Friday Round Up: Too Much News!

The Enterprise is pristine

So, this year is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. That’s… kind of a big deal, right? I mean, I remember when Superman turned 50 and he was everywhere at the time. Including on the cover of Time. And when Doctor Who turned 50, the BBC played episodes in movie theaters and had a countdown each month with a special documentary on one of the past Doctors. Star Trek is arguably way better known and there’s been next to no publicity for it. The movie lands this June and there’s been one trailer. One. Well, apparently now there will also be a big fan event on May 20th where they will also show the movie. But it’s on the Paramount Lot. I don’t know, it makes me kind of nervous that Paramount isn’t putting out revised Blu Rays of the shows or movies with new commentary tracks, or special documentaries on CBS or something. Is the third movie just not that great? Because the 50th anniversary seems like something you should really be crowing about. Anyway, you can read more about the Star Trek event here.

Read on for the biggest news of the week and our snarky line or two about it. Power Rangers movie news, nominees for the Eisner Awards in comic books, McDonald’s new unlimited food, Hasbro’s Cinematic Universe and much more. I have lots to say. This is one of our biggest updates ever.

MOVIES

rita repulsa power rangers movie

Oh, Rita Repulsa is sexy in the upcoming Power Rangers movie. But they’re all horny teenagers. They’re all gonna be rubbing their pants or trying to look cool in front of her. Maybe she wins this time.

A new trailer for Warcraft. Gotta say, it does nothing for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve never played the game? It just looks like a bunch of digital guys with bad underbites jumping all over the place. I can’t get invested at all. Am I the only one that feels this way?

Hasbro Movie Universe

Remember when we reported that Hasbro wants to make a connected cinematic universe including Transformers, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Micronauts, Rom and Visionairies? Well, this week they assembled the following talent for its writers room to develop the movies together. It’s… very impressive.

  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay writer Michael Chabon
  • Y: The Last Man and Saga’s Brian K. Vaughan
  • Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel co-writer Nicole Perlman
  • Lindsey Beer, who’s penning the Kingkiller Chronicles movie adaptation
  • Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Coker
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein
  • Black Panther writer Joe Robert Cole
  • Jeff Pinkner, who wrote script for The Dark Tower
  • Blacklist scriptwriter Nicole Riegel
  • Geneva Robertson, currently writing the Tomb Raider movie reboot

BOOKS

missile command art

Growing up, I had an Atari 2600. I loved it. I actually did not have an NES or any consoles until the N64 and at that point I was in college. But I had an Atari. One of the coolest things about this rather simple gaming system was the exciting artwork on the video game boxes. Finally, someone is making a book about the artists and the history of that artwork. It’s called The Art of Atari, published by Dynamite and it comes out this October. I’m definitely going to be getting it.

game of thrones dragons

There are those of us who sincerely doubt George R.R. Martin has written anything for his last two books in the A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series in about 16 years or so. See, the first three books came out between 1996 and 2000. And then things slowed down. The fourth book didn’t come out until 2005 and it had been decided that the book was now actually TWO books. So the fifth book didn’t come out until 2011. And since then, Martin just hasn’t produced much. He’s shared three chapters on his livejournal and read one or two more at conventions. But the cynical fan wonders if these were just things cut from that fourth/fifth book. The fifth book didn’t come out until the HBO adaptation had already started and Martin even mentioned that he thought maybe the show would literally pause and wait for him to finish. But he doesn’t want to say how close or far he is from releasing the sixth book. Deadspin decided to ask him whether he actually has any new pages. He replies that he has pages. But he doesn’t clarify if he specifically has any NEW pages. At this point, the TV show starts in a week and will begin to move past almost everything he’s written. They will end the story first. But my question is whether the original novels will ever be finished, period.

captive of friendly cove

The nominees for the Eisner Awards, the “Oscars” of the comic book world, were announced this week. It’s a tremendously impressive list of talent. Four titles are tied for the most nominations with three each: Representative John Lewis’ second biographical book about the civil rights movement in the 60s March: Book Two, Bandette by Monkeybrain Comics, Hip Hop Family Tree and an archival collection of the sci-fi Argentinian comic The Eternaut. I especially recommend March and The Eternaut. Great titles. This year, 49 women creators garnered 61 nods. Very impressive. Image Comics got 18 nominations and Fantagraphics came in second with 17. Just some spectacular books that were nominated. Full disclosure, one of my former Writing for Comics students was nominated. Rebecca Goldfield adapted a real life story for Captive of Friendly Cove: Based on the Secret Journals of John Jewitt. I also proofread Invincible which was nominated for best ongoing series. And I’m friendly with Michael Cavna whose Comic Riffs comic book news section on Washington Post was nominated for Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism. So, I’m very biased about several titles and I want to be clear about that. You can read the full list of nominations here and you may find some great reading that you weren’t aware of yet.

