There is no shortage of publications covering the British television show Doctor Who. Justin Richards, the creatie consultant to BBC Books’ range of Doctor Who titles, authored the 2014 release, Doctor Who: The Secret Lives of Monsters, examining some of the most popular baddies in the fictional universe.
While the layout leaves something to be desired, Richards’ treatment of the subject matter is top-notch, first looking at each creature as if they were real beings. Richards goes on to take a behind-the-scenes look at them, including the inspiration for them and showing photographs of actors behind the masks and props makers. The author also takes the reader on a trip through time and space by looking how each incarnation of the Doctor dealt with the monsters.
A collection of sixteen removable color prints of original artwork by concept artist Peter McKinstry is included inside an envelope in the back of the book, making this volume all the more enjoyable. Doctor Who fans will no doubt find The Secret Lives of Monsters informative and educational, especially when they come face-to-face with some of the most terrifying aliens in the universe.
But I’m a weak, weak man.
At least I turned my weakness into a nice little game with the family. Our first pack wars of 2016 commenced after Bible study tonight as we sat around the kitchen table. Each of us took two packs, picked two teams, two players, and three card numbers. If you pull a card on your list, you get three points. If someone else pulls a card on your list, you get one point. Inserts also counted for three points apiece. After the first round of two packs, the top two scorers opened the last two packs in the box.
Here are some of my favorite cards from the box, starting with the Reds second baseman (who they desperately tried to unload this offseason) and right fielder (who was also mentioned in trade rumors), Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce…
I’m not overly impressed with the cards, as I have mentioned elsewhere, and the backs are boring. But I thought the fact on the back of Bruce’s card was somewhat interesting:
I also got a Reds insert, which is super duper cool…
I don’t remember Paul O’Neill pitching, but sure enough…
Those are the only Reds cards I pulled, and that’s why it’s the only box I’ll be buying. It’s tough being a team collector who loves opening packs. The value just isn’t there at all. But I did pull several other cards that I liked, including a couple of Salvador Perez cards, an Anthony Rizzo/Kris Bryant insert, Warren Spahn, Babe Ruth, Andre Dawson, Randy Johnson, Josh Donaldson, and Giancarlo Stanton.
And the “MLB Debut Medallion” that I pulled was Joe Mauer. I’m not a non-fan of Mauer, so I’m not entirely disappointed with this pull, and since there are no Reds on the checklist in series 1, I could have done a lot worse. That said, if anyone has a Reds manurelic from an older set, or if you want to make another offer for the Mauer coin, shoot me an e-mail.
I plan to send out some of the other cards that I don’t want to keep to team collectors, so if you’re not already on my PWE list, send me an e-mail with your name, address, and what team you collect. If you want to reciprocate with some Reds, that would be great, but not necessary. What goes around comes around eventually in the baseball card blogosphere.
Oh, and if you’re wondering who won our pack war, it wasn’t me…
He was one of the most respected presidents that has served this country, and countless books have been released to celebrate his eight years as the leader of the free world. This recent release from Thunder Bay Press, written by Randy Roberts and David Welky, is a brief but respectful overview of President Reagan’s life, including his career in film, governorship of California, and the presidency.
What sets this book apart from others, however, are the pieces of removable memorabilia included. Reprints of magazine covers, brochures, a ticket to the 1981 inauguration, and a “Reagan-Bush ‘84” bumper sticker are among the eleven pieces of removable memorabilia. Fans of the late President will cherish these mementos along with the commentary and photographs found throughout the volume.
The Eagles were already a massively successful band—One of These Nights hit #1 in the United States—when Joe Walsh replaced Bernie Leadon in 1975. He had been invited to join Humble Pie following Peter Frampton‘s departure, but Walsh turned them down and later joined the Eagles. The first album with Walsh, Hotel California, was released in December 1976 and hit #1 just like its predecessor. Three more Eagles albums featuring Walsh topped the charts: 1979’s The Long Run, 1994’s Hell Freezes Over, and 2007’s Long Road Out of Eden.
Joe Walsh recorded two albums with Barnstorm, 1972’s Barnstorm and 1973’s The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get, the later containing the classic “Rocky Mountain Way.” Many fans have forgotten that these were Barnstorm albums and not Joe Walsh solo records, and that’s how the record company promoted them. Walsh said, “I wanted to be a band, not a solo artist. Vitale, especially, should’ve gotten more credit ’cause it wasn’t all me….It was in every aspect a collaborative effort.” The group also served as a backing band for Michael Stanley’s 1973 Friends & Legends record.
