SDCC 12: the Course of the Force is revving up with Ewoks

While the mental journey to Comic-Con 2012 started on the very last day of Comic-Con 2011 for some of us, an actual physical journey is kicking off this weekend: The Course of the Force, an Olympic-style charity relay run from the Santa Monica Pier to the gates of Comic-Con — with a Lightsaber as the torch — begins its real-life epic journey this Saturday.

To kick off the kick-off, a new short film featuring Nerdist Chris Hardwick shows the origins of the journey— and reveals that the ILM lot is inhabited by real Ewoks, Boba Fett tools around in a van and one particular comics superstar likes to see people on their knees singing “Yub nub.”

Comic Book People: THE VARIANTS web series shows comics shops in a different light

We’ve all had some fun picking apart COMIC BOOK MEN, the kinda incredible show that purports to show life in a comic book store; along the way a few people have suggested checking out THE VARIANTS, a web series produced by Zeus Comics in Dallas. When we say “produced” we mean it’s set in the store, and is written by and stars the people who run the store. We’re not huge YouTube viewers, so we always put off checking it out . But finally having a few moments to check out a couple of episodes, we can now say that while fictional (we hope) it is definitely much more accurate than COMIC BOOK MEN. In fact it’s pretty damned funny.

Cartoon alert: Primus's new "Lee Van Cleef" video

If there were a contest to see how many cool things you could squeeze into one element, this animated video featuring Primus, Lee Van Cleef and zombies, all animated by Greenpoints The Mixtape Club, would be hard to beat. All that it needs is appearances by Bruce Campbell and CM Punk to make it complete.

Video: Time lapse of Free Comic Book Day at Star Clipper

This is a fun video that shows all kinds of people lining up in the first 20 minutes of FCBD at St Louis’s Star Clipper.

Video: Matt Bors

Cartoonist Matt Bors sent along this video of his acceptance speech for the Herblock Award, which gets into some truths about the cartoonist’s life along the way.

Scott Ian, the Nerdist, and Fangoria will show you how to look horrible

For those who want to go all the way on looking ghastly, a newly announced show on The Nerdist YouTube channel should provide all the fashion tips you need. BLOOD AND GUTS will star Anthrax founder and horror expert Scott Ian on a gruesome journey as he learns the secrets of special FX makeup from masters such as Greg (The Walking Dead) Nicotero. The show is a joint venture between Nerdist and Fangoria, the venerable horror magazine.

Eye Opening Session: John Carpenter's The Thing with Cats in Clay

Exactly what it sounds like. But so much better than you could possibly imagine.

WonderCon Kibbles: Nerdist meets Muppets, Adventure Time, Super Best Friends Forever, etc., etc.

Videos, links and previews from the nerdly/toonly side of WonderCon.

Video alert: Sh*t Gary Panter says

Not really, but here’s a video of the great comics creator, artist and designer Gary Panter‘s recent illustrated Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) talk on his life and art.

Undead Chris Hardwick announces The Nerdist Channel for YouTube

You know how everyone is talking about those new streaming channels on YouTube and elsewhere? Narrowcasting meets broadband. It’s all the rage. So are zombies. Thus a zombie Chris Hardwick (via Walking Dead makeup master Greg Nicotero) has announced the Nerdist Channel on YouTube which will feature news on comics, gaming and other nerd-friendly content. So far, you can expect Neil Patrick Harris, Rob Zombie, The Kids in the Hall, and the blog Awkward Family Photos as part of the programming mix.

Watch: 1987 MASTERS OF COMIC BOOK ART documentary now online

The entire 1987 documentary MASTERS OF COMIC BOOK ART is now on YouTube with Harlan Ellison interviewing Eisner, Kurtzman, Kirby, Ditko (!), Neal Adams, Wrightson, Moebius, Frank Miller, Sim and Spiegelman. It’s a little kludgy and old hairdos always are embarrassing but, whoa, Kirby and Ditko!

Watch the first three minutes of the WALKING DEAD mid-season premiere

Can’t wait to see what happens after that last traumatic scene of season 1.0 when Rick shoots Sophia and the rest of the zombies in the barn? The first three minutes of The Walking Dead’s February 12th premiere have just been put on line and we’ll give you three guesses what happens:

The Walking Dead opening credits as cheesy '80s sitcom

The internet FTW once again.

VIDEO: "I'll ski on your lunch if I want."

James Bond is a bit of a prick, isn’t he?

Politics: Marvin E. Quasniki would lead a puppet regime

If you are like us, you are still grieving at the loss of Herman Cain from next year’s presidential race. From his powerful hats, to his inspiring slogans — “You need a job, right?” — to his wondrous waffling that made every scandal a delight, Cain never failed to bring a smile to our lips, even in these grim times. And he justified that faith in his ability to make us laugh at our problems right up until the very end, topping it off with a quote with the Pokémon movie.

But Herman is gone. Luckily, a new candidate for the Republican nomination has arisen who may just take his place, Marvin E. Quasniki, a humble turquoise farmer from Tonopah, Nevada who is running on a very catchy campaign motto that will soon be heard all over Fox News: “No more bullshit.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers channel Raymond Pettibon for recent video

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are still around! And to prove they are still in touch with the kids they have hopped on the hot graphic novel trend for their latest video — because graphic novels aren’t just for kids any more. Under the bridge downtown, is where I drew some mini comics.

Actually, the video for “Monarchy of Roses” is more an homage to Raymond Pettibon than comic books. Amazingly, Anthony is still rocking the shirt-off look as he nears the half century mark…clean living, I guess.