Archive for aliens

odds and ends: aliens minimates, marc maron

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

This past week, The International Toy Fair was held in Manhattan. This is a business convention for toy makers and purveyors to show their wares to stores. In recent years it’s become somewhat of a bonanza for toy collectors who wait breathlessly for announcements of they new action figures and accessories to add to their collections. I’m always interested in seeing what new toys are on offer for the year, but I haven’t had a lot of disposable income in recent years. Most of the stuff in my collection is either an individual figure cherrypicked at full price, a gift from someone, or (most often) something bought on clearance.

Having said that, there is one toy line I manage to follow with some regularity, and that’s Art Asylum’s Minimates. Again, I don’t buy EVERY Minimate Diamond Select Toys puts out… but I buy a lot of them and enjoy the blocky style. I have a fairly decent collection. Although DST has produced some mighty tempting offerings recently including their series based on The Walking Dead comics, I haven’t been bit by the collector bug since the introduction of their Ghostbusters line. All that’s about to change however. This weekend, Diamond Select Toys and Art Asylum announced Minimates based on one of my favorite movies of all time, 1986’s Aliens.

While I’ve seen no pictures as of yet, the press release says that their license will cover Minimates of major characters AND vehicles. I’m hoping this means we’ll not only get a full platoon of Colonial Marines, but a Drop Ship and… dare I hope… a Power Loader.

I’m assuming a lot of the excitement for this line will be born out of the soon-to-be released Aliens: Colonial Marines video game, which isn’t getting a lot of great reviews. Hopefully that game’s performance won’t affect these Minimates.

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Last night, Ellen and I went to see Marc Maron perform stand-up at Bogart’s in Cincinnati. Maron’s become the poster boy for the podcast generation and for good reason- his WTF is a medium-defining program and one I listen to every week. I’ve been a fan of Maron’s since I was a teenager and he did regular work on Comedy Central.

(Digression: While many people remember him from this era for his run as the host of Short Attention Span Theater, I particularly remember the dude from the thankless job of hosting a “town forum” when Comedy Central stopped airing Mystery Science Theater 3000 every weekday at midnight. Fans were pissed; Maron was kind of the go-between on this weird half-hour segment where the president of the network explained the move. It was the kind of segment that would NEVER happen now that the Internet is a thing.)

Maron’s always used his stand-up and podcast as a forum as a kind of therapy to exercise his demons and I think that’s one of the reasons the guy’s so appealing today. Although I remember watching the guy on things like Stand Up Stand Up and SAST as a brash young comic, middle age suits Maron, his persnickety personality and obsessiveness.

Anyhow, the show was good; Ellen and I both enjoyed it. It was interesting to see Ellen’s reaction, as she’s not a regular listener to WTF. After the show, she remarked about what a communal thing the show seemed to be for Maron and his fans, with people shouting out their favorite bits and Maron directly referencing stuff that happened on the podcast. This is probably a good thing; Maron knows his audience and realizes most of them will immediately get it when he starts talking about Boomer or Pete Holmes. Ellen was lost on that stuff but appreciated the rest.

I didn’t stick around for the meet n’ greet after the show. Although I appreciate that Maron does that stuff, I’ve always found the fan impulse to get a picture with whoever they’re a fan of vaguely icky. The best way I can be a fan is support the artist with some cash (I did buy the iPhone app, thanks much!) and leave him alone. I know if the situation were reversed somehow, that’s what I’d want.

odds and ends: dinosaur dracula, comic pull list

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

One of my all-time favorite websites is X-Entertainment, a free-for-all tribute site to all the things that made my childhood rad. Updates to X-E have been sporadic in the past few years… but that promises to change with the advent of Dinosaur Dracula, X-E’s newly branded web address!

So far, Matt Caracappa has looked at Garfield and Friends fruit snacks, Fright Flicks trading cards, and my personal favorite, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cracker topper. X-Entertainment was surely an influence on my Thrift Store Finds posts, so I think anyone who likes those would truly love Matt’s writing. Check it out.

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We all know that I am something of a fan of the movies Alien and Aliens. I suppose you could say I had the misfortune of being born too late to see any of those movies in theaters- the only Aliens movies I’ve ever seen on the big screen have been muddled (Alien 3) botched (Alien: Resurrection) or just god awful (any of the Alien v. Predator movies, but I haven’t actually seen any of those).

