What do fans do when they don’t have new shows or movies to watch? They look for alternatives – and we have a bunch to choose from. Plus more letters from fans.

With no NO TIME TO DIE, maybe you have time for a little Velvet?

Hey Rob –

Ed Brubaker

Your recent lament regarding “No Time to Die’s” postponed release and the end of episode 600 when Jason Spriggs (aka Ray Gun Media) brought up the great Ed Brubaker reminded me of a recent comic series I recently read: Brubaker’s “Velvet.” Have you ever read it?

“Velvet” is a spy thriller set in the early 70s but with some flashbacks to events of the 50s and 60s. This globe-hopping story focuses on Velvet Templeton, a former British spy who has been framed for murder. She must go on the run with few allies to help her as she struggles to clear her name.

It was a limited, 15-issue series published from 2013-2016 by Image Comics, and it’s collected in three paperback volumes:

“Before the Living End”
“The Secret Lives of Dead Men”
“The Man who Stole the World”

Although I think there is also a deluxe hardcover that collects the entire series.

It’s a well-written book (yeah, it’s Brubaker). Fast-paced, with some interesting plot twists. While some of the action can be a little over-the-top, the story is rooted in reality. There are no crazy spy gadgets to be found here. (Well, OK, maybe there is one that would qualify.) The art is excellent as well, with subtle details—particularly with the characters—but with a dark and gritty quality that fits the overall story. It all feels very much like a spy movie—complete with plenty of smoking, drinking, and sex!

As a James Bond fan, this seems like a series you might really enjoy reading. Maybe it could help ease the pain a little until “No Time to Die” is released. Some other PGS community members might also appreciate it if they are looking for a different, non-superhero comic to read.

Thoroughly enjoy the show—keep up the good work!
-BCH

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This Imagination Connoisseur seems to think there may be more interesting ways to spend one night in Miami.

Hi Rob, moderators, and Post Geek Singularity,

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI, directed by Regina King, is considered a contender for several awards this year

I recently saw One Night In Miami, directed by Regina King, and wanted to give a review for it.

I had read good things about it, but had to see for myself if it was good.

While I found there to be many good aspects, I found the movie to be just alright.

I really liked the cinematography, costume design, and set design. All the acting performances from the 4 leads: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom Jr, were really good.

The main problem I had was with the plot, as I did not find it to be that interesting. It basically just follows a fictionalized meeting of 4 prominent African American figures: Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown, and Muhammad Ali.

All in all, I found One Night In Miami to be just alright. I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t. I’m not sure why, but this is very common for me, when it comes to watching movies which get a lot of awards buzz, where I mostly just find the film to be either okay or not that good, while everyone else liked or loved it. That happened with Nomadland, where everyone else really praised it, but I just could not get into it.

Thanks, live long and prosper.
-Omar

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A love affair with Looney Tunes.

Greetings Rob,

Today I thought about writing to you with a subject that so so left field it might be considered out of place and that is good. It is a fresh topic and a rarely spoken about one.

Here … we … go …

Let’s discuss cartoons … specifically Looney Tunes. That´s right, our old friends…Bugs, Elmer, Daffy, Porky , Road Runner and Wiley E. Coyote!

Looney Tunes

Since 1930, these characters have been gracing our screens in many different forms. I mean they started out as animated shorts as an alternative to Disney’s Silly Symphonies. Who can forget The Rabbit of Seville? You all know: Kill da wabbit … kill da wabbit or the singing frog? Hello my baby, Hello my honey. .. ?

Anyways, as a kid I have been a fan of cartoons and I loved me some Looney Tunes. I remember watching The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show every Saturday morning. I even remember going to the movies to see The Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie.

Now with the invention of the internet these cartoons can live on. Which brings me to the heart …. the meat … the guts to this letter: HBO Max has all the original Looney Tunes cartoons! 31 seasons worth of silly animation goodness.

Now I know what you are thinking: “This can’t be the entire letter, Tom, and you are correct, sir!

I have stumbled upon a batch of new Looney Tunes shorts on HBO Max and I love them. I started watching them last night (Jan 22, 2021) and I have been laughing my ass off. Sure this isn’t the Looney Tunes of our youth, but the cool things about these new cartoons is that they look like they are from the 40s. At one point while watching these shorts, I could not tell if they were new or from the 40s – that is how cool these new shorts are.

