Thursday, December 29, 2011


In May of 2010, Mike Mignola and Richard Corben were the writer and artist on a one-shot 32-pager Hellboy in Mexico, which I reviewed in my Hellboy in Mexico post.
Hellboy: House of the Living Dead, is a direct sequel to that one-shot, in a hardcover graphic novel format that clocks in at a whopping 56 pages! Mignola admits in his forward to the graphic novel that it was written as a love letter to the Universal horror movies of the 40’s: House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula. The story begins with Hellboy drinking in a bar, devastated over the loss of his luchador comrade to vampires. Hellboy is soon coerced into participating in an ultimate wrestling match with a massive Frankenstein-like monster! That is only the beginning of this madcap story of Hellboy’s fight and eventual confrontation with vampires, a mummy and a werewolf! Mignola’s writing is terse and intense as always and Corben’s artwork is perfectly suited to the wild visual needs of the many fantastic creatures and settings of this graphic novel. If I have any complaints with this graphic novel is the steep price of $14.99. Even at 56 pages, it is still a fairly quick read – even for someone like me, who likes to linger over fantastic art. I did not purchase this at my comic shop (where I buy all my Hellboy comics), because of the price; but instead asked for it as a Christmas present. It was a wonderful gift and I have no doubts that I’ll be reading this again – along with its prequel – in the near future! did an interview with Mignola about Hellboy: House of the Living Dead several months before its publication. Here are a few brief exerts:
CBR: What made you want to return to this time in HB's life?
MIGNOLA: It was so much fun doing the first one! When I did the first one-issue comic, at the end Hellboy mentions that he doesn't remember what happened the rest of the time he was in Mexico. That was really going to be it, but then I just thought, the beauty of a chunk of time that he doesn't remember -- either he doesn't remember or he says he doesn't remember because he doesn't want to tell anybody what happened -- that's a great period to tell stories, because you can do the craziest stuff and maybe it really didn't happen, maybe he was so drunk he thought this is what happened. It kind of took on a life of its own.
This story, I made up because I saw how much fun Richard had doing the "Hellboy in Mexico" stuff and I wanted to do a Hellboy in Mexico story, so I made up this story for me -- and then realized it would be so much better drawn by Richard. So I turned it over to him. I've actually plotted a couple more stories that take place in this chunk of time. So it's really that whole lost weekend. Five months in Mexico is going to be a significant chunk of Hellboy stories.
 CBR: So this is the first (or rather, second) of many?

MIGNOLA: I wouldn't say "many," but right now there's a short story I'm going to be doing for "Dark Horse Presents" that takes place in Mexico and then Richard's graphic novel. Then there's talk of at least one, if not two more after that.
CBR: Aside from Hellboy being upset about what's happened to his luchador friend, what's going on in "House of the Living Dead?"

MIGNOLA: As the story starts, he has become a wrestler. There's a beautiful opening sequence of Hellboy in the ring, tossing other Mexican wrestlers around. And then he's hired to fight somebody's champion. And it's the "go out to the crazy guy's old house" [story] and then it's like "House of Dracula" or "House of Frankenstein." For whatever reason, there are a lot of monsters in this one place. It's a parade of crazy stuff. In some places, it's really funny; in other places, it's really disturbing. In a lot of places, it's really spooky, so it does what Richard and I do really well together, which is, stuff where you go "I can't tell if this is supposed to be funny or not." Richard, more than I guess anybody I've ever worked with, you never really know which way he's going to spin stuff. Something I might write as so absurdly ridiculous funny might come across very straight the way he does it, and some stuff I had intended as very sober and sad and serious will end up kind of funny. So you have to write a certain way for Richard, where it's fine if he's plays stuff either way. In some places I'll tell him, "this needs to be really sad," "this needs to be really quiet," but a lot of it, he's so good at what he does and it's so amazing working with him, you don't always know what you're going to get. I like to give him as much room to do what he does as possible.
 I recommend reading the entire interview with Mignola at:
Then go out and beg, borrow or steal – okay, go out and buy a copy and read Hellboy: House of the Living Dead!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


