Monday, March 31, 2008

UFOs and Extraterrestrials

When I was a little kid I loved movies about UFOs and extraterrestrials. As I got older, I still enjoyed the [good] movies featuring them, but I became less and less convinced that we'd ever find conclusive proof that they truly exist.

Sure, I've seen tons of videos of UFOs like this one flying over the beach which claim to be real. I've seen even more like this one which proves itself to be less than a UFO. I've heard claims from all kinds of UFO experts and even folks like this former Governor, this former candidate for President, and this former President. But it may be the expert known as the UFO Guy that presents the strongest case ever for the existence of extra, uh, exterter, um, exterest... aliens.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Win or Go Home

On Wednesday, April 2nd at 10pm on SPIKE, the new season of The Ultimate Fighter kicks off. This time the coaches are Rampage Jackson and Forrest Griffin who will, of course, fight in the season finale. What looks to make this season even more interesting is that 32 fighters will be there at the start and each will have to fight and win his way on to the show!

Sketch Society

Yesterday I headed over to the third Sketch Society meeting of 2008. It's always held on the last Saturday of the month at the Java Junction in Holly Hill. You never know who's going to show up. Due to the great summer weather and other commitments, the only folks who made the get together were John Beatty, Mark Dail. It was still a lot of fun. Mark was able to work on some art assignments for college and Big J created some Upper Deck Sketch Cards [wish I could show you photos of them...].

The next Sketch Society get together is April 26th at the Java Junction. If you like to sketch or hang out with those that do, then come on by. The food is good [they serve great sandwiches] and the company is even better.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Not Now... Not Then

Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now... Ain't No Stoppin' Us Then.

Friday, March 28, 2008

All-Time Best TV

Empire magazine has selected their 50 ALL-TIME Best TV SHOWS. Okay, I'll play using only shows on their list, below is my TOP TEN:

10. ER
09. Lost
08. The Sopranos
07. Frasier
06. The West Wing
05. Prison Break
04. 24
03. The Shield
02. Star Trek
01. Seinfeld

And, I'll ask again... "Where is The Wild, WIld West?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Joe Ain't the Pitts

The Pitch: Updated Raymond Chandler meets Stephen King.

The Overview: Vampyres live among us. The world doesn’t know that they exist, but they do. They can’t turn into bats or mist. Crosses don’t kill them; in fact bullets don’t either... usually. They’re strong; they’re fast and victims of a vyrus. Most are members of one of the many clans... safety in numbers and all that. Word is that a clan war is brewing, and that’s the least of Joe Pitt’s problems.

The Good: Charlie Huston can write. Joe Pitt’s attitude [which is bad]. Stretch the midget vampyre. What Joe is willing to risk for Evie. The attack at the side show.

The Bad: The vampyre freaks. The side show. The beating Joe takes.

The Ugly: Joe Pitt’s vengeance.

The Summary: Half the Blood of Brooklyn is an excellent example of why Charlie Huston is one of my favorite writers. He’s created a world of vampyres that could exist outside my window NOW. The only caveat is that the books are best read in order: Already Dead; No Dominion; Half the Blood of Brooklyn.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pack Your Grip!

This one goes out to John Beatty and Bella. So who else is on board?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

CBS has announced that Jericho has been cancelled. This is pretty sad news for fans [myself included] who've followed the show since episode one.

Jericho was one of those shows that seemed to gain momentum as the season progressed. The season one premiere left me feeling that Jericho had a great concept, and the potential to be really good or it go the opposite direction and become a "new romance / save one of the townsfolk" of the week dramas. Instead it became a compelling vision of life in a small town cut off from the rest of the country after the US was the victim of multiple nuclear attacks. Increasingly, I found myself anticipating each new episode. I was sad to learn that Jericho was cancelled at the end of the first season.

Of course we're all aware that Jericho was saved by a massive fan base and brought back for an abbreviated season two. Unfortunately, season two got off to a slow start. There was a new focus -- instead of being about how the folks of Jericho were going to survive life after nuclear attacks, the show took a broader canvas and became about how the country would survive a potential overthrow from within. The change was jarring, but for those of us who stayed with Jericho, we were treated to a show that had the potential to be even better than the first season. I was diggin' the direction of the show and again looking forward to each new episode.

Unfortunately, Jericho has been cancelled yet again. One thing I've learned from the show and it's fan base, is it ain't over until it's over. Hopefully Jericho will find new life on a different network [perhaps the SCIFI channel?] and the story will continue to unfold. If so, I'll be coming along for the ride.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sketch Society Drawing Near

Big John Beatty has announced that on March 29th, the "Sketch Society" meeting is a go!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What Joe Said

The extremely talented Joe Bluhm is interviewed here. It's short, sweet and worth a look!

Hugh Jackman Set to Drive

Way back in November of 06 I posted how much I enjoyed James Sallis' noir-crime novel Drive. Today Variety announced that Neil Marshall is set to direct Hugh Jackman in the big screen adaptation. I'm just hoping that I dig it as much as the novel!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's a Wolf, Man!

