Showing posts with label passing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label passing. Show all posts

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Comic Artist Steve Dillon Merges With The Infinite

God.  Dammit.  2016.

Comics artist Steve Dillon has passed.

Dillon was one of the finest comics artists of the past few decades, mixing an illustrative quality with cartooning and pitch perfect sense of tone and a moment.  Not only did he have one of the deftest pencils when it came to capturing the exact, perfect expression for every character in a panel - something I assume he did effortlessly as he did it in every panel - but his ability to change pacing, to whip between romance to horror to comedy within a single page remains unparalleled and may never be matched.

His pairing with Garth Ennis was a boon to the medium, from Hellblazer to Preacher to The Punisher.  I don't just consider Preacher a seminal comics work of its era - I consider it a seminal work of its era - full stop.  That said - not recommended for all audiences, Mom.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Gene Wilder Merges With The Infinite

Gene Wilder has merged with The Infinite.

Included in everyone's list of favorite movies, you'll find Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.  Like you, I watch both with alarming frequency, just dropping in for 30-45 minutes or more when I see them on cable.  We watch Young Frankenstein a day or so before Halloween every year as a break from actual horror movies.

What to say?

There really wasn't anyone who was like him before and there certainly isn't anyone like him now.  Who else brings such a thoughtful, skilled, deftly nuanced approach to comedic roles in quite the same way - the punchlines sometimes going by so quietly you almost missed them on the first go-round - or delivered with such staccato bombasity you barely have time to register what's happening before you find yourself laughing.  And that's part of what makes the movies work so well on watch after watch after watch.  He managed to wrangle the cartoony freneticism Brooks brought to the screen in Blazing Saddles, but he was never the straight-man.  He was just funny in his own right, and he knew how to make a scene work far better than it should, even when the jokes were so broad you could drive on them.

Of course, his Willy Wonka came seemingly out of nowhere, a manically perfect performance not intended to comfort children but there for them to understand when, maybe, they got a little older.  That weariness and dissatisfaction of the genius among mortals, that keeper of the faithl in the land of the wicked, just brilliantly played.

I'll always like Young Frankenstein best, but that won't come as a surprise.  There's nothing in the film he does I'd say doesn't work.  He's in perfect sync with everyone in the cast, holding all their various tones together and making for one of my favorite comedies in any medium.

I'm very sorry to hear Mr. Wilder has passed, but am so grateful for what he brought us, and I'm cheered by the massive outpouring in social media.  I hope he knew, and I hope his family knows, how much love people had for him and his work.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Kenny Baker Merges With The Infinite

The Guardian is reporting that actor Kenny Baker has merged with The Infinite.

From a very young age, I was aware that there was a guy sitting in R2-D2 and driving him around, and like most everyone else, I suddenly got why the trashcan had so much personality.  There was an actual person putting actual thought into what was going on with that bucket of bolts.

Baker appeared in a lot of genre film, and seemed to be game for re-appearing as R2 in both film and in TV specials.

By the time The Phantom Menace rolled around, the technology was there to let Baker drive R2 around via remote control, and that continuity between the movies and R2's was a highlight of the prequels for me.  I mean, who doesn't like R2-D2?

We'll miss you, Mr. Baker.  You gave all of us a robot buddy.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Noel Neill Merges With The Infinite

In an article appearing on The Superman Homepage a statement by her manager, biographer and friend, Larry Thomas Ward has informed us that, Noel Neill has passed at the age of 95.  The New York Times has also released an obituary.

I never took advantage of the opportunities to meet Noel Neill that were available when she was still doing comic conventions and The Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois.  By the time I made it to Metropolis, she was 94 and no longer attending.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Noel Neill has passed

I'll write more later, but The Superman Homepage is reporting that Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane in both movie serials and for several season on TV's The Adventure's of Superman, has passed away at the age of 95.

We're very sorry to hear this news and wish her loved ones well.  More later.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Muhammad Ali Merges With The Infinite

Word has broken that heavy weight champion, social activist and all around personality Muhammad Ali has passed.

Like so many people who leave their mark, Ali was a deeply complicated individual, defiant in a time where he had an opportunity to speak his truth to power in ways that still bristle the sensibilities of the establishment.

