Monthly Archives: October 2012
Every other week, Jason Shayer will highlight an issue or a run of issues pulled from the horde of comic book long boxes that occupy more room in his house than his wife can tolerate. Each of these reviews will delve into what made that issue or run significant as well as discuss the creative personalities behind the work. “Long Box” refers to the lengthy, white cardboard boxes most comics find themselves stored within – bagged, alphabetized and numerically ordered.
In the early 1970s, Marvel Comics was in a bit of a rut after Jack Kirby had defected to DC Comics and Stan Lee had stepped down as Editor-In-Chief. The Comic Code Authority, which had driven a stake through EC comics two decades earlier, had been diluted and The-Powers-That-Be at Marvel decided to take advantage of it. The company tried to single-handedly revive horror comics by flooding the market with supernatural titles, such as Werewolf by Night, Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Son of Satan, and The Tomb of Dracula.
The Tomb of Dracula was the most successful Bronze Age horror title, running for over seven years and compiling over 70 issues (including Giant-Size specials). The first few issues were written by Archie Goodwin, Gerry Conway, and Gardiner Fox and were serviceable enough, but didn’t really seem to get any traction. These early issues did set the stage for new ongoing writer Marv Wolfman who came on board with issue #7.
Halloween is my favourite holiday for a good reason – costumes, candy, mischief… but I think what really thrills me is the idea that all things evil could become awesome. As a kid, I adored this holiday because it flipped convention on its head – celebrating the things that would normally horrify people, Halloween definitely sparked a love for the horror genre. And Creepshow nurtured it in to a full blown obsession.
Creepshow was released in 1982, directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. With credentials like that, I probably don’t need to add that it was inspired by the classic E.C. Comics of the 1950s. Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, Weird Science and even MAD magazine were the creations of this incredible publisher. No doubt these inspired horror icons like Romero and King, but I was born in the 80s and this movie was to be my first taste of their genius.
If you’ve seen this Michael Jackson video, or this Twisted Sister video, or the beginning of Tenacious D, you’ll recognize the beginning of Creepshow… A Dad who unknowingly rouses bad mojo by being mean to his kid. In this case, tossing the Creepshow comic book in the garbage, inspiring rebellious kids everywhere to lust for blood.
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This is it, a Halloween tradition for me every year, one of my favorite flicks, and not just the granddaddy of zombie movies, but the first zombie movie. Find out why I love it, why it’s still a classic, and why it’s one of the legendary Rob Zombie’s favorites as well. More on White Zombie after the jump.
No, go ahead and answer the door. I’ll wait right here for you. Those sweet-toothed, crazy kids!
So, what’s popular in the world of Halloween costumes this year? Potter? Iron Man? Princess? And what kind of candy treats are you handing out, anyway? Jawbreakers? Chips? Caramilk? Kit Kat? Oh, I love the Kit Kat! Or are you more of a “trick” kind of person? You know, when I was trick or treatin’, back in the day, I always applauded the adults that performed magical tricks for the kids. It didn’t make me want chocolate any less, but I politely clapped. And hey! I know there’s at least one Biff Bam Popper out there that actually hands out comic books for Halloween! That, sir, is both a trick and a treat!
And that brings me to this week’s comic book of choice. Whether you’ve picked it up to read for yourself or, maybe, to hand out to a deserving kid tonight, Ghosts #1 is sure to joyously haunt… Read the rest of this entry
Star Wars fans must have felt a tremor in the force today when their greatest wet dream (or horrific nightmare) became a 2015 reality… As reported by Wired and a million other parts of the interweb, Disney has purchased Lucasfilm Ltd. and the incredibly lucrative Star Wars franchise in a deal worth $4.05 billion.
Whatever you may think of the franchise, this is a big deal. Disney is stockpiling franchises it seems, grabbing Pixar, Marvel and now Lucasfilms Ltd. in the past 7 years.
For some, this is good news; securing the longevity of the Star Wars franchise with a new film promised for 2015. But the reaction wasn’t entirely positive…
I went to church this past Sunday afternoon for the baptism of a good friend’s recently born little girl. I’ve witnessed this particular ceremony a number of times, more often these days, it seems, as friends are having children for the first time. Growing up Catholic, I’m not what you’d call a regular churchgoer but it’s a beautiful and ancient event, full of proud and loving parents, family members and, generally, wailing children.
The baptism ceremony can have different meanings for different faiths, but for Roman Catholics, it’s a sacrament that initiates an individual as a child of God. Parents speak for their children, who will later speak for themselves, at Confirmation, when older. At the various baptisms I’ve attended, the presiding priest tends to follow a set template, sometimes adding their own biblical or philosophical interests into the sermon when addressing the congregation. On Sunday, I heard something that I hadn’t heard before – certainly not at a baptismal event.
The conducting priest went to some lengths, talking about the nature of sin and evil. He mentioned the word “exorcism” and, perhaps reading the crowd, reaffirmed that it is a practice that indeed exists. “There are two things we know,” he told us. “First, that there is evil in the world and second, that it is very powerful.”
And, while sitting quietly in the pew, my mind was immediately drawn to the most frightening film I have ever had the enjoyment of watching.
Who hasn’t seen The Exorcist?
What the hell is NaNoWriMo? It’s a fun acronym for the National Novel Writing Month. What the hell is National Novel Writing Month? It’s a month-long marathon in which you dedicate yourself to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Yes, 30 days, one month and at the end you have a novel. Well, probably more accurately, a rough first draft. That’s roughly 1,700 words a day. It might seem like a lot at first, but you’ll get used to writing that much in no time.
How does one accomplish such a goal? Sit down somewhere comfortable and type. Reach 1,700 words. Repeat until you reach 50,000 words.
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This week: Another week, another full TV schedule. Hopefully those being affected by Hurricane Sandy stay safe and fingers crossed the power stays on!
What will you be watching? Read the rest of this entry
Marvel Comics’ The Tomb of Dracula, by writer Marv Wolfman, artist Gene Colan and inker Tom Palmer, was one of the more underrated, but still perhaps one of the best comic book series of the 1970s. Its mark in comics history goes far beyond an adaptation of everyone’s favorite king of the vampires, as it may have been a turning point for the industry itself when comes to horror, paving the way for the horror comics of today like The Walking Dead. Find out more after the jump.
Last week I concentrated on Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) evolution. In Episode 2: Sick, Rick is forced to protect himself and his team from the prisoners, but he does so in a violent and disturbing way. How has Rick changed since last season, even since last week? Find out after the jump…