The Simspsons vs. Japanese Adventure Games

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 31, 2007 in Videogames

Shown above is a clip from the upcoming Simspson game which is a parody of Japanese role playing adventure video games. I love how they renamed each character!


A Groovy Ralph Bakshi Film from 1967

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 31, 2007 in Animation

Marvin Digs was a UPA inspired animated short film directed by Ralph Bakshi from 1967. The cartoon features the voice over talents of Corrine Orr who anime fans whould know for her work on Speed Racer and Star Blazers.

Found via Metafilter.


Mystery Science Theater 3000 Returns Online

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 31, 2007 in Cinema, Television


According to it looks like Mystery Science Theater 3000 will use their website to put out new episodes of the show:

The ‘Bots are Back!

“Beginning November 5th, BBI will be launching its very own website at The site will feature brand-new animated adventures of Crow, Tom Servo and Gypsy. We’re told the goal is to have one new adventure each week (though “some settling may occur with shipping,” they added). The Web site will also feature work from the original series (which BBI is now calling “the legacy series”), behind-the-scenes footage and other material culled from the BBI vault.”


Ruairi Robinson to Direct Live Action Akira?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 30, 2007 in Animation


According to this rumor it sounds like Ruairi Robinson has been tapped to direct a live action Akira film:

‘Akira’ Live Action Remake Finds Director!!!

“We’ve been informed that Warner Bros. Pictures is trying to get Akira off the ground pre-strike and have attached 29-year-old Oscar nominated Irish director Ruairi Robinson! No more details have been revealed other than he directed a mind blowing short film entitled The Silent City, which can be viewed over at BDTV. Watch this spot for more news soon and cross your fingers that this sucker gets rolling ASAP.”

Read more…


Jan Harlan on the New Kubrick DVD Collection

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 30, 2007 in Cinema

Stanley Kubrick on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Above: Stanley Kubrick on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey

There’s a great interview with Jan Harlan who was a close associate of Stanley Kubrick on the new Stanley Kubrick DVD Collection at The collection sounds amazing, but it seems to be lacking Dr. Strangelove, Lolita, and Barry Lyndon. However I did get excited about this Napoleon book that will be coming out:

On a side note, are there any other Kubrick-related projects in the works fans can look forward to? Back when it was briefly leaked on the Internet, I had heard rumors of the Napoleon screenplay being released as a book.

You are right. TASCHEN publishers will bring out a comprehensive book on Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon. Not just the script and treatment, which is not really revealing his true interest in person of Napoleon anyway, but also many pre-production details, designs etc. Stanley had 17000 images carefully collected, re-photographed on 35mm film and mounted in IBM cards for later sorting by clumsy machines. This was the state of the art in 1969. His library on the topic was huge and so was his knowledge. ”


Toho Set to Destroy the Hidden Fortress

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 30, 2007 in Cinema

the Hidden Fortress

As if it’s not bad enough that Hollywood has to ruin every classic film by making a lame remake, now Toho is set to ruin the memory of Akira Kurosawa by doing “an update” of the Hidden Fortress:

Toho rebuilds Kurosawa ‘Fortress’

“Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 action comedy “The Hidden Fortress” (“Kakushi toride no san-akunin”) — said to be the inspiration for “Star Wars” — will be remade in Japan, producer and distrib Toho has announced. The pic will be helmed by Shinji Higuchi, an SFX whiz also responsible for the hits “Lorelei” (2005) and last year’s “The Sinking of Japan” (Nihon chinbotsu).”


Inside the Space Cruiser Yamato

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 25, 2007 in Animation

Those of you fanboys who grew up on Star Blazers (i.e. Space Cruiser Yamato) should get a kick out of this video I found on YouTube Japan. It seems to be some sort of documentary on the mecha from the show, and it features a ton of technical drawings and pre-production art that looks amazing. Most of the stuff shown here is from the late 70s and the design work still holds up very well today – it’s even more amazing to thing that all of that work was done without a single computer!

Read more…


The Purple People Eater

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 24, 2007 in Comic Books

A monster cut-out trading card drawn by Perogatt (Carlo Peroni) from the back cover of the first issue of the italian comic magazine Psyco, 1970.

Shown above is a monster cut-out trading card drawn by Perogatt (Carlo Peroni) from the back cover of the first issue of the italian comic magazine Psyco, 1970. Image found thanks to Señor Tonto from Pordenone, Italy (check out his Flickr page too).


