Thursday, December 30, 2010

Neil deGrasse Tyson Gives Direction to Richard Dawkins

I stumbled across this video this afternoon, and I thought Neil deGrasse Tyson makes his case beautifully. In his friendly rebuke of Richard Dawkin's scorched-earth tactics in arguing with (really at) atheists, Tyson makes the useful distinction between teaching and just putting the information out there.

I've long been impressed with Tyson, and I've heard him speak twice already at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco in recent years. He fills the auditorium each time he comes here, and I'm sure he does the same when he speaks in other forums. Pertinent to this discussion, he does a great job of teaching, of explaining, of persuading, and even entertaining his audience even as he discusses complicated scientific concepts.

Dawkins' response, nonetheless, is priceless (and gracious).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Henry Hargreaves' Planet Hoth New York City

Following the shellacking New York City took in the recent snow storms, should we start calling it New Hoth City?

Well, as a former Manhattan resident who grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin (home of "the frozen tundra of Lambaeu Field"), I'm not sure the recent storm amounts to a "snowpocalypse," but New Yorkers do love to complain. Luckily, Nerdcore notes that NYC is also the home of incredibly talented Henry Hargreaves, who created some collages of NYC and the ice planet Hoth from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. You can see more at Gothamist. And check out Hargreaves' own web site.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

R2D2 on Magazine Covers: A Gallery

For no other reason than inspiration from watching the umpteenth rerun of Star Wars IV on TV last night, I decided to see how many magazines I could find over the years that featured the droid R2D2 on the cover. I expect this to be the most important blog post you'll read all year (followed, perhaps, by my Tron/Tron Legacy covers collection).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Studies: Magazines Remain Widely Popular

Nearly 190 million American adults read print magazines, and the magazine landscape is beginning to recover from the vicious recession, two new reports show. That might not be good news to the digital villagers seeking to drive a stake through the heart of print periodicals, but it should hearten the rest of us.

More than 188 million American adults read at least one print magazine, according to the American Magazine Survey from Affinity. Men slightly outnumber women among readers – 84 percent to 80 percent – and the average American adult reads 6.1 different magazines.

The Affinity study involved interviews with 34,000 adults in 2010.

Luckily, they’ll have plenty of magazines to read, at least judging from the demolition derby that has been the magazine publishing industry in recent years. After taking a big hit in 2009, when 596 magazines closed up shop, only 176 magazines ceased publication in 2010, according to MediaFinder, a database for the magazine industry.

Matt Kinsman, writing on, notes that during that same time, there were 193 new magazines launched. There were 28 new food titles produced in 2010, with regional and health magazines also producing many new launches, with 15 and 10, respectively, Kinsman reports. Niches that did not do well this past year included home magazines, which lost 13 titles, and the large business-to-business sector, where 47 titles ceased publication while only 34 launched.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Penguins, Now Cats and Rabbits: The Santa Dress-Up Continues

One can learn many things by visiting the web site of Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency. It's an often eye-opening look into how that government reports the world – sometimes much fairer than you'd expect, other times depressingly to form (such as its coverage of the recent Nobel Peace Prize brouhaha).

I noted a while ago a photo feature on the Xinhua site about penguins dressed as Santa. Now, Xinhua comes back with not one but two photo features on Santa-clad animals: rabbits and cats.

So go ahead and click through to those features for your holiday cute-overload.

As to why officially atheist China is paying so much attention to Christmas, your guess is as good as mine.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Republibot Remembers Fantastic Films, Sci Fi Universe, Starlog, & More

Sorry this is so late, but I only today discovered this post on Republibot, a conservative science-fiction web site. The post remembers what I call the last golden age of science-fiction magazines, the late 1970s, early 1980s – if you define such magazines not as the fiction mags but the splashier, flashier movie/TV/book media magazines that made Kerry O'Quinn and Norman Jacobs rich over at Starlog Group.

Republibot's comments on the various magazines are entertaining. I don't agree with him on a number of things; if Republibot thinks Starlog's journalism was bad, I don't know how Fantastic Films could rate higher on that writer's favorites list. To put it in right-wing terms Republibot might understand: A wag once labelled New Criterion editor Hilton Kramer the "poor man's Norman Podhoretz," which is a terribly nasty thing to say. But funny. Well, I always thought of Fantastic Films as the poor man's Starlog; it wasn't as good, it had fewer readers, its design was a mess, and its writing was at times laughable. It is a sad comment about the world of genre publishing that Fantastic Films was arguably the best of Starlog's competition (until the early 1990s, when new American and British publishers launched genre titles).

