As I’ve had some articles published all over the place recently, figured it was time to start a new compilation post.

Chris Rousseau sorts through records at Nice Price Books in Carrboro.

Very Sad: Beloved local used bookstore Nice Price Books is closing, and I talked to them and several other used bookstores to get the reasons why.

Jonathan M. Katz - Zach Hetrick

Here’s an interview I did with reporter Jonathan M. Katz about his new book on life in Haiti and the failed policies of relief efforts, THE BIG TRUCK THAT WENT BY.

Madeline Trumble and Con OShea-Creal as Mary Poppins and Bert

Here’s a strangely detailed review I did of the touring production of Disney’s MARY POPPINS, and how it compares to both the original books and the film.

LIzzy Caplan and Geoffrey Arend in SAVE THE DATE

For Valentine’s Day: A look at some anti-romantic movies, SAVE THE DATE, CHILLY SCENES OF WINTER, THE HEARTBREAK KID, AN UNMARRIED WOMAN and MARGARET.

Kyle Baker recently put his classic graphic novels including WHY I HATE SATURN and THE COWBOY WALLY SHOW online for free, and here’s my look at why these are worth checking out.


I interviewed  Brandon Sanderson on his besteselling conclusion to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, A MEMORY OF LIGHT!

Ron Rash - Photo by Mark Haskett

Here’s my interview with SERENA author Ron Rash on his new short story collection NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY!

George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" plays Saturday at 7 p.m.

A look at the films of the Nevermore Film Festival in Durham this weekend, including JOHN DIES AT THE END and a 35-mm print of the original DAWN OF THE DEAD!

My new interview with Ryan Browne of the webcomic GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS on his Kickstarter Campaign!

Here’s my talk with Michel Fiffe on his acclaimed self-published comic COPRA!

My interview with the creators of the webcomic TRIP FANTASTIC!

The creators of HACK/SLASH and HOAX HUNTERS Pay Tribute to Fake 1980s Toys with MINI COMICS INDLUDED on Kickstarter!

The Book of Mormon comes to Durham Feb. 11-23, 2014.

A Look at the Durham Performing Arts Center’s New Broadway Series!

Follow-up to earlier piece: Nice Price Books is having a closing sale that will help raise money for the Chapel Hill Library.

A review of a local production of the play THE LAST FIVE YEARS!

Jeffrey Brown talks the adorable VADER’S LITTLE PRINCESS!

A look at the many (many, many…) faces of Superman’s foe General Zod!



My Little Pony Meets Doctor Who with “Doctor Whooves!”

Coming soon: New JURASSIC PARK Toys!

New “Presidential Monsters” with Baracula!

The Many (Toy) Faces of Slyvester Stallone

New Batman “Movie Masters” Trilogy 3-Pack!

The Return of Captain Power Toys?

Some high-end pieces of IRON MAN 3 Merchandise!

Check Out This Chic Han Solo in Carbonite Business Card Case!

Yes, they finally made a figure of Jack Nicholson in THE SHINING

New WALKING DEAD Michonne 3-Pack

New Target “New 52” Justice League 7-Pack!


How to Build Your Dragon — Getting Down with Masters of the Universe Classics’ Granamyr!

New Reverse-Flash FUNKO at Dallas Comic-Con!

These ‘Alien” Pint Glasses are Xenomorphically Awesome!



For four decades, George A. Romero has made a living off the dead.  The 68-year-old writer and director is celebrating two milestones in 2008 – the 40th anniversary of his debut film, 1968’s original Night of the Living Dead, and the release of his newest film, Diary of the Dead, which premieres in the Triangle this week.      Romero’s films helped make zombies icons of modern horror, even though the word “zombie” is never uttered in the original film.  After doing a large-scale production for his last film, 2005’s Land of the Dead, Romero went back to basics for Diary, shooting it on a low budget with digital cameras in Pittsburgh.  “The last zombie film I did just got too big,” Romero says in a phone interview.  “It lost touch with its roots, which was a little film made in 1968 by a bunch of young filmmakers in Pittsburgh.  While Universal let me make the film I wanted with Land of the Dead, it was a grueling experience.  It just got too big, and I didn’t know where I could go next.”

      So, Romero literally went back to the beginning, showing the start of the zombie plague from the perspective of film students shooting a low-budget horror movie. “I wanted to get back and see if I had the chops to really get down and do a guerrilla film with friends again,” Romero says, calling the experience both “great” and “nostalgic.” 

      Like his other films, including the original Dawn of the Dead, Diaryoffers its share of social commentary, in this case the rise of “new media.”  He hasn’t seen Cloverfield, which was shot after his film, though he attributes the similarities as “part of a collective unconscious.”  “I think everyone’s aware of the fact that everyone in the world has cameras these days,” Romero says.

     He enjoys several of the current zombie films, including Shaun of the Dead and Fido, though Diary does take swipes at the running zombies from 28 Days Later and the Dawn remake:  “It’s as if first thing they did when they stood up and walked was go get a membership a gym.”  Why are zombies these days?  “I really think video games, especially first-person shooters, have kept them out there,” Romero says.  “They’re everywhere now.  I keep expecting a zombie to show up with the Count on Sesame Street.”

      Romero says he feels like “a painter experimenting with new brushes” with his new film, and that he has “a hell of a lot more to say” about new media.  “I’m still learning,” says Romero. “The thing that really keeps me going is just trying to improve my handicraft.”

The proceeding interview was expanded from another version published in The Independent Weekly