Coming Of Rage – Wes Craven & Steve Niles’ Horror Comic

Steve Niles (left) and Wes Craven team up for Coming Of Rage.
Steve Niles (left) and Wes Craven team up for Coming Of Rage.
Wes Craven (“Nightmare on Elm Street”) and Steve Niles (“30 Days of Night”) have teamed up to make a horror comic. Craven talked a little about the new book, five in the series, at the Boston Book Festival during the “Writing Terror: An Exploration of Fear” panel talk. He said that the basic premise is a college aged boy is called home because his father is ailing. Dad wants him to take over the family business and leave school. He doesn’t want to. The family business as far as he knows is an expensive wine import-export business. The kid runs off to drown his sorrows on the wrong side of town and gets in a bar fight when some guys hassle a girl. Pushed to the breaking point, the kid flies into a rage and fangs pop out of his mouth. Dad’s business isn’t exactly shipping wine. It’s shipping blood, and dad is a one of the most powerful vampires in the syndicate. The beginning of the series is due out at the end of the month, according to Craven, and being released by Liquid Comics. We can only hope that this story boarding will end up on film. Sounds like wicked good fun.

On a more solemn note, Steve Niles’ house was flooded. Check his site for more info and how you can help.

Locke & Key

395px-Joehilllockekey“After the gruesome murder of their father, the Locke kids, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode move with their mother Nina to the ancestral family home, Keyhouse. They soon discover that the house is full of secrets when they start finding magical keys which hold impossible powers such as turning people into ghosts, or being able to erase someone’s memories. They are not the only ones who know of the keys; a demonic creature known as Dodge is also after the keys, with the goal of opening the Black Door, which will allow the demons of hell to enter our world.” wikipedia

Locke and Key has been published by IDW since 2008. This coming Halloween, the last graphic novel in the entire series is getting released, and the collection for volume six will be released in 2014. A television series might be in the works. First optioned by Fox – they made a pilot in 2011, but didn’t pursue it. It’s still being shopped. MTV is making noises and might pursue a series, and a film is in the works at Universal with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci from Transformers and Star Trek at the helm.

Joe Hill is one of the hottest speculative fiction writers out there right now and being a rock star writer runs in the family. His dad is none other than Stephen King. Hill made a great choice working with Gabriel Rodriguez’s. The art works wonderfully. Big manga eyes and clean lines tell the story and set the mood easily. The characters are likable and one can identify with each of the characters inner story arcs.

The earlier books are available in bound collections. Each miniseries is plotted in three acts with three story arcs for six books per year. This year has seven to finish it out, with two extra guide books.

Hardcover Collections
Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft ISBN: 978-1-60010237-0
Vol. 2: Head Games ISBN 978-1-6000-483-11
Vol. 3 Crown of Shadows ISBN 978-1-60010-695-8
Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom ISBN 978-1-60010-886-0
Vol. 5: Clockworks ISBN 978-1-61377-227-0
Vol. 6: Omega – Alpha (collection in 2014)
Two extra books, The Guide To Known Keys, and Grindhouse

Locke and Key is a graphic novel series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez published by IDW.

Review of Oblivion: Not the State, the Movie

Oblivion 2013
Oblivion 2013

Where you see the movie makes a difference. It’s great to see sci-fi movies with a bunch of nerds. I saw it at MIT LSC. I thought the preview for Oblivion looked good, despite Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise. Morgan Freeman was in it to boot, so that made it better. Always go to see a movie with God in it.

Do I have to talk about plot? Ugh. The premise was, let’s say, Planet of the Apes meets Star Wars in 2001 on Dune with a little Star Trek original, Running Man and Solaris thrown in for good measure. Okay?

It was epic, very epic and slow, very slow. The first half-hour is Tom Cruise in voice over explaining the set-up over a groovy CGI montage. There was an invasion, the moon got blown-up and that caused earth to fail; earthlings leave. Cruise as Jack Harper and his communications officer Vica played by Andrea Riseborough are left there as part of a two member maintenance crew. They live in a space-age fire tower, kind of Jetson’s, actually, and Our-Boy-Elroy and Jane-His-Wife make sure the machines work and that water is harvested for the off world colony of what remains of the human race on Titan, that moon, in Jupiter’s orbit. Jupiter Two? But that turns out not to be true. Melissa Leo is the chirpy happy mission control who tries to keep Jack on task, but he breaks protocol for love.

cruise_ kurylenko

We move into a love triangle. The crew of a human spacecraft crash lands, and Jack who turns out to be a clone saves his Real-Wife the Russian cosmonaut Julia, who haunts his dreams, played by Olga Kurylenko. It’s all drama. He’s broken protocol, and Jane-His-Wife knows “it’s always been her,” and MIT is moaning and giggling and the spectacular CGI is waining in it’s ability to retain anyone’s attention.

