Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Shopping For Comic & Sci-Fi Fans

We're fast approaching December, and for the Comic & Sci-fi Fan, it's a big month for movies.

It's also a big month for holiday toy shopping (which is why the big movies come out in December) and all of the must have tie-in-toys are already on the shelves.

If you're a fan of the genre, you may know what you want, but if you're buying for that special Comic & Sci-Fi fan you know and love, choosing the right item can be a little tough.

How do you know what's going to be hot, and what's going to be left in the stores, collecting dust until the tie-in-toys for the summer movies are released? Sometimes it's tough to tell, so I've put together a handy holiday shopping guide for 2016 that will tell you which toys are must-haves, and which toys are must-misses.

If we look at the holiday movie release schedule this year (from November-December) we can see that there are three important movies that are just released, or coming out soon.

They are:

Dr. Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Rogue One:  A  Star Wars Story

The hottest comic and sci-fi toys will be tie-ins for these movies, so let's take a look at each movie, and figure out what to get.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story:

Without a doubt, Rogue One will be the number one toy giant this holiday season. That's good news, because as I write this, Rogue One has not yet been released, and won't be released until December 16, so now is the time to buy the specifically Rogue One toys featuring the all new characters in the movie.

My suggestion is to make sure that you're buying "Rogue One" toys, and not Star Wars toys related to any of the other movies.  Often times, stores will try to trick you by placing older toys out front, under a sign or banner for the current movie, so make sure that any Star Wars toy you buy has a "Rouge One" logo somewhere on the box. Action figures featuring the new characters are always in high demand.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them:

Not as hot as Rogue One, these toys are still a great choice.  Like previously stated, make sure anything you buy is specifically from this movie.  Book stores are a great place to find the latest Fantastic Beasts toys.

Dr. Strange:

In third place is Dr. Strange.  Same rules apply, but this movie is not going to have the toys that are in highest demand.

***

This wraps up my holiday comic & sci-fi buying guide.  Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

In two days, we celebrate Thanksgiving, and all of us at Perro Worldwide will be enjoying the long holiday weekend, from November 24-27.

Regular updates to the PWC website will resume on Monday, November 28th.

That's all for this week, because there's Thanksgiving shopping to be done, and the dinner guests will be here before I can say "turkey" three times fast!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Nim

Have you ever played Nim?  You probably have, in some form or another.  It's an ancient game with several variations.

Here are the basics:

Marbles are arranged into four rows.  Row 1 has one marble, row 2 has three marbles, row 3 has five marbles, row 4 has seven marbles.  Different versions of the game have different numbers of rows and marbles.

Two players go back and forth, taking removing as many marbles as they wish from whichever row they wish. The winner is the person who forces their opponent to take the final marble.

It's a math game, and it's an important part of an upcoming episode!

Friday, November 11, 2016

All New PWC Website

We will be launching an all new version of the PWC website in the coming months!

We're very excited about the next evolution of Perro Worldwide, and behind the scenes, it's getting busy!

More details about this exciting development will be coming soon, but I wanted to announce it here first.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

MPSS and the Hub Tournament

This Wednesday, Mission Park Street Stories is all new with an episode that takes place at the Hub Tournament...  Yes, that Hub Tournament from High Heel Samurai.

In the first episode with clear links to High Heel Samurai, Team Mission Park finds themselves fighting for their lives at Boston's second most famous fighting competition!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

MPSS Cast Photo-Shoot

A little over a week ago, we held a Cast Photoshoot for Mission Park Street Stories.

We'll be officially releasing a new series of MPSS Posters in the coming weeks, but waiting is never fun, so today I decided to give you a sneak-peek!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How dark should a story be?

Lately, there seems to be a debate between comic & sci-fi fans about how dark a story should be. There isn't just one correct answer. There are some absolutely amazing comic & sci-fi stories that are light, and there are some absolutely amazing comic & sci-fi stories that are dark.

Personally, my favorite superhero stories have a mix of both light and dark, and to show you why, I'm going to tell you a story.

Below, you'll find an ultra-short superhero adventure starring Chris Ember, the fiery superhero who can transform into fire, water, or electricity at will...

***

Chris Ember
The Neutral Tremont Street Showdown

Chris Ember turned up the volume. He had to hear every word.

Julie Timber: "This is Julie Timber, reporting live from downtown Boston. Police have Tremont Street blocked off, attempting to keep crowds away from the violent scene. Massive casualties have already been reported, and unless Poison-Wraith can be stopped, the numbers could climb exponentially."

