Geekscape podcasts, news, features Wed, 01 Oct 2014 02:49:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 podcasts, news, features Geekscape no podcasts, news, features Geekscape TV-G ‘Taken 3′ Is Actually (And Unfortunately) Called ‘Tak3n’, Watch The First Trailer! Wed, 01 Oct 2014 02:49:17 +0000 Briefly: So Taken was cool. Taken 2 on the other hand, was so bad that I don’t remember a single thing about it… except for that it was bad. Taken 3 probably takes the concept a little too far, but at least there’s no possible way that it could be as bad as its new title, Tak3n.


Today marks the debut of the film’s first trailer and poster, and after watching the preview I can definitely say that I’m down for the film for a couple of reasons. First, Liam Neeson’s voice alone makes it worth watching. And second, the first film was really, really cool, so maybe everyone involved can recapture some of that for this third outing.

I mean, Neeson can’t just be doing this for the paycheque, right? Right!?

In any case, take a look at the poster and trailer below, and let us know what you think! Tak3n hits theatres on January 9th!



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Not CoolCoolCool: Yvette Nicole Brown Leaves ‘Community’ Wed, 01 Oct 2014 02:36:34 +0000 Briefly: We’re getting a sixth season of Community, which is absolutely incredible in itself, and something that we never thought would happen.

Sadly, Shirley will not be a part of it.

TVGuide broke the news earlier today, and we’ve been hanging our heads in sadness ever since. It was hard to be too upset with the actress however, when she explained why she left:

“My dad needs daily care and he needs me. The idea of being away 16 hours a day for five months, I couldn’t do it. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but I had to choose my dad.”

Family comes first, and rightly so.

How the show will handle her departure will certainly be interesting, but Yvette says that ”I am totally open to whatever Dan decides. I’m glad it won’t be hard for them to explain where she is. She has three kids, a degree and a business. There are a lot of ways to explain her [departure].” It was also noted that she may be open to guest appearances.

So, we’ve now lost Shirley, Pierce, and Troy (though there are some rumours that he’ll be making a return). Are you still excited for the sixth season? Or is half the cast disappearing too much for you?

We’ll be sure to share more Community news as soon as we hear it!

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Two New ‘Gotham’ Featurettes Dig Into Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, And Selina Kyle! Tue, 30 Sep 2014 21:52:31 +0000 Briefly: We’re just two weeks into Gotham‘s first season, and following two polarizing episodes and a new trailer showing off what we can expect to see this season, and now Fox has treated us to not one, but two new featurettes for the popular series.

One video digs into both the young, popular music loving Bruce Wayne and his stern butler and guardian Alfred, while the other gets us up close and personal with a young Selina Ky… er, sorry, Cat.

I’m feeling pretty mixed on Gotham so far. It’s had a few moments that I’ve loved, a bunch that I’ve hated, and some downright gorgeous cinematography. Let’s just hope that as the series progresses it pulls an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and goes from okay/mediocre to downright stellar.

Take a look at the featurettes below, and let us know what you think!

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Brand New, Pure “Gotham” Season Trailer For Gotham’s Junkies Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:59:25 +0000 A new trailer for Gotham has dropped today, so come get your fix, you scum of these streets.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: This is a very good trailer for Gotham. Now for everything else: I don’t quite get the purpose. We are week two into the first season of Gotham, and yet here is another trailer that’s supposed to hype us for the rest of the season. Shouldn’t the two episodes we’ve had already aired do that already?

Regardless, it’s a very good trailer if only because it disproves a lot of concerns that at least I had about Gotham: that it would give us the shitbillionth look at Batman’s rogues gallery. Instead, Gotham is shaping up to be what it should be, a sprawling city full of monsters, and having the first season populated by rogue gallery benchwarmers sets us up for the all-stars to come out later. For example we get a clean look at Victor Zsasz, who has been in a bunch of Batman media but is still not a household name.

We have a bunch of movies, animated series, video games, not to mention COMIC BOOKS, that it’s hard to get excited seeing a villain like The Riddler again. I honestly do not care about figuring out who could be The Joker. I don’t need an origin story for everything, and I don’t need to see guys like Joker or Penguin for the dozenth time. So I really hope Gotham gives us dudes who have gotten even less exposure than the Scarecrow (who, by the way, was criminally underutilized by Christopher Nolan).

I’ll go on a long rant about what is inherently wrong with the Gotham TV show soon and I’m sure I’ll do a follow-up, an end-of-the-season retrospective about how wrong or right I was, but for now just enjoy the trailer if you really can’t wait until next week for more Gotham. You’re like the junkies that put money in the pockets of these criminal scum.

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‘The Walking Dead’ Spinoff Reveals Six Character Descriptions! Mon, 29 Sep 2014 23:30:06 +0000 Briefly: AMC just ordered The Walking Dead spinoff series to pilot a few weeks ago, and we now have snippets of information on some of the series’ main characters.

Little is known about the series at this point, but The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman will act as executive producer along with Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert, while Sons of Anarchy writer Dave Erickson will act as showrunner on the new adaptation. The series is thought (though not confirmed) to be a prequel that chronicles the early days of the infection and zombie apocalypse.

Here’s who we’ll be seeing (via TVLine)

SEAN CABRERA | A Latino male in his early 40s, Sean is a good man trying to do right by everyone in his life.


CODY CABRERA | Sean’s whip-smart and rebellious teenage son. Known as the angriest kid in town.


NANCY TOMPKINS | A thirtysomething single mom to two kids, Nancy looks like the girl next door, but there’s an edge to her.


NICK TOMPKINS | Nancy’s screwed up teenage son. He’s too old to stay home, too scared to flee.


ASHLEY TOMPKINS | Nancy’s mostly level-headed teenage daughter. Her ambition is in direct proportion to her older brother’s failures. She loves her mom but it’s time to get out of Dodge.


