O’ Great Master of Streaming, For I am Not Worthy Part II

16 Sep

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I decided to make this lead up blog to the Emmys weekend a two-parter. Since a great portion of this year’s nominees originated on stream services such as Crackle, Hulu, Netflix, & Amazon Prime, I thought I’d share with you all my modern viewing habits via these streaming services. This easily takes up a lot of time just researching the shows in general and trying to come up with some clever quip or two. Like I stated in part one, this subject was running too long, so it had to clip it in half so I could make my personal goal to post at least two blogs a month. In the first part, I examined and pretty much laid out the reasons why I’m not a Netflix & Chill binge serial rapist and how I rather savor certain series, either available via streaming or dvd sets instead of consuming all any given season episodes of Game of Thrones in one painful bedsore sitting. I also gave examples of how binge watching can lead to serious health risks if not taken in moderation.

With Emmy voting season, comes the onslaught of obtaining as many screeners as possible – an example of what I’m talking about in demonstrated in the pic I took above.

The only shows that I’m willing to double down – EVEN as much as triple down or quadruple down on a one episode on any given weekend are though of the Marvel Comics and ABC Networks persuasion. These shows include Daredevil & Jessica Jones soon to be joined by Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders.

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The reason why these are the exception to the rule is because Marvel has all of a sudden become the topic of water cooler trailer talk. People in surrounding offices and cubicles of where I work now KNOW better to talk in whispers when I’m around when it comes to the Marvel/Netflix series, so I try to consume at least a quarter of the episodes on any weekend spread across a month because they should be treated as SPECIAL EVENTS. The faster I get through them, the sooner my co-workers can talk about them within earshot

But all other Netflix,Amazon Prime, or Hulu  offerings, I only regulate myself to one episode per week. They make up for the gap of not having premium channels in the house as my departed best friend, Harry Perizigian once had in his house- WHICH were all of them (and that bill of his was usually $250 per month) including the Encore channels. Plus more people are ‘cutting the cord’ and defecting their loyalty from their cable companies, because cable companies can’t seem to get it in their noggin, that people want their subscription service: A LA CARTE rather than paying for bundle packages. Heck, here in Los AngelesLA Dodgers fans got their catcher mitts up their ass so bothered that the only way you could watch their games on TV was to be a Time Warner subscriber and they were going to stage a revolution because next year’s season is supposed to be long time announcer Vin Scully’s last season before retiring- but finally a local station KTLA has stepped in to broadcast Vin Scully’s last year behind the mic. HOWEVER, if those games interfere with my CW programming of Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Arrow, I’m going to be mightily pissed off. So fuck you Dodger fans.

Shows that I can only handle of one per week as of this August in the year 2016:

Every Friday night I do a three hour block:

The Last Panthers (hulu) – one thing I’ll say about hulu before being forced to pay for it, is that they have a very impressive library of foreign crime dramas – especially shows such as Spiral and Braquo that are imported from France. I would consider this a third one with the exception that it’s also Serbian. One trepidation about approaching this diamond heist thriller that takes place in Belgium and the south of France that the events that transpire in the opening episode almost echoes the same real life horror terrorist attack that occurred a few months back along the beaches of Nice. It originally aired earlier this year on the Sundance channel and it stars John Hurt and Samantha Morton. The title song from newly dearly departed David Bowie’s final album “Blackstar” serves as the opening theme.

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Stranger Things (Netflix) is from the horror meristems The Duffer Brothers. The show has become such a critical darling that it’s quickly been renewed for a second season, which is tremendous news for Wynona Rider that she can finally afford to buy new clothes again, instead walking out of Sak’s 5th Avenue with the tags still on them. The series is a wonderful homage to the late seventies and early eighties cheesy low budget sci-fi and horror flicks that you used to double or triple down with on your VCR’s and just happens to take itself seriously with all the background character drama that comes attached to it. Think of it as Dark Shadows for the millennials.

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Orange is the New Black (Netflix). I’m now wrapping up the fourth season and it’s been the most riveting one yet. I was nearly to tears on the next to last episode in which features the shocking demise of an endearing character in the most unexpected of ways.

This is a show that definitely delivers more bang for your buck if you’re a subscriber. Each character that comes and exits the show usually leaves a lasting impression and are so deliciously multi-layered and dimensional such as Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba) Red, (Kate Mulgrew), and Tiffany Doggitt (Taryn Manning).  Even supporting cast members have intriguing character studies, specially that of Lori Petty, of whose fate remain unknown since I’ve watch the finale yet.

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I encountered actress Lori Petty from this show at last Sunday’s Los Angeles Comic Book & Science Fiction Convention where she was set up at a table, filling in for Arrow actress, Katie Cassidy who unfortunately called in sick. I happened to ask about her character Lolly Whitehall, whose back story is unusual as a disproven humbled journalist who is forced out in the streets due to circumstances beyond her control and loses all sense of her mental faculties and pushes a shopping cart each morning to serve up her special brew of coffee to other homeless people such as herself until harassed and beaten up by the local police. The flashback ordeal of her story reminded me of a mentally ill woman by the name of Mary Mitchell who pushed a shopping cart near the Miracle Mile district who was doing nothing of minding her own business until she was encountered by police officers and was killed by them when she allegedly charged at them brandishing a rusty screwdriver. Witness said different and that sparked outrage from the citizens, but then these days, it doesn’t take much for the LAPD to enrage the community these days. Ms. Petty didn’t really get what I was referring to and wanted to know if I had twenty bucks for an autograph.

That’s ok – because I doubt Katie Cassidy could answer it either.

Approximately at the end of May when Emmy screener fervor is full swing, some streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime opted NOT to send screeners in roping award love – instead they sent out codes to academy voters to enjoy a three month trial of their service featuring shows that they felt were Emmy worthy. I until the end of this month, so I started watching an episode per week of three of their dramas, Hand of God, Bosch, and Man in the High Castle which is based on the Phillip K. Dick novel that ponders the possibility of what would’ve happened if the United States had not won World War II and if Harry Turtledove would’ve been forced to roam the earth without being properly potty trained.

I got through Man in the High Castle ok, since I had watched the first two episodes last Thanksgiving when Amazon Prime offered them up as a free preview. But the other two, NOT so lucky. Since Bosch & Hand of God (starring Ron Perlman in a not so good role as a demented judge haunted by visions of angels & demons) did not pass the Emmy nomination smell test- they got clipped off the private screener site with only 3 episodes left of each show for me to watch. I really fucking loved Bosch and wanted to recommend Lance Riddick as a contender for a supporting actor role.

So, in this instance, my laid back easy, quick not to binge method – failed me and now I suppose I will be forced to pay $ 13.99 per month like any other schmoe (I’m going to have to since they will be premiering The Tick sometime soon.)

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On Saturdays, I make no omission that I’m rabid animation cartoon watcher. I’m in my fifties now, and I can’t get up at the crack of dawn to watch them early with a bowl of Quisp cereal like I used to – SO now I save them for nighttime!!

Have my cartoon watching now takes place streaming. Fox Sundays such as the Simpsons, Family Guy, & the ever chaotic fun of Bob’s Burgers with the soon to be joined Son of Zorn, along with South Park make good use of hulu subscription. In the past, I’ve also successfully streamed all episodes of Rocky & Bullwinkle for good three years back when I didn’t have to pay for it.

A few animated shows now make the price of Netflix worthwhile and I can think of two examples off the top of my head.

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Voltron Defender of the Universe (DreamWorks/Netflix)  Recently I went eyeball to eyeball with a King Kong animated series which probably I’m the only fan of. When I logged on to my account, I happened to catch the ad for this in my recommendation cue. It’s produced by some of the writers and directors behind The Last Airbender and its’ follow-up The Legend of Korra, (Joaquim Dos Santos, Lauren Montgomery, & Tim Hedrick)   and since I’ve loved their work so much that I followed them to this glorious remake – even though I wasn’t exactly a big fan of the original. It’s a little choppy in some places and maybe as less fluid as Korra, but entertaining nonetheless. I’m sure the characters will grow in time for me, even though I can’t tell the difference between three muscle heads that comprise three/fifths of the Lion’s team.  Word has recently come out supposedly at the last TCA outing that the show has been renewed for a second season to begin streaming at the end of this year.

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Bojack Horseman (Netflix) is probably the best animated series that no one is really watching other than a handful of entertainment industry elitists other than myself. That’s usually love to cajole on the message boards of entertainment industry news websites such as Deadline: Hollywood. or Variety. It’s a series about a once popular sitcom horse actor (Will Arnett) down on his horseshoe luck and his determination to get back on the saddle with the sometime unintentional inebriated help of his no rent paying housemate Todd (voiced by the Path & Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul), his cat agent Princess Carolyn (Stranger With Candy’s Amy Sedaris) & journalist and author of his biography Diane (Alison Brie). The series is engaging filled at both the same time with rapier wit, unique awkward situations and heart laced dialogue (a lot of heart) , that in all intents and purposes serves as the best ever renaissance treatment of anthropomorphism I’ve ever witnessed since I read all those Omaha: The Cat Dancer graphic novels a couple of decades ago . I dare anyone to sample the fourth episode of the current third season and not be affected by its’ sheer masterful brilliance.

One Punch Man (hulu) is another anime show introduced to me through the auspices of Free Comic Book Day which was the same manner in which I found Attack on Titan to pique my curiosity. Although lighter in tone than the gobbling flesh eating giants of AoT, it still carries some of stigmata of grotesqueness, when the underestimated low powered super hero, Saitama manages to practically kill or maim his enemies or invading monsters by the sheer force of….one punch. I watched the original versions with subtitles and kitty cats. A dubbed version has recently been airing on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block. Perhaps mass appeal can help Viz Media to renew it for a second season.

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Thunderbirds Go! (amazon prime) – is an updated version of the classic Gerry Anderson animated series produced by ITV entertainment with CGI effects provided by Weta Workshop. The series has been recently been renewed for another 26 episodes to also premiere by the end of this year. I heard of a DVD set being released of the first season, so I may hold off my idea of subscribing to Amazon Prime until I learn more about it.

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Kulipari: An Army of Frogs is literally a brand new show that just debuted over Labor Day Weekend featuring the voices of Cree Summer, Jess Harnell, Keith David, Lorraine Newman and Mark Hamill and is based on a young adult novel series co-created by ex-NFL Baltimore Ravens defense end Trevor Pryce.

And here I thought athletes had too much cauliflower between their ears, because I thought the premiere episode was pretty good. My attention was first drawn to it at the Red 5 Comics booth (the first publishers of Atomic Robo before defecting to IDW Publishing) down at San Diego Comic Con International  when they were showing a trailer for it. It was impressive enough for me to recall the booth attendant selling point to circle the date on my event calendar and I never seemed to have forgotten it. Sadly, so far, there isn’t much fanfare being rolled out for it.

Also debuting shortly is a new eight episode series of Tarzan & Jane in their tantalizing pubescent teen age adventures provided by 41 Entertainment.

Sunday is a combination of DVD sets, screeners, and streaming. Trying to cram in as much as I can before the Emmys so I can root for them with the knowledge that I’ve seen as much as I can to make a qualified and informative vote.

Chronicles of Shannara (MTV) based on the series of novels by Terry Brooks is not going to win anything. Neither is it nominated for anything of particular. But it should be noted that it’s a low rent version of Lord of the Rings even down to the remote filming location shots of New Zealand created specifically for the zesty teen angst appeal of most MTV video watching zombie. Some of the creature effects are good and appears that the only adults in the room are those played by Manu Bennett (perhaps the only New Zealand native in the cast), James Remar, and John RhysDavies. I do recall preferring to read of a book of the series called the Sword of Shannara when a copy of Lord of The Rings was offered to me by a military couple who used to pay me for a babysitting gig I held in Laguna Beach back in 1978.While watching some scenes in the series does succeed in giving me some familiar de ja vu’ type of vibe.

Outsiders (Sony/WGN) should be successful to filling that Sons of Anarchy sized hole left in your heart after that show died its’ own natural death since it has alum actor Ryan Hurst has a giant meaty sized role in it and motorcycles have now been replaced with Mountain Bikes. The series is beautifully shot in the outskirts of Pittsburgh, and it usually helps a great deal in not having it shot on a soundstage in Los Angeles since the lead star of the show, David Morse hardly likes to leave his residence out Pennsylvania.

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People vs. O.J. Simpson (FX) keeps its’ authenticity by actually filming the mini-series on location in Brentwood. One of the memorable things about once being Harry Perzigian’s roommate was the little tour he gave me of Brentwood that tied in to this grisly murder scene of twenty years back. The Italian restaurant, Mezzaluna where Ron Goldman once worked as a waiter is now a Peet’s Coffee Shop (located across the street from Soup Plantation – a great pricey soup & salad bar franchise located only in the ritzy parts of Los Angeles of which I recognized in the first episode). I’ve walked past Nicole Simpson’s condo plenty of times as it was on its’ way to a Ralph’s located on Wilshire Blvd, and the street that I’ve lived on: Barrington Avenue was where the White Bronco chase began.

The show is a trip to watch having lived close by to this part of Los Angeles history and the actors chosen for their respective parts are absolutely riveting in their roles, especially John Travolta as Robert Shapiro in where he finally gets to reveal his bald spot. Reflecting on David Schwimmer’s role as Robert Kardashian, it kind of makes me wonder: this is how the Kardashians got famous- because they were pals of OJ Simpson, therefore they were allowed to get a table at Chin Chin without making a reservation?

As of this writing, I’m only half through the series.

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Ray Donovan (Showtime) is a great premise four seasons strong about a former Boston mob punk (Liv Schreiber) making a new life for him and his family in Calabasas, California as a Hollywood fixer who covers up celebrity infidelities before they can become gigantic scandals or fodder for trash television until his father, con man Jon Voight (who is a real hoot to watch)  as his father complicates things for him upon his release from prison. Great cast and great easily recognizable Los Angeles locations make this a guilty pleasure. I have a special place in my usual cold black heart when a show that is based in Los Angeles ACTUALLY keeps its’ production in Los Angeles and doesn’t turn out to be a RUNAWAY PRODUCTION because of belt tightening tax breaks, unlike a show that pretends to be a poseur Los Angeles show such as FEAR THE WALKING DEAD   Hopefully by the time I run out of 3rd Season episodes to watch, the 4th will be released on dvd.

Marco Polo (Netflix) – is a stunning piece of foreign television making. It’s distributed by the Harvey Weinstein Company and is filmed mostly in Malaysia based on the classic piece of literature and its’a who’s who  all star cast of the finest actors of Asian and Latin descent including Michelle Yeoh, Rick Yune, Zhu Zhu, Joan Chen, Pierfrancesco Favino, with Benedict Wong (formerly in the movie The Martian and soon to be seen in the Dr. Strange movie as the ever faithful servant Wong)  as the grumpy but always loveable Kublai Khan, with Italian actor Lorenzo Richelmy in the title role. No word as of if the show has been renewed for a third season.

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The Leftovers (HBO) lives up to the hype of what some critics claim to be a ‘masterclass’. This has to be one of the most thought provoking series I ever watched in my life. It’s a series that after careful viewing makes you want to be on guard for ones’ mortality.

The premise of which I will cheat with a Wikipedia definition (I’m running short on time here) goes a little like this:

In a global cataclysm, “The Sudden Departure,” 140 million people disappeared without a trace. Three years later, residents of Mapleton, N.Y., try to maintain equilibrium when the notion of “normal” no longer applies. Intense grief has divided families and turned faith to cynicism, paranoia and madness, leading some of the traumatized to join the Guilty Remnant, a cultlike group. Kevin Garvey, a beleaguered police chief, must keep peace between townspeople and the cult, a task made tougher with concern about his kids. His daughter alternates between apathy and rebellion, and his wayward son befriends a charismatic prophet. “The Leftovers” is based on the best-seller by Tom Perrotta, who is one of the series’ executive producers.
I’ve lent the two seasons to my sister in Las Vegas because the other show runner happens to be Damon Lindelof and this is his new baby since the conclusion of Lost. What’s spectacularly amazing about this show is how it revamp itself from season to season from its’ overall setting. The first season took place entirely in a small New England town bereft of tremendous loss to the second season that takes place in a small militia controlled Texas community that has never experience tremendous, so I’m pondering on what the third and final season will look like and how it will conclude, given that executive producer Perrotta is expanding upon the premise of his original novel beyond the book’s ending.

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American Horror Story (FX)’s cast of ensemble crazies are now led by Lady Gaga, particularly in the fifth season themed ‘Hotel’. Since it’s produced by the same group of guys behind Scream Queens & American Crime Story (and before that: Glee) which also features Emmy winning actress Sarah Paulson who flexed her caricature muscles as Marsha Clark, is a vampire in this incarnation. From what I’ve been hearing about the current season, American Horror Story: Roanoke, it’s a real confusing mish mash of the same actors doing body swaps and parodies nearly every eighties horror film you think of, but somehow I think the Duffer Brothers already tapped that well with Stranger Things.

Personally I don’t see what the big deal is with Lady Gaga. To this day, I have never heard a single song of hers, why she thinks she’s a cross pollination of David Bowie & Madonna, and she has a real unsettling looking face. Grant she can rock the body, but for the most part leaving this screener of halfway done and FOR last on my Sunday night gives me disturbing dreams that has stumbling in on to work looking very well UNRESTED the following morning

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I’m going to leave it here. The Emmys are coming this Sunday and I have log off to handicap my picks for all my social media darlings. Otherwise I would’ve droned on and on about Narcos, The Americans, Walking Dead, The Strain, Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt, Frankie & Gracie, or Master of None.

Perhaps sometime during the November Sweeps.

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Bus promo for the upcoming third and final season of The Strain. Could also double as a very effective tool to ward off Trump supporters. I use it all the time in winning arguments on facebook.

 

 

A Day in 1998 with Art Speigelman

30 Aug

Too much on my plate to finish the second half of my ode to my a la carte streaming habits – plus I’m seeing Yes tonight performing one half of Tales From Topographic Oceans & Relayer in all its’ entirety at the Orpheum Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.

Another lost blog episode from my Comics Buyer’s Guide day. I have no idea why this one didn’t make the cut, but here it all doctored up and updated for today’s hipster evolution.

0,,16249873_303,00  Imagine yourself on an oasis of on the freeway with nothing between you for miles but surrounding mountains, coyotes, mansions and maybe Harlan Ellison’s house. I found myself last Sunday ( the 15th of November ) anxious to attend a lecture given at a tranquil Jewish foundation and museum that I’ve always passed by on the 405 but was never inclined to stop by and visit; ( and further down on the same freeway and nestled on even a higher mountain is the newly opened Getty Center that is only accessible by tram ).

If you’re looking for a little isolation in your comic art indulgence in a place where nobody knows or wants to know your name ( with the exception of those doing the lecturing ),then may I recommend to you the Cartoon Art Cultural Expression and Social Commentary series happening at the Skirball Cultural Center in a very remote area of Los Angeles during this month and the next few months co-sponsored by Comic Con International and the Comics Journal ? I admit I came on the series a little late in the game having missed the Jules Feiffer tribute a few weeks prior, but Art Spiegelman and his travelling lecture slide show Comics 101 made up for lost time.

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A warning sign to patrons to beware of the fact that ” cigarette smoke will be used as part of tonight’s performance ” did not deter from packing in the auditorium. But I didn’t see any reason necessary for the disclaimer; after all the Republicans did lose five seats  in the house so I don’t think our so-called conservative state of California were going to turn on him like a pack of rabid dogs if he decided to spark one up after a few of us paid $ 12.00 a piece to hear him speak ( $ 6.00 if you happened to be a member ). And that’s a small price to pay to breathe in second-hand smoke.

What the general public was treated to was a very informative insight in the history of a taken for granted art-form, and what I mean by the term ” general public ” is by my own personal observation; these people in attendance weren’t your regular run of the mill gathering of fanboys. None at all. Some I’ve noticed seem to be a higher or middle-income bracket, clean-cut high school and college students ( a few overheard in my row were in attendance for class credit ),and just practitioners or admirers of fine art in general. And of course, there were Art’s fans with their copies of Maus and Maus II in tow for autographs.

And who better to tutor the genesis of the comic strip form than Art Speigelman ? During the course of the two-hour lecture, he gave us a brief overview of his own exquisite career in the days of the underground, Garbage Pail Kids, to the debut of Raw and Maus; with a hint of future projects on the horizon such as a junior version of Raw and the revelation that he is writing an opera on the history of comics.

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Not to be mistaken for a pair of biographies on Donald Trump

  Much degree of different of historic importance were explored in Art’s slide show in addition to profound quips and commentary uttered between puffs of tar and nicotine. One such observation according to Mr. Speigelman was that people who do comics serve the purpose of producing transformative work as real artists do and the comics themselves are internally entwined with the history of paintings themselves using such illustrations  such as William Brown’s Stages of Cruelty and Rudolph Topfier as examples. Mr Spiegelman also offered an easy analogy as how comics serve our political ideology through Krazy Kat. Krazy Kat represents democracy because she is always forgiving, Ignatz represents anarchy because he is always clobbering Krazy Kat over the head with a brick, and Officer Pup would stand for fascism because he captures Ignatz every time he smacks Krazy Kat over the head with a brick and therefore is thrown into a cell constructed of brick. I simply the comparisons to be very in tune with the way our world revolves.

Mr.Speigelman shared with us the cogs of how the comic strip industry operates from what advantage point an individual would be positioned in the food chain as to if he or she would be better off trying to break in the comic strip syndicates rather than the comic book industry itself simply because the syndicates are known to pay better. Mr. Speigelman was also kind enough to let us in on a little trade secret about the comic book industry is a major Jewish American industry, created to be more popular than the garment industry and that EC Horror comics were probably the American Jewish response to the Holocaust.

And what partial wisdom did Mr.Speigelman reveal on the current state of the industry besides the comic book stores being nothing but a gathering of Rosicrucians on a Wednesday afternoon? Glad you asked. Mr.Speigelman articulately pointed out that there is a future for a graphic novel section in bookstores, but what the general public doesn’t understand that it takes an artist years to accumulate a piece of work to be collected in graphic novel format. A star is not indeed born overnight. Mr. Speigelman concluded his lecture by saying comic books need protection from libraries and museums in order to preserve into the next century.

 

O’ Great Master of Streaming, For I Am Not Bingeworthy!!

23 Aug

 

 

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Busy, busy month, this August of 2016, and while writing bits and pieces of this blog entry, I realize that I’m sort of overdoing iit n finding some viable time in trying in keeping it cohesive and getting to keep it on schedule so close to Emmy awards time so a last-minute decision came to cutting this entry in half and hopefully I will be able to post the conclusion by this weekend. 

So without further ado…

Too much of a good thing is not healthy for you.

Things such as cigarettes, blenders full of whisky sours, comic books, and a gallon of ice cream. Things like these must be taken in moderation, or at the very least not taken seriously everyday.

Binge watching is also no exception. Too much of it in such short of a time can lead to bouts of depression, a crack cocaine cocktail high lacking of any euphoria, and leave you on the couch with a convulsing fit of story comprehension or remembrance afterward BECAUSE YOU NEED TO HAVE IT ALL AT ONCE!!

You got to spread things out a bit. Stretch out that enraptured enjoyment and not inject it in your withered veins like a decay tooth junkie, otherwise, you’re going to find yourself in a rain-soaked alley, shivering and convulsing like a worthless addict who never accomplished ONE SINGLE GODDAMN thing in your life to MERIT a rightful place in society. Take it in slow doses. Double up on a single series if you have to. But if you try to absorb it all at once, you’re going to have nothing of any satisfying emotion. Spacing out on multiple episodes may pertain to brain damage separating you from the rest of the nerd reality.

Which I actually mean to say is: STOP THAT FUCKING BINGING!! STOP THAT FUCKING BINGING RIGHT THIS VERY INSTANT!!

Let’s paint some ugly scenarios:

An article on http://www.rd.com specifically states:

While binge-viewing can be fun and feel satisfying, there’s always the danger of becoming too obsessed. “Addiction involves doing an activity more than you had planned,” says Fader. “For example, if you intend to watch three episodes of a show and end up watching six, it could be a sign that you’re overdoing it.” Behavior also becomes addictive when it begins to negatively affect other aspects of your life, like if you neglect other activities or responsibilities to binge House of Cards. Fader recommends breaks between episodes and not snacking while you watch, which could lead to mindless overeating. Chatting with fellow fans about the show can also make your binge habit healthier, since it pulls you away from the main screen and allows you to reflect on what you’ve just watched.”
 
