Cue the Hamilton quotes: Soon the room where it happens will be your living room! Shout it to the rooftops that the Broadway sensation Hamilton will be available for home viewing this summer! Look around, look around to see how lucky we are to be alive in a world where Hamilton is coming to Disney+ on July 3, more than 15 months ahead of schedule!
What will be the effects when Hamilton joins the Disneyverse?
1, Does this mean Alex H has a chance to be a Jedi, and use the force to avoid being shot to death?
2, Will Hawkeye miss his shot?
3, Will the Avengers, or at least Spider-Man, get involved in the Rev War? Will Tony Stark pal around with Ben Franklin?
4, Will Paul Revere ride on Dumbo instead of his horse?
5, Will the Schuyler sisters get Frozen freeze-powers?
Is this enough to justify signing up for Disney+?
Good question — but realistically, either the free trial or a month’s worth should do it. It’s not like Hamilton is going to be a 12-episode season…unless they do the Hamilton/Star Wars/Avengers Crossover, where Luke gets to sing about not missing his shot, etc. Or Force Ghosts doing “What’d I Miss?”
“Luke the Son of Anakin,” whose lyrics were written by comedian Nick Jack Pappas, tells the Skywalker saga to a tune from the smash musical about the ten-dollar founding father. It parodies the show’s opening number with a spoiler-heavy summary of Luke’s journey from space farm boy to Jedi knight and finally to lost recluse in the latest installment of the series.
Hux [Hamilton Parody] (Aug 2016)
Luke Skywalker Hamilton (Dec 2015)
Darth Vader sings You’ll Be Back [Hamilton Parody] (Feb 2017)
Star Wars / Hamilton Awakens – The Musical (Sept 2016)
Congratulations to China Miéville, Ian McEwan, N.K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor, and Sam J. Miller whose works in Italian translation are finalists in the International sf novel category of the 2020 Premio Italia.
The winners will be announced on June 13 during Fantàsia 2020 a San Marino.
Carmine Treanni, Sulla Luna. A 50 anni dallo sbarco, un viaggio tra scienza e fantascienza, Cento Autori
Giovanni Agnoloni, Tolkien: la Luce e l’Ombra, Kipple Officina Libraria
Giulia Abbate, Franco Ricciardiello, Manuale di scrittura di fantascienza, Odoya
Giulia Iannuzzi, Un laboratorio di fantastici libri, Solfanelli
Luca Ortino, Guida alla percezione del tempo, Odoya
Romanzo di autore italiano – Fantascienza /Science fiction novel
Davide Del Popolo Riolo, Übermensch, Delos Digital
Elisa Emiliani, Cenere, Zona 42
Francesca Cavallero, Le ombre di Morjegrad, Mondadori
Francesco Verso, I Camminatori: Vol. 2 – No/Mad/Land, Future Fiction
Paolo Aresi, Korolev. La luce di Eris, Delos Digital
Romanzo di autore italiano – Fantasy / Fantasy novel
Giulia Massini, La terra sul filo di seta, Tabula fati
Livio Gambarini, Eternal War 3: Sangue sul Giglio, Acheron Books
Luca Mazza, Black Hills, Moscabianca Edizioni
Marco Cardone, Italian Way of Cooking 2: Pizza mostri e mandolino, Acheron Books
Milena Debenedetti, Il popolo spezzato, Delos Digital
Antologia / Anthology
Carmine Treanni, Altri futuri, Delos Digital
Franco Forte, Strani mondi, Urania Millemondi – Mondadori
Giulia Abbate, Elena Di Fazio, Italia futura presente, Delos Digital
Marco Passarello, Fanta-scienza, Delos Digital
Silvia Treves, M. Caterina Mortillaro, DiverGender, Delos Digital
Racconto di autore italiano su pubblicazione professionale / Story by an Italian Author in a Professional Publication
Alessandro Vietti, Essere ovale, Strani Mondi, Urania Millemondi – Mondadori
Claudio Chillemi, L’universo muto, Robotica.it, Delos Digital
Dario Tonani, Picadura, Strani Mondi, Urania Millemondi – Mondadori
Lukha B. Kremo, Ipersfera, Strani Mondi, Urania Millemondi – Mondadori
Maico Morellini, Fatum, Strani Mondi, Urania Millemondi – Mondadori
Racconto di autore italiano su pubblicazione amatoriale / Story by an Italian Author in an Amateur Publication
Giorgio Sangiorgi, Luna spot, Altrimondi https://www.altrimondi.org/luna-spot/
Giovanni De Matteo, Red Dust, Club Ghost https://www.clubghost.it/portale/2019/05/16/red-dust-di-giovanni-de-matteo/
Lorenzo Davia, Az-Zindis, Hyperborea https://hyperborea.live/2019/12/03/i-racconti-di-satrampa-zeiros-az-zinds-di-lorenzo-davia/
Nicola Catellani, Il posto più felice sulla Luna, N.A.S.F. 15: Spazio/Luna
Tea C. Blanc, Centuria, Cose da Altrimondi https://www.altrimondi.org/centuria-di-tea-c-blanc/
Articolo su pubblicazione professionale / Article in a Professional Publication
Carmine Treanni, Distopia, il mondo che non vorremmo, Delos Science Fiction, Delos Books
