Proving that it's a good idea to visit Talk Stephen King at least twice a day if you're a King fan, I learned from that site today that Jae Lee -- who was the primary artist on the first several arcs of Marvel's Dark Tower series -- has been chosen to provide the illustrations for The Wind Through the Keyhole.
In the humble opinion of this 'yere blogger, Jae Lee is an awesome choice, and I salute whomever made it. Whomever? Or is it "whoever"? Doesn't matter; pressing on.
Look, can I be honest for a minute here? I'd be an irresponsible blogger if I didn't fess up to something: what with all the talk over the past half-week or so about the Dark Tower movies grinding to a halt and teetering on the verge of being scuttled altogether, I feel like I've neglected the only Dark Tower news of late that is genuinely, crucially important: there's a new novel in the series coming out next year!!!!!
I mean, hey, don't get me wrong, I want to see the movies; especially if Roland is going to be played by someone as badass as Javier Bardem, and especially if someone of the caliber of Ron Howard is going to be directing them. But at the end of the day, I can live without them. It's the books that really matter, and I keep managing to all but forget that Stephen King has written a new one, and that it is only about a year away from publication. That's pretty darn exciting, and I feel bad for getting wrapped up in the current negativity cetered around the possible fact that the movies won't be happening; with a new novel on the horizon, the rumors about the movies should be of mild distress at worst.
The news about Jae Lee being brought onboard as the illustrator has jolted me back to reality a bit, though. Lee did pretty doggone stellar work on the comics, and I'm curious to see what he does for the novel. I do not know his work at all outside the confines of the Dark Tower comics, so I don't know if he has done lots of non-comics work or if it is something relatively (or entirely) new to him; I don't know what to expect, apart from something of quality. You know, something like this:
Those covers, by the way, were all done in collaboration with Richard Isanove; credit where credit is due, and all that.
Speaking of the comics, I believe that when I last blogged here, I was experiencing some lack of decisiveness over whether to next tackle Marvel's The Little Sisters of Eluria or King's latest short story, "Herman Wouk Is Still Alive." Well, trawling Goggle Images for some prime Jae Lee covers seems to have made my mind up: Eluria it shall be. I'm looking forward to reading those issues a second time; they were really quite terrific, and Robin Furth's prose contributions added even more than is typical (which is saying a lot). Haven't decided the format yet; I may tackle them one issue at a time, and then deal with the prose sections last.
Before I run, though, I thought I'd toss out a television recommendation: HBO's Game of Thrones, the fourth episode of which I just finished watching prior to getting online. I've never read the George R.R. Martin books, so I can't speak as to how the series is as an adaptation of them, but as a television series in its own right, I can speak: it's good. Really, really fucking good, in fact.
This should be no surprise. HBO has produced several of my all-time favorite television shows, such as Deadwood, The Sopranos, Carnivale, Rome, Six Feet Under, and The Wire. To be honest, I've only seen the fourth season of The Wire, and I can still say that it's one of my all-time favorite television shows; yes, it's that good, and the only reason I've not watched the rest yet is that I want to buy it all and haven't been able to afford to do so.
I also loved the first season of Boardwalk Empire, and was one of the seemingly only six people who thoroughly loved John From Cincinnati. And then there are the minis: From the Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers, The Pacific, and Generation Kill were all awesome (I need to see John Adams at some point, and Stephen King himself wrote a near-rave review of the recently-completed Mildred Pierce).
So, yeah, no surprise that Game of Thrones is terrific. I'm not going to spend much time on it here, but I thought it was worth a mention. If the Dark Tower movies end up falling through, then I'd kinda like to see them -- with or without Ron Howard and Javier Bardem -- end up someday being adapted by HBO, who would surely do a bang-up job.
Some of what Game of Thrones has to offer: Sean Bean, finally getting a worthwhile lead role; Peter Dinklage, who is so fucking cool and suave that I agree with Fatboy of the Cort and Fatboy Show that he'd make an awesome James Bond, no matter his height or lack thereof; Maisie Williams, almost as revelatory a new child star as True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld; direwolves, which are awesome; lots of palace intrigue; the dude playing the new Conan; jousting, beheadings, incest, dragon eggs (possibly only decorative), bastards, and the occasional brothel. Seriously, what's not to like?