Ken Meyer Jr.’s Ink Stains 47: Steranko, Wrightson, Zeck & More!

If you’re a fan of fanzines, then you’ve got to check out Ken Meyer, Jr.’s monthly column Ink Stains.  Each month Ken (who is an amazing artist) posts… well, let’s let Ken explain…

I have a collection of over 200 fanzines from the 60’s-80’s that I plan to scan and talk about, one at a time. I hope to have some of the participants answer a few questions. Many of those participants are established comics professionals now, while some have gone on to other things. I will show a few snippets from each zine and give you a link to download a pdf of the whole thing, which I hope all of you will do!

For Ink Stains 47, Ken took a look at Fantastic Fanzine Special #2 from 1972 from Editor: Gary Groth and Publisher: Alan Light

Fantastic Fanzine Special #2 features –

  • Wraparound cover by Dave Cockrum
  • Spot illos by Dave Cockrum, Dennis Fujitake
  • Articles by Gary Groth, Jan Strnad, Martin Pasko
  • Transcript of James Warren’ keynote speech at the 1971 Comic Art Convention
  • Photos from the 1971 Comic Art Convention (the pros looked mighty young)
  • Coverage of The Parade of Super-Stars with winner Mike Zeck as Black Bolt!
  • Coverage of a Q & A with Steranko!
  • Berni Wrightson full pager
  • Plus more articles and fan art


I’d never seen Fantastic Fanzine Special #2 before.  To me the highlight is the Steranko Q&A, the photos from the 1971 con and of course see my buddy, Mike Zeck rockin’ it as Black Bolt!

Ah, the memories of the glory days of fanzines.  Thanks to Ken Meyer, Jr. for making these available!

10 Infectious Facts About “Resident Evil”

Jay Serafino and Mental_Floss present 10 Infectious Facts About Resident Evil.  Here are three of my favorites…

George Romero basically created the zombie movie genre with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, and his signature undead style had a huge influence on the original Resident Evil video game series. So the decision to bring him on to write and direct the first movie was a virtual no-brainer. Video game studio Capcom and Sony came to an agreement with the horror legend in 1998 to bring the film to life, and despite not being familiar with the game series (he researched by watching someone else play the games), Romero wrote a script that closely followed the events of the first Resident Evil title.

Despite early enthusiasm from everyone involved, Romero’s script treatment was eventually rejected and he was fired. “Romero’s script wasn’t good, so Romero was fired,” Capcom producer Yoshiki Okamoto tersely said of the ordeal. That’s not to say Romero never directed anything Resident Evil-related. Before the movie fell through, he was at the helm of a live-action commercial for the Resident Evil 2 video game that only aired in Japan. (You can watch it above.)

Milla Jovovich has been one of the most visible action movie heroines over the past 15 years, but her Resident Evil movie character, Alice, never even shows up in a single Resident Evil video game. Anderson reasoned that the role of Alice helped people enjoy the movie even if they never played the games.

“There’s the hardcore fans, who know everything about the video game and about the world and then there’s the more general audience, who you also need to come and see the movie, who don’t know anything about the world,” Anderson told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think sometimes they feel a little excluded because they go, ‘Oh this is not for me.’ Milla really became the avatar for that audience.”

Seriously, watch the first movie again. Milla Jovovich is never referred to as “Alice”; you’d only know her name by staying and watching the closing credits. This was intentional, as Anderson didn’t even want Alice to know who she was in the first movie.

“What I provided her with in the first movie, was like a blank slate,” the director told Thrillist. “She wakes up in the first movie, she has no memory. She has no concept of who she is and how she feels about things. While you’re watching as an audience member, you’re watching a character being constructed in front of your eyes.”

12 Solid Facts About “Pumping Iron”

Jake Rosen and Mental_Floss present 12 Solid Facts About Pumping Iron.  Here are three of my favorites…

When photographer George Butler was dispatched by both Life magazine and The Village Voice to cover the burgeoning bodybuilding scene in the early 1970s, he was fascinated with its abundance of charismatic participants. Feeling one of the sport’s star attractions, Arnold Schwarzenegger, could carry a full-length film, Butler decided to pursue a feature-length project with collaborator Robert Fiore that he began shooting in 1975. The problem was that Butler was focused on the mass monsters of the Mr. Olympia scene; to balance it out and offer audiences a more relatable subject, he enlisted slightly-built actor Bud Cort (Harold and Maude) and shot a lot of footage of him working out and marveling at the well-developed bodies all around him. The footage wound up being cut from the finished film.

