Thursday, December 29, 2011

Visit my Etsy Shop

Over the last couple of months I've been tweaking and updating my Etsy Shop. Mostly I've been selling prints of my art rather than the originals. I should be adding more prints soon, but if you would like to check out what I have currently available for purchase click on the link below:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

That Hideous Strength (A Modern Fairy-Tale for Grown-Ups)

That Hideous Strength is the third and final novel in C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy which was preceeded by the novels Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra.

It is also my favorite novel in the series.

I feel as though if C.S. Lewis had lived long enough, he could have written for Doctor Who. As a matter of fact Lewis passed away on 22 November 1963. A day before Doctor Who made it's television debut.

That Hideous Strength has all the trappings of a great Doctor Who episode. Enigmatic figure in the form of Dr. Elwin Ransom. A rather nasty paramilitary group known as N.I.C.E which is in fact which is a front for sinister supernatural forces as well as bits and bobs of Greek Mythology and Arthurian Legend woven into it.

In short, the trappings for the perfect Doctor Who story.

The series on a whole I would highly recommend you pick up. I found them to be very enjoyable on the whole. However, I definitely found That Hideous Strength to be by far my favorite in the series.

I think if you're a fan of Doctor Who you will enjoy it in particular.

New Years in Northampton

Well, after staying relatively local and nearly getting killed getting a table (even after making reservations earlier in the week) at Bauhinia's Restaurant last year. Syd and I decided we'd spend New Years in Northampton this year.

Some friends of ours were going out there for New Years and asked if we wanted to meet up with the for dinner and drinks afterward. I have mentioned in the past my undying love for the city. I even spent my night out before the wedding there on a mini barhop.

The nice thing is everything is within walking distance. So you don't have to drive halfway across town to enjoy everything.

We decided since it's a bit of a hike for us to drive out there, why not make it into a mini-vacation out of the trip. It seemed ridiculous to drive all the way out there to drive all the way back at midnight. So we booked ourselves in the Howard Johnson for a couple of nights and do a little exploring on New Years day.

This will be our first trip since Newport. It'll be nice to get away and relax before our work schedules swing into high gear again.

Incidentally, I recommend going to Bauhinia Restaurant anytime other than New Years. It's probably one of the best Chinese/Japanese Restaurants in the area. And you really need to sit down and enjoy it's charm when it isn't so crowded.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Superman: Man of Steel (2013)

Well, this is the second picture I've seen of Henry Cavill's Superman reboot. I really don't know how I feel about the look of it on a whole. However, to be fair, by comparison it does look better than Brandon Routh's costume which looks like someone on the production crew ran out to iParty to buy last minute.Even Cavill looks a bit more like Superman than Routh did. Cavill looks like he could kick your ass.

And it looks like at this point Christopher Nolan and company are going in the right direction with a Superman film than the previous debacle with Superman Returns. If they did a straight-out relaunch of the Superman movies rather than just a continuation of the Christopher Reeves films the movie might have been palatable.

Too many years had past between the last Christopher Reeves film and the Brandon Routh film. The character needed a fresh start and Superman Returns was more of the same.

And from all appearances at this time, it looks like Man of Steel might be that shot in the arm the series needs. Nolan had already done a really great job with the Batman series. So time will tell if he will have the same success with Supes that he did with Bats.

As for the costume. I really don't know. What do you think?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Untitled Batman Reboot (2015)

The latest (and final) installment of the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy hasn't even reached theaters and Warner Brothers is already in the works for the Caped Crusaders relaunch in 2015!!

I've heard from one source it will be in the form of a live action television series.

Some fan sites and messageboards are already speculating the cast. Or who they would cast. As far as who I think should star as Batman. I really don't know who I would cast. I really can't think of an actor offhand who just screams "I'm Batman"!

However, I have mentioned it in the past how I would approach a Batman movie, television series or whatever. As much as I've enjoyed Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, I think the dark storyline and the equally dark costume has been done to death.

They've been using the same theme for the Batman costume since Tim Burton's film all the way back to 1989. I think it's time to go in a new direction with the character and the story.

