Did you know…about Godzilla?

Godzilla_(2014)_posterOn Thursday, Legendary Pictures will be bringing the monster Godzilla back to the big screen in an epic blockbuster that has been more than four years in the making. But what do you actually know about the titular monster?

 

 

 

The original Godzilla from 1954.

The original Godzilla from 1954.

The creation of Godzilla can be attributed to no single person, but rather a collaborative effort between Toho producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, Director Ishiro Honda and special effects genius Eiji Tsubaraya. Inspired by the bombing of Hiroshima , Pacific Nuclear Tests and the incident involving the fishing boat Lucky Dragon 5 in addition films such as King Kong and The Beast from 20 000 Fathoms. These three men bought to life the story of an ancient creature, awakened and irradiated by atomic testing that proceeded to lay waste to Tokyo.

Godzilla as he appeared in 2004s Final Wars.
Godzilla as he appeared in 2004s Final Wars.

A serious film, the creature served as an allegory for nuclear weapons and the devastation they had wrought on Japan. The film was dubbed and re-cut for release in the West in 1956, re-titled as Godzilla – King of the Monsters. A box office smash in Japan and quite successful in the West, Godzilla would go on to star in a multitude of sequels, divided into the Showa (1954-1975), Heisie (1984-1995) and Millennium (1999-2004) series.

The first all-American made film was released 1998 by Sony/TriStar to somewhat mixed reactions. Will the Legendary Pictures effort prove to be more satisfying?

Before seeing the film, why not check out some of the old Japanese movies, or compare it to the TriStar effort, or why not check out some of the great Graphic Novels being produced by IDW Publishing.

Did you know … about Doctor Who?

Doctor WhoDid you know that the BBC Science Fiction Series Doctor Who premiered on the 23rd of November, 1963? Chronicling the adventures of a time travelling alien who calls himself The Doctor, the series celebrated its 50th anniversary this weekend with a special episode entitled The Day of the Doctor simultaneously broadcast in more than 70 countries coinciding with the time the original pilot (entitled An Unearthly Child) was screened 50 years earlier.

In Australia, this meant the program was shown on the ABC at 6:50am on Sunday the 24th. Fortunately, the ABC re-broadcast the show in Doctor Who’s usual timeslot of 7:30pm that same day.

Technically, Doctor Who has not been broadcast continuously for 50 years. The original run, or ‘Classic’ series ran from 1963-1989 at which point the BBC ceased production. An attempt to re-launch the series occurred in 1996, however it was not until 2005 that the series finally returned to our screens.

One of the unique aspects of Doctor Who and the secret to its longevity is the concept of ‘regeneration’. The Doctor hails from the world of Gallifrey and is a member of the planets hierarchy known as the Time Lords. One of the benefits of his alien physiology is that, when injured to the point of death, his body can renew itself, effectively transforming him into a completely new person. Thanks to the concept of regeneration, the BBC could replace the actor playing The Doctor as needed.

To date there have been twelve (well 13, but in the words of River Song would be ‘spoilers’!) actors to play the character. The original Doctor was William Hartnell (1963-1966), The Second Doctor was played by Patrick Troughton (1966-1969), next came Jon Pertwee (1970-1974) followed by Tom Baker (1974-1981), Peter Davidson (1981-1984), Colin Baker (1984-1986) and Sylvester McCoy (1987-1989). McCoy would return for a regeneration sequence in The Doctor Who Movie, which saw Paul McGann take on the roll for a single performance (though he did continue to ‘play’ the role in a series of audio adventures and has returned for a 6 minute ‘mini-episode’ as part of the 50th Anniversary). With the revival of the series in 2005, Chrstopher Eccleston became the 9th Doctor and was followed by David Tennant (2005-2010) and Matt Smith (2010-2013). It was recently announced that Smith would be stepping down from the role in this year’s Christmas Special with Peter Capaldi announced to be his replacement.

Why not check out some of the Classic Episodes or Revived Series? Read some of the Doctor Who Novels or Audio Adventures or even check out some of the books about the show.

Jump on over to our Facebook page and tell who your favourite Doctor is and give us your thoughts on the 50th Anniversary Special!

