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Craig Zablo Posts

Batman Works

Posted in Comics

If push came to shove and I had to name my all time favorite comic character, it’d be Batman.

Maybe it’s because he’s grounded in reality. Well, as much reality as you can get in the super hero genre. Batman doesn’t have super powers. Anyone with the same determination, will power and, ahem, bank account could become Batman.

Another reason that I like Batman so much is that there are so many takes on the character that work. Think about it…

Adam West‘s tv Batman was camp.

Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams Batman was the world’s greatest detective.

Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers [along with Terry Austin] explored the struggle for balance between Bruce Wayne and Batman.

Frank Miller brought us the Dark Knight as Dirty Harry.

Doug Moench, Kelly Jones and John Beatty looked at the horror/supernatural aspect of Batman‘s universe.

I could go on and on but the point that I want to make is that each of these takes is different, but they all work.

Currently Matt Wagner is doing a riff on Batman in a six issue mini series called Batman and the Monster Men. It’s a story of Batman‘s first encounter with super villians.

And you guessed it, it works.

Raf’s Blog

Posted in Art, Comics, and Movies

My buddy, Rafael Kayanan has started his own blog. Raf‘s a really talented individual. He’s a highly skilled martial artist who trains celebrities and works as a technical advisor in the film industry. Raf‘s also an accomplished artist who has illustrated for comic books, film, games and tv.

And now Raf has started his own blog. It’s going to be on my daily read list. Check it out and you may find it on yours as well!

A Really Big Mega Convention

Posted in Comics, and Con Report

If you’re anywhere near Orlando, Florida from February 24th – 26th, you may want to check out the MegaCon convention.

In addition to George Perez, who is the Guest of Honor, there are going to be a ton of comic book artists and movie / tv celebs on hand to sketch and sign autographs. Of course there will be a ton of dealers selling the latest comics, dvds, graphic novels and who knows what else.

I’ll be there looking to pick up a few more Stallone sketches. Big John Beatty will be there as a guest [sharing a table with the incredibly talented Alberto Ruiz]. If you can make it, swing by Big Beatty’s table and at least say, “Hi.”

It’s Not Your Dad’s Running Scared

Posted in Crime, and Movies

Up until a few minutes ago I don’t think I’d ever even heard of Running Scared. No,. it’s not that old Billy Crystal movie, this “Running Scared.” is being released on February 24th and stars Paul Walker.

It’s not that I’m a big Paul Walker fan [although I did like him in The Fast and the Furious].

It’s not that I’m a big Wayne Kramer fan [although The Cooler did get very good reviews].

What it is, is… I thought the trailer looked pretty interesting and the website even better. Let’s hope that the movie doesn’t let us down.

Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Rogers… Bill Black

Posted in Comics, Horror, and Movies

My buddy, “Wild” Bill Black is a writer, penciler, inker, editor, publisher, chief cook and bottlewasher for AC Comics, an independent comic company that he created over 20 years ago. Bill has been favorably compared to Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Roy Rogers — and that’s just the comparisons that Bill uses when talking about himself!

Okay, okay… all kidding aside. Bill has been running AC Comics [the company that he really created] for over 20 years, but now he’s bringing his comic creations to the silver screen… or at least your tv screen… if you have a dvd player.

I guess now Bill will add Roger Corman to his list of comparisons!

Grizzly Man: Questions…

Posted in Movies, and TV

Last night I watched a riveting documentary called “Grizzly Man” which is running on the Discovery Channel. For thirteen years, Timothy Treadwell spent his summers living among Alaskan grizzly bears. Treadwell went in armed with just a camera and no backup. The footage that he captured is amazing. What’s even more amazing is that quite often Treadwell was within feet of the bears as the rested, fought, and ate. On more than one occassion Treadwell would reach out and touch them.

As I said, the footage was riveting. Knowing Treadwell‘s story takes it up another notch. You see, he and his girlfriend were killed [and eaten] by a grizzly. The documentary makes this clear from the very start. It also lets you know that the deaths were recorded but that you would not hear the sounds in the documentary. [You do see Werner Herzog, the man who created the documentary listening to them — and that is quite enough for your imagination will do the rest.]

Treadwell‘s story is compelling and Herzog doesn’t sugar coat the man. Treadwell had issues, and definitely was a bit off center, but he lived and died doing what he loved. And that is where the controversary begins…

Should he been allowed to follow his dream? Was he violating the law? Was he helping or hurting the animals that he so dearly loved?

I’d love to hear reactions from anyone who has seen the film. “Grizzly Man” rates a B+.

RIP Al Lewis aka Grandpa Munster

Posted in Celebs, and RIP

Al Lewis [born Alexander Meister ], who was best known as Grandpa Munster, died yesterday at the age of 95.

