Egg Boy…

Heard of him? His name is William Connolly and he achieved a level of internet/cultural super-stardom because he cracked an egg on the back of Australian Senator Fraser Anning’s head.

Why did he do this to this to Mr. Anning? Because Mr. Anning, a self-avowed White Supremacist, stated the horrific massacre of 50 Muslim worshipers in New Zealand a couple of days ago was somehow their own fault.

Don’t believe me? Check out this article by Andy Campbell and found on Huffingtonpost.com:

Australian Senator Blames Muslims for New Zealand Massacre

So, Mr. Connolly, a 16 year old boy, cracked an egg on the back of Mr. Anning’s head and the resulting reaction by Mr. Anning and his people, as detailed in this article by Briana Ellison and found on Washingtonpost.com:

Punching a teenager over an egg really isn’t a good look for a politician

Here is a video of the entire encounter:

I don’t like the idea of assaulting people. I don’t like the idea of hitting them with an egg… or a tomato… or whatever.

But you know what I hate even more?

Fifty people killed by a maniac with a semi-automatic weapon -and some 50 more in critical condition- and then hearing some loudmouth ignorant politician justify the actions of this homicidal maniac as the victims getting what they deserved.

An egging seems pretty tame in comparison.

But to some, the egging was a deadly sin. James Woods, no stranger to right wing frothing, denounced egg boy’s actions. So too did actor Dean Cain, who stated on twitter: I would have knocked that kid cold.

This led to plenty of criticism, much of which you can find in this article by Ed Mazza and found on (again) Huffingtonpost.com:

Ex-Superman actor Dean Cain’s Hot Take on Egg-Boy

The pile on against Mr. Cain was swift and at times brutal.

I want to move away from Mr. Cain, Woods, and Anning and state: What the hell is going on with the world these days?

I worry the influence on current political figures and their at times subtle and at times in your face statements are having a negative effect on people. It seems like we’re unleashing people’s collective ids and, yes, it seems to coincide with the election of one Donald J. Trump.

I’m not saying he’s to blame for all this. The hatreds were clearly there, mostly under the surface, perhaps held back. But nowadays hearing people excuse the actions of terrible people, as Anning did, then somehow fault a relatively harmless action by a teenager as deserving a whipping, seems odd at best and scary at worst.

Mr. Cain, Mr. Woods, Mr. Anning: How in the world can you on the one hand seem relatively un-bothered by the cold-blooded murder of fifty innocent people in a house of worship (I don’t recall seeing any mention of them tweeting about that to any degree… if they did, my apologies) and then they get riled up with the mischievous and certainly non-lethal actions of a teenager?

The world has truly turned upside down.

Sorry for the dearth of posts…

…but it’s Spring Break and that means I get to work even harder than usual while simultaneously dealing with more family members (the later being not an unpleasant task at all!).

Still, it does rob me of time I might otherwise use to fill up this page.

A couple of random thoughts:

In light of the news from New Zealand, I wonder how much more evidence is needed to show that White Nationalism is a plague which very much needs to be addressed. I don’t hold Donald Trump to blame for feelings many of these people have, he sure does bear responsibility for being so damn passive to the point of giving them a *wink* *wink* attitude.

Captain Marvel is flying high (pun intended) at the box office though its second week box office falloff was quite steep. It wasn’t catastrophically steep, far from it, and it will most certainly prove to be another big hit for Marvel, yet I still get the impression -and I may be super-wrong here- that this is a “lesser” Marvel feature, one that’s perhaps on the level of a Dr. Strange or Thor 2. Currently over at Rottentomatoes.com, the critical reaction stands at an OK 79% positive while the audience reaction is a slightly cooler 62% positive. Good, certainly, but not too terribly higher than average.

James Gunn was re-hired by Disney to direct/write Guardians of the Galaxy 3. I’ve noted before I really, really hated the original Guardians of the Galaxy and realize I’m in a small minority as it seems almost everyone went head over heels for that film. While the reaction to Guardians of the Galaxy 2 wasn’t quite as positive, I absolutely want people who liked the two films -and there are many of you!- to see a third film delivered by Mr. Gunn and felt it was a shame when Disney -too hurriedly IMHO- fired him.

