91st Academy Award Nominees

The 2018 #Oscar nominees have been announced and eight #SciFi & #Fantasy films have been nominated in multiple categories, including for “Best Picture”!

The eight sci-fi & fantasy films that have received at least one nomination are as follows:

  • #AvengersInfinityWar
  • #BlackPanther
  • #ChristopherRobin
  • #IsleOfDogs
  • #MaryPoppinsReturns
  • #ReadyPlayerOne
  • “#Solo: A #StarWars Story”
  • “#SpiderMan: Into the Spider-Verse”

Award Categories Breakdown

For Best Animated Film:

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

For Costume Design:

  • Black Panther (Ruth Carter)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (Sandy Powell)

For Music (Original Score):

  • Black Panther (Ludwig Goransso)
  • Isle of Dogs (Alexandre Desplat)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (Marc Shaiman)

For Music (Original Song):

  • “All the Stars” from Black Panther
  • “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns

For Best Picture:

  • Black Panther

For Production Design:

  • Black Panther (Production Design: Hannah Beachler; Set Decoration: Jay Hart)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (Production Design: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim)

For Sound Mixing:

  • Black Panther (Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin)

For Visual Effects:

  • Avengers: Infinity War (Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick)
  • Christopher Robin (Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould)
  • Ready Player One (Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and David Shirk)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy)

Total Number of Nominations for Each Film

Here’s how many nominations each sci-fi & fantasy film received:

  • Black Panther: 6
  • Mary Poppins Returns: 4
  • Avengers: Infinity War: 1
  • Christopher Robin: 1
  • Isle of Dogs: 1
  • Ready Player One: 1
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story: 1
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: 1

References

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Comic Books Legend George Pérez Announces Retirement

#ComicBooks legend George Pérez has announced his retirement from comics. In a letter published on Facebook, the artist wrote,

“While I know it’s been no secret that I’ve been dealing with a myriad number of health issues (diabetes, heart ailments, vision issues, etc.), they have indeed have [sic] forced me to, for all intents and purposes, formally retire from the business of creating new comic stories.”

Pérez went on to to announce he will no longer be completing commissions, and that 2019 will be his final year making a full slate of convention appearances. He currently plans to continue to attend DragonCon and FetishCon annually.

Pérez closed his letter with the following:

“I’ve had a wonderfully good run doing exactly what I have wanted to do since I was a child. Now I can sit back and watch the stuff I helped create entertain whole new generations. That’s a pretty nice legacy to look back on.”

Pérez’ extensive works during his long career include the following:

For #MarvelComics:

  • The Avengers
  • Fantastic Four
  • Man-Wolf
  • The Inhumans
  • The Infinity Gauntlet
  • Sachs and Violens
  • Hulk: Future Imperfect

For #DCComics:

  • The New Teen Titans
  • Nightwing (co-creator)
  • Justice League of America
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths
  • Superman
  • Batman
  • Wonder Woman (relaunched series and introduced the Greek mythology into the character for the first time)
  • The New Titans
  • Deathstroke
  • War of the Gods
  • Silver Surfer
  • Justice Society of America
  • The Brave and the Bold
  • Infinite Crisis
  • Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds
  • Green Arrow
  • World’s Finest

For #MalibuComics:

  • Break-thru
  • Ultraforce

For #ToppsComics:

  • Jurassic Park

For #GorillaComics, #EventComics & #CrossGen:

  • Crimson Plague (creator)
  • CrossGen Chronicles
  • Solus

For #BOOMStudios:

  • Sirens

We wish George Pérez a wonderful retirement and thank him for all of his contributions to comic books, science fiction & fantasy!

George Pérez

George Pérez

References

Advice from Viggo Mortensen to the Next Actor to Play Aragon in Amazon’s Upcoming LOTR Series

While it may be hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since the third and final #LordOfTheRings film was released in theaters, #Amazon is pouring tons of money into its new #LOTR series that will reportedly feature a younger Aragorn.

Actor Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy, has some advice for the actor to take on the younger version of the character:

“I would say, not only read the book, you know, very thoroughly, that giant book of Lord of the Rings, but you could read some of the Nordic sagas. You’ll get some clues there as to where Tolkien got his information. Like, Sigurd the Dragon Slayer, and the Volsunga saga. Read that.”

