Monday, September 27, 2004

Hurricane Jeanne and Rain Storm

Hurricane Jeanne came and went without causing as much damage to our area as initially predicted. Still, I spent most of the last three days helping to run a hurricane relief shelter.

One of the best parts of that whole experience was that in my downtime I had an opportunity to finish Barry Eisler's third novel, Rain Storm.

All of Eisler's novels feature John Rain, a Japanese-American "struggling with his own divided nature: Japanese / American; soldier / assassin; samurai / ronin." Rain, as written by Eisler is "a remarkable creation, a multifaceted killer with the soul of a poet."

Eisler's first book, Rain Fall, put him on my favorite author's list. His second, Hard Rain, proved that the first book wasn't a fluke. Rain Storm cements Eisler's place as one of the best series writers working. Don't take my word for it, check out what EVERYONE is saying.

Yeah, Eisler's that good. [So is John Rain, for that matter!]

Friday, September 24, 2004


One last entry before the Hurricane...

When I was a kid one of my favorite things about going to the movies was the Coming Attractions. For some reason I just loved [and still love] getting a preview of something really neat... and then the feeling of anticipation of just how cool it's going to be.

Tonight as I was putting together my comic order, I came across this really cool-looking comic, Gravedigger.

The first thing that caught my eye was the cover by Rick Burchett. Rick's a very talented and under-rated artist whose work has appeared in Batman Adventures, Blackhawk, and many, many other comics.

Surprisingly, when you mention Rick's name the first thing that comes to my mind is the character Inigma that he created over twenty years ago for a fanzine. I've always liked Rick's art and I absolutely love what he's doing with Gravedigger. The Lee Marvin-looking lead character and 60's style design to the promo piece had me hooked.

Then I saw that the comic was created and written by Christopher Mills. I knew the name but couldn't immediately place what Chris had written. A little web search and I quickly remembered that Chris had served as editor of Mickey Spillane's Mike Danger for Techno Comics. Chris was also the creator and editor of the excellent crime fiction magazine, Noir. I was a fan of both of these series so I decided to dig a little deeper.

Then I found Chris' webpage.

Surprisingly we have a lot in common. Chris also lives in Florida. He, too, is getting ready for a visit from another hurricane [I have to go in to open the shelter in seven hours -- oh, what fun!], and he has a passion for old movies, crime fiction and comics.

I ended up spending a lot of time checking out his site. Not only are there cool previews of Gravedigger, and other comics that Chris has created, but he also has an interesting blog. [Any one who not only knows about Larry Cohen and Armand Assante's version of Mickey Spillane's "I, the Jury" but wants it on dvd earns a spot on my Blogs to Read list!

As you can probably tell, I'm jazzed about Gravedigger. Check it out and if you feel the same way, then be sure and let your local comic shop know that you'll want a copy. You might even want to drop Chris a line and let him know that you're on board. If enough of us write, I'll bet that Hurricane Jeanne won't seem so bad!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

New Sin City Collectibles

You all know how much I love Frank Miller's Sin City.

I have all of the Sin City Graphic Novels and comics. My bookcase proudly displays my Marv bust by Randy Bowen... my "Death Row Marv" and my Sin City Marv "Black and White." But you just know I want more Sin City...

Well, more Sin City stuff is coming. Everyone knows about the movie, but you are going to be one of the first to hear about the new limited edition Marv statue. It'll stand 12" tall, over 13" wide, 7" deep and retail for $199.

Dynamic Forces is also going to put out a limited edition lithograph of Marv drawn by Sin City creator Frank Miller. It'll retail for $19.99.

Hopefully these will just be the first of many new Sin City collectibles.

Well, what'd ya expect me to say... you know how much I love Sin City!

Another Hurricane

Believe it or not, Daytona Beach is in the direct path of the third hurricane in just over a month! [It would have been four but the last one turned.]

I'll be assisting in getting a shelter open on Saturday morning and hoping that Jeanne takes a sharp turn to the right!

If the SZ is late with an update this weekend, you'll know why.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Cavalcade of Comics Benefit

On Saturday, October 9th, the 2nd annual Cavalcade of Comics' benefit to support the Tourette Syndrome Association will be held in Jacksonville, Florida.

I had a blast last year and am looking forward to more fun this time around.

Dick Giordano (DC Comics), Bob Layton (Marvel, Acclaim & Future Comics), Don Perlin (Marvel & Acclaim Comics), Alex Saviuk (Marvel), Howard Perlin (artist, caricatures & storyboards), Tom Armstrong (creator & artist, MARVIN), Don Edwing (MAD Magazine) , Ed Hall (political cartoonist), Robert Smith, Jr. (political cartoonist and caricatures) and Jason Sobol (comics artist & writer) are just a few of the artists who will be on hand sketching for fans.

