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Gravitas Ventures has debuted a new full-length trailer for Dear Mr. Watterson, the Kickstarter-funded documentary that explores the influence of cartoonist Bill Watterson and his beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.
It’s a six-year passion project by director Joel Allen Schroeder, who raised $25,000 in 2010 so he, producers Christopher Browne and Matt McUsic, and cinematographer Andrew P. Waruszewski could interview a slew of cartoonists, editors and fans, and then another $96,772 in 2012. Dear Mr. Watterson, which had its festival premiere in April at the Cleveland International Fan Festival, will debut Nov. 15 in theaters and On Demand.
The Internet is littered with the corpses of dead Wonder Woman movie pitches; heck, just within the last couple of weeks, Chronicle writer Max Landis let it be known during a Reddit AMA session that he intends to approach Warner Bros. soon. This morning, U.K. comics creator Nigel Auchterlounie posted this on his blog, linking to it on Twitter with the wise words “I’ve worked out how to do a #WonderWoman, took half an hour. DC could probably do better if they spent all day on it”.
For 30 minutes’ work, it’s not bad at all. That opening image reminded me of Zenith Book One: Tygers, so I asked him if it was a deliberate reference. He replied, “No. It must have been a subconscious thing. I loved Zenith so it is up there somewhere.” Auchterlounie stresses that this isn’t the movie the studio should make, but if he can come up with this on the spot in one morning, how hard can it be for Warner Bros. to figure it out with people working on the project full time? It’s a fair point: Both Warner’s television and movie wings have crashed multiple versions of Wonder Woman in recent years. Clearly people there have developed a severe case of the Yips over this character, while every comic reader slaps their forehead in disbelief.
The proposed “day of action” for the “Make a Dredd Sequel” campaign turns out to be a rather cleverly planned piece of corporate synergy. The date, Sept, 17, is of course a New Comics Day, and the day 2000AD Prog 1850 (as anticipated by ROBOT 6′s Brigid Alverson in this week’s Cheat Sheet), and Judge Dredd Megazine #340 are released. Both comics are optimized for new readers, featuring high-profile new series and contributors.
These new series include a Dredd strip based upon the movie continuity (as previewed here last week), and “Ordinary,” a creator-owned strip by the critically acclaimed team of Rob Williams and D’Israeli (again, previewed here last week); the press release from the publisher Rebellion flags the recent high-profile gigs for all the talent involved, such as “Damnation Station” being written by Mighty Avengers‘ Al Ewing.
Devotees of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy — particularly those who hoped a follow-up might center on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake — may find a lot to enjoy in The Dark Knight Legacy, a seven-minute fan film that debuted this morning on Machinima.
Directed by Brett Register from a script by Woody Tondorf and Chris Landa, the short picks up a year after the events of The Dark Knight Rises, as Blake (as Nightwing) tries to “protect the symbol of Batman from the lethal, relentless attacks of a masked vigilante known only as the Red Hood.” (Fan-favorite character Stephanie Brown also makes an appearance.)
The producers hope to transform The Dark Knight Legacy into an actual series, and to that end they’ve turned to Indiegogo in an effort to raise $30,000. Watch the video below.
Matt Cowan’s handle on DeviantArt is “Matt Can’t Draw”, which isn’t necessarily true. Sure, he is more of a designer, a conceptual artist, than a straight-up “drawer.” His latest series, “Sounds Like,” is possibly a thinly veiled dig at the lack of imagination of Hollywood casting departments. Or is it just an excuse to draw his favorite characters together?
In any case, check them out below. And if you harbor some irrational prejudice against DeviantArt, Cowan’s work is also posted to his Tumblr.
You may recall that in January, Metalocalypse and Venture Bros. director Jon Schepp launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary about Superman Lives, the abandoned Tim Burton film that would’ve starred Nicolas Cage as the Man of Steel, Chris Rock as Jimmy Olsen, Tim Allen as Brainiac. Well, that drive surpassed its $98,000 goal, and now The Death of ‘Superman Lives’: What Happened? has a teaser trailer.
And it’s very teaser-ish, with a lot of quick shots of websites that covered the campaign (including ROBOT 6), production art from the abandoned film, and glimpses of new interviews with the likes of Mark Waid and Grant Morrison — and all tied together by somewhat-haunting audio and video from a March Q&A in which Cage talks about the Kickstarter.
Better still, the trailer promises The Death of ‘Superman Lives’: What Happened? will arrive in summer 2014, which means by this time next year, we could know the full story behind what could have been “the weirdest Superman movie ever made.”
Badgers, those humble burrowing mammals, are big news right now here in the United Kingdom, where there’s a controversial cull going on in the southwest of England in an attempt to curb bovine tuberculosis in cattle herds. While other areas like Wales and Northern Ireland trial expensive attempts at vaccinating badgers, England is employing teams of marksmen to shoot the cute little buggers. I’m from a rural area where the local economy depends on dairy and beef production, so I know exactly where I stand on this subject. Not wanting to sound too heartless here, but it costs £600 to vaccinate a badger, while a bullet costs a few pence. And I do like a nice rib-eye steak washed down with a glass of milk.
