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Andrea Romano inducted into Children’s & Family Emmys’ inaugural Silver Circle

Andrea Romano inducted into Children’s & Family Emmys’ inaugural Silver Circle

LOS ANGELES, CA – Eight-time Emmy Award winner Andrea Romano further cemented her reputation as the greatest voiceover director in animation history on Sunday night when she was inducted into the prestigious Children’s & Family Emmys’ inaugural Silver Circle during a ceremony at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel.

The Silver Circle recognizes those professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25 years or more. But the recognition goes well beyond their longevity – they are honored for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting standards of achievement the rest of the industry hopes to emulate. These honorees also give back to the community as mentors, educators and volunteers.

“This industry has given me so much, from wonderful relationships with actors and marvelously creative individuals throughout the animation world to a lifetime of incredible memories and fulfilling work,” Romano said. “I’m so flattered that, five years after I’ve retired, people are still acknowledging my contributions, and I’m truly honored to be inducted beside such an illustrious group – including the people who produced Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood – into the inaugural class of the Silver Circle.”

Romano’s prolific career canon includes the voice direction (and often casting) for more than 40 television series, over 50 films and TV movies, 20+ videogames, and a handful of shorts. Romano’s series work alone has accounted for the dialogue direction of more than 1,600 episodes of television. Romano, who has personally directed more than 10,000 voice sessions, was afflicted with optic neuropathy in one of her eyes, causing blindness in that eye. She subsequently retired in 2017. 

Romano made her mark in every genre of animation – from orchestrating the casting and voicing of 23 different DC Universe Original Movies and the bulk of Warner Bros. Animation’s legendary animated TV series like Animaniacs and Batman: The Animated Series to more recent hits like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Voltron: Legendary Defender to guiding the voices of longtime sensations SpongeBob SquarePants and Avatar: The Last Airbender, to working across the globe directing the international casts of animated feature films and TV series. 

She has been nominated for Emmy Awards a total of 35 times. In 2016, the International Family Film Festival honored Romano with the prestigious Friz Award for Excellence (named for animation legend Friz Freleng). In 2018, ASIFA Hollywood presented Romano with the Winsor McCay Award, one of the highest honors given to an individual in the animation industry in recognition for career contributions to the art of animation.

Peter David is Back for Symbiote Spider-Man 2099

Peter David is Back for Symbiote Spider-Man 2099

New York, NY— December 21, 2023 — Fresh off his breakout role in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Miguel O’Hara will star in all-new comic book adventures next year, including a series by his legendary co-creator, writer Peter David. Launching in March, SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN 2099 is the long-awaited next epic chapter in David’s hit Symbiote Spider-Man saga, which helped usher in Marvel Comics’ wave of retro series revisiting milestone runs and series. Joining him on his triumphant return will be artist Rogê Antônio, known for his recent gut-wrenching work on Carnage. The five-issue series will take fans back to the iconic world of Marvel 2099 where Miguel O’Hara becomes the host of a terrifying new symbiote.

Set your time circuits ahead to the techno-dystopian future of 2099! Miguel O’Hara, A.K.A. Spider-Man 2099, is facing a hostile takeover – of his own body! Kron Stone, the Venom of 2099, wages an all-out assault on Alchemax, and the only hope of stopping him lies with the power awakened by a top-secret project gone terribly wrong. What must Miguel sacrifice to seal the bond with his new symbiote – his body? His mind? His very soul?! Check out Leinil Francis Yu’s debut issue cover along with variant covers by Ken Lashley and Greg Land, and join Miguel O’Hara on his next bold adventure in 2099 when SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1 hits stands in March.


Written by PETER DAVID



Variant Cover by KEN LASHLEY

Variant Cover by GREG LAND

Virgin Variant Cover by GREG LAND

On Sale 3/13

REVIEW: Dumb Money

REVIEW: Dumb Money

“I like the stock.”

If only the world of high finance could accept things as simply as that.

