Cheeseburger Gothic

Fear and Loathing Comix

Posted June 28, 2015 into Comics by John Birmingham

I have already pre-ordered this bad boy. A graphic novel of the good doctor's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Seems odd at first, given the integral role of Ralph Steadman's drug fucked illustrations to the original text, and the twisted beauty of Hunter S. Thompson's prose. How could it work.

I dunno. But I'm willing to take a small plunge on finding out.

5 Responses to ‘Fear and Loathing Comix’

dweeze is gonna tell you...

Posted June 28, 2015
Back when JB was penning Felafel, and I was conducting parallel research into out there share house living, this was my number one tome. I reckon that I've had more than a dozen copies over the years but I keep giving them away to enlighten the unenlightened. Like The Princess Bride, I can pretty much quote it verbatim. Sad, I know. It took me many years to brave the Depp / Gilliam film version and I was pleasantly surprised. Here's hoping that the graphic novel maintains the rage in its own special way...

"...there's nothing more depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge." Ne'er a truer truth been told.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted June 28, 2015
You remind me I am long past overdue to replace my last copy.

Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted June 29, 2015
Buggered if I know what happened to my last copy of F&L. Those things get nabbed faster than an outrage storm swampsTwitter.

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Rob mumbles...

Posted June 29, 2015
Theres a sequel to Fight Club that's come out as a comic book (or graphic novel if you want to be a grown up.) But I'm waiting to get it as a complete book, its a little too pricey to buy monthly. I bought this a few months back its a book called Punk Rock Jesus , a very entertaining read.

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Halwes would have you know...

Posted June 30, 2015

I just finished reading Hell's Angels. I'd avoided it for years because I thought it may have been a celebration of idiots, and I was never very happy with the way that the Angels lined up with the right over Vietnam, however it was a pretty truthful account of the times. I only picked it up because there was a 3 penguins for $20 sale in Dymocks in Sydney. I also got The Trial by Kafka which I'd been meaning to read for years and I'm halfway through now. Next one is The Grapes of Wrath. Not bad for $20 bucks

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Read Superman #1 for free

Posted October 31, 2014 into Comics by John Birmingham

Okay, it's actually Action Comics #1 but it is in mint condition and it is Supes origin story. The issue, available to peruse at CGC's certification site, was recently bought at auction for something north of a bazillion elephant bucks. It had to be assessed for auction, just like any work of art, and so you get to have a look to.

It's fasincating to see the really primitive art style and story telling and ponder just how far comics and their grown up graphic novel siblings have come. I used to read a heap when I was kid. I still try to get a few in of a Friday night now, so reading Action #1 is a bit like seeing the first rough outlines of what would be become science fiction in the outlandish novels of the 19th century.

12 Responses to ‘Read Superman #1 for free’

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted October 31, 2014
So stark the contrast to some of the equivilent current comics.

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Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted October 31, 2014
Not that I read this kind of thing meself you understand, but I believe young Spanner buys some of his com- um Graphic Novels from this lot.

https://www.humblebundle.com/books?logo&utm_source=Humble+Bundle+Newsletter&utm_campaign=60fd6241e4-Humble_Horror_Book_Bundle&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_990b1b6399-60fd6241e4-96431613

It has Buffy and Zombies.

Surtac mumbles...

Posted October 31, 2014

There's some very good stuff to be found in some of those bundles imnsho. :)

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Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted October 31, 2014
I guess Chuck Dawson never really took off like Superman? (snerk)

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted October 31, 2014

Hey, Zombie_Balzac (if that's who you really are), you'd have been able to buy these when they first came out.


If you look at the back page there's some wonderful bargains. I'm getting the Midget Pocket Radio, the Wireless Transmitter and the World's Smallest Candid Camera and I'll still have change left over from $5.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted October 31, 2014
Oh god, that takes me back.

And don't forget the "electric" hand buzzer, the skeleton model and the X-ray glasses.

Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted October 31, 2014
If I could post images to this blog, I'd show you the World's Smallest Candid Camera. And my crystal set and amazing head phones. You young folk might have to Google "crystal set" but it was an unpowered radio. Yes, NO BATTERIES.

Therbs would have you know...

Posted October 31, 2014

That's crazy person talk. You must be a crazy old man. And this so called "crystal set" of yours, I suppose you built it yourself did you? And listened to stories on it? Stories about hobbits and supermen? Well I think you're crazy.

Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 31, 2014
Grrrr. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/667503/DSC_0354.JPG
It was a kit, but yes. Note 4QG 4QR 4BC and 4BK. All AM stations of course.

Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted October 31, 2014
And of course: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/667503/Candid%20camera.jpg
(Note these are not freakishly large fingers.)

Alas
my Sea Monkeys revolted against their King and set up a socialist
autonomous collective run by an elected committee. This resulted in a
vicious civil war in which they all perished.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted October 31, 2014
Amplitude Modulation?
Is that still a thing?

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted October 31, 2014

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The Beast of Bezos Attacks!

Posted April 29, 2014 into Comics by John Birmingham

Been meaning to write something snarky about Amazon buying out Comixology since the news broke last week. But deadlines got the better of me, and apart from comic book nerds, nobody seemed to care.

And then the Beast of Bezos went and made poo-poo in everyone's icrecream bowl.

Comixology, the New Comixology, updated its app – the best comic book app to be found on any platform. The app that had done so much to grow the market for comics, especially indie publications that weren't Marvel headliners. The app that fucking saved comics from comic book nerds.

Amazon decided to break it.

How? Buy removing in-app purchases. So now rather than just hitting a single button to download the next issue, or some related impulse buy, the reader has to drop out of the app, go to the Comixology website, login, go to the store, find the issue (not always easy), order it, confirm the order, return to the app, download the new title (again, surprisngly difficult and non-obvious) and finally open it up.

I'm familiar with this process because I've been doing it for months. It was cheaper, you see. Avoided the 30% mark up Apple takes for in-app purchases. It was a process I was willing to go thru because I'm picky about my comic buys and I tend to buy collections anyway, so the 30% can make a big difference.

It won't now, because the readers (and artists for that matter) won't see a cent of that money. Amazon is taking it all.Wait a minute! This isn't my phone. This a phone-shaped block of pure Kryptonite!

Fair 'nuff, you might say. Bezos bought the business he can do what he wants with it. And you'd be right in that. But don't be surprised if the comic book Renaissance chokes and dies in the next few years. Oh, there'll still be the Marvel juggernaut, but that's more about Hollywood than the nerdiverse of comic book fandom. Introducing friction to the business of buying a comic book can only hurt that business.

Perhaps someone's begin coding work on a new Comixology somewhere. Beuller? Anyone?

There's a great piece by a veteran comic book creator, Gerry Conway that's worth a read if you're at all interested in this topic. (Full text is here.) He writes:

I’m going to say something that I hope you won’t misinterpret (oh, who am I kidding, this is the internet, of course it’ll be misinterpreted): comics have been struggling in a ghetto for thirty years. That ghetto is called the comic book store. Please don’t hate me, comic book store owners — I love you, I love your dedication to the form, I fully support you, and never want to see you replaced. Yet the fact remains that for someone to discover a comic book today for the first time, he or she pretty much has to be a comic book reader already, or know someone who’s a reader, and he or she has to be comfortable immersing themselves immediately in a very specific sub-cultural experience by stepping through the doors of a comic book specialty shop.

Thanks to movies and games and other media, of course, many people do so, but not as many as once did (ask any comic book store owner) and not with any consistency. There just aren’t that many comic book stores and they just aren’t that easily accessible. (How many comic book stores are there at your neighborhood Westfield mall?)

Comic book publishers know this, and that’s why they’ve embraced digital distribution while still trying to support the comic store experience. Comixology provided a fabulous tool to do so — a way to easily introduce casual readers to new comics and provide quick and easy access to the vital impulse buy.

Impulse buys are crucial to hooking new readers to new books...

By forcing readers to leave the app and go searching the Comixology website, add books to a cart, process the cart, return to the app, activate download, and wait for their purchases to appear, Comixology has replaced what was a quick, simple, intuitive impulse purchase experience with a cumbersome multi-step process that will provide multiple opportunities along the path for the casual reader to think twice and decide, ah, never mind, I don’t really want to try that new book after all. I’ll stick with what I know. Or worse, when a new casual reader opens the Comixology app for the first time and sees that THERE ARE NO COMICS THERE, and that he or she will have to exit the app and go somewhere else and sign up for a new account, maybe he or she won’t bother buying a comic in the first place.

This is a disaster.

13 Responses to ‘The Beast of Bezos Attacks!’

beeso ducks in to say...

Posted April 29, 2014

I bet lots of smart coders who had slight improvements on comixology are busy working. There was no reason before, but now?

Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted April 29, 2014

Why bother? The smart users can still do it on Android.

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Blarkon asserts...

