[mogg] Dennis the Menace takes Jacob Rees-Mogg’s dinner money … ‘Mogg, whose mother gave him a ten-shilling note to purchase tuck and snacks at big Parliament this morning, was accosted by the notorious bully on the way and forced to hand over the money after being threatened with having his ankles viciously bitten by Gnasher. Mogg only recovered after being allowed to spend the remainder of the morning picking daisies in Parliament Square by Nurse instead of going to votes like the rest of class. Jacob and his cohorts Algernon Perkins and Dudley Nightshirt are understood to be front-runners to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister, and being relieved of his dinner money by an anarchic prepubescent may damage his claims to economic credibility.’
TIM CURRY: I read It when I got the role and I thought it was wonderfully scary, because clowns are scary. It’s the exaggeration. Pennywise always understood what each character was scared of, and provided it. And I could see what fun it would be to be that scary. They came up with such a great makeup. There’s the classic scene where little Georgie floats his paper boat down the gutter and puts his hand down to try and get it back, and is grabbed by Pennywise, who says: “Down here we float …” The boy playing Georgie [Tony Dakota] yanked his hand away and said, “You’re scaring me!” I said, “I’m sorry, I’m supposed to.”
[apollo] How Verbs and Nouns Got Apollo to the Moon … a look at how the Apollo Guidance Computer worked … ‘An entire mission to the Moon was run by the Apollo guidance computer, from checking the guidance platform alignment and firing the engines. All told, it took about 10,500 keystrokes to get to the Moon and back, and every one of them was entered into the guidance computer’s “display and keyboard” interface, affectionately referred to as the DKSY (pronounced like “diss-key”). There were three on board — two in the command module and one in the lunar module — and all three offered information simply and concisely in numeric coded messages or by a series of warning lights.’
Under the pressure of the intense deadlines he was meeting in the 1960s, when he would produce as much art in a year as other cartoonists do in a decade, Kirby’s rugged realism evolved in a surprisingly abstract direction. He became a kind of pulp Picasso. “His forms became geometric and stylized,” reflected novelist Glen David Gold in a 2005 essay. “Every surface, including human skin, gleaned like chrome. Every starscape exploded with mysterious dots and ‘Kirby Krackle.’” That “Kirby Krackle,” unleashed in scenes of energy or chaos, became a signature device, one that Kirby never explained but that, like so many of his quirks, compelled the eye.
Operatic, sprawling, and mythopoetic, the stories Kirby and Lee worked on remade superhero comics into a form of space opera, taking place in a teeming, lively, and imaginatively exciting universe. The new emotional depth of these comics owed much to the romance stories Kirby had worked on in the 1940s and 1950s. Kirby never really abandoned any of the genres of his past, so the superhero comics he created became a meta-genre, combining aspects not just of mystery-man intrigue but also elements from romance, westerns, science fiction, and horror.
[Herzog] Celebrate Werner Herzog’s 75th Birthday with These Peak Herzog Moments … ‘I don’t see [the jungle] so much erotic. I see it more full of obscenity. It’s just – Nature here is vile and base. I wouldn’t see anything erotical here. I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and just rotting away. Of course, there’s a lot of misery. But it is the same misery that is all around us. The trees here are in misery, and the birds are in misery. I don’t think they sing. They just screech in pain.’
[comics] Mad #21 Cover … go study all the novelty ads on this cover of Mad from 1955 – a great example of Harvey Kurtzman’s genius … ‘It is one of the most glorious and ludicrous covers in comic book history. Disguised to look like an interior page full of novelty ads, it is so dense with tiny print as to be almost illegible at original printed size.’
[tech] Atomic City … The story behind the only recorded nuclear fatalities in the US (reads like a James Ellroy story) … ‘McKinley was struck in the head by a piece of radioactive shrapnel that tore off half his face. Byrnes was thrown into concrete blocks, breaking ribs that pierced his heart. Legg was skewered in the gut by a flying control rod that launched him thirteen feet in the air and pinned him to the ceiling. (It took a week to get him down, requiring a pole with a hook to push him into a net attached to a crane operated by a man shielded in lead.) The men’s bodies were wrapped in several hundred pounds of lead, placed in steel coffins, and buried under a foot of concrete.’
