Sunday, July 25, 2010

News Tidbits From San Diego

As many of you are likely already aware, this week was the San Diego Comic Con, which, if not the biggest annual geek get-together in the world, is certainly in the running. For obvious reasons, many film studios and other companies take advantage of this concentration of nerdery to make announcements about upcoming projects, several of which I am quite excited about:

"Cowboys and Aliens" footage and image (via io9)

First off, apparently there was footage on display from next summer's sci-fi Western movie, an adaptation of Cowboys and Aliens. Now, a movie about an alien invasion of the Wild West would be amazing enough, but the two main stars? Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. That pretty much sells it for me. Although the footage itself hasn't leaked onto the 'net yet, we do have this single image of Craig's alien-tech-wielding cowboy:

As if that wasn't enough, it also appears that the director of Cowboys and Aliens is none other than Iron Man franchise director Jon Favreau. In fact, it's rumored that Robert Downey Jr. was slated for Craig's role, before scheduling conflicts forced him to bow out. Which brings us to our next bit of news:

Joss Whedon confirmed as "Avengers" Director (also via io9)

It's been rumored for a while now, but this week was the official announcement. Now, I haven't seen all of the stuff Whedon's famous for, but for all the jokes about The Avengers getting canceled halfway through or suddenly having a petite female fighter character, he's got a pretty good reputation. And the stuff I have seen - mostly Firefly and Dr. Horrible - I've liked, so this is a tentative thumbs-up. Part of me does wonder, though, who we might see as a cameo (like Bruce Campbell does in the Sam Raimi Spiderman films) - Nathan Fillion? Summer Glau? I'll make a Bingo card. And, hey, speaking of Bruce Campbell . . .

Burn Notice Announces Sam Axe Prequel (via

And there was much rejoicing.

Is "Pirates of the Caribbean" the Next LEGO License? (via FBTB)

Given the sudden cancellation of the popular 2009 Pirates line, TLC's acquisition of a general Disney license, the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides , and this Jack Sparrow minifig in TLC's Comic-Con display . . . I'd say yes. Whether it'll be a good thing remains to be seen, but despite some knee-jerk criticism (the flesh-tone battle is over, people), I'm cautiously optimistic. And this means Stranger Tides is coming next summer, too!

Darth Vader Robs New York Bank (via

OK, technically this has nothing to do with Comic-Con (save a tangential relationship involving the wearing of sci-fi character costumes), but this one was too amusing to pass up.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Tallest Dwarves in Indiana

I have a confession to make. When it comes to artistic pursuits, I'm much more of a planner than a doer, and even then I prefer the more mental arts, such as writing (the big exception being modeling with LEGO bricks, but that's for another time). Therefore, I have much respect and admiration for people who have more talent than me in the more physical artistic pursuits.

Such as, for example, David DelaGardelle & Andy Davis, two young blacksmiths in Indiana who craft absolutely beautiful swords and knives. Heavily inspired by history, mythology, and fantasy literature, (especially the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, as their company name - Mad Dwarf Workshop - implies) these guys perfectly mesh form and function, creating pieces that look like they fell through a time portal from a thousand years ago, or from Middle-Earth. I find this axe and this sword particularly noteworthy, but if you have any interest at all in blacksmithing, knifemaking, or swords in general, their website and Flickr photostream are well worth a look.