Monday, May 20, 2019


As the days grow longer and the air warmer, Captain Ron Fortier and Chief Engineer Rob Davis treat us to another segment of publishing morsels, in both audio and visual form.

The May '19 Airship 27 podcast dishes news on the "Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective" Facebook page, where all things Sherlock will be featured. Engage the mystery at ...

Ron also details his convention treks, not only for the New Pulp scene, but for that of "Star Trek", where big names are known to make their special appearances. A lively discussion on "Star Trek" artwork follows, for which Rob has contributed.

In addition, there's further news on my novel, "Persona, Vol 2: Green-Fleshed Fiends" and Kevin Broden's diligent pursuit to complete the remaining illustrations. 

Prick up your ears and open your eyes for another great chat at ...

Sunday, May 19, 2019


"I've come to expect the unexpected from Bedtime for Robots. This one blends elements of Black Sabbath, the B52s, Kraftwerk, and Cyrus Hill, and somehow these disparate influences make sense together. This is not your daddy's or your grandma's music." -- Michael Ferentino

Ferentino is correct: His newest Bedtime for Robots single (presented per Black Box Recordings) is unique...groundbreaking, and yet through its electronic percussion, it summons the past...a long-ago, futuristic time when the gorilla-bodied Ro-Man came to devastated Earth and fell in love with a fair maiden incapable of returning his affection.

In all ways and on all levels, Bedtime for Robots' Robot Monster is the ultimate tribute to Phil Tucker/Wyott Ordung's surreal, 3D masterpiece, representing the angst, confusion and desire that sparked inside its titular antihero's helmeted head.


I do appreciate and empathize with the composition and believe that you will, too: further proof that Bedtime for Robots does it like no other.

Listen and view at ...

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A New Swamp Thing for the DC Universe

DC Universe, the online, subscription service that spawned "Titans" and "Doom Patrol", now gives us "Swamp Thing": a James "Aquaman" Wan-produced, revamped genesis for the popular, monster-superhero, set for May 31.

I've always liked Len Wein/Bernie Wrightson's morphed rendering of the honorable Dr. Alex Holland; I hold Wes Craven's movie version in high regard, though not so much Jim Wynorski's sequel, though I was compelled to own it on disc, so take that for what you will.

The USA, Joseph Stefano-developed series happens to be one of my all-time favorites of any genre, and the short-lived "Swamp Thing" cartoon show was nifty in its own well-intended right, producing some real swell action figures. 

The DC Universe remake sure has some big shoes to fill, and yet the subscription source seems intent on delivering superior storytelling with impressive casts.  ("Doom Patrol", in particular, has exceeded expectations.)

For "Swamp Thing '19", we get Andy "Power" Bean as Holland and Derek "Jason vs Freddy" Mears as the doc's vegetated alter ego. There's also super-hot Crystal "Gotham" Reed as Dr. Abby Arcane and legendary Virginia "Highlander II" Madsen as anguished Maria Sunderland.  Will "The Postman" Patton plays her spouse, Avery, a businessman who appears more the antagonist than the alluring Arcane could ever be. (Hey, what's in a villainous surname, anyway?)  To cap things off, Leonardo "Westworld" Nam stars as Harlan Edwards (Arcane's right-hand man), Ian "Sharknado" Ziering as the blazing Blue Devil (aka Dan Cassidy) and Jennifer "The Bride" Beals as the lovely Lucilia Cable.

The series' trailers don't reveal much, yet manage to establish that this "Swamp Thing" will be darker than previous adaptations. Wan has also stated that his Swampy will contain Gothic horror. Neato...

On the unpropitious side, word has it that the production ended earlier than expected, due to creative differences (whatever that means): The series was planned for thirteen episodes, though ten will stream. 

I do hope the new "Swamp Thing" doesn't turn out to be a big, loose-end tease. It's maddening as hell when cool-concept shows like this get severed before they start. "Swamp Thing" has good cause to carry on for several seasons, but if inflated egos are involved, the fans will have little say in whether this reincarnation triumphs or tanks. 

(And while we're at it, why doesn't the DC Universe queue up the prior adaptations of "Swamp Thing"?  If one is going to commemorate the character in live-action form, be it right.) 

Sunday, May 12, 2019


Even when I was a little boy, you struck me as exceptionally pretty and talented. In the same vein, "The Mod Squad" gave me an early view of televised "pulp", presenting an array of thought-provoking topics. You, Peter Cochran and Clarence Williams made it all so real, so that many of the show's stories still haunt me.  

You offered much the same ebullience to "Twin Peaks", stealing the scene within each offbeat scenario. (Thanks to your charming portrayal, the lovely Norma Jennings will always hold a special place in my heart.)

In truth, you invested the same brimming charm into all of your portrayals, whether Kevin Costner's underrated "The Postman", Charles Bronson's edgy "Kinjite"; the hilarious "Purple People Eater", or your guest starring roles on "Bewitched", "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour", "The Virginian", "The Hitchhiker" and "The Invaders" (to name but a few).

You left us way too soon, but your beauty and charm will continue to be felt, appreciated and adored whenever our reverent eyes fall upon you. 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

I saw Tolkien...

The thing with film biopics is that they're never accurate. One can only hope that the spirit of the focused person(s) hits the mark, so that the result isn't a propagandized misconception like "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women" and more like the heartfelt "The Elephant Man". 

From what I've read, director Thomas "Dome" Karukoski has long wished to film a J.R.R.Tolkien bio: a good sign. Whether the script, by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford, rings (pun intended) of precision is another matter. The Tolkien clan hasn't endorsed the movie, on the basis that its members weren't consulted on its content.

I can only presume that the movie, which concentrates on the writer's childhood through early adulthood, is mostly fictional in its attempt to tell a fellowship fable (i.e., a buddy tale).  At least the script doesn't avoid the author's involvement in World War I, which for the sake of censorious political correctness could have occurred.  

It should go without saying that wartime would be a jarring, testing-of-the-mettle experience for anyone. (Photos and footage of the Great War prove that in spades.)  Though "Tolkien" is marketed as a family film, it doesn't sugarcoat the horrors of war (anymore than Middle Earth's literature does) or the reasons that Tolkien and his friends participated in it. With this, the line between right and wrong is drawn throughout the drama, as well as the essence of lifelong duty: all that came to symbolize Tolkien's celebrated fiction and the adaptations that followed. 

There's also heartwarming filler and empathetic characterization to engage and appease. Nicholas "X-Men" Hoult portrays the titular icon and does a stand-up job of it. (He comes across as amiable and interesting, no matter the sequence, and Harry Gilby does a swell job setting that standard as kid Tolkien.)  Lily "Mirror Mirror" Collins and Mimi Keene play Tolkien's love, Edith Bratt, the former in later years and the latter during the early. Colm "Star Trek" Meaney is featured as the shepherding Father Francis Morgan and Derek Jacobi as the voluble Professor Joseph Wright, with Patrick Gibson as Robert Gilson, Anthony Boyle as Geoffrey Bache Smith, Tom Glynn-Carney as Christopher Wiseman and Craig Roberts as Sam.  

With "Tolkien" being more a coming-of-age/war picture than a meticulous essay on the author's imaginative pursuits in Wagnerian fantasy, it leaves sporadic time to the man's reveries.  However, when those transient moments do occur, fans will likely enjoy them.

It may be debatable whether the movie altogether does Tolkien justice.  It's a pity that the man who inspired the production wasn't around to dot its i's and cross its t's. Still, there are worse ways to spend two hours, and if Karukoski's engrossing tribute gets folks all the more interested in the remarkable raconteur, perhaps that above all validates its existence.