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We Were Wizarded, We Were Worlded – Robots Root 19 June 2017

 

We’re back from Wizard World Sacramento. Soon to embark on a journey to Portland for Heroes & Villains Fanfest/Walkter Stalker this coming weekend. More embarking for Kris than me… well, more journeying anyway: he’s driving back to Idaho now, and will then drive BACK to the west coast for Portland. I’m hopping on Alaska Airlines.

It was an interesting time, Wizard World Sacramento. Some good, some not so good. We recorded a daily post-mortem which will be part of our July Robot-Kraken Podcast, along with discussion about Portland’s show. The bullet points, though, in the meantime:

  • The show was about a third smaller than it was two years ago when we did it last, and apparently it was bigger last year. We aren’t sure what happened. The wrestler guests, and the associated fans of them, were not there, but the smaller carved out section of the venue also suggested that they didn’t have as many tables and exhibitors, and I know customers complained that the guest list for celebrities wasn’t well stocked until pretty short notice. On my end, I didn’t feel that was particularly the case, or that the show wasn’t planned well or promoted. They did make a substantial layout change that put celebrities to the side instead of in the back, which breaks artist alley, as we depend on people coming and going to the photo ops and signings. But otherwise, it wasn’t egregious. WW staff were friendly and responsive, and the noise level from some of the larger events in the space wasn’t overwhelming, even if it was a bit much for my taste (karaoke all day friday, a funk band on Saturday, and Star Wars lounge singing on Sunday (which itself was originally a parody concept, right? Now it’s come around the other side and become a thing)) and though we were placed right behind a huge random State Farm VR exhibit, it wasn’t loud or distracting at all. The event seemed well stocked with food vendors, and people were digging the bottomless adult beverages that were available.
  • There was far less foot traffic than expected. In fact, much of the time guests were sort of wandering down the center of the aisles and not approaching tables. When the guests are plentiful (or if the space is cramped, which is not ideal) the customers tend to hug the tables and check things out. Here, it was like they were just tumbling down an air duct.
  • I had several customers go through the books and seem very interested and then wander off. I had two groups of guests that went to get money or use the restroom and never returned. It’s a risk you take. I could be more aggressive about making a deal before they leave, I guess. I gambled because they wanted to look more and pick additional prints, and ended up taking nothing home. In general, the interest in my table was less than hoped for, but I can’t complain about the good conversations I had, and without fail, those that bought something tended to be enthusiastic about it, which is great. All but one took home multiple items.
  • I had a good time connecting with cosplayers, showing them art of their character, etc. Many came by several times. Some were customers. It was one of the nice things about having a substantial print selection now, as compared to previous years. I could point stuff out on the fly! With my work now taking up three 13 x 19 binders on the table, it spans a hair over a standard 6′ booth, and fits OK in an 8′ booth. I have another 150-200 prints in process, so I may need to consider beginning to show half-scale copies 2 to a page in the binder for some of them. I need to stay to the three binder only I think.
  • I nerded out a bit when I saw Cas Anvar from Expanse at the show. I went over and shook his hand and talked to him for a brief second, but then headed back to my unmanned table. He was pleasant.
  • As with prior trips to Sacramento, the highlight was food. We had a great night at South (fried chicken spot) and had some good pizza as well. Made some new friends too.
  • Listen to the podcast in July for a more in-depth look at these June shows, and a discussion about the future of Wizard World, and our future at that venue as well. I’ll post some photos to Instagram and FB as time permits…

Robot’s Root!

