Tagged: Ron Perlman

Emily Whitten’s New York Comic Con 2016 Round-Up!


New York Comic Con has once again rushed by in a giant, fun, crazy blur, and although I didn’t get to nearly all the things I was hoping to, I did have a rockin’ time and see some really cool things I can share.

The first of these were a few great panels I landed seats for, including, as is my tradition, the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles panel. If you don’t know I love the current TMNT, then what are you, new here? But seriously, I love it. And each panel I have gone to brings something new and different.

This panel (with Andrea Romano (voice director), Eric Bauza (Tiger Claw), Kevin Michael Richardson (The Shredder), Greg Cipes (Mikey), Rob Paulsen (Donnie), and Ciro Nieli (Executive Producer)) was particularly fun, because one of the things they did was a live read of episode #420, “The Super Shredder,” which will air when TMNT comes back on Sunday, November 6, at 11 a.m. ET.  I love watching voice actors do live reads, and I think this is the first time I got to see one with veteran and amazing voice director Andrea Romano actually directing during the read. So this was extra nifty! (Not to mention I caught Kevin Michael Richardson’s script after the panel and he signed it for me. ROCK.) The live read was a fun excerpt from what looks like a really interesting, game-changing episode in which Shredder is healed by mutagen to become The Super Shredder. And happily, I was able to get the whole live read on video, so everyone else can see it too!

Along with a clip from that episode, we got to see another clip that goes into the backstory of Tiger Claw, and I just loved every bit of it, from Tigerclaw and Bebop tooling around town together while they reminisce, to this image of Tiger Claw and Alopex as circus performers, which is just too adorable for words. Speaking of which, a new character reveal at this panel was obviously Alopex, who looks super cool. And another new character we got to see was Kavaxas, a.k.a. Hot Head, who looks fantastic and is being voiced by none other than Mark Hamill!

But the TMNT panel wasn’t through with showing us cool stuff even after that. Anyone who’s been to these panels before knows that Greg Cipes, who really is astoundingly like the character he voices, tends to show up in some sort of costume every time (the hot dog was memorable, Greg). This time, he showed up cosplaying one of my favorite side characters of the show, Ice Cream Kitty – and for good reason. Because lo-and-behold, in his spare time Greg has been writing songs about TMNT, and Ciro decided to actually put the one Greg wrote about Ice Cream Kitty (Mikey’s l’il buddy) into an episode! So we got to see the work-in-progress version of what will eventually be the Ice Cream Kitty music video. And thanks to my trusty video camera, you can see it too.

But we’re still not quite done! Because after that the panel announced that the Turtles have been paired with wresting stars (no, really) in some new merchandise…and among them Raph had been paired with Sting. Who actually came to the panel! (And pretend-fought with Greg Cipes, which was cute .) So that was crazy and unexpected! (And I confess that even though I’m not really into wrestling, I kind of want the Donnie as the Undertaker toy, because it looks so cool.) And I think that’s finally the end of what was a panel packed with super-cool stuff. Oh, except that I also caught one of Greg’s Ice Cream Kitty gloves and he signed it, and now clearly I have to cosplay Ice Cream Kitty next con. If I can figure out how to get the other glove from Greg, that is, because I have no idea where he got them, and one’s Ice Cream Kitty cosplay gloves must match.

Another great panel I attended was the Trollhunters panel. Trollhunters is an animated Guillermo del Toro project (created with Dreamworks Animation and Cha Cha Cha Films) which had apparently been a long time in the works in various formats before finding its home as a TV series with Netflix. The show is about a fifteen-year-old boy named Jim, who finds a magical amulet that turns him into the Trollhunter, tasked with defending both the troll and human worlds from evil trolls. We got to see the first episode, and it’s a really cute, sweet, fun show. I definitely want to see more of it when it airs on December 23.

Trollhunters also features a character del Toro described as “me, as a boy,” a.k.a. Jim’s best friend Toby (voiced by Charlie Saxton), who was my favorite character of the first episode. Jim is also great, though, and was voiced by Anton Yelchin, in what was unfortunately his last work before his untimely passing. Other voices of the show include Kelsey Grammer and Ron Perlman as the main good trolls, and Steven Yeun (Glenn of The Walking Dead) as Steve the bully. Yeun was very excited to play a role so different from Glenn, and talked about it in this clip here. And Ron Perlman was happy to have worked on what is about his seventh project with del Toro, and talked (and sang!) about that here. And then Perlman abruptly left the stage…and came back with a birthday cake for del Toro, because it was his birthday. And then we all sang, because awwwwww.

