Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's almost Midnight...

... and Ann Miller is marching with the last few minutes to the end of 2013!

Hoping to start the New Year with a Bang!

Marilyn Monroe and Ann Miller stand ready to help you start 2014 with a bang! However, I don't recommend following their lead as far as fireworks safety goes....

The Year is Rapidly Coming to a Close

The end of 2013 will soon be upon us! For some, the hands one the clock can't move fast enough past 23:59:59!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Marx Bros deliver 'Room Service'

Room Service (1938)
Starring: The Marx Bros, Frank Albertson, Donald McBride, Lucille Ball, Cliff Dunstan, Philip Wood, Alexander Asro, and Ann Miller
Director:  William Seiter
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

A broke theatrical producer (Groucho Marx) engages in an increasingly desperate series of ruses to prevent eviction of himself and the cast of the play he is trying to secure financial backing for.

"Room Service" is the only Marx Bros. film that was not specifically written for them. It's an adaptation of a play that was hugely successful at the time, and many of the supporting actors (such as Donald McBride as the long-suffering hotel inspector) play the same roles the originated on stage. I assume it's a faithful adaptation, as the stage roots are so visible that the vast majority of the film takes place in a single room, with characters coming and going through its three different doors and one can even sense where the lights would dim and come up between acts.

The fact that the film is "stagey" doesn't hurt it, however, as running in and out of doors and verbal patter is the Marx Bros. stock and trade. I felt that the only weakness here over material tailor-made for the trio was that Harpo feels under-utulized, even if he gets to be at the center of the film's culmination and the conclusion of one of its funniest sequences--a prolonged fake suicide and impromptu memorial

While Groucho and Chico expertly deliver some superb lines, the aforementioned suicide scene and the aftermath with Harpo are the only parts that compare to the many great bits in "Duck Soup" or "A Day at the Races." The pacing of the film is solid and the comedy is top-notch, but in general only that the suicide sequence really felt like it could only have been done by the Marx Bros.

In some ways, this might be a film that even those who don't usually like Marx Bros. movies can enjoy. The story serves a greater function here than just moving us from comedic set piece to comedic set piece, and there isn't the sense that there's a single character that's the target of Grouch's abuse is also lacking. As stories go, the only weak point I felt was the romantic subplot between the playwright (Frank Albertson) and one of the hotel staff (Ann Miller); it added nothing whatsoever to the film.

Trivia: Ann Miller  was only 15 when she appeared in as the love interest in "Room Service", having lied about her age to be hired at RKO as a contract player.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's Christmas Eve!

May Santa, or one of his helpers, bring you everything on your Wish List!

(And if you have a few days off, allow me to suggest you spend it gaming with family and friends! You can get all the NUELOW Games themed Christmas releases (edited and co-designed by yours truly) up to the most recent one bundled together in "A Christmas Box" by clicking here. The just-released 2014 Christmas Special is also available. Give yourself and your family and friends the gift of rollplaying this Christmas!)

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Louise Brooks Quarterly: A White Christmas

Louise Brooks would like to remind you that there's only four days until Christmas. Also, she wants to underscore the unifying theme of this blog.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas is coming...

... and Ann Miller is trimmer her tree. Soon she will be applying fake snow to her lawn, using the world's largest powder-puff.

Are you ready for Christmas yet?

That's no way to treat the mayor!

Earlier this week, NUELOW Games released another book in which I contribute a chunk of RPG material -- this time, a set of rules for creating superheroes in the d20 OGL Modern system with Golden Age teen heroes Dynamic Boy and Yankee Boy being statted out as examples of how to use the rules in practice.

The book in question is titled "Madden's Boys," and it's the fourth in a series of comics/rpg hybrid books spotlighting the work of Bill Madden, an artist who had a brief comics career in 1941 and then faded from the field. He had an energetic and quirky style that in many ways resembles that which would become with underground comics artists in the 1960s and 1970s. I feel that his art has stood up to the passage of time very nicely and that the total obscurity into which his small body of work has fallen is undeserved.