ANDREA CHAPMAN | A somewhat wilted flower child, fortysomething Andrea — yep, another Andrea! — has retreated to the outskirts of the city to recover after a horrible marriage.

That’s right folks. We all loved Andrea so much the first time around that we’re getting another one.

All jokes aside, are you down for yet another version of The Walking Dead? Or is one series, a comic, and an incredible video game enough? Sound out below, and we’ll be sure to share more spinoff news as we hear it!



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Every Last Bullet: Watch A New Trailer For ‘The Evil Within’! Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:33:26 +0000 Briefly: We were pretty disappointed when Shinji Mikami’s return to survival-horror, The Evil Within, was pushed back to October, and our hands-on with the game back in June certainly didn’t table our excitement. But now the game is almost here, the delay is all-but-forgotten, and we’re more than eager for Mikami and co. to scare the pants off us.

The game is scheduled for release on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on October 14, and Bethesda today debuted a fantastic, extremely cinematic new trailer for the title.

Here’s what SJ thought when she played the game back at E3:

And it is scary. We screamed a little bit during our play through. And at one point, as we were sloshing waist deep through thick, congealing blood attempting to solve a puzzle to get to the next room, we were certainly viscerally affected by the well-realized world. Stealth and sneak attacks are preferred; noise and light draw unwanted attention. And the zombie/monster/box-man creatures? Only stay dead after you burn them. And matches are in short supply.

Between The Evil Within and Hideo Kojima/Guillermo Del Toro’s Silent Hills, it sounds like a phenomenal time to be a survival horror fan. Take a look at the trailer below, and let us know what you think! If you’re a PS4 owner and you haven’t checked out P.T., you’re definitely missing out!

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Geekscape Interviews: “A Town Called Dragon” Author Judd Winick Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:00:38 +0000 Renowned comic book writer Judd Winick and Legendary Comics have teamed up for A Town Called Dragon, a new comic book series about a small, good ol’ American town hiding one hell of a fire-breathing secret: It has kept hidden the world’s last dragon egg. And it has finally hatched.

I spoke to Judd Winick awhile back to ask why on Earth he unleashed a dragon in the middle of Colorado.


Off the bat I want to say I’m hooked. I love dragons, and who doesn’t? But what inspired you to put a dragon to terrorize a small Colorado town? What inspired the A Town Called Dragon?

Well, it’s an idea I’ve been kicking around for awhile. I always loved dragons, and I’ve always wanted to do a contemporary story about dragons. And fortunately or unfortunately, I did not have time to write and draw the story myself. I didn’t have a creator-owned outlet that I could jump into. So the story has been sitting in my head for awhile. Which allowed me to work out some of the kinks! You know, so I could come around to the idea that I wanted a story that finally wound up between being somewhere between dragon slayer and Northern Exposure meets Jaws. [laughs] Yeah. I like the idea of a small town taking on a dragon. That’s what it finally came down to. And then things started to fall into place as far as the last dragon egg and having a town that is a tourist-trap devoted to dragon stuff.

About the small town. I get a Roswell or Salem type of vibe from the city. Were they models for Dragon, Colorado? Did you do any traveling to those tourist towns? 

No, I mean, I’ve been to a lot of tourist towns. I’m an old dude, I’ve been all over the country for various reasons. And I’ve stayed in tourist-trap towns. And I like that as a motif, I do! [laughs] I like the idea of a small town that is giving up everything to just make a buck off whatever it is. I know for Salem, I’ve been there too, and you can’t throw a rock without hitting something that has a witch on it. It’s hilarious! And it’s barely shameless, but at the same time I find it to be kind of fun. Like, yeah, let’s go for it! These are people’s bread and butter! Witches, man. And that somebody’s bread and butter might be dragons, in the middle of ski country, kinda cracked me up.

I was incredibly amused that in the story, it was dragons that made Leif Erikson explore the Americas. Which is now one of my favorite historical facts.

Thank you so much! I am very proud of that one myself. [laughs]

It’s kind of a trend now to bring the fantastic into the real world — like Fables, Once Upon A Time — and to simultaneously explain history with the more mysterious. How do you intend to stay different from other stories?

Well, for one I hope it’s funny. I hope to do it with a lot of comedy. And I actually think a lot of the stuff is still pretty fertile ground. Looking at the most fantastical stuff and taking it to the most down-to-Earth story, I think we’re still ready to go there on a regular basis. Whether it’s Sleepy Hollow or this. I’m taking it from the point of view of the most regular bunch of people and now thrust with dealing with a dragon. And we’re not spending too much time hemming and awwing about figuring out if the dragon is real, or this guy is crazy, or “All your crackpot ideas, there are no dragons!” We kind of get right to it. Where everyone sees it. We move from, “What’s going on?” to “Oh my God, it’s a real dragon!” And I like that part of it. We’re not going to have a lot of hand-wringing. That is the non-Jaws aspect of it. We move along at a fast-clip. We don’t have a sheriff trying to convince the town the threat is real. When it shows up in the middle of town and it’s twenty-five feet tall and breathing fire, everyone believes him.

About the characters in the town. Particularly Cooper. He’s got a lot of poorly pent-up rage. The first panel we see him, he’s ready to do battle against the dragon. He’s yelling. He’s enraged. And then when we’re properly introduced to him in the diner, he lashes out at the mayor. What’s his deal?

You’re an excellent reader sir. Can I tell you that? [laughs] You’re picking up on every cue!

[laughs] Thank you!

