January 3, 2014
Agent Coulson Returning for Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. TV ShowView Post

Agent Coulson Returning for Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Show

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July 21, 2013
All of Marvel’s Comic Con Flotsam and JetsamThe big news, of course, is that Joss Whedon revealed the Avengers sequel would be titled ‘The…View Post

All of Marvel’s Comic Con Flotsam and Jetsam

The big news, of course, is that Joss Whedon revealed the Avengers sequel would be titled ‘The…

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August 21, 2012
How Hollywood Is Encouraging Online Piracy

David Pogue, writing for Scientific American (instead of the NYT), makes this interesting observation:

The people want movies. None of Hollywood’s baffling legal constructs will stop the demand. The studios are trying to prevent a dam from bursting by putting up a picket fence.

And if you don’t make your product available legally, guess what? The people will get it illegally. Traffic to illegal download sites has more than sextupled since 2009, and file downloading is expected to grow about 23 percent annually until 2015. Why? Of the 10 most pirated movies of 2011, guess how many of them are available to rent online, as I write this in midsummer 2012? Zero. That’s right: Hollywood is actually encouraging the very practice they claim to be fighting (with new laws, for example).

Yes, times are changing. Yes, uncertainty is scary. But Hollywood has case studies to learn from. The music industry and the television industry used to fight the Internet the same way—with brute force: copy protection, complexity, legal challenges.

Right now, most movies are available illegally online to download in DVD or Blu-Ray quality within three to four months of its opening day in the theater. That’s reality.

You can argue whether its right or wrong, but there’s an entire generation of people — customers if you will — that would pay for a digital download as soon as it is available to do so. But, because they are not available legally, they have no qualms about obtaining it illegally. There’s no getting around that fact. Once someone downloads a high-quality copy of a movie, they sure as shit ain’t shilling out $15 when it becomes legally available in another few months or paying a few bucks to rent it years later.

The whole system is blown up and Hollywood doesn’t seem to have any plan. And if they don’t change that pattern of behavior it will quickly become codified in the majority of people under 30. It’s not right, but business is business. The music industry has made it plainly obvious that if you sell your product at a fair price and make it easily obtainable people won’t pirate it.

August 8, 2012
Joss Whedon Keeps The Marvel Party Going

Boom goes the dynamite: “Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015. As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel’s The Avengers 2 as well as help develop a new live-action series for Marvel Television at ABC. He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.”

No word on how much they are paying him, but hopefully it’s a lot.

July 30, 2012
Marvel Considering TV Series Set in Avengers Universe

According to Deadline, Marvel Studios is discussing a “kernel of an idea” with ABC to bring a new series to TV with “a fairly loose connection” to the Avengers movie universe. So, basically, don’t expect Iron Man, Captain America, or Thor to show up on TV anytime soon. Although, this does lend credence to the rumors that ABC and Marvel were attempting to bring a new Hulk show to TV.

Maybe it could be that? My guess is it would be more like Agent 47, if anything.

May 21, 2012
The Avengers on Their Off Days

When The Avengers aren’t out saving the world or crushing it at the box office, what exactly do Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Agent Coulson do on their off days? As imagined by Matt Kaufenberg, ofAn Illustration-a-Day blog, here’s the whimsical Thor’s Day Off and Agent Coulson’s Day Off. He’s even done one for the Hulk and promises the rest of the team soon enough.

I can’t be the only person who thinks these illustrations are reminiscent of Roger Hargreaves’ Mister Men and Little Miss series, can I? (Also, if Agent Coulson became the new Chuck Norris, I would be okay with that) [via neatorama]

May 14, 2012
Where The Wild Week Was

After a week away in San Francisco covering the Citrix Synergy show for TechTarget, there’s nothing more depressing than getting to the office and seeing a very moldy coffee cup. Anyway, here are some links that caught my eye while I was away, but didn’t have time to write them up.

1. TechCrunch takes a closer look at Chorus, the content management system created by Vox Media that powers The Verge and SB Nation blogs. Sadly, there’s no indication that Vox Media plans to make Chorus available for other publications — which means news organizations are stuck with Wordpress for the time being.

2. I really dig the spate of “What I Read" features, that asks famous people how they consumer media. The Atlantic does it best and New York Times tech reporter Jenna Wortham is a good place to start.

3. Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights advocates for the banning of college football.

In more than 20 years I’ve spent studying the issue, I have yet to hear a convincing argument that college football has anything do with what is presumably the primary purpose of higher education: academics.

That’s because college football has no academic purpose. Which is why it needs to be banned. A radical solution, yes. But necessary in today’s times.

4. Love, love, love this: “A Map Of Your City’s Invisible Neighborhoods, According To Foursquare

5. Andrew Sullivan first made the case for gay marriage back in 1989, which means he can put on a pair of his “I told you so” pants with his latest Newsweek essay after Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage last week. It also gives him a unique perspective on the matter, being a gay, Catholic conservative, after all.