Well, I’ve finally had the chance I’ve been waiting for last night; my most anticipated movie of the summer has to be Prometheus.

The “not a prequel” prequel to Alien, I was excited enough to see this flick that I broke free of my normal old man routines and went to a midnight showing. Even though director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Daniel Lindelof have been pretty straightforward, saying Prometheus is something new… I mean, c’mon. It’s an Alien movie.

…and I loved it. I loved it despite the cardboard cut-out characters. I loved it despite the gigantic plot holes. I loved Prometheus despite its’ structure, seemingly designed to infuriate the most nit-picky fans of this franchise. It’s a gorgeous movie worth seeing on the big screen.

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My current comic pull list is woefully small, and getting smaller by the month. Right now, these are the books I’m asking my fine comic retailer to put aside for me.

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thrift store finds: aliens-nightmare asylum

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 16, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

So I’ve pretty much found ALL the Aliens novelizations at this point

but most of the following was written about the first novel I came across at the thrift store, Nightmare Asylum.

Also, please bear in mind: if you thought last week’s TSF was obscure, nerdy, and self-indulgent… you ain’t seen NOTHING yet. I’ll get a little more relatable starting next Saturday. Promise.

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thrift store finds: aliens novelization

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , on April 9, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Less a review and more a trip down memory lane, today’s (and next week’s) thrift store finds are a couple of novelizations based on and around the 1986 movie Aliens.

This week, let’s look at the novelization. Next week, the novelization of a novelization.

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odds & ends: summer movie explosion

Posted in comics, commentary, sketchbook with tags , , , , , , , on June 11, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

The best part about summer vacation when I was a kid were the summer movies. A veritable glut of would-be blockbusters awaited me at the multiplex every weekend and for a good long while there, I went to see EVERYTHING that came out. The good, the bad, and the ugly… I was indifferent to quality so long as it was projected in a dark, air-conditioned theater and I could eat candy out of an oversized box.

I haven’t been very excited about summer movies this year, although I should preface that statement with the admission that having a 2 year old and a 6 month old at home really squashes any quick impulses I’ve had to jump up and go to the movies in the past few years. Going to the movies has gong from being something decided a half hour before the flick starts to a carefully orchestrated military exercise. SO many things have to be in place… we have to get a babysitter, we have to have the extra money, we have to make sure we’re gone RIGHT after Henry’s eaten, but not gone so long that he’s going to get hungry again. All the extra work sort of takes the fun out of it.

It doesn’t help that I’m painfully uninterested in this summer’s crop of would-be hits. I don’t care very much about Iron Man (although I liked the first one), I don’t care about Shrek (although oddly, I really enjoyed the second Shrek movie) and nothing else is really grabbing me. The only two movies that are must sees for me in theaters this summer are Toy Story 3 and on that’s probably on my list and nobody else’s… the Robert Rodriguez-produced sequel to the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Predator, aptly titled Predators.

What’s the point of all this rambling? I was doing some hard drive cleaning a few weeks ago and I stumbled across a couple of summer movie related comics and drawings that I thought I’d post. This first one was drawn in response to a reader asking me what my favorite summer movie ever is:

Again, that comic was tossed off in like an hour, but it was fun to draw. I was nutty for Tim Burton’s Batman movies.

This second one was, I think, a sketchbook page of a comic that I was faaaaaar to young to see when it came out in 1986, but was one of my favorite movies as a teenager:


I think I saw Aliens when it aired as a CBS Movie of the Week when I was in elementary school and it absolutely kicked my butt. The way some kids are about Star Wars, that’s how I was about Ellen Ripley. I bought the Dark Horse comics, I bought the Kenner Aliens toys where they mish-mashed aliens with other animals (Gorilla Alien! Bull Alien! Scorpion Alien!). I think you get a sense of why I’m looking forward to Predators so much now.

When Alien 3 came out in theaters, I can safely say I had never anticipated a movie more never… and have I been more disappointed by one. I was more disappointed by Alien 3 on my first viewing than I was in Star Wars: Episode One… that’s how serious I am.

I think Alien 3 had some stuff going for it, but that the writers and producers SEVERELY under-estimated how attached the majority of the movie-going public was to some of the ancillary characters from the second movie. The emotional connection to the characters fairly collapses the rest of the movie on itself. That’s just my two cents though.