If you did nothing else, it would take three full days each to watch every season of How I Met Your Mother, The Good Wife, and Lost, according to recent calculations from Nielsen Holdings, a global information and measurement company. Screening all seven seasons of The West Wing would take nearly five days. The most time-consuming series was suspense thriller 24, which would take six days and two hours to watch back to back. If those numbers don’t cause you to question your binging habits, consider how much brain-time you lose if you binge multiple series.
 
Binge-viewing tends to be a pretty isolating activity, according to a study by Marketcast, an entertainment research firm, which found that 56 percent of bingers prefer to watch alone; 98 percent watch at home. “Whenever you spend too much time on something, you’re taking time away from other essential things in life, like hanging out with friends or working,” Lyubomirsky says. But, if you get into a show with your partner or pals, experts argue it could bring you closer. “It gives you a common ground for talking about something—the characters’ motivations, the plot,” says Rutledge. “Discussing your thoughts on these aspects of a show is a way of expressing your own world view.” Using a wildly popular series as a conversation topic can possibly help you relate to others more easily.
Here’s another from USA Today:

Most people are guilty of sitting in front of the TV and binging or watching episode-after-episode of a favorite TV show, but can you imagine watching TV for 94 hours straight?

A New York man recently did just that. Alejandro “AJ” Fragoso’s 94-hour binge was set up and funded by multimedia software company CyberLink, and earned him the Guinness World Record for TV Binge Watching.

But the 25-year-old learned that non-stop binge-watching isn’t all fun and games.

“I learned that binge watching TV for abnormally long durations can be quite physically taxing,” Fragoso said in a statement.

So how bad is sitting in front of a TV or laptop for hour-after-hour?

Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in N.Y., gave Fragoso a pre-binge checkup and a post-checkup to see what effect a multi-hour binge has on the body.

He said that Fragoso had an elevated heart rate and noted that depriving the body of sleep can also result in neurological side-effects like acute hallucinations.

“If you think about the binge, you are sitting down sometimes for 20 hours and watching 15 episodes, you are doing a lot of damage to your body,” Glatter said.

Just like we’ve become aware of the adverse health effects associated with sitting all day at work, the same can be said of sitting down to binge, according to Glatter.

And it’s not great for your waistline either.

Prolonged sitting tends to increase insulin levels, which is the hormone that promotes fat storage and weight gain,” he said.

He notes that being inactive for long periods of time also raises the risk of a slew of health concerns including metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Glatter said he’s had patients come into the emergency room with dizziness and symptoms that almost mirror vertigo from prolonged screen time.

Glatter said Fragoso was likely able to break the binge-watching record in part because of his Mediterranean diet, which helped keep his blood sugar stable.

If you have to binge, here’s what you can do to decrease the damage:

  • Take 10-15 minute stretching breaks each hour
  • Sit on an exercise ball and engage your core while watching TV or rotate standing and sitting
  • Look away from the screen often and focus on something else to lessen digital eye strain

I may consider myself a binge watching denier – as I only regulate myself to an episode per week on most shows.However, I try to cram an episode of seven different series on any given night

Harkening back to my days of Hazeltine Hellmouth – (a capsule blog review of my tumultuous days with amateur porn actress Rikki Lixxx appeared here) – there was a neighbor of mine named Jeff  who I’d like to appoint as the progenitor of bingewatching before it even became a distant cog in our syntax. HE made the adulterous slang phrase “NETFLIX and chillBEFORE EVEN NETFLIX EVER EXISTED. Whenever I’d bring home a dvd season set of a popular WB or Marvel animated cartoon show from the Warner Bros or Disney studio stores of where I’d get a 50% employee discount, he’d always be knocking on the door wanting to borrow them. (“I know you got new stuff in there. I saw you bringing up the bags”) I’d say no, but you can borrow this one instead of a set I finished weeks earlier. Then he’d ask me, ‘well when are you going to be finished with THAT one?’ I’d always tell him: ‘well, I just started this one last week, and I’ve got twelve episodes left to go.’ Then: ‘well, how long is it GOING to take for you to finish that, three hours?’ No, I only watch one episode per week’ Bafflement on his face would ensue: ‘oh c’mon man, it’s a fucking dvd. It will take you three hours to polish them off. Man, stop hoarding the good stuff from your buddies

“No.

I watch one episode per week. And you’re not borrowing it, BECAUSE I believe in not allowing anyone to devirginize my dvds other than me. They go in automatic rotation on the CARY COATNEY NETWORK the following Saturday from when once they’re received.”

“The Cary Coatney what now-?”

THE CARY COATNEY NETWORK… y’know, CCN??

The television station that I’m manager of….INSIDE MY OWN HEAD??!!

Because, my mind runs itself like a television station. AND it seems as if the rest of society is in the same lockstep with me. I set the times, select the shows to put in the queue and every weekend, I’m off to the imaginary cable television races.

I have to compensate to keep up with others who can afford cable television, since I’ve never paid a solidary dime for my own cable unless I’m siphoning it off of someone else.

Another reason I would hold out on Jeff was because I didn’t want to take the chance of having my DVDs coming back with scratches and smudges on them unless it was a manufacturer defeat, then I would have no one else to blame but myself.

Oh, and don’t forget – SPOILER ALERT. Lend someone a dvd of a hit show before you and chances are, ENDINGS OR CRUCIAL PLOT POINTS MAYBE BE BLOWN FOR YOU!!

Look, WITH THOSE who intend to accomplish great things with their lives- don’t have time for appointment television these days when they go spend those precious prime time hours trying to make their deadlines to their comic book projects, performing live before a studio audience, or trying to get this blog posted before the mid-month deadline. THE rest of you do nothing degenerates who have no plans in this lifetime to do nothing but bong hits MUST MAKE IT APPOINTMENT TV because we rely on you to keep certain network shows on the air for the sake of ratings (and if Agents of SHIELD must be renewed for a fifth season, then so be it).

But for the rest of us super spectacular go-getters. Netflix, Amazon Prime, & Hulu were tailor-made for the consummate entertainment industry professional who has no time but to contribute to the arts and take a much deserved sabbatical on Sunday to catch up with his or hers favorite shows.

BUT JEFF – you see he had no time but wanting to consume my DVDS because of SPORTS games interfered with his APPOINTMENT TELEVISION TIME and relied on me for continuous back up, therefore the JEFF NETWORK suffered from too much scripted program pre-emption.

So we are forced to do nothing but to run our lives likes a television network. WE make our own time to sit down and be our own traffic managers to ephemerally absorb and try to catch up with the latest water cooler chatter while having one foot in another parallel world shying away from spoiler alerts leaked on the internet.

Thinking back, perhaps one good thing I could contribute back to my uproarious days with Rikki whatever her name is these days is that perhaps without even realizing it, we could have considered ourselves the original progenitors of the binge watching experience. Rikki liked to rifle through my dvd collection also and she would insist on watching with each dvd set that was released of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” w9dHi6lJHa8KKZdnLRZvYy3dVOFWe must have gone through at least a DVD season set per week over the coarse of a month (the show has recently been given a green light for a record breaking ninth season – which would make it the longest running scripted HBO show in history)  – so Rikki and I weren’t just spending all that time in her bungalow simply going though the motions of ham fisted handjobs and courageous cunnilingus bouts of derring-do.

Alas, those days are gone.

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The advent of streaming can sometimes be a hindrance or a great boon to your television show absorption.

Personally I prefer a combination of both DVD season sets and streaming on the sites to mix and match

For shows such as The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones; I like buying the season sets because I want the whole experience of listening to commentaries, video diaries on how talent views on how their characters progress from season to season and give insight on how the whole production comes together.

Whenever I got sick of squinting my eyes at the microscopic tablet that a relative bought me that went along with my cellular plan, I go around knocking on fellow television/movie industry colleagues and ask around for season set screeners, IF I don’t feel the show is worth buying at your local Target or Best Buy whenever perusing through the weekend circular sales.

In part two, EVEN though I don’t count myself as a member of the LUNATIC BINGE society – I’m just as equally guilty when I try to juggle multiple storylines at once. An insight on how my summer weekends leading to the Emmy Awards can take its toil on my peepers and the vice challenges that could easily affect one own’s health.

Plus a list of my favorite streaming shows.

 

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A Storyteller of Precise Angles And Forces

31 Jul

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I submitted this piece about the handful of times I hung out with Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Kung Fu writer and Logan’s Run co-creator George Clayton Johnson for hopeful publication to the San Diego Comic Con International 2016 souvenir program book. Unfortunately it didn’t make the cut, probably due that three or four other people had already beaten me to the punch with tributes written about George and the untimely passing of Darwyn Cooke which occurred just before Memorial Day (of which his last project, Future Quest, a tribute to the Hanna Barbara action heroes was conceptualized before his death was already covered in the Jonny Quest tribute blog posted a few months ago) that probably contributed to being pushed aside. However, a photo or two from this entry made it in the final edition, so I guess that’s just as good as compensation.

Anyway, with the format, I could make it a little bit longer with some photos of a recent trip I took down to Laguna Beach to investigate the area where George was a co-owner of a somewhat historical and controversial coffee shop that once existed in the late 1950’s through the early 60’s called Café Frankenstein which looked a little something like this:

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It wasn’t long to be on this earth as the local police had to constantly be called to the premises as local resident complaints festered concerning the use of drug paraphernalia (spiking the coffee with brandy) and public acts of nudity which landed George Clayton Johnson in jail on occasion. They were persecuted by a local church group for using the Frankenstein Monster on stained glass. The coffee shop also ran a bookstore consisting of banned book and were probably piled ceiling high with William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac books. 

Upon my investigation, I discovered I had more in common with George than I originally thought. This café was a not even a half a block away from the street corner I used to hang out in Laguna Beach down the street from an aunt of mine’s cottage from where supposedly Timothy O’Leary first started introducing LSD to the masses of delinquent Orange County beatniks. Also, songwriter Steve Gillette of folk group,  the Stone Poneys, an acquaintance of my twin aunts both living there in the 1970’s, wrote and performed songs on the store front’s porch.

A recreation of the coffee shop was constructed for the San Diego Comic Fest, a moderate gathering of the old San Diego Comic Con alumni held every February with help from designer Wendy All who helped with restoring some of the stained glass artwork.

Here is the original text for the 2016 Comic Con International Souvenir Book that probably never got the chance to pass the editor’s smell test.   

I recently came back from a fan memorial tribute held over at one of Hollywood’s most oldest and prestigious luxury movie revival houses called the Egyptian Theater, knowing much more about the man I’m going to say a few words about than what I knew then.

His once writing partner and best friend, William F. Nolan summed it up most eloquently during the presentation concerning his best friend, legendary lauded ‘fictioneer’, George Clayton Johnson: ‘Getting old is s@#t!!’

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Perhaps ‘perpetually old’ is the way I’ll always remember my first meeting with George. Old, as in if ‘old wise and powerful sage’ had  allowed an unintentional mentor into my life and had easily departed just the same leaving me completely spellbound as if Don Juan stepped tirelessly into material form as from out of an old Carlos Castaneda book that I would check out quite frequently from the library in my New Jersey youth from time to time.

George Clayton Johnson was a modern-day sorcerer seen usually adorned in an orange double downed goose feathered vest and a straw hat, had by chance nonchalantly took it upon himself to sit down next to me at a porch table at an early nineties San Diego Comic Con party held in the unlikely of all places, at a golf driving range in the middle of downtown San Diego (which was directly parallel to the Santa Fe Depot). His first words to me were to ask if he could bum a cigarette off me. For the price of that cigarette, he began enthralling me with tales of transcendence hovering between the metaphysical scales of life and death, and writing for television shows, particularly at some point a yearning to pitch to the X-Files.  Weird combination of subjects interweaving in an out, thinking to myself but there was no way I could bring myself to cut him off because he seemed to articulately knew what the hell he talking about even as I sat there looking back at him with a blank stare of befuddled comprehension of how I could possibly keep up with his meandering tangent.

I didn’t know who the heck he was at first, but he kept bumming cigarettes from me and I, like an attentive inquisitive child kept listening to these stories woven by him for like three hours or at least until the pack of smokes ran out. Then the announcement rang out that they were closing off the no host bar. I realized I was having so much fun listening to him. He reminded me was like the wacky relative I had yearned for all my life.

However I do remember him dropping the bomb on me that he was the co-author of the book based on the film Logan’s Run.

