Sep 7, 2014
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Darkness Around the Silver Screen – The Twelve Best Theaters in America to Experience Noir Film

Grunge retro cinema poster. Vector illustration.I was dodging virtual raindrops one afternoon on the stormy side of the internet when I decided to catch a little sanctuary from the rain under the rooftop of a ticket booth at the local film house. As I wrung E-rain out my fedora and avoided the annoyed glances of the bored dame inside the booth, I felt a heavy stare on me from the shadows of the movie palace and turned, expecting danger at the worst, and a subpoena at the best.

What I got was the Czar of Noir, Eddie Muller.

“Here for the matinee?” asked Eddie, flipping a shiny silver dollar as he strolled out of the lobby. “You should grab some popcorn as well. It’s the best in the city.”

“No time,” I grumbled as I moved my wallet from my back pocket to my front. As far as I knew, Eddie seemed a straight-shooter, but there was something in the way that he flipped that coin that told me he knew his way around the grift. “Besides,” I said, looking at the dame in the ticket booth, “the atmosphere doesn’t seem too welcoming.”

“Don’t let it fool you,” Eddie said, buttoning up his coat and tipping the brim of his fedora. “Part of the deal is that vintage movies houses SHOULD capture the spirit of an earlier time, even as they adopt new technologies and such to remain viable. This place will treat you right.”
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Aug 11, 2014
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Revenge of the Pulp Voices! Five More Voices For Hard-Boiled Pulp

Vintage TypewriterI walked into a seedy dive on the bad side of the internet, the kind of place where Nigerian princes are all willing to buy you a drink as long as you supply them with credit card and bank account information first. Wading through the rabble, I made my way to the bar.

I grabbed some real estate when a stool opened up, and was surprised to see a familiar face among the felons and grifters.

“Well, Lucas Garrett, as I live and breath. How are you?”

Lucas took his eyes off his drink long enough to glance over at me and shrugged noncommittally. Not to be deterred, I waived the bartender over with the hopes of applying some conversational lubrication to the situation.

“So, you happen to catch the last blog post?” I asked, because I am nothing if not demure. “Yeah, I saw it,” Lucas said, finding the ice at the bottom of his glass much more captivating than any conversation I had to offer.

“It was my most shared blog post yet!” I beamed, trying to lighten the mood. He looked at me like I was trimming my nose-hair at the bar. “You left out a lot of fine people,” he said.

“But I even had to get more bandwidth for my blog,” I said. “Besides, the article would have been HUGE!”
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Jul 30, 2014
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Pow, Slam, Bam! – Six Modern Voices for Hard-Boiled Pulp

Typing On A Vintage TypewriterIt started in the early part of the 20th century, when “pulp” meant more than orange juice or wood chips.

It meant The Shadow, Doc Savage and the Avenger. It meant the Green Lama and the Spider. It meant mystery men (and women) locked in a life-and-death struggle against the evil and the macabre.

It also meant cowboys and detectives, athletes and astronauts, and any sort of adventure that the covers of a dime store novel could contain.

The pulps were percolators for adventure and intrigue and their storytelling legacy goes on today. Most of the cinematic blockbusters of today owe more than a passing nod to the pulps.

And the adventure novels and comics, particularly the good ones, trace their lineage straight back to the golden age.
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Jun 2, 2014
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Why Batman ALWAYS Wins Against Superman

Batman Gotham CentralThis year is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the debut of Batman and DC Comics is pulling out all the stops in celebration.

All year long they’ll be releasing shorts like Bruce Timm’s “Strange Days” to celebrate the milestone as well as giving away free Batman masks and Bat-related goodies on Wednesday, July 23rd, or what DC Comics has deemed “Batman Day.” All this comes over a year after the seventy-fifth anniversary of Superman’s debut, which was quiet by comparison.

This begs the question – Why does the man in black get all the love while the World’s Biggest Boy Scout struggles to find an audience?

Because Batman regularly loses and Superman is unbeatable.

While on the surface it sounds stupid, Ma Kent’s little boy is almost god-like. The only thing he has to fear is an equally god-like bad guy, the rare magic spell, or the odd meteor from Krypton. Born on another planet and raised by good, wholesome folk, Superman’s toughest battles are usually internal, and being the good guy that he is, his inner demons are regularly kept in check.
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May 13, 2014
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

The Haunted Bookcase

books cobwebsThe other day I was dusting my living room, which while highly out of character still happens on occasion. I was looking for a place to put a new gift, a copy of Love Songs Are Too Violent for Me, by Will “The Thrill” Viharo. Will is a hard-boiled noir guy who puts his own unique twist on detective stories. His tales aren’t for the family, or even the faint-of-heart, but they are an intriguing read and this copy was special.

He gave it to me on the last day of “Thrillville,” a mini movie festival where some of the best movies meet some of the cheesiest. If you throw in some surf music, burlesque dancers, horror-show hosts, casual nudity and martini glasses you get the general idea of what the average “Thrillville” looks like.

Will’s moving to Seattle and inscribed a little something to me. I put it next to an earlier book of his and went through the rest of the books on that particular case, dusting, cleaning, and sorting. It took me a while, but I finally figured out what all the books on that case had in common.
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