Archive for February, 2020

I’m delighted to report that my good friends and colleagues at the bare•bones e-zine (also behind Marvel University and other blogs I have contributed to in varying degrees) are returning to print with a third incarnation of their eponymous digest, which began life as The Scream Factory.  My MU faculty brethren—and fellow Penguin USA (PUSA) alumni—Professors Thomas Flynn and Gilbert Colon are represented alongside me in the first issue, now shipping.  Imagine my surprise when Dean Peter Enfantino and retired Professor John Scoleri broke the news, and I learned for the first time that my article, an exhaustive comparison between Ray Bradbury’s seminal classic The Martian Chronicles and its screen adaptations, had been featured on the nifty cover as well!

Not coincidentally, the piece is a perfect snapshot of what I’m doing with my new book, whose title du jour is The Group: Sixty Years of California Sorcery on Screen.  I had, of course, done a detailed analysis of the 1980 Chronicles miniseries for Richard Matheson on Screen, which I’ve distilled for the Group history.  Yet because the latter encompasses not only Richard and Ray but also such fellow “Sorcerers” as Robert Bloch, George Clayton Johnson, William F. Nolan, Jerry Sohl (each of whom I interviewed extensively), and Charles Beaumont, all the other Chronicles adaptations, most notably those done for The Ray Bradbury Theater, have become fair play, and synthesizing all of the relevant coverage from both books made for a nicely self-contained piece.

Which brings me to my second piece of news, i.e., that the irrepressible British journalist Gem Wheeler has once again interviewed and quoted me at great length for a Group-related article in SciFiNow.  Some of you may recall her citing me as a Matheson expert for prior pieces about the Night Stalker franchise and Richard’s overall career; in #167, she weighs in with an overview of Edgar Allan Poe’s work, devoting an entire sidebar (which, I note immodestly, is basically one long quote by me) to director Roger Corman’s eight-film “Poe Cycle.”  She, too, benefits from my being on the cusp of the books, since I’ve now covered the three entries to which Beaumont and/or fellow Group member Ray Russell contributed, as well as the four written by Matheson.

Last but far from least, I’d like to offer a big “blast from the past” shout-out to a fellow Viking Penguin publicity vet, Roel Torres, who joined us in the mid-90s during The Great PUSA to Columbia House Migration™ that eventually included Tom, Gilbert, and Professor Joe Tura, leaving Professor Chris Blake and me the last men standing of the Movie Night Musketeers.  As Chris put it, “Since we were in the same department, and both comics fans, and since Roel is an insanely clever guy, we got to be friends,” making pilgrimages to our cinematic second home of Film Forum.  Roel recently resurfaced via a comment on one of my posts to report that—a brave soul—he will be reading through my backlog, so please reward him by checking out his comics!

Bradley out…and about.

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