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Interesting bit of trivia mentioned by William Nolan: the first draft of Logan’s Run was torpedoed out in the matter of ten days during the mid-sixties, written completely in a Malibu beach motel room 24/7 with either William or George getting up to get food or cigarettes at a county market (most likely the Trancas Market – if I’m estimating my geography correctly) while the other remained in the room to pound away on the manuscript. It was practically a twenty four hour operation of conscious thought of making it up as they went along.

That revelation put me on a higher plateau of respect for this stranger. I loved Logan’s Run as a kid. It was one of my favorite movies of all time while growing up. Wasn’t really too crazy about the cheesy television adaptation though. Before too long I also learned he had penned a handful of classic Twilight Zone episodes, specifically the one that gave a young actor by the name of Robert Redford his first big break portraying a very young “Death” in a form of a hapless pacifist rookie policeman.

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He asked me of my age and I responded to him I think my ‘life clock’ had just freshly ran out. Then I remember him narrowing his eyes at me and asked, ‘well, now that you’re thirty – do you feel any different from when you were, say, twenty or twenty-five’

I responded with some trepidation revealing that “I feel somewhat wiser now that I’m talking to you” even as all around us, the party was closing down for the night. Just before I thought we were going to depart with a gentlemanly handshake, he handed me a comic book that he written called “Deepest Dimension Terror Anthology” and I couldn’t help notice it was published by Revisionary Press, a small publishing imprint owned by a frequent letter writer to the Comics Buyers’ Guide (ditto for me as a contributor) named Jay Allen Sanford. I later told him about this crazy idea I had in my head about a private investigator who only took cases on in the afterlife (that same character later became the future focus of my self-publishing venture called the Deposit Man) that made the wizened sage talk to me for another twenty minutes as we were walking down a downtown city street. I think the concept appealed to his sense of storytelling modus operandi. He had a fascination with subjects of life transcendent unto death, but in real life, was quick enough to shy away from it himself.

I would run into George over the years at San Fernando Valley local events such as birthday parties held at bookstores such as Dark Delicacies in Burbank or at the Mysterious Book Store in Glendale which was where I got to see him one final time while taking a hooky day from the con last year.

There was even a time when I ran into George aboard a LA transit bus in Studio City wondering how in the heck he missed the stop at the corner of Laurel Canyon Blvd and Magnolia Blvd running late for a Duttons’ bookstore signing. Seeing as how he was a little disjointed, I had to get back on the bus with him and help show him where it was. Sometimes he knew me by name and sometimes he didn’t. All I had to do to bring a copy of my comic book, The Deposit Man and he would be reminded “Well, yes – I like that book. You wrote that?”

There was something that George’s son Paul said during that Egyptian Theater panel which particularly resonated with me: ‘didn’t you feel that my father somehow knew each and every one of you? He loved people. He didn’t care whether you were rich or poor or what background you came from. He loved everybody and would talk to you as if you were his equal. He was a child from the depression. He was raised to be that way.’ Paul nailed it perfectly. THAT’s exactly how I felt when I first met his father. A man of such prominence sitting down with me to converse with a nobody such as myself and had carried on an enlightening conversation as if I was amongst his peers.

I’d like to think that his uncanny ability to speak on a myriad of subjects   must have had some profound effect on me; because whenever I sit down to write dialogue for my independent comic book, The Deposit Man, I find myself dialoging  in all sorts of tangible directions, never pausing once to throw out the kitchen sink. Hanging out in brief intervals with George at various conventions and gatherings WAS the living embodiment of stepping into a guided tour of the Twilight Zone.

Aside from an autographed book of Twilight Zone scripts and treatments that he wrote, I really don’t know much of his later outputs other than hearing from a couple of tearful eulogies presented by his grandchildren at the Hollywood tribute event that he used to assist them with writing their own stories.

One of the things, I plan on investigating further as soon as I put this tribute to bed, is to investigate the interesting stories I heard about the coffee shop that he used to co-own along the Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach called the Frankenstein Café, just to see what is in standing in its’ place this day. I lived briefly in Laguna Beach in my teens but I’d never heard of that place (I do remember a bookstore named  Fahrenheit 451 after Ray Bradbury on that same street, Coincidence perhaps, seeing as George professed to have been his protégé).

The above four images are approximately where George was once a co-owner of a coffee shop/beatnik hangout called Café Frankenstein. The physical address of 860 Pacific Coast Highway no longer exists, it is now a parking lot and motor repair shop. The closest street corner would have been Cleo Ave and the Pacific Coast Highway which INCIDENTALLY was the corner of where I used to hang out the most in the summer of 1978 before starting my freshman year of high school reading my comic books and checking out the surf chicks. The pictures were taken recently this past July 4th weekend. It’s pretty much the same way I remembered it with the difference only being that the Ralph’s used to be an Albertson’s and the Taco Bell was a mere take out shack before getting bulldozed over to be made into condos.

The last time I saw George at Comic Con was at the Bradbury memorial tribute panel in 2014, so when I heard he wasn’t making it last year due to ill-health, I had to head back home for that one last birthday celebration. He told me last summer at that party that he wanted nothing more than to be here with the rest of us, but the doctors rejected any type of strenuous travel.

Cheers forever to this phenomenal sorcerer of storytellers and I give thanks for some of the craziest mystical pep talks we shared. My convention experiences may have altered, but the cosmos await him to forge on with old friends long lost seen.

Cary Coatney has worn many hats in the past twenty or so years in the industry. He’s been a retailer, a department head for this convention, a contributor to Comics’ Buyer’s Guide, a studio lackey, and now currently does his day-to-day routine as a residual consultant for many of the Hollywood union area guilds. He self publishes a comic book called the Deposit Man only when he feels like it.  

OF WINE, WOMEN, AND POST PROGRESSIVE SOUNDS – A GUIDE TO The HEROINES of K-SCOPE MUSIC

18 Jul

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Firm, but fun, short and sweet blog entry this week due to this week’s Comic Con International.

The girls of K Scope Music.

2016 has been a very heavy banner year for female singers this year on the mighty K Scope Music. This year, the post progressive sounds started out with a bang with January’s The Anchoress debut album up to last month’s second outing by the husband/wife duo of Se Delan. In this blog entry, here are five distinct mini-spotlights on woman singers & instrumentalists that are featured on the greatest music label of all time.

  1. Lee Douglas (Anathema) has the utmost uncanny ability to make men instantly ‘tebow’ before her during any given Anathema performance and make them propose marriage foolishly while bent on knee. Trust me, as the only female out of this whole group I’ve seen perform live, mens’ hearts instantly go all aflutter when she takes the stage. They listen attentively and then once she slinks back into the shadows to allow the Cavanagh brothers to take over with their hypnotic techno and layer building minimalist riffs, the heavy metal libido will once again fill the room. Then when they bring her out again the savage beast is calmed instantly again with the audience’s shoulders swaying back and forth as bic lighters are lit to make the scene more cinematic as lightning bugs who escape their captivity from airpoked jars. And you can’t help but be moved by the harmonic melding of camaraderie of strangers, especially when you have such an emotional song such as the title track of their 2004 album, A National Disaster to support the need for convergence from a song that first introduced Lee coming out front and center. A song so poignant, that the Cavenagh brothers had no choice but to feature Lee as a later co-conspirator in their new musical direction that they later undertake on the next three albums, “We’re Here Because We’re Here, Weather Systems, and Distant Satellites – equating Lee as a gifted lyrist and a valuable band member in her own right.

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One of the most moving songs you’ll ever hear in your lifetime.

2. Belinda Kordic (Crippled Black Phoenix & Se Delan)

I was having a facebook conversation one day with Jason Bonham Experience lead vocalist, James Dylan asked me out of the blue. “Coatney, for as long as I’ve known you on facebook, you’ve always had this unique eclectic taste in music. Always out discovering new kind of sounds, You’ve always known of these hit bands BEFORE they even became hit bands (in addition to progressive rock I always had my headphones buried into, I WAS probably the only guy in my high school listening to new wave acts such as SOFT CELL, PET SHOP BOYS, THE CURE, and the HUMAN LEAGUE. I had heard “Don’t You Want Me Baby” countless times during Scott Muni’s WNEW-FM Friday edition of British Things way before it became an US Dance hit.). What are your recommendations these days?”

We were having this conversation on a tour bus – well, actually he was facebooking me from the tour bus and immediately upon hearing of his question,thought of this husband wife duo who go by the name of Se Delan as that they were releasing a new album called Drifter at the time this conversation was taking place.

And I came to serenade James with this apt description of them: ‘imagine a parallel seventies rock universe  if Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, & John Bonham got so fucking fed up with Robert Plant’s freakin’ shenanigans after the release of their classic fourth album and just decided to kick his arse to the Johnnie Walker empty bottle curb and then turned around to ask guest vocalist Sandy Dennis, who sang a duet with Robert on the song “The Battle of Evermore” to continue as their lead vocalist- that is what Se Delan sort of sounds like.

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I don’t exactly know if that stretched out scenario actually grabbed James’ attention, but Se Delan certainly grabbed my attention with their debut album two years ago entitled The Fall with this particular video and single called “Chasing Changes.”

Belinda and her husband Justin Greaves were involved in a previous band together called Crippled Black Phoenix of which some of its’ back catalogue is now readily available on K-Scope Music. However, Se Delan is a personal project of theirs meshing together their mutual interests of music, life, and film. Their new album Drifter is a fascinating collection of songs that look at the hollowing descent into mental madness.

3. Catherine Anne Davies. (Simple Minds, The Anchoress, Paul Draper) is a relatively new girl on the block, but she seems to have racked up plenty of kudos during her freshman tenure so far with last January’s release of her debut Confessions of A Romance Novelist under the guise of The Anchoress which is getting a ton of glowing reviews and has been compared by NPR as Wales’ answer to Lana Del Rey. She spent most of last year as a touring side guitarist and auxiliary keyboardist for long time new wave stalwarts Simple Minds and also has worked with the likes of both Peter Murphy and the London Symphony Orchestra. Former Mansun lead singer Paul Draper produced Catherine’s debut disc and it sold so well, that a second release is more than imminent in the near future. In return, Catherine helped Draper with some of his songs for a forthcoming solo album, some have which now appear on Draper’s brand new EP debut. aptly titled “EP ONE“of which his debut single “Feeling My Heart Run Slow” from the EP ONE is charting well, and also features a collaboration with Steven Wilson on a track called “No Idea“.

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Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, PhD and producer Catherine Anne Davies (aka The Anchoress) sums up her debut album’s overall concept as “deconstructing normative ideas of love and romance”, with each song sung by a different character – “what you might call a musical ghost writing of sorts”. You can hear this distilled in the Prince-inspired feminist manifesto ‘One For Sorrow’ that questions the concept of marriage. There’s a different take on infatuated obsession in the album’s title track, whereas the album’s narrator ironically references her “bedroom shrine to Margaret Thatcher”. Meanwhile, ‘You And Only You’ – an anthemic ode to being better off alone – features the distinctive operatic indie-wail of Mansun’s Paul Draper, who co-produced the album with Catherine.

(Above paragraph was Wikipedia fixed)

By watching the following video, you can immediately tell it’s a tasteful homage to Kate Bush’s first ever video “Wuthering Heights.”

4. Jana Carpenter (Sweet Billy Pilgrim) in addition to being the band’s guitarist, is also an actress, appearing on popular British shows such as Doctor Who, Agatha Christie’s Marple, and Superstorm. In addition to acting and before joining Sweet Billy Pilgrim in 2010 she was also a guitarist for county folk act Piefinger.  

Sweet Billy Pilgrim @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

Jana Carpenter

Sweet Billy Pilgrim are an English genre spanning band, who are also composed of bassist/banjo player Anthony Bishop, guitarist and singer Tim Elsenburg, and drummer/percussionist Alistair Hamer. Often described as Rock, Folk Rock, Folktronica, Americana, Alternative, Art Rock, Electronica, Pop or Prog, they describe their sound as “Thrash Pastel”. Jana is the only American born prancing around in this pantheon of post progressive rock talent.

(The above paragraph was Wikipedia fixed.)

Once you put their latest platter called Motorcade Amnesiacs  on your turntable or CD player, be prepared to be transported to the magical era of hard rocking clever blues, folk, and 70’s infectious style hooks quite reminiscent of the days of the J. Geils Band, Average White Band, or INXS with just enough smattering of surprise endings that will make you instantly clamor for more.

