Wednesday, September 20, 2017

DECADES OF EXPERIENCE



Well howdy there.


Check this out: I've written over a thousand published articles in multiple periodicals. My work has appeared in This Week News and Review, The North Coast Journal, The Trader, The Independent, and more. I've taught Creative Writing and I've had a radio show reading one of my own books as well as the works of others. My clean, muscular prose engages readers around the world, and I have never missed a deadline. Decades of experience gird these journalistic loins. Whether my topic is self-assigned or appointed, I will write the most interesting article in the paper. It's what I do. And by the way, I also created my own literary genre, Redwoodpunk.


Scroll on down, peruse away, and see for yourself.


For the FULL HUMBABA CYCLE STORY LIST, click the link:
http://stewartkirby.blogspot.com/2015/04/full-humbaba-cycle-story-list.html













To read my article SURFING WITH SHARKS, click the link:
http://stewartkirby.blogspot.com/2013/10/surfing-with-sharks.html





Sunday, September 17, 2017

"IT" A HIT



          A hit, a very palpable hit.
          Twenty-seven years after the made-for-TV movie, It returns. And how wonderful, because in Stephen King's novel, the terrifying entity returns to the town of Derry, Maine, to feed on fear and human bodies every twenty-seven years.
          The star, Bill Skarsgard, who plays Pennywise the Dancing Clown, is also twenty-seven.
          One gets the impression that Stephen King films never live up to the novels. Not so. Many great films come from his work. The differences between print and film are such that many efforts do fall short, but just look at the list of classics: Carrie, The Shining, Stand By Me, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Misery.
          And now It.
          This film focuses on a group of thirteen year-olds plagued by bullies, their parents, and an evil clown in the late-1980s. The story begins with the loss of little Georgie (Scott). A year later, his big brother Bill is still obsessed with trying to find Georgie. But we know it was a clown down in a gutter that got him.
          The clown tries to get other kids, too. Like Freddy Kruger from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Pennywise has godlike powers of evil and can basically do anything. So perhaps in some sense It is not totally realistic or adequately explained, but with so many great evil clown moments, who cares?
          Since 1990 technology has finally advanced to the point where we can see this story as King intended. During the course of the film, admirers of the writer's work cannot help but turn frequently to one another with upraised thumbs. The way the clown rises from the murky waters of a flooded basement, flivvering angrily toward its prey--the way the clown appears from behind a collection of blood-red balloons, perhaps with the sound of a broken music box winding down--the way the clown's long sharp teeth sink into a child's flesh--these are the sorts of cinematic moments which can only be described as sublime, as true fans of King's work will attest.
          The filmmakers wisely do what King does in his book: Marble the great Pennywise stuff with the good other things--the real-life laughs and horrors the kids go through hanging onto each other for support. Featuring entertaining dialogue among the kids similar to Stand By Me, It posits that the true horrors are often found at home with freakishly monstrous parents. In real life, young brothers aren't so syrupy with their displays of love, thankfully enough, and it is doubtful that a sexually abused teen would be as comfortable and well-adjusted as the one depicted in this film, but we can overlook such weak points easily enough because so much of It flat out delivers.
          Well worth a trip to the big screen.


IT
Starring Jaeden Lieberher,
Jeremy Ray Taylor,
Sophia Lillis,
Finn Wolfhard,
Chosen Jacobs,
Jack Dylan Grazer,
Wyatt Oleff,
Bill Skarsgard,
Nicholas Hamilton,
Jake Sim,
Logan Thompson,
Owen Teagre,
Jackson Robert Scott
Directed by Andy Muschietti
Written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga,
Gary Dauberman
Based on the novel by Stephen King
\Runtime 135 minutes
Rated R


Stewart Kirby writes for










Like evil clowns, do we?
Check this one out:


If there's one thing clowns hate,
it's a stinkin' coulrophobe.


To read the short story CAPTAIN HIDE, click the link:
http://stewartkirby.blogspot.com/2015/04/captain-hide.html


But wait, there are still more evil clowns.


This one's getting started:


To check out AXKLOWN, the world's first serial killer superhero, click the link.
http://stewartkirby.blogspot.com/2017/04/axklown.html













Wednesday, September 13, 2017

THE MAN



My friend Weston Simonis is a singer-songwriter who plays guitar, percussion, and has had a few bands. He's been active in music his whole life.


Check out The Weston Simonis Show on KEOL 91.7 FM Thursdays 6 - 9 pm.


I've been wanting a band called The Man for a long time. And now I have it.


I got my Father's Day cake! Happy Father's Day!


That one works better if you've seen CREEPSHOW.


Anyway, we done recorded us a real whizzbanger, "My Black Bride". Looking forward to recording more songs as soon as we can.