Giulia Abbate, Elena Di Fazio, Antologie al femminile: è discriminazione?, Robot, Delos Books
Maico Morellini, I nove rapimenti alieni più famosi della storia, Mondofox.it, Fox
Michele Tetro, Tra le pagine della Luna-Viaggi spaziali e allunaggi nella letteratura, La Luna nell’immaginario, Odoya
Silvio Sosio, L’età dell’oro della fantascienza italiana, Strani Mondi, Urania Millemondi – Mondadori
Articolo su pubblicazione amatoriale / Article in an Amateur Publication
Giovanni De Matteo, Di cosa parlate quando parlate di fantascienza?, Holonomikon https://holonomikon.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/di-cosa-parlate-quando-parlate-di-fantascienza/
Giulia Abbate e Elena Di Fazio, La tesi dell’apostolo cattivo: il nuovo adattamento di Evangelion e il traduttore camaleonte, Lezioni sul domani https://lezionisuldomani.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/la-tesi-dellapostolo-cattivo-il-nuovo-adattamento-di-evangelion-e-il-traduttore-camaleonte/
Linda De Santi, Totalitarismi, ruoli di genere e maternità: uno sguardo alla narrativa distopica delle donne, Next Station http://www.next-station.org/fe-art-d.php?_i=259
Nick Parisi, Professione traduttore: Tradurre fantascienza in Italia nel 2019, Nocturnia https://wwwwelcometonocturnia.blogspot.com/2019/11/professione-traduttore-tradurre.html
Tea C. Blanc, Crepax, le copertine fantascientifiche gi Galaxy, Giornale Pop https://www.giornalepop.it/galaxy-di-crepax/
Romanzo internazionale / International sf novel
China Miéville, L’uomo del censimento, [The Census-Taker] Zona 42
Ian McEwan, Macchine come me, [Machines Like Me] Einaudi
N.K. Jemisin, La quinta stagione, [The Fifth Season] Mondadori
Nnedi Okorafor, Binti, [Binti] Mondadori
Sam J. Miller, La città dell’orca, [Blackfish City] Zona 42
Fumetto di autore italiano / Comic by an Italian Author
Andrea Frittella, Borgata Gordiani, Edizioni Bd
Bepi Vigna, Giez, Il passato è una terra straniera, Nathan Never – Bonelli
Bepi Vigna, Sergio Giardo, Romina Denti, Nathan Never Stazione Spaziale Internazionale, Bonelli
Carlo Recagno, Antonio Sforza, L’Uomo che scoprì il segreto di Leonardo, Storie da Altrove – Sergio Bonelli Editore
Carlo Recagno, Stefano Santoro, Giovanni Romanini, L’Uomo dal Rinascimento, Speciale Martin Mystere – Sergio Bonelli Editore
Fumetto di autore internazionale / Comic by an International Author
Cullen Bunn, Peter Milligan, Adan Gorham, Robert Gill, Punk Mambo, Star Comics
Film fantastico (premio non ufficiale) / Fantastic Film (unofficial prize)
Alita: Angelo della battaglia
I Am Mother
Star Wars: L’ascesa di Skywalker
Serie televisiva (premio non ufficiale) / TV Series (unofficial prize)
ComiXology has hundreds — possibly close to a thousand — of comic issues available.
Via the web site, go to the “Free” link in the Quick Links bar on the right.
Via the app (I’m using the iOS app, FWIW), click on the Down-Arrow-In-A-Box at the upper left of the “Discover” page (if this doesn’t come up automatically, go to the bottom bar of the page to click on Discover.)
I don’t know if you need do sign in, but an account is free. (The main point of the app is to let you buy digital comics.)
For access to lots more — over 25,000, from not just DC and Marvel but also Dark Horse, Dynamite and many other publishers — sign up for ComiXology Unlimited, $5.99/month. (And the free trial is 60 days – just be sure to cancel in time if you don’t want to continue.)
Hoopla Digital, which allows a set (by your library) number of borrows per month, has also added “Unlimited Bonus Borrows” that don’t count against your monthly quota — included dozens of comics and book-collections-of-comics. (So, for example, the Omnibus versions of Garth Ennis’ The Boys, which each aggregate two of the original book-collection volumes, mean you could read the full series in six “borrows”… and since they’re in the “Unlimited Bonus Borrows,” you’d still have a lot of borrows left for the month. Lots of comics — from DC, Marvel, and others (and e-books, music and video) for all ages and interests! And you can download to mobile devices for off-line enjoyment.
Hoopla access is free; you sign up using your library card (assuming your library has signed up with Hoopla, since the library pays for each time you borrow.)
Marvel Comics “GET STARTED WITH FREE ISSUES” says they have a bunch of free issues here. And Marvel Unlimited — $9.99/month or $69/year, with access to 27,000+ comics, has added free access to several dozen Marvel comics.
