Thursday, June 30, 2005

Hitting the LCS

Looks like I'm going to hit my local comic shop today and pick up some books. It's actually been a couple of weeks since I've been able to grab some new comics, so it should be fun. From a quick sweep of the Diamond Shipping List it looks like I'll start by picking up these and then seeing what other gems may be sitting on the shelves...

SHAUN OF THE DEAD #1 (I'll take a look at it and see if it's worth it, anyway)
X-FILES VOL 1 TP (another one I'll check out and maybe buy)

Actually a pretty big haul, now that I look at the list. At least for me it's a pretty big haul, I know there are poeple out there who get waaaay more than this on any given week, but...

I'm also probably going to pick up the 3-disc Hellboy director's cut today. I found it at a local store for a really good price. I was going to buy it last month but the whole 30th Anniversary Jaws disc threw me off budget. Had to hang in there for a couple of weeks.

That's it for now. I might be back with more later!


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Givin' the Love to Sacco

Well, looks like Joe Sacco has another book coming out called War's End: Profiles from Bosnia 1995-96. The book contains two stories, one of which I know and own already because it was published as a standalone project called, simply, Soba (pronounced, Shoba). It was the first in what was supposed to be a series of 'Stories from Bosnia', but I don't know if any more ever came out.

Anyway, if you've ever read Joe's stuff before you know this is worth checking out.

If you don't believe me, here's a review from the Nashville City Paper of War's End. There are a dozen or more of these out there and they all say the same thing - read it.

I'm going to see what I can do to get an interview with Joe. I missed out on the opportunity twice before and he's one of the guys in the industry that I've always wanted to talk to. The e-mail has been sent, we'll see what happens and I'll keep you posted.


Pull the Trigger

I just spent some time over at TriggerStreet reviewing short films and checking to see if screenplay uploads can be shorter pieces or if they have to be feature length. Turns out it's the latter which is kind of a bummer. I wanted to see if I could get some feedback on one of my scripts but it only comes in at 10 pages or so. C'est la vie, I guess.

I also looked into uploading my short film Dead End but after viewing it again, I don't think I want to subject myself to the humiliation. Man, every time I watch the thing it's like a textbook of everything I want to do differently next time. I just don't think it's that strong a short and I'd probably be better off just working really hard at something new and posting that instead.

For anyone not here at the Blogs inception when I spoke more at length on the subject, I leave you with a still from Dead End (those are my two principal actors, Carly Murray and Bob Wicks just about to start arguing in the car)...


Ultimate Discovery

For the last year or so I've been reading, off-an-on, Marvel's premiere Ultimate title, Ultimate Spider-Man. The series has slowly become one of my guilty pleasures in life, partly because of the solid storytelling of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley and partly because of the absolute consistency of the book. These guys have been on board since the very beginning with few or no fill-ins to speak of - at least none I can remember. The book always has solid viuals, interesting dialogue and, 9 times out of 10, is just a good old solid Spider-Man story - something that is becoming a very rare event these days.

Bendis and Bagley were two guys who's careers meant as much to me as a wet paper bag in a windstorm (no, I don't know what that means), but after reading the first half of Bendis' run on Daredevil, and interviewing Mark Bagley last year, it made me give this book a second look and I'm glad I did. I'm nearing the 50th issue mark in my reading and I have yet to tire of the tone and format. I think the book is on #79 or something right now, and I look forward to catching up. I want to see these guys hit 100.

Who else is doing that these days, huh?


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

No Melancholy Until September

I visited the Paved Arts site today and they are officially shut down and starting the move to their new location. This means that they are accepting no new memberships and equipment will not be available for rental until September 2005. Originally I saw this as an obstacle to putting Photographs of Melancholy Girls together since I wouldn't be able to shoot anything prior to the fall, but it's more of a blessing than anything else.

When you don't have a lot of experience doing this sort of thing it's easy to get distracted and focusing on the actual photography while glossing over the prep time (which is far less fun). Pre-production was a 'luxury' I didn't have on my first short, and I promised myself that I would not put myself in that position if I ever ended up doing it again. Paved closing for the summer means I have 2 months to pull up the ol' shirtsleeves and handle the prep before I have to think about handling any of the equipment. When I think about it, at my experience level, 2 months is probably a conservative estimate for the time I'll actually need to find and organise everything.

So, what I originally thought was bad news is actually the exact news I needed to hear right now. I've got my adapted script, I've got my buffer-zone, now I just need to light a fire and start getting the job done.


Get Your Screw-On...Head, That Is

There is no news about this project that isn't good news. Possibly my favourite Mike MIgnola comic book story ever, just having this in development - never mind in the capable hands of Bryan Fuller & Chris Prynoski - makes me all fuzzy inside.


Monday, June 27, 2005


Well, I got pretty much what I expected to done this weekend. Just like I planned, I did some reading, dealt with some lingering family commitments, kept the house operating on an even keel and tried to relax as much as possible. Played the Grant Morrison written Battlestar Galactica game for XBOX and got a couple of levels ahead in that. Finished off the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron trades I took out from the library and started working on the others.

Did some job/career mulling. Even started sniffing around a bit to see what sorts of offerings there might be in the surrounding area. I toyed with the idea of hooking up with a paid internet gig, but I'm not so sure I want to go that route. I'd be writing about comics, but there are some cons involved with the whole thing, so I don't know.

