Category Archives: sci-fi
My father had collected and read collected those books during the mid-to-late 1970’s. in the early 1980’s, I found them on the shelf, dusted them off, and stared at the covers for what seemed like forever! The Beasts of Tarzan, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, Tarzan Triumphant and Tarzan and the Leopard Men, as well as the others, are remembered very, very fondly.
Those covers by artist extraordinaire, Neal Adams, leapt off the page with thrills, menace and dramatic excitement! They introduced me to pulp adventure and fueled my imagination, leading me towards a burgeoning love of the fantasy and science fiction genres.
They also cemented a common pop culture bond between father and son.
Through Tarzan, other Burroughs classics came to my attention, chiefly, the strange and fascinating worlds of Barsoom and Pellucidar and all the characters that inhabited those continents.
Today sees a childhood imagination rekindled with the intermingling of disparate characters in the pop culture world of comic books.
Of course, that series would need to have the greatest pulp title ever devised…and it does with: The Greatest Adventure #1!
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David Bowie starred in quite a few movies during his career, including Labyrinth, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, and Absolute Beginners. Perhaps none is more metatextual, however, than Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 film The Man Who Fell To Earth.
The uncharted ether of imagination.
That’s what brings us to today.
Over the last month and a half, we’ve begun unofficially celebrating the year of comic book legend Jack Kirby’s birth here at Biff Bam Pop! The “King” as he’s affectionately called, would be 100 years young this year…and make no mistake, his many pop culture creations live long and strong.
You know many of them: Captain America, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, Silver Surfer, X-Men, etc., etc., etc.
Without Kirby, you could argue there would be no superhero comics, no Marvel Cinematic Universe, no Wednesday Run!
But beyond those characters listed, did you know about Kirby’s early 1970’s Fourth World creations: his “Cosmic Odyssey”? It was a series of interconnected titles that would tell one complete story, a publishing revelation, far ahead of its time!
Well, look no further than today release of the Kirby-inspired, late twentieth century release of, Cosmic Odyssey: The Deluxe Edition – and discover the King’s imagination run rampant across the universe!
In the middle of things.
Boy, the old Latin language can sure sound an interesting turn of phrase, here in the twentieth century, can’t it? It’s the past and the future, gloriously shaking hands whilst shedding some light of understanding on each other. Its comingling makes one feel smart, when uttered in a proper, and apt, context, of course.
And today, uttering “in medias res” is proper and apt.
It’s used to describe the eleventh chapter of one of the most entirely riveting (and fun!) comic book series being published these days.
If you’ve been with Paper Girls for the last year, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re new to the title, don’t let missing out on the previous ten chapters deter you for picking up the latest installment – I’ve got you covered at the end of this column.
Handshakes aside, in medias res, today sees the release of Paper Girls #11!
A couple of weeks ago, friend and compatriot Glenn Walker (he of @monsura and regular contributor to all things cool on this very website), came to visit my hometown city of Toronto for Biff Bam Pop!’s Editor-in-Chief, Andy Burns’ monumental birthday celebration.
It was a wonderful affair, full of frivolity, chatter and seemingly endless shot glasses of Jägermeister (many of us are still shuddering at the taste in our mouths).
At a breakfast get together the next morning, Glenn and I stated talking about our love of comic book industry-changing creator, “King” Jack Kirby (creator of so many of your favourite comic book heroes and villains), and his 1972 post-apocalyptic protagonist, Kamandi. He reminded me of the mid-eighties DC Comics series, the DC Challenge, on which today’s Wednesday Run column comic book pick is based.
And Kamandi, the beloved Last Boy On Earth: in a brand new, limited series, full of story and art and wonder and industry legends working on the creation of the industry’s all-time Legend.
Today sees the release of the hugely-anticipated The Kamandi Challenge #1!
Sure, Marvel had been knocking it out of the park, both critically and monetarily, with their series of interconnected film franchises. I mean… Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Avengers… how could you second-guess the brain trust that was making those kinds of studio decisions?
But Guardians of the Galaxy?
A gun-toting raccoon and a giant walking, somewhat talking, tree? In space?
Admittedly, I thought it would be a hot mess, singlehandedly signaling the demise of the superhero film franchise.
Boy, was I wrong.
Boy, was that an awesome film.
Boy, I can’t wait for the sequel next year!
To tide us over until then, today, Marvel Comics launches two new monthly series’ starring the coolest characters from the Guardians franchise: Gamora #1 and Star-Lord #1.
TIFF’s been doing a retrospective on the German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. A prodigious wunderkind of the seventies German New Wave, he died of a drug overdose at 37, leaving behind over 40 features and television mini-series made in a brief 15-year career. (Cocaine is a powerful drug in the right nose.) In that burgeoning output, Fassbinder made only one science fiction film. World on a Wire appeared in 1973, a made-for-TV two-parter that virtually disappeared soon after its release. Steeped in a 1970s futurist aesthetic, the film is both wildly dated and amazingly anticipatory, a speculative plunge into the world of virtual reality fully 36 years ahead of The Matrix. Turns out Neo wasn’t the only one popping pills to see what’s really going on.
From Seven to Eternity to Black Science to Saga to Monstress, to Red Thorn to name only a few! There’s a litany of amazing reads available to us each and every week, and we here at Biff Bam Pop! love every single one of them!
And since there’s so much love to go around, why not add another to your fervent reading pile?
This week sees the release of Ether #1 from the critically acclaimed (and one of The Wednesday Run’s favorites) writer and artist, Matt Kindt!
Arrival …um …arrived in US theaters over the weekend. Based on Ted Chiang’s Nebula and Sturgeon award winning novella, The Story of Your Life, the movie opened to mostly good reviews and a modest third place domestic box office take. How did the movie hold up to its source material? Let’s chat after the break (and yes, lots of spoilers!)