NRSC Creates a Game to Win Back the Senate

9:00 AM, Friday, June 27th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

While online games have been used to promote films and TV shows, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has launched an online game as a way to "raise awareness in every possible way" to regain a majority in the Senate.

In the free 8-bit game, "Mission Majority," players control an elephant named Giopi as they try to help a campaign get more volunteers while avoiding evil "Taxers," deployed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama to thwart your efforts and suppress their high taxes, or mute the "misleading words" of "Mudslingers" and "escape their false and empty rhetoric," the NRSC said.

In the game's welcome screen, Giopi says: "Hi, my name is Giopi! I'm one of the GOP's best volunteers for the 2014 midterms, and I'm here to show you how we can win back the Senate! There is going to be a lot of red tape and regulations in our way, but we need to overcome them in order to succeed."

"Mission Majority" is part of the NRSC's mission to elect more Republicans to the United States Senate, with the organization funding the creation of the game.

"This year's Republican Senate candidates are the strongest in decades (if not ever), and we want to raise awareness in every possible way," the NRSC said of the game. "With that in mind, we are having a bit of fun with our approach."

"Mission Majority," of course is also meant to raise money for the Republican party, with gamers given the chance to donate or purchase items or sign up to help the NRSC campaign.

Playing the game requires connecting a Google or Facebook account.

Source: Variety

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Dreamworks Buys Felix to Become a Fashion Icon

8:00 PM, Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

DreamWorks Animation has bought the rights to the 95-year-old feline cartoon icon Felix the Cat. The studio acquired the character by paying an undisclosed sum to Don Oriolo, whose father Joe helped revive Felix in the 1950s and later assumed ownership of the character.

In the announcement at Licensing Expo, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said that Felix "goes beyond evergreen status and rises to something even more uncommon, as he is a true icon." So, what does one do after they acquire a true icon? "We plan to make him one of the most desired fashion brands in the world," explained animation studio owner Katzenberg. Because how better to revive a joyous, personality-filled cartoon character than plastering it onto teenybopper underwear and printing a hackneyed #YOLO-style motivational message underneath it?

Like many projects that DreamWorks undertakes, expanding the merchandising footprint of a vintage cartoon character is straight out of another company's playbook. In this case, the model has been perfected by Disney, which re-acquired Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 2006 so they could cash in on the character's merchandising craze in Japan.

At the rate things are going, it's only a matter of time before every rubber hose cartoon character will be ';rediscovered' by a corporation. Watch out Bimbo, Bosko, and Flip!

Source: Cartoon Brew

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The X-Men Days of Future Past Teams with Axe Body Spray

6:00 PM, Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

Unilever brand AXE has partnered with 20th Century Fox's X-Men: Days of Future Past to offer movie-themed gift sets with the tagline, "To Unlock the Superpower of Confidence."

The gift sets include a body spray, shower gel, and anti-perspirant in one of four existing AXE fragrances (Phoenix, which is not the character; Apollo; Anarchy; and Dark Temptation). The pack will also include an exclusive X-Men : Days of Future Past poster. The gift sets have an MSRP of $10.00. There is an extensive social media campaign planned, as well as a contest to send fans to the global premiere in New York City on May 10. There is also this commercial.

I'm not sure I want to smell like an X-Man. Especially not Wolverine. Or Beast, especially if Storm makes it rain.

Source: ICv2
John Wilson writing for Comic

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Microsoft to Dig Up Buried ET Games

1:00 PM, Sunday, April 6th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

During the North American video game crash of 1983, it was reported that Atari buried millions of copies of video game E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in a New Mexico landfill. Now a group of film companies have been given the go-ahead to dig the site up.

According to a report from Alamogordo News, the NMED Environmental Protection Division Solid Waste Bureau has approved a waste excavation plan by Xbox Entertainment Studios, allowing the company to dig the site up and hunt for the legendary buried games.

Alongside LightBox Entertainment, Xbox Entertainment is currently finalizing plans to begin the dig, through which is hopes to find evidence of the game cartridges.

The dig has been delayed for a long time, due to complaints from residents and chemical testing in the ground.

Source: Gamasutra

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Norwegian Teacher Uses Walking Dead to Teach Ethics

3:00 PM, Monday, January 20th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

Norwegian teacher Tobias Staaby is getting a fair bit of good press today for playing Telltale's The Walking Dead with his students at Nordahl Grieg Upper Secondary School in Bergen, Norway.

Staaby incorporates the game into his religious studies curriculum to help spur discussion about morality and ethical choices.

"The Walking Dead presents some dilemmas [the students] would not have thought of otherwise," Staaby told a reporter from Norwegian media outlet NRK. "That makes their answers to a greater extent their own."

