Tag: daniel craig

With Further Ado #275: Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2023 – Part 3

With Further Ado #275: Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2023 – Part 3

There are so many amazing Pop Culture treasures out there. Shall we jump right in and take a look at a few more for this year’s Holiday Gift Guide?

Dig Two Graves
by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Titan Books (September 19, 2023)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 208 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1803364612

Whenever there’s a new book by this particular author, Mike Gold always jokes “If you only read one Max Allan Collins book this month, read this one!”

But that’s just the way I feel too. I’ve been a fan for a long time, but for me – it never gets old with this writer. The latest book, Dig Two Graves is part of the Mike Hammer series. Collins again collaborates, after a fashion, with his mentor Mickey Spillane. When Spillane died, he left instructions with his wife to reach out to Collins and figure out what do with all the half-finished manuscripts and story fragments.

I’m so glad this has come together and Titan publishes them. They are crackling good fun and I daresay I like them better than the original Spillane stories, as heretical as that may be.

In this mystery, Hammer and his long-time secretary and partner Velda Sterling leave New York and the action shifts to Arizona. It’s great fun with witty dialog, kooky characters and plenty of action. You can’t help but recall every 1950s movie you’ve ever seen to mentally conjure up the visuals for this thriller.


MCU : The Reign of Marvel Studios
by Johanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales and Gavin Edwards

Continue reading “With Further Ado #275: Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2023 – Part 3”

Brainiac On Banjo: A Million Pounds of Bond

Brainiac On Banjo: A Million Pounds of Bond

Diamonds are forever. Hold one up and then caress it, touch it, stroke it and undress it. I can see every part. Nothing hides in the heart to hurt me. “Diamonds Are Forever,” written by John Barry and Don Black.

Generally speaking, I’m not interested in “reality” television. It’s not really reality, and when I want reality from my ol’ cathode ray tube I’ll watch the news until I decide what I really should be doing is updating my will.

There are exceptions. A thousand years ago, I watched Ice Road Truckers because the contestants were as ludicrous as the concept of hauling many tons of stuff across frozen-over lakes that, under the weight of same, could kill the aspirants and — more important — destroy their swag. Much more recently, I’ve been enjoying the challenges of James May, of car wrecking fame, as he ridicules modern manhood by attempting even more ludicrous but somewhat more useful DIY projects. However, these shows (Man Lab is the best, Toy Stories and The Reassembler are almost as entertaining) are built, by James May, to revolve around James May, who is clever, honest, committed and wonderfully sardonic. He’s a mere 60 years old, but probably looks a bit older because he’s spent decades working next to Jeremy Clarkson. He’s also done a number of food-oriented shows and has lunched with Gordon Ramsay, consuming bull penis and rotten shark. Funny stuff. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: A Million Pounds of Bond”

Brainiac on Banjo: Bond… Hoagy Bond?

Brainiac on Banjo: Bond… Hoagy Bond?

Have no fear, look who’s here… James Bond… They’ve got us on the run… With guns… And knives… We’re fighting for our lives. – Casino Royale, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

The US release of the first James Bond comic book.

Sherlock Holmes. Tarzan. Superman. James Kirk. James Bond. The public’s continuing appetite for heroic fantasy superstars has long been well established, and ever since communication went mass they have been at the center of the most prevalent form of entertainment worldwide. This is a truth that validates our low-brow culture: it turns out that both boys and girls just want to have fun.

Not all such characters live forever. Tarzan, like The Lone Ranger, The Shadow, Bulldog Drummond and many other superstars of action, are in serious danger of being relegated to the storage stacks of cultural history. Of course, that death need not be permanent: Doctor Who, Star Trek and several others have been successfully resurrected and modernized without destroying the fabric of their creation.

When it comes to one of the most successful heroes, at the present we are on hold. Daniel Craig has retired as the latest James Bond and, even though the next Bond flick is just entering its development stage I can’t help but wonder how they’ll pull off James’ inevitable resurrection. Continue reading “Brainiac on Banjo: Bond… Hoagy Bond?”

