Category Archives: Film & TV

Kit O’Toole writes about what made ‘Off the Wall’ timeless

With the Michael Jackson documentary making its way this month to Showtime, author of Michael Jackson FAQ Kit O’Toole, tells us 5 integral elements that made Off the Wall a modern classic. Read below!


Michael Jackson’s landmark solo record Off the Wall is receiving the royal treatment this month, with Spike Lee’s documentary Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall debuting this month on Showtime. The original album will be reissued as part of a package bundling the CD with the DVD or Blu ray of the film. Lee’s movie serves as a reminder of the importance of the album, a sophisticated blend of R&B, funk, disco, and jazz that sounds as fresh today as it did in 1979. Artists such as Justin Timberlake, Usher, and Beyoncé still emulate its genre-spanning sound, winning crossover appeal with polished dance grooves.

What makes Off the Wall so effective and timeless that it inspires musicians in 2016? Five integral elements contributed to the making of a modern classic.

  1. Michael Jackson’s voice. Producer Quincy Jones encouraged Jackson to explore the full range of his voice, particular the lower register. Renowned vocal coach Seth Riggs was hired to work with the singer, and their partnership would continue for the rest of Jackson’s career. From the moment a deeper voice utters “You know, I was wondering” at the beginning of the kickoff track “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” a more mature Jackson has made his entrance, announcing a new era in his artistry. His sensual voice wraps around the words in “Rock with You,” seducing a woman through music and dance. When he half-whispers “Love to run my fingers / Softly while you sigh,” Jackson demonstrates his skills as an interpreter, his phrasing perfectly suiting the mood of the romantic “I Can’t Help It.” If anyone doubted his skills as a vocalist before, Off the Wall immediately put those fears to rest.
  2. Quincy Jones’ production. When Jones met Jackson on the set of The Wiz, they quickly formed a personal and professional bond. Toward the end of filming, Jackson asked for recommendations for possible producers for an upcoming solo album. Jones subsequently suggested himself, a controversial idea at the time. Epic Records doubted Jones, a jazz composer and producer, could successfully oversee a crossover R&B/pop album. Instead, he used his jazz background to create a sophisticated album, drawing upon his vast musical connections to recruit the best musicians available. Artists such as George Duke (keyboards), Larry Carlton (guitar), Louis Johnson (bass, best known as a member of the Brothers Johnson), and Jerry Hey (trumpet) shaped the sound, while Jones protégé Patti Austin provided backing vocals and sang on the duet “It’s the Falling in Love.” Jones surrounded Jackson with seasoned singers and musicians, resulting in a cosmopolitan, polished sound that elevated disco to new realms.
  3. Rod Temperton’s songs. A member of the group Heatwave, Temperton penned hits such as “Always and Forever,” “Boogie Nights,” and “The Groove Line.” Recognizing his talent for blending jazz and R&B, Jones recruited the composer/keyboardist to write songs for Jackson’s new project. He submitted three tracks for consideration: “Rock with You,” “Off the Wall,” and “Burn This Disco Out.” To Temperton’s amazement, Jones selected all three compositions. The first two would largely shape the album, allowing Jackson to fully explore his range as well as his “percussive singing” ability. “Off the Wall” contains unusual, jazz-tinged chord changes in the chorus, and “Rock with You” includes lyrics that perfectly capture the romance (if temporary) of disco. After proving his hit making capabilities, Temperton would go on to write classics such as “Yah Mo B There” by James Ingram and Michael McDonald; “Sweet Freedom” by McDonald; “Give Me the Night” by George Benson: and, most famously, “Thriller,” “The Lady in My Life,” and “Baby Be Mine” by Jackson.
  4. Michael Jackson’s songs. During his time with his brothers as The Jacksons, Jackson had rapidly developed as a songwriter. His first solo composition, “Blues Away,” had appeared on the group’s self-titled 1976 LP; however, he proved his talent for writing catchy songs with “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” from the 1978 Jacksons album Destiny. When it came time to begin work on Off the Wall, Jackson recorded three demos: “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough,” “Working Day and Night,” and “Get on the Floor” (co-written with Louis Johnson). The first two tracks reveal Jackson’s love of heavy rhythm, with “Working Day and Night” allowing him to use his voice as a percussive instrument. “Get on the Floor” demonstrates how much Jackson enjoyed recording the album—his laugh and “woo!” toward the end of the song radiates infectious joy. “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” became a massive hit, foreshadowing future masterpieces such as “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.” Jackson clearly had a knack for writing R&B and dance tracks with pop appeal, a technique that would win over fans of various genres.
  5. Paulinho da Costa’s percussion. An unsung hero of the album, da Costa provided the intricate percussion heard on Off the Wall. Originally from Brazil, da Costa was an in-demand musician, appearing on thousands of albums as well as recording soundtracks for movies and television. His style mixes jazz, Cuban, and Brazilian influences, making him a frequent Jones collaborator. In his autobiography Moonwalk, Jackson names da Costa as an essential ingredient of “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough.” Indeed, that track as well as “Working Day and Night,” “Get on the Floor,” the title track, and “Burn This Disco Out” would simply not work without da Costa’s complicated, driving rhythms. He was capable of more subtle work, too, particularly on the Stevie Wonder composition “I Can’t Help It.” Listen to Off the Wall through headphones to fully experience da Costa’s masterful percussive work.