But to each his own. Despite my obvious bias, I also enjoyed a number of issues of Fantastic Films during its brief lifespan, and I obviously enjoyed Starlog's sister magazine, Future Life, which Republibot remembers fondly. However, I definitely don't share Republibot's love for early Sci-Fi Universe magazines. Published at first by the Larry Flynt family of publications (around the same time it launched Film Threat magazine), Sci-Fi Universe is the only magazine I know of to have published an interview with Harlan Ellison that was boring. I mean, you have to try to make him sound boring, something SFU managed to pull off.

But quibbling about films and politics and magazines is what makes genre life so much fun. That also makes me happy to have discovered Republibot.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fangoria #300 - Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Red

Chris Alexander, editor of horror magazine Fangoria, posted the cover of issue #300 on Facebook a few days ago, and it's already the talk of the internet (if, by "the internet," you mean the dozen or so people who have commented on the page). Even former editor "Uncle Bob" Martin weighs in.

What has people talkin' and squawkin' is the return of the logo used in the mag's earliest years, beginning with issue #2. Hey, they even threw in the "Monsters, Aliens, Bizarre Creatures" tagline that adorned the first couple dozen issues or so of the magazine until Martin was able to give it the old heave-ho.

Frankly, I always liked this version of the logo; I thought it stood out on newsstands and it was clean yet had depth. I particularly did not like the logo that replaced it and which lasted for decades until a recent redesign which, oddly, made it look great. I don't know if this is a permanent change or just a 300th-issue homage. I also don't know if the tagline will remain. It's all up to the mag's publisher, editor, and designers. And newsstand feedback, no doubt.

But, as I hinted when I noted the inaugural issue by editor Alexander seven months ago, I think it's great that he's confident enough to make changes to the magazine. The mag is arguably more interesting than it has been in many years, and I find myself reading far more of each issue these days than I did when there was an overload of teen-torture films previewed inside. The magazine's smart, quirky, unpredictable, energetic, and sorta gross – exactly as Fango should be.

Fangoria #300 goes on sale in January.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What's Wrong with Advent Calendars?

No, I'm not getting on board with the "war against Christmas" fake controversy ginned up by the Fox political apparatchiks.

But consider this: On a trip to Walgreen's today to pick up some more wrapping paper, I noticed some advent calendars. You remember them: You open a little window or box on the calendar for each day leading up to Christmas. I have one on the wall outside my office. Open up each day and you get a little piece of chocolate.

But mixed in with the advent calendars and even outnumbering them at Walgreens were a bunch of Disney-themed "Count-down to Christmas Calendars" which were, of course, advent calendars, just sans anything Christmasy and just promoting some Disney movie property. Forget about the fact that you don't need to hyphenate most of the words in the calendar's title. I suspect this renaming of the calendar was probably done not out of an anti-religious bias, as some would claim. It was probably done out of misguided sensitivity to religious folks, so that Disney wasn't in the business of selling The Little Mermaid in a religious calendar setting.

Still, buy your kid a real advent calendar, with real chocolate, and not some overpriced Disney movie advertisement. They'll thank you some day.

The Science of Food Reviewers: Photographing the Photographer

When you go to a nice restaurant these days, it is not unusual to see people take out their cell phones and take a photo of their food before they begin eating. The explanation is probably that there are so many amateur food bloggers out there, pretending to be professional restaurant reviewers.

So I thought I'd snap the above photo at a recent meal when we were taken out for dinner by a professional wine and food editor. The first thing she or he (gotta be anonymous if you're a real restaurant reviewer, if at all possible) did when each of our plates arrived at the table was to snap images on his/her cell phone.

Consider it a behind-the-scenes look at the food writing business.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

If You Like Starlog ...

By the way, if you've been following my Starlog posts here and on my web site, might I suggest you join us on Facebook? Go to Facebook and look for the Starloggers group, and join it.