I was a little late to the party for this one. I literally just picked up this albums just a few days ago. They have a very clever video to go with their single ‘Sling Shot Grin’ that employs the idea of verse and chorus as a mode of communication breakdown between random quarreling couples. You may see a familiar face in this video: actress Kama Sutra’s Indira Varma, who currently has a recurring role on “Games of Thrones.”

It’s just been announced that K-Scope Music will be re-issuing the three-fourths quartet from Aylesbury ‘s debut album from 2004, “We Just Did What Happened and No One Came…”

5. Marjana Semkina (iamthemorning)

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They are from Russia and I’ve been very, very unlucky in locating both of their albums in the US, so pardon me if I get a few things unclarified in my brief summary.

I love the story of how they came to be: Vincent Cavanagh of Anathema saw a little lady in serious danger of getting trampled to death in a rush to the stage at one of their shows in St. Petersburg and immediately grabbed her to pull her up on stage. In thanks for saving her life, little Marjana put a copy of hers’ and her pianist collaborator Gleb Kolyadin’s first album in his hands. After Daniel listened to the album, he stormed into K-Scope Music A & R head honcho’s Johnny Wilkes’s office and demanded that this duo got signed to the level. Then within a span of few years, the duo became known as iamthemorning, named after a song on the much missed defunct band angst punk band Oceansize’s debut album. They’ve worked on their second album entitled ‘Belighted” with Tori Amos’ producer Marcel van Limbeek as well as their newly released “Lighthouse”. Both albums feature guest performances by fellow Porcupine Tree alumni drummer Gavin Harrison and bassist Colin Edwin along with Riverside’s vocalist Mariusz Duda and were recorded both in Moscow and in London.

As the above video demonstrates, Semkina is today’s definitive version of what a siren’s cry luring a sailor to sea should sound like accompanied by the graduatory piano talents of Saint Petersburg Conservatory’s own Gleb Kolyadin which leads you to a mind blowing exploration of the perfect amalgamation between pop and chamber music.

Well, that’s it for this week. Next month, Yes will be in my hometown touring with full lengths performances of both the Drama & half of Tales of Topographic Oceans. Maybe I should plan a special Yes Log accordingly.

I Leave you with this bonus video: “The Dirge” by Se Delan which serves as the backdrop theme for their first album; ‘The Fall.”

The Mighty May Ratings Sweeps Comic Book Show Super Showdown

30 Jun

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It’s been a bitch assembling this one. This is my second stab at drafting this particular entry once I had realized that most of the data had been ‘quick fixed’, so that first appearances were at first quite deceptive. NOT in this entry I clipped all my weekly are my L + SD relay races facebook postings and INSTEAD concentrated on giving you the real competition that most avid viewers only care about: the L +3 and the L +7 delayed viewings.  Not that I personally agree with it, since delayed viewings doesn’t really pay the network bills, BUT many of you are so adamant that this is the tell all on how popular shows are, BECAUSE we’re all a binge watching nation and we’re desensitized nor TEFELON proof to appointment television.

Certain ads have expiration dates. For example: what if Circus Vargas were advertising a string of dates of circuses happening in your town during a episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD? By the time you get to watch to that episode two weeks later on your DVR, you realize, ‘oh shit, I’ve could’ve gone to the circus instead of staying home and watching that fucking stupid damn mediocre episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’. But on the other end, Circus Vargas is looking at the Nielsen overnights and are saying to themselves: ‘oh shit, what a jackoff pile of cash we wasted on advertising on that show that NOT ENOUGH people tuned in to’. THEREFORE they lost revenue. And you, my friend, are responsible for cockblocking commerce in your own town because of your foolish selfish bingeing unworthy ways.

So NEXT TIME be sure you make it – APPOINTMENT television. Okay? Otherwise the circus will never come to your town.

Look, it’s these decadent habits is how we lost on a bid for a third season of Agent Carter, ok? Many people thought if they could squirrel away on all of the 10 episodes that were airing last winter AND THEN watch them in all of one sitting – like people were doing with Daredevil and Jessica Jones on NETFLIX- that they would be rewarded with an immediate third outing for next year were sadly SORELY ASSED mistaken. If people had rallied around the their hi def tvs and followed their TV GRIDS to the exact letter of when the show was going to air (And ABC were forced to double down with some two hour blocks themselves because of certain news events such as the State of the Union address that they would lag behind the mid-season schedule of AoS) – it could’ve been still with us today. Although, the show showed significant improvements in the L +7 rankings, it didn’t score enough of a retention percentage wise ( if I remember correctly, it averaged  up to 69% during February sweeps) BECAUSE people were under the impression that were going to save the entire season on their TiVo or Android devices and watch it in one setting and all will be right in the world.

But then one man’s junk is another man’s treasure to some – CW’s iZombie must have felt that delayed viewing low ranking bad dog feeling too as it was only given a renewal for a very shortened third season on a lease to not start airing in 2017 after a near full 2nd season failed to ignite higher numbers.

In addition to providing you with the ratings race war on Broadcast L +3, Broadcast L +7, Cable +3, Cable L +7,  and the final rankings of how all the comic book genre shows performed, I’m going to provide some data on how well the second season of Daredevil performed and a look at how the summer fare is performing so far. it’s not just a fall to spring season anymore – Comic book genre related shows are now escalating to air ALL YEAR ROUND!!

And now let the battles begin…

Up first…

The Cable Rounds L +3

For pretty much 3 out of the four sweeps weeks, it was pretty much dominated by “Fear The Walking Dead” which is loosely based on the Walking Dead comic book, but only in slight passing mention. Last year, I didn’t even bother tracking it since all of the characters were created exclusively for the show, but since they do mention events that happened in the flagship series, I allowed it to be counted. As you can see, the premiere of Preacher didn’t have enough of an impact to knock it out of first place, but just enough to jar it some (and as of this posting, it just earned its’ second season renewal for thirteen additional episodes. Fear the Walking Dead was preyed mostly upon by the NBA championship games (do they have to run stupid asinine basketball finals lasting a fucking month long?)

“Fear the Walking Dead” has a 3.3 in 18-49 after three days and had the week’s biggest growth in both adults 18-49 (+1.2) and viewers (+2.16 million).

Top 25 cable shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for April 25-May 1, 2016

2 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +3 18 -49 rating 3.3

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 viewers for April 25-May 1, 2016

2 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +3 Viewers (000’s) 6958

Adults 18-49 total gain

1 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD 2.1   L +3 3.3   Increase 1.2 %   increase 57%

Viewers total gain

1 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +SD (000’s) 4803   L +3 (000’s) 6958  L +3 Increase (000’s) 2155   % Increase 45%

“Fear the Walking Dead” once again had the week’s biggest total increases, growing by 1.3 points in adults 18-49 (2.0 to 3.3) and 2.51 million viewers.

Top 25 cable shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for May 2-8, 2016

2 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC 3.3

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 viewers for May 2-8, 2016

2 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC  6924

Adults 18-49 total gain

1 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC   L +SD 2.0   L +3  3.3   L +3 Increase 1.3   % Increase 65%

Viewers total gain

1 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L + SD (000’s)   4414   L +3 (000’s) 6924   L +3  Increase (000’s) 2510   % Increase 57%

Fear the Walking Dead” was the top gainer again, going from 1.9 to 3.1 and edging “Game of Thrones” for the top spot. The AMC show also had the biggest viewer gain, adding 2.3 million people.

Top 25 cable shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for May 9-15, 2016

2 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC 3.1

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 viewers for May 9-15, 2016

2 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC 6784

Adults 18-49 total gain

1 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L+SD 1.9  L +3  3.1   L+3 Increase 1.2  % Increase 63%

Viewers total gain

1  FEAR THE WALKING DEASD   L +SD ( 000’s) 4486   L +3 (000’s) 6784   L +3 Increase (000’s)  2298   % Increase 51%

NBA playoff games occupied six of the Top 8 spots in both the 18-49 and rankings. “Fear the Walking Dead” had the biggest viewer growth, adding 2.28 million people

Top 25 cable shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for May 16-22, 2016

5 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC 3.0

10 PREACHER – Premiere AMC 1.6

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 viewers for May 16-22, 2016

5 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +3 (000’s) 6663

9 PREACHER – Premiere AMC  L +3 (000’s) 3820

Adults 18-49 total gain

1t FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +SD 1.9  L +3  3.0   L +3 Increase 1.1  % Increase 58%

4 PREACHER – (Premiere) AMC L +SD 0.9   L +3  1.6   L+3 Increase 0.7   % Increase 78%

Viewers total gain

1 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC   L +SD (000’s) 4388   L +3 (000’s) 6663   L +3 Increase (000’s) 2275   % Increase 52%

3 PREACHERPremiere AMC  L +SD (000’s) 2380   L +7 (000’s) 3820   L +3 Increase 1440   %Increase 61%

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Live +7

Game of Thrones” had the highest 18-49 rating in Live +7 for the week of April 25-May 1, but “Fear the Walking Dead” closed the gap a little from the same-day tally

The Top 25 gainers (including ties) in the Live +7 ratings for April 25-May 1, 2016 are below. The rankings include first-run, regular series and specials only, not repeats.

Adults 18-49 – total gain

1 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD 2.1  L +7 3.5  7 Day Increase 1.4  7 Day % Increase 67%

Adults 18-49 – percentage gain

Viewers – total gain

1 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD (000’s) 4803  L +7 (000’s) 7408   L +7 Increase (000’s) 2605  7 Day % Increase 54%

L +7 DATA for FEAR THE WALKING DEAD May 2 – 8 has been made unavailable

Viewers – percentage gain

Fear the Walking Dead” added 1.5 points to its adults 18-49 rating (1.9 to 3.4), edging the 1.4-point bump for “Game of Thrones” (3.9 to 5.3). The two switched places in the viewer race.

The Top 25 gainers (including ties) in the Live +7 ratings for May 9-15, 2016 are below. The rankings include first-run, regular series and specials only, not repeats.

Adults 18-49 – total gain

1 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC   L +SD 1.9   L +7 3.4   L +7 Increase 1.5   L +7 % Increase 79%

Adults 18-49 – percentage gain

Viewers – total gain

2 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC   L +SD (000’s) 4486   L +7 (000’s) 7292   L +7 Increase (000’s) 2806   L +7 % Increase (000’s) 63%

Viewers – percentage gain

11 WYNONNA EARP SYFY   L +SD (000’s) 404   L +7 (000’s) 823   7 Day Increase (000’s) 419   7 Day % Increase 104%

Wynonna Earp had a rare showing this week. According to a conversation I had with creator behind the comic book, Beau Smith – there was a big social media promotional push by Syfy to check out the show. And to a certain degree, it seemed to had worked. Maybe prizes were involved. I guess we’ll never know. I can’t comment fairly on the quality of the show since I’m waiting for it to pop up on either Hulu or Netflix.

Game of Thrones” and “Fear the Walking Dead” tied for the top spot in adults 18-49 gains in the Live +7 ratings for May 16-22. Both shows grew by 1.4 points in the demo.

The two series nearly tied in the viewer gains as well, with “Thrones” (2.76 million viewers added) narrowly beating “Fear” (2.74 million added).

The Top 25 gainers (including ties) in the Live +7 ratings for May 16-22, 2016 are below

Adults 18-49 – total gain

1t FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC   L +SD 1.9   L +7 3.3   L +7 Increase 1.4   L +7 % Increase 74%

4 PREACHERPremiere AMC  L +SD 0.9   L +7 1.7   L +7 Increase 0.8   L +7 % Increase 89%

Adults 18-49 – percentage gain

Viewers – total gain

2 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD AMC   L +SD (ooo’s) 4388    L +7 (000’s) 7128   L +7 Increase (000’s) 2740   L +7 % Increase 62%

3 PREACHER – Premiere AMC   L +SD (000’s) 2380   L +7 (000’s) 4207   L +7 Increase (000’s) 1827   L +7 % Increase 77%

Viewers – percentage gain

The Top 25 gainers (including ties) in the Live +7 ratings for May 23-29, 2016 are below. The rankings include first-run, regular series and specials only, not repeats.

