Friday, September 17, 2021

Comics Review: VAMPIRELLA VOLUME 5 #23


STORY: Christopher Priest
ART: Ergün Gündüz; Chris Graves
LETTERS: Willie Schubert
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Marco Mastrazzo; Shannon Maer; Warren Louw; RB White, Roberto Castro; Lucio Parrillo; Shannon Maer; Lorraine (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 2021)

Rated Teen+

“The Red Mass” Book 2: “The Bridegroom”

Vampirella is a vampire and female superhero created by the late author and science fiction and horror expert, Forrest J Ackerman, and designed by comic book artist, Trina Robbins.  Vampirella first appeared in Vampirella #1 (Sept. 1969), the debut issue of a black and white horror comics magazine from Warren Publishing.  Writer-editor Archie Goodwin changed the character from a hostess of horror comics to a leading character in her own stories.

Vampirella publications were published by Warren into 1983, and after Warren's bankruptcy, Harris Publications obtained the character and published new and reprint Vampirella comic books into the mid-1990s.  In 2010, Dynamite Entertainment obtained the character and has been publishing new Vampirella material since then.

Dynamite's flagship Vampirella comic book series, simply entitled Vampirella, is now in its fifth volume.  Vampirella Volume 5 is written by Christopher Priest; drawn by Ergun Gunduz (and Chris Graves); colored by Mohan; and lettered by Willie Schubert.  The series focuses on a reborn Vampirella who fights the forces of chaos to save humanity.

As Vampirella Volume 5 #23 (“The Bridegroom”) opens, FBI Agent Matt Ecsed cannot understand why he pees himself every time he looks at Madonna and Child with St. Anne (Dei Palafrenieri), a religious painting by the Italian Baroque master, Caravaggio (1571-1610).  And his psychiatrist can offer only smart attitude instead of smart answers.  Plus, Shane a.k.a. “the First Man” wants to kill him.  What the hell?!

Once again, it's Vampirella to the rescue.  Once again?  It seems that Matt met Vampirella in the distant past when he was an orphan … thought to carry “the Dracula Virus.”  And half the world wanted to worship him and the other half wanted him dead – still wants him dead.

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Vampirella Volume 5 #23.  It is not only the second issue of this series that I have read.

Issue #22 intrigued me mainly because I am a fan of writer Christopher Priest.  I found issue #23 to be more consistent in the flow of the narrative and less all over the place.  It's funny and deranged, and Priest shows off his gift for sharp dialogue.  He also provides a clear line of conflict, a who versus whom that allows the reader to get into the drama.

Two artists draw this issue.  Series regular Ergun Gunduz draws the story set in the present, while Chris Graves tackles the past, specifically the first time that Vampirella meets Matt Ecsed.  I like Ergun's clean line work which fits Priest's witty and humor.  Graves' art is not as refined, but his storytelling, while also a little raw, does convey the story.

Considering the cliffhanger, I am ready for issue #24, which is just around the corner, as of this writing.  I hope Vampirella keeps it popping.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Vampirella comics will want to read Vampirella Volume 5.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Review: "BATMAN: Hush" Film is as Mediocre as Its Source Material

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 55 of 2021 (No. 1793) by Leroy Douresseaux

Batman: Hush – video (2019)
Running time:  82 minutes (1 hour, 22 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for violence and action, suggestive material, and language
DIRECTOR:  Justin Copeland
WRITER:  Ernie Altbacker (based on characters appearing in DC Comics and on the story arc, “Batman: Hush”, by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee)
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Sam Register and James Tucker and Benjamin Melniker & Michael Uslan
EDITOR:  Christopher D. Lozinski
COMPOSER:  Frederik Wiedmann  


Starring:  (voices) Jason O'Mara, Jennifer Morrison, Sean Maher, James Garrett, Bruce Thomas, Geoffrey Arend, Stuart Allan, Sachie Alessio, Chris Cox, Adam Gifford, Peyton R. List, Peyton List, Jerry O'Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Jason Spisak, Maury Sterling, Hynden Walch, Tara Strong, Vanessa Williams, and Rainn Wilson

