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#Kirby 100: Jack and the Argo Nuts

 

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Sure, Jack Kirby’s a revered artist, and he created some of the best known comic characters around. Captain America and the Avengers and the Inhumans and the X-men, Galactus and the Silver Surfer and Red Skull and Darkseid, Kirby had a major hand in the stories and look of the heroes and villains currently raking in millions upon millions for film franchises on both sides of the ‘verse divide. He’s a giant of a figure, as BBP continues celebrating a summer of Kirby at 100. But did you know Jack Kirby was a spy?

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Creations of Chaos: The Secret of NIMH

In this episode of Creations of Chaos, it’s the other Don Bluth mouse movie. The Secret of NIMH is filled with sword toting rodents, a glowy- eyed mystic, and more questions than answers.

The Secret of NIMH poster

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American Politics Are Out Of This World In ‘Saucer State #1’ On The Wednesday Run

I would have thought we’d have heard something “official” about alien encounters by now.

And by “official” I mean something on social media – from the sitting President of the United States. If anyone were to read government classified material and leak it at 2 a.m. via Twitter, it would be Trump, don’t you think?

But that hasn’t happened. Yet.

Maybe he’s been too busy hiring and firing.

Maybe he’s been too busy with his own office shenanigans.

Then again, maybe that classified material we all think exists – doesn’t after all. And what a major disappointment that would be.

Still, while waiting for that late-night tweet, there’s a government-alien-conspiracy comic book we should all be reading…and the first issue of a brand new volume drops today with Saucer State #1!

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Aim For Big Game With “Predator: Hunters #1” On The Wednesday Run

Space aliens and pop culture.

They leave a lasting effect in the mind, don’t they?

Why, just last week, this very column highlighted the highly anticipated release of the new Aliens: Dead Orbit series, published by Dark Horse Comics. That one starred, arguably, the greatest and most horrific alien to ever chest-burst its way on to the silver scree. The comic book release happily coincided with #AlienDay and you can catch that particular column here, if you missed it the first time around.

But there’s another cinematic alien every bit as popular as the double-mawed creature of our nightmares.

And today, Dark Horse Comics is once again behind the furthering of that creature’s pop culture legend.

Today sees the release of the universe’s biggest and baddest big-game hunter with Predator: Hunters #1!

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Facehug Your #AlienDay With ‘Aliens: Dead Orbit #1’ On The Wednesday Run

We’re told that “in space, no one can hear you scream.”

Here on planet earth, it’s a different story! Screams of fright, horror and joy abound when we’re talking about the Alien film franchise. You know, the one made famous by directors Ridley Scott and James Cameron: Alien in 1979 and Aliens in 1986. They were the first R-rated films that an under-age me needed to see. Well, those two and Canadian classic, Porky’s.

Those two highlight films have spun-off a flurry of pop culture gold that includes five other Alien-centered films of varying quality (two of which enthusiastically co-star the sci-fi classic Predator creature) with a new and eagerly-anticipated film in the horror franchise only a month away from release.

There’s even a day of the year dedicated to the Alien franchise, an unofficial holiday for fans around this planet: #AlienDay is today, April 26! Tweet out those chest-busters!

With pop culture supremacy, of course, come loads of comic books. Appropriately, then, today sees the release of the first issue of a new mini-series…Aliens: Dead Orbit #1, the perfect accompaniment to a day dedicated to everyone’s favourite xenomorph!

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Pulp Novels Make For ‘The Greatest Adventure #1’ On The Wednesday Run

I was introduced to Tarzan of the Apes through the Ballantine softcover publications of the Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp classics.

My father had collected and read collected those books during the mid-to-late 1970’s. in the early 1980’s, I found them on the shelf, dusted them off, and stared at the covers for what seemed like forever! The Beasts of Tarzan, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, Tarzan Triumphant and Tarzan and the Leopard Men, as well as the others, are remembered very, very fondly.

Those covers by artist extraordinaire, Neal Adams, leapt off the page with thrills, menace and dramatic excitement! They introduced me to pulp adventure and fueled my imagination, leading me towards a burgeoning love of the fantasy and science fiction genres.

They also cemented a common pop culture bond between father and son.

Through Tarzan, other Burroughs classics came to my attention, chiefly, the strange and fascinating worlds of Barsoom and Pellucidar and all the characters that inhabited those continents.

Today sees a childhood imagination rekindled with the intermingling of disparate characters in the pop culture world of comic books.

Of course, that series would need to have the greatest pulp title ever devised…and it does with: The Greatest Adventure #1!
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End Of The World & Beginning Of Yuggoth In ‘Providence #12’ On The Wednesday Run

Let’s get to the point: it’s been a long time coming, hasn’t it?

Two years next month, in fact.

That’s when the first issue of Providence, the first of twelve bi-monthly issues, dropped into the pulpy hands of eagerly anticipating readers who love horror-themed graphic fiction. May of 2015.

But Providence is much more than just horror. It’s a fascinating take on American outsider culture during the early part of the twentieth century, on the eve of the war to end all wars, written and illustrated by two of the comic book industry’s greatest.

Finally, the series comes to a head: Providence #12.

And it is both the end of days and the beginning of a new, stranger, world!

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Now Streaming On Shudder: Nicolas Roeg’s ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’

David Bowie starred in quite a few movies during his career, including Labyrinth, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, and Absolute Beginners. Perhaps none is more metatextual, however, than Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 film The Man Who Fell To Earth.

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In Medias Res Is A Good Start With “Paper Girls #11” On The Wednesday Run

paper-girls-11-coverIn medias res.

In the middle of things.

Boy, the old Latin language can sure sound an interesting turn of phrase, here in the twentieth century, can’t it? It’s the past and the future, gloriously shaking hands whilst shedding some light of understanding on each other.  Its comingling makes one feel smart, when uttered in a proper, and apt, context, of course.

And today, uttering “in medias res” is proper and apt.

It’s used to describe the eleventh chapter of one of the most entirely riveting (and fun!) comic book series being published these days.

If you’ve been with Paper Girls for the last year, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re new to the title, don’t let missing out on the previous ten chapters deter you for picking up the latest installment – I’ve got you covered at the end of this column.

Handshakes aside, in medias res, today sees the release of Paper Girls #11!

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The Matrix Preloaded: World on a Wire

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TIFF’s been doing a retrospective on the German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. A prodigious wunderkind of the seventies German New Wave, he died of a drug overdose at 37, leaving behind over 40 features and television mini-series made in a brief 15-year career. (Cocaine is a powerful drug in the right nose.) In that burgeoning output, Fassbinder made only one science fiction film. World on a Wire appeared in 1973, a made-for-TV two-parter that virtually disappeared soon after its release. Steeped in a 1970s futurist aesthetic, the film is both wildly dated and amazingly anticipatory, a speculative plunge into the world of virtual reality fully 36 years ahead of The Matrix. Turns out Neo wasn’t the only one popping pills to see what’s really going on.

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