There will be an auction of original rare comic and cartoon art, live music, entertainment, raffles, door prizes, and many other exciting events. Heck, Big John Beatty may even be there sketching and kickin things up a notch! Click HERE for full details.

And if you can make it, be sure and look me up. I'll be the guy in the StalloneZone shirt looking to score more art for my Stallone Gallery!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

I saw Sky Captain today.

If you're a fan of Fleischer Superman cartoons, old sci-fi, cliffhangers, or "B Movies," then give it a go.

I liked it a lot, but I have an affinity for the genre. I wonder how it will rate with "normal" folks.

"Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" rates a B.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

White Noise

Some people believe that the dead can speak to us and their voices and images are sometimes captured in pictures and recordings.

There's even an organization dedicated to the study of the phenomena. And whether you believe it's possible or not, I'll bet that you spend a bit more time than expected if you visit their site.

I always try to keep an open mind to things and love the idea that it may be true. But true or not, the concept does make a great springboard for a movie.

Check out this trailer. I'll bet you agree.

Blade Trinity

I didn't care for Blade but loved Blade 2. The question now is... what about
Blade Trinity. The new trailer is on-line looks pretty good. What'd you think?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Return of Sable

Sable, one of my all-time favorite comics is coming back in March of 2005!

That's right, Mike Grell's Sable will be back in a story written and drawn by Grell himself.

And to make it even better some of the original stories will be released in trade paperbacks.

Take a look at Mike's website and read about the new series here and here. The if you like what you've seen, let your local comic shop now that you're interested.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Transporter 2 Filming

One of my favorite movie surprises of the last few years was Jason Statham and the movie "The Transporter."

If you feel the same, you're probably happy that "The Transporter 2" is currently filming in Miami.

And to make you even happier, posted behind the scenes shots that you can see HERE.

Monday, September 13, 2004

The "Sin City" Trailer is On-Line!!

The "Sin City" trailer is on-line thanks to

It looks great.

I mean really, really great.

What are you waiting for? Click HERE and see for yourself!

To Be the Man... Unforgiven

WWE's pay-per-vue, Unforgiven, was held last night. My sons, nephew and I were able to watch it from the comfort of the local wing house, and we had a blast.

It's suprising that although everyone knows that wrestling matches are pre-determined the sport is as popular as ever.

Rick Flair, the guy in the pic to the left, is currently my favorite wrestler. Flair's 56 years old and still puts on a great show. The highlight for me is when he does his patented "front fall." If you've ever seen Flair wrestle, then you know what I'm talking about. The Flair "front fall" alone is worth the price of admission.

If you're a wrestling or Rick Flair fan, then you might want to check out his autobiography, To Be the Man. It, too, is worth the price of admission.

Randy Orton is the young guy next to Flair in the picture. The kid is a third generation wrestler [I used to watch his dad wrestle when I was a kid]. Although he lost his title tonight, he has a bright future.

I could give you a rundown of the matches, but if you're that interested, you'll probably watch RAW tonight and I don't want to spoil it for you. And wrestling isn't really about who wins or loses anymore... instead it's about how good the performance was.

And as I said, we had a blast.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

More "Sin City" Pics

A couple of days ago I posted some pics from "Sin City" and links to more.

At that time I told you that I couldn't wait to see "Sin City."

I'm happy to say that more screen caps from "Sin City" have surfaced over at You can see the others by clicking HERE.

JoBlo also reports an April 1, 2005 release date for Sin City. I hope their not foolin'.

It's Not Your Parents' "Little Red Riding Hood"

I like Kiefer Sutherland, Reese Witherspoon, Dan Hedaya, and Michael T. Weiss. So when I saw that they all starred in a movie called "Freeway" [along with Brooke Shields, Amanda Plummer and Brittany Murphy], I decided to give it a look.

And although I'm glad that I watched it, it's not a movie I can easily recommend. It was well done. I have no complaints with the acting, directing, or editing. In fact I would commend most of the actors for taking on roles which allowed them to stretch.

It's such a dark, dark comedy and at the same time a modern day take on "Little Red Riding Hood." Siskel and Ebert gave it two thumbs up, so maybe my recommendation isn't needed.

Let me just say, that if this is the sort of thing that you like, then you'll like it. And if you don't like it, hey, blame Siskel and Ebert!

"Freeway" rates a C

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Remembering 9-11

Today is the third anniversary of the terrorist attacks which took down the twin towers, destroyed part of the Pentagon and took the lives of thousands of citizens from around the world.

It was the most shocking day of my life.

The History Channel is running a very interesting documentary called "The Twin Towers: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon." It's extremely well done and worth a look.

The picture above is of family members of victims who have returned to the site to pay their respects. And because the day had such an impact me, I felt it appropriate to pay my respects as well.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who lost someone on that terrible day.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Sin City Photos

I can't wait to see Frank Miller's Sin City on the big screen.

It's still hard for me to believe that it's being made. Especially when you add Robert Rodriguez [one of my favorite directors] to the mix.

