Marvel Free Focus for this week (March 19, 2012)

Marvel has been pushing to drive up digital sales for a while now with 99 cent blowouts and more they’re also stepping up their game with Free Focus, a way to help raise additional awareness to the digital catalog but also to series and sagas that might pass under the radar for fans.

This week fans get a dose of 9 books to read up on

As one might guess the current releases this week cover some of the Fear Itself saga within the universe. For more exposure to the Marvel digital market check it out here.

Atari brings the #pongdevchallenge to your door

Atari is coming up on the 40th anniversary of Pong, as a celebration they’re inviting fans, developers and more to create the ultimate pitch to rebirth Pong in present day. The prizes are pretty rich, offering up to $100,000 and revenue sharing options with PR and marketing support.

The details:

  1. Come up with a cool new idea for a Pong game!
  2. Fill out the entry form by clicking the ENTER NOW button and include at the very least a design document for your game idea! If you have a playable, you can also submit a link to the build.
  3. A group of semi-finalists will be selected and asked to create a short playable/demo and promotional video for review. Submission instructions will be provided.
  4. Upon selection, finalists will be required to complete development on their games and deliver submission candidates for review.
  5. Atari SA, a panel of industry judges, and the Atari community will vote for the top 3 winners and, in addition to having their game released, will be awarded prize money based on their position.
  6. Grand Prize Winner will be selected and announced by August 2, 2012.
  7. As an added bonus, the finalist’s game that is chosen by the Atari community will be picked as the Atari Community Choice.  More details to follow on the Atari Facebook page or the Atari Twitter feed #PongDevChallenge

There’s no doubt the fight will be a tough one, with Atari, Mike Schramm, Nolan Bushnell and Dave Castelnuovo as judges anything could happen as you mix formal corporate with an indie with a man who made the game itself. Remember to enter in by April 15 or you’ll see your dreams and rewards passed up.

Link: Atari Developer Challenge

WonderCon 2012: Once Upon A Time Panel with Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis

At Sunday’s WonderCon panel Once Upon A Time fans were in for a real treat, a screening of the newest episode, “Heart Of Darkness”, and a Q&A with show creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis. The episode was very Snow and Charming centered, getting very large reactions from the crowd. The episode was all about love, both having and lacking it and the repercussions of both scenarios.

After the screening Horowitz and Kitsis came on stage and took questions from the audience, being very open and revealing in their answers. They talked about their wish list for show characters, an eclectic list including Peter Pan, Ariel, Rapunzel and Mulan. They did say to not expect to see Winnie The Pooh or Pluto but they don’t want to close any doors and cheekily said that those characters “may show up in season 9.” When asked about the Lost Easter eggs (both Horowitz and Kitsis worked on the epic Lost) they pointed out the many they have already hidden, a clock set to 8:15, Geronimo Jackson shout-outs, Regina’s 108 address, an Apollo bar and they revealed a hint to a future surprise cryptically stating “look up in the air.” They also revealed that they would love to work with all of the Lost actors again but specifically mentioned Jorge Garcia.

Near the end of the panel Horowitz and Kitsis made some big reveals, The Huntsman (Jamie Dornan) will be back in the finale (which they were flying to Canada to film immediately after the panel ended), by the end of the season everything we want to know about August and “two things we don’t” will be revealed, Barbara Hershey will be appearing as the Queen’s mother and finally. who Dr. Whale’s fairytale land counterpart is (this won’t be revealed in this season but when they finally do, it will be met with an “aha”).

Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC

Checked Out web series debut – Zelda Williams Project

It’s a wonderful time to be on the web, today a new series breaks through called Checked Out. The project currently consists of the following team.

  • Zelda Williams (daughter of Robin Williams)
  • Vicki Lewis (News Radio, How I Met Your Mother)
  • Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie)
  • David Greenman (Bones, Gilmore Girls, Weeds)

Episode 1 centers around Marissa and Jameson in the break room catching up on the latest drama in the store, Marissa’s hate for hunting down carts spammed around the parking lot and Jameson having a natural talent to avoid labor during shifts at all possible costs. As a debut episode it’s surprisingly well delivered with such a short running span of just 4:24, as a bait it gets personal enough to pull you right up as the credits kick in. Hopefully the momentum keeps up as it takes me back to a Clerks kind of vibe, likely inspired by the use of a market but it’s still enough to get a return visit.

