While the movie Alien was released in 1979, the first video game adaptation of the science-fiction horror experience came three years later with Alien for the Atari 2600 home console in 1982. Developed and published by Fox Video Games, a subsidiary to 20th Century Fox, the game can be described in generous terms as being within the “Maze Chase” genre, or in more accurate terms as a “Pac-Man clone.” Alien does not feature power-pellets or ghosts, but it does feature a Flame Thrower. I sense your tracking device is pinging with questions, so it might be best if you read the narrative set-up from the back-of-the-box first:    

Okay, so I go to watch this episode on TiVo again on Monday in order to write this review. The description of the episode: “Just say no.”  That. Is. Brilliant.  See, the title “genre” carries with it two meanings. “Genre” is a category of artistic composition, be it music, film, literature, drama, etc.  The definition of individual genres tend to be circular and self-defining: All movies with superheroes are superhero movies, and superhero movies are the ones with superheroes in them.  Horror is the genre that consists of scary movies, so if a movie is scary, it’s horror. Yet in this episode, “genre” also refers to a new kind of drug that allows you to experience life within a genre of film and/or music.   

The Statue of Liberty.  That is the reference in this week’s title.  Well, it is in a roundabout way with more than one meaning, of course.  Everyone remembers the lines, “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”, even if they do not know the title of the poem (“The New Colossus”) or the poet (Emma Lazarus).  But this week’s Westworld episode title also comes from that same poem: “her name / Mother of Exiles…” (Not true, her actual name is “Liberty Enlightening the World,” which we call “The Statue of Liberty,” just like we call Lesane Crooks “Tupac Shakur” or we call Marion Morrison “The Duke” or “John Wayne” – nothing in America is called by its actual name.)  So, the Mother of Exiles is the Statue of Liberty, the celebration of liberty and immigration.

Like much of quarantined America, I have binge watched and obsessed over Tiger King. While the craziness and over-the-top characters are fun (and sad), I admire the well-crafted narrative. The people are allowed to slowly reveal things about themselves. Sometimes, they reveal things about themselves that they themselves are not aware of. The story seems to unfold effortlessly. Where the remarkable craftsmanship is, however, is in a narrative structure that, untelegraphed and without fanfare, suddenly upends everything you think you knew about this story so far. (Tiger King spoilers ahead.)

Plough Publishing Press recently released the genre-bending poetry comics anthology, Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry, by cartoonist Julian Peters, coinciding with National Poetry Month in April.  (Fanbase Press' interview with Peters may be found here.)  The publisher has been very generous to the Fanbase Press staff, as we are now able to share an exclusive excerpt from the book!

Greetings, fellow Newcomers.  If you’re here, you either saw the second episode of this season’s Westworld and wanted to think about it some more, or you got lost looking for the "Geeky Parent Guide.”  (If the latter, just hit your back button, and then scroll down – you’ll see it.)  But if you’re here for Westworld, then we have a LOT to talk about.

Every March 25th, J. R. R. Tolkien fans around the world honor the renowned creator for "Tolkien Reading Day," a day set aside for reading and sharing their favorite passage from one of his stories.  This year, Fanbase Press Contributor Claire Thorne shared her passion for Tolkien's stories in the below editorial.  We invite you to join Claire and the Fanbase Press team in commemorating the geeky holiday by sharing your favorite excerpts in the comments below. 

Well, it’s the end of the world as we know it. Time to binge watch HBO, and just in time to do so is season three of Westworld: The Blade Runner Years.  

“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.

“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.

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