As we learned in 2021, the so-called masters of the universe had written off GameStop, the venerable supply of used video games and assorted tech gear. The only one, it seemed, who still believed in them was Keith Gill, who live-blogged as Roaring Kitty. With incredible transparency, he shared his spreadsheets and showed his faith by buying up shares, which encouraged others to follow suit.

The run-up of the stock, fueled by the disruptor app Robinhood, spooked Wall Street and led to at least one capitol group crumbling with hubris.

Finance can make you want to shut down and read a book, such as The Antisocial Network by Ben Mezrich, which inspired the film, but like the superb The Big Short, the 2023 film Dumb Money walks you through this Byzantine world. Director Craig Gillespie shows you how Gill (Paul Dano)’s faith and followers managed to propel a nearly 3000% increase in GameStop’s stock values from $17 to $500 per share.

Out now on disc from Sony Home Entertainment, we see Gill’s story, but also his influence on other “regular” folk who would never dream of buying stock, but thanks to the easy no-fee Robinhood app, they can take a gamble on Gill. Here we follow the everyday lives of financially struggling nurse Jenny (America Ferrera), GameStop retail employee Marcos (Anthony Ramos), and lesbian college couple Riri (Myha’la Herrold ) and Harmony (Talia Ryder), among others.

Not everyone is a fan with Gill’s own brother Kevin (Peter Davison), thinking him a loser. Still, Gill soldiers on, largely because of the unswerving love of his wife Caroline (Shailene Woodley), an underappreciated factor.

The film is compared with the superior Big Short, but it works very well on its own merits. Gill is not a financial genius, but watch his testimony to Congress, and you can see that the arcane ways of Wall Street have prevented the average American from understanding what happens to their companies. It’s a strong message that undercuts the smarm and greed of the high-rollers who just don’t get it. It’s quite satisfying to learn that Melvin Capital Management and its founder Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen) lost billions as a result.

The film looks just fine in 1080p high definition, although it had been shot with the most contemporary 4K equipment, so having only a Blu-ray available is a disappointment and shows a lack of faith from Sony. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is up to the task given how much tech is employed, considering this all occurred during the pandemic lockdown.

The Blu-ray disc comes with a Digital HD code and has a handful of special features. These include the Audio Commentary by screenwriters Rebecca Angelo and Lauren Schuker Blum; Fat Cats Vs. The Roaring Kitty (8:00); Diamond Hand Ensemble (6:00), which is about the casting; and Deleted Scenes (3:00).

REVIEW: Babylon 5: The Complete Series

REVIEW: Babylon 5: The Complete Series

At a time when syndicated science fiction was just Star Trek series, it took some guts on Warner Bros’ part to try something darker and more experimental with J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5, designed to tell a sprawling epic that was more political than it was space opera. The show arrived thirty years ago and was successful enough to spawn spin-off five telefilms and a short-lived spinoff, spanning 1993-2007.

The core of it, the 110 episodes from the original five-season series, have been remastered and collected on a nice Blu-ray box set from Warner Home Entertainment. Also included is the original pilot film.

Set in the 23rd century, the Earth Alliance has found its place among star-faring races, notably the Minbari and the Centauri. Some of these races are fine with humans; others wish them gone. Then there are the Vorlons, and no one knows what they want.

Babylon 5 is a gigantic, 5-mile-long space station built by humans but designed to house the various known major species from the stars. B 1-3 were destroyed during construction, and B4 mysteriously vanished. The sprawling station is where the bulk of the stories are told, with humans dealing with the ambassadors, aides, merchants, and others from the other known races. A Shadow War is brewing along the way and will ensnare most of the main players.

Straczynski wanted the show to have sweep and scale, something SF TV has lacked, and was determined B5 would do for television SF as Hill Street Blues had done for police dramas. With that in mind, he wrote the bulk of the series, each season taking up a year, and was designed as a finite five year arc, an ambitious goal given the vagaries of syndicated fare. He wrote 92 of the episodes and was supported on the rest by Peter David, Neil Gaiman, Kathryn M. Drennan, Lawrence G. DiTillio, D. C. Fontana, and David Gerrold, with Harlan Ellison listed as a creative consultant.

