Pop a Stake in Monday

Poor Monday, the bastard child of days of the week. It never asked to be hated, but it can’t help but inspire dread and despair in millions. If Saturday is the popular girl everyone wants to know, Monday is the geeky bullied kid in the corner who smells like cheese, quietly plotting to do a Steve Jobs and take over the world.

McGeek makes it his mission to pick you up this Monday, by putting a stake in the heart of its crappiness. Do you all remember that blonde chick called Buffy who killed dead things, swapped spit with brooding vamps and generally saved the world a lot? Well, thanks to the mad bad geniuses at Funko POP! Vinyl, the time has come to take Buff and her Scooby Gang home in fab figure form.

buffy the vampire slayer

Forbidden Planet UK has them marked on its website as ‘expected 30th September’ with other sites showing later in October; regardless of date though, surely it’s a no-brainer for any Whedonite to put a pre-order in and start making room for their own Sunnydale shelf.

Who cares if the Gentlemen didn’t have red eyes? What of it that poor Xander has been blatantly ignored? This is one of the best things to happen in toyland for years, and I’m not too proud to admit that I’m going to buy all in the hope that they do a ‘Toy Story’ and come to life when I’m not looking, ready to re-enact my favourite episodes. Dear Santa…

buffy figures

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The True Death

It’s finally here.

After paying my respects a year ago, upon the announcement it was being staked in the heart, it’s time for UK fangbangers to take their final sip of ‘True Blood’.

true blood season 7

Of course, there may be those of you not tuned in to FOX who’re up to date with our US cousins who bit into the finale a couple of weeks ago – but, rather than spoiling the ending for us pitiful TV viewers, why not join us in celebrating the legacy of Sookie, Bill, Eric, Pam, and the residents of Bon Temps with one last trip down the bloody bayou?

After a bit of a dip around the Season Four mark, HBO’s vamp drama embraced its crazy, ridiculous and kinky nature to romp towards the finishing line like Jason Stackhouse on V. The final season may have given short shrift to some key characters (Sam, Tara, Alcide) but I have every faith tonight’s sign-off will celebrate the show’s wicked ways at the same time as providing closure for the Sookie/Bill shippers out there.

Post-Comic Con Recon

So, now the geek dust has settled and San Diego costume shops have had their supply of superhero capes returned, it’s (perhaps past) time to reflect on the year’s biggest annual genre convention.

While there was nothing quite as awesome as last year’s impromptu Loki cosplay from Loki himself, Tom Hiddleston, there were some rather exciting announcements. Because I love lists – damn you, Buzzfeed! – here are the 15 things to emerge from SDCC ’14 that your McGeek is most excited about:

avengers 2

1. The new ‘Age of Ultron’ info, headed up by the insane poster above, is super news for fans of those super-sorts, The Avengers. Whedon, Downey, exciting new baddies – is it April 2015 yet?

2. Next year’s other Bigger-than-Big superhero team-up, ‘Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice’ revealed its feminine charms with shots of Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman cozzy. Wouldn’t it be funny if she kicks both their asses?!

3. The ‘Warcraft’ trailer. Never played it, doubt I ever will – but looks pretty epic!

4. Following its glowing reviews and major box office, it was announced that ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is getting a sequel. Not too bad for a Marvel-lous gamble featuring a talking tree, huh?

5. Speaking of sequels, Gareth Edwards gets to play with his monster toybox some more with a second ‘Godzilla’ movie. After the somewhat muted reception to this year’s San Francisco-set rampage, maybe Edwards will deliver the monster movie to rule – and smash – all other monster movies with his second Godzilla outing.

6. Here’s some more sequel news for you – or sorta-sequel prequel news, anyway. King Kong’s prehistoric island home will be a destination for summer cinema audiences soon with a newly announced trip back to ‘Skull Island’. Joe Cornish is in the frame to direct.

7. Oh, and Christopher Nolan unveiled a new trailer for ‘Interstellar’. Thinkings, space travellers?

8. Summer means an impending new season of TV, so many of our favourites were in the frame. ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ happily gets a second season despite a tail-off in viewership, so with that we get rumours of new characters like super agent Mockingbird as well as new cast members, including Lucy Lawless and ‘Dollhouse’s Reed Diamond.

9. Keeping it Marvel, an interesting expansion of the property’s TV portfolio comes with a rebooted ‘Daredevil’ for can-do-no-wrong Netflix. Will the platform’s creative freedom allow for the edgy, dark incarnation that the Ben Affleck vehicle so sadly wasn’t??

10. Didn’t think Homer would ever meet Peter Griffin? Erm…

homer meets peter griffin

11. Still reeling from the second season finale of ‘Hannibal?’ The third course will be set a year after that shocking bloodbath – and, as a Bryan Fuller buff and avid fan of the show, I can’t wait to see who lives, who dies and what the cannibal concocts next. The Red Dragon himself, Francis Dolarhyde, is set to make an appearance. Nightmares at the ready.

12. TV/game crossovers can be tricky to get right (‘Defiance’ anyone?) but the news that the cast of ‘Firefly’ are reuniting for a new online game is just, well, SHINY. She keeps on flying… *happy sigh*

13. Sam Raimi, in attendance to announce ‘The Last of Us’ film adap, also teased a possible new ‘Evil Dead’ series with Bruce Campbell also possibly involved. Can post-watershed handle this?

14. Horror buffs can also look forward to a return-to-form Guillermo del Toro, who takes a pause from pitting robots against giant monsters to deliver in ‘Crimson Peak’ the type of elegant, scary-as-hell pic with which he first made his name. Jeepers creepers.

