Skip to content

Craig Zablo Posts

Gulacy is Back, Baby!

Posted in Comics

Paul Gulacy is one of my all-time favorite comic artists.

Growing up, I spent hours enjoying the work he did with Doug Moench on the classic series “Master of Kung Fu.” I know, terrible title, but believe me, it was [and is] one of the best runs on any comic book series.

I got to know Paul back in the late 70’s when I was dealing original art. I commissioned him to do several pieces for me over the years. This cool Bruce Lee was my first commission form Paul. Sadly it was stolen back in the early 80’s.

Although Paul has worked on many cool projects over the years, none of them [not even Sabre, the James Bond mini-series, or the MOKF “reunion” this year] have been as popular as the original run of “Master of Kung Fu.” That may change with his latest work, “Reload.” The first issue is out and is excellent. The series is written by Warren Ellis and inked by Jimmy Palmiotti.

Give it a look. Gulacy is back, baby!

Sly Sends His Best

Posted in Celebs, and Movies

How cool is that?!? I came home this week to find this personalized, autographed picture from SlySimon, who runs both Sly and Frank‘s Official Sites and I exchange e-mails from time to time. Simon thanked me for something that I had done for him and asked if there was ever anything that he could do for me… I told him [half jokingly] that a personalized autographed picture from Sly would be cool…


Please don’t bombard Simon for autographs. He called in a marker for this one!

Craig Zablo

AtlantaCon 2003 Bound!

Posted in Art, Comics, and Con Report

On April 11- 13, I heading up to Georgia for the AtlantaCon Convention. The Guest of Honor is Mike Kaluta who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time over twenty years ago at an Atlanta convention! Mike is best known for his work on “The Shadow,” and I’m looking forward to seeing him again.

Dan Bereton is going to be a guest. I’ve loved his work since I saw the first preliminary piece for “The Black Terror” years ago. Dan has gone on to draw [and write] many other projects and I’ve followed them all. One of my favorites has been his work on The Nocturnals. It’d be cool to get a Stallone drawing by Dan.

I’m also excited because the guys from Gaijin Studios [Adam Hughes, Cully Hamner, Georges Jeanty, Brian Stelfreeze, and Karl Story] will be there sketching as well. As Stuttering John would say, “I’m a big fan, big fan.” I was hoping to get some Stallone sketches from them at MegaCon but I was only there for one day,and they were allready booked up. Thanks to Big Beatty, I’m on Cully‘s list for AtlantaCon and hope to get on Adam‘s and Brian‘s as well. At least that’s the plan.

Phil Noto is going to be there. His popularity has soared in recent years. Take a look at his art and you’ll know why. There’s going to be dozens of other artists on hand as well. Part of the fun of going to a convention is meet established pros, but also to meet the new people who haven’t broke through yet but have the talent to take you by surprise. There’ll also be tons of panels, screenings of movies, videos, and animation… not to mention gaming, but since I already did, well, nevermind.

It’s going to be a fun time. If you’re able to make it to the show, it’d be cool to talk to you. I’ll be easy to find. I’ll be the guy wearing the StalloneZone t-shirt getting the Stallone drawings.

Following Dan Simmons to Different Genres

Posted in Authors, and Books

Dan Simmons writes in a lot of different genres. That could be the sign of an artist looking for his voice. In Simmons’ case, it’s a talent who refuses to be constrained.

Simmons‘ first published story, “The River Styx Runs Upstream,” won the Rod Serling Memorial Award. His first novel, Song of Kali, won the World Fantasy Award. His first horror novel, Carrion Comfort, won the Bram Stoker Award. His first science fiction novel, Hyperion, won the Hugo Award. The man can do no wrong. He’s also gone the dark streets of the tough guy genre with two very well received Joe Kurtz novels.

I’ve just finished reading Darwin’s Blade which is described as a suspense thriller. Ok, an intelligent suspense thriller. Or better yet, an intelligent action-packed suspense thriller. I loved every page, but who wouldn’t when you have Russian Hit Men, car chases, glider vs helicopter gun fights, death by elephant dung, and more! Actually all of these things are in the book, but it also contains two of the best written leads, a realistic backstory and romance that doesn’t seemed forced or out of place.

Dan Simmons writes in a lot of different genres. So far I’ve loved every book that I’ve read of his. Looks like I’ll be expanding my reading to a lot of different genres

Themed Sketch Collections

Posted in Art, Celebs, and Comics

People will collect almost anything.

