Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's Another Open Mic Night on the BAB

Doug: I was looking ahead in the queue and noticed nary a thing scheduled for today. Can't have that... So today why don't we have a little potpourri, a bit of a smorgasbord if you will, of conversation topics? It's Open Mic today, so whatever you've been wondering, worrying, or pontificating about, bring it before the throngs of BAB readers, won't you? I'll start --

I've been back into the Monster of Frankenstein trade that reprints that character's Bronze Age appearances. I'd gotten about halfway through it last year when the Halloween season ended. It was shelved until this year and I have to say it was worth the wait. When I left off I had just gotten into the B&W reprints from Marvel's Monsters Unleashed mag. Wow. I've said it several times before and will again -- I most regret, in all the Bronze Age offerings, missing out on the Marvel magazines. The art by Val Mayerik is phenomenal. He was very Wrightson-like in his detail, and the format really suited his style. Doug Moench was the author of those tales and successfully created the mood necessary for stories of that ilk. I've just gotten back into the color section, with a reprint of Giant-Size Werewolf by Night #2. Don Perlin and Vinnie Colletta were the art team, and while it was a jarring difference from the previous several stories, it wasn't horrible. The trade concludes with a couple of Marvel Team-Ups, so that should be fun.

I recently recorded and watched Logan's Run. It had been many years since I'd seen the entire picture. I had forgotten how quaint the special effects were, and the morality lesson in the dialogue toward the end. Maybe you've forgotten all that, too. But I know, if you were a red-blooded boy when it first ran back in the mid-70s, the one thing you did not forget was Jessica-6: Jenny Agutter. It's tough to believe that it's been 40 years since Logan's Run was in the theaters. Ms. Agutter is forever frozen for us as a 30-year old "runner" (she was actually 24 in 1976). Thank you, celluloid. 

Lastly, I've been digging the Billy Joel channel that's been playing again on Sirius-XM channel 18. As you may recall, my wife and I saw Joel at Wrigley Field back in August. I'm a sucker for covers, and there are a few that play in rotation on that channel. I also enjoy the narrative portions where Joel sits at the piano and discusses his homages to certain songs from the past in his own hits. Speaking of covers, one of the albums that's been in my own personal rotation over the past few weeks is The Smithereens Covers. There are 23 cuts from a plethora of artists -- all times, all genres. It's a lot of fun. The Billy Joel channel also features a bunch of live Joel, and that has also brought me several times back to the Deluxe Edition of The Who: Who's Next. There are 29 tracks on the album, about half of which are live versions of well known Who hits. Money.

OK -- I've been varied. Your turn. What's on your mind?


Edo Bosnar said...

Ah, yes, Jenny Agutter - although I still associate her more with American Werewolf in London rather than Logan's Run for some reason. But speaking of the latter movie, I watched it again a few years ago after not seeing since - I really don't recall when. Despite how '70s and dated it is in so many ways, I still found it a rather enjoyable and memorable movie.

Val Mayerik, by the way, is a really underrated and often unfairly forgotten artist. He did some fantastic work for Marvel in the '70s. I'm particularly fond of his art in the earlier Man-Thing stories during Gerber's run, and also in the Living Mummy stories from Supernatural Thrillers.

Don't have much to add to this conversation myself; my workload has been quite heavy in recent weeks, which has seriously cut into my reading time. One thing I've been doing to wind down in the evenings before going to sleep is watching "What's Happening" - all three seasons are posted on YouTube (the videos are not very high-quality though). It's kind of like comfort food: I forgot how much I used to like that show as a kid, and I've also been surprised at how genuinely funny many of the episodes are. It holds up much better than many other '70s-vintage sitcoms.

Anonymous said...

I watched "Logan's Run" on YouTube just a few weeks ago. It's a great sci-fi film in my opinion but, yes, it's painfully obvious that the opening scenes of the city are models. But the Carousel ceremony is chilling - "Last day, Capricorn 15's - Year of the city 2274 - Carousel begins" of the scariest lines in all of science fiction. Admittedly, the ending of the film is extremely silly - the computer that runs the city implodes because it can't cope with the fact that "Sanctuary" doesn't exist then the city blows up and nobody has to die at 30 anymore...hooray, a happy ending !! Except, how would all those hundreds of thousands (millions ?) of citizens survive in the outside world when they'd never had to anything for themselves in their entire lives ? After a few days Logan would need to start another run - away from an angry mob. Apparently a remake of Logan's Run is planned - a "Hunger Games"-like franchise with Logan as a girl. If Humanbelly reads this - you mentioned "Gilligan's Island" a few times in previous comments but I didn't know what that was so I watched some episodes on YouTube, so thanks. Another American sitcom that wasn't shown on British TV was "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" but "Rhoda" was and so was the drama "Lou Grant" - I was amazed to discover only recently that Lou Grant had originally been a comedy character and that Rhoda was in the same comedy !

Humanbelly said...

Ah-hahahahaaa! Colin, there may be many in your immediate family who will now curse the good HumanBelly name for contributing to your intellectual and cultural downfall! And yet. . . a reference to it still popped up in the comics pages just yesterday. It's almost become a cliche' to use it as a punchline reference for either a)mindless, substance-free viewing (and therefor negative), or b) a happy, oasis-like respite from sensationalistic, violent programming trends (and therefor positive, in a way--).

Heh-- my folks took my sisters and I to see Logan's Run at one of the big old movie houses in old South Bend, Indiana. My folks sat nearer the back (fairly crowded house), while I opted to sit on the aisle on the close-ish side. My Mom was never one to have great in-the-moment presence of mind, and late in the film, when she could see that Jenny Agutter was indeed going to be shown on-screen fully-unclothed (as it was happening), she started to frantically whisper/shout my name from the back of the auditorium (not sure what she thought she was going to accomplish with that-)-- I believe my Dad stopped her before she actually hollered "Don't look! Cover your eyes!" Something she would have been COMPLETELY capable of doing, mind you-- right there in a crowded theater.


Doug said...

That's a great story, HB. Made me laugh out loud.


Anonymous said...

Mary Shelley, Jenny Agutter and the Who? You’ve gone very Anglophile, there Doug.

Funnily enough, I was thinking about Jenny Agutter in Logan’s Run just a couple of nights ago. I was watching Cap 2 again (damn, that film is good). I was thinking it’s quite ironic that Jenny Agutter, who was on the run in the 70’s from the fascist uber-government as Jessica in Logan’s Run is now part of the Grand Council of Everything in the MCU, but still preventing a plot to thin out the human herd by technological culling in a Logan’s Run stylie. More ironic still, she (or Nat) was combatting a plot by 70’s favourite Robert Redford, who himself was usually on the run from (or exposing the uber-plot of) the Man, in 3 days of the Condor, All the president’s Men, The Candidate, Brubaker, Sneakers, Lions for Lambs, and many, many more).

I have no idea what I’m highlighting here.

I would imagine, or hope, that what is on the mind of most Americans right now is whether to choose your first woman President or your first last President. On behalf of the rest of the world, who don’t get to vote, yet are still affected by the decision, please don’t give Trump the nuclear launch codes.


Ps HB… wasn’t a double bill with Walkabout, was it? I reckon your mum would have needed oxygen.

david_b said...

Jenny Agutter. Nothing more needs to be said there, Doug. Her brief nudity was the first I'd seen on the big screen, as a naïve 13yr old (ahem...). In all seriousness, I put the film in fairly often, one of my all-time favorites.

Funny story, I hosted a couple of German Masters Degree students at my home over a decade ago, and I lent them some DVDs. The guy I lent 'Logans Run' to enjoyed sci-fi, so I asked him about whether he enjoyed it.

In his broken English, he replied sheepishly, 'Yes it was alright, but it was soooo old...'

I retorted.., 'Hey, so am I..!?!' LOL.

Anywho, great column today.

Anonymous said...

Well, I know politics is banned on the BAB but I agree with Richard. The appalling Trump wouldn't last five minutes in British politics - he'd be torn to shreds by the media and not because the media is "liberal" but simply because he has no policies and is a utter clown. Anyway, Jenny Agutter is also famous for a British film called "The Railway Children" which came out in 1970. It's often shown on TV here but perhaps it's not so well known abroad.

Garett said...

Love Logan's Run! I caught the part in the ice caves on TCM yesterday. A show I can always tune in and enjoy. Also watched Westworld with Yul Brynner again a couple weeks ago, and I'm curious about the new Westworld series with Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris. Preview looked good!

I'm enjoying the Nile Rodgers (Chic) autobiography Le Freak. He's still just a kid, but has already been through a lot growing up in LA and New York with hip musical parents who are also unfortunately drug addicts.

The new Phantom comic by Peter David and Sal Velluto is good, and will appeal to Bronze Age fans:
I also read through Power Man and Iron Fist again in the Epic books-- love the Jo Duffy/Kerry Gammill issues #61-79.

I hadn't heard the fast version of Queen's We Will Rock You until a few days ago: I like it, and if you put the speed up to 1.25 it sounds punk.

I like the recent SNL skits on the American election debates with Alec Baldwin and Kate MicKinnon. Baldwin does a great Trump, and MicKinnon is one of the funniest comedians around today.

david_b said...

Did anyone care for the VERY short-lived television series..? I enjoyed Donald Moffat and Randy Powell's characters (Rem and Francis, respectively), but it was just another 'fugitive-type' format so it didn't spark much of the interest anticipated.

Shame they reduced the Logan-Jessica relationship to basically a brother-sister thing, but it was prime-time television and David Gerrold and some other Trek alumni wrote some fairly good scripts.

Like most of us, it was around the time of Starlog was entering it's teen years, so we got to read about the squabbling back and forth with Gerrold and some other writer (Ellison..?). Made for interesting reading.

Humanbelly said...

I'll tell ya, Richard, Colin-- this has been no easy civic row to hoe over here. . . almost certainly regardless of where one falls on the political spectrum. It's the first one in my own memory that I've seen cause irreparable rifts in families. (In fact, it's quite likely that my Mom's side of the family in northern Arkansas have all largely un-friended me at this point. . . )

Hunh-- but y'know, we have indeed done an exemplary job 'round here of keeping our discourse a-political over the years, haven't we? There are very few "regulars" of whom I could say for certain what their political affiliation is, off the top of my head. Well, and of course, there's a sizable international contingent-- everyone's political issues particular to their own realm. (I mean, edo, I have NO clue what might be the driving issues in Croatia right now--!) The one guess I might hazard is that we do seem to be largely moderate in temperament, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of us gravitate towards that in Civic life as well.

I don't ever catch SNL anymore, but I've seen all three debate parodies, and thought they were brilliant-! Kate MicKinnon is indeed great as Hillary-- but she's caught in a strange performer's paradox: She's the more naturally charismatic than the person she's impersonating, and that shines through-- even during the impersonation, which of course throws it off just a touch. But-- that's not something one can just stifle (and definitely shouldn't-!), y'know? She's doing a heck of a balancing act, there, and I commend her highly.


Redartz said...

A few random thoughts:
I may be the only one here who has never seen Logan's Run...

HB- You make a great point about the community here. It has always been a nice refuge from the political infighting found elsewhere. I sympathize with you- I basically have been avoiding Facebook due to all the negativity.To all our international friends, I would say: have mercy on us. This has been absolutely excruciating for many of us voters...

Very stoked on the CW shows this season! Almost a whole week of heroics. And we had the JSA on "Legends"...

david_b said...

Nope, I've spared you all from my political choices, which doesn't include either candidate, frankly. But I will say this from my federal IG background, I kinda know stuff I cannot talk about. 'Nuff said.

I will just say I cannot wait for the holidays. :)

Hence my FB page is **quite-nearly** politics-free, I prefer humor and music, and other heart-touching items.

Karen said...

I love Logan's Run. This reminded me, last year, when my husband was in the hospital recovering from surgery, the second night after his operation, he urged me to go back home and sleep there (the chair in his hospital room was OK, but, come on, it's not as comfortable as your own bed). I finally agreed, drove home and plopped down in the recliner, with some takeout to eat. I really planned on going right to bed, but -Logan's Run was on TCM. So I started watching it. And watching it. Despite being tired, I found myself enjoying the film too much to go to bed. Knowing some of my friends were probably watching it too, I put up a post on Facebook, saying, "How can I go to bed when TCM is showing Logan's Run?" A couple of friends popped up with positive remarks. But then the late Bill Warren, who I did not really know but had friended because I loved his classic book Keep Watching the Skies, remarked "Just start watching it and you'll fall asleep in no time." Bill was never one to mince words. I think from now on whenever I see Logan's Run, I'll think of him.

I do want to commend everyone for maintaining a civil atmosphere here when it seems there is nothing but anger, frustration, and crudity all around. This has been an incredibly difficult time as an American. I've never seen such a lack of decency in our public discourse. But I'm glad it hasn't affected us. And you know, I didn't expect it to. I know you all are better than that.

Edo Bosnar said...

Hear, hear, Karen.
And HB, you don't even want to know about Croatian politics, trust me (we just had elections here in Sept., which were snap early elections because the government lost a vote of confidence in parliament last spring, and the new government was finally put together and passed a vote of confidence last week); and yes, I'm also following events in my 'old homeland,' the US, but as I think Karen (wisely) said once before, if you want politics, there's no shortage of places to find commentary, debates, firefights, etc. on the internet, so let's just try not talk about it here.

David, I only have very vague memories of the Logan's Run TV show, although one thing I know, I saw the TV show before I ever saw the actual movie.

Doug said...

I think I know tomorrow's discussion topic.


Anonymous said...

Man, I haven't seen Logan's Run in years. Strangely, I remember Peter Ustinov more than Jenny Agutter, but I saw it on TV so maybe all the "good" stuff was cut out.

@HB: Ha, your Logan's Run story reminded me of that old Ray Stevens song, The Streak: "Don't look, Ethel!"

@Redartz: I agree about the CW shows. Flash is pretty wild this season, Arrow seems to have gotten back on track (after the last two seasons, which I thought weren't as good as the first two), and Supergirl looks like it's going to be a bit more daring this season. Legends of Tomorrow is just plain fun; I can't wait for the big x-over!

Mike Wilson

david_b said...

Doug, I bet a good topic would be 'Who mimicked/skewered current/previous Presidential contenders the best..?'

I'm looking at SNL comedians here from my vantage point, but perhaps some of our overseas members can chime in as well with their own nominees. Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman certainly ranks up there.

I always enjoyed Danny Aykroyd doing his Dick Nixon and Jimmy Carter impersonations as well.

(Unless that was already done during the last election year..)

Doug said...

David -

That is a good topic, and I don't think we've done it.

Most folks know that Chevy Chase really hurt his back doing Gerry Ford's stumbles and falls, a classic SNL bit.


Graham said...

I'm always late posting on these due to work, but here goes.....

Loved Logan's Run and Jenny Agutter. Nice surprise to see her in Winter Soldier. She was quite fetching back in the day to this 12-13 year old.

I've been involved in a major remodel at my house to add a room for my Mother in Law, so entertainment was largely confined to four people living in half of the house walking out in the garage to look in the fridge for dinner. I did manage to read a great book, Dispatches From Pluto, about the adventures of a British writer who moved to the Mississippi Delta. Though I don't live in the Delta, I could certainly smile at some of his experiences.

During the summer, I picked up excellent British rock and soul music collections from bands like Faces, Humble Pie, along with some Americans like the Georgia Satellites and the Black Crowes and a bootleg Allman Brothers.

Have also been digging Luke Cage and Stranger Things on Netflix.

Hope that's open mic enough commentary. :)

Anonymous said...

I did like Val Mayerik's pencils on Frankenstein (and elsewhere) and agree they suited the magazine's gloomy horror, but I also loved Big John Buscema's very short run on the title, with Frankie fighting Dracula to the death and throwing carriages at irate villagers.
Just the beautiful, graceful, clean lines typical of a well-inked Buscema.
Oh, and as far as presidential (or would-be presidential) impersonations go, Norm MacDonald did a great Bob Dole, complete with referring to himself in the third person, as Bob was want to do. Probably still does, I imagine. "Bob Dole wants his eggs scrambled this morning!"

Martinex1 said...

Graham I too have been enjoying Luke Cage and Stranger Things intermittently. I really like the latter quite a bit. Cage is hit and miss for me; it is fluctuating from really brilliant to sometimes dull. I may have to watch that again to get a feel. Curious what you think.

Redartz, I finally watched Logans Run for the first time about six months ago. I admittedly was distracted a bit by the "1970s" feel to it and don't have any nostalgia associated with it but there were definitely interesting concepts explored. I also rewatched another classic - The Warriors- recently and had fun doing so. It struck me how violence in films has been so amped up over the decades. For what used to be a hard R seems so benign now.

Anonymous said...

@Martinex: I just watched The Warriors a couple nights ago...great movie.

Mike Wilson

The Prowler said...

Really enjoyed the thread today. Seen Logan's Run and The Warriors. Good movies, better books.

Martinex1, one of the first movies to receive a PG rating was Urban Cowboy. The movie opens John Travolta in bed with two TWO women!!! (And there they are).

Doug, just a suggest for a topic; a movie that just didn't live up to the hype or a favorite that upon rewatching, just didn't hold up.

