Author: Craig Zablo

Rushing to a Very Dark Place

James Hibberd, a senior reporter for The Hollywood Reporter, posted a spoiler-free review of the first eight episodes of The Shield’s final season.Here are a few snippets that really stood out for me:

  • …gives viewers exactly what they want.
  • Some old faces return to tie up loose ends…
  • … the highly effective premiere…
  • Vic Mackey immediately seeking retribution against his longtime partner Shane Vendrell.
  • …the Strike Team devolving into a cannibalistic game of survival.
  • …hugely suspenseful…
  • …leaves viewers impatient for each new episode.
  • Mackey… his every move to save himself only sucking him further down.
  • On “The Shield,” we are rushing to a very dark place.
  • “The Shield” has returned to demonstrate how serialized television is done.

You Say Fantasy, I Say Horror

One of my favorite authors, Charlie Huston is the subject of this interview at FantasyBookCritic.

Huston’s new Joe Pitt novel, Every Last Drop comes out next month, so that’s probably the reason for the interview… and I guess Every Last Drop could be classified as “fantasy” since it features modern day vampires. Still, if anyone asks me, its genre when I’m reading Every Last Drop, I’m going with “horror.”

Weather Report Anyone?

It’s good that I didn’t bet that things would be back to normal tomorrow. Compare the map from 11am in the post below and the one above from 5pm and you can see the problem. Tropical Storm Fay is hardly moving. Who would have thought that this blog would turn into a weather report? Yeesh.


Word at 2pm was that schools would open tomorrow. Teachers, administrators and support staff would arrive on time and prepare for the students who’d come in one hour later. At 6pm a new notice came through. School tomorrow was cancelled due to flooding, winds and above average rain everywhere.

I still think that tomorrow I’ll go in and get some work done. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t plan so far ahead. If we’ve learned only one thing with this weather it’s that projections, predictions and plans seldom work out.

Fay Decided to Stay

On Monday we received word that the Daytona Beach area was in the direct path of Tropical Storm Fay. At that time, it was projected that Fay would come across the state at tropical storm strength, hit our area at about 2am Wednesday morning and then head out to sea.

Tuesday morning I went in to work to assist in running a special needs shelter. Schools and many businesses closed in anticipation of the high winds and rain. Tropical Storm Fay changed paths. Because of the storm shift our area didn’t get near the winds or rain predicted. Our shelter closed down at 2:30pm and we were sent home. Those who had come for shelter had the option to go to another shelter.

It was then projected that Fay would cut across the state, head out to sea and then double back slamming into our area at about 8am Wednesday. But that’s not what happened. Instead Fay slowed down and didn’t move for hours. She just kept dumping rain and wind. News reports came in from areas south of us that homes were being flooded, streets washed out and that people should not go out unless absolutely necessary. The local news warned to be careful of snakes and alligators that could be in newly flooded areas. Schools and many businesses opted to close down for Thursday. At 10pm Wednesday evening, I received a call that we might have to go back and open up the shelter at midnight. Fortunately, the call never came [which means the current shelters were able to handle the people in need].

So here it is 11:50 on Thursday morning. The prediction is that Tropical Storm Fay will be out of our area by Friday morning. If that’s the case then things will pretty much back to normal tomorrow. Since Fay has yet to follow her projected path and timeline, I’m not betting on it.

Emily Is Not Real

Emily is not real, but she’s a better actress than some I’ve seen. All kidding aside, that is some pretty amazing animation.We’re getting close to the point that I wrote about nearly two years ago when discussing that lifelike animation…

“will also usher in the next generation of all-star movie casts! Think about how cool it would be to see Sly Stallone, young Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart and Lee Marvin acting alongside each other. The possibilities are endless.So, what would your dream cast be?”

Transporter Poster Disappoints

Remember the other day when I said, “Quite often foreign posters are cooler than their American counterparts” and then gave a rare example of an American movie poster looking better than the Russian version? Well, I’m willing to bet that I like the American poster for “Transporter 3” better than this French one. My photoshop skills are weak, but I think I could come up with something more interesting.

