Feb 042016
 

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Daniel Clowes has been working on his latest book, Patience, for five years. At 180 pages, it’s his longest work to date, more than twice as long as Wilson, his graphic novel about an abrasive loner in Oak­land who claims to be a people person but actually can’t stand most of them (nor they him), and Ghost World, the artist’s most popular work, about the disintegrating relation­ship between two teen girls in an unnamed American suburb. From the time Clowes began the book in 2010 until its completion last October, he didn’t show a single page of it to anyone, not to Erika, his wife of 20 years, nor to his publishers at Fantagraphics, who will release the book this March, nor to his closest friends.

Clowes is in an upstairs room of his Piedmont home, a lovely two-story 1912 Craftsman set along an equally lovely tree-lined street of this East Bay suburb, talking about how the book came to be. Six feet tall and slim, Clowes has a salt-and-pepper beard and sharp blue eyes. Despite possessing the most sardonic of wits on paper, he laughs easily and often in person, at his jokes and others’. This afternoon, he’s taking care of his beloved beagle, Ella, who has dementia and barks every 20 minutes or so because she forgets that Clowes is at home. Along one wall of the room, which doubles as artist studio and comics archive, collections of Peanuts and Nancy and Gasoline Alley share shelf space with Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library and the complete works of R. Crumb. An old-timey paperback carousel is stocked with Mad magazine reprints; in a nearby cabinet there’s a tin-toy knockoff of Fred Flintstone, his 5 o’clock shadow an eerie blue.  Read the rest of the article here: https://story.californiasunday.com/daniel-clowes-patience

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Illustrations by Rutu Modan, Anders Nilsen, Richard Sala, Isabel Seliger, Seth, and Anuj Shrestha

 

Jan 192016
 

A happy Tuesday to you Melters!  As you know I have started my weekly wrestling recap show “Kayfabe Korner” live every Monday, as a result these “Heads Up” postings will be occurring on Tuesdays from now on.  Lets get to the nitty gritty shall we?

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Today DC Films uploaded some very interesting content to their Facebook page today.  As we all know Batman Vs. Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Aquaman movies are all setting up for a two part Justice League movie in the next few years.  While we know who will play each of the characters we still don’t have a good idea of the looks for Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash.  Today us fans got a peek at what the future holds for the DC film universe when the film studio uploaded concept art showing the initial lineup for the upcoming “The Dawn of The Justice League”.  While we still don’t know all that much about what the movie will be about (we are still a long ways away from it’s release date) its interesting to see what could be the final look for the League.  I personally do NOT have high hopes for the DC universe in terms of its cinema performances but time will tell as they say…

 

JJ Abrams dropped a teaser trailer for an upcoming film called “10 Cloverfield Lane” which is apparently supposed to be a follow up to his Found-Footage disaster movie “Cloverfield”.  I guess the original Cloverfield didn’t do as well as the studio would have hoped but I personally LOVED the movie and consider it one of my favorites.  I love me a good disaster flick especially if giant monsters are involved.  Throwing in the “found footage” motif only made it more intense and instilled a sense of panic in the audience.  From what I’ve seen from the trailer, the movie focuses on a family (lead by John Goodman which is AWESOME) that lives in an underground bomb shelter and their struggle to survive after an unnamed disaster happened above ground.  People are mostly assuming this movie will take place in the same universe as the original Cloverfield disaster but this time it focuses on one family and is not “found footage” style.  I love (almost) everything JJ Abrams puts out and this trailer has filled me with a lot of hope for this project.

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So this is good news for all my fellow lazy comic enthusiasts.  While digital comics are available on most handheld devices, there isn’t anything quite like the feeling of owning a physical copy of your favorite book.  Too lazy to come to Meltdown?  Well have no fear because WE ARE COMING TO YOU!  Starting tomorrow, every Wednesday, Meltdown Comics will start delivering your favorite comics to your door!  For just a small 5$ delivery fee you can pick as many items in the store as you want and we will bring them right to your door!  Call into Meltdown tomorrow for details.  We will be delivering in the areas from Beverly Hills to Echo Park, plus the Hollywood Hills to Mid City LA.   The things we do for you people…

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The Resident Evil: 0 HD remaster came out today available for download.  This is one of the better Resident Evil games before Capcom forgot the “horror” part of “survival horror” in their video games.  While the original Resident Evil HD Remake is far superior in my opinion this is another fun game to pick up if you feel nostalgic about being scared by zombie dogs jumping through windows.  Pick this up if you are feeling bored on a lazy rainy day (like today) but if you do make sure you get the original Resident Evil HD as well.

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Today, arguably one of the best films of 2015, Straight Outta Compton finally drops on DVD and Blu ray as well as most online streaming sites.  While the Academy felt this movie wasn’t worth their time doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have this incredible movie in your library.  The movie follows the rise and eventual fall of one of the most iconic music groups in history, N.W.A.  If you haven’t already seen this movie (a lot of people already did) then you should not miss this classic.  Its the highest grossing music biopic of all time, you do the math.

