and Blasts from the Past:
The War That Time Forgot Resurrected?
Rambo Ravages and Bissette Dreams...
My, my, don't forget if you're in driving/walking distance of Brattleboro, VT that tonight's the night that my son Dan will be rocking The Tinder Box with his cronies with The MAJESTY FOREVER GLOWING MUSIC AND ART SHOW!
So, if you're in the area tonight, rush on over to The Tinder Box on Elliott Street in downtown Brattleboro on Saturday, February 16th at 8 PM. Playing are Colin Ahern aka Flash 'C'; Jeremiah Crompton aka Jeramigo, 'Kyle Thomzo' and finally the trio of Sam Phillips, Zach Phillips and my son Daniel Bissette.
Marge and I can't make it -- we'll be away -- but if you can, by all means, go! $5 donation at the door, more if you can afford it (support the musicians, folks), all big fun for a few bucks.
Mirage Studios amigo Mike Dooney sent me this news yesterday: "Hey, Steve-o, I've been hearing rumors that Keith Giffen was writing some kind of 'War That Time Forgot' crossover series this year....just saw this Neal Adams cover art online so I'm assuming that it's for that storyline...". Mike said more, but it's not for your eyes. But this is! (see above) Well, looks to me like it's a major crossover of every war-themed DC universe character imaginable (including Firehair, Tomahawk, Enemy Ace, etc.). Adams drew at least one story in the original Star-Spangled War Stories run of "The War That Time Forgot," and worked in some capacity on at least one Enemy Ace (inking, if memory serves, Joe Kubert's pencils), so that link alone to the original Bob Kanigher-edited-and-scripted series is sufficient to move this dino buff.
Yow! The War That Time Forgot and mammoth hunting cavemen on the big screen -- what more could a paleo buff ask for in the same year?
BTW, given the completion and delivery yesterday of The Prince of Stories, Chris Golden, Hank Wagner and my book on Neil Gaiman and his work, I can now return to completing roughs for the new Tyrant proposal in hopes of landing a home for my project with a book publisher. Wish me luck; with all this pop paleo brewing, mayhaps I can tap the zeitgeist for a Tyrant revival.
Speaking of wars -- and warriors -- that time forgot, among the many films I've seen of late I haven't had time to write up here is Rambo, which I dashed out to for a late-day matinee with some of my fellow CCSers (hey, Chuck, Denis and Alex, didn't we have fun?). I've no time this AM to write up anything proper, but I just want to let fans of rampant maniacal action pics with a dash of sentimentality to leaven the vivid carnage know that Rambo is not to be missed on the big screen.
Sylvester Stallone co-scripted, directed and stars, so this is his movie all the way. It's an amazing piece of work. Stallone milks that mug of his for all its worth. Rambo's heart is stirred at one point by a female missionary, trying to engage with the rock-hard vet to serve a greater good: Rambo reacts with a curt "Fuck the world!," then muses over the unexpected rumbles of conscience by blacksmithing metal into a nice, new machete. It's that kind of movie, folks. Now, I've no doubt Stallone is dead serious about the in-your-face-subtext (the ongoing atrocities in Burma), but the action movie template inevitably sublimates any serious aspirations under the relentless needs to feed the baser instincts. That said, Stallone, like Mel Gibson (with Apocalypto), is the heir apparent to actor-turned-director Cornel Wilde's primal throne, though Mel's got it all over Sly in crafting more potent cinematic universes. Rambo is, well, Rambo; if you can engage on its level, it's a hoot.
In the Times piece, Stallone is quoted as saying, “I don't think this film is horrific and bloody, because that's what war is. It's not gratuitous violence. Gratuitous violence is a guy dressed up in a fright wig with a meat cleaver, chasing teenagers around the woods for ten hours. This is war, and it's a civil war - which, as you know, is by far the most vicious of all wars.” Believe me, however earnest the political and social intent (which is genuine, and makes the outrageous spectacle aspects of this action opus all the more audacious), Rambo is a wall-to-wall bloodbath, and the CGI-enhanced mayhem is as breathlessly staged and executed as the best of Tex Avery and Sam Raimi. Whether hapless Burmese innocents or craven, hateful Burmese despots, the onscreen atrocities are eye-and-mind-blowing: humans burst like the bloodbags we are, rapid-fire 21st Century machinegun fire folds, spindles and splinters the frail meat-puppets like -- well, meat-puppets. I was helpless with laughter at the apparently sub-atomic bit of British hardware (left unexploded from a prior war) being detonated. Ah, Rambo. I had a grand time; but don't revile me. It is, after all, an exploitation movie, and they do make 'em like they used to; Stallone is still working in the grand tradition.
The Guests Bissette Forgot
David Beronä comes to CCS every year to talk about the early 20th Century graphic novels by Frans Masareel, Lynd Ward and others, and now David has a brand-new book on the subject out from Abrams, Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels.
David brought his advance copy, and it's a beaut of a book!
My highest recommendation; first 'best book' of 2008!
Howard is always a treat to visit, and this is his second session with CCS -- hopefully, we'll be seeing Howard for years to come. He also delivered a stellar presentation on his personal journey as an artist, and draped every available flat surface in the classroom (except the top of my head) with original art, archival publications (including a 1960s Birmingham, Alabama Nazi newspaper, The Thunderhead), and tons of amazing eye-candy.
The blast from the past above arrived this week from amigo Rick Veitch: "I've scanned up a bunch of the Road Bits for Jeff Smith's self publishing blog. Here's another couple Bissette psycho-billy-classics from 1995!"