Oddly enough, badgers seem to be having something of a moment in comics and pop culture these days, too: There’s Brock Blueheart in Fables, and Archie LeBrock in Bryan Talbot’s ongoing Grandville series, for starters. Depending on who you ask, the badger in book two of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was either Bill from the (90-plus years old, and still ongoing) newspaper strip Rupert the Bear or Mr. Badger from Kenneth Grahame’s classic children’s novel The Wind in the Willows. Grahame’s Mr. Badger is being reimagined in Dave Elliot and Barnaby Bagenda’s “Weirding Willows” in A1 as Victor Stoker. The gossip service Popbitch has its ongoing Baboon vs Badger debate (and recently posed the question to Bryan Talbot, with obvious results).
Ahead of the arrival of Iron Man 3 on Blu-ray and DVD, concept artist Phil Saunders (Iron Man, The Avengers) has unveiled some of his stunning designs for the Marvel Studios film. Along with some armors audiences never saw on screen, Saunders revealed an early take on one of the Extremis soldiers — and a behind-the-scenes tidbit:
In early versions of the script Extremis was based on Nanotechnology like in the comic book, and would have constructed some sort of internal armor structure to grant the enhanced soldiers super-strength and near-invulnerability. thematically they would have been a reflection of Tony Stark, wearing their “suits” internally rather than externally. Makeup would have subtly suggested that structure by deforming their skin in a mechanical way.
Check out some of the images below, and plenty more here.
Because it’s just not possible to get too much Loki, or too much Arrested Development, allow us to present … “Thorested Development,” Leigh Lahav’s note-perfect mash-up of the beloved comedy and the trailer for Thor: The Dark World.
Please, please, please let this be only the first video in a series.
In an era of overwrought “viral” websites, trailers that preview trailers and never-ending waves of posters and behind-the-scenes videos, it’s refreshing to see a filmmaker turn to cartooning to give a project a last-minute push.
Entertainment Weekly has director Thor Freudenthal’s endearing comics inspired by the production of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (arriving in theaters today), from the challenges of acting in an effects-heavy film to the casting of fan-favorite Nathan Fillion to tips for finishing the film. Note that he makes sure the release date at the end of each one.
Considering his background as a storyboard and conceptual artist, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Freudenthal is a decent cartoonist. But who knew he was a Firefly fan? See one of the installments below, and the rest at EW.
What as a simple request from Parks and Recreation‘s producers for Patton Oswalt to ramble on set about the subject of his choice turned into the comedian’s insanely epic pitch for a Star Wars/Marvel crossover, which became an Internet sensation before the episode even aired. That, in turn, gave birth to a movie poster, a video interpretation and now, thanks to Nerdist, an animated version — complete with Chewbacca’s head and new robot body.
In the latest installment of How It Should Have Ended’s “Super Cafe,” coffee-drinking chums Superman and Batman turn their attention to Warner Bros.’ recently announced Man of Steel sequel, which will probably be called either Superman vs. Batman or Batman vs. Superman.
Of course, Man of Steel: The Punch From Space That Exploded Batman’s Internal Organs would work just fine, too.
The sum-e art used for the The Wolverine movie posters was something striking and evocative of the Japanese locale that director James Mangold and star Hugh Jackman were going for, but a New York City street artist has done something surprisingly simple that kicks it up a notch.
As you can see in the photo above, street artist Poster Boy NYC has extended the reach of the clawed mutant by adding the character’s near trademark three slash marks to neighboring posters hung next to this one in a subway terminal. Great for Wolverine, not so great for Despicable Me 2 and those other advertisers.
Producer Adi Shankar and director Phil Joanou generated a buzz last year at Comic-Con International with the premiere of “Dirty Laundry,” a brutal short film that saw The Punisher star Thomas Jane reprise his role as a weary Frank Castle who only wanted to wash his clothes. This year, Shankar returned with a follow-up of sorts with writer/director Joe Lynch’s “Truth in Journalism,” which turns the camera on another Marvel character: a certain “Eddie B.,” played by True Blood star Ryan Kwanten. It’s now available online.
It’s clever, depicting a French documentary crew as it follows the disgraced, and demented, journalist from crime scene to crime scene. Although “Truth in Journalism” isn’t as violent as “Dirty Laundry,” it definitely takes a dark turn toward the end. And in keeping with Marvel movie tradition, you should be sure to stick around for the end credits …
Worth noting: “Punisher: Dirty Laundry” will help kick off the ninth annual HollyShorts Film Festival next month in Hollywood.
I’ve still not seen Iron Man 3 (or Iron Man and Iron Man 2, for that matter), so I can only presume Movieclips’ homage to the film and to 16-bit video games is a 100-percent accurate recreation of the blockbuster, and that — spoilers? — Mandarin appears for all of five seconds, Tony Stark has some kind of giant stuffed animal in his home, and Pepper Potts crushes a fire-breathing Killian. It all seems about right.