Saturday, January 26, 2008
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Getting ready for Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE ?
Except for a couple of stills, and numerous reviews that have expressed predictably contrary opinions about the film, little else has been made public. A trailer has yet to be released and a U.S. release date has yet to be announced, but in lieu of that, here is a great little interview segment done in France around the time of the release of MULHOLLAND DRIVE.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Save INVASION! (**VIDEO**)
Heard some depressing news today. As recently as two weeks ago, ABC had green-lighted a second season of INVASION, the inventive and entertaining sci-fi series created and produced by Shaun Cassidy. Then, with no warning, ABC cancelled the series. The first season of INVASION quickly won a viewership of over 7 million fans. The average viewership for THE O.C. is a little over 6 million. If TV is a numbers game, it would stand to reason that THE O.C. would disappear and INVASION would survive, but INVASION is plainly a more expensive show to produce, so that could have weighed heavily in the decision to cancel it. Yet, if cost was a problem, why had the second season been green-lighted in the first place? Clearly the viewership was there, but comments on the IMDB website refer to a choice that had to be made between placing a new JJ Abrams show on the schedule (WHAT ABOUT BRIAN) or INVASION. Rumor is that ABC feels indebted to Abrams and went with WHAT ABOUT BRIAN, obviously a less expensive show to produce. Personally, despite my respect for JJ Abrams, I think WHAT ABOUT BRIAN is a real crapshoot. And if WHAT ABOUT BRIAN fails to find 6-7 million viewers in its first season and it winds up being cancelled, too, what a waste that will be.
If fans are shocked by the sudden and unexpected termination of INVASION, one can only imagine how the cast and producers must be feeling. INVASION wasn't just another show designed to sell another block of advertising; not entirely, anyway. In addition to being the perfect show to follow LOST in the Wednesday night line-up, the show was compelling and the characters were likeable, multifaceted and worthy of our emotional investment. While not without its flaws, INVASION was original enough and offered enough twists to render its minor blemishes all but undetectable. Each episode drove the storyline ever closer toward the inevitable invasion from which the series derived its title, and the first season finale left us with a whole new level of possibilities to look forward to.
The primary source for the petition, forums and other websites devoted to saving INVASION is http://saveinvasion.net (look for the link of the right side of this page).
Even if you never watched an episode of 7th HEAVEN, you couldn’t miss the hype for the final episode special. That show was headed to the boneyard, but some way, somehow, it’s found new life on the new CW Network (which will be combining/replacing WB/UPN in September). The same thing is possible for INVASION. Even if you watched the show only because it was the only other good thing on after LOST, please sign the petition at the SaveInvasion website.
If you do, and if we’re lucky, maybe we’ll see lights in the sky once again.
Monday, December 19, 2005
David Lynch Reports the Weather (**VIDEO**)
If you're a big fan of both Lynch and L.A., it's doubly cool and certainly worthy of becoming a daily habit. Even Lynch's way of speaking is unique -- very deliberate, very regional (not sure if his accent is from his years in Philadelphia, or his native Montana, or neither), and unquestionably endearing. Fascinating also is the surrounding detritis visible within the frame -- spray bottles, plastic cups, a wall phone in a wooden box, his favorite coffee cup, and other common items of mystery. Lately he's been ending each report with a plug for his new DVD collection of Dumbland, the Flash animated series originally created for members of his website. At the end of one report, Lynch simply held the Dumbland DVD in front of him on the table he's always seated at, saying, "If you truly love someone, prove it." Nuff said in this season of giving.
Even better, though, was the line that accompanied his pitch of Dumbland in his Dec. 22nd, 2005 report: "If you think you're a worthless, ignorant piece of waste, this may be the kite you'll want to fly."
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Remembering John Lennon
Today is the 25th anniversary of the death of the John Lennon. If not for the insanity of Mark David Chapman, Lennon would today be 65 years old, and undoubtedly an elder statesman of modern music and alternative thought.
As a member of the Beatles, he came to fame and changed the world of music, but even more importantly, his life after the Beatles was one devoted to ending the madness of a world at war, not only between countries but between individuals.
The lyrics of "Imagine" say it all:
"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world..."
A radio talk show host in
And it’s of paramount importance that we remember, and imagine.
about the creation of “Imagine”:
"Well actually that should be credited as a Lennon/Ono
song, a lot of it - the lyric, the concept - came from Yoko, but
those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho and I sort
of omitted to mention her contribution, but it was right out of
'Grapefruit', her book, there's a whole pile of pieces about
imagine this and that and I have given her credit now long
Saturday, October 15, 2005
The Passing of Louis Nye
It’s difficult to describe the humor of Louis Nye. He had a gift for playing prissy characters and those that Courant.com described as the “effete country-club snob Gordon Hathaway on The Steve Allen Show.” So much of his humor came from his delivery and his personality, and he was one of those comics who could pretty much make humor out of nothing.
Mark Evanier wrote a fine piece about Nye on his website, which I recommend reading. It talks of Louis Nye as not only a great comic actor, but as an admirable human being.
It’s sad that he’s gone, but his legacy is long and hilarious.
Monday, October 10, 2005
A couple of writing assignments have kept me from working on my blog, but they’re done, so I’m back.
As a comic book fan who was lucky enough to be around during the ‘60s and ‘70s, I was likewise in the right place at the right time for the golden age of fanzines. Bill Schelly wrote a great book on that period and the fanzines it produced – called THE GOLDEN AGE OF COMIC FANDOM. Choices ran the gamut from the amateur fanzines that were as charming as they were crude, to the zines that bordered on professional publications. The best fanzines included EC-oriented zines SQUA TRONT and SPA FON, zines that analyzed comics as an art form such as GRAPHIC STORY MAGAZINE, and strip zines like STAR-STUDDED COMICS and Wally Wood’s groundbreaking WITZEND, and adzines like the ROCKET’S BLAST COMICOLLECTOR. With the exception of WITZEND, these fanzines were published on an irregular basis by fans who published for the love of it. By the ’80s, the era of fanzines had pretty much run its course, but today we have collector-aimed magazines like COMIC BOOK ARTIST and ALTER EGO that feel like the fanzines of old, but are produced by professional publishers who can maintain regular schedules.
If you look down your nose at Charlton – don’t. And if you haven’t checked out CHARLTON SPOTLIGHT – do. Ambrose has published four issues so far, and is hard at work on the fifth. Issue #1 was a tribute the late Pat Boyette, and #2 was kind of a potpourri issue with Charlton history (including rare photos of the Charlton offices and printing plant), more Pat Boyette stuff, and an interview with Bill Black. Issue #3 was dedicated to the late and undeniably great Tom Sutton, and #4 was dedicated to the also late but definitely worthy Pat Morisi.
Contributors so far have included Bill Pearson, Bill Schelly, Ron Frantz, Jim Amash, Bhob Stewart, Alex Toth, Robin Snyder, Steve Skeates, Joe Gill, Don Mangus, Nicola Cuti, Batton Lash, and many others. I’ve contributed to the last two issues, and have just finished an article for #5, but I’d be a fan of CHARLTON SPOTLIGHT regardless.
All four issues can either be purchased from your favorite comic shop, from mail order guys like Bud Plant, or directly from publisher Mike Ambrose.Charlton Spotlight Homepage