Monday, August 29, 2011

PopCereal Press: Peanuts Returns

For Immediate Release:



August 24th, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA – Happiness is a monthly comic book series, Charlie Brown! PEANUTS debuted at BOOM! Studios' all-ages imprint KABOOM! this past spring with the first PEANUTS graphic novel HAPPINESS IS A WARM BLANKET, CHARLIE BROWN. Now, thanks to a recently signed partnership with Peanuts Worldwide, Snoopy and the gang are back in a monthly comic book series kicking off this November with a special #0 — for only a buck —featuring a new original story and supplementary material that will provide a sneak peek at the series launching in January!

“We were honored to publish the first PEANUTS graphic novel HAPPINESS IS A WARM BLANKET, CHARLIE BROWN this past spring and now we are doubly honored to publish a new PEANUTS monthly comic series,” BOOM! Studios Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ross Richie said. “The team at PEANUTS have entrusted us with these characters and we aim to do everything we can to honor the memory and the characters of Charles Schulz.”

"It's a daunting task to follow in the footsteps of a master," BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon said. "But with the team we have assembled and the guidance of the folks at Peanuts Worldwide and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, we're confident that we'll be delivering to fans the best PEANUTS monthly comic book series anyone could imagine."

Launched this past spring, KABOOM! is the brand new name for BOOM! Studios’ three year old all-ages imprint previously known as BOOM Kids! This year has seen KABOOM! launch with the premiere of the PEANUTS graphic novel, followed closely by an all new original series by fan-favorite Roger Langridge entitled SNARKED, and this month will see the release of Scholastic’s WORDGIRL.

Friday, August 26, 2011

PopCereal Remembers... Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (TV 1973)

Don't Be Afraid of the Marketing Schemes!

The remake phenomenon has taken another, odd twist this week.  It used to be that older films were remade to try and bring the classic story into a more modern age, making accessible, once again, to a new generation.  Lately, tough, the remake has become more a marketing scheme, trying to get the audience who grew up with the original movie or TV program to crawl back into their childhood clothes and enjoy another romp with their favorite characters (albeit a newer trendier, more adult oriented romp).  But with Guillermo del Toro's newly produced remake of the TV Movie of the Week classic Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, the original audience for this movie are way way out of the standard money-spending target audience range of 15-35 year-olds.  But, even with that said, I'm not sure the original audience is even much interested in seeing this movie remade.

But, maybe that's just me.  The plot of the movie is surely a creepy one: young bride in a new home starts hearing and seeing little creatures after opening a sealed up fireplace.  The movie was truly frightful for me when I saw it at 12 years-old.  And truth be told, it still was fairly chilling having seen it a few times as an adult.  But, do I need to see it remade?  No, not really.  Especially, seeing the trailers which make it look like so many of the other spookers about houses possessed.  The trailer actually looks like the American remakes of some of the better Spanish thrillers.

The fun part about the original Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, as well as many of the TV thrillers of that era, is that the setting of the story was decidedly ours.  The world was that of the everyday.  And the people who lived in them were all people who were familiar to us.  When the creepy things came out, they came into our world.  In the original TV movie, Sally Farnham (played by Kim Darby) was just like any other young newlywed, with the same joys and troubles any of the viewers would experience.  That is, until she dabbles in places where she shouldn't.  And then, the creepers come into her world... our world.  This is what made it so frightful -- that these little unseen creepy creatures, who no one knows of, and no one sees, could somehow come get us.  It sent shivers down our spines to think that one day, when all is fair and bright, that suddenly we are sneaked up on by the unknown.  What's worse is, who would ever believe you when you try and explain?

All of this "our world" stuff seems to have been drained from today's thrillers. The world we enter in today's horror is their world -- the world of the creepers.  The contemporary setting in these films are not so normal anymore, but ripe for sorrow and hurt, and the players seem resigned to the notion that misery is just around the corner. Contemporary horror seems so filled with dark and dankness that when the thrills and creepers finally arrive, the audience is already so overwhelmed with dread that the madness needs to be escalated by use of loud noises, thunderous clashes of music, and explosive violence.  Yes, many times that recipe has proved effectual, but more than often it hasn't. 

For me, however, I think the horror works better when our world of everydayness is suddenly invaded by the creepies.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

PopCereal Remembers... Winter of the Witch (1969)

Have yourself a tasty helping of blueberry pancakes.  Magical blueberry pancakes!!
If this looks familiar, you're a PopCereal Flake

If you were a television nut in the 70s, like I was, then you may remember this childhood treat -- Winter of the Witch.  It's a tale of  a boy who moves to a new house with his mother, only to discover they much share it with a crabby old witch.  The witch makes life miserable for the boy, until he learns about the one thing that will make her happy... making blueberry pancakes.  And not just any blueberry pancake -- they're magical (or rather, trippy!)

Many have seen this in school, maybe in their Social Studies class, but I remember it as one of my beloved afternoon/weekend specials.

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