Monday, July 16, 2018

MICHAEL F. HOUSEL/AIRSHIP 27 TALES FOR SUMMER READING (AND LISTENING)

On occasion, acquaintances will ask me for summer-reading suggestions. I'm pleased to offer the standards: classics from decades and centuries past, which are always worth a look or revisit. However, if I may be so bold to blow my own, self-promotin' horn...


I penned a couple Airship 27 Production titles, available in paperback and audio form, which might help one weather the heat:

My novella, "The Hyde Seed" presents the struggle of former boxer, Pepe Rodriguez, who comes to battle an opponent unlike any other he's faced--his monstrous self. It's my pugilist tribute to Robert Louis Stevenson's famous tale of duality, with a "Twilight Zone" twist. 


The book sports a dandy Ash Arceneaux cover and captivating illustrations by Pedro Cruz . And for those fancying an audio take, my yarn is performed by the expressive Scott Glennon, courtesy of Radio Archives. 


Then there's my pulp-hero novel, "Enter--the Persona!" (aka, "The Persona, Vol 1"), which details affluent Michael Mansford's ethereal transformation into a pearly-masked crusader of the '30s. 


The novel features a striking Shannon Hall cover and crisp Art Cooper illustrations, with the Radio Archives audio edition performed by veteran voice actor, Mark Bernard. 


A sequel to "Enter--the Persona!", entitled "Enter the Green-fleshed Fiends", is set for eventual release by Airship 27, so here's your chance to get a jump on my expanding, New Pulp saga, and what better time than the heart of summer, eh? (BTW: "Enter--the Persona!" is a genuine, warm-weather tale, which makes its recommendation all the more appropriate.)

Print and audio versions of "Hyde Seed" and "Enter--the Persona!" are available through Amazon; Barnes and Noble offers only the print editions. I also have a few paperbacks at my fingertips, which I'd be happy to autograph. If interested, drop me a line.)


In addition, feel free to visit Airship 27's online catalog at ... http://robmdavis.com/Airship27Hangar/index.airshipHangar.html, where many New Pulp titles can be purchased per PDF.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Collectible Time: Ant-Man and the Wasp Hallmark Ornaments


For years I've been accumulating Hallmark, pop-cultural ornaments (leapin' right in on those Christmas in July events each year at Diana's Hallmark in Hamilton, NJ), but have never done a review on any until now. There are just so many entries that my entire blog would be otherwise dedicated to them. 


However, there are a couple 2018 submissions that seemed right for review, if only due to their ideal scale and the timeliness of their release. I'm referring to Ant-Man (aka Scott Lang), and the Wasp (aka Hope van Dyne).


Each Marvel figure is a smidgen under 5". Though Ant-man and the Wasp can surely shrink far smaller than that, their represented sizes are still tiny enough to hit a reasonable spot and yet big enough to convey their costumed detail. 


The poses are ideal, too, with Ant-man running and the Wasp in ascending flight.


The Hallmark pop-cultural series started in '91 with the classic "Star Trek" Enterprise (now a coveted item among fans). From there, the company expanded into many other swell subjects, including the personalities of Marvel, DC and Filmation.

For those with a penchant for such colorful characters, Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly's alter egos are an excellent way to begin collecting--and a great way to commemorate the latest Marvel blockbuster.

Friday, July 13, 2018

RIP ROGER PERRY...


You made your mark as a couple of cunning and resourceful vampire hunters in "Count Yorga, Vampire" and "The Return of Count Yorga". To boot, you graced the quirky clutches of "The Thing with Two Heads" and entered the unsettling "Wreckage".


Your imagi-television career was as stunning, with roles in "The Munsters", "The Invaders"; "The Six Million Dollar Man"; "The Bionic Woman"; "Wonder Woman"; and "Star Trek", where through "Tomorrow is Yesterday", you gave time-travel an identifiable face.


In this regard, it was your everyman quality that made you so endearing, Mr. Perry. You understood your fans, and they understood you: a special exchange that only the best thespians can ever hope to offer or achieve. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

BILLY DEE'S RETURN: GOOD OR BAD FOR LANDO?

It's official: Billy Dee Williams will reprise Lando Calrissian in J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode IX". 


I had expected Lando/Williams' re-entry in “Force Awakens”, but as we all discovered, "Episode VII" wasn’t the sentimental reunion we desired, even if some of us may have liked it on the whole. All the same, I thought the charming swashbuckler would at least guest star in "Last Jedi", but now I'm glad that he didn't, after having long pondered the chapter's insolent direction.  


I suspect we'll now find Lando a pervert, coward or who knows what in Lucasfilm's current, anything-goes mode. I also suspect, based on the company's blind eye to the "Solo" boycott, that "Episode IX" will be but another misguided venture in both characterization and plot, where mythological tradition will be once more stomped.  

It will be painful to see the ship go down this way, especially if Lando delivers the final blow. Still, after the disastrous dust settles, I imagine some ambitious whippersnapper will rejuvenate the franchise (much like Christopher Nolan did for Batman), and in so doing, all will be as right as rain. Still, what of Luke, Leia, Han and (if the dreadful track record does, indeed, prevail) Lando? It seems that the sting of their ignominy could last forever. 


So be it. Life goes on, in spite of blasphemy's residue. Besides, there's plenty of other franchises to relish and revisit. For example, I recently re-watched the original "Star Trek", "Mad Max" and "Planet of the Apes" movies and without any qualms, felt safe enough to revisit some of their recent offshoots: some good, some so-so, but none so discourteous to employ complete, ideological redesign. The bottom line: There's much to enjoy beyond "Star Wars". 

Reinterpretation is fine, but only if old-school qualities accompany it. In other words, old favorites are welcome to return, but if they're not what we've come to admire, it's better to relegate them to the past, where we're at least assured their actions and philosophies remain pure and loyal.  

Monday, July 9, 2018

FAREWELL, TAB HUNTER...


Your work was grand and sprawling, daring and unique.


Among the more colorful entries, you delighted us with "War-Gods of the Deep" (aka, "City Under the Sea"); "Grotesque"; "Out of the Dark"; "Pandemonium"; "Polyester", "Lust in the Dust"; "Cameron's Closet"; "Ride the Wild Surf"; "Operation Bikini"; "Sweet Kill"; and the devilish "Damn Yankees". 

You also headlined one of my favorite westerns, "Gunman's Walk"; plus the popular "Climax!" episodes, "Mask for the Devil" and "Fear Strikes Out": the latter of which you played baseball legend, Jimmy Piersall (a role that your dear friend, Anthony Perkins would tackle two years later).


You could sure croon a fine tune, too, as you proved in your cover version of Sonny James' "Young Love".

Above all, Mr. Hunter, your boldness, honesty and kindness will be what most fans remember, and for that, you'll always hold our deepest respect...our utmost, loving devotion. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

SO LONG, STEVE DITKO...


You inspired me to distinguish right from wrong: a practice that many too often evade these dire days.


This worthy cause for distinction makes your celebrated heroes (Spider-man; Doctor Strange; the Question; Mr. A...Captain Atom) resonate and uplift. This honorable approach has fueled the entire comic field, in fact, surging through decades of Charlton, DC, Marvel and Warren. 


You've always been my philosophical hero, Mr. Ditko: the man I religiously think of whenever I fashion a new character or face another obstacle in life. 


Rest assured: Your genius will continue to teach and enlighten long after all those bad guys have floundered, failed and fled.