talkin’ Dick Tracy with the Classics Track

Last night, I did the latest online “Quarantine Panel” by Dragon Con’s American Sci-Fi Classics Track, discussing the 1990 Dick Tracy film directed by and starring Warren Beatty. I was joined by Denise Lhamon, Michael Bailey, and Classics Track gurus Joe Crowe & Gary Mitchel (who yesterday were also officially anointed as running the track again for 2021).

Check it out:

my take on The Umbrella Academy

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I reviewed The Umbrella Academy, the new Netflix series based on the same-named comic book by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. I compare the comics to the TV show, and the TV show actually improved on the comic in many ways.

An excerpt:

A lot of the show’s extra depth is courtesy of Hazel and Cha-Cha, who actually have a genuine story arc. Hazel has become disillusioned with their endless travels through time killing people and wants to settle down. Cha-Cha doesn’t want to break up a good partnership. Britton (who was overwhelmingly brilliant as Ed Kemper in Mindhunter) beautifully plays Hazel’s exhausted cynicism, while Blige is equally spectacular as the much less apologetic Cha-Cha, who is genuinely befuddled by her partner’s change of heart. What’s especially hilarious about their arc is that, while it’s about friendship and disillusionment and falling in love and all that stuff, it still involves two total psychopaths. (Hazel’s idea of a great second act, as it were, is to be able to kill whoever he wants, not who the bosses tell him to kill.)

a brief history of Iron Fist in the comics

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Back in 2017, in anticipation of Marvel’s Iron Fist season 1, I wrote an article for Tor.com called “A Brief History of Iron Fist in the Comics.” Shortly after that, I reviewed that first season for the site, and likewise reviewed the character’s subsequent appearances in Marvel’s The Defenders season 1 and in “The Main Ingredient” episode of Marvel’s Luke Cage season 2.

Next week, I’ll be reviewing Iron Fist season 2 for the site — it goes live on Netflix today — and in anticipation of that, Tor.com has reprinted my history of Iron Fist in four-color form.

An excerpt:

In 1966, Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin—an Okinawan karate style that still exists and thrives today—sent one of his best students and teachers, Tadashi Nakamura, to New York City to bring karate to the United States. Nakamura was but one of many people who came from Asia to the United States to bring martial arts to a country that was growing ever-more curious about it. I mention him in particular because there’s a direct line from Oyama sending Nakamura to America and my own study of the martial arts. In 1976, Nakamura formed his own karate style, Seido, and one of his best students and teachers—William Oliver—formed his own in 2001, Kenshikai, and that’s the discipline that I study today.

The same year that Nakamura traveled to New York City to open a dojo here, a young man named Bruce Lee co-starred in a TV show called The Green Hornet. While the show only lasted a season, Lee’s impact was tremendous, and he quickly rose to prominence as an action star. Lee pioneered his own martial art, Jeet Kune Do, and he soon became immensely popular both in acting circles and martial arts circles. His tragic death in 1973 only served to enhance his legend. And it was in part because of that legend that Iron Fist was born.

Check it out!

The Side of Good/The Side of Evil (and 13 others) for only three bucks!

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BookSweeps is having a sale on spec-fic anthologies! There are fourteen anthos of science fiction & fantasy on sale for only three bucks, one of which is The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, the superhero/supervillain flipbook anthology edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer that includes my Super City Cops story “Send in the Clones.”

Click on this paragraph to get The Side of Good/The Side of Evil and the other thirteen anthologies for only $2.99!

from the archives: guide to the Farscape comics

From 2008-2011, BOOM! Studios had the rights to do comic book versions of Farscape, the Jim Henson Company-produced TV show created by Rockne S. O’Bannon that ran on the Sci-Fi Channel from 1999-2003, with a miniseries, Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, finishing up the storyline in 2004. There have been bunches of tie-ins, including three novels (I wrote one, House of Cards), a two-issue comic book from WildStorm, and several short stories that ran in the official magazine and in the role-playing game (I wrote three, “Many a Mile to Freedom,” “Brotherly Love,” and “Ten Little Aliens”).
In 2008, BOOM! started their “season 5” comics that were plotted by Rockne and which picked up from the end of The Peacekeeper Wars. All told, BOOM! published three four-issue miniseries, followed by an ongoing series that lasted 24 issues, plus three four-issue D’Argo miniseries and one eight-issue Scorpius miniseries. I scripted the main comics off of Rockne’s plots, and wrote the D’Argo comics, while my brother from another mother, David Mack, scripted Scorpius.
Anyhow, in 2010, I posted a guide to the Farscape comics, which I updated in 2013 and 2014. There hasn’t been anything new in comics form (or any other, though a movie is in development), so I present again, my……

GUIDE TO THE FARSCAPE COMICS

The majority of the Farscape comics published by BOOM! Studios take place after The Peacekeeper Wars, and continue the story of Farscape forward (the equivalent of season 5 of the show). They are as follows, broken down by how they were collected into bound volumes:

Volume 1: The Beginning of the End of the Beginning
written by Rockne S. O’Bannon & Keith R.A. DeCandido, art by Tommy Patterson

Moya takes Rygel to Hyneria to finally get his throne back, and things go horribly wrong.