Directly after Trollhunters we rolled into a completely different kind of panel: The Walking Dead! After ages of being behind on this show I have finally caught up, so I was super-psyched to finally be able to go to a panel. And despite the panel being delayed by over a half hour – possibly because there were a million billion cast and crew members to round up – the wait was well worth it. (I could make a joke about how at least Negan’s antics with Lucille have cut down on the wait time at their next panel, but it’s probably tooooo sooooooon. Oh wait, I did it anyway. Oops.) AMC keeps a pretty tight control over what information can be shared before an episode airs, and obviously, with this panel leading into the Season 7 premiere where a key character was slated to die, there weren’t a whole lot of spoilers going on. But this cast overall is just a ton of fun to watch interact – in a way similar to the cast of Gotham, in that both shows are very dark but the casts (perhaps because of the intensity required when on camera) come off as a tight-knit bunch of friends who joke around in between takes and genuinely like each other.

It was great to hear a little bit from all of the cast members, but I’m an unabashed longtime fan of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, so one of my favorite parts was definitely Jeffrey Dean Morgan talking about Negan. And the other, of course, involved Norman Reedus, an actor I’ve loved since The Boondock Saints, and who is just so. much. fun. to watch on panels and talk shows and pretty much anywhere. (I know, I know – everyone loves Daryl, it’s such a cliché; but he’s just so entertaining – what can I say?). I also love Andrew Lincoln, although I wasn’t familiar with him before the show – and the friendship he and Norman seem to have thanks to The Walking Dead is super cute.

There’s also an ongoing prank war between the two, which is possibly the funniest behind-the-scenes stuff I’ve seen in some time. So far, it’s involved Andrew sending Norman a package of glitter which exploded in his face; Norman telling Andrew the wrong thing to say in Japanese; Andrew arranging for a fan of the show to prank Norman as a zombie in Tokyo; Norman replacing Andrew’s license plate with one featuring an airbrushed Daryl Dixon which Andrew didn’t notice for months; Andrew changing Norman’s window-tinting-in-progress so that it said “Andy’s B—ch”; Norman filling Andrew’s trailer with live chickens; Andrew sending a blow-up doll riding Norman’s motorcycle out into the middle of a lake on a boat; Norman filling Andrew’s car air conditioner with glitter; and Andrew glitter-bombing Norman in revenge at the SDCC 2016 panel. Unfortunately Andrew Lincoln couldn’t make the NYCC panel, but in his absence he sent a letter that Norman was to read aloud. It was, predictably, hilarious, and also another escalation in the prank war, as you can see in the video here. Those guys!

The last panel I saw for the weekend was actually a live recording of two episodes of the podcast We Got This!, with Hal Lublin and Mark Gagliardi. The podcast often has celebrity guests, and takes “the dumb issues in life,” and debates them until a clear victor emerges. The first episode we saw featured Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer of The Venture Bros., and the second featured John Hodgman, Jean Grae, and John DiMaggio. Both were really fun! You can listen to the first one on the site, and I’m sure the second will be up soon. I recommend!

Of course, there’s more to NYCC than panels. One of my other favorite things to do is wander Artist Alley – saying hi to old friends, meeting new ones, and, most importantly, checking out the art and new things from comics creators. I’m also currently (finally!) working on filling a sketchbook with cool commissions from artists (something I meant to start two years ago, oops!). This con, I commissioned Janet Lee to do a Deadpool in Shakespeare piece for me, and it is even now making its way back through the mail to my home. I can’t wait to see what it looks like!

This year in Artist Alley, highlights included finally meeting Deadpool co-creator Fabian Nicieza after missing him at several cons we’ve both attended, and having him sign my New Mutants #98 and a favorite issue of Cable & Deadpool. I also got asked by friend and rad comics creator Dennis Calero to serve as a photo reference for a Raven and Harley Quinn commission, and then happened back to his table just in time to meet the person who commissioned it and see the results, which was pretty neat! And then I picked up an issue of My Little Pony which had a great cover by Sara Richard that I fell in love with.