Viewers – percentage gain

11 WYNONNA EARP SYFY L +SD (000’s) 391  L +7 (000’s) 817  L +7 Increase (000’s) 426  L +7 % Increase (000’s) 109%

preacher-arseface

PAUSE FOR STATION IDENTICATION: Preacher had a modest debut – but the real underdog is Syfy Channel’s Wynonna Earp despite near abysmal numbers, is a shoestring budget show imported from Canada based on a obscure IDW property who’s finding its’ audience through slow word of mouth on social media warranted a showing in the final throes of May sweeps despite its’ placement in the Friday night deathslot of 10:PM.  The same goddamn death slot that prevented DC mystic con man magician Constantine from being renewed on NBC. Syfy Channel is also owned by NBC Universal. And from my brief tenure in the programming department at NBC Universal during the 2012 – 2013 season, I can attest that not a lot of brainiacs work there ( I personally came across old musty e-mails from Jeff Zucker  that tell the tale of how he laughed in Frank Darabont’s face as he pitched Walking Dead to NBC as the idiotic he heard of for an idea of a television show. Also a couple of years down the line when the success of The Walking Dead was in full bloom,  they dropped the ball on capitalizing on the zombie show craze when they failed to pick the Sixth Gun as a series. An Oni series based on cowboys and zombies. SERIOUSLY, HOW THE FUCK COULD YOU GO WRONG with that idea for a show??).  

Broadcast Live +3

top 25 broadcast shows in Live +3 adults 18-49 for April 25-May 1, 2016

19 LUCIFERFinale FOX  L +3 18-49 Rating  2.0

22t THE FLASH CW  L +3 18-49 Rating  1.9

Top 25 broadcast shows in Live +3 viewers for April 25-May 1, 2016

Adults 18-49 total gain

9t LUCIFER – FINALE FOX  L +SD 1.3   L+3 2.0  Increase 0.7  % increase 54%

13t THE FLASH CW   L +SD 1.3    L +3 1.9   Increase 0.6  % Increase 46%

13t AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC  L +SD 1.0    L +3 1.6   Increase 0.6  % Increase 60%

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Viewers total gain

16 LUCIFER – Finale FOX  L +SD (000’s)3888   L +3 (000’s) 5930   Increase (000’s) 2042  % Increase 53%

Top 25 broadcast shows in Live +3 adults 18-49 for May 2-8, 2016

23 THE FLASH CW  L +3 18-49 Rating 1.9

Top 25 broadcast shows in Live +3 viewers for May 2-8, 2016

Adults 18-49 total gain

15t THE FLASH CW   L +SD 1.3   L +3 1.9  Increase 0.6   %Increase 46%

15t GOTHAM FOX   L +SD 1.2   L +3 1.8   Increase 0.6  %Increase 50%

15t AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC  L +SD 0.9   L +3 1.5  Increase 0.6   % Increase 67%

Viewers total gain

Top 25 broadcast shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for May 9-15, 2016

24t THE FLASH CW L +3  Adults 18-49 1.9

Top 25 broadcast shows in Live +3 viewers for May 9-15, 2016

Adults 18-49 total gain

14t THE FLASH CW   L +SD 1.3   L +3 1.9   Increase 0.6  %Increase 46%

14t GOTHAM FOX  L +SD 1.2  L +3 1.8  Increase 0.6  %Increase 50%

14t AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC  L +SD 0.9   L +3 1.5   Increase 0.6  %Increase 67%

Viewers total gain

Top 25 broadcast shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for May 16-22, 2016

19t THE FLASH CW  L +3  Adults 18-49 2.0

24 GOTHAM FOX  L+3 Adults 18 -49 1.8

Adults 18-49 total gain

8t THE FLASH CW   L +SD 1.3   L +3 2.0    Increase  0.7   %Increase 54%

14t AGENTS OF SHIELD – 2 hour Season Finale  ABC  L +SD 1.0   L +3 1.6   Increase 0.6  %Increase 60%

19t GOTHAM FOX    L +SD 1.3     L +3 1.8   Increase 0.5   %Increase 38%

Viewers total gain

23 THE FLASH CW   L +SD (000’s) 3365   L +3 (000’s) 4876   L+3 Increase (000’s) 1511  % Increase (000’s) 45%

25 AGENTS OF SHIELD – 2 hour Season Finale ABC  L +SD (000’s) 3027  L+3 (000’s) 4457    L +3 Increase (000’s) 1430   % Increase 47%

Top 25 broadcast shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for May 23-29, 2016

8 GOTHAM – Finale  FOX   L +3 Adults 18 -49 Rating 1.8

8t THE FLASH – Finale CW  L +3 Adults  18-49 Rating 1.8

21t ARROW – Finale  CW  L +3 Adults 18 -49 Rating 1.2

Adults 18-49 total gain

6 GOTHAM – Finale  FOX    L +SD 1.2   L +3 1.8  L+3   Increase 0.6   %Increase 50%

8 THE FLASH – Finale  CW  L +SD 1.3  L +3 1.8   L +3 Increase 0.5  %Increase 38%

10t ARROW – Finale CW  L+SD 0.8    L +3 1.2  L+3 Increase 0.4  %Increase 50%

Viewers total gain

12 GOTHAM – Finale FOX    L +SD (000’s) 3618   L+3 (000’s) 5045   L +3 Increase (000’s) 1427   % Increase (000’s) 39%

17 THE FLASH – Finale CW   L +SD (000’s) 3363   L +3 (000’s) 4526   L +3 Increase (000’s) 1163   %Increase (000’s)  35%

22 ARROW – Finale  CW  L +SD (000’s)  2193   L +3 (000’s) 3059    L+3 Increase (000’s) 866   % Increase (000’s) 39%

20160609_194636

PAUSE FOR STATION IDENTIFICATION: According to a recent article on Variety.com, Symphony Arts Media based in San Francisco (SAM) provided a ratings report of Netflix’s Marvel’s streaming series Daredevil and Jessica Jones at a recent conference held in Las Vegas. The second season premiere of “Daredevil” averaged to a 6.03 amongst adults 18- 49 totaling  11.65 million within its’ first thirty five days of release compared to Jessica Jones” 4.52 amongst adults 18 – 49 totaling  9.30 million (the latter which I believe I reported in the last ratings blog entry. That means  “House of Cards” (4.10 adults 18 – 49 , 9.05 million) is no longer the streaming service’s original programming champion. That makes sense, given Netflix’s service customer base which boasts 46 million U.S. subscribers.

And now for our highlight championship: The Winner Winner TV Chicken Dinner L +7 Lightning Round.

This is the big enchilada that determines on how the shows stack up OVERALL MAN RATINGS SIZE

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Broadcast Live +7

The Top 25 gainers (including ties) in the Live +7 ratings for April 25-May 1, 2016

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

9 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC   L +SD 1.0  L +7 1.9   7 Day Increase 0.9   7 Day % Increase 90%

9t LUCIFER – Finale FOX    L +SD 1.3     L +7 2.2   7 Day Increase 0.9   % Increase 69%

12t THE FLASH CW    L +SD 1.3   L +7 2.1   7 Day Increase 0.8   %Increase 62%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

6 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC   L + SD 1.0   L +7 1.9   7 Day Increase 0.9   7 Day % Increase 90%

9t LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW   L +SD 0.7   L+7 1.3   7 Day Increase 0.6   % Increase 86%

20 LUCIFER – Season Finale  FOX   L +SD 1.3   L +7 2.2   7 Day Increase 0.9   % Increase 69%

25 THE FLASH CW   L +SD 1.3   L +7 2.1   7 Day Increase 0.8  % Increase 62%

Viewers – Total gain

16 LUCIFER – Season Finale FOX   L + SD (000’s) 3888   L+7 (000’s) 6572   7 Day Increase (000’s) 2684   7 Day % Increase 69%

Viewers – Percentage gain

5 LUCIFER – Season Finale FOX   L + SD (000’s)3888  L +7 (000’s) 6572   7 Day Increase (000’s) 2684  7 Day % increase 69%

5t AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC  L +SD (000’s) 3140   L +7 (000’s) 5298   7 Day Increase (000’s) 2158  7 Day % Increase 69%

15t THE FLASH CW   L +SD (000’s) 3394   L +7 (000’s) 5256   7 Day Increase (000’s) 1862  7 Day % Increase 55%

21 ARROW CW   L +SD (000’s) 2270  L +7 (000’s) 3445   7 Day Increase (000’s) 1175   7 Day % Increase 52%

WINNER WINNER SWANSON’S TV CHICKEN DINNER: Tie: Lucifer & Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD 

The Top 25 gainers (including ties) in the Live +7 ratings for May 2-8, 2016

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

13 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC   L +SD 0.9   L +7 1.8  7 Day Increase 0.9  % Increase 100%

13t GOTHAM FOX   L +SD 1.2   L +7 2.1  7 Day Increase 0.9  % Increase 75%

17t THE FLASH CW  L +SD 1.3  L +7 2.1   7 Day Increase 0.8  %Increase 62%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

5t AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC   L +SD 0.9  L +7 1.8   7 Day Increase 0.9  %Increase 100%

13t ARROW CW  L +SD 0.7   L +7 1.3   7 Day Increase 0.6  %Increase 86%

16 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW  L +SD 0.6   L +7 1.1   7 Day Increase 0.5   %Increase 83%

20t GOTHAM FOX   L +SD 1.2   L +7 2.1   7 Day Increase 0.9   %Increase 75%

Viewers – Total gain

24 GOTHAM FOX    L +SD (000’s) 3593  L+7 (000’s) 5773  7 Day Increase (000’s)  2180  % Increase (000’s) 61%

Viewers – Percentage gain

5 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC    L +SD (000’s) 2877    L +7 (000’s) 4972  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2095  7 Day % Increase (000’s) 73%

7 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW   L +SD (000’s)1630   L +7 (000’s)2784   7 Day Increase (000’s)1154   7 Day % Increase (000’s)71%

12 GOTHAM FOX   L +SD (000’s) 3593   L +7 (000’s)5773   7 Day Increase (000’s)2180   7 Day % Increase (000’s)61%

14t THE FLASH CW   L +SD (000’s) 3335   L +7 (000′s)5250   7 Day Increase (000’s)1915   7 Day % Increase (000’s)57%

14t ARROW CW   L +SD (000’s)2071    L +7 (000’s)3257   7 Day Increase (000’s)1186   7 Day % Increase (000’s)57%

WINNER WINNER SWANSON CHICKEN TV DINNER: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD for successfully doubling its’ L +SD ratings in the L +7 category.

The Top 25 gainers (including ties) in the Live +7 ratings for May 9-15, 2016 are below

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

14 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC   L +SD 0.9   L +7 1.8  7 Day Increase 0.9  % Increase 100%

14t GOTHAM FOX   L +SD 1.2   L +7 2.1   7 Day Increase 0.9  % Increase 75%

16t THE FLASH CW   L +SD 1.3  L +7 2.1   7 Day Increase 0.8  %Increase 62%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

4 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC   L +SD 0.9  L +7 1.8   7 Day Increase 0.9   %Increase 100%

14 GOTHAM FOX   L +SD 1.2  L +7 2.1   7 Day Increase 0.9   %Increase 75%

18t LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW   L +SD 0.7   L +7 1.2   7 Day Increase 0.5   %Increase 71%

24t ARROW CW   L +SD 0.8   L +7 1.3   7 Day Increase 0.5  %Increase 63%

Viewers – Total gain

25 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC  L +SD (000’s) 2930   L +7 (000’s) 4963   7 Day Increase (000’s)2033  7 Day % Increase (000’s) 69%

Viewers – Percentage gain

6 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC   L +SD (000’s) 2930   L +7 (000’s) 4963   7 Day Increase (000’s)2033   7 Day % Increase (000’s) 69%

9 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW  L +SD (000’s) 1893   L +7 (000’s) 3076   7 Day Increase (000’s)1183  7 Day % Increase (000’s) 62%

17 GOTHAM FOX  L +SD ( 000’s) 3674   L +7 (000’s) 5610   7 Day Increase (000’s)1936   7 Day % increase (000’s) 53%

17t ARROW CW   L +SD (000’s)2153   L +7 (000’s)  3285   7 Day Increase (000’s)1132   7 Day % Increase (000’s) 53%

19 THE FLASH CW   L +SD (000’s) 3523   L +7 (000’s) 5342   7 Day Increase (000’s)1819   7 Day % Increase 52%

WINNER WINNER SWANSON TV CHICKEN DINNER: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELDYET again for doubling its’ L +7 performance two weeks in a row.