We begin with Season One – Signs and Portents, which takes its time introducing the various species and interrelationships. From there, change is the theme for Season Two – The Coming of Shadows, as Delenn transforms and Michael O’Hare steps back, replaced by Bruce Boxleitner, who seamlessly fit in. As with many series, Season Three – Point of No Return is where the show hits its stride as things are taken up a notch, and the simmering mystery of B4 is revealed. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be sustained during Season Four – No Surrender, No Retreat because JMS was under the impression there would not be a Season Five, and he hurried to tidy things up, reducing the long-promised Shadow War to a mere six episodes. Things felt rushed and uneven, though it was not his fault. This left Season Five – The Wheel of Fire as 22 episodes without an engine to drive it, leaving us with some interesting character bits, some filler, and lots of spinning plates as he valiantly tried to keep things moving forward.

It paid off, celebrated for its mature themes, complex characterizations, and thought-provoking moral dilemmas. Its large cast evolved over the years but was anchored by a stellar assortment of talent, including Bruce Boxleitner, Michael O’Hare, Claudia Christian, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Andreas Katsulas, Peter Jurasik, Richard Biggs, Andrea Thompson, Stephen Furst, Bill Mumy, Tracy Scoggins, Jason Carter, Robert Rusler, Jeff Conaway, Patricia Tallman, and Mary Kay Adams.

While Boxleitner and O’Hare were your stereotypical square-jawed heroes, the aliens had far more fun, starting with Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik), whose rivalry with G’Kar (Andreas Katsulas), the Narn ambassador, provided the series with some of its best moments. The other pivotal player was Delenn (Mira Furlan), the Minbari ambassador, who willingly altered herself into half-Minbari/half-human, which had dramatic repercussions among her people.

The show was never a critics’ darling or top-rated show compared with its Star Trek competition as it arrived while TNG, DS9, and even Voyager filled the screens. While those explored strong themes, few did so with the same level of maturity and depth that JMS did with B5, which is why it endures in fan memory. Issues of faith, morality, and sexuality are openly discussed and addressed through the actions and reactions of its characters. Psionics are real in this world and various Psi-Corps officers play key parts in the serial, notably Trek-veteran Walter Koenig as Alfred Bester (named after the Golden Age SF author).

“There are things in the Universe billions of years older than either of our races. They are vast, timeless, and if they are aware of us at all, it is as little more than ants, and we have as much chance of communicating with them as an ant has with us,” G’Kar observes at one point and reminds us of how much tapestry is left to be woven.

Visually, the series was the first to experiment with all-CGI SFX, and in high definition, it may appear rudimentary, but you have to give Warner credit for getting on the cutting edge of, ahem, the future. Sitting with the box set, you have to admire the structure of the series, enjoy the enhanced visuals at 1080p, and enjoy its well-matched audio track.

There are no bonus special features other than the pilot film.

REVIEW: A Disturbance in the Force

REVIEW: A Disturbance in the Force

20th Century Fox wasn’t sure what it had in Star Wars, and apparently, neither did George Lucas. The director was building up his company, Lucasfilm, and unleashed his secret weapon: Charley Lippincott. He whipped people into a previously unknown frenzy by working the fans at science fiction and comics conventions. He saw to it DelRey had the novelization out months before the film, as well as three of the six-issue comics adaptation from Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin at Marvel. These people were lined up for day one, and the word of the month spread so fast that it endured throughout the summer of 1977.

Before the Special came the finale from The Donny and Marie Show, which Donny discusses on the documentary.

As we learn in the wonderfully entertaining A Disturbance in the Force, a 90-minute documentary from directors Jeremy Coon and Steve Kozak, despite all his statements saying he had everything planned out, Lucas was still figuring things out. So, 20th and Lucas were concerned in 1978 that interest might wane despite the sales success of the toys, Splinter in a Mind’s Eye novel, and comics.

