Sunday, December 01, 2013


It being the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Who, I've been in a Doctor Who mood lately and ran across this mini album made from the Jerry Anderson studios.  It's a short story about the Daleks.  I tried to figure out how to put the actually Youtube link on my blog, but could not, so I'll have to provide a link:

I watched one of the Tom Baker episodes last night called Image of the Fendahl.  It was better than I remembered  it, which only goes to show that watching Dr. Who is worth watching more than once.  In it a scientific team attempts to investigate a mysterious ancient skull.  The Doctor (Tom Baker along with Leela)  recognize the skull as that of the Fendahl, an creature many million years old.   But  how does one dispose of such a creature?  He is unable to prevent the Fendahl from manifesting itself through the body of a woman, however, he's able to stop the creature absorbing all life on Earth.  As with many of the Tom Baker episodes there's drama and tension, but also some light joking and such, which made me laugh out loud more than a few times.

I came across a comic that sounded interesting, called Godzilla, The Half Century War on IDW, art and story by James Stokoe.

I'd never heard of James Stokoe before, however, a Google search told me he also was the creator of the indie book, Orc Stain, which I'm not familiar with.  But I read the first issue of Godzilla  yesterday and really enjoyed it.  I'd picked up some other Godzilla comics in the past, and they really didn't do much for me.  Some of the artwork in them was fine, I recall one on Dark Horse which was done by Art Adams, but they didn't have anything fresh to say about the giant lizard.  Stokoes' story, however, did.

 The year is 1954 and Lieutnant Ota Murakami is on hand when Godzilla makes first landfall in Japan. They are on a tank patrol in Shinigawa, barely a teen in the Japanese self defense.  Their mission is to aid in some sort of disaster relief, however, not much is known beyond that.  They are just told to expect, bad weather.  This is when we first see Godzilla, and he is enormous, powerful, and awesome.  Along with his pal, Kentaro, Ota makes a desperate gamble to save lives... and in the process begins an obsession with the King of the Monsters that lasts fifty years.

It appears that the second comic takes place in Vietnam with the second sighting of the monster.  If you enjoy stories about Godzilla and giant kaiju, this might be for you.  I  enjoyed the art a lot too, as it seemed to be influenced by some of the early manga that I remember, and is  highly detailed. 

I have to mention another recommendation that I saw recently from my Netflix subscription. 

I wasn't very familiar with Speed Racer.  I knew about it marginally from just a pop cultural reference, but I didn't know much about the story behind the manga or anime.  I was curious about it though as it was made by the Wachowskis siblings.  They're also the creators behind The Matrix.  It turned out to be a lot of fun.  The way that they did the movie is totally in overdrive, and I love the way it was handle with all the crazy colors, and all the actors seem to really fit their parts well.  If you haven't seen it check it out, it's light hearted fun.  When I watched it I thought it was definitely coming from creators to an audience raised on gaming and that generation.  I could see how either a young boy or girl would go crazy over watching this, that includes a few adults. 


At 7:19 AM, Blogger SFF said...

Another great El Vox post of random musings. Love it.

Image is a fine DW entry. i have to re-watch that one again soon.

I agree. That Godzilla comic book looks amazing. Thanks for sharing that here. The art is beautiful.

Finally, one of these days I'm going to have to watch Speed Racer.


At 5:24 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

SFF--I really think you would enjoy Speed Racer on some level. I could actually see owning a copy. Yes, I've been in a Dr. Who mood lately, moreover for the stuff before the reboot, and just bumped up a few on my NF queue. I think you'd enjoy the Big G comic. ;)

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

Been quite a while since I've watched a Tom Baker, Dr. Who episode. I'll need to rectify that.

I agree that Godzilla comic looks really cool. The art is pretty impressive.

I really enjoyed "Speed Racer". I've got a review of it on my blog, if you want to read my more detailed thoughts. It's got a great spirit to it, and the images are some the closest I've seen to capturing the feel of a live action anime.

The music is something else. The composer, Michael Giacchino took the original themes from the 1960s show, modified them, updated them, and full orchestrated them. The result is one of the most fun scores from the last ten years. If you are familiar with the themes from the show, his work is really impressive. And like you said it is on overdrive, just like the film.

I do think the film could have been about 20 minutes shorter. I actually find it to be too much (kind of like too much of a rich dessert). The Casa Cristo road rally should have been the final race, there is more than enough action and fun in that race to be the finale. The Grand Prix at the end never quite measures up that that one. Still a blast of a movie.

At 9:01 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Right you are Roman. I've sort of been on a bit of a Dr. Who binge. I'd not seen any in a while, but got in the mood to see some of them again, when PBS here was broadcasting the Matt Smith/Clara episodes, which I really enjoyed. Most of Smith's era, I didn't care for too much, just to silly or something. I find it hard to put my finger on it. I guess it's all subjective. I didn't mind him as the doctor, I think it was the writing. Even so, I know it's more a children's/all ages show. Though I thought while watching some other TV--I think it was Thriller, how by contrast, some of the older American TV series seemed more adult to me, ie. Thriller, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits. Again, subjective.

There's a new Godzilla movie slated for 2014 (I think I read)--I'm curious about how that might turn out.

You are right about Speed Racer--one of my fave animes that's not an anime. :) The soundtrack was nice, that whole picture worked pretty well for me. You might be right about the two races--maybe one might have been better editing the film down some. I forgot to mention the humor with the young kid and the chimp--pretty funny.

At 9:03 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Roman--I'll check out your Speed Racer review. I read your post on MST3K, and left a comment, but somehow didn't do something as it disappeared? I'll check you later.


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