Tagged: sex

Pulp Fiction Review and the Big Clear

New Pulp Author Ron Fortier returns with another Pulp Fiction Review. This time out Ron takes a look at The Big Clear by Christopher Harris.

By Christopher Harris
Short Cypher Press
275 pages

Mason “Dub” Storm was a Special Forces sniper in the first Gulf War and then worked in East African locales such a Somalia with an elite secret platoon.  In the end Storm began to question his own justifications for his assignments and just who his puppet masters really were.  Ultimately he left the service and returned to his home base of Austin, Texas to pick up the pieces of whatever remained of his soul.

As the book opens, Dub, is a two bit stoner working, whenever he can get a customer, as a private investigator.  Because of his drug connections, he comes in contact with Angela Easley, the strung out youngest daughter of one of the richest men in Texas.  Her three year old son, Hunter Parsons, has been kidnapped and she begs Dub to find him for her.  Well aware he is venturing into a world as alien to him as the foreign battlefields of his past, the weary private eye agrees to help out until the police take over.  It all seems easy enough.

Right. Until Dub recalls Angela’s older sister, and her Daddy’s chief business assistant, is none other than the high school sexpot from his youth, Heather Easley.  One look at her in her expensive mannish business suit over her hour glass, trim body and Dub finds himself floating in ancient dreams that were never ever going to come true.  Then, a friend named Kid, who had been helping him with surveillance, is brutally murdered and Dub’s hands are once again covered in other people’s blood.  Gunfights, steamy sex and a mystery with enough twists to give us a queasy stomach abound in these pages.

Harris’s style is a mix of traditional noir and punk giving the narrative a smooth jolt throughout and becomes quickly addictive.  He deftly mixes Dub’s confused present with his hellish past and when the two collide viciously towards the finale, it is a satisfying resolution though still an ambiguous one.  Dub Storm is one of the most complicated heroes I’ve encountered in a long, long time and one I’m hoping to see in action again soon.  This is a well-executed thriller by a writer worth keeping an eye out.  Go pick up “The Big Clear” and prove my point.

Enter to Win The Dark Beauty, Stoker, on Blu-ray June 18th

Stoker_Rental_BD_Spine_rgbAcademy Award Winner Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode star in this “darkly wicked, beautifully executed mystery” (Los Angeles Times) by critically acclaimed filmmaker Park Chan-wook (Oldboy).

Following the tragic death of her father on her eighteenth birthday, India Stoker (Wasikowska) meets Charlie (Goode), her charismatic uncle, whom she never knew existed. When Charlie moves in with India and her unstable mother (Kidman), both are drawn to his charming and calming demeanor. But it soon becomes clear that Charlie’s arrival was no coincidence, and that the shocking secrets of his past could affect India’s future…or shatter it completely.

To gear up for the upcoming release of Stoker on Blu-ray and DVD on June 18th – we’ve compiled some of the most iconic Lolita- esque characters in recent cinematic history.  Who’d be your top pick?

The Virgin Suicides – Kirsten Dunst

Part innocent teen, part mysterious seductress, Kirsten Dunst’s portrayal of Lux Lisbon is Sofia Coppola’s directorial debut is all Lolita. At one hand she does fragile teen in the movie so well, writing the name of ‘Trip’ onto her underwear, yet underneath her girly demeanour, a true female seductress lies. She wraps men around her finger, teases, seduces and finally fools her family and the rest of the neighborhood boys into realizing the true extent of their tragic plans.

American Beauty – Mena Suvari

American Beauty tells the story of a suburban father (Kevin Spacey) who snaps when he becomes disgusted with his stale, repetitive existence. He quits his job and begins a regression into young adulthood, lifting weights, smoking pot, doing nothing, and discovering the overflowing sexuality of his 16-year-old daughter’s best friend, Angela (Mena Suvari). Like the film itself, Mena’s performance is at first dark, somewhat comic, clichéd yet intelligent, scandalous, emotional, and without question one of the most seductive teenage performances of all time.

Jodi Foster Taxi DriverTaxi Driver – Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster made a huge impact in her performance for Martin Scorsese’s iconic Taxi Driver (1976). Playing opposite the equally mesmerising Robert De Niro, the film really hit its stride when Foster’s 12-year-old child prostitute, Iris, steps into Bickle’s cab in an attempt to escape her pimp (Harvey Keitel).  It’s no real surprise that Foster was great, as this was already her 33rd role as an actress. At only age 14, she already had more performances than some have in their entire careers.

