Wednesday, April 25, 2012

From The Archives: Resuce Rangers Away

(Well here it is, my very first BOOM! Studios article.  And in case you've noticed a pattern forming with Rescue Ranger themed articles, yes, I admit it, I LOVED that show!)

Early this year independent comic book publisher Boom Studios gave early 90s cartoon fans like myself a near heart attack when they announce they'd be bringing Darkwing Duck back to life for a four issue mini-series. Well, we're now three issues into said storyline, and ...

IT ...

IS ...


The book not only perfectly captures the mood and tone of the 'Terror That Flaps In The Night', but manages to elevate it with an epic sensibility usually reserved for the serious super heroes.

The story has been so well received, in fact, that Boom has already elevated its status from a mini-series to a monthly ongoing series. When that news first reached my ears, I literally thought things couldn't get any better.

Well, guess what? I WAS WRONG!!!

According to a news story at which you can read here Boom has announced that another Disney series from the same time period will be revived in comic book form.

Ladies and Gentlemen and Cartoon Fans of all ages.


For those not in the know, Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers was created by Tad Stones and Alan Zaslove and originally pitched with a largely different cast of heroes under the title of Metro Mice. It was rejected by then heads of Disney Animation Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg who suggested they retool the show to incorporate one or more established Disney Characters as the leads.

And so it was, the comic duo of Chip and Dale were given a legendary makeover.

Chip's fedora and bomber jacket were obviously based on Indiana Jones, but rumor has it that Dale's Hawaiian shirt was inspired by tv sleuth Magnum PI!

(I have to admit the resemblance is uncanny!)

Along with the cheese obsessed adventurer Monterey Jack ...

... his faithful pal Zipper ...

... and the ever popular handy mouse, Ms. Gadget Hackwrench ...

... these five rodents against crime set out to foil the dastardly plans of the animal mobster, Fat Cat!!!

... as well as the machinations of the evil Professor Norton Nimnul!

The show spawned 65 episode which were mostly released across two dvd sets ...

There were also two video games on the original Nintendo Console ...

And a previous comic book series courtesy of a short lived Disney own publishing company ...

It's been over 20 years since the Rescue Rangers show was canceled and it's about time that these five stalwart adventures were brought back to life!  Here's hoping that Boom can do as admirable as job with this show as they've already done with Darkwing Duck!

What else is there to say? RESCUE RANGERS AWAY!!!

From The Archives: Rescue Rangers Cover Art Revealed

(My third BOOM! Studios post.  Only one more to go folks and the reruns will be at an end!)

I recently mentioned that Boom! Studios was planning a new Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers comic book. Well, the covers (or at the very least something that might become the covers (all of these are listed officially as 'not final art')) are now online!

Boom is planning multiple variant covers for the Rescue Rangers return just as they had done previously with their smash hit Darkwing Duck comic!

So feast your eyes on the wonders to (maybe) come!

Cover A

Cover B

Cover C

Artistically speaking, I think the Rescue Rangers are in very good hands!

From The Archives: BOOM! The Rangers Are Back!

(Following my previous post, I thought I'd get the whole Boom! thing out of my system and relay another old article I wrote about their Disney Comics Line.  It's a blast from the past originally posted on November 20th 2010.  Enjoy!)

As some of you might remember I wrote not one but two previous entries about the upcoming Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers comic book from Boom! Studios.

I'm really remiss for not posting this sooner because it's been online for quite some time, but in case anyone's interested here is a preview of the first five pages of the upcoming comic!

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Pages 4 & 5

For those of you who recognize the leads but are unfamiliar with some of the other characters, Pages 1-3 feature Gadget's long lost father Geegaw Hackwrench. Geegaw is mentioned briefly in To The Rescue, a five-part episode from the original cartoon that explains how the Rescue Rangers originally teamed up. We actually aren't told a lot about the character other than the fact that he recently died and that he was an old buddy of Monterey Jack's.

The Rescue Rangers comic book that Disney published to coincide with the release of the original cartoon used Geegaw in flashbacks, but his appearances made him out to be an inventor as opposed to an ace aircraft pilot which is how the show portrayed him.

His appearance in Boom!'s comic however seems more in keeping with the character the cartoon briefly mentioned. If that doesn't go to show that Boom! is paying attention to the details, then the double page splash panel at the end certainly does.

