Why You Need To Go To The "Staggering Beauty" Website

Image Credit: George Michael Brower

First, I want to tell you Staggering Beauty is a game. No, no, maybe it is a website. Perhaps, it is just an interactive art project that you can play with and manipulate to your own whims.Then it dawns on me. It doesn't matter what it is. Stuff like this does not need to be put in a box and labeled, when what works so well about it is the very fact that you cannot do that with it.

Maybe instead of me deeply philosophizing about this, you should just hop over to Staggering Beauty and check it out for yourself. Put together by Google Creative Labs designer, George Michael Brower, and though it is simple and design and execution, there is something that just sucks you in and keeps you there. 

Once you pop over there and mess with it a little bit, you will see just what I am talking about. Simple? Yes. But there is something staggeringly beautiful about that.



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A Scary Good Spawn Fan Film

The Hellspawn anti-hero known simply as Spawn has starred in dozens of different comic series spanning hundreds of issues, an amazing yet short lived animated series, and a pretty bad live action film.

So why is this badass comic book character, with so much movie storyline potential, still waiting around for a decent movie adaptation?

Your guess is as good as mine, but until we get to see that great big screen movie we’ll just have to settle for this awesome short film by Irissee entitled Spawn: The Recall.

(YouTube Link)

On second thought, settle really isn’t the right word, since this fan film is more fun to watch than the '97 movie!

Hollywood movie studios need to help Todd McFarlane's hellish anti-hero out, he's only been around for twenty some odd years, isn't it about time he got a decent movie treatment?!

-Via io9



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Summer Movies 2014: Hits and Misses

Believe it or not, despite how many massive movies came and went this summer, movies in general did not do as well this summer as projected. That means, a lot of big movies did not make the money they needed to make, while a couple other movies no one expected came in and kicked butt.

To put the summer movies of 2014 in perspective, Screen Junkies hosted a panel of some of the finest in internet movie writing (though I was woefully neglected) to talk about some of the best and some of the worst movies that came out this past summer. You really can't argue with their logic (though you don't have to agree with the one person who liked the TMNT reboot. Best we will just leave that alone).

(YouTube Link)

Much like the panel, I was shocked at how good Edge of Tomorrow was, but feel the need to expand on something they say. They all agree that Edge of Tomorrow was a surprisingly engaging and fun film, but that it had a super generic name. But someone should point out that the movie Edge of Tomorrow is based on a Manga book called All You Need Is Kill.

Now that, my friends, is a name that would have brought the movie the crowd it deserved. Okay, that is all. Just proving my worth for the next time they have one of these panels.



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Trailer For Tim Burton's Upcoming Movie Big Eyes

Tim Burton is known for his kooky creature creations, his dark and quirky sense of humor, and the touch of classic cinematic style he adds to every film, and since he's always reinventing himself fans will always find something new to love about his movies.

Burton has created many different kinds of films, such as supernatural comedies, stop motion animated fantasies, dark sci-fi flicks and lighthearted family films, and now he's adding a new genre to his collection- the biographical drama.

(YouTube Link)

Tim Burton's upcoming film Big Eyes is based on the life of artist Margaret Keane, whose paintings of bug eyed kids and critters caused quite a stir in the pop art world in the 60s and 70s.

Big Eyes looks like it will be an interesting change of pace for the prolific filmmaker, adding yet another dimension to the visionary's incredibly diverse cinematic career.

-Via Variety



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7 Incredible Natural Phenomena You May Have Never Seen

Image Credit:Rolf van Mellis

Weather is a fairly compelling spectacle. Not just weather itself, but some of the weirder weather phenomena that occurs throughout the world. The stuff we hear about, but never see. Truthfully, in regards to some of the things mentioned on the following list, you may not even HEARD of them.

While everyone can say they have seen a particularly tumultuous rainstorm before, what about when it rains fish in Honduras? That is one we might not as familiar with.