I can remember watching Lewis on “Car 54, Where Are You?” and later “The Munsters” when I was very young. Lewis seemed old then… but as the years passed he didn’t seem to age. Another benefit of growing older was that with each passing year Lewis seemed to get more and more popular. He was always a LIVELY guest where ever he appeared.

Lewis is survived by his wife, three children, four grandchilden and generations of fans. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone of them.

Who is Keyser Soze?

Posted in Crime, and Movies

The February 10, 2006 issue of Entertainment Weekly is a special double-sized issue which looks at the Academy Awards. That’s not why I’m suggesting that you check it out though. The reason that I think that you might want to pick it up is for the article that tells the story behind the making of “The Usual Suspects.”

Chris Nashawaty‘s excellent article takes us back to the very origins of the screenplay and then sheds light on the process that brought it two Academy Awards. Part of the fun is Nashawaty provides us with little tidbits that fans of the movie will love. [Did you know that Keyser Soze‘s name was based on a real person? That Christopher Walken, Tommy Lee Jones, Jeff Bridges, Charlie Sheen, James Spader, Al Pacino and Johnny Cash [Johnny Cash!] turned down role offers?]

Reading Nashawaty‘s piece not only reminded me how much I enjoyed “The Usual Suspects” but makes me want to pull it off the shelf and watch it again. “The Usual Suspects” rates an A+.

A Hamner Trifecta

Posted in Art, and Comics

Today’s comic book cover features the work of one of my favorite comic artists, Cully Hamner.

Probably best known for his excellent work on the Batman miniseries Tenses, my personal favorite Hamner artwork can be found in the Red miniseries that he did with writer Warren Ellis.

I absolutely loved Red… so much so, that I’m going to give you a look at the covers for each of the three issues [ 1, 2, 3].

Don’t Go Swimming…

Posted in TV

Don’t go swimming if you don’t want to get wet.

It never fails to amaze me when people know that if they take a particular course of action that the end result is going to displease them, and yet they take that course of action. Shouldn’t that be the definition of insanity?

If people from the Jerry Springer show call and invite you on as a guest, the ONLY logical response should be “No.”

Everyone who has ever seen even one episode of Springer knows that guests aren’t going to be treated as guests and more than likely are going to be repeatedly insulted and even physically attacked. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS… and yet, Springer continues to find people who are willing to show up and learn [along with millions of strangers] some personal secret that is guaranteed to shock, hurt and embarrass them.

“Yeah Craig,” you say, “but the people who appear on Springer are uneducated folks who don’t know better.” Ok then, what about the folks who go on the Dr. Phil show, or any of the “reality” court shows. They know that they’re going to come off looking foolish, but still they line up to be guests.

I guess they want to get wet.

Blue Belle Scores Two

Posted in Art, Authors, and Books

While thinking about some of my favorite comic book covers yesterday, my mind switched gears and began to ponder about some of the covers to novels that I also love.

The first one that came to mind was the art on the hardcover to Andrew VachssBlue Belle. The jacket design is by Carol Devine Carson and the photograph is by William King.

This was the first Andrew Vachss novel that I ever read and of course he quickly became one of my favorite authors. I don’t know what it is about the cover that I love so much. Maybe it’s the noir-mystery vibe that it gives off. My guess is the cover would still be a favorite even if the novel wasn’t.

Splash That Left No No Doubt

Posted in Art, and Comics

Christopher Mills is currently posting some of his favorite comic book covers on his forum. Never let it be said that I don’t know a cool idea when I see it. I’m going to adapt Chris‘s idea a bit so that I can bring in interior art like the cool Paul Gulacy splash page to Master of Kung Fu #29.

I was already a fan of Doug Moench‘s work on Master of Kung Fu, but when Paul Gulacy came on board it was obvious that something magical was taking shape. Paul had pencilled several issues before #29 rolled around, but with that issue Paul was also able to do his own inks.

Now there was no doubt that this was a series to watch.

How ‘Bout Some Free Cell?

Posted in Art, Authors, Books, Horror, and Zombies

Remember last week when I was telling you about how cool Stephen King‘s new novel, Cell, sounded? [If not click you can click HERE.]

Anyway, if you think that Cell is something that you MAY like, then you might want to pick up the current issue of Entertainment Weekly [the 2006 Preview issue]. It features the first two chapters of Cell with some cool illustrations by Tomer Hanuka.

My guess is if you’re interested enough to read this far, you’re going to love the novel.

Despite the Weird Hairpiece and Mustache

Posted in Movies

I’m a huge Bruce Willis fan. Same goes for director, Richard Donner. Let’s not leave out actor, David Morse, who I think is one of the most under-rated actors in Hollywood.

So, yeah, I’m real excited about “16 Blocks” which will feature this trio working together to bring us thrills and chills.

Don’t believe me?

Then check out the one sheet poster and the trailer.

Now, what do you say?

Yeah, you’re right. Bruce Willis does look kind of weird with that hairpiece and mustache. Still, I’ll bet the movie rocks.