Friday, March 27, 2009

Like, uh.... Science Fiction Double Feature!

They just don't make 'em like that anymore -

I've touched on the funnybook film adaption sub-genre before, but recently I came across these two gems that just exemplify how truly wonderful they could be. You take a excellent film, mix in a master of comic book art and viola: magic!
"The Time Machine" as re-imagined by Alex Toth and "Fantastic Voyage" by Wally Wood and Dan Adkins. What's not to like? I had both these books as a kid, so they hold a special place for me. Of course the movie adaption has gone the way of the dodo, the whalebone corset and the dinosaur. They may be a relic of the past, but I sure do miss 'em. Of course, things are completely reversed now to the point that where we once had comic book adaptations of popular films, we now have movie adaptations of popular comic books. Who knew? Well me actually, but that and $2.00 might get me a cup of coffee, so who cares, right?

The Time Machine

Fantastic Voyage

As I have said before they just don't make 'em like that anymore.... In this age of on-demand media everything, nothing is special. Anticipation seems to be a dying phenomena, and where is that feeling that once was so sweet? We want it, and we want it NOW! Which is more than a little bit sad. It's kind of like when as a kid, the circus would come to town. It happened two or three times a year, and all the kids would get exited. It brought us together in a shared experience, something we have lost as we now set our own schedules and do our own things when, where and how it suits us. Something is gained, but something else is lost - in a way, it's like a household that no longer eats the evening meal together. We live together, but we are alone. We see each other, but we might as well be on another planet from our kindred spirits. Why talk when you can twitter? As we flit from here to there in our personalized media bubbles, we are of the world, but not in it. When I see some fool strolling down the street, earbuds in, sunglasses on, their mouth wrapped around a cigarette or straw or some other surrogate teat , I can't help but think about the sequence from Ken Russell's film "Tommy", where new arrivals at the holiday camp get their "deaf, dumb and blind" kits that block out all exterior signals. Walking down the street, fully retreated back to the security of the womb. What a waste.

So, that's my little gripe for the day. Me, i'm gonna get out and enjoy the sunshine, and try and make an effort to smile and poeple i'll never know on the street, start a conversation or two with a total stranger and otherwise be a part of the human race.
Me? I love movie comics, I love anticipation, and suspense, a sense of shared experiences that draws me closer to my fellow man..... and oh yeah, I sure play mean pinball too..... finding one's the hard part!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sounds for spies and Dangerous Guys!

Welcome once again to Hyper Dave's discount brain emporium! Here's a little bit of an experiment: i'm going to dip my toe in the waters of vinyl sharity. Think of this as a tip 'o' the lid to the late Patrick McGoohan, who passed away not so long ago.

Now (as you may or may not know), i'm a big fan of "the Prisoner" and it's pre-cursor "Danger Man", or "Secret Agent" as it was titled in the US market.
As much as I love Mr "shaken-not-stirred" Bond, James Bond, Those Men from U.N.C.L.E and all those other slick spy-guys from the swingin' 60's, my preference has always been towards a more "realistic" portrayal of the grim espionage business - Harry Palmer, Callan and the king of the hill, John Drake. As portrayed by Patrick McGoohan, Drake was ALL work and NO play, who was often played for a sucker by his handlers and also allowed his conscience, not his orders, to be his guide. This aspect of the character continues from "Danger Man" to become a major part "The Prisoner", it's quasi-sequel.

There are a lot of things to like about "Danger Man". One of the many distinctive and memorable features of the show was the musical score by Edwin Astley, which heavily featured the harpsichord and some very, very idiosyncratic "cool jazz" arrangements, ultra-heavy on the bongoes, making it on of the more memorable TV scores of the 1960's. I tried my best to add a whole bunch of material to the original LP (some scrounged from the internet), and I hope you'll enjoy them, including alternate covers of the "Danger Man" theme by other artists, a couple of songs featured in the show and some goodies from "The Prisoner" as well. Be seeing you.....

Secret agent, Man!

Oh yeah, there is this too.....

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