The Institute: So Far … Stephen King’s new “big book,” which published this last Tuesday, is available here. . I am already hours into the incredibly good audiobook performed by Santino Fontana, and it is every bit as good as I hoped it would be. And I”m probably going to have something to say about the book every week until I’m finished – and beware, I’m takin’ my fuckin’ time. News on a great Doctor Sleep video from Rebecca Brayton and WatchMojo … Tons of news about Joe Hill, an d his books, TV hows, movies, TV shows, and comic — yeah, comics … a snippet about King on The Colbert Show … and a cool story about Patton Oswalt and his guest appearance in The institute. All that and more below … Corrections Corner: A couple of weeks ago, inI our episode on IT: Chapter One, I said the horrible twisted woman who was haunting the young Stanley was based on the long-necked, warped style of an artist named Mondrian, and of course that’s wrong. It’s Modigliani, not Mondrian. Also not Maturin which is the name of the Turtle who’s one of the elder gods that holds up the Tower. But … Modigliani. You can see one of his most famous pictures here, and you’ll see what we mean. Rebecca Brayton, WatchMojo, and Dr. Sleep. We’re all excited about the next big premiere, which is Doctor Sleep on November 9 … and Rebecca Brayton, on a YouTube channel called WatchMojo, did a very cool post about Doctor Sleep called “Ten Things You Need To Know.” There were even a couple of things I hadn’t thought of! – about what Mike Flanagan is taking from King, and what he’s taking from Kubrick, and how it all might work. You should go look Thanks, Rebecca!
Now … on to a bunch of stuff about Joe Hill. His newest collection of short stories publishes in just a couple of weeks – on October 1 – which, believe it or not, is fifteen years after his first book of short stories came out — 20th Century Ghosts. Signed copies of Full Throttle will also e available from Water Street Books – that’s a local independent bookstore bear Joe Hill’s home, so that’s a good thing – and Barnes and Noble will have some too, he says. And good ol’ Subterranean Press has crafted what Mr. Hill calls a “glorious” limited edition with art by Dave McKean, the amazing artist who did all the covers for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman back in the day. That’ll be gorgeous, and cost you a bundle (like $175.00 a pop) … but it’s there, too. Last cool bit of news: the audio book of Full Throttle has some great voices — one for each story, including Will Wheaton, Kate Mulgrew – yeah, Captain Janeway! – the actual Neil Gaiman himself, and a bunch of people from the AMC adaption of Hill’s NOS4A2 – Ashleigh Cummings, who played Vic, Laysla de Oliveira, who played Dodge, and some guy named Zachary Quinto. Plus a whole bunch of other folks, including Joe Hill himself. Should well be worth it.
Folks that like Hill’s books may not know that he’s also a prolific writer of comics. The best know is Locke & Key, now available in a series of graphic novels – though it started as a monthly comic. That story is now being adapted into a Netflix series, which should be out soon … and he’s done some single-issue stand-alone stories about the Locke family of the past, set in the early part of the twentieth century. But now he’s actually curating a whole line of modern horror comics for DC called “Hill House Comics,” which is a wonderfully inevitable kind of name. The first of those is Basketful of Heads, which is comic out October 30 – Halloween! – and then others, some by Hill and some by others, will come out in the months after that. Basketful of Heads starts with a young couple house-sitting a New England mansion filled with Viking artifacts: coins, shield, even an ax. Then a storm hits, and brings with it some home invaders, so the girl goes to hide. When she emerges, her boyfriend is nowhere to be found, but one of the assailants has stayed behind for her. “In the fight that follows,” Hill says, “she reaches for the ax, and we learn the ax has this supernatural power. It can lop off a head in a single stroke, but then the head keeps talking. So you get a grindhouse Rashomon, as the heads stack up and each of them tells their own version of what they’ve done and why they had to do it.” And Hill is also writing a comic strip, a short serialized story, that will appear in the back pages of all the Hill House books – his and everybody else’s. It set in 1779, when a trio of American werewolves allow themselves to be impressed onto a gunship of the British Navy that’s wreaking havoc on Revolutionary America … where they do a little wreaking of their own. In short, he says, “”they eat the ship from the inside out.” So Joe Hill is one busy guy, and If you want to keep up with him he publishes a cool and chatty little newsletter of his own that you can sign up for, free, at his website which is JoeHillFiction.com.
Finally: a cool story about King and Patton Oswatl … Comedian, writer, actor Patton Oswalt is actually mentioned in King’s new book, The Institute. And when he discovered he was, he went apeshit on Twitter. Patton showed a selfie, holding up a copy of the hardcover, then open to a page inside, where you could read about how one of the characters, Luke, Goggles a live theater in Hennepin called The Orpheum, or “The Orf,” In part, the description read, “He was informed that Hamilton was coming back (“By Popular Demand!”) and Patton Oswalt would be there next months (“Your Sides will Split!”). Patton couldn’t contain himself. He took to Twitter and wrote a nearly hystical thread that reads, “Just a flat-out UN-HUMBLE brag. I’ve been reading Stephen King since I was 10. And for THIS to happen is a Big BIG deal. Not exaggerating when I say everything after this is fund and game. This is a zenith I never imagined.” He went on to say, “Technically, I exist in the same universe as Larry Underwood, Jack Torrance, Christine, Pennywise, Randall Flagg, Springheel Jack, Carrie White and Annie Wilkes. Also, I’d like someone to design a Stephen King book cover for a novel called called THE SIDE-SPLITTER.” He really couldn’t believe it. “Being mentioned in a Stephen King book,” he said, “is NOT a bucket-list item because it feels so outside the realm of possibilities. You may as well have, ‘Turn into a werewolf while skydiving and fight Mutant Butterfly Hitler” on your list.” And within hours of posting this thread, Stephen King responded himself with just one line. “The pleasure has been all mine,” he said, “for years nowl” See you next week …