You know Archie Andrews and the gang, right? Well, it's no secret that I have always been a fan of the comics. I've mentioned it several times on my podcast, Comic News Insider. Archie comics (along with Richie Rich) were some of my very first comic books as a kid. They've even had a resurgence with a lot of great new storylines including the marriage issues (where he marries both Betty & Veronica in alternate timeline stories). There was the old animated series which is not all that great but still kinda fun. (Yes, I have them all on DVD). And of course, the live action made for TV movie in 1990 called To Riverdale and Back Again where they updated the saga with the characters in their adulthood.
And now comes one of the most disturbing, yet darkly funny fan made trailers for a live action Archie movie. Simply called Riverdale, it's more 90210 than Leave it to Beaver and it doesn't stop there. Betrayal, drugs, teen pregnancy, abuse, homosexuality, a Columbine-esque reaction to bullying, sex and much more. And all in about 4 minutes! As much as I love these characters, I was very impressed by this and would love to see it made into a movie. Dark, dark humor but very cool. What do you think?
Pretty bad ass, eh?
Also, we've always struggled with that eternal question. Betty or Veronica?Both are stunning, but I'm gonna have to go for Morgan Davies as Veronica by a boob nose.
Directed by Andrew de Villiers, written by Cross Eyed Bear Comedy and produced by Point Blank Creative.
Well...almost! Famed BBC Radio 1 DJ, presenter, ex-model and Super Mum Sara Cox and I have been plotting to get her on my podcast, Comic News Insider. Due to a mixup in communication (i.e. MY fault), I thought she was going to come on last week's show to possibly co-host. Alas, not to be due to my mess up. The UK is 5 hours ahead and I forgot to count. Why her? Because she's freaking awesome!
Seriously though. She's hilarious, smart and clever and would be a load of fun. We put a pin in the co-hosting duties for awhile as I've now taken over the tech side of things and I'm still figuring it all out. Apologies if you saw my tweets about her possibly coming on, tuned in and were disappointed. (Though I can't see how. You still had me. HEYO!).
Stay tuned, kids. I'll have her on soon enough and you will thank me profusely. Promise.
If you're not familiar with her, you can hear her every Sunday on her radio show on BBC 1. Either live or later through the website. Maybe if you play her show and mine at the same time, it's like we're doing the show together!
Or just wait til she comes on. Either one.
I've been a Knicks fan for years. And it's been tough. I used to go to games all of the time. Last team jersey I bought was Sprewell's. Too much of a chub rock nowadays for that jersey wearing. But if I wasn't, I'd be sporting our brand new New York Knick's #7... Carmelo Anthony! Off to a good start 'Melo! (You ain't so bad yourself there, Chauncey Billups). Let's go Knicks!!!
Reviews: Flash Gordon: Invasion of the Red Sword #1, Justice League of America #54, What If Venom Possessed Deadpool? #1, Young Justice #1, Being Human (UK) Series 3: Episode 1
Jimmy is joined by loyal CNI listener Jesse Jackson who steps in at the 11th hour to fill the rotating co-host chair. Thanks Jesse! The guys discuss the tragic loss of creator Dwayne McDuffie and chat about his legacy & great work. They also mention Michael Emerson's new TV show deal(s), Firefly & the Science Channel & the controversy that erupted over some quotes that series star Nathan Fillion made to EW (HE WAS JOKING) and the hauntingly beautiful Dead Island video game trailer. News includes: Matthew Vaughn picks up The Golden Age by Jonathan Ross/Tommy Lee Edwards to film, Spider-Man musical hires comic scribe, Adrianne Palicki is Wonder Woman, The Walking Dead &Fables video games, Randy Queen's Darkchylde, Boom to Kaboom, and Scotland claims first comic book. Listener feedback and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!
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News is being reported all over that Dwayne McDuffie, well known comic book/TV writer and producer, suddenly passed away. It's a tragic loss and he will be fondly remembered. He created Milestone Media back in the 90's and if you know me, then you know how much I LOVED Milestone Comics. He had a hand in creating and writing most of the characters in that universe. Blood Syndicate was my favorite series at the time.
Other big Milestone hits and faves are Hardware, Icon and of course, the one that went to live on in animation and comics, Static. He also worked at DC, Marvel and Archie. He got into working on animated series and even became story editor and producer on Justice League Unlimited. And just released today is the animated All-Star Superman, which he wrote. So much more and he influenced so many.
I think I may have met him once or twice through mutual friends at a convention. He was always one of those creators I wanted to chat with, interview and just hang. As a person of ethnicity myself, I appreciate how he championed the idea of ethnic heroes. He even had a great sense of humor about it. When he was an editor at Marvel, he sent out a spoof proposal regarding Marvel's treatment of black characters. Hilarious stuff.