I fiddled around a bit more with the guitar, which was cool. A couple of posts ago I was talking about how it would be nice (rather, essential) for someone to show me a few chords to get the ball rolling? Well, that happened and my curiosity is once again piqued. Even if I never learn to play, it's fun to play around with it.

Oh yeah, I also got a hold of and started listening to David Bowie's "Hunky Dory" and I'm getting a bit of a charge out of that. It's not a bad album, really. Not as strong as "Ziggy Stardust", maybe, but it does have a great opening three or four tracks even if it strays a bit in the middle.

Hmmm...that's it for now, I think. Not a lot to report, really. I guess I could be posting tons and tons of links to other sites and their interesting content, but I'm feeling a bit insular tonight, so I'll leave the blog on a more personal note.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Keeping Busy

Still busy here at the Jozic ranch but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! I had what I think was a really good day today. It saw the end of the school year for the second of my three kids and a small return for me to the world of reading comic books.

I did a little reading which included finishing the Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron collection, "Warrior Princess", and starting in on Oni Press' Hopeless Savages: Ground Zero. It's a little frustrating because in the last two days I've stumbled across two Andi Watson contributions that I don't have which means I'm behind!!! Andi is one of my top three creators in the biz and while it's great to see new Andi material in the form of the Hopeless Savages trade and The Complete Geisha, I don't actually have them in my collection and now I have to go out and get them. Not that either is a waste of money, it just means more spending of monies I don't currently have.

I also have a load of other books that I'm working through like Electric Girl (which I'm not caring much for), 2 Sisters by Matt Kindt (which is interesting but not sweeping me away yet), Masashi tanaka's Gon Color Spectacular (which is cute), DHC's Happy Endings anthology (which has some really great stuff in it but that Miller bit leaves a bad taste in my mouth) and Michael Rabagliati's Paul Has a Summer Job (which I haven't even cracked the spine on yet).

So, lots of fun, lots of reading.

I'm also trudging through some books like the first X-Wing novel by Michael Stackpole, "Rogue Squadron" as well as the Constantine and Batman Begins adaptations.

On the film front I recently bought myself Young Sherlock Holmes on DVD. A guilty pleasure, sure, but it was $6.88 so I couldn't resist the urge. It has no bonus features to speak of, but it is in 5.1 surround and, I believe, has a new video transfer. Haven't cracked the plastic on it yet, but will get to it soon enough.

Lastly, I have my Q&A from Brett Matthews back regarding the Serenity comic. I also asked some questions about the Angel mini-series he did with Joss a few years ago and I got a couple of comments from him on that score which was nice. Brett seems like a nice but very busy guy. The Serenity book promises to be good and he's also writing a feature for Universal on his own now, so godspeed to Brett.

Still waiting on Seth Fisher, but Seth has never let me down. He's good people.

Next to lastly, there has been little movement on the movie front since I completed my last once over on the script I adapted. It needs a little more work, I think, but it looks good overall. I'm not sure how the filming is going to work this summer since the place I planned on getting all the equipment from is moving and shut down for 3 months, but it's still nice here in September, so who knows, we may yet see Photographs of Melencholy Girls go into principal photography after all. I'll keep you posted and probably start the Production Journal if things look good.

That's it. A much longer post than I thought I'd be able to spit out, to be perfectly honest. I hope to be back very soon with more good news and fun!


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The New Postponement


I have somehow gotten myself really busy these last few days and I haven't been able to post The New... columns (other than the DVD one) in a timely fashion. I might just skip over it this week or I might steal some time later on to put something up since there is about a half dozen comics (for a change) and 2 or 3 CDs that I had my eye on this week.

Here's hoping.

Oh, and just to keep things updated, I've started on the Bear McCreary transcription (he mailed me and I do want to beat the July 15th premiere date for season 2) and I sent off questions to Seth Fisher and Brett Matthews last night just before the storm to end all storms swung through town and I had to shut down for the night.

That's it for now, maybe for today.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The New DVD 8

Nothing coming out this week that catches my attention, so unless you're a fan of Miss Congeniality 2 I'll just mention my recent Sunset Boulevard acquisition...

Sunset Boulevard: I wasn't expecting a lot from this 'Special Edition' when I picked it up but I have to admit that this here is one nice little DVD package. Paramount isn't especially known for their extensive bonus features, or even above average technical specs on most of their releases, but Sunset Boulevard seems to have been one of the few offerings to slip through and reach beyond the marginal.

On top of being a great movie that takes not-so-subtle stabs at 1950s Hollywood (which resembles the Hollywood of 2005 moreso than we like to admit) the disc sports an impressive set of features that include an audio commentary by author Ed Sikov (author of On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder), a couple of half-hour long documentaries on the making of the film, the music and costume designer Edith Head, and some rare script pages and deleted scenes from the film. The disc also claims to have a fully restored picture and soundtrack (which I'll have to take their word for because I've never seen what the previous versions had looked like).

The disc originally came out in 2002 but I picked it up because I found it for a price I couldn't refuse. It was well worth the time and effort as the movie is great and the features informative and comprehensive. If you are a fan of Wilder or old movies, you probably can't go wrong adding this one to your collection.

Here's hoping next week has some better offerings...


Monday, June 20, 2005

It Was 30 Years Ago Today...

For anyone who's a fan of Jaws, they may or may not know that today marks the true 30th anniversary of that film. It was originally unleashed on theatres in North America on June 20th, 1975 and went on to become the highest grossing picture of its time with its worldwide gross of $470,000,000.