This is all quite intentional and this will all be laid down. Cooper is at the center of our story, and what I liked about the way I got to tell the story is that [although] he’s at the center, but at first a little bit off the center. We don’t get to see that he’s going to be our protagonist right away. We’re told that right away he’s the guy, and when we’re told he’s not the guy, we wonder how does he get in the middle of it all. Yeah, Cooper has had a lot of disappointment. Things that have led him to be still in this small town running a diner and he’s resigned himself to what his fate is. And now his fate will change again, as we’ll see. He’s had a couple shots at the big show. And things have not turned out well at all. It’s sort of brought him back to where he started. So now here he is with an entirely different show in front of him. You’re right, he is definitely pissed, [laughs] and he definitely has a lot of questions and he’s going to find answers in an odd way: facing the dragon.

I’ve been looking over some of your other work. You’ve done The Life & Times of Juniper Lee, you’ve written Batman, you’ve written Green Lantern, you’re writing The Awesomes on Hulu, and of course you had the seminal graphic novel Pedro & Me. What are some of your influences? Particularly this book, but what influences you overall? 

From lots of places. I’m first and foremost a cartoonist. So I come to all of this from a place of growing up reading Bloom CountyAnd on the flip side I was reading superhero comics, which I never thought I’d get into. My love of superhero comics kind of gave way to me becoming a superhero writer which also gave way to other forms of storytelling. I pretty much thought my whole life was going to be sitting at a drafting table drawing cartoons. And, now I’ve come full circle again doing that. But, as far as influences, a lot of this stuff has always come from comedy and comedic-drama, more than anything else. I often talk about how some of the best drama are really funny, and how the best action-adventure are really, really funny. Everything from Raiders of the Lost Ark to Buffy to The Avengers. I think one of the great success Marvel is having is turning their comics into motion pictures is they understand that you’ve gotta have jokes. And you just need to know how to deliver it too.

Like the shawarma.

Yeah! Oh my God. You know, it’s the greatest capper to the movie. He’s doing this shawarma joke when he’s down on his back, and then they did the callback. The silent callback, “let’s not milk it.” It’s great. It’s hysterical, and it just makes you love the movie. And I’m as dark and as dreary and grim as anybody, I was the bringer of the grim storytelling to DC Comics in the late 90′s/early 00′s, I’m that guy. But also, I tried to make it funny. So my influences are in that way. Like Jaws. Jaws is funny. I think it’s one thing that taught me early on that you could do something pretty horrific but also managed to find the humor in it. So, yes, this story is totally rife with H.P. Lovecraft and old school, medieval sword and sorcery type of stuff. But it also is very much like an episode of Northern Exposure .

My reading of the book so far is the dragon as a metaphor for dark secrets that we hide from neighbors, or ugly lies underneath modern society. But that’s just me. What is it ultimately that you want to say with A Town Called Dragon?

I guess the big theme is that we are all here for a reason. That will be more obvious as the story goes on. There’s a reason why — this is not going to be a mystery or a spoiler — this is the basic storytelling trope of a ragtag group of misfits who band together to fight a monster. [laughs] I wanted to take that trop and work it in a way that was kind of funny, interesting, and exciting. But the underlying message is everyone is brought here together for a reason and they’re going to see it will spelled out to them quite clearly.


A Town Called Dragon is now available from Legendary Comics. Check out our review here.

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Geekscape Comics Reviews: “A Town Called Dragon” Issue #1 Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:00:57 +0000 What do you know about your hometown? I was born and raised in Edison, New Jersey. Indeed, it was named after Thomas Edison, who stole all his work from Tesla right here in beautiful Menlo Park. And by beautiful, I mean you can walk around at night and you won’t get shot. It has been ranked several times as the #2 or #35 best place to live, I can’t keep track. Or care. Obama came by to eat a sandwich here once. Kevin Smith bought one of his dogs at the mall. Susan Sarandon went to my grade school. It’s really boring. It doesn’t have a dragon or anything.

Yeah, a dragon. Judd Winick, the award-winning comic book writer, has tackled on an epic of sorts in his new series, A Town Called DragonAnd it’s pretty damn good.


Thousands and thousands of years are sandwiched between two major events: the killing of the last known dragon on Earth, and the birth, the hatching of a new egg. After killing the dragon, the legendary vikings — led by Leif Erikson, because of course — travel across the sea to a far away land to hide the egg. They meet a grisly fate, but ensured the egg will not see the light of day. And from there, we are in modern-day Colorado.

Dragon, Colorado is a tourist town. They know about their dragon history and they enjoy banking on it because it’s fun. If you’ve ever been to Salem, Massachusetts, or Roswell, New Mexico, it’s kind of like that except with dragons. Yet, beyond the dragon gimmick it’s a pretty unremarkable town, and only gets traffic from people coming in and out of the nearby ski resort. The town is populated by characters you would come to expect: the local weirdo who loves to tell tales, the Mayor who wants to milk the town’s gimmick for all its worth, and regular people trying to live a normal life. And for the most part, they do.

At the center of A Town Called Dragon is Cooper, a former high school football star who never lived up to his potential. The townspeople remember his time on a battlefield of sorts, and they hold it up high like a folk hero, much to his disdain. He’s clearly not satisfied with how his life turned out, and he refuses to bend to some of their whims. He runs a diner, untouched by anything dragon-related, and struggles to keep it that way. His friend Mickey alerts him to foreign agents seeking the egg, but no one believes him. And then, in the treacherous mountains where no one believes Mickey had survived climbing in such a short time, where he claims to have seen Germans trying to uncover the dragon egg, hell breaks loose.


There is about sixty pages in this comic and it goes by like a breeze. It’s the first issue, so it’s wrong to say that nothing happens, because they clearly and so cleanly do, but it’s obvious that you won’t see the terror you’d want to see on the first round. But again, that’s okay.

