Ed Brisson's East Coast Dispatches: June 14th, 2021
The horror of it all
For realsies, I’m keeping this sucker short this week!
Table of Contents
•Beyond The Breach #1 FOC
•Out This Week
•Things: A Movie That Needs To Be Experienced
•You Should Check Out: Barbaric #1
• Upcoming Releases
Beyond the Breach #1 FOC is June 20, 2021!
Okay, I’ve been bugging you guys about this one a lot, but this is my last big push! The Final Order Cutoff for Beyond The Breach #1 is on June 20th. Please let your local comic shop know that you want…no NEED…this apocalyptic road trip from hell book. It’s gonna be your new favourite book. This I swear. Okay? That’s all.
My guarantee is that if you don’t love #1, Matt Rosenberg will buy your copies from you, no questions asked. That’s how confident I am that you will love it.
Out This Week
Amazing Spider-Man #69
My second issue co-writing Amazing Spider-Man with Nick Spencer is out this week. It’s been a weird and crazy experience writing Spider-Man — especially given the intense weekly schedule. But, I’m having a lot of fun on it.
Official Solict: CHAMELEON CONSPIRACY, PART 3
Spidey and his superspy sister, Teresa Parker, dig to uncover THE CHAMELEON CONSPIRACY. Their investigation is challenged by Chance, Jack O’Lantern and the Foreigner’s anarchic alliance!
Silver Coin #3
No pressure in having to follow up Chip Zdarsky and Kelly Thompson, right? RIGHT?!? If you haven’t already ready #1 and #2, you should do that asap. However, each issue of the series works as a stand-alone, so you can read this issue, then go back and read #2 and #1.
Thrilled to be reuniting with Michael Walsh on a new project, even if for just one issue.
Official Solicit: The grisly third installment of horror anthology THE SILVER COIN by all-stars MICHAEL WALSH, CHIP ZDARSKY, KELLY THOMPSON, ED BRISSON, and JEFF LEMIRE. After a home invasion goes bad, the mysterious coin helps its new owners outrun the law. But it's leading them down a path much darker.
Weapon X & Final Flight #1
This was such a weird and fun book to work on. Canada’s left a wasteland after going to war with the Squadron Supreme of America and it’s up to the remaining members of Alpha Flight to try to save what’s left — at any cost.
Roland Boschi absolutely killed it on art, with incredible colours from Chris O’Halloran. The two of them were born to work together.
Official Solicit: THEY'RE THE BEST THERE IS AT WHAT THEY DO!
In a world without the Avengers, the Squadron Supreme protects and defends the interests of America! But where does that leave a country like Canada? The Great White North is now a wasteland. Their forests are scorched. Their provinces annexed. Their people barely surviving. Who will stand up and protect them from the supremacy of the Squadron? Weapon X and Final Flight, that's who!
Things: A Movie That Needs To Be Experienced
The other night, much to my shock, amusement and horror, I noticed A LOT of people on twitter discussing the movie Things (1989). I was completely confounded by it all, before realizing it was recently added as the most recent episode of The Last Drive-In Joe Bob Briggs on Shudder.
In college, my friends and I would often torture each other with the weirdest and worst films we could find. Of the hundreds of films we subjected each other two, Things was, far and away, the worst. There was no competition, none even came close.
Watching and, more importantly, finishing the movie became some sort of masochistic badge of honour among our friend group. Like some sort of Ring curse, we all felt compelled to make as many people watch it as possible. We needed a support network who would know what we’ve been through. Most people gave up 15 minutes in. Some made it halfway through. Only the true troopers of trash cinema managed to watch the whole thing in one sitting.
The plot of the film makes little sense: Two dudes go to visit a friend in a remote cabin. Where said friend has just been promised a baby by a naked woman in a satan mask. Meanwhile, in another room, his wife gives birth to papier-mâché ants and dies. The ant somehow multiplies and, with absolutely no articulation, they move around the house and attack our heroes — but not before letting them fill out a good 40 minutes of nonsensical dialogue. Along the way, someone vanishes into the 4th, 5th, and 6th dimensions; bug sandwiches are made and eaten; a demented doctor with a penchant for torture visits, then vanishes; and porn star Amber Lynn shows up as a news anchor struggling to read cue cards as she reports on two missing men (our protagonists, maybe? It’s never 100% clear.). There is so much about this film that makes no sense and your brain will struggle dearly to make connections that just aren’t there. So many lines will have you screaming to the gods, begging to be put out of your mercy.