And NO I am NOT suggesting going back to the Joel Schumacher style movies with flashy disco Batmobiles and Bat Nipples.

However, I wouldn't mind seeing the next Bat costume being a throwback to the Neal Adams Jim Aparo style.

Maybe without the blue mask. But I think the basic design could work for a Batman film going forward. They used something along the lines of the Neal Adams design but obviously more inspired by Alex Ross (but without Batman looking fat).

It worked well for a few Batman films made by a couple independent filmmakers. Most notably the Batman film Dead End.

I also think it's time to move away from the emotionally scarred Bruce Wayne of the last few movies. That's been done to death too. The idea is by the time he has become the Batman he has come to terms with his parents death. He's Batman because that's who he really is. Bruce Wayne is the mask. Batman is who he really sees himself as.

Not saying making the movie Batman-lite. More like Batman meets Indiana Jones.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises

My buddy and film buff Andy Fish has mentioned in past blog posts "the curse of the three-quel". And there's a lot of truth and wisdom in what he has to say.

A Three-quel is the third movie in the series. A lot of people (including me) have always given the sequel a bad wrap. There have been quite few sequels I've seen that have been a better effort than the original. The Empire Strikes Back and Batman: The Dark Knight have been better efforts than the original. Heck, I even enjoyed the second Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes better than the first one.

Sure there have been a great many corkers in a sequel. But the third movie is the diciest.

However, there have been a few exceptions to the rules. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is one that comes to mind where I found the third movie much more enjoyable than the second. They went back to an enjoyable formula of the first movie without being repetitive.

Superman III or Batman Forever are a prime examples of when a third movie can go horribly, horribly wrong.

The latest and last installment of the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy I feel could go either way. It could be a pleasant surprise and a fun roller coaster ride of excitement and action.

But it also has the possibility of being overkill. The introduction of multiple villains might be the movie's undoing. Too much of too much in one film.

Although, I don't mind so much having Catwoman AND an additional key villain. I don't really consider Catwoman completely a villain since even in Batman Returns you don't feel like her motivations are necessarily bad. Most of the recent interpretations I feel she's not out to hurt anyone. Just to get a couple kicks. Illegal kicks, yes. But not the "world domination" motives of the classic baddie.

I did have a problem with both the Riddler and Two Face in the same movie. Because they are both villains that can carry a movie on their own. If done right.

Hell, in the right hands even the Riddler could be turned into a very menacing and psychotic baddie. If the question marked leotard bothers you, he's got the option of the bowler hat and suit.

They also finally got Two Face right in the last movie. Almost. Too short of an appearance. Aaron Eckhart just made me wanting to see more of the character. They could have easily cut his scenes short and saved his first appearance for the next film. He could have easily carried it.

Also the thought of Christian Bale's Batman's voice where I feel like the theater should put up the Closed Captioning whenever he's on the screen makes me uneasy. I don't think he's the worst Batman of all time.

However, Val Kilmer still gets the award of the most unconvincing Batman.

I'm impressed with what I've seen in the trailers of Tom Hardy who is playing Bane in this film. THIS seems more like the Bane from the 1990's Knightfall series. Forget mindless thug you saw in Batman and Robin. This seems more like a Moriarty type Bane. His brains just as deadly as his brawn.

Even in the comics I never really saw Bane as a villain that could carry a movie. But I might be proven wrong.

I like the introduction of Catwoman. However, I'm not terribly sure about Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. I've just found myself annoyed by her in some of the movies I saw. Again, I might be proven wrong.

This movie has a lot going for it. But it has a lot that could end up being it's undoing. We shall see.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Lion in Winter (1968 film)

The Lion in Winter starring Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn has to be THE BEST anti-Christmas movie that was ever produced. Now don't get your pantaloons in a knot when I say anti-Christmas. I don't mean anti in the sense that it is opposed to the Christmas season. I mean that it is not like the normal "warm and fuzzy" holiday movies.

