By Jimmy Palmiotti
Hey crew, I know it’s been a couple of weeks since the last mess of madness from me, but like everything, life and work come first. I have, for the past week and a half, been in New York to attend the Wizard World Philly show and to see some friends and family while around town. Its been a great trip for me, but like all good things, it has its price… and that’s me needing to catch up with my work. Want to get a few announcements out of the way first.
In passing at the Philly show, Dan DiDio mentioned that Justin and I are working on a brand new 128-page JONAH HEX graphic novel hardcover. Well, that’s true and we are almost at the half way stage, writing-wise, and looking forward to getting our featured artist working any day now. Online, Dan also announced that we will be lucky enough to have one of the original creators of the Jonah Hex character working with us… and that is, for the uneducated, Tony De Zuniga… one of the most talented artists in the business as well as being an all around awesome guy. Nothing makes us happier than having the chance to work with a living legend like Tony and I can’t tell you how excited we are to be given this opportunity. Tony has become a fine art painter of late and hasn’t done that much comic work other than an issue of Hex a few years back and some side projects. Well, that’s all going to change with this hardcover…think about it, 128 pages is equal to about almost 6 issues of work… a half a year of any book. Stay tuned right here for some sneak peeks coming soon. If you want to check out the man himself, here is a pretty cool clip of Tony being interviewed about Hex and his other creation Black Orchid
QUICK MOVIE REVIEWS.
TRANSFORMERS 2: More fun than the first one for the simple fact that it’s shot better, the robots actually morph better, the action is bigger and Megan Fox gets more air time. I hope Megan stays on a roll till next summer’s Jonah Hex.
THE PROPOSAL: Exactly what you expect and less. Sandra does her usual good job, but I didn’t buy her and Ryan together. Some funny stuff, but overall it was just flat in the end. Wish it was more charming, but it didn’t get to that sugary place for me. Note: Sandra showed a bit of skin in this and she looks great. Remember, its PG, so probably not the skin you are thinking.
PUBLIC ENEMIES: Wish it was better and more interesting, but it did get the job done. A totally well done cat-and-mouse movie that throws everything it has at you and I still left the theatre feeling empty. That said, great digital gun fights, Depp is solid and it’s still much better than most of the crap out right now. And for the record, if you make a movie rated “R” there better be a reason for it. The violence was PG all the way, the language the same, and no nudity.
THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123: I admit it; I am a Tony Scott fan. I met his wife at a dinner a few years back and now I am also a Mrs. Tony Scott fan. And the movie itself: I thought this was solid. Nothing earth-shattering, but never a dull moment and its nice to be in Florida and watch a movie set in my hometown. The cast was solid but I did love the original film, mainly for martin balsam. Look him up here… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Balsam…why I had a special place for the original was because martin was a guy that used to come into my dads paint store in New York on 81st and Amsterdam avenue and he and my dad were friends. He even gave me tickets to see him in a play called “cold storage” a play in two acts written by Ronald Ribman about death and cancer… and speaking of cancer….
MY SISTER’S KEEPER: What in hell makes you think I would see this? The commercials alone turned me off to it… and I love Cameron Diaz… I think she is beautiful, but that shot of her with the shaved head, it reminded me of Batboy from World Weekly News. I hate saying that, because I really do like her… but shaved heads on most women don’t usually work very well. I know this flick is about a serious subject and such, but it’s not for me is all. I will ask my neighbor if she saw it later today. Anyone out there see it? Post your review please.
WIZARD WORLD PHILLY: It was a fun show and we had a blast as always meeting and greeting the fans. I put it out there that I would do free sketches for Philly steak sandwiches and it got a great response… all together I had over 15 sandwiches delivered to me and I got to feed the freelancers around me each day I was there. Got to come up with something to do in San Diego… I am open to ideas. Anyway, also at the show with us was my good friend KRISTANNA LOKEN and I cant tell you how nice it was to hang with her. She is one of my favorite people and she made our nights there in Philly something to remember for sure. If you didn’t get a chance to meet her, you got another shot at Wizard World Chicago. I wish to god she was at every con I did; it would make my life so much easier. Stop by and tell her I sent you … and for the last time people, I cannot give you her e-mail address or phone number. Lol… after Philly I had 7 people ask for it. It’s sweet … granted, but it’s also a “no-no.”
SAN DIEGO: Yeah, Amanda and I will be there. Amanda will be, all weekend, at the FAT NAKED RAVE booth the whole show doing commissions, selling original artwork and prints and trying to make enough money to pay for the insane hotel bill we are getting stuck with for the show. We have only been guests of the show once since we started going to it in 91 and because of that, most artists and freelancers like us have to pay our own way…but the con gets us into the actual show for free, which is very cool. On average, this year is costing us about 3 grand in hotel, airfare and taxis … thus, all the print selling and sketches on Amanda’s end. And yes, I feel for all the people emptying their bank accounts for this trip as well… but it is the biggest and best show out there. Me… I am bumming a ride on Amanda’s wagon, as is another creator friend crashing with us… and we totally appreciate it. If you are looking for me by any chance and wanna say hi, get a conversation going and what not, check out the Radical comics booth, the DC booth, the Devil’s Due booth, the IDW booth and some assorted panels. I will be bouncing around and will get you all an actual schedule next week. Also, if you see me, and you read this madness here, please stop me and say hi and introduce yourself. Honestly, its all cool, as long as I don’t have my “gotta hit the john” face on, its one of the simple pleasures of the show for me. I am always willing to sign a book, sketchbook, women’s boobs, a T-shirt or any number of things. Also… remember, Friday morning they will be showing a Jonah Hex clip/teaser at the Warner Brothers panel and Jimmy Hayward, the movie’s director, and some special guests will be there to talk about the flick. He is a big Jonah Hex comic fan and a totally fun/talented/cool dude. Maybe next week I will write about mine and Justin’s day on the Hex set…but for now, make sure to mark that panel down.
