Thought I'd say a few words. I know you have your thing in Leviticus you have to resort to regarding gay men because there's nothing in Jesus' words about gays. By the way, I assume you're keeping kosher too, for consistency? I mean, you're a fundamentalist. This a la carte stuff could really anger God.
One of Carpenter's first films. This is about as no-budget indie as it gets, but that plays to the film's favor. The film takes up 2001's motif of space being big, cold, empty and quiet and expands upon that to point out that the boredom of space, if it doesn't drive you insane, will make you hate everyone you're trapped with in your cramped ship, which they do. (and where they have been getting more pot on their journey is a fair point of curiosity) All messages take years to go back and forth, their captain is dead--or rather, frozen in the moment just before death, so they can ask him questions when they need to, but he just wants to know how the Mets are doing--and all their toilet paper blew up long ago. There's also the matter of their sentient bombs, a example of "why would you give THAT artificial intelligence?" and oh yes, an alien on board who is basically a beachball with feet. And I LOVE that it's just obviously a beachball with feet, Somehow they make you believe it's alive even more than if they';d actually gone to the trouble of a special effect.
In fact, if you watch my favorite sequence, with screenwriter Dan O'Bannon(playing the hapless and lonely Pinback, without whom I do think this film might be...far less watchable, because the other performances aren't so great; but every Pinback scene is gold) chasing said alien around, not only will you basically be watching a live-action Looney Tune but you will see, in comedic form, the seeds of what would become O'Bannon's most famous creation, ALIEN, later on.
"Like a glutton loves his lunch." - Some Random Thoughts on Corporate Funnybook Parasites
Chris Roberson was joined this week by Roger Langridge(of whom I've been a fan since ART D'ECCO) in renouncing further work with the Big Two. Good on him. Although it seems kind of hollow as the Avengers approaches $1 billion and DC offers us Watchmen Toast. But it would be good to see more high-profile, talented creators refuse to work with these people any longer. If you just want to put out a comic these days, you don't need them.
And ones who have a name to trade on need them not at all. Even the work by the best creators at the big two is nothing compared to their creator-owned. One page of CASANOVA, for instance, is worth all of IRON MAN. And yes, I realize CASANOVA is now published by a subsidiary of Marvel, but Fraction & Ba still own it. There's more passion in it. I'd have no problem with the big two if they didn't treat dealing equitably with creators as a special prize.
There can't be such a thing as ghosts or curses or else DC and Marvel would be nothing but craters now. The only reason Hollywood came sniffing around comics is the huge pool of IP with no creators to negotiate with. The next stage.
If DC and Marvel can't get talented creators you'd assume they will have to change or die. But no, they won't. They have enough characters to exploit for decades in other media now, and can afford to keep the comics going as trademark anchors forever. Dumb twenty-year-old artists(and apparently they only need five writers at any given time nowadays) don't run out, which is why the big two only changed when forced. But now they don't have to even look like they're trying.
One might say, but won't these characters be tired out after a while? Ah, but DC and Marvel are experts at reinforcing addictions to nostalgia and infantile regression. Which in the stage our culture is entering at the moment they are becoming media-dominant, are useful skills.
Something too to consider: As our nation has become more brutal within and without, all forms of fantasy have become more and more popular. And here's Marvel, poised to normalize that for good.That will look similar to future historians to the popularity of musicals in the eastern bloc during the Cold War.
Superheroes have already been pre-built for people living in basements, why not bubbles?
And fans who loved the Avengers and are looking forward to BEFORE WATCHMEN: it's worth it just for something new to eat your Cheetos with?
UPDATE: The legendary Steve Bissette (thanks for that Steve) reminds us that the present "one throat" situation, where Hollywood only has to deal with one corporation rather than a bunch of creators, began with the success of creator-owned work in Hollywood:
"Don't forget the Hollywood/comics lovefest (a) goes back to the silent era, shortly after films began (with an unlicensed live-action HAPPY HOOLIGAN); (b) the new "wave" started with licensed adaptations of indy properties that DID benefit their creators (if only with option $$), like TMNT, THE CROW, etc.; (c) the current boom kicked off with Tim Burton's BATMAN, with Frank Miller and Lynn Varley properly earning solid book sale royalties from the resulting DARK KNIGHT RETURNS heavy reboot/sales, and (d) the major turn in Marvel's fortunes, leading directly to THE AVENGERS, actually started with a low-profile Malibu-purchase acquisition, MEN IN BLACK. Never. Forget."
