Category Archives: Magazine

Al Jaffee, The Longest Working Cartoonist Ever, Retires at 99

Mad artist Al Jaffee, who was known for his “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” and Mad fold-in, retired this week at the age of 99. He is the longest working cartoonist in history.

Jaffee began working in comics at Timely and Atlas in the early 1940s, then moved on to Mad in 1955. Nearly 10 years later in ’64, he perfected the fold-in, a process of creating an image with a question or statement that revealed a “hidden” image and statement when the page was folded. Jaffee is known for his versatile ability to create art for everything from superheroes to funny animals.

His retirement was commemorated by Mad with a tribute issue and his final fold-in. The tribute issue will be Mad #14, featuring Jaffee’s work and original tribute content, including art by Mad vet Sergio Aragonées. The special issue is in stores on June 10, 2020.

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Here Is A First Look At Stephen King’s The Stand 

The Man in Black makes his return to the screen, only the world looks a lot different than we remember.

The first photos from CBS All Access miniseries The Stand, a fresh adaptation of Stephen King’s pandemic-apocalypse novel, have arrived with looks at Big Little Lies’ Alexander Skarsgard as demonic hell-raiser Randall Flagg and Whoopi Goldberg as benevolent Mother Abagail, courtesy of Vanity Fair.

Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abagail

Jovan Adepo as Larry Underwood & Heather Graham as Rita Blakemoor

Owen Teague as Harold Lauder

Owen Teague as Harold Lauder & Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith

Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flagg

Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flagg & Nat Wolff as Lloyd Henreid

Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith

The story of The Stand sees what happens when a virus, a man-made biological weapon that goes out of control, wipes out about 99 percent of the human population. Those that remain are left with the choice to follow their more baser, primordial instincts, or work together to build something good. That’s where Randall and Mother Abagail find themselves in opposite camps.

“[Flagg is] so charming and he’s so handsome, and so powerful — I mean genuinely powerful, able to perform these sort of miracles where he could levitate himself and he has these actual powers,” Taylor Elmore, who showruns the series with Benjamin Cavell, told Vanity Fair. “And yet he needs this adulation and this kind of worship from these people whom he’s summoned to him. He needs to have them make a show all the time of how grateful they are to him.”

Cavell makes the obvious connection to our current reality: “And there’s something fundamentally weak about that. Does it remind you of someone you know?”

Mother Abagail, a 108-year-old prophet faced with doubts, is “very, very righteous and very good. But really flawed I feel,” Goldberg said. “I’ve been fighting with not making her the Magic Negro, because she’s complicated.”

The photos also reveal Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith, an expectant mother immune to the disease; Owen Teague as Frannie’s neighbor Harold Lauder; Jovan Adepo as musician Larry Underwood; Heather Graham as former New York socialite Rita Blakemoor; and Nat Wolff as inmate Lloyd Henreid, who’s visited by Flagg in his hour of need.

But then there’s also Henry Zaga as Nick Andros, Amber Heard as Nadine Cross, Greg Kinnear as Glen Bateman, and James Marsden as Stu Redman to look forward to.

“It’s about the fundamental questions of what society owes the individual and what we owe to each other,” Cavell said. “Over the last however-many years, we have sort of taken for granted the structure of democracy. Now, so much of that is being ripped down to the studs. It’s interesting to see a story about people who are rebuilding it from the ground up.”

A premiere date for The Stand has not been announced, though it’s expected to debut on CBS All Access later this year.

Read the full story on Vanity Fair.

Reprinted from Entertainment Weekly

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Even Stephen King Can’t Escape A Quarantine That Feels Like Living In A Stephen King Book

Like everyone, Stephen King is trapped. The author is in Florida, with his wife, Tabby, and his corgi, Molly, trying to stay sane while sheltering in place. Meanwhile, his life’s work seems to be coming to life around him.

People keep comparing the eeriness of the COVID-19 pandemic to the far deadlier one that swept the world in his novel The Stand. They draw parallels between Donald Trump and Greg Stillson, the egomaniacal, world-threatening politician from The Dead Zone. Even the recent rush on grocery stores has vague echoes of The Mist, where shoppers turned against each other while surrounded by unseen threats.

King doesn’t feel good about seeing the worst things he can imagine coming true. He’d rather remain in the realm of the impossible. “It’s like, okay, the worst thing that could happen, in terms of my career, is that somehow, in our society, we’ve cross-pollinated our Greg Stillson with The Stand,” the author told Vanity Fair.

Even he can’t help drawing comparisons. “I’m working on a book, so in the mornings I forget everything and I just do that. I wanted time to work on a book, I got plenty of time,” he said. “I feel like Jack Torrance, for God’s sakes.”

Unlike the father in The Shining, King hasn’t gone mad yet, but he knows that boredom can push anyone to the edge. That’s one reason he and Scribner decided to release his new book, the novella collection If It Bleeds, this month, a few weeks ahead of its planned May debut. But fair warning—King devises an entire new way of destroying the world in one of the stories. (Maybe we can look forward to that too.)

