Tagged: Sherlock Holmes

MOONSTONE BOOKS FOR APRIL

Moonstone Books has released their solicitation information for their pulp titles appearing in bookstores and comic book shops April 2013. These titles are available now for pre-order through your favorite bookseller.

DOMINO LADY/SHERLOCK HOLMES #1 (of 2)
Story: Nancy Holder
Art: Reno Maniquis
Colors: James Brown
Cover: Paul
33pgs, color, 7” x 10”, $3.99
Join NY TIMES best-selling author Nancy Holder in this 2-part murder mystery set against the backdrop of ancient Egypt!

Domino Lady and Sherlock Holmes team up to solve the riddle of the Sphinx…ok, not really, but they do solve this riddle of passion, identity, and antiquity!

DOMINO LADY: BLONDE BOMBSHELL TPB
Author: Nancy Holder
Art: Danny Sempere, Reno Maniquis
Colors: Jason Jensen
Cover: Matt Larson
240pgs, color, 7” x 10”, $25.95
ISBN: 978-1-936814-40-4

PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE!
Nancy Holder’s murder mysteries set in old Hollywood featuring the hypnotically alluring Domino Lady! She’s tough as nails, and sexy as all hell!

This massive color tome reprints “Domino Lady #1-5”, “Domino Lady: Noir”, and “Domino Lady: 3 some”!

LAI WAN: THE DREAMWALKER TPB
Author: CJ Henderson
Art: Kieran Yanner
Cover: Michael Stribling
120pgs, 6” x 9”, grayscale, sc, $9.99
ISBN: 978-1-936814-06-0

Lai Wan: the Dreamwalker, seer and prophet, able to walk between realities, feared by any who embrace evil because of her one, terrible power–the ability to always know the absolute truth. At long last, Moonstone has gathered all the graphic stories of Lai Wan, CJ Henderson’s fantastic break-out character from his popular Teddy London novel series, into one beautiful collection, while adding two great prose bonuses: a team-up between Lai Wan and Kolchak, and a never-before seen novella, Terrible Anticipation, a sequel to H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror!

Learn more about Moonstone Books at www.moonstonebooks.com.

MARK ELLIS TAKES UP THE CHALLENGE

On his Facebook page, New Pulp Author Mark Ellis posted the cover and a tease about his upcoming project.

From Mark Ellis:

In…a world…(I always wanted to write that)

In a world almost identical to this one, all the characters from Victorian and early 20th century literature existed…there was Nemo, Sherlock Holmes, Moriarty, and even the War of The Worlds.

Some of the descendants of these famous–and in many instances, infamous–people carry on the work of their distinguished (and not so much) ancestors.

Two of these descendants are Professor Edward George Challenger and Major Loveday Brooke, operatives of the Diogenes Club, a freelance adjunct of MI6.

In ISLANDS OF DR. MOREAU, they face the terrifying threat of Sirocco Moreau, who has harnessed the secrets of selective mutation to give dominion of the Earth to the Akhakhu, neogods modeled after the ancient Egyptian pantheon of deities–with her as the immortal queen.

This is the first (hopefully) in an action-adventure series featuring the grandson of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Professor George Edward Challenger…it’s a blend of Doc Savage and James Bond, with a pinch of Torchwood and a sprinkling of The Avengers and The Man From UNCLE.

I’m having a lot of fun working in this universe, so by following Rex Stout’s dictum, everybody should have a lot of fun reading it.

I’ll have more details about the release date soon.

#####

And we’ll share that here on All Pulp when it becomes available.

ALL PULP INTERVIEWS AUTHOR AARON SMITH!

Author Aaron Smith has made quite a name for himself in the last few years, practicing his craft in various genres for various companies.  ALL PULP felt it was high time that Pulp fans caught up with what Aaron, an All Pulp supporter and fan favorite, was doing.
AP:  Aaron, share some background on yourself, both personal and writing.

