Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2118th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3566, December 15, 2005.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:firstname.lastname@example.org
|L.A.con IV in 2006!||Nippon 2007 in 2007!||Salamander Press #2601|
Last Wednesday evening (the 7th), Michael Burlake took me to my first meeting of the Comic Art Professional Society since my stroke. This was CAPS' December Holiday banquet, at the Montrose Bowl in beautiful downtown Montrose. (Really; the city has put up such extensive holiday lights along its downtown main street that you can hardly see the stores behind them.) The reason I had not gone to any previous CAPS meetings since I became able to leave my hospital was that for the past twenty years CAPS has met in the auditorium of the Burbank Board of Realtors, which is on a second floor with no wheelchair access, so I did not even try. It was almost by accident that I found out recently that the Burbank Board of Realtors became unavailable shortly after my stroke, and that CAPS is meeting at least temporarily at the ground-floor Sherman Oaks Women's Club. But it was not available for the annual banquet, so CAPS moved for this one meeting to the bowling alley in Montrose.
It was good to return to CAPS after ten months. I got lots of congratulations on my return. Stan Sakai gave me the current issue of his Usagi Yojimbo comic book, and promised to send me all the issues that I missed. (They arrived on Friday.) Political cartoonist Steve Greenberg showed me an advance copy of his cartoon that will appear this week in a mass protest by editorial cartoonists to major newspapers throughout the country to protest the recent trend to "modernize" newspapers by eliminating their editorial cartoons. Practically everyone else was taking advantage of the 8-lane bowling alley; I had not known that cartoonists were such bowling fans. The banquet arrived late; Michael & I barely had time for one serving of ham, turkey, mashed potatoes & pecan pie (& no time for any of the other dishes) before we had to hurry back to my hospital. I am looking forward to attending regular CAPS meetings once again, as long as they meet at places that my wheelchair can get into.
On Thursday Burlake took me to the LASFS meeting, where I returned five L.A. Public Library books to Kay Shapero and got nine more from her - also, June Moffatt loaned me two more murder mysteries that she recommended. The main event was the club's semi-annual elections for procedural officers, which ran so long that we had to return me to the hospital before the voting for Registrar was tallied. At least I had time to cast my ballot before we left. The big surprise of the meeting for me was my birthday party. Since my birthday was not for three more days and my patron saint's week is this week, I was not expecting anything at last week's meeting. I hope that all attendees enjoyed the chocolate cake as much as I did. If I understand correctly, Rob Powell and Tadao Tomomatsu deserve my thanks for organizing the party. Thanks, guys.
I expected to spend all Friday at the hospital in bed reading, but Rob Powell phoned shortly before noon to ask, "How would you like to see Narnia this afternoon?" Very much; it is the only new non-animated movie that I have been really looking forward to. Powell picked me up just after lunch and we drove to the big AMC Burbank 16 movie complex. On the way I thanked him for my LASFS birthday cake (which he missed since he had to work Thursday night). He said that credit should also go to my sister Sherrill in NYC who told him about my birthday, and to Jim Groat in Madison who told him that I like chocolate cake. He also took me to the Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Burbank Media Center, where I bought the s-f books that I had expected to buy at Loscon 32 but nobody was selling there (and made note of a couple of more expensive books to reserve from the Public Library).
I was more than pleased with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; I was overjoyed with it. I cannot remember when I have last seen a movie that was so faithful to the book it was adapted from. If I reread the novel I would doubtlessly find a few minor changes (I don't remember flying griffins in the novel), but the only changes that I really noticed were additions that are faithful to the story, such as an extended prologue showing the Pevensie children in London during the Blitz before being evacuated into the countryside, and a scene showing Edmund and Mr. Tumnus together in the Witch's dungeon before she turns the latter into a statue. The four juvenile actors who play the Pevensie children really look (naturally or with makeup?) like siblings. I often could not tell which of the animals wandering through the backgrounds (wolves, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, etc.) were real animals, real animals with computer enhancements to make them seem to be acting intelligently, or complete computer creations. I think that I noticed one very minor discrepancy; when Santa Claus appears he looks more like the Russian Father Winter (and I think the character is more effective that way), but the dialogue mentions his stereotypical Santa "red suit" which he is not wearing. That went by so quickly that I would have to see the movie again to find out if I was imagining this or not. Christian propaganda? Maybe, but so what? It is still an excellent adventure story, without the intellectual baggage of expecting you to accept it as "real history" like the story of Noah and the Ark. I give the movie my top recommendation. I see on the Rotten Tomatoes website that it is averaging 76% favorable reviews.