Witnesses of this phenomenon state that it begins with a dark cloud in the sky followed by lightning, thunder, strong winds and heavy rain for 2 to 3 hours. Once the rain has stopped, hundreds of living fish are found on the ground. People take the fish home to cook and eat them.

I am not even sure what is weirder. The fact that the sky rains fish semi-regularly in Honduras, or the fact that the natives take the strange fish, cook it, and eat it. To them, it is a gift from the Gods. To us, it is science.

This list over at Oddee of strange natural phenomena is well worth checking out, as raining fish seems to be the tip if the iceberg. Don't worry. It is not all weather related. One of the entries is about goats who climb trees.

Yup. You just read that correctly.



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Vintage MTV Concert Doc - Punks And Poseurs

It’s hard to believe the MTV of today was once a network devoted to music, and thriving subcultures based around music, instead of cheesy reality shows and decidedly non-musical content.

MTV has begun to show music videos once again, but it's safe to say they will never be the trend setters they once were, as this amazing documentary called Punks and Poseurs that aired in 1985 will demonstrate.

(YouTube Link)

This freakin’ rad, totally cutting edge (for its time) concert video features performances by bands like the Dickies and GBH, and footage of perfectly punk writers Pleasant Gehman and Iris Berry trashing the influx of "poseurs" making their way into the L.A. punk scene in the mid-80s. 

-Via Dangerous Minds



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The Ancient Maya Batman

To mark the 75th anniversary of the birth of Batman, the Mexican division of Warner Home Entertainment and the Mexican Museum of Design gave plain white plastic busts of Batman to 30 Mexican artists. They encouraged the artists to do whatever they wanted with them.

One of the artists, Kimbal, responded with this Pre-Columbian Batman inspired by Maya art and mythology. Appropriately, it references Camazotz, a Maya god that looked like a vampire bat.

In the current DC continuity, Batman has appeared in paleolithic Gotham, 17th Century Gotham, and the Old West. Perhaps DC should make a comic about Batman in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

-via Technabob



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The Search for Spock

Okay, adults, back to school time, and you will be timed on this. A year before the movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock came out, he was featured in a math problem in a 1983 issue of the journal Mathematics Teacher. Students were instructed to use a compass and a straightedge to solve the puzzle. Can you find Spock? Students were given 50 minutes to complete the task. No, you won’t see him in the image, but you might find it a challenge to figure it out. The ten steps of instructions are at at io9. Will he Bonus: Can you find the glaring anachronism in the image? -via Digg



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Witness the Firepower of This Fully Armed and Operational...Oh. Well, Never Mind Then.

So Britain isn't an option for Emperor Palpatine. But maybe he should stay and enjoy some kidney pie and haggis while he's visiting.

-via Tastefully Offensive | Images: unknown, Lucasfilm



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Covers For Kids Books That Would Warp Young Minds

Children’s books are full of large, illustrated pages oozing with visual appeal, and fun stories crafted to captivate young minds, and when we're all grown up we look back fondly on the times when our parents read our favorite books to us before bed. 

So what could have possibly made those beloved children's books even more memorable? 

How about gritty covers, with catchy titles like Mummy's Breaking Point, The Futility of Existence, or that all-time classic Lassie Gets Even:

Photoshop funster Bag of Delights created these delightfully dark children's book covers, adding madcap titles to the original artwork to ensure that these twisted tales leave their mark on impressionable young minds.

These twisted cover creations aren't going to make their way onto store shelves anytime soon, but the idea of a kid reading a book about Episcopalian pirates or Death Cults is a bit of a knee slapper!

-Via Boing Boing



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DC Comics Heroes And Villains Get The Norman Rockwell Treatment

Most of Norman Rockwell's paintings are considered lighthearted and fun, rendered with an incredible degree of realism that really sets the scene in each of his artworks.

