Hasslein Blog


Hasslein Blog

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Longbox Legerdemain: Detective Comics #401

By Matthew Sunrich

In 1924, Collier's magazine published a dazzling piece of short fiction by Richard Connell, a story that would go on to become one of the most famous in the history of literature. Connell later enjoyed a successful career as a novelist and screenwriter, but he will always be best remembered for the story, which would influence and inspire numerous other stories, films, and television episodes. This story was "The Most Dangerous Game."

I first encountered it in ninth-grade English, but I was already familiar with the plot. As a child, I had spent untold hours watching reruns of 1960s sitcoms, and one of my favorites was Gilligan's Island. I can't remember the details, but there was an episode in which a big-game hunter somehow wound up on the island and decided to hunt Gilligan (this seems pretty messed up, and I honestly cannot recall how it all came about). In any event, it stuck with me, and I immediately thought of Gilligan's bizarre plight as we read the story in class.

"The Most Dangerous Game" is one of those stories with which almost everyone is familiar because it is frequently a part of school curricula, alongside "The Monkey's Paw" and "The Cask of Amontillado." All three have been borrowed from and parodied ad nauseum, but Connell's yarn is arguably the most poignant of these because while it is an unlikely tale, it is a plausible one.

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Hasslein Books at Farpoint, February 13-15 in Timonium, MD

We are pleased to announce that Hasslein Books will be included in the Dealer's Room and Book Fair at this year's Farpoint Convention, February 13-15 in Timonium, MD. Hasslein's own Paul Giachetti will be there to chat up guests, answer questions and sell books, including his recently released 2-book Red Dwarf Encyclopedia. 

The Dealer Room will be open to the public; hours are 3pm - 7pm Sunday, 10am - 7pm Saturday and 10am - 3pm Sunday. We'll also be in the Book Fair Friday night from 10pm - midnight. Hope to see you there!  

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Shhh! No Texting!!


That '80s Time Travel Movie: An Unauthorized! Musical Parody

A musical parody is hitting the stage that Hasslein Books fans should enjoy. Here's a press release we received about it, which sounds like a hell of a lot of fun!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hasslein Books Announces New Doctor Who Essay Anthology

The company's second unauthorized Doctor Who book, written by
Brian J. Robb and Paul Simpson, with an introduction by
Nicholas Briggs, is now available for order.

Hasslein Books is pleased to announce the release of WhoBeyond 50: Celebrating Five Decades of Doctor Who, written by Brian J. Robb and Paul Simpson. Who Beyond 50 is now available at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and CreateSpace.com, and will soon also be available to consumers at BarnesandNoble.com, and to resellers via Ingram, NACSCORP and CreateSpace Direct Resellers.

BBC's immensely popular Doctor Who series, featuring an extraterrestrial Time Lord exploring the universe aboard a time machine resembling a police call box, is a significant part of British pop culture and a cult favorite worldwide. The series has changed radically over the years, with thirteen actors portraying the Doctor to date, and with more than 50 companions joining him on his adventures. Few television series have remained in production for decades. Fewer have come back from cancellation to spawn multiple spinoffs. And even fewer have thrived following the loss of their lead actor. Amazingly, Doctor Who can proudly boast all three claims.

Brian J Robb and Paul Simpson have assembled 50 thematic, chronological essays covering a wide variety of Who icons over the past five decades. The long-time collaborators posted preliminary versions of some of these essays at Sci-Fi Bulletin, but have delved into far greater detail for this collected edition, examining not only the show itself, but the background of each actor to play the role of the Doctor and each showrunner who helped keep the series alive, as well as the novels, audios, monsters, companions, music, effects, fandom, and much more. But Who Beyond 50 is more than just another TV retrospective—it's a celebration of Who's surprises and successes, and an honest account of its faults and failures.

Brian J. Robb is a New York Times and Sunday Times best-selling author whose works include Timeless Adventures: How Doctor Who Conquered TV, A Brief History of Star Trek, A Brief History of Star Wars, Counterfeit Worlds: Philip K. Dick on Film and Screams and Nightmares: The Films of Wes Craven. Paul Simpson has written official guides for Farscape, Smallville, The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, as well as unofficial books about subjects as diverse as James Bond, Nicole Kidman, The O.C., the Oz mythos and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The two authors recently collaborated on Middle-earth Envisioned: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: On Screen, On Stage, and Beyond.

