April 2010

Burning Coal Theatre’s Gee’s Bend 

by Zack Smith  

Told in slices of life linked by gospel songs over the better part of the 20th century, Gee’s Bend offers a window into a unique community. But while it puts people over history, Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder’s play sometimes obscures the significance of its subject.

Read the full review here!

Reading A conversation with famed children’s book author Lois Lowry

Posted by Zack Smith on Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 7:50 AM

Lois Lowry
  • Neil Giordano
  • Lois Lowry

On the phone from Boston, Lois Lowry calls her latest novel The Birthday Ball a “silly little book,” wonders if she should have expanded the last section of her novel The Giver, and asks if the new crop of children’s and young adult authors have rendered her obsolete. 

Her modesty is hardly deserved. Since her first children’s book, A Summer to Die, came out in 1977, Lowry has become one of the top children’s and young adult authors in the world, averaging about a book a year in a plethora of genres ranging from humor to drama to science fiction and fantasy.

Lowry, whose stepson Eric Small lives in Cary, will appear at Quail Ridge Books and Music on April 21 and Flyleaf Books on April 22 to promote Ball, a humorous fairy tale illustrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer.

Read the full article here!

C2E2: Remender’s New X-FORCE Tries to Prevent An Apocalypse


Among the myriad X-teams, X-Force has always stood for something edgier, whether it’s the Cable-led team of soldiers, the fame-seeking mutant TV stars, or the team of black ops led by Wolverine. This summer, Wolverine will head another all-new X-Force charged with a deadly mission: Kill the 10-year-old boy who will become Apocalypse.

This dark tale comes to you from Rick Remender (Punisher) and his collaborator from The Last Days of American Crime, Jerome Opeña. We’ll be revealing the lineup for this new X-Force later on, but Remender was able to provide some hints as to the threat they’ll be facing…and what they’ll need to get the job done.

Read the full interview here!

A fan-favorite team take a look at a tale of an unknown Captain America.

Read the full interview here!

New ART IN TIME Vol: Weird & Wild Overlooked Comics

By Zack Smith

 In 2006, Dan Nadel’s anthology Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries, 1900-1969 gave readers a taste of some of the weirdest and wildest comic creators of the past century, helping to spawn new critical and popular interest in their work. Now, Nadel’s new anthology Art in Time: Unknown Comic Adventures, 1940-1980, shows you a different side of some of classic comic artists.

Read the full interview here!

Patton Oswalt: Making SERENITY’s WASH the “Anti-Han Solo”

By Zack Smith

Fans of Joss Whedon’s Firefly have gotten the chance to learn more about their favorite characters in Dark Horse’s Whedon-approved comics.  This June, we’ll get to learn more about Serernity pilot Hoban “Wash” Washburne in Serenity: Float Out, a tale where the “leaf on the wind”’s friends come together to recall tales from his storied life.

Float Out’s script is by noted comedian, actor and genre fan Patton Oswalt (the art is by Patric Reynolds).  Oswalt is quickly becoming a ubiquitous presence in film and TV; in addition to his star turn in the black comedy Big Fan,  and his latest album, My Weakness is Strong, this past year has seen him do guest and recurring roles on Caprica, Dollhouse, The United States of Tara, Community, The Sarah Silverman Program, The Venture Brothers, Flight of the Conchords and more.  

He’s also a major fan of comics and film who occasionally writes about his favorite works online, and hosts screenings and panels at such events as Comic-Con.  Oswalt’s talked to Newsarama a few times in the past about his comic and TV work, and when he had a few minutes out of his busy schedule, he took some time to chat Float Out with us.  Along the way, we also discussed his thoughts on comics and TV, and the evolving state of popular culture from someone with a unique perspective as a creator and fan.

Read the full interview here!

NC Theatre’s Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella 

by Zack Smith

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

NC Theatre
Through April 18

North Carolina Theatre’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella adapts a play with a complicated history. Originally produced as a live TV musical in 1957 with Julie Andrews, it was produced again for TV with Lesley Ann Warren and a new book in 1965, then once again in 1997 in a Wonderful World of Disney production with Brandy and Whitney Houston, along with yet another book. The new N.C. Theatre show, which draws from elements of these made-for-TV plays, sometimes feels undercooked. Still, there’s just enough magic at work to enchant young audiences.

Read the full review here!

Raleigh Little Theatre’s Our Town 

by Zack Smith

Our Town

Raleigh Little Theatre
Through April 25

The shadows seem to be creeping into Grover’s Corners in Raleigh Little Theatre’s production of Thornton Wilder’s seminal Our Town. There’s always been an elegiac quality to Wilder’s work, but it’s often overshadowed by the play’s sense of nostalgia. In this production, that wistfulness is balanced by the knowledge that even in the idyllic memories of the past, moments of discontent lurk beneath the surface.

Read the full review here!

Vertigo’s SWEET TOOTH Feeds Indie Stories to the Masses

By Zack Smith

Jeff Lemire’s ongoing Vertigo series Sweet Tooth has been one of the great critical hits of the past year.  Currently in the middle of its second storyline, “In Captivity,” it’s the chronicle of Gus, a candy-loving boy in a devastated future United States who was born with antlers as the result of a mysterious pandemic.  Now out in the world for the first time, Gus must rely on the violent and mysterious Jepperd to find a safe haven, and understand the world for the first time.

With the first collection Out of the Deep Woods due out next month, we called up Lemire in Canada to talk about the series to date, his numerous other projects, and the transition into a monthly series after his previous graphic novels (The Essex Country Trilogy, The Nobody).  In this spoiler-free discussion, Lemiere gave us some insight into his work on the series and some hints at its future.

Read the full interview here!


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