Author: Craig Zablo

Over There to be Seen Over There

The other day I posted that Over There is my favorite show of the summer. So you can imagine how happy I was to hear that Over There  will soon be seen in about 100 territories around the world.

The fact that Over There has been picked up in so many territories increases the odds that the series will be back next season. And that just makes my day.

The Ultimate Sin

YES! The news that we’ve been waiting for…

The deluxe dvd edition of Sin City [Recut & Extended] will be available starting December 13th at about $39.99. The dvd will include the 124 minute theatrical release and a new 147 minute extended cut with both presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with English DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround tracks.

Extras will include three commentary tracks: 1] with directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller; 2] Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino; and 3] the Austin Premiere crowd reaction!

Additional extras include a 15 minute film school with Rodriguez, 17 uninterrupted minutes of Tarantino’s segment, footage of a Sin City cast/crew party, featurettes on the cars, special effects, make-up, costumes, props, how they convinced Miller to assist with the film; casting, Tarantino, plus trailers, bloopers, and an interactive game. Topping it all off will be the complete Sin City graphic novel The Hard Goodbye.


I… can…not… wait…

A New Season of "Must See" TV

The new tv season is nearly upon us and so I thought it might be fun to take a look at the shows that have made my MUST SEE TV list:

Sunday has traditionally been one of the weakest nights of the week and the new season looks to be more of the same. The only show that I plan to watch is West Wing [NBC]. Although last season was one of the best for West Wing, the new night could spell trouble. Since the Bartlett‘s are on the way out, fans may decide that they should
be as well. I hope not.

Monday looks to have just the right mix of shows. At 8PM, I’ll check out Surface [NBC]. This show has a lot of potential – an “adventure-drama” about what happens when sea creatures [monsters?] are discovered all across the world’s oceans. At 9PM, I’ll switch over to FOX and check out Prison Break and at 10, it’ll be back to NBC for the highly under-rated Medium.
Tuesday belongs to 24 and The Shield, but since they won’t start up for a while I plan to give WB‘s Supernatural at 9PM a shot. Given the WB‘s track record with making my MUST SEE TV list, this could be bad, especially since my wife will want to watch The Amazing Race on CBS.

Wednesday is the greatly anticipated return of Lost at 9PM on ABC. I’ll also probably dvr E-Ring on NBC at the same time. At 10, I’ll keep it on ABC and check out Invasion. Seems that creepy is back in with Invasion, Supernatural and Surface all premiering this season. I wonder how many will last for two.

Thursday was for years THE night for tv. Not anymore. Survivor on CBS at 8PM will continue to be a family event. At 9PM, I’ll switch over to ABC and give the Night Stalker a shot. I remember watching Darrin McGavin in the original Night Stalker movie back in 1972. It was a fun movie… but I didn’t much care for the tv series that followed. Maybe this one will be better.

Friday is the second worst night of the week for tv [thank goodness for dvds]. I will give Threshold at 8PM on CBS a try since it has the same Invasion/Supernatural/Surface vibe.

Saturdays is the pits. I always hope that the SciFi Channel will have a halfway decent flick but that’s rarely the case… still I continue to tune in.

Before I bring this post to a close, I want to mention the shows that I’ve enjoyed this summer: Hell’s Kitchen hooked me and I wasn’t sure I’d care about it at all; So You Think You Can Dance is as much fun as American Idol; Hogan Knows Best shows a side of The Hulkster that makes you wish he was your neighbor; Celebrity Fitness Club had me watching celebrities that I didn’t even watch when they were famous [well, except for Gary Busey!]; Wanted has characters quirky enough to elevate it from the run of the mill cop show; The Ultimate Fighter is like The Contender on steroids; and my favorite summer show has turned out to be Over There.

Well, that’s what I’m looking forward to from the new season. Have I missed anything?

Bob Denver’s Legacy

Bob Denver, the clueless hero of “Gilligan’s Island” has died at the age of 70.

Denver, as Gilligan,. set sail on what should have been a three-hour tour but instead ended up being a 40 year adventure entertaining several generations of fans.

I was five years old when “Gilligan’s Island” premiered and I can remember watching each week. They castaways were funny. Especially Gulligan.

