Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Tuesday Briefing -- You know, between you, me and the
lamppost, when I was putting together this whole idea of "The New
Comic Book Galaxy," I had no idea how much would need to be done on a
daily basis; editing, uploading, image management, and dealing with
other odds and ends have occupied so much more of my time than I had
imagined. I am starting to feel a bit like Stan Lee maybe two months
after Roy Thomas started writing all Marvel's superhero comics. This
seemed like a good idea at the time, but I sure miss seeing my name in
the credits, you know?

Anyway, this is my way of acknowledging in some way that while I am
thrilled to death with the high quality of the new columns and
features we've added, man, I need to get back to writing about comics
myself. I need to redouble my efforts -- wait, first I should double
them, then redouble them, no? But yeah, it's been too long
since I have had the time to write anything of substancve about the
artform that I love so much, and coordinating the efforts of so many
gifted writers here on the site is no substitute for getting down into
the trenches myself.

I'll tell you what, the thing that has been making me ache to write
about comics again is two fantastic books of film criticism by Roger
Ebert, The Great Movies and The Great Movies II. Each
volume has 100 essays about the films Ebert considers great, and it's
a delight to me how reading these books both makes me want to seek out
more good movies and write more and better comics criticism.

San Diego Unanticipation -- About the only thing I will miss
about not going to the San Diego Comicon is the chance to meet so many
of my online friends and acquanitances all in one place. I envy the
folks who somehow manage to find both the time and the money to make
it out there for the biggest event of the year in comics, even as the
comics lover in me recognizes that I would much more enjoy and much
rather attend an event like the MoCCA Festival or the Toronto Comic
Art Festival.

True Porn 2 -- I haven't read the first volume, but a look at the gorgeous Chester Brown cover to TRUE PORN 2 certainly gets my interest. You can get full details on the volume at the True Porn 2 page at Alternative Comics.

If It's Tuesday It Must Be Manga -- Yep, Rob Vollmar's latest International Geographic column is up, packed with reviews and commentary. This is Rob's fourth edition of the column already -- I can't believe how fast the great work he and our other contributors is piling up in the archives. If you get a chance, take a long browse through the main site archives and see if you don't agree.


Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sunday Afternoon DVD Stuff -- Just back from the local mall, where I special ordered the re-release on DVD of the Lee Marvin clasic Point Blank, which I have never seen. Enough people I trust tell me it's good that I plunked down the deposit for the special order with no reservations at all. It should come in this coming Friday, so, keep your fingers crossed for me.

I actually spent much of the day yesterday looking for this DVD, which was released last Tuesday, but came up empty in three different stores in Saratoga Springs. I guess there's not enough smart film lovers in either Saratoga or here in the Glens Falls area for any store to order a copy -- Jesus, that is a depressing thought. I might have been able to find a copy in Albany, but I didn't feel like driving all the way down there, and I couldn't justify it with a coincidental trip to the comics shop, since nothing of consequence came out this week that would make it worth all the hassle.

I did, yesterday, though, buy two other DVDs, since I was really craving some good-movie satisfaction after studying Roger Ebert's The Great Movies over the past few nights at bedtime. I picked up Dark City (which I had never seen) for 8 bucks at Borders. Between the excellence of the movie and the full-length Roger Ebert commentary track, 8 bucks for that disc is about the biggest bargain in DVDs that I can think of. I also, in the same store, picked up Night of the Hunter with Robert Mitchum. I liked it for many of the same reasons Ebert does, namely the sense of dread, the oddness of the child actors and the fabulously skeevy Mitchum performance. But I was surprised and a bit disappointed in the third act's overtly religious tone and sudden removal of Mitchum as anything other than a bit player. The transference of father-figure status in the mind of the boy as Mitchum is taken into custody also fell flat for me -- I get what director Charles Laughton was going for, and maybe it even could have worked with the right set-up, dialogue and direction, but as it is I'm kind of wishing I'd just rented Hunter, although I am happy with my purchase of Dark City and can see myself watching that one again and again.

Amazing, too, how much of Dark City you can see in works that came after, including The Matrix and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also interesting to me was how much Mitchum's character in Hunter was probably an influence on the evil misogynist preacher serial killer in the final season of Buffy.


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