That said, like many Golden Age artists, Madden's execution is sometimes a little rough around the edges. In each of the collections I've worked on, there's always a panel or two that make me laugh... for unintended reasons. The sequence below comes from Dynamic Boy's origin story where he takes on gangsters and corrupt politicians:

Yes... taking his head off with a chair is indeed no way to treat the mayor! (But, whew!, turning the page we discover his head is still attached and his neck isn't snapped!)

Whether you are in the mood for some quirky, early superhero comics, or if you want to see a new way to handle super-characters in d20 Modern games, this is a book that's worth checking out. Click here to take a  look at previews and, I hope, to purchase and download your own copy.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Black and White Friday the 13th

Our thanks to Kate Moss for demonstrating the unifying theme of this blog. May your Friday the 13th be a lucky one!

Friday, December 6, 2013

In the Twilight Zone.

A girl. A guy. A guitar. A curious, version of a classic song that builds to a cheerful finale. A fitting performance for... the Twilight Zone

(This strange little cover was performed by Tess Gaerthe (vocals) and Thomas Zwijsen (guitar) of the Netherlands. I hope you enjoy it. I came upon it while amusing myself posting a whole string of "Twilight Zone" covers to Facebook. It seemed to fit better here, though.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I think her objections were reasonable...

This week, NUELOW Games will release the first issue of our new anthology series Werewolf Hunter. Here's an excerpt from one of the stories featuring the headliner Professor Broussard and his faithful companions in monster hunting Lilly and Dan. (The art is by Saul Rosen. Click on the images for larger, more easily readable versions.)

I think if I had been Lilly, I would have objected to the "new technique" as well. But, hey, at least Professor Broussard and Danny were nearby and ready to jump out with nets and cattle-prods... not hiding in the bushes  100 yards away.

You can read more of this excursion into inventive monster hunting in The Werewolf Hunter #1, coming later this week. In addition to two adventures featuring Broussard, the issue brings you the return of Lady Satan, a werewolf story illustrated by the great Lee Elias, and short stories by Robert E. Howard and yours truly, Steve Miller. 

To get warmed up, why don't you check out Lady Satan by George Tuska, also from NUELOW?

Professor Broussard's interesting methods will also be featured in the next issue of Science Sleuths

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween is coming...

and Vera Ellen is cleaning out last year's cobwebs and ghost dust so she'll be ready. What steps are you taking?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The June Collyer Quarterly

In the early part of the 20th century, it was common for movie studios to do holiday-themed promotional pictures featuring their starlets. In 1930, June posed for Paramount staff photographer Eugene Robert Richee in celebration of Halloween.

Why white cats? Maybe they were trying to marry Halloween witches with a Maneki-neko good luck and wealth them?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rocketpacks never go out of style!

At least that's what L.L. Hundal and I hope, as we're replacing the scientific fisticuffs of girlfriends Jill Trent and Daisy Smythe (of "Jill Trent, Science Sleuth") with the high-flying adventure of inventors Cal Martin and Doris Dalton (of "Rocketman") in our ongoing Science Sleuths comic book/rpg series.

Cal Martin and Doris Dalton: Partners in business, love, and crime-fighting
The change is happening in part because the B-feature, "Spider Queen", is coming to close with the just-released issue #3. The intent all along was to replace it with "Rocketman," but as we started work on Science Sleuths #3 and beyond, we decided to change our plans slightly. The initial plan was to burn through our inventory of Jill Trent stories as quickly as possible, but that meant we'd be out of them as of Science Sleuths #4. We've been successful enough with the series so far that we think it might have some legs, so instead Jill will become the B-feature while Cal and Doris step into the front slot.

Here's the first page of the first "Rocketman" story to give you a little taste of what's being offered. The full tale can be read in Science Sleuths #3. (Click on it for a larger, more readable version.)

