Monday, August 25, 2003

Kind of a long weekend; a palpable sense of dread has been hanging overhead since I saw a black dog killed by the side of the road on my way to work the other day. I had to work a lot of overtime this weekend, but I got my THE PAYBACK MAN rewrite done, so maybe the fugue starting to lift a little. I think so.

I finished THE PAYBACK MAN for director Ivan Rogers and started back up on DEMON ON A DEAD END STREET for Polonia Brothers Entertainment. Happy with both.

I finished WAR MEMORIALS by Clint McCown and started THE GANGSTER WE ARE ALL LOOKING FOR, a pointed and poignant autobiographical tale by Le Thi Diem Thuy, about a young woman and her extended family who more or less wash up in the U.S. from VietNam in the late 70s. I've also been reading through some CrossGen comics, notable among them the epic fantasy stories SCION and SOJOURN. Great reads and art.

I've been listening to Walter Cronkite's choices for the best radio shows of the 20th Century. I've always liked LIGHTS OUT and THE SHADOW and INNER SANCTUM but was surprised how much I liked YOURS TRULY, JOHNNY DOLLAR. I also bought and listened to Johnny Cash's new album. Really searing and heartfelt.

FREAK from director Tyler Tharpe. FREAK is a good midwestern chiller, a tidy little thriller with a "Halloween"-type vibe that has masked killer escaping from inattentive hospital attendant and going on a modest killing spree through a bleak midwestern landscape. Nice cinematography, good use of sound, and solid performances (especially from the two leads, one being a kid) make it a good rental from Hollywood Video. It was directed by Ball State University alum Tyler Tharpe, who just graduated when I started working here, so we were two ships that passed in the night.

THE FACTOR from About Comics. The Factor is a costumed vigilante, but the description kind of trails off after that. Why? Because The Factor isn't really the star of his own comic; instead, the reader sees his actions through the eyes of a myriad group of other characters in a number of different situations.
The book is more about the impact a costumed hero would have on the world, rather than the exploits of the hero himself (or herself, possibly). Stories are told from the point of view of criminals contemplating crimes and of a child playing with a Factor toy, from newsmen to cops to everyday people. It is a fresh idea (more rare all the time in comics) well-executed by my on-line pal Nat Gertler and a bevy of talented artists, some more famous and some who deserve to be more well-known. I have gone back to re-read this book several times, and have passed it around to several friends, even some folks who aren't that in to comics. Solid work, and I look forward to more of the same from Nat and About Comics.

If you want to talk about any of this stuff, I'm at

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