Category Archives: Art

The Love Of Art

A couple of weekends ago my son and I spent it at the the 4th Edmonton Expo. The Edmonton Expo has grow from 14,000 to a estimated 50,000 in those 4 short years. I don’t know about you but that is HUGE.

This year as I was making my way around the convention I came abound a display of a collage of some superhero toys. Toys smashed together to create something odd but amazing art work also.

I talked to Darren Havelock the creator/artist behind these pieces of art.

Darren said:

What these are, are model kits that I customize. These are commercial produced model kits that I buy and cut them up and break them down. Combine them with other things like dollar store items or Halloween items. To create fairly unique items. 

Darren went on to tell me that he created these pieces and others just for the love of the art. While everyone was trying to sell merchandise, Darren just wanted to show people his work.

You can hear more of my interview with Darren in my upcoming The Pop Culture Cafe Podcast later in the week.

Arrow, Catching Up, and General-ness…

Hey Poppers,

I couldn’t think of a featured image, I just read what I wrote, the part down there, that you haven’t read yet, unless you skipped ahead, but I bet you didn’t, I trust you. Anyway, that picture of 3PO and R2 in a Tim Burton movie about bad dreams before Jesus’s birthday was the best I could come up with. So good luck, and enjoy, but mostly good luck. The Batman vs Superman trailer!!

Wow, I have been so busy lately I have not been able to blog, but here I am so let’s jump right in. I got Instagram, it’s okay.And I changed my name on twitter to batteryrunheart. Because my heart is literally run by a battery. No joke, I have a pacemaker, it’s one step down from an arc reactor. No big. Also I am now a registered apprentice, becoming a Parts Technician. It’s a three year program, but I have set myself up to have my ticket by next summer. And yes, apprentice like in Star Wars, again no big.

power

So, also I got my wife rather pregnant, so yeah. We can now move onto four person cosplays. Yes, that is where my mind immediately goes.

arrow starwars

Also, Whovians, if you want an idea of how overwhelming it is to find out you will be a dad again, please see the below picture.

doctorgogh

Next I got bit by a spider! And I think it may have been radioactive.

spider bite

And lastly I have been working on my third and last book in the Fantom Fury trilogy. (cause the “tri” in “trilogy” means three, so my third, and therefore…. last….. book) So, there you have it my excuses for not being able to blog. (Please see radio style segway below… Remember I mentioned my books like one second ago?)

book

Yes, I met CAITY LOTZ!!!!! at EEK fest. She was super nice and she is so gorgeous. It was awesome to be face to face with Miss Sara Lance. And yes, that is a copy of my first book signed by her. It was so cool. Also I met someone else ladies and gents, he’s on the Arrow, not a huge part of the show, but certainly notable. (Please refer to picture below.)

stephen

HA! Gotcha!! It’s Stephen Amell! and he’s the main character. Get it? It was a joke when I said that he wasn’t a huge part of the show. Cause he is! Get it? Anyway, yeah I totally met him in a bathroom. Dressed as the Arrow. It was the coolest thing ever. He was really nice and I told him he was a big fan. And at his panel I asked him if he was going to use his island wig to playing Casey Jones. If you don’t know of the island wig on Arrow, it’s worth a quick google search. If you don’t know who Casey Jones is why are you reading this, seriously all the references must be going over your head. Star Wars, and yes I made that Star Wars picture in paint, Arrow,  Doctor Who, Spiderman. I mean if you’ve made it this far and didn’t get at least eighty percent of the references I applaud you, seriously. Nice job dude. And yes I call guys and girls both dude. Just so you know I wasn’t leaving anyone out. Anyway, what was I going to say? Oh yeah, even if you get every reference and you are still reading, thank you. I just go, I literally type whatever is in my head, I’m hungry, and hit publish. And if you are willing to use your precious time reading that, well that, well it just warms my heart. Thanks guys! Anyway, as we all know it has been nerd overload lately. The Batman vs Superman trailer. Oh man! I am so stoked!!!!!! Seriously it has been playing on repeat in my head since I watched it. What else, Suicide Squad, Batman vs Superman, Deadpool, um what else, oh yeah, Batman vs Superman. X Men, Batman vs Superman is worth mentioning, Star Wars is coming up, that Batman vs Superman trailer was really good. Ant-Man will be out soon, maybe they’ll play that Batman vs Superman trailer during the pre-show. I saw Terminator which I loved. The Batman vs Superman trailer. Oh! Arrow started filming. BvS. Flash is gonna be on Season Two. Dawn of Justice. Legends of Tomorrow which looks so cool, and I love that they are using Rory to travel through time. I mean what a cool thing to do, and yes I called him Rory. Because to me that’s who he is. Rory, Amy, Doctor. I guess now it’s Rip, Nebula and Skynet. Sniffle. They grow up so fast!!! Yeah, so it has been an overload, which I can handle. I mean I got that spider bite and I have a one-step-down-from-an-arc-reactor-pacemaker. Sorry for any spoilers. And sorry I mentioned that trailer, (Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice) so many times, it’s just that, how can I put this,