According to Marvel, “To access Marvel Unlimited’s free comics offering, download or update the Marvel Unlimited app for iOS or Android at the respective Apple and Google Play app stores, and click ‘Free Comics’ on the landing screen. No payment information or trial subscriptions will be required for the selection of free comics…Customers on the Marvel Comics App and webstore as well as comiXology will also have free access to these stories for a limited time.” (Although where these are on ComiXology is not, so far, obvious to yours truly.)
As for DC, I can’t at the moment tell if they offer anything free directly (as opposed to via ComiXology, Hoopla, etc.). DC’s DCUniverse.com site/app, $74.99/year (7-day free trial), gives you access to not just 25,000+ comics, but also lots of DC/Warner videos, TV episodes, movies and more — including DC’s live-action Doom Patrol (1 season) and Titans (2 seasons).
Want more free or cheep comics? Don’t forget other public library apps like OverDrive, Freeding, and Libby… and the freebies/cheapies in Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime Reading.
Miller is the author of the Nebula-winning The Art of
Starving. Miller’s second novel Blackfish
City—a shortlist selection of the 2019 Neukom Awards—tells the
story of life set in a floating Arctic city where rising seas have caused
dramatic geopolitical changes. His most recent book, Destroy All
Monsters, was published in 2019.
“The imagined futures of some of the best speculative fiction
have always felt uncomfortably close,” said Dan Rockmore,
director of Dartmouth’s Neukom Institute for Computational Science and creator
of the award program. “We are excited to have Sam Miller, one of the most
imaginative writers of our day, guide us through this year’s awards under
circumstances that seem like they were pulled from the pages of a spec fic
The Neukom awards program presents prizes in two book
categories: one for a debut author, and another in an open author category.
There is also a separate award for playwriting. Miller will serve as a judge
for the book awards.
“We’re living in weird and terrifying times that rival the best
speculative fiction in their outlandishness,” said Miller, a recipient of the Shirley Jackson
Award. “My peers and heroes in the genre community are rising to the challenge
by writing magnificent books that not only capture the true horror of how we’re
destroying the world, but the hope and power we have to save it. We’ve seen
some astonishing novels come out in the past year, and I’m excited to help
celebrate some of them as part of the Neukom Awards.”
Each Neukom award comes with a $5,000 honorarium given as a part
of Dartmouth programming. The literary awards will be presented during a panel
scheduled for fall of 2020. The playwriting award also includes the opportunity
to develop and perform the script, first as a part of the summer VoxFest program
and then later with the local Northern Stage theatre group.
The short list of books for this year’s awards will be made
public in May. The list will be decided by Rockmore, along with Dartmouth
colleagues Eric Schaller, Tarek El-Ariss,
and Peter Orner,
as well as The Santa Fe Institute’s Jessica Flack.
The awards will be announced in June.
Additional information on the awards may be found on the Neukom
Institute website here.
By John Hertz: The only current annual fanziners’ convention I know of is
Corflu. Another called Ditto having run two decades, not always
annually, fell asleep. An attempt at another called Toner lasted, if
memory serves, two years.
Corflu is mimeograph correction fluid, once
indispensable. The Mimeograph was a 19th Century invention for
making inexpensive copies by forcing ink through stencils held on a rotating
drum. In the United States, “Mimeograph” was a registered trademark of
A.B. Dick Co., but was allowed to become generic.
Gestetner-brand machines appeared
a few years later. With Roneo-brand machines you could change drums to
change the color of ink. Rex Rotary was another
brand. I’m not sure how widely mimeograph or mimeo was
used as a generic term outside the U.S.
Many thought this the Grade A
technology for fanzine publication until cheap photocopying
arrived. Corflu was essential so as to cure misteaks.
Spirit duplication, which always sounded to me like something out of a fantasy
story, was a 1920s tech. Writing on a master sheet pressed the
master against a second, inked sheet; the master, duly inked on its back side,
and attached to a drum, was rolled over a wick holding an alcohol-based solvent
that transferred ink onto paper.
The Ditto brand was best known;
another was Heyer. You could
correct errors with skillful use of a razor blade, or an X-Acto knife, and
rewriting (or even retyping).
Each of these had various
advantages, disadvantages, and know-how. Generally mimeo could
reproduce more copies, spirit duplication was cheaper.
Toner is the powdery ink used in
laser printers and many photocopiers.
As Paul Skelton recently quoted
from Marshall McLuhan in Raucous
Caucus 7, when technology becomes obsolete it reshapes into an art
form. Actually McLuhan also said obsolescence isn’t an ending, it’s a
beginning. Speaking for myself I’m big on Right tool for
Corflu XXXVII was March 13-15,
2020, at College Station, Texas, U.S.A. (some cons get names; this one was
“Corflu Heatwave”). Corflu XXXVIII is scheduled for March 26-28,
2021, at Bristol, England, U.K. (“Corflu Concorde”). Seldom able to
attend in person, I’ve been a faithful Supporting Member, and happily recommend
membership in either kind.
