The Icing On The Cake: Fartlighter’s Frosty Reception On Fridgia

Some Like It Hoth…

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“He is as clumsy as he is stupid!” – Darth Vader. 

Treachery!

In the previous episode, Brad’s stock of cake was stolen by his wicked arch-enemy:

Zegreatme, Dark Overlord of the Zandokan Empire. 

Brad Company set out in their Sentinel-Class Starship: the Calista Blockhead to rebuild their confectionery collection and, perhaps, catch up with that alien toerag. 

On an excursion through the Vairdoyavontit System, Brad sets a course for Fridgia, said to have the largest stockpile of snacks an’ sweeties in the quadrant… 

 

“Are you mad?!” Nacho blurted. “We’re diving into Fridgia!”

“Hell yeah! The underground Ice Palace of Battenberg should have exactly what we need!” Brad wailed excitedly as the Calista began its descent.

“C’mon, Brad, the longer we stay here,” Baz protested as Brad Company strode out of the Calista.“…The further that Zandokan moofmilker is gettin’ away WITH OUR CAKE!” 

“Hundred degrees BELOW on the surface, an’ it’s far too nippy down ‘ere an’ all!” Lexi muttered, rubbing her arms furiously.

“Yeah, me hands are frozen, and I’m starting to get cold feet about this whole idea…” complained Harris. 

“I hear wotcha sayin’, guys, but hey! This is just the tip of the iceberg – there are OODLES MORE cake and sweet stuff here than you can shake a fudge-stick at! Besides, the Administrator ‘ere and I go way back…” Brad reassured them.

“Welcome back, Commander!” Gombeen Goffer, the Administrator of Battenberg announced heartily. “And I see that you’ve brought your famous Company with you – splendid! An’ we have a special surprise lined up just for you!” 

“Cool! Surprises are the most delicious!” Brad enthused. “Cheers, me ol’ mucker!” 

They walked into an elaborate dining room. A familiar feckwit was standing at the far end of the table. 

“Ve vood be honouraird eef you vood join uz!” 

In an instant, a battalion of Zandokan Shokk Troopers dressed in brilliant white Snowtrooper gear burst out from all sides, their Particle Accelerator Lances and Shock Pulsar Rays locked onto each member of Brad Company. 

“Don’t tell me,” Lexi moaned. “They want us to freeze…”

Gombeen mumbled pathetically: “I had no choice. They arrived right before you did. I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry too, Twitface… Ya really know how to ruin a dude’s appetite, don’tcha, fella?”

“No, really. Don’t give me that cold stare…”

“ZO!” cried their contemptible host. “You tried to fool Zegreatme!” 

“Well, bless my blancmange… We fell right into this one…”

“Vell, vell! Vot a zmall galaxy! Bredfort “Bricks” Burrito Fertlittair in ze fleursh!” 

“Fert…littair…?!” Nacho wondered

“Yez, Fertlittair! Too lonk hef ve treffelled ze spazwayz lookeenk fur ze lejendry Battlefurce Cammandair-turned-bloggair, en’ now: VE HEF YOU! HA! In ze coldest sectair of ze galaxy as vell – how apt, ner?” 

“I would say it’s ice to see ya again, Zeggy-baby, but I think I’ll save the awful puns for yer awful self…” 

“How conzideret urv yur- VOT?! ENNUV!” 

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“Impossible man…” – C-3PO. 

“Okey-dokey, me hearties, grab a seat!” Brad enthused, eyeing the vast sweet spread laid out before them. “‘Ere ya go, Lexi; you can sit here, pet;  Harris, Crow: over there; Baz, you can sit there, so when I give the word, pass over that mean-looking gateaux right there. And Nach, you can sit here, next ta me. This is ace – ” 

“Vot… air you DOEENK?!” the Zandokan Overlord blurted in astonishment. “Two-duzzen gurns trenned on you and ull you ken theenk about is KEK?!”

“Wha-?! Who said that?” Brad cried in alarm, glancing over both shoulders. He caught sight of the Zandokan gawping straight at him. 

“Uff… Ha ha! Oh Zeggy, I forgot you were still here,” he chortled to himself.

“URNBELEEVIBBEL!” Zegreatme stormed, shaking his head in sheer disbelief. “Let mee tell you, zunjine: eet ees urnwaz to murk a high-wankeeng membair of ze GRET ZANDOKAN EMPAH! Ah vill hef to teech you a less-” 

“What the deuce is this?!” Brad blurted abruptly.

