Pixel Scroll 11/28/22 You Shall Not Pass…Go! Also, You Shall Not Collect Two Hundred Dollars!

(1) YOU’RE A GOOD HOMAGE (TO) CHARLIE BROWN. [Item by Daniel Dern.] Celebrating Charles Schultz’s 100th birthday on November 26, numerous comic strips included Peanuts characters/references — many on the 26th, some (at least one) during the week leading up to Saturday.

Here’s an article from DailyKos.com on it – “A Very Special Tribute to Charles Schulz of ‘Peanuts’ Fame — The Week in Editorial Cartoons” — which includes this Twitter hashtag #Schulz100 linking to a lot of the ‘toons. (Possibly all, I’m still sussing that out).

And here’s a post from comic-strip syndicate ComicsKingdom which they say aggregates not just strips they carry, but others as well, though the strips don’t appear to be clickable 🙁 — “Editor’s Dispatch: Happy 100th Birthday, Charles Schulz!”.

(Note, here’s my File770 post “Reading Daily Comic Strips Online”if you want info on subscribing to ComicsKingdom and/or GoComics)

So here’s some from ComicsKingdom (Note, paywall limits may not let you see more than about a dozen):

And from GoComics.com

UPDATE: All of the tribute strips to Charles Schulz are readable, fully, on the Charles M. Schulz Museum site here: https://schulzmuseum.org/tribute/ (Thanks to Frank Catalano.)

Also, on Nov 24, Terri Gross did most of NPR’s Fresh Air on Schultz: “’Fresh Air’ marks the centennial of Charles Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown”.

“Schulz, who died in 2000, spoke in 1990 about his iconic Peanuts comic strip. Plus, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead talks about pianist Vince Guaraldi, who created the music for A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

And the US Post Office’s 20-stamp sheet of Charles M. Schulz Stamps with Peanuts characters (10 designs, 2 of each), issued September 30 2022, might finally be available at your local Post Office

Happy (belated) birthday, Sparky!

U.S. Postal Service Reveals More Stamps for 2022. Peanuts, Holidays and Space Exploration Featured.

(2) DIAL T. On Cyber Monday, Camestros Felapton is “Announcing the TimFone®”. The product diagram is especially funny.

The busybody elitist gatekeepers at Apple, Google and the FDA have censored my revolutionary ¡TIMMR social media app on the spurious grounds that it is “so toxic it may an engender a civilisation collapse”, which is just a fancy elitist way to say that it has TOO MUCH FREEDOM for our tech overlords….

(3) WILLOW POD. The Rogues in the House podcast discusses the 1988 fantasy film Willow before the new TV series comes out: Willow by Rogues in the House”.

At long last, the Rogues dive into the 1988 Ron Howard/George Lucas classic, Willow.   

Are you “the greatest swordsman who ever lived”?  

(4) GET AN EARFUL OF HORROR. Yesterday’s BBC Radio 4 Open Book half-hour program was on female horror writers: “Women subverting horror with Mariana Enríquez, Claire Kohda and Sophie White”.

Octavia Bright talks to highly-acclaimed Argentinian author Mariana Enríquez. about her unsettling new novel which addresses the horrors of her country’s past through the prism of family, heritage and the occult.

And how are a new wave of women writers subverting traditional forms of horror fiction? Claire Kohda discusses the connections between mixed-race experiences and vampires, and Irish writer Sophie White explains why women have always had an affinity with the often male-dominated genre.

(5) FOND FAREWELL. Director Kevin Smith shares a tribute to the late Kevin Conroy.

Kevin Smith shares a few personal anecdotes about the recently departed voice of Batman himself, Kevin Conroy.

(6) MEMORY LANE.

1987 [By Cat Eldridge.] Star Trek: The Next Generation’s “Haven”

Stop this petty bickering, all of you! Especially you, Mother! — Deanna Troi

Could you please continue the petty bickering? I find it most intriguing. — Data

So let’s talk about the First Lady of Star Trek and her final role which begins in Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s “Haven,” broadcast thirty-five years ago this weekend  in syndication.  

It would introduce us to the magnificent and yes more than occasionally overbearing presence of Lwaxana Troi, mother of Ship’s Counsellor Deanna Troi. Not that they overused her as she only appeared about once per season for the rest of the run. It just seemed she was there more often.

SPOILER ALERT. REALLY I DO MEAN IT. GO DRINK SOME RIGELLIAN BRANDY LIKE GUL MARAK FAVORS.

Deanna’s been summoned by her mother to get married as she was betrothed to a human when she was just a wee Betazoid. Now we know that won’t happen, but oh it’s so delicious to watch why. It doesn’t go off in the end. 