Don't Ask Don't Tell Is Dead; It's Beginning to Look Like Obama's Winning

Congratulations are in order for a number of people now that the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell anti-gay rule was voted down in the U.S. Senate; it cleared the House earlier in the week.

Some thoughts:

Joe Lieberman has become a liberal punching bag (and, on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, as a punchline). He's certainly gone out of his way since he lost his primary in the previous election cycle to antagonize pretty much anyone who's not a grinch. But I think it's pretty clear that DADT would still be alive and kicking if it weren't for his dogged leadership on this in the Senate. I was part of a group of gay rights activists who met with Lieberman back in 2004 when he was running for president. I was impressed with him at the time; he really seemed to get it, and that made my eventual disappointment in his bridge-burning behavior all the stronger. But he's done something very, very good with this DADT leadership, and I hope everyone else who's criticized him of late takes note.

Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader in the Senate, looks like he should be a sixth-grade teacher nearing the end of his career, but appearances are deceiving. He's clearly got the political moxie to get DADT repeal and other tough issues through the Senate, so kudos to the Nevada senator, as well.

Soldier Daniel Choi, the gay former member of the Army (before he was discharged under DADT), has been vindicated. The policy was discriminatory, it harmed our national defense, it demeaned the honor and integrity of soldiers who had to lie to serve their country, and it was totally unnecessary – plenty of militaries around the globe don't discriminate against gays.

And, of course, President Barack Obama gets credit. He's also been a punching bag of gay rights proponents for the past year. He's showing that he's got the guts and the thick skin to get his agenda through Congress, even with the occasional compromise. For someone who was supposed to be politically dead after the Republicans routed the House Democrats in the November midterms, Obama's looking pretty damn powerful and successful at the moment: DADT repeal, the tax compromise, the new START treaty (which last I heard was also likely to pass, though GOP troublemakers could still delay it, at considerable cost to our nation's security).

There are other heroes of this day, too, such as my U.S. representative, Nancy Pelosi (perhaps you've heard of her?). But I'll stop there. It's a day in which a number of politicians acquitted themselves well, and that's a great Christmas present to the entire country.

Wow: Huge Savings on Amazon Shoes – Not

Yes, you save one entire penny. I'd suggest investing it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas-Themed Mock Movie Posters

Rejecting Sobriety has been producing some great fake movie posters, putting a yuletide twist on well-known film posters. See them all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tron and Tron Legacy on Magazine Covers: Then and Now

It appears that the electric blue-green is the cover color of the season, as magazines far and wide put Tron Legacy on their covers. That spawned a quest by me to look at how the Tron sequel's covers compare with the magazine covers that featured the original Tron film in 1982. So, from Starlog to American Cinematographer to SFX and beyond, here are the old and new.

Most images can be seen in larger size by clicking on their small images below.

Original Tron:

Tron Legacy:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

RELEASED AT LAST: The Wikileaks Files on Me

Now that Wikileaks has announced its intention to release its "whistleblower" files on me that were stolen by a former employee, I figured it was time to preemptively deal with the fallout.

Italian Prime Minister and Chief Partier Silvio Berlusconi is overheard on some tapes referring to me disparaging "the entire cast of Jersey Shore" and wondering aloud "how people so stupid could walk and breath at the same time." That is completely wrong. I never said that about the cast of Jersey Shore. I said it about Silvio Berlusconi.

Yes, it is true that while I was negotiating the release of the U.S. embassy hostages in Iran in 1980, I told my Iranian counterpart that Jimmy Carter "is very unlikely to win re-election. Mark my words, John Anderson will be the next man to occupy the White House." In my defense, I was wrong.

I like to use the British word "swingeing," as in "swingeing cuts to public transportation." However, I do not like "swinging"; that would be something completely different.

Okay, I was caught on tape while staying at the Russian ambassador's residence in Kabul telling him that "I don't know who Jennifer Carpenter is or why Michael C. Hall married her, much less why he's divorcing her." I consider sharing that information with our Russian friends to have been an international courtesy intended to further our shared global agenda and not at all reflective of my increasing confusion when staring at supermarket tabloids in the checkout lane.

