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Previews & Reviews that are Z's Views

Eric Beetner Talks RumRunners, Writing Tips and More

If you don’t like Eric Beetner’s crime stories it just means you haven’t read one.  Give The Devil Doesn’t Want MeDig Two GravesA Bouquet of Bullets or any of Beetner’s other crime yarns a try and you’ll be sold.

Beetner also reviews crime novels from time to time and his reviews are short, entertaining and to the point.  Beetner has turned me on to some really good crime novels.

Beetner is also the subject of a short but informative interview by S.W. Lauden where I learned about Rumrunners and few crime yarns Beetner is cooking up for us.

Sherwood Texas #3 by Berryhill and Hillyard

Sherwood Texas is a five issue mini-series published by 12-Gauge Comics.

Sherwood Texas #3

Writer: Shane Berryhill

Artist: Daniel Hillyard

Colorist: Charlie Kirchoff

Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

 

It’s time to go on the offensive! Rob Hood and the Jesters hatch a plan to rob John Prince and free the kidnapped Mexican girls he and the Nobles have forced into their sex-slave business. Meanwhile, Maria puts her life on the line for Hood, doing everything she can to bring justice to the men who murdered his father.

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • Andrew Robinson’s cover [shown above] is the best of the five issues.
  • Daniel Hillyard’s art gets better with each passing issue.
  • “Are you confessing, LJ… or bragging?”  “No difference when it’s the Nobles who I’ve sinned against.”
  • “Well, well. Ain’t you the feisty one.” [And how that reverberates later in the issue.]
  • “Time to cowgirl up, Maria Hoyt” and the next page.

The Bad:

  • How a spilled drink can ruin a plan.
  • “Dear God in Heaven! ******’s BEEN SHOT!”

The Ugly:

  • The Nobles kidnapping girls for profit.

 

Sherwood Texas #3

Rating: 4 out of 5

Z-View: Sherwood, Texas #2 by Berryhill and Hillyard

Sherwood Texas is a five issue mini-series published by 12-Gauge Comics.

Sherwood Texas #2

Writer: Shane Berryhill

Artist: Daniel Hillyard

Colorist: Charlie Kirchoff

Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

 

ROB HOOD, shot and left for dead by members of the Nobles Motorcycle Club, has miraculously survived. After a year in hiding, Hood assumes the identity of a mysterious new member of the Jesters MC known only as “Loxley.” As Bike Week begins in Nottingham, Texas, the disguised Hood puts his plans for revenge into motion. Don’t miss the second installment of this bold re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend– only from 12-Gauge Comics!

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • Andrew Robinson’s cover [shown above] is even better than last month’s.
  • Daniel Hillyard’s art.
  • Shane Berryhill story continues to update the Robin Hood mythos and add in a few twists.

The Bad:

  • The prospect’s odds of making it out alive — he’s in deep.
  • “Do you know who you’re stealing from?” Oh-oh!

The Ugly:

  • The Princess.

 

Sherwood Texas #2

Rating: 4 out of 5

Z-View: Sherwood, Texas #1 by Berryhill and Hillyard

Sherwood Texas is a five issue mini-series published by 12-Gauge Comics.

Sherwood Texas #1

Writer: Shane Berryhill

Artist: Daniel Hillyard

Colorist: Charlie Kirchoff

Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

 

Re-imagining the legend of Robin Hood as a modern day Spaghetti Western, SHERWOOD, TX is set inside the world of biker gangs, drug wars, human trafficking, and revenge.

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • Re-imagining Robin Hood as a modern day tale told through motorcycle gangs.
  • Andrew Robinson provides the cover [shown above].
  • Daniel Hillyard’s art has a Brian Stelfreeze vibe that works.
  • “Well, well, Rob Hood, ain’t you the fiesty one.”

The Bad:

  • Disrespecting the Nobles.

The Ugly:

  • Breaking a pool cue on Little John and not phasing him.
  • Shot twice and left for dead.

