Thursday, December 8, 2011

Picture Perfect

Well, all righty, then!

The "forgotten picture" does indeed fit just so in the only space available.  I suppose it had been meant to be there all along.

Referring to this post.

I'm pleased.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Never Ask Why, Apparently.

Well the first thing to report about SyFy's Neverland is that I don't have to hate it.  But that doesn't mean there's really all that much to like, either.

If you're not aware, Neverland is the latest made for TV miniseries venture from the network to re-present a well known fantasy story.  In this case, obviously, the story of Peter Pan.

WARNING:  This post contains spoilers!  Read at your own risk if you haven't seen it and care to do so without having bits ruined for you.

What to start with...???
I suppose I must say I am miffed at the very least that they made the Neverland a planet.  We learn this right at the beginning and I sort of purposely forgot about it until the very end.  That's when they referred to the fact again and made it worse in my eyes.  You see, the whole adventure takes place on one big island.  But at the end Peter is excited that there's a bunch of islands on this globe.  HEY!  That's MY creation!  Yeah, okay, I am aware that it's not an exclusive thought.  But NEVERtheless, it is rather irksome.  At least I have the satisfaction of knowing I came up with and presented it first.

Other than that, though, I don't have any problem with it.  By which I mean in terms of direct connection to Barrie.  I'd been quite "worried" since it's a prequel.  One that comepletely ignores the one that Barrie wrote.  So.... you'd think I'd be up in arms, no?  The reason I'm not is because of one word: Re-imagine.  This version is meant to be a brand new spin on the whole of it.  It's not, therefore, necessarily meant to be conjuncted to Barrie's tales.  But that doesn't mean no negative bewonderment is involved, either.  But these are minor, assuming the show really does wish to "be its own thing."

The real issues, however, are with the story itself.  Sadly, it's the best of the (so far) three re-do's by SyFy.  Tin Man (a.k.a. The Wonderful Wizard of OZ) had some great tweaks, bits and ideas.  But ultimately it fell apart.  Alice (obvioulsy Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) proved to be unwatchable.  Yes, really that bad if you ask me.  Neverland isn't as terrible as all that... yet it's still a half-baked mess with ingredients from just about everything other than Peter Pan.  It unfortunately FEELS like a mash-up and Barrie's tale is just the backdrop for the peppering of others.

Andrea Jones (Hook & Jill) sent me this article from the New York Times.  It's DEAD ON RIGHT, people.  So perhaps you want to read IT before you read my extra rants.  It will also save me from explaining much of what's going in this version.

I've seen many people complain about Peter's age in this show.  He seems well past the six-to-twelve span of Pan.  This, however, didn't bother me so much as other bits.  Like the fact that he behaved nothing like Barrie's boy, unless one counts reckless bravery.  At one point he became forgetful of his entire past, on account of the Tree Spirits (a.k.a. fairies) cursing him for being responsible for their home being destroyed.  But he quickly regains it when the 'Lost Boys' (never referred to as such... they're just rejects from Oliver Twist here) play "La Marseillaise" on his flute.

It's more like I have a bunch of "Why in the world...?" questions.  Like:  Why does Tinker Bell look like an Annie Lennox to whom time has not been kind?  Why do we not FLY to the Neverland?  (It's a magic orb that transports what surrounds it in an explosion relative to how hard it is struck.)  Why does the crocodile have extra limbs?  Why are there a lot of these crocodile-pedes?  Why did they make Starkey (an English school teacher turned pirate) into the Italian Cecco?  Why did they add a lost boy named Fox (oh, right, I knew the answer to this right away... so they could kill one of them and not erase one of Barrie's!)?  Why does Peter willingly wear a suit and tie at the end?  Why is he concerned with doing the right thing all the time?  Why does he never receive the name Pan [especially when the [as the show claims] 'power of a god' is given to him [flight/danger-sensing]?  Why is Hook the true name of Hook?  ...etc.

By the time we reach but one half hour left of a four hour show, Peter has not yet cut off Hook's hand.  And so, it all feels horribly rushed at the end.  It tries to be clever... having "Jimmy" say to Peter (in an effort to have him join forces with him when he steals the power of the Tree Spirits) Take my hand, Peter...  And when he finally does in the manner we all know and love, it's done by accident.  During a heated duel, Peter's long dagger gets in the way of a swipe by Hook and it's lopped off.  Wait a minute... not on purpose?  Nope.  Peter doesn't even fling it to the crocodile on purpose.  In fact, Peter doesn't do anything with it... it drops off into an abyss and A croc just happens by.  Then Peter demands the pocket watch that he recently discovered belonged to his father (whom he never knew and Hook had killed) and Hook throws at Peter's head, it bounces off, and the croc happens to eat it, too.  And then it inexplicably begins to tick loudly when it had never ticked once audibly before.  What's even worse is that we don't ever get to see Hook with a hook.  Nope.  Though they got the correct hand chopped off, we also don't get to see the stump. What a crock!  Not that I'm cheering for gore, but what a lousy break.  We're also left to go on what we know of the original tale that the croc wants more of James.  No chasing after him...

Oh... when Peter returns to the Neverland at the end (having used the orbs to come and go) the boys notice his shadow is missing.  As if it HAD to be included, so why not tack it on to the end inexplicably?  Or perhaps they intended the show to continue?

I did like the Indians. This tale knows enough to make them savages only in the eyes of others. These Indians are respectful of the Tree Fairies and act as caretakers and protectors of the Neverland.

