Gary Panter Fans, Your “Wildest Dream” Has Come True


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Comprehensive in scope and immersive in its presentation, Brooklyn’s finest comic shop, Desert Island, has done a bang-up job in putting together Wildest Dream, a compact little hardcover collection of Gary Panter’s sketchbook drawings from 1973 through 2018 printed (at the tail end of last year) in suitably garish neon purple on paper that either is, or may as well be, newsprint — but, as with all things Panter, it’s as much an intriguing puzzle as it is a legit piece of art history.

And now that I’ve “spoiled” this review right from the outset, let’s examine why this book will appeal to more than just the hardest of hard-core Panter fans and troglodyte “process junkies” —

By and large the “running order” here appears chronological, but so many pages are undated that it’s hard to say for sure, and Panter’s attention has always been split in so many…

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“Floppy” — But Solid


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

As a follow-up to his breakthrough 2018 graphic novel The Winner, illustrator supreme Karl Stevens has chosen a curious project — a deliberate throwback to the “solo anthology” comics of the 1990s, his new (-ish, the first issue came out late last year) Kilgore series, Floppy, is both nostalgic on its face and self-aware in the extreme, as the cover shown above makes plain. So — are we looking at a purely tongue-in-cheek exercise here?

If you know Stevens, you already know that’s not the case, and even though this can strictly be classified as an autobio work, it ventures into the surreal with enough gusto to even call that easy categorization at least temporarily into question. Our guy Karl seems, then, to be looking to cleave more to the template and maybe even the temperament of, say, Peep Show or Yummy Fur, but without anchoring himself…

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The Perfection, Review By Case Wright


perfection

Let me begin by writing that I love watching Netflix and I REALLY love livetweeting with Lisa and the rest of the Shattered Lens staff. We can coordinate times well and it’s easy to sync up.  This time, I was given the movie choosing authority and perhaps it will be my last.  I heard that The Perfection was a bit gory, but I figured come on, this is Shattered Lens- we Rocktober the October over here with our Horrorthon!  When I saw that Steven Weber was in it, I felt like ok, this is going to be like a Tales From the Crypt experience.  Well……….not so much.

The Perfection has trashy components to it and some cheaply built sets and the director REALLY wants you to know that they splurged and actually filmed in China! The best way to describe The Perfection is as an unaware, pretentious, and boring episode of Tales From the Crypt.  It had the victim goes to victimizer TFTC theme and the over the top gore, but it was always trying to be serious and important when it was just an overly long TFTC episode without any humor.

The plot is pretty straight-forward: Charlotte is a prodigy Cellist who left her art to care for her dying mother for ten-years.  When she tries to return to her life, she finds that a younger classmate Lizzy has attained the Cello fame that she sought.  She sees her old Mentor Anton (Steven Weber) and Charlotte is now the clear has-been.  Charlotte executes a plan to destroy Lizzy forever.  Charlotte meets Lizzy, seduces Lizzy, drugs Lizzy, and convinces Lizzy to chop her hand off.  Yep, another Hollywood girl meets girl, girl drugs girl, girl gets girl to chop her hand off story.  The Perfection was actually the original script for Love Actually.  The “To Me You Are Perfect” scene was just going to be Andrew Lincoln throwing severed hands at people – “To Me you are a perfect…Target” *throws hand at Juliet*.

Just when you think this movie will be a fun version of Black Swan it takes a turn for the dumb, gross.  Yes, I get that this was made by a post-Weinstein Miramax and it was showing how fame could encourage and condone horrible behavior, but it was done with so much exposition that it really caused the film to jerk from long explanations to gore and long explanations to gore and long explanations to trying a Subway Cold Cut Combo – even terrible movies get hungry.

I’m not sure if I should spoil this piece of trash or not.  It’s really not worth your time. Instead of watching this film you could eat a sandwich, do your taxes, plot revenge. However, it is nice to see that Steven Weber is still working – there’s that.

 

The SAG Honors Parasite and All The Usuals.


The SAG Awards were held tonight.  I did not bother to watch them but apparently, a good time was had by all.  Parasite won the award for Best Ensemble, which is the SAG equivalent for Best Picture.  (1917, which won at the PGA  Awards earlier this week, was not nominated for the Ensemble award.)  This might mean that Parasite is the new front runner for Best Picture or it might not.  Do you remember what won last year?  Black Panther.

