Kevin Wetmore, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor

Kevin Wetmore, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor

Kevin Wetmore is an author and professor at Loyola Marymount University.  His books include The Theology of Battlestar Galactica, Post-9/11 Horror in American Cinema, and The Empire Triumphant: Race, Religion, and Rebellion in the Star Wars Films.  For more information about Kevin, check out his website, Something Wetmore This Way Comes, and to purchase his non-fiction and fiction books, see Amazon.

“Fundamental Comics,” a monthly editorial series that introduces readers to comics, graphic novels, and manga that have been impactful to the sequential art medium and the comic book industry on a foundational level.  Each month, a new essay will examine a familiar or less-known title through an in-depth analysis, exploring the history of the title, significant themes, and context for the title’s popularity since it was first released.

I remember distinctly watching the series finale for Star Trek: The Next Generation.  The reason why I remember is that I was one of 125 people who won two tickets to watch the series finale as it was broadcast on the IMAX screen at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh.  The excitement in the theatre before the show began was palpable.  We few, we happy few, we Trekkers who were going to see GIANT PICARD and company sail off into the sunset in “All Good Things…” on the big screen were excited to share in the end of the beloved show.  Two hours later, the feeling in the room was very different.  The episode was, frankly, meh.  Yes, seeing the show on a giant screen was cool (Yay, big Enterprise!), but the size of the screen was not matched by the scope of the episode.  

I am an old man and have been thinking of old men lately.  

We are about to watch the first episode of the final season of Game of Thrones. (“We” being my wife Lacy and I.)  I have been with this narrative a long time.  I read the books starting back in the early 2000s when my friend and former student made a gift of the first one. (Thanks, Hugh Long, I think…)  When the first season was in post-production, I was Mark Addy’s photo double for the ad campaign. (Hundreds of buses, bus stops, and billboards in the greater Los Angeles area featured Mark Addy’s face on my body with the tagline, “Killing Things Clears My Head,” written across the bottom.)  Really cool.  Been watching it ever since and have written about the last few seasons for Fanbase Press, analyzing theme, character, and plot, connecting the narrative to theology, history, culture, and science.  But I am giddy for the last season. So, today, for the first episode of the last season, if you will indulge me, I simply kept a handwritten live blog (Yeah, I know…) of the episode and my in-the-moment reactions.  If you will forgive a moment of auto-ethnography, here we go.  [SPOILER ALERT – the overarching theme of the episode is “Oh, Game of Thrones, you’re so…you.  Many reunions – not just of people but of things the show had kind of stopped doing for awhile.  You’ll see.]

“Fundamental Comics,” a monthly editorial series that introduces readers to comics, graphic novels, and manga that have been impactful to the sequential art medium and the comic book industry on a foundational level.  Each month, a new essay will examine a familiar or less-known title through an in-depth analysis, exploring the history of the title, significant themes, and context for the title’s popularity since it was first released.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, we often find ourselves becoming more introspective, reflecting on the people and things for which we are thankful. As we at Fanbase Press celebrate fandoms, this year, the Fanbase Press staff and contributors have chosen to honor their favorite fandoms, characters, or other elements of geekdom for which they are thankful, and how those areas of geekiness have shaped their lives and values.

A little film premiered on October 1, 1968, which told the story of seven people who barricaded themselves in a rural farmhouse in western Pennsylvania one night. Night of the Living Dead was George A. Romero’s first feature-length film after having shot short films, TV commercials, and even a segment for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Romero directed, photographed, edited, and co-wrote the film on a budget of $114,000. It became a cult classic, spawning a number of sequels and remakes; however, it also revolutionized the horror genre, as well as redefined the concept of the zombie. Now fifty years strong, Fanbase Press commemorates the 50th anniversary of Night of the Living Dead with this special editorial essay from horror writer/scholar Dr. Kevin Wetmore. – Ed.

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