It also used too many "pop culture misunderstanding" for my taste.  For insance, that only Peter can understand Tinker Bell.  Or that the Neverland is frozen in time and that no one at all ages there.  Both of these are fractionally true, and ultimately not.  Trust me.

And how is it that this connects to Wendy?  Not that it had been supposed to, as it is a prequel, but if Peter needs the instantaneous orbs to take her doesn't that blow the whole fun part of Barrie's story?

I could go on, I suppose, but it's just not worth it.

It's a valiant effort to reinvent the beloved story.  But the long and short of it is: WHY? Whatever it added to the tale didn't enhance the magic. It sort of undermined all of it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

NEVER saw a TREE like this before...

YES!  This is a real tree,
not a photo manipulation.

I came across this via OMG Facts
(@OMGFacts) on Twitter.  Besides being rather intriguing and cool, I couldn't help but think that...  ...wait for it....  ...such a tree would be on NeverWorld!  It could also, for that matter, show up in the Neverland as well since there's nothing to say that it can't. 

If I can find a non-gratuitous use for such a tree, I'll include it in a future tale of the adventures on the magic planet.

Here's the 'article' from quoted from OMG Facts.

The Eucalyptus Deglupta is a tall tree, otherwise known as the rainbow eucalyptus. It is found in the northern hemisphere, in places like New Britain, new guinea etc.

The tree sheds patches of its bark and exposes a fresh bright-green bark. Eventually the color and then darkens. It it will through blue, purple orange and maroon hues. The tree sheds its bark at various times throughout the year, which gives it its rainbow color.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lost: Boy Pic

For those who don't know already... a 'secret'


Look what I found in my bin o'
Peter Pan's NeverWorld
books and postcards.

I put it in there for safekeeping during the move and only just this morning reached in for some more postcards.  Forgot all about it - just like Pan himself, eh?

It's my framed picture of Michael Llewelyn Davies as Peter Pan a la Barrie.

Well, I guess I'll just have to find a place for it.  Darn it.  And everything fit so well before: See?

I guess he'll go under the light switch...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Publishing Cusp!

You know that interquel

Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between

I've written and keep going on about?

Finally, the process of publication has begun.
Yes, that's right...

Thanks for waiting so patiently by the window all this time.
It really won't be long now.

As a small token of my appreciation, here's a peek at the back cover.  I've talked about it, now it's right before your eyes.  With any luck, you'll have a tangible copy in the near future.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Peter Pan & Capital Nook!

Here it is, finally!

My new "set-up" for my Peter Pan stuff.

As you may have read in a previous post, I'd a major snafu when the shelf I'd designated to hold it all collapsed just as I finished.  Needless to say I had to find another spot for it.  Shortly after, my Labyrinth poster fell down.  Hmmm, thought I.  No other such mishaps occurred so I took it as a sign.  I moved the Peter Pan pile to that spot.  And you know what?  I'm much happier with this configuration.  It creates a little nook.  I wouldn't have been able to achieve such an aesthetic if I'd put the posters up on a single wall.  I like the whole effect.

And yes, I am aware that's Pips from Fern Gully and has nothing to do with Barrie's universe.  Except, well, he is a fairy - a 'rare' male fairy to boot - and rather cool one if I remember correctly.  Always liked him.  That's him flying up there by the top two posters, too!

I had a scare-turned-miracle putting it up.  The figure of Peter Pan (as seen in Fox's Peter Pan & the Pirates) lost his cape.  It frustrated me, for I'd been so diligent during the whole move.  I even made sure that I had it after the shelf crashed.  So I hunted.  Throughout crates of paper file folders, under the refrigerator - the whole bloomin' area.  Finally I accepted the fact that I'd have to make one and hoped that any of the fabric scraps I had available would fit the bill.  Then, when I went to get something else, there, conspicuously and tauntingly, in the middle of the space around where I'd been searching like a fiend... the cape.  Well, thank goodness.

The three books to the left of mine are the, in my current opinion, three best sources for the published Barrie universe - the Dover Publications edition of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, the script/play and The Annotated Peter Pan (The Centennial Edition) - I like having them readily accessible. 

If anyone has any questions about the stuff on display, I'll be happy to answer them.

In the meantime, keep that window open...  ;)

Monday, November 28, 2011

LINK to the HOOK

So I've been spending the majority of my time lately in the world(s) of The Legend of ZELDA: Skyward Sword.  I'll probably give a 'report' on it in the future, but I must present this material now.

If you're not already aware, there are quite a few parallels between The Legend of ZELDA and Peter Pan.

1) Both are of the Puer Mythology. (boy hero)
2) Both characters most commonly are depicted in green outfits.
3) Fairies exist (and often abound) in the ZELDA games/worlds... and in the most renowned game (Ocarina of Time) Link (hero) even has a fairy accompanying him everywhere he goes.
4) Both characters fight with swords on a regular basis
5) Also in Ocarina, Link lives among a people who look/have a stature like children and don't physically age beyond this appearance.

I bet there are other similarities I'm not thinking of, too.

But we can add one more to the list for sure.  Guess who showed up in the Zelda-verse?
None other than the infamous Captain Hook!
Okay, no, not really... but it's as much true as the rest of the parallels.
Have a look for yourself... Link does indeed battle a pirate captain with a hook!

I'm almost done with Skyward Sword... a bittersweet concept, one might even say a double edged sword:  To play through it, but alas, to have played through it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Watch Once More Than Once...

Once upon a time...

creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis came up with a simple but elegant premise for a new TV show, Once Upon a Time.

I had hopes for this show.  Not necessarily high ones, but lofty enough that I wondered if it would be able to reach them.  As with most things, I waited patiently for it to arrive.