(I’m a little bit surprised that SAG didn’t go for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which is is a film about actors.  I mean, Birdman won a prize it didn’t deserve by appealing to the ego of actors.  Then again, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood centers on an actor whose career is going downhill so maybe it hits too close to home.)

Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt, and Laura Dern won the acting prizes and I imagine that they’ll repeat at the Oscars.  To be honest, it’s hard for me to remember who else is nominated in any of those categories.

Avengers: Endgame won for Best Stunt Ensemble.  Why isn’t their an Oscar category for Best Stunts?  Seriously, that’s messed up.

Anyway, here’s your list of film winners.  They also gave out some TV awards but, to be honest, who cares about that in January?  The Emmys are over!  If you want to see a full list of winners, click here or do a google search.  Whatever works for you.

Best Ensemble — Parasite

Best Actor — Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Best Actress — Renee Zellweger, Judy

Best Supporting Actor — Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress — Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Best Stunt Ensemble — Avengers: Endgame

A Tetsunori Tawaraya Double-Bill : “Dimensional Flats”


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Disease and sickness are constant themes of Japanese cartoonist Tetsunori Tawaraya’s work — the worlds he depicts are mutated hellscapes populated by mutated hellspawn, after all, but even still : this one takes the concept to literal extremes. And the “this one” I refer to is 2018’s Dimensional Flats, a harrowing, fast-paced, hallucinogenic nightmare that’s freakishly funny, richly-rendered, and downright agaonizingly imaginative.

Our ostensible “hero” in this story is one Dr. Horsey, a kind of “medical cop” who battles mutated viral infections with a “disease ray” and has accrued to himself a loyal group of fellow “officers” who would go to to any lengths to assist him in his germ-killing — and good thing for that, because that’s exactly what they’ll have to do when a visit to an afflicted patient living in a kind of surreal tower block ends up transporting the poor doctor to an…

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A Tetsunori Tawaraya Double-Bill : “Crystal Bone Drive”


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

I would never consider myself a “jaded” reader by any stretch of the imagination, but in point of fact there really is very little I haven’t seen done before in comics. I may have seen it (whatever the “it” we’re talking about is) done better or done worse, but that truly “out of left field” reading experience that one at least occasionally yearns for? It simply doesn’t happen for me all that often.

And then I came across Tetsunori Tawaraya.

The Tokyo native who spent some time in the US playing in various west coast punk bands before returning home has the kind of imagination that is best described as utterly unique, and the sheer artistic skill to bring his dystopian, hallucinatory visions to life on the page, but there are plenty of cartoonists you can say that about — what sets his work apart, besides its subject matter, is…

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Scenes That I Love: James Earl Jones in Dr. Strangelove


It seems rather appropriate that, while we spend this year celebrating TSL’s 10th birthday, we’ve taken the time to recognize the birthdays of so many of our favorite directors and actors.  Earlier today, Jeff already paid tribute to Andy Kaufman and Donald Cammell.

Well, today is also James Earl Jones’s birthday and there’s no way we’re going to let that go unacknowledged.  James Earl Jones is 89 years old today and he’s still working.  Everyone, of course, knows Jones’s voice and the story of how, when he was a child, he suffered from a stutter so severe that he refused to speak.  (Jones has described the years before he entered high school as being his “mute years.”) What’s often overlooked is just how good of an actor James Earl Jones is.  Jones has played everyone from villains to mentors to heroes.  He’s appeared in every possible genre and his presence has never not been welcome.

James Earl Jones made his film debut with a small role in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 satire, Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.  Jones played Lt. Luther Zogg, one of the men aboard the B-52 bombardier that eventually causes the end of the world.

Jones has often said that he didn’t really care for either the role or the film.  Lt. Zogg is a small role and it is true that, if not for the fact that he’s played by James Earl Jones, you probably wouldn’t remember much about him.  For the most part, Jones spends the majority of the movie listening as Maj. Kong (Slim Pickens) talks about following orders and doing their patriotic duty.

And yet, I think Jones is a bit too dismissive of the role.  It’s a small role but the undeniable authority of Jones’s voice provides a nice contrast to the country drawl of Maj. Kong.  Without Lt. Zogg calmly following orders, it would be too easy for the audience to dismiss Maj. Kong as an outlier as opposed to a representative of what the film viewed as being the military’s blase attitude towards the possibility of nuclear war.

Add to that, Jones’s delivery of “Hey, what about Maj. Kong?” is absolutely perfect.

So, with that in mind, here’s James Earl Jones in two scenes from Dr. Strangelove!