The astonishing thing at play in her scenes is not even that she holds her own with a titan like De Niro, but that she truly carries herself like a grown up, someone who has lived twice the life of any girl her age. This is not a child actress acting adult-like in an amusing way, but a child conveying the utter loss of childhood. A true Lolita.

Stoker – Mia Wasikowska

In Stoker, Mia Wasikowska plays India, an introspective, peculiar, solitary girl who mourns the recent death of her father whilst being constantly at odds with her mother. She finds herself attracted to her mysterious Uncle Charlie who comes to live with them, following the funeral.

Taking on the role of Lolita, the pair engages in a seductive piano-playing sequence alongside a shower scene that somewhat recalls that scene in Psycho, Wasikowska’s character discovers herself in the shower after witnessing her Uncle dispose of her lecherous classmate. The incestuous relationship between niece and uncle in the film provides much of the picture’s sense of unease, as India becomes more and more drawn to her charismatic relative.

Sue Lyon LolitaLolita – Sue Lyon

The film, that started it all. “How could they make a movie out of Lolita?” screamed the print ads to Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 movie. By changing the 12-year-old object of Humbert’s lust into a 15-year-old, that’s how. Selected to portray Vladimir Nabokov’s celebrated nymphet was Sue Lyon, who was 14 when she won the role. The original novel caused no end of scandal by detailing the romance between a middle-aged intellectual and a 12-year-old nymphet.

Lolita is the object of Humbert’s love, a young girl who epitomizes the seductive qualities of the nymphet. Though she seems to like Humbert at first, over time she grows irritated with him and defies his authority. Beautiful, she is also vulgar, crude, and attached to popular culture.

Kick Ass – Chloë Moretz

When Kick-Ass was released in April 2010, everybody left the theater thinking about Hit Girl. Maybe it is a testament to the character and not the performance, but the two should go hand-in-hand. The unbelievable charisma of Chloë Moretz was unmatched by any other actor in the film. And we’re talking about a girl who went toe-to-toe with Nicolas Cage and Mark Strong.

Chloe Moretz Hit Girl

Instead of resorting to the obvious and ultimately awkward sex appeal of a female hero, Moretz went with a mysterious badass persona. Hit Girl is the reason Kick-Ass lives up to its name. The other characters and the movie’s style are enjoyable on multiple levels, but without Moretz’s turn as Hit Girl the film just doesn’t have the electricity it needed. She left the humor up to her Big Daddy (Nic Cage) and kept a straight face the whole way.

Moretz is definitely a force to be reckoned with, reminding us of a young Jodie Foster without the overwhelming sexuality. Moretz was fun to watch in (500) Days of Summer and was even more graceful in Let Me In. However. Hit Girl was her coming-out character and the world will be able to recognize her because of an off-the-charts charisma that no other female youngster can match today.

Leon: The Professional – Natalie Portman

Most of the performances on this list excel because of the maturity of each youngster’s character. Sometimes a role is written that way, while others are the work of a dedicated child actor. Portman’s work in The Professional (a.k.a. Leon) is both.

As the film progresses, her balance of vengeance and progressive maturity is fascinating to watch. The fact she is now in the hands of a quasi-mentally-challenged hired assassin makes her resurgence as a lost soul even more powerful. It truly is all the work of Portman, though; she knew her character backwards and forwards, giving her a realistic quality that bleeds through the screen.

Natalie Portman The Professional

Her face contorts with every emotion, her lust for revenge comes through with an unsuspecting humor and her sex appeal is as uncomfortable as it is realistic. She just fits so snug into this character of Mathilda that it’s hard to tell if she is even acting at times – but there is no doubt she portrayed a character that has experienced something way beyond Portman’s real life.

In order to win your very own copy of Stoker on Blu-ray, simply answer the following question:

Director Park Chan-wook also directed which iconic cinematic tale of vengeance?


  • Old Boy
  • I Spit on Your Grave
  • Irreversible
  • Hard Candy

Post your response by 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, June 18 and the decision of ComicMix‘s judges will be final. Open only to residents of the United States and Canada.

Martha Thomases: Comics Girls Like?

Thomases Art 130607It’s a modern meme that geeks are guys, and tech nerds are guys, and that first adapters are guys. Girls are more interested in gossip and romance and shoes.

