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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 399  (Vol. 8, No. 46). This edition is for the week of November 12--18, 2007.

The Tampa Film Review For November
by Nolan B. Canova and Chris Woods
The Tampa Giant Comic Con and Toy Show For November
by Nolan B. Canova
"Before The Devil Knows You're Dead"
DVD Review: "Mothra vs Godzilla"

Tampa Comic Con Report - Nov. 11, 2007
Next Week .... Passing On .... Now I Can Concentrate On World Peace .... Golden Globe Time .... Should I Get In Line Now? .... .... .... .... Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 33: Sean Connery e
Comic Books and UFOs

Ex-Pilots Demand Re-opening UFO Investigations
Readers Comments

The Changing Face of Comics
Marvel is putting some of its older comics online, hoping to reintroduce young people to the X-Men and Fantastic Four by showcasing the original issues in which such characters appeared. It's a tentative move onto the Internet: Comics can only be viewed in a Web browser, not downloaded, and new issues will only go online at least six months after they first appear in print.

This is but one of several moves by the big comics publishers that has slowly unfolded for years and will continue: not only trying to re-introduce older characters to a younger audience via their natural habitat (in front of a computer screen), but parlaying the internet into the next likeliest distribution medium for the struggling art form.

Dark Horse Comics now puts its monthly anthologies "Dark Horse Presents" up for free viewing on its MySpace site. DC Comics has also put issues up on MySpace, and recently launched the competition-based Zuda Comics, which encourages users to rank each other's work, as a way to tap into the expanding Web comic scene.

In the old days we could find a comics spinner rack at any local drug store or five-and-dime. These days the primary outlet for these publications are specialty comics shops and comic conventions, many of which are out-of-the-way for the casual reader/collector. (I'm pleased to say my local Borders Books still has a comics spinner rack.)

Letters to the Editor
Over the years, the youngest reader demographic, the one traditionally targeted by publishers, has dropped off the radar due to more colorful distractions like, say, video games. And, of course, the price of comics has increased to a point that takes them off the list of passive entertainment for any age group and encourages collecting as an investment -- which is a sub-industry in itself -- but takes it away from its original purpose.

While I'm all for the adoption of internet distribution as a way to revitalize the comics biz, I can't help but feel sad that I may, in my lifetime, see the extinction of its hard-copy, printed form.

Increasingly, the newest titles in print sport a more cinema-like layout with simple rectangular panels filled with spectacular and colorful, albeit computer-enhanced, artwork. Granted, this may help enforce any movie-related tie-ins for a consistent look, but I think we're missing the point if we see start seeing comics as simply a printed version of a movie -- or movie wannabe. In my humble opinion, the much-prized hand-crafted look of older comics (which I always found desirable, especially when you could tell who-drew-what at a glance) has eroded in many current computer-enhanced titles. But....I digress.

One of the new moves planned for computer display is "frame-by-frame" sequencing, read one panel at a time. That sounds convenient on the surface, but suggests a homogenization of dimension that exploits a let's-pretend-we're-watching-a-DVD-version-of-this psychology. (I keep thinking I'm looking at a storyboard for an action movie.) One version of this I truly enjoyed was the old Stan Lee website sporting "webisodes" of comic stories he wrote set to Flash animations. I think that was pulled off really well, but that was designed specifically for web-browser viewing.

For the moment, the idea (as best as I can determine) of the comics-on-the-'net is to promote shopping for the printed versions at the store. All fine and well. I just hope the seductive convenience of scrolling through webpages for our comics reading doesn't eventually completely replace the neighborhood spinner rack.

But hey, just think how much more valuable those old Golden and Silver-Age titles are going to be -- all printed on cheap newsprint via 4-color press -- when it all goes electronic.

Ex-Pilots Demands New UFO Investigation
Paranormal fan that I am, I know I missed a golden opportunity a couple weeks ago to spotlight Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich's claim he'd seen a UFO. He joins such UFO political luminaries as Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in putting a sort of fringe legitimacy on UFO investigations (for some of us it was always legitimate, but you know....)

An international panel of two dozen former pilots and government officials called on the U.S. government on Monday to reopen its generation-old UFO investigation as a matter of safety and security given continuing reports about flying discs, glowing spheres and other strange sightings (emphasis was placed on post-9/11 sightings, but many older cases beg re-examination as well). The panelists from seven countries, including former senior military officers, said they had each seen a UFO or conducted an official investigation into UFO phenomena.

