Pixel Scroll 6/11/17 To Your Scattered Pixels Scroll

(1) NATIVE AMERICAN COMICS STORE. Red Planet Books and Comics opened June 3 — “Unique Native American comic book store opens in Albuquerque”.

The idea for the store started in October.

“I kept walking by. I was like, is this shop being used at all? They’re like, no, and I was like, well maybe we might want to do something with that,” [owner Lee] Francis said.

He had already launched Native Realities to publish indigenous comic books.

Now, the company has a storefront for that work, along with other stories of Native American superheroes.

“Because we’re here in Albuquerque, we have such a high population of Native folks. My family’s from the Pueblo of Laguna,” he said.

Tales of the Mighty Code Talkers is one of Native Realties’ comics.

Based on the true stories of the Native American Code Talkers this incredible graphic novel features nine original stories by Native American artists and writers documenting the heroic tales of Code Talkers from World War I through Korea. The graphic novel also features a history of the Code Talkers and a lesson plan for teachers who wish to use the book to teach students about the struggle and accomplishments of these Native American heroes.

(2) STILES MEDICAL UPDATE. Fan artist Steve Stiles writes about his medical treatment: “The news is that I have a tumor in my right lung and that there’s a 70% chance (doctor’s words) that it’s cancer. I’m going in for a PET scan on the 14th and a biopsy on the 20th, probably followed by surgery shortly after that.”

Steve says, “I wouldn’t mind having friends know. I think they’ll have caught in time; it certainly came on me quickly.”

(3) INEXPLICABLY THEY ARE NOT DISCOURAGED. Variety asks “Poll: Which ‘Dark Universe’ Movie Are You Most Excited For?”

Though reviews for “The Mummy” have been unfavorable and box office tracking is far from through the roof, the studio hasn’t said it will slow down on its planned monster universe. The films will mine from Universal’s vault of monsters –Dracula, Frankenstein, Invisible Man, etc. — and reboot them for movies in the next few years.

Aside from “The Mummy,” “Bride of Frankenstein” is the only planned movie to be dated thus far, to be released on Feb. 14, 2019. “The Invisible Man” and “Frankenstein” have already nabbed stars in Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem, respectively. Angelina Jolie has been linked to the lead role in “Bride of Frankenstein,” but has yet to officially sign on. A new musical theme for the “Dark Universe,” composed by Danny Elfman, will debut in theaters ahead of “The Mummy.”

(4) IT’S ON THE COVER. I learned a bunch of things I didn’t know before about licensing cover art from Amanda S. Green’s column “Think before hitting enter” at Mad Genius Club.

If you go to Amazon and browse through the various genres, you will sooner or later come across covers that are the same or close to the same. This happens because most indies license their cover art elements from sites like Dreamstime or Adobe Stock. It’s a cheap way to find good art that fits the genre. The danger is you are only licensing the artwork and not buying it. That means others can license it as well.

(5) GREEN SCREEN. Luxury Daily comments on an unusual ad campaign: “Gucci unveils science fiction-flavored teaser for fall/winter 2017”. Will they clean up in the marketplace?

The designs are eclectic and strange

The “Clevercare” video series celebrated Earth Day April 22 with tips for how to maintain Stella McCartney clothes and ways to minimize a consumer’s carbon footprint. The six-part series takes an unconventional approach for most luxury brands by making the films highly comedic in nature (see story).

Gucci’s campaign, curious as it is, is evocative and stands out from typical high-fashion marketing. It taps into a wealth of imagery almost never aligned with luxury: the golden age of cheap ’50s science fiction movies.

“The risk of positioning an ad campaign with a surrealistic humorous bent, such as the new Gucci campaign, may find their current clientele and desired target audience consider it off brand and or too bizarre to waste time trying to figure out the message or how to relate,” Ms. Miller said. “Any strategy, if not well thought out against the DNA of a brand, may suffer if the subsequent intent is not executed well.

“Taking a stand of being different simply to be different may be a slippery slope. Viewers may be so distracted by the obscure that they remember neither the brand nor its intended message.”


  • June 11, 1982E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial released. “More legs than Harlan’s A Boy and His Dog,” says John King Tarpinian offering a unique viewpoint. So to speak.


