Weekend Coffee Share: Fear the Walking Dead Edition


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m thrilled to have Luther starting up another run of blogging here. Fear the Walking Dead starts tomorrow. We’ll have something special tomorrow for that, and Luther will be back here next Saturday with a post about the premiere. Have a trailer and a link to our Walking Dead archive.

Luther recently passed a huge blogging milestone, so when you have a second, bop on over to Infinite Free Time and congratulate him for passing 8,500 WordPress followers.

And I’d tell you I had a passable, but hectic week. Classes started this week an I’m gearing up to open my office to the public on Wednesday. I have a ton of public speaking to do over the next couple of weeks, and just in general, I am going to be busy, busy, busy from now until the last week of September or so.weekendcoffeeshare_2015

This is one of the times of year when I have the most difficulty maintaining the blogging, so I’ve been working frantically in my free time since Thursday trying to get far enough ahead to just keep the blog going until things settle down. I’ve learned to just do what I need to do to keep my hand in through August and September, then start the re-design work and planning for spring in October.

So if you see me around a little less over the next few weeks, rest assured: I ain’t going anywhere. Just doing the jobby thing. I’ll be back up to my usual mayhem before you know it.

And I’d tell you, if we were having coffee, that Serins has been running a blogger party across social media this week, and it’s still on through Monday. Then I’d have to finish my coffee and run, because I have stats to geek out on. I’ll discuss a recent Reddit spike here on Monday.

Don’t forget to add your coffee share post to the linkup at Part Time Monster and share it with #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Penny Dreadful: Glorious Horrors Review (S2 E6)

This week’s episode of Penny Dreadful starts the downswing of the season. Everyone is either hiding or on display this week, sometimes uncomfortably so. Early on, we find out that Dorian is throwing a party—a ball, really. He wants to throw a ball in honor of Angelique. He says she “deserves a proper coming out.”

There are all kinds of implications in that phrase and in the ball itself. Dorian’s coming out ball for Angelique works as the unifying force for most of the episode, and it works as a good metaphor for what is happening with many of the characters. (Fair warning: spoilers below.)


But first, let’s go back a bit. Early in the episode, Ethan gets a visit from Mr. Roper, the survivor of the Mariner’s Inn Massacre and a Pinkerton agent hired to bring Ethan home. Ethan’s story is one of the few this week that doesn’t end at the ballroom. Vanessa invites him along, but he declines. More on that later.

Sir Malcolm, meanwhile, is positively giddy. When he comes home to the news that his wife has killed herself, it hardly seems to bother him at all. Instead, he sits in his room, contemplating whether or not to shave. He asks Vanessa’s advice, and she is confused by his behavior–as is everyone else. It isn’t quite like Malcolm to be so callous. Cowardly, perhaps. But not callous.

(I’m supposing that all of this behavior and gallivanting has something to do with that ring Evelyn used to draw blood during sexy-times. And it’s definitely got something to do with that fetish that Evelyn has now made of Malcolm.)

Dorian shows up at the Murray home and invites Vanessa, Frankenstein, and Lily to the ball. When Frankenstein returns home to tell Lily about the invitation, she seems glorioushorrs2excited but nervous—and Frankenstein seems just as nervous.

Ethan pays a visit to the museum, where the murder scenes have just opened as a new exhibit. He stops in for a peak at the Mariner’s Inn Massacre set-up, and Inspector Rusk is there. It’s clear that Ethan’s presence in the museum heightens Rusk’s already-high suspicions about Ethan. Also happening at the museum: Lavinia knows that John Clare isn’t alive—there’s something wrong in his touch, something too cold about him. Uh-oh.

And then it’s time for the ball. I couldn’t help thinking that it was going be a bit Episode 206disastrous, and my was it ever. Lily immediately seemed to know the ballroom—and it was, in fact, the same room where she met Dorian to take pornographic photos and have sexy-times. And speak of the devil—when Dorian is introduced to Lily, it’s clear that they are taken with one another. They gaze into one another’s eyes as they dance. And when Frankenstein tries to take back his dancing partner, she won’t be taken back. She’s also not worried about what he has to say about her drinking. The two argue quite a bit at the party—awkward.