The show ran for only three seasons. The funny thing is it never died. Bob Denver has 25 credits listed in the Internet Movie Database. Eight of them have direct ties to Gulligan’s Island. Talk about creating an enduring and endearing character.

I didn’t care much for Gilligan’s Island once I was older. I remember watching Rescue from Gilligan’s Island and thinking how stupid it was. It wasn’t stupid though, it was silly. The kind of silly that little kids eat up… like I did when I used to watch Gilligan and the castways in their initial run.

Bob Denver‘s three hour tour will never end. He’ll continue to entertain generation after generation. Smiles and the sounds of laughter is a great legacy.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and fans of Mr. Denver.

Talk About Sick Covers

Over at Dial B for Blog they’ve posted The Top 5 Sickest Comic Book Covers Ever!

Their choices include:

5] Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen [#110] operating on Superman‘s brain and turning him into a computer [potentially sick, but really more silly]

4] Star Spangled #124 which features a man being lured to commit suicide by two ghostly figures [maybe scary, but hardly sick]

3] Superboy [#189] walking in to find his father has hung himself [now that’s sick for a kid’s comic]

2] Adventure Comics #269 showing a powerless Krypto forced to watch home movies [now that’s kind of funny!]

1] Sandman Mystery Theater #58 which features a close-up of man who’s been shot in the head lying in a pool of blood. [Ok, that is sick]

Now I realize that they were talking about sick comic covers that were geared towards kids, but when I read the topic I immediately thought of the two covers posted here and here.

Tampa Was a Blast!

Last weekend, Big Beatty, John Higashi and I made our way to the Tampa Comic Book and Toy Show.

As many of you know, it’s my favorite little convention. But if Tim Gordon continues to put on such great shows, it won’t be little much longer. It’s held three times a year and has added the Tampa Indie Film Fest to a program which already includes celebrites signing autographs, artists sketching, a costume contest, prize drawaingsthere’s ALWAYS something going on to interest everyone.

Beatty, Higashi and I drove down the night before. It’s become a tradition that we go down a day ahead of the show, hang out with other collectors and eat dinner at a place called Sweet Tomatoes.

This time Randy Martin joined us for dinner. Afterwards we went over to his place to hang out. Randy has the coolest Edward Scissorhands art collection that you can see if you click HERE.

The next morning, Beatty, Higashi and I headed over to the show. Higashi was on a mission. His goal was to get to Ethan Van Sciver to add to a sketch that he’d started a few shows ago, and to set up a commission with Pablo Marcos. My plan was to meet Pablo Marcos and possibly get a Stallone sketch from him. Beatty was there just to stir up some fun.

Higashi started getting that predator look in his eyes and I knew that soon he would be in full con mode. The doors opened and the crowd headed in. As we were walking to the artist area, I saw Randy Martin had set up and so I stopped to chat with him. Higashi continued to make his way to Ethan’s spot center stage.

A few minutes later, I headed over to the stage area. Higashi was waiting for Ethan to arrive. I said, “Hi” to Marty Nodell and his son. I was just hanging out waiting for Big Beatty to mosey over when Cindy Morgan walked up to me and introduced herself. Cindy was a guest of the show and is best known for her role as Lacey Underall in Caddyshack. She asked if I was with the show. I told her I wasn’t. As luck would have it, Tim
[who runs the show] was passing by. He stopped and was able to answer Ms. Morgan‘s question. There was a bit of small talk and then she excused herself to set up. Tim and I spoke a bit before he went on stage to introduce the guests and welcome the crowd.

I decided to head over to the film room when suddenly Captain Battle and his Battle Team appeared.

His Battle Team was filming fan reaction as he walked through the crowd meeting and greeting young and old alike. I shook hands with the good
Captain and was awarded his first dvd movie. I’ll write more about that soon.

In the film room, Beatty and I watched a retrospective on Irwin Allen. Allen was first known for his tv shows, Lost in Space, Voyage to the
Bottom of the Sea
, The Time Tunnel, and Land of the Giants. He then went on to become the King of Disaster Movies with The Posideon Adventure, and The Towering Inferno. Higashi came in. He’d been successful in getting Ethan to add more to his Star Wars piece. The three of us watched a short film called Contact from Beyond. The people who made the film were in the audience and the crowd enjoyed the experience.

