Saturday, September 30, 2006

Gray, Brown and Gone

Recently some pics turned up from three movies that I'm keeping an eye on.

The first is from "I am Legend" starring Wil Smith. posted up a shot of Smith in character. Ain't It Cool News also posted some location shots. I've got to say that I'm a bit surprised by Smith's gray hair. Maybe his character is a bit older [nothing wrong with that] or maybe he's just trying out the Tom Cruise "Collateral" look.

Meanwhile over at Ain't It Cool News [again] they've posted some location shots of Kurt Russell on Tarantino's "Death Proof." Most of you remember [and now all of you know] "Death Proof" is Tarantino's contribution to his GrindHouse double feature with Robert Rodriguez.

The Baltimore Sun recently posted some shots of Bruce Willis on location filming "Live Free or Die Hard." I've enjoyed all of the "Die Hard" movies. The original even started a whole new sub-genre to the action picture. I hope that "Live Free" is a welcome addition to the others in the series. Willis has never hidden the fact that's he's bald and has appeared in movies without a hairpiece... so why do these pictures look so different?


Friday, September 29, 2006

Hellboy and The Golden Army

It's been a while since we've heard any news on the progress of the Hellboy sequel. Well that all changed today when director Guillermo del Toro talked about Hellboy 2: The Golden Army here.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Chaykin's Blade

If you've been keeping up, then you know that I'm looking forward to Howard Chaykin's art on the soon to be released Blade comic series from Marvel. Heck, you've probably read my post about it here and here. And since you've been keeping up, you probably already read this interview with Chaykin.

I guess the only thing left is to buy the comic!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Today We Die!

My buddy, John Beatty, and I have been taking trips together since we were teenagers. So about 30 years ago, before we headed off on a short trip to Orlando, one of us looked at the other and said, "I really feel like we're going to get in a wreck today." Of course we didn't, but that didn't stop the creepy feeling that that simple statement gave us.

It became a kind of joke with us. We'd be pulling out for a trip to Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, or any destination and one of us would say to the other "I really feel like we're going to get in a wreck today." Over the years the statement even occasionally changed to "I really feel like we're going to be killed in a car wreck today." Of course whoever is driving then has to make sure that the prediction doesn't come true. So far I'm 100% and John is pretty close to that.

So in honor of a stupid statement that we continue to toss at each other [of course NEVER when my wife or kids are riding with us], I give you Today We Die!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Every Time I Move I Lose

After a hard day at work, how about some dancing?

It's just that... Every time I move I lose.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Scary Funny

When I was in college I worked at a Burger Chef. I was the "morning manager" and it was my job to go in at 5am and oversee breakfast preparations. I was the first one in and then two or three other employees would arrive as we got closer to opening.

One morning, Denise [who was going to school to be a hair stylist] and I decided to play a prank on Phil. We took one of her wig "heads" and placed it in the ice machine. We then put ketchup around the head. When Phil arrived it was still dark out. Before he could even get out of his car, I was calling for him to hurry up and come in. He hustled over and in and I quickly locked the door. I told him that a police officer had been by to warn us that a killer was loose in the area. [And as I told the story, Denise played it up by looking quite frightened and nodding her head]. I said that the cop had told me that at least three people had been murdered with an axe! He said that we should be especially careful and report anything out of the norm.

Phil thought that maybe we shouldn't open. I assured him that we were safe inside and that soon customers would arrive and it would be light out. I said as long as we stay inside everything will be fine. We all began prepping.

One of Phil's jobs was to stock the soda bins with ice. He did his other duties, but you can be sure that when he was ready to get ice, Denise and I had positioned ourselves where we could see him. Phil went over, opened the ice machine, saw the "bloody head," let out as scream and started to run backwards! LOL! Of course he realized that it was a mannequin almost as soon as the scream left his mouth... but by then it was too late. Denise and I were laughing so hard we couldn't stand. Even Phil started laughing... of course for the next few weeks we all were on guard for pranks.

So... if you think this kind of humor is funny, then click HERE. If not,well... sorry that I bored ya.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A History of Violence

I finally got around to seeing "A History of Violence" and it totally lived up to my high expectations. If you haven't seen it yet, and plan to, then by all means avoid the rest of today's post since it will contain spoilers.

I was impressed with all aspects of the film. In fact, "A History of Violence" now ties "The Dead Zone" as my all time favorite David Cronenberg film. The cast was equally impressive [Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bella and the always excellent Ed Harris].

