Movie Review: ‘Root Hog or Die: A Film About John Porcellino and King-Cat Comics’

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We learn a lot from Dan Stafford’s documentary on cartoonist John Porcellino. “Root Hog or Die” provides us with some basic truths that resonate as we explore the life of someone both unique and, by his own account, just an average guy trying to make a life. The whole point here is to embrace the average. As Porcellino states at one point, he’s concerned to see an erosion of “the middle ground, when a person can live without an elaborate ambition and yet not be sleeping by some dumpster.”

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Filed under Alternative Comics, Comics, Comix, Documentaries, Drawn and Quarterly, Independent Comics, Indie, John Porecellino, King-Cat Comics and Stories, Movie Reviews, movies, Underground Comics

SEA/PDX: Welcome to Popland

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Filed under 24 Hour Comics, Comics, Henry Chamberlain, Hotel Max, Max at Hotel Max Comics, SAM, SEA/PDX, Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Webcomics

Book Launch at Sorrento Hotel for ‘A Night at the Sorrento and Other Stories’

David Lasky and Henry Chamberlain enjoy a hearty laugh at the Sorrento Hotel, 8 November 2014. What was so funny? Perhaps it was Henry's best joke ever!

David Lasky and Henry Chamberlain enjoy a hearty laugh at the Sorrento Hotel, 8 November 2014. What was so funny? Perhaps it was Henry’s best joke ever!

Let the word go out, loud and clear, that the graphic novel, “A Night at the Sorrento and Other Stories” has officially launched! There was an intimate gathering at the Sorrento Hotel in Seattle, this Saturday, November 8, to celebrate the launch of Henry Chamberlain’s new book, a collection of some of his best work in comics. Do you like scary stories? Apparently many of you out there do. Well, this book has got you covered. Perhaps you like humor? Or a tour de force coming-of-age tale. Again, you’re covered. Covered. Covered. Covered. This book is your best bet as a gift for the holidays! Get it here.

Henry Chamberlain with a copy of A Night at the Sorrento and Other Stories at the Sorrento Hotel

Henry Chamberlain with a copy of A Night at the Sorrento and Other Stories at the Sorrento Hotel.

The Sorrento Hotel is truly a unique destination. If you’re staying the night, you are in for a treat. But, you can also stop by for an exceptional cocktail, fine dining, and some excellent pastimes, such as live music in the legendary Fireside Room. It was my pleasure to act as host as some friends gathered to help me launch my new book.

It is only fitting to have a book launch at the Sorrento Hotel as this is the setting for the title story in the book. I created this story when I stayed at the Sorrento Hotel to conduct one of my 24-hour comics experiments. The story that resulted is a spooky little gem involving a couple with supernatural abilities and a lot of issues to resolve. Since then, I have come to rely upon the Sorrento as an old friend that you can always trust to serve you well.

Pat Moriarity and Henry Chamberlain at the Sorrento Hotel, 8 November 2014.

Pat Moriarity and Henry Chamberlain at the Sorrento Hotel, 8 November 2014.

Truth be told, creating a work is only half the battle. The other half is promoting the work. Often, the biggest hurdle to jump is competing with all the distractions of life. And the most important thing to always remember is that the book’s creator must always remain that book’s most steadfast and loyal fan. People will come around. If the book is worth it, well, its creator will have never left its side.
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Filed under Alternative Comics, Comics, Comix, David Lasky, graphic novels, Henry Chamberlain, Independent Comics, Indie, Pat Moriarity, Seattle, Sorrento Hotel

Review: ‘Moonhead and the Music Machine,’ published by Nobrow Press, by Andrew Rae

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The opening scene in “Moonhead and the Music Machine,” Andrew Rae‘s new graphic novel, reminds me of a short story by P.G. Wodehouse about a boy who struggles with always being late for breakfast at his boarding school. Too bad he couldn’t have used such an excuse as having a moon for a head. However, Joey, our main character in this fabulous work of comics does have a moon for a head! The panels with Joey’s moonhead catching some more winks while his body trudges off to high school is pure comics magic. It turns out that Joey can tune out the world at will and have an out-of-body experience any time he likes. This might have been a bit too much for Wodehouse to process in his day but he probably would have approved.

