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The State of the State – 13 Nov 2017 From the Future

 

Before we get into that SWEET, SWEET ROOT, a quick update: I’ve been in Indonesia for 10 days, and while the days themselves have been long, I’ve made great progress on my fall TRDL mission: them TRDL Sourcebooks! I’ll be editing Book One on the 30+ hour trip home (that begins in a few hours) along with working on Books Two and Three (of four) but man, progress! Look, above, evidence!

 

Meanwhile, the Root continues…

 

  • There is a lot of Stranger Things fanart out there. I’ve done some! And a lot of Rick and Morty fanart out there. I’ve worked on some! But this cracked me up, mostly because of the Freddy Kreuger ballsack-chin dude, can’t remember his name, done up as the Sheriff. Dying.

Then again, I’m pretty easy to entertain…

  • You have to give Agents of SHIELD some credit: they re-invent the show each season and generally pull it off. Looks like this time it’s going to be Alien by way of Kree. The tropes about the black guy getting killed first, splitting up, etc are in full effect. Pretty funny.  Also, interesting that they’re using a non-Brood Brood, the Marvel rip-off/homage to the xenomorph in the first place, because I believe the Brood falls into Fox’s rights wheelhouse.
  • Despite being overseas, upside-down, and working with, I kid you not, 1-kbps download and less that 1kbps upload most of the time (and thats the heavier duty hotel network) we managed to do some recording for the Robot-Kraken Podcast. You might remember such a thing! We’re getting an episode pulled together that covers September and some of October, and then we’re also cooking up the following one, which will cover through November. So many things being discussed, just wring your hands and IMAGINE how awesome it will be to listen to them.

 

Speaking of awesome, here’s a screencap of my face reflected in the JW Black Bladerunner bottle Blake got me…

 

  • The TL;DR version of the Rian Johnson SW trilogy speculation is, of course: ALL THE EXTENDED UNIVERSE STUFF, plus all the other stuff. Still, fun to contemplate. What do YOU want out of a new trilogy? I know what I don’t want: Skywalkers. Just give me some action on the other side of the galaxy.
  • The Disney/Marvel + Fox discussions are apparently still on, unless they aren’t, but they might be. Surely they are.
  • Now while I admit I haven’t been keeping up with the animated side of the business, how stoked am I that they’ve done a Gotham by Gaslight cartoon? Give me a live action movie now, I says.
  • I think one Lung sent me this after my last post, so: this alphanumeric set based on the the industrial design of each brand is VISIONARY. I was floored by it.
  • In ‘whats in the tin is on the label’ news, read this headline:

    Man fakes his death to help police catch wife in murder-for-hire plot

    And the article, if you want the long version.

  • And in ‘is this REALLY a thing, or just faking being a thing? Or a fake thing?’ news, this.
  • Here’s a neat overview of Mondo designs that were rejected, if you can even imagine such a thing. The whole deal with War for the Planet of the Toles is awesome.
  • The limited edition Lovecraft tiki mug here is to die for. I mean, sort of literally, I guess.
  • Let’s dance around Thor: Ragnaok a bit for a moment. I saw the film, and loved it, which you will see below. But look, Cate Blanchett’s Hela just stole it from a design perspective, in a film already chockablock with great design. And she’s so smoulderingly, saunteringly gorgeous in this. I couldn’t even. BUT NOW YOU CAN, thanks to another Sideshow Collectibles figure that kills it.
  • So, I saw The Thor. We’re recording a thing on it soon, so I’ll hold off on deep-diving on the actual film, but I thought I’d share a bit about how surreal the experience was. I saw it in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is a Muslim country which is very pleasant and features a hub of international business in southeast asia. There are horrible, horrible things on the side of the road. But also, nice folks and such. It’s like any third world country with a slab of international commerce in the middle of it. Anyway, I quite like it. So, on previous trips I never had time to go do anything really, other than job site, client office, hotel, etc. This time, I took a break on Saturday night, and went to see a film. It was at a cinema buried in the core of a megamall, one of these multi-tiered structures that webs between and under multiple office towers. Took about 35 minutes to find the theater, and I had even done my homework. OK, Thor! But in Jakarta!

 

Like most of the world, you step in the cinema and it’s quite familiar. Ticketing, concessions, pre-show something or other, then seats and trailers. In this case, the concessions ran the gamut from little popcorn purses to slabs of roast beast, and the pre-show entertainment was actually a sub-theater/lounge space showing Katy Perry concert footage while people sipped mocktails.

