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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

From Russia, With Love

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: November 2009

As a child, I lived for Fridays. Every week when it would finally roll around, my brother and I would clean our rooms (our weekly chore), go to dinner with our parents at a local restaurant, and then stop at the video store on the way home.  In an effort to continue the never-ending battle to gain my brother’s acceptance, I usually went along with whatever movies he wanted to rent, which invariably ended up being James Bond. Because of this, I have since developed a rather unnerving catalogue of Bond-related information. My favorite Bond is a tie between Timothy Dalton, (The Living Daylights over License to Kill) and Sean Connery. Thunderball is my favorite Connery flick, although You Only Live Twice was great too. I suppose Mike Myers’ parody of the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld seeped into my mind a lot more than I’d like to admit, and now it’s all I see when I recall that particular Bond character. I don’t know a single person who enjoyed George Lazenby’s rendition of Bond. Even George Lazenby hates George Lazenby’s version of Bond. Timothy Dalton was originally supposed to come on board at that point, but he ended up turning down the role, believing himself to be too young. Lazenby landed the part when, in a screen test he decked a stunt coordinator and impressed the producers with his ability to pull aggression out of absolutely nowhere. Well done, sir. I have to say, I’m also a huge fan of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond, even though he was a bit cheesy in a glossy, nineties kind of way.  I’m still on the fence about Daniel Craig, albeit for most superficial reasons. I never could picture James Bond as a blonde. Besides that, it seems they are scratching the whole cheesy, quip-slinging Bond, and presenting an origin story of sorts for him. And while that concept is perfectly respectable, this Bond seems a good deal more cold and inaccessible, as if he’s mentally weighed down by acts he hasn’t even yet committed. In a normal progression of human emotion, it seems to me that a Bond who was just starting out in his career would be more likely to crack bad puns and have that infamous smirk, than one who was jaded from years of service. In any case, as Craig has signed on for many more Bond movies, I suppose time will tell if he can pull off this role.

In comic news, DC Comics has released a throwback to the Bond films in the form of From Fabletown With Love, a miniseries with the Cinderella as the focal point. From writer Chris Roberson (House of Mystery, Jack of Fables), and artist Shawn McManus (Sandman, Thessaly: Witch for Hire) this six issue series looks to be a pretty good bet. I especially enjoyed the cover artwork by Chrissie Zullo, who has done cover artwork for Fables in the past. 

Arielle Mullen