If you’re electronic you can
or you can always write to me, 236 S. Coronado St., No. 409, Los Angeles, CA
(1) JEMISIN EVENT CONVERTED TO LIVESTREAM. N.K. Jemisin’s in-person
appearance at the Arthur C. Clarke Center
for Human Imagination has been converted to a virtual event, due to steps
being taken to protect the health of
the UC San Diego community and slow the spread of COVID-19. Use the Eventbrite
link to secure access.
N.K. Jemisin’s in-person event for The City We Became has, unfortunately, had to be canceled, but we are pleased to be able to offer you access to an exclusive virtual event streamed live. You’ll get a chance to hear about The City We Became and ask Jemisin questions. Only ticket-holders will have access-plus, you will still receive a copy of the book, with an option to sign up for a signed bookplate from Orbit during the event.
The virtual event will take place at the same time as the original event, 7pm on Friday, April 3rd. Tickets are still available through Eventbrite. If you have already purchased a ticket and would like to request a refund, you may do so through Eventbrite. However we hope you choose to join us in celebrating The City We Became! All ticket purchases help support the author, Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, the publisher, and this thing we call human imagination.
And you have to buy the magazine to see this next Jemisin-related
item. Kevin Hogan reports: “I was surprised
but pleased to see a one-page The Making of the Book segment in Entertainment
Weekly (April 2020, issue # 1586, page 90) on N.K. Jemisin and her upcoming
novel, The City We Became. It’s always nice to see genre covered in ‘popular
S. Arnold, the Balticon 54 Hotel Liaison, asks for understanding about how reservation
cancellations were sent by the hotel before the con could notify its members.
We sent a letter to the Balticon hotel asking for their opinion as to if they would be able to host Balticon this year and if they could not do so we would need to cancel the event.
The hotel management determined that it was very unlikely they would be able to host Balticon 54 and at a staff meeting on the morning of 03/18/2020 the general manager told his staff to send us an email explaining that it was unlikely they would be able to host Balticon and to cancel reservations once we confirmed we had told our people. Apparently, the head of reservations did not hear the part about waiting for us to send out notice and took immediate action by using an automated cancellation program.
Cancellations from the reservations department went out several hours before the email to us from the general manager letting us know they could not host Balticon 54 and would not attempt to collect cancellation fees and that they hope to see us next year was sent. A follow up email with apology for sending the cancellations before we told the hotel we had announced the cancellation of Balticon has already been received from the hotel. Given the stress many people are under during this pandemic I hope we can all forgive the hotel reservations department jumping the gun by a day or so.
A message concerning membership refunds (and roll-overs if you want to Balticon 55) and dealers tables refunds etc. with the process to let us know what you want to do will be sent out soon.
(3) THE MAN WHO LEARNS BETTER. “Heinlein’s Juveniles, Pt. 1” is a fine article by
Sourdough Jackson in the latest DASFAx clubzine. Click here –
then scroll down to the March (202003) issue. Starts on page 2.
…When discussing the juveniles, I’ll be taking them two books per column. The first pair are Rocket Ship Galileo(1947) and Space Cadet (1948), both products of a troubled time in the author’s life—a typhoon was blowing his marriage toward the rocks, and the prospects for his writing career weren’t much better. Among his attempts to claw off that marital and literary lee shore was a projected series of books for boys: The Young Atomic Engineers. He thought to begin with a blockbuster—a trip to the Moon.
(4) MONSTROUS DISCOVERIES. [Item by Martin Morse
Wooster.] In the March 16 Financial
Times, Simon Ings reviews “Monsters of The Deep,” a show about
giant aquatic creatures that will be at Britain’s National Maritime Museum
Back in 1893, the biologist Thomas Henry Huxley wrote in The Times: ‘There is not an a priori reason that I know of why snake-bodied reptiles, from fifty feet long and upwards, should not disport themselves to our seas as they did those of the cretaceous epoch, which, geologically speaking, is a mere yesterday.’
Palaentologist Darren Naish, who is lead curator of the Falmouth exhibition,, is willing to entertain Huxley’s theory. “His was the right attitude at the time, because the life of the deep oceans was only just being discovered. (Monsters of the Deep makes much of the ground-breaking research led by HMS Challenger, which between 1872 and 1876 discovered 4,700 species of marine life.) Large fossil dinosaurs and early whales, and amazing gigantic living animals, had been discovered only relatively recently,’ Naish pints out.’The whale shark, the world’s biggest fish, was a mid 19th century discovery.
(5) AGAINST THE LAW. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Six
Great Novels About Crime That Aren’t Quite Crime Novels” on CrimeReads,
Mat Osman looks at six novels, two of which, China Mieville’s The City &
The City and Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, are
Hugo winners. He also writes about Michel Faber’s Under The Skin,
noting the novel is a “very different beast” than the filmed version.