On the other hand, the seemingly endless previews before the movie included a lot for theatrical animated features coming in 2006. With the exceptions of Ice Age 2 and Pixar's Cars, most look so bad that I may not even bother to see them for free assuming that ASIFA gets free screenings for its members. (They did not show the preview for the 2006 release of Over the Hedge, which does show promise.) Curious George looks especially repellant, not because of the animation quality but for the new story the producers have cobbled together to fill out a feature's running time. (Oh, a few weeks ago I said that Hoodwinked was the last theatrical animated feature expected to be released in 2005. It has been rescheduled to January 13th. Advance reviews of it are getting worse and worse.)
On Saturday Rob Powell brought me to the December Cinema Anime meeting. Attendance was a healthy 16 or so. Most of the programming was further episodes of titles already started. Of the new titles started, Marriage of God and Soul: Godannar looked the most interesting; a modernization of the giant robot stereotypes of the 1970s with two newlywed giant robot pilots, with lots of wedding night innuendos and hints of a forthcoming angst-filled romantic triangle (his original love, whom he thinks is dead, is just in suspended animation). We saw the first three episodes, with titles like "Battle Royal Honeymoon" (gotta interrupt their honeymoon to save East Asia from the latest monster). We also saw the first episode of the Ah! My Goddess TV series. High TV animation production values, but s-l-o-o-o-w! This was originally a six episode OAV series (well, it was a popular comic book before that), and to remake it as a 26 episode TV series requires incredible padding. This half-hour TV episode #1 covered the events in about the first ten minutes of the OAV episode #1. We left before the last title on the program, which was the same first episode of Tsukuyomi Moon Phase that the C/FO showed at its October meeting.
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Last Friday I got an e-mail from Harmony McChesney, a Masters student at the University of Central Florida,, thanking me for my book Watching Anime, Reading Manga, which she said was essential in enabling her to contact early anime costume fans to write her Master's thesis on "Cartoons, Conventions, and Costumes: The Theatre of Cosplay". She says: "I would be honored if you would read my paper. As the introduction states, it is really meant to introduce the theatre community to the concept of cosplay. I contacted Karen Schnaubelt (Dick) who you mentioned in your book and she has helped me tremendously. She sent me pictures from her 1980 cosplay that you mention in your book, and I was so happy that I beamed for two days!" She included a document file attachment of her 12-page paper on the introduction and theory of anime costume fans. It includes an acknowledgement of anime fandom's costuming origins in the s-f conventions, with the famous photograph of Forry Ackerman at the 1939 Worldcon in his Things to Come costume. It is a nice paper, and I am proud to be cited in it.
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Here is a new invitation in "interesting" English from an international conference. This is not as funny as the invitation that I think I published in Apa L ten years or more ago, from an international cartoon exhibition in Tehran, hosted by the conservative Ministry of Islamic Culture (there were no restrictions on submissions, but "we trust that submitters will be prudent and not submit any teasels in the garden of good taste"), but it amused me. I regret that my copying of this e.mail is not able to include any of the cartoon weblinks to their registration forms, which I assume are the Festival's mascots; a cute tiger knight and his tomato(!?) man-at-arms.
We Invite You to SICAF 2006,
the 10th Anniversary of the Biggest Cartoon & Animation Festival In Asia!
I am very pleased to announce that we are going to celebrate 10th year SICAF (Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival) next year from May 24 to 28 at SETEC (Seoul Trade Exhibition Center) for Exhibition-Convention and SPP, at COEX Megabox for Animated Film Festival.
When fixing the festival venue and dates, we considered as the top priority more comfortable business environment and easier access of foreign attendees.