  • Born June 11 — John Mansfield

(8) COMIC SECTION. John King Tarpinian points to Bizarro artist Dan Piraro’s Batman eulogies. His weekly cartoon for June 11 is another.


John also recommends this baseball-themed sff reference from Steve Moore’s In The Bleachers.

(9) TBR THIS SUMMER. The Washington Post’s Summer Reading 2017 feature recommends Borne by Jeff VanderMeer, George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, and Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

(10) BINGO. Here’s a robotic Tingle title mashup.

(11) SAY IT AIN’T SO. No Star Trek beyond Star Trek Beyond? “Star Trek: ‘no guarantee’ of another film says Zachary Quinto” at Den of Geek.

Even though Paramount Pictures got moving on a further Star Trek outing just as Star Trek Beyond was docking in cinemas last year, the incumbent Spock, Zachary Quinto, has played down just a little talk of a further film.

Star Trek Beyond ultimately grossed $343m in cinemas worldwide, over $100m down on the takings for Star Trek Into Darkness. Critically, it fared better, and Star Trek is heading back to the small screen in the next 12 months, with Star Trek Discovery.

But whilst we’d been promised another screen adventure, one that would bring Chris Hemsworth back alongside Chris Pine, there’s been not a great deal of progress since that was first mooted last July. And now Quinto, whilst confirming that a new film is being worked on, has suggested that it’s no certainty.

(12) HE’S ON THE FRONT. Francis Hamit, Managing Director of The Kit Marlowe Film Co. announces “We are offering new affinity products for our fans” in the Christopher Marlowe Shoppe — including the Kit Marlowe movie t-shirt.

(13) NOS4A2TV. The Verge reports “AMC is developing a series based on Joe Hill’s NOS4A2”.

AMC announced that it is opening writers’ rooms to develop three new shows, one of which is an adaptation of Joe Hill’s vampire novel NOS4A2. Jami O’Brien, who worked on the network’s Hell on Wheels and Fear the Walking Dead, will be the show’s executive producer.

According to Deadline, the network is skipping the typical pilot process, and working on a “detailed look at a potential first season,” before deciding whether or not to greenlight the show right out of the gate. AMC first announced that it was adapting the novel back in 2015, but word that Joe Hill’s NOS4A2 is still under consideration is pretty exciting. Hill is the son of Stephen King, and he’s forged his own career as a horror author in recent years. This extremely creepy novel is one of his best to date. AMC is also developing a crime thriller, Pandora, and Silent History, about a group of children who are born without the ability to comprehend language, under the same arrangement.

Published in 2013, NOS4A2 follows a girl named Vic McQueen who has an ability to find lost objects by way of a mysterious bridge that transports her to wherever the object that she’s looking for is hiding.

(14) THEY’RE GOING AT NIGHT. NASA has a plan to touch the sun.

In 2018, NASA will send a probe to one of the locations in the solar system that it never has before: the sun. In a series of orbits, the spacecraft will come closer to our star than any space vehicle before it could possibly withstand, and the mission is expected to reveal things about the sun that researchers have long wondered. In a news conference today, NASA revealed a few key details about its plans to ‘touch the sun,’ including a new name for the daring probe that will make the journey.

(15) INACTION FIGURES. There is such a thing as the LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE. I’m just not sure why.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, John King Tarpinian, Steve Stiles, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day IanP.]

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63 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/11/17 To Your Scattered Pixels Scroll

  1. I am so annoyed that I probably know who Xtifr is IRL but can’t figure it out. Come to a con dammit so I can. 🙂

  2. @Xtifr

    I’m not a fan of reviewers (esp. blurbers) comparing authors either, because they so frequently do such a bad job of it. The worst is when they compare it to an author I don’t much care for. Then I have to wait until a friend reassures me that it really isn’t like that author before I’m willing to try it. ?

    I don’t particularly like that either. Because either I don’t like the book/TV show/film the book is being compared to and will give it a pass (e.g. anything ever that is compared favourably to the new Battlestar Galactica) or I do like it and wind up being disappointed, because the book doesn’t capture whatever I loved about the other book/film/TV show.

    But while I would prefer that no one makes those comparisons at all, I’d much rather have a reviewer make them than the authors themselves. Comparing yourself to Tolkien or George RR. Martin is inevitably hubris.

  3. @lurkertype: yes, you might know me, but probably not all *that* well, since I usually go by “Xtifr” even IRL. Which is the kind of thing that people tend to remember. 🙂

    @Cora: Agreed. Reviewers doing it is annoying; writers doing for themselves is face-palm territory.

  4. Open Road Media uses stock images for its science fiction covers, I’ve seen the art used on Haldeman’s Worlds trilogy on a website somewhere, and shutterstock says it’s by Fernando Cortes.

  5. @Xtifr: I’ll bite, how do you pronounce Xtifr IRL? “ex-tiffer”? (If that’s on a need-to-know basis, just ignore me.)

  6. how do you pronounce Xtifr IRL? “ex-tiffer”?

    As with the X in “Xmas,” it could conceivably be pronounced “Christopher.”

    I’ll admit that I read it as “Ex-tif-r” myself, though.

  7. @Kurt Busiek: I’m horrible at these things! Christopher makes more sense – thanks for pointing that out. It never even occurred to me! ::blush-of-dorkness::

    You should see me fail at reading license plates some time. 😉

  8. There’s a regular over on Making Light who likewise has the given name “Christopher” and goes by “Xopher”, pronounced “Zofer”.

    This is stirring in me memories of being a kid wondering why “Christmas” was sometimes abbreviated “Xmas”. The best the people around me could do was relate the X to a cross; nobody knew about the chi in Χριστος.

  9. Yeah, “ex-tiffer”. And yeah, it’s from “Christopher”. And yeah, I’ve seen Xopher Halftongue around. I’m fairly certain my nick predates his though–possibly by decades. I’ve been using it since the late seventies. (Not that I mind–it’s a fairly obvious transformation. Christina Aguilara sometimes goes by Xtina.)

    I went with the five-letter spelling partly because I was inspired by Fafhrd, and partly because I thought it was neat to be able spell my full name with no more letters than the common short version, Chris. 🙂

    And yeah, despite my funny-looking nick, I’m an open book. Last name Waters. Mother is Ardis Waters, who was moderately well-known in Bay Area fandom. Step-father is Dave Thewlis, aka Duke Siegfried von Höflichskeit, one of the founders of the SCA. Aunt is Melisa C. Michaels, SF writer. Was page to Randall Garrett (Randall of Hightower) in the SCA when I was young. And for many years I was not-quite-married to Robert Anton Wilson’s oldest step-daughter.

    I’ve spent many years surrounded by moderate fame without ever achieving any myself. And that wasn’t always easy. 🙂

  10. When I found the box of letters my dad wrote to my mom, during the 1947-1949 period when he’d re-enlisted for the Nebraska hay drop, I was charmed to learn he abbreviated “Christmas” as “Nat.” (for “Nativity”. I spell it out because it took me a moment to get.) I’d never seen that before. So wonderful to have those notes in his beautiful hand!

  11. Restrained myself from delivering a self-headsmack. I’ve been reading “Xtifr” wrong pretty much the entire time I’ve been seeing it, not only seeing a lower case I as a lower-case L, but even switching the order. I’d have pronounced it “Christopher” otherwise, and even typing it right sometimes. From this day forward!, etc., etc.

    When I took electronics in the 70s, Xtal (or maybe xtal?) was short for ‘crystal.’ I also sometimes pronouncded it ‘cross’ to myself (ergo, crosstal calibrator, or whatever), but as far as I can puzzle it at this moment, that was an idiosyncratic affectation of some sort and nothing else. It was the 70s.

  12. Yes, well, having chosen this extremely odd spelling when I was young and silly, I find I have little room for complaint when people are confused by it or misread it. So I don’t. If it starts with “X” and doesn’t obviously refer to someone else, I’m fine with whatever creative variations the universe throws my way.

  13. John A. Arkansawyer
    I’ve always been fine with Xmas as an understandable abbreviation with a long and understandable history. I tend to use Cmas, an idiosyncratic spelling that Ra Aman used to use in D’APA. (Ra used many idiosyncratic spellings, all in the service of shrinking the English language down till it could be put on a file card.)

    (Just practicing!)

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