You see, while I may not like the first GOTG film and skipped the second (and doubt I’ll see it), I absolutely felt Mr. Gunn was screwed by the alt-right (them again) people who dug up his admittedly stupid old twitter posts and weaponized them to get him fired.

Some on the right have noted that Mr. Gunn is getting better treatment than, say, Roseanne Barr, but the fact of the matter is that Mr. Gunn wrote those stupid tweets a while back -quite a while before he directed the first GOTG- and has bent over backwards to apologize for them and acknowledge they were attempts at humor that now look like nothing more than the poorest of poor taste. Roseanne Barr, on the other hand, has been writing questionable tweets, including tweets that are borderline -or right across the line- into racism and she hasn’t, to my knowledge, offered a sincere acknowledgement of sorrow.

I suppose if you feel the two situations are comparable I’d be the last person to convince you otherwise.

Finally, I have to once again thank everyone out there reading my books. The pace of reading them hasn’t slowed and I’m delighted to see there is an interest in those books.

I’m writing the next novel and of late I’ve been delighted with the direction the book is going in.

I’ll offer some information on that soon enough!

Star Trek/Dr. Suess Mashup…

Stumbled upon this article posted by a friend on Facebook. The article is by Eriq Gardner and presented on hollywoodreporter.com:

Star Trek/Dr. Suess Mashup Deemed Copyright Fair Use by Judge

The book in question is Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go!, and the cover to the book looks like this:

A judge praises the "highly creative" nature of "Oh, the Places You'll Boldly Go!" and doesn't see sufficient evidence that the book will harm Dr. Seuss' position in the children's book market.

Which is, of course, a parody of…

Image result for oh the places you'll go

So the judge felt the Star Trek book was “fair use” and didn’t harm the Dr. Suess estate.

I… I don’t agree. Yes, Mad magazine exists for many years doing “fair use” parodies of pop culture icons…

Image result for mad magazine star trek

And…

Related image

…and…

Image result for mad magazine star trek

…and I totally get that being “fair use”. Mad magazine essentially exits (in large part) of parodying A LOT of cultural icons.

But the Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go! is not part of some series. It is a one off book that clearly makes use of Star Trek AND Dr. Suess to make its point of sale and I strongly suspect what’s inside the book also takes its point from Dr. Suess’ works (though, having not seen the whole thing, I don’t know).

I also strongly, STRONGLY suspect Paramount Pictures, the company that has the copyright to the Star Trek property, approved of/holds the copyright to this particular work and therefore “OK’ed” it for release.

Why, if that is the case, is the Dr. Suess estate considered not as important on OKing this?

I have to say, if someone used my stories/properties and created a one-off book that very clearly used my concepts to sell their work, I’d be plenty pissed at the judge who made that ruling.

The quiet passing of Jan-Michael Vincent…

Yesterday it was reported that actor Jan-Michael Vincent had passed away on February 10th, almost a month ago, at the age of 73.

There are those who may know nothing about Jan-Michael Vincent. Here’s a trailer from The Mechanic, one of the movies he co-starred in with Charles Bronson back in 1972 and which I remember him best for…

The movie would be re-made later with Jason Statham in the Bronson role but , IMHO, it didn’t hold a candle to the original film and completely wiffed on what made the original so good: The ending.

Jan-Michael Vincent would appear in several movies, many of which may be classified as B films but were enjoyable nonetheless, throughout the 1970’s. He nonetheless established himself well enough that when he made the move to TV and the series Airwolf in 1984, he reportedly earned $200,000 per episode, an amount that made him one of the highest paid actors on TV at the time.

Alas, he was simultaneously spiraling out of control in a vicious cycle of drugs and alcohol which ultimately led to him becoming an undesirable in the field he worked in, as well as endangering his life.

