From the Rookie Corner – But Did You Read the BOOK?

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 9.57.53 AMFirst, I should say that I LOVE movies – and I do like TV. But I also read. I read a LOT. Not just comics, but those books without pictures too. When I cannot read because apparently there are ‘rules’ about reading and driving, I am often listening to an audiobook. Unless I am feeling exceptionally pissy and need a bit of loud and angry music to chill to. My line of work, despite what one would assume, keeps me on the road quite a bit playing chauffeur because the short people apparently are too young to drive themselves. Whatever.

In my posting of various news stories, one caught my eye. The Strain is coming to FX in July! Guillermo del Torro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire novel trilogy coming to the small screen? With del Torro and Hogan writing the script for the pilot? And del Torro directing the pilot? And staying on to produce? HELLS yeah, i am IN! Del Torro has produced some of my fav films – Pan’s Labyrinth, The Orphanage, Biutiful, Mama and even some short people films like Megamind! Despite my love of horror books and comics, The Strain never actually came up on my radar until now. Which is strange. The thing about me is, unlike some people, I like to read a book BEFORE I see a film. Sometimes a film is NOTHING like the book…. but sometimes a film makes more sense when you have the background on characters or events that may not have made it into the script. Naturally, I immediately HAD to read The Strain trilogy. When I went to get the books, I found – to my delight – aside from the novels, there is also a Dark Horse comic series! Awesome. I started with the novels – The Strain,The Fall and The Night Eternal. . The synopsis for the first book The Strain :

At New York’s JFK Airport, an arriving Boeing 777 taxiing along a runway suddenly stops dead. All the shades have been drawn, all communication channels have mysteriously gone quiet. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of a CDC rapid-response team investigating biological threats, boards the darkened plane—–and what he finds makes his blood run cold.

A terrifying contagion has come to the unsuspecting city, an unstoppable plague that will spread like all-consuming wildfire—–lethal, merciless, hungry . . . vampiric. And in a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, an aged Holocaust survivor knows that the war he has been dreading his entire life is finally here.

In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country. In two months . . . the world.

I love anytime someone explores a classic storyline – vampires, zombies, etc – and gives it a different twist. Not that typical horror book cannot be good – I am just a fan of the ‘outside the box’ story lines. This story does not fail to deliver. Taking the vampire myth and giving it a little twist – the books kept my interest through all three volumes. There is a complex story. This is sort of a vampire meets the apocalypse story. For a television series, this is a great choice.

The show synopsis is:

A thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself. Written by FX

MV5BMTEzMTgyMjQ2NTdeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDExMDYyMDEx._V1_SX214_Having a great story, FX’s reputation (in my HEAD) as the home of decent television series with del Torro and Hogan involved as producers –  I am hopeful. The Strain  FX series is definitely on my ‘to watch’ list. I am just hoping this does not pull a Zombieland. (To ‘pull a Zombieland’  is to have a cool idea – get our hopes up – and completely drop the ball and let us down… DAMMIT….). Anyway, until the series comes to FX this summer, I am getting caught up on the comic.

_w_300The Dark Horse series is written by  David Lapham with art by Mike Huddleston. The The Strain story run is 11 issues. The Fall is currently up to #8 with #9 coming in March.The comic does stick to the story, so you could just read that and skip the novels if you really wanted to. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you want to be SURPRISED when the series starts. Either way – however you like your poison, I suggest you either read – or watch – the Strain. IF you think you can trust a rookie….

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