Thursday, December 30, 2004


From my editor at the local paper where I freelance...

Please take notice that Life in the City has temporarily shut down its
operations until further notice.

You may contact us at the address below, and this e-mail address will no
longer be valid after December 20th 2004.

Marc Parent

Hmmm...I'm going to take this e-mail as a bad omen.


Christmas is Officially Over!

At least at the Jozic household, it is.

"Can we take the tree down?" my wife asks me as I'm pulling myself bleary eyed out of bed and looking for something to wear. "I've already decided to do it, but I thought I should ask you so you can feel included in the decision," she says.


And with that, events were set in motion to officially end the Holiday Season at my house, culminating in the tree, and all the other decorations, coming down and getting shoved into the basement until another Christmas is upon us.

My wife isn't usually this eager to get see the tree and all other telltale signs of Christmas disappear - the tree alone normally stays up until just after New Years. Keeping all the stuff up helps make the house more decorative and cheery as you coast into the great shiny unknown of the new year, not to mention keeping the kids happy until they finally go back to school. I'm sure if they had their way they would wait until April to take the darn thing down - clear it out before the Easter Bunny shows up so as not to confuse him or some such nonsense.

Still, I think there was probably something cathartic in it for her to just end the whole shebang here and now. It's been a long and somewhat difficult year for us, and the constant rush of Christmas has been positively exhausting - especially for her. I seem to recall her saying something to the effect of, "I just want it done," so I don't think I'm too far off in my guesstimation.

Christmas takes its toll...

As for me, I didn't look too different from that after reading what I think was about 600 pages of Daredevil comics last night. I ploughed through about 30-odd issues of the Marvel Knights run covering the Kevin Smith, David Mack, Bob Gale and Brian Michael Bendis penned issues.

With the exception of Smith's 8-issue run and Bob Gale's "Matt Murdock has to sue Daredevil" storyline, I found that I enjoyed a great deal of what has been done on the title - at least up to issue #50, anyways. I know it's heresy not to proclaim the greatness of Kevin Smith from on high, but it's really been a while since I've read a story that seems quite so...forced. Everything from the title - "Guardian Devil" - to the death of Karen Page and Bullseye coming back to kill another of DD's girlfriends, the book seemed to be following a connect-the-dots kind of formula of how to move through a comic book plot.

The series, in general, seems to click best when in the hands of guys like Mack and Bendis, and illustrated by Maleev, Mack and Quesada (on the Mack stuff, not the Smith issues) - althogh Dave Ross did a decent 2-issue fill-in and Terry Dodson rarely makes a fool of himself, with his one issue here being no exception. I may check in on DD again in the future if there's more of the same or better.

'Til next time...


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Elementary My Dear Watson

I swung by Artbomb today and took a browse around only to discover that they had a 12 page Andi Watson story on their site that I had never seen before. For those of you who don't know me (which is pretty much all of you) Andi Watson is in my top 5 comic book creators list. His stories come off like a cross between a Cameron Crowe film, and a Nick Hornby novel with some old 1960s romantic comedies thrown in for good measure. They can be sweet, heartbreaking, funny, and charming, but the thing I love about Andi and his work is that it's all very real. Also, his art style is so very minimalistic, but so very, very good. He manages to convey so much through his characters and there is so little to them, detail-wise. His storytelling is sufficiently strong that he doesn't require every wrinkle or stitch on a figure to make the moment work.

Anyways, the story is called "Sunblock" and it was a great little pick-me-up in the middle of an odd day full of work and some residual grouchiness (which I won't bother getting into). If what I've described has caught your interest, just click on the image to go to the story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Give Me Some Sugar, Baby!

Kind of continuing with the whole film theme I seem to have established here in the last few posts, I just finished reading the Bruce Campbell autobiography, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor. It was a Christmas gift from my brother who couldn't have possibly known how much I would enjoy it. I'm sure he just saw Bruce Campbell's name and figured, "Oh what the heck. He likes those Evil Dead movies and the guy likes to read." I saw the frenzied "what to get" look on his face several times last week, so I'm sure that putting two and two together was pretty much the entirety of the decison making process.

One unexpected side-effect of reading the book, however, is that I want to make another short film - right now! The can-do spirit that created those early Super-8 films made by Campbell, Raimi, Josh Becker, John Cameron and others is pretty contagious, and the fever has been passed on whether I'm ready for it or not.

I was sort of counting the days until I decided to mount another small production (as I think I mentioned in a previous post) but was never confident what I would tackle next. I adapted a Neil Gaiman story a little while ago to use as a technical exercise (and hey, when you didn't write the thing, the disappointment is a little less debilitating) but I don't think I'm quite ready for that one just yet. There's some make-up and costume requirements that I'm not sure I can handle yet. I needed to find something smaller, more intimate and not "mine" that I could get permission to use and shoot. I have an idea of what I would like to do, but I still have to seek permission from the original author so I won't mention any names or titles just yet.