Looking back on Spielberg's ouvre, Jaws is also one of the finest films he's ever made, and genuinely worth celebrating.

Anyway, in honour of the event I'm having a Jaws movie party at my place which I think will be lots of fun. We have a few friends coming over and there should be some themed snacks. I just bought the 30th anniversary edition of the DVD so it'll be cool to take it on a test drive with the new surround sound system.

"It's like God created the devil, and gave him...Jaws."


And the Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour Begins...

Okay, as I said before, I've just seen the new Batman flick and I thought it was pretty freaking great. And being me, I have, in the last 12 hours, begun scouring the internet for interviews and interesting information on the film, its creators and whatever miscellany I can get my hands on. For anyone who knows me this should come as no surprise. My wife rues the day I find a new 'project' to divert my attention towards because it really is an all-consuming sort of thing.

Ah well.

The reason I mention this is becaus there will probably be a lot of Batman related posts in the next 7 days or so, like this one and the last one.

The purpose of this post, other than to act as something of a warning for those who want nothing to do with the movie or as a spoiler alert, was to point out an interesting interview IGN did with Hans Zimmer, one of the two - count 'em, two - composers who scored the movie. It's a great score and I have to champion Warner with letting Nolan do a little double-dipping. Check out the interview for more details on the collaboration and the film's music.


Batman Begins Debate

I was reading an article about Frank Miller's undeniable influence on the Batman mythos in the Dayton Daily News when I ran across this part of the article where Rob Worley, editor of Comics2Film, claims that Miller saved the character from "the campy, lighthearted tone that started with the 1960s Batman television series and continued in the comics for many years." If I'm not mistaken, that's only tangentially right since there is roughly 20 years of Batman comics between the Adam West television show and The Dark Knight Returns.

What Miller, in fact, did was bring in the 'grim 'n' gritty' crime noir element to Batman as he did on Daredevil before it. He didn't "rescue" him from the campy TV show, he just shed the superhero trappings and took him from a Bond-like gadget man to a Raymond Chandleresque detective and vigilante obsessed with vengeance.

I don't know why the comment bugs me so much. Maybe it's because, of late, I am not an especially big fan of Miller. I don't deny his contributions to the field, and his Batman: Year One will always be one of the best Batman stories ever told...EVER...but it is entirely possible that I don't like quite so much credit going to the man responsible for DK2. Or Sin City, for that matter (no, I really didn't care for them feeling that they were sloppy and derivative).

Anyway, that's my rant for the day. I was taken to Batman Begins for father's day, so I'll comment on that sometime soon. If you need a hint, it was very good.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

I'm the Piano Man

Just a little personal note for today...

I've always believed that the trick to making someone interested in any instrument is to teach them a song that they know and like, even if it is the only thing they can play. After doing ridiculous exercises and scales over and over again, it's key that the budding musician can retreat to their song, learning to play it better and better as time goes on because it gives them a sense of accomplishment and is proof positive that, with a little work, playing the instrument is not an impossible task.

Unfortunately, my experimentation with the guitar has failed to net those sorts of results for me. Despite knowing several people who can actually play guitar, the hook has yet to be planted and the interest has, not surprisingly, waned.

Enter the wife and her many years of piano lessons and many years as a piano teacher.

Out of curiosity, I asked her to figure out the intro to Keane's 'Somewhere Only We Know'. It didn't sound like a difficult thing to pick up, and out of the two of us, she was the most qualified. After she figured it out (with the help of some sheet music obtained off of she then proceeded to teach it to me.

Now, I won't say that I'm starting to learn to play the piano, or that I plan on going any farther with it than I have so far, but I have to say I kind of dig being able to play the intro to the song (which I happen to love) and it has me looking at the big hunk of wood and ivory in our living room in an entirely different light.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Mad Mod Monkey God

Damon Albarn, occasionally known as his animated alter ego, 2D, did an interview with CNN and talked about making "Demon Days", the aforementioned alter ego, the abandoned Gorillaz movie and some other stuff.

I've been listening to the album in the car lately and it really is a fascinating piece of work. There are some really spectacular songs on "Demon Days" and I think the creative choices they made on this outing were the right ones, even if I, personally, am not always behind them 100%.

Do yourself a favour and check it out.

For some further insight into the making of "Demon Days" check out the L.A. Times interview with producer, Brian Burton.


The New Music 7

A couple of CDs this week make the list with the Foo Fighters taking top honours as a recommend and a couple others as curiosities possibly worth checking out...

Foo Fighters: In Your Honor (RCA): I've been waiting for Dave and the boys to put something new out and this week my wish comes true. "In Your Honor" is an ambitious double CD set featuring one rocking disc and one acoustic. Their first single, 'Best of You', comes from the former and is pretty indicative of what the rest of the tracks on Disc 1 sound like.

Sonically, "In Your Honor" wasn't too much of a departure from "One by One" both in performance and in songwriting but, in all fairness, it does show some growth for the band as well. I've also noticed that Grohl has started to write songs with a heavy, rhythmic centre again (like he did on their first two albums) and this is a welcome return as far as I'm concerned. The last two seemed a little guitar centric and lacked some of the hook that got me into the band in the first place.

As far as the acoustic side goes, that's exactly what it is - acoustic. There might be a perception that because it's stripped down that all the songs are mushy and melodic ballads, but they're not. What you get on Disc 2 are Foo Fighters songs that happen to be written without a thumping rock acompaniment for support. I kind of like it and it shows a side of the Foos that you rarely get to see, at least on an album.