I'm a sucker for a good werewolf movie. I'm hoping "Wolfman" will join the list of great ones. has a couple of photos of Benicio Del Toro as the "Wolfman" and a short interview with Rick Baker [make-up genius] here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tropic Thunder Trailer

I've got to admit that the trailer for "Tropic Thunder" looks better than I thought it would. Still, I'm not convinced that the movie will be one of those that I HAVE to see in a theater.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Harry Houdini Movie Star

Long time ZONErs probably remember how much I was into Harry Houdini and magic when I was a kid. [Weren't we all?] Despite the fact that I've read books, seen movies, newsreels and more about Harry Houdini, I've never seen the movies that he made. That should change once Harry Houdini Movie Star is released.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Look Out for Femme Noir

Next month, the first issue of Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries, written by Chris Mills and drawn by Joe Staton, will be listed in Diamond Comics Distribution's Previews. If you get Previews, I'd like you to check it out. My guess is after doing so, you'll want to order a copy. If you don't get previews, then please ask your local comic shop owner to take a look at it.

Femme Noir is a cartoon crime comic inspired by Eisner's The Spirit, Gould's Dick Tracy, plus a healthy mix of cliffhanger serials, B-movies, pulp magazines, and more. Each issue will feature a 28 page standalone story [how rare is that!] plus two pin-ups by guest artists!

Issues #1 and #3 are inked by Horacio Ottolini, issues #2 and #4 by Mark Stegbauer. Colors are provided by Melissa Kaercher and Matt Webb. As an added bonus, each issue is offered with two covers: one pencilled by Joe Staton and then digitally painted by Alfredo Lopez Jr, with the second by a guest artist. Those guest artists are Brian Bolland, Matt Haley, Phil Hester, and the late Mike Wieringo. [Some fans will buy the issues just for the guest covers!]

The official Femme Noir website is Check out the website and if you like what you see, help me spread the word. [And no, I'm not getting any kickbacks. I like Chris Mills' work -- especially his crime comic Gravedigger -- and I'd like to see Chris and Joe Staton get the audience they deserve on Femme Noir. If it wasn't a worthy comic, I wouldn't be talking it up... and you wouldn't still be reading this.]

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Strangers

Now this trailer for The Strangers is one that I can get behind. I love the creepiness of the images. Although it starts out looking like a ghost movie, I hope it doesn't end up being a "slasher" film.

The Incredible... Yawn

The Hulk trailer went live today. I've never been much of a fan of the character and after watching the preview nothing has changed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jim & Mike & Cartoons I Liked

One of my highlight's from MegaCon was getting to spend a bit of time with two old friends. That's Jim Ivey on the left and Mike Kott on the right. I've known these guys for over 30 years. Jim is an award-winning political cartoonist and founder of the original Cartoon Museum. Mike is the founder and co-owner of The Intergalactic Trading Company. Together they [along with Bill Black] put on OrlandoCon, one of the best comic book conventions you'd find anywhere. I knew them because of their respective business enterprises, but we became friends over countless hands and hours playing cards. I only get to see these guys about once a year now. But when we do see each other, it's like the years melt away.

It's hard to believe that I'm almost the age that Jim Ivey was when we first met! And speaking of Jim Ivey, he has a new book out called Cartoons That I Liked. It features some of his favorite cartoons from the thousands that he did over the years. It's available as a or $3.00 pdf download or $9.95 for the actual book. You can even order one from Jim which will come autographed and with a sketch for $20.00. If you're at all interested in political cartoons, then I'd appeciate it if you'd order a copy. The pdf is a steal at three bucks and getting the autographed copy at $20 is a bargain. If you order a copy from Jim, please tell him I sent you his way. Who knows, I may need some goodwill from him should we ever get into another poker game.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dave Stevens - RIP

Dave Stevens, illustrator/comic book artist, died yesterday. Probably best known for creating The Rocketeer, Stevens was also known for his "good girl" art and love for Bettie Page. Stevens didn't have a prolific output, but each piece he created was a beauty. Mark Evanier explains why and writes a worthy remembrance.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dave Stevens' family, friends and fans.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The 4 Stooges

Since everyone here loves The Three Stooges [and don't try to tease me by saying you don't], I thought that you'd get a kick out of a clip of the only time that Larry, Curly, Moe and Shemp played a scene together. Mark Evanier explains here how this scene came about. Thanks to M.E. for the link and explanation.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Costumes or Wardrobe?

As we were waiting for MegaCon to officially start, we were surprised by the huge number of fans in costume. Men. women and children in all sizes and shapes were parading around in costumes adapted from characters in comics, cartoons, movies, video games, tv and perhaps outer space. At some point I noted that some of these folks weren't in costume. My contention was that if they dressed this way daily, their attire would no longer be considered a costume, but instead wardrobe. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, the remaining minutes until the show opened were spent debating whether or not an identified person was in costume or wardrobe.
I thought you might like to see some of the better costumes, so I took several photos. I was tempted to also take shots of folks that I felt were probably in wardrobe, but then thought better of it. So off we go with comments as needed... the photo above is dedicated to Judge Monty!

