On Storytelling: 30 Seconds or Bust

So, yep, I’ve been a bit unwell these past few days, but things are looking up. Or rather, I’m looking up at the ceiling earlier this morning and remembering “Oh yeah, I have a lot of writing to do!” as assorted creaks and groans emanate from under the covers. If one’s body is supposed to be a temple, mine is the heart-wrenching (ow) Temple of Doom, minus the fun but deadly mine cart stage. Oh, it used to be there and a hell of a ride it was (a regular E Ticket experience, whee!). But you know how things fall apart over time? Well, that part dropped into the lava about ten days ago and along with all the King’s horses and most of his men. It’s so NOT good to be the King when this sort of thing happens, but we push on. When the going get tough, the tough… kinda go back to bed for a wee bit.

Anyway, as a quick writing exercise as well as a tick towards some much needed humor, I’ve decided to practice on an unwilling audience this form of torture that I hope you appreciate (whipcrack!). Well, it’s not as bad as it sounds (hopefully).

(Thanks, James Bond 007!)

Now, pay attention.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Retro Pop Box Turns Your Mailbox Into A Time Machine

Retro Pop Box (1)If you’re a child of the 1960’s, 70’s or 80’s, or know someone of a certain age craving some random nostalgia, Retro Pop Box is going to be right up your/their alley. The just-launched subscription-only service delivers the goods in the form of monthly boxes of themed swag, all of it fun and guaranteed to get the memory banks kicking in as you’re transported back to your childhood.

A sampler box containing a few items from all three eras popped up in my mailbox a few days back (thanks, Chris!) and it made a rather bland Wednesday end on a rainbow-colored rocket with a paisley disco ball painted on it. Or something close to that.

Continue reading

2001: A Space Odyssey Gets a New Trailer. Time Travel Seems To Work After All!


 
Well, if you’re a very lucky resident of the UK with an interest in the classics, you get to see Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece as it NEEDS to be seen – in a nice theater with a huge screen for a short run starting November 28. This trailer is quite nice even though it sort of gives away a lot of stuff to people who’ve seen this one many times. On the other hand, it’s also mysterious and unsettling in a “What the heck is this film about?” manner that may pull in a few younger viewers yet to experience this ultimate trip. Fat chance of this coming out here, as I have no idea who would go see this other than people like me who don’t mind hoofing it out to a theater just to see something already viewed multiple times (to the point of knowing certain lines of dialog and timing almost perfectly. “Ham, ham, ham, ham…”) Eh, given that I’d have to travel far to see this anyway (we’re down to two faraway theaters of questionable quality in this borough, boooo!), in a goofball way, it’s almost worth the airfare to London. But that’s not going to happen, ladies and gents…

IDW’s John Buscema’s Artist’s Edition: This October Surprise Is A Must-Buy For Silver Age Fans

IDW Buscema
 
Three words: Oh Hell Yeah. This 12 x 17 Artist’s Edition is a MUST for anyone into John Buscema’s art at its best (at least in my opinion). This collection isn’t the COMPLETE run of his on The Silver Surfer, just issues 5, 6 and 8 for your perusal. Nevertheless, this scanned and printed actual-size from the original art limited edition should sell out quickly at comic shops and online retailers that carry it. Sure, these over-sized collections are expensive, but this one’s WELL worth the price, folks. Buy two if you can and make sure one has my name on it when you’re wrapping up that gift!

Yeah, I Want To Get Into Ditko’s Shorts, Too!

Ditko's Shorts Cover

Yeah, I want IN, dammit. Some of Steve Ditko’s horror work used to scare the crap out of me as a kid, so getting the chance to see a bunch of it (along with other genre quickies) in one collection is a great thing for me. And YOU, if you’re also a fan of the man’s work. No, I’m NOT scared of it now, but it’s that brushwork I want to ogle until my eyeballs pop out.

Thanks to Yoe! Books and IDW Publishing, you can grab your own copy of Ditko’s Shorts soon online or from your favorite comics emporium. Buy a second copy and surprise someone with it why don’tcha? Yeah, it’s a SHORT post, too. Ha!

Random Film of the Week: KONGA

(thanks, Movie Trailer Graveyard!)

Konga MPWhile it’s not the worst man in a gorilla suit sci-fi/horror hybrid out there (Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla or A*P*E*, anyone?) 1961’s KONGA is nevertheless a terrifyingly bad movie that’s worth a watch for a few reasons. You’ll marvel at the ferocious, scenery chewing by Michael Gough’s mad botanist/scientist Dr. Charles Decker, the kitchen sink plot that tosses in carnivorous plants, terrible, inaccurate science, botany and biology, a love triangle that’s actually a square that gets whittled away corner by corner as the film progresses and some mostly lousy special effects that make this a total howler. I’ll get back to the ape suit later and the man in it, as both are another key to making this film so hysterically funny.