Off the Wall remains a classic because it sounds timeless, a remarkable feat considering it dates from the last days of disco. Jackson proved that dance music could be sophisticated and incorporate various genres. His willingness to cross boundaries and transcend simple musical labels would serve him well, the ultimate example being the crossover success of Thriller. Not stopping there, Jackson would continue experimenting with classical, rock, hip hop, R&B, funk, and pop throughout his career. The 1979 album would mark a turning point in Jackson’s life, one that officially established him as an adult artist with a unique voice. Off the Wall would provide a template for future artists to follow, challenging them to reach fans through intelligent, multi-genre tracks. When Jackson sings, “I sure would like just to groove with you,” listeners cannot help but obey.

John Kenneth Muir discusses The X-Files

Author of The X-Files FAQ, John Kenneth Muir, has reviewed the first episode of the television show The X-Files! Read below to see what he had to say.


00124644After far too long an absence from television, Chris Carter’s The X-Files (1993-2002) returned to television on Monday night with an episode titled, cannily, “My Struggle.”

That title — not coincidentally, I presume — is also the translated-to-English title of Adolf Hitler’s 1925 literary autobiography, Mein Kampf.

That historical fact may prove the key to understanding better this new starting point for the series.

When we consider Hitler and his particular “struggle,” we think immediately of genocide, totalitarianism, and fascism.

We think of a man who destroyed both individual freedom, and the lives of millions of innocent people. That autobiography, written in a jail cell, laid out one man’s mad dream essentially, for Germany and the world.

Unfortunately, Hitler made much of that mad dream a reality before his death.

And if viewers and critics believe that this new X-Files series doesn’t address those very same issues, they aren’t paying close enough attention.

The title should cue them in.

Specifically, our old friends Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dr. Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) — now estranged — are informed of a terrifying conspiracy by an Internet celebrity and fear peddler: Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale). 

Think Alex Jones meets Glenn Beck, only better dressed.

O’Malley’s story of an “evil” conspiracy in “My Struggle” involves the invasion of America, illicit scientific experiments on American citizens, and the vast expansion of a totalitarian state. 

In other words, the tale concerns a 21st century threat to our freedom not entirely unlike the threat to Germany (and later the Allies) in the 1930s and 1940s.

I have often written of Carter’s powerful sense of anticipatory anxiety in relation to The X-Files, Millennium (1993-1996) and Harsh Realm (1999-2000). In the nineties, he feared that the Clinton Era of Peace and Prosperity couldn’t last. We were so distracted by the Economic Boom created by the Internet that many of us weren’t paying attention to the larger world.

And Carter was right, of course. The Age of Peace and Prosperity — the Roaring Nineties,if you will — came to a crashing end on 9/11/2001.

Read his review in its entirety here.


John Kenneth Muir was also interviewed by Geek Chic Elite. The interview is available below!

 

With twenty five reference books to his credit, author John Kenneth Muir’s latest release is called THE X-FILES FAQ, which explores the 1990’s series that aired on Fox for nine seasons. Recently, we had a chance to talk to John about the new book, the legacy of creator Chris Carter and what his thoughts were on the six part X-Files ‘event’ series.

Were you always interested in writing and how did you move into the world of literary critic?