AS: Well I’m thirty-five years old, I live in New Jersey, and I’ve been seriously writing for about five years now. I was recruited into the pulp community by Ron Fortier of Airship 27 Productions, to whom I will always be grateful for giving me a start. Ron got me going writing for Airship’s series of Sherlock Holmes anthologies, which was a dream come true for me, since Holmes is my favorite character in all of fiction. From there, I started writing other pulp characters like the Black Bat and Dan Fowler and some westerns and war stories. I was allowed to create a few of my own original pulp characters too, which was great fun. After a while, I started branching out into other areas of writing and, as of today, I’ve had over twenty short stories and three novels published, so I think I’m doing pretty well so far. For anyone not familiar with my work, they can find information on it at my blog: www.godsandgalaxies.blogspot.com  

            Regarding personal stuff, I’m married to a great wife who somehow manages to put up with all my eccentricities and creative mood swings and highs and lows and all the other occupational hazards of living with a writer! I’ll never figure out how she does it. For almost twenty years, I’ve been running produce departments for a major supermarket chain. While that doesn’t sound like a very exciting job, it’s really great training for a writer because of the fact that everybody needs to eat, so everybody has to buy food. I’ve been around the rich and the poor, the old and young, the polite and the rude, and all races, ethnicities, backgrounds and professions you can imagine because I work with the public. It gives me so many opportunities to observe those very strange creatures called human beings in their natural habitat! 

AP:  You published a rather interesting take on vampires this past June, 100,000 Midnights.  What makes this work stand out from other vampire novels and how did it come about?

AS: 100,000 Midnights has a slightly convoluted history. It began as a short story of the same title, originally published in Pro Se Productions’ Fantasy and Fear magazine back in October of 2010. A month later, it’s sequel short story was published in the next issue of the same magazine. I intended to do a whole series of stories there. I had eight of them written when I looked at the whole set of files one day and it dawned on me that it might actually work better as a novel.

            At about the same time, a new e-publisher called Musa Publishing began looking for submissions to start up its line of books and it looked like a very good opportunity. I sent the novel to Musa once I had combined all the short stories into one book (with the very gracious permission of the stories’ previous publisher) and they accepted it. I made some changes along the road to the novel being released. I did some heavy editing, both alone and with the help of the editors at Musa, and I lowered the protagonist’s age by a decade because his particular eccentricities seemed to stand out more if he was younger than I had originally made him. The book came out in June of this year, as an e-book only; it doesn’t exist in a print edition, although I’d like it to someday, and it’s sold some copies and received some nice reviews, so it’s worked out well.

            As for what makes it stand out among vampire novels, I’d have to say that the main thing I tried to put into it was fun. Yes, it’s a horror story and it has its bloody, grim moments, but it has a lighthearted side too. In fact, I tried to hit all kinds of moods rather than sticking to one type of vampire story. It has some humor, some romance, a lot of action. It’s not only a vampire story either. While it focuses on a young man and the vampire woman who pulls him headfirst into a world he never knew existed, I threw a lot of other horror-related concepts in there too. On one hand, I think it works as my love letter to many of the great archetypes of horror fiction, and I hope I managed to put a little of the charm of old horror movies like the Universal and Hammer films into the story. But on the other hand, I tried to mix in the things that make modern vampire stories appeal to audiences. The vampires in the story all differ from one another. Some are good, some are evil, and some fall between the two extremes. There’s violence, a bit of sex, and a lot of different elements included in the novel. Poor Eric, the protagonist, gets in one supernatural mess after another. He’s lucky he’s got a three-hundred-year-old vampire girl by his side for most of the ordeal!        

AP:  You’ve also built up a good reputation as a writer of Public Domain characters, particularly the Pulp type.   What work have you done recently in this area?

AS: In 2012, I’ve had three stories released by Airship 27 Productions. There’s my Ki-Gor story in Jungle Tales Volume 1, which was great fun to write. I’ve liked jungle adventures ever since my grandfather introduced me to Tarzan when I was little.

There’s my second Black Bat story, in Black Bat Mystery Volume 2. This one was actually written before the story that appeared in Volume 1, which was a choice the editor made and which was fine with me. I also have at least one more Black Bat story coming in the future.

