Wabi-Sabi Cat Episode 1: The (Somewhat Zen) Piano Lesson


 

Who’d have thought bananas were really good for cats? As you can see above, a tiny slip has a great deal of appeal for our fine feline friend on a recent trip to the big city. Yes, I am full of (rather obvious) puns today. Before we get to the obvious moral here, it’s nice that Wabi-Sabi Cat wasn’t turned into a Keyboard Cat because (s)he’s much better as a reminder that life has its ups and downs and picking oneself up after a spill so we can forge ahead is the best way to live.

Oh, wait- I just gave the moral away before the end of this post. Oops. Anyway, you look as if you could use a little Wabi-Sabi in your life right about now. Go get some, I say…

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Get the Coffee Table Book Treatment

The Art of He-ManOkay, I’ll admit to not being much into He-Man and the Masters of the Universe way back when it was on TV and those beefy action figures and massive playsets were selling like hotcakes in stores. However, I was a big fan of Earl Norem‘s fantasy artwork as well as some of the cool animation Funimation had been doing since the late 60’s. As soon as I heard Dark Horse Comics was putting out a massive 300+ page regular and limited edition hardcover called The Art of He-Man And The Masters of the Universe, it went on my long list of books I needed to check out.

After getting a digital copy to peruse last week, color me impressed and a *kiiiind of* new convert to the old kid’s show. Granted, I’m not about to run out and buy up a box set and binge watch myself into a coma anytime soon. But thanks to the wonderful art and well-done interviews with many involved with the show, toys, comics and even that weird live action film, I respect the show a lot more on the art side of things. It’s still a big toy-selling chunk of nostalgia, but that sort of thing is why many now adults loved the show back in the day. I’m sure some of their parents had an eyebrow raised every time a new figure was requested and I don’t even want to think about holiday shopping for a hot new playset with a bunch of other parents eyeballing the same big box. Anyway, if one or more of those links floats your boat, go make a purchase. The regular edition is in stores on April 15 and the LE hits retail in May.

Me-Man Norem Art 

Oh, and someone needs to track down Earl Norem and send him a nice letter of thanks for all his gorgeous artwork, as his Wikipedia page is kind of depressing near the end. Personally, I think more people including younger illustration fans WOULD indeed be interested about the career of an 81-year-old artist. Hell, they’d better be, as his work was always consistently grand in just about anything he did.

Hikari Friday: Win Spider-Man or Astro Boy This Week From Funko!

HIkari Premium logo This week in Funko-land, you can win big if you’re the one of the lucky two chosen to get one each of these cool figures. Check out the Distressed Spider-Man Hikari Sofubi Figure below. At a whopping 8 inches tall, he’s nicely over-sized, folks:

Funko Distressed Spider-Man Hikari Sofubi FigureAnd below Spidey, here’s another Gemini Collectibles exclusive, the Infrared Astro Boy Hikari Sofubi Figure. Take a look, people:

Funko Hikari Premium Infrared Astro Boy Figure (Gemini Collectibles)

Each one is #1 of a limited 750 piece run, so if you do win, you’ll get giddy that you’ve got the first one off the line for not a dime. As usual, you can enter simply by heading to one of Funko’s social network spots:

Facebook!
Twitter
Instagram

follow the dirt simple instructions (usually a follow and post of some sort is required) and you’re all set. Of course, if you luck out and don’t score some swag for FREE, you can always pony up some of that hard earned dough of yours. That Distressed Spider-Man will be at your nearest Funko retailer in January, while the Infrared Astro Boy pops up on Gemini Collectibles’ site at the end of this month. Winners are usually announced on Thursdays, but as next Thursday is Christmas, I’m betting Funko will drop the news a day sooner or a day later. Hey, don’t try and pin me down for a better answer – you’re lucky you get an update on this site every so often with all I have going on! Anyway, good luck and definitely have a stupidly super weekend!

Hikari Friday: Transform Your Collection With These Transformers!

