Sunday means it’ll soon be time to send out the latest newsletter. As the description states, it’s mostly short updates on current and future projects as well as a selection of all the links that have caught my eye over the past two weeks.

Out today in a beautiful oversized/European format from Black Mask Studios is Eternal, a shieldmaiden showdown of epic proportions by Ryan K Lindsay, Eric Zawadzki, Dee Cunniffe and edits by myself. Go grab the book (it’s beautiful), breath it in and then soak in Ryan’s annotations for the comic.

There’s that part in Bone Tomahawk that acts an exclamation mark to film whose violence has been building and building. Brawl outdoes that scene and then some. Tension lurks in every scene in one form or another whilst violence bides its time.

Zahler steers into the grindhouse influences but still somehow manages to remain a sense of modernity to proceedings. There’s an efficiency to the way he shoots the movie here that mirrors its protagonist. There’s also an undcurrent of a message, but I’m still trying to dig through the murk to find it.

Marc Blucas (Riley from Buffy) has somehow found his niche playing a sleazy drug baron. Udo Kier is restrained and creepy, Don Johnson plays restrained menace very well and Jennifer Carpenter is good in a (mostly) thankless role.

Then there’s Vaughan, almost recognisable as Bradley (not Brad) – a bald, hulking force of nature that smashes teeth, breaks bone and renders limbs useless whilst still abiding by a blue collar sense of honour. Vaughan is the aforementioned exclamation mark made flesh, all bottled fury and thousand yard stares.

Brawl is a nasty, vicious, grimy movie, but I still somehow found myself liking it.

Stephen King, The Art of Fiction No. 189

“Yes, but I’ve occasionally gone back to longhand—with Dreamcatcher and with Bag of Bones—because I wanted to see what would happen. It changed some things. Most of all, it made me slow down because it takes a long time. Every time I started to write something, some guy up here, some lazybones is saying, Aw, do we have to do that? I’ve still got a little bit of that scholar’s bump on my finger from doing all that longhand. But it made the rewriting process a lot more felicitous. It seemed to me that my first draft was more polished, just because it wasn’t possible to go so fast. You can only drive your hand along at a certain speed. It felt like the difference between, say, rolling along in a powered scooter and actually hiking the countryside.”

Always start with analogue.