Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Latest installment of Mayor of Wissahickon Creek

It looks like things are heating up in today's strip by A-Town Krolikowski!! Be sure to keep up with the latest adventures and goings on of Mayor Bubblebop, Holly and the other inhabitants of Wissahickon Creek at Flying Kite Media and past strips can be found at Interview-Press.

Dark Knight Returns: Part One


Warner Premiere has done some really great adaptations of the DC Superheroes over the past few years. Their treatment of New Frontiers and Batman: Year One immediately come to mind. Then again, DC had a bit of the upperhand on Marvel in the 1990's. They were releasing the Batman Animated Series while Marvel was trying to pass off terribly animated versions of both Spider-Man and The X-Men.

However, that cannot really be said anymore since Marvel has for the most part caught up with DC in both the animation and big-budget movie game. Aside, from Superhero Squad. In the case of the Summer Blockbusters, Marvel may have very well surpassed DC with hits like Iron Man, the Avengers and the recent Emo-mazing Spider-Man movie.

Although DC has had tremendous success with the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy, movies like Green Lantern and the previous Brandon Routh Superman endeavor proved to be less than successful. However, their hoping to have success by hitting the reboot buttom on the next Superman movie sans Routh. Which was something they should have done in the first place instead of just making a continuation of the Christopher Reeves movies.

Time will tell.

With that said, I still feel DC has one up on Marvel at least as far as animated films are concerned. And the trailer for their upcoming (and I'm sure highly anticipated) animated movie based on Frank Miller's classic Dark Knight Returns looks like it's going to be another good one for them. After watching the trailer, I can't wait to check it out. Check it out for yourself below:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sneak Peek at the Casque of Amontillado


Here are the first three pages of The Casque of Amontillado. A graphic novel I have been working on between projects since March.

I wanted to do a different version of Poe's tale utilizing two things that have fascinated me over the past several years. One of which being the Capuchin Catacombs in Rome and the other being the Catrina's and the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico.

Since Amontillado is set during both a city-wide celebration and deep within underground vaults I thought both elements would be suitable for my version of the tale.

The mask Fortunato is wearing in the first panel is actually based on gravestone art. In particular the art found at the top of colonial gravestones. I had thought about having him wearing make-up but I decided I would have him wear a removable mask. And I thought the looks of the winged skulls found on those particular gravestones fit the feel of the story. Just sans wings.

Right now I'm in the computer graphics phase of the project as well as in the process of touching things up as well. So I'm hoping to have everything ready by the end of August at the latest.

So par usual, I will announce the books release on this blog. Stay tuned!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Paul Loudon

I came across an artist based in Manchester England by the name of Paul Loudon (who also goes by the name Lantern Jaw) on the web. I really like the work he's doing on a proposed comic book called Bust-Up which features a team of female superheroes as pictured in the image above. His work on that reminds me of a cross between Dan Clowes, Darwyn Cooke with a touch of Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez from the Love and Rockets series.

But a great deal of his work is not in this particular style. But I think it's one that works really well for this project and I would definitely get my hands on a copy when he releases the series.

Check out his work on his website:

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Cask of Amontillado

I'm just finished the penciling and inking stage of The Cask of Amontillado. A graphic novel I have been working on periodically since March of this year. It was a promise I made to my wife Syd as a Birthday gift. She requested me to do at least 10 pages before we go out to dinner tomorrow.

As someone who tries my best to keep my promises, not only did I finish 10 pages, but I just finished the book...

...well, sort of. Now I have to get into the computer aspect of the project which consists of scanning the pages, adding gray-tones and text. But I've completed penciling and inking.

This was also the first project I didn't work with a script but just worked directly from the text. I had a hardback version of The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe I bought from Good Will. Not a bad one either with some interesting illustrations. Definitely not as good as Harry Clarke's Poe work. But they did the trick.

But if everything goes according to plan. I should have the book together and ready for the end of August at the latest. Which should hopefully be in enough time for stART on the Street.