All guys are Sheldon Cooper. All girls are Kim Kardashian.

Needless to say, none of this is true. Not only is it a ridiculous exaggeration (which it is), but the initial assumptions aren’t true.

It isn’t even a societal expectation any longer. According to a new study, girls “are getting earlier and deeper access to (digital) devices than boys.”

Girls have always read more books than boys, and, as a result, women have always read more books than men. This is true throughout all genres of fiction, including science fiction and mysteries.

The area in which it is not true is comic books.

We can all recite (in unison) the reasons girls don’t read comic books as frequently as boys. The environment doesn’t welcome girls. Too many comic book stores (still!) promote their wares with posters featuring super heroines with impossible anatomies and sculptures of super heroines with impossible anatomies and action figures of super heroines with impossible anatomies.

Thank goodness there is more to comics than comic books like that. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for a new customer to discover other kinds of books when stores don’t promote them.

However …

Girls with parents who give them tablets to play with in numbers greater than boys, and girls whose parents let them read books on tablets in greater numbers than boys will soon be girls who read comics on tablets in greater numbers than boys. They will provide a lucrative market for the kinds of comics girls like, and they won’t have to go into a comic book store to do so.

If these girls are like other readers of e-books, they will enjoy reading books online, and then want to own physical books as well. Will comic book stores be able to deal with this?

Successful bookstores don’t separate their wares into girls’ books and boys’ books. They rack them by subject matter and genre. They promote new titles and famous authors, true, but they also tend to “hand sell,” which means that employees will recommend books they’ve enjoyed to customers who ask. Publishers might use sex to sell (see Fifty Shades of Whatever), but they tend to use cover art that won’t embarrass the reader in public.

The comic book business would be smart to do the same. It might mean fewer women in refrigerators, and there are a lot of executives invested in that attitude. One would think that women with wallets would be a bigger draw.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

SUNDAY: John Ostrander


Mike Gold: Oh, Time-Lord! Abuse Me! Abuse Me!

Gold Art 130529Yeah, I’m gonna get political on your ass. Pop culture and politics; gasoline and fire.

I do not know which is worse: the self-victimization that we call being “politically correct” or the rampant naval-snorting of the cloistered elite. I do know there’s a book coming out this August called Doctor Who And Race, and it couldn’t be more full of shit if it had been printed on toilet paper.

Here’s the bird’s-eye lowdown on the book: a bunch of narcissistic holy-holy academicians got together to prove they are smarter than you are by writing a whole bunch of essays that definitively declare the 50-year old television phenomenon Doctor Who to be racist and, oh yeah, sexist.

What evidence do they offer? Their central point is that the lead character, the Doctor, is a white male and has remained that way despite many “regenerations.” To tell the truth, each incarnation of the Doctor also was humanoid, so it follows that the hundreds of producers, script editors, directors, actors and writers, lo these many years, are also anti-space alien. After all, the Doctor clearly favors Earth humans over such space alien races as, oh, say, the Daleks. When’s he going to regenerate into a being made of anti-matter?

(By the way, I am compelled to point out that the phrase “space alien” is amazingly stupid, and if you don’t use it when referring to all those outworlders out there, you are not necessarily prejudiced against Mexicans or the Irish.)

Verity LambertNow I don’t know if Gallifreyans are capable of changing sex and/or race upon regeneration. I’d be perfectly fine if Doctor Twelve were a woman and/or of a different race. Way back in 1963, the original producer of Doctor Who was a woman named Verity Lambert. Can we stop for a minute and appreciate just how revolutionary that was back in the day? She produced the first 86 episodes, moving on to other projects in 1965. There weren’t a lot of women producing television series back then. Or today, for that matter.

Integral to the show are its co-stars, often referred to as companions. Since Elisabeth Sladen was cast as Sarah Jane Smith in the early 1970s, the women who have labored alongside the Doctor have been strong professionals who were much more than set decoration and “save me” victims. Indeed, that tradition actually got its start with the very first episode, with the highly intelligent and cosmically capable Susan Foreman, played by Carole Ann Ford. That, too, was a big deal in 1963.

Since its highly successful revival in 2005, the TARDIS has opened its blue doors to black co-stars and to women co-stars, and even to a black woman co-star. And to many actors of differing origins, reflecting contemporary sensibilities.

