Tagged: Montreal

The Point Radio: REVOLUTION Lights Up NBC’s New Season

NBC’s new series REVOLUTION started off the week giving the network huge ratings in the Monday night slot, and we’ve got more with the creators & cast on why interest in this show will be building fast. Plus more on ABC’s LAST RESORT and a new WALKING DEAD web series debuts in just days. A new season of pop culture programming debuts next week on THE POINT RADIO. New hosts, cool shows & returning favorites. Check out our site for details or follow us now on Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe to our new YouTube Channel!

Don’t miss a minute of pop culture news – The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: You Are Warned – Don’t Miss LAST RESORT

Shawn Ryan (THE SHIELD) is back on TV, and with what might be the most unique premise of the season. LAST RESORT is not your standard drama, and Shawn explains why plus Clint Eastwood & Amy Adams talk about making the first fun baseball movie in years, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE and more on why DREDD 3-D will be exceeding most fan’s expectations.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our new YouTube Channel!

Don’t miss a minute of pop culture news – The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: JUDGE DREDD Done Right!

Coming this weekend, DREDD 3-D gives the beloved comic series a new shot at big screen success, and star Karl Urban tells us why this is the JUDGE DREDD you have been waiting for. Plus don’t call NBC’s new series, REVOLUTION, an “end of the world” story. Eric Kripke, Billy Burke and more of the cast are here to explain why it is so much more – and Marvel adds two more titles to Marvel NOW including an “Avengers Battle Royale”?

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Don’t miss a minute of pop culture news – The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: SONS OF ANARCHY – How Will It End?

We wind up our look at the 5th season of the hit FX series, SONS OF ANARCHY by going right to the top. We sit down with series star Charlie Hunnam and creator Kurt Sutter, both offering their takes on this new run of episodes and where it might all end up. Plus, if you’re hoping for an extended cut of DARK KNIGHT RISES, we have bad news for you.

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Don’t miss a minute of pop culture news – The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: Tragedy Strikes The WWE

It wasn’t a skit or even a joke, but it was live television as Jerry “The King” Lawler collapsed during last night’s WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW on USA. We’ve got the latest update on that plus more with the cast of SONS OF ANARCHY on the things we can expect to see over the next few weeks, and also more on SyFy‘s HAVEN and the third season plans.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our new YouTube Channel!

Don’t miss a minute of pop culture news – The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Patton Oswalt’s Speech For Comics Also Applies To, Well, Comics

English: Patton Oswalt at the 2010 Comic Con i...Noted comic book junkie (and occasional comic creator) Patton Oswalt delivered the third annual keynote speech at the Just For Laughs Comedy Conference in Montreal last week. He presented his address in the form of two open letters, one to creators and one to gatekeepers, and everything he said to those audiences can and should also be said to every comic book professional, be they creator, publisher, or retailer. Here’s a large snippet:

When I say everything I know about succeeding a comedian is worthless, I know what I’m talking about because everything I know became worthless twice in my lifetime. […] All the comedians I remember starting out with in D.C., all the older ones, told me over and over again ‘you gotta work clean, you gotta get your five minutes, and you gotta get on Carson.’ And it all comes down to that.

And in one night, all of them were wrong. And not just wrong, they were unmoored. They were drifting. A lot of these bulletproof comics I’d opened for, whose careers seemed pre-destined, a lot of them never recovered from that night. You’ll never hear their names. They had been sharks in a man-made pond and had been drained. They decided their time had passed.

Keep that in mind for later. They had decided their time had passed.

The second time everything I knew about comedy became worthless has been pretty much every day for the last three years.

I know that’s not an exact date. Some other younger, not yet famous name in this room – you are going to pinpoint that date 20 years from now. But for now, every day for about the last few years will have to suffice.

I just want to give you a brief timeline of my career up to this point, when I knew it was all changing again. Listen to my words very carefully. Two words will come up again and again and they’re going to come back later along with that phrase “they decided” and people are going to carry me around the room.

[Huge ego-stroking credit dump omitted.]

I know that sounds like a huge ego-stroking credit dump. But if you listened very carefully, you would have heard two words over and over again: “lucky” and “given.” Those are two very very dangerous words for a comedian. Those two words can put you to sleep, especially once you get a taste of both being “lucky” and being “given.” The days about luck and being given are about to end. They’re about to go away. […] What I mean is: Not being lucky and not being given are no longer going to define your career as a comedian and as an artist.

