Friday, March 23, 2012

ICWXP The Comic Book...Where MST3K Has Not Gone Before

Sure, it seems like nearly TV show has a comic book, or tried to make one.
Buffy, Angel, Fringe, True Blood, CSI, even F-Troop (but that was back in the 1960s).

So why not have the Incognito Cinema Warriors do the comic book thing? It would boldly go where Mystery Science Theater 3000 never did, and what I wish Cinematic Titanic would do to explain their premise before they went only to live shows.
Anyway, ICWXP, the Non-Motion Picture explains what happened between the end of season one, where the Ludovico Corporation put Dr. Blackwood to pasture (or in it), to season two, where Rick Wolf had to be freed from the Ultimate Cinema Torture machine.

I received the digital version, but it's just as enjoyable as the portable paper version...especially since reading it on tablets or iPads is a more modern version.

Besides, this introduction by Wolf is reason enough to get the comic book:

"I am Commander Rick Wolf of CORPS, and once, a very long time ago...I WAS A HIGHLANDER!
Okay, not really....but damn I can rock a kilt."

Actually, it's Rick battling zombies outside the Cine-a-Sorrow Theater somewhere near Kansas City with his riffing robots TopsyBot 5000 and Johnny Cylon. While they do so, they get some nice riffs down on everything including movies in general, Steve Jobs, Butch and Sundance, and Resident Evil. They also ask the age-old question, "What would Danny Trejo do?"

The art, done by Wolf, is quite good. It's almost like seeing Rick, TopsyBot and Cylon live and usually covered in zombie blood. He also co-wrote the story with Bethanie Woods.

So, what could spoil the glorious moment for our heroes? None other than Kincaid, who sadly won't be part of season two. Hopefully the comic book will explain why, but it looks like he's decided to help our heroes so he can kill them twice. He's clearly the son Pearl Forrester cloned from herself just after Mystery Science Theater 3000 closed up shop.

It looks like in issue two Cylon is Rick's only hope, while TopsyBot is out of commission. Yet, if you got the first season two DVD, which featured a boring Victory Gardens short, you know the bots do survive and save Rick from the "luxury bedpan recliner".
But how? We'll find out in issue two, which may be made if enough people buy issue one. After all, the comics biz ain't too much different from TV. One poorly-selling title and you're gone, Jack!

Visit to get your issue, plus their DVDs. They also have a new Kickstarter campaign to raise cash for new equipment. They're offering great premiums, including autographed posters and rare copies of the first DVD, Bride of the Gorilla, which looks a lot like the old MST.
So, check out Incognito Cinema Warriors XP, the Non-Motion Picture. It's Mike Nelson-approved. Really. It says so in the Lady Frankenstein DVD cover.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wondercon post mortem: Stay north, young con

Little geeky ants

Big place, isn't it?
The Anaheim Convention Center easily fit Wondercon and a volleyball tournament without batting an eye. It would be the ideal size to hold Wondercon, or even Comic-Con.
Maybe, though, it's a bit too big, not including the arena next door. They thought it was a good idea to have a shuttle for those who parked at Angels Stadium a few miles away. Comic-Con has a bus system, so why not Wondercon?

Sounds right, but people were used to the coziness of the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Maybe they didn't like to walk so far to get from the action figures to the ballroom where all the big panels were. Maybe they preferred a real downtown, not the one that Walt Disney built near its amusement park entrances.
(Edited to add: apparently there was also a cheerleading competition, which meant major parking problems for three events at once).
It still would have been wet and cold in San Francisco if Wondercon was there as usual, but people liked the arrangement: going north in the spring, and south in the summer. What's more, they're in cities with very good public transit. In Anaheim, the tour buses have a bigger schedule than public transit.

So, Wondercon in Anaheim was a good idea, but I heard from some people that they hope to be heading back to the Golden Gate in 2013.

As for the programming, it's too bad we didn't have any other movie premieres aside from The Cabin In The Woods. Nothing on Men in Black 3 aside from an electric marquee at the UltraLuxe. Dark Shadows also a no-show except on the Hero Complex magazines that were given away. The Avengers had a big ad, but no Hunger Games presence aside from a girl I saw who wore a shirt that said "District 13 Mockingjays"...and some action figures and posters for sale. In fact, swag was a bit light. I did get some Once Upon a Time journal books and a CitW shirt. Not bad, but the real find was getting autographed Bianca Lawson Buffy figures for ten bucks each. I got two.