Nowadays, artists apply the Rockwell name to any artwork rendered in a similar style, or with similar character staging, even if there's nothing Norman about the piece.

The digital paintings of OnlyMilo (Ruiz Burgos) deserve to be compared to Rockwell's works, and his realistic treatments of DC Comics heroes and villains make you feel like you’re on the scene, watching something spectacular happen right before your eyes.

Warning- Fall is in the air, and it has wreaked havoc on Poison Ivy's wardrobe, so if illustrated bums offend you then don't click on the links! You've been warned, cheeky monkey...

-Via GeekTyrant



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25 Weirdest Batman Covers

Image Credit: DC Comics

To Batman's credit, he has been a versatile hero through the ages. While some of his henchmen and rogues gallery are well-known and beloved (and feared) bad guys, some of the situations Batman found himself in during his golden age could best be desrcibed as "insane". From situations like the above scenaio which has him fighting apes AND gangsters, to covers that would never be made now due to the changes in societies feelings towards certain issues, sometimes you just wish someone would put together a gallery of some of Batman's weirdest covers. Then you remember that this is the internet, and someone has.

Vulture Carefully assembled this list of the 25 weirdest Batman covers for us all to look over in awe and amazement. Some of them will make you laugh, some of them will make you scratch your head, but most of them will just remind you that Batman is one of the coolest (and easily most insane) heroes and comics out there.



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Strange, Little Known Facts About the Original Star Trek



A new article at io9 reveals some interesting stories from These Are the Voyages. According to its promotional copy, this hardcover book is a collection of memories "from actors, directors, producers, and production crew, capturing what went on from every perspective, including memos dictated by Roddenberry while reading drafts of the series scripts." It sounds like a fascinating read which, io9 reports, details a surprisingly high number of conflicts surrounding the scriptwriting, filming and everything in between.
 
Here's an amusing bit of trivia: Gene Rodenberry's vision of the future included men who had no chest hair. Thus, William Shatner was required to be shaved by a studio barber prior to any scenes in which he had to show his naked chest. According to These Are the Voyages, Roddenberry hoped that the men of the future would have "little or no body hair." Quite the visionary. 

Read nine more facts about the original Star Trek here. 

 



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Star Wars Parenting Done Right

(Fowl Language/Brian Gordon)

Part of good parenting is protecting the innocence of your children. There's a lot of ugliness in the world. Someday, your children will have to face it. But that can be done in an age-appropriate manner at the right time. There's no need for frighten them before they can emotionally handle traumas that adults have to grapple with.

(Fowl Language/Brian Gordon)



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How To Play the Hurdy Gurdy

The Hurdy Gurdy is an instrument that was used in medieval times to make people get jiggy. The instrument itself was made of wood and stringed, as you can see, but how you play it is what sets it apart from most other musical instrument. Well, that and the odd droning sounds it makes while you crank/play it. Not only do most people not know what a Hurdy Gurdy is, most people have never seen one or even heard one (that they are aware of, anyway). Just think, by the end of this video, you could know how to play one. Now you just need to find a Hurdy Gurdy.

(YouTube Link)

Fact is, you bust out a Hurdy Gurdy people will just genuinely have their mind blown that someone actually has one, nevermind if they can play it. That is, the three people who actually know what one is. Regardless, it is good to know everything, so now you can add the Hurdy Gurdy to your vast base of knowledge.

-via Ballista



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Women Who Conquered the Comics World

Comics creator and historian Trina Robbins recently published Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists, 1896-2013, and an art exhibit from Robbins’ collection, inspired by the book, is on display at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. Robbins tells us about the history of the women who write and illustrate comics, including her own experiences in the 1970s.    

The underground comix scene was taking root in San Francisco, in part, because the Print Mint, a publisher in San Francisco and Berkeley, California, that started out making psychedelic rock posters, regularly published these comix, such as their anthology called “Yellow Dog,” which Robbins contributed to, and Robert Crumb’s “Zap Comix.”