Batman: Hush is a 2019 straight-to-video animated superhero film from Warner Bros. Animation and director Justin Copeland.  It is the thirty-fifth film in the “DC Universe Animated Original Movies” series.  It is also a loose adaptation of the Batman story arc, “Batman: Hush” (Batman #608-619; cover dated: October 2002 to September 2003), written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Jim Lee.  Batman: Hush the movie focuses on a mysterious villain intent on sabotaging Batman by using the Dark Knight's worst adversaries and some of his friends against him.

Batman: Hush opens with Batman (Jason O'Mara) rescuing an abducted child that the villain, Bane (Adam Gifford), was holding for ransom.  Shortly afterwards, Catwoman (Jennifer Morrison) steals the ransom.  While Batman is pursuing her, a masked vigilante shoots at him, severing the Bat-rope Batman was using to swing through the city.  Batman falls onto the sidewalk and cracks his skull.

Batgirl (Peyton R. List) takes Batman back to the Batcave where his butler, Alfred Pennyworth (James Garrett), and, his former ward and sidekick, Dick Grayson/Nightwing (Sean Maher), create an alibi that not Batman, but his secret identity, Bruce Wayne, suffered the injury.  Alfred contacts Bruce's childhood friend, Dr. Thomas Elliot (Maury Sterling), a renowned brain surgeon, to provide Bruce's medical care.

Back on his feet, Batman discovers that his conflict with Bane and Catwoman was just part of an elaborate scheme perpetrated against him by a mysterious villain known only as “Hush.”  It seems that Hush is willing to use every major figure in Batman's “rogues gallery” to bring the Bat down.  Hush seemingly even knows the people close to Bruce Wayne and is using them.  Further complicating Batman's investigation of Hush is the growing relationship between Bruce Wayne and Catwoman's alter-ego, Selina Kyle.

I have only read the Batman story line, “Batman: Hush,” once, and that was during its original publication.  I found it to be longer than it needed to be.  I am not really a fan of writer Jeph Loeb, although he has written some comic books that I have thoroughly enjoyed.  As a story, “Hush” felt like something Loeb padded with a bunch of appearances by all-star DC Comics characters.  As beautiful as Jim Lee's art for Hush was and still is, some of it came across as cold, as if it were drawn in a manner to make it attractive to collectors of comic book original art.  But at least I found “Hush” the comic book story to be enjoyable most of the time.

Batman: Hush the film is mostly dull.  The chase between Batman and Catwoman and the subsequent Catwoman-Batgirl fight are exciting.  The big battle at the end of the film is good, except when it seems to run too long – of course.  Catwoman is well-written in this film, and I like the way Alfred Pennyworth and Dick Grayson/Nightwing are presented in Batman: Hush.

The character designs are mostly good, except Batman, who looks awkwardly drawn in this film.  The animation is mediocre, except for a few action scenes when it looks like the people involved in this production suddenly felt energized.  I will only recommend this film to fans of the “DC Universe Animated Original Movies” line.  People who mostly know Batman from the modern Batman live-action films will likely not find much to like in Batman: Hush.

5 of 10

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved.  Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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Negromancer News Bits and Bites from September 12th to 18th, 2021 - Update #22

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


MOVIES - From  VanityFair:  The site has a "first look" at Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming film, "Nightmare Alley."

From Variety:  The first trailer for Del Toro's "Nightmare Alley" has arrives.  The film is due December 17, 2021.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Denis Villeneuve's "Dune" has opened in France.

ANIMATION - From HuffPost:   Disney's reboot of its animated hits series "The Proud Family," (2001-05) will feature a number of prominent guest stars, including Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and Gabrielle Union, to name a few.  The reboot arrives in 2022.

