Wednesday, September 30, 2009

...Which is why I will never believe anything on the Internet ever again.

PhotobucketSo for about five minutes there, it seemed David Bowie was going to be playing New Zealand and Australia's Big Day Out festival next year, and all was good in the world. I knew it was a fact because the Internet told me so. Why, Stuff said he was "expected to be announced" as the headliner for the music festival. Of course, it was bollocks -- no Bowie in the final Big Day Out lineup, sigh. I'm actually a bit relieved as while I did have a fantastic time in 2008 and in 2009 at the Big Day Out, I wasn't really planning on going a third year in a row unless the lineup dazzled my innards. This year's crew -- Muse, Lily Allen, Kasabian, Mars Volta, Dizzee Rascal -- well, it just makes me actually feel my age a bit as the only one I'm even slightly familiar with is Lily Allen. Anyway, that's about $300 we can save for more grown-up pursuits. Like seeing The Pixies when they come here in March! But y'know, it was amazing to see how quickly this Bowie rumour became fact on the Internets as so many others do these days. Even though Bowie hasn't gone on tour or released an album in nearly 6 years, apparently it was a given that he was going to be making his big comeback at age 62 in New Zealand. The meme even actually overtook the actual lineup as the festival organiser had to make a statement about the non-appearance of Bowie.
* Had to steal the art above from here. Which is a real website.

• I heartily recommend Nick Hornby's latest novel "Juliet, Naked," which is a nice return to his "High Fidelity/About A Boy" form after a few lesser books. "Juliet, Naked" is almost "High Fidelity 2" in how it digs into that strange world of music obsessives (um, not that I know anything about that), spinning a tale of fixated fans, reclusive musicians and lovelorn museum curators that's a real brisk, good-hearted and enjoyable read. I like how Hornby integrates online fan communities and even Wikipedia into his story without it seeming like a pandering attempt to be "hip," and his portrayal of has-been '80s musican Tucker Crowe is one of his strongest characters to date. If you haven't checked out Hornby's books in a while, this is one to go to.

• Also a fine if incredibly trippy read is "Batman: The Black Casebook," a way-out collection of utterly bizarre 1950s Batman stories reprinted to tie in with writer Grant Morrison's recent "Batman R.I.P." storyline, which was heavily inspired by this. I know everyone's into Batman the Dark Knight who stalks Gotham City and never smiles, and I like that guy too, but I have to admit I really have a soft spot for the incredibly strange Batman stories of the 1950s, when Bats would be as likely to be fighting aliens, go back in time or hire a dog to be his crimefighting companion. PhotobucketThis "Black Casebook" is a very affordable survey of the era, which hasn't really been explored in reprints as much as it should be – apparently it reminds too many of the time when Batman was, well, a bit goofy. But Grant Morrison in his excellent introduction looks at these stories with an eye for just how odd and unsettling they are – such as when Batman stumbles into the parallel dimension of Zur-En-Arrh and meets an alternate, bizarrely coloured Batman, and the story has the passionate madness of a fever dream. There's also the introduction of magical elf Bat-Mite (who rapidly became annoying, but was indeed a funny little fellow in his first appearance), the "Batmen of All Nations" (meet the Italian Batman, the Legionary!), and much more. What I think I love the most about this era of comics is that anything could happen without the menace of "continuity" without pandering to a small and demanding fan community. Whatever worked -- if it meant turning Batman and Robin into leaves or zebras. The surreal appeal of these stories is like a Salvador Dalí painting. "The Black Casebook" is terrific nostalgic fun and a nice tonic for endless "gritty" stories featuring the Joker slaughtering people. Bring on "Black Casebook II" and reprint more of these lost gems.

Friday, September 25, 2009

You know you live in a really small country when....

...The fact your nation's leader got five minutes of passing face time with the American president, all of it at crowds in various formal functions relating to the UN and G-20 summits, is front page news. It's definitely a different perspective (although I don't know if I'd agree it's just "cultural cringe" or rather the fact that NZ doesn't get a lot of attention from the US on the global stage).

But on the other hand Prime Minister John Key also got to go on the David Letterman show and be gently poked fun at in front of millions:

Really, Obama or Letterman, it's all publicity for down under and at least Dave didn't make Key wear a hobbit costume or something. Key was funny enough, I thought, and I have to admit while I didn't vote for him, as a person he does give off a rather amiable, slightly goofy, low key (ha ha) vibe, sort of "Hey, can you believe I'm the prime minister of this country?"

