Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Don't have time for CNN, just give me a comic - Boom's Decision 2012 presidential comics

Recent trend in comics: Biographical comic books. That (not-so) grand tradition continues with the Decision 2012 line from L.A.'s Boom Studios, featuring Republican presidential contenders and President Barack Obama.

Boom issued a press release positioning the comics as "comic book's first straw poll." Readers can pre-order their favorite candidate's comic by Sept. 29, and the total print runs will be announced when the comics ship in November.

The Republican contenders you can choose: Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and... Sarah Palin? Apparently Boom is pretty confident that Palin will enter the race - or at least that she has enough fans that they'll buy a comic about her whether she runs or not.

Boom adds one caveat: Any comic without 1,500 pre-orders won't be printed. Looking at the polls, I'm betting we won't be getting any Rick Santorum comics, but who knows? Those comics will also include limited edition "Superhero variant" covers. (I'm excited to see what the candidates will look like with capes.)

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Latest mask used during robbery: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

In a tradition that probably hit its pop culture pinnacle thanks to Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze surf heist film "Point Break" and it's ex-presidents, there's another use of cartoon masks in the news.

This time, it's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Raphael. Wisconsin police are looking for someone who wore this type of mask last week to rob a Wendy's.

The person in the Raphael mask was accompanied by another masked robber wearing... a black ski mask. Did one of them have more of a desire to show some flair?

One had a gun and the two subdued the Wendy's employees with duct tape before leaving with their ill-gotten gains. (No word on if they'd been watching "The Town.")

(via Robot 6)

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Katy Perry & Rebecca Black duet on 'Friday' in LA, ballad-style

At Katy Perry's Friday night L.A. concert, she welcomed very special surprise guest Rebecca Black to do a duet of Black's song "Friday." Perry introduced her as "the infamous Rebecca Black," which sounds about right.

Black also appeared in the music video for Perry's recent single "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)." They slowed "Friday" down for a brief pairing and shared about a minute-and-a-half of stage time. (I mean, come on, she's still Rebecca Black.) Perry closed the segment by yelling "I love the Internet!"

(via Vulture)

Watch Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)":

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Francis Ford Coppola's 'TWIXT': Director as DJ, allowing live movie editing

The trailer just came out for Francis Ford Coppola's new movie, "TWIXT":

It may look like a standard suspense/horror flick on the surface, but I saw Coppola show off what's really interesting about this movie at Comic-Con. He pulled out a tablet computer and showed the crowd that he could rearrange the scenes on the fly.

Coppola explained that, for example, if things were going well, he could go with the long version of a scene, or if he wanted to speed things up, he could go with the short version of the scene. He demonstrated this by playing an extended trailer, then making all the scenes with Val Kilmer, who was also there, a bit longer with some added footage.

Composer Dan Deacon was also there to provide variations on the film's score. Coppola and Deacon plan to tour the film to 30 cities this fall, giving live performances of the movie with 30 cities potentially getting 30 different cuts of the movie.

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Customers won't buy DVDs, won't buy digital video - yet

Movie studios are between a rock and a hard place. The DVD market continues to fall, while consumers have yet to jump on board with digital purchasing.

Most movies this holiday season are going to be sold in "combo packs," where buyers get a Blu-Ray disc and a digital file they register online allowing for online cloud storage of their movies, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Most movie companies are behind a system called UltraViolet, though Disney is using their own system, Keychest.

After Netflix recently changed their pricing plans, raising the cost of getting both streaming and DVDs in the mail, many users reacted with anger. Could this be an opportunity for the movie companies to get consumers more interested in purchasing films instead of renting online? Netflix says that angry customers are going to mean a cut in profits, and they also face negotiations with various companies to maintain and expand their supply of streaming movies and other content.

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