I was nowhere nearly as deeply involved in the Iran-Contra scandal as the tapes and videos and satellite tracking and extensive witness corroboration would suggest. I merely mused aloud in a National Security Council meeting that the Iranian mullahs should "just eat cake." I was making a little Marie Antoinette joke, okay? Only much later did I suggest sending them an actual cake with a Bible and some weaponry. You can read that so many ways, and my enemies are trying to twist it to their own devious ends. I suggest you look into their motives for doing so.

Oh, boy. This is the big one. To be clear: I told NBC to "give Leno his show back," I never intended to slight the fine work of Conan O'Brien, which I have never seen. I simply meant that Leno's work was better than Conan's work, which I have never seen. I watch Jon Stewart.

And, finally, I did indeed send the president of Micronesia my complete collection of One Day at a Time on blu-ray. But it was not a gift intended to sway his actions; it was a loan. And the jerk still hasn't returned it.

Say What?

I just returned from a day of jury duty. I was not selected for the case, but I sat through a day of jury selection that proved to me once again that: Most people in this situation are quite honest and dedicated, and a very few are unworthy of the right to vote. Naturally, I can't say anything about the case, because it is still ongoing.

But entering and exiting the courthouse in downtown San Francisco, I passed the desk pictured above. It is, as you can see, a completely empty desk with a sign on it that says "Self-Help Information Desk."

Huh? Do you go up to the desk and say to yourself, "Excuse me, how do I get to courtroom 602? Oh, just take the elevator on the right and follow the hall to the end. Oh, thank me. I'm welcome."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bet You Never Thought Classic Star Trek Was THIS Old-Fashioned has created some great faked photos of Star Trek's lead characters in Victorian dress and settings. You can see the images at How to Be a Retronaut for pointing it out, and thanks to SFX to pointing out How to Be a Retronaut, which, BTW, has lots of interesting things to waste an hour or more of your time, such as the two-second-long first motion picture.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gundam 00 Season 2 Theme Played on the Piano

This is a very well-done piano version of the pop theme song from the opening credits of the second season of Gundam 00.

Hat's off (and, apparently, pants off) to the talented piano player.

Wisconsin GOP Gov-Elect Doesn't Want High-Speed Trains, Still Wants the Pork

Ever since voters in my home state of Wisconsin shot themselves in the feet last month and replaced Sen. Russ Feingold and elected a conservative Republican to succeed a Democratic governor, we've witnessed the usual short-sighted decisions that this brand of populist conservative has unleashed on our country.

In the latest move, Governor-elect Scott Walker has rejected about $810 million in federal stimulus money that was restricted for high-speed rail, arguing that the high-speed train line would cost the state (horrors!) $7.5 million a year after it was completed.

Now, Wisconsin is not profligate California, but neither is it poor Mississippi. It performs much better than average economically and it has much better than average schools. Though it is now facing large budget deficits as a result of overspending and the bad economy, it will not always face that situation. It will, however, always need innovation and leading-edge developments to stimulate its economy, make use of its world-class educational institutions, and attract talent and investment from outside the state.

If Walker was just worried about the short-term financial situation, then the train project would have been ideal. It is, after all, stimulus money, intended to stimulate economic activity during times when the financial and business systems are unable to do so themselves. Such as, oh, now. But Walker is displaying none of the vision that long-time Governor Tommy Thompson used to show. Thompson, a very conservative and very independent Republican, was vocal in his support for trains in general and high-speed trains in particular. He got it. Walker doesn't, and it will harm Wisconsin's businesses and families in future years as their state falls behind states that are innovating in this technology – and it will increase America's distance behind countries that are leading in high-speed train technology, countries such as China and Germany and France and Japan.

Oh, Newser points out, Walker still wants the money from Washington. He wanted to stimulate other parts of his economy, perhaps, or he wanted to spread it around to projects that made him happy. Either way, he's not making the investment that would have real short- and long-term benefits for his state. The money will instead be redistributed to other states that aren't technophobic.

I think this is just the latest case of short-sighted Americans learning to feel good about giving up the lead in innovation and science and creativity.
Photo from Wikipedia/Creative Commons by Sese Ingolstadt.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More Stupid Moves by China

And the award for overacting and tin-eared political moves goes to ... the People's Republic of China.