Did You Know About DC Comics and the New 52?

DC LogoTwo years ago, DC Comics (publishers of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, etc) made a highly controversial decision. In the conclusion of their Flashpoint crossover series, all of their titles were rebooted to Issue #1.


That’s right – all of them
!

In Flashpoint, the Flash had inadvertently altered time and tried to return the universe to its proper course. A mysterious woman (later revealed to be Pandora) appeared and altered time yet again – merging several ‘universes’ together to form a new ‘core reality’.

Referred to as the New 52, DC Launched 52 titles, all at Issue #1. Something of a ‘soft reboot’, most titles were now set 5 years after Superman made his public debut. with some of the old story elements retained, while others (such as the various ‘Crisis’ crossovers, Superman’s marriage to Lois Lane and Batman’s death) were removed. Costume designs were updated as were some characters and even powers being changed radically.

Designed as a new ‘jumping on’ point to attract new readers, their decision was Rebirth_GScreen_front_lres1met with some anger on the part of long standing fans and collectors, myself included. I have since revised my opinion as the stories, particularly the Justice League titles by Geoff Johns, have clearly been building up to something.

Last year, Johns teased us that something called the ‘Trinity War‘ was coming. This event, which crossed over between all three Justice League titles, has just concluded and leads us directly into the New 52’s first Crossover: Forever Evil where, in the aftermath of the Trinity War, the villains take over the world!

Why not check out some of the New 52 stories such as Justice League: Origins, Batman: Death of the Family, Action Comics: Superman and the Men of Steel or Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army and see what you think of the New52.

Did you know…about the end of the world?

imagesCAH6DNF8December 21st, 2012!

We’ve probably all heard about the doomsday prophecies, but what does it mean really?

On the  Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, some times refered to as the Mayan Calendar, the date is the end of a 5125 year cycle. According to professional Mayanist scholars, the idea that the calendar actually ends on that date is a misrepresentation. The calendar, which employs a combination of Base 20 and Base 18 numerical systems counts the passage of time as follows:

1 k’in – 1 Day (represented as 0.0.0.0.1)

1 winal – 20 Days (20 k’in, represented as 0.0.0.1.0)

1 tun – 360 Days (18 winal, represented as 0.0.1.0.0)

1 k’atun – 7 200 days (20 tun, represented as 0.1.0.0.0)

1 b’ak’tun – 144 000 days (20 k’atun, represented as 1.0.0.0.0)

On December 21st this year we will reach the end of the 13th b’ak’tun.
So what does this have to do with the end of the world?

Well, in the Mayan creation account recorded in the  Popol Vuh, we currently live in ‘the Fourth World’. The preceding Third World ended with the close of the 13th b’ak’tun, giving rise the belief that the Fourth World will also end at that point.

Why not check out some of the books and films on the subject? You might also like to jump over to the Library’s Facebook page and cast your vote on what you think might happen on 21/12/2012.

Did you know…about catchphrases?

“The name is Bond, James Bond.”

Bond is back, uttering his famous catchphrase in the film Skyfall, but did you know that many of the character catchphrases we think we know are actually completely wrong?

Sherlock Holmes never once said “Elementary, my dear Watson” in the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The closest he ever came was to say “Elementary” when explaining a deduction in “The Adventure of the Crooked Man”.

Other so-called ‘catchphrases’ incorrectly attributed to literary and film characters include:

 “Beam me up, Scotty” – Star Trek’s Captain Kirk would say “Beam me up”, “Energize” and (once, in Star Trek IV) “Scotty, beam me up”.

Play it again, Sam” – The actual lines from Casablanca are “Play it once, Sam, for old times’ sake, play ‘As Time Goes By’.” And “You played it for her, you can play it for me. … If she can stand to listen to it, I can. Play it.”

Luke, I am Your Father” – Vader actually says “No, I am your Father!” in The Empire Strikes Back.

Do you feel lucky, punk?” – Dirty Harry actually says  “Did he fire six shots, or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a 44 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well do ya, PUNK!”

And that’s only a few of them! Click the links to look up these titles in our catalogue.

Did you know about…Bones?

