Sunday, April 27, 2008

Comics, Movies, and Lon Midnight

This morning I headed over to the the Daytona Beach Comic and Toy Show. My buddy, Steve Myers, runs it and I knew that several other friends were going to be there as well. The plan was we'd all meet up at the show and then some of us would cut out for lunch. It was great seeing Bill and Reb Black, Nick Northey, Tim Gordon, Mark Gmuer, and Chris Hanson. I'd hoped to meet Jerry DeCaire, but he was running late and arrived just as I was leaving. John Beatty and his fiance Bella were also running late, and decided to just meet us at Uno's for lunch. When we left the show there had already been over 100 people through the doors, so it looked to be a success.

Lunch at Uno's was fun. How could it not be when you're sharing table time with Bill Black and John Beatty? Bill brought me some dvd's that I'd been wanting to see from his online movie store. The amount of product that Bill has available [ranging from horror to superhero to tv detectives to...] is amazing. I'm especially looking forward to the horror movies hosted by Lon Midnight! [That's Lon and me in the photo above. If you're not sure which of us is the horror host, it's the guy on the right.]

After lunch we all headed in different directions, but all plan to get together at Tim Gordon's August Show. Maybe we'll see you there!

First Blood Exclusive

On May 15th at 7:30 p.m. at select theaters nationwide, Stallone fans will be able to see a special showing of "First Blood." Then, following the film, the alternate ending (where Rambo dies) will be shown for the first time ever in theatres. Then to top off this one night event an exclusive, never-before-seen interview with Sylvester Stallone [who will discuss all of the Rambo films] will be screened. For full details, click HERE. - Craig

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sketch Society

Today I swung by the April Sketch Society meeting for a couple of hours. The meeting is always held on the last Saturday of the month at the Java Junction in Holly Hill. One of the great things about Sketch Society is that you never know who's going to show up. Two guys, O'Serimi and Owen joined the festivities for the first time. John Beatty [who started the Sketch Society], Rob Smith and Mark Dail were also in attendance. John worked on some Upper Deck Sketch Cards [sorry, but no pictures allowed]. O'Serimi, Mark and Owen worked on figure studies while Beatty and I did our best to keep up with Rob's tales of his travels [and to NOT call him BOB].

Since I had to leave early I don't have any photos of completed sketches, but promise to do better in May!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Love for Rev. Dave Johnson's Art

The art above is just a small sample of why I love Dave Johnson's art. Click HERE for a bigger sample.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Daytona Comic and Toy Show

If you're anywhere near Daytona Beach, Florida this Sunday, you may want to check out the Daytona Beach Comic and Toy Show. Jerry DeCaire who created the cool Punisher art for today's header will be there. So will author Frank Feschino and a roomful of dealers. I'll be there. Who knows, maybe I'll come home with a new Stallone sketch for my gallery.

You can learn more about the con here. I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Drawin' and Donuts

Saturday is the next meeting of Sketch Society. The festivities will be at Java Junction Donut and Coffee. I plan to arrive between 12:30 and 1 and hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy 83rd Jim Ivey

Yesterday, my wife and I joined Jim Ivey and several of his friends to celebrate Jim's 83rd birthday. Long time readers know that Jim Ivey is one of my oldest [as in been a friend the longest], oldest [as in age] and dearest friends. I first met Jim in the mid 1970's when he was running The Cartoon Museum in Orlando, Florida. At the same time Jim was working as a syndicated cartoonist [The Thoughts of Man], a political cartoonist [The Orlando Sentinel], a publisher [CartooNews], teacher [UCF cartooning class] and even a comic book convention organizer [OrlandoCon]. At the time, I was into collecting comic books and later original art. Jim's shop was like heaven.

Going to The Cartoon Museum became a weekly trip [almost always accompanied by my best friend, John Beatty]. When I moved to Orlando to attend UCF, my trips to Jim's became even more frequent. We'd spend the day shooting the breeze and playing cards [blackjack, gin, hearts] and would occasionally stop for lunch or Jim to make a sale. Jim hated it when business got in the way of fun!

