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OLD-TIME RADIO AND COMICS HEROES BURST BACK ONTO THE SCENE!
03/28/12 @ 4:15 pm EST
Source: USA TODAY | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? (Hint: The guy dresses up in a cape and runs around at night. And it's not Batman.)

The Shadow still knows — as do Flash Gordon, the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet and other heroes of 1930s and '40s radio shows, pulp magazines and movie serials.

These good guys are making a comeback, though mainly in comics and feature-length movies. Next month, The Shadow receives a comics reboot courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment, which also publishes ongoing series starring Flash Gordon and Green Hornet plus a new title with pulp hero The Spider that's due in May.

On the big screen, a masked Seth Rogen stung bad guys in last year's The Green Hornet. And in The Lone Ranger, in production for release in 2013, Armie Hammer rides tall as the title cowboy with Johnny Depp as his sidekick Tonto. Baby Boomers grew up watching the Clayton Moore TV series in the '50s, although the saga began as a 1933 radio show in Detroit.

Though these characters may not be as well known as today's comic-book superheroes or the Star Wars and Harry Potter clans, they were the bee's knees for a generation that was decades away from the Internet and iPods.

Before Batman, there was the alter ego Lamont Cranston donning the shadowy mask and hat while haunting radio waves as The Shadow, voiced by Orson Welles in the late '30s.

And before Superman and Captain America there was Flash Gordon, an all-American space adventurer who tussled with planetary tyrant Ming the Merciless in sci-fi comic strips by Alex Raymond and serial films starring Buster Crabbe.

"The '20s and '30s are seen as a very romantic age, with the criminal underworld of urban America and high adventure of exotic foreign locations providing a bit of an edge," says Garth Ennis, who is writing the new Shadow comic. "The reality, I'm sure, would have been mostly a lot more mundane and occasionally quite grim."

He's crafting The Shadow as a dangerous champion of law and order with a flair for the dramatic, and he is embracing one of the vigilante's oldest and most famous traits: his habit of laughing as he consigns his enemies to their doom.

"I decided to be fairly sparing with it," Ennis says. "If he started howling every time he threw a punch or fired a shot, it would get old fast. So I decided to preserve the laugh for moments of deep, dark, extreme humor."

His take on The Shadow comic is a bloody affair, where the mysterious figure dispatches bad guys with violent aplomb. More than 70 years ago, though, audiences had to visualize with their imagination what was going on during the radio-show exploits.

The popularity of the old Shadow and Green Hornet radio shows and their ilk in their heyday is best compared to programs children flock to today, such as Hannah Montana and Dora the Explorer, says Martin Grams Jr., a radio-show historian and author.

Back then, kids and adults would read books, pulps and comics because they were a cheap form of entertainment, and radio was an even bigger medium because it was free.

Some adaptations tank

While movies measure success with box-office receipts, commercial sponsors would gauge ratings of radio shows based on the number of giveaway premiums offered during the commercial breaks — such as various Lone Ranger rings and badges. They were then used to persuade sponsors to stick around because of a large listener base.

It wasn't just kids, either. Housebound and disabled people "who couldn't go visit their local movie theater had the opportunity to enjoy action and adventure with the turn of their dial," Grams says.

"The business of pop culture was defined during the 1930s and 1940s when movie producers snatched up the screen rights to popular radio programs and produced motion pictures, serials and film shorts based on the properties."

Since then, movie studios, TV networks and comics publishers have attempted adaptations of those characters, with varying results.

The Lone Ranger TV series began in 1949, ran eight seasons and defined the character for many. Flash Gordon sped off to space with live-action and animated shows, and a 1980 film became a cult classic with Sam Jones clad in a white shirt bearing the word "Flash."

But two more recent movies, The Shadow (1994) with Alec Baldwin and the 1996 Billy Zane vehicle The Phantom (based on the comic strip from the '30s), were not exactly heroic at the box office. And Disney's new big-budget John Carter, based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp sci-fi hero, has thus far tanked.

