Marvel and the Mouse

You've probably heard by now that Disney is buying Marvel.

Mickey Mouse depicted in Jack Kirby's trademark style as a robot or armored superhero complete with ‘MM’ insignia

I don't have any insight to share at the moment beyond the fact that most of the jokes
— some made as much warily as humorously — are just that: jokes. The Marvel Bullpen won't be "Disneyfied". Remember, Disney also owns ESPN and Miramax. Which isn't
to say there are no ramifications for the entertainment industry.

Have a Cow

a woman in glasses wearing a cow outfit complete with ears and udder

Before last week, I'd never seen a book trailer. No, I don't mean some kind of large mobile library; I mean a promotional video, like a movie trailer, but, well, for a book. I've now seen the one for Libba Bray's Going Bovine, and you should too.

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Out of This World

District 9 is one hell of a movie.

I knew even less about it going into a screening the other night than I did about the
film Moon before seeing that intriguing slice of science fiction, which I reviewed last month. A very broad synopsis of and general thoughts on D9 come after the graphic, but those who want to enter the experience totally blind (or at least with no spoilage on my part) should bail out now. The bottom line is that, yes, I'd recommend it, with the caveats that it dragged a bit in the middle, still impressive but not gripping until it re-engaged me in its final act, and that anyone who has difficulty seeing vomiting or viscera will have to avert their eyes on occasion.

Close-up of a man's face, grimy with dirt and caked with blood, looking frightened, his right eye blue and his left eye yellow and eerily reptilian

District 9 flew under the radar — ironically, given the massive alien spacecraft that looms over Johannesburg in the movie — as director Neill Blomkamp shot on location in South Africa with a cast of largely first-time actors asked to improvise much of their dialogue. While produced by Peter Jackson, best known for his adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, there was little mainstream buzz about D9 until Entertainment Weekly devoted a cover story to what it called "the must-see movie of the summer" in its Aug. 14th issue (out the week before). I decided not to remind myself of anything I might've heard about the movie or learn anything new before I saw it.

Mad/e Men

I hadn't tried it yet when writing about Mad Men the other day, but now that I've done so I cheerfully direct you to "Mad Men Yourself" on the show's official website.

Here's me:

stylized art of white male with glasses in open-collared shirt, jacket, and slacks, holding newspaper and steaming coffee mug

You get just enough choices at each stage that the process doesn't become a chore yet it still manages — in my case, at least — to produce a surprising likeness.

TV Topics

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Eyes Captured by Castle

Beckett and Castle facing one another in close-up

"She's a reader of rights. He's a writer of wrongs. They're New York's most unlikely crimefighting duo.”

I was thinking of that kind of grand old trope even before it showed up in a promo for ABC's Castle. The series, created by Andrew Marlowe, wears it well.

He? Richard Castle, best-selling mystery novelist, divorced with a child and a playboy reputation, struggling with writer's block. She? Homicide detective Kate Beckett, single, stoic, slightly star-struck over meeting Castle but determined not to show it. After his insights help her unit crack a spate of murders based on his books, arrangements are made for him to shadow Beckett as inspiration for his next one — to her consternation, when procedural friction and romantic tension ensue.

6 of 1

Blam’s Blog is a half-year old today.

I've just finished reassembling and republishing the last of my vanished entries —
at least all of those that I plan to put back up for the foreseeable future. Those of you who’ve been reading the blog for a while, or visiting and exploring older posts (I'm flattered), know that everything vanished in mid April and that similar yet different problems continue to plague this joint. I still haven't given up on an alternate platform, but there are only so many hours in the day and, sad to say, most of mine aren't that productive.

The aforementioned vanishing posts accounted in part for the drop-off after my big push in March, due to both the amount of time it took to deal with the issue and the discouragement wrought by the affair, not to mention our lousy Internet connection.

Also coming into play were plans for another, comics-specific blog and related work on a project that I hope to announce shortly. They've siphoned time and focus away from updating this blog as well as from the enjoyable pursuit of reading other blogs.

My thanks to everybody who's read, commented on, or written privately about Blam's Blog since its debut in February... I know it's just a tiny,
tiny, tiny little corner of the cybersphere, but it's mine.

We Got a Live One Here!

So a little while back I finished reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, over 300 pages of prose with chapter-break illustrations from Dave McKean. It was released last year by HarperCollins in the US.

Front cover to main HarperCollins edition of 'The Graveyard Book' in shades of blue with some kind of winged stone marker on grass

The high-concept pitch for the novel would probably be "What if Harry Potter were raised by ghosts in an English graveyard?"

And it would be silly for a number of reasons, the least of which are that the book's central character, Bod, isn't a wizard, and that the book was awarded the 2009 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children, which to some is recommendation enough.

R2 Details

I made a comment about this video to my cousin the other night and realized that it never got shared here on the blog. It's called "Star Wars Retold (by Someone Who Hasn't Seen It)" and it's pretty much what the title says except that she's obviously seen pieces and picked up enough of it through osmosis to get things amusingly close but wrong.

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