17 Cool Things to Check out at Comic-Con Aside From the Obvious

By Kyle LeClair in Daily Lists, Miscellaneous
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 5:00 am


Well, it's that time of the year again, where droves of nerds descend upon San Diego to what in exceedingly long lines in ungodly heat for even a glimpse of some really cool collectible or footage from the latest comic book film in development, all while munching on overpriced food...god, I wish I was actually going there.

Instead, I am sadly stuck back here in Canada. But quite possibly befitting my apparent status as a Comic Con outcast, it is my duty to showcase the more miscellaneous bits of Comic Con to check out, the stuff beyond the obvious film, television, and collectible news and panels. What kind of stuff, you may ask? Well, come on in to see what else SDCC will be offering this year, from offsite events to the kinds of panels that just didn't fit into any other definable category.

Top-Down Smackdown: Dean Ambrose, Movie Star

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies, TV
Monday, July 6, 2015 at 5:32 pm


While most regular features here at TR are on hiatus this week in order to let Comic-Con take over our world, I figured I should give you a glimpse of the new Dean Ambrose movie, now revealed to be 12 Rounds 3, as if continuity matters in a series that totally changes cast every time.

Interestingly, they don't bill him as Jonathan "Dean Ambrose" Good, as they often do with wrestlers not using their real names. Or maybe that's not interesting. It is what it is.

I at least wanted to give you a Raw talkback space. Have at it.

Advice Columnist "Ask Amy" Gets Expertly Trolled by Fan of Tommy Wiseau's The Room

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Monday, July 6, 2015 at 5:00 pm


I'm not sure what the date is on this column, but actor Greg Sestero just shared it on social media. To fans of The Room, the infamously bizarre "black comedy" by Tommy Wiseau, the question is as dead a giveaway as if a Rocky Horror fan wrote in complaining of being kidnapped by a Sweet Transvestite.

Amy's attempt at legitimate advice, in response, is something that would never happen in Tommy's understanding of the world. But read on to see it anyway.

Topless Toy Chest: Transformers Combiner Wars Devastator - Comic-Con Version

By Luke Y. Thompson in Toys
Monday, July 6, 2015 at 2:10 pm


Devastator - the original - was one of those legendary toys that got away for me. Transformers were often prohibitively expensive, and my parents, somewhat wisely, wanted to contain my collecting within certain lines so that I wouldn't want everything. And in general, there weren't a whole lot of them that I wanted, but Optimus Prime was one, and Devastator was another. Something about the purple and green scheme clicked - the other Combiners, with their different colors, seemed like a messy patchwork compared to the unified scheme. And the new toy reflects that - unlike other Combiner Wars figures, he comes with all six vehicles in the one package, and does not feature interchangeable articulation points like the other Combiners, which can mix and match limbs.

Anyway, I was pumped to get a review sample in the mail. Let's see how he measures up.

Mezco Reveals 18" Thundercats Tygra Sculpt, Rounding out the Core Team

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Toys
Monday, July 6, 2015 at 11:30 am

click to enlarge

ThunderCats.org has the first image of the quarter-scale figure that finishes up the core four members of the team from Mezco. He can now join Lion-O, Cheetara, Panthro and villain Mumm-Ra in your shrine to '80s properties that cannot be successfully revived, no matter how often pop culture still references them. Snarf snarf.

Hot Toys to Create Insanely Big, Expensive Star Wars Vehicle Cockpits for Wallet-Busting Figures

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies, Toys
Monday, July 6, 2015 at 10:00 am


A Millennium Falcon cockpit for $300 collectible figures.


Reading between the lines here:

Hot Toys is raising the bar once again to bring Star Wars fans some astonishing collectibles of the saga's spacecrafts in 1/6th scale!
and you realize more are in store, because somewhere, somehow, people exist with unlimited space and money who aren't already satiated with the existing flood of Star Wars product. By the time you're done buying it all, you could have your own ship for that.

But who's gonna fly it, kid? You?

(P.S. do Vader's meditation chamber next.)

Warren Ellis to Write New James Bond Comics for Dynamite

By Luke Y. Thompson in Books, Comics
Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:15 am


As part of an official partnership with Ian Fleming Productions, the Transmetropolitan writer, whose Bond-ish graphic novel RED was already adapted into two more comedic films, will be penning new 007 stories, featuring, in his words, "the original, brutal, damaged Bond of the books." Ian Fleming's great-nephew, who has the hilariously Bond-ish name of Diggory Laycock...yes, let that sink in for a moment...approves. "We were thrilled when Warren agreed to write the first story in this exciting new chapter of literary James Bond. Warren's style is gritty, dark, and unique, and we can't wait to see James Bond embroiled in an adventure of his creation."

Diggory Laycock.

No more complaining that Bond girl names are unrealistic after that. The first story arc will be called VARGR, which has to be an acronym for something, and is about how "James Bond returns to London after a mission of vengeance in Helsinki, to take up the workload of a fallen 00 Section agent... but something evil is moving through the back streets of the city, and sinister plans are being laid for Bond in Berlin." Well, if it's Bond, something better be laid, I suppose.

Neo-Springfield Is About to Explode in BARTKIRA Fan Trailer

By Luke Y. Thompson in Anime, Cartoons
Monday, July 6, 2015 at 8:05 am


As this image of Ned Flanders being violently gunned down ought to let you know, this is no cheap editing trickery - the folks who made this Simpsons-Akira combo worked hard to make it right. What began as a series of online comics and continued as a larger fan project has become a trailer for a movie that, commercially, can never be - but would inevitably be better than any of the American remakes ever proposed.


Admit it - it's blasphemous, but not in a bad way.

Fast Food Review: Every Item on the Denny's "Slamt4stic Four" Menu

By Luke Y. Thompson in Food & Drink
Monday, July 6, 2015 at 6:30 am


When asked, director Josh Trank has said that his take on the Fantastic Four in the upcoming movie is based on the notion of "body horror." So it makes total sense that the promotional tie-ins would feature food items likely to induce fear in the casual, non-American diner - not just fear of indigestion, but fear of Mass Waistline Destruction.

Enter me.

That's not some stage direction. That's a command I gave the food on Denny's menu once I saw it. ENTER ME! Also, some of you asked me to try it so you could satisfy both your curiosity and your cardiologist by living vicariously. It's belly clobberin' time!

10 Things That Sparked Our Attention at Anime Expo 2015

By Liz Ohanesian in Anime, Daily Lists, Nerdery
Monday, July 6, 2015 at 5:00 am

Liz Ohanesian
Los Angeles Convention Center's South Hall before the Exhibit Hall opened.
Anime Expo settled into its annual home, Los Angeles Convention Center, over Fourth of July weekend, bringing in Japanese pop culture fanatics from far beyond Southern California for four days of nerdery. I have attended every AX since 2008, which isn't that long considering that the mega-con will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. However, I've attended enough times to learn to never have any expectations about the event.

Anime Expo is constantly evolving, both as trends in anime shift and as new generations of fans enter the convention world. When I started attending the convention, the love for series like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Ouran High School Host Club were strong. In the years that followed, that love has shifted over and over again. I'm not quite sure what was the hit anime this year, although there seemed to be a lot of fans of Tokyo Ghoul roaming the halls. I can't keep up with the anime crowd. Heck, I didn't know what "shipping" meant until earlier this year and I'm still not sure why the kids are so into pastel alpacas.

Still, some things will stay the same. There will always be a point where the crowd and heat become too much handle and a point where you're overjoyed with everything you've seen and heard. Here's my round-up of the weekend.