Once more into the breach — this time out, we take a look at my personal favorite contemporary collected editions of 2018, with “contemporary collected editions” specifically referring to books presenting work that was published somewhere else first, either as single issues, mini-comics, even just strips in various anthologies. The “contemporary” part of the equation means that these volumes need to present material that was published after the year 2000, as anything prior to that will fall into the “vintage collected editions” list that we’ll do in the next day or two. Final ground rule : English-language translations of Eurocomics and Manga are also eligible in this category (with the same chronological guidelines in play), since they also, ya know, saw print somewhere else first. Let’s get right to it, then:
10. Compulsive Comics By Eric Haven (Fantagraphics) – Haven’s surreal strips appear far too infrequently, so getting two collections…
Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor weren’t really a comedy team at all, just two incredibly funny comic actors who happened to work well together. Both were stars in their own right, first appearing together in the 1976 comedy-thriller SILVER STREAK, with Pryor in the pivotal supporting role as a thief who aides the in-danger Wilder. Audiences loved the chemistry between the two, and of course Hollywood took notice. STIR CRAZY is not a sequel, but a funny film of its own allowing Gene and Richard to be their loveably loony selves.
New Yorkers Skip Donahue (Wilder) and Harry Monroe (Pryor) are a couple of buds who’ve both lost their jobs. Playwright Skip’s a dreamer, while aspiring actor Harry’s a realist, but somehow Skip talks his pal into leaving The Big Apple to seek fame and fortune in Hollywood. Their cross-country trek ends when Harry’s decrepit Dodge van breaks down in…
Earlier, this Tuesday, the American Film Institute announced their picks for the top ten American films and television shows of 2018! The AFI list is typically one of the most reliable Oscar precursors around. It’s rare that an American film picks up a best picture nomination without first getting recognized by the AFI.
(Roma, being a Mexican film, was not eligible for AFI honors but it did receive a “special award.”)
AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
BLACKKKLANSMAN BLACK PANTHER
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
MARY POPPINS RETURNS A QUIET PLACE
A STAR IS BORN
AFI TV PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BETTER CALL SAUL
THE KOMINSKY METHOD
THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL
THIS IS US
You may think that this song is actually about something other than driving a car but, according to keyboardist Mike Barson, you’re wrong. As he explained it in The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters, “No, it wasn’t about sex … at that time there weren’t many people writing about simple things like driving in your car. You know: rolling your window down, the little joys of life, simple pleasures.”
The video is also a tribute to an actual white 1959 model Morris Minor that the band used to drive from gig to gig before hitting it big. The video finds all the members of Madness playing mechanics and drivers. As frontman Suggs once explained it, “Madness videos were seven extroverts all mucking about trying to outdo each other.”
(Suggs was born Graham McPherson. He chose is his nickname while he was in school, by randomly sticking a pin in an encyclopedia of jazz musicians and hitting Peter Suggs.)
The video was directed by Dave Robinson, who also directed the video for Our House.