Daphne And Velma: The Vanishing Girl Review

Seemingly since the Scrappy era (more modernly with Get A Clue) there has been this weird notion to break off the gang into different pairings, for whatever reason.
More recently, there’s been an uptick in telling origin stories of the gang (The Mystery Begins, the incredibly cringe inducing Daphne & Velma movie, & the upcoming SCOOB!), to varying degrees of success.
So, how does this novel that combines those two very things fare?
Well, gang, it looks like we have a mystery to solve!

As always, this is your official ***SPOILER ALERT***

First and foremost, this book is earnest as hell.
This is most definitely not a story of 4 fun loving teens traveling the country solving mysteries with a big, goofy, loveable talking dog in tow.
This is the most serious treatment of the characters to date, and that’s both a good and bad thing.
Good because, like Mystery Incorporated, it gives me exactly what I always wanted to see from this franchise, a slightly less goofy and more serious series of mysteries.
The down side to all that earnestness being that the main attraction to the franchise, the aforementioned loveable and goofy talking dog, is declawed and dull down to almost being a footnote.
That’s right, gang, Scooby doesn’t talk at all, he’s just a normal dog.
Which works for this iteration, but does take away a big piece of the puzzle.

Let’s get this out of the way now so we can move onto the fun shit, my only major issue with this book/continuity would be the personalities and characterizations of the gang and their backgrounds.
For one, they all seem like rich, or formerly rich, kids with inattentive, dismissive dickhead parents.
But also, Shaggy throws the best parties in town, but really has no interest in them.
Fred is an aloof hippy dippy yoga lover.
The only ones that actually feel right are Daphne as a bit of a bratty child of divorce, whose mother is a multi-millionaire game designer, and Velma, in that she’s a lonely social outcast who feels like she’s probably the smartest person in any room she may enter…in the vein of what the incomparable Mindy Cohn was doing in Mystery Incorporated, just without the controlling psycho attitude.
Fred and Shaggy feel like they were dumbed down and swapped, for no real reason other then they just aren’t the focus of the story.
It’s a little frustrating, but through the comicbook “Multiverse” filter, I can deal with it.
Onto the good stuff!

The thing I enjoy the most is that this is clearly influenced by my absolute favorite Scooby series, Mystery Incorporated!
And it goes beyond just the town using the Crystal Cove name, the darkness and spooky edge to all of the mysterious goings on are just magnificent.
This version of Crystal Cove has its own founding curse that the town uses to wrangle in a tourist trade.
The curse of Crystal Cove is that generations before, every member of the town just up and disappeared without a trace.
Every year the town holds a festival to mark the day, and the ghosts of the missing still haunt the town to this day.

In my view, I think it’s pretty clear that author Josephine Ruby (a mysterious pseudonym for someone whom not much is known about, that nods to Scoob’s creation) loves Velma, because she’s the most fleshed out and faithful.
And bonus, unlike Mystery Inc, Velma is so damn likeable from start to finish that if you didn’t love her before, you probably will by the end.
Velma is that lonely kid that everybody fucked over and likes to push around, make eat shit until they need her and then they come a-callin’.
Daphne and Velma were once the best of friends, and it all changed once Velma saw something she wasn’t meant to see and told Daph, the reaction was less than ideal, and Daphne turned on her in a big bad way.
The plot forces them to put aside their differences for a common good, but the oldest wounds have the deepest scars.

To start wrapping up, I truly did love this book far more than I expected I ever would.
There is some of the anticipated “boys are trash & girls are perfect” type of tripe you get in these types of novels, but not overwhelmingly so.
This new continuity is familiar and interesting, Ruby is building her own world and it works well enough to keep me interested and welcoming future installments.
The cliffhanger left me wanting the next book now!
I so hope that these sell well, because this is the first step on the path to one of the last two pieces of Scooby I crave most: Serious, full length, Scooby novels!
I need somebody, potentially even Ruby herself, to write serious novels about the whole gang, in the same way Mystery Incorporated did, but in prose.
The best books ignite your imagination, and this did in so many ways.
Check it out, gang.

Let us what you think of this review in the comments below or share this post on Twitter with the Hashtag #TNBBookReview.

Special thanks to @ACFerrell1976 for her continued editorial assistance.

Episode 092: 1ACX01, BABY, 1ACX01!

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In this episode, the fellers start by getting super dark and then slap on their deerstalkers and do some investimagationing in the most hardcore and nerdy way you can possibly imagine…like, seriously, they vigorously shake up the can and spray a thick layer of pussy repellent all over themselves!

As we do some intense time traveling, Fitz delivers a basement update that will leave you…mildly disturbed, Doom talks about a dead old lady and teases reading letters that illuminate an old Doom family battle, and then there’s hookers!