Apart from Peter O'Toole's beard, there is nothing "warm and fuzzy" about this movie. Here is possibly the most dysfunctional family in the history of dysfunctional families. Hell, they make the Kardashians look like the Waltons.

Okay, that's stretching it perhaps but you get the idea.

The story is set in Christmastide 1183. Henry Plantagenet's (or Henry II) sons all want to kill him and the feeling is mutal. He has locked his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine Salisbury Tower at Windsor Castle and only brings her out at the Holiday Season.

Eleanor wants her eldest son Richard to succeed Henry on the throne but Henry wishes his youngest son John on the throne because he has arranged for John to marry his own mistress Alais.

Yes you read that right. Prince John was going to marry Henry II's mistress.

Although the movie itself is historically inaccurate. The first Christmas tree wasn't used till 1441 (this movie takes place in 1183) and gift giving was not re-instated till a later date. Christmas gift giving was banned by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages due to its suspected pagan origins. And none of the dialogue and actions in the film were not historical.

But that doesn't make it a bad film. Both a stellar starring cast and some really great lines make this a great film.

Peter O'Toole as Henry II and Katherine Heburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine shine in this film. The barbs the two throw at one another just keep you glued to your seat. They work so well together that you forget there was a huge age difference existed between the two.

You also get the opportunity to see a very young Sir Anthony Hopkins as Richard (future king of England) and Timothy Dalton as King Philip II of France. Both in their motion picture debuts.

That's what a good film should. The performances are so good that you immediately forget about some of the films technical shortcomings.

If you're sick of the usual Christmas type movies and want to see something different this year. Why not pop A Lion in Winter into the old DVD player. Perhaps it doesn't have the happy ending of the normal Christmas films. However, the ending should leave you amused.

'Tis the season... or so I've been told...

Sometimes I wonder if department stores should be playing the song I Hate People from the musical Scrooge.

I would never ever say Christmas is my least favorite holiday. However, I think all the crowds, traffic and pressure that goes along with the holidays can definitely dampen the spirits.

And the fact that people immediately associate stress with the Holiday Season tells me "There's something wrong with that". Dreadfully wrong. Shouldn't a holiday be a time of rest and relaxation?

It's hard to have a "Holly Jolly Christmas" when you want to deck the person who just cut you off in line while they talk at a great volume on their cell phone because they figure everyone should be aware of this all important conversation they are having.

And even if you're not standing in line. Traffic on the highway has become so horrific that you're either stuck in traffic two hours longer than you would have ever wanted in several life times and two past lives.

What's worse. I heard there were three really horrific accidents close to where I live just this past Wednesday during the longest night of the year. Two out of three of those were head on accidents. And two out of the three someone involved died.

I don't know if it had anything to do with holiday stress, impatience or road rage. But it does make me sad.

Okay, so here's my wish for the this Holiday Season. We stop focusing on the pressure of getting the ideal gift and just enjoy the time we have with the people we love.

So get off the road tonight. Put your feet up. Get together with good friends and family. And just CHILL OUT!!!

Perhaps we'll appreciate the season much more if we do that.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Blazing Stewardesses (1975)

Sometimes in life we think about the "What could have been" with a sense of longing and and a far off look in our eyes.

And sometimes we're simply just better off than "What could have been".

In the case of a sex comedy starring the surviving Three Stooges, I think the world dodged a bullet.

Watch the trailer from the film above and you might be inclined to agree with me.
I had mentioned this in passing a couple times on this blog but after Larry Fine's death in 1975 Moe Howard had decided that he was not quite ready to retire the act and hired longtime Stooge foil Emil Sitka to fill the "Middle Stooge" role the same way Joe Besser and later Curly Joe were to fill the "Third Stooge" void of Curly and Shemp earlier on.

