Monthly Archives: September 2008

Take The Guinness World Records 2009 Pop-Culture Quiz

In honor of the recent release of the 2009 Guinness Book of World Records here are some fun pop culture questions for you:


1. First film to feature an entirely computer-generated character.
2. Most lucrative filmmaking partnership between an actor and director.
3. First U.S. female to write or co-write every track on a million-selling debut album (hint: It’s not Mariah).
4. First high-definition film to be successfully pirated and downloaded online. 
5. Show with the largest TV audience ever.
6. The most popular TV show according to public vote.
7. The most-watched current TV show.
8. The first in-flight movie.
9. The highest paid television cast.
10. Shortest music concert ever.
11. Longest-running monthly comic book.
12. The highest-grossing film actor. 
13. Actor with the most recorded sword fights in a movie career.
14. Most Oscar-nominated living person.
15. Country that downloads the most singles.
16. Most character voices by an individual actor on a single audiobook.

The answers can be found HERE.



Portland State University And Dark Horse Comics Open The Country’s First Comic Book Archive

The hallowed halls of Portland State University’s Branford P. Millar Library house some very valuable holdings—the Middle East Studies collection, for example. But the library recently accepted a collection considered by most academics to be far less, well, academic. Milwaukie’s Dark Horse Comics has so far donated over 3,000 volumes to the library’s shelves (that’s three copies of every title the company has ever produced), making PSU the first university in the country to keep such an archive. “This is an important international research collection,” says librarian Helen H. Spalding. “It holds an interest for those studying American pop culture, gender studies, violence in literature—almost anything.” Dark Horse, which PSU alumni Mike Richardson and Neil Hankerson started in 1986, is the third-largest comic-book publisher in the country after powerhouses Marvel (X-Men, Spider-Man) and DC (Superman, Batman), and its titles have provided the inspiration for such Hollywood hits as Hellboy and Alien vs. Predator. “We wanted to make the university a hub of comic-book studies,” says Richardson. It seems to be working: The comics have already proved popular checkout items—even patrons at other city and university libraries are requesting them through Interlibrary Loan. If you’re stuck on the waiting list, you can peruse the comics inside the library instead. Here we offer a sneak peek at just what you can expect to find.

This comic, about a congressional speechwriter who morphs into a one-ton concrete creature, debuted in Dark Horse’s inaugural year. “I expected it to sell 10,000 copies,” says Richardson. “It sold 50,000.” The creator received several awards for Concrete in the late 1980s, including multiple Eisner Awards for Best Continuing Series and Best New Series.

In 1990, writer Frank Miller, of Sin City and 300 fame, and artists Dave Gibbons and Geof Darrow broke ranks with Marvel and DC. The trio then created Hard Boiled, about a homicidal cyborg tax collector, and Give Me Liberty, which features a war hero named Martha Washington from Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing projects. Unlike other publishers, Richardson gave the creators ownership of their characters—if Miller wanted to take Martha back to Marvel, he could. This approach brought an influx of writers and artists to Dark Horse, including Hellboy writer and artist Mike Mignola, who began inking the series in 1993. Eleven years later, the movie grossed $23 million in its opening weekend.

Before Dark Horse’s publication of Aliens in 1988, comic-book adaptations of movies were usually low-budget rehashes of the filmed originals. But Dark Horse hired well-known writers and artists—like Marvel’s longtime Uncanny X-Men writer Chris Claremont—to continue the sci-fi series, basically “making movie sequels in print,” says Richardson. That led to Aliens vs. Predator, which became a movie more than a decade after the comic book came out. (Reprinted from Portland Monthly)



Marvel Studios Enters New Distribution Agreement With Paramount

Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom, Inc. and Marvel Studios, a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment, Inc. today announced an agreement under which Paramount will distribute Marvel’s next five self-produced feature films on a worldwide basis. The deal, an extension of the original agreement made by Brad Grey when he arrived as CEO and Chairman of Paramount Pictures, includes theatrical distribution in foreign territories previously serviced by Marvel through local distribution entities. The distribution pact capitalizes on Marvel and Paramount’s successful efforts with “Iron Man,” which has grossed $574 million worldwide for Marvel.


