Pirate cologne, Jesse James films reviewed, and illustrators as actors

Just one of the movies the Dingus Project is coveringKill All Monsters!-Related

I can’t see BoingBoing at work, so I’ll just have to trust that this link works and that it takes you to some cool giant-monster belt buckles. I’ll check it out for myself later at home.

Dust to Dust-Related

I don’t understand the connection between Jesse James and Seacoast New Hampshire, but the SeacoastNH site is running a very cool feature called the Dingus Project that looks at as many movies about James as possible and reviews them for historical accuracy.

And speaking of Jesse James movies, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is going to hit both the Toronto International Film Festival and Venice’s 75th anniversary film festival. (Also appearing at both festivals is Keira Knightley’s new movie Atonement, which should matter greatly to you.)

Pirates

Speaking of Keira reminds me about pirates, which reminds me that soon we’ll all be able to smell like Jack Sparrow. As if that’s a good thing.

Indiana Jones

One of my biggest disappointments with Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade was the lack of Marion Ravenwood. I really wanted to see that relationship continued from Raiders. Wish granted.

Dark Horse has also announced that with the new movie coming out, they’ll be relaunching their line of Indiana Jones comics starting with an omnibus collecting their earlier Indy comics and eventually even reprinting Marvel’s take. I gotta start saving some money.

Mystery

I’ve been enjoying Guy Ritchie and Andy Diggle’s Gamekeeper comic from Virgin enough that I quit buying the single issues and decided instead to buy the trade when it comes out. So it’s pretty cool that Ritchie’s turning it into a movie.

Not really Mystery-related, but it’s Crime, so close enough: Boom!’s doing a comic based on the Godfather movies. That’s pretty frickin’ bold. It’ll be interesting to see if they can pull it off, but they say that when they announce the writer “jaws will drop.”

Horror

Another comics-film connection: Dreamworks has optioned a Courtney Crumrin movie. No word on if it’ll be live action or animated. You have no idea how much I’m hoping for animated, especially if they can pull off Ted Naifeh’s style.

And in other Important Horror Movie News: Johnny Depp will play Barnabas Collins in a Dark Shadows movie. It looks like he’ll also be one of the producers.

Science Fiction

Jeff Smith has released details about his next project, RASL. It’ll be an over-sized scifi comic about “a thief — an art thief — who is known to the police as ‘RASL,’ because that’s the tag he leaves whenever he steals a piece of art. He spray paints RASL on the wall in the spot where the art was.” According to Smith, RASL has a suit that can “create thermal-magnetic disturbances through space-time and step between dimensions. So if you were a really rich person who wants to collect, say, a Mona Lisa, you could pay RASL, and he’ll go to another dimension and steal the Mona Lisa for you!”

The downside is that “what happens when you go through these dimensional barriers — these light barriers between dimensions and universes — is that apparently it hurts a lot. I mean, it hurts so badly that it takes him days to recover. The pain is so bad that, for days, he drinks and gambles and smokes and eats rich foods and has whores and all that. But to get back, he has to do the exact opposite. He has to completely clean his body and mind and thoughts and almost reach a zen, centered perfectness to get back through the light. But then he comes back out and is in pain again and it all starts over.” Sounds really good. I can’t wait for it.

Looks like the bad guy from Heroes is going to play Spock in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

And they’re releasing the remastered/CGI-touched-up episodes of the original Star Trek series on DVD.

Writing is Hard

I like this quote from Hulk writer Greg Pak about letting artists interpret emotions themselves instead of trying to spell everything out exactly in the script: “For the most part, I’m trying to write for (illustrator) John (Romita, Jr.) using the same kind of language I’d use to direct an actor on a movie set. When working with an actor, I’d never say, ‘Be sad.’ Because that turns the actor into a puppet who’s just trying to make the face you want and the soul of the scene dies. Instead, I’d say, ‘Try not to cry.’ Then the actor can just inhabit the character and the scene comes to life. Similarly, when writing for John, I try to describe actions rather than expressions. When the Hulk’s gazing up at the fake Sentry that Reed’s generated, I wrote, ‘The Hulk continues stepping toward the light. Gazing upwards. Almost as if he’s looking up towards an angel.’ I don’t describe the expression; instead I describe the circumstance so John can interpret the emotional content and get to the soul of the character on his own. John’s a brilliant artist, which means that in the world of comics, he’s a brilliant actor.”