Few athletes have come anywhere close to Ali's out-sized persona and had the skill to back it up.

His once unstoppable voice has been silenced for years by disease, but he managed to carry on in public, including lighting the torch at the 96' Olympics.

He'll be missed, but he'll be remembered, now merged with The Infinite at age 74.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Darwyn Cooke Merges With The Infinite - #RIPDarwynCooke

Just yesterday we heard that Darwyn Cooke had entered palliative care in the last stages of cancer, and by the time I went to bed, the internet was telling me we that we have lost Darwyn Cooke, comics artist and writer.

2016 seems intent on taking my favorite artists from the world before their time.

It seemed to me Cooke was properly appreciated by comics enthusiasts, and a favorite in the creator community as a solid guy.

His art is making its way around the internet, and you won't have to look far for the next 72 hours to see all of us posting our favorite pieces.  I'll focus here on his DC work and his work with Richard Stark's Parker novels.

Perhaps the best known of his works is DC's New Frontier, the Jet Age re-imagining of the origin of the Justice League of America, featuring all the mainstay players and some more-forgotten characters of the JFK/ pop explosion era of DC.  If you've never read it, it's available out there in print and digital.  And, it was adapted into a feature length cartoon film a few years back.

Cooke's art tilted toward iconographic cartooning, and fit no house style at DC, even as it clearly fit the aesthetic and mood of the DCU on the sunniest of days.  Both retro and modern, his style borrowing heavily from the pop-art style of late-50/ early-60's illustration, with the nuance of line to manage expression and convey more in a face than 95% of comics artists.

During an era when DC Comics and comics in general are on a swing back toward projecting a world view of fire, chaos, and gnashing teeth for all of their characters, Cooke still found a place in the comics world to show a DC Universe infused with hope.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince Merges With The Infinite

According to media reports, legendary musician and iconoclast, Prince, is dead at 57.

Oh, man.

Purple Rain hit the radio and movie theaters when I was still in elementary school.  We were Top 40 listeners, and I have firm memories of sitting in the back seat of my Mom's 1983 Honda Accord and listening to Prince on the radio.  In particular, I remember my mind being blown by my first listen to "Let's Go Crazy" as we were headed to take my brother for allergy shots.  Not exactly what Prince had in mind for reaching an audience, but there it is.

I liked Michael Jackson.  I loved Michael Jackson, but Michael was talking to me where I lived as a suburban kid.  Prince was a streetwise ladies man talking about being a complicated man in a complicated world.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

We say Good-Bye to Sam the Cat

Jamie and I are very sad to say good-bye to Sam the Cat.  Today poor little Sammy merged with The Infinite after about 15 years of being about as good-natured and sweet a cat as you were ever going to find.

Sam is not our cat.  He belonged to Jamie's Dad.  But, as Jamie's dad travels quite a bit, Sam became our "rent-a-cat".  After Jeff the Cat passed, we went from cat-sitting by shoving him in the guest room to letting him roam free.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Garry Shandling Merges Merges With the Infinite

I'm very sad to say that comedian Garry Shandling has passed at the age of 66.

Garry Shandling was pretty terrific and we're sorry he went so early.  When we were kids, we actually loved his show on cable (maybe a little adult for us, but it was the 1980's), which had a kick-ass theme song.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan Merges With The Infinite

Former First Lady, 80's fixture, anti-drug advocate, Mr. T snuggler, astrology enthusiast and spouse to President Ronald Reagan - Nancy Reagan - has passed at the age of 94.

The kids will never understand what it was like having Nancy Reagan as First Lady in the White House.  We haven't since had a First Lady who demanded the same sort of attention and her piece of the spotlight as Nancy, in a sort of WASPy, 20th Century social-rules, imperious sort of way.  The Ronald and Nancy Reagan relationship was one of true mutual adoration, but you sort of got the feeling President Reagan was more than happy to let Nancy dress him and tell him how to cut his hair, and it worked out well for both of them.

Monday, February 29, 2016

George Kennedy Has Merged With The Infinite

In a true case of "Man, I thought that guy died, like, 8 years ago," George Kennedy popped up today in the news as having had passed at the age of 91.

