Tagged: Genre

Piñata Games Names Operations Manager

Piñata Games Names Operations Manager

ICv2 reports that Chas DeLong has been named Operations Manager for newly formed Piñata Games. The company is attempting to  gain control of the HeroClix CMG from Topps.

DeLong has worked in production management and is familiar with the genre gaming field having spent the last ten years at Wizards of the Coast and WizKids. 

According to Jake Theis, CSO of Piñata Games, DeLong “is perhaps the world’s foremost expert in pre-painted plastic minis production,” whose expertise “will be a critical component of rapidly turning back on the HeroClix business.”

Catalyst Games is also bidding on a greater range of WizKids’ properties. ICv2 notes, “ Although Catalyst has successfully worked on a number of licensed properties, the company lacks experience in the production of collectible miniatures games.:

‘Xombie’ Gains DVD, Theatrical Release

‘Xombie’ Gains DVD, Theatrical Release

You have to give James Farr credit.  Entirely on his own, he has turned his dream project, Xombie, into a mini-franchise. The series about Dirge, a conscious zombie and his faithful dog originally appeared as ten webisodes entirely written, drawn and animated by Farr.  As it gained attention, he expanded, penning a novel adaptation (complete with foreword by the legendary Forrest J. Ackerman) and signed a deal with Devil’s Due in 2006 for comic books as Xombie:  Reanimated.

Now, Farr reports that Halo-8 Entertainment has planned a limited theatrical release of the animated series prior to releasing the episodes on DVD. Already there have been over thirteen million downloads of the webisodes so the release comes with some level of audience recognition but clearly this will extend the brand’s reach.

"Xombie is a blast!" said Matt Pizzolo, President of Halo-8. "James Farr has a fresh and engaging storytelling voice that’s amplified by his inventive production style. It’s a rare mix that breathes life (and undeath) into his fun and compelling characters. We’ve been fans of his work for a while now, and we’re really excited to work with him and the great team at Xombie, Inc."

"As the first sentient zombie in an animated series, Xombie provides a completely new twist to the horror genre, which is why it has resonated so well with the fans," said John Frank Rosenblum, Xombie ‘s Executive Producer. "Halo-8, a distributor with a true love for horror, is the perfect partner for expanding this unique property into a whole new market."

"Xombie is my attempt to inject something new and fun into an often over-mined genre," said Farr. "I am thrilled it has gotten such a huge response and that the characters have endured so long. Dirge and his friends are very close to my heart, and thanks to Halo-8, I get to share them with a brand new audience."

Producer Epic Level Entertainment is currently developing a live-action Xombie adaptation.

Fox Defends ‘Dollhouse’

Fox Defends ‘Dollhouse’

There isn’t even an airdate as yet, but Fox’s Dollhouse, due in January, has stirred up some controversy.  Fans are worried because Fox has a reputation for being ham-fisted with genre programming and is as likely to cancel a show as it is to support it.  Creator Joss Whedon has defended the current regime at Fox and is comfortable with them although he did stop production for two weeks to retool the storylines.  At present the series has a mere eight episode order, short even for a midseason replacement.

Twentieth Century Fox Television Co-Chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden spoke with TV Week recently and during their wide-ranging discussion, Dollhouse inevitably came up.

“Trying to tell stories that involve a genre mythology, while also telling close-ended episodic stories, while also developing characters that people are going to want to come back to week in and week out—it’s an enormous, Herculean effort. [But] there’s no one we have more faith in than Joss Whedon,” Walden explained.

“The midseason opportunity is a blessing and curse. It’s a blessing because you have more time. And it’s a curse because you have more time. There’s a greater level of scrutiny. There is a greater level of intrusion from executives. The bar just keeps being raised because there’s no urgency to put the show on the air, so at no point do you just let go of it and say, “You know what, now it’s time for this country to decide whether this is something that’s going to tap into the Zeitgeist and become culturally phenomenal or successful in general, or not.” Being stuck in that limbo with a lot of well-intentioned executives is very difficult for a creator like Joss.


‘Supernatural’ Hits Top Ratings Return List

‘Supernatural’ Hits Top Ratings Return List

The Hollywood Reporter paused to take a look at the winners and losers of returning prime time series. While it’s interesting to see Supernatural’s strong start in its fourth season, the shows with weak returns do not bode well for our genre faves.