I'd also like to give special mention to William Hurt. Hurt is not one of my favorite actors, and since "Body Heat" I can't think of any of his roles that I've really liked... that is until now. He was perfect as Richie Cusack. Absolutely perfect! [And if you happened to catch Hurt's role as the hitman in TNT's recent adaptation of Stephen King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes, he was just as good, if not better!]

The thing that kept staying on my mind after watching
"A History of Violence" was the dual nature in all of us. All of the major characters in the film displayed a duality that was interesting, but it was Viggo's character that set everything in motion. So... was Viggo really Tom Stall or Joey Cusak? The things that Joey did made him a crazy killer, but the same actions made Tom Stall a hero.

Tom's wife thought he was the greatest man in the world until she saw what he was capable of. Then she was repulsed and attracted to him. How does that work? And why?

"A History of Violence" works on so many levels. I guess even movies have a dual nature.

If you saw the movie, I'd love to hear your thoughts. "A History of Violence" rates an A+

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Hughes vs Penn & Help!

Tonight Matt Hughes defends his UFC title against the last man to have beaten him, BJ Penn. Hughes, like Chuck Liddell [the light heavyweight champion], has been completely dominating his division. I don't think that will change tonight. Still, the fact that Penn has beaten Hughes previously adds another dimension to the fight.

I won't be ordering the pay-per-view since I have to work tonight, but I would be interested in reading or hearing the results once I get home. Since several ZONERs are probably going to be watching the fight live or know of a site that will be live blogging, I thought that I ask for suggested site to visit for the latest news. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Beatty & Carter @ the Society

Last Saturday, Big John Beatty called together the second monthly [at least so far] meeting of the Sketch Society. I first told you about Sketch Society here and posted my reports on the first and second meetings here and here. Big John has posted pics and his report of the second meeting over at his blog. I've also posted the quick sketch that John did [without reference] of Sly as Jack Carter.

The next Sketch Society meeting will be held in October at a date and place to be determined. One thing is for sure though, my birthday is in October and I'm going to push for the Sketch Society meeting to have a Stallone theme! ; )

Thursday, September 21, 2006

300 Just Keeps Looking Better

A trailer for 300 has it the net. I can't wait to see this on the big screen!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Atomic Pulp and Other Meltdowns

Tonight I want to tell you about a blog run by Chris Mills. It's called "Atomic Pulp and Other Meltdowns" and it's definitely worth bookmarking. Chris writes about pop culture as well as occasional glimpses into his life as a struggling writer.

The fact that Chris is "struggling" speaks volumes about how hard it is to make it as a writer. You see, in 2004, Chris wrote a universally well-received one shot, Gravedigger: The Scavengers [which remains my favorite single issue comic of the last 2 years].

Chris was also the editorial director on Mickey Spillane's Mike Danger [where he worked with Spillane and Max Allan Collins]
. Chris was also the editorial director on Neil Gaiman's Lady Justice. Chris wrote a year-long run on Leonard Nimoy's Primortals comic series.

Chris was also the creator and editor of Noir, an illustrated crime fiction magazine that featured art and stories from some of the biggest names in both the comic and mystery fields. I could continue to list Chris' credits, but you'd probably prefer me to shut up so you can check out his blog.

But one more thing before I close... if you ever get the opportunity to pick up a copy of Gravedigger: The Scavengers [with art by Rick Burchett], please do. I first wrote about the one shot here and then again here.

I love this comic
and would love to see more Gravedigger stories by Mills and Burchett. If after reading it, you feel the same way, please let your local comic dealer know... and it wouldn't hurt to drop Chris a line as well!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It STILL Looks Like a Wild Ride

I first told you about "Shoot 'Em Up" way back here.

At that time I said it looked like a wild ride. After seeing the exclusive "trailer" over at, I haven't changed my mind.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Dangerous Man

Tomorrow, the third [and last] book in Charlie Huston's Hank Thompson trilogy [Caught Stealing; Six Bad Things; A Dangerous Man] becomes available. And while I can't wait to read it, I am sad that the series will come to an end. I do applaud Huston for having the integrity to say, the story has been told and that's that. Still, the fan in me hopes that if Hank's still alive at the end of A Dangerous Man, there may be more story to tell.

I'm also looking forward to the second book in Huston's Joe Pitt series, No Dominion. It'll be out this December.

If you'd like to learn more Charlie Huston or his characters then check out this interview or better still his website.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Renaissance Now On My Radar

While I was surfing the net this morning I came across a cool trailer for a movie which had been flying under my radar.

Renaissance" looks to be a winner. My guess is it will appeal to fans of "Sin City," animation, sci-fi, action films, Daniel Craig, and most likely you.

