Author: Craig Zablo

Joe Ain’t the Pitts

The Pitch: Updated Raymond Chandler meets Stephen King.The Overview: Vampyres live among us. The world doesn’t know that they exist, but they do. They can’t turn into bats or mist. Crosses don’t kill them; in fact bullets don’t either… usually. They’re strong; they’re fast and victims of a vyrus. Most are members of one of the many clans… safety in numbers and all that. Word is that a clan war is brewing, and that’s the least of Joe Pitt’s problems.The Good: Charlie Huston can write. Joe Pitt’s attitude [which is bad]. Stretch the midget vampyre. What Joe is willing to risk for Evie. The attack at the side show.

The Bad: The vampyre freaks. The side show. The beating Joe takes.

The Ugly: Joe Pitt’s vengeance.

The Summary: Half the Blood of Brooklyn is an excellent example of why Charlie Huston is one of my favorite writers. He’s created a world of vampyres that could exist outside my window NOW. The only caveat is that the books are best read in order: Already Dead; No Dominion; Half the Blood of Brooklyn.

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

CBS has announced that Jericho has been cancelled. This is pretty sad news for fans [myself included] who’ve followed the show since episode one.Jericho was one of those shows that seemed to gain momentum as the season progressed. The season one premiere left me feeling that Jericho had a great concept, and the potential to be really good or it go the opposite direction and become a “new romance / save one of the townsfolk” of the week dramas. Instead it became a compelling vision of life in a small town cut off from the rest of the country after the US was the victim of multiple nuclear attacks. Increasingly, I found myself anticipating each new episode. I was sad to learn that Jericho was cancelled at the end of the first season.

Of course we’re all aware that Jericho was saved by a massive fan base and brought back for an abbreviated season two. Unfortunately, season two got off to a slow start. There was a new focus — instead of being about how the folks of Jericho were going to survive life after nuclear attacks, the show took a broader canvas and became about how the country would survive a potential overthrow from within. The change was jarring, but for those of us who stayed with Jericho, we were treated to a show that had the potential to be even better than the first season. I was diggin’ the direction of the show and again looking forward to each new episode.

Unfortunately, Jericho has been cancelled yet again. One thing I’ve learned from the show and it’s fan base, is it ain’t over until it’s over. Hopefully Jericho will find new life on a different network [perhaps the SCIFI channel?] and the story will continue to unfold. If so, I’ll be coming along for the ride.

Look Out for Femme Noir

Next month, the first issue of Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries, written by Chris Mills and drawn by Joe Staton, will be listed in Diamond Comics Distribution’s Previews. If you get Previews, I’d like you to check it out. My guess is after doing so, you’ll want to order a copy. If you don’t get previews, then please ask your local comic shop owner to take a look at it.

Femme Noir is a cartoon crime comic inspired by Eisner’s The Spirit, Gould’s Dick Tracy, plus a healthy mix of cliffhanger serials, B-movies, pulp magazines, and more. Each issue will feature a 28 page standalone story [how rare is that!] plus two pin-ups by guest artists!

Issues #1 and #3 are inked by Horacio Ottolini, issues #2 and #4 by Mark Stegbauer. Colors are provided by Melissa Kaercher and Matt Webb. As an added bonus, each issue is offered with two covers: one pencilled by Joe Staton and then digitally painted by Alfredo Lopez Jr, with the second by a guest artist. Those guest artists are Brian Bolland, Matt Haley, Phil Hester, and the late Mike Wieringo. [Some fans will buy the issues just for the guest covers!]

The official Femme Noir website is http://www.femme-noir.com. Check out the website and if you like what you see, help me spread the word. [And no, I’m not getting any kickbacks. I like Chris Mills’ work — especially his crime comic Gravedigger — and I’d like to see Chris and Joe Staton get the audience they deserve on Femme Noir. If it wasn’t a worthy comic, I wouldn’t be talking it up… and you wouldn’t still be reading this.]

Jim & Mike & Cartoons I Liked

One of my highlight’s from MegaCon was getting to spend a bit of time with two old friends. That’s Jim Ivey on the left and Mike Kott on the right. I’ve known these guys for over 30 years. Jim is an award-winning political cartoonist and founder of the original Cartoon Museum. Mike is the founder and co-owner of The Intergalactic Trading Company. Together they [along with Bill Black] put on OrlandoCon, one of the best comic book conventions you’d find anywhere. I knew them because of their respective business enterprises, but we became friends over countless hands and hours playing cards. I only get to see these guys about once a year now. But when we do see each other, it’s like the years melt away.It’s hard to believe that I’m almost the age that Jim Ivey was when we first met! And speaking of Jim Ivey, he has a new book out called Cartoons That I Liked. It features some of his favorite cartoons from the thousands that he did over the years. It’s available as a or $3.00 pdf download or $9.95 for the actual book. You can even order one from Jim which will come autographed and with a sketch for $20.00. If you’re at all interested in political cartoons, then I’d appeciate it if you’d order a copy. The pdf is a steal at three bucks and getting the autographed copy at $20 is a bargain. If you order a copy from Jim, please tell him I sent you his way. Who knows, I may need some goodwill from him should we ever get into another poker game.