MOVIES - From Variety:   Whitney Houston's iconic, hit film, "The Bodyguard" (1992), is being remade.  Lawrence Kasdan, the writer-producer of the original film, is returning to produce.

VIDEO GAMES - From Deadline:   Anthony Mackie will star in and executive produce Sony Pictures Television and Playstation Productions' live-action television series adaptation of the video game, "Twisted Metal."

TRAILER - From BoxOfficePro:   Walt Disney Studios has released a new poster and a new trailer for Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story."

MOVIES - From Deadline:   "Firestarter" reboot lead Ryan Kiera Armstrong and 2013 "Evil Dead" star Shiloh Fernandez have joined Nicolas Cage in the action-western, "The Old Way."

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Producer/director Ivan Reitman and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito are prepping a sequel to their 1988 hit film, "Twins."  Entitled "Triplets," Tracy Morgan will join the mix as a long lost sibling.

ANIMATION - From Deadline:   Laika's ("Paranorman") next animated feature will be "Wildwood," an adaptation of the bestselling novel written by The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy, and illustrated by Carson Ellis.  The film will be directed by Laika President and CEO Travis Knight.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Christopher Nolan has chosen Universal Pictures to finance and distribute his next film, which focuses on J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.

COVID-19 - From YahooEntertainment:   Colorado-based Bob Enyart has become at least the fifth well-known right wing radio talk show host to die from complications of COVID-19 after opposing vaccines and other COVID-related public safety health measures.

NETFLIX/ANIME - From Variety:  Actress Hayley Atwell ("Agent Carter") will be the voice of "Lara Croft" in Netflix's "Tomb Raider" anime.

LGBTQ - From Deadline:   Actress Raven-Symone said that Disney offered to make her character, "Raven Baxter," from the classic Disney television series, "That's So Raven" (2003-07), a lesbian for the spinoff "Raven's Home," which currently airs on Disney Channel.  She says she declined the offer.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 9/10 to 9/12/2021 weekend box office is Disney/Marvel Studios' "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" with an estimated take of $35.8 million dollars.

From BoxOfficePro:  Disney has announced that its remaining 2021 theatrical releases will be exclusive to movie theaters for a 30- or 45-day exclusivity window.  Most of the remaining films will be exclusive to theaters for 45 days.

From Negromancer:  My movie review of Shang-Chi.

EMMY AWARDS - From Deadline:   Here is a complete winners' list from the two-day, three-part ceremony for the 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

From Deadline:  Netflix and its series, "The Queen's Gambit," leads round one (of three) the 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards. 

MOVIES - From WeGotThisCovered:  The release of Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro's next film, "Nightmare Alley," has been pushed back a little, from Dec. 3rd to Dec. 17th.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Christopher Nolan is shopping his next project around Hollywood.  It focuses on J. Robert Oppenheimer's role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.


From Variety:   Actress, singer, and dancer, Jane Powell, has died at the age of 92, Thursday, September 16, 2021.  She made her film debut as a teenage singer in the musical, "Song of the Open Road" (1944). Powell went onto appear in a number of MGM musicals, such as "A Date with Judy" (1948), "Royal Wedding" (1951), "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1954), and "Hit the Deck" (1955).  She was one of the last surviving stars of the "Golden Age of Hollywood."

From Deadline:  Actor and comedian, Norm Macdonald, has died at the age of 61, Wednesday, September 14, 2021, after a reported decade-long battle with cancer.  He was a cast member of "Saturday Night Live" from 1993 to 1998, and was best known for his three seasons as the show's anchor for the "Weekend Update" segment.  Macdonald also wrote for "The Dennis Miller Show" and "Roseanne." and he had a number of recurring television roles, including on ABC's former sitcom, "The Middle" and on Cartoon Network's "Mike Tyson Mysteries."

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Comics Review: "GEIGER #6" is Hot!


