Friday, April 30, 2010

FCBD Special: SW Interviews "The Sixth Gun" Creators!


You can thank Ransom from Chronological Snobbery for encouraging me to wrangle up some interviews for Free Comic Book Day!

This Saturday, Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, creators of the new comic from Oni Press, will be signing at Austin Books and Comics here in Austin, Texas.

The owner of Austin Books (who is sincerely a great guy) put me in touch with Cullen and Brian. I'm very excited to present what I hope is the first of many creator interviews here at The Signal Watch.

I encourage you guys to come out and meet these guys and check out their comic!

Can you tell me a little about yourself? What previous work might our readers know about?

CULLEN BUNN: Besides a couple of short stories, my first work in comics was THE DAMNED and its sequel THE DAMNED: PRODIGAL SONS (both with Brian, both from Oni Press). I also write the Bride of Nine Spiders issue of Marvel’s IMMORTAL WEAPONS. Aside from that, I’ve written a ton of short stories for various magazines and anthologies.

BRIAN HURTT: I've been doing comic work here and there for the several years, now. I've done several projects with Oni Press, such as QUEEN & COUNTRY and THREE STRIKES as well as working with Steve Gerber on HARD TIME at DC. In the past couple years I've been fortunate enough to focus mainly on THE DAMNED and now THE SIXTH GUN--both with Cullen.

For someone entirely new to your work, lay it on me: What's your elevator pitch for "The Sixth Gun"?

CB: THE SIXTH GUN is an epic dark fantasy set in the Old West. The story is centered on The Six, a set of magical revolvers that first appeared during the Civil War. The most powerful of the revolvers vanished years ago, and dark forces have been searching for it ever since. As our first issue kicks off, we learn that an innocent girl has come into possession of the weapon. This, of course, makes her a target.

What was your reaction when you heard "The Sixth Gun" was going to be a part of FCBD?

CB: I was really excited and honored that Oni Press wanted to release the first issue as part of FCBD. I’m thrilled that so many people can get their hands on the book, and I can’t wait to hear reader reaction.

BH: I was thrilled! Oni has been behind this book 100% from the beginning and they believe it in so much they're willing to give away the first issue of the series for free. I honestly believe that if we can just get this book into the hands of people we can get them hooked right at the start. There's no better way to do this than through FCBD.

What drew you to the material? The bit I've read about the premise is intriguing.

CB: I’ve always loved big, broad-scoped fantasy stories, and I’ve always thought the legendary Old West has a kind of rugged magical quality that just speaks to me. The world and the characters and the story itself are all just a lot of fun. Hey, I’m never going to complain when I get to write stories about outlaws and monks with gatling guns and monsters and really, really nasty villains.

BH: I love a good western and like almost every comic artist I know, I've always wanted to do one. I also thought that Cullen and I could bring something unique to the genre. There's been a lot of westerns over the years. There's been some horror western mash-ups and supernatural westerns. But THE SIXTH GUN is an interesting blend of horror, fantasy and the western. But on top of all that it's more than just a clever mash-up of genres--it's really it's own fully realized world. One that we hope to play in for quite a while!

But, to backtrack a bit, the number one thing that drew me to the project was that Cullen was writing it. He had me on board from the moment he told me the title.

Can you talk a bit about what readers can expect for the issues following the FCBD giveaway?

CB: The first issue sets up the world and the majority of the major players. After that, the stakes are raised and the story just gets bigger and wilder. There are a few pages in the later issues that I think are just pants-wetting, awe-inspiring amazing. There’s a lot of action, but readers will also be able to really see these characters evolve and change, and we’ll also delve deeper into the history of this Old West that should have been.

BH: Yeah, the first arc of the series is pretty epic and sets up this world, and the possibilities for stories in this world, pretty fantastically. The book moves at a good pace and, like Cullen says, the stakes keep getting raised. This first arc definitely has it's share of high adventure while at the same time, setting up some pretty interesting characters and character dynamics. I've never had so much fun working on a title!

Anything you're reading right now you'd tell our readers to check out?

