Comics

Another Phoenix, Without Ashes: Exclusive Preview of 'Nite Owl #4'

It's hard to shake memories of the series finale of House while reading this issue of Nite Owl, even if Warren Zevon's "Keep Me in Your Heart" isn't playing in the background…

There's certainly an overture of casual connections between "Everybody Dies" the season eight finale and series finale to the nearly decade-long odyssey of the cantankerous MD who loathes patients but loves puzzles. There's the abandoned building set on fire, there're dire consequences for both House and his pardner-in-crime Wilson, just as there are for Rorschach and his crimefighting partner, Nite Owl.

But whereas "Everybody Dies" was a quiet moment for us to leave the story of House, Nite Owl's story is just getting started.

 
EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW
 

"Everybody Dies" really was about House escaping his own cage of fame, about no longer needing to be that cranky, manipulative, genius mad scientist doctor who saved lives but hated the people whose lives he saved. It's an easy story, he fakes his death so he and Wilson can spend the last days of their friendship together before the cancer takes Wilson. No prison for House, and along the way there's at least the suggestion that he would be able to learn how to live without his enabler.

It's only a slight hesitation thinking that House's phoenix-like escape from that burning building might also signal actor Hugh Laurie's escape from his own cage of fame. Can Laurie join the cadre of familiar actors that populate our movies and TV shows? The House that Hugh Laurie Built certainly chronicles the terrible price Laurie himself paid for the success of his crafting of the character. Almost as much does his unmemorable performance as the Machiavellian IA cop in 2008's Street Kings.

But as that murder-house burns around his partner, Nite Owl stares down a very different kind of phoenix-without-ashes rejuvenation. At some point in the future, this is going to be the man who compromises with the ultimate mad scientist who committed genocide to ensure world peace.

Just as much as "Everybody Dies" was for House, "From One Nite Owl to Another" is a drama of choices. Please enjoy your exclusive preview of Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #4.

 
EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW
 

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

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Music

The World of Captain Beefheart: An Interview with Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx (photo © Michael DelSol courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media)

Guitarist and band leader Gary Lucas and veteran vocalist Nona Hendryx pay tribute to one of rock's originals in this interview with PopMatters.

From the opening bars of "Suction Prints", we knew we had entered The World of Captain Beefheart and that was exactly where we wanted to be. There it was, that unmistakable fast 'n bulbous sound, the sudden shifts of meter and tempo, the slithery and stinging slide guitar in tandem with propulsive bass, the polyrhythmic drumming giving the music a swing unlike any other rock band.

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From Haircut 100 to his own modern pop stylings, Nick Heyward is loving this new phase of his career, experimenting with genre with the giddy glee of a true pop music nerd.

In 1982, Nick Heyward was a major star in the UK.

As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

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Blending a dazzling array of musical influences and directions for more than two decades now, Thievery Corporation have come to represent one of the 21st century's boldest bands in both genre-blending style and lyrical impact.

The Halloween season is in full effect on this crisp Sunday evening in San Francisco that precedes All Hallows Eve by two days. With the traditional holiday falling on a Tuesday, music fans are out for as much costumed fun as they can get as evidenced by the costumed revelers here at the Masonic in the Nob Hill area. Thievery Corporation is in town, and the Bay Area "thieves" as the band's fans are known are ready to let it all hang out with one of the few bands in the music industry that isn't shy on telling listeners the truth about what's going on in the world.

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Despite the uninspired packaging in this complete series set, Friday Night Lights remains an outstanding TV show; one of the best in the current golden age of television.

There are few series that have earned such universal acclaim as Friday Night Lights (2006-2011). This show unreservedly deserves the praise -- and the well-earned Emmy. Ostensibly about a high school football team in Dillon, Texas—headed by a brand new coach—the series is more about community than sports. Though there's certainly plenty of football-related storylines, the heart of the show is the Taylor family, their personal relationships, and the relationships of those around them.

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