Even though you won’t see this tiny little town wrecked to shit by a dragon, you do see some action and it is drawn quite gloriously. The opening viking battle against the dragon is thrilling, and if you let yourself you can see this fight happening like a movie. Brown armor and sandy dust mixed with vivid red blood, it contrasts itself nicely with the more serene midwestern American town later in the comic. The art is remarkably unified. You could whiz back and fourth between the epic ancient scenery with the quaint little town and it looks, appropriately and expectedly, like the same story. While the art isn’t realistic and detailed like you would see in a Marvel or DC book, there is a stylistic edge here. It must come from the compromise between the fantastical element and the modern setting, but it works here even if it largely sticks to a single color palette.


The story has only just begun, and although the book is a pretty lengthy sixty pages, it goes by quick and you’re left waiting for the next issue like I am. It’s a book very much worth checking out, and is probably one of the most unique modern fantasies on shelves right now. It’s just a bummer that you might finish the issue before you leave the parking lot.

Geekscape gives A Town Called Dragon #1 a 3/5 stars. It is available now.

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Geekscape Interviews: “Valentine” Author Alex de Campi Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:00:57 +0000 “We know exactly what the end will be. And what’s coming before the end. And it’s all outlined and waiting. I just have to finish writing it.”

That’s what Alex de Campi, the force behind some of the best fantasy and sci-fi graphic novels out today, told me about the inevitable conclusion to one of her most popular series, ValentineNoted for pioneering comics into the digital age but renowned for its storytelling, Valentine is a fantasy epic that is all about embracing the unknown: A soldier of Napoleon’s forces during the harsh winter of 1812 finds himself at the center of a conflict between his world and the world of magic.

“And that’s another thing I love about Thrillbent. They’re not snippy about their platform,” she says enthusiastically about her publishers. “They just want people to read comics. So they’re like, okay, we’re on Thrillbent, and we’re also on Comixology. And even though they’re just ‘a distributor,’ they were incredibly, incredibly supportive of Valentine all through our early days. And so I really wanted to get back on there where we also have fans.”

And appreciative of those fans she is. Thrillbent has unleashed Valentine Volume Two, and I talk to de Campi about everything Valentine, 80′s sci-fi, Point Blank, and her love of military history.


Valentine is often cited as the work that proved comics can live in the digital medium. Its very storytelling is unique to digital webpages, tension unfolds in the art and transitions in ways even the human eye can’t replicate on paper. Did you intend to make Valentine prove the digital format? What led you to choose its distribution method?

We weren’t really out to prove anything. I’m a great believer in serialized, visualized fiction. And I wanted to do a book that people could just, you know not everyone sits in front of their laptop. There come times when you’re in the doctor’s waiting room, on the subway, on the bus, just between something. On break from work. On the balcony. And you don’t want to be sitting in front of a large screen. But you’ve got a phone in your pocket at almost all times. So, you pull it out and you can read a little bit of Valentine. And that’s what I was really trying to create. Something that could fill up ten really good minutes of your life between other things on your phone. And, [in terms of] working visually, some people have trouble reading comics on a page. Especially people who are coming to them later in life. Whereas looking at Valentine on your phone — you know, even if you find comics on a page a little difficult, or you don’t like going to comic stores, or you’re just confused by the amount of titles out there — here is something that you can just enjoy. And that’s all we intended to. There’s no one way to do comics. I do comics on the printed page that I love, I do some digital work that I love, so it’s fun to try new things. But I’m not saying that everything should be like Valentine.

Our hero Valentine is a soldier of Napoleon suffering the Russian winter of 1812. It’s not a setting even movies visit often. What was it about that time and place that attracts you that other eras don’t?

I love history. I’m a voracious reader and researcher. And I absolutely love history. And I think that more writers should be into history.

Oh yeah, definitely.

And I especially love military history. Which admittedly it’s not something that you think of when you think a female comics writer, you know we tend to get pigeon-hold into doing things with talking cats and stuff, but actually there’s a hugely wide variety of female talent and we write all sorts of things. A lot of my work coming out in the next year or two is actually set in specific time periods… [But] there are reasons Valentine is set in that time period mostly because they allow me to do a nice twist later on, which I can’t reveal because, spoilers! But there is a long, thought-out reason. And it’s ultimately, incredibly visually arresting: the white of the snow, red of the blood. There is the blue of the frozen bodies. It’s a very visual spectacle. And you automatically throw your characters in there, and you know that they’re in peril. Blizzards are terrifying. Being alone in blizzards is terrifying, and cold. And it was one of the great military tragedies of all time. One of the great disasters. Half a million men marched in and fifty-thousand marched out.


And it wasn’t really the Russians that killed them. It was the winter. It was sickness. It was lack of supplies. They didn’t bring coats. They marched into Moscow in the summer. And no one really did anything in the winter. They got tied up in negotiating with the Russians until too late in the year and didn’t get out in time. They had these paper-thin boots and people were just dying by the score. I could write an entire series on just the Russian campaign.

I would love to read that.

Maybe some day I will. [laughs]

Genre fiction today has plenty of stories that blend the modern with the supernatural, bizarre fantasy. But you’ve decided instead on early 19th century. Exactly what inspired the story of Valentine? To put mythical monsters in 1812?