Read more HERE from Vanity Fair.

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HBO Max Acquires Seth Rogen’s Comedy Film, An American Pickle

HBO Max has acquired worldwide rights to Seth Rogen’s upcoming comedy feature An American Pickle. The project comes from Sony Pictures and is set to be released this summer on the digital streaming service under its Warner Max label.

An American Pickle is an adaptation of the 2013 New Yorker novella Sell Out by Simon Rich, who adapted his own script. Brandon Trost, the cinematographer of Rogen films This Is the End, Neighbors, and The Interview, will direct. You can read the 4 part story from the New Yorker HERE.

Rogen will star in dual leading roles in the film. Rogen will play Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling laborer who immigrates to America in 1920 with dreams of building a better life for his beloved family. One day, while working at his factory job, he falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The brine preserves him perfectly and when he emerges in present-day Brooklyn, he finds that he hasn’t aged a day. But when he seeks out his family, he is troubled to learn that his only surviving relative is his great-grandson, Ben Greenbaum (also played by Rogen), a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be partnering with HBO Max to release this film. We worked very hard and put as much of ourselves in this story as possible,” said Rogen. “We’re very proud of the end result and we can’t wait for people to get to see it.”

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The 100 Greatest Designs of Modern Times

What does it take to become a design icon? There‘s more to it than good looks. These 100 products have made our lives simpler, better, and yes, more stylish.

Check out the list from Fortune Magazine HERE.

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What Are The 50 Best Science Fiction TV Shows of All Time?

It’s odd to think that, once upon a time, a TV show set in space — one that declared, in its opening narration, as the cosmos being the “final frontier” — was considered the pop-cultural equivalent of an unwanted party-crasher. Yes, a concept like Star Trek was both of its time and clearly ahead of it; history has more than vindicated Gene Rodenberry’s notion of boldly going where no man had gone before. But given the number of top-notch shows set in the far reaches of the galaxy and that used genre for pulpy and profound purposes over the last 30 or so years, it seems crazy to think that one of the most groundbreaking SF series was a network pariah and a ratings dud. Today, there’s an entire cable network devoted to this kind of programming. You can’t turn on your TV/Roku/cut-cord viewing device without bumping into spaceships, alien invasion and wonky sci-fi food-for-thought.

Science fiction has been around in one form or another since the early-ish days of television, both here and abroad, and its legacy now looms larger than ever. 

So what better time to count down the 50 best sci-fi TV shows of all time? From anime classics to outer-space soap operas, spooky British anthology shows to worst-case-scenario postapocalyptic dramas, primetime pop hits to obscure but beloved cult classics, HERE are Rolling Stone’s choices for the best the television genre has to offer — submitted, for your approval.

My personal favorites include: The Six-Million Dollar Man, Lost, Stranger Things, Watchmen, Westworld, The Mandalorian, The Twilight Zone, and Star Trek.

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Entertainment Weekly Black Widow Cover Story

Scarlett Johansson readies for battle the way a veteran doctor scrubs in for surgery or an astronaut gears up for her eighth space flight. Hair drawn back in a tidy braid, she barely glances down at Natasha Romanoff’s familiar black catsuit as she buckles every buckle and zips every zipper with rhythmic efficiency. Squeezed into a closet-size armory on a Manhattan Beach soundstage, Johansson’s assassin-turned-Avenger is surrounded by all the guns, knives, and glossy wigs a superspy could ever need. She moves like she’s been doing this for a decade — because she has.

But this is something new: There’s no Captain America or Hawkeye to assist her, no S.H.I.E.L.D. backup waiting out of sight. This is Black Widow’s long-awaited solo movie, set in the turmoil between the all-star superhero team’s breakup in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and their reunion in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. The mission she’s prepping for is personal, as the former Russian agent is going up against opponents from her past. When a fellow Widow, Rachel Weisz’s Melina, wonders how they’ll tackle one particularly formidable foe, Natasha replies, “Just get me close to him.” It’s not an arrogant quip or a self-congratulatory boast, just a matter-of-fact threat from a spy who is very, very good at her job.

Then, just as Johansson pulls on her last glove with a satisfying snap…darkness. The studio has lost power; in the dark, someone calls out for flashlights. After a quick investigation, the production crew discovers the blackout is not the work of a diabolical supervillain but a blown transformer nearby. Natasha’s mission will have to wait a little while longer — but that’s all right. Black Widow knows how to wait.

Read more HERE.

To read more on Black Widow, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly beginning on Tuesday, March 17.

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TIME Reveals 100 Women of The Year: The Leaders, Innovators, Activists, Entertainers, Athletes And Artists Who Defined A Century

Inspired by TIME’s annual Person of the Year, which started in 1927 as “Man of the Year” and became “Person of the Year” in 1999, and timed to International Women’s Day and the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the U.S., this historic TIME project recognizes the most influential women of each year from 1920-2019.

