Search Results for: bullet to the head

How Sly Stallone Made the Cover of a French Graphic Novel

Today we have the Colin WIlson cover to the French graphic novel Du Plomb Dans La Tête written by Matz and illustrated by Colin Wilson.  If you think the the tough-guy on the cover looks like Sylvester Stallone, you’d be right.

See, Du Plomb Dans La Tête was the basis for Stallone’s film Bullet to the Head.

What’s interesting to note is the character (that Sly ended up playing) from the original graphic novel was drawn to look a bit like Sly as Jack Carter.  When Sly took on the role for Bullet to the Head, Walter Hill (the director) opted for a different look and Sly agreed.  So in the movie Sly doesn’t look like Jack Carter but on the Du Plomb Dans La Tête cover he does.

And now you have the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey would say).

HeroesCon 2016 / Z-View

HeroesCon 2016 was, as are all HeroesCons, a blast.  Read on and I’m sure you’ll agree.

The Pre-Show:

Doralya and I left Thursday morning.  Several of our friends were going up early and so we decided to meet them for dinner the night before the show.  We met at Merts Heart and Soul.  By we, I mean Doralya, John Beatty, Little John and his bride Patricia, Mike Cross, Richard Cox and his wife.  The food was good, but the company was even better.

The Convention Hotels:

This was the first year that we stayed at two hotels.  Usually we can either be found at the Westin or the Hampton Inn Charlotte – Uptown.  This year, depending on the night we could be found at either.  When we decided to go up early the Westin (our main hotel that we had already booked for the con) couldn’t fit us in.  Thankfully, the Hampton came through.


  • Hung with John Beatty at his table on and off throughout the con.  Joined by Doralya, Little John & Patricia and Mike Cross while John sketched in his room on Friday.  A lot of laughs.
  • Went to the start of the HeroesCon auction.  Saw a lot of nice art.  Happy that Little John won a few pieces!  It was cool seeing DMC from RUN DMC take the podium and get the crowd rocking.
  • Even cooler meeting DMC in the hotel gift shop later that night.  What a nice celeb!  Very gracious and willing to pose for photos.


  • Picked up HeroesCon Black Panther by Brian Stelffreeze t-shirts for me, John Higashi, The James and one of his friends.
  • Picked up sketches from Mike Torrance: 1] Jack Carter and Lono from 100 Bullets, 2] Jack Carter and Marv from Sin City, 3] The Specialist Card, 4] Capone (Sly as Frank Nitti) Card and two Sly Artist’s Choice Cards.  Mike came through like a champ and selected Rocky from Creed and Judge Dredd for the Artist’s choice cards.
  • Picked up Jack Carter sketch from Uko Smith.  Iconic.  Second year in a row for an Uko piece!
  • Picked up Jack Carter and Lono piece from Megan Levens.  First time commission from Megan but will not be the last.
  • Picked up Bullet to the Head mugshot by Dave Wachter.  The HeroesCon/Dave Wachter sketch streak stays alive.
  • Picked up Rocky sketch by Shamus Murphy.  Dug it so much, I went back for a bigger sketch by Shamus and he came through with Sly as Jack Carter.
  • Saw Casey Jones, who was drawing for Heroes Initiative, and was able to serve as the middle man to get John Higashi the Audrey Hepburn piece he wanted.
  • Commissioned and got a head sketch from Joe Delgatta.  I love Joe’s art and the Cobra sketch he did for me is a real highlight!
  • Met Reid Beaman and got a Jack Carter sketch from him.
  • Met (after many mail commissions) Thomas Boatwright and got a Rocky and Apollo watercolor sketch from him.
  • After hearing Little John talk about a sketch he got of Gargoyle on Batman on a Gargoyle all weekend, I got Chris Flick to do a Rocky with arms raised in victory on a gargoyle.


  • Danniel Warren Johnson – my Space Mullet trade.  So happy for his success!
  • Eric Bonhomme – his pinup in my The Package trade
  • Vanessa Del Rey – my Hit 1955 and Hit 1957 trades
  • James Harren – my Rumble 1 and 2 trades
  • Jason LaTour – his new sketchbook, my Noche Roja hardcover, my Southern Bastards 1 hardcover, and my HeroesCon 2016 Southern Bastards print.