 

This show, not even an IMAX or 3D version, cost roughly $7USD. And, assigned seating. You select it yourself. Thus!

I may not have been in row 3 (because crazy) or 33 (because full; Jakartans seem to need some distance from the hollywood vomiting of technicolor indulgence, even when it is intentional, as with the design work on this film) but…

 

 

Studio 3, cousins…

 

 

 

So it was mostly interesting and slightly distracting to watch with subtitles. I kept wanting to read them, and catch glimpses of interesting Bahasa for stuff like ‘You. Me. The others. We have to get ready.’ “The others, Bruce.’ etc etc but once the actual film started, it almost synced up with the film’s liberal use of alien script and wild Kirbyesque design. It FIT. So anyway, I may have been the loudest LOLer (I was) but it was a super fun time. The woman in the burka in front of me (see the red) didn’t make any noises, but I saw her smile on the way out. That Chris Hemsworth, amirite.

 

OK, heading to board my first leg on the long trip back. Until next time, have fun with your friend from work…

 

 

A Lego Assembly Sneak Peek For Science

 

I was at Legoland last week with the younglings. There was a building with a little tour of the Lego manufacturing and assembly automations… took some photos for the interested parties I know.

    

 

Also, true love:

 

Plus, bonus David sighting. Or is that Walter… I mean, it’s not Fassbender… but he was CLOSE.

When It’s Acceptable to get Hoffed – Robots Root 170712

Listen, I hate that David Hasselhoff song in the GOG2 soundtrack. It took a funny cultural nod in the film and sent it into pure kitsch territory. But I also acknowledge that Gunn comes from a Troma background, and this whole thing is post-modern to him. He can be incredibly emotionally invested in making the best possible film (and he is) and still feel enthusiastic about including 4th wall cheese in the closing credits (which he did)… so while I skip this track in the soundtrack (when my kids allow it) I WILL say I’m amused by how the cast is dolled up in this photo, and more generally, that they would engage in this sort of tomfoolery in the first place. Seems like a really fun set.

 

And now, from the void: Robot’s Root!

  • I don’t what to even think about all this Sonyverse business, but while many seem to be freaking out (in the negative) about the possible inclusion of Ann Weying in the Venom film (ex-wife of Eddy Brock) but it doesn’t mean she will be ‘She-Venom’ or that she’s even in any way the same relationship type as in the comics. The one positive point I can see here is that they suggest in the link that Venom isn’t a space symbiote, but a bioweapon. I like that much better.
  • Stranger Things 2: October 27 hell yes!
  • At this point I’m firmly convinced (unless I’m not) that Ridley Scott just free associates in these interviews. Now he’s roping in the (dreaded, at least to me) concept of introducing more Ripley family members. This is over-retconning to the nth degree, if so. I could sort of handle Ripley’s daughter in a video game I didn’t play, but otherwise, can’t a thing just be a thing? I guess when alien horror suddenly involves space jesuses, then maybe not.
  • Another round of slightly-better AI Paint Names. My favorite: SPICED ROPE.

  • I can’t get enough of Baby Driver. I haven’t even SEEN it yet. This was a little micro-video done for the Australian premiere, which I want as my neck tattoo. Not ‘tomorrow’ per se, but something sweet-as written into the speedo. Why not! Such as, perhaps, KURB RUSSELL, my new codename for action and adventure.
  • If you were on the fence regarding Luke Cage S02, fear no longer: Lucy Liu is involved. She directed the first episode. I mean, it’s not a high-heeled corporate efficiency expert or icy sword-swinging vengeance person, but still.
  • I’m digging on the photos from Black Panther. I’m REALLY digging this world building. Best detail, all the ritual scarring, especially on Michael P. Jordon’s character.
  • The trailer for the full season order of the Tick looks even better than the Pilot, which I quite liked. Toling you, it’s all about Jackie Earl Haley’s character… AGAIN.

A Cherry Blossom Urban Moment and Other Things – 29 June 2017

I’m really chuffed about my current iOS background. This too can be yours.

 

Meanwhile, I present: Robot’s Root!

