Monday, October 31, 2005

Jae Lee and The Rest of the Story

Jae Lee has been under a lot of pressure lately.

Lee was the artist selected to bring to life Stephen King's Dark Tower characters for the presentation to persuade King to create a new Dark Tower story for Marvel.

If King liked the art and agreed to write the story, Lee would be the artist for the series. If King didn't like the art, Lee would be out of a job and Marvel might lose the story.

To make matters more intense, Lee was a huge Stephen King fan!

So there was the pressure of not only wanting to get the job, but also the added pressure of wanting to please someone whose work Lee had admired for years.

Add in to that mix the hundreds of thousands of fans around the world who would also weigh in on Lee's interpretation and you've got a pretty intense situation.

So Jae Lee did what many artists would do in this situation... he froze....

Of course that's not how the story ends... click HERE to read Newsarama's interview with Jae Lee and you'll know the rest of the story!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Don't Miss Dusty

Yesterday when I sent in my comics order, I made sure that Dusty Starr #1 was on it.

If you've heard of Dusty Starr, then I'm sure you ordered it too.

If you haven't, then click HERE to get a look at the full preview art by Andrew Robinson [his art is reason enough to order the book sight unseen] or click HERE to get a look at Desperado Publishing's Dusty Starr section.

Either way, my guess is you'll want a copy for yourself.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Marvel Scores Two

Stephen King is teaming with Marvel Comics to create new adventures for characters from his best selling Dark Tower series. Jae Lee will illustrate the six issue limited series that will premiere in April 2006 and then be collected in a hardcover edition in time for the holidays. You can read more about the series here,here and even in an interview here.

In related news, best selling author, David Morrell has signed with Marvel to write his first comic story. Morrell will take Captain America to Afghanistan... or will he?

Morrell is best known for creating Rambo, but he's truly an author that doesn't limit himself. He refuses to be pigeon-holed in one genre. Morrell has a "complex body of work that traverses the Horror, Espionage and Thriller genres" and his writing has been well-received in all of them. I have no doubt that his work in comics will as well.

There haven't been many Marvel comics that I've read in recent years. I'll definitely be checking King and Morrell's work though. I'll bet that a lot of other comic fans... and more importantly, folks who don't normally read comics will too.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I Love It, So I Don't Want It

For those of you who may have tuned in late, I love Frank Miller's Sin City stories. I thought the movie that he did with Robert Rodriguez was the BEST comic to film adaptation yet. The fact that Miller, Rodriguez and their perfectly chosen cast are returning for another Sin City movie excites me to no end.

So you'd probably think that talk of a weekly Sin City tv series would have me doing cartwheels.

Well, you'd be wrong.

Even though the discussion of a Sin City weekly tv series is just in the very first stages [and most tv show ideas never make it to the small screen]; my vote, unless Miller is going to be directly involved with a weekly series, is to pass. Even on HBO, FX or a channel that was willing to let Sin City be Sin City, a weekly series, by it's very nature would water down the concept.

Obviously, Sin City is Miller's baby and if he decides that Sin CIty can work as a weekly series, then I'll tune in. If the show works, I'll be the first to admit I was wrong. And if the show stinks, at least we'll still have all those great comic stories and the Sin City movie to turn to when we need our Sin City fix.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Big Beatty and ZONE CITY

My buddy, John "Big" Beatty loves to bust my chops. Of course he loves to bust on everyone, so that's nothing special.

What is special is that Big John created a strip called ZONE CITY that he uses to take shots at me. Oh, don't worry. It's all in good fun.

Beatty has combined my love of Frank Miller's Sin City, my admiration of Sylvester Stallone and my commitment to my StalloneZone website to come up with an exaggerated spin on reality.

ZONE CITY is really a hoot. I hope that John does more. You can check out ZONE CITY at Big Beatty's Blog-O-Rama. If you do, please let me know which parts you think are real and which come from Big John's imagination.

What About Bob?

Bob Layton did some of my favorite comics back in the day. Although best known for his work with David Michelinie on the fan favorite, Iron Man, I also really got a kick out of his Ant Man and Hercules: Prince of Power work.

Bob's a really nice guy [in addition to being a talented writer, penciler, inker, editor... well, you get the idea] and I was proud to get him in my Stallone Gallery.

It seems that most of Bob's comic work these days is creating commissions for fans. Which is great for individual fans, but too bad for fandom since Bob still has a lot to offer.

Click HERE and you can read a transcript of a chat with Mr. Layton. I'll bet you'll agree, Bob should be doing more comic work!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

You're Only As Old As You Feel!