I had some good chats with the likes of Michael Golden, Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder, Joyce Chin, Arthur Adams, Thom Zahler, Chrissie Zullo, Cully Hamner, Tom Raney, Mike McKone, Jim Calafiore, Tony Fleecs, Christopher Jones, Jamal Igle, Sanford Greene, Chris Claremont, Billy Martin, David Gallaher, Steve Ellis, Joe Harris, David Lloyd, Simon Fraser, and Mark Brooks. I ran into a couple of my favorite other comics journalists, Edie Nugent and Patrick Reed. I saw an adorable Jubilee cosplay, a hilarious Walking Dead cosplay, and another Starbuck while I was cosplaying Starbuck, and with whom I exchanged cosplay tips. And then of course sometimes during the con one needs a little time to sit, so I spent some time chilling behind the table with one of my favorite Deadpool artists, Reilly Brown (and we totally didn’t actually want to fight each other, I promise).

Oddly, I didn’t make it to the Exhibit Floor as much as I sometimes do (which was good for my wallet and the weight of my going-home suitcase, undoubtedly) – but I did, of course, go to the TMNT poster signing at the IDW booth, which was great fun (and the first time I’ve met Kevin Michael Richardson, yay!). And although the party scene at NYCC isn’t comparable to, e.g., SDCC, I did hit up a few late-night gatherings, including the Sonicboombox/Image After-Party. Apparently my brain wasn’t in a “remembering to take pictures” mood that night; but the one photo that did happen, of me and the fabulous Sorah Suhng, pretty much sums it up. The party was great, in that tons of comics pros and friends were there; although as with the previous year, they could definitely have used about four times the bartenders! Other nights were dedicated to much more low-key dinners with fantastic friends like author Esther Friesner (who brought along the wonderful Jody Lynn Nye and Bill Fawcett, and better company for dinner couldn’t be had!) and to chilling in bars with industry pros and excellent fan friends.

All-in-all, I had an amazing time, even more of which is memorialized in my full photo album here.

So check that out, and until next time, Servo Lectio!


The Point Radio: Why Ron Perlman Loves TV

After six award-winning years on SONS OF ANARCHY, Ron Perlman is back on series TV with a new project on Amazon Prime called HAND OF GOD. What was so special about this show that it drew him back?  Ron explains it and his love for the craft of acting plus meet the hosts of CRAZY TALK. Reality TV boiled down to just the cool stuff, all by Ben Arron and Tanisha Thomas.

Be sure and follow us on Twitter now here.

Box Office Democracy: Hand of God

Hand Of God, with Ron Perlman and Dana DelanyHand of God is a perfectly enjoyable TV show that has fallen in to the same trap that dozens of other shows in the last decade have fallen in to: it isn’t the high art it thinks it is. This isn’t The Sopranos or Breaking Bad or The Wire. It doesn’t reach the depths of John from Cincinnati or The Leftovers because it has a dynamite cast and a clever premise but it isn’t quite as clever as it thinks it is. It wants to be a spellbinding mystery but it just isn’t that well crafted. Hand of God is a marvelous show to get lost in but if you look to closely you’ll see how poorly tended the forest is.

There’s a lot of top-notch acting on Hand of God and I’m not entirely sure if I mean from series lead Ron Perlman. Perlman chews the scenery as is his wont and it works, he’s a very convincing man having a psychotic break but it’s the rest of the cast that does most of the heavy lifting, perhaps because they have to ground this insanity. Dana Delany is the standout; she gives a tour de force performance where seemingly every episode has her pushing at some new corner of her character but in a way where the myriad personality revelations feel organic and not contrived, and this is a show that knows its way around contrived. Andre Royo is a delight as always, but I’m not sure it was the perfect directorial note to tell him to play the mayor of a small city the same way he played Bubbles. Camryn Manheim has a two-episode arc as a psychiatrist that is just so perfect and the exact energy the show needed and I sincerely hope she’s brought back if the series continues.

The thematic content in Hand of God all worked for me. Pernell Harris (Perlman) is a judge in a small town who starts to get what he believes are divine hallucinations after the attempted suicide of his son and he believes he has to use these to solve the sexual assault of his daughter-in-law. Pernell gets drawn in to an evangelical born-again church that has cropped up in his town and all of the ways they tie the various plot lines in to these religious narratives was effective for me. It’s not a groundbreaking piece of theological discourse or anything but it’s fun to watch and to talk about with other people watching, especially when the alternatives are some of the grislier aspects of the show. “Do you think those were really divine visions?” is a fun question to ask, “what do you think happened with that parking lot murder?” is not.

