Monday, 13 March 2017

An exciting StacksTV link up & competition with 5D


Every now and again something comes along to add that extra layer of excitement to this here blogger's nerdy existence. This week was such an example because 5D is thrilled to announce a link up with Stacks Entertainment Inc.

StacksTV.xyz is the foremost Worldwide indie-network with movies and shows from around the world! They stream true original movies & series from around the world, from any device! - which is nice.

After much negotiating, pleading, begging, sulking and tears (from me) we here at 5D will be periodically collaborating with the good people at StacksTV. This relationship will take the form a few occasional musings from yours truly on some of the easy movie offerings to be found on the site - thankfully there are more than enough enticing Sci-fi and horror offerings to catch my attention for some while.

In addition to StacksTV have also agreed to collaborate in the latest 5D competition (with possibly more to come)

StacksTV.xyz have generously offered up three, yes THREE separate giveaway packages as a 5D competition prize. For the chance to win one of these excellent packages simply go to the 5D website at www.5d-blog.com, scroll down to the competition section and submit an entry - make sure you include your email address and preference for choice 1, 2 or 3.







Giveaway Package (1) 


→ A Dozen Summers (kids movie) on DVD 

→ 2 Plush Squirrels from Squirrels the Show on StacksTV 

→ Magnet for StacksTV

→ Discount Card with Code for 15% off all films on StacksTV















Giveaway Package (2) 

→ Bad Blood & Interrogation Room 109 2 DVD Pack 

→ StacksTV bottle opener 

→ Magnet for StacksTV

→ Discount Card with Code for 15% off all films on StacksTV
















Giveaway Package (3) 

→ Doggy Daycare DVD 

→ Plush Magnetic Elephant from Stacks' Upcoming film Karn 

→ Magnet for StacksTV

→ Discount Card with Code for 15% off all films on StacksTV










The closing date for entries is March 25th 2017 - so the very best of luck!


You can find the website for StacksTV.xyz RIGHT HERE

Their Facebook page can be found RIGHT HERE. 













This article can also be found via the 5D website www.5d-blog.com. There you can find a veritable feast of blog articles, news items, pictures and and other mouth-watering salutations to the gods of the geeks and the nerds. We have now inherited the earth, you know.

There is also a newly launched forum on the website designed for ANYONE involved or interested in the Independent film industry related to genres of Sci-Fi, fantasy and horror. Feel free to register and contribute - Everyone is welcome!


In addition the 5D website now has PayPal Donate button. Any donations kindly made will be fed directly back to help with a podcast materials, competition prizes and other general costs etc. If you wish to contribute to the exciting growth of the website & blog then we here at 5D headquarters would be eternally grateful. If you would like your contribution to be acknowledged publicly then simply send a message via the website’s contact section and we’ll send you some love!

If all that was enough to entice to 5D land, should any of you fine people out there wish to advertise on the 5D website then have a look at the offer below.








Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Indiegogo campaign for Cosplay - The Show.

It has to be said that I love Cosplay, I genuinely do. Though I have to admit that in all my years as a fully paid up member of the Sci-fi nerds and geeks fraternity I've never been a practitioner of this amazing phenomenon, however I do like to look. Now while that last sentence in truth sounds far more sinister and creepy that actually intended, let me explain.

Cosplay has in recent years quite radically morphed away from it's Japanese origins where devotees of Manga and anime clothed themselves in the elaborate styles of their favourite characters. It now finds itself in a place where nearly all aspects of pop-culture has it's own Cosplay obsessive. I must admit that I'm completely in awe of the time, skill and seemingly obsessive attention to detail that people will go to to portray, and at times seemingly to completely inhabit, their particular  character. 

By now I would regard myself as something of a veteran of all sorts of exhibitions and Cons. As a consequence I would readily admit to spending as much time taking in the breath-taking costumes of professionals and amateurs alike as I do with the vendors and the plethora of tasty nerdy morsels they are trying (and more often than not, succeeding) to make by buy. On so many levels, the world of Cosplay is quite simply wonderful.

However, I've never once ever had the inclination to tip my own Cosplaying toe into the nerdy pool of this world - the simple fact is that I don't have the skill or patience. Though there would be some that argue that my particular Cosplay character of choice at the conventions I've attended, in my role of 5D impresario, actually takes the form of 'clueless press pass guy'. You'll easily recognise me in my uncanny authentic attire of jeans , Frankenstein monster t-shirt and usually sporting a rather fine camera that I can rarely understand to actually get it to work  - especially when I manage to corner some unsuspecting convention guest with my traditional question line of 'I'm such a HUGE fan of your work....so tell me just how fabulous you are!!!).


