RIP Stan Lee

You made the world a little less shitty. You will be missed.

Here’s a portion of the panel I got to see at Wizard World Chicago in 2013.

Excelsior.

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TNB Book Club 5.01: Role Model

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Welcome back to The Nerd Blitz Book Club! In this 1st of a 2 part series, we are celebrating the upcoming release of the new Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. short story collection, Services Rendered, by reading and discussing the 1st 3 chapters of the short story Role Model written by Kevin J. Anderson.

We dissect the detail that only a true fan of all things nerd could understand and nail, monsters and their rules are debated, jokes are made, and fun is had, gang.

So grab a copy of this story, available in the Working Stiff short story collection, and join us in the Unnatural Quarter for this fun read.

URL: TNB Book Club 5.01: Role Model
Direct Download: tnbbc005001.mp3

Monsterland: Reanimated Review

Threads were left dangling at the end of the first novel, storylines are sure to be followed up on in this second novel, and there are also more monsters in play this time!
But can Michael Okon take what was a pretty damn good opening salvo and turn it into a series that’s worth coming back to again and again?
Can he up the game any more than he did last time?

As is my way, consider this your ***Spoiler Alert***

After an opening where Konrad’s head is rescued by his assistant, Igor, after a pack of wolves ripped it off at the end of the last book, we jump ahead 3 weeks to find a nearly depressed Wyatt Baldwin trying to understand his place in regular life after killing monsters and saving friends.
The government we knew is gone.
All contact with the world outside of Copper Valley is basically cut off.
Carter, Wyatt’s step pappy, is trying to get the town back in order and on its feet.
All while a sinister plot is about to unfold around them.

This adventure in Copper Valley proves, if nothing else, that Okon loves to subvert expectations.
This book is a lot like Kevin Smith’s Red State or The Last Jedi, just when you think it’s about to turn left or right all three just say fuck it and kick it in reverse.
The girl with my favorite arc from the last book, Jade?
Long gone is the kickass girl that was splitting heads, now she is almost childlike in her innocence and clinging to Wyatt.
She is replaced by a possibly shape shifting new girl named Lily in the badass department.
Though Jade does end up serving a purpose, Lily is a better and far more capable character from the moment she’s introduced.
Wyatt, our main character, seems to struggle with where he wants to be.
He can’t quite settle on being a cog in the machine of the group or its leader.

His friend Melvin, who offered himself up to be turned into a werewolf in the previous book, may well be my favorite character this time out the gate.
Last time he felt a little too weak and nerdy, but now he has grown to be a take charge leader of his hybrid Wolf/Coyote pack.
But he also leads to my sole major complaint.
Once The Blob like Glob shows up, Melvin’s pack sacrifices themselves to the gelatinous beast to save him.
Later in the book, which amounts to mere hours later, he rather nonchalantly has moved on and nipped a few other critters and started a new pack.
He really seemed to have a great bond with the 1st group, so moving on so quickly felt a little too cold.
Though there is a member of the new faction that makes it slightly more palatable.

The new monsters in this installment are great!
And, unsurprisingly so, that’s exactly the strength of this series, the creatures.
1st we have the alien fuel-like substance, that the kids call The Glob in honor of the aforementioned Blob, that sucks life out of humans to convert into energy.
The Glob is woven into the origins of 2 of the other new beasts, making for a great sense of comic bookery and continuity.
It also has a weakness that is set up in the 1st book in a deceptively nonchalant way that could almost blast by you if you don’t read these back to back, cause it’s easy to retroactively spot and appreciate it.

Next we have mummies, which I thought were pretty cleverly “brought back to life”.
The zombies that were snuffed out on opening night are wrapped in Glob soaked bandages which brings them back to life and makes them more mindless than before.
Vincent Konrad is revived through Glob as a Frankenstein’s Monster-esque behemoth, though with more intelligence off the bat than the inspiration, bent on world domination.
Lastly we have ghosts making the scene and helping our heroes to purge the scum of Konrad from their sacred site.

