“Rayguns?” That’s important enough to make the title? Stardust, sure, though more in the Ziggy sense than the “we are all” sense. And Moonage Daydreams, why of course. But why rayguns?
If I had been the editor of this book, I would have asked, “Why not “Starmen?” Or maybe “Pretty Things.” Even “Space Oddities,” though that would be a bit on-the-nose.
(Note: I am pretty sure my willingness to ask dumb questions was not instrumental in being cast out of the world of Sfnal Editorial work. Pretty sure. Yeah.)
But that’s the title we have, even though (he said, hitting the tedious point for the last time, he promises) there are no rayguns in this book. Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams. A biographical graphic novel about the chap born David Jones, but better known under his stage name. Primarily focused on the creation of and tour following the The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars record from 1972.
(And, frankly, I’m pretty sure someone, at some time during the creation of this book, lamented that the perfect title had already been taken, by that album. And maybe someone toyed with the idea of re-using the title.)
It’s drawn by Michael Allred and colored by Laura Allred. The script seems to be, from M. Allred’s afterword, mostly by Steve Horton
, working from an Allred outline and list of important story beats, and then extensively worked over by both of them. (Horton did a lot of work, definitely, even if the art is all Allred and the words are at least somewhat Allred.)
It opens on the last night of the Ziggy tour, in 1973, in London. That’s our frame: it leaps back to show Bowie’s early career up to that point, in at least sketchy form. Unlike a lot of biographical stories, it doesn’t get into childhood at all: there’s a montage of David Jones At Various Youthful Ages on the first page, but that’s literally it. Instead, it’s all career: what he recorded when, who he worked with, who he knew and bounced off in London in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
Horton and Allred get a bit name-dropp-y with that, frankly, as they try to show that Bowie was the center of everything and influential on everyone and the best musician of any kind ever. I mean, I get that they love Bowie and especially this period: you don’t spend months or years on a project like this without that level of love. But a bit of context goes a long way, and a bit of idol-worship is more than enough.
It’s also all more than a little compressed: Horton and Allred are huge fans, so they’re trying to get every last moment and idea in that they can, and the book comes across a bit staccato because of that. If you are a huge Bowie fan, that will be great: you don’t need context, and it gives you more recognizable moments and ideas. For those of us who are more vaguely Bowie-positive, it’s a flood of panels, many of which seems to be heading off in different directions to tell us something else.
Allred also drops into phantasmagoria a few times, in what may be meant to be chapter breaks and an extended visual overview of Bowie’s later career at the end. These are wordless pages, crammed with images, most but not quite all of them images of Bowie in various guises and stages of his career. They are gorgeous and impressive and stunning, but not really comics, since they deliberately don’t tell any story.
All in all, this is a book that is better the more of a Bowie fan you are. Not a fan at all: you will be bored and confused. Enjoy his music: it will be pleasant and enjoyable, though maybe a little much. Huge Ziggy-era stan: you will love it, though probably also find things to nitpick, because stans must always stan.
, as the legal drama only aired on NBC in the fall of 2019 for all of 10 weeks. It starred Jimmy Smits as Elijah Strait, the head of a plaintiff’s law firm in Memphis, Tennessee. (Apparently Memphis is nicknamed Bluff City, I’m guessing more for its geographic location than the Poker playing ability of the river boat gamblers who once trod her streets.) It also starred Caitlin McGee as Elijah’s estranged daughter Sydney. Why were they estranged? Doesn’t matter. Seriously, if people cared why they were estranged, the show would have lasted more than 10 episodes.
What is important is that Elijah and Sydney teamed up to try a lawsuit on behalf of Edward Soriano, a public school groundskeeper who was suing giant chemical consortium Amerifarm for covering up the fact that their weed killer Greencoat caused his cancer. I’m assuming the show ran the standard disclaimers somewhere, but I can assure you that any similarity between this story and the weed killer Roundup were about as coincidental as the similarity between Barack Obama’s presidential portrait and Barack Obama.
