Tuesday, February 28, 2017

J.K. Simmons Guest Stars in Brand-New SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS Episode

Detroit native, Farmers Insurance pitch man and Oscar winning actor (Whiplash), J.K. SIMMONS, will be making his Bikini Bottom debut during a brand-new episode of SpongeBob SquarePants premiering Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 10 a.m. (ET/PT) on the Nickelodeon cable channel.  In the episode, "Snooze You Lose," Squidward is so tired that SpongeBob and Patrick can't wake him up, but they won't let him miss his big audition!

J.K. Simmons voices Maestro Mackerel, the middle-aged and impatient conductor of the Bikini Bottom Philharmonic.  Beautiful music sends Maestro into ecstasy, but bad playing is physically painful to him and the mackerel shows his displeasure by tying instruments into knots (usually around the unfortunate musician's head!)

Watch full past episodes of the animated series and play SpongeBob SquarePants themed video games for FREE at nick.com/spongebob-squarepants

Dream Big: Engineering Our World

DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD, the first giant-screen movie to promote the educational STEM (Science, Technology, Math) movement, is being shown through March at the  Michigan Science Center's Chrysler IMAX Dome. Narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges, Dream Big showcases engineering wonders big and small, ranging from the ancient Great Wall of China to today's largest buildings.  Be inspired by engineering feats that allow for underwater robots to explore our planet's oceans, solar cars to race across a continent without using a drop of gasoline, and learn about efforts to make the world's large cities more environmentally sustainable.

Dream Big hopes to encourage interest in STEM with the kids that will be the next generation of engineers through sharing stories that include a young woman engineer building bridges in undeveloped countries and an underprivileged high school robotics team that tackles the odds against them to humanize the field of engineering. Dream Big's producers hope the movie will encourage academic achievement, student engagement, and parent involvement with STEM topics.

For specific showtimes of when DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD is playing or directions on how to get to the Michigan Science Center in downtown Detroit, Michigan please visit mi-sci.org

Papercutz Announces Graphic Novels Based on Nickelodeon's THE LOUD HOUSE

The funny adventures of 11-year old Lincoln Loud who has to survive the struggles and bedlam of being the only boy in a household filled with  10 sisters is jumping from the TV screen to the pages of a comic book.  Papercutz, a leading publisher of graphic novels for kids, is publishing the first graphic novel based upon Nickelodeon's hit animated television series The Loud House.  "There Will Be Chaos" will feature stories and artwork from show creator and executive producer, Chris Savino, and his his talented team of animators and writers that are behind the creation of The Loud House episodes.  Papercutz has teamed up with Savino to distribute The Loud House mini-comics at San Diego ComicCon International in 2015 and 2016 and has included The Loud House comic strips in its Nickelodeon Pandemonium anthology, but "There Will Be Chaos" will be the first full volume graphic novel devoted solely to The Loud House.

The Loud House follows Lincoln as he gives an inside look at his daily life in a very large family. With his best bud Clyde, Lincoln always comes up with a plan to stay one step ahead of the chaos, but whether or not it works is where the adventures begin. Inspired by creator Chris Savino’s (Rocko’s Modern Life, The Powerpuff Girls) chaotic life growing up in a huge household, the television series was recently picked up for a third season by Nickelodeon.

“Comics are a first love of mine, so it’s incredibly exciting to expand The Loud House universe with this graphic novel,” Savino reflected in the announcement by Papercutz about the publication of this graphic novel. “With endless stories to be told from Lincoln and his 10 sisters, The Loud House feels just as 'at home' on the printed page as it does on television, and I look forward to sharing all the adventures to come with readers.”

THE LOUD HOUSE #1: "There Will Be Chaos" will be available in bookstores and comic book shops across the United States and Canada beginning May 9, 2017.  To find a local comic shop near you go to comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-COMIC-BOOK.  For more information about the graphic novels available through Papercutz, please visit papercutz.com

Saturday, February 25, 2017


Two of my favorite comic book artists, writer David Gallaher and artist Steve Ellis, are teaming up with one of my favorite publishers, PAPERCUTZ, to bring the acclaimed graphic novel series HIGH MOON back to print.  Originally published in 2007 by DC's Zuda Comics imprint, this story which combines cowboys and werewolves in an Old West adventure won a Harvey Award from its comic book industry peers.  Readers follow the investigations of a mysterious bounty hunter who has his own dark secret that emerges every full moon.  This gritty series does an excellent job of taking the elements of a horror flick and action movie so they play out on the pages of a comic book for an incredibly engaging read.