To start wrapping up, I have to say Okon balances all of these continuing threads and sets up so many potential future storylines with surprising ease.
It’s hard to put into words and not make it sound like a supreme clusterfuck trainwreck, you really need to witness the execution to understand and appreciate the plates this dude is spinning.
The relationship between Wyatt and Carter is the best arc this go around.
They sort of head back to square one after the quantum leap forward at the end of book one.
At the end of this book, there is no going back again and that’s a good thing.
And Wyatt walking off into the darkness at the end sets up so many potential futures, I can’t wait to see where it goes.

The truth is, while not my favorite book series, I’m fully on board with this saga.
He definitely upped the game and went full tilt post-apocalypse, which is the logical step and bonus points because he pulled it off.
There are slight changes I would have made, I would definitely slow down the pace and spread these stories over a couple days instead of doing the 1 story in 1 day format.
But it does work as is.
Even as all of the heaviness settles in, it still has a tension breaking lightness that makes it accessible.
I repeat what I said last time: “half of me wants to say run out and grab this now, but the other half of me wants to tell you to hold off until book 3 comes out.
I think you’ll devour these 1st 2 fast and immediately be hungry for more.”
Now I have to start the long wait for book 3.
Damn you, Okon!

Share this lost on Twitter with the hashtag #TNBBookReview.

Special thanks to @acferrell1976 for her editorial help.

Fitz’s Toy Chest #6 – Bossk

Welcome back guys to another random pull from Fitz’s Toy Chest!

Last time I put the spotlight on a Kenner Star Wars figure it was a mail away figure and this time I’m keeping with the same theme.

The Empire Strikes Back introduced not only the most famous Bounty Hunter in the Star Wars universe but gave us and entire TEAM of a intriguing characters in what was basically a throwaway moment aboard Vader’s Star Destroyer.

Out of that crew the coolest and more interesting member has to be Bossk (not counting Boba Fett obviously). And Kenner must’ve felt the same because not long after the new ESB line of figures came out they gave Bossk the distinct honor of being first mail in figure since Boba Fett.

I saved up my proofs of purchase, mailed them off, and anxiously awaiting the agonizing 8 weeks for delivery. And guess what? It never arrived.

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Bossk
Company: Kenner
Acquisition Year: 1980/81
Acquired via: Mail-in* (*special circumstances)
Years In Possession: 38

 

In today’s world of 1-click purchases on Amazon and 2 day shipping, it’s unthinkable that in 1980 you would literally put little pieces of cardboard in an envelope, address it, stamp it, and mail it, and then wait MONTHS to get your “free” figure.

But that’s exactly what I did.

Only my figure never showed up. I was crushed. What happened? Where was it? Was it ever going to come?

Weeks turned into months. By the time Christmas arrived that year I had given up on Bossk completely. It was so unfair. I did what they said. I mailed in my proofs of purchase and they stiffed me!

Then something amazing happened. When I was digging through my stocking I found….Bossk!!!

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Santa Claus sure was smart. He knew Kenner did me dirty and set things right.

It wasn’t until many years later that I put the pieces together and realized what had actually happened. And it was years after THAT (after I started to understand how cash strapped we were when I was growing up) that I understood WHY it happened that way.

Obviously that Bossk had been intercepted before I could find it in the mail, and it was the perfect way to pad Christmas without spending any additional money.

Anyway, onto the figure itself.

20180922_131001I was always fascinated by the shape of this fugure’s gun. Kenner reused a lot of weapons between different figures, for example X-wing Luke and Han shared the same gun, IG-88, Snowtrooper and Dengar all had weapons in common, hell even Boba Fett’s gun was just a repurposed Stormtrooper blaster.

It always stood out to me when a figure was given a unique weapon, and Bossk’s was definitely unusual.

