Author: Craig Zablo

It’s Not Your Parents’ "Little Red Riding Hood"

I like Kiefer Sutherland, Reese Witherspoon, Dan Hedaya, and Michael T. Weiss. So when I saw that they all starred in a movie called Freeway [along with Brooke Shields, Amanda Plummer and Brittany Murphy], I decided to give it a look.

And although I’m glad that I watched it, it’s not a movie I can easily recommend. It was well done. I have no complaints with the acting, directing, or editing. In fact I would commend most of the actors for taking on roles which allowed them to stretch.

It’s such a dark, dark comedy and at the same time a modern day take on “Little Red Riding Hood.” Siskel and Ebert gave it two thumbs up, so maybe my recommendation isn’t needed.

Let me just say, that if this is the sort of thing that you like, then you’ll like it. And if you don’t like it, hey, blame Siskel and Ebert!

“Freeway” rates a C

Remembering 9-11

Today is the third anniversary of the terrorist attacks which took down the twin towers, destroyed part of the Pentagon and took the lives of thousands of citizens from around the world.

It was the most shocking day of my life.

The History Channel is running a very interesting documentary called “The Twin Towers: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon.” It’s extremely well done and worth a look.

The picture above is of family members of victims who have returned to the site to pay their respects. And because the day had such an impact me, I felt it appropriate to pay my respects as well.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who lost someone on that terrible day.

Sin City Photos

I can’t wait to see Frank Miller’s Sin City on the big screen.

It’s still hard for me to believe that it’s being made. Especially when you add Robert Rodriguez [one of my favorite directors] to the mix.

When the topic of comic adaptations to movies would come up, my first choice was always Sin City.

But the fly in the ointment was that Sin City creator, Frank Miller, had said that Sin City would never be made into a movie. Frank didn’t want to turn over his creation to a studio that would Hollywoodize it and turn it into something else.

But that was before Robert Rodriguez showed Frank exactly how he would adapt Sin City to make it faithful to the comics. Robert even brought Frank on board to serve as co-director!

When it was announced that Rodriguez and Miller were teaming to create Sin City, I thought, “How can it get any better?”

Then the cast began to form… Mickey RourkeBruce WillisJessica AlbaRosario DawsonBenicio Del ToroMichael Clarke DuncanJosh HartnettMichael MadsenClive OwenNick Stahl Elijah Wood.

Ain’t It Cool News just posted some screencaps from Sin City. You can see them by clicking HERE. Cool aren’t they?

Now if we could just get a release date for the movie!

Happy Days Are Here Again!

ABC has announced that The Happy Day 30th Anniversary Reunion, will air later this season.

All major cast members [Ron Howard (Richie), Henry Winkler (“Fonzie”), Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham), Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham), Erin Moran (Joanie), Scott Baio (Chachi) Anson Williams (Potsie), Don Most (Ralph Malph)] and even the two cast members who played Riche‘s older brother in the first season [but then quietly disappeared in the second season] are set to appear.

Happy Days was on my MUST-SEE TV list for a few seasons. It was funny, Fonzie was cool, and the series was fun. A lot of people say the show went down-hill when Fonzie [literally] jumped the shark, but I think it was when Chachi came on board.

Still, I’ll probably tune in to the special if only to see if a short, skinny guy who says, “Ayyyy!” was as cool as I remember.

I’m Back!

Two hurricanes hit us in three weeks. The odds against this are astronomical.

But it happened.

We had plenty of warning. We knew that Frances was coming.

The crazy thing is, hurricanes quite often change their paths. And Frances was so big if you planned to leave, where could you go to be safe?

I worked at a shelter on Thursday and Friday and then came home to ride out the worst with the wife and kids. It had been raining a little bit each day since Hurricane Charley hit three weeks ago, and on Saturday, it really started coming down… and down… and down.

We lost power on Saturday morning. Then the winds picked up. From about 10 AM until well after midnight the rain fell and strong winds blew. On Sunday the winds finally began to die down but the rain just kept coming.

Monday came and so did more rain. The entire county went under a curfew. Most people were without electricity and parts of the city [and many homes] were flooded. Hurricane force winds had destroyed homes and businesses. And many streets were under so much water that they were impassible. You can imagine what that much water did to homes. Luckily no fatalities have been reported.

We finally got our electricity back on today. Our house had very minor damage and just a bit of water came in. We had to cut down some trees, but other than that we were spared. I have friends who weren’t so lucky, but each of them has said it could have been so much worse.

And they’re right.

It’s amazing how spoiled we’ve become and how lucky we are. After four or five days of being trapped in a house without electricity… no AC, no phones, no internet, no hot meals or hot showers, you begin to suddenly appreciate the small things.

Believe it or not, there’s another hurricane out there brewing. The odds of it hitting the same part of Florida again so soon after the last hurricane are astronomical

… but unfortunately not impossible.

Frances is Coming!

