September 2007


BRINGING THE WARRIOR NUN BACK: TALKING TO TONY LEE


by Zack Smith

Warrior Nun Areala is back…and a name familiar to Newsarama readers will be chronicling her adventures.

As recently announced, Tony Lee, writer of Starship Troopers, serialized daily here at Newsarama, will help Antarctic Press’ cult character get back in the habit. The UK-based writer gave us the inside scoop on the nun’s return, along with a host of other projects for what sounds like a very busy 2008.

Full story here.


John Waters on the mainstreaming of gay culture

BY ZACK SMITH



John Waters, shocking audiences since 1964’s Hag in a Black Leather Jacket
Photo courtesy of Admire Entertainment

After decades of notoriety, can anyone be shocked by John Waters anymore? Probably not: This year has been very good to the one-time underground filmmaker who has seen his 1988 movie Hairspray turned into a Broadway smash, and in turn, a hit mainstream Hollywood film.

Full interview here.

Carolina Theatre hosts anti-gay performance
Venue’s rental policy protects free speech

BY ZACK SMITH

Given that next weekend is N.C. Pride, and that the Carolina Theatre chose the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival as the occasion for reopening after a summer-long renovation project, it’s ironic the theater will host a show that suggests gayness is a malady.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, You’re Not the Only One hits the boards. According to its producer, APOC Ministries, it deals with “testimonies from people who have overcome drug addition, homosexuality, suicide attempts and abuse.” (APOC stands for “Another Perspective of Christ.”)

Unsurprisingly, this raised a red flag with some fans of the Carolina Theatre.

Full story here.

Spark Con gears up for a second year
What makes our creative class start fires?

BY ZACK SMITH



A model shows off a dress by Marie Cordella in last year’s fashionSPARK program.
Photo by Bruce Deboer

Imagine that Raleigh is the buzzing center of culture in the South, a place that carries the one-word cachet of “Austin” or “Portland” or “Seattle.” It seems a stretch, but there is indeed a vibrant and ambitious creative community in the state’s capital that is looking to boost the city’s image.

A year ago, a group of Raleigh creative professionals decided to start a cultural conference called Spark Con that would showcase the achievements and aspirations of the artists and impresarios of Raleighwood.

Full story here.

MEETING THE DOCTOR WITH STEVE GERBER: TALKING DC’S DR. FATE


by Zack Smith

Since the 1970s, Steve Gerber has been one of the most original and offbeat writers in comic books. Gerber’s subversive, existential works range from groundbreaking runs on The Defenders and Man-Thing to such original creations as the recent Hard Time for DC/Paradox. His work is so influential that on October 3, Marvel is scheduled to ship the first issues of new miniseries featuring his creations Howard the Duck, Foolkiller and most controversially, Omega the Unknown.

Gerber also has a new project of his own on the shelves – Countdown to Mystery, featuring his new take on DC’s classic character Doctor Fate with artist Justiniano (The Creeper, Day of Vengeance). In the first part of an extensive interview, Gerber chatted candidly about his plans for Doctor Fate, and why this incarnation of the character might avoid the pitfalls that surrounded the previous versions.

Click here for the full interview with one of my favorite writers.

Film
Out of many to miss, a few to look out for

BY ZACK SMITH

September



Evan Rachel Wood (left), Jim Sturgess (center) and T.V. Carpio in Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe, due out Sept. 21
Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures

Evan Rachel Wood is poised for her biggest role yet with Across the Universe (Sept. 21), a Beatles-themed musical from Titus director Julie Taymor—but Taymor’s behind-the-scenes struggles over the final cut and the film’s surreal take on the Fab Four leaves it up in the air as to whether this will be the next Moulin Rouge or the next Sgt. Pepper. You know, the one with the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton.

Full story here.

Ambitious live arts programming at UNC and N.C. State
Teachers and students

BY ZACK SMITH



Emil Kang, director of Carolina Performing Arts, looks forward to a season that includes Al Green and Caetano Veloso.
Photo by Jeremy M. Lange

UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University are both attempting to broaden their performance horizons with their fall programs, with events designed to raise the profiles of both campuses. A year ago, the Chapel Hill school reopened its famed Memorial Hall with a program that was, to say the least, eclectic. It included fascinating obscurities such as the Chorus Repertory Theatre’s Nine Hills, One Valley, and some low-hanging fruit such as a touring production of Rent. Meanwhile, N.C. State looks to transcend its image as a sports ‘n’ science academy by tapping into students’ artistic talents.

Full story here.

Hurricane on the Bayou

BY ZACK SMITH


Exploris in downtown Raleigh is closed until Sept. 29 as part of its merger with Playspace to form a new children’s museum. However, the Exploris IMAX theater is still open and its newest feature, Hurricane on the Bayou, is both visually stunning and surprisingly relevant.

Full story here.

Christina Askounis

BY ZACK SMITH


Christina Askounis’ track record includes a Peabody Award-winning TV series on the environment and 20 years of teaching writing at Duke. And now, her science-fiction novel The Dream of the Stone is poised to become a hit—14 years after it was originally published.

Full story here.

CATCHING UP WITH CHRISCROSS


by Zack SmithChrisCross (aka Chris Williams) has earned a loyal fan following from his work on such books as Captain Marvel, Slingers, Blood Syndicate and most recently, Firestorm. His work has also earned raves from the writers he’s collaborated with – Christopher Priest has a page on his web site calling him “one of the greatest comic book storytellers alive.”

Chris has been absent from the U.S. comics scene since abruptly leaving Firestorm, a departure that sparked a considerable amount of online controversy. But he’s recently returned with stories in Wildstorm’s Welcome to Tranquility and the upcoming Midnighter #11 with Keith Giffen. We spoke with Chris about his Midnighter gig, why he left Firestorm, and what he’s been up to the last few years. HINT: It involves ancient Egypt and cheesecake.

Full story here.

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