As a result, they thought marketing the property through television appearances would be fine. Here, we’re reminded that late 1970s prime time television was littered with poor product. Sure, there were a handful of prestige series (thank you, MTM Productions) but we were given lots and lots of crap (thankfully, I missed most of it by being in college). So, there were dancing stormtroopers on Donny & Marie and Mark Hamill dancing alongside Bob Hope, and so on.

When CBS wanted a special, Lucas agreed, and enthusiasm got the best of everyone. Hence, it grew to a two-hour extravaganza known as the Star Wars Holiday Special, which the creators thought would be an evergreen special but aired just once on November 17, 1978. Without reruns and before the advent of home video, it became the stuff of legend.

It has also proven to be an embarrassment to the film’s stars who were contractually committed (according to Harrison Ford) or were enticed with perks (Carrie Fisher getting to sing). They have spoken of it in interviews and convention appearances with dread, shame, or a laugh.

Writer Bruce Vilanch

Coon and Kozak tracked down as many of the original people involved in the making of the show as were still alive and got them to talk about it with forty years perspective. We come to understand that CBS hired people who knew variety specials but not science fiction and Lucasfilm assigned people unfamiliar with television production.

Writers Bruce Vilanch and Lenny Ripps recount the chaos in shaping the show, based on one intense day with Lucas, who then turned his attention to crafting The Empire Strikes Back. His input placed the focus on Chewbacca’s homeworld and family, with the concept of a Life Day celebration. He also wanted Boba Fett introduced through an animated section, which was nicely done by Nelvana, evoking Moebius’ style.

With Lucas’ UCLA buddy David Acomba signed ot direct things proceeded at light speed until they were four days into production, overbudget and in serious trouble, Acomba was removed in favor of Steve Binder who righted the ship as best he could.

The documentary uses copious clips from the special so you can see for yourself the then-state-of-the-art special effects, the creepy Wookie VR-porn (guest starring Diahann Carrol!), the Jefferson Starship rock video, and more.

Seth Green, actor/cocreator of Robot Chicken

Pop culture giants including Weird Al Yankovic and Seth Green are on hand to provide perspective alongside Lucasfilm alum Mick Garris and Craig Miller. Most lay the blame for the show’s quality on veteran musical variety veterans Ken Welch and Mitzie Welch, who were out of their depth from science fiction to being left to edit the pieces together (a first for them).

I found it incredibly entertaining and applauded the directors for tackling this subject and doing so with affection. I have a 9th grader who is a major Star Wars fan and I asked her to watch this and provide her perspective. Among her comments are, “…there’s a constant reminder that they didn’t let George do it AND HE HATED IT SO MUCH that he went to Robot Chicken and voiced himself hating the Holiday Special. I understood why he hated it so much because I hated it. It really sucked, besides the Boba Fett cartoon. Apparently, another reason why it was acceptable was because crazy holiday specials were popular and things that are made without context are automatically funny. Lastly, I belive the most terrifying thing I saw on the Holiday Special was the ugh the… the… TEDDY BEARS!”

The documentary is available for purchase on Blu-ray and for rental on various streaming services and should not be missed.

Reset by Peter Bagge

Reset by Peter Bagge

I’m running close to a decade behind reading Peter Bagge’s books – but, the weird thing is, I seem to still be reading all of his books, just with that big time-delay. I have no explanation, and may catch up one of these days: cartooning is time-intensive work, and even someone as prolific as Bagge doesn’t pile up books the way a prose writer like Stephen King or Nora Roberts does.

That’s as close to a reason why I read his 2012 miniseries/2013 graphic novel Reset  here at the end of 2023. As usual, I find bits of the worldbuilding to be weird, especially in retrospect: maybe because of the things Bagge needed to create this story, maybe because I fundamentally don’t agree with his assumptions about life and society in general.

Bagge’s worlds are full of mildly updated ’50s gender-essentialism: men are hot-headed and often physically violent, because They Are Men and the World Is Frustrating. Sometimes they are divided into the smart ones (effete, tentative, too weak for this world, typically wearing glasses) and the strong ones (stupid as a post, addicted to incredibly counterproductive ideas, full of zeal and energy for all the wrong things, typically wearing mullets). Women are sneaky, vindictive shrews who you (the reader, who is of course a man) can never trust and who drive you (ditto) crazy all the time, and usually won’t even let you fuck them! (Not that you want to: damn harpies! But a man has needs!)

