Hail Satan!

I’ve heard good things about this.

Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history, Hail Satan? is an inspiring and entertaining new feature documentary from acclaimed director Penny Lane (Nuts!, Our Nixon). When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humor, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some truly profound ways. As charming and funny as it is thought-provoking, Hail Satan? offers a timely look at a group of often misunderstood outsiders whose unwavering commitment to social and political justice has empowered thousands of people around the world.

Vintage Star Wars Toy Auction … What

Check it out, you magnificent bastards!

A massive treasure trove of vintage Star Wars and pop culture toys and collectible ephemera are going on auction at the end of this month, and the folks at Prop Store bring a few of the rarities to our studio. We learn about prototype mockups, international figures, and even retail display pieces that would be the prize pieces for toy collectors.

All those toys you lost or destroyed that are now worth thousands of dollars? Look for ’em here.

Knights In Satan’s Service

A friend texted me late Saturday morning with two extra tickets to the KISS show at the FedEx Forum. Uh … yes, please!

Way back in 1977, 8-year-old me wanted to see them at the Midsouth Coliseum (on December 9, to be exact), but my mom waited too late to get tickets. The only seats left were behind the stage. *sad trombone*

My next shot was at The Pyramid on April 25, 2000, with Ace and Peter returning from exile for the band’s first farewell tour. A friend told me not to worry, he knew somebody who could get us free tickets. Predictably, no tickets – free or otherwise – were forthcoming, and the show sold out. *sad trombone*

Anyway, this show was a lot of fun! Here’s the set list.

Detroit Rock City
Shout It Out Loud
Deuce
Say Yeah
Heaven’s on Fire
War Machine
Lick It Up (with “Won’t Get Fooled Again” snippet)
Calling Dr. Love
100,000 Years (with drum solo)
God of Thunder (with bass solo)
Cold Gin (with guitar solo)
Psycho Circus
I Love It Loud
Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
Love Gun (Paul on stage over crowd)
I Was Made for Lovin’ You (Paul on stage over crowd)
Black Diamond

Encore:
Beth (Eric Singer on piano)
Do You Love Me
Rock and Roll All Nite (Tommy and Gene over crowd)

They Don’t Bother Me

Everybody has those inexplicable how-the-hell-did-I-miss-this pop culture gaps. Graham Parker is one of mine. Based on everything else I’m into, his music should have been an undeniable can’t miss. I mean, he sounds like Costello, Nick Lowe, or even early Joe Jackson to my ear. What’s not to love? But besides this one song, which I’ve heard less than 10 times in 50 years, I can’t name anything else by him.

Weird.

But this one song is pretty great.

Shit

Peter Halsten Thorkelson (Tork), February 13, 1942 – February 21, 2019

I always said the Monkees were a better band than they should’ve been. Rolling Stone has a brief obit here.

My Moebius Obsession

Besides creating a shitload of brain-melting comics, Moebius (Jean Giraud) contributed storyboards and concept designs to numerous science fiction and fantasy films, including Alien, Tron, The Fifth Element and The Abyss. I’ve been on a big Moebius kick lately, and I’ve settled on “The Long Tomorrow” to share with you bastards.

According to the man himself …

I drew “The Long Tomorrow” in 1975, while I worked with Alexandro Jodorowsky on a film adaption of “Dune.” Originally Douglas Trumbull was to do the special effects, but that was not to be so Jodorowsky hired Dan O’Bannon to replace him. Dan came to Paris. Bearded, dressed in a wild style, the typical Californian post-hippie. His real work would begin at the time of shooting, on the models, on the hardware props. As we were still in the stage of preparations and concepts, there was almost nothing to do and he was bored stiff. To kill time, he drew. Dan is best known as a script writer, but is an excellent cartoonist. If he had wished, he could have been a professional graphic artist. One day, he showed me what he was drawing. It was the story board of “The Long Tomorrow.” A classic police story, but situated in the future. I was enthusiastic. When Europeans try this kind of parody, it is never entirely satisfactory, the French are too French, the Italians are too Italian … so, under my nose was a pastiche that was more original than the originals. A believer in parody, Dan continued that tradition. As the story was very strong, I immediately asked if he would allow me to play around graphically, with complete freedom, without conventional pyrotechnics, to refocus on the floating point of view. Pete Club’s costume, for example, was almost ridiculous, far from the traditional raincoat of Bogart. It was the same for most of the visual elements. I scrupulously followed Dan’s story. One day I wish we could publish our two versions side by side. As the strip has pleased everyone, I asked Dan about a sequel, but it did not get his attention, so was simply an adventure I never designed.

This story heavily influenced everyone from writer William Gibson (Neuromancer) to Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) to George Lucas (Empire Strikes Back). If the launchpad sentinel looks familiar to Star Wars fans, it’s because Lucas lifted its design in toto for the probe droid. O’Bannon did a ton of stuff later on, but is perhaps best-known for writing Alien and directing Return of the Living Dead.

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