Monkey Decoration Tips

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 24, 2007 in Japanese TV

Shown above is a cute ad for the Japanese paint company Asahipen from the early 80s.


Xabungle: Chogokin GX-38 Irongear

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 23, 2007 in Hobbies and Collections

Xabungle: Chogokin GX-38 Irongear

Xabungle: Chogokin GX-38 Irongear

Combat Mecha Xabungle was one of my favorite anime shows from the early 80s which was pretty much a western with tons of robots. Bandai has recently put out an amazing model based on the main giant robot from the show, the Chogokin GX-38 Irongear. The two shots shown above are from a photo packed page from which features a ton of photos, screen grabs, and mecha drawings from the Xabungle Roman Album. If you need to own the Chogokin GX-38 Irongear for yourself HobbyLink Japan has it in stock.


Hello Kitty Ekinaka

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 23, 2007 in Hobbies and Collections

Hello Kitty Ekinaka

Shown above is the Hello Kitty Ekinaka phone strap collection. Ekinaka literally means ‘inside train stations’ and refers to retail shops inside rail stations where you can buy lunch or a snack. In fact to eat local Ekiden can be one of the most enjoyable things about your trip. Shown above are Kitty phone mascots which feature a boxed lunch, ice cream, and course green tea.


Schwarzenegger Shills for Cup o’ Noodles

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 22, 2007 in Japanese TV

Shown above is an old Nissin Foods commercial featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoying a healthy helping of instant ramen after a musical work out. It’s funny no matter how much ramen I eat I never get muscles that look like that…


Christopher Lee’s Dracula Cape Found

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 22, 2007 in Horror

Dracula Poster from 1958

It’s funny to think that people may have rented the cape in the past without knowing it’s cinematic history:

Lee’s Dracula cape found in store

“The original cape which was worn by actor Christopher Lee in the 1958 vampire film, Dracula, has been found in a London fancy dress store. The memorabilia, which has been missing for 30 years, is thought to be worth $50,000 (£24,410). Lee, who played the Count, was called upon to verify the cape was authentic after Angel’s staff discovered it.

Manager Emma Angel said she was “delighted” to have found the cloak during their annual stock take. “In the run-up to Halloween we are frantically checking our other costumes, so that we do not inadvertently let a party-goer show up to a raucous fancy dress party in any another precious pieces of film history,” she said.”

Read more…


An Interview with Leonard Maltin

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 21, 2007 in Cinema


There’s a great interview with author and film critic Leonard Maltin that’s worth checking out for anyone who loves cinema:

Tech Nation: Interview with Leonard Maltin

Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with movie critic Leonard Maltin, who explains how movies have changed over the years, and how they’re changing today, all thanks to technology.”

…I’ve always admired Maltin as he’s very much an animation fanboy at heart, if you haven’t read it his book “Of Mice and Magic” is well worth checking out.


Toy2R Rolitoland Safari

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 21, 2007 in Hobbies and Collections

Toy2R Rolitoland Safari

The above photo (taken by Michael Rouah of shows off the Toy2R Rolitoland Safari collection. The toys were designed by Rolito who is a French character designer who graduated from the School of Beautiful Arts then worked with Teamchman and Toy2R before starting Semper-Fi, a French design group with some friends.


Cable & Deadpool #46

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 20, 2007 in Comic Books

Cable & Deadpool #46

Skott Young does it again! Every month I see the latest batch of cover art coming out and every month it seems I spot more great Skott art. This cover features a Roy Lichtenstein dot technique with a very cute drawing of the Fantastic Four hanging out with Spiderman.


Shatner: “I Don’t Do Cameos!”

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 20, 2007 in Star Trek

This is heartbreaking! William Shatner has gone on record in the above video to state that he hasn’t been offered a role in the upcomig Star Trek film. If this was the good old days Star Trek fanboys (and fangurls) would flood Paramount with letters, petitions and even a few death threats demanding screen time for Shat. How can we go where no man has gone before without Shat on board the Enterprise?

I blame Star Trek: TNG for ruining the rabid nature of Trek fandom, I mean how can you care about anything when the Captain of the Enterprise is up there on the small screen sipping tea and singing Gilbert and Sullivan ditties? Sadly people care more about Ellen’s dog being snatched than poor old seadog Kirk. It just isn’t right! And don’t even get me started on those bastards not including Lindsey Wagner in the Bionic Woman remake, they deserve to have their ratings tank.


