Archive for doctor who

thrift store finds: doctor who and the mask of mandragora

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , on September 17, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

(Thrift Store Finds is a mostly-weekly “column” of sorts where I discuss some of the cool books I’ve happened upon in my neighborhood St. Vincent DePaul store. Please don’t mistake me for an expert on any of the books I am writing about… I’m just a fan of a bargain.)

I picked up three of these Doctor Who paperbacks at the thrift store last week.

I’ve made no small secret of my recent love of the modern version of Doctor Who, however I know next to nothing about any Doctor who came before the 9th iteration. Truth be told, I could have snagged a much larger stack of these Doctor Who paperbacks; when I first visited our local thrift store, they had about twelve of ’em. I opted to hold off on buying them, figuring Doctor Who paperbacks wouldn’t be a huge draw in this Southwestern Ohio town.

I went back later in the week to find I was completely wrong. Only these three remained. All three all center on the Fourth Doctor, as portrayed for eight years on the series by actor Tom Baker. Baker’s persnickety, scarf-wearing version of The Doctor is likely the most famous version of the character here in the United States; public television stations aired his serials quite a lot in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s.

I decided I’d read one of these paperbacks to see if I could continue my love affair with the Time Lord from Gallifrey. I chose to begin with Doctor Who and the Mask of Mandragora, written by Phillip Hinchcliffe. This book was originally published in 1977, but this second printing comes via Pinnacle Books in 1982. This might explain why the Doctor is nowhere to be found on the cover- by ’82, Baker had stepped down from the role.

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odds and ends

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , on July 29, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

The last week or so has been all about resting and recouperating from my ear infection. At times, I couldn’t believe how low energy a simple ear infection was making me- there were two days where I did little more than sleep! I’m feeling MUCH better now, to the point where my family and I are, as I write this, undertaking a second trip! We’re piling in the car and driving back to the East Coast for a week. It’s been over a year since I’ve been to New York and I’m very excited about seeing old friends again. Ellen and I are even planning on leaving the kids with Grandma and Grandpa and spending some time back in our old stomping grounds in New York City. It should be a really fun week!


One of my favorite books about movies is Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll Generation Saved Hollywood. I read that book when I was a teenager and I clearly remember thinking, as I got to the end, “Biskind didn’t really write about Halloween or Alien!” Two of my absolute favorite movies from the ’70’s are given passing mention in his book but, by and large, Biskind stayed away from the horror genre (The Exorcist notwithstanding) and focused on the maverick directors of the 1970’s like Coppola, Scorsese, and Spielberg.

With that in mind, I thoroughly enjoyed Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror by Jason Zinoman, an exhaustive and entertaining look at the horror genre in the 1970’s that takes many of its’ cues from Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. Zinoman give his readers a comprehensive look at the directors and writers who brought horror from the midnight screenings to the mainstream. George Romero, John Carpenter, Brian DePalma, William Friedkin, Roman Polanski, Tobe Hooper are all given equal consideration. While documenting the process of their movies, the author also gives cultural context to the successes of the movies in a time in America full of political and social upheaval.

Although some interesting points are made, I’d argue a little too much time is given over to Peter Bogdanovich’s Targets, a movie I don’t really consider a horror movie despite the Zinoman’s arguments. However, it’s nice to see the author give so much praise over to Dan O’Bannon, an relatively unsung father of modern horror and sci-fi.


Thwipster is sort of Groupon for nerds. Every day, they have some sort of deal on a book/item that only very geeky people would be excited about owning. Usually, they offer comic book trade paperbacks, but their low prices never seen all that much lower than places like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Last week, however, they had something on offer that I just could not resist:

A toy replica of the 10th Doctor’s sonic screwdriver from Doctor Who! Ellen and I are planning to go as The Doctor/Amy Pond this Halloween (costumes sure to be met with a chorus of “Wait, what are you again?”) so I’ve been wanting to pick up one of these sonic screwdriver replicas. Although I’m likely to go as the 11th Doctor, I very much doubt I’ll have anyone nitpicking the inaccuracy of my screwdriver choice… and I’ll always be more of a David Tennant fan.

The toy came a few days ago and it’s a wonderful little replica. It’s quite screen-accurate and I could see kids having a LOT of fun with something like this. It comes with a switch that extends the top of the screwdriver forward. A small button, when deployed, reproduces both the blue light and the sonic screwdriver sound to great effect. It even has a neat-o UV pen for you to write secrets that can only be read when the sonic screwdriver’s light is held on the message.

summer journal comics: who is cool

Posted in summer journal comics with tags , , , on June 28, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

As I’ve mentioned a time or two before, I’ve become a fan of the new Doctor Who series. Ellen has alternately rolled her eyes and been intrigued by my newfound nerdy interest, and I made her promise to give Series 5 a shot with me. Turns out, she LOVES it.

I am a little surprised by S.5 in that I’ve also been enjoying it. I expected to feel quite a bit more resistance to Smith’s turn as The Doctor considering how much I loved David Tennant’s turn in the role. Smith is decently winning though, and while I have a feeling the 10th Doctor will always be the one I think of as the character, I’m willing to give this guy a shot. Ellen and I are already scheming Doctor/Amy Pond costumes for this Halloween.

odds and ends

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 17, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

I MUST take an opportunity to geek out about this. I’m on an incredible run of good reading in the past few weeks- you can become my friend on GoodReads if you’re interested in a more in-depth take, but trust me friends… the last FIVE books I’ve read this summer have been fantastic. Perhaps my favorite of the lot is 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks. Brooks is, to me, one of the pillars of American comedy. I’ve loved his movies ever since my parents took me to see Defending Your Life, causing me to go back and rent all his older stuff. The man is Hank Scorpio, for God’s sake!

2030 is an engrossing “what if” scenario for America’s future, equal parts bleak and hopeful, featuring a huge cast of characters and some very prescient thoughts about the next twenty years and I loved it. When I noticed Albert Books had a Twitter profile, I had to say:

@AlbertBrooks The accolades may not even register anymore, but 2030 was terrific. My favorite book of the year. Thanks.

To which, not ten minutes later:

@capearce81 Are you kidding? I have never had an overabundance of accolades. Thanks!

I swear to God, this made my day.


As of last week, I am finished with the David Tenant/10th Doctor episodes of BBC’s long-running sci-fi series Doctor Who.

I started watching Season Two sometime back in March and two and a half months later, I’m done. That strikes me as both fantastic and weird. Folks who experienced this television show first-hand had YEARS of enjoyment and anticipation of new episodes, where as I just slotted them in whenever I had a free afternoon.  I can’t tell if this heightened my enjoyment of the show (which, for the record, I absolutely love) or if perhaps I lost something in the experience. I never got the chance to sweat out the time between the final four “special” episodes… I just binge-watched them all.

Going on a TV show binge can be fun, but I think there’s something to be said for watching a show in the way its creators expected you to watch.


Last thing: A few days ago, I received an e-mail from one of my former students. As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to collect the kids who have an interest in comic books… they flock to my classroom when they hear about my library.

 Pearce: What do you think of all the new DC Comics comics?

He went on from there a little bit, but I think you can catch his drift if you’re a comic book fan: This past week, DC Comics announced a huge new publishing initiative, including day-to-date digital publishing AND a line-wide relaunch of ALL their major superhero titles with brand new #1 issues. I’ll put some of my thoughts behind a cut.

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Posted in sketchbook with tags , , , on April 7, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

I’m short a comic this week. Here’s some stuff.

A quick comic out of my sketchbook about buying some art off Etsy. Not funny, not memorable to anyone besides me. I’m a profoundly stupid and uninteresting guy, but I swear… Ellen’s smart and awesome.

Thanks to Netflix Instant, I am a complete convert to Doctor Who… or at least, the modern version of Doctor Who. I spent a good portion of my spring break getting up to speed with episodes of the second season.

Something that I’m working on for a friend.