Friday, March 29, 2013

Limited-Edition Hounds Are A-Holes

Dear readers, you may or may not be familiar with a certain type of subculture among "collectors" that engages in an activity I find to be particularly loathsome.

Are you familiar with the idea of limited-edition releases?  I am referring here to companies that offer only a pre-defined number of a certain type of product; the number is set and announced in advance.  For example, there was recently a limited-edition Blu-ray of John Carpenter's Christine released by the specialty label Twilight Time.  They made 3000 copies, and only 3000 copies, and the Blu-ray sold for $30.

All 3000 copies evidently sold out within about seven hours.  Yours truly was lucky enough to snag a copy.

A decent number of copies were obviously sold to people who purchased them strictly so that they could then turn around and flip them at a profit.

As I type this, there are at least 35 copies up for sale on eBay, most of them with bids currently approaching (or, in some cases, well over) $100.

Friday, March 22, 2013

How Bryant Was Defeated By Oxford, or: How to Not Enjoy Your Vacation

I'd planned to have a report on the reading/signing Owen King was doing in Oxford, Mississippi today.  However, that's not going to happen, on account of how one or more of the following statements are true:

(1)  I am a moron.

(2)  Oxford, Mississippi is as poorly-laid-out a town as I have ever visited, traffic-wise, and is incredibly difficult to navigate unless you already know where you are going.

(3)  Oxford, Mississippi seemingly has no place to park downtown.  (There was a single long-term parking lot, as far as I can tell, and it was totally full.  Say, town planners...?  Here's a helpful hint: when traffic at lunchtime moves to a standstill that consists of people endlessly circling the same square, hoping for a place to park, it might be time to consider erecting a parking garage or two.  Just sayin'.)

(4)  I have invested in neither a smart-phone nor a GPS, and therefore am still living in the wrong era, technologically-speaking.

Take your pick; it's one, or the other, or maybe a mixture of them all.

And that, friends, is the story of how I did not end up actually attending the Owen King-related events that I'd taken PTO for, driven to a different state for, and looked forward to for weeks.

Apologies for the blog fail!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bryant Has Issues #29

This week on Bryant Has Issues, the column continues to have very little to do with Stephen King.  Apologies to all who might theoretically be put off by this.  We are, at the very least, checking in on a few people who have worked in the King-comics-verse: American Vampire writer Scott Snyder, The Man In Black artist Alex Maleev, and The Dark Tower artist Jae Lee.  We're also going to look at the most recent issue of Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, who wrote the teleplay for the upcoming Under the Dome premiere.

So not totally free of Stephen King-related content ... just damn, damn close.
We'll start with Scott Snyder and Batman #18:

On some other level of the Tower, I am independently wealthy.  That version of me, the sonuvabitch, has plenty of time and money and is therefore able to read every halfway-decent comic book that comes out.  He is far and away his comic shop's favorite customer.

He probably gives a shit that Damian Wayne died in Batman Incorporated #8.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Review of "Double Feature" [by Owen King]

Owen King's first novel, Double Feature, will be released this Tuesday (March 19).  Yours truly was lucky enough to win a copy -- a signed copy! -- from The Paranoid Style on Facebook, so unlike you plebians fine folk, I've already read it.

How did I manage this, you might ask?  Well, let's not get into it in excruciating detail; suffice it to say that I won a contest based on my love of the Christopher Cross song "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)," which is almost certainly the first time this millennium that loving that song has paid off for anyone.  Anyone, anywhere, in any way.  Trust me, I was just as surprised as you probably are; almost certainly not as disgusted, though.  In any case, it's lucky for me that I don't mind fessing up to a guilty pleasure every once in a while, because in this instance, it scored me a signed first edition of an outstanding new novel.   
Double Feature, unlike "Arthur's Theme," is not a guilty pleasure.  Instead, it's a pleasure that won't make you feel guilty at all, except, perhaps, guilty to be reading a better book than whatever your friends are reading currently; because odds are pretty decent that whatever they're reading, it won't be as good as Double Feature.

Here's the setup:

Sam Dolan is a college student who aspires to make a feature film.  Not just any old feature film, either; he aspires to make Who We Are, a cleverly-structured art film that aims to show the world "the hard reality of how quickly the days sped up, how suddenly you weren't a kid anymore."  Sam has written the screenplay and is ready to direct the film, provided he can get financing from somewhere.

Does he succeed?  Well, let's just say "yes," and leave it at that.  (The truth is more like "no," but the ways in which the answer is more a no than a yes are so catastrophically amusing that you will not catch me ruining the surprises for anyone.  You deserve to discover them for yourself, and to have the same experience I had: laughing so hard while reading in your bedroom at two o'clock in the morning that you become afraid you might wake your neighbors up and have the cops called on you, and end up in jail on charges of assaultive merriment.  Yes, it's true; I laughed so hard during certain scenes of this novel that I feared incarceration.)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bryant Has Issues #28

I woke up this morning with the Ozzy Osbourne / Lita Ford song "Close My Eyes Forever" stuck in my head -- for NO apparent reason whatsoever.  I speculate that one of two things is the case: (1) I nearly died at some point while I was asleep and this was my subconscious's ingenious way of trying to keep my consciousness in the loop; or (2) I have fundamentally awesome taste in music, SO awesome, in fact, that it occasionally can't be contained.


Make of that what you will.  Make of this what you will, too:

I've got more to say about that photo, but to keep that from happening, why don't we start talking about some comic books?

Nothing even vaguely Stephen King-related this week.  Them's the breaks, y'all.  However, Alan Moore put out a new hardback: Nemo: Heart of Ice, a tale set in continuity with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that features as its main character Janni Dakkar, the daughter of the famed Captain Nemo.  Janni is now the merciless captain of the Nautilus, and when we last saw her -- during The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 1910 -- she was smashing the hell out of London.  She had pretty doggone good reasons for doing it, too.

Nemo: Heart of Ice picks up some fifteen years later, and I was thoroughly entertained by it.