Posted April 29, 2014

On Android and Windows you can still do in-app purchases - so it's only on iOS that this option has gone away.

beeso mutters...

Posted April 30, 2014

Hardly any of those devices, I suppose it doesn't matter at all.

Blarkon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 30, 2014

That includes Windows PCs. I'm sure that there are none of them.

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Blarkon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 29, 2014

And as usual with "smart coders" - the advantage of Comixology wasn't the code - it was that they were able to make the deals with the people that produce the comics.

The general Silicon Valley attitude towards content is "fuck creators - we should get their stuff for free and creatives should work for exposure" - which has left most creative organizations a bit reluctant to make deals. You can see the attitude with the streaming services who are trying to reduce the revenue paid to creators, or YouTube, which is reducing its miniscule rates to the people that make it money.

"Hi - we're from Silicon Valley and we're here to disrupt Comixology by paying you even less money" is not a particularly enticing pitch.

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Alexvdl has opinions thus...

Posted April 30, 2014

I think the writing was on the wall as soon as Amazon bought them out. The Amazon MP3 store has worked the same way for a while. Amazon isn't willing to give that thirty percent to Apple. And since Apple states in their TOS that all purchases available in app must be the lowest price available out of app, Amazon said fuck it, we're not playing Apple's games. It's not like Apple is blameless here.

Really this is a big reason that other than my iPod Touch, my gadgets are firmly in the Android camp.

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JR mutters...

Posted April 30, 2014

I am probably one of the few people for whom the new app came as a welcome improvement. I use an android tablet, but have never had a need to sign up for google wallet as my app purchases are added to my phone bill.
From the beginning with Comixology I used PayPal and purchased books through the web store, then downloaded them through the app. I sympathise with apple users as it is sometimes inconvenient, but it always frustrated me that I would have to sign up for yet another online payment method just to buy comics. Stubbornness and laziness had prevented me, but I was weakening to the idea.
Thankfully the new app now allows me to purchase comics in-app with PayPal and I got $5 to boot.

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Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted April 30, 2014

If you like your comics and want to support the writers plus charities plus the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, there's the Humble Bundle. https://www.humblebundle.com/?utm_source=Humble+Bundle+Newsletter&utm_campaign=da8f7d7479-Humble_Image_Comics_Bundle&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_990b1b6399-da8f7d7479-96431613

They mostly have Android games but occasionally ebooks and comics.

Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted May 1, 2014

I second Greybeard's recommendation. From what I've read of its content so far, this Humble Bundle is a good one - my highlights so far? Saga and Lazarus.

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Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 30, 2014

I care Captain.

In the nether regions at the moment.

As soon as I get out I will have a word to to boffins at Apple.

Did I mention I designed the Iphone and Apps back in '96?

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Rob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 30, 2014

I am so confused and perplexed. I still buy paper copies of comics via titan books and book depo. And I go to comic book stores....inevetably to buy teeshirts. I really must get with the program.

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Blarkon is gonna tell you...

Posted April 30, 2014

One of the biggest changes in comics in the last decade or so (at least according to Warren Ellis) has been the rise of the trade paperback. A lot of readers moved away from buying monthlies and instead just buy the trades as they come out. This switch also changed the approach many writers used as they went from assuming that the stories would primarily be read in the trade rather than the weekly/monthly format.

All the comics I keep are in trade paperback (or hardback collections).

I have several thousand comics in my comixology collection and I primarily use the iPad as my reading device. This change doesn't bother me - I have to use the browser to buy my Kindle and Audible stuff, so flipping across to Safari for Comics isn't much of an issue for me (or I could use one of my Android or Windows devices).

It's ultimately pushback against Apple's policies WRT in-app purchases. Amazon is very data driven. They saw the impact of removing in-app purchases from Kindle and Audible on iOS - so they've probably got a reasonable idea of the pros and cons in terms of what will happen to their income.

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Snow, by Benjamin Rivers

Posted March 17, 2014 into Comics by John Birmingham

Friday Night is comic night for JB. I buy a new episode of the series I'm following, reading it along with a couple of instalments of other issues – some one-offs, some long form. How do I not get ahead of myself? Bundles. Because the cost of digitally publishing back issues is zero, most graphic novel publishers are more than happy to release very generous bundles, sometimes as freebies, sometimes as ridiculously cheap deals.

Comixology, one of the best comic book houses, recently offered a huge bundle of a hundred or so titles for less than ten bucks. I leapt on it even though many of them were teaser issues. Some were complete arcs however, and one in particular I enjoyed was an unconventional tale in the sense that it was an entirely conventional story. Snow, by Benjamin Rivers, has no superheroes, no magic, no future tech, no fabled realms. Just a simple story that pulled me all the way in.