One of them was so bizarre I had to re-watch it because I thought I was tripping and I didn´t even have any drugs!! It involved Granny telling Tweety that they were moving to Florida in the morning, so Granny goes to bed and while Tweety is sleeping, Sylvester comes walking up and swallows Tweety and her bed; and Tweety wakes up in Sylvester´s stomach.

Tweety then proceeds to set up house in there thinking she is in her new cage and ends up ordering lots of stuff from Amazon and the delivery guy comes and walks right into Sylvester´s mouth delivers the package,  gets it signed, and walks right back out.

I know this sounds weird …. oh sir, it gets even more trippy.

Somehow, Tweety calls all her friends over for a house party and they all fly down Sylvester´s throat and from his stomach you see these party lights and hear music thumping like Tweety is having a rave in there. So Sylvester finds a cat to take care of them all and has the cat walk right in his mouth and go into stomach. 

You hear a fight and then the music starts up again and you see that the cat has joined the party…and here is where it gets so trippy …. Sylvester looks at the viewer and says “If you can beat them, join them” and sucks his head into his body and asks to join the party. The camera pans over and there is Granny´s head joining the party as well.

Then the camera shows the outside of Sylvester´s body and his head is sunk in his body and you see Granny’s legs sticking out of Sylvester’s neck and that’s the end of the cartoon.

Now, I had to watch this twice to make sure my eyes didn’t play tricks on me. Other than that, I highly recommend these new shorts cause they are not only funny and fun but a great distraction from the worries of the world and a great way to sort of relive our childhood in someway.

Well, thanks for letting me wax the animated fantastic with you and the rest of my fellow PGS Nation (or maybe PGS Collective), it does not matter because together, we are one.

Oh, just one more thing … I recently watched a really old episode of Robservations and you were doing it from inside your house and for some reason you were so excited that there were women in the house and they were there to exchange clothes and tell stories. The look of wonderment on your face that it was happening was priceless.

You were like: “Look behind me … they’re here … they’re here!”

Watching the older episodes from then til now, you see how Robservations has evolved into the cult ….I mean cultural phenom that is is now. Congrats on 600 + episodes .

All the best ,
-Tom Jr. J.

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An Imagination Connoisseur’s frustration with fandom may mean his exit from the Post-Geek Singularity.

Editor’s Note: This letter was sent in last week and Jordan asked we hold it until his birthday (on Tuesday). Unfortunately, Rob read the letter on the air this past week, so we’ve decided to publish it here – since there’s already been a response (see the next letter).

Rob,

Greetings from the Colony of Rochella Prime.

In six days, I will be celebrating my 50th. birthday. I will officially be half a century old. I will also be the same age that Admiral Kirk was in Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan. I can only hope that there isn’t a half-crazed human Augment, biding his time and waiting for his moment to spring revenge on an unsuspecting galaxy. But in this crazy world we live in, the possibility of it occurring is not zero.

Is the destruction of the franchises we love so much an inevitability?

In Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country, Spock said to Kirk: “Is it possible that we two, you and I, have grown so old and so inflexible that we have outlived our usefulness?” I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on that quote – mostly when it comes to new “Star Trek”. Well, i’ve certainly gotten older. Probably a little bit inflexible physically and mentally.

I’ll come right out and say it – nu Star Trek is utter and complete garbage for all the reasons you’ve mentioned before in your sermons on the subject. I used to believe in the dream that was Star Trek – but this current crop of fan-dumb has extinguished it. Our Star Trek is DEAD and will never come back. And I have decided to accept it at last.

I’m done, Rob.

I got no more fight in me to keep going with trying to keep a scintilla of hope alive for our Star Trek and that’s why i’m going to retire from being a fan, from being a part of any fandom. I’ve boxed up what little from Trek I still own and i’ve put them into deep storage. I feel no joy doing this.

In fact, I feel nothing but complete and utter contempt to those who support Abrams-Kurtzman Trek and who celebrate its deconstruction in the name of “wokeness” and so-called “social justice warriors”, things that these kids today are neither.

