Episode 318: The Showcasers vs. the Creature From the Black Lagoon

It’s almost Halloween, and that means it’s time for another Showcase Creature Feature! This year, the gang gets together to tackle another legendary Universal Monster in Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Revenge of The Creature, and The Creature Walks Among Us! Does the Gillman hold up against the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Wolfman, or is he all wet?

And what’s cool this week? Kenny has discovered the wonder of Loot Crate, while Blake was impressed by the first issues of Dark Circle’s The Shield and IDW’s Back to the Future.

On a more serious note, on Oct. 16, Erin’s brother’s home caught on fire. His family (including his wife, three children, and a fourth on the way) lost virtually everything they had, including their dog, Phoebe. Erin has started a GoFundMe campaign to try to help them get back on their feet. We’ve never asked for money on this show, but we’re making an exception this time. If you can, please go to GoFundMe.com/BlashFamily and make a donation — any size would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 318: The Showcasers Vs. the Creature From the Black Lagoon

LEGO Dimensions and the power of scale

I was one of those kids whose action figures always wound up in the same adventure. Some kids would never let He-Man encounter G.I. Joe or the TransFormers to clash with the Go-Bots. I, on the other hand, constructed a massive battle consisting of every toy I owned that took place over the span of about four years. In fact, it’s entirely possible that there are still some minor skirmishes taking place in secluded corners of my parents’ garage. But being the nerd that I am, it always bothered me that the figures weren’t in scale with one another. I had to come up with ridiculous excuses for why Lion-O and the Thundercats were so much bigger than Luke Skywalker, or why Duke couldn’t climb aboard Optimus Prime and ride him into battle as God so clearly intended.

I’m a weird kind of nerd. I love mixing things together. It’s why the Marvel Cinematic Universe is so awesome to me, why I actually bought Archie Meets the Punisher when it came out, and why I have far-too-clear memories of that episode of Full House that guest-starred Urkel. I believe firmly that there’s a place for virtually everything in the realms of imagination, and that they can all coexist. And popular fiction bears it out — there’s no reason a horror-rooted character like Swamp Thing can’t encounter the high science fiction of Green Lantern or the fantasy world of Amethyst, and one of the things that makes Doctor Who such a long-lasting property is how quickly it can shift from a comedy to a thriller to a war movie, sometimes in the course of a single episode.

Funkos

There are eleven more in the house that aren’t in this picture. There are millions more that must be mine.

That’s why I like toy lines with a uniform scale that bring in characters from different worlds — Mini-Mates, Pop Vinyl, and ReAction figures among them. Looking at the shelves in my home right now I see versions of Superman, Harley Quinn, Mickey Mouse, the Incredibles, Yoda, the Avengers, Howard the Duck, Ender Wiggin, and Sam from Trick ‘R Treat, and they all match. In truth, it’s only due in small part to common sense and large part to my wife that I haven’t bought mountains of these things and filled every available space in the house.

And when it comes to toy lines that allow you to mix and match characters from all over the landscape in scale, nothing can beat LEGO.

I limit myself from getting TOO MANY, not from getting any at all.

I limit myself from getting TOO MANY, not from getting any at all.

Now let’s be clear — LEGO was already pretty awesome to begin with. But when they began licensing official Star Wars playsets in 1999, they launched themselves into the stratosphere. Their licensees grew over the years, and now it is entirely possible to have Harry Potter and Gandalf on the Millenium Falcon, Superman and Captain America teaming up with the Ninja Turtles to save the Simpsons from an attack of the Indominous Rex, and a fender-bender between Doc Brown’s DeLorean and the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1. Like the Pop Vinyls, I have to limit myself from buying more and more of these things every time I go to the store.

Oddly, as much as I’ve always loved toys, I’ve never been much of a video game guy. I’m at exactly the right age to be a veteran of the Nintendo Wars, but I haven’t had a console since the Sega Genesis my parents gave my brother, sister and me when I was in middle school. And while there have been games that cropped up from time to time that interested me (including several LEGO games) I’ve found that any time I get a game I play it for a few days, maybe a few weeks, and then I drift away from it as other things command my attention.

The first game that’s actually tempted me to get a console in years is Disney Infinity. I’m sure you’ve all heard of it, but just in case, here’s the appeal: Disney releases a game that requires you to buy different figurines. Each figurine allows you to unlock different levels and in-game items specific to that character. If I’d given in to the first wave, it would have been entirely possible to have Mike and Sully or Anna and Elsa meet up with Sorcerer Mickey or Phineas and Ferb. (Disney also made a major push for The Lone Ranger in this first wave, which no doubt they quickly grew to regret. But I digress.)

