Author: Craig Zablo

30 Days of Night: "No God"

30 Days of Night just keeps looking sweeter and sweeter.

It’s rare that a movie is better than the book or graphic novel that spawned it, but 30 Days of Night the movie just might do the trick. I love the look and feel of it. This clip has several quiet moments that are really creepy and the way the vampire says, “No God” creates such a feeling of helpless and hopelessness.

I can’t wait to see this on the big screen!

Top Marvel / DC Characters (2007)

ComicBookResources.com posted the Top 50 Marvel and DC characters as voted on by fans. It gave me the idea to list my Top 10 Marvel and DC characters:
  1. Wolverine /Batman
  2. Daredevil / The Question
  3. The Punisher / Green Arrow
  4. Nick Fury / Mr. Miracle
  5. Luke Cage / Swamp Thing
  6. Sub-Mariner / The Joker
  7. Spider-Man / Superman
  8. Captain America / Robin
  9. Adam Warlock / Catwoman
  10. Iron Man / Darkseid
My list was chosen from the characters in the top 50… so no Shang Chi.

Collector’s Comics Con is Coming!

If you’re in the Port St. Lucie, Florida area on October 13th, you should come by the Collector’s Comic Con. It runs from 10am – 5pm and promises to be a fun way to spend the day. Big John Beatty, Alex Saviuk, Herb Trimpe and others will be on hand to sign autographs and sketch for fans. I’ll be there hanging out with Beatty and messing with con promoter Keith Mallow.

The show is always a lot of fun. Hope to see you there!

Superman / Doomsday

I got a chance to watch the Superman / Doomsday animated movie yesterday.While not on par with the Fleischer Superman cartoons of the 30’s [not many cartoons are], Superman / Doomsday is an enjoyable tale brought to life by co-writer/co-director, Bruce Timm and a well chosen cast of actors including Adam Baldwin [Superman], Anne Heche [Lois Lane], James Marsters [Lex Luthor], Ray Wise [Perry White] and others.

The bonus features include behind the scenes with the voice actors, the animators, commentary tracks, as well as a sneak peak at The New Frontier [an upcoming animated feature based on Darwyn Cooke’s award-winning series — and I can’t wait to see it].

If you’re a Superman or comic book fan, my guess is that you’ll enjoy it. If you’re not a fan of either then you probably stopped reading this post long ago.

Take You Back…

The picture above was taken about 30 years ago when I was in high school. I’d never seen it until just a few minutes ago.

Last weekend when I was at OrlandoCon a guy who was getting a sketch from John Beatty said that his wife had gone to high school with Big John. I told him that I went to the same high school. Come to find out I knew his wife as well.

When she came by the con, we had a chance to talk a bit. We hadn’t seen each other since high school. She said that she had a picture of us taken at a pep rally and that she’d send it my way. Strange seeing it for the first time 30 years after the fact. Where do the years go?

Man, but it does take me back…

Zablo is Rejected!

Yesterday I wrote about the amazingly talented artist, Joe Bluhm, and his book Rejects. Here’s what I said:

Joe is a caricaturist and occasionally he does a drawing that the customer doesn’t want. Surprisingly these are often some of the best drawings of the day! Joe has put together a great book called Rejects. It features rejected caricatures and his comments about them. When Joe told Beatty about the book, Beatty said it was a great idea and that he’d pay to have me drawn in “reject mode.” We all laughed. Higashi heard this and decided it really was a great idea. The next thing I knew Higashi had his camera out and aimed in my direction…


Well, as you can see from the photo above Higashi went through with it. LOL! You know, Joe is such a talented artist that I can honestly say it’s the first time I’ve ever been happy to have been rejected!


OrlandoCon Report

Friday night I drove down to Orlando to hang with my best bud, John Beatty who was going to be a guest at OrlandoCon. John had driven down ahead since I had to work late. I pulled into the parking lot to find Beatty, John Higashi, Mike Gowcharan and Kwan walking back from the convention hall. They had gone over to get the lay of the land. We decided to get some dinner and ended up at a Chinese Buffet. It was a little hole in the wall joint, the grub was okay but the company was better. We talked about everything from what our con expectations were to Mike Wieringo’s untimely passing, to poker strategies, to Big Beatty’s upcoming trip to the Philippines.

We went back to the hotel and ended up looking at some of Higashi’s latest art pickups. Mike brought out his poker chips, we all threw a ten spot into the pot and played a winner take all no limit Texas Hold’em Tournament. Despite a great start, the best I could manage was second place [Mike came in first] and as Beatty reminded me, second paid the same as last place. Harumph!

 

The next morning Higashi and I got up early to meet Mike and Kwan [and his girlfriend] for some breakfast. Beatty decided he needed more sleep and didn’t join us. He was up and ready to roll when we got back to the room so we all headed over to show. The convention hall was really much bigger than I had expected.

 

Beatty and I took a walk around to see who was set-up. We stopped to talk a bit with Tommy Castillo who had some really cool prints of his art and a nice sketchbook available for fans. I was surprised to find Greg “The Hammer” Valentine set up across the way from Tommy. Shaking his mit was like grabbing onto some leather covered with sandpaper. As we walked around we saw several friends [Tim Gordon, Phil from Coliseum of Comics, Scoup-to-Nuts, Shawn Surface, and many others].

