Tuesday, September 29, 2009

sandman by jack kirby...

Between THE NEW GODS, KAMANDI, OMAC and this, THE SANDMAN, there really wasn't a creative force as original or imaginative than Jack Kirby in the 1970's. On SANDMAN, he clearly found a kindred spirit in scripter Michael Fleisher (also responsible for the Wrath of the Spectre stories in ADVENTURE COMICS, with Jim Aparo). Some of the inks on these are by Wally Wood.













Meanwhile, I've been super busy working and teaching and getting ready for the big October Halloween blog-a-thon (check out a list of all participating sites at Branded in the 80s). I was greatly heartened tonight while browsing the Halloween aisle at the neighborhood Rite Aid by a mother and young child. She was menacing the kid with various props from the display, and he was digging it. As I walked away, she was teaching him to cackle like a witch. Maybe there's hope for the future after all...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

wild palms...

This comic strip, by Bruce Wagner and Julian Allen, and the TV miniseries based on it, are two of my favorite things ever. Wagner is one of my favorite authors as well. His books I'M LOSING YOU and I'LL LET YOU GO are devastating. He also co-wrote NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3- THE DREAM WARRIORS, which everyone knows is the best one...







Sunday, September 13, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

wow...


Wow, THE KILLING GENE is a bad movie. Like, impressively bad. First off, it's called THE KILLING GENE, which if you watch the film you realize is about as dully descriptive of a basic plot point as you can get, which isn't bad per se, but that plot point is so stupefying, naming the movie after it just seems to add to the overall lack of intelligence that permeates the entire production. This is the kind of movie that seems as though it were written by someone who speaks English as a second language, and whose main exposure to American culture comes from 80's cop shows and the movie SE7EN, or however the fuck it's supposed to be spelled. Anyway, nothing that happens in THE KILLING GENE, nor any of its characters, bear any kind of resemblance to anything that has ever happened among human beings in day-to-day reality, beyond I guess the basics of the people in the film speaking language and wearing clothes, etc. I think they show someone eating food at one point, that's about as realistic as this thing gets. Oh, and everyone breathes air. I could relate to that.

A few points of interest- THE KILLING GENE stars Stellan Skarsgard, who I once considered to be kind of a class act. Here is seems to be channeling the characteristic growl of b-movie character actor William Smith, which isn't a bad thing unto itself, but it's sort of like watching Max Von Sydow try to imitate Charles Bronson or something, it's totally ridiculous and it does nothing to lend credibility to the movie. Actually, the star of the film seems to Melissa George, although her character doesn't actually really do anything, or have anything to do with the story, and disappears almost entirely before the film's climax. Also in the cast is Selma Blair, who I'm not saying is a great actress or anything, but isn't she kind of a legitimate movie and TV star? Isn't she at least a little bit above played the villain in a crummy straight-to-cable "psycho thriller?" Thrillers like this, by the way, are really the worst genre of movies. I mean, it's not really a horror movie, it won't commit to that, so it's also kind of a cop movie, but it's not really a good cop movie, because there's nothing really realistic about it, so instead it's all the crappy "gritty" posturing of a bad cop movie with all the colored lights and style-sans-substance of a bad SAW-style horror movie. Ick.

The plot of this thing is especially insane, too. I like how they throw a bunch of algebra equations up on a blackboard and have a nebbishy scientist explain things to try to give totally half-baked, completely unintelligible ideas some legitimacy. As it stands, THE KILLING GENE of the title refers to the genetic disposition of people to kill in order to protect their...genes? I didn't really get it. There was this whole thing about throwing a crocodile into a monkey cage, and how the monkeys won't kill the crocodile to protect one another, but rather to protect their genetics, again, it all sounds like this was written by someone who doesn't speak English that well, an idea supported by the resemblance of this kind of incoherence to the kind found in the denouements of most Italian giallo films of the 1970's. So, yeah, it's kind of like that, only worse. Oh, and it's pretty racist too, so if everything else isn't enough for you, it's got that going on.

I'm actually feeling really enthusiastic about how bad this movie was. It's kind of exhilarating to encounter something so mind-numbingly misguided. Excitement. Seriously, though, don't watch it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

polish postcard records...

So, for a chance of pace, and because I finally got around to scan them, here are some postcard records I found on a trip to Poland a couple of years ago. These are mostly from the 60s and 70s, I think. The music tends towards Bobby Darrin and the like (the one with the pic of Marlon Brando has the theme from the Godfather, natch). I love the design on some of these and love the idea of sending a flexidisc as a postcard. Check 'em out...