This time out, the man is Guy Krause, right in the middle of that Bagge male stereotype: we meet him in a mandated traffic-safety class, where he was forced after a road-rage incident. Krause is a minor celebrity, a former stand-up comedian turned movie actor, maybe B or C-list at best but recently hitting a stretch of bad luck and bad breaks.

The woman is Dr. Angie Minor, who meets him in that class – with ulterior motives, we soon learn – and recruits him for a research project.

That project is not what it seems to be, of course. And Bagge seems to be interested in yet a third aspect of the project, which makes the book a bit lumpy and thematically jumbled. But let me start with what it seems to be.

Angie is working for an unnamed company, developing a fancy new VR headset and associated software program. They claim not to know what they’ll use it for yet, but they can create a Choose-Your-Adventure version of a subject’s life, after some serious, presumably expensive research, to build the world-model. (Anyone who understands capitalism will have warning bells ringing in their heads at this point: there’s no plausible product here aside from maybe masturbatory fantasies for billionaires.)

So Guy will be put in a chair with this headset and some fancy electrodes and relive important moments of his life, while Angie and her tech, Ted, monitor him to find out…something they’re unclear about. The title comes from the fact that Guy has one control, a button that pops him out of the simulation and resets it back to the base state: the beginning of this particular scenario.

It is also the big honking metaphor at the center of the book, of course: what would you do if you could live the important moments in your life over? If you could Reset, what would you do? Bagge runs away from this idea almost immediately; it doesn’t fit his plot and his tech is too crude to really be believable to the user.

Ray is both a bad subject – headstrong and unwilling to be led and obnoxious (did I say he’s a Bagge main character yet? I may be repeating myself) – and the only possible subject for this custom bespoke simulation based entirely on his life, which seems really weird and becomes the obvious Chekhov Gun looming over the whole book. And, yes, the real explanation of Angie’s research comes into it – though Bagge never gives any adequate explanation of why Guy was chosen, aside from the very weak initial “you’re famous enough that it was easy to research you” one, which is only plausible if they sign up the subject before doing the research.

The plot is more about what’s really going on and less about Ray’s re-living his life, though I think Bagge wants the core of this story to be what Ray learns. (He does re-connect with a girl he had a crush on in high school, for example.)

Again, in a Bagge world, everyone is selfish and horrible and unpleasant – occasionally not all that bad to specific other people that they like, at that moment, but you can never count on that. So people yell at each other, act out, ramp up the experiments, maliciously comply with instructions, and much more. We do find out the secret reason for the project in the end, and it’s dumb and vague and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that that would lead to this.

So it’s a Bagge book: full of talky, angry people with rubber-hose limbs gesticulating at each other, spitting fire, yelling, and so on. I don’t have an overly sunny view of humanity, I think, but even I think he can be a bit much. This one is amusing and doesn’t have any unpleasant background assumptions (unlike Apocalypse Nerd , for example); it’s somewhat lumpy but generally moves well and is full of amusing Bagge stuff. Maybe not top-tier Bagge, but pretty close: good, almost current work from a creator who is like no one else. If Bagge seems interesting, this is a decent one to dive into, though Hate is still the core.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Pixels of You by Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota, and J.R. Doyle

Pixels of You by Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota, and J.R. Doyle

It’s not usual for a creative team to accrete members over time. OK, sure, you can think of bands that got bigger as they got successful enough to add, for instance, a horn section, but those accretions tend to be semi-separate: The Fantastic Desperadoes with the Horns of Doom! People get replaced, of course. But it’s not common for new people to come in, set up, and just be added.

