Pixel Scroll 4/9/20 I Had Too Much To Stream Last Night

(1) UNDERESTIMATED CRISIS. Kristine Kathryn Rusch sounds overwhelmed in “Business Musings: A Crisis Like No Other (A Process Blog)” where she discusses her daily challenges and struggles as a writer.

Well, I was wrong. A month or so ago, I warned that what we’re going through is a black swan event, that it would have an economic impact, and we as business owners needed to be braced. Then, as things got even worse, I decided this was a double black swan—a crisis without good leadership to carry us through to the other side.

And it seems that, in both cases, I underestimated this thing.  On April 3, Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, called this “a crisis like no other.”

In a speech before the World Health Organization, she added, “Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy coming to a standstill. It is way worse than the global financial crisis.”

A crisis like no other. Yeah, that was my sense as well over these past two weeks as I tried over and over again to find some kind of historic precedent to guide us forward. I couldn’t find one—not an analogous one, on that hit the global economy all at once, and forced people around the world to behave in the same way.

It’s breathtaking and shocking and hard to fathom. As you can tell from my many blog posts, I’m wrestling with this change. I know we’ll come out the other side, but for the first time—maybe in my adult life—I have no idea what kind of world we will emerge into. Usually I can predict both worst case and best case scenarios….

(2) SETTING THE TONE. Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book is where I first read John Clyn’s famous quote, written in 1349 at the height of the Black Plague:

“So that notable deeds should not perish with time, and be lost from the memory of future generations, I, seeing these many ills, and that the whole world encompassed by evil, waiting among the dead for death to come, have committed to writing what I have truly heard and examined; and so that the writing does not perish with the writer, or the work fail with the workman, I leave parchment for continuing the work, in case anyone should still be alive in the future and any son of Adam can escape this pestilence and continue the work thus begun.”

(3) APOLLO 13. At least the astronauts came out the other side of this disaster all right — “‘Houston, we’ve had a problem’: Remembering Apollo 13 at 50”.

…A half-century later, Apollo 13 is still considered Mission Control’s finest hour.

Lovell calls it “a miraculous recovery.”

Haise, like so many others, regards it as NASA’s most successful failure.

“It was a great mission,” Haise, 86, said. It showed “what can be done if people use their minds and a little ingenuity.”

As the lunar module pilot, Haise would have become the sixth man to walk on the moon, following Lovell onto the dusty gray surface. The oxygen tank explosion robbed them of the moon landing, which would have been NASA’s third, nine months after Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took humanity’s first footsteps on the moon.

Now the coronavirus pandemic has robbed them of their anniversary celebrations. Festivities are on hold, including at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the mission began on April 11, 1970, a Saturday just like this year.

(4) WHO TWO. ScreenRant offers their opinion — “Doctor Who: Every Doctor’s TRUE Companion”. For example:

Fourth Doctor: Sarah Jane Smith

Often considered the best companion of Doctor Who‘s classic run, Elizabeth Sladen made a lasting impression as Sarah Jane Smith, evolving the template set by Jo Grant previously. More so than her predecessors, Sarah Jane naturally grew into a second main character and although she debuted alongside the Third Doctor, her wits were slightly better suited to the eccentric ramblings of Tom Baker’s Time Lord. The Fourth Doctor would struggle to find an equally fitting companion, treating Leela with occasional contempt and burning through several regenerations of Romana.

(5) IMPOSSIBLE TIME. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Human Imagination’s podcast Into the Impossible has posted Episode 38: “Giving the Devil His Due: a conversation with Michael Shermer & Brian Keating”.

Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the host of the Science Salon Podcast, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101. For 18 years he was a monthly columnist for Scientific American. He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Why People Believe Weird Things and The Believing Brain, Why Darwin Matters, The Science of Good and Evil, The Moral Arc, and Heavens on Earth. His new book is Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist.

(6) HOW’S YOUR EYESIGHT? “Smithsonian seeks public’s help with Sally Ride’s astronaut training notes”.

