As Thanksgiving seems like the right time for traditions, with this second post on the subject, I hereby create a yearly tradition of listing a few things I'm thankful for. As was the case last time, this is not meant to delve into the really big stuff -- family, friends, opportunities -- but rather to offer a few suggestions based on the art and entertainment that is enlightening or enthralling me around now. Nevertheless, given the position many people in my corner of the world are in at the moment, it seems criminally frivolous not to mention how thankful I am to have a roof over my head, a hot meal on the way and a healthy family to share it with. There are many ways to assist those who are not so fortunate. If you are of a mind to help, here is one of many spots you can look at for ways to do so.
In the meantime, here is a short list of things you might have a look at in between assisting with the debris clearance or donating to Red Cross and settling in for the Turkey.
Hard Times on DVD - Set in the 1930s but made in the 1970s, when they really knew how to shoot a fight scene, this is the story of an itinerant bare-knuckle boxer and his stopover in New Orleans. Starring cinema's toughest tough guy, Charles Bronson (as well as a charming James Coburn) it is both tough-as-nails and yet also curiously melancholy and heartfelt. And incidentally, the character of Mal from Those That Wake and What We Become, owes more than just a little bit to Bronson's character Chaney. In fact, I always imagined Mal's father Max (brief though his part was), as more or less being that guy.
Mind MGMT by Matt Kindt - A writer searching for the reason why an entire plane full of people have lost their memories makes it a great mystery. A secret organization of spies hunting down their greatest agent, who has gone rogue, makes it a cracking espionage tale. That the spies are all psychics, each with a unique skill, makes it a thrilling and exciting Sci-Fi yarn. Kindt's graphic story-telling skills, breathless pacing, sharp ideas and highly distinctive and engagingly idiosyncratic art makes it a great comic book. Not just great, in fact, but with loads of bonus materials in each monthly issue that will not appear in the collected edition, it may be the single best value for your comic book dollar out there.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart - Four children must complete a series of difficult tests before embarking on a secret mission to a bizarre boarding school. I haven't even started this yet, but it sure sounds good and, because it was highly recommended by my nine-year-old daughter, I can't wait to get going.
Happy Thanksgiving. Make sure you bring a good turkey joke to the table.