CB: I’ve really been enjoying SCALPED. That’s probably the book I look forward to most. I’ve recently been reading a lot of manga I overlooked in the past—PARASYTE, PLUTO, and MONSTER are all quite good, and UZUMAKI is just awesomely strange.

BH: SCALPED is also one of my favorite books and I recently read Jason Aaron's first arc on the PUNISHER Max series--that was fantastic. I also love Brubaker's CRIMINAL, and BPRD/HELLBOY and SCOTT PILGRIM. I've read about a third of PARASYTE and loved it but I've yet to get my hands on the rest. Normally, I don't read a lot of super-hero stuff but last week I read and enjoyed the collection of Millar and Hitch's FANTASTIC FOUR and I really liked it. And then, just yesterday, I finished the oversized collection of the first 19 issues of Matt Fraction's Iron Man--about the coolest take I've seen on Iron Man in decades. After that I just tend to pick up graphic novels that get my attention. I like a lot of First Seconds European reprints and I'm always keeping my eye open for some good manga.

On a 1 - 10 scale how nerdy is it to collect old issues of Jimmy Olsen?

CB: Jimmy Olsen, huh? That’s pretty nerdy, maybe a 7 or 8. But I think those old stories were a lot of fun. There’s a certain wonder in comics of that era that I worry a lot of modern books might miss. We all geek out over something, right?

BH: That's at least an 8 on the nerd scale but I'm also not one to think that that's a bad thing! I mean, I watch Doctor Who and Buffy--who am I to criticize?

The Signal Watch would very much like to thank Cullen, Brian, Oni Press and Austin Books for this great opportunity!

FCBD in May 1, 2010. THE SIXTH GUN is one of the options (maybe the coolest option?) you'll have at your local comic shop.

We wish these guys the absolute best of luck, but given the buzz about this book, I'm not sure they'll need it.

Weekly Watch Wind - 04/30/2010

Congratulations!: A very special double congratulations to our pal Jill Hermann-Wilmarth! (A) Jill just got/won/earned tenure at the university at which she teaches and does other professory-stuff (her tweed jacket collection is amazing). (B) She and her partner, Jess, should be welcoming baby #2 later this year.

That's what we call a good year.

Now, Jill, get out there and start doing crazy stuff. You have tenure, and they can't stop you any more!

Comics: Ransom put up an exemplary post about a Memphis-based indie comic from the 1980's entitled "The Last Generation". It's an amazing case study.

Movies: For those of us born pre-1980, its hard to read a remake of Carpenter's classic "Escape from New York" as anything but a tragedy/mistake. Especially a remake which will not feature Kurt Russell, or John Carpenter behind the camera. But someone is doing it.

While I enjoy reiterations of franchise characters (Superman, Spidey) and their ongoing sequels and adventures (Dr. Who, etc...), something about Hollywood's current zombie-like approach to creativity is a bit unsettling.

Batman: This one is so out of left-field, but makes such perfect sense, that I'm inclined to believe its authenticity. AICN is reporting that there may be an elaborate Batman stage-show in the works. I am hoping for a "Batman: Brave and the Bold" stage show, but we'll see if they don't go all "Arkham Asylum" instead. Or read about it at Comic Alliance.

While the stage show sounds more akin to a Monster Jam rally than the next "Cats" (and if you haven't watched Monster Jam, I secretly think its awesome in small doses), you can see clips of Batman before the footlights from when we pondered a musical Batman at LoM.

Superman: Outside of a the miniature/ putt-putt variety, I don't play golf. But if I did, I would own this golf club snuggy.

Superman/ Batman: Apparently President Obama has recruited Superman and Batman into the State Department. During a meeting discussing an attempt to renew relations with the Muslim world, Obama mentioned a previously undisclosed project:

There has also been cultural outreach, Obama said -- including a comic book series in which Superman and Batman work with their Muslim counterparts.

"And I hear they're making progress," Obama said.

Well, what do you know?

Movies/ Comics: Dark Horse Comics is adapting the movie of "Let the Right One In" to comics. However, that movie was based on a book, and the author may not dig on the idea so much. Here.

Legal/ Comics: Kirby Family v Marvel is moving to New York. Disney is going to have a hell of an interesting fight on their hands. The family of Jack Kirby is looking for a piece of the $4 billion pie that their father co-created (Hulk, Captain America, Thor, X-Men, Fantastic Four... all Kirby) at Marvel, which recently sold to Disney.