Four issues, simply drawn; the tale of Dana, a thirty-something employee of a failing bookstore in Toronto. It’s winter, the city is snowbound. The once groovy street on which Abberline Books does less and less business, while paying more and more rent, is caught in an urban decay spiral. Some stuff happens, Dana copes or doesn't cope. Life goes on.

I’m not sure why I enjoyed it so much, and found it difficult to put down. I think it was the way Rivers managed to capture the characters with such spare illustration and economy of writing. It reminded me a lot of my own time in Darlinghurst in the 1990s, the Felafel period. I wasn’t at all surprised to discover Snow will be released as a film this year. I was sort of surprised to find out it had also become a game, but then Rivers is a programmer of note as a well as an illustrator.

Having enjoyed it so much, and paid virtually nothing, I felt honour bound to point a few other readers in his direction. The page for Snow is here, while Rivers main site is a good place to catch up on his other work, graphic novels or games.

And yes, Orin, I have a few issues of Transmetropolitan somewhere on my pad, and no Orin I haven't read them yet.

7 Responses to ‘Snow, by Benjamin Rivers’

Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 17, 2014

Went to Comixology site. Damn you for pandering to my addiction JB. Now how will I get any work done?

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Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted March 17, 2014

Even after all these years and on the rare times I get to town, I can't walk past a comic shop without looking for old Phantom comics. I cherish the memories of the showbags in the 60's that always had one in them. I wish I'd kept them all now because they are worth big bucks. Another big favourite of mine is Asterix and Obelix. I also found some old Jolliffes' Saltbush Bill and Witchetys tribe books in a really great bookshop in Mackay last year. Expensive but pure gold.

Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted March 17, 2014

Boxes of Phantom comics, check. Asterix and Obelix, check. TinTin, check.

Have you read Blake and Mortimer? Despite the names it was started by a Belgian artist contemporary with Herge, and continued by others after his death. I like the "ligne claire" French and Belgian stuff and most by Bilal, Dargaud, Moebius and the naughty one whose name I can't recall. And Alan Moore and . . . damn JB again.

Lulu ducks in to say...

Posted March 17, 2014

Asterix & Obelix and Tintin - check check check. I also have a soft spot for the French series of live action A & O films (with Gerard Depardieu as Obelox).

Halwes reckons...

Posted March 17, 2014

I'll check the Blake and Mortimer comics out. The other ones I used to read non stop were the old war comics. I don't know how those krauts even got to the war they were so easy to knock off. Donner und Blitzen, Himmel and Achtung they were a good read. Another one that Aussies may remember was Captain Goodvibes the pig of steel. I've still got the whole world pigalogue which I bought for a dollar in 1974. I've still got a creditable collection of the Fabulous Furry Freak brothers comics ( I must drag them out again and see if they are still as funny) which were banned for a while.

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S.M. Stirling is gonna tell you...

Posted March 17, 2014

Interesting comic. I used to live at the other end of that street. Of course, that was 20 years ago, and people then were saying how it wasn't what it used to be... 8-).

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted March 17, 2014

At the end of the iPad edition there's some really cool 'artist book' material which shows just how much work Rivers put into 'designing' the story world, even though it was a real world place.

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On The Beach comic panels

Posted December 4, 2013 into Comics by John Birmingham

I must confess to never having read Neville Shute's famous end of the world novel, or having seen the movie or the TV mini series. And yet it looms large in my pop cultural imagination all the same. Now, thanks to a link I saw the other day (and a source I promptly forgot, sorry) I need feel the shame no longer.

On the Beach, the very abbreviated comic novel.

14 Responses to ‘On The Beach comic panels’

Murphy reckons...

Posted December 4, 2013

Somehow or another I managed to read the novel, see the Gregory Peck version then stumble across the Australian miniseries version on YouTube a few years ago. Each has their strengths and weaknesses though I prefer the novel myself overall.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted December 4, 2013

Hi Murph,

They were talking on the radio about a new documentary thats just come out about the making of the film.

Apparently the author wasn't happy with the film.

I still haven't read it. On my list. The author was an engineer originally.

What's going on in Fukushima with the rod 'removal'?

All very quiet there.

Like the streets of Melbourne on a Sunday a few years ago.

Murphy would have you know...

Posted December 5, 2013

Worth reading but if you are pressed for time I'd go with the Gregory Peck film.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Stuart ducks in to say...