As is always the case in shows like this, the case didn’t go well for the Soriano side. As Amerifarm had won sixty-eight Greencoat lawsuits to date, things must have been going wrong for lots of plaintiffs’ attorneys. But we’re only interested in what things went wrong in the Soriano case.
The Straits called three expert cancer witnesses. Amerifarm objected on the grounds that the witnesses might be experts on cancer, but they never studied Greencoat, so couldn’t prove it caused Soriano’s cancer. The judge sustained the objections and none of the experts testified.
For some reason, the Straits never argued their experts would testify about what caused cancer in general, then their next witnesses, who did study Greencoat, and would link up general cancer theory with Greencoat to show it caused Soriano’s cancer. To be fair, I have to confess the reason the Straits didn’t make this argument wasn’t as nonspecific as “for some reason.” There was a very specific reason they didn’t make this argument.
They had no follow up witnesses!
Let me say that again so it can sink in like concrete galoshes in Lake Michigan; the elite plaintiffs’ law firm that was trying to prove a chemical company’s weed killer caused Edger Soriano’s cancer had no expert witnesses who had studied the weed killer so could testify that Greencoat caused cancer. I’d hate to see the firm’s Yelp reviews.
Fortunately the Straits had a TV trope on their side; internet-savvy investigators who didn’t even have time to finish saying, “Let me see if I can hack this site,” before announcing, “I’m in.” The investigators found Dr. Nancy Deemer, a former research chemist for Amerifarm whose tests proved Greencoat was “five hundred times more carcinogenic than cigarettes.”
Amerifarm objected to Dr. Deemer’s testimony because the plaintiffs wanted Dr. Deemer to testify “about the results of tests that there’s no record of. It’s impossible for us to impeach her testimony and it’s prejudicial to the point of farce.” Elijah pointed out that the reason there were no records is that Amerifarm destroyed the records. The judge ruled that Elijah made “a compelling argument. However with no way to support or impeach what Dr. Deemer would say I must side with the defense,” and wouldn’t let Dr. Deemer testify about any tests she had performed.
Funny, I remember law school teaching that everyone had the right to cross-examine witnesses, but I don’t remember any lesson saying everyone had the right to be able to impeach a witness. Sometimes witnesses don’t have anything in their background that allows them to be impeached. That doesn’t mean that the witnesses can’t be called as witnesses, it only means opposing counsel will have a harder time in its cross-examination.
Moreover, if Amerifarm didn’t want anyone to see certain test results so destroyed the very records its attorneys needed to impeach a witness, that kind of violates the centuries-old legal principle that one must have clean hands to come into equity. Arguing that, Dr. Deemer shouldn’t be allowed to testify, because we destroyed the tests we need to impeach her is kind of like Jeffrey Dahmer arguing he shouldn’t be tried for murder, because he couldn’t cross-examine the victims.
Sydney asked Dr. Deemer a simple question, was there anything she wanted to say to Edgar Soriano and his family? Dr. Deemer looked the Sorianos in the eye and said she wanted to tell them she was sorry. Then as the defense objected and the judge sustained the objection and ordered the jury to disregard Dr. Deemer’s testimony, Dr. Deemer continued by saying “This did not have to happen. They knew that this was dangerous. They came to my lab.”
Later, the jury returned its verdict. It found in favor of Edgar Soriano and awarded him 1.4 million dollars in compensatory damages and 45 million dollars in punitive damages.
So, yay! Happy ending.
Except, no. Wouldn’t happen. Not in any court in the land. But you knew that already. Why else would I even be here today, if that verdict weren’t complete garbage?
In the first place, the jury would never even have deliberated in this case. The Straits offered no evidence that proved Greencoat or Amerifarm caused Soriano’s cancer. Literally, no evidence. The court didn’t allow any of their expert witnesses to testify and ordered the jury to disregard Dr. Deemer’s testimony.
In every civil trial, the defense will, as a matter of form, move for something called a directed verdict after the plaintiff has presented its case. When, as in this trial, the plaintiff offered no evidence to prove its case, the judge will grant the directed verdict and direct the jury to return a verdict in favor of the defense. So Soriano would have lost right after the Straits presented his case.