Comics: In working in a library, I've learned that librarians work with the long view of time and the world. I mention this as a school library voted to keep all-ages friendly comic "Bone" on their shelves despite a parental complaint that an adult behaved like an adult somewhere in one of the Bone comics.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Night Nurse" at The Ritz

On Sunday, May 2nd, I'm headed down to The Ritz on 6th in Austin for a screening of "Night Nurse", a pre-code film starring a young Barbara Stanwyck. I know Stanwyck primarily from photos and "Christmas in Connecticut" (I admit to having never seen "Double Indemnity", of which I am a bit ashamed), but she's one of the classic screen sirens, and this flick came out during one of those periods that happens in Hollywood when things seem to be really cooking.

"Pre-Code" refers to the "Hays Code" that Hollywood self-imposed in order to avoid any official regulation after the moving pictures began to take heat from moral watchdog groups like The Catholic League. While a lot of what was considered risque then would make the average 2010 episode of CSI look like hard-core pornography, the public became concerned that movies were including material about promiscuity, drinking, drug use, etc... And it would still be decades before anyone thought about an actual ratings system.

no idea what's happening here, but it looks pretty awesome

Anyway, we can thank "Night Nurse" for helping anyone dream up the Hays Code, so I'll be honest when I say I'm a bit curious about what's in this thing. Plus, you know, Stanwyck.

There will be discussion before and after the movie by film historian, Kim Morgan.

The Alamo's Cinema Club describes itself thusly:

Cinema Club is an interactive new series that highlights the sophisticated appreciation and discussion of classic films from cinema history. At each screening a prominent film historian will introduce an essential film classic. Following the film, the speaker and members of our programming team will lead a discussion of the film, offering insight into the film's production, history, and artistic qualities. This is a venue for film appreciation, to discover or revisit the outstanding achievements of yesterday. Each screening will be accompanied by program notes written by our on-staff film historians. This is your premiere opportunity to relax and bask in the glorious silver screen.

So come on down. 7:00 on Sunday!

JackBart's "Poe" now available

In 2009, our pal JackBart wrote and released a 4-issue historical/ fantastic fiction series through Boom! Studios. I thoroughly enjoyed Jack's comic, and hope its the first of many successes.

I've already pre-ordered my copy of the trade collection from Boom! I noticed that the price at Amazon is actually very, very good. This is a terrific opportunity to check out the comic.

This comic is also currently available at your Local Comic Shop. In Austin, that's Austin Books, who has been very supportive of local talent, and who previously hosted a signing for several Boom! creators. All of their collections are 10% off every day, last I checked.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Little Housekeeping

Vote In Our Poll!

Do you like democracy? Love self-determination? Dig the hell out of clicking buttons?

Well, have we got a deal for you.

Back at the old URL, we called folks who came in and started hanging out regularly our "Leaguers". Calling you guys "Leaguers" seems likely to cause confusion at the new URL.

So... It's time to employ Blogger's poll feature.

If you look around to your left in the menu bar, for the next few days we're going to have a poll available, and anyone can vote. You people are going to decide what I'll call you. I've got four ideas. If you have a killer idea, go ahead and send it in.

This direction is left:


Visitors from Facebook and Twitter will need to visit us at the actual site.

Posting Schedule

Folks who visited the last blog probably got used to seeing posts pop up about 6-10 times per week. That's a pretty hectic schedule, what with my day job, my busy touring schedule, and my moonlighting as one of those doctors who performs plastic surgery on criminals building a phony ID.

We're still in early days, but right now my goal is to have material up 4 times per week. I figure that's a fairly regular schedule, and I can still do other things like: read. Go to movies. Walk the dog. Enjoy a sunset. Work on my time machine.

Free Comic Book Day meetup?

If anyone wants to meet up at Austin Books and Comics on Lamar in Austin, Texas for Free Comic Book Day, let me know. I plan to go down to Austin Books before mid-day, so maybe comics and then lunch?