  • The Inkwell Awards (and keeping with tradition, LittleJohn312 and Patricia joined me — or did I join them?) were fun. It is always great to see deserving artists receive recognition.  It’s even better when Steranko is the keynote speaker!
  • Went to the Drink & Draw at Buffalo Wild Wings on Friday.  Got a Chris Flick Sly from Rhinestone sketch.
  • Crime Panel – Joe Rauch talked crime/noir comics, tv and movies with Justin Greenwood (The Fuse), John Lees (And Then Emily was Gone), Rich Tommaso (Dark Corridor), Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (High Crimes).

The biggest surprise is that we only ate at Fuel once. It was good to keep that tradition alive, but not over do it.

In closing:

HeroesCon this year was huge. The wider aisles made movement easier. There were also additional sections this year with chairs and tables for con guests to sit, eat and visit.

Seeing old friends and meeting new ones is always a fun part of the show. I won’t try to list them all because invariably I would leave some out.

This year I was able to talk Doralya into coming into the show on Sunday. We walked the floor and met a lot of artists (new and old friends).

Thanks to Shelton and his crew for another great HeroesCon — see everyone next year!

June Vigants and Jimmy Bobo

June Vigants
created the Sly as James Bonomo aka Jimmy Bobo from Bullet to the Head piece above.  June was doing sketch commissions through the mail and although I’d never met her, I liked June’s art and decided to commission a few pieces.  I wasn’t disappointed.  This is the first with more to be posted!

You can see more of June’s art here and here.

The 12 Deadliest Hit Men [and Women] in Film and TV posted their choices for The 12 Deadliest Hit Men [and Women] in Film and TV.

There are some good choices in the list…

  • Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield  in Pulp Fiction

  • Jean Reno as Leon  in The Professional

  • Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh  in No Country for Old Men

  • Uma Thurman as The Bride in Kill Bill: Volume 1 & 2

  •  Chow Yun Fat as Ah Jong in The Killer

…for example.

But how do you create a list of the best hit men and leave off…

  • Keanu Reeves as John Wick in John Wick

  • Charles Bronson as Arthur Bishop in The Mechanic

  • Clint Eastwood aka William Munny in Unforgiven

  • Sly Stallone as Jimmy Bonomo in Bullet to the Head

15 Painless Facts About “Road House”

Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 15 Painless Facts About Road House. Here are three of my favorites…


Though he has nearly 90 credits to his name, in 2007 Elliott told Collider that he’s most recognized from Road House. Earlier this year, he admitted to Vulture that he “wasn’t so good” in the film. Joel Silver cast him due to his “baggage.”


The movie’s humor is somewhat intentional; director Rowdy Herrington said he wanted to make the fights “like a Keystone Cops melee.”


2006’s Road House 2: Last Call killed off Dalton, who was finally stopped by a bullet to the head. It starred Johnathon Schaech as Dalton’s son, D.E.A. agent Shane Tanner, who runs his uncle Nate’s bar the Black Pelican while trying to solve his father’s murder. In 2013, it was reported that a remake of Road House was in the works, directed by original Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen.

[Did anyone know about the Road House 2: Last Call movie?  Kill off Dalton? Really? – Craig]

Z-View: “Jack Reacher”

The Pitch: ”Hey, let’s do a movie adaptation of one of Lee Child’s best selling Jack Reacher novels and get Tom Cruise to star.”

“But Jack Reacher is described in the novels as being 6′ 5″ — a modern day giant.  Tom Cruise is pretty short and fans of the novels will hate the casting.”

Tom Cruise is in so who cares about the miscasting.  What do you say?”

“Let’s do it!”

The Tagline:  “The law has limits. He does not.”

The Overview:  James Barr, a former military sniper, kills five random people.  He’s quickly caught in what appears to be an open-and-shut case.  The evidence is overwhelming.  Barr claims he didn’t do it and tells his defense attorney to get Jack Reacher.

Reacher shows up on his own.  Reacher is a former Army Criminal Investigator who is now living off the grid.  Reacher is there to prove that Barr committed the crime since Reacher knows Barr got away with a similar killing when deployed overseas.

Reacher looks at the evidence and fairly quickly determines that Barr was used as a patsy and didn’t kill those murdered.  As he digs into the case, Reacher becomes the target of those behind the killings and a bigger conspiracy.