I suppose that the closest I've ever come to dressing upon was when attending a fancy dress event in our local village - I went sporting my Captain Kirk top, complete with sixties style boots, pants and a genuine fake plastic phaser. Unbeknown to me I had also been entered in the 'best of' competition for which I didn't come even close to winning Even to this day the two winners, a woman dressed as Donald Duck and the guy who went as Johnny Cash were completely overrated. He didn't even have a bloody guitar - I had a phaser for crying out loud!! Not that I'm still bitter or anything.

So when earlier this week news came the way of 5D headquarters that a fascinating take on the whole Cosplay culture was being planned over in the States in Las Vegas, well it's safe to say that it peaked my attention. It goes by the name of Cosplay - The Show.

So what is this Cosplay - The Show, I hear you ask - well let me enlighten you a little with some words from the people behind it all......


"Cosplay - The Show is in development as a Cosplay/Vegas crossover Live Action Stage Show that's fun, sexy and geeky.... is a 70 minute fun roller coaster of vignettes featuring custom made costumes from your favorite fictional characters from television, movies, books, comics and video games.  Don't Panic! While Cosplay - The Show is created by fans you won't need to be a total geek to enjoy this show. But, there will be some insider jokes and fun crossovers that true fans will enjoy.  It's a Las Vegas show so there's a sexy feel to the show; and it's geared for a PG-13 audience."

The worldwide phenomenon known as "cosplay" is a Japanese portmanteau of the English terms costume and play. With millions of people both participating and interested in the subculture and the varied themes such as superheroes, cartoon characters, video game characters; Cosplay The Show embraces cosplay with a Las Vegas flare.

The 70 minute production is set to perform in a major showroom on the Las Vegas strip featuring some of Las Vegas' most talented performers and a dizzying number of custom costumes and sets and props designed specifically for this production.

Two potential venues have been selected for this production which cannot be announced at this time; however both are located on the Las Vegas strip in highly recognized properties and will have the support of these properties."

Take a looksee just a sample of some of the many Cosplay costumes the team have been designing; there's a lot more to the show itself from set pieces, choreography, script and music -- but it's true to it's essence and foundation that it's all about the Cosplay. 

If you're a Cosplayer who wants to be a part of Cosplay - The Show in Las Vegas (or you know someone we should be casting or booking for special appearances) Tweet and follow them on Twitter @CosplayTheShow; message them on Facebook your Cosplay photos are welcome.


The Indiegogo campaign


Developing a live stage production in Las Vegas comes with its fair share of costs; especially when developing a show that will be scrutinised by some of the most detail oriented fans on the planet.  The purpose  of this campaign is to raise capital for advertising, marketing, production, venue, staff, cast as well as costumes, props and sets.  The goal is to insure that the team have an appropriate budget for 6+ months should ticket sales fail to match projections.

As with any crowdfunding campaign worth its salt, the success in reaching the funding target rests partly on the source material and secondly the rewards on offer for parting with ones hard earned money. Well the first part seems on solid ground, the rewards are also a more than a little bit on the tantalising side. 

For example at the 'lower end' of the pledges there are is the perk perk includes 10, randomly selected, First Edition, Trading Cards of the unique illustrations of the costume concept designs from Cosplay - The Show. These Limited Edition Trading Cards are individually numbered with 35 in the total set; only 2500 will be printed. Plus, Receive an online 50% discount voucher code for General Admission or VIP Base priced ticket.


Erm, cough!.......Mr Housley.........cough!.........I would love those trading cards!............cough..........


The perks get better and better until you reach the daddy of them all - the ultimate Fan Kit includes a Complete set of 35 Limited First Edition Trading Cards (matching numbered under 75), a Complete set of 35 First Edition Postcards (matching numbered under 75), 6 Limited Edition VIP Lanyards for lifetime access and line pass to post-show cast meet & greet, and a Canvas Tote Bag to carry all your collectables. Plus, 12 VIP Admission tickets.

"Contributions to this campaign will be specifically used to increase production value of costumes, set pieces and props of the show as it is built and to develop a strong marketing campaign through Advertising and Social Media.  Cosplay - The Show will also participate in the growth of the community with special guest appearances from the actual actors who played in favorite television programs and movies, Cosplay Celebrities, as well as participation in conventions, events and charities."

So, if you want to see a potentially great production and want to contribute to the creation of it, then do that crowdfunding pledging thing that you do!



