Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Marvel and Disney...What the hey?

Sure it is unusual...but is Disney owning Marvel a terrible thing? I can't be entirely sold on either argument just yet. But I can say that Disney owning Miramax has actually worked out pretty well. They are now great production company and a distribution company that gives a shot to new independent movies, and with the purchase power of Disney behind them. So one would be inclinded to think it to be a good move.

Of course it is Disney which alone is cause for concern. Are our hopes of rated R comic book movies dashed upon the rocks? Well, look at it this way, if it keeps Fox's paws off of Marvel properties I am all for it.

I do have to comment as well, Marvel really sucks at making their own movies. They are truly terrible. They are falling back on the old habits in the 80's and 90's when they made the Dolph Lungren Punisher and Marc Salinger (yep, J.D.'s kid) Captain America. So putting the character properties in someone else's hands is not so incredibly terrible. I really wish they could have done it on their own, with no one to answer to, but better this than sending themselves into bankruptcy again.

So I would guess my stance is worried...but not panicking.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Here is what happened

Well...been a few months since I've bothered to write. Write ANYTHING. But I have to preface with the fact that busy doesn't even begin to describe what my days have been like lately. I'll try to elucidate and if you follow, great. If you just think I'm a lazy ass... well, you wouldn't be entirely unfair in that assessment.

So for the past several months I have been working on not one, not two, but three comic book titles. I knocked one out of the way and another grew in its place so until the end of September that is just the way life is. And let me tell you, I love it. I am making the deadlines, albeit barely. This is what an illustrator wants.

The details:

Code Red from Pickle Press, issue one is done and on the shelves. One could order a copy by emailing picklepress.com and paying 5.00 plus shipping if one were so inclined. So incline yourself.

Next up, I just finished a short story for the one and only Robert Heske (The Night Projectionist writer.) Fans of horror are definitely going to dig this. It is another book of short stories based on the idea of 2012 myths as reality. When the printin' is done you will be told where to get your copy but good bets are on keeping up with coldbloodedchillers.com to find out. Hell, the last book I did with him won the bronze IPPY award so who knows what roof this will blow off.

The new title is a story for a book called Grave Conditions from Scott Nicholson at hauntedcomputer.com. You can trust be on the baddassedness of Scott's writing and this will be a book to look for and demand from your local retailer. I'm doing things a little differently for this one just to shake up my own artwork a bit. No more details until Scott sees the work.

Lastly, the BIG KAHUNA. I am working on a new graphic novel for Insomnia Publications. Those who know me already know I was published in their anthology book Layer Zero, Choices. After another title's writer flaked out on me they were kind enough to throw me another bone. This book is called Quarantine and is written by the hyper talented Michael Moreci. Describing this one is hard without being derivative. I could say things like 28 Days later meets Escape from New York, but really not like New York, more like The Stand. But not entirely. You see were this is going... it would take another paragraph. But Mike and I were already discussing the push for San Diego next year so you can see that this is going to be huge. I'll be done with the drawing on this by the end of 2009. We will have to see what happens with the colors as I'm trying to find someone with no life to color it for me. If not, I'll be doing the deed myself which will add about another two months. After which, I think I'll have a drink.

Heske and I are already plotting for 2010 so be on the lookout for more from us as well...

As far as my waking life is concerned, much has happened as well. I have, after almost 20 years become a non-smoker. Believe me, I am a complete dick right now so better that I stay at home and get my drawing done. I don't know who out there has attempted this before but I'm pretty sure I could shake heroin after this. It is truly awful so, kids, don't ever start.

I also have moved back to my home state of North Carolina. In the process I have reconnected with so many of my old friends and family and am kind of gushing over it. You never know exactly how much you missed someone until you get the chance to see them or hear from them. It sounds stupid I know, but it is on my mind and this IS a blog, isn't it?

That's about it for tonight. This entry doesn't really follow the format of this site. Hell, I'm supposed to be writing about new comics and movies. But, screw it, I like this site and so what if it has become a little personal. Next entry: Marvel and Disney and DC getting their own studio at WB. I promise I have a few things to say about these.