A mandroid had just appeared at Brad’s side, a serviette draped over its chromium arm.

“Oh, this is E8sU-Fur-Q, my server-droid,” Gombeen chipped in. “He can get you any refreshment you like…” 

“Hey, tha’s cool! Er, White Russian, if you please. Wiv some ice… if ya can spare it…” 

“ENNUV!” 

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“You certainly have a way with people…” – Princess Leia.  

“-And then the Cardassian turned to me and said: ‘You keep jigglin’ that thing around an’ it’ll fall off-!'”

“Ehr… Bred…?”

“An’ another thing: how come you can never peel off the top strip of a Venusian Fudge Sundae without it falling onto your-

“BRED! Stop talkeeng amongst yerselves ven Ay em talkeeng down to you!” the Zandokan Overlord hollered. Ze tai-eem fer furn an’ gehrms ees OFAIR! Fridgia hes fallen to ze Zandokan Empah en’ you en’ your steenkeeng Compeny vill – undair ze tairms of Zandokan Law – all be zentenzt to DEAF! All ve hef to do is poot all off you out onto ze zurface of thees wretched planet, heh heh heh…”

“Uff!” Harris seethed. “Why you cold-hearted sonnuva-”

“ENNUV! Let me zay: Ay veel not meess eny uff you at all-!” 

“Hey, Zeggy!” Brad chipped in. “Chill out, man. Sit down; have a popsicle-“

“ENNUV!” Zegreatme stormed around the table, his intimidating cloak swishing around his shins as he strode. He leered into the face of the former Battleforce Commander with an icy stare.

“Ha, ze gehrm is urp, Bred! Thair ees NOVAIR left in thees galaxy fer you to rurn! There ees NER EZCAPE! Reziztenz ees footile! No longair must ve hef to tolerate you en’ your fleepant wun-linerz! You vill find that ner mattair vair you en’ yair accur-zed Company gur, the unstoppabell MEHRT of ze Zandokan Empah eez NERT to be trifelt wit!” 

“Ooh, Blimey Charley! Ya got trifle as well?! Goody gumdrops, what flavour?” 

ENNUV!” 

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TO BE THAWED OUT CONTINUED… 

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“Must Go Faster, Must Go Faster!”: Go, Go, Goldblum!

Without Jeff Goldblum, Fending Off Aliens And Dinosaurs Would Be So Darned Difficult…

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“You’ll have to get used to Dr. Malcolm…” – John Hammond. 

Possibly the most intriguing news about next year’s Thor: Ragnarok is that En Dwi Gast (the Grandmaster) will be played by Jeff Goldblum. While that actor/movie icon reprises his role in of David Levinson in Independence Day: Resurgence currently showing in cinemas (goodness knows why), we gotta do a Post on this guy, considering the colossal contribution he has made to SF cinema.

Watch any of his quirky characters – usually “either an intellectual of some sort or an eccentric or both” – and it’s easy to see why he holds a reserved place in the Bradscribe Hall of Fame. 

There is something about Jeff and aliens: he assisted top surgeon/rock star/sci-fi hero Buckaroo Banzai in thwarting an alien invasion; he fought a “more substantial” alien invasion with a computer virus in the original Independence Day; has utilised alien technology to bolster Earth’s defences when the aliens return in Independence Day: Resurgencebecame a victim of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers; and actually played one in Earth Girls Are Easy, cavorting around in blue-skinned body-paint long before Avatar came along. 

He is a fave in this sector of tke blogosphere primarily for injecting his oddball personality into would-be-banal characters. Apart from quite an impressive list of movies, he is a swell pianist, and can wriggle his ears ONE AT A TIME.

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“The rest of the world is trying to change people to fit the world. I’m trying to change the world to fit people” – Jack Bellicec. 

Jeff Goldblum’s first immersion into the realm of science fiction was in the 1978 remake of that paranoid infiltration chiller: Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Jack Bellicec and Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) make the shocking discovery that spaceborne pods are linked to the startling emergence of emotionless sots roaming around town.

