Harvey Nominees For 2009 Named

The 2009 Harvey Awards Nominees have been announced with the release of the final ballot, presented by the Executive Committees of the Harvey Awards and the Baltimore Comic-Con. Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, one of the industry’s most innovative talents, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art. They will be presented October 10, 2009 in Baltimore, MD, in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con.

Nominations for the Harvey Awards are selected exclusively by creators – those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field. They are the only industry awards both nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. Professionals who participate will be joining nearly 2,000 other comics professionals in honoring the outstanding comics achievements of 2008. Thank you to all that have already participated by submitting a nomination ballot.

Final ballots are due to the Harvey Awards by Friday, August 28, 2009. Full details for submission of completed ballots can be found on the final ballot. Voting is open to anyone professionally involved in a creative capacity within the comics field. Final ballots are available for download at www.harveyawards.org. Those without Internet access may request that paper ballots be sent to them via mail or fax by calling the Baltimore Comic-Con (410-526-7410) or e-mailing baltimorecomicccon@yahoo.com.

This will be the fourth year for the Harvey Awards in Baltimore, MD. Our Master of Ceremonies this year will be Scott Kurtz (www.pvponline.com). Look for more details soon on how you can attend the Harvey Awards dinner.

This year’s Baltimore Comic-Con will be held October 10-11, 2009. The ceremony and banquet for the 2008 Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, October 10.

Without further delay, the 2008 Harvey Award Nominees:


Kyle Baker, NAT TURNER, Abrams books
Ed Brubaker, CAPTAIN AMERICA, Marvel Comics
John Gallagher, BUZZBOY, Sky Dog Comics
Jeff Kinney, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, Amulet Books
Grant Morrison, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, DC Comics


Gabriel Ba, UMBRELLA ACADEMY, Dark Horse Comics
Kyle Baker, NAT TURNER, Abrams Books
Jimmy Gownley, AMELIA RULES, Renaissance Press
Jason Kruse, WORLD OF QUEST, Yen Press
Frank Quitely, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, DC Comics


John Gallagher, BUZZBOY, Sky Dog Comics
Al Jaffee, TALL TALES, Abrams Books
Jeff Kinney, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, Amulet Books
Thom Zahler, LOVE & CAPES, Maerkle Press


Jimmy Gownley, AMELIA RULES, Renaissance Press
Rob Leigh, THE SPIRIT, DC Comics
Doug Sherwood, LOCAL, Oni Press
John Workman, MARVEL 1985, Marvel Comics
Thom Zahler, BUZZBOY, Sky Dog Comics


Rich Faber, BUZZBOY, Sky Dog Comics
Jamie Grant, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, DC Comics
Jeff Kinney, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, Amulet Books
Mark Morales, THOR, Marvel Comics
Ryan Winn, THE DARKNESS, Image Comics


Frank Cammuso, OTTO’S ORANGE DAY, Raw Junior, LLC
Jamie Grant, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, DC Comics
Laura Martin, THOR, Marvel Comics
Wil Quintana, THE MICE TEMPLAR, Image Comics
Dave Stewart, UMBRELLA ACADEMY, Dark Horse Comics


Frank Cho, BUZZBOY: SIDEKICKS RULE!#3, Sky Dog Press
James Jean, FABLES, Vertigo Comics
Jay Lynch, MINDSHAFT #23, Mindshaft Publishing
Ken Rocafort, PILOT SEASON: CORE #1, Top Cow


ECHO, Abstract Studios


MICE TEMPLAR, Image Comics


DRAW!, edited by Mike Manley, Twomorrows Publishing
HOW TO MAKE WEBCOMICS, Brad Guigar, Dave Kellett,
Scott Kurtz, and Kris Straub, Image Comics
KIRBY: KING OF COMICS, Mark Evanier, Abrams Books
edited by Dean Mullaney, IDW
edited by David A. Berona, Abrams Books


BREWSTER ROCKIT: SPACE GUY!, Tim Rickard, Tribune Media Services
GET FUZZY, Darby Conley, United Features Syndicate
MUTTS, Patrick McDonnell, King Features Syndicate
THE NORM, Michael Jantze, Uclick Gocomics
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, Stephan Pastis, United Features Syndicate


