Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bryant Has Issues #5

In this week's edition of Bryant Has Issues: succubi, vampires, zombies, trucks, more vampires, more zombies, MORE vampires, and cyborg Nazis.

One of these things is not like the other...

Yep, that's a succubus, and anyone who has read The Gunslinger knows what's going on here.  Roland certainly isn't as helpless as he seems to be.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

That Road Must Go Somewhere: A Review of "Heart-Shaped Box" (by Joe Hill)

I've been campaigning -- proselytizing, even -- for the works of Joe Hill ever since I started reading them last year.  Nobody'll ever get elected to anything with ME as their campaign manager, but since I'm an unpaid intern, I just do what I can.

Well, I lost control of that metaphor pretty quickly, so let's knock the bullshit off and get down to business.

This is a great novel.  Not a surprise; everything I've read by Hill has been great, and this novel -- his first -- did not disappoint.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bryant Has Issues #4

I debated not putting a comics column out this week, because there was nothing Stephen King-related that got released.  However, what the hey, it's Sunday afternoon and I've got nothing better to do at the moment.  Plus, there were some good books this week, and I feel like pecking out a few words about them.

You might recall that in Bryant Has Issues #2, I raved a bit about how great I thought Saga Chapter One was.  Well, this week, the second issue hit shelves, and it's just as great as the first one was.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Movie Review: "The Hauting of Julia" (1977)

As I threatened promised during my review of Peter Straub's novel Julia, tonight I got on YouTube and watched the movie version, The Haunting of Julia.

This, as it turns out, was a poor use of a Saturday night, but hey: at least I can, now, tell you fine people all about it.

It's a thoroughly terrible movie, sad to say.  In digging around looking for info about it on the internet, I've stumbled across a fair number of comments from people talking about how it's one of their all-time favorite movies, and one which has been scaring the bejesus out of them for the past thirty-plus years.

Well, I'd never tell anybody that their opinion is wrong.  That would be rude.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Joyland," A Tower With No King, and Other Tidbits

The Kingverse was set ablaze this weekend when news of Joyland, the Master's next next novel, made its way onto the web via an interview -- conducted by no less a personage than Neil Gaiman -- that appeared in the Sunday Times across the pond in the good old UK.  (I wanted SO badly to type "the U of K" there, but thankfully realized that that would have made no sense.)

The Sunday Times is a pay site, so I can't link you to the interview.  I can, however, link you to a post at The Fire Wire, which has a transcript.

It's an interesting interview, to say the least, and I'm going to cherry-pick a few of my favorite bits, and then tell you what I think about 'em.

If that sounds like your idea of a good time, then giddy-up, pardner; these doagies ain't gonna corral themselves.

First off, it seems mandatory to talk about the new novel, Joyland.  Here's what Gaiman had to say on the subject:

Right now he's writing a book called Joyland, about an amusement park serial killer.

Later (as a means of answering a question from Gaiman about how long King's publishers could keep his death a secret by pumping out stockpiled books a-la Mike Noonan, the famously writer's-blocked author in Bag of Bones), King said that Joyland is not yet finished, but that in the event of his death, it could be finished by his son, novelist Joe Hill, whose style the proud poppa described as being "indistinguishable from mine."  King also said of his eldest son that "being around Joe is like being around a Catherine Wheel throwing off sparks, all these ideas."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Review of "Julia" (by Peter Straub)

It's going to be a quick one today, folks, at least as regards the actual review of Julia -- not because it isn't a novel worthy of lengthy discussion (it is) or because I'm in a rush (I'm not), but because I'm possessed of a lousy memory, and therefore can't remember exactly what it was I wanted to say about the novel.  More on that later, but since I assume it'll be of interest primarily only to myself, I'll forgo the self-indulgence until the end.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Guided Tour of King's Canon

Having recently updated a post in which I ranked King's books from worst to best, I decided it might be time to update another one of my favorite posts.

I made some changes to the format this time around, mainly because it occurred to me that a few of King's movies belonged on this list.  I'm referring to the movies he wrote that were original productions, and whereas a few of those -- Creepshow, Silver Bullet, and Storm of the Century -- were represented already thanks to tie-in books, I felt like certain other works (such as Golden Years and Sleepwalkers) were substantial enough that they belong on this list.


So let's get going; this tour ain't gonna start itself.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Worst to Best: Steven Spielberg Movies

Guess what I am?
(A)  An armchair
(B)  A massive Steven Spielberg fan
(C)  A douche
(D)  Asleep

If you answered (B), you are correct.  If you answered (C), you might be correct, but screw you.  If you answered (A) or (D), why would you do that?

Anyways, I've decided to put together one of my patented worst-to-best lists, which means I now have to decide what I think the worst Steven Spielberg movie is.
Luckily, that's not too hard.  It's:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Dark Tower: A Suggested Reading Order for the (Extended) Series

[UPDATE: I have put together a new version of this list.  I'd recommend checking out that one as opposed to this one, so if you're interested, please follow this link.  Thankee-sai!]

The Wind Through the Keyhole is a mere two weeks away, and with it I'm sure there will come a renewed interest in the overall Dark Tower series.

Prompted partly by that, and partly by a conversation I had on Facebook, I decided to take a stab at creating a Suggested-By-Bryant list of what order the Dark Tower books ought to be read in.  In order to do that, I first had to figure out which books belong on the list and which don't.  It might seem at first glance that that list would be cut-and-dried, but remember, there are several books outside of the series that are rather essential to the overall tale.  I always wondered, for example, how anyone who read Book VII without the benefit of having read Insomnia managed to have any grasp at all on what was going on with Patrick Danville.  But apparently, people did.

In any case, I've taken a stab at crafting a list of what any true Dark Tower fan needs to read in order to get the full benefit of the series, along with some justifications of why I've placed them in the order I've placed them in.

Let's get started. #1 seems obvious.

#1 -- The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger (2004 revised edition)

I mean, really, where would you start other than at the beginning?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bryant Has Issues #3

Welcome back, fellow nerds, geeks, dorks, and doofuses, to another installment of Bryant Has Issues, an ongoing series of blog posts wherein I buy comic books, read them, and write about them with a minimal amount of wit and insight.

Can I take a moment to be enthusiastic about the word "doofus"?  It's one of the great words in the English language, as far as I'm concerned, even better than "galoot," which is also frickin' awesome.

Speaking of awesome, there are eight comics I'd like to cover today, as well as a couple of trades, some of which are kinda awesome, one of which definitely is NOT awesome, and most of which are somewhere smack-dab in the middle.

Since this is a Stephen King-centric blog, I'll -- as always -- start with the titles that are the most patently King-related, and work my way down from there.  Floppies first, then trades.

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Way Station #4

Batting leadoff this week is the newest issue of the awkwardly-titled The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Way Station.  Hard to get much more Stephen King-related than that.

As I've noted elsewhere, I've got occasional problems with the Marvel Comics version(s) of The Dark Tower.  Overall, I've enjoyed them way more frequently than I haven't, and we seem now to have gotten to the point where the series is going to deal almost entirely in adaptation rather than in expansion of the story.