 

Sherwood Texas #1

Rating: 4 out of 5

Want to Know Your Death Year and Reason You’ll Kick the Can?

According to the Death Year and Reason Predictor I’m going to live 105 years and die under mysterious circumstances.

I prefer to think that I am like Connor MacLeod from the original Highlander.  You know, immortal and that I am in fact the guy in the statement, “There can only be one.”  In 2063, I will just disappear…

Of course it could be that in 2063 someone will bump me off for reasons never known… or perhaps as 105-year-old I will just walk off like Kwai Chang Cain and never be seen again.

 

Z-View: Winter World #5 by Dixon and Giorello

Winter World created by Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino.

Winter World #4 published by IDW Publishing.

Writer: Chuck Dixon

Artist: Thomas Giorello

Colorist: Diego Rodriguez

Letterer: Robbie Robbins

 

Great Jumping-on Point! Scully, Wynn and Rah-Rah are on foot without food or shelter in a brutal world where death stalks their every step. Their vehicle has been stolen by a mystery woman and killing cold, starvation, giant predators and a mountain range won’t stop them from getting it back! A new arc begins with the rich, illustrative artwork of Tomas Giorello! Bring your woolies, it’s going to be a long, cold winter!

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • Thomas Giorello is an excellent choice for the artist for the next story arc.
  • Rodriguez’s colors continue to complement the art.
  • “Hate keeps Skitters warm.”
  • Rah-rah is one brave badger.
  • Pages 15, 19 and 20 especially shine.

The Bad:

  • What toll collectors get instead of candy.
  • What Scully finds instead of thieves and liars.

The Ugly:

  • Scully’s situation.

 

Winter World #5 is for mature readers due to violence.

Rating: 4 out of 5

18 Things You Might Not Know About “Frasier”

Kara Kovalchik presents 18 Things You Might Not Know About Frasier.

Regular readers know the drill: using just Kovalchiks list, here are my three favorite facts…

7. THE FIRST CUT OF THE PILOT WAS SIX MINUTES TOO LONG.

After seven passes, it still came in sixty seconds more than it should and the creative team decided they couldn’t cut any more. NBC agreed and said they would find the extra time—not by cutting a commercial, but by taking 15 seconds from the other 4 shows on that night.

17. KELSEY GRAMMER PLAYED FRASIER FOR A VERY, VERY LONG TIME …

Counting the time he spent on Cheers, Kelsey Grammer played the character of Frasier Crane in prime time for 20 consecutive years, a record TV-land hadn’t seen since James Arness played Marshall Dillon on Gunsmoke for the same length of time. Grammer’s publicist invited Arness to join Kelsey on The Today Show in 2004, but according to Grammer, Arness rejected the idea with a brief expletive that rhymes with “duck shoe.”

18. … AND HE’S THE FIRST AMERICAN ACTOR TO BE NOMINATED FOR THE SAME CHARACTER ON THREE DIFFERENT SERIES.

Cheers and Frasier are obvious, but Frasier Crane also made an Emmy-nominated guest appearance on Wings.

Click here for the full list.

Source: Mental_Floss.

 

Z-View: Winter World #4 by Dixon & Guice from IDW

Winter World created by Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino.

Winter World #4 published by IDW Publishing.

Writer: Chuck Dixon

Artist: Butch Guice

Colorist: Diego Rodriguez

Letterer: Robbie Robbins

 

Scully and Wynn learn that the promise of paradise is a lie. Chuck Dixon and Butch Guice bring the first arc of this new ongoing to an explosive finale. What they thought was a sanctuary proves to be a death trap. The two friends are separated by their captors and Wynn faces a primordial horror on her own. The world is cold but the grave is colder as events race toward a deadly conclusion!

