There’s Something Happening Here — What It Is Ain’t Exactly Clear : Austin English’s “The Enemy From Within”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Some comics really make you work.

Not as hard as the cartoonist who made them, of course — and Austin English busted his tail (and his hands, and probably even his brain) on his latest solo book, The Enemy From Within, published in late 2017 by Sonatina Comics. The sheer effort that went into the creation of the thematically-linked triptych of stories (the titular “The Enemy From Within, ” “Half-Hearted Slogan Dance,” and “Solo Dance #2”) is apparent on all 22 of these intricately-detailed, insanely imaginative pages. English uses every last millimeter of space available to him, his images densely packed from corner to corner, side to side, negative space a luxury he can seldom afford. He’s clearly got a lot to say — but what is it?

I’ll be honest — four times through this book, I’m still trying to figure that out. But I think that’s…

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4 Shots From 4 Mario Bava Films: Black Sunday, Kill Baby Kill, Lisa and the Devil, Shock

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

104 years ago today, the most important Italian filmmaker of all time was born.  Today is Mario Bava’s birthday!  And, as we often do here at the Shattered Lens, it’s time to celebrate with…

4 Shots From 4 Films

Black Sunday (1960, dir by Mario Bava)

Kill, Baby, Kill (1966, dir by Mario Bava)

Lisa and the Devil (1972, dir by Mario Bava)

Shock (1977, dir by Mario Bava)

Scenes that I Love: Harry Potter Confronts Snape in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Since today is apparently Harry Potter’s birthday (Mazel Tov!), it seems like a good day to share a Harry Potter scene that I love.  Here is Harry Potter confronting the sadly misunderstood Snape in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2!


(RIP, the great Alan Rickman)

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: ARMORED CAR ROBBERY (RKO 1950)

cracked rear viewer

Looking for a tough, no-frills ‘B’ crime drama? Look no further than ARMORED CAR ROBBERY, which is just what it says it is, the planning, execution, and aftermath of said dirty deed, with a cast of rugged mugs and hard-hearted dames directed by Richard Fleischer during his salad days at RKO. The movie echoes Robert Siodmak’s CRISS CROSS in its heist scene, and I’m sure Stanley Kubrick watched and remembered it when he made his film noir  masterpiece THE KILLING .

Make no mistake, ARMORED CAR ROBBERY isn’t on a par with those two films. It is, however, an enjoyable little 67 minutes of cops vs crooks. Criminal mastermind Dave Purvis assembles a gang of low-lives to pull the caper off, killing a cop in the process. The cop’s partner, Lt. Jim Cordell, is now determined to hunt the crooks down and avenge him. One of the participants, Benny McBride…

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Music Video of the Day: Bad Boys by Inner Circle (1993, directed by George Seminara)

Today’s music video of the day is Bad Boys, by the Jamaican reggae band, Inner Circle.

Yes, that would be the Cops theme song.

When Inner Circle first recorded and released Bad Boys in 1987, the song didn’t receive much attention.  That all changed in 1989 when a new docuseries premiered on Fox.  Cops followed the police as they patrolled the streets, dealt with a hostile citizenry, and broke up domestic disputes.  Every episode opened with a disclaimer (“All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”) and the opening verses of Bad Boys.

In 1993, the show’s worldwide success led to Inner Circle rereleasing Bad Boys as a single and filming the music video below:

Thirty-one seasons later, Cops is still in production and even those who may not be aware of who performed the song still know the famous “whatcha gonna do?” chorus.

Eurocomics Spotlight : “Red Winter”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

The following is the original text of a review I wrote for Daniel Elkin’s “Your Chicken Enemy” website. I’ve posted these “first drafts” before when I’ve contributed material for his site, because I think they’re instructive for those who wish to see what a difference a good editor makes. This time out, the changes he suggested were minimal but, in my view, crucial. I learn something new every time I work with this guy!

The final version of the review can be found here, for those interested in a “head-to-head” comparison :


Like love itself, there is a poetry and beauty to Swedish cartoonist Anneli Furmark’s 2018 graphic novel  Red Winter (the first of her works to be translated into English, courtesy of its North American publisher, Drawn+Quarterly) — but it’s often understated, unobtrusive, a “part of the scenery,” if you will, that necessarily informs all people, places…

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