Not that either of the "Joe's" were great replacements to begin with and the Stooges probably should have packed up their Nyuck's and called it a career after Shemp died of a heart attack...
...however I digress because the point is moot. The act continued after either Curly or Shemp's untimely deaths and it looked as though it was going to continue further after Larry's death. And I'm not sure if this was Moe's idea or not but one of the vehicles they thought might be a great idea for a Three Stooges film was a sex comedy.
A sex comedy, in my opinion, are usually movies like Frankenstein General Hospital, Stewardess School or The Underground Comedy Movie is thinly veiled soft-core porn that is rarely ever funny. Not to mention the attempt at humor in the film are usually just obnoxious.

Most of the time, if you have a friend who is a completely jerk, this is the film they'll bring over and make you watch. Which then makes you wonder why you remain friends with this person.

Never heard of Frankenstein General Hospital? There's a good reason for that.

X-Rated comedies, much like X-Rated cartoons, are the appendix of the film world. They don't really have much of a function and they can be removed as far as I am concerned.

I say this yet one of my favorite Peter O'Toole films The Ruling Class had an X-Rating. So did the John Neville Sherlock Holmes film A Study in Terror. However, unlike the movies I just mentioned, both films had substance to them and the sex that did appear was very minimal. In the case of the Sherlock Holmes film, it was nonexistent.

And this would have been the fate of the Three Stooges. Their final films in the 1960's with Curly Joe were bad enough. But think how awful it would have been to see a 77 year old Moe Howard whose sight gag would probably consist of him running face first into a woman's cleavage? Or accidentally ripping a woman's panties off. Or perhaps the Stooges walking into a room where a couple is having sex.

With Moe's passing shortly after Larry Fine's the world was spared and this turkey was handed over to the two surviving Ritz Brothers.
As seen above the Ritz Brothers looking like they're appearing in a commercial for Preparation H. Did I mention my late Grandfather hated the Ritz Brothers?

Although, Curly Joe DeRita continued to perform live into the mid-1970s with Mousie Garner and Frank Mitchell as "The New 3 Stooges" this line-up would never make a movie and would ultimately retire in 1979.

Even though the original line-up would die with Moe Howard, I feel as though the Stooges in their purest form would die with Curly and Shemp.
All in all, let's count our lucky stars that The Three Stooges swan song wasn't Blazing Stewardesses.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The real story behind "The Two Darrins" on Bewitched.

You've probably asked yourself from time to time why did Darrin Stephens suddenly looks so different in later seasons of Bewitched?

And if Samathan Stephens was really that brilliant why didn't she immediately notice?

Well, while I can't answer the second question, I can answer the first question. Darrin Stephens was murdered during Summer Repeats after the Fifth Season of Bewitched by a man who was the direct descendant of Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins who had been sent to kill Samantha.

Samantha doesn't find out about this until til after the series is canceled in 1972.

I mean what do you think happened? Dick Sargent replaced Dick York due to reoccurring health problems and the producers wanted everyone just to accept that it's just the same Darrin? That's just as silly as believing Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Tony Randall and Jack Klugman were all Oscar Madison and Felix Unger.

A couple more holiday auctions... for the road...

Here's your chance to win a copy of either Gloomy Presentiments of Thing to Come or Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner. Or both.

And since 'Tis the Season, or so I have been lead to believe, the winning bidder of Gloomy Presentiments will also win not only their copy PERSONALLY inscribed to them by author Susurrus Din and myself, they will also receive THE ORIGNAL COVER ART of the book as well.

Click on one or the other image below to start bidding. Happy Holidays and Happy Bidding!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

More Holiday Art Auctions

The image above of Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket is just one of several new pen and ink illustrations on E-Bay. I will be adding more items shortly. Click on the link below and Happy Bidding and Happy Holidays:
Bret's E-Bay Art Auctions

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011)

Syd and I decided to make Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows our date night movie last night. Along with some fine dining at the food court.

Although, I am still not won over with Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes. He's a favorite actor of mine. But I'm still not won over. And I found some of the matrix style filming to be a bit on the jarring side. However, I have to confess I found I enjoyed the latest Sherlock Holmes movie a lot more than I expected.

Syd even caught me red handed chuckling at scenes. It's a fair cop.

There was quite a bit of the new movie to like.

Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) possibly my least favorite character from the last film barely appears in it. So, that was nice. Jude Law, who I felt was the brightest spot in the last film as Dr. Watson, was back in this film. Stephen Fry (seen above) was really born to play Sherlock Holmes's clever (but lazier) older brother Mycroft.

Possibly the biggest pleasant surprise in the new film was Jared "Son of the late Richard" Harris as Professor Moriarty.

I had only seen the junior Harris in one other production and that was a VH1 made for television movie as John Lennon. And it was terrible.

However, I thought he did a really great job as Holmes's "Napoleon of Crime". I enjoyed his performance much better than the "Jim" Moriarty portrayed in the series Sherlock. The only low point of an otherwise brilliant series.

Could have done without the beard. But I kind of wonder if that was a nod to George Zucco in the Basil Rathbone film The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Although, a bit ramped up for a modern audience and some of the facts are a bit jumbled around, I was impressed with how much information Guy Ritchie and co. added from the canon.

If you go into the film to nitpick it, you won't enjoy it. But if you go in with the open mind simply to be entertained, then you might be pleasantly surprised as I was.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Nocturnal Dandy 11x17 color print

Another print I'm debuting for Sunday's show Craftshocker taking place at 34 Suffolk Street in Worcester MA. Right across the street from Vincents. A place I've never been to in the fair Wootropolis.

The scene depicts Sherlock Holmes indulging in a "Three Pipe Problem" in his study at 221B Baker Street. The title came from writer Paul Magrs who wrote a great introduction to my Sherlock Holmes graphic novel.

The print is also available for purchase at Etsy:
The Nocturnal Dandy

Thursday, December 15, 2011

All Creatures Great and Small (1978)

All Creatures Great and Small is one of those television series's I really don't know why I haven't watched sooner. My parents enjoyed the series but I was really too young at the time to really get into it.

It's also another instance where the television series is more remembered than the movie. M.A.S.H is the only other one I can think of.

Syd and I having plowed through Campion, Jeeves and Wooster and currently watching the Cadfael mysteries we decided to give All Creatures Great and Small a try.

I've never seen the film version, but having watched season one, I could not picture anyone other than Christopher Timothy, Robert Hardy and Peter Davison in the roles of James Herriot, Siegfried and Tristan Farnon. And this is saying a lot because I really like Sir Anthony Hopkins (who portrays Siegfried Farnon in the movie) as an actor.

Not to mention, I probably wouldn't believe half the things that happen in the series if my wife didn't work for a veterinary.

I think what adds to the charm of the series is the fact that the stories are loosely based on real cases author James Herriot (which was the pen name for James Alfred Wight)encountered. Which makes scenes like a cow exploding all the funnier.

The series also has a great knack of stirring your emotions with some of the jerks James and his fellow vets have to deal with on the job. I have a feeling if I was in Herriot's place I'd probably lose my job because I would have punched out half of the people in Darrowby and given their horses and cattle lethal inoculations for half the crap they pulled.

But I suppose those sort of trials makes you cheer on James all the more when he succeeds.

Syd and I are already onto season two and we're enjoying it immensely. If you haven't checked out, I highly recommend you give the series a chance.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Art Auctions

Two new art auctions just in time for the Holidays.

It's A Lame Christmas Tree, Charlie Brown (with thanks to Andy Fish for the title idea) 9x12 pen and ink

The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe 9x12 pen and ink

The ideal gift for the Charlie Brown or Doctor Who fans in your life. Simply click on the link below and Happy Bidding:
Bret's E-Bay Auctions

Sign up for classes at the Worcester Art Museum

My class list for December Workshops and Winter Classes is up and running at the Worcester Art Museum.

I'm currently offering The Art of the Cartoon for 8 - 10 Years starting Saturday from 10:00 AM to 12 Noon and Heroes, Villains and Creatures for 5 - 7 Years also on Saturdays from 12:30PM to 2:30PM starting January 14th and running till March 10th.