No teaser pages yet, I'm afraid. You'll just have to wait...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The latest installments of Mayor of Wissahickon Creek

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If you have not been keeping up with the goings on at Wissahickon Creek then you've been missing out on probably one of the best and original strips to come out in a very long time.

My old chum A-Town Krolikowski had been working on this strip for well over a year now and he officially launched it a few weeks back. And the only place you can check it out at is Flying Kite. Click on the link below to keep up with the adventures of Mayor Bubblebop and the other inhabitants of Wissahickon Creek. And who will end up being mayor?

You'll just have to keep reading to find out:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

House of Dark Shadows (1970)

I admit I didn't grow up watching the series. I knew of the series from relatives that grew up watching it. True story but my Aunt Mary used to have nightmares about Quentin Collins. I'm not sure if it was ghost Quentin, werewolf Quentin or his sideburns that made her wake up screaming. But it was a series I knew about growing up.l

And now Syd and I are hopelessly hooking being up to I think DVD Collection Four. We're just about at the point where Dr. Julia Hoffman's experiments to cure Barnabas have gone horribly wrong causing him to look his true age of 200 or so years old.

I was thrilled to hear that they will be FINALLY releasing House of Dark Shadows on DVD along with the second film Night of Dark Shadows on October 30th. I'm kind of wondering if they are doing this because they're also releasing Tim Burton's adaptation of Dark Shadows around the same time.

House of  Dark Shadows was Dan Curtis's first attept at a big screen version of his television series. Originally he had thought about just cobbling together clips from the series to fit a feature-length movie but the idea was quickly abandoned. Instead he opted to do both a retelling and re-imagining of the first appearance of Barnabas Collins.

Although in this movie, Barnabas was more in the traditionally cruel vampire rather than the more heroic light that had been cast upon the character at that point of the television series.

Many of the actors from the series, including Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins, are present in the movie. Dan Curtis opted to use Kathryn Leigh Scott's character Maggie Evans in the place of Victoria Winters as the Governess. Which makes sense to me since Maggie Evan's character was originally who Barnbas Collins thought was the reincarnation of his long dead fiance Josette in the series.

There's also a change in the setting as well opting for Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown New York over the Cary Mansion in Newport Rhode Island for Collinwood in that movie. I was kind of surprised with the choice since I thought Carey Mansion had the ideal look for the Collin family's house. But it might have just been one of those things where they just could not get permission to film on the grounds. But I'm not sure of that. But the Gothic Revival style of the house does seem to fit the equally gothic style of the movie.

From the clips I've gotten the chance to watch online, I get the feeling this is the way Dan Curtis would have wanted to the television show to be like. Many of the acting seems greatly improved over the series. But to be fair to the actors involved, the original series was produced at a lightning pace. With episodes being produced and then transmitted Monday through Friday there seemed to be very little time to learn lines or to edit. So it's not very surprising actors were constantly flubbing their lines.

Actually David Henesy who reprises his role as David Collins was the biggest surprise to me from the clips I watched. I don't want to be too cruel to him. I mean he was ten at the time he first took the role of David Collins so considering his age and the type of shooting schedule he had to endure, you're not going to get a Macbeth type of performance. However, he didn't look at the camera as much as the young actress who played Sarah Collins.

But he seems to get a chance to shine in this movie in the role. Especially the scene in which he confronts Caroline at the pool.

Despite the success of the movie and the popularity of the series, the series itself went off the air in 1971. However, there was a second Dark Shadows movie planned but Jonathan Frid chose not to reprise the role of Barnabas Collins wishing to move on to other roles. So, the team opted to go with Quentin Collins and Angelique instead.

I'm looking forward to getting my copy of House of Dark Shadows on DVD. It has a very Hammer Horror feel to it. Hammer must have taken a page out of House of Dark Shadows because a year or so later they would release the first of their modern Dracula films starring Christopher Lee.