Enter Morgan Freeman to save the day with a wonderful kitschy performance as the leader of the rebellion. He has steampunk glasses, black feathers and a cigar. Excellent. So now we get the real story: The enemy Jack has been fighting are the last remnants of the human race. Our-Boy-Elroy and Jane-His-Wife are in fact clones. In divvied up sections, they protect the harvest of water for the aliens that killed the planet. The aliens keep the clones separated by mind fucking them into thinking that the rest of the world is radioactive. In a turn of events, Jack meets himself, in another section, fights himself, and we wish one of them had a beard, but instead he has a cut on the bridge of his nose so we know he’s Our-Boy-Elroy. So Real-Wife, Julia, is dying from a wound, and Our-Boy-Elroy masquerades as himself (clone 52 instead of clone 49) to get medicine to fix Real-Wife. Why doesn’t he have the tiny medical device on his ship, that powers up like a hand vac? Chalk that up to plot device.

Once our boy learns the truth, clone 49 sacrifices himself to save the planet, but luckily he has waterfront property in the Hudson Valley, oh yeah, the second flat, he sends Real-Wife’s space pod there. She wakes up pregnant, and lives happily ever after, especially when Jack 52 comes home with the rest of the freedom fighters. Oh, and Morgan Freeman dies fighting the good fight, saving the resistance, just like the General in Matrix, and the other stud in the movie Sykes played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau accepts Our-Boy-Elroy in the end because he’s going to go get himself blown-to-bits to save the planet.

In trying to find the graphic novel that the movie was based on, I found out that there isn’t one. Turns out that Radical Publishing put out an “ashcan” – a teaser comic a few years ago when there were a bunch of companies that were doing comic to movie projects. After all, comics are a built in storyboards. Most of these companies have failed. The “ashcan” premiered at Comicon San Diego and caught the attention of the Tron Uprising guy, Joseph Kosinski. He teamed up with Radical and they pulled together a work up that caught the attention of Tom Cruise who backed it with his production company so the film got made. If it had been a hit, they’d produce the comic, but since it was only a hit outside the US, no comic will be made. The comic was supposed to be released in 2012, and the movie was supposed to release summer of 2013, but instead, the movie released in spring 2013 and the comic, according to the director isn’t getting produced at all. But hold up, Radical says otherwise. They say it’s coming out in 2014 when they release Hercules. Don’t hold your breath. You can get the “ashcan” on eBay if you really want.

Comic Book Guy

comic_book_guy_slideshowI started out reading DC comics. They were action packed and no matter who the hero or heroine was, there was a moral to the story. In place of any sort of guidance from my elders on moral turpitude, the stories served as a paradigm by which to live my life. I was the underdog in my own life story and someday, I would rise to the yet unknown heights I deserved. After a pernicious phase of Archie and romance comics, I lost interest in the medium, only to rediscover its epic meaning during my twenties. I thank my luck stars that I dated comic book collectors.

Carmine Infantino's take on Batman
Carmine Infantino’s take on Batman

To a certain extent, one of the comic book industry’s great contributors, Carmine Infantino’s rise to fame is one that mirrors that of his beloved characters – a saga of rags to riches through innovation and hard work, but tinged with a bit of mercurial magic. He came up during the depression and was a protege to men like Jack Kirby and Will Eisner during the Golden Age of comics. When we get to the nineteen fifties, Infantino was coming into his own. He took the atomic age by storm. He reinvented Bob Kane’s Batman from a detective with gadgets into a full blown super hero. He did the same for The Flash – removing the trappings of World War II – losing the helmet and the lingo – and added the sleek red costume we know today.

During the Silver Age of comics, Infantino went where he was needed, helping Timely Comics become the power house it is today more associated with his compatriot Stan Lee – Marvel Comics. During the seventies and eighties he was at the head of all the untold Star Wars tales and associated with more than just the print medium. His contribution reads almost like a roster of who’s who in comic book characters including: Spider-Woman, Nova, Ms. Marvel, and Howard the Duck, Adam Strange, Batman and The Flash.

His contribution is epic, to say the least.

Carmine Infantino passed away on April 4th, 2013 in a borough of New York, or perhaps I should say Gotham. He was a dynamic man of the Silver Age of comics and his influence will be felt for years to come by all of us, but especially by the nerds at cosplay in big convention halls during Comicon, and by hipsters and geeks in search of the perfect vintage lunch box for their bento boxes, and anyone seeking a moral code to live by.