In a bolt of lighting, Chris was gone. He materialized on Tremont Street instantaneously, directly in front of Poison-Wraith.

Poison-Wraith: "Chris Ember... I'm not surprised."

Chris Ember: "Nobody else gets hurt tonight, Wraith. Drop the plasma swords."

Poison-Wraith: "You really are a fool, Ember. Not even you can stop me."

Out of control, Poison-Wraith lunged towards Chris, swinging his swords wildly. The fight was intense, as Chris dodged one swinging sword after another. As Poison-Wraith lunged forward with a final thrust, Chris electrically bolted upwards, and then back down, behind Poison-Wraith.

Without time to react, Poison-Wrath crashed into a side-wall, knocking himself unconscious. As quickly as it began, the fight was over.

Chris turned back, towards the end of the street, where he could see the lights from the police cruisers blaring.  And then, in a bolt of lighting, he was gone.

***

That particular story wasn't light or dark. It was neutral. Want to see what it would it look like if we lightened it up?  Let's find out.

***

Chris Ember
The Light Tremont Street Showdown

Chris Ember turned up the volume. He had to hear every word.

Julie Timber: "This is Julie Timber, reporting live from downtown Boston. Police have Tremont Street blocked off, attempting to keep crowds away from the dastardly Poison-Wraith. Can anyone save the city from this unimaginable foe?

In a bolt of lighting, Chris was gone. He materialized on Tremont Street instantaneously, directly in front of Poison-Wraith.

Poison-Wraith: "Chris Ember... I'm not surprised."

Chris Ember: "You picked a bad night to cause trouble, Wraith. Drop the plasma-tomatoes."

Poison-Wraith: "You really are a fool, Ember. Nobody can stop me!"

Out of control, Poison-Wraith lunged towards Chris, throwing plasma-tomatoes wildly. The fight was intense, as Chris dodged one tomato after another. As Poison-Wraith lunged forward, he made a terrible error, stepping on one of his very own tomatoes, and slipping backwards, into a trash can, knocking himself unconscious.

As quickly as it began, the fight was over.

Chris Ember: "Now that's what I call stepping in it!"

Chris turned back, towards the end of the street.  A crowd of people were rushing towards him, eager to meet the hero of Boston.

Police Officer: "You did it, Chris!  You saved us all."

Chris Ember: "All in  day's work, Officer!  All in a day's work!"

***

That was the light version. Pretty lame, right? Let's go the other way and darken it up something serious.

***

Chris Ember
The Dark Tremont Street Showdown

Chris Ember turned up the volume. He had to hear every word.

Julie Timber: "This is Julie Timber, reporting live from downtown Boston. Police have Tremont Street blocked off, attempting to keep crowds away from the violent scene. Massive casualties have already been reported.  What remains of Tremont Street looks like battle-zone.  Unless Poison-Wraith can be stopped, the numbers could climb exponentially."

Crushing the remote in his hand, Chris stood up, and in a bolt of lighting, he materialized on Tremont Street.

The reporters were not exaggerating. The devastation was beyond anything Chris had ever seen. Standing directly in front of him was Poison-Wraith.

Poison-Wraith: "Chris Ember... I'm not surprised. Ready to die like so many others?"

Chris Ember: "Nobody else dies tonight, Wraith. Nobody but you. Now, drop the plasma swords before I burn you to a crisp."

Poison-Wraith: "You really are a fool, Ember. You can't stop me."

Out of control, Poison-Wraith lunged towards Chris, swinging his swords violently. The fight was intense, as Chris dodged one swinging sword after another. As Poison-Wraith lunged forward with a final thrust, Chris electrically bolted upwards, and then back down, behind Poison-Wraith.

Without giving Poison-Wraith time to react, Chris locked his arms around the monster's neck, and then slamming him head first, into the wall, knocking him dead.

As quickly as it began, the fight was over.

Chris turned back, towards the end of the street, where he could see the lights from the police cruisers blaring.

Chris Ember: "Spineless cowards!"

And then, in a bolt of lighting, he was gone.

***

So, now you've read the same story three times. What's the takeaway?

While we had the same exact villain doing the same exact thing three times, they were all very different.

The first version of the story, which was neutral, played it safe. In that version, there is nothing exceptional about the hero or the villain. It's not terrible, but it's not an overly interesting story, lacking both intensity, and humor.