Maybe I’m sounding like a bitter old man, yelling at the clouds, but you know what? I EARNED the RIGHT to frakking yell, to be angry, to tell them to frak off forever. So i’m done. My mission is complete and I no longer desire to live the rest of my life in anger and disappointment. I’m moving on to do something else. I will dwell no more on the subject.

So, as of January 26 (today), i’m officially retiring from fandom. And oddly, I feel so much better for having to reached this decision. I know people will not understand my decision to disengage but it’s for the best. What will I do in my retirement? Well, I used to play alto sax – maybe i’ll go back to doing that. Get a little slow sax jazz groove going, a little piano on the side, yeah – that sounds good.

That’s all I got to say – from the Colony of Rochella Prime, good night to one and all and good luck.
-Jordan B.

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Sympathy for frustrated fans leads this Imagination Connoisseur to a different conclusion.

Dear Rob and the PGS,

I am writing you in response to Jordan Britt’s letter in episode #602 starting at about the 53:00-minute mark. In Jordan’s letter, he described his frustration with current Star Trek and resolved that on his 50th birthday (BTW, happy birthday Jordan), that he has decided to leave his fandom in the past. This sentiment is all to familiar to me, as I am also going through a similar crisis in my own fandom, now. Like you, and many in the PGS, I am disgusted with the state of the Star Trek franchise. More than that, I feel in the last 10 years, many of the franchises I hold near and dear to my heart have one by one, been twisted and contorted into something unrecognizable to me.

Has Nu-Trek ruined Star Trek? Or is all this a case of fans resisting change (which, we all know, is futile).

Perhaps Star Trek is the worst example, as I find anything since Star Trek 2009, including the Abrams films, Discovery, and Picard, as complete and utter garbage. But other franchises come to mind, namely Star Wars, which I am no fan of the sequel trilogy, which I find far worse than even the prequels. And I hear there is a JJ Abrams led Lord of the Rings, as well as a JJ Abrams superman is rumored? Can we now officially dub JJ Abrams “Destroyer of Imagination and Franchises?” UGH!

I could go on and on about my feelings on how franchises I grew up with, including Star Trek, Star Wars, Six Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman, Knight Rider, Superman, Dr Who or other franchises I became a fan of as an adult that have been ruined, but there are countless hours and countless youtubers who have expressed that same sentiment more eloquently that I am capable of doing, so I won’t even try. What is important here is that I have found myself feeling very much like Jordan, in that I have finally come to accept that the things that I am a fan of, are no longer here, either having faded into the past, or been transformed into something else that I don’t care for. I feel so exhausted from my frustration with franchises like Star Trek, that I have literally found it affecting my mood and it’s time to let it go. Therefore, like Jordan, I have resolved to no longer be a fan of franchises that have changed too much for the worse.

However, unlike Jordan, I still remain a fan of the franchises I still have a connection to. For example, I no longer follow new Star Trek, namely Discovery. Rob, I slogged through 2 seasons of that trash (after hearing your summaries of season 3, I won’t bother), as well as Picard season 1, and it did nothing good for my stress level and blood pressure. I have concluded, that things we are fans of should be relaxing, and if a franchise one is a fan of causes nothing but grief, then one should just simply ignore it. So, for that reason, I am no longer following Star Trek, Star Wars, and other franchises.

But, that does not mean I am not a fan of the Star Trek, Star Wars, or other franchises from the past incarnations. I am not about to pitch the dozens of models of Star Trek ships I spent hours building. I will happily continue to rewatch Star Trek TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, and the movies up to Nemesis. I will continue to enjoying rewatching Star Wars OT. In fact, I have a decent physical media collection of over 600 blu ray, DVD, 4K titles, and much more than that available to stream. I have no shortage of entertainment. But I will be a lot more discerning in my tastes and I will NOT support something that brings me angst. I think it is also perfectly fine for one to enjoy older movies and tv shows, if that is your thing. We need not cancel all of the things we are fans of, but we CAN refuse to support franchises, if they veer off into the weeds, like Star Trek has done.

Anyway, thank you for reading my letter Rob, and keep on Space Truckin’!

Sincerely,
-Tom B.

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