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Craig Zablo Posts

RIP: Christopher Reeve

Posted in Celebs, and RIP

Early this morning, while on my way to work I heard that Christopher Reeve had died.

It was like a gutshot.

Christopher Reeve’s death was so unexpected … despite the fact that he had been a quadriplegic for the last nine years of his life. Yet, it was in these last nine years, when Chris’ health was at his worst that he was at his best.

Christopher Reeve is most famous for his role as Superman. And rightly so. Although a virtual unknown actor when chosen for the part, Reeve vaulted to the ranks of one of the most identified stars in the world once the movie was released.

Reeve was the perfect choice. And not just because he looked like Superman when in the suit. Christopher Reeve not only understood the difference between Clark Kent and Superman but had the chops to make the difference come alive with just a pair of eyeglasses and his acting ability.

Christopher Reeve went on to other starring roles, but none had the impact of him playing Superman. But how could they, Reeve and Superman were such a perfect fit.

Then nine years ago when Christopher was injured he took on another role, that of role model. Christopher Reeve dealt with his paralysis with grace, dignity and determination. He became the focal point of hope, not for just those who sufffered from spinal cord injuries, but for anyone who thought about feeling sorry for him/herself. How could you, if Christopher Reeve could face his troubles with such a positive outlook.

Christopher Reeve will always be remembered for his role as Superman, but I believe that the true super man was Christopher Reeve.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Cavalcade of Comics

Posted in Art, Comics, and Con Report

Yesterday my wife and I drove up to Jacksonville to spend the day at the Cavalcade of Comics 2nd Annual Bennefit to fight Tourette’s Syndrome. Comic’s legend Don Perlin and his wife spearhead the event and this year looked to be even bigger and better.

The show had been moved to an elementary school because it had grown so large. Outside a children’s chorus was starting to line up, there were games for kids, people in costume, and the artists were setting up.

We headed into the artist’s room and the first person that we saw was Don Perlin. Don came over and thanked us for coming and for posting info about the benefit here at the ZONE. How cool is that?

Doralaya and I were checking out the art that was up for auction, and we ran into Robert Smith. Robert‘s an old buddy (and one of the guest artists) and he said that he wanted to do a Cobra piece for my gallery. Cool! The con hadn’t even officially started and things were already going great!

Jason Sobel was set up with Alex Saviuk, Bob Layton and Don Perlin. I met Jason at last year’s event and he did a Judge Dredd piece for me so I’ve kept an eye on his work. The sketches Jason was turning out yesterday were leaps and bounds ahead of last year. Keep an eye out for this guy!

Alex Saviuk is not only a great guy but also a very talented artist. Before he was even seated he had a list of eight or ten sketch requests. Bob Layton‘s list was swamped as well. Since I didn’t have a Stallone from either Alex or Bob, I asked if they’d put me on their lists. They agreed.

Doralya and I went back to check out more of the auction art. My prediction was that the Kubert “Sgt. Rock” would get the highest amount, but the piece with the most buzz was the Neal Adams’ Batman and Robin piece?! My favorites were a Wrightson pencil sketch called The Reaper and a print by Lee Ames called The Magician.

Doralya bought several raffle tickets then it was lunch outside with music from a middle school jazz band. As we settled down with some Mexican food we watched a karate presentation and several Jedi sword battles.
; ) The food was good and the jazz was even better.

When we went back into the artist’s room we hooked up with some fans and spent time sharing art and stories. Robert Smith came over and gave me my Cobra sketch!

Bob Layton‘s wife came over and asked if I would mind if Bob did my Stallone piece at home.

Bob was getting tons of requests and it’s take longer to draw Sly (for the first time) than Iron Man or Spider-Man for the 1,000th time. By doing my piece at home more fans would get a piece of art and the benefit would raise more money.

How could I argue? I told her that would be no problem.

I’m just excited to be getting a Stallone piece from Bob!

Robert Smith taught a wonderful session with little kids who want to be artists. While that was running I had a chance to speak with Ed Hall and thank him again for the Stallone piece he did for me last year. Ed was sitting with Dana Sumers [Politcal Cartoonist for the Orlando Sentinal] and Tom Armstrong [Marvin]. I asked Dana if he’d like to do a Stallone piece for my gallery. Tom said he’d give it a shot. I thanked him and headed back to catch the rest of Robert‘s sketch session.