The Shield Goes Out in Style

FX has announced that the season/series finale for The Shield will air on November 25th. The good news is that the network is planning events to make the send-off special. There will be a retrospective with a roundtable discussion with the cast and crew. The official The Shield website has already posted exclusive new clips, photos and more. You can see them here.

Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse

The Pitch: “Mad Max“ meets your real life.

The Overview: Through a series of events [natural disasters, flu epidemic, wall street collapse, nuclear bombs blasts, etc.] the world as we know it is gone. Mortimer Tate, (formerly) an insurance salesman, has spent the last nine years alone in a cave. Tate saw the end coming and was prepared for it. Now after nine years, Tate is ready to venture out and see what, if anything, is left of civilization. Through his journey he will meet heroes, villains, survivalists, business men, cannibals, mad men and more. [Doesn’t sound like much has changed does it?]

The Good: Gischler provides just the right mix of horror, gore, and humor. // The pace is quick. // There are plenty of twists and just the right number of outrageous characters. // How the trains are powered. // “Jack Daniels: The Tradition Survives.” // “The man sitting in the throne stood to face Mortimer. He wasn’t ten feet tall, not even eight. But he was seven feet if he was an inch, and when he smiled, Mortimer saw the man’s teeth had been filed to points. He wore a leather vest, no shirt, muscles rippling like Conan. He had a square Frankenstein face, greasy hair. He carried a wooden club like a caveman’s. He wore a necklace of human ears and noses. Mortimer gulped. “Who dares come to see the Red Czar?” His voice was thunder.” – The next two paragraphs are worth the price of the book alone!

The Bad: What happens to trespassers. What happens to those caught by cannibals. And perhaps worst of all what happens after Ruth steps aside!

The Ugly: Mother Lola… oh, the horror, the horror.

The Summary: Victor Gischler is a very good writer. I’ve read Gun Monkeys and The Pistol Poets and would recommend them to those who enjoy crime novels. His latest, Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse is even better. If the title alone doesn’t get you to run out and pick up a copy, then I’m curious as to why you’ve read this deep into my review. And if you’ve read this far, you know you gonna love the book!

Sketch Society

My buddy, John Beatty asked me to become a moderator on his Sketch Society blog. I’ll still do reminders and updates about Sketch Society meetings here at the ZONE, but now the major reports and photo dumps will occur at the Sketch Society blog. The next sketching get-together is coming soon. You can read more about it here.

Sleeper No More

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips work together. I discovered them by way of their award-winning Criminal series. That led me to their first team up, Sleeper. I couldn’t believe how good it was. [Can these two hit nothing but homeruns?]Sean announced on his blog today the following: Sleeper, a new crime series with Ed Brubaker.

Wow! Great news for Sean and Ed and their fans everywhere. Let’s hope that a team comes together to make the movie with the same care and ability that went into “Iron Man,” “The Dark Knight” and “Watchmen”. In the mean time, if you haven’t already, you should check out the four volumes that make up the Sleeper series: Out in the Cold; All False Moves; A Crooked Line; and The Long Way Home.

Fay Just Teased Us… So Far

The diagram above shows the projected path that tropical storm Fay is expected to follow for the next few days. How accurate it is, is hard to say. Fay was supposed to come through the Daytona Beach area starting tonight and hit hardest around 2am. Before that ever happened she shifted and headed out towards sea. As you can see now, Fay is projected to double back and land further up the coast. We’ll find out tonight if schools will be in session tomorrow. We’re still supposed to have high winds and rain through Wednesday.

Oh, if you’re wondering how the day at the shelter went, it was pretty uneventful. We opened on time at 10am. Usually, when we open a shelter, there are bunches of people waiting to get in. Not today. The first person didn’t arrive until almost eleven. At 12:30, only six people had come in. At 2:30pm we were closed down and people who still wanted shelter were sent to a new location. So the end result was no injuries, no property damage and only one story. [One of the people who came to the shelter ended up getting arrested. When the man signed in, a Deputy ran his name and it turned out he was wanted on an outstanding warrant.] My guess, is the man won’t be worried about shelter for a while.