COMICS AND BILLY MAYS: Out this week is the first installment of the Wednesday Comics and it features a Supergirl story by Amanda and myself and its surrounded by some of the finest talents in comics. Let me know what you think…I personally can’t lose because I have Amanda Conner on art, and she can just about make anyone look good. Sorry folks, no Supergirl panties in this one. I love how some people have nothing better to talk about than Michael Jackson and Supergirl’s panties this past week. Personally, Billy Mays’ death freaked me out a bit, not only because he is a local star, but that he looks so much like my friend, writer Chris Golden. I know, I fully expect Chris to beat me with an awesome auger or quick chop my fingers off. If it helps, I think Billy was a handsome lad… and it was a shame for us to lose him so soon…
Who is going to sell me crap I never thought I would ever need now? I was also thinking, who in comics would I consider “our” Billy Mays? Well… the first person that came to mind was Billy Tucci… and for all good reasons. Think about it, no matter who hires Billy for a job, they not only get a talented writer and artist, but they get a fantastic pitch man, a press machine and a guy that shows so much passion about his work that it is always contagious to those around him. Billy even does retailer summits and talks up his books to each and every retailer… and he does this to books and characters he didn’t even create. Personally, if I had a company, I would keep Billy working each and every month for that alone. Never a negative word comes out of his mouth and that’s something in itself. He isn’t pathetic and inconsiderate to fans and never talks down to anyone. I hereby announce BILLY TUCCI as the Billy Mays of comics. I also expect to get an awesome auger in the head for this one as well. At least I know he won’t kill me for this till he gets that Jonah Hex script for him to work on.
NASTASSJA KINSKI: This is random, but I had a crush on this woman [don’t worry Amanda, you are always #1to me] ever since I first laid eyes on her in 1982 while watching the fantastic remake of CAT PEOPLE. If you never saw this movie, I suggest you go out and buy a copy. Its sexy, haunting and so cool on so many levels, you will thank me. Its one of my top five guilty pleasure films and if given a chance, I would write a Cat People comic in a heart beat. Anyway, back to Nastassja…she is hitting 50 and still looks amazing. She hasn’t been in too many films of late, but I have to say, after Cat People, I just about watched everything she has been in… and that’s a lot. Given the chance of one day directing something, she would be on the top of my list because besides the obvious beauty, I always felt she was a solid actress. I’m not going to go on like a madman here [just did, didn’t I?] , don’t worry…but here is my top five films she has done and if you have any interest, give them a shot. All solid.
# 1: Cat People: Set in New Orleans, has a soundtrack by David Bowie and features some of the sexiest scenes on film as well as graphic violence, in my opinion. Favorite scene, Nastassja in those fishing boots. Watch the film, you will understand.
# 2: One from the Heart: Awesome score by Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle, great cast and a fun romantic romp, all directed by Francis Coppola. Also starring Terri Garr and Raul Julia. Really…the soundtrack alone is the gem in this.
#3 Maria’s Lovers: Beautifully directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, dealing with a husband and wife and the troubles they have when he returns from war. It’s sexy, beautiful to look at and also features Robert Mitchum and John Savage. This movie stayed with me long after it was over …always a good sign.
#4: Unfaithfully Yours: Silly comedy that always makes me laugh. Dudley Moore thinks his wife is cheating on him and tries to catch her and murder her. Also stars Albert Brooks and Armand Assante. Nothing like a drunk Dudley .
#5: Tess: Written and directed by Roman Polanski. A simple beautifully shot film about a peasant girl who finds that two men are in love with her at the same time. It’s an all ages film, but one where you can take any single shot in the movie and frame it. We artists like that stuff.
HITLER: Yeah, the guy is a total asshole that took too long to die.
Anyway, my buddy Garth sent me this line and I think it sums up the Michael Jackson thing pretty well…give it a shot and let me know what you think.
THE LAST RESORT: Yeah, it’s out next week… cover by Amanda and another cover by Darwyn Cooke. This is the kind of book that doesn’t get much attention because its put out by a smaller publisher, because it features violence and nudity and has an actual story where men and women don’t get dressed as superheroes and save the day. That said, it’s a traditional screwed-up horror title that I think delivers the goods for 5 solid months in a row. The order numbers were low…and that’s expected, but honestly, if you walk into your shop next week and they are sold out… well, they can order you one. Don’t take no for an answer… be aggressive and let them know you are one sick depraved puppy and you want your half-naked women and biologically screwed-up insanity… and you want it now!
For those out there that are only spending money on Batman this or X-Men that…let me save you a few bucks this month and try something new. If it helps, Batman gets the criminals and Wolverine heals… end of story… see? Skip one of these this month and read something where you will have no clue what is next.
Till next week…