You Won’t Believe How Many Things “Coco” & “Three Billboards” Have In Common (no really, they’ve actually got quite a few similarities)

I’ll admit, I don’t go to the cinema much last year; I don’t know why, given that apparently it was the year that Marvel and DC both put out at least one great movie each, which should be bread and butter to a nerd like me. Therefore, when two of my friends suggested around New Year’s that we should become cinema buddies, I readily agreed.

Our first film was going to be The Greatest Showman, but we decided to watch Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri instead, on the basis that it had much better reviews. We went in knowing it would be dark, and we were not disappointed. We decided the next week to watch Coco, as a Disney movie would be a welcome counterpoint. We forgot it was a Disney-Pixar movie.

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Crimes on The Christmas Express

My parents sometimes buy theatre tickets for me (and themselves) around Christmas, and 2017 was one of those Christmases. Given that we all very much enjoyed The 39 Steps (a wonderful play whose website is sadly plagued by hackers, which now means finding new tour dates is completely impossible) at The Lichfield Garrick some years ago, they were delighted to see there was a new play that spoofed madcap old-timey thrillers, where the cast (a company known as New Old Friends) played multiple roles and invoked some inventive set design on a budget. Sounds ideal, right?

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Webcomics: Why do I still read this stuff?

As somebody who grew up during the dying days of Web 1.0, I got into webcomics pretty hard, often binge-reading stuff for hours.This continued well into the early days of Web 2.0 and then… I just sort of stopped. I don’t know why, but given what I was reading at the time it was probably no great loss. But I’ve already said one webcomic I read is one of the best comics ever, so surely I had better taste than I think… right?

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The Addams Family Musical

Well, of course I was going to write this. Given how I’ve covered pretty much every Addams Family adaptation (not counting the live-action TV shows and films, because everyone’s talked about those… Shit, am I a hipster?) it was inevitable that a) I would go see the musical when it came to Britain and b) blog about it immediately afterwards. This isn’t exactly rocket science here, people.

The plot is quite straightforward: Wednesday’s all grown up, and she’s inviting her new boyfriend, one Lucas Beineke, and his tight-laced parents round for dinner. So far, so “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner meets The Rocky Horror Picture Show“. Now, I’m not going to go into any further details, because I genuinely want people to see this for themselves – it’s that good. Seriously, go book your tickets now. Continue reading

Christmas Cartoons You Probably Don’t Remember: Good King Wenceslas

For some reason, some animated Christmas specials just stay in your head. That’s fine and dandy if it’s some bygone classic like A Charlie Brown Christmas or Frosty the Snowman, but what if it’s some random thing that was on for one year, then never got shown again? That’s exactly what happened to me back in 1996, back when I saw this cartoon one Christmas Day.

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The Addams Family: An Evilution

Halloween is almost upon us, so I might as well wrap up my whistle-stop tour over some of the less well-known aspects of Charles Addams’ delightfully creepy kin. Ironically, it seems nowadays that the most obscure part of the franchise are the very cartoons that Addams made as far back as 1938. This might be, in part, due to an apparent lack of contemporary reprints – many were published during Addams’ lifetime, but there was a sharp decline after his untimely death in 1988.

Fortunately, Pomegranate Books decided to release The Addams Family: An Evilution, written by H. Kevin Miserocchi, back in March 2010. True, it was more to coinside with The Addams Family: The Musical which would open on Broadway to great success just a month later, but you can’t argue with synergy. Besides, the book had an unprecedented number of unpublished cartoons from Charles Addams’ estate, along with character guidelines that he wrote for the unmatched 1964 TV series.

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