Sam Hawken Posts

Die Hard (1988)

I had the pleasure of speaking briefly on Sunday with film historian and fellow Hachette author, Jeremy Arnold (link), at a screening of Die Hard (link) I attend every year. I’d overheard him talking to someone about how a film had Christmas trappings, but was not a Christmas movie.  As it turns out he wasn’t talking about Die Hard (link), but the Cary Grant film Holiday (link). Which is good, because people go straight on the naughty list with me if they think Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie!

We talked about Die Hard‘s Christmas themes, and I gained quite a bit of insight into the film, considering I’ve seen it approximately eleventy billion times. I wanted to talk to him about Lethal Weapon (link), which I’ve always considered a movie set at Christmas, not actually a Christmas movie, but we didn’t have time. I continued the conversation with my friend, who attends these screenings with me every year, and he made a solid case for Lethal Weapon (link) as a Christmas movie, sentiments echoed by Mr. Arnold’s introduction to Die Hard (link). I was convinced, but afterward Arnold had vanished, so I couldn’t follow up. At any rate, check out Arnold’s book, Christmas in the Movies (link) and, if you’re on Twitter, say hello for me. Tell him he needs a web site, too, while you’re at it

Yippie ki yay, motherf—ers!


Dakota North, by Marvel ComicsWay, way back in the day, I pitched Marvel Comics on a revival miniseries for their mostly forgotten ’80s character, Dakota North (link).  With the exception of a few scattered appearances in the 2000s, Dakota has been missing in action from the Marvel roster since 1987.  But I freaking loved the character when I was a teen and I love her now.  Everything about her spoke to my tastes, and there’s actually a little bit of Dakota in Camaro.  Heck, even their names echo each other, though I never intended it to be that way.  Funny how the mind works.

Given my affection for Dakota North, it was nice to run across an article by Evan Narcisse lending praise to the short-lived comic (link).  He highlighted some terrific moments from the book, too, including a great bit involving Dakota’s crotchety father who — man, this is kind of freaking me out — has some things in common with Jeremy Yates from Walk Away (link).  Again, this wasn’t something I consciously set out to do, but now I’m starting to wonder at what forces lurk beneath the surface of my imagination.

I highly recommend the article, and I likewise recommend tracking down copies of Dakota North (link) if you can.  They’re relatively cheap as ’80s comics go, mostly because no one cared about her then, and fewer care about her now, and you’re in for a fun time.  Sure, as Narcisse points out, the cultural content of Dakota’s stories is very much of its time, and I’ll be the first to admit the art doesn’t always hold up, but so what?


After a few months of semi-regular updates, it’s time to take a break.  I figure it’s better to have a hiatus than to burn out, and for the time being I have nothing new or interesting to post, so why push it?

It’s been fun sharing little bits of advice and talking about this or that.  I hope you’ve had fun, and I hope you’ll consider subscribing to the newsletter (link) or the RSS feed to keep abreast of what’s happening in my world.

Some folks may be disappointed to hear my antipathy toward social media has not waned.  You won’t see me on Twitter or Facebook or what have you.  I’m not going to say I’m never going use them again, but I’m never going to use them again.  There’s something irredeemable about social media, and I just can’t get past that.  Those of you who enjoy it, more power to you.  I feel a lot healthier staying away.

So that’s it!  I hope to see you again soon, and wish you all the best.