You never knew who would come through the store. Sometimes it was other buddies like Bill Black [pictured in the photo above with Jim and I], Mike Kott, Rafael Kayanan, or Robert Smith. Sometimes it was established artists like Mike Zeck, Bob McLeod, Bruce Stark or so many others.
As the years have gone by and we've all gone in different directions, I'm happy to say that most of us are still in touch fairly regularly. Many of us correspond via e-mail, but Jim doesn't mess with computers. So it's snail mail correspondence for us. I love getting my letters from Jim. Just like when we'd go to his shop and you'd never know what would be waiting; it's the same experience opening an envelope from Jim.

But, I digress... back to the party.

Jim was happy to see the number of folks who made it to his party. Jim opened the festivities with a speech in which he talked about everything from the state of political cartoons today to the origins of Aborigines in Australia. We ordered our meals and while we were waiting Jim opened the gifts that had been brought to celebrate his 83rd. He received cigars, lottery tickets, and money -- three of his favorite items -- and more! The meals arrived and as we ate we shared stories... and more stories... and even more stories. Three and a half hours passed in what seemed less than an hour. There was enough laughter and fellowship packed into the short time, that it made me really wish that we could go back to the days of The Cartoon Museum with Jim running the show.

Oh well, if nothing else, we have Jim's 84th to look forward to.

Who is Screaming?

Hot on the heels of The Spirit teaser poster is The Spirit teaser trailer. If you're a Frank Miller or Sin City fan, you'll probably dig it. Will Eisner fans not so much. As for me, I fall more into the first category, but even still, it feels more Dark Knight than Spirit to me.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

High Tech Noon

Right now, THIS may be the coolest thing on the net.

Greatest Fight Scenes Ever

Rotten Tomatoes has posted their picks for the 20 Greatest Fight Scenes Ever. They picked Rocky Balboa vs Apollo Creed as their #1 choice. Can't say that I disagree.

Although I think that they've left off some great fight scenes [Emperor of the North: Lee Marvin vs Ernest Borgnine; Hard Times: Charles Bronson vs Robert Tessier; etc], I'll play along. Using just their choices, here are my top ten:

10. From Russia with Love: Sean Connery vs. Robert Shaw
09. The Karate Kid: Daniel-san vs. Johnny
08. Road House: Patrick Swayze vs. Ben Gazzara's thugs
07. Charlie's Angels: The Angels vs. Crispin Glover
06. Raiders of the Lost Ark: Indiana Jones vs. the big, bald Nazi
05. They Live: "Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. Keith David
04. The Matrix: Neo vs. Agent Smith
03. Game of Death: Bruce Lee vs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
02. The Transporter: Jason Statham vs. everybody in the bus depot
01. Rocky: Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed

More Spirit Than Last Time

AICN has scored the first look at the full Spirit teaser poster. I like it a whole lot better than the earlier promotional posters for Frank Miller's The Spirit movie. It's a bit odd that my feelings about the movie continue to swing between really liking what they're doing to it just being okay. Actually, I'm kind of diggin' this newest poster.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

20 of the Toughest

The List Universe posts their Top 20 Classic Tough Guys. Okay, I’ll play using just the guys on their list, here is how I’d rate them:

  1. Lee Marvin
  2. Charles Bronson
  3. Clint Eastwood
  4. Sean Connery
  5. John Wayne
  6. Kirk Douglas
  7. Robert Mitchum
  8. Charlton Heston
  9. Burt Lancaster
  10. Robert Ryan
  11. James Coburn
  12. Anthony Quinn
  13. Yul Brynner
  14. Humphrey Bogart
  15. Steve McQueen
  16. John Garfield
  17. Richard Widmark
  18. Dana Andrews
  19. James Cagney
  20. Edward G. Robinson

Monday, April 14, 2008

Whew! I Passed!

