Wednesday, October 4, 2017


After seeing "IT" last week, I carefully considered Stephen King's vast archive of fear that he has compiled since I started reading. Pet Sematary is absolutely my favorite and the scariest book I've ever had the pleasure of being terrified by. Dead Zone was beautifully haunting and prophetic. Cujo was the most primal of all the King books for me and touched on my greatest fear, a rabid dog. The Shining is a brilliant reworking of Poe's Usher but in the end becomes its own thing. Salem's Lot visuals and the idea of a town overrun with vampires seems simple but is still incredibly unnerving. I've read plenty of King and can admit that sometimes he carries on too long about certain subjects, he can sometimes go off on lengthy tangents but at the core of all his tales is an idea...a single concept that provokes fear. He is uncannily in tune with his own fears. And he is good at articulating what those fears are. For instance, when I was a young buck...I insisted that the covers at the foot of my bed were securely tucked in before I fell asleep. Why did I feel this way, and an even better question is why do a lot of other people who I don't even know remember having the same feeling? I can clearly recall my thought was something lurking in the dark of my bedroom or beyond my sight line was going to reach up out of the void and drag its fetid talon across the bare bottoms of my feet. Ridiculous thought, right? But nonetheless its one that many of us had as children at bedtime. Being dragged by your feet by some amorphous creature out of your warm bed is a thought that Stephen King has long considered. As adults, we've learned that there are things waiting for us in life that are much more frightening than Dracula or The Creature from the Black Lagoon, but Stephen King's particular vocation is to remind us of those irrational fears our minds conjure in the middle of the night. This is where "IT"shakes its money maker.

The novel "IT"was given to me as a birthday gift in college. I was literally stricken with fear at the sheer size of the tome. Being that it was over 1000 pages...I read the first ten pages and quickly secured it to the far reaches of my bookshelf. There was no way I was ever going to read this book especially during the first semester of my freshman year of college. Over the course of the school year I would read huge sections of the book, never quite completing the read or getting lost within the labyrinthine corridors of the book's fairly complex plot line. This is not your average horror story. This is a story about fear itself and what is does to us. One recurring fear that appears in most Stephen King works is the loss of a child. He seems to be preoccupied with precious innocence of youth and the darkness that can envelope a parent or sibling when this young life is extinguished by real life horrors or the supernatural. In IT, the character Georgie is the unfortunate catalyst of a 27 year curse that claims his life and becomes a lifelong obsession for his older brother, Bill. Georgie is pursuing a sailboat that his brother Bill constructs for him out of newsprint...the paper vessel sails swiftly out of his sight and down a sewer grate. Georgie peers into the sewer only to discover a vile clown looking back it him. Pennywise is the clown's name and at first he attempts to engage Georgie in a friendly conversation but as this particular scene continues, we recognize that Pennywise is some kind of twisted supernatural predator. This one event drives the rest of the story, bringing several kids together who will ultimately challenge Pennywise, the demonic sewer clown.

I waited for awhile to write this because I wanted to make sure I was genuinely enjoying the movie IT and not just experiencing a faux exuberance. Nowadays, when someone tells a story worth listening to at the's a rare event. You can get lost in a maze of lukewarm remakes, reboots and cinematic universes. I can honestly say that "IT"is a worthwhile experience even though it's a remake due to the fact that Stephen King's writing is timeless; his stories are relevant to any generation and warrant reinterpretation. Andres' Muschietti creeped me out completely with "Mama", a Guillermo Del Toro horror flick, not because he knows how to stage jump scares or blast the volume at the precise moment...but he understands fear involves the delicate balance between reality and our nightmares. With this celebrated King story...he ups the ante with his now iconic take on Pennywise. I heard somebody say that "IT" was a combination of The Goonies and The Exorcist. I would tend to runs the gamut of emotions included in both of those movies and you will walk out of the movie theatre with a brisk chill you didn't feel before you walked in.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Good day or evening, POP CULTURE fans...this is the inaugural blog entry of something new. This blog will be known from this day going forward as THE BAD GUY BLOG. The address is In this blog, I will do as I have always done in my previous blog,, flip and rip on the latest offerings of multimedia entertainment as it pertains to comics, movies and tv. I'm really a comic book writer struggling to produce a quality, independently published series of books that focus on black superheroes but since that is a very expensive undertaking, I am building a comprehensive website and online presence that will also focus on creating "entertainment content" from a different perspective. What perspective you may be asking yourself right now?

