Author: Craig Zablo

Please Encourage The Big Guy

My buddy, John “Big Beatty” has updated his blog with some thoughts and sketches.

Maybe if enough of us post comments this will become a regular feature at BB’s Blog O’Rama.

I know that I’d love to see that. If you would too, then drop the big guy [or is that Bug Eye] a line.

Mike Zeck’s Damned Graphic Novel

While we’re on the subject of Mike Zeck, have you seen his Damned graphic novel? No, I’m not cursing, that’s the name of it.

Written by Steven Grant and pencilled by Mike, it was originally going to be called Lawless. The hitch was that a new tv series starring Brian Bosworth [anyone remember him?] was in the works and they had dibs on the Lawless title. So Grant and Zeck decided to go with Damned.

Here’s what Mike said when asked about how it all came together. “DAMNED is probably as personal as a project can get. Grant and I got together and posed the question “What would we do if we could do just what we wanted, without any outside pressure or direction?” Damned was a result of that. We both prefer the crime genre, and without costumed characters populating it. I hand-picked Denis Rodier (inker) and Kurt Goldzung (colorist) and it became something of a labor of love for all of us.”

Damned is a great crime comic.  Give it a try and I’ll bet you agree.

The Art of Michael J. Zeck

It used to be that when an aritst had a sketchbook come out it was an event.

I can remember the excitement I felt when I received my first Art of Neal Adams or Art of John Byrne books. In those days, you had to be a really special artist to get an “Art of…” book.

These days it seems that every artist at every show has a sketchbook. Not that that’s a bad thing… but it has made it rare that the release of a sketchbook becomes an “event.”

If an artist’s sketchbook gets much notice these days, it’s because the artist:
is really THAT talented or…
2] rarely attends conventions or…
3] has never before released a sketchbook.

Guess what? Mike Zeck fits the bill. He’s just released The Art of Michael J. Zeck Volume I and it is a winner. It’s 52 pages jam-packed with art spanning Mike‘s career. It showcases a cross section of art ranging from preliminary pencils to finished inks… from never-before-seen drawings to classic re-interpretations. You can read more about it here.

My guess is that some of you will want in on this event!

Your Anger Angers Me

The news about a new Wild Bunch movie is making its way around the net and I’m really surprised about the anger some folks have about it being made.

Sure, I expected the usual, “Hollywood has run out of ideas” and the simple “this sucks” posts from those that are inclined to negative coments. What really gets me is the genuine anger some people seem to work up about a movie that has yet to start filming.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s an act… a rant to get people to read his posts… maybe it’s genuine. Either way, he’s not alone.

Some people always get offended when “classic” movies are remade. But what’s the fuss? I mean, really, what’s the fuss?

Sure, maybe the remake will suck. Some, maybe even most do. But sometimes they don’t and then we end up with a gem. I know it’s sacrilege, but I like the Dawn of the Dead remake better than the original… and I liked the original.

How many of you love these classics: The Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland or The Maltese Falcon? Anyone here looking forward to “King Kong”? Remake, remake and yep, re-make.

I could understand the anger if doing a remake somehow erased the original movie. Heck, I’d be upset myself, if it even changed the original. But a remake doesn’t. If anything, it may even bring a new audience to the original.

So if you want to get mad about something, why not get mad about terrorism, or pollution, or ineffective politicians or something that can make the world a better place.

All this anger about movies that haven’t even been made yet is enough to… well… to make a guy angry.

Let’s Get Wild Again

It looks like David Ayer [screenwriter for “Training Day,” “Dark Blue“] will direct an update of “The Wild Bunch” based on his own script.

The original “Wild Bunch,” directed by Sam Peckinpah is considered a classic. The violent tale followed “an aging group of outlaws looking for a last score in the fading American West.”

Ayer‘s “Wild Bunch” will be set in modern day Mexico and deal with “heists, drug cartels and the CIA.”

While most folks seem upset that a “classic” is again being remade, I like the idea. Look at how good the Dawn of the Dead remake turned out. What about Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds? And we all know that Peter Jackson‘s remake of “King Kong”is going to rule.

Think of the possibilities of an aging group of rouges down in modern day Mexico for one last score. Let’s work up a dream cast… say Stallone, Danny Trejo, Michael Madsen, Mickey Rourke, Denzel Washington and maybe even DeNiro.

I’ve really liked all of Ayer‘s screenplays [“U-571,” “The Fast and the Furious,” Training Day,” “Dark Blue,S.WA.T.]. “Harsh Times”, is getting great advance reviews and “Training Day” is one of my favorite movies of the last few years. Ayers has a proven track record, so I say, let’s see what he can pull together. This is one movie I’m going to keep an eye on.

Especially if he can get a dream cast.

10 Hints That You Might Be…

Here are 10 of 25 hints that you might be a redneck.