Today's my birthday. I'm 47. It's hard to believe that I now easily fit into the category often described as "middle aged." Truth be told, unless I live to be 94, I'm past my middle age.

It's always a cliche when people say that "you're only as young as you feel" or "I sure don't feel ___." But truthfully, I don't FEEL 47. Well, not unless 47 feels like 27.

There was a guy I worked wih years ago. He was a few days older than me. When he turned 30 he freaked out. Really. He couldn't stop talking about how depressed being 30 made him. For me 30 was just another birthday. So was 40. For some strange reason 45 seemed different. I wasn't freaked out like my co-worker at 30, but 45 did seem like a milestone. How did I become 45 so fast?

Now I'm 47. I don't feel older. Well, not THAT much older. I know that 47 seems old when you're a teenager, or even if you're in your 20's. I'm here to tell you that 47 is the new 35!

At any rate, it is my birthday and I've got to tell you, "You're only as young as you feel and I sure don't feel 47."

Monday, October 17, 2005

Super Service with a Free Smile!

My buddy, John's "BigBeatty Deluxe" Tee Shirt is now available. The shirt is a hoot and everyone should order at least a dozen! [Ok, Big J, how's that for a plug?]

Actually the shirt is really cool looking and sure to get the wearer a [FREE!] smile. Not only does the design rock, but the price is right.

Click HERE to see what the fuss is all about!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Steve Niles' Cool Projects

Steve Niles talks about a ton of cool projects in THIS INTERVIEW.

So, what are you waiting for? Head over and check it out. I'll still be here when you get back.

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Second Chance at Stardom

I first discovered Mickey Rourke in Body Heat. Rourke was this skinny little guy who absolutely stole every scene he was in... and although there weren't that many, Rourke made an impact. He was an actor to watch.

Mickey Rourke appeared in a few other films [getting excellent reviews] before I saw him again. This time the film was Rumble Fish. Rourke was again impressive as the ultra cool Motorcycle Boy.

The next few years saw him in Year of the Dragon, [playing an older cop fighting Chinese gangs], the controversial Nine 1/2 Weeks, and the even more controversial Angel Heart. Rourke was starring in big movies and earning rave reviews. Barfly with Frank Stallone was another well received role.

But then things seemed to go downhill... Johnny Handsome directed by Walter Hill didn't really work... and neither did Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Wild Orchid or White Sands. Rourke's personal life seemed to be out of control as well. Reports of drug and alcohol abuse as well as abuse of his love, Carrie Otis began to make more headlines than his movies.

And almost as quickly as Rourke's star had risen, it sank. Sure, he still worked, but usually in straight to video features. Most people counted Rourke out. He'd had his shot and blew it.

Then in 2000, Rourke co-starred in Get Carter with Sly Stallone. Sly wanted Rourke for the role and Rourke brought his "A" game. The following year, Sean Penn was directing The Pledge and he had a role for his friend Mickey, who again turned in an excellent job. Reports began to come out that Rourke had given up his bad boy ways. High profile parts in both Once Upon A Time in Mexico and Man on Fire paved the way for his starring role in Sin City.

Man, Rourke was perfect for the part of Marv. Fans and critics alike sat up and took notice. He received some of the best reviews of his career. Suddenly Rourke began to get better scripts and the opportunity to work with A list actors and directors again. Rourke was back and getting a second chance at stardom.

And if you read THIS INTERVIEW you'll see that he knows how fortunate he is.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

It's Rated for Me, By George

Next week marks the release of the latest [and possibly last] zombie film by George Romero.

Land of the Dead lived up to my expectations as a fun zombie movie and I look forward to adding it to my dvd collection.

But of course things are never simple.

You see, Land of the Dead is being released in two versions... rated and unrated.

I was leaning toward the rated version since it was the film that I saw at the theater. Still... the idea of more bang for the buck was appealing. Then I read THIS INTERVIEW with George Romero where he comments on the unrated version:

I think it's only about five minutes longer. I don't remember exactly. But half of that is made up by a scene that I didn't think worked as well as it might have.

So my mind is now made up. It's the rated version for me. Why go for a few minutes more gore and a scene that Romero cut because it didn't work?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Time to Close Your Eyes

This past weekend my wife, youngest son and I headed up to Tallahassee for Parents' Weekend. We were able to spend some quality time with my oldest son. We saw the FSU circus, played some poker [for paperclips], hung out with friends, and attended the Florida State / Wake Forest game.