Sorry for any typos. I kinda puked this one out.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

That's : Award Winning Bone Chillers Thanks very much.

BONE CHILLER has won a Bronze medal at the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Horror category.

This just doesn't seem to stop for us. Every time I turn around either it's a good review on USAtoday's site or a damn IPPY award. WHEN WILL IT END????!!!

This is actually my first association with a book that won an award so you can imagine I am more than elated. I think R. Heske has been incredibly kind to include me in his anthology and am happy just to contribute at all.

This calls for a beer.

But then what doesn't?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I've had it with FOX

Normally, I try not to be a Negative Nancy with my blog. I'm not about burning bridges or anything and am very interested in giving everyone a fair shake. But after much internal dialogue I feel it is my duty to rant a little bit. So get ready with your grains of salt as this is just one guy's opinion of sticking it to The Man.

Fox Studios as a film company has been more than dubious of late and their "Let's take 'em to court" business model has me suspicious of their creative abilities. After sitting on The Watchmen for so long and being on record as saying the movie was "impossible" to make they went forth with a contract to WB to allow them the rights to make one of the best adaptations I have ever seen. But of course WB in their rush of giddiness failed to read the fine print and got slapped with a lawsuit regardless. Lately we have watched Fox destroy the story lines to many of fandom's favorite characters to dumb them up for a public who loves American Gladiators and Professional Wrestling. It would almost seem as though Rupert Murdoch doesn't have a lot of faith in the average American intellect. This is obviously the reason that Fox News can exist at all by creating false news stories.

I would love for everyone to remember the fact that every time you watch Fox television or a Fox movie, one way or another you are putting money into the pocket of Bill O'Reilley. By spending your hard earned dollars for a Fox film, Fox News can exist whether it turns a profit or not. I think Fox is a perfect example of what happens to an entertainment company when they have no one creative in charge of anything and the company is run entirely by business executives.

Unfortunately, Marvel is in a lock with Fox at this point and WB and DC Comics are the same entity. All that leaves are the independents. Although it is difficult to refer to Dark Horse and Image as independent anymore. But as far as I am concerned there is absolutely no reason an independent comic book company should be dealing with Fox at all. For your consideration I would like to recommend a company by the name of Screen Gems Studios located in beautiful Wilmington, North Carolina. They are one of the studios behind the Underworld films among others successful franchises. I would love to see Screen Gems corner the market on films produced by independent comics. They seem to be more of a company willing to take creative risks and for that I applaud them.

Just click the video below to see where your money really goes.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Marvel seeks the New Generation

I got the following post from www.superherohype.com

Marvel Entertainment is Hiring Writers
Source:Variety March 27, 2009

Marvel Entertainment is readying to assemble a group of writers who will pen scripts for various properties Marvel wants to develop, reports Variety.

Marvel will invite up to five writers each year to work on specific projects. Those could include staffers behind Marvel's comic books.

The trade adds that the company will provide the specific pitches it wants the writers to tackle. Those could involve certain plot points for movies already in development or characters it would like to see in its future film slate.

The gathering of screenwriters will help Marvel come up with creative ways to launch its lesser-known properties, such as Black Panther, Cable, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Nighthawk and Vision.

So far, it has focused its efforts on more popular superheroes like Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America.

A group of Marvel executives will choose the writers, with the final decision made by Kevin Feige, Marvel Studio's president of production.

Terms call for Marvel to own whatever the writers work on during the year. Company has the option to continue a relationship with the writers after that period

Now could be your chance, Attention Robert Heske, Attention Scott Phillips

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Updates: long over due

For those who actually do follow this blog, I suck. But in defense of my absense let me say: I have been REALLY busy. And I don't mean the kind of busy you tell your friends when you just don't feel like hanging out. I mean drawing every day for hours upon end. Marketing for any amount of time I can possibly manage. Not to mention keeping my day job going during the second Great Depression.

To start, the progress on The Legend of Boudicca has been nothing short of spectacular. I am nearly done with the inks on issue one and we will start promoting the book to publishers this spring. The Legend of Boudicca is written by Joey Ellison.

