Thursday, February 25, 2010

BitterNews for Thursday, February 25th, 2010



• Sooooooo boring.
• Detective #27 (first Batman) graded 8.0 sold for over a million dollars – breaking the record set earlier this week for Action #1. Same guy bought both?
• Top Secret talks happening at Wildstorm HQ in LaJolla with the new DC leaders.
• The Super 7 Stormtrooper Super Shogun starts tomorrow at noon PST. Free shipping for early bird orders, but how’s $299.99 sound? About $125 too expensive, that’s how it sounds.
• We Are All Whores.
• Drew Barrymore’s next movie is called “Everybody Loves Whales” – maybe not such a good title after yesterday’s Killer Whale attack at Sea World.
• The 10 billionth iTunes download was a Johnny Cash tune, bought by a 71-year-old dude in Georgia. He got a call from Steve Jobs, one from Roseanne Cash (Johnny’s daughter) and a $10,000 gift card for the iTunes store that hopefully is transferable as it’ll take a while to download that much music and he’s 71.
• Welcome Racist Robot** to these pages (see pic above)! Racist Robot is not a Racist, inasmuch as he has no prejudices against any particular class, creed or color – but he is inherently a figure of Racism in that his mere existence (thanks Michael Bay!) shows that Racism still runs rampant and is unapologetically exploited for a dollar and a cent. What Racist Robot can’t stand however is bullshit, especially from the companies that manufacture the art and products we love. Therefore, Racist Robot has been programmed to interpret Press Releases, quotes and other garbage passed from Corporations to Fans, and he’ll do it all, exclusively here on BitterGeeks!

** Please note that Racist Robot is an actual mass-produced toy that was sold in stores all over the world – based on a blatantly offensive character from the Transformers films. There was a minor hubub when the film came out, but it blew away. We're surprised no one painted the toy earlier to emphasize what an offensive caricature it is.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

BitterNews for Wednesday, February 24th, 2010


• What a dull day. If you don’t believe me, consider our first post:
• Kirsten Dunst has found work in the wake of losing the role of Mary Jane Watson in Spider-man 4. She’s made a stupid music video of herself singing the Vapor’s 80’s hit “Turning Japanese” (a song about masturbation, BTW) with (bad) Director McG. One assumes that it, like his Terminator film, is full of plot holes, goes nowhere, will ruin any potential future enjoyment of the original version, and, as a bonus, has awful “singing”. We look forward to McG flying into an internet rage as soon as possible – maybe even after reading this post!
• In more important news, Sting, who we’ve always known was a giant fucking asshole, with a sense of self-entitlement and holier than thou attitude because he thinks no one in mid-America understands that Russians don’t want their kids to die any more than some parent from a flyover State or that it might be bad if all the rainforests dried up, has taken a million dollars to play a show for the daughter of the DICTATOR OF UZBEKISTAN, Islam Karimova. Look this fuckstick up and see what a humanitarian he is – and someone better tell Der Stingle what’s going on here, because he’ll surely want to renounce that act once he realizes that it’s not right to play vanity shows for guys who boil their enemies to death or drain the world’s natural resources for their own personal gain or conscript armies of children for slave labor. I bet Herr Sting is waiting for the report right now. Or maybe he's just counting his ill-gained dollars. If I was a betting man I'd go with the latter. Asshole.
• Next 3A figure is Little Shadow – sounds like a 1/6 fig, but full disclosure is not made yet. On sale March 19th, HK time, 18th in USA.
• Humvees will no longer be made. Considering what shitty vehicles they were (esp the H2), this is NO LOSS.
• The writer of the True Blood books, Charlaine Harris, will have her Harper Connelly series of books adapted by Dynamite.
• McFarlane is talking up Spawn 2 again, with himself as director. If he can’t find a studio to finance it (to the tune of $20 million) he’s threatening to fund it himself, which seems unlikely considering that his other businesses aren’t exactly rocking and rolling, and that McFarlane Toys has been for sale for the last ten years. But sure, Todd, keep dreaming.
• Mickey Rourke is being pursued for the role of Conan’s dad and some WWE wrestler tried out for the bad guy part. I can’t tell nay of them apart anymore, so let’s say it was Steroid P. Niss, and leave it at that.
• David Goyer will write the next Superman film.
• Many names in the hopper for the lead in Captain America, amid word hat Joe Johnston is already squabbling with Marvel over budgets. He won’t win that one. The number floated for the lead role in the film is a mere $300K with options for 9 (9!!) sequels (which I suppose includes Avengers films, etc). This means it’ll need to be someone young, probably from TV. John Krasinski from The Office is one name mentioned, but he’s already directing films, so it seems unlikely he’d take the role, although he’d probably be great.
• In ungodly holy hell please no news, George Lopez is looking to play the lead in a Speedy Gonzales movie. Maybe he can be the Frito Bandito next. Oh wait, the Frito Bandito is FUNNY.
• Matt Damon will star in an RFK biopic.
• iTunes sold their 10 billionth song today.
• Ray Davies of the Kinks wants to record with Metallica – and it might happen!
• Public Image Ltd will tour the US following their Coachella spot.
• Lindsay Lohan is moving to the UK. In related news, penicillin is being shipped to the land of boiled pizza at record rates. Lock up your todgers, gents and alert the bobbies!
• Looks like Zoolander 2 will become a reality.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

BitterNews for February 23rd, 2010


• Liz Rosenberg, longtime publicist at Warner Music group, and Madonna confidant, is leaving the label after 39 years.
• Did we mention that the pickle beat Nickleback?
• Richard Thompson will curate Meltdown 2010 – bring a pillow.
• Hot Toys next Michael Jackson figure is a great looking BAD-era MJ (when he still had a nose!) with an additional Dirty Diana outfit. The headsculpt is not quite right, but it’s hard to match airbrushing.
• Charlie Sheen is in rehab – quel surprise!
• Warner Brothers bought a majority of shares in Rocksteady Games, the company that did the Arkham Asylum game.
• Apparently, Die Hard 5 – which may take the franchise global, is coming next year.
• Hillary Duff rules! (that’s her in today’s picture, minutes after getting engaged to hockey douche Mike Comrie). What a horrible invasion of privacy! For shame!
• Somebody issued the Frankie goes To Hollywood album (yes, we know there were two, but really, content-wise, there’s barely an EP) as a two disc set with many remizes that all sounded the same 20+ years ago now on the boner disc. Yes, I said boner. Thanks Hillary!
• The “classic” Dokken lineup is reuniting. State Fairs tremble in anticipation of their opening slot on this summer’s Bret Michaels’ Rock Of Syphilis tour.
• Danzig’s new album will be called Deth Red Sabaoth. By the way, where’s the 20th anniversary Edition of your first album (supposed to have been released in 2008) and the Simon Bisley – illustrated book of your lyrics (supposed to have been released in Dec 2009), Mr Evil Short Guy?
• iPhone sales doubled in 2009 and iPad anticipation is clocked at DOUBLE the anticipation level of iPhone (at launch).
• A Doc Savage movie is in the works, directed by Shane Black, who made the excellent Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and wrote both Monster Squad and Lethal Weapon.
• Unbreakable 2 might happen - with the final confrontation between Mr Glass and Security, says Bruce Willis. That would be an M. Night Shamalamadingdong film I’d go see.
• Apparently Wesley Snipes is desperate enough to want to do Blade 4 before he ends up starring with DMX and Steven Segal in a direct to video "erotic" "thriller".
• Forgot to mention that Flashforward Season 1, Pt 1 came out today – a great idea that will no doubt add a ratings boost to Season 1, Part 2 when it airs.
• Action Comics #1 sold for over a million dollars yesterday. I should sell my copies now.
• The Peanuts franchise may be for sale.
• Racist Robot is coming.
• That’s it for this largely boring day in news.