But that's not what this post is about.

What it IS about is what happened before the game.

And what happened is this: after the National Anthem was sung a B-1B Lancer did a fly-over. This isn't the first time that I've been at an event where a plane did a flyover. It's always a cool experience. Sometimes you hear the plane first, then look up to see it zooming overhead, and at other times you see it growing larger and then it's gone with the sound trailing behind.

That's not what happened this time.

We were seated about 3/4 of the way up on an end zone side. Everyone knew that the plane was going to fly over and so as the National Anthem ended, all eyes were searching the skies for the plane.

Suddenly it was there. It just seemed to appear. It looked huge! The crazy thing was that it seemed to be REAL LOW. I mean REALLY LOW. And it seemed to be moving WAY TOO SLOW.

Too low and too slow is NOT a good combination for a jet.

I looked over at my wife and said, "That plane looks awfully low." I looked back and the plane was still heading our way. My mind flashed on about a dozen thoughts: "The twin towers -- a terrorist act -- a problem with the plane -- a problem with the pilot..." The plane was still heading our way. How could such a huge plane be going so slow?

And then the thought hit me... "If there's really a problem with the plane, there's nothing that we can do." We couldn't run. Or get out of the way. Or hide. We wouldn't have time to do anything other than close or eyes in the last seconds before impact.

As these thoughts went through my head, the plane passed over us and the rest of the folks above us in the stadium. Then the thunderous roar of the engines hit us and most people covered their ears. When the sound died down, you could hear a lot of people commenting on how low the plane was and how cool the flyover was.

And it was.

But I just couldn't shake the thought of what it must have felt like to have been in the twin towers and see the planes coming.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Are any of you ZONErs, watching The Ultimate Fighter?

I do and am hooked. Just to bring you up to speed in case you don't watch. The Ultimate Fighter18 fighters who are split up into two teams. Each week the teams compete in a compitition to determine which team chooses the two who will fight. The loser leaves the house. [which is in its second season] brings together

It's like The Contender on steroids.

The guys who compete in Ultimate Fighting are real life tough guys. They usually have a strong background in wrestling, boxing and the martial arts. Many are experts in more than one discipline. And...

They. Love. To. Fight.

I'm not talking about sparing. Or working out. Or where you knock a guy down and then back up until he's on his feet. I'm talking about fighting... you know, FIGHTING!

This sport isn't for everyone. It's not even a sport that everyone can watch, let alone compete in.

Still, I have to admit, I tune in each week.

Monday, October 03, 2005

More on Batman and The Monster Men

Remember, the other day, when I told you about Matt Wagner's Batman and the Monster Men?

Okay, great. You're excited about the series, too. Cool!

So click HERE and you can see more preview art and a some background info on the series by Matt Wagner!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ten years ago OJ Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman. The evidence against Simpson was overwhelming. Fortunately for Simpson, his legal team, especially Johnnie Cochran, was able to sway the jury to not only discount the evidence, but it many instances to ignore it completely.

The trial lasted a year and had more drama and startling turns than a soap opera. In the end Simpson was found innocent. This article from the associated press describes the fallout from the verdict:

On Oct. 3, 1995, an estimated 150 million people paused before the nearest TV to witness the outcome. The nation gasped — whether in satisfaction or outrage — as Simpson was pronounced not guilty of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. The trial and verdict divided the country then, and the more profound divisions it exposed remain today.

Next Tuesday at 9pm, PBS will revisit the case in the special "Frontline: The O.J. Verdict." Featuring extensive interviews with the defense, prosecution and journalists, the special will explore the verdict and the wide difference in reaction to it which fell along racial lines.

Oddly enough, this weekend, Simpson will make a rare public appearance signing autographs [for cash] at,of all places, a horror convention! Talk about bad taste.

The fact that this weekend marks the tenth anniversary of the "not guilty" verdict, and Simpson has chosen to be a special guest along with movie murderers, monsters and zombies shows a real lack of compassion and common sense on Simpson's part.

There is NO WAY that one could justify Simpson's appearance at this show as a sports star. Nope, the draw here is certainly because of his link to the murders of Nicole and Ron. And if you doubt that, then why is Simpson's friend, A.C. Cowlings [who is more famous for the slow speed Bronco chase than his professional sports career] making a joint appearance with Simpson on Sunday?

OJ SImpson was found not guilty of the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. Ten years later people are still arguing the validity of that decision. I doubt that there are many though who would argue that Simpson's appearance at the horror convention is in good taste.