Category: Celebs

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.

“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

Otis Frampton’s Jack Carter

Otis Frampton is an extremely talented artist who loves drawing for his fans. Every Sunday [okay, ALMOST, every Sunday], Otis has a live UStream broadcast that he calls the 7×7 Sunday. Lucky fans can get a headsketch of ANY character drawn live by Otis on a 7X7 inch bristol board for 7 bucks postage paid. It’s the best deal going.

I’ve been lucky enough to get four pieces from Otis and the Jack Carter shown above is just one of them. I’ll be showing the rest in the coming weeks. In the mean time, check out Otis’ Gallery. Most likely, after seeing more of his work, I’ll be competing against you in Otis’ next 7×7 Sunday.

Meeting Frank Stallone

On Sunday, November 8, 2009, Frank Stallone dropped by City Line Pizza in Edgewater, Florida. Since the store co-owner, Joe V, is a SZoner, I was given advance notice and made plans to be there. Talk about a cool experience. Frank was totally down to earth and spent the time talking with fans, signing autographs and CDs. Frank has a new reality tv show in the works. Of course we’ll keep you updated as it moves closer to production.

Although Frank and I had exchanged e-mails over the years, it was my first time meeting him in person. Frank was very gracious and thanked me for my efforts with the StalloneZone. He explained that Sly doesn’t mess around on computers much and at first had reservations about someone using his name and creating a website about him. Frank explained to Sly that “Craig is one of the good guys” and the StalloneZone is a positive place for Stallone fans to gather. Frank also wanted to make sure that all SZoners knew how much he and Sly appreciated our support.

I also met a couple of other fans at Frank’s appearance. The first, Stephen Isaia, is a huge Frank Stallone / StalloneZone fan. Stephen flew down to Florida to attend a Frank Stallone concert and come to the store appearance. It was a pleasure meeting Stephen. I also met Mike Tourney who collects autographs and guitar pics. Mike had an original Valentine record album for Frank to sign. Valentine was Frank’s band back in the pre-Rocky days. Talk about rare!

I’ll post more on Frank’s visit next weekend along with a few more photos. The pictures today come to us from Stephen Isaia!

Rambo Changes Course

Hey SZoners – I just received an e-mail from Sly for all SZoners:

From Sly

Hi Craig,

This is from Sly to your followers:

To all the loyal SZoners out there,

I’m letting you know that Rambo has changed course and the story about hunting the man/beast will be done using another character in the lead. RAMBO himself will be heading over the border to a violent city where many young women have vanished .

There will be blood.

Sly Stallone

This is great news since it means that we should get two Stallone movies – a new “Rambo” [back to the concept everyone seemed to dig] and what sounds like “Hunter” based on the novel written specifically for Sly by James Byron Huggins. It’s no secret that I and many SZoners have been hoping that Sly would adapt the novel for the big screen. – Craig

John Beatty’s Quick Carter

My buddy John Beatty recently did this quick sketch of Sly as Jack Carter. Not too long ago John began doing a weekly Wednesday Night Sketch Session live on UStream. These are full figure pieces and fans have the option of getting them with or without gray tones. Here are a few of examples [with tones /without tones / and again with tones]. Fans get on his list, John let’s them know the date he’ll be doing their piece and they can tune in [along with others] and interact with John as he completes the art. This has been going over so well, that John is booked through the end of the year.

In addition, John set aside a monthly time [usually a Saturday midday] that he goes live on UStream and does Ten Dollar Head Sketches. Because these move at a much faster pace [usually 20 to 30 minutes] and the turnout is so great, I serve as co-host. Here are two of my favorites – Captain America and Two-Face from the last session.

If you’re interested in getting in contact with John, just click here!

Tampa Comic & Toy Convention

This Saturday, I’ll be joining my buddy, John Beatty at Tim Gordon’s Tampa Comic Book and Toy Convention.  If you’re a regular ZONE reader, then you’ve probably read about Tim’s shows  many times.  We try to attend as many as possible because they’re always a blast.

This one should be no exception.  In addition to Big Beatty, you can also meet Todd Nauck, Billy Tucci, Tommy Castillo, Dick Giordano, Alex Saviuk, Gene Gonzalez, “Leaping” Lanny “The Genius” Poffo, Santa Claus, and a whole bunch of other talented folks.  There will be a film room, give-a-ways, artists sketching and more.

Isle of the Dead

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of movies and books which focus on a small band of people who find themselves up against incredible odds in a life or death struggle. That’s one of the reasons that zombie stories appeal to me. Not because of the gore, but how much more outnumbered and against it can you be then when you’re fighting a world of dead beings?  That’s why I love really good zombie stories like the original “Night of the Living Dead”, the remake of “Dawn of the Dead” and the comic series “The Walking Dead”

Of course the “bad guys” don’t have to be zombies.  The could be aliens [“Aliens”], nazis [“The Dirty Dozen”],  Mayans [“Apocalypto”], but there’s just something about zombies that kick things up a notch.  Maybe because they want to eat you and maybe because anyone in the group could become one.  At any rate…

Earlier this year Miguel Insignares told me about a project that he’s putting together called “The Rufnex: Isle of the Dead”.  It was such a cool concept that I wanted to start talking it up right away, especially after seeing some of the prelimiary art and names attached to the project.  Yesterday Miguel’s Isle of the Dead site went live.  If you go there, you’ll learn more about the project as well as see the names already attached.  You’ll even learn how you could become a zombie in the comic.  What could be better than that?