And I know it's not Mr. Key's fault I just kept thinking of this guy the entire time he was on stage:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Revenge of the spawn of the links

So the wife noted recently how we managed to have a relatively illness-free winter down under. Whereupon I, of course, immediately got struck down by Phlegmius, the God of Mucus. In the absence *snnork* of good health, I offer random links that amuse or intrigued me of late:

• Witness the worst celebrity wax figures ever. I love the President Obama one, who looks like an old Jim Nabors figure spray-painted black.

Photobucket• Y'know, in the accolades and appreciations after the untimely death of Patrick Swayze I realised I had never seen his 1986 masterwork "Road House," in which he plays a zen bouncer who's like the Confucius of bar brawls. It is not quite as awesome as "Point Break," mainly because it doesn't costar Keanu "Whoa" Reeves, but it is still startlingly cool as a piece of '80s cheese and übermanly exuberance. Plus, throat-ripping! Pop Matters examined "the Tao of Dalton" a while back, and it makes for excellent Swayze-musing.

• I never really thought about it before, but I do dig sci-fi movie corridors! In praise of the sci-fi corridor.

• Whenever a handful of really famous people die it really, really annoys me when people talk about a "plague" of celebrity deaths or the whole "they come in threes" myth, as if famous people (and regular, non-famous plebians) didn't die every single day just because that's what people do. So I quite liked this NY Times article which looks at the real reason the media/online world seemed to constantly be freaking out about people dying this summer: The Summer of the Celebrity Deaths? Boomers realizing they're not immortal? Egad!

• I've mentioned before that Leonard Pitts is probably my favorite current newspaper columnist (close runners-up being the NY Times Maureen Dowd, who sometimes is too clever for her own good, and San Francisco Chronicle's Jon Carroll, who sometimes is too twee for his own good). Pitts manages to bring a consistently thoughtful yet genuinely concerned tone to his left-of-center observations. Anyway, this piece by Pitts is superb as he looks at what he calls "the howl of the unhinged and the entitled" we keep hearing from the US lately: The 'Culture War' is real and scary.

Photobucket• Man, I grew up reading Marvel's old Star Wars comics, but I have to admit, they could be pretty wonky tales sometimes. The 11 least necessary Star Wars comic book stories. A great list from the fab Topless Robot, but where is Jaxxon the giant green bunny rabbit, darn it?

• Here's the thing -- yeah, if you're wearing a yarmulke or a turban out or the like on the streets and get hassled for it, I can see the outrage. But if you insist on being a grown-up and going out in public dressed like a Jedi Knight and then want to sue over religious discrimination -- well, you're a dork. Jedi church founder 'emotionally humiliated.'

• Finally, because we all need more Lego art: A functional cello -- made out of Lego.

Monday, September 21, 2009

We all need a little Charlie Chaplin sometimes

PhotobucketI've been in a Charlie Chaplin frame of mind lately. There's no finer way to lift the spirits than watching some vintage Chaplin, I think, and a great pleasure for me is how much Peter, age 5, likes the Little Tramp. He was howling with laughter as we watched some Chaplin shorts the other day.

It's good to know that nearly 100 years on from the films, Chaplin's comedy hasn't dimmed. In fact, in some ways I find his pantomime mastery and gentle pratfalls and cheer even more soothing, in a 24-hour-news, text-a-minute kind of world. I dig having a kid who appreciates Chaplin, at least for now.

If I had to pick a favorite Chaplin film, I think I'd go with 1936's "Modern Times," which came towards the end of Chaplin's peak fame. It was the sound era, although Chaplin remained a dogged fan of silent film and pantomime, and sound effects were used throughout "Modern Times." "Times" critiques the pitfalls of capitalism, machines and mass-production, but doesn't preach as much as Chaplin's later films tended to. In the middle of the Great Depression, the Little Tramp's hardship and poverty seemed more relevant than ever.