Who Beyond 50, a softcover volume spanning 330 pages, is now available for purchase. Beautifully designed, the book features an introduction by Nicholas Briggs, a British actor, writer, director and composer closely associated with Doctor Who and its various spinoffs, particularly as the voices of the Doctor's nemesis, the Daleks and the Cybermen. Click here for more information.

For review copies or author interviews, please contact info@hassleinbooks.com. We would also welcome being included in year-end gift guides, and are open to contest giveaways. To learn about Hasslein's other titles, visit the company's website (hassleinbooks.com), Twitter feed (twitter.com/hassleinbooks), Facebook page (facebook.com/hassleinbooks) or blog (hassleinbooks.blogspot.com), or e-mail info@hassleinbooks.com.

Hasslein Publishing (hassleinbooks.com), a New York-based publisher of reference guides by geeks, for geeks, is named after Doctor Otto Hasslein, a time-travel expert portrayed by actor Eric Braeden in the film Escape from the Planet of the Apes. In addition to Who Beyond 50, the company's lineup of genre-based reference books includes Timeline of the Planet of the Apes, Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes, The Back to the Future Lexicon, The Back to the Future Chronology, The Red Dwarf Encyclopedia and Lost in Time and Space: An Unofficial Guide to the Uncharted Journeys of Doctor Who, with future volumes to feature James Bond, G.I. Joe, Alien vs. Predator, Battlestar Galactica, Ghostbusters, Universal Monsters, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and more. Doctor Who and all related characters and stories are copyright © BBC, with no infringement intended.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Longbox Legerdemain: "Marvel Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy"

By Matthew Sunrich

“Far be it from me to shout down the Kahlil Gibran of the stars!”

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy film is one of the oddest success stories in cinematic history. Following a string of blockbusters featuring A-list characters such as Captain America and Iron Man, fairly well known even outside of comic-book fandom, Guardians was a peculiar choice. Even among comic fans, Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon were, prior to the film’s release, obscure. Both made their first appearances in Marvel Preview, one of Marvel’s black-and-white magazines of the Bronze Age, and neither made a huge splash. Mostly forgotten by the mid-1980s, Peter Quill and Rocket were resurrected in 2008, along with the even-more-obscure sentient plant Groot, as members of a new incarnation of the Guardians team. (It’s worth mentioning that the current version of Star-Lord has little in common with the original character and that Rocket Raccoon was essentially a joke based on the similarly-titled Beatles song.)

When I heard they were making Guardians into a film, I had serious doubts, but, thankfully, I was proven wrong. It’s one of the MCU’s strongest offerings, as well as arguably the best space fantasy to hit the silver screen since the The Empire Strikes Back.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Beyond the Marquee: The Back to the Future Almanac

On the latest episode of Beyond the Marquee the Web Series, host Jon Donahue sat down with author and archivist Rob Klein to discuss his new book with his wife Jennifer Smith, titled Back to the Future Almanac: Official Memorabilia Guide 1985-2015. Hasslein Books' A Matter of Time: The Unauthorized Back to the Future Lexicon, by Rich Handley, makes a surprise cameo at the 2:44 mark. Thanks to Beyond the Marquee, and to Rob and Jennifer for this great honor!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Radical Extremism on the Planet of the Apes

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Long-Forgotten Larami Star Trek Strip Surfaces

By Rich Handley

If you're like me (and I think it's safe to say that you wouldn't be reading this blog if you weren't), you revel in the hunt of finding new items for your collection that you could never find or didn't even know existed. For me, that usually involves comic books or strips based on Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica or Planet of the Apes, which are my main collecting passions (particularly Trek, as you can see here).

In recent years, I helped IDW's Library of American Comics imprint put out a pair of books collecting the long hard-to-find L.A. Times Star Trek newspaper strips of the early 1980s, and wrote introductory materials for each volume. I then wrote an essay about this project for a Sequart book covering the history of Star Trek comics, and there's more to come that hasn't yet been announced.

