Welcome to my new format for 2022.
Big changes are on the way for this blog.
First off, I’m lightening up the load by only providing one blog per month rather than try to adhere to a bi-monthly schedule – WITH THE SOLE EXCEPTION of reviewing the Free Comic Book Day editions for this year, which will most likely have me go on a weekly bender for a month. Normally, blogs will be posted on the last day of every month – no exceptions. Whatever I don’t get around to discussing or write about this month will be held over to the next month’s edition.
So there will be a handful of selected topics broken down and itemized into 5, count them 5 categories, and they are:
1. Politics, social commentary & personal items.
2. Comic books
3. Streaming animation and selected dvds.
4. Progressive rock and other related type of music
and lastly, 5. Movies and television shows.
Why am I trying to deviate from the norm, you may ask? Well, this year, I made a resolution to trying to get back into the comic book scripting game and I was faced with a dilemma of whether to tell people and colleagues that I think my independent self-publishing label, Landescape Productions has just sort of run its’ coarse – give it up, just throw in the proverbial towel! I swore with this ‘new job‘ (which has been going on for five years old now – the longest job I ever worked with a single employer) that I was going to get back to speed with the two remaining Deposit Man books I have left scripted on the shelf, even going as far to solicit some work from both Larry Nadolsky, who did six pages of Playgod Act III a few years back. I also was bold enough to ask my longtime local colleague who does fabulous work in both comics and animation, Rafael Navarro to provide the cover for the final issue, entitled Playgod Act IV that defies description, just knowing that it’s a homage to one of my favorite all-time comic book title pages. A great painter out in Mexico City by the name of Mimms Zann provided the cover to the Playgod Act III and finally Oliver Simonsen, who I will be speaking about more in length a little later on, did a couple of prologue pages for Playgod Act III All this unseen work is just sitting on the shelf (or buried deep in scattered files on various computers).
The pandemic by all means was the final nail in the coffin. My employer has barred me and a few others in my department from ever physically entering the building to work at our desks. This upcoming March 16th will mark the 2nd anniversary of being ordered to work from home and there seems to be no end in sight for lifting the lockdown. The ramifications from that fateful decision has left no room in my life for overtime like helping out with meetings at the theater or any award shows – EVEN though I still manage to make ends meet with hardly any effort. If I didn’t current have a roommate living with me, I wouldn’t have the spare income to afford all those extracurricular activities such as attending small town comic book shows and going to see Marvel or DC movies.
HOWEVER – I just recently came up with an idea to keep my professional status in vogue. If I can’t afford the paperstock to publish any more books – well, reinvent everything into something new for something further down the road- and that’s when PROJECT EARTHMARK will eventually make it’s debut. Five pages of the first eight page chapter have now been scripted and I wouldn’t have gotten that far if I hadn’t decided to reduce my workload on this blog in half.
ITEM!! Monthly comic books (aka pamphlets) are becoming such a pain in the ass lately and I fear it’s the miscommunication that’s been going back and forth between Marvel and retailers as to WHO IN THE EVER FUCK is distributing their books nowadays. Back in March of last year, Marvel announced they were splitting from Diamond Distributors, their long time pipeline to your local mom and pop shop by switching over to Penguin Books to handle their heavy lifting of getting product in ON TIME, to follow in lockstep with DC Comics, who also severed ties with the no longer distributing giant and made their move to align themselves with a chain of comic book shops in New York City who formed a coalition called Lunar. But, just as Marvel was wined, dined and pocket-aligned ready to also sign on the Lunar dotted line to make official that Diamond Distributors will soon be going the way of the dodo bird, Penguin came swooping in with a sweeter deal and discount incentives that Diamond just couldn’t match. Consider the divorce of Marvel and DC from Diamond as ‘mob justice’ for fucking everyone up the ass during the pandemic for leaving merchandise to rot in their warehouses and product to be shipped late all through the early months of the pandemic. Nowadays we just point the finger of blame on the ports of San Pedro.