I will start work imediately after on a project for Nik Havert at Pickle Press featuring the fitness model April Hunter titled Code Red. It is an incredibly cool promo comic for April so keep in touch with Pickle Press on release dates.

Also this summer you can see a pin-up that I created for Robert Richardson's up coming release Old School published by Arcana Comics. The precursor, The Matriarch is available for order at Arcanacomics.com

Finally you can order copies of Layer Zero: Choices from Insomnia Publications featuring the story Nearest and Dearest written by Greg Carruthers and illustrated by myself. You can visit their site at theredeye.co.uk/

Check back with me in a day or two as I have a few reviews I've been working on and may have some more of my info available as well.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

More Heske Horror!!!!

This is the brilliantly producd trailer for the Upcoming BONE CHIILER, a new book from Heske Horror. This book is an anthology of short stories brought together from the Cold Blooded Chillers mini series (issue 2 featuring art by yours truly.) It feature not one but two pages from the story I worked on with Mister Heske. Just look for the lady with the blood flying all around her and you will know its me.

This series and now this new book has been so acclaimed by reviewers and critics it has been like shooting fish in a barrel. I highly reccomend picking up an issue and seeing what all the hubbub is about.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thank you GOD!!!!!!!!!

The following was posted 5 days ago on a message board and is the best possible news for independent comic creators and publishers. The only thing I ask of readers is not to get too excited, yet. Until the official launch and announcement is made all of your questions can not be answered. Please do not inundate these guys with phone calls and emails until they make the official announcement. You are only going to take up their time, precious time they need to work out all the kinks. So let it be for right now and just be happy that something this cool is being worked on as we speak.