The joy of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is the way it lures you in with the most comforting of literary tropes. It’s a hard-bitten detective story about a boozy, lovelorn policeman with a seemingly unsolvable case. There are hard-drinking cops. There are underworld kingpins. There are unspoken codes of honor. So far, so Raymond Chandler. But under the surface another kind of book is flexing its muscles. It’s a what-if novel in which the post-WWII Jewish homeland is Alaska rather than Israel and the Messiah may (or may not) be on his way. It’s a setting that lets Chabon riff on his favored themes. Tall tales are told, language is toyed with (the Alaskan Jews call themselves The Frozen Chosen) and it builds to a denouement as vast as it is unexpected.
(6) BABY YODA ON THE COVER. That made me 1000% more
interested. On sale May 26 from Titan Comics, Star Wars: The Mandalorian The
Art & Imagery–Collector’s Edition Vol.1.
This deluxe edition collects the stunning artwork from the first four chapters of the Disney+ smash hit, highlighting the characters, creatures, allies, enemies and environments of this all-new Star Wars story.
(7) TODAY IN HISTORY.
March 19, 1990 — Repo Men premiered. It was directed by Miguel Sapochnik. It starred Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber and Alice Braga. It was based on Eric Garcia’s The Repossession Mambo who co-wrote the screenplay with Garrett Lerner. It wasn’t well-received by critics at the time, nor does the audience over at Rotten Tomatoes care for it giving it a 21% rating.
March 19, 1999 — Farscape premiered on Syfy. The series was conceived by Rockne S. O’Bannon and produced by The Jim Henson Company and Hallmark Entertainment. The Jim Henson Company was responsible for the various alien make-up and prosthetics, and two regular characters, Rygel and Pilot were completely Creature Shop creations. Filmed in Australia, it would would last for four seasons ending in The Peacekeeper Wars.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born March 19, 1821 – Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS. He was a geographer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist when that term wasn’t a curse word, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer and diplomat. And the translator of an unexpurgated translation of One Thousand and One Nights. Along with Vikram and the Vampire or Tales of Hindu Devilry. Mind you, he was also the publisher of both Kama Sutra and The Perfume Garden. (Died 1890.)
Born March 19, 1919 – Patricia Laffan. She was the alien Nyah in Devil Girl from Mars, a Fifties pulp film which you can see here. (Died 2014.)
Born March 19, 1926 – Joe L. Hensley. He was a First Fandom Dinosaur which is to say he was active in fandom prior to July 4, 1939 and he received the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award. He is also a published genre author with ”And Not Quite Human” in the September 1953 issue of Beyond Fantasy Fiction being his first published work, and The Black Roads being his only genre novel. It does not appear that his genre works are available in digital editions. (Died 2007.)
Born March 19, 1928 – Patrick McGoohan. Creator, along with George Markstein, of The Prisoner series with him playing the main role of Number Six. I’ve watched it at least several times down the years. It never gets any clearer but it’s always interesting and always weird. Other genre credits do not include Danger Man but does comprise a short list of The Phantom where he played The Phantom’s father, Treasure Planet where he voiced Billy Bones and Journey into Darkness where he was The Host. (Died 2009.)
Born March 19, 1936 – Ursula Andress, 84. I’msure I’ve seen all of the original Bond films though I’ll be damned I remember where or when I saw them. Which is my way of leading up to saying that I don’t remember her in her roles as either as Honey Ryder in the very first Bond film, Dr. No, or as as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale. Bond girls aren’t that memorable to me it seems. Hmmm… let’s see if she’s done any other genre work… well her first was The Tenth Victim based on Sheckley’s 1953 short story “Seventh Victim”. She also appeared in L’Infermiera, oops wrong genre, The Mountain of the Cannibal God, The Fifth Musketeer, Clash of the Titans where she played of course Aphrodite, on the Manimal series, The Love Boat series and the two Fantaghirò films.
Born March 19, 1945 – Jim Turner. Turner was editor for Arkham House after the death of August Derleth, founder of that press. After leaving Arkham House for reasons that are not at all clear, he founded Golden Gryphon Press which published really lovely books until it went out of existence. Too bad their original website doesn’t exist anymore, but you can still view captures at the Wayback Machine. (Died 1999.)
Born March 19, 1955 – Bruce Willis, 65. So do any of the Die Hard franchise count as genre? So even setting them aside, he has a very long genre list, to wit Death Becomes Her (bit of macabre fun), 12 Monkeys (weird shit), The Fifth Element (damn great), Armageddon (eight tentacles down), Looper (most excellent), The Sixth Sense (not at all bad), Sin City (typical Miller overkill) and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (yet more Miller overkill).
Born March 19, 1964 – Marjorie Monaghan, 56. JoJo on all six episodes of Space Rangers. My brain keeps insisting it lasted much, much longer. She also was on Babylon 5 as the Mars Resistance leader during the Earth Alliance Civil War, where she was known as Number One. She’s also appeared on Quantum Leap, in the cyberpunk Nemesis film, in The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy film, on Andromeda series, and on The Great War of Magellan film.
(9) COMICS SECTION.
Bizarro does not have the legend you’re looking for.