[books] Longtime Stephen King fans criticize new IT adaptation for not being bad … ‘While audiences and critics alike have praised 2017’s IT for its smart casting and big budget scares, the response from classic King fans has been scathingly negative. “Couldn’t it have been a cheap, PG rated primetime miniseries?” tweeted @AnnieWilkes45. Others criticized the popular new film for not including any demonic laundry machines, giant rubber bats, possessed big rig trucks, man ponytails, or Gary Busey.’
[tv] Love On A Real Train … A look at the similarities between Mr Robot and Risky Business … ‘[Jonathan Bernstein] described De Mornay as a “frosty Hitchcockian blonde” whose chilliness is mirrored by the icy blasts of TD synth there and elsewhere on the soundtrack. In its way, Risky Business is a quintessential ’80s movie — it’s a twist on a mismatched-buddy caper, it prizes ruthless capitalistic innovation, absent parents fuel its plot engine, and it contains Curtis Armstrong — and if you swap in J.D. for Booger, you could say all of those things about Mr. Robot. There is a system to be gamed, so to speak, in both: Princeton admissions (and pimp vig); data storage. There is a battle against monopolistic power and influence that aspires to those things even as it turns them against themselves.’
[crime] What Crime Most Changed the Course of History? … Various people suggest a varied bunch of crimes … Josh Braun, executive producer, The Keepers: ‘The Manson-family murders were one of the first crimes that became a celebrity spectacle. They also changed people’s day-to-day perception of how safe they were at home: Suddenly the bogeyman was real.’
[people] Why Steve Bannon Wears So Many Shirts … ‘He’s a layering extremist, if you will, adhering to a disheveled uniform of shirts from Brooks Brothers and Orvis, a brand that makes clothes for fly fishing and other outdoor sports (he does not fly fish). He keeps them both folded and hanging in his closet at the Breitbart headquarters, a townhouse in D.C. known as the “Breitbart Embassy,” as well as in other unspecified closets in unspecified locations. “They’re not all long sleeve,” his spokesperson explained. “There’s some polos that are short sleeve.” They added that when wearing a suit in the White House, perhaps he only wore two shirts beneath his blazer — an undershirt and then a button-down — but wasn’t sure.’
[moore] Some Random Thoughts on Alan Moore … by Len Wein … ‘I wish I could remember at this late date exactly what it was that prompted me to call Alan when I was looking for a new writer to take over Swamp Thing. I know I had been a fan of Alan’s work on 2000 A.D. and so he seemed an interesting choice as writer, assuming, of course, he was available and so inclined. I got his phone number somehow, made the international phone call, and Alan answered on the third ring. I introduced myself, told Alan I had an offer to make him, and he hung up on me. When I called back, assuming the connection had been broken accidentally, I introduced myself again. Alan’s reply: “No, who is this really?”’
[work] Potential Employee Uprising Quelled With Free Pizza … ‘The free Italian pies arrived approximately 20 minutes after a company-wide e-mail detailing upcoming cutbacks was sent out late Friday morning. “Everyone’s been fed up and ready to explode at management for weeks,” production designer Carolyn Wurster said. “But then all those pizzas showed up, and it just didn’t seem like the right time to start demanding a legitimate healthcare plan or salary raises that reflect the amount of work we do.” Added Wurster, “They ordered like 10 huge pies.”‘
[movies] Hayley Campbell on Brian De Palma’s Blow Out … ‘It’s about about a tortured man torturing himself in only the way an obsessive creative whose art lies in the miniscule can: over and over, not until it has no meaning, but until it grows and has so much meaning that it consumes him.’
No, Cujo was a standard novel in chapters when it was created. But I can remember thinking that I wanted the book to feel like a brick that was heaved through your window at you. I’ve always thought that the sort of book that I do—and I’ve got enough ego to think that every novelist should do this—should be a kind of personal assault. It ought to be somebody lunging right across the table and grabbing you and messing you up. It should get in your face. It should upset you, disturb you. And not just because you get grossed out. I mean, if I get a letter from somebody saying, I couldn’t eat my dinner, my attitude is, Terrific!