BUT are having accounts with both Penguin and Lunar a match made in heaven? Well, so far it’s proven to be a slow burn. The big name shops in my remote area such as Golden Apple and Earth 2 have gotten their shit together, but my small independent run store out in the Fairfax district haven’t gotten my Marvel pulls right for the past three months!! My past visit have yielded me 13 missing titles out of the 35 to 40 titles I usually order every month including this one of the latest issues of Thor:
Last Sunday I attended my first comic book convention of the year over in Pasadena and I was pissed off as all hell that I had to fork over $20 for the latest issue of Thor which was only three weeks in release (I believe issue 21 came out last Wednesday) and I was exasperated as all heck as to why this was gouged up in price and I was informed that Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir becomes an actual living breathing entity that takes on female form at the end of this issue and might turn out to a crucial plot point in the upcoming Thor movie, Love and Thunder.
Seriously? Who the fuck cares??
All I care about, is for what local reason, why some shops were allocated – who were shipped copies and others were not ? OR did my shop know about the increase in demand and simply pulled all their copies and to hell with all the customers who had it on their subscription list – like I did.
Another big fucking deal with much ado about nothing is the latest kerfuffle concerning The Amazing Spider-Man. When writer Nick Spenser left the title, Marvel decided to make the book WEEKLY instead of bi-weekly and four writer/artist teams were selected to pick up the slack and they brought back the stupid clone Ben Reilly while Peter Parker revisits 1971 again and becomes a six-armed spider monstrosity. I’ve done that dance before way back when I was seven years old or read it later on when it was reprinted in Marvel Tales. So I kinda said ‘sayonara Spidey’ or rather fuck off SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN. Because, you know what they say about too many writer/artist teams spoiling the broth? It seems however, that idea is not destined to last long. In a few short months, The Amazing Spider-Man is getting rebooted again and going back to monthly statis. Next month, in the comics section, I’ll be sharing with you the most EXPENSIVE BOOK I ever bought in my entire life at last Sunday’s Pasadena Comic Con. Don’t forget to check my facebook profile every Monday – Thursday when I share with the community, the best of my 1960’s -1980’s reading adventures.
ITEM!! Cartoons, streaming cartoons.
Wow, I was really inundated over the holidays with my cartoon watching duties. I believe last Christmas I had a long list of 35 shows that had to spill over unto the next morning. It’s the shows on Hulu that really fuck me over, becasue I’m forced to watch the Fox Animation Domination line-up: of The Simpsons, The Great North, Bob’s Burgers’ Family Guy and American Dad! (technically TNT – but I still count it among the slew)- WITH COMMERCIALS. Hulu also is streaming their originals such as Solar Opposites, Crossing Swords, and Marvel’s Hit Monkey, all with commericals. AND if you add all the commericals together – approximately 8 minutes per show adds up to an hour in its’ self. I also watch Attack on Titan on Hulu – and they just throw commercials in that anime show wherever they want without warning.
Now I’m down to easily managable 25 shows now that the Fox Animation Domination group are on hiatus until March (Fox Football and the Winter Olympics will do that to a network skein) – alternatives are coming to the forefront. Netflix’s two heavy adult oriented contenders, Big Mouth and F is for Family are finished for the year, so I’ve got two sword & sorcery inspired shows to take their place- the 2nd season of DOTA: Dragon’s Blood and the debut of The Legend of Vox Machina premiering this weekend on Amazon Prime– both based on video and role playing games. I’m quite familiar with Vox Machina because Dark Horse Comics gave out a FCBD edition of the role playing property over the summer.