Even if, for some unfathomable reason, the judge allowed a case in which the plaintiffs offered no evidence to go to the jury and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, after the verdict the defense would move for something called a JNOV, from the Latin phrase non obstante verdicto, or Judgment Not Withstanding the Verdict. It’s a motion in which the defense argues that despite the jury’s verdict, it is entitled to a judgment in its favor as a matter of law.
In this case, Amerifarm would again, and correctly, argue that the Straits didn’t offer any evidence linking it or Greencoat to Soriano’s cancer, so the judge would be required to grant the motion, overturn the verdict, and return a verdict in Amerifarm’s favor. So Soriano would have lost again after the jury verdict.
And if for some reason the trial judge didn’t grant the JNOV, Soriano would have lost on appeal. A court of appeals would have reversed that verdict faster than I could figure out how to pronounce non obstante verdicto.
When all was said and done, Amerifarm would have been 69 and 0, because the Straits hadn’t said or done anything. Not only would Amerifarm have won, Sydney might then be brought up on disciplinary charges for her improper question to Dr. Deemer. And then Soriano would have sued the Straits for malpractice.
So I guess there’d be was a happy ending, after all. Because a malpractice suit against the Straits? That case Mr. Soriano would win.
By Chip Kidd, Geoff Spear, Mark Evanier, and Tom Brevoort
Abrams ComicsArts, 240 pages, $40
The first title to usher in the Marvel Age of Comics has been previously annotated in other books, most notably one five years ago. But here, designer Chip Kidd does his usual in-depth look with incredible blow-ups of each panel of each page of the story that introduced us to Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm, and Benjamin J. Grimm.
The vast majority of the book is filled with these detailed looks, shot by Geoff Spear from a 1961 copy of the comic. It’s an interesting look, forcing you to examine things in extreme close-up, so much so that some panels lose detail in the spine.
It’s all too much and somewhat overwhelms you visually. And then, when we get to the meat of the book, Tom Brevoort’s analytical breakdown of the comic, we’re given thumbnails whle the text asks us to look at details requiring you to flip back to the specific blown up panel or past the essay to the page by page reproduction of the comic, which bookends the hardcover.
Brevoort has been studying the comic for some time over at his always entertaining blog and has revised those posts here for what should be considered a definitive examination; that is, until the original art is ever located. He notes theories that have been bandied about for decades whether or not the story was intended for one of the anthology titles before publisher Martin Goodman moved it to a new title or if the FF were shoehorned into an existing Mole Man versus mankind story, a hallmark of that Atlas Comics era which stretched through the latter 1950s. He notes where art extensions (credited for the most part to production manager Sol Brodsky) were likely done and where penciller Jack Kirby’s routine layouts were changed, likely by writer/editor Stan Lee.
It all makes for fascinating reading but the page by page analysis really belonged with the page by page reproductions not the thumbnails. This design misfire mars a handsome, albeit expensive, book for what it is.
Brevoort’s notes along with the essay from Mark Evanier, even-handedly examines what Lee and Kirby likely brought to the characters and story. They even seem to definitively identify George Klein as the inker, settling a debate that has raged for decades. Acknowledgement is given to the conflicting claims about which creator did what and I agree with Evanier that credit has to be equally shared since
, after all, none of us were there when they worked on the project.
Finally, there is the short typed outline that Lee first showed Roy Thomas in 1966 and some conjecture is provided as to why Lee wrote it.
All in all the information provided in one place is a fine tribute to the 60th anniversary of this seminal release. As with most Abrams ComicArts releases, the production values are high, the glossy paper thick, and the overall package handsome. Yes, you’ve seen some or all this before but having it all in one place makes for a nice addition to your comics library.
I have generally not been in favor of Big Two superhero comics going “realistic.” That’s mostly because what counts as realism in superhero comics looks more like cynicism or nihilism from any other point of view, and because superhero comics are inherently one of the very most artificial artforms ever devised by the hand of man.