Meanwhile Lwaxana, being ever so on the prowl, has set her sights on seducing Jean-Luc, who is appalled by the idea to say the very least. Not as we’ve seen that he doesn’t mind a great romp. Just not with her. Isn’t there a mud bath scene with her, Worf and others later on in the series?

Meanwhile a race long extinct is engaged in hostile action against Haven. Or his Picard says, “Captain’s log, supplemental. It has been believed the Tarellian race was extinct, an assumption contradicted now by the sight of one of their vessels approaching Haven.” 

That ship is carrying a deadly plague and, to make matters even complicated, is linked to Deanna’s intended in some psychic link. (I love when SF shows go into fantasy realms.) The marriage is off when he decides to help the alien race find a way overcome their plague.

All’s well that ends well. 

FINISHED YOUR RIGELLIAN BRANDY? GOOD, YOU CAN COME BACK NOW.

Lwaxana Troi will make six appearances on New Generation and, surprisingly, she’ll show up on Deep Space Nine where poor Odo gets to fend off her advances. She does three episodes there. Don’t get me wrong, she does form meaningful friendships in the course of these nine episodes including with Jean-Luc.

Fiction writers had a great deal of fun with the character, such as in Peter David’s Q-in-Law where Lwaxana formed a romantic attachment to Q. 

All in all, a most excellent, if somewhat silly episode. The First Lady of Star Trek was magnificent here.

As always, I’ll note it’s streaming on Paramount +.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born November 28, 1944 Rita Mae Brown. 78. Author of the Sister Jane mysteries which features foxes, hounds and cats as characters with their own unique voices which in my mind makes them genre novels. Not to mention her creation of Sneaky Pie Brown who “is a New York Times best-selling writer and cat who co-authors the Mrs. Murphy series of mystery novels with her owner, Rita Mae Brown.” And who she has an entire series devoted to. Just don’t get me going on the unfortunate conservative politics of the latter Sister Jane mysteries. 
  • Born November 28, 1946 Joe Dante, 76. Director and Producer. Warning, this is a personal list of works he directed that I’ve really, really enjoyed – starting off with The Howling, then adding in the Saturn-nominated Innerspace, both of the Saturn-nominated Gremlins films (though I think only the first is a masterpiece, which is why that Saturn nom got him a trophy), Small Soldiers, and The Hole (2009). For television work, he’s directed episodes for quite a number of series, but the only one I can say I recall and was impressed by was his Legends of Tomorrow “Night of the Hawk” episode. As Producer, I see he’s responsible for The Phantom (proving that everyone has a horrible day), the Jeremiah series, and an upcoming horror film called Camp Cold Brook.
  • Born November 28, 1950 Ed Harris, 72. Actor, Director, and Producer with a lengthy genre resume whose first role was in the Michael Crichton-directed version of Robin Cook’s Coma, but whose most famous genre role, depending on your flavor of fandom, might be his Oscar-nominated turn as Flight Director Gene Kranz in the Hugo finalist Apollo 13 (which earned him a sly voice cameo as Mission Control in Gravity), his Saturn-winning lead role as The Man in Black in the TV series Westworld, his Saturn-nominated performance as an undersea explorer in the Hugo finalist The Abyss, or his Oscar- and Saturn-nominated part as the exploitative genius of The Truman Show. (JJ)
  • Born November 28, 1952 S. Epatha Merkerson, 70. Actor who has spent around 25 years in main roles in Dick Wolf’s Law & Order and Chicago procedural dramas, but who managed to sneak in genre roles in the films Jacob’s Ladder, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Slipstream, and a main role in the short-lived 1990s cyborg police series Mann & Machine.
  • Born November 28, 1961 Alfonso Cuarón, 61. Writer, Director, and Producer from Mexico who has directed three impressive genre films: the Hugo finalists Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men (based on P. D. James’ 1992 novel of the same name) and the Hugo Award-winning Gravity, for which he also won an Oscar. He also produced the Hugo-winning Pan’s Labyrinth, and is the creator of Believe, a TV series about a young girl born with special supernatural abilities she can not control, which lasted thirteen episodes. The Possibility of Hope, a documentary short film which he directed, looks at different matters of the world such as immigration, global warming and capitalism through the eyes of scientists and philosophers. (JJ)
  • Born November 28, 1962 Mark Hodder, 60. Best known for his Burton & Swinburne alternate Victorian steampunk novels starting off with The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack that deservedly garnered a Philip K. Dick Award. He also wrote A Red Sun Also Rises which recreates sort of Victorian London on a far distant alien world. Emphasis on sort of. And then there’s Consulting Detective Macalister Fogg which appears to be his riff off of Sherlock Holmes only decidedly weirder. 
  • Born November 28, 1987 Karen Gillan, 35. Amy Pond, companion to the Eleventh Doctor. Nebula in the Guardians of The Galaxy and in later MCU films, Ruby Roundhouse in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Two episodes of Who she was in did win Hugos, “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang” at Renovation and “The Doctor’s Wife” at Chicon 7. 