Jan 112016
 

Good afternoon Melters!  Another week, another dollar, lets cut the nonsense and get down to business.

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-First off, I am just surprised as you are that I have not been to this yet but I am going to The Devil’s Playground Burlesque House for their “Star Girls” Burlesque show they throw every once in a while this Friday.  The show (as you may have guessed) is a burlesque show with the entire show having a Star Wars theme.  You will see female stormtroopers in lingerie, sexy Sith sirens, and probably a few Leia slave costume ladies to boot.  I ask you, when is the next time you will be able to see a sexy Jedi pole dance?  If you and your girl want a fun date to go on with a little bit of nerdiness and a WHOLE LOT of sex appeal, def get your tickets for this at https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1018735.

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-It has been a long time coming and WAY overdue but finally, the Icon, the Franchise, the Vigilante Sting will finally be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year.  If you aren’t familiar with Sting or any of his ring work (the wrestler not the frontman for The Police) then you truly don’t know wrestling.  Sting’s career has been one that even the Undertaker has to appreciate.  He is one of wrestling’s last true legends and has done more for the business of Professional Wrestling than most people to ever lace up a pair of boots.  This upcoming Wrestlemania 32 in Dallas Texas, we finally immortalize a true pioneer in the business, and I frankly think it couldn’t come sooner.

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-So everyone has already seen the new Star Wars movie about a billion times,thats established, but now we have the new movies to look forward to don’t we?  Disney has announced a massive lineup of Star Wars movies so we will not be leaving a Galaxy Far Far Away anytime soon.  Some interesting tidbits of info have hit the internet that might interest you guys and further excite you for the upcoming films.  First off John Boyega (Finn) in a recent interview says that the next Star Wars, the yet untitled episode 8, will be a much darker film and that his character, Finn, will have a much more physical role.  I am not sure how much more physical Boyega can get, he did a hell of a lot of fighting in the most recent movie.  I love hearing that Disney will be sticking with the traditional “the sequel is darker” method and knowing how J.J. Abrams set up these next two movies, I think we can all expect even stuff like “THAT MOMENT” from the Force Awakens.

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Also over the weekend TMZ leaked images of an X-wing reportedly from the “other” Star Wars movie: Rogue One.  If you take a close look at the images, it looks like they will be going for the more “classic” look for the X-Wings.  This makes sense due to the fact this movie takes place right before the events of “A New Hope.”  Check them out for yourself and see what you think.

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-And finally, for my fellow wrestling nerds…  If you are familiar with the best that WWE/WWF had to offer back in the day, then you definitely know who Jake “The Snake” Roberts is.  After years of drug addiction and self inflicted abuse to his already damaged body from years of wrestling, Jake Roberts was “saved” by fellow wrestler and confidante Diamond Dallas Page.  DDP documented Jake’s journey to sobriety and eventually we see him take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.  It’s a heart-wrenching and truly inspiring story that shows you that it is never too late for anyone.  The documentary has already been making its rounds on the festival circuit and the responses have been incredible.  If you love wrestling or are looking for an amazingly well put together documentary definitely pick this one up tomorrow the 12th of January on iTunes and probably everywhere else.

Jan 082016
 

Good evening Melters.  As you are well aware its the weekend!  Along with my weekly post about things to look out for during the week, I will also be posting things to do and waste your money on this weekend.  Here are a few suggestions for said debauchery….

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-Head to the Japanese-American History for the Giant Robot Biennale 4 exhibit.  If you are a fan of collectible vinyl toys, art, and pop culture with a Japanese twist, this is the place for you.  The exhibit will feature 50 pieces from the company’s history.  If you are a fan of street inspired art and collectibles then this is the exhibit for you.  It will be going on till January 24th so you still have plenty of time to get your Robot on.

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-On Saturday, in honor of the passing of legendary Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister, the entire strip on Sunset Blvd will be closed off for a memorial celebrating his life.  All fans and friends are welcome to join but get there early because demand is already massive.  Start at the Rainbow Room (Lemmy’s favorite spot) and drink like a rock star in honor of Lemmy.  If you want to be a part of rock history be there tomorrow in your best leather pants.

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-Legendary artist and inspiring lyricist, Patti Smith is performing at the world famous Wiltern in Hollywood this Saturday.  If you are a fan of EXTREMELY well written music and one of the last true songwriters in music, you would be mistaken to not attend this.  She puts on an amazing show and this is also a sure thing for a great date night.

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-Head to the Grammy Museum in Downtown LA for an amazing tribute exhibit to perhaps one of the greatest comedians of all time, George Carlin.  The exhibit entitled: A Place For My Stuff will have things raging from old programs, George’s personal photo collection, to outfits Carlin wore himself and everything in between.  George Carlin fans and fans of comedy in general will love this exhibit.