Well, I began my career as a literary critic, I think it was when I was five years old. My parents had the knowledge or foresight to sit me down in front of a British science fiction series called Space: 1999 and the episode I watched was called ‘Dragon’s Domain’ and it was about the people in the year 1999 encountering this horrible tentacle monster that would suck people into its mouth and spit out steaming bones. I was five years old and this just sort of struck me, the idea of these people of the future, because then of course 1999 was the distance future as this was 1975, I thought the people of the distant future and all of their technology but they’re encountering a monster. It was like science fiction meets horror, high tech meets gothic, it just obsessed me and it started the next decade I guess, in the eighties, I read all of these things about shows that I love like The Outer Limits, Star Trek, Twilight Zone and no one had written a book about Space: 1999 and I thought one of these days I’m going to write a book about this show and the values it had as this sort of gothic show. So I went to college, I studied in film, I had a concentration of film studies and so I kind of learned the language of film through that and then I thought, but what if I could analyze Space: 1999 through film studies techniques and boom, I had my first book. By 1994 I guess I was twenty five, I had a contract for my first book about Space: 1999 using my film study background and I been doing it now for twenty years about other topics I love.

Read more here

Win TV Finales FAQ!

Applause books has partnered with Erie Gay News to give away a copy of TV Finales FAQ to one lucky winner! Visit the page below to enter the contest, but hurry contest ends on February 16th. Best of luck!

>>Enter Here<<

00127918borderFrom Mary Richards’ heartfelt goodbye to the WJM-TV newsroom in the classic finale of The Mary Tyler Moore Show to the puzzling conclusion of the enigmatic adventure series, Lost, to the tumultuous final hours in the life of Breaking Bad’s Walter White, TV Finales FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Endings to Your Favorite Shows by Stephen Tropiano and Holly Van Buren takes an up-close, insightful, and entertaining look at the most memorable final episodes of television’s most popular prime time, daytime, and late night series.
 
Crafting the final episode to a long-running television series can be challenging for producers and writers who want to remain faithful to the show’s characters and history, yet, at the same time, satisfy the high expectations of its loyal fan base. TV Finales FAQ offers television viewers the inside story on the creation, broadcast, and aftermath of the most famous (and infamous) final episodes of more than 50 television series from the 1960s through the present day.

In TV Finales FAQ, Tropiano and Van Buren dissect the final episodes that broke ratings records, like The Fugitive and M*A*S*H; those that left us scratching our heads, like Roseanne and The Sopranos; and the ones that propelled characters into the future – successfully or not – like Dawson’s Creek and Will & Grace.  The book also looks at soap operas, daytime and late-night talk show finales, and, in a section called “Saying Goodbye,” looks a series finales that presented their main characters with only one option: close up shop and move on.  Finally, the authors make their case for the best series finales, the ones that left critics thrilled, fans satiated, and television history changed.
 
The closing acts of Mad Men, Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, Dark Shadows, Donahue, Sex and the City, All My Children, and dozens more shows can be found in TV Finales FAQ. Packed with details about casts and guest stars, airdates, ratings, production, and episode plots, it is a delectable read for any TV buff.

John Kenneth Muir on After Hours AM!

John Kenneth Muir author of The X-Files FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week, spoke with Joel Sturgis and Eric Olsen about his book and the X-Files TV series! Listen to the podcast below to learn more!

>>LISTEN<<

00124644The X-Files FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week explores Chris Carter’s popular 1990s science-fiction TV series, which aired on Fox for nine seasons and inspired spin-offs, including feature films, TV shows, toys, novels, and comic books. The book explores the series in terms of its historical context and analyzes how many of the episodes tackle the events of their time: the Clinton era. The X-Files FAQ also tallies the episodes that are based on true stories, selects touchstone moments from the almost decade-long run, and organizes the series by its fantastic subject matter – from serial killers to aliens, from prehistoric menaces to ethnic and religious-based horrors.

The X-Files FAQ also features a foreword written by screenwriter Chris Carter who credits John Muir for his impressive and thoughtful musings. In the book you’ll read that the writing on the show, X-Files, was only half what made the show what it is today. The people who worked on the show were working in a visual medium, and as Chris Carter states in the foreword “the show somehow managed to turn that rectangle box we all viewed each week into something special and often unexpected.”

In addition, the book recalls the TV antecedents (Kolchak: The Night Stalker) and descendants (Fringe) of The X-Files, examines the two feature films, and investigates Chris Carter’s other creations, including Millennium, The Lone Gunmen, Harsh Realm, and The After. Featuring numerous stills and the show’s most prominent writers and directors, The X-Files FAQ allows readers to relive the “Mytharc” conspiracy and the unforgettable monsters of the week – from the Fluke Man to the Peacocks. 

Win The Twilight Zone FAQ!