That’s the look that Wild Bill Black had on his face when he saw Beatty and I re-enter the convention hall. Bill was talking to Marty Nodell and had made the trip to Tampa just to hang with Marty for the afternoon. It’s always great to see Wild Bill, who is busier than ever with his comic and dvd businesses.

I spent some time talking with Jesse “Cadre” Hansen and Mitch “Bubba the Redneck Werewolf” Hyman. It’s always a blast speaking to these guys as they love what they’re doing and their fan base continues to grow. Beatty came over to see some new stuff that Cadre had created. When Beatty gives praise, you know it’s earned. He and Mitch talked about Beatty doing a cover for a future issue of Bubba — so that looks like it’s going to happen.

Then is was time for the costume contest. It’s surprising to me, because of the size of the show, how many really good costumers are always there. You have to admit that it adds something to a show, when you see characters walking around and they look like who they’re supposed to be. The winner was a guy dressed as The Shadow — at the last show he came as Marv. In the picture above, that’s me with The Scarecrow from Batman Begins and Kevin from Sin City.

The only thing left to do was for Higashi to set up his Star Wars commission. That’s Pablo and his lovely wife pictured above. Higashi and I were in line as Pablo sketched for fans. Higashi asked me if I was going to try for a Stallone sketch. Because of the time factor, I said that I didn’t think so. We watched as Pablo completed a beautiful Vamperella sketch… then a Zombie pencil sketch… and then a Conan. Man, each sketch was a beaut. Higashi set up his commission which
Pablo was doing as a take-home piece. I then arranged to have a Stallone sketch done and mailed with Higashi‘s. I don’t know which character Pablo is going to do… but you can be sure, it’ll be sweet.

Sadly it was time for us to get on the road. Higashi had been able to get Ethan to add to his piece and Pablo to commit to a commission. I had been able to arrange for a Pablo sketch as well. We’d been able to visit with old and new friends, see some fun films, check out some wild costumes, and just have a great day. Tim’s next show is in November. If you’re able to make it, I can promise that you’ll have a fun time. Heck, you may even get to be in a picture with Steve, Big Beatty and Wild Bill!

No Fun Today

I try to keep the focus of my ZONE posts on fun stuff; things that I find interesting and hope that you do too.

This entry isn’t about the comic convention that I went to last weekend, the great book that I’m reading, or even the tv shows that I’ve enjoyed this summer


This entry is about the horrific wake left by Hurricane Katrina.

Daytona was hit by three hurricanes last year. Three! And I’d go through six more, to avoid one like Katrina.

The worst part was not when the storms were hitting. By far the worst was when the storms had passed and we were left to deal with the aftermath. Flooded streets. No power for days. Which meant no air conditioning, no refrigeration, no hot water or warm meals. And then there was the damage. People left homeless. Businesses wiped out. People injured or killed as a direct result of the hurricane.

We experienced all of that. But on a scale no where near the one facing the survivors of Katrina.

Don’t worry, I’ll be back with a more upbeat topic tomorrow. Maybe I’ll post up pics and a con report, or tell you about The Killings of Stanley Ketchel, or even the tv shows this summer that have kept me entertained. But until then…

Our thoughts and prayers are with the millions of families facing the days ahead.

Who Will Show Up Next?


I really don’t read comic strips much anymore. You would think that I still would since I love the form. It’s just as I got older, I just found myself reading fewer strips. One that I still take the time to check out is Blondie.

It’s hard to believe that Blondie celebrates it’s 75th anniversary on September 8th. What’s really cool is that many comic strip creators are joining in on the celebration by having their characters make appearances in the Blondie strip and vice versa.

Here Dagwood shows up to personally invite Garfield to the party. Rose gets her invite. BC has a subtle reference. Many characters decide to show up early for the party. The Wizard of Id plans to attend. Dick Tracy is on a case but takes time to make mention of the event! Mutts‘ invitation arrives as even more guests arrive early. Dagwood sends the Wizard of Id a gift. Beetle Bailey and Dagwood hang out playing poker. Mother Goose and Grim provide a witty set of directions to the Bumstread‘s. Dagwood drops off an invite for The Family Circus. The Wizard of Id decides on the perfect gift. Blondie shows up in Shoe‘s hangout. Even little Trixie is welcome. And of course there are many special guests showing up in recent Blondie strips.