So I’m happy to point out that Who Killed Jimmy Olsen? is very artificial, and revels in it. The only other series I’ve seen that has as many introducing-this-character-with-their-fantastic-logo! boxes is Paul Grist’s deeply quirky Jack Staff. But this book does that trick one better: the person being introduced every single time is Mr. James Olsen himself, our hero and main character, in an unending sequence of sillier and sillier locutions about Superman’s wingman.
(I’m pretty sure I remember “Superman’s wingman” somewhere in the middle there. Nearly every way you could think to describe the Olsen boy are already in this book.)
Perhaps I should back up slightly.
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen was a famous Silver Age title, from the era where comics were flagrantly artificial and their audiences were assumed to be entirely made up of children who would age out within a year or three. It ran for twenty years, and regularly turns up in random internet “have you ever seen this insane thing?” collections. (Two words: Goody Rickles.)
And Jimmy, as a character, is closely associated with that era. He doesn’t get the full-force opprobrium directed at some kid sidekicks, since he was intermittently depicted as an actual adult (if a juvenile, silly, easily-distracted one) and had an actual job that made sense in the context of the comics. But he was often comic relief in core Superman stories, and his own title was, to use a technical term, regularly batshit crazy (in the best possible way).
So Mr. Jimmy Olson comes with some baggage. And the 2019 series about him – by writer Matt Fraction, artist Steve Lieber, and colorist Nathan Fairbairn; collected as Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olson: Who Killed Jimmy Olsen? – leans heavily into the silliness, providing not just a goofy Jimmy, but a very weird take on Batman, an extended Olsen family with shocking connections to Lex Luthor (who also gets an extended family), the aforementioned massive number of story-introducing boxes, and a lot of just plain goofiness.
For example: the book opens with a story from some piece of product entitled Superman: Leviathan Rising Special #1, which I gather from context was some kind of crossover event thingy. (“Crossover event thingy” is a technical term in corporate comics.) In that story, Olson wakes up in Gorilla City, surprisingly married to an interdimensional jewel thief after a long night of drinking gorilla-strength champagne, and ends up in the possession of a cat that vomits astoundingly large and sustained streams of blood. Complications quickly ensue.
This all seems like random goofiness. Nearly all of it will become very important to the overall plot of Who Killed Jimmy Olsen? Note: I am not saying any of it becomes any less goofy.
The actual plot of the main story takes a while to coalesce, and is told out of chronological order. My sense is the playing-with-time stuff isn’t to be daring or stylistically inventive; it’s just another way to be randomly goofy and confusing. I liked and appreciated all of it; those who like more straightforward superhero stories may be annoyed or bored.
So we get Jimmy causing trouble, having to flee Metropolis for Gotham City, having his Life Model Decoy (named something slightly different I don’t want to dig through all the pages to find) “murdered,” and hiding out as an oddball “modern” version of himself (Timmy Olson, cringe YouTube sensation!). We also see Jimmy’s fabulously wealthy family (stuck-up brother, boho playwright sister), Jimmy’s deep family history (return to the frontier days of New Obsterstad with the feud of the Olsson and Alexander families!), Lex Luthor lurking around the edges of the story doing that I-am-such-a-villain hand-wringing gesture, Jimmy’s landlord/lawyer, a very silly very minor villain, an interdimensional would-be conqueror, and a rapidly-increasing death count of people close to Jimmy.
Again, we don’t get any of that in order: we get bits and pieces of all of it, smash-cutting from one Jimmy Olson story intro to another, and it all coalesces about halfway through this twelve-issue miniseries.
To my mind, if you’re going to do a superhero story, or even a story set in a superhero world (this is more of the latter; Jimmy is always central, and most of the important characters don’t have powers), you need to be at least halfway lighthearted. We all know every ending will be happy, all deaths are temporary, and all drama is momentary. And Who Killed gets that tone right: it doesn’t make fun of its own story too much, but it doesn’t try to pretend this is about the fate of the world, either.
To my mind, this is what good comics in a superhero milieu looks like: fun, with consequences to actions but not overly invested in them, full of random oddities and an overall sense of possibility.