COMIC BOOK TATTOO, edited by Rantz Hoseley, Image Comics
FLIGHT VOLUME 5, edited by Kazu Kibuishi, Villard
MOME VOLUME 10, edited by Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphics Books
PIXU #1, edited by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon, Self-Published
POPGUN VOLUME 2, edited by Joe Keatinge and Mark Andrew Smith,
Image Comics


SKIM, Groundwood Books


M, Abrams Books
NAT TURNER, Abrams Books
THE MICE TEMPLAR: VOL. 1, Image Comics


ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY #19, Self-Published
LOVE AND ROCKETS, VOL. 3 #1, Fantagraphics Books
M, Abrams Books
NAT TURNER, Abrams Books
Y: THE LAST MAN #60, Vertigo Comics


COMPLETE PEANUTS, Fantagraphics Books


GUS AND HIS GANG, First Second
POCKET FULL OF RAIN, Fantagraphics Books
RED COLORED ELEGY, Drawn and Quarterly


John Zito, www.zudacomics.com
HIGH MOON, Scott O. Brown, www.zudacomics.com
LEAST I COULD DO, Lar deSouza and Ryan Sohmer, www.leasticoulddo.com
NIGHT OWLS, Bobby & Peter Timony, www.zudacomics.com
PVP, Scott Kurtz, www.pvponline.com


Lar deSouza, LEAST I COULD DO, www.leasticoulddo.com
John Gallagher, BUZZBOY, Sky Dog Comics
Al Jaffee, TALL TALES, Abrams Books
Jeff Kinney, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, Amulet Books
David Malki, WONDERMARK, www.wondermark.com


Brian Wood, Oni Press
KIRBY: KING OF COMICS, Mark Evanier, Abrams Books
QUEEN AND COUNTRY: VOLUME 3, Greg Rucka, Mike Norton,
Steve Rolston, and Chris Samnee, Oni Press
TALL TALES, Al Jaffee, Abrams Books
David Malki, Dark Horse Comics


Matt Cassan, NASCAR: HEROES, nascar comics
Bryan J.L. Glass, THE MICE TEMPLAR, image books
Laura Innes, THE DREAMER, Idw
Tim Sievert, THAT SALTY AIR, top shelf
Bobby Timony, NIGHT OWLS, www.zudacomics.com

Congratulations to all the nominees! If you know a nominee, please pass on the good news!

Weekend Boxoffice Chart

No so much a surprise that Transformers took the top spot, let’s see how long it can hang on.

Weekend Boxoffice Chart for the weekend of June 26th to June 28th.

1.Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $112.0/$201.2
2.The Proposal $18.4/$69.0
3.The Hangover $17.2/$183.2
4.Up $13.0/$250.2
5.My Sister’s Keeper $12.0/$12.0
6.Year One $5.8/$32.2
7.The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 $5.4/$53.4
8.Star Trek $3.6/$246.2
9.Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian $3.5/$163.2
10.Away We Go $1.6/$4.0
11.Land of the Lost $1.1/$46.7
12.Terminator Salvation $1.0/$121.9

Gareb Shamus Buys Toronto Comicon

Not so much news, but if this is ‘your’ show it’s huge news.

Press Release

Gareb Shamus, CEO of New York based Wizard Entertainment, announces today that he has purchased the Toronto Comicon, a show that has been consistently awarded The Best International Comic Book Convention (non-USA) by ComicBookConventions.com, for the last 5 years.

“We’ve always had a strong following in Canada, so buying the Toronto Comicon is something that allows me to give back to our fans. These attendees are known to be serious collectors and comic industry followers,” said Shamus. “I am thrilled to offer the guests, celebrities, artists, dealers and exhibitors to our Canadian audience for the very first time.”

Peter Dixon, owner of Paradise Conventions and former owner of the Toronto Comicon, will still be intimately involved in the show production, his friendly manner ensuring the continuation of the trademarked relaxed atmosphere of the show.

“Wizard brings greater industry recognition and star power to the show. I’m excited about having the fans get this bigger experience,” said Dixon.

