Coloring Books for the Pop Culture Minded Adult

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It’s only been recently that I’ve started seeing more and more news stories about how ‘adults’ are rediscovering the wonderful hobby of coloring books and how this task is being called ‘the new meditation’ as it relaxes the mind, encourages the turning off of mobile devices and creates creativity.  I realized it’d been years (many many years) since I last even picked up a colored pencil and put it to paper so I delved a little more into what was being pushed towards the adult coloring book market.

Flowers, paisley prints and intertwining circles it seems is what adult color-in-ers’ are wanting.

NOT ME.

I began reminiscing of the days of my GI Joe, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Batman and even Dune coloring books getting a good work-out, so where were these types of books for people like me who wanted something to connect with to color in?  eBay has these ‘vintage’ coloring books but due to their age, they cost a pretty penny.  A search in local department stores proved mostly fruitless with most of the coloring books featuring Barbie fairytopia and pepper pig (I did find a pretty cool Avengers: Age of Ultron deluxe coloring book for $7) and local supermarkets have begun selling basic Marvel related coloring books featuring Thor, Iron Man and the Avengers for $2 a pop.

Extending the search even further, artists on Etsy and around the net are starting to cash in on the craze with some very cool and very unique subjects.

ILoveMel.com have released a bunch of coloring books based on pop culture and celebrities all featuring hand drawn illustrations by artist Mel Elliott.  Books featuring James Franco, Taylor Swift, Kate Moss and Jamie Dornan are all available for purchase and receive the color treatment.  The Thrill Murray coloring book has been around for a few years now and features Bill Murray in an array of well known characters from Lost in Translation and Ghostbusters.

TeamArt, over at Etsy, are selling some personal favorites that I’ve been stalking to buy with amazing ‘mini-books’ featuring Tina Fey, Lena Dunham, Paul Rudd, Game of Thrones and Ty Burrell all waiting to be colored in.

Getting back to that $7 Avengers book I picked up…it is true that once I picked up that red pencil to start coloring in Black Widows flowing hair, it was easy enough to disconnect, relax and loose time as I fleshed out her skin and gave her some really dark eye makeup.

The coloring-books-for-adults-craze has seen books priced upwards of $20 per book, while as I mentioned, the marvel ones I purchased ranged from $2 for basic Avengers/Guardians of the Galaxy books at the supermarket to $7 for a deluxe book at a department store.  One that I am keeping my eye out for releases August 1st and is called “Creative colouring for grown ups: the classic comic colouring book” which features fantastic images from vintage comic books of the 1950s ready to color in.

The flipside to buying coloring books is to google search your interest and go from there!  This is my next task!

Check out some of my work-in-progress below!

Have you found some awesome coloring books?  Share below in the comments.

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Hot Toys Adds Pepper Potts to it’s Iron Man Releases

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“I have to protect the one thing that I can’t live without. That’s you.” – Tony Stark

At last count, 1/6 scale toy company Hot Toys have released over 100+ variants of Marvel’s Iron Man (Probably exaggerated but enough Iron Man already!) and now, fans can add their very own 12″ Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts to their collection.

From the Hot Toys press release:

“In the Iron Man movie series, Pepper Potts has been a very important person in Tony Stark’s heart. As the love interest of Tony Stark, and assisting Tony in the defeat of Obadiah Stane and Aldrich Killian, Pepper has been there with the genius billionaire at the most crucial moments in the film series. Fans have been longing for a collectible figure of her and today Hot Toys is delighted to officially reveal the 1/6th scale Pepper Potts Collectible Figure from Iron Man 3!

The movie-accurate collectible figure is specially crafted based on the image of Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in the film featuring a newly developed head sculpt with long straight light reddish-blonde real fabric hair, finely tailored costume, an interchangeable Iron Man Mark IX right arm with LED light-up function, and figure stand!

Pepper Potts will be a great addition to your Iron Man and Tony Stark collection!”

An alternate version on this release includes a Pepper Potts and The Mark IX Iron Man which includes a Pepper Potts in Mark XLII helmet head sculpt which can be fitted to the suited body.  This solo release however includes the excellent addition of the Mark IX arm she sported in the closing moments of Iron Man 3 – totally my favorite part in the film btw!pepper-potts-with-suit-arm-and-new-powers-l

Check out all the promotional images below:

Ever since Pepper’s scene stealing moment in Iron Man 3 where she finds herself wearing part of the Iron Man armor and blasting evil Guy Pierce away, I’ve been hanging for a Pepper Potts/Rescue figure.  Hasbro teased us of a 6″ release back when IM3 was released but then balked on the figure and there’s been a slew of 1/6 scale knock-offs (they’re really really bad) and this release from Hot Toys finally quenches that thirst – even if these promo images have her stealing Homeland’s Carrie Mathison’s look…..

