Author: Craig Zablo

Guns in the Gutters

Chris Mills has started a new blog called Guns in the Gutters. There you’ll find Chris’s reviews of crime comics. Chris has great taste [in other words we like a lot of the same movies, books, comics, etc.], not to mention he wrote one of my personal favorite crime comics, GraveDigger: The Scavengers! Okay, okay, so I mentioned it. Believe me, the comic is more than worth a look.

Huston Continues His Streak

Charlie Huston just keeps hitting homeruns.

No, he’s not a baseball player. Huston’s a writer. And a very good one. I told you about how much I enjoyed Huston’s writing HERE. Now he’s back with his second Joe Pitt novel called No Dominion. It’s even better than Already Dead [and you know how much I liked it]!
So who is Joe Pitt? Let’s let Huston tell you in his own words:
Joe is a kind of a detective. Kind of. In the same way he’s kind of alive. Duck around the issue as long as you want, sooner or later it’s gonna bite you. See, Joe’s a vampire. Yeah, a blood sucker. But not in the usual way, least not in the way you’re thinking from the books and the movies. Joe’s got a sickness, same sickness a lot of other poor slobs got. And all of them are creeping around Manhattan, trying to stay out of the public eye, out of the sun. Got themselves organized into Clans, each one laying claim to some turf. Wanna stay alive, gotta be with a Clan. Except Joe. He doesn’t hold with that way of life. That way is no life at all as far as he’s concerned. Ha, life, that’s funny. Sort of.
At any rate, after you check out Joe Pitt, you might want to try Huston’s Hank Thompson trilogy. [You should start with Caught Stealing, then Six Bad Things, and finish with A Dangerous Man.] They’re as good as the Joe Pitt books. And it doesn’t get much better than that!

Stern vs American Idol

Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed, “King of All Media” has encouraged his fans to vote for Sanjaya Malakar since the general consensus is that Sanjaya is the worst singer currently on the show. Stern has repeatedly told his listeners to go to Vote for the and also to call in to vote for Sanjaya.

So now that Sanjaya has avoided the boot and made it into the top nine, Stern is crowing. He told his listeners, “We’re corrupting the entire thing. All of us are routing American Idol. It’s so great. The No. 1 show in television and it’s getting ruined.”

Okay. Let’s look at the facts: 1] American Idol is still the top rated show on television. 2] American Idol’s ratings are up! [More viewers means more earnings — just the opposite of what Stern is trying to achieve] 3] Vote for the doesn’t get anywhere near the number of hits it would take to keep Sanjaya on — and that’s even counting the bump in votes brought in by Stern’s listeners.

It’s interesting that Stern is actually helping American Idol by claiming he will be behind it’s downfall. Perhaps it’s even more interesting that Stern’s getting publicity while at the same time failing at his mission. I guess that’s why he’s the King of All Media.

"28 weeks later"

Here is the new trailer for “28 weeks later”. I really liked “28 days later” a lot. I plan to see “28 weeks later” but wonder if it will be as good… or at least nearly as good as the original. From the looks of the trailer it’s hard to tell.

Marshall Rogers – RIP

Marshall Rogers has died. He was 57 years old. The cause of death is not known at this time.

What is known is that Rogers burst onto the comics scene in mid 70’s and became an immediate fan favorite. Best known for his work with writer, Steve Englehart and inker, Terry Austin, the trio redefined Batman and his cast of supporting characters in Detective Comics #471-#476. Rogers then went on to do more groundbreaking work on Mr. Miracle and later Dr. Strange. In addition Rogers worked on the Silver Surfer, Detectives, Inc. [graphic novel and comic series], The Coyote, and his own creations Captain Quick and the Foozle, and later Scorpio Rose as well as other series.

Rogers left comics in the early ‘90s but later returned and even followed up on his classic Batman stories by reteaming with Englehart and Austin on Batman: Dark Detective.

I was a huge Marshall Rogers fan. I loved his work on Batman, Mr. Miracle, and even Dr. Strange [not one of my favorite characters, but Rogers made him work!]. Detectives, Inc. with Don McGregor is a fondly remembered graphic novel. As is Rogers great “Strange” portfolio. I followed Rogers work on everything he did until he left comics. Like everyone, I strongly recommend his Batman stories. They are easily found and definitely work looking up. Another title worth searching out is the Demon with a Glass Hand graphic novel adaptation that he penciled and inked from an original story and script by Harlan Ellison. It’s great stuff… which is to be expected since Marshall Rogers worked on it.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Marshall Rogers fans, friends and family.

Entertainment Weekly

I love Entertainment Weekly. Truely. I look forward to it’s arrival each week and it never disappoints. Last week it featured a great cover and story on “300”. This week EW gives the same treatment to “Grindhouse”.

I’ve been an Entertainment Weekly subscriber since issue one and don’t plan to let my subscription lapse anytime soon. That may not sound like much of an endorsement, but it is. I used to subscribe to a ton of magazines, but its the only one I’ve kept. Entertainment Weekly has outlived People, US, Interview, Premiere, Prevue, Rolling Stone, The National Enquirer, Star, Sports Illustrated, Writer’s Digest, The Comic Buyers Guide, Movie Collectors’ World, TV Guide, The Comics Journal, Muscle and Fitness, Sly, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Cinescape and who knows what else.