BBC America launched their Supernatural Saturdays a few years back when they started airing first run episodes of their new series of the Doctor Who program. It began with re-runs of American TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, The X-Files and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but soon they began airing original BBC programs in their place. The first of these was the supernatural soap opera Being Human – which was popular enough on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean to have run three seasons and be picked up for a fourth. Primeval, the sci-fi show with prehistoric creatures aired their first two seasons next and would later air two more seasons on BBC America. More recently, the sci-f show Outcasts and the paranormal drama Bedlam have aired on Supernatural Saturdays.
The latest original BBC program to air on BBC America’s Supernatural Saturday is The Fades. The Fades, which aired its first season of six episodes this past September/October on BBC Three, will make its BBC America debut in January next year.

The Fades is a coming-of-age fantasy drama showcasing the supernatural skills of a reluctant teenager named Paul (Iain De Caestecker). His best friend Mac (Daniel Kaluuya) and his therapist, are completely stunned by the apocalyptic dreams that he’s been having. His twin sister Anna (Lily Loveless) is also unsympathetic of his socially awkward behavior. As if things aren’t difficult enough, Paul is seeing the spirits of the dead (known as Fades) all around him. An embittered Fade finds a way to break the barrier between the dead and the living, aiming its vengeance at Paul, Mac and their loved ones. Soon the fate of humanity rests in the hands of the two best friends, who already have enough trouble getting through the day in one piece, let alone saving the world.
Writer and creator Jack Thorne says of the show: “What makes The Fades different is that it is a fantasy show rather than a science fiction show. It’s about fairly ordinary people, none of these people act or behave like they’re superheroes. The Fades is about the world itself being an extraordinary thing and how you battle it. This old school fantasy element combined with some pretty original characters – I hope is what will make people want to watch.”

If you’re interested in the genesis of The Fades, you can read Thorne’s blog at this link:

The Fades premieres Saturday, January 14 at 9/8c as part of of BBC America’s Supernatural Saturday. Watch the trailer for The Fades and decide for yourself if this Saturday Supernatural show is for you!

Sunday, December 25, 2011




Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein: I hope everyone has a wicked cool Christmas! I know this year all the good boys and ghouls will get the sci-fi, fantasy and horror DVDs and Blu-rays that they asked for. Comic books make cool stocking stuffers and graphic novels and sc-fi and fantasy books make good gifts too. Merry Christmas everyone!

Bill E. Bones: At this time of year, I even miss that misoneistic malpracticer of the necromantic arts, Zombzany the Necromancer. What I don’t miss, is our annual Christmas tradition of watching White Zombie, which was Zombzany’s idea of a Christmas classic! Merry Christmas my boney friends!

Major Mac Maniac: Howdy, Kids! I’m spaced ta be whishin’ y’all a Merry Christmas and a Hippy New Year! Here’s ta hopin’ that there’ll be more spaced out sci-fi flicks ta see at the theater and on the boob tube. Until then, I’ll be blastin’ off!
Nope! That little rug rat ain't me, but it could be a young Phileas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


In anticipation of the new Doctor Who Christmas Special - The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe - which will air on BBC America Christmas Day at 9pm - I bring you TROCK TUESDAY!

My favorite Trock band [if you want an explanation of Trock, read my FRIDAY NIGHT ... TROCK! GALIFREYAN HISTORY 101 BY CHAMELEON CIRCUIT post] Chameleon Circuit has released their second CD "Still Got Legs"! You can buy the CD at DFTBA Records or at ITunes.

