Friday, May 30, 2014

Cap's Comics - Disney Kingdoms Seekers of the Weird #5

It is the final battle!  The Wardens of the Museum of the Weird face off against Despoina and the Shadow Society hoping to free the Reaper King from the Coffin Clock.  And the Keep kids are stuck in the middle as they hope to free their parents and save the world.  Will Uncle Roland prove to be a hero that the kids can trust?  This questions and more are answered in the final action-packed issue of Brandon Seifert's and Karl Moline's final issue from this new Disney comic line. 

Brian Crosby Imagineer Variant Cover

As an issue, I felt Disney Kingdoms Seekers of the Weird was somewhat typical for a final story arc comic issue, a fast resolve.  That happens in most comic stories as setup often takes much of the artist and writer's time.  I was satisfied with the ending, how characters were handled and felt it was consistent with the entire five issue run.  In my house the continued use of the lacrosse stick is very popular!  Overall, Siefert gave his title a successful and satisfying ending.

I want to see more of this.  I mean this in two ways.  First, I do not like horror but I love comic books.  And I feel like there is not enough all ages comics.  This really is a horror comic that both adults and kids can enjoy.  There are monsters and demons but it is not so scary that neither the Between Tween or I had trouble sleeping.  And it was something we both could read together.  My local comic shop guy thought it was really cool I was sharing a comic with one of my children.  The Tween reads this title because of the Disney angle, superhero titles generally are not enjoyed by this youngster.   Second, I want more of this story.  Yes, we know more Disney Kingdoms are on the way.  And that is great.  But I do feel like another mini-series story could be told about the Keep kids and their family.  An Uncle Roland prequel could also be cool.  I just worry that the sales drops, typical with any comic, could hurt the future of the franchise.  Of course, it is with the collected edition Marvel will make its money.

And crazy idea here, please sell this in the parks.  Use the Haunted Mansions to get kids interested in comics!

Crazy right?

Next month Figment #1!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mousey Movie Preview - Cinderella Teaser Trailer

Live action princess are hot right now.

Once Upon a Time uses them weekly.

Maleficent is coming complete with star power very soon (though personally I am more excited about Murdock in the production).

And somehow Disney's March 2015 release of live action Cinderella was under my radar until a teaser trailer dropped last week.  Here is that trailer:

Well that was that.  I have no idea what to think other than there is a glass slipper and I wondered if the sound was up on my speakers!

So hopefully this we be like Frozen where the first trailer underwhelmed me and the movie overwhelmed me.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Between Books - More Cute Stories Volume 4: 1964/65 New York World's Fair

I really do feel like the More Cute Stories series of recordings by Rolly Crump really hit a peak with the last volume.   And I am eager for more, especially after a volume that was organized so well around a central theme.   As I started Volume 4, I hoped my enthusiasm would still be high!

More Cute Stories Volume 4: 1964/65 New York World's Fair narrated by Rolly Crump details Crump's experiences with a key moment in Disney history, the 1964 - 1965 World's Fair.  This period of Disney history allowed Walt Disney to test the appetite for an East Coast park and ushered in attraction expansion at Disneyland.  Crump discusses how he was transferred from Disneyland to World's Fair projects.  He details the numerous projects he was part of including it's a small world, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Carousal of Progress and many more.  Along with the details of attraction design he also highlights the people he worked with and the experience of being a West Coaster living in New York.

For me the real joy in this volume is Mary Blair.  Rolly clearly enjoyed working with Blair and as having her as a mentor.  He goes into detail discussing his early impressions of her art.  And he outlines their first meeting.  You get the sense as Rolly talks that he saw Blair as someone who helped foster his design skills.  Crump's enthusiasm for his late friend is clear.  And one cannot admire Blair as he talks about his friend.  And as a Disney fan it is especially exciting as he discusses the private moments like touring New York.  Along with Blair, Crump raves about Bob Gurr who Crump declares to be his friend.  And anyone who has read about the two men can see how they could be fast friends.  And with all of these volumes, admiration for Walt Disney is undeniable. 

Crump does promise discussion of the "wild times" after work.  Yes he does share some stories including one that lead to a 30 year rift!  But one does not get the sense of a party atmosphere beyond typical adults playing on a work trip.  Though I do wonder how a Disney Legend feels about Crump recounting his last day on site at the World's Fair!

More Cute Stories Volume 3 is still my favorite.  But the use of a centralized theme in More Cute Stories Volume 4: 1964/65 World's Fair shares the idea of a topical foundation that makes both volumes a road map that allows the reader to know their place in the story.  And like past volumes, hearing these stories straight from a Disney Legend is exciting and worth the cost (which as Bamboo Forest Publishing often does includes a economical digital version).  For Disney history fans, this title is a fun must have for the audio Between Books collection. 

