Devin R Bruce is a friend to Variant Edition and to all good-hearted creatures who roam the Earth. In each installment of This Column Has Seven Days, Devin discusses his favourite pop culture experiences of the past week in an effort to share the joy of an overlooked gem, an old favourite that’s bubbled up to the surface, or a classic work that he’s finally gotten around to. Comic books, movies, television, novels, podcasts, music, Old Time Radio: there’s something for everyone. Here’s what he’s been up to this week.
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I’m not sure how I let Kim & Kim slip by me when it was originally published last year. As I’ve said before, I like what Black Mask is putting out, including writer Magdalene Visaggio’s Quantum Teens Are Go. It’s a mistake I’m happy to have remedied, though, as Kim & Kim is a quirky sci-fi adventure featuring two down-on-their-luck maniacs who are trying to make a living as intergalactic bounty hunters. One, Kim Dantzler, comes from a family of necromancers, while the other, Kim Quattro, is a punk rocking trans woman who has left her organized crime family behind. On their way these two best friends encounter interdimensional shapeshifting octopi, sand worms, robot gorillas, and a pair of rival bounty hunters in a high-octane ride. The story doesn’t always go where the reader expects it to, sometimes cutting away in the middle of the action to focus on character interaction and development, but that’s a good thing, because it’s in those moments where Kim & Kim establishes itself as more than just Jem & The Holograms meets Chuck Jones meets The Ramones meets The Silverhawks. (Though that is a pretty great elevator pitch if I do say so myself.) The art from Eva Cabrera and Claudia Aguirre is cartoony and bright, full of energy and sizzle that crackles on the page. The new miniseries, Kim & Kim: Love Is A Battlefield, just launched earlier this summer, and I can’t wait to hop on board and ride that rocket to more spacefaring adventures.
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I started listening to the Reading Glasses podcast on a whim. I felt I needed to listen to more podcasts that weren’t hosted by white guys, and I (theoretically) love to read. After a few episodes, I realized a few things. One, I thought I liked to read, but hosts Brea Grant and Mallory O’Meara are readers whose breadth and depth are beyond my comprehension. And two, I need to try and branch out more, because Reading Glasses is a really cool show. Each episode is about a half hour long and tackles various bookish topics, such as getting out of Book Slumps, tackling book events, literary themed travel, and reading on vacation. Plus, the show also features interviews with writers and book publishers, answers reader questions, and is highly interactive on social media. Plus, since I started listening to Reading Glasses I’ve rekindled my love of reading! I’ve already read more prose books in the past two months than the previous five, a trend I hope continues for as long as the podcast airs. Reading Glasses is a show for anyone who likes to read, even if you haven’t really been living up to your reader potential in a while.
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Earlier this week I was saddened by the news of the death of original Godzilla performer Haruo Nakajima. Of all the actors that donned the Godzilla suit, he was my favourite, so I decided to crack open my Godzilla Collection box set and watch one of the movies in his memory. The movie I picked was 1963’s Mothra vs. Godzilla, and let me say, it was the right choice. Here’s a brief summary of the movie: a mysterious egg washes up on a beach, and it’s immediately purchased by a greedy promoter. Eventually Mothra’s guardians The Peanuts (an actual Japanese singing duo made of identical twins who play six-inch women in fur hats) come from Infant Island and beg for it to be returned to Mothra. The promoter says no, and then eventually Godzilla also comes to shore, so a crew of journalists and scientists beg Mothra to come protect the people from Godzilla. Mothra agrees, because Mothra is the best. Then there’s a Mothra-Godzilla fight, which goes REALLY bad for Godzilla, but then since Mothra’s getting to the end of her life cycle, she eventually flies away to die near her egg.
Which then hatches, birthing two Mothra larvae, And then they fight Godzilla.
It’s basically a perfect movie and I loved every second of it and everyone should watch it immediately. Or whenever they can get around to it.
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Going to keep it short this week, as I have the Edmonton Folk Music Festival coming up and I need to pace myself. But if all goes well, next week’s column should be full of new musical highlights! Until next week, stay cool, stay hydrated, and wear sunscreen. Even if you’re just staying inside. You never know when it might come in handy. I’ll see you in seven days.