And it’s not just Frankenstein who is upset by Dorian and Lily’s behavior. Angelique is also quite upset—understandably so, especially since it’s her party. And Elsewhere in Frankenstein Is Having a Bad Night: Vanessa reveals to him that she’s met the Creature, though she as yet knows nothing of his connection to Frankenstein.

Sir Malcolm and Evelyn show up at the ball. Turns out, he shaved his beard after all. (Bad move–maybe it’s just me being partial to beards in general, but I liked the glorioushorrors3beard better.) Evelyn re-introduces herself to Vanessa, reminding her that she met Evelyn as Madame Kali at the seance. As Sir Malcolm leaves to get drinks, Vanessa confronts Evelyn about the changes in Sir Malcolm. Later, as Vanessa is talking with Lyle, he starts to notice the change in the room, the witches staring at her—he’s clearly concerned for her safety and asks to walk her home. Vanessa agrees to go after saying goodnight to Frankenstein, but this is her undoing. As she walks across the room, Hecate moves toward her. The room starts spinning, and in Carrie-style but even worse, blood starts to rain down in the ballroom, covering the dancers and musicians and portraits while no one notices.

Vanessa faints. Frankenstein and Lyle rush to her side, the room perfectly normal, nothing like what Vanessa was seeing. And across town, we find out why Ethan was so quick to doge the invitation to the ball. It’s a full moon. Ethan goes downstairs with Sembene, who he asks him to watch but not come closer. A show-and-tell seems to be as close as Ethan is going to come to really opening up.

He howls and crumples over, his teeth lengthening and his eyes yellowing.Then he changes. Ethan is a werewolf, and Sembene knows.

It looks like next week we might return to the Cut Wife’s cottage, and perhaps those Ethan and Vanessa shippers might finally get their wish.

Worth a Look — IDW Publishing

Good day, everyone! For this entry in my newly revamped season two here at Sourcerer, I want to take a step back and have a look at one of the larger comics publishers that isn’t one of the big boys, and isn’t quite indie, but has a lot of potential—IDW. The company originally arose in 1999 as a ploy to capitalize on popular merchandising, but it has grown into a fairly strong competitor in the comics market in the years since. True, it doesn’t have a lot of its own unique properties currently, but as I said, it has a lot of potential.

IDW’s first unique comic series was 30 Days of Night in 2002, which many of you probably remember foremost as that vampire movie set in Alaska that starred Josh Hartnett. Aside from this, most of IDW’s most recognizable properties have all been older licensed intellectual properties including Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Ghostbusters, and even (shudder) My Little Pony. They’ll also be launching a new Jem and the Holograms series this year.

30 Days of Night cover image by Ben Templesmith

Among those licensed properties, the Star Trek line has some of the most interesting stories currently running. The ongoing Star Trek series launched shortly after the 2009 reboot film and actually operates with some input from the movies’ writers. Further, some of its material has even influenced the direction the movies take, making it an intriguing (and canonical) print foray into this newer growing Star Trek universe. One storyline I must read and review one day for Sourcerer is the one currently running—the crew of Kirk’s Enterprise encounter Q (of Next Generation infamy), who, aware of the changes in the timeline brought on at the beginning of the 2009 film, actually sends the Enterprise into the future of the old timeline to Deep Space Nine during the Dominion War. If you can’t see how awesome this concept potentially is, there’s no help for you.

IDW has also been stepping it up with its imported line of comics, particularly its European forays. Most notable is a series that begins its US publication in April called The Infinite Loop, a French science fiction comic book about time travel and same-sex love. It looks pretty interesting and I’ll definitely be checking it out when I’m able.

That’s about it for this week. As a reading recommendation, I’d suggest digging something up that’s been published by IDW and giving it a shot, especially given its recent (and promising) move to San Diego. Given the span of IDW’s licenses, you stand a good chance of finding something you’ll like. See you all again soon. Go out and support your local comic shops!