Many of the details (and they are quite sad) can be read in this article about Mr. Vincent’s passing as written by David Moye and presented on Huffingtonpost.com:

Actor Jan-Michael Vincent Dead at 73

At the risk of paraphrasing the article, Mr. Vincent was in a major car accident in 1996 which resulted in him breaking his neck and injuring his vocal cords. In 2000 he was ordered to pay over $350,000 to a girlfriend he assaulted and who subsequently miscarried. He also spent 60 days in jail at that time due to violating his probation regarding alcohol related convictions. In 2008 he had another car accident and developed a leg infection. The lower right leg had to be amputated.

Mr. Vincent, who once looked like this…

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Was photographed later in life and after all that hard living looking like this…

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I don’t mean to put these images there to shock you. Again, it saddens me tremendously to see Mr. Vincent in these later in life pictures.

While he may not have been one of the greatest actors out there, as a child of the 1970’s and 80’s, he was a near constant in theaters and on TV.

I loved The Mechanic. So much so that when I wrote this novel, which was released before the Jason Statham remake of the movie, I used that title. Yeah, I suppose I stole it, though to be fair the term “mechanic” was well known as slang for a hitman/mercenary. Still, when I used the title I didn’t think many would remember that old film…


I also loved Mr. Vincent in Damnation Alley, a post-apocalyptic thriller that also featured George Peppard…

And, yeah, I really enjoyed him on Airwolf

Seeing him in that photo above, broken down, old, missing the lower half of his right leg, makes me incredibly sad.

I suppose in the end its one of those cautionary tales. You can have everything in life, success, money, looks… and yet still throw them away.

Rest in peace, Mr. Vincent. Despite it all, I’ll remember the joy you brought me in your roles.

I’m hopeless…

…when it comes to nostalgia!

Way, waaaaaay back when I was very young, one of the things that thrilled me to death was DC comic’s 100 Page Super-Spectacular books.

Here are some of them, which I do not have:

Image result for 100 page super spectacular
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Image result for 100 page super spectacular

These books, in general, had one or two “new” stories and a bunch of reprints from either the golden or silver age of comics. My understanding, well after the fact, was that the line of comics released were something of a dud, sales-wise, and this is the reason they were discontinued. Perhaps young people like myself had difficulty shelling out the 0.50-0.60 cents versus a “regular” comic which cost 0.20 cents at that time. Perhaps, unlike me, people weren’t as into getting all those extra pages of reprints.

Who knows.

Of the ones 100 page Super-Spectaculars released, my absolute favorites were the Detective Comics issues. They ran for a total of 8 issues from 438 through 445 and featured the bulk of the wonderful Archie Goodwin/Walt Simonson Manhunter stories (they started in the issue 437 and finished in issue 443). But also featured were such classic “new” Batman stories like issue 439’s The Night of the Stalker

Image result for detective 439

Or the wonderful Archie Goodwin/Alex Toth Death Flies the Haunted Sky in issue 442…

Image result for detective 442

And, of course, the wonderful conclusion to the Manhunter story-line, which featured Batman, in issue 443…

Image result for detective 443

Finally, the Detective Comic Super-Spectaculars ended with the first two chapters of the Len Wein written and, for the most part Jim Aparo drawn multi-part Bat-Murderer! storyline, issues 444 and 445…

Image result for detective 444
Image result for detective 445

As well as the Bat-Murderer story line began, it petered out in its last three or so issues and concluded in the regular sized Detective Comics #448…

Image result for detective 448

Why am I going into such details about these particular issues of this particular book?

Because Detective Comics is about to reach its 1000th issue and, over on ComiXology.com individual Detective Comics issues are available, including the entire 100 page Super-Spectaculars, for sale. Please note, these are the DIGITAL editions of the books and they are currently going for a mere 0.99 cents each (normally each digital edition goes for $1.99, so you’re getting it for half-price).

