Year: 2012

Capitol Crimes – Election Season Crime Media

Commander in Chief America

What’s the most a criminal’s ever taken from you?

Many of you just answered “none” or “not much, but that cell phone had precious memories on it.”  Some thought, “my sense of security.” A few of you are still seriously considering a part-time career in vigilantism.

But most Americans, deep down, know we’ve been robbed big time.

We may not have lost Grandma’s costume jewelry from the safe, or the use of our legs in a drive-by, but we lost something near and dear to us all.

We lost the Clinton years.


The Covers of Hard Case Crime

the comedy is finished westlake

Looking over two of the most recent book covers from Hard Case Crime (HCC) you can’t help but see a pattern. The Comedy Is Finished by Donald E. Westlake has a gorgeous painted cover from Gregory Manchess, and False Negative by Joseph Koenig has its own delightful image from Hard Case Crime stalwart Glen Orbik. Aside from being fantastically well made, both covers feature women in the primary roles. Both women are also naked with modesty only being retained via strategically placed hair or a sheet.

The question becomes, why does the naked woman trope fit so well onto the cover of a pulp crime novel?


The Innocence Of Morons – Sam Bacile & Cranked-Out Propaganda

The Innocence Of Muslims

If you find yourself with fifteen minutes to kill this evening, you can go to YouTube and pull up the video that is currently causing murder and mayhem and destruction in the Middle East this evening.  No, it isn’t Gangnam Style.  It’s that strange new cinematic sensation, Innocence of Muslims.

I’m not going to put up the link, for a number of reasons that are obvious at least to me.  I’m also going to steer clear of any type of free speech arguments, and the ethics of propaganda filmmaking in the 21st century made for the sole purpose of getting under the skin of already touchy Muslims.  In terms of quality, The Innocence of Muslims falls far below the mark set by Theo van Gogh with Submission, the intentionally provacative short film which ultimately led to Van Gogh’s decapitation.


The Pigs That Are Their Food – THE KING OF PIGS And BLEAK NIGHT

Je-hoon Lee

The Korean Film Festival in Australia (or KOFFIA, the acronym they’ve mercifully given me so that I don’t have to type out “The Korean Film Festival in Australia” too many times. I am not paid by the word, which is clearly why I’m so concise with any tangents and diversions within my pieces, and only stick to the most pertinent of assertations and never crowd the parentheses) has played its second year in Melbourne, and, as I can often be found yelling to people on the train, Korea currently has some of the most exciting filmmaking in the world. On top of the generally excellent pedigree, they’ve also been making what I would say is some of the most innovative and uncompromising crime films since America was doin’ it right back in the ‘70s.


My Name Is Markham – The TV Sensibilities of NEAR DEATH

Near Death

Near Death is one of the spate of high-quality comic books Image has been cranking out over the past couple of years, and I finally did myself the favor of reading it.  Of course, now it appears the series has gone on hiatus just as I am getting on board (sad trombone).  Fingers crossed that it starts up again and soon, but in the meantime, Near Death is a nice little jumping-off point for talking about comics for comics’ sake.


R.J. Ellory, Award-Winning Sock-Puppeteer, and the History of Black Hat Reviewing

Saints of New York

Take an inside line from a pro marketer: All marketing is a scam.

That isn’t to say there’s no truth in advertising. Objective facts have their place. But to some extent, you’ve got to lay on the hype to sell a product.

In social networking, hype could be in the form of swagger like Ricky Roma from Glengarry Glen Ross. In retail, underlining the “new,” the “hot,” the “hip” in your product. In fiction, it’s lifting those starred reviews up to every media outlet you can, so that all may see them.


Heading Back to STUMPTOWN – Greg Rucka Vs. The Comic Book Industry


After last week’s rant about Ed Brubaker, I got a lot of feedback during my weekly titty-signings from fans of Criminal Complex. Many were the pleas for me to satisfy all the sexual desires of the myriad fans of my writings on comics and movies that I done gone posted onna innarnertz (I had to be all “ermahgerd, lol guyz, like seriously, keep it on topic! I don’t care how many boobies you have to offer me! Let’s talk comics!”) Exhausting.


Scam Artist Hall Of Fame: M. Sgt. E.G. Bilko

Phil Silvers

Welcome, dear friends and other suckers, to a new regular feature here at the Criminal Complex.  Yes, the Scam Artist Hall Of Fame, as demanded by none of you, will highlight those great men and women, fictional and non, who through their erudite shrewdness and intelligence part money from its fools.  Our inaugural inductee is none other than that captain of the cardsharps, the service’s own shuckster, Sergeant Bilko.


How My Load Got Shot | By Jedidiah Ayres

Jedidiah Ayres

I just read a review of the film F*ckload of Scotch Tape that ended with this paragraph:

“In the end, F*ckload of Scotch Tape is the cinematic equivalent of a repeated kick to the nuts with just enough of a break here and there to give you some hope that maybe, just maybe, the next kick won’t come. But that next kick always comes, and it’s not going to stop. This is not an easy flick to experience, and I don’t know if the word ‘enjoy’ is the right one to use, even though I can’t dismiss the merits of the film even if it made me feel like shit. Stinky, watery shit. Fuck, you’re going to kick me in the nuts again, aren’t you?”

Read more at Film Threat here.


Up Jumped The New World Order – The New Rules of Satanism In Pop Music

Finding Forever cover art.

Before we get too far into this, I want everybody to remember that there was a time when the members of Mötley Crüe were presumed to be dangerous servants of the Devil.

I should also say that I’m relatively new to the notion of Illuminati Satanism, and that anything you read herein has been out there in some form or another for ten or more years.  If you’re pressed for time, I can save you the trouble of reading on and just tell you right now that I think the whole notion of selling one’s soul to the Devil for a few years of fame is a load of horseshit.


The City Of I Will – Why BOSS Is Kelsey Grammer’s Greatest Work

Kelsey Grammer

It’s strange when you consider that Boss is Kelsey Grammer’s first major dramatic role.  He has always been known for playing upright, no-nonsense roles, but for laughs.  Boss season 2, which premiered this past Friday on Starz, is definitely no laughing matter, and regardless of how lauded Grammer has been for his comedy work, the role of Chicago mayor Tom Kane will be what he is remembered for, if there is any justice in the world.

Then again, a major theme of Boss so far is that there is no justice in the world.  So there’s that.