(8) COMICS SECTION.

A few more Charles Schulz tributes:

  • Tom Gauld has thought up his own variation on Monopoly.

(9) YOU’VE GOT TROUBLE MY FRIEND. “Letter from Holy Roman Emperor written in secret code finally cracked after 5 centuries to reveal he was worried about being assassinated” at MSN.com.

…Until now, the contents of the letter have remained a mystery as it was composed of about 120 encrypted symbols and some French passages. 

Pierrot gave all the symbols a name and loaded the makeshift alphabet into Python, a programming language, but it could not unlock the mysterious language.

Pierrot and her team — which included French cryptographers Pierrick Gaudry and Paul Zimmermann and historian Camille Desenclos — set to work for months wading through the strange script invented by Emperor Charles, identifying decoy letters and getting slow and steady eureka moments. 

The team has not yet issued a complete translation, but the themes identified have revealed an invaluable insight into the thinking of a giant figure at a turning point in Europe’s history. 

(10) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Andrew Porter.] The 2022 Montefiore Health System Christmas ad is really excellent. A combination of live action and animation: “A Holiday Village Discovers that Caring Makes Magic”.

The holidays are magic. And, when the toy shop owner needs help, the village discovers that Caring Makes Magic, too.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Daniel Dern, Cora Buhlert, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Chris Barkley, Andrew Porter, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Maytree.]

16 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/28/22 You Shall Not Pass…Go! Also, You Shall Not Collect Two Hundred Dollars!

  1. 7) Ed Harris was also excellent in the genre adjacent “Knightriders” by George Romero. He played the leader of a traveling performance group that did jousting on motorcycles. Inspired by the SCA and it’s annual Pennsic War in Pennsylvania, Romero created a thoughtful character study with heavy overtones of the Arthurian Legends. Look for the cameo of Stephen and Tabitha King as obnoxious mundanes.

  2. 1) All of the tribute strips to Charles Schulz are readable, fully, on the Charles M. Schulz Museum site here: https://schulzmuseum.org/tribute/

    I tracked it down on Saturday, after offering on Twitter (where #Schulz100 was indeed the correct hashtag):

    “When I was a kid with delusions of authorhood, I sent Charles Schulz a fan letter. Because Snoopy was often a writer.

    “He sent me back a kind, handwritten note. I still have it somewhere on paper, and forever in memory.

    “Happy 100, Mr. Schulz.”

  3. @Frank Catalano – good find on the Tribute link! (Suggestion to OGH, IMHO this one’s worth editing into — with finder’s credit — to the item proper, for those who don’t read (all) the comments. Just a suggestion. Thanks again, Frank! (I’ll gander them tomorrow.)

  4. 9) I could have guessed that he was worried about assassins without cracking the code. What’s interesting is that it seems the code wasn’t cracked by computer but by people – with computer assistance but also some amount of human intuition.

  5. I’ve played what I call (perhaps incorrectly) Buddhist monopoly before. It’s a unilateral game within regular Monopoly.

    At a point in the game when you own a bunch of stuff but are sick of the cycle of repeatedly passing through Go and collecting $200, you engage in the process of getting rid of all your worldly possessions. When you have nothing left, the cycle ends and you have won.

  6. (9) bookworm1398: Yes. I suspect emperors not worried about assassins don’t live long enough to create secret codes.

  7. Steve David says Hmmm. I’d think that if anyone was identified as the “First Lady of Star Trek” it would be Majel Barrett, or at least D.C. Fontana.

    Eh? The performer here playing that character is Majel. Isn’t obvious that I meant her? No need to mention her by name as everyone here knew who I meant.

  8. Nina says I’ve always liked Data’s line that you quoted for the episode.

    It’s a great line summing up Data perfectly.

    And Majel Barrett is the First Lady of Trek, a distinction that’s obvious without having to name her which is why I didn’t in my essay. In fact I didn’t name any of the performers, did I?

  9. 5) It would be kinda nice if the brief blurb setting up the Kevin Smith homage to Kevin Conroy was then followed by that actual video and not spam for some crappy anime.

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