Jessie Lilley
Buddy Barnett
Brad Linaweaver

November 2009     Web Edition     Issue #3

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Ray Harryhausen

The Creator of Dynamation

June 29, 1920 – May 7, 2013

"The Cyclops is weeping out of that one great eye."

—Brad Linaweaver

At the ripe old age of 92 years young, Ray Harryhausen moved on to the next plane of existence. I knew Ray, not well but we certainly shared several conversations. He and I found we totally disagreed politically, but that was neither here nor there. When he pulled out his "kids" and handed them to me to hold (I was always quite fond of Medusa), I don't know if the light in my eyes was brighter than Ray's or not. God knows, his lit up like High Mass (as my grandmother would say).

It's hard to conceive of a world without the original Bat Pack, but here we are living in it. First Forry (Forrest J Ackerman), then Ray (Bradbury) and now the last of the three, Ray Harryhausen.

Our condolences are sent to Ray's family and close friends. There is no question that he will be missed, not only by friends and fans but also by the industry at large. These giants of the business may not be making mega-movies every other year, but everyone in town knows their names and everyone stopped for a moment today, when the news broke, to wish him well on his final journey.

Godspeed Ray. Give our love to the fellas.

—Jessie Lilley

Pictured Above: Ray Harryhausen with two of his "kids".Photo From: www.ccdblog.com

Ray Bradbury

August 22, 1920 ~ June 5, 2012

A Legend Passes

When one has friends that are older and have been ill, the realization that you will outlive those friends makes the eventual loss obvious, but no less painful to bear. Brad and I are devastated at the thought of facing the rest of our lives without Ray.

While scanning the internet for information, I was amused to note that the LA Times has run one of Ray and Brad's favorite gag pictures as one of the many shots on their website. Follow that link and pic #15 shows the two of them together in 2002 on the ocassion of Ray receiving his star on Hollywood Boulevard. Brad and I were both there and we all had a good laugh over the Bradbury mask at the time. Brad will write about Ray later in the year, when he's had time to assimilate his thoughts and come to grips with this event.

The portrait to the right is by L.J. Dopp and was run in Mondo Cult #2 back in 2007. It's a particular favorite of mine, due to the black cat of course, and the pure joy captured on the man's face. It's how I choose to remember Ray.

—Jessie Lilley




Lights Out

Christopher Hitchens

An Extraordinary Loss

I know it took me awhile to come in here and say something about Hitchens because I was completely stunned to learn of his death. Yes, I knew he'd been diagnosed with cancer and I knew he'd been burning the candle at both ends for far too long - but didn't he make a lovely light?

I got drunk with him a couple of times in New York. It was most pleasurable. No, we weren't friends, we happened to be in the same bar and being a loud mouth, I tossed in my two cents and we were off and running. Arguing politics with Hitchens is like beating your head against a brick wall. I'm damned good at it (ask Garmon and Linaweaver - my living room used to be like an unexpurgated edition of Cross Fire) but Chris was always better. Better than me, certainly - but better than almost all of them.

The great political minds of our time, whether we agree with them or not:

Pat Buchanan
Christopher Hitchens
Gore Vidal
William F. Buckley, Jr.

Buchanan is still out there teaching the people the basics of politics, even though they won't listen to him and only trot him out when they want to look smart. Vidal is (I believe) swimming around in the bottom of a bottle of fine whiskey and trying to figure out why he lived longer than his father. The other two are dead. Vidal might as well be - in the speaking circuit at any rate - as at this point he doesn't discourse on the subject, he rambles and rants and oft times is spouting rhetoric that would make even Buckley blush with embarrassment. Buchanan's brain is still sharp and he's as brilliant an analyst/strategist as we've ever had in this country. Do I agree with his personal politics? No. Do I pay attention when he speaks on the subject in general? Hell yes!

But Hitchens is gone. That extraordinary power, that spectacular prose... that poisoned pen is now silent. His passing is a great loss. A class act all the way down the line and through his very last interview. Rest in piece, Chris. You did damned fine work while you were with us. I thank you for that. And I'll remember. You have my word on it, mate.

—Jessie Lilley



Good Bye Sarah Jane

Elisabeth Sladen was associated with Doctor Who for more decades than any writer, any Producer or any actor who played the Doctor. She became a symbol of "Doctor Who."

Something evolved out of the merely commercial desires to make a spin-off of Doctor Who. Starting with "K-9 and Company" and continuing through her work on the Big Finish audio dramas of Sarah Jane, Lis Sladen made Sarah Jane a three-dimensional character who was part of the "Doctor Who" world - but was not bound to the Doctor. When Russel T. Davis invited her back into the TV world of "Doctor Who" in "School Reunion" and the "The Sarah Jane Adventures" Sladen's force of will showed the world that a companion could "grow up" to become someone worthy of the Doctor's respect. No other companion could have made that transition.

Sarah Jane, a diminutive women -- especially when standing next to Pertwee or Baker or Tennant, looked like a little girl during her days as the Doctor's companion. She was adorable (especially in her Andy Pandy outfit in "The Hand of Fear") - but also feisty, argumentative and not a fainting damsel in distress. Sladen took the character and imbued her with a heart and a humanity that came from within the actress. She showed the Doctor and the world that she, Elisabeth Slade and Sarah Jane Smith was bigger on the inside than she was on the outside.

—William Alan Ritch



Kevin McCarthy

Remembered



January 29, 2010


Captain Phil Harris on the dock in front of the Cornelia Marie.
Harris died on January 29, 2010. He was 53 years old.

Captain Phil Harris

Fishing Boat Captain and Reality TV Star

I never miss Discovery's Deadliest Catch, the reality TV show which chronicles the adventures and mis-adventures of the fleet of fishing boats out of Dutch Harbor in Alaska. The captains and crews of this fleet face ridiculous weather and deck conditions as they pursue and catch the crab that we enjoy on our dinner plates here in the lower 48 and all over the world.

From the first time I watched the show, I fell for Cap'n Phil as he piloted his 128-foot vessel Cornelia Marie through the harsh trials of the Bering Sea. This morning while watching the news, it was reported that the man I have thought of as 'my' captain these past few years died of a stroke on January 29 while in port and offloading his boat.

I couldn't help but cry over hearing this news. I never knew him but such was the power of his personality. My sincere condolences to his sons, the fleet and all the people who knew and loved Phil Harris. He'll be missed here in Santa Cruz, CA as he will be missed by the millions of viewers of The Deadliest Catch.

Fair winds to you Captain.

— Jessie Lilley





November 16, 2009

Edward Woodward

Sad news to report this day, veteran character actor of television, stage and screen Edward Woodward has died. Woodward is known to Mondo Cult fans for his portrayal of Sergeant Howie in 1973's The Wicker Man. His brilliant turn in Breaker Morant stunned audiences when it opened and this writer fell for him, hook, line and sinker when she saw him in 1964 on Broadway in High Spirits, the musical adaptation of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit. RIP Mr. Woodward. You are missed.



—Jessie Lilley



December 10, 2009

Gene Barry

Gene Barry, star of television's Bat Masterson, hero in the George Pal version of War of the Worlds with Ann Robinson, and dapper leading man in television's The Name of the Game and Burke's Law, died Thursday, December 10, 2009, in Los Angeles. Mr. Barry was 90 years old.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Barry, only briefly, at Lance Allspaugh's Vista Theatre in Hollywood on the 30th Anniversary showing of Pal's War of the Worlds. He and Ann Robinson were in attendance. It was a wonderful night and Mr. Barry was a delight.

—Jessie Lilley