It’s hard to find a title more straightforward than the manhwa (a Korean comic) Killing Stalking. The story opens on withdrawn, isolated Yoon Bum breaking into the house of the man he’d admired from afar for coincidentally saving him in the past – stalking. Bum makes his way inside and happens to discover a secret basement where a blindfolded and beaten women begs him to help her; his crush, Oh Sangwoo, comes home with baseball bat in hand and makes Bum the basement’s new resident – killing.
From there the story becomes a survival story, as Bum tries to make himself useful enough to Sangwoo to be kept alive while looking for a way to escape. It’s one of the most compelling horror stories I’ve read in years.
I spent roughly an hour of my time with Deadpool drooling in my seat over the potential for the sequel (and with those box office records rolling in – not to mention that I snagged the last empty seat for the next to last showing on a Sunday night – there will be a sequel). Part of that has to do with the fact that this is an origin story, and it’s pretty much impossible to do the Superhero Origin Movie at this point without leaving the audience feeling just a little bit squirmy. The other part, I suspect, is that Deadpool has spent almost eight years being Ryan Reynold’s Little Movie That Could, and that haze of “proof of concept” didn’t quite wash out of the DNA of the finished project.
This essay was commissioned by Wendy Cannan. You can find out more about commissions here.
The joke goes that MTV once played music videos, but for my money their more interesting achievement was the two decades long attempt to carve out a niche in American animation that would target an older audience. The two big success stories of this venture are Beavis and Butthead and its far superior spinoff Daria, along with cult darlings Aeon Flux and Clone High. And then there’s The Maxx, a series of 13 ten minute episodes quite fittingly aired during a programming block called “Oddities.” For it is a strange little show, a mixed media conglomeration of early CGI, traditional animation, and direct translation of comic panels akin to the modern motion comic. It’s also a dense time capsule of 90s psychology and feminism, always intriguing even when it bites off more than it can chew.
Dr. Herbert West’s longevity is something of a marvel. Lovecraft nerds love to turn up their noses at the Herbert West – Reanimator” stories, declaring them the weakest point in the author’s body of work. Lovecraft himself didn’t even think much of them – by which I mean he loathed them utterly, and mostly used them to bring in a paycheck from Weird Tales and take pot shots at that upstart lady writer’s new hit Frankenstein. At the same time, those six serial shorts went on to birth the single most successful Lovecraft adaptation and the most memorable, longlasting character not sleeping in R’lyeh or bound in human flesh. Dr. West’s quest to defeat death has made quite the hallmark on western culture (and beyond). And, well, I haven’t seen anyone else try to catalogue that impressive body of work yet. So let’s take a look at the Re-Animator through popular culture.
A note: while I’ve been mulling over this sort of post for some time as an outlet for my obsessive researching tendencies, it still seems only right that I tip my hat to Lindsay Ellis’ excellent Loose Canon series, which takes a similar investigative tack.
Hey, did y’all see the test footage that’s been floating around recently? With Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, having a merry time picking off thugs on a freeway? The incredibly painful footage (and by ‘painful’ I mean that I spent years quashing down my fragile, often battered hopes and now they’ve all come rushing back again)? Well, scroll down a bit and you can say you have.
If you are currently either weeping, drooling, or keening lowly whilst wearing a shocked and catatonic look on your face, then welcome Marvel fans! For those with average to unenthusiastic interest in superheroes, Deadpool is a mercenary created in the 90s by Rob Liefeld (he of the impossibly swaybacked women, tiny feet, and pouches), originally a ripoff of Teen Titans’ Slade Wilson/Deathstroke who came into his own under the writing of Joe Kelly and Gail Simone.