Where Hand of God falls apart is the story. It’s clear that the show wants to be a sweeping mystery that people discuss how clever it is; it wants to be Scandal at a confessional but is missing the complexity. Unless I miscounted, all but one of the series regulars has a big secret related to the central mystery and most of them are pretty obvious. There are no red herrings, everything just leads linearly to the next thing and the only way to not be ahead of the plot is to just not be paying enough attention. It’s an awkward feeling when the show thinks it’s making a big revelation and the audience watching look at each other and shrug. I’m interested in some of the loose threads they left for a potential season two so it’s not as if this is a total loss, but every thread that wasn’t loose was tied in to a too perfect bow for my taste.

REVIEW: Pacific Rim

pacific-rim-dvdI find Guillermo del Toro an incredibly imaginative visualist and energetic storyteller but his movies tend to be overly stuffed with too many elements to crowd the story (Hellboy II) or too many visual and nowhere near enough story (Pacific Rim). I found the latter film incredibly showy, loud, and disappointingly predictable and dull. The worldbuilding is nearly nonexistent, the characters half-baked, and the Kaiju underwhelming.

Back in my Weekly World News days, Addie Blaustein would create a Kaiju and I’d be challenged to write a piece about whatever she conjured up so I know a little something about the Japanese genre and its history. The creatures del Toro and his effects team offer up are large, loud, and messy. But they lack differentiation. Oddly, the Toho monsters had character and a different approach to their attacks. The Kaiju, levels 1-5 here, emerge from the water, attack a city and roar a lot. While visually different, they’re boring.

So are the humans manning the mecha, excuse me, Jaegers, that have been designed to battle them. We have the stereotypical Chinese and Russians, the flinty Aussies and the stoic American brothers. Ho hum. Five years after losing his sibling in a horrible battle, Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) is coaxed back by his former boss Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) into a final fight with the very fate of the world at stake. Gosh, who will be good enough and compatible enough to work in tandem with him? Could it be Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), Pentecost’s aide with traumatic issues of her own? Of course.

Screenwriters Travis Beacham and del Toro tell us the world is under attack by alien beings under the surface and that after all these years, the Kaiju are winning and humanity is threatened. But after all the death and devastation, we have no real sense of what life is like for the common man and woman. What’s the global economy or political landscape like? The dull narration early on provides us some clues but glosses over things to give us one fight after another that is often at night and cut so quickly you can’t quite tell what’s going on.

One irksome point was that Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) had to go to the black market to find Kaiju samples to study when one would think understanding the creatures would be a major priority for the world leaders so they can develop effective countermeasures. Day’s performance is over the top, beat only by Burn Gorham’s wacky mad mathematician. Both feel like they were imported from some other film.

Rim HeroesYou would think del Toro’s valentine to the monster movies of old would be more fun but instead, it plods and roars and bores. Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em robots versus Godzilla wanna-bes! This should have been epic and falls short on almost every level. Rather than dropping a bomb to seal the portal to Pellucidar or wherever the aliens are residing, it would have been far more interesting to send the mecha down there and bring the fight to the manufacturers of these monsters. Instead, the threat is sealed, leaving matters unresolved until the unnecessary sequel.

The summer IMAX 3-D blockbuster is out on home video now in a variety of packages from Warner Home Video. The one most of you will wind up with is the Blu-ray, DVD, Ultraviolet combo pack and it’s good to know that the video transfer is wonderful with bright colors where appropriate and clarity throughout. Additionally, the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 and 5.1 surround tracks are wonderful.

The package comes with two Blu-ray discs because the extras spill from one to take over the other. On disc one you get the film and can listen to del Toro’s fascinating Audio Commentary, which delves into his influences and discusses the challenges to bringing his imagination to the screen. There are 62 minutes’ worth of Focus Points, a baker’s dozen of featurettes. For the record these include: A Film by Guillermo del Toro (4:47), A Primer on Kaijus & Jaegers (4:09)

Intricacy of Robot Design (4:53), Honoring the Kaiju Tradition (4:30), The Importance of Mass and Scale (5:45), Shatterdome Ranger Roll Call (5:39), Jaegers Echo Human Grace (4:01), Inside the Drift (4:36), Goth-Tech (4:39), Mega Sized Sets (8:54), Baby Kaiju Set Visit (3:07), Tokyo Alley Set Visit (3:17), and Orchestral Sounds from the Anteverse (4:04).