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Yeah, baby. And with a PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATION!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Zablo Sounds Like...

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North

The South

The Northeast


The West


North Central

What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

So I have a voice good for tv or radio and a look good for radio. Hmmmm....

Fandango: Escape Artist

Last night my wife and I were watching the 1958 Roger Corman cult film "Machine Gun Kelly" starring Charles Bronson. Morey Amsterdam, who is probably best known for his classic role as Buddy Sorrell on The Dick Van Dyke Show, was one of the co-stars. Amsterdam played a swishy, one-armed weasel named Fandango who eventually brings about Machine Gun Kelly's downfall, but before he does there's a scene that's so unintentionally funny that I've got to tell you about it.

Okay. So the police have brought Fandango into the station. Fandango is a small, wimpy wanna-be bad guy that everyone pushes around. The cops have been sweating him in order to find Machine Gun Kelly. Despite their best efforts they're unable to get Fandango to break so they turn him loose. After Fandango leaves the room the head detective tells his partner not to worry, he's put his best man on trailing the one-armed weasel. Less than five seconds later the door opens and a cop says, "He got away. I lost him. He slipped into the ladies room and got away."

My wife and I both burst out laughing. Their best cop lost a small, one-armed man named Fandango before he could even get out of the police station! The next scene showed Fandango arriving at the hideout and he was still wearing his huge overcoat with the sleeve pinned up. He didn't even have to try to disguise himself or lose his overcoat.

There's a lesson here. If you really need a quick get away, hit the women's room and don't look back. Not even the best cop will be able to track you through there.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Street Kings

There are currently three movies at the local multiplex that I want to see: "Street Kings," "The Ruins," and "Diary of the Dead."

Today, "Street Kings" won out mainly due to the outstanding folks behind it. The screenplay was created by James [novelist and screenwriter - do I really need to list credits for him?] Elroy, Kurt ["Equilibrium" "The Recruit"] Wimmer, and Jamie Moss. It stars: Keanu ["Matrix"] Reeves, Forest ["The Shield"] Whitaker, Hugh ["House"] Laurie, Chris ["Fantastic Four"] Evans, Cedric "The Entertainer," Jay ["Suicide Kings"] Mohr, Terry ["Harsh Times"] Crews, Naomi ["28 Days Later"] Harris, and Amaury ["Prison Break"] Nolasco. It was directed by David ["Harsh Times"] Ayer.

The Pitch: "The Shield" meets "Training Day." Keanu plays a bad cop falsely accused of killing his old partner who had been talking to internal affairs. His team has a cover-up in place, but Keanu wants to find the killers... no matter the cost to him or the team. Soon no one can be trusted.

The Good: * The story. The action from the opening scenes to the end. * The cast. Chris Evans, Naomi Harris and Cedric the Entertainer need special mention as they made the scenes they were in even better. I was worried that Cedric would be out of place in a serious movie, but he made his character work. * The Tension: The scene in the apartment especially -- "I am your nightmare." The scene in the car when Keanu works the handcuffs and the two scenes that follow -- not your typical turn of events. * The ending [as surprising and as bold as the ending of "The Mist."]

The Bad: everyone.

The Ugly: the two gangbangers after being dug up.

Summary: Although not a classic, "Street Kings" will definitely find a home in my dvd collection. If you're looking for action in the "Training Day" vein, then "Street Kings" is for you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lost What?

While watching this, you'll either begin to smile or think it's pretty stupid. I found myself smiling.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Iron Man Looking Good

Have you checked out the new Iron Man trailer? The movie keeps looking better and better!

Jericho Not Dead Yet?

Jericho may be rising from the dead once again. Seems that CBS is in talks with Comcast about a deal similar to one that kept Friday Night Lights alive. You can read all about it here. Let's hope this works out.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

RIP - Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston passed away yesterday at the age of 84. Perhaps best known for his Oscar winning role as the title character in "Ben-Hur," I will always remember him first as Taylor from the "Planet of the Apes."

