Chew… Stripp’d

Food is the archetypal First World problem. While some parts of the world starve and other parts are turned inside out by our demand for low-cost and low-fuss supplies of exotic and increasingly refined foodstuffs, the West is growing increasingly alienated and distant from the things that it eats.

Whitechapel Squad: The Detective Comics of Warren Ellis

I’ve long believed Warren Ellis is a crime-fiction writer at heart.  The first series of Wolfskin was a clear example of sword-and-sorcery comics, but had that distinct Yojimbo/Fistful of Dollars feel, a dyed-in-the-wool crook playing both sides.  Comics like Aetheric Mechanics and Captain Swing are solid steampunk works, yet revolve around cops-and-robbers shenanigans.  One of the driving tenets of our work here at… Continue reading Whitechapel Squad: The Detective Comics of Warren Ellis

Arrivederci, Eltingville

Comic book nerds are easy targets.  Fish in a barrel and on crutches, to boot.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but going to down to comics conventions and making fun of grown men dressed in tights or in Klingon make-up is not unlike heckling the Special Olympics.  Maybe it’s less guilt-inducing,… Continue reading Arrivederci, Eltingville

Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky Review

Empire in Black and Gold is the debut of British author Adrian Tchaikovsky and the first installment in a trilogy titled Shadows of the Apt. In his debut Tchaikovsky gives us a heroic narrative where a small group of travellers offer resistance against overwhelming odds – a narrative pattern typical of epic fantasy. Empire in… Continue reading Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky Review

Charlie Adlard Interview – Portrait of the Artist as a Walking Dead Man

Back in the nineties, I had the pleasure of working with Charlie Adlard on Topp’s The X-Files comic.  Ages later, the man who draws The Walking Dead was kind enough to spend some time catching up on Skype.  And it all went something like this… Stefan:  I leave you alone a while, and you’re surrounded… Continue reading Charlie Adlard Interview – Portrait of the Artist as a Walking Dead Man

Phonogram… Stripp’d

One could argue that the enduring popularity of genre motifs is a direct result of the death of God. Prior to the Enlightenment, the people of the ancient and medieval worlds knew their place.  They knew that there were gods and demons, monsters and spirits. They knew that the good things in life could be… Continue reading Phonogram… Stripp’d

 Back to Amberle & Brooks’ The Elfstones – MTV’s Shannara Chronicles Trailer 

I will admit that I’m pretty easy to please but this thing looks better than I could have imagined. I’d consider myself very well entrenched in the world(s) of Terry Brooks, including and perhaps mostly his Shannara output, even though I’m not a mega fan in that way being a The Lord of the Rings… Continue reading  Back to Amberle & Brooks’ The Elfstones – MTV’s Shannara Chronicles Trailer 

Judging Jorah Mormont as Daenerys Targaryen’s Champion

A lot things happened in last week’s episode that people want to talk about a lot more — and oddly I think that particular one was one of the better shot, edited, and acted scenes in a episode that was otherwise kind of a disaster — but I wanted to go into some other directions, namely that of a… Continue reading Judging Jorah Mormont as Daenerys Targaryen’s Champion

The Evolution of the Serial Killer

America has always been crazy about serial killers. They’re our homegrown werewolves. They click with the fast-food car culture that roars in the country’s busy, busy heart. They fit neatly with our cult-of-celebrity-style national mythology. These beasts that seem like men, mowing through victims like McDonald’s cheeseburgers, speeding for the televised takedown by John Q.… Continue reading The Evolution of the Serial Killer

Real = Angst – The Grim ‘N’ Gritty Trend Of The Non-Powered Superhero

Arrow, the WB action television series, starring Stephen Amell’s abs, based on the DC comic book series, Green Arrow, recently debuted and has now been picked up for a full season. Honestly, I haven’t seen the show yet, and had little intention to do so after what I felt looked like a lacklustre trailer. However,… Continue reading Real = Angst – The Grim ‘N’ Gritty Trend Of The Non-Powered Superhero

