This is it. After nearly three years and three volumes, Velvet #15 marks the end of the storyline. And, how do we open it? With Velvet Templeton, our intrepid hero and rogue agent for lo these three years, lying dead on a slab, as the agent who’s been after her for much of that time relates the story of their final battle.
10 years ago, an elite group of superheroes kept Spiral City safe from peril. Then, something happened. Some as yet unexplored circumstances brought them from their teaming metropolis to a small farm town, from which there seems to be no escape.
This is perhaps one of the most bizarre and twisted comics I have ever read. The third volume in the Mr. Unpronounceable series, I haven’t yet read the first two, but it hardly matters. You’ll pick up the basic gist of what’s going on fairly quickly, and I doubt that this volume would make more sense even if I DID have the background. However strange and incomprehensible as the comic can be at times, it’s also captivating from the very first page and immensely fun all the way through.
Mister X is a strange and wonderful blend of noir and retro-futurism. Beginning with a story of architecture gone wrong, it takes us on a bizarre journey that can be a bit confusing at times, but is always entertaining.
Recently, Andrez Bergen finished a comic series called Trista & Holt: a genderbent retelling of the story of Tristan and Iseult, told in classic noir style and set in the disco era. I had the pleasure of reviewing the comic and highly recommend it. Now, Bergen has adapted that story into a novel called Black Sails: Disco Inferno. It’s the same story, told in a different way, but the effect is a very different one. Even at the places where I knew what was going to happen, I still found it a thrill to read.
As we conclude the latest Dirk Gently story arc, we finally get to meet the creatures who have been stealing people’s ability to communicate. As we learned at the end of the previous issue, they’re some sort of aliens, or inter-dimensional beings. But, what do they want? Why are they wreaking havoc on Earth? Having solved the mystery, it’s now up to Dirk to interrogate them as best he can and find out.
What would you do if you found out you were dying? Would you extend your life by any means possible? Or would you make the most of the time you had left? That’s just one of the issues raised by the short film Beautiful Dreamer which had its west coast premiere recently at Dances With Films.
When I talked with writer/director Alicia Slimmer at the Dances With Films festival about her movie, Creedmoria, she told me it was uplifting. Given the plot synopsis, it was a little difficult for me to believe. From beginning to end, the story is full of tragic events and terrible people. Even while watching the movie, at times, I wondered how a film like this could be considered uplifting, when it puts its protagonist through such hell. Yet somehow, uplifting is exactly what Creedmoria manages to be. Because the focus isn’t on the tragic events or the terrible people. The focus is on rising above those things and realizing that that’s not all life has to offer.
In recent years, there’s been a bit of a stigma against clowns. Rather than the traditional portrait of funny, friendly, silly caricatures whose main goal is to make us laugh, they’re most often portrayed as grotesque, evil monsters. I’ve never liked this hostility towards clowns, particularly since I used to perform as a clown myself, as did my mother. Fortunately, it would appear that I’m not alone in my views. Karen McPherson, the writer/director of the short film Pop, feels much the same way and said so during a Q&A at Dances With Films, where the film screened recently.
It’s the ultimate sci-fi love story. A man tells the woman he’s seeing that he’s from the future. Not only that, but the whole reason he came back in time is to be with her. He saw a picture or a glimpse of a woman from years ago and fell so in love with her that he gave up his life in the future and traveled back in time just to win her heart. Variations on this theme have been done in movies ranging from Terminator to the highly underrated Happy Accidents. It’s also the plot of the short film Future Boyfriend which had its west coast premiere recently at Dances With Films—only with a slightly different twist on things.