Sunday, September 30, 2007

Superman / Doomsday

I got a chance to watch the Superman / Doomsday animated movie yesterday.

While not on par with the Fleischer Superman cartoons of the 30's [not many cartoons are], Superman / Doomsday is an enjoyable tale brought to life by co-writer/co-director, Bruce Timm and a well chosen cast of actors including Adam Baldwin [Superman], Anne Heche [Lois Lane], James Marsters [Lex Luthor], Ray Wise [Perry White] and others.

The bonus features include behind the scenes with the voice actors, the animators, commentary tracks, as well as a sneak peak at The New Frontier [an upcoming animated feature based on Darwyn Cooke's award-winning series -- and I can't wait to see it]. has several video clips and screenshots from the dvd which will give you a better feel for what it's all about.
If you're a Superman or comic book fan, my guess is that you'll enjoy it. If you're not a fan of either then you probably stopped reading this post long ago.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Norris, Lee and You (Tube)

I've sung the praises of YouTube many times before, but I'll sing 'em again tonight. I decided that I wanted to check out the cool fight between Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee from "Return of the Dragon." Sure enough it was THERE. I didn't even have to pull the dvd off the shelf.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Take You Back...

The picture above was taken about 30 years ago when I was in high school. I'd never seen it until just a few minutes ago.

Last weekend when I was at OrlandoCon a guy who was getting a sketch from John Beatty said that his wife had gone to high school with Big John. I told him that I went to the same high school. Come to find out I knew his wife as well.

When she came by the con, we had a chance to talk a bit. We hadn't seen each other since high school. She said that she had a picture of us taken at a pep rally and that she'd send it my way. Strange seeing it for the first time 30 years after the fact. Where do the years go?

Man, but it does take me back...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Kingdom Opens Up

I can't wait to see "The Kingdom" on the big screen. As of today the opening credits are available for viewing HERE. They are well done and I hope my image grab for today doesn't make you think "The Kingdom" is a movie about 9-11.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Manning's Mind

If you're bored [hard to imagine since you're here, but if you are], you might want to take on Payton Manning in a NFL trivia game by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New No Country Trailer

You know I loved the book. You know I can't wait for the movie. You even know about THIS trailer. But did you know about the age-restricted trailer at THE OFFICIAL SITE?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Zablo is Rejected!

Yesterday I wrote about the amazingly talented artist, Joe Bluhm, and his book Rejects. Here's what I said:

Joe is a caricaturist and occasionally he does a drawing that the customer doesn't want. Surprisingly these are often some of the best drawings of the day! Joe has put together a great book called Rejects. It features rejected caricatures and his comments about them. When Joe told Beatty about the book, Beatty said it was a great idea and that he'd pay to have me drawn in "reject mode." We all laughed. Higashi heard this and decided it really was a great idea. The next thing I knew Higashi had his camera out and aimed in my direction...

Well, as you can see from the photo above Higashi went through with it. LOL! You know, Joe is such a talented artist that I can honestly say it's the first time I've ever been happy to have been rejected!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

OrlandoCon Report

Friday night I drove down to Orlando to hang with my best bud, John Beatty who was going to be a guest at OrlandoCon. John had driven down ahead since I had to work late. I pulled into the parking lot to find Beatty, John Higashi, Mike Gowcharan and Kwan walking back from the convention hall. They had gone over to get the lay of the land. We decided to get some dinner and ended up at a Chinese Buffet. It was a little hole in the wall joint, the grub was okay but the company was better. We talked about everything from what our con expectations were to Mike Wieringo's untimely passing, to poker strategies, to Big Beatty's upcoming trip to the Philippines.

We went back to the hotel and ended up looking at some of Higashi's latest art pickups. Mike brought out his poker chips, we all threw a ten spot into the pot and played a winner take all no limit Texas Hold'em Tournament. Despite a great start, the best I could manage was second place [Mike came in first] and as Beatty reminded me, second paid the same as last place. Harumph!

The next morning Higashi and I got up early to meet Mike and Kwan [and his girlfriend] for some breakfast. Beatty decided he needed more sleep and didn't join us. He was up and ready to roll when we got back to the room so we all headed over to show. The convention hall was really much bigger than I had expected.

Beatty and I took a walk around to see who was set-up. We stopped to talk a bit with Tommy Castillo who had some really cool prints of his art and a nice sketchbook available for fans. I was surprised to find Greg "The Hammer" Valentine set up across the way from Tommy. Shaking his mit was like grabbing onto some leather covered with sandpaper. As we walked around we saw several friends [Tim Gordon, Phil from Coliseum of Comics, Scoup-to-Nuts, Shawn Surface, and many others].

