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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jason's books

I just updated the sub-section on books but wanted to copy the list here so that it would be caught by the tags. This isn't a complete list, just what's currently available-- as far as I can work out-- at Amazon.


* The Iron Thane, Baen Books, 1993. ISBN 978-0671722036
* The Spawn of Loki, Baen Books, 1995. ISBN 978-1555940737
* Highlander: the Element of Fire, Warner Aspect Books, 1995. ISBN 978-0446602839
* The Incredible Hulk: Abominations, Berkley Books, 1997. ISBN 978-1572972735
* X-Men/Spider-Man: Time’s Arrow, Book 1 (with Tom DeFalco), Berkley Books, 1998. ISBN 978-0425164525
* Vampire The Masquerade Volume 3: Blood and Loyalty (with Bryan Edwards, Mike Reynolds, Chris Marrinan, Steve Ellis), White Wolf, 2003. ISBN 0972644385
* Soulcatcher, Alias Comics, 2005. ISBN 978-1933428048
* Sword of Dracula, IDW Comics, 2005. ISBN 978-1932382709
* Psy-Comm, Volume 1 (with Tony Salvaggio), Tokyopop, 2005. ISBN 978-1598162691
* The Darkling Band, Dragon Moon Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1896944364
* Psy-Comm, Volume 2 (with Tony Salvaggio), Tokyopop, 2007. ISBN 978-1598162707
* Psy-Comm, Volume 1: Kaplan SAT/ACT Vocabulary-Building Manga (with Tony Salvaggio), Tokyopop, 2007, ISBN 978-1427754967

Andy Hallett as Lorne

I wanted to post here a couple of memories of Andy Hallet, who passed away on March 29th.

Unbelievably, Hallett was 33 when he died of heart disease-- when he played Lorne on Angel, he created a character that made no sense at all when it first appeared on the page-- meaning when Hallett played Lorne he was in his early 20s.

Here's Hallett singing Lady Marmalade:

Hallett's character first appeared as part of the second-season tweaking of Angel that sent the series off into its own new areas, and he appeared in 76 episodes. In the final episode he delivered grim retribution to one of Angel's old enemies-- and faded into the night. "I'll do this last thing for you, for us, but then I'm out," his character said.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Comic Monsters on Dracula War

Comic Monsters makes a note of Dracula War being a graphic novel instead of a mini-- and also provides a link to a cool interview on the book.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Edward Gorey's Dracula-- the animation

Here's a wonderful little gem-- Meijinproduction's stop-motion animation of DRACULA using Edward Gorey's wonderful drawings in a die-cut playset that you (as did the animator) could order through Amazon.

What I really love is the painstaking way that the animator has reproduced the look and feel of silent film and writing-- the overwrought language, the flicker of light. Just beautiful. See the entire short subject here:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Friday the 13th-- the Remake

So tonight I went to see FRIDAY THE 13TH, the 2009 remake, at the Fun-Lan Drive-in in Tampa, Florida.

First, the drive-in was the absolute, dead-solid perfect place to see this movie. In your car, listening to the movie through your radio, watching it through the windshield, you feel more vulnerable, so no matter how lame the movie might be, it has a more forceful effect. As in, you cringe and shout, "Holy crap! Move!"

The FRIDAY movies have always been more an exercise in potentiality to me, with the occasional swell moment slotted in clumsily between minutes and hours of workmanlike editing and reasonable but unimpressive acting. By which I mean, the Friday movies are never amateurish, they're just two-dimensional. The idea of Jason, the monstrous, unkillable berzerker in the woods, is a powerful idea, and you can string any number of slasher flicks behind it.

The 2009 Friday the 13th is a surprisingly effective reboot. For one thing, it's slick, with astoundingly creepy lighting and set design. This has a strange effect, though, because whereas Jason's crumbling abode is more believable than ever before, the sheer perfection of its presentation tells you that you're safely in Hollywoodland.

The plot involves a young man in search of his sister, who went missing at Camp Crystal Lake. The hero falls in with a bunch of whiny college students, each of whom has a shtick by which we may know them: the comedian, the stoner, the rich prick, the slut, and the responsible girl. Suffice it to say that these young people have never seen any movie like FRIDAY THE 13TH, and despite their wit, have apparently never seen SCREAM, either, because these people cannot. stay. together.

Jason here is re-imagined as faster and stronger than I remember him. He doesn't teleport around and then move slowly again, as I remember him doing in the older movies. Here he walks with a heavy thud, coming up fast and swinging.

But wait, I said it was effective-- and maybe it's because I was sitting in a darkened car, but the moments when the heroes go deep into Jason's domain (on what we must understand as a likely suicide mission) are taut and dangerous. It's scary-- and after all, what more could you ask?

Final note, though. I find myself torn these days about slasher flicks-- in the real world, murder destroys much more than its victims; one murder lays waste to families for generations and reverberates for decades. Movies like this -- in which scores of people scream and then die-- present a sort of cartoon murder of people with no past or future, no people beyond the edges. I suppose that's what the funhouse is for. But the lingering awareness of that pain is what drives me to see less and less of these movies as time goes on.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Last House on the Left-- Now with Happy Ending!

So, the Last House on the Left Remake will be out this weekend-- see the trailer here.

I'll confess I hadn't been following the development of this movie at all, and suddenly here it is, a remake of one of the most gruesome, cruel movies ever. In the original, a girl is killed-- this is an understatement-- and her tormenteres find themselves seeking refuge later at the girl's parents' house, where the parents learn the secret and take revenge.

But of course, one thing we know is that this movie is different-- in that at the very least, the daughter whose attack sets off the tale of revenge is alive. The director said he wanted more of a message of hope.

Will you be watching Last House on the Left? Actually, I'm intrigued by the difference, but I still have less and less of a taste for torment these days (even as a horror author.) We'll see.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Monster Squad

Holy Monster Christmas, there was nothing ever like The Monster Squad. Now, I'm not talking about the 80s movie of that name-- no, no. I'm talking about the 70s children's show.

For those who will need reminding, back in the 70s there was a period where TV networks found it economical to make low-budget, live-action shows for Saturday morning, to play after cartoons. There were many, but one of these was "The Monster Squad," in which a young criminologist somehow brings to life Dracula, The Frankenstein Monster, and the Wolf Man, whereupon they form a crime-fighting team that tools around in a black Mystery-Machine-style custom van.

I had the board game, seen above.

Below is a link to the opening and a few painful moments of the show itself. I can't speak for the show in its entirety, but no cleverness is to be found here. But for some of you, this will trigger something amazing. For my part, in 1977 I was extraordinarily impressed-- I was five-- and the idea of a team featuring Dracula! and Frankenstein! And the Wolf Man! In a van!-- what more could anyone ask?

(Where did this video come from? Why, from those Archivists of All Things Groovy, 70slivekidvid.com .)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hulk: Broken Worlds- Days of Future Past

Just out, Marvel has now released the Hulk: Broken Worlds miniseries in a trade paperback, featuring my short story of the Hulk in one my all-time favorite storylines, the Days of Future Past first seen in classic X-Men comics, where all the mutants and mutant-like heroes have been thrown in concentration camps. This was very exciting for me because I haven't written a Marvel comic in a while!