Here are 12 developments of interest to fans.
(1) Future professors of Stooge-ology will make this a red letter day. All surviving negative and positive materials for Hello Pop, a Three Stooges short in early two-color Technicolor that MGM released in 1933, were feared destroyed in a vault fire at the Culver City studio in the Sixties. But now — a print has been found in Australia.
“Hello Pop” is part of a cache of hundreds of hundreds of early sound features and shorts that were acquired by a group of young Australian collectors when distributors cleared their shelves of nitrate prints in the 1960s. The collectors — who paid drivers of garbage trucks to deliver the prints to their homes instead of landfills — are now mostly in their 80s and are working with the Vitaphone Project to catalogue, repatriate and restore films that are not known to exist in this country. Australia and New Zealand have been especially fertile areas for rediscovery of lost films in recent years, as the American studios found it too expensive to have prints shipped back from such remote areas.
Ever since history’s first cave painter got notes from his tribal leader, freelancers have been complaining about “editorial interference.” Thus will it ever be. Look, Siegel and Shuster got notes from their editor. We all get notes. No one’s work is perfect, and no one is immune from criticism, especially when the critic is also the one paying a writer or artist for his or her services. And I have been a publisher and an editor almost as long as I’ve been a writer, so I am sympathetic to both the check-writer and the check-casher. There’s always some give-and-take tension between creative and editorial.
And there are a lot of good comics editors out there, probably more than ever, and I applaud them. But there are, likewise, a growing number of (1) good editors who are not allowed to be good editors by their bosses, and (2) outright chimpanzees.
(3) Another triumph for Kickstarter – a full-length documentary, Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the children’s classic. It premieres at the New Yorker Festival this weekend.
“I met Norton Juster and was so moved by his spirit as a person, that I thought there was a longer documentary there,” [filmmaker Hannah] Jayanti told us by phone. “He was up for it, and really excited. The more we worked on it, the more people came out of the woodwork.” Actor David Hyde Pierce was one of them. He called Norton Juster when he began work on the narration of the audiobook, and Norton was as generous to Pierce as he’d been to Jayanti. Pierce and Juster have become good friends, according to Jayanti. “I realized what a cultural icon this book was, and how much it meant to people,” she said. “So many people say that this book changed their life.”
(4) Laura Miller’s Salon essay reminds us “What Stanley Kubrick got wrong about The Shining”:
It’s no secret that Stephen King dislikes Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of his 1977 novel, “The Shining,” but now that King is publishing a sequel, “Doctor Sleep,” he’s being asked once again to explain why. “I felt that it was very cold, very, ‘We’re looking at these people, but they’re like ants in an anthill, aren’t they doing interesting things, these little insects,’” is what King said recently when a BBC interviewer asked him about the film. He also described Kubrick’s characterization of Wendy Torrance, played by Shelley Duvall, as “one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film. She’s basically just there to scream and be stupid. And that’s not the woman I wrote about.”
(5) Over 30 years ago the Eripmav T-shirt was produced by the New England Science Fiction Association when Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm were GoHs at Noreascon II (1980). It was a wearable reprint of Knight’s short-short. But how many of today’s fans have ever seen one? Evelyn Leeper has made pictures available online — front and back.
(6) Nebula, World Fantasy and John W. Campbell Award winner Karen Joy Fowler’s The Science of Herself debuts a new story: “the almost-true story of England’s first female paleontologist who took on the Victorian old-boy establishment armed with only her own fierce intelligence—-and an arsenal of dino bones.” The 128-page collection also includes –
“The Pelican Bar,” a homely tale of family ties that makes Guantánamo look like summer camp; “The Further Adventures of the Invisible Man,” a droll tale of sports, shoplifting and teen sex; and “The Motherhood Statement,” a quietly angry upending of easy assumptions that shows off Fowler’s deep radicalism and impatience with conservative homilies and liberal pieties alike.
And Featuring: our Outspoken Interview in which Fowler prophesies California’s fate, reveals the role of bad movies in good marriages, and intimates that girls just want to have fun (which means make trouble).
(7) Bradbury biographer Sam Weller lists “Five Bradbury Projects You Didn’t Know About”:
2). Bradbury moved across genres. Did he ever write a Western? Yes. But he didn’t finish it. He started a short story about a “ghost horse” for film director John Huston.
(8) George Senda, like so many of us, has a blog. No particular reason to be curious unless you already recognize the name.
(9) Horror-themed restaurants and bars are cropping up all over the world:
[The] H.R. Giger Bar in Switzerland is built on the Alien designer’s creepy biomechanical artwork, and establishments like New York City’s Jekyll & Hyde Club have scared and delighted horror-loving patrons for decades. But the owners of Cambiare, a new Italian bar & grill located in Tokyo’s “Golden Gai” district in Shinjuku (a haven for Tokyo nightlife), have now made their mark with the first club to base their look and design on Dario Argento’s 1977 horror classic Suspiria.
(10) DNA proof of Bigfoot’s existence?
The report explains that the researchers collected more than a hundred samples of hair, blood, saliva and other genetic material from 34 separate hominin collection sites around North America. Through a generous donation of $500,000 from Bigfoot enthusiast Adrian Erickson, the team of researchers say they were able to perform detailed analyses on the samples collected.
Ketchum told New York Daily News in a telephone interview that the external labs were not sure what it was they were testing. She said she had “one email from a tester saying ‘what have you done, discovered a new species?’”
The results of the analyses showed that all samples were human, said Ketchum. However, when the samples were broadened into genome sequences, some parts of the DNA were found to be identical to no other species previously known to science. So that left only a few answers, and the dominant one was that it was a genetic hybrid, which would change what is believed about evolution in the scientific community.
How many of these collection sites were in the House of Representatives? Strange creatures abound there.
(11) I seem to recall a scene in Ice Station Zebra where the submarine has to bust through the icecap. This time a huge submarine burst through the streets of Milan. The photos are quite entertaining.
As part of an absurdly clever advertising campaign orchestrated by ad agency M&C Saatchi Milano for insurance firms Europ Assistance IT and Genertel, a giant submarine was installed near the city center as if it had suddenly burst through the street. The carefully orchestrated stunt which unfolded on October 1st was complete with a live reenactment meant to reinforce the idea of safeguarding yourself and posessions against unforseen events.
(12) Here’s Steve Barber’s video of Harlan Ellison at the opening of the Ray Bradbury Library at Palms-Rancho Park on September 23, 2013, with George Clayton Johnson.
[Thanks for these links goes out to David Klaus, Andrew Porter, James Bacon and John King Tarpinian.]