Spaces for both December Workshops and Winter Classes tend to fill up quickly. You can either stop by the Worcester Art Museum and pick up a brochure. Or simply by clicking on the link below and signing up at the Art Museum website today:
Bret M. Herholz's Class List at WAM

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Turtleboy flies to Etsy

My latest print is based on the Burnside Fountain which is more commonly (and "affectionately") referred to by the inhabitants of the fair metropolis of Worcester Massachusetts as The Turtleboy.

Suitable for framing, it's perfect for that Turtleboy aficionado in your life. Just click on the link below to order yours today:
Legend of the Turtleboy

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New prints on Etsy

It's been a while since I posted anything on Etsy but I have three new color images (seen above) available for purchase.

Click on the link below to visit my store and get all your holiday shopping done in one place and from the comfort of your own home or office:
Bret's Shop at Etsy

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Marx Brothers (2013)

It looks like the Farrelly brothers have done it again!! After bringing the Three Stooges (with three actors who were not the Three Stooges) to the screen and injecting it with the type of humor you've come to expect from their films like There's Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber they've set their sites on yet another famous comedy trio.

And the result? COMEDY GOLD!!

Coming to theaters in the Summer of 2013: THE MARX BROTHERS!!

Starring three actors who are the only people who were born to play the brothers!!

Jim Carrey as Groucho Marx

Adam Sandler as Chico Marx

And only one actor has the range, the looks and depth to star as Harpo Marx.

And that actor is JACK BLACK!!

Groucho, Harpo and Chico are looking for their long lost brother Zeppo (played by Seth Rogen) who has been missing for 20 years. They just didn't bother to go look for him until they found out that he is going to be made a business partner in a multi-million dollar company run by wealthy widow Margaret Dumont (played by Cameron Diaz). If the brothers do not find Zeppo, the contract will go to an evil wealthy mogul(played by Will Ferrell).

Margaret Dumonts daughter (played by Jessica Alba) has been madly in love with Zeppo for all these years and proceeds to help the Brothers in finding her lost love.

Hilarity and hijinks ensue as the brothers travel around the world looking for Zeppo before Midnight at the end of the month. The evil wealthy mogul sends his hired goons to try and kill the brothers before they can find Zeppo.

With celebrity appearances in the movie by Justin Beiber, Simon Cowell, Gwen Stefani, Jimmy Fallon, Donald Trump, Lady Gaga, Hulk Hogan, Katy Perry, the cast from Glee, Ron Jeremy, Michael Bublé, Vanilla Ice and all the Kardashian sisters.

Not to mention a hilarious (and I mean HILARIOUS) guest cameo by Snoop Dogg which Groucho mistakes The Dogg Father's weed for his cigars. Since it is rolled up in a cigar.

As well as a scene in which Groucho proceeds to woo the Kardashian sisters while Harpo is dry humping them. Which Groucho quips, "I see you're trying to get to the bottoms of things" at Harpo. While Chico quips something in mock-Italian

Because in all the witty writing and the brilliant quips you've come to expect from the Marx Brothers what their movies have really lacked is women mistaking semen for hair gel, having chocolates switched with laxatives with the results being 15 minutes of shitting on the toilet only to find out it's broken and accidentally mistaking a bull for a cow and proceeding to come in with a bucket filled with what you milked and a "milk mustache".

The Marx Brothers will have all that.

A pivotal moment in the movie is when the Wealthy and Evil Mogul (still played by Will Ferrell) and his goons have Groucho and the brothers cornered after they finally find Zeppo.

With the treat of being killed, Harpo turns around at the would be attackers, lifts up his coat tails, and proceeds to rip the loudest fart imaginable, which sounds distinctly like the horn he carries around, shattering the windows and sending their would-be attackers flying out the window.

After this happens Groucho quips: "Flatulence will get you nowhere my boy". While Chico quips something in mock-Italian

All ends happy. Zeppo gets the girl and the contract. Groucho gets the widow. Chico quips something in mock-Italian. And everything else that happens with a happy ending.

Oh wait!! There is also a HIL-LAR-RI-OUS surprise appearance by the Three Stooges at the end of the film asking for directions from the Brothers and then Harpo finally saying "Who were those guys?" much to the surprise of everyone as the Stooges leave.

