Novelist, comic book writer, and also comic book reviewer for www.BrokenFrontier.com, also website marketing coach for the Online Marketing Solutions company Push Traffic dot com. Incidentally, I am also the worst writer in the world.
It’s an uncontestable fact that Werner Herzog is the greatest living director. His latest documentary Encounters at the End of the World may not be as cathartic or controversial as his dramatic features, but it validates Herzog’s ability to personalize every film that he directs with the creation of hypnotic, surreal images, images that despite their otherworldliness symbolize a litany of urgent, undeniable truths. The most famous of these are the 360-ton steamship being pulled over a hill in the Amazon rainforest in Fitzcarraldo, as well as the dancing chicken and interminable ski-lift ride in the finale of Stroszek. People who have seen multiple Herzog films walk away with images they hold personally to them, like amulets; for me it’s Kaspar Hauser standing immobile in the village square clutching a letter that he can’t read. Only a director like Herzog could go to edge of the planet and make a film that is idiosyncratic. READ THE FULL REVIEW
There are some who would say that Bloodsport was the film Ingmar Bergman intended to make when he directed Wild Strawberries. And to be perfectly serious Bloodsport is the better film.
When Frank Dux’s childhood friend and the son of his martial arts mentor is killed in a Kumite, a bloody underground mixed martial arts championship, Dux (Jean-Claude van Damme) goes AWOL from his army post to travel to Hong Kong to compete in the next Kumite and avenge his fallen friend’s honor. Hot on his trail, two military agents (one played by Forest Whitaker) follow him to protect the army’s investment in Dux’s amazing martial arts talents. With the help of a wrestler with a huge forehead (Donald Gibb from Revenge of the Nerds) also competing in the tournament and a plucky and attractive female journalist, Dux enters the brutal Kumite and displays his excellent fighting skills. But can he beat the man-killing, pec-flexing Chong Li or will he end up like his boyhood buddy? READ THE FULL REVIEW
Dust Devil has suffered from a bad reputation ever since Harvey and somebody Weinstein eviscerated Richard Stanley’s cut of the film from 108 minutes to 87 for its ill-fated theatrical release. Stanley’s previous feature was the cult hit Hardware, which was noted for having made back its micro budget many times over as a video store hit. Why the Weinsteins chose to lop off 20 minutes and remove all the sense from the film is a bit of a mystery. Hopefully, Dust Devil: The Final Cut will redeem the film in the eyes of those who had seen it previously and introduce this gem to a new generation of horror fans.
Set in an arid, remote region of South Africa, Dust Devil follows an enigmatic serial killer (Robert John Burke), half man-half demon who follows the lonely highway, making love to and then killing depressed women. The killer uses ritual magic, attempting through his murders to transcend the earthly plane so he can return to the spiritual world.... READ WHY THIS IS A CULT CLASSIC THAT DESERVES ITS REP!
I volunteer, in an unofficial capacity, that David Warner could play with intelligence and wit any part offered to him. Misogynistic art film buffs will fondly remember his uncredited role in Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, 80s comedy fans know him best as vampire hunting Professor McCarthy in My Best Friend is a Vampire, and a certain blog writer can’t choose between his best performances, as Evil Genius in Time Bandits and Jack the Ripper in Time after Time. Warner’s rugged, sculpted features and his Royal Shakespeare Company training have made him one of the most versatile and charismatic film actors, on par with other distinctive, powerful talents like Stephen Rea and Harvey Keitel. Warner gives his leading man performance in Morgan! with such ease and virtuosity, it’s incredible that he’s so often been relegated to smaller roles. His is a rather unlikeable character: a juvenile underproductive artist with a complex involving gorillas and Communism, financially supported by his soon to be ex-wife. Vanessa Redgrave does a lot with a thin role as his rich, unappreciated spouse who has transferred her affections to Morgan’s oleaginous art dealer. Already suffering from (or in Morgan’s case thoroughly enjoying) delusions and fantasies, his wife’s ambivalent reaction to his attempts to win her back makes him lose his grasp of reality. READ WHY DAVID WARNER IS A MAN AMONG MEN
So I ordered JASON COPLAND's convention sketchbook a few weeks back. This is a guy who was just plucked up to illustrate covers and back-up stories in Image's PERHAPANAUTS ongoing. The sketchbook is a beaut, but even better, Jason offered to draw anything I wanted in the book's inner back cover, and I opted for a sketch of none other than GILLIAN and her arch-nemesis MR. RIGHT!!!
Here's the masterpiece:
Thanks for the pin-up, Jason! And everyone: be on the look out for Jason's BRAIDS OF THE GORGON, coming soon!
KILLING THE GRIZZLY #1 - the first of a long series of articles dedicated to chronicling the rise of the online comic boos publishing sphere, from e-comics, downloadable comics, online marketplaces such as Wowio, Literate Machine, Lulu, Clickwheel, then independent folks who are trying some truly cutting edge things, plus creative collectives like Chimera and Alterna, who have found solid success in keeping everything electronic. Creators have literally DROPPED their productive print-media contracts in favor of going digital. Why? Because they're making money. In print, they were not. How?
Come join me and find out.
"The world has changed.
There are less theatrical ways to put that, but none simpler in declaring this manifest truth: we’ve progressed. Beyond the printed page, though we’ve yet to leave those bastard scions of trees behind; beyond the water-stained warehouses and corner-crumpled cardboard boxes of overfed distribution systems. We feel far stranger today sitting there with a newspaper in hand, unable to double-click on names within the articles. It has become an existential dilemma to hold a book in our hands and realize we have no way of sharing it with others, beyond writing about it, or scanning it page by page into our computer and then equally as drudgery-slow uploading the images into a cohesive PDF, rather than post a link to download a ready-made digital copy and be done with it, gain a few hundred shared readers within hours of its posting. In a world of instant photo, video, journal, and profile sharing, anything slower than now, and costlier than free, is unacceptable."
BATMAN #681 - RIP Finale! - 1 Bullet! What a disaster. This is actually a "slugfest" review, with three other reviewers weighing in. And talk about a balance - I gave it 1 Bullet, another guy gave it 2, another 3, and the last guy 4. That's about as well stretched a line of opinions as it comes! The others had a lot more to say about the details, the continuity nuances. Me? I got a little obsessive about other thing. READ IT!
SCAD Anthology Graphic Novels 2007 ("Discovered") and 2008 ("Pantomime") - 4.5 Bullets! Two truly incredible anthologies, both collecting the graduate and undergrad work of artists schooled at The Savannah College of Art and Design. Absolutely gorgeous visuals, adventuresome narratives. This is ground-breaking and cutting edge stuff, mixed with the classic and familiar. These kids are the future of comics!READ IT!
Just discovered this new venue for independant and/or small press publishers:
Literate Machine is a place to upload your e-book or e-comic, usually PDF format is best, and then YOU choose the price and get to keep the vast majority of any sale (you can even give the book away for FREE, should that seem the proper strategy - and unknown newbies, I'm talkin' ta you, that IS the appropriate strategy for you!). Plus you can use their forums as a great marketing and scoial networking tool!
This is a truly nifty place. Just bought myself a copy of the DEFENDING TAYVR GN in electronic format to try it out. It's a high quality e-comic and well worth the six bucks it cost to support the creators and but the entire 150+ page graphic novel.
Check it out:
LM looks to be a terrific new resource for new creators to get their names and work out there and into readers' hands, not to mention to find readers in the first place! --Dave B.