“The underground comix movement grew as more and more people said, ‘Oh, yeah, we can do our own comics. They don’t have to be superhero comics. We can do comics about the life we relate to as hippies in the counterculture,’” Robbins says. “And it seemed like the exciting stuff was coming out of San Francisco. Underground cartoonists on the Lower East Side moved to San Francisco, and so did I. But then, when I got to San Francisco in 1970, that was when I discovered that maybe it was the mecca of underground comix for the guys, but not for the girls. To start with, there was only me and one other woman there, Willy Mendes, drawing comics, and we were left out of the scene.

“The guys would call each other up and say, ‘Hi, I’m going to put together a comic. Would you like to contribute?’” she continues. “But nobody ever called me. However, both Willy and I were good enough. Both of us eventually did our own comics with the Print Mint because the male cartoonists wouldn’t put us in their comics.”

The entire post at Collectors Weekly is a fascinating look at the history of comics, and how women have always been a part of it.



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Billy The Butcher's Superhero Beer Art

Image Credit: Billy the Butcher

Can we imagine, for just one simple moment, that superhero's had beer brands? Can I live in a world where Deadpool can have his own lager that I can go buy at the local package store after a long shift of writing stuff? I mean, imagine how good a beer brewed by Wolverine would be? The dude loves the stuff. Lives off it, even.

Alas, I cannot live in that world. You see, that world does not exist.

What is great, though, is I can live in a world where artist Billy Butcher can illustrate faux beer labels as if they were the beers of superheroes, and that's a pretty good world to live in, too. I would say Hellboy's "HellBeer" wins for catchiest name. You can see why these would never be made, as they could very much appeal to children. Or grown men who think they are children, like me.

Either way, great concept and slick execution.

Unreality



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Everything Wrong With Frozen In Ten Minutes or Less

When I first found the YouTube channel for Cinema Sins I was both excited and a little crushed. Excited because I love film and love the deep examination and dissection of it as an art form. The crushed part came from the fact that I knew the channel would probably show me some flaws in some movies I really enjoyed. A good example of a polarizing movie choice is the following: Frozen.

A beloved Disney movie that somehow took on legs of its own and became the most successful animated movie of all time is one you have to be slightly careful when you decided to pick apart, piece by piece. Luckily, the guys behind the site clearly know what they are doing, and how to do it. So though most of us may have enjoyed it, take a moment to check out everything wrong with Frozen. It is not a cruel or as painful as it sounds.

(YouTube Link)

Don't worry if they point out something that really bothers you. The trick is, you just got to let it go. Sorry folks, that was low hanging fruit and I had to go for it.



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What Happens To Cartoon Characters When Their Shows Are Cancelled?

When cartoon shows go off the air the animated stars of those shows react just like real life celebrities- they hit rock bottom.

Some turn to food for comfort, others find themselves working menial jobs for far less pay, and a few actually find a new career outside of showbiz and end up living quite fabulously.

(Vimeo Link)

Sick and twisted animator Steve Cutts created this rather colorful short called “Where Are They Now?”, which reveals the sad lives of cartoon characters past their prime.

It's a gritty look at how those who once ruled Toon Town find themselves around thirty years later, and lemme tell ya- it ain't a pretty sight!

(May contain content considered NSFW)

-Via Nerd Approved



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How To Grow A Tiny Forest Anywhere And Save The Environment

I would think that most of you know about the amazing series of Ted Talks that have become more and more popular over the last few years. Amazing forward-thinking, life changers telling us how we can do the same.

In this particular entry, eco-entrepreneur Shubhendu Sharma explains to us all how we can help grow a mini-forest anywhere. And how by doing so, we are doing a huge part in helping to save the environment, which we all know could use some help right now. It is a remarkably simple plan we can all take part in, and it will only take you a little over four minutes to learn how to do this. Take the time, your planet will thank you for it (just not literally, because that would be weird).