I collect movies, books, comics and Sylvester Stallone memorabilia such as books [biographies, novelizations of his movies], magazine articles and pictures, and now original drawings of Sly or characters that he’s played. Recently I began to have artists draw in a sketchbook instead of on loose sheets of paper.

This may sound like a unique idea but it’s really not. There are a lot of people out there collecting drawings for their themed sketch books. Some of the more interesting themes include cliffs,” “time,” “silverfish,” and… well, you get the idea. Phillip Anderson has several themed sketchbooks going. You can get a look at all of them by clicking [HERE].

Who knows? After seeing the cool stuff that Phillip has, maybe you’ll be inspired to start your own themed sketchbook collection!

“The Shield”

Posted in Crime, and TV

I was ready to write a ZONE piece about Andrew Vachss, or a cool series of sketchbooks that I found on the web, but then I read this article.

If you’re a ZONE regular then you know that I’m a huge fan of The Shield. I was intrigued by the ads for the premiere and it’s ending hooked me. The writing and acting is first rate. ALL of the characters come off as real people. The Shield racked up numerous positive reviews and awards during it’s first season. The question was could they do it again?

As the second season comes to a close, I find myself enjoying The Shield more than ever. In case you haven’t checked it out, FX is going to run a Shield marathon of all of this season’s episodes. If you’re already a fan, then I’d love to hear your thoughts on the SZ Messageboard.

That’s it until tomorrow, when I’ll probably tell you about Andrew Vachss or this cool series of sketchbooks.

Eric Powell Takes the Goon Through Rough Stuff

Posted in Art, Comics, Horror, and Humor

Eric Powell writes, pencils and inks The Goon, which is one of the few comics that I buy EVERY time it comes out. Dark Horse just picked up The Goon so if you wanna beat the crowd, get on board now! You’ll also find Eric’s work on the covers to DC‘s Arkham Asylum: Living Hell six issue mini-series starting in May.

Eric did his version of Sly when I caught up with him at MegaCon. I was so tempted to get a Goon sketch but just had to have Eric in the SZ Gallery. Eric‘s take reminds me of a sports drawing from the ’30’s.

Rough Stuff, a trade paperback which collects The Goon‘s first three issues is now available.

I’ll bet it’s the first graphic novel to come with a “director’s commentary!” Yep, a trade paperback book with a director’s commentary.

Isn’t that just goony?

Steve Niles is Quite a Writer

Posted in Authors, Books, Comics, and Horror

Steve Niles is quite a writer.

I guess he should be though since he’s been making a living at it for about fifteen years. What? You haven’t heard of him? Sure you have! I wrote a ZONE piece on Steve way back on January 4th, after I read his novel, Guns, Drugs and Monsters.

I was so impressed with Guns, Drugs and Monsters that I immediately bought Savage Membrane, the first Cal McDonald novel. It was just as good! There are more Cal McDonald novels in the works, as well as a series from Dark Horse Comics.

Steve is also the author of 30 Days of Night, a vampire graphic novel that Ben Templesmith illustrated. It has just gone into it’s third printing, and was optioned [for a cool million bucks] by Sam Raimi‘s production company! Plus Steve get’s to write the screenplay!

You might think that all of this has gone to Steve‘s head. You’d be wrong. I got to meet Steve at MegaCon and he was very kind, gracious, and appreciative of his fans. Read this interview with Steve, check out his website [tell him I sent ya!] and then order his books. You’ll be glad you did because…

Steve Niles is quite a writer.

Deadline for War

Posted in Movies, and Sports

The deadline for war has almost arrived. Who knows what the next few days [weeks?] will bring us.

The nation has gone to a higher state of alert. Cities are tightening their security. Turn on the tv and all you can find on news channels are reports from the front and speculation about what will happen next.

The NCAA basketball tourney will continue as planned. And that’s a good thing. I have three of the four number one teams in our annual family contest.

The Academy Awards are scheduled to be held on Sunday as planned [although there will be less red carpet and after party coverage]. I’m glad that both of these major events will go on as scheduled. We’re going to need something to divert our attention from the media overkill covering the war. I also think that we can’t let the possibility of terrorist attacks on the homefront cause us to change our lifestyle.

Well… it’s 8:00 straight-up. May God bless our troops and may this war end quickly.