Another sword and sorcery influenced animated project that dropped a few weeks ago is the stunning debut of independent comic book artist, Dave Sim‘s widely beloved creation: Cerebus the Aardvark in his very own CGI movie entitled “The Absurd, Surreal, Metaphysical, and Fractured Destiny of Cerebus The Aardvark” now streaming on Tubi (finally, something else good to watch on that service other than old Space: 1999 reruns!) and you can also stream it through other platforms lke Plex and Xumo. It’s directed by one of my fellow Deposit Man collaborators Oliver Simonsen through his What? Comics Production house and was aided by over 200 computer animators from all around the globe who gladly volunteered their time and effort for this 70 minute film just for the shear love of the character alone and it hardly cost a dime to do. For the past 16 years this movie has been in production, it’s also seen its’ share of rough patches, particularly in the passing of main voice actor, Jeff Seiler shortly before the film’s release – but the main degree of success for this film is that it has achieved the total blessing of its’ creator Dave Sim and hopefully there’s be wiggle room to create more. After all, how can you cram 300 issues of a world record selling independent comic book into one movie? This is Tubi’s second foray into the world of adapting underground and independent comic books into animation after they recently dropped eight episodes of The Freak Brothers based on the works of Gilbert Shelton. Maybe there will be room someday in the future for a series based on Omaha The Cat Dancer or Strangers in Paradise. It’s a enduring and remarkable achievement on my former colleague’s end – although it’s a little roughshod in the audio department, where there are drops in the dialogue and moments of awkward silence, but once you surrender yourself to its’ alluring charm, you’ll be glad you did. I loved the parody of Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone and how Jeff Seiler creatively came to the decision of making him sound like Foghorn Leghorn.
Oliver was kind enough to share with you all with a behind the scenes making of featurette:
Also debuting this week is Doomlands on The Roku Channel described as a apocalyptic animated sitcom romp that’s supposed to be a perfect amalgamation of Mad Max meets The Office meets Cheers as a young aspiring couple buy and run a bar in a mutant infested wasteland. This show was one of the last few projects produced under the auspices of the now defunct short term content provider Quibi when Roku made the acquisition to take over all their shows. Doomlands is the brainchild of Australian Josh O’ Keefe and is based on a short film he made while he was studying at university.
ITEM! I was a little off my game when it came to new progressive rock releases throughout last 2021 with a note of few exceptions such as the blog I posted last year detailing Yes‘ The Quest (the only memorable releases I picked up last year were the sophmore effort by The Anchoress – which I believe has been nominated for a bunch of high prestigious awards, and the latest by Frost*, Steve Hackett and Transatlantic) . Rather I was more concentrating on beefing up my 5.1 box set edition quads of previous artists such as Al Stewart, Pink Floyd, Van der Graff Generator (which deserves a much more detailed blog of its’ own) and Marillion.
Accidently I stumbled across Script For A Jester’s Tear as I was ordering some blu ray box sets of Kolchak, The Night Stalker and The Incredible Hulk – so I consider it a impulse buy at the checkout stand and a steal for around 35 dollars. Great blu ray interview with all involved with the making of this groundbreaking debut release and it also includes a much needed trip down memory lane with a pristine version of the band’s first concert video, “Recital of The Script” (yeah, try to find a old VHS tape these days that doesn’t jam up in your player – they’re becoming so obsolete that the machines are even malfunctioning) and various promo videos for “He Knows, You Know” and “Garden Party” to complete the package. The 5.1 mix is rather mediocre as the rear speakers don’t showcase much of audio effects I would expect to happen, like the radio tuning effects and background whispering voices showcased in “The Web” and “He Knows, You Know” – but the LCPM 2.0 mix of the Market Square Heroes” EP featuring the 17 minute Beowulf inspired magnum opus entitled “Grendel” is worth the price of admission alone. The blu ray mix of Fugazi is a different beast altogether that really puts the work of bassist Pete Trewavas into the forefront on tracks “Jigsaw” and “Emerald Lies“, plus it restores the original ending to the title track that was strangely omitted by EMI at it’s original time of release. I’m sort of obsessed with getting the first four original albums with original singer Fish in this surround sound format – but I’ve haven’t had good luck in locating “Misplaced Childhood” at a easy affordable price or lower than $150. I’m not certain if the last collaboration between Fish and the rest of the Marillos, “Clutching at Straws” released in 1987 has even been manufactured as I can’t find it anywhere on the prog rock distributing sites or on Amazon.