Hey! Shit actually happens in this book! And those things largely validate my “get off the pot and actually say XYZ” grumblings from the previous books, which also makes me happy.  Once again, I’m not claiming any great powers of reasoning or insight: this is a pastiche superhero comic, and the plot beats are thuddingly obvious. They were just massively delayed for reasons that I tend to believe owed more to “I want to tell some only vaguely related stories first” than “this Other Stuff is actually important.”
This book follows the first two Black Hammer books (one
) and the very much sidebar (and baroquely-titled) books about Sherlock Frankenstein
and Doctor StarDoctor Andromeda
(my post will go live in three days as I type this; let’s see if I remember to add the link!). And it leads pretty directly, I expect – with the caveat this this series has been all about the fakeouts leading to extensive unrelated flashbacks up to this point – into the next volume, which is titled Age of Doom, Part II.
(There’s no third volume of Age of Doom, which could be ominous, but there are seven more volumes after that. They could all be flashbacks – Black Hammer ’45 pretty obviously is, for one – but I choose to believe that even this series will move forward in time once it exhausts all other options.)
Anyway, this is called Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Part I but, as I just pointed out in tedious detail, it’s not actually “Part 1” of anything. It’s either part three (of the linear story) or part five (of all previous volumes). Like the rest of the main series to this point, it’s written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Dean Ormston, assisted by colorist Dave Stewart and letterer Todd Klein.
And it’s still stuck on the moment at the end of the first volume, when the new spunky female Black Hammer arrived on “The Farm” from Spiral City, discovering the five or six superheroes living there (do we count Talky Walky? I do) after The Event and we the audience saw one of those supposed heroes, the witchy Madame Dragonfly, immediately steal Hammer’s memories for what we have to assume are nefarious purposes.
(Note that we get a different flashback version of that scene in this volume, following the big “everything you know is wrong” moment, and the new version means that the old version could not have possibly happened that way…which is really annoyingly lazy storytelling.)
So we open this book with another return to the moment where Hammer announcing she’s remembered everything and is going to have a reckoning, and she of course immediately disappears. (Gotta keep the tension up somehow!) From there, we get a couple issues of Hammer in various weird worlds (first a transparent ripoff of the bar between worlds from the end of Sandman, then not-DC Hell and a couple of other mystical places, just in case any of the slower readers aren’t convinced Dragonfly is behind it), while the main cast decide to figure this out and get sidetracked by their various inamorata deciding that, yeah, OK, we can have sex now.
Again, Lemire is making it clear, even to the slower kids in the back, that the two reality-warping characters are…what’s that again? oh, yeah, warping reality.
Eventually, in time for the last of the five issues collected here, we finally get to see Everything We Know Is Wrong. (Well, Everything We Know about the Farm. I bet we know some wrong things about the death of the previous Hammer, and maybe the Anti-God, too.) And we get a big cliffhanger moment on the very last page, as we must when a Part I is going to lead directly to a Part II.
As before, I can appreciate the storytelling and character work – both Lemire and Ormston do good panel-by-panel and page-by-page work here, making engaging people, moving themaround convincingly, and making them all interesting – while still finding the overall structure silly and ungainly and massively derivative and entirely airless. I still think Black Hammer is a very well-done version of a thing I would be hard-pressed to say is worth doing.
 Trust me, this is me happy. At least as happy as I get about manipulative third-hand superhero tales.
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., (November 2, 2021) – In Partnership with Turner Classic Movies and sponsored by MeTV, relive the classic holiday tale of It’s a Wonderful Life with a star studded cast including Jason Sudeikis, Rosario Dawson, Mark Hamill, Martin Sheen, Mandy Patinkin, George Wendt, Lou Diamond Phillips, Phil Lamarr, Ben Mankiewicz, Ron Funches, Ed Harris, and more. Real life uncle/nephew pair Wendt and Sudeikis are slated to play the roles of George Bailey and Uncle Billy for this year’s broadcast. For one-night-only, this live virtual table read takes place Sunday, December 5, 2021, 5:00 PM PST. Hosted by Tom Bergeron, the 2021 Virtual Gala will be a tribute to the wonderful life of Ed Asner and benefit The Ed Asner Family Center(TEAFC), which promotes mental health and enrichment programs to children with special needs and their families.