Monday, February 22, 2010

BiiterNews for Monday, February 22, 2010


• J-Lo was dropped by someone besides her dancer today – her label Sony let her go and her new album will not be released through the label. All this for falling on your ass on TV? No, it’s because no one cares anymore. SNL should be interesting when she hosts with nothing to promote. Maybe Betty White will stand in that week?
• Hey Thundercats fans! Check this out: get your “Non-Racist Black Skinghead Panthro” bootleg toy! Only 24 made (from resin) – at scumlife.com!
• Alice Cooper & Rob Zombie are touring together starting in April.
• Lexi Belle (full disclosure; she’s a porn star, so know that before you google her) tweeted pics of herself in her Harley Quinn costume (and of less interest, the Joker) on the set of the Batman porn that’s being shot now. I’m amazed that they can get away with this and would think the newly integrated DC would be filing suit yesterday, unless this all part of Geoff Johns’ masterplan.
• The new JLU single carded figures are showing up at Targets. Look for Barda, Deadshot, Firestorm, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Star Sapphire, among a gazillion Batman repaints that are overpacked in the cases.
• In other JLU news, the “Crisis On Two Earths” direct to DVD animated film arrives tomorrow. Best Buy has an exclusive Owl Man pack in figure and Target has a bonus disc, I believe. I might buy it for the Spectre mini story extra, set in the 70’s and written by the overrated Steve Niles.
• Also out tomorrow on DVD; The Box, The Informant!, and Dead Snow, a pretty solid foreign Nazi Zombie film that was released via VOD a few months back. And niche home video companies are pushing out their better titles on BluRay, including Ichi the Killer, Poultrygeist and Romero’s The Crazies (in advance of the upcoming remake). Major studios, meanwhile are issuing some films with lesser appeal as 2on1 Blu-rays. Included are Grumpy Old Men / Grumpier Old Men, Analyze This & That, and Miss Congeniality 1 & 2.
• Music Acts are looking for new ways to fund their activities. Public Enemy has started seeking $250K to make their new album via Sellaband, although Investors have now backed down and the amount is dropping after only just passing $70K. The 80’s college-rock act Camper Van Beethoven is asking fans to help come up with $7K so they can play South By Southwest in Austin this year, a music business trade show that also features live performances. Contributors get to pick a song in their set. Why either of these acts can’t find less expensive alternatives is mystifying. PE could make their album on a Mac for next to nothing (and who’s to say they won’t even if they get $250K?) and CVB ought to suck it up and get in the Van, which, even with Hotels would cost a lot less than $7K. If you can’t stand the heat gents, get out of the music industry.
• Last week was the 7th Anniversary of the Station nightclub fire that killed 100 people at a Great White show when the band’s pyro set the place on fire. And STILL Great White won’t stop playing. At least if they’re going to keep at it, they ought to burn down the clubs that will book them – hopefully they’ll take a couple more GW “fans” with them. After all, anyone can pump gas and people are out of work dammit - step aside Great White fans!
• Shutter Island was #1 at box office this weekend, bringing in $40 million. Old people were largely the audience. Film is solid, but not great.
• Those fucktards at Mattycollector.com are issuing apologies and stupid answers to question all over the internet, except in their case, they are just digging a deeper hole. More on this later with our new bullshit interpreter, The Racist Robot!
• Speaking of Racist Robot, he’ll be interpreting the DC Comics Press Release about their new appointments, too. So much to look forward to!
• Pete Townshend says his tinnitus is getting worse and if last-ditch surgery doesn’t work, the Who will hang it up after a show this summer. Sounds like a publicity stunt to me.
• Great fight online today between Kevin O’Neill and the movie producer Don Murphy over the LOEG Dossier book. O'Neil claims Murphy surpressed the book and pushed DC to modify the content. Hard to say who’s right, but Murphy comes off as a massive tool in his response.
• The Dream Syndicate’s Medicine Show album is finally being reissued. This is one of the few great 80’s alternative titles that hasn’t been re-released on CD yet.
• Jim Lee is doing a variant cover to the new Vertigo Stephen King book, called American Vampire. Expect to see more Lee covers in the aftermath of his appointment at DC. Cannot imagine he will do interiors anytime soon.
• Gareb Shamus' Wizard organization is now planning a Con in Nashville. Will be interesting to see if any of these shows have more to offer than the typical local con.
• EMI are backing off their plan to sell Abbey Road after an outcry. And also, the Brit Govt might pay more to preserve it as a historical site than any private enterprise would pay to keep it operating as a studio. Can you say loan default?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Feb 18th, 2010...DC Comics REAL Brightest Day


Forget the upcoming DC Comics event titled Brightest Day, this is it right here. Or we could also call it the end of "The Great Darkness Saga".

As reported all over the 'net today, DC has finally had the corporate shake up we're all been praying for and the end result is far more promising than we could have ever imagined.

There is a lot of good news here and the best of it is the part we've been calling for (in this blog) since last summer...the removal of DC's Editor in chief, Dan Didio. While Dan remains with the company, he's been properly removed from creative side of the biz and been given a nice comfy chair (and salary no doubt) to now over see the broader publisher side of things. Make sure books get printed, distributed domestically and overseas, increase book seller market share, attend Time Warner board meetings, Etc. In charge of still important but ultimately boring stuff.

While Didio certainly deserves to simply get kicked to the curb for nearly running DC comics into the ground over the past couple of years (no exaggeration, check the numbers), we're happy he's just now out of the editorial picture. Good riddance DiDumDum!

The better news is that creators like Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, DC's top tier creators that consistently make DC Comics money, are now going to be calling the shots. Just like when Marvel Comics tapped Joe Quesada, who was just a hard working writer/artist and fan, all those years ago to take over its creative reins.

Both Jim and Geoff are known as uber talented, well connected and well liked creators who not only understand comics and it's fandom but the nuts and bolts of the biz. Additionally, both are forward thinking guys that have had enough experience with Hollywood to understand there needs to be a new kind synergy between publishing, the internet, video games, social media, merchandising and of course film and television. We are truly looking at the dawn of a new era for DC and this new Time Warner arm of entertainment.

Of course it will take some time for any new creative plans Lee and Johns have on their 'to do' lists to emerge. We expect the earliest you'd see any real significant change in character, story or creator direction in the DC titles would be late in this year, maybe 4th quarter. The new leaders will need several months to plan and sign on new creative teams. That would leave the San Diego Comicon as the perfect venue where DC can make a really big splash with all the new publishing plans and announcements. Looking forward to it.

One plan of Didio's that was recently discussed will now for sure be crushed. Dan wanted to strip mine the Watchmen franchise and start a new series of spin offs with Alan Moore's most profitable characters. Won't happen now or anytime under Jim Lee's watch. Lee and his Widstorm publishing arm were the only factors that kept Moore working for DC/Warner Bros. Lee is never going to willingly stab Alan in the back and bastardize what's left of the one creation that has already caused such a decades long rift between creator and publisher. Of course, it's a pipe dream after all this time (and yes, Alan is just a tad out of his mind at this point) but if any one individual has a chance of coaxing Moore back to DC it would be Jim Lee.

Bet you Mark Waid is kicking himself today…if he had stuck around a couple of years longer, no doubt he’d be one of the creators given the keys to the kingdom by management.


Don't forget to fix DC Direct as well guys!

So rejoice fanboys! This truly is the brightest day in 21st Century Comic history.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

GOOOOOOOOOOLLLLD!



And yes, you will get this everytime she scores another medal.

The rest of the good, the bad and the damn ugly of the 2010 NY Toy Fair

Well, after seeing all there is to see of the 2010 NY Toy Fair, I can now safely save all my toy pennies for San Diego Comicon in July because there isn't diddly to get excited about until then. A few cool things to consider this fall but overall it's looking like a down year for the figure crowd.

Some of the more interesting showrooms:

Lego - Bionicle is being phased out this year after a decade in the spotlight. The last holdout of the Indiana Jones lisence finally calls it quits with the brand at the end of this Spring season. Buy up those sets while you can. The Star Wars brand is not looking that hot this year. Ok but nothing stunning. The new Harry Potter sets will not only sell well, they will make good investments. The huge castle set is amazing.

Kotobukiya - Now into a good groove producing great Marvel statues that in many cases not only look better than anything Sideshow is producing and they are a lot cheaper! They announced they have the DC license as well now. Would not be hard for them to make DC Direct look worse than they already do.

Square-Enix is an odd company that always produces fantastic figures based on their own popular line of video game such as the Final Fantasy Series. Looking forward to the Bayonetta figure on display. Wish they could get the Marvel license for an 8 inch figure scale and be the first to finally do something cool with the brand because it sure won't be Hasbro anytime soon.

Mattel - About time they are doing Zatanna in the DCU lineup. While I do like the look and sculpts of the Masters of the Universe Classics line, it just wouldn't be Mattel if they didn't fuck it up with the lamest idea for a 2-pack I've ever seen with the Superman Vs He-Man set. This will be at least a $29.99 set in TRU...an impulse purchase for anyone who doesn't know who He-Man is? Not likely.

Bandai - While there isn't anything for us here, it's worth noting that this is the first time since it's inception way back in what? 1992? that there is no new lineup of Power Rangers toys. Everything shown here is either a scaled down or re-released version of some of the original PR toys from the early days. This will be like a greatest hits year. No new series, no new code name or team. The Rangers brand had one hell of a run and was king of the retail hill for years so it's a bit sad to see it now fade away. They certainly deserve a spot in the toy industry hall of fame.

Which brings us to the absolute worst showrooms of Toy Fair.

DC Direct. Ugly sculpts, ridiculous articulation (any sculptor or manager should be black balled from the industry for using the 'T' crotch torso at this point), redundant re-releases and now investing in video game brands by releasing figures months after any game has peaked or been relevant in the marketplace. Since no one told George Brewer this before, let us be the first: If you want to buy a lisence for any major, timed release event, you need to be able to release the product at the SAME TIME the game/film/TV show comes out!

Dark Horse. Why these guys spend the $$$ to set up at Toy Fair is beyond me. Find me an actual toy in this showroom.

NECA. The next in a long line of really dumb toy companies that want to lose money on the Terminator license.

And by far the worst overall looking showroom and product (drum roll.....)