Before she became the first American woman to fly into space, Sally Ride needed to learn how to be an astronaut. Now, 30 years later, the public can help expand access to Ride’s training experience by volunteering to transcribe her extensive handwritten notes.

The National Air and Space Museum has begun the process of converting the 23 cubic feet of material it obtained from Ride’s estate in 2015 to be available for research and study. Archivists have scanned and indexed the entire collection, but more can be done to make the papers fully searchable.

(7) DRUCKER OBIT. MAD Magazine artist Mort Drucker died April 8 at the age of 91. Mark Evanier paid tribute at News From Me: “Mort Drucker, R.I.P.”

He found his way to MAD magazine in 1956 at a precarious moment in that publication’s history. Founding editor Harvey Kurtzman had departed and taken most of the art crew with him. Replacement editor Al Feldstein was assembling a new team and with no idea how valuable the new applicant would be to MAD, he took a shot with Drucker.

Mort had never thought of himself as a caricaturist but when called upon to draw the comedy team of Bob & Ray for some pieces, he displayed a flair that surprised even him. Before long, Mort was the illustrator of movie and TV parodies in every issue of MAD…an association that lasted some 55 years. Big stars would say that you didn’t feel you’d made it in Hollywood until Mort Drucker had drawn you in MAD.

The New York Times obituary is here.

…“No one saw Drucker’s talent,” Mr. Hendrix wrote, until he illustrated “The Night That Perry Masonmint Lost a Case,” a takeoff on the television courtroom drama “Perry Mason,” in 1959. It was then, Mr. Hendrix maintained, that “the basic movie parody format for the next 44 years was born.”

From the early 1960s on, nearly every issue of Mad included a movie parody, and before Mr. Ducker retired he had illustrated 238, more than half of them. The last one, “The Chronic-Ills of Yawnia: Prince Thespian,” appeared in 2008.

Mr. Drucker compared his method to creating a movie storyboard: “I become the ‘camera,’” he once said, “and look for angles, lighting, close-ups, wide angles, long shots — just as a director does to tell the story in the most visually interesting way he can.”

Mr. Hendrix called Mr. Drucker “the cartoonist’s equivalent of an actor’s director” and “a master of drawing hands, faces and body language.” Mr. Friedman praised Mr. Drucker’s restraint: “He wasn’t really hung up on exaggerating. He was far more subtle and nuanced — interested in how people stood and so on.”

(8) WILLNER OBIT. Most recently known as Saturday Night Live’s sketch music producer. Hal Willner died April 7. The LA Times tribute is here. He had a long career in film, and produced several record albums, including these genre-adjacent projects –

…Most striking was Willner’s ode to the music of Walt Disney’s animated films. Called “Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films,” he enlisted artists including cosmic jazz traveler Sun Ra, experimental vocalist Yma Sumac, Los Angeles group Los Lobos and rock band the Replacements to re-imagine such songs as “Cruella De Ville,” “Whistle While You Work” and “Someday My Prince Will Come.” Tom Waits turned “Heigh Ho (The Dwarves Marching Song)” into a forced-labor dirge.

As the compiler of “The Carl Stalling Project: Music From Warner Bros. Cartoons 1936-1958,” Willner resurrected the reputation of the frantic, inventive composer Stalling and his scores for “Bugs Bunny” and “Road Runner” cartoons….

