Aaron Renier Floats an Unsinkable Pirate Tale

Posted by Guest Author on Nov 22, 2010 in Comic Books

The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier

The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier

Walker is a boy, who is suddenly thrown into the middle of returning a cursed skull to an already cursed pair of Merwitch Sister Monsters. Everyone still wants the skull though, so Walker has to escape or out trick them. Read more…

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Julia Wertz Paints a Poignant Portrait of Brooklyn

Posted by Guest Author on Nov 15, 2010 in Comic Books

Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz - a wonderful illustration of a typical brooklyn hipster apartment

Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz

Similar to The Fart Party Volumes 1 and 2, Julia Wertz shares an autobiographical account of her life in comics. This volume is about her settling into life at New York City, over a year’s period, separated with season’s markers. As a New York native myself, I found myself nodding my head to some bits that she points out, such as points about the food, neighborhoods, bums, and weather. Though I have no personal experience of her experiences in San Francisco, I find myself quite curious, since San Francisco is a city I have never visited, but heard things about. Read more…

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Charles Schulz: The Man Behind the Beloved Beagle

Posted by Guest Author on Nov 15, 2010 in Comic Books

Charles Schulz as a young man in the 50s

Sparky: The Life and Art of Charles Schulz by Beverly Gherman

Most Americans should have heard of the Charlie Brown character or even if they don’t know the comic, should know of Snoopy. He is quite a well known beagle, merchandised and branded in many other countries. The story of Charlie Brown inspired a musical, cartoon, and tons of merchandises. Still this entry is not about the merchandises or products that are available. I still bet a lot of people would be interested in reading about the creator behind the famous Peanuts comic strip. His name is Charlie Schulz, or as friends and family referred to him as Sparky. Read more…

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Julia Wertz is a Worthy Read

Posted by Guest Author on Oct 1, 2010 in Comic Books

The Fart Party Vol 2

The Fart Party Vol 2 by Julia Wertz

Julia breaks up with her boyfriend from Volume 1. Volume 2 is her depiction of things as she goes on her life, leaving San Francisco to move to New York. All this is done in a cartoony way. You can either empathize with her, or just believe that she should get her life out of a ditch and just take life as it is. But if you believe the second option I just mentioned, then clearly she shouldn’t have written this book, and what a loss that would have been. Read more…



Coffee Table Books That Lift Your Spirits: The Art of UP

Posted by Guest Author on Sep 21, 2010 in Animation

The Art of UP

The Art of UP by Tim Hauser

You are only old once, so why don’t you have an adventure before you loose mobility and energy to do so. That is what Carl Fredricksen did, as he escaped with his flying home. The plot of Up is clearly as seen in the movie version, and what better way to relive the movie again than with reading The Art of UP. Though there are some differences in the book, even the behind the scenes program that they have on the DVD won’t get as in depth as this book did. Read more…



A Breath of Fresh Air in the How To Draw Comics Genre

Posted by Guest Author on Sep 19, 2010 in Comic Books

Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles Into Comics

Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles Into Comics By James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, Alexis Frederick-Frost

In a story similar to Shrek or Rapunzel, the knight needs on an adventure that leads him to a ferocious dragon, so with a faithful yet consistently hungry steed and a wise talking fairy. The knight’s travels changes with each panel, and is eventually confronted with talking vegetables and a dragon that lives to eat nothing but candy, or breathe fire. Read more…



Five American TV Shows That Should Be Turned Into Anime

Posted by Guest Author on Aug 29, 2010 in Animation, Television

Teen Titans

Over the last couple of years, the pop culture exchange between America and Japan has blended together more than any other time in recent memory. American studios have been more than happy to take anime to turn into terrible movies and in exchange we’ve begun to give them anime based on super heroes, video games and TV shows. Now that we seem firmly locked in this trade off though, I was left thinking about all of the great shows from American TV history that is being left completely untouched and as a favor to the American studios out there wondering what should be the next title to export east, here are a few suggestions: Read more…



Hinako III: Our Top Ten Title Suggestions

Posted by Guest Author on Aug 13, 2010 in Animation


HinakoYou can talk all you want about what you think is the biggest anime surprise to occur in the last year. For me, that debate starts and ends with the popularity of Hinako. Produced by Primastea and launched in the spring of 2009, Training with Hinako became a hit with fans for reasons I’ve chosen not to think about too much. A few months later the sequel, Sleeping with Hinako, became another surprise hit. It’s now being reported that the studio is going to strike while the iron is still hot and release a third Hinako feature for fans to enjoy privately. Read more…



Wonder Woman Day: Everyday Fans Become Superheroes

Posted by Guest Author on Oct 28, 2009 in Comic Books, Fandom

Wonder Woman Day IV (New Jersey)

Editor’s Introduction: Journalist Amber Love shared with us these touching photos of Wonder Woman Day which took place this past weekend. The event took place in both Portland and New Jersey — these photos are from the Jersey event which was hosted at Comic Fusion. To me the folks in these photos are the real superheroes — fans and pros like yourselves coming together to pitch in for a good cause. By the way in these photos you’ll see several shots of Joe Sinnott — the man is a living legend of comics, if you don’t know him do yourself a huge favor and check out his bio and you’ll be amazed at his life story. Read more…