That’s something I tried with Jason Copland on Kill All Monsters! and it resulted in some amazing, touching facial expressions and body language. You gotta have the right artist to pull it off — one who knows how to make his characters act — but Jason’s totally that guy.

August theatrical releases

I should mention that while the rest of the comics world is in San Diego this week, I’m not. I had to make a choice between SDCC and Chicago and I chose Chicago ’cause it’s cheaper. I can get there by six, fun-filled hours with Grant, Jess, and Darla in a car instead of having to take a plane.

I should also mention that I’m on vacation next week. I don’t know if the resort has Internet access. I suspect it does, but I’m not counting on it. So, I may go dark while I’m away or I may be here as usual. Stay tuned!

Just in case though, here are your August theatrical releases:

August 3

The Bourne Ultimatum: This is the series that gets the credit for giving us Casino Royale and making Bond cool again. No way I’m missing this.

Becoming Jane: One of my favorite mystery series is Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen mysteries, so I’ve learned a bit about her life that way and I’m interested in seeing it played out on film. Even if there aren’t any gruesome murders and dashing rogues.

August 10

Stardust: Even though I love Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess, I’ve never read the story this is based on. It just keeps getting pushed down on my list of things to do. Which is exactly why they make movies out of books in the first place.

August 24

War: I’m not expecting much in the way of story, but Jason Statham vs. Jet Li sounds a formula for success.

Mr. Bean’s Holiday: Dude. It’s Mr. Bean.

August 31

Halloween: I’m not usually the first in line for horror-remakes, but Rob Zombie has my curiosity up for this one.

Balls of Fury: Oh my God, this looks funny.

Wonder Woman and Dumas’ birthdays, a Green Hornet fan film, and Jesse James: The Musical

Kill All Monsters!-Related

Dude changed his middle name to Megatron.

Dust to Dust-Related

This looks like old news, but apparently Barry Upton and Sam Snape are writing a Jesse James musical.

Swashbuckling

Today would’ve been Alexandre Dumas’ 205th birthday. Happy Musketeer Day!

When I first heard about Dynamite’s doing a Zorro comic, I had mixed feelings. A Zorro comic should be cool, but I was never able to get into Topps’ attempt at it (though they did have some awesome covers). Of course, Topps didn’t have Matt Wagner writing it.

Pulp

If you’re having a hard time picturing Seth Rogen as Green Hornet you might like this short, fan film version better. It was made by French guys, but it’s in English. (Thanks to Kevin Melrose for the link.)

Science Fiction

Writer Carl Ellsworth and director D.J. Caruso, aka the guys responsible for Disturbia, have been hired to also write and direct the Y: The Last Man movie.

Wonder Woman

Today is also Lynda Carter’s birthday. According to Wikipedia, she’s 56. Happy Birthday, Wonder Woman!

The Night the Giant Robot Almost Ate Christmas, Wonder Woman’s invisible canoe, and a possible Jack Sparrow cartoon

Invisible canoeKill All Monsters!-Related

I found an entire blog devoted to giant monsters: Giant Monsters Attack! It covers comics, movies, video games… the works. Super cool.

The Night the Giant Robot Ate Almost Ate Christmas (from Shane McDermott’s Drawing from Life). Best depiction of flying reindeer ever.

Dust to Dust-Related

Download and watch Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter for free! I keep meaning to TiVo that one.

Pirates

Everyone’s wondering what Disney’s going to do to fill the Pirates of the Caribbean-shaped hole in their line. First there was the 20,000 Leagues speculation; now the rumors are around a PotC cartoon about young Jack Sparrow. I’m up for both.

Mystery

Happy Marlowe Day! Raymond Chandler would’ve been 119 today.

