The Return of WEDNESDAY’S WORDS: Must own books for week ending 31 May 2020

First, yes Wednesday’s Words is back— and I’m writing this on a Monday.

Get over it. 🙂

For those of you who don’t know what Wednesday’s Words was/is— do a search on this blog, and you’ll pull up the old editions. In a nutshell WEDNESDAY’S WORDS is where I tell you about writers and books I love. See — it is that simple.

Now into the mix!!!

Guys I told you like a year ago to pick up the Wolverston Bible, back then you could have bought it for like $40. Those of you who listened to me are quite happy, as to pick that book up now is $100 to $200.

The below books are others, that are either going to sell out, have a high chance of leaving amazon except for the digital version, or generally when they are gone, it will be a long stretch between reissues — if ever. And more than anything, all these books just deserve to be on your bookshelf. You are supporting great books, by great writers.

Never buy a book for appreciation value, buy a book because you want it for your bookshelf. However it does not hurt to also choose books that tend to, at the very least, over the long haul, hold their value. I’m talking about books like THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI that went from a $20 book when new– to now ,years later, being sold out and commanding $100 to $200… the same with the WRIGHTSON’S FRANKENSTEIN HC. So if you do, down the road decide you no longer want the book, you are going to at least get your $20 out of it.

Now nothing is guaranteed, as the stock market clearly shows us, but buying for enjoyment, and also being able to, when you choose, liquidate that item— that is a win-win. And the fact that you did get to enjoy the book, means you have got your purchase price out of it; even if you only sell it for a $1 down the road, you have done great. A great book, gives you your Money’s worth and then some. :).

And if you do use the below links to purchase, I would be appreciative; as the links generate very appreciated pennies for this site.

Okay onto this installment’s selections:

 

The Goon Vol. 1: Bunch of Old Crap, an Omnibus (The Goon (2019-)) by [Eric Powell] https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61F1yjYVDNL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgEric Powell is one of my favorite comic book creators, and i think his THE GOON series is genius, if you can afford to get the out of print Dark Horse editions go for it. But I think just insuring you pick up his affordable softcover reprint editions is a great idea. But his hardcover artbook is absolutely essential. A must own to be placed beside the stunning THE ART OF BRIAN STELFREEZE.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51MJ6qxE2dL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpghttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/514kSByzEmL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpghttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61cquKGPvmL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpghttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61eblr7KxdL._SY475_BO1,204,203,200_.jpghttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Bh6bwbEQL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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Full disclosure I am a huge fan of Derrick Ferguson, and I know him, so I’m completely biassed here, but I love his work. And thing is, i am biassed on all the things I recommend. I love these books, and movies, and cds and objects that cry out to be added to my bookshelf, and I have no problem telling you that. :). This particular title, Amazon is starting to do that frightening thing — where it seems inventory is taking longer and longer to get out to people, so grab this one while still in stock.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/618qwUx17YL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgWhen you look at the racist caricatures people were doing in strips and comics for the first 3rd of the 20th century, by creators like Eisner and Windsor McKay, it is a tendency for people today to try and excuse it by saying “oh it was the times’ –no, it was a choice. Mac Raboy, golden age artist extraordinaire, lived in those self same times, yet his depictions of people of color were not those stereotypes.

Then as now, it is not the times that define our choices, it is our choices that define our times. I have been waiting years, for a great hardcover on this under-known golden age great. And though what I really want to see is an oversized collection of all his comic book stories, this artist overview is also welcome, and will go beside my Matt Baker book. As of this writing book is down to 17 copies on Amazon, this is one I’m going to pick up two copies of. One for me and one as a gift.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51vALLVZz8L._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgGuys this is not a cheap book. Selling on Amazon for about $90 currently, which is still less than cover price. If you have not picked this up, pick it up. Because when this item sells out (and it will, this is the 2nd printing) it is going to do exactly the same thing as the first printing. It’s going to become very hard to afford on the secondary market. For a long time before this latest printing this was a $200 book. So if you have an interest in this, get it while still in-stock.

