"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Monday, August 18, 2014

18 August 2014

Max Charles b. 2003 (White Space, The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2, True Blood)
Maia Mitchell b. 1993 (After the Dark)
Richard Harmon b. 1991 (Continuum, The 100, Fringe, Caprica, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Smallville, Flash Gordon [TV], Jeremiah)
Mika Boorem b. 1987 (Mighty Joe Young, Jack Frost, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch)
Mizuo Peck b. 1977 (Night at the Museum, Witchblade)
Malcolm-Jamal Warner b. 1970 (Jeremiah, Sliders)
Edward Norton b. 1969 (The Incredible Hulk)
Christian Slater b. 1969 (Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, Beyond the Stars)
Sarita Choudhury b. 1966 (Midnight’s Children, Lady in the Water)
Craig Bierko b. 1964 (The Thirteenth Floor, Red Dwarf [TV Movie])
Adam Storke b. 1962 (The Invisible Man [TV], Prey, Death Becomes Her, Lifepod)
Glenn Plummer b. 1961 (Monsters in the Woods, Vegas Vampires, Saw II, The Day After Tomorrow, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Strange Days, Beauty and the Beast [TV])
Madeleine Stowe b. 1958 (Impostor, Twelve Monkeys, The Amazing Spider-Man)
Dennis Leary b. 1957 (Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2, Small Soldiers, Demolition Man)
Sergio Castellitto b. 1953 (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian)
Patrick Swayze b. 1952 died 14 September 2009 (George and the Dragon, Donnie Darko, Tall Tale, Ghost, Amazing Stories)
Teri McMinn b. 1951 (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Shirley Prestia b. 1947 died 6 October 2011 (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Charmed, Babylon 5, Species, ALF)
Martin Mull b. 1943 (Eastwick, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Lois & Clark, Wonder Woman)
Robert Redford b. 1936 (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Twilight Zone)
Roman Polanski b. 1933 (director, Rosemary’s Baby, The Fearless Vampire Killers)
Grant Williams b. 1931 died 28 July 1985 (Brain of Blood, The Outer Limits, The Munsters, The Monolith Monsters, The Incredible Shrinking Man)
Joan Taylor b. 1929 died 4 March 2012 (Men Into Space, 20 Million Miles to Earth, Earth vs. Flying Saucers)
Brian W. Aldiss b. 1925 (author, The Year Before Yesterday, Enigma, screenwriter, Brothers of the Head, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Frankenstein Unbound)
Shelley Winters b. 1920 died 14 January 2006 (Purple People Eater, Alice in Wonderland [1985], Pete’s Dragon, Batman) 

A few simple declarative statements about the Picture Slot choice.

1. Robert Redford is the biggest movie star on this list. There are other people I count as movie stars - Edward Norton, Christian Slater, Patrick Swayze, even Shelley Winters - but Redford is more famous than they are.

2. Some big stars have avoided genre films almost completely. Horror, sci-fi and fantasy were small budget affairs for the most part until Star Wars. Even then, fantasy and sci-fi films could be big hits without big stars in the cast. A lot of very popular sci-fi films did not make the actors in them household names,  the huge counterexample being Harrison Ford. Still, a lot of big names have clearly avoided sci-fi and fantasy, even now when the genre rules the roost in terms of big box office for films and popularity among TV shows. Redford is one of those people, but even he has succumbed now, appearing in the second Captain America movie.

3. While most sci-fi and fantasy of the 1950s and 1960s was considered slumming, The Twilight Zone was not. A long standing character actor like Burgess Meredith is the prototypical Twilight Zone protagonist, but a lot of young actors and actresses on their way to being stars had roles as well, and that includes Robert Redford pictured here.

4. My, oh my, by the names of Odin, Vishnu and the little baby Jebus, Robert Redford was so, so pretty when he was a young man. Regular readers can correctly assume from my reliance on fabulous babes in the Picture Slot my heterosexual tendencies, but I'm not blind to good looking guys, especially when the good looking is off the scale like this guy.

Many happy returns to the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

Predictor: OMNI Future Almanac, published 1982

Prediction: With a combination of x-ray treatments and immune system enhancements, the age-old scourge of malaria will be as good as eradicated by the year 2000.

Reality: Umm, no. About half the world's population is still at risk and in 2012 alone, there were somewhere between 150 and 300 million cases with slightly more than a half a million deaths.

As with many diseases, the numbers are going down over time and the reduction in this century is encouraging, but we can hardly say it's eradicated.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Tomorrow will be the first prediction of our new Tuesday regular.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 


  1. Although I no longer live in the Tropics, I continue to partake of my malaria prevention medicine with a gin and tonic every few weeks. And it works!

    1. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and a few fluid ounces has to be worth even more.

  2. Somewhere in my files I have an old Life magazine photo op on Redford when he was shooting the "Great Gatsby." WOW! Redford in 20's garb and at the height of his beauty - the movie sucked but darn he was good looking.

    1. Movie and TV stars get the benefit of the most talented costume designers in the world dressing them. Both Jon Hamm and John Slattery of Mad Men are very good looking, but when they got dolled up in those super sharp suits, it was much more noticeable.

  3. "Sneakers" isn't really genre, but it kinda sorta gets close. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105435/ Certainly, the social/political/economic fallout of an ultimate decryption algorithm is a plausible scifi jumping off point.

    1. Mercury Rising with Bruce Willis is about decryption and I counted it as genre on Willis' C.V. On the other hand Sandra Bullock's movie The 'Net doesn't count in my admittedly idiosyncratic book.

    2. It's a tough call. I don't think I'd count any of those, if I was the decider. But glad I'm not.

    3. Your blog, your rules. It's how I roll at my joint as well. So you're in lousy company, but don't let that stop you.

      I was always very fond of Aldiss' Frankenstein Unbound" which humanized the monster quite a bit (and monsterized Victor). The movie was kind of a lump though.

  4. ZRM starts the note: if you're listing select Aldiss works, titles that should be included probably include the three on his IMDB page. (Possible exception: Brothers of the Head. I love the book, and the movie is faithful to it. So it comes as no surprise that it grossed less than US$45,000 in its "commercial" run.)

    Readers who come for pictures of movie stars would be inclined to see the three Supertoys stories that make up A.I.* and Frankenstein Unbound, no matter that The Squire Quartet is the best recent work of a sf writer this side of Ballard.

    *Yes, I'm bitter that there was a third story, written at Spielberg's request, so that the movie didn't end where it should have, underwater facing the Statue of Liberty. Then again, I like books that get turned into $45,000 grossing movies, which probably is about what one of Spielberg's films makes from DVD/Blu-Ray sales in any given work hour.

    Your blog, your rules, but the easy choices are probably the ones that even non-readers would recognize from their other incarnations.

    Mercury Rising definitely counts in a way that The Net--the War Games of its day, but without the ubiquity of the PC-reared generation--does not.

    1. You make a good point. I will give his imdb.com list.


Traveler! Have you news... FROM THE FUTURE?