But Syd and I are looking forward to getting our hands on the DVD copy and NOT having to spend the ridiculous prices some people are trying to charge for a VHS tape online.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Roger Corman Rises Again

I think Roger Corman is quite possibly the most intriguing figure in B-Movies. And there have been a lot of intriguing figures from Ed Wood to Bert I. Gordon.

What makes Corman so unique is after making a slew of B-Movies such as It Conquered the World, The Wasp Woman and Attack of the Crab Monsters he did a total about face and produced a series of very high quality based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Most if not all star Vincent Price.

Many of which I own and use in my film appreciation class. Despite taking deviations from Poe's original text, the films remained true to the spirit of Poe's work.

He also gave actors like William Shatner, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper and Robert DeNiro their first big break in movies as well as mentoring your filmmaker like Francis Ford Coppolla and Ron Howard. Roger was also the first person to do a live-action film based on the Fantastic Four back in 1994. And from what I have heard, as bad and campy as the film is, it's still better than the two big-budget Fantastic Four Films that came out 11 years later.

Now at the spritely age of 86 Sir Roger is set to produce (AND in 3D no less) Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader made it's Comic Con debut over the weekend. A send up of the B-Movie Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, which was a film Corman himself didn't make. But seemed like the type of film he should have made. Starring Sean Young, the other half of the Raimi brother Ted Raimi and a cast of no one I have ever heard of. Judging by the trailer, the production of this movie looks like it was filmed on a digital camcorder and edited on either iMovie or Windows Moviemaker.

Not quite the quality of his Poe inspired movies. But judging from the trailer I imagine Roger Corman is going for cheesecake rather than crafting the type of quality he put into his Poe films.

And he makes it pretty clear what the selling point of the film is. I would say he is going back to his Wasp Woman roots of the classic B-Movie. And then some.

I really don't see myself waiting in lines at the theaters... or on Youtube... or however they decide to release the film. But you have to give Roger Corman credit. He's never been afraid to take a risk making the types of films he wants. May it be Wasp Women or Poe. And maybe at some point they'll finally release his version of the Fantastic Four.

And I did enjoy Ted Raimi's line from the trailer.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

It's been at least 15 or 16 years since I've sat down and watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit all the way through. Not because I thought it was a bad film. I was blown away when I first saw it in the theaters back in 1988. However, I think a combination of watching my old VHS copy to death as well as the inevitable onslaught of Who Framed Roger Rabbit merchandise and subsequent theatrical shorts released by Disney that paled in comparison to the original wore me out for a while.

Over the years I've watched snippets. Either on television or when they would show (repeatedly) on Cartoon Network. But I hadn't sat down and watched it all the way though since I was a gawky teen. Years before I would become a gawky adult.

Until a couple nights ago. I had bought it on DVD a year or so back but haven't made the time to sit down and watch it.

I feel the movie has aged pretty good. Sometimes movies don't age very well because either the story or the humor is stuck in a certain time period or the special effects become extremely dated. Roger Rabbit still impresses me. The combination of live action and animation was not only innovative for it's time but I find it innovative even now.

It wasn't the first movie to do this. There had been several before it. However, it was really the first film to combine the two and make it believable. The attention to detail right down to the filmmakers going to great lengths to make it looks as though the actors were looking right at the animated characters.

A lot of films made either before or after Roger Rabbit, it's obvious the actors were not even looking at the characters. And to this date I don't think a film has surpassed what the filmmakers achieved with Roger Rabbit.

My least favorite artist/animator on the planet Ralph Bakshi attempted a more grittier and adult live action/animation called Cool World about a couple years later in 1990 was met to a very poor reception.

While an audience found the innuendo's of Jessica Rabbit playing "Pattycake" with Toontown's human owner Marvin Acme to be cute (because that's pretty much all they were doing), audiences and critics seemed less than enthused about the idea of human's and toons having relations.