 

That is it. I didn’t know i was bringing back Wednesday’s Words until the end of this installment. The post started as something else, but by the end of it I realized, like John Wick— “Yeah, I guess i’m back.” 🙂

If you enjoy this post you know what to do, like, subscribe and support by using the links. Thanks, and till next time— be well!!!

5 favorite audio books NOT available via streaming, spotify or Audible! Book #5 WOLFEN!

There are about two dozen truly great audio actors, whose work on audio books, is a MUST OWN. Among them are Orson Welles, David Birney, Harlan Ellison, Roddy McDowall, James Mason, Michael Boatman to name a few.

Some of these guys work, for various reasons such as rights etc, are not available via streaming or in some cases even on CD. But these are preeminent works, of the greatest voice actors of their respective era, giving their greatest deliveries. And they can still be picked up via LP or cassette, at affordable prices, and deserve to be.

Once bought on LP or cassette go ahead and digitize it so you have these must own works in a preserved format. Here then without further ado, is the first of our 5 must own audio books!

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41-EAZMm3fL._SX295_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg Roddy McDowall reads WOLFEN- I am a huge fan of the 1981 WOLFEN film, I think it is a flawed, but unjustly overlooked masterpeice. However, I love this audio book version as much, perhaps even more, and that iis down to Roddy McDowall.

Roddy McDowall, a prolific actor with over 250 credits to his name, who is likely only remembered by a younger generation for his turn in FRIGHT NIGHT (1985),  gave some of the great, humanistic performances of cinema in his abundant career. From Academy Award winning turn in HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941)  to his immortal role as Caesar in PLANET OF THE APES (1968) to THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) to the aforementioned FRIGHT NIGHT (1985), and everything in between, Roddy McDowall, despite the quality of the film or script, never gave a bad performance. The consummate actor, he always carried his role, you always believed him; and he brings that veracity to this audio book, and paints with his voice the hallowed and harrowing world of WOLFEN.

Click on the link below to acquire this essential bit of audio book history.

 

The Wolfen Audio Cassette – June 1, 1990

Material Type: Fiction, Audio book, etc.
Document Type: Sound Recording
All Authors / Contributors: Whitley Strieber; Roddy McDowall

ISBN: 1558002227 9781558002227
OCLC Number: 21983678
Notes: Abridged from the author’s book of the same title.
Performer(s): Reader, Roddy McDowall.
Description: 2 audiocassettes (approximately 180 min.) : digital, Dolby processed, 1/8 in. tape
Responsibility: author, Whitley Strieben.

Best Cheap but GREAT over-sized comic book posters of the Day!!!

Best Cheap but GREAT over-sized comic book posters!!!

Makes fantastic gifts or presents for the pop-culture fan in your life, or give to yourself as a nice present!

 

 

Captain America – Madbomb Marvel Retro” Maxi Poster 36 x 24

 

Alex Ross 70721 Marvel Generations Oversize Vinyl 62×48 Poster

 

Frank Frazetta Red Planet Mars Science Fiction Fantasy Artwork Classic Retro Vintage SciFi Artist Comic Book Cover 1970s Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24×36

 

Pyramid International X Men Magneto Triumphant Marvel Comics Retro Cover Art Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24x36

Magneto Triumphant Marvel Comics Retro Cover Art Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24×36

 

Princess and The Panther by Frank Frazetta Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24×36

 

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Must own Physical Media in the age of Digital : Blu-Ray Media Book Collection for Week 17 of 2020

 

I have spoken about this EXTREME PREJUDICE mediabook before. The Bluray picture quality is not hi-def quality.  While they come with a DVD and Bluray, the Bluray is simply the DVD dropped onto a Bluray, no mastering, no noticeable difference. So a perfectly decent DVD quality pic, just don’t expect hi-def quality out of the Bluray. Also it does not contain a Director’s commentary.

But despite the Bluray quality, this is one of my favorite films, and I love having it in Mediabook form. And I did translate the book itself, which includes very enjoyable coverage of the movie, and that cover art makes it a MUST OWN.

And it will do, until a quality mastered Blu-ray release (with commentary) comes out. And even then, I am keeping this Mediabook to house it in.  The art is just that good.