The highly anticipated live action releases include “Iron Man 2” (May 7, 2010), “Thor” (July 16, 2010), “The First Avenger: Captain America” (May 6, 2011), and “The Avengers” (July 15, 2011). The distribution agreement also includes “Iron Man 3.”


“Coming off of Iron Man’s incredible success this summer, we could not be more excited about extending our relationship with Marvel,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures. “Marvel’s iconic brand, its popular characters and its proven ability to create compelling and visually spellbinding films complement Paramount’s great history of filmmaking. We look forward to a long and successful run together.”


“Paramount is an excellent partner and an outstanding global distributor,” said David Maisel, Chairman of Marvel Studios. “Through our experience on Iron Man, Paramount has demonstrated a passion and ability to release Marvel properties theatrically, allowing us to focus on making great movies for the largest audience possible.”


Marvel’s “Iron Man,” starring Robert Downey Jr. and directed by Jon Favreau, was distributed by Paramount earlier this year and was one of the top films of 2008. The DVD, including a version in Blu-ray, will be released on September 30, 2008.



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Possible Blade Runner Sequel In The Works

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner sequel is in the works under the command of veteran producer Bud Yorkin. Top screenwriters John Glenn and Travis Wright (Eagle Eye) are working on several treatments since 2006 and the current status of the story is classified, but Yorkin is in touch with pre-visualization team The Third Floor (all former Star Wars special effects team members) in order to work on some of the hunter sequences and space battles which occur in off-world colonies where the sequel is most likely to take place. Blade Runner II is still away from its conclusion, but it’s evolving.

Yorkin mentioned that if the green light is given, he’ll bring back stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah.


Spider-Man & Stephen Colbert Team Up In Amazing Spider-Man #573!

Marvel is proud to reveal that Spider-Man and acclaimed television personality Stephen Colbert will join forces in an all new eight-page story featured in the extra-sized AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #573! Acclaimed writer Mark Waid and fan favorite artist Patrick Olliffe present Stephen Colbert, a candidate for the U.S. Presidency in the Marvel Universe, teaming up with Marvel’s most iconic crime fighter. What could bring these two together? And what will it mean for both their futures?




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Origami is the art of paper folding. The word is Japanese, literally meaning to fold (oru) paper (kami) and comes in many styles and varieties. Please click HERE to create models folded from dollar bills. The subtle genius lies in the way the artist incorporates the prints on the dollar bills into the facial characteristics of the finished figures.



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Turn Your Drawings Into Objects

Ponoko has a very cool new service called Photomake. You draw something with a marker and paper, upload it to Ponoko and they will turn it into a “real life product.”

This means you do not need to use graphics software to make something. This significantly lowers the entry barrier for all creative people who can hand draw using pen and paper but do not know how to use design software.



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The 3M Mpro 110 Micro Projector

The 3M Mpro 110 Micro Projector is tiny, light and very portable. At only 11cm long, 5cm wide and 2cm high, the Mpro 110 can easily fit into a pocket, handbag or computer case. Images can be projected up to 50 inches and is great for business and home use. It can be connected to a laptop using a VGA cable and also iPods, digital cameras and multimedia mobile phones using a video cable.  The MPro 110 is expected to retail for $359 and will be available on September 30th.


The Trailer for Will Smith’s Seven Pounds

Will Smith reunites with the directors and producers of The Pursuit of Happyness for the emotional drama. In the film, Smith plays Ben Thomas, an IRS agent with a fateful secret who embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers.

Co-starring Rosario Dawson, Michael Ealy, Barry Pepper and Woody Harrelson, the film opens in theaters on December 19th.


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