Also this nice surprise:

Yes we'll be back next season..or should

The Fringe gang (Blair Brown, John Noble and Joshua Jackson) signing for fans before their panel. They talked up the rest of the reason and hopes of one more year. Now that Terra Nova is extinct, that could happen. Too bad I missed the Snow White and the Huntsman panel, which had to be moved ahead, darn it. While Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart are two good reasons to go, they'll be happy that Chris Hemsworth will bring his Thor Nation to the theaters.

And, as I promised, some Disney California Adventure pictures...

Disney's California Adventure at night

This one is from the top of Mickey's Ferris Wheel..

From the top of Mickey's Ferris Wheel

This is a preview of Buena Vista Street, with this building a recreation of the theater that premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Cathay Circle Theater

Hula hoops of the future! Thanks, TRON

Hula Hoops of the Future

and Paradise Pier at night

Paradise Pier at night

The whole Wondercon album can be found here.

Now I am glad to be home. I've packed everything away, and am now preparing for the big show known as Comic-Con. That's going to be wall-to-wall Twi-Hards as they prepare for the final act in November. We'll be getting first reactions to Amazing Spider-Man (based on the trailer, they'll be sequels, but who can be Mary Jane?), and many will pray for an early premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. That, of course, is only for starters.
In any case, I can't wait for this. At least bus service is better and you don't have to worry abut rain.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wondercon, Day 3: I Left My Heart in SF

As we head to the final day of Wondercon 2012, it's clear the Anaheim Convention Center has some advantages of being the home of Wondercon: Disneyland, hotels and some chain restaurants within walking distance.

There is one big drawback: from what I have heard, the shuttle between the con and Angels Stadium hasn't been as convenient as people thought. It's faster than the county bus, but still a problem if you want to keep out of the rain, or just get to somewhere on time. Just like San Diego, there are big lines, especially for the movie panels. They had to make a few changes in the schedule so Charlize Theron could plug Prometheus and Snow White and the Huntsman in the same panel. I still go to see this gal, though...

Emma Stone

Emma Stone, the once and future Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man. She was really cool, and got along well with Andrew Lincoln,. They also showed the trailer, and it will make you forget Toby Maguire. It's also a different origin story than the one we always known, and very good, too.

I also attended the Geek and Sundry panel plus the Cabin in the Woods showing,. Those will be elsewhere in the 'net.

Today should be interesting. Fans of Fringe, Community and Once Upon a Time are sure to pack the ballroom, along with Lost fans who want to see Jorge Garcia in the Alcatraz panel. It'll be different than last year, where two TV panels expressed hope they would have another season, but didn't. This year, Fringe may feel more confident about another season, while Alcatraz and Community are crossing their fingers. It all ends with Dr. Horrible, but Jane Espenson has her panel at the same time. I'll be taking that one.

On Monday I'll have my Disney CA Adventure pictures, including hula hoops of the future.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wondercon: Going South

So what's like moving Wondercon south while San Francisco's Moscone Center is under construction?

Well, when you're at a place which includes an arena next door, you have a very big place. It's still more isolated than the Moscone Center, despite also having Disneyland and way too many chain restaurants. While comics, sci-fi and fantasy fans wander around, a big volleyball tournament is being held. There's not much overlap, except here....

Proof Anaheim Convention Center is Big

The Last Airbender with a couple of volleyball-benders. Imagine that.

Also, we had three girls either dressed up for the Tardis Prom or a very interesting wedding...

It's the Tardis Prom!

and a guy dressed as Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Now THIS is the candidate the Republicans really need. You know he'd use the axe for something other than killing the undead. He might aim that towards certain media pundits, and serve those Tea Party guys some real wisdom.

What the Republican Party really needs

I did see this three-D picture of the Firefly cast. Looks great...

Firefly picture in 3-D

As far as swag is concerned, not much has been given out yet, although Naruto has been giving out teriyaki. More should be available soon.

As I said before, I somehow got a ticket to the Cabin in the Woods showing tonight. To make it clear, I'll be really vague about the story. I will comment on the performances, and whether any of the scenes could have been converted to 3-D but not ruin the movie. Then, I'll reveal what Joss and Drew Goddard said in the post-movie discussion. I'll also show that I still have some of those mini-posters from three years ago. I'll probably be one of eight people. Someone must have brought back those posters.