While the artwork on the "Rocketman" series is more pleasing to the eyes of modern readers than some on "Jill Trent, Science Sleuth," the writing is generally pretty weak. Current plans call for yours truly to write partially new scripts for at least one "Rocketman" story per issue. For Science Sleuths #3, there's only one bit of dialogue that I rewrote, and I think it made the story 100 times better. If you get the book, I'm sure you'll be able to spot it due to the inconsistent lettering. :)

We hope you'll give Science Sleuth #3 a try, giving Spider Queen a nice send-off while giving Cal and Doris a warm welcome. If you do check it you, be sure to tell us what you think. If you have a favorite Golden Age comic book scientist or inventor who you think needs to be returned to the spotlight, let us know about that, too. We might be able to fit stories featuring your favorite characters into future issues.

Meanwhile, please enjoy these illos of women with rocketpacks, which will be included in a sci-fi themed forthcoming NUELOW Games stock art collection.

Can Rocketgirl save the birds from the bird?!
Rocketpack vs. Two-headed Monster!

A quarter of a century ago...

... this is what Milla Jovovich looked like. (The first picture first saw print in September of 1988, 25 years ago.)

And here's what she looks like today...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Paulette Goddard is Jill Trent?

As some of you know (or will momentarily learn), I am the publisher and co-editor the Science Sleuth series from NUELOW Games. In the course of preparing the Jill Trent, Science Sleuth stories for publication, I came across something interesting.

Here's a drawing of Jill Trent, cropped from a panel in "Bubble Trouble," a story that originally appeared in Wonder Comics #12 (cover date June 1947) and reprinted in ROLF! Christmas Special III in July of 2013:

Jill Trent
(from ROLF! Christmas Special III)
I think it's safe to say that Al Camy, the primary artist on Jill Trent, Science Sleuth based Jill on actress Paulette Goddard. Why do I say that? If you don't see Paulette Goddard in that drawing, how about after looking at this 1942 photo (from a series of bathing suit shots she posed for):

Paulette Goddard in 1942

Coming August 1946 from Century Pictures: SCIENCE SLEUTHS! Starring Paulette Goddard as Jill Trent, Bob Hope as Eddie O'Malley, Lionel Atwill as Dr. Knight, Turhan Bey as Lefty Rubio, and Linda Turner as Daisy Smythe. Produced by Joseph Steiner, Directed by George Marshall.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Line, Please! (Contest Time!)

In July, NUELOW Games released its best-selling comics title so far--Science Sleuths #1.

On August 22, the second issue of Science Sleuths will be released through DriveThruComics, RPGNow, and DriveThruRPG. It contains three more tales featuring the hard-hitting inventor/crime-buster Jill Trent and another adventure starring the original web-slinger, Spider Queen.

NUELOW Games is offering Shades of Gray readers  an opportunity to win not only a free copy of  Science Sleuths #2, but free copies of every issue of Science Sleuths published for the rest of 2013.

To enter the contest, you need to write the best line for the this panel, taken from one of the Jill Trent, Science Sleuth stories:

By Al Camy
Submit your line through a comment below this post, through Twitter  or to nuelow@clearwire.net. The funniest or most interesting line will win the free four-month subscription to Science Sleuths while two runner-ups will win free copies of Science Sleuths #2.

Rules & Such
Contest entries must be submitted by Midnight on August 22, 2013. Winners will be selected by Steve Miller, and all decisions are final. Entrants grant permission for their submissions to appear on blogs operated by Steve Miller, as well as NUELOW Games's Facebook page. Entrants must provide a working email address in order to be notified, and winners will also need to have an account or to establish one with DriveThruComics, RPGNow, or DriveThruRPG in order to receive their winnings. DriveThruComics, RPGNow, and DriveThruRPG not involved with this contest in any way, nor is the mention of them to be construed as an endorsement. The awards have no cash value.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Classic Cinema: D.O.A.