Hikari logo Okay, so you’re a bit lazy this week for whatever reason. You COULD go shop online or hoof it out to your nearest Funko retailer to pick up one or both of these new Hikari Sofubi Transformers figures, but nope. You want to take a BIG chance on just clicking around to WIN one. No worries, I’ve got you covered. Well, Funko actually has you covered… but only for ONE of these two limited edition collectibles. Enter now on one of Funko’s social channels:

http://www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
http://www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

and you just might win either this cool Metallic Optimus Prime Hikari Sofubi Figure (#1 of 2000):

Metallic Optimus Prime Hikari Sofubi Figure OR this Metallic Bumblebee Hikari Sofubi Figure (also #1 of 2000):

Metallic Bumblebee Hikari Sofubi Figure 

If you want those OG G1 paint schemes in the house, or at least the chance to win one of these beauties, you know what to do, correct? Go get lucky and add one of these to your collection!

Hikari Friday (On a Saturday, Oops!): Spidey 2 The Rescue!

HIkari Premium logo 

Okay, my email inbox was SO packed this week that I’d not even seen the note from Funko about this week’s Hikari Friday giveaway. OOPS. That said, this week’s potential freebie is a HUGE one you’ll always see if it lands on your doorstep. Say hello to the…

New Dimension Spider-Man Hikari Premium Sofubi Figure:

New Dimension Spider-Man Hikari Premium Sofubi Figure

You KNOW how to get a chance to win this one, right? Yup, boogie on over to one of Funko’s social media channels, enter and start making room on a shelf or in a cabinet somewhere.

http://www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
http://www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

 

If you don’t win, you can buy one of these limited to 1500 pieces collectibles this month at a Funko retailer near you.

Show & Tell: On Ray Harryhausen’s Fairy Tales

Red StareIn regards to every well-worn fairy tale, “It’s not the tale, but how it’s told” is the order of the day. Parents and other creative adults well-versed in story time voices and acting have this mantra branded on their brain cells and know how to make any yarn they spin keep kids at rapt attention. Still, for many of his longtime fans, Ray Harryhausen’s incredible stop-motion versions of Mother Goose stories and five classic fairy tales are some of the most memorable versions ever created.

Save for The Tortoise and the Hare (which was incomplete until its 2002 premiere), I can recall some of these films along with his earlier Mother Goose shorts being shown during assembly hall sessions or in the occasional class where a regular teacher was out sick and the substitute called in hadn’t time to whip up a proper lesson plan. While most of these 16mm shorts were part of my childhood, I’d imagine plenty of today’s little (and more tech savvy) whippersnappers haven’t a clue who Harryhausen was or what made (and still makes him) him great and such a huge inspiration of countless filmmakers and visual effects artists to this day.

Continue reading

Hikari Friday Time! Skeletor and Astro Boy Looking for Good Homes!

Hikari logoIt’s finally Friday and you know what what means, right? Yep, the Funko freebie parade continues! This week’s giveaway consists of two more limited edition Hikari Sofubi figures you KNOW you want to try to win. And if you don’t win them, guess what? You can still buy them at one of two locations. Yeah, usually, it’s one location (your favorite Funko emporium, usually a decent comic shop or some other retailer who has a Funko section), but one of these is another Entertainment Earth exclusive that can only be obtained via pre-order or hoping it’s still in stock when it drops into that online shop for sale.

Anyway, behold the Metallic Skeletor Hikari Sofubi Figure!

Metallic Skeletor
 
Isn’t he cute? Well, actually… he’s kind of cranky because metallic fur shorts kind of chafe him (ouch!). But he’s SKELETOR, dangit! He can handle a bit of chafing! Lucky winner gets #1 of 2000! Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is Metallic Mix Astro Boy Hikari Sofubi Figure (smile, kid – you’re up!):

Metal Mix Astro Boy
 
As noted above, he’s an Entertainment Earth exclusive limited to 1000 pieces. Well, 999 pieces because Funko is giving someone the first one off the line! Okay, you know the drill by now, right? Go to one of Funko’s social spots:

http://www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
http://www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

Follow the rules and you’re all set to (possibly) be one of two lucky winners! Now that’s you’re thrilled to death, go enter NOW and keep those fingers crossed. If you lose out this week, you can buy Skeletor this month at wherever you buy your other Funko stuff and Astro Boy is available to pre-order now at Entertainment Earth for its November release. As always, if you enter this giveaway, good luck!