When the topic of comic adaptations to movies would come up, my first choice was always Sin City.

But the fly in the ointment was that Sin City creator, Frank Miller, had said that Sin City would never be made into a movie. Frank didn't want to turn over his creation to a studio that would Hollywoodize it and turn it into something else.

But that was before Robert Rodriguez showed Frank exactly how he would adapt Sin City to make it faithful to the comics. Robert even brought Frank on board to serve as co-director!

When it was announced that Rodriguez and Miller were teaming to create Sin City, I thought, "How can it get any better?"

Then the cast began to form... Mickey Rourke... Bruce Willis... Jessica Alba... Rosario Dawson... Benicio Del Toro... Michael Clarke Duncan... Josh Hartnett... Michael Madsen... Clive Owen... Nick Stahl... Elijah Wood.

Ain't It Cool News just posted some screencaps from Sin City. You can see them by clicking HERE. Cool aren't they?

Now if we could just get a release date for the movie!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Happy Days Are Here Again!

ABC has announced that The Happy Day 30th Anniversary Reunion, will air later this season.

All major cast members [Ron Howard (Richie), Henry Winkler ("Fonzie"), Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham), Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham), Erin Moran (Joanie), Scott Baio (Chachi) Anson Williams (Potsie), Don Most (Ralph Malph)] and even the two cast members who played Riche's older brother in the first season [but then quietly disappeared in the second season] are set to appear.

Happy Days was on my MUST-SEE TV list for a few seasons. It was funny, Fonzie was cool, and the series was fun. A lot of people say the show went down-hill when Fonzie [literally] jumped the shark, but I think it was when Chachi came on board.

Still, I'll probably tune in to the special if only to see if a short, skinny guy who says, "Ayyyy!" was as cool as I remember.

I'm Back!

Two hurricanes hit us in three weeks. The odds against this are astronomical.

But it happened.

We had plenty of warning. We knew that Frances was coming.

The crazy thing is, hurricanes quite often change their paths. And Frances was so big if you planned to leave, where could you go to be safe?

I worked at a shelter on Thursday and Friday and then came home to ride out the worst with the wife and kids. It had been raining a little bit each day since Hurricane Charley hit three weeks ago, and on Saturday, it really started coming down... and down... and down.

We lost power on Saturday morning. Then the winds picked up. From about 10 AM until well after midnight the rain fell and strong winds blew. On Sunday the winds finally began to die down but the rain just kept coming.

Monday came and so did more rain. The entire county went under a curfew. Most people were without electricity and parts of the city [and many homes] were flooded. Hurricane force winds had destroyed homes and businesses. And many streets were under so much water that they were impassible. You can imagine what that much water did to homes. Luckily no fatalities have been reported.

We finally got our electricity back on today. Our house had very minor damage and just a bit of water came in. We had to cut down some trees, but other than that we were spared. I have friends who weren't so lucky, but each of them has said it could have been so much worse.

And they're right.

It's amazing how spoiled we've become and how lucky we are. After four or five days of being trapped in a house without electricity... no AC, no phones, no internet, no hot meals or hot showers, you begin to suddenly appreciate the small things.

Believe it or not, there's another hurricane out there brewing. The odds of it hitting the same part of Florida again so soon after the last hurricane are astronomical...

... but unfortunately not impossible.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Frances is Coming!

I've lived in Florida for 30 years. And in those 30 years we've had our fair share of hurricane scares. We've even been grazed by a hurricane or two in my area. Now it looks like we're going to get hit with the second one in less than three weeks.

The good news is that hurricane Frances' path has shifted a bit. Last night it looked like Daytona Beach was going to be dead center of Frances' trip through the Sunshine State. Now we'll probably just get a glancing blow. And this blow will be stronger than Charley who came through a couple of weeks ago.

With Charley we lost power for three days. And we were lucky. Some people lost their lives, others lost their homes and personal possessions. Beatty's house had two huge tree limbs come through the roof ... and he considers himself lucky since no one was hurt.

You're probably wondering why we don't just leave when there's a hurricane coming. The fact is that many people do. The highways have been backed up all day. The traffic crawls and tempers rise. When we attempted to leave five years ago, we got caught up in the traffic crawl and saw more accidents and people arguing and bad behavior... the roads ended up being more dangerous than the weather.

The other fact is that most hurricanes are so big and change their paths often enough that you really don't know where they're going to end up. For Charley some people headed to the Daytona Beach area and wound up right in the path after Charley shifted. Frances is as big as the state of Texas...

The bad weather is supposed to start tomorrow with the worst of it hitting us on Saturday [and going into Sunday]. We're probably going to lose power for a while [and nothing else I hope]. At any rate, I'll post an update as soon as I can after that.

And if Frances shifts even father away from Daytona that loud noise you hear will be my sigh of relief. ; )