 

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This Mediabook contains the SENTINEL. As mentioned, even though most mediabooks offer a DVD and Bluray version, for the most part the Bluray looks like they did no mastering to it, and dropped the DVD transfer onto a Bluray. Not a noticeable uptick in quality from the DVD. That is a failing I see with a lot of these Mediabooks. Though this one is noticeably better than the video quality of THE EXTREME PREJUDICE mediabook.

It is a perfectly decent watch, a well mastered DVD can look very good. I have DVDs that look better than some Blurays. The mastering is what matters, but yeah perfectly decent, if not hi-definition picture.

Very good film from the 1970s, is part of that wave of films such as EXORCIST and ROSEMARY’S BABY, and while this one does not have the reputation of those two, I quite enjoy it. The commentary by Director Michael Wimmer makes this a MUST OWN. He has so much fun, reflecting on his time making this film, and the personalities, and stories. It is like being in the room with a charming filmmaker, telling you ‘inside Hollywood’ stories. Add to that, the artwork is STUNNING, and you have an easy must own.

 

This one, because it was ported from a recent remaster from a mainstream studio, actually looks great.

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While I have not been interested in the director’s subsequent films, this initial film… a masterwork. And this mediabook just looks great on the shelf. In process of translating the book portion. Also unfortunately this one does not come with Director’s Commentary. But despite that,this mediabook is a keeper for me.

Surprisingly fun movie, and enjoyable Brian Yuzna commentary.

That’s it guys. Not a huge mediabook collection, but everyone is a must own.

Pick yours up here!

STRANGER IN TOWN – Enjoyable Capraesque Litte Drama/Crime Caper – Movie of the Day!

 

Great little film from 1943. You would not think a film from 77 years ago would be so timely and entertaining, and even laugh out loud funny in places, and dire in others, and say something so clearly current about corruption and obligation. A great little film.

“The great liberties by which we live, have been bought with blood. The kind of  government we get, is the kind of government we want. A government of the people, by the people, for the people, can mean any kind of government. It is our duty to make it mean only one kind. Uncorrupted! Free! United!”

Currently available courtesy of Amazon Prime. But you never know when these movies will disappear off streaming, get the DVD here.

Amazon Item of the Day : Multi-region Bluray Player

 

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LG BP175 Region Free Blu-ray Player – If you need an affordable multi-region Blu-Ray that also supports  3D discs, than this is a solid, well rated option.

 

Now regarding 4K.

I personally find very little need for 4K, as I do not have a 70″ or larger screen and I’m not sitting 2 feet away from it inspecting pixels. And the difference between 4K and 1080p, while substantial in pixels (ie inreal estate), in real world picture quality is minuscule. It is not the kind of quality jump that you got from DVD to Blu-Ray.

I have 20/20 vision, and see better than most people I know, ie I don’t need glasses or contacts, so at 1080p on a 60″ or less screen, from a recommended 8 feet or more viewing distance you are talking the threshold of what the human eye can differentiate in regards to pixel count/real estate.

That is where other considerations such as how well the source is mastered ( a huge consideration, I have some DVDs that provide a better picture than Blu-ray simply because they were well mastered and the Blu-rays were not) , and contrast and dynamic range and brightness, and frame rates all come in to play to provide you a superior picture.

But as far as chasing real estate, resolution, HD to 4K to 6K to 8K to 16K, that is a meaningless numbers game in a consumer setting. Unless you are projecting on a movie theater sized screen this chasing of resolution/real estate it just so manufacturers can continue to sell you the new hotness. The new player, the new tv, the new discs.

However if you are somone who has the disposable cash, and want the latest and greatest, so a 4K player to go with your 4K tv, well then the following is the one to get.

Sony X800 – UHD – 2D/3D – SACD – Wi-Fi – Dual HDMI – 2K/4K – Region Free Blu Ray Disc DVD Player – PAL/NTSC – USB – 100-240V 50/60Hz for World-Wide Use & 6 Feet Multi System 4K HDMI Cable

This one will do 4K (if you have a 4K tv as well), Bluray, Super Aucio CD, and 3D (If you have a 3D TV or Projector).

 

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Thanks and have a great day! See you next installment!