Mortensen also recommends watching Kurosawa films. Mortensen also discussed his unusual preparation for the films, for which he only had hours after replacing the original actor for the role:

Lord of the Rings was a case where I replaced an actor and they were already filming – not only filming, but they’d been rehearsing for months and learning all these skills they had to have for those movies – language skills, invented the Elvish, and swordplay, and horse riding, all this stuff. And I was kind of freaked out because I said yeah and I’m on the plane, on this 13 hour plane flight, and I’m looking at the book, which I had never read. But as I started looking at it, I was like, ‘Well, there’s something.’ There’s always something that you can draw on. I had read or been read to as a kid, stories about Vikings and Nordic sagas and stuff, and there was something there that was familiar, but it was still – you know, fortunately when I started doing that shoot it was physical stuff, not dialogue. So it was like sword fighting, so I could get my feet wet with that before I actually had to start speaking. It’s not ideal, but it seemed – my son was really into me doing it, and he was 11 at the time, and that kind of pushed me over the edge to say, ‘Yeah, okay.’ And obviously I’m glad I did it. It opened a lot of doors for me, and we had a lot of fun making those three movies. But it’s not ideal. I sometimes have said no because I’m not gonna be able to do justice to it.”

lord-of-the-rings-viggo-mortensen-600x400

References

Magic in Fantasy Fiction

#Magic is often a key element in many works of #Fantasy fiction. How it is defined and used varies considerably, though, depending upon who authored the fantasy fiction.

What is Fictional Magic?

There are a variety of definitions for magic and it’s important to distinguish magic in terms of how it is used and defined within fantasy fiction as opposed to how it may be viewed from a religious context or when used by magicians within the entertainment industry.

In this article, we will focus on how magic is defined an used only within the framework of fantasy fiction, or, more precisely, fictional magic. That being said, here’s our definition of fictional magic, which is derived from several sources (see our References at the end of the post):

  • Fictional magic is an ability or power that a wielder has to use supernatural forces to make the wielder’s intent manifest, often in an extraordinary way.
  • By supernatural force, we mean a force that is beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
  • By extraordinary, we mean something that is very unusual, strange or unexpected.

Systems of Magic

Authors of fantasy fiction often create a system of magic (a set of rules or guidelines that applies to magic) for the fictional world in which the fantasy fiction occurs. Once created, any magic used has to fall within that magical system. Several examples of magical rules & guidelines are listed below.

  • What is the nature of the magic?
    • Does magic originate from within or without?
    • What powers or abilities can be performed by magic?
    • Is magic natural, mystical or arcane?
    • Is magical power limited to specific items and the possession/use thereof?
    • Does magic have limitations? If so, what are they?
  • Who can wield magic?
    • Is magical ability hereditary or acquired?
    • Can anyone perform magic with the proper knowledge & training?
    • If magic is hereditary, do they still need proper knowledge & training to use magic?
    • How does someone obtain the proper knowledge & training?
    • Do specific magical abilities vary from wielder to wielder?
    • Are there magical creatures?
  • How is magic wielded?
    • Are magical implements (such as wands, staves or crystal balls) required?
    • Are there magical potions?
    • Are incantations required?
    • Are pacts with supernatural creatures required to wield magic?
  • Is there a distinction between “good” and “evil” magical wielders?
    • Do good and evil magical wielders fight each other?
    • Is there a magical judicial system to punish evil magical wielders?
  • How many people know about magic’s existence?
    • Is knowledge of magic’s existence broadly known to everyone (both magical & non-magical people) or only to those who can perform it and possibly a few who are ordinary?
  • Who do magical people interact with?
    • Do magical people tend to only interact with each other?
    • Is there a distinct magical society separate from the ordinary world?
    • If there is a magical society, is it hierarchical?
    • If there is a magical society, how developed is it?
  • If society at large has an opinion about magic, what is it?
    • Is magic accepted, rejected, believed in, not believed in, etc.?
    • How are magical users treated by society at large?
    • Do magical users work in harmony with society at large or are they at odds with one another?

Fantasy Fiction Authors that Include Magic

There are many authors of fantasy fiction that have incorporated magic into their works by varying degrees. Some of the most well known authors are listed below:

J.K. Rowling reading one of her favorite passages from “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”:

References: