New Year’s Eve tends to bring nostalgic reflections and hopeful projections. Tonight, no matter how hard the year’s been, it seems we always find some warm, nostalgic feels for what’s come before. And no matter how hard life may feel in this moment, it seems we always find some excitement for what lays ahead. If our last year was more beautiful and joyful than not, well all’s the easier to touch those bright reflections and projections. I’m not sure why. If I was to hazard a guess (which I feel I should as I brought all this up), I’d say it’s because – deep down – we are fundamentally hopeful. We want to find reasons to celebrate, to believe. New Year’s Eve is as good a reason as any! While I’ve never been one to buy into the magic of tonight and the promise of tomorrow too much, I do enjoy a reason to be nostalgic and hopeful as much as the next person :). So, in the spirit of the night, I figured it would be fun to get way nostalgic and look back at a few childhood fears I spent ages preparing for, only to find they were problems I’d never encounter in adulthood (well, at least not yet).
The blog’s been extra quiet lately as I’ve been writing my book (ahhhhh! yay!) but I decided to give myself a night off from book work tonight. Why? Well, I’m glad you asked. I could read for pleasure. I could enjoy watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! and then go to bed early. I could spend the whole night with the Doctor. All of those would be excellent uses of my night. However, instead, I’m using it to vent a little frustration. You see, Ghostbusters is one of my all-time favorite movies and one of my all-time favorite storytelling universes so when I recently read Jason Reitman’s plans for Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 I had FEELINGS. As is so often the case, this piece was born in a conversation I had with Jeffrey (of The Imperial Talker). The title of the piece – Nostalgia is going to kill us – was his exact quote when I told him of the sequel story. I couldn’t agree more so I was super excited when he said I could nick his observation for this piece. Shall we dive in? Are you ready? Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh…let’s go.
Making a sequel to Ghostbusters (1984) is tricky. Ghostbusters is one of few perfect movies. Everything about it works! It was one of my all-time favorite movies when I was five-years-old and it still is now at thirty-nine. Already a fan of the cartoon show, my world was forever changed when my uncle gave us a VHS tape on which he’d recorded a Ghostbusters movie with real people in it from HBO. I was a little thrown (at first) as they looked different and I am 99.99% sure it was what scarred me and made me scared of dogs all through my youth (as they constantly refer to the demonic forms of Zuul and Vinz Clortho as “dogs”) but none of that really mattered. It was love at first viewing and it’s the only movie from my youth I still watch multiple times a year. It spawned three sequels – Ghostbusters 2 (1989), Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016), and the new Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021). One I loved! One disappointed me. And one was a straight up traumatic experience. With thoughts of Ghostbusters: Afterlife fresh in my mind, I felt it’d be fun to discuss which is which!
Obviously I’ve been eagerly awaiting the trailer for writer/director Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife to drop. The original Ghostbusters (1984) is my all-time favorite movie. I not only watched it all the time as a kid but I still watch it all the time as an adult. It’s consistently been bringing joy to my life, and I’ve consistently watched it multiple times every year, for over thirty years! I don’t have that relationship with any other film – not Avengers, not (500) Days of Summer, not any of the Star Wars movies. Also, I enjoy Ghostbusters even more as an adult because now I get all the jokes! So not only do I love this movie but it keeps getting better for me. Of course then, when I heard Reitman was making “a direct sequel” to his father’s iconic 1984 film, I was intrigued. So much could go right! But so much could go wrong too. Now the trailer’s here and I’m feeling…lots of things. Continue reading
A few years ago, when I was counting down to my hundredth post on this site, I profiled the four comic books I’d found since my return to reading comics which had become indispensable to my reading life. These were the comics that, even if I stopped collecting comics again, I couldn’t imagine putting down. They showcased, for me, the best of what a comic could offer while doing things I never imagined a comic book could. They were (in the order I wrote about them in my countdown), Marvel’s Ms. Marvel, IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, IDW’s Ghostbusters, and Marvel’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Thinking of those titles now, I can still feel the burgeoning excitement and awe that accompanied my return to comic reading. They also make me think of impermanence. Continue reading
Once before, I rolled up my sleeves and tackled one of humanity’s oldest and most enduring questions – which superpowers would you choose, if you could have any? But that’s far from the only query to vex the human imagination. As long as we’ve been imagining mystical, powerful, larger-than-life beings in incredible, captivating, exciting stories, we’ve been imagining different ways for them to move around. Naturally, the next best thing to imagining fictional characters travelling in these incredible vessels is thinking about having a real one for ourselves. And this brings us to the question at the center of today’s post – if you could choose, which ship or vehicle or transport would you pick to have for your very own? Continue reading
The genesis of this post came from two sources. First, for reasons that are still unclear to me, I have found myself (like much of our culture) enthralled with these odd, bobbly-headed, blank-faced little characters. Second, last Christmas Jeff surprised me with two of them (which two? you’ll have to read on to find out!). He then told me I should do a post about them, a post I update from time to time, so if he (or any other family member or friend) wanted to get me one for my birthday or Christmas or something they’d know which I had and could surprise me without fear of duplication. So, for a little light reading, let’s see if we can figure out why I’m hooked on these things. Continue reading
with Kalie Zamierowski!
[Michael’s Note: Who’s ready for some…ORIGINAL FICTION?!? That’s right ladies and gentlemen, today marks an exciting new chapter in my little blog’s life. Kalie and I have co-authored a short story/piece of fan fiction/genre mashup…whatever you want to call it. It’s an idea we’ve been playing with for months and finally just wrote it! Playing to what we love, we’ve taken the Stephen King classic The Shining and dropped the Ghostbusters into the Overlook Hotel. We had A LOT of fun and can’t wait to do this again. While she’ll disagree, about 95% of the credit for pulling this off goes to Kalie. She’s the gifted writer, capturing everything so eloquently. I have no idea how she does it. I helped with the plot, dialogue, and characterization but she did all the heavy lifting :). We’re really proud of it and hope you enjoy it too!] Continue reading
I am a HUGE baby when it comes to scary movies. However, I have also been dating an avid horror enthusiast for two years now. How do I survive all the horror movies I watch now? How have I come to even – gasp! – enjoy and appreciate the genre myself? Well that story, my friends, is in this new guest post I wrote for Kalie over at Just Dread-Full. I had a lot of fun writing it and I’d be super excited if you clicked over and checked it out too!
with Kalie Zamierowski! Yay!!
I’ve never done a co-authored piece on my blog before but today is the day! Given this is my 99th post annnnd I’m honoring a comic book I love (and write about a lot) – Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening’s brilliant Ghostbusters – I wanted to do something extra special. Kalie and I were having a discussion about ghostbusting the other day and she started analyzing the guys in grey in a light I’d never considered. So I pitched the team-up idea to her and she happily agreed. Are you ready to see the Ghostbusters as you’ve never seen them before? Here we go… Continue reading