He was ideal to appear in the oddball cult classic: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai In The Eighth Dimension (1984) in which he spent the entire running time in cowboy clobber (don’t ask). Along with his ever-reliable band of hombres: the Hong Kong Cavaliers, Buckaroo Banzai gets caught up in the galactic altercation between the malevolent red aliens and good black aliens from Planet 10. 

Once this endearing slice of schlock and awe comes to an unwanted end, so the greatest end titles sequence in movie history unfolds. The best bit is captured in this gif (below), but you can catch the whole scene right here:

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“I’ve come here to say one magic word to you: cheeseburger!” – Seth Brundle. 

Like many fans, my first encounter with the legend that is Jeff Goldblum came in The Fly (1986). Probably the second-greatest remake ever made, it charts the regression of crazy-eyed scientist Seth Brundle as he gradually – and gruesomely – transforms into the half-man-half-insect abomination of Brundlefly. 

He did not wriggle his ears, but one of them did fall off during his regeneration.

In the almost-forgotten Earth Girls Are Easy (1988) his co-star from The Fly: Geena Davis appeared with him again, as a California gal who discovers three furry aliens in her swimming pool. 

Crazy…

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Run, Malcolm, run!
Run, Malcolm, run!

“Yeah, but, John, if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists” – Dr. Malcolm. 

Now we come to perhaps Goldblum’s most iconic role: the all-black-clad expert on chaos: Dr. Ian Malcolm from the gargantuan blockbuster that was Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993). Here, the actor consolidated his reputation for playing eccentric intellectuals. Also, he is one of the very few movie stars to have been chased by a T Rex. (Does he have that on his CV?!)

One of the most thrilling scenes is when the tour jeep is pursued by the rampaging carnivore. Dr. Malcolm amusingly yells: “Must Go Faster, Must Go Faster!”

He went on to be the central lead in the somewhat inferior sequel: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), but it is the ’93 movie for which he will be most fondly associated. Arguably, Malcolm had all the best lines and this scene especially is one of the classic moments in SF cinema, and just had to be included here:

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“Hey, take a look at the Earthlings. Goodbye!” – David Levinson.  

Watching Independence Day back in 1996 was an infuriating experience. In the mood for a big alien invasion flick, this seemed to be the one to catch. The trailer looked really good, but the whole movie itself turned out to be SO DUMB, it’s almost an insult to the whole genre.

Anyway, Goldblum’s input was enough to prevent me from storming out of the auditorium. The climactic escape from the alien mothership was interesting though; one of the most enduring stories in Hollywood is that Spielberg himself was reportedly mightily dischuffed when Goldblum repeated that exact same exclamation:  “Must Go Faster, Must Go Faster!”

One distinction of Goldblum’s characters is how SICK they are, not so much awesome – yes, they are that – but they are all prone to illness: in The Right Stuff (1984) he played a quirky NASA boffin who suffers from seasickness; in The Fly (1986) he played a quirky scientist who suffers from motion sickness (hence the invention of the teleporter); and in Independence Day he played a quirky, eco-sensitive maths genius who suffers from airsickness.

In Jurassic Park, his quirky chaos theorist gets his leg broken, but is probably sick of that wretched T Rex chasing him…

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“They made soup out of my research turtles…” – Alistair Hennessey.

Lately, on a non-SF level, his contribution to the Wes Anderson filmography is particularly commendable, appearing in the nautically funny Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004) as gay oceanographer Alistair Hennessey.

As homage to Buckaroo Banzai’s end credits, Anderson recreated the sequence at the end of Life Aquatic; as Goldblum starred in the movie, so he got to be part of it – amazingly, he was involved in BOTH! 

In 2014’s (Eastern) Europeanly funny Grand Budapest Hotel, he appeared as the almost-unrecognisable-but-familiar-sounding Deputy Kovacs (raising extra mirth by doing nothing to hide his American accent for a decidedly non-American role).

Whatever eccentric performance he delivers, we simply can’t get enough of Jeff – he’s ‘blumin’ marvellous. 

And there was no way we were going to let THIS Golden Goldblum Moment slip by:

“I’ve been lucky. And thank goodness the [sci-fi films] I’ve done have been good movies. I feel like some kind of lucky star has, for now, shone on me” – Jeff Goldblum.

Now that we’ve made it to the end of this Post, what better way to sign off than with a message from Dr Malcolm himself: 

“That is one big pile of shit…” – Dr. Malcolm. 

