CraigZablo.com

Previews & Reviews that are Z's Views

John Beatty: Expendable

John Beatty, who’s no stranger to long-time Zoners, created this amazing drawing of Sly from “The Expendables” on Friday while I was hanging out in his studio. John’s been my best friend since junior high and gifted me with this piece since I’ve been serving as his co-host for some of his live UStream sketch sessions.

Although I have quite a few pieces in my collection, and it’s impossible to pick a single favorite, this piece by John is going to be tough for anyone to top. Thanks again to John for going above and beyond the call.

$10 Head Sketch Saturday

Later this morning I’ll be at my buddy, John Beatty’s studio co-hosting as he draws, what we like to call $10 Head Sketch Saturday. John will be drawing live on UStream as fans interact with us.  It’s always a blast, even for those not ordering sketches.  And if you want a sketch, it makes the session even more fun.  The festivities kick off at 11am EST.

Details are located here.  Hope to “see you” there.

The Wolfman

When I was a kid, the wolfman was always my favorite movie monster.  While this poster is a step in the right direction, I still don’t hold high hopes for the new Wolfman movie coming out next month.  I hope I’m wrong, especially with that cast, but I have a feeling that The Wolfman is going to be a howler.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you and yours have one of the best Thanksgiving Days ever. Count your blessings, eat too much turkey, ignore that family member who irritates you, make big plans, eat too much pie, doze in front of the tube, have a bit more turkey, and remember to watch a bit of the parade and some football!

The Book is THAT Book?

While I’m still really looking forward to “The Book of Eli”, I have to admit that some of the anticipation has worn off.  I read a couple of spoilers and if “the book” is what it is purported to be and the events take place just a few decades from now… well, it’s going to be tough to get over that plot conceit.  Still, I’m hoping for a fun couple of hours.

A Lovely Story… a Lovely Movie?

My wife read the novel The Lovely Bones a few years ago [long before I ever heard that there would be a movie].  She kept telling me how much she loved the book as she was reading it.  [I haven’t read it myself, but might some day…]  Of course she wants to see the Peter Jackson adaptation and from all accounts it looks to be a winner.

Maybe I will have to read that book.

“Black Friday” Stallone

The art above was drawn by my buddy, John Beatty. It’s his take on Sly as Cosmo Carboni from “Paradise Alley”. John has done quite a few drawings of Sly for me over the years and he’s about to do another this coming Friday. Only this time he’s drawing it LIVE on UStream and you can tune in to watch it being drawn.

As an added bonus, I’ll be co-hosting the event. We’re calling it “Black Friday Stallone”. While our wives are out dealing with the holiday crowds, we’ll hopefully have a small crowd of our own watching as John gives us his take on… well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it? We’ll be talking about Stallone, movies, tv, art, comics and more. We plan to get things started at about 11am. John will have a direct link on his site. Hopefully you can join us and add to the fun.

Meeting Frank Stallone, Part II

On Sunday, November 8, 2009, Frank Stallone dropped by City Line Pizza in Edgewater, Florida. Store co-owner, Joe V, is a SZoner, and gave me advance notice so I made plans to be attend. It was a totally cool experience. Frank was down to earth and spent the time talking with fans, signing autographs and CDs. You can read part one of my report here.

That’s Mike Tourney getting Frank to autograph his ultra-rare Valentine record album cover. [Valentine was Frank’s band back in the early 70’s.] Mike is a long-time Frank Stallone fan who collects autographs and guitar pics!

That’s me, Frank and SZoner Stephen Isaia. Stephen sent in the photos used last week and has provided us with photos before. He’s a true Stallone and StalloneZone fan and I was pleased to meet him!

We close out with a final shot of my wife, Doralya, Frank and me. It was great meeting Frank and I want to thank him again for all the support he’s provided the StalloneZone over the years. Frank is a great guy, an amazing artist [singer, song writer and actor]. It was a true pleasure to meet him.

I also want to thank SZoner Joe V. of City Line Pizza [great food!!] for the “heads-up”. Hopefully, Joe will be able to have Frank back again some time. If so, we’ll report it here!

Sly as Francesco Francavilla’s Black Beetle

I’m a fan of Francesco Francavilla’s art. Usually when Francesco releases a new sketchbook, he offers free “quick” sketches with each purchase. My first piece from Francesco was Sly from “Cop Land”. My second quick sketch was in Francesco’s sketchbook of classic horror movie characters and for that sketch he did a “Jack Carter” zombie.

My most recent Francesco sketchbook was dedicated to a character that Francesco created, “The Black Beetle”. Francesco came up with the idea for my sketch — what would the Black Beetle look like if played in a movie by Sly Stallone. LOL. How could I not go with it? You can learn more about the Black Beetle here. You can see more of Francesco’s art here, here and here.