It is unclear if Kucinich's admission, said during a televised debate, was the catalyst for this latest staging.

The government and the public has had a very uneasy and difficult communication on the subject of UFOs whose modern history is generally agreed to start with the 1947 crash at Roswell, New Mexico (the Air Force contends it was a downed balloon train). Dozens of high-profile historical cases include Betty & Barney Hill's 1961 alien abduction, and the 1993 "Phoenix Lights" where thousands of Arizona residents (including the governor) witnessed what they thought was a super-huge triangular craft floating over the city (the Air Force said it was suggested by the outline of dropped light flares during night-time excercises).

The Air Force investigated 12,618 UFO reports from 1947 to 1969 in what was known as Project Blue Book. Investigators concluded that the incidents posed no threat and there was no evidence of space aliens or a super technology in operation.

"Since the termination of Project Blue Book, nothing has occurred that would support a resumption of UFO investigations," the Air Force said on its Web site.

That doesn't stop them from blacking out huge parts of Freedom of Information Act documents requested relating to UFOs, so I, of course, beg to differ.

Readers' Comments

The Readers' Comments section for this issue of PCR is now closed. To continue to interact, please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor! Comments below are posted beginning with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
Nolan [20-11-2007 00:38] 
Russell, hello. Re: ED Tucker, one word: Retrorama. Please scroll to the nav bar.

Re: Joel Wynkoop's comment. He is referring to this month's notation in the Tampa Comic Con review. He and Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc have different versions of events leading to the production of her movie. I didn't mean to imply you were lying, Joel, sorry if it came off that way.

To Puff Chrissy: at least the battle moved to the message board where it belongs.

Puff lives in Poland, everybody. I was kidding about Siberia.
Nolan [18-11-2007 18:59] 
Puff, you mean in Siberia or wherever you are?
Puff Chrissy [18-11-2007 15:46] 
God its cold here today.
Joel D. Wynkoop [17-11-2007 23:27] 

I don't know if that clarafication was aimed at me, but I was originally asked by Andrea to do "A man of two worlds" long ago, it was only when she got mad at me and sent me her hate mail that she didn't want me to do it, I would never lie to you or jerk you around, your friendship means to much to me. I also have the original script and draft for it that she gave me when she asked me to direct it.

Joel Wynkoop
RUSSELL [17-11-2007 02:12]  
hi this is Rusty the guy who has all of DR PAUL BEARER'S stuff how you been is ED TUCKER still around I found his myspace but he hasn't been on sents july just wanted to know if he ever wanted to part with his stuff to let me know
Nolan [15-11-2007 09:18] 
To Puff Chrissy: I, too, would like to see "The Quiet Place" re-made.

Re: "Unearthed 2: Electric Boogaloo". I'm in!
Puff Chrissy [15-11-2007 08:05]  
I'd like to see The Quiet Place being remade.

I'd also like to see Joe Davison star in Unearthed 2: Electric Boogaloo, where Detective Jeff Juransky (Davison) must travel back in time with the help of his new partner, Rufus Profundus (Nolan Canova) who is two weeks from retiring, and fight dinosaurs in 1974 New York City in order to save the power princess from the evil genie.
Paul [15-11-2007 07:52] 
Sigh ... *shakes head*
Shhhhhhh [14-11-2007 17:24] 
Sign the petition for the quiet place remake! Have you heard that the actors are already on board?
Ammonia Boy [14-11-2007 15:14] 
Digital, online comics are the future, but they will not entirely replace printed comics. There are advantages to both formats, and they will be able to coexist. Rumor has it that a certain Tampa Bay novelist will publish manga versions of his novels with the full story. The Manga won't skip on the story at all, and can be read quickly. The novel will have more detail and rely upon the imagination of the reader. Of course, the novel will take over a week to read. Both formats serve two audiences; the reader who wants a quick story and the reader who likes a good book.
(cough, cough)
Nolan [14-11-2007 14:51] 
I know there were notable celebrity passings in recent days -- I'll get to them as soon as I can. Right now I'm trying to function on very little sleep. TFR and the DoubleTree Con are my next priorities!
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

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"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino    "FANGRRL" is ©2007 by Lisa Ciurro    "Film Biz 101" is ©2007 by Corey Castellano    "Retrorama" is ©2007 by ED Tucker      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova    
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