 

Beatty headed over to his table and began work on his first commission of the show [the Punisher drawing above]. The special guest artist of the show was Leinil Francis Yu. I’m a huge fan of his work. Kwan hooked me up with a copy of Leinil’s sketchbook [thanks Kwan! — and…No, I didn’t palm a stack of your chips!]. Leinil was doing quick headshots for fans and I hoped to get one. Leinil had also agreed to do a more detailed head and torso sketches for each of the two winners of a Hero Initiative auction. Higashi and I [and a ton of other fans] each bought 3 tickets. Beatty went over to talk to Leinil and introduced me. We shook hands and I told him I was a fan. He was very gracious. We didn’t talk long because he already had a huge line of other fans waiting to meet him.

 

As I was walking around I was surprised to find Joe Bluhm set up. Joe is a fantastic artist and I regularly visit his site. I hadn’t known Joe was going to be at the show and immediately talked to him about doing a Stallone sketch for me. Joe agreed and I knew that if I wasn’t able to get any other pieces, his would make the show worthwhile.

I knew that Ron Salas was going to be at the convention. I really am impressed with his work and also visit his site regularly. Once Ron was set up Higashi and I went over to meet him. Ron was as nice as he is talented. He agreed to do a Stallone sketch for me. Higashi proceeded to set up a Star Wars sketch for himself and a World’s Finest piece for Hawaiin Dave.

It was time for the Leinil Yu raffle drawing so we headed over. They were only drawing two winners and you had to be present to win. The first number was pulled and the crowd waited to see who would step forward… going once… going twice… new number! The next number was pulled and immediately a guy yelled, “That’s me!” Time for the last winner. The ticket was pulled and the numbers called out… “Six…” – I had a six! “Eight…” – I had an eight! – “Zero…” I had a zero! I quickly looked again, 680! Yep! It was me. I raised my hand and yelled, “I’ve got it!” I could hear Kwan and others laughing, Zablo won!

 

I went over and turned in my ticket. I walked over to talk to Leinil about my request. He was in to it and said that he was going to do me a nice drawing. Did he ever! As he was drawing it, other fans continued to come over and tell me how cool it looked and how nicely it was coming along. Beatty and Kwan didn’t want me to see it until it was completed. That didn’t stop them from going over to look at and film Leinil’s progress. Word came back that he was doing it bigger than normal and putting way more details than usual. I couldn’t wait to get my mits on it… but I didn’t want to rush Leinil so I stayed far away. LOL!

 

I headed back over to see how Joe was doing with my Stallone piece. It was finished. Joe had decided to whip up Sly as Rocky Balboa. It was an amazing piece. Joe absolutely nailed it. I thanked him and headed back to show the guys. Beatty is very seldom impressed. His response was, “Wow! That’s really nice! Let me see that!” He then positively commented on everything from the drawing itself to the color choices. If Beatty’s impressed, it’s a rare thing, indeed. Beatty was working on his second Punisher commission [above] so I decided to walk around a bit more.

 

Alex Saviuk was set up. I had swung by earlier to say, “hi.” I was walking by his table when he called me over and said, “I saw you have your Stallone reference here. Bring it by and I’ll give you that sketch I owe you!” [Alex had been doing sketches for charity a while back and I purchased one with the understanding that he’d do it when he got the chance.] Alex drew Sly as Superman! What a great guy and great sketch!

 

Leinil finished my Rambo sketch. It was amazing. Several fans came over to say how nice it was. I couldn’t believe my luck in winning and then that Leinil would come through in such a spectacular way. I’ll post up a better scan to it [and all of my pieces] soon.

I was showing my sketches to a friend who came by the table. He wasn’t familiar with Joe Bluhm’s work. I was telling him about Joe and his book Rejects. Joe is a caricaturist and occasionally he does a drawing that the customer doesn’t want. Surprisingly these are often some of the best drawings of the day! Joe has put together a great book called Rejects. It features rejected caricatures and his comments about them. When Joe told Beatty about the book, Beatty said it was a great idea and that he’d pay to have me drawn in “reject mode.” We all laughed. Higashi heard this and decided it was a great idea. The next thing I knew Higashi had his camera out and aimed in my direction…

 

It was almost time for me to head out… I wasn’t staying for both days of the show. I swung by Joe’s table to thank him again for the great drawing. I saw that he had an opening and asked if he’d do another Stallone piece for me. He agreed.

I walked down to say goodbye to Ron Salas. I told him that Higashi or Beatty would pick up my piece on Sunday and that it was a pleasure meeting him. I swung by to say good bye to a few other folks. I then picked up my second Joe Bluhm piece [was my luck running good or what], said so long to Beatty and Higashi and then was headed for home!

Not Much on Futuristic SciFi

I’ve never read anything by Jeff Somers. I rarely read scifi. Especially futuristic scifi. Yet, I think that I might really enjoy The Electric Church by Jeff Somers. It’s described in THIS REVIEW as “BLADE RUNNER meets THE DIRTY DOZEN, with a dash of Sergio Leone” — so I ask, who wouldn’t like that mix?

I decided to READ THE FIRST CHAPTER FOR FREE. The I decided to read JEFF SOMERS’ BLOG. I’m still interested in reading The Electric Church so my next Amazon order will probably include it… even though I’m not much on futuristic scifi.

Prison Break is Back

Anyone catch the season premiere of “Prison Break”? Now in it’s third season, “Prison Break” continues to entertain and offer some of the best commercial break cliffhangers on tv. It’s pretty amazing how well the writers are able to weave the storylines of the various characters so that they continue to interact despite being on the run and separated over the course of two seasons. The show is well cast and well acted. The writing and pace are such that I’m willing to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the world in which the Scofield brothers exist.

And special mention has to be given to Robert Knepper as Theodore ‘T-Bag’ Bagwell. Is there a more hated character on television now? He’s so bad, he’s good.