Friday 8 January 2010

Oh rats.

Tomorrow's Lewes Book Fair has been cancelled. Bollocks. I was looking forward to that. Bloody snow!

The Eleventh Doctor

Well at least the new Doctor Who Magazine has turned up. That's something.

I wouldn't normally be quite this excited about a new DWM (not quite), but this is the first one of the Eleventh Doctor's era, and it's got interviews with Matt Smith and Steven Moffat in it. And the Doctor does look rather good on the cover:

Only a few months to the new series...

Still No New Comics

My local comic shop in Brighton has just announced there won't be a delivery today either. The London shops have all had their deliveries, but down this way the snowy conditions have turned to snowy-icy conditions and the regional courier office is closed. The local post has pretty much given up the ghost too. And yesterday I went to WHSmiths to get the new Doctor Who Magazine, and it wasn't in! It's a genuine genre drought!

Thursday 7 January 2010

Ripley's Flicks

As regular readers (and as ever, we ask ourselves, are there any such individuals?) might have realised, I'm slightly obsessed with Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels. But having read all five, there's not really anywhere else to go with this obsession... apart from to the pictures! Well, the telly/DVD player, anyway. For Tom Ripley has quite the cinematic rap sheet...

There is, of course, Anthony Minghella's perfectly-cast The Talented Mr. Ripley (I often fervently wish Matt Damon would use his Hollywood muscle to get the sequels made too; he'd be great as the older Ripley in period adaptations), and there's also the John Malkovich-starring Ripley's Game, both of which I've seen (Malkovich is great as Ripley in the latter, if a little balder than one might normally picture Tom).

But there's more besides. There's Wim Wenders' The American Friend, an earlier adaptation of Ripley's Game, with Dennis Hopper as Tom (I haven't seen it, but Patricia Highsmith herself wasn't a fan of Hopper-as-Ripley); there's the Alain Delon-starring Plein soleil, an earlier crack at Talented (Highsmith approved of Delon, but again, I ain't seen it)... And then there's the rather lesser known movie version of Ripley Under Ground. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies, er, Turner & Hooch... er... Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot... fuck me) this came out, apparently, in 2005, but seems to have vanished straight away, and isn't on DVD in the UK or the US. But it did get a DVD release in Europe, and I've just nabbed a Polish copy on eBay. I'm intrigued to see it: the director doesn't exactly inspire confidence, but it does star Willem Dafoe, Alan Cumming, Tom Wilkinson, and Barry Pepper (um... Battlefield Earth... fuck me again) as Tom. That's a pretty good cast.

It was also co-scripted by William Blake Herron. Who, you may ask? No, me either, but apparently he co-wrote The Bourne Identity with Tony Gilroy – of (the rather brilliant) Michael Clayton fame – which isn't a bad pedigree. But it's the other co-writer who grabbed my attention: Donald E. Westlake, a.k.a. Richard Stark, who wrote all the Parker novels (I think I raved about the Darwyn Cooke graphic novel adaptation of the first Parker novel, The Hunter – a.k.a. Point Blank, made into an ace movie starring Lee Marvin – in another post). Blimey. I guess we'll see what the film's like when the DVD turns up. Unless, of course, it's all in Polish...

Wednesday 6 January 2010

New Comics Day Cancelled

Disastrous news: the snow chaos in the UK has meant that Diamond UK, who're based in Warrington, haven't been able to send out this week's shipment of comics to the shops. It's possible they might go out tomorrow, but it's not looking good. OMG.




Still, saves me a trip to Brighton.

Tuesday 5 January 2010

I have

way too many books on the go at the moment. I couldn't resist the Peter Hook Hacienda book, so I started on that last night, and also dipped back into Chris Mullin's A View from the Foothills – the collection of his political diaries I started reading some time in early '09 – as he was one of Michael Portillo's guests on a BBC4 programme last night about political diarists. And, as mentioned below, I also have three novels on the go. Oh, and a Patricia Highsmith biography. Argh! Too many books!

Monday 4 January 2010

First Book of the Year

As in, my first book purchase this year, not the first book I'm reading. (I'm actually reading three books at the moment: Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Strangers on a Train, and Casino Royale.) And it is this:

A first edition, signed copy, bought a couple of hours ago in the British Bookshop up the road... for £7.99. What a bargain. I was leafing through it the other day, and noticed it was a signed copy, but I've been debating whether to actually buy it. I'm glad I finally did though. Should be interesting, not least because I was a regular at the Hacienda from 1989-1992 when I was at college in Manchester. I've already spotted a couple of gigs listed in the book that I was at. Happy days...