Boozed Up And Beaten Down: Noir, Realism, And Alcohol

Booze and crime goes hand in hand like booze and being hugely attractive and winning in life. I am drinking while writing this, because something something simpatico and shit. After speaking with my editor about the topic of this week’s column, I was told “Liam, you’re a pathetic drunk, either clean up your act, or… Continue reading Boozed Up And Beaten Down: Noir, Realism, And Alcohol

Books Punch Your Face – The Crime Midsummer Reading List

Eight noir novels to help fill your endless summer with a sense of overwhelming dread and paranoia. Okay, so I’m the professor who wakes up three weeks before the end of the semester and hits everybody over the head with a pile of mandatory reading assignments that everybody has to crowbar in between midnight finals… Continue reading Books Punch Your Face – The Crime Midsummer Reading List

Odds That Oliver Stone’s SAVAGES Will Be Any Good?

Director Oliver Stone is bringing Don Winslow’s SAVAGES to the big screen.  But will it be any good? “Bet.” Don Winslow’s 2010 novel Savages is one of those books you chide yourself for not reading sooner, even if you were able to get your hands on an ARC in ’09.  The drug-dealing anti-hero(es) and the… Continue reading Odds That Oliver Stone’s SAVAGES Will Be Any Good?

My Valentine’s Date With BUTCH FATALE

A few months back, I ploughed through Jungle Street by Don Elliott. Elliott (the pseudonym of SF master Robert Silverberg) wrote numerous smutty novels (such as Escape To Sindom, Sex Gang and Party Girl), the kind which once flooded the market with their lurid pulp covers of half-naked buxotics either frolicking with strapping young men or running from them.

Johnny Depp’s THE RUM DIARY Is Like Two Movies in One – REVIEW

I walked away from watching The Rum Diary with feelings as dichotomous as the two halves of the film.  The first half is what the film appears to be in the trailers, while the second is a fairly serious take on corruption and the censorship of news by those who control what is printed.  Neither part… Continue reading Johnny Depp’s THE RUM DIARY Is Like Two Movies in One – REVIEW

A Colony of Bruce: BATMAN in the New 52

Speaking simply in terms of narrative possibility, Batman is the writer’s best friend. A skillful wordsmith armed with this brooding pulp titan could spin an infinite number of genre-spliced yarns and never would the plot-well run dry.

Edogawa Rampo: The Godfather of Japanese Crime Fiction

In a story entitled “The Human Chair,” an anonymous, physically repulsive furniture maker builds a large, beautiful chair that he can climb in and out of to enjoy the sensuous delights of having woman of all physical types sit on him. When the chair—with him inside it, of course—is moved to a luxurious hotel, he… Continue reading Edogawa Rampo: The Godfather of Japanese Crime Fiction

Ludwig II… Stripp’d

0. The Challenge of Escapism Like Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994), we live our lives obsessed by thoughts of escape. Escape from our jobs, escape from our relationships, escape from our friends and escape from a life dominated by work, travel and a raging torrent of TV dinners and talent shows that carries… Continue reading Ludwig II… Stripp’d

Positing a New Author-Reviewer Relationship – Sam Sykes Guest Blog

I’ve occasionally suggested to those who know me best, and subsequently to those who know me to be a terrible human being with few redeeming factors past my ability to imitate Hugo Weaving, that the only part about being an author I truly regret is the fact that I can’t enjoy internet meltdowns like I once could.

Universal War One… Stripp’d

The Christian conception of redemption is an oddly commercial one. Grounded in Old Testament talk of ransoming the slaves, redemption is presented as a transaction through which Christians pay off their debt to God and buy back their freedom from sin. Indeed, Christ is said to have redeemed mankind by suffering on the cross, thereby… Continue reading Universal War One… Stripp’d

Embedded by Dan Abnett – Review

Embedded is Abnett’s second independent novel for Angry Robot Books and one of the most original and compelling SF stories I’ve read in quite some time. In fact, I’m drawn to a grossly overused cliché to describe my experience because it happens to be, well, true:  I couldn’t put the damn thing down!

