Fan Transforms 1958 Stereo Unit Into Derry From Stephen King’s It

1986’s It wasn’t my first brush with Stephen King’s work. That honor of course went to a few film adaptations like 1980’s The Shining as well as 1983’s The Dead Zone. Having said that however, It was one of the first books I read of Stephen King. The first two being his early short story collections Night Shift and Skeleton Crew. I recall vividly in fact my Junior High School teacher praising It and finding the paperback for sale that very afternoon, at a local supermarket.
It - Stephen King

For the next three days I could NOT put the book down. Not during class nor for that matter on the way home on the bus. Furthermore even eating dinner, you could find my nose planted firmly in the engrossing novel. While I am and always shall be a Stephen King fan – no book has captured my attention so much so like It. Until the publication of 2013’s Joyland that is!

Read: Check out my review of Joyland

When I was growing up – almost to the point of High School. We weren’t fortunate enough to have a bathroom with a shower. So for most of my young life I washed my hair in the bathroom sink. An act that I admit I was quite hesitant to do after reading King’s book…for fear of looking into the drain and finding something looking back at me!

Read: Speaking of fear – check out this vintage American Express commercial to see what scared Stephen King

Imagine my surprise and delight when the other day I stumbled across the lavish work of Kassiopeya. Who took it upon herself to craft a magnificent piece of artwork entitled Welcome to Derry. This was done by converting a 1958 stereo unit into the facade of the bright and sunlit town of Derry. As well as when the cabinet doors are opened, presenting the dark and festering domain of Pennywise.

It - Welcome to Derry

All images courtesy of Kassiopeya.


To say that Kassiopeya lovingly included scores of detail from the 1986 novel itself is an understatement. I’ve rarely seen such a work of art that has taken my very breath away as Welcome to Derry has. Don’t take my word for it – gaze on this small sampling yourself.


As I’ve already mentioned, the artist made sure to include the dangers below Derry.


Of the project itself, Kassiopeya has said of it:
“My Derry – including its underground world of the sewers – is now integrated in that furniture. The novel, with all its references to Rock ‘n’ Roll in the Fifties has merged into a whole with that furniture, and has become part of it. The surface represents the romantic sight of a Derry street bathed in the golden light of a late summer day. Only when you flip open the cabinet door you do see what is underneath: The sewage pipes way down below… in the green glowing light of the deadlights.”

I implore you fans of It to immediately follow the link to Kassiopeya’s website – there you will find so many more photos of Welcome to Derry. Now if you will excuse me I believe I must revisit Derry myself by rereading the book once again!

On the other hand I suppose I could go ahead and watch the 1990 miniseries for It

Someday, My (Space)ship Or Space Shuttle Will Sail

The year: 1981. Pac-Man fever has incurably spread across the country. Both Mork and Mindy are still on the air. There are still pitched Battles of the Network Stars being fought on a yearly basis. The Sony Walkman has been on the market for a little under two years.

Oh, and Space Shuttle Columbia just blasted off for the very first time a couple of days ago, and is going to land very soon.

Now nearly six years since the last Space Shuttle lifted off, it’s almost unimaginable that a TV network would devote 3+ hours of wall-to-wall coverage to a perfectly ordinary Shuttle landing…except that this was the first time that a Shuttle returning from orbit ever came in for a landing. Every American space mission before this sunny April day in 1981 had ended with a splashdown in an ocean. But not this one.
[Via] Golden Pacific Media

It’s a slice of history, like a time machine: the first manned American space flight in six years was a big deal. And while it had taken longer to get the Space Shuttle airborne – on a scale of years – due to technical delays on the bleeding edge of new technologies, it had finally taken to the sky, something that looked more like a space fighter from a movie than it looked like a metal can with windows.

And perhaps most bittersweet of all, it had yet to let anyone down. The promises, made throughout the ‘70s ever since the Nixon administration had signed off on the Shuttle’s basic design, of routine, weekly flights to orbit, of a massive space station built by the 1990s that would be a stepping stone to the rest of the solar system…none of them had been broken yet. The reality of getting Columbia ready for her second flight hadn’t set in yet.

Nobody knew how difficult or costly it would be…or, just a few years later, how dangerous, as NASA tried to fly its fleet of Shuttles more and more frequently.

I remember watching the landing coverage at a friend’s house, the site of a spring break sleepover. He was ready to fire up the Atari, or go outside and kick a ball, and I wasn’t ready to budge. Like other budding space geeks who had grown up in a decade during which American astronauts had simply stopped going to space for years on end, it had all been building up to this – the lovingly illustrated National Geographic issue devoted to telling us what would happen “when the Space Shuttle finally flies”, the fleet of die-cast metal Space Shuttles that circled above the surface of the Earth (in my pockets), the plastic model kits of a non-fictional spacecraft that had never gotten around to flying…
Space Shuttle
(And yes, each one is actually a specific shuttle, in the order that I got them as a kid, and as such is sitting next to its name. The one with the tail cover is the Enterprise.)

For just a moment, the future was bright.

As of March 2017, we are now in a longer gap between spaceflights launched from American soil than the gap between the final Apollo mission (1975’s international Apollo-Soyuz Test Project flight) and the first Shuttle launch. When the next crew of astronauts blasts off from the U.S., whether they’re aboard NASA’s Orion, or SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, the Boeing CST-100 Starliner, or something else, here’s hoping that my kids get that same sense of wonder – even if it’s a similar kind of naïve, momentary wonder – as I got from watching this: a moment where, in the future, anything could happen.

