Since my Carioca witch Nydia and her son Lucas joined me here in the Byrdcave, we’ve been making the place nicer in multifarious ways ranging from adopting an insane new kitten, Castiel, to buying new sheets that actually fit my king-sized bed (and thereby don’t constantly come undone every damn night) to actually vacuuming sometimes. Life with a functional non-depressive is revelatory, let me tell you.
The latest addition are a couple of limited edition art prints I’d been drooling to buy for months. I missed my chance while they were for sale because they sold out quickly, but I did manage to ultimately find them for a reasonable price on eBay. The two are my favorite pieces in a gorgeous set of seven Universal monster pieces by artist Nicolas Delort, Frankenstein and The Creature From The Black Lagoon.
We framed them and hung them together in the living room, but they demanded special treatment so we added the decals around the edges you can see in the image up top. The effect is beautiful.
As we creep toward Halloween, get in the mood by visiting with the very first cinematic Frankenstein’s monster.
This short film from Edison Studios was made in 1910 by writer/director J. Searle Dawley. It stars Augustus Phillips as Dr. Victor Frankenstein, Charles Ogle as the Monster, and Mary Fuller as the doctor’s fiancée.
It ain’t Karloff, but it’s a fascinating piece of film history. There’s some creative use of a mirror, both in the mise-en-scène and in the storytelling, and the sequence depicting the birth of the monster is primitive but amazingly creepy.
I have returned from the jungled mountains of Brazil, renewed, a silly smile on my face, and ready to get back to work on the Doc Wilde adventures. I have a lot to write about, and will get to it as I can, but I wanted to share this cool news from friend of the Wildes and fellow pulpster Will Murray:
Eighty years ago in February, 1933 the Street & Smith company released the first issue of Doc Savage Magazine, introducing one of the most popular and influential pulp superheroes ever to hit the American scene. Doc Savage was the greatest adventure and scientist of his era, and while his magazine ended in 1949, he influenced the creators of Superman, Batman, Star Trek, The Man from UNCLE and the Marvel Universe—to name only a few.
While that first issue of Doc Savage was fresh on Depression newsstands, Universal Studios released one of the most important fantasy films of all time. Everyone knows the story of how King Kong was discovered on Skull Island and hauled back to New York in chains, only to perish tragically atop the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Empire State Building.
As it happened, that was where Doc Savage had his world headquarters. For decades, fans have wondered: Where was Doc the day Kong fell? Continue reading →
I’m phasing out Comcast Cable (crappy HD, shitty DVR that’s years behind Tivo in reliability and functionality, and execrable customer service), which is unfortunately the only TV option provided by my apartment management, and one of the services that is replacing it is a renewed subscription to Netflix, because of its new streaming features. For $10 a month I can have one disk out at a time (and that disk will be Blu-Ray if the flick is available in that format) and unlimited real-time streaming of the movies they have available, of which there’s a surprising abundance (I have over three hundred listings in my personal “Watch Instantly” queue).
It’s really great, as I can choose something on the spot to give a try, without worrying about it tying up my physical rental for a few days of mailing back and forth, and if that choice sucks, I just stop watching and move on to something else. It also has allowed me to find some really great stuff I hadn’t been aware of, the latest being the BBC miniseries Jekyll.