Not only do we see the villainous forms of Fat Cat and Professor Norton Nimnul, but two of the Pi-Rats (a group of characters who appeared in not one but two episodes of the cartoon (as well as a few issues of the comic)) are shown on Page 4 with them and on Page 5 we not only see the evil ninja mouse Bubbles (who appeared in the episode Case of the Cola Cult which remains one of the Ranger's most popular adventures) but we also see Foxglove the bat!

Foxglove appeared in one episode of the cartoon, toward the end of the show's run. Her introductory story Good Times, Bat Times is another well remembered episode and Foxglove herself remains perhaps the most beloved one-shot character of the series. In fact, it's been argued that she is better liked than some of the Rangers themselves. Check out her fansite The Foxglove Feature for more on her fan following!
Boom!'s comic is already generating a lot of positive buzz from the various fan communities, and looks to be a hit already! And what's more? THE BOOK IS NOW ON SALE!!!

The first four issues of the new comic can be purchased as a four issue subscription by North American audiences here and International audiences here!

And if that's not enough crime fighting, fedora wearing, 'golly' swearing, rodent cuteness for you, here are the two covers for the upcoming second issue of this soon-to-be best seller!

Cover A

Cover B

(Gee, I wonder who the villain will be in this one?)

Well, that's all the time we've got for today! See ya' later ya' crazy kids!!!

From The Archives: Big Bold Boom Has Got It Covered!

(This is an article first published on December 7th 2010 on my old wordpress blog about BOOM! Studios sadly now cancelled line of Disney Afternoon comics.  These books may be gone but theIR creative cover art lives on!)

The current crop of Disney comics coming out of Boom Studios continues to impress me! As many of you may remember I've commented on the quality of thier work a few times before. One of the articles in question displayed three different covers for the first issue of thier new series Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers, but Boom is apparently not stopping there.

They've recently announced a fourth cover that will only be available through comic book and retail stores, and it's as eye catching as the first three. Check it out!

The series went on sale December 2nd, a day later than it was supposed to due to holiday season shipping issues. In addition to that they've also unvieled two new covers for the upcoming third issue of the series.



I've been reading comic books for nearly 17 years in all kinds of styles and genres, and it's been a long time since I became this excited about cover art! But Rescue Rangers isn't the only series that's gotten my attention. Boom's Darkwing Duck covers are nothing short of amazing!

That comic in question is already two issues into its new four part story arc Crisis On Infinite Darkwings (an obvious parody of DC's 1985/86 mini-series Crisis On Infinite Earths) and while Issue #5 (the first part of the story arc) is sadly sold out, it's selection of cover art as well as the cover art for Issue #6 (now on sale) and Issue's #7 and #8 (on sale soon) is everything you've come to expect from them.

Check 'em out and see for youself!

Issue #5 Cover A

Issue #5 Cover B

Issue #6 Cover A

Issue #6 Cover B

Issue #7 Cover A

Issue #7 Cover B

Issue #8 Cover A

Issue #8 Cover B

I never really got into the multi-cover fad when the big boys (ie Marvel and DC) tried it out, but for some reason these books tend to strike a cord with me. Walt Disney and his team of animators spent decades creating and refining a type of visually expressive cartoon art that is still used by many and if I may say, few have used it to better effect than the artists at Boom Studios. That's just an opinion, of course, but it's one I'm proud of and will readily defend!

Till next time everyone!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bat In The Sun Productions: The Best Batman For Your Buck!!!

I recently became aware of a small company called Bat In The Sun Productions.  They have created some of the best fan films I've ever seen and some of the best Batman films ever made professional, amateur, or otherwise in my opinion.  These cinematic gems pack a harder punch and more sheer fanboy bliss into every second than Christopher Nolan has in any of his considerably well crafted outings with the Caped Crusader!

Below is a small sampling, a short film that's really more of a fan trailer.  Check out BATMAN: LEGENDS and then head over to BitSP's youtube channel to watch thier other movies, both short and long!  (For the record, their production entitled Batman: City of Scars comes most highly recommended!)

Bronies In The News (and Adventure Time too!)

Following my obsession with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and the Brony culture in general, I thought I'd upload a couple of youtube videos I found discussing the phenomenon.  Neither of these are breaking news, but still, they're fun.

The first is from the popular internet vlog RocketBoom and features MemeMolly discussing the impact the fandom has had on the show’s production (particularly the characterization of Derpy Hooves) and how a similar thing happened to a little Cartoon Network show that is also near and dear to my heart.  That's right, it's ...


