Did You Know That Tsuburaya Held A Funeral For Fallen Monsters In 1973?

Honestly I've been covering Japanese monster and sci-fi movies for twenty years now and this is the first that I have ever heard of this.

A Twitter user called Mulboyne (@Mulboyne) has unearthed some amazing images of a funeral service that Tsuburaya Productions held in 1973 for all the monsters that were killed by Japan's most popular superhero Ultraman. The reason for this rather macabre event, which according to Mulboyne was attended by over 2,000 people, was to cleans the studio spiritually and hopefully stem the tide of bad luck that overtaken many of company's recent productions.

The background to this event is a run of misfortune at Tsuburaya Productions. Founder Eiji Tsuburaya died in 1970, and was succeeded by his son, Hajime. Hajime then died suddenly in 1973. Filming had also been plagued with accidents.

The company decided to hold a memorial service for the kaiju characters killed in its TV shows. It would also serve as a 厄払い (yakubarai – ceremonial cleansing) to put an end to the run of bad luck.

Melboyne also explains, "Similar to some Western practices, yakubarai is a very common folk practice in Japan for preventing or getting rid of bad luck, and otherwise exorcising evil spirits. In this case, Tsuburaya Productions wanted to start fresh, and so burned the life-size costumes of a number of the monsters that make up the Ultraman pantheon."

Say what you will, but it appears that the ritual worked. Today Ultraman is one of the world's top licensed entities and the TV series, plus numerous movies, have been huge hits all over Asia.

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The Five-Year Mission Collides with Autobot and Decepticon Warfare!

From IDW Comics

The starship Enterprise finds there’s more to the final frontier when Kirk and his crew come face-to-face with the strangest life forms of all: the shape-changing robots of Cybertron! Prepare to beam up and roll out this September with Star Trek vs. Transformers, a four-issue comic book crossover that is more than meets the eye and is inspired by the continuities of two iconic cartoon shows: Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) and The Transformers (1984).

Two of the most prolific Transformers and Star Trek comic book writers — John Barber and Mike Johnson — team with artist Philip Murphy and colorist Leonardo Ito to tell the story that fans have demanded for decades. At the edge of Klingon space, the Enterprise answers a distress call, discovering a dilithium mine under siege by jets and helicopters of vintage 20th Century design. When a red, flat-nosed truck rolls in to save the day, the no-holds barred Saturday morning mash-up truly begins!

Co-writer Mike Johnson, whose vast Star Trek comic book credits include the acclaimed Countdown and Star Trek / Green Lantern storylines, says, “This is a crossover several decades in the making, and we could not be more thrilled to bring it to fans! John and I are having a blast writing the first meeting of Starfleet and Cybertronians, and Phil is the perfect artist to bring these two franchises together on the page.”

“The funny thing is, even though I’m the Transformers guy on this comic (I’ve written a lot of Transformers comics, after all), I’ve always been a huge Star Trek fan, ever since I was a kid,” says John Barber, co-writer and IDW’s newly-minted Editor-in-Chief. “When I was in fifth grade, I remember my teacher joking at the end of the year that maybe someday I’d wind up writing Star Trek… and it’s a thrill to finally get to!”

Philip Murphy, whose IDW credits include The Powerpuff Girls and Star Wars Adventures, says, “This is definitely a dream-come-true project for me. It’s my first time getting to draw Transformers and Star Trek. Not only am I a huge Trek fan, but I was born in the ’80s so I grew up in the golden era of Saturday morning cartoons – and The Transformers was definitely on the top of my list! This comic really means something special to me.”

Chase Marotz, associate editor, says, “Star Trek vs. Transformers is finally giving us the chance to combine two of our most prominent licenses in a style that will delight both fans of the original animated series and new readers. David Mariotte and I are having a great time editing it and we can’t wait until the fans get to see it for themselves.”

For information on how to secure copies of the monthly Star Trek vs. Transformers comic book series, please contact your local comic shop or visit www.comicshoplocator.com to find a store near you. Also, the collected Star Trek vs. Transformers trade paperback is now available for pre-order via online booksellers and comic book specialty retailers.

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Friday Girl - Kaci Lynn

Kaci Lynn
New Orleans, Louisiana

Age: 28
Height: 5' 3"
Weight: 135 lbs

Hold The Force! Disney Puts Future Star Wars Movies On The Shelf

Well this certainly sucks. After fumbling the ball with "The Last Jedi", which led to a so-so box office for "Solo", Disney has decided to put all of their future "Star Wars Story" movies back on the shelf until after "Episode Nine" is released. I will not be seeing the next movie myself due to the fact that I no longer care what happens to the remaining characters.

