Santa Cruz Good Times

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Apr 24th
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For the Fan Who Has Everything

blox-xrayChristmas time is here again and for anyone faced with the daunting task of figuring out that perfect gift for their comic reading loved one, I've put together a small list of some of this year's hottest items. From DVD gift sets to the most recent video game releases, there are plenty of ways for comic nerds to get their superhero fix.

Green Lantern Power Ring Gift Set - This is seriously awesome and if it weren't for the steep price tag (and lack of a good spot in my house), it would be near the top of this year's Christmas wish list. With the popularity of the Corps at an all time high due to the events currently underway in DC's "Blackest Night" series, if you have the means and know someone with a serious affection for the emerald guardian, you can't go wrong with this one.

Star Trek DVD Special Editions - One of the most welcome surprises of the year, J.J. Abrams alarmingly refreshing retooling of the Star Trek franchise hit the home video market last month. To celebrate the release, several stores offered up their own accompanying exclusive merchandise to entice fans. While I have to admit to being drawn a bit more to the set of pins, it'd be pretty hard to turn down that sweet statue of the Enterprise.

Batman Arhkam Asylum Video Game - Hitting both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (but sadly, not Wii), is this dramatic and truly dark take on the caped crusader. Trapped amongst nearly his entire rogues gallery within the walls of Gotham City's horrifying looney bin, players must navigate Batman through stage after stage of pure psychological terror. Reviews on this one have been almost universally positive, a rarity amongst licensed video games, making this one that is sure to be on any Bat-fan's radar.

Watchmen: Ultimate Cut - Zack Snyder's slavishly faithful cinematic attempt to take on arguably the most influential comic series in modern history has already seen several home video releases. Starting with the theatrical cut and followed shortly by an extended director's cut, both were only prelude to this ultimate edition. With more than an hour cut back in including the more seamless than not inclusion of the animated "Tales of the Black Freighter" feature, the movie is allowed to breathe a lot more and makes the previous versions essentially feel like glorified trailers. Is it a perfect movie let alone adaptation of one of my favorite comics ever? No. But it's a lot closer than anyone had any right to expect.

Keeping in mind of course that this is only in addition to the literally thousands of great comic related merchandise already out there waiting to be snatched up at your friendly neighborhood comic shop. Of course, Atlantis Fantasy World and Comicopolis are the 2 major shops to check out for your holiday needs, but keep in mind that Logos books and records is another valuable comic book resource where you can find plenty of used as well as new trades and hardcovers. Happy hunting and happy holidays!

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 24

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