"Ka-Blam Digital Printing to Launch Direct Market Comics Distribution SystemFebruary 1st, 2009
First things first, we really appreciate all the well-wishing and kind words directed our way since our cryptic little announcement a few days back.
Distribution into the direct comics market system is something we've had on the drawing board almost since we launched in 2005. It's a daunting prospect and we've spent a lot of time over the last couple of years puzzling through how we wanted to approach it. We had planned to roll out a brief pilot program of sorts – offering a limited catalog of items available only to a handful of volunteer retailers – by summer of this year. And then take what we learned from that program, retool a bit, add the full catalog, and launch the actual service sometime this fall.
The best laid schemes of mice and men …
With news of the developments in the direct market in January and their impact on independent publishers, we began getting pummeled with messages and emails all asking a variance of the same thing "When are you guys going to start distributing to comics shops?"
We realized that a multi-month pilot program, an indeterminate retooling period, and an official launch 9 months or so from now were off the table for good. Circumstances were dictating the pace. We couldn't wait any longer.
We've got to go now.
This is less than ideal, but unavoidable. We know that just as with the launch of Ka-Blam and then again with IndyPlanet, there will be unforeseen complications, fits and starts, and hiccups aplenty along the way. Things will not always go smoothly. We'll make mistakes, but we'll correct them. It'll certainly take us a while to get our legs under us and to fully hit our stride. We beg your indulgence during this time and promise you that your patience will be rewarded.
There will be a lot more information in the coming days, but for now here are the basics –
Ka-Blam Digital Printing is launching a print-on-demand distribution service to direct market comics shops.
To avoid confusion with our existing business model at Ka-Blam.com the direct market distribution system will be its own entity with its own unique site and url.
ComicsMonkey is the entity and comicsmonkey.com is the url. Other than this blog, there's not much to see here just yet. We're putting the site together behind the curtain.
As in the current distribution system ComicsMonkey will sell products to retail outlets on a non-returnable basis at a discount off of cover price. And that's pretty much were the similarities with the current system end.
This is true print-on-demand … so the entire ordering process will be very different for both suppliers and retailers. But particularly for suppliers (publishers and creators).
How so? No benchmarks. No thresholds. No minimum orders. No prejudice against offering items again … as matter of fact your items once listed will always be available. ALWAYS.
For those of you familiar with our online shop IndyPlanet.com you'll find a lot of similarities between the way IndyPlanet operates and the way ComicsMonkey will operate. The primary difference of course being that IndyPlanet is a retail site that will accept orders from anyone and ComicsMonkey will accept orders only from registered, verified comics retailers.
For suppliers (publishers) here's how it will work.
For retailer specific information please click here.
Go read. We'll wait.
Back? OK, so … that's the basics.
Like, I mentioned there will be a lot more in the way of specifics in the coming days.
I know that this information probably excited many of you and at the same time I'm sure there are a few reading this who had hoped for more or are disappointed by parts of our plan. There are aspects of the plan we're not happy with, but in all cases we've made an effort to create the best program that the circumstances allow. Do we wish the retailer discounts could be steeper? Absolutely. Would we like to be able to pay publishers a higher percentage of cover price? Goes without saying. But we're subscribers to the economic theory of enlightened self-interest. So while our goal is to create a system that not only preserves independent comics and allows their publishers and creators to prosper in a way that they haven't for almost a generation, we recognize that we can't help anybody if we can't first stay a profitable business.
There's no road to follow here. No one's tried anything exactly like this before. But we're excited to be blazing the trail.
So what's next?
Right now the shopping cart system is installed and we're working on the custom code and modifications to the system that will integrate with the software at Ka-Blam and track the sales and earnings. Once we're convinced that's functional and working properly, we'll begin the process of building the catalog and registering retailers.
We'll announce here whenever the ComicsMonkey listing editor is in place at the Ka-Blam User Control Panel. We're working on a mechanism that will allow those of you with IndyPlanet listings to create a similar ComicsMonkey listing with a few simple clicks.
OK … so this has already run on much longer than I had intended it to but I've got just a couple of more things …
Earlier I asked for your patience while we get our infrastructure in place. I'm also going to ask that you not deluge me with messages and emails. I know you've got questions and I want to give you answers. That's why we've started this blog. Things will go a lot more smoothly if I answer those questions publicly once rather than having to answer them over and over again privately. Please keep in mind that at the same time we're building this new system, we're also cranking out orders at Ka-Blam for convention season and IndyPlanet orders are absolutely exploding!
So feel free to ask your questions here if you'd like. But please check and make sure someone else hasn't already asked and received an answer to the same or a similar question.
Lastly, I want to ask your help.
This is a huge undertaking and we've got a small staff and only so many hours in a day. A print-on-demand distribution system has enormous potential for growing the independent press. Many creators could benefit greatly from this, but only if we work together.
What we need is for creators to voluntarily act as liaisons between us and their local retailers.
