“It’s after the end of the world,” Sun Ra and his Arkestra once chanted. “Don’t you know that yet?” This week is full of threatened and remembered apocalypses, from the lush green eschatology of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and the Cold War boil-over of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to the Comic-Con nerdtastrophe that concludes Evan Dorkin’s Eltingville Club series.
THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
The film adaptation of the ‘60s TV show (about an American and a Russian sent on espionage missions together) has been in the works for upwards of 20 years, with everyone from Quentin Tarantino to Tom Cruise involved at one point or another. The finished version is directed and co-written by Guy Ritchie, and stars Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin. (August 14)
SHOW ME A HERO
The Wire creator David Simon’s new HBO miniseries stars Oscar Isaac and Winona Ryder; it’s adapted from Lisa Belkin’s 1999 book about a public housing development that polarized the citizens of Yonkers in the '80s. As an illustration of a moment when American politics turned sour, it’s a huge story to tell, but if anyone can turn it into narrative it’s Simon (and his co-writer William Zorzi). (August 16)
EVERYBODY’S GONE TO THE RAPTURE
The creators of 2012’s Dear Esther make their bid for the big(ger) time with this PS4 game, set in a small English town during the apocalypse. You know, the apocalypse that happened in 1984. Inspired by the brainy British sci-fi novels of the '70s and by the landscape painting tradition, it’s a non-linear story with a focus on exploration. (August 11)
PAVEMENT: THE SECRET HISTORY VOL. 1
The first in Pavement’s series of five double-vinyl-LP rarities collections covers the 1990-1992 era when they were the most thrilling, spontaneous rock band in America: a bunch of prickly pop-noise hybrids that didn’t end up on the Slanted & Enchanted album, a British live gig, and a pair of radio sessions with awesome songs they never recorded in a studio. (August 11)
THE ELTINGVILLE CLUB #2
Evan Dorkin has finally dropped the final episode of his long-running, bitterly hysterical comics series about the horrible underside of geek culture (the 2002 animated pilot for Welcome to Eltingville appears above). This one is set at San Diego Comic-Con, and so hypersaturated with detail that it’s entirely understandable how it took Dorkin over a year to draw it. (August 12)