Here is a fan made video of their song "The Big Bang 2". Trock on!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I haven’t used GUARDIANS OF THE GENRE! to review the books I read, because most of the books I read either didn’t  motivate me enough to spend my time reviewing; or I didn’t think enough of the followers of this blog would be interested in reading them.
As I mentioned in my SHELFARI IS DA SHIZNIT! post April 18, 2010, I joined this social networking website devoted to books earlier that month. I have been using Shelfari’s features – which include creating your own custom profile, building a virtual bookshelf , rating and discuss books and discovering new books – for the past nineteen months and have surprised myself by posting thirty-one (mostly short) reviews of the forty-five books I’ve posted there as having read in the past two years.
Anyone interesting in reading some of my book reviews, or just some of the books that I’ve read, can click on the Shelfari widget in the right column of this blog (right below the “Labels for lookin’”) or click on this link:
I was sufficiently excited by Old Man’s War by John Scalzi to share with you this brief review.
Vincent Chong's artwork for the Subterranean Press limited edition of Old Man’s War
John Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War” is definitely in the tradition of Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" and Haldeman's "Forever War”. However, Mr. Scalzi’s take on future war is more concerned with how technology affects man, than in the actual combat itself.
The point-of –view character of “Old Man’s War”, John Perry, is very much an everyman. But unlike the characters from the previously mentioned classics (both of which I’ve read and liked), Perry is an elderly man who volunteers to join the Colonial Defense Forces, [MINOR SPOILER] so that he will be put into the body of a young man and given a second chance at life – provided he survives his ten years of service. This gives his character a different outlook on advanced technologies, alien conflict and general human philosophy. Scalzi examines all these topics and more, while advancing the plot of Perry’s training in the CDF and his eventual trail-by-combat.
I greatly enjoyed “Old Man’s War” and its humanistic approach to the problems of future war. I will definitely be reading the sequel “The Ghost Brigades”!
For science fiction fans who have been dissatisfied with the recent depictions of human and alien conflict in both film and Television, you may find reading Old Man’s War will satiate your need for a more in-depth  depiction of the subject.
Director Wolfgang Petersen
If you need any more motivation to read this book: Paramount Pictures has acquired screen rights to the John Scalzi novel Old Man’s War, with Wolfgang Petersen attached to direct and David Self adapting the tale into a large-scale science fiction project. Scott Stuber will produce through his Stuber Pictures banner, with Petersen also producing.

Read the book now, so that when you see the movie you can groan along with me and say, “The book was better!”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


The cable network SyFy is presenting a new supernatural show this January: Lost Girl. “In one year, Lost Girl has electrified viewers in Canada and around the world. We’re delighted to bring this fascinating, high-octane series, which depicts a unique world and memorable heroine, to the Syfy audience,” says Thomas Vitale, executive VP, programming at Syfy. Lost Girl premieres on Syfy Monday, January 16, at 10/9c.

Here is the description of Lost Girl from its Canadian cable network Showcase web site:
Lost Girl follows supernatural seductress Bo (Anna Silk: Being Erica; Billable Hours), a Succubus who feeds on the sexual energy (sometimes called “Chi”) of humans.  Growing up with human parents, Bo has no reason to believe she's anything other than the girl next door – until she drains her boyfriend to death in their first sexual encounter. Once she hits the road, Bo discovers she is one of the Fae, creatures of legend and folklore, who pass as humans while feeding off them secretly, as they have for millennia. Relieved yet horrified to find out that she is not alone, Bo is faced with choosing an allegiance between the Dark and Light Fae clans.  Bo decides to take the middle path between the humans and the Fae while embarking on a personal mission to unlock the secrets of her origin.

With the help of her human sidekick, Kenzi (Ksenia Solo: Black Swan, Life Unexpected), Bo takes on a challenge every week helping a Fae or human client who comes to her to solve a mystery, or to right a wrong.  Already in a love triangle with Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried: Ben Hur, The Bridge; The Tudors), a sexy Fae working as a human police detective, and the beautiful human scientist, Lauren (Zoie Palmer: The Guard; Instant Star) who works for the Fae, Bo’s love life is about to get even more complicated.
For a fan of supernatural shows in general, and Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer in particular, Lost Girl looks like it could be in a very similar vein.
Syfy has ordered the two seasons of the show from Prodigy Pictures that have already aired in Canada. Here’s a trailer from the Canadian telecast!