Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Justice League, Ectomobile, Totally Awesome, Pacific Rim Uprising and DC Comics Variant Covers


 The Justice League movie has come and gone and is now out on Blu-ray and DVD.  Although the film had mixed reviews, personally I liked it.

My only complaint is that the film didn’t delve into each character's back story, especially the three characters not seen on movie screens before: The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg.

Non-comic book fans are familiar with big three: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, but were left confused by the three new characters.

Insight Editions offers the perfect way to catch up on the various Justice League character back stories and personal lives-both in and out of costume.

Justice League The Official Guide not only examines each superhero in the team but delves into their alter egos, origins, past history, where they came from and how they got their individual powers.

The book is brimming with full color photos of the Justice League cast along with people, places and things associated with them.

It’s a great primer on the team that longtime fans and those new to the team will enjoy.

Whether it’s the original Ghostbusters films, the remake, the animated TV series or the toy line one item stands out from all the rest: the Ghostbusters’s mode of transportation: the Ectomobile.

The converted hearse decked out in the latest of ghost busting paraphernalia and equipment was a hit with movie goers the moment it showed up on the Silver Screen.

Haynes and Insight Editions recognize the importance of and fandom associated with the Ectomobile-whatever version, and has dedicated an entire Ghostbusters Ectomobile Owner’s Workshop Manual to the iconic vehicle.

Full color photos complement the extensive schematics of the engine, ghost busting equipment, special capabilities, other classic Ghostbusters gadgets such as the proton packs and everything and anything mechanical or technical associated with the Ghostbusters are included in the book.

Text, both technical and pertaining to the various Ghostbusters teams themselves is included.  The book is the ultimate Ghostbusters guide to all things paranormal paraphernalia.

I especially enjoy looking at the various component breakdowns, their functions and how they were used. 

“Who ya gonna call?  Ghostbusters!”

Although I was born in the 1950s and grew up watching 1960’s Saturday morning cartoon shows I have to admit that when it comes to animated series, both original or as merchandise tie-ins, the 1980s has the 1960s cartoons beat by a mile.

Besides providing fascinating historical text and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the creation of each show the book is a visual treat for animated cartoon fans.

Totally Awesome The Greatest Cartoons Of The Eighties, written by Andrew Farago, packs it in with full color art, tipped in special inserts- such as pre-production sketches and character designs and much more.

Just look at what’s inside: The Smurfs, Spider-Man, He-Man, Inspector Gadget, G.I. Joe, JEM, Thundercats, Muppet Babies, Ghostbusters, Disney, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Garfield and Mighty Mouse.

What’s not to love!?  What a great way to travel back in time to the height of cartoon popularity and meander down Memory Lane accompanied by your favorite cartoon characters!

As children we could have never imagined the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into making animated cartoons.  After reading this book readers will gain a whole new level of appreciation for the geniuses behind the cartoons. 

The Art And Making Of Pacific Rim Uprising by Daniel Wallace really gets into the meat and bones of the making the phenomenal giant robots against giant monsters movie.

Like its predecessor: Pacific Rim, this new movie showcases some spectacular slugfests, incredible visual and special effects, amazing computer animation and an intriguing storyline.

Production on a movie of its scale takes years of planning and the creative input of literally hundreds of people in front of and in back of the cameras.

Starting with a concept the book showcases pre-production conceptual art, costume and set designs, weaponry, robots, monsters, scene setups, sketches, color studies, lighting effects, environment designs along with every aspect associated making of such a monumental film.

Full production notes, cast and crew comments, production decisions and more are discussed in detail making this book a wonderful study about the art of film-making.

I was blown away by the incredible color conceptual paintings, digital designs and impressive attention to every detail showcased in the book.

Thrown in some very special inserts and a stunning book design and you have a real winner.

One of the big draws to modem day comic book collectors is special editions or alternate cover comic book titles.

While the interior of a particular comic book issue may be consistent the comic book companies soon realized that fans wanted more so they started providing limited edition variant covers to many of their titles.  The more rare-the better.  Fans loved it!

No one does it better than DC Comic Books as shown in DC Comics Variant Covers The Complete Visual History.

WOW!  I am totally blown away!

Starting back in the mid-1980s with the re-imaging of Superman, DC Comics began experimenting with variant covers.

For that point on there was no stopping DC as it began offering alternate covers to almost every title in its library.  Not every month mind you, but as the years progressed so did the number of variant covers increase until today almost every title released each month has a variant or variants covers.

What a gallery!  This oversize book really gives justice to the incredible art turned out by DC’s stable of artists.

It is an absolutely stunning book that I am proud to include in my collection.  The designs, colors, concepts, layouts, shock value and talent of each cover really stirs the blood and sets the old heart racing!

It’s like candy for the eyes and I intend to sweeten my pupils and retinas to the max!