I'd foolishly let myself think I had every licensed Star Trek comic book or strip ever produced. So you can imagine my surprise last night when my friend Mark Martinez, the proprietor of the Star Trek Comics Checklist website, alerted me to an eBay auction that featured a number of vintage Star Trek collectibles... including a comic strip of which neither he nor I had any knowledge.

The hunt was on once more!

Some judicious research conducted by me, Mark and fellow collector Eric Cone turned up the identity of the strip in question: the Star Trek Space Viewer, an inexpensive rack toy produced by a company called Larami back in 1979. Larami's Trek line, which included a wide variety of items (some of which are pictured below), generally sold on store racks for 39 to 99 cents apiece.

As the PlaidStallions site explains, "these low-cost toys were produced mainly by companies that never did any sort of TV advertising and their items seemed to be more commonly found at drug and grocery stores. (A recent episode of Family Guy has Peter ranting against 'Those terrible pharmacy toys.') Licensing everything from obscure cartoon characters to major players such as Batman or the Planet of the Apes, rack toys are the forgotten collectible."

Amazingly, this comic strip remained off my radar until Mark discovered the eBay auction (being sold by sports memorabilia dealer kysophie). I've since been in touch with the seller, and he's a helpful, friendly person who sent me a scan of the complete story (at left). Therefore, I thought I'd spread the word about his eBay page and let Trek comics fans know that this comic strip existed (even if it is as pointless as the McDonald's Happy Meal Video Communicator strips).

If any of you have any additional information about a similar one based on Battlestar Galactica (which also surfaced during our research.... arrrrgh!), please let us know at info@hassleinbooks.com. Thanks!

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Holidays from Hasslein Books

Image courtesy Pat Carbajal


Monday, December 22, 2014

Matthew Sunrich Presents.... Thanos vs. Hulk #1

By Matthew Sunrich

This month saw the release of Thanos vs.Hulk #1, the first installment of the highly anticipated miniseries. It was originally slated to be a story arc in Savage Hulk, but Marvel decided that it deserved its own series (and rightly so, though I do wish they hadn't canceled Savage Hulk in the process).Written and illustrated by Thanos creator Jim Starlin, who had until recently been absent from Marvel for a number of years, it is a prequel to last summer's excellent The Infinity Revelation graphic novel and takes place during the Indestructible Hulk storyline when Bruce Banner was working for S.H.I.E.L.D.

But first a little background.

In 1982, Starlin, notable artist and writer of such standout Bronze-Age titles as Captain Marvel and Warlock, launched Dreadstar, the first title in Marvel's new Epic imprint, which spotlighted creator-owned properties (a really revolutionary concept at the time). Spinning out of Starlin's Metamorphosis Odyssey from the pages of Epic Illustrated, Dreadstar represented the next logical step for the sophisticated crossover fan who had enjoyed the first two installments of the Star Wars saga (Return of the Jedi, of course, was still a year away). 

Unlike George Lucas' films, however, Dreadstar features a story aimed at an older audience (even though, like Epic Illustrated itself, there's no label on the cover), pulling no punches and dealing with complex and sometimes disturbing issues. Vanth Dreadstar, the comic's protagonist, is decidedly not a hero in the mold of Luke Skywalker, though aspects of their "origins" are similar. They both wield swords of immense power, but Dreadstar has no compunction whatsoever about using his to kill when it suits his objectives.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hasslein Books to Exhibit at Wintercon 2014

Hasslein Books is proud to announce that we will be among the vendors at Wintercon 2014, which will take place in New York City on Dec. 6.

Come join us!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hasslein Books at PhilCon 2014

If you're going to PhilCon 2014 this weekend in New Jersey, be sure to stop by our panels and say hi! And also come visit Hasslein Books at our booth.