Shocker Toys! Holy Fuck. Just look at these figure sculpts...pick any one. They look like poor custom jobs done in the early '90s, using the old Testors model paints. You could find a talented kid that could do a vastly superior job in any custom forum or on ebay out there but I guess this is what you settle for and display next to all these other wares and talents at TF. And this has to be the only showroom at Toy Fair to actually display cardboard cutout drawings of future product (Hasbro Mighty Muggs rip offs, right down to the way the faces are stylized), as if they would possibly sway potential buyers. "Wow! That poorly drawn figure with the giant head looks awesome! When can I get some!" Go figure. At least this company is aptly named.

Moving on to SDCC...nothing else to see here.

What do you get when you cross two '70s toy brands together?


A very empty wallet.

Me want!

Super7 Exclusive Shogun Stormtrooper!

Wow! SCHWING!

More please!

BitterNews for Wednesday, February 17, 2010


• Snooki & Jwoww are not Italian!
• Hendrix Rock Band was confirmed today by the Hendrix Estate
• EMI / Terra Firma are about 20 days away from defaulting on a loan to Citibank. In the meantime, Guy Hands is scrambling to save his ass by begging, suing amd having a fire sale. He’s already tried to split the publishing arm of EMI from the record side, but was stopped. Now he’s looking to sell Abbey Road, where the Beatles and others recorded countless historic albums. Of course these days the name is worth more than the gear as any well equipped mac provides the basic tools to make a top flight digital recording. Good luck to all those at EMI.
• Amongst the lousy product DC Direct showed at Toy Fair is a 1:6 (well, DC Directs version of 1:6) movie Jonah Hex. Bring on Megan Fox.
• Toy Fair was every bit as bad as we expected it to be this year. It feels more like 1989 than 2010. CES is the new Toy fair.
• Diamond is going to release Universal Monsters figures, which shows that license is available to anyone with $15. The product looks largely awful.
• In related news, The Wolfman scared up about $35 million at the box office this weekend, less than the $40K Universal hoped for, but not bad considering it was A MONSTER MOVIE OPENING ON VALENTINES DAY WEEKEND! Good thinking Universal – put a gory monster film up against a couple of high profile rom-coms – that’ll work. Since the fate of future Universal Monster revivals is resting on the performance of this movie, I guess we’ll have to see how it plays out. It doesn’t help that this troubled film had considerable re-shoots and was delayed a few times, which apparently shows in the final product.
• 3A has confirmed the Tank Girl license as mentioned here last week.
• No surprise that January comic sales were lousy – so were the books, especially at DC where the shine is wearing off Blackest Night and DiDio is looking very very vulnerable. Buffy The Vampire Slayer is outselling most DC titles – handily. Since most of DC’s titles in the top 50 are tied to Blackest Night, it will be DEVASTATING to them when the event ends – leaving them largely outside the top 50 except for the odd bat-book, and sales there are down 25% or worse.
• In related news, the first 6 issues of DC’s Brightest Day event were announced as returnable today. What a coincidence!
• Kaare Andrews designs for the new Astonishing X-Men book were revealed today – very forward looking.
• Both Marvel & DC revealed their full May solicitations. I do not have the heart to look at them.
• The release date for the Losers has moved again. Is it done yet?
• Steve Jobs is writing an autobiography.
• So is Steven Adler, the drummer in Guns N Roses, who is also a frequent “guest” on Dr Drew hosted shows. I expect Adler’s book to have more blowjobs in it.
• Aerosmith (with Tyler) are booked to play a number of European shows this summer.
• Sade’s new album debuted at #1 on the top 200, ten years after her last release, which proves two things 1) Old people buy music and 2) One Sade album every ten years is the right number.
• Lady Gaga officially has female genitalia, as displayed at the Brit Awards last night. That said, still no word on if these are aftermarket parts.
• Jeff Beck has a new album coming out on Rhino (!!) in April.
• John Hughes is making the news again after dying last year. First the Oscars will feature a tribute to Hughes – not entirely surprising as the hosts both starred in Hughes films. Second, the new Vanity Fair features a large profile of Hughes, in which Molly Ringwald mentions that Hughes worked up a story around the Cure song “Love Cats”.
• In Cure news, the song Robert Smith sings in Alice & Wonderland is now available to hear online.
• Bryan Adams (yes, him) took some topless pics of Lindsay Lohan for some magazine. Both the photography and the tits are better than I expected.
• Megan Fox is insecure and hates other girls.
• Sasha Grey is making an album. Rinse before you step up to the mic, lady!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The internet ralies to beat on Mattel & Matty today

Mattycollector.com, Mattel's broken online retail site is getting the crap kicked out of it today by angry fanboys all over the web. On Facebook, in collector forums, on blogs and all over Twitter. Deservedly so. With the launch of several new exclusive products the site was once again overwhelmed and crashed, ran slow and was full of check out errors for everyone stupid enough to once again line up to get fucked by this madding monthly process. Us Bitter Geeks included.

From the minute it began, figures were reported sold out as you attempted to check out only to minutes later be in stock again. The list of errors go on but I don't care enough to list them all out.

Mattel contracts a Minnesota based ecommerce company named Digital River to run the tech of the site, distribution and handle customer service. To date, I don't know how Mattel's folks can say the partnership has been anything but a complete failure. A failure that is truly something to witness month after month. Like ecommerce is a new wonder for any firm to figure out how to execute. Two monkeys with a PC and a warehouse full of toys could do a better job.

And since this is the week of the New York Toy Fair, we've all been watching Mattel's Toyguru bask in the glory of showcasing new 2010 Matty.com exclusives that we all get the pleasure of suffering to obtain at least every month as long as this shitty website is utilized by these jokers.

We've posted this before but it needs to be said again: "Hey Mattel & Toyguru! Stop showing off new product when your priority is fixing a broken retail process and website!"

I would not let Scott and his teams even talk about new toys until this problem was completely and permanently resolved.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Kevin Smith's Fat Ass makes headlines...Because he's FAT

So Kevin Smith's mammoth carcass gets booted off a Southwest Airline flight over the weekend and the story spreads like wildfire because he's bitching about it on Twitter.

No sympathy for him or anyone else in this situation. Would like to know at what extra few hundred pound magic number he would consider others to be justifiably inconvenienced by such size.

You have to be one selfish bastard to complain when you clearly have no respect for yourself or even your family (simply wanting to be healthier to see your kids grow up would be one motivation) when you continue to let yourself go as far as he has. Even as lazy as he is, he could easily afford a trainer or for the easy fix, a few staples in the gut so he can't keep packing slop in it. Think about his complaint..."I'm fat and lazy and spoiled...So?".

Dude, consider this event a wake up call.


Southwest is clearly no smarter. Further proof American companies don’t yet know how to utilize Twitter or Facebook properly...in a really stupid PR move, they actually replied to Fatso’s Twitter account with a lame ass apology. Hey SW, If you are going to quote a 25 year policy you were sticking to, don’t allow your employees to respond via social media and have a permanent public reply out there on the guy’s Twitter account. Boy corporate America is full of fools with degrees and MBAs.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Best of the Hasbro New York Toy Fair lineup

So far at least...This is easy because there isn't much to cheer this year. Marvel U is a broken mess of constant re-issues and repaints with giant shipping gaps between assortments. GI Joe is in transition. This new 2010 line is a last minute change from the original plan of coninuing a movie based execution but since that failed at retail...here we are.

Anyway here's what you should be excited for. If you need photos, click the links to other awesome toy news sites that provide stellar Toy Fair showroom photo coverage. Saves me airfare and hotel fees and standing shoulder to shoulder with drooling, sweaty fan/journalists!

Transformers AND Marvel Comics Weebles! What? While we knew the Weebles brand was coming back I never expected what should be obvious here and mix the core brands and licenses within these wobbling wonders in year one. Absolutely will have these on my shelf once they hit. Best use of the Marvel license to date by Hasbro.

The Star Wars Legacy BIG FUCKING AT-AT (or BFATAT). Like 2008's BFMF, this thing is monster and a tooling marvel. This is the kind of toy kids crap in their pants for when they open this sucker on Christmas morning. Brings a tear to this old fanboy's eye.

Star Wars wins again with the return of the Vintage Collection. Great new scuplts of old favs with some unexpected twists such as the Mail-Away replica missile-firing Boba Fett figure complete with retro marketing on the new packages. The details added to some of the new figures are great such as adding welding gear accessories to Han Solo. And why not? He uses the gear twice in the ESB...when I think about it now, it's amazing no one at Kenner or Hasbro had thought of this before. Also great to see this will now be an ongoing line for at least two years and not a limited run. So far at least 37 figures are planned eventually including characters from the prequels. Basically replaces the Legacy Collection but with better packaging.

More as it breaks.