After the session I headed over to put in my donation for my Bob Layton piece. Alex said that he’d also like to do my piece at home so I kicked in that donation as well.After a bit of visiting I headed back to get my Stallone piece from Dana Sumers. Dana said that after five or six false starts he came up with one that worked. I agreed with him; it does work! Dana said that Tom Armstrong also did a Sly drawing. As Tom was signing it for me, he added a little Marvin peeking over Sly. How cool is that?

The show was starting to wind down.

It’d been a great day. We made our way around and said our good-byes (and although it looks like Alex is begging us not to go, that’s just an illusion).

Then it was back on the road home.

Hopefully, the benefit made even more money than last year. It seemed to be better attended. I know that everyone I talked to had a super time and are planning to attend again next year.

I know, I’ll be there!

RIP: Rodney Dangerfield

Posted in Celebs, and RIP

Rodney Dangerfield passed away this afternoon.

Man, I really enjoyed Rodney‘s comedy. Most people really became aware of Rodney Dangerfield after he appeared [and got the best laughs] in Caddyshack.

But I remember him first from his standup comedy on variety shows in the 60’s that I used to watch with my grandparents. Rodney’s trademark line, “I don’t get no respect” was always followed by several great one-liners.

I don’t get no respect. When I was born I was so ugly the doctor slapped my mother.”

I don’t get no respect. I was in a bar and a guy asked me if I had any naked pictures of my wife. I said, ‘No.’ He asked me if I wanted to buy some.”

After Caddyshack, Rodney graduated from co-star to star status and headlined several movies. But it was always his standup that appealed most to me.

Now Rodney’s gone. I’m going to miss seeing him pop up from time to time with another spin on his “I don’t get no respect” lines. But I’ll always have great memories of watching Rodney perform and all of the laughs he gave us.

And you have to respect that.

Our prayers go out to Rodney‘s family and friends.

Bill "The Raytrix" Marimon

Posted in Art, and Comics

My buddy, Billy Ray [“The Raytrix”] Marimon dropped me an e-mail with his latest painting attached.

Yeah, that’s it… well, a small jpg of it anyway.

You can see a larger version of it by clicking on the picture or HERE.

You can also see more of Bill‘s work HERE at his website.

Bill‘s a talented artist and his prices are very reasonable. If you decide to visit his site, please tell him I sent you his way!

Hurricane Jeanne and Rain Storm

Posted in Authors, and Books

Hurricane Jeanne came and went without causing as much damage to our area as initially predicted. Still, I spent most of the last three days helping to run a hurricane relief shelter.

One of the best parts of that whole experience was that in my downtime I had an opportunity to finish Barry Eisler‘s third novel, Rain Storm.

All of Eisler‘s novels feature John Rain, a Japanese-American “struggling with his own divided nature: Japanese / American; soldier / assassin; samurai / ronin.” Rain, as written by Eisler is “a remarkable creation, a multifaceted killer with the soul of a poet.”

Eisler‘s first book, Rain Fall, put him on my favorite author’s list. His second, Hard Rain, proved that the first book wasn’t a fluke. Rain Storm cements Eisler‘s place as one of the best series writers working. Don’t take my word for it, check out what EVERYONE is saying.

Yeah, Eisler‘s that good. [So is John Rain, for that matter!]

Gravedigger

Posted in Art, Comics, and Crime

One last entry before the Hurricane

When I was a kid one of my favorite things about going to the movies was the Coming Attractions. For some reason I just loved [and still love] getting a preview of something really neat… and then the feeling of anticipation of just how cool it’s going to be.

Tonight as I was putting together my comic order, I came across this really cool-looking comic, Gravedigger.

The first thing that caught my eye was the cover by Rick Burchett. Rick‘s a very talented and under-rated artist whose work has appeared in Batman Adventures, Blackhawk, and many, many other comics.