So I’m wondering what will be next for the team behind Pixels of You , a 2021 graphic novel from Amulet, Abrams’ teen-comics imprint. Co-writers (and partners in life, too, I think) Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Oda did the book Lucky Penny together before this – there, Hirsh was billed as the writer and Oda as the artist, but we all know artists in comics do at least half the storytelling (which means “writing”) anyway.

This time out, they have a new artist – maybe to have a particular look, maybe for other artistic reasons – J.R. Doyle, who also does a webcomic called Knights Errant and seems to do storyboard work as well.

Pixels looks nothing like Penny, and the tone is completely different, so that’s my assumption: Hirsh and Oda knew they wanted this new project to go in a different direction  If so, it worked: I had to look them up to remember what it was I read by them, and didn’t bring any expectations to Pixels.

Pixels of You is a personal drama, enemies-to-friends division (maybe more than friends, as is often the case), set in a near-future SF world. AI is ubiquitous and well-integrated – the SFnal kind of AI that quite likely will never actually exist, humaniform persons who are just part of human society. They don’t seem to be an underclass, though there are hints of prejudice and most AI persons may be vaguely considered lesser than meat-people. There are also hints that AI personhood, or possibly citizenship, are contingent in some way, with regular tests AI persons need to pass to stay in their current status.

Indira is a young woman working as an intern in an art gallery: she’s a wannabe photographer, and her boss is influential in that world. The internship is a strong way into the world she wants to be part of, and she’s trying to make the most of it. She also has a cybernetic eye – totally realistic-looking; no one knows unless she tells them – from a tragic accident in her past, and either that accident or the eye or both are the source of health issues, pain and bad dreams and sometimes worse.

Fawn is the next intern in line at the gallery: she’s on her way in as Indira is finishing her time. Fawn is a human-presenting AI, the “daughter” of two traditional-looking AI persons who seem to be quite successful – maybe managerial-class jobs, something like that.

They meet at a show, and immediately get on each other’s worst sides: Fawn insults Indira’s work, without know it’s hers. Indira is prickly and standoffish to begin with, so gives as well as she gets.

But the gallery owner needs them to work together, and forces them to do so: the next show, which was originally planned to be a combined look at their separate work, now will be of work they make together.

Both Indira and Fawn are well-meaning, mostly nice people, so they don’t stay enemies all that long. (Coming from Penny, I might have expected a longer, funnier sequence of squabbling, physical or verbal, but Pixels is a quieter, much more serious book.) They do learn to work together, they do learn each other’s secrets, they do become friends.

That sounds trite, I suppose, but any story is trite when stripped to the barest plot. The team here tells this one well – there’s a lot of single-panel pages to show what Fawn and Indira’s work looks like, and a lot of semi-wordless sequences, since photography is more about seeing than talking. It’s a sweet story, even if I do have some quibbles with the SFnal background.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Quite a Mountain by Jim Benton

Quite a Mountain by Jim Benton

This book was shorter than I expected, so today’s post should be quick.

Last time around with Jim Benton, I read and enjoyed his all-ages graphic novel Attack of the Stuff  but noted that I might be getting to the end of the all-ages bits, leaving only the definitely-for-middle-graders books. (And, don’t get me wrong: middle graders are fine people who deserve awesome books, but I’m not one of them and haven’t been for some time.)

And that seems to be true: from here, Benton’s work is a vast sea of Frannie K. Stein and My Dumb Diary, plus a clutch of board books for even younger people. There are some other things in graphic format that I might be tempted to look at eventually – the Catwad  series, maybe Batman Squad  – but they are very clearly middle-grade-y, and, again, I am at a different point in my life right now.

Quite a Mountain  calls itself “a fable for all ages.” I pretty much knew what that meant going in, and I bet you do, too: short, accessible, with some kind of a message, a book designed to sit by the cash register and sell itself to the random passers-by. It’s hard to tell, since I read it digitally, but I would bet serious money that it’s in a small, gift-y format as well. I read it within maybe fifteen minutes, and I was trying to stretch it out.

I tagged it as “comics,” but it’s an illustrated book – one big drawing to a page, with typeset text to accompany it.

