Thursday, October 30, 2008

TALES FROM NETFLIX: The Fabulous Stains

I think it was Rolling Stone (side note, my wife has us subscribed to nearly every magazine, literally, for next to no money I guess, I dunno, but I do enjoy RS and Entertainment Weekly) who had a blurb about this 1982 gem a few issues back...

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: THE FABULOUS STAINS is an early 80's punk rock mockumentary of sorts, and stars a very young Diane Lane as bandleader to would be punk trio The Stains (who also sport a very young Laura Dern on bass). It seems Diane's character was featured on a 60 Minutes style TV expose after telling her boss off on camera (in a cameo from a moustache sporting Data from Star Trek TNG no less), which launches her into an orphaned teen angst fueled journey of empowerment and media manipulation, yeah. It seems her refusal to fit into the accepted path for America's youth, specifically women, with her white striped hair, risque fish netted outfit, and "don't put out" mantra are exactly what other young women are looking for in their lives.

Stains is not only quite a unique story, but it's told in gritty style, perfectly capturing the darker side of the times, showcasing punk music, and road weary rockers, as they take a cross country run down tour bus (complete with rasta driver/manager) that never makes it out of the mid-American tri-state PA setting. Like a time capsule, of punk music, clothes, and attitudes from the dawn of the 80's, and with a line up of radically younger actors still around today, also including Ray Winstone (most recently as Beowulf, and Indiana Jone's "buddy" in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), and punk/rockers (members of Sex Pistols, The Clash, and The Tubes are featured) the Stains is the perfect rock movie and feels as snarky fresh as if it were shot now, with an eye for campy details from then.

Great music, great cast, and a solid story make LAGTFS a really fun trip to another era, that's as relevant (both musically, and socially, it's mixed messages are as grey as reality) now as it was all those decades ago, even with the uneven ending.



FIVE ACROSS THE EYES - This no budget horror is shot in shakey cam as 5 girls take a backroad home from a football game that gets them lost, and colliding with a seriously pshycho Toyota Fourunner... chaos ensues. It's at times gripping, capturing the manic vibe of the situations, but ultimately a scene or two too long, and contrived. MILDLY RECOMMENDED

MOTHER OF TEARS - Dario Argento's final in his witch trilogy is a solid occult outing, complete with freaky demonic monkey, but daughter Asia, and the overall arc, come over poorly in the end. MILDLY RECOMMENDED

REST STOP: DON'T LOOK BACK - The first one sucked, this one is better, but don't bother.

Friday, October 24, 2008


It's been floating around the nets, but just finally viewed it myself...

This is a touch longer than the last one, and still looks uberdy cooldidy!

And here's some cool Watchmen fan art I've seen recently!

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TALES FROM NETFLIX - Dance of the Dead

Ever since first hearing about DANCE OF THE DEAD on AICN last year, I've been anxiously awaiting it's release on DVD. Well, it came out last week, as part of the new Lions Gate Ghost House Underground series (which I'm assuming has replaced the annual Horrorfest releases?)...

SYNOPSIS: On the night of the big High-School Prom, the dead rise to eat the living, and the only people who can stop them are the losers who couldn't get dates to the dance.

While the movie is a lot of fun, and has some really great moments, it doesn't quite achieve full on greatness. It is however a really solid watch, and very much recommended, especially for the zombie fans.

Also, for the zombie faithful out there, while it's your standard bio-waste driven zombie virus plaguing a community style set-up slash send-up, in keeping with the zom/com formula minted by the classic original Return of the Living Dead (and popularized more recently by Shuan of the Dead), it does offer some really fun flourishes to the tried and true, especially about mid-movie, when the cast begin to engage the zombies in hand-to-hand combat! It's fucking worth a viewing for that alone!!

This is not one of the darkly serious horror spins on zombies, it's tongue bitten off in cheek, zombie frenchin', prom crashin', copious amounts of a Pat Benetar cover song soundtrack spinnin' good time! It also should be noted the production on this one is top notch. If you're into Dance of the Dead, you might also check out Night of the Living Dorks, or Dead and Breakfast (which was much more enjoyable, yet a much lower rent production)!