Remember what I said earlier about those bulletproof headliners who focused on their 5 minutes on the Tonight Show and when it ended they decided their opportunity was gone? They decided. Nobody decided that for them. They decided.

Now, look at my career up to this point. Luck, being given. Other people deciding for me. […] I need to decide more career stuff for myself and make it happen for myself, and I need to stop waiting to luck out and be given. I need to unlearn those muscles.

And that’s just from what he says to creative folks. As they say, read the whole thing. Twice.

MIKE GOLD: Inspiration from a Master

Here at ComicMix we’ve run a couple tributes to Jean Giraud, a.k.a. Moebius. Michael Davis did his yesterday, Glenn Hauman wrote the obituary on Saturday. There might be more coming because Jean Giraud, a.k.a. Moebius, was exactly that important. Here’s how this master of our beloved medium affected me.

It was December 31, 1973, and I was in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Quebec is Canada’s most French province, and most of the people speak French-Canadian and most of the signs and radio stations are in French. They care about their heritage and their culture and, surrounded by the United States and Ontario, they have an understandably protectionist attitude.

So there I was in downtown Montreal. To be specific, I was in a Woolworth’s, then a distinctly United States institution, now sadly missed. There is no easier way to absorb the cultural differences than to see how others interpret our stuff, and this Woolworth’s was distinctly French-Canadian.

For one thing, they had a big selection of what we now call graphic novels. Not only did most domestic Woolworth’s neglect to carry comic books, we didn’t even have graphic novels in the States.

A couple of cigarette smoking skinny kids – teenagers, probably five years younger than me – approached me as I was gawking at the book racks. One mumbled something in French-Canadian. I looked at him blankly; like most United States citizens, I am linguistically challenged. I said “I’m sorry, but I don’t speak French.” Well, nor did they, but that’s not the point. The kid who approached me leaned in and translated. “Do you have any spare change?” Embarrassed, I gave him something and they slinked away in distain, leaving me to my profoundly holy moment.

I started pawing the racks, picking up each different title and thumbing through in amazement and astonishment. I’d seen a few such pages reprinted in books, but there had been only a few at that time and there were no English-language translations readily available in the States. At that time, my comic book choices came in but a few flavors: superhero, war, romance, mystery; all targeted to an age that was south of mine.

But here in Montreal was a wonderworld of choice, and I was… well, actually, I was pissed. Why didn’t we have this opportunity? Why were we restricted to such  narrow fields of routine genre fiction?

Of the many titles in my view, I rapidly realized one single artist dominated the rack. I quickly understood why: he was mind-numbingly different.

He was Jean Giraud… a.k.a. Moebius.

My jealousy grew as I saw these and other books for sale at damn near every Montreal subway station I visited – and I visited quite a few, because they are beautiful. Besides, much of the newer downtown Montreal at the time was underground.

The name Jean Giraud, a.k.a. Moebius, was burned into several of my more prominent lobes. I was able to acquire imported English-language versions, and as Michael noted yesterday, Heavy Metal came along and made my quest easier.

Jean Giraud, a.k.a. Moebius, opened my eyes to the communications medium I had enjoyed and even worshipped since I was four years old. He re-fired my sense of wonder. He showed me that everything I knew was not enough, and damn it I wanted more.

Thank you, Moebius. I won’t miss your work; it’ll be here forever.

And don’t get me started on Lt. Blueberry.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil


Spandexless Talks: Bernie Mireault & To Get Her

Photo by Kathryn Delaney, taken from Bernie Mirault’s blog

by Matthew Horowitz

Lean in close. No, closer.

To Get Her is a comic for people who like comics rife with detail and nuance. Set in Montreal,  To Get Her chronicles the oft-fought battles of a ten year relationship, and the emotional casualties inflicted on both sides. In this corner, Gordon Kirby, highly sympathetic cartoonist that quits a paying job washing dishes to return to his art. In this corner, we have Janet Ditko (yeah, Kirby and Ditko, I enjoyed that too) the long suffering breadwinner of the couple who longs for a more rewarding existence. 


MIKE GOLD: Comics Envy

At the very end of 1973 I was lurking about in a Woolworth’s in downtown Montreal. I was suffering from my worst case of comics envy ever.