Assassin's Creed: The Official Movie Novelization

Assassin’s Creed: The Official Movie Novelization

A couple of months back you might recall my posting about Ubisoft releasing a trio of Assassin’s Creed books. All timed to coincide with the debut of the Assassin’s Creed film back in December. At the time of those reviews I did not have the chance to obtain Assassin’s Creed: The Official Movie Novelization.
Assassin's Creed: The Official Movie Novelization

Thanks to the generosity of Ubisoft though – they sent me the hardcover edition of Assassin’s Creed: The Official Movie Novelization. Like the exceptional Assassin’s Creed: Heresy, this novelization was written by none other than Christie Golden!

Photo Credit Elizabeth Golden

“We work in the darkness to serve the light. We are Assassins.”

Now as you can certainly guess Assassin’s Creed: The Official Movie Novelization delivers what is advertised on the tin. In addition however like any great novelization, Christie Golden, has expanded on the story.

The plot of Assassin’s Creed: The Official Movie Novelization still follows the general outline of the film’s script. Condemned convict Callum Lynch looks to be executed for his crimes. In reality he has been transported to the Abstergo Foundation in Madrid, Spain.

Why you might well ask?

His very DNA holds the secrets to finding a piece of powerful and lost technology. Using the Animus – a machine capable of stunning virtual reality, Callum is synced with the genetic memories of his ancestor. Aguilar de Nerha – master assassin for the Spanish brotherhood and foes of the Templar Order.
I do realize I have drunk deeply of the Kool-Aid that is Assassin’s Creed. I said as much when I shared the photo of my own little shrine to the game franchise.

Krull and BB-8 aren’t actually art of Assassin’s Creed…I just have them there.

However, having said that – I will never share with you something I don’t feel is worthy of your time and money. Assassin’s Creed: The Official Movie Novelization is a solid piece of work. Perhaps if the movie franchise goes no further Ubisoft will come to a wise decision. To allow Golden to continue the adventures of the principal characters from the film?

The Assassin’s Creed: The Official Movie Novelization is out now. Moreover I suggest you pick up the hardcover edition as you will receive a nice selection of goodies. Including concept art, a code to unlock digital Assassin’s Creed rewards and behind the scenes content.

You know a bit now about Assassin’s Creed: The Official Movie Novelization. So why not listen to Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard talking about the movie and video games?

Which Way Batman

Which Way Batman

Several years ago, my best pal Stephanie and I were perusing our favorite used bookstore. One of our favorite activities is finding things that are awesomely bad, delightfully ridiculous, and/or completely over the top, then laughing ourselves silly at them, reveling in the cheesy glory. On this eventful evening, we stumbled upon something that would bring us delight for years to come–Which Way Batman. You remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books, right? It’s just like that, but with Batman.

Technically the title is Batman: The Doomsday Prophecy, published in 1986. In fact, there’s an entire series of Super Powers Which Way books featuring DC Superheroes. These books aren’t just any Choose Your Own Adventure book though. They are basically a Choose Your Own Adventure book on steroids. According to this helpful article, the Which Way Batman alone has 51 different endings. Not only that, the preamble to the book really sets the bar quite high for any young aspiring detectives.

“Of course, Batman would always make the correct choices, but here, you control the Caped Crusader.” Whoa! Talk about pressure! I must admit, I have sealed The Dark Knight’s fate reading through this volume and have never quite aided him to success. I’ll not be trying out for Robin any time soon, that’s for sure. Even so, Stephanie and I had a great time reading aloud from this book. From the first page, we were hooked in. With choices like this, how could we go wrong?

We were especially fond of the line, “For more information on the Bat-Signal, turn to page 119.” How thoughtful of author Richard Wenk to write up a brief synopsis of characters, Bat-Gear, and villains found in the Batman universe. Even with all these great options, it’s difficult to know which is the one that will actually lead Batman to safety. To this day, when Stephanie and I are out together and we’ve not decided our next move, I’ll ask, “Which way, Batman?” and we both have a good chuckle.

There are are 4 volumes in the Super Powers Which Way series, but I’ve only found the Supergirl volume in my searches. There are Superman and Justice League volumes available too. Did you own any of these books growing up? Did you ever help The Caped Crusader beat The Doomsday Prophecy? Share with us here!

What If Pixar Decided To Do Pulp Characters?

When it comes to Pixar there really isn’t much they touch that doesn’t turn to gold. Having said that however there are genres they’ve yet to tackle. Sure, they have given friendly monsters a go as well as a sentient vehicle universe. Not to mention moving films dealing with growing old in addition to the greatest Fantastic Four movie made. That was of course not an official film of Marvel’s First Family – but it was…INCREDIBLE…nonetheless.

See what I did there?

Ahem. While 2004’s The Incredibles marked Pixar’s first foray into superheroes. The talented Phil Postma is always eager to present different genres that Pixar has yet to approach. You might recall some of the other artwork of Postma’s that we’ve shared on The Retroist before. Like what if Rankin and Bass had produce a 1977 stop motion version of The Hobbit. Or perhaps Fisher-Price had produced Adventure People Killers to their toy line?

Back in 2013, it turns out that Phil presented Pixar versions of some legendary pulp characters. Such as Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, and Ming the Merciless of course.

Images courtesy of Phil Postma.

He also shared a look at what Pixar could deliver with Lee Falk’s The Phantom.
Pixar - The Phantom - Phil Postma

Last but certainly not least and the film I wish Pixar would truly deliver is The Shadow!

Make sure to hop on over to Phil’s official blog – The Minion Factory. You can check out even more of his fantastic artwork and even purchase merchandise.

Now that we’ve seen what some pulp characters would look like if Pixar was in charge of character design. How about re-watching what an animated series for The Rocketeer might look like?

[Via] Amazing Cartoons