Valentine is an epic story. We need to be careful with telling people it’s a work of historical fantasy, because it’s very much not. So, all I can say is that part of it is being suitable for the digital serialized storytelling, there are tons of twists that come at you when you don’t expect it. And that’s one of the great joys for me, keeping the reader on their toes. I will say that if you are expecting it to be entirely set in 1812, you are shit out of luck. The idea of Valentine came from a very simple phrase that kept echoing through my mind. Which is, all the fairy tales are true. Which has inspired a number of famous stories, but my concept was more… if you read books that you’ll probably never read unless you’re nuts, like Sir James George Frazer’s The Golden Bough, or Joseph Campbell’s Hero of a Thousand Faces, which more people have read, those are both very flawed works for reasons I won’t get into here, because that’s a whole literary/anthropological, people-make-assumptions conversation that doesn’t necessarily have a place here, but there is a a lot commonality in a lot of the tales we tell around the world. Not necessarily for the reasons that Campbell or Frazer draw, but we all tale stories. There are always dragons. There are always bad, undead spirits. There are good spirits. Partially us confronting our fears of nature, of the unknown, or weather, or death and dying, or sickness. Of leaving things unfinished. And so all these fears coalesce into these stories. And my rather simple explanation of that is, there’s a reason, not just our commonality of these fears across all cultures, that cause these. There is a belief in magic everywhere. You could say, in some ways, that magic is what we call things we don’t understand. Much of technology for us right now is magic. Back in the old days, someone recovering too quickly or falling too in love, or suddenly falling dead, that’s magic. There is obviously no magic now, but what if there was? What if something changed as the Earth “grew up”? Admittedly humans have only been on Earth for like 1% of the Earth’s total lifespan. But what if at some point, very early on, the barriers between our world and other worlds were softer and there was magic? And as Earth grew into “young adulthood” and it all hardened, creatures couldn’t pass back and forth. Magic kind of drained away, because science and physics. And then what would happen to the creatures that got stuck here? Because, obviously if you’re an immortal, supernatural being, f*cking with humans is a shit load of fun. Because we’re soft, we’re squishy, we’re great fun to manipulate, and all you have to do is a little bit of magic and we give you all our money … But then the magic gets drained away. And then you’re no longer really super magical. Hunting humans has gotten pretty dull. And they’re stuck in their human forms. That’s not cool, like when you used to be a dragon or a unicorn and now you’re a f*cking cart horse.


There’s a little more humor in Thrillbent’s release of Volume 2. What allowed you to relax a little bit that you couldn’t before?

There’s always humor in my works. There’s some pretty funny moments in part one, but also in part one you’re dealing with, as I said, one of the greatest military tragedies of all time. I didn’t really want to yuck it up. But the humor is mostly at the expense of Valentine, and I think that is an accurate perception that the way the characters live in a place where the humor is taking place. It’s supposed to be the world of your dreams, and this is what happens when the characters turn out to be quite petty. Valentine must feel like a very out of place, very insignificant, almost slightly abused person in there, but that’s how these people always treat humans. They needed him, and now they don’t need him, and they’re bored with him, and they’re increasingly bored with him, and they’re just gonna be nasty to him. And that’s partially where the humor comes in! That’s why it’s a little bit lighter, because it’s a trivial society. You’re going from a great military tragedy and the destruction of everything Valentine understands and loves, to this hyperficial, set society. And also I’m poking fun at the tropes of fantasy [but] in ways that make sense. I grew up reading fantasy and science fiction, and I always say that every bad fantasy novel written in the 80′s, most of the ones in the 70′s and a couple in the 90′s — before they all became ten-volume, 900-page epics — I’ve read them all. If you go to and other bad sci-fi/fantasy cover blogs, I’ve read all of them. So I know these tropes and I love them, and I love tweaking them a little bit.

This is such an epic world you’ve built, but there’s only so much you can put in. Were there any particular ideas you wanted to explore in Valentine but couldn’t?

The pacing is quite fast, as is the pacing in a lot of my works, and yeah, I could have done story after story just in the world they’re in in the next few chapters. I could have done Valentine: The Early Years, in fact in the paperback of Valentine that Image put out, we did a 40-page story on Valentine. You can still buy the paperback on my website. Buy my stuff! [laughs]

What were some of your influences specifically on Valentine?

One specific influence for the stuff in the World of the Dawn in the chapters we’re getting into, was Michael Moorcock’s The Dancers at the End of Time, I grew up reading a ton of Michael Moorcock. [laughs] As any self-respecting sci-fi/fantasy nerd has. And Dancers at the End of Time is probably my favorite of his, which is an unusual choice.

I wanted to give props to your artist Christine Larsen for her phenomenal work. What influenced the look and the aesthetic of Valentine?

It’s all Christine. It’s all her. I’m rather specific about color, and so I was really pleased when Christine and the colorist on the episodes you’re seeing with Tim Durning, Christine herself has gone back to doing colors in the new episodes, but Tim was coloring from about chapter 4 onwards in the old stuff. We talked very specifically about the language of color. We definitely made a choice the opening sequences should be extremely desaturated, except for the red. And when Valentine goes through the gate, everything is extremely saturated and bright and shiny. Each scene has a color, a bit like the John Boorman film Point Blank in that respect, but we play with saturation a lot more than he does. And if you haven’t seen the original Point Blank, go see it.

You said the big idea behind Valentine is to sort of embrace the unknown. Why is that such an attractive theme to you? Why does it speak to you so much?

We have to do things that scare us to grow as humans. If we stay in a safe area the whole time, we’ll be safe, but nothing interesting will happen. Things will happen to us and we will not happen to things. And I believe in going out there and happening. And that comes from embracing the unknown. Like, doing a comic for a phone. I pitched it to Vertigo in 2005 and they asked, “Why would anyone read a comic on their phone? That’s stupid, go away.” And I was like, “OK. That’s fine.” Valentine is embracing and learning about the unknown and the dark edges and the fringes of our universe. It goes hand in hand with the way Valentine is presented as a digital comic. And it was embraced! We were downloaded half a million times on Comixology. That’s a LOT. [laughs] I stopped paying attention after a quarter million.

What can we look forward to in the future of the story?

The climactic battle between good and evil. Basically. [laughs] Roland and company come back, lots of people come back. It’s Valentine vs. the world. The stakes continue to rise. The love affair gets more complicated. It all gets very difficult for poor Valentine.


Your previous works have run the gamut of genre categories. You’ve done tween mystery in manga, French noir, political thrillers, and now fantasy. What other genres do you intend to tackle next? Are there any you’ve always wanted to explore?