So there’s a bear and his friend, a frog, at the bottom of a mountain. The frog is mildly disgusted at the idea of a mountain at all, but the bear decides to climb it. He does. He comes to various things on the mountain, finds a place to live for a while, but…you know the metaphor, you know the lesson.

To Benton’s benefit, he never leaves the metaphor or says the lesson clearly. He’s telling a story about a bear. Any lessons are up to the reader. And he’s got a lovely stark illustrative line in the drawings and his usual casual quick writing: this is a book that feels light and fun and amusing on every page. It’s not setting itself up seriously in any way.

But this is inherently a “you can do it!” book, to be given to new graduates or bought by people to cheer themselves up. It’s a fine mini-genre, and it will always be with us. I’m not complaining, just defining. Benton has the attitude I share towards the matter and the genre: not entirely believing in it in its purest form, but clear that nothing comes without effort. And clear that “effort” is annoying and not what you want to do most of the time.

So this is a solid fable, with no detectable saccharine – unlike most of its cohort – by a fine creator.

I’ll just end by giving the last word to the frog:

I’m not going to tell you that you can’t do this, because that would be discouraging. But I am thinking it. I am thinking it pretty hard. 

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Crisis on Infinite Earths- Part One Coming in January

Crisis on Infinite Earths- Part One Coming in January

BURBANK, CA (December 5, 2023) – Based on DC’s iconic comic book limited series ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, join DC Super Heroes from across the multiverse in the first of three parts of DC’s new animated film Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One, which marks the beginning of the end to the Tomorrowverse story arc.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the all-new, action-packed DC animated film features some of DC’s most famous Super Heroes from multiple universes including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, who come together to stop an impending threat of doom and destruction. The film will be available to purchase exclusively on digital on January 9 and on 4K UHD in limited edition steelbook packaging and Blu-ray on January 23.

Fans of this superhero adventure will also be able to indulge in a range of bonus features including interviews with the filmmakers on how they created a comprehensive universe across seven films.

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two and Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three will be available later in 2024.

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One features returning popular voice cast members: Emmy winner Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Glee) as Superman & Earth-2 Superman, Stana Katic (Castle, Absentia) as Wonder Woman & Superwoman and Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, The Boys, The Winchesters) as Batman/Bruce Wayne. Aside from the returning voice cast, a star-studded ensemble takes shape including Matt Bomer (White Collar, American Horror Story: Hotel) as The Flash/Barry Allen, Meg Donnelly (Legion of Super-Heroes, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,) as Supergirl & Harbinger, Jimmi Simpson (Star Trek: Prodigy, Westworld) as Green Arrow and Zachary Quinto (Heroes, Star Trek) as Lex Luthor.

Additional cast includes: Jonathan Adams as Monitor, Ike Amadi as J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter, Amazing Man & Ivo, Geoffrey Arend as Psycho Pirate & Hawkman, Zack Callison as Dick Grayson/Robin, Alexandra Daddario as Lois Lane, Alastair Duncan as Alfred, Matt Lanter as Blue Beetle & Ultraman, Ato Essandoh as Mr Terrific, Cynthia Hamidi as Dawnstar, Aldis Hodge as John Stewart/Green Lantern & Power Ring, Erika Ishii as Doctor Light/Dr. Hoshi & Huntress, David Kaye as The Question, Ashleigh LaThrop as Iris West, Liam Mcintyre as Aquaman & Johnny Quick, Nolan North as Hal Jordan, Amazo & Homeless Man, Lou Diamond Phillips as The Spectre & Owlman, Keesha Sharp as Vixen and Harry Shum Jr. as Brainiac 5.

Justice League Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One is produced by Jim Krieg and Kimberly S. Moreau and executive produced by Butch Lukic, Sam Register, and Michael Uslan and directed by Jeff Wamester from a script by Jim Krieg. Casting and voice direction is by Wes Gleason.

Justice League Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One will be available on January 9 to purchase digitally from Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV, Google Play, Vudu and more. On January 23 the film will be available to purchase on 4K Ultra HD in limited edition steelbook packaging and Blu-Ray Discs online and in-store at major retailers. Pre-order your copy now.