Overall it's a nice experiment for the band and I fully support it. Track this one down and give it a tryout if you haven't already.

Stewart Copeland: Orchestralli (Ponderosa): I had no idea this was coming out but based on my previous experiences with Stewart Copeland I figured this was at least worth checking out. Reviews of the album seem to be positive and AMG points out for the uninitiated that "[at] no point does Stewart use the best word to describe his own music: knotty. But this knotty music is filled with effervescence, heart, and uplifting emotion."

Sounds like enough for me to start an investgation. When I track it down perhaps I'll post some comments on it.

Harry Connick Jr. Occasion: Connick on Piano, Vol. 2 (Marsalis Music): Another out-of-left-fielder for me this week. I didn't know Connick had a new one coming out but that was probably due to me not following his career too closely after the relase of 1995's "Star Turtle". Still, two of my favourite albums from Connick remain 1990's "Lofty's Roach Souffle" and 1992's "25" which either featured a number of instrumental tracks or skipped the vocal performances altogether. People love to hear Harry croon but he's a damn good piano player and when he gets to show it off he's smoking (I've always loved watching the guy play live).

This is why I'm looking at this one and giving it the ol', "Hmmmmmmmmm..." From what I've heard, this album is all instrumental with Connick playing duets with saxophonist Branford Marsalis, so its intimate and heartfelt soings could be just what the doctor ordered. Still...

We'll see what happens.

I should also point out that amazing guitarist, Eric Johnson, has a new album out as does legendary avant-garde artist, Brian Eno. Try not to let those slip through the cracks when you're out looking for new music this week if you can help it.

I also wanted to snicker mercilessly at the release of the Backstreet Boys' new album, "Never Gone". I didn't want to go out of my way to snark about this puppy, but I just couldn't leave it uncommented on, now could I?

And that brings another week to a close for me as far as music is concerned. Feel free to comment on what you picked up this week or to chide me for my picks. I have thick skin. I can take it.

'Til next time...


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The New DVD 7

Another slow week for DVD's but I've got a couple items that I missed out on last time so I'll list those as well...

Jaws 30th Anniversary Edition: This actually looks like a pretty good release despite the obvious and expected ire it will cause among Jaws fans. It was only 5 years ago that Universal released the 25th anniversary edition of the movie which I'm sure a lot of people picked up expecting it to be the be-all-end-all edition of Jaws (even if it didn't have any commentary, but that's a Spielberg issue).

I think FOX was able to get away with doing a similar thing on their Alien series because the Legacy set and the Quadrilogy were so different, but I heard grumblings then as well. Not as loud or as cranky, but they were there.

I guess I was lucky enough to have only purchased the widescreen VHS for Jaws up until now. I've tried to wrangle the disc for my collection but various things have kept me from grabbing it on DVD over the years. Like so many other things in my consumer life, it apparently served a purpose since I am now primed and ready for this edition which includes most of the features from the previous disc plus "The Making of Jaws" (a 2-hour documentary - woo) and "From The Set" which is an insider's look at life on the set of Jaws, featuring a never-before-available interview with Steven Spielberg.

For audiophiles they've included a 2.0 audio track which I believe was previously unavailable. This would have excited me a month ago, but now that I'm hooked up to the surround sound, the 5.1 is all I'll listen to. For those without, however, it's a great added bonus because the 2.0 mix is designed for the 2 speaker set-up and the voices don't get drowned out by the sound effects and the music. I wish more studios did this on a regular basis.

A good looking disc, a good value, and hopefully the last release of this movie for the next few years, at least.

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - The Complete First Season: I'm sure this is only getting a release because of Teri Hatcher's high profile via Desperate Housewives, but that's fine with me if it means we get these episodes on DVD. As lousy as the series became over the next 3 years, Season 1 of L&C had a lot of charm, largely due to the creative drive of executive producer Deborah Joy Levine. The Superman costume looked goofy through much of the season and the effects were of the not-so-great variety, but the character stuff was spot on. This show focused on the relationship between Lois and Clark and was not supposed to be a big budget superhero show, and they did that and did it well.

The second season was taken over by a couple of guys who's names escape me (although I think Brad Wright was one of them) and they were hired on to mnake the show more exciting. Levine essentially left the show, sporting a producer role but never truly controlling the direction of the show again.

Features for the set include:

* 21 episodes on six discs, including the two-hour pilot
* Commentary on the pilot by Dean Cain, executive producer Deborah Joy LeVine, and director Robert Butler
* From Rivals to Romance: series retrospective documentary
* "Taking Flight: The Visual Effects of Lois & Clark"
* Original pilot presentation introducted by Deborah Joy LeVine
* Interviews with Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher
* Limited-quantity commemorative bonus disc containing the never-before-released-on-DVD Smallville episode "Crusade"

When I can find some cash for this set, I'll definitely be picking it up. It was fun, a little cheesy and full of sincerity. Not like that new Superman show on the WB.

The X-Files Mythology Vol. 1 - Abduction: As a long-time X-Files fan I'd be remiss not to mention the release of these new sets, even if I have a little trouble with them. The idea is sound and I applaud FOX for trying to generate interest in the show again (there's nothing wrong with wanting to make a little extra cash off of the franchise, either) but the addition of new bonus features and commentaries makes this a tough call for someone like me who shelled out $100+ for the season sets when they came out.