You can watch the full report from NRK in the video above, though it's probably wise to enable subtitles if you don't speak Norwegian.

Though The Walking Dead is likely the grisliest game ever used in a classroom, is hardly the first -- sandbox games like Kerbal Space Program and Minecraft have been used as teaching tools for years.

Source: Gamasutra

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Kid Apocalypse Releases New Song

9:00 AM, Friday, December 20th, 2013 - Posted by Brant Fowler

Kid Apocalypse is at it again!

In case you missed it, we've posted his Uncanny X-Force rap here in this blog previously.

And now, we get another delightfully weird comic-themed, nerdcore rap video featuring Kid Apocalypse (read Wolverine and the X-Men for more the actual character), and Dark Beast.

Thanks to Kid Apocalypse and Mongrel Studios for sharing the release with us.

Directed by Zach Carter
Written and Performed by Quinn Allan
Music by Alex Carter
Make-up by Vikki Johnson
Lighting by Jeff Hammond
Produced by Mongrel Studios

This is a fan-made tribute video intended for free distribution only. Kid Apocalypse, Dark Beast, and other mentioned characters are trademarks of Marvel Comics and respective copyright holders and this is in no way represented by Marvel Comics.

See more at Kid Apocalypse music videos at :

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Neverwhere Removed from School Reading List Due to One Parent

8:00 PM, Sunday, October 13th, 2013 - Posted by John Wilson

Parental Complaint Spurs Suspension of Book's Use at Alamogordo High School

Neil Gaiman s book Neverwhere is the subject of some controversy among a group of parents of children in the Alamogordo Public School system. ( John Bear/Daily News)

Alamogordo Public Schools has "temporarily removed" a book from its English curriculum because of what one parent calls "inappropriate content."

The 386-page book, titled "Neverwhere" by New York Times No. 1 bestselling British author Neil Gaiman, has been used in Alamogordo High School's 10th-grade English curriculum since 2004.

The book has a 4 1/2-star rating on both and Barnes & Noble. The science fiction/fantasy story follows Richard Mayhew, an Englishman who helps a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From there, he is drawn into an alternate reality of London's abandoned subway system and sewer tunnels, and finds a world far stranger and more dangerous than the one above. Mayhew has fallen through the cracks of reality and landed somewhere different, somewhere that is called "Neverwhere."

But a particular passage on Page 86 grabbed the attention of Nancy Wilmott, whose teenage daughter at Alamogordo High School was reading the book as part of an assignment. The four-paragraph passage graphically describes an adulterous sexual encounter between a married man and a single woman in which the F-word is used three times, along with a brief description of groping of one's anatomy.

"I really think that the school needs to let the parents know what their students are going to read beforehand, not the day before or after," Wilmott wrote in an e-mail to the Daily News. "I am not a closed-minded parent that thinks my kids should hear no evil. Just not something with such graphic detail -- a intimate situation between two adults."

Even though the passage is the only one of its kind being singled out, Alamogordo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. George Straface said the book has been "temporarily removed from usage" until it can be reviewed.

"I reviewed the language personally. I can see where it could be considered offensive," he said. "The F-word is used. There is a description of a sexual encounter that is pretty descriptive, and it's between a married man and a single woman. Although kids can probably see that on TV anytime they want, we are a public school using taxpayer dollars.

"On that basis, we have decided to temporarily remove the book until we can review it with our panels and make a decision."

That doesn't sit well with Pam Thorp, an English teacher at AHS, who is vehemently opposed to what she says amounts to censorship.

"I cannot and will not condone the censorship this parent is promoting," she said. "The implication that we are careless or irresponsible simply is not true. Presenting challenging material of merit that may contain some foul language or mature situations, in a sensitive and academic manner, is part of our responsibility to our students in order to engage them in evaluating the human condition. I take that responsibility very seriously and strive every day to encourage my students to think ... about the world, about their community, about their friends and about themselves. Censorship is the opposite of that."

Straface said a process will begin next week to form a panel that will review complaints about books the school system uses in its curriculum. He added that "three or four" parents have complained about the material contained within "Neverwhere."

Straface said there currently is a process by which parents are informed of possible controversial material via a letter sent home with students. He said it gives parents the opportunity to opt their child out of an assignment in favor of a similar assignment.

Wilmott said she received no such letter.

"There was no book waiver until (Wednesday) night after they had been reading for well over a week," she said. "I was upset that parents were not notified that the book was being read. If a movie is PG-13 or higher, a parent must sign a waiver before a student can watch. The same should have happened with such a book as this."

