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Friday, July 31, 2015

Thor Fights Ulfrin the Dragon

Given Thor's early popularity, it wasn't long before readers wanted to know more about him. This included his upbringing in Asgard. Stan Lee obliged readers with "Tales Of Asgard," short tales that accompanied "The Mighty Thor" in issues of "Journey Into Mystery." For Issue 101, Stan Lee offered "The Invasion of Asgard," one of a series of stories about how young Thor eventually gained his worthiness to hold Odin's Hammer. 

When Asgard is threatened with invasion, young Thor grabs his sword and heads off to the front lines. But Odin sends him back, deeming him not yet ready to fight beside him in battle. So Loki offers Thor another way to help out Asgard, by leading him down a secret tunnel. 

Thor doesn't hesitate to lend his strength to Asgard's defense.

Little does Thor know that Loki crafted this tunnel, or that he told the evil forces to use his secret tunnel to invade Asgard. 

There he meets Ulfrin the dragon, whose breath can transform Thor into a tree. 

Thor fights the villains as long as he can, but soon Ulfrin's breath begins transforming him into a tree. Thankfully, Odin hears the noise created by Thor's defense. He leads his army toward the disturbance, where they turn back the invaders. Outside Ulfrin's influence, Thor reverts to his original form. 

While Thor believes he's failed Asgard, Odin praises him to his valor. As a reward, he allows Thor to have another go at his hammer. In the past, Thor has failed to lift the hammer, or at most, hauled it a few inches above the floor. This time...

While contemporary issues offer sophisticated storytelling and great artwork, these early stories helped me understand Thor's origin better. In his "Tales Of Asgard" series, Stan Lee fleshes out Thor's childhood, and gives us a better understanding of Asgard's rich heritage and its relationship to Earth. Marvel has no doubt "rebooted" its storytelling universe several times in the past. Thus, Modern readers often find these early stories superfluous. But, as someone whose knowledge of Thor began, for the most part, with the recent movies, these early issues gave me a greater appreciation for the character.

If you'd like to discover for yourself Stan Lee's original conception of Thor, Odin, Loki, Don Blake, Jane Foster, and other marvelous Marvel characters (both mortal and immortal), treat yourself to The God of Thunder, volume 1 in Marvel's epic collection of The Mighty Thor. That is, assuming that you are "worthy" of reading it...

Dragon Dave

Thursday, July 30, 2015

In Emily Bronte's Footsteps

Near Haworth, England

"I'll walk where my own nature would be leading.
It vexes me to choose another guide."

A salute to the author of Wuthering Heights on her birthday.

Dragon Dave

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A View of Weycroft

In the English country of Somerset, there's a beautiful village called Weycroft, near the town of Axminster. There we found a cozy room for the night, in the Weycroft Mill House Bed & Breakfast. 

After taking out time for a rest, and a relaxing cup of tea, I looked out the window.

Others found the view as pleasant as I did.

While other visitors arrived, checked-in, then headed off to nearby restaurants for dinner, I sat down by the window and sketched. We paused for a picnic dinner outside, then we headed back upstairs and I got back to my sketching. 

In the morning, I squeezed in a little sketching before breakfast, then headed down to enjoy the Goose Egg & Cheese omelets we had ordered the evening before. Then, as it was raining, we decided to stay a little longer before we set out on our next adventure. This allowed me even more time to work on my drawing.

As England sits at a higher latitude than San Diego, this makes it a great place for sketching. Or at least during summer, when it gets light before six a.m., and is still light after nine p.m. I imagine Alaska or Iceland would be even better places to sketch during the summer, as they sit even higher up on the globe, but we might have more trouble sleeping there, if it's light twenty-four hours a day.

Anyway, I'm so grateful for those long, English summer days. 

Dragon Dave

Related Internet Links
Weycroft Mill House at

Monday, July 27, 2015

Steven Lawhead: The Magic of Stone Circles

Deep-shadowed and dark, with an air of imponderable mystery emanating from the thick-corded trunks and twisting limbs, and even the soil itself, the sacred druid grove seemed a world unto itself.

In the center of the grove stood a small stone circle. The moment I set foot in the ring of stones I could feel ancient power, flowing like an invisible river around the hilltop, which was an eddy in the ever-streaming current. The feeling of being surrounded by swirling forces, of being picked up and carried off on the relentless waves of this unseen river nearly took my breath; I labored to walk upright against it, my flesh tingling with every step.

The others did not feel it in the same way, or if they did gave no indication and said nothing about it. This, of course, was why the hilltop was chosen in the first place, but still I wondered that Hafgan and Blaise did not appear to notice the power flowing around and over them. 

--from Merlin by Steven Lawhead

I thought about Steven Lawhead's books when I visited Stonehenge. His novels often interweave the rich history of England's past with the myths, legends, and beliefs of previous centuries. Stone circles, such as Stonehenge and the one featured in Merlin, can be found all over Great Britain. These places, we believe, played a meaningful role in the spiritual lives of those who erected them. 

When the owner of a Bed & Breakfast asked us about our visit to Stonehenge, I mentioned the procession we passed as we headed back to the tour bus. He said, "Oh yes, there's always a bunch of kooks out there," or words to that effect. His response reminds me of my visit to the little church in Falmer, on my previous visit to England in 2013. The priest, who also served as a counselor at a local university, felt the students saw him as largely irrelevant. The students, he believed, were influenced by the British media, which was entirely secular, if not anti-religion.

Recently a priest spoke at my local church on the difference between Science and Scientism. He preached that every field of human interest had its purpose. Science had its purpose, to help us understand the world we live in, but so did religion. Scientism, he suggested, is the attempt to make Science explain fields of human interest that it is not designed to explain. Like Science, he believed Religion played an equally valid role in human society. 

Just as theories in Science come and go, so do beliefs about the spiritual realm. We apply the role of evolution broadly these days, to all fields of human interest, as if to suggest that our progress as a species is constantly following an upward trend, that we are continually getting closer and closer to the "truth." But really, isn't it just that we humans are changeable people, that we are always hunting for something new and different to excite us, enliven us, and add a new dimension to our lives? Is the "New" always "Better", or is it really just "New"?

So, should I regard the procession I saw at Stonehenge as a bunch of kooks? Or were they people holding beliefs different yet equally valid to my own, who are as intelligent as the most prominent scientists, and sense a power I cannot that enriches their lives? What do you think? 

Dragon Dave

Related Dragon Cache entries
St. Laurence in Falmer

Friday, July 24, 2015

Robert Silverberg: The Desecration of Stonehenge

"The Aliens! Pulling down Stonehenge, taking it apart!"

In Robert Silverberg's novel The Alien Years, a young girl Yasmeena hears the men shout while hiding from her parents. A part of her wonders why the Entities who rule the Earth would do that, but the rest of her is consumed with the pain of childbirth. The next day, a crowd gathers around the ancient stone circle. 

Three of the towering alien creatures had supervised while a human work crew, using hand-held pistol-like devices that emitted a bright violet glow, had uprooted every single one of the ancient stone slabs of the celebrated megalithic monument on windswept Salisbury Plain as though they were so many jackdaws. And had rearranged them so that what had been the outer circle of immense sandstone blocks had now become two parallel rows running north to south; the lesser inner ring of blue slabs had been moved about to form an equilateral triangle; and the sixteen-foot-long block of sandstone at the center of the formation that people called the altar stone had been moved to an upright position at the center.

Her parents will find her too late to save her life, so Yasmeena will never learn the meaning behind the Entities' rearrangement of Stonehenge. Perhaps her son Khalid, if he lives to manhood, will learn the reasoning of Earth's new Alien masters.

The audio guide provided by English Heritage suggests that, at some point in the past, the above section of Stonehenge was pulled down, and some slabs taken away, perhaps for use by nearby farmers. But wikipedia details a long series of changes that the ancient stone circle, and the long barrow tombs underwent over thousands of years. Clearly what was once holy and sacred to Humans changes with time. We lose interest in what was, and repurpose the past to serve present needs. Whether we decry such changes desecration, or celebrate their reinvigoration, is for each of us to decide.

Dragon Dave 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Mystery of Stonehenge

What is the mystery of Stonehenge? Why did our ancient forefathers build it? How did they use it? How did it impact their lives?

The audio guides will just tell you all we don't know about these incredible people. Archeologists speculate on how they lived and built this place. Science Fiction and Fantasy authors from Steven Lawhead to Robert Silverberg have woven such stone circles into their fiction. Doctor Who has touched upon these ties to our long lost past in stories such as "The Daemons" and "The Stones of Blood." But what did Stonehenge really mean to our forefathers? What urging drove them to create stone circles such as this? 

