Shatner’s World a Fathom Event on 4/24

William Shatner’s one-man show will be screened in cinemas nationwide on April 24.

Shatner’s World, the critically acclaimed one-man show, takes audiences on an exhilarating behind-the-scenes voyage through his storied life and career. With an energetic mix of personal anecdotes, laugh-out-loud humor and poignant moments, William Shatner shares his phenomenal journey from classically-trained Shakespearean actor to internationally-known cultural icon, all the while illuminating the unique persona of his most important character, himself.

Whatever will we do for news when Shatner’s career finally comes to an end?

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the link.]

George R. R. Martin Slated for 2017 HWA Conference

Horror Writers Association President Rocky Wood wants everyone to know George R. R. Martin will be Guest of Honor at the group’s 2017 Conference, “to be held from 11-14 May…at a city yet to be determined.”

“While it is unusual to announce a guest this far in advance,” Wood admitted, “We feel George R. R. Martin’s fame dictated we release this information as soon as possible. We are excited that George will spend time at our Bram Stoker Awards Weekend and participate in panels, signings, the Banquet and other convention events.”

Hertz: The Tetrachiliad

By John Hertz: The 4,000th meeting of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society was held on Thursday, April 10, 2014.

Yes, “tetrachiliad” is Greek to me too (so its ch is like chorus). Writing it seemed the fannish thing to do.

The LASFS, my local s-f club, is I’m proud to say the oldest in the world. Most of us rhyme “LASFS” with joss fuss but Len Moffatt always rhymed it with sass mass. May yours live so long. I realize that’s something like “May you live in interesting times.” Ours have been.

From the name you’ll see we as long ago as 1934 were coppering our bets (to use an English Regency expression) with “science fantasy”. Technically science fiction and fantasy are distinct. Practically – well –

I saw Mike Glyer there. But Glyer keeps forgetting where he’s put his pen (see “Twice Times” in A.A. Milne’s Now We Are Six). So here I am.

The meeting hall in our current clubhouse, our third, was crowded. So were the social hall, the computer room, and the library, with members who didn’t care to attend the meeting. Some things never change.

On a table near the door was a display of historical photographs. Among refreshments in the social hall was a box of Cthulhu Peeps. I being among the few to rhyme “Cthulhu” in a limerick took one. It had no – heh heh.

President Eylat Poliner called us to order. Poetic license is part of life. She introduced former president David Gerrold who took the chair. In fact for decades we didn’t have a president, we had a director, but I’m leaving some things out.

We honored current and past officers and directors (either kind) present. Even this clubhouse couldn’t hold all our members, especially because Death Does Not Release You.

I brought greetings from Paul Turner, who’d invented our Building Fund, and from Roger Hill, one of the Cal Tech gang which included Ed Buchman our first president, and Dan Alderson the eponym of the space drive in The Mote in God’s Eye. Turner was in the desert. Hill was in Illinois. Buchman was present. Alderson was in After-Fandom.

June Moffatt having joined in 1947 was the longest-time member in attendance. Heedless of Methuselah’s Children neither Gerrold nor the rest of us put her into the chair.

We heard historical minutes from our second clubhouse, and a Forrest J Ackerman note of the first meeting in our first. Some things never change.

Jerry Pournelle said when Turner thought up the Building Fund, Pournelle had told him “You’re out of your mind”; Turner answered “Sure I am”; we should also remember Chuck Crayne and Bruce Pelz who made it happen. Up to then Pelz had shown no evidence of his ability to conjure money from stones.

Tom Locke announced the apparent discovery of magnetic monopoles. Larry Niven said Shipstar was out in hardback, showed a copy, and donated it to the library. Gerrold showed a precious hardback of Mote he’d had as a birthday present. He donated it to the library needling Niven and Pournelle to autograph it.

Fred Patten didn’t mention his new book Funny Animals and More. He remains exemplary as a general-interest fan who happened to become a big name in his special interests. So does Lee Gold; we’d read her first-clubhouse minutes. We adjourned to the program, a panel of members who’d joined over the decades.