Friend of Batman (FOB): Hey, Bats. You're good at this thing. Can you help me out?
Batman: Sure. I'll take some time out of my schedule to help you out.
About an hour passes.
Batman: Hey, FOB. I sent you what you wanted. Hope it helps. Let me know.
Hours pass. Days pass. AND NO FUCKING THANK YOU.
Batman: This is what makes me the GODDAMN BATMAN!!!
p.s. If I need to spell it out for you, this didn't happen to Batman. If it did, he would have beaten his friend senseless. It happened to me. A simple "Thanks for helping out" is common courtesy, people. Learn it.
Firefly was a short lived sci-fi/western series created by Joss Whedon that first appeared on TV in 2002. It's awesome and I loves it. Even though it lasted less than a season on TV, the powers that be made a gamble and made a movie out of the series in 2005 called Serenity. It's also awesome and I loves it. It did not do well at the box office. Both have done great on DVD and the show has reached ginormous cult status. The fans of the show, or Browncoats, are some of the most passionate ones in fandom. And I count several really close friends as some of those fans. I was involved in the NYC group for about a year in 2005 but never was as crazy passionate as many others in the group. I met many more from around the world and again, count many as good friends. Heck, I even dated a couple of Browncoat girls. That being said, I've always felt this fandom often walks that precarious line of coming across as those "weirdo sci-fi" types that are stereotypically made fun of constantly. Not all of them, of course. But many of the vocal ones can come across that way.
When the movie came out and didn't do as expected, fans were distraught. Would there be any more? If they had something to say there would! Pretty soon after, something called "Operation Sequel" was started. A campaign to bring awareness to the series and film and hoping that someone(s) in Hollywood would pick it up. Nothing happened. The actors all had moved on to other jobs as did it's creator, Joss Whedon. I've even seen some fans wish failure for the other shows that the cast are on (i.e. Castle, V, The Cape, etc) just so they'd be free to do more Firefly. That's pretty crappy.
I never saw this as possible. I'm not a cynic at all. Just realistic. And maybe because as a former actor with lots of working actor friends in both TV & film (ooh, look...I didn't name drop!), I may have a better idea of how the system works. I certainly don't know a lot, but probably a little more than the common fan.
There's always one delusional hopeful fan who thinks it will come back. Of course, EVERYONE involved in the show would love that. They've all said it and continue to any time it comes up. Though I suspect a few have moved on from it and only say they'd do it again to please the public. Why would they disappoint fans and say, "Nah, I don't want to do it". Easier to be kind about it. But that just gives those certain fans more false hope. As is evident in the past week.
Nathan Fillion, the series star, recently JOKED in an article with Entertainment Weekly that if he won $300 million in the California lottery that he'd buy the rights to it. People read way too much into that and the shit storm started. Within less than a day, some fans started a website dedicated to "helping Nathan buy Firefly". Which is just fucking ridiculous. I'm sorry, but it is. First, Nathan was JOKING. And $300 million dollars was just a number he pulled out of the air. As a JOKE. The site is a bit shady as it is since the people running it aren't identifying themselves. Mostly out of embarrassment, I'm sure. They claim they will start taking pledges soon. Beware people. I advise against it. All I see is lost money and broken hearts. Not suggesting the people running it are out to intentionally cheat people, but just don't see this ending well.
I was happy to see that a lot of the hardcore Browncoats on various sites were against this idea. They didn't see it as realistic. Other fans used examples of some of the original actors and writers supporting the idea. Again, why would they not? Why would they purposely and openly go against fandom? Of course they'll support it. But to be clear, they weren't supporting the idea of raising the money for Nathan. They were supporting the idea of IF the show came back for whatever reason, that they'd be on board to be a part of it. That's completely different! But even when some of the most hardcore fans expressed that they were against it, others said they will have "hope" and don't see why that's wrong. Sure, it's not wrong. It's just not realistic.
Is it possible that the show could come back intact with the original cast? Sure. But it's HIGHLY improbable and I do not think it will ever happen. I'm not saying this to be hateful to those fans who believe. (Though I'm sure some will take it that way and bring the hate my way). I just think that it's done. Awhile back, Whedon himself has expressed that he thinks it's done as well. Some fans brought up examples of how Star Trek was made into movies because of fandom. Sure. But it's a different structure in Hollywood now. And Firefly had it's Star Trek moment when Serenity was made. Lightning striking twice is just near impossible.
I love Firefly, Serenity, Joss, Nathan, Summer, Morena and the rest. But I think it's time we put a rest to any ideas that there will ever be any new episodes or another movie.
