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An American’s summer in America

Well, it’s that time of the year again. I’m off to Wisconsin for a few weeks to see my family and friends. I have plenty of content scheduled (including a new Are You Afraid of the Dark? rewatch/recap series), but that does mean that I probably won’t be getting to any comments.

I’ll be back before the end of June, though, ready for some more terrible films and cheesy Canadian television!

But in the meantime, I’ll be soaking up that gorgeous sun that’s evading London and the moment and listening to more classic radio than I probably should.



See all ya’ll in June!

MCM London Comic Con 2017 preview

Friday has become Riverdale day for me. Without it, I feel I great sense of loss. But all good things must come to an end… and thankfully there’s plenty of things around the corner to fill that hole in my heart.

COMIC CON IS BACK, KIDS!

MCM London Comic Con will return to the Excel Centre for another three-days of pop-culture goodness. And this time, the minds behind the con have plenty of great things to see.

For one, the one and only Lloyd Kaufman will be in attendance to help promote the British film Essex Spacebin as well as the video game Victor Vran: Motörhead Through the Ages. It’s always a pleasure to see this man, and well worth meeting even if you’re a Troma virgin.

And to really fill that Riverdale emptiness, Archie Andrews himself AJ Kappa will be in London. And for another show that my heart belongs to, both Tam siblings from Firefly. Considering how dedicated of a fan base Joss Whedon has, their panel is bound to be a highlight (if not a personal one).

But the con continues to have a little something for everyone. Doctor Who companions Billie Piper and Catherine Tate will both grace London. And if you’re a more classic sci fi fan, Sam Jones (Flash Gordon), Lou Ferrigno (the Hulk) and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura of Star Trek) will all be appearing all weekend.

New this year is the Forbidden Planet’s author corner, which will be hosting some of the UK’s best science fiction and fantasy writers.

MCM London Comic Con will be May 26 to the 28th. Weekend priority tickets are sold out (and Saturday nearly gone). But you can still purchase day tickets here.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is back and we can all breath easy again 

It’s back! 

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, cult favourite TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 is now back and available on Netflix. 

I have to say, as a big fan of the originals (and Rifftrax) I was pretty worried that they they couldn’t pull this off, even with creator Joel Hodgson on board. But after watching the first few episodes since they were made available on April 14th, I’m feeling much more reassured. 

The episodes are good! Hooray! Though I doubt any of the new episodes will crack anyone’s top ten, they certainly have a lot to like. Especially once you get over the more irritating changes (Tom Servo flies, Gypsy has a “normal” voice and Crow’s new body is terrifying). 

For one, it feels modern. And the skits are pretty spot on (certainly much better than the riffing in the early episodes). But things are as silly and nerdy as always. Oh, and the films picked are absolutely hilarious all on their own.

The new cast do a pretty good job, too. Jonah Ray isn’t as easily likeable as previous hosts Hodgson and Mike Nelson, but he does a satisfactory job. I even like Felicia Day in this! I was a bit irritated by decision to cast big names, but it was a decision made to pull in a new audience. And if that means more fans of MST3K, then welcome. 

The premise of the show is hardly changed at all. A man and four robots are stuck on the Satelite of Love in an evil experiment where they’re forced to watch bad movies. Nothing changed here dramatically that could offend fans of the originals. 

It’s a pretty damn good revival. But I’m mostly happy that it’s bringing this show back to the forefront of things. MST3K has always been a niche show, but television today is better than it ever has been for niche. May the future be bright. 

In memory of Mary Tyler Moore

mary-tyler-moore-opening-credits

When I was stranded in Wisconsin during a rather low-point in my life, I had one woman I knew I could turn to: Mary Tyler Moore.

I spent hours sitting in front of my laptop watching episode after episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show being comforted by her smile, her charm and her radicalism.

Mary Tyler Moore has passed away today at the age of 80, and it feels a tiny bit like losing a friend. She was a warm blanket that will live on in her work. I’ll be endlessly grateful for her.

“Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” – Mary Tyler Moore 1936-2017

Happy Christmas from American of London!

Happy Christmas from American of London! Hope you and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday. I’m enjoying my first Christmas with my family in almost four years. Plus, I’m in Texas for the first time ever which means I guess means that I should be saying things like “ya’ll have a merry Christmas now, ya hear?” Or something.

I’m off to a day full of Christmas cookies and translating my husband’s Yorkshire accent into American and turning Wisconsin into “normal words.”

Merry Christmas, all!