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Even More Toy Photos from San Diego Comic-Con 2009

Posted by Guest Author on Jul 31, 2009 in Hobbies and Collections

A Mobile Suit Gundam Toy from the San Diego Comic-Con 2009

Before the San Diego Comic-Con 2009 fades into memory we present these highlights from the show — presented by the talented artist and toymaker David Foox: Read more…

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The Ultimate Toy Guide to the San Diego Comic-Con 2009

Posted by Guest Author on Jul 28, 2009 in Hobbies and Collections

The Ultimate Toy Guide to the San Diego Comic-Con 2009

The dust has settled on the San Diego Comic-Con 2009, but lost in all of the Hollywood movie coverage was a con packed with all sorts of other goodies like designer toys! This photo essay by artist and toymaker David Foox gives you a first hand view of the convention: Read more…



J-Pop: How Low-bit Can You Go?

Posted by Guest Author on May 18, 2009 in Fandom

Nick's Nippon Notebook

In a previous article where I explored Japanese pop singers who sound like robots I mentioned Aira Mitsuki having a strangely trashed sound which has little to do with poor quality Youtube sound:

Read more…

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How Up are You on Pixar Trivia?

Posted by Guest Author on May 17, 2009 in Animation

Pixar's Up

Editor’s Note: In this column animation expert Joe Strike allows you to test your Pixar smarts:

Think you know your Pixar? Take my little quiz… You could probably get all the answers via 10 minutes on Wikipedia, but that would be cheating. (Not that I have a problem with cheating – it shows initiative.) And away we go…

1. Pixar’s very first computer-animated short was
a) The Adventures of André and Wally B
b) Fish Story
c) Ghost in the Machine
d) Tin Toy Read more…



Star Trek XI: Joe Strike’s First Impressions of the Film

Posted by Guest Author on May 6, 2009 in Star Trek

Exclusive Star Trek XI Report with Joe Strike

Editor’s Note: In this column film critic Joe Strike gives us his first impressions on Star Trek XI. Warning this might contain a few spoilers and ruin a maximum virgin film watching experience:

Heavy, heavy, HEAVY ST logo– looks like it was carved out of highly polished dwarf star material, probably weighs about the same… music is pretty heavy too: Giacchino wants us to know this is an intense movie… Read more…



A Rube Goldberg by Any Other Name…

Posted by Guest Author on May 6, 2009 in Comic Books, Hobbies and Collections, Japanese TV

Pitagora Suicchi: ピタゴラ装置DVDブック

In this article New York based artists Nick Kent gives us a riveting world tour of all things Rube Goldberg:

I was browsing Japanese DVDs at a bookstore the other day when between the anime and live concert discs I spotted strange wooden contraptions on the covers of a pair of DVDs.

Read more…

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Reprise of the Robo-Girls: A Brief History of Virtual Idols

Posted by Guest Author on Apr 21, 2009 in Animation, Tech

Kyoko Date: The first virtual idol singer from a 1996 Magazine Cover

Virtual idols have been around longer than you think — shown above is a magazine cover featuring Kyoko Date from 1996. In this article Nick Kent gives us his insights:

The interesting “real” Robo-Girl in the pop culture room is Hatsune Miku, who really is software:

She’s a second generation Windows voice synthesis software released in 2007 that anyone can buy at mainstream Japanese software retailer for around $150. With a slightly difficult user interface software one can program her to sing anything in a voice that’s now not far out of place on the pop charts. The Vocaloid technology was created by Yamaha and then licensed to developers, namely Crypton who developed the character and voice. Read more…

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Invasion of the Robo-Girls: J-Pop Cyber Sounding Singers

Posted by Guest Author on Apr 20, 2009 in Japanese TV, Tech

The J-Pop band Perfume

In this article pop culture pundit Nick Kent gives us his insights into the growing trend of J-Pop singers who want to sound cyber:

I’ve been noticing a mini-trend in Japanese pop music lately consisting of pretty female singers singing with android sounding vocals rather than natural sounding ones. I can’t help but to think Cher’s 1998 hit single “Believe” makes her the Borg Queen of this phenomenon: Read more…

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Pixar vs. DreamWorks: Why Up Will Upstage Monsters vs. Aliens

Posted by Guest Author on Mar 16, 2009 in Animation

Pixar vs. Dreamworks Animation

Editor’s Note: In this column animation critic Joe Strike gives us his take on the upcoming Pixar film ‘Up’ vs. Dreamworks’ ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’.

And this one goes easily to our Pixar Pals of Emeryville CA, as their upcoming Up easily clobbers Katzenberg and Ko.’s Monsters vs. Aliens – and that’s just based on seeing the first half of Up vs. all of MvA. Read more…

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Monsters vs. Aliens: The Winner Ain’t the Audience…

Posted by Guest Author on Mar 15, 2009 in Animation

Monsters vs. Aliens

Editor’s Note: In this column animation critic Joe Strike gives us our first review of Monsters vs. Aliens.