Check out Weston's award-winning album, MOMENTS OF INTOXICATION at WestonSimonis.com


https://soundcloud.com/stewart-kirby/my-black-bride
Click the link to hear the song







Sunday, September 10, 2017

"TICK" WORTH THE TALK



          Based on the 1990s animated series, and the 2001-2002 live-action TV show, this excellent re-boot available on Amazon Prime.
          Imagine a sort of opposite Don Quixote, where the windmills really are giants, and Don Quixote tries to enlist a nebbish, Woody Allen-looking office worker in his quest to battle crime as a superhero.
          Similar to the 1981-1983 TV show "The Greatest American Hero", the Tick gives office worker Arthur (Newman) a mysterious super-suit which he has a hard time managing and which has seemingly ever-unfolding powers, including flight.
          Arthur's sister Dot (Curry) worries about him. The Tick, who isn't all quite there mentally, but is cheerfully benign, mistakenly calls her Spot.
          Meanwhile, trying to retrieve the suit (which allows the wearer to look like a superhero who should be called the Moth, or, Moth Boy) are the members of the nefarious Pyramid Gang, ostensibly lead by one Ramses IV (Cerveris), who in turn takes his orders from the Terror (Haley).
          The Terror runs the city.
          Further meanwhile, a masked "robo-ninja" called Overkill (Speiser) is also trying to get the suit and take down the Terror and the Pyramid Gang. But the Tick disapproves of Overkill's methods, because Overkill stabs people to death and tends to be a bit too murder-y.
          And we must not forget Ms. Lint (Martinez), an enforcer for the Terror, whose superpower over electricity also has the unintended side-effect of perpetually attracting dust and lint.
          Original Tick creator Ben Edlund contributes to the writing. However, writers and directors of episodes vary.
          "Unhand that precious balloon of hope!" Serafinowicz's stentorian delivery, arising from a heady mixture of supreme confidence and blissful ignorance, defines the character and provides the highlights for every episode. (Serafinowicz is also one of the show's producers.) Destiny, according to the Tick's unwavering certainty, handed Arthur the super-suit. The Tick was merely the messenger. Unfortunately, he "can't remember anything beyond a few days ago."
          Initially Arthur doubts his sanity and wants nothing to do with the big blue bug of justice. But again, the Tick's certainty wavers not a jot. When Arthur fears that he's hallucinating, the Tick cheerily assures his hapless new chum, "You just went sane in an insane world!"
          Featuring weaponized syphilis, the show is also co-produced by the star of the first live-action series, Patrick Warburton, who first found fame as Elaine's mechanic boyfriend on "Seinfeld".
          Well worth a watch.




THE TICK
Starring Peter Serafinowicz,
Griffin Newman,
Valerie Curry,
Scott Speiser,
Yara Martinez,
Michael Cerveris,
Jackie Earle Haley
Created by Ben Edlund
Runtime 29 minutes
Rated TV-14




Stewart Kirby writes for














Check out KRAZY KARTOONZ
http://stewartkirby.blogspot.com/2017/05/krazy-kartoonz.html


The old man laughed as the wound gushed blood...


My short story homage to Looney Tunes features a Mel Blanc-like character who happens to be an incredibly psychotic sadist.


Enjoy!



Thursday, September 7, 2017

FLAT OF THE BLADE TO THE FLANK



Her hair falls where it likes, and she is actively gorgeous. Succulent lips, plump as ripe berries, pull me by the tie with gravitational certainty. The breasts of this goddess strain the thin material of her low-cut top, bright white fabric starkly contrasted against the richness of her warm brown skin. A natural beauty, the smiles that play across her face set my heart alight.


I hold my darling in my hand, as she indeed holds me, like Aladdin with a magic lamp. The distance is great, and nothing at all. She lines her lamp with art. I encounter pieces dreamily as she takes me on the secret tour.


Periodically unable to contain myself, I remind her again of her staggering beauty. She leans back, smiles, and tousles her hair. "Oh, thank you, Daddy!" Condition compounded, I melt into the floor.


Mon amour sends me photos. Perhaps you have heard loud howling sounds like a wolf recently wherever you live? Yes, that was me. I see the pictures and I become excited. Because she is so beautiful. And I love her so much.


Uniquely compassionate, and passionate, devoid of adversarial intent, this amazing lady embodies femininity to me. The way she dresses, the way she moves, so genuine and unaffected. Everything I have to say about my love sounds like someone else's song. Because it is true.


Now at last I understand a feeling I have never known. I don't mean that in a vengeful way against the world or anyone in particular. I am sincere. I have never felt like this before.


Three years we've seen each other online, regularly liking each other's posts. For a long time, I thought she was from Germany. I got really into Germany for awhile.


To me it seems like she lives in a storybook world. Belgium has amazing architecture. Such a pretty place. And she is an artist. Such a pretty artist. Sweeter than Kentucky pie.


Literally we talk morning, noon, and night. Every day now for months. Gipsy Kings play for us, just us, every day. Thank you, Gipsy Kings. Your tremulous strings and earnest voices complement our texts, skypes, and psychic romps through the green rolling hills of laughing lovers.