*** Beware – minor spoilers are found below ***

The Good

  • Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher as if he knows he is not only the smartest but also the baddest man in the room.  Reacher doesn’t flaunt either ability, but he won’t back down from showing either ability when pressed.
  • Because Cruise isn’t a 6’5″ hulk, it is even more impressive when Reacher refuses to back down.  You can see Reacher enjoys the chance to show how smart he is or whoop some butt if those who are pressing him refuse to stop.
  • The story is a good one.  It is fun seeing Cruise unravel the mystery and put together the killings so that they make better sense than the sequence of events that the prosecutors laid out.
  • The car chase is one of the best in years.
  • Cruise has a number of great lines.
  • Rosamund Pike, Werner Herzog, Jai Courtney and Alexia Fast are impressive in their roles.  It’s always nice to see Robert Duvall show up.

The Bad:

  • Lee Child fans who refused to see Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher.
  • The scene where two thugs attempt to beat up Reacher in a bathroom.  The first part of the scene almost plays like The Three Stooges, but then takes a turn and the second half of the fight scene works much better.
  • It would have been nice had Werner Herzog been given more to do.
  • Telling someone you didn’t see them so they won’t have to kill you and getting the response, “It doesn’t matter.”

The Ugly:

  • Being given the choice to break or chew off a finger or take a bullet to the head.


Dave Wachter and Jimmy Bobo

Dave Wachter is back and he brought his take on Sly from the Bullet to the Head. I met Dave a few years ago and became an instant fan. I wasn’t the only one to discover Dave’s fantastic sketches! How can you not like a great guy who is a terrific artist?

At HeroesCon this year I asked Dave to draw Sly from his first major movie, the Lords of Flatbush and another piece of Sly from his latest film, Bullet to the Head.  Last week, you saw Dave’s take on Sly as Stanley Kowalski, so this week we have Sly as Jimmy Bobo.

You can see more of Dave’s art at his site. – Craig

Dave Wachter & Stanley Kowalski from “Lords of Flatbush”

Dave Wachter returns with his take on Sly from the Lords of Flatbush. I met Dave a few years ago and became an instant fan. I wasn’t the only one to discover Dave’s fantastic sketches! How can you not like a great guy who is a terrific artist?

At HeroesCon this year I asked Dave to do Sly from his first major movie, the Lords of Flatbush and another piece of Sly from his latest film, Bullet to the Head. Next week, you’ll see Dave’s take on Sly as Jimmy Bobo.

Until then, you can see more of Dave’s art at his site. – Craig

Z-View: HeroesCon 2013

That’s the self-titled Corduroy Mafia at Heroes Con 2013.  From left to right we have Brian Jones, me, Gene GonzalesJohn Nacinovich and Royce Thrower. How we gave ourselves the name Corduroy Mafia is a tale for another time.  Instead I present my HeroesCon 2013 summary.

The Drive Up:

Doralya and I left Friday morning.  We planned to leave earlier, but a late start got us on the road at about 5am.  Traffic was terrible, two different wrecks slowed us down and it rained almost the entire way.  From now on, we plan to drive up the night before the con starts.

The hotel:

We usually stay at the Weston, but this year it was the Hampton Inn Charlotte – Uptown.  What a great hotel!  It’s super-clean with the friendliest staff I’ve ever seen.  Free shuttle service and free breakfast made the stay even better. I’d definitely stay here again!

Main Goal of the Show:

My main goal was to meet (for the first time) and get a sketch from Rick Burchett.  I’m happy to report that Rick is as nice as he is talented — yeah, he’s really that friendly!  I hoped to get Rick to draw Jack Carter (Stallone) with Chris Mills/Rick Burchett’s character, Grave Digger (Lee Marvin).  Rick said he could make that happen!

I then got Greg Rucka to autograph two of my Atticus Kodiac novels.  I’ve been a Rucka fan since before he started working in comics — and was pleased when he teamed with Rick Burchett on Lady Sabre.  Eric Newsome was at the table as well.  Eric assists with the Lady Sabre website and more.  Since I am a backer of their Lady Sabre Kickstarter, I knew the password to get an advance look at a Lady Sabre script!  Eric also reminded me that he had done a Stallone sketch for the SZ!  It was great talking to Rick, Greg and Eric.

Books signed:

  • My original hardcover Berni Wrightson’s A Look Back
  • My first edition Chandler by Steranko
  • Two of my Greg Rucka Atticus Kodiac novels
  • Road Trip by Sean Murphy.  

All books autographed — mission accomplished.


