Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2140th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3588, May 18, 2006.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:email@example.com
|L.A.con IV in 2006!||Nippon 2007 in 2007!||Salamander Press #2623|
Michael Burlake brought me to last week's LASFS meeting. The Moffatts were back after a month, June's shoulder having finally healed. The club held a delayed 80th birthday party for her, which was as much a "welcome back" party. (I was glad to see her back because she loaned me more murder mysteries.) It was Saint Bob Null's week, and the Good Things said about him went on unusually long. Kay Shapero brought me more public library books, and did a professional job of manicuring my fingernails which included soaking them in water for 15 minutes to soften them before cutting them. The program was a reading by Rick Foss of one of his stories, but I was not feeling too well so I asked Burlake to bring me back to the hospital early.
On Saturday, Michael Burlake took me to most of the May Cinema Anime meeting. We arrived late and left early, skipping Daphne in the Brilliant Blue and Puni Puni Poemy, both of which are okay if you like lots of action-packed s-f with one-dimensional Girls with Big Guns and Bigger Breasts (well, the jiggly breasts are surely three-dimensional; Daphne) and a not-so-popular parody of a popular parody (okay, I admit the superbaby Mutant with Incredible Psychic Powers, but who isn't yet potty-trained, is funny; Poemy); but left me unimpressed. Brad Achorn again ran the meeting in his brother Brett's absence. We saw Maze: The Mega-Burst Space, Azumanga Daioh!, Heat Guy J, Samurai Champloo, Planetes, Genshikan, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - 2nd Gig, Goddannar, The Twelve Kingdoms, Fruits Basket, and Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. With Azumanga Daioh! and Abenobashi we maybe got a surfeit of Tokyo TV parodies of Osaka regionalisms ("Why does it seem to be impossible to mention Osaka without takoyaki jokes?"). I am still unable to distinguish between Tokyo and Osaka accents, although Donald Cassel and a couple of other attendees claimed they could. There was a debate whether we should revive a couple of old TV series that we had left uncompleted over a couple of years ago. We decided to watch Dai-Guard: Earth Defense Corporation, but not Kurogane Communication at this time (maybe later). It had been so long since we had seen any episodes of Dai-Guard that we voted to start over again with episode #1.
On Monday evening, Michael Burlake took Rob Powell & me to a DreamWorks Animation publicity preview for ASIFA-Hollywood members of Over the Hedge, at the Writers Guild of America theater in Beverly Hills. The movie will be released tomorrow. There were nice refreshments before the movie, and I had a chance to chat with several animation-industry acquaintances. Chad Frye, the president of CAPS, said that its directors have voted to give me a free membership for 2006, even though that may not be worth much to me since I still cannot attend CAPS meetings as long as they are on the second floor at the Burbank Board of Realtors.
The feature was preceded by a new CGI short, First Flight, which is overly cute. The presentation included a question-&-answer session with Directors Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick, and Supervising Animator David Burgess, after the movie. I have not been a reader of the Over the Hedge comic strip because I consider it overly cynical. R.J. the raccoon is a mean-spirited egotist, and Verne the turtle is a nebbish who allows himself to be too easily shoved around by R.J. But in general, I enjoyed the movie. It does about as good a job as could be expected to make the characters more sympathetic while remaining true to the comic-strip personalities. William Shatner, who voices Ozzie the opossum (a new character for the movie), was a good sport about allowing them to make his role into a parody of himself. I really liked Stella the Southern skunk (voiced by Wanda Sykes), another new character. In fact, the only other character in the movie that the directors said was from the strip (but not in the samples that I read before I gave up on it) is Hammy the red squirrel (Steve Carrell), and he is played as such a hyperkinetic character, zipping all over the screen, that I cannot imagine how he would work in static comic strip cartoons. At the climax, Hammy exceeds the speed of light in a time-stop sequence which s-f fans should appreciate. The computer graphic animation is excellent. My main complaint is against humor sequences that are overly story-driven. Characters are victims of incredibly elaborate Rube-Goldbergian funny sequences of bad luck because the story calls for them to fall into hopeless situations early in the movie. Then, when they need to succeed for a happy ending, they have just as incredibly elaborate sequences that are due more to good luck than to their own planning. They are snappy, fast-paced and funny action sequences, but to me they are too obviously manipulative. Maybe the producers felt that since all the protagonists are just animated funny animals, the audience could never accept them as real characters and therefore there was no need to make them seem like realistic personalities.
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The voting for the 2005 Ursa Major Awards, to select the best Anthropomorphic Art & Literature of that year, closed on Saturday the 6th. I spent a good part of last week tallying the ballots, along with the Award's other administrators, to make sure we agreed that all the votes were counted properly. The winners will be announced at the presentation ceremony at Rocket City FurMeet in Huntington, Alabama at the end of this month (May 26 - 28).
This year, although we allowed voting both online and by regular mail again, all of the ballots that we received were e.mailed in. We received a record 177 ballots. Over a hundred were from the U.S.; over ten were from Canada; between five and nine each were from Australia and the United Kingdom, and we got from one to four ballots each from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, and Trinidad. We are delighted that the Ursa Majors are finally coming to be recognized as an Award for international anthropomorphic fandom's participation, instead of just an award by & for Southern California's Furry fans.