Hopefully there’s a bit more exploration of Trader Jack’s and some highlight customers that we get to see, as a starter it’s hard to dump in a ton of active cast on something like this but expanding the world would help keep it out of just being pure break room gossip.

Catch episode 1 directly at DailyMotion or check it out in the embedded video below.

WonderCon 2012 – Fringe Panel Coverage

Fringe also made an appearance at WonderCon, after using a special video intro of Walter being amazing in famous quotes they jumped into the panel. It was a concentrated panel on everything the show has going on, from alternate realities and variations of characters to wish lists and thoughts on the future.

The next 7 episodes are ahead of us and the Fringe team has no intent on slowing down as the season wraps up. The first huge punch came from news that Jones is coming back, the right story was the critical component to make this happen otherwise it would have felt forced or out-of-place. No news came about Jones clashing with Walter, it seems that we’ll have to wait and see how things play out before anything more spurs up. The idea was passed on that you’re never actually dead in Fringe just “away” until something comes around to change that.

Peter and Olivia were next, while nothing was mentioned about why Peter didn’t remember they did specify that Olivia had an abusive environment growing up and much of all that has been repressed. Speaking on Olivia there was the crowd concern that Olivia would not return to normal or would get worse, unfortunately the only note was the crew hopes she’ll make it which was a bit worrying. Finally character expansion wrapped up with the note of the Lincolns getting their own back story explained in the coming episodes which should help fans a bit as well on the universe of Fringe given their presence in seasons 3 and 4.

The team reflected on actors and dream matches, Charlie popped up in the mix, this season he was part of another show actually but there are no current plans to integrate him into the story at this point. William Bell was the other topic but unfortunately Leonard Nimoy is now in retirement, they’d love to integrate him back in the story in a heartbeat but their efforts so far haven’t been met with any word from his camp.

Renewal came up quickly into the mix as well, unfortunately they have no word but they’ve been holding tight and pushing forward. The goal of Fringe is and always has been to make the best show for the fans and provide an interesting journey along the way while not focusing on if they will or will not be on the air. Season 4 will bring some closure to current stories but they’ll also open the window to new possibilities.

Fringe is back this week, the biggest push anyone can make to help sway Fox is to continue tuning in or turning friends or family to check out as well. Getting the numbers up and the word out has always helped the show in the past. With so much in the balance right now it would be a shame to see this story fail to see the proper closure it deserves.

WonderCon 2012 – Alcatraz Panel

WonderCon panels on Sunday were heavy hitters, Alcatraz was one of those mentioned shows, the team came out in full force to help talk about the show, their lives on set and where we can expect it to go this season and possibly beyond.

Quickly the mythology on Alcatraz came into play, where do we go from here, how do you cope with it. Jorge spoke quickly on how he works with shows of this nature, simple go with the flow and aim of the story and roll with it as it was something he learned quickly from Lost. Sarah Jones was next, mentioning her past in other genres made her feel like the least likely candidate for a J.J. Abrams show, she loves the atmosphere and falling into the pace.

We got some teasers though, Dr. Lucy Banerjee will get a large role in these last 3 episodes although under a lot of tubes still, also a bit of background will come into play talking about her greater past leading into the finale.  We’ll also learn who rests behind the Wardens door before the season is out, also speaking about him, we get a key mention that in episode 12 we’ll see a critical wink to take note of during a discussion. Finally we’ll see a huge event take over San Francisco… a recreation of the Bullitt chase through the streets as the hunt is on for Tommy with full speed.

Questions did rise though about the 63’s and they were addressed, we will start to see them returning to the story again and even though their healing ability is incredible, we’ll also see them resume regular aging and functions once again. The writers noted we’ll essentially see the most amazing elderly people ever. More spilled on Tommy and the blood and learn the origins of it, the meaning and of course “who” the source is, although the writers quickly backtracked about the use of who. The final note mentioned the problem of the 63 is the longer they’re back the harder it will be to find and stop all of them once again so timing is crucial to their clock. Also even if the 63 die in the present day we have decades between to touch upon before they’re really gone.

The panel covered a lot of personal feelings to the show while sprinkling details in about the show, we only had a few other key items like the downstairs getting greater attention and the door opening in the finale. Also, we’re told the finale will be a huge cliffhanger that answers many questions but also leaves the story going for the future. We can only hope Fox takes note of this part given the rumors about the show being a toss-up for renewal right now. Maybe then we’ll find how the team fast travels to Alcatraz in a moments notice and see if the writer and cast speculations on the rumors of the dolphins and jet ski’s  are true.