Supposedly today, Friday, I’ll be getting a call to pick up the brand new Jethro Tull album, The Zealot Gene – their first in 20 somewhat years (yeah, but c’mon we all know, that a Jethro Tull album and a Ian Anderson solo album are both synonymous with each other. Who can tell the freaking difference? So, technically, we haven’t heard hide nor hair of Ian or Jethro Tull since 2014’s Homo Erracticus release). The edition I’m picking up is a deluxe CD/blu ray package going for $50 or $60 bucks- which seems to be the norm these days for special event projects such as this and the upcoming new Porcupine Tree album. From here on in, it’s 5.1 surround sound or bust. I’ll review the new Tull next month and any other juicy prog that happens to fall into my lap.
Time marches on, and wellllll, here it is now Sunday and in addition to my 5.1 surround sound remiix of 1975’s Renaissance – Scheherazade and Other Stories (I’ve had on order since last Christmas) and the brand spanking new Paul Draper album featuring guest star Steven Wilson – neither are nada in my hands. When I called my local retailer Freak Beat in Sherman Oaks, California to inquire ‘ hey, what’s the hold up?’ then I’m counter asked in reply ‘look out your window – do you see the San Pedro Harbor parked outside?‘ The vinyl version arrived and they offered to hold one for me. But what am I supposed to play it on? Spin it on my middle finger real fast? Sigh. Perhaps the blu ray 5.1 mix will arrive next week then. But, we should all get t-shirts made with that slogan – hey, do you see the San Pedro Harbor parked outside your window? Chances are though, by the time I got them made and manufactured – they would end up stuck on the docks or at least heaved about all over the Union Pacific Railroad.
ITEM!! On to television, movies, DVD content:
Since I don’t have a particular alarm clock to wake up to in the mornings anymore ever since working from home – I indulge in a little late week night down memory lane block of retro television. Right now, like I mentioned before when talking about my friend Oliver’s Cerebus film, I’m just finishing up all the Space:1999 reruns streaming on Tubi and following soon after, over on Paramount+, I’m just three episodes shy of completing the entire run of the original Mission: Impossible series that ran for seven seasons- that’s something I’ve never ever attempted before. I really had no interest in that series while growing up. It took me approximately an entire year to watch every single episode that I embarked upon during the first anniversary of the pandemic. NOW I need something to replace those two retro series since it’s still not looking good as to when I can physically go back to the office. I selected both Kolchak: The Night Stalker and The Incredible Hulk – two Universal Studios staple diets shows that absolutely have no streaming presence on Peacock. So I went out and bought these two sets as a sort of celebration of my recent 58th birthday. One caveat that applies to both collections: both pilot Kolchak movies, The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler starring Davin McGavin both scripted by Richard Matheson based on characters created by Jeff Rice are omitted from this collection. Ditto for The Incredible Hulk- as the three tv movies that closed the series; The Incredible Hulk Returns, The Trial of The Incredible Hulk and The Death of The Incredible Hulk are also not included in this HD enhanced picturesque collection. Both series hold a significent place in my heart of childhood memories – I watched a handful of the Kolchak episodes (particularly the werewolf one) at my grandfather’s house down the hill from The Nabisco factory in East Hanover, New Jersey on his big screen television before he went and sold the place. My grandfather would pay my mom to clean his house on Friday evenings when my stepfather wouldn’t allow her to get a job and he was away on business. Sometimes we would stay overnight and then wake up on Saturdays mornings to the aroma of either Oreo Cookies, Nutterbutters, or Vanilla Fingers being baked fresh – but all that sweet nirvana immediately came to a dead halt when my stupid half-sister went into my grandfather’s office when my mom wasn’t paying attention and fucked with his typewriter. The Incredible Hulk was special to me, besides already being a big fan of the Herb Trimpe‘s comic book version, in that star Bill Bixby was really the first big television star that I met as a teenager when I took my first trip out to the West Coast in the summer of 1978. Well, I didn’t actually personally meet him, but rather he approached the tram that I was sitting in during a Universal Studios Tour and came over to say hello to everyone and I thought he was the most coolest guy celeb to see in person. Hard to believe that many years later in the mid 1990’s he was the same guy I ran into again when I worked as a audience participant as he was directing some episodes of Blossom over at Paramount Studios. He was so gaunt and gray looking, the years unfairly stolen from a once handsome middle aged man now fully aware of merely being months away from meeting his end due to cancer. He really worked himself to the end.