Monday, October 20, 2008

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Javiland podcast

Yesterday, I joined in on another conversation over at my buddy Javier Hernandez's bi-weekly comics creation podcast, Javiland. This time, along with about four other creators we discussed "Printing comic books in the Age of Web Comics".

Talking about POD (print on demand), mini comics, and not really talking about full and short run comic book printing, as we mostly got into threads about webcomics. Lots of info if you haven't looked into publishing on or via the web.

You can check it out here:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

SUPER REAL NOTES: Marvel Masterpieces 2 artist proof cards

My first sketch card work was for Upper Deck's Marvel Masterpieces series 2, for which I did 200 sketch cards. As part of the payment for the set, each sketch card artist received 10 "artist proof" sketch cards to do what they wished with. I received my cards back in August, and posted commission availability here, on DeviantArt, and on the Scoundrel sketch card forums. I received 3 commissions, and sold 1 via eBay.

Since I had 6 cards left to sell, and a deadline to get them approved by Upper Deck/Marvel, I went ahead and tried doing my first 2 card set, making one image across 2 cards, and offering that on eBay. I was pleased to sell those cards within a couple hours of posting via buy it now, a set of the classic Uncanny X-Men, so I decided to work up another 2 card set for eBay. This time I did a grouping of Avengers women, and those sold by the next morning. With 2 cards left, I went ahead and did a third 2 card set, with this last being of women from the X-Men. Those cards are currently (at this time) on eBay, HERE and HERE

Here are all of the MM2 artist proofs I've done (the final 10th card is commissioned, and I'll add it here once it's completed):
Avengers Women
Uncanny X-Men
Professor X
and Nova!

You can view most of my 200 MM2 series sketch cards HERE (or in my DeviantArt gallery)

I did 75 sketch cards for series 3, which you can view HERE, and will have 10 artist proof cards to share from that eventually as well. I've currently only sold one of those, so nine are still available (email me if interested). Just as with the MM2 ap's, I'll start auctioning off my own custom works on eBay...

Since the artist proof's have been working out pretty well, I look forward to working on more sketch cards in the future. It's not only fun to draw Marvel characters, as I'm a Marvel guy from way back, but working on the 2.5x3.5" canvas, in live media, is very interesting too (as opposed to working digitally on an open canvas). Not to mention, there are plenty of other cool card/licensed properties out there!

Here's hoping.

Monday, October 06, 2008

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Javiland podcast

Yesterday, I joined in on a coversation about branding on my buddy Javier Hernandez's new bi-weekly comics creation podcast, Javiland. Along with four other artists, cartoonists, creators, we discussed branding and how it relates to both publishing comics, and creators themselves, debating the many challenges of getting across a "brand" through your work.

You can check it out here:

Branding is something I feel is key in a visual medium like comics. Just look at the most popular publishers, and creators, they all have very distinct brands, either through cult of personality (Stan Lee, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison etc), unique approach (artists like Alex Ross, Adam Hughes, and the late Michael Turner, to name a few, stand out in the crowd by making their art their brand), and the large publishers, with thier everpresent branding and trademarked mulit-media superhero properties.

Finding your brand, and cultivating it, only reinforces your efforts, and can lead to wider success and recognition.

To an artist/creator seeking commercial success, branding is key, and can only help.


Could Zack Snyder's Watchmen adaptation reach to the pinnacles of cinema, just as the source material vaunted to arguably the highest achievement in comics?! Could we dare to dream??

Well, based on his mind numbingly cool remake of Dawn of the Dead (not perfect, but damn close), the zeitgeist that was his 300 adaptation, and the early buzz on advance screenings of scenes from the film, it just may be that he's done it again, and we could all have an orgasmic movie going experience on the horizon...

DC, those fuckers, are gonna sell a shit load of books, and the movie, even if it falls short, will be utterly enjoyable at the least. I suspect though, it just may blow our fucking minds...

Check out AICN's notes on the screening HERE and HERE