By Jimmy Palmiotti
Welcome to my 21st blog. I am now legal and will drink till I pass out in the corner. Anyway… been super busy doing many things inside and outside of comics these past weeks. Amanda and I took some time off to check out the space shuttle launch and it was pretty darn cool. As a kid, I always dreamed about being a spaceman [that’s why I experimented with so many drugs early on in life] and getting to see an actual rocket take off and to have all my senses blasted by it was so cool that it’s hard to describe. The stand-out was the flame from the rocket engines, brighter than the sun and the wave of noise from takeoff took over 15 seconds to reach us because we were set back a couple of miles off the water. If you are in the Florida area or want to see this, there are only five more launches before the program is put on hold, so get there quick. Trust me; ask anyone who ever witnessed it, its quite amazing. It was really funny as well, watching people pull up to the side of the road, open a chair, watch the launch for three minutes, fold the chair and get back in their car.
On another subject, Amanda and I got a lot of comps of the Wednesday Comics and we were going to send them overseas but we were invited to speak to a school of kids on the great American teach-in. The school focuses on children with dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, and speech and language issues. It’s very difficult for these children to read anything at all, so we thought we would bring these comics and give them out to the kids. Well… it went over great! When fully opened up on their tables, the pages were almost half their size… and it was great to watch all these kids smile and really enjoy the art and words on these books. A big shout out to Troy Iannucci, a parent there who came to talk to them about how comics are made and got us involved. I deal with a lot of adults that I always say act just like children, but when I say that I forget just how wonderful these kids are and how, when you look into their eyes, the excitement and wonder is so genuine, it’s contagious. What a great group of kids!
THINGS THAT PISS ME OFF: First, can Hollywood stop buying comic properties that have fallen angels? I have been reading the Hollywood Reporter for the past month and have counted five of these properties getting picked up aside from the six they are filming now. I do not look forward to the wave that is coming of some Goth-looking dude with wings on Earth trying to get the Devil off the planet or some such bullshit. Enough… just admit you took it all from Preacher and cut to the chase and make that friggin’ Preacher film already. Am I the only one that thinks the Book of Eli looks like a Just a Pilgrim rip-off? Let me guess, the book they are trying to get… is it a Bible? Uggg… I sure hope not, because Garth has another reason to be pissed. On, next… Fox News for calling themselves a news network. Its propaganda all the way… that crap with adding footage from other events to a news story and their daily B.S. has made them the new skip channel on my TV programming. Hey cable people… create a way to take channels off my cable, will you? You can take all those religious channels off while you are at it. Next, screw you to all the people that tailgate. I am doing 70 on the highway, yes; the limit… and I got an asshole in a S.U.V. an inch from my ass for miles. Look, anyone knows that if you have a huge truck or a Hummer and don’t have four kids, well, that means you have a small penis, or if you are a woman, you want any kind of penis. Can you please stay off my ass and go around me? Next: software. Every time I buy a software program I have to put in a code and password that contains zeros and the letter “o” and guess what, you can’t tell the friggin’ difference. Can’t they just avoid these two and use every other letter and number out there. I bought this Manga Studio 4 and it took me a friggin’ hour to register the damn thing. My eyes actually looked very manga-like as the steam was coming out of my ears. Last… foam peanuts. I hate them… they make a mess…you lose things in packages with them in it… and when you try to dump them, well… they will fly everywhere and mysteriously turn up months later stuck to something so unrelated you will think it’s a joke being played on you. I will never pack a package with them because of this. Man, I sound like Andy Rooney.