  • The Russo Bros posted a mysterious photo of a mysterious thingie. Between this and Scarjo’s note of like 333 characters in Infinity War, I have to wonder what kind of viral what have yous are we going to be seeing in the few months prior to release… there’s going to be teaser burnout…can you imagine a world where NOTHING about this film was leaked, and no trailers of any plot significance were revealed? I love to imagine such a thing.
  • Kris and I were supposed to see The Mummy this weekend, prepared for low common denominator fun, but didn’t get to it, because fried chicken. BUT, wow. This does NOT sound good.
  • Cue the interwebs, violently googling for ‘pre-CGI boobs’ for the Scooby-Doo film…
  • Oh come ON, Justice League…
  • Who wants Supergirl in the DCCU? I mean, it’s a pretty obvious guess, with no reasonable authenticity, but it’s also a safe one. So whose to say. But anyway, possible!
  • I didn’t get too far into this video, comparing All You Need is Kill (manga) with the Edge of Tomorrow film adaptation, because it just made me want to both seek out the manga, AND rewatch the first film, so I stopped the spoilering against my poor memory. Ha. Spoilers on a movie I already saw, and frankly really liked.
  • Lung and I were discussing this one late last week, but HOW AWESOME… Matchbox cars, sorted!
  • Daniel Day Lewis just retired. That’s interesting. Most actors retire from either running out of castable roles, disappearing into the ether, or the deaths. This was a peculiar final announcement, prior to supporting his now-final film with longtime collaborator PT Anderson.

 

That’s all for today! Keep your eyes peeled on the medias for all the photos to follow…

Legend Has it – Robots Root 15 June 2017

Black Panther rules everything around me.

In third place (because BP needed two), we have Robot’s Root for 9 June 2017:

  • Interesting that Blomkamp feels that Chappie is his most personal, best film, but that Elysium wasn’t that great. I felt the opposite.
  • I need more Stranger Things in my life. Immediately. Thessalhydra or not.
  • Ugh, American remake of Misfits. UGH.
  • An absolutely fascinating look at the true history behind Dr. Poison’s life mask in Wonder Woman.
  • Now YOU can own Bill Paxton’s armor from Aliens. I mean, how could you live without this.
  • All this recent talk from Chris Evans about signing on beyond his contract and how Infinity War would change the MCU etc etc: yes, we get it. Cap is getting assassinated.
  • I love how Ian McShane talks up Deadwood every 6 months and how it’s in HBO’s hands. I mean, YEAH, but still, I’d rather see actual progress on the project.
  • Useful.
  • Interesting that Olivia Munn isn’t yet signed up for the new X-Men film (she was woefully underutilized in the last one) but VERY interesting that supposedly Jessica Chastain is being courted for Lilandra of the Shi-ar. I LOVE THE CONCEPT.
  • Shioli Kutsuna has been cast in Deadpool 2. So many options here. Lady Deathstrike sounds like one, but given her Wolverine and X-Men pedigree, seems an odd choice.
  • Try to imagine John Lithgow as the Joker. I can. Wow.
  • Check out this rad Big Trouble in Little China project.

OK, go run your jewels, whils Kris and I prepare for Wizard World Sacramento!

 

Robot-Kraken Podcast Ep 32 – A BMI for EVIL – JUNE 2017

 

Robot-Kraken Podcast Ep 32 – A BMI for EVIL – JUNE 2017 Now available for streaming on iTunes, featuring Ghost in the Shell, Nerd News & Discussion, and special guest Blake Simmons … and please do review and rate us (minimum 5 stars) on iTunes if you will… it gets us more visibility…

Apologies for the cheap screenshot of the episode notes. We’re on the road! No fancy Photoshop this time!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/robot-kraken-comic-cons-geek-news-from-depths-deeply/id1079681861?mt=2

PROBABLY the greatest detective in the world – Robots Root 8 June 17

Look, I’ll admit, I assumed, probably from leftover Grand Budapest fever dreaming, that Murder on the Orient Express would be a nutty surreal comedy. But I’m still in 133%. Plus, some would say Poirot’s mustache IS comedy. Not me, friends.

Thus, with suitable Kirby Krackle, it’s Robot’s Root!