A few weeks back Jeffrey K came to town to hype his latest, first-in-3D animated feature Monsters vs. Aliens. Did you know (Jeffrey does) 3D is the third revolution in motion pictures, right after the introduction of sound, then color? Neither did I; in fact the film seemed more like the old paddleball in your face routine – which is literally how it begins. OK, I enjoy a meta-gag as much as the next guy, but after JK talked up what they were gonna do with the technology, I expected more than visual quotes. (And yes, the 3D was very cool-looking all the way through.) Read more…

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Watch out, Watchmen! This Film is Fanboy Approved…

Posted by Guest Author on Mar 5, 2009 in Cinema, Comic Books

Watchmen: Minutemen 1940 Photograph

Editor’s Note: In this column animation critic Joe Strike gives us our first review of the Watchmen film.

They got it right – they didn’t fuck it up too bad.

That only begins to describe my reaction to Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. On the ‘faithful-to-the-source-material-in-terms-of-capturing-its spirit’ scale I give the film 4.95 stars out of five. I credit the film to Snyder because it’s definitely his version of A____ M____ and Dave Gibbons’ ‘unfilmable’ graphic novel. It’s also a paraphrase of what Snyder said back in 2007 when he was starting work on the project: “I hope some rainy afternoon in England A___ M____ will watch the movie and say ‘they didn’t fuck it up too bad.'”

Since you’re reading this on a site called fanboy.com, you know A___ M____ removed his name from the film (and turned down the zillions of $ of booty it will generate, handing it over to Gibbons) because of his distaste for what Hollywood’s done to his books; you also know the book inside-out, the way its themes echo through its huge cast and various subplots, or the counterpoint between the main story and the pirate comic ‘within the comic.’ (I don’t intend to review the movie here, plenty of people are already covering that end of it, but even so, plenty of spoilers ahead – you’ve been warned…) Read more…

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Vinyl Toys Come to Life: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Making of Organ Donors

Posted by Guest Author on Feb 25, 2009 in Design, Hobbies and Collections

Organ Donors created by David Foox

Editor’s Note: As a creative person I’ve been watching the urban toys scene in awe — and the first question that pops into my head is always “What’s the process of making these cool art objects into reality?” Long time artist David Foox has just introduced a line of toys called Organ Donors, so I asked him as a favor to write up an article giving his start-to-finish experience as a first time creative tackling the world of designer toys.

Step #1 Concept

The most important aspect of any custom vinyl toy is CONCEPT. “If your concept is solid, your toy is a success.” – Erick Scarecrow, friend. While this is the first step of the project, it is actually the most important step – and the one that is most often neglected. People are typically in a hurry to get to the other steps and fail to adequately delve into the concept that is being developed. In order to best develop a concept, I would advise people to first create an inhabitable environment, world, universe, or cause. Read more…

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New York Comic Con Afterthoughts: It Keeps Getting Bigger and Better!

Posted by Guest Author on Feb 13, 2009 in Comic Books, Fandom

New York Comic Con 2008

Editor’s Note: In this column animation critic Joe Strike gives us an overview into his adventures running around the New York Comic Con this past weekend.

This damn thing keeps getting bigger and bigger, not that that should be a surprise to anyone. The only surprise is why did it take so long for NYC to get a world-class con of its own. When the New York Comic Con opened for business in ’06, four years ago, its exhibit area was a tiny (for the massive Javits Center) basement space that was overcrowded from almost the instant the con opened its doors. This year the exhibitors took over most of the high-ceilinged main floor, an enormous space that the equally pop-culturey Licensing Show used to fill before moving to Las Vegas. Read more…



Sneak Peek: Get in Line for Coraline

Posted by Guest Author on Feb 1, 2009 in Animation


Editor’s Note: In this review film critic Joe Strike gives us a sneak preview into the upcoming film Coraline which comes out on February 6th.

The moment we left Disneyland in 2003 my son regretted not buying the hoodie that was on sale in the Nightmare Before Christmas gift shop in the park – so much so that once we were back home I phoned the park and mail-ordered it for him. He wore the damn thing to death, then cut Jack Skellington out and sewed him onto a new hoodie, which he also proceeded to wear to death.

I’ve just seen Coraline – and I want the hoodie. The movie’s the third feature from stop-motion director Henry Selick, who first blew peoples’ minds with his early short Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions: Read more…



If You Like Anthropomorphic Robots, Does That Make You a ‘Botty’?

Posted by Guest Author on Jan 27, 2009 in Animation

Best Animation Oscar

Editor’s Note: In this essay film critic Joe Strike offers us his insights into the Oscars nominees for best animated feature.

For me, the Oscar I most look forward to during that endless TV show isn’t Best Picture or Best Director, but Best (or Outstanding Achievement In, I guess) Animated Feature (from hereon referred to as BAF). The first straw in the wind was Wall-E‘s Golden Globes BAF win. At that point I was sure the Oscar nominees would be Wall-E, Kung-Fu Panda and (the token intellectual nominee) Waltz with Bashir. Turns out Bashir got a Best Foreign Film nomination (way to go, Avi – nice Jewish boy makes good!) and Disney’s superdog Bolt filled out the third spot. (A fun movie, but not a flick for the ages.) Read more…

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