Or perhaps they were less than enthused about the thought of having relations with Kim Basinger either in human or toon form. Who knows.

Although, truth be told, the original novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf which the film was based on was pretty dark and less than family friendly.

With cartoons almost completely done on the computer nowadays, I really see a film like Roger Rabbit being done nowadays. Sure, you can still do a live action/animated film with computer. And probably quicker than Roger Rabbit was produced (three years of production).

But I feel it loses that warm and quality you can only get from drawn animation and hand painted cels.

I'll be honest with you all. I hope they don't make a sequel to Roger Rabbit. There are some films that were just the right movie for the right time. I feel that Roger Rabbit is one of those movies. And if they were to try and recapture that magic, it would just come off a little paler than the original.

Commissioned Work: Seventh Doctor and Ace (9x12 pen and ink)

A piece I did for a Mr. Kenneth Tabor depicting the Seventh Doctor and his companion Ace as portrayed by Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred in the late 1980's.

I decided to give McCoy's Doctor a waistcoast similar to the one he was depicted in wearing on the cover of future Doctor Who and Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss's novel St. Anthony's Fire instead of the question marked pullover he wore during his tenure. Which Sylvester McCoy apparently hated.

Ace is dressed as she appeared in the television episode Curse of Fenric in 1940's attire and hairstyle. But still wearing her bomber jacket with patches on it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The latest installment of Mayor of Wissahickon Creek

If you have not been keeping up with the Mayor of Wissahickon Creek by A-Town Krolikowski, you have been missing out. This week's strip takes place at the Red Cake Festival and it looks as though the mayor is getting an early taste of all the red fluffy cakes.

Keep track of the adventures of Bubblebop and his fellow inhabitants of Wissahickon Creek as the race for mayor continues to hot up at Flyingkitemedia.com and be sure to follow A-Town and the strip on Interview-press.com's Facebook page.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Brenda and Effie

A commission I did for writer Paul Magrs based on his delightful and wickedly charming Brenda and Effie Mysteries. Which features the stars of the series Brenda (the Bride of Frankenstein) and her friend Effie on the right hand side of the illustration along with some their more villainous characters from the series as well as the not-so-villainous Art Critic Panda from his other fan favorite series Iris Wildthyme who are looking on from the left.

If you have not read Paul's Brenda and Effie Mysteries you are really missing out on a fun series!! I highly recommend you check them out!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Doctor Who: Nest Cottage

An illustration I did depicting the Fourth Doctor as portrayed by Tom Baker in Nest Cottage. A place created by author Paul Magrs which first appeared in a series he wrote for the Fourth Doctor titled The Hornets Nest.

Ths series was the first time Tom Baker had played the part of the Doctor since his final appearance in the 1981 television episode Logopolis. Paul got the pleasure of being the first person to write for his Doctor.

The way Paul had originally described Nest Cottage to me is it was a bit like Merlin's House. A mix of the Doctor's travels. Past, present and future. So, I was sure to add a few items from the Doctor's future self such as the jackets he wore in his Fifth and Sixth incarnations as well as the question mark handled umbrella he carried in his seventh.

There's even a picture of the Doctor's first incarnation with a smaller painting of his granddaughter Susan next to him.

I even added Panda sitting next to him reading a copy of The House at Pooh Corner. Panda was a character created for Paul's Iris Wildthyme series. It's a stuffed panda who travels with Iris.

The woman glowering nearest the window would be the Doctor's landlady Mrs. Wibbsey. A bit like the Doctor's very own Mrs. Hudson who keeps an eye on the place when the Doctor is off traveling through time and space.