A old segment is officially given a title and an intro bump as Doom casts a Dan Shamble TV Show, and then they watch the first trailer for SCOOB! and do the deepest of deep dive investigative reports as they follow up on the production code story from last September’s Scooby-Doo 50th anniversary commentary, and then so much more, so strap in for what may be our nerdiest ep yet!

URL: Episode 092: 1ACX01, BABY, 1ACX01!
Direct Download: tnb092.mp3

Some Scooby Sized Fun

So, yesterday was an interesting day that started off with me dropping some of my normally useless Smallville and Scooby knowledge and snow balled into me having a small part in interviewing a dude that wrote one of my absolute favorite Scooby movies!
Not bad, right?

It started off with ScoobySnax Fun Fact #284.
The lass that runs the ScoobySnax Blog (Doo, as I know her) posts a Scooby fact every single week, a pretty solid idea that I have always dug, and about a month ago she put one up about the school that Scooby-Doo: The Mystery Begins shot at.
Mystery Begins being one of my favorite Scooby movies (remember that, it’s gonna be important a little later) we were talking about it and I told her I had a few little nuggets she could use and she let me run with it.
I was able to draw on some of my love of Smallville and my obsessive knowledge of that show for two of the three tidbits.
Wanna know what I said?
Well, make sure to read the triple threat 284th ScoobySnax Fun Fact to find out, gang!

So that went up yesterday morning, I got a couple DMs, normal stuff.
And then somebody replied to a tweet and things started moving at a break neck pace.
If you listened to Ep 40 of The Nerd Blitz Commentaries, you got a small taste of how much I love The Mystery Begins, so to be involved in any interaction with the writer of that movie in any way is HUGE!
But what followed was amazing (read it for yourself HERE) and led to two mind blowing revelations!
ScoobyAddict saw that and jumped at the chance, asking for an interview.
The quicker typer won that day, as I was about to ask the same and got beat by the better Twitterer…er.
At that point, I was ready to get the hell out of her way and let her handle it, but amazingly she was gracious enough to offer me the chance to take part in the Interview.
I told her I appreciated it, but I didn’t wanna horn in on her action…but she made it clear that she thought us collaborating would be beneficial to the end result, so I relented and accepted.
And man, I’m glad I did because he revealed a few things in there that really blew my mind including a cameo that was cut, details on the unproduced third movie, and another follow up that was discussed at one point.
So head over and read the interview with Daniel Altiere that ScoobyAddict and I teamed up on to produce HERE.

So to wrap up, I want to thank both @ScoobySnaxCom & @ScoobyAddict for allowing me to take part in both of these and allowing me to contribute to their sites.
I appreciate the honor more than either of you know.
Go give them a follow and let them know I sent you.
They’re both damn cool.

Special thanks to @ACFerrell1976 for her continued editorial assistance.

Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.: Hair Raising Review

I’m writing this with a sizable amount of sadness.
You may think I’m kidding, but I’m dead serious…no pun intended, but hopefully noted and appreciated nonetheless.
My sadness is prompted by this being the final Dan Shamble novel/story I have to review, for now, and it has been one hell of a journey so far.
This was also the first Shamble that I read way back in December 2016, this is what hooked me into the series.

So knowing in context, and knowing where it goes, the question that I’ve got to answer kind of needs to be “how does this stand up to the second go round, the test of time, and the rest of the series?”
Let’s try and find the answer to all that.

As always, gang, this is your standard issue ***SPOILER ALERT***

Dan, Robin, Sheyenne, McGoo, and all of the things that go bump in the night are back for more scary and extra hairy action.
An organ harvesting operation is killing vampires and other homeless monsters, a vindictive ex-wife is desperately trying to screw the zombified father of her son out of child support and visitation, a crematorium claiming to burn the remains of the recently departed…the only problem is that the recently departed are still physically around to prove they’re running a scam, an all out war is brewing between the full moon werewolves and the full timers, and a voodoo tattoo shop, a zombie mobster and his bad luck stricken harpy girlfriend are all among the cases we have the pleasure of watching unfold in this visit to the Unnatural Quarter.
With a case load that heavy, it’s a damn good thing zombies don’t need much sleep!

While you absolutely do not need to read these novels or stories in order, it does make it a far more enjoyable experience.
You get all the info you need, but if you have actually read what Dan is referencing then the tiny throw away mentions to continuity that seem like incidental jokes are exactly what nerd wet dreams are made of.
I think I’ve mentioned a few times in these reviews that Kevin J. Anderson is definitely one of us minutiae loving nerd types, and that alone proves it.

Another nerdery attribute that is a strength of KJA’s is the seemingly endless and effortless ability to not only juggle, but service, weave, and solve multiple storylines in logical and satisfying ways.
I mentioned a shit ton of the plot lines above in my summary, right?
Yeah, well, there are at least two or three more that I didn’t even mention, and not a one feels rushed or forgotten at any point.
The dude spins more story plates than a season of Game Of Thrones, and, if the outcry is any indication, to a far more satisfying conclusion as well.