(YouTube Link)

Sometimes, as humans, we don't realize the small and simple things we can do to make life here last a little longer and to make the quality of it better for all.

Wimp



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Blockbuster Movies Recreated With Stock Footage

Classic movies often become classics because they feature scenes that stick with the viewer, scripts that really speak to the audience, and a mood that moviegoers find moving.

However, every good movie’s appeal ultimately comes down to visual interest, which means most classic movies can be identified solely by visual elements contained in the film.

(YouTube Link)

Dissolve created this fun movie quiz called Scenes You've Seen, featuring stock footage videos clipped together to represent blockbuster movies, tune in and see if you can name all fourteen films!

-Via Cheezburger



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Synonyms For The 96 Most Commonly Used Words in English

Image credit: Flickr user Leon Brocard

As writers, every one of us on this site try to find words that are a step apart from the most over-used words you often see on the web. Problem is, we have these words programmed into our minds and tend to use them as reflex. Although a thesaurus is a good way to break that mold, thankfully, some websites do the hard work for us so we don't have to.

Just English assembled a list of synonyms for the 96 most commonly used words in English, and you don't have to be a writer to appreciate it. These words can even help you sound more fluid and less cliche' in conversations. We all use the word bad quite often, but have you ever called your Brussels sprouts "ghastly"? Well, now you can and impress all the fellow Brussels sprout haters around you as well.

The fact is, this language is a gift and we often scoff at it or misuse it. This list helps switch up your thinking when it comes to that.



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If Superheroes Did Commercials

(Image: Mathieu Parent)

(Image: Xum Yukinori)

(Image: Nick Perks)

If you're a full-time superhero, you probably don't have time for a regular full-time job. You'll need another source of income. Or perhaps you're already rich, but would like to make more through good merchandising. Either way, celebrity endorsements may be a way for you to make some rent money.

Every week, Comic Book Resources hosts The Line Is Drawn, a theme-based art contest for comic book artists. This past week, the topic was superheroes doing commercials. You can view all of the contributions here, including Thor selling Craftsman tools and Power Girl selling Wonderbras.

-via Geek Tyrant



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Conan O' Brien Sings Monorail Song As "Simpsons Take the Hollywood Bowl"

It is rather mind-blowing to try to think about the talent who have come and gone from the Simpsons studios over their stories history. From writers and voice-actors to celebrity guests, it is the longest running comedy show in history for good reason. Because it has been a consistently driving force in entertaining people for well over two decades now. But most people who love the Simpsons cannot help but think back to its golden age. The golden age of the Simpsons, for those who don't know, are when Conan O' Brien used to write for the show. Well, two nights ago "Simpsons Take the Hollywood Bowl" happened, and for those who don't know, one very special man showed up and did a very special song he had written for the show, many seasons ago. The monorail song, sung by none other than Conan O' Brien. Sorry the footage is a little shaky, but that is what happens to your hands when you are trying to film pure magic.

(YouTube Link)

So let me sum this up for you. Two nights ago at the Hollywood Bowl, people got to see Conan O' Brien (among many others) sing songs from the Simpsons live. Mark that one under: things I will forever wish I went to see live. I cannot be the only person feeling that right now.

Via Pajiba



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Cosplay from KantaiCon--The Con on an Aircraft Carrier

The USS Yorktown (CV-10) is an Essex-class aircraft carrier launched in 1943. It's now a museum ship in Charleston, South Carolina. The Yorktown is berthed near the USS Clagamore and USS Laffey, a World War II era submarine and destroyer, respectively. Together, the three vessels host KentaiCon, an annual anime convention.

The filmmakers of Beat Down Boogie were on site last weekend to film some of the impressive works of cosplay. Attack on Titan cosplayers were asked to man the wall cannons to guard con-goers against titans.