This book also cites the 36-year old episode “The Talons Of Weng-Chiang” as proof of the program’s racism because the villain was a Chinese man who was played by a white dude. Well, there’s no argument that Asians have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to casting decisions, but in 1977 casting white people was more than merely the norm. It’s like slamming Kabuki for not having employed enough women.

Yes, indeed, the lead actor has always been a white male. That doesn’t mean it always will be, unless there’s something about Gallifreyan physiognomy that I don’t understand (and, doubtless, there’s a lot about Gallifreyan physiognomy that I don’t understand). But, deal with this absolute fact, you simpering monkeys of myopia and self-hatred: there is nothing inherently wrong with being a white male. If you are looking to create a new apartheid for that species, you are as disgusting and as morally diseased as those you blanketly define as racist and sexist.

Hey, do you know which other white British male has been around for a half-century? James Bond, as in the James Bond movie franchise. And in all those movies, not once have they cast anybody except a white British male in the lead. Not a single actor from Togo has been above the title. What’s up with that? Clearly, producer Barbara Broccoli is a racist, sexist pig.

Here’s the rub. Around the year 2063, bunch of professors and self-endowed intellectuals are going to rip you a new asshole because you were astonishingly insensitive to groups of people and to ways of thinking that presently are beyond your ken. This will happen; our history makes this perfectly clear. So pull your head out of your own vomit and realize you are no better than anyone else.

Bottom line: if you’re looking to feel your exploitation, start by looking in the mirror.




REVIEW: True Blood Season Five

TB_S5_BD_3D_nostickerIf True Blood Season Five could be easily summed up – and really, it can’t – the theme was about the consequences of one’s actions. Unlike the previous season, this one seemed determined to tidy things up and thin out the herd a bit. During the course of the season, Alan Ball let it be known this would be his final outing as showrunner and clearly, he was determined to be the one to say farewell to a few friends and foes. The season therefore zipped along at a wild, frenetic pace that saw more fangs, blood, and naked bodies than before.

Since Charlaine Harris’ novels began being adapted for HBO, the supporting cast has grown and interestingly, they’re the ones who appear to be the most interesting, getting the deepest development. The triangle of protagonist/antagonist/lover of Sookie, Bill, and Eric sees them getting the least depth this time around as the focus moves with regularity.

trueblood12_16_thSookie (Anna Paquin) is a telepathic human/fairy who can’t decide who will make her happiest: long-suffering Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), now King of Louisiana; long-lived Viking Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård), or Alcide (Joe Manganiello), a werewolf for variety. She bounces from man to man, scheme to scheme and during the season never seems to take charge of her destiny, making her appear weak.

trueblood12_18The series’ mix of characters, themes, and setting in Bon Temps has made True Blood addictive viewing and Ball gets the credit for finding ways of taking the novels and enhancing them for premium cable, highlighting the more visual character traits and dosing the series with plenty of sex and nudity. Its compelling television as pure entertainment and the fourth season left us panting for more. Similarly, by resetting the stage, season five left us ready for some new directions which arrive in June. Meantime, HBO has released season five in a combination Blu-ray/DVD boxset complete with excellent extras and Ultraviolet digital copies.

After a season resting under tons of concrete, Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare) is back and seeking revenge against Bill and Eric. With Marnie the witch dispatched, they can concentrate on dealing with him, largely adapting Dead as a Doornail. Ball, unlike previous outings, knowing this was his last chance, as well as liberally lifting from subsequent novels in The Southern Vampire Mysteries.

trueblood12_15As has become custom, the new season picks up immediately where we left our fangbangers with Lafayette and Sookie standing over the bodies of Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Debbie. In short order, Pam turns up and agrees to turn Tara, a warped way of preserving her life and continuing to torture the strong character. Sookie agrees to help Pam (Kristin Bauer) fix things up with Eric, which is easier said than done, especially with the sexy blond, and Bill, arrested by the Vampire Authority, led by Roman (Christopher Meloni), for Nan Flanigan’s murder. Rev. Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) is back, declaring himself a “Proud Gay American Vampire” while Jason (Ryan Kwanten), his former acolyte, deals with his new relationship with Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), realizing the hookup now means his lifelong friendship with Hoyt (Jim Parrack) is done. Tara is finally resurrected and furious at being a vampire and her arc this season is coming to grips with her new reality, which also shows us another side to Pam.

Tara and PamSee? Consequences.

