Tough Week

Well, it was a rough month plus for aging fanboys like me. Back in December we lost Forrest J. Ackerman, Bettie Page, Beverly Garland, Eartha Kitt. For the theatrically minded, there was Harold Pinter and Dale Wasserman. Probably several more that slip my mind. Sorry.

So this week, thus far: Ricardo Montalban and Patrick McGoohan. McGoohan is especially poignant for me, right now; I asked for and (barely) received for Christmas the Walt Disney Treasures edition of Dr. Syn, the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, which, to borrow a phrase from my pal Parker, Looms Large in My Legend.

In early 1964, I was in the hospital on one of my deathbed visits – not the most serious one, the one where the docs advised my mother I would not survive, or if I did, I would be a vegetable for the rest of my days, that would wait a couple of years – but one of the most memorable things about that stay was the initial TV appearance of The Scarecrow, broken up into three consecutive weeks.

I don’t think I was in the hospital that time for three whole weeks, but I like to say that I refused to die, because I wanted to see how the story played out. That is also pure bullshit, but damn, it makes a great anecdote. I do remember asking my mother to make me a Scarecrow costume for that Halloween… which I never got.

So I felt I had a special claim to this DVD. I say I “barely” got it, because apparently Disney is quite serious – and infamous – for taking the “limited” in “Limited Edition” entirely too seriously, and the thing was out of print the week it shipped, or something. My poor wife was frazzled trying to track a copy down, and it finally came down to recruiting me for the search. I love the hunt. I find a copy misfiled as “Drama” at my local Fry’s (where I swear every time I walk in I’m going to reorganize the movie section for @#$%! free), and my Christmas is Merry one.

I had looked to reviewing it for 50 Foot DVD, when I found out about its unavailable status… but now, with the review almost completely written, it seems a bit foolish to just toss it away.

Anyway.

Ran out of unemployment compensation this week. Registered for the emergency stuff. A job I applied for in October called me in for an interview in December – a good one – and said they’d be Making their decision in January. I write and e-mail once a week to keep my name on their desk. I hate this.

Anyway.

The re-reading of Cerebus is a dicey thing in this first volume, where most of the stories are self-contained, and, in my current state of Marvel Overdose, reading pastiches of Roy Thomas/Barry Smith Conan stores with an aardvark as the main character is still a little too close to Marvel. It is very fun, though, as I progress, to see Sim finding his feet, for the art to tighten up and slowly leave the Smith influence. The story and character work still lean toward the lampoonish, but the parody is becoming better executed, as Sim starts to actually embrace the satire for what it is, not simply as a tool to deflate barbarian comics standards. I just finished the two issue arc concerning The Cockroach, Sim’s first parody of superheroes, and the writer/artist is obviously starting to have real fun.

And one last thing for a rambling post. I mentioned I recently re-read Rick Veitch’s The One, one of the first revisionist superhero books, and in the back of my collected volume is a Round Table discussion by Tom Veitch, Neil Gaiman, and Stephen Bissette about said revisionist superhero books. In it, Gaiman asks, “I wonder, in the wake of the Batman movie, how long it will be before some idiot puts on a cape and goes out to fight crime?” The collection, and the discussion are dated 1989, so Gaiman is talking about the Tim Burton/Michael Keaton Batman. It took twenty years and five more Batman movies, but they walk among you.

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Now playing: Vibrasphere – Nowhere
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2 Comments

  1. Jeeze, drop the other shoe, willya? DID you or did you not become a vegetable for life?

  2. You know, I get the impulse to be a real-life superhero — I was going to be the Destroying Angel, and I had the costume all drawn up (sort of like Ragman with a skull motif added) — but jeez, would it kill them to use a competent CMS?


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