Author: Craig Zablo

Four Things to Look Forward To:

  • Paramount is going to release a new film version of “The Honeymooners,” based on the classic Jackie Gleason television series. Cedric the Entertainer is set to take over the role once held by Gleason. This movie may be funny… and it does have potential but nothing will ever replace the original series!
  • The “Indiana Jones” trilogy will be released on DVD for the first time on Nov. 4th! It will be a four disk set with behind-the-scenes documentaries, cast and crew interviews and other special features.
  • Jackie Chan is hard at work on “Around the World in 80 Days.” The film is based on the classic Jules Verne novel and should be out sometime in 2004.
  • Elton John and Bernie Taupin are collaborating for a Broadway show based on Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, tentatively titled “The Vampire Lestat,” and aimed for a 2005 theatrical run. This could be interesting!

It’s All About Timing…

  • Grease’ is still the word at Paramount where reports say that plans for “Grease 3” are well underway. The idea is to set the sequel in the late-’70s, feature plenty of disco music and bring back John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Didi Conn, who played Frenchie, is serving as an executive producer. I was never a fan of either of the “Grease” movies, but there’s no denying that it has a very strong, very loyal following. The time might be right for this one.
  • David Hyde Pierce, who plays Niles Crane, on “Frasier” believes next season will be the last. You know, “Frasier” used to be on my “must see tv” list, but the last couple of seasons I haven’t even tuned in. Seems to me the show “jumped the shark” when Niles married Daphne. It’s time has passed.
  • A lone protester stood outside a sold-out Dixie Chicks concert during the band’s first concert since a member criticized President Bush over the war with Iraq. Seems the protestor’s timing was off.
  • William Bennett [Republican Party activist, former Cabinet secretary, former US Drug Czar and Book of Virtues author] said in a statement today that he was giving up the high-stakes gambling that has cost him millions over the past decade. The timing is right on this one, but Mr. Bennett’s timing was obviously off on his bets.

“X2” – George Wyle – Jennifer Garner – Stephen King and James Brown!

  • “X2: X-Men United” opened with a projected $85.85 million debut . This would make it the fourth highest opening ever and almost a sure thing to spawn an “X-Men 3.”
    With the popularity of some of the individual characters, such as Wolverine and Nightcrawler, it might be interesting to see them spring off into their own films separate from the other “X-Men.”
    What do you think about that idea?

  • George Wyle, who wrote the theme song to “Gilligan’s Island” has died at the age of 87. I was going to say that even if that was the only song that he ever wrote that attained any level of popularity, he had accomplished more than most. The I discovered that he also wrote the Christmas classic “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and more than 400 other songs. Although most people probably don’t know his name, I’ll be they can sing the theme to “Gilligan’s Island”! Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Wyle’s family and friends.

  • “Alias” star Jennifer Garner will replace Gwyneth Paltrow in “Happy Endings,” which is set to shoot this summer in Los Angeles. Lisa Kudrow will co-star in the comedy.It’s really amazing how popular Jennifer Garner has gotten. Seems she’s everywhere these days. Not that I’m complaining! ; )

  • Two new Stephen King stories have been discovered. “The 43rd Dream” and “Code Name: Mousetrap,” are believed to be among the earliest published works of best seller Stephen King. Believe it or not, they appeared in his high school newspaper… copies have been selling on e-Bay for several hundred dollars.

  • James Brown celebrated his 70th birthday Saturday! Ya gotta love it. “The Godfather of Soul” is still touring, has recently lost weight and… uh, he feels good! Ugh!

ZONE Logo & More


  • Hey! What do you think about the new ZONE logo that Big John Beatty did for me? Pretty cool, huh? And have you checked out the new StalloneZone Message Board? It, too, is very cool… and easy to use! I’ve been spending a lot of time over there talking about things like…
  • Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton were geniuses but British scientists believe they may have suffered from Asperger syndrome — a form of autism.

  • Aaron Sorkin, creator of the Emmy-winning White House drama “The West Wing” is leaving the series after this season.

  • David Lee Roth used a shotgun to detain an unwanted visitor when a man being chased by police climbed over a fence and tried to hide in the rock star’s yard!

  • There’s also a lot of discussion about the new X-Men movie as well as other summer films!
    We’ve added polls and caption “contests” and more. If you haven’t dropped by, you really ought to
    join us!