I still can't wrap my head around how Disney and Lucasfilm couldn't even remotely grasp what everyone wanted to see in their new trilogy. To put it simply "put the band back together". How hard is it to understand? Luke, Leia and Han save the galaxy one last time with some new interesting characters thrown in to expand the story. If those characters were strong enough, then make a movie about them. It was a slam-dunk and they blew it.

That being being said, both "Rogue One" and "Solo" were excellent!

From Collider

It may be a while before we see any more movies like Solo: A Star Wars Story out of Lucasfilm. Sources with knowledge of the situation tell Collider that Lucasfilm has decided to put plans for more A Star Wars Story spinoff movies on hold, instead opting to focus their attention on Star Wars: Episode IX and what the next trilogy of Star Wars films will be after that film. Sources tell us that the previously rumored Obi-Wan movie was in active development, but those who were working on the film are no longer involved. It was recently reported that Logan filmmaker James Mangold was in early talks to write and direct the Boba Fett film, but that was before Solo’s release.

This news comes in the wake of the disappointing launch of Solo, which was only Lucasfilm’s second A Star Wars Story spinoff, but which received mixed-positive reviews and fell short of box office expectations. The film scored $84.4 million on opening weekend and has grossed $192.8 million domestically (and $339.5 million worldwide) in four weeks, which is nothing to scoff at but is far, far lower than the performance of other Star Wars movies at this benchmark. For comparison’s sake, Rogue One opened to $155 million and had grossed $424 million domestic by Week 4. To put it simply, while Solo did fine by blockbuster standards, it wasn’t the “event” that Lucasfilm expected out of a brand new Star Wars movie.

Of course the May release date could have had something to do with Solo’s disappointing performance. As opposed to Rogue One or the episodic films by J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson, Solo went head-to-head with a slew of summer blockbusters in May, opening mere weeks after box office juggernauts Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2. One wonders how the film would have fared had Lucasfilm pushed Solo’s release to December instead.

Regardless, we’re hearing that plans to revisit this A Star Wars Story format have been put on hold for the moment. Initially announced as “anthology” movies, the spinoffs got off to a rocky start and haven’t exactly been smooth sailing. Josh Trank (Chronicle) was developing a Boba Fett movie around the same time Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) was prepping Rogue One, but Trank was subsequently removed from the project and Lucasfilm lost a film off its planned slate. Then story issues led to extensive reshoots on Rogue One that reworked the third act, with Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy) overseeing the new scenes. And then of course Solo saw directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller fired during production, with Ron Howard coming in to replace them and reshoot a number of scenes.

In addition to Episode IX, Lucasfilm has officially announced development on a new Star Wars trilogy focused on new characters from The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson, as well as a new series of films written by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. These projects continue to be in development and are not part of the paused spinoffs we’re hearing about. But Lucasfilm’s main focus at the moment is planning the next trilogy after the Abrams-directed Star Wars 9, which is expected to conclude the story of Rey (Daisy Ridley) that began with The Force Awakens.

As with everything in Hollywood, it’s always possible that some filmmaker could come in and pitch an idea for a Star Wars Story spinoff that makes Lucasfilm rethink its approach, or opt to greenlight that idea as a one-off, but as of right now we’re hearing the studio’s focus has moved away from these spinoffs for the time-being and is squarely intent on getting Episode IX to the finish line and figuring out what the next trilogy of films will be.

"Hold everything!" Dick Tracy Returning To Comics Via IDW "Six-two and even, over and out"

From IDW Comics

One of the most iconic comic-strip heroes of all time is back in action, courtesy of IDW Publishing’s new series, Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive! Reimagined for the 21st century through a retro lens by the superstar team of Michael Allred, Lee Allred, Rich Tommaso, and Laura Allred, the four-issue miniseries launches in September… so criminals had best beware!

In Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive, the All-American detective just made the biggest collar of his career… and it only cost him his job. Now, the honest cop has packed his bags for “the city by the lake,” and its criminal community is firmly in his sights! Featuring cover art and co-written by Eisner Award-winning superstar Michael Allred (Madman, iZombie, Silver Surfer), the new series features strange villains, crooked cops, and gunfights galore.

“Dick Tracy is an instantly recognizable old-school icon, like Mickey Mouse and Superman, but he’s been out of the spotlight awhile and due for a curtain call. We want to shake it up and show the glow in the 21st Century,” says Michael Allred. “I always get a big kick working with my first-ever collaborator and big brother, Lee Allred, as well as my favorite colorist and favorite wife, Laura. But I’m crazy excited about working with Rich Tommaso! He is one of the most innovative and thrilling cartoonists working in comics. I’m lit up with giddy shock that he’s letting me slop ink on his beautifully rendered pencils, keeping me on my toes to do the work justice on this thrilling series!”

Co-writer Lee Allred says, “Dead or Alive pits Dick Tracy, champion of Law and Order, against not only brutal crime bosses but the corrupted forces of the Law itself. Every hand, cop, and crook will be against Tracy as he battles the enemies of true justice. With Rich, Mike, and Laura as the art team, classic crime drama has never looked so good.”

