Tag Archives: review


30 Jun

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows” was the sequel that should have been made decades ago. Bebop and Rocksteady, Krang, Baxter Stockman, and the Technodrome!!!!…Yes, the actual Technodrome!!!

My only complaint is that it had to end.

Definitely looking forward to seeing Tyler Perry return as Stockman in the next outing (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 is one of my favorite issues out of the original 1980’s Mirage comic books), and maybe he’ll be bringing his trademark Mousers with him.

Hopefully in this incarnation Mr. Stockman will avoid being turned into a fly or an android (the character has certainly been put through the ringer in comic books and television, but thus are the hazards of being a scientist with Foot Clan leanings).



The Neptune City-Saturn Town Summer Review

4 Jul

Foxy loves Chic Chick by Brian Blackmon 2015 Untitledhhhh

What would the summer be like without a trip to the local cinema?

Celebrated the twentieth anniversary of seeing BATMAN FOREVER at the movie theater by going to JURASSIC WORLD (Hey, I can’t help it if there wasn’t a new BATMAN movie out yet). Excellent film! I rate it 5 plastic dinosaurs (which, given the current rate of exchange, equals out to 5 stars). Nice logical progression from the foundation of the first film; appreciated the science fiction (not just mindless action); and enjoyed all the minute details invested in bringing this immersive theme park to life. Got to catch part 2 and 3 on TV for the first time too, which added to the enjoyment. Really great bunch of films. Thank you Steven Spielberg (again).

What would the summer be like without a trip to the local comic shop?

As a long time SABRINA: THE TEENAGE WITCH  fan, I was very excited about the prospect of a whole new comic book series hitting the newsstands. Major disappointment! The horror! (and not the good kind). While the art was very good in the first few issues that I took the time to peruse, detractingly the whole spirit of the work came off as oppressively  gross, tasteless, and extremely mean spirited, especially given the sweet, positive, and sorely missed source material of comics legend Dan DeCarlo. It was my hope that ARCHIE was going to produce something classy and cool, like the Kim Novak/Jimmy Stewart classic BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE (which seems to be the basis for the original DeCarlo character). That would have been a more mature treatment, while also retaining something of the original purpose and heart of the character. I am not adverse to the genre of horror, Vincent Price and Peter Lorre remain two of my favorite actors since childhood; but, as stated before, the new SABRINA seemed endlessly mean spirited, and never suspenseful.

There is a silver lining to all of this…I never have to buy it again (which I won’t). Thankfully, I also tried out a few issues of BATMAN ’66 which I was pleasantly surprised with and greatly enjoyed. From the Mike Allred covers (his MADMAN comics remain one of my all time favorite comic book works) to the fun stories and art, I think I’m going to be a regular reader. And with all the confusing continuity issues going on at DC right now, BATMAN ’66 seemed like the only legitimate Batman story I’ve read for a long time. Maybe it’s because I grew up on reruns of the old Adam West show in the early ’90s and it had more of a lasting impact than I had supposed. I certainly find that West/Ward universe infinitely more preferable and accessible than the current crop of “canonical” books.

Well, that’s all for now, and remember: Freedom is Ink on the Page.

Have a Happy 4th of July!

The Neptune City-Saturn Town Review #14: Dave Sim is not a Misogynist

6 Sep

Because of the strong “mob rule” mentality which continues to embody a great deal of online social networking practices, it is no surprise that many individuals, both high profile and low profile, suddenly become the targets of varying degrees of coordinated cyber-bullying.

While bullying has certainly always been a very crude and ugly aspect of society through the ages, incidents which would have remained confined to local and obscure parameters (like the graffitied wall of a bathroom stall) now become loudly broadcast across an international platform via Twitter, Facebook, personal blogs, etc.

In the present cyber-orientation of bullying, the unreasonable hatred becomes infectious, while the tactics become relentless.

Hurtful terms like “misogynist” become freely used and misapplied as well, in the heat of such bullying euphoria which new instantaneous communication mediums provide.

Cartoonist Dave Sim is someone who has faced his fair share of bullying in this climate.