I’ve always said I’ve wanted to do a western. A lot of my stories are western, even though they’re not marketed as such. In some ways, next year is my year of coming home to the story types I truly love. Which tend to be spy thrillers. I’m doing a five-issue spy thriller with Matt Southworth who did the first volume of Stumptown. Wonderful artist and fantastic writer in his own right. I’m doing a story with Perez that’s an eight-issue noir, sort of mafia noir set in Cuba starting at the end of next year. And these are all pretty much written. I was writing issue two of the spy thing with Matt, and I said to him, “I think I’ve accidentally written a western.” There are no cowboys in it, but it has a showdown at the OK Corrall type of feel to it. I have an ongoing theme in my work of the people out of time or the way of life is changing, or have changed, by people outside of their own culture. And that presents itself as exploring what it’s like to be an ex-patriot, because I’ve lived outside of the United States for a long time. Both in Hong Kong and then London, with short stints in Manila and South America. So that’s something I’m very knowledgable about from first-hand life experiences.

Some of the stories that we love are in some ways becoming redundant or irrelevant because of technology. The spy story, what is one man with a gun when there are cameras everywhere? So westerns are always love stories about the passing of an era. The great cattle farms are being broken up. The railroad is coming. There is some sort of weather: drought, fire, whatever. It’s about the end to a way of life. And I write that a lot.

Valentine Volume 2 is now available on Thrillbent and Comixology. You can keep up with Alex de Campi at

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The Saint Mort Show Episode 99: Alvree of Ashen Phoenix Mon, 29 Sep 2014 00:31:21 +0000 I was at RetroCon this weekend and got a chance to sit down with Alvree of Ashen Phoenix. Alvree is one of the quirkiest and interesting guests I’ve ever had. Instead of talking Cosplay we ended up discussing how great Horror Movies and Halloween is. A perfect way to end September and kick off October.

The song playing during the intro is II by Athletics off their album Who You Are Is Not Enough.

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Subscribe to Us on iTunes



]]> 0 Alvree,Ashen Phoenix,Buffy,clowns,cosplay,costumes,Halloween,Horror Movies,Musicals,podcast,saint-mort-show,Stephen Kings IT Alvree is a professional model/cosplayer for Ashen Phoenix who sat down and talked to me about Horror Movies and Halloween Alvree is a professional model/cosplayer for Ashen Phoenix who sat down and talked to me about Horror Movies and Halloween Geekscape no
Fantastic Fest Review Roundup Part 3 – ‘The Babadook’, ‘Goodnight Mommy’, & ‘Everly’ Sat, 27 Sep 2014 16:29:28 +0000 Fantastic Fest is now over. All the good nerd boys and girls have gone home to hibernate until next year. It’s a time a quiet reflection and rehydration.

It was a strange year for the fest. In some ways it felt like its first time at bat instead of a festival with 10 years of experience. The new venue, the new ticketing system, and some rainy weather lent the whole thing a bit of a loose and chaotic vibe. Gone were the ordered lines and ample personal space. In their place was an overstuffed herd of geek cattle that often turned into wild stampede when the gates were opened.

These are relatively minor setbacks, however, and are sure to be fixed by next year. The heart remained intact and the programming was as good as its ever been. I was not able to see as much as I had hoped, due to life constantly getting in the way. It Follows, Cub, Nightcrawler, Force Majeure, The Duke of Burgundy, and Felt were all buzzed about movies that I didn’t get a chance to see. Thankfully, with the rise of digital distribution channels, all of these will likely be available to the general public very soon.

But lets move on to what I did see. The three films I’m talking about today were all thematically of a piece. All deal with motherhood, in their own way, and none of them are pretty.


The Babadook

The Babadook was a bit of a known quantity. It has played other festivals and has garnered a reputation as being one of the scariest films in recent memory. Perhaps my expectations were too high but I did not find the movie all that scary. What I did find, though, was an incredible look into the stresses of single parenthood.

The movie follows single mother Amelia, played brilliantly by Essie Davis, as she tries to raise her tyrant of a son, Oskar. Oskar’s father died in a car crash driving Amelia to the hospital to deliver Oskar, and Amelia has been living with a buried resentment for her son ever since. It doesn’t help that he’s loud, disobedient, and seems to have a delusional obsession with monsters.

Watching Amelia be slowly beat down by a son she has to actively try not to hate is the most compelling aspect of The Babadook. It’s a movie that could have worked even if the stress and resentment wasn’t physically manifested in the form of the titular fairy tale monster.

The Babadook is a creature from a pop up childrens book that mysteriously shows up in the house one night. Oskar asks to be read the book as a night time story, which ends up unleashing the monster in the house. The monster itself is of a somewhat silly design, knowingly harkening back to the silent film era, but manages to raise a few hairs due to some expert direction that wisely doesn’t show too much.

The real horror comes from watching Amelia become broken down and possessed by this spirit, which causes her to finally act on the negative feelings she has for her son. The movie cleverly makes the audience switch their allegiances as we realize that Oskar is just a misunderstood boy who hasn’t been given the love and guidance that a child needs. He truly loves his mother and has wanted nothing more than to protect her from the monsters he’s always known are there.

It all ends up being a rather sweet movie of parent and child finally coming to know one another.


Ich Seh, Ich Seh (Goodnight Mommy)

On the other end of the spectrum is this years secret screening, Goodnight Mommy. The last word I’d use to describe this film is sweet. In fact, by the end I was physically exhausted from how hard I was tensing up during the climactic scenes. It’s a harrowing experience.

The movie follows, once again, a single mother struggling to raise a possibly delusional child. This time the struggle is amplified as the mother is dealing with twin boys.