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I also liked how the ESB bounty hunters were such a mishmash of other costumes. With Bossk it was the inclusion of the rebel pilot chest harness that captured my imagination. I’m not sure why but it looked very primitive and wild on him.

All in all, Bossk was one of my favorite action figures from the old Kenner line. He really stands out.

Well that’s all for this week gang, come back again in 2 short weeks for another dive into Fitz’s Toy Chest!

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Scooby-Doo And The Curse Of The 13th Ghost Is The Next DTV Movie!

Warner Brothers Home Entertainment has detailed, via Collider, the next Direct-To-Video Scooby-Doo movie, and it’s going to be a doozy!

Basically, it’s going to be the series finale of The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo.
For those that don’t know what that is, 13 Ghosts was the 1985 Scooby-Doo series that saw Scooby, Shaggy, and Daphne traveling the globe with Scrappy and a new character, Flim-Flam, recapturing ghosts and demons under the guidance of Vincent Van Ghoul, originally voiced by horror icon Vincent Price.

The series saw this new gang only capture 12 of the 13 ghosts and has left fans wondering for years if we would ever see a conclusion, and I’m happy to say WB has listened.
It’s cool to see that, seemingly, Flim-Flam is back, but I was hoping to see a return appearance from Scrappy as well.
Hopefully he is addressed in some way that’s not just a slam.

The official synopsis is:
After the Mystery Inc. gang goofed up a case and nabbed an innocent man, they’re forced into early retirement from crime solving. It’s not long however, before their old friend Vincent Van Ghoul needs help and pulls the team right back into action. The gang has unfinished business they must tend to, which involves catching a ghost that previously got away. It all happened one summer while Velma and Freddy where away at camp. Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and Daphne secretly hunted down 12 of the world’s spookiest ghosts but failed to catch the most evil one of them all…the 13th ghost.

Now the elusive spook is wreaking havoc. Vincent needs help having him captured and confined to the chest of demons, a box that contains the other 12 captured ghosts. With the 13th ghost still on the loose, the gang will have to come out of retirement and finish the job once and for all. The chest however, is now located somewhere in a remote village in the Himalayas. Determined to help Vincent, the gang sets out on one of their most thrilling adventures yet! Bundle up and get ready for the icy slopes of the Himalayan mountains, chilling car chases, crystal balls and spine-tingling spells in this terrifyingly fun original movie!

Featuring Frank Welker as Scooby & Fred, Grey Griffin as Daphne, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, Kate Micucci as Velma, Maurice LaMarche as Vincent Van Ghoul.
Scooby-Doo And The Curse Of The 13th Ghost is available on DVD February 9th 2019.

Check out the trailer here!

The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week #16

Tuesday has come again, and around here that only means 1 thing, gang.
So let’s get the fun and nerdy conversation rollin’!

This week’s Question is: What cancelled movie sequel do you wish would’ve been made?

Leave your reply in the comments below or share them on Twitter with the hashtag #TNBQotW, so we can find them.

Special thanks to @SteBoost for our QotW logo.

Episode 064: Like A Make-A-Wish Kid 2: Gas Powered Dildo

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In this episode, the Con talk continues as Doom recounts his recent trek to Cave Con in Springfield, Mo. to see some Monkeys what done comed from Space.

Fitz gets to sit back and relax as Doom talks about meeting and getting intro bumps from Impractical Joker & Kentucky Colonel Brian “Q” Quinn and Comic Book Man & Steve-Dave who Tells ‘Em Bryan “Pops” Johnson.

Also, we debut our 1st ever ***exclusive*** interviews with Comic Book Artist Lorenzo Lizana and Comic Book Man & host of I Sell Comics Ming Chen!

Cool people were met, great fun was had, shoutouts abound and an OBL was nearly poached, so strap in and enjoy this fun ride through the adventure that was Cave Con 2018!

Special thanks to @gigiamk30 for making this possible.

URL: Episode 064: Like A Make-A-Wish Kid 2: Gas Powered Dildo
Direct Download: tnb064.mp3