Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Friday, January 29, 2016

Re-Animated #3: The Critic

"The Critic" is a queer duck by any standard.  It's also one of my all-time favorite shows, and it's a weirdly important piece in the paint-by-numbers portrait of animation I'm gradually building with the Re-Animated series.

Once again I want you to picture yourself as that poor, beleaguered (yeah, right) television network in the early '90s.  You watched "The Simpsons" turn from a fad to a weird juggernaut to a critical and popular darling.  By 1994 "The Simpsons" was in its Golden Age, producing seemingly nothing but instant classic episodes that were crushing the ratings.  All attempts to re-create or replicate that success had failed.  So what to do?  Throw in the towel?  Admit failure?

Or...go back to the source?

Al Jean and Mike Reiss were long-time writing partners and showrunners on "The Simpsons" for seasons 3 and 4.  (Long-time writing partners and former "Simpsons" showrunners will become a recurring theme during this space.)  They left the show that Matt Groening had created to develop their own baby for ABC: "The Critic."

Either by design or happenstance "The Critic" was weirdly diametrically opposed to "The Simpsons."  The action moved from Springfield, the stand-in for anywhere in middle America, to New York City.  And Jay Sherman, the show's star, was something of an anti-Homer, too.  Although both shared a girth problem (I guess fat jokes are just fun to make no matter the show) Jay was a successful, unhappy, highly intelligent bachelor standing in stark contrast to Homer's blue collar, blissfully dumb family man.

"The Critic" itself is a relic of a very particular time in the history of mass media.  I will spare you all an essay on "Gremlins II" (for now) but just as "Gremlins II" skewered such a weirdly specific point in the development of cable TV that it's hard to understand outside of its cultural context (well, unless you just like to watch little green monsters eat people, I guess) "The Critic" skewered a weirdly specific point in the development of movies.

Today, in 2016, I can know pretty much anything and everything about every movie coming out for the next few years, including entire plots (if I'm not averse to spoilers) and behind-the-scenes personality clashes (if that's the sort of thing I'm interested in.)  If you rewind to the Hollywood of the '80s and before, no one was really anticipating movies beyond maybe huge tentpoles more than six months in advance.  The inner workings of Hollywood were arcane, and studios got away with things like sham marriages to make Rock Hudson not seem gay.

The internet (and, I would also argue, a fair amount of self-satisfied hagiographies disguised as exposes coming from Hollywood types themselves) changed what the average person knew about how Hollywood works.  By the late '90s people were clued in to the movie system as never before.  By the late '00s you could watch any movie trailer you wanted on YouTube and learn anything about any damn film with a simple google search.

But the mid-90s!  Now there was an interesting era.  Jay Sherman represented the guy who, as an influential film critic, knew how Hollywood worked and was disgusted by it, yet couldn't seem to convince anyone else of the utter amorality of the whole damn thing.  Jay was an intellectual, and though there had always been smart jokes on "The Simpsons" none of the characters were ever really all that smart.  So "The Critic" was an opportunity to satirize both the froo-froo pretensions of the intelligentsia and the fact that they kind of had a point about how ignorant Joe Six-Pack was.

Jay was a Cassandra figure.  He didn't hate movies, he loved movies.  He loved good movies.  He hated the fact that what sold - and what it was his job to review - were bad movies.  Part of what makes "The Critic" such a relic is that so many of the movie satires that they ran have actually come to pass.  At the time, Hollywood was just beginning to dip its toes into nonsensical sequels and mash-ups.  Now it seems there's nothing but sequels and mash-ups.  Jay's disdain for "Jurassic Park II" seems quaint in the face of our knowledge that "Jurassic Park IV" was the biggest movie of all time (before it was eclipsed by "Star Wars VII," for Christ's sake.)

Marketing for the show relied heavily on the movie parodies, but really those were such a small aspect of "The Critic."  The world around Jay was a fascinating pastiche.  Played by Jon Lovitz, Jay is in appearance and mannerisms clearly meant to be Jewish.  His adoptive parents, though (Eleanor and Franklin...of course) are such upper crust old money that Eleanor at one point introduces a family friend whose blood is literally blue.  And in contrast to his parents, Jay's boss Duke Phillips (an obvious Ted Turner analogue) is so grotesquely nouveau-riche that he can easily afford a band of animatronic drunken hillbilly bears to be installed in his office to remind him of home in Atlanta.