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Filed under Andrew Rae, Comics, Graphic Novel Reviews, graphic novels, Nobrow Press

Review: GHOST STALKERS: ‘Holmesburg Prison,’ tonight, November 6, THURSDAYS at 10/9c on Destination America

Holmesburg Prison, Philadelphia, Terror Dome (1896-1995)

Holmesburg Prison, Philadelphia, Terror Dome (1896-1995)

“Ghost Stalkers,” now on Thursdays on Destination America, proves to be classic-worthy with its visit to the infamous Holmesburg Prison. We can speculate from now until sunrise, but what this show does well, it does very well. The chemistry between John E.L. Tenney and Chad Lindberg carries over smoothly with each new mission. The paranormal activity spikes with their visit to the abandoned Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia. They confront spirits and they confront back.

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Filed under Destination America, Ghost Stalkers, Reality TV, Television

Graphic Novel Review: Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang’s IN REAL LIFE

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“In Real Life” is one of this year’s most intriguing graphic novels as it raises questions not asked often enough. A New York Times bestselling graphic novel written by Cory Doctorow and drawn by Jen Wang, it is the story of Anda, a gamer, who discovers a black market system through the friendship she makes with, Raymond, a poor boy in China. The focus is on what exploited people must do in order to survive and what can be done to help them rise up and out of their circumstances. But it’s also about the avatars we use to hide from the world. As is clearly depicted here, Anda has problems with the real world and her place in it.

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Filed under Comics, Cory Doctorow, First Second, Games, Geek Culture, Graphic Novel Reviews, graphic novels, Jen Wang, Orbital Comics

Review: THE GHOST FLEET #1

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I love a comic that takes the time to introduce a scene from the Battle of New Orleans, suggest some supernatural thing going on with Andrew Jackson and then quickly keep moving. We learn that General Andrew Jackson struck a deal with a pirate, Jean Lafitte, and that saved him from being captured by the Brits. In the process, he learned everything he needed to know in order to build his own ghost fleet! “The Ghost Fleet” is a fine example of how comics can always surprise you. I am coming away very impressed with this one.

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Filed under Action, Comics, Comics Reviews, Dark Horse Comics, Horror

SEA/PDX: Max and Lucia and Portals

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Filed under Henry Chamberlain, Max at Hotel Max Comics, SEA/PDX

Review: GHOST STALKERS: ‘The Old Taylor Memorial Hospital,’ Sunday, November 2, on Destination America

Chad Lindberg and John E.L. Tenney from GHOST STALKERS

Chad Lindberg and John E.L. Tenney from GHOST STALKERS

I love me some good ghostbustin’ TV action. If I’m going to commit some sit down time, I’m really hoping for a good effort with credible jargon and gadgets and true-believers as guides to build up the suspense. In the latest episode of “Ghost Stalkers,” we get some good stuff with “The Old Taylor Memorial Hospital,” which airs on Sunday, November 2, at 10/9c on Destination America. The title brings it home conjuring up thoughts of Scooby and the gang.

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Filed under Destination America, Discovery Channel, Reality TV, Supernatural, Television

Movie Review: ‘Echoes in an Empty Apartment’

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“Echoes in an Empty Apartment” is full of energy and intrigue in its 23 minutes. Lindsay Lane commands the screen as The Angel. This horror short begins with our femme fatale engaged in cleaning up her blood-stained kitchen. In her yellow rubber gloves, and cherry print apron, she meticulously sponges away. The dark red blood is set off by the bright yellow gloves. Once satisfied that things are polished clean, she delivers a chilling stare. We then cut to a drifter in a dive bar. He’s The Bastard (played by Trey McCurley) in our story. He will sleep with anyone and mounts a prostitute twice his size while under the surveillance of The Angel. She’s on a case and it revolves around him.

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