STORY: Geoff Johns
ART: Gary Frank
COLORS: Brad Anderson
LETTERS: Rob Leigh
EDITOR: Pat McCallum and Brian Cunningham
COVER: Gary Frank with Brad Anderson
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Jerry Ordway with Brad Anderson; Paul Pelletier and Norm Rapmund with Alex Sinclair; Gary Frank with Brad Anderson
48pp, Colors, 4.99 U.S. (September 2021)

Rated “T+/Teen Plus”

Geiger created by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank

“Man vs. Machine”

Geiger is a comic book series from writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank.  Published by Image Comics, Geiger is set on a dying Earth in the years after a nuclear war ravaged the planet and focuses on a “walking bomb” hero.  Colorist Brad Anderson and letterer Rob Leigh complete the series' creative team.

Geiger is set 20 years after the nuclear conflict known as the “Unknown War” ravaged the planet, turning Earth into a dying world.  In the state of Nevada, desperate outlaws battle for survival in a world of rapidly disappearing resources and supplies.  In Boulder City, Nevada, there resides the fearsome man known by many names:  Joe Glow, The Meltdown Man, and the Walking Bomb, to name a few.  But before the war, he was simply a man named Tariq Geiger.  So who or what is Geiger, now?

Geiger #6 (“Man vs. Machine”) opens with the narrator providing a grand intro for the latest chapter of the tale of Geiger, which includes a bit of a side story about “The Unnamed.”  Back to 2050, the King of Vegas has a map and plots his planned conquest of NORAD.

Meanwhile, in NORAD, Geiger and the children, Hailee and Henry, race to escape this prison, and Hailee is forced to give Henry some bad news.  Geiger is determined to protect these children, but in order to do that he will have to battle “Junkyard Joe.”  And this is one opponent who won't go down as easily as the others did.  Plus, Hailee makes a friend and a benefactor (of sorts) in Rick.

THE LOWDOWN:  As first issues go, Geiger #1 was mostly an introduction, kind of like a prologue.  It introduced the title character, Geiger, giving readers a look at who he was in the past and a glance at who he is now.  By the time we reached this sixth and final issue of the first volume and story arc of Geiger, we have a lead character that is revealed and world that is more revealed to the readers.

Geoff John brings all the emotions, feelings, thrills, and scares of the previous issues and funnels them into the series' best issue yet.  All I can say is that it was a blast, a thrill, and a joy to read, and it also left me anxious to discover what comes next.  Apparently, there will be a spin off and a “Geigerverse.”

As Geiger has progressed, Gary Frank's art captured the emotions and passions of intimate moments and the crazy violence of the action scenes.  Here, Frank delivers page after page of explosive power, particularly in the Geiger vs. Junkyard Joe battles.  Brad Anderson's colors don't just capture the best moments; they also make many great moments.  Rob Leigh's lettering keeps this story steady through several violent showdowns and maintains a balance in this volatile issue.

This creative team delivers a winner in Geiger #6, and they also leave us wanting more.  I did not know what to expect from Geiger in the beginning, other than it being another star-driven creator-owned comic book project from Image Comics.  Now, that I know what I know, I confident in recommending this exceptional series.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank will want to check out Geiger.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Comics Review: LIFEFORMED #1


STORY: Matt Mair Lowery and Cassie Anderson
ART: Cassie Anderson
COLORS: Cassie Anderson
LETTERS: Cassie Anderson
EDITOR: Wayne Hall
COVER: Cassie Anderson
44pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (July 2021)

Created by Matt Mair Lowery and Cassie Anderson

Age range: 12; Genre Science Fiction, Action/Adventure

Lifeformed is a new science fiction comic book series from writer Matt Mair Lowery and artist Cassie Anderson.  Lifeformed follows an 11-year-old orphan and the shape-shifting alien she befriends as they travel the countryside in the wake of an alien invasion... and fight back.

