James Patrick Says…

Pretty big Wednesday for me, so I’m sending out a rare bulletin.

ANGEL: MASKS is in stores tomorrow, from IDW. If you’re a Buffy/Angel fan pick it up and see my take on how two of the show’s very important characters met. This one is at comic shops fer sure and I’m assuming even bookstores. I’m going to the mall bookstore, pointing at the rack and saying, “I wrote that,” then being escorted away by security saying, “Sure you did, buddy. Sure you did.”

DEATH COMES TO DILLINGER TRADE in PREVIEWS: Yeah, my first real widely released (and critically acclaimed :) ) book is collected in one volume, has extra scenes and art, and much gabbing by me trying to be important. Anyway, it’s available for preorder in the Previews catalog tomorrow. It’s spotlighted as well (that’s a good thing). The order number is NOV06 3844

Here’s a pretty picture.

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I edited Dilliner, and I read JP’s Angel, so, y’know… off you go.

Rope

Ah, Rope. Generally considered more style than substance, although, I’d say somewhat wrongly. For those who don’t know, the movie is essentially a 9 cuts. In other words, each reel is an uncut tracking shot, following the exploits of two Leopold and Loeb like murderers who match wits with a strangely machiavellian Jimmy Stewart.  The movie is all tension and style, but, with some top notch performances, particularly by Stewart, it becomes an engaging mastwork that’s a statement on everything from the state of film acting to the use of flash to substitute for substantive material.  In 1948.

In other words, Hitchcock what lose his mind if he saw the dreck that passes for quality films these days.  It’s pretty clear that the only reason Hitchcock would undertake such a strange filming method would be as an experiment of style, but, as he is known for, the exercise becomes considerably better than most people’s life’s work.

And, the fun trivia fact from the DVD is that it has not one but two cameos from Hitchcock, despite the fact that it all takes place in one apartent with only a handful of actors.

And Hume “I Banged Jessica Tandy and was in Cocoon” Cronyn apparently wrote the treatment that the movie was adapted from (which was in turn adapted from a British play.)

So, yet another highly recommended.

Weekly Roundup

Hey Gang,

Exceptionally fucking busy, just trying to keep up.  Looks like Kody and I are about ready to unleash Punks on people, so that’s coming up.  I’m writing the Afterword for the Elk’s Run trade right now, so, I’m looking forward to never having to write anything else for the book ever again.  Except for the interviews I’m getting scheduled in the next few weeks/months.

Aside from that, Tumor is humming along, and I’ve got a few other work for hire things on the way, all of which should be announced shortly.

Busy, busy life.

Rear Window

Ah, Rear Window.  I figure if you’re going to watch a slew of Hitchcock movies why not start with one fo the best.   Pitch perfect performances, brilliant cinematography, riveting suspense… it literally hits every theme and grace note that he touches upon in most of his other movies all at once.  The voyerism, the paranoia, the gray moralism… all there, all executed flawlessly.

As a creator, I guess what stands up for me in Rear Window is the containment.  So much of Suspense and Action these days is the feeling of the ever changing landscape, and with few exceptions (Die Hard, motherfuckers), that’s just how you make a suspense movie.  Rear Window is even further the other direction.

Not only do we never leave the apartment, although there is the few seconds of window dangling, but, our entire frame of reference is at a sharp 3rd person.  We never hear those across the alley talk, but, yet, we know who they all are. We know what they’re all doing, and what they’re character journeys are.  And we know it because of Jimmy Stewart’s reactions to it.

His character serves as the perfect representation of what we each do when left on our own, left to our own devices for entertainment.  We obsess, we imagine, and sometimes, we get ourselves into trouble.  That’s why Hitchcock excels for me as a director.  No matter how absurd the situation (Strangers on a Train or Psycho anyone?) it always feels not just grounded and real to the characters, but, as though it’s something that happened to someone you know, or, is happening to you.

That to me is great storytelling