Despite the obvious appeal to a nerd like me, I held off. It got harder when Disney Infinity 2.0 came out and added the Marvel characters. It will get harder still when this fall’s Disney Infinity 3.0 throws Star Wars into the mix. If Disney Infinity 4.0 finally gives us the Muppets, I may just break.

That is, if LEGO Dimensions doesn’t break me first.

By now, I assume you’ve all seen the latest trailer. If not, allow me to share it with you:

Yep. LEGO is doing their own figure-based video game, which will allow us to merge the worlds of Doctor Who, Back to the Future, Lord of the Rings, The LEGO Movie, The Simpsons and DC Comics. Other properties that have been announced but not seen in the trailer include Portal, The Wizard of Oz, Jurassic World, Scooby-Doo and Ghostbusters. As far as their big licenses go, the only ones missing are Marvel and Star Wars, and that’s pretty much because they’re already tied up in the too-similar Disney Infinity.

What’s more, the figures for this game will include actual LEGO Minifigs, as well as mini-builds for vehicles and locations, like the Delorean or the TARDIS. This game is combining pretty much everything I love.
And yet… still… $400 to buy a console for just one game?

Even if it’s really a lot of games?

I must resist. I must.

If I can handle this, I can beat anything.

One-Shot #20: Free Comic Book Day 2015 Preview

After a bit of a rain delay, Blake is back with this year’s Free Comic Book Day preview! Which books is he looking forward to? Will Marvel’s wars remain a secret? Just how divergent can DC Comics get? And how can Archie Comics put out two books with no Archie?

And what’s cool this week? Blake’s having a blast with Scott Sigler’s Infected series!

Join the Showcase crew this Saturday at BSI Comics, and get an early copy of Blake’s new book, Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

One-Shot #20: Free Comic Book Day 2015 Preview

Episode 307: A Good Day For Geek TV

The new season of The Walking Dead starts tonight, and that means we’ll have five live-action, prime time TV shows based on comics at once, with several more on the way. This week, Blake and Erin talk about the beginnings of The Flash and Gotham, the new season of Agents of SHIELD, Peter Capaldi’s first season on Doctor Who, and take a brief detour into this year’s Phineas and Ferb Halloween Special.

And what’s cool this week? Erin is into Diana Rowland‘s My Life as a White Trash Zombie, and Blake recommends Rocket Raccoon #4 and Earth 2: World’s End #1.

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

At the Movies Episode 45: Sin City-A Dame to Kill For

Nine years after the first Sin City movie, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller come back with three more tales from the crime comic classic. Does it hold up to the original? The Showcase gang discusses it here!

And what’s cool this week? Kenny enjoyed Batman: Assault on Arkham, Jason was a fan of Draft Day, Erin is grateful to BBC America for their Doctor Who marathon, and Blake is into Batman and Robin #34

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

 

Episode 303: Free Comic Book Day 2014

Free Comic Book Day has come and gone once again! Blake and Mike hang out for a while at BSI Comics talking about the available books, DC’s Showcase series, the return of Booster Gold, changes for Star Wars‘s expanded universe and May the Fourth events under the Disney Regime, and the sad passing of Efram Zimbalist, Jr. Then, Adam from the BSI Comics Podcast hangs out for a while to talk about the challenges of a weekly title, upcoming events for Marvel and DC, and one of his favorite Time Travel stories that we didn’t talk about back in Episode 272. Finally, Blake and Kenny meet up after FCBD to watch and review The Amazing Spider-Man 2. We talk in general, then give you guys a spoiler warning before we get into the nitty gritty.

And what’s cool this week? Blake had fun with the newest relaunch from Valiant Comics, Rai #1.

Didn’t get enough free stuff on FCBD? Blake’s short story Associated Pressure is free for your Amazon Kindle from now through May 6!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 303: Free Comic Book Day 2014
(left-click to listen, right-click to download)

Episode 300: Wizard World New Orleans 2014

It’s the 300th episode of the Showcase, and Wizard World decided to celebrate by throwing a convention! Or maybe it’s a coincidence, who can tell? At any rate, the guys spend the weekend at the convention and chat about cosplay, the autograph-prolific antics of Matt Smith, the fact that Attack on Titan is apparently a thing now, and Blake faces the reality that the next time he goes to a convention he’ll be with his (GASP!) wife!

And what’s cool this week? Kenny doubles up on the card game Fate/Zero and the TV show Almost Human, and Blake’s into The Fox #4 and J.C. Hutchins’s The 33.

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

All New Showcase Episode #300: Wizard World 2014