The next is a clip from Fox News' show RED EYE.  The discussion is mostly back and forth which is usual for Fox.  Some like it, some don't, but it's still cool to see it mentioned and discussed on a serious news network.  It just goes to show how far the reach of the herd has extended!

And finally we have the one and only Stephen Colbert giving a shoutout to Bronies on The Colbert Report even though he admits he doesn't know what a Brony is.  That almost makes the comment superfluous, I guess, but then it is Stephen Colbert.  Has he ever known what he's talking about?

The comment doesn't come until the 50 second mark, so if you want, just skip to that.  Later every pony!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Rurouni Kenshin goes live action!

Rurouni Kenshin, a manga that ran from 1994-1999 in Japan and was later released in the U.S., is getting the live action treatment this year.  The film is set for an August 25th release in Japan and is loosely based on real survivors of the Meiji Era Civil War in Japan that ended the Shogan rule and opened Japan to Western influences.

As a fan of the series, I have to admit the trailer looks good and the casting seems spot on.  The Anime News Network had posted an article last year covering some of the finer points of the new movie's production and has a great gallery of still images from the film.

Friday, April 6, 2012

John De Lancie On My Little Pony

John De Lancie better known as 'Q' from Star Trek: The Next Generation talks about his introduction to the Brony/Pegasister fanbase after his first outing as the voice of the villianous Discord.  The video's short and it was shot with a camera so the picture and sound quality are hardly stellar, but Mr. De Lancie is so much fun to listen to it doesn't really matter.  File this one under voice artist appreciation, De Lancie-fandom, and Brony facts.  Enjoy!

Special thanks to admonkeyman for recording and uploading this video.  You can check out his youtube channel here!

My Little Pony: This Fanbase Is Magic - And So Is Daddy Discord!!!

I have been a member of some committed fanbases in my time, but the sheer volume of quality work that continues to pour out of the Brony/Pegasister community overwhelms me at every turn!  I could name any number of excellent fan fictions, fan art, and even some very well constructed animation, but today I've chosen to showcase a video that has not only impressed me but in some not-small-way touched me on an emotional level.  I am of course talking about Daddy Discord.

Daddy Discord is the second in a series of songs dedicated to the ficitonalized relationship between My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's chief villain DISCORD!!!

And an anonymous pony who shows up at mark 00:11 in the video below:

The pony in question has been given two names by the fanbase, Topsy Turvy and Screwball.  I have to admit I like the name Topsy Turvy better because I think it fits better with status quo of pony names in the show.  However, Screwball seems to be the more popular of the two (at least from what I've seen) and it's the one used in Daddy Discord, so that's how I'll be refering to her from now on.

It's nothing new for the Brony/Pegasister community to name background characters.  They actually gave the name Derpy Hooves to an unnamed pony who had been dubbed by her model sheet as Ditzy Doo, and guess what?  The animators actually changed her name because of the popularity Derpy enjoyed among the fanbase.  While the creators behind Friendship Is Magic might be a tad more wary of doing that in the future as the name Derpy (which can be used as slang for retarded, though it does have other meanings) has caused some backlash among viewers (read more on that here), and yet I can't help but wonder if the fuss being kicked up over Screwball might lend her to more appearances and possibly coming to be called by that name in the future.

Getting back to the main story, Daddy Discord is a fantastic piece of music with a wonderful slideshow presentation behind it.  It has a powerful dramatic affect!

The voice of Screwball is provided by youtube user SiminaCindy who gives a touching performance as well as invoking some haunting tones to match the somber yet still hopeful tune.  And yet as good as SiminaCindy is, I think the show is stolen by fellow youtube channel provider Lanovran  who breathes life into Discord.  The actor does a marvelous job of imitating the original voice actor John De Lancie, so much so that when I first heard this I thought it might actually be him!

I'm not sure who wrote or performed the music, but the original version of the song was uploaded by SandJosieph so I'm assuming that's who put everything together.  Whether you're already a fan, are curious about the following, or are just interested in good music Daddy Discord will have something for you!  Check it out and let me know what you think!

On a finale note, I want to acknowledge that the video I've posted is a reloaded version of the original with new artwork being provided by MadameLeFlour.  I think it adds a lot to the production.  Kudos Madame!  Kudos indeed!