The final episode for the current season of Bones screened on Wednesday night this week.

The show stars Emily Deschanel as Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist who assists the FBI in the solving of murders alongside Special Agent Seeley Booth, played by David Boreanaz. The character was created  by real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs for her novels, but did you know that the TV Series is not based on those books?

If you watch the opening credits of the show carefully you will see that the show is based on “the life of forensic anthropologist and author Kathy Reichs”.

That’s right, the show is based on the author, using the character names from her books!

Why not check out some of Reich’s novels, enjoy some episodes of the show, or even learn some more about forensic anthropology?

Did you know…About the Avengers?

Avengers #1, September 1963

“And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat…foes no single superhero could withstand… Avengers Assemble!”

The Avengers are Marvel Comics’ premier superhero team and answer to DC’s Justice League. The original team-up occurred in Avengers #1, written by Stan Lee with art by Jack Kirby and released in September 1963. The original members of the team were Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man and his partner Wasp (who came up with the name), who teamed up to do battle with Loki, the Norse god of mischief.

April 25th will see the very first big screen outing on the Avengers team, something Marvel Studios (the cinematic arm of Marvel Comics) have been building to since the release of Iron Man in 2007.

 Check out the lead-in films (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America), some of the amazing Avengers graphic novels or the Avengers Animated Series, all available at the Library.

Did You Know…About Graphic Novels?

A selection of the latest Graphic Novels added to the collection.

The Tea Tree Gully Public Library boasts a collection of more than 2400 graphic novels. The collection is very popular, but to many people the term ‘Graphic Novel’ is something of a mystery. Just what are Graphic Novels? Are they a new phenomena? Where did they come from?

Graphic Novels have been around for quite a long time, with so called ‘prototype’ graphic novels appearing as early as the 1920s! Launched in the 1940s, the magazine Classic Illustrated contained public domain novels re-produced in comic book form. The book ‘Blackmark’, published in 1970 by Gil Kane and Archie Goodwin is considered to be the first true Graphic Novel, though that term would not appear until 1976. The story ran 119 pages and was told using art and word balloons, making the book a novel but told in a graphical format.

Since that time both DC and Marvel now make a habit of collecting their larger story arcs and classic issues into what used to be called ‘Trade Paperbacks’. These days, graphic adaptions of films and computer games are fairly standard as part of the larger promotional efforts as are graphic adaptions of popular print novels.

Why are they so popular? I think that it may be a case of people being more aware of their existence, not just through public library collections, but through regular bookshops and department stores as well.  The influx of Japanese animation (Anime) and it’s accompanying print form (Manga) may also have contributed. At Tea Tree Gully, approximately half of our graphic novel collection is Manga format.

Why not check some out for yourself? If you are a big fan, check out our new Facebook page Talking Graphic Novels, Manga and Anime at TTG Library!

Did you know…About Pancake Day?

Did you know that Pancake day or Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the season of  Lent and has been celebrated since at least 1000AD?

The word shrove is the past-tense of the verb to shrive which means to obtain absolution for sins.

Pancakes are consumed as a way to use up the so-called rich food stuffs such as eggs, milk and sugar before the fast of Lent, during which plainer foods were traditionally consumed.

The period of Lent lasts for 40 days and culminates with the Easter celebration.

Check out our range of baking books for your special pancake recipe.

Did you know…About Richard Castle?

Richard 'Rick' Castle (Nathan Fillion)

Did you know that the fictional author, Richard Castle (played by Nathan Fillion in the TV show Castle) has actually released three books in real life?
The novels Heat Wave, Naked Heat and Heat Rises have been released under the name Richard Castle as part of the promotion for the TV Show.  In addition, a graphic novel entitled Deadly Storm,  based on one of Castle’s earlier works was released by Marvel Comics in 2011.

Heat Wave made the New York Times Bestseller list, peaking at #6 in it’s fourth week of publication, while Naked Heat debuted at #7. Not bad for an author who doesn’t exist!

The  Library has copies of Heat Wave, Naked Heat , Heat Rises and the Deadly Storm graphic novel as well as DVDs of the Castle TV series available for loan. Why not check them out?