Also, comicswise, we put to bed the 38-page Jonah Hex #50 this past week, and it simply looks amazing. Darwyn Cooke did his usual brilliant job on the art and I can’t tell you enough how happy both Justin and I are. Also, on Darwyn’s art, we were lucky to have the award-winning colorist Dave Stewart for a guest issue, and these two together are a lethal combination. Any fans of New Frontier will want to give this book a shot. Hell…if you never read a Jonah Hex comic before, well, this is a good time to start. Its hard to believe we are reaching the 50 mark with this character… honest… we never dreamed it would still be around, but with the artists we have been lining up for the next 50, we plan on giving you all the thrill ride each and every month. We are going back to the done-in-one stories and we got a Who’s Who gallery of superstars lined up for 2010, so be on the lookout.
We also put to rest Power Girl #7, featuring Vartox, and it’s a killer folks. Amanda and Paul Mounts delivered another insane classic and we couldn’t be happier with the amazing work they both are doing. It’s been interesting reading the reviews and message boards about this title. A lot of passionate fans are out there and we do listen believe it or not. Issue #9 we take on some of the classic DC villains and add some of our own madness to the mix, so hang in there those wishing to see more familiar faces… they are coming. Oh, one last thing… a friend of mine involved in the gay community told me that people are going nuts over the new series. I think it’s awesome, especially if they never picked up a comic before.
An interesting thing Brandon Peterson sent me, see if it works for you. It’s a fast food chart.
Oh, last thing here…some big Painkiller Jane news coming for you very soon.
OK… on to the movies…
2012: It’s exactly what you expect… massive amounts of destruction, super beautiful special effects, and they save the dog. Amanda and I went to see this and had a blast. Did we expect a major story… no. Did we get one… no. Did we get our 10 bucks worth of “holy shit” moments… yes. We had a blast, knew what to expect and it delivered. Anyone that says they hated it obviously didn’t watch the trailer.
A SERIOUS MAN: Maybe it’s because I grew up in a half-Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn that I felt like I knew all these characters it held a certain charm to me, but to go out and pay for it… I would wait till it’s out on disc. It was fun, interesting and so on… hey, it’s a Coen Brothers movie, so the quality is there… but I wish it had more to it. I felt that the next day I couldn’t recall much about it and that’s not a good thing for me. The story though was solid and the direction lean and overall it was good, just not a classic. And yes, I want classics… lol.
AN EDUCATION: Really well done coming of age film set in London in 1961. Well-written, well-directed, and a concrete cast round out this solid piece of storytelling. It will probably die box office-wise because teen girls and moms of all ages will be watching the New Moon crap and sliding off their chairs, which is a total shame because there are probably a hundred better-told life and love lessons in this film. Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan are both in top form here. It has adult themes, but nothing a teenager hasn’t seen a million times before. A nice alternative to the pop trash offered this week.
NEW MOON: Are you high? There is nothing about this film that doesn’t make me want to run the other way screaming. Bad acting, horrible effects and a certain kind of lameness that comes across in a one-minute trailer. You want to know how this movie is, ask your neighborhood 14-year-old that has been dry humping their pillow all week. I am sure they will tell you all about if for the next five hours. Yeah, I totally get it wasn’t made for me… but, well… give this a read: He is much better at this than I am.
NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU: This is a film about a bunch of short films about New York that tie together and then don’t. Its amazing that I have grown up and lived in the N.Y. area almost my whole life and only three of these shorts felt like the real deal to me within this movie… three that felt like what New York is really about. The first was the one with Natalie Portman and a jewelry dealer. The second was the boy in the park segment with Anton Yelchin and the last was about an old couple in Coney Island played by Eli Wallach and Cloris Leachman. That one reminded me of my aunts and uncles… the rest were a bunch of pseudo “New York” type stories that felt, to me, could have taken place anywhere. The first film about Paris is much better and available on one of the sharpest Blu-Ray editions I have seen on film. Check that out first.
THE BOX: It was better than I was expecting. I remember the Twilight Zone episode this was based on… not the original ones, but the reboot years ago and I thought the concept was cool… and so did the filmmakers, which led them to build on the premise and deliver a sci-fi thriller where I actually had no idea what the hell was going on. I really enjoyed this movie and totally underestimated it on all ends. It was just the right kind of weird for me. Oh, and I actually like Cameron Diaz, so that made it easier for me to watch as well. Yes, I am not a hater.