Beatty headed over to his table and began work on his first commission of the show [the Punisher drawing above]. The special guest artist of the show was Leinil Francis Yu. I'm a huge fan of his work. Kwan hooked me up with a copy of Leinil's sketchbook [thanks Kwan! -- and...No, I didn't palm a stack of your chips!]. Leinil was doing quick headshots for fans and I hoped to get one. Leinil had also agreed to do a more detailed head and torso sketches for each of the two winners of a Hero Initiative auction. Higashi and I [and a ton of other fans] each bought 3 tickets. Beatty went over to talk to Leinil and introduced me. We shook hands and I told him I was a fan. He was very gracious. We didn't talk long because he already had a huge line of other fans waiting to meet him.

As I was walking around I was surprised to find Joe Bluhm set up. Joe is a fantastic artist and I regularly visit his site. I hadn't known Joe was going to be at the show and immediately talked to him about doing a Stallone sketch for me. Joe agreed and I knew that if I wasn't able to get any other pieces, his would make the show worthwhile.

I knew that Ron Salas was going to be at the convention. I really am impressed with his work and also visit his site regularly. Once Ron was set up Higashi and I went over to meet him. Ron was as nice as he is talented. He agreed to do a Stallone sketch for me. Higashi proceeded to set up a Star Wars sketch for himself and a World's Finest piece for Hawaiin Dave.

It was time for the Leinil Yu raffle drawing so we headed over. They were only drawing two winners and you had to be present to win. The first number was pulled and the crowd waited to see who would step forward... going once... going twice... new number! The next number was pulled and immediately a guy yelled, "That's me!" Time for the last winner. The ticket was pulled and the numbers called out... "Six..." - I had a six! "Eight..." - I had an eight! - "Zero..." I had a zero! I quickly looked again, 680! Yep! It was me. I raised my hand and yelled, "I've got it!" I could hear Kwan and others laughing, Zablo won!

I went over and turned in my ticket. I walked over to talk to Leinil about my request. He was in to it and said that he was going to do me a nice drawing. Did he ever! As he was drawing it, other fans continued to come over and tell me how cool it looked and how nicely it was coming along. Beatty and Kwan didn't want me to see it until it was completed. That didn't stop them from going over to look at and film Leinil's progress. Word came back that he was doing it bigger than normal and putting way more details than usual. I couldn't wait to get my mits on it... but I didn't want to rush Leinil so I stayed far away. LOL!

I headed back over to see how Joe was doing with my Stallone piece. It was finished. Joe had decided to whip up Sly as Rocky Balboa. It was an amazing piece. Joe absolutely nailed it. I thanked him and headed back to show the guys. Beatty is very seldom impressed. His response was, "Wow! That's really nice! Let me see that!" He then positively commented on everything from the drawing itself to the color choices. If Beatty's impressed, it's a rare thing, indeed. Beatty was working on his second Punisher commission [above] so I decided to walk around a bit more.

Alex Saviuk was set up. I had swung by earlier to say, "hi." I was walking by his table when he called me over and said, "I saw you have your Stallone reference here. Bring it by and I'll give you that sketch I owe you!" [Alex had been doing sketches for charity a while back and I purchased one with the understanding that he'd do it when he got the chance.] Alex drew Sly as Superman! What a great guy and great sketch!

Leinil finished my Rambo sketch. It was amazing. Several fans came over to say how nice it was. I couldn't believe my luck in winning and then that Leinil would come through in such a spectacular way. I'll post up a better scan to it [and all of my pieces] soon.

I was showing my sketches to a friend who came by the table. He wasn't familiar with Joe Bluhm's work. I was telling him about Joe and his book Rejects. Joe is a caricaturist and occasionally he does a drawing that the customer doesn't want. Surprisingly these are often some of the best drawings of the day! Joe has put together a great book called Rejects. It features rejected caricatures and his comments about them. When Joe told Beatty about the book, Beatty said it was a great idea and that he'd pay to have me drawn in "reject mode." We all laughed. Higashi heard this and decided it was a great idea. The next thing I knew Higashi had his camera out and aimed in my direction...

It was almost time for me to head out... I wasn't staying for both days of the show. I swung by Joe's table to thank him again for the great drawing. I saw that he had an opening and asked if he'd do another Stallone piece for me. He agreed.

I walked down to say goodbye to Ron Salas. I told him that Higashi or Beatty would pick up my piece on Sunday and that it was a pleasure meeting him. I swung by to say good bye to a few other folks. I then picked up my second Joe Bluhm piece [was my luck running good or what], said so long to Beatty and Higashi and then was headed for home!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Not Much on Futuristic SciFi

I've never read anything by Jeff Somers. I rarely read scifi. Especially futuristic scifi. Yet, I think that I might really enjoy The Electric Church by Jeff Somers. It's described in THIS REVIEW as “BLADE RUNNER meets THE DIRTY DOZEN, with a dash of Sergio Leone” -- so I ask, who wouldn't like that mix?