It is unfair for anyone to call Dave Sim anything except an incredibly generous individual. He never earned the insults. Over a career which has spanned almost forty years, he has freely shared his wonderful art and wit with us, his groundbreaking passion for creator rights, and even some of his deeply personal philosophical and spiritual inquiries. His CEREBUS remains the absolute best the comic book medium can ever hope for.

His generosity should have earned him full diplomatic immunity from petty insults, let alone the bullying now channeled in his direction. “Misogynist,” by the way, is a bullying term itself, one that holds as much venom of intolerance as it purports to identify.

Is the comic book industry so ungrateful?

It reminds me of the way that Walt Disney (the man) is now often criticized with the most outrageous accusations, when all he ever did was try to bring great joy to the lives of children. Similarly, Dave Sim simply wanted a better comic book industry which respected creator rights, and he actually helped achieve this goal. Just like Walt Disney successfully improved children’s entertainment and the art form of animation.

Success can easily bring criticism, and it can easily bring bullying efforts, but a legacy will stand once earned, and Dave Sim clearly earned the legacy he created. The comic book industry will never be the same for all of his tireless work. It will forever be a better medium.

Any criticism directed against Dave Sim’s personal character can only be motivated by the same jealousy which has motivated all bullying since the beginning of time. Dave Sim continues to produce the best comic book art and literature around, in spite of being hassled (and comic book creators have been hassled the longest of anyone, even before all the online stuff, since back in the days of the Letters Page).

He certainly remains the best example to learn from, that an individual can have an independent voice and celebrate it, and joyously share their gifts with others, in spite of all the jealousy, and bullying, and misunderstanding that can ever be heaped upon the mortal heart.

Thank you, Dave Sim. For the generosity shared, and the positive impact made.

Mark my words, dear readers, it is a certainty that in the not-too-distant future Mr. Sim’s name will be mentioned in the immortal ranks of Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain within the halls of prestigious academia, and will be the required reading for one and all.

Well, that’s all for now, and remember: “Freedom is Ink on the Page”

Bob Burden Update!

31 May

Have any of you been wondering what Flaming Carrot creator Bob Burden has in store for us eager fans on the horizon?  I sure have, and based upon the response to my last posting, I know you do too.

To answer this question, I decided to go right to the source.

According to Mr. Burden:

“Getting the Pandemonium Blvd together now. fcckick.com, and then who knows what’s next.”

Because of Mr. Burden’s record for turning out some of the best comic books ever printed to the humble newsprint page (you really can’t beat the Dave Sim, Bob Burden, and Eastman & Laird books. They were the Three Musketeers of independent publishing), I know we’ll be in for a real treat! I still think Flaming Carrot will find that Pork chop mine he was looking for all of those years ago.

Fingers crossed for more FC/Bob Burden Production titles (and a Mystery Men sequel would be pretty nice ta’ boot).  


The Neptune City-Saturn Town Review #12: “Hapi Hapi Morningu” to You Too

8 Mar

One new and very upbeat dance that is currently sweeping the YouTube landscape is the extremely catchy “Hapi Hapi Morningu,” the seeming “rite of passage” for numerous cosplay gals the world over.

The wonderful Princess Peachie (covered in the very first installment of the Neptune City-Saturn Town Review a good while back) even demonstrates the fun dance in her most recent video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnDh98wky9Y&list=UUiYEm65MQAsD7qDBOxKZwzw

Don’t be left out! Make sure to try this blissful dance for your own selves sometime this weekend. A guaranteed pick-me-up which will turn that frown upside down, and also break that stubborn ice at any social gathering every time.  

[Note: It is even all the rage in fabled Neptune City-Saturn Town, and I hear that our illustrious heroes Foxy and Chick have snagged a 1st prize or two because of it at the local dance competitions regularly held at the fancy-pants Lotsamoney Café.]

Well, that’s all for now, and remember: “Freedom is Ink on the Page.”        


The Neptune City-Saturn Town Review #11: Paul Benson’s Lady Luck

20 Feb

The Neptune City-Saturn Town Review #11: Paul Benson's Lady Luck

The following is meant to correct a great oversight.

Before Mouse’s FRED FLYPOGGER, Roth’s RAT FINK, Dormer’s HOT CURL, or even Von Dutch’s FLYING EYEBALL, the LADY LUCK design was the first great kustom kulture icon to capture the American imagination. While the logo continues to be appropriated by countless artists across the complete media spectrum (with some even having the audacity to claim original authorship), its true origin is largely a frustrating mystery—that is, until today.