Cakecharmer!: The Adventures Of Brad Fartlighter

MAKE CAKE NOT WAR!

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“He is the fool saint,

The golden stranger living forever

On the edge of reason.

Let your guard fall and he is there!” – The Ghola’s Hymn.  

“Damn your circuits, Nacho!” Major Spoiler seethed. “Where is that bounder named Brad?!”  

The megalomaniac way in which the officer’s bulbous head wobbled like that as he barked informed the clueless fearless troupe: Brad Company that somethin’ serious was brewin’.

And it wasn’t Brad’s Earl Grey…

“He is right here-“

“Then bring on that renegade Battleforce Commander, curse you!” the officer thundered.

“Give him time, sir. He broke a leg running through a comcam vector and has been in a rotten mood ever since we left orbit, so-”

“No biog, Nacho – just put him on…”  

The Commander hobbled forward: “Yo, Big Ears! How ya doin’?” Brad chirped.

“Harrumph. Impudent to the last…”

“Yeah, well, whatcha want? The burrito is getting cold and I’d much rather spend more time with that, know wha’ I mean-?”

“The Zandokans are back in your sector! We need you now, more than ever – the way you led the Resistance and drove five divisions of Zandokan Shokk Troopers off Marsbar was… exceptional-” 

“Only ‘cos those dozy ‘tards knocked me cake onto the floor…” 

“Don’t be so… so self-effacing, Commander. You’ve got to take this job. You see… you really don’t have a choice in the matter. May I remind you that the cred-count for you bozos has tripled since our last vid-conf. And let me tell you: the Calista Blockhead is a top-of-the-line Sentinel-Class Starship which you stole and-“

“Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Let’s get something straight here, fella – when yours truly puts in a request for something, your desksuckers turn me down! If I don’t take it, I don’t get anywhere; I’m a Commander – I commandeer things, simple as, DAMMIT…”

“Hmm,” the self-righteous turniphead growled. “That’s your… philosophy is it?”

“Yo momma…” 

“Ahem. We could take away your commission…” 

“Ha, try it coochie-coo. Just try…” 

“Now listen here, Commander. I have just about had enough-” 

“Sweet, me too! Shut him off, Lex…”

And with that, the amazing Lexi flicked the monitor off. The renegades were left in silence once more.

“He needs you,” Lexi purred sarcastically. “He needs the famous Brad-“

“Yeah, well. Who doesn’t, lov? Now that’s done, let’s see where we can go… Okey-dokey, help me over to the nav-console, Nach.”

“Yo, you got it, boss! Er, which is your jammy leg? Is it that one?” 

“IT’S THE ONE WITH THE PLASTER CAST, EEE YA DOZY HA’P’ORTH! For goodness sake! Flamin’ Nora…”

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“Brad is a real man’s man” – Angelina Jolie.  

The pips on Lexi’s console started bleeping far too regularly for comfort. 

“Don’t tell me…” Brad face-palmed. “That’s who I think it is… is’nit?”

“Yep,” she muttered reluctantly. “A Zandokan K8-Class battle-cruiser de-cloaking off the starboard bow.”

“Nuts… I TOLD you not to tell me…” 

“Er, Commander…” Lexi gulped. “They’re hailin’.” 

“Bummer- fine, put ’em on the screen…” Brad groaned.  

Sure enough, Brad’s arch-nemesis: Zegreatme filled out the screen, smug and supercilious as always:

“Look how old you’ve become…”

“It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage-“

“D****d inzolent c*r, Bred! Ve should haf conzigned you to ze stazziz toobs on Altair IV vhen ve hed ze chence!”  

“Yeah well, sorry ta disappoint’cha, fella, but th-“

“ENNUV, Bred! Your kek-guzzleeng days air ovair! By ze vay… how is ze leg…? Air could get zum of meh agents to admineestair a CLEEN BREK to your uddair leg. Zhen, Cammandair, you vould attain vot hes alluded you yer whole life: conseestency, heh heh heh…!  

“Damn you, you Zandokan moof-milker! Tell me, Zeggy, why are you Zandokans so-” 

“ZYLENZ! En’ leesen! We eemplore you, for the oompteenth tai-eem, Cammandairdo NOT get embroieelled in Zandokan matterzzz-” 

“Blimey Charley, this is the livin’ end. Shut ‘im off, Lex,” Brad seethed.

