Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bryant Has Issues #2

Welcome back for another installment of my semi-regular column wherein I flap my metaphorical gums for a bit about the comic books I read this week.

We'll start with the one that is of the most obvious interest to King fans.

For those of you who weren't aware, Road Rage is a four-issue mini adapting two short stories: "Throttle" by Stephen King and Joe Hill; and "Duel" by Richard Matheson.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Movie Review: "John Carter" (2012)

I don't do too many movie reviews for my blog, at least in terms of new theatrical movies.  The main reason for that is that since my blog is focused on Stephen King's work, it seems like I'm stepping outside my own self-imposes guidelines for the blog any time I write a review of a movie that isn't based on one of his works.  So, I tend to not do it very much.

That said, my review of Contagion is one of the most popular posts I've had, so maybe there's something there.  And anyways, it's my party, and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to.

In the case of the recent Disney release John Carter, I felt like a review is in order, for two reasons: one, because John Carter is a terrific movie that is getting absolutely slaughtered at the box office (and in the entertainment media), and if I can convince even one person to go see it who wouldn't have otherwise, then I'll have done a good thing; and, two, because there are lessons that can be learned here that will be applicable when it comes time to market any prospective movies based on The Dark Tower.

With those things in mind, let's get into it.

First things first: let's talk about the marketing of the movie.  I loved the movie, and feel a little conflicted about the fact that even in my own review, it's the botched marketing campaign that is getting the immediate attention, but for now, THAT element is the real story.  As for the movie, it's going to be fine.  It's not going to make a profit, and there aren't going to be sequels (that's how it's looking for now, at least), but its audience will be a devoted one, and twenty years from now, you'll hear kids talking about how they grew up loving the movie.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bryant Has Issues #1

This is the first-ever entry in a new column, wherein I will wax poetical about the comic books I've been reading lately.  It'll probably be a monthly column, but bi-weekly is also a possibility.

Let's start with a justification/accusation.  I'll imagine an outraged reader.  Let's call him "Vinnie Vomitt."  Vinnie says, "Hey, dude, ain't this a blog about Stephen King?!?  I wanna read about Stephen mother-scratchin' King, then!  Don't talk ta me 'bout no funny-books!"  He goes on to say other things which make him sound remarkably like a '40s-era hood, but they're not as quotable.

My retort: Vinnie, you don't exist, so be quiet.  Also, there is no way to tell the tale of my history as a reader without getting comic books involved in the telling.  I was taught to read by my mother, who -- partially, at least (she read me all kinds of books, mostly Little Golden Books and other kid's tales, but with a few comics thrown into the mix) -- used Spider-Man comics to get the job done.  I grew up loving ole Webhead, and Superman, and Batman, and Plastic-Man, and Star Wars comics, and Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo-Crew, and so forth.  We never had enough money to buy many comics, but I would read as many of them as possible in grocery stores, or gas stations, or K-Mart, or wherever I and comics happened to be co-existing for a long enough amount of time to permit it.

It was this instinctual love for comic books that, one day in 1982, led me to unwittingly read parts of something called Creepshow while my mom and I were in a drug store.  It was a weird-looking comic book, bigger than normal and kinda scary-looking.  Frankly, I have no idea what could possibly have made me want to pick it up and start reading; but, whatever the reason, I did it.  When I got to the part where the dead guy had made a "birthday cake" out of a severed head, I stopped reading ... and, that night, started having nightmares.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Brief Review: "The Idiot's Ghost" (by Owen King)

I've written a couple of times now about books by Joe Hill, Stephen King's oldest son, who once upon a time was a badass little boy who co-starred in Creepshow.

All growed up now, he is the author of two awesome novels, one awesome short-story collection, one awesome Twitter feed, and one awesome ongoing comic book series.  In short, he's still a badass.

Ah, but did you know Stephen King has another son who is also a writer?

I can't say for sure one way or another as to whether he's a badass, but it turns out that, like his father and older brother, Owen is a pretty damn good writer.

Big fucking shock there, right?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Worst to Best: Stephen King Books

Last November, I posted the original version of this list, which was a lot of fun for me to write.  Well, a mere four months later, King's list of books has already grown by two (11/22/63 and The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole), and that got me to thinking about where I might rank those new novels.

In order to find out, I decided to just sit down and do it.  I find that my opinions are constantly in flux, and so it might be a good idea to update and revise the list once a year or so.  This time 'round, I've eliminated several titles from the list altogether (Stephen King Goes to the Movies, for example, which was -- thanks to its near-complete irrelevance as a collection of previously collected stories -- our previous holder of "bottom of the list" honors).  As a result, I think what we've got here is a better, more focused list, one that is a truer representation of how I feel King's books rank from bottom to top.

You are forgiven if your giveashit tank has run completely dry; I know this is a nerdy pursuit, and I'm okay with the idea that nobody cares about it but me.  Despite that, comments are welcome!

So, without further preamble or goofery, let's find out what is at the bottom of the heap:

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Non-Review of "The Dune"

When I sat down to write this review, I fully intended to issue a spoiler warning and then just dive right into discussing the story in full.

However, there is a voice inside me that is insisting that I not reveal the punchline of the dark joke that is "The Dune," and I have decided to heed it.

So ... what in the hell am I going to write about?


I feel certain I'll come up with something.  Any second now ... any second.

Got it!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Now Comes the Curveball: A Review of "The Little Green God of Agony"

Published in the Stephen Jones anthology A Book of Horrors, "The Little Green God of Agony" is a strong new story from Stephen King.

It's the story of a physical-therapy nurse who is trying to help a rich old man recuperate from some serious injuries.

If you're a Stephen King fan, it's worth reading.

I have very little to say about it apart from that ... at least, not without divulging key plot details and ruining the story's events for you.  So, unless you've read the story already, you probably want to stop reading now.

Here are amusing photos I found on the internet recently: