Two Cinematic Stabs at The Tower of London

Two films bear the title The Tower of London, both offering interpretations of events surrounding Richard III that exploit elements of horror.  I saw the first forty years ago, and when Chris Garcia proposed an  issue of The Drink Tank focusing on all aspects of the Tower of London itself, I decided to not only […]

A Thank You to Maurine Starkey: Jim Steranko’s History of Comics and the Dream

My excellent friend the Hugo-Award winning Maurine Starkey reconnected me with a significant artifact from my childhood, Jim Steranko’s two-volume History of Comics.  My first copies disappeared from my father’s storage warehouse during the 1980s, along with a large portion of my library.  Online agencies – eBay, for example — have helped many to acquire […]

The Merovingian

I freely admit that much about the Matrix series confuses me, so while I’ve seen the films I haven’t become so much a fan as an interested observer. Nonetheless, as with literature like Finnegans Wake or Ezra Pound’s Cantos, I find elements that compel me to try harder, to strive toward answering the question, “What […]

Considering “Your Auntie Grizelda”

Every Saturday at 6 PM, WTBU 89.3 Boston, the “Beat of Boston University,” airs Your Auntie Grizelda with DJ Amber playing a selection of music from the 1950s to the 1980s. Most student listeners might require an explanation about the show’s title to help them understand its significance. More than a few older faculty members, […]

Fandom and Community in Best of Show

Between 1996 and 2006, mockumentaries, films spoofing the documentary form, enjoyed their heyday thanks in large part to the creative team behind This Is Spinal Tap (1984) who then moved on years later to produce The Return of Spinal Tap (1994), Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and For […]

Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter by Tim Hanley

Over the past two years, my comic-reading habits have shifted to titles featuring female leads.  I can’t get enough of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Velvet, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s Lazarus, James Robinson and various artists’ Scarlet Witch, Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk’s Mockingbird, and my favorite female superhero of all time, the Black […]

The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

An ongoing debate over steampunk’s viability has been underway for some time. In 2013, an IBM algorithm, the Social Sentiment Index, predicted that by 2014 steampunk would become a major force within the retail industry, a dominant influence on clothing, jewelry, and accessories.  Well, not so much, as time has shown, except for those dedicated […]

The 2017 Hugo Awards: Best Graphic Story

During an interview at the most recent Marvel Retailer Summit, David Gabriel, Vice-President of Sales, blamed declining sales of Marvel’s titles on people who were “turning their nose up against” diversity in Marvel’s titles.  This inspired a storm of online articles by commentators disagreeing with Gabriel, most of whom cited instead Marvel’s glut of crossover […]