Ultimately, all we know is they came here. For worship? To celebrate their achievements and the special days in their lives? Or merely to chart the stars in the sky?

They chiseled out these enormous blocks of stone, and hauled them across fields, through valleys, and perhaps even over hills. They they lifted them into position, and set some atop the others, following incredibly precise calculations and measurements. They did all this so capably that these stone circles still stand, and can still be used for astronomical purposes, thousands of years later.  

They visited here, perhaps regularly. But they didn't live here. So why not erect such formations closer to their settlements? What all did they do here, when they left their homes and traveled here, to what we presume was their sacred place? And why do modern people still flock here, clogging the highway with all the cars, trucks, and buses arriving, departing, or merely traveling past this ancient monument?

What is it? What is the mystery of Stonehenge?

Ultimately, all we can do is wonder. And marvel. 

Oh yes, we can marvel.

Dragon Dave

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Dinosaur Picnic

Security passed-through, 
Boarding passes in hand,
We lugged our carry-ons,
Up to the gate.

While others shook,
Anxious to fly,
I felt reluctant,
To leave home behind.

So out came the sketchbook.
Crowds and noises faded,
And reluctance departed,
Amid dreams of home.

Dragon Dave

Friday, July 17, 2015

Trees with Faces and Homeless Spectators

Remember the tree I started drawing last month? Well, I've been back a couple times. Using my Artist Loft Watercolor pencils, I've deepened the colors, and made progress with the background.

Recently, my wife and I headed down to Balboa Park for the weekend. A friend gave us tickets to the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater, and we planned on seeing a movie about whales. We decided to make an evening of it, so we packed up some sandwiches, chips, and drinks, as well as our sketching stuff.

Outside the space theater, there's a large public fountain, in which children like to play, surrounded by a number of trees. As we had some time before the movie, my wife and I sat down at a table outside. My wife worked on the fountain. I started in on the foremost tree, using my new Prismacolor pencils with the softer lead.

A young woman occupied a nearby table when we arrived. She took no interest in us, absorbed as she was by her smart phone. Shortly after we arrived, an asian family took up a table behind us, and chattered away in their language, punctuated by the occasional spicy* English word. 

Then a black gentleman arrived. With his dark jacket, short dreadlocks, and black hat, he looked like just another tourist. He sat down at a nearby chair, and then occupied himself by moving it a little every other minute. Then he sat in another chair, and started moving around in that.

After awhile, I think he moved to a chair near the asians, and did his little nervous-chair movements until they left. Finally, he sat down next to us, moved his chair directly between us, and leaned forward to watch us. While I was honored by his interest in our artistic endeavors, I can't say I felt entirely at ease. Nevertheless, we continued to sketch until a few minutes before showtime, then packed up and entered the Space Theater.

After the movie, we had planned to resume our places, eat our dinner, and finish our sketches. But the black gentleman was still sitting out there, albeit alone in a crowd of tables and chairs. (I wonder why). So we carried our packs off to another area of the park, where we spread out a blanket, and ate our picnic dinner. We watched the planes that passed overhead, flying in to land at San Diego International Airport. And we studied this nearby tree. 

I don't know about you, but this tree reminds me of TV shows I watched in my youth. It just seems as though it should have a nose, and that, if we look carefully, one of its eyes will open. Either that, or the bark on the trunk will part, revealing a hidden passage into the bowels of the Earth. Personally, I prefer the first thought**: that the tree was alive, and as fascinated by me as I was by it. Perhaps I'll return to sketch it someday. But first, I'd like to finish my sketch of the tree and the fountain in front of the Space Theater.

Dragon Dave

* Spicy: a type of word not used on polite blogs, often composed of only four letters.
**I prefer faces to bowels. Don't you?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How Jackie Robinson Earned His Place in History

Harrison Ford stars as Branch Rickey,
owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers,
in the movie "42."

In the movie "42," when Branch Rickey gives Jackie Robinson the opportunity to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball, he makes the offer under one condition. Jackie must control his temper when White racists discriminate against him. Robinson will be on trial for the entire world to see, and anything he does that can be cast in a negative light will reflect badly on him, as well as on all Blacks. 

