American Gods: Wandering in the Desert for 30 Years

Warning: might contain spoilers. Like many people, I thoroughly enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. It was a fantastic journey through mythology and how the ideas humans worshipped grew and changed over centuries and millennia. When the television series of the book was announced, I was thrilled. I looked forward to meeting what the filmmakers and…

Taking the Joy Out of Life

Word got out this week about a blog post from “comedian” Bill Maher regarding the death of Stan Lee. He wrote: “The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess. Someone…

Stuck in My Head

Did you ever have a song stuck in your head? It happens to me frequently, though rarely for very long. Today, for example, I had two songs fighting for headspace: The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly”, and “I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart” as sung by Peggy Lee with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. I…

A Special Kind of Evil

Writing villains is easy. Writing GOOD villains is substantially more difficult. As with any character, they need to have a reason to exist, and often a reason for their evil. They have to have motivations that are grounded in reality, motivations that make sense. Even if that sense is twisted, we still have to be…

The Price of Fame

As a youth, I collected autographs of baseball players the couple of times a year we were able to attend pro baseball games. I managed a few good ones too: Hall of Famer Paul Molitor, Bob Uecker, better known for his Hall of Fame career as a wisecracking baseball announcer than as a player, Cub…

This Place Is A Zoo!

I’ve been thinking about zoos a lot lately. What started it all was a whiff of nostalgia: one of my all-time favorite commercials EVER, created by and for the Detroit Zoo circa 1982, showed up on YouTube. It was later modified to be a general-purpose zoo commercial run on national television in the US, frequently…

Getting Animated!

I’ve been hooked by several animated TV shows recently, and I find them just the right mix of goofy, immature humor, clever plotting, interesting character development, and sly, understated humor. The first one is Steven Universe, which I’ve written about before. The second is Gravity Falls, and the third is my most recent discovery, Star…