The next show dates have not been set yet, but the newly managed Toronto Comicon is expected to debut in 2010.

Bryan Fuller is Leaving Heroes

Heroes Bryan Fuller

Just as Heroes was gaining some creative momentum with the show’s end-of-season creative rebirth, comes word of another setback: Bryan Fuller is exiting Heroes(Again)

“Development was really starting to heat up, And it appears like I may be writing multiple pilots for NBC so that wasn’t leaving a ton of room for ‘Heroes,’ unfortunately,”


“I’m crafting two pilots right now and it’s a lot of work,” admits Fuller, who has an overall deal with NBC. “It was just too hard to [juggle] Heroes and my development; something had to give.”

Fuller is under contract with NBC Universal for another year and a half, and has been preparing new series pitches for the media giant since he left Warner Bros. He’s also expressed an ambition to eventually create, or help create, a new Paramount TV series set in J.J. Abrams’ new “Star Trek” universe.

2009 Best of E3 Game Critics Awards Announced

2009 Winners

The winners for the Game Critics Awards: Best video games of E3 2009 are as follows.

I already knew Scribblenauts would kill it after all the hype from the show floor, but I was shocked to see Uncharted walk away being the biggest winner.

Best of Show
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
(Naughty Dog/Sony Computer Entertainment America for PlayStation 3)

Best Original Game
(5TH Cell/Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment for Nintendo DS)

Best Console Game
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
(Naughty Dog/Sony Computer Entertainment America for PlayStation 3)

Best PC Game
Star Wars: The Old Republic
(BioWare Austin/LucasArts)

Best Handheld Game
(5TH Cell/Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment for Nintendo DS)

Best Hardware/Peripheral
” Project Natal”
(Microsoft for Xbox 360)

Best Action Game
Modern Warfare 2
(Infinity Ward/Activision for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)

Best Action/Adventure Game
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
(Naughty Dog/Sony Computer Entertainment America for PlayStation 3)

Best Role Playing Game
Mass Effect 2
(BioWare/Electronic Arts for Xbox 360, PC)

Best Racing Game
(Black Rock/Disney Interactive Studios for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)

Best Sports Game
Fight Night Round 4
(EA Canada/EA Sports for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Best Fighting Game
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
(Eighting/Capcom for Nintendo Wii)

Best Strategy Game
Supreme Commander 2
(Gas Powered Games/Square-Enix for Xbox 360, PC)

Best Social/Casual/Puzzle
DJ Hero
(Freestyle/Red Octane/Activision for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii)

Best Online Multiplayer
Left 4 Dead 2
(Valve/EAP for Xbox 360, PC)

Cardboard Tube Samurai in Tekken 6

Penny Arcade Cardboard Tube Samurai

The Twitter feed tekkenbob, the official feed for Tekken 6, dropped an interesting twitpic today. Along with a tweet mentioning that he “got a sneak peek at something I can’t talk about yet” was the above picture. Who does that look like to you?

Gamertag Radio called it and Gabe just confirmed it on this it on his twitter feed, it’s Cardboard Tube Samurai, a recurring character from the web comic Penny Arcade.

Zombieland Movie Trailer is Up!


I know another Zombie movie, but really can the world have enough of these?

Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has made a habit of running from what scares him. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) doesn’t have fears. If he did, he’d kick their ever-living ass. In a world overrun by zombies, these two are perfectly evolved survivors. But now, they’re about to stare down the most terrifying prospect of all: each other.

It’s almost like you can’t have too many Zombie T-Shirts in your closet.

Oh and you can watch the Zombieland trailer here.

New Baby Tees Coming

Stylin Online now has several New Baby Tees officially licensed and available now!

Check out the Batgirl Run Baby Tee, Betty Boop Liberty Baby Tee, DC Comics Super Powers Baby Tee, Doogie Howser Ordered Baby Tee, Family Guy Stewie Sleep Baby Tee, Futurama Hypnotoad Baby Tee, Entourage Walk Baby Tee, Nerds I Love Baby Tee, Superman Vintage Baby Tee.

For all our newest items, check our New T-Shirts Page.

More New T-shirts

T-shirts with new styles and artwork are at Stylin Online! All these T-shirts are available through our store right now!