Wonder Woman

The invention of a see-through canoe probably qualifies more for Stuff Nobody Cares About But Me, but I found it via Daily Boater’s comparing it to Wonder Woman’s invisible plane, so there you go. I grew up canoeing, so I think this is very cool. I’ve never priced canoes, but the $1500 price tag doesn’t even sound unreasonable to me.

Jericho: Season Two, Simpsons donuts, and how to tell when you’re too into your fantasy series.

Kill All Monsters!-Related

Steve Bissette continues his look at giant monsters.

He also talks about DC’s GIs-versus-dinosaurs comics that are collected in Showcase Presents: The War that Time Forgot. I started reading them myself, but was disappointed that instead of a continuing storyline about soldiers stranded on an island of dinosaurs, most of the stories are self-contained (except for an occasional one that takes two or three issues to complete) and feature new characters in every tale. It’s still a cool idea, but I was hoping to get to know the soldiers better than the format allows.

Chris Sims convinces me to read Marvel MegaMorphs, about Marvel superheroes who pilot giant-robot versions of themselves.

Forget Transformers. How’sabout a life-sized Gundam giant robot figure?

Blogarama has a preview of Josh Cotter’s giant-robot-featuring contribution to the Indie Spinner Rack anthology. Cotter’s very cool Skyscrapers of the Midwest series frequently features giant robots, so this is no surprise. That doesn’t make it any less welcome though.

Dust to Dust-Related

Looks like I missed TiVoing Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda in Jesse James on Fox Movie Channel this morning, but they’re rerunning it on August 24th. Now if I can just remember…

Pulp

This is only a rumor as far as I can tell, but everyone else is talking about it so I might as well mention that Knocked Up star Seth Rogen may be writing and starring in a Green Hornet movie.

Mystery

You’ll have to click on the link to get the full skinny, but the Sci Fi Channel’s got some details about the second season of Jericho. Like how they’re going to squeeze 22 planned episodes into the 7 that CBS ordered and how the plot will be intentionally reminiscent of events in Iraq.

In the comments to my post on Erle Stanley Gardner’s birthday, Rupert from The Book Garden mentions that he’s building a Squidoo list of Perry Mason novels. Quite an undertaking and very useful information considering the huge number of them that Gardner wrote.

Fantasy

Starting tonight, I’m not reading anything online that has either “Harry Potter” or “HP” in the text. Hewlett Packard news will just have to wait until I’m caught up. But before I go dark on the Harry news, I’ve got to share this press release that a friend forwarded to me. It’s from a grief counselor offering “to speak with parents and children, as well as the media, on how to cope with feelings of grief and loss” once the series concludes. “This could have a serious impact on children, millions of whom have grown up reading, watching and profoundly enjoying the characters and storylines of the Harry Potter series.” Maybe I’m a heartless bastard, but really?

Science Fiction

This is even more rumor than the Green Hornet story, but the Disney Blog is reporting conversations about Disney’s remaking 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, possibly with “a certain captain from the Pirates franchise” as Nemo. That last bit sounds like wishful thinking more than informed speculation to me, but I don’t have the contacts that the Disney Blog does, so don’t listen to me.

Wonder Woman

That’s Fit has links to some cool Wonder Woman gear for women. It’s all under item number four in their “five ways to emblazon yourself with a message of strength.”

Alpha Flight

Ramon Perez (Butternutsquash) has a fantastic post where he’s drawn all the characters from the classic Alpha Flight team. Made me homesick it did.

Writing is Hard

One of the Three Golden Rules of Writing is “show, don’t tell,” but Writer Unboxed read a review of Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo that made them wonder how strictly the rule should be followed. After all, “does the description of ‘a little man with no compassion or concern for others’ really hurt him? It helps the reader develop an instantaneous feeling about the character so the story can move forward, after all. Is that always bad? Did (Leven Thumps author Obert) Skye need to develop a sequence showing the character acting like an a-hole?” Good question. I’d be interested in hearing opinions on this one.

Stuff Nobody Cares About But Me

This post on the Simpsons Movie promotional donuts made me very hungry. I gotta find a 7-11.