"You want a man who doesn't have the guts to fight back?" Jackie asks.

"No," Branch responds. "I want a man who has the guts not to fight back. The world must be convinced of two things: that Jackie Robinson is a great baseball player, and that he is a fine gentleman."

In the film, one of the strongest verbal attacks Jackie faces comes from Phillies manager Ben Chapman. He stands on the field, calls him all sorts of names, and makes lots of unsavory suggestions about Robinson's relationship with his White teammates. But because Robinson controls his temper, swallows his pride, and gets on with his job, public attitudes change. Soon, the public are cheering Robinson, and jeering the Phillies because of the terrible things Chapman said. So Chapman is forced to publicly apologize, and get his photo taken with Robinson.

Jackie Robinson and Ben Chapman    

He may not want to, but he has to.

At the end of the movie, uninformed baseball fans like me learn two important aspects of Robinson's legacy: 1) Every year in April, all Major League Baseball players wear the number 42 to honor Jackie Robinson's accomplishments, and 2) the number 42 is the only number retired by the MLB. As a White Californian who doesn't follow professional baseball, I won't pretend to understand the recent events in Ferguson Missouri any more than I know the entirety of Jackie Robinson's career. But I like the film's message, that sometimes it's just as important how you win something, as it is that you stand up and do your best every day of your life. That's what I take away from "42."

Dragon Dave

P.S. For superhero and comics fans, Jackie Robinson was played by Chadwick Boseman, who will portray the Black Panther in the 2016 movie "Captain America: Civil War." Sci-Fi fans will recognize the actor who portrayed Ben Chapman was Alan Tudyk, who previously played the character Wash on the cult-favorite TV show "Firefly."

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Link Between Harrison Ford and Golems

A recent episode of the TV show "Grimm" featured a golem summoned to life by a child. It struck a chord with me, as I'm a fan of the late writer Avram Davidson. Imagine a man stomping up onto the front porch of a retired Jewish couple living in California. Not only does he look strange, but he talks about being created in a laboratory, and announces his plans for world domination. Davidson's story is peppered with all sorts of Jewish language and lore (in addition to Hollywood history), and it's a real charmer. Of course, it's titled "The Golem." 

Watching the episode recalled another story about golems I read a few years back. It was the novel Snow In August by Pete Hamill, which features a young Irish immigrant in 1940s New York City. He doesn't feel like he belongs anywhere, but bonds with a Jewish priest. Hamill suggests in the novel that Jews and the Irish were looked down on and excluded as much as Blacks were at that time in many areas of the United States. This sense of exclusion forms a tribal mentality among many in New York's Irish community, but the boy refuses to give up his friendship with the Jewish priest to please them. 

Another thread running through the novel is the hubbub surrounding Jackie Robinson's first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The fact that this Black player is not just entering a White Man's sport, but also playing extremely well, offers the young Irish boy support and inner strength he needs. As I remember it, at the end of the novel, the boy must confront a gang of Irish boys who intend both him and the Jewish priest harm. So he uses the Jewish lore the priest has taught him, and summons a golem to help him confront the bullies.

I'm not much into baseball these days, but the episode of "Grimm" got me thinking about golems, which reminded me of Avram Davidson and Pete Hamill's stories. Jackie Robinson's influence on the young Irish boy, in addition to Harrison Ford's starring role, aroused my interest in the movie "42." To my knowledge, Harrison Ford's never acted in a movie about golems, but I've enjoyed watching him ever since he portrayed Han Solo in "Star Wars." While recent events in Ferguson Missouri remind us that we still have a long ways to go, "42" reminds us that racism once played an even larger role in American life than it does today. The movie serves as a nice biopic on Robinson, and I enjoyed watching it on a DVD my mother and friend loaned me. But I never would have asked to borrow it, if I didn't like Harrison Ford, and the episode of "Grimm" hadn't reminded me of Hamill and Davidson's stories about golems. 

As for those two golem stories, it appears that other people love them far more than I do. Richard Friedenberg liked Snow in August so much that he adapted it into a TV movie for Showtime. If you're interested in watching it, his version of Hamill's novel is available for purchase on DVD. As for "The Golem," someone called The Elder of Ziyon has published the story on his blog. If you read it, and enjoy Davidson's story, I encourage you to seek out The Avram Davidson Treasury. In addition to ample helpings of Davidson's wit, humor, and his mastery of structure, and dialogue, you'll find that many of the best-known Science Fiction and Fantasy writers have contributed Introductions to each story. They can't recommend it highly enough, and neither can I.

