Happy All Souls, AKA Saturday November 2; HEXES Final Issue Update; Recent Films + Books + More…

spirit-2304469_1920-e1520661783949Photo: Haunted Museum of Nature

Intro!

HELLO, hello! May we please go vertigo? We will accept your silence as an implicit yes so here we go, shuffling through the wrinkled Snickers and Twix wrappers and uneaten candy corn of Halloween, another Samhain come and gone, sad but true but oh babies, don’t you panic! By the light of the night it’ll all be all right, we’ll get you a satanic mechanic…

Entry! HEXES The Final Issue, aka The Final Hex is shaping up to be the thing of things, an issue compiled entirely of original material solicited exclusively for this issue. You might want to re-read that sentence, because it’s quite the break from normal operations in HEXES land. Ya see, the modus operandi usually went like this: The Creep in the Art Department would find an image so compelling he just HAD to turn it into a magazine (or webzine, if we’re splitting atoms) cover, and then it was over to the editor (moi) to scour that week’s internet offerings for an engaging TOC and links, featuring clips of text and very pretty pics, and that was that. There were exceptions, of course, most notably in the “themed” issues, such as THE VAMPIRE SPECIAL and HELL AT LAST and DEATH BY SOUND. But even so, any given issue of HEXES was compiled entirely of preexisting material.

Not so for The Final Hex. The final issue will consist entirely of original pictures and words commissioned specifically for the bid bad swan song. Big artists, Big writers.  Behold, The Creep’s call for cover models…

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Of course it’s internationally recognized! We have readers in the UK, Europe, Asia, Russia. Just sayin’.

At any rate, The Final Hex will be the Bees’ Knees, the Show of Shows. But we already know of at least one feature that won’t be included…

Entry! SABBATH by Nick Mamatas…

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…will be published by Tor later this month. I had originally planned on reviewing said tome in The Final Hex. However, once I began approaching certain artists and writers for the above mentioned original material, I realized they needed a doable deadline (which is December 31st, curious scribblers). SABBATH pubs in a few weeks, so my review will coincide with the release. Perhaps Nick will agree to an excerpt for inclusion in the Swan Song. Who knows? In the meantime, stay glued to these pages…

EH_pevCWwAIhWSvSpecial thanks to Tor for the ARC

Entries! Current (and currently favorite) Book: MOON by Oliver Morton. It’s a masterpiece, and Morton is nothing less than a poet.

“Oliver Morton explores how the ways we have looked at the Moon have shaped our perceptions of the Earth: from the controversies of early astronomers such as van Eyck and Galileo, to the Cold War space race, to the potential use of the Moon as a stepping stone for further space exploration.” And so much more. This book belongs on every Lunaphile’s shelf.

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Followed by the very best heroic action film we’ve seen in way too many Moons, ALITA, Battle Angel! 

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This movie kicks ass, man, putting all the Marvel shit to shame… Wait, what? What’s that you say? Ah. The answer is Nnnno. I am in no way prejudiced or predisposed to sing Alita’s praises. Yes, I loved the original manga and 90’s era anime, but if anything that love would make me even more critical. Example: I liked this “live-action” version of Alita far more than I liked the 2010 live-action version of Space Battleship Yamato. There are solid reasons for Alita’s potency, as it was directed by Robert Rodriguez with a screenplay by James Cameron, who also served as producer with Jon Landau… um, these guys know what the fuck they’re doing. They deliver the goods.

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And finally

Entry! For all the limp scarecrows.

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“I Am The Chosen One.”

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Then let’s do it, motherfucker.

Image via theredshtick.com

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VideoScope #111! and Libby Cudmore’s THE BIG REWIND!

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#111! Unbelievable. It seems like only last Friday that The Phantom and the VS crew hit historic #100! VS is so much more to me than a cool mag I used to write for; it is nothing less than a staple of my life, eternal as the tide. Sure, I miss the days of visiting The Phantom and Managing Editor Ms Nag in fog-cloaked Ocean Grove on the Jersey shore, where multiple cats ruled the sidewalks, a sleepy town right down the street from Asbury Park and its formidable ghosts: the music, the Stone Pony; the broken boardwalk often seen on The Sopranos; a place where I made multiple pitches to The Phantom which included my short-lived column 21st Century Goth! and reviews of shit not easily available in North America. The Phantom let it roll, man—most of it, anyway. He hooked me up with interviewing Dario Argento, for fucks sake; he facilitated my sit-downs with the entire PHANTASM brigade (Don Coscarelli, Angus Scrimm, Reggie Bannister, Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury); and so much more, all of which I am forever grateful.