Review Copy Provided by Bamboo Forest Publishing

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dreaming Disney - Piles of Star Wars' News

Yeah, Disney is going big on Star Wars!

This morning I saw two pieces of very Disney news.  First, Disney Parks are offering exclusive limited Disney Parks T-Shirts for Star Wars Rebels.

Star Wars Rebels does not have a tie into the parks yet.  And typically the exclusive tees are tied into classic attractions or park anniversaries.  So I was a little shocked to see a T-Shirt tied into an animated television property that has not even seen the light of day!

The other news was the release of the Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars poster through Hero Complex.  And I did love waking up to the reminder that this summer I get this treat.  I really enjoyed Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel and all of the included Easter Eggs, so this really is something I am looking forward to.

Maybe as this tweet from J.J. Abrams shows, they are too busy to buy a shirt or get pumped for two creative youngsters!

View image on Twitter
I guess this tweet and the fact that filming has officially started is a third of a pile of Star Wars' news!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Between Books - Habst and the Disney Saboteurs

I have established a simple rule.  If Leonard Kinsey sends me something I will read it, no matter how weird it might seem!  I resisted reading his first novel Our Kingdom of Dust, but my need to be a completionist worked against me and I picked up a copy.  And though the content really did not match my lifestyle, I was very pleased with the book.  Now when a package arrives with a protagonist who smokes large amounts of pot, is unemployed and lives with his underage girlfriend it all began to feel like a big stretch to me and I began to wonder if I would typically consider this book.  But I have this rule you see and the book came from Leonard Kinsey.  I don't break the rules, even if Habst does!

Habst and the Disney Saboteurs by Leonard Kinsey is a sci-fi style adventure which takes place at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Reginald "Habst" Habstermeister is a former Walt Disney World custodial staff member with only two things on his mind, smoking marijuana and earning virtual currency to purchase his drugs online.  Habst is paid by a mysterious benefactor for recording behind the scenes videos of attractions in the Walt Disney World Resort.  But Habst is accused of terrorism when attractions he recorded begin to be sabotaged.  Habst and Charlie Walker, the head of Walt Disney World security, have three days to uncover the real culprit or face a lengthy prison sentence.  Can Habst a perennial mess-up solve this mystery?   And who can the young man trust with his freedom on the line?    

If you are uncomfortable with books that detail drug use, including Habst's guide to buying drugs online, or sex acts with minors, Habst and the Disney Saboteurs may not be for you.  If you are comfortable with these fictional situations or willing to look past them you are likely to find an interesting and fun adventure story set in one of your favorite places.  Kinsey finds a way for the reader who does not live Habst's lifestyle to uncover a likable character.  We have all at times been a screw-up so you can feel sympathy for Habst as he feels out of control and helpless.  You just may not have created the situation to the extent he has.  So despite the fact that Habst is really not someone I would invite over to my home, I found myself cheering for him.  But again be warned, Habst's lifestyle includes constant drug use and sexual encounters.  If they are going to offend you, I suggest just walking away.  For me, I moved past the fact that Habst and I do not live compatible lifestyles and let myself enjoy the ride.

There's a Bambooniverse!  Early on as Habst slipped into the Magic Kingdom Park I saw the first clue with the name of a character from Our Kingdom of Dust.  But when I read that Charlie Walker was the head of Walt Disney World security, Kinsey had my attention and I realized that Bamboo Forest had established a shared universe!  I really enjoy the character of Charlie Walker from Hollow World by Nick Pobursky.  And I had hoped for further adventures featuring this brilliant detective.  But I did not expect him to be in a book by another author, showing up again so soon, having his family's story extended and being in a book that has some sci-fi elements.  It was a great surprise and it helped me deal with Habst!  I know Charlie Walker.  I trust Charlie Walker.  Charlie Walker is a responsible family guy like me.  But seeing how Charlie accepts Habst and wants to see the best in him, allowed me to better accept Habst.  It was a great addition for establishing a shared universe and providing a contrast to Habst. 

There are a lot of science-fiction elements to this story.  The digital world is heavily featured in Habst and the Disney Saboteurs with the most obvious being the establishment of an entire online currency and economy in virtcoins, Habst's only currency.  But there are elements that go beyond just a sci-fi currency that will please the hard core science fiction fan including references to Walt Disney's friend Ray Bradbury.  And there were elements of this tale that reminded me of a Bradbury story where the tale takes place in a world like ours, but with a slight twist of the fantastic.  Other moments reminded me greatly of Captain America: The Winter Soldier with a strong enough connection that I had to review publication and release dates in my head to make sure one was not influencing the other!  The math worked out just fine! 