Check out the Alvin and the Chipmunks Logo T-Shirt, Arrested Development Blue Myself T-Shirt, Battlestar Galactica Frak Earth T-Shirt, Battlestar Galactica Prisoner Notes T-Shirt, Big Lebowski Over The Line T-Shirt, Big Lebowski Tiger T-Shirt, Black Panther Flail T-Shirt, Bleach Cast T-Shirt, Bobbys World I Roll T-Shirt, Captain America In Flag T-Shirt.

For all our newest items, check our New T-Shirts Page.

Brian Austin Green Is Metallo on Smallville!

I have to say, I joked about him a good amount when I heard he was in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but honestly he did a great job.

Brian Austin Green has been cast on Smallville as the DC Comics villain Metallo, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively.

That’s right – the Terminator alum is now playing a cyborg himself. That is a pretty freakin’ super bit of casting, right?

Green will appear as the kryptonite-powered villain (alter ego “Daily Planet” journo John Corben) in at least the first two episodes of Season 9, which takes flight Friday, Sept. 25.

America’s Army 3 Free on Steam


The U.S. Army Launched America’s Army 3 today on Steam and through other download services. Unlike the previous games the training is optional so you can jump right in.

The U.S. Army today launched America’s Army 3, the only action game that delivers an authentic and entertaining Army experience by reflecting the training, technology, actions, and career advancement of a Soldier within an exciting, free game experience. Players can download the teen-rated game from Steam, as well as from partners listed at the America’s Army website. As with previous versions of America’s Army, AA3 will be constantly updated to include new features and missions and to highlight new technologies being incorporated in today’s Army.

In America’s Army 3, Every Detail Counts and as a result, the game has more authentic military elements including training, technology, weapons, and audio than any other military game. Built on Unreal Engine 3, AA3 delivers stunningly realistic environments, lighting effects, animations, and team-based experiences so that America’s Army players can experience how Soldiers train, live, and advance in the Army. Players are bound by Rules of Engagement (ROE) and gain experience as they navigate challenges in team-based, multiplayer, force-on-force operations. In the game, a player’s actions and demonstrated Army values are integral to successful mission accomplishment and affect a player’s career progression.

The game is launching with five different environments, each with three different mission scenario options for a total of 15 different map/mission combinations. Initially, the core of the gameplay focuses on an Infantry Soldier (11B). Players first complete Basic Combat Training and then progress to Advanced Individual Training for a variety of specialized roles that the Infantry Soldier performs, such as Advanced Rifleman, Automatic Rifleman, Squad Designated Marksman, and Grenadier. This advanced training allows players to unlock new abilities and gear, customize their gear and equipment loads, increase their in-game skill level, and progress in their Army careers.

Fox announces fall 2009 schedule

“So You Think You Can Dance” cut down an hour to make room for “Hell’s Kitchen”, just through October, until Hell’s Kitchens run is over and no word about if Terminator will return (so far it’s gone for good).
Fox will also get a head start on the fall season, launching its Wednesday, Thursday and Friday shoes a week before the official TV season start.

Here is the list:

“So You Think You Can Dance” on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m
“Glee” on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 9 p.m
Bones” on Thursday Sept. 17
Fringe” on Thursday Sept. 17
“Brothers” on Friday Sept. 18
“Til Death” on Friday Sept. 18
Dollhouse” on Friday Sept. 18

“House” returns Monday, Sept. 21 with a two-hour episode; the show reverts to its regular 8 p.m. slot on Sept. 28, along with the season premiere of “Lie to Me.”

The Simpsons” Sunday, Sept. 27
“The Cleveland Show " Sunday, Sept. 27
Family Guy” Sunday, Sept. 27
American Dad” Sunday, Sept. 27

Saturdays, “Cops” will return with two new episodes on Sept. 12, along with the season premiere of “America’s Most Wanted.” The late night “Wanda Skyes Show” launches Nov. 7 at 11 p.m.

Movie news – Conan Director, 007 and Analog TV

nispel_marcusConan remake has a director

Marcus Nispel has been set by Nu Image/Millennium Films to direct “Conan,” ending a nine-year development ordeal to reinvent the Robert E. Howard-created barbarian first immortalized onscreen by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1982.

