Down below we have your hand-picked headlines from the fanboy universe, but first …
Everybody’s stirred up about the just-released images from the upcoming J.J. Abrams version of "Star Trek" but we thought we’d take you for a quick trip in the way-back machine to 1973 with this vintage photo of the original stars. In this great photo from the Los Angeles Times archives you see Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley and William Shatner in a recording studio at work on the Emmy-award winning "Star Trek" animated series that premiered that year.
Now on with today’s selected headlines:
Sgt. Rock, reporting for duty: Jennifer M. Contino chats up Billy Tucci, the writer and artist on a new six-part "Sgt. Rock" miniseries. Tucci came up with his own personal form of boot camp to prepare — he joined in World War II reenactments to get in touch with the subject matter. Tucci says: "I approach this project as if it were a creator-owned project; I am literally putting more of myself into The Lost Battalion than anything I’ve ever done. My heart and soul spills out on every page…" [Comic-Con.com Pulse]
Bad Religion?: Charlie Jane Ayers has a look at the percolating concerns about the religious elements of a planned "Ramayan 3392 A.D." film, which would be based on the Virgin/Liquid comics title that takes the Indian epic into sci-fi directions. "Hindus are already getting nervous about the futuristic Hollywoodization of one of their classic texts, the Ramayan. The Universal Society of Hinduism has been sending out press releases saying Hollywood is ‘welcome to make a movie about Ramayan, but the final product should be the true depiction of it and not a fantasized or a re-imagined version.’ "
And speaking of religion and pop culture, did you see the story about a fatwa being placed on Mickey Mouse? Seriously. "Sheik Muhammad Munajid claimed the mouse is ‘one of Satan’s soldiers’ and makes everything it touches impure. He warned that depictions of the creature in cartoons such as ‘Tom and Jerry,’ and Disney’s ‘Mickey Mouse,’ had taught children that it was in fact lovable. The cleric, a former diplomat at the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C., said that under Sharia, both household mice and their cartoon counterparts must be killed." [Newsarama] UPDATE: The Saudi scholar quotations that led to the Newsarama item mentioned here are now in serious doubt. Muhammad Al Munajid said on a Youtube post that he was viciously misquoted and his words were taken out of context. "Of course I know, as I have known for 40 years, that Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character. Thus I did not issue such a fatwa; nor would any reasonable person say such a thing." [Daily News Egypt]
MegaCon announcement: The event billing itself as the "biggest and best Comic Book, Sci-Fi and Anime convention on the East Coast" will be Feb. 27-March 1 at the Orlando Convention Center. There’s a deep list of guests, including a considerable contingent from "Battlestar Galactica," with Dirk Benedict and Herbert Jefferson from the original series, James Callis and Luciana Carro from the new one and Richard Hatch from both. Other guests: Margot Kidder, Lou Ferrigno, George Pérez, Darwyn Cooke and Chris Claremont. [MegaCon website]
– Geoff Boucher
"Star Trek" cast photo from 1973 by Mary Frampton/Los Angeles Times
"Sgt. Rock" art by Billy Tucci, courtesy of DC Comics