CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 |
When Morrie Turner was just a cartoon-doodling kid in Oakland, he wrote a fan letter to the creator of the popular comic strip "Terry and the Pirates. " In return, Milton Caniff, who later created "Steve Canyon," sent young Turner a typed, six-page personal reply with pointers on story lines and drawing. "It changed my whole life," Turner told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2005. "The fact that he took the time to share all that with a kid, a stranger, didn't impress me all that much at the time.
January 9, 2014 |
Magdalena Zyzak's delightful first novel, "The Ballad of Barnabas Pierkiel," has no noble characters, a good deal of mean-spirited behavior, and it all ends badly - in other words, it's a comedy. For those who think that religious fanaticism, racial hatred and Nazis are not fit subjects for humor, Zyzak mounts a spirited defense. "Prejudices and stupidities … in any time, in any people, serve as worthy targets for a bit of mockery," she writes. "This may be considered, in its modest way, a document of protest, as lightheartedness has become rather rare in this part of the world.
January 8, 2014 |
Comedian Chris Kattan has listed his home in Hollywood Hills West for sale at $1.998 million, The Times has confirmed. Kattan is not the first celebrity to occupy the house, which sits behind an iron gate amid mature trees. Comic actor Danny DeVito is among the former owners. Built in 1924, the traditional-style house retains such vintage details as a Batchelder tile fireplace. The art tile fireplace surrounds became popular in the 1920s and are still prized today. The 2,496 square feet of living space includes a den, a media room, an office, two bedrooms and four bathrooms.
January 7, 2014 |
Jon McNaught's “Dockwood” (Nobrow Press: unpaged, $19.95) is one of those books you could easily overlook. Gathering two short stories in comics form, it came out in England a year ago, but although McNaught won the Prix Révélation (for best newcomer) at the 2013 Angouleme International Comics Festival - an award previously won by Daniel Clowes , Art Spiegelman and Will Eisner - he's gotten no attention in the United States. Partly, that has to do with the British comics scene, which has had its issues crossing over, and partly with McNaught's publisher, which until recently was not particularly active here.
December 26, 2013 |
Much has been made of Judi Dench's finely nuanced turn in director Stephen Frears' excellent new drama, "Philomena. " But a shout-out too for Steve Coogan, her co-star and the film's co-writer, who adapted Martin Sixsmith's book with Jeff Pope. Most of us first got to know the Brit as a comic force - razor-sharp observations delivered with a dry deadpan for maximum effect. For the stripped-down version of Coogan comedy see the delightful "Trip," for the classic and crazed check out "24 Hour Party People.
December 18, 2013 |
For those considering a deep retreat from oppressive holiday cheer, there's Zach Clark's brittle indie confection "White Reindeer. " Anna Margaret Hollyman stars as Suzanne, a chipper real estate agent and devoted wife to her weatherman husband. Suzanne is in good spirits with her beloved yuletide season in full swing, until her spouse's sudden murder - with nearly a month to go before Christmas - sends her into a grief-stricken limbo. As Suzanne explores unearthed secrets about her husband, she seeks out and befriends a single-mom stripper (Laura Lemar-Goldsborough)