  • With a new logo and new message board… who knows what’s next? Stick around and you will!

So… What’s on Your Mind?

So, what’s on your mind?

Many of you find your way here through StalloneZone, while others come in through the art gallery or from message boards at other sites. However you got here, I want to thank you for taking the time to check out what I have to say. I’d also like to hear what’s on your mind. I’ve opened up a NEW message board which should be more user friendly. Why not drop by and tell me what you’re thinking?

Here’s some stuff that I’ve been thinking about this morning:

  • There’s a sad article about Charlton Heston making his final appearance before the NRA. A lot of people bag on Heston for his stance on guns, or make jokes about his acting ability. While I don’t agree with everything he stands for and he’s not high on my list of favorite actors; I do admire his taking a stand for what he believes in. He also starred in some of my all-time favorite movies. [Who doesn’t love “Ben Hur” or the original “Planet of the Apes”?]. It was sad to read he was schuffling on stage and only said three sentences. Alzeheimer’s is a terrible, terrible disease.
  • Despite a $60,000 reward, there have been no leads into who killed Jam Master Jay [real name: Jason Mizell] of Run-DMC fame. What’s also equally surprising is that the article says that Mizell was “drowning in debt.” It’s hard for me to understand how celebrities can STILL go through all of their money… you’d think that someone in their family or friends would say, “Hey! You’ve made enough for the rest of your life if you don’t go crazy.” For most people three words should get the message across “M – C – Hammer.”
  • Shelley Morrison, who plays a wisecracking maid on television’s “Will & Grace,” has been arrested for investigation of felony shoplifting in LA. Comedian Jamie Foxx and his sister were arrested in New Orleans for allegedly refusing to leave a casino and then fighting with police officers. Two comedians get arrested — hmmm… sounds like a set-up for a sitcom.

Movies In Our Future

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a theater to see a movie, but with the summer season approaching that’s going to change. The best trailer that I’ve seen lately has been for Underworld. I really haven’t heard much about this movie, but the preview kicks and kicks hard. It will be on my “must -see” list.

Of the other new trailers, here are a few you might want to check out: S.W.A.T. looks like a sure thing with Samuel L. Jackson, Collin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez.  Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle looks to be as much fun as the original, so I’ll plan to see it..

Hollywood Homicide [with Harrison Ford], Pirates of the Carribean and The Hulk look to be movies I’ll pass on, at least until a rental is available.

I’m sure that we’re going to see more trailers for “Terminator 3,” “Spy Kids 3D,” and many more in the next few weeks. And you know I’ll post up my thoughts and the links here!

AtlantaCon 2003 Report, Part 3

Phil Hester does really cool sketches.

This is one of Mike‘s favorites. Phil does a tough looking Batman!

Dave Cook of Splatter Comix was not only doing free sketches… 

…but giving away cake as well! His enthusiasm is contagious! Check out his site and tell him I sent ya!

We met up with Tim Flanagan at AtlantaCon.

Tim’s a super nice guy who’s more than willing to sketch away! I’ll bet we’ll see him again at future shows!

Jacen Burrows was drawing some really cool sketches.

Mike just had to get one from Jacen [and so did I]! Take a look at his art and I’ll bet you want one too!

AtlantaCon 2003 Report, Part 2

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So where did we leave off? Oh yeah…

I’m at AtlantaCon with my son, Mike. I’ve picked up sketches from Jason Alexander, Andy Lee, and Cully Hamner. Adam Hughes has told me that he’ll have my sketch ready on Sunday and somehow the day gets even better! How? Glad that you asked! Well, let me tell you.

AtlantaCon and teamed up to present a special screening of “Equilibrium” and a Q&A session with writer/director, Kurt Wimmer, to follow the movie. Seating was limited, but I was able to sign Mike and I up. The only thing that I knew about the movie was that it starred Christian Bale and Taye Diggs, was scifi, set in the future and received a pretty good word of mouth. I figured we’d be in for an entertaining evening even if the movie was just “ok.”

The screening was set to start at 7:30 but everyone was supposed to get there by seven. Mike and I arrived about 6:40 and a crowd was already forming. People were milling around. Mike and I ended up next to Nick from Chud. We had a pleasant conversation. I was pleased to learn that he knew of StalloneZone and had a warm place in his heart for Sly. Nick said that we were in for a very cool film with “Equilibrium” and that it was a movie that he was really proud to help promote. I also spoke briefly with Jen who has set up a very nice “Equilibrium” fan site.