While Butler was trying to raise funds, he shot a 10-minute test sequence of Schwarzenegger making a guest posing appearance in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Screening the footage for investors in New York, Butler was dismayed to see that they seemed more horrified than intrigued by the sight of the massive Austrian flexing his deltoids. After the footage ended, playwright Romulus Linney stood, turned to Butler, and said, “I think I speak for all of us when I say that if you make a movie about this Arnold person, we will laugh you off 42nd Street.” (Butler turned to another approach, piecemealing his budget together by petitioning more than 3000 separate financiers until he got the money he needed.)

The nature of raw footage means that hundreds of hours of film were left on the cutting room floor, but according to Butler, one sequence in particular has never left his memory. Talking to Ferrigno about his future hopes, the actor told the director that “all I want to be is the Hulk.” He got his wish just two years later, starring for five seasons on CBS’s The Incredible Hulk.

Kurt Russell: 10 Essential Films

Neil Mitchell and BFI present Kurt Russell: 10 Essential Films.  Using just their choices, here are my top three…

  • Escape from New York. Could anyone else have been Snake Plissken?  The correct answer is, “No.”
  • Tombstone.  One of the most re-watchable films of any genre.
  • Bone Tomahawk.  A cult classic.

 Kurt Russell movies that didn’t make the cut, that I through would have:  Big Trouble in Little China, Breakdown, Backdraft, 3,000 Miles to Graceland and of course, Tango & Cash.

RIP – Bernie Wrightson

It was announced today that Bernie Wrightson has passed away after a long battle with brain cancer.  Mr. Wrightson was 68.

Known best for his drawings and paintings in the horror genre, Mr. Wrightson was a humble and soft-spoken man who appreciated his fans.  Wrightson was an artist’s artist.  Not only was his work loved by fans, but professional artists were also in awe of his talent.  Best known as the co-creator (with Len Wein) of Swamp Thing, Wrightson was also known for…

  • Being one of the young upstart talents of “The Studio” (along with Barry Smith, Michael Kaluta, and Jeff Jones)
  • His horror work at Warren Publishing
  • His Frankenstein project (beautiful pen and ink illustrations for Mary Shelley’s classic tale)
  • His work with Stephen King – creating the poster for the movie Creepshow and illustrating King’s Cycle of the Werewolf novella, illustrations for The Stand (restored version), and art for the hardcover editions of From a Buick 8 and Dark Tower V.
  • His comics at Marvel (Punisher, Spider-Man), DC (Swamp Thing, Batman) and IDW (The Ghoul and Doc Macabre – both with co-creator Steve Niles)
  • His conceptual art for films such as The Faculty, Spiderman, and George Romero’s Land of the Dead, and The Mist.
  • So much more

I was fortunate enough to meet Berni Wrightson a couple of times at HeroesCon.  He was kind and humble and appreciative of the praise fans (myself included) gave him.  On the first occasion, when my wife learned that Mr. Wrightson was a guest at the con she came into the show to meet him.  She wasn’t a real comics fan, but she did love Mr. Wrightson’s art, appreciated his talent and wanted to meet him.  When she spoke to him, he seemed genuinely touched. As we were leaving his area other fans were coming over to share their appreciation.  I’m glad Bernie Wrightson was aware of how much his art positively impacted so many people.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Berni Wrightson’s family, friends and fans.


The 12 Greatest Giant Monster Movies

Owen Gleiberman and Variety turn their sights to their choices for the 12 Greatest Giant Monster Movies.

Their list contains excellent choices.  My top three today would be…

  • King Kong (the original Kong)
  • THEM!
  • The Amazing Colossal Man

My most controversial pick would be The Amazing Colossal Man.  The argument could be made for several other (better?) movies but TACM has always been a favorite since I was a kid.  It’s hard to beat the nostalgia factor.

I was also glad to see Mysterious Island made the list.  It’s not normally a movie listed for horror, but it did have some giant monsters so I won’t nit pick.  Plus Mysterious Island is a fun movie.

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