After viewing the pilot, I decided it to be worthy of another gander.  It didn’t blow me away, no.  But it didn’t smack of utterly lousy either.   In other words, it had potential.  So I gave it the chance it deserved.

Now many episodes in, I’m glad that I did.  It’s shaped up quite nicely.   I had wondered if such a simple plot could be sustained to a satisfactory level without being just a gimmick, and it turns out it can be.  Quite well.  What is this seemingly gimmick plot?

All the fairy tales are real (but of course) and the Evil Queen  has decided to take away all the happy endings.  She puts the most evil of curses on the land and the people - sending them to a horrible place: our world.  The characters are all now renamed and have forgotten their true identities and lives, living in a little town called Storybrook.  Just before the curse ‘hit’ however, Snow White and her Prince Charming sent their infant daughter Emma away via a magic portal.  Yep, Emma wound up here...ahead of everyone else.  Turns out she grew up and gave a child up for adoption.  Well, this child, a little boy named Henry, seeks her out as she is the only one who can restore the stories in his “magical” book of fairy tales.

It’s rather clever in its writing.  The counterparts (such as Queen/Mayor) work very nicely.  And the names are terrific.  Miss Blanchard, the schoolteacher... she’s Snow White.  Blanca/White.  A recent episode featured a maid named Ashley (sp?) and it’s learned she has two stepsisters and a stepmother.  Ah!  Cinderella.  Cinder/Ash.  Well played.  There are plenty of other allusions as such and it’s a joy to hear/see them come to light.

Since it’s on Disney-owned ABC, they’ve been using the Disney names.  Maleficent is mentioned, for instance, and the dwarves have the monikers made familiar by the animated feature Snow White.

It has enough questions that arise - such as who each character “is” or the mysteries surrounding the great tome of stories that the boy Henry carries around.  Where did HE get it?   Who would he be in the fairy tale land/s?  Would he be anyone since he’d been born outside of them?  What needs to be done for Emma to restore the fairy tales?

It's also interesting to see well-known characters behave differently.  Not just as their real-world counterparts but, for instance, Snow White as an outlaw thief (in the fairy tale land.)  For you see, part of what makes this show work is it doesn't singularize the focus.  We're treated to backstory in the fairy tale realm... which can also directly parallel events in the 'real' world.  Such as Rumpelstiltskin demanding a child for his services... but now he would have to go through adoption proceedings.  It's fun to see how the two worlds mirror (ha!) or collide with each other, as well as the welcome oddity of seeing White with a sword.  Thus, in both realms we're given new ways of looking at old stories.  And the "look" of the storybook lands is "just right."  

Maybe I’m just a sucker for fairy tales... no, that’s not it.  For it’s very easy to rework them poorly.  But this one seems to be doing something right.  A goodly amount of magic has been peppered into this show.  It doesn’t exactly sparkle with it, but it shines through nevertheless.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Always on Target with Peter Pan

Need a copy of Hogan's Peter Pan?

TARGET stores seem to be selling them for cheap.

Of course, the Blu-Ray is also now available.  If you're wondering, no, I don't have it in this form.  I've wondered just how much difference it would really make... and also the original DVD is the one with all the added material.

Just goes to show you, though, I can't ever escape Peter Pan... even when running errands!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Knock at the Window

Well, it's happened yet again, folks.

Someone else has decided to write another novel about Peter Pan.

This time it's Always Neverland by Zoe Barton.
I haven't read it (yet?) but apparently (if one is to be absolutely technical about it) it doesn't hold water or air, in that it includes Tinker Bell and Captain Hook.  Maybe there's something in the book that 'magically' resurrects these two characters, I don't know.  If not, then we can add it to the pile that just ignores what Sir J.M. Barrie wrote.  Sad, no?

Here's the "blurb" for it:

School has only been out for one whole day, and Ashley can already tell her vacation is going to bore her to tears. With her friends out of town and her parents working nonstop, she finds herself alone and with nothing to do—until one night she wakes up and discovers Peter Pan in her bedroom, wrestling with his shadow.

Since his original adventure with the Darlings, Peter Pan has been bringing new “Wendy girls” to Neverland to take care of the Lost Boys. But Ashley’s made of much tougher stuff than the Wendy girls before her—she’d rather befriend the mermaids or fight Captain Hook and his pirate crew. Creating new adventures for her friends, Ashley is bringing change to Neverland . . . and not everyone is happy about it. 

Not that the idea isn't something ANYONE could think of... but doesn't this Ashley sound like one Amy Alexis Richards?  And "wrestling with his shadow" seems to imply that it's doing that 'move on its own' trick that doesn't really exist.  [Link to more misconceptions about Peter Pan in the left sidebar.] 

Anyone else want to take a stab at the contents of this one before I get to it?

I have to say, though, that I kind of like the depiction of Peter Pan on the cover.  The triangular shape of the leaves isn't as appealing to me, but the rest of him is great.  And isn't that Disney's version of the Neverland shown?  I do really enjoy how the whole design of the cover leads you toward opening the book.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

JeoPANrdy, Yet Again

One of my catch-ups throughout the time I'd been away from here is, yes, pseudo-sadly, episodes of Jeopardy!  (Hey, at least it's educational TV, no?)

Well, turns out Buttercup is a big Jeopardy! fan as well... so she watched some with me.  [I now live literally across the hall from Buttercup.  No really, literally.  I can see see her door when I open mine.]

So there we were, watching... and me thinking... "It's not going to happen again so soon, is it?"

A category came up:

And Buttercup and I looked at each other thinking..."It's BOUND to be there."