            And there’s my second Hound-Dog Harker story. A little background on that: a few years ago, I wrote the Dr. Watson novel, Season of Madness. I needed a short backup story for that book, so I came up with Hound-Dog Harker. He’s the son of Jonathan and Mina Harker of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. It’s the 1930s and he’s grown up to be an agent of the British government. I try to tie each Harker story to a classic novel. The first one is connected to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the second one, “Hyde and Seek,” is related to both “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and HG Wells’ “The Invisible Man.”

“Hyde and Seek” appears as the backup story in Dr. Watson’s American Adventure, in which the main story is written by Erwin K. Roberts.  

            To drop a few hints about my future Public Domain character works, there will be more Sherlock Holmes, and I’ve also got something coming up featuring another famous adventure character that I’m not yet at liberty to name, but it’s a big name!

AP: What appeals to you about writing Public Domain characters?  Do they have a place in the hands of modern readers?

AS: To answer your second question first, the fact that Public Domain characters have a place with modern readers is evidenced every time someone buys (and hopefully enjoys) one of our books featuring those characters.

            As for what appeals to me about writing such characters, almost everything does. We’re able to bring back into the spotlight characters that might otherwise fall into a bottomless pit of obscurity. The Black Bat, for example, is a wonderful superhero-type character and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to find an audience among those readers who enjoy Batman or Daredevil. And using these characters again also brings their original creators back into the public view, which is always a good thing. Many of the pulp writers of the past have been forgotten and if our work in the present makes their names known to new generations, I think that’s good thing.

            There’s also another side to using Public Domain characters and it has to do with responsibility and the preservation of certain concepts as they were intended by their original authors. Let’s take Sherlock Holmes as an example. Holmes is among the most famous characters in literature and in the past few years there’s been a tremendous resurgence in his popularity among the general public. That’s good and it’s bad. Holmes is open to many interpretations, but not all fans of the character agree with all those versions. There are three big ones in film and TV now and they all stray to one extent or another from Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories. We have the British series Sherlock which brings Holmes and his cast into the twenty-first century and modern London. At first I was skeptical about such an updating, but after seeing it I was very, very impressed because it maintains the spirit and essence of what made Doyle’s work so thrilling. Benedict Cumberbatch (I love that name!) is a superb Holmes and everybody acts just like they should. Then you have the Robert Downey movies which seem to have added a more action-oriented take to Holmes. And there’s also the new American TV version, Elementary, which I won’t watch. Turning Watson into a woman and taking Holmes out of England turns the whole thing into a version which isn’t really Holmes at all. They’re just borrowing the name! But, because Holmes is available for many different interpretations, thanks to the Public Domain status, there are some writers and publishers out there who are sticking to pure Doyle-style Holmes material and that’s important. Sure, it’s okay to do something new with old characters (within reason), but I’m glad to be among those who work within the format established by Doyle. I’ve made a vow to myself that whenever I actually use Holmes in a story, I will use him, to the best of my ability, as Doyle seems to have intended. I have no interest in modernizing him, pitting him against supernatural forces, or otherwise straying from formula (the Dr. Watson novel was a little different, but it didn’t actually feature Holmes, just mentioned him). So with all the variations of certain Public Domain characters out there, I’m glad some of us see fit to present them as they’ve traditionally been portrayed. If the Public Domain status didn’t exist and Holmes (or others) could be monopolized, we might run the risk of losing the traditional versions to somebody’s ambitious (and maybe unnecessary or even blasphemous) updates. With the way it is now, everybody wins. Everybody can find the Sherlock Holmes that suits their interests.    

AP:  Being a varied writer, you’ve also ventured into the Young Adult arena recently.  Talk about that a bit.

