Sunday, September 17, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Basil Gogos Has Merged With The Infinite



If you're a Monster Kid of any stripe, you know the work of Basil Gogos. Whether from his work painting covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland to album covers, Gogos spent the back half of the 20th Century and early 21st Century as king of a niche others are just now entering - illustrative portraiture of cinematic marvels and monsters.

Yesterday I became aware of the news that Basil Gogos has passed beyond this veil of tears.  But of this I am certain - his work is now as much a part of Monster Movie fandom as the films, actors and creators.  His uncanny visuals have been wonderful additions to pop-culture and modern culture itself.


St. Vincent - "New York"

Lookout. Swears in the song embedded below.



I am very much looking forward to the release of this album.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Harry Dean Stanton Has Merged With The Infinite


Somehow, death has taken one of the best, Harry Dean Stanton.

A notice in the New York Times.

No matter what he was in, he elevated the movie. Ebert himself said: "no movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad."

Truth.
  • Cool Hand Luke
  • Kelly's Heroes
  • Godfather: Part II
  • Alien
  • Escape From New York
  • Christine
  • Repo Man
  • Red Dawn
  • Pretty in Pink
  • Last Temptation of Christ
  • Wild at Heart
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With me
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • The Avengers
  • Twin Peaks
We're going to miss you, sir.  But thanks for everything.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Remembering 9/11




Remembering the victims and heroes of September 11, 2001 and all that came after.

May America remember how to live without fear.  May the world learn to live without war and terror.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Comics Legend Len Wein Merges With The Infinite


Gerry has informed me, and social media - from Paul Kupperberg to Paul Levitz and Elliot S! Maggin - confirms, that Len Wein has passed.

A report at CBR, Newsarama, and we are certain the reports will be in the hundreds.

My ear is not to the comics social media ground the way it once was, and I confess I didn't know he was ill.  When his fellow Swamp Thing creator, Bernie Wrightson, passed in recent days, I'd known of Wrightson's illness in part because of announcements and some of his work stopped that I was reading.  Wein had recently returned to the DC stable and I hadn't heard.

I just check Comic Vine, and Wein has 1640 credits on comics to his name between credits for writing, editing, et al.

69 seems far off when you're in your twenties.  When you're in your forties, it seems very, very young and very unfair.  

But Wein left an incredible legacy, and was a huge part in the shift in content and tone that led to modern comics.  From his contribution in creating Wolverine and Swamp Thing to his work on establishing X-Men in much the way we think of them today, to great work on Batman and practically every other character in comics.

I can't say anything that Wein's peers and friends won't say with more grace and with far more meaning than myself.  I encourage you to read the tributes which are already appearing.  But I will say he will always be remembered, his work loved, his contributions honored and the folks he inspired who came after him owe him a great debt of gratitude for paving the way to a new kind of comic - which, in turn, changed our culture.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Super Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Watch: Superman - The Movie (1978)


The other night Jamie and I watched Superman: The Movie for the first time in some time.  For us, that meansL it's been over a year since we sat down and watched it.  For me, it's been greater than 6 months.  It may be that same "more than a year" timeframe - these days I can no better remember a particular viewing of the movie than I can an airplane flight or yet another hotel room.  I've been trying to watch things new-to-me and kind of failing at it, and re-watching this movie, yet again, was not going to get me into anything novel.

What spurred us down this path was the recent article on a site called Polygon that discussed what most Gen-Xers and our forebears already knew:  Christopher Reeve is more than just a buff, cut dude in spandex.  He was a Julliard-trained actor.  And, he was working with a director and script that didn't just ask him to glower or look mournful across the span of two movies.  In comparison to the funeral dirge of Man of Steel and Cavill's limited acting opportunities and Batman v Superman and the inane use of the character, Superman: The Movie's myth-building, multi-tier, multi-faceted structure gave Reeves (and the film itself) the chance to do something deft and nuanced when it wasn't being broad and slapsticky.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Because Texas Lawmakers Run Totally Unopposed - Sep. 1 Was SWORD DAY

Here in the great State of Texas, it is now somewhat legal to brandish a sword in public.  Basically the conservatives have been in charge my entire life, and have run out of things to conserve.  I wish I was kidding, but that's how we wasted an entire session trying to tell transgendered people where and how to pee.

So, they're also doing stuff like worrying about your right to carry a sword in public, which was apparently a problem for someone.

The Texas Law Hawk is here to protect your rights and provide some consultation.

He is a real lawyer.  And, some say, a hero.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

On the 30th Anniversary of Something to do with the band Whitesnake



Original Leaguer JimD challenged me to post something related to the 30th Anniversary of something to do with the band White Snake.  I don't know what it was.  I suppose probably the arrival of their big album, the name of which I cannot recall (I looked it up.  It's "Whitesnake".  Those clever bastards.).

But I owned the tape.

What the kids who think they know about the 1980's misunderstand is that in 1987, the music scene was not all Depeche Mode and LL Cool J.  It was lots and lots and lots of "hair bands", Phil Collins, Whitney Houston and Gloria Estefan.  But, wow, were there a lot of hair bands.  Like, all @#$%ing day long on the MTV, it was a bunch of guys with terrible, teased hair.

I was never much one for Motley Crue or whatever, and I really wasn't into:  White Lion, Great White, or even White Snake.

But in that Year of Our Lord, 1987, what White Snake had that nobody else had: Tawny Kitaen

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Be Super: Let's Help Houston



I do not expect most people to understand Houston.  I don't get it, and I go there pretty often and have friends there.  Lived north of there myself back in the 1990's.  It's easy to write-off as a city in dumb 'ol Texas that's probably getting what it deserves.  Look, Houston, like any place on Earth, has its issues.  But it's not some backwater redneck town.  At least it hasn't been since the 1980's.

Houston is not just a well-populated metroplex - fourth largest in the country - it's a multi-ethnic, international mix of people with a vibe all its own, a place of genuine opportunity, and full of fine, hard-working people of all stripes.

It is geographically huge.  Because so much looks the same in the shots they're using in the news footage, that's difficult to get, but what considers itself "Houston" covers roughly fifty to seventy miles across in any direction.  These days I don't know when you quit saying you're out of "Houston" when you go up I-45, but it's all one corridor til you leave Conroe, so that's more or less an hour and a half on the road that's all one town.  And it does the same going East/ West.

And all of it's in trouble.  Since my last post on Houston, I've seen footage of the area where I went to high school under varying levels of water.  For some reason the thing that broke me was seeing St. Ignatius Loyola, the Catholic Church I only stepped in once, submerged under 3 feet of water, at least.  St. Ignatius was the church of many of my friends, it's a positive force in the community, and I don't recall them ever receiving flooding before.



I've heard stories of a colleague who was canoed out of her home with her two children and husband, another colleague's parents who were also rescued.  Another friend's mom (who just lost her husband a year ago) is staying with a friend as her house is flooded.  It's everywhere.  I don't know how we can expect a city of millions to recover.

And as a double-hit, I know a lot of Katrina refugees wound up in Houston.

So, as too few of us own boats or helicopters, I'm suggesting we do a little something to give.

I guess it's people being people, but already we're seeing articles complaining about various charitable organizations trying to help out Houston.  We're going to ignore that and provide a menu of folks who can provide a direct line of help:




Houston is nothing if not stubborn and resilient.  As much as I believe in the spirit of Austin, I recognize and appreciate the heart that is Houston.  Good people live there.  There's a kindness to the city that's genuine.

Just as Houston is a city of people who can fight their way back.