Soon it was time to go in. Mike and I decided to take seats in the middle of the last row. People continued to come in and the theater was nearly full. Nick thanked us all for coming and said that Kurt Wimmer had flown in from LA to attend the screening. Kurt had also brought in drinks and chips for the crowd! As Mike went down to get a couple of sodas Cully Hamner, Phil Noto, Brian Stelfreeze, and Karl Story came in and sat directly in front of us. When Mike came back and saw them sitting there a giant smile came across his face. [For those of you who aren’t comic fans, this would be like driving to a basketball convention and having Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, and well, you get the idea, sitting in front of you.] Right before the movie started a gentleman and his young son took seats next to Mike.

The movie started and immediately took you to another place. It’s our world, but in the near future. The opening scene is so cool and so well done that I knew we were in for a ride. Then comes the action and – MAN – it is AWESOME! I loved Christian Bale‘s work in “Shaft” and “Reign of Fire” but “Equilibrium” shows that he is a star. Taye Diggs, Emily Watson and Sean Bean are also excellent… but the real star of the show is Kurt Wimmer who wrote and directed it.

Kurt has also written other screenplays including “The Recruit” and “The Thomas Crown Affair”. This guy is someone to lookout for! After the movie ended Kurt Wimmer was introduced and asked to come to the front of the auditorium for the Q&A session. The guy sitting next to Mike got up and took his son with him to the front! Mike looked at me like he couldn’t believe it… watching the movie with the Gaijin guys and the director of the movie! Kurt was really entertaining. He spent an hour answering questions about the film and pulling no punches. After the Q&A ended a group of us [including Brian Stelfreeze] stood in the lobby discussing how cool the film was. The dvd will be out in May. My advice is to pre-order now. I think this baby is a sleeper.

Sunday arrived. The final day of the show. The main question on my mind: Would Adam Hughes be able to get to my sketch? As we walked through the doors I heard John Higashi yelling, “Craig, come and see what Adam did for you!” Needless to say, I was excited. Adam had created a very, very cool drawing of Sly dressed for an audition for Superman. I absolutely love the idea and execution. Adam Hughes is da MAN! I got a picture of Adam holding the sketch and thanked him.

Phil Noto was setting up and I checked to see if he would be able to fit me in. Unfortunately Phil was booked solid. He did say that he would do something for me and asked if I would leave him my address. I left him my address and offered to pay for the sketch in advance but Phil said we’d settle up once he was finished with it. Believe me, it will be worth the wait! [Next on my list will, hopefully, be Brian Stelfreeze!]

Mike and I then went over to see Dan Brereton. We discussed a Stallone sketch. Dan was leaning towards a Rocky, but as he looked through my reference book he mentioned that he really liked “Nighthawks.” I said whatever he wanted to do was fine by me. He said to check back in a couple of hours.

Mike and decided to visit some artists one last time. Mike got a headshot of Batman by Phil Hester; Batman Attacked by Dave Cook of Splatter Comix. Tim Flanagan drew Mike a nice Batman. Our final stop before heading back over to check on the progress of the Bererton piece was with Jacen Burrows. Jacen was doing some really interesting sketches. Mike got one for his sketchbook. I asked Jacen if he’d be interested in doing a Sly drawing for me. He said he would, but that he’d want to do it at home. We agreed on a price and Jacen said he’d have it to me in about a month!

Mike and I then headed back over to Dan Breretons table. The piece was finished and it was a knockout! Dan had opted to do Deke DaSilva from “Nighthawks!” I got a picture of Dan and his lovely lady, thanked him and Mike and I got back on the road for home.

It was a great show. I’ll post pictures of the artists and their artwork later this week. Mike and I hope to return next year. Maybe we’ll see you there!

AtlantaCon 2003 Report

AtlantaCon was this past weekend and my son [Mike] and I had a blast! It was my goal to try and get sketches from Adam Hughes, Cully Hamner, Dan Brereton, Phil Noto and whoever else the budget would allow.