If you're an independent creator or publisher then it's very likely that you've got a good relationship with your local comics shop owner or manager. You know them a lot better than we do or ever could. Let them know what we're doing. Tell me them who we are and why you're excited about it all. Show them the site once it goes live. Show them your books on the site. Show them some of the other great titles at the site. Tell them why they should register and why they should place an order. Tell them that if they support us, then we'll support them. We'll build a section here showcasing our retail partners. We'll post a picture of their store, their location, their store hours, etc. And we'll encourage our customers at Ka-Blam – and even at IndyPlanet – to shop there.
We can do this, but we can't do it without your help.
I'll stop here for now. If you have questions … fire away.
Barry Gregory
Posted in News and Information 1 Comment »Retailer InformationFebruary 1st, 2009
Retailers must be registered and verified to place orders at ComicsMonkey.com.
– Please NOTE: Retail order registration is not yet open. We'll announce here as soon as it is. –
Both processes are far less painful than they sound. Registration is simply a matter of creating a username, password, and profile – basically telling us who you are and where you want your products shipped. Verification is about providing us with a valid resell certificate from whatever state or states (or country if outside the US) in which you do business. We'll sell to brick and mortar stores as well as to online shops (however online shops must have an active, functioning comics-based site already in place).
At the time you register you can request a free sample packet. The sample packet will contain a few items from our catalog – some comics, a trade paperback, and a t-shirt, etc.
No cost to you. We want you to see the type of comics we offer and the quality of the printing.
As to ordering from us … it couldn't be easier. There's no phonebook-sized monthly catalog for you to slog through, no advance ordering, no new-book-Wednesday. With print-on-demand there's no need for advance ordering at all.
Our entire catalog will be online and available 24-7-365. If it's listed on our site it is available immediately. You can order today and have it on your shelves in about a week. We're anticipating a few dozen products available at launch and (if our growth rate at IndyPlanet.com is any indicator) hundreds and hundreds more to follow in very short order. The catalog will be categorized by genre, product type, and rating, as well as by status — "New"', "Featured", etc. Browsing will be easy to the point of almost effortless.
If you think the only great comics out there are found in that phonebook-sized catalog mentioned earlier, then you're in for an enormous surprise. Just hop on over to IndyPlanet.com and take a look around if you don't believe me. There's some absolutely TERRIFIC stuff there. Many (hopefully ALL) of the comics you see there will also be available at ComicsMonkey in relatively short order.
At ComicsMonkey.com there will be detailed descriptions of each product and large sample graphics. The ordering process will be driven by an OS Commerce based shopping cart system. Powerful, but very simple to use. Find an item or items you want, put it in your cart, adjust the quantity, and checkout. Your discount will be calculated at checkout and you'll receive an invoice.
Our beginning discount will be 35%. Yes, we'd like to be able to increase that over time and after building working relationships with retailers, but for now that's what it will be. All sales must also be prepaid at least for the foreseeable future.
All sales are final and non-returnable (except for damages of course). Retailer pays all shipping costs, though we'll use the lowest cost shipping on a given order. USPS flat rate will be used whenever possible, unless the retailer requests otherwise.
There's no minimum order, no order fees of any kind.
Posted in Retailers No Comments »Supplier (Publisher) informationFebruary 1st, 2009
So for suppliers (publishers) here's how it will work –
1) You must be a registered user at Ka-Blam.com. It's free and easy so don't worry about that.
2) For anything you want to offer for sale at ComicsMonkey you must first place an order at Ka-Blam. You don't have to actually buy anything if you don't want. Your order can have a quantity of "0" and there's no setup fee. The purpose of the order is to get you and your items into the Ka-Blam system. Each user is assigned a user number and each item has an item number – this is how we track and manage everything. If you're already a registered Ka-Blam user and have placed orders in the past for the same items you'd now like to sell them you're already covered.
3) Once you and your items are in our system you'll be able to be to access the ComicsMonkey listing editor. Publishers are responsible for creating and maintaining their own listings and sample graphics (within our guidelines of course). Publishers will set their own prices as well (although again this MUST be within our guidelines).
4) Once your listing has been approved, it'll go live in the catalog.
5) With each order of your item … from the very FIRST item sold … you'll accumulate earnings.
Everything so far is virtually the same as at IndyPlanet, but here's where things vary. At IndyPlanet you set your price and then receive the difference between that price and your printing costs. It can't work that way here because ComicsMonkey is selling to retailers who in turn have to resell the item at an increased price to make a profit. So instead you'll get a percentage of the cover price, probably 10% but we haven't set this in stone yet. I know that sounds like a low number, but it's really not. If your cover price is $3.99 (which will be a common cover price) then your earnings on each sale will be $0.40. If you have a trade paperback priced at say $19.99 then you'll earn $2 on each sale.
Yes, those numbers are lower than what you would make on a similar sale at IndyPlanet. However, IndyPlanet is just one outlet. ComicsMonkey has the potential to get your products into many, many outlets worldwide. So while your earnings per item will be lower, the volume could potentially be much higher.
Keep in mind that you as publisher at ComicsMonkey have NO out of pocket costs. None. You have no printing costs, no shipping costs. We sell your book, we print your book, we ship your book, we pay you.
And — as we do with IndyPlanet listings — you'll be able to monitor your sales and earnings from your Ka-Blam User Control Panel and request a payout via Paypal at ANY time and for ANY amount that you've earned.
And at ComicsMonkey (as at IndyPlanet) you'll be able to list comics, trade paperbacks, posters, and t-shirts."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hey!!! I'm on TV!!!!