I was seduced by the graphic novels rack. That’s not what it was called, but that’s what it was. Dozens of titles by Jean Giraud (a.k.a. Moebius), Phillipe Druillet, and all kinds of master comics creators the likes of which we had not seen in the States. Beautiful stuff. I could follow much of the storytelling but little of the story itself.

I was also seduced by the wide range of subject material, with nary a cape in sight. Western, science fiction, private eye, romance, ennui-ridden existentialism, and stuff that seemed as though it was influenced by lysergic acid diethylamide the likes of which we never had on St. Mark’s Place. In short order I stumbled upon equally awesome material from Japan and Italy and, possibly, Mars. I experienced a beautiful work covering the widest range of subject matter imaginable. But in comics, such a range was not imaginable, not in the United States.

A couple years later the National Lampoon folks started up Heavy Metal, and while it wasn’t as interesting as it could have been, the new magazine got this material out there. At worst, it was a gallon of water brought to the desert. At best, Heavy Metal was a door opener.

One might think that a logical way of dealing with my comics envy would be to learn a foreign language – certainly French or Japanese. No such luck. Like most Americans I’m lacking in the foreign language learning gene: I took five years of Spanish and lived (and now live) in neighborhoods with or near a significant Latino population and I can barely mumble a few phrases, “perdóname” being my most heavily used.

38 years later a lot of wonderful material has been translated – but that’s not the best part. The best part is, the American comics medium has grown to the point where we now create stories that cover many of the genres that we see overseas. Not anywhere near all, but many. We still don’t have comics for senior citizen grandmothers the way they do in Japan, but we’ve gone a lot further than the 1973 diet of capes, muscles, some horror, a few klutzy teenagers, and a smattering of “children’s comics.” For one thing, we are finally seeing something of a return of children’s comics, thanks to outfits like Boom! and Ape.

Sadly, we’re not seeing a lot of sales in these categories. Most comics shops really can’t afford to risk stocking them in any depth and then promoting them to the appropriate audiences, and most publishers – maybe all of them, now that the tide has changed at DC and Marvel – really can’t afford to help them in any dramatic and useful way.

Maybe electronic distribution will change all that. Clearly, it’s the best way right now to attract new readers, but the promotion budget has to be there and that ain’t easy.

Still, it’s a start. A good start.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil


A Review Of Indiana Jones And The Adventure Of Archaeology
By Andrew Salmon
     While I was in Montreal last week there was no way this long-time Indiana Jones fan was going to miss the exhibit of movie props and costumes from all four movies at the Montreal Science Centre. Throw in my lifelong love of all things related to movie making and you might even say I had a Jones for it.
     The exhibit was a lot of fun and, although we were forbidden to photograph the pieces on display, there was no law against mentally recording the wonderful treasures from the four films for the sake of this review. So here goes!

     Upon entering the hall, guests are given an interactive screen with headphones. Each item on display has a number and by punching that into the screen, visitors can hear information about what they are looking at. For the most part, I found this information of little value but the first recording is an introduction to the exhibit by Harrison Ford who sounds like he’s reading (Blade Runner narration anyone?) but, hey, he’s Indiana Jones! He can do what he wants!