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-Now with all these fun things to do this weekend you need a place to eat am I right?  Take it from me melters, if you are looking for THE BEST Mexican food in this county go to Gilbert’s El Indio in Santa Monica.  Everything is authentic and tastes unreal.  Be sure to try the margaritas and the chimichangas, you will not be disappointed.  Just try and not to be bothered by the plethora of pictures of little ninos of the purveyors children.

Dec 172015
 

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Arriving in March 2016

Daniel Clowes travels America to celebrate the release of Patience, the most anticipated graphic novel of 2016!

PATIENCE_FC_Colors-(1)Patience is the first all new, original graphic novel from Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) in over a half-decade, and also the biggest and most ambitious book yet in a storied career that includes multiple Eisner and Harvey Awards, a PEN Award, and an Academy Award nomination.

Patience is an indescribable psychedelic science-fiction love story, veering with uncanny precision from violent destruction to deeply personal tenderness in a way that is both quintessentially “Clowesian,” and utterly unique in the author’s body of work. This 180-page, full-color story affords Clowes the opportunity to draw some of the most exuberant and breathtaking pages of his life, and to tell his most suspenseful, surprising and affecting story yet.

Fantagraphics and Clowes helped usher in today’s golden age of literary graphic novels, as evidenced by the just-released Complete Eightball 1–18, which collects the historic comic book series (1989-2004) that originally serialized Clowes classics such as Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron and Ghost World, the latter of which is the best-selling book in Fantagraphics’ history, with 20 editions since its debut in 1997.

Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Bl.
LA, CALIF 90046 (map)

Home Tech Stolen From Star Wars Comics

 Posted by on December 16, 2015
Dec 162015
 

Throughout its enormously successful decades-long history, the Star Wars universe has inspired a host of spinoffs: TV shows, video games, and comics, as well as popular toys and even theme parks. Action-packed plot sequences, dynamic characters, and exciting future technology all play an integral role in creating the magical realm that is the infamous galaxy far, far away. 

When the first film was released in 1977, as well as the corresponding comic series, Star Wars depicted a number of innovations that were still out of reach at the time. But today’s technological landscape is a different place – many fantastical tools that once dwelt within the minds of filmmakers and comic book artists have found their way to the reality of our everyday lives. 

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Prosthetic limbs figure in largely within the Star Wars universe – from Darth Vader’s robotic limbs to Luke Skywalker’s robotic hand, even all the way to Darth Malak’s prosthetic jaw in the Knights of the Old Republic games and comics, characters lose appendages left and right. In the past fifteen years, great strides have been made in real-world prosthetics making the use of advanced sensor and gripping technology. In 2014, the FDA even approved a mobile, battery-powered prosthetic nicknamed the “Luke Skywalker Arm.”

Beyond just robotic limbs, robotic technology has made other dramatic leaps, taking us far beyond what was possible in the 1970’s. Digital assistants with the skills of C-3P0 and other artificial intelligence droids are now capable of providing their services in correlation with increasingly-popular home automation systems. The mouse droids of the Death Star are now becoming a reality with home security robots like the Avatar III, and Alexa, the voice of the Amazon Echo, an advanced standalone home automation device that sits on a tabletop. Alexa, Siri and other tools of their ilk will take us to the next era of robotic-assisted convenience. 

The holographic displays that fans of R2-D2 will appreciate are also becoming commercially viable. In the Tales of the Jedi comics, Jedi and Sith masters like Vodo-Siosk Baas and Exar Kun were able to record themselves for later projections through holocrons. Tupac may not be a Jedi Master, but many can recall his appearance at Coachella as a “hologram”, which brought back this type of technology into popular imagination. More recently, an Australian team has utilized graphene to project high-definition holograms. Microsoft’s virtual reality platform, the HoloLens, may reach consumers as early as next year. 

Another bit of Star Wars tech that was the envy of every fan is speeder and swoop bikes. Racing through the forest moon of Endor looked like fun, so long as the trees could be avoided. While the design is not quite that of a swoop bike screaming through the skyways of Coruscant, the Aero-X is a streamlined hovercraft that is reminiscent of a swoop or speeder bike. With a top speed of forty-five miles per hour, it may not be winning races against swoop gangs any time soon – but it also makes it less likely that a Ewok will ram you into a low-hanging tree branch.

While lasers may have seemed the realm of fantasy, laser cannons such as those seen in Star Wars have been creeping ever closer to the field of battle. While not exactly the turbolasers used on capital ships like the Star Destroyers or even personal ships like the Mynock in the Star Wars: Legacy comics, a canon designed by the US military and tested in 2014 uses highly focused beams of light to destroy its targets, such as incoming missiles. For a light cannon, this cannon is not exactly “light,” currently weighing in at over two tons.

And of course, there are lightsabers. While scientists have debated the feasibility of this weapon, MIT scientists accidentally discovered a way to make photons interact with each other in a way similar to a lightsaber beam. It may not be able to cut through a door, but it’s a start.

It remains to be seen what new sci-fi technology will be released into the world with the upcoming release of The Force Awakens – but what we can all be certain of is that all Star Wars fans will see that the choice is in their hands to make those fantasies a reality.