China continues its scorched-earth campaign against the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to activist Liu Xiaobo, this time banning some major Western news web sites in the lead-up to the Nobel ceremonies. The country is also boycotting the ceremonies, as to be expected; what's disgusting is the rogue's gallery of countries that are joining the boycott: Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Russia, Venezuela, Pakistan, Iraq, Morocco, Iran, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Egypt, Sudan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Some of those countries just want to maintain good ties with their powerful new business overlord, China, and others want to protest the award of the prize to dissidents – after all, they don't want their own dissidents to get the crazy idea that their authoritarian governments might not be universally loved. Some, of course, are both worried about their economic overlord and about dissidents. Either way, it's a disreputable list to be on.

This is good timing in that this is happening as Julian Assange's arrogant Wikileaks attack on the West (and it is mostly an attack on the West and the way the current Western leader, the United States, exerts influence in the world) is getting some push-back from governments; we are seeing the true colors of the Assange movement, as techno-anarchists are attacking anyone who disagrees with them. If you don't like the look of American influence around the world, take a look at China's actions and its list of pals above, and envision what the world will look like as American influence wanes. It ain't pretty, and it ain't democratic.

Let's not forget the ridiculous competitor to the Nobel Peace Prize that China's communist government dreamed up, the Confucius prize, which was immediately rejected by the first awardee. At least Taiwan continues to be a bright spot of democratic brazenness. Through a mixture of free expression and open media, they are giving China the black eye that Wikileaks could only hope to give it:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mike Howlett Unleashes "The Weird World of Eerie Publications"

Lookie what the mailman just delivered from A brand new copy of The Weird World of Eerie Publications (Feral House), a wonderfully illustrated history of a pulp magazine publisher. The 310-page oversized hardcover, written by Mike Howlett, is definitely going to be my holiday reading.

Longtime readers (or even half-awake casual visitors) of this site know that I devote more than is a healthy amount of time and attention to the now-defunct Starlog Group, a New York-based periodicals publisher that lasted from the mid-1970s until the early part of this century. Starlog produced a ton of magazines – regular ones plus zillions of one-shots and limited-run titles – in nearly every category, ranging from genre films to sports to women's fashion to ethnic music to automobiles and beyond. Like Starlog Group, Eerie (under its various names) produced a ton of magazines in a wide variety of categories, but unlike Starlog, Eerie's were usually on the quick-and-dirty-and-cheap side. Eerie was a true exploitation publisher, and just as it's usually more fascinating to read about the escapades of an independent exploitation filmmaker than it is to hear about a corporate studio filmmaker, I can tell from my first scan through the book that this is filled with interesting stories that will tell us a lot about a bygone era in publishing.

So I'm looking forward to reading Howlett's book on the company. I'm sure it'll be amusing to me as a magazine editor and publisher, and it'll be enjoyable to me as a genre reader.

I suppose it's time someone wrote a book about the Starlog company. Me, maybe?

Batman Takes Over: The Starlog Project, Starlog #179, June 1992

We are still living in the wake created by the passage of Tim Burton’s bat-films through American film culture. Nearly 20 years later, the films in the cinemas might be by Christopher Nolan and a Christian Bale suffering from a speech impediment, but I think it’s safe to say that those movies would not have existed or would at least have been nowhere near as dark as they are if Burton hadn’t first paved the way with Batman and Batman Returns.

In fact, when his Batman originally came out, the talk about it was that his vision of Gotham City and its caped crusader was too dark – visually and thematically. For an aging Bat-audience that was still pining for Adam West’s camp version from 1960s television, it was the height of presumption on Burton’s part to recast the story in a darker, scarier, more violent direction. And “recast” was only part of the controversy; people howled at the casting of quirky (I mean that in the best way) actor Micheal Keaton as Batman.

Burton proved them wrong, and with the 1992 release of Batman Returns, he made a sequel that was arguably better than the first movie. With another casting twist that was laughed at before people saw the film, he picked Danny DeVito to portray the Penguin, and DeVito delivered a fireworks-and-send-them-all-home-happy performance.

Batman Returns was big, and Starlog plays it up big-time. This issue, the magazine includes a 16-page color portfolio of preproduction paintings from the film, plus other coverage. The movie is also on the cover for the second month in a row; in fact, I believe Batman Returns sets an all-time record with the next issue when it achieves a three-consecutive-months reign on the cover.

