Got my review copy of the new BCI/Eclipse release of Space Academy – The Complete Series yesterday. The episodes look very good. Not pristine, but better than the Ark II episodes released on DVD a couple months ago.
Like Ark II, I'm finding the series better and smarter than I thought it would be, and that my memories of the show were remarkably accurate and vivid. I'm also still impressed by the special effects. Shot on a shoestring Saturday Morning budget, they still rival Brian Johnson's work on the much-more expensive contemporary series, Space: 1999. (Forget those IMDB readers comments that describe the FX as "cheesy" – I've come to realize that "cheesy" is just a modern-day euphemism for "crafted by hand and executed with talent and skill.")
The only disappointment in this fine DVD set is that neither Pamelyn Ferdin (Laura) or Maggie Cooper (Adrian) were involved in the reunion/documentary. It's a shame, because Ferdin was one of the most prolific and familiar child actresses of the late 60's-70's, and Maggie Cooper was... well, a babe.
I also received yesterday the latest Richard (Donald Westlake) Stark "Parker" novel, Ask the Parrot. It picks up literally seconds after the end of the previous series entry, Nobody Runs Forever, and Stark's prose is as sharp, lean and compelling as ever. I'm already more than halfway through the book. It's good. Really good.
It feels great to sit down with a novel again. Still remaining on my TBR (To Be Read) pile are Road to Purgatory by Max Allan Collins, Something Is Down There by Mickey Spillane, Mildred Pierced and Now You See Him by Stuart M. Kaminsky, The Peddler by Richard Prather, The Last Match by David Dodge, All the Flowers Are Dying by Lawrence Block, and Kull, Exile of Atlantis by Robert E. Howard.
Managed also to pick up a few *new* comics this week. Got a hold of the first issue of The Immortal Iron Fist by Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction, with art by David Aja and others. Liked it quite a bit. I actually recognized Daniel Rand in there, and thought that Brubaker and Fraction had come up with a nice new angle on the chracter/concept. Plenty of story for a first issue, too. Also read the first issue of Matt Fraction's Punisher War Journal, which I thought was nicely drawn with a decent, well-written story, but – and here's the problem – Frank Castle was way out of character. Too bad. Won't be buying any more, even if I see them.
Although I recently said I haven't been able to follow any monthly comics for a while, there has been one exception. I've actually been reading She-Hulk for a few months now (thanks to the fact that they carry it at the local Barnes & Noble), since my pal Rick Burchett started drawing it, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. writer Dan Slott is having a lot of fun with Jen and an extensive supporting cast of cast-off or obscure Marvel characters like the Two-Gun Kid and Stargod... and the fun is contagious.
Check it out. It's good.