Every once in a while, I look through my old files to see if there’s anything I can dust off and use here. This time I dug up what our much-missed friend Greg Hatcher called a “Useless Story”; an idea that can’t be developed or published without permission from the property owners, but something I wrote because I wanted to. For a while, because of friendships and passing acquaintance with people connected to the CW DC shows, I harbored a faint hope I might get a chance to pitch the idea, but the opportunity never arose, and this story sat there on the hard drive for years.
In 2017 this meme-list-game-datamining thing was going around Facebook, in which you were supposed to list your favorite movie from each year of your life. Naturally, like all things on Facebook, it’s coming around again. Since I never did it back then, I thought I’d do it now. I quickly realized that while a Gen-Z or Millennial could bang out a list of a couple dozen films pretty quickly, for an old fart like, me, a list of films for every year of my life is a major undertaking; rather than squander all that time on a Facebook post, I thought I’d turn it into an article here, where I can expound a bit on some of the entries.
I’ve been sitting on the last part of my interview with Kevin Conran and Michael Sean Foley for a few years now, waiting to coincide with the long-delayed release of Kevin’s beautiful book, Sky Captain and the Art of Tomorrow. That day is finally upon us; the release date is today, February 23, and with it, here’s the conclusion of our interview.
From about age 12 to 15, almost all of my pop culture itches were scratched at the Torrance Public Library. Where Greg Hatcher steeped himself in genre fiction, I was all about the nonfiction; the people, the history, the methods. We were both trying to escape, but while Greg was escaping into fictional worlds, I was trying to escape into a different real world, become a different person, and I knew that the tools to do that would be found almost entirely in the 700 section.
The Atomic Junk Shop’s Amazon Affiliate links bring in enough for the occasional Starbucks visit every couple of months, while Google ads bring in just about enough to cover the annual hosting bill. Backstage, we started talking about setting up a Patreon account a couple of years ago, but haven’t launched it yet. We’d like to know what you think of the idea, and what incentives or rewards you would like to receive.
Songwriter Jim Steinman, best known for writing the Bat Out of Hell album for Meat Loaf, a number of hits for other singers, and a couple of musicals, died last week. He was 73 and had been ill for some time, ultimately succumbing to kidney failure. It took me a few days to figure out what to say about him. I think the best approach is to just tell my story of discovering and experiencing his work.
So I was listening to Spotify, and up comes “Precious” by the Pretenders. I had never really paid much attention to the lyrics, so you can imagine my surprise when, finally, after 41 years, I heard Chrissie Hynde’s shout-out to Howard the Duck. This reminded me of a collection of comic-themed songs I had put together in 2005, and here we are.