In that moment, Ensign Crow Magnon yelled: “TORPEDOES COMIN’ IN!”

“SHIELDS UP!” Brad blurted.

He grabbed the Com as a piercing red light shot across the main monitor. The blast shook the Bridge. Chief Engineer Harris Wrench yelped as his quesadillas fell onto the floor.

A wicked Zandokan chortle erupted on the main audio channel.

“Heh heh heh, zat vill teach you to sweetch me urf in meed-sentenz, Bred-fool! Ehr… juzt one more theeng: our Empeerial Tractair Beeem haz juzt confeescated ALL YOUR KEK! Zo long, zuckairs, HA!”

In a flash, the Zandokan ship blasted off into hyperspace. 

“Jeez, Brad…” Lexi cried, glaring at her console in alarm. “He’s right! They’ve seized ALL OUR CAKE from the storage units-”

“Argh! Why, I oughtta… oof; that does it! Set a course for the Wotatease System; cake- (sorry) make OUR jump to hyperspace!” 

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“Brad is only getting more handsome with age. He also bears a striking resemblance to the iconic Robert Redford…” – Entertainment Weekly. 

“Eef you vont zees job done properly, Major…” Baal Maag, the top Zandokan assassin, growled through the vid-comf monitor: “you should tell me more about zees renegade cammandair-turned-bloggair…”

“Very well,” Spoiler spouted, contemplating the traits that best defined the man. And then he realised the sheer immensity of his task: the cake, the burritos, the kebabs, the katsu curries, the beef and jalapeno bake; not to mention the dakgalbi, and bibimbap buffet, the copious cups of tea, and yet more oodles of scrumptious cake…

“Oh Lord… where do I begin…?” 

Meanwhile, just outside the Yuhafbinhad Nebula… 

In the Calista’s cafeteria, the cool-as-fudge Terran Commander was waiting for his tea to brew.

“Come on, damn you. Come ON!”

While those Zandokan feckwits were streaking ever further away across the galaxy – with Brad’s cake, don’t forget! – Brad Company had HAD to beam aboard the Ambassador of Wahtalaf. Initially, Brad had baulked at such a costly diversion, until Lexi reminded him that here, some of the finest confectionery this side of the Oort Cloud could be obtained… 

“First things first, Your Excellency: howsaboutta cuppa tea?” 

“Let’s not concern ourselves with that just now. It’s a long and complicated operation-“

“What?! To make tea? Come, come, fella, there’s really nothin’ to itit’s a piece of cake- HA!” 

“No, I mean the operation we want you and your band to undertake. PLEASE, Brad, you ARE the celebrated Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger; Scourge of the Necroscoffers of Nippleheim. Can we count on you to incite rebellion among the Screwheads of Shakatak? Force them to overthrow the Flaccid Empire of Scrotum IV and restore freedom and ping pong balls to the galaxy?! Eh, Commander…? What say you?!” 

“Do you take milk and sugar?”

to be continued...

Questions! Nominations!: Look, It’s Liebster Awards Time Again!!

Thank You To Michael J. Miller @ mycomicrelief AND Vickanddrea @ anerdynook For My Latest Liebster Awards!

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“The man who has no imagination has no wings” – Muhammad Ali.

Well, bless my crossguard lightsabre! 

It’s been several months now since my last Liebster Award. Just when it seemed like the popularity of this blog was waning, and Stats plummeting irretrievably, so then TWO Noms come through in a matter of days! 

So, this blogger must be doing something right…

Here, Michael’s questions were received and worked out first; don’t feel bad about that, Vick and Drea – holding your good judgment in equal esteem! 

Just having come through a difficult, physically and mentally draining couple of months, this news gives me – and especially my writing – a positive BOOST. 

MANY THANKS.

Here is the obligatory Liebster logo:

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“Awards are lovely and always welcome” – Max von Sydow.

As usual, this Liebster Award Post works like this:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated them.
  • Answer the 11 questions they give you.
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers yourself
  • Provide those bloggers with 11 questions of your own for them to answer.

 

Now, those answers you’ve been patiently waiting for: 

1)  What is one of your earliest/happiest book-related (be it comic or otherwise) memories?

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“I thought it was a bit too quiet in this place, Boots. Here come the guard-dogs and I don’t like the look of their teeth” – Rory Pricer. 