Not really me, But this artwork was. It is a page I'm working on for an upcoming coming comic from Imagination Comics called The Legend of Boudicca. It aired tonight on Attack of the Show on G4. I'm going to try to get a copy of the show for the site so you can check it out later. But for now bask in the glory of my brush with notoriety. The truth is anyone could have faxed anything into the show tonight, and by the looks of things, they did. But Mine was the first piece on the show and I thank them for their kind words in regards to my art.

Hey, Joey, We're FAMOUS!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gimme Skelter: The Manson Revival

Gimme Skelter arrived last week from writer/director Scott Phillips and I have had the opportunity to watch it twice. This is pretty common for me to do when reviewing but I can honestly tell you that I would have watched it twice review or not.

Like a call back to 1970's slasher flicks, Gimme Skelter is set in a dusty New Mexico fly spec of a town. Everyone knows everyone. Convenience stores run on the honor system. There is a little strip club up the highway, far enough away so your wife won't find you. One restaurant on the main street and if you were to cheat on your girlfriend she is more likely to catch you red handed than finding out from a friend.

Our story begins with such a scenario when the main character is introduced to a group of new arrivals in town. Like a horrific version of the Scooby-do gang these kids have traveled to town with one purpose: kill as many local yokels as possible before sunrise. The group is held together by their Messianic leader who is, or believes himself to be, the son of Charles Manson. Their will and there actions are brutal, when you see the fate of Deputy Lester you will understand. I cringe ever time I see that blade twist. And pay particular close attention when you see the random posters for a missing girl. Just...trust me. I'm not saying another word about that.

This film is more of a fun slasher romp (I can't believe I wrote that...that's terrible) than Scott's previous movie "The Stink of Flesh." The comedy seems to fly a little easier with "Gimme Skelter," which makes sense considering Scott is writing without the weight of a zombie Apocalypse on his back. The production seems a litter slicker too. The shots are framed a bit more consistently and like all good editing, you can't tell the editor is there.

I always like it when a director makes a new film using a regular group of actors and crew. It has a great welcome back, we have a new story for you feeling. So if you have seen Stink of Flesh you will recognize a lot of the talent and actually be impressed by some of the new comers. Plus you have the added luxury of watch none other than Gunner Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) do some quality acting and some quality ass kicking. Hansen's performance has a swagger to it that can't be denied.

So all told the film is fun, sexy, and when you figure out what's up with the missing girl you are going to love this movie.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Art contest

Just as a heads up to those who may be aspiring artists. Go to www.comicbookmovie.com to enter the Hulk Vs. art contest. First prize is 200 bucks and there are dvd givaways for the runners up.


Melissa Harris spoken word film

For a bit of backround, Melissa Harris and I are great friends. We were inseperable for years when I lived in Charlotte. Considering ourselves to be young intellectuals, there was no world problem we could not solve over a Guinness and shots of Jack Daniels. Having just moved back to the southeast we have gotten back in touch and I am so proud of what she has been up to in my absense. The video below is her spoken word, documentary style, and it is incredibly powerful. You can find Melissa on facebook and for those of you living in Charlotte you may actually be able to catch her spoken word live.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I recently discovered this company on comicspace.com and was intrigued as to what they were about. I'm quoting directly from the interview questions I wrote so you will be wont of any of my own geek savvy writing on this posting. If you are an artist out there looking to have someone besides your mom in your corner I would recommend dropping this site a mail. You can get there by clicking the image above.

About BelkisNYC
Belkis NYC is a online marketing tool created specifically for independent artists. The website officially opened in January of 2009 to provide marketing tips, ideas, and strategies for its readers. Belkis NYC seeks to open opportunities for all artists to have their works recognized by the public.

About Belkis:
Belkis is best known for being the co-host of The Comic Book Novice radio show on the Long Island station, WGBB, and being the cover model for the Novastar Studios 2009 Fantasy Illustration Calendar. After leaving the radio show, she concentrated on producing strategies for online marketing.