Dragon Dave

P.S. Maybe Harrison Ford should rectify this absence in his career and star in a movie about golems. "Indiana Jones and the Golems" has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Related Internet Links
"The Golem" by Avram Davidson

Friday, July 10, 2015

Mark Platt on Gallifrey & Baked Alaska

For twenty-six years, viewers watched Doctor Who's adventures on their TV screens. Several years into the series, during the final Second Doctor story, they learned that he was a Time Lord, and that he came from the planet Gallifrey. After that, the Time Lords occasionally intruded in the Doctor's life, sending him off as their unwilling agent to a planet in need of his help. Occasionally he visited Gallifrey, and fans learned a little about life there. But with the cancelation of the series in 1989, writers and fans began to wonder exactly who it was who had departed their TV screens. So when the Virgin series of New Adventure books began in the early 1990s, it wasn't long until writers began to delve into the Doctor's character and history more thoroughly than in the past. 

In Time's Crucible, Marc Platt shows us Gallifrey's distant past: specifically, how the Time Lords came to be. We witness a fight between the prophetess Pythia, who rules Gallifrey through her oracular powers, and the reformer Rassilon, who desires a more ordered system of government. It is Rassilon who commissions the first Time vessel experiments, and the people Ace meets in the novel are the first Chronauts. These early Gallifreyans possess psychic capabilities, with the most powerful of them able to burn out others' minds. But don't let me tell you too much about this novel. After all, if you're a Doctor Who fan, or merely a reader who enjoys challenging Science Fiction, I want to leave you with more to discover and enjoy when you take up the challenge of reading Marc Platt's novel. Then you can write to me, and answer all my questions about Time's Crucible.

While I enjoyed reading Time's Crucible, I wish I understood it better. But then, walking away from a painting by Salvador Dali, one scratches one's head, and wonders at the imagery one has just tried to comprehend. The most compelling visions stick with you, and I have no doubt that the imagery in Marc Platt's novel will remain with me well into the future. I just wish I understood it better now

Perhaps, as with a fine wine, my appreciation for the novel will grow with Time.

Only one thing remains to be done. I need to find a recipe for Baked Alaska, and try my hand at this new treat I've discovered. Imagine a layer of sponge cake or Christmas pudding topped with ice cream, covered in meringue, and baked long enough to harden the meringue, but not melt the ice cream. As someone who loves ice cream and English desserts, it's a delicacy I must try. Ace may not have gotten to eat hers, but now that I know what it is, I'm determined to get my hands on one. But I would not have known what Baked Alaska was, or had a compelling reason to eat one, had I not read Marc Platt's amazing and challenging novel.

Thanks, Marc Platt. Cheers!

Dragon Dave

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Marc Platt: Writing Like Salvador Dali

Interested in reading a novel that will challenge you? Then seek out Time's Crucible, the first installment in the Cat's Cradle trilogy, written by Marc Platt. The author previously wrote "Ghostlight," a Doctor Who TV story that had most fans scratching their heads after the last episode aired. But in this novel he surpasses himself, and once again, it's the Seventh Doctor and his companion Ace who have to navigate their way through the chaos unleashed in their lives.

We find the Doctor and Ace in an English cafe, and Ace is looking forward to the Baked Alaska she's just ordered. Suddenly, the world seems to go out of phase, as if laws of reality are breaking down. The Doctor's sensitivity to Time cause him to run back to the TARDIS. Sorry Ace, no Baked Alaska for you.

At first, they can't get into their time machine, as the door has disappeared. But eventually the Doctor finds a way inside. He leaves Ace by the console, warning her to stay there, and that she will receive a valuable item she must protect at all costs. Then he disappears, the console delivers up a scroll, and something bursts through the walls of the time machine.