Robbi Rodriguez’s Rocky

I first saw Robbi Rodriguez’s art at a convention. Robbi was set up selling his sketches, and sketchbooks. I didn’t have a clue who he was, but I really liked his art. Since my sketch budget was already shot, I couldn’t hit Robbi up for a sketch. I decided if I ever saw him at another show, I’d definitely try to get on his list.

Lucky for me, Robbi was at this year’s Heroes Convention. Luckier, still was that he agreed to do a Stallone piece for me. I really love the loosenes of Robbi’s style. The kid is talented. You can see more of Robbi’s art here and hopefully again here at the SZ in the future.

Live & In Person

I just want to remind everyone that at about 11am EST, John Beatty will be drawing live $10 head shots.  Not only can you watch as he creates ’em, you can even order your own to be drawn as you watch. I’ll be in the luxurious JBI studio to co-host the event.  It will be a blast.  Hopefully you can drop in, even if you don’t plan to order a sketch or five. I’m on board for at least two! Full details are here.

I also want to remind ZONErs that John and I will be guests at Tim Gordon’s November 7th TampaCon.   Tim’s Tampa show is always a blast and this one will be no exception.

Tim has put together an anthology Christmas comic with the proceeds going to charity.  John and I did a three page story for it [which John pencilled, inked and colored] and we’ll be there with about 2 dozen guests including:

Mike Zeck’s “Demolition Man”

My buddy, Mike Zeck sent me the scan above as well as this one. That is of course, Sly in his role as John Spartan from “Demolition Man”. Here’s what Mike had to say about his involvement with DC’s “Demolition Man” adaptation:

DC asked for a pencil image of these two characters. I delivered, got paid, and that’s the total extent of my knowledge. No idea if they were ever used for anything, ever inked, or anything else.

Site map

Interesting unseen art though for the ‘Zone‘.

I thanked Mike and said that I wondered how much Stallone-related art is out there that hasn’t been seen. I told Mike that when Joe Kubert was a guest at an OrlandoCon several years ago he told me that he had worked up some dailies for a potential “Rocky” newspaper strip that never sold. Mike wrote back to say that he’d been approached about samples for a potential “Rambo” newspaper strip, but because the pay was so low, he never got around to doing any.

At least we have these two previously unseen pieces of Stallone art to enjoy. Thanks to Mike for sharing.

Otis Frampton’s Rambo

Otis Frampton is an extremely talented artist who loves drawing for his fans. Every Sunday [okay, ALMOST, every Sunday], Otis has a live UStream broadcast that he calls the 7×7 Sunday. Lucky fans can get a headsketch of ANY character drawn live by Otis on a 7X7 inch bristol board for 7 bucks postage paid. It’s the best deal going.

I’ve been lucky enough to get four pieces from Otis and the Rambo shown above is my first. I’ll be showing the rest in the coming weeks. In the mean time, check out Otis’ Gallery. Most likely, after seeing more of his work, I’ll be competing against you in Otis’ next 7×7 Sunday.

Dick Giordano’s Demolition Man

Dick Giordano, the comics legend is back! During his fifty plus years in the biz he’s done everything from ink all the greats (including himself) to serve as Editor-in-Chief of DC Comics, to co-founding his own comic company.

I recently had the good fortune to pick up six model sheet headsketches of Sly that Mr. Giodano did before starting work on DC Comics adaptation of “Demolition Man”. This is the fourth.

Patrick Swayze: RIP

Patrick Swayze died yesterday, after a 20 month battle with pancreatic cancer.  He was just 57 years old.

I first remember seeing Patrick Swayzee in “The Outsiders” based on the classic S.E. Hinton novel.  Later that same year he appeared in “Uncommon Valor.”  But it was in “Red Dawn” that I really took notice of Patrick’s work.  He was excellent as the leader of the young rebels fighting against a Soviet invasion.  Patrick’s next big hit was “Dirty Dancing” and it propelled him to superstar status. Patrick went on to star in such films as “Road House”, “Ghost”, and my personal favorite, “Point Break”.  I also have to mention his appearance on Saturday Night Live and the classic sketch with Chris Farley

Patrick Swayzee was a dancer [“Chicago” and “Guys and Dolls”], an actor [nominated for three Golden Globe awards], a composer and singer [he co-wrote and sang “She’s Like the Wind” from “Dirty Dancing”], and even People’s Sexiest Man of the Year.  But was his role as a husband [married for 34 years to Lisa Niemi], humanitarian and conservationist that he would probably most want to be remembered.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.