Once again Applause Books has partnered  with Erie Gay News to give away a copy of one of our books! If you want to win a copy of The Twilight Zone FAQ all you have to do is enter between January 15 to February 5. The contest is open to US residents only. We wish you all the best of luck, enter before it’s too late!

>>Enter Here<<

00130445The Twilight Zone is among the most beloved shows in American television history, a pioneering fantasy behemoth that bridged the cultural gap between the 1950s and 1960s with thought-provoking mystery, mind-boggling theorems, and occasionally outright horror.

The Twilight Zone FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Fifth Dimension and Beyond by Dave Thompson takes the reader back to that era, looking back on the show and its impact as a force for societal change, via reflections on the manifold topics and controversies that the show took on – from the space race to the Red Menace, from paranoia to madness and beyond. Thompson traces the history of the show, from its earliest flowering in the mind of then-unknown Rod Serling through its slow birth, shaky beginning, and breathless five-season run. Along the way, he shows how it became the blueprint for so much of the fantasy television that has followed.

Within The Twilight Zone FAQ, fans will read about the comic books, novels, and many other spin-offs, including the movie, the TV revamps, and even the amusement park ride. In addition, Thompson offers a full guide to every episode, providing details on the cast and music and pinpointing both the best and the worst of the series.

As Thompson writes in his introduction, “Today, as much as ever before, The Twilight Zone is one of the yardsticks by which great television of all eras is measured.” The Twilight Zone FAQ is a brightly opinionated time machine that catapults the reader back to the true golden age of American television.

Mark Clark interviewed on Movie Addict Headquarters

Mark Clark, author of Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies, spoke with Betty Jo Tuck on Movie Addict Headquarters. They talked about the book and the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens! Click on the link below to hear more and let us know what you think in the comments below!

>>LISTEN<<

00122914In his foreword to Star Wars FAQ Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies, Alan Dean Foster, critically acclaimed author of more than a hundred science fiction and fantasy novels, sums up what the Star Wars FAQ is all about: “Reading a book like Star Wars FAQ is a bit like strolling the streets of London without a guidebook. You know where Big Ben is, but stumbling across the first public drinking fountain in Britain is apt, in its own more modest way, to be even more enchanting.”
 
Star Wars FAQ offers an original analysis of the series’ enduring appeal and cultural impact. In the process, author Mark Clark tells a story as thrilling and action-packed as the movies themselves, with bold characters facing apparently insurmountable odds.
 
Featuring 38 chapters, such as Echo Base: Homage in Star Wars, New Hope: Assessing Episode IV, and Far, Far Away: Production of Star Wars, Star Wars FAQ introduces the reader to early screenplays drafts that were never filmed and to short biographies of many people who made key contributions to the movies’ success. Star Wars FAQ details every aspect of the original Star Wars Trilogy (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi). Along the way it unearths under-reported stories and illuminating minutiae often skimmed over or completely ignored in other histories of the legendary film series.

Star Wars is a story full of frantic chases, narrow escapes, daring victories, and tragic setbacks, culminating in an unlikely triumph that changed the course of the galaxy. Illustrated with vintage promotional stills, photographs of memorabilia, and other classic artwork Star Wars FAQ explores how Star Wars changed the movies.

Dave Thompson on Tomorrow Will Be Televised

Dave Thompson, author of Twilight Zone FAQ, spoke with Simon Applebaum host of Tomorrow Will Be Televised. Click on the link below to listen to them speak about the impact The Twilight Zone had, The Twilight Zone FAQ, and more! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

>>LISTEN<<

00130445The Twilight Zone is among the most beloved shows in American television history, a pioneering fantasy behemoth that bridged the cultural gap between the 1950s and 1960s with thought-provoking mystery, mind-boggling theorems, and occasionally outright horror.

The Twilight Zone FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Fifth Dimension and Beyond by Dave Thompson takes the reader back to that era, looking back on the show and its impact as a force for societal change, via reflections on the manifold topics and controversies that the show took on – from the space race to the Red Menace, from paranoia to madness and beyond. Thompson traces the history of the show, from its earliest flowering in the mind of then-unknown Rod Serling through its slow birth, shaky beginning, and breathless five-season run. Along the way, he shows how it became the blueprint for so much of the fantasy television that has followed.

Within The Twilight Zone FAQ, fans will read about the comic books, novels, and many other spin-offs, including the movie, the TV revamps, and even the amusement park ride. In addition, Thompson offers a full guide to every episode, providing details on the cast and music and pinpointing both the best and the worst of the series.