IT’S A FUCKING BATMAN VS SUPERMAN TRAILER!!!!!!!!

Anyway, back to meeting Stephen and Caity, yeah, we’re on a first name basis, no big. They were so awesome and down to earth. No, noses in the air, no one was below them. They were both so nice, and so cool, and you know what? Whoever said don’t meet your heroes can go poop their pants!

Anyway, it’s been a slice, hit me up on IG and twitter, I follow back and I’m not quite as crazy, 140 characters and 1000 words, get it? cause a picture is worth a thousand words, and on Instagram you post pictures. Anyway, I’m allowed to make terrible jokes, I’m a dad. Puns, just for funs.

Bye bye

Oh yeah I couldn’t find a way to fit this in, but it’s so awesome so here:

language

K seriously bye.

Robyn Hood Ongoing #7 Review

Robyn Hood Ongoing #7

Written by Pat Shand

Art by Roberta Ingranata

Colors by Slamet Mujiono

Letters by Jim Campbell

Edited by Pat Shand

RH_Ongoing_06 Cover Digital

Good Day Poppers,

J.W. Coughlan here once again, this time with organised ramblings. A review, of what you ask? Well if you don’t know, you have obviously skipped ahead you little gaffer!

gaf·fer

ˈɡafər/

noun

1. the chief electrician in a motion-picture or television production unit.

2. (informal) an old man.

Any how, here we go Robyn Hood 7.

Now I know people like to make mention of the scantily clad ladies in most Zenescope comics, and although Robyn does show it off, I will defend this with two words. Stephen Amell. He also mirrors Robin Hood every week as Arrow. He shows off his stuff almost every episode, and he looks good, a little too good. So, let’s just allow the world two sexy green archers. One man, one woman, one real, one drawn.

Now that the disclaimer fineprinty stuff is done here we go!

It was really sweet!!! Now, I find a lot of the time Zenescope has a great use of frames, or panels, whatever you wanna call them. In this book they did not disappoint. I was wowed by the frame work during the flashback scenes at the beginning of the issue.

I LOVE how her bow works. I won’t say anymore, there was one scene that blew me away and I want to leave a surprise for those of you who don’t know. But I can honestly tell you, in a time where bow and arrows rule many-a-fandom this one sure holds up.

Now Robyn is one character who shouldn’t be trifled with. She is tough in body and mind, which is really what a good story needs. Great character work on this project, including some really cool hero dynamics, like the playing of good cop bad cop, by herself.

Robyn and Marian are cool names, and a cool twist on Robin Hood and Maid Marian.

It does end on a cliffhanger, which I love, throwing in monsters, creepy cult priest dudes, you get the picture, dark awesomeness.

I love the cute date Marian goes on, but the best part was saved for last. There is a sequence where Robyn slowly pulls out her bow. Now, the art, the scene and the frame work give this last scene a truly cinematic feel. It was wicked.