In conjunction with Seoul Metropolitan Government and Ministry of Culture & Tourism's full supports, next year SICAF will be reborn as the first and foremost market place as well as artworks outlet in Asia.
I hope to see your enthusiastic participation in SICAF both for your benefit and our great honor and enjoy the dynamic city of Seoul's awesome cultural relics and Korean's exceptional kindness during your stay.
KWON, Soon Hyung
President of SICAF Executive Committee
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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:
De Jueves #1456 - (Moffatt) I, too, read The Blind Spot before reading Damon Knight's critique of it. I probably read it before Knight's review was written, in the early 1950s when I was reading every book in the public library that was even vaguely s-f; Serviss' Edison's Conquest of Mars, Astor's A Journey to Other Worlds, etc. ## I was referring to Latitude 33, which was enough of a "gourmet restaurant" by my standards (it certainly was no "coffee shop") that we didn't even investigate the higher-priced Steak House. The Marriott Hotel may have considered its Starbucks as its coffee shop, but I wanted a dinner more substantial than a latté and a prepackaged sandwich. ## It certainly looks like the Loscons need to do a better job of appointing moderators and making sure the moderators know what is expected of them. ## "Val" can also be a male name in its own right, as in the actor Val Kilmer.
I Catch Lee Gold's Unleashed Leopards - (Cantor) There was some turnover in the audience at Loscon 32's fanzine panel, so that while the audience did not seem to be more than four or five at any one time, there were probably ten to twelve different people by the panel's end. I am unsure whether this was good or bad, since it showed that no matter how enthusiastic the first people were, we could not stop them from leaving. ## Thanks for the information on how the LASFS acquired its Gestetner. I am sure that I have been told this in the past and have promptly forgotten it. If it cost almost $11,000, then starting to save now for when we need a replacement certainly seems prudent. ## I do not recall last year's Green Room that well, but this year's had what I considered an adequate supply of drinks and nibblements. I went to the Green Room several times over all three days, and always found enough fruit drinks, salted nuts, cheeses & crackers, cold cut meats, chocolates, and cookies to satisfy me.
Godzillla Verses #66 - (DeChancie) Every time that Michael Burlake went up to the Con Suite, we heard admiring comments on the view and on being able to watch the airplanes taking off & landing at LAX. Putting the Con suite there was definitely a Good Idea.
I Variegate Moonbeams - (Gold) Thank you for keeping aware of my 65th birthday (last Sunday) and for making sure that I get enrolled on Medicare. ## I don't qualify as a low-income senior? My combined Social Security benefits and Hughes Aircraft Company pension are under $2,000 a month. What is the low-income limit? ## I would like to see your story about George Scithers and the R-rated (homoerotic and maybe S&M) dragon artwork. ## I have not read either Perry Mason or Dick & Jane in over fifty years, so I would not care to make any new value judgments on either after so long. ## The hospital gives all patients regular checkups, and I have been told that my hearing, teeth, and eyes (with my new glasses) are all excellent. The audiologist told me just a month ago that my hearing is better than his, and it is only natural that I cannot hear people talking to me with a radio blaring loudly in the same room. A nurse cleaned my ears out with a swab a couple of weeks ago. ## Yes, a light plastic raincoat sounds like just what I need, if it can be put over me easily. I have been lucky so far that the weather has been dry every time I have wanted to go out, but I am bound to run into a rainstorm eventually.
Vanamonde #656 - (Hertz) Thank you for all the detailed Rosconian (Roscoite? Roscoish?) information.
Long Time, No C #43 - (Zeff) Isn't 40,000 words the minimum length for a novel, according to the Hugo and Nebula rules? 52,000 words certainly does not sound like too long for an average novel. It is longer than the minimum but not yet a 600 or 700-page giant.
Fish Out of Water #148 - (Helgesen) MiRoscoe, do you bring up old memories! Yes, I had one of those Tru View viewers too. I am not as sure of the brand name as I am of the View-Master, but I remember trying to thread those curled-up strips of black-&-white film (a worn-out movie reel cut up?) into the viewer to use it. ## Wikipedia may not be perfect, and its ease of access may require constant policing to prevent abuses, but in general it seems to have more positive than negative aspects.