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • April 9, 1953 Invaders From Mars premiered. It was produced by Edward L. Alperson Jr. and directed by William Cameron Menzies. It starred  a large cast of Jimmy Hunt, Helena Carter, Arthur Franz, Morris Ankrum, Leif Erickson, and Hillary Brooke. Made a shoestring budget of three hundred thousand, it got amazingly good reviews though a few critics thought it it was too frightening for younger children, did a great box office and currently has a rating of fifty six percent among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes. You can see it here.
  • April 9, 1955 Science Fiction Theatre first aired in syndication. It was produced by Ivan Tors and Maurice Ziv.  It ran for seventy-eight episodes over two years and was hosted by Truman Bradley who was the announcer for Red Skelton’s program. The first episode “Beyond” had the story of a test pilot travelling at much faster than the speed of sound who bails out and tells his superiors that another craft was about to collide with his. It starred William Lundigan, Ellen Drew and Bruce Bennett. You can watch it here.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 9, 1911 George O. Smith. His early prolific writings on Astounding Science Fiction in the 1940s which ended when Campbell’s wife left him for Smith Whom she married. Later stories were on Thrilling Wonder Stories, GalaxySuper Science Stories and Fantastic To name but four such outlets. He was given First Fandom Hall of Fame Award just before he passed on. Interestingly his novels are available from the usual digital sources but his short stories are not. (Died 1981.)
  • Born April 9, 1913 George F. Lowther. He was writer, producer, director in the earliest days of radio and television. He wrote scripts for both Captain Video and His Video Rangers and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.  You can see the first show “The Birth of The Galaxy” which he scripted here. (Died 1975.)
  • Born April 9, 1921 Frankie Thomas. He was best remembered for his starring role in Tom Corbett, Space Cadet which ran from 1950 to 1955. Though definitely not genre or genre adjacent, he was in the Nancy Drew film franchise that ran in the late Thirties. (Died 2006.)
  • Born April 9, 1935 Avery Schreiber. He’s had a long history with genre fiction starting with Get Smart! and going from there to include More Wild Wild West!Fantasy IslandFaerie Tale Theatre: PinocchioShadow ChasersCavemanGalaxinaDracula: Dead and Loving ItAnimainiacs in which he voiced Beanie the Brain-Dead Bisonand, of course, The Muppet Show. (Died 2002.)
  • Born April 9, 1937 Marty Krofft, 83. Along with with Sid, a Canadian sibling team of television creators and puppeteers. Through Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures, they have made numerous series including the superb H.R. Pufnstuf which I still remember fondly all these years later not to forget Sigmund and the Sea MonstersLand of the Lost and Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.
  • Born April 9,1949 Stephen Hickman, 71. Illustrator who has done over three hundred and fifty genre covers such as Manly Wade Wellman’s John the Balladeer and Nancy Springer’s Rowan Hood, Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest. His most widely known effort is his space fantasy postage stamps done for the U.S. Postal Service which won a Hugo for Best Original Artwork at ConAndian in 1994.
  • Born April 9, 1954 Dennis Quaid, 66. I’m reasonably sure that he first genre role was in Dreamscape as Alex Gardner followed immediately by the superb role of Willis Davidge in Enemy Mine followed by completing a trifecta with Innerspace and the character of Lt. Tuck Pendleton. And then there’s the sweet film of Dragonheart and him as Bowen. Anyone hear of The Day After Tomorrow in which he was Jack Hall? I hadn’t a clue about it.
  • Born April 9, 1955 Earl Terry Kemp, 65. Author of The Anthem Series: A Guide to the Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Weird Specialty Publishers of the Golden Age and The Anthem Series Companion: A Companion to The Guide to the Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Weird Specialty Publishers of the Golden Age. He also maintains several databases devoted to the same including The Golden Age of Pulps: SF Magazine Database: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror (1890-2009).
  • Born April 9, 1972 Neve McIntosh, 48. During time of the Eleventh Doctor, she played Alaya and Restac, two Silurian reptilian sisters who have been disturbed under the earth, one captured by humans and the other demanding vengeance. Her second appearance on Doctor Who is Madame Vastra, in “A Good Man Goes to War”. Also a Silurian, she’s a Victorian crime fighter.  She’s back in the 2012 Christmas special, and in the episodes “The Crimson Horror” and “The Name of the Doctor”. She reprises her role as Madame Vastra, who along with her wife, Jenny Flint, and Strax, a former Sontaran warrior, form a private investigator team. 
  • Born April 9, 1998 Elle Fanning, 22. Yes she’s from that acting family. And she’s certainly been busy with roles in over forty films! Her first genre film is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button followed by Astro BoySuper 8MaleficentThe BoxtrollsThe Neon Demon, the upcoming Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and a recurring role on The Lost Room, a Cursed Objects miniseries that aired on Syfy. 