With numerous Iron Man/Captain America/Thor releases, Hot Toys are starting to make their mark with the female characters with 4 total Black Widow releases, Guardians of the Galaxy’s Gamora and more recently Avengers new-comer Scarlet Witch and Marvel’s Agent Maria Hill which was revealed at the 2015 Toy Fair and is currently available for pre-order.

No word yet on Pepper’s release but keep an eye out at http://www.sideshowtoy.com for the pre-orders like I will be doing!  This one’s a keeper for me!

Unauthorized Melrose Place Cast Photo Revealed

The actual cast of Spelling's Melrose Place
The actual cast of Spelling’s Melrose Place

Lifetime’s Unauthorized Melrose Place Story is currently in the thick of filming and now the networks version of the cast has finally been revealed in full with the release of a full cast image.

The revelation of the cast image also offers up some tid-bits of what to possibly expect to see covered in the tell-all story with the addition of Vanessa Williams/Aerobics instructor Rhonda Blair who was unceremoniously booted off the show by the end of Melrose’s first season to the cast.  Check out the image below.

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Lifetime’s version of the Melrose Place cast



So who’s playing who?

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From left to right: Chloe McClay as Josie Bissett (Jane), Ryan Bruce as Grant Show (Jake), Frank Bailey as Andrew Shue (Billy) and Ciara Hanna as Heather Locklear (Amanda).

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Joseph Coleman as Doug Savant (Matt), Brandon Barash as Thomas Calabro (Michael) and Ali Cobrin as Daphne Zuniga (Jo)

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Lanie McAuley as Amy Locane (Sandy), Chelsea Hobbs as Laura Leighton (Sydney), Rebecca Dalton as Courtney Thorne-Smith (Allison), Karissa Tyner as Vanessa A. Williams (Rhonda) and Teagan Vincze as Marcia Cross (Kimberly).

I’m thinking the casting for Laura Leighton (Chelsea Hobbs), Doug Savant (Joseph Coleman) and Vanessa Williams (Karissa Tyner) is pretty spot on! Check out some of the behind the scenes shots below via Chelsea Hobbs, Rebecca Dalton, Ciara Hanna and Ali Cobrin’s Instagram accounts…

The original cast are keeping somewhat quiet on the subject though Daphne Zuniga (Jo Reynolds) has reached out to her new alter-ego via twitter…

“The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story” airs on October 10, Lifetime.

What are your thoughts on the casting?  Sound off in the comments below.

First Look at Punk Storm in X-Men Apocalypse

X-Men Storm and Psylocke will be siding with Apocalypse.
X-Men Storm and Psylocke will be siding with Apocalypse.

As a massive fan of X-Men veteran Storm, I’ve been hanging to see just how X-Men Apocalypse director Bryan Singer would present our weather witch in this new film set in the 1980’s.  While numerous set photos featuring Jean Grey, Cyclops, Jubilee and Nightcrawler have spread across the net anything Storm related has been kept under wraps….until now.

During the panel for FOX’s upcoming blockbuster movies at this years SDCC, Singer, along with the entire cast of Apocalypse were on hand to show off some rough footage (no special effects) from the film.  The 5 minute clip revealed not only what Storm looks like (80’s mohawk and all) but also Olivia Munn as Psylocke and the revelation of the four characters that will play Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen.

Read a full rundown of the trailer here. 

Storm and Apocalypse from the leaked trailer
Storm and Apocalypse from the leaked trailer

While a full reveal of Deadpool’s trailer was leaked, it appears only a short 15 second snippet from the footage has made its way online before being pulled by Fox.

As mentioned, one of the biggest reveals was the announcement of the mutants joining Apocalypse.  Angel (played by Ben Foster) – who first showed up in X-Men: The Last Stand is one (we’re assuming as Archangel) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is another with first timer Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Storm (Alexandra Shipp) taking the last two places.

So we now have our first look at Storm and for the most part, the look is pretty spot on with the punk look she sported for a large portion of the 80’s.  I’m much happier with this than I have been for X-Men 3 and Days of Future Past (wtf was with those hair styles?!).

Are you surprised with Psylocke and Storm being announced as part of the Four Horsemen?  Sound off in the comments below!

Update July 13th:

The full trailer has now leaked online!  Check it out below before it’s gone! Nope it’s gone!

Update: July 17th

Entertainment Weekly gives us the first official look at the cast with some awesome images.  Check out Psylocke!  That look is on point!

Melrose Place is Getting the Unauthorized Lifetime Movie Treatment

Laura Leighton (Sydney Andrews) on set with controversial guest star Traci Lords
Laura Leighton (Sydney Andrews) on set with controversial guest star Traci Lords

First it was Saved by the Bell, then Beverly Hills 90210 and now, Lifetime have added another 90’s soap to it’s “Unauthorized behind the scenes” movies in the form of the all bitching, all back stabbing, all bed hopping and all blackmailing Melrose Place.