 First clue in the list:

So tell me:  Who at Jeopardy! loves Peter Pan so much?  I sure hope it's Alex Trebek!

By the way, the question/answer asked for the creator of the lands mentioned.  The contestant said only "James Barrie" which had been deemed correct.  It's not INcorrect, no, but it seems the sticklers of Jeopardy! judges might insist on the other name in there... or that could just be me.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Still Exist...

Yes, I am alive.

It's been a whirlwind, though.  So many trips to stores... it's amazing what and how much you need that you just don't think about when you're starting up a new place.  From measuring cups to papasan chairs, I've been hunting and gathering in the urban sense.

Throw in a weekend visit from my best friend Laughter and a few theatrical commitments (unrelated to the theartical Laughter, too!) as well as catching up on whatever fell by the wayside (besides this blog) and, well, Time flies like it just doesn't want to even pay attention to us.  And maybe it doesn't, probably doesn't, just ask Science.

Anyway, I can't stay away much longer.  And what with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword due in my hands this Sunday... jeepers, I'd better MAKE time.

My shelf o' Peter Pan has been on the backburner...again.  It seems the shelving unit I wanted to use won't accommodate ALL of my Pan books (by which I do not mean copies of the books I wrote but rather books on/of/about Peter Pan) and materials.  Had to reconfigure that one... and frankly, I'd been a little worn down in terms of putting stuff out and up.  Took a break from all that.

I'll post a picture when I have the stuff's new 'home' all set.

New posts will be up in the days to follow, I promise, despite Zelda.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pan Pack

The move went as easily as flying to the window...
with the help of some professional movers.
Thanks guys!

Why, yes, yes I am enjoying the new place.  It's the little things, such as the "guesstimate" made about the DVD towers and corner-designed shelving unit fitting snugly in a certain spot.  They do.

I've gotten quite a bit done in terms of unpacking.
But something I haven't gotten around to unboxing yet (and this may shock you) is my Peter Pan related materials.  That picture on the left?  Yep, that's my pile of Pan.  The plastic container included.  There's some Peter Pan's NeverWorld paperbacks, 'obscure' hardcovers and postcards in there.

Why does it remain unopened?  I must find the perfect place for it, but of course.  It's really more of a display than just a shelving.  Oh, not seen in the photo are my posters: a framed original LIFE Magazine spread about Disney's at its premiere (given to me by Lemonie), small [but not too small!] prints of Arthur Rackham illustrations from Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, a similar sized Hogan film poster and a frame shot of Michael Llewelyn Davies as Peter Pan (the one I used to create the shadow on the cover of PPNW)

All right...better get back to unpacking...

P.S. - Andrea Jones playfully pointed out that her novel Hook & Jill is not seen as well.  'Tis in one of those boxes, milady!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Neil Patrick HOOK??? (& Setting Sail!)

So I've been busy the last few days.  Today is moving day for me.

Sorry I didn't produce a special HALLOWEEN post... I truly do feel bad about it.  But other obligations took precedence.

I hope these pictures make up for the lack...
Neil Patrick Harris came on Ellen's Halloween episode this year dressed as none other than Captain Hook!  He's got the hand wrong, but I think we can forgo the stickler-ness for a simple lark on a holiday.

Then, on Twitter, Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) tweeted out a picture of his family.  His partner and their kids certainly look great, don't they?  Love the leaves.  Bravo!

My next post will be from my new place...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

You Mean TINK?

I'd been out with Buttercup who decided to check out one of those Halloween superstores that appear during this season (well, by the end of August, sadly.)

I came across this costume and had to share.
It's just one of many "renamed" items there... such as "Rogue Pirate" for Jack Sparrow.

In other news, yes, it's true.
Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between is just about on its way to availability.  The project is done (outside of any tweaks that come with/on/from the "proof.")  However, I beg your forgiveness once more.  As I mentioned before, I'm moving.  That is happening in the VERY near soon as possible.  I've an apartment and such... just need to obtain it and move in... SO... once I have that all settled and a new address, I'll set the novel in motion.

Keep your window open!  Pan's flying back to you very soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


You might recall I've been anticipating the new movie of The Thing.  I'd been interested for another reason beyond the desire to see more of a good (cough) thing.  What really attracted me is the attitude, promises and vision of the man who brought it to the screen, Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr.  In a nutshell:  When the time came that they wanted to remake the property, he came along saying 'Not, a remake... a prequel.'  It would be the same premise, so in essence, a remake, but it would tie into the famous and beloved version by John Carpenter by showing the events of the Norwegian base that the Carpenter characters come across.  And then, end as the other movie began.  All done with utter respect and accuracy out of love.

I'm happy to say that Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr. delivered.  Exactly what he professed to do.

Funnily enough, I longed to see how that axe would get lodged in the door.  And when it finally happened, I wanted to applaud.  I wouldn't have guessed that to be the scenario.  Such clever use of a cherished aspect of the original film to achieve it, too.  And a wee bit of a joke made out of it to boot.  But so much more made me love it than inventive axe usage.

Is it a remake?  Well, yes, but decidedly NO.  The idea of being trapped/isolated in a harsh frozen environment and not able to trust anyone because they might be the Thing remains.  So in that sense, it's the same movie over again.  But other elements make it new and fresh.

