When I read articles like the one linked above I feel like Charlie Brown being coaxed by Lucy to come kick the football. Charlie Brown knows that every time he gives it a go, she yanks the ball away and he ends up falling down. He’s always left disappointed… yet he’s always willing to try it again. Every time I read one of these type articles [UFOs, big foot, aliens, paranormal events, etc.], I know that the football is going to be yanked away. I’ll end up disappointed…
Then before too long, like Charlie Brown, I’ll hear the call to give it another go…
How do you think I reacted when I found out about The Mammoth Book of the Best Crime Comics? Edited by Paul Gravett and designed by Peter Stanbury, this 480 page monster features stories by Dashiell Hammett & Alex Raymond, Will Eisner, Johnny Craig, Mickey Spillane, Bernie Krigstein, Alan Moore, Joe Simon & Jack Kirby, Neil Gaiman, Alex Toth, Jordi Bernet, Paul Grist, Jack Cole, Charles Burns, Max Allan Collins, and José Muñoz & Carlos Sampayo.
The basic set up is that the elders are getting fed up and organize kill squads to come to America and “thin the heard.” My story focuses on one vamp named Rufus who escapes the kill squad once and decides the only way to survive is to live ‘off the radar’… These are not traditional vampires with all the usual vampire rules. They’re just vicious creatures… Rufus is only a hero by way of comparison to what’s going on around him… but make no mistake, he is a vampire. When it comes down to it, he’s a horror show.
The Good: The acting. The cast was made up of relative unkowns so it was possible that any of them could be killed at any point. The screenplay by Scott B. Smith based upon his novel of the same name [and which he changed up for the big screen]. The fact that you believed what was happening. That each of the bad things that happens to the characters basically stems from them trying to do a good thing or at least the right thing. That the movie takes you in one direction and suddenly you’re going in another and it works. You care about the characters.
The Bad: What happens when you’re trapped on the top of an ancient ruin by unfriendly locals and something much, much worse.
The Ugly: “He won’t last much longer like this. We’re gonna have to cut them off.” “Cut what off?” “His legs.”
The Summary: I love a good scary movie. I’m not much for gore. “The Ruins” is scary and contains gore. Some very gory scenes in fact. I really liked “The Ruins.” A lot. At some point I’ll add it to my movie collection. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes horror movies and doesn’t mind being a bit grossed out.
Look at his list of credits and you can see that Rick Baker is the go-to guy for special effects make-up. He’s won 6 Academy Awards for his work in this area. But that’s just the tip of the ice berg. Baker has earned so many honors for his work that the list is, as they say, longer than your arm… unless of course you’re Lurch and then it’s just as long.
The Good: Robert B. Parker‘swriting. It‘s sparse and conversational, but I really like it. The verbal interplay between Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole. How Hitch becomes the town “protector.” What happens when the person you sided with turns out to be the “bad guy.” Cole‘s reputation as a gunfighter. “Sometimes you got to kill one person early, to save killing four or five later.” When Cato and Rose ride in. Major Lujack and his twenty versus Everett, Virgil, Cato and Rose.
The Bad:Virgil Cole‘s love for Allie.
The Ugly:What happens to someone blasted with an eight-gauge shotgun.
The Summary:Resolution is a direct sequel to Appaloosa. It’s Parker’s third western. His first was Gunman’s Rhapsody which took a look at the events involving Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, the Clantons and an incident at the OK Corral. You may have heard something of it. At any rate, all three books get my recommendation. [And you really should read Appaloosa before Resolution!]
Quite often Raf will sketch while listening to music, watching tv or whatever. As the mood strikes him, he will file away a piece and begin working on another — only to return to the first piece later. Working this way has led to some pieces that are truly amazing in their detail. Just as wonderful are some of Raf’s quick sketches — you can see in just a few lines that everything is there. I’ve been fortunate over the years to watch Raf creating and the number of drawings that he’s completed is astounding.
Thankfully, Raf has decided to start publishing the best of these drawings in “Isolated Incidents: The Art of Rafael Kayanan” books. “Volume I” is available now and you can read more about it here. I ordered mine the day I saw it was available. You should too.