Curious items don’t come muchmore curious than this one — an undated, uncredited, eight-page mini that offers a refreshingly feminist, and decidedly succinct, take on popular sci-fi/fantasy tropes without saying a word. Unless you count “psttt —” as a word, that is.
Still, never doubt that there is a cartoonist behind this self-published exercise in kaleidoscopic anonymity — and a damn good one, at that. The name Maya Durham may be far from a household one for the time being, but if Blooolight is a portent of things to come, it’s one we’ll all be familiar in due course, even if it continues to be conspicuous by its absence on the covers of future publications. After all, visionary talent has a way of making itself known one way or another.
That’s the hope, at any rate, which provides me with a clumsy segue opportunity of sorts — this comic…
Albert Beck is the character at the center of one of Lifetime’s most successful franchises, the Stalked By My Doctor films. First introduced six years ago in the original Stalked By My Doctor, Albert Beck is a brilliant surgeon who also has a bad habit of growing obsessed with his patients, especially if they’re teenage girls. Dr. Beck tends to fantasize that his patients are in love with him and then he goes out of his way to “protect” them. This usually means kidnapping them and attempting to murder everyone else in their life. Since his first appearance, Dr. Beck has gone from being a world-renowned surgeon to being a fugitive from justice to being a patient in a mental hospital. Just as surely as you can depend on Dr. Beck to fall in love with any teenage girl with a heart murmur, you can also depend on him to always manage to escape confinement. Along the way, Dr. Beck has also developed an alter ego — Laid Back Beck. Laid Back Beck wears Hawaiian shirts, sips tropical drinks, and is always taunting Dr. Beck about his lack of success when it comes to finding love. Of course, only Dr. Beck can see and hear Laid Back Beck.
Of course, what truly sets Dr. Beck apart from other Lifetime obsessive stalker-types is that he’s played by Eric Roberts. In fact, Eric Roberts has become, late in his career, quite a popular figure with Lifetime movie fans, largely due to his performances as Dr. Beck and his appearances in a number of other Lifetime films. (Most of those non-Dr. Beck appearances have only been cameos but still, any film with Eric Roberts is going to be better than a film without Eric Roberts.) From the very first film, Roberts has been wonderfully over-the-top as Dr. Beck, playing him with just the right combination of mad sincerity, overwhelming self-pity, and self-awareness. Everything about Roberts’s performance, from his nervous smile to the rushed way he starts to speak whenever he meets someone who he feels need to be protected, comes together to make Dr. Beck into one of the most memorable and dangerous villains to ever appear in a Lifetime film. And yet, because he is so painfully needy and so convinced that he’s doing the right thing, it’s hard not to occasionally feel a little bit of sympathy for Dr. Beck. He may be a murderer but, in his mind, he’s only trying to fix a broken heart. Several broken hearts, as a matter of fact!
Just What The Doctor Ordered, the fifth film to feature the good doctor, finds Beck escaping from yet another mental institution. This time, he hides out in what he thinks is an abandoned house. However, it turns out that the house has recently been bought by Maggie Newell (Carrie Schroeder) and soon, Dr. Beck has fallen in love with Maggie’s teenage daughter, Alexa (Grace Patterson). And wouldn’t you know it — Alexa needs a heart transplant! Soon, Dr. Beck is disguising himself as a nurse and taking a very active interest in tracking down the perfect heart donor for Alexa.
And, you know what? It’s fun. Yes, you’ll be able to guess what’s going to happen but, as I’ve said before, that’s actually one of the fun things about watching a Lifetime film. As with the previous Stalked By My Doctor films, the main attraction here is Eric Roberts, chewing up the scenery and having violent fantasies about killing Alexa’s boyfriend while Alexa sweetly smiles and thanks him for protecting her. His search for a proper heart donor takes him to some unexpected places, particularly when he meets a police detective who appears to use her handcuffs for more than just arresting perps. Dr. Beck has been through a lot and he spends a good deal of Just What The Doctor Ordered looking a bit worse for wear. (Setting fire to a mental institution and then hiding in an attic for several weeks will do that to you.) But still, Eric Roberts’s unique charisma shines through. By the end of the film, you’ll eagerly be waiting to see what future adventures Albert Beck and his laid back alter ego have ahead of them!
If you were the town’s bad girl, good for you. You have nothing to apologize for and nothing to confess. Being a “bad girl” is not a crime, no matter what the haters in your town might say. I like this cover’s contrast between the worried former bad girl and her naïve boyfriend, who is probably about to hear “the most shocking” story of his life.
This cover was done by Zoe Mozert, one of the women to make a living as a pin-up and glamour artist during the pulp era.
Any time that we have a new music video from The Chemical Brothers is a time to celebrate. From the video’s YouTube description, here’s what Tom Rowlands has to say about the song: “The Darkness That You Fear is a hopeful piece of music. When we found the combination of the different voices worked set to the flow of the music it made us feel optimistic, like it was something we wanted to share.”
And here’s what director Ruffmercy had to say about the song (also taken from the video’s YouTube description): ““When I first heard the song I immediately connected with the theme and the overall positive vibe. New government rules for relaxing lockdown had been announced and combined with the sun shining, it left me feeling positive about the forthcoming summer. It also triggered a strong sense of nostalgia that led to me going back to look for visual inspiration from the period in time when I first discovered The Chemical Brothers in the mid ’90’s. The video combines archive rave footage from the mid to late 90’s with hand painted Super 8 film textures and hand drawn animation. I love using colour to create chaos and evoke emotions and this was the perfect project to do that.”