So, yeah, I’m pitching something I’m not going to make a red-penny on but if you’re a fan of some of these books, or any Detective Comics available on the ComiXology website (they have issues going back to the first Batman appearance through the wonderful silver age works, the many Neal Adams-drawn issues, to the present) you may want to give it a look-see. Here’s the link:

ComiXology Detective Comics sale

Captain Marvel (2019) reviews…

There have been elements -dark elements, IMHO- within the interwebs focused on bringing down movies which feature female leads in what are to some traditionally “male” roles.

For example, the onslaught of ridiculousness directed at the Ghostbusters remake of a few years ago. Now, those forces seem to be focused on the this week to be released Captain Marvel, the latest in the long line of Marvel Comic adaptations and featuring Brie Larson in the titular role.

These people tried to lower the movie’s Rottentomatoes.com audience score by posting all kinds of negative reviews… this in spite of the fact that the film has not been released but to critics thus far.

Rottentomatoes.com decided to shut down these audience reactions/comments and, frankly, I’m fine with that.

Today, I went on the site and looked specifically at the Captain Marvel page (you can go to it here) and found the movie’s critical reaction was generally good, charting in at 84% positive.

But reading the actual reviews, I’m getting a feeling that Captain Marvel, alas, will prove to be one of those “good/decent but not great” films that Marvel has released.

I’m curious to see further reviews, but even many of the positive ones point out this movie has flaws. Given this movie is intended to be the precursor to what will likely be the end of the “first wave” Marvel films (I strongly suspect some of the big name actors who participated in that first wave, including the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Gwyneth Paltrow, will be done with the Marvel universe following Avengers: Endgame) as well as serve as the launching pad to the second generation of Marvel movies, one has to wonder if the second generation might be having a bit of a shaky start.

Here’s the thing: It was extraordinary good luck the fledgling Marvel movies snagged the talents they did for this first wave of films. I cannot imagine an Iron Man film not featuring Robert Downey Jr. Getting Samuel L. Jackson to play Nick Fury, though the character was clearly changed from his comic book version, nonetheless worked incredibly well. Chris Evans made for a fantastic Captain America.

I could go on and on, but the point should be clear.

After a fantastic, and incredibly long series of successful movies (some of which fared better than others), will the Marvel Universe films continue to hit pay dirt with new actors and characters?

Only time will tell!

UPDATE: So today I’m looking at Captain Marvel’s rottentomatoes.com page (you can find it here) and I find that the critical reaction is 81% positive but the audience reaction is a paltry 31% positive.

I suspect many of the negative statements are malcontents (at this point in time, none are actually posted though it will likely happen very soon).

Regardless, I found this on reddit:

The Official Captain Marvel Discussion Megathread

You can find many opinions here, both positive and negative, regarding the movie and what worked for some and didn’t for others.

I’m still getting a feeling this film is one of the “lesser” Marvel features. That doesn’t mean Captain Marvel is a “bust,” but rather that it has good moments yet doesn’t quite reach the level of being a “great” Marvel film.

Time will tell, redux.

The Dark Fringe…paperback!

The very first significant work I wrote, not counting a few short stories, was The Dark Fringe.


Originally released way back in the mid-1990’s as a 4 issue comic book series, it was collected into a trade paperback in 2003 and, a few years later and in 2013, as a Kindle/Digital edition.

I have finally updated the book and re-released it as a Trade Paperback. This edition is now available here for the very cheap price of $6.99:

Amazon.com – The Dark Fringe paperback

This new edition, if I do say so myself, looks much nicer than the original 2003 version. The paper alone is much brighter and, as I mentioned in the previous post, you get to see the full images of each page, something which was mildly cut in the 2003 version.

However, if you’ve given up on print editions of books and are interested in the Kindle/Digital edition, that’s also been updated and is available here for the even cheaper price of $3.99:

Amazon.com – The Dark Fringe for Kindle

The book remains a great source of pride to me and if you’ve enjoyed the Corrosive Knights books (which continue to do quite well in this new year!), I think you’ll find this work to be highly enjoyable as well!

Self-serving promotion is… over! 😉