Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Seinfeld & Superman

I've talked up a lot of cool things on the ZONE over the years. Movies, tv shows, comics, novels, artists, writers, websites... but until today I've never recommended a comercial.

But this isn't just any commercial and it's unlike any commercial.

It's Jerry Seinfeld and Superman [yes, Superman!] for American Express. It's cute and funny and made specifically for the web.

I'm looking forward to more of these... and don't worry, if there as good as this one, I'll be sure to tell you about 'em.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Hellyboy Interviews, Anyone?

One of the many movies that ZONErs have been looking forward to opens this week. That's right, Hellboy comes blasting into theaters across the country this Friday.

Chud.com has a nice interview with Hellboy director, Guillermo Del Toro, who talks about changes he had to make to get Hellboy to the screen, why he sees Hellboy as an emotional teenager, and much more.

Ron Pearlman gets the interview treatment over at JoBlow.com. Pearlman talks about Guillermo, the hardships of playing Hellboy, what his next project will be and more.

If this movie is half as good as the comics, then we're in for a real treat!

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Everyone Loves Remender & Beatty

As many of you know, John Beatty's next comics project is inking Rick Remender's pencils for a two issue run on The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic.

I know, I know. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?! If you're like me you're probably aware of the Turtle phenonomen but are thinking why would I want to read a comic about a bunch of mutant ninja turtles.

Well, I could tell you because the book looks great. I could tell you that Rick and John really outdid themselves on this run. That you can tell that they were jazzin' off the way their work was coming together. That Rick and John really make a great team... and I hope that they work together again soon. That I'm ordering the two issues and I have NEVER bought a turtle book before. I could tell you all of these things and they would be true... but some of you may think, "Aw... Z's just saying all of these great things because John's his best friend."

So... here's what comic pros are saying...

"Rick Remender and John Beatty are the best thing to happen to the turtles since Simon Bisley. It's so refreshing to see a team come on to an old favorite and bring life to it in a way that makes it seem completely new. Dynamic angles, fantastic expressions, bold confident inks... the Turtles have rarely looked better. I've already seen the stuff and I'm dying to get my hands on a copy! -Robert Kirkman [Walking Dead, Invincible]

[On a side note, as regular ZONE readers know, The Walking Dead is my favorite regularly published comic these days. You should check IT out too!]

"Rick and John have worked hard to give the reader their moneys worth on this TMNT extravaganza. Packed with monsters, violence, mysticism and incredible detailed artwork, this book has everything but color. But who needs it with pages to be so drenched with blacks and nice grey tones? The Turtles are coming back. Sandpaper your fingers and grab on to the shell."
- Bill Wray [Ren and Stimpy, Hellboy Jr.]

Wow. Remender and Beatty's pleasingly bold and crunchy work on the series has turned my head - ...it more than delivers the punch." - Dan Brereton [creator of the Nocturnals]

"Not since the glory days of the original black and white series by Eastman and Laird have the Ninja Turtles looked so damn good! Remender, Beatty, and Cohn have managed to capture the same kinetic flair and energy that made this such a unique comic when it hit the stands all those years ago." - Jim Mahfood [Stupid Comics, Grrl Scouts, 40oz Collected]

" Another young penciling tyro enters the fray. If he weren't a pal, I'd have to have his fingers busted. Remender is a triple treat! Not content to just be a great inker...no, animator...no,
writer...no...wait! That's four things! Remender busts out with some great moody action penciling, polished to a fine edge by Mr. Beatty's crisp inking and toned nicely by Mr. Cohn. Good comics!"
- Mike Manley [Draw Magazine, Batman, Samurai Jack]

“A true rarity… a meticulously crafted comic that also oozes exuberance. These guys are clearly having fun with the turtles, and it shows on every page.”
- Ande Parks [Green Arrow, Superman]

So there you have it. Testimonials from pros. You've seen the preview art. You know I'm a fan of Rick Remender's work. Beatty is da man. Now it's up to you. If you like what you've seen and read, then be sure to tell your local comics retailer to order you a copy.

If you do order a copy , you'll be making a lot of people happy... Rick, John, your comic shop owner, the publishers of TMNT and most of all, hopefully you!

Saturday, March 27, 2004

A vs P: 1/2 the Battle

Alien vs Predator is one of those movies that sounds cool, but just as easily could turn out to be a dud.

Predator and Aliens are two of my all-time favorite sci-fi movies. I also really liked Alien, Alien Resurrection, and Predator 2, but couldn't stand Alien 3.

I happy to say that the new stills posted over at Dark Horizons indicate that Alien vs Predator will at least look really cool... and that's half the battle.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

New Dawn is a Winner

Dawn of the Dead has one of the best opening sequences that you could ask for. It stays true to the original, even giving a nod to one of it's most talked about scenes, and yet clearly shows us, this ain't your dad's zombie movie.