Goodnight Mommy has a reversed trajectory from The Babadook. We begin the film on the side of the boys. We stay with them as they play and run around their beautiful modernist home in the country. Mommy is a minor celebrity and in an effort to fight off age, she has had some cosmetic surgery. As a result, her head is completely bandaged and she mostly hides away in her bedroom to heal. From the children’s perspective, though, this makes their mother appear to be absolutely monstrous. A ghoul hiding in the shadows of their home. It doesn’t help that when the bandages are removed, she doesn’t quite look like Mom anymore.

This causes the boys to doubt that mom is really mom, and it begins a supremely uncomfortable antagonistic relationship that culminates in some of the most disturbing scenes I’ve ever seen on film.

Goodnight Mommy legitimately shook me, and that’s a testament to its quality, but I did think there was one major problem with the film. There is supposed to a mystery central to the plot, something that, once revealed, is supposed to change the context completely. The issue is that this mystery is strongly telegraphed and painfully obvious. You’ll know what’s going on with the boys within the first 10 minutes of the movie, which makes a lot of the first half of the film tedious as it tries to draw out this secret.

Once it abandons this and the facts are laid bare, however, Goodnight Mommy turns into truly effective horror. Make sure you have the stomach for it.



Closing out the single mother trilogy is Everly. An over the top action cheesefest from director Joe Lynch.

Salma Hayek stars as Everly, a woman who is kidnapped and sold into sex slavery soon after the birth of her daughter. Now, years later, she is trapped in a hotel with other women in similar situations. The movie begins with Everly naked and defenseless following an offscreen incident of sexual abuse. She finds a gun that’s been stashed away for her and proceeds to kill everyone in the room.

The rest of the film takes place in a single hotel room as Everly fights off wave after wave of bad guys trying to kill her, all while trying to contact the mother and daughter she hasn’t seen in years.

That makes the film sound far more serious than it actually is. Everly actually reminded me of the wacky genre films of the 80’s. The enemies often seem like they come out of an arcade fighting game. Jokes and cheesy one liners abound. The violence is over the top. It’s quite a bit of fun, but also comes off as tonally inappropriate. We are supposed to really feel for Everly as she scrapes and scratches her way through every encounter but its hard to take any of it seriously when the villains are constantly giving into action movie cliches like giving speeches with their backs turned instead of killing Everly when they have the chance or fighting her one by one when they could easily overtake her by fighting together.

Overall the movie didn’t really work for me. It uncomfortably straddled the line between trying to be a real movie and being a cartoon. It’s a decent late night tv movie though.

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Jump Into ‘Dracula Untold’ With A New Featurette! Thu, 25 Sep 2014 23:29:48 +0000 Universal today released a new featurette that digs deeper into Dracula Untold. The brutal looking film digs into the untold (duh) origin of Dracula, and looks to paint the character in a different light than we usually see him: a hero who turns to darkness to protect the ones he loves.

The film stars Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Diarmaid Murtagh, Samantha Barks, and more, and hits theatres on October 17th. Take a look at the features below, and let us know what you think!

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Geekscape Movie Reviews: ‘Hector and the Search for Happiness’ Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:46:25 +0000 Hector and the Search for Happiness is a film that sees Simon Pegg in a much more serious role, and he delivers.

Hector is a psychiatrist in need of some inspiration. His clients are boring him, he feels as though he is making no difference in life, and while he loves his girlfriend, he feels the need to explore the world for happiness. So he goes on a quest to ask people the question: What makes you happy?


His trip takes him all over the world, starting in China, where he meets a wealthy banker (played by Stellan Skarsgard) who shows him a night on the town. He visits Africa, where he meets up with an old friend and tries to help the poor, and has fantastic adventures. From there he visits an old flame, played by Toni Collette, and an old professor, played by Christopher Plummer.


What attracted me to this movie, first off, was that I read the book, and of course actor Simon Pegg. But if you’re expecting Shaun of the Dead kind of humor, you will be disappointed. It’s much more of a dramady. The casting also drew me to the movie, and the stars did not disappoint. Besides Pegg, Plummer and Collette, the film also included Jean Reno (The Professional, Mission Impossible) as a drug dealer in Africa and Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher, Surrogates) as Hector’s girlfriend.


Overall, the film had its funny moments, of course, but was also quite deep and touching. If you’re in the mood for a feel-good film with a bit of comedy and adventure thrown in, this is your movie.

4/5 stars.

Hector and the Search for Happiness opens in theaters this Friday, September 26th. Here is the trailer:

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‘Jupiter Ascending’ Gets An Action-Packed New Trailer! Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:03:44 +0000 Briefly: Following the film’s delay back in June, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures today debuted the third trailer for next year’s anticipated Wachowski film, Jupiter Ascending.

This trailer (like the last ones) shows a return to sci-fi-action for the directors, whose previous venture Cloud Atlas failed to capture critics and viewers alike. I thought the film looked absolutely brilliant from its trailers and advertising, but felt that the full feature was an unmemorable, dull mess.

I certainly hope that the very sci-fi film can bring the spark of The Matrix back once again. Only time will tell of course, but for now, at least we have this damn cool trailer. This preview tells us much more about the plot of the film than we’ve seen thus far, and it looks damn flashy while doing it.

Take a look at Jupiter Ascending‘s third trailer below, and let us know if you’re excited! The film stars Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Douglas Booth, and plenty of others, and hits theatres on February 6th.

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The New Trailer For ‘Big Hero 6′ Is The Best One Yet! Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:45:05 +0000 Briefly: Marvel is already having a great year, but they’re not even close to being done with us (or our wallets) yet. Sure Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the best films of the year, but Marvel and Disney have also teamed up to create the first Marvel animated feature: Big Hero 6.

The film is “an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the CG-animated “Big Hero 6″ hits theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.”

Today, Disney debuted a new trailer for the film. It definitely gives us a much better look at the feature’s plot, and even goes into the origins of Baymax. You can take a look at the video below, and be sure to let us know what you think!