Review: American Horror Story Freak Show, “Curtain Call”

American Horror Story damn near broke my heart last night. The final episode of the the fourth season was one of the least compelling hours of the show I’ve seen, lacking the panache of other episodes and negating much of what happened during the season. There were a few things I knew we’d see–Elsa Mars gets her TV show and the Tattler sisters find their man–but the finality of many of the other story lines was frustrating. (Warning, Spoilers Below.)


Dandy bought the freak show. I wasn’t surprised that we started here. After all, we’ve watched Dandy’s progression from spoiled man-child to spoiled killing machine. And we’ve always known that he’s fascinated with the freaks–especially the Tattler sisters.

The cast members revolt, though. They don’t want to work for him–and so they won’t. The situation quickly deteriorates, and this is when Dandy dresses in a suit and goes on a shooting rampage, killing every character not played by a series regular. And I cringed. The 15 minutes of rampage seem like such a waste of story-telling and of screen-time. The action is out of character for Dandy. And it’s too clearly a move not to have to give so many characters their what-happened-after stories. It feels like lazy writing. It’s compounded by the fact that some of the most interesting and layered characters were there.


So after this weird writing thing that happened, we have Desiree, the Tattler sisters, Jimmy, and Elsa Mars left alive. Elsa is gone, fled to Hollywood. Desiree and Jimmy are at the freak show. Dandy has kidnapped Dot and Bette. He married them and talks of having babies with them. They remind him that the can’t have kids with someone who massacred their friends. (Oh, yeah, there’s that.) And, oh, their new maid, who is actually Desiree, has drugged him, so night-night, Dandy.

Desiree, Jimmy, and the Tattler sisters have managed to tie up Dandy and get him into the water torture cell. He says something other about not being able to die just before he does. Bye, bye Dandy. (Also a sad writing decision. Dandy needed a better ending, probably actually to continue killing. He’s a fascinating bad guy.)


Elsa arrives in Hollywood only to find that it’s a lot more difficult to get noticed than she thought. She has a difficult time getting into the office of ABCBSN network executives. But oh, she has a plan. She waits and waits. And she slaps the secretary when she’s compared to Marlene Dietrich. Dear dear. Anyway she falls in the confrontation, and it’s just then that an executive comes along. He picks her up and dries her tears, and the two hit it off.

Flash forward to 1960. Elsa is a major network TV star and has married that executive who picked her up and dried her tears. Elsa seems to be a show host, some incarnation of Ed Sullivan and/or Lucille Ball, wither husband Michael as her manager. She’s getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

And then we get a LOT of Elsa Mars. I think that, in some ways, what we were seeing was the show bidding farewell to Jessica Lange. Elsa is famous, but she argues with her husband a lot. Massimo comes to visit her once, tells her that he’s been rebuilding villages and that he couldn’t/can’t be with her because he’s ill–he has cancer. The two can’t run away together.

It’s Halloween again, too. Everyone wants her to host a Halloween special, but Elsa doesn’t want to do it. Her life starts to crumble–the 8mm film of Elsa’s legs being chopped off has been found and released; her husband wants a divorce; and always, always that Halloween show. Fine, she says.

Elsa goes on stage. Everyone goes wild as she sings “Heroes.” It’s wonderful. The remaining freaks see Elsa on television–Desiree and her husband (Malcolm Jamal-Warner) watch her on a TV in a storefront; Jimmy comes home to Dot and Bette, and they’re expecting their first child, and they’re watching Elsa on the TV.


But uh-oh. There’s that whole thing about Halloween. So this of course is where Edward Mordrake returns, Twisty in tow. But Elsa’s soul doesn’t belong with them, even when Mordrake does kill her. Instead, she goes back to the freak show, where Ma Petite and Paul and Ethel and all the others are waiting.

And that’s the end. Freak Show is finished.

Episode Grade: C-. The rapid-fire deaths of so many characters in such an out-of-character way really mars this one for me. It was nice to see Elsa’s goodbye, and nice to watch the cyclical return to the freak show, however.


That’s it for me on this one, but don’t worry–I’ll be back on Sourcerer with more reviews soon enough, including Season 2 of Penny Dreadful and Black Mirror.