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Don Knotts & Darren McGavin: RIP
Sunday, February 26, 2006 11:46 AM

Pictured above are Darren McGavin and Don Knotts who appeared together in Disney's No Deposit, No Return. As many of you have already heard, both reecently passed away within a day of each other.

Don Knotts, best known as the bumbling but loveable Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith show, died on Friday from pulmonary and respiratory complications. Knotts appeared in more than 25 films and seven tv series but it was his role as Barney Fife that brought him the most awards [five Emmys] and fan recognition. Looking at Mr. Knotts' filmnography, it's obvious that he would have had a successful career even without the role of Barney Fife [over 50 years in the business, movies, tv, etc.], but the world would have been a bit sadder place.

Darren McGavin, 83, passed away on Saturday from natural causes. Although Mr. McGavin had a long, successful career in movies and on television; there were two roles that standout for me. The first was as newspaper reporter, Carl Kolchak who discovered a real vampire in modern day LA in the made for tv movie "Kolchak: The Night Stalker." [Although I was never a fan of the series that the movie spawned...] The second role was that of Ralphie's dad in the classic "A Christmas Story."

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and fans of both Mr. McGavin and Mr. Knotts.

Frank Miller: In His Own Words
Monday, February 20, 2006 12:13 PM

The other day I linked to an article that discussed Frank Miller's upcoming graphic novel, Batman: Holy Terror!

Miller's novel is getting a lot of press and it doesn't even have a publication date yet. Of course the subject matter [Batman takes on al Qaeda] is pretty controversial.

If you want to see what Miller actually said about Batman: Holy Terror!, his work on Sin City, Daredevil and more, then click HERE for a transcript of an interview posted at Newsarama by Charles Brownstein.

Wolverine: Cool Again?
Monday, February 20, 2006 10:14 AM

Wolverine used to be one of my favorite comic characters.

Of course that was back in the day. At that time, he was the mysterious little guy with the beserker rage. Chris Claremont or Frank Miller were penning his stories and John Byrne & Terry Austin or Miller & Joe Rubinstein were providing the art. Yeah, like I said, it was years ago.

Still the latest issue of Previews had two covers featuring Wolverine that were pretty cool. The first, the cover to Wolverine: Origins #1 is by Joe Quesada. The second, the cover to Wolverine #41 is by C.P. Smith.

I haven't read a great Wolverine story in years. Maybe one of these issues will break that bad-luck string.

AH, Everyone Wants Something
Sunday, February 19, 2006 2:39 PM

Yesterday, my buddy, John Higashi and I got together over lunch to discuss our "strategy" for next weekend's MegaCon.

For those of you who don't know, John Higashi is considered the "master" in the art of getting commissions from artists. Don't believe me, then take a look at John's personal collection.

Unbelieveable, huh?

We're both hoping to get on Adam Hughes' sketch list. If you're not familiar with Adam Hughes' art, here's a link to his site. Check it out