Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Today, my favorite wife, Brandi, and I celebrate not only our favorite holiday, but 8(!) years of wedded bliss.

Have a great Halloween, everyone! May I humbly suggest a screening of a Boris & Bela classic, like The Raven (pictured above)? Of course, since the holiday falls on a Friday this year, you may want to get out of the house and get your ghoulish groove on. If that's how you choose to get your thrills and chills tonight, just remember...

Haunt responsibly!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday Cover: Haunted!

Here's the last of the horror-themed "Wednesday Covers" for this Halloween season: a delightfully Lovecraftian space monster, gorgeously illustrated by my pal and favorite collaborator, Joe Staton! This is one of Joe's early works, from October 1974 and his tenure at Charlton Comics, where he paid his professional dues working on several of their horror titles, as well as his signature series, E-Man.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mid-Week Miscellany

I've been busy lately.

• I've been writing some comics scripts, trying to wrap up some older projects so I can start thinking about new ones; lettering Moonstone's upcoming Kolchak Tales Annual (which I did not write) guest-starring Dark Shadows' vampire, Barnabas Collins; doing some top secret editing for a new comics outfit (which I should be able to announce soon – it's very exciting!); and trying to pen some new reviews for the Guns In the Gutters blog (which has been updating every other day for the last couple of weeks.

• The third issue of Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries is still in limbo – I thought for sure it would be on sale this week, but it's not on the distributor's shipping list. Maybe next week. Believe me, no one's more frustrated by its lateness than I am. It's especially disappointing, as I think it's the best issue so far.

• I'm in the midst of re-reading Max Allan Collins' "Nolan" novels, and watching DVDs of the third season of the original Mission: Impossible television show and Filmation's 1977 animated series, The New Adventures of Batman (co-starring the irrepressible Bat-Mite!). I have very fond memories of this cartoon, which featured Adam West and Burt Ward verbally reprising their roles as Dynamic Duo from the 60's live-action Batman show, and have wanted to pick it up for the last couple of years. It's silly, but I love it.

• Brandi and I went down to the town office and voted this afternoon since we're going to be out of town on Election Day. We're leaving here early Sunday morning for a two-week trip to the Midwest, where we'll be visiting with my bride's family in Arkansas and Missouri. Hopefully, the trip will be fun and relaxing and devoid of any serious hassles.

I'm hoping that I'll return from this vacation recharged, and rarin' to go on my various creative endeavors. There's so much that I want to do, but it seems like I never have the energy reserves to get it all done. Hopefully that will change this winter and in the coming year.

Have a great couple of weeks, folks!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Cover: Legion Of Monsters

The legendary Neal Adams brings Marvel Comics' versions of Frankenstein and Dracula – as well as Dave Cockrum's Creature from The Black Lagoon "homage," The Manphibian(!) – to vivid life on the cover of this classic Marvel B&W magazine. As I recall, it was a one-shot published to use up some leftover inventory material from the company's other, recently-cancelled, horror mags. Still, I remember it fondly... and how can you not love that cover?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Guns, guns, guns, guns!

I managed to make some time yesterday to do a little posting over on my Guns In The Gutters blog, so anyone who's still interested at this point, might want to swing over and check it out.

I was originally inspired to create that blog by Rob Kelly's vast array of specialized comics blogs, specifically, All In Black & White. Sadly, he's retiring that particular site, and it's motivated me to again make an effort to try and update mine more often.

I intend to post any news I come across about upcoming crime/adventure comics, including those that might be on their way to film. I've also got a handful of new reviews written and they'll be posted over the next few days.

I've no idea how long I'll be able to keep it up, but for the next week or so, anyway, there will be some new stuff there.

Friday, October 17, 2008

To Boldly Go...

Well, Paramount's finally starting to release shots from J.J. Abram's "reboot" of the Star Trek franchise to various web outlets, and the next issue of Entertainment Weekly's going to have more coverage.

Too bad the movie won't be out until next May.