D.O.A. (aka "Dead On Arrival")  (1949) 
Starring: Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton, Beverly Garland, Lynne Bagget, Luther Adler, William Ching, and Henry Hart
Director: Rudolph Mate
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

 Frank Bigalow (O'Brien) is a small town accountant on a spur-of-the-moment vacation in San Francisco when he is poisoned by a slow acting toxin with no hope of surviving. He spends his last few hours of life trying to solve his own murder.

"D.O.A." is one of the greatest murder mystery films ever made, as well as a stellar example of the film noir genre as it manifested in American movies. It turns a number of movie and mystery conventions on their heads, and even some six decades after it was made, it feels fresh and exciting as one watches it unfold. The pace grows more frantic as the literal deadline for our hero approaches while the mystery of why he was poisoned seems to grow more elusive with each supposed clue he uncovers. It's a movie that holds up to repeated viewings--it almost demands it, because once you know the answer to the mystery, it's great fun to see how certain scenes take on a different tenor. What this film does with snappy writing, moody lighting, and artful cinematography is amazing... and I wish there was some sign that modern filmmakers watched movies like this and studied them and took lessons away from them. Sadly, this does not appear to be the case.

As great as I think this movie is, it's not perfect. There are a couple of ham-fisted attempts at comedy early on, as Bigalow walks into the middle of a salesman's convention at his hotel; one of the film's villains is portrayed by a performance that goes just a bit too far over-the-top in this film which is otherwise marked by fairly low-key performances; and the overly sinister and melodramatic appearance of the poisoner in the jazz club when a close-in shot of a patron switching Bigalow's drinks wold have been far more effective and in keeping with the rest of the scene. Despite my sense that the director went too far with these three elements, they still make sense within the context of the film, and given the greatness of what surrounds them, they are easily forgiven.

If you're a lover of mystery films or the film noir genre, you absolutely must see "D.O.A.". This goes double if you fancy yourself a writer or a filmmaker; we need more work like this these days. I thought I had reviewed this film years ago, but since I can't seem to find any sign of a post, I must never have gotten around to it. So, although my intent was to just make an entry in the "Classic Cinema" series and give you the chance to watch this great film right here, I figured there was no time like the present.

And there's no time like the present for you to watch "D/O.A."/ I've embedded it below for your enjoyment.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Forgotten Comics:
"Jill Trent" & "British Agent 99"

During the early years of the comic book industry, more series-leading characters came and went than possibly in all the decades that have followed since. The vast majority of titles in those days were anthologies, so for every issue of a comic book, there was a need for at least three or four different series, not counting one- and two-page filler items. Once reprinting newspaper strips fell out of vogue, a vast number of original series were needed.

Some of these characters remain at the forefront of popular comics today, such as Superman, Batman, The Spirit, and Wonder Woman. Others were popular enough that they continued to receive occassional revivals, at least through the 1990s, as creators and company executives fondly remembered the comic book heroes of their earliest childhoods, such as Plastic Man and the original Captain Marvel (and Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr.)

But for every Superman, there were dozens upon dozens of characters who either had a time in the spotlight (like Black Cat) or who disolved back into the aether of imagination from which they had sprung after just a small handful of stories. And then there were the moderately successful characters who kept popping up here and there, either because just enough readers liked them, or because some editor or publisher had a soft spot for them.

One character who was featured in four issues of Pocket Comics from Harvey, and who was never seen again once that title was cancelled, was Alan Douglas, British Agent 99. Douglas was a British national and celebrated Hollywood star who left acting behind to join the British Secret Service after the German victory at Dunkirk in 1940. A master of disguise, he could become anyone with just a little time to prepare.