If you like this kind of stuff, then keep your eyes peeled. The cross-overs will be going on for at least another week. [A special tip of the derby to Mark Evanier for pointing out all these great guest appearances!]

Tampa, Here I Come!

This weekend I’m heading down to the Tampa Comic Book and Toy Convention. Tim Gordon puts on the show and it’s ALWAYS a blast.

This time the guest list includes: Cindy “Tron” Morgan, Marty “Green Lantern” Nodell, Ethan “Green Lantern” Van Sciver, Alex “Spider-Man” Saviuk, Pablo “Conan” Marcos, and many others. The second Tampa Indie Film Fest will also run during the show.

If you’re in the area, you ought to join in on the fun!

MI 3 and Zero Chance of Failure

Yep, you’re looking at the first pic from Mission Impossible 3 to show up on the web.  The Hollywood News has the honor of the scoop and a slightly bigger version of the pic as well.

That’s Kerri Russell alongside Tom Cruise… they look like a pretty good team and with JJ Abrahams [Alias and Lost] directing, it can’t fail!

And speaking of things that can’t fail, does anyone here remember when Coca Cola released New Coke? Talk about a big time mistake.

New Coke was promoted as being THE, well, new Coke. The idea was that New Coke would replace the traditional Coke. The powers that be thought that the hype and “new” taste would bring in more Coke drinkers without losing the faithful millions already drinking Coke.

Guess what? New Coke tanked. It was a long time before the Coca Cola Company tried “new” recipes. But things have changed. Now you can get Coke, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke, Coke with Lime

Last month Coke Zero was introduced. It’s a diet cola with no caleries and no after taste. It’s really good. For me, it’s my new Coke.

I’m Glad That I Waited

From the title of this post, you might think that I’m going to talk about the success of “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” but I’m not.

Instead, I’m here to talk down the “bare bones” dvd release of “Sin CIty.” As most of you know, I’m a huge fan of Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller and especially the Sin City series of graphic novels. The mix of Rodriguez and Miller with one of the best casts in recent memory made Sin City a must have for my dvd collection.

I thought long and hard about whether or not to get the current “bare bones” edition and finally decided to wait. I figured that the deluxe edition would be out maybe as soon as Christmas, I’d already seen Sin City twice and would be taking a stand against this kind
of marketing.

Beatty bought his copy and really tempted me to break down and get one as well.

But ultimately I didn’t. And in a weird way I felt like I wasn’t supporting Rodriguez, Miller and Sin City.

Yeah, I felt that way until I read that Rodriguez “openly loathes” the “bare bones” edition. Rodriguez even goes on to say, “I hate it when they do double-dip stuff, so I don’t put any extra **** on there at all so people will hopefully go, ‘Ah, I’ll just wait.’

So how long will we have to wait? “December [or] not too far afterwards” is the word from the man himself.

Now you know why I’m glad that I decided to wait… and four months compared to 40 years is a piece of cake.

Robert Rodriguez-O-Rama

Robert Rodriguez talks about his favorite films, why we’ll never see another Spy Kids movie, why Stallone would make a great Batman, the role that he had planned for Mickey Rourke in From Dusk Till Dawnand a whole lot more an interview HERE.

And in the Robert Rodriguez interview HERE you’ll learn about the casting and storyline for Sin City 2 [and maybe 3], the double feature that he’s doing with Quentin Tarantino, and the part he had planned for Quentin in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and even more!

That should hold you over until next time!

Like Cheap Whiskey, Very Nasty and Satisfying


Today while surfing the net I came across a couple of items that should interest most ZONErs.

The first is that several authors [including Stephen King, John Grisham, Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket, Michael Chabon and others] are participating in an auction for charity where the winning bidders will get to name a character in each author’s novel. How cool is that?

The second item of interest is directly related to the first, in that Stephen King‘s participation in the auction involves a new novel titled Cell. King describes Cell as “a violent piece of work, which comes complete with zombies set in motion by bad cell phone signals that destroy the human brain. Like cheap whiskey, it’s very nasty and extremely satisfying.” Stephen King and zombies! Count me in.

And come to think of it… maybe I should take a shot at the auction as well. A zombie named “Big Beatty” is just too cool not to give it a go.