Death is coming. Worse than death: oblivion. Not just for our Earth, but for everyone, everywhere, in every universe! Against this ultimate destruction, the mysterious Monitor has gathered the greatest team of Super Heroes ever assembled. But what can the combined might of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and hundreds of Super Heroes from multiple Earths even do to save all of reality from an unstoppable antimatter Armageddon?!


Physical and Digital

  • Crisis Prime(r): The filmmakers reveal in detail their intricate plan to create a comprehensive animated universe across seven films, concluding with the events of the three-part adaptation Justice League Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • The Selfless Speedster: Explore The Flash’s legendary role in the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” comic series, the creative process that brought him to life in the animated adaptation, and the vocal performance behind his heroic and romantic story.

Digital Only

  • Silent Treatment – Film Clip from Justice League Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two


PRODUCT                                                                             SRP

Digital purchase                                                                      $19.99

4K Ultra HD Steelbook + Digital Version*                           $47.99 USA

4K Ultra HD Steelbook                                                          $54.99 Canada

Blu-ray + Digital Version*                                                     $29.98 USA    

Blu-ray                                                                                    $39.99 Canada

4K/Blu-ray Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Parisian French

Blu-ray Subtitles: English, Spanish, Dutch, French

Running Time: 92:39

Rated PG for action/violence throughout and brief language

*Digital version not available in Canada

Lunarbaboon: The Daily Life of Parenthood by Christopher Grady

Lunarbaboon: The Daily Life of Parenthood by Christopher Grady

I fight with my tags, here on the blog. They tend to proliferate, with a core that I use a lot and a loose penumbra of things that I thought I’d use more often (Circles of Hell! Class War Follies! High Finance! Kids Today! Pedantry!) but just have a few random posts.

And there are areas where I keep thinking my one tag is too big and not entirely useful, but going back to re-tag would be insane. Such as Comics, a tag used on a full quarter of all the posts here. Clearly, that’s not doing its job. Breaking it into Webcomics and Masked Punching and The Smell of Newsprint and who knows what else would be more useful, but I know I will never, ever find the tens of hours that would take.

So, today, I have yet another comic. This one is a webcomic , and, as I seem to be saying a lot lately, I’m not sure if it’s still active. (That site throws the scary “not secure” warning in modern browsers, and the last comic was posted about a year and a half ago.) But there was at least one book, in 2017, which I just read, so it will live for the ages in at least that form.

The book is Lunarbaboon: The Daily Life of Parenthood , and, as is pretty typical for a general strip collected, it’s a somewhat thematic collection of the first two years or so of the strip. Now, I’m pretty sure Lunarbaboon – from what I’ve seen of it, here and there, over the last roughly a decade – was mostly about the main character’s relationship with his kids, but not entirely. This collection, as I think is the standard for a major-company series-launching comics collection (this is an Andrews McMeel book), wants to be easily categorized and grabbable, so it’s pitched as a companion to Fowl Language and Baby Blues and so forth.

Cartoonist Christopher Grady is more webcomicy than that, though: this isn’t a gag-a-day strip, but closer to a work of therapy. I get the sense Grady cartoons to make sense of existence, to understand his life and the world. So he has humor, but it’s not about getting to a joke – his strips are more ruminative, even mildly depressive, about fighting with sadness and feelings of unworthiness.

It can get a bit pop-psych for me sometimes, but it’s always honest, and I get the sense that it’s been useful for Grady – not just professionally, since he did it online for a decade and got a book out of it, but personally, as a way to contextualize the world and find an audience that sympathizes with his concerns and thoughts.

I guess I’m saying that Lunarbaboon is fun, and often humorous, but don’t go into it looking for Big Laffs. Go into it looking for the story of a guy who often feels overwhelmed by life – like so many of us, so much of the time – and how he copes with that, with the help of his family. And, of course, some of the crazy things his kids do, to either kick him out of depression or send him chasing after them to stop that crazy thing before something worse happens.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.