I also love Paulette Goddard's fiercely feral performance as the "Gamine", a barefoot, homeless young lass Chaplin befriends. "Modern Times" sums up the slapstick, hopelessly romantic and cynically observant parts of Chaplin very well. Chaplin's idealism is a huge part of his charm (and a part of why as he aged, and faced McCarthyism and other problems, his films became far darker and less popular).

And is there any movie-ending musical number more blissfully silly than the "nonsense song," in which, for the first time, Chaplin's Tramp speaks? (Um, kind of.) If you've never seen it, here you go -- all you need to know is that as the Tramp prepares his big musical number at the restaurant, he's lost the song lyrics he'd hidden in his sleeve. Time to wing it! A more cheerful celebration of nonsense I've never seen. With subtitles for the "lyrics"!

Friday, September 18, 2009

It was 10 years ago today...

PhotobucketWhen I think about it, the fact my wife and I got together at all is kinda remarkable. I was a long-haired college student in Oxford, Mississippi, Avril was a novice lawyer in Auckland, New Zealand. We met through the pages of a comic book, of all places (Dave Sim's Cerebus) where we became pen pals. We met in person for the first time when I was living in an impossibly dank and dinky trailer in Mississippi. She won a green card lottery and showed up on my doorstep in California about five years later, and we thought we'd see how things went.

Ten years ago today, we got married. I proposed spontaneously, while we were watching "King of the Hill" on a snowy Sunday night. And while with any marriage there have been ups and downs I can honestly say my life wouldn't have been anything near as fun as it's been with Avril by my side this last decade. We've seen Alaska and Australia, Mississippi and Mexico; we've had a terrific little boy who constantly surprises and amazes me; for the last three years I've become the one in the relationship with the strange foreign accent as we moved back to her homeland.

What was that really bad movie, "The Butterfly Effect," which shows how everything can change with a tiny incident? Sometimes when I look at my boy I think, what if I hadn't been reading Cerebus, what if we stopped exchanging letters, what if she hadn't won the green card -- who knows who I'd be now?

I'm honestly having trouble parsing the fact that it's been a bloody decade already -- somehow, the 2000s have just whizzed by like a ninja in the night. Marriage will show you the best of yourself, and sometimes, the worst of yourself. I hope it's been more of the best than the worst; and I'm still kind of stunned and happy when I think how it's all ended up since that day 16 or 17 years ago when I first got a letter from a girl in New Zealand.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dali, Jedi and hanged men in Melbourne

Photobucket...So I'm back from my second trip across the ditch to Australia, a lovely 5 days or so in shiny Melbourne. We had a rather quick urban getaway, sticking right to the city itself so no Outback adventures for us, but it was a fine chance to get a look around Australia's second-largest city after our trip to Sydney a while back (with about 4 million people each town is the same size as the entire country over here). Melbourne is a fine place, filled with grand and intricate Victorian architecture and a thriving cultural scene. Going to Oz from NZ is an interesting experience -- both times now I've felt like I was visiting the bigger brother. Sydney and Melbourne are true thriving metropolises like New York or San Francisco, and make Auckland seem rather humble in comparision.

PhotobucketOne of the big attractions of going to Melbourne right now for us was several great museum exhibitions. A big highlight for me was the National Gallery of Victoria's "Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire" show, which features 200 works from Dalí collections. Dalí is one of my favorite artists, and this show was a real treat -- besides the paintings, it also included a variety of sketches, videos and multimedia works. I've got a big Taschen monster book of Dali paintings but there's nothing compared to seeing his works in person – the colours really explode forth, particularly the vivid blues and the yellows of Dali's beloved Cadaqués beaches in Spain. I also had new appreciation for Dalí's underrated sheer skill as a draftsman -- the sketches and rough drafts on show display his tight grasp of anatomy and perspective. The exhibit even included Dalí's bizarre and beautiful animated film collaboration with Walt Disney, "Destino," which was only finished in 2003.

PhotobucketWe also took the train out to West Melbourne and the ScienceWorks museum, where a display of great importance to all of us was on -- Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination, a super-cool show which has been traveling the globe that features dozens of costumes, props and models from all six "Star Wars" flicks, as well as a bunch of exhibits on how the science behind the movies really could work. On a 1 to 10 geek scale this show was an 11; balding 30-somethings like myself oohed and awed at the life-size props of FX-7 the medical droid and a Wampa as if we were at the Sistine Chapel. I mean, the actual model of the land speeder they used in "A New Hope"? Well, I dug it.

