Today is a great day, because we’re welcoming one of the magazine’s staples to its new home on our website. Mosh Pit was a monthly feature in NAG that highlighted all the coolest gadgets, comic books, movies, figurines, bits, bobs and Other Stuff that we thought would make the perfect addition to any geek’s bag of tricks. This is exactly the same thing, except it lives on THE INTERNET.
In volume one we’ve got plushies, movies, assorted geek-cessories and some trade paperbacks to share with you.
Price: R170–R350, available in various sizes from 40cm to 53cm
This is a plush toy from Despicable Me, but you can buy it for little Timmy and say it’s from the recent Minions movie and he’ll never know the difference. As far as we can figure out this minion is Dave, but it might be Jorge due to the squat body type. If it’s Dave then he’s the one that fired the bazooka in the movie, but if it’s Jorge then he’s the one that had his bottom photocopied. Not that any of this will ever matter, because it’s not as if context is king when it comes to these loyal banana-loving workers. This plush is mostly (like 90%) soft and cuddly, but also features hard plastic goggles and eyes making up the remaining 9.9% (the other 0.1% is the tag). It would’ve been cool if the eyes moved around a little but they don’t. One option is to put those sticky googly eyes over the plastic eyes, but then again you’re already far too deeply invested in this plushie to be making additional purchases for aesthetic reasons. It’s a decent plush that no kid will turn away – but you can’t just buy one minion, so…
Big Minion [Stuart]
Price: R170–R350, available in various sizes from 40cm to 53cm
This could be Stuart or it could be Phil; both characters have a single eye and hair parted down the middle. And both love bananas. You have to take your hat off to Gru for being able to recognise all his minions by name – we have only two of these guys in the office and yet so far have no idea how to tell them apart other than one eye or two eyes. This is a large and heavy plush, the kind you get from a rich potential stepdad trying to impress your mom. We recommend milking it for all it’s worth as it’s never clear how long any new father figure will stay in your life considering your mom’s odd habits and overly-desperate laughing at all his jokes. This minion is all plush so it’s pretty safe to give to any child except for really small babies who might get squashed. It’s also great for hugging and decorating a bed or child’s room with.
Team Wachowski hit it big with The Matrix and haven’t managed to reach the same level of success since. We thought that Speed Racer had a unique style and wasn’t too terrible, and we really enjoyed Cloud Atlas because it was smart, well put together and held your attention from beginning to end. Their latest is Jupiter Ascending, which is a bit of a muddled mess starring popular actors and containing some clever ideas, but they’re all thrown together a bit poorly. If you love sci-fi and any of the actors or the directors then give it a watch but for the rest of you perhaps wait for it on DSTV and then pass judgement.
This is a weird one that takes place in and out of the water and in and out of cartoon land. It’s not really what you might be expecting out of a SpongeBob movie, but it will definitely leave you with something new to think about. The plot centres on the secret formula as you’d expect and features everything from wizard dolphins to magic books. It’s fun but definitely only for fans of the series.
Clint Eastwood directs Bradley Cooper in this true story about Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. The real Chris Kyle saved many lives providing sniper cover to soldiers and became something of a legend during his four tours of duty. The fighting bits are exciting and shocking, but it’s the coming home to his family that provides the real story. It’s good, well directed and brilliantly acted, but it might leave some viewers a little confused about the message it’s trying to sell. For more straight-up action like this try Lone Survivor or Black Hawk Down.
Price: R40 each
If you’re having a bad hair day or just want to cutesy up your outfit with a statement piece somewhere on your head, then these handmade hair bows created right here in sunny South Africa (Durban to be specific) are the business. What’s cool about them is that they take all of two seconds to clip in: there’s no fussing with awkward catches or trying to stuff a thick ponytail into a small elastic band. There’s a huge variety to pick from aside from the six that we were sent (Batman, Harry Potter Gryffindor, Invader Zim‘s Gir, Attack on Titan, Alice: Madness Returns and Sailor Moon). If you’re heading to rAge in October look out for the Frockabilly stand in the Artists Alley.
“Family moves to new town to escape its dark past, but that past follows them to the new town” – it’s a story that’s been told countless times, but how it’s told is more important. Wytches Volume 1 takes us to the town of Litchfield, where the Rooks family is trying to settle into a new life. Dad –alcoholic struggling cartoonist; mom – recently paraplegic nurse; daughter – social misfit. Wytches is only slightly out of the ordinary when it comes to its cast and basic setting, but trust us, you’ll need that familiarity to help come to grips with the wild story and equally mad (or more so) presentation.
The art comes from someone simply called “Jock”, who’s been on the comic scene since 2000, mostly as a cover artist or collaborator. Now he’s been unleashed on Wytches, and clearly he’s enjoying the space he has to shine. His particular blend of traditional and digital art creates a psychedelic dream state for the intense scenes that play out, but he knows when to hold back for the sake of pacing. Together with the dark, smartly-written story and dialogue from Scott Snyder (American Vampire, Swamp Thing), there’s magic in these woods.
As its name implies, Rumble features a lot of combat. There’s an obvious manga influence when it comes to the fight scenes, but it’s been tweaked and smoothed over to make it appealing to a Western audience, and the pages flow from brutality to exposé without missing a step.
Rumble takes place anywhere you think a scrawny bartender would hang out with an ancient god. That god, disembodied by an ancient ritual, is in search of a new corporeal presence. For now he possesses a scarecrow.
The writing is top notch: as punchy as the action scenes, dripping with wit and flooded with personality. This is backed by hilariously goofy art and some fantastic monster designs. A lot of thought has been put into the art direction by co-creators John Arcudi (The Mask, B.P.R.D.) and James Harren (with colour from Dave Stewart), and it shows.