Splash page from the "British Agent 99" tale
that appeared in Pocket Comics #3.
The first three "British Agent 99" stories were set against the backdrop of the Nazi expansion into eastern Europe and the Yugoslavian military coup and popular revolt that resulted when that nation's political leadership surrendered to the Nazis. Although Alan Douglas is fictional, many of the characters he interacts with are historical figures, and the story unfolds in a manner that stays true to the actual events. In the fourth and final tale, Alan Douglas is taken out of historical events and goes on assignment to Hollywood where he meets Black Cat and helps take down a Nazi spy ring.

Alan Douglas remained in the shadows for more than 70 years when, though complete coincidence, two different publishers decided to bring him back. 

In April of 2013, Broken Souls published "Tarnished," an anthology featuring grim takes on several Golden Age characters, including Alan Douglas and Black Cat. It's a full-color title with all new stories, and you can learn more about it by clicking here.

While the creatives at Broken Souls were slaving away, NUELOW Games--an outfit I call my own--was preparing its "Film Fun Comics" comics/fiction/gaming anthology series. We too tapped Alan Douglas to be featured, due to his back-story as a former actor and his team-up with Black Cat, the mascot of the NUELOW Games comics line, and a fixture of the "Film Fun Comics" series. As is the case with almost all NUELOW Games's comics releases, "Film Fun Comics: British Agent 99" is presented in black-and-white. We strip the color out of the scans, since the original sources are of varying quality and it's the best way we can bring uniformity to the presentation within our non-existing budget and limited resources. But... since it IS in black-and-white, I have an excuse to make a self-serving post! 

While Broken Souls may have beaten NUELOW Games to market with the first ever revival of Alan Douglas, "Film Fun Comics Vol. 3: British Agent 99" is still noteworthy, as its the first time someone has ever collected all four of Alan Douglas's adventures in one place. Click here to learn more about this important release from NUELOW Games (which also features original fiction by yours truly and a Black Cat story illustrated by Bob Powell).

While "British Agent 99" may be a bit too esoteric and crude in its execution art-wise for many modern readers, the same cannot be said about "Jill Trent, Science Sleuth," another 1940s series that has recently received the NUELOW Games treatment. "Jill Trent" is a series so full of action and Girl Power that it continues to appeal today. In fact, Jill has never completely been forgotten in the seven decades since she first appeared on the scene, as numerous little tributes to her all across the web demonstrate. 

A Jill Trent splash-page from "Science Sleuths" #1.
Jill Trent, along with her gal-pal Daisy Smythe, are independent business women who make their living selling Jill's inventions to companies and corporations. On the side, they use Jill's inventions to fight crime... and they usually beat the heck out of any bad guy unfortunate enough to cross their paths. Jill Trent, Science Sleuth" lasted some 14 episodes, debuting in Nedor's "Fighting Yank" #6, and eventually moving to "Wonder Comics" as a regular back-up feature. When "Wonder Comics" was cancelled with issue #20, so was "Jill Trent, Science Sleuth."  

This series was a lot of fun, and lead artist Al Camy had a style that still holds up nicely today. If you're one of those readers who bemoan the poor (and mostly undressed) state of comic book heroines, I think "Jill Trent, Science Sleuth" will cheer you up. (Heck, if you're an artist, get in touch. Maybe we can make NEW "Jill Trent" stories!)

Click here for more information about "Science Sleuths" #1. Jill will be headlining the first few issues of Science Sleuths, but will be sharing its pages with other science-minded (and far more obscure) characters. We will eventually run out of Jill Trent stories--around #5 if current plans hold--but we're certain readers will come to appreciate the other strips waiting in the wings.

In addition to three "Jill Trent" adventures, "Science Sleuths" #1 presents the origin story for Spider Queen. I touch on that series here.... and I will probably revisit it when "Science Sleuths" #2 comes out later this month.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stopping the Milla Jovovich Quarterly?

From the beginning of this blog, I've been putting up a Milla Jovovich picture here at least once every 3-4 months. It started as an accident, and then it became intentional. Should the fannish madness continue? I say yes. But what say you? (We have a comments section, you know....)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Who created Spider-Man?