AS: That was a very happy accident and one of the best moves I’ve made as a writer. Occasionally, I’ll come across an anthology or magazine that’s looking for a specific type of story. I’ll make a mental note of it and let it sit in my mind and see if something pops up that fits. So I was browsing one day and came across a call for paranormal stories that took place at the prom. I didn’t really think I’d have anything for the theme, but it sank into my brain and an idea developed a few hours later. I’d never written anything for the so-called Young Adult audience before, but I went through with it, submitted the story, and was very pleasantly surprised when it was accepted. 

            So I found myself working with a great company called Buzz Books and it’s been a fantastic experience. Malena Lott, who runs the show, is one of the most enthusiastic, encouraging publishers I’ve met so far, and Mari Farthing’s attention to detail as an editor brings out the best in my work. So far I’ve had two short stories published with Buzz Books: “A Kiss on the Threshold,” in an anthology called Prom Dates to Die For, and “Spectral Media,” in a collection called Something Wicked, which was released recently, just in time for Halloween.   

            Jumping into the Young Adult arena with those two anthologies was an interesting experience. When I was a teenager, you never saw a Young Adult section in the bookstore. It wasn’t a term we really used. You had children’s books, adult books, and the classics that sort of intersected age categories. Honestly, when aisles of “Young Adult” material started to appear in the big bookstores a few years ago, I found it a little odd. Did we need that middle category? But now I realize that anything, even if it’s just a category label, that gets people of any age to seek out books is a good thing. And writing for that audience isn’t very different than writing for adults. It’s PG-rated, but that’s not really all that much of a restriction. Readers, no matter how old or young they are, want the same things from stories: interesting characters in dramatic situations that bring wonder and suspense to the experience of reading about them. As long as a story keeps you turning the pages, who cares what aisle of the bookstore it happens to be placed in?

AP:  Why a writer?  What motivates you to tell stories? What is it about Pulp specifically that draws you in as a creator?

AS: My writing, or at least the constant use of my imagination, began as a defensive thing, a shield. When I was a kid in school, I didn’t really fit in, I felt out of place, and I got picked on. It was uncomfortable. So when I needed strength, I used my imagination to get me through the day. In my mind, I was someone else, maybe Captain Kirk on an alien planet or Peter Parker walking around with the knowledge that I was secretly stronger and braver and nobler than the other kids. Later in life, when I was long past those insecurities, my imagination kept working overtime and eventually I turned it into real writing, as opposed to just mental clutter. Now I tell stories because, rather than hiding behind them, I want to share my ideas and dreams with the people who experience them through the books I write. 

            Pulp is just pure fun, for the writer as well as the reader. In the wider world of publishing, I see a lot of people worrying about “rules” when they should be devoting their time to actually writing. “You shouldn’t use exclamation points.” “That point of view or type of narration is unacceptable.” “There’s no audience for that type of story.” Now while some of those rules or assumptions might be true in certain sections of the world of literature, no rule or restriction should ever be considered definitive. If it tells the story in the best way the writer can achieve, how can it be wrong? The new pulp community seems to thrive on having fun with our writing. A good pulp story is driven by excitement and adrenaline and not wanting to slam on the brakes. Pulp, just as  it was many years ago when writers who later went on to be huge names in other genres started out there, is a great place to learn and to share a sort of home with others who thrive on trying to generate that same sort of excitement with their words and characters.

            Pulp is where I learned how to write, where I’ve had the guidance of some great editors and colleagues and friends, and where I gained the confidence to try to go beyond and test the waters in other areas of writing. So now I’m working in other sorts of anthologies and pitching novels to other publishers and exploring various markets for my work, but Pulp began it all for me and welcomed me with open arms. It’s a genre and style that I’ll never get tired of participating in.         

AP:  You have a work in an altogether different genre coming up soon.   Without saying too much, what can you tease our readers with?