I'm not super picky about my FCBD offerings, so I don't need to be down there at 8:00 AM when Austin Books is opening, but last year it got a little warm standing in the sunshine. I just need to grab "War of the Superman #0" and I'll be happy. But, really, I want to be there when the people show up dressed as X-Men or whatever... That's always kind of awesome.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Great Krypton! Ten years?

Ten years ago, on April 28, 2000, Jamie and I tied the knot in South Austin on the grounds at Green Pastures with many friends and family in attendance.

Jamie wrote a lovely post describing our courtship and the time leading up to our wedding at her own site (click to see pictures of a much younger and much thinner Signal Watch and Troubles). And here's a surprise post from Ransom at ChronSnob talking about what was going on in pop culture when we got hitched up!

It's amazing to realize how fast a decade can pass, and, of course, it doesn't hurt that I remember the day of the wedding pretty darn well, right up to getting a soap bubble in my eye as we ran out to the car. And Shoemaker's words ringing in my ears as we drove off: So long, Superman!

The wedding was very traditional. Steanso and The Dug stood for me, Peabo and a guy I've lost track of were ushers. Good friends Erica and Shannon were involved in helping Jamie and the wedding, and Heather and Rebecca looked lovely up there next to Jamie.

No futzing around on the vows for us. We figured that after 1000 years, somebody more or less got the words right to get the idea across, and we weren't going to try to build a better mousetrap.

Our wedding song was "Satellite of Love". We had a carrot cake for the groom's cake (I still firmly believe carrot cake is a superior cake), and Jamie and I each got to do The Robot on the dance floor. Jamie's dress had an empire waist and was simple and elegant, and I wore generic tux #1 from the Al's Formal Wear rental selection.

We do have many beautiful, but not digital, pictures of the wedding. I'll let you use your imagination. Looking at the photos reminds me how overwhelming it was to realize all those folks were there just to see us get hitched. Its a deeply humbling moment.

After the wedding, we spent the evening at Austin's Driskill Hotel, where we found ourselves eating some prepared food packages in the bathroom at 1:00 AM (neither of us had much of an opportunity to get to the food at the reception). We had a beautiful corner suite and sat on the porch watching folks mill about Sixth Street.

In the morning we realized the very nice car that drove us to the Driskill would not be there, and so we spent half an hour calling around to find someone to take us home. Thanks to The Dug for the assist.

A bit of wedding apocrypha: The day of the wedding, I didn't have much to do. Somehow I wound up talking to some hobo'ing 20-somethings at a convenience store, and so I drove them around for a while, figuring it was good karma to get these guys to their next local destination. Nice kids.

Suffice it to say, its been a great ten years. Jamie isn't just my wife and co-wrangler of my pups; it may be cliche, but in every sense of the word, she's my best friend. I never lose sight of how great it is to come home to someone so amazingly smart and lovely, who is witty as Kate Hepburn at her best, who shares my likes and loves, and who doesn't hesitate to have her own passions and her own way of doing things. She keeps me honest, and she manages to do it without slugging me in the eye, which is no mean feat.

We were never going to have the traditional life, or the traditional goals between the pair of us, but we've been making it work for ten married years and more than four before that.

And I still learn something new from Jamie every day. And from my own partner, I've learned what true courage and true strength look like. I'm a little bit in awe of her, truth to be told.

Happy Tenth Anniversary, Jamie. I love you. Here's to a million more.

you have to have some common interests. all wise people can agree on the greatness of the longhorn football program.

and you people think its just me...

she's just really beautiful, isn't she?

The Red Hood (I liked Jason Todd better when he was dead)

I will be blunt: It's my belief that DC made a mistake when they let Judd Winick bring Jason Todd back from the grave (leaving others to explain how it happened). I continue to feel that it was a mistake and that Jason Todd worked great as a Robin, and what his death meant in the ongoing Batman comics was infinitely more interesting and palpable than his return as The Red Hood.

Whatever short term gains DC earned in sales, it not only lost reader trust of guys like me who were kids when Robin got blowed up good, and had become quite used to the idea of Batman and his dimly lit cylinder he kept in the batcave, keeping Jason's costume as a reminder and tribute.