As the comics industry reacts to the social isolation response to the coronavirus, Image Comics publisher and CEO Eric Stephenson has released an open letter about what his company — the third-largest publisher in the U.S. market — is doing to lessen pressure on retailers struggling with reduced traffic to stores and enforced closures. He is also asking other publishers to follow suit.
In normal times, comic book stores must estimate how many issues of each comic they will sell, and pay upfront for inventory from publishers. However, as the coronavirus has dramatically shifted how many customers are coming into shops, Stephenson said Image will allow comic book stores to return orders for the next 60 days.
One of the precepts of emergency response is the title of this email: Adapt, improvise, overcome. It’s a phrase that gets mentioned several times in Machine, and I found myself thinking of it last night as I chatted with friends in various corners of the internet about the economic repercussions of the current xombie apocalypse. I see a lot of fear, and a lot of people saying “If we have to do this quarantine bullshit for 18 months the economy will never recover.”
A problem here is that we’ve been taught (by entertainment) to think of massive catastrophes as The End Of The World because that makes a better story. And I don’t want to minimize the grief and suffering that we endure in a catastrophe, be it a hurricane or an earthquake or a war or a pandemic. That is real.
….Like the best crime fiction, Chaykin’s work is well versed in the morally ambiguous protagonist, as opposed to the steel-jawed, superheroic superman.
“My work more often than not betrays that hero with a wound thing, with a protagonist who is far from morally sound—and informs my interest in telling stories without a hero who does the right thing, that right thing as defined by an audience trained to love this romantic vision of the world,” Chaykin said. “And don’t get me started with the “rich guy who had a bad day when he was eight and turns to wage war on crime” model, either.”
It’s been a pretty difficult set of weeks lately. In addition to normal life grinding to a halt, conventions and gatherings have been canceled. Galactic Journey was scheduled to present at a number of venues over the next several months. That’s all fallen by the wayside.
Thanks to the miracle of TELSTAR, SYNCOM, and RELAY, Galactic Journey can still perform for you, coming to you Live, Coast to Coast, in the comfort of your own living rooms!
That’s right — we are reviving Galactic Journey’s “Come Time Travel with Me” show, an hour-long (more or less) trip back in time exactly 55 years.
We’ll be covering science fiction, the Space Race, the recent civil rights march in Alabama, fashion, politics — you name it. And we mean YOU. After our introduction, it’ll be your questions that guide the course of the program. And the best questions will win a prize!
So come join us, March 27, 1965 (2020) at 6PM PDT. All you need is a screen and an hour. We’ll provide the rest.
NASA unsticks its Martian digging probe by whacking it with a shovel.
Every day, the InSight lander’s suite of instruments sends back data proving that the Red Planet isn’t really dead. Marsquakes rumble the seismometer. Swirling vortices register on onboard pressure sensor. And temperature sensors help track the weather and changing of the seasons.
Despite the lander’s successes, however, one gauge has met with resistance from the Martian environment while trying to carry out its mission. Something has stopped InSight’s 15-inch digging probe, dubbed “the mole” for its burrowing prowess. Instead of diving deep into the Martian sand where it could take the planet’s temperature, it’s been stuck half-buried. An intercontinental team of MacGyvers has spent a year devising successively daring plans to get the mole digging again, but still it flounders on the surface. Now their final gambit—directly pushing the mole into the soil—has shown tentative signs of success, NASA announced Friday on Twitter.
The goal of the mole, which is the measurement probe of InSight’s Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (or HP3), is to track the temperature variations of Mars itself. This heat comes from Mars’s core, which, like Earth’s core, remains warm from the planet’s birth. By measuring it, researchers hope to learn about Mars’s formation—but from the rod-shaped mole’s current position they can get readings only of the surface temperature. Mission planners hope to ideally reach 15 feet underground to escape the warming and cooling from the Martian seasons that would interfere with reading the planet’s true temperature.
“I always thought, ‘let’s ask Mark Watney [the fictional protagonist of the book The Martian] to just go over there and just push a little bit on the mole,’” said Tilman Spohn, the HP3’s principle investigator.
But without any Martian explorers to lend a hand, Spohn and his colleagues on the “anomaly response team” have had to improvise with the only tool available—a small shovel-like “scoop” on the end of InSight’s robotic arm. Over the last year they’ve tried to punch down the walls of the hole around the mole, to fill in the hole with nearby sand, and to give the mole more purchase by pinning it against the side of the hole with the scoop. But to no avail.
China’s first journey to Mars is one of the most anticipated space missions of the year. But with parts of the country in some form of lockdown because of the coronavirus, the mission teams have had to find creative ways to continue their work. Researchers involved in the mission remain tight-lipped about its key aspects, but several reports from Chinese state media say that the outbreak will not affect the July launch — the only window for another two years…
On Tuesday, the actor and writer partook in the ancient theatrical tradition that is trying to understand the baffling, inscrutable movie-musical Cats (recently available on digital). Rogen wrote a long Twitter thread about the experience, marveling at the impossibly small cat shoes worn by several characters and wondering what the hell a “Jellicle” is, anyway. (For the record, that made-up word is a play on how posh Brits pronounce “dear little” cats).