"The Critic" got to have its cake and eat it too in a lot of ways.  It took potshots against intellectuals like Jay while simultaneously showing that his audience was just as dumb as he feared.  The Jewish experience in New York was sent up as often as the WASPy one.  Entrenched interests conflicted with interests trying to entrench themselves - and showing how pointlessly both of them aspired to power.  In one particularly fascinating episode Duke runs for president (because he's Duke, goddamnit) and brings on Jay's dad (the former governor of New York, as it turns out) as his running mate.  Neither seems to know what to do with power, but Franklin is so used to having it he doesn't care how daffy he comes off and Duke is so used to acquiring it he doesn't care how big of a jerk he comes off.

And in the middle of it all, observing, hating every side for its hypocrisy with equal vigor, is Jay.  Not an everyman by any stretch, but a frustrated idealist.

So what's so important about "The Critic?"  Well, to put it bluntly, it got a season 2.  After disappointing ratings on ABC during Wednesdays in the summer (right after Jim Henson's "Dinosaurs") "The Critic" moved to Fox, a more fitting home for it anyway.  And in just squeaking by and developing enough of an audience that people remembered it, "The Critic" finally proved that "The Simpsons" was not an unreproducible fluke of nature.  Instead, it was the beginning of an era.  The beginning of adult animation...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Hey, kits and kaboodles.

I don't know if anyone's been sitting on pins and needles waiting for my next post but I just realized that as much as I want to take a more relaxed approach to blogging in 2016, I don't want to go for weeks at a time without updating.  That is a slippery goddamned slope, and I never wanted to be that kind of blogger who disappears for long stretches and then gets confused that the audience scarpered like cockroaches when the kitchen light turns on.  Not that any of you lovely folks are cockroaches.

So here's the deal:

- I've got a ton more Re-Animated entries planned out in my head.

- I'm thinking of making February a great big celebration of Women in Horror Month.

- There's still a lot of regular bloggery I want to get up to.

But right now I have a deadline February 1.  HUNTER OF THE DEAD, my take on a vampire novel, is due to the lovely folks at Sinister Grin Press.  The first draft is finished but could use a solid polish.  Could I take a bolo and ask for an extension?  Yes, I could.  But I don't want that to be how we kick off our working relationship.

So that, in addition to Hellstorm Jonas, and a couple of things I don't want to talk about on the blog just yet, have got me not blogging.  I'll be back on the ball soon, I promise.  Just bear with me through this next week or so.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Re-Animated #2: The Also-Rans

Here's where I'm going to start to make good on my promise in last week's entry of Re-Animated.  "The Simpsons" may not be the first animated television series, nor is it necessarily the greatest, but it is a watershed; a place to start the conversation.

If you follow TV at all you probably understand that there's a lot of following trends.  "Game of Thrones" debuted to massive international success, and now every channel is trying to find their own "Game of Thrones": whether it be "The Bastard Executioner," "The Expanse," "The Last Kingdom" or whatever.

So imagine it's late 1989/early 1990 and you're a television executive.  "The Simpsons" has literally created a genre out of thin air - the primetime adult-oriented (but child-friendly!) cartoon series.  Not only has it done that, but it's blown the doors off of everything else that went before.  Fox has gone from a joke of a channel to a major force in the media.  Everyone seems to be wearing "Simpsons" t-shirts and spouting "Simpsons" catchphrases.

Oh, and let's talk about that for a minute.  I don't know how to accurately portray this to someone who's fifteen or so today, but when Bart Simpson was saying "don't have a cow, man" or "eat my shorts" - bowdlerized versions of tame insults at best - it seemed like the adult authorities of the world were having a massive conniption fit.  Schools were banning all "Simpsons" shirts, not just the "offensive" ones - which of course only made them more intriguing and popular.

Nothing boosts ratings like a good, old-fashioned moral panic.  What the pearl-clutching throwbacks of the '80s did to "Dungeons and Dragons" they managed to re-create in the '90s with "The Simpsons."  I know, it's hard to imagine a time when something as castrated and asinine as the modern "Simpsons" was seen as the downfall of Western civilization, but it was.

And what that meant for you, if you happened to be an exec at another network at the time, was a mad scramble to find "the next Simpsons."  Then networks did end up having a few notable successes, mostly years later, but we'll talk about those in the next few entries.  Today I want to talk about the dank, dismal failures, the ones barely worth bundling together for this blog entry, let alone giving them their own.