Production on the remake is set to start late this year in Bulgaria and South Africa. Nu Image/Millennium is making the film in a co-production with Lionsgate. Avi Lerner and Joe Gatta are producing with Fredrick Malmberg. Malmberg runs Paradox, the company that holds the rights to “Conan” and the other hero franchises in the Howard library.

The film will be the most financially ambitious ever for Lerner, with a script by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, whose credits include “Sahara” and “Cowboys and Aliens.”

The Next 007 News

Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions and MGM are moving forward on the next 007 installment, hiring “Frost/Nixon” scribe Peter Morgan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to write the script for the 23rd James Bond film.

Purvis and Wade most recently worked on “Quantum of Solace” and “Casino Royale.”

Daniel Craig is already set to reprise his role as 007, and Wilson and Broccoli are producing. No start date has yet been set, but sources said EON and MGM are eyeing a 2011 release.

And last, really I’m not sure how people don’t know about the switch but whatever.

Today is the last day for Analog TV signals

Television stations across the U.S. began cutting their analog signals Friday, marking the final signoff for a 60-year-old technology and likely stranding more than 1 million unprepared homes without TV service.

The Federal Communications Commission put 4,000 operators on standby for calls from confused viewers, and set up demonstration centers in several cities. Volunteer groups and local government agencies were helping elderly people set up digital converter boxes that keep older TVs functioning. Any set hooked up to cable or a satellite dish is unaffected.

Actor Liam Neeson negotiating for Hannibal role A-Team

neeson_liamSo it looks like Liam Neeson is in negotiations with 20th Century Fox to star in its bigscreen adaptation of “The A-Team” as Col. John “Hannibal” Smith. Liam just wrapped up filming Clash of the Titans, playing Zeus so this should fill him up with enough remakes for the next few years.

Also, Bradley Cooper is in early talks to play Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck… no lie I didn’t know his name was Faceman, I really thought it was just Face.

Still to be cast are the roles of Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock, played by Dwight Schultz in the original, and Sgt. “B.A.” Baracus, the role that made Mr. T an ’80s icon.

Honestly, if they don’t cast Mr. T I’m not going to see it, nope!

Production begins in late August for a June 11, 2010, release.

Piracy Group In Sweden Wins Seat On EU Parliament!


First Pirates then Ninjas maybe?

Found this on Routers:

Sweden’s Pirate Party, striking a chord with voters who want more free content on the Internet, won a seat in the European Parliament, early results showed on Sunday.

The Pirate Party captured 7.1 percent of votes in Sweden in the Europe-wide ballot, enough to give it a single seat. The party wants to deregulate copyright, abolish the patent system and reduce surveillance on the Internet.

“This is fantastic!” Christian Engstrom, the party’s top candidate, told Reuters. “This shows that there are a lot of people who think that personal integrity is important and that it matters that we deal with the Internet and the new information society in the right way.”

Previously an obscure group of single-issue activists, the party enjoyed a jump in popularity after the conviction in April of four men behind The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s biggest free file-sharing website.

The case cast a spotlight on the issue of internet file-sharing, a technique used to download movies, music and other content. The defendants have called for a retrial.

Despite the similar names, the party and the website are not linked. The party was founded in 2006 and contested a Swedish general election that year, but received less than one percent of the vote.

Engstrom credited the party’s appeal to young voters for its success. “We are very strong among those under 30. They are the ones who understand the new world the best. And they have now signaled they don’t like how the big parties deal with these issues.”

The Pirate Party will take up one of Sweden’s 18 seats in the 785-seat parliament. “We will use all of our strength to defend personal integrity and our civil rights,” Engstrom said.

Batman Vs Superman Humor!

I’ve watched these about three times each already. In fact it’s playing right now while I’m typing this.

“So uh stop any crime and if Lois asks I’m judging a space bikini contest is the Cancun dimension”.

In the comics, Batman would win (we can fight about it all day), but Superman wins out with the funny for me in these.

Hey did you see this new Superman T-Shirt we just got in? I’m going to be sporting it over at the Philly Comic Con show in a few weeks.