AS: I’ve finally written a novel in one of my favorite genres, that of spies and espionage and secret agents! I’ve been a fan of that type of story ever since I saw my first James Bond movie when I was five or six, so I was eventually going to take a shot at writing that kind of book. The novel’s done, it’s been accepted by a publisher (one of the outfits I’ve worked with before in the New Pulp world) and just needs the editing process and all the trimmings before it’s ready to roll. I’m very excited about it. Without giving away more than the basics, it’s about an American intelligence officer who tries to leave government service after suffering a tragedy in his life and going rogue, but gets sucked back into the game and winds up working on missions that are too sensitive for the FBI or CIA or the other usual agencies. Dangerous situations, ruthless villains, beautiful women, and exotic cities are a hell of a lot of fun to write about and this will not be my last visit to that genre.    

CREDITS OF THE BASKERVILLES

Artwork © Jamie Chase
Artwork © Jamie Chase

Sequential Pulp Comics has released the title and credits page for the upcoming THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES graphic novel, coming your way this February from Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics. Reserve your copy today!

Written by Martin Powell and illustrated by Jamie Chase, The Hound of the Baskervilles is based on the classic Sherlock Holmes mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and is published by Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics to be released on February 20, 2013 for the retail price of $12.99.

Martha Thomases: TV or Hot TV

When I was a girl, back in the Stone Age, September was a big, big deal. School started, so we got new clothes. There were new model cars in the showroom.

(Here’s a joke from those days: What are the three holiest days in the Jewish Calendar? Rosh Hashonah, Yom Kippur, and September 29. What’s September 29? The day the new Cadillacs come out. I love that joke. I think it’s kind of anti-Semitic, but it makes me laugh. Also, I’ve only heard it told by other Jews.)

Most important to childhood me was the new television season. After a summer of re-runs, the three major networks would launch new shows. TV Guide would explain what the new series were about, and what changes were coming to keep the old shows fresh. It was so exciting!

Today, now so much. As this article reports, new shows premiere all the time, and, of course, there are many more than three television networks offering them.

And if you can’t watch a show when it airs, you don’t have to wait until the rerun comes around. You can record it on the DVR (which I still refer to as “taping” because I’m old. Sometimes I say “icebox”). You can watch it on On-Demand stations on cable, or on Hulu or other Internet sites.

You don’t even have to be home. You can watch on your phone, or your tablet.

It should be a golden age, but I find it causes me stress. Instead of making me feel safe, like I can actually live my life the way I want, I feel like I can’t keep up.

For example, on Sundays, there are currently four shows I want to watch between 8 PM and 11 PM. Two are on HBO, which means I can watch them at anytime either On Demand or on HBO Go. One is on a broadcast network, so I can “tape” it or, if I can stand commercials, On Demand. One is on BBC-America, and their On Demand is kind of dicey, so I tend to “tape.”

On Monday, there are also four shows I like, plus I’m out of the house for a part of prime time. More on the DVR.

Tuesdays are also packed, but a lot of what I like are the sit-coms, which tend to be 30 minutes and not 60, spit’s easier to find the 20 minutes of free time. And then, Wednesday there is hardly anything I like (at least so far). I can catch up.

Because if I don’t, Thursdays and Fridays are also clogged. If we come around to Sunday again and I haven’t watched any of the shows from the previous week, I’m behind. Aaaah!

(Also, back in the day, there weren’t continuing plot lines from one week to the next. You could watch a show without having seen any before it, and still figure out who the characters were, or what was going on.)

There’s a lot I’m curious about this year. Will Elementary be good enough to survive in a world that already has Sherlock? I hope so, because I have loved Jonny Lee Miller since Hackers, and it’s not his fault he’s not Benedict Cumberbatch. I have hopes for Vegas because The Big Easy is my idea of a sexy film. Fringe is back for a real conclusion, and all will be revealed.

As a geek, I’m also excited about the CW’s Arrow. The lead is really cute. It looks like they’re keeping a lot of what made the comic book fun (archery, riches, Dinah). They’ve added a mother, and I’m hoping she is not a harpy, but a way to add depth to Oliver Queen, at least through conversation. Did I mention the cute lead?

Recent television shows based on comics have a mixed track record. While I kind of liked

Birds of Prey because I have loved Barbara Gordon in every form, the series only lasted 13 episodes. Smallville did much better, perhaps because it, too, had a cute guy in the lead role.

