Pick up free Halloween-themed comics at participating comic shops on Saturday, October 25! Find out which local stores are participating here.
This is the comic I’ve got my eye on…
WNUF Halloween Special
Camp Motion Pictures, 2013
Fantastic and fun, this fictional “found footage” film is sure to entertain. Billed as “the infamous 1987 live broadcast,” this release focuses on a local television news program’s investigation of a haunted house with Frank Stewart as the reporter. Refusing to cut away when the action gets intense, Frank gets more than he bargained for and the viewers were able to witness it all. The DVD was “compiled from the highest-quality source material available” and even features “the original commercials that ran during the notorious broadcast.”
The film is so well done and the actors are so into their parts that up until the end, you might even be convinced that it actually was broadcast on live television in the 1980s! WNUF Halloween Special was originally released as a limited-edition VHS last year, and then made available as a DVD in December 2013. If you haven’t already purchased your copy, this is the perfect time to order it so you can watch it next Friday with your ghoulfriend!
Watch the trailer below:
Creepy short film (only 10 minutes), very well done and perfect for the season.
Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith
by Joe Perry with David Ritz
Simon & Schuster, 2014
Aerosmith is one of the greatest American rock bands, led by singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry. The group has seen many ups and downs over the years, playing through drug addictions and inner turmoil, but today are still regarded as one of the most legendary acts to come from the United States and has a feverish fan base. In Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith, Perry relives his early years and influences that led him to a relationship with Steven Tallarico, on through the gigging and recording and eventual touring. Financial problems, leaving Aerosmith and creating the Joe Perry Project, and his return to the group in the mid-1980s, renewed success, and renewed band infighting are all focuses of the book.
Perry doesn’t pull any punches, especially when it comes to his tumultuous relationship with Tyler. The guitarist paints the picture of a front man with severe lead singer disease, who seems to be out for himself instead of the best interests of the group. From his constant addiction struggles to his secret audition with Led Zeppelin to his role on American Idol, Tyler kept information from his bandmates that would affect their future. It seems those problems will never go away, but Perry and the rest of Aerosmith continues to put up with the erratic behavior.
Perry’s autobiography may be a tell-all book, but there is not really a whole lot to tell. Aside from the drug abuse, he did not live the stereotypical rock star lifestyle. He stuck with one woman at a time, had major financial troubles because of mismanaged money, and focused on his work more than might be expected of someone who has fame thrust upon him. The most interesting parts of the book, for me, are Perry’s recollections of the 80s comeback albums Permanent Vacation and Pump albums, as well as the 70s classics including Toys In The Attic and Rocks.
Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith currently sits at #8 on the New York Times’ Best Sellers list for Hardcover Nonfiction. It is a well-written autobiography from one of rock’s greatest guitarists, and will be enjoyed by fans of Aerosmith and Joe Perry.
- Forgotten Favorites: Offbeat Saturday Morning Halloween Episodes [Strange Kids Club]
- Essentials for the Perfect Halloween Party Playlist [Redecorating Middle-earth in Early Lovecraft]
- What If Star Wars Happened In Our World [Klyker]
- Pixar’s 22 rules to phenomenal storytelling [imgur]
- Supermovies: This Is What The Next Few Years Of Your Life Looks Like [Comics Alliance]
- Spooky Tin Can Lantern DIY [The Paper Mama]
- Original Dio Members Recording Album As Last In Line [Sleaze Roxx]
- Check Out The LEGO Version Of Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet [Incredible Things]
NaNoWriMo is just twelve days away, and I’ve been doing my best to get other things wrapped up as I would like to concentrate on getting a rough draft done next month. Tonight, blurb.com hosted a free webinar with NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty. Below are some of my notes hastily scribbled in my notebook. A stream of the webinar is available at blurb.com/workshops/nanowrimo.
I don’t remember who said what, and none of these should be considered direct quotes. I can’t write as fast as they were talking. Please view the video to get the full context of what was said.
- The biggest barrier is not a lack of talent, but a lack of a deadline.
- Nobody has the time to write a novel, but everyone can make the time to write a novel.
- You can’t fix a draft if you haven’t written it.
- The point of NaNoWriMo is not to write the great American novel; it’s to write your novel.
- We discover our books as we write them. We don’t really know what the story is until we get to the end.
- Plotting vs. Pantsing.
- You can do this without knowing what you’re doing.
- Know that you can do this…Know that it will get better.
- Write your joy and great things will follow.
