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Friday, May 25, 2018

Comic Cuts - 25 May 2018

My apologies but this is going to be a bit short. I had written a piece but Blogger has made it mysteriously disappear, replacing it with a second copy of something else. I have no idea how, or why this has happened.

In the twelve years I have been posting to Blogger, this has only happened twice, although the last one had me tearing my hair out because it was the Michael Moorcock cover gallery that I'd spent ages noting down dates and page numbers, prices and cover artists, on what amounted to quite a few dozens of books, and the whole lot just disappeared. I think I was able to cobble together a rough skeleton and all the images I had uploaded were still there (Blogger uses Picasa as an image host, or did... frankly I'm not sure what it does now) so I was able to reinsert them into a skeletal listing which I've still not had the time to return to.

This time it's a complete mystery. It wasn't just the text that disappeared... even the subject line changed, the labels, the scheduled time for it to post... everything!

The only thing that still exists are the images as they're stored separately.

So this is roughly what I said.

I've finished my Forgotten Authors essay on William Nicholas Willis which clocks in at 32,700 words, the longest of the essays to date. I wondered whether I should make some cuts as there were a lot of complex court case and Royal Commissions covered. I pondered on whether to edit the piece as if I were James Cameron editing a movie. Cameron takes out a whole plot thread rather than trimming and tinkering to remove a bit here, a bit there, ultimately spoiling the pace of the movie. Rather, he'll hack out whole sections but leave the rest of it intact.

In this way he removed 17 or 18 minutes from Aliens and 27 or 28 minutes from The Abyss (I did look up all the times, but I'm really tired and you'll have to do with my faulty memory). Later, these scenes were reinserted into a Director's Cut, which I think most would agree are the better versions of the movie as, in Aliens, we  understand why Newt is so important to Ripley, and in The Abyss we see the consequences of everyone's actions in spectacular style.

This cleverly (you'll have to take my word for it) moved into a review of James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction which I insightfully renamed James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction Movies After Alien. It's nearly all films and recent ones at that with very little mention of the forerunners in print who created the themes and language of the genre. That's what the big picture above is about because the plot of Alien is a dead ringer for A. E. Van Vogt's "Black Destroyer".

I thought George Lucas had it right when he said that he was influenced by everything that came before. Cameron has said that he read a lot of science fiction and you can see bits of Murray Leinster, Poul Anderson, Harlan Ellison and Tom Godwin in his movies. Lucas draws from a number of sources, but Star Wars could still be summarised as "Flash Gordon Meets The Hidden Fortress." That's what the above picture represents: the princess and her two warriors from both Star Wars and Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress.

That was a bit more about editing but I'm going to practice some editing now and cut that out. I spent a very pleasant day in town with my Mum and despite eating a massive fried breakfast at lunchtime and an icecream in the afternoon, I still think we burned off more calories than we consumed. It was a beautiful, sunny day but I think my solar batteries are now starting to drain.

Normal service will be resumed next week.

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