For one (cough) thing, it is in fact the prequel.  We're treated to finding the Thing and the joys and eventual horror that come with such a discovery.  Most importantly, though, it enabled the incorporaton of a classic storyline.  The monster movie!  It worked very well.  Since it deals with previous events, it only makes sense that the creature would run around "out in the open."  After all, it's a potentinally giant contorted beastie with huge set (or sets!) of jaws with the ability to grab victims with tentacles or claws.  I mean, really, who would challenge it?  As you probably know from the first movie, a flamethrower is the humans' friend.  Torching the hell out of the Thing happens a lot (again, in both movies.)  If YOU were the Thing, you'd eventually learn that being burned up in this place is a fact of life.  Thus, it would adapt.  Safer to remain hidden and hide AS other beings.  Don't get me wrong, it does that as well in this movie.  The "could be anyone of us" theme is core.  But again, the Thing tries running amok as a monster, chasing the humans through halls and such.  A welcome dimension to the film/concept/story and a terrific delight.

Matching up all the visuals, both sets and items (like the burnt up twisted mass of human and monster that the Carpenter folk found) all were executed beautifully.  When we entered the room that had the giant block of ice, yeah, I got the chills.  And it all felt like the original film.

And when they also began to rehash (more like homage) a part of the original story/movie, namely the "test" for how to determine who the monster is... they then took it away.  Something happens resulting that they are unable to proceed.  But the scene remains.  How?  A believable alternative solution as to how to expose the monster arises.  However, it again adds another dimension to the familiar tale.  The new method is not foolproof.  All it can say is this person might be the monster.  What a great extra level of psychological torture, no?

It had been great not just to see the reason for the axe, but how other key incidents/objects in Carpenter's played out.  Yet it didn't answer all the questions.  I'm glad.  I don't think it should.  Mystery and the unknown is essential to this story.  We also don't have a clear picture of what the Thing looked like when they found it.  It's in ice, remember?  So it's not all that easy to see.  And when it escape, boy howdy!, is it quick.  Quick enough to make me use the words "boy howdy!"

Reportedly this new movie would utilize the same type of special effects as the Carpenter movie.  The tendency nowadays is to just CGI it.  But van Heijningen, Jr. didn't want that.  It had to have the same look as the original if it were to be accepted as on par and part of it.  So they went with animatronics and laytex and all the old school wizardry.  A little CGI, yes, but only when it couldn't be done otherwise or to "clean up" an existing effect.  And it's truly, for my money, exactly that.  It has the same beautiful ickiness of the original.

I also must give credit to Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  I knew her as Ramona Flowers in one of my absoulte favorites Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.  But she's not an elusive cute chick in this flick.  She's a downright action hero.  And she looked taller, to be honest.  van Heijningen, Jr. had been right.  Using a woman as the main character to counter balance the inmitable Kurt Russell helped seal the deal.  Winstead played it with gusto.  Showing the character's vulnerability but ability to rise to the occasion and take charge.  Brava! 

Unfortunately, Buttercup didn't like as much as me.  She had trouble articulating her point of view, but she felt there were no new ideas presented.  Not in the sense of newness that' I've already mentioned, but in terms of it seemed "just any old monster movie," or so is my take on what she'd meant from how she expressed herself.  My response is, well, it's meant to be a backwards extension of Carpenter's film.  Thus, it should have been in a "as before" kind of mode. 'Tis a shame she didn't love it, too, as Buttercup and I usually agree.  But she didn't hate it.  She said she isn't sorry she went.  And thought the F/X were good and such.

I'm going to see it again.  I texted a college friend of mine that I haven't seen in years.  He's a HUGE fan of Carpenter's The Thing.  He said he's been curious about it... and now I get to go with him and hope that he, too, feels the joy of its horrors.

For me, though:
All in all, a triumph.  It's rare when you receive exactly what you wanted.  Especially from Hollywood.

Friday, October 14, 2011

They Did THAT, too??

I just have to give a so-called
Shout Out
to writers
Bonnie & Terry Turner.

I've always known I liked their work.  Nay, loved.  You see, I'd read their names in the credits for such TV programs as That 70's Show, 3rd Rock from the Sun & the movie Coneheads and thought to myself:  Gee, they really know how to make quality coupled with laughs.

But just today I decided to put Bonnie Turner into IMDb and see what else falls under her (and his) creation.

To my utter delight (but which should have come as no surprise) I found many other favorites among their credits.

The Brady Bunch Movie, Tommy Boy (call this one a guilty pleasure if you's just hilarious and very touching, deal with it!), Wayne's World (and its sequel), Whoopi (an unfortunately short-lived TV series that I adored) and but of course, Saturday Night Live.

I tip my hat to you both!  Thanks for oodles of pleasure over the years.  And I lovingly curse you for putting me in actual physical pain in my belly from laughing so much at Wayne's World.  Know that whenever I come across Coneheads on TV I get sucked in no matter what point of the movie I find it in...and watch to the end.

Looking forward to more from this couple!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I laughed out loud when I read the description of this upcoming movie.  Loud and LONG.  Think "Evil Villian Laugh" but on a happy, amused level instead.

And no, I don't mean laughing AT the concept.  I mean a sheer boisterous joy and appreciation.

It's currently called Time Zones... and the idea is rather simple but compelling.  AND - it's an ORIGINAL idea in this sea of reboots and remakes.

Imgaine if the world were divided into Time already IS you say?  No no... as in fractures in space and time so that one geographical area might be 1750 France, whereas another section is China in 300 B.C. and yet another is the future - New York 2065.  What a great and twisted idea.  Of course, it has a plot of a man's race against time to change the past and save the life of his wife.  He can use the Time Zones to do so, it would seem, but it becomes a race against time within a race against time.

It's being written by Marc Guggenheim and is being produced by Disney.

