McDonald’s Unveils Frightening New Mascot

Who's eating whom?Brace yourselves, parents and kiddies – this could make you lose your lunch.

Burger-meister McDonald’s – once the home of Grimace and the Hamburgler – introduced another new mascot today, a computer-generated talking Happy Meal box called… wait for it… “Happy.” And, from its horrifying appearance, apparently his job is to make McDonald’s new “healthy” Happy Meals unpalatable to kids.

Or, at least make them afraid — eat, or be eaten!

Mission: Accomplished.
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A Peek at DC Comics’ June Bombshell Covers

Next month, DC Comics will be showcasing variant “Bombshell” covers created by artist Ant Lucia inspired by 1940s-era girlie art of the type seen on airplane nose art and in period pin-up mags. Here is a look at 16 of those pieces.

It’s Free Comic Book Day!

FCBD14rectangle_2014Today is the first Saturday in May, the annual Free Comic Book Day, when comic book shops have designated comics available for free!

The first FCBD was way back in 2002, and since then publishers create special issues of popular comics or teaser anthologies or reprints and give them away in a bid to generate interest, especially among children and new readers. There are comics for all ages, from kiddies to the grownup collector, from superheroes to indie titles. Here is a list of available titles. As you might expect, some of these books disappear fast.
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DOCTOR WHO Gems From a Different Vault

How about a couple of brief yet fun DOCTOR WHO treasures of yesteryear? These video clips are examples of what’s in the archives of British Pathé News and just recently made available to the public at YouTube.

Dalek bookseller circa 1964:

Cyberman and Yeti

I know, I know… all-too-short and quite weird. But that’s what I like about these clips. We fans who weren’t in Britain in the mid-1960s can never truly understand the depths of Dalekmania or places the Doctor’s classic enemies held in the hearts of British children. But I think these videos can begin to hint at it — if you imagine the culture that could give rise to an automated magazine seller in the form of a malevolent pepper pot!

STAR TREK Meets… MAD MEN?

Turns out there’s a great nostalgia-oriented website called The Retroist that curates some of the coolest stuff from/about bygone ages (like the 1980s or 1960s), and these fine folks have uncovered a mind-bending mashup of cool, courtesy of artist Matt Wiley, who has reimagined the classic STAR TREK series as vintage advertising.

You gotta love the non-plussed look on the yeoman’s face as Captain Kirk hits on her in the turbolift. Don Draper would be proud (of the design and mack daddy Kirk)!

Thanks to @TedOnTV for the heads-up via Twitter.

Remembering the ‘Excitable Boy,’ Warren Zevon

Yesterday would have been the 67th birthday of  singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, one of my favorite musicians. He passed away on Sept. 7, 2003, at the age of 56, a victim of cancer of the abdominal lining. You hear it said a lot that certain people “died too young”; well, Zevon was one of those people.

In this terrific clip from Sept. 8, 2003, David Letterman and Paul Schaefer announced the passing of their good friend Zevon, who had appeared on Letterman’s various shows for over 20 years. This clip includes Zevon performing an absolutely heartbreaking rendition of “The Mutineer” on the Oct. 30, 2002, LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, which was devoted entirely to Zevon.


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Steven Moffat on DOCTOR WHO: the Wilderness Years

survival2When Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred marched the Seventh Doctor and Ace off into the proverbial Perivale sunset at the end of “Survival” back in 1989, fans had no way of knowing that DOCTOR WHO would be off the air for the next seven years before popping up again in America as, of all things, a TV-movie on the Fox channel. And then it went away again. And then it came back again in 2005.

The series’ current showrunner, Steven Moffat reflected on the long hiatus and its effect on the legacy of DOCTOR WHO with Radio Times.

“That gap is important. It confers something very special on this most special of all shows: immortality. Doctor Who, for once and for all, is the show that comes back. Axe it at your peril, someone like me is going to call you a fool, and lots of people like you are going to read along and nod.

“Moffat also remarked that the audience “just said no” in way that had never happened in British television before, meaning that the programme “just kept on going.”

“While the BBC folded its arms and shook its head, there were books by the likes of Russell T Davies, Mark Gatiss and Paul Cornell. There were audio adventures, starring all the old Doctors. There was an action-packed American telefilm, and endless rumours of Hollywood movies. Doctor Who Magazine, whose purpose was to document the making of the TV show, carried on perfectly happily without the TV show being made.”

survival1I would hardly say we fans were “perfectly happy” with no show being produced during the wilderness years, but we did get by during the production hiatus.

Moffat’s point, however — and I agree with him — is that fandom did not need a steady flow of new stories in order to continue loving what we already had. In fact, it probably deepened our nostalgia for what we once had. I also believe the fallow years were responsible for the reassessment and rehabilitation of the maligned McCoy and Colin Baker years.

It’s like that old song lyric: “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”

Card Won’t Profit From ‘Ender’s Game’ Movie — Not Directly

ENDER'S GAMEIf you feel like you really, really, really, really must see the movie adaptation of Ender’s Game but don’t want to hate yourself afterward for supporting the work of the vile, hate-spewing troglodyte who wrote the original novel, here’s something that might make you feel slightly — but only slightly — less self-loathing about buying a ticket: author Orson Scott Card will not be getting a dime from this movie.

According to TheWrap.com, when Card sold the movie rights to his novel a decade ago, the deal included no backend. None. So the author doesn’t see any additional money, no matter how much (or how little) the movie rakes in at the box office. Not a penny. The Wrap cites film distributor Summit Entertainment, visual effects company Digital Domain and the rights-holder of the book, OddLot Entertainment, all as saying Card has already been paid everything he’s ever going to see from this film.

However
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Fancy a Drink With Hello Kitty? Order a Beer!

Who says China isn’t a capitalist wonderland? The latest weapon in the Chinese economic arsenal is Hello Kitty beer.

Yes, you read that correctly: Hello Kitty beer.

Officially licensed by Japanese company Sanrio, the elixir is brewed in Taiwan by Long Chuan, and it is only available in China (for now) . The brew comes in six fruity flavors, including lemon-lime, passion fruit, banana and peach, according to Geek Tyrant.

Kotaku went as far as obtaining some of the beer and giving it a taste-test. The result? It’s more like drinking fruit juice than an alcoholic beverage. The Hello Kitty label is 2.3 percent alcohol by volume — which isn’t much, but it’s still alcohol inside a can adorned with the global symbol of kawaii (cuteness). Kotaku’s critic says:

“The lemon lime flavor tasted like a light limeade of sorts, almost losing the lemon flavoring. It was smooth and sweet, like a lime soda. It didn’t taste like beer. The lime flavor was the strongest flavor in this brew. The peach one also tasted more like fruit juice than beer. It was good, but sickly sweet. Again, you can barely tell it’s beer. The only downside to the peach was that because it was so sweet, there was this weird, almost soapy after-taste at the end of each sip. The peachy-soapy flavor does linger on until something washes it away.”

Could that “something” be the collective tears of millions of little Hello Kitty fans?