I have no meaningful recollection of "Fish Police" beyond the context of this article - it was one of the also-rans of the very early attempts to cash in on the popularity of "The Simpsons."  CBS took a pitch from Hannah-Barbera - makers of Saturday morning tripe like "Wacky Races," "Huckleberry Hound," and "Scooby-Doo," most of which, to be quite frank, I probably won't be tackling in this blog series.  "Fish Police" was based on a self-published comic which was later picked up by Dark Horse and appears, by all rights, to be massively superior to the show that came out.

The problem with "Fish Police" (as we'll see with the other two entries in varying degrees) is that it was neither fish (ha!) nor fowl.  Kids weren't sucked in by the adult world of the mafia and adults found the cartoonishness too off-putting.  What "The Simpsons" had nailed was appealing to both demographics without pandering to (or insulting) either.  Homer's oafish antics were amusing to a child, but his concerns about paying for and presenting his family were relatable to adults.  Similarly, Bart's behavioral problems were appealing to kids who wanted to see themselves as rebels and parents who were trying to raise their kids to be good citizens - but probably remembered their own years as hellions.

Which leads us to our next entry, "Family Dog."

"Family Dog" was another attempt by CBS to crack "The Simpsons" code and this time, to their credit, they struck somewhat closer to the mark.  "Family Dog" had originated as an animated episode of the anthology series "Amazing Stories" in 1987, and a particularly well-received one at that.  In fact, Brad Bird, who would go on to be responsible for "Ratatouille" and "The Incredibles" developed the original "Family Dog" episode.  In the sense that its pedigree (ha!) was as a well-remembered and well-liked short from the '80s adapted to full-length, "Family Dog" was already much closer to the "Simpsons" mark than "Fish Police."  And coming with Steven Spielberg's imprimatur - which would or recently had rocketed Saturday morning cartoons like "Animaniacs," "Tiny Toons," and "Taz-Mania" to the dizzying heights of popularity - this was no doubt meant to be CBS's attempt at a prestige cartoon.  A "Simpsons" clone that might benefit from not being considered crass, if you will.

I have memories of watching "Family Dog" and most of them consist of one thing: being incredibly bored.  The birds-eye perspective of a dumb (literally) mutt may have been a good idea for a single, half-hour short, but at series length it quickly became exhausting.  Perhaps if Spielberg and Co. had retained Brad Bird, it might have scintillated, but as it turned out, "Family Dog" was plagued with production issues and then just turned out to never be particularly good.

Let's close out with one final also-ran that I have a much more intimate knowledge of than half-baked, twenty-five year old memories like the other two: "Capitol Critters."

I watched "Capitol Critters" - or at least as much of it as aired - in its original run.  In 1992 ABC put this up alongside its super-successful Tuesday night lineup, featuring such luminary entertainment as "Home Improvement."  Unfortunately, "Capitol Critters" was another Hannah-Barbera production, which meant it was always doomed to be facile at best.

I recently got a wild hair up my ass to rewatch this show.  As it's not available on DVD or streaming services, I shall not describe the lengths I went to in order to fulfill this passing fancy.  But I can tell you that with a groan I realized what went wrong with a show that had seemed so attractive to my ten-year-old self when it came out.

First of all, "Capitol Critters" is off-puttingly racist.  It's fairly common for cartoons to use species as a shorthand for race or nationality, but in this particular show mice represented average, Middle Americans, rats represented fast-talking city types, and cockroaches represented blacks.  Doubtless the argument was made at some point, "Well, they're all different kinds of vermin anyway" but the whole "black people are shit-eating bugs who live segregated from the rest of society" was a bit of a hard pill for my adult self to swallow.

But in the interests of being fair, this was just kind of a symptom of the greater issues with the show.  I have no proof of this, but I feel like it was developed as a kid's show and someone said, "Oh, it takes place in Washington, D.C.?  Let's try to make it an adult issues show so we can compete with 'The Simpsons.'"  Stripped of its (for the time) political themes, kids might have enjoyed it on Saturday mornings.  Stuffed as it was with ham-fisted fumbling attempts to "solve" early '90s political errata, the creators probably saw it as having appeal to adult "Murphy Brown" watchers.  And while it's aged about as well, it was never nearly as clever.  It didn't help that every great political issue it addressed - including some we still deal with today - was readily solved by episode's end in the long tradition of episodic cartoons.