Remaking Dawn of the Dead was a risk. Romero is considered the Zombie God for his trilogy and all three movies have a core following. When Night of the Living Dead was remade, it wasn't greeted with open arms despite being a very good film. I'm happy to say that the remake is not only being critically praised [Entertainment Weekly's critic gave it an "A"], but kicking butt at the box office [coming in at #1]. And rightly so, since the new Dawn of the Dead is a very good film all the way around. Acting, screenplay and directing all hold up well.

Is it as good as the original Dawn of the Dead? Yeah. Maybe even better.

And make sure you sit through the credits...

"Dawn of the Dead" remake rates an A

Monday, March 15, 2004

New Cast Joins the Precinct

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Gabriel Byrne and Brian Dennehy have joined stars Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne for the remake of John Carpenter's "Assault on Precinct 13."

The script has been changed slightly. It's still set in a police precinct building that's about to be shut down. Only now it's New Year's Eve, and a mobster (Fishburne) has been temporarily incarcerated there. As a rogue gang tries to free him, a cop (Hawke) must take command of a few policemen and prisoners to defend the station. Byrne plays a cop who has his own agenda, while Dennehy is a cop on the verge of retirement.

I loved the original "Assault on Precinct 13" and hope that this one lives up to it's potential.


About a year ago I had the good fortune to attend a special screening of Equilibrium, written and directed by Kurt Wimmer. Mr. Wimmer was in the audience and took questions afterwards. One of the questions was about his next project.

Mr. Wimmer said it would be called "Ultrviolet," and it would star Milla Jovovich. The story involves a woman who finds herself the protector of a boy targeted for death against the backdrop of a civil war between humans and vampires. Mila is a vampire! Behind the scenes
pics are available here.

This is another project worth watching.

Cowboys & Aliens

Cowboys and Aliens.

Yeah, that does kind of work for me. At least it makes me want to take a closer look.
Cowboys and Aliens is a comic written by Fred Van Lente with art by Ian Richardson [published by Platnum Studios] and it's being turned into a movie for Columbia Pictures.

We'll have to keep an eye on this one!

Thursday, March 04, 2004

MegaCon Report

When I said I'd be gone for a few days, I had no idea it would be over a week before I got back to updating the ZONE.

MegaCon was a great show. Big Beatty was sharing a table with Casey Jones [who does some of the best con sketches around]. Bob McLeod was just around the corner. I hadn't seen Bob in probably 15 years... but boy, did the memories come flooding back. Bob, Beatty and I talked about all of the conventions we used to travel to, as well as the poker and pool we used to play. Bob sketched almost nonstop the entire show. The fans love Bob McLeod. And rightly so.

I ran into fellow fans and art collectors John "Johnny StarWars" Higashi [who wore his StalloneZone t-shirt] and James "The James" Howell. They were planing their strategies for the show. These are two of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. Before the weekend was over John Higashi was one of the seven people from the entire show to win an opportunity to purchase a sketch from Walt Simonson. [And what a sweet one it turned out to be.] I hope to get to spend more time with them in Atlanta.

Michael Lark sketched away all weekend. I picked up two pieces from Michael. It was funny because when I expained my Stallone theme to him, I said, "So you can draw any Stallone character you want." Michael said, "Great I know who I want to do." I said that I would check back with him in a bit and as I started to walk away asked, "Who are you going to draw?" "Mickey," Michael said with a smile. "Uh, you are going to draw Rocky and Mickey, right?" Michael laughed and said, "Oh, I see. When you said a Stallone character, you meant a character that Stallone played, not just any character from his movies." Whew! Had we not cleared that up, I would have come back to find a very nice drawing of Mickey! As it turned out Michael did a scene from Rocky with Mickey, Rocky, and his cut man... you know the scene... "Cut me, Mick!" Michael was selling a really nice sketchbook as well, so I picked up one for me and another for a friend.

James O'Barr was there. I had initially hoped to get a Stallone sketch from him. That didn't work out, but I did get James to autograph my copy of The Crow tradepaperback. Maybe I'll get the chance at another show.

Koi Phan was sketching away. I've been a fan of Koi's since I first saw his sketches popping up on the internet. I went over and introdced myself. Koi not only remembered my name but said, "You're the reason I came to MegaCon!" I had written him a couple of months ago asking if he was coming to MegaCon. I told him a bit about the show and that I hoped he could make it. He had no plans to, but decided to check it out on my suggestion. And that he remembered my name. How cool is that? I picked up a Stallone sketch for myself and a Batman for my oldest son's collection. Koi does great work. Check out his site and I'm sure you'll agree.

Walt Simonson came stopped by the table and I was able to get him to re-autograph my Alien and Manhunter trade paperbacks. He had first autographed them over 20 years ago! Walt is a really cool guy. He has an Elric series coming out later this year and the advance art looked awesome. A Stallone by Walt would be sweet...

Kelsey Shannon came by the table. Kelsey is flat out the man. Some kids were playing hack-sack near the table. I jokingly asked Kelsey if he wanted to join in and he replied, "I do know how to play." That's all I needed to hear and I had Kelsey in the game in no time at all. The funny thing is... Kelsey really knew how to play! Add THAT to his list of accomplishments... amazing artist, able to eat a block of cheese in an hour, and competitive hacki-sacker. Kelsey did a drop dead gorgeous Sly sketch for me. Big Beatty is going to ink it on blue-line so I'll be able to retain the original pencils.