I'll be keeping an eye on this one!  It's definitely up my alley.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Second Centennial!

Today marks the
Second Centennial of Peter Pan!
 2nd??  Say what now?
Yes, it's true.

October 11, 1911
is the publication date of Peter and Wendy, which is, of course, the novel form of the tale of the flying boy and his adventures with the Darlings.

If you're wondering, the first Centennial had been December 27, 2004.  The play first opened on that date (1904).

Can you BELIEVE it?  100+ of Peter Pan!

I also received my copy of the new annotated "Peter Pan" (published under that title, as it is so often.)

It's a great book.  Lots of excellent pictures ranging from Barrie photos, his other works to other illustrations of the characters to movie pictures.

And guess what... for those of you who are interested in it [and I know some of you are!] this book does include Barrie's screenplay.  Yep, the movie treatment by none other than the man himself written for the silent movie.  It had not been used, sadly.  But it's still here for us to enjoy.  Prior to this publication it had been obscure to say the least.  Being as obsessed as I am, I naturally had a copy already.  And in fact, I have used quite a bit from it in both Peter Pan's NeverWorld and Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between (although much more so in the latter.)

So reaffirm your believe in fairies today, okay?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Another PANiverse Worth Crowing About...

Allow me to direct you to an online comic/graphic novel that deals with everyone’s favorite eternal boy. It’s written and drawn by none other than Jesse Rowden (a.k.a. Musapan), the young lady whose Peter Pan Guild interviewed me once upon a time. (Link on the left.) I have to say I’m enjoying it.

Jesse is an avid Pan fan herself. She, too, gets quite irked when the storyline and facts are carelessly altered. In other words, she’s a purist. However, I have to admit that I don’t fully agree with the timeline and such as she’s laid it out. But then, she also assures me that she has her reasoning. For instance, her tale takes place now, in the 21st Century, and Tinker Bell is still around. Apparently Jesse concocted a great backstory as to how she is alive again... but we’ve yet to find out what it is. She also has a different timeframe in terms of when and how long Peter Pan remained an infant in Kensington Gardens before going to the Neverland. (You’re probably aware that my upcoming interquel Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between deals with this very subject.)

I, of course, am not the end-all be-all of the Pan universe... but I'm the only one in print who stays accurate as best as possible to Barrie.*  But this aspect may also very well apply to Jesse's tale as well.  Since I remain in the dark on some it, I can’t really pass full judgement.  Yet I am confident that she’s taking her work very seriously and wouldn’t want to compromise any part of Barrie’s tale. Perhaps she has another lens that applies just as well. It does, however, make it incongruous with my own Pan tales.

Even so, another way of looking at it is that her tale is in pictorial form, whereas mine is in written. Thus, in that sense, hers is entirely different to begin with and she seems to have a handle on her version of the Pan universe.  Each of us are, in theory, consistent within our own works and Barrie in our two mediums.

At any rate, the art is delightful. Cheery, slick and sophisticated all at once. Her panels and each "reveal" are well accomplished.  She’s got Peter Pan’s personality down, too. I particularly like the “game” he proposes (yet again!) and to be honest, I wish I’d thought of it myself. Brava, Jesse!

The 'comic' is still in development, as in she’s plunking away at it admist this thing called Life and every so often another fresh panel of fun appears. A little suspense never hurts, so it’s actually a grand way to experience it.

Please go and check out another tale of the Neverland, Adventurous Soul, and the magic that is Rowden’s art!

Adventurous Soul (links at bottom of pages to bring you to the next...)

* Hook & Jill by Andrea Jones can be considered to do so as well, but hers had been intended to veer off course from the original story... while remaining true to the themes, characters and mythologies of Barrie.

Friday, October 7, 2011

MOVING Right Along...

All righty...

Looks like I have the Dedication and Acknowledgements composed.  In the end, I wound deciding to keep it short and sweet instead of a long winded ramble.  Which, as you might already have guessed, is typical of me.  At least when speaking.  I've got someone looking at it for me and I'll be sure to re-visit it myself in a bit.  But it's all coming together.  Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between is oh-so-near!

In terms of explaining my absences, suffice to say that part of the upheaval of which I've been mentioning is a move.  Yes, I'll be changing my residence soon.  I'll still be in Chicago, though.  But I'm in no hurry.  Moving is always so stressful!   I don't have a set schedule of when I need to be 'out' so I'm taking it leisurely.  It works out nicely, as I'm intermixing the "going through my stuff" alongside going out socially with Buttercup, Josiecat, Clara & Banky and Gil.  Not to mention working on the book!  I also had a great weekened with my best friend Laughter.  Oh - I wound up sick for a while (hospital visit required!) but I'm fine now, nothing to worry about...

I hope to be more attentive once all the packing and such are done... and then unpacked in my new place.

Friday, September 30, 2011

“It’s all very well to say you are waiting; so am I waiting.”

(From a production of Waiting for Godot)

Once again I apologize for being absent from posting lately.  The upheaval of which I spoke in an earlier post is, in fact, still in progess.  Dealing with the ramifications of it in addition to the regular aspects of my life doesn't leave as much room to go ranting on the internet.

But it doesn't mean I haven't been productive.

The back cover to Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between has been finalized, and comes as such at having been tweaked yet again since I'd thought it done before.  As it says in Peter Pan's NeverWorld: Wisdom knows finished from done.

The Foreword has also been composed and recomposed and revised and overhauled and... well, you get the idea.  It's also now in its final form.  I've been having a go at the Acknowledgements page.  Turns out it's difficult finding a sincere balance to convey the level of gratitude and deeds without sounding overly sappy.  Don't worry, I'll get it down on paper.  Other than the 'technical info about the book' page, we're drawing very close to bringing the novel to you all.