“I am thrilled to try my hand at drawing this legendary, pulpy, hardboiled crime classic,” says penciller Rich Tommaso (Spy Seal, Dry County). “Along with Roy Crane, Milton Caniff, Noel Sickles, Jack Cole, and Alex Toth, Chester Gould is a cartoonist that I am perpetually inspired by when I’m working on my own crime stories. So, this is a project that I feel is well within my wheelhouse. The Dick Tracy cast of characters makes this comic so much fun to draw on a daily basis. I only hope we can all bring something great to the comic ourselves while, simultaneously keeping true to its origins. Not an easy feat to be sure, but I feel it’s damn worth a try.”

Since 1931, Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy has thrilled millions with tales of good guys versus bad guys, while showcasing the latest criminology techniques and old-fashioned values. Throughout the years, the quintessential detective had numerous partners and sent thousands of rogues either to the slammer or their graves, but there were always more bizarre, out-of-this-world villains (with funny names and hideous faces) to pursue.

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Ultraman 2019 anime series created entirely with motion capture

I sure hope this is more exciting than that boring Godzilla anime.

From Anime News Network

It's no secret that 3D animation in Japan has its detractors among anime fans. Despite this, more CGI anime have been released recently, and the upcoming Ultraman anime, set to launch in 2019, is going to be entirely in 3D animation.

However, directors Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki are using a different approach when it comes to the anime's actual animation. They are using motion capture to create the CGI, but the anime is not filmed shot by shot. The studio decided to film the entire anime in motion capture. At AnimeNext in Atlantic City, Kamiyama and Aramaki showed footage of how the anime's actors wear motion capture suits during stunts and fight scenes. They also wear them during drama scenes, where the characters talk or use simple movements.

The directors explained that this makes the characters' movement more natural. Using the motion capture technique, the initial scenes are recorded in Motion Builder. Then, they are transferred to the animation program Maya, where the animators add more details, subtle movements, textures, and other finishing touches. Professional voice actors (who are different from the stunt actors) act out the script, and their voices are then incorporated into the animation.

But besides having an uncommon animation style, something else is unique about the anime: having two directors at the same time. At their panels, Kamiyama and Aramaki explained that having two directors is rare in Japan. Usually, there is a hierarchy in anime studios, where the higher-up director has more of an administrative role and the lower director does more hands-on work in the studio. It's unusual for two directors to be working together. In fact, Aramaki and Kamiyama have worked together before on other projects and met over 30 years ago, making the situation even more uncommon.

The CGI Ultraman adaption is set to launch in Japan next year. The series adapts Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi's Ultraman manga. Both directors are working on the anime at Production I.G and Sola Digital Arts.


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Batman Is The World's Greatest Crime Fighter ... Philosopher Not So Much

No one would ever deny that Batman is hands down the greatest detective in the history of pop culture. (With the exception of Sherlock Holmes, Ellery Queen, Columbo, and Jessica Fletcher ... Though I still insist that she committed all those murders herself. Who would expect the sweet old British woman right?) That being said, having a great analytical mind does not always mean that an individual has a great grasp of linguistics. Batman is no exception to this fact. Though some true brilliance has escaped the mouth of the caped crusader from time to time he also spouted out some real doozies on occasion as well.

Here are some of my favorites:

"It's obvious. Only a criminal would disguise himself as a licensed, bonded guard yet callously park in front of a fire hydrant."

That's right, no law-abiding citizen has ever done that.

"We've come a long way from the Prime Minister's exploding cake. Or have we?"

Always keep an open mind when it comes to exploding pastry ... you just never know when it may happen.

"Salt and corrosion. The infamous old enemies of the crime fighter"

Oxidation will get you every time.

"A reporter's lot is not easy, making exciting stories out of plain, average, ordinary people like Robin and me."

Taking into consideration the state of the press these days ... I'm not going to touch that one.

"It's sometimes difficult to think clearly when you're strapped to a printing press."

Just ask any Playboy centerfold.

Robin: "You can't get away from Batman that easy!"

Batman: "Easily."

Robin: "Easily."

Batman: "Good grammar is essential, Robin."

What we speak good and everything.

"Yes, he moves very quickly for an overstuffed and unlikely Egyptian Pharaoh"

Large people generally don't make good sprinters.

"Not you, Robin. They have strict licensing laws in this country. A boy of your age is not allowed in a drinking tavern."

... and no strip clubs for you either.

"No thank you, Chief O'Hara. This time I think Robin and I better go at it alone. Any large contingent of police officers might create unnecessary confusion."

 ... and me thinks tip off a villain or two of our presence.

"Catwoman, I find you to be odious, abhorrent, and insegrievious."