I feel like being part of the Bambooniverse, we also have Hidden Leonards. Case in point, Habst likes to adventure backstage and into areas like the Ultidors under the Magic Kingdom.  Kinsey himself has documented his backstage adventures in The Dark Side of Disney.  Habst enjoys himself (too much some might say) but is not malicious.  Habst is a lover of Disney theme parks.  And his opinions are likely ones shared with Kinsey including attractions that they both miss and likely despise.  Yes, I have a feeling that Kinsey sees some of himself in Habst.  And maybe because there is some reality in the personality on the page that helps it come to life.  And maybe the author has thought a time or two about how to quicken an early refurbishment to a few attractions. 

Overall, Habst and the Disney Saboteurs, is a fun adventure with some science fiction sprinkled in.  I grew to care for Habst, with at least the sentiment that I did not want anything horrible to happen to him.  But, because I am a total nut for shared universes, my favorite moment was likely the re-introduction of Charlie Walker.  I really want to see where this shared literary landscape goes next.  There are even hints to an untold Walker tale in this book.  Therefore, for those now watching the Babooniverse this volume is a must have.  For those who like fictional tales in Walt Disney World, I would suggest grabbing a copy.  And for those who are a little more conservative, maybe grab a Kindle version because Bamboo Forest titles in this format are always priced fairly.  If you do pick up a copy prepare to have a little fun in a well written story where you never know who you might bump into.

Review Copy Provided by Bamboo Forest Publishing

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cap's Comics - Disney Kindgoms Seekers of the Weird #4

Melody and Maxwell Keep are in the final stage of assembling the living room and summoning the Coffin Clock.  But once they get the clock, they will have to consider the consequences of surrendering the Clock to the Shadow Society.  Would releasing horror upon the Earth be an appropriate price for regaining their parents.  To complete the living room, the kids use new toys (weapons) given to them by Uncle Roland.  The issue sets up a battle between the Keeps, the Wardens and the Shadow Society.  As the concluding battle starts the Keep kids wonder who they can trust!

Crosby Imagineer Variant Cover

As a villain group, I find myself really interested in the Shadow Society.  There name fits their methods.  They actually use shadows as armor, making them untouchable while they are in shadow.  I loved it because it seems really Peter Pan like.  Additionally, the looks of the Wardens are very cool and varied as drawn by Karl Moline. 

The big question I have as we creep to the conclusion is would I like to see more.  The answer is a resounding yes.  I do feel like Brandon Seifert's story is coming to a satisfying conclusion.  But with that being said I do feel like I would enjoy more stories of the Keep kids in the future.  So after the next Disney Kingdoms series comes to an end I would love to see a sequel mini-series to tell more stories of the kids in this world.  And the Between Kids would line up to read it too.  And honestly, we really need more all-ages comics that adults can enjoy.  So I hope Disney decides to move forward with more chapters of this family as they interact with Walt Disney's unbuilt attraction. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mousey Movie (TV) Preview - Star Wars Rebels Full Trailer

The first full trailer of Star Wars Rebels is live!

This seems to me to be a little more kid friendly than Star Wars The Clone Wars, which I loved.

We do get to see Kanan the Jedi Cowboy in action, and I do think this is a hero we are going to want to see more of.  It appears he is continuing the struggle against the Sith in the shadows.

There is a Mandalorian helmet!  And it is on one of our rebels!  And it's a female!  Is she a bounty hunter?  How did she get this helmet?  I want to know more!

Overall, I think that Star Wars Rebels is going to be a success.  And like the Marvel cartoons on Disney XD, it will help prepare us for the movies.  Perhaps the key to moving forward to the newest movie is to see Stormtrooper armor yet again!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Goofy Gadgets - Disney Infinity 2.0 featuring Marvel Superheroes

My family is a big fan of Disney Infinity.  And I am clearly a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (shameless plug for podcast here).  So when earlier it was previewed that Marvel would be included in the next wave of Disney Infinity, well I was pretty excited.

This week, Disney showed us more than a shield and let us all that will be coming with the next iteration of this game.

Okay, this is pretty exciting.  And here is why I will be lining up in Fall to buy 2.0.

  • All of my favorite MCU heroes are here.
  • Everything I already own is compatible with the new disc, which includes enhanced game play.
  • Marvel themed play sets and toy box items will exist.  The Between Kids have loved wandering through New York in LEGO Marvel Superheroes, but now they can create that world. 
  • Rocket Racoon and Groot!  Seriously they have the potential to be huge for Marvel!
  • Lola flies! 
All that is left is for them to add Agent Coulson and I would be set for a good long time!  Are you happy with this marvelous addition?