Another great place to visit was the evocative Old Melbourne Gaol, which housed thousands of criminals back in the bad old days up til the 1920s. It also saw more than 130 prisoners hanged, including the famed bushranger Ned Kelly.

Photobucket Kind of an Australian Alcatraz,  they've turned what's left of the old structure into a very spooky place, with several dozen cells stretching down a long dark corridor. The cells are tight and crammed (I could just get my 6' 2" self through the tiny doorways) and it's not hard to visualize what it would've been like to be kept there; prisoners were tightly controlled and forbidden even to talk. Spookiest of all are the "death masks" taken of executed criminals, which are displayed almost like decaptiated heads throughout the prison, with short tales about the prisoner's grim lives. Ned Kelly's death mask holds a place of "honor" at the end of the hall, with a good display about his life. (We'd just watched the rather mediocre Heath Ledger movie version of Kelly's life the other day so it was particularly interesting to see Kelly's final domain.)

We had a hyperactive 5 1/2-year-old boy in tow, of course, so couldn't check out everything, but a very good public transport system meant we could see a lot in a few days. We also did a great deal of just wandering around Melbourne's busy streets and many parks and gardens, browsing record and comics stores (the fantastic Minotaur made my heart skip a beat), eating at the Victoria Market, visiting the excellent Melbourne Museum and its superb Aboriginal art display, drinking too much coffee and admiring the view from our hotel of the city sprawled out before the magnificent Yarra River.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A moment of silence for Patrick Swayze

I'll have more Melbourne stuff soon, but in honour of the late, great Patrick Swayze, I feel inspired to re-post a blog entry from 2005. They'll talk about your "Dirty Dancing" and they'll talk about your "Ghost," and perhaps some will speak about "To Wong Foo," but for my money, Swayze's Bodie was the best bank-robbing surfer anybody ever portrayed in any medium. Rest in peace, dude.

From 2005:

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Top 20 Reasons 'Point Break' is cinematic art

1. Keanu Reeves IS... Johnny Utah, FBI agent. There has never been a finer character name.
2. Patrick Swayze as bedraggled, hair-product abusing zen hippie Bodhi, surf guru, "searcher" and bank robber extraordinaire.
3. It's John C. McGinley, cranky wisecracking authority figure Dr. Cox from TV's "Scrubs," as... cranky wisecracking authority figure FBI boss Ben Harp!
4. Johnny Utah: "I caught my first tube this morning, sir."
5. Gary Busey, insane as all hell, as Keanu's partner FBI agent and budding psychosis case.
6. The bank robbers dress up as "ex-Presidents" in rather creepy rubber masks.
7. This yields perhaps one of the coolest images ever captured on film, "Ronnie Reagan" as bank robber lighting a gas station on fire to escape his pursuer.
8. A weirdly masculine Lori Petty as perhaps the least sexy love interest ever. Her part in the sequel will be played by a leftover carpet sample.
9. The Red Hot Chili Peppers cameo to beat up Keanu!
10. Bodhi: "Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true."
11. Random lawn mower face-threatening violence!
12. Bodhi: "100 percent pure adrenaline!"
13. During an exciting foot chase sequence, an angry pit bull is thrown at Johnny Utah.
14. On the far-out Internets, you can find an entire awesome essay about Utah and Mormon church references and subtexts in "Point Break." And it's amazingly obsessive: "...the scenes with Supervising Agent Ben Harp comprise 372 lines of the script's total 6623 lines (5.6%)."
15. Because if you go to the IMDB, there are actually credited cast members with character names like 'Surf Rat,' 'Freight Train,' 'Fiberglass' (!?!?) 'Psycho-Stick,' and 'Passion for Slashin.'
16. Johnny Utah: "Vaya con dios," perhaps the single goofiest kiss-off line to a villain in film history.
17. Johnny Utah skydives... without a parachute.
18. Keanu falls to the ground, rolls about and screams his incoherent rage up to the sky … not once, not twice, but in THREE different scenes!
19. Ben Harp: "Special agent Utah! This is not some job, flipping burgers at the local drive-in! Yes! - your surf board bothers me! Yes! - your approach to this whole damn case bothers me! And yes! - YOU BOTHER ME!"
20. Courtesy of the IMDB, Matthew Broderick was originally offered the role of Johnny Utah. Which really would have been an entirely different movie.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gone walkabout, mate

Photobucket ...Hurrah, it's holiday time and we're off to the outback. Well, OK, actually to a city of 4 million people, not "Crocodile Dundee" territory by any means. But anyway, we'll be in Australia for a spell, report upon return!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday shuffle: In my dang a ding a ding a ding dong

Photobucket...Is it the weekend yet?