I decided to READ THE FIRST CHAPTER FOR FREE. The I decided to read JEFF SOMERS' BLOG. I'm still interested in reading The Electric Church so my next Amazon order will probably include it... even though I'm not much on futuristic scifi.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Prison Break is Back

Anyone catch the season premiere of "Prison Break"? Now in it's third season, "Prison Break" continues to entertain and offer some of the best commercial break cliffhangers on tv. It's pretty amazing how well the writers are able to weave the storylines of the various characters so that they continue to interact despite being on the run and separated over the course of two seasons. The show is well cast and well acted. The writing and pace are such that I'm willing to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the world in which the Scofield brothers exist.

And special mention has to be given to Robert Knepper as Theodore 'T-Bag' Bagwell. Is there a more hated character on television now? He's so bad, he's good.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Who Said He's Not Good Enough?

My old buddy, Andy Smith, the man who truly wrote the book on Drawing Dynamic Comics, is the subject of an interview right HERE.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bronson as You've Never Seen Him

Charles Bronson was my favorite actor for a time. He didn't just play tough guys in movies -- he was one. I thought I'd seen all of Bronson's major starring roles... until I saw THIS and THIS.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

OrlandoCon Next Week!

Next weekend I'll join my best bud, John Beatty, at OrlandoCon. John will be a there all weekend signing autographs and sketching. I'll be there to hang with Big J, see some old friends and hopefully relax a bit. Who knows I may even try to get an addition to my Stallone sketch collection.

If you're in the area, swing by and say, "Hi."

Friday, September 14, 2007

Three Times Thirty

Three new posters are out now for "30 Days of Night". You can see them by clicking HERE.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New TV Season

The new TV Season is almost upon us. Let's see what's worth watching.

This looks to be one of the weakest nights of all. At 8pm I'll tune into NBC's Sunday Night Football while my wife will head into the bedroom to watch ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition followed by Desperate Housewives. No new show looks to be worth the effort on Sunday.

From famine to feast, Monday is loaded with good programing. My guess is, from 8-9pm, we'll watch Prison Break [FOX] and record Dancing with the Stars [my wife will watch it later while I'm otherwise engaged, thank God]. At 9 we'll leave it on FOX to catch the new series K-Ville, which has the potential to be very, very good. At 10pm we'll switch over to the premiere of Journeyman on NBC.

I doubt that it can be as good as the commercials, but at 8pm I'll give ABC's new series Cavemen while recording Bones [FOX] for my wife. I'm hearing good things about CW's [CW??] Reaper so we'll watch that and record ABC's Dancing with the Stars Results show. Then at 10 it's Boston Legal on ABC. [Denny Crane! Denny Crane!]

starts at 8:30 with FOX's 'Til Death. At 9 we stay in place for Kitchen Nightmares [more Gordon Ramsey! LOL!]. At 10pm I'll swing over to ABC to check out Dirty, Sexy Money.

For years Thursday was the best night of the week for tv, now the only thing I'm checking out is Survivor on CBS.

Unless something interesting is featured on ABC's 20/20 at 8pm I won't turn on the tube until 9pm when I check out Moonlight on CBS about a vampire private eye.

I'll just be glad when 24 and The Shield return...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Never Forget


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

Six years later.

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

And you shouldn't.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ole Shell Head

Iron Man was never really one of my favorite characters. I did read the title when David Michelinie was writing it with art by Bob Layton. They had a great run, but when they left the book so did I.

The Iron Man movie trailer hit the internet today and I've gotta tell ya, it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. I guess I'll have to give ole Shell Head another try.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Some Surprises and a Disappointment

Last night's UFC 75 card provided some surprises and one major disappointment.

Houston Alexander vs Alessio Sakara

Alexander was coming off a first round knockout of Keith Jardine [who's a pretty tough dude]. Although Jardine had jumped all over Alexander and looked to be headed for an early KO, Alexander weathered the storm and ended up knocking out Jardine. So, was Houston the real deal or simply the beneficiary of a lucky punch?

The fight starts quickly with both fighters aggressively moving in. Sakara takes Alexander down, but can't keep him there. Alexander is strong but sloppy. He's throwing punches and lands a knee which puts Sakara down for the count. I'm somewhat surprised to say that Alexander could be a real contender. I hadn't even mentioned this fight in my pre-fight post due to the fact that I wasn't convinced that it would have much meaning. Alexander winning so quickly and easily twice in a row against good fighters has changed my opinion.

Micro Cro Cop vs Cheick Congo

I was surprised at how big Congo is. The guy is in shape and huge. My prediction was that Cro Cop would win and he did take the first round. The second and third rounds were Congo's and I think that the difference was that he fought most of the first round backing up. Cro Cop pushed the action and Congo seemed ill at ease. For whatever reason, Cro Cop allowed [or couldn't stop] Congo's forward motion in the last two rounds and he easily won a unanimous decision.