This, if only for sentimentally sake, may be my favorite book in this series.
And the Scooby-Doo shout out has nothing to do with it.
Book 1 was a great introduction to the world, Book 2 expanded and made it bigger, Book 3 settles in and plays with what has been established in the best ways.
While this is only the third book, Anderson clearly understands this world and every aspect of the biases, histories, and lore of it.

I’ve long described this series as The Rockford Files meets The Munsters or The Addams Family, and that still rings true.
But I feel I have to add that it’s seasoned with a dash of Monk at the end to bring it all home and make it sing.
The attention to detail makes it perfect for us comic book fans, but again I need to stress that those references absolutely do not make this a difficult entry point for new readers.
It was mine, and I’m damn glad it was.
So if you’ve been waiting to check out this series but you haven’t been sure where to dive in at, take it from my first hand experience that this is as good a spot as any.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go try not to be all depressed and whatnot while I patiently await some of that sweet sweet Shamble news dropping like manna from above.

Let us what you think of this review in the comments below or share this post on Twitter with the Hashtag #TNBBookReview.

Special thanks go to @ACFerrell1976 for her continued editorial assistance.

The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week #69

This week we had a momentous occasion occur, let’s dive in and get your thoughts, gang.

Yesterday, the trailer for the first ever theatrically animated Scooby-Doo movie dropped, find more info about it and watch it here.
So this week we’re askin’: What Did You Think Of The SCOOB! Trailer?

Leave your answer down in the comments below or tweet it over to us on the Twitter @NerdBlitzPod or by using the hashtag #TNBQotW

Special thanks goes out to the good sir @SteBoost for creating our eye catchingly sexified QotW logo.

SCOOB! First Trailer

Warner Bros. Pictures released the 1st trailer for SCOOB! this morning, the 1st theatrical animated Scooby-Doo movie this morning.

Watch the trailer right HERE, gang!

The official description released says: The first full-length animated Scooby-Doo adventure for the big screen is the never-before told stories of Scooby-Doo’s origins and the greatest mystery in the career of Mystery Inc.

“SCOOB!” reveals how lifelong friends Scooby and Shaggy first met and how they joined with young detectives Fred, Velma and Daphne to form the famous Mystery Inc. Now, with hundreds of cases solved and adventures shared, Scooby and the gang face their biggest, most challenging mystery ever: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this global “dogpocalypse,” the gang discovers that Scooby has a secret legacy and an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.

Starring in “SCOOB!” are Kiersey Clemons (“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” TV’s “Angie Tribeca”), Zac Efron (“The Greatest Showman,” the “Neighbors” franchise), Will Forte (“Booksmart,” TV’s “The Last Man on Earth”), Jason Isaacs (the “Harry Potter” films, TV’s “The OA”), Ken Jeong (“Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Hangover” trilogy), Tracy Morgan (“What Men Want,” TV’s “30 Rock”), Gina Rodriguez (“Deepwater Horizon,” TV’s “Jane the Virgin”), Amanda Seyfried (the “Mamma Mia!” films, “Ted 2”), two-time Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg (“The Fighter,” “The Departed”), and Frank Welker (the “Transformers” franchise).

“SCOOB!” is directed by Tony Cervone, an Annie Award nominee for the feature “Space Jam” and two-time Emmy nominee for his work on “Duck Dodgers.”

Set for a May 15, 2020 release, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

TNB Commentaries 040: Scooby-Doo 50th Anniversary Special!

WB_Scooby_50yearsPlease turn off your cellphones and jump into the Mystery Machine with us as we go back in time to the very beginning to discover the gang’s origins and watch a franchise launch a 50 year attempt to solve the biggest, baddest, and spookiest mysteries.

For our 40th Commentary, we head back to 2009 & 1969 to discuss the 1st appearances of the Mystery Inc. gang with a TV Movie and pilot, starring Frank Welker, Casey Kasem, Don Messick, Stefanianna Christopherson, Nicole Jaffe, Nick Palatas, Haley Kiyoko, Kate Melton, & Robbie Amell.

We cover everything we can fit into this mega 50th anniversary retrospective from the oldest episode to the newest direct-to-video movie and currently airing series, action figures, comics, the history of the various shows, and our memories, thoughts, and enjoyment of it all.

On a personal note, this episode has a lot of great bits and jokes in it, with more that we wish we could have packed in, but we want to send a special thank you to @theJSarge for allowing us to share the spectacular cover of the WAY Theme he did in April 2018.

Much love and respect, rock star.

URL: TNB Commentaries 040: Scooby-Doo 50th Anniversary Special!
Direct Download:tnbc-040-scooby-doo-50th.mp3

This has been a feature of TS-D/JA Productions and JJ2E Media 2019