Tommy over at The Bat-Blog is known for consistently providing cool Batman stuff to his readers on a daily basis. Over the weekend the Bat-Blog reported that the “Junior Bat-Squad” created sand art on the beach in Belmar, NJ in the shape of the 1989 Batmobile! These kids did a fantastic job and if you want to see more pics check out the link and the story here:
When I read that the Asbury Park Boardwalk would be holding a Bat-Fest, Egghead, Bookworm, not even Mad Hatter could stop me from getting there. On Saturday August 20th, an entire day of events dubbed “Bat-Fest” promoted Jersey born bat-producer Michael Uslan’s new memoir The Boy Who Loved Batman. If you’re male and you like Batman, then that title should sound like a familiar story.
The Batmobile is constantly maneuvering the streets of Gotham and isn’t used to cruising around down the shore, but on Saturday it made the trip from Gotham to Asbury Park on autopilot. That’s the kind of clout that Uslan has, after all, he was the man responsible for bringing all the Batman movies to the big screen. Both the 1966 and 1989 Batmobiles were on display courtesy of John Brown of Gotham City Supercars for fans and beachgoers to take pictures with. Seeing the 1966 Batmbobile has been fairly common lately since it shows up at a lot of pop culture conventions, but the ’89 car isn’t always around, so I was excited to see it. The sleek ’89 model was parked beside the boardwalk and was in mint condition and driveable, unlike the shell that sits outside Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Great Adventure.
Chicks dig the car, but they also like romantic rendezvous on the beach, and there was a little bit of that also. Going to watch movies on the beach has become a popular event in many shore towns, and Asbury Park presents many of them. Bat-fest capped off with a showing of the 1989 Batman movie introduced by Michael Uslan himself. I thought Uslan’s intro was insightful as he compared the Gotham City in the film before it’s 200th birthday to Asbury Park, a once crumbling city that has recently made quite a comeback.
Once I thumbed through Uslan’s book at The Sundry Times store on the boardwalk, I knew I wanted to read it. The first thing that struck me was the high quality pages and lots of color photos. What can I say, too many words intimidate me! I was able to speak with Michael at the end of the festivities and he took time answering my questions and signed my book as well.
Uslan isn’t just some guy who wanted to be a Hollywood movie producer. His heart has always been with comic books and superheroes. He once had a collection of nearly 30,000 comic books that he has since donated to Indiana University’s Lilly Library. You can take a look at Uslan’s IMDB profile and you’ll literally be amazed at how many comic book related projects he has produced throughout his career (Batman, Swamp Thing, and The Spirit to name a few) Uslan also created and produced one of the cartoons that I watched before leaving for school as a kid: Dinosaucers! I’ll be reading his book after I finish a couple of others and I can’t wait!
The Boy Who Loved Batman is available through Chronicle Books, Amazon, and book stores:
The Official Site of The Asbury Park Boardwalk:
The Chiller Theatre Expo vs. The Monster Mania Con has become an often debated clash amongst fans and bloggers. While it’s not quite the magnitude of Frankenstein vs. The Wolfman, it has sparked some contention.
Both events are pretty damn cool in their own right, it just becomes a matter of preference. Many con fans have become vehemently opposed to Chiller for some reason. But what I find is that both conventions offer similar dealer tables, the same lines for overpriced autographs, and the same lack of parking. Although I will say that you have a better shot at parking at Chiller in Parsippany than you do at Monster Mania in Cherry Hill, where I feel like I park 16 miles away sometimes. I plan it out so I don’t hit the brunt of the insane crowds. I also don’t linger around. I make sure I hit everything and then I’m out of there!
Monster Mania gears their con more toward horror rather than the pop culture Chiller has evolved into. If you want Tom Savini you go to Monster Mania, if you want Cindy from The Brady Bunch you go to Chiller, or you can be like The Sexy Armpit and just go to both! These conventions are always fun and I consider myself lucky to live in an area that offers this type of event. If I lived in a less populated area I might be salivating at someone else’s blog post recapping events like these.
Out of the slew of guests that appear at Chiller, I usually zero in on one or two who I am interested in meeting. I was anticipating the spring installment of Chiller for months because I was excited to see that Suzanne Snyder (Return of the Living Dead Part II, Killer Klowns From Outer Space) and Judie Aronson (Friday the 13th IV, American Ninja) who played Deb and Hilly from Weird Science, would be appearing. Weird Science is one of my favorite movies of all time to the point where I know every line of dialogue. In the film, the fantasy girl who Gary and Wyatt created was Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) but I was never attracted to her at all, I had the biggest crushes on the ’80s mall chicks Deb and Hilly. I never thought in a million years I’d be introducing myself to these hotties in the same geeky way that Gary and Wyatt did in their bathroom.
Both ladies eagerly interacted with their fans. The best part is that Judie Aronson, owner of Rockit Body Pilates in California, remembered The Sexy Armpit from Twitter! What a sweetheart. Now I don’t have to go into a social coma!