15. Finally, Christmas soon which means mince pies, Santa and one big ol’ present in the final (for now) trip to Middle-earth for Peter Jackson’s ‘Hobbit’ trilogy. Sniff.

Until next year! Someone buy me a ticket??

Trailer Tuesday: Dead is Alive

One of the copious Comic-Con treats to emerge from last weekend’s annual San Diego geek get-together was this: the continuation of AMC/Fox’s zombie survival saga, based on Robert Kirkman’s original graphic novel series, ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5 looks set to plunge us further into the grim post-apocalyptic world of Rick and his rag-tag bunch of no-hopers.

October isn’t that far away, but if you can’t wait then get your brain-gobbling gnashers around the extended promo clip below. It’s better than brains!

Art On a Roll

When pop meets culture, you get heroically good art work like that created by Brian C. Roll. The New Jersey artist and all-round creative brain may not have prints from his portfolio hanging in The Louvre but, if you register even just a #1 on the geek-o-meter, you’ll agree that this guy’s skills are super – just like his subjects!

Brian’s Odyssey Art site collects together his ‘who’s who’ gallery of pop culture icons, many of whom will be familiar to all you genre junkies, but all in his own unique artistic style.

brian c. roll - odyssey art
odyssey art

Thinking about doing some interior decorating? Luckily for those of us who don’t have his skill with a line, some of Roll’s most eye-catching work (including the Serenity crew above) can be bought from his online store.

And that’s not all. As his interpretations of classic pop culture heroes would suggest, Roll has a distinct eye for character and his very own good and bad guys will be discovered soon when his forthcoming Kickstarter-funded project ‘The Circle’ comes full circle. Can’t wait!

What a Marvel

clark-gregg-agent-coulson

Tonight, UK fans of Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ finally uncovered the truth about the mysterious Cellist (and discovered she looked a lot like Amy Acker – yay!) but, after all the shocks and surprises as Whedon and his team lead to an end-of-season climax, it’s reassuring to find out today that Coulson’s team is getting a second series.

Yep, despite the ratings dip that has followed the sterling season opener, the Marvel brand holds a lot of weight and luckily the TV spin-off is getting another run – bucking the curse of Whedon’s ‘Firefly’ and ‘Dollhouse’ for now.

hayley-atwell-agent-carter

Not only that, but Marvel continues its transition to the small screen with the newly announced ‘Agent Carter’ which, following Hayley Atwell’s character revival in the ‘Captain America’ sequel and a short that accompanied ‘Iron Man 3’, has been picked up for a series that will follow Cap’s former ass-kicking love.

So, with Phase 2 of the Marvel legacy soon to close, exciting times are ahead – and not just in the cinema. Overkill could be a danger here, but so far Kevin Feige and his team have hardly put a foot wrong (although I still haven’t seen Norton’s pre-Ruffalo ‘Hulk’) so hopes are high. What a Marvel!

Trailer Tuesday: Good Gotham

EEK! Who knew, back in the hazy teen telly days of 2004, that OC bad boy Ryan would turn out to be Commissioner Gordon?

Batman-verse TV spin-off ‘Gotham’ has been granted a full series and, as if in celebration, the first full trailer has landed online. It’s still early days of course – and still so soon after Nolan’s rendering of the Bat’s city (and not too far ahead of Snyder’s dance with the Bat) – but the first glimpse is promising, offering up a rogue’s gallery of some of Bruce Wayne’s deadliest foes back when they might have been redeemed.

Indeed, it looks set to follow the same origin-opening trail currently being trod with great wit by ‘Bates Motel’ and ‘Hannibal’ – but neither Norman nor Lecter live in Gotham, do they? With Gordon as the focus, a great entry point for the everyman, then this could potentially run a good few years with so much love for DC’s Dark Knight…

Trailer Tuesday: Cane Strain

This week, it’s all about a TV tease for an upcoming show I have high hopes for. We’ve all seen movies where fans of the original book have bemoaned the quality of the screen translation, but for Guillermo Del Toro and Carlton Cuse’s upcoming FX series ‘The Strain’ a hardcore following in waiting has already devoured a trilogy of books like the bloodthirsty infected. Disappointment may result in a real-life apocalypse.

Although no full trailer has been released yet, the teaser campaign has started with the second clip below going for the enigmatic approach (the first tease was of a Manhattan skyline darkening). A cane descends on a city street and is littered with wrapped candy – the silver-tipped cane can only represent the weapon of choice for vampire plague survivor, Abraham Setrakian, who will be played by John Hurt in the show.

For those who haven’t read the books (and even for those who have), the trail doesn’t reveal much but Cuse’s proven TV chops paired with Del Toro’s original vampiric vision will hopefully result in a gory genre classic. ‘The Strain’ is set to debut for a 13-episode run this summer in the States, so look out for more previews soon.

Spiky Art From Canime

There were a number of exhibitors at the recent Birmingham MCM Comic-Con that piqued my interest, but one stand stood out with its eye-catching output.

Canime is a UK-based independent design and print business that specialises in anime canvas art. The cooler-than-cool canvases showcase iconic characters from your favourite anime properties, and anime-ignorant pop culture fans can pick up wall art inspired by everything from Ghibli to ‘Breaking Bad’ and all the way back to Middle Earth.

The supremely kind folks at Canime were kind enough to send me a Cowboy Bebop canvas, featuring the character Spike from the 1998 anime series. The pictures below don’t do justice what is a real knockout piece, the shadowy smoking outline giving off a decidedly noir-esque vibe despite the bold blue background making it as Pop Art colourful as it is cool.

It’s available here for £30, and you can also get your hands on the rest of the Cowboy Bebop gang from the Canime site. Have a browse and start making major makeover plans – your walls need never be boring again!

cowboy bebop canime

spike canvas