PAPERCUTZ which specializes in graphic novels that are interesting and enjoyable for children and teens to read will be publishing HIGH MOON through its Super Genius subsidiary which distributes titles that are a bit more artistic and edgier than those sold under the name of its parent company.   Super Genius will publish the first of the series three volumes, HIGH MOON: BULLET HOLES AND BITE MARKS, this October just in time for Halloween.  Volume 2 will be released in May of 2018 with a yet to be determined date for when the final edition will go on sale.  The artwork for volumes one and two will be remastered from the original graphic novels with the story concluding in volume three with all new material.  All three publications will feature new covers by co-creator Steve Ellis. The Super Genius editions will also be larger than the previous ones from Zuda Comics, but will maintain the landscape format of the original series.  The books will include a removable slipcase to allow them to be attractively displayed vertically on store shelves or on consumers' book shelves.

In HIGH MOON, former Pinkerton agent and current bounty-hunter Matthew Macgregor investigates a series of strange happenings in the small Texas town of Blest. Drought has brought famine and hardship to Blest. The summer heat pushes the temperature to unbearable heights during the day. The nights are even worse– for the streets are haunted by strange, unnatural creatures. And even as Macgregor works to uncover the truth about the creatures, he struggles to keep his own supernatural nature a secret.

“Between WESTWORLD, LOGAN, and RED DEAD REDEMPTION, the western is resonating in our culture in weird and unusual ways,” co-creator and writer David Gallaher noted in the announcement of Super Genius reprinting HIGH MOON. “HIGH MOON recalls the best tropes of both the classic western adventure and werewolf mythology. I can’t wait for readers to discover our bloody tale of werewoles six shootboys, bullets and the supernatural."

All three volumes of HIGH MOON will be published in hardcover at $24.99 and simultaneously in paperback at $14.99. HIGH MOON: BULLET HOLES AND BITE MARKS  will be available in bookstores and comic book stores across the United States and Canada on October 17th, 2017. For more information, please look to supergeniuscomics.com for upcoming details.


American fans of the British made DOCTOR WHO television series will gladly testify that there are some great sci-fi stories being produced by studios outside of Hollywood.  THE QUIET HOUR is a great example of this.  Produced by the United Kingdom's Frenzy Films and shot at locations in Tipperary, Ireland this movie has received praise from audiences and critics at film festivals across the world.  After being shown on Sky Cinema, a premium cable channel similar to HBO that is available in the UK, THE QUIET HOUR is now available for science fiction fans in North America to view on all major video on demand (VOD) platforms and will be available on DVD beginning March 21, 2017 at retail outlets including Best Buy, Target and Walmart

In THE QUIET HOUR, humans are few and far between since Earth was invaded by unseen extraterrestrial machines that harvest the planet's natural resources and relentlessly kill its inhabitants. In a remote part of the countryside, where starved humans have become as dangerous as the alien machines hovering in the sky, a feisty 19 year old girl, Sarah Connolly, sets out on a desperate attempt to fight back a group of bandits and defend her parents' farm, their remaining livestock, and the solar panels that keep them safe from extraterrestrials. If she doesn't succeed, she will lose her only source of food and shelter; but if she resists, she and her helpless blind sibling will be killed. And if the mysterious intruder dressed like a soldier who claims he can help them turns out to be a liar, then the enemy may already be in the house.

THE QUIET HOUR stars Dakota Blue Richards (“The Golden Compass,” “Skins”), Karl Davies (“Game of Thrones,” “Happy Valley”), Brigitte Millar (“James Bond Spectre,” “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and British TV star Jack McMullen.  It is being distributed in the United States and Canada by Vision Films.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Portal Masters Will Be Able To Play SKYLANDERS IMAGINATORS On Nintendo Switch

Nintendo's newest gaming console, SWITCH, is launching on March 3, 2017.  This next generation gaming system has been designed to provide flexibility in where its users can play the device in today's mobile society.  Connect the device to a docking station that allows game play on television screens as video game consoles have traditionally done or take it with you on the go as a mobile device.  It's new adaptable Joy-Con grips start off as a traditional-style stand-alone controller for a single user playing games on a television, can be broken in two and held in each hand for motion controlled game play similar to Wii nunchuks or can be divided to be used by two competing players in multi-player games. Plus Joy-Con grips can be attached to either side of the console to support handheld play when using the Switch as a mobile gaming system. Nintendo is striving to provide gamers with the functionality and flexibility they've been craving with the SWITCH.