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • Gerardo Zaffino provides a cover [shown above] that is the best of the series so far.
  • Each issue I’ve complemented Guice [art] and Rodriguez [colors] for their beautiful art — this issue is no exception.  What a great team!
  • “All right Nino. Let’s have a look at you. And please don’t have legs.”
  • Page 16 – Scully’s arrival was as welcome as Burt Reynold’s in Deliverance.

The Bad:

  • TANG – TANG -TANG – TANG
  • “Someone was lying.”

The Ugly:

  • Wynn’s situation.

 

Winter World #4 is for mature readers due to violence.

Rating: 4 out of 5

16 Things You Didn’t Know About Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels hit the market in 1968 and they were instantly on every young boy’s birthday and Christmas wish lists.  Although I preferred Johnny West, GI Joe and other action figures, for a time I was into Hot Wheels (although not as much as some of my other Hot Wheels-obsessed friends).

Aaron Miller at Supercompressor.com presents 16 Things You Didn’t Know About Hot Wheels.

Here are my three favorite Hot Wheels facts…

9. Today, there are more Hot Wheels models than real cars in the world.

Over 4,000,000,000 (yep, four billion) have been produced since the first was cast in 1968.

4. According to Mattel, Hot Wheels got its name from an offhand compliment.

There are a few versions of the story floating around, but the official Mattel line is that when Elliot Handler (the “el” in Mattel) saw (Hot Wheels’ first designer) Harry Bradley’s El Camino in the parking lot, he said “Those are some hot wheels.”

1. Several of Hot Wheels’ most noteworthy creators are legit car designers.

Larry Wood oversaw the design of most of the cars you grew up playing…but before his career at Mattel, he spent much of the 1960s working for Ford.

24 Things You Might Not Know About “Goodfellas”

Adam D’Arpino presents 24 Things You Might Not Know About Goodfellas.

Regular readers know the drill: using just D’Arpino’s list, here are my three favorite facts…

5. The famous “funny how?” scene wasn’t in the script.

Maybe the most famous (and certainly the most quoted) scene in Goodfellas comes at the beginning, when Pesci’s Tommy DeVito jokingly-yet-uncomfortably accosts Henry Hill for calling him “funny.” In addition to being the driving force behind the scene on screen, Pesci is also responsible for coming up with the premise.

While working in a restaurant, a young Pesci apparently told a mobster that he was funny—a compliment met with a less-than-enthusiastic response. Pesci relayed the anecdote to Scorsese, who decided to include it in the film. Scorsese didn’t include the scene in the shooting script so that Pesci and Liotta’s interactions would elicit surprised and genuine reactions from the supporting cast.

8. Only five murders take place on screen.

Despite its reputation as a violent movie, the number of on-screen deaths actually portrayed in Goodfellas is a surprisingly tame five (Spider, Billy Batts, Stacks Edwards, Morrie, and Tommy), or 10 if you include the results of Jimmy Conway’s handiwork following the Lufthansa heist. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that violence, and the threat of violence, is a constant presence throughout the film. Still, compared to a body count of 214 in John Woo’s Bullet in the Head, released in the same year, or 255 in Saving Private Ryan, or even 24 in Scorsese’s Best Picture winner The Departed, Goodfellas isn’t terribly bloody.

13. The real life Henry Hill was just as surprised as you are that he never got whacked.

Henry Hill’s testimony against some of the most ruthless and powerful Lucchese crime family associates led to roughly 50 convictions, his stint in witness protection was short-lived, and as Hill learns from the very beginning, rule number one in the wiseguy world is “never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.” So why was Hill able to live to be a (relatively) old man and die of natural causes, instead of ultimately meeting a violent end like so many of his past associates?

According to Hill, he had absolutely no idea. In 2010, he told the Telegraph, “It’s surreal, totally surreal, to be here. I never thought I’d reach this wonderful age,” and hypothesized he was still standing simply because “there’s nobody from my era alive today.” Following his death in 2012, The Guardian hypothesized that bureaucratic disorganization in the organized crime world or fame might have kept Hill standing.

Click here for the full list.

Source: Mental_Floss.