And now on Blu-Ray: THE PROFESSIONAL: One of my favorite movies directed by one of my favorite directors, Luc Besson. This edition has two versions, and yes, the one with the extra 14 minutes is included. The cool thing too is that it has notes about the details of the film on the bottom of this version plus extras like a look back to the making of the film and so on. This is what DVD and Blu-Ray were supposed to offer us fans. Extras and more extras. Great package overall.
COMICS: A lot of people have asked me why I don’t review comic books here and to be honest, I don’t read a lot of comics is why. I simply have no time and very few things interest me anymore. I usually track down things by my favorite creators, but even they are far and few these days. Live as long as I have, and you have seen and read just about all you can… so I seek out the things that interest me and stories with an edge or a sense of history and whatnot. Does that make any sense? Honest, I am also too close to some of these people… and with their paper-thin egos, I would really hate to make them cry. It’s easier to review films because I am so far removed from them… and until that changes, I will continue with that.
JOE KUBERT: I idolize the man and his body of work and his original characters. Joe is one of my personal heroes and to say I would like to be like him when I grow up is an understatement. Having the pleasure to meet and talk to him so many times has been some of the highlights of my time in comics and I still hope for the day when I would be able to work with him or for him in any capacity. Really… I even offered to wash his car for a month if he would do an issue of Hex with us… but that’s the thing with Joe, he is always busy. He is a giant in our industry and outside of it; he is a great man as well. I can go on and on about how his original works take up an entire shelf in my studio and how when Joe touches a character, he makes it his, but you all being comic book fans reading this already know and understand the legacy of this great man. What I did want to point out is that Joe is taking out a few piece of art from his personal collection and putting them up to auction. Here is a link to the article in the New York Times. I would love to bid on anything, but I need a new deck on my house badly, so I will have to sit this one out and be jealous of all the winners.
KRISTANNA LOKEN: Sometimes you have to be true to yourself and this article link is all about that. Kristanna and I became good friends during the Painkiller Jane shoot and have been ever since. When friends hear me talk about her, they understand how much respect I have for her as a person and her work and yeah… I gush a bit, but she really is one of the sweetest, down-to-earth people I know. Great actress, great friend and outspoken and open about her life. What’s not to like or admire? Give this a read, folks, and you will understand what I am talking about.
OK… a review of a comic…
CIVIL WAR ADVENTURE, by Chuck Dixon and Gary Kwapisz. I was lucky to pick this book up in advance from chuck at a local comic show. I had a day off Monday waiting for the shuttle to launch and decided to dig in and give it a shot… maybe read a story or two to get the feel of it. Well, I sat there and spent a few hours and read it cover-to-cover… lol… a good sign if there ever was one. The book is a black-and-white comic-sized square-bound softcover that features facts and stories surrounding the Civil War told in comic book form. There are around 15 short stories [over 140 pages!] with a few of them featuring real-life players and a couple following a father and son dealing with the war in their own backyard, and the repercussions it has on them and their family left behind. This is the kind of book that once you are done with, you have a better understanding about the war and the impact it made on a lot of people from that time period, and at the same time its never preachy… because its two authors totally understand that it’s a piece of entertainment. Look, Chuck is amazing and we all know he can tell a story and Gary as well with his artwork that reminds me of a more refined Richard Corben… so if you have any interest in the subject matter or just want to read a killer book, you need to ask your retailer to order this now…or go here and order it yourself. On the web site, they have a full short story you can read to get the feel of the book.
And last, if waiting between these blogs is too long for you, come visit my daily blog. I suggest you be over 16 because there is a lot there not for the kids. Check it out for the latest in comics, film, girls and random things at http://jimmypalmiotti.blogspot.com/.
- Jimmy P