“My father’s passing has left an indescribable hole in my heart. For our annual fundraising gala this year, I want to honor my father’s legacy as both a legendary actor and a staunch advocate for people of all abilities. I would like to thank Turner Classic Movies for partnering to support our effort to raise much needed funds for special needs families and I am eternally grateful for the support shown by our amazing cast. I would also like to thank MeTV for their generous sponsorship of this event,” says Matt Asner, son of Ed Asner & Co-Founder of The Ed Asner Family Center.
For a minimum donation of $25, your entire household can enjoy this exclusive experience. Commemorative holiday gift collections will also be available to purchase, including custom artwork and a limited edition T-shirt, all created specifically for this event. In addition, the collection will include The Official Bailey Family Cookbook with recipes inspired by “It’s A Wonderful Life” and a 75th Anniversary Blu-ray of the film. The event will feature an incredible silent auction with items perfect for the holiday season and a spectacular musical intermission.
In addition to the Ed Asner tribute, the event will honor Mike Darnell, President of Unscripted and Alternative Television at Warner Brothers, along with his family. The cast will include Mike’s daughter and Social Director of TEAFC, Chelsea Darnell, autistic actors Spencer Harte and Domonique Brown (TV’s Atypical) along with neurodivergent TEAFC members Ryan Booth and Lucas Salusky. Victor Nelli (TV’s Superstore, Brooklyn Nine Nine) will return to direct.
“As the parents of autistic children, Matt and I saw a desperate need to create a safe and welcoming community for Special Needs families
,” explains Navah Asner, Co-Founder, The Ed Asner Family Center. “The Center provides arts and vocational enrichment and critical mental health services to these individuals and their families, creating a unique space to learn, interact and thrive. My dear friends, the Darnell Family, are an extremely important part of our overall community and the Center. We are thrilled to be honoring them this year for their commitment and advocacy.”
The Ed Asner Family Center is also proud to announce their 2021 Gala Sponsors: A&E Network, ABC 7, Abigail Disney, Apploff Entertainment, Arthur Smith Co., Carmen & Tonia Finestra, Center for Autism, Disney, Disney+ and Disney General Entertainment Content, Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi, Extra TV, Ireland Family Foundation, Jean Trebec, MeTV, Netflix, Peter Roth, Plush Beds, Robert & Renee Kelly Foundation, Seacrest Productions, Sony, Team Greenbean, Tito’s Vodka, Turner Classic Movies, Warner Brothers, and WME. For more information on becoming a sponsor, please visit: http://teafc.org/wonderful.
The successful Candyman remake is coming to streaming and home video this week. Our friends at Universal Home Entertainment have provided us with two digital codes which we’re offering to our readers.
In order to win, tell us the scariest memory from your Halloween experiences. Provide good, creative details and have your entry submitted no later than 11:59 p.m., Monday, November 8. The decision of the ComicMix judges will be final.
Universal City, California, October 26, 2021 – Dare to say his name. Oscar® winner Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) and director Nia DaCosta (Little Woods, Disney’s upcoming film The Marvels) expand on the infamous Candyman legacy with “a new horror classic” (FOX TV) that is “smart, stylish, and scary as hell” (Danielle Ryan, /FILM). Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 84%, Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s (MGM) CANDYMAN is back and yours to own on Digital November 2, 2021 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM and DVD November 16, 2021 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. All versions come packed with over an hour of bonus features including a never-before-seen alternate ending, deleted and extended scenes as well as special featurettes taking viewers behind-the-scenes of the film and deeper into this complex and deeply resonant contemporary take on the bone-chilling urban legend.