TIME executive editor and editorial director of 100 Women of the Year Kelly Conniff writes: “For me, seeing women on the cover of a magazine created by men for ‘busy men,’ as TIME’s founders wrote in their original prospectus, is always powerful. I joined TIME in 2012, when over the course of a year just a handful of women were featured on the cover. In 2019, TIME featured more solo women on its cover than men for the first time in our 97-year history. The world has changed and TIME has too, but there have always been women worthy of TIME’s cover.”

Go behind the scenes of this important issue HERE.

Conceived with award-winning filmmaker Alma Har’el, the 100 Women of the Year were selected by TIME editors, in collaboration with Har’el, and a committee of influential women across different fields, including Katie Couric, Soledad O’Brien, Lena Waithe, MJ Rodriguez, Elaine Welteroth, Amanda Nguyen, Zazie Beetz, and former editor in chief of TIME Nancy Gibbs.

“Each generation inherits a history, focused through the lens of those who came before it—but time tends to reveal a greater depth of field. We need to reclaim our narrative and salute the women who changed our world but were not given the place in history they deserved.  I’m honored and thankful to TIME for opening their Person of the Year process for the first time ever and making Women of the Year a reality,” said Har’el.  

For the first time in its history, TIME releases 100 TIME covers for a single project. Each of the 100 Women of the Year is recognized with a TIME cover that is visually emblematic of the period its subject represents. In all, TIME commissioned 49 original artists’ portraits, including work by Koyin Ojih Odutola, Mickalene Thomas, Shana Wilson, Bisa Butler, Yulia Brodskaya, Amaya Gurpide, Jennifer Dionisio, Mercedes deBellard, Lavett Ballard and more.

See all of the covers HERE.

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Here’s How To Make Kevin’s Famous Chili From The Office 

In celebration of National Chili Day and The Office’s upcoming 15th anniversary, Entertainment Weekly looks back at the time Dunder Mifflin’s bumbling accountant Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner) lugged in a huge pot of his famous chili to share with his co-workers — and spilled it all over the floor.

“At least once a year, I like to bring in some of my Kevin’s Famous Chili,” he says in the season 5 episode “Casual Friday” (watch a clip below). “The trick is to undercook the onions. Everybody is going to get to know each other in the pot. I’m serious about this stuff. I’m up the night before, pressing garlic and dicing whole tomatoes. I toast my own ancho chilies. It’s a recipe passed down from Malones for generations — it’s probably the thing I do best.”

When The Office shot this classic cold open, they just used Hormel chili from a can. EW took it one step further and faithfully recreated Kevin’s family dish. (Recipe developed by Adam Hickman.)

Kevin’s Famous Chili Recipe

4 dried ancho chiles (about 1 3/4 oz.)
2 Tbsp. canola oil
3 lbs. 85/15 lean ground beef
2 cups coarsely chopped yellow onion (from 1 [12-oz.] onion)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped jalapeño chile (from 1 [2-oz.] chile)
8 large garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 (12-oz.) bottles lager beer
3 (15-oz.) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 Tbsp. water
3 cups beef stock
2 1/2 cups finely chopped plum tomatoes (from 3 large tomatoes)
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sliced scallions (from 2 scallions)

1. Tear ancho chiles into large pieces, discarding seeds and stems. Place ancho chiles in a Dutch oven. Cook over medium high, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer ancho chiles to a food processor; process until very finely ground, about 1 minute. Remove, and set aside.

2. Add oil to Dutch oven, and heat over medium high. Add half of the ground beef; cook, stirring occasionally to break beef into small pieces, until well browned, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef from Dutch oven to a plate, and set aside. Repeat with remaining beef.

3. Pulse onion in a food processor until finely chopped, about 5 pulses. Remove from food processor, and set aside. Add onion to Dutch oven, and cook over medium high, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. (Onion will be undercooked.) Remove from heat.

4. Process jalapeño in a food processor until finely chopped, about 30 seconds. Finely grate garlic using a Microplane grater (or press with a garlic press). Add ground ancho chiles, finely chopped jalapeño, grated garlic and oregano to Dutch oven; cook over medium high, stirring occasionally, until jalapeño starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Add beer; cook 7 minutes, stirring and scraping occasionally to loosen any browned bits from bottom of Dutch oven.

5. Meanwhile, place beans and 1 tablespoon of the water in food processor, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. (If necessary, add remaining 1 tablespoon water, and process until smooth.)

6. Add pureed beans, stock, tomatoes, salt, and cooked beef to Dutch oven. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low to maintain simmer, and cook 2 hours so everything gets to know each other in the pot. Remove from heat; uncover and let stand 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or up to overnight.

7. Reheat, and bring chili to a simmer over medium high, stirring often. Serve with cheese, sour cream, and scallions.

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Phil LaMarr Improvises Voices

Cartoon fans will recognize Phil LaMarr as the man behind the voices of Samurai Jack, Hermes Conrad on Futurama, and hundreds of other characters. Vanity Fair asked Phil to improvise 12 new character voices entirely based on their illustrations. If there’s one thing the clip proves is just how impressive his range and imagination is.

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