You have to admire a film that wants you to believe that Dr. Decker returns from his year-long trip to Africa (he’s actually missing and presumed dead!) with some strange ideas, some recipes for a serum that can make plants and animals grow to extreme sizes and a cute baby chimpanzee. His plant experiments end up creating a number of oversize man-eating varieties including (eek) some that look like gigantic black rubber penises with green veins a’poppin’ and red tongues hanging out (seriously). Before that rolls around in your head too much, Decker’s real showpiece is Konga, that baby chimpanzee he gives his serum who SOMEHOW changes into a gorilla (Wait, WHAT? Science takes another hit, folks POW!) before using his new “pet” to get revenge on a few of his peers (spoilers inbound, but it doesn’t matter because even if it’s all given away, this one’s worth seeing for the laughs it provides)… Continue reading

Random Film of the Week(end): Not With My Wife, You Don’t!

(thanks, Night of the Trailers!)

Not With My Wife You Don't MPYikes. Depending on your tastes, Norman’s Panama’s 1966 Sex comedy Not With My Wife, You Don’t! is going to be a very funny film or one you can’t stand. That’s because this sort of humor is SO dated that some will consider the film extremely sexist to a fault (it is) while others who can slip into the mood of the era comfortably will find it a rollicking good time with a nice all-star cast, some lovely Technicolor photography and a fun Saul Bass title sequence that’s one of his quirkiest (see below).

Me, I kind of straddled the fence before falling into the latter yard. While it has its moments and yes, some wonderful shots of Air Force jets in action that make it a must see, the film hasn’t aged well at all as it flops and flails about in too many attempts to be a slapstick comedy while tossing around its questionable content with the hope it always lands on its feet…

(thanks Movie Titles!)

Continue reading

Funko’s Hikari Friday 4 Giveaway: Batman is Back As A Prize, And You’d Better LOVE Glitter!

Hikari logoSure, that campy Batman TV show from the 1960’s hasn’t aged well to some of you out there, but it made me crack up as a kid and still does today. That’s why this week’s Hikari Japanese Vinyl giveaway from Funko is making me smile a bit broader.

Hmmm…you know something? I don’t think I’ve run the description that Funko puts in its press releases, so here you go:

Hikari, meaning ‘light’, is a highly collectible line of clear Sofubi Figures. These will be ultra-limited and piece runs will range from 500pcs-5000pcs depending on the treatment. Each Hikari piece will include a hand numbered card to prove authenticity and rarity.

Anyway, winning isn’t easy but entering IS. Just click on over to one of Funko’s social pages:

www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

Follow the instructions there and wait. Well, you can do OTHER important and non-important stuff while you’re waiting as they’ll most likely contact you if you’re the lucky winner. If you’re one of many unlucky LOSERS, you can still buy this limited to 3000 pieces figure when it ships out to retail in September.

Hikari Glitter Batman

Tune in next week for another excellent Hikari giveaway! Same Bat-time, Same Bat-channel!

A Winter’s Tale, By Simon Bar Sinister…

(Thanks, bullwinklecanada!) 

Ah, so THAT explains everything. Well, sort of. This snow we’ve gotten around here has been odd for a few interesting reasons. Sure, it’s winter, but it’s not a normal winter at all, kids. In fact, I’ll bet you an old penny that Simon Bar Sinister has a big Polar Vortex machine up in a lab somewhere and it’s getting a hell of a workout all of a sudden. Someone call Underdog (again!), as that man needs his butt kicked but good. And Cad? Yeah, buddy… you’re going down as well, grrrr…

I Dream of Tee Vee #2: Speed Racer, Menace to Motorsport!

 
Even as a kid, the opening credits to Speed Racer had me cracking up each time I saw Speed pretty much commit cartoon vehicular homicide on a daily basis when he rammed a fellow driver through a guard rail and sent him sailing off the track and crashing into the background (check out that evidence above). What I didn’t know at that time was that was the US version of the credits and in Japan, Speed was even more of a merry murderer. Granted, the other guys he kills in the original opening sequence below kind of deserve it for shooting at him and his shiny, gadget-packed Mach 5 (do you know how much it costs to replace that fancy curved windshield?). But I’d have simply dialed up the track police or something, pointed my car cam their way and shown what was happening rather that destroy a priceless fossil and kill them outright.

 
Of course, the body count on that old anime was hilariously large in just about every race to the point that I’m surprised whatever body that sanctioned those events wasn’t sued by next of kin and spectators who may have been “wiped out” in a wreck or by flaming debris flying into the stands. Just Google up “Mammoth Car” and see what I mean. I’d post part of that episode here, but I don’t want you kids up past your bedtimes. It IS a school night, you know…