In my heart she is my wife.


And now I am ready. Ready to set the flat of the blade to the flank and leave the town in cinders.


Don't know exactly what that means, but I'm feelin' the need.







Sunday, September 3, 2017

85 YEARS OF "FREAKS"



          In 1932, riding the wave of success he enjoyed the previous year with his smash hit Dracula, director Tod Browning was given free reign for his next project. Expand this latitude further considering the Hays Code limiting film would not be in effect for two more years.
          Yet the product which resulted from such promise so disgusted audiences, Freaks quickly ruined Tod Browning's career.
          In this story featuring a circus community, diminutive Hans (Earles) loves Cleopatra (Baclanova), the beautiful trapeze artist. She in turn loves the circus strong man, Hercules (Victor). At first she finds little Hans' big interest in her amusing, but when she learns of his inheritance, she decides to actually marry him with the plan of killing him to inherit the fortune herself.
          When Hans' sideshow freak friends learn of Cleopatra and Hercules' plan, they take matters in hand...or with whatever they've got.
          Some of the performers lack limbs altogether. (And yet can still roll a cigarette!) Others shock viewers more deeply. Schlitze, for example.
          Born micro-cephalic, standing 4' 2", his family sold him at age 9 to a traveling sideshow. When the camera shows such clearly challenged individuals, and audiences see that, this time, Lon Chaney is dead, and the special effects are real, audiences respond viscerally.
          The film was reviled. Pulled from release, banned.
          No one saw it for what it was:
          A powerful Great Depression statement concerning the defeat of the scheming minority privileged by the abused and hideous masses.
          From Browning's perspective, the reception of his film was the real horror. He had left a well-to-do family at 16 to travel with the circus. He had become inured long prior to sights others find unforgivably offensive. As a filmmaker he drew on what he knew. He was, as Stephen King says, "playing for keepsies."
          Browning finished out the bulk of the decade with only four more films, two of which wherein he went uncredited. The good one, Mark of the Vampire, stars Lionel Barrymore and features Bela Lugosi in a cameo.
          Harold Russell, not a professional actor, yet missing both hands, won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). In that case, conventional wisdom said that impact would have been lost to cast an actor merely acting.
          In the case of Freaks, an innovative director embraced verisimilitude, yet lost conventional access to film for simply doing his job too well.


FREAKS
Starring Harry Earles,
Daisy Earles,
Wallace Ford,
Leila Hyams,
Olga Baclanova,
Henry Victor,
Josephine Joseph,
Schlitze
Directed by Tod Browning
Written by Tod Robbins,
Willis Goldbeck, Leon Gordon
Runtime 64 minutes




Stewart Kirby writes for












Check out this short story!
http://stewartkirby.blogspot.com/2017/05/krazy-kartoonz.html
CLICK THE LINK for KRAZY KARTOONZ



Sunday, August 27, 2017

"HITMAN" ON TARGET



          Loads of action and laughs galore make this buddy movie a hit.
          Ryan Reynolds plays a bodyguard--formerly triple-A rated, actually--protecting Samuel L. Jackson as a hitman whose testimony in international court could convict a foreign leader (excellently played by Gary Oldman).
          Fans of the stars will not be surprised to find that neither breaks casting type. Jackson and Reynolds both excel at action and humor, so the casting is dead-on.
          Vaguely in the spirit of 48 Hours, which pairs Nick Nolte with Eddie Murphy, The Hitman's Bodyguard benefits from "chemistry" between the leads and a fast pace required by a time constraint: Reynolds must escort Jackson to The Netherlands within 24 hours. Meanwhile, the foreign leader has hitmen of his own trying to eliminate Jackson.
          Further meanwhile, each of the stars is in love with a woman, and they tend to talk about their relationships during car chases and gunfights.
          Much of Reynolds' character has a Deadpool-ishness, to be certain. For those out of the loop, Reynolds also plays an offbeat Marvel superhero with a biting satirical wit. His dead-pan delivery works so well as that character, carrying on the tradition here satisfies our appetite for more.
          But Deadpool without Spandex, Hitman's Bodyguard ain't.
          Want to hear Salma Hayek rip loose a torrent of profanity almost every time she speaks? This is the movie for that. As Jackson's wrongly incarcerated girlfriend, Hayek cusses up a proverbial storm. We're not sure if she has Turret's Syndrome, but we can tell that she's violent and good-looking, so her we like just fine.
          Lots of European car chases, beautiful countryside, and explosions. Plus a triple-A rated soundtrack, even featuring one of Chuck Berry's many best songs.
          The irony--or hypocrisy, depending on how you look at it--is that we're supposed to despise the Gary Oldman character for his cold-bloodedness and applaud the concept of Due Process of law...while at the same time enjoying watching person after person get shot to death.
          But these are mere triflings in the unmasked face of abundant chuckles.




Stewart Kirby writes for