The image presented in compliment to this installment of the Neptune City-Saturn Town Review is scanned from the very first appearance of this iconic figure, the work of now forgotten Chicago artist Paul Benson in his humorous 1941 collection of prints “Etchings!”.

During WWII, Benson’s LADY LUCK design became popular nose art for our military air craft (some possibly even painted by Benson himself?), and the G.I.s loved her so much they started putting LADY LUCK on their hot rods when they returned home.

The rest is history. Wherever you are Paul Benson, I hope you get the recognition you deserve one day!

Well, that’s all for now, and remember: “Freedom is Ink on the Page”

The Neptune City-Saturn Town Review #10

1 Jan

One of America’s most beloved Christmas films is, without a shadow of doubt, “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” (a uniquely creative and fun 1964 children’s film which is also a special source of pride for my fellow New Jerseyans due to the acting debut of our very own Pia Zadora).     

It has always been a dependable staple of public domain discount DVDs across the nation (and before that, video tapes); and has been played virtually anywhere and everywhere across the broad spectrum of television channels over the years (I even had the good fortune to watch it on TV this New Year’s Eve).

All of this exposure continues to increase its popularity here in the States, introducing new generations to this gem from the bygone kiddie matinee days of the 1950’s and 60’s; allowing it to enjoy a longevity which scholarly authorities like Turner Classic Movies attribute in large part to its indisputable public domain status (fostering its unrestrained proliferation across media channels). 

You can imagine my surprise, given all of these facts, when I recently discovered that the website “Internet Archive” lists, as a notice affixed to their upload of “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,” that the film might be owned by a certain French firm in some nations outside of the United States of America!

I do not think this could be accurate. It must be an unfortunate error of some kind.  
I would like to herein offer my personal understanding of the situation to assist in the clarification of this strange notice. It is only an opinion, but one grounded in study.
Because “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” was released by Embassy Pictures in 1964 without bearing the requisite copyright notice needed for the period, this film was automatically relinquished to the public domain at the time of publication, pursuant to U.S. law (causing all rights connected with “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” to be transferred to the American people perpetually).
Because the laws governing proper copyright procedures within the United States have always been clear and accessible, and because the need to display proper copyright notice to secure a copyright for “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” was common knowledge to all at the time of publication, Embassy Pictures’ conscious choice to distribute their film without said copyright notice can be interpreted as Embassy intentionally releasing the work into the public domain upon publication in 1964. 
Once an American work is in public domain within the United States (the country of origin for “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”), it is no longer the property of the author (Embassy). While a certain French firm purchased the rights to most or all of Embassy Pictures’ film library at a much later date, this transaction could not legally include any films previously vested in the public domain (which, under the laws of the United States of America, would not be Embassy’s to sell–belonging instead to the American people).
If it had been a question of failure to renew the copyright of “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” after a certain French firm’s acquisition of the Embassy film library, then there could be room for different copyright statuses governing “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” abroad. However, it appears that this film was in public domain decades before a certain French firm’s involvement. There should be no discrepancy concerning the rights.     
It is possible that our certain French firm, if they have actually ever sought to claim ownership abroad, is unaware of the above facts. Perhaps there are many films which they were led to believe that they had purchased over the years, but which were actually in the public domain (and thus not purchasable). I can only imagine how many firms are taken advantage of when seeking to secure copyrights for properties which may or may not even exist (look at the recent and heated legal accusations concerning the song “Happy Birthday,” for example).
What this certain French firm can own copyrights to are new editions of “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” which they might produce (such as restored editions, etc). It is important to note that these rights would only be constrained to the specific edition which they would offer.
These are only my personal opinions concerning the copyright status of “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,” as I understand it to be. It would certainly be a strange and unique anomaly for American public domain works to now be sold to companies overseas. It is illogical, as Mr. Spock would sum up.   

Perhaps it will be the stuff of a future Supreme Court case? Only time will tell.  

Well, that’s all for now, and remember: “Freedom is Ink on the Page” 

Happy New Year-2014!