No one joining in the 1930s was present or admitted it so Charles Lee Jackson II answered for them. June Moffatt spoke for the 40s; Bill Ellern, the 50s; Milt Stevens, the 60s; Glyer, the 70s; Karl Lembke, the 80s; Cathy Beckstead, the 90s; Peter Santell, the 2000s; Mimi Miller, the 10s. Stevens learned of us while reading fan-news columns in the prozines. Santell learned of us while a seminary student but then worked hours that kept him from meetings for twenty years.

In the 50s we rented a room in the Prince Rupert Apartments, which still exist and now charge $480 for what had cost us $40, i.e. about the same.

Through the years we’d maintained our involvement with Westercons, started our local Loscon, and by virtue (look it up) of individual members had much to do with Worldcons, Bouchercons for detective fiction, and Animé L.A. Also collecting, costuming, fanzines, filksinging, gaming, pro writing and illustrating, and things too fierce to mention.

We calculated when our pentachiliad would be and ended “See you there!”

Update 04/16/2014: Corrected to Lee Gold’s first-clubhouse minutes.

2014 Eisner Award Nominations

Comic-Con International has announced the nominees for the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, chosen by a panel of judges. Named for comics creator the Will Eisner, the awards, now in their 26th year, highlight the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels.

Best Short Story
  • “Go Owls,” by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #13 (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • “Mars to Stay,” by Brett Lewis and Cliff Chiang, in Witching Hour (DC)
  • “Seaside Home,” by Josh Simmons, in Habit #1 (Oily)
  • “Untitled,” by Gilbert Hernandez, in Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
  • “When Your House Is Burning Down, You Should Brush Your Teeth,” by Matthew Inman, theoatmeal.com/comics/house
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
  • Demeter, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)
  • Hawkeye #11: “Pizza Is My Business,” by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
  • Love and Rockets: New Stories #6, by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
  • Viewotron #2, by Sam Sharpe (self-published)
  • Watson and Holmes #6, by Brandon Easton, and N. Steven Harris (New Paradigm Studios)
Best Continuing Series
  • East of West, by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta (Image)
  • Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
  • Nowhere Men, by Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde (Image)
  • Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
  • Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)
Best Limited Series
  • The Black Beetle: No Way Out, by Francesco Francavilla (Dark Horse)
  • Colder, by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra (Dark Horse)
  • 47 Ronin, by Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)
  • Trillium, by Jeff Lemire (Vertigo/DC)
  • The Wake, by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy (Vertigo/DC)
Best New Series
  • High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (Monkeybrain)
  • Lazarus, by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark (Image)
  • Rat Queens, by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch (Image/Shadowline)
  • Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)
  • Watson and Holmes, by Karl Bollers, Rick Leonardi, Paul Mendoza et al. (New Paradigm Studios)
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)
  • Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas, by Philippe Coudray (TOON Books)
  • The Big Wet Balloon, by Liniers (TOON Books)
  • Itty Bitty Hellboy, by Art Baltazar and Franco (Dark Horse)
  • Odd Duck, by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon  (First Second)
  • Otto’s Backwards Day, by Frank Cammuso (with Jay Lynch) (TOON Books)
Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)
  • The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
  • Hilda and the Bird Parade, by Luke Pearson (Nobrow)
  • Jane, the Fox, and Me, by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault (Groundwood)
  • The Lost Boy, by Greg Ruth (Graphix/Scholastic)
  • Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, vol. 2, edited by David Petersen, Paul Morrissey, and Rebecca Taylor (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Star Wars: Jedi Academy, by Jeffrey Brown (Scholastic)
Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
  • Battling Boy, by Paul Pope (First Second)
  • Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
  • Boxers and Saints, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
  • Dogs of War, by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox (Graphix/Scholastic)
  • March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
  • Templar, by Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham, and Alex Puviland (First Second)
Best Humor Publication
  • The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
  • The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes and Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
  • The (True!) History of Art, by Sylvain Coissard and Alexis Lemoine (SelfMadeHero)
  • Vader’s Little Princess, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)
  • You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Anthology
  • Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)
  • Nobrow #8: Hysteria, edited by Sam Arthur and Alex Spiro (Nobrow)
  • Outlaw Territory, edited by Michael Woods (Image)
  • Smoke Signal, edited by Gabe Fowler (Desert Island)
  • Thrilling Adventure Hour, by Ben Acker, Ben Blacker et al. (Archaia/BOOM!)
Best Digital/Webcomic
Best Reality-Based Work
  • A Bag of Marbles, by Joseph Joffo, Kris, and Vincent Bailly (Graphic Universe/Lerner)
  • The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker (M Press/Dark Horse)
  • Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 1, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
  • March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
  • Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
  • Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story, by Peter Bagge (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Graphic Album—New
  • Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, by Isabel Greenberg (Little, Brown)
  • Good Dog, by Graham Chaffee (Fantagraphics)
  • Homesick by Jason Walz (Tinto Press)
  • The Property, by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • War Brothers, by Sharon McKay and Daniel LaFrance (Annick Press)
Best Adaptation from Another Medium
  • The Castle, by Franz Kafka, adapted by David Zane Mairowitz and Jaromír 99 (SelfMadeHero)
  • The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, adapted by by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
  • Django Unchained, adapted by Quentin Tarantino, Reginald Hudlin, R. M. Guéra et al. (DC/Vertigo)
  • Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, by Donald Westlake, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
  • The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, by Edogawa Rampo, adapted by Suehiro Maruo  (Last Gasp)