6. Here’s the 100th SNL Digital Short. Natalie Portman reminds you how hard she is.

[via uproxx]

7. This should make Lady Oyster happy: Apple is ditching Google’s mapping technology for the maps app come iOS 6. Hopefully, they can make a few more improvements as the maps app is her least favorite thing about the iPad.

8. Storytelling advice from Joss Whedon, Stephen King, Salman Rushdie, Doris Lessing, Scott Simon, Damon Lindelof and a machine.

9. An insider reveals why Anonymous might be the most powerful organization on Earth.

punch in the face where Anonymous began to realize how incredibly powerful they are. There’s a really good argument at this point that we might well be the most powerful organization on Earth. The entire world right now is run by information. Our entire world is being controlled and operated by tiny invisible 1s and 0s that are flashing through the air and flashing through the wires around us. So if that’s what controls our world, ask yourself who controls the 1s and the 0s? It’s the geeks and computer hackers of the world.

10.You could do worse than taking a few seconds to catch up with Nivan Mullick and the little boy who created Caine’s Arcade.

Above: Artist Hannah Friederichs has drawn Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the fashion of the late, great Maurice Sendak. Also, the movie continues to own the box office like nothing else in history.

May 6, 2012
The Avengers Smashes the Box Office

Damn, everyone knew The Avengers was going to open strong, but $200 million strong? Bested the previous opening weekend record by $30 million? The strong anticipation, the overwhelmingly good reviews and the fact that the movie, while technically not a sequel, was kind of the sixth movie in a planned series. Kudos to Marvel for pulling off the impossible.

Now, the only two questions are: how much will this make at the box office overall? I’m guessing $450 million or so. The opening box office accounted for 40 percent or so of the total box office for nearly all of the recent movies that have opened strong out of the gates. That suggests, in part, that those movies don’t have strong legs and make most of their money in the first few weeks of opening.

However, if The Avengers performs more like The Dark Knight and this is only 30 percent of its take, it could end up doing extremely ridiculous numbers. Time will tell and there aren’t too many movies on the horizon that could dent its momentum; I suspect there are also plenty of people that have yet to see the movie (ahem) and will now want to do so.

As for the second question: does this mean Joss Whedon can finally make a show for Fox that won’t be unceremoniously be cancelled after one season? Probably not. It is Fox after all.

May 4, 2012
Why <em>The Avengers</em> Need The Black Widow

The Black Widow has no superpowers, which kind of makes her the odd duckling out in a ragtag group featuring a super soldier, a Norse god, a Hulk and an Iron Man. But cartoonist Jim Benton makes a compelling reason. A very, very, compelling reason. [via rogerebert]

April 19, 2012
Links: Avengers Posters, The Olympics, Germ Porn, and More

1. Mondo is releasing a limited series of posters based on Marvel’s The Avengers. Seven posters will be produced in all and two of them have gone on sale. Olly Moss did the BLACK WIDOW above and Tom Whalen did a cool job with HAWKEYE. My guess is there will be posters for Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor and then a team poster. Posters are $45 is you’re lucky enough to get one. [via firstshowing]

2. Watch a Donald Duck short as if it were made in the Dogme 95-style of Lars Von Trier. It’s a little slow to start, but gets really humorous two minutes in. Very clever idea.

3. “Eyeless shrimp and fish with lesions are becoming common, with BP oil pollution believed to be the likely cause.”

4. Dan Frommer reports NBC will finally live-stream the entire 2012 London Olympics. The good news comes with several depressing caveats, however.

5. For two years, A.J. Jacobs went on a quest to be as healthy as humanly possible. That meant revamping every part of his physical life, including diet, exercise, and his relationship with germs.

Most bacteria are harmless. In fact, human beings are mostly germs. We are walking around with 90 percent germ cells, 10 percent human cells. They’re in our gut, in our mouth, in our eyebrows.

“There are 156,000 categories of germs around, but only a small percentage are pathogenic. Maybe 2,000 of these,” [said Dr. Philip Tierno, the director of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at New York University Langone Medical Center.]

Ah, but those 2,000 – you don’t want them anywhere near you. Consider that infectious disease is the second leading cause of death in the world. Here’s a disturbing statistic: Every year, 100,000 people in the world die because of infections they got at the hospital. Another one: Every year, germs in food sicken an astounding 76 million in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

6. Apparently, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, President Warren Harding and Harvey Firestone enjoyed camping together. This is oddly weird and strangely comforting and yes, all I could think about was Brokeback Mountain when looking at the photo series.

7. Brent Schlender interviewed Steve Jobs several times during the past 25 years. He recently rediscovered the audio tapes of those interviews and sheds light on what he calls “the wilderness years” of Jobs’ life — the years between his departure from Apple in 1985 to his return in 1996.

March 12, 2012
Winnie-The-Pooh And The Avengers Too

Wolverine as Tigger? The Hulk as Pooh Bear? Whimsical genius.

Charles Paul Wilson III has a delightful series of watercolors that transposes Marvel’s The Avengers into the world of Winnie-the-Pooh. I secretly wish this was an animated series or someone of Etsy turned these into plush dolls I could buy for my nephew. [via BuzzFeed]

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