John Carpenter

Posted in Celebs, Horror, and Movies

I learned about another classic that CARPENTER had created even earlier in his career. That was the cult classic “Assault on Precinct 13.” In the following years CARPENTER went on to direct “Escape From New York,” “The Thing,” “Big Trouble in Little China” and even “Starman.”

After that his movies began to be hit or miss and mostly miss.

Still when I go back and watch one of JOHN CARPENTER‘s early films, like “Assault on Precinct 13,” it’s obvious why he was one of my favorites!

Below Rises to the Top

Posted in Horror, and Movies

Way back on October 5, 2002, I told you about a movie that I couldn’t wait to see. And I wouldn’t have to since “Below” was scheduled to premiere the following week.

Funny thing was, it never got a theatrical release.

“Below” came out on dvd and video this week. I went to Blockbuster to rent it and all copies were gone. I called Best Buy and Circuit City and they were sold out. I went to Wal Mart and they had three copies left. Now they have two.

“Below” is the story of an American submarine crew facing Nazi war ships on the surface and something worse below. It’s not just a war movie though, it’s a haunted house movie as well… and there’s no leaving the house! After watching it, I can tell you it’s GREAT! David Twohy co-wrote and directed it just as it did on another favorite of mine, “Pitch Black.” Keep an out for him – he’s the real deal!

If you like scary movies, you’ll love “Below” and unlike me you won’t have to wait five months to see it!

MJ – Maybe Now We’ve Heard It All

Posted in Celebs

Just when you think you’ve heard it all about MICHAEL JACKSON

Vanity Fair, in its March 11 edition reports that MJ bleaches his skin white because he doesn’t like black people, whom he sometimes refers to as “spabooks.”

The article also says that the “King of Pop” paid $150,000 to an African voodoo chief who promised that STEVEN SPIELBERG, music mogul DAVID GEFFEN and 23 other people on the reclusive entertainer’s list of enemies would die. Supposedly the voodoo priest sacrificed 42 cows during a special ceremony that was to gurantee GEFFEN‘s death within a week.

As if that wasn’t enough, the article claims that JACKSON is in such financial trouble that the amusement park equipment at his Neverland Valley Ranch was almost repossessed.

Now… maybe… we’ve heard it all.

Megacon Report

Posted in Con Report

Wow! What a cool time I had yesterday at the Megacon Convention in Orlando, Florida. I was able to spend a lot of time with some friends and met some people whose work I really admire. MegaCon is a convention which features celebrities, comic artists, novelists, dealers and more…

Walter Koenig, who played Chekov in the original Star Trek series was there. When I was a kid Star Trek was THE show, so it was really cool getting to meet Mr. Koenig and to shake his hand.

One of my favorite writers was there, Steve Niles. I was first in line to meet him. [And if that sounds like a geeky thing to say, well, I was geeking out yesterday.] I was able to speak with Steve for a few minutes and get him to autograph both of his novels [more are coming!].

Eric Powell, the creator of The Goon, was there. I got him to autograph his new graphic novel and do a Stallone sketch for me [the sketch will appear in the SZ Gallery soon].

Many, many more artists were there from Adam Hughes to Frank Cho to Mike Zeck to… well you get the idea. I picked up several new pieces for the SZ Gallery which will appear in the near future.

After the show John Beatty, Mike Zeck, Rik Levins, Howard Shum, Brad VanCata, Mike [my son] and I all went out for some Chinese. It was a great capper to a great day. I’ll talk more about the show in future ZZone updates

Thunder Road Now Longer

Posted in Movies

If you were anticipating the release of MEL GIBSON‘S return as The Road Warrior in “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the wait is going to be a bit longer.

Believe it or not, the possibility of military action against Iraq has delayed the movie’s start date. Filming was scheduled to begin in Namibia in July, but now will go into production sometime in the fall… which of course means the release date will also be pushed back.

Well… we’ve waited 18 years, I guess we can wait a bit longer.

Fred Rogers – RIP

Posted in RIP, and TV

“Won’t you be my neighbor?”

FRED ROGERS, aka Mr. Rogers, died today at the age of 74 from stomach cancer. ROGERS was best known for his children’s show, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He first went on the air in 1954 and entertained and educated millions of children over the years. From all I’ve read, FRED ROGERS was truly a kind and gentle soul.

Our prayers go out to his friends and family.

I’d have been proud to have been his neighbor.