  • These Hot Toys models are so eerily realistic. I just realized, not having been in the market for such things, that these have some sort of skeleton and a skin/covering system like a Realdoll(tm)… so basically a mini-Realdoll(tm) lacking, theoretically, certain anatomical features. Ugh, I’m creeped out. That said, impressive sculpt on this Amazonian Battle Chestpiece Diana.
  • The Buck Rogers plane is killing me.
  • I think I’d be fully into Ozark on Netflix anyway, but Jason Bateman totally elevates it.
  • I didn’t think I’d be interested in a Get Shorty remake. But the CAST!
  • This looks like a hot mess compilation of every other alien invasion action movie, but done on a 2008 iMac. BUT! I’m a glass half full (of broken glass) kind of guy: as about 1:35 in the trailer, one guy gets vaporized, and Lee pace runs over and catches the weapon the guy was holding and keeps firing it. It’s total Road Runner business. Revolting. Yes I said it.
  • Red Letter Media released the single best review of Covenant ever. And I say that, after recording thirteen hours of Coveant reviewage (rhymes with sewage) for Robot-Kraken. Best part: 5:30 into this majestic video.
  • Battlecat Mittens.
  • Lung pointed out the new Coco trailer, so I pulled up the Book of Life trailer for comparison. Loved the latter, will love the former. So much win all around. Except death. Death-win!
  • Hannah John-Kamen has been cast in a ‘key role’ in Ant-Man and Wasp. Curious… She’s best known for Killjoys, but she’s been in Game of Toles and Force Awakens… and will be in Ready Player One.
  • There’s ANOTHER Trek something something coming, with a serious pedigree (aka Wrath of Khan/Undiscovered Country) and supposedly NOT a rewrite of the new untitled film script for the Pineverse. I wonder if they are plotting out series’ or films set at different points in the timeline? Seems like it would be monumentally confusing to many viewers. I mean, Force Awakens vs. Rogue One was hard enough for mainstream fans to process. Anyway, courtesy of this technicolor yawn of a web page, which makes my eyes burn even as it is often right.
  • Jennifer Connelly is on board (see what I did) the Snowpiercer TV adaptation. Quite a catch for AMC, but while the film was a refreshing surprise in its quality (I haven’t seen the original) yet ANOTHER property makes me return to the basic question os who would build a ‘global’ train track and perpetual train during an ice apocalypse. It’s very Playstation.
  • Thandie Newton just described Han Solo as a ‘dope-a-franchise’ … I love her HARD.

 

And with that, I leave you to tend to your furious mustache…

Hey Look Theres Jeff Goldblum – Robots Root 6 June 17

As if the Thor: Ragnarok trailer couldn’t get any better

Lo, tis Robot’s Root for 6 June 2017!

  • Charlie Heaton of Stranger Things up for Cannonball in New Mutants? I’ll take it. Meanwhile, Blu Hunt, a relative unknown, has been cast as Dani Moonstar. On the, uh, surface, she looks good to me. Acting? Ethnicity? Can’t say. Finally, Henry Zaga has been cast as Sunspot. Shrug!
  • Here’s a trailer for Preacher S02 I didn’t watch because blackout. Please, let me make it until 20 June…
  • I’ve seen at least 13 different clickbaity articles about the ‘leaked Punisher poster’… let me save you some time. It’s a skull. Sorted! Now, to hold breath until November…
  • So Millie Bobby Brown auditioned for the role of X-23… that’s interesting. I wish we learned that before recording our latest podcast on the subject. An interesting what if? comparison there…
  • John Wick 3 is GO!
  • Janelle Monae is on board for the Phllip P Dick anthology. That’s intriguing to me, as I love her deal, and I love that she wanted to be involved. I still don’t love anthologies, though.*
  • I don’t know if its true or parody that this ‘Paramount’s Dark Universe’ group shot was a composite (damn potochop!) but now I can’t stop staring at Russell Crowe’s hand. But man I still love most of this pic, especially bad as nails Sofia Boutella. When I first saw this pic last week, I cropped her out as pose reference for an upcoming art. I mean damn.
  • Earthling Cinema kills it, so to speak, once again with a review of Ex Machina. “AKA the Pollack Method”
  • Chris Hemsworth isn’t hurt about being left out of the last few films, right?
  • I’m no fan of Todd McFarlane or Spawn, but I love love love seeing the youthful iterations of later commercial properties. Close to my heart, of course.
  • The new Runaways series has been officially announced. I like Anka, but we’ll see how this new creative team, and direction, works in the context of the high standards of the past.
  • Finally, it sounds like the ST: Bridge Crew immersive VR game has stepped up to the promise of both the VR platform and the Star Trek gaming experience. I’m not in the market for more Playstation gear to languish unused in my living room, but I like what I’m reading.