BitterNews for Saturday, February 13th, 2010




• Toy Fair 2010 starts tomorrow in NYC, but the festivities are already under way. It will suck, so we don’t expect much interesting news at all this year, but here’s what we have so far:
• As if the Marvel Universe line didn’t suck enough already, this is the lineup for waves 3 and 4:
• Wave 3: Arcangel, Kitty Pride, Havok, AIM Soldier, and some other smooth guys.
• Wave 4: Mary Jane, Thanos, Winter Soldier, Super Skrull, Iron Spider, Iron Patriot (I guess this is the Wave of Characters From Stories That Are Three Years Old & Everyone Is Trying To Forget - good strategy Hasbro!)
• Danica Patrick’s first Nascar race ends in a multi-car wreck. Like her GoDaddy ads.
• The silent sci-fi classic Metropolis has been restored again – apparently it’s amazing and unlike the 80’s restoration hasn’t been scored with Adam Ant songs.
• Hasbro is also releasing a rocket-firing Bona Fett on a vintage style card.
• Wal-Mart and LiveNation (the world’s largest concert promoter - who just merged with Ticketmaster) have entered an agreement that will see ticket sales in Wal-Marts nationwide.
• Variety gives a great review to the upcoming Scorcese film, “Shutter Island”.
• NECA will have new Terminator figures at Toy Fair.

Worst Olympic Opening Ceremonies Ever


And after the 2004 Opening Ceremonies in Greece that's saying something. In all seriousness, I've seen better Disney On Ice live events. In fact, I'm pretty sure they stole a few ideas from some of these kinds of shows such as the lone Snowboarding scrub racing into the area down a short hill in front of a huge movie screen that had been showing a clip of this same kid boarding down a real mountain.

Canada lived up to it lame reputation and delivered an incredibly dull snooze fest complete with technical malfunctions and the mindboggling decision to have two Olympic flame cauldrons. One inside a closed area that didn't work and one across town outside where the damn thing is supposed to be for all to see. This of course led to the oh so thrilling spectacle of watching the final torch bearer Wayne Gretzky be driven to the final location. All this after the world sat around waiting for a fourth leg of a lazily designed flame bucket rise from the stage floor. Now that's the kind of compelling TV we'll all be talking about for weeks to come!

They couldn't even create matching costumes for any production number. With so few actors, singers or dancers on the stage, you could barely follow what was going on without TV camera close ups. It was as if they prepared this show for a five thousand seat theater and then found out they had to perform in a much larger venue.

And since when did Canada embrace all their Indian cultures so much? The Indian influence ran through nearly all points of production. They either thought these would be costumes that caused the least amount of design work and effort or it's the only heritage they could pretend they actually had because practically everything in Canada is imported into their culture from other origin points in the world.

The best entertainment during the night was listening to NBC's Matt Lauer and Bob Costas struggle to say glowing things about the mess..."well, it's certainly intamate...". Missing were typical praises of such a huge world wide event like "spectacle", "astonishing", "thrilling", "amazing", "mind blowing" or "memorable". The best thing you can say about the Vancouver opening ceremonies is that it did every athlete in the arena a favor and made them sleepy so they'd all get plenty of rest for the games.

At least it's now over and soon to be forgotten...until they bore the world all over again with the closing ceremonies. Now, onto the games...Bring on the crashes and wipeouts!

Friday, February 12, 2010

BitterNews for February 12, 2010



Eduardo Barreto is “gravely ill”. This guy is one of the most underrated artists working in comics today – although he has been doing the Judge Parker strip recently (I wonder how many papers carry that at this point?). Hope he gets well soon.

Roger Daltrey has joined me in not thinking much of the Who performance at the Super Bowl.

Guns N Roses played at the former site of CBGB’s last night as part of Fashion Week (cannot imagine the size of that paycheck) and they covered AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie. The 17 song set included a scant 3 songs from Chinese Democracy.

Congrats to Mindy Kaling, who wrote the funniest episode of the Office this season so far – it aired last night. She plays Kelly Kapoor on the show.

Happy Valentines weekend! Nakedsnooki.com launched today. Yes, it is what you think. Click at your own risk. If your eyeballs melt or your house explodes, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Hot Toys revealed their Sarah Conner figure today as a “Valentines” surprise. Considering the target audience, this may be the only female figure they will ever get in their house, even after paying $150.00. Looks great, of course.

Kelly Bensimon is in the new Playboy! Who is Kelly Bensimon? I can’t be bothered to read the caption under her photo on the cover….

New Shag shriner vinyl figure revealed at Rotfugi. Looks awesome!

Matty posted to Facebook that the DCUC series 12 sets are on sale the 16th of Feb, although this is in direct contradiction to previous statements from Matty, which claimed March 15th. So who knows? Certainly not Mattel.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

BitterNews for February 11th, 2010


• A company called Factory Entertainment is making Green Hornet toys – series one will be 6” figures from the new movie sculpted by a former McFarlane employee, and series two will be based on the 60’s TV series. They have license for props & vehicles as well as the 40’s serials.
• Mindstyle is going to make Muppets and Pixar vinyl toys.
• Limp Bizkit are updating their sound for their “comeback” album. It will supposedly have a little “Daft Punk” thrown in, which I assume means vocoder or autotune. If they just stop now, Durst & co might be able to have a successful career on the State Fair / Monster Truck circuit, but they should realize that no one who didn’t come of age with “classics” like “Nookie” wants to hear a single note from them ever again, especially new stuff.
• McG is whining about directing upcoming Terminator films, but it’s not going to happen, at least not contractually, per Judge. Interestingly, James Cameron’s writing partner on the first two Terminator movies has written plot outlines for T5 & T6 and they are supposedly great.
• The Tokidoki Marvel stuff is hitting the US stores (LA & NYC) on Feb 25th. Looks cool if you are a size -0.
• The Jung DePlume 3A figure sold out in ten minutes on Bambaland. Server took a major drag and there was a lot of sweating tonight. See 3A board for deets.
• The trailer for Toy Story 3 is online.
• The last Twilight book will be split into two films, shot back to back.
• Bob Dylan is trying to sell his paintings for $148K and up. Hope he doesn’t paint like he sings.
• That pussy John Mayer cried onstage last night as he apologized for using the N-word, bet he made a couple of crying phone calls to Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson too.
• The Losers film, based on DC comics Vertigo series is moved to June 4th (a week before the A-Team) from April 9th - trying to avoid competing with Clash of Titans.
• DC is trying to compete with the Avengers teasers by teasing Brightest Day. Snooze city.
• Taylor Laughtner is not only Stretch Armstrong, he’s also Max Steel, proving he will sign for “Inhumanoids” soon.
• Jon & Kate are coming back to TV – together…
• Amadeus Cho from the great Hercules series that hardly anyone is reading is the new Hercules?
• Some guy is back in Megadeth.
• Bill Gates isn’t impressed with the iTampon. Quel surprise.
• Bull Clinton isn’t too impressed with his heart, but is impressed with KFC. Two stents later.
• Robert Plant will release a new solo album this year, produced by Buddy Miller in Nashville, so it’s going to be rootsy, not rocky.
• Alec Baldwin tried to check out again today. Kim Basinger must be quite the bitch. Watch “30 Rock” tonight to show you’re on the right team!
• Designer Alexander McQueen just couldn’t take it anymore today & he’s out.
• Lady Gaga was covered in pearls last night, and I’m not talking about the jizz she’s usually swimming in from head to toe..
• The Megan Fox Armani video shoot is online. Have fun & remember to stop when it’s bleeding…

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

BitterNews for Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lots going on:

