19 November 2005

Y'Know, I Always Thought Pietro Maximoff Looked A Bit Like Don DeLillo...

Comics artists never get any respect--think about it, the form demands that one be proficient in the drawing of figures and faces (human, animal, or otherwise), architecture, vehicles, costumes, foreign locales (earthbound and otherwise), and speculative design for characters and environments as yet unrealized (and then there's cramming in all of those insane balloons and sound effects, too). And yet there are many who feels that all these guys can doodle are big galoots in tights and capes. Well, Steven Gettis has been commissioning some of the giants of the field to render portraits of their favourite literary figures, or scenes from favorite literary works, and the results are amazing and should hopefully convince the woefully uninformed (but I won't hold my breath). "The Sandman"s Dave McKean does Salman Rushdie, "Spider-Man"s John Buscema gives us Mark Twain, and "From Hell"s Eddie Campbell interprets Hemingway, among many others. Check out this very cool gallery here.

18 November 2005

So Does This Happen Before Or After He Installs Seinfeld's DVD Player?

Okay, so it doesn't show much--that's why they call it a "teaser", Brainiacs. But "Superman Returns" is finally on its way (although it won't arrive in theatres until June 30 of next year), and the first official trailer made its debut today. What little is revealed is certainly promising: Alex Ross-influenced visuals, Williams' classic score, and Brando back as Jor-El--its only handicaps appear to be Brandon Routh's inexperience and director Bryan Singer's decision to make this one a sequel to the Reeve saga rather than a start- from-Kryptonian-square-one remake. Catch it with "Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire" this weekend, or, check it out here at the official site. And be sure to pick up the first issue of Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely's "All Star Superman" #1--state of the art comics storytelling at its very best.

13 November 2005

"No Bloodied T-Shirt, No Razor Wire, No Samurai Sword, No Service"

You've seen the movie more than once, bought the very fine Chip Kidd reissues of the original graphic novels, and will gladly double-dip for the upcoming DVD special edition (due Dec. 13). If you're that kind of "Sin City" fan (and if you frequent this location, chances are you've coughed nervously), then you might want to cash in some of your collectible Frank Miller originals for a plane ticket to Japan, where Miramax/Dimension has hatched the coolest merchandising spin-off I've ever seen: a fully-functional theme restaurant! Geez--whatever happened to bumper stickers and keychains?

The walls are covered with Miller art, monitors play the trailers, select scenes, and making-of spots, props and costumes are on display. On the menu, special drinks named after the characters: the "Marv", the "Miho" , and even a "Yellow Bastard". Read the drink menu here. Best of all, there's a strip club stage with dancers, but sadly, not a Jessica Alba lookalike in sight.

Set up in Tokyo's Kita- Aoyama to promote the film's fall release in Japan, the bar is reported to remain in business until year's end only. Perhaps Willis can talk his Planet Hollywood partners into considering a makeover...

12 November 2005

Happy Birthday, "Mr. Shakey"

I'm not much of a flag-waving nationalist, but here's a bonafide Canadian treasure worth celebrating: Neil Young turned 60 on Saturday, November 12, after having only recently recovered from brain surgery. And losing his father. And having performed an entire week on Conan O'Brien. And having performed at Farm Aid. And Live 8. And a concert for Hurricane Katrina relief. And 2005 ain't over yet.

Official "Neil Young Day" is November 20 in Rome, Italy. But why not bring it all back home and celebrate true living genius right here?

08 November 2005

Does That Mean "Dangerous Visions 3" Is Just Around The Corner?

MIA for far too long, multi-award winning wordsmith extraordinaire (don't call him a science fiction writer!) Harlan Ellison is back in action. After some health problems and a lengthy lawsuit with AOL over copyright issues, Ellison has reportedly signed a deal via Dark Horse Comics to bring his anthology series "Dream Corridor" to the big screen. I don't care if he's writing commercial jingles or plots for the WWE--I'm just glad he's doing something other than reissuing anthologies under new covers.

IMHO, Ellison is among the 20th century's most brilliant writers--and sorely undervalued, much like his buddy Stephen King, due to his association with genre fiction (even though he cringes at the label). He's created some of the most unforgetable and ground-breaking works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror in virtually every medium from prose fiction ("Repent, Harlequin, Said The Tick Tock Man"), television and film (Star Trek's "City On The Edge Of Forever"), comics ("Dream Corridor", "Daredevil", "The Hulk"), and even videogames ("I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream"). He marched with Martin Luther King in 1965, once nearly slugged Frank Sinatra, and sued James Cameron for a screen credit on the original "Terminator". If you've ever had the good fortune to attend one of his live appearances, you'll be familiar with his abrasive wit and impassioned opinions on...well, just about everything and anything.

Check out Ellison's official homepage here. And here's a comprehensive fansite that chronicles his comics-related projects and appearances.

02 November 2005

"Walk The Line" Reviewed At Movieforum

Christmas season is almost upon us, and you know what that means (film wise, that is): Oscar bait! Which translates into: BIOPICS! One of the better ones is James Mangold's routine but still worthy look at the early career of The Man In Black himself. Read my TIFF 2005 review of "Walk The Line" here. And check out SOTA Toys' cool Johnny Cash action figure, due to hit shelves soon. The guitar's got real strings!