the walking dead the alien

The first person to write an official Walking Dead comic aside from creator Robert Kirkman is Brian K. Vaughan. Kirkman allowed Vaughan and artist Marcos Martin to create a one shot comic called The Walking Dead: The Alien. It’s set in Barcelona, Spain and confirms that the entire world is dealing with the dead coming back. It’s all to promote Vaughan’s online, DRM-free comics site, Panel Syndicate. You can download it there and pay whatever you think is fair.

wizard world convention empty

A typical Wizard World Convention photo. Lightly attended, heavy on merch.

Finally, Wizard World has decided to scale back on its (shitty) comic conventions after posting a $4.25 million loss for 2015. They held 8 more conventions in 2015 than 2014 but took in about a million dollars LESS revenue. People aren’t going to their conventions anymore. Because it’s just a pop culture junk pile. It’s just mashup t-shirts and former WWF star Virgil and former Hulk Lou Ferigno hanging around, charging you way too much. No. People want COMICS. They have fun at Emerald City Comic Con. New York Comic Con (the biggest U.S. convention now). Or the Small Press Expo. It’s just more organized with better comic book guests, more publisher involvement and announcements, a higher quality of merchandise and better exclusives. Sorry. I enjoyed the first 50 or so issues of Wizard Magazine. It used to be about the only place to get interviews with comic book professionals as well as news and reviews. But it got BAD before it got canceled. Just movie news, bad jokes and promoting the idea of collecting over reading. They never cracked how to be an Internet news site. And then their cons, which started well when they took over Chicago, slowly morphed into a really depressing experience.

FOOD

mcdonalds french fry party

McDonalds is doing a trial run of unlimited fries at one of their stores in Missouri. This is how the apocalypse begins. Not with a bang but with a cholesterol-induced heart attack.

GAMES

red dead redemption sequel

Red Dead Redemption is one of the all-time best open world games. So people WANT a sequel. Will Rock Star give us a sequel? Well, this alleged map turned up this week which looks like it COULD be from the sequel. And then website Tech Radar said they confirmed with an independent source at the studio that it was real. I hope so. I really hope so. But I don’t 100% believe it yet.

VIRAL

The above video is a year old but we never saw it before. Our occasional writer and all around rad dude Matty found it and shared it. It’s pretty funny and well done.

TOYS

lego star wars rogue one

It’s a safe bet that Lego will have an event similar to the overall Force Friday from last year, when all the toys were released shortly before Episode VII. This week Lego released the above image of the crew from Star Wars: Rogue One in Lego form.

MUSIC

The most bad ass of the Transformers.

The most bad ass of the Transformers.

This sounds AWESOME. Hasbro is apparently working on putting together an album containing the scores from its 80s TV shows including G.I. Joe, Transformers, Jem and the Holograms and My Little Pony. I’ll tell you, when I started reviewing the Japanese seasons of Transformers, the first thing I noticed and missed was the fantastic background music to those episodes. It sounds like a really cool idea for an album.

CELEBS

chyna wwf

Joannie Laurer, aka Chyna, died yesterday at age 46. Vincent and I were talking about how common it is for wrestlers to die young from either heart attacks, drug overdoses or suicide. It’s really sad. We agreed that there probably isn’t a WWE videogame before 2010 that doesn’t feature at least one dead wrestler on the roster. But the saddest thing is people will forget about Chyna’s death because the same day, Prince died. And that guy’s a legend. The moral is, don’t die right before a much bigger celebrity.

  • William Bruce West

    Poor Chyna! I knew she was gonna get the Farrah Fawcett treatment the minute I saw the first inkling of Prince’s death. Now, everyone’s like “Joanie who?”

  • Chris Piers

    She seems to have had a really hard life. I always thought the WWF/WWE screwed her over a bit too harshly just because HHH decided to break up with her. She was an entertaining personality in the ring.

  • Right on, Will. She couldn’t even get the limelight on her own death.

  • Wizard Chicago was THE con to go to in this area and then they completely shit the bed. I don’t think a convention necessarily needs comics… but they do need representation from major comic companies, toy companies, game companies, and not just a total random selection of guests from the pop culture landscape. I like 3rd tier pop culture guests… but come on that can’t be the whole fucking con.

  • Chris Piers

    Yeah. I want to experience or buy stuff at a con that I can’t get by just reading a blog or shopping on amazon. It has to offer something special. And it can’t just be cosplay because that’s always great at every convention.