portland runner
bryan westby
novelist, event director, humorist
   
On LITERARY GODS and MAGICIANS

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a novel by Bryan Westby

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I'm only one Kevin Bacon removed from Shanna Germain, author exraordinnaire and co-creator of the award-winning Numenera RPG, among many other cool things, and in her latest revue.com newsletter she mentions the show Whites (among other things), the short-running BBC comedy that introduced me to actor Darren Boyd, which introduced me to the (also smart and funny) show Spy [hey! I'm currently writing a spy novel. How about that?] which introduced me to Mathew Baynton, which led me to The Wrong Mans, which led me to his co-star James Corden...

 James Corden, 
before his current job on American TV as Craig Ferguson's replacement as the host of CBS' Late Late Show, had the co-lead role as the Baker in Into the Woods, the film based on the play I saw 20-some years ago at the University of Oregon. I remember the live play as slightly better, except perhaps for the bit with the dueling princes, and I swear it was "Wood" and not "Woods," which has a more obvious sexual connotation as opposed to the Disney version. That humor written into the play, especially with the trysts between Jack (of the Beanstalk) and the female giant, and Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, was obviously scrapped when actual children were cast to play these parts.

My point? Although the world is quite vast, this section of it sometimes feels quite small, as if everything is interconnected. Take, for example, Jason Rizos of Portland, author of Supercenter and Prom Night on the River of Death. There is some connection between him and David Wong (not his real name), author of John Dies at the End. 

Don Coscarelli, director of Phantasm and Bubba Ho-tep, had apparently ordered a book online, and received the automated prompt "You May Also Like...John Dies at the End." Already sold by the title itself, he loved the book, contacted Mr. Wong, and made it into a movie starring Paul Giamatti. Thus, Don Coscarelli claims it was the first motion picture determined by a robot. 

And what was the connection? Joe R. Lansdale, the author of Bubba Ho-Tep, which was made into a movie by Coscarelli starring Bruce Campbell, is a martial arts expert and instructor in Texas, while Jason Rizos is Brewmaster at Funhouse Brews in Portland. So I forget the actual connection, but it probably has something to do with kung fu, poetry reading, and beer. 

There was a connection, though. I'm sure of it. Univeristy of Hell Press' Greg Gerding? Author Fonda Lee? Maybe it was Taika Waititi. 

My current project, the aforementioned spy novel, has much to do with martial art and Portland, along with a few other things, and I'll post a short in-progress clip soon.