Don't get me wrong, I loved Charlton Heston in "Ben-Hur" which was one of those event movies back in the days before cable tv, VCRs [remember those] and of course DVDs. The first time I watched
"Ben-Hur" was on a little black and white tv with my mom. I can remember my excitement during the chariot race and my fear of the lepers. A few years later I watched "Ben-Hur" for the first time on color tv at my grandparents' house and my grandpa told me about the chariot race [and someone actually getting killed during the filming of it].

I would see Charlton Heston pop up in movies after that, but it wasn't until "The Planet of the Apes" [one of my favorite childhood movie experiences] that he hit a streak of movies that really made me take notice. Mr. Heston had a small role in the sequel 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes" -- and there were of course starring roles in "The Omega Man" and "Soylent Green." Although these movies have not held up as well as my childhood memories of them, Mr. Heston was on a roll as far as I was then concerned. You can imagine my delight when he showed up in the all-star cast of the disaster epic,

Despite winning a Best Actor award, Charlton Heston wasn't one of the first names that came to mind when discussing great actors. Yet, when I think of all the movies that I've enjoyed that he's appeared in from "Ben Hur" to "Tombstone," you'd have to agree that he had talent enough to make him a star.

In his later years, Charlton Heston became more known for his strict conservative political views than his acting. This was quite a change from his liberal views in the 1950's and 60's. In 2002, Mr. Heston announced that he was suffering from sympton's of
Alzheimer's disease.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and fans of Charlton Heston.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Liddell on Slice

Former UFC champion, Chuck Liddell was recently asked what he thought about new MMA star Kimbo Slice.

Here's some of what Chuck had to say about Kimbo:
  • “People talk about him like he’s the next great thing when he really hasn’t done anything...
  • He’s been built up because of the Internet and him beating a bunch of guys on the street...
  • I could make some impressive knockout videos too if you let me walk outside and just punch people and knock them out—'hey you, come fight!'...
  • We can make a highlight reel tomorrow and go round beating people up and talking about it...
  • We could just go up to people and start dropping them. Wow!”
Wow indeed.

New Hellboy Trailer

There's a brand new trailer out of Hellboy II: The Golden Army and you can see it here!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lacking Spirit got a first look at three posters which create a bigger image to promote Frank Miller's Will Eisner's The Spirit movie. [Say that three times quickly.] I enjoy The Spirit and am an even bigger Frank Miller fan, but I'm not really diggin' the poster. Is it just me?

Not So Smooth Criminal

I've been diggin' Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Criminal forever. If you haven't ever checked it out [or even if you have] CBR has an advance look at the latest issue. Two things before you go: 1] Criminal is not for kids due to the violence & profanity and 2] The latest is a complete in one issue story, so it makes a great place to jump on board. Okay now, here's the link.

New Hellboy Pics!

Yahoo has posted some more Hellboy photos that you can check out here. I'm ready for a new Hellboy movie and the photos make me want it even more.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Evan Bryce Gets Dangerous

Evan Bryce is one of the good guys. He's started a new webcomic over at his blog that features his character Rick Dangerous. Expect a lot of action and a lot of fun. Check it out and tell him I sent ya!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Billie Jean by Any Name...

One of the reasons that I enjoy watching American Idol is that occasionally one of the contestants will present a new version of a song that really works. Chris Daughtry's "Walk the Line" and Blake Lewis' "Time of the Season" are two examples. [Yeah, I know that Daughtry's take was based on Live's cover of the Johnny Cash classic.]

Recently David Cook took a shot Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean". It was amazing. I was knocked out by David's Cook's "Billie Jean". It was bold, innovative and actually Chris Cornell's "Billie Jean". Shades of Daughtry.

Lost War Lord of Mars

This one is for Rafael Kayanan and Chris Mills. [with thanks to Bill Crider.] - Craig