I sense a trend.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

RELEASE THE HOUNDS

Dark Horse Comics has released solicitations for THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. Written by Martin Powell and illustrated by Jamie Chase, the graphic novel will be solicited in the October edition of Diamond Distributor’s Previews. The 64 page full color hardcover graphic novel will be released on February 20, 2013. The Hound of the Baskervilles retails for $12.99.

The Hound of the Baskervilles  is based on the classic Sherlock Holmes mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and is published by Sequential Pulp Comics and Dark Horse Comics.

Saturday Morning Cartoons: “Sherlock!”

Saturday Morning Cartoons: “Sherlock!”

I think just the concept will make some people I know very very happy, certainly happier than the concept of Elementary is making them.

And you know, you just need the actors to do voices. Certainly Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman can fit that into their schedules, right? After all, if Cumberbatch can muscle his way into an episode of The Simpsons, and there’s going to be a manga version of Sherlock coming this October, we’re already three quarters of the way there…

Martha Thomases: Don’t Try To Dig What We All Say

In my daily perusing of the Internets, I came across this post. A short post, it says (with one little snip):

“Dear Old People (and this includes me), the kids today are not hip to your cultural references. This is not a failure of education. Things change. The end.”

It’s not about comics or the movies or television. If anything it’s about Baby Boomers and how insufferable we can be. The popular art that moved us must move you, or you’re ignorant.

This is not a new attitude. My mother, for example, loved E. Nesbitt and J. D. Salinger, so she thought I should read them. My high school English teacher thought that Fitzgerald and Hemingway were the greatest writers of the 20th Century, and skewed their curricula accordingly.

None of this was as insufferable as my generation has been.

In Hollywood, my generation has minded the television shows of our youth into (for the most part) wretched movies. Car 54, Where Are You?, which was an entertaining glimpse of the 1950s Bronx, was made into a terrible movie that abused my beloved David Johansen. See also: McHale’s Navy (here and here), I Spy (here and here), and more. Exception: The Addams Family was genius, and so was equally transgressive movie.

We also made smug jokes. Do you know Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings? These days, if someone tells that joke, that person must explain what Wings was.

In comics, the insidious influence of the Boomers is even worse. Every attempt to reboot a character for a modern audience is eventually derailed by continuity geeks who insist that everything fall in line with the way it was when they were kids. Sometimes, I’m like this myself. I liked the Supergirl who hid her robot in a tree. I liked super pets. I think they made the world a better place.

You know what else made the world a better place? Me, being young and cute and hopeful.

We need to get over ourselves. The Flash doesn’t have to be Barry Allen (that re-reboot robbed my adult son of the Flash he grew up with). Superman doesn’t have to be in love with Lois Lane, nor Peter Parker with either Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy. Those stories exist, and we can read them whenever we like.

In the meantime, there’s lots of terrific new entertainment that us old farts could learn from. Off the top of my head, there’s Sherlock, a brilliant new way to look at a classic character. There’s Copper on BBC America, a blueprint for the way the GOP wants to rebuild American society. There’s Cosmopolis, a movie that analyzes modern life from the interior of a stretch limo. And, love him or hate him, Mark Millar is taking major risks as he creates his media empire.

Now, excuse me. I have to go and watch Nashville again.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman, Rob Liefeld, Scoot Snyder, and Burning Down The House

 

Jerry Nelson: 1934-2012

This is a Muppet News Flash: Puppeteer Jerry Nelson, the man behind Sesame Street muppet Count von Count, died yesterday at age 78. Nelson, a cast member of the show for over 40 years, also brought to life the characters Herry Monster, Fat Blue, Sherlock Hemlock and the Amazing Mumford.