The Top 25 gainers (including ties) in the Live +7 ratings for May 16-22, 2016

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

10t THE FLASH CW   L +SD 1.3   L +7 2.2   7 Day Increase 0.9   % Increase 69%

13 AGENTS OF SHIELD – Two Hour Season Finale ABC    L +SD 1.0   L +7 1.8   7 Day Increase 0.8   %Increase 80%

13t GOTHAM FOX   L +SD 1.3   L +7  2.1   7 Day Increase 0.8   % Increase 62%

24t ARROW CW   L +SD 0.7    L+7 1.3   7 Day Increase 0.6   % Increase 86%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

7 ARROW CW   L+SD 0.7   L +7 1.3   7 Day Increase 0.6   %Increase 86%

9 AGENTS OF SHIELD – Two Hour Season Finale ABC   L +SD 1.0   L +7 1.8   7 Day Increase 0.8   %Increase 80%

14 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW – Season Finale CW  L +SD 0.7   L +7 1.2   7 Day Increase 0.5    %Increase 71%

15 THE FLASH CW   L +SD 1.3   L+7 2.2   7 Day Increase 0.9   %Increase 69%

20t GOTHAM FOX   L +SD 1.3   L +7 2.1   7 Day Increase 0.8   %Increase 62%

Viewers – Total gain

18 THE FLASH CW   L +SD (000’s) 3365   L+7 (000’s) 5451   7 Day Increase (000’s)2086   7 Day % Increase (000’s)  62%

22 AGENTS OF SHIELD – Two Hour Season Finale ABC   L +SD (000’s)  3019   L +7  (000’s) 4972   7 Day Increase (000’s)1953   7 Day %Increase (000’s) 65%

24 GOTHAM FOX   L +SD (000’s) 3842    L +7 (000’s) 5727   7 Day Increase (000’s)1885   7 Day %Increase (000’s) 49%

Viewers – Percentage gain

4 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW – Finale CW    L +SD (000’s) 1850   L +7 (000’s) 3134   7 Day Increase (000’s)1284   7 Day % Increase (000’s) 69%

6t AGENTS OF SHIELD – Two Hour Season Finale ABC   L +SD (000’s) 3019   L +7 (000’s) 4972   7 Day Increase (000’s)1953   7 Day %Increase (000’s) 65%

9 THE FLASH CW   L +SD (000’s) 3365   L +7 (000’s) 5451   7 Day Increase (000’s)2086   7 Day % Increase  (000’s) 62%

9t ARROW CW   L +SD (000’s) 1974   L +7 (000’s) 3201   7 Day Increase (000’s)1227  7 Day % Increase (000’s) 62%

20 GOTHAM FOX    L +SD 3842  L +7 (000’s) 5727   7 Day Increase (000’s)1885  7 Day % Increase 49%

WINNER WINNER SWANSON TV CHICKEN DINNERgoes to The Flash. More people were more enthralled to be tuning in to find out the true identity of the man in the Iron Mask than whatever AoS was up to that week. Marvel’s AoS’s hold must have petered out towards the end when people realized they get sold a bill of goods every time the show claims to be tied in to the main Marvel Cinematic Universe. People tuning in to find any connection between this show and Captain America: Civil War were greeted with the mentions of Tony Stark or Captain America in fleeting quips of pop culture referenced dialogue. Other CW/DC TV Universe related shows upped their game this week, specifically Arrow with its’ Damien Darhk storyline headed towards its inevitable conclusion.

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For consistently tallying triple digits percentage wise in the L +7, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’s Ming Na Wen celebrates with selfies with fans and is somewhat rewarded with a 4th season reprieve. The show’s questionable 3rd season performance somehow edged up to tie with Gotham’s performance in Same Day rankings.

The Top 25 gainers (including ties) in the Live +7 ratings for May 23-29, (most shows have dropped out of the race, with May 25 being the official last day of sweeps).

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

6t GOTHAM – Finale  FOX   L +SD 1.2   L +7 2.0   7 Day Increase 0.8   % Increase 67%

8t ARROW – Finale  CW   L +SD 0.8   L +7 1.4   7 Day Increase 0.6   %Increase 75%

8t THE FLASH – Finale  CW  L +SD 1.3   L +7 1.9   7 Day Increase 0.6  %Increase 46%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

5 ARROW – Finale  CW   L +SD 0.8   L +7 1.4   7 Day Increase 0.6   %Increase 75%

7 GOTHAM – Finale  FOX   L +SD 1.2   L +7 2.0   7 Day Increase 0.8   %Increase 67%

15 THE FLASH – Finale  CW   L +SD 1.3   L +7 1.9   7 Day Increase 0.6   %Increase 46%

Viewers – Total gain

12 GOTHAM – Finale  FOX   L +SD (000’s) 3618   L +7 (000’s) 5558   7 Day Increase (000’s) 1940   7 Day % Increase (000’s) 54%

15 THE FLASH – Finale CW   L +SD (000’s) 3363   L +7 (000’s) 4849   7 Day Increase (000’s) 1486   7 Day % Increase 9000’s) 44%

21 ARROW – Finale CW   L +SD (000’s) 2193   L +7 (000’s) 3313   7 Day Increase (000’s) 1120   7 Day % Increase (000’s) 51%

Viewers – Percentage gain

4 GOTHAM – Finale FOX   L +SD (000’s) 3618   L +7 (000’s) 5558   7 Day Increase (000’s) 1940   7 Day % Increase (000’s) 54%

7t ARROW – Finale CW   L +SD (000’s) 2193   L  +7 (000’s) 3313   7 Day Increase (000’s) 1120   7 Day % Increase  51%

11t THE FLASH – Finale CW   L +SD (000’s) 3363  L +7 (000’s) 4849   7 Day Increase (000’s) 1486  7 Day % Increase (000’s) 44%

WINNER WINNER SWANSON TV CHICKEN DINNER (with a short stack of waffles) – GOTHAM

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PAUSE FOR STATION IDENTIFICATION: Let’s give you a better understanding of how the CW, as rating and residuals pundits such as myself commonly refer to itself as a baby network since so many components go into the genetic makeup of how the CW Network operates, because it’s not required to go full tilt head to head in ratings competition because of either independent affiliate ownership, such as Chicago, where they’re required to carry Bulls & Cub games (although I’ve heard that they will be switching affiliates in the near future. Since Chicago is the number 3 television station market in the entire US, the constant pre-emption of the CW DC Universe  related shows such as The Flash, Arrow, & Legends of Tomorrow (soon to be joined by Supergirl) affect the overnights dramatically. However, season 2 ratings of the Flash, especially L +SD,  has been upping the ante of late, even sometimes rivaling those of ABC’s Agents of SHIELD.

Like its predecessors UPN and by technicality, The WB (as none of Tribune Broadcasting’s WB stations were considered to be O&Os  (i.e; owned & operated ) since Time Warner held majority ownership of that network), The CW does not have owned-and-operated stations in any of the three largest U.S. television markets – New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. The network’s largest owned-and-operated station is CBS-owned WPSG in Philadelphia, which also became UPN’s largest O&O after Chris-Craft Industries (which sold most of its UPN stations, including its affiliates in New York City and Los Angeles, to Fox Television Stations in 2001) had its ownership stake in that network acquired by Viacom in March 2000 (neither UPN nor the DuMont Television Network had an O&O in Chicago at all; a similar situation arose with DuMont’s O&O in Los Angeles, present-day CW affiliate KTLA – which had disaffiliated from the network in 1948 shortly after the FCC ruled that it and WDTV in Pittsburgh (now KDKA-TV, a CW corporate cousin through CBS Corporation), to be O&Os through their then-owner Paramount Pictures‘ voting stock interest in DuMont).

Because Tribune Broadcasting does not maintain an ownership stake in The CW, its stations in the three respective top markets (WPIX, KTLA and WGN-TV) are actually affiliates of the network; CBS Corporation owns secondary stations – both independents – in two of the three markets, KCAL-TV in Los Angeles and WLNY-TV in the New York City market (however, while KCAL was owned by CBS at the network’s launch, WLNY was not acquired by CBS until 2011; neither station carries CW programming though, because of the network’s affiliation deals with Tribune-owned stations in those markets, and in the latter case, WLNY’s over-the-air signal does not serve the entire New York City market – resulting in most residents in the metropolitan area receiving the station mainly through cable or satellite – due to being licensed to the Long Island community of Riverhead, restricting its transmitter from being located more than 15 miles (24 km) from its city of license under FCC regulations). Unlike with The WB and UPN (the latter network’s founding owners, Chris-Craft and Viacom, both had their own station groups that formed UPN’s core stations at its launch), only one of The CW’s co-owners – CBS Corporation – maintains ownership of the network’s owned-and-operated stations (Time Warner does not have a station group of its own, although its Turner Broadcasting System division does own Atlanta independent station WPCH-TV, which does not carry CW programming because of the network’s affiliation with CBS-owned WUPA).

(the previous two paragraphs were Wiki tenderized).

AND NOW – THE FINAL TALLIES

TOTAL VIEWER RANKINGS

THE WALKING DEAD 13,151

SUPERGIRL  9,809

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD 7188

LUCIFER 7,174

**HEROES REBORN 6,395**  (not technically a comic book related show since the source didn’t originate from a actual comic book itself. A girl I used to date in high school had one of her daughters as one of the main leads – but if it was based on a actual comic book, here is where it would place.)

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.  5,515

GOTHAM  5,370

MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER  4,369

FLASH 4,245

DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW 3,157

ARROW 2,902

IZOMBIE  1,683

18-49 DEMO RANKING

1 THE WALKING DEAD 6.5

DAREDEVIL 6.3

JESSICA JONES 4.6

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD 3.4

SUPERGIRL  2.4 (tie)

LUCIFER 2.4 (tie)

HEROES REBORN 2.2 * (not technically a comic book related show since the source didn’t originate from a actual comic book itself. A girl I used to date in high school had one of her daughters as one of the main leads – but if it was based on a actual comic book, here is where it would place.)

GOTHAM 2.0 (tie)

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD 2.0 (tie)

9 THE FLASH 1.7

10  MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER  1.4

11 DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW  1.2

12 ARROW 1.1

13 PREACHER 0.9

14 IZOMBIE 0.7

15 WYNONNA EARP .20

THE FINAL FIREWORK ROUND!!

Here are the same-day, Live +3 and Live +7 adults 18-49 ratings for every show that aired on The CW in 2015-16. Same-day ratings are for all new episodes aired in-season (Sept. 21, 2015-May 25, 2016), including those coded as specials. DVR ratings include only regularly scheduled episodes not coded as specials. Summer shows that aired one or two episodes in season aren’t included.

Supergirl  L +SD rating 1.7 L +3 rank 7  L +3 rating 2.3  L + 7 rank (+2) 7  L +7 rating 2.5 —

Top-rated CW show: “The Flash.” Same-day, 1.4; Live +3, 2.0; Live +7, 2.2.

No CW show rose or fell in rank by more than three places after delayed viewing was factored in.

Lucifer L +SD rating 1.5 L +3 rank 5 L +3 rating 2.3 rank +1  L +7 rank 5 L +7 rating 2.6 —

Gotham  L +SD rating 1.4 L +3 rank 6 L +3 rating 2.1 rank +2 L +7 rank 6 L +7 rating 2.4 —

The Flash L +SD 1.4 L +3 rank 1 L +3 rating 2.0 L +7 rank -1  L +7 rating 2.2 –

Arrow L +SD rating 0.9 L + 3 rank 2 L +3 rating 1.4 rank — L +7 rank 2 L +7 rating 1.5

Legends of Tomorrow  L +SD rating 0.8  L +3 rank 3  L+3  rating 1.3 — L +7 rank 3  L +7 rating 1.4

 iZombie  L +SD rating 0.5  L +3 rank  5  L +3 rating 0.8 —  L +7 rank 6  L +7 rating 0.8  rank (-/+) -1

Agents of SHIELD  L +SD rating 1.2  L +3 rank  13  L +3 rating 1.9 rank (-/+) +1  L +7 rank 11  L +7 rating 2.2  rank (-/+) +2

Agent Carter L +SD rating 0.8 L +3 rank 26 L +3 rating 1.2  rank (-/+) +2 L +7 rank 24  L +7 rating 1.4  rank (-/+) +2

PAUSE FOR STATION IDENTIFICATION it’s important to note that although technically not based on a COMIC BOOK per se, NBC’s mini-series event Heroes Reborn performed spectacularly for the network, coming in at 12th place, 2 place above Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD  L +SD  1.2 L +3 rank 11 L +3 rating 2.0 rank +1 L +7 rank 11 L +7 rating 2.2 —

Although, reports are coming in that Cinemax’s comic book genre show entry into the arena, OUTCAST (can Robert Kirkland’s instant hit wonder magic charm for a third time?) has been renewed, no one can venture a reason as to why when Wynonna Earp whom I hear is on the chopping block is kicking its’ freshman ass.

outcast

As raw data demonstrates – Outcast is not faring well. But this battle falls out of the realm of the May Sweeps jurisdiction.

