Thursday, November 20, 2008

Book Review: Holy Headshot!: A Celebration of America's Undiscovered Talent by Patrick Borelli and Douglas Gorenstein

Did you ever snicker at some hapless bride who trips and falls into her wedding-cake on America's Funniest Videos, only to feel guilty about finding humor in someone's humiliation? If so, then you might want to pass on this book. But for the rest of us insensitive jerks, HOLY HEADSHOTS will provide much more than a dirty little chuckle.

Collected are one hundred diverse, starry-eyed hopefuls with hunger and desperation on the breath, all-waiting for their big break. And for the lucky few, it comes in the guise of an extra on a afternoon soap opera, a local commercial pitchman, the lead in a community theater production of 42nd Street, or a supporting role on a direct to video horror flick. (While thumbing through, I did recognize some the actors from various projects; so now I have names to put to that faces in the crowd scenes on Law & Order and NYPD Blue.) Included with the 8x10 glossies are the actors' resumes, and some will give you chilling insights into their hopes and dreams (I'm looking at you Clement Dyer on page 34!)

This book is a must for anyone who ever dreamed of fame but woke up and got a civil service job.

Book Review: Marvel Masterworks Atlas Era Tales Suspense by Jack Kirby

Before a Gamma bomb was detonated in the dessert, or a young student had a fateful run-in with a radioactive spider at Empire State University, and even before Marvel was Marvel, Stan Lee was in the monster business.

Under the banner of Atlas Comics, Lee and the amazing talents of Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Matt Baker, Carl Burgos and Joe Sinnott assaulted young 1950s readers with bold five-page, nine-panel horror/sci-fi stories with surprise ending "inspired" by the Twilight Zone tv series. Some much so, Lee stated in an interview, "I used to get letters from readers `Hey, I just saw Twilight Zone, and they used one of your stories from issue so-and-so.'"

Marvel Masterworks Atlas Era Tales Suspense 1 beautifully reprints the first 10 issues of the title and brings out face-to-face killer robots, hulking behemoths the deadly Monstro, a killer Cyclops, invading Martians and many more oddball and off-beat menaces from the four-color universe - and beyond! This collection is a must have for vintage monster comic book fans who have also enjoyed Dick Briefer's The Monster of Frankenstein, Monster Masterworks and Zombie Factory.