A big shout out to Pat Shand on this one, Robyn Hood is truly a great comic from Zenescope and I hope Pat, as well as everyone else working on the comic keep up the hard work.

Until next time

J.W. Coughlan

2014’s Hidden Gems by Grant R. Markham

Here we are. The New Year. 2015.  Which means another year has come and gone, and another mountain of movie gems were buried by blockbusters, misguided Hollywood big wigs, bigger budgets, and bigger name movie stars. Or just poor marketing. Sadly this happens each and every year. Movies that deserve a wider release and larger audiences are relegated to a small handful of theaters, VOD, and/or various streaming services. Such is the business of making movies. It’s always a crapshoot. But fear not! That’s why I’m here! I have been asked by The Pop Culture Cafe’s “Chief Barista” JohnGMBurke to help dig out the buried treasures and put them on display for you to track down and watch.

While this list is not the end all be all of hidden gems for 2014, (do you know how many movies were released in 2014?!) it is a great way to discover films you most likely missed because they simply didn’t have the exposure or word of mouth that other films had.  To wit, if you’re a cinephile and you watch as many movies as I do, some of these will not be hidden gems to you. This list is intended for the average movie watcher, not the above average movie lover. Because, let’s face it, if you love movies, you’ve seen a lot of what’s on this list!

Rather then do a write up of each one, I have linked trailers and descriptions from “Wild About Movies” for your perusal. I avoided RottenTomatoes, IMDB, and other sites that rate and provide possible spoilers. Seeing other peoples ratings/scores tend to instantly skew your perception of the films merits and quality. It’s enough to just say I enjoyed these films. So without further ado…

  1.  Open Grave (starring Sharlto Copely) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/open-grave/
  2.  Big Bad Wolves (starring Lior Ashkenazi) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/big-bad-wolves/
  3.  Enemies Closer (starring Jean Claude VanDamme so bad he’s good) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/enemies-closer/
  4.  The Returned – (starring Anne Consigny) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/the-returned/
  5.  Stalingrad (starring Thomas Kretschmann) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Da3EgZUA0Y
  6.  In Fear (starring Allen Leech and Ian DeCaestecker) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/in-fear/
  7.  Grand Piano (starring John Cusack, Alex Winter, and Elijah Wood)  – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/grand-piano/
  8.  Bad Words (starring Jason Bateman) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/bad-words/
  9.  Better Living Through Chemistry (starring Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/better-living-through-chemistry/
  10.  Cheap Thrills (starring David Koechner, Pat Healy, and Ethan Embry) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/cheap-thrills/
  11.  The Day (starring Dominac Monaghan and Shawn Ashmore) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/the-day/
  12.  Afflicted (starring Jason Lee) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/afflicted/
  13.  Joe (starring Ty Sheridan and Nicolas Cage) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbWjxlhmlu0
  14.  Hateship Loveship (starring Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/hateship-loveship/
  15. 13 Sins (starring Marc Webber and Ron Perlman) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/13-sins/
  16. Blue Ruin (starring Macon Blair) –  MY #1 PICK! http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/blue-ruin/
  17.  Walk of Shame (starring Elizabeth Banks and James Marsden) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/walk-of-shame/
  18.  APP (starring Hanna Hoekstra) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/app/
  19.  Chef (starring Jon Favreau and a lot of other people!) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgFws3AoIUY
  20.  Cold In July (starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, and Don Johnson) MY #2 PICK! http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/cold-in-july/
  21.  Age of Uprising (starring Mads Mikkelsen) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/age-of-uprising-the-legend-of-michael-kohlhaas/
  22.  Anna (starring Mark Strong and Taissa Farminga) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/anna/
  23.  Obvious Child (starring Jenny Slate) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/obvious-child/
  24.  The Signal (starring Laurence Fishburn and Brenton Thwaites) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/the-signal-2/
  25.  Witching and Bitching (starring Hugo Silva and Carolina Bang) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/witching-and-bitching/
  26.  Jackpot (starring Kyrre Hellum) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/jackpot/
  27.  Premature (starring Adam Riegler and Alan Tudyk) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/premature/
  28.  Life After Beth (starring Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/life-after-beth/
  29.  Frank (starring Michael Fassbender) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/frank/
  30.  The One I Love (starring Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/the-one-i-love/
  31.   Life of Crime (starring Jennifer Aniston, Will Forte, and Tim Robbins) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/life-of-crime/
  32.  The Longest Week (starring Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde, and Billy Crudup) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/the-longest-week/
  33.  Honeymoon (starring Harry Treadway and Rose Leslie) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/honeymoon/
  34.  The Zero Theorem (starring Christoph Waltz) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/the-zero-theorem/
  35.  This Is Where I Leave You (starring Jason Bateman, Corey Stoll,  and Tina Fey) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/this-is-where-i-leave-you/
  36.  Automata (starring Antonio Banderas) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/automata/
  37.  Housebound (starring Morgana O’Reily) MY #3 PICK!http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/housebound/
  38.  Stonehearst Asylum (starring Jim Sturgess, Kate Beckinsale, and Ben Kingsley) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/stonehearst-asylum/
  39.  Horns – (starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/horns/
  40.  Jessabelle – (starring Sara Snook and Marc Webber) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/jessabelle/
  41.  The Babadook (starring Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman) MY #4 PICK! –  http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/the-babadook/
  42.  A Long Way Down (starring Pierce Brosnan, Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul, and Toni Collette) – http://www.wildaboutmovies.com/2014_movies/a-long-way-down/
  43.  These Final Hours (US release) (starring Nathan Phillips) MY #5 PICK!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaoF6byFQFU
  44.  Predestination (starring Ethan Hawk and Sara Snook) TIED FOR 5th PLACE!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FcK_UiVV40
  45.  Snowpiercer (starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX5PwfEMBM0
  46.  The Guest (starring Dan Stevens) TIED FOR 3rd PLACE! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0E2Qh6wLS4
  47.  The Salvation (starring Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUJuQj5r8Kk
  48. I Origins (starring Michael Pitt and Brit Marling) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amFKzf4Lr5M