     Visitors are greeted by the full Jones costume: hat, weathered leather coat, whip, pistol, shirt, pants and scuffed up shoes. This was a real treat for this fan and one of the highlights of the exhibit.
     The displays are organized in the chronological order by film so let’s cover them this way.
     The Raiders exhibit featured the fertility idol that almost gets Indy crushed by that giant ball in the opening sequence from the first movie. The plans of how they did the stunt are also included. Marion Ravenwood’s full costume from the bar scene is also there and it was a treat for this movie fan to admire the detail of the outfit. And what would a bar be without bottles, cases and the shot glasses from the drinking contest. But of course, every Indy fan knows that the key to the bar scene is the amulet Major Toht is willing to play with fire to acquire and that too was there for all to see. The workmanship that went into
these props really has to be seen to be believed as they go by so quickly on the screen. Balloq’s priest outfit from the ceremony where he and the Nazis attempt to open the Ark of the Covenant was another example of the incredibly detailed work that went into the costumes. One of the Egyptian sarcophaguses from the snake filled burial chamber was also a treat. But, let’s face it, the prop we all want to see from the first movie is the ark itself and there it was in all its glory. It’s held up pretty well over the last 30 years and, again, the level of detail and high lustre on this large prop is breathtaking.
     Okay, it’s not everyone’s favorite Indy movie but it is part of the series and there were some nice pieces to feast the eye upon.
     This part of the exhibit was about costumes. Indy’s tux and Willie’s nightclub dress are on display as is Short Round’s complete outfit right down to the shoes/blocks he uses for driving. Sticking with costumes, Willie’s sacrificial dress is also included here as well as Mola Ram’s head dress.
     Other props include the jade jar that kicks off the opening action sequence and the Sankara stones themselves are here. I don’t know what the ‘stones’ are made off but they give off a special radiance all their own. Rounding this part of the exhibit is the miniature mining car with the mini-Jones/Willie/Round dolls used to film that ridiculous mine car chase through the caverns.
     As one of this fan’s favorite Indy films, it was a real treat to linger over the props here – and there are a lot of them.
     Young Indy’s scout hat kicks things off followed by the Cross of Coronado which Indy hunts into adulthood. Again, the cross is wonderfully detailed and looks as old and as precious as it is supposed to be. Dr. Elsa Schneider’s outfit from early in the film is here as is the suit and bow tie Indy wears while teaching. Wonderful period clothes all. Indy’s dad’s glasses and pocket watch are also here and what display would be complete without Indy Sr.’s grail notebook. What a treat it was to look over the carefully scrawled and weathered pages.
     There are a lot of props from this third instalment. The shield from the catacombs, the rubbing Indy makes of it. The crucifixes worn by the defenders of the grail are also here as is the “Leap of Faith” artwork. And they’ve included the grails! Both Walter Donovan’s poor choice and Indy’s correct one are here and it’s fitting that the simple cup of a carpenter outshines the jewel-encrusted grail which looks more gaudy to the naked eye than it does up on the screen.
     It comes as no surprise that there are more props from the fourth Indy film than from any of the previous three. Being a more recent production, I’m sure tracking down this stuff did not require an Indy-calibre archaeologist.
     Props galore! Mutt’s jacket, gum, switchblade, and motorcycle are here as is the letter urging him to hunt down Indiana Jones. And there are costumes! Irina Spalko’s outfit makes an appearance and you can read her file if you’re brave enough to get that close to her sword. Professor Oxley’s outfit is another marvel of the kind of detailed costume work being done these days. And his drawings are also on hand.
     You’ll also be able to feast your eyes on the skull that mesmerizes Indy and a full-sized alien skeleton in its chair from the end of the film. Throw in the ancient texts Indy refers to, some of the booty traitorous McHale tries to make off with, Orellana’s mummified ‘corpse’ and death mask which are incredible pieces of work and this latest and, perhaps, final Jones adventure is well represented.
     Although the exhibit features Indy props and costumes, the purpose of the display is supposed to stir interest in archaeology. To that end, there are a number of exhibits featuring real ancient finds. From ancient Greece and Rome to North American Indian artifacts, these run the breadth of human history and were very interesting. A small section also covers some real archaeologists and there is a lot of information on how they dig up the past.
     To be honest, this stuff was interesting but was not what I showed up for. As a movie buff, film and TV background perfomer, pulp fan and pulp author, I was there to wallow in all things Indy and that is precisely what I did.
     Summing up, I would recommend the exhibit. The entry price of $23 seemed a little high but as a fan I was willing to pay it as I’ve been a fan of the movies for three decades now. A great gift shop had a number of Indy shirts to choose from and I picked out a couple of nice ones.
     On the downside, the headsets/screens were dull at best and I skipped most of what was there to listen to. A good idea that went sour was the inclusion of TV screen showing many of the scenes in which the numerous props were used. This was a great feature but people tended to crowd around them, watching the movies, and blocking the props! It struck me as strange that folks would pay $23 to watch scenes from the movies that they could see at home! The exhibit is about the props and costumes people!
     I really enjoyed reliving the fun of the movies through the props and costumes. If you’re an Indy fan, I’m suspecting you will as well. So if Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology comes to your town, plop that fedora on your head, make sure that bullwhip is coiled tight and slip into that leather jacket, you’ve got some exploring to do!