Joe Walsh first achieved stardom with James Gang on Yer’ Album in 1969. It was 1970’s James Gang Rides Again that contains the classic rock staple “Funk #49,” while another legendary song, “Walk Away,” appeared on the band’s third and final studio release, Thirds. The group released three studio albums in three years, along with a live album, before Walsh left to form Barnstorm.
We’ve all heard the story about Van Halen and the brown M&M’s. But have you ever heard David Lee Roth sing about it? Of course not. If you want to know what is in a rocker’s heart of hearts, you have to listen to what they sing. Here’s a rundown of ten of the deepest desires of rock legends…
- The Ramones, “I Just Want To Have Something To Do” — Doesn’t everybody? Especially kids when they’re not in school. I swear, three days into summer break, my kids start in with the “I’m bored” bit. Every year. (For the record, so did I.)
- Ratt, “I Want A Woman” — Any woman in particular, Stephen?
- KISS, “I Want You” — That’s a little more specific, I suppose, as long as “you” knows who she is.
- Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” — Not only want, though…need. Sounds a bit clingy if you ask me.
- JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, “Want More” — While Van Halen recognizes that “Everybody Wants Some,” this Chicago R&B group readily admits they “Want More.”
- Queen, “I Want It All” — Selfish much?
- Def Leppard, “All I Want Is Everything” — There is just no pleasing some people. Keep in mind that Mick Jagger and the boys said, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Sorry Joe.
- Weird Al Yankovic, “I Want a New Duck” — How is that for specific? Not a swan. Not an eagle. Not a goose. Weird Al just wants a new duck.
- Weezer, “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” — Thanks for being proactive, Rivers.
- Twisted Sister, “I Wanna Rock” — This is the essence of every true rocker’s soul. And I’m happy to say, Dee Snider, that you do rock. You got what you wanted.
NFL Confidential: True Confessions from the Gutter of Football
by Johnny Anonymous
Dey Street Books, 2016
Purportedly written by an offensive lineman who was thrust into the starting lineup, only to find his job yanked away from him when a veteran returned from injury, NFL Confidential is like peeking into a pro locker room through the eyes of a bitter, confused, arrogant backup player. “Johnny Anonymous” claims to hate the NFL and all the politics of the game, but when he finds himself taking snaps as a starter, he plays along just fine. He rediscovers his love for football, but continues to spew hatred toward the people that allow him to play.
The author mocks his teammates and his coaches, whines about the physical aspects of training camp and practice, and fantasizes about being cut so he can find something else to do with his life. This is not so much an exposé of the league as it the infantile rantings of an ungrateful athlete. He drops the “f-bomb” far too often to be taken seriously, and comes off as a fool who simply doesn’t realize how good he’s got it.
The copyright page states that the “book is not authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved in any manner by the National Football League.” Certainly there are some harsh things said about the NFL within the pages, but it’s nothing I haven’t heard before. This is just the first time it has come from a player and not a journalist or superfan.
And who exactly is the author, “Johnny Anonymous”? The prevailing theory online seems to be David Molk, offensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles. Not all of the characteristics fit, but it must be remembered that “names, physical characteristics and other identifying details have been changed, and in some cases composite characters created, to protect the privacy and anonymity of the individuals involved.” It will certainly be interesting to see if Molk has a job next season, especially if it is revealed that he is the actual author.
There are a few parts of NFL Confidential that are somewhat interesting, but overall it felt like a chore to read and I felt wholly apathetic toward this poor rich man’s plight. If we could all be so unfortunate to make hundreds of thousands of dollars to do, as he proudly admits while begging for our sympathy, nothing.
(December 3, 1939 – January 25, 2016)
Former Washington Senators infielder and father of one of my favorite baseball players, Ron Stillwell passed away from cancer on Monday. He played 14 games over two seasons, 1961-1962, collecting eight hits in 38 at-bats. His son, Kurt Stillwell, played nine years in the big leagues.
(February 24, 1921 – January 26, 2016)
It’s real this time. People called him “the late Abe Vigoda” in 1982, and WWOR made the same mistake in 1987. Today, Vigoda passed in his sleep at his daughter’s home in New Jersey, four days after being placed into hospice care. Vigoda is most remembered for his roles in The Godfather, Barney Miller, and Fish.