• Spider-man reboot will be in 3-D – did you see that coming? Of course you did. It will be a 2011 release for July 4th weekend.
• The rights to the Terminator franchise have been sold. Both Sony and Lions Gate bid separately and then combined forces to outbid Pacificor, the hedge fund that ultimately won; paying $29.5 million plus $5 million per sequel made. In addition, Pacificor forgave a debt of $36.5 million owed them by the previous rights holder, Halcyon. Sony & Lions Gate bid $36.5 million, but without the additional payments for sequels, and of course they couldn’t resolve the debt issue between Pacificor & Halcyon. Sony is crying foul, but a judge has ruled against them and so the property is going to the Pacificor group.
• The Return of Bruce Wayne story looks to be as awful as the Death Of Bruce Wayne story was if the covers revealed by Dan Didio this week are any indication. And in today’s godawful, nothing happens issue of Batman & Robin, Batwoman gets her legs crushed and is presumably crippled for life. Because if you aren’t Batman and you put the suit on, you are fucked, especially if you’re a girl. Hopefully this is a red herring or a result of Grant Morrisons obscene hallucinogen intake because it would signal the end or at least the Barbara Gordon-ing of a promising character. With DC’s apparent jihad on DC’s continuing existence, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were planning to throw her in a ditch, though.
• JJ Abrams and Tom Cruise will reunite for Mission Impossible 4.
• WMG, the music group that owns Atlantic, Warner, Reprise, Elektra, Rhino & others lost millions last quarter and are failing to add meaningful companies to their portfolio, despite spending a small fortune on them. They, like EMI, are partly funded by Citibank, so one possible endgame has the two majors merged and owned by Citibank.
• Kotobukiya is going to be revealing new DC based products at ToyFair, along with more Marvel, Star Wars, Bayonetta, and other stuff.
• Lots of hubbub today over a Captain America panel that negatively portrayed the TeaBaggers. The offense came from a sign in a crowd that was not inserted by writer Ed Brubaker, but in fact was added by a letterer or other post-creative person. It is going to be changed in future printings, but for now the book (Cap 602) is selling for $20 on eBay because Fox News talked about it today. Next week, $3.00 again. This is the state of American politics, people.
• In iTampon news, Apple is looking to lower TV show DL prices to $1 an episode for the product launch and Hulu, which is flash based and therefore won’t work on the device, is supposedly developing a non-flash version of their site.
• Popular streaming music service Rhapsody, currently owned by MTV, is being sold off. And MTV has finally dropped the “Music” from their name.
• Doug Morris, who has successfully helmed Universal Music for many years is stepping into a Chairman role and Lucian Grainge is taking over as CEO.
• I am the new lead singer of Aerosmith.
• DCUC 13 lineup announced today. Wow, what a stinker. Here’s your lineup: Zatanna, Hourman, Obsidian, Metal Man Gold, Golden Age Green Lantern (kids love the Golden Age!), Tyr (Brand Managers love Super Powers) with an Ultra-Humanite BAF and….. Kamandi, a figure that will be the pergwarmer of the CENTURY (if it ever gets to any pegs). It’s easily the GAYEST looking action figure ever- a healthy young boy with long blonde hair in cut-offs and boots. The only way it could be gayer is if it comes with lube and vibrates. No kid or mom will want this, although that old dude from Family Guy might be buying a case or two.
• Matty has also fucked up the Feb 15th, oh wait, 16th sale. The Ghostbusters figure that was to be offered that day is bumped BACK to April (??!) because it won’t be ready in time (why not March?) and the full set of DCUC 12 will be offered on March 15th, which means we’ll probably have DCUD 13 at Wal-Mart by then.
• Matty is also doing a TRU exclusive He-Man versus Superman 2 pack, which will include a reprint of the issue of DC Presents where they teamed up. And a planet yawns.
• JLU is soldiering on at Target despite horrible sales, which shows how bad Target’s new toy-buying team is at buying toys. Look for single carded figures and 3-packs.
• More fake Megos are coming and I nearly spit out my drink when I read that the team at Mattel is referring to them as Ferraris disguised as Pintos. They look like VW buses from the bottom of the ocean disguised as piles of horse poop to me.
• Finally, Matty reveals that the Legion of Superheroes will be part of the San Diego exclusives. And why not? Lots of smooth costumes means no newq tooling!
• John Mayer says that banging Jessica Simpson was awesome. Also, Jennifer Aniston didn’t get his constant fan-reachout via social networking, so she is an old person who doesn’t really understand “modern times”. This was in a Playboy interview, where he also used the N-word and said he has a "ghetto-pass", which shows that he’s clearly out of his fucking mind, because he’s one mindframe/pigment away from being a Klansman.
• Killing Joke are to release a new album in April, followed by a US Tour.
• Heide Montag is supposedly talking to Playboy about a real spread this time, with boobs and nipples and all that new gear she had installed recently. Apparently rebuilding your entire body and recording an album that is “better than Thriller” (but only sells in the triple-digits) costs all your ill-gotten money and once you’ve realized you are talentless AND broke it’s time to show your vagina to the few curious spelunkers that still care in order to avoid living in a cardboard box for the rest of your life. From there, it’s a short trip to hardcore porn, at which point, we might actually pay attention, especially if she’s getting shit on by fat germans (any sex or shepard, we're not picky).
• Michael Jackson was mostly bald and wore a wig, was primarily white-skinned and tattooed with color, and liked to pee in any handy container as he apparently no longer had bladder control. Kids love that!
• In an effort to compete with like a million sites showing the same chicks naked, but not turn into Hustler in the process, the SI swimsuit issue will feature a lot of ladies in nothing but body paint, which isn't sexy at all. The population yawns.
• The CEO of MySpace has resigned. But someone new has stepped in, so I guess it’s going to stay up for the 40+ crowd that can't afford to join Ashley Madison..
• The Hughes Brothers are looking to direct a 2-part live action Akira film.
• Chris Nolan is going to reboot Superman but not direct it. He’s working on script & concept. Bryan Singer and Brandon Routh are out. Will be interesting to see if Nolan can make this boring character interesting. Personally, I think an Aquaman film lends itself to a film more than Superman does. And can we stay away from Lex Luthor, please? Thanks.

Monday, February 8, 2010

BitterNews for Monday, February 8th, 2010


• Ashley Wood’s 3A Toys are releasing another surprise 12” figure – a variation of the popular De Plume character, this time called Jung De Plume, which is a camo style figure. It will be briefly offered for sale – possibly on Chinese New Year, but no one knows for sure. We love 3A, but the randomness of their offerings – to “keep it fun” – is a disservice their loyal fans and a source of frustration as well. Especially as everything they create is made to order – why not let everyone have a shot, guys?
• After a week or so of Avengers reveals via the “I Am…” campaign, today a silhouetted figure appeared in a new ad, looking a lot like Spider-man, but with a Secret Avengers logo. Yawn. Brubaker will write the series.
• Warner is experimenting with half-albums – sold for less, and issued more frequently.
• Fox is re-booting Daredevil, again to keep the property from reverting to Disney/Marvel studios.
• Super Bowl ads were pretty bad this year, and both sexes are grumbling today about how badly they were portrayed therein last night. Good game though and the Who had a nice stage, if not much of a performance.
• The King of Pop’s Doctor was charged with manslaughter today after backing out of a Friday volunteer surrender when plea bargain negotiations fell apart.
• There is no reason to go to buy DVDs or CDs this week. The best stuff is Couples Retreat and a new HIM album. Personally, I’d stay home and re-watch the Sopranos or save my money for next week, when it can’t be worse, right?
• A new Avengers cartoon (subtitled “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”) is in production with the classic Avengers lineup – including Hulk, Hawkeye, Wonder Man, etc. We gather it’ll be like JLU with core characters and guests.
• A re-boot of Mr & Mrs Smith in the form of a sequel-able prequel (without Jolie-Pitt) is in the works.
• Judas Priest to re-release their classic “British Steel” in multi disc formats next year – in addition to remastered album, there will be a DVD of a live performance of the album from last year, and a deluxe version will include a CD of the show. St date May 11th.
• Jonah Hex re-shoots happening now in LA, with Megan Fox and Josh Brolin. Never a good sign.
• Shocker Toys seems to think their Indie Spotlight line of non-trad comic heroes will continue in 2010 with a series 3 (where is series 2, I ask?) featuring Grendel Prime, Phantom, Zorro, Nira-X and Fist of Justice. I can barely stop snickering.
• Planet of the Apes / Ceaser news. Fox has been turned down by directors Kathryn Bigelow, Tomas Alfredson and Robert Rodriguez. Script now out to Hughes Brothers, Pierre Morel, James McTeigue, Dennis Illiadis, and Scott Stewart.
• A day after Marvel films announced that they were making Cap a USO fairy to explain his costume (why explain it? – just put him in it, no one will ask questions), they’ve at least added the Invaders to the film.
• Bill Murray commits to Ghostbusters 3!
• Film & TV are becoming more integrated into the major toy companies as proprietary lines generate profits through new media exploitation. This fall, Hasbro is launching the Hub, a new children's TV network in partnership with Discovery Communications. The channel will kick off a lineup of shows based on Hasbro brands, including animated "Transformers" and "My Little Pony." Hasbro just cast Taylor Lautner as Stretch Armstrong and is doing a Battleship film in 2012. A sequel to G.I. Joe is also in the works for that year.
• Diablo Cody is writing Sweet Valley High film.
• EMI reports multi-billion loss, plans more staff cuts. Only two years ago, the company shed 3000 employees WW, looking to further reduce from current 3500.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

BitterNews for Sunday, February 7th, 2010


* Very little of interest from UK ToyFair, but here are some tidbits from Hasbro in advance of the upcoming US ToyFair, when these will be revealed:
STAR WARS AT-AT
(Approximate Retail Value: $99.99; Ages: 5 & up; Available: August 1, 2010)
In space, size does matter, and Hasbro certainly kept that in mind when creating its all-new, highly detailed STAR WARS AT-AT. The AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport) played a significant role in the Empire's military assault in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and it will play an equally important role in every fan's toy collection this year! Measuring more than 24 inches tall, nearly 28 inches long, and 12 inches wide, this colossal vehicle holds up to 20 STAR WARS figures - 6 of which can fit in its head alone! - and includes so many play and electronic features true to its on-screen counterpart that it's hard to believe! From the zip-line in its body and articulated legs for superb poseability, to its LED lights and authentic movie sounds and phrases, this is the must-have addition for STAR WARS fans of all ages. Includes a 3 ¾ inch AT-AT driver action figure and a pop-out speeder bike.
TRANSFORMERS BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE Action Figure
(Approximate retail price: $59.99/Ages 5 & up/Available: Fall 2010)
The all-new BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE action figure is ready for battle! This large-scale figure truly shows fans the AUTOBOT hero's personality, both as a protector of Earth and a warrior against the evil DECEPTICONS. With two distinct modes - Battle and Guardian - BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE features a variety of electronic sounds and lights, accompanied by a converting plasma cannon.
AND Weebles are back!