The answer to this first question was planned as a separate Post, but because it was a life-changing event of a book, we might as well talk about it here:

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The Space Warriors, by Stewart Cowley, published in 1980 (and most likely bought that same year) did more than any other to spark my initial – and lifelong – interest in all-things-SF. It’s not just a tale about ‘Boots’ Walker and Rory Pricer of the Federal Security Force and their scrapes with the sinister alien: Phantor Gorth, but a compilation of the most stunning ’70s SF art, the majority of which was produced by the incomparable Eddie Jones. 

If books should function as portals of wonder for overactive infant minds, then The Space Warriors certainly did the trick for me!

2)  Is there an author you’ve found whose work resonates deeply with you? 

Fortunately, there has been a considerable pantheon of inspirational authors in my life, such as Pat Mills, H.P. Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury (hey! another swell writer named Brad), and Arthur C. Clarke to name but a few. All of these produced work that “resonates deeply” with me – difficult to name just one. 

3)  What is the point of literature (again, comic and/or otherwise) in your life?  What do you get from reading?

To escape, to broaden my vocab and/or to just catch up with the classics by some of the most creative individuals to ever pick up a pen/pummel a keyboard.

4)  Why is your blog focused on the topics you’ve chosen?  If you can write about anything, why this?

Science fiction seems quite an obvious choice with which to concentrate my blog. In recent years, whilst working abroad, this particular interest had to be pushed to the back of my mind. Even when first setting out this blog, it took a few Posts before settling on SF as my main focus.

5)  Do you hold yourself to any sort of schedule as a writer (for example, you must write a little every day or do a post every week) or do you just write when you feel so moved?  Why is this your chosen path?

A new Post should average every 4-5 days; at least, that was the plan, but you know, there are times – such as these particularly gruelling last few months – when other things get in the way.

But this is my chosen path simply because creativity can be quite therapeutic. 

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6)  What role do you think illustrations play (as always, speaking in regard to comic books specifically or other forms of literature as well) in telling a story?

A very important role! Illustrations are integral to the overall look and attraction to the reader. A keen – yet out of practice – artist myself, how the covers of my novels will look depends greatly on what masterpiece MY imagination can concoct.

Look at any number of How To Blog articles and they will always state that blogs with illos have higher chances of pulling in more readers. (Notice how illos have been liberally sprinkled throughout this Post to help break up the tedium of this text).

7)  Name one story (however you’d like to define that term) that’s been important to your life and discuss why.

Just one? 

Well, that topic is already reserved for a separate forthcoming Post, but as a clue, it features a superhero who has already appeared in two of his own movies… 

8)  Name one character you’ve encountered that’s been particularly important to you and discuss why.

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The Doctor: “I’ll try and translate the joke for you if you like, Ironicus. You see, these three aliens walk into a bar and the first alien says-” 

General Ironicus: “Silence! You may not speak to me! My light is not on!”  

The Doctor: “Ah, you’ve heard it before!” 

Magog immediately springs to mind.

My all-time fave Doctor Who story never appeared on TV, but in the first eight issues of Dr Who Weekly, launched in 1979.

Doctor Who and the Iron Legion featured the frightening alternate scenario of a Roman Empire that never fell, but instead went on to conquer the galaxy. (You can find out more about it here). With a script by Pat Mills and John Wagner, and art by Dave Gibbons, at such a tender age it latched on to my burgeoning interests in science fiction and Ancient Roman history and influenced me like nothing else. 

But the introduction of Magog – the most foul member of that fearsome race: the Malevilus – had such a profound effect on me. Establishing himself as a god, he advanced the technology of the Roman Empire, and could take on the forms of other beings, as well as twist their minds. 

So much potential, but he was prematurely zapped into an empty dimension far too conveniently. After a “redesign” he became my property. No less than five novellas were produced, expanding and improving this intriguing character.

Will have to get them out for Christmas… 

9)  I’ve always felt that writing is important.  But, given the many, many options for sharing your thoughts and opinions in the Internet age, why do you write as opposed to vlogging or simply tweeting or sharing music or any of the other options out there?

Agreed, writing IS important. 

It’s a skill/job/pastime performed long before this “Internet Age” set off. Dunno how to vlog (yet). And tweeting? Restricted by the number of characters you can use? Uff, where’s the fun in that? 