So, there you have it.  Three flawed but ambitious attempts to cash in on "The Simpsons" phenomenon that have been relegated to being brought up once in a while on obscure blogs.  So, what shows managed to finally break that early curse and break out?  Tune in to the next entry of Re-Animated to find out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Re-Animated #1: "The Simpsons"

Hey there cats and kittens!  Welcome to the very first installment of my new recurring (whenever I feel like it) segment Re-Animated.  Wondering what the deal is?  Check out my introduction post.  Now let's jump in.

Our Favorite Family (shudder)

If I were a more famous person, I would expect my post last week to be littered with comments along the lines of, "Eww, why are you starting your discussion of cartoons with 'The Simpsons?'  That's blasphemy.  You should be starting it with X instead."  And where X is Looney Toons, Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat, Betty Boop, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, "Snow White," or, hell, even 'Fantasmagorie' for fuck's sake I could understand the argument.

And no, "The Simpsons" is not the most important cartoon of all time, nor the first, nor is it really where we would have to start our discussion on adult cartoons (not that I specified that adult cartoons would be the focus of Re-Animated, although largely it will be.)  So why start with "The Simpsons," Steve?

Well, "The Simpsons" is, if nothing else, a watershed.  I'm comfortable saying that there was animation before "The Simpsons" and animation after "The Simpsons" and never the twain shall meet.  "The Simpsons" was what the Doctor would call a fixed point in time.  There's no avoiding it.

So when I start to expand with this animation discussion, I'm going to expand in one of two directions: forward from "The Simpsons" or backwards from "The Simpsons."  It always has been, and always will be, my North Star.

But you probably already guessed that coming from someone who wrote an actual book called BILLY AND THE CLONEASAURUS.  Part of what's so important about "The Simpsons" is that it's the North Star for an entire generation.  My generation, it so happens, whether you want to call that Millennials, Echo Boomers, Gen X, or god knows what all else they're calling us now in the fucking Chicken Little old guard press.

I read once that Baby Boomers knew they had ascended to power when Beatles lyrics began to be quoted in newspaper headlines and that my generation would know we had ascended to power when "Simpsons" quotes were the source of newspaper headlines.  Of course, we don't really have newspapers anymore, but the point remains: "The Simpsons" was our cultural touchstone.  It was the thing everybody watched and everybody understood and everybody could unite over.

So where did this peculiar (and make no mistake, it was damn peculiar, both for the time and still today) TV show come from?  Well, imagine a time before streaming services had supplanted cable, when cable had not yet even supplanted broadcast networks.  TV was broadcast by towers...okay, maybe I'm going to deep into it.

Here's the deal: there was this asshole named Rupert Murdoch.  He's still alive today unfortunately.  He had made his bones as a newspaperman, but had recognized by the '80s that TV would be the source of future public opinion.  He started a network called Fox, and in the early days Fox was notable only for being raunchy and crass.  Shows like "Married With Children," which were considered the zenith of humor, were how Fox was trying to make a name for itself.  While the Big Three broadcast networks (ugh, okay kids: NBC, CBS, and ABC) considered themselves respectable to one degree or another, Fox was like the kid who didn't mind eating worms in the playground as long as someone was watching him, for Christ's sake.

"The Tracy Ullman Show" was a skit show and was what passed for a hit in the early days of Fox programming.  "Tracy Ullman" was a "throw the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks" kind of show, and one particular piece of spaghetti was a weird little interstitial segment that featured a crudely drawn family of yellow-skinned freaks.

Like "Pinky and the Brain" (which we'll get to...uh...sometime) "The Simpsons" quickly eclipsed the popularity of its host show.  To this day I can still remember playing around the house until my parents called me because a "Simpsons" skit was on.  The rest of "Tracy Ullman" was dull as dishwater to a kid my age.  I didn't even get it.

Fox took what was a wild gamble at the time.  Because, honestly, what did they have to lose?  As a bottom-dwelling network with abysmal ratings, what did it matter what they did?  Like Tracy Ullman, they could afford to throw spaghetti against the wall.  And since people were sort of talking about that weird animated skit on one of their more popular programs, the Fox execs decided to take a chance and ordered a full half hour comedy series from "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening.

There was a certain genius to this move, but also a certain amount of crazy, one-in-a-trillion luck.  It's hard to explain it now when adult animation is everywhere, but in the late '80s there was quite simply no such thing.  Cartoons were for afternoons and Saturday mornings when kids watched TV.  Just like soap operas were for weekday early afternoons, news was for 6pm, and primetime was for cops and lawyers.  To order a cartoon show and play it in primetime was just insane.

