velma.  And Gilly is sort of his own thing.  He’s Goober’s closest human companion.  He’s not a stoner or a coward.  He doesn’t love to eat.  He’s the photographer for the magazine.  In some ways like Shaggy but in most ways he’s different.  Gilly is probably the most annoying.  I like everyone else.

The mysteries this crew investigate usually wind up having a real supernatural aspect to them. As in real ghosts and real monsters as opposed to Scooby in which the mysteries had a basis in reality.  Plus, for some reason, Goober can turn invisible. He can’t control it, and it usually happens when he gets scared, but it happens.

Like Scooby, many episodes would have “special guests” show up to help solve crimes.  For at least half of the one and only season the Ghost Chasers crew were joined by the Partridge Kids (Danny, Laurie, Tracy, Chris, seen below in the middle).

The Partridge kids were voiced by the actual actors; Danny Bonaduce, Susan Dey, Suzanne Crough and Brian Forster.  For some reason, around episode 11, the Partridge Kids disappear and never make another appearance.  However, don’t feel bad for them, about a year later they would get their own cartoon series.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Posted in books, Classic literature, Dracula, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, reviews, Uncategorized, vampires with tags , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2011 by Paxton

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Day 4 of Vampire book week. Today, we look at the original vampire novel. The one that began the popularization of the vampire myths. Let’s take a look at Bram Stoker’s original Dracula.

Dracula novel

I really enjoy doing AWESOME-tober-fest. It has given me a reason to read and watch books and movies I’ve always wanted to but never really “sucked it up” and made the commitment to do. Two years ago I read Shelley’s Frankenstein and I was surprised at how readable it was. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And based on that success, I was anxious to read Stoker’s Dracula.

Now, to be fair, I tried to read Dracula once already. It was back in the late ’90s when I was going through my “must read classics” phase. I couldn’t get through it. I remember thinking the first third of the book was good, but it completely fell apart after that.  However, being older and wiser, I thought I could better appreciate it now.  Besides, while not the first vampire novel, it certainly is what made them popular.  Plus it influenced the original Universal Dracula with Bela Lugosi which would further the ingraining of vampires into popular culture.

Like I said, Stoker’s 1897 book was not the first vampire story.  An essay published in the periodical Ninteenth Century in 1885 called Transylvania Superstitions discussed the mythical creatures.  Lord Byron created a vampire story during the same night of ghost story telling that Mary Shelley created Frankenstein.  Byron wouldn’t finish the story but John Polidori would polish it up and finish it as The Vampyre in 1819.  However it was Stoker’s Dracula that popularized the monster.  But it wouldn’t be until Universal’s 1931 movie based loosely (and I mean loosely) on the novel that Dracula would receive the popularity it currently achieves.

Stoker's Dracula

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2010: Werewolf on Fox

Posted in Halloween, holiday, monsters, nostalgia, pop culture, TV shows, Uncategorized, werewolf, werewolves with tags , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2010 by Paxton

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So, another day has dawned on this AWESOME-tober-fest 2010. This week, we are discussing werewolf TV shows. Yesterday I looked at Wolf Lake on Sci-Fi. Today, we look at one of the first shows ever on Fox Network, Werewolf.

Here’s a promo for the series:

The story involves graduate student Eric Cord whose best friend reveals that he’s a werewolf and asks Eric to kill him with a silver bullet. Eric is forced to do so but not before his friend transforms and attacks him. Cord kills the werewolf but is now infected with the curse. In order to rid himself of his werewolf affliction, he either must kill himself or find the originator of the bloodline. A man Eric is told is the mysterious and crazy Capt Janos Skorzeny (played by Chuck Connors).

Werewolf pic 1

So, essentially the episodes involved Eric dodging a bounty hunter while searching for Capt Skorzeny.  Eric did manage to face and defeat the Capt, but in doing so found out that he wasn’t the originator of the bloodline.  It was another, 500 year old werewolf named Nicholas Remy.  So the searching and battling began anew.  And the audience would not find out if Eric found him as the show was canceled before that could happen.

fox Werewolf pic 2

While the show may have been average to good, the makeup effects were top notch. They were designed by none other than Rick Baker who famously designed the werewolf effects for An American Werewolf in London, The Wolfman (2010) and Wes Craven’s Cursed.

The complete series had been announced to be released on DVD, however it was eventually canceled.

Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

Comic book covers featuring Santa Claus

Posted in Christmas, comic books, holiday, pop culture, Santa Claus, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 9, 2009 by Paxton

Santa Claus Funnies

I love comic books. I collected them for many years and I love to look at old comic covers.  You can find comic book covers that conform to almost any theme.  I posted several Frankenstein monster comic book covers during AWESOME-tober-fest this year.  For this holiday article, I thought it would be fun to look at some comic book covers that feature the lovable image of St Nick.  He’s been showing up in some form or another on comic books since the ’30s and ’40s.

Santa has made many appearances in comics, this week I’ll look at some images of jolly old Saint Nick getting some help from superheroes to complete his rounds.  Next week I’ll have a different Santa comic book theme.  Now, let’s see Santa get some help from some of our favorite heroes.

Action Comics 105
Action Comics #105 – Here’s Superman using his super strength to help Santa get his plump midsection down a chimney.  You can imagine a thought bubble above Superman saying, “Maybe you should hit the treadmill, Santa.  I have murderers and rapists to catch.”