There are many more films from 2014, especially from the horror genre (which puts out more films each year than any other genre), as well from the festival and indy circuits that I am sure to have missed or inadvertently omitted from the list. Please feel free to add your own or scoff at and debate the merits of ones I consider the hidden gems and buried treasures of 2014.

About Grant R. Markham: Podcaster. Photographer. Sarcastic Smart Ass. Hater of Ham. Dedicated Procrastinator. American Idiot. Lover of all things cinema related.

I have viewed each and every movie on this list and stand behind them all for various reasons. Which is not to say they are all perfect! I’m a movie lover not a movie snob. I love movies. I love watching movies. I sit through so many it’s silly really… I love movies like people love their children. Even when they stink a bit, I can find something to enjoy. I actively watch movies rather than passively. When I sit down, there are not computers, cell phones, bathroom breaks, or interruptions. I pay attention and try to absorb the entirety of the film before me. I love to debate movies and have friendly arguments regarding them. If you like OR dislike my list and wanna chat, find me on Twitter @insta_grants2

 

GFT: Masumi- Blades of Sin Issue 4

Masumi_04 pic

GFT: Masumi- Blades of Sin Issue 4

Story: Pat Shand, Joe Brusha, Ralph Tadesco

Writer: Joe Tyler

Art: Sergio Osuna

Colours: Francesca Zambon

Letters: Jim Campbell

Editor: Pat Shand

Hey Popppers,

What is goin’ down in funky town? This is J.W. Coughlan coming at you with another raving review.

So yet again, I did not read the first three books, but fear not, Zenescope gave me the run down. Now, I did enjoy this comic. It was a cool… how can I say this, cross-dimensional supernatural ghostly kung fu samurai magic horror story. Is that a good run down? Maybe not, but it’s all I got.