Over on the second disc you then get the interactive The Director’s Notebook, which allows you to flip through his digital handbook on the making of the film, allowing you to go from still images to interviews, and tons of details on the pre-production designs. You can even use the

Magnify Mode, translating del Toro’s Spanish text and accessing exclusive galleries. The disc also offers you The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim (17 minutes), focusing on the digital effects; The Shatterdome: an archive of the film’s design art via video and still galleries; four Deleted Scenes (4 minutes); Drift Space (5 minutes), a look at the film’s four Drift sequences; Blooper Reel (4 minutes), mostly from Day and del Toro regular Ron Perlman.

Grind Pulp Podcast Ep06 – The Epic Conan of Cimmeria Episode!


In the latest episode of the Grind Pulp Podcast, the team discuss three Conan stories and three Conan movies. Things start slow but soon escalate as we get deeper into the stories and dive headlong into the Conan films. The Howard stories have become public domain and are available for free. This episode includes a special appearance of a Warlock and is the most epic Conan podcast ever!

1. “The People of the Black Circle” (1934) by Robert E. Howard
2. “Legions of the Dead” (1978) by Lin Carter and Sprague de Camp
3. “The Tower of the Elephant” (1933) by Robert E. Howard


1. “Conan the Barbarian” (1982) – directed by John Milus. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, and Max Von Sydow.
2. “Conan the Destroyer” (1984) – directed by Richard Fleischer. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Grace Jones, and Wilt Chamberlain.
3. “Conan the Barbarian” (2011) – directed by Marcus Nispel. Starring Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, and Rose McGowan

This Epic Conan Episode clocks in at an hour-and-a-half, and we didn’t even scratch the surface. That adventure will be up to you.

You can listen to Grind Pulp Podcast Episode 06: Conan of Cimmeria aka The Epic Conan Episode here or via itunes.

When Monsters Attack– Earth Station One Reviews Pacific Rim

On this week’s episode of the Earth Station One podcast, the ESO crew powers up their Jaegers to battle invading the Kaiju! Mike Faber, Mike Gordon, Jennifer Hartshorn, the award-winning author Bobby Nash, Ashley Bergner, William Faber, and the award-winning artist Mark Maddox join together in one massive neural link to share one another’s deepest thoughts about giant mechs fighting colossal monsters. The apocalypse may have been canceled, but San Diego Comic Con is still on schedule! On the eve of the biggest conventions of the year, we also give our thoughts on the already released info as well as some predictions of news to be revealed. All this, plus the usual Rants, Raves, Khan Report, and Shout Outs!

Join us for yet another episode of The Earth Station One Podcast we like to call: When Monsters Attack – The Pacific Rim Movie Review at www.esopodcast.com

Direct link: http://erthstationone.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/earth-station-one-ep-171-when-monsters-attack-the-pacific-rim-movie-review/

Feedback is always appreciated at esopodcast@gmail.com, www.esopodcast.com, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. We would love to hear from you. Who knows, we might just read your comments on the show.

The Point Radio: PACIFIC RIM Set To Roll In


For months now it has been the hottest trailer on the internet and now PACIFIC RIM is ready to hit theaters next Friday. Director Guillermo Del Toro along with actors Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman talk about putting the epic together, plus SyFy‘s WAREHOUSE 13 winds up it’s season on Monday. It returns for a short fifth season in 2014 which will be it’s last. How do Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly feel about saying goodbye to the long time fantasy series?

This summer, we are updating once a week – every Friday – but you don’t have to miss any pop culture news. THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: ARROW’s Aim Is Still True

As ARROW  hits the halfway mark of the TV season, fans and critics alike say it keeps getting better. We go backstage with the creators and cast to find out how they got this far, and what lies ahead for new characters including one played by fan favorite John Barrowman. Plus How about Captain Kirk, Ron Burgundy or Spock doing your voice mail message? It can happen if you hurry.

Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: Howie Mandel’s Got Holiday Game

It’s a Christmas tradition at a lot of holiday parties. You might call it “Secret Santa” or “White Elephant” but now it’s getting super-sized and coming to NBC for five consecutive nights. Howie Mandel joins us to talk about what TAKE IT ALL will mean to the landscape of primetime television, plus Neil Gaiman hits radio and WALKING DEAD fans can keep the fear going with a new iOS game.

Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: Kurt Sutter On SONS Bloody End

SONS OF ANARCHY will be wrapping this season on a particularly bloody note, which has been the tone for the last few months. We talked with series creator Kurt Sutter about his plans to keep the tension and betrayal coming. Plus everyone is waiting for the 2nd part of the direct-to-DVD DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Bruce Timm & Andrea Romano join us to talk about what we will and won’t be seeing in the next part set to hit stores in 2013.

Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.