Goodbye, Rick Grimes: Andrew Lincoln Is Leaving The Walking Dead


According to Collider, the next season of The Walking Dead will be Andrew Lincoln’s last.  After eight seasons as the star of The Walking Dead, Lincoln is apparently ready to move on and that means that The Walking Dead is about to lose Rick Grimes.

Of course, the television show began with Rick Grimes waking up from a coma and finding himself in a world that was far different from the one that he remembered.  In the early seasons especially, Rick stood-in for the audience.  We discovered the realities of the zombie apocalypse at the same time that Rick did.  When we were upset over the death of a character, Rick got upset with us.  When Rick hoped that a new, better world could somehow be created from the ruins of the old, we hoped along with him.  Among an ensemble cast that was filled with talent, Andrew Lincoln was the often underappreciated anchor that held the show’s narrative together.

Of course, many would argue that the show lost its way over the last few seasons.  I certainly would.  As the show grew more inconsistent, so did Rick’s character.  Often times, it seemed like Rick’s personality would change from episode to episode, depending on what the show was trying to accomplish that week.  It’s hard not to feel that, as an actor, Andrew Lincoln deserved better than to have to spend the majority of season seven in a nearly catatonic state, silently suffering as Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan devoured every inch of scenery.

And yet, Andrew Lincoln was always good.  Sometimes, the scripts were weak.  Sometimes, Rick was required to do things that didn’t make much sense.  But, through it all, Lincoln remained the anchor.  For all intents and purposes, he was The Walking Dead.

In much the same way that Lost simply had no choice but to end with Jack Shepherd sacrificing his life on the island, I’ve always felt that The Walking Dead had little choice but to end with Rick dying.  The show has always been his story and it’s always seemed that, when Rick’s life ended, so would the show.  Of course, the perfect ending would have been for Rick to die and Carl to pick up the mantle of leadership.  Unfortunately, Carl’s dead so that’s not going to happen.

(I realize that the Collider article stated that Lincoln was leaving the show and not that Rick was going to be killed off.  But, honestly, it’s hard to imagine this show not milking Rick’s death for all the drama that it can.  And, at this point, it would feel like a cop out not to kill him.  That’s just not the way things work in the world of The Walking Dead.)

Who will take over as the new leader on The Walking Dead?  Maggie was an obvious choice but Lauren Cohan just had a pilot picked up by ABC.  (Of course, there’s no guarantee that the ABC series will be a success.  For one thing, it’s entitled Whiskey Cavalier, which is one of the stupidest titles I’ve ever come across.)  Norman Reedus just managed to get himself a nice pay raise, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Daryl become even more prominent.  Or Negan might suddenly turn into a good guy and become the new leader.  Who knows?  About the only thing we can say for sure is that, with Carl dead and Rick leaving, the show is inevitably going to move further away from the comic that inspired it.

Though they’re two very different shows, it’s hard for me not to compare Andrew Lincoln leaving The Walking Dead to Steve Carell leaving The Office.  Let’s just hope that Rick’s replacement won’t be Andy Bernard.

Finally, in honor of the legacy Rick Grimes…

Those schoolgirl days of telling tales and biting nails are gone
But in my mind I know they will still live on and on
But how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
It isn’t easy, but I’ll try
If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky in letters
That would soar a thousand feet high ‘To Sir, With Love’
The time has come for closing books and long last looks must end
And as I leave I know that I am leaving my best friend
A friend who taught me right from wrong and weak from strong
That’s a lot to learn, but what can I give you in return?
If you wanted the moon I would try to make a start
But I would rather you let me give my heart ‘To Sir, With Love’

New Recipe: HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI (AIP 1965)


cracked rear viewer

HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI, the sixth entry in American-International’s “Beach Party” series, attempts to breathe new life into the tried-and-true  formula of sun, sand, surf, songs, and corny jokes. Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello are still around as Frankie and Dee Dee, but in this go-round they’re separated; he’s in the Navy stationed on the tropical island of Goona-Goona, while Annette has to contend with the romantic enticements of Dwayne Hickman .

Frankie’s part amounts to a cameo, enlisting local witch doctor Buster Keaton (!!) to keep those girl-hungry beach bums away from Dee Dee (while he frolics unfettered with lovely Irene Tsu !). Keaton’s magic ain’t what it used to be, so he has his daughter conjure up a knockout named Cassandra, who first appears on the beach as an animated bikini. All the boys go ga-ga for Cassandra, including a go-go ad man named Peachy Keane…

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Artist Profile: George Mayers


I found this biography of the artist George Mayers at Quart.com:

George Mayers is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art. He spent many years in New York doing illustrations for advertising agencies and most of the major magazines. His workhas appeared in Time, Colliers, Redbook, Coronet, Life and Fortune. His assignments often included subjects dealing both the Revolutionalry Warand the Civil War. During his extensive research on these subjects, his interest in history was developed and subsequently deepened. He continues to work a great deal with historical subject matter. Mayers works with oil, watercolor and acrylic demonstrating a great facility in each. He has had many one-man shows ans has been the recipient of several awards including the Freedoms Foundation Medal for a series of paintings on the American Flag that appeared in Coronet in 1951. His work is included in numerous private collections throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has appeared in one-man shows every other yearat Newman’s Gallery in Phiadelphia, Pennsylvania in addition to a long list of other gallery showings and exhibitions.  He died in 1987.

Below are a few of Mayers’s paperback covers:

Music Video of the Day: My Way performed by Christopher Lee (2006, dir by ?????)


Christopher Lee recorded this version of My Way for Revelation, a 2006 album of covers.  This video features Lee at his home in London’s Tufnell Park.

My Way was originally written by Paul Anka, who based the song on a French song called Comme d’habitude.  The song, of course, was made famous by Frank Sinatra but it’s also been recorded by everyone from Elvis to Sid Viscous to Jay-Z.  As for Lee’s version — well, whatever he may have lacked in vocal range was made up for by the fact that he was Christopher Lee!  As for the music video, how could any Hammer horror fan resist the chance to see the inside of Christopher Lee’s home?

There is a strain of melancholy running through Lee’s version but then again, I don’t know if it’s possible to record a non-melancholy version of My Way.  On the one hand, it’s a song of triumph.  On the other hand, it’s a song that acknowledges that we’re all mortal, even those of us who refuse to compromise and who maintain our independence.

Enjoy!