Believe it or not, this comes from a place of love for the property. So, if you disagree and are full of hate, save it. Prove me wrong and give a bunch of money to an unknown source. Or just go watch the series and movie again and be content with an amazing piece of science fiction. Like most of us.
As most of you know, I've been hosting the podcast Comic News Insider for over 5 years with my good friend Joe Gonzalez (that's him in the pic on the left). As you may or may not know, he recently left the show to pursue his charitable goals. Since that time, I've recruited friends to sit in the "rotating guest host" chair. A few were in studio and others via Skype. All fantastic, of course!
However, as fantastic as they were on the show, it's not the same as when I recorded with Joe every Tuesday night for the past 5+ years. Plus, Joe has been a good friend of 16+ years. We had a natural, easy flowing banter. I'm good friends with others who have co-hosted over the past month, but I'll admit that it didn't flow like it normally does. And that's MY fault. To be honest, it's tough falling into a comfortable vibe with a different person. No matter how well I know them. I've always talked over Joe a bit (okay, A LOT!) but found myself talking over the guest hosts even more so. Most likely out of trying to keep the show going since they aren't as familiar with the format and just not knowing the subtle nuances of conversation between us. For instance, Joe and I had great timing and that's hard to recapture. Especially over Skype as there's always a bit of a delay. Again, nothing against any guest host. This is all me.
I was an actor/singer/dancer for years. Wrote and performed sketch comedy as well. I'm comfortable in front of a mic, on a stage, etc. But I suppose I can equate it to a theater experience. Years ago, I was playing "Woof" in the 30th anniversary of the musical Hair here in NYC. One night, our lead girl was really ill. We had to change a couple of the roles around. Alyssa was out. Jill was in her part. And Katie was in Jill's part. And so on. The show wasn't bad, but it was really different and just didn't flow as well. We had been rehearsing/performing for months with the original line up and this was a drastic change. It wasn't a bad show (Jill & Katie were awesome) but I know some audience members weren't happy.
Same can be said for the podcast. Without Joe, it's just different. I'm finding my feet again and I'm going to stumble a bit. As evident in recent shows. I got some hate on Twitter from people who tuned in last week for the first time to hear my guest host, the awesomely talented Ming Doyle. Rightfully so, they loved her because she rocked it. (I keep telling her she's a natural. If we lived in the same city, I'd definitely want to use her more. But I'm betting she'll have her own podcast soon enough.) But they took umbrage with me and found me "boring" at first. New listeners are unaware of the format and how we've done it for years. (i.e. What/how we review comics, TV & film, personal banter, etc.). And with the constant change of guest hosts, I've definitely been stumbling a bit. Still, not my intention to alienate new listeners.
To loyal CNI listeners, I humbly apologize. It's not the show you are used to and I promise to do my best to bring that back. Joe can never be replaced but I hope to find a way to keep the show entertaining and fun. All I can ask is to stick with it for awhile until the kinks are worked out.
The format will stay the same: Intro, banter, reviews, news, interview, Top 3, listener feedback, plugs, etc. I've talked of switching it up a bit and still might tinker around. CNI has always tried to cover a wide variety of things from the nerd world. When reviewing comics, we don't just cover DC and Marvel. We'll cover superhero, indie, slice of life, all ages, noir, zombie, and pretty much any type of comic book out there. We try to keep our TV/Film talk somewhat related to the sci-fi/fantasy realm but can go a bit off topic on occasion. I've been told by some listeners that they don't like when we cover indie work. They just like the DC and Marvel stuff. Others are the opposite. Most seem to like that we cover it all. If you're not in that category, tune in for the parts you do like! We always have our show notes up of what we're reviewing and the news bits we're covering so you can make the choice to listen or not based on that.
Also, we discovered years ago that listeners seemed to enjoy hearing about our lives as well. What we've been up to that week and what not. Not everyone cares or likes that bit and I'll admit, we definitely went on too long in the past. I'll do my best to curb that "personal" info time down to a minimum. But for the few that don't dig it, I can show you tons of emails and comments to those that do.
If I do make changes and you like them, let me know. If you don't, DEFINITELY let me know. I'm going to need YOUR help to keep CNI going. CNI has an amazing global audience in the thousands and thousands. I don't want to lose that and hope to keep on building it. Please feel free to send in suggestions, criticisms and yes...even the hate can help improve. Good thing I don't have any of those pesky human feelings.
Thanks to everyone for always supporting us. And to the new folks tuning in or maybe just checking out an interview here and there, come back and check in on us every once in awhile. Hopefully, you'll like what you hear.
Host - Comic News Insider