"My theory is that modern audiences have a hard time accepting un-ironic heroism unless it's presented just right," says Eric Trautmann, writer of Dynamite's Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist series. (A devotee of the era, Trautmann has a Maltese Falcon on his desk, a statue of Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, a Buck Rogers blaster and a replica 1930s radio.)

He concedes that pulp is difficult to write because it requires a certain innocence. Nazis show up in his series, but when they're the evil-doers du jour, modern audiences can't help but think of the Holocaust, "a sort of demise of innocence for the Western world." That makes it a lot harder to take the proceedings seriously.

'We're all geeks in a way'

"The obvious inclination is to keep things a little more self-referential and cartoony, tongue firmly in cheek," Trautmann says, "and that kind of thing really works against the story, the character, and readers' and viewers' embracing the tale."

Those characters of yesteryear, however, remain important in the history of pop-culture heroes, says comic-book artist Alex Ross, one of the creative spearheads of Dynamite's pulp series.

"Seeing how a character like The Shadow would influence every other flamboyant costumed hero in history was very interesting to me," he says. "A load of the earliest superhero fashions came from the artists swiping from Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon."

Heroic fiction draws from a lot of the same wells. Without John Carter in 1917, Trautmann feels we probably don't get Flash Gordon in 1934, a quintessentially American protagonist whose "unflappable 'can do' attitude and unshakable optimism would resonate in almost any era." Without Flash, there's no Luke Skywalker or Han Solo in Star Wars, and without that, we don't get Avatar.

"Even Star Trek owes a debt to period literature —Captain Kirk as Horatio Hornblower in space," Trautmann says. "Heroic fiction shares those archetypes and themes, so that influence is probably so ingrained now that a modern practitioner might not even be aware of what influenced the sources he or she is drawing inspiration from."

Affection for heroic pulp specifically — as with old-school sci-fi, fantasy and mystery stories — seems to be cyclical, Trautmann says. But the resurgence of these characters is also being helped by an overall nostalgia for the early- to mid-20th century, from Boardwalk Empire to Mad Men.

"It's been a rough decade or two," he says. "Looking back on what seems to be a simpler, less complicated time is certainly appealing."

Curiosity and a drive to seek knowledge are probably the main reasons people like to revisit historic pop culture, Grams says.

"We're all geeks in a way, trying to intake all the information we can on a comic-book character or movie, then digest, then recollect to friends to show how much more we know than they do."

The historian enjoys seeing kids introduced to heroes that were a seminal part of their grandparents' lives. He says it's a good bet they know tons more about The Hunger Games and Twilight than old Shadow magazine tales, and have no idea of the existence of Lone Ranger radio shows of yore.

"In my experience," Ennis says, "these characters tend to be pretty strong to begin with: They go through periods of revival, then slump due to overindulgence, then lie dormant, then undergo the next revival. But they always come back."

And, Grams notes, "the oldies are still the goodies."
MORE NEWS...
DARK HORSE ANNOUNCES NEW 'COLDER,' SERIES AT PHOENIX COMICON
05/30/15 @ 2:57 am EST
Source: Dark Horse | Categories: Dark Horse | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


As part of its announcement slate for Phoenix Comicon 2015, Dark Horse Comics has announced the final installment of Eisner-nominated horror series Colder.

Colder: Toss the Bones sees the return of the Eisner-nominated horror series by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra. Set to debut in September, the final chapter of the Colder trilogy follows a newly resurrected Nimble Jack, as he skips back and forth between the Hungry World and our own reality, recruiting agents of madness and unifying them with a single objective: the death and consumption of Declan!

For more on Colder: Toss the Bones, check out an exclusive interview with Paul Tobin at Bloody Disgusting.