• In other ToyFair pre-show announcements, Mezco will have new products from the following lines: Watchmen, Kick-ass, Green Hornet, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween 2, Wolfman, Clash of the Titans, Hellboy, Beetlejuice, Family Guy, and their own Living Dead Dolls.
• Jane’s Addiction’s film “The Gift” is due to finally get a DVD release this year – about a year after DVD is officially redundant.
• Howard Stern may replace Simon Cowell on American Idol.
• I was surprised as anyone to see that Sideshow was offering a line of Marvel model kits from Knight Models. They look beautiful (and they should be at $69.99 each!) but they are only 2.8” tall each -1:27 scale – making this the most overpriced Sideshow deal in well, minutes.
• Enterbay is doing Onimusha 3 figures in 1:6 scale.
• Pictures of Biff Bang Pow’s Megoesque LOST figures have been shown. These are the worst looking prototypes I’ve ever seen. Two series, each including 2 figures are coming in August. S1: Ben & Kate, S2: Hurley & Locke.
• Anne Hathaway is hot in UK GQ. You are so welcome.
• At last, Avatar is knocked off the top of the box office – “Dear John”? Counter programming works folks, and this supposedly horrible chick flick must’ve been the negotiating point for many couples in this weekend’s domestic Super Bowl battles.
• Neil Gaiman to write Dr. Who episode.
• Looks like Spider-girl will be back as part of Marvel’s new “Girl Comics” line. I imagine you are as unshocked as I.
• Michael Crawford’s Poppies action figure awards are up at MWC site. Would make interesting reading if not for all the editorial. Like this site.
• Mickey Rourke thinks Megan Fox is a talented professional actress. But he probably got to touch her and stand really close to her, which would make any man say pretty much anything.
• Kurt Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean is going to make a record. If she whips out her tits, we’ll know which parent the talent came from.
• Joe Perry now stating that Tyler is in Aerosmith, but there will be another singer – at least for the foreseeable future. Considering that it’s been well over ten years since they made a good record, I can’t believe I’m still covering this trainwreck story.
• Bad Company (original lineup) are releasing a live DVD and will be touring.

GeemBeast’s Best & Worst of 2009



Yeah, it’s super late, but here you go anyway.

Comics: Best
Any Deadpool Comic: The sudden (and long-overdue) popularity of Deadpool has resulted in an onslaught of titles featuring the character and in the surprise of the century, they don’t suck. In fact, they are all great! It looks as though DP is the first Marvel creation since Venom to actually get traction and join the pantheon of the big boys, especially if Ryan Reynolds’ talk about keeping the film true to the comic is true (and if the film actually gets made). A 90’s Punisher-style burnout is still possible, but the quality of the multiple books would seem to indicate that fanboys won’t tire of DP’s antics any time soon.

Robert Kirkman’s Invincible & Walking Dead: Two books that started great and haven’t lost quality. A far greater achievement than it sounds in today’s creator burnout comic marketplace.

George Sprott: Seth is one of the greatest comic book creators working today, but is largely unread. Fuck Jimmy Corrigan, this is the shit. Moving, beautifully drawn and published in a fantastic presentation. Why haven’t you read it yet?

Fantastic Four: The new team does justice to the legacy of Lee, Kirby, Buscema & Sinnot in a contemporary style, and without the baggage of, say, Grant Morrison.

Jonah Hex: One of the few bright spots in DC’s lineup. Brilliant writing, art, and the only book that Darwyn Cooke has worked on for the big two in the last three years. Incredibly satisfying.

Beasts Of Burden: Great surprise to find this wonderful mini-series by Evan Dorkin (who knew he could write non-sarcastic?) and Jill Thompson. Weak-ish/unresolved ending will hopefully lead to ongoing series and resolution.

Comics: Meh
There’s a lot of other underwhelming stuff that belongs here too, but who has the time or space to cover it all? That said, there were a lot of high hopes for our solitary entry, and that’s why it is included here.

Haunt: McFarlane / Kirkman unite to create something unspectacular. Haunt feels like a combination of ideas from Spawn (Todd’s only idea of the last twenty years, apparently) and Kirkman’s Astounding Wolfman (about to wrap up). I didn’t expect much from Todd, but I thought Kirkman might pull him up. It’s working in reverse for Kirkman. For Further Evidence, see Image United, stunt publishing at its weakest.

Comics: Horrible
Any Spiderman Comic: It kills me to say this, but as someone who enjoyed the immediate aftermath of “One More Day”, the long tail on this event has reduced the Spider-man books to nothing more than a series of brief, easily-digestible, but ultimately meaningless stories by a rotating cast of artists and writers that are in some cases so wildly divergent in style that they are only adding to the feeling of disjointedness that permeates the book. The latest issues letters page where the editor defends the quality of the book by pointing out that they have managed to ship them all on time isn’t helping either. There are factories all over the world that crank out mundane shit on time every day. Who cares? If I wanted to read the contemporary Marvel equivalent of DC Superman books from the mid-70’s this would be my favorite title. But since I don’t care how many hamburgers Spider-man has to eat to save the world, it ain’t. Get it together guys – this is your flagship book.

Flash Rebirth Mini Series: I stopped caring about this POS after issue two. If there’s a plot, I’d like a flow chart that explains it. I bet it’d look like a diagram of a supercollider and cover a city block. As I said before, it is the only book being published that is simultaneously over drawn and under drawn (how is that even possible?). It hurts my eyes and makes me suspect that Van Sciver might be a dangerous schizophrenic.

Blackest Night: Longest Night is more like it. I suppose DiDio has to feed the machine with more of this horrific (but top-selling) crap to make up for the nosedive in editorial and sales numbers for the rest of DC’s stable that occurred under his Dark Reign, but that doesn’t make it right. After a decent enough start, fatigue has set in and obvious last-minute tie-ins like the “Cancelled Zombies” mini-series aren’t helping.

DC Comics: Come to think of it, aside from Jonah Hex and the rare Vertigo title, DC’s entire editorial output this past year has been underwhelming and even insulting in some cases. The universe has been mis-managed to the point of irrelevance. DiDio is to blame and I can’t imagine DC’s new overseers are not going to let this assclown keep his job through 2010 if they have a lick of common sense.

Frankencastle: Nothing more to say that I haven’t said already, except that to make matters even worse, the “real-world” Punisher book is not as good as previous post-Ennis Punisher books. It feels like the character is being sent to his doom.

Story Fatigue: Siege was seven years in the making? Is THAT ALL???!! Bendis has fine ideas, but they aren’t good enough to stretch out into interminable multi-year storylines. As a Green Goblin fanboy, I am now so over it that I cannot wait for Norman to die and have this unholy mess end. Please hurry!

Grant Morrison: This is the year he totally lost it. As this happened under DiDio’s Morrison-fawning watch, it makes sense – Morrison should not be allowed to write whatever he likes with no editorial direction. The only way to fix this is to put him in isolation with a stack of his recent output so he’s forced to realize he has been cranking out pure crap, or take away his drugs. In either case, I fear a Hunter Thompson-like outcome is a distinct possibility. Sad, but at least it would stop the never-ending onslaught of this garbage.

Rob Liefeld’s Twitter Feed: Just in case you weren’t sure he is a moron.

Comics: Looking forward to 2010
At this point, it’s hard to say. The quality of ongoing books can change suddenly depending on the creators in charge or the overdue firing of worthless editors. In addition the ongoing books I cited above, I am looking forward to the DC Ditko Creeper Hardcover reprint and more Essentials, Showcases and Rebellion 2000 AD reprints.

But mostly I’m looking forward to the fallout from the big shake-ups at DC & Marvel this year. It’s going to be fascinating.

Movies: Best
Inglorious Basterds: Return to form for Tarantino in a film he obviously loved making. Although heavy with long, dialogue-filled scenes, they never collapse under their own weight as they did in Death Proof. And who doesn’t prefer this ending to WW2 over the real one?

Star Trek: I am not a fan of the series in any earlier form. This was truly great.

Crank 2: This is what an action film should be absurd, funny, gory, and all moving so fast that you don’t get a second to analyze anything – it works for Family Guy.

District 9: Great film making, totally exhilarating idea, story and execution.

Up: Amazing.

Movies: Meh
Avatar: Certainly not the worst film of the year, but far and away the most unnecessarily worshipped film since Blair Witch. Welding the technology of the future to an early 90’s script and plot is not groundbreaking filmmaking. It’s a sign of artistic bankruptcy. At least in Titantic, I gave a shit if either protagonist drowned. In this film, I felt worse about the trees getting knocked over than I did about the talking characters. And by the way, how did the Naavi pick up human weapons and that were suddenly the right size for their much bigger bodies?

The Hangover: This is the funniest movie ever made? No it is not. It’s not even the funniest film this year. And Zak Galifakinootis needs to stop being in everything. He’s in danger of turning into Will Ferrell.

Jennifer’s Body: Nice body, shame about the script. Not as horrible as its reputation would suggest, but not great either. The parties involved should do better.