Back to your work friend friending!

Ah Said No Peekin – Robots Root 30 May 2017

Last night we completed another session of the Robot-Kraken Podcast recordings for inclusion in the June episode. Special guests! Special liquors! Hot messes!

In the meantime, however, this is Robot’s Root for 30 May 2017:

  • I was talking with One Lung this morning (or typing) about films we’re looking forward to, beyond all the obvious marquee stuff coming out, and that led me back to trailers. So here, have some, for science:  Trailer 1: Baby Driver
  • Trailer 2: Logan Lucky. “ah said no PEEKIN!”
  • Trailer 3: Hitman’s Bodyguard
  • BONUS: Shimmer Lake on Netflix. IN!
  • This supposed brief on the new Silver and Black disaster-in-waiting Sony is cooking up for their Spider-Man Universe Without Marvel or Spider-Man or Something sounds sketchy. Like fanfic stuff.
  • Surprising precisely no one, SW VIII has been postponed while they violently rewrite the entire thing.
  • First look at Lockjaw from Inhumans: yep, giant bulldog. Missing the signature tuning fork and collar though, which is weird. So many weird choices on this project. I still haven’t recovered from the wig.
  • A little less than a month to go and we’ll have new Preacher. YASS.
  • In another (rather odd) example of studios remaking instead of building anew, Amazon just bought a series based on the film Hannah which (I haven’t seen, actually) I hear is based on every other young teen orphan assassin trope. Not that I don’t want to see the film. But I’d rather see original content greenlit.
  • The thicken plots… possibly… now they are admitting Joss Whedon has been quietly working on JL for awhile. This could be a sign that they knew and were planning to transition Snyder stepping down on a schedule, OR that he was already on board for script/shooting corrections. I do think it’s no coincidence that he was randomly announced as the writer/director of Batgirl this spring…
  • I’m half-way through the current glorious season of Silicon Valley, and I can’t conceive of the next season moving forward without TJ Miller. Dammit.
  • Really odd one here: Rosario Dawson is supposedly being courted for the role of Dr. Ceclia Reyes in the New Mutants film. It feels… fan speculationish… given that she’s already in the Marvel Universe (one of them) as a nurse… but hey, +1 always works for me.

And with that, I’m off to see if I can scrape some of this rum off of the inside of my cranial cavity…

Storm of Toleyous – Robot’s Root 25 May 2017

A trailer for Game of Thrones seems superfluous at this point: everyone will be watching, unless they won’t, and those who won’t won’t be persuaded to watch. However, my personal resolve to not watch this trailer lasted precisely three brand-aware hours. And here’s a breakdown of details I’m not reading.

 

Lo, Robot’s Root!

  • Wait. WHUT. Barry Pepper forges his own weapons?
  • And there goes Doug Liman for Justlice League Dark…
  • Matt Reeves wants ALL THE VILLAINS. Hoenestly I do think this is the direction the new standalone Batman film should take: trapped in Arkham, with all of your enemies therein, now armed for bear. I’d love to see Joker pitting them all against Batman as he struggles to fight his way out and contain the threat.
  • Black Tom Cassidy could be the main villain in Deadpool2. He’s been cast, at any rate.
  • A Kris Anka illustrated Runaways reboot? I’m interested.
  • Josh Boon describes the New Mutants film as straight-up horror.
  • I know I’m not the only one that first thought (hope springs eternal) that Elizabeth Moss was cast as Typhoid Mary… from DAREDEVIL…
  • These Leibovitz photos of the Last Jedi stuff really fired me up. I love the baroque early 1900s gambling planet business. With space goats! But also Laura Linney has all the color!
  • Everything you wanted picked apart from the latest Homecoming trailer here. And here’s that trailer. But we have a Spanish quiz!
  • Finally, a TMNT pizza cookbook happened.