Best Graphic Album—Reprint
  • The Creep, by John Arcudi and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse)
  • Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, by Ben Katchor (Pantheon)
  • Heck, by Zander Cannon (Top Shelf)
  • Julio’s Day, by Gilbert Hernandez  (Fantagraphics)
  • RASL, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)
  • Solo: The Deluxe Edition, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
  • Barnaby, vol. 1, by Crockett Johnson, edited by Philip Nel and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
  • Percy Crosby’s Skippy Daily Comics, vol. 2: 1928–1930, edited by Jared Gardner and Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
  • Prince Valiant vols. 6-7, by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)
  • Society Is Nix: Gleeful Anarchy at the Dawn of the American Comic Strip, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)
  • Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips, vol. 1, edited by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
  • VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch, edited by Jonathan Barli (Fantagraphics)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
  • Best of EC Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
  • Canteen Kate, by Matt Baker (Canton Street Press)
  • In the Days of the Mob, by Jack Kirby (DC)
  • MAD Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
  • Will Eisner’s The Spirit Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • Adventures of a Japanese Businessman, by Jose Domingo (Nobrow)
  • Goddam This War! by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney (Fantagraphics)
  • Incidents in the Night, Book One, by David B. (Uncivilized Books)
  • Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
  • When David Lost His Voice, by Judith Vanistendael (SelfMadeHero)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
  • The Heart of Thomas, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
  • The Mysterious Underground Men, by Osamu Tezuka (PictureBox)
  • Showa: A History of Japan, 1926–1939, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Summit of the Gods, vol. 4, by Yemmakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • Utsubora: The Story of a Novelist, by Asumiko Nakamura (Vertical)
Best Writer
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick, Pretty Deadly (Image); Captain Marvel (Marvel)
  • Matt Fraction, Sex Criminals (Image); Hawkeye, Fantastic Four, FF (Marvel)
  • Jonathan Hickman, East of West, The Manhattan Projects (Image); Avengers, Infinity (Marvel)
  • Scott Snyder, Batman (DC); American Vampire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
  • Eric Stephenson, Nowhere Men (Image)
  • Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)
Best Writer/Artist
  • Isabel Greenberg, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth (Little, Brown)
  • Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
  • Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
  • Luke Pearson, Hilda and the Bird Parade (Nobrow)
  • Matt Phelan, Bluffton: My Summers with Buster (Candlewick)
  • Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)
Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Nate Bellegarde, Nowhere Men (Image)
  • Nick Dragotta, East of West (Image)
  • Sean Murphy, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
  • Nate Powell, March (Book One) (Top Shelf)
  • Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly (Image)
  • Thomas Yeates, Law of the Desert Born: A Graphic Novel (Bantam)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
  • Andrew C. Robinson, The Fifth Beatle (Dark Horse)
  • Sonia Sanchéz, Here I Am (Capstone)
  • Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
  • Ive Svorcina, Thor (Marvel)
  • Marguerite Van Cook, 7 Miles a Second (Fantagraphics)
  • Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)
Best Cover Artist
  • David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
  • Mike Del Mundo, X-Men Legacy (Marvel)
  • Sean Murphy/Jordie Belaire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
  • Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly (Image)
  • Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel)
  • Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
Best Coloring
  • Jordie Bellaire, The Manhattan Projects, Nowhere Men, Pretty Deadly, Zero (Image); The Massive (Dark Horse); Tom Strong (DC); X-Files Season 10  (IDW); Captain Marvel, Journey into Mystery (Marvel); Numbercruncher (Titan); Quantum and Woody (Valiant)
  • Steve Hamaker, Mylo Xyloto (Bongo), Strangers in Paradise 20th Anniversary Issue 1 (Abstract Studio), RASL (Cartoon Books)
  • Matt Hollingsworth, Hawkeye, Daredevil: End of Days (Marvel); The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
  • Frank Martin, East of West (Image)
  • Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, Baltimore: The Infernal Train, BPRD: Hell on Earth, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, The Massive, The Shaolin Cowboy, Sledgehammer 44 (Dark Horse)
Best Lettering
  • Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground (IDW)
  • Carla Speed McNeil, Bad Houses; “Finder” in Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse)
  • Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
  • Ed Piskor, Hip Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)
  • Britt Wilson, Adventure Time with Fiona and Cake (kaBOOM!)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
Best Comics-Related Book
  • Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary, by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen (Bloomsbury)
  • The Art of Rube Goldberg, selected by Jennifer George (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps, by Art Spiegelman (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth,  by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell (LOAC/IDW)
  • The Love and Rockets Companion, edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
Best Scholarly/Academic Work
  • Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books, 1920–1960, by Nathan Vernon Madison (McFarland)
  • Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation, edited by Sheena C. Howard and Ronald L. Jackson II (Bloomsbury)
  • Drawing from Life: Memory and Subjectivity in Comic Art, edited by Jane Tolmie (University Press of Mississippi)
  • International Journal of Comic Art, edited by John A. Lent
  • The Superhero Reader, edited by Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, and Kent Worcester (University Press of Mississippi)
Best Publication Design
  • The Art of Rube Goldberg, designed by Chad W. Beckerman (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Beta Testing the Apocalypse, designed by Tom Kaczynski (Fantagraphics)
  • Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, designed by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
  • The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme: A Panorama, by Joe Sacco, designed by Chin-Yee Lai (Norton)
  • Little Tommy Lost, Book 1, designed by Cole Closser (Koyama)