  • Dave Wachter (mini-head sketches): Lords of Flatbush and Bullet to the Head
  • Drew Moss (busts): Get Carter and Rocky
  • Jerry Gaylord: Get Carter and Demolition Man
  • Mitch Gerads (head sketch): Expendables 2
  • Mike Torrance: several sketch cards
  • Gene Gonzales (head sketch): Get Carter
  • Manny Aguilera: Over the Top and Demolition Man (surprise gifts from LittleJohn312 & Patricia), Get Carter.
  • Rick Burchett is going to do my piece from home.


  • The Inkwell Awards (and keeping with tradition, LittleJohn312 and Patricia joined me).
  • Jim Steranko (again with LJ & P) – Steranko is a charmer and captivated the crowd with his great stories!
  • Crime PanelGreg Rucka (Whiteout), Jason Latour (Loose Ends), and Jason Aaron (Scalped) interrogated by Vito Delsante.  

It’s only been in the last several years that I’ve made a real effort to attend panels.  Without a doubt, they have made the con experience even more fun.

Drink and Draw:

Because of weather it was held in the lobby of the Hilton.  Jack the Radio provided live music — they’re good!  The place was packed, but the Hilton staff was very accommodating and brought out more seats. Patricia, Doralya and I enjoyed watching and messing with LittleJohn312 as he attempted to win some art — and he did!

HeroesCon Auction:

As always the auction was a fun night.  LittleJohn312 won a Wizard of Oz piece (as well as the companion piece that was in next day’s auction).  The move to have professional auctioneers is helpful, but Alison’s presence as the Mistress of Ceremonies was missed.


Some HeroesCon guests had Kickstarter projects that I had backed.  I made sure to swing by and congratulate each on their Kickstarter success:

  • Greg Rucka / Rick Burchett with Lady Sabre
  • Jeremy Haun with Bad Karma  (I missed seeing Alex Grecian, B. Clayton Moore & Seth Peck)
  • Eric Powell with The Goon movie


The biggest surprise is that we only ate at Fuel once.  It was good to keep that tradition alive, but not over do it.  The best meal we had was at Fujo Bistro — we will definitely hit that place again next year!  Bojangles and Einstein’s Bagels also got our business.  Sadly we did not make it to Mert’s.

The Drive Home:

We left about 5:30 and arrived home at about 12:30am.  Traffic and rain were both light and we were exhausted, but in a good way.

In closing:

HeroesCon this year was huge with twice the floor space as previous years.  The wider aisles made movement easier.  There were also additional sections this year with chairs and tables for con guests to sit, eat and visit.  The bigger painting area was also a plus.

I’ve had to rewrite this sentence several times, because I come off like a real fanboy trying to say how “cool” it was to meet Rick Burchett and Steranko.  Let’s just say it was great and leave it at that.

Seeing old friends and meeting new ones is always a fun part of the show.  I won’t try to list them all because invariably I would leave some out.

Thanks to Shelton and his crew for another great HeroesCon — see everyone next year!

Sly, Arnold, Bruce, Jackie, Wesley, Nicholas and Bill?

Kevin Sullivan of MTV caught up with Sly at the red carpet premiere for Bullet to the Head and asked him about new blood for The Expendables 3.

Jackie Chan.  Check.

Wesley Snipes.  Check.

Nicholas Cage.  Check.

“Check” meaning Sly is going to reach out to all of them.

When pressed if there was anyone that Sly could name for sure, he responded with…

“Maybe President Clinton wants to be in it,” Stallone said before walking away. “You think I’m joking, right?”

RIP: Burt Young

Burt Young, born Gerald Tommaso DeLouise, died October 8th.  No cause of death was given.  Mr. Young was 83.

Burt Young, best known for his Academy Award nominated role as Rocky Balboa’s brother-in-law Paulie, was actually a boxer himself.  While in the United State Marines, Mr. Young compiled a 32 -2 record!

Burt Young trained at the Actor’s Studio under Lee Strasberg.  During the course of his career Burt Young compiled 170 acting credits in films and television. Mr. Young wrote and starred in the feature film Uncle Joe Shannon, wrote and starred in the television movie Daddy, I Don’t Like It Like This, and an episode of Baretta (The Big Hand’s On Trouble) which he guest starred in.  Burt Young also wrote the historical novel ENDINGS, as well as two stage plays (SOS and A Letter to Alicia and the New York City Government from a Man With a Bullet in His Head).  Mr. Young was also an accomplished painter with gallery showings throughout the world.  Some of his paintings appeared in Rocky Balboa when we learned that Paulie also liked to paint.