Posted December 4, 2013

Off topic, but I suspect it wouldn't get noticed in the Ghengis book club thread.

Who would win: Alexander vs. Ghengis:

http://www.quora.com/Genghis-Khan/Who-would-win-on-an-open-field-with-equal-numbers-for-their-army-Genghis-Khan-or-Alexander-the-Great

Brian would have you know...

Posted December 4, 2013

Genghiz. Equal numbers are meaningless in this context. A 100 percent cavalry army equipped with stirrups, recurve bows and Chinese steel armour? Versus a mostly infantry phalanx, with inferior armour, low cavalry without stirrups, and low archer support. Cavalry with stirrups by itself lends a two to one force advantage in a lance duel. Mongol recurves with a a force advantage five times range and penetrating power with armour piercing heads.

The Parthans repeatedly chewed up Roman infantry armies, and they did it without stirrups,inferior recurves and poorer armour.Alexander's head would have been mounted outside the Khans tent in short order.

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Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted December 4, 2013

B*gger. Can't follow JB's link from here in the work bunker. I read the book many years ago but haven't seen the film or the mini-series. Iirc I thought No Highway was a better book, but maybe it's time to re-read On the Beach.

Stuart, nice link. Thanks for that. I totally agree with the conclusions, given how easily and comprehensively the Mongols chewed up contemporay European forces on their forays west.

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yankeedog mumbles...

Posted December 4, 2013

JB, I'm a bit surprised you've not read the book. It's something of the opposite of most post-apocalypse works-instead of the petrol gangs and civilization unraveling, it generally shows a civilization that, seeing its end coming, decides to go with some dignity.

I recommend the old Gregory Peck/Ava Gardner film version as well-it shows a lot of the grand old Australian stereotypes ('Waltzing Matilda' and all that). It was filmed in Melbourne-fortunately, a Havock-less Melbourne because he'd have tried to start a Mad-Max style road gang before succumbing to cobalt, strontium, plutonium, and a lot of other things that end in '-ium'.

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted December 4, 2013

Book, Movie, Mini Series........& now a 2013 Documentary.
"FALLOUT" by Australian filmmaker Lawrence Johnston; about Nevil Shute, the book "On the Beach" and the making of the film.
It is a good doco, they say.

Theatrical trailer for the doco.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0AG6vDIxrc

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Rob would have you know...

Posted December 4, 2013

those comics are amazingly well made. wish I could do that.

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robW swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 5, 2013

I read the novel (and a few of his others) back in college in the early 70s. It was a 'wow' experience at the time, but then again, kids were still ducking under tables in atomic bomb drills, there were fallout shelter signs on every other corner, and a novel had to sell over a 500,000 copies to qualify as a best seller.

For me books like this and so many other SF books I once thought were great suffer from a 'technology' gap. In 1990 Olaf Stapledon's 1944 "Sirius" or John Campbell's 1938 "Who Goes There?" or even Arthur C. Clark's 1948 "The Sentinel" could be read without any serious sense of disconnect. The stories themselves might have been 30, 40, or 50 years old, but they were still fresh and there wasn't any obvious setting or storyline issue that screamed "this is out of place"!

Today the technology disconnect pops like a jack-in-the-box on tales older than a decade or so. I watch a thriller from 1975 or 1985 and my first thought when the damsel is in distress is why she doesn't dial 911 on her cell phone. The 911 operators will have her on a map in 3 seconds and her credit report in 5. Cops will be on location in 6 minutes, and a fire truck will be on the scene in 8. Shute's "On the Beach" pivots on a morse code radio signal from Seattle; nevermind a survivor sending an e-mail or dialing up using a satellite phone. All those books about alien contact? Why don't they just send a connection to or a download of their "galactic internet" and save all that paper expended on the Encyclopedia Galactica? And what's with all that cigarette and pipe-smoking action in those books and films? I end up thinking about the stink of tobacco more than being lulled into the scene by all the cigarette action and the snapping of Zippo lighters.

So yes, "On the Beach" was a very good and thrilling book. Then the real world happened and it all went away.

Lulu would have you know...

Posted December 5, 2013

"I watch a thriller from 1975 or 1985 and my first thought when the damsel is in distress is why she doesn't dial 911 on her cell phone. "

Have you seen the 50s film Rififi? The whole climax depends on someone not being able to get to a phone in time.

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robW mutters...