The judges this year are Kathy Bottarini, owner of Comic Book Box, in Rohnert Park, CA; William H. Foster III, Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College, CT; Christian Lipski, comics reviewer and journalist; Lee Oeth, member of the Board of Directors, Comic-Con International: San Diego; Jenny Robb, curator and associate professor, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at the Ohio State University; and James Romberger, fine artist and cartoonist who lives and works in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Voting for the awards is held online. All professionals in the comic book industry are eligible to vote. The winners will be revealed on Friday, July 25 at Comic-Con International.

The voting in one Eisner Awards category, the Hall of Fame, is already completed. The judges chose the nominees earlier this year, and voting was conducted online.

Eisner Awards judges have selected three individuals to automatically be inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame for 2014. These inductees are Golden Age artists Irwin Hasen (The Flash, Wildcat, Green Lantern for DC; Dondi syndicated strip), Sheldon Moldoff (Batman artist), and African American comics pioneer Orrin C. Evans (All-Negro Comics). In the past, the judges have chosen two automatic inductees, both deceased. This year’s judges decided to add one more inductee, a deserving still-living comics creator. The judges have also chosen 14 nominees from which voters will select 4 to be inducted in the Hall of Fame this summer. These nominees are Gus Arriola, Howard Cruse, Philippe Druillet, Rube Goldberg, Fred Kida, Hayao Miyazaki, Tarpé Mills, Alan Moore, Francoise Mouly, Dennis O’Neil, Antonio Prohias, Rumiko Takahashi, George Tuska, and Bernie Wrightson.

Hugo Nominees Coming April 19

The announcement of the 2014 Hugo and 1939 Retro Hugo nominees will be live-streamed from Glasgow, via Ustream, and broadcast simultaneously at two conventions in the United States on April 19.