1 What is your attraction to comics and the comic book industry?

My attraction to comics and the comic book industry are the artists. They have passion and love for the craft. I have never met another group of people who do this because they genuinely enjoy creating something.

2 What does your website/company do best?

BelkisNYC successfully gives basic marketing tips to creative minds who need direction for promoting their projects, company, or business.

3 What is your personal definition of success?

My personal definition of success is making a difference. If I can get just one person to buy a book or attend an event, it can help spread the word about an unknown talent.

4 Who is getting it right? Or give an example within the industry
of what you admire.

I definitely know that Marvel is doing something right. Although not an independent company, they certainly know how to impact you with great stories, characters, artists, events, promotions, advertisements and marketing. They use everything the world has to offer in order to get a huge audience. I know people may argue that they have money to spend but they are using internet tactics that individuals with little financial help can use as well.

5 what significant change would you like to see within the next
five years?

I would like the public to demand more independent work.

More good reviews


Just to give you guys a heads up the comic Cold Blooded Chillers which I illustrated the story "Her First Day Alone" was reviewed again. Some very nice word written on us there.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Penguin, Killer Croc and Riddler in one film

Riddler= Hugh Laurie
Killer Croc= Tyler Mane
Penguin= Paul Giamatti

How these characters fit together is a bit of a rip off on my part. But it keeps with the over all tone of the new incarnation of Batman films. Intertwining these three characters into one story and one film is actually a task I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. But for the love of God if something isn't done we are just going to get Catwoman again. So this is a vain attempt to block that avenue before the parade leaves.

I would like to see the Penguin treated as a mob boss. Plain, simple, no super-villain status. What's more the umbrella and quacking laugh have to be discarded. Replace the umbrella with a cane that has a retractable blade on one end and a single shot shotgun shell on the other. Black suits only, no tux. Most importantly, the name Penguin is only used as an insult in hushed tones. If Oswald even hears the word penguin there is a body on the floor with a puncture wound draining blood.

We work in Killer Croc as a bodyguard for Oswald and hired hand. I believe Tyler Mane to be a no brainer for this role. Like the character he is a professional wrestler and could work that in to Croc's fighting style. Not to mention he's bigger than a Swedish thyroid gland. To take away the mutation in the comics that leaves him looking A LOT like a crocodile, the movie back story simple says his looks are a result of Proteus Syndrome (see Elephant Man.)

Most Batman hardcore's consider the Riddler to be Joker-lite and many despise him for that reason. So the film should use that, and run with the sentiment, making the Riddler a Joker copycat. Equal delusions but far less talent.

The Riddler's attempts to disrupt and embarrass Penguin's mafia operations is merely annoying at first. But after he manages to actually kill a few of the mafia enforcers the Penguin is after him in the worst way, killing dozens of minor B-list badguys to get after him. This forces the Batman's hand as to protect the Riddler from getting himself killed.

Nolan likes to set themes or motifs for these movies, "It gets worse before it gets better," being the idea behind The Dark Knight. My suggestion for the third installment? "To be good, sometimes you must protect the bad." As the United States releases victims of our recent torture policies who may or may not be guilty, I think we can all agree it has relevance.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Stink of Flesh

Alright, there is a little background to cover with this one. Please hang in there. I promise it will be worth it.

A few years ago I worked at an art supply store in Boulder, Colorado. One of our favorite pastimes at the store was to write our "Top Ten " or Top Five" lists. Yeah, we had all seen High Fidelity and we happened to be like minded individuals. I was the second oldest, next to a forty-something intellectual who happened to be a walking encyclopedia of punk rock and horror film knowledge. Needless to say, conversations were interesting, heated and this may have been one of the best moments of my life working in this environment.

ANYWAY...one day this guy walks in and buys some kinda crap on my day off. While the forty year old future version of myself is ringing him up, this guy is very amused by all of our top tens which at this point we had placed under Plexiglas at the register. He looks over our "top ten Zombie films" and speaks up, " I just worked on/produced a Zombie movie. I'll give you a copy if you want to see it"

Who this man was I can't tell you. Like I said, it was my day off. But the next week was my birthday, and this film was what my coworkers gave me, not escaping my attention that it was free.

