Eye-Catching Portraits of Superheroes and Their Alter Egos

Designer and animator Coran “Kizer” Stone is clearly a superhero fan, but he’s also interested in what everyone’s favorite costumed crime fighters look like on their days off. With his Alter Egos illustration series, Stone juxtaposes straightforward renditions of favorites from Batman to the Flash with plainclothes portraits of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, forensic scientist Barry Allen, and other everyday identities of characters from both the DC and Marvel universes. Stone doesn’t limit his subjects to the heroes, either; both expert thief Catwoman and alien life form Venom make appearances in the series. Click through for the full Alter Egos series, and check out Stone’s DeviantArt and Blogspot sites for more comic-inspired illustrations.  … Read More

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Geeky Ways to Propose: 15 Creative Pop Culture-Themed Rings and Boxes

By now, photos of a Dungeons and Dragons-themed engagement ring (as well as a video of the actual proposal) have gone viral and drawn many admirers of the 20-sided die reference (the woman behind the magic says she “[feels] like [she] rolled a natural 20 when [she] started dating her.”) In fact, there are plenty of pop culture-themed wedding rings and boxes out there, with many betrothed couples sealing their betrothal with keepsakes of the fandom that brought them together in the first place. Whether bonding over a shared love of Ocarina of Time or finishing each other’s Star Wars-quoting sentences, there is something below for everyone (or, at least, every nerd). … Read More

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Bin Laden, Zuckerberg, and Other Villains Mashed Up With Comic-Book Bad Guys

Brazilian designer and illustrator Butcher Billy (also known as Bily Mariano da Luz) is over the “pure escapism” of comic-book art. To fix that, he’s created an awesome/creepy series of mashups between classic comic villains and real-life shady figures. Some are more villainous than others — Hitler vs. Mark Zuckerberg, anyone? — but whatever your opinion of his subjects, it’s hard not to find Luz’s handiwork impressive. Each mashup is set against a description of the real-life figure and even comes with an accompanying GIF, available at Luz’s Behance site. They’re certainly effective: if you thought Bin Laden was scary before, take a look at him with green scales and goblin eyes. … Read More

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Classic Comic-Book Superheroes Reimagined as Pixar Characters

Marvel, DC, and Pixar are three of the most titanic forces in entertainment, each with its own set of iconic characters and distinct aesthetic — that is, until now. Phil Postma, who runs the geek blog Minion Factory, has transposed Marvel and DC’s cast of superheroes and supervillains into Pixar’s instantly recognizable animation style. The result is a bizarro world where Peter Parker looks like the guy from Ratatouille and Magneto could have come straight out of The Incredibles. Postma has done similar work with the casts of Star Wars and Star Trek, but the comic-Pixar mashup is his most seamless yet. Take a look at the makeovers, which we discovered via io9, below.

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‘Game of Thrones’ Style House Flags For Your Favorite Pop Culture Characters

Now that HBO’s Game of Thrones has earned worldwide popularity, the concept of house sigils and house sayings has wormed its way into just about everyone’s consciousness — so perhaps its natural that artists would start speculating as to the sigils of other pop culture standbys. To that end, Miguel Lokia, whose work we spotted over at The High Definite, has created a delightfully fun series of GOT-style house flags for some of your favorite superheroes, action stars, and exceedingly grumpy doctors — managing to give proper tribute and be a little bit irreverent all at the same time. Check out a few of our favorites after the jump, and then be sure to head here to see the whole series. … Read More

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Watch the First Superman Cartoon, from 1941

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman in 1932, and the character was hit as soon as he made his comic-book debut in 1938. It didn’t take long for the superhero’s adventures to expand into other media; a newspaper comic strip followed in 1939, while the next year brought The Adventures of Superman radio series. The Man of Steel made it to the big screen in 1941, in the first of 17 shorts that would screen through 1943. Open Culture alerts us that Warner Brothers has posted eight beautifully restored versions of these films for free viewing. Click through to watch the first short, titled simply “Superman” and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons, and visit WB’s YouTube page for the rest. … Read More

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Amusing Vintage Photographs of Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons

Happy Thanksgiving week, folks! Will you be watching the Macy’s parade on Thursday? If so, you might want to check out these fascinating old photos and remember a time when lip syncing pop stars were nil and creepy balloons were aplenty. The parade debuted in 1924 as the “Macy’s Christmas Parade,” featuring Macy’s employees in lively costumes and animals from the Central Park Zoo. In 1927, the very first balloon was thrown into the mix, and the rest is history. Did you know that they used to set the balloons free, and whoever found a deflated one could mail it back to Macy’s in exchange for a gift? Crazy stuff. Anyway, check out our selection of vintage Thanksgiving Day parade photographs after the jump, then hit the comments to name your favorites. … Read More

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10 Potential Blockbusters Killed by the Internet

Paramount’s upcoming film adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel World War Z was already smelling like a stinker — the $125 million production was originally slated for release this Christmas, only to be pushed back until next summer to accommodate an additional seven weeks of shooting and a third act rewrite by Damon Lindelof (because that’s what that guy’s best at, wrapping things up). That rewrite was eventually done not by Lindelof but by Cabin in the Woods co-writer/director Drew Goddard, and with the reshoots complete, the studio released its first trailer for the film last week. And the Internet went apeshit.

Responses on Twitter and film blogs were swift, damning, and nearly universal. The crux of them was that, simply, the film being advertised appeared to bear little to no resemblance whatsoever to the book it was ostensibly based on. “It’s not always wise to judge a movie by its trailer,” writes Film School Rejects’ Robert Fure, “but from our first look it seems Hollywood has screwed the pooch in the most Hollywood way imaginable.” The book’s multi-narrative structure and elements of social commentary are, it seems, gone; the film’s story of a single protagonist taking on an army of fast-moving zombies looks less like World War Z than I Am Legend.

We’ll have to wait until next June to find out if this controversial trailer reflects the entirety of the film — and if the already poison buzz surrounding World War Z will crash its box office chances. But what has become clear over the past two decades is that the explosion of online film culture can hurt a film’s build-up as much as it can help it; though movie geek sites, Twitter, and even Wikipedia can help amass an audience, they can also keep one away. After the jump, we’ll take a look at ten movies that the Internet may well have smothered in their sleep. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. The first teaser trailer for Iron Man 3 doesn’t give much away, but it looks as though director Shane Black is taking the franchise in more of a Dark Knight direction, don’t you think? [via Slashfilm]

2. In case you missed it, here’s a clip of the Wu-Tang Clan performing… Read More

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Photos of Film Stills vs. Their Real Life Locations

Cinephiles, we’ve found your answer to PopSpots. Spotted by Dangerous Minds, FILMography is an addictive new blog run by Christopher Moloney that features photographs of stills from famous movies juxtaposed with the exact locations where they were filmed today. We’ve gathered up a few of our favorite images — which run the gamut all the way from North by Northwest to The Dark Knight Rises — for you after the jump; check them out, and be sure to follow FILMography on Tumblr to keep up to date with this fantastic project! … Read More

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