This photo cracks me up. You have a huge group of super heroes [and a couple of villains] just kind of hanging out and then this fella in the far left decides to dash across before the pictures were snapped. Maybe he was trying out for a place in their group since the Flash couldn't make it. My guess is he wasn't fast enough.

Here's another group of heroes that I caught lounging around before heading out on the convention floor. The guy playing Nightwing must have Spidey-sense because he snapped into a pose without me saying I was going for a photo.

The guy in the photo above and the couple in the picture below may have something to do with the fact that I didn't see anyone at the show who looked like a real Batman. Perhaps these three were in wardrobe and bumped him off!

The guy playing Ghost Rider was probably 6'6" and looked more menacing in real life. Mr. Freeze was my favorite costume of the show. Look closely and you can see the glass head covering and the ice coming off his blaster. Indiana Jones made an appearance as well.

This is a photo of the design on a fan's shirt. It's done by the very popular artist, Alex Ross. I'd never seen the design before. Although I try to keep politics out of the ZONE [since I want to focus on fun stuff], you have to admit that the image quickly sums up the feelings of a lot of people in our country. Now back to more costumes...

Perhaps the guy in the middle is hoping for a try-out to join the Green Lantern Corps. Then again, maybe he's a sidekick to the second Lantern.

Yeah, I know... Who Ya Gonna Call...

Three of the 300 showed up with a couple of their babes. Things were going well until, and I kid you not, a guy dressed up as Jesus was "attacked" by them for a photo op. Somehow I think the line, "Tonight we dine in Hell!" may come true for these "warriors."

More on the show to come...


Friday and Saturday I was at MegaCon in Orlando. Florida. I had a good time seeing some old friends and meeting a few new ones. The crowd seemed much larger this year and the number of fans in costumes, especially good costumes was the biggest ever. As you can see Wonder Woman and Superman also made the trip to the show.

Dave Johnson signed and sketched in my copy of Drink and Draw. That's Rev. Dave in the photo above. Darwyn Cooke signed my copy of his classic take on DC Heroes in The New Frontier. I was able to get a few sketches for my Stallone theme collection -- Ron Salas did a Rocky and Joe Peaker worked up a Deke from "Nighthawks." I'll post photos once I get them scanned. Chris Moreno was finishing up a humorous take on Freddy from "Cop Land" and Jason Walker still needed to add color to his very cool "Rambo" at the close of day two, so my buddy The James is going to pick them up for me today.

I'll be back later to tell you more about the show.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

MegaCon Bound

One more day and I'm MegaCon bound. I'll be there on Friday and Saturday if all goes as planned. I'm really looking forward to hanging out with my bro, John Beatty and friends I don't get to see nearly enough. My goal will be to have a great time, take some photos, discover some new artists, meet some old favorites, and get a few sketches. It'll be a fun weekend... hope some of you can make it!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Two for the Show

Joe Bluhm is going to be at MegaCon this weekend. So is Keelan Parham. Life is good.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

UFC and the Best Fighter

If Anderson Silva isn't the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC, then maybe Jon Fitch is. Yeah, I know. I'll explain in a minute, but first let's take a look at last night's UFC highlights.

The main event had Anderson Silva going up against former PRIDE and two time Olympic wrestler, Dan Henderson. Henderson dropped 20 pounds to take on Silva, who has totally dominated his division. To Henderson's credit, he won the first round. Silva came on strong to win by submission in the second after scoring on big knees and punches. I don't see anyone out there who can beat Silva at this point. Unless he decides to go up a weight class [and why would he], he could be in for a long title run.

The upset of the night was Heath Herring over Cheick Kongo. Nobody expected [well, outside of Herring] the fight to go all three rounds or for Herring to win. The guys I watch the fights with usually bet a buck on each match. Someone is usually willing to take the underdog since it's just a buck and once in a while you can even get 2-1 if you take the dog. Last night NO ONE wanted Herring. I ended up taking him on a 2-1 bet where I won if he lasted through the first round [Whoooo-hooo, I won 2 bucks] and a 5-1 bet for a win [Yipppeee-ki-yaaa, five more came into the till]. Herring won a split decision and actually looked better than ever doing it.

Jon Fitch won a tough match against Chris Wilson and extended his winning streak in the UFC to 8. Believe it or not, that ties the longest winning streak ever in the UFC, putting Fitch in the same strata as Royce Gracie. Who'd a thunk it? Ask anyone who the best UFC fighter is and you'll hear: Anderson Silva, George St. Pierre, Matt Hughes, Rampage Jackson, Randy Couture, and many others before you'd hear Fitch's name called out. Well, Jon Fitch needs to be in there because if he wins his next fight he owns the record.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

1 Bank. 1 Job. One Million Evil Dead

See the today's header? That is part of a poster that rocked my morning. I love everything about it. You can read more about it HERE. Let's hope that whatever it was made for gets made.