From the unique and maybe shocking perspective of an irreverent black writer's mind.

There...I said it. Now there is no turning back. I've made the statement and I've played the race card. So many folks out there say that "color" doesn't matter and while I agree, it shouldn' almost always certainly does. For years, I have been considered to be somewhat of a radical by different colleagues, co-workers and even fans of my writing...I have chosen to be very outspoken when it comes to my number one passion besides my family which happens to be storytelling. Well my interest in storytelling has led me to this critical juncture in my burgeoning career as a comic book creator. My overwhelming motivation to write comes from my insatiable thirst to see characters of color get a fair shake. Most of my diatribes about comics, movies and tv will in some way revolve around "race" because not only do I find "race" fascinating but it happens to be my current situation that I am a brother in the greatest country in the world and now might be the perfect time to chronicle my adventures.

You might think my blog is only for black readers or just people of color. That's where you would be wrong. If you are a POP CULTURE fan of a different color, you may find what I have to say sometimes to be challenging and it may even occur to you that I am just flat out wrong. But I will initiate the conversation, I will provoke interaction and speculation. And I will maintain respect and decorum while doing so. I have realized that my experience as an African American is not only a key piece of our country's DNA...but my opinions, criticisms and reflections are also tantamount to this incredible multicultural swap meet we call the United States. I want readers of every color, every nationality, religion or sexual persuasion to read and use my articles. Because the knowledge I drop is based on my travels as a brother between these lines of red, white and blue. And in seeing the ideas that you are normally used to viewing refracted through the Caucasian will soon discover that there are new adventures to experience if you look at the Rubik's cube from another angle.

I've decided the subject of my first essay will be about the strange treatment of African American Males as Superheroes at the Big Two. It is something that I have been witnessing and examining for a long time and now the time has come to speak on it. My ideas are of course my own personal reflections but it appears to me that Black Male protagonists are neutered somewhat in their fictional roles and not permitted the same kind of liberation that white characters have always enjoyed. Now is that because of the publishers' mandate  in particular, or is that because of the limited cache of cultural experience available to a white writer trying to effect an authentic voice while writing Black Male Superhero fiction? Another thing to consider would be the comic book industry as the white male's final frontier...their last bastion of absolute control. Is it so outlandish to believe that the predominantly white fraternity of male comic book creators have boxed out creators of color and their potential influence over the medium? I don't know, but in a world fraught with many different pitfalls and agendas...I sometimes feel the oppressive vise of a system that limits the creative expression of not only it's employees but it's fictional characters. My dream has always been to somehow penetrate the droves of would be writers and artists and find myself writing a definitive run on Black Panther or perhaps Dr. Fate or Hawkman (reimagined as characters of color) but somewhere in the back of my mind I know that my ideas would be far to progressive and ethnic...incendiary and provocative even for mainstream comics. I have recently been supremely underwhelmed by the current incarnations of great Black superhero characters and I have the feeling it has everything to do with the powers that be and the artifice of "diversity".

But it would also be irresponsible of me to ignore the efforts and output of the Black creative community. I recall a line from Oliver Stone's The Doors where Ray Manzarek is telling a young Jim Morrison that "we have to make the myths..." and I'm not even convinced this was ever truly said in real life but in this case it's very appropriate. Creators of color, critics of color and audiences of is highly important that we tell our own stories and financially support our own mythic structures in literature as well as film. White writers and artists are not responsible for creating characters of color. I have welcomed many concepts that have been offered to me as vehicles of escapism as a person of color; Blade, Luke Cage, The Falcon...Black Lightning...Misty Knight. But the time has come for others to step forward with a more clear, and definitive perspective of the African American experience seen through the lens of the Superhero.

This is just the beginning of a brand new dialogue.

So until we meet again...say hello to the bad guy.