If you are participating in NaNoWriMo next month, I’d love to follow you on the site. You can find me at nanowrimo.org/participants/jasontcarter.
by Nathaniel Tolle
No holiday lends itself to movie marathons more than Halloween. Horror movies are released year-round, and it is difficult to keep up with what is worth watching (and what is worth watching again). Film buff Nathaniel Tolle helps out with Pumpkin Cinema: The Best Movies for Halloween. For more than a decade, Tolle kept track of every movie he watched and gave it a rating. Then, in preparation for this book, went back and wrote down every horror movie he awarded three or more stars, and supplemented that list with other films released in the past several years.
Readers may take more exception to the movies omitted from Tolle’s list rather than those included, but he gives his reasons in the introduction for excluding classics such as Dracula, The Shining, and Pet Sematary. The suggestions offered range from the truly scary (The Exorcist, A Nightmare on Elm Street) to the legendary (Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon) to the obscure (The Midnight Hour, Dark Night of the Scarecrow). There are also plenty of selections for the kiddos to enjoy, such as The Halloween Tree and Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie. A separate section examines “Fun-Sized Films and Creepy, Crawly Compilations,” while special Halloween episodes of your favorite television programs are included in part three.
Tolle wraps up Pumpkin Cinema with several top five lists to satisfy your movie marathon cravings. “If you want” vampires or zombies or gore or witches or killer dolls or outer space…whatever your desire may be, Tolle gives five suggestions for thirty-five different categories.
Next time you are browsing Netflix late at night, grab Pumpkin Cinema to help you select the best movie to fit your mood…whether it is October or July.
Idiot’s Guides: Creative Writing
by Casey Clabough, PhD
A very basic overview to the task of creative writing, this Idiot’s Guides entry defines the simplest of terms and gives pointers on various forms of the craft, from poetry to flash fiction to novels. Not content at stopping with the writing, however, author Casey Clabough explains the importance of research and editing one’s work, as well as how to seek out a publisher.
Each chapter of this book has been dealt with extensively by other authors, and if there is a specific area of writing that appeals to a person, he would be better served seeking out materials devoted to that area. For those still getting their feet wet in writing, Idot’s Guides: Creative Writing might be useful to explore some different areas before committing to one. This is a basic, dumbed-down version of what one might learn in a creative writing course, and should not be the last book consulted on any topic, but it may be beneficial as a primer.
Becoming Mr. October
by Reggie Jackson with Kevin Baker
Anchor Books, 2014 (paperback)
Before Derek Jeter, the Yankee most associated with postseason glory was Reggie Jackson. Nicknamed “Mr. October” for his offensive prowess in the World Series, particularly with the Yankees (8 home runs, 17 RBI, .400 batting average in 15 games), Jackson epitomized superstardom in the Big Apple. In his memoir Becoming Mr. October, the slugger recounts his 1977 and 1978 seasons in New York, including his feuds with teammate Thurman Munson, manager Billy Martin, and owner George Steinbrenner, and the infamous interview with Robert Ward that set him at odds with his teammates right off the bat.
Jackson begins his memoir as a college athlete at Arizona State University, then quickly moving through his time with the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles to set the stage for his debut with the Yankees. The first four chapters of the book deal with his pre-New York baseball career, while the final twenty-one chapters recall the events of just two seasons; there is no mention of playing for the California Angels or returning to Oakland at the end of his career. The writing style is extremely casual, almost to the point of distraction. This includes the use of text lingo such as “LOL” in some instances.
Overlooking that flippancy, though, Becoming Mr. October is a valuable resource as it presents Jackson’s side of the story. He had been villainized by the press and Yankee management, but was mot at the time afforded the opportunity to present his version of events. Further upset with his portrayal in The Bronx Is Burning (“the whole way they portrayed ‘Reggie Jackson in New York’ was a huge disconnect for me”), the Hall of Famer offers his take on what really happened during his first two seasons in pinstripes.
Stephen King, Wes Craven, and George A. Romero are three of the most recognizable names in modern horror. In Beyond Fear, author Joseph Maddrey takes a look at some of the most iconic works of each and explores their deeper meanings, drawing on each creator’s personal history and worldview. The book, however, is not too highly intellectual, making it accessible to the average fan who is interested in learning more about their favorite scary storytellers.
Maddrey divides his writing into three parts: one essay on Romero and his Living Dead series, five chapters on Craven’s career in film, and twenty-seven entries on King’s material (including five entitled “The King of Hollywood”). Early influences and possible inspirations are cited for each story or film, and the impact they had on society is considered.
Beyond Fear provides an interesting overview, specifically when it comes to Stephen King’s prolific output and the struggles of his early career. The first 123 pages covering Romero and Craven are an interesting read, but even if they were omitted, Beyond Fear would still be well worth the reader’s time.