About the Creator / Producer


Pete Housley, creator and producer of Cosplay - The Show, owes much of his love and interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy to his brother Chris Golash who was an avid J.R.R. Tolkien reader and introduced him to Star Trek, Space 1999, Doctor Who and writers like C.S. Lewis, Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison.  In 1984, the brothers  attended their first ever Fan Convention together at Dixie Trek just outside Atlanta, GA which became an annual tradition into their adulthood. It was while attending the 2001 Creation Events Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas that Pete first learned of his brother Chris' untimely death.

"My love of Science Fiction continues today", said Pete Housley. "I think I'm most passionate about Doctor Who, both the Classic episodes with Peter Davidson and Tom Baker; as well as the more current David Tenant and Matt Smith years.  But Star Trek is a pretty powerful influence too -- Sisko and Janeway are two of my favorite characters."

Housley, 48, lives in Las Vegas with his loving partner and mother to their 3 young children; plus their dog (Toshiko) and cats (Captain Jack and Aladdin).

"Movies, television, and books have always offered me both an escape and hope for the future", continued Pete. "It started as me wanting a connection with my brother when I was little and has turned into a passion that I hope my children will embrace. The concept of Cosplay - The Show comes from these years of love of the genre and the people I've met along the way."




You can find the Indiegogo page for Cosplay - The Show RIGHT HERE

The website for Cosplay - The Show can be found RIGHT HERE










This article can also be found via the 5D website www.5d-blog.com. There you can find a veritable feast of blog articles, news items, pictures and and other mouth-watering salutations to the gods of the geeks and the nerds. We have now inherited the earth, you know.

There is also a newly launched forum on the website designed for ANYONE involved or interested in the Independent film industry related to genres of Sci-Fi, fantasy and horror. Feel free to register and contribute - Everyone is welcome!


In addition the 5D website now has PayPal Donate button. Any donations kindly made will be fed directly back to help with a podcast materials, competition prizes and other general costs etc. If you wish to contribute to the exciting growth of the website & blog then we here at 5D headquarters would be eternally grateful. If you would like your contribution to be acknowledged publicly then simply send a message via the website’s contact section and we’ll send you some love!

If all that was enough to entice to 5D land, should any of you fine people out there wish to advertise on the 5D website then have a look at the offer below.






Sunday, 26 February 2017

Happy Birthday 2000AD - 40 years old!

The vast majority of this article first appeared back in the distant days of early 2013 - ah we were so innocent and naive! Scottish independence was still a possibility, the idea of leaving the EU was a mad mans dream and talking about mad men, the notion of some thick as two short planks reality TV host becoming the US president was only in some post apocalyptic writers imagination. Good times.

I decided that in order to celebrate the 40th birthday of the worlds greatest ever comic I would like to join the throng (never wanting to be left out of anything) and do my little bit. It seemed fitting to re-publish my own little love letter to 2000AD as my little birthday celebration- besides which it also meant that it would save me a whole heap of work working on something new. The piece is pretty much as it was in its 2013 form, save my a few spelling & grammar corrections (what a surprise, I hear you say) and a tiny bit of reformatting.

So here you are 2000AD - Happy 40th Birthday!!!!'


The very first copy - It used up every penny I had!
I openly admit it - my obsession with Science fiction has few, if any boundaries. I don't regard myself as an sci-fi aficionado or snob……. and certainly not an expert. I love H.G Wells, Jules Verne, Star Trek, Star Wars, Solaris and Spaceballs all with equal abandon. I'm often asked what began my obsession with this genre (well actually, I'm never asked that question…… but let's just say for arguments sake that I am), my reply is rather simple. So once more we take a walk down one of the lanes of my memory, just take my hand and all will be made clear.

It began when I was 10 years old. 

One afternoon I was walking home from school with Ian, who happened to be my best mate at the time. The trip normally would take about 30 minutes to get home, it should have only been only 10, but you know how young boys are. About three quarters of the way home he started talking about a new comic that had come out just that week. "It's not like the usual ones we get, it's not like ANYTHING else" …. I distinctly remember the emphasis he put on the word 'anything'. 

Now, my dearest 5D blog reader, you need to be aware of the comic landscape back in the later 1970's. It was incredibly competitive - weekly sales were through the roof of many well established titles and the average shelf life of new comics was usually, at best, just a few short years. Many kids had their specific favourites and we were no different - I had yet to fully embrace the wonders of Marvel comics and so at the particular time we were obsessed with the war comic 'Battle'. Also being a bit of a football and cricket freak, i was also a huge fan of the sports comic Shoot!.  So, as for many comic buyers, it was going need something special to take me away those particular affections - I was very set in my ways you know.