All of the "I liked it better my way" reasoning aside, the return of Jason Todd was a seriously shoddy bit of story-telling that never did get properly wrapped up, leaving DC to wrestle with the fact that this guy was running around in their mega-narrative with no defined character or agenda.

We'll just stick him in the oven for ten minutes at 300, and he'll be ready to go...

Readers like myself might hope DC would right the Todd-related missteps via the Johns-proven method of in-narrative course correction. (Perhaps Hugo Strange cloned Todd and it was never actually him? It doesn't matter, so long as the character wound up safely back under 6 feet of fictional dirt.) But it doesn't seem to be the case that DC could leave well enough alone, or admit that maybe this whole Jason Todd thing just wasn't working. And, really, the recent Blackest Night storyline served as DC's mea culpa regarding the "revolving door of death" in superhero comics, indicating that DC editorial was at least a little bit ashamed of their policy on the big sleep. And yet, Jason Todd really didn't come into play.

Of the many, many writers to tackle Jason Todd since his return, I've only enjoyed Grant Morrison's take, and the logical face-off between Dick Grayson (aka: the original Robin and current substitute Batman), and Jason Todd as The Red Hood. But that had far more to do with Damian getting mixed up in the whole mess (and, yes, I like Damian far more than I ever liked Tim Drake).

At any rate, it seems as if I'm to continue reading Batman, Detective and Batman and Robin, I can expect to see Jason Todd keep popping up.

DC Animation has a film coming, written by Winick, who seems dead set on making sure his mostly-reader-panned run on Batman leaves an indelible mark on Bat-lore.

&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=";amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;from=sp&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;fg=shareEmbed&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;vid=c9358acd-5576-4f1f-9034-f061a3294951" target="_new" title="Exclusive: 'Batman: Under the Red Hood' trailer"&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Video: Exclusive: 'Batman: Under the Red Hood' trailer&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;

I'm not averse to saying that Batman comics can get a little stale, cycling through the same set of villains, most of whom were introduced early on in Batman's publishing history. And some things work, and some things don't. And usually these things have a way of sorting themselves out. But somehow it seems DC is oddly invested in making this idea work, mistaking any reaction from the fanbase as emotional investment.

Watching the trailer, you can almost get why DC bought into the idea. An equal number for Batman. A guy who knows which drawer he keeps his cufflinks in, and what punch he'll throw first. Hush was the beta-version (and sort of nonsensical first draft) of the concept. But so was Bane. And Hugo Strange. Todd, on the other hand, had lived in the mansion and could be a story of Batman's failure.

But for longtime readers, it just feels cheap. And a bit of a cheat.

I'm not clear on why DC feels this is the right thing to do, but there you have it.

Update: Curiously, Daily DCU discusses the same item today, and I'm 99.9% certain they aren't reading this site. Apparently they'd posted on the topic before (I missed that post) and have been taking some heat from what the author assumes to be younger readers.

Not having that empty Robin costume hang in the cave any longer took away something for me. Jason Todd may still be Batman’s failure, but he’s no longer his greatest failure.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Watching Bad Movies: A Visit with The Dug

Anyone who followed LoM knows that we're going to watch a lot of bad movies around here, and we're going to talk about them. In fact, my taste for the abso-awesome was called upon during my hiatus (a bit like Col. Trautmann pulling Rambo in for one last mission), by our own pal, Ransom, over at Chronological Snobbery. We were asked to watch "Birdemic" in its second public screening at Austin's own Alamo Drafthouse.

The review is here, but the experience itself... in my quietest hours, it haunts me still.

This week, however, League HQ was graced with a visit from Jamie's brother, The Dug, who is sort of the Santor of Irrationally Bad Film, gleefully doling out serving after serving of the terrible.

There are, of course, different kinds of terrible.

I should preface the discussion by mentioning that I watched all three movies with the benefit of RiffTrax, and recommend you do the same.

Please stop touching my robots

Terminator: Salvation is the kind of movie that, on paper, had everything going for it, but somehow didn't gel. One can guess that a bloated budget, a director of fading notoriety, a difficult star, a pre-packaged star, re-writes so obvious that the movie feels like three movies crammed into one, a heaping-helping of pandering to the audience while simultaneously demonstrating no small amount of disdain for the intelligence of the audience...