And somehow, by some combination of genius and luck, the closest thing I would call a miracle in my short little lifespan, "The Simpsons" became the voice of a generation.  Overnight.  The President of the United States was talking about "The Simpsons."  Negatively, of course, but still.  How many shows are deemed important enough for the president to talk about?

Bart Simpson shirts were banned in schools.  I remember this.  Can you even imagine now?  Bart didn't swear or say anything racy or profane.  His catchphrases were (and I quote) "Don't have a cow, man" and "Eat my shorts."  If a kid said "eat my shorts" to me today - or in 1989, to be quite frank - I'd probably chuckle at how quaint it was.

"The Simpsons" smashed through the wall of adult animation like the Kool-Aid man.  Suddenly every network was desperate to find a "Simpsons"-style hit...which we'll talk about in another segment or two.  But looking back at those first two seasons of "The Simpsons" only when I'm feeling charitable can I say that they're watchable.  They captured the Zeitgeist of the late '80s/early '90s, to be sure, but were it not for the entrance of two very important people into our tale, I suspect "The Simpsons" would languish as a relic of a bygone era.  I mean, honestly, when was the last time you watched "Wings" or "Northern Exposure" or "Beverly Hills, 90210?"

But what happened with "The Simpsons" was a wunderkind writing duo entered stage left as the new showrunners: Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein.  And from give or take 1992 to give or take 2000 "The Simpsons" went from being a weird, crass, Frankenstein's monster to the most sublime television show possibly in history.  I'm not exaggerating to say the Oakley/Weinstein era was one of sheer genius.  Quote almost any line of dialogue from almost any episode to someone of my generation and they will never fail to respond with the next.

And so "The Simpsons" hadn't just kicked in the door, it had turned into a juggernaut.  I could go on.  I could go on and on.  I could talk about the decline and (still not yet!) fall of the once mighty "Simpsons."  I could talk about how it influence every speck of animation that came afterwards.  But I have the rest of the year and an as-yet undecided amount of future Re-Animated posts to do that.  For now, let's just kick off the first part of my recurring series with a salute to "The Simpsons:"

The cause of...and solution to...all of life's problems.

Monday, January 11, 2016


I don't make it a habit to eulogize celebrities. That being said, we are all diminished today by the loss of a man. But we must not forget that all we lost was the man. That is a tragedy for his family and loved ones. But it is not a tragedy for those of us who didn't know him. The miracle of art is that it lives on after the artist, speaking for him: a flame that can never be extinguished. And so the great artist is immortal. David Bowie will never die because we still have his music. And his music is his gift to all of us - the living and the generations to come.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Release Day Blitz: MIRANDA'S RIGHTS

It's that time!  If you tuned in last month you saw our big cover reveal for Lily Luchesi's sophomore outing, MIRANDA'S RIGHTS.  Well, since then there's now a book trailer aaaaaaaaand...

The book is out today!

So head out there and support your favorite vampire author.


The dead don’t always rest easy...

Retired detective Danny Mancini is haunted by nightmares after he found out that paranormal creatures exist. All he wants is to forget them…especially a certain half-vampire. When cursed werewolves show up trying to kill him, he is forced to go back to the Paranormal Investigative Division for help against a powerful old enemy. What he was not expecting was a dead ex showing back up after twenty-six years.

Buy it now on Amazon and add it to your Goodreads!

Cover art by Rue Volley

About Lily Luchesi:

Lily Luchesi is a young author/poet born in Chicago, Illinois, now residing in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark". At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle by the time she was twelve, and, as her family has always been what they now call "Gothic", she doesn't believe she shall ever change. She is also a hopeless romantic and avid music-lover who will always associate vampires with love, blood, and rock and roll.

Her interest in poetry came around the same time as when she was given a book of Edgar Allan Poe's complete work. She then realized that she had been writing her own poetry since she could hold a pen, and just had not known the correct terms. She finished her first manuscript at the age of fourteen, and now, at twenty-one, has two contributing credits in anthologies and her debut novel, STAKE-OUT (Paranormal Detectives Series Book One), was published by Vamptasy Publishing on May 19th, 2015. Book two, MIRANDA'S RIGHTS, will be released on January 8th, 2016.