91.  George Kennedy.

I am sorry.  I really, sincerely thought he died before 2010.

You essentially have two George Kennedy's.  You can go for the one I first encountered, Detective Ed Hocken of Police Squad in The Naked Gun.  Or, you can go for his dramatic turns in Cool Hand Luke or The Dirty Dozen.

I always liked George Kennedy.  He did good stuff.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Caine Watch: The Italian Job (1969)

Sunday evening, our own SimonUK - who moonlights as a server at The Alamo Drafthouse near my house - was given the opportunity to take it up a notch with their "Staff Presents" program, wherein a member of the staff not usually in programming selects a movie and the Alamo shows it.

You like movies.  I like movies.  We all like movies.  Simon LOVES movies.  He lives amongst piles of them and may well have underwear made of celluloid taped into a rough briefs shape.  I don't know.  And, no matter how many movies you think you've seen, Simon has seen more.  During the Alamo pre-shows when they're showing clips of deep-cut obscure 1970's horror flicks, Simon has seen them all.

Simon is from some far-flung part of England I can never remember, so he had access to movies we really didn't in the U.S., and he's seen a goodly chunk of American movies we all watched growing up, too.  Every once in a while I'm surprised he hasn't seen something from a typical American kid of the 1980's heyday, but not all that often.  He's been responsible for me seeing a lot of flat out great stuff the past several years, gotten me out of the house for Planet of the Apes marathons, etc...  and for all that and more, and making me eat a Full English Breakfast only once, I am forever in his debt.

So, while I had previously seen The Italian Job (1969), when I heard he was showing and introducing the movie, I couldn't not go.  Plus, I really like the movie.  It's good, cheery fun and a great heist pic.  Plus: Michael Caine.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Harper Lee Merges With The Infinite

According to The New York Times, author Harper Lee has merged with The Infinite.

Of all the books I read in K-12 as assigned reading, To Kill a Mockingbird one of only two I picked up again and again after the assignments were over and done (the other being Fahrenheit 451).

The book is so profoundly and stunningly... American.  But, I assume, also universal.  And as important as it is, in general, its also so, so important to share with young people as they move from childhood onto the path to adulthood.

But I don't need to tell you about the book, or its impact.  Heck, it's written above the title in the image of the cover I've posted above.  And, it's assigned reading in every school district in the US, I assume.

For all the work so many authors put out there, it's fascinating to know Harper Lee released her one novel and then retreated, only releasing new material in the last year, and under shady circumstances.  And, yes, I have chosen not to read the other book, which i do not believe she would have intended to release while alive.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Our Valued Customers: The End is Nigh

On Monday, one of the longest running and one of the best online comics out there, Our Valued Customers, announced that the curtain will be coming down.  If you follow one of my more modern social media outlets - say, fb or tumblr, you've likely seen me link to the strips on a very routine basis.

I'm taking a risk and posting this strip without permission, but I do respect a good cease-and-desist request

The one-panel comic was about those of us who wander the aisles of our local comic booke shoppes, but the humor was always universal.  The set-up of the strip is a caricature of a real person saying a real thing overheard by the folks working the register.  And, having spent time in many-a-comic shop, it all rang exceedingly true.  I believe he's got a network of other comics retailers sending him heir best stuff, but I don't know exactly how this works.  Just that it does.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Edgar Mitchell, Astronaut, Merges With The Infinite

Edgar Mitchell, Apollo astronaut, has merged with The Infinite.

Born in Hereford, Texas and raised in New Mexico, Mitchell went on to become first a Naval Aviator and then an Astronaut who walked on the moon, setting moon-traversing records.

He also had his undergrad from Carnegie and his PhD from MIT.

Really, his role in this world is to remind you that playing Fallout 4 and binge-watching sitcoms may not be the most you could be making out of your life.

But Edgar Mitchell, raised near Roswell, was also a believer in the paranormal and UFOs.  Our own moon-sojourning Fox Mulder.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Abe Vigoda Merges With The Infinite. Or, the Infinite Merges With Abe Vigoda.