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Candorville encounters a social media slipup.
  • Free Range shows why even superheroes must keep in mind “the right tool for the right job.”

(12) TEMPORARILY FREE COMICS. Dark Horse Comics is releasing the first issue of more than 80 comics series for free, as well as a few volumes of graphics novels, available to read via DARK HORSE DIGITAL from now until April 30. The series include such titles as Umbrella AcademyAmerican Gods, & Disney’s Frozen, as well as graphic novels such as Empowered Vol. 1, and Hellboy Vol. 1.

(13) CAN COMICS RESUSCITATE THE CASH REGISTER? CBR.com investigates “DC vs Marvel: Possible Storylines for a New Big Two Crossover”.

As the effects of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continue to reverberate around the world, one of the many industries severely impacted by the global health crisis is the American comic book market. With major publishers refraining from distributing new comics either digitally or in print and comic retailers shuttering normal operations to prevent the virus’ spread, the future of the industry is currently in a state of limbo. Led by acclaimed writer Gail Simone, comic creators have since suggested the possibility of an intercompany crossover between DC and Marvel Comics’ respective superhero universes as a means to revitalize the industry.

(14) PICARD SPECIAL ISSUE. Titan Comics has Star Trek: Picard – The Official Collector’s Edition on sale now.

A behind-the-scenes guide to the smash hit new Star Trek TV Show, showcasing the further adventures of fan-favorite captain of the Enterprise-D, Jean Luc Picard!

A deluxe collector’s edition offering a behind-the-scenes guide to the brand new Star Trek: Picard TV show, featuring interviews with Star Trek legends Sir Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner (Data), Jonathan Frakes (Riker), Martin Sirtis (Troi), plus the new cast members Isa Briones (Dahj/Soji), Michelle Herd (Raffi), Harry Treadaway (Narke) and many more. Plus, Showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michael Chabon, and Director Hanelle Culpepper reveal behind-the-scenes secrets.

(15) OLAF SCENES. “Fun With Snow” | At Home With Olaf on YouTube is the first of 20 micro-sized Olaf stories coming from Disney. Find others as they post on the Walt Disney Animation Studios YouTube channel.

(16) MAD AS HELL. In “Suing Hollywood” at CrimeReads, Tess Gerritsen looks at her long series of lawsuits about whether Gravity was stolen from her 1999 space thriller Gravity.

…Most writers who work in the industry understand that suing a studio, no matter how justified their lawsuit, is a losing proposition—and it’s the writer who almost always loses. Knowing this, why would any writer risk everything to charge into battle as David against Goliath? 

I’ll tell you why: because we’re angry and refuse to let them get away with it. I know, because I’ve been there and done that. I’ve seen the dark side of Hollywood.

(17) STATION BREAK. And making a smooth segue between topics, did you know NASA has available a virtual “International Space Station Tour”?

(18) NEXT SPACE STATION SHIFT ARRIVES. And for a news trifecta — “ISS crew blast off after long quarantine”.

Three new crew members have arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) after a launch carried out under tight restrictions due to the coronavirus.

The Russian Soyuz rocket carrying cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner and Nasa astronaut Chris Cassidy took off from Kazakhstan on Thursday.

Pre-launch protocols were changed to prevent the virus being taken to the ISS.

Only essential personnel were allowed at the launch site for the blast-off.

Support workers wore masks and kept their distance as the crew walked to the bus to take them to the spacecraft.

Earlier, Chris Cassidy said not having their families in Baikonur to cheer them on for the launch had affected the crew, but he added: “We understand that the whole world is also impacted by the same crisis.

(19) WAVE BYE-BYE. “BepiColombo: Mercury mission set to wave goodbye to Earth” – BBC supplies lots of details on the instruments being sent.

The joint European-Japanese mission to Mercury reaches a key milestone on Friday when it swings past the Earth.

The two-in-one BepiColombo space probe is using the gravity of its home world to bend a path towards the inner Solar System.

It will also bleed off some speed.

The mission needs to make sure it isn’t travelling too fast when it arrives at Mercury in 2025 or it won’t be able to go into orbit around the diminutive world.

(20) POTTERING ABOUT. “Harry Potter hospital rooms get JK Rowling approval”.

Doctors dealing with coronavirus said they were “uplifted” to have a message of support from JK Rowling when they named areas of their hospital after Harry Potter school houses.

Meeting rooms at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital were named Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravensclaw.

The hospital said the idea was “a bit of fun amongst all the significant issues”.

The author tweeted to say she had “rarely felt prouder”.

The hospital’s medical team decided to name meeting rooms after the Hogwarts houses when redesigning systems to be better prepared for the coronavirus outbreak.

Senior house officer Alex Maslen said: “The house names are familiar to many junior doctors who grew up with the Harry Potter stories, and the awareness has provided some reassurance during these difficult times.”

(21) YOUNG MAN MULLIGAN ATE HERE. BBC tells us “Crops were cultivated in regions of the Amazon ‘10,000 years ago'”.

Far from being a pristine wilderness, some regions of the Amazon have been profoundly altered by humans dating back 10,000 years, say researchers.

An international team found that during this period, crops were being cultivated in a remote location in what is now northern Bolivia.

The scientists believe that the humans who lived here were planting squash, cassava and maize.

The inhabitants also created thousands of artificial islands in the forest.

FYI, “Young Man Mulligan” is the filk answer to ”The Great Historical Bum” song (“Bum” lyrics here). It opens “I was born about ten thousand years from now.”

(22) BEFORE FABERGÉ. “Mysteries of decorated ostrich eggs in British Museum revealed”.

If you wanted to give an extravagant gift 5,000 years ago, you might have chosen an ostrich egg.

Now some of these beautiful Easter egg-sized objects are in London’s British Museum.

The eggs were found in Italy but their origins have long been a mystery – ostriches are not indigenous to Europe.

Now, research into the museum’s collection by an international team of archaeologists reveals new insights into their history.

People across Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa traded ostrich eggs up to 5,000 years ago, in the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Eggs were decorated in many ways – painted, adorned with ivory or precious metals, or covered in small glazed stones or other materials.

The five eggs in the British Museum’s collection are embellished with animals, flowers, geometric patterns, soldiers and chariots.

(23) DON’T STOP. Rebooted – on YouTube.

It’s not easy for a movie-star to age – especially when you’re a stop motion animated skeleton monster. Phil, once a terrifying villain of the silver-screen, struggles to find work in modern Hollywood due to being an out-of-date special effect.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Michael Toman, Daniel Dern, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

51 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/9/20 I Had Too Much To Stream Last Night

  1. (10) I think I watched every one of Sid and Marty Krofft’s programs – Lidsville was another one of them.

    We missed Ruth Chew’s birthday yesterday – born on April 8th 1920, she wrote a lot of middle grade fantasy – like “Magic in the Park” which I loved and “The Witch and the Ring” which I think I read because it had “Witch” and “And” in it (and thus was associated with Narnia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Chew

  2. Lis Carey: Hey, I guess Michael A. Rothman went and Googled some of those 2019 Hugo nominees after all, and found he was full of shit when he said no male authors had been nominated in the Hugo fiction categories for several years. Because now he’s blocked me and I can’t see our comments to him on Standlee’s FB thread.

  3. 10 Stephen Hickman also has some amazing Tolkien art. His Lord of the Rings chess set is very beautiful.

  4. @10: the first thing I think of when someone says “Hickman” is the beautiful covers for Brust’s Vlad Taltos books.

    @OGH etc.: that’s what happens when you let a little reality into somebody’s fantasy bubble. Thanks for the warning — if I see the name elsewhere I’ll know to ignore text from it.

  5. I thought REBOOTED was very imaginative and I’d like to see more work from Michael Shanks, so thanks, whoever brought this to Mike’s attention.

  6. Mike Glyer: I guess Michael A. Rothman went and Googled some of those 2019 Hugo nominees after all, and found he was full of shit when he said no male authors had been nominated in the Hugo fiction categories for several years. Because now he’s blocked me and I can’t see our comments to him on Standlee’s FB thread.

    Well, that’s the jerk who took his kids to the 2015 Hugo Ceremony without warning them about the likely repercussions to the works cheated onto the ballot, and then complained when his kids were traumatized by the No Awards, so it’s hardly surprising. 🙄

  7. (8) I always liked Lost in the Stars which was Willner’s Kurt Weill tribute. I lost track of his stuff after Stay Awake. I may have to seek out Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys and its sequel.

    (10) I must have been in the sweet spot for the Krofft shows. Starting with the Banana Splits and running through the various anthology programs. I didn’t realize the Kroffts were also behind Pink Lady and Jeff.

    It’s Tom Lehrer’s birthday. Science, occasionally, but not science fiction. Still he seems to be a shared experience in much of fandom despite producing his major body of work before 1966.

    Also Dennis Quaid. Surprised how many genre movies like Dreamscape, Innerspace, Dragonheart, and Enemy Mine he did. Also was Gordon Cooper in The Right Stuff.

    All the world seems less vile
    When we’re reading the file,
    As we’re scrolling the pixels in the park

  8. Typo alert!
    (10) George O. Smith; date of death should read 1981 (per ISFDB).

  9. It seems I’ve forgotten who wrote the story “Old Man Mulligan”, not to be conflated with “The Gnarly Man”.

  10. Arthur Frost: Thanks for being eagle-eyed! Appertain yourself your favorite beverage!

  11. Was the 2020 list included in the complaint? I can’t see the thread. I’m wondering if Ian McDonald, Max Gladstone, Ted Chiang, Shiv Ramdas, both halves of James S. A. Corey, Tade Thompson, Yoon Ha Lee, and P Djèlí Clark are invisible to Puppies. (and that’s not even counting Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes – or the graphic story category!)

  12. Meredith on April 9, 2020 at 9:41 pm said:

    Was the 2020 list included in the complaint? I can’t see the thread. I’m wondering if Ian McDonald, Max Gladstone, Ted Chiang, Shiv Ramdas, both halves of James S. A. Corey, Tade Thompson, Yoon Ha Lee, and P Djèlí Clark are invisible to Puppies.

    Don’t forget that the Puppies were the people who kept claiming that Tor was dominating the Hugo awards but kept forgetting that they forced a Tor book onto the ballot.

  13. Meredith: No list. Just a pronouncement. And he said there hadn’t been any male finalist in the “major categories” for years.

  14. @Mike Glyer

    So… he didn’t actually look at any of the recent lists of finalists, huh.

    @Camestros Felapton

    Sigh.

  15. “I have no internet and I must stream.”

    Alternately, “I have no pixel and I must scroll”, though I’d be surprised if that one hadn’t been used already.

  16. (8) My favorite Hal Willner project, even more than Stay Awake, was the late night music program that ran for two years in 1988-1990. The first year it was called Sunday Night and the second year it was called Night Music. It featured his usual eclectic mix of musicians, with many collaborations between them. My personal highlight was Leonard Cohen and Sonny Rollins doing “Who by Fire.” I was so sorry it didn’t continue, but so glad I got to see it for two years, anyway.

  17. Re: Dennis Quaid’s birthday:

    The Day After Tomorrow is a competently-made climate disaster movie from 2004. Quaid plays the lead climatologist who has to walk to New York after The Big Freeze (?) to rescue his young adult son, who is part of a group burning the contents of the New York Public Library to stay warm.

    Nothing too original and the science is kooky, but the storytelling moves along and the disaster effects are well done. I’m a sucker for this sort of yarn.

  18. CAN COMICS RESUSCITATE THE CASH REGISTER?

    Coronavirus came along just as I got priced out of new comics anyway. I was buying digitally on Comixology UK and they recently massively increased their prices to £4 for a single issue and £14 for a graphic novel, which is bonkers expensive compared to pretty much every other way I can choose to spend my free time.