In the process, Rogen also tweet-quoted a post from screenwriter Jack Waz, who claimed to know a visual effects artist who had been tapped to work on Cats back in November. That VFX person’s job? “To remove CGI buttholes that had been inserted a few months before,” Waz wrote. “Which means that, somewhere out there, there exists a butthole cut of Cats.”
…With The Rise of Skywalker concluding the iconic Skywalker saga and wrapping up Williams’ time in a galaxy far, far away, J.J. Abrams made sure to put Williams in front of the camera in the film. Williams has a minor Rise of Skywalker cameo, appearing in a seedy establishment on Kijimi as the Resistance heroes make their way to meet Babu Frik. Getting the opportunity to see Williams onscreen was thrilling enough for fans, but the scene also includes several nods to his unparalleled career.
The making-of documentary in the Rise of Skywalker home media release has a segment focused on Williams. In it, Abrams reveals each of the props surrounding Williams represents the 51 Oscar nominations Williams received up to that point. Examples include Indiana Jones’ whip from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the barrels from Jaws, and the iron from Home Alone….
[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster,
Michael Toman, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Contrarius, SF
Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories.
Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anna Nimmhaus.]
Sometimes it’s good to be bad! For the month of May, Marvel
characters are showing off their sinister sides in deliciously evil variant
covers. From Spider-Man to Captain America, see Marvel’s most popular heroes
reimagined in twisted ways.
SPIDER-MAN #45 DARK MARVEL VARIANT by DOALY
BLACK WIDOW #2 DARK
MARVEL VARIANT by OLIVIER VATINE
CAPTAIN AMERICA #22
DARK MARVEL VARIANT by PATCH ZIRCHER with colors by MORRY HOLLOWELL
DOCTOR DOOM #8 DARK MARVEL VARIANT by RYAN BROWN
DEADPOOL #7 DARK MARVEL VARIANT by TONY DANIEL with colors by DAVID CURIEL
DR. STRANGE #6 DARK
MARVEL VARIANT by DAVE JOHNSON
Martin Morse Wooster: I went to the University of
Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center to see a performance of Thais.
Before the opera, I saw “Inspired!
Jim Henson at Maryland”, an exhibition at the Michelle Smith Performing
Arts Library at the center. The exhibit,
with curators from the University of Maryland and the Jim Henson Company, and
was funded by the Jane Henson Foundation.
It will be at the library until June.
thought the exhibit was really well done and anyone interested in Henson’s art
will learn from it. But it’s very small:
I took it in in 15 minutes, and I’m a guy who sees and reads everything when
he’s at the museum.
went to Maryland because he was a legacy; on exhibit was his father’s master’s
thesis, about endosperm in corn. He
started off doing art for Northwestern High School publications, and you can
see some of them.
he was at Maryland in the late 1950s, Henson created all sorts of art. He created a silkscreen business, and you can
see several posters he did. He also took
two courses in fashion illustration to expand his skill set, and some of these
illustrations are shown in the exhibit.
Henson’s first love was puppetry. His
first commercial puppetry assignment was commercials for Wilkins Coffee, which
featured two puppets named Wilkins and Wontkins. He then followed this with “Sam and Friends,”
a five-minute puppet show which was the first appearance of Kermit the Frog.
video in the exhibit shows some of the coffee commercials and two episodes of
“Sam and Friends.” My favorite joke:
Wilkins the puppet is shown with four cups of coffee. Why only four? “Because I’m taking the fifth.”
I learned that as part of the Henson family’s philanthropy, they’ve funded
fellowships for current Maryland students interested in puppetry, and you can
see what today’s puppeteers are doing.
impression I got of Jim Henson at the University of Maryland was that he was a
bright, creative guy who left Maryland with a great deal of potential. Anyone who likes the Muppets will find
“Inspired!” worth seeing.
Thanks to Joker’s three wins, genre held its head up on an evening otherwise dominated by the film 1917, which won seven awards.
Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor. Joker
won for Best Score. And this
year BAFTA made its first award for casting, which went to the casting
directors of Joker.
Also of interest,
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was honored with the BAFTA
Fellowship and actor, director and motion capture pioneer Andy Serkis received
the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award.
The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced the winners of its 47th Annual Annie Awards™ at a ceremony on January 25.
There are 32 categories spanning features, TV/shortform media and VR, recognizing the year’s best in the field of animation.
Love, Death & Robots won four Annies, including Best Editorial – TV/Media for the episode based on John Scalzi’s short “Alternate Histories.”
Klaus, Sergio Pablos’
Santa Claus origin story and the first original animated motion picture out of
Netflix, dominated the evening with seven wins.
