Geeky Friday: Stephen King and Harlan Ellison Go Hard Case, Munsters Reboot Casting, Happy Bloomsday!

Although Stephen King is synonymous with horror, My gal Katharine over at Titan Books tells me that its wonderful Hard Case Crime imprint will be releasing Uncle Stevie’s newest mystery, Joyland, in June 2013. The paperback original unfurls the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Hard Case publisher Charles Ardai told me that the book’s ending will bring a tear to your eye. Joyland will feature original cover art by Robert McGinnis, who did the posters for the early James Bond flix, so cool beans.

More fab Hard Case news: also in 2013, the publisher is releasing a reprint of Harlan Ellison’s first novel, Web of the City. The new edition will feature the definitive text plus three thematically related short stories written for pulp crime mags in the 1950s. The new Hard Case edition marks the book’s first appearance in three decades. Man, Harlan is on a roll; two volumes of his old gangbanger stories are being reprinted by Kicks Books and now this. The Harlan Ellison renaissance is on!

Here Come Old Flat Top
It boggles the mind, but the old 1960s sitcom, The Munsters, which ran only from 1964 to 1966, so hardly a huge hit, still generates interest. NBC is rebooting the show as Mockingbird Lane. Jerry O’Connell has snagged the role of Herman, Portia Di Rosa is playing Lily, and Eddie Izzard has joined the cast as Grandpa. Series writer producer Bryan Fuller recently told Entertainment Weekly that he wants the show to be an American Harry Potter‚Ķto have that sense of a magical world that you get to go to with your family and find stories told in a fantastical way that are instantly relatable. The Munsters an American Harry Potter? WTF? Good luck with that, pal.

Here’s a little Photoshop of horrors action to see how Jerry might look as Herman, although the new incarnation apparently won’t have the characters mimicking the old Universal Studios monsters, which immediately kills a good portion of its potential audience.


Even though all the actors cast are fine, The Munsters was revamped for TV before and bombed big time, so let’s see how long this lasts.

[Actor Al Lewis, who played Grandpa, owned a restaurant in the Village for years, and I used to see him in front of the place welcoming guests. I was passing by one day while smoking a cigar ‚ Al seemingly was born with a stogie screwed into his kisser‚ and he said how are you enjoying that cigar, young man to which I made some wisecrack causing him to let loose with one of his signature Grandpa laughs. It was kinda surreal. Boring story over.]

Good golly Miss Molly
An early happy Bloomsday (June 16) to you all. For the weirdoes who don’t know what Bloomsday is, it’s the date in 1904 upon which the action of James Joyce’s Ulysses occurs. If you’ve been scared away from reading the Big U because it’s supposed to be this big literary masterpiece blah, blah, blah, come in real close and I’ll let whisper the secret to the book that will wipe the fear away and let you enjoy it for the fun ride that it is: it’s one long dick joke.v Combine that with the farting and masturbation and it could be a Kevin Smith flik! I kid thee not. Hey, if Marilyn can read it, how hard can it be (see what I mean)!

I just wrapped up AudioGO’s forthcoming full-cast narration of Ulysses on audio (ISBN 9780792789109), which rocked. If you’ve been meaning to reread it but can’t seem to find the time, snag this audio. It’s not the full book, but has enough to give you the main story and the characters for a perfect refresher. Naxos Audio also has Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy (ISBN 9781843796244) in full performed by Irish actress Marcella Riordan, which also is a pleasure to the ears.

When I’m 64…Make that 70!
Lastly, birthday greetings to Paul McCartney who, unbelievably, turns 70 on Monday (6/18). Here are Pauly and the boys from back in the day looking like a bunch of Twinkies in their collarless Pierre Cardin suits. Parents thought they were devil spawn because of their hair.

Half a century later, Madonna ridiculously is flashing her aging boobs on stage and getting kudos for it. Oh, what a world, what a world, as the Wicked Witch said.

Happy Father’s Day to my fellow dads. Enjoy the weekend. Get your geek on!

Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.