MCM Comic Con 16, Day 1: Two Ians, Iron Man in the hands of the Irish and an horrific Italian (almost)

This Friday was the first day of the Autumn MCM Comic Com in London. It was an unusually quiet day for the convention, but there were still some great names from the realm of DC Television to some of Britain’s best indie shows and films. 

But early on in the day were two familiar faces to MCM, Game of Thrones actors, Ian Gelder (Ser Kevan Lannister) and Ian Beattie (Ser Barristan Selmy).

The pair of actors reminisced about their time in set, but mostly spoke about their theories to the ending of the much-loved game-changing series. A bit like watching a pair of fans, but the most charismatic ones you could find.

Beattie noted that the only good thing about not being on the show was not knowing what was coming next for the story. 

As a large fan of the show and the “genius storytelling” that goes on, Beattie mentioned how he had never read the books, which he says he won’t read until series author George R.R. Martin publishes the 6th series or gets near to publishing the series. “I’m not doing Harry Potter again,” said the Northern Irish actor.

But like many of the fans anxious for the next instalment of the series, both Ians agreed that they hoped the book would diverge from the television series, but all ending at the same place with whoever ends up on the Iron Throne. 

Through apologise to Gelder, your dreams of seeing Bron on the throne may be a distant one.

Also at the con was popular Irish author Eoin Colfer talking about his upcoming Marvel novel Iron Man: Gauntlet

Instead of doing a lot of research, Colfer set his YA novel in his familiar setting of Dublin. It was also his way of usurping many of Marvel’s strict rules about what a writer can do with their universe.

The 1980s-fuelled novel serves as a way to look at the iconic Tony Stark character in a way that comics and films can’t. 

Colfer took the time to fill the book with references for 40-year-old dads and small details that fans may not have considered before.

The Artemis Fowl author, whose first love was graphic novels, made sure to include the Mandarin, a character he feels didn’t get justice in the film series.

Iron Man: Gauntlet is now out.

An interesting choice of guest was Italian composer Fabio Frizzi, who unfortunately had delayed flight, was unable to make his panel. 

It was great to get a horror legend at a  London con, even if I was unable to see him. Frizzi is best known for his scores for iconic horror films from Italian horror director Lucio Fulci including Zombi 2, City of the Living Dead and The Beyond. 

Frizzi will playing liveat the Union Chapel on Sautrday the 29th.

A big disappointment was that the convention booklets were printed with the wrong times. Thankfully there were handouts with the correct schedules, but me and my partner in crime, Virginia, we’re not informed – even at the press room. Really shoddy as it completely messed up our schedules. But alas, on to brighter days tomorrow with a (hopefully) correct schedule.

And as Virginia said, “It wouldn’t be MCM if it wasn’t confusing and weird.” 

Lady Killer 2 Issue #1

Art and Story: Joëlle Jones
Colours: Michelle Madsen

Josie Schuller is back, and I haven’t felt this giddy to go to the comic shop in a while.

Lady Killer 2 returns after 2015 successful five-issue run. Joëlle Jones and Jamie S Rich created a great little world for the 60’s housewife/assassin Josie to run around in. It was nominated this year for four Eisner Awards, including best limited run. It was a fun series, despite the fact that I wanted to much more out of the story (if Jones ever wants to revisit Josie’s backstory, please do).

But it’s immediately clear that Jones is trying something a bit different this time around. Things are a lot more personal with Josie. We get to read her thoughts as she begins her venture building a business of her own. Of course that is the business of being a paid assassin.

The Schuller family have made the move from Seattle to the city of Cocoa Beach. Here Jones’ style absolutely pops off the page. The art is filled with the same graphic, bloody imagery of the first series, but within the much more romantic-looking setting of mid-60s Florida. Despite this new setting, Josie is very much up to her old habits (instead of Avon products, she’s switched things up to Tupperware).

Josie meets with her husband’s boss and his wife, and still has her battle with her awful mother-in-law. But she’s a woman of many talents and still achieves being both the perfect wife and assassin. Though Jones manages to throw in some subtle looks of the unrest that’s bound to occur in following issues. Hopefully this means there will be development for Josie as a character as she continues on a much more independent path than the one she had in Seattle.

I’m really excited for Lady Killer 2, and though issue 1 offers some familiar ground, there’s already a taste of how exactly this series is going to develop in a different way going forward. I love Jones and believe in her wholeheartedly. Whatever happens to Josie, it’s going to be fantastic. It’s really great to have these two ladies back.