1. Jesus Built My Hotrod 4:53 Ministry
2. Sitting On Top Of The World 2:35 Howlin' Wolf
3. Sabolan 3:59 Ba Cissoko
4. Let's Go 3:34 The Cars
5. Ten Percenter 3:30 Frank Black
6. What We All Want [Live] 5:25 Gang Of Four
7. Juicebox 3:18 The Strokes
8. Nashville Skyline Rag 3:15 Bob Dylan
9. Miss Williams' Guitar 3:09 The Jayhawks
10. Avenues 2:31 Whiskeytown
11. Respectable 3:08 The Rolling Stones
12. Spirits Drifting 2:37 Brian Eno

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On the other hand, Mickey Wolverine would be awesome.

It's the last week before a nice holiday, so forgive me if my mind is scattered....

PhotobucketWow, so Disney bought Marvel Comics, eh? Well, my reaction is a bit more than "I don't really care" as some comics bloggers have said. If you read comics, it's an interesting development. All this corporate intrigue takes place at a level well above my head; I would hope we won't have a Spider-Man/Mickey Mouse crossover anytime soon, but I dunno. Disney has huge pockets, and could do good things for the comic industry; or it could just be an excuse to sell more DVDs and milk the teats. I reserve judgment, but yeah, this is a game changer in a lot of ways for the comic book business. I have often feared that the monthly paper comic book may be going the way of the cassette single; I don't yet know if this will hasten that or reinvent comics as a mass appeal medium entirely. Either way, these are interesting times. Who would've predicted a decade ago "Iron Man" and "Wolverine" movies would be worldwide smashes? (*I saw this illustration at Will Pfeifer's "Movie Man" blog and had to borrow it.)

• Behold: the Lego house! Wonder how it is in the winter.

• Short review: Wacky title or no, "Inglourious Basterds" is a heck of a lot of fun. Better than I'd hoped, because Tarantino's last movie "Death Proof" was a rather dull and mean-spirited slog, and I've really tired of the man's motormouthed egocentric public persona. But he's reminded me of his inescapable talent -- he does know how to make one hell of a Nazi-slashing entertainment!

• If you eat your dog, is it a crime? This is a couple weeks old, but an interesting debate recently here downunder. Cultural prerogative or just doggone nasty dinner?

• My thoughts go out to the victims of the 49 Fire in Auburn, California, not 20 minutes from where I grew up -- more than 60 homes burned on a highway I've travelled hundreds of times in my life. About 20 years ago there was another 49er Fire in that same region which burned all over the area and you can still see the scars today. Growing up in the California foothills, I often thought grass's natural color was a bright and dry yellow. Unfortunately, in August heat it's a disaster waiting to happen. I hope the folks affected by these blazes are OK.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Complete Succinct Reviews of Stephen King, Part II

Photobucket...As I continue strolling my way through re-examining my near-complete collection of Stephen King tales, I'm entering the period of King's biggest popular success, I think -- somewhere around the early 1980s, King became that household name, and every book was an "EVENT," which sustained up till around the end of the decade. He's still a huge, bestselling author now, but after 50 or so books, it's hard to make each one seem a major happening. This era, in between the more typical 'monster of the week' books like "Cujo," saw King doing some experimentation, and some of his strongest work – the straightforward horror-free fiction of "The Shawshank Redemption," the stark fantasy-land of "The Dark Tower"– came here.