Some of Burt Young’s television appearances include: The Doctors; MASH; Little House on the Prairie; Baretta (3 episodes); The Rockford Files; Daddy, I Don’t Like It Like This; Miami Vice; The Equalizer; Vendetta: Secrets of a Mafia Bride (6 episodes); Tales from the Crypt; Law & Order; The Last Don (2 episodes); Walker, Texas Ranger (2 episodes); The Sopranos and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Some of Burt Young’s feature film appearances include: Carnival of Blood; The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight; Across 110th Street; Cinderella Liberty; Chinatown; The Killer Elite; Rocky; Twilight’s Last Gleaming; The Choirboys; Convoy; Uncle Joe Shannon; Rocky II; All the Marbles; Rocky III; Once Upon a Time in America; The Pope of Greenwich Village; Rocky IV; Back to School; Rocky V; Mickey Blue Eyes and Rocky Balboa.

I probably saw Burt Young first on MASH, Baretta or The Rockford Files, but it was his role in Rocky that I always think of first.  From all accounts Burt Young was a kind and gentle soul.  He was a true renaissance man – an actor, author and painter.  He made every production he was in better.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Burt Young’s family, friends and fans.

Charlie Chan in “Black Magic” (1944) starring Sidney Toler / Z-View

Black Magic (1944)

Director: Phil Rosen

Screenplay:  George Callahan based on characters created by Earl Derr Biggers

Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Frances Chan and Frank Jaquet.

Tagline: Weirdest case of the screen’s top sleuth!

The Plot…

Charlie Chan (Toler) is ready to head home to Honolulu when he gets called to investigate a murder that occurred during a seance attended by his daughter. The occultist was killed by a gun that cannot be found and a bullet that didn’t go through his body but also cannot be found!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

This is the only Charlie Chan film where he is assisted by his daughter instead of one of his sons.  Also his daughter, Frances Chan is played by an actress named Frances Chan!

Mantan Moreland is back to provide comedy relief.

When Charlie is asked a question about his investigation, Chan asks the man, “Can you keep a secret?”  The man responds, “Of course.”  Charlie says, “So can I” as he walks away.

Black Magic (1944) rates 3 of 5 stars.

“End of the Road” (2022) / Z-View

End of the Road (2022)

Directors:  Millicent Shelton

Screenplay:  Christopher J. Moore, David Loughery

Starring: Queen Latifah, Ludacris, Mychala Lee, Shaun Dixon, Beau Bridges, Frances Lee McCain and Keith Jardine

Tagline: There’s No Turning Back..

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers…

Brenda (Latifah), her two children, Kelly (Lee) and Cam (Dixon) along with Brenda’s brother, Reggie (Ludacris) are on a cross-country road trip.  Late at night in their hotel they hear a commotion and gunshot in the next room.  They go over to find a man dying from a bullet wound.  Brenda gives first aide until help arrives.

The next morning, Brenda provides what little information she has to the police.  Sheriff Hammers (Bridges) wants her to stick around, but Brenda says she’s available by phone. The family leaves.  Before too long Brenda receives a call from someone saying he knows who she is and he wants his money back!  Brenda hangs up, only to learn that Reggie took a satchel of cash from the hotel room while Brenda was giving first aide.  Now a brutal killer is on their trail… he wants his money and will kill everyone to get it!

End of the Road starts off well enough.  A family on the road in peril is a idea.  The problem is there’s never any mystery to who the killer is and while the family is placed in dangerous situations, the way the movie unfolds we know that there’s no real danger.  There is a tense situation at the start of the movie between two rednecks in a truck blocking the path of Brenda’s car.  Reggie is ready to fight, but Brenda is able to calm him and get the thugs to move on.  Later Brenda is trapped by a group of white supremacists and she turns into some sort of fighting machine, beating up some and shooting another!  In the final act of the film (get ready for a big spoiler!), we learn Sheriff Hammers is the killer!  We’re supposed to believe that 81 year old Beau Bridges is a physical threat to a woman who handed a butt-whoopin’ to Mace’s (UFC fighter Keith Jardine) skinheads?

What could have made this film work is to change the look and feel to a 1970s blaxploitation movie.  Since every major white character the family interacts with is racist or bad, it wouldn’t have been too difficult.  Throw in a soundtrack that echos Lalo Schifrin or Isacc Hayes and we’d have something.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen and we’re left with an OK movie that should have been better.

End of the Road earns 2 of 5 stars.