Klaus, Netflix Presents A Production of
The Spa Studios and Atresmedia Cine
Best Indie Feature
I Lost My Body, Xilam for Netflix
Best Special Production
How to Train Your Dragon
Best Short Subject
Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the
Ciclope Filmes, National Film Board of Canada, Les Armateurs
Bonfire, Baobab Studios
The Mystical Journey of Jimmy
Page’s ‘59 Telecaster, Nexus Studios
Best TV/Media — Preschool
Ask the Storybots, Episode: “Why Do We Have To
Recycle?,” JibJab Bros. Studios for Netflix
Best TV/Media — Children
Disney Mickey Mouse, Episode: “Carried Away,”
Disney TV Animation/Disney Channel
Best TV/Media — General Audience
BoJack Horseman, Episode: “The Client,” Tornante
Productions, LLC for Netflix
Best Student Film
The Fox & the Pigeon, Michelle Chua
Best FX for TV/Media
Love, Death & Robots, Episode: “The Secret War,” Blur for Netflix
FX Artist: Viktor Németh
FX Artist: Szabolcs Illés
FX Artist: Ádám Sipos
FX Artist: Vladimir Zhovna
Best FX for Feature
Frozen 2, Walt
Disney Animation Studios
Benjamin Fiske: Benjamin Fiske
Alex Moaveni: Alex Moaveni
Jesse Erickson: Jesse Erickson
Dimitre Berberov: Dimitre
Kee Nam Suong: Kee Nam Suong
Best Character Animation — TV/Media
His Dark Materials, Episode: “8,” BBC Studios
Lead Animator: Aulo Licinio Character:
Best Character Animation — Animated Feature
Klaus, Netflix Presents A Production of The Spa Studios and Atresmedia
Animation Supervisor: Sergio
Best Character Animation — Live Action
Avengers: Endgame, Weta Digital
Animation Supervisor: Sidney
Best Character Animation — Video Game
Unruly Heroes, Magic Design Studios
Character Animator: Sebastien
Character: Heroes Kid version,
Lead Animator: Nicolas Leger
Character: Heroes (Wukong, Kihong, Sandmonk, Sanzang), All enemies (except
Underworld levels) and cinematics
Best Character Design — TV/Media
Carmen Sandiego, Episode: “The Chasing Paper Caper,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publishing and DHX Media for Netflix
Character Designer: Keiko
Character: Carmen Sandiego,
Paper Star, Player, Shadowsan, Chief, Julia Argent, Chase Devineaux
Best Character Design — Feature
Klaus, Netflix Presents A Production of The Spa Studios and Atresmedia
Character Designer: Torsten
Character: All Characters
Best Direction — TV/Media
Disney Mickey Mouse
Episode: For Whom the Booth
Disney TV Animation/Disney
Director: Alonso Ramirez Ramos
Best Direction — Feature
Klaus, Netflix Presents A Production of The Spa Studios and Atresmedia
Director: Sergio Pablos
Best Music — TV/Media
Love, Death & Robots, Episode: “Sonnie’s Edge”
Blur for Netflix
Composer/Lyricist: Rob Cairns
Best Music — Feature
I Lost My Body, Xilam for Netflix
Composer: Dan Levy
Best Production Design — TV/Media
Love, Death & Robots, Episode: “The Witness,” Blur for Netflix
Production Design: Alberto
Best Production Design — Feature
Netflix Presents A Production of The Spa Studios and Atresmedia Cine
Production Design: Szymon
Production Design: Marcin
Best Storyboarding — TV/Media
Carmen Sandiego, Episode: “Becoming Carmen Sandiego: Part 1,” Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt Publishing and DHX Media for Netflix
Storyboard Artist: Kenny Park
Best Storyboarding — Feature
Netflix Presents A Production of The Spa Studios and Atresmedia Cine
Storyboard Artist: Sergio Pablos
Best Voice Acting — TV/Media
Bob’s Burgers, Episode: “Roamin’ Bob-iday,” 20th Century Fox / Bento Box
Cast: H. Jon Benjamin Character:
Best Voice Acting — Feature
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Josh Gad: Josh Gad
Best Writing — TV/Media
Tuca & Bertie, Episode: “The Jelly Lakes,” Tornante Productions, LLC for
Writer: Shauna McGarry
Best Writing — Feature
I Lost My Body, Xilam for Netflix
Writer: Jérémy Clapin
Writer: Guillaume Laurant
Best Editorial — TV/Media
Love, Death & Robots, Episode: “Alternate Histories,” Blur for Netflix
Nominee: Bo Juhl
Nominee: Stacy Auckland
Nominee: Valerian Zamel
Best Editorial — Feature
Presents A Production of The Spa Studios and Atresmedia Cine
Nominee: Pablo García Revert
The following juried awards were also presented:
Winsor McCay Award for their exemplary industry careers —
Satoshi Kon (posthumously), Japanese film director, animator, screenwriter and manga artist;
Henry Selick, stop motion director, producer and writer who is best known for directing the stop-motion animation films The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Coraline; and
Ron Clements & John Musker, animators, animation directors, screenwriters and producers of one of the Walt Disney Animation Studio’s leading director teams.
The June Foray Award —
Jeanette Bonds, writer, independent animator,
and co-founder and director of GLAS Animation; and
The Ub Iwerks Award —
Jim Blinn, computer scientist who first
became widely known for his work as a computer graphics expert
at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), particularly his work
on the pre-encounter animations for the Voyager project.