Still, the packaging is great, the episodes cover mythology eps from seasons 1-3 and there are some nice exras including new commentary by Chris Carter on "Deep Throat" and "Duane Barry", commentary by director R.W. Goodwin on "The Erlenmeyer Flask" and "Anasazi", commentary by writer Frank Spotnitz on "End Game" and an all-new documentary called "Threads of Mythology - Part 1". There's also supposed to be a collectible mythology timeline which is a fold-out thingy, I guess.

Anyways, I'm going to try and find a way to get these on the very, very cheap since I'll basically be picking them up for the extras, but for someone who didn't care for the show but liked the mythology eps, or someone looking to buck up before the next movie comes out, this is the set to buy. It's under $40 (CAN) for the four discs which really isn't a bad price at all.

Other than those two sets from last week, the only other thing worth mentioning is the Casino: 10th Anniversary Edition. I never saw the Scorsese gangster epic myself but it does have its fans. The disc has some decent features and is not priced beyond anyones means, so if you're a lover of the film, go out and grab a copy.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Bustin' Makes Me Feel Good

Well, I caved like a house of cards in a windstorm. I gave it some thought and finally decided to buy the GB: Legion hardcover after all. I figured I'd regret it in the long-run if I didn't so I bit the bullet.

I'll post something on it once it arrives, which should be in a month or so.

I also picked up Seven Soldiers: Zatanna based on all the good things I'd been hearing about it over at The Johnny Bacardi Show. Johnny can't seem to get enough of Zee so I thought I would check it out. It's not bad stuff. I'll definitely go out and grab #2 when I can and likely finish off the series.

That's all for now...


Friday, June 10, 2005

State of the Blog

Back in School

A bit of a personal blo this time as opposed to the regular entertainment commentary or link posts.

I've recently re-entered the world of distance learning (otherwise known as correspondence courses) with the intention of beefing up my credentials with a second degree. The history degree I have was always meant as a prep degree, but when film school proved too costly and unmanageable (which wasn't really a problem since I agree with James Mangold's comment that many of the skills you would learn there could be learned independently and that film school is more important as a community/network to plug into), all I ended up with was a degree that I couldn't really apply to anything.

Enter Athabasca University and the Communications degree I eventually hope to attain from them.

I'm not 100% what kind of job I hope to get once I've attained the degree, but it will likely include writing and the media which is fine by me.

I've just completed the first unit of my first class and I'm gearing up to do the first assignment. It's pretty Mickey Mouse stuff on Information Systems and how library catalogues are set up, so I'm hoping to get that out of the way soon.

Interview Gigs

I'm back doing more interviews even though I've yet to transcribe the three or four I already have. These are e-mail interviews, though, so they're always easier to manage and can be done and posted in a timely manner no matter how busy a person is.

First up is the inimitable Seth Fisher whom I've interviewed twice before (here and here), both for Silver Bullet Comicbooks. He's a great interviewee, a talented guy and we'll be talking about his Legends of the Dark Knight arc, "Snow".

I also have Brett 'Serenity' Matthews on the line. I was supposed to do this one about a month ago but he was busy and I got busy...needless to say I want to get this one in the bag before September to time out with the film so I dropped him an e-mail and started up the communication again. I'm also hoping to ask some Angel questions, too.

Heck, if anyone wants me to ask anything Serenity related or otherwise, post a comment and I'll try and work it in if I dont have it already.

And with that...

...I think I'm done with the personal stuff. For anyone who actually endured this post to this point I'll leave you with this link as a reward. Enjoy!


Bogosian on the R.O.A.D.

I'm pretty sure I'd heard about this somewhere but Bogosian himself put it to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he will be doing a series (mini or otherwise, I don't know) for DC/Vertigo called R.O.A.D.

I'm working on various fronts, a couple of plays. The book-writing thing is so intense, physically intense, but I will begin another one. I'm also doing a graphic novel for DC/Vertigo, R.O.A.D., this dystopian, slightly futuristic thing where I knock out a book a month.

I've followed Bogosian's work ever since I saw him in the controversial and brilliantly performed Talk Radio, a little 1988 Oliver Stone movie that nobody remembers or cares about. Anyway, this is one of those times where gettin someone outside of comics to write something has actually piqued my interest. I'll be looking out for more on this one.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

"Who you gonna call?"

I received my 88mph Studios e-mail news update today reminding me that I have less than 48 hours to order the Ghostbusters: Legion hardcover, something that will not be distributed through comic stores and is available only through the 88mph website.

Originally, I was all gung-ho to get this baby. Legion is/was one of my favourite minis of last year but I'm finding the cost to be a big hurdle to get over at the moment. The book itself costs $24.95 US and there's an additional $13.00 US shipping charge. All totalled, that's about $47.00 CAN and I have to ask myself, are the four issues, the Winston Zeddemore convention special and an intro by Dan Aykroyd enough to justify that?

I'm staring at my credit card as I write this but I feel a bit like the hotel manager in the first movie when he gets billed for the removal of the Class 5 Free-Floating Vapour known as Slimer: "I had no idea it would cost this much. I'm not paying this."

And this might be my only chance to get this, too. Knowing 88mph Studios, when Sebastien says this may be the only collection for Legion, he's probably telling the truth. These guys are small fry and produce only the Ghostbusters material. This is no Dreamwave or IDW or whatever with licenses up the wazoo and a half dozen or more books to throw at you.

I have some time yet to deliberate. Feel free to chime in and goad me on or steer me clear.

Until next time...


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Animated Links

I recently picked up the Batman Animated Vol.2 set on DVD and it has inspired me to link to a bunch of people involved with the show. Folks like Lynne Naylor, Glen Murakami, Shane Glines and others have been added to the sidebar. I only mention this because I'm always adding folks to the sidebar and, unlike so many other bloggers, I never mention it in any of my posts. So, I figure if I bring attention to it once in a while, people will take a gander over there and see if there's anything new or interesting for them.

So, what are you waiting for?

And if that aint enough for you, I'm really impressed with these images off of the Pants Press Sketchblog. I'm not 100% sure who the artist is, and I'm kind of in a rush, so I'll leave it up to you internet sleuths to find out if it catches your interest.

More later!


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Ratner FOX's New X-Factor

Many people have been wondering who the new director on X-Men 3 will be now that Matthew Vaughn has dropped out of the picture. Well, it didn't take very long for the powers that be to figure it out because, just days after the announcement that Vaughn would be leaving the picture, 20th Century Fox officially chose the new guy. The question remains in my mind, however, have they chosen wisely?

It's almost funny that Ratner was once a candidate to do Superman for Warner Bros. until his 3 picture deal starring the uninterested Josh Hartnett fell apart like a wet grocery bag because he was eventually replaced by Bryan Singer (director of X-Men and X2) on the project. Now, we have Singer's desire to do Superman leaving FOX and their second X-Men sequel in the lurch only to be replaced by...Brett Ratner?

This is almost like when Jeff Goldblum and Renny Harlin switched wives (Laura Dern and Gena Davis, respectively).

You almost have to wonder if FOX was looking for some kind of payback, or if Ratner was just in the right place and the right time...who knows. Either way, it'll be interesting to watch these two make their movies and see how successfully they can play in each other's playgrounds (although, for the record, Ratner never actually made a Superman movie, so that whole finale is a bit on the weak side, I think).


Blatty Sues for Dominion

Looks like William Peter Blatty is suing Morgan Creek Productions for 'money owed' on the 'new' Exorcist film, Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist.

For the uninitiated (skip this part if you know the story), Dominion, directed by Paul Schrader, was originally supposed to be the movie you saw in theatres last summer called Exorcist: The Beginning before politics and stupidity shelved the damn thing and precipitated the creation of Renny Harlin's suckfest of a horror movie.

Now, Blatty was paid what he was owed for the one sequel (Exorcist: The Beginning) but he seems to be claiming that Dominion counts as yet another sequel and not an alternate version of the first film, which it, in fact, is (the first film and an alternate version of it - head sore yet?). I don't know what I think about the whole thing, but I do think that Blatty may be overstepping it a bit by claiming moneys owed to him for subsequent sequels after The Beginning.

On the other hand, Dominion did get a limited theatrical release, and will be hitting DVD sometime soon, to be sure, so maybe Blatty is just trying to get a cut of that revenue. Why should everybody but Blatty be making money off of his creation, right?

Then on the other hand (how many hands am on?), if I take into account Blatty's checkered history with Morgan Creek and James Robinson, I shouldn't be at all surprised that he's bringing this to court.

I guess we'll see how it all turns out.


Rhymes with Clucking Bell!

As the professor on Futurama would say, "Good news, everyone..."

Just saw this over at SciFi Wire. Looks like Paramount has pulled the plug on the Watchmen movie they were making with Paul Greengrass at the helm. It's weird saying that without adding a 'proposed' to the 'Watchmen film', but for a brief moment, this movie was a reality.

For all intents and purposes, it could have been absolute crap, but I was so curious to see what they would do with the material.

I guess this explains why the website has been dormant for some time, as well.

Image shamelessly swiped from SciFi Wire


Monday, June 06, 2005

The New Music 6

Only one stand-out for me on the music front this week...

Coldplay - X&Y: The much awaited and much ballyhooed new album from British mope rockers, Coldplay is on the list even though I'm not hopping up and down to get this one.

In fact, I have a bit of a bizarre love/ignore relationship with Coldplay that goes all the way back to their first album, 'Parachutes' (which I have yet to own). I mean, I saw them live in 2003 and it was one of the best shows I'd ever seen but it still wasn't enough to get me to go out and buy an album. I only recently picked up a copy of "Rush of Blood to the Head" for $5 in a sale bin. What's up with that?

Anyway, the new single, "Speed of Sound", sounds pretty decent and if past efforts are any indication, Coldplay will put out a nice, solid pop album with some nice textures that'll get under my skin and live there for a while until I finally break down and buy it.

I should also mention that I'm impressed that this one hasn't leaked all over the internet yet. Whatever they're doing with this album, they're doing a good job of keeping it under wraps.

Ringo Starr - Choose Love: I thought Ringo was too busy developing super-hero properties with Stan Lee to put out another album but there it is! I was honestly surprised to see this on the new releases list, but why not? Why should Ringo have to retire and let Paul be the only survivng Beatle to be making music, right?

I think it's been a few years since his last new recording and I know nothing of this album so I won't comment on it beyond what I already have. I will say that I've seen a good review or two on it so bravo for Ringo. I might hunt this one down out of curiosity, just to see what it's like.

Anyway, that's it for now. See you next week!


The New DVD 6

Another slow week for DVDs. I only have a couple on the list, which is nice for the pocketbook, but I'm not overly excited about my picks this week.

Star Trek: Insurrection (Special Edition): I have nothing against Insurrection but it is pretty much an okay offering in a string of all right films based on the Next Generation television series. Me, I'm more of a fan of the original cast films, so my bias lies elsewhere.