Lifeformed #1 introduces Cleo Elward, a typical 11-year-old girl on the verge of teen brat-hood.  Her single-father, Alex Elward, is loving, doting, and involved; the two of them are making the best of life.  Then, suddenly, unbelievably, the sky is filled with strange airships, heralding an alien invasion, and Alex is killed during the first wave of the attack.

Just as suddenly, an alien arrives and approaches Alex Elward's body and then shifts its form so that it resembles Cleo's father.  Aided by this alien shape-shifter, who turns out to be a rebel, Cleo escapes the invasion by traveling the countryside.  It is not long, however, before she must join “alien dad” in fighting the invaders.  Can Cleo work through her grief and find the courage to fight back?

THE LOWDOWN:  Matt Mair Lowery and artist Cassie Anderson have created in Lifeformed one of the best science fiction comic books that I have read over the last decade.  Lifeformed's themes of courage and choice resonate throughout the narrative, and the story ponders the questions of what it means to be human, doing so without being heavy-handed.

Cassie Anderson's illustrations and graphical storytelling are powerfully dramatic, but, at the same time, they are lively and colorful, going down the old gullet of the reader's imagination smoothly.  Anderson's clean drawing style is easy on the eyes, but also depicts the characters' emotions in a varied manner that gives the characters' personalities some depth.  I found myself in love with these characters, and Cleo is even more lovable when she is being annoying and bratty.  That is the joy in reading Lifeformed – loving the heroes and being intrigued by the villains.

Lowery and Anderson offer a comic book that is poignant and full of feeling, with characters whose emotions feel authentic.  However, Lifeformed also has a dark side, especially when dealing with the alien invaders.  This part of the story is brutal and savage and sometimes exists in a world without sentiment.  I am glad that Scout Comics is giving a home to this unique and really good comic book.

THE LOWDOWN:  Readers looking for cool science fiction comic books that will thrill everyone from middle school readers to adults will want Lifeformed.

[This comic book has an 8-page section of back matter, entitled “Lifeformed Process,” which includes script pages and sketches.]


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

Cassie Anderson:

Matt Mair Lowery:

The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Brian Robbins Appointed President and CEO of Paramount Pictures

ViacomCBS Announces Leadership Transition at Paramount Pictures

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”) today announced a leadership change at Paramount Pictures. Effective immediately, Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, will transition oversight of Paramount to Brian Robbins, who has been appointed President and CEO of the studio in addition to maintaining his current responsibilities leading Nickelodeon. Gianopulos will serve in an advisory role at Paramount through the end of the year to help ensure a smooth transition.

    “I am excited about the future for Paramount Pictures, and I want to thank Bob Bakish for the opportunity to use this incredibly powerful and broad canvas to produce films for every audience and deliver them in the ways today’s consumers want to experience them.”

In addition, Paramount Television Studios (PTVS) will now become part of the premium network group under the leadership of David Nevins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Showtime Networks, bringing together the divisions’ premium scripted content capabilities. Nicole Clemens will continue to lead PTVS in her capacity as President, PTVS, reporting directly to Nevins.

As part of this transition, and in line with ViacomCBS’s previously announced streaming content leadership structure, Robbins will assume oversight of films produced for Paramount+ as well as continue to be responsible for kids and family content globally for the streaming service. Nevins and Clemens will also continue to serve in their current Paramount+ roles of Chief Content Officer, Scripted Originals, and President of Original Scripted Series, respectively.

“Paramount is one of ViacomCBS’s crown jewels, delivering some of the most iconic moments in entertainment for more than a century. The moves we’re making today will build on Paramount’s strong momentum, ensuring it continues to engage audiences at scale while embracing viewers’ evolving tastes and habits,” said Bob Bakish, President and CEO of ViacomCBS. “A passionate storyteller who takes a holistic view of the entertainment ecosystem, Brian is an expert at building powerhouse global franchises by leaning into the unique strengths of new and established platforms – including theatrical releases, streaming, linear, consumer products and more. With Brian drawing on his extensive experiences across animation and live action, and David overseeing Paramount Television Studios, we will build on Paramount’s incredible legacy and chart a new path for the studio.”