I know.  None of us believed it actually possible, but Abe Vigoda has passed.

Most famous for his roles in The Godfather and the TV series Barney Miller, where he played Fish, a cop who acted exactly how you'd expect a cop who looked like Abe Vigoda to behave - Vigoda somehow became pretty famous and well-loved.  Almost all of his other roles since Barney Miller were more or less "holy @#$%, is that Abe Vigoda?" when he'd walk on screen.  He also kept invading the sets of late night talk shows for a while in the 90's.

I'll miss Vigoda.  It was always nice to know he was out there being Abe Vigoda, a role no one else will be able to fill.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Alan Rickman Merges With The Infinite

This week is going down as a week I'll remember for all the wrong reasons.

News has hit my feed that Alan Rickman has passed.  Like Bowie, he was 69 and it was cancer.

We all know Rickman from his many roles, and, at the end of the day, when we think about it - there really weren't too many actors working in our favorite movies that showed his range or depth.

He will be sorely missed.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Saying Good-Bye to David Bowie - Starman Merges With The Infinite

I was up too late for a Sunday night, still Googling into Monday morning, when Cavendar's facebook prompted with the simple question "David Bowie?"

I don't know why, but I knew it was not a question about the album, and in a Google search I found "David Bowie Death Hoax" and a post from just two days prior.  But then, when I hit the same search again two minutes later, The Hollywood Reporter was in agreement.  Then someone linked to the twitter account of Duncan Jones, Bowie's son, confirming the rumors.  David Bowie was dead.

By now literally millions of people will have said something.  I don't know that there's any more to say, but that's never stopped me before, and I want to say good-bye to one of my favorite humans, someone whose work helped shape the universe not just for me, but for millions or billions.

The Alamo Drafthouse affiliated publication and website Birth.Movies.Death. had a post up this morning, and it's right on.
As with God, everybody’s relationship with Bowie is deeply personal. Everybody’s relationship with Bowie is one-on-one.
Born in '75, my early awareness of Bowie stems from the Mick Jagger "Dancing in the Streets" era, with "Blue Jean" and "China Girl" in tow.  I can't separate the three, all staples of early MTV.  At any rate, I was well aware of the existence if not cultural influence and legacy of Bowie by the time I caught Labyrinth at the Showplace 6.  

But I think the first time I was just stopped short by Bowie wasn't even when he was on screen or playing music. I couldn't tell you how old I was when I saw The Breakfast Club, but of course the movie ended with the lyrics from "Changes", and it was the first time I saw an adult acknowledge that I might have some self-awareness, that I was not a dumb beast in need of constant correction, to have what was patently obvious explained to me.

“... And these children
that you spit on
as they try to change their worlds
are immune to your consultations.
They're quite aware
of what they're going through...”

David Bowie has Merged with The Infinite

Edit:  The New York Times is confirming Bowie's passing.  

We are deeply, deeply sorry to say good-bye to this tremendous artist, especially as we had just purchased his latest album and had liked what we heard.  He seemed ready for yet another round.

We will miss you, sir, and we know the world is better for what you brought us.

I will be honest with you - I am not sure the passing of someone I didn't know has seemed this... sad and devastating in years and years, and I can tell from the comments online, I'm far from alone.

Original Post:

For the past 30 minutes I've been trying to sort through social media and now traditional media sources stating that David Bowie has passed.  It's on as news for January 10th and Bowie's son, Duncan Jones, has confirmed the passing.  If this is a hoax, it seems intensely elaborate and cruel to Bowie's family and friends.

It's all a bit odd.  He has tour dates on his site, and there's no mention of his illness prior to today.  And this is far from the first time Bowie has been reported dead on social media.

I don't need to tell any of you about Bowie's legacy.  You know.  You have your favorite songs and albums.

My first date with Jamie was taking her to see Bowie and Nine Inch Nails at a venue that's been plowed under and is now a sprawling strip shopping center a few miles from my current home.  That was October of 1995.  Needless to say, we've both long been fans of the man's work.

I'll assume the stories are true and I'll head off to bed.  I would like nothing better than to wake up and learn this was all a hoax or misunderstanding.