Saturday, December 06, 2014

Teaming Up to Fight Crime and Satan

I finally managed to find a comic book shop that had the first issue of Django Zorro yesterday. When I asked at the first shop I went to, the guy said to me, "I haven't ordered Zorro in years."

When I said, "Yeah, but this one was co-written by Quentin Tarantino," he just looked at me blankly like this meant nothing to him.

It's co-written by Matt Wagner whose work I'm unfamiliar with--I gather he's been in charge of Zorro in comics for some time. The first issue is pretty short and moves along briskly though it's sadly lacking in profanity. Still, dialogue by Django and the various bandits he and Don Diego dispatch has something of the noir-ish, very natural while very stylised, quality Tarantino is known for.

Last night I also listened to Minuet In Hell, a rather remarkable Doctor Who audio play from 2001 featuring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor trapped in an American asylum where vagrants are being given experimental lobotomies and his companion, Charley Pollard (India Fisher), has amnesia and takes a job as a prostitute in a costume brothel that serves a modern incarnation of the Hellfire Club. It's the most adult Doctor Who story I've seen or heard, not only because of the sexual content but the politics are really something only an adult could appreciate, a satire on the American right wing it features a former senator whose accent is so broad he sounds like Yosemite Sam (he actually says, "Tarnation!" at one point) and the aforementioned cynical exploitation of the poor.

More interesting, perhaps, is the Doctor's struggle with his identity--the audio play begins with the Doctor already in the asylum and another inmate talking as though he's the Doctor, both of them rambling about how they're literally in Hell, and this is contrasted rather intriguingly with a meeting of the Hellfire club. The only handhold of sanity for the audience is Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart--as far as I can tell, this is chronologically the last time the Brigadier and the Doctor encounter each other, at least where they're both played by actors previously established in the roles. Listening to the Brigadier getting frustrated as he tries to send coded messages over the internet is pretty funny.

It was written by Gary Russell and Alan W. Lear, apparently based on fan fiction written by Lear in the 80s. The final two segments were written by Russell which may explain the dramatic shift in tone. It goes from a story about frantic attempts to get ahold of identity and memory to a story about switches being thrown while guards are asleep to foil a villain giving speeches about his master plan. Somewhat anti-climactic.

The format of audio play at one point led to a scene where Charley has to sound natural telling everyone that she's wearing a red leather corset and spiky heels. It doesn't quite come off but it was a pleasing mental image.

Twitter Sonnet #693

The shoelace changed gum optics for all time.
Brass awkward beaker grips take the lights home.
Bouquet hoards burn the safe garden bank mime.
Conifer needles gauge the flint from chrome.
Fog brownie deployment breaks the sprinkle.
Bean early morning X-Wing bars serve shots.
Uranium snow flakes rad the twinkle.
The tinsel octopus collects the dots.
The era of the real coat pocket's gone.
Orange traffic blocks the native organ name.
Despite the gear, no stormtrooper was Han.
Presumption follows from the skin to claim.
A radish sun peers through a scooped out veil.
Almanac plastic pinned the Auton well.

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