Terminator: Salvation isn't outright unwatchable, but its a trainwreck of good intention and ineptitude.

Look, McG is just NOT a good director. Also, his name is McG. As a producer, your first clue that you should fire yourself from a movie is that you've hired a grown man who wants to be billed as "McG". And then you should maybe IMDB him to see the laundry list of poppy, dumb junk he made before Terminator.

I know Christian Bale had his famous rant during the making of this film, but watching the movie, you have to wonder if he didn't know exactly how bad this was going to be...

The bitter irony, of course, is that around the time of the movie's release, Fox was running "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" which had an infinitely better understanding of what made the first two movies work, logically drew its storylines from the premise of those movies, and featured not just Summer Glau, but Lena Headey. And they managed to make David Silver cool. Which is, like, science fiction unto itself.

I hate..! I hate..!

Twilight: New Moon is the second installment in the Twilight series, which I've ranted upon previously.

This type of film is bad, not because people weren't all doing their jobs (well, I sort of question Kristen Stewart, but...), but because its part of a media-franchise bigger than any one part, and to deviate from the script would enrage the built in audience. In short, the source material isn't very good. Wildly and inexplicably popular, but so is "High School Musical".

In this second installment of Twilight, we're asked to watch the increasingly annoying Bella Swan alternately sulk and lash out because she's been dumped by her stalker boyfriend. She then becomes "just friends" with a Native America/ werewolf played by the persistently-baffled-looking Lautner.

By adding Jacob (our werewolf) to the mix, and drawing out the emotional anguish surrounding creep-o-zoid Edward (our vampire), the film imparts the message that the right thing to do when a young lady is dumped is find a guy who would actually like to date you (and is even hunky and nice and junk), string him along, but then duck and weave at the last minute as you cross continents to get back with the guy who, all things being equal, will absolutely demonstrate the same awful behavior again (in this case, wanting to kill you and drain you of all of your blood), and leaving the guy who wasn't too likely to kill you scratching his head. The fact that officially branded "neurotic/ unforgivably erratic behavior" is made into our hero's quest for "New Moon" should only fulfill many a young man's worst suspicions about what dating will be like their freshman year of college.

For a movie about werewolves and vampires, an amazing amount utterly fails to happen (or entertain) as we focus on the wretched Bella Swan. However, we are told some interesting stuff is happening off-camera; we just don't get to see it. However, we do learn more lessons, via werewolves, that women should really learn to just step back when their boyfriends "wolf out". And if they get hurt (permanent-like), its kinda their own fault.

Slow clap, Twilight franchise.

"Useless filler" does not do this deadly dull stretch of movie justice. You could literally cut the middle 50 minutes of the film, and you'd still get where this "plot" must have been heading in order to get to whatever the @#$% is going to happen in the 3rd installment.

Oh, hi movie!

But, of course, all of this pales in comparison to Tommy Wiseau's now notorious indie darling, The Room.

To say what is wrong with the movie is missing the point of The Room. What one must assume to be the intended goal of writer, director, producer, and star, Tommy Wiseau (possibly his real name) in making "The Room" is, in actuality, absolutely no longer the point of the object smart-alecks have been lining up to watch at hip indie cinemas for, and what my reading of the internets tells me has become an odd phenomenon of audience interaction, participation, and general mayhem.

Where Nguyen's "Birdemic" is a case-study in technical incompetence, Wiseau's "The Room" seems to have most of its technical ducks in a row, but reads not unlike the booze-soaked ramblings of a colleague who just figured out his girlfriend was cheating on him. With huge helpings of "I have never really thought about how a scene works in plays, TV or movies" thrown in. Also, someone thought lots of gratuitous "love scenes" would really sell the heck out of this thing.

To talk too much about "The Room" with those who've not seen it is unfair. I can only recommend you schedule your own viewing, with booze and Rifftrax in hand.

All things must come to an end...

For good or ill, the self-inflicted pain of bad movies has to end sometime. This afternoon The Dug and K took flight back to The Left Coast. Once again, its been a pleasure having him here to ensure that my life does not go by without the glory of the finest in American Cinema.