This photo show the main cast on the new bridge set. From left to right: Anton Yelchin as Chekov, Chris Pine as James T. Kirk, Simon Pegg as Lt. Montgomery Scott, Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, John Cho as Sulu and Zoe Saldana as Uhura. I'm very pleased with the updated uniforms, and think that Simon Pegg and Karl Urban look particularly well-suited to their roles.

You can see a round-up of the stills released so far, including several shots of Zachary Quinto as an uncannily Nimoy-esque Spock, here and here.

I'm excited about the film, but then, I was excited about the last Trek show – Enterprise – until I actually watched it....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pulp Muppets

I guess this has been around for a while, but I just saw it today. Two of my favorite things... together at last:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Cover: Demon Hunter

Another scary scan for October.

This is one of my all-time favorite comics: Demon Hunter #1, published by the short-lived Atlas Comics back in 1975. Created by artist Rich Buckler and scripted by David Anthony Kraft, it told the story of a Mafia hitman who became involved with a demonic cult, ultimately turning against them and determined to foil their plan to bring about xenogenesis – which the comic postulated would be the rebirth of the demon race upon the Earth.

Back in '75, when I was a wee lad of ten, I asked my uncle to pick me up a comic book when he went to the local corner store. I expected that he would return with an Archie or Richie Rich, or maybe an issue of World's Finest. Instead, he brought me this... and I was floored. It was, by far, the most adult-themed comic I had read up to that point, with a decidedly amoral protagonist pitted against genuinely frightening, supernatural adversaries. I had also never heard of Atlas Comics, and I was fascinated by the in-house advertisements for their other titles, which all sounded kind of twisted.

(They were all rather twisted, actually. Check out this website for a history of this oddball publishing house. Needless to say, I have since collected nearly their entire output!)

Anyway, the series never made it past this single issue. Creator Buckler revived the character under the name "Bloodwing" for a self-published comics mag called Galaxia a few years later, and when that failed (also after one issue), he introduced a thinly-disguised version of the character at Marvel, where he went by the name Devil-Slayer.

Never cared much for the Marvel version, but this comic – with its script by Kraft – remains one of my favorite horror-themed adventure comic books, and Buckler's art has rarely been better than it was here.

Femme Noir Update

This is the title page of Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries issue #4, which after some unanticipated delays (on the creative end, unfortunately), is now completed and going off to the publisher in the next day or so.

Issue #3, which I thought would be out in August/early September, also suffered some unanticipated delays (not on the creative end) and is on the way, even if it's not on this week's Diamond Distributors shipping list. I know it's been printed and shipped to the distributor (my comp copies went out at the same time and I got them over a week ago), so I can only hope that it will be processed and in stores for the 22nd.

For those of you following the book, I apologize for the messed up scheduling. I really hoped that we wouldn't fall victim to the too-common indie comics problem of late books, but, well, things didn't work out exactly as planned.

Please try and pick it up anyway, #3 may be the strongest issue of the bunch.

The page above is from the final issue of this initial Femme Noir miniseries, and features a new character: Okona of Meteor Island. She's our homage to all the great jungle heroes – and heroines, obviously – of comic books and pulp fiction, complete with a backstory involving an island inhabited by giant, mutated monsters. Issue #4 also features the return of inker Mark Stegbauer (Issue #2), the debut of a new colorist, Michael Watkins, and an awesome variant cover pencilled by the late Mike Wieringo and inked by series artist Joe Staton.

I really think it will be worth the wait.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Brain-Fried

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. Just sort been feeling sort of distracted and brain-fried and trying to finish up some stuff.

I did get my comp copies from the printer of Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries #3 last Friday, though, so it should be on sale a week from Wednesday.

Anyway, while I may not have been posting much, my wife's been posting a lot in her new pop culture blog. Maybe you should check it out.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wednesday Cover: May I Cut In?

This Complete Detective pulp cover seems like an appropriate kick-off for the month of October (even if the magazine itself is cover-dated "May"), with its eerie, danse macabre theme. From the art style and the shape of the mostly illegible signature, I'm guessing this painting is the work of legendary pulp illustrator Norman Saunders. In any case, it's a creepy piece and expertly executed.