There’s plenty of Council political intrigue as they hunt Russell and deal with the rebellious Sanguinistas and Alcide has contend with the wolf pack that still disapproves of him. Meantime, the humans are tired of seeing their own kind become victims in the fighting and before the season is over, become a new threat. Meanwhile, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) has had enough brujo magic and finds his spiritual roots in signs from Jesus or is it his lover Jesús (Kevin Alejandro)? Jason, meantime, has his own spiritual journey as he learns what really happened to his and Sookie’s parents. Jessica, one of my favorite characters, finally grows up this season, playing a more pivotal role in the action.

The plot thickens, boils, spills over the pot and makes an attractive mess all across the south. There are the usual flashbacks to deepen some of the characters such as Pam’s first encounter with Eric. We even get ghostly visits from Godric (Allan Hyde) and a surprise, sinister return of Sheriff Bud (William Sanderson).

Bill-Eric-et-NoraThen there are the side stories that enrich the world of True Blood without blunting the main events. This season there was a stirring sub-plot for Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe), exploring his military past with the return of former platoon leader Patrick Devins (Scott Foley).

And how could not love a tool called the iStake?

Just when you think things are bad, Bill gets corrupted and as the season – and Ball’s involvement – comes to an end, he turns out to be the biggest, baddest vamp of them suddenly becoming the threat for the forthcoming season.

It’s got the usual assortment of over-the-top moments, moving emotional beats, and plenty of atmosphere thanks to great writing and cinematography. Moyer made his directorial debut, seamlessly blending in with the strong helmers that keep things running at a fever pitch.

As usual with HBO releases, the transfer to high definition is superb with excellent sound so these stand up to repeated watchings. And in keeping with the first four sets, this one comes with plenty of Blu-ray exclusive features. The episode-by-episode enhanced viewing is present as are the interesting audio commentaries. We get, as part of the enhancements, Character Bios, Vampire Histories and Hints/FYIs; Flashback/Flash Forward, and, True Blood Lines, a guide. The usual post-broadcast Inside the Episodes is included.

Of particular interest is the Episode Six: Autopsy, with the cast and crew discussing how this particular installment was crafted which is pivotal to the series and a good glimpse into what goes into making any episodic television

There are Authority Confessionals, short snippets with the characters Nora, Kibwe, Rosalyn, Salome, Steve and Russell all talking vampires, blood, and politics. Amusing.

Those buying the five disc DVD will get only Inside the Episodes, the five commentaries and the previews/recaps.

Martha Thomases: Iron Man & Iron Mothers

Guy-Pearce-Aldrich-Killian-Iron-Man-3-PosterLike everyone else in the United States, I saw Iron Man 3  last weekend with my illustrious colleague, Mike Gold. I went for the explosions. I went to see my future husband, Robert Downey Jr. I went because I love Kiss Kiss Bang Bang by Shane Black beyond all reason.

And I had a good time. But, as time goes on and I have time to consider what I saw, there is one thing that bugs me. If spoilers are going to bother you, depending on your standards for what constitutes a spoiler, you may want to stop reading now.

And that brings us to this week’s word:


There is a kid in the movie who helps Tony Stark. The kid lives in Tennessee with his mom, his dad having abandoned them long ago. The kid is, of course, a boy, because, for the most part, boys are more interesting to Hollywood than girls are.

If I were still a kid, this would have been my absolute favorite part of the movie, because I would identify with the boy (identifying with boys is something girls are expected to do all the time, although the converse is rarely true) and feel what it’s like to hang out with a super-hero. As an adult, I thought this part went on a bit too long.

So long, in fact, that I started to worry about the kid. His mother had to work, so she wasn’t at home. At night. Leaving her kid by himself, to run around town with Iron Man, even when there were explosions. We don’t know if she ever finds out what he was doing.

Mothers are hardly ever the leading characters in action-adventure stories. In comics, there is Sue Storm in Fantastic Four, Mark Andreyko’s Manhunter, and I can’t think of any others (please correct me in the comments). There are a lot of mom’s (and mom surrogates) who are supporting characters – Martha Kent, Martha Wayne, Aunt May, Maggie Sawyer, Hippolyte – but very few headliners have to find child care.

I think this has to do in large part because of who makes comics, and who they think the audience is. Men, for the most part, don’t identify with mothers. Boys (of all ages) prefer to think of their moms as people devoted to being parents, not lean, mean, world-saving machines.