The con was scheduled to open at 1PM on Friday and we wanted to be there by 11:30 so that we wouldn’t be rushed. We got to our hotel before 9AM and I was surprised to find out that we could go ahead and check in. As we were checking in, Dan Brereton walked up and began to check in as well. He looked a bit tired so we decided to wait until the con to say, “Hello.” As the elevator doors were closing to take us up to our room, Mike Kaluta came on board. He is always so friendly.

We decided to eat some breakfast before heading over to the convention center. Dan Brereton had the same idea, but since he was with a couple of friends we didn’t want to bother him. After breakfast, Mike and I headed over to the convention center. There were already other people there and the con wasn’t scheduled to open for another hour and a half!

I was talking to a couple of guys also hoping to get a sketch from Adam Hughes when I heard someone yelling, “Craig Zablo, you lied!” I looked up to see John Higashi coming down the escalator. “You said, you wouldn’t be here until Saturday!” John continued yelling. John is such a fun guy to be around. He collects Star Wars art and his collection is one of the best I’ve ever seen. He has art by almost everyone. Who else do you know that has several pieces from Drew Struzan? John came down and showed us all where the line would start so we could pick up our con passes, and then entertained us with pieces from his collection until it was time for him to go in. John had a lifetime membership to the show, which meant that he would be allowed in to the dealer’s room an hour before everyone else.

Once the lifetime members were allowed to enter, the regular paid attendees lined up at the door. Mike and I were fourth and fifth in line and so I felt my odds of an Adam Hughes sketch were pretty good. Cully Hamner had already put me on his list [thanks to an e-mail from Big Beatty — thanks, bro!] so Adam would be my first stop when the gates opened. From where we were standing, we could see the line for Adam was already nine deep and growing… The crowd was allowed to enter and I ended up 13th in line for an Adam Hughes sketch. When I spoke to Adam about what I wanted [a drawing of Sylvester Stallone], he seemed to like the idea. I left him a book for reference and hustled over to see Cully.

Cully remembered me and we discussed what I wanted. I thought that Cully would do a very cool Jack Carter. Cully hadn’t seen the movie but I had reference. I explained that Carter was a Vegas enforcer, a low level mobster. Cully looked at the pictures and said, “nice suits, right?” Yep. Cully said to check back later in the day.

Mike was already walking around checking things out. I caught up with him and we walked the convention center. Dan Brereton was setting up and I spoke to him about a commission. He said that he would definitely be interested. We agreed to hook up later in the show to work out the details. The first day wasn’t even half over and I had basically set up three commissions. I was loving life.

We walked around and spoke with Mike Kaluta, Andy Lee, Phil Hester, Jacen Burrows, Jason Alexander, Brian Stelfreeze, Karl Story, Shane Glines, Dean Motter, Bo Hampton, Alex Saviuk, and many others.

Jason Alexander‘s art is really cool. I spoke to him about a commission and he agreed to do a Rambo for my sketchbook. It turned out awesome. Watching Andy Lee paint was amazing. I spoke to him about a commission. We agreed on a Rambo. It also turned out great. i decided to check on the progress of Adam and Cully. Cully asked if it would be ok if he gave me the Jack Carter drawing in the morning which, of course, was no problem. Adam was still working on his first drawing. Gulp!

Saturday was the busiest day of the show. Kent Williams showed up [he shares a studio with Jason Alexander]. I told John Higashi that Kent was there [he wasn’t listed on the guest list] and John commissioned a really cool Star Wars piece! Mike spent the afternoon in a HeroClick‘s tournament. I walked around talking to more artist’s. Cully finished my Jack Carter piece. Whoa! I couldn’t be more thrilled with it! Adam said that he would have my piece for me on Sunday. Yes!

Believe it or not, the day was going to get even better…

[I’ll post the rest of my con report soon. Scans of my commissions and pictures from the con will also be posted soon.]

Back Story (A Spenser Novel) by Robert B. Parker

Every year I go up to Indiana to visit family and friends. Once a year is all I see many of these people, but because they’re old friends, it’s always a welcome visit. We quickly catch up with where we left off and share tales of things that have happened since we last were together. It’s always fun and I end up looking forward to the next visit as the current one ends.

That’s exactly how it is each time I read a new Spencer novel by Robert B. Parker. Back Story is the latest entry in the Spencer series. [It’s the 30th book, so if you’ve never read any of them, you’re in for a lot of fun!] The Spencer books come out once a year and like my visits to Indiana are always fun.

