Archive for July 30, 2006

Carnival of souls

July 30, 2006

Is this the return to Oz?

The grass is dead, the gold is brown, and the sky has claws

–Scissor Sisters, “Return to Oz”

I’ve been, as they say, otherwise engaged lately. Mostly I’ve been very busy with the day job, my duties at which have expanded of late in ways vaguely reminiscent of the kind of writing I’ve done around here. So that’s one thing I’ve been doing: Talking about comics again (mostly supercomics), here and sometimes here and infrequently here. I’ve been freelancing a lot too, and doing some free-time comics-related work as well.

But I’ve still been lurking amid the shadows, mind you: I’m a regular participant in the illustrious Steven’s Horror Roundtables over at the Horror Blog. If you haven’t been reading these, you’re missing out on a juicy cross-section of horror blogospherian opinion, notable as much for their variety as anything else. Go sink your teeth into ’em.

So what have I missed around here?

Well, there’s the sadly and horrifyingly familiar story of Robert Charles Browne, who is either an exceptionally vicious fabulist or a potential claimant to the title of America’s most prolific serial killer, though I would imagine Gary Ridgway will retain that dubious distinction for some time to come, and of course we will never know for sure.

In much less morbid territory, there are the two newly discovered Australian plesiosaur species, which for some reason have been compared to my beloved Loch Ness Monster in pretty much every news report I’ve seen about them. If paleontologists discovered a new species of Tyrannosaur, would they compare it to Godzilla? But still–water monsters!

Speaking of which, I’ve had the pleasure of watching a pair of totally awesome Discovery Channel documentaries on real, non-extinct sea monsters: Killer Squid, examining the pack-hunting Humboldts that plague the California coast (about which more here), and Killer Jellyfish (aka The Sting), chronicling the quest of a lone marine biologist to combat the fingernail-sized jellies whose lethal sting threatens the beaches of Australia (about which more here). Good God.

Then there’s the land of make-believe, where the news that most struck me coming out of the big San Diego Comic-Con is that Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s b-movie anthology Grind House will be a full-fledged double feature, rather than two short films; and that two animated Kill Bill prequel/sequels are planned. This bums me out a little–I was looking forward to watching the daughter of Vernita Green seek vengeance against Beatrix Kiddo in about 15 years–but I’ll take what I can get.

Finally, I read 1984 (for the umpteenth time) and The Handmaid’s Tale (for the first) back-to-back, so I’m all aflutter with dystopia. The main question in my head (a SPOILERY question, I suppose, though I’m not gonna say for which novel) is whether dystopian fiction in which the dystopia is revealed eventually to have fallen is more or less depressing. From a storytelling standpoint, does an omnipotent totalitarianism ennoble any struggle against it, however vain, through its very unassailability; does a totalitarianism destined for failure render the hopes and fears and torments of those who rebel against it fatuous, since the thing against which they struggled was finite, and therefore in some way pointless? I’d love to hear what you think.

So how was Pirates 2, you ask?

July 9, 2006

Read this review, then imagine its diametric opposite!

I talk about comics online a little bit these days

July 5, 2006

And you’ll sometimes be able to read me do so here, and also here. Thought you might like to know!