This film was "The Stink of Flesh" and was by far the best birthday present I have ever received.

Now I am not one that needs to be converted to the "Zombie Film" genre. In fact, you're speaking to the choir. So if you're not one for this sort of thing, this film is not about converting you. But if you are already there, do yourself the favor. One thing, NEVER addressed in any apocalyptic setting is the fact that we can't control who lives and who dies. Sometimes the people making do with what they have are not the stereotypical versions we have been spoon fed for the past few decades of film making. In fact, sometimes they are far from what we could ever expect. But, that's just the way it is. And these fringe characters can be even more interesting than those films that show cardboard images of what we know and are comfortable with. Oddly enough, that fact is half the entertainment of this film.

The writer/director, Scott Phillips, found a really good "IN" for this script. A starting point that most who consider themselves writers never would have come up with. I find myself wanting to quote instances from the film but I am terrified of giving ANYTHING away. What has to be brought to your attention is the fact that he made this movie for nothing. Last I heard, "Clerks" cost a total of 25,000 with a lot of maxed out credit cards at the end of filming. That is a micro budget. "The Stink of Flesh" can only be called a Nano-budget by comparison. I have heard between 2-3 thousand. We throw the word genius around a lot in film making, but even Woody Allen gets tens of millions to shoot celluloid these days. Who the hell makes a GOOD movie for a few grand? Well, Scott Phillips does.

Currently Scott has a few more projects in the works, a mini series comic that Tim Seeley from "Hack/Slash" is illustrating and a short story comic illustrated by Andy Khun. He also happens to be one of the staff writters for Kamen Rider Dragon Knight airing Saturdays on the CW network. I believe the next two episodes specifically are writen by Scott. I am also terriby excited that his new film "Gimme Skelter" has become available and in a short time I will have a copy to review. Stay tuned to this guy. Be happy these sort of filmmakers exist, and be a bit sad there aren't more of them.

Click on the image above to order a copy of The Stink of Flesh

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Night Projectionist

I received word recently that Robert Heske has outdone himself and his comic book "The Night Projectionist" published by Studio 407 and illustrated by Diego Yapur has been picked up by Myriad pictures for film rights.

For all of you independents out there this is great news. It proves to you that hard work does indeed pay off and to keep your nose to the grindstone. No stopping, no giving in. It may take a year, it may take a decade. Less whining, more working.

One thing I would I would like to point out beyond the obviously accomplished writing is the ultra professional artwork, worthy of being emulated by whomever gets the directors chair. His work has created a detailed , scratchy world where imperfections blend into highly representational line work Visually, the concept art for the film would do well to start there.

As far as Heske is concerned, I don't think there's any stopping this guy. In five years I am betting there will be a new film studio or some such entity with the name HESKE emblazoned on the top of a skyscraper. To pick up more of his comics go to coldblooded chillers.com and view one of his recent creations. Do it now because once this movie is out these books are going to sell out quickly.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cold Blooded Chillers

This comic series has an obvious personal investment. I actually drew the story "Her First Day Alone" in the second issue of the series. Having admitted my personal bias I have a strong recommendation for all comic readers, pick up this series as soon as you possibly can. The writer of the series is a Mister Robert Heske and while not only being one of the best publishing experiences I've had he is one of the hardest working men in this business. His work is breaking into the mainstream in a big way that I will reveal in my next couple of postings. Point being, one would be wise to get on the Heske bandwagon now.

Remember how superior you felt when you were the first of your friends to listen to The Stooges or The Misfits, its going to be a similar feeling.

The cover art in this images was created by Jay Fife

As if you needed more reason:
"psychological suspense at it's best" USAToday

click the cover art to go to coldbloodedchillers.com


In case anyone is wondering my source for the vast majority of info I write about, 90% of my research is done on comicbookmovie.com. Not to mention I have exchanged emails with their man Jim, (give him a raise) and he couldn't be a nicer guy. For other sites out there, no matter what your genre, you would do well to be this good and this personable with your readers.

Keep up the good work.