I have to admit, I was surprised the Cro Cop lost.

Matt Hamill vs Michael Bisping

I like both of these guys, but felt that because Bisping had more experience and was a more rounded fighter, he'd pull out a victory. Talk about surprises and even disappointment.

Both men came in shape and ready to fight. I thought that Hamill would rely on his superior wrestling skills to take down Bisping, but in the end Hamill wouldn't be able to end it and Bisping would pull out a victory. My guess is that's what Bisping thought as well. Well, we were both wrong... sort of.

Hamill came out and stood toe-to-toe with Bisping. He not only was winning the stand-up, but when he took Bisping down, he let him up, only to punish him with more hard punches. The first round was easily Hamill's. The second round looked to be more of the same. Bisping was backing away looking for an opening, but Hamill continued to land the better shots. Bisping knew that he couldn't take Hamill down, so what he really needed was Hamill to make a mistake. When Hamill took Bisping down, he let him up rather than make a mistake and get caught in a submission. Round 3 was basically more of the same.

I had the fight two rounds to one for Hamill. Everyone watching the fight with me felt that Hamill had won [some even gave him all three rounds]. The judges must have been watching a different fight. Bisping won on a split decision! I was surprised and disappointed. I was disappointed because of the bad decision and surprised because Hamill had come out and defied expectations. He didn't rely on his wrestling and won the standup against the more experienced fighter.

We'll see more from both of these warriors. My guess is that at some point they'll have a rematch. Who knows, maybe even the judges of their fight will get to see it.

Rampage Jackson vs Dan Henderson

I picked Henderson to win because I thought that his Olympic-level wrestling skills would be enough to defeat Jackson's punching power. Although Jackson couldn't knock out Henderson, he was still too strong, quick and skilled for Henderson to do much with. Jackson's skills were better than I gave him credit for, and I had him winning a pretty easy decision. So did the judges.

Overall for the night, I was 1-2 on my prefight predictions. The sad thing is that the one fight I did predict right should have gone the other way.

And Still No Wild, Wild West

Time magazine has come up with their 100 All-Time Best TV Shows. Using their picks only, I whittled it down to my top 25 [listed below]. It's a bit different from the list using Classic TV's Top 100, and disappointing in that neither list allowed me the chance to have The Wild, Wild West in my picks.

So without further adu, in alphabetical order, my top 25 All-Time Best TV Shows based on Time Magazine's Top 100:

Alfred Hitchcock Presents
American Idol
Bob Newhart Show, The
Cosby Show, The
Dick Van Dyke Show, The
Hill Street Blues
Honeymooners, The
I Love Lucy
Leave it to Beaver
Mary Tyler Moore Show, The
Monkees, The
Sanford and Son
Shield, The
Sopranos, The
Star Trek
Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,
Twilight Zone, The
West Wing, The

Saturday, September 08, 2007

New "John Rambo" Footage

Harry, over at Ain't It Cool News received a call from Sly Stallone saying that he was heading back to Thailand for additional filming on "John Rambo". Sly also sent Harry some new footage and I need to warn you, it is "R" rated for violence. So, if you're in the mood for some Rambo mayhem, then click HERE.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

More Proof

From the first time I read the premise and saw some art for the new comic series Proof, I thought it had the potential to be a winner. Although the first issue hasn't yet hit the stands, here's more, ah, proof that it'll be a blast.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

UFC is FREE Saturday

The UFC is back this Saturday with more action. This time its FREE and on SPIKE starting at 9pm.

The main event pits Rampage Jackson against Dan Henderson in a title vs title match. Sounds like the WWE, doesn't it. Well, I can assure you it's not. Both men are 6'1" and about 205 pounds. Their records are fairly similar [Jackson is 27-6, while Henderson is 22-5]. I've never seen Henderson fight, but most claim he's the real deal. I was shocked that Jackson took out Chuck Liddell so easily, so it makes me hesitant to go against him. Still, Henderson is one tough wrestler... ok, I'm going with Henderson.

Matt Hamill brings his 5-0 record against Michael Bispings' perfect 14-0 streak. These two seemed destined to meet up when they were both contestants on The Ultimate Fighter 3, but Hamill's injury took him off the show before they could enter the octagon together. Now they'll determine who the best fighter is... and I'm going with Bispings' experience.

Micro Cro Cop comes off a devastating knockout loss to face Cheick Kongo. Cro Cop wins or his stock drops off the charts. That being the case, I'm taking Cro Cop.

Am I wrong?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Right at Your Door

I first learned about "Right At Your Door" from a positive review in Entertainment Weekly. It didn't sound like a typical summer flick and I decided that given the opportunity, I'd like to see it. After watching THIS TRAILER, I haven't changed my mind.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Coolest Thing on the Web Now

Right this minute. THIS is the coolest thing on the web.