What I've been able to do during some of the Free Preview Weekends is get copies of old VHS favorites. Project X, Throw Momma From The Train, Satisfaction, Red Dawn, et al.....and so on and so forth.

Norm McDonald is HILAROUS!!!!

(Well I've been lookin' real hard
And I'm tryin' to find a job
But it just keeps gettin' tougher every day
But I got to do my part cause I know in my heart
I got to please my sweet baby, yeah

Well, I ain't superstitious
And I don't get suspicious
But my woman is a friend of mine
And I know that it's true that all the things that I do
Will come back to me in my sweet time

So keep on rockin' me baby
Keep on a rockin' me baby
Keep on a rockin' me baby
Keep on a rockin' me baby).

PS: Going as a robot for Halloween.....

Humanbelly said...

"Waaaaaarriorrrs. . . Come out and PLAAAAY-yayyyy!"

I think I last saw that movie during my junior year of college. Heh---
Probably not a terrific way to portray youth gang war and street violence, really-- high-action, low-blood, and extremely Hollywoodized as far as the clean, cool fight choreo and stunt work went-- but golly, it just sucks you right in, doesn't it?


Redartz said...

Graham and Martnex1- glad to see some other followers of "Stranger Things". The show, for those not familiar, is an engaging nod to the horror/ Sci fi films of the early 80's. Elements of Steven King, Spielberg and more. Looking forward to the next season...long live "Eleven"...

Anonymous said...

Wow Redartz has never seen Logan's Run? Even I have seen it, and I'm not exactly the world's greatest scifi geek! Jenny Agutter always ahem, catches your eye, and yes I do remember watching the TV series with Donald Moffat playing the android called REM, if my hazy memory is anything to go by. I remember watching it during my August school vacation.

I have the book too, and it's always a fascinating thing to read the book, then watch the movie based on the book and see what differences exist between the two plots.

- Mike 'Mike's run to ... the fridge' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Graham said...

Martinex1, I think I prefer Stranger Things so far.....I'm about a third of the way with Luke Cage and halfway with Stranger Things. I sort of picked up Stranger Things as an afterthought one night and loved it. I'm hoping Luke Cage does pick up a little bit. Love Mike Colter in the lead though. It took me a while to get on board with Jessica Jones and it did pay off at the end.

Anonymous said...

The main thing I remember from Logan's Run, which I saw as a kid, was Farrah Fawcett and that creepy robot with the evil voice.
Seeing it years later, it looks like a washing machine on wheels with a weird head and a couple of useless arms taped onto it.
The robots that eventually kill us all and take over earth will be much more sophisticated, but at the time it did scare the crap out of me. So did Yul Brynner in Westworld.
You can't run and you can't hide.

Rip Jagger said...

Dandy conversation on a dandy movie. Logan's Run (as has been pointed several times) is of another sci-fi ethic, when the future might've been bleak but was filled with sleek gleaming metallic lines and skintight sparkly togs. Star Wars flipped the script and gave us a reasonably hopeful future but one filled with cogs and dust and all sorts of weird ramshackle clothing. Shiny was out and rusty was in.

Rip Off

Edo Bosnar said...

Interesting to see that the discussion swerved onto The Warriors as well. Man, I absolutely love that movie: from the first to the last minute, it is damn near perfect...

Sharper13x said...

TCM ran a few of the Hammer Dracula films last week and I DVRd. “Taste the Blood of Dracula” was one I’d never seen. It definitely had that strange Hammer vibe, wherein the atmosphere makes it seem like an excellent film, but paying too close attention exposes the weaknesses. Still really enjoyed that one. The 'low budgets-but-made-with-love-and-enthusiasm' on display in those movies always make me imagine the producers calling up the cast and crew on short notice to say... “Hey! We got a great old house for the next three days! Bring the costumes and we’ll whip a script! Chris, can you do Dracula one more time?” Love those movies.

Also, is anybody else wondering about Townsend’s vertical leap in that picture of The Who? How was that image created? Forced perspective? Photoshop? He’s like 5 feet off the ground.

Humanbelly said...

Ha-- Stephen, that is the FIRST thing that came to mind when I saw that photo. Do you suppose he had just jumped off his speaker tower, there, and is on his way down?? Granted, the wild straddle-split makes it appear even higher-- but even so, I think we're in the 42" vertical jump range, easy (like, if his legs were down).

Townsend is built kinda like a high-jumper, though. Maybe that was his sport in the British equivalent of high school. . . ?


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