So here’s to VideoScope #111! We’re looking forward to #150.

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Libby Cudmore’s THE BIG REWIND

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My Amazon review of this excellent novel:

Yearning, desire, heartache… and regret. These are the elements that drive every successful love song, and they are the forces that make THE BIG REWIND a wonderful novel. It’s a murder mystery, yes, as well as a carpet-bombing of pop-culture references—too many per paragraph, in this reviewer’s opinion—but the excellent Libby Cudmore gets a pass. This girl can write. Insightful, funny, and often poignant, THE BIG REWIND is a bulletproof concept album of a novel that will play smooth and seamless in every music lover’s literary jukebox.

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Libby holds a music party every Saturday night on twitter! Tune in @LibbyCudmore!

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Remember

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The Hiroshima Cenotaph, photo by Michael A. Stecker

 

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The Children’s Memorial, designed by Kazuo Kikuchi

 

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John Hersey’s Hiroshima

Upon publication, Albert Einstein ordered 1,000 copies.

 

 

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“Why the Long Face?” Well…

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SO, everybody and their third cousin went absolutely bonkers today with FaceApp, a Russian app that allows narcissists everywhere (yes, guilty) to play endlessly with, well, their face. One can add glasses, beards, smiles, wild hair, tats, time-warps forward and backwards, blah blah blah, and it’s all very convincing, not to mention a little scary. See above. And everyone’s worried, “What will The Russians do with OUR FACES?” See below…

 

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Call me obtuse (again, guilty), but I don’t see how this changes… anything. For nearly two decades our faces have been plastered across our beloved social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter—not to mention Big Brother’s cameras at every freaking intersection and stoplight— it’s all ripe for pillaging. Jesus Christ, our CATS are easy victims for identity theft! What the fuck are the Russians going to do with my face? Proof that Rasputin lives? Maybe. If I’m lucky!

 

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It’s the ease of the deep fakery that’s frightening. The above image of 84 year-old Drax was convincingly realized with a click of a filter on my phone. With tech that’s easily available for free.

Yes, you may refer to me as Grampa. Because I am scared shitless.

Ω

 

Ragnar Returns

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Digital, July 2019 by The Creep / Model: D

If they can bring back Jean-Luc Picard in his own series— then by all the Gods, bring back Ragnar Lothbrok! As portrayed by Travis Fimmel! In THE FUTURE!

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Good Idea? (Your feedback will graded on a sliding scale.)

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Happy Bithday Amerika

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Michael de Adder

 

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Independence Day USA 2019

 

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No, we can’t believe the news today.

 

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Yes, we still can.

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My Solstice

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Jubilation in England this morning. Glorious. Go kids go.

 

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My solstice began before dawn with an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street. (Some of the best eps are scattered across youtube.) Revisiting Homicide was unexpected and most welcome. Andre Braugher as Mighty Frank Pembleton always lifts the spirits.

 

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Then to the doctors. It was nothing. A consultation. They strongly advised removing the third head, yuck yuck yes yes.

 

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A walk to the water, a view of the Sub Base. Mah Stonhenge! Solstice proper in the northern hemisphere occurred at 12:54pm EST, and that’s what it looked like. Not a total drag, but still…

 

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At home: phone calls, appointments, porn porn porn, forms completed, cards mailed… and I finally filled-in the white crack in the corner that was driving me fucking apeshit. Who’s the man.

 

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Then the solstice took a surprising turn! The overlords of my village throw a monthly “festival” in their management offices / torture chambers and offer us starving mad blind peasants “treats” and “raffles” and “eyeballs.” I’d never attended. Tonight was my first. Well, Hell’s Bells. Mac n Cheese n Lobster. Yup. No, it did not look like the above photo. As a matter of fact the dish was served in a plastic martini glass. But it was unexpected and very nice.

 

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The longest day of the year ended at 8:25pm EST. I was a little late. Fucking typical.

 

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Thus begins the slow tick back into the darkness, heh heh heh! Ye have reached the peak, you mortal scum! The summit stretches no higher, winter is coming and nothing can stop it! Nothing! Not even your stupid lens flares!

It was an excellent day, and all who reside in the house of Drax are very grateful.

Happy Solstice.

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2018’s “DAS BOOT” SERIES…

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… is shockingly excellent. Currently streaming on hulu. That is all. Carry on.

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YES EVERYTHING ABSOLUTELY SUCKS

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But thank Christ for Joe Kane and fucking VideoScope.

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Gratitude and respect.

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