As Thompson writes in his introduction, “Today, as much as ever before, The Twilight Zone is one of the yardsticks by which great television of all eras is measured.” The Twilight Zone FAQ is a brightly opinionated time machine that catapults the reader back to the true golden age of American television.

Wayne Rogers: The Man Who Kicked Hollywood

Dale Sherman, author of the upcoming book M.A.S.H. FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Best Care Anywhere, gave us a few words on the iconic Wayne Rogers who passed away on December 31, 2015. Wayne Rogers was best known for his role as Captain “Trapper” John McIntyre on M.A.S.H. and he will be remembered always by us all.


 

00122480

While working on the final touches of the upcoming MASH FAQ book for Applause (due in April 2016), I was surprised to hear about the death of Wayne Rogers on December 31, 2015.

Rogers is namely remembered today for appearing in the first three seasons of MASH as Trapper John, but his career was much more than that. Born April 7, 1933 in Birmingham, Alabama, Rogers graduated from Princeton University then served in the navy for three years.

He ended up in New York, where his roommate, Peter Falk, convinced him to study acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse. From there, he began getting acting gigs in television, including a regular role in the western series Stagecoach West (1960-1961) as “Luke Perry.” In his hours away from the camera, however, he was also gaining a reputation as a businessman who knew the stock market.

Becoming friends with Ted V. Mikels in the early 1960s, Rogers co-wrote and coproduced two films with the director, Dr. Sex (1964) and the notoriously oddball The Astro-Zombies (1968). He also appeared in several roles on the television series The F.B.I. and popped up in Cool Hand Luke (1968), when he was talked into trying out for MASH. Although initially interested in the Hawkeye role, when told that Alan Alda was about to sign, Rogers took on the Trapper John role instead after being told that the two would trade off on storylines as the lead.

Things didn’t turn out that way, however. Getting off on the wrong foot with series developer Larry Gelbart by reading gag lines different than how the writer wished, Rogers found the Trapper role being diminished in favor of Hawkeye. This irked Rogers especially when the storyline established in the book and film that saw Trapper becoming chief surgeon and a chestcutter (something even established in very early episodes of the series for Trapper) were given to Hawkeye in the series. “They took away Trapper’s credentials, his identity,” Rogers stated later on. “It didn’t bother me that they chose to make Hawkeye more important, but don’t emasculate my character.”

Eventually, Rogers offered to appear in the second season as an occasional character that had more to do in an episode here and there, rather than just be “Hawkeye’s audience.” (“You save money and I won’t feel like I’m wasting my time and I won’t feel like I’m being treated in some half-assed manner.”) He was talked back, but then threatened to quit again as the third season was around the corner. Due to this, Mike Farrell was asked if he would be ready to replace Rogers in the program, and as Rogers was independently making money in the stock market and with other business ventures, it was looking good that he wouldn’t return. Instead, he did, but after the third season, he pulled out.

Fox sued, only to find out that he never signed his contract with the studio. Rogers would go on to appear in the cult favorite City of Angels and had some minor success with a television adaptation of the movie House Calls (oddly enough, a series that faced another situation where a main actor had issues with the production team and studio for personal reasons). He also was a chairman of the board for Stop-N-Save, LLC, as well as having produced plays, including a female-reversal version of The Odd Couple starring Rita Moreno and Sally Struthers. More recently he popped up many times on Fox News to discuss financial matters and co-wrote a book in 2011 called Make Your Own Rules.

In the past decades or so, Rogers publicly made his peace about MASH, appearing in some documentaries about the program, and even admitted at one point that had he known the series would become more character-based in later years, he probably would have stayed on. Even so, it was clear in interviews that he considered the role a job like any other and didn’t feel anything special about a gig he took for three years more than forty years ago.

Wayne Rogers was definitely a man who didn’t find anything magical about Hollywood. Magical about acting, perhaps, but not Hollywood, and had no need for it. In some ways, he’s probably happy that he managed to thumb his nose at the traditional “last call for stars” news and movie channels do reflecting on the passing of actors that always happen at this time of year. To give Hollywood one final kick in the pants by messing up their memorials no doubt would have made him smile.

Stephen Jones speaks with Exquisite Terror!

