Archives: Media

Crossover Appeal

The Lord of the Rings achieved popular acclaim long before Peter Jackson even conceived of filming the work. LOTR appeals to mass readers, not only to niche genre aficionados. Its presence is felt worldwide, even beyond the pages of fiction, influencing the development of everything from video games to political sloganeering. The books continue to be printed, new editions appearing all the time.

Will any other work of fantasy fiction ever manage anything near such universal crossover appeal? Does it matter? I suppose not. My appreciation of something is not dependent upon its popularity. Still, the question occurred to me.

Literary S&S on Film

We are awash in fantasy films. Even Sword-and-Sorcery has a sizable number of entries (though generally of rather dubious quality.) Yet few of the S&S entries are adaptations of literary works. Why is that? There is no shortage of quality material to mine. Perhaps the producers determined it was cheaper to create a new property rather than license an existing one, thinking all you need is some muscular actor, a sword, a few scantily clad vixens, a malevolent, moustache twirling villain, some cheap, faux-medieval backdrops, and the script will essentially write itself.

How has that worked for them?

The Illustrated Solomon Kane

While most of us are familiar with the black and white Conan comic Savage Sword of Conan,  perhaps not all are aware that the magazine also included Solomon Kane stories. A role call of great illustrators penciled and inked the Conan stories: John Buscema, Gil Kane, Barry Windsor Smith, Alfredo Alcala, Ernie Chan, etc. Terrific stuff.

The undeniable reality is that Solomon Kane was served by the B-Team. Not that the art was bad, but for the most part it doesn’t compare favorably with the Conan work. Still, it is worth checking out. Let’s take a look, shall we.

Falling Down the Gravity Well

I’d hoped to devote this web log post to an announcement. But circumstances under the control of third parties instead of mine must delay that announcement. Next week, knock on wood.

No use crying over spilled beer. No, not even spilled beer, though that is indeed tragic. So, instead, I’ll use this time to write about something else.

Aragorn Drops Back to Pass

Cultures, whether writ large or sifted down to the level of subculture, link us together. Like it or not, my fellow misanthropes. (Is that an oxymoron, fellow misanthropes? And, I’m really not. People are — fine.) One of linkage a culture offers is a shared day of celebration. A holiday, for example, like Christmas, or a national day of remembrance. Or, the Superbowl, a purely organic artifact of American culture, utterly secular and without government origin or sanction.

Not Even More Too Late Movie Reviews.

As I mentioned last week, MBW and the HA were out of town. Long-time readers of the web log (if any such creatures exist) know what that means: reviews of movies you all saw ages ago. I took some sketchy notes during my viewing, so for this entry in the series I’ll not be relying solely on my memory. Happily for you readers, this means a shorter post.