If you're already eagerly anticipating The Three Stooges, just you wait till 2013 for the Farrelly to strike gold again with THE MARX BROTHERS!!

Jerry Robinson 1922-2011

Although, Bob Kane's much debated autobiography Batman and Me published in 1989 would paint himself as the sole creator of the Joker. Then again, Kane also claims in that same book he met Marilyn Monroe and sketched her on the beach with some very dubious looking "sketches". Which look as though they had been done in pen and ink.

However, the real credit behind the creation of the Joker goes to the man you see below. Jerry Robinson.

He also helped create some of Batman's most memorable supporting cast such as Robin the Boy Wonder, Alfred Pennyworth and Harvy "Two-Face" Dent.

You can definitely tell when Jerry Robinson took over penciling duties for Bob Kane in 1943 because the quality of the artwork immediately improved. However, fans wouldn't know this because customary at the time only Bob Kane's signature would appear on the title page.

Robinson was also a crucial supporter of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in their long struggle with DC Comics to win full recognition and compensation as the creators of Superman. Which with the help of other artists and writers won that for them. He went on to Cartoonists & Writers Syndicate/CartoonArts International in 1978 which as of 2010 has more than 550 artists from over 75 countries.

Rest in peace Jerry Robinson and thank you for your contributions in comic art.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What was that old saying? If it ain't broke...

...which can be said for the Three Stooges. Creating a film about the Stooges with actors trying to look and act like Moe, Larry and Curly just doesn't seem right. Like you're committing one of the Seven Deadly Sins. I suppose this one would fit in somewhere between wrath and lust.

Unless you're physically able to reanimated their corpses (although I don't think there is much left of them nowadays) it just feels like something you shouldn't be doing and those who attempt to try have a special place in hell designated to them next to the rapists and Vince from the Shamwow commericals.

And I'm afraid that's the fate of the Farrelly Brothers for having the audacity of producing this film. However, it could have been much worse.

Jim Carrey was originally going to be Curly.

I have no axes to grind against Will Sasso who they chose for Curley in this movie.

Since the Farrelly duo are generally known for bawdy humor like There's Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber (two films I couldn't care less about) I imagine this is what would have happened if the surviving Stooges ended up making that X-Rated comedy Blazing Stewardesses.

However, Moe Howard died before that could be realized so that movie ended going to the surviving Ritz Brothers instead. So, the world was spared of both a Three Stooges sex comedy and a post-Larry Fine line-up of the Stooges which would have featured Emil Sitka in the Larry role.

And having suffered through both the Joe Besser and Curly Joe incarnations of the Stooges, it is good they group didn't go out on a film like that.

Isn't it bad enough their last film was The Outlaws Is Coming?

I cannot say I was very impressed with what I saw in the trailer. See my comments about Blazing Stewardesses above. It's bad enough they're even attempting a Three Stooges film in the first place. But the fact a non-entity like Snooki is connected with this film just feels like they've created an EIGHTH Deadly Sin.

Why can't Hollywood think of new ideas rather than rehashing the past in such a crude way? They tried it with King Kong, Planet of the Apes. Hell, they even tried to remake Night at the Opera as Brain Doners starring John Tuturro and it was awful.

Watch the trailer if you dare. And then pop one of the actual Three Stooges shorts into your DVD player so you can purge the image from your mind.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Another successful stART!!

Photograph viz the T&G website of this year's stART at the Station festival. This year is probably my most successful stART to date!! Not to mention the event seems to get better every year!!

But thank you for everyone who came out to say hello and thank you to everyone involved in putting this year's festivities together!! Syd and I both had a great time and I am looking forward to stART in the Spring.

A couple more "Fuzz Club" photo's

Although these two images didn't appear in the article, they do appear in the image gallery on Worcester Magazine's website. Steven King (no not that one) who photographed "the bearded few" did a really amazing job.

I'm just thrilled an idea I put forward went through. And it was a lot of fun to boot!!