  • Wow, so, I’m not sure the better takeaway on this one: inspect undercarriage for ticks on the regular, or have a full size water tank on hand for red ant attacks. Either way.
  • I think i see some cues from the Iron man Bleeding Edge armor in these Infinity War drone snaps. All the LEDS! Love it.
  • Lucas’ museum has been approved to go forward in LA, which is generally good news, because i’m in LA all the time, and I want to get up IN there.
  • Bloody, practical FX, Hellboy… these are all on my X-mas list…
  • I’m not going to Game of Toles night at the Giants stadium, but the GOT intro sequence is still one of my favorites, so this was a treat. Thanks, Lung!
  • I think it’s WAYYYY too early to get excited about the new The Batman… but I will say that all this noir Hitchcockian referencing works for me.
  • I really want to see Lord and Miller rejoin the Flash film. Think about it: DC desperately wants to ‘lighten up’ the DCU. Lord and Miller were fired for, among many issues, an overly-comical, improvisational tone to the footage shot and the script deviations taken (raging Kasdan into rage) … and finally, these solo films from DC struggle under the weight of their own imagery and nostalgia… Ezra Miller’s Flash thus far has been witty… how interesting would it be if Lord and Miller SUCCEEDED and made a good film for DC?
  • I can’t even with all this Sony business. Kraven and Mysterio solo films? Really? And Carnage is the big bad of a Venom film? SO MANY TENDRILS.
  • Watchmen as an ongoing on HBO was all anyone wanted in the first place, though I’m no hater of the film by any stretch.
  • You like Legos? And Fuchikomas? HERE
  • I want to like Inhumans. Despite everything. The trailer launched… and it’s devoid of tension. I don’t even. At least Lockjaw has a tuning fork, albeit a surface branded one… the way I like things in general, I guess. Glowy tattoos FTW. More breakdown here.
  • On the other hand, the Jumanji trailer launched and I LOVED IT. ‘you don’t go in the water with a backpack everyone knows that.’
  • I’m surprised by my own self, liking what I’m seeing from the Netflix adaptation of Death Note. It’s all about Willem Defoe + Death God as he’s always looked. Wow.
  • Valerian is getting better early buzz than I anticipated. If nothing else, not surprisingly, it needs to be seen on the big screen…
  • Hey cool, noirish trippy Alan Moore project that he actually wrote for live action so maybe 3% chance he won’t distance himself from it with vitriol. Looks great! On Shudder.
  • Spidey’s early buzz is REALLY good, which is also promising… meanwhile, Tom Holland is apparently an unintentional enthusiastic leaker who hasn’t been given the Infinity War script out of caution. He supposedly got the OK to tell folks it’s Peter parker (retconned) into IM 2… I like that nod. The connection of Stark to Parker was important in the comics, and I think it’s a big part of how the new phase of Marvel movies goes… speaking of, THIS is finally available…
  • So for those of you who’ve seen WW, you know that cool moment where she meets Chief, and speaks with him in Blackhawk? Apparently he introduces himself as Napi, a trickster god, and it was in the script. Also the first time she actually shakes someone’s hand. Interesting! Apparently in canon.
  • You may have read this (quickly debunked) interpretation of the story of Andy’s father in Toy Story… Im not convinced it’s NOT true, given the circumstances. I actually REALLY like it. It’s chilling.
  • Also, this happened: my new spirit animal

Thus and therefore, I leave you to your e-musings.

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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!

 

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!

Visit Deeply Dapper at FanX in SLC This Weekend

Chris of Deeply Dapper will be at FanX in Salt Lake City, Utah this weekend. He’ll have all of his usual nerdy goods like flasks, soaps, prints, metal plate appliques, etc plus he’s bringing a limited number of copies of his new Princess Bride poster! Check him out at Table GOLD 26

 

TRDL Convention Schedule 2017

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Now that I have the shows arranged, here are my convention appearances planned for 2017.

Note: WW Sacramento, Heroes and Villains Portland, and Rose City, will all be shows that Deeply Dapper and I will table together, so if you are aa Robot-Kraken Podcast fan, now’s your chance to see us in the flesh, prod us for cybernetics, ply us with rum, etc.

This is somewhat subject to change: we are waitlisted on a few shows, and there are a few others we are thinking about, based on how the June shows go. But for now, if you are on the West Coast, you have an opportunity to come visit, talk comics and standard nerd stuff, pick up some art books, prints, and original work, and possibly be featured on the Robot-Kraken Podcast convention feature. Hope to see you in California or Oregon this year!

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Thom Chiaramonte
Third Rail Design Lab
http://www.thirdraildesignlab.com


_________________
Chief of Ninja Group
SUPEESU. MADDONISSU.

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