(Video Link)

-via Ace of Spades HQ



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Pikachu Clad Dude Wandered On To White House Lawn On 9/11

September Eleventh is a day of remembrance, and for many a day of mourning, but thankfully it hasn’t yet become a day of acting the fool just to get some media attention.

However, this year one unfortunate fellow made the news for doing something really strange on 9/11- he hopped the fence at the White House and found himself on the wrong side of the law(n).

So what’s the strange part of the story?

(Image source: Charlie Gile)

The guy was wearing a Pikachu hat and t-shirt, and clutching a plush Pikachu, as he wandered on to the White House lawn looking almost as bewildered as the security personnel who arrested him.

(Image source: Morgan Parmet)

Is he a trainer who saw a Grass type Pokemon wandering around the grounds of the White House that he wanted to add to his collection? The world may never know…

-Via Polygon



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NECA Joker Figure A Thing of (Chaotic) Beauty

I think it is still safe to say, years later, we are still deeply affected by Heath Ledger's portayal of The Joker before his tragic and untimely death. Maybe one of the most menacing and freaky characters ever put on film, it is a character and portrayal that will forever be remembered for just how chilling and frenzied it all was.

It may be years later, but NECA has crafted a finely tuned Joker collectible (please do not call it an action figure. Anything that can cost upwards of two hundred dollars is no longer a toy) and it bares a freakish similarity to the character we all knew and feared. NECA is not one to deliver aything less than a stunning collectible, so this Joker should come as no surprise to anyone. But still, just imagining that face peering at me from somewhere on the shelf in my office gives me the willies. The company announced the final packaging design for this fine Q scale figure today -and it's impressive.

Please note, a price point has not been announced yet. But expect to pay anywhere from $75.00 to $150.00 for the piece. Remember kids, NECA makes art, not toys. Keep in mind, a lot of the stuff they sell ARE toys, and I'm simply saying that to justify my own inevitable purchase of this Joker figure when it comes out this fall. -via ToplessRobot

(Image credit: NECA)



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The Sesame Street Parody of Star Wars Is Perfect


(Video Link)

The video Star S'Mores is supposed to teach children the concept of self control. But we all need to learn that, so it's appropriate that the story parodies a movie older than some of the kids' parents.

In five pun-packed minutes, Flan Solo (Cookie Monster) tries to learn to control his urge to eat his partner, Chewie the Cookie, a chocolate chip cookie. Only One Cannoli, Master Groda, Darth Baker, Princess Parfaia, and Luke Piewalker help Flan Solo learn to control his impulses by using The Four.

-via Gizmodo



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Chewbacca Dog

Redditor ejara80 writes that this costume worn by his friend's dog won third place at a Petco Star Wars contest. It's fantastic! I'm curious about what costumes could have beaten a dog who naturally looks like a Wookiee.

Perhaps, like Chewbacca with the Rebel Alliance, Petco has a rule: no pants, no medal. That's dangerous for the company because Wookiees are known to pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose.

-via Tastefully Offensive



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Kevin Smith Is Promoting His New Movie TUSK With Medical Marijuana

Kevin Smith has his own unique view of the world, a quality we the fans love and admire in him, and despite the occasional Jersey Girl the guy always keeps his fans coming back for more, and the haters just keep on hating.

His upcoming film TUSK promises to be much the same- a movie with an interesting premise that will probably be adored by Smith’s fans and hated by the rest, so Kevin came up with a similarly polarizing way to advertise his movie- medical marijuana.

Kevin hired Kushman Veganics to grow two unique strains of marijuana in honor of his upcoming movie TUSK, strains which will be sold by L.A. dispensary Buds & Roses in containers bearing advertising artwork for the film.

The strains are appropriately named White Walrus and Mr. Tusk, and herb grinders emblazoned with the TUSK logo will also be given away to patients at the dispensary, so they have "a daily reminder of the soul crushing spirit of the film's main antagonist, Howard Howe".

How's that for creative movie advertising in the 21st century?!

-Via /Film



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