Actor David Carradine found dead, Police believed he committed suicide.

David Carradine, star of Quentin Tarantino’s two-part saga “Kill Bill” and the 1970s TV series “Kung Fu”, has been found dead in the Thai capital, Bangkok. A news report said he was found hanged in his hotel room and was believed to have committed suicide.

A spokesman for the U.S. embassy, Michael Turner, confirmed the death of the 72-year-old actor. He said Carradine died either late Wednesday or early Thursday, but he could not provide further details out of consideration for his family.

The website of the Thai newspaper has more info:

Carradine, 72, was in Bangkok to shoot a movie and staying at Suite Room 352 in the Park Nai Lert Hotel on Wireless Road since June 2. The film crew noticed his absence when they went to dine out at a restaurant on Sathon Road on Wednesday. Carradine did not show up at the dinner and the team could not reach him. They assumed that because of his age he was resting in his room.

A hotel maid opened his suite yesterday at 10am only to find Carradine dead in a closet. He was described as being half-naked.

A police investigation showed that he hung himself with a rope, the kind that is used for curtains. Police said he was dead not less than 12 hours and found no sign of fighting or assault.

He had been married five times and divorced four. He is survived by Annie Bierman, whom he married in 2004. He was father to three children and four stepchildren

His personal manager, Chuck Binder, told BBC that the news was “shocking”, adding: “He was full of life, always wanting to work… a great person.”

In all, he appeared in more than 100 feature films with such directors as Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman and Hal Ashby. He was best known for his role as Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin priest traveling the 1800s American frontier West in the TV series “Kung Fu,” which aired in 1972-75.

Botcon 2009 in Pasedena, CA with StylinOnline.com

BotCon was amazing!  There are so many good things to be said bout this years event.  First off, it was easily the most family friendly Transformer show that StylinOnline.com has ever set up shop at.  Moms, Dads, teens, toddlers, babies.  Everyone! 

The hall has to have been the biggest ever seen for BotCon.  Lots of great dealers & exhibitors.  Heavy hitter toy stores BigBadToyStore.com & TFSource.com were set up with great displays.  Hasbro’s display was HUGE!  Almost as large and intricate as they set up every year at San Diego Comic Con.  They had lots of figures on display and were primed for the release of the new movie toys!

“By far the best BotCon that StylinOnline.com has ever been to and I can’t wait until next year.  If you didn’t make it out to the show you missed out on a real winner!” said StylinOnline.comPresident and all around nice guy, James Cucchiara.

Here’s a peak at what the StylinOnline.com booth looked like.  Pics courtesy TFW2005.com!

Microsoft Keynote at E3 – Xbox360 Info Ahoy!

Microsoft is ready to challenge Nintendo at its own game.

The software giant is putting the finishing touches on a motion control system that will essentially turn its Xbox 360 into a Wii on steroids.

Dubbed Project Natal, the system will operate with any current and future Xbox 360 and turn individuals into the controllers of the videogame console, eliminating the need for them to hold anything while interacting with the device or games that play on it. System will also recognize faces and voices.

Steven Spielberg was on hand for a news conference Monday as Microsoft tubthumped Project Natal on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which kicks off Tuesday at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Microsoft also unveiled a major upgrade to the Xbox’s digital movie service, making titles available in high-def without the need for lengthy downloading.

Microsoft’s push to innovate in motion control technology is the latest example of how the videogame industry hopes to court the masses with casual games that consumers can play without investing hours of time.

"We’re using the best controller ever invented: you," said Don Mattrick, senior VP of Xbox during Monday’s news conference at USC’s Galen Center.

The casual game boom is what helped Nintendo sell 50 million Wii consoles and make it a runaway hit with players who aren’t hardcore gamers, and it’s a segment of the market that’s expected to help boost the videogame biz past the record $21 billion it reached last year.

"What Microsoft is doing isn’t reinventing the wheel, but no wheel at all," Spielberg said during the Xbox newser.

The director, who has a development deal to produce games at Electronic Arts and is devising future titles that will work with Natal, said the system should make games more approachable and attract people who "are just too intimidated to pick up a videogame controller." He added that despite the size of the games biz, 60% of households do not own a console.