Stephen Jones, author of The Art of Horror, spoke with Rich Wilson from Exquisite Terror about his inspiration for the book. Read the interview below and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


00141141This new collection is beautifully put together by noted horror author Stephen Jones, and presents page after page of full colour art, from the earliest carvings of the Egyptians to the digital work of modern masters. As you’d expect, film and fiction are heavily represented, and the book is neatly split into sections — creatures, ghosts, psychopaths, etc. — with accompanying essays providing good reading material alongside countless posters and book covers. Often labelled as trash by the mainstream, The Art of Horror proves otherwise; this showcases superb work by immensely talented people, and richly brings your fears to life. As Jones states in his introduction: “Art will always be there to hold a mirror up to the universe and show us what is really out there…” This is a serious celebration of the genre, and a must-have for those who love things that go bump in the night.

We spoke to editor Jones about his inspiration for the book.

Where did the initial concept and idea for The Art of Horror come from?

Actually, this was one of those rare instances of a publisher contacting me. Elephant Book Company Ltd, a British packager of many classy coffee-table art books, approached me via a mutual colleague and asked if I was interested in writing a book about horror art. I initially turned them down as I was busy on a number of other projects and, having been involved with several art books before, I knew how much work it would involve.

However, they kept coming back, and I started to think that I didn’t want anybody else doing this book! So, in the end, we came up with a compromise where I would conceive and edit the book and we would get in other experts in their particular subjects to write the individual chapters. And that worked brilliantly — up to a point. In the end, it involved a lot more work for me than I had originally envisioned, but I had an incredible team backing me up and the more I got into it, the more fun I had doing it.

How important do you think these images have been in promoting horror literature and cinema in the past?

Oh, incredibly important. But the problem is that they are all over the place — in different countries, from different eras. That was the attraction to me, to bring together this rich vein of illustrative material relating to the horror genre into a single volume, so that people could see how it all fitted together, where the connections were being made.

Of course, even in a book of this size we barely scratched the surface. There is so much more that we could have included, but you have to work within certain commercial restrictions, and it was important to me that the cover price allowed it to be accessible to as wide an audience as possible. I’m very proud that we achieved that without sacrificing any quality whatsoever.

You have a wide and varied collection of artists featured, from legends such as Giger to comic book masters such as Charlie Adlard. Who chose the work to be featured, and how easy was it to obtain publishing rights?

This is where my team came in. Obviously, as I’ve been involved with the horror genre for nearly forty years, I was aware of the work of many of the artists we included, plus many of them were friends and acquaintances who I had dealt with before. But I also had an amazing project manager in Adam Newell (who I had previously worked with at Titan Books) and designer in Paul Palmer-Edwards, who both also suggested artists and various works to be included.

In the end, the final decision was always mine as it was my name on the book, but they brought to my attention artwork and images that I was perhaps not familiar with or had overlooked. On top of that, we had an experienced picture researcher who dealt with all the clearances. I simply could not have done all that work on my own, and without those people backing me up I would probably not have done the book at all. In the end, it really was a team effort.

Were there any artists you wanted to feature that didn’t make the book, for whatever reason?

Yes. There were some that turned us down — mostly because they wanted ridiculous amounts of money. When we found something that I liked, we usually approached the artist or their representative. In most cases they agreed to be included because they wanted to be in the book. As I say, a few turned us down and, in those cases, we just moved on and found a replacement piece of art to fit the specific theme.


Read the whole interview over at Exquisite Terror!

John Kenneth Muir speaks with Mr. Media

John Kenneth Muir, author of The X-Files FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week, spoke with Bob Andelman aka Mr. Media! They spoke about the appeal of The X-Files and Muir’s massive collection of sci-fi, fantasy and genre toys. Click play in the video below to learn more!

00124644The X-Files FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week explores Chris Carter’s popular 1990s science-fiction TV series, which aired on Fox for nine seasons and inspired spin-offs, including feature films, TV shows, toys, novels, and comic books. The book explores the series in terms of its historical context and analyzes how many of the episodes tackle the events of their time: the Clinton era. The X-Files FAQ also tallies the episodes that are based on true stories, selects touchstone moments from the almost decade-long run, and organizes the series by its fantastic subject matter – from serial killers to aliens, from prehistoric menaces to ethnic and religious-based horrors.

The X-Files FAQ also features a foreword written by screenwriter Chris Carter who credits John Muir for his impressive and thoughtful musings. In the book you’ll read that the writing on the show, X-Files, was only half what made the show what it is today. The people who worked on the show were working in a visual medium, and as Chris Carter states in the foreword “the show somehow managed to turn that rectangle box we all viewed each week into something special and often unexpected.”

 

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