Check out the trailer and let me know your thoughts.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Big John Beatty finished the Captain Mallow, er, America sketch that he started when the crew [Beatty, Zablo & Higashi] visited Keith and Monica's comic shop last month.
Hey Keith... You LIKE? -Snort-

Higashi's Kindness Knows No Bounds

John "Johnny Star Warz" Higashi is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. In addition he has one of the most unbelieveable art collections you'll ever see [if you click HERE].

John hits more conventions than many pros and is constantly getting new additions to his collection. The cool thing about John is despite the fact that he's one of the most active collectors you'd ever meet, he's a real down to earth guy. And his kindness is legendary. Last weekend he was at Baltimore Con. John took 125 artists, their relatives and friends to the Orioles vs Yankees game. Can you imagine?

So of course when Johnny SW came to Sketch Society today, he treated everyone to donuts. Yeah, it ain't a trip to a pro baseball game, but then again Sketch Society ain't the Baltimore Con either! - Snort -

Cadre Draws...

Jesse "Cadre" Hansen completes the first sketch of the day. Is it Wolverine? The Punisher? Nope... it's me furiously blogging away. - Snort -

Sketch Society Round 2

That's Big John Beatty getting caffined up before he starts sketching away at the second gathering of his Sketch Society. This time we're meeting at Java Junction in Holly Hill, Florida. As you can see in the shot below there's already a dozen folks here drawing away. I'll post more as the session goes on!

Friday, September 15, 2006

ALWAYS... Look Before You Leap

Three armed robbers held up the Applebee's in Orange City, Florida. They then made their getaway speeding down I-4 with the police in hot pursuit.

When their getaway car broke down on the St. John's river bridge, the criminal masterminds decided to continue their escape by jumping off the bridge and swimming away.

They didn't care that it was the middle of the night. They didn't care that they were about 35 up. They didn't care that they jumped over a section of bridge that wasn't over water... that is, until they landed.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How Fast Can Mel Run?

The trailer to Mel Gibson's Apocalypto is up and can be seen here.

I like the look of the movie and Gibson has already proved he can direct. I just wonder if the movie is going to die at the box office because of Mel's drunken driving / racist tirade...

Well... like the movie's tagline says: No One Can Outrun Their Destiny.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Star Trek: Updated and Better?

I've been pleasantly surprised to the reaction many SZoners have had to the original Star Trek tv series. My post about the the 40th anniversary of the premiere episode and an earlier post about the original series being updated were two of the most popular ZONE enteries in a while.

So I figured that you'd enjoy seeing a trailer for the new and improved Star Trek.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sketch Society II

That's Lon Midnight in the pic with me. I'm the mug on the left. I'll tell you more about Lon sometime...

... but right now I just want to remind you that John Beatty is bringing together the Sketch Society this Saturday at 2pm. If the gathering is anything like last time, it'll be a blast. For full details click HERE. I plan to do some live blogging during the get-together so even if you can't be there, you can take part via the internet!

Monday, September 11, 2006

And You Shouldn't


You know where you were. You know what you saw. You know what you felt.

Five years later.

You still remember like it was yesterday. You won't forget... ever.

And you shouldn't.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Balboa, 300, and Royale

Besides "Rocky Balboa" the movie that I'm most looking forward to seeing is... 300.

Okay, but the movie that I'm most looking forward to after 300 is Casino Royale. It just keeps looking better and better. Now if only we could get word from someone who's seen a rough cut.

What's that you say? We can by looking HERE!

Wow! After reading that, I may have to move 300 down a notch!

Friday, September 08, 2006

It Was Forty Years Ago Today

It was forty years ago today. September 8, 1966. I was seven years old. Star Trek premiered with "The Man Trap" episode.

Although I was never a "Trekkie" [or even a "Trekker"], I did love me some Star Trek. My favorite character was Spock and I convinced my mom to let me have my hair cut in the same style as his [although she did draw the line when I told her I wanted to have my ears made pointed].

Tonight at 8pm, in honor of Star Trek's 40th, TV Land is airing four episodes from the original series [including "The Man Trap"]. I just hope that it doesn't bring on a strong desire for me to go back to Spock's haircut.

Bond is Back!

It's been years since I've had a desire to see a James Bond film as soon as it came out. For me, as I've said before, Sean Connery was James Bond. Everyone that came after Connery could get parts of the character right, but no one had the Connery cool or made Bond seem dangerous.

It looks like that is about to change on November 17th. Check out the new Bond trailer and you'll see why.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blade Looking Sharp!