There were a few very surreal moments for me this time around at Chiller. For instance, talking at length with Rob Romanus, who played Damone in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, was so frigging cool. It’s another one of those things that I never thought I’d be doing. Chatting it up with Damone about how his character is so embedded in our pop culture. I also told Lamar from Revenge of the Nerds that I was listening to the Nerds rap on my iPod on my commute to work that morning (…”Now clap your hands everybody…”). Just the fact that I was driving to work listening to that song was weird enough, it never crossed my mind that later that day I would actually be telling the guy who rapped the song that I was listening to it. That’s the place Chiller has in my life. Years ago at a Chiller Adam West handed me the Batphone because he said it was for me. That one really blew my mind.
Way too much money was extracted from pockets all weekend. let me give you a quick summary of some of cool stuff I picked up.
Within a few minutes of entering the dealer room, my eyes immediately locked onto a thrilling piece of art. I went over to the table where I saw the black and white print hanging where I met artist Mike Turso. The ingeniusly conceived, beautifully painted piece was a horror parody of the KISS album Dressed To Kill. Being both a hardcore member of The KISS Army and a horror fanatic, this was a jackpot for me. Naturally I couldn’t afford the $700 dollar price tag of the original print, but I snatched up a smaller $20 print without even blinking an eye. I balled for several minutes to Mike about what an awesome idea it was and how much I loved it. Mike’s work is brilliant and if you’re a fan of comics, horror, or movies, he will have a print you will want, I can guarantee it. Check out his website HERE for a gallery of his work.
I also added a couple of Hot Wheels to my collection: The DeLorean and The Batman version of the Batmobile which I recently read about on Moongem Comics.
Retro Lovely is a premium magazine filled with pinup models and retro style photography by Ric Frane artist known for Monsters, Pinup Girls, and Danger! Also, from the Troma table, I bought a Toxic Avenger collected edition comic that I’ve had my eye on at the last couple of cons. And finally, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein of The Misfits commented on how much he liked my tattoos, and in turn I endorse his MADE IN HELL hot sauce. It’s not so hot where your mouth becomes numb and it had so many different subtle flavors that it’s probably more suitable for use as a spicy marinade for chicken than it is just a regular hot sauce.
Ok, so I’m putting my money on the fact that most of you batmaniacs out there have seen this already but I’m going to imbed it anyway. My father and I were really impressed when we first saw these Batman Onstar commercials. The production values and the look of all the actors was superb. One of the best aspects of these commercials is that they use the Michael Keaton style of the costume and the ’89/’92 film version of the Batmobile. I’ve been watching this video probably since the user uploaded it! The video links all 6 commercials together to make a mini Batman Onstar movie! Check out the Riddler!
To celebrate the kickoff The Sexy Armpit’s DARK KNIGHT COUNTDOWN Fox Home Video has been gracious enough to supply us with a Blu-Ray disc of the original Batman The Movie (1966) Special Edition starring Adam West and Burt Ward to give away to a lucky reader. Batman was released today on Blu-Ray so THANKS Fox Home Video!
HOW TO WIN THE BATMAN BLU-RAY DISC: E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org subject line: BATMAN. Just for fun, try to answer one of the 2 following questions: What was Catwoman’s Moscow Bugle Alias OR answer Riddler’s riddle What’s Yellow and Writes? One winner will be picked randomly and the deadline is 7/20.
I’ve always been obsessed with the ’60s Batman TV series. It’s so bad that I can tell you the episode name, what season it was in, who played each villain, etc. So basically it’s going to be difficult for me to give away the new Blu-Ray transfer and not try to hold onto it for dear life.
As any legit Bat-fan knows, the ’60s live action TV series brought us some cool bat crap but my favorite of all time comes from this film: SHARK REPELLENT BAT-SPRAY! When I was a kid my friend Frank and I made all kinds of accessories for our toy utility belts but the one thing that he never had that I DID was a mini can of Shark Repellent Bat Spray that my dad made for me. Alot of you remember the times that your dad taught you how to spiral a football, throw a slider, or change the oil in your first car. Well, I remember my dad fashioning me a kick-ass aerosol can that would repel sharks in case one decided to “pull my leg.”
In the film you’ll see all the classic villains masterfully portrayed as well as the entire cast of Batman regulars. There’s so many extras on this disc they couldn’t even fit on Commodore Schmidlapp’s yacht!
Features include: Commentary by Adam West and Burt Ward, Isolated musical Score in DTS, several featurettes including: Batman: A Dynamic Legacy, Caped Crusaders: A Heroes Tribute, Gotham’s City’s Most Wanted, The Batmobile Revealed, Batman on Location, original trailers, still galleries, trivia, and lots more! Take a look at one of the featurettes from the new Batman Blu-Ray disc:
With the latest picture released of Batman’s new modified costume in next summer’s The Dark Knight, I figured I’d weigh in on something Batman related. If you aren’t aware I’m a Bat-freak and have been since the Super-Friends. The latest animated incarnation that debuted a few years ago called “The Batman” has it’s pros and cons. After 4 seasons I’m not completely sold on the show although I do enjoy it.