Movies: Horrible
Bruno: Everything funny and clever in Borat is conspicuous by its absence here. I smell Ricky Bobby spin-off.

GI Joe: A lost opportunity on many, many fronts - that will not likely come again.

Land of the Lost: Was this supposed to be funny? Dinosaur piss? Big paycheck for Will Ferrell in exchange for N O T H I N G. This and Bruno prove that even though you are willing to do anything in pursuit of a laugh, that lack of inhibition will not always get you the laugh, but possibly pity and a visit to the shrink.

Terminator Salvation: POS. The best thing to come out of this is Bale’s leaked rant. As pointless as his tirade was, at least it wasn’t as ill-conceived, overblown, contrived and full of plot holes as the movie. I’d watch Part Three over this any day of the week.

Wolverine Origins: Cliched and uninteresting. Repeat after me: “Deadpool was not in it. Deadpool was not in it. Deadpool was not in it.”

Looking Forward to 2010: Movies:
Iron Man 2. Jonah Hex. New Romero Dead movie.

Toys: Best
Hot Toys: God bless these guys or I may have walked away from toys this year. They continue to move the hobby forward with new innovations, incredible sculpting and compelling, if not always current, licenses. Their stuff is so good that I will buy HT figures based on properties that suck – I have two Spirit figures – IT’S THAT GOOD!

DCU Classics is the best Superhero line made by an American toy company. Before anyone at Mattel breaks out the bubbly, that’s damning it with faint praise, because based on standards of five years ago, this line is a regression in the field, not a step forward. The articulation blows, the sculpting is homogenous, the figures are impossible to find, the limbs are always deformed due to insertion in super-tight plastic trays (where they’re also bound by redundant rubber bands!?) and the former brand leader has an irrational hard-on for Super Powers that pushes the character choices toward the diabolically obscure. With all of these problems, this line is certainly is severe danger of being annexed by the higher ups.

Toys: Horrible
More DC Toys: But hey, DCUC is the good line. Infinite Heroes has even worse character choices, worse articulation, and the worst store exclusives in the history of any toy line ever. Worse than TRU’s PEWTER WOLVERINE!!

JLU: These never stood up in the first place, and now they are impossible to get and it’s all getting cancelled anyway, so nice one, guys.

And let’s not forget the competition; DC Direct continues to fail – and no surprise considering the guy running it knows nothing about making toys. Here’s a clue, genius. Articulation costs money – if you are going to add it, make sure the sculpt doesn’t render it redundant. You’re welcome. Three monkeys could manage this line better and probably not fuck it up so badly.

And Hasbro - thanks for killing Marvel Legends! The last series (an awful Wal-mart exclusive) arrived at my house from Canada before Christmas 2008. It hit select San Diego Wal-marts around the ComicCon dates in July and after a few scattered sightings, was seemingly dumped en masse as clearance in December.

The TRU/Diamond two-packs suffered a similar fate, with the second series still largely absent from stores heavy with Kree/Skrull sets that will not move without dynamite. Tie-ins to long- completed Bendis stories are not the route for ugly mass-market toys, gentlemen.

And the Marvel Puniverse promised slimy glistening mini-figures with decent articulation in a wide assortment of characters, but instead we got multiple flimsy, badly-proportioned versions of the same five or six mainstays with the rare new (no tooling required) figure thrown in to keep us quiet. These look like heroes on the package photos, but I’ve never had one come out of the tray looking better than, say, a paraplegic running a marathon. I truly hate these ugly, overpriced, undersized pieces of crap. If this is the price we pay for financing Marvel movies, I’m not sure it’s worth the trade off, but maybe with Disney and Marvel merging, the license won’t be renewed next time and we can finally get back to some well-made Marvel toys.

There’s a bigger problem at Hasbro – Mattel are encroaching on their domination in boys action. Matty may be overpaying for licenses to keep them away from Hasbro, but when Hasbro is flat on Joe and Transformers in years when both have movies, and Star Wars isn’t getting any major new drivers, it shows they are in need of something new.

Both proprietary movie lines were weak in 2009 – Transformers had little exciting to excite the fanboys and GI Joe was in the worst packaging I’ve ever seen on a mainstream toy line – dark costumed characters on dark cards – is there a design department in Pawtucket, or did they just grab a first year RISD student off the streets for this massive fail? Transformers at least sold okay, and the Joe figures did all right, but the vehicles and accessories bombed and if our sources are correct, there are many, many items in this line that are destined to show up on clearance and soon.

The phony Mego revival: This needs to stop. Yes, Megos were an important part of any boys 70’s childhood, but if you’re going to make them three decades after the line coughed up blood, they should reflect the technological improvements that have happened over those 30 years. Slavishly reproducing the far from perfect figures, warts and all, is a fool’s errand. Charlee Flatt was making better Megos in the 80’s and nothing made in the last ten are even close to his custom work.

Toys: Looking Forward to 2010
Ashley Wood and 3A’s upcoming line of 2000 AD figures in 1:6 scale. More 3A Aventure Cartel figures.

DCU Classics for as long as it lasts. I fear the worst as Mattel has put itself directly in competition with it’s customers (always the wrong move) and the stuff is still insanely hard to find at retail.

Improvement or Closure for Sideshow: Their 1:6 stuff just gets weaker and the rest of the industry has surpassed them. The GI Joe line needs to get on track, they need some new licenses and they should expand their Star Wars thinking beyond the same old, same old. Where is Boba Fett? Droids? No one needs another Anakin or Obi-wan and the clones are fine, but spread them out a little more, please. And I'm not sure who has the funds and display space for all these premium format figures, but they are not of much interest to the vast majority of fanboys, despite what must be a decent profit margin (why else would they make so many?). Finally FUCK COMIQUETTES!!! THEY'RE JUST STATUES!!

As Sideshow continues to decline, Hot Toys will continue to amaze.

If they ever get released (slow/non developing toys): GoHero’s Harryhausen 1:6 scale line. Hot Toys Inglorious Basterds 1:6 line. KISS Medicom Ace & Peter to go with Gene & Paul. Sex Pistols Medicom Steve & Paul to go with Johnny & Sid. Amok Time SD oversized Creature From the Black Lagoon vinyl. Hot Toys Marvel Comics figures. Supermegabot’s Wednesday 13 vinyl figure. Hot Toys rest of Watchmen – where’s Rorschach and Night Owl – at least?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2010 is DC's year to fire everybody


Once again both IVC2.com and The Beat provide the comic book industry a great monthly service in posting and analyzing publishing numbers from both Marvel and DC Comics. By any measure, 2009 was a dreadful year for DC.

Yes, Blackest Night performed very well but this arm of Time/Warner needs much more than just a short term storyline to work for them. Dan Didio and his team of editors and creators have torpedoed all the core books in its arsenal. All the bread and butter Hero books have been just slaughtered. Consider:

1 Year comparison declines for core team and icon books...
JLA -7.5%
Wonder Woman -19.1%
Detective Comics -19.5%
Batman -25%
Titans -33.9%
Superman -41.3%
Action Comics -44.3%

Superman titles down nearly half (!!!) of where they were a year ago and DC is betting the farm on a major Superman title Summer event. An event that is supposed to at least match Blackest Night sales numbers. When you have lost half of your audience already, how can you expect everyone to return to follow a saga that is basically the ending of the crappy, overblown saga that has been crippling your sales all this time? The answer of course, is that it won't.

On top of this graphic novel sales are in decline and not likely to improve soon. The economy certainly has played a part in the general audience malasie and a year of awful stories in 2009 sure won't help trade sales in 2010 but another pending issue could make things even worse. Indications are Borders Books retail chain will either fold or soon dramatically change purchasing practices that won't make any publisher happy. The Comic Book industry has a major interest in Borders staying healthy and rely on them for serious trade stock support.

We are watching a four alarm fire going off in DC's New York offices and there Dan and his crew lounge, blissfully unresponsive. How many other American companies can sit around and watch any of their commodities take these kind of double digit drops month after month for a solid year with no relief in sight and not eject everyone in charge? Well, yeah, that happened in the auto industry I guess for decades but look where that got 'em.