Thanks for being so patient.  I hope you understand my adherence to getting it "just right" before you see it.

In other news, I heard from two of the characters in What If It's a Trick Question? the other night at Buttercup's place.  And you know what they finally told me?  How to defeat the "big bad" in the sequel.  I have to tell you, I've been wondering about it!  And now I know.  And it's pretty clever of them.

I also find myself thinking of Thom and Carabas a bit more than usual.  Of course, it's largely due to Josiecat often bringing up Thom and his story.  She loves him so!

Then there's the generating of new angles and tidbits for my "ghost story" on the backburner.

I've nary a clue as to which of these will wind up being my next all-consuming project once the Peter Pan interquel is available... but I'm sure I'll have a good time doing it!

*Title of post  is a quote from Peter and Wendy

Friday, September 23, 2011

OBJECTive Inspiration

I'll admit it... the other night I'd been watching parts of P.J. Hogan's Peter Pan movie.  Some bits are just so beautifully done. 

And while watching, I had a cool idea for a subsequent book of tales from the NeverWorld.  Which is great, but I'm in no short supply.  This one, however, seems like more than just a tidbit.  It has the potential to be very grand.  I haven't fully formed it but I can see how it would branch out and grow into something wonderful.

My favorite part of this idea is that the notion for it comes directly from Barrie.  (That's my favorite kind of inspiration when it comes to writing about Peter Pan!)  I began to wonder whatever happened to a certain object in the story... and that's when the spark ignited.  Needless to say, I know what became of it.  At least in my subsequent timeline of Barrie's world.  And like I said, I know it will turn into a powerful thing in the tale... I'm just not sure all that it entails or why it would be important or why the characters would need it... but then, that's where stories begin... with just the seeds.

I'll let it sit for now... as I don't have any immediate plans of returning to NeverWorld.  So it will have plenty of time to develop.

If you're dying to know what the object is... there are some hints in this post.  But otherwise I'll just say you would have think Wendy would have always kept it safe... And I'll just bet she did.  But that's not to say something couldn't have happened to it down the line...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Talking Tink...

Assuming her alive at the time you found her, would you be able to carry on a conversation with Tinker Bell? I’m guessing you’re inclined to say “no” because she speaks in the sound of little tinkling bells. No doubt your rationale for this comes from the passage:

You don’t hear her, do you?” and they both listened.
“The only sound I hear,” said Wendy, “is like a tinkle of bells.”
“Well, that’s Tink, that’s the fairy language. I think I hear her too.”

Some of you might be so inclined as to believe you cannot understand the fairy language. Hearing it the first time, really how could you? Would you be able to understand Swahili when it first entered your ear? (I’ll venture to guess no.) And there’s rationale for this from the book as well:

“Tink,” said Peter amiably, “this lady says she wishes you were her fairy.”
Tinker Bell answered insolently.
“What does she say, Peter?”
He had to translate.

And then: What she said in her lovely tinkle Wendy could not of course understand...

So there we have, right? Only Peter Pan can understand Tinker Bell...

Now hold on a moment! Don’t go zipping to conclusions. Here’s a bit of text regarding the Lost Boys:

“Hullo, Tink,” cried the wondering boys.
Tink’s reply rang out: “Peter wants you to shoot the Wendy.”
It was not in their nature to question when Peter ordered. “Let us do what Peter wishes!” cried the simple boys.

A-ha! So the boys make sense of her bell-voice, too. Before you go arguing that the boys are wont to say such a thing anyway as they are devoted to Peter’s wishes, surely you don’t forget they actually do shoot Wendy down, just as Tink says Peter commands. Obviously it’s not just a regurgitation of an ingrained desire (to obey Pan’s wishes.)

So why is it that the Boys can comprehend her as well as Pan?  Perhaps it’s because they’re in the Neverland and therefore just do?  No, that’s not it.  Good guess, though.  Perhaps they’re magical like Peter himself?   Oh no, that can’t be it.   They’re just not.  Well, then, why?

For the answer, we’ll have to (but of course) look to Barrie’s words again:

You silly ass!” cried Tinker Bell in a passion.
She had said it so often that Wendy needed no translation.
“I almost agree with her,” Wendy snapped.

When does this occur in the story? Just about the time Wendy is trying to get Peter to declare his real feelings for her. When “playing house” needs to be much more real for her than it seems in the Home Under the Ground. Okay, but how about a more concrete image story-wise?  Surely.  It’s after Pan rescues Tiger Lily. Unlike a play or movie version of the story which must have a rapidity to the adventures the children have on the island, we know that a they’re there for a long time, so the saving of the Redskin princess wouldn’t have been toward the beginning of their trip.

And so we arrive at the simple answer. If you’ve been around Tink for quite some time, would you understand her then?  Yep.

It seems that the fairy language is something that humans can pick up on, if they have enough exposure to it. Which certainly explains why the Lost Boys have no trouble.  For who knows how long they’ve each been on the island?  But we can bet it’s been a while.

Knowing that I’d need the first girl to visit NeverWorld to be able understand Denny (Peter Pan’s ‘new’ fairy) right away in my book, I had to make sure I included a passage about how this could be so.

Of course, Amy could not be described as a normal child, for she understood the fairy language perfectly. She had heard it so many times while passing through Kensington Gardens and in the twilight of slumber that she knew it quite well. Thus, she did not need a translator to converse with the fairy who just spoke to her.

