Universal Robots Debut

Mac Roger’s play, Universal Robots, is scheduled to debut at Manhattan Theatre Source in Washington Square Park on February 12 and will run through March 7. The play looks at a robot delivered to Czech playwright Karel Capek in 1921.

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Ackerman Collection at Auction

Forrest J. Ackerman’s collection of science fiction memorabilia will be auctioned off at the end of April. Ackerman’s collection, which includes the ring Bela Lugosi wore as Dracula, numerous magazines, books, and movie props, is expected to bring in at least half a million dollars. Ackerman, who coined the term “sci-fi,” died in December shortly after his 92nd birthday.

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Annie Awards

The Annie Awards for best animated films were announced with the surprise result that “Kung Fu Panda” walked away with more awards than expected frontrunner “WALL-E,” which was shut out.

  • Best Animated Feature: Kung Fu Panda
  • Best Animated Home Entertainment Production: Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs
  • Best Animated Short Subject: Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death
  • Best Animated Television Commercial: United Airlines “Heart”
  • Best Animated Television Production: Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II
  • Best Animated Television Production Produced for Children: Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Best Animated Video Game: Kung Fu Panda

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES

  • Animated Effects: Li-Ming Lawrence Lee for “Kung Fu Panda”
  • Character Animation in a Feature Production: James Baxter for “Kung Fu Panda”
  • Character Animation in a Television Production or Short Form: Pierre Perifel for “Secrets of the Furious Five”
  • Character Design in an Animated Feature Production: Nico Marlet for “Kung Fu Panda”
  • Character Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form: Nico Marlet for “Kung Fu Panda”
  • Directing in an Animated Feature Production: John Stevenson & Mark Osborne for “Kung Fu Panda”
  • Directing in an Animated Television Production or Short Form: Joaquim Dos Santos for Avatar: The Last Airbender “Sozin’s Comet Pt. 3″
  • Music in an Animated Feature Production: Hans Zimmer & John Powell for “Kung Fu Panda”
  • Music in an Animated Television Production or Short Form: Henry Jackman, Hans Zimmer & John Powell for “Secrets of the Furious Five”
  • Production Design in an Animated Feature Production: Tang Heng for “Kung Fu Panda”
  • Production Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form: Tang Heng for “Kung Fu Panda”
  • Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production: Jen Yuh Nelson for “Kung Fu Panda”
  • Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production or Short Form: Chris Williams for “Glago’s Guest”
  • Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production: Dustin Hoffman for the Voice of Shifu in “Kung Fu Panda”
  • Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production or Short Form: Ahmed Best for the Voice of Jar Jar Binks in “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II”
  • Writing in an Animated Feature Production: Jon Aibel & Glenn Berger for “Kung Fu Panda”
  • Writing in an Animated Television Production or Short Form: Tom Root, Douglas Goldstein, Hugh Davidson, Mike Fasolo, Seth Green, Dan Milano, Matthew Senreich, Kevin Shinick, Zeb Wells, Breckin Meyer for “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II”

JURIED AWARDS

  • Winsor McCay recipients – Mike Judge, John Lasseter and Nick Park for career contributions to the art of animation
  • June Foray award – Bill Turner for significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation
  • Certificate of Merit award – Amir Avni, Mike Fontanelli, Kathy Turner, Alex Vassilev

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Shuttle Launch Delayed

NASA has announced that the next launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery will be delayed until at least February 19 over concern about a valve in the main engine. A decision on the actual launch date will be made on February 12. A similar valve was found to be damaged following Endeavour’s most recent flight. This launch will mark the 36th mission for Discovery, currently the oldest shuttle in the fleet.

Klingon-Armed Robbery

An unidentified man robbed two convenience stores in Colorado Springs, CO within half an hour using a batleth, a Klingon sword used in Star Trek films. Clerks in both stores identified the robber as a white man in his late twenties wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and wearing a black mask.

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Obituary: Elda Wheeler

Fan Elda Wheeler (b.1961) died on January 19. Wheeler was a UK fan who was a member of the “Kent TruFandom” group. She was also a member of the UK women’s APA.

Obituary: Angela Morley

Composer Angela Morley (b.1924 as Wally Stott) died on January 14. Morley composed music for Watership Down, “Wonder Woman.” She also orchestrated ET, The Right Stuff, Hook, Superman, and the first two Star Wars films. Prior to gender reassignment surgery in 1972, Stott conducted the BBC Orchestra and worked on the Goon Show.

Obituary: John Scott Martin

Actor John Scott Martin (b.1926) died on January 6. Martin “appeared” in more than seventy episodes of “Doctor Who,” although usually operating Daleks. He also appeared on-screen in the film Erik the Viking, Young Sherlock Holmes, and Little Shop of Horrors.

Aetherica Cancelled

Aetherica, a fantasy convention scheduled to occur in Chester, England from June 19-21 has been cancelled. According to the con’s website, the decision to cancel was made due to “the current economic climate and recent, unexpected issues with the venue in Chester” and promises full refunds.

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New Comics Trade Show

Reed Exhibitions has announced that it will run a new trade show in Chicago beginning in April 2010. The first Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo will run from April 16-18 at McCormick Place. It will be managed by Lance Fensterman, who also manages the New York Comic Con.

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