Secondhand Score: ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Coloring Book from 1982

Posted 6 years ago by Books

Empire Strikes Back Coloring Book

I don’t make it to garage sales very often. It seems like every time I try to hit them up, I just run into old clothes, worthless household goods, and baby stuff. I get so jealous of my blogger buddies when they find awesome stuff, but I never have any luck. Anyway, the wife and I hit up a few community-wide yard sales this past weekend, and I actually ended up finding a few cool things.

At one house, underneath a pile of Show n’ Tell Picturesound Programs was an unused Empire Strikes Back coloring book from 1982. I couldn’t believe it. I collect 80s/90s coloring books and I’ve never come across a Star Wars book. It wasn’t priced, so I grabbed the Show n’ Tell records and the book and asked how much. I got all six items for $5 and got the hell out before she could realize how giddy I was about the coloring book.
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Book Review: Alien

Posted 6 years ago by Books


Until Titan Books sent me a copy Alien, despite being a huge movie fan, I’d never read a movie novelization before.  To me, it feels like redundant media.  I never understood why I’d want to spend a week reading about Marty McFly going back in time to meet his parents when I could just watch Back to the Future in a fraction of the time.  Unless a novel includes major plot points that were cut from the final film – and they better be major – I just don’t see the point of reading a novelization.  It’s not even like reading an original fiction novel in that you get to imagine what the characters and settings look like, because you have this template in your mind based upon the movie.  Of course the same thing happens if you read a novel a movie is based on, but at least the book will inevitably be different from the film, often in very important ways.

So with all of this in mind, I can’t explain why I couldn’t put down the novelization of Alien.
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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm [Book Review]

Posted 6 years ago by Books


I don’t think it’s too far off-base to say that no one really expected 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes to be any good.  Did we really need a prequel to the other films?  Wasn’t Tim Burton’s remake bad enough?  But when the film hit theaters, we were all pleasantly surprised to find it was actually quite good, and left us wanting more.  Because the film was a hit, bringing in nearly $500 million at the box office, a sequel was quickly put into production and is set to be released in July.  If you’ve seen the trailer, it appears that this next film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is set some ways into the future, deep into the war that will decide who has dominion over the earth – man or beast (Spoiler Alert! The monkeys win.)  But that means there’s quite a bit of story left untold.  Luckily, Titan Books has released Firestorm, the sequel to the prequel that’s a prequel to the sequel, to help fill in the gaps.

If you didn’t follow my prequel-sequel description there, essentially Firestorm is a bridge novel, that tells the story of what happens in between Rise and Dawn.  It mainly deals with the spread of the virus, the breakdown of civilization, and the survival of the apes that went on a rampage at the end of the first film.  The story follows a handful of people – a doctor, a journalist, a couple of primatologists, a mayoral candidate, and a band of mercenaries – in the final days of humanity.

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‘300: Rise of an Empire – The Art of the Film’ Review

Posted 6 years ago by Books


Whether you like it or not, Zack Snyder’s 300 is a film that’s pretty hard to forget.  Between it’s innovative use of green screen, it’s multi-speed camerawork, and it’s washed out color palette, it’s instantly recognizable and influential even 8 years after its 2006 debut.  But for anyone who has seen the film – or knows their history book – they might have been surprised when a sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, was announced for 2014.

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Christopher Tupa’s Wish Book Captures Pre-Christmas Toy Anticipation

Posted 7 years ago by Art, Books, Toys

Christopher Tupa's Wish Book

For a kid, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas has to be the most excruciatingly slow time of year. It’s a never-ending wait to see what toys will be you under the tree come Christmas morning. When I was little, I would spend this time making wish lists and browsing through the toy pages of the store catalogs. I’d revise my list again and again in hopes of getting the perfect mix of loot.

Now as an adult, I remember those in-between days fondly. Like many things in life, I know that anticipation is equal to, if not greater than, the event itself. As a parent I also now realize how impractical my vast Christmas wish lists were. I wanted so many different things that a certain degree of disappointment was inevitable on Dec. 25. There were always things on those lists that were left unfulfilled.

Christopher Tupa remembers those days as well. The artist and toy collector has created a book of toys and collectibles he wanted as a child but was never able to receive. His free ebook can be downloaded from his website.
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