One of the drawbacks of a new gaming system like the SWITCH is there is often a lag between when the hardware manufacturer releases the device and game developers catch up to providing a decent catalog of titles that are playable on it.  Fans of Skylanders won't have to worry about that though when it comes to SWITCH as the Imaginators edition of the popular video game franchise will be available right away when Nintendo releases its new gaming console. All of Skylanders previous Toys-to-Life characters will be compatible to play on the first day the console is available when Portal Masters utilize the Nintendo SWITCH Imaginators Starter Pack.  Also taking advantage of the portability of the SWITCH, for the first time Portal Masters will be able to load and store the Skylander Toys-to-Life characters they've purchased, more than 300 in all, to a digital library so they can be accessed when players take their SWITCH out and about. This allows players to avoid dragging around their physical portal docks and Skylanders figures to utilize them when playing the SWITCH in its mobile mode. Very nice! Skylanders Imaginators for Nintendo SWITCH will be available for a suggested retail price of $59.99 when the system launches.

Also coming for Skylanders Imaginators this March will be the Cursed Tiki Temple level pack. This new pack takes players on an all-new adventure where they can unlock more than 100 new offerings for their Imaginators. The pack includes a new Sensei character, Wild Storm, a life Creation Crystal, and an Imaginite Mystery Chest.   The Cursed Tiki Temple level pack will be available for a suggested retail price of $29.99 on March 12 at participating retailers nationwide. The Cursed Tiki Temple level pack and new Skylanders Senseis will support all major gaming platforms including Nintendo SWITCH and Nintendo Wii U system; Xbox 360and Xbox One video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft; and PlayStation® 3 and PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment systems.

For more information about Skylanders visit Skylanders.com and follow @SkylandersGame and @Activision on Twitter.

Take a Photo for a Chance to Win a Toys-to-Life Mobile Adventure Game

Video game developer Tourmaline Studio is launching a new Toys-to-Life game for mobile devices later this year and they are giving a few lucky families the chance to try it out before it goes on sale to the public.  Oniri Islands is a co-op adventure game for two players that utilizes physical figurines to interact with the game's digital elements.  Its story revolves around two kids, Mina and Tim, who are lost on a mysterious island searching for their shadows.  Utilize smart toys that come to life on your tablet to search for animal masks that provide magical powers to help them survive.  Move the figurines of Tim and Mina across the screen to explore the fabulous world of Oniri Islands.

Visit the Oniri Islands Virtual Photo Booth and snap a photo of yourself.  Add one of the featured animal masks to your face and submit it for a chance to be randomly selected to win free copy of the game + figurines.  Share your photo on Facebook and Twitter for bonus chances to win!

Tourmaline is launching a Kickstarter campaign beginning in March to help with the roll out of the game.  Follow Oniri Islands – Children of the River on social media for upcoming news and announcements about the campaign: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Website

The video game's plot is an original story inspired by the Lost boys from Peter Pan (JM Barry). The twins Mina and Tim are led by a mysterious chant into Oniri, a magic river that connects universes. Stranded on an island, they soon realize that their shadows are gone, preventing them from leaving this strange place… They meet two animals, a Shark and a Falcon, who give them each one a mask before going back to the river. Thanks to the masks, Mina and Tim are granted each one an animal shadow and magical powers: swim like a Shark and fly like a Falcon.

Features of Oniri Islands include:
  • Play a tablet game with real toys!
  • Beautiful and highly crafted toys to play with.
  • 5 animal masks for your toys to wear!
  • A collaborative game to share and enjoy together like a boardgame
  • A poetic universe that children, as well as parents, will love to explore together
  • A gorgeous minimalistic look, poetic and colorful.
  • A charming original soundtrack conveying all the poetry and wonder within the scenario.
CLICK HERE to enter the Oniri Islands Photo Contest for a chance to win a free game + figurines.