I ran into Cully Hamner on the way to the restroom. We had some small talk and he said he would be up for another Stallone. It's going to be hard to top his first one, but I hope that he tries either at Atlanta or Heroes con later this year. Cully went to the restroom to get a stain off his shirt. As we were walking out of the restroom, I told him about "Shout" wipes. They'll get out almost any stain and I try to always keep some at work. Cully said he'd check into them. Cully said, "Hey thanks for the tip." He immediatley followed that up with, "I guess I shouldn't say that as we're leaving the restroom!"

The Gaijin crew were busy all weekend. It was cool to meet Alison and to see Adam again. Since I got my Adam Hughes sketch, I haven't tried for another, hoping that some lucky soul will be able to get his/her first... but I have to tell you, seeing the beautiful work that Adam does, I'm always tempted to get in line! Cully, and Kelsey and Brian and Karl were also very busy. I hope to get Brian to do a Stallone for me at Atlanta or Heroes this year. That would kick butt. Kelsey wore his StalloneZone shirt while he was sketching... talk about cool! Also, Gaijin had advance materials on The Ride on display. This book looks to be a winner. Tell your comic dealer to order you one or you may get left out.

Alex Saviuk stopped by the table for a few minutes and we talked about the life of a freelancer. He had me laughing because freelancers face the situation of not enough work or too much work due at the same time. Never a happy medium.

Phil Noto came by the table and when Big Beatty asked him how he was doing Phil said, "Great. I sold EVERYTHING." This was on Saturday... with another day still to go! Phil and I discussed a Stallone sketch and Phil said he could have it to me on Sunday. We talked about either something from Nighthawks, which Phil really likes, or an "old school" Rocky. Phil decided to go with Deke DaSilva from Nighthawks and it is a beaut. I still hope to get a Rocky and Adrian from him in the future.

Wild Bill Black was there. Bill and I did a few circuits of the convention during the 3 days we were there. Bill presented me with the latest issue of FemForce [124] which features a backup story by Nick Northy and Jeff Austin. And one of the "stars" of the stroy... Detective Zablo! I'll post more about that later this week. Mark and Stephanie Heike were there. Each time I passed them I'd trade them some cinnamon hard candy for some sour candy. Billy "The Playa from the Himalaya" Marimon was there. Rik Levins showed up. And it was great seeing both of them.

Tim Townsend made an appearance to drop off flyers for his Tim-O-Palooza. Tim hosts a party each year during the weekend of MegaCon. Tim had never met Bob McLeod and so I walked over with him. Bob had made some really nice comments about Tim's work the day before and so it was really cool to see two pros who appreciate each other's work get a chance to meet for the first time. Beatty and I had intended to make it to Tim's party -- we had the invite - - but after a trolly ride from hell at the end of a long day, we decided against the journey. Maybe next year...

Meanwhile back a John's table, he was sketching away. John had brought his markers and colors and was giving the fans more than their money's worth! He did the best con sketches I have ever seen him turn out and he was diggin it. I can't wait to see what he has in store for the fans in Atlanta and Charlotte this year!

The capper to the show was dinner with Big Beatty and Brad Vancata. Then it was back home to catch up on all the work that didn't get done that long weekend. I'm almost caught up. I should be completely caught up in time to leave for AtlantaCon next month! [Actually, by the end of the week I should have scans of all of my sketches posted!]

MegaCon Bound

I'm going to be gone for a few days. My best buddy and partner in nonsense, John Beatty and I are heading to Orlando for MegaCon.

MegaCon is a huge 3 day convention of comic artists and movie/tv celebrities. I'm usually not someone to line up for autographs but it will be cool to see the cast from the original Lost in Space. And I gotta admit that I wouldn't mind talking to Brian "Cobra" Thompson or Glen "Demoition Man" Shadix for a minute or two.

The real fun will be meeting up with artists and getting a few new Stallone commissions. I've met most of the guest artists before, but the one guy that I haven't met and hope to get a Sly drawing from is James "The Crow" O'Barr.

At any rate, if you're in driving distance of Orlando, come on by. Big Beatty will be set up at a table sketching and I'll be somewhere at the show. Just look for the big guy with the StalloneZone shirt!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Man on Fire's Latest Trailer

Man on Fire could turn out to be a really cool movie.

Man on Fire stars Denzel Washington and is directed by Tony Scott. Denzel plays a the bodyguard who is shot and left for dead when his client, a child, is kidnapped. Denzel recovers and goes after the kidnappers.. doing what he does best. Killing anyone who gets in his way.

If the movie lives up to the latest trailer, we're in for one fun ride.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Bring on a New Dawn

When I first heard about the remake of Dawn of the Dead and that George Romero was not directing it, I was very disappointed.

The I heard about that Ving Rhames was heading up the cast and the fact that it wouldn't be a scene for scene remake and my interest picked up.

Now that the official Dawn of the Dead website is up and running, I can't wait to see it.