If I’ve seemed a wee bit distracted lately it’s because…well, I am. My oldest daughter, who only came back into my life in January, is about to make me a grandpa. I’ve been taking care of my girlfriend after she had an operation. I’m dealing with the frustrating start/stop mess that is the Manic Expression animated movie. Finally, there is the re-issue of my books into a six volume set, only three of which are out so far, leaving me with plenty to edit, write, and format.
Thus we come to this months Expressionist, BlackScarabFilmz. As a writer, it’s easy to find yourself discouraged these days. All the attention goes to movies and video games. We’re all so eager to review the new Netflix show, but how many of us take the time to talk about books that we love? BlackScarab has been reviewing literature for more than five years, and boy do I appreciate that.
In his signature hat, vest, and bow tie, BlackScarab is the host of Literary Lair, along with How to Fix It. While the books he reviews stay in the realm of the geeky, giving us everything from Doctor Who adaptations to Nothing Lasts Forever (the novel that inspired Die Hard), he gives these books the same respect he would to an HG Welles story. He gives honest, fair reviews while other, snobbier critics might dismiss a Star Trek novel.
BlackScarab is one of the last of a dying breed – the critic with a persona. The hip new thing is not to craft a character, but to simply gel up your hair, stand in front of a camera, and rattle off a video short enough that bored Internet surfers won’t have time to click away. BlackScarab is old school, harkening back to the days when we liked our Nerds angry and our Critics nostalgic. His reviews are carefully crafted comedy pieces that go on for as long as they need to.
That BlackScarab would dedicate his show to literature is noble indeed. No doubt he could get more clicks with a Fate of the Furious review, but he chooses to review an old M*A*S*H novel instead. Why? Because that’s what he does. We all come to Manic Expression to explore our own idiosyncratic interests. BlackScarabFilmz loves books. Movies would be easier, than he could use clips, but who said doing what you love was ever going to be easy?