I've been watching "Blade" since it's premiere episode earlier this summer. I felt that the "Blade" had a lot of promise and stuck with it. With each passing episode, it seemed that the series was getting better and better. I loved the concept of Vampire "houses" and the backstories that the major characters developed. The "young" old vampiress and her giant vampire bodyguard were also cool additions. I also liked the fact that Blade, while the main character, wasn't always the focal point of the episodes. In fact, at times many other characters [and their story threads] were more interesting than his!

So here we are just a week away from the season finale. If you gave up on the show early on [and even the show's star, Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones says that things didn't fall into place until around the third or fourth episode], then you might want to tune in this Sunday for Spike's Blade Marathon.

If you do, you're in for a bloody good time. [Sorry, I couldn't help myself.]

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Weekend Like The James'

My buddy, The James, just got back from DragonCon.

DragonCon is a smorgasbord of fun... movie & TV celebs, directors, authors, artists, bands, professional wrestlers... well, you get the idea.

I've never been to a DragonCon, but if I went, I'd want a weekend like The James had. Yeah, that's The James sitting with George "Night of the Living Dead" Romero. [And that wasn't the highlight of his weekend.] Click here to find out what was.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ten Years to Overnight Success

Ever wonder what it takes to be an overnight success? Rick Remender, the exteremely talented writer, penciler and inker, explains his path to overnight success in this interview.

Just like everything that Rick does, it's well worth a look.

Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP: Steve "Croc Hunter" Irwin

When I first read the news this morning that Steve "Croc Hunter" Irwin had been killed by a stingray, I have to admit that I thought it might have been a sick hoax. So I immediately started checking legitimate news sources and found that the news was true and had spread all over the internet and tv.

Irwin became an international celebrity in 1992 when his "Croc Hunter" television show was picked up by the Discovery Channel. Irwin's genuine love of nature and animals was infectious and I don't know anyone who didn't know and enjoy his work.

Steve Irwin leaves behind a wife and two children as well as a world of fans. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them all.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Andrew Robinson Gets Carter

I first met Andrew Robinson when he was crashing at my buddy John Beatty's joint years ago. Andrew was just breaking into comics with his creation "Dusty Starr." A blind man could see that this kid had TALENT. Andrew was also cool to hang with because he was so friendly and humble. I wasn't back in to collecting original art then and so I missed my chance at a Andrew Robinson "Stallone."

I was excited to see that Andrew was going to be a guest at this year's Heroes Con. I figured that if I was lucky Andrew might agree to a Stallone drawing [if I could get on his sketch list]. I shouldn't have worried. Beatty stopped by Andrew's table and it was as if the years melted away. They were like brothers who hadn't talked in months. As it turned out, after Heroes, Andrew was coming to Florida to visit his family [who now lived less than an hour from Daytona]. One thing led to another and Andrew decided to ride back with Beatty and John Highasi. The bad news was that I would miss out on the drive back since I had other commitments. The good news was that Andrew was going to do a Stallone drawing for me... and he wanted to wait until he got to Florida to do it!

Andrew ended up drawing Sly as Jack Carter during one of his visits to Big Beatty's. Not only did Andrew do a killer job, but he was having so much fun that he decided to throw some colors on it as well! Here's the original, the first color piece the second color piece and even the third!

If you like what you've seen of Andrew's art, then be sure to check out Next Exit Productions which is Andrew's home on the web. You'll also be glad to hear that Dusty Starr #1 is now available. If you can't get it from your local comic book shop, you can get it straight from Andrew by clicking HERE. Be sure and also check out the first ever Dusty Starr Sketchbook. Like everything else that Andrew works on, it will make a fine addition to your collection!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sketch Society: Round Two

My buddy, John Beatty has announced the date of the second Sketch Society meeting. The first meeting was held at the local Barnes & Noble and was a lot of fun. You can read my report here. If this sounds like something that you'd like to take part in, then check out John's post for full details.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Star Trek - Updated and Better?

CBS Paramount has announced that all 79 episodes of the original Star Trek series are being digitally remastered and an updated a CGI makeover before heading into syndication next month. Everything from Kirk's "where no man has gone before" opening to the Enterprise and every "spaceship that passes by" will be recreated using modern computer graphics. But that's not all that's being tweaked..."battle sequences, ship exteriors, galaxy shots and landscapes (which previously came courtesy of matte paintings) will be given more shading, depth and computer-generated authenticity."

I always have mixed feelings about projects like this. On one hand, I like the idea that more [make that younger] people may check out and enjoy the original Star Trek series. On the other hand, it does bother me that they won't be seeing the series as it originally aired. I guess the bottom line is that CBS Paramount owns the rights and can do whatever they want with the property.

I just hope that the original series is always available with the original sound and graphics. And that way I [and everyone] can choose between the versions that they like best.