E3 is the videogame industry’s version of ShoWest, with the major consolemakers and larger publishers parading top talent to tout their upcoming hardware and games.

Videogame designers are treated as A-list celebrities there, but traditional artists have a place at the show, too.

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison were on hand to promote "The Beatles Rock Band," a version of the MTV and Harmonix franchise that should also appeal to general auds when it bows in September with 45 songs and exclusive content, including the full "Abbey Road" album, for the Xbox 360.

"The game is good, the graphics are very good, and we look great," Starr said.

Also on hand was skateboarder Tony Hawk to push a skateboard-shaped controller that will be released with the upcoming "Tony Hawk Ride" game from Activision Blizzard.

The irony is that the controller would be made obsolete once Project Natal rolls out. Microsoft did not reveal a release date for the system or its retail pricing.

Microsoft made several other key announcements Monday:

  • The digital movie service on Xbox Live will eliminate the need to download pics onto the console’s hard drive; instead they will stream instantaneously in the favored 1080p high-definition format. Service, which includes Netflix, will be renamed Zune Video in the fall to tie in with Microsoft’s iPod-like handheld device.

The improvements in the movie service should prove especially interesting to the homevideo divisions at the studios given that Microsoft is providing yet another reason not to buy a physical disc to watch a pic at home — especially a Blu-ray disc for viewing a film in high-def.

  • The Xbox 360 has also locked down the "Final Fantasy" and "Metal Gear Solid" franchises, which had previously been playable only on the PlayStation.
  • Two new installments of Microsoft’s most successful franchise, "Halo," are planned, with "Halo ODST" bowing in September and "Halo Reach" in 2010.
  • Last.fm will join Xbox Live’s music service, offering millions of songs for free to gold members. CBS Interactive owns the company.
  • Facebook and Twitter will join the Xbox Live service in the fall, expanding the reach of the social networking services.

Also in a letter to the press they mentioned a few other that are not in the keynote:

  • Games on Demand. Xbox LIVE has changed the way you play your games, and now we’re changing the way you access them, with the digital distribution of full Xbox 360 games. The Games on Demand channel will launch with a library more than 30 great games, from classic hits like “Mass Effect,” “BioShock” and “Assassin’s Creed,” to family favorites like “LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga” and “Sonic the Hedgehog.” You’ll have access to a wide variety of great games, downloadable in only a few hours and at the touch of a button. We’ve also added the option to purchase Games on Demand directly with your credit or debit card.
  • Great games on Xbox LIVE and Xbox LIVE Arcade. Xbox LIVE Arcade is keeping the fun rolling all summer long. We are continuing our commitment to quality and innovation by delivering five weeks of downloadable blockbusters with the second annual Summer of Arcade – bringing you the biggest and best smash hits of the season including “Shadow Complex,” “Trials HD,” “Splosion Man ™,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™ : Turtles in Time Re-Shelled,” and “MARVEL™ VS. CAPCOM® 2.” And of course I’m excited to see the launch of our beta season of “1 vs 100” today. I’m also already playing a ton of our newly announced game, “Joy Ride,” and I can’t wait for you to experience it this holiday.
  • Avatar Marketplace. Since the launch of NXE, millions of Avatars have been created on Xbox LIVE, giving our members a whole new way to express themselves online, in games, and in their social experiences. Starting this summer, you will see some great new ways to make your Avatar truly your own. First, we heard loud and clear from you that you wanted to get new avatar items as awards when playing games, and I’m happy to announce support for in-game Avatar Awardables. Second, you’re going to see some great new options with animated Props and full costumes to add to your Avatar. Finally, we’re continuing that spirit of customization and self-expression with a virtual closet full of premium clothing and interactive props to download and purchase for your Avatar. Whether its game-inspired gear or the latest fashion trends, there will be creative options for everyone to enjoy. You’ll also be able to easily access the new Avatar Marketplace directly through the Avatar editor.
  • User Ratings. We’re adding a five star rating system that lets you easily rate any content in the Games Marketplace. Now you’ll be able to show your support for your favorite games and Game Add-ons on Xbox LIVE and also quickly organize by user rating to find the community’s favorite content. This has been one of your most-requested features, and we’re very happy to bring it to you this summer.
  • Performance Updates. We know that the details also matter. That’s why we’re making a series of updates based on your feedback. First and foremost, the entire Xbox LIVE service is being upgraded for improved performance including better guide and friends access. Some other things we’ve done based on your feedback include revamping the friends sorting list, Achievement views and improving our matchmaking support. There’s always room to improve, and your input really matters to us…so keep it coming!

