Geeky Friday: It’s Batman Time; Houghton’s Hobbit Tie-In Titles; ‚ÄúOne Small Step for Man, Oops, Wait, Do-over!‚Äù

Alright all you geeks wearing your capes and doing the Batusi, The Dark Night Rises is here‚ woohoo!!! So far, the film is garnering positive reviews, so fingers crossed. Unfortunately, the film’s debut is being tainted by a horrible shooting incident outside of Denver.

At last night’s preview in Aurora, CO, some armed-to-the-teeth nutcase kicked in the theater’s emergency door and threw in a smoke bomb. The man then entered wearing a gas mask and opened fire, killing 12 people and wounding as many as 50 others (yes, that was five-oh!), many of whom are critical. The police nabbed the shooter, later identified as James Holmes, 24, in the parking lot where he reportedly put up no resistance and was calm. Authorities said the suspect was armed with an AK-type rifle, a shotgun, and two handguns.

Hobbit Tie-in Titles
Despite the above atrocity, this is the Dark Knight‘s weekend, but out there in their holes puffing away on their long pipes are legions of Ringalings waiting impatiently for The Hobbit. Houghton Mifflin is releasing a slew of tie-in books for adults and kids over the coming months. Unlike Rings, Tolkien wrote Biblo’s adventure for his kids, so the film and books will appeal to readers of all ages‚ can you say cha-ching!.

Megan, who handles Tolkien over at Houghton sent me the following along with this sweet cover shot:
Below is the most up-to-date list of our movie tie-in titles planned for the fall:

On-sale date: September 18, 2012.
The Hobbit (movie tie-in edition) by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Mariner Books.
Pap. $13.95. ISBN 9780547844978.
First printing quantity: 250,000.
On-sale date: November 6, 2012.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Visual Companion by Jude Fisher.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Hard cover. $19.95. ISBN 9780547898568.
First printing quantity: 125,000.
On-sale date: November 6, 2012.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide by Brian Sibley.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Pap. $19.95. ISBN 978054789851.
First printing quantity: 125,000.
On-sale date: November 6, 2012.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movie Storybook by Paddy Kempshall.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Pap. $9.95. ISBN 9780547898728.
First printing quantity: 75,000.
On-sale date: November 6, 2012.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Activity Book by Paddy Kempshall.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Pap. $12. ISBN 9780547898711.
First printing quantity: 50,000.
On-sale date: November 6, 2012.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‚ The World Of Hobbits by Paddy Kempshall.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Pap. $9.95. ISBN 9780547898735.
First printing quantity: 50,000.

So lots of fab books to look forward to‚ big thanks, Megan! And check out this kickass banner for the film that debuted last week at San Diego Comic Con:

Wascally Wabbit
Segueing from hobbits to wabbits: big Geeky Friday anniversary/birthday/whatever-you-want-to-call-it wishes to the comedy team of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, who debuted together on the big screen 72 years ago today in Tex Avery’s A Wild Hare.

Last week I mentioned getting my geek on seeing Frankenstein and Dracula at Film Forum. The prints were clean and the films never looked better (glorious black & white!). This Sunday, the Universal Studios centennial celebration continues with every classic horror film fans guiltiest of guilty pleasures: Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.

[Some trivia: By 1948, A&C’s popularity had declined, so the studio was hesitant to put more money into the franchise. When the proposal was made to match A&C with Universal’s classic horror characters, studio execs took the gamble in hopes that the film would revive interest in their monster characters as well. Hiring Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi to reprise their respective roles as the Wolfman and Dracula (Karloff said no to putting on the Frankenstein make-up again) lent authenticity (both actors also give top performances showing surprising acumen for comedy) and the public pounced. The film became Universal’s top grosser of 1948].

The film is playing with W.C. Fields’s The Bank Dick, so if you’re in the NYC area and want to laugh your butt off, catch this double feature.

Geeky Friday 74th birthday wishes to Diana Rigg. That black leather catsuit she wore as Emma Peel on The Avengers still is the stuff that dreams are made of.

Lastly, 43 years ago today, my mom let me stay up late to watch American test pilot Neal Armstrong become the first man to walk on the moon (and flub his line, but I think we can forgive him under the circumstances) while Buzz Aldrin manned the lunar module and Michael Collins orbited overhead. Well done, Apollo 11, and thanks, Mom.

Good weekend, all. Get your geek on. And remember, kids, it’s Batman’s world, we just live in it!

Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.