Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bava Book Reviewed in New CINEASTE

There's a new issue of CINEASTE (Spring 2008) now on newsstands, which includes Robert Cashill's review of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK on page 75.

"This is not a book you read, but a book you live, much as its author did," Cashill writes. "My return on investment has been thousand-fold..."

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Mario and Tim in WESTERNS ALL'ITALIANA #70

The new issue of Tom Betts' long-running fanzine WESTERNS ALL'ITALIANA has been posted online, and here's a direct link to the pdf files. Included in this issue is Lee Broughton's review of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK, focusing on those portions of the book encompassing a history of the Italian, or Spaghetti, Western -- and also a lengthy interview with me about my own interest in the genre. My thanks to Tom and Lee for their outstanding coverage.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bava Book to Receive Special Achievement Saturn Award

Excerpted from a letter received today from Robert Holguin, president of the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films:

Dear Tim:
The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films was founded in 1972 to honor, recognize and promote genre entertainment. The organization was an extension of another group, The Count Dracula Society, which was founded by Dr. Donald A. Reed. Dr. Reed’s passion was bringing recognition to the people who were often overlooked because they dealt in the fields of filmmaking which were considered, in certain circles, juvenile entertainment. Through Dr. Reed’s efforts, we have seen the genre film become a major force at the box office. It’s the genre film which keeps the studios alive and well. Dr. Reed felt strongly in honoring and recognizing extraordinary work and the people who create it. I try to follow in his footsteps.
With your recent publication, Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark, you have completely awed us in your efforts to chronicle the life and work of filmmaker Mario Bava. The book is simply astounding. I am completely blown away by your accomplishments in publishing this monster of a book. The devotion you show to your subject matter is inspiring to the point of obsession. And we are humbled that you had this passion to work on a book which took many years of your life to complete. It’s one of the most incredible achievements we have seen in our lifetime.The Academy has chosen you to receive a Saturn Award, The Special Achievement Award, for your hard work in seeing this project come to fruition. If Dr. Reed were with us today, I know he would be the first to congratulate you on this monumental labor of love and wish to honor you for it.
We would like to present this award to you at the upcoming 34th Annual Saturn Awards. The show will take place on Tuesday, June 24, at the Universal Hilton in Universal City, California (right on the hill where Universal Studios sits). If you and Donna are able to attend, I can assure you that you will be surrounded by many admirers and peers who feel the same as I do about your work. I know this would be a memorable occasion for both of you. I hope you will be able to fit this into your schedule. It would be our great honor to see you receive earned accolades at the 34th Annual Saturn Awards.
Thanks so much, Tim, for your years of hard work and devotion. It is greatly appreciated by those who work within the fields of genre entertainment.
Robert Holguin
President – The Saturn Awards
Naturally, Donna and I are delighted by the news and we hope to attend the Saturn Awards ceremony in June to accept this honor in person.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Big Rondo for the Little Lady?

Donna burning the midnight oil as she designs the discography layout for the Bava book, with lil' Pip riding shotgun, on March 10, 2007.

The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards nominees were recently announced, and Donna and I were pleased to see a number of our efforts recognized on the ballot -- VIDEO WATCHDOG once again nominated for Best Magazine, my Mario Bava talks made the list of Best DVD Commentary candidates, and, most gratifying of all, MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is in impressive company as a Best Book nominee. I finally found the time to cast my votes the other night, but last night I received an e-mail from a friendly reader and customer that jolted my thinking about a particular category.

Tim Hammell of Calgary, Alberta wrote: "Just did my Rondo voting with MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK as Best Book, yourself as Best Writer for said book, and wrote in Donna as Best Artist for book design of said book."

This note jolted my thinking in a most welcome way. To be perfectly honest, I had not considered Donna for the Best Artist category and had cast my vote for someone else, someone who draws and paints. But as soon as I read Tim's note, I knew immediately that Donna was not only worthy of this award, but in my opinion, had done more to earn it this year than anyone else. The wording of the category guidelines only served to further solidify my conviction:

25. ARTIST OF THE YEAR (for 2007)
Not your favorite all-time artist (although they might be the same), but which painter, illustrator, model-maker or designer did the best published (or online), work in 2007?

Donna herself protested the idea of being proposed for this category until that all-important word "designer" popped up. Most everyone who received the Bava book has written or called to tell us how overwhelming it is visually, and I know myself that it actually satisfies the reader on purely visual and visceral levels before they read a word of my text. What Donna achieved with her design of the book is extraordinary, and if you agree, I ask that, when you visit the Rondo website to vote, you consider Donna Lucas as your choice for Best Artist of 2007. Or -- if you've already voted, as I had -- there is the possibility of writing to Rondomeister David Colton at taraco@aol.com and reconsidering your vote.

Donna is the first to remind people who compliment her efforts on the book that she was assisted in her labors by people who are more deserving of being called artists -- Charlie Largent, Simonida Perica-Uth, and Matt Bradshaw -- but I can personally testify that it was Donna's vision of the book that guided them all, and that she and her computer were the final filters through which all of her assistants' digital work had to be passed, processed, and finally applied to page.

I think it's wonderful that the Rondo rules are flexible enough to allow for the recognition for the superhuman work she did. If you were impressed by the book, I would naturally appreciate your vote in the appropriate category or categories, but I would personally love to see Donna Lucas win a Rondo all her own for what she contributed to MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Opening the Bava Book

Ted Haycraft of Evansville, Indiana sent us this uncanny sequence of photos, which illustrate his dramatic experience of opening the Bava book. Having received his copy at work, Ted peeled away the outer wrapping while seated in his cubicle at NBC affiliate WFIE-TV. He stripped away the final layer of bubble-wrap, revealing the last barrier between him and the book he had awaited so long... the box containing it!

Gingerly opening the box, Ted felt his anticipation surge once again as he found the contents of the box covered once again by bubble-wrap. He removed the outer wrapping from the tome inside -- in mint condition! -- and the smell of printer's ink reached out like beckoning arms, drawing him inside! He took a deep breath, drawing the ink into his lungs...

AH! All the colors of the Bava book took root and blossomed in his senses, suffusing not only Ted's entire being but the fabric of reality itself! It was incredible! It was like seeing THE WIZARD OF OZ for the first time! The Bava book existed! The world had changed!

Another satisfied customer.
Thanks, Ted!