Colder: Toss the Bones #1 Paul Tobin (W), Juan Ferreyra (A/Cover)$3.99 Available in September at your local comic shop

Also available:
Colder Volume 1 $17.99, 978-1-61655-136-0? Amazon.com Barnes & Noble IndieBound
Colder Volume 2: The Bad Seed $17.99, 978-1-61655-647-1 Amazon.com Barnes & Noble IndieBound


MARK PANICCIA CONFIRMED AS X-MEN EDITOR, WITH DANIEL KETCHUM ON BASS
05/30/15 @ 2:43 am EST
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: X-Men | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


Marvel's X-Men line is now under new leadership. CBR News reports that Marvel Senior Editor Mark

Paniccia has moved to the X-Men titles, joined by veteran X-books editor Daniel Ketchum.Paniccia has been at Marvel for a decade, but hasn't previously worked on any X-Men series. He's overseen the Ultimate Comics line, promoted to wrap up with the currently unfolding "Ultimate End"miniseries, since 2009, and has also recently edited "Hulk" and "Fantastic Four." He's already credited on the X-books, with his name appearing in "Old Man Logan" #1, released this past Wednesday.

An X-books vacancy was created when former Marvel Executive Editor Mike Marts, who supervised the X-Men and cosmic titles, left the publisher to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the newly formed AfterShock Comics.

"With the upcoming demise of the Ultimate Universe, [Paniccia] has some extra bandwidth... but not quite enough to handle the entire X-Men line on his own," Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonsotold CBR in this week's installment of AXEL-IN-CHARGE. "That's why we shifted Daniel -- who is a full Editor -- over to work in Mark's office. Daniel assisted me for a couple years so I know he's got game, he worked his way up to Editor with great work, and he's very experienced with the X-Men. This is a chance for him to shine. I really like what Mark and Daniel are up to. It's been a very productive few weeks."

DISNEY NOT MOVING FORWARD WITH 'TRON 3'
05/30/15 @ 2:19 am EST
Source: Hollywood Reporter | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


The third installment was to be directed by Joseph Kosinski and see the return of stars Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund.

Tron 3 won't be coming to a theater near you.

Disney has chosen not to move forward with a third installment in the sci-fi series, sources say. While sources say the project was never officially greenlit, earlier this year it seemed that things were moving ahead with Tron:Legacyhelmer Joseph Kosinski returning to direct and stars Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund reprising their roles.

Prep had been started on the third film, and production was looking to shoot this fall, likely in Vancouver, British Columbia. Disney had been interested in adding Jared Leto to the cast, but an offer and negotiations had never commenced.

Disney has been developing a sequel to Tron:Legacy since the movie, made for $170 million, grossed $400 million worldwide. Legacy was the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi film that took place inside a computer world known as the Grid and starred Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner. The film drew a big cult following and became a notable influence on filmmakers and pop culture.

Decades later, Disney revisited the world with Legacy. The story revealed that the computer-programmer character played by Bridges had a son (Hedlund) who jumped into the Grid to find his father. Wilde was Quorra, an algorithm-made-flesh who also happened to kick butt.

Disney has had strong success with its live-action properties recently, including Maleficent and this year'sCinderella, which earned $527.4 million worldwide. But it recently had a stumble with the $180 million live-action film Tomorrowland, which underperformed at the box office this past weekend with a $33 million U.S. debut.

Disney's live-action tentpole calendar is pretty full for the next few years, with live-action versions of many of its animated classics in the works including The Jungle Book, Alice: Through the Looking Glassand Beauty and the Beast.
UNIVERSAL OPTIONS "THE WICKED + THE DIVINE" FOR TV ADAPTATION
05/30/15 @ 2:11 am EST
Source: Comic Book Resources | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


"The Wicked + The Divine" looks to brings its Pantheon to TV, as the Image Comics series has been optioned by Universal Television, as reported Friday by Deadline.

The series, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvieand Matt Wilson, debuted last summer, and soon became one of Image's must successful books. Keeping things in the creator-owned comics family, the adaptation will be produced by Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick's company Milkfed Criminal Masterminds;announced in February to have a two-year deal with Universal TV and the intent to develop other creators' properties as television series along with their own.

"The Wicked + The Divine" focuses on a group of characters called The Pantheon, who receive powers after merging with deities -- a process that also greatly deduces their life expectancy. The series is nominated for three Eisner Awards (to be awarded July 10 at Comic-ConInternational in San Diego); Best New Series, Best Cover Artist (McKelvie and Wilson) and Best Coloring (Wilson).