I’ve lived in Florida for 30 years. And in those 30 years we’ve had our fair share of hurricane scares. We’ve even been grazed by a hurricane or two in my area. Now it looks like we’re going to get hit with the second one in less than three weeks.

The good news is that hurricane Frances‘ path has shifted a bit. Last night it looked like Daytona Beach was going to be dead center of Frances‘ trip through the Sunshine State. Now we’ll probably just get a glancing blow. And this blow will be stronger than Charley who came through a couple of weeks ago.

With Charley we lost power for three days. And we were lucky. Some people lost their lives, others lost their homes and personal possessions. Beatty‘s house had two huge tree limbs come through the roof … and he considers himself lucky since no one was hurt.

You’re probably wondering why we don’t just leave when there’s a hurricane coming. The fact is that many people do. The highways have been backed up all day. The traffic crawls and tempers rise. When we attempted to leave five years ago, we got caught up in the traffic crawl and saw more accidents and people arguing and bad behavior… the roads ended up being more dangerous than the weather.

The other fact is that most hurricanes are so big and change their paths often enough that you really don’t know where they’re going to end up. For Charley some people headed to the Daytona Beach area and wound up right in the path after Charley shifted. Frances is as big as the state of Texas

The bad weather is supposed to start tomorrow with the worst of it hitting us on Saturday [and going into Sunday]. We’re probably going to lose power for a while [and nothing else I hope]. At any rate, I’ll post an update as soon as I can after that.

And if Frances shifts even father away from Daytona that loud noise you hear will be my sigh of relief. ; )

Risso Batman Statue

I recommend Eduardo Risso‘s work every chance I get. Although best known for his art on the monthly crime comic 100 Bullets, Risso has also done outstanding work on Batman, Spider-Man, Cain, and other lesser known comics.

If Risso worked on it, then I say, “give it a look.”

See the cool looking Batman statue to the left. Yep, you guessed right. That baby is based on Eduardo Risso’s Batman.

It’s a limited edition statue which will stand nearly seven inches tall and be painted in a monochromatic black and white style [evoking the best of Risso‘s work]. This bad boy is going to be the first in a series of Batman statues.

Now want to hear the really cool thing? The retail price is just $45.00! I’ve already put in an order for mine. Click on the picture and you’ll get a larger view of the statue. Then If you’re going to want one, let your local comic shop know now!

Scout is coming back!

Man, am I stoked! Tim Truman‘s character SCOUT is coming back… and in a big way!

Scout was set in the near future and followed the adventures of an Apache, Emanuel Santana, who was on a mission to kill four “monsters” who were in positions of power in the United States. The original series ran for 24 issues.

The next Scout series was set ten years in the future and followed Scout and his two sons as they tried to stay alive on the barren frontier.

Scout was one of my favorite comic series and I can’t wait to see everything that’s being planned [Scout Collections, Posters, Lithographs, Statues, and Action Figures.]!

"Dr. Strangelove" Frighteningly Realistic

One of my all-time favorite movies is Stanley Kubrick’s dark comedy “Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”

If you love it as much as I do, then you’ll be happy to know that a special 40th Anniversary Two Disc set is being released on November 2nd.

And whether you love “Dr. Strangelove” or not, you’ll probably be surprised to read just how realistic it was. Read THIS ARTICLE and suddenly the comedy seems even darker.

Thanks to Mark Evanier for posting the link.

Dr. Strangelove rates an A+

Wachowski Brothers’ Next Project

The Wachowski brothers, the guys who created The Matrix, are back and I’ll bet their next project will surprise you.

It’s a comic series called Doc Frankenstein [created by Geof Darrow and Steve Scroce]!

The Wachoski brothers will write and Steve Scroce will draw the bi-monthly series which begins in November from Burlyman Entertainment.

The tagline says: Resurrected from the dead! He is the MESSIAH OF SCIENCE who has returned to Save Our World from the MONSTERS currently running it!

I’m going to pre-order Doc Frankenstein through my local comic dealer and you should too if you want to be sure to get a copy.

Carlito’s Way

One of my favorite Al Pacino movies is Carlito’s Way.

If you haven’t seen it, you should give it a look, especially if you’re a fan of Pacino, Sean Penn, or gangster movies. It’s directed by Brian DePalma and is really, good. [I’d place a link to the dvd, but they’re coming out with a Special Edition in the near future so you should wait if you’d like a copy for your collection.]

At any rate, Carlito’s Way is one of my favorite movies. So you think I’d be excited to hear that a prequel may be in the works, right?

Well, unfortunately what JoBlow is reporting, is that if there is a sequel it doesn’t look like Pacino, Penn or DePalma will be involved!

The cool thing is that no matter what happens with the prequel we’ll always have the original.

“Carlito’s Way” rates an A

"One Busy Horror Writing Machine"

Steve Niles is one of my favorite writers.

Niles writes screenplays, novels and comic books. If that sounds like a lot of writing, it is.

But so far I’ve enjoyed everything that Niles has written [especially the Cal McDonald novels].