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In Case You Missed It – September 2014 Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:23:21 +0000 The barren Summer months of watered-down releases have finally come and gone. August left much to be desired, but September promises to deliver a fantastic collection of films arriving on DVD. Two of 2014′s finest early-year offerings headline a strong class of titles work checking out this month.

#1. Chef


Jon Favreau puts all of his many talents on display as the writer, director and star of Chef, a heartwarming tale of a culinary genius desperately searching for a reasonable platform to creatively express his passion for cooking. And after a difference in opinion with his boss and a twitter battle with one of the most powerful food critics around costs him his job, he embarks on a food-truck journey with his chef-sidekick (played by John Leguizamo) and son. With a budget of merely $10 million, this little festival darling tells a story that is both tender and uplifting. Chef stands tall as one of 2014′s finest films and an experience that everyone savor. (September 30th)

#2. The Fault in Our stars


Another very impressive film coming to DVD this September is Josh Boone’s adapted teenage drama, The Fault in Our Stars. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star as Hazel and Gus, a pair of ill teenagers who meet at a cancer support group. And no matter how much Hazel tries to distance herself from Gus to avoid an inevitable heartbreak, the witty and spry young man refuses to give up so easily. Catering to the emotions and intended to tug at the heartstrings, there’s no escaping the remarkable love story at the center of The Fault in our Stars.(September 16th)

#3. Neighbors


One of 2014′s most notable comedies will be hitting shelves this month as well. Nicholas Stoller’s riotous R-rated comedy, Neighbors, follows a young married couple (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) who’s surprised to discover that a fraternity has purchased the house next door to them. Tip-toeing a fine line between adulthood and the college-lifestyle, they soon realize that they can’t keep up with party habits of their neighbors (Zac Efron and Dave Franco). High on improv comedy and desperate to deliver the shock-appeal, Neighbors is an indisputably hilarious effort that even culminates with a well-intended message. If you’re seeking some raunchy laughs, then look no further. (September 23rd)

Honorable Mention: While I unsatisfied with Godzilla (9/16) and suggest staying away from Draft Day (9/2) altogether, there are plenty of other secondary titles worth looking in to. A ton of praise has been given to one of 2014′s highest grossing films, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (9/9), so fans of the Marvel Universe will want to check that out. Various Sundance selections I got a chance to view include God’s Pocket (9/9), which is a fun watch for people from the Philly area, Cold in July (9/30), a highly praised festival favorite that I didn’t love, and the decent family drama Hellion (9/30). Three other indie titles I’m interested in seeing are Jesse Eisenberg in Night Moves (9/2), Guy Pearce in The Rover (9/23) and James Franco in Palo Alto (9/9).

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Here’s The New Trailer For The Generic-Yet-Creepy Looking ‘Ouija’ Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:19:38 +0000 Briefly: Sure, the whole thing looks insanely generic, but it also looks pretty creepy. While I thought the Ouija segments in films like Paranormal Activity were very effective… I don’t know how it could be turned into an entire feature.

Enter Ouija, the entirely generic yet oddly satisfying adaptation of the ancient paranormal communication device Hasbro board game.

In Ouija, a group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board. Stiles White directs the supernatural thriller that is produced by Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller (The Purge, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th) alongside Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity and Insidious series, The Purge), Bennett Schneir (Battleship) and Hasbro. Juliet Snowden and Stiles White wrote the script for Ouija, and Universal will distribute the film worldwide.

Take a look at the trailer below, and let us know what you think! Ouija hits theatres October 24th!

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Colin Firth Is A BAMF In The New Trailer For ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:38:53 +0000 Briefly: We’d almost be lining up for Kingsman: The Secret Service right about now, had it not been for that unfortunate delay to February of last year.

Instead of seeing the feature, it looks like we’ll have to settle for this awesome new trailer, in which Colin Firth kicks some serious ass.

The performances look fantastic, the action is bad-ass, and we really cannot wait to see more. Take a look at the trailer below, and let us know what you think. Kingman: The Secret Service stars Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Taron Egerton and Samuel L. Jackson, and hits theatres on February 13th, 2015.

Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, X-Men First Class), Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

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Colin Trevorrow Tweets Mysterious ‘Jurassic World’ Photo Tue, 23 Sep 2014 20:00:45 +0000 Briefly: Sure, we already know some of what’s set to happen in Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, but one prior uncertainty was just where in the Jurassic Park franchise this film would sit: was it a reboot? Was it connected? I don’t recall seeing any of that information… until now.

Trevorrow has celebrated Autumn’s coming by posting a rather revealing photo to twitter. It’s an image that should definitely resonate with fans of the franchise, and one that leads to many questions about just how Jurassic World came to be. Take a look at the photo below, and you’ll see what I mean.


Yep, that sign and its fateful, spinning arrows partially led Dennis Nedry to his untimely demise, and a shaving cream can full of embryo’s to be forgotten, until now? Sure, they only had 36 hours of cooling, but science has come a long way since Jurassic Park, hasn’t it?

In any case, especially after the disaster that was Jurassic Park 3, I’m more than excited for a new take on the series. Jurassic World hits theatres on July 12th, 2015!

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‘True Detective’s Second Season To Star Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn Tue, 23 Sep 2014 19:10:28 +0000 Briefly: You can stop speculating. HBO has finally, finally revealed just who will be taking the starring roles in the next season of their more-than-phenomenal series, True Detective.

Season two will begin production of its eight-episode second season later this fall, and ScorpionFast and Furious 6, and Community director Justin Lin will helm the first two episodes.

So who’s starring?


Colin Farrell will play Ray Velcoro, a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him.


Vince Vaughn is Frank Semyon, a career criminal in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner.

We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on any additional casting, but be sure to let us know what you think of the news so far! One thing we know for certain: the premiere is too damned far away!

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