Besides, writing novels, or scripts, is more challenging as it involves producing something really distinct and creative, and will (should) make a difference. To read some of my forays into fiction, see here, or here.

10)  Has there been anything challenging about blogging since you’ve started writing for an online audience?

Trying to create content that will be consistently popular. It’s great to learn that a new Follower has clambered aboard, but trying to encourage them to leave Likes and Comments – and on a regular basisis a challenge in itself.

On a technical level, loading vids/gifs could only be accomplished by switching to a different Theme. Some gifs present problems (i.e. ‘they can load, but don’t move’ being the most recurrent bamboozler).

11)  Lastly, what have you found to be the most rewarding part of blogging since you began your writing venture?

Undoubtedly, meeting other like-minded bloggers and reading their (re)views!

Such a talented bunch here in the blogosphere – my only regret is not working it out and getting online much sooner!

*

Without further ado (Yay! Always wanted to type that), here are my 11 Nominees:

1.bookwormsandbaking

2.boxofficebuzz

3.filmgrimoire

4.onceuponatime

5.parlorofhorror

6.precinct1313

7.recoverytowellness

8.scifijubilee

9.scrollsabound

10.thecourseofevents

11.wordsforeverything

And now, my lovelies, time to reveal those questions you’re just itchin’ to answer!

voight-kampff

“They’re just questions, Leon. In answer to your query they’re written down for me. It’s a test, designed to provoke an emotional response… Shall we continue?” – Holden. 

i. Which novel/comic first inspired you to take up writing?

2. Which novel/comic book character should get his/her own movie?

3. What’s your favourite word?

4. Who is your favourite villain, and why?

5. What is the single GREATEST scene in science fiction movie history?

6. If you could invite 3 famous people to dinner, who would you choose?

7. Absolutely DREAD the prospect of Blade Runner 2! Which sequel/remake do you NOT wish to see?!

8. Which book do you wish you had written?

9. What will be the next book you want to buy?

10. What aspect about writing/blogging do you enjoy the most?

11. How is it that this blogger can EAT SO MUCH CAKE and STILL be a perfect example of hunky manliness?

Looking forward to reading your answers!

Cheers!

eddie jones

“Phantor Gorth’s cruiser drifted a short distance away from the station, and Boots edged closer. A figure appeared in the open bay door and the Commander snapped off a quick shot but missed as the alien ducked back inside.” 

The Land That 20th Century Fox Forgot: The Uncanny X-Men In The Savage Land!

At The Bottom Of The World. The Coldest And Most Remote Place On Earth.

Yet There Is A Hot Prehistoric Jungle. Where Time Stopped Tens Of Millions Of Years Ago.

Where The Dinosaurs Still Roam…

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“STOP! Release my friend: Karl Lykos, costumed one, or face the wrath of Ka-Zar, Lord of the Savage Land!” – Ka-Zar.

“This guy owes me, Blondie… but since he’s your buddy, I’ll be glad to take on you an’ your pussycat, too” – Wolverine. 

Although X-Men: Apocalypse sadly failed to deliver the goods for me as hoped, nevertheless my penchant for Prof Xavier’s team remains undimmed– so another mutant Post had to be done.  

My introduction to Prof Xavier’s team stems back to 1987/88, when Classic X-Men reprinted stories that originally appeared in 1978, added extra pages of art, and included new bonus stories illustrated by the incomparable John Bolton! 

What an introduction! 

The X-Men’s adventures in the Savage Land – a spellbinding land that would look absolutely sensational if it ever reached the big screen – became an instant, mesmerising hit with me.

Writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne swiftly became my fave creative duo, delivering all the amazing mutant thrill-power one could eat. In fact, their awesome partnership made me seek out some of their other works. 

The concept of a lost world in Antarctica looked especially intriguing; as a kid, one of my fave fantasy films was The Land That Time Forgot (1974), starring the irrepressible Doug McClure, in which a First World War U-Boat inadvertently surfaces in Caprona, a primordial land located deep within – yes! – Antarctica. Although the indigenous name for the “Savage Land” is never given in the comics, part of me will always fondly accept this as Caprona.

Classic X-Men #21 was sheer class, and – by the wonders of the worldwide web – here is the cover:

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“Mortal, in attacking me, you have sown the wind. Now shall you reap the whirlwind! I am the personification of forces that were ancient before your race was born! I have seen death and suffering enough to make God himself despair” – Garokk. 