    Good luck with the crossover events I guess, but I doubt that will be enough for many people.

  19. (8) I remember watching Sunday Night/(MIchelob Presents) Night Music, but I couldn’t remember what it was called. They have a list of who performed on each episode on wikipedia and the level of talent and the mixtures are really insane. It makes me sad that I only remember one episode for sure which was probably 205 which I think was a Gilbert and Sullivan themed episode with Todd Rundgren.

    Episode #119 with Leonard Cohen and Sonny Rollins can be found on YouTube. Ken Nordine is also on that episode doing some of his word jazz. You can use the same poster’s mix to find other episodes.

    Log in. Click links. Scroll Pix.

  20. Alix Harrow’s tweeted this https://twitter.com/AlixEHarrow/status/1247518975535308801 yesterday leading to an interesting discussion (sorry if I’ve missed someone else posting this already):

    we tried to explain the pandemic to our 3yo and now he talks like the first chapter of a dystopian YA novel. “we used to go to the store, before the sickness came.” “we have to stay at home, where the sickness can’t find us”

  21. @Jack —

    It’s Tom Lehrer’s birthday.

    We will all scroll together, when we scroll!

  22. @Andrew: there were a lot of guesses about future traumas in that thread; my first wonder is whether they’ll grow up more scareable (and hence more susceptible to the we-can-save-you-from-those-horrible-people lie) or more demanding of facts in place of we’ll-always-be-the-greatest bloviation. I can hope for the latter but ISTM it’s going to take a lot more teaching than the former.

    @various, re the current Rothman: I know that the Puppies predate the rise of the Cheetoh (and the idiocy long predates the Puppies), but I suspect the current wave of … fiction … on the loony right owes quite a bit to the demonstration of such practices by the Occupant. We can dream of putting that genie back in its bottle.

  23. We go scrolling through the park,
    goosing pixels in the dark.
    If weeping pups can take it, so can you.

    (In memory of, and with apologies to, Oscar Brand)

  24. Retro Hugo Meredith Moment: Hercules, My Shipmate by Robert Graves (a.k.a. The Golden Fleece) is currently available for $1.99 in the U.S. at the Usual Suspects.

  25. (13) it’s very unlikely the owners of the two companies would be interested in collaborating, and nothing could appear until long after the current crisis. It certainly wouldn’t help those comics shops who’ve been repeatedly shafted by those same publishers over the past decade and now face obliteration.

  26. Steve Green says it’s very unlikely the owners of the two companies would be interested in collaborating, and nothing could appear until long after the current crisis. It certainly wouldn’t help those comics shops who’ve been repeatedly shafted by those same publishers over the past decade and now face obliteration.

    Shafted in what sense? I know two comic shops here who’ve done very well selling the product of those publishers. So I’m curious to hear how you think they’ve shafted comic shops.

  27. Oh wow, George O. Smith! There’s a name I haven’t heard in ages! I remember I liked his stuff when I was a sprout, but I don’t remember much about it, except a vague memory of the plot of The Fourth “R”. Didn’t know about him and Campbell’s wife–that’s definitely amusing, especially in retrospect.

  28. @Cat Eldridge

    The system for ordering comics from Marvel and DC is pretty messed up and has hurt a lot of comic book shops quite badly. I’ve seen stuff about it a few times. Iirc it’s mostly the direct market thing (comic book stores can’t return unsold comics to the publisher) which is exacerbated by the way they do variant covers and special issues etc – they give the stores a minimum required order number to hit before they can order the special stuff, and the minimum order numbers keep going up, leading to more and more unsold stock. It’s not great.

  29. Meredith says The system for ordering comics from Marvel and DC is pretty messed up and has hurt a lot of comic book shops quite badly. I’ve seen stuff about it a few times. Iirc it’s mostly the direct market thing (comic book stores can’t return unsold comics to the publisher) which is exacerbated by the way they do variant covers and special issues etc – they give the stores a minimum required order number to hit before they can order the special stuff, and the minimum order numbers keep going up, leading to more and more unsold stock. It’s not great.