Later on, I'll have a post on my four hours or so at California Adventure. I needed more, plus a park hopper ticket to Disneyland. I'll consider it if I can get more discount tickets. It is a great place at night, though.

Wondercon, Day 2: My NCAA Bracket is ruined!

But I'm OK. This is why.

I Got A Golden Ticket

I actually got this before the con. So, expect coverage at Whedonopolis this weekend,

The first day of Anaheim Wondercon was interesting. They wanted to start off with some nice appetizers. There was only one I wanted, namely 21 Jump Street. I was surprised Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum showed in in their cop uniforms.

Hot Cops

They wanted to pass the word about how cool this new version of an old Fox favorite would be. Jonah did his samurai bit from SNL, and was stunned to find out a baby was there. This was more surprising...


He called himself Captain Comic-Con. I wonder if Nathan will try this if he shows up at a Joss Whedon panel, and wants to ask a question about himself

So, day 2 means movies, Felicia Day and going here....

043 - Copy - Copy - Copy

Seeing horror at a near Imax screen. Should be fun

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wondercon: Let the Games Begin

I will have to leave March Madness for a while for Wondercon, also known as Nerd Madness.
I will say the Convention Center has something San Diego does not have, but should in July: wall-to-wall wi-fi. It makes it easier to tweet from the meetings, and I bet it something iPad owners will appreciate so that they don't have to use their 3G connections so much.

It'll be light for me today, with only 21 Jump Street. Gotta use that Disney ticket I bought. The rest of the weekend is packed. I will also offer my Cabin in the Woods posters for an entry into the screening. You know, for press purposes. I will admit the Ultra Luxe facility has a big sign It's also easier to find compared to Downtown Disney's AMC Theater. That's quite a walk from the Con.

I did a lot of walking after I checked in . Apparently, if you're willing to hoof it, several things are within walking distance including Target (with groceries), Vons, popular fast food joints, and even the Crystal Cathedral Robert Schiller use to preach at. I do know there's a Goodwill that's a couple of short bus rides away, and I am hoping it's a hidden swag source.

I'll check back later tonight

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rifftrax Review: Galaxy Invader, or the Don Dohler Connection

Recently, Rifftrax released two new DVDs of movies that were previously available only online. Both are cheesy movies set in the backwoods, where just plain folk deal with situations that are beyond imagination, or at least theirs.

One movie actually has a connection with the other major movie riffing group, Cinematic Titanic. Galaxy Invader was written and directed by Don Dohler, who also made The Alien Factor, one of CT's live DVDs. Both are set in the rural part of Maryland, and involve an alien who crashes to Earth and causes severe havoc on the townfolk. Both also have a dramatic climax that makes you wonder "what the F", then suddenly end.

However, Galaxy Invader makes you root for the alien from start to finish. The reason is Joe Montague (Richard Ruxton), the protagonist for lack of a better term. He's scuzzy and drunk, and wears a t-shirt with a big hole in the middle. He often threatens his family with a shotgun. They include JJ (described as a 40 year old toddler by the Rifftrax gang), Annie, and Carol who has a boyfriend that daddy doesn't like. It's no wonder Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett came up with some really freaky riffs this time

Anyway, the Galaxy Invader guy lands in Redneck Valley, Maryland, and accidentally buzzes a car driven by David, a high school student. He calls Professor Tracy about it, and he decides to come later that morning. The alien wanders around as if he was Walt Disney finally defrosted ("Mickey, Goofy, your daddy is back"). He approaches a house, and kills the couple inside after they try to attack him ("Oscar the Grouch has gone Beserker").

Then we meet Joe ("It's like someone took Bill the Cat and made him human") and his family. In full daughter hunting mode, he sees the alien, and shoots his glowing ball off of his body. Joe calls his friend Frank Custer and his wife Vicki, and they discuss capturing the alien in a get-rich-quick scheme. They're also impressed that the ball creates fire by poking at it. However, JJ gets tased by the alien, who gets back his glowing ball. Jos is upset ("You make me wish your sister and I never had kids"), but he gets a few friends together to find the creature. David and Professor Tracy learn about the hunt, and they try to find the alien first.