  • Satellite 4, the British National Science Fiction Convention (Eastercon), in Glasgow, Scotland (8:30 p.m. BST).
  • Norwescon 37, one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier science fiction and fantasy conventions, in SeaTac, WA (12:30 p.m. PDT)
  • Minicon 49, Minnesota’s longest-running science fiction convention, in Bloomington, MN (2:30 p.m. CDT)

Nominations will also be released category by category via the Loncon 3 Facebook page at www.facebook.com/londonin2014 and the Loncon 3 Twitter feed at twitter.com/Loncon3.

The shortlists will be published through the Loncon 3 website immediately afterwards.

Final Hugo voting will open after the announcement and continue until July 31. The winners of the 1939 Retro Hugos will be announced on Thursday, August 14, and the 2014 Hugos on Sunday, August 17, during Loncon 3.

The full press release follows the jump.

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Charley’s War To End All Wars

James Bacon’s verdict is that the finest war story about The Great War is a comic. It’s Charley’s War, originally published over three decades ago, and now reprinted by Titan Books as a 10-volume set, with commentary, essays, photos and reference material.

James’ review of Charley’s War, posted at Forbidden Planet, benefits from the perspectives of his recent conversation with writer Pat Mills.

His review is also partly autobiographical — James’ father bought the comic as it came out in the late Seventies and early Eighties and he was deeply influenced.

Even as a boy, a child, one could see the good and the bad. Mills was able to craft a depth to his characters, so one could feel the broader conflict, and see the horrors in individuals, and it was clear they were part of an overall system, driven by class and a pox on the ordinary soldier. The writing captures a broader perspective for the reader, bringing elements that are unknown in my case, or less known to bear, and the treatment of soldiers so horrible, and yet as a boy I could understand that sometimes the enemy is not the coal-scuttle helmeted stormtrooper, who occasionally would be portrayed as just as hapless as some of Charley’s buddies, but the officer class, the system, the cowardice within and how empathy for humanity is something that friends understand but the class system wants to destroy.

[Thanks to James Bacon for the link.]

Art Focus at Loncon 3

The 2014 Worldcon, Loncon 3, will be highlightlighting  science fiction and fantasy art through exhibits, programming, and special events.

Over 2,000 works from nearly 100 artists are expected to be on show, including examples of the best of British illustration from the golden age of the 1970s and 1980s. A 96-page full-color Artist Showcase publication will be available for purchase by members.

Artists confirmed for the show, in addition to Guest of Honour Chris Foss, include Chris Achilleos, Jim Burns, Steve Crisp, Galen Dara, Fred Gambino, John Harris, Chris Moore, Anne Stokes, Anne Sudworth, and Margaret Walty. Click here for the complete list.

The full press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

The Gospel Truth

By John King Tarpinian: Jesus has a sci-fi link.

The director of the movie, King of Kings (1961), Nicholas Rey was having problems with the script. This is the movie with the definitive blonde-haired blue-eyed Jesus. That was Jeffrey Hunter, who would go on to play the original captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Captain Pike. In the early 60s Ray Bradbury did side-work as a Script Doctor and was called in to help. Ray was first told that they did not have an ending for the movie.  Ray’s response being, “Have you read the book?”

He wrote the ending that they pretty much used. Only Ray wanted an overhead shot showing J.C. walking onto the Sea of Galilee while the disciples were walking off onto the points of the compass to spread “the word.”  Renting the crane for the overhead shot was “too expensive” so the scene was modified and shot at ground level.

They knew they had other problems with the script but had no money for any reshooting of scenes.  Ray suggested they use a voice-over narration. They liked the idea and asked him to write the dialog, which he did.

Now they had another problem, they needed a powerful voice actor to read the narration. Ray suggested his friend, Orson Welles. After choking on their own spittle they said they did not have the money to pay Welles. Ray said he’d ask Orson to do it for scale, which Welles did. Orson had played Father Mable in Ray’s script of Moby Dick for John Huston.

This part I do not quite understand but for Ray’s and Orson’s names to appear in the credits they had to be paid another stipend. Not having the money the producers opted to not credit them. So if you watch the film over the weekend this story might be more entertaining than the one they filmed. One of the grand old men of science fiction and the writer/producer/director of what many argue is the best movie of all time are unsung heroes of King of Kings.