A few are seasonal bits to get me into the spirit of the season, and the rest are for encyclopaedic reference.
By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Counting down the twelve days to Christmas is easy. Deciding on what to read on each day is tougher. In what I present is a list of what I’m excited about getting under the tree–should Santa be reading. This catalog is varied, as I have a lot of interests and a few are upgrades from the digital copy I have already.
I also have a few seasonal bits to get me into the spirit of the holiday, and the rest are not just for encyclopaedic reference.
Most are are available to order on Amazon USA for those interested in obtaining for the fussy nerd on their gift giving list. Disclaimer: sales made through the links provided go into maintaining this blog.
This Eisner Award winner of 2018 is simply described as holiday magic, according to New York Magazine, and I’m inclined to agree. It’s a posthumous completion of legendary creator Harvey Kurtzman’s adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens’ novel. The idea took more than a half century to realise, and the reason is perhaps lost to time. The reason why this work matters is that this creator of MAD Magazine is considered one of the most influential creators of the sequential art format, and no list can be complete without some work referencing this seminal classic for the season. Plus, it appeases the paranormal enthusiast in me!
Ask anyone who their favourite cinematic version of Dracula is, and it’ll either be Bela Lugosi or Gary Oldman. The former lived under the shadow of the vampire Bram Stoker brought to life, and the latter is a man who simply upped the ante. From playing Norman Stansfield inLéon: The Professional (1994) to Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight (2008), these two performers have one thing in common, they played many types of characters throughout their life. They both suffered from alcoholism and married many times.
Goldman is lucky to not get typecast but Lugosi did. Bela’s life and times are excellently handled in the graphic novel, The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula. We see something of his young life, how his father hated his decision to become an actor, his work before and after Dracula, and how he never got the recognition he truly deserved. His private life became a thing for tabloids to play up.
2019 marks the 60th anniversary of The Twilight Zone’s debut on CBS. Shot entirely in iconic black and white, the trailblazing anthology series aired from 1959 to 1964 and changed the history of television with its clever twist endings and sharp social criticism. The Twilight Zone was the brainchild of Rod Serling, the show’s ambitious and sharply dressed tour guide, whom the entertainment business had once regarded as the “Angry Young Man” of Television.
This October, Humanoids, the publisher of some of the world’s most iconic and groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy graphic novels, will celebrate The Twilight Zone’s 60th Anniversary with the publication of internationally acclaimed cartoonist Koren Shadmi’s dazzling biography Twilight Man: Rod Serling & The Birth of Television.