As for sex, that other inspiration for plots, none of these guys want to think about their moms – or anyone’s mom – having sex. Ever. Unless that woman is maybe the mother of Blue Ivy Carter.

In real life, of course, mothers are heroes every hour of every day. No matter how one defines the term, mothers are brave and self-sacrificing and just plain bad-ass.

And that’s after they have pushed a live human being out of their bodies.

You could take your mom to see Iron Man 3 this weekend, and she’ll probably like it, because, in addition to its other attributes, it has Guy Pearce. Just be sure to tell her that you know she’s tough enough as she is, and doesn’t need any armor to prove it.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

SUNDAY: John Ostrander


Mindy Newell: Ahead Warp Factor 6!

Newell Art 130325Patiently standing in the checkout line at Stop & Shop today (which was mobbed because tomorrow is the first night of Passover) I did what so many of us do – browsed the covers of the tabloids. Kim Kardashian has gained more than 40 pounds during her pregnancy. And here I didn’t even know she was enceinte! Kate Middleton, who is also pregnant, fell while attending a royal function because her heel got stuck in a grating! (Oh, no!) Jennifer Aniston reveals her wedding dress! (Somehow I doubt that.)

And then my eyes fell on a special Star magazine edition called Star Trek Collector’s Edition: Into Darkness Special.

Yeah, I couldn’t resist.

It features such things as “100 Greatest Star Trek Moments” (which were strangely not listed in order) and “The Women Who Rule Outer Space” with pictures of Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine and Jolene Blalock as T’Pol on the cover (but no Katherine Mulgrew as Captain Katherine Janeway inside?..

Which gave me the idea to list some of my favorite and most hated Star Trek what-nots. So, in no particular order:

Best cliffhanger – ST TNG, Best of Both Worlds, Part 1. “Mr. Worf – Fire!” Everybody hold your breath for a week.

Worst resolve – ST TNG, Best of Both Worlds, Part 2. “Sleep, Data.” So incredibly anticlimactic.

Best episode – ST TOS, The City on the Edge of Forever. Edith Keeler dies as she is supposed to. The universe wins. The Nazis lose. So does Jim Kirk.

Best line – ST TOS, The City on the Edge of Forever. “Let’s get the hell out of here.” No histrionics from Bill Shatner. Perfect delivery.

Best Captain – Oy. I’m not going there.

Best First Officer – Spock.

Worst. Episode. Ever. – ST TOS, Turnabout Intruder. Total histrionics from Bill Shatner. Also sets back women’s liberation 3,000,000 years.

Best Chief Medical Officer – ST TOS. Leonard H. McCoy, M.D. The good doctor also makes an appearance in the pilot episode of The Next Generation, in which he irascibly tells Data that he sounds like a Vulcan, even though “I don’t see any pointed ears on you, boy.”

Most Wasted Character – ST TNG. Deanna Troi, Ship’s Counselor. Tell your troubles to the bartender, says Guinan.

Sexiest Character Male. – ST TOS, first season. Bill Shatner, you were one hot Canadian Jew!

Sexiest Character Female. – ST TOS. Yeah, I know, if you’re of the opposite sex – from mine – you’re going to say Jeri Ryan, she of the silver catsuit. Me, I’m going with Nichelle Nichols.

Coolest Villain – ST DS9. Gul Dukat. A villain of dimensions.

Best Vulcan – ST TOS and ST TNG. Sarek

Best Human Wife to a Vulcan – ST TOS. Amanda

Best Lt. Saavik – Kirstie Alley. Did Sam Malone know that Rebecca was a


Best Couple – ST DS9. Lieutenant Commander Worf and Chief Science Officer Lieutenant Jadzia Dax.

Best Bajoran – ST DS9. First Officer Major Kira Nerys.

Cutest Navigator – ST Voyager. Ensign Tom Paris.

Best Episode – ST TOS, The City on the Edge of Forever. With apologies to Harlan Ellison, I think the aired episode is better than his original teleplay.

Best Episode – ST TNG, The Inner Light. Picard lives a lifetime in twenty minutes. He also learns to play the flute.

Best Episode – ST DS9, In the Pale Moonlight. Sisko and Garak maneuver the Romulans into war. Like Bush and Cheney maneuvered us into Iraq. Sisko suffers a moral crisis over his decision. Garak doesn’t. Neither do Bush and Cheney.

