Fan Pumpkins

Here’s some Halloween pumpkins with fan themes. Follow the jump for Star Wars, Spiderman, Dr. Who, Shaun of the Dead and more.

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Blade Runner’s Hong Kong (Or, How to Read Those Dull Academic Papers)

Blade-Runner-posterIt’s so frustrating to run across an academic paper about your favorite comic or movie or TV show. Academics always say one or two smart things and then spend the rest of a 20-page paper gabbling about incomprehensible theories we ordinary people don’t have time for.

It’s kind of cute, really. I picture a tenure-seeking associate professor of film or cultural studies (like the authors of 90% of these papers) tapping away on her trusty laptop — until she’s brought up short! She realizes she’s gone three whole paragraphs without citing Slavoj Žižek and she’s in danger of failing the intellectual Voight-Kampff test! TIME TO GET THEORY’D UP!!


For a normal person, the only way to read one of these articles is according to the following rule:

If a paragraph has a lot of scholarly references, skip it.

Take this neat paper I found about how Blade Runner and other movies with a grunge-tech vibe (Ghost in the Shell, Johnny Mnemonic, Akira, Hackers) all used one particular area of Hong Kong as their template. What makes a scruffy Asian urban neighborhood more “futuristic” than a scruffy American urban neighborhood? Answers after the jump.

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Today, everyone’s favorite ’80s icon.

And I do mean everyone’s.
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Pure Fandom

Just how experienced a fan are you? Find out by answering these questions taken verbatim from a variety of fandom purity tests.

Or you could just try to figure out which fandoms they all come from. If you’re not man enough to know the answers, that is.


-Who was supposed to die in the pilot episode?
-Can you name at least 5 letterers?
-Have you ever named a slashfic character after yourself?
-Do you own a Holy Anorankh?
-Have you ever called for the horrible, gruesome, bloody death of Joel Schumacher?


-Who spoke these lines: “It changes nothing. Tauvo is dead. Struck down by a weak, pathetic, inferior being. It must be avenged! I swear in Tauvo’s name, you will die in my hands.”
-Have you ever seen any Dragon Ball? Do you think it is the best anime ever, far above all others, and the standard by which all other anime should be judged?
-Have you sung any ‘Monty Python’ song at Rocky Horror?


-Did you rent The Professional just because it had Transformers episodes playing in the background in several scenes? Did you repeatedly watch The Professional in order to figure out which episodes they were? Did you figure it out?
-Have you ever told an anti-Alliance joke?
-Do you know which singer Neil Gaiman is friends with?
-Did you buy the Lexx DVD set and take its included purity test?
-Have you spent between $1000 and $10,000 on Animaniacs-related stuff?


-How many Land of the Lost episodes do you have a specific memory of?
-Where’s the Crouching Groucho?
-Do you know the significance of Totter’s yard?
-Have you ever met any Seiyuu?
-Have you ever asked someone if they can see the thestrals too, then refused to explain what a thestral is?
-Do you know what the opening music for Gundam Wing is called?
-How many theme songs do you know by heart and sing along with? (Just give yourself a bunch of points.)
-Have you ever had to prove to somebody’s family that you’re not a psychotic axe-murderer?

(I might have made up a couple of the questions.)

Plus, a special bonus question after the jump.

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7-minute Space Ghost

space-ghost-coast Thinking about Adult Swim got me in the mood to check out some eps of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast from back before the concept had been pummeled into sun-warmed aspic.** I took a look on the YouTube, where (thanks, Cartoon Network legal dept!) episodes of Coast to Coast are outnumbered by clips of the original, 1966 Space Ghost.

They’re each about 7 minutes, a good length for a work break. Three gems:

The Ovens of Moltar
The first episode ever. Moltar wears go-go boots and orates while perched on a little ottoman. Jan and Jace kick off a long career of haplessness.
QUOTE: Jace: “Whatever that is, I don’t like it!”

The Gargoyloids
Includes the very first shot of the crunchy-looking planetoid used in SG: Coast to Coast’s opening credits.
QUOTE: Space Ghost: “That’s our unidentified objective.”
ANOTHER QUOTE: Jan: “Maybe that’ll teach you not to touch everything you see!”

zorakThe Challenge
The first Zorak ep (?). Zorak has a sidekick whose voice actor isn’t nearly as awesome. Space Ghost poses like a ballet dancer, showing off his tiny tiny feet, and thrusts his pelvis while held in Titanor’s locking ray.
QUOTE: There are no good quotes in this episode.

**Checkitout — I worked in a reference to aspic! It’s really very tasty.

Buck Rogers Space Gun Solution

Nice work, Omega Man X! The guns in the Buck Rogers space gun contest were indeed from…


1) Battlestar, 2) Dr. Who, 3) Blake’s 7 and 4) Buck Rogers. Most worthy of scrutiny is the Blake’s 7 gun, which a fan hand-made with what was clearly way too much effort. “The clear ribbed section was a nightmare,” he writes. “I resorted to carving each ring by hand from a perspex sheet. It took about a day per ring!”

Good grief. For a better use of time, jump on the ole “toys were better in the olden days” bandwagon and enjoy these pix of 1940s Buck Rogers stuff. (Or, for space guns of every variety, go here. )


More guns after the jump.

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K-Fed equals Vogon poetry

hitchhikersWhile reviewing a highly amusing page of Amazon tags for Kevin Federline’s album (examples: “douche,” “rich wife,” “music to make you long for the sweet release of death”), I discovered that not one, not two but six users tagged it “aka Vogon poetry.” As in Vogons, the baddies in Douglas Adams’ (R.I.P.) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Not bad considering only four users tagged the album “wannabe” and the supremely apt “douche” was selected by a mere one.

But Brit’s ex aside, there are plenty of Amazon products that merit this excellent tag. Not to mention that using it a lot creates a nice ad hoc Adams tribute. I just tagged Diddy’s Press Play, Lady Sovereign’s Public Warning and the Rembrandts’ greatest hits. Won’t you join me?

Remember, it’s aka, not a.k.a.

(Thanks, Trite, for the Amazon tag link.)
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Buck Rogers Space Gun Challenge

On top of South Park’s well-meted skewering of Richard Dawkins last week (or, at least, Dawkins’ skewering of Ms. Garrison — Haw!) I was psyched to see the reference to 1979-81’s Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Nobody ever talks about that show. Nobody ever buzzes about a remake. Nobody ever asks, “What happened to Gil Gerard?”


When I try to source my own nostalgia for the show, it comes down to the white jumpsuits and the Betty-and-Veronica vibe between Princess Ardala and Erin Gray.*

????????????????? Otherwise, I admit it, it sucked. But I have to ask, what really distinguished it from other 1970s low-budget sci-fi shows? Buck Rogers, Dr. Who, Battlestar Galactica and Blake’s 7 all had actors standing around cheap sets brandishing the prop department’s imaginative notion of space guns.

Maybe it’s the guns. So here’s the question: Which toy/model gun is from which 70s show? See the pictures after the jump.

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