Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Are we ready?

Hold your breath 'cause here he comes.

Well . . . it's not quite that suspenseful. There were the previews in Seattle, and then the previews in New York, but everyone is still primed to celebrate opening night tomorrow for Young Frankenstein, spectacular for its numbers (as in, ticket prices) if not for its numbers (as in, Putting on the Ritz).

Here's a batch of photos from the set. Those of us who know the movie can almost hear the words that go with each pic.

And, meanwhile, thank you to the current New York Magazine for using my book to create a monstrous timeline and respect the legacy.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Shan't be shy

To keep up to date with the comments coming in about my own book, I should share the ample review from the Wall Street Journal. In hard copy, it sat well placed on the very back page, right alongside Neil Young.

Good company.

It's viewable for free for only a few more days, so let me quote Alexandra Mullen, who calls my monster "an entertainingly informative book that mixes academic talk and popular culture." She peppers her review with some of my favorite monster sightings ever, concluding with an endearing moment: “In the Beatles’ animated movie "Yellow Submarine" (1968), the monster morphs into John Lennon. ‘All he needs,’ notes Ms. Hitchcock wryly, ‘is love.’”

Deadly performance

The word from the New York Post regarding the newly opened off-Broadway Frankenstein helps explain the popularity of its comic cousin on Broadway.

“This "Frankenstein" is bad in an all-too-earnest way -- it‘s deadly dull, rather than a campy hoot,” writes Frank Schenk. The performance is “solemn and semi-operatic” and the monster is “hunky,” with a bare chests and well-developed abs, “indicating that being one of the living dead has in no way made him cut down on his exercise routine.”

The contrast makes it all too evident: In a time when we've got real corpses on our conscience, we‘d rather pay money to watch a monster don a top hat and put on the Ritz.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Costume census

Here's a piece from a Long Beach costumer who says no one came in asking for neck bolts this year. He tells it as if it's a sign of times, but I have a counter-story: I happened upon a picture-perfect young family, 3 kids under the age of 6 in Northern Virginia, and what were the two older boys, aged about 4 and 6, dressed as? Frankenstein and Dracula. The older one with rivulets of red dripping from his lips, the younger one with face painted green.

Congratulations to their parents, starting them so nice and young.

Goofy grin

Well, either I or the editor has some learning to do. Feast your eyes, if you have a few minutes, on my online video presence thanks to Author Author, the WETA weblog created by Bethanne Patrick, who also works at National Geographic and maintains a print blog called The Book Maven, part of the Publishers Weekly site.

So what's with this goofball who grins and says how much fun she had talking about the evil and violence in everyone's heart?

Let me assure you, it didn't happen quite that way in real life.

I love my little friend, though, and I hope you do too. They didn't let him sing all of “The Monster Mash,” but you can imagine it, I'm sure.

Thank you, Bethanne, for giving him his 15 seconds of stardom. It was fun being on your blogarama.