After college, I became obsessed with the movie and how it came to be and so started sleuthing around to see if I could dig up any info on this weird movie. This was around 2000 or so and while most folks were online, there were still plenty of folks who weren’t and so tracking down the cast and director was very difficult. There was also very little written about the film online, as though it never existed — even though it had been available for rent in thousands of video stores across North America.
Finally, after more than half a year of digging, I came across a Geocities site offering limited enrollment into the Barry Gillis School of Film — Barry Gillis is the dude above with the impressive drill and even more impressive stache/mullet combo. He was trying to start a school where students would pay tuition to work on a movie — their tuition money essentially becoming the budget for the indie film.
Excitedly, I reached out through the “school” email address and almost immediately got a response from Barry. The two of us talked through email and chat, off and on, for about a year. I learned that the director, Paul Jordan, was a guy I used to trade hard-to-find movies with through the mail back in the 90s (small world!). I didn’t realize that both Barry and Paul were Canadian. Something I probably should have guessed looking back on the movie.
In 2002, I was helping my dad move cross-Canada, from Ontario to BC, and booked a couple of extra days to drive down to Kitchener, Ontario, where Barry was living at the time. He and I went out for beer and nachos and he downloaded a ton of juicy behind-the-scenes info about the making of the film and then made me drive around the city at night as we listened to a CD of his music, his eyes closed, soaking it in. It was an odd experience.
After that, we lost touch for a few years. I contacted Barry again in 2007 to discuss releasing Things on DVD. The VHS tapes were impossible to find and I felt that more people needed to experience this film. I managed to help set up a deal with Cinema Sewer who ended up releasing the 19 1/2 Year Anniversary Edition of Things (I’d pleaded with them to wait 6 months for a 20th-Anniversary edition, but Barry and Paul weren’t having it — in the end, the odd decision of releasing a 19 1/2 years anniversary edition fits perfectly with everything that Things is).
I’ve lost touch with Barry over the years, I know that he moved around the country and attempted a similar school in recent years. He did make a film called Wicked World about 15 years ago and seems to have a couple of projects on the go at present, including one with Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Corey Feldman. At least he’s still out there doing what he loves.
I know that some of you think that you might know of a film that can topple Things for the title of Worst Movie Ever Made, but I’m telling you right now: It is not possible. If you have Shudder, you should watch it. If you don’t have Shudder, you should get it so that you can watch Things. Then check out their catalog, because they’ve got a lot of great stuff ranging from horror to a ton of Japanese genre cinema (I recommend The Yakuza Papers films).
You Should Check Out: Barbaric #1
I’ve known Michael Moreci since about mid-2012. We met on a SDCC panel, both of us announcing our first Image books — Comeback for me, Hoax Hunters for him. We were both pretty shellshocked by the experience. High on the idea of finally landing a book with a publisher, but terrified that we were going to fuck it all up somehow. Thankfully, neither of us did and 9 years later we’re both still kicking.
Michael just wrapped on the excellent The Plot (with Tim Daniel and Josh Hixson) and is about to launch a new series with Vault called Barbaric, illustrated by Nate Gooden, colored by Addison Duke, and lettered by Jim Campbell.
In Michael’s own words: “BARBARIC follows Owen the Barbarian who has been cursed to do good. His bloodthirsty, drunken weapon, Axe, has become his moral compass. Together they wander an untamed, mythic realm battling supernatural cultists, hungry giants, creatures of the night, and more in their quest to somehow, amidst all this chaos, do the right thing.
Welcome to the skull-cracking, blood-splattering, mayhem-loving comic brave enough to ask: How can a man sworn to do good do so much violence? It’s just…BARBARIC.”
The early buzz is great and the sales numbers have been spectacular. If you’re looking for something new, give it a look.
June 16, 2021:
• Amazing Spider-Man #69 (Marvel - co-written with Nick Spencer)
• Silver Coin #3 (Image)
• Weapon X & Final Flight #1 (of 1) (Marvel)
June 30, 2021:
•Giant-Sized Amazing Spider-Man: The Chameleon Conspiracy (Marvel - co-written with Nick Spencer)
•Beyond The Breach #1 (Aftershock)
• Carnage: Black, White & Blood #4
•Beyond The Breach #2 (Aftershock)
• Deadpool: Black, White & Blood #1