    Which makes for a nice story except fir the inconvenient fact that virtually no comic shop orders anything direct from either DC or Marvel currently nor has for quite some years now. Nearly every one one of them does their ordering for through Diamond which effectively is the jobber for almost every comics company that you’ll see in any comic shop.

    When Diamond announced recently that it ceasing operations due to the plague, it effectively shut down every comic shop in the States. Diamond buys product from DC and Marvel, so Diamond controls almost the entire flow of comics product in the States. If there’s a minimum for orders being set, it’s being set with the consent of that jobber.

  30. Pingback: All In Color For A Zorkmid – (More) Free (Or Cheap) Digital Versions of Comic Books! | File 770

  31. @Cat Eldridge

    Okay? Diamond going along with it doesn’t actually make DC and Marvel’s “buy our stuff in ever increasing quantities or no shinies for you” thing any better. They can both be – and are – bad.

  32. Meredith is quite correct. Diamond may be the delivery system, but it is the publishers which set the onerous ground rules – and, on occasion, even ignore those, hence the many reports of Marvel refusing to accept returns of comics which have been delivered damaged.

  33. Steve Green says
    Meredith is quite correct. Diamond may be the delivery system, but it is the publishers which set the onerous ground rules – and, on occasion, even ignore those, hence the many reports of Marvel refusing to accept returns of comics which have been delivered damaged.

    Marvel didn’t deliver the comics that were damaged, Diamond did. Marvel sold those comics to the jobber who then wanted a refund issued on behalf of the comic shops. Diamond packs the comics up for delivery to the shops based on the pre-orders, not Marvel, not DC, not Dark Horse. If UPS damages a shipment of books to a bookstore, they make good on the damage, not the publisher. Why shouldn’t Diamond?

  34. @Chip:

    there were a lot of guesses about future traumas in that thread; my first wonder is whether they’ll grow up more scareable (and hence more susceptible to the we-can-save-you-from-those-horrible-people lie) or more demanding of facts in place of we’ll-always-be-the-greatest bloviation. I can hope for the latter but ISTM it’s going to take a lot more teaching than the former.

    Yeah. We’ll see. You and I grew up with the fear of nuclear holocaust and I’m sure it affected us in ways we don’t realize. Our parents (at least mine) knew people affected by periodic outbreaks of polio and other diseases, which I know affected them.

  35. My parents grew up in the Great Depression. My mother was a borderline hoarder, and both of my parents were very, very frugal.

  36. @Cassy B.
    My father insisted on having a garden – fruits and vegetables – everywhere he lived. His parents had fruit trees in their yard, too, and Granny made gorgeous rag rugs.

  37. @Cassy B: My Dad grew up in the Great Depression (Mom is a decade younger; the Depression was over (and the war on!) by the time she would have been paying attention). I don’t recall any characteristic I can attribute specifically to Dad having grown up then (though I did notice even as a youngster that he was a lot older than the other fathers). My mother’s mother lived through a house fire and the loss of two relatives to sudden appendicitis and the aftermaths of those affected her most of a century later.

  38. @CatEldridge: As I understand it, these are not items damaged in transit, but which were faulty when delivered to Diamond, and it’s Marvel which is refusing to accept returns.

  39. (10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS. Happy (belated) birthday, Marty Krofft! I have such fond memories of the Sid & Marty Krofft shows!

    Also happy (belated) birthday to Stephen Hickman; I like his artwork.

    @Randall M: “I have no internet and I must stream.” – LOL! 😀

  40. @Jack Lint:

    It makes me sad that I only remember one episode for sure which was probably 205 which I think was a Gilbert and Sullivan themed episode with Todd Rundgren.

    And at the end, Todd, Bo Diddley, and Nancy Griffith did a G&S piece, right? And a there was a very good fusion band–I want to say Larry Coryell.

    It was memorable, for various reasons.

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