4 WYNONNA EARP SYFY 10:00 PM 62 0.13 539

139 OUTCAST MAXPRIME 10:01 PM 55 0.06 152

49 WYNONNA EARP SYFY 10:00 PM 60 0.13 519

108 OUTCAST MAXPRIME 10:00 PM 44 0.07 193

powerss2header

The best left unsaid about Powers Season Two, the better.

 

MEANWHILE OUT ON THE MEAN STREETS BETWEEN MOUNT OLYMPIA AND MOUNT KILMANJARO

13 Jun

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Of all the most stupidest and asinine things I allowed to let slip by me…

While I was out posturing about successfully nabbing all the Free Comic Book Day goodies and making a good sizable contribution to a homeless and healthcare charitable organization dedicated to helping disenfranchised down on their luck comic book artists and writers called the Hero Initiative, I forgot to give pause in celebration to one of the greatest ever writers to ever exist in the genre of speculative fiction. And since I’m not going to have my stats for all of the May Sweeps as it pertains to comic book shows ready until next week and I have to BLOG ‘EM OUT BY FRIDAY, I found a few select gems from my Comic Buyer’s Guide related drafts in my Yahoo files that probably have never seen the light of the day-

Two separate book readings I attended by none other than Harlan Ellision – who slipped beneath my notice and turned 82 on Friday May 27th while I was posting my 2nd part of the Free Comic Book Day Reviews.

I’ve got to give Harlan some form of small credit for the good things that I’ve managed to lucked out in my off and on professional career. It was a phone call from him in 1994 that gave me a much fuel booted kick to the keister when I was merely content with just being a letter hack to the pages of Comics Buyers’ Guide. He had managed to track me across three numbers from my part-time job at an insurance office, to the comic book store, “Rookies & AllStars” in North Hollywood that I managed in the evening to my private residence in Sherman Oaks, just determined to tell me that I had a ‘unique maverick flare’ to my writing and was asking me ‘why the fuck aren’t you writing full time?’ Either that, or maybe editor Maggie Thompson sent him on my original letters or editorials WHICH were typed on an old hand me down Underwood typewriter passed down to me by my grandfather. I never forgot that conversation and as a result of that conversation, I dragged out the pilot of The Deposit Man, rewrote that damn script for the umpteenth time until it became good enough to be noticed by this screwball (later to be accused as the consummate assgrabber of female comic book professionals) editor to get published, but as I chronicled in my blog of last year, ‘LIFE IS NOTHING BUT A SHIT SANDWICH WITH TOO BREAD IN BETWEEN’ – that book turned out not to be worthy of the ass splinter from the paper cut from the ream of paper it was printed on and instead dedicated my first full length Deposit Man comic, “The Deposit Man & the Kaleidoscopic Medicine Freak Show”  to Harlan the following year, which prompted a nice call to my co-fiancer, Mark Capuano.

In turn, I had called Harlan Ellison at his home on behalf of the Los Angeles Public Library and the Walter Lantz Foundation to invite him to give a motivational speech to young impoverished children at the glorious spacious beautiful downtown Los Angeles Public Library as the headline panel at the Teen Age Comic Book Festival. It seems as if the producer of the show, Eugene Mandlecorn didn’t have a way to get in touch with him. “What?” I told Eugene with a befuddled look. “Harlan’s in the damn phone book.” So, when I called Harlan, he was more than happy that someone asked or anyone got the notion in their head to ask him to give kids a pep talk about giving career advice. HOWEVER, there was just one caveat Harlan laid out on the front line: “Rob Liefeld better not be there.”

But, I’m probably a lost cause to Harlan’s many upon many of his catalogued miniature heroic deeds of giving advice or lending an ear to a solidary voice just trying to get their foot in the echoing halls of the great creative pantheon. Not many people, with the exception of perhaps, George Clayton Johnson or Ray Bradbury have stories that resonates in one’s mind long after you finish more than Harlan’s tales of wonderment and true slice of life encounters. I credit, Harlan’s love sucker punched tale of ultimate betrayal, “Valerie: a True Memoir” as an instrument of revenge that I applied to the horrid relationship I once had with amateur porn next door star, Rikki Lixxx when it all went south after she stole a credit card of mine and used to purchase a $140 stripper pole. Later on, while I was working for Warner Bros, I heard of Harlan’s legal lawsuit plights with AOL in the unlawful postings of his stories online and I think I slipped him $60 to help pay for the legal fees for that, but other than that, I must have been nothing more than a passing ship in the night.

So last I heard, Harlan has a new forthcoming limited edition collection of unpublished late 1950’s unpublished stories called ‘Coffin Nails” that’s supposed to be limited to 200 copies (?? get the fuck outta here!!) that also includes two unpublished stories from 1969- and as far as I know, as lot of his collections are still in print to this day, so I got my fingers crossed that Harlan’s around for some time to come and hopefully get my damn last two issues of Deposit Man out to the printer sometime in his lifetime. The book is supposed to be released this upcoming fall.

I would hate to leave a fan like Harlan hanging.

Let’s roll out some of the birthday cakes from the book signings past that may or may not have seen the light of day from the pages of Comics Buyers’ Guide:

From July 6, 2001:

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Last night ( Tuesday, June 26th ), by no leaps and bounds of my downtrodden imagination without a single twinge of trepidation, was one of the most magical stupendous nights I have ever had the privilege to experience in the glittering neon glare of Hollyweird. Who in their rightful mind would ever stage a book signing and a reading at such a culinary institution such as Pink’s Hot Dogs ? Why none other than that indigenous master of fantastic fiction ceremonies, himself, Harlan Ellison. Harlan was on hand to sign and read in between bites of succulent savory links of outlandish varieties of beef franks and polish sauerkraut sausages ( hey, mine was a mushroom and swiss cheese dog, go figure ) from his new revised 50th anniversary edition of The Essential Ellison, expanded by least 300 + odd pages from the last 1,000 paged 35th one.

Ellison

  In this magnificent tome, we are up to date on works ranging back to the when ‘Harlan was fifteen ‘ warm up exercises of ” The Sword of Parmagon ” and ” The Gloconda ” up to the most recent roman-fleuve sexagenarian masterpieces of ” Mefisto in Onyx ” and ” The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore ” with the usual second and third smattering servings of classics thrown in between but heed my warning: you may be inclined to overindulge- they’re very fattening and high in cholesterol of the intellectual persuasion. If you purchased one softcover book, you got a hot dog on Harlan. If you bought the hardcover for just ten bucks more, Harlan treated you to two hot dogs. The evening was surely a landmark celebration and an homage to an author who has reached outstretched pinnacles of true hard-earned honesty and candor without a hackney of integrity.

  The real highlight of the evening ( certainly for me )was the announcement of the return of Harlan’s Dark Horse comic book series, ” Dream Corridor “, to be edited under the scrutiny of Eisner winning editor, Diana Schutz. What followed next was an impromptu reading of his new short story ” Goodbye To All That ” which will be featured in the first re-launched issue. Trust me, it destined to be up on the ranks with his other literary creations.

  The stars were also out in force that evening, Walter Koenig and his wife were spotted partaking in the festivities. Len Wein and Marv Wolfman were on hand for support as well as Bill and Sharon Liebowitz. Even my old pal, who wishes he was a celebrity, but indeed is not Sparky Santos, showed up to discourage people waiting in line for Pink dogs from dressing up in Goth attire, but was negligent when I told him it was Harlan who was signing and not Neil Gaiman.   

This one here was composed on September 15, 2002. I must’ve taken work off early that day from during the time I was working at Warner Bros to attend this event.

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Harlan Ellison’s September 11th appearance at the new Barnes & Nobles over on Fairfax and Third for a contribution he made to a book commemorating a year after 9/11.

  Harlan was there, along with three other residing West Coast authors to promote a book he contributed an essay to called, September 11: West Coast Writers Approach Ground Zero just published by Hawthrone Books in Portland, Ore.

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  The new Barnes & Nobles is situated in a new mall structure made to resemble something of a quaint small European village or a mock-up of Venice, Italy complete with running fountains and tour trolleys as some big name department stores like Nordstrom, Robinson’s May, FAO Schwartz, and a Pacific Theater multiplex acting as cornerstones. This particular store is three stories tall and equipped with a Starbucks cafe on the third floor, where I caved in indulging  my first foray of a Vanilla Creme frappuccino in order to ease my churning stomach acids before basking in the syncopated delights of the ever contentious curmudgeonly that Ellison is so famous of conveying.     

  The first of the opening acts, Lawrence Grobel, a writer on television and media culture, made popular by writing a biography of Truman Capote read a short and poignant essay about the agony of attempting to contact family members in New York shortly after the attacks.

  Next up at bat was former boxing coach from U.C. Berkeley now turned poet laureate, Floyd Salas, read some poetry on the feelings he had about terrorism that entwined with his political stance. He was quite a character who looked to be in his septuagenarian twilight years. Nobody could hardly understand a word he was saying as his speech was very slurred but nobody could have walked out of that room that night and not been entertained by him as he approached the podium looking to apply his sparring tactics in the course of his reading. He reminded me of a hyperactive Burgess Meredith. (Later, after the reading as I was getting my book signed, he asked me if I was a writer myself, and I told him I’ve written a few comic book odd and ends here and there. I just happened to have a few ashcans in my book bag of my forthcoming Deposit Man book, so, I gave him one. Floyd was ecstatic that some comic book people were there to listen. All I noticed was Len Wein sitting behind me but there well could have been others).

  Then, former Los Angeles Times Magazine columnist Wanda Coleman, read and performed a jarring piece of prose that tackled the issues about prejudices that were intentionally lodged at Arab Americans by our nation’s whacked out rednecks and bigots and she cuspidated that the most heartbreaking thing out of this whole terrorist affair was the name of the young, gifted, and white kid who flew his self constructed plane into a Florida skyscraper Charles Bishop. She reiterated that name over and over in different vocal fluctuations that just left a chill over all who listened. This invoked a hearty applause from Harlan himself.   

  Before Harlan was to take the podium, Barnes & Nobles management had to make sure that the children’s section next to us was cleared out, as the podium was right next to it. Luckily it was a late hour
(9:00 PM?), so Harlan could proceed without interruption.

  At every Ellison appearance that I’ve attended, there’s always a quirky thing that happens to make each one memorable. This time around, I witnessed Harlan almost smashing his microphone into itty bitty pieces as he was enthralled in the passion of reading his essay. Last time I saw Harlan, it was at Pink’s Hot Dogs where he read from his revised Essential Ellison tome, and it was there he had some minor  discrepancies with the residents next door blasting some hip hop. Harlan simply went over to ask them to turn it down, which goes to prove that mantle applied to Matt Murdock as the Man Without Fear is highly overexaggerated.

Harlan’s new essay was to say the least, more vitriolic than usual. “Terrorists” takes us through on to why Harlan refused to go on Politically Incorrect in the aftermath of the attacks and why he wasn’t personally affected by the whole thing. During the course of this recital, Harlan made some colorful suggestions on why Jerry Falwell and Osama Bin Laden should meet and have a pow wow together.   

 Well, it certainly beat staying at home that night with eyes glued to nothing but round the clock drudge shown on television that served no purpose other than to rehash seven years of bad luck on an unpaved road. We don’t need an anniversary reminder every year. Look at it this way: We don’t go yanking Sesame Street off the air to commemorate Pearl Harbor every year. Although, Cartoon Network is airing a 90 min Justice League episode guest starring Sgt Rock and the Blackhawks in celebration of our armed forces on December 7. Would’ve been great if they didn’t wait until the last-minute to those who originally had their VCRs set to its postponed broadcast of September 7th.

 

Coming up in a couple of weeks: The Comic Book Secret Ratings Wars May Super Sweepstakes.