She has a short story, "Undead Ever After" in the Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly anthology LOVE SUCKS (released on June 13th, 2015). Her first erotic short story, "Have No Fears", was published in the Hot Ink Press anthology NAUGHTY BEDTIME STORIES: IN THREE WORDS on October 10th. She will also have a short erotic horror story, "The Devil's Dozen", in the upcoming Hot Ink Press anthology DEATH, LOVE, LUST which will be released in February of 2016.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Re-Animated: Introduction

There must be some irony in the fact that come rain or shine, hell or high water, all other manner of folksy either-or variable constructions, I never missed a scheduled post in 2015.  Then no sooner did January 1 sneak up on me than I completely dropped the ball.


Friday came and I took a road trip to Philadelphia, and I just plumb forgot.  I hadn't scheduled ahead, I hadn't mentioned I'd be taking a hiatus, and to be perfectly honest, I didn't even notice I had until Monday.

So I guess that's probably a sign from whatever Providence or natural law drives the universe that 2016 is going to be a bit of a loosier-goosier year than 2015 here on Ye Olde Blogge.  That being said, I do want to introduce my newest recurring segment: Re-Animated.

In 2015 I got to know some truly amazing people.  When I listen to someone like Brian Keene opine on his weekly podcast about horror, I am always amazed at his aptitude for horror.  He knows it inside-out, upside-down, backwards, forwards, and twice on Sundays.  His co-host Dave Thomas is similarly well-versed in metal music.  People like my friends Mary Fan and Elizabeth Corrigan sometimes blow my mind with their knowledge of current YA - they can go back and forth for hours and each knows every book the other brings up. 

At Chessiecon in particular I felt like a dumb n00b being on panels with people like Seanan Maguire, Don Sakers, and Tamora Pierce.  People who are so well versed in something, whatever it is, that you feel like you've met a true expert.

For a while I wallowed.  I wallowed about never seeming to be smart enough in any single subject I aspire to.  I don't know horror the way I should, I don't know sc-fi the way I should, even after the 2013 Hundie Challenge I don't know classics the way I should.  I know fuck-all about music.  I know fuck-all even about classic rock, the one area of music I thought I was marginally well-versed in. 

Then, suddenly, in conversation over Christmas I realized what I was a total geek-out, balls-to-the-wall expert on.  Cartoons.  I watch a solid two to three hours of cartoons every night.  In college, through the army, and the years after, it was closer to five.  I remember studiously watching every episode of every {adult swim} show and then watching them again when they replayed for late night.  Not to mention that half of the people I geeked out over having - let alone inviting on - during the Year of Interviewing Dangerously were involved with cartoons.

I'm an expert in cartoons the way Brian Keene is an expert in horror, Mary Fan is an expert in Young Adult, and Ian McClellan is an expert in scat play.  So I decided that in 2016 I'm going to try to systemize my thoughts on all the vast swathes of animation I've wasted my life ingesting.

Re-Animated is going to be a recurring segment this year.  I'm not certain I've watched 156 cartoons, so it probably won't be taking up every M-W-F post.  And besides, that would probably get boring as shit.  Not to mention that since I already fucked up posting on the first day of the year, 2016 is going to be a lot looser on the blog front.  I'll still aspire to post three times a week, but if I don't get around to it, I won't get around to it.  Besides, I have at least two deadlines to hit for Sinister Grin/Mirror Matter, the first of which is February 1.  So if I end up going incommunicado...well, you can still tweet me or find me on FB, so no big worries there.

I was considering going with "Re-Animated 2016" but it could very well crop up again in the years to come, so I'm not going to limit myself.  That being said, I do intend to more or less conclude the segment this year.  I just don't want to rule out future segments as new cartoon shows come down the pike.

All right, well, we'll see you sometime with this new recurring segment, starting, as it probably must, with "The Simpsons."

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Top 15 Manuscripts Burn Posts of 2015!

I may have to start whittling down these end-of-year lists as the century proceeds, but since it's still only a bit over 10, I'll stick with the 15 of '15 conceit.  For now.  And, as you're about to see, my Year of Interviewing Dangerously was a smashing success, as with very few exceptions my boldly requested interviews were the top posts of the year.  And so, without any further ado, here are the 15 most popular posts of 2015:

I'ma let you finish, but by a wide gulf our number one is not just the most popular post of the year, but by a margin of nearly 2:1, the most popular Manuscripts Burn post of all time (OF ALL TIME):

Big thanks to all of my guests, and especially to you, my dear friends and fans.  I hope your 2016 is a smashing success!
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