 The light version of the story is no better. While it amps up the humor, it took away all the danger and, more importantly, all the important decisions away from the hero.

In the light version, the villain isn't a credible threat, and he was ultimately subdued by his own clumsiness. Chris Ember, while involved in the fight, watched as Poison-Wraith subdued himself.

This story isn't light because of the silly weapons and bad one-liners.  (Though it doesn't help.) It's light because the element of danger has been completely removed, and because the hero does nothing brave or heroic to save the day.

Conversely, the dark story over-played the danger.  The villain was overly dark, to the point of absurdity, and the hero used excessive force subduing the enemy when he didn't have to, making his actions wrong. It concluded with Chris showing contempt for the people he just saved. All in all, not a great read.

***

That's why I go back to my original point.

A good superhero story should have elements of light and dark at the same time.  The villain needs to be a credible threat, absolutely dark, with a clear motive, and cruel plans. The hero needs to hold strong to his moral values, or risk becoming the villain, but make tough choices that lead to victory.

Comedy can be inserted, but not in a poorly executed, one-liner-kind-of-way, but in a dramatic, character specific way, more subtle in tone.

Perhaps the best way to explain is to tell this story one last time...

***

Chris Ember
The  Final Tremont Street Showdown

Chris Ember turned up the volume. He had to hear every word.

Julie Timber: "This is Julie Timber, reporting live from downtown Boston. Police have Tremont Street blocked off, attempting to keep crowds away from the violent scene. Massive casualties have already been reported, and we're getting word now that Poison-Wraith has taken a hostage!"

In a bolt of lighting, Chris was gone. He materialized on Tremont Street instantaneously, directly in front of Poison-Wraith, who had his back turned towards Chris.

Poison-Wraith: "Chris Ember... I'm not surprised."

Chris Ember: "Nobody else gets hurt tonight, Wraith. Drop the plasma swords."

As Poison-Wraith turned around, he revealed his hostage, Monica Tello... The only woman Chris Ember has ever truly loved.

Chris Ember: "Oh no!"

Poison-Wraith: "You really are a fool, Ember. You think I would come unprepared?"

Monica Tello: "I'm sorry, Chris, I had to try to stop him."

Poison-Wraith: "And she was doing quite well, too. At least for a little while. She managed to disarm all but one of my bombs.  This one!"

Poison-Wraith revealed one final tomato bomb.

Monica Tello: "Don't worry about me! You need to stop Poison-Wraith. The entire city is in danger."

Chris Ember: "Let her go, Wraith."

Poison-Wraith smiled demonically before violently throwing Monica into the side wall. In a bolt of lighting, Chris materialized on the other side of the street, catching Monica before she fell to the ground.

Chris pressed his hand to Monica's head, which was cut on the corner of the wall.

Chris Ember: "I'm getting you out of here."

Monica Tello: "No, Chris, it's just a scratch, you need to stop Poison-Wraith."

Without warning, Poison-Wraith threw his final tomato bomb into the sky, where it quickly picked up speed, shooting higher upwards.

Poison-Wraith: That bomb is programed to detonate over the city, radiating everything.  Try to stop it, and I gut your girl. Stop me, and the bomb goes off. Your call, hero.

Monica Tello: "Chris, you need to stop that bomb."

Chris Ember: It's not an either/or choice, Monica. Not light or dark...

In a flash of lighting, Chris picked up Monica, and bolted upwards, into the sky, grabbing the tomato bomb before it could explode. He dropped it over the atlantic, far away from everyone.

One more bolt of lighting, and he was back, with Monica at his side, standing in front of Poison-Wraith.

Chris Ember: "You're finished, Wraith!"

It a fit of rage, Poison-Wraith lunged towards Chris.  The fight was intense, as Chris dodged one swinging sword after another. As Poison-Wraith lunged forward with a final thrust, Chris electrically bolted upwards, and then back down, behind Poison-Wraith.

Without time to react, Poison-Wrath crashed into a side-wall, knocking himself unconscious. As quickly as it began, the fight was over.

Monica Tello: "Nicely done, Chris.  Now, how's about you take me someplace far away and fun!

Chris Ember: "I was thinking more like the hospital."

Monica Tello: "You must be joking, I told you, it was only a scratch. Now scoop me up! If we're not bolting to Italy for breakfast in the next five minutes, I'll be pouty all day.

Chris smiled, and in a bolt of electricity, they were gone.