Ace finds herself in a damaged city. She links up with a group of other young people, who tell her that the TARDIS collided with their own time/space vessel. Then they are attacked by chitinous guards. Those of her colleagues who are captured have helmets forced on their heads, and then take on the bug-like appearance of the guards. Ace flees outside the city, where she sees the Doctor, or the ghost of the Doctor, a silver cat, and a river of mercury. She discovers that there are several areas of the city, each one operating in a different time zone, and inhabited by older or younger versions of herself and her new friends. Soon, she will find herself climbing onto, fighting, and hiding from the chitinous guards in a tower that strides across the rubble-strewn land.

In the early 1970s Third Doctor story "The Time Monster," the Doctor threatened to Time Ram his TARDIS into the same physical space as the Master's. The collision of these two vessels, each containing so many different interior dimensions, would create a cosmic extinction event. That is what seems to have happened here, when the TARDIS and the ship piloted by Ace's new friends collided. Certainly the laws of cause and effect seem discombobulated, with the walking towers, and even clocks that climb off their pedestals and crawl across the land. What does the cat symbolize? Is the river of mercury somehow related to the fluid link that the First Doctor claimed was essential to operating the TARDIS? And why does the city seem to be gradually compacting? 

There are lots of mysteries here, and even when I reached the end of the novel, I was still scratching my head, considering all I had read, and wondering how all the various pieces of the narrative fit together. The story was as dense in ideas, and rich in interest, as "Ghost Light." It may not qualify as well constructed fiction, but Time's Crucible certainly constitutes a glorious work of imaginative art. 

Dragon Dave

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Final Word on Appaloosa: A Difficult Western

In Ed Harris' film "Appaloosa," an adaptation of Robert B. Parker's novel, it's easy to understand someone like Randall Bragg, a villain fixated upon his goals, regardless of their cost to others. He speaks well. He demonstrates a better understanding of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and how his essays and poems compare to other writers, than Virgil Cole can ever hope to achieve. He has made influential friends. He knows what he wants, and when he discovers he cannot get it by force, he retools his approach, and works the legal and political system. 

Virgil Cole, Mrs. Allie French, and Everett Hitch

It's more difficult to understand people like Virgil Cole, who doesn't abuse his power and authority, who trusts his friend Everett Hitch completely, and grants Allie an undeserved and unconditional love. It's difficult to understand Hitch, who seemingly has little interest in "the Law," dismissing it as "a way of feeing easy about earning a living as a gunman." It's difficult to understand Allie, who wishes above all to be a lady and be loved, but cannot see farther ahead than the present moment. And no one wants to plunk down their money, and walk away from a movie with more questions than answers.

These days, we also expect lots of action from our films. Instead, "Appaloosa" shows us heroes who achieve most of their goals without the sort of unrealistic, over-the-top movie violence that we can never practice in our own lives. For example:

When Everett Hitch sees Bragg's men approaching,
he races to warn Virgil Cole.

Virgil Cole talks Bragg's men into leaving,
instead of carrying out the violent rescue they intended,
and without a single shot being fired.

Life in the Old West was so full of hardships and dangers that, just like Virgil Cole, Everett Hitch, and Allie French, the early farmers, ranchers, and residents of small towns like Appaloosa were occasionally forced to make significant moral compromises. Today, when we have instant access to information, and capabilities that frontier settlers could only have dreamed of, we don't like to talk in terms of compromises. We don't like to believe that life still demands compromise, that every decision we make and every action we take is a compromise, and that the compromises we make define our characters and futures. Perhaps that's partly why Westerns have fallen out of favor, especially in the cinema. Just like its more action-orientated contemporary "3:10 To Yuma," and the big concept film "Cowboys And Aliens," "Appaloosa" barely recouped its production costs at the box office. Still, it was a labor of love for Ed Harris and everyone else on the production, all of whom accepted less money than they normally charge in order to make this little twenty million dollar movie.

I rarely watch Westerns, and I never read them, but the protagonists in "Appaloosa" make me want to read Robert B Parker's novel and its three sequels. In retrospect, Randall Bragg seems almost irrelevant, whereas Virgil Cole, Everett Hitch, and Allie French continue to fascinate me. Despite their differences, and all the circumstances that should tear them apart, these seemingly simple yet complex characters still make sacrifices for each other. I want to see the world through their eyes, understand the choices they make, and accompany them during the later portions of their lives. I imagine that's the way actor Ed Harris felt, when he committed himself to co-writing, directing, producing, and acting in "Appaloosa," after reading just a few chapters of Robert B Parker's novel.

Dragon Dave