Show Me Your Lightning Bolt!

My burgeoning affiliation with the All New! All Different! Boomtron, with its Ooku reviews and its Sandman Meditations and its other various lovingly crafted commentaries, comes with the knowledge that I am lacking in … well, knowledge. And it isn’t even the sort of knowledge your average Jim-Bob on the street would see as significant. Unfortunately, it’s… Continue reading Show Me Your Lightning Bolt!

Run, Micro, Run

The notion of the sidekick has been a popular one in story-telling since time out of mind, yet it has most likely been brought to its highest prominence in superhero comics.  The majority of these sidekicks, like Batman’s Robin, have been cheeky teenagers, created in order to act not only as foil for the hero,… Continue reading Run, Micro, Run

Ooku: The Inner Chambers – Volume 2

The First Volume of Ooku: The Inner Chambers ends with the newly installed Shogun asking a question of an elderly monk. This question, though apparently simple, cuts straight to the heart of her kingdom, her culture, her history and her identity:

Phonogram: Singles Club 4 – Konichiwa Bitches | Top Single Issues

The first Phonogram mini landed and people weren’t sure what to believe. Here was a comic about music that talked about lyrics and music instead of writing and art. It didn’t feature a cape in sight and it was black and white. It sat as almost the definition of an independent comic on the stands.… Continue reading Phonogram: Singles Club 4 – Konichiwa Bitches | Top Single Issues

Ooku: The Inner Chambers – Volume 1 (2009)

0.  A Statement of Subject and Method Fumi Yoshinaga’s Eisner Award-nominated and James Tiptree Jr. Award-winning series Ooku: The Inner Chambers is a multi-volume manga series set in an alternative version of Medieval Edo Period Japan in which a terrifying plague has wiped out 75% of the male population.  Using this fictional event as a… Continue reading Ooku: The Inner Chambers – Volume 1 (2009)

A Glimpse of Winter Falling – Game of Thrones

Since I missed the in-production teaser when it aired during the Countdown to True Blood on Sunday, I had to watch it on HBO’s website.  Which meant that I also read the introduction by the producers (thank goodness there were no obvious spoilers in there, even if they did reference things that haven’t quite happened… Continue reading A Glimpse of Winter Falling – Game of Thrones

Twilight with Jodelle Ferland | Interview

Jodelle Ferland is the young actress playing Bree Tanner in Twilight: Eclipse.  She’s got a resume a mile long already, even though she’s not even sixteen, and it includes working with heavyweights like Terry Gilliam and Jeff Bridges and on movies like Silent Hill and The Messengers , which pretty much everyone who likes horror… Continue reading Twilight with Jodelle Ferland | Interview

Kick-Ass | movie review

Kick-Ass lives up to its name.  Best movie I’ve seen at the theater in months.  I had pretty high hopes going in–all the bad reviews I saw were focused on how violent it was, which just made me more excited–and sometimes that kind of anticipation makes the actual movie experience a let-down.  Not so in this… Continue reading Kick-Ass | movie review

‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ | Movie Review

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is an epic catastrophe on every level, a confluence of poor ideas, poorer execution, and blinding stupidity. When faced with a celluloid abomination of this magnitude, a person must look back in time to the benchmark of horrible comic book film, Batman Forever, to find proper comparison. This movie is worse, attempting… Continue reading ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ | Movie Review

Brian K. Vaughan The Escapists – Shared Worlds, Our Own Golden Age

While often times I think fans of comics and thus their creators are a bit too preoccupied with the same ailment that some Fantasy and Science Fiction writers and tend to trade the walking stick for the mirror often and further, stand so close they fog up the picture. Thus my conclusion is that one… Continue reading Brian K. Vaughan The Escapists – Shared Worlds, Our Own Golden Age