1. CW SUPERNATURAL 1.2 to 1.7 = 42%
2. CBS CRIMINAL MINDS 3.5 to 4.7 = 34%
3. CBS HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER 3.3 to 4.0 = 21%
4. CBS CSI: MIAMI 4.6 to 5.2 = 13%
5. CBS NCIS 3.2 to 3.6 = 13%
6. CBS TWO AND A HALF MEN 4.8 to 5.3 = 10%
7. CBS CSI: NY 3.7 to 4.0 = 8%
8. CW GOSSIP GIRL 1.6 to 1.7 = 6%
9. CW ONE TREE HILL 1.6 to 1.7 = 6%
10. FOX AMERICAN DAD 3.1 to 3.2 = 3%


1. ABC PUSHING DAISIES 4.4 to 2.0 = -55%
2. FOX TERMINATOR 4.2 to 2.4 = -43%
3. FOX DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS 2.9 to 1.7 = -41%
4. CBS WITHOUT A TRACE 4.7 to 2.8 = -40%
5. CBS OLD CHRISTINE 3.2 to 2.1 = -34%
6. ABC DIRTY SEXY MONEY 3.6 to 2.4 = -33%
7. CW AMERICA’S TOP MODEL 2.5 to 1.7 = -32%
8. FOX SMARTER THAN 5TH GRADER 2.5 to 1.7 = -32%
9. NBC HEROES 7.3 to 5.0 = -32%
10. NBC MY NAME IS EARL 3.8 to 2.7 = -29%

ComicMix strongly recommends Pushing Daisies and is encouraged by the refreshed Heroes.

ComicMix Radio: Freddy Krueger Shares His Dream and Nightmares

ComicMix Radio: Freddy Krueger Shares His Dream and Nightmares

Our generation’s favorite Boogey Man, Robert Englund, tells us where he’s been hiding recently, where he thinks the horror genre is headed, as well as his choices for some cool recent films you may not have heard of, plus:

  • Alan Moore comes to DVD
  • Chuck gets some love from NBC
  • The Hulk heads to DVD, but will we see that Captain America scene?

No Labor Days are broken here – it takes little effort to merely  Press the Button!


And remember, you can always subscribe to ComicMix Radio podcasts via iTunes - ComicMix or RSS!


Skrull-icide in “Secret Invasion”

Skrull-icide in “Secret Invasion”

Over at Metabunker, Matthis Wivel has posted an interesting analysis of the "only good skrull is a dead skrull" theme in Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion event. When presented with the rampant slaughter currently going on in Marvel’s latest big event, Wivel wonders what ever happened to the whole "heroes don’t kill" standard of yesterday’s comics.

I’m not going to be all holier-than-thou about this — I know that the audience for these comics is largely adult geeks such as myself, and that a little killing won’t hurt our sensibilities much. But still, it’s gotta be some kind of landmark that the biggest superhero event this year so callously ignores what was once a central principle of the genre. And kind of auspicious too, that a series that at least superficially carries pretensions of political allegory most likely unintentionally lends to its heroes a borderline fascist groupthink outlook on their enemies.

And beyond all that, what is the big problem with the skrulls, anyways? I mean, Embrace Change sounds like a pretty nice guy… er, skrull.

(via Tom Spurgeon)

Duane Swierczynski Interviews Ed Brubaker

Talk about impossible to pass up: Here’s an interview between two pretty brilliant crime writers, Ed Brubaker and Duane Swierczynski.

It originally ran in Crimespree magazine, issue 22. Here’s a sample:

DS: Since Scene of the Crime, many of your regular series have been infused with this great crime/noir vibe—Sleeper was pure noir, Gotham Central was hardcore police procedural, and so on. Is “crime” the lens through which you view much of life?

EB: Yeah, and espionage, a bit. My dad and his brother (who I’m named after) were both in the intel field. My uncle was a big mucky-muck in the CIA and my dad was in Naval Intelligence. Not that either of them were ever forthcoming with details about what they did, but it probably accounts for my interest in that genre. And when I was a teenager, I was kind of a thief and a drug-addict. I did a lot of things I’m not proud of, and lived in a really ugly world of speed-freaks and scumbags for a few years. Nearly going to prison straightened me out, though. Scared the shit out of me at 18, basically. But you never forget sitting in the felony tank with 50 other guys fighting over sandwiches.

So, when I started writing stories for other people to draw, I just always thought of crime stories. Just before my first paying work, in 1991, I had read a lot of the Jim Thompson reissues from Black Lizard and had been on a real true crime binge, so that probably played into it a lot. But I think on some level, I identify with criminals, even though now that I’m older and a home-owner, I hate them. I never liked any of the ones I knew, really, it was just the life I fell into. I like the ones I make up, but they’re much more romantic than the criminals in real life

Animated ‘The Goon’ in the Works?

David Fincher must love comic books, judging by the number of properties he’s optioned recently. Now add one more, as Slash Film is reporting that Fincher has picked up the rights to Eric Powell’s The Goon and plans to make a CG animated feature of it.

The Goon is a mob heavy living in a nameless town who fights against zombies, robots, giant lizards and other assorted nastiness. It’s gained quite a bit of popularity — and some awards — for its mix of horror and humor.