Starlog #179
100 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $5.95

Speaking of the cover, it’s actually a very striking photo they chose, with the raised bat-symbol shining out from under blowing snow. Were I designing the cover myself, I would have reduced the text below the image, because as it is now, it kind of detracts from the power of the photo. But it‘s still a strong cover that reflects the cold metal feel of the film.

The rundown: The Bat-cover kicks off the magazine, and Beauty & the Beast is featured on the contents page; David McDonnell’s abbreviated Medialog column warns us about The Forever King, featuring a reincarnated King Arthur who’s a “10-year-old Chicago boy and the proud owner of the Holy Grail”; Booklog reviews The Catswold Portal, Cloven Hooves, Mother Lode, Kalimantan, Bicycling Through Time and Space, Remaking History, The Trinity Paradox, and The Face of the Waters; the Communications section sprawls over seven pages and actually manages to include topics other than Star Trek, namely everything from Eerie, Indiana to Freejack to Time Tunnel to Highlander II to … well, Star Trek, plus there’s Mike Fisher’s Creature Profile of the Alien from the movie of the same name; David Hutchison’s Videolog announces the laserdisc release of the George Pal “ultra-classic” The Time Machine, plus other releases; and, in his From the Bridge column, Kerry O’Quinn highlights the High Fantasy Society, “ a live-action role-playing club” with fake swords.

Production designer Martin Asbury talks to Stan Nicholls about his designs for Alien3, illustrated with many of his storyboards for that underrated film; Marc Shapiro interviews Bo Welch, production designer for Batman Returns; Abbie Bernstein chats with actor Clive Mantle, who discusses his roles in Alien3 and Robin of Sherwood (and who utters the timeless words, “[F]or two episodes, I wore this wig. It had a personality all its own; it was like a dead poodle on my head.”); Lee Goldberg profiles writer Don Ingalls,who discusses his Star Trek scripts “A Private Little War” (which aired under a pseudonym) and “The Alternative Factor,” and he notes that he later worked with Shatner again on T.J. Hooker, but by then “the young eagerness of his Star Trek days was gone . … However, all stars over the years acquire a certain arrogance and sometimes lose a little of their acting edge by doing that. They become too confident.”; Kyle Counts interviews actor Bob Colbert about his career, in particular his starring role in Time Tunnel; a 16-page center section features preproduction designs from Batman Returns; and Rich Harvey makes his first appearance in the pages of Starlog with a look at the new Indiana Jones novels by Rob MacGregor.

Edward Gross interviews writers Linda Campanelli and Shelly Moore about their work on the late fantasy TV series Beauty & the Beast, and Gross co-writes a sidebar with Stephanie Wiltse about a possible Beauty & the Beast film; Marc Shapiro talks to B-movie star Tim Tomerson about his roles in Trancers, The Twilight Zone, and Quark (remember that late-1970s NBC SF sitcom?), about which he says, “It was a real wacky show. I would come in each week, take one look at the script and just die laughing.”; Sandra Brandenburg and Debora Hill contribute their first article to the magazine with an interview of fantasy novelist Katharine Kerr (The Dragon Revenant, Polar City Blues, and others); Pat Jankiewicz profiles television director Leo Penn, who talks about working on the original Star Trek series (and he has nice words about Shatner), as well as Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (yes, girl), Lost in Space, and more; the Fan Network pages includes Lia Pelosi’s usual directory of science-fiction fan clubs and publications (including the German Terminator Fan Club), plus the convention listings; Pat Jankiewicz talks with director Herb Kenwith, another Star Trek vet (“The Lights of Zetar”); and ye kindly editor, David McDonnell, pens his Liner Notes column, a plug for Starlog contributor Will Murray’s Doc Savage novels.
“My take on Gotham City is as this hideous, grotesque thing laying beneath an infrastructure that’s overlayed on a legitimate city to hold it together. It’s a more American look that reflects bad zoning and decay sitting next to beauty. Gotham Plaza is a good example of what I’ve attempted to do with all of this movie’s architecture. It’s a caricature whose scale has been totally exaggerated. It also contains an idea I had: To combine neo-fascist and 1930s World’s Fair architecture. The result has been a city that literally overwhelms its occupants in a massive, dehumanizing way.”
–Bo Welch, production designer, interviewed by Marc Shapiro: “Dark Designs”
For more, click on Starlog Internet Archive Project below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent site.