Spencer is a wise-cracking PI who has guts, intelligence and a strict moral code. His best friend, Hawk, hovers on the edge of the criminal element and although gutsy and intelligent has no qualms with doing what needs to be done. Although Hawk and Spencer are different they are also the same. Their interactions are half the fun.

Back Story finds Spencer investigating a 28 year old murder. Soon he discovers that the FBI, and mobsters want him to drop the case. Things heat up when he doesn’t. Throw in a stone cold killer named Harvey and you have yourself a story!

If you haven’t read any of the Spencer books, you should. You might find that you like them. And then you, too, can look forward to his annual visit!

Who’s “Lucky”?

There’s a new show premiering on Tuesday at 10PM on FX. It’s called “Lucky” and looks like it might be a winner.

Michael “Lucky” Linkletter is a professional poker gambler. He’s cool, supremely smart, but tragically flawed. He’s a compulsive gambler with a conscience. He’s been on top and also bottomed out. He wants to quit gambling but living in Vegas and with a debt to the mob…

I’ll be watching on Tuesday… and if I’m “Lucky” the show will be a winner.

McCartney-Lennon vs Lennon-McCartney

I’m a Beatles fan. I also enjoyed the work of each of the boys after they broke up, but if pressed to pick a favorite, it’d be Paul McCartney .

That’s why I’m disappointed that Paul has decided to reverse the traditional “Lennon-McCartney” songwriting credit on many songs that he and John Lennon co-wrote. When they were just starting out, they agreed that all of their songs would be credited to “Lennon-McCartney.”

And that’s the way things have been for forty years. It’s rumored that Paul wanted to reverse the credits on some of their songs before this, but that never happened. Until now. On Paul‘s most recent album certain songs contain the credit “McCartney-Lennon.”

Naturally this has angered many fans who feel it is a slap in the face to Lennon. Paul, of course feels otherwise, “I personally don’t see any harm in John‘s songs such as ‘Strawberry Fields’ and ‘Help’ being labeled ‘Lennon-McCartney’ and my songs such as ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’ being labeled ‘McCartney and Lennon.’

Paul may not see the harm, but fans certainly do

Osbourne & Garner Are Free and Diesel is Apart

I didn’t post anything up yesterday. I could use April Fool’s Day as an excuse. But I won’t. I’m not much for April Fool’s jokes… especially people and websites that post up something which seems like exciting news and then ends with APRIL FOOLS!

Sharon Osbourne is cancer-free. That’s great news. I don’t think that Ozzy could get along without her. Jennifer Garner [Alias] is also free, but this news isn’t happy. She and her husband, Scott Foley [“Below”] have separated.

Vin Diesel‘s “A Man Apart” had its world premiere in Hollywood yesterday and opens everywhere on Friday. Although it’s getting mixed reviews, I’ll probably see it before it leaves theaters. I’m not overly excited about this one. I say bring on “The Riddick Chronicles!”

See you tomorrow. No fooling.

Lord is Crowned King! Peter Jackson to Helm “King Kong”

Peter Jackson, the creative genius behind the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy has signed on to helm Universal’s remake of “King Kong!”

Jackson had this to say, “No film has captivated my imagination more than ‘King Kong.’ I’m making movies today because I saw this film when I was 9 years old. It has been my sustained dream to reinterpret this classic story.”

What Peter Jackson was able to do with “The Lord of the Rings” was amazing. You can tell by his quote that his true passion is for Kong. Can you even begin to imagine how cool this is going to be?

Gulacy is Back, Baby!

Paul Gulacy is one of my all-time favorite comic artists.

Growing up, I spent hours enjoying the work he did with Doug Moench on the classic series “Master of Kung Fu.” I know, terrible title, but believe me, it was [and is] one of the best runs on any comic book series.

I got to know Paul back in the late 70’s when I was dealing original art. I commissioned him to do several pieces for me over the years. This cool Bruce Lee was my first commission form Paul. Sadly it was stolen back in the early 80’s.

Although Paul has worked on many cool projects over the years, none of them [not even Sabre, the James Bond mini-series, or the MOKF “reunion” this year] have been as popular as the original run of “Master of Kung Fu.” That may change with his latest work, “Reload.” The first issue is out and is excellent. The series is written by Warren Ellis and inked by Jimmy Palmiotti.

Give it a look. Gulacy is back, baby!