Best Episode, – ST Voyager – One Small Step. “The Yankees, in six,” Seven of Nine whispers to the dead to astronaut.

Best Episode – ST Enterprise – Carbon Creek. T’Pol’s grandmother gives the secret of Velcro to a financially needy college student. Let’s face it, they all pretty much sucked.

Live long and prosper!




Martha Thomases: Getting The Chair

Thomases Art 130322Although my cable company provides me with hundreds of channels, there are still occasional day parts during which it is impossible to see an episode of Law & Order. Even if I broaden my parameters to include the one with the sex and the one with better writing, there are precious moments when neither Tamara Tunie nor Leslie Hendrix is being a tough-talking, no-nonsense medical examiner.

It’s not that I think it’s a great show, although I do kind of like it. I think Vincent D’Onofrio is brilliant, and not only because he did both this and this. I like the fact that someone who played a murderer in an early episode can be a criminal, or even an assistant district attorney in a later episode. I like seeing almost every working actor in New York get at least a few minutes of screen time… and a paycheck.

But mostly, I like how predictable it is.

The original show (which I’ve heard is referred to as “The Mothership”) was originally formatted quite strictly. At the time, the syndication business favored half-hour programs, so the idea was to run the series on broadcast as an hour-long drama, and syndicate it as two half-hours – Law and Order. I’ve never heard of that happening. All the re-runs I watch last the full hour.

And they all follow a fairly predictable pattern. There’s a murder, and the police first identify a suspect, who turns out to be a false start. Then they find the real killer and arrest him/her. After that, the lawyers take over. In addition to the murder, the suspect probably has another ax to grind. Maybe this person is a rabid environmentalist, or anti-abortion, or can’t get the affection of mommy or daddy. There is angst. Deals are offered. Deals are rejected. The trial takes place. Usually, the prosecution wins. When they don’t, it’s clear the jury was bamboozled.

All is right with the world.

The two spin-offs don’t separate the cops from the lawyers with quite the same egalitarian rigidity. In fact, both concentrate more on the police, to the point that there are hardly any lawyers at all in CI. This is fine by me.

The sexual politics of these shows are terrible. The male lawyers do all the work. With the exception of Kathryn Erbe and Mariska Hargity, the lead cops are men. (Sidenote: Kathryn Erbe’s partnership with D’Onofrio might be the most feminist ideal on all of television.)

I like to have the shows on while I work. It’s a way to tell time without looking at a clock. It’s entertaining if I pay attention, but not so distracting that it interrupts a run of productivity.

It would be a service to freelance writers everywhere is there was a cable station exclusively devoted to the various shows. Combined, they’ve been on the air for about 40 seasons, more than enough to fill a schedule. They could add in tie-ins, like Homicide: Life on the Streets (a much better show) and Oz, which both share a few cast members and a co-creator.

The biggest problem will be that the demographics are probably too old to attract quality advertising, and ads for catheters supplies are disgusting.

Which brings me to comics.

I love the comics I read as a kid. I even love the comics I read in the 1980s. There are comics I enjoy today, but I rarely have that sense of discovery and wonder I had back then. But I don’t really expect to be knocked out in the same way. I’m older. I’ve seen those tricks before. It’s difficult to invent something I haven’t already seen.

Some friends lament the fact that today’s titles aren’t like the older stuff with which we fell in love. And I get it. I’d like to be young again, too. I’d like to be a desirable demographic.

But I can reread the comics of my youth any time I want, and I do.

Please don’t put these ads in my comics.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

SUNDAY: John Ostrander


Mike Gold: Death of an Obnoxious Rugrat

Gold Art 130227According to the hubbub, today is the day Robin dies.

Sigh. If I had to choose between becoming Robin and playing drums for Spinal Tap, I’d join a convent.

The Robin in question – and there’s been a hell of a lot of them – is the little brat who was the issue of Bat(Bruce Wayne)man and Talia al Ghul, a concept I never, ever bought. Subtlety named Damien, the li’l bastard finally came onto his own in the recent, tedious, overwrought, and too-damn-long “Death of the Family” event.

His obnoxious demeanor isn’t reason I detest(ed) his character. I do not condone his birth.