Batman 27
Batman #27 – Up above in the first comic cover we see Superman stop his normal duties to help Santa deliver toys.  Here we see Batman laugh and what looks like smack Santa on the back while he and Robin try to carry a gi-normous bag of childrens’ toys.  Batman is a douche, dude.

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Star Trek Original Series Season 1 highlights Part II

Posted in movies, pop culture, Star Trek, TV shows, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 11, 2009 by Paxton

Star Trek castThis is the long awaited Part II of my look back at highlights of the Season 1 of Star Trek the Original Series.  I posted Part I back in September.  However, thanks to AWESOME-tober-fest, I couldn’t get this one posted until now.

To refresh everyone’s memory, after the awesome JJ Abrams reboot of Star Trek back in May, I wanted to watch the original TV show episodes again. I’d seen a few episodes in reruns, but never really sat down to watch the episodes back to back.  I wanted to see if they are as good as I remember.  And since the first two seasons were recently released on Blu-Ray, I thought it was no time like the present (Season 3 will be released on Blu-Ray December 15).

Last time I looked at three of the best episodes from the first half of Season 1 of the Original Series (Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Enemy Within and The Corbomite Maneuver).  Here are three more episodes from the middle of that season.

ST The Menagerie
The Menagerie (Part I and II) — The first and only 2 part episode in the original series’ 3 year run. This episode makes extensive use of the unaired pilot, The Cage, to tell its story. I imagine Roddenberry walked into the writer’s room and announced, “Dudes, I went on a bender of coke and whores this weekend and totally forgot to write this week’s episode.  Any ideas?”  So the writer’s cobbled together this episode using a minimum of new footage and letting the old pilot pad out the run time.  This episode is okay, but it reminds me of the ’80s sitcom device of the “flashback episode”.  The events of the pilot, within the context of this episode, are said to have happened 13 years prior when Christopher Pike was the Enterprise captain and Spock the science officer.  In the new footage, Spock hijacks Kirk’s Enterprise to bring Capt Pike (now blonde and a paraplegic due to an accident) back to Talos IV, the planet visited in the pilot. Spock gets court martialed while the Enterprise makes the journey and clips from almost the entire episode of The Cage are screened during the court proceedings.  In the older footage, Pike gets trapped on the planet Talos IV and the aliens residing there put him in a type of zoo for observation.  The aliens use holograms to make Pike feel more comfortable by making him believe he’s living a different life, even going so far as to give him a hot chick to mate with.  Pike, not being Kirk, is outraged that the aliens would try to make him comfortable with a cool, imaginary life and then also have the temerity to give him hot women in which to have copious amounts of sex so he sets out to destroy the entire observatory/zoo.  Many, many years later, in the new footage, after having become a quadriplegic, Pike is totally fine with living a fantasy life with lots of hot chicks so works with Spock to break every Federation rule and bring him there, even risking Spock’s career for his own comfort.  After seeing this episode I have no desire to watch the full pilot.  I’ve probably seen 90% of the footage anyway.  And the actor who played Pike in the pilot, Jeffery Hunter, didn’t return for The Menagerie, hence Pike being an invalid, blonde mute (it’s like they didn’t even try to make him look the same) in the new footage.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Star Wars and Zombies

Posted in Halloween, holiday, monsters, movies, pop culture, Star Wars, Uncategorized, zombies with tags , , , , , , on October 30, 2009 by Paxton

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Okay, one more day until Halloween. I’m going to break with the Frankenstein theme today because, honestly, I’ve done enough Frankenstein. I love the big, lumbering, green guy, but I’ve been up to my pooper in Frankenstein stuff for 2 months now and I’m ready to just put that whole thing on pause for a second.  Don’t worry, I’ll go back to Frankenstein (and Boris Karloff) in mid November for the Boris Karloff Birthday Blogathon.

Right now, though, I want to talk about Star Wars…and zombies.

Zombie Star Wars

Star Wars and zombies go together like Lennon and McCartney. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.  Peanut Butter and laaaadies.  One thing makes the other better.  And for this Halloween season, there are a couple projects that bring Star Wars and zombies together like some awesome Halloween version of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial (where someone gets their chocolate in someone else’s peanut butter).

The first cool, Star Wars zombie item is the book Death Troopers

SW Death Troopers

The book takes place just before Episode IV (A New Hope) and involves a derelict Star Destroyer and an unknown virus. I got the book from my friend, Dr Mike, and I am currently reading it. It’s pretty much as bad ass as you think it is.  I’m not sure why Star Wars and horror (and more specifically, zombies) hasn’t been done before, but count me in.  EXCEPT, Star Wars really needs to tread lightly here.  A virus that makes characters zombie-like is awesome, but I’m not sure I want vampires or werewolves popping up.  Actually, I KNOW I don’t want vampires popping up.  I love this idea, but it has the potential to get very bad, very quickly.

Unlike every other Star Wars book that is published, this book is a one-shot.  It’s not part of some multi-arc storyline in which you have to read 6 other books and 2 other comic books to fully get the story.  It’s completely self-contained, like all Star Wars books USED to be in the ’90s.  And I love it because of that.  These ridiculous 19 book series with in a series are why I stopped reading Star Wars fiction to begin with.

Another cool zombie item?  Star Wars zombie posters.  There is some really cool zombie artwork on the Official Star Wars Blog Flickr Photostream.  There are several zombie versions of the Star Wars posters, like Zombie Wars and Episode III: Revenge of the Zombies (click images to see them BIGGER).

Zombie Wars Revenge of the Zombies

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