Following the death of bassist Jimmy Bain, the band Last in Line paid tribute to their fallen comrade by releasing the video for “Starmaker” a week early. The band’s debut album Heavy Crown, is due to hit stores February 19, but can be pre-ordered now through Amazon.
Last in Line features guitarist Vivian Campbell, drummer Vinny Appice, and the late Jimmy Bain on bass, all of whom played in the original Dio band, and vocalist Andrew Freeman. Campbell also plays for Def Leppard; Appice is also in Resurrection Kings with another former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy, Quiet Riot/Great White/Dokken bassist Sean McNabb, and vocalist Chas West; Bain has also played with Rainbow and Wild Horses.
- How Rob Halford Ended Up Fronting Black Sabbath for Two Shows [Ultimate Classic Rock]
- Watching Snape’s Scenes in Chronological Order Makes Harry Potter Way More Heartbreaking [Nerdist]
- 5 weak words you should avoid & what to use instead [Crew]
- Edgar Allan Poe Had a Time Machine and I Can Prove It [History Buff]
- Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and other presidential candidates get made into ‘Garbage Pail Kids’ cards by Topps [Daily News]
- Free Download of Breakin’ the Chainz Live in 2005 [CRASHDÏET]
- Padres customs to shatter your perception of reality [Baseball Card Breakdown]
Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series
by Alyse Wax
BearManor Media, 2016
Throughout the years, horror anthology programs have appeared on television. From The Twilight Zone to Chiller to Tales from the Crypt, there have been ample opportunities for fans of the macabre to enjoy the gory genre on the small screen. In the late 1980s, Paramount utilized the popularity of the Friday the 13th film series, using the name for a syndicated television show. Jason Voorhees was not a part of this show; cursed antiques were the central objects in this series. I remember staying up late to watch Friday the 13th: The Series, and loved every second of it. It has been years since I have seen the show, but still have vivid memories.
Alyse Wax’s new book, Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th the Series is a fantastic journey back to the antique shop with Micki and Ryan and their adventures of tracking down cursed objects. Wax gives an episode-by-episode breakdown for the entire three-season run of the show, along with quotes from the main actors, producers, writers, and directors. She also delves into John LeMay’s decision to leave the show after two seasons, the Don Wildmon controversy, and includes an interview with series creator and executive producer Frank Mancuso, Jr.
After reading this episode guide, I will definitely be revisiting Friday the 13th: The Series soon to see what I missed all those years ago while watching on my little grainy black-and-white television in my bedroom, long after I should have been asleep.
With the announcement that the Reds were inducting Pete Rose into the team’s Hall of Fame this summer, I suggested to TWJ contributor Patrick that he create a 2016 Topps version of Charlie Hustle to commemorate the event. He not only came through; Patrick went above and beyond the call of duty and made two 2016 Topps style cards for the Hit King.
Rose was and still is an icon in the Queen City, beloved by the majority of Reds fans. I realize not everyone outside of Cincinnati feels the same way about him; I just think they’re jealous that they’ve never had such a competitor on their favorite team.
Only one man has donned uniform #14 since Rose retired, and that was his son in 1997. The Reds are officially retiring the number this year, and it will never be regularly worn by another player.
Thanks for the quick turnaround on the suggestion, Patrick, and for sharing them with TWJ readers!
The debut Eagles album was released in June, 1972, and contained such classic songs as “Witchy Woman,” “Peaceful, Easy Feeling,” and “Take It Easy.” The band featured Glenn Frey on guitar, Don Henley on drums, Bernie Leadon on guitar, and Randy Meisner on bass. The four members shared vocal duties.
Continuing the series of musician “rookie” cards, I made some tweaks to the 1972 Topps design. The font is not an exact match, and there was more work than I’m accustomed to, but I’m happy with the result.
Perhaps down the road I will finish up with a 1974 Don Felder, 1976 Joe Walsh, and 1979 Timothy B. Schmit to mark their recording debuts with the group. But for now, the original four Eagles deserve their own post.
My wife and I busted a box of 1991 Pro Set MusiCards over the weekend. That was a blast, and I had fun looking at all the cards. Motörhead was even featured in the set. But I couldn’t get past the thought that they would look so much cooler on the baseball card designs from their “rookie” years. I’ve done this for Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, KISS (including Bruce Kulick and Vinnie Vincent), and most recently David Bowie, so I figured it was time to immortalize Lemmy Kilmister on a 1977 Topps-style “fun card.”