Warner Bros West Coast execs are bound to act in 2010. The question is, can the industry hold out until that happens and will anyone care by that point?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

BitterNews for Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010


• Snooki and the rest of Hobbiton will be guests on the 1st episode of Jay Leno’s second shot at ruining the Tonight show. Stay classy, chinster.
• DanDiDio, in an effort to pull a sleight of hand on his new bosses, is trying to find a post-Blackest Night sales driver in his otherwise sales-and-quality bankrupt DC Universe by doing the unthinkable (and highly unadvisable) Watchmen sequels and prequels. It’s hard to guess just how stupid Dan must imagine his new bosses are, but anyone with half a brain can see what a desperate and foolhardy move this is. DC doesn’t have the talent to pull it off and it’s a fool’s errand anyhow. Watchmen is DC’s bestselling book of all time (that alone says something about how poorly editorial is treating their huge library) but new stories could easily kill what may be the pinnacle of the genre to date and endangers it’s potential as a cash cow 50 years from now.
• Great, if small, load of comics today – Siege is coming along nicely, with a stunning last page that we’ve all been waiting for. Jonah Hex was another great one with Jordi Bernet art. Big surprise was Wolverine-oriented; the usually entertaining one-shots hit a big bump this week as Wolverine: Savage was a horrible piece of shit under a sharp cover, and Wolverine: Weapon X #10 was absolutely stunning – a great, well-written story exploring Logan’s relationships with women. Ultimate Comics X was very nice, and reaffirms faith in Jeph Loeb at the same time the preview for the next Ultimates series looks clich├ęd and awful. Next week looks similarly light for shipping books.
• Some movies are opening Friday. You will not care.
• Mark Millar’s Nemesis has an online preview – actual book not out until March 3rd.
• Transformers 3 will be in 3-D. I am so surprised.
• Captain America casting expected to be announced soon.
• Avatar is #1 film in domestic gross. Still sucks.
• Heidi MacDonald’s beat is now at comicsbeat.com
• Rob Liefeld reads 4 newspapers a day. Maybe drop one and spend that time concentrating on anatomy books, or drawing feet.
• American Idol beat Lost in ratings last night.
• The new Judge Dredd film sounds like the movie we hoped for back in the 90’s.

Suddenly my interest in the 2010 Winter Olympics is aroused.


The editors of Sports Illustrated knew exactly what they were doing when they selected this image for the fornt cover of the dying rag.

I can just hear the photographer on the set..."lower, lower, lower, THAT'S IT! NOW HOLD IT RIGHT THERE."

Then, "I need 5 minutes in the dark room! Alone!"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

BitterNews for Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010


Sorry kids, there wasn’t much happening the last three days. But here it is:

• The Grammy Awards were Sunday. Leon Russell looked unsure as to where he was. Lady Gaga is still hideous looking all the time despite number of costume changes. Would love to see her psychiatrist’s notes.
• The same idiots who were at the Grammys cut a new version of “We Are The World” on Monday. Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Usher are no match for Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson. Or even Kim Carnes, Huey Lewis and Tito Jackson. Haiti says “no thanks” but Africa is wondering where their next check is coming from, because the last time I checked, they were still fucked and it IS their song. If I were Africa, I’d sue Haiti for royalties. And at least they cared enough about Africa to write a new song, not just covering an old tune. I guess the real reason these artists are doing this is because they want to be on a record that sells.
• Scorpions are breaking up, but not after releasing a final album and touring it worldwide for two years. They claim the breakup is because they don't want to be too old onstage. Apparently the telex with the news that they are too old got stuck in the paper feeder back in 1986.
• Conflicting News of the Day Pt 1: Steve Tyler is looking to block Aerosmith’s search for a new singer. Which is funny, because he audtioned to be the new Led Zeppelin vocalist. Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot.
• Conflicting News of the Day Pt 2: Obama is going to meet Dalai Lama (it rhymes!) and we should expect more terrorist attacks.
• Peter Murphy (ex-Bauhaus) and Brendan Perry (ex-Dead Can Dance) will tour together in the spring to prove that two washed up losers from bands no one ever REALLY liked can, as a pair, sell as few tickets as they would if they toured seperately.
• Rocket World toys are doing a Star Trek collab. Expect it at SDCC 2010.
• Did I mention the Hot Toys Blade 2 figure is out in HK? It is.
• Biff Bang Pow are doing Mego-style figures based on their licenses, including some new ones: Venture Brothers, Dexter, Lost, Big Lebowski, Twilight Zone, Flash Gordon and Scott Ian of Anthrax. Who cares anymore? Mattel is in the process of proving my theorem: NO ONE.
• Matty did some Q&A’s for Feb 1. What did we learn? That toy collectors ask stupid questions. Like this; “Do you have the Shazam license?.” I guess those Captain Marvel, Billy Marvel & Mary Marvel figures they did weren’t enough of an indicator for Mattel retards. Or how about this? Their customers are mad that they never got the JLU 4-packs that were rotting on the site since when? June? Even the normally unflappable Matty bared his fangs at that bullshit, saying that none of the JLU 4-packs sold at a level that met their modest sales thresholds and that fans shouldn’t be crying like little bitches if they didn’t buy shit that had been on sale forever.
• This looks like a L-I-T-E comic week, but it does have a new book drawn by Art Adams!
• There are six new Bowen items for sale, a Black Cat statue (because there aren’t enough Black Cat things to jerk off on (I mean admire)), a War Machine Armor statue, a Warriors Three 3-pack of busts, a Pyro bust, and two exclusives: a Faux Bronze Hawkete (who buys this faux metal shit?) and an Ion variant Wonder Man mini-bust.
• There are naked pictures of Snooki from Jersey Shore going around the internet. If I never post again, it’s because I saw them & gouged my eyes out. Don’t pity me, I’ll be in a better place.
• Planet Hulk DVD & Blu Ray came out today. Look for a review soon.
• Best Buy has an exclusive second disc in Zombieland – both formats.
• The next 3A release is WWRp Large Martin on 2/18 NZ time.
• Kevin Smith & Neil Gaiman had a twitter war today over Amanda Palmer. Personally I’d rather stick my dick in a meat grinder than in a phony german cabaret singer, but may the best man win.
• Academy Award noms announced today. The ten films in best picture category allowed in dark horses like District 9 and Avatar. If Avatar wins, we, as a race, deserve to be exterminated.
• MINDStyle has unveiled their second Black Hole vinyl figure, Maximilian.
• If Zac Efron ends up playing Spider-man, all those who wished Raimi away will be very sorry.
• Some nice pics and trailers from the Upcoming Losers film are floating around, including less revealing than I’d like naked Uhura pics.
• Rich Johnston (and his writers) still should not write about things he/they do not understand. Since last time, more about toys and a piece about Saturday Night Live. Hey Teabags, we don’t care about your BBC 99-part history of chain mail either!
• Avengers relaunch is in May by Bendis & John Romita, Jr.
• Amazon had a tough week, what with the iTampon announcement and now a fight/showdown that they made public and then caved on with MacMillan over e-book pricing. This skirmish leads us to think that Jobs has agreed to a $14.99 price point on bestsellers and that publishers are going to expect the same deal from Amazon now that there is serious competition for the market. And seriously, if you don’t already have a kindle, why would you buy one now?
• American Psycho is going to be a Broadway musical with songs by Duncan Sheik. What? No Huey Lewis??
• The Sgt Rock movie is now going to be a GI Joe movie as the story is updated to a “future” war according to Joel Silver. Did they see the Joe film? Does the name Sgt Rock mean anything in a futuristic setting? Isn’t WW2 the whole point? Oh sorry, I was using common sense. Apologies.
• Cowboys & Aliens rebounded quickly from the loss of Robert Downey, Jr with Daniel Craig and now Olivia Wilde.
• Kate Beckinsdale is returning to the Underworld franchise in Underworld 3-D.
• There’s a Young Justice League animated series in the works.
• There are new trailers online for Clash of the Titans and a redband one for Kickass. Clash is moved back to April 2 for 3-D work, and the next Harry Potter film will be in 3-D as well. Thanks, James Cameron.
• Look for the Smallville movie this Friday night with the Justice League.
• Oprah’s farewell shows will have their own behind-the-scenes TV series. Just go away, bitch.
• Jesse Malin has a new band called “St Marks Social”, recalling the glory days of Coney Island High.
• The doc that killed Michael Jackson is surrendering to authorities in LA next week, yet the guys that did that to his face roam free.
• Barry Blitzer (TV writer of the Flintstones, Get Smart) has died. I’m going to start using his name because it’s the BEST NAME EVER!! And he’s not using it.
• Rob Zombie’s “sequel” to Hellbilly Deluxe was released today. Let’s hope it’s better than his other sequels.
• A-ha are playing three US dates on their “Farewell” tour. Yes, they are still around.
• The Slightly Tepid Chili Peppers have a new guitarist.
• Their old guitarist, Dave Navarro, is going to be in a new porno based on the 60’s Batman TV show. It’s the only way he can get to bang chicks as leathery and spent as ex-wife Carmen Electra.
• Charlize Theron is single.
• Brittany Murphy’s deadbeat husband is launching a “charity” “foundation” in her name at an “event” that costs $1000 to attend.
• The My Bloody Valentine reissues are pushed back AGAIN. New date is March 8th, but let’s be honest, that won’t happen.
• Le Tigre have written songs for the next Christina Aguilera record, proving that everyone will whore themselves out if the right opportunity comes along.
• Johnny Depp has forgiven Roman Polanski and says the US should leave him alone because he’s nice now. Except that we’re not trying to bring him back to sentence him based on his character these days, we’re going to punish him for a crime he committed years ago, douchebag. Fucking actors. And directing a Keith Richards documentary isn’t going to make me think any better of you, Edward Scissorhands. How about you answer this?; if someone doped up your underage daughter and then ass-raped her, would you want them to face justice after thirty + years, or would you want them to go free because they’ve been married for a few years now? That’s what I thought, Jackass Sparrow.
• There is going to be a Milli Vanilli movie.
• That’s enough. Go watch LOST.