The question in the header is an old argument. I don't really want to engage in it, as it's rather pointless. I am just putting out a little tidbit that I stumbled across while looking for material to include in NUELOW Games's "Science Sleuths" series.

A few years ago, there was a legal dust-up between Jack Kirby's heirs and Marvel Comics over character ownership, who created what during the 1960s at Marvel Comics, character ownership, and lots and lots of dollars in potential royalties and other payments.

One of the characters that the Kirby team threw onto their list of creations of Jack Kirby was Spider-Man. Now, from the outside, it seems clear that Spider-Man was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko--something Stan Lee has asserted in numerous interviews. The Kirby suit was relying on completely unused art and story concepts for their claim that Jack Kirby helped create Spider-Man.

While the suit was working its way through the courts and the claims and counterclaims were flying, fanboys divided into camps and much virtual ink was spilled all over the web.

But if and when such an argument starts up again--most likely just in the fanboy realm these days, when it comes to the question of "who created Spider-Man--Lee, Ditko, and/or Kirby?"--at least when it comes to many of the fundamentals, maybe the answer is none of the above?

Exhibit A: Pages 3 and 4 of the first "Spider Queen" story, published in 1941 in the pages of "Eagle Comcis" #2 by Fox Features Syndicate and credited to "Elsa Lisau."

In the first three panels on page 4, you see Shannon King (Spider Queen) shooting web-fluid from a gun (as Kirby's "original" Spider-Man did) and you see her eventually creating wrist-gadgets to shoot said fluid (as Lee and Ditko's "original" Spider-Man did). Hmmmm....

Kirby and Lee were both active in comics during the 1940s. It's entirely possible that either one, or both, came across Spider Queen during her very short life in comics; there's even a slight chance that Kirby had a hand in her creation, since he did a little work for Fox back then. Certainly, either Roy Thomas or Mark Gruenwald were aware of this character, as they retro-fitted her into the Marvel Universe as a Nazi agent in a 1993 issue of "The Invaders."

Spider-Man is much more than wrist-shooters and web-fluids, but the next time some court battle erupts over who owns what and who created what when it comes to that and related characters, and fanboys start huffing and puffing indignantly over creators' moral rights, someone will hopefully think about "Elsa Lisau" and Spider Queen... who was doing doing the Web-Slinging and Web-Swinging thing more than 20 years before he was.

Who created Spider Queen? At this late date, we may never know. However, a prevailing theory that behind "Elsa Lisau" are the artistic team of brothers Louis and Arturo Cazeneuve. (Comparing the art in the three Spider Queen stories to other known or attributed work of one or both of the brothers--such as "Agent 99" and "Phantom Sphinx" (from Harvey Comics, 1941), or "The Queen of Evil" (from Fox Features, 1941), it seems to be a sound one. Louis's hand in particular seems clearly in evidence throughout the three published Spider Queen tales. But whether they were the writers as well as the artists--that will remain a mystery.

And as for the claim Kirby created Spider-Man? Well, unless Fox stole the web-gun idea from him, I think we can toss that one out the window--as the courts did, if memory serves. Also, from what I've seen publically when it comes to the costume that Kirby's Spider-Man would have worn, it looked like a retread of his Golden Age redesign of Sandman, which was a retread of his Golden Age Stuntman character. I LOVE Kirby's work--I rank "Kamandi" among my top ten favorite comics of all time--but the Kirby heirs really should have left Spider-Man off the list of characters that he created/helped create.

(If you want to see more of the Brothers Cazeneuve right now, check out NUELOW Games's "John Kerry vs. The Queen of Evil" e-comic. Spider Queen and Jill Trent will be featured in "Science Sleuths" issues.)

For some background on this post, click here, here, here, and here. (Oh... and that Wiki page? It's a prime example of why you shouldn't trust what you read on Wiki.)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Classic Cinema: The Cat and the Canary

"The Cat and the Canary" is a 1927 film that many of those who like to think they know how to make a horror film, as well as many of those who think they know how to make a comedy REALLY need to sit down and study.