Catching Up With Logan’s Run!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 20, 2007 in Cinema, Television


It’s funny as a child of the 70s I remember the above cover of Dynamite magazine pretty well. Of course my favorite issue (which I left out in the rain by accident) was the one that featured a Space:1999 cover (but alas that’s a tale for another day).

This cover caught my eye as right now Hollywood is doing a remake of Logan’s Run. Now usually even the mention of the word “remake” would set me on edge as it would bring visions of some unoriginal Hollywood hack mining my childhood for ideas. However this cover made me take off my rose colored glasses and realize that how back in the day if a film that did well it might be followed up by a very bad TV show based upon on it. And the Logan’s Run TV show was about as bad as it got!

Just looking at those actors above and you can taste the cheesy flavor in your mouth. For starters they break the golden 70s rule that if you have one guy with black hair the other guy has to have blond hair. Every show from Starsky and Hutch to the Dukes of Hazzard followed this winning formula. And then you have the lady in the middle, it’s like they knew they couldn’t get Jessica Lang or Farrah Fawcett (who had a minor role in the film) so they figured “well let’s just give her a Farrah Fawcett haircut and maybe nobody will notice”. And what’s sad about the show is that while I can remember this magazine cover perfectly, I can’t recall even the slightest plot detail of a single episode — althought my bet is that I must have watched the entire series back in the day.


Yukan Club

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 19, 2007 in Japanese TV

Shown above are the opening titles to Yukan Club, a new Japanese comedy revolving around six wealthy high school students who solve mysteries and in their free time, and amuse themselves lavishly while doing it. The live action show is based on a manga that dates back to 1983 by Yukari Ichijo, which was then turned into an anime OVA title in 1991.

Read more…


Tom Swift and His Outpost in Space

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 19, 2007 in Pulp Fiction

Tom Swift and His Outpost in Space - illustration by Graham Kaye

I love the sense of scale in the illustration above cover for Tom Swift and His Outpost in Space from 1955 which I found thanks to the Flickr site of digital archivist Paula Wirth. The illustrator who did the cover is (it may be Graham Kaye who also did quite a bit of work for the Saturday Evening Post. I also come across this gem of a description of the book from the dust jacket:

“A space station 22,300 miles above the earth is Tom Swift Jr.’s latest project! Tom’s plans for his gigantic hub-and-spoke outpost of the universe calls for twelve laboratories. Solar batteries will be produced in one laboratory, another will be a celestial observatory, and another a radio broadcasting and TV station relaying programs over one third of the earth. But the project is beset from the start by a fiendish enemy, and also that weird phantom of outer space, Zero Gravity.”


Anime from Quebec: Yuki Tani No Shuraba

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 18, 2007 in Animation

What’s amazing about the above teaser is that it was produced by a film student in Quebec! I’m quite impressed with what this guy has done:

Quebec Animator Wins California Animation Prize

Michael Nesbitt, an artist living in Aylmer, Quebec, has found local fame for his Flash-animated anime short Yuki Tani No Shuraba. The 6-minute film recently won an award at the California International Animation Festival. According to an article in the St. Thomas Times Journal Nesbitt began the film in school, and recently returned to the unfinished film and is now selling his own DVDs.


Italian Tin Car Toys

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 18, 2007 in Hobbies and Collections

Italian Tin Car Toys

Leo Toys is an amazing website from Italy that has an amazing collection of photos of vintage 1/43 scale tin toy cars.

Found via


Vintage Anime Public Service Announcements

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 17, 2007 in Animation

The above animated public service announcements were shown in the Kantō region of Japan, my guess is that they’re from the 70s. What I like about these spots is that they feel very Japanese, but they don’t look like typical anime. There’s also something quite charming about the limited animation and cheerful music.


Star Wars Spinoff Coming to TV

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 17, 2007 in Star Wars

Star Wars Spinoff Coming to TV

My guess is that at this rate it’s only a matter of time until Lucas starts to get to work on another trilogy:

‘Star Wars’ series comes to TV
Lucas planning franchise spinoff show

“The Force may soon be coming to a television near you. George Lucas said Tuesday he is planning a live-action television series spinoff of the “Star Wars” film franchise. Lucas told The Los Angeles Times he has “just begun work” on the series, which will not include the films’ major characters Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader. “The Skywalkers aren’t in it, and it’s about minor characters,” Lucas told the Times. Lucas wouldn’t reveal details, but joked that the series would be about “the life of robots.” Lucas already has another television series in the works. Lucas Animation has been working for months on the computer-animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.”


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