Still, like I said, it was an okay film and one I enjoyed when I went to see it in the theatre with my buddy Brad however many years ago.

The DVD, on the other hand, looks to be one of the better offerings in the new Special Edition format that each film is getting. Although Insurrection is the first of the new films to have no audio commentary track to speak of, but there are some nice featurettes, interviews (dubbed as hours of commentary by the advertisements - right) and deleted scenes - something that always pricks up my features hungry brain.

I'm not truly inspired by this DVD but I'm also not without interest. It's value priced like all of the Star Trek Special Editions so it may find its way into my collection regardless of my so-so feelings about the thing.

The Machinist: I never managed to catch this movie when it was in theatres here so I'm looking forward to getting a chance to catch this one on DVD. I've always liked Christian Bale as an actor and everything I've heard about this movie gives me the impression that, while it won't be a tour de force, it will be a strange, compelling little story that will have me humm-ing and haw-ing well after the credits roll.

Like most Paramount DVDs, the features are sparse, but there is a commentary by director Brad Anderson, a making-of featurette and some deleted scenes so it may well be worth picking up if it gets under my skin the way I think it might. Amazon has it priced at $20.99 (US) which isn't too bad for what you're getting.

That's all that caught my interest this week. I picked up a couple of older DVDs this week as well - Paramount's Sunset Boulevard Special Edition and the 2-Disc Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - so I may comment on those in my regular blogging, or maybe if there's another dead week next time.


The New Comics 6 - Updated!

Hey-ho, read on for comics on my pull list...

BATMAN STRIKES #10: Another issue of the only batman book I bother to buy. It has single issue storylines, is out of regular Bat continuity, is never connected to giant company-wide cross-overs and has nothing to do with the death of Blue Beetle.

This issue looks like another Penguin story (Matheny never seems to tire of those) but spotlights Alfred whom I never tire of, so I guess I can meet Bill somewhere in the middle.

STARDUST KID #1: If you, like I, was a reader of Abadazad then you're pleased as punch to have DeMatteis and Ploog working together again - this time to be putting something out that won't disappear after 3 measly issues! These two creators collaborated so well together on Abadazad - mixing DeMatteis' wonderful prose with Ploog's fairy-talesque linework - that I can hardly wait until Wednesday to see what they've cooked up for The Stardust Kid.

The idea for the series is not a new one for DeMatteis - seeing as he's being working on it in one form or another for the last 20 years - but it will be a real treat for us readers who will be able to step into this world for the first time. You can check out a preview of the first issue if you click through here.

Bring on the fun guys!

BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #192: Well, it looks like Seth Fisher has made a liar out of me because I said I only buy one Bat-Book a month and here I am eyeing the very impressive looking LOTDK #192. I guess I can make an exception for the few issues this story will run.

The story pits an early Batman against Mr. Freeze (one of my favourite Bat villains thanks to Paul Dini and Bruce Timm) as D. Curtis Johnson and J.H. Williams tell the origin of Freeze from a new perspective (or so the copy reads). It sounds like there's a lot of potential for fun here, too, as writer Johnson recently related in an interview that Bats isn't quite sure how to handle himself yet as he copes with the menace of Victor Fries.

I loved Johnson's and J.H. Williams' series Chase and I pick up anything done by Fisher so I have a feeling that it will be a fairly enjoyable 5-issue run for these guys. I mean, with five issues to carry, it's entirely possible that they could drop the proverbial ball, but they'd have to drop the ball pretty damn far, I think, before anything they did could be considered truly bad.

Time will tell, I'm sure.

NEGATIVE BURN WINTER 2005: This is a pricy book but I just might pick it up for the great creative talent assembled inside. Some of my favourite short stories are in old issues of Negative Burn from back when it was a Caliber book (I think it was a Caliber book, anyways), so I don't see whay this new incarnation should be any different. Pruett is still in charge, after all.

I swiped this list of who all's inside: ”Milk and Cheese” by Evan Dorkin; “Thoughts On A Winter Morning” by Kurt Busiek and Steve Lieber; “Years” by Darko Macan; “Hawaiian Dick” by B. Clay Moore and Shawn Crystal; “Angel and Mr. Glum” by Erik Larsen; plus Brian Bolland, Bob Burden, Zander Cannon, Amanda Conner, Phil Hester, Jim Mahfood, Ron Marz, Ben McCool, John McCrea, Fabian Nicieza, Jimmy Palmiotti, Mike Raicht, Eric Stephenson, Chaz Truog, and others.

Sounds like it could be worth the hefty cover price ($8.95 US).

X-MEN #171 might also make the list but I'm still catching up on Milligan and Larroca's issues (which are...okay, but nothing spectacular) so I only mention it now in passing.

And that's it for this week. Nice to actually have a list of books for a change rather than one or two or nothing, like in the last few weeks. Take care!


Saturday, June 04, 2005

Sounding Off

In another Lucasfilm related article Ben Burtt, the 30 year veteran sound editor for the company, has decided to leave for greener pastures over at Pixar Animation. The article doesn't clearly state why he left, but Burtt admitted that "the last few years have been frustrating, so I was at a point of change."

Whatever that means.

Maybe he had to endure one too many 'super-takes' while editing with George.

Anyway, I guess the question remains whether Burtt will be back to do Indy 4 (who's working title I just learned may be Indiana Jones and the Opal of the Mer-Man Prince) and he can only achieve greater heights at a place like Pixar. Those guys can do no wrong (a notion that will be put to the test this summer with the release of Cars).


