My mom was a huge influence on my genre tastes as a kid. She was and still is a huge mystery fan, and Barnaby Jones was one of our favorite shows. We even named our dog Barnaby after the Great Detective.
Buddy Ebsen will always be Barnaby Jones, not Jed Clampett, to me. And Lee Meriwether will always be Betty; not Catwoman. Julie Newmar is Catwoman.
“I’d done a short story called ‘Indomitable’ a few years back for a Legends collection, and it was an attempt to pick up on what happened with Jair Ohmsford, who was one of the two main characters in Wishsong of Shannara. He was just a boy in there, and I thought I’d grow him up a bit. After I finished it, it just seemed like there was more to do with Jair if I chose to do it. At that time, though, I was moving ahead with the stories and didn’t really want to spend any more time on that generation…. But when it came time to do the graphic novel, I thought, this really is a good place to pursue it.”
The graphic novel Dark Wraith of Shannara comes out March 25.
Burn Notice Season One DVD
Looks like Burn Notice, the best new show last year, is coming to DVD. It’s only a rumor for now, but c’mon. Of course it is. And shortly before Season Two begins this summer, no doubt.
I haven’t said much about the Justice League movie during the writers strike because it all seemed like non-news. Of course the strike put the movie on hold; of course the movie’s back on now that the writers are working again. Not exactly a scoop.
No, no. Not the Falcon. Although that would be cool too. See, in this story, Batman’s trying to stop a married couple from murdering a government agent. Turns out, they’ve got a garden full of flowers that not only make you immortal; they also make you totally insane.
Unfortunately, Batman gets a whiff and when they sic their killer falcons on him, he’s not sure if they’re real or if he’s hallucinating.
You’d better make up your mind quick, El Murciélago!
Fortunately, even killer birds are no match for Batman.
There’s a new comics publisher in town called Radical Publishing. Their first two books are a dark, 300-esque vision of Hercules and a Western retelling of the King Arthur legend called Caliber. The art for both looks great and they’re offering the first issue of each for only a buck. Definitely gonna have to try these out.
Night Shade books has a pirate anthology coming out later this year. Contributors include Michael Moorcock and Elizabeth Bear.
Defending Jodi Picoult
I don’t know if it’s the desire to give a best-selling novelist the benefit of the doubt or what, but it’s in vogue lately in blogland to excuse Jodi Picoult for writing a lousy run on Wonder Woman. I’m honestly not trying to pick on Picoult here, because for all I know she’s a very talented writer. She just wasn’t the right one for Wonder Woman. And it’s not because DC editorial tied her hands.
And I’m not trying to pick on Heidi Meeley either. She’s the one who got me thinking about this again, but she’s also just the latest to excuse Picoult’s not understanding the character and put the blame on Amazons Attack. But a good couple of issues before she started having to work in the Amazons Attack story, Picoult was portraying Wonder Woman as a self-doubting, fish-out-of-water character. Yes, forcing a lame crossover idea on Picoult only made it worse, but let’s not pretend that she would’ve been great for the series if only she’d been left to her own devices.
Marvel’s Marvel Adventures line for kids are some of my favorite comics right now. They’re not so stuck in trying to be all “epic” and “relevant,” but are focusing more on just being big, fun, and adventurous. So, news of a new MA title showcasing “characters that don’t have their own book, or team-ups of characters that do” is welcome news indeed.
10,000 B.C.: By all rights, this should be Beyond Awesome with all the cavegirls and ancient civilizations and sabretooth tigers and domesticated mammoths. But I’d be lying if I said that “From the Director of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow” didn’t make me nervous. Independence Day was a fun, but disposable movie and you couldn’t have dragged me into The Day After Tomorrow with all the domesticated mammoths in the world.
The Bank Job: Jason Statham. Bank heist. ’70s detectives and criminals. Government conspiracy. They got me.
Snow Angels(limited release): Kate Beckinsale is all I need to know about this movie, but the rest of it looks pretty good too. Olivia Thirlby is even cuter here than she was in Juno.
Okay. Yes. It’s all about the girls with me on this one.
Doomsday: Speaking of Kate Beckinsale, I really thought that was her in the trailer for this. Makes me much less nervous about Rhona Mitra’s taking over for Kate in the next Underworld film. And even though it’s not Kate here, the Road Warrior/Escape from New York vibe is strong enough to make it my most anticipated movie of the month.
Horton Hears a Who: I’d about had it with big screen adaptations of Dr. Suess books, but going animated is a step in the right direction. I’m not convinced that they can pad it out to feature length without making it feel like padding, but it’s one of my favorite Suess stories, so I’m willing to give it a try.
Drillbit Taylor: Owen Wilson was painfully unfunny at the Oscars, mostly because he wasn’t even trying to be funny and that made me sad. He’s one of my favorite comic actors and I’m worried about him. Not every movie of his is great, but this one written by Seth Rogen and Kristofor Brown, based on a concept by John Hughes, and produced by Judd Apatow has all the ingredients it needs to be hilarious.
Superhero Movie: I’m expecting very little from this, but it has Leslie Nielsen in it, so I’m guaranteed a laugh or two.
Flawless: Michael Caine. Bank heist. ’60s detectives and criminals. No government conspiracy, but they still got me.