1. The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse.

2. You let your twelve-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.

3. You’ve been married three times and still have the same in-laws.

4. You think a woman who is “out of your league” bowls on a different night.

5. Jack Daniel’s makes your list of “most admired people.”

6. You wonder how service stations keep their restrooms so clean.

7. Anyone in your family ever died right after saying, “Hey y’all watch this.”

8. You think Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.

9. Your wife’s hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.

10. Your junior prom had a daycare.

Jae Lee and The Rest of the Story

Jae Lee has been under a lot of pressure lately.

Lee was the artist selected to bring to life Stephen King’s Dark Tower characters for the presentation to persuade King to create a new Dark Tower story for Marvel.

If King liked the art and agreed to write the story, Lee would be the artist for the series. If King didn’t like the art, Lee would be out of a job and Marvel might lose the story.

To make matters more intense, Lee was a huge Stephen King fan!

So there was the pressure of not only wanting to get the job, but also the added pressure of wanting to please someone whose work Lee had admired for years.

Add in to that mix the hundreds of thousands of fans around the world who would also weigh in on Lee’s interpretation and you’ve got a pretty intense situation.

So Jae Lee did what many artists would do in this situation… he froze….

Of course that’s not how the story ends… click HERE to read Newsarama‘s interview with Jae Lee and you’ll know the rest of the story!

Don’t Miss Dusty

Yesterday when I sent in my comics order, I made sure that Dusty Starr #1 was on it.

If you’ve heard of Dusty Starr, then I’m sure you ordered it too.

If you haven’t, then click HERE to get a look at the full preview art by Andrew Robinson [his art is reason enough to order the book sight unseen] or click HERE to get a look at Desperado Publishing’s Dusty Starr section.

Either way, my guess is you’ll want a copy for yourself.

Marvel Scores Two

Stephen King is teaming with Marvel Comics to create new adventures for characters from his best selling Dark Tower series. Jae Lee will illustrate the six issue limited series that will premiere in April 2006 and then be collected in a hardcover edition in time for the holidays

In related news, best selling author, David Morrell has signed with Marvel to write his first comic story. Morrell will take Captain America to Afghanistan… or will he?

Morrell is best known for creating Rambo, but he’s truly an author that doesn’t limit himself. He refuses to be pigeon-holed in one genre. Morrell has a “complex body of work that traverses the Horror, Espionage and Thriller genres” and his writing has been well-received in all of them. I have no doubt that his work in comics will as well.

There haven’t been many Marvel comics that I’ve read in recent years. I’ll definitely be checking King and Morrell‘s work though. I’ll bet that a lot of other comic fans… and more importantly, folks who don’t normally read comics will too.

I Love It, So I Don’t Want It

For those of you who may have tuned in late, I love Frank Miller’s Sin City stories. I thought the movie that he did with Robert Rodriguez was the BEST comic to film adaptation yet. The fact that Miller, Rodriguez and their perfectly chosen cast are returning for another Sin City movie excites me to no end.

So you’d probably think that talk of a weekly Sin City tv series would have me doing cartwheels.

Well, you’d be wrong.

Even though the discussion of a Sin City weekly tv series is just in the very first stages [and most tv show ideas never make it to the small screen]; my vote, unless Miller is going to be directly involved with a weekly series, is to pass. Even on HBO, FX or a channel that was willing to let Sin City be Sin City, a weekly series, by it’s very nature would water down the concept.

Obviously, Sin City is Miller‘s baby and if he decides that Sin CIty can work as a weekly series, then I’ll tune in. If the show works, I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong. And if the show stinks, at least we’ll still have all those great comic stories and the Sin City movie to turn to when we need our Sin City fix.

Big Beatty and ZONE CITY

My buddy, John “Big” Beatty loves to bust my chops. Of course he loves to bust on everyone, so that’s nothing special.

What is special is that Big John created a strip called ZONE CITY that he uses to take shots at me. Oh, don’t worry. It’s all in good fun.

Beatty has combined my love of Frank Miller’s Sin City, my admiration of Sylvester Stallone and my commitment to my StalloneZone website to come up with an exaggerated spin on reality.

ZONE CITY is really a hoot. I hope that John does more. You can check out ZONE CITY at Big Beatty’s Blog-O-Rama. If you do, please let me know which parts you think are real and which come from Big John‘s imagination.

What About Bob?

Bob Layton did some of my favorite comics back in the day. Although best known for his work with David Michelinie on the fan favorite, Iron Man, I also really got a kick out of his Ant Man and Hercules: Prince of Power work.

Bob‘s a really nice guy [in addition to being a talented writer, penciler, inker, editor… well, you get the idea] and I was proud to get him in my Stallone Gallery.

It seems that most of Bob‘s comic work these days is creating commissions for fans. Which is great for individual fans, but too bad for fandom since Bob still has a lot to offer.