Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Karada needs your help to bend some spoons

All is not well in the multiverse, and Emma’s going to need your help.

As previously reported, The Karada is a supernatural thriller about a young woman, Emma Gossett, who struggles to save the multiverse as realities collapse around her. Who can you trust and rely on when each shift of the multiverse changes everything? Who will be there for you tomorrow? Who will unexpectedly turn up today? And just how can one navigate all these conflicting and ever-shifting realities? To make sense of the ever-changing conditions, Emma and her partner David Blunt will reach out to the audience to help them solve the mysteries that unfold through time and space.

The audience is a critical part of creating this story, and this is where The Karada gets most interesting.

Producer Tom Liljeholm and friends
“Community contributions will be taken seriously and matter,” said Emmy-award-winning producer Tom Liljeholm. “For example, participants will be called upon to write in the details of Emma’s alternate realities, the basis of which will be produced into a digital comic series. Further, as our heroine in the dramatic series crosses paths with these alternative lives, participants will feel the true impact of their contributions on the storyline.”

Beyond just passive entertainment, The Karada will involve a complete interactive experience, including the web, mobile devices and even live events that fans can attend in person. Each component is integral to the total experience – one in which the participants will have a say in contributing to the story.

The international production team behind The Karada is quite at home with creating immersive experiences with strong storylines. Jim Martin, who is best known for his work on Heroes’ Web series in which he won two webby awards, met producer Tom Liljeholm while working on Tim Kring and Nokia’s Conspiracy for Good, the darling transmedia project of last summer. Rounding out The Karada creative team is director Jakob Berglund of Furnace Fighter Media, Ki Henriksson, who penned the original concept of The Karada, writer for The Truth about Marika and Conspiracy for Good ARGs, and Tom’s partner in Tea4two Entertainment, and Carrie Cutforth-Young, a writer and multimedia artist based in Toronto.

Keep your eyes on The Karada website for the latest, and be sure to follow the project on Facebook and Twitter.

Torchwood: More chemistry, less torture please...

How much more must Rex and his chest wound endure?
Let me begin this entry by saying again that I haven’t seen any of the old Torchwood series and very few episodes of Dr. Who, so I can’t compare Torchwood: Miracle Day with previous efforts. That said, the pilot hooked me and hooked me hard, being so far above the quality of most sci-fi shows on today and having a fantastic premise. Obviously both John Barrowman and the character of Capt. Jack Harkness are extremely charismatic, and being the main connecting thread  of Torchwood he deserves every minute of screen time he gets.

Last week’s episode was a fantastic showcase for Jack and his history, his endearing and loathsome traits coming through to show us that, despite his miraculous immortality, he’s still just a flawed man. “Immortal Sins” was extremely well written (by Russell T. Davies), and when I saw Jack begin to think about teaming up with his companion in more ways than one, I knew right then that I would watch an entire series of the very likable (and very hot) Jack and Angelo traveling through time and having adventures without the need for a Tardis and a sonic screwdriver. Apparently that would make a lot of other fans happy, too, judging from Facebook and Twitter.

“Immortal Sins,” however, was perhaps the best episode of the series so far, which is a shame. When characters do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do, or that are just plain dumb, just to advance the plot, it’s obvious. Every previous episode of Torchwood, unfortunately, has suffered from this syndrome, and it’s maddening to watch unfold. I find myself frequently yelling at the television, “Why would you do that?!?” My husband has gotten so frustrated by it that he no longer watches and leaves the room rather than upset me further by going Mystery Science Theater 3000 on it.

I’m going to watch the “Miracle Day” arc through to the end for a number of reasons, however, in part because of “Immortal Sins” which I felt redeemed the series as a whole. I’m now dying (no pun intended) to know what happens with Angelo and Jack... but that’s about it. I like Gwen Cooper, even if she does shockingly boneheaded things for a supposedly amazing secret ops agent, and seems like she’s had about five energy drinks all the time. Rex Matheson is also likable, but how many times is this guy going to be tied up, tortured and generally kicked around? The rest of the characters... eh. I really don’t care if I ever see any of them again.

Speaking of torture, enough’s enough, writers. I loathe modern horror like Saw and its ilk, and the graphic nature of the show needs to be turned down by about half. I understand the need for Jack’s slaughterhouse scene, but it was double what was needed. I also did not need to see a pen being inserted into a chest wound at an excruciatingly slow speed, or two peoples’ brains being blown out. If you’re doing it for shock value, stop it. It does nothing for the plot, the characters, or the show at large, and actually cheapens the dramatic value of these scenes by showing cheap gore rather than creativity. Thank goodness you chose not to show every excruciating minute of Vera’s death but instead suggested most of it (and feed the frighteningly skinny Arlene Tur a sandwich, for crying out loud).

While my overall review of Torchwood has slipped a lot since my glowing review of the pilot, I still have hope for redemption, and it’s still better than almost anything else on television right now. C'mon, Captain, show us what you've got.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Decision 2012... in comic book form?

It’s a comic book industry first! This November, DECISION 2012 debuts the comic book industry’s first straw poll — with biographical comic books for all the top candidates in the 2012 Presidential race. The decision is in your hands; it's up to you to see who wins. All print runs of each series will be announced this November and the candidate with the highest print wins.

If you want your candidate to win comic book's first straw poll, you need to call your local comic shop and pre-order your candidate's comic book before September 29th, 2011. To find your local comic shop just go to, or call 1-888-COMIC BOOK to find the shop near you.

The people of Iowa just had their straw poll and only Iowans could participate. Now with comic book's first straw poll, all of America can participate!

"The DECISION 2012 line of comic books has something for everyone," said BOOM! Studios Marketing and Sales Director Chip Mosher. "For those political junkies that love a good horse race, we have comic book's first straw poll. For those voters and our young soon-to-be-voters, we have some great non-partisan biographical comics on all the major candidates - announced and waiting to be announced - in the presidential 2012 race. And finally, for the comic book collector we have a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime collectible. The DECISION 2012 comic line and comic book's first straw poll is a great way to spotlight the upcoming 2012 election and get people excited about voting."

The DECISION 2012 line of comics and comic book's first straw poll isn't just a contest, but also a great way for voters and students to educate themselves on the candidates running in the 2012 Presidential election. This series of biographical comic books details the history and political lives of the candidates for the 2012 Presidential Election, giving non-partisan background on President Barack Obama and such presidential hopefuls as Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. The DECISION 2012 line of comic books are aimed at anyone of any age who enjoys reading and discussing U.S. politics.

More information on the straw poll and the DECISION 2012 line of comics can be found here:

Remember to make sure you pre-order your candidate’s comic from your local comic shop by September 29th, 2011. If your candidate's comic book does not get pre-ordered by at least 1,500 copies then it will not be printed.