Surprisingly, when you mention Rick‘s name the first thing that comes to my mind is the character Inigma that he created over twenty years ago for a fanzine. I’ve always liked Rick‘s art and I absolutely love what he’s doing with Gravedigger. The Lee Marvin-looking lead character and 60’s style design to the promo piece had me hooked.

Then I saw that the comic was created and written by Christopher Mills. I knew the name but couldn’t immediately place what Chris had written. A little web search and I quickly remembered that Chris had served as editor of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Danger for Techno Comics. Chris was also the creator and editor of the excellent crime fiction magazine, Noir. I was a fan of both of these series so I decided to dig a little deeper.

Then I found Chris’ webpage.

Surprisingly we have a lot in common. Chris also lives in Florida. He, too, is getting ready for a visit from another hurricane [I have to go in to open the shelter in seven hours — oh, what fun!], and he has a passion for old movies, crime fiction and comics.

I ended up spending a lot of time checking out his site. Not only are there cool previews of Gravedigger, and other comics that Chris has created, but he also has an interesting blog. [Any one who not only knows about Larry Cohen and Armand Assante‘s version of Mickey Spillane’s “I, the Jury” but wants it on dvd earns a spot on my Blogs to Read list!

As you can probably tell, I’m jazzed about Gravedigger. Check it out and if you feel the same way, then be sure and let your local comic shop know that you’ll want a copy. You might even want to drop Chris a line and let him know that you’re on board. If enough of us write, I’ll bet that Hurricane Jeanne won’t seem so bad!

New Sin City Collectibles

Posted in Art, Comics, and Crime

You all know how much I love Frank Miller’s Sin City.

I have all of the Sin City Graphic Novels and comics. My bookcase proudly displays my Marv bust by Randy Bowen… my “Death Row Marv” and my Sin City Marv “Black and White.” But you just know I want more Sin City

Well, more Sin City stuff is coming. Everyone knows about the movie, but you are going to be one of the first to hear about the new limited edition Marv statue. It’ll stand 12″ tall, over 13″ wide, 7″ deep and retail for $199.

Dynamic Forces is also going to put out a limited edition lithograph of Marv drawn by Sin City creator Frank Miller. It’ll retail for $19.99.

Hopefully these will just be the first of many new Sin City collectibles.

Well, what’d ya expect me to say… you know how much I love Sin City!

Cavalcade of Comics Benefit

Posted in Art, Comics, and Con Report

On Saturday, October 9th, the 2nd annual Cavalcade of Comics‘ benefit to support the Tourette Syndrome Association will be held in Jacksonville, Florida.

I had a blast last year and am looking forward to more fun this time around.

Dick Giordano (DC Comics), Bob Layton (Marvel, Acclaim & Future Comics), Don Perlin (Marvel & Acclaim Comics), Alex Saviuk (Marvel), Howard Perlin (artist, caricatures & storyboards), Tom Armstrong (creator & artist, MARVIN), Don Edwing (MAD Magazine) , Ed Hall (political cartoonist), Robert Smith, Jr. (political cartoonist and caricatures) and Jason Sobol (comics artist & writer) are just a few of the artists who will be on hand sketching for fans.

There will be an auction of original rare comic and cartoon art, live music, entertainment, raffles, door prizes, and many other exciting events. Heck, Big John Beatty may even be there sketching and kickin things up a notch! Click HERE for full details.

And if you can make it, be sure and look me up. I’ll be the guy in the StalloneZone shirt looking to score more art for my Stallone Gallery!

White Noise

Posted in Horror, and Movies

Some people believe that the dead can speak to us and their voices and images are sometimes captured in pictures and recordings.

There’s even an organization dedicated to the study of the phenomena. And whether you believe it’s possible or not, I’ll bet that you spend a bit more time than expected if you visit their site.

I always try to keep an open mind to things and love the idea that it may be true. But true or not, the concept does make a great springboard for a movie.

The Return of Sable

Posted in Art, and Comics

Sable, one of my all-time favorite comics is coming back in March of 2005!

That’s right, Mike Grell’s Sable will be back in a story written and drawn by Grell himself.

And to make it even better some of the original stories will be released in trade paperbacks.

Take a look at Mike’s website and read about the new series here. The if you like what you’ve seen, let your local comic shop now that you’re interested.