The frame work and layout of this comic was EXCELLENT. I mean really phenomenal. It made the comic very exciting and enjoyable. The different use of frame shapes and size was ever changing, and gave the book an almost cinematic feel. One great scene for frame use was the elevator scene. It had me on the edge of my seat.

As for the story, it was solid. A great idea matched with strong characters was quite nice to read. I really liked the ghosts. The way they were presented was excellent.

Another point I would like to touch on would be the main fight scene of the book. It was like Star Wars meets Eona. One of those things you see in nerd culture where it could be past or future.

The ending was uplifting, yet anticlimactic. I found, although this was a strong comic, the ending was a bit abrupt, and felt a bit rushed. They could have just making me want more, but that’s not really how it came across.

Now based on all that (hopefully I didn’t give too much away) I am going to give this comic…. Drum roll please…

3 ½ pops out of 5

I liked this book and the idea of the story, matched with cool characters, but for me the ending sullied it a little.

Thanks for dropping in, until next time

J.W. Coughlan

Comic Review: GFT- Robyn Hood Legend #4

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 7.54.27 PMGFT: Robyn Hood Legend #4

Writer: Pat Shand

Artwork: Larry Watts

Colors: Slamet Mujiono

Letters: Jim Campbell

Editor: Pat Shand

Reviewed by Paul Terry From the BKPlayground.net

We all know who Zenescope are, they publish, among other things, the Grimm Fairy Tales series of comics, Wonderland, Neverland, etc… you know, the ones with the covers showing extremely attractive looking women wearing tight and/or revealing clothes that we can’t help but notice on the shelf each week but daren’t actually buy for fear of being branded pervert.

 Their image is actually a shame for Zenescope because I like their ideas a lot, I’ve read the Wonderland series and I like the dark twist they put on established fiction and fairy tales, a lot of their books look interesting to me as a reader but even I hesitate to buy what looks like a porn parody where the characters wear ludicrously revealing clothing and most of the panels are gratuitous arse or boob shots.
 
Having said that, to be fair, most of Zenescope’s books aren’t like that, the cover art just gives that impression, and Robyn Hood is thankfully one of their series that focuses more on the character than her assets. This book is the fourth issue of the third volume in the Robyn Hood saga so for those wanting to learn the origin of the character you’ll need to visit volume 1, but essentially Robyn Locksley is confident young woman who finds herself transported to the Zenescope universe, however rather than adopting a whiny damsel in distress attitude she proves to be a no-nonsense and capable hero.
 
This book continues the story of Robyn and her band of merry men as they fight the Sheriff Of Nottingham, a being of magic and malevolence created by Sir Guy Of Gisbourne, and as you would expect from a penultimate issue in any storyline we have a substantial amount of action with an “oh shit!” cliffhanger at the end.
 
Pat Shand does a good job of writing characters that are easy to like, dialogue flows well, the story moves along at a decent pace and all this is complemented well by the art of Larry Watts, who deserves credit for the facial expressions drawn onto certain characters at key moments that really help to reinforce the emotion in Shand’s dialogue.
 
However, and while trying not to spoil any part of the story, I do feel that Watts could have been more ambitious with certain panels where large scale action is called for. The characters involved aren’t particularly animated considering they should be in a life threatening fight and better choreography could have given a critical set piece of the story a WOW factor rather than the more functional sequence we actually have. To be fair though, the sedate action could be how it was written by Shand and I get the impression that everyone involved with this book has the potential to elevate it to something better if they could just polish the book a little harder.
 
Having said that, Robyn Hood is one of the better Zenescope titles, I’ve read worse stories and seen worse artwork in books published by Marvel and DC so don’t be put off trying it out – it delivers what we’ve come to expect from Zenescope, decent artwork, decent story and although you’ll enjoy reading the book it will be soon forgotten, probably never to be read again, but you’ll probably want to pick up the next issue regardless.
I’ll give Robyn Hood “3 Pops” – Entertains but doesn’t wow.
Remember comics are to be enjoyed. Not destroyed.