Now this is where the makers of 2000AD were either very fortunate, or very clever. By 1977 the genre of Science fiction was moving away from the niche market that it had always inhabited to becoming mainstream - and we're talking big time mainstream of monstrous proportions! The success of a certain Star Wars movie, together with Close Encounters of the 3rd kind et al meant that a huge Science Fiction Tsunami seemed to be taking over popular culture at the time…..and I mean it was everywhere! You couldn't turn on a television without seeing a light sabre, droid or an alien of any type. The timing was perfect. 2000AD was a comic that tapped into this cultural explosion and not only that, it was edgy, it took chances, it was intense and in parts it was shocking at times. So much so that some of those early stories would would be problematic these days in terms of acceptability.

The artwork and story lines had an immediate sophistication that put it's competitors immediately in the shade. Indeed few, if any, of the competing titles at the time which were also trying to ride the science fiction Tsunami lasted very long and soon fell by the wayside. My friend Ian was quite right (as he usually was in most things), 2000AD wasn't like anything else. The very next day after school finished I used up the only pennies that I had and bought that very first copy.


The first copy, and the immediate ones that followed each week, were intensely seductive in their mixture of futuristic offerings which at times pulled no punches when it came to mixing in a little horror and gore. It was to this, and many other pre-adolescent boys, the punk rock of comics - it tested the boundaries of taste and daring and simply went places where the mainstream comics dared not tread. I distinctly remember my dad one day picking up one of the early editions and exclaiming that the blood and guts in one of the story lines was far too much for a boy of my age - I sulked for a week until he finally relented. For the next few years the characters and stories were my constant weekly companions - my already existing interest in science fiction now became an obsession.

The comic has now passed into its 35th year of production and going on nearly 2000 editions, a testament to its enduring and endearing quality. A quality that has been brought to us from what reads like a who's who of literary and graphic British talent, many of whom have crossed over into Graphic novel, literary novels, television, cinema and the wider American comic market. Peter Milligan (Tank Girl),  Grant Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum), Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Dave Gibbons, Mark Millar, Garth Ennis, Brian Talbot, Brian Bolland and Alan Moore have all become synonymous in many other areas. Indeed, many others that initially cut their teeth on 2000AD went on to succeed in America, with huge influences in the Marvel and DC universes. 

So here is a brief recollection of some of the characters and features from MY particular era of Britain's finest contribution to Science fiction.


Judge Dredd

The very first appearance of ole' Happy Joe 
Without doubt the single most iconic creation to come out of the comic, having crossed over into the wider social consciousness in everything from pop art to feature films . By the way, one of the movie adaptations is terrible, the other, much much better…….sit down Mr Stallone, you know which one I'm referring to as a waste of celluloid. 

Dredd didn't actually appear until the 2nd edition of 2000AD, though he has appeared in every single edition since then. His character was Inspired by the cop ' Dirty Harry' played by Clint Eastwood, a tough, unrelenting policeman who was more than prepared to kill the bad guy first than waste time going through the annoying bureaucracy of the justice system. Judge Dredd is entrusted with the ability not only to enforce the law, but also to instantly select the appropriate level of extreme justice on the spot – often this means execution. Initially set in 2099, he fights his crime in Mega-City One, a huge dystopian monstrosity of a city which stretches down the entirety of the U.S. eastern seaboard. 

I must admit here and now that this character was never my absolute favourite of the comic. I'm not sure why, possibly his character me me all too often fell into the realms of caricature. However, the huge sprawling epic storminess such as The Cursed earth and The Robot wars took the reader into story arcs of complex and thought provoking beauty.


Flesh


Flesh was an intriguing premise for a story, and one which I remember being hugely enjoyable for its quota of horror and gore levels of art. The plot essentially provided an entertaining explanation as to how the dinosaurs actually became extinct - there's no life destroying meteor here. Instead, in the future meat has run out. However, time-travel is now possible and so the prehistoric monsters find themselves being herded and farmed for their meat by cowboys from the future.

The first story-arc ran for the first 19 issues of the comic and also appeared in the 1977 annual, which I remember proudly receiving as a Christmas present that year. 

Of course, this being 2000AD, things didn't run smoothly for the time-travelling dinosaur meat farmers - with many of the cowboys being devoured in the most delicious of gory ways. 

Perhaps the most memorable of the characters from this story was one of the dinosaurs,  the half blind Tyrannosaurus Rex, Old One Eye. Basically, he's had enough of these pesky humans farming off his mates and starts fighting back, which essentially means eating them.  The humans main protector comes in the form of Earl Reagan, a Marshall who is charged to protect the humans and fight back the dinosaurs. Lovely Gory stuff.