Originally published as Farsacpe #1-4, December 2008-April 2009

Published as a hardcover in spring 2009; published as a trade paperback in summer 2010

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Volume 2: Strange Detractors
written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Will Sliney

A strange disease sets the crew of Moya against each other.

Originally published as Farscape: Strange Detractors #1-4, April-July 2009

Published as a hardcover in summer 2009; published as a trade paperback in fall 2010

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Volume 3: Gone and Back
written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Patterson

Crichton goes to an Unrealized Reality where Zhaan & D’Argo are still alive — but Crichton and Aeryn never met…

Originally published as Farscape: Gone and Back #1-4, July-October 2009

Published as a hardcover in spring 2010; published as a trade paperback in winter 2011

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Volume 4: Tangled Roots
written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Sliney

Crichton and Chiana go after Roiin, the bounty hunter chasing Deke, while Aeryn chases down her past and gets a few surprises.

Originally published as Farscape (ongoing) #1-4, November 2009-February 2010

Published as a trade paperback in spring 2011

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Volume 5: Red Sky at Morning
written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Sliney

The homeworld of the Pilots is invaded by a mysterious new alien species, and it’s Moya to the rescue — but another Leviathan got there first…

Originally published as Farscape #5-8, March-June 2010

Published as a trade paperback in summer 2011

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Scorpius Volume 1
written by O’Bannon & David Alan Mack, art by Mike Ruiz

Living in exile, Scorpius encounters a mysterious new alien species — will this be his ticket back to power?

Originally published as Farscape: Scorpius #0-3, April-July 2010

Published as a trade paperback in fall 2010

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Volume 6: Compulsions
written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Sliney

Two Leviathans versus the Peacekeepers, and you won’t believe the end result….

Originally published as Farscape #9-12, July-October 2010

Published as a trade paperback in winter 2011

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Scorpius Volume 2: Glorious Basterds
written by O’Bannon & Mack, art by Gordon Purcell

Scorpius continues his rise to power — if rise to power it truly is….

Originally published as Farscape: Scorpius #4-7, August-November 2010

Published as a trade paperback in winter 2011

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Volume 7: The War for the Uncharted Territories
written by O’Bannon & DeCandido, art by Sliney

The Kkore have invaded, and all of known space is falling before them: the Scarrans, the Hynerians, the Luxans — the Peacekeepers are next, unless Crichton and Aeryn can stop them.

Originally published as Farscape #13-24, November 2010-October 2011

Published as a trade paperback in summer 2014

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In addition, we’ve done a “D’Argo trilogy” of three four-issue miniseries that involve Ka D’Argo, under the general title of “Uncharted Tales.”

Uncharted Tales Volume 1: D’Argo’s Lament
written by DeCandido, art by Neal Edwards

During the third season, D’Argo and Jool must find a substance Moya needs to survive, and get caught in a gang war.

Originally published as Farscape: D’Argo’s Lament #1-4, April-July 2009

Published as a hardcover in fall 2009, published as a trade paperback in fall 2010

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Uncharted Tales Volume 2: D’Argo’s Trial
written by DeCandido, art by Caleb Cleveland

The full story of D’Argo’s life leading up to the premiere episode — his courtship with Lo’Laan, their marriage, Jothee’s birth, Lo’Laan’s death, and the titular trial.

Originally published as Farscape: D’Argo’s Trial #1-4, August-November 2009

Published as a hardcover in spring 2010, published as a trade paperback in winter 2011

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Uncharted Tales Volume 3: D’Argo’s Quest
written by DeCandido, art by Cleveland

Between seasons three and four, D’Argo goes searching for the man who killed his wife — and instead finds Raxil and a heap of trouble.

Originally published as Farscape: D’Argo’s Quest #1-4, December 2009-March 2010.

Published as a trade paperback in spring 2011

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And there you have it. The individual issues are available at comic stores, and from various online dealers like TFAW. The collections are available at comic shops, bookstores (particularly Barnes & Noble), and online dealers (like Amazon).