Another easy solution. You see, I happen to know (of course I would) a little about the backstory of Miss Amy Alexis Richards.  In the relevant nutshell, she’s been hunting for fairies and Peter Pan since age five, and does so with more conviction than most summon up [for anything] their whole lives.  It took her a while to finally track down the Darlings’ house, but that’s another story and I digress...

At any rate, talking to Tink is no great feat.  It’s just a matter of paying attention and prolonged exposure. Not unlike any other language, oui?

So why is it that there’s the misconception that only Pan can talk to Miss Bell? That when (erroneously) Captain Hook speaks with her in cahoots, she must pantomime to help get her point across? [Thank you, Disney. (Said with an eye roll.)] Why is it that she rarely talks in the few movies of the tale?  Do we really have an aversion to hearing her speak?  Possibly so, since many protested her being heard in the Disney films about her... and the script drafts of it bounced back and forth as to whether or not she had a “voice.” (Yes, certainly it also had to do with maintaining the Disney animated feature as well.)  And yes, I know a certain actress played Tink and spoke freely in a certain movie named for the priate captain, but I so very pretend that movie doesn't exist.

It baffles me, then, why P.J. Hogan preserved the “silent” pantomiming Tinker Bell as well. Although I do recall learning in the ‘extras’ on the DVD that Hogan (and all) had been entranced by Ludivine Sagnier's facial expressions and clowning as such without words.  But as cute as they may have been, I’d preferred they left the marvelous expressionism as such to Peter Pan, for as I’ve said before, no one makes faces like Jeremy Sumpter!

I’ll tell you... if I’m ever responsible for the mini-series version that rattles around in my head, the way I’d handle Tink’s speech is as follows:  She’s just heard as the jangling at first. But throughout the show, each time she speaks, a whisper of actual words will gradually become louder, almost imperceptible until it’s clear as a well, bell.  Naturally the tinkling sound will always accompany her, but it will be softened and weaker.

So there you have it.

Tinker Bell talks. Why else would she have lines with quotes around them in the book?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

To Error By Era...

I talk a lot about the wonderfully wacky and wow-ing 21st Century. We’re able to get guided directions, find out that name of an actor we can’t remember with a few touches of a finger, receive emails, shop, check the weather and a whole host of other sundry tasks all in the palm of a hand. And that’s just smartphones! Surely I needn’t go on about the other technology marvels that may as well be fiction!

But I’ve often wondered what it’s done TO our fiction. Certain elements common to all sorts of tales are now not going to fly. Once upon a time if a character wound up in unfamiliar territory, it meant “lost” and the panic would ensue. How to rectify the situation? Ask that kindly old man who turns out to be a sexual harassment creep? Break out the map (if one is even along!) but have no street lights to read it by? Keep walking and hope for a cab? The possibilities are endless. And yet many of them are cut short because nowadays, said character could just look up how to get back home on the “phone,” a device that does nearly everything other than be a telephone. Oh sure, there are ways around it for authors to thwart the character. The batteries are dead. The device  itself got lost two days ago. Or...

I’m not saying that technology had ruined fiction, just that it’s given us storytellers more on the plate to have to contend with and thus makes it not so easy to create havoc and tension in the events of a story without having to cover other bases.

Go back even further, to beyond when a cellular phone had just been that and that only, a telephone. No texting, no pictures, no maps, no Angry Birds (no I don’t play)... Even then, there’d been a huge dynamic shift from something like Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. If they’d been able simply to CALL Marion Crane on her cell phone in the car, it would have turned out much differently. Yes, yes, it’s probable that she’d not answer or what have you, but any way it’s sliced, there’s a huge change in how the whole situation is perceived.

And that, then, affects how and WHEN authors craft a story. It makes me think of my own “epic” novel What If It’s a Trick Question? One day my #1 fan Anon wrote to me and told me exactly what year the book takes place. I’d been surprised. It didn’t have a specific year so much as an era. Jeremy, the main character, has a cell phone. Okay, sure. He plays video games... yet it’s before the Wii and motion-control gameplay. I could bring in other examples, but you get the idea. There are certain elements that can or cannot be in the story, also to the extent of his station in life (and what could be afforded and such.) It had been quite easy to figure out, since I essentially aimed at the time period during which I wrote it.

I didn’t have to worry about whether this time overlaps the particulars for quite some time, you see? Until Anon goes and figures out all the math accordingly (from story data) and also from the calendar. [The book takes place over the course of a month, each chapter is the subsequent day.] Anon located which year the dates matched up to the book and told me WHEN it happened. Interesting, no? Given that the world of the book is a fictional version of Chicago, it didn’t matter to me so much when the calendar aligned... I’d aligned it with the events/circumstances of the book. Again, it had been a time frame. If it hadn’t been meant to be a real city, did it have the same cycles of days as us?

That's the rub of writing what (at the time) is contemporary - advances render the book into a bygone era. But that’s the essence of this post. Things we now take for granted must factor into new storytelling. Why can’t she just use her cell phone? Did they record it in HD? Why is he using TAPES? Don’t they have security cameras placed at the top of the lampposts or something that would show the killer? Well, once upon a time all these didn’t apply.

Just one more way in which authors need to keep up with the times -- and it can be argued that such techno newness is ruining the options in a good book. What would Agatha Christie do with DNA matching?! From another angle, though, it opens up a lot more, too... always a trade off, Isuppose.  For when writing in a past era you've got to REMEMBER (or research) what could/couldn't be done and what did/didn't exist.

We’ve got a lot more to contend with and control and make up excuses for (if you’ll pardon the expression) as to how it all went down in our stories.