Well, we're halfway there. Broadband's up and running - just need to reconfigure Outlook now so I can send and receive email. And of course hostname and passwords don't work - despite being told they would.
Watched the Clint Eastwood Western Hang ’Em High (1968) last
night – only the second time I’ve seen it. The first time, some decades back, I
was sorely disappointed; I think I was expecting something more like the Dollar films, or High Plains Drifter, while this offering is more traditional
(although I’ve seen it described as revisionist, which I’d dispute). I
thought I’d be fair and give it another go.
It’s not as bad as I remember it – but it’s a long way from
good. With an almost 2 hour (sometimes too leisurely) running time it could
benefit with at least half an hour snipped off. The mass hanging scene, especially,
feels interminable. I appreciate the director wanting to convey some of the
inappropriate carnival atmosphere such an event would have generated, but it
could have been conveyed just as well – or maybe better – with the judicious application
of scissors. The story line meanders too, and feels unfocused.
There’s a parade of familiar and famous faces – such as
So there I am - Sunday evening, vegging out in front of the idiot box, when the phone rings. I answer it. After a brief pause, a woman says "Is that Mr Chinn?" Wary that this is another of those damned cold-callers, I reply, "Yes." "Mr Michael Chinn?" "Yes - who's this?" "Lorna." says the woman. I don't say anything at this point - but my mind's going: Who? Lorna? Lorna who? "Lorna Chinn," she adds - just to make things more confusing. "Who?" I finally get to say out loud. "Your niece - Lorna!" At this point my brain goes into overdrive, and I'm beginning to think I've accidentally stepped across into some parallel dimension. The woman's still talking, saying something about how difficult it's been to get my number. I didn't doubt that for a second. "Whoa, whoa, whoa!" I finally get her to stop. "I don't have a niece named Lorna." It's her turn to pause - I…
Back in 2009 I wrote in this ’ere blog about it being over
ten years since THE PALADIN MANDATES was published by The Alchemy Press, and
how a review of same in THEAKER'S QUARTERLY DIGEST provoked
me into writing a sparkly fresh Paladin story: “Sailors of the Skies” for DARK
HORIZONS #55 (The British Fantasy Society, 2009).
Paladin himself had been born many years earlier, in “Death
Wish Mandate” published in KADATH #5, by Francesco Cova. He’d had a long
Ever since he drew SWORD OF SORCERY for DC Comics (1973), I’ve
been a fan of Howard Chaykin. In 1975 he wrote and drew the first two issues of
THE SCORPION for Atlas/Seaboard Comics. Set in the 1930s, it pitted an
apparently immortal character – Moro Frost – against slightly more mundane
villains. At the time I didn’t know much about the rich history of masked
avengers who had graced the pages of pulp magazines back before the Second
World War (with the exception of Doc Savage and the Shadow), so I was pretty