Steve‘s got a lot more stuff coming out in the next year.

Click HERE and you can get a peek at what he has planned.

Who knows maybe you’ll become a fan too!

Liam Sharpe & Conan

Liam Sharp is a really talented artist.  He’d love to draw Conan now that Dark Horse has started publishing new Conan stories.

Click on the picture above and get the full effect of Liam‘s Conan.

After seeing that don’t you agree that Liam should get his Conan assignment today?

C’mon, Dark Horse… it’s a “no-brainer!”

Tampa Con Report

On Saturday, August 7th my son Mike, John Beatty and I loaded into my “Jack Carter XG350” and headed to Tim Gordon’s Tampa Comic Book and Toy Convention. We try to make it to at least 2 of the three shows Tim puts on each year because they’re just_ that _much_ fun. And this show was no exception.

We decided that we’d get a good buffet breakfast before the show opened. As we sat down with our plates, in walked Alex Saviuk who was also in search of some morning nourishment. Alex usually attends Tim‘s Tampa shows and it’s always nice to see him. We finished eating and headed over to the convention. The doors hadn’t opened, but there was a huge line waiting. No doubt, the word is getting out about how much fun Tim‘s cons are.

Ethan Van Scriver was already set up. Ethan is one of the DC comics most popular artists and always shows up for Tim‘s conventions. The doors hadn’t even opened and Ethan was already working on sketches for fans. The guy is ALWAYS busy. John Higashi “turned me on” to Ethan‘s art a couple of years ago so that’s ANOTHER thing I owe to Johnny Star-Warz.

Alex Saviuk was set up. Next to Alex was Mark and Stephanie Heike from AC comics. Although I never get to spend much time with ’em, the Heikes always have something funny to say. Behind the Heikes was Miguel Insignares with a nice “Dawn of the Dead” trailer running on a loop next to the cool DOTD poster. That’s Tim Gordon and Miguel in the pic to the left… looking like they just stepped off the set of “Dawn of the Dead!”

Marc Maculay, an actor who has appeared in “Monster,” “The Punisher,” “Bad Boys” and many other movies was ready for the fans. Some small press artists were set up to our left. Mitch Hyman, creater of the ever-popular Bubba the Redneck Werewolf, Jesse “Cadre” Hansen, Michael “The Ciderview Project” and Austin Janowsky were all having a blast. Dick “Cracked” Kulpa was set up at his usual spot just as you entered the convention room.

Yeah baby, things were looking good.

When the doors opened, the convention room quickly filled. The room is really huge and so even though there were hundreds [and hundreds] of people coming in, there was never that claustrophobic feeling that some convention rooms produce.

Several fans came up to John for autographs or sketches. John has really been doing some cool sketches lately and the fans are definitely digging the tones and colors that he adds to them. I got pictures of some of them, but missed out on a few… one was a really nice Cap that John did for a fan’s Captain America themebook.

I had a chance to talk briefly with Randy Martin. Randy collects Edward Scissorhands. In fact it was Randy‘s Scissorhands sketches that inspired me to start my Stallone sketch theme. Randy‘s one of the good guys and so it was cool touching base with him.

Miguel Insignares remembered me from Atlanta Con and said that he still wanted to do a Stallone piece for my gallery when he gets some time. That’d be sweet. Miguel has been attached to some really cool projects and you just know that there’s more to come!

Marc Maculay [pictured above with Mike and me] noticed my StalloneZone t-shirt and asked me about it. We ended up having a nice conversation about movies, education, etc. Marc‘s been acting professionally for over twenty years and did it without having to relocate to New York or LA. It was ironic that he played a scene in “Monster” with Charlize Theron that Beatty had been telling me about just a week earlier. John had watched the movie and it really impresed him. The next day he was telling me about this particular scene and sure enough the actor involved was Marc! Now how often do we get to meet actors who’ve impressed us?
The costume contest was a hoot!

There were two divisions… kids and adults. The three kids that entered all won some convention cash and had a fun time. Then came the adults… I never quite know what to make of costumers at conventions. Sometimes they are so good, they look professional… but other times…

There were several outstanding costumes. I thought that Catwoman would take first or second, Wolverine would get whichever spot Catwoman missed and third place would go to… well, one of the others. I was so surprised when the guy who came in first won, that I didn’t even get a picture of him! At any rate, everyone enjoyed the costume contest… and I mean everyone. Even the artists stopped drawing to watch the action.

Then all too quickly it was time to go. The con ended at 4:00 and we still had to drive back to Daytona. We made sure to tell Tim what a great time we had and hit the road.

Tim‘s next show is November 14th.

As I’ve said, all of Tim‘s shows are great, but this one is going to be really special. NOEL NEILL [Paramount Movie Star, Popular Pin-Up for WWII GIs, and best known as Superman’s Girl – Lois Lane] will be a guest! Ethan Van Scriver, Jim Fren, and Rob Granito have also already agreed to appear!

Who knows, maybe we’ll see YOU there as well!