Batman – Bruce Wayne no longer exists – is the poster boy for obsessive-compulsive. All the Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Lexapro combined can’t help this sucker, and yet somehow we have come to perceive his behavior as noble. If we refused to sell guns to the mentally unstable, Master Bruce wouldn’t make it to his next fox hunt.

He sublimates everything into being Batman. Everything. If it doesn’t play a role in his work, he doesn’t have patience for it. This is clear, and as consistent over the past several decades as anything ever is in the DCU. More so. In fact, much more so.

Therefore, I simply do not believe Batman would ever have sex with Talia. But if he did, it wouldn’t result in Li’l Damien. It would result in the return of the Comics Code Authority.

It might even prompt the resurrection Dr. Fredric Wertham. Check out my colleague Denny O’Neil’s ComicMix column tomorrow.

I suspect there’s already a betting pool on how long Damien stays dead. If history is any guide, there will be still another Robin (I’m guessing a female, but that’s just a guess) and, sometime after that, we will endure another multipart pseudo-event that will result in the brat’s resurrection. And we don’t simply have the experience of Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake (Was he ever killed? I get confused.) We have Damien’s resurrection-happy grandpappy, who has been revived more times than Kenny McCormick.

What goes around comes around. Killing a Robin – or anybody else in the DC Universe – is as original as a bag of potato chips. “Bet you can’t kill just one.” Resurrecting the dead is even less original. It’s boring.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases


Michael Davis: It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

Davis Art 130212Actually it was twenty years ago, but it wasn’t today. Look, any time I get to use a Beatles lyric in anything I write I’m using it. Nothing says witty and clever like a Beatles lyric or a Tupac and Biggie reference.

Case in point. One time too freakin’ many an ex-girlfriend asked me in an email if I thought she was getting fat. I was so sick of answering the same freakin’ question over and over again. She would ask when she and I would be on a date, in a car, on the phone, texting and one time I could have sworn she screamed it out during sex. I can’t be sure of that I couldn’t hear her clearly as I was, at the same time, screaming out my name. Yes, I scream my own name out during sex. Someone has to.

I was just sick to death of this shit so in my response I found a way to use a slightly altered Beatles lyric, which was, yes, you are the Walrus.

Twenty years ago, Denys Cowan, Dwayne McDuffie, Derek Dingle, Christopher Priest and I founded Milestone Media.

Hard to believe I was just five when I helped start the company, eh Jean?

Twenty years later, Milestone is still considered the greatest publishing achievement in African American comic book history. The Milestone deal was ground breaking and the universe is still alive and relevant. Milestone has achieved in comics the same kind of reverence the Tucker achieved in the automobile industry or Guns ‘n’ Roses achieved in Rock and Roll, all three burst on the scene, changed the game and for whatever reason lived a short life but has never been forgotten.

What many people don’t realize is Milestone still exists and is still alive in media if not in a monthly series of comic books. Static Shock is still seen on television, Milestone characters are often featured on other DC comics animated shows and Milestone comic book projects still are being created.

Milestone’s 20th anniversary will be celebrated and in the coming months happenings will be reveled. I just can’t tell you now; if I did Denys Cowan would see to it that I join Tupac and Biggie. Yes, I’ve used that line before and I will continue to use it until LAPD does it job and finds their killers…or someone comments how clever and witty that line is. I’m good with whatever comes first.

What I can say is ComicMix readers who are Milestone fans have a guy on the inside. As we all know with great power comes first hand knowledge premiering here at ComicMix before anywhere else.

That is, if I remember to write it after it’s finalized but before the press release goes industry wide.

I’ll try and remember but once I was told over the phone I just had a huge project green lit and could now talk about it. The very next call I was on not three minutes later was with an entertainment magazine doing a profile on me and like a dick I forgot to mention the venture when asked about what projects I was working on.

That omission was like forgetting to mention I own a dog when being interviewed for a cover story in Dog Magazine.

Last thing, for all you fan boys who are still a bit “girl challenged” if your girlfriend…wait, what am I saying? Girlfriend? Fan boys? Ok, if the girl you are smitten with or any girl asks you if she looks like she was getting fat or the classic, do I look fat in this dress?

The answer is always no.

If the heifer weights 300 pounds and is always sucking on a saltlick, the answer is always no.

Trust me, don’t say anything remotely like what I said, I’m lucky to be alive and ten years after the break up I’m still looking over my shoulder.

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold and The Nerddom Intelligentsia

THURDSDAY: Dennis O’Neil