I've done some preliminary work on the script and it looks really good, so I hope everything pans out all right for this project.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004


So, I've finally managed to sit my ass down and watch The Bridge on the River Kwai. I borrowed it from a friend in exchange for my Patton DVD, and recently made a pre-New Years resolution to watch the damn thing before the year is up (my friend with the Patton DVD is under the same agreement to finish that film as well).

I enjoyed the film. David Lean is no slouch when it comes to making movies (Lawrence of Arabia is, and remains, one of my favourite flicks of all time) and this movie certainly earned every one of its Oscars. Still, I had some trouble getting into the story and it wasn't until the very end that I got excited about them. Alec Guinness was fantastic as Colonel Nicholson but I've never been a big fan of William Holden. He's in a lot of movies I like (Sabrina, Stalag 17 - hmmm...a Billy Wilder theme developing?) but his style comes off as a bit...loose.

All in all it was a pretty good World War II movie (one of the better I've seen of the old crop) and I'll likely watch it again on DVD someday. The widescreen VHS was nice but the clarity on the just makes a lot of difference. ;)

On a bit of a side note, I just bought When Trumpets Fade on DVD from Wal-Mart during their Boxing Day sale and I'm looking forward to seeing that movie again. It was another WWII movie done for HBO starring Ron Eldard and Frank Whaley, and was directed by John Irvin who also did Hamburger Hill. A good flick and definitely worth the $5 I paid for it!

I also got some ancient Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers tapes, but that'll wait for another post.


The Second Post or I Wanna Be In Pictures

Hey all!

Another day another post. Let's see if my activities over the last 24 hours are interesting enough to warrant your time and energy, yeah?

As part of my whole, 'get back on the writing wagon' exercise, I've started work on a couple of screenplays that have been sitting, unfinished, on my hard drive. The first script, a story tentatively called Smitten, is a work in progress that sort of lost its steam a few months back. It's one of those things where you have the beginning and you have the end, but you still have to go in and beef the second act up and tie the first and last acts magically together. It's been pretty slow going, but it seems to be coming together. I'm on the third draft of the thing right now and I think there will likely be a polish or two after this one is complete before I'm ready to unleash it on the world.

While on the subject of film, this year I was also part of something called NextFest - a local film festival in which I was entered in the Digital Guerilla category. We entered a short film titled Dead End - a name which is still up for debate among myself and my co-writer - and I have to say that, while the experience was a valuable one, we made a really shitty movie. We had no money, no equipment, and our cast and crew were ill-prepared for the shoot (that includes me). It was originally supposed to be set in a house but when we failed to secure a location, we had to stage the whole thing in the car which was only meant for about 2 minutes of the picture.

Much of the best work on the project happened during the writing process, I think. My co-writer and I had fun whipping drafts of the script back and forth, trying to beat the deadline imposed by the festival. All things considered, it was a decent script, but the time and resources available to us just sunk us.

Here are some stills from the film to give you a glimpse into the horror that was Dead End...

Dark and Brooding

"Are we there yet?"

"What did you do!?!"

Just walk away...

Looking at them this way the movie appears better than I remember it.:) Maybe I'll go back and watch it again with a fresh eye, see if there was anything I may have missed being too close to the project.

I don't think I want to give up completely on the film industry just yet (in fact, I'm planning another small production as I write this) but it can be a terribly frustrating thing to subject yourself to. Not sure if it's something I want to pursue as more than a hobby. Time will tell.

Until next time...


Monday, December 27, 2004

The First Post or And So It Begins

Well, it appears that my resolve has finally worn thin and I have stepped, like millions before me, into the wacky world that is blogging. I swore I would never do this, if for no other reason than the fact that I don't think I have enough to say on a daily basis to make this enterprise worth the effort, but I've thoroughly enjoyed the blogs of many others and decided it was time to enter the fray.

This blog will be an extension of my website Meanwhile..., located at, which is a collection of my writings - mostly interviews with entertainment folk - and my official home on the internet. I'll be making announcements here whenever the site gets updated (which is painfully overdue) as well as linking to work I do for other websites and print publications. I will also be posting other random thoughts and ruminations as they come to me. I'm basically hoping that a daily journal will help to keep my writing in check - force myself to keep in practice since I've been so slack in what I like to call my chosen profession. All I really know is that I'll be trying to write something in it each and every day.

Hopefully it won't be a total snorefest. ;)

Anyway, that's it for introductions. I'm off to fiddle with my setting and what-not. I'll be back tomorrow, I'm sure, with something blisteringly interesting to say.


mike jozic