That’s all for now. Go grab your dragon eggs. It’s only fire.

So Many Thrusters – Robots Root 23 May 2017

Feast your eyes on the largest, and possibly the most awesome, Ideas set to date. I was sold on the lunar modules alone, but the whole thing is glorious (I don’t like the micro figures, but I understand them) and nothing is hotter, so to speak, than the thrusters. GET IT!

And with that, we unleash Robot’s Root for 22 May 2017!

  • Schwarzenegger announced he’s back in on the Terminator franchise with Cameron’s involvement. Now, he’s big on hyperbole and hype, and Cameron would be at best producing, and my patience for elder terminator wanes… but it’s new Terminator SOMETHING anyway. That said as someone who enjoyed Genesys despite its flaws.
  • Fun with AIs: watch a neural network learn GTA through violence. It’s like the pre-opening credits scene for a post-apocalyptic rise of the robots movie. WHAT COULD GO WRONG.
  • I agree with the consensus view: Amber Heard’s Mera costume for Aquaman is refreshingly comic-compliant, colorful, and not particularly overwrought. That said, rumors abound that Momoa will be in some version of the green and gold as well.
  • Tom Hardy as ________ is always a win in my book. I hope it’s Agent Venom, not 90s venom (regardless of the character’s name, Brock, not being Flash Thompson) and I hope it’s just a good film on its own, but I can’t help but bring in my skepticism since this is a) Fox, b) intended to not be part of the MCU, d) not part of Spider-Man at all, but 4) part of a new Spider-Universe that again, will not include Spider-Man. Lets be positive. and do shots. We may need them. I’d rather live in a world with this film done well than one without it.
  • I love the ‘how character x should have looked!’ listicles… sometimes they are hot garbage click bait, but I enjoy when they employ really shifty photomanips designed to make classic costumes look terrible.
  • Surprising news over the weekend was that Zack Snyder and his wife are stepping down from Justice league; the reported reasoning being recovery after his daughter’s suicide which had been kept from the press until now. Joss Whedon to pick up the reigns. This will be interesting.
  • These are nice photos. Everyone’s hot for Leia’s, understandably, but I found it interesting that Luke is the only one with that faraway gaze.
  • I really want Paramount’s Monsterverse, sorry, DARK UNIVERSE, to succeed. I like the cast they’ve gathered. Hot photo ops don’t hurt.
  • Speaking of Paramount, new very spoilery image from Mummy revealed:
  • Roger Moore has merged with the infinite. I had lost track of him. 89!
  • What a horrific scene. Part of me is pretty glad it is implied without being shown, because that would be hard to watch. Like most things, the horror is most effective when you have to imagine it. Logan was fine as is.
  • Here’s why ‘The Defenders’ is like the Wu-Tang Clan and Luke Cage is Ghostface
  • New villain for Hellboy reboot revealed

And with that, I leave you to imagining the rad Lego bots I could make with those thrusters. My word.

Sensing Death all Over the Place – Robots Root 19 May 2017

Despite it’s production problems, I’m happy to say I liked what I saw in this trailer for ST: Discovery. I like the cast, the alien designs, and the rework of the Klingons especially. I have some trouble with the ‘set 10 years before Kirk’ business, because we are stuck in that weird loop, where the technology shown in the prequel looks more advanced than the technology in the primary series, but at least this one is based on being a prequel of the Abrams-Trek*, so it’s more aligned in that regard. *WAIT now I’m confused. Two places have stated this is in the ‘Prime Universe’ aka prior to TV Kirk and the smooth as shit Enterprise, so I don’t even. There seem to be design elements nodding to TOS, as well as to Enterprise AND the Abramsverse.