Fincher likely will just be a producer on the project, as he has quite a bit else to keep him busy.

It wasn’t specified whether Fincher, who is expected to lock up the Oscars with December’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, would direct. One would assume not, but clearly his interest in genre fare is strong. He remains attached to direct a live-action adaptation of the STD-horror graphic novel Black Hole from screenwriters Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary. Farther back in Fincher’s fridge is Image Comics’ Torso.

According to the story, Blur Studio will be handling the animation.

Interview: From Animation to Print With James Farr and ‘Xombie’

Interview: From Animation to Print With James Farr and ‘Xombie’

In 2003, James Farr posted online the first chapter of Xombie, a short film he produced using Flash animation, on the ‘Net. The eerie tale introduced viewers to Zoe, a young girl who finds herself alone in a zombie wasteland with no memory of how she came to be there, as well as a sentient zombie named Dirge who rescues her from the menacing flesh-eaters.

Four years, 10 episodes and 13 million views later, Xombie: Dead on Arrival (as the series was later named) is widely regarded as one of the InterWebs’ first "cult classic" original animated series, and Farr  remains one of the most popular filmmakers from the early days of the Flash-animation scene. The series, with its well-scripted dialogue and pacing, as well as Farr’s use of talented voice actors who gave life — or rather, death — to many of the characters, continues to be held up as a prime example of the medium’s potential.

So, with a celebrated animated series behind him, what did the talented creator do next? He jumped into the world of comics, of course.

The first issue of Xombie: Reanimated, a six-issue series written by Farr with art from Nate Lovett, hit comic shops in 2007 courtesy of Devil’s Due Publishing, just a short time after the final episode of Dead on Arrival hit the online world. Reanimated continued the story of Zoe and Dirge, picking up ten years after the first adventure and moving Farr’s unlikely heroes (along with their zombie dog, Cerberus; the Egyptian mummy, Nephthys; and her zombie dinosaur, Chimaera) into a brand new medium.

According to Farr, Dead on Arrival and Reanimated provided the first two chapters in a trilogy that, he hopes, is breathing fresh air into the musty, recycled conventions of zombie-genre storytelling.

I spoke with Farr about the recent release of the Xombie: Reanimated collection, as well as the line of Xombie-inspired figures produced by DDP. We spoke about what’s next for the series, and his forays into manga, sniper-avoidance and his "big role" in last year’s live-action Transformers film.


‘Superhero Movie’ Review by Michael H. Price

‘Superhero Movie’ Review by Michael H. Price

The superhero, and I don’t mean sandwich, has been a staple of the popular culture since well before the Depression-into-wartime beginnings of Superman and Batman. Those characters’ nascent comic-book adventures of 1938-1939 served primarily to focus a popular fascination with superhuman struggles against extravagant menaces – but similarly conceived protagonists had existed all along in ancient mythology and mass-market popular fiction. And how better to explain the superior heroic intellect of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Seabury Quinn’s phantom-fighting Jules de Grandin, or the beyond-normal escapades of Robin Hood and the Scarlet Pimpernel?

People need heroes, he said – if I may adapt a thought from Mike Gold’s recent Hope Versus Fear commentary at ComicMix. Such characters spur the imagination to assume hope in the face of fearful real-world circumstances, even if their activities and abilities (and allegorical antagonists) seem patently outside the realm of possibility. And the spiritual generosity of superheroism is such that people are willing to fork over either hard-earned cash or Daddy’s Money to experience the fantasy: Hence the proliferation of super-hero comic books in the immediate backdraft and long-term vapor-trails of Superman and Batman, and hence those characters’ fairly prompt leap into motion pictures during the 1940s.

Many people regard the superhero movie phenomenon as a fairly recent development, traceable as “far back” as Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man breakthrough of 2002, or maybe to the perceived “antiquity” of Richard Donner’s Superman pictures of 1978-1980. Not by a long shot.

Nor are the inevitable superhero parodies – as seen in David Zucker’s collaborative production of Superhero Movie, due March 28 – any particular innovation. Just as there is something awe-inspiring about some guy in long-john tights, hurdling buildings or piercing the veil with a blast of X-ray vision, there also is something innately ridiculous about such a spectacle. Even some of the earlier superhero films, such as Columbia Pictures’ Batman serials of the 1940s, emerged as unwitting parodies despite (or because of) their more earnest aims.

The formal parodies are a rarer breed. Zucker had proved himself a capable spoofer with 1980’s Airplane! – a well-received lampoon of the large-ensemble disaster-movie genre – much as Mel Brooks had parodied such genres as the Western epic and the Gothic horror film (1974’s Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein) to pleasing effect. Both artists were springing from the influence of Harvey Kurtzman’s Mad magazine of the mid-century, with its recurring demonstration that a parody must harbor an affectionate understanding of the story it intends to spoof.