Bluray DVD Physical Media Label COMPLETE Overview : POWERHOUSE FILMS Indicator Boxsets

While a lot of people keep foretelling the death of physical media, since 2018 i personally have noticed an upswing in interest in physical media.

physical media seems to be getting, in the words of eric stoltz in the fly 2… “better!”. i think part of this upswing in physical media interest, has to do, strangely enough with streaming channels, namely youtube and youtube content providers, helping share knowledge and spur interest in these little known boutique bluray labels and releases.

i know personally youtube content providers, re-spurred my interest in physical media at the end of 2019, and is how i became aware of blurays to seek out and purchase.

further spurring this golden age of physical media releases, is (what we could consider) boutique labels making very  collectible and attractive physical media into something that is tactile art object as much as content, it very  much seems as the bluray medium has grown up, moving away from the hideous blue case branding of the bLU-RAYS (i have always hated the flimsy plastic blue ray cases), to now actual attractive, display worthy boxsets and individual titles.

it is as if physical media producers have finally realized, in the age of streaming, you have to emphasize the value of the physical media not just in the video and sound quality (which arguably streaming can compete with) but in the quality of the things streaming cannot compete with, packaging and associated specials features and booklets.

this installment we cover one of the best boutique bluray producers, and one i recently discovered at the end of 2019… namely powerhouse indicator label out of the uk.

The Indicator PowerHouse Blu-ray Boxsets, if you can get them on-sale, before they sell out, are actually one of the best deals in physical media. You can get these feature packed Blu-ray boxsets , that contain roughly 3 to 5 films per boxset for roughly $15 per film.

Which is just a fantastic deal, when you assess that you get the feature packed Blu-rays, with photographed filled and research packed limited edition booklets with each film, and the wonderful exclusive beautifully made slipcases for the films.

These boxsets are generally limited to 6000 editions. So in a planet of 7.8 billion people (according to the 2020 World Population clock) that is pretty darn exclusive. And even in the limited population of physical media lovers like myself, it is still a pretty exclusive and affordable collectible.

As of this writing PowerHouse Indicator has produced 15 boxsets and only 4 of them are no longer available. So as of this writing you can pick up the existing 11 boxsets for on average $15 per film, which is a STUNNING deal.

Here are the 15 Boxsets Power House Indicator has currently released as of this writing:

  • HAMMER VOL 1-5
  • WILLIAM CASTLE VOL 1-2
  • FIVE TALL TALES
  • RAY HARRYHAUSEN VOL 1-2
  • THE SINBAD TRILOGY
  • SAMUEL FULLER AT COLUMBIA
  • BLOODY TERROR
  • MARLENE DIETRICH
  • JOHN FORD

And for my money, while all are great to have, if you can swing it; the absolute best, and must have ones, in terms of beauty of the slipcase, quality of films, etc; in my opinion are the following (you can click on the pictures below to purchase):

 

HAMMER VOLUME ONE: FEAR WARNING! - LEHAMMER VOLUME FOUR: FACES OF FEAR - LEWILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA, VOLUME ONE - LEWILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA, VOLUME TWO - LETHE WONDERFUL WORLDS OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN, VOLUME ONE: 1955-1960 - LETHE WONDERFUL WORLDS OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN, VOLUME TWO: 1961-1964 - LETHE SINBAD TRILOGY - LESAMUEL FULLER AT COLUMBIA, 1937-1961 - LEFIVE TALL TALES: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott at Columbia, 1957-1960 - LE

Now regarding boxsets that have sold out. I do think Powerhouse Indicator will in due time re-release popular sold out boxsets such as RAY HARRYHAUSEN VOL TWO and THE SINBAD TRILOGY in subsequent editions with new artwork, just because it makes no sense for them not to.

Why leave the profit to the secondary market if the demand is out there? From a business standpoint, by changing the boxset artwork, they differentiate from the 1st pressing of the boxset, insuring the uniqueness of that first pressing for their die-hard fans, yet creating subsequent pressings that are unique and attractive in their own right to people who may have missed out on the first pressing.

Lets be frank, it is the boxsets that are the selling feature of Powerhouse Indicator. The individual Blurays by themselves, I don’t find them as compelling as Criterion releases or Arrow or Eureka or ScreamFactory Steelbooks, etc, but as boxsets, currently Powerhouse Indicator is the best Boxset maker in the business.