Bakish continued, “Jim is a towering figure in Hollywood who has successfully led Paramount through an extraordinary period in the film industry. From the wild success of the A Quiet Place franchise to the Oscar-winning Rocketman to fan favorites like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mission: Impossible – Fallout, he has overseen the creation of films that have achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Jim for his leadership in establishing a revitalized Paramount.”

Said Gianopulos, “I’ve been privileged to be part of this amazing world of film and television for almost 40 years, and at the heart, it was always driven by two principal things: the brilliant talent of storytellers, whose visionary expression excelled in every medium and whom I did my best to empower, and a fantastic team of colleagues who helped me make that happen. I’ve been honored to help guide the evolution and massive expansion of creative content, from the birth of video to global TV access, to the launch of iTunes, to ubiquitous internet availability, and now the streaming revolution. The opportunity to take the reins at Paramount and revitalize it, build first-class executive and creative teams, and restore it to both profitability and creative success has been a source of pride. Brian has a long and successful career, and having worked closely with him, I know he and the team at Paramount will have great accomplishments in the future. I wish them all the very best success.”

“Jim is nothing less than legendary in this business, and I am humbled and grateful to him for his years of mentorship and friendship during our time working together,” said Robbins. “I am excited about the future for Paramount Pictures, and I want to thank Bob Bakish for the opportunity to use this incredibly powerful and broad canvas to produce films for every audience and deliver them in the ways today’s consumers want to experience them.”

As President of Nickelodeon since October 2018, Robbins has overseen culture-defining content and franchises at the number-one entertainment brand for kids with a proven ability to successfully engage theatrical, streaming and linear TV audiences by understanding the power of each platform. Franchises such as PAW Patrol and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reach hundreds of millions of young people around the world through TV shows, movies and consumer products, while SpongeBob SquarePants has become one of the most popular animated characters of all time.

Under Robbins’ leadership, Nickelodeon has become a powerful driver of subscribers and engagement at Paramount+ since its launch in March 2021. Programming for young audiences, such as PAW Patrol: The Movie and the series and films in the SpongeBob SquarePants universe, account for a double-digit share of total streams, and the platform’s slate includes numerous highly anticipated releases from the likes of Nickelodeon’s Avatar Studios.

Prior to his appointment at Nickelodeon, Robbins served as President of Paramount Pictures’ Paramount Players division, where he worked closely with legacy-Viacom brands to identify talent and properties to be developed into co-branded feature films. Previously, Robbins co-founded the multiplatform media company Awesomeness in 2012 and served as its CEO. He also co-founded Tollins/Robbins Productions and was the Founder and President of Varsity Pictures.

Robbins has executive produced numerous television and movie hits, including Kenan and Kel and All That, the latter of which Robbins adapted into the Nickelodeon feature film Good Burger; directed the Paramount films Varsity Blues and Hardball; executive produced Blue Mountain State for Spike TV (now Paramount Network); and also produced the television series Smallville and One Tree Hill, among others.

Robbins is the recipient of a Directors Guild Award, a Peabody Award and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Pioneer Prize. He is also an Emmy Award nominee.

Gianopulos’s distinguished career in the global entertainment industry spans nearly 40 years. Gianopulos took the reins of the studio in April 2017, revitalizing the studio and restoring profitability consistently throughout his tenure.

During his time at Paramount, Gianopulos has been responsible for creating and restoring massively successful franchises including A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II, with more films in the works; Sonic the Hedgehog, with a sequel slated for release next year; Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the most profitable and critically-acclaimed film in the franchise, with the seventh and eight installments in production; the highly-anticipated Top Gun: Maverick; and Bumblebee, which marked a reinvigorated Transformers brand, returning the franchise to both profitability and critical acclaim. Additionally, Gianopulos rebuilt the popular Tom Clancy franchise across both film and television and was responsible for the award-winning 2018 hit Elton John biopic Rocketman.