And yes, seriously, do not forget that. One could think of it kind of like the way the stages of gentrification work. But the present success of the big two is based on taking over roads cut by creators in every way. And creators no longer really need them. What stopped us in the old days were the economies of scale, the risk in printing. But today there is digital, there is POD, there is Kickstarter.
Publishers are nice and can be very helpful(I like working with Fantagraphics when I get the chance, for instance, they're great people and VERY unlike most publishers; likewise the people at the Graphic Canon) but one has alternatives now. One definitely, if one takes the long view, doesn't need the big two. They need YOU. "Like a glutton loves his lunch."
Astute readers will have noticed I have also put the scandalous Chapter 2 back up for your reading pleasure. And once you're done, why not purchase issues 6 and 7 of This Sickness so you may have and hold it in your very hands? (or in your Kindle) And also to support this here indie cartoonist, who's worked very hard for three years to give you this Lulu, which you have to admit is at least better than Lou Reed's. Thanks for your eyeballs!
I will be taking a break from her for a while and working on some other projects that have been pending, but plan to return with Act 2 no later than next year, and one way or another, there will be a collection in the near future. Tell you more when tangible.
Impossible to find anywhere normally(which is a crime), here, complete, is the second part of the great Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Trilogy of Life," a series of films of great story cycles in national literature, involving sex and ordinary, peasant-class people's lives, mostly cast with non-actors. The preceding film is The Decameron, with the Arabian Nights following. But this, from Chaucer, is my personal favorite. This is the Italian version with subtitles--there is also a English version I prefer(but can't find), because this was in fact done in England with English actors. Its down-in-the-dirt, grungy atmosphere was also a major influence on the look of Monty Python & the Holy Grail and Jabberwocky, and through those influenced the look of medieval films for a generation.
A great lost film from 1980, its look embodying 1980's not-quite-this-not-quite-that quality. Starring Jodie Foster and the Runaways' Cherie Currie(playing the girl-in-trouble you'd expect, and quite well), as well as Sally Kellerman. It's the kind of realistic film about teenagers you wouldn't see again even in spirit till KIDS, except that KIDS is also sensationalist, exploitative trash while this is a mature drama. And you definitely rarely see films talking of, or to, young women as honestly. This film didn't do well when it was released, though I'm not sure why. Probably because it lacks said sensationalism--it was made for girls the age of its characters, not creepy chickenhawks, as many films ostensibly about teenage girls sadly are.
It also features Donna Summer's "On the Radio" as its theme, and quite evocatively. She passed away today from cancer. I recall her as the only cool music(usually my mom and dad played the Eagles or Barry Manilow or Christopher Cross, like that) played in my home before my parents divorced in 1980. Most of my memories 1978-1980 have her as a soundtrack. So with her dies another chunk of my childhood.
I don't like disco but I always loved her. But then, she was disco in the way the Beatles were pop: she was, but she was also so far beyond that genre that anyone could enjoy her soaring voice against the multitude of genres it was set against. And "I Feel Love" alone to this day is probably the single most influential piece of pop electronica(in fact, really WAS the first really huge electronic pop song, hugely influential on Sheffield and Detroit electronica) ever made. And unlike, say, the Bee Gees, her music is not at all dated, not tied to its time though it certainly brings back memories. It crossed over with disco and in fact dominated it, but was so much more. I miss pop music that was actually well-made. But I'm old now, I would.
I remember when I was 9 really looking forward to this. But my dad sold ads for the local CBS station and some nights had to monitor competing stations' ads. This was one of those nights, so I never saw this. How lucky I didn't know I was.
I dunno, though, John Holmes makes a GREAT Dr. Strange.
"Eternity with Beelzebub, and all his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil." - E. Blackadder, 1791 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson SUPPORT MY SINFUL WORK AT PATREON!