Tharg's Future Shocks

“Out in the vast reaches of the universe, there are an infinite number of stories waiting to be told. From the lowliest denizens of backwater galaxies to rulers of entire star systems, anything is possible in these twisted tales. Abandon your preconceptions, expect the unexpected and take a trip beyond the edges of imagination…"

Tharg the Mighty, alien editor of 2000 AD 


The future shocks were couched firmly in the tradition of classic series such as The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits - weekly singular self contained short stories taking two or three pages of the comic, often accompanied by a nifty little twist in the tail ending. The series of stories didn't actually begin until prog 25, starting with a story by Steve Moore and would prove to be an introduction for a plethora of new writers and artists such as artists and writers and creators such as Alan Davies and Grant Morrison.  

Similarly to Judge Dredd, the future shocks have taken a life of their own outside the confines of 2000AD, with a range of separate graphic novels and collections of the stories being published. Two collections of Alan Moore's Future Shocks (Alan Moore's Shocking Futures) and Time Twisters (Alan Moore's Twisted Times) have been recent and much welcomed additions to my own collection.

The Shocks are a fantastic assortment of darkly funny, sometimes unsettling and often demented twisted tales of sic-fi horror set in times and worlds where nothing is ever at it appears to be. Always one of the favourites parts for me of each prog.





Other notable inclusions of the early progs were ; 


Invasion, where Britain in 1999 are invaded by the nasty Volgans ( thinly veiled Russians) and a terrific tale of residence against the occupiers takes place

The Harlem Heroes - they play the futuristic sport of Aeroball which is now the most popular sport on the planet.

M.A.C.H 1 - John probe is a British secret agent who volunteered to undertake a ground breaking experiment which enhances his physical strength, speed and agility using the super duper secret procedure of 'compu-puncture'. Any similarity in looks and abilities to The Six Million Dollar Man are purely, er, coincidental.

Dan Dare - vaunted at the time as 200AD''s flagship character, the old comic strip hero from The Eagle is once again fighting the good fight against the dastardly Mekon.


On a slightly depressing note to finish….. 

When the comics first came out I did what most boys did. I bought them, read them and then threw them away. Thoughts of keeping them for posterity, looking after them and maybe even selling them never entered my mind at 10 and 11 years of age. However, when I was 16 I found out that an acquaintance at school had the first 200 copies, most of which I was assured were in good shape. They were mine if I wanted them……. for free. Of course I bloody well wanted them. 

This time I treated them with the respect that I now believed they deserved - they were read again and again of course (I'm not that disciplined), but they were also kept in individual plastic covers for protection and had pride of place on my bedroom shelf. I don't ever recall planning to keep the collection in order to eventually sell them as it simply never occurred to me that comics could ever become collectors items. They became a guilty pleasure. The bottom line was that even as I was at an age when I should be outgrowing comics (hence the derision I heard from my friends and parents at the time). Every few months I took them down from my shelf and gently unwrapped them from their protective covering to read each one from cover to cover. I was still transfixed by the incredible mix of science fiction and horror. Stupidly I was a little ashamed of my nerd-dom…….not any more!

I managed to keep them until I was nearly 20. I may have read them a little less as the years had progressed as newer forms of science fiction & horror (and the female gender) began to captivate me, but they were still there on my shelf and were indeed looked at on occasion. They were always, if nothing else, a welcome connection to my childhood obsessions. That was until one day when I decided to change their protective covers for new ones - all the comics has been placed (naked) on the floor beside my bed, ready for the 're-covering' the next day. That night, I went out on the town for a friend's birthday bash, got drunk, came home the worst for wear. I awoke the next morning to discover that I had thrown up during the night and destroyed virtually every copy……

When I checked back in 2010 about how much the first 3 editions alone were selling for to collectors, reasonable condition ones like mine were going for approximately £150 each. Well, Bugger.












This article can also be found via the 5D website www.5d-blog.com. There you can find a veritable feast of blog articles, news items, pictures and and other mouth-watering salutations to the gods of the geeks and the nerds. We have now inherited the earth, you know.

There is also a newly launched forum on the website designed for ANYONE involved or interested in the Independent film industry related to genres of Sci-Fi, fantasy and horror. Feel free to register and contribute - Everyone is welcome!




In addition the 5D website now has PayPal Donate button. Any donations kindly made will be fed directly back to help with a podcast materials, competition prizes and other general costs etc. If you wish to contribute to the exciting growth of the website & blog then we here at 5D headquarters would be eternally grateful. If you would like your contribution to be acknowledged publicly then simply send a message via the website’s contact section and we’ll send you some love!

If all that was enough to entice to 5D land, should any of you fine people out there wish to advertise on the 5D website then have a look at the offer below.