If Adventure Has a Name...

All I can say to this news is...FINALLY!!!!!

First LucasArts announces a new Indy game, and now Lucas gives the final okay on Jeff (Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal) Nathanson's script fo the fourth Indiana Jones chapter.

It's a good time to be an Indy fan.


Friday, June 03, 2005

Sin City 2 Plot Details Revealed?

No, not really, but I have to say that I almost felt like I was reading something Sin City related when I ran across this article from WENN with the catchy headline:

Strippers Come To Slater's Defense

I half expected to read something about how a bunch of heavily armed strippers with hearts of gold broke Slater out of prison, or found his stolen bike or something, but no such luck. These strippers, hearts of gold notwithstanding, were only helping out a poor shmoe who's gotten himself labelled as a 'sex pest' by vouching for what a gentleman he is.

I'd still rather see my version of the story, though.


Vaughn Voyage

Okay...I know...really bad pun.

But as everyone is reporting, Matthew Vaughn has pulled out of directing X-Men 3 for scheduling reasons. Something to do with his family arrangements. Avi Arad claims that he is not at all happy with having to drop out of the project and now FOX is struggling to find a new director at the last minute because they are holding fast to their release date.

I can understand FOX being reluctant to reschedule since they're already planning on an X-Men movie for this year financially, and the expectations of their stockholders probably don't help much, but dropping into a project that's likely over a year into development and asking them to just take over is a tough thing to do. It can turn out great sometimes (Antonia Bird on Ravenous, for example) or it can be pretty ugly (too numerous to mention). Still, they have the actors waiting and signed on and if they release them to other projects there's no knowing when they'll all be available again. Add to that Patrick Stewart's continuing health problems and you have a production that's in a hurry to get things done.

I just hope they don't drop the ball.

In my opinion, this is a great opportunity for them to patch things up with Singer and wait for him to finish Superman but we all know that won't happen.

Wait and see, I guess. I'm curious to see how this all ends up playing out.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Lessons Learned

You know how sometimes there are things you just need to read or hear spoken to really get it? Even if you know it deep down, somehow having that shared experience (or at least the repetition) makes it sink in real good and you go, "Oh yeah!"

Well, that happened yesterday when I clicked over from The Johnny Bacardi Show to this interview with Brian Michael Bendis over at the Comic Foundry's website.

In Part Two of the interview BMB started talking about the creative process and ended up commenting on his first published comic book and how god-awful bad he thought it was:

"The biggest lesson I ever learned was producing my first comic. When I saw it printed I almost vomited on it, I was so disgusted. The whole time I thought it looked like something else. And then when I saw what it actually was, I was disgusted."

This instantly made me think of my experience on the no-budget and ill-fated Dead End film that I made last year. There was almost nothing that I liked about it and it made me seriously question whether or not I was cut out for this writing/directing thing (even at the amateur level). I did make the decision to do another one this summer but it has always been in the back of my mind that I'll probably screw this one up, too. I mean, I know I'm no Scorsese, but generally if you can't find something redeeming about a project it doesn't exactly give you hope to go on.

Anyway, Reading Bendis' comments really bolstered me up. Every now and then a person needs that reminder that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it's going to turn out like shit. The only way to get past it is to keep working at it, be smart, be critical of your work but not to the point of actually stopping yourself from doing more of it.


Behind the Cape

I don't usually post these quizzes, but I just found this one so damn amusing...

Your Superhero Persona
by couplandesque
Your Name
Superhero NameThe Mexican
Super PowerIrresistable Sexuality
EnemyMartha Stewart
Mode Of TransportationVolkswagen Beetle
Quiz created with MemeGen!


Chekov Treks Last

This is an interesting development, even if you're not a big Star Trek fan. It appears Paramount Pictures is allowing Walter Koenig to produce a fan film giving some background and depth to his character of 40 years, Pavel Chekov. As long as they distribute it for free on the internet, they won't get their panties in a bunch about it.

Kudos to Paramount and I'm curious enough to watch for this thing when it's finally done and up.

Image shamlessly swiped from SciFi Wire


The New Comics 5 - Update


I was doing my daily fly-by at the Mystifying Oracle where I was alerted to the fact that I missed a book in my weekly comic book roundup. I'd been waiting so long to add the book to my 'be sure to pick it up list' that it had completely slipped by me this week. So, without further ado...

MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #4: I never picked up a single issue of the Spider-Man/Human Torch mini despite really liking Ty Templeton's stuff, but I've been looking forward to this story written by Jeff Parker and illustrated by Patrick Scherberger and Norman Lee since I first heard about it a month or two ago. I'll be fair and say it right out that Parker's involvement is definintely the draw here as I don't pick up any Marvel Adventures books regularly, but Spidey has always been a favourite character of mine and with the current crop of Spidey titles that leave me...well, less than impressed, I'm happy to be able to pick up a one-shot adventure that I'm more likely to love than hate.

I should also mention that the artwork of Scherberger and Lee looks equally promising. The two images I've seen are pretty great and I'm eager to see how the rest of the book turned out.

Overall, the issue looks like a lot of fun . I'm so tired of being mired down in storylines designed for trade paperback collections that when I see something like this, I just have to throw my hands up in the air and shout 'Huzzah!' If this issue works out the way I think it might, I'll likely be keeping an eye on the rest of the series for another creative team that catches my eye. It may just be worth my while.