I normally find Catwoman to be provocative, seductive and titillating.

"Robin: Where'd you get a live fish, Batman?"

Batman: "The true crime-fighter always carries everything he needs in his utility belt, Robin."

Now that's going the extra mile in random preparedness preparation. (I know that made my head hurt to)

"It is the duty of every good citizen of Gotham City to report meeting a man from Mars in a public park".

I live in Southern California, I meet people like that all the time ... should I have reported them?

"No, Robin. With my head sticking out of this neosaurus costume, I might not appear like an ordinary, run of the mill crime-fighter."

Barney never looked like a crime-fighter to me. Neither did Dino for that matter.

"Bartender, a bit of advice. Always inspect a jukebox carefully. These machines can be deadly."

Thousands needlessly die each year from jukebox related accidents ... such a shame.

"Let that be a lesson. In future, be more careful from who you accept free lemonade."

Nuff Said.

(after coming through Barbara's window): "We would have entered the building by more conventional means, but we didn't want to startle the tenants."

... and you may have had time to put your clothes on.

"That's one trouble with dual identities, Robin. Dual responsibilities."

I'll let you discuss that with your therapist.

Wonder Woman 1984 - Gal Gadot Can Run Faster Than Crap!

Somebody was able to shoot a video from a building near where scenes from "Wonder Woman 1984" is being shot that shows actress Gal Gadot running at a full sprint down the street. As a former track-star myself I honestly don't think I ever ran that fast? She looks like a gazelle .... a tall, lovely, incredibly sexy gazelle ... what were we talking about?

Oh yeah, check out this clip:

Gal Gadot herself tweeted out this pic over the weekend (I think I'm in love!):

DC Comics is Back in Black

From DC Comics

DC Black Label is a brand-new publishing imprint dedicated to giving premier writers and artists the chance to expand on DC’s unrivaled characters with unique, standalone stories set outside DC continuity. The imprint will be DC’s home for classy, collectible superhero stories aimed at mature readers looking to be challenged and surprised as they’re entertained, with an eye for the unique and remarkable. In that regard, each DC Black Label series will have a unique format and a release schedule designed to best serve the story and creative vision, with the first of the previously announced DC Black Label titles set to debut later this year:

BATMAN: DAMNED #1 – September 19, 2018 (bimonthly, three issues)
SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE #1 – November, 2018 (bimonthly, three issues)
THE OTHER HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE #1 – December, 2018 (seven issues)

While the new, upcoming series have gotten fans talking—and all of us here at DC are as excited to read them as you are, so we certainly understand—they’ll also be joined under the banner by some beloved existing titles that represent the DC Black Label spirit and mission. These were Black Label books before there was a Black Label, and can give fans a clearer idea of what to expect from the line as a whole.

The first collected edition out of the gate will be Sean Murphy’s BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT, which recently wrapped up its eight-issue run. With its ruminations on the true meaning of justice and whether Gotham City’s crimefighters may be just as mad as its criminals, Batman: White Knight resonated with fans and critics alike, resulting in one of the most important and thoroughly original Batman comics released in quite some time. A crucial storyline that both redefines the Dark Knight and his cast of characters while taking them on an imaginative and wholly original adventure that wouldn’t be possible within DC Universe continuity, Batman: White Knight will be right at home at DC Black Label when the collected edition is released on October 9th.

In addition, fans can look forward to several of DC’s most acclaimed and influential comics getting a DC Black Label release as well. Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, Darwyn Cooke’s DC: THE NEW FRONTIER and Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ KINGDOM COME will all soon be released under the imprint. They’ll also be joined by some historic work from legendary artist and writer Frank Miller, whose BATMAN: YEAR ONE and BATMAN: DARK KNIGHT: MASTER RACE will become part of the line as well, timed to the release of his new Superman: Year One series with John Romita, Jr.

In short, it’s a great year to be a fan of smart, genre-pushing comic books. If this is the first time you’re hearing about the new DC Black Label titles, you’ll definitely want to check out our earlier announcement for all the details. But for the rest of you, let us know what you think! Are you excited about the way DC Black Label is shaping up? Will you be grabbing the Batman: White Knight collected edition? Which of the new DC Black Label books are you most excited about? Sound off in the comments below!

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Look For A New Power Rangers Team From BOOM! This September!

From BOOM! Studios

SHATTERED GRID is over. And now a new team of Power Rangers must rise.

A new era begins in MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #31 as award-nominated writer Marguerite Bennett (Batwoman, Animosity) and artist Simone di Meo (Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor) introduce an all-new Power Rangers team unlike any other! What is the secret behind this new team, and what ancient evil threatens the future?

Print copies of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #31 will be available for sale in Spetember 2018 at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the one nearest you) or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers like comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and the BOOM! Studios app.

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