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Archive for October, 2011

A Cold Knight’s Death

The five-month winter of 2011-2012 is in full force, and the betting pool is open to see how fast it will kill me, as I am unlikely to survive another one that, at this rate, will be worse than the last–bearing in mind that the “respite” we all “enjoyed” in between these icy ordeals was “highlighted” by an Irene-imposed six-day loss of power and water just two months ago. Winter Holocaust Numero Uno dumped the better part of a foot of snow on top of the leaves that we hadn’t even had a chance to rake or, in the main, had yet to fall, with the extra weight bringing down countless limbs and trees, resulting once again in suspended train service and a blackout that is expected to last for up to a week, to the consternation of our poor frozen furballs, Mina and Lucy. Madame BOF and I then endured a three-hour-apiece tag-team shoveling marathon; a three-hour odyssey trying to find an eatery that was accessible via often-blocked roads, had power, and didn’t have a line out the door; a two-hour odyssey trying to find a gas station that met the same criteria, with most of them sold out due to others buying gas for their generators; and a final trek through country that looks like a bombed-out war zone to get to my Mom’s house (which, again alone among four family homes in the area, has power) for showers before getting up in the icebox and going to work today.

Some say the world will end in fire, but I know mine will end in ice.

Halloween 2012: All Trick, No Treat.

Bradley out…in the cold.

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It’s snowing like hell two days before Halloween.

My death warrant is signed.

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Parodies Found

Having boasted of rewriting so many songs by the Beatles and others, I thought it was time to put my money where my oversized mouth was and post some more lyrics; a certain sameness of theme, as it were, is due to the fact that they were written to commemorate, and indeed performed at, our raucous Movie Night outings–or perhaps I should say “innings”–first in Woodside, and now in Ozone Park. This is of necessity a selective sampling, since some songs were unsuited to a family blog and/or too top-heavy with in-jokes shared with my friends Tom, Joe, Gilbert, Chris, and Drax. I hope the allusions to nicknames individual (The Host with the Most [and infinite variations], Word-Man, Jogura, Gill-Man) and collective (Musketeers, Movie Knights), family members, pets, employers past (Penguin USA, GoodTimes) and present (MBI, Dover), and obsessions (The Great Richard Matheson [TGRM], kaiju eiga, Lucio Fulci) will not diminish your enjoyment.

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My Favorite Year

I was so busy working on You Only Live Twice on Sunday that I forgot to check out my Snapshot for 1975 on Marvel University, and for me not to swoon narcissistically over my own work is pretty serious, especially when it’s so beautifully illustrated.  A gentleman named Jack Seabrook–and you know he’s a good guy, because he’s chosen to represent himself onscreen with a photo of Tony Randall as Felix Unger–is a contributor to and enthusiastic commentator on the many fine Enfantino/Scoleri blogs.  He begins by saying, “WOW!  Now I know what my favorite Marvel year was.  I turned 12 in 1975 [as did this writer] and I guess that was the prime age for loving these comics.”

Jack segues into a rant about Frank Robbins (whose disastrously cartoony pencils blighted the pre-resurgent-Kirby Captain America and, worse, the first few years of Roy Thomas’s cherished Invaders), which is then echoed by none other than Peter Enfantino himself.  Other than to express my appreciation and agreement, and without meaning to turn this into some sort of self-referential circle-jerk, I have a reason for bringing this up.  These Snapshots represent my favorite era of Marvel Comics, but in reading them over before submitting them to M.U., I started to wonder if I could pinpoint an actual favorite year.

Certainly in terms of creators represented (e.g., Englehart, Mantlo, Wolfman, Buscema, Conway, Wein, Thomas, Andru, Claremont, Gerber, Buckler, Brown, Byrne, Cockrum, Starlin…God, what a crew) and new books introduced, I might have to agree with Jack.  Peter and John lead off with the cover of what was, in retrospect, surely the most important release of the year, Giant-Size X-Men #1, which introduced the new team whose popularity eventually dominated the whole Marvel Universe.  But 1975 also saw the advent of such BOF faves as The InvadersThe Champions, Super-Villain Team-Up, the Claremont/Byrne Iron Fist, and Starlin’s revived Warlock solo title, and the frissons I was getting from seeing some of these books illustrated certainly supported the ’75 thesis.

It should be noted, however, that many of these books were just getting off the ground by year’s end, meaning that 1976 was when they were first in full swing, and sadly, many outlived it barely or not at all (like don’t-blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ’76 newcomer Black Goliath).  Also, I’m fairly certain that ’76–at least in terms of the calendar year, if not necessarily cover dates–marked the seismic shift between my buying comics at convenience stores on a catch-as-catch-can basis and getting them religiously via subscription.  Add to that the fact that I associate 1977 with such disappointing debuts as Godzilla and The Human Fly, and I think I have to give ’76 the edge, but you can read all about that this coming Sunday at M.U.

In closing, I would also like to thank Cinema Retro for linking to my Live and Let Die post, and all of the Retro readers who were kind enough to visit this site.  I hope my series of Bond posts will whet your appetite for my Retro article about his nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, on page and screen, which–God willing–will run next year during the 50th anniversary of 007 on the big screen.  In the meantime, y’all come back, now, hear?

A grateful Bradley out.

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Whit-less

On September 22, 2011, Whitney premiered on NBC.

On October 20, 2011, Whitney aired a repeat after less than a month (as, admittedly, did lead-in shows Parks and Recreation and The Office).

Is this the way your world works now, NBC?  Seriously?  What do you do, film three episodes and then stop?  And if you didn’t have new episodes to show after less than a month, then why not put on something else, like a movie or an FSE (that’s Foolish–or, for adult readers, another word starting with the same letter–Sporting Event) or America’s Fattest Amateur Singers?

Seriously?

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It may seem odd for me to write an obituary–however brief–for an actress on the basis of a single role, but I feel compelled to do so in the case of Patricia Breslin, who left us October 12 at the age of 80 and, in my book (literally), is known for playing William Shatner’s wife in Richard Matheson’s classic Twilight Zone episode “Nick of Time.”  So pleased with her performance was Richard that he not only wished she could have done so in the other Shatner/Matheson TZ episode, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” but also strove to recapture their dynamic with the couple in his Thriller script (revised by director/star John Newland), “The Return of Andew Bentley.”  Almost all of Breslin’s other credits were also in episodic television, ironically including an episode of Thriller, as well as a non-Matheson TZ and several episodes of the Hitchcock series, but she did do two features with William Castle, Homicidal (1961) and I Saw What You Did (1965).

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Not Brand ICCH

And it’s official:  here is the announcement of the Enfantino/Scolari Kolchak blog, It Couldn’t Happen Here…, hereinafter ICHH, coming in the New Year to an Internet near you (this one, in fact).  For you young whippersnappers, Stan Lee used to refer to the competition over at D.C. as “Brand Echh,” and even had a humor comic entitled Not Brand Echh, hence this post’s inside-baseball title.  I am, needless to say, proud that they’ve asked me to be a part of this venture, as they did with both We Are Controlling Transmission and Marvel University.

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