'JURASSIC PARK’ TO AIR ON NBCU NETS AHEAD OF ‘JURASSIC WORLD’ RELEASE
05/30/15 @ 2:06 am EST
Source: Variety | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


jurassic park 4

Steven Spielberg and Chris Pratt will host a special presentation of “Jurassic Park” next week as part of an effort by NBCUniversal Networks to promote followup pic “Jurassic World.”

A broadcast of the original 1993 blockbuster will first air next Friday (June 5) on NBC, followed the next night by a “roadblock” presentation on Bravo, Syfy, USA Network, E! and a Spanish-language version on NBC Universo.

Spielberg and Pratt, the star of Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s “Jurassic World,” will share their respective memories of “Jurassic Park.” They will also introduce a two-minute, exclusive sneak preview of “Jurassic World,” which arrives in theaters on June 12.

The story of Spielberg’s original comes full circle as the park that was only a promise comes to life. “Jurassic World” features a fully operational luxury resort off the coast of Costa Rica, where 20,000 guests explore the living prehistoric marvels — of every shape and size — and interact with them. When the massive Indominus rex stages an escape and disappears into the jungle, order turns to mayhem and guests turn into prey.

The film stars Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, BD Wong and Irrfan Khan. The 3D epic action-adventure is directed by Colin Trevorrow. The screenplay is by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly & Trevorrow, and the story is by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, based on characters created by Michael Crichton. Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley are producers.
"LUMBERJANES" MOVIE IN MOTION AT 20TH CENTURY FOXM
05/30/15 @ 2:01 am EST
Source: Comic Book Resources | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


BOOM! Studios breakout series "Lumberjanes" may soon be setting up camp on the big screen, with The Wrap reporting Friday that a film is in motion at 20th Century Fox, with writer Will Widger hired to pen the script.

"Lumberjanes," set at a summer camp filled with supernatural occurrences, debuted in April 2014, the creation of Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson,Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen. The comic soon gained positive attention from the industry, attracting a dedicated fanbase due to its all-ages approach and female cast and creative team, plus critical acclaimincluding the No. 6 spot on CBR's Top 100 Comics of 2014.

Widger landed notice in Hollywood for his screenplay "The Munchkin," which landed him on the 2014 Black List, a survey of well-liked but unproduced scripts. "Lumberjanes" marks the latest extension of BOOM! Studios' first-look film and TV deal with 20th Century Fox, and BOOM! execs Ross Richie, Stephen Christy and Adam Yoelin are on board as producers of the film.

MAGNETO AND HIS NEW X-MEN WAGE WAR IN YOUR NEW LOOK AT E IS FOR EXTINCTION #1
05/30/15 @ 1:55 am EST
Source: Marvel | Categories: X-Men | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


Ask yourself – what happens in a world where mutants prove once and for all they really are Homo SUPERIOR? Today, Marvel is pleased to present your new look at E IS FOR EXTINCTION #1, an explosive Secret Wars series debuting this June! Be there as creators Chris Burnham and Ramon Villalobos return you to one of the most groundbreaking and beloved X-Men eras of all time on the surface of Battleworld! What happens to the X-Men when they no longer fight for a world that hates and fears them, but for a world that wants to be them? More importantly – what is Magneto doing running the Xavier institute?! The world may be a utopia for mutants, but there are still those who seek to crush Magneto and his team of New X-Men. Together they’ll face down the villainous U-Men, and even….the original X-Men?! The sparks will fly this June, so strap in and prepare for a thrill ride as Burnham and Villalobos flip the X-Men on their heads in E IS FOR EXTINCTION #1!