Anyway, what follows is a lot of killing and chasing, and even attempted adultery, plus David and Professor Tracy trying to rescue the alien from Joe and Frank's clutches. Let's just say their plan ends badly. The riffs include references to OJ Simpson, Einstein, Press Your Luck, Larry Craig, Jeri Ryan, and how the Rifftrax employees respond to the smell of bacon. The story, such as it is, ends when Joe's wife finally puts an end to all this foolishness...permanently. Then in the final credits we hear Kevin sing about the ending, while the mascot, Disambodio, sings a lot about Bunky Hart.

So, what's the connection with Alien Factor aside from Dohler? Well, Don Leifert, who plays Frank Custer, was the alien professor who tried to rescue everyone in Alien Factor. We're not sure what happened to him between 1977 and 1985 for Leifert, because he looks very different. Richard Dyszel, who played Tracy, was the mayor in Alien Factor. George Stover, who was JJ, was also Steve from the coroner's office in Alien Factor. Also, remember the out-of-place scene in Alien Factor where kids playing with a ball suddenly find a green corpse? Two of them were in Galaxy Invader: Kim Dohler as Annie and Greg Dohler as David.

AND...there's one more thing: footage from Galaxy Invader was used in the introduction to Pod People, an MST3K favorite. Apparently Mike wondered how bad Galaxy Invader really was, and we all found out.

There is one difference, though. With Alien Factor, there are visual effects like when one of the locals turns into a green corpse and Zachary gets some info downloaded into his head from a dead alien. The only "special effects" in Galaxy Invader are fireworks being used as bullets from the alien's gun

The other new DVD is the Crater Lake Monster, basically what would hapen if the Loch Ness Monster was trapped in a lake in Oregon, and had to deal with two dumb guys who rented boats, among other things? I'll have more on that later this week.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Does Anaheim Want Wondercon If It Can't Have Comic-Con?

Wondercon's brief detour to Anaheim is coming this weekend, and it looks like the organizers wouldn't mind if it stayed there.

Usually it's in San Francisco, but the Moscone Center is under construction. That means no cable cars, fog, or dozens of bars within walking distance.
However, it does mean ducking out to Disneyland, but when? Aren't we supposed to talk about comics, new movie and what coming up on TV?

Well, it looks like the organizers have come up with that. They are selling discount tickets to Disneyland and California Adventure. Considering I can spend eight hours in Disneyland for 45 bucks, that's not too bad. Then again, using it at California Adventure is less of a bargain if it's only good between four and nine p-m. They have full-day tickets which are still at discount, but they'll probably be used during the first day by anyone not interested in 21 Jump Street, Chris Hardwick or a new Superman animated movie. They may alsohave to check the weather forcast, since rain is expected.

They're also offering discount movie tickets to something I never heard of, the UltraLuxe Anaheim Theater. Ir's not Imax, but you have a chance to drink beer while watching The Lorax or sit on special "enhanced seats" while seeing John Carter. I fully expect a lot of drunk guys watching Breaking Dawn II at that theater. It's basically a high-end version of the AMC multi-plex at Downtown Disney. It's odd, though, that they're not selling tickets to movies during Wondercon weekend. Could we have a secret premiere, perhaps....about a house in the forest with some guy who looks like Thor? You know the one.

The biggest hint, however, is that they're offering free shuttle service from Angel Stadium's parking lot. They don't even offer that in Comic-Con. Why? Because San Diego has light-rail.

So, is that enough? I will admit there are some things about the area around the Convention Center I never knew about, like the Gardenwalk. I also learned that Wal-Mart, Target and Food4Less are relatively close to Wondercon but not as close as CVS and Ralph's are to the San Diego Convention Center.

So, the Wondercon organizers are trying their hardest to offer perks to get people to consider Anaheim as a better place for the con than San Francisco. I still say it's better to have Wondercon in SF then Comic-Con in July. That's perfect balance, and it also preserves Wizard World's traditional Spring spot.

Besides, since the movie moguls don't have to travel so far this year to Wondercon, how come no panel on The Hunger Games, which are coming a week later? How come the Avengers aren't assembling? Where's Grimm? Sure, Emma Stone is plugging Amazing Spider-Man, and we get something on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Snow White, Game of Thrones, er and the Huntsman. Still, can't we at least have a special giveaway on Mockingjay pins?

Next year, keep Wondercon in San Francisco. That is its true home.