Sat 3:00 PM in Plaza II (Two)—New life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics
Star Trek comics have spanned almost the entire length of the franchise. Panelists, including the contributors of the latest comic, will look at the rich history of Star Trek in the four-color world.
Panelists: Jim Beard, Joseph Berenato, Rich Handley, Steve Wilson

Sat 4:00 PM in Plaza V (Five)—Is Star Trek Still Boldly Going?
Discuss with panelists the prospects of the future of Star Trek, as well as the changes it has gone through over time. What influences, if any, has it had on TV, science fiction, fandom, and/or the world beyond science fiction? Is it still the idea/world that Roddenberry envisioned?
Panelists: Joseph Berenato, Jim Beard, Allyn Gibson, Rich Handley, Raven Stormbringer

Sun 2:00 PM in Plaza V (Five)—The 60s Biggest Hits
Back in the 1960s, there was Star Trek, Batman '66, The Invaders, and Planet of the Apes, as well as many others. Panelists will talk about what shows they remember. Why were the '60s able to produce so many huge genre pieces? What other shows do you remember?
Panelists: Joseph Berenato, Jim Beard, Rich Handley, Mark Wolverton, Diane Weinstein, Richard Stout

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hasslein Books Releases Red Dwarf Encyclopedia


NEW YORK—After many months of anticipation, Hasslein Books today announced its latest science fiction publications: a two-volume Red Dwarf encyclopedia from author Paul C. Giachetti. Both books are being simultaneously released, just in time for the holidays.

Total Immersion: The Comprehensive Unauthorized Red Dwarf Encyclopedia, Volumes I and II, are available at Amazon.com, CreateSpace.com and BarnesandNoble.com, as well as via retail store special-orders and wholesale. The character-driven British sci-fi comedy, created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, has aired ten seasons to date since 1988, with an eleventh season rumored to be on the horizon. But the mythos is much more than just a television series.

The quintessential reference guides to the whos, whats, whens and wheres of the entire Red Dwarf universe, Total Immersion contains thousands of entries from episodes, novels, websites, games, comics and more, meticulously compiled and all-inclusive. Every person, place, thing, event and reference is alphabetically listed—from Androids to Zargon warships, from Alphabetti Spaghetti to zero-gee football—to produce this trivia buff's ultimate treasure trove of all things Dwarf.

This two-book set includes:

• More than 5,500 entries culled from every Red Dwarf story and source material
• A detailed index breaking the entries down into seventy-five categories for easy browsing
• A foreword by Jonathan Capps, a founding member of Ganymede and Titan, the premier Red Dwarf fan site
• More than sixty breathtaking interior sketches from artist Pat Carbajal, produced exclusively for this set
• A complete story guide to the television series, novels, comics and more
• An overview of the many universes and timelines featured in Red Dwarf

Written for both casual viewers and those who know the range of a C-180A Canary Rifle, Total Immersion is a fan's one-stop, two-book guide to the entire Red Dwarf franchise.

Visit the following URLs to purchase the books:

Volume 1:

Volume 2:
• BarnesandNoble.com

Download excerpts of Volume 1 and Volume 2.

For additional ordering options, click here. To learn more about Total Immersion, as well as Hasslein's existing and upcoming titles, go to the company's website (hassleinbooks.com), Facebook page (facebook.com/hassleinbooks), Twitter feed (twitter.com/hassleinbooks) or blog (hassleinbooks.blogspot.com), or e-mail info@hassleinbooks.com.

Hasslein Books is a New York-based publisher of reference guides by geeks, for geeks. The company is named after Doctor Otto Hasslein, a time-travel expert portrayed by actor Eric Braeden in the film Escape from the Planet of the Apes, and on the Hasslein Curve named in honor of his theories. In addition to the Red Dwarf Encyclopedia, the company's lineup of unauthorized genre-based reference books includes Timeline of the Planet of the Apes, Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes, The Back to the Future Lexicon, The Back to the Future Chronology and Lost in Time and Space: An Unofficial Guide to the Uncharted Journeys of Doctor Who, with future volumes slated to feature James Bond, G.I. Joe, Alien vs. Predator, Battlestar Galactica, Ghostbusters, Universal Monsters, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and more.

Red Dwarf and related characters and stories are © Grant Naylor Productions, with no copyright infringement intended.

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