I also decided to create a different version of the Doctor's costume for this series. Although, this series is supposed to take place somewhere in the middle of Baker's tenure as the Doctor. Somewhere in between the Invasion of Time and The Ribos Operation which were on television between 1977 to 1978. I decided to a version of the Fourth Doctor's costume that was a cross between the one he was wearing during that period and one that he wore in his last year as the Doctor.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Plethora of Poets at Annie's Book Stop of Worcester

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is holding a reading and signing for six different, local poets from 7 pm to 9 pm on Friday, July 27th. The poets that will be there include Lori Desrosiers, Eve Rifkah, Joshua Michael Stewart, Susurrus Din, Dan Lewis, and Paul Richmond. All... poets will be reading from their own works, and signing books.


Lori Desrosier’s first full-length book of poems, The Philosopher’s Daughter, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2013. She has a chapbook, Three Vanities (2009). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.


Eve Rifkah is author of Dear Suzanne (WordTech Communications, 2010, and Outcasts (Little Pear Press, 2010). She was founding editor of the literary journal Diner, and co-founder of Poetry Oasis, Inc., a non-profit poetry association for local poets. For more on Eve Rifkah, check out: http://www.everifkahwriter.com/


Joshua Michael Stewart has had poems published in multiple journals. He currently has two chapbooks out, Vintage Gray (2007) and Sink Your Teeth into the Light (2012). Visit him at http://www.joshuamichaelstewart.yolasite.com/



Susurrus Din owes much to the Masters of the Macabre, Gothis Horror, and World Myth/Folklore. A tome of his photography and poetry, Mendicant the Hidden, Votary of the Sepulcher, has been recently unleashed.


Dan Lewis lives on the edge of the Patch Reservoir in Worcester, MA. He is the author of the chapbook, Tickets for the Broken Year, and a full-length poetry collection, This Garden. His work has been published in many journals.


Paul Richmond started writing 37 years ago by keeping a journal. Many of his works have been collected to create "No Guarantees – Adjust and Continue" and "Ready or Not – Living in the Break Down Lane" with a third book due out in June 2012. He runs Human Error Publishing. Visit him at: http://www.humanerrorpublishing.com/


For more information on the event, please contact Annie's at (508)-796-5613 or check out their website at

http://www.anniesbookstopworcester.com/

Eric Sykes, CBE: 4 May 1923 - 4 July 2012


I would imagine not many young folks really remember Eric Sykes. Although, I suppose if I said he was the Old Muggle Caretaker in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire some might say "Oh him!" but still not really know who he is.

Eric Sykes was a big influence on British comedy in the 1950's and 1960's. He wrote some of the funniest episodes of The Goon Show alongside Spike Milligan. For those of you unfamiliar with the Goons, it was a British radio comedy from the 1950's which starred Peter Sellers alongside Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe. He would later star in many British sitcoms during the 1950s' and 60's alongside both Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers as well as a movie roles during that time. He also had a few key roles in some of the films of that era. A couple of them as the comic side kick to gap toothed British comic Terry-Thomas.

Although most of his starring roles seemed to dry up after 1989, he continued to keep busy appearing in various supporting roles such as the mini-series Gormaghast in 2000 as well as movies such as Goblet of Fire and the Others. Just to name a few.

What's kind of a shame nowadays is many young people don't bother with old movies or old television shows because they think just because it's considered "old" it's going to be boring. So many movies, shows and actors get swept under the carpet because our society has sadly become so narrow-minded when it comes to the past. We miss out on so much because we're not willing to give something we're unfamiliar with a chance. And we create opinions on things that we don't know much about.

But if you happen to enjoy Monty Python and Saturday Night Live (which Loren Michaels has mentioned was influenced by Python), then you have Eric Sykes work from those early days of radio and television comedy to thank for that.

2012 is kind of turning into a rough year as far as the passing of many beloved celebrities. Just yesterday it was Andy Griffith and now today Eric Sykes.

I should mention on a side note, that Eric Sykes was in fact the basis for the butler Maladay in my graphic novel The Spaghetti Strand Murder.

But I'm very sorry to hear about Eric Sykes passing. A lot of his writing with the Goons and his influences on later British comedies has influenced me greatly.