Originally created as an ‘authentic’ and ‘grounded’ look at 20-somethings in Los Angeles, Melrose Place quickly amped up the heat and star power and become one of the most watched prime time soaps on the 1990’s, created stars out of some of it’s (then) lesser known cast, created a spin-off (Models Inc), produced a re-boot (CW’s Melrose Place lasted one season in 2010) and included guest stars from Loni Anderson to Linda Grey to Chad Lowe and Kathy Ireland.

According to US Weekly, shortly after announcing the 90210 movie, Lifetime quickly jumped on board with The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story which will draw from true stories and anecdotes from interviews with the original cast and crew, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story will highlight the remarkable behind-the-scenes moments that shaped the series — from early casting drama and Heather Locklear arriving to ‘save’ Melrose Place to the actors begging its writers for even wilder story lines to make them fan favorites.

Did Josie Bissett (Jane Mancini) ask for Jane to get a backbone?

Or did Laura Leighton and Grant Show’s (Jake Hansen) real-life romance influence writers to hook up Jake and Sydney?

While most of the drama took place within the walls of 4616 Melrose Place (Sydney and Jane’s wedding dress cat fight – Kimberly blowing up the apartment building, Amanda having cancer, Kimberly stealing Jo’s baby…..) the show and it’s cast were often featured in and on the cover of tabloid magazines.  Andrew Shue (Billy Campbell) and Courteney Thorne-Smith (Alison Parker) dated, so did Laura Leighton and Grant Show (Leighton eventually married another former cast member Doug Savant – who played gay social worker Matt Fielding).  There was also the rocky marriage of permanent ‘special guest star’ Heather Locklear and her then-husband rocker Tommy Lee that dominated the headlines, porn star Traci Lords guest appearance and the mysterious case of Bold and The Beautiful star Hunter Tylo’s shock axing for falling pregnant before even filming one scene as Taylor McBride – a role that eventually went to Lisa Rinna (Tylo took Spelling TV to court and won).

The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story will focus on the original series run from 1992 to 1999 where cast members included Amy Locane (Sandy Harling), Daphne Zuniga (Jo Reynolds), Thomas Calabro (Michael Mancini), Patrick Muldoon (Richard Hart), Marcia Cross (Kimberly Shaw) and Kelly Rutherford (Megan Lewis) among many many other names.

No word on casting or just what exactly will be featured in this ‘tell-all’ or an air date.

Will you be tuning in?  What do you hope to see covered?

Dawn of Justice SDCC Exclusives Reveal Wonder Woman Figure

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Warner Brothers have just revealed the first of their big guns they plan on bringing to this years San Diego Comic Con in the form of merchandise for the up-coming Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice movie.  First there was the Lego Batmobile, then a diecast Hot wheels Batmobile with rubber tyres and now, we’re being treated to some pretty awesome looking figures.

Superman Vs Batman 2 Pack
Superman Vs Batman 2 Pack
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Wonder Woman in 12″ form.

A 6″ Superman and Batman double pack that feature both figures with likeness of Henry Cavil (Superman) and Batman (Ben Afleck), fabric capes and matching bases that when joined, form the movies logo will be available to SDCC goers with a retail price of $30 plus a Wonder Woman Barbie that sadly won’t be available for purchase (but will be on show) until next year with the movie’s release.  The Wonder Woman doll features a brand new face sculpt, rooted hair, jointed body and outfit that resembles the one that will be featured in the upcoming Dawn of Justice movie.

San Diego Comic Con runs from July 8 through 12.

Check out the First 8 Minutes of MTV’s Scream Series

Bella Thorn finds herself in hot water in MTV's Scream
Bella Thorn finds herself in hot water in MTV’s Scream

Shortly before it’s premiere in America last night, MTV released a sneak peek at the first 8 minutes of it’s new slasher series Scream, a re-boot of the Wes Craven/Kevin Williamson movie series from the 90’s.

Taking cue from the original Scream (right down to ‘mom’ being on the phone at the end), this short clip see’s Nina (Bella Thorne) playing a deadly game with an unknown assailant but with smart phones, (super fast) texting and instant video taking place of the bulky portable phone Drew Barrymore’s Casey worked with in the original movie.

Check out the first 8 minutes below which includes a glimpse of an updated Ghostface mask:

This new series is focusing heavily on social media and the impact online bullying can have as shown in the opening scene with the online humiliation of Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) who’s secret pash with another woman is filmed and immediately shared across numerous social media platforms thanks to Nina and her techie friend Tyler (Anthony Rogers)  

Speaking with Business Insider, EP Tony DiSanto said “You don’t have to have seen the films to jump right into this. It’s almost like the Christopher Nolan sort of reboot of ‘Scream.'” and When asked if familiar faces from the movie franchise would be making an appearance he says “I don’t want to give too much away but I think it’s safe to say that you’ll see some surprises along the way.”

There is no current news about Scream’s Australian premiere or a network that has picked the series up.