The Savage Land has played a vital, recurring role in the X-Men comics universe. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, it made its first appearance way back in X-Men #10, March 1965.

My introduction to this land that time forgot came with Classic X-Men #20. Having escaped the Antarctic lair of their arch-foe: Magneto, the tired and weary X-Men – mistakenly believing that Jean Grey and Hank McCoy are dead – seek sanctuary in this secret paradise. There they have to do battle with the evil Pterosaur-Man: Sauron. 

Classic X-Men #21, (a reprint of The Uncanny X-Men #115 (Nov 1978), was essentially an intriguing ecological sci-fantasy fable. Sauron, defeated, reverts to his human persona: Karl Lykoswho relates the tale of discovering the Savage Land. No sooner had he “become one with the land,” he stumbled upon a temple wherein the High Priestess: Zaladane was initiating a ritual to secure the resurrection of the Petrified Man – the living embodiment of Garokk, the Sun God. This powerful ancient being, craved control over this primordial enclave, and through slave labour, constructed a fabulous metropolis for himself.

“Somehow though, the city upset the delicate ecological balance that, throughout the aeons, had kept the Antarctic icecap at bay. Now, for the first time, the Savage Land knows Winter.”

Having met Ka-Zar – the Savage Land’s version of Tarzan – they unite the tribes of the Savage Land in a desperate struggle to oppose the oppression of  Garokk – the Petrified Man. 

Cue magnificent aerial combat: Garokk’s Slave Army riding on Pterosaurs, while Ka-Zar and Karl lead the attack on the city atop their flying sharks.

…Flying sharks?!

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“This place reminds me of my home in Africa…” – Storm. 

Considering what a major fixture the Savage Land is, it only seems logical that a future X-Men big screen outing should feature this magical location. Will this green jungle ever emanate from a green screen?  

Come on: mutant superheroes and dinosaurs in the same movie(!) — now there’s a blockbuster worth watching! Who WOULDN’T pay to watch an X-Men/Jurassic World mash-up?! 

So, what are the chances of an X-Men movie like that being produced?

First of all, it would have to be determined whether either Fox or Marvel actually “own” the Savage Land, and then, in separate interviews, X-Men insiders have, annoyingly, been decidedly cagey about how much – if anything – they can reveal.

Garokk in particular would present a fantastic opportunity for Andy Serkis: Motion Capture King to weave his special magic… 

Interestingly, the bonus story of Classic X-Men #21: First Love told how Colossus found the love of his life: a member of the hunter-gathering Fall People named Nereel by saving her from a rampaging T Rex.

This stunning artwork by John Bolton (below) just had to be added here:

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“Back home, even at the height of our Siberian summers, I never sweated as much as this… All this greenery. So unlike the Rodina, my Motherland” – Colossus. 

Strangely enough, not just the X-Men have had adventures in the Savage Land. 

Even Spider-Man got tangled up in this jungle, going in search of Gwen Stacey who had been kidnapped by Kraven The Hunter. 

In The New Avengers, it was suggested that S.H.I.E.L.D. operated in the Savage Land mining vibranium, utilising various tribes as slave labour. Naturally this is classified information, of course; the mine was obliterated by a missile-strike from the Avengers’ Helicarrier. The Avengers survived by a force field energised by Iron Man. 

And in The Avengers vs. X-Men (Yes folks! There IS such a storyline!) Gambit fought Captain America in the Savage Land.

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“Be proud, mutant! Your power will make Sauron invincible!” – Sauron. 

Mostly, 1988 was quite a crap year (pop music turned awful; nothing worth watching at the cinema the whole year(!); and school sucked big time), so the discovery of Classic X-Men could not have come at a better time. 

The work of Claremont and Byrne provided quality fantasy fare in which to escape; those were difficult times which made me wish that something could teleport me away to the Savage Land. 

Let me have fought dinosaurs instead of those teenage problems any day. 

Surviving in the jungle dressed in that classic pulp way: a pair of sturdy boots, some clean undies and a utility belt, armed with an impressive array of primitive weapons, Brad would be in his element.

Why, my pulsating pecs alone should ward off even the most curious raptor…

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“Eventually, I reached the Savage Land. In a strange way, I felt like I had come home. Over the months that followed, my wounds – physical and mental – healed…” – Karl Lykos.  

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