...to be thankful for--almost an inch of rain fell at the Flying M over the past couple of days. It's our first rain since September, and reminds us (not that we ever forget) that although we live in the high desert, it's still desert.
Let's all enjoy family, friends, and food, put aside our troubles as best we can, and focus on what's good in our lives. Face it--if you're reading this now, there are a lot of people worse off than you are.
The Graveslinger Western/horror miniseries that came out late last year and early this year, from Image Comics/Shadowline (publishers of the forthcoming Zombie Cop), is being collected into a trade paperback by IDW Publishing. The book comes out in February, and in addition to the four-issue story from the miniseries, contains tons of pin-ups by such comics stars as Tony DeZuniga, Szymon Kudranski, and more! Shannon Eric Denton and I wrote the story, about Frank Timmons, a troubled prison undertaker who accidentally releases 117 executed murderers from their graves to go on a murder/eating spree across the old West, and who then is tasked with returning them to Hell.
You should be able to find it at comic shops and bookstores everywhere in late February. Here are the details you'll need to know to order it now:
GRAVESLINGER TPB (dec08 4121) on Page 283 of the December PREVIEWS! ISBN: 978-1-60010-364-3 Ship date 2/25/09
When deer bounce along with all four feet coming down together at once, stiff-legged, then somehow popping back into the air, they are "pronking." Like one just did across the front yard a few minutes ago, on its way to meet up with two others in the side pasture. It's also called "stotting," but I like pronk better.
Two weeks from last night (and two weeks from today), I'll be in the Phoenix area to help celebrate the opening of a brand new comic book shop called ComicZone.
I'm sure when the store's owners planned their opening, they didn't know the economy would be in serious meltdown mode. But even in the pre-meltdown economy, opening an independent store is always an act of optimism and courage, which deserves to be rewarded and supported. So if you're reading this and you're in the Phoenix area, save some of your comic-buying bucks and spend 'em at ComicZone.
The store's official grand opening is Sat., Dec. 6. But there's also a special dress-like-a-ninja preview night on Fri., Dec. 5, from 4 to 8 pm. I'll be around for both events, although I'll go out on a limb now and predict that I will not be dressed like a ninja.
I'll also have an exclusive ComicZone/Zombie Cop flyer, since the book won't be on sale until mid-January. It'll be something you can't get anyplace else, and will showcase some art you won't see anywhere else. So for you Zombie Cop completists out there, be sure to make it out to the store.
Comic Zone is at 5909 N. Granite Reef Road in Scottsdale (off McDonald) and the store's phone number is 480-483-2685.
This is my last signing/appearance anywhere until the Phoenix Comic-Con in January.
Living where I do, I don't get out to movies all that often. Making it on opening night is even more rare. But after Casino Royale invigorated a franchise that I loved for years--bus has been in a decades-long slump, with lousy Bonds and stupid stories and a sad over-reliance on one-liners and gadgets, I had high hopes for Quantum of Solace.
Daniel Craig, despite my initial misgivings, is a great Bond. And he looks cooler in a black shirt and sunglasses than anyone since Steve McQueen.
But he couldn't save this mess.
Forster, the director, takes a bad recent trend to a ridiculous extreme. His fight scenes and chase scenes (which together comprise about 80% of the movie) are all quick cuts and close-ups. The idea (speaking as an ex-film major with at least some historical and technical perspective on this) is to make the viewer feel like he or she is immersed in the action, because if you were fighting a Bond baddie, that's what you'd be seeing.
But we're not Bond and we're not IN the action. We're supposed to be watching the action and concerned for the characters that we like. Unless the whole movie was shot from Bond's POV (which would be unwatchable), forcing us into the middle of those action sequences only calls attention to itself as an artifice, and yanks us out of the story. Yes, I tensed up at those moments--but only because I could tell, as soon as one of those scenes started to unfold, that I was in for another several minutes of bad filmmaking.
If Forster wants to learn how to stage and shoot a close-quarter fight scene that's effective, that makes the viewer feel the desperate tension of the characters and experience the violence of the moment, he should go back and watch Roy Scheider's hotel room fight in Marathon Man--or even Sean Connery's face-off against Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love. Those are fights that hold up today. Quantum of Solace's are fights that will make me NOT buy the DVD.
The story is pretty awful, but that might largely be because with only 20% of the movie's screen time to play out, it never really went anywhere. And if you haven't watched Casino Royale recently, or memorized it, you'll be even more lost, because Bond's every action in this film is a response to that one.
It's sad to see a once-great franchise brought back from the brink, only to be dangled over the edge again. With any luck, the next movie will be be better written and much better directed. As it is, I wish this one had starred Pierce Brosnan or Timothy Dalton, so I would feel better about never watching it again.
On Saturday, December 6, from 10 am -
3 pm IDW will be having a parking lot sale! With special guests. A
number of comic book creators will be on hand offering free autographs
on their work, including Ben Templesmith (Wormwood, 30 Days of Night),
Chris Ryall (Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show, Zombies vs.
Robots), and Chris Mowry (Transformers).
sale gives IDW a chance to thank fans for their continued support and
for helping with the company's phenomenal growth over the past few
years. IDW was recently ranked No. 4 comic book publisher in the United
States by Diamond Comic Distributors.
sale is primarily intended to free up space in IDW's warehouse for the
company's expanded and exciting line up of titles in 2009.
warehouse manager is literally buried," says IDW's Chief Operating
Officer, Greg Goldstein. "After 10 years of publishing, it's only
natural that the boxes have piled up because of accidental print
overruns, books that were set aside as office copies, books intended
for reviewers and others earmarked for promotional purposes. Time to
get them out of here."
The sale will be held in IDW's parking lot, 5080 Santa Fe St, San Diego, CA 92109.
is offering new comics for $1 each (Reg. $3.99 cover). Titles include -
subject to availability - 30 Days of Night, Transformers, Star Trek,
Wormwood, Spike, Fallen Angel, Dr. Who, Scarface, Gene Simmons, Metal
Gear Solid, Clive Barker, Zombies vs. Robots, and CSI.
Trade paperbacks / collections will be $5 each (Reg. $19.95-$24.95 each).
Other books, comics and magazines will be up to 80% OFF cover price.
Most items are brand new; some with nicks and dings.
There will also be some limited edition and signed editions TBD, along with special surprises.
· Signed and numbered, limited edition copies of Clive Barker's Thief of Always (hardcover) only $10!
· Limited edition Zombies vs. Robots Bertie statue regularly priced at $350 will be reduced to $250.
(All prices are in effect day of sale only and are not applicable online.)