The Tale of The Princcess Kaguya: Studio Ghibli’s Back With Some Classic Beauty…

The Princess Kaguya MP 
Currently, this one’s only part of a children’s film festival here in NYC, but I’m hoping it at least gets a limited release in regular theaters after that’s all said and done, as it’s quite lovely and yes, it’s Studio Ghibli doing some amazing animation work as usual. Check out the trailer below for some lovely visuals:

(Thanks, Movieclips Trailers!) 

This is one of those films that NEEDS to be seen even if you know the classic story by heart. Let’s hope this gets more notice and that wider theatrical release before it pops up on Blu-Ray/DVD and people somehow forget it exists because it’s not being promoted outside of a niche audience. Oh, wait. OOPS. It IS getting a US release on October 17, so I guess I can see this after all and not have to deal with squealing kids, shushing parents and overpriced tickets. No wait, the tickets will still be overpriced, but one out of three is just fine by me…

Mail’s In, I’m Out!

That's Entertainment Thanks to the mail deities delivering nearly everything at once yesterday evening because of a slight delay from a few states and faster than expected international shipping (hoo-ray!), I’m taking today off to tackle a couple of entertainment options. For the upcoming Fairy Tale Blogathon at Movies, Silently I had to import Ray Harryhausen The Early Years Collection from the UK, as it’s not available in a Region 1 format DVD (why?). I was deciding between writing that 2-disc set up when I came across the complete 2-disc set of Fractured Fairy Tales and snapped it up because it was dirt cheap and had free shipping. Of course, someone claimed that review, but I didn’t mind because I grew up watching The Bullwinkle Show reruns and those FFT segments were always hilarious.

For a crazed change of pace, I HAD to bug Clint over at MVD Visual about The Sex Pistols on TV, a DVD documentary of the band’s outrageous live interviews and other footage that I’ve wanted to see for some time. Yep, I have pretty varied musical tastes, folks. Finally, time to give the devil his due, as Diablo III Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition is in the house! While the PS4 is getting all the online ink, I’ve only seen two reviews of the PS3 version, so my review will let those of you curious about this who don’t yet own that new console know if it’s worth a buy. I did play a few hours last night and here’s a spoiler: It’s a buy for a ton of reasons. You get the original game with some BIG changes (as in your copy of plain DII is now obsolete to some extent) and the Reaper of Souls content that adds even more new stuff.

Hmmm… okay, enough procrastinating – I need to go dip myself into some diversions, people. Back in a bit…

Hikari Friday Time! Funko Foists FOUR Figures For Free!

Hikari logo 

Yes indeed, Funko wants to make FOUR lucky winners very happy this week, one each will nab the first one off the line of these cool Hikari Sofubi Vinyl figures. This week it’s more Transformers up for grabs. Check out the Distressed Optimus Prime Premium Hikari Sofubi Figure and Distressed Bumblebee Premium Hikari Sofubi Figure:

Distressed Optimus Prime Premium Hikari Sofubi Figure 

Distressed Bumblebee Premium Hikari Sofubi Figure 
Get your chance to win at one of Funko’s social network sites:

http://www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
http://www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

As usual, those first two figures will be available at your favorite Funko retailer in case you’re not a lucky winner. And yes, the reason those two robots in disguise are distressed is because they’re temporarily homeless and are getting a bit desperate to find a shelf or space to camp out on as they plot their revenge against the Decepticons who destroyed their planet!

On the other hand, the even MORE limited edition (and exclusive) Books-A-Million transformers, 24k Optimus Prime Hikari Sofubi Figure and 24k Bumblebee Hikari Sofubi Figure are only available online and are limited to 600 pieces each. Have a look at these shiny beauties:

Books-A-Million Exclusive 24k Optimus Prime Hikari Sofubi Figure 

Books-A-Million Exclusive 24k Bumblebee Hikari Sofubi Figure 

And before you even ask, NO, they’re NOT REAL 24K gold at all. I’d not even want to imagine the weight of one of these figures or if an actual gold Transformer figure existed, who’d have enough disposable cash to buy one. Then again, there ARE gold and silver encased PlayStation 4’s for sale in Dubai, so it’s not a total impossibility… Anyway, good luck!