For decades, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green were terrorized by a ghost story about a supernatural, hook-handed killer. In present day, a visual artist (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; HBO’s Watchmen,”Us, forthcoming Matrix Resurrections) begins to explore the macabre history of Candyman, not knowing it would unravel his sanity and unleash a terrifying wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II leads an incredible buzz-worthy cast in CANDYMAN, which also stars Teyonah Parris (If Beale Street Could Talk, Wandavision, forthcoming The Marvels), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Generation, Misfits) and Colman Domingo (HBO’s Euphoria, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Assassination Nation). A bold, expansive take on the tragic and terrifying urban legend, CANDYMAN is produced and co-written by Academy Award® winner Jordan Peele and directed by rising filmmaker Nia DaCosta, the first Black woman to helm a #1 film at the box office!
EXCLUSIVE BONUS FEATURES ON 4K UHD, BLU-RAYTM, DVD AND DIGITAL:
DELETED AND EXTENDED SCENES
SAY MY NAME: Filmmakers and cast discuss how the horror at the center of Candyman is both timely and timeless, which is a tragedy in and of itself.
BODY HORROR: We explore director Nia DaCosta’s influences in the subgenre of body horror, and what Anthony’s physical transformation means to the story.
THE FILMMAKER’S EYE: NIA DACOSTA: Take a closer look at director Nia DaCosta, and how her singular voice and perspective were perfect to tell this story.
PAINTING CHAOS: Filmmakers reveal how Anthony’s artwork evolves throughout the film and how they strived for authenticity in recreating Chicago’s vibrant art scene.
THE ART OF ROBERT AIKI AUBREY LOWE: Composer Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe reveals some of the unconventional methodology he used to create the unique and haunting soundscapes sounds of the film.
TERROR IN THE SHADOWS: A behind-the-scenes look at how the analogue shadow puppetry scenes were created and an unpacking of why this ancient artistic medium was the most conceptually relevant for depicting the legends’ cycle of violence.
CANDYMAN: THE IMPACT OF BLACK HORROR: A roundtable discussion moderated by Colman Domingo about the nuanced relationship Black Americans have with Candyman
, the horror genre and the overall idea of monsters and victims.
CANDYMAN will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital.
4K Ultra HD delivers the ultimate movie watching experience. Featuring the combination of 4K resolution, the color brilliance of High Dynamic Range (HDR) and HDR10+, which delivers incredible brightness and contrast for each scene and immersive audio for a multidimensional sound experience.
Blu-ray™ unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
Digital lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly buy or rent.
The Movies Anywhere Digital App simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers. Consumers can also redeem digital copy codes found in eligible Blu-ray™ and DVD disc packages from participating studios and stream or download them through Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere is available only in the United States.
Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must face the past he thought he left behind and confront his father, leader of the dangerous Ten Rings organization. The film also stars Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, and Florian Munteanu, with Michelle Yeoh as Ying Nan and Tony Leung as Xu Wenwu.
Beginning November 12, “one of Marvel’s best origin stories” (Sean Mulvihill, Fanboy Nation), Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings will be available to all Disney+ subscribers. The film also arrives on all digital stores such as Apple TV
I did not intend this to turn into Sarah Andersen Week here at Antick Musings, but why not? She’s funny, and the two books I read nearly back-to-back are funny in very similar ways, which could potentially be interesting.
Fangs is a small unjacketed hardcover, stylish and blood-red. I believe it was Andersen’s fourth solo book, following three collections of her “Sarah’s Scribbles” strip (and the graphic novel Cheshire Crossing, with novelist Andy Weir). There is a goth-y young woman on the cover, as you can see. Readers will generally assume she is a vampire, and assume that this is her story.
That’s correct: she’s Elsie. On the first page, she’s in a bar for monsters, meeting a new young man (Jimmy). They quickly start a relationship, and we quickly learn this is not a book that will tell us a story – like Sarah’s Scribbles, these are funny comics about a situation, and this situation is “what if a 300-year-old vampire goth girl fell in love with a vaguely hipster werewolf?”
So Fangs is a lot like a collection of a gag-a-day strip (not all that surprising, since Sarah’s Scribbles has run as a daily strip off and on, and this project originally appeared on Tapas in a similar format) – every page is a separate strip about Elsie & Jimmy, with some kind of vampire or werewolf-themed joke.
