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Saturday February 21, 2009 2:40 am

WEEKEND READING: Peter Gillis, Buck Rogers, Teen-Age Sex Club and Howard Nostrand




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials

Teenclub
From our friends the mechanical men to missing comic book creators, a teenage sex club and a takedown of Buck Rogers, there’s lots of great stuff to keep you occupied until Monday morning.

PETER GILLIS: If you still recall your 1980s comic books enough to run a Jeopardy category on the subject, then you probably remember Peter Gillis who wrote for Marvel, DC and First Comics. You might’ve seen his work on Shattered (the first digital comic, with Michael Saenz), Warp, Strikeforce: Morituri (which he co-created with artist Brent Anderson), Micronauts: The New Voyages, Strange Tales, What If…?, The Defenders, The Eternals, Gammarauders and Tailgunner Jo (with Tom Artis). After that long-running stint in comics, he seems to have disappeared. Well, not for long – lots of missing people turn up on the internets and Gillis is no exception. He’s anxious to plunge back into writing and he’s got a website with something to free-read. As he puts it: “I’ve recently completed a fantasy novel, and am hard into the sequel. Since my literary agent had the bad taste to die, I’m seeking representation for it/them. In the meantime, I’ve written a short story set in the world of these novels, and decided in the interest of shameless self-promotion, to put the story up here for free download.”

ROBOTS: These mechanical freaks come in all sizes and shapes and all manner of deadliness. Friend or foe, they will one day rule us all. They’ve already taken over mail sorting, manufacturing and telephones.

It’s only a matter of time before they claim it all and we are forced to welcome our new robot overlords and work in their silicon mines. Forces Of Geek has a list of the “13 Most Helpful Robots In Film and Television.” Helpful for now, of course, but that could change in the blink of a red LED eye. And yes, Tom Servo and Optimus Prime make the cut. Let the arguments begin. Just don’t anger the robots, or they’ll make another Will Smith movie! (Forces of Geek is a terrific group-blog, so while you’re over there, take a look around at some other posts.)

DAN JOLLEY: Comic book writer (Lazarus, Firestorm, Bloodhound, G.I. Joe Vs. Transformers II), novelist (Alex Unlimited from TokyoPop), children’s book author, and much more, Dan Jolley wrote his first novel – Redeemer’s Law - about 12 years ago. He’s rewriting and posting chapters regularly for all to read. He’s up to Chapter 10 so far, but you’ll want to go back and start at the beginning. He describes it as “a genre-blending piece” that’s a “contemporary pulp action sci-fi horror superhero story.” Know going into it that this ain’t G-rated stuff, despite his recent work in children’s books and licensed novels. Dan writes, “The book contains vulgar language, a great deal of violence and gore, and a smattering of sex. If it were a movie, it would most assuredly be rated R.” If that seems appealing (and it did to me!), start reading and follow along on a work in progress.

BOB POWELL AND HOWARD NOSTRAND: “How many faces passing you in the street are hungry with loneliness? How many poor human creatures like you and me are trapped into desperate measures to escape the pain of being always alone? Perhaps you’ll understand better when you know my life story and why…I Joined A Teen-Age Sex Club!” Oh yeah! This has been linked to before by other sites, but it’s always great to revisit an old favorite. Ben Samuels has posted a fantastic tale from Harvey Comics’ First Love Illustrated #13. The original writer is unknown, but the art is by the great Bob Powell and inks are by the equally great Howard Nostrand. It’s the complete 5-page story and it’s scanned from the original art. Beauty! Even if none of the female teenagers in the story are actually drawn to look like teens and all of the males look to be 10 years older than the girls. It’s safe for work, if not your sensibilities.

BUCK ROGERS: Over at The Society For The Advancement of Dave blog, Dave Campbell fondly remembers his childhood (“I was a stupid kid. I ate ants.”) when he watched and loved Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, the original 2-hour movie that served as the pilot for the Gil Gerard-Erin Gray-Pamela Hensley TV series, circa 1979. Then he saw it again as a more critically-enlightened adult. What follows is his hilarious takedown of one of the first post-Star Wars sci-fi projects. From Dave: “The entire movie is based on stupid people doing stupid things. If the characters in Buck Rogers were not stupid, the pilot would either not exist or last approximately 25 minutes.” And he’s just getting started. Best of all, he’s got a great clip of the original opening credits where Hensley and Gray roll around like Ecstasy-enhanced lap dancers. That’s worth a click right there.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back next week with more great stuff culled from my friends, the internets.
(illustration from “I Joined A Teen-Age Sex Club!” by Bob Powell and Howard Nostrand)

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