During his tenure, Gianopulos built a first-class team of film and television executives, including his hiring of former Twentieth Century Studios chief executive Emma Watts to oversee the motion picture group, as well as bringing on seasoned marketing leaders, including Marc Weinstock and Mary Daily, and re-establishing Paramount Animation under the leadership of Mireille Soria, among other key roles. On the television side, Gianopulos built Paramount Television Studios, with Clemens at the helm, increasing output to more than 20 shows consistently in production and on the air. High-profile projects in production include The Offer, about the making of The Godfather, for Paramount+ and American Gigolo for Showtime.

Prior to joining Paramount, Gianopulos served as the Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2000 to September 2016. In this role, he was responsible for feature film production, marketing, and global distribution of film and television content in all media. During his time as Chairman and CEO of Fox, the studio had its most profitable years ever, and in 2014, Twentieth Century Fox broke the all-time industry global box-office record, earning more than $5.5 billion. Gianopulos also has the distinction of having championed two of the biggest film successes in history, Titanic and Avatar.

Gianopulos chairs the Board of the Motion Picture and Television Fund, serves as Treasurer of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Board of Trustees, and is a member of the board of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and a trustee of the American Film Institute.

About ViacomCBS:
ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC; VIACA) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic consumer brands, its portfolio includes CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount+, Pluto TV and Simon & Schuster, among others. The company delivers the largest share of the U.S. television audience and boasts one of the industry’s most important and extensive libraries of TV and film titles. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, ViacomCBS provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution, and advertising solutions for partners on five continents. For more information about

ViacomCBS, please visit and follow @ViacomCBS on social platforms.


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Comics Review: BETTIE PAGE and the Curse of the Banshee Vol. 5 #4


STORY: Stephen Mooney
ART: Jethro Morales
COLORS: Dinei Ribero
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Marat Mychaels
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Joseph Michael Linsner; Stephen Mooney; Leslie Leirix; Marat Mychaels; Ani-Mia (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 2021)

Rated Teen+

Bettie Page (1923–2008) was an American model who gained notoriety in the 1950s for her pin-up photos.  She is still referred to has the “Queen of Pinups,” and her shoulder-to-armpit-length jet-black hair with its trademark bangs and her blue eyes have inspired generations of artists, illustrators and comic book artists.

In 2017, Dynamite Entertainment made Bettie Page the star of her own comic book miniseries.  The latest is Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee.  It is written by Stephen Mooney; drawn by Jethro Morales; colored by Dinei Ribero; and lettered by Taylor Esposito.  In this series, Bettie, a freelance agent for the federal government and something of a monster hunter, and her partner, Lyssa McKnight, travel to rural Ireland to investigate a series of murders supposedly perpetrated by a mythical creature, a “banshee.”

Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee Volume 5 #4 opens in O'Riordan's Bed and Breakfast, Ireland, 1954.  Inside a bedroom, Bettie cannot stay awake.  It is as if something wants her to remain in a deep and troubled sleep.  Meanwhile, Lyssa struggles to help her friend, and then, a priest knocks on the door.  Elsewhere, Bettie struggles with the curse of the banshee, Márie.

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee Volume 5 #4, which is the second issue of the title that I have read.  Prior to this series, I had not read any of DE's other Bettie Page comic book series.

I like Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee Volume 5 #4, the same as I did issue #3, which makes me wish I had read the earlier issues.  In this issue, writer Stephen Mooney balances the story between Bettie's battle and Lyssa's struggle.  Lyssa shines as a supporting character, and the priest, hapless, but well meaning, inadvertently provides comic relief.

This fourth issue is the penultimate issue of the series, and I am looking forward to the final issue.  Discovering Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee Volume 5 has been a delightful surprise, so I will recommend it to you, dear readers.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Bettie Page comic books will want to try Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee Volume 5.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.