E IS FOR EXTINCTION #1 (APR150825)
Written by CHRIS BURNHAM
Art by RAMON VILLALOBOS
Cover by IAN BERTRAM
Variant Cover by JAMES HARREN (APR150827)Action Figure Variant by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (APR150826)FOC – 06/01/15, On-Sale – 06/24/15

‘HEROES REBORN’ ENLISTS ‘COVERT AFFAIRS’ ALUM NAZNEEN CONTRACTOR
05/29/15 @ 2:19 pm EST
Source: Comic Book Resources | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


Nazneen-Contractor

“Heroes Reborn” hasn’t finished filling out its ensemble just yet.

Deadline reports NBC’s 13-episode revival has cast “Covert Affairs” alum Nazneen Contractor in a recurring role as the mysterious Farah, who’s described as “militant, tough and stoic.”

Hey, that’s more than we know about most of the characters.

Contractor’s other credits include “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “24,” “Revenge” and “Rules of Engagement.”

She joins “Heroes” veterans Jack Coleman, Masi Oka, Greg Grunberg and Jimmy Jean-Louis, and newcomers Zachary Levi, Kiki Sukezane, Ryan Guzman, Robbie Kay, Danika Yarosh, Judith Shekoni, Henry Zebrowski, Gatlin Green and Dylan Bruce.

“Heroes Reborn” will air Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
CHRIS PRATT TEACHES SON PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE IN TOUCHING VIDEO
05/29/15 @ 2:13 pm EST
Source: Hollywood ReporterChris Pratt's son, Jack, is getting an early start on patriotism. The Jurassic World star posted a video of Jack, 2, learning how to recite the Pledge of Allegiance from dear old dad. Pratt wrote on Facebook that he meant to post the clip on Memorial Day but was unable to because of cellphone issues. Check out the action below. | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment




Chris Pratt's son, Jack, is getting an early start on patriotism.

The Jurassic World star posted a video of Jack, 2, learning how to recite the Pledge of Allegiance from dear old dad.

Pratt wrote on Facebook that he meant to post the clip on Memorial Day but was unable to because of cellphone issues.

Check out the action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_pCZrt7mCA
STEVE BOND RETIRES FROM ICV2
05/29/15 @ 2:04 pm EST
Source: ICv2 | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


Longtime ad salesperson and important figure in the history of the geek culture industry Steve Bond is retiring from ICv2 at the end of this month.

Bond came to ICv2 nearly 12 years ago and has been the face of the company to many of its customers ever since. Bond had previously worked at Diamond Comic Distributors, where he developed the first version of Previews in 1988 and then sold ads in it for the following 15 years.

He went to Diamond after the company’s acquisition of Bud Plant, Inc., where he was Vice President of Marketing. Bond has been a hugely valuable member of the ICv2 team as Advertising Salesperson, working with the customers that make it possible for ICv2 to publish and thrive.

Thanks to Steve for everything he did to make us successful, and best wishes for a happy retirement!
 
RECENT NEWS

Latest News
Updated: 05/30/15 @ 2:57 am

1. DARK HORSE ANNOUNCES NEW 'COLDER,' SERIES AT PHOENIX COMICON

2. MARK PANICCIA CONFIRMED AS X-MEN EDITOR, WITH DANIEL KETCHUM ON BASS

3. DISNEY NOT MOVING FORWARD WITH 'TRON 3'

4. UNIVERSAL OPTIONS "THE WICKED + THE DIVINE" FOR TV ADAPTATION

5. 'JURASSIC PARK’ TO AIR ON NBCU NETS AHEAD OF ‘JURASSIC WORLD’ RELEASE

 

Latest News
Updated: 05/30/15 @ 2:57 am

1. DARK HORSE ANNOUNCES NEW 'COLDER,' SERIES AT PHOENIX COMICON

2. MARK PANICCIA CONFIRMED AS X-MEN EDITOR, WITH DANIEL KETCHUM ON BASS

3. DISNEY NOT MOVING FORWARD WITH 'TRON 3'

4. UNIVERSAL OPTIONS "THE WICKED + THE DIVINE" FOR TV ADAPTATION

5. 'JURASSIC PARK’ TO AIR ON NBCU NETS AHEAD OF ‘JURASSIC WORLD’ RELEASE



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