Nelson’s first job with the Muppets was The Jimmy Dean Show in 1965 as Rowlf the Dog’s right hand man, literally. After learning that the Muppets were used on Sesame Street, he rejoined Henson and Oz as a puppeteer, beginning in the second season. He received a number of his major characters early in the show’s run, including the Sherlock Holmes parody Sherlock Hemlock, a hapless magician named The Amazing Mumford, and the overly strong but sensitive Herry Monster (1970–2012). His most famous character is the arithmomaniac vampire Count von Count, which he voiced until his death. He was also the first puppeteer to perform Mr. Snuffleupagus. Jerry Nelson also made a cameo appearance as the giant in the “Sesame Street News” story of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Nelson also performed many characters on The Muppet Show, including Sgt. Floyd Pepper (the bassist of the Electric Mayhem band), Pigs in Space star Dr. Julius Strangepork, the boomerang fish-throwing Lew Zealand, Kermit the Frog’s nephew Robin the Frog, Gonzo’s girlfriend Camilla the Chicken, and the Phantom of the Muppet Show, Uncle Deadly. On Fraggle Rock he performed Gobo Fraggle, Pa Gorg and Marjory the Trash Heap.

Nelson has also performed character voices in Sesame Street cartoons and Private Public from Sheep in the Big City.

He reprised the role of the announcer in [[[The Muppets]]]. His final performance as the said announcer was part of the Jim Henson’s Musical World concert at Carnegie Hall.

Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

 

Mike Gold: Doctor Who Fans Can Barely Hold It

If you get off on anticipation and you also happen to be a Doctor Who fan, these are amazing times. We-all have so much to get excited about. To wit:

1)   The beginning of the next half-season, which will start in England any day now. The BBC likes to wait until the last minute to make their announcements; the show debuts in the United States, Canada and much of the rest of the world shortly thereafter. As of this writing, the season premiere is not on this Saturday’s schedule, so the August 25th rumor is likely untrue… unless the Pirates of the Caribbean movie presently in the Doctor Who slot is bunkum.

2)   The exiting of the two current companions at the end of the half-season, which may or may not involve killing one or both off.

3)   The Doctor Who Christmas Special, which is likely to be aired on or about December 25th and will feature the introduction of the Doctor’s new companion. The show will also feature the “return” of Richard E. Grant – he voiced the Doctor in the animated “Scream of the Shalka” and joined Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Joanna Lumley in Steven Moffat’s debut Who, the satirical “Curse of Fatal Death.

4)   The 50th anniversary of the show’s debut, which happened mere moments after the BBC announced the death of President John F. Kennedy. Talk about your dramatic lead-ins.

As hyped-up as we may be about the first three items on the above list, I’m far more amused by all the folderol around the 50th Anniversary. Writer/producer/showrunner Steven Moffat has been having enormous fun jerking the fans and media around, teasing the hell out of the event and roughly expanding our enthusiasm to apocalyptic proportions. Previous Doctors Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy and David Tennent have all publically committed to return “if asked,” and Christopher Eccleston has actually stopped saying he wouldn’t return under any circumstances, although his work on the next Thor movie might interfere with scheduling. Similarly, John Barrowman’s work on Arrow might mitigate his availability. Colin Baker noted he might have grown, ahem, a bit too big for the part. To me, that sounds like something Moffat can have fun with.

If Moffat is to be believed, there likely will be several or many 50th Anniversary events next year. My question is “will there actually be a regular 50th Anniversary season?” There will be a dramatic made-for-teevee-movie about the creation of the original television show, being produced by Moffat and written by his Sherlock partner Mark Gatiss. There’s quite a feminist hook in this tale, as the show’s original producer, the person who actually got the show on television, was Verity Lambert, one of the very, very few women in such a position at the BBC back in 1963.

Of course, we’ll see all sorts of Doctor Who comics from IDW – we already see all sorts of Doctor Who comics from IDW, including reprints of Dave Gibbons’ beautiful work on the feature – and there will be tons and tons of merchandising and convention thrills. I suspect Community and The Inspector will have something to say about it all as well.

So the rumors will continue to grow in mass, time and space, and the resultant brouhaha will keep the rabble at fever-pitch. Perhaps there will be TARDIS-themed Depends being marketed to those who can’t hold it in.

That’s right, guys. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil waiting on shadowy rooftops.