UFC 106 Results

Let’s take a look at the results from last night’s UFC 106 card:

  • Kendall “da Spider” Grove [12-6] vs Jake Rosholt [6-1].  Rosholt was dominating Grove throughout the first round when suddenly Grove transitioned from bottom to an armbar attempt and then again quickly to a leg triangle.  It was over with Grove getting the winMy pick – Rosholt making me 0-1.
  • Ben Saunders [7-1-2] vs Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis [21-6].  Saunders dominated the fight earning a KO win in the first round from brutal knees thrown from the head clinch.  My pick – Davis making me 0-2 for the night.
  • Amir Sadollah [2-1] vs Phill “The New York Bad Ass” Baroni [13-11].  Sadollah earned a unanimous decision win.  Okay, my pick – Sadollah giving me my first win of the night and making me 1-2.
  • Antonio Rogerio “Minotaro” Nogueira [17-3] vs Luis “Bana” Cane [11-1-1].  Nogueira came out and bullied Cane, scoring a first round KO My pick – Cane in an upset and boy, am I upset with myself for THAT pick since it made me 1-3.
  • Paulo Thiago [11-1] vs Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann [9-0].  Thiago earned a unanimous decision. My pick – Volkmann in an upset win making me even more upset that my record for the night dropped to 1-4.
  • Josh “Kos” Koscheck [15-4] vs Anthony “Rumble” Johnson [8-2].  Koscheck defeats Johnson in the second round via rear naked chokeMy pick – Koscheck takes me to 2-4.
  • Tito “The Hunington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz [16-6-1] vs Forrest Griffin [16-6].  Griffin scores a split decision win setting up a tie-breaker match somewhere down the line [Ortiz scored a split decision win in their first fight].  My pick – Griffin takes me to 3-4 for the night.

It was a good night for fights, but a bad night for my picks.  Lucky for me I wasn’t betting.

“The Goon” in Thought

Friday night I watched my dvd extras for “The Mist” and was surprised to see Eric “The Goon” Powell on set with Frank DarabontI’ve been an Eric Powell fan for years. So has Frank DarabontIn fact, Eric Powell did one of my favorite Stallone pieces [thanks again, John Higashi!].

Eric’s work on his creation, The Goon is required reading for all comic fans.  And since we’re speaking of The Goon [okay, technically we’re not speaking and I am writing, but…} did you know that Eric has created an issue of The Goon without word balloons?  The entire comic is made up of silent panels or just shots with thought balloons.  The story involves the Goon, a stolen necklace, a fem fatale and a crazy killer… oh, and no word balloons.  Sounds cool, right?  You can read more about it, here at CBR.com.

UFC 106 Picks

Tonight’s UFC 106 card is quickly approaching. Let’s take a look at the fights and my picks:

  • Kendall “da Spider” Grove [12-6] vs Jake Rosholt [6-1].  Usually if one guy has a nickname and the other doesn’t, you should go with the guy with the nick.  However… Rosholt has the better record, is a world class wrestler and in his fight submitted Chris LebenMy pick – Rosholt.
  • Ben Saunders [7-1-2] vs Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis [21-6].  Saunders is primarily known as a kickboxer and Davis a boxer (although half of his wins are by submission).  This should be a competitive fight.  My pick – Davis (well, he does have the nickname).
  • Amir Sadollah [2-1] vs Phill “The New York Bad Ass” Baroni [13-11].  Sadollah won season 7 of The Ultimate Fighter and is a quite, modest guy with a personality that’s hard not to like.  Baroni on the other hand, is just the opposite.  Baroni hasn’t won a fight over an opponent with a winning record in 3 years and many say he is just being brought back to the UFC to give Sadollah a win over a “name”.  Okay, my pick – Sadollah [despite the fact that he doesn’t have a nickname].
  • Antonio Rogerio “Minotaro” Nogueira [17-3] vs Luis “Bana” Cane [11-1-1].  This should be a tough fight.  Nogueira will be the fan favorite and perhaps the fight favorite going in.  He’s also a skilled Muay Thai and BJJ fighter.  Cane is a tough kid who likes to bang.  If Cane can keep out of trouble if it goes to the ground, or better yet, keep the fight standing, he’ll have a good chance.  My pick – Cane in an upset.
  • Paulo Thiago [11-1] vs Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann [9-0].  Thiago is a black belt in BJJ, while Volkmann is a world class wrestler. This should be a great contest.  My pick – Volkmann in an upset win [and, yes, Volkmann does have the nickname]
  • Josh “Kos” Koscheck [15-4] vs Anthony “Rumble” Johnson [8-2].  This has the potential to be the fight of the night.  It’s also a tough one to pick.  [Yeah, both have nicknames.]  Koscheck and Johnson both have strong backgrounds in wrestling, but I’d give the edge to Koscheck.  Both like to bang, and here the edge goes to Johnson.  If Koscheck can take Johnson down, he could have a good chance for a victory. Two things could prevent that: 1] Johnson’s got the height and reach advantage and knows how to avoid takedowns and 2] Koscheck sometimes seems to forgot that his strength is wrestling and instead goes for the knockout.  I look for this to be a great fight.  My pick – Koscheck [despite the fact that his nickname seems like an after thought.]
  • Tito “The Hunington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz [16-6-1] vs Forrest Griffin [16-6].  This should also prove to be an interesting fight.  Two of the biggest fan favorite fighters [try saying that 3 times fast] squaring off in a rematch [the first ended in a controversial split decision win for Ortiz].  Oritz is primarily known as a wrestler who takes down his opponents and then works them over with brutal elbows.  Griffin projects the image of an unskilled brawler, but in reality is a skilled striker who holds a brown belt in BJJ.  I don’t think that Otiz will be able to finish Griffin early, although he may be able to take him down in the first round.  After the first, takedowns will be much more difficult and Griffin’s superior striking will come into play.  My pick – [despite no nickname] Griffin.