Posted December 5, 2013

P.S. A book along the lines of "On the Beach" that *still* works in my opinion is Will Brinkley's 1988 "The Last Ship." The opening battle scene of a missile cruiser launching its nukes is a real nailer. It was his last novel before he died in '93, and certainly his most lasting one. I've seen that it is being made into a 10-episode series by TNT and will be aired in spring of 2014.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 5, 2013

The Australian mini-series used a solar powered laptop to periodically send data fragments which prompted the crew of the U.S. Sub to make their way to Alaska if memory serves. They find some poor mumified Australian blonde there who had taken a dose of something washed down with a bottle of coke. The sun would hit the solar panel prompting the transfer.

A plausible solution to the dated nature of the technology from the original source material.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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robW has opinions thus...

Posted December 29, 2013

Had a brainwave: plot suggestion. Flip the concept. Reverse the Australia/North America scenario.

As when we have the dramatic moment when the hero will gladly give/sacrifice his life to save the child/girl/woman/innocent, set up the story to put Australia in that place. How would Washington or Europe respond if a gun were to the head of Australia? Would they capitulate?

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New Yorker cartoons and timelessness

Posted July 13, 2013 into Comics by John Birmingham

I used to have an editor who was obsessed with timeless stories. Stories that had no connection to the news cycle. Stories that he could put anywhere in the magazine at any time. I find myself in mind of Max whenever I read the battered old copy of The New Yorker collected cartoons I keep in our back bathroom. For study purposes.

I got it for about twenty bucks at Riverbend, my local bookstore. Cheap at twice the price, or indeed many multiples more. It's been sitting in the back dunny for years. I like to think of it as a passive education for the children.

There are thousands of cartoons in the book, from the magazine's launch year in 1925 up until about 2006, if I recall correctly. Many of them are products of their time and have to be read as such. Without context they don't make a lot of sense. Many, however, could be published in any of the decades since the launch without any fear of being misunderstood. Sometimes certain themes repeat themselves, year after year, decade after decade. Sometimes a joke will come around again forty or even fifty years after it first appeared. I'm not even sure if the editors noticed.

I've been meaning to write a quick note about it for a while now and the magazine itself has finally given me the opportunity by publishing a list of the favorite cartoons of one of their favorite contributors, Bob Mankoff. You can see Bob's picks here, but below I've copied a couple that were also my faves.

The panel above could have been the work of James Thurber, who made merry with the gender war many years before Germaine Greer ever enlisted. It's not Thurber's work, however. The same, simple direct linework and captionless straight-to-the-point joke were, in this case, the work of Chon Day. The cartoon could have been published any tie between 1925 and 2013.

The one below, another of my faves, probably couldn't have been set loose in the wild before the mid-1960's because of the use of the word 'bastard'. It's appearance in public during a performance of the play 'The One Day of the Year' caused a hell of a stink in 1961 when it debuted at the Palace Theatre in Sydney.

There's something genuinely sweet and innocent about it to my mind, and to Mankoff's. The push button interface on the landline phone dates it after, say the mid 1980s and makes me wonder when it will pass into anachronism because the younger generations will have no idea what Mr Penne is actually holding in his hand.

"Cartoons are either in the realm of reality or fantasy," Bob writes. "Everything about this can’t possibly happen; it defies logic and reality and yet it leads to hilarity."

10 Responses to ‘New Yorker cartoons and timelessness’

yankeedog has opinions thus...

Posted July 13, 2013

Don't forget Charles Addams' work.

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Rob asserts...

Posted July 13, 2013

The same goes for Punch cartoons. I have a fondness for the endless riffing on middle class public servants stuck on desert island and the series More Man in apron. Luckily I had an english mom who grew up in world war 2 and bought everything english to put on her bookshelves.

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ShaneAlpha reckons...

Posted July 13, 2013

I defy you to not laugh at any Don Martin cartoon. Or a Sergio Argones margin cartoon. And for the english types, Ronald Searle St Trinian's cartoons.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted July 13, 2013

Those are the best New Yorker cartoons you could find?

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted July 13, 2013

Oh He'll no. They're not even my faves. But they are among my faves of the ten from the linked article. And thus the most easily copied. <i>T</i>he New Yorker has some ferocious defences against unauthorised copying.

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 13, 2013

So much to love, so little time.

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puma ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2013

Love them too. My uncle was a cartoonist with them. 92 covers.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted July 14, 2013

Whoa! Respect.

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Disco Stu asserts...

Posted July 14, 2013

A comedian a little while ago came up with the theory that every New Yorker cartoon could be captioned "Christ, what an asshole." I haven't seen one yet where it doesn't work.

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