With Further Ado #228: 2022 Annual Gift Giving Guide – Part 2

With Further Ado #228: 2022 Annual Gift Giving Guide – Part 2

Like an overstuffed Christmas stocking, there are so many great gifting options that we’re spilling into Part 2 this week! Here’s some more wonderful and wonderous ideas for you all:


Being Bond: A Daniel Craig Retrospective
by Mark Salisbury

I often tell a family story from 1973. My mom wanted to take my brother and me to see the animated movie version of one of her favorite books Charlotte’s Web. My dad was less than excited about this family outing. He incredulously asked my mom, “You want to take these kids to see a movie about a pig?!?”

Instead, he whisked the whole family to the Auburn Palace Theater to see Live and Let Die, which was the latest James Bond thriller. It was my first encounter with James Bond. My head exploded. I think my brother Colin’s head exploded too.

This movie opened with M and Moneypenny visiting 007’s apartment (flat?), They haven’t been able to reach Bond and an Italian Special Agent is missing.

They knock on the door, and the camera cuts to James Bond being awakened and checking his digital wristwatch. This was months before digital watches were commercially available, and it was so cool to me.

And unbeknownst to his boss, James Bond also had that Italian special agent in his bedroom. She was beautiful and naked. Even as 10-year-old, I thought, “Gee, I’d like to have a beautiful naked Italian secret agent in my apartment someday.”

The point is that half of the fun of a James Bond movie is imagining what it would be like to be James Bond. Daniel Craig is one of the few men who actually got to be James Bond, and this book, Being Bond by Mark Salisbury, is a celebration of Craig’s turn as the iconic character.

This coffee table book has stories, gossip, bios and synopses and ephemera. It is packed with so many gorgeous photographs that it’s almost easy to overlook the movies’ storyboards. I find them fascinating. It’s another way to enjoy the story in the making, as we, as fans, toggle between the storyboards and the films.

I also really enjoyed the bits where author Salisbury pulls back the curtain to reveal how each of the Craig 007 movies got made. It was surprising, to me, how many breadcrumbs and lost bits of one film end up getting baked into the next movie. Continue reading “With Further Ado #228: 2022 Annual Gift Giving Guide – Part 2”

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Phillip Kennedy Johnson as He Begins a New James Bond Comic.

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Phillip Kennedy Johnson as He Begins a New James Bond Comic.

A couple of weeks ago, we caught up with rising superstar comic writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson. We talked about a bunch of cool topics and published that interview on our Pop Culture SquadCast: Interview Edition. Johnson is super busy creating comics, but we talked about the three biggest announced projects that he is working on.

Recently, it was revealed that he will be writing the new series of James Bond from Dynamite Entertainment, with artist Marco Finnegan providing the visuals. That series begins next month in August.

We also spoke about what is going on in the pages of Action Comics from DC Comics where Ricardo Federici, Johnson’s partner in crime from the Last God has taken over primary art duties from Daniel Sampere.

As is usually the focus of our comic creator chats, we spent quite a bit of time talking about Phillip’s writing process and techniques. Some of that highlighted the excellent work that he has been doing on the Marvel Comics series Alien with artist Salvador Larroca.

It is always illuminating to talk to Phillip and we have transcribed some of the interesting newsy bits of the conversation below the jump. Give the SquadCast a listen and let us know what you think.


Pop Culture Squad: Let’s talk about James Bond. Congratulations on writing the new James Bond series with Dynamite Entertainment. Before we get into the series, I want to talk about who is “your James Bond” Which actor is the one that you are always going to watch.

Phillip Kennedy Johnson: Daniel Craig, for sure.

PCS: Okay, good. I personally don’t have a favorite. I love them all. What was the first Bond movie that you saw?

PKJ: <laugh> I honestly don’t remember. And the reason is it wasn’t like there was just one that came on. This one time I was staying with my stepdad’s mother for the weekend, and there was this Bond marathon on TV.

PCS: So, you watched them all at once.

PKJ: Seriously. I watched like a dozen of them probably. I fell asleep during one of them. I was like, “Oh, I guess I’m going to go to bed.” And, at the time, I remember liking Sean Connery a lot. I thought like “This guy’s super cool.” And I still feel like he’s probably the coolest of the old Bonds of the pre-Craig Bonds.

Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Phillip Kennedy Johnson as He Begins a New James Bond Comic.”