Entertainment Weekly covers [in each issue] movies, dvds, television, music, books, comics, and features a monthly column by Stephen King [who is always entertaining]. While I don’t always agree with their reviewers’ opionions and sometimes couldn’t care less about their cover feature, I always find something in the magazine of interest. Especially when they cover features like “300” and “Grindhouse”.

Harry Houdini Lives!

Like most kids, I went through a period where I was really into magic. I had a magic set [a real cool one that came in a pretty good-sized suitcase] and put on shows for family and friends [and even strangers]. I read books on magic and magicians. And like most kids into magic, I became fascinated by Harry Houdini.

Houdini was like a rock star in his time. He traveled the world and was known where ever he went. Houdini’s shows were the talk of the town no matter what continent he was on. In fact if you ask anyone today [over 80 years after his death] to name five famous magicians, Houdini will probably make the list.

Houdini was not only famous for his magic. He also gained noteriety for debunking spiritualists. Houdini despised those who claimed that they were in contact with the dead and in turn would bilk grieving families who had lost loved ones. In fact, Houdini would often use his stage act to show just how these con artists would perform their “miracles”. Needless to say, this created a lot of hostility towards Houdini from the Spiritualists and their followers. Death threats were issued and even Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle, said Houdini would “get his just desserts very exactly meted out … I think there is a general payday coming soon.”

Most folks know that Houdini died on Halloween, 1926, from peritonitis. Or did he? Rumors have long circulated [from just days after he died] that Houdini was murdered. Now, 81 years after his death, Houdini’s great-nephew wants to exhume the magician’s body and see if the cause of death can be determined. He’s gathered a team of experts and hopes to definitvely lay to rest the cause of Houdini’s death.

I think that regardless of what they find, Houdini [the showman that he was] would be amused to learn that in the 21st century he was still making headlines.

Russell: “I am Snake Plissken!”

The other day I mentioned that Gerard [“300”] Butler had signed on to play Snake Plissken in a new movie. My ZONE message board lit up with people [myself included] saying that Kurt Russell should be the one to play Snake.

Well, it seems Kurt Russell agrees. Entertainment Weekly posed the question, “What if they asked you to do a cameo in the new Escape from New York, or play the Ernest Borgnine role?” Here’s Kurt’s reply
“F— that! I am Snake Plissken! It’s like Sean Connery always watching someone else do their version of Bond. I think one of the things, for instance, about Escape From New York that appealed to me was that it wasn’t a special effects extravaganza. It’s a quiet, dark world and it revolved around watching the behavior of this one guy. He’s a fascinating character. In fact, he’s the most complex character I’ve ever played.”
And if you wonder what Kurt thinks about Scottish actor Gerard Butler playing Snake, the EW interview clears it up when Kurt says, ”Oh, man!” [Russell winces]. I do think that character was quintessentially one thing. And that is, American.”
I have nothing against Gerard Butler. I think he was great in “300” and I expect him to do other cool projects. And, while the remake of Snake Plissken is definitely cool, Russell is still THE MAN to play him. For the whole EW interview, click HERE.

We Want to Pump You Up!

According to a Sports Illustrated report, Evander Hollyfield is just one of many professional athletes linked to a nationwide steroids investigation. Several professional wrestlers including Randy Orton, Adam Copeland, a.k.a. “Edge,” and Shane Helms, a.k.a. “The Hurricane,” Kurt Angle, Oscar Gutierrez aka Rey Mysterio join other pro athletes such as Jose Canseco, John Rocker, Jerry Hairston Jr., David Bell, and bodybuilder Victor Martinez on the list. You can read the full story HERE.

Honestly, the only name on the list which really surprises me is Hollyfield’s.

It Wasn’t All Bad

This past Saturday my wife and I decided to ride down to the inlet. There was an art show going on and we figured that we could walk around, check out the art and then have some lunch at one of the seafood joints nestled in the inlet.

It was a beautiful afternoon with clear skies and a light breeze. I was surprised that we were able to walk through the entire show in less than an hour. We did see a couple of nice pieces by Florida artists and photographers, but nothing that really knocked us out.

We decided to grab a bite and headed over to one of the better seafood establishments in the area. We’d never had a bad meal thereuntil that afternoon. The baked potato was cold, the cocktail sauce was near frozen, there was a piece of shell in the fried oysters and the waitress disappeared at about the same time my soda ran dry. Still, the shrimp were delicious and the company was great. And I did like the way this photo turned out.

"300" Still #1

“300” continues to rake in the dough at the box office. It was number one for the second-straight weekend bringing in $31.2 million. This shoots it past the $100 million mark [$127.5 million] after only a week in theaters.

“300” was also number one at the box office overseas, bringing in $15.6 million and topping the charts in thirteen countries. The overseas total so far is $24.6 million and has yet to open in Britain, France, Spain and Mexico!
If you’re a “300” fan, then be sure to keep an eye out for the March 23, 2007 issue of Entertainment Weekly which should hit the stands early this week.