Humor is always subjective, but I thought Fangs was clever and funny – as funny as Sarah’s Scribbles, and a bit more clever, as Andersen clearly was having a lot of fun assembling these jokes from the intersection of relationship-humor and horror-humor. There’s also an underlying sweetness to it: you get the sense that these two people haven’t really connected with anyone else in a long time, and having each other, in all of their quirky oddities (supernatural and personal) to be with is a wonderful thing.
, but who knows? Maybe Andersen will come back and give us more comics about Elsie and Jimmy. There’s no reason this couldn’t keep going for a long time, or come back for somewhat longer stories. (What would a vacation look like for them? Do either of them have families the other one gets to meet?) And, even if she never does, this is a fun, sweet package as it is.
Sometimes you read a book because it’s there and you’ve heard of it. Maybe you don’t remember exactly what you heard about it, or why, or in what context, but it’s been in your head and you’re pretty sure it was for positive reasons. The world is full of books: you need to stretch sometimes and that’s an easy way to do it.
That’s more or less how I came to Girl in Dior, a graphic novel by Annie Goetzinger originally published in France in 2013 and translated into English for this 2015 NBM publication by Joe Johnson. It’s available in Hoopla – is there a reason why every Internet-era business needs to have a stupid and infantilizing name? – an app my library system uses to provide various digital things (TV shows, movies, comics, audiobooks, even ‘real’ books) – and I started reading it after realizing How to Read Nancy was far too dense to dive into on a Saturday afternoon. (And don’t get me started on its aggressively hostile introduction, by some academic who was at pains to be clear he hated comics, modernity, 90% of all artists ever, the concept of sequential art, and anything else the reader might possibly love or respect.)
Girl in Dior, I learned after reading it, is a fictionalized account of the first ten years of Christian Dior’s high-fashion house, founded in 1947 in Paris. It centers on a young woman, Clara Nohant, who is the primary piece of fiction: she is a minor reporter for the launch, later becomes a model for Dior, and ends by marrying a rich client. (Thus encompassing most of the potential dream-jobs for the book’s audience.) I think she’s just there as an audience-insert character, and to have a gamine, Audrey Hepburn-esque face to provide a through-line, but it does make me wonder why the book couldn’t or didn’t focus on Dior himself (surely the more interesting figure) or, considering the audience is primarily women who care about dresses, instead digging into one or more of the large group of women who worked for and with Dior to do all of this – one of his major designers, or models, or seamstresses, or several of the above.
Instead, Girl in Dior is lighter, more of a travelogue – Clara thinks Dior’s work is wonderful, but she’s not deeply invested. Her story is light, her crises few and easily solved, her endings entirely happy. The book has a lot of detail and color: Goetzinger is particularly good at both drawing the dresses to be very particular and using color to make them pop off the page, in a comics version of the sensation they caused on runways in the late ’40s.
I think I wanted more about the real people and less of “look at this gorgeous dress,” which is on me. Girl in Dior is very much a “look at this gorgeous dress” book, and my sense is that it’s deeply researched and carefully assembled to show specific, distinct gorgeous dresses from those first few Dior collections. There’s extensive backmatter to detail chronology, the sources (year and season) of the dresses shown in the book, quick biographical sketches of the historical people who appear (from Dior to Lauren Bacall), lists of potential careers in fashion and types of fabric and accessories, and, finally, a bibliography. This book was clearly very heavily researched, and I have no doubt that everything in it (except Clara) is as close to true as it’s possible to be seventy years later.
And it is gorgeous, full of sumptuous expensive formalwear for rich, thin, young, connected women  ready to be elegant and sophisticated (and maybe just a bit useless) after the war years. I always want more context and cultural criticism; I always want more why and less “remember this thing?” Again, that’s entirely on me: Girl in Dior is a lovely evocation of a time and place – I haven’t even gotten into Goetzinger’s faces, which are magnificent, deeply specific, and much less pretty-pretty than the dresses she draws. If any of that sounds appealing, check it out.