Meanwhile, in space, this happened:

  • In this latest Mummy trailer, I think my favorite part was Tom Cruise screaming “MY FACE! MY FACE!” which felt meta.
  • The Alienist is right up my alley: dark business in old timey ways!
  • Mera’s revised costume is very green and so much SIMPLER than anything in the DCCU and I like it.
  • Aunt May wins.
  • Trip OUT: Steve Coogan and John C Reilly filming Laurel and Hardy…
  • This awesome Periodic Table shows what each element can be used for, which is a GREAT added detail. Kind of mind blowing. Fundamentally changes how you learn about them. Also, pretty current: Lead is used for ‘weights’ which is true, but twenty years ago the reference would be a more alarming use.
  • Another useful tool: 30 ways to die by electrocution in 1930. I found these fascinating, as in many cases i was grasping at what I was looking at. Not grasping the mystery pipe while standing in water, mind you.
  • So far, early fan and critic reviews of Wonder Woman are extremely positive. I mean, BVS was too, but still, given the early talk that this was a hot mess, maybe optimism is called for here.
  • If you don’t want to see any Han Solo anything, don’t click through. If you want to see some rad pre-CGI hoopties, tho…
  • Finn Jones let slip that Defenders takes place over a few days rather than weeks. That’s very good news, given the concept and central tension among the members of the team.

That’s all for today. Back to polishing your forehead ridges that you should or shouldn’t have in continuity.

 

 

Youre Gonna Get Some Hop Ons – Robots Root 17 May 2017

Of course the important news of the day, moreso than impeachable offenses and wonky missiles and health care class warfare and space aliens beached in Indonesia, but no less as inevitable as any of those: officially official confirmation of AD S05. I mean, we knew it was coming, but I’m glad it’s here. In bits and pieces, we’ve learned that Hurwitz is inspired by the election disaster, and that he’s returning to ensemble scenes instead of the ‘follow each character around’ standalones. But also, wow, 2018. I looked it up: the S04 experiment was 2013. I can’t believe it will have been five years.

Meanwhile, THIS HAPPENED:

  • In some strange alternate reality, Robert Zemeckis, Sam Raimi and Matt Vaughn are supposedly in the running for the brutally underdeveloped and problematic Flash film. Why and how is any of that possible.
  • Look. I want Star Trek: Discovery to succeed. I always want these projects to somehow work. And on the face of it, I like this photo. I like the actors, and I really like the old school tricorder in the holster. But really? ENOUGH REY FOR YOU??
  • And look, I have no problem with hyperbole in film promotion… especially when it’s a translation from another language… but this promo material for Last Jedi cracked me up. Everyone’s focusing on how ‘THE BIGGEST SHOCKING REVEAL IN THE HISTORY OF SHOCKING REVEALS EVER EVER WILL BE REVEALED!’ language, but what I thought was funny was the assertion that things got serious once they killed Han Solo. You know, because the deaths of millions in the hand-wavy blowing up of a solar system wasn’t a tragedy or anything.
  • Slaughterhouse Rulez… I mean I’d already be in just because of the pedigree, but I do like that premise. Shithead power schoolkids getting lovecrafted to death while being shitheads? Sounds great!
  • I’m amused by the reference that by the end of Defenders, it will feel like The Hangover… because I don’t know about you, but my drinking increased progressively as I worked through Iron Fist.
  • I wasn’t going to watch any more trailers for Battle for the Toleyou of the Preparation for the Planet of the Apes, but then I did anyway. Looks kick-ass, of course. I didn’t like Woody Harrelson as much in the earlier trailers, other than shaving in front of his troops, which is always a winning move… but here, I love him ranting that (presumably) Caesar is ‘too emotional’ hahahahaha
  • Best quote ever, regarding the sensational lawsuit over blind date texting during GOG2: ““While damages sought are modest, the principle is important as defendant’s behavior is a threat to civilized society,” the suit said.
  • Here’s the first promo material for the new Hellboy film, which features, uh, Hellboy Hellboying around… notable only because hey, it’s new Mike Mignola art, and we need that in this world.
  • For the ultra-rich cosplaying Iron Man fan in your life: dig this concept armor

 

That’s all for today. Back to mixing your sloshy martinis…