Sunday, April 25, 2010

Unseen Films & Backhanded Compliments

So my write-ups on the film work of Dave McKean appear this weekend on my friend's blog, Unseen Films. When the hell he finds time to watch all of this stuff, then do write-ups about the ones he likes (because believe me, there are many more pieces of drek he doesn't waste time writing about, but he's watched those too), is beyond me. He has a full time job, plus goes into Manhattan on average more than once a week to see shows on and off-off-off-Broadway. And he still finds time to maintain relationships with a circle of friends both on and offline.

Anyway, he asked me to do some work for the site on things he knew I would be keen to do. In addition to allowing me to do the McKean films, I'll be having a week in July for quasi-British comedians (Bill Bailey, Dylan Moran, Tim Minchin, maybe more) who are deserving of far more attention, mostly in this culturally depraved nation we know as the United States. Eddie Izzard seems to have successfully crossed over from European success to widespread fame in the US, but there are plenty others who are equally deserving of having their intelligent and insightful, not to mention damn funny, material noticed...hey, when did this soapbox appear under my feet...

I should also thank McKean for posting a link to the write-up of MirrorMask on his Twitter feed (which at this point has nearly 13,000 followers), and for providing me with an image to use in the write-up of his short film DVD collection, Keanoshow. Maybe some of these films will be a little less unseen now.

One more quick thing; I got an e-mail from my Mom this morning in regards to my writing on the McKean films. While not as funny as Justin's Dad, it's still worth repeating;

"I’m sure you are aware that I have no idea what you are talking about but you write so well that it may seem as though I know a little something by the time I peruse all this material."

...Thank you?

Blog Post Soundtrack; Blondie, Rage Against The Machine, The White Stripes, MC5, The Doors, Queens Of The Stone Age

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just An Exercise

Opened up Word here just to see what I would write. This is purely an exercise in “creative” writing. Not terribly creative so far, huh? Well, I always remembered this exercise from back in probably Junior High School, where you were just supposed to write whatever came into your head, even if it was total nonsense…which this obviously is. Was writing a blog entry on Michael Golden, and while words were coming out, and many things were being added to it, I just wasn’t feeling it. There didn’t seem to be anything inspired in it at all. It was a mere recitation of facts (second time in 2 days I’ve used that phrase, and spelled ‘recitation’ right each time too!), nothing exciting. Even listening to Hendrix and now vintage Sup-Pop era Soundgarden isn’t really inspiring me, although at least it’s good stuff to hear. And again, while this isn’t what one would term “creative“, at least I’m flowing with it, and it is coming out naturally. None of this is forced. None of this is any good, either, but…

Blog Post Soundtrack; Jimi Hendrix, Soundgarden

Monday, April 19, 2010

J. M. DeMatteis & Spirituality

So I took a day trip this past weekend to a comic book convention in Anaheim, California. A nice 550 mile round-trip drive, with a few-hour stop in the middle to hang out with some writers and artists whose work I enjoy and admire. It was going to be a fairly small show as far as comic book creators go, with the emphasis being put on has-been celebrites demanding way too much money for a scribble on a bad picture of them in their heyday. The reason I go to these things is to actually meet the creative people, the artists and writers who come up with all of the things that the actors appear in later on. So my reasons for going to this show in Anaheim were artists Simon Bisley, Glenn Fabry, Bernie Wrightson, and writer J. M. DeMatteis.

DeMatteis is a writer of terrific talent, who also happens to be quite the interesting person. A spiritual man, somewhere in his late teens he started down the path that he is currently on in life with his spirituality choice. I'm not exactly what one would classify as a spiritual person. However, having said that, the more I look around at the world that we live in, and I observe all of the emphasis that is placed on all of the wrong things, and the value and importance that the most trivial of things in life are given, particularly in this country and society, the more I feel that there really must be something else. Simply because if this is it, if this is the pinnacle of existence, you may as well just shoot me now.

What's true about DeMatteis is what's true about all good writers; he incorporates himself into his writing. Write what you know. He wrote a Spider-Man story that was published in 1987 about Kraven The Hunter finally beating Spidey, and then assuming his identity for 2 weeks. It's a powerful, disturbing story, and is a study of a couple of men who find themselves pushed and/or pushing themselves into places neither has been before in both a physical and psychological sense. How can one know this? DeMatteis has said in interviews that he was going thru a divorce at the time, and found himself reaching points he'd never been to before. It just translated onto the page into the forms of these characters, but still, you write what you know. It is a classic Spider-Man story...a classic STORY, period. It didn't hurt that it was beautifully illustrated by Mike Zeck, fresh off his character defining work on The Punisher series that was completely responsible for that character becoming as popular as it became, and inked wonderfully by Bob McLeod.

So, while not a spirtual person per se, I enjoy reading things on religious theories, because while I don't like religion (it's all about business and money and corruption and...oh, don't get me started...), the original ideas behind the religions do have some valid points. Basically they all boil down to the same thing (just be cool to everybody...), but it's nice to see some different perspectives on the points. So I hadn't been standing at DeMatteis' table at the show for 2 minutes before I asked him about his spirituality, and we must have talked for half and hour or so about that, life in general, and, oh yeah, comics.

I'm a follower of his blog, which is also here on blogspot so it was nice to be able to actually meet the man after commenting on his blog numerous times. And enjoying much of his work for something like 25 years now. Now, anytime I pull one of his books off my shelves to read or peruse, I'll spot the signature up front, and remember the intellectual conversation going on in the back of a convention center filled with cultural depravity...

Blog Post Soundtrack; Ike & Tina Turner, Louis Jordan, The Ramones, Pink Floyd, Bjork, Oysterhead, Corrosion Of Conformity, The Police, Queens Of The Stone Age, Howlin' Wolf, Queen

Friday, April 9, 2010

Stuff Is Coming

While there haven't been any new entries here for a while, I keep jotting down ideas for blog entries that I just need to find the time to get around to. I've got a list going on my iPhone titled Future Blog Posts, and there's well over a dozen things on there already. I just want the time to tell each story properly. I'd rather not do something at all than do a half-assed job of it. I have the patience required to find that much needed lull in my schedule when I can sit down and fully devote the time to writing these stories correctly. Each one deserves attention, and I wouldn't want to miss any details. Part of my anal retentive nature. It seems to have worked for me so far.

Blog Post Soundtrack; David Bowie, Steve Martin, The Who, Clutch