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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:
De Jueves #1478 - (Moffatt) Aleksandr Volkov only rewrote Baum's first Oz novel. Volkov's subsequent "Magic Land" novels were completely original. ## The International Wizard of Oz Club had just published the first collected edition of Baum's Animal Fairy Tales, the nine children's' short stories he wrote for The Delineator magazine in January through September 1905, in late 1969, at just about the time that March Laumer's Hong Kong-based Opium Books published the English translation of Volkov's The Wooden Soldiers of Oz. Your January 1970 letter from the Oz Club's David Greene acknowledging your order for two copies of Animal Fairy Tales would have made a logical bookmark in Volkov's book. If you still have your copies of Animal Fairy Tales, I understand that they are Valuable Collectables today.
Vanamonde #677 - (Hertz) I mentioned Kees van Toorn's phone call in January in ˇRR! at the time, although I never knew where in the U.S. he was calling from or why he had come to this country. Thanks for clearing up this minor mystery. ## The public has been actively avoiding circulating the Sacagawea dollar coin for years; while I imagine any scarcity of the Lewis & Clark commemorative nickels would be because people are collecting them. They are supposed to be as common as the fifty state commemorative quarters, which are in common circulation.
Marty Helgesen's International Union of Religious Aeroport Aspersion Casters and Nut Tighteners - (Cantor) I have not gotten any second communication from Kenneth Eng, including a thank-you for answering his question. I do not intend to encourage any. ## As I recall, the 18-month International Geophysical Year was officially approved by the United Nations.
MS Found in A(nother) Klein Bottle #35 - (Shapero) Thanks for reprinting here your short story, "Booty", from the CafiFur 2 Program Book. It is much easier for me to read it here. Yes, please do write a sequel. You do not specify whether Chel and his family are humans or not; if they are, the story seems only moderately Furry with the three Outlanders who are only supporting characters.
Godzilla Verses #87 - (DeChancie) Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's famous report of the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813 was, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours." "Don't give up the ship!" was Captain James Lawrence's dying command to his crew of the Chesapeake, sunk in a different battle earlier in 1813. Perry named his flagship the Lawrence and flew a flag embroidered with "Don't Give Up The Ship" during the September battle, which is how the quote has come to be often associated with him.. ## I suspected, but did not want to encourage him to reply by asking, that Kenneth Eng had already tried and been rejected by all the regular s-f publishers, and that he hoped that I would know about some secret Furry publishers that are hiding from the public that would buy his novels. Sort of like the secret mark that some people reportedly believe that the general public can put on their cars to keep the police from arresting them for speeding, running through red lights and crosswalks with pedestrians in them, and similar bureaucratic technicalities that the people who believe this are always getting arrested for since nobody will tell them what the secret mark is to put on their cars. ## I can understand not wanting unnecessary glass in L.A.con IV's Con Suite, although soft drink bottles are usually thick and relatively unbreakable. Room parties at cons usually have lots of glass beer bottles; do they tend to get broken? ## Do the book first (about John Paul Jones) and then sell it to Hollywood.
Nightmare, Ridden By Ischemia - (Gold) You have another of my electric fans? I do not remember having more than the old one that you brought from my apartment to the hospital, which my sister Sherry broke. Since she immediately bought me a brand-new one, I do not need another just now, although it is good to know that a spare is available.
Toodequirtle #11 - (Castora) I cannot specifically remember seeing cars with Rhode Island license plates, but I never thought that they were particularly rare; or any rarer than other East Coast state license plates on cars in Los Angeles. ## What is the similarity between Pittsburgh and the LASFS? I am pretty sure that I told you about this in the 1970s (I may have published it in Apa L at the time), but do you remember? One of the library books that Kay Shapero brought me last week reminded me of this. I will not state the title yet, since that might give the answer away. ## If Kenneth Eng hates humans that may explain why his novel is so unreadable; if he is writing for dragons and not for humans. ## Yes, I was one of the 1960s Batman comic book fans who was irate over the TV show that I felt ruined the character.
Fish Out of Water #170 - (Helgesen) Speaking of religious s-f authors, I had thought that Alexander Key was a Baptist minister, but I cannot find any current biographical information that says he was especially religious in any way. But his 1968 novel Escape to Witch Mountain implies that the Communist villains are actually agents of Satan disguised as humans, and that all Communists are Satanic. The young orphan protagonists are helped by a Catholic priest. The later Disney movie adaptation removed all the religious elements. In his juvenile novel Jagger, the Dog from Elsewhere, Jagger, the canine space visitor who helps human children, is so virtuous and powerful that I found it hard to think of him as anything other than a thinly-disguised Guardian Angel. I was never able to find any of Key's other novels, although I looked hard at the time for The Incredible Tide because it was one of the few American s-f novels officially made into a Japanese animated TV series in the 1970s before the modern popularity of anime (and by Hayao Miyazaki while he was still working as a TV animator), Future Boy Conan. (I hadn't thought about Key for decades. I just checked the LAPL catalogue online, and reserved six of his novels including The Incredible Tide which is in the Central Library's Children's Department stacks. Hooray!)