"The Cat and the Canary" is one of the earliest horror films and it remains one of the best. The scary bits are as scary today as they were in 1927... and the same is true of the funny bits. There are even some visual flourishes that few filmmakers have managed to best in nearly 90 years since its release.

You can watch the film in its entirely right here on this page. The version I've embedded features somewhat better musical selection that many versions out there, but it's still rather random. Personally, I like watching silent films to Mike Oldfield CDs like "Ommadawn" and "Incantations."

Click on the arrow below to start the film, or click here to read a longer set of comments from me first.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Classic Cinema: Hitchcock's "Young and Innocent"

This 1937 film by Alfred Hitchcock is one of my favorites from the great director.

"Young and Innocent" is one of Hitchcock's many "wrongfully accused man on the run to prove his innocence" tales, but it's one I never get tired of watching. Nova Pilbeam and Derrick de Marney are perhaps as good as they ever were in this quick-moving film that dances deftly from drama to comedy to nail-biting thriller mode and back again over and over. And the climax at the restaurant is something filmmakers should look at and try to emulate even today.

Check out this week's "Classic Cinema" entry. If you've never watched early Hitchcock, "Young and Innocent" is a great place to start. (It's actually a better film than some of his more famous 1930s efforts.) Click here to read my review, or feel free to go straight to the movie below. And have a great weekend!.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Independence Day, America! The A-Team (Ava Gardner, Alice White ]in another one of her many bizarre hats] and Ann Miller) are pitching in to make it an extra special one both here at home and abroad!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Classic Cinema: The Man Who Changed His Mind

This time around in Classic Cinema, Boris Karloff plays an obsessed scientist who has found the secret of the human soul and how to preserver it and transfer it between bodies. He summons his prize student, played by Anna Lee, to help him in the final stages of his research... but that's when things start to go horribly wrong.

"The Man Who Changed His Mind" is a spectacular early sci-fi/horror flick from England. The script is expertly paced and hits all the right notes, humorous, dramatic, and horrific. The cast all give fine performances, the script hits but Anna Lee is the true stand-out among the cast. Watch for the scene where she teeters on the brink between brilliance and madness herself -- it's a powerful bit of acting that's done purely with her eyes and facial expressions.

Click below to watch "The Man Who Changed His Mind" in its entirety, or click here to read my review first.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lights, Camera, and plenty of Black Cat Action!

"Film Fun Comics Vol. 2: The Black Cat vs. Him" is now available for purchase and download at DriveThruComics,com, DriveThruFiction.com, DriveThruRPG.com, and RPGNow.com,  It's a 48 page  book that presents four stories illustrated by the, great Joe Kubert--some of his earliest professional work--and three stories illustrated by the artist most closely associated with the Golden Age Black Cat, Lee Elias.

As a little preview, here's the splash-page from one of the Kubert stories (click on the image for a larger version):

Also, as a special treat, here's a short Linda Turner story NOT included in the book. My partner in NUELOW Games efforts L.L. Hundal felt that three non-superhero Lee Elias two-page stories were plenty, so this one got held for one of our planned follow-up "Film Fun Comics" editions--or just for posting here... time will tell!. Click on the images for larger versions.

If you've enjoyed this blog over the years, I encourage you to get a copy of "The Black Cat vs. HIM!". I edited the book and wrote "Excerpts from the Diary of Linda Turner," which is a fiction piece that adds a little more flesh to the "revised background" for Black Cat that's been implied in previous NUELOW Games products featuring the character. Supporting that book is supporting me and my love for places where "everything is in black and white" and my ability to have the time to put this blog together. (And other books like the "Film Fun Comics" series.)

Your support will be greatly appreciated. If you DO get a copy, please let me know what you think of "Film Fun Comics Vol. 2: The Black Cat vs. HIM!", either here, or in the comments section on the download page!