Friday nights have become busy as the Zullo clan and I get together for dinner at either Paquito Mas or Pizza Wagon of Brooklyn Pizza in Sherman Oaks before plunging into the two gut-punch streaming hit wonders of both The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+ (a.k.a. Mandalorian Season 2.5) and Peacemaker on HBO Max (hugging eagles and obscure Finnish head metal bands such as Wig Wam are now the new norm).
Ozark is back on Netflix, Jack Reacher debuts next week on Amazon Prime and Apple+ proves to be the best in a streaming bargain with the new season of Servant underway and new mystery/comedy, The AfterParty with Tiffany Haddish taking the lead. Gomorrah, the Italian mob series dropped its’ 10 episodes final season on American shores last Friday on HBO Max.
ITEM! The portion of the program ought to be subtitled “Slaughterhouse on Obsolete Social Media Avenue“. Two weeks ago I got pelted by bots on facebook to do some early spring cleaning of my entire history of posts. It first started with a day suspension because recently I posted some wisenheimer remark about ‘Everytime I see Ohio representative Jim Jordan‘s face, he reminds me of all the Parsippany High School jocks whose ass I wanted to kick’. No big deal, I could do with a time out once in a while. It was a Friday morning suspension and I didn’t really have big things planned social media wise anyway other than posting the weekly photo of my personal wine selection and the accompaning progressive rock 5.1 mix that’s going to go along with it. Once, my suspension ended, I started to get more weird ass notifications that lasted way until the middle of next week – a total of 22 of them with equal weird ass explanations as to why..
Well, here let me show an example as to why…
This notification is for 22 various posts dating back to 2011 – OVER ten years ago with such imparted and valuable wisdom as ‘ROGER STONE is a Cunt’ or “Maxine Waters should walk up to Jim Jordan and punch him in the cunt‘ or anything laying around that pertains to Ann Coulter’s cunt running mouth. It almost seemed like it was a greatest hits package of my best facebook posts. There was even one of someone’s threat towards me that was rejected in the comments section made to me ON THIS BLOG concerning my association with Harry Perzigian that I cared to share with the facebook class that they took down. Who on this good green earth hasn’t called Roger Stone a cunt in their lifetime? He became a cocksniffing puppet stooge of Trump only because the well in Nixon‘s tighty whiteys went dry and that gave him prolonged life in his cuntness.
But here’s the facebook community council rub (community council?? Give me a fucking break – you’re fucking robots) Does the punishment really fit the crime? My posts HAVE ALWAYS BEEN LOWERED IN THE NEWSFEED regardless of whether I’m not causing trouble or not. So what fucking damn difference does it make? Unless you’re one sporting multiple photos displaying a fine bikini wax with brand new percolated double D’s and happen to be in love with Neil Gaiman novels, then low on the totem pole you shall always remain.
See ya next month.
3 thoughts on “YOUR PPGURU ITEMIZED FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION GUIDE to JANUARY 2022”
Oh wow! The Night Stalker and Night Strangler series! We recorded a lot of the TV Night Stalker episodes. I remember watching those old episodes with my late father- just he and I. Great memories. Excellent blog!
Thanks for the kind words. Keep in mind though, Both tv movies weren’t part of the series, but they were two seperate tv movies that led to be spun off into a series. And according to the liner notes included in the blu ray series collection, Darren McGavin decided to cancel his contract due to the network not knowing what to do with the scheduling of the series. The series did not really gain notoriety until the CBS network re-ran the episodes on Friday late nights, including 4 episodes that weren’t originally aired on ABC.