According to an e-mail sent at 12:27 p.m. Thursday and obtained by the Daily News, AHS Principal Darian Jaramillo, who was not accepting inquiries from the media, informed several teachers and staff that she "would like the book pulled from the shelves and not used in classes."

"From here forward, if you are reading any material that has a controversial issues [sic] or adult language/content, please send a letter home to parents about that specific book and what the content is," she wrote.

Because the school system has suspended use of the book, Straface said he is also hearing from First Amendment advocates."I'm also hearing from the other side that says we shouldn't have done that because, while the language that's there may be objectionable, they hear much worse in the student commons area," he said. "That may be true -- and it probably is -- but I don't support it."

The book was recommended for use in Alamogordo in 2004, long before Straface became superintendent in 2011. But he said it was recommended by the publishers of a textbook the school currently uses.

"That is not unusual," he said. "Textbook publishers always provide a list of books to use as supplements to lessons we are trying to teach."

But Straface said a recent check of that recommended list no longer contains "Neverwhere."

Thorp said Wilmott never approached the English teacher, but instead went directly to administration officials more than one week ago with her concerns about the book.

The teacher, who will not be named, assigned the student an alternate book once she learned through the proverbial grapevine that there was a problem, Thorp said.

"This happened more than a week ago," she said. "We thought things had calmed down and then it all blew up again because she's promoting this agenda. (The parent) hasn't been in contact with the teacher throughout this whole process. That is something that she has completely bypassed to get what she wants, which is to have this book completely taken out of the school.

"It's not about her child, specifically, anymore. It's about censorship."

He emphasized that "Neverwhere" has not been banned -- yet.

"But it may be," he said. "If it becomes so, my rationale would be that after a review, it was our judgment that this was not appropriate for 10th graders. It is our prerogative to do that in the literature that we teach.

"Some people may call that censorship -- and I would say, 'Yes, it is.'"

Source: Alamogordo News

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Stan Lee to Create Reality Show

7:00 PM, Saturday, August 24th, 2013 - Posted by John Wilson

Stan Lee is working on a comic book-themed reality television show.

The former Marvel Comics president announced at the Toronto Fan Expo that he is developing a TV project that aims to unearth new writers and artists, Bleeding Cool reports.

Contestants will apparently be eliminated each week in American Idol-esque fashion, but Lee himself will not be among the judging panel.

Lee also confirmed that he will not be making one of his signature cameos in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past movie because it would have clashed with his appearance at the Canada convention.

He addressed his absence in The Wolverine as well, explaining that he would have had to travel to Australia to shoot a cameo for the James Mangold film, which was too far to go.

Lee's reality television show is yet to be officially greenlit.

Source: Digital Spy

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Does Reilly Brown Respect the Beard?

12:15 AM, Monday, July 22nd, 2013 - Posted by Brant Fowler

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan seeks out an artist at San Diego Comic-Con to draw the perfect likeness of him. The artist he finds? None other than Brooklyn based Marvel artist Reilly Brown (Cable & Deadpool, Amazing Spider-Man)! Does he respect the beard? YES! YES! YES! or NO! NO! NO!? Watch to find out!

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How Does the Man of Steel Shave?

3:00 PM, Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 - Posted by Brant Fowler

Just how does the Man of Steel shave? Wouldn't the razor just break? Why don't we have a fully bearded Superman then? Below, some "experts" weigh in on possible theories courtesy of Gillette, after the jump.

Man of Steel finally hits theaters June 14th, and anticipation is sky high. But the trailer begs the question that has long been debated by Superman enthusiasts: "how does he shave???"

In the trailer, young Clark Kent sports a lumberjack-ian full beard and then reappears as smooth-shaven Superman. How does he do that? If Superman really is the "Man of Steel" and impervious to nearly everything (including any fine-blade razor), what could possibly remove his whiskers of steel? To solve this perplexing mystery, Gillette assembled an esteemed council of Superman fans who have posted their theories on and on Gillette's YouTube channel.

This exclusive group of experts and Superman enthusiasts includes:

Kevin Smith - screenwriter/actor and comic book writer/store owner: The Baby Rocket Ship Theory

Adam Savage & Jamie Hyneman - hosts and executive producers of the television series "MythBusters": The Super Fingernail Hair-Pluck Theory and The Large Hadron Collider Worm Hole Theory

Bill Nye - iconic TV personality and scientist: The Materials Science Theory

Mayim Bialik - The Big Bang Theory actress and real-life neuroscientist: The Enzymatic Follicle Denaturation Theory

Each pundit has created their own distinct video to explain their theory on this age-old question, and it's up to fans to decide which theory is the most persuasive - only one celebrity theory will be crowned the champion! Fans can visit to cast votes and contribute their own theories on Twitter using the hashtag #HowDoesHeShave.

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