PhotobucketThe Dead Zone: A personal favorite of mine, the tale of poor doomed John Smith and his psychic powers, it's a tight and tense thriller (it avoids the bloat that affects too many of King's books). This one packs a bit more of an emotional punch than some of King's yarns -- I find Smith a compelling hero, who loses a huge chunk of his life and ultimately faces a martyr's fate. The plot may not be the freshest -- how many times can someone head off a nasty alternative future? - but King's voice is strong and assured, and there's moments of real chilling horror. Grade: A

Firestarter: A minor King work, I'd say, but enjoyable in a pulpy way. The tale of fire-starting "mutant" girl Charlie has a straightforward momentum, and a made-for-movie feel (although like 99% of the movies based on King's books, the film is inferior). Yet while it's good fun to read, it never quite leaps from fun to masterful -- the villains are cardboard and the story a bit predictable. Underachieving, frankly. Grade: C

Cujo: Another "minor" King book, but what's remarkable about this one is how incredibly bleak it is -- no happy endings here (foreshadowing the even grimmer "Pet Sematary"). A rabid dog is no global plague or killer clown as far as King's villains go, but "Cujo" does tap into something primal and freaky about the perils that lurk in the natural world all around us. King himself notes in a later book that he was so heavy a drinker at this point that he barely remembers writing "Cujo," which explains why it feels a bit like a short story stretched to the breaking point. Grade: C+

PhotobucketDanse Macabre: Then out of left-field, we've got a nonfiction collection by King, examining the history of horror fiction in print, radio and film. It's a great behind-the-curtain look at King's influences, with a chatty tone that evokes Harlan Ellison's essays, and also a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in horror as a genre. Great pop-culture history and analysis, well worth seeking out. Grade: A

The Dark Tower Book I - The Gunslinger: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." It's a fantastic first sentence, and kicks off what would become a 20-year, thousands of page epic for King -- a dark, thoughtful and lyrical fantasy, set in a mysterious other world where Roland the Gunslinger is on an epic heroic quest to destroy the Dark Tower. Filled with myth and mystery, it's a taut, superb read. Now, the later books in this series get increasingly complex and long, and you can debate whether the series as a whole "works," but as a first tale, this is a remarkable story, in tone and approach unlike anything else King had done up to then, and a sign his interest lay deeper than rabid dogs and zombie cars. (King later revised the book in 2003 to tie in with the later novels more, but I haven't read that version.) Grade: A

Different Seasons: This might just have been the first King book I ever read, and I still think it's one of his best, four novellas, three of which have gone on to be generally fantastic movies (a rarity for King adaptations.) "The Body" became "Stand By Me," the clunkily titled "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" with a shorter title became one of the most popular movies of the 1990s, and "Apt Pupil" is a terrific underrated Bryan Singer film. The stories are all actually even better than the solid movies – in "The Body" King gives a pitch-perfect voice to being a boy growing up, and the twisted Nazi obsessions of "Apt Pupil" result in one of King's freakiest tales. If you ignore the fourth novella in here, the gross "The Breathing Method," you've got one of King's best. Grade: A-

Christine: Another curious kind of minor monster-of-the-week book -- killer possessed cars, anyone? -- that makes up for its pulpy gimmick with a decent portrayal of a loser teenager's revenge against all who've wronged him. But it still feels like King is spinning his wheels, pardon the pun. Grade: B-

PhotobucketPet Sematary: A great book, and a horrible book all at once as King pushes the reader as far he can in a tale that takes on the borders between life and death. What would happen if you really could bring people back to life? It's a take on the old horror yarn "The Monkey's Paw," with King really digging deep into the rot beneath to find the horror of someone who comes back to life.... different. The ending for this one is one of King's finest and most terrible moments. A confession: I've been meaning to re-read this, but now that I have a kid of my own, I don't quite know if I could take it. Grade: A-

The Bachman Books: An interesting collection of King's pseudonymous, early work (dating 1977 to 1982), it's a mixed bag but includes some of his strongest novellas -- "The Long Walk," in particular, is superb, a chilling piece of nihilistic science fiction, while "The Running Man," (which has next to nothing in common with the cheesy Schwarzenegger movie) imagined reality TV years before the fact. On the other hand, neither "Roadwork" or "Rage" (a clumsy kind of Columbine mass killer story) have the maturity to really come off. Grade: B+

Not reviewed: "Creepshow" graphic novel and "Cycle of the Werewolf," King's two story/art collaborations with artist Bernie Wrightson, because it's been far too long since I've read either of them and "Creepshow" in particular is regrettably hard to find.

Next time: "The Talisman to "The Tommyknockers"