Weekend Boxoffice Chart and Releases for May 31st through June 6th

With a $68.2 million opening weekend, Up gives Pixar yet another hit to brag about at the next Hollywood BBQ.

  1. Up $68.2/$68.2
  2. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian $25.5/$105.2
  3. Drag Me to Hell $16.6/$16.6
  4. Terminator Salvation $16.1/$90.6
  5. Star Trek $12.8/$209.5
  6. Angels & Demons $11.2/$104.7
  7. Dance Flick $4.9/$19.2
  8. X-Men Origins: Wolverine $3.9/$170.8
  9. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past $1.9/$50.0
  10. Obsessed $.6/$67.5
  11. The Brothers Bloom $.6/$1.3
  12. The Soloist $.5/$30.2

We also have the releases for May 31st through June 6th 2009.

Box Office
Land of the Lost
Away We Go
The Hangover
My Life in Ruins

DVD & Blu-ray
He’s Just Not That Into You (DVD & Blu-ray)
Defiance (DVD & Blu-ray)
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete (Blu-ray)
The Graduate (Blu-ray)
Air Force One (Blu-ray)
Glory (Blu-ray)
Revolutionary Road (Blu-ray)
Inside Man (Blu-ray)
Road House (Blu-ray)
Out of Time (Blu-ray)
Navy Seals (Blu-ray)
Fletch (Blu-ray)
Anaconda (Blu-ray)
Bruce Almighty (Blu-ray)
Life After People (Blu-ray)
Direct Contact (Blu-ray)
Rollerball (Blu-ray)
Weeds – Season 4 (DVD & Blu-ray)
Prison Break: Season 4
Quincy, M.E.: Season 3
Cannon: Season Two, Vol. 1
The Hunger: The Complete First Season
Raising the Bar: The Complete First Season
The Jetsons: Season Two, Vol. 1
The Fairly Odd Parents: Season 1 (2-Disc Set)
The Fairly Odd Parents Season 2 (3 Disc Set)
Highlander: The Complete Animated Series

Bungie Leaked HALO: Reach (New Xbox 360 Game)

Bungie may have leaked a new Halo game for the 360. With the big media blitz for ‘Halo 3: ODST‘ coming later today Bungie updated the forums to add ODST, it seems however they also added HALO: Reach with it (then pulled it down).

The internet doesn’t lie, Skoar has the full story plus the cashed pages.

Coming back to the subject of Halo: Reach, although the threads have been deleted there still exists a few cached pages of this rumored game/project in development by Bungie/Spawnpoint Studios and Microsoft Game Studios.

And for those who don’t read the Halo books, a little info on ‘Reach’

The view on the forward screen zoomed in- jumped and refocused on planet Reach.
Twenty thousand kilometers from the planet, a cluster of a hundred UNSC ships collected at rally point Zulu: destroyers, frigates, three cruisers, two carriers-and three refit and repair stations hovering over them . . . waiting to be used as sacrificial shields.

The scene blinked and transferred to the approaching Covenant fleet. There were so many ships Captain Keyes couldn’t estimate their numbers.
“How many?” he asked.
“I count three hundred fourteen Covenant ships, Captain,” Cortana replied.

The Covenant ships accelerated toward Reach. The fleet at rally point Zulu fired their MAC guns and missiles. The orbital Super MAC guns opened fire as well-twenty streaks of white hot metal burned across the night. The Covenant answered by launching a salvo of plasma torpedoes at the orbital guns-so much fire in space that it looked like a solar flare. Deadly arcs of flame and metal raced through space and crossed paths.
The engines of the three refit stations flared to life and the plate like ships moved toward the path of the flaming vapor.