Well guys I hope you enjoyed that coverage of Powerhouse Indicator.

 

Please use the links provided above (click on the pictures of the boxsets), as they help you get great items, and generate a couple needed and appreciated pennies for this blog. Enjoy!

 

 

Youtube and Pandemic Video of the Day, France, Revolutionary War and Captain America?

 

There are a couple things and a couple places that historically enrage me.

You will find injustice and stupidity everywhere, but some places seem to have more than their fair share. Some places where the rule of law and government, is put in the hands of the most venal, and these miscarriages of not just justice, but of humanity continue to proliferate and occur.

The MOVE Bombing in Philadelphia comes to mind, the LA riots, sentencing mentally disabled children as adults in Florida and locking them up with Adults.

Ah Florida.

You bring to mind a quote from Henry the Vth.

And when I think of Henry the Vth, it is not the play I read that comes to mind, or the many film adaptations, it is a very specific film and performance. It is Branagh’s HENRY THE V. And there is this scene where he has just seen the bodies of the children that France killed in a sneak attack. He says, he seethes, “I was not angry till I came to France!”

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Often I have heard news dealing with Florida, and it rises in me that self same rage, and I think… “I was not angry till I heard of Florida!”

And again I am sure there are great parts to Florida, great people in Florida, however it seems rightly or wrongly, they are overshadowed by the… mad.

Though it could be argued that… considering who some people voted for in the last presidential election, that all of America is mad.

***

Perhaps one of the greatest warriors America has ever produced, perhaps he was right.

Perhaps he was right when he switched sides.

I’m talking about Benedict Arnold.

History only remembers him as traitor.

They forget that he was the one everyone looked to, Washington, Jefferson, Banneker all of them. He was the Captain America of his day.  Winning battle after battle, until at some point he saw a dichotomy between a colony seeking its Freedom from England, while ever more earnest about creating its wealth through a system of petty tyrannies, fiefdoms, slavery and impoverishment.

Ah Arnold, they have roughly used you.

Perhaps he was right.

An 1880 Bio of Benedict Arnold, By A Sympathetic Relative

 

All that to say, that video… riled me.

********

Now a bit more on that Henry the Vth quote:

“I was not angry till I came to France!”

That line has always stuck with me. What was said, and how he said it, and the enormity of the villainy to prompt such words.

However I don’t want people to confuse me  being moved by that line, with any problems with France.

I like France, I went through it when I was younger, on a trip from Germany to London than back down through France to Spain.

Map of Central Europe (General Map / Region of the World)

While some American media has this totally undeserved derision toward France, the truth of the matter is… there would not be an America without France. The 100 year war between France and England, actually being just a small part of a 1000 year rivalry between those Super-Powers of that age, and the battle ground of America, what we called the Revolutionary War, was simply, for those Super Powers, their Vietnam.

Britain was fighting too many wars on too many fronts, battles with Spain, and France and on their own shores, and now a treasonous colony to deal with, that was being supported by their enemies. It was too much.

America likes to think we beat Britain, that is not the case. No, more than Vietnam beat America. In both cases battles on too many fronts, at home and abroad, required that the super power relinquish their expansionist wars, to concentrate on maintaining the nation proper.

So yeah, while Henry the Vth rightfully raged against France at the Battle of Agincourt, for myself, and for I think any American who has studied even basic history, and appreciates (for all its horrendous flaws) the dream of America, well you have to thank France for there even being a nation called America. Much as Vietnam has China to thank for them not being annexed by the United States.

So historically a fan of France, though these days they are dealing, like much of Europe and the World, with the rise of a new form of colonialism and fascism, under the guise of big business supplanting the rights of the individual.

 

Woah, man. That post went all over the place.  🙂

Somewhere in all that rambling there is probably a point. Me, I’ll leave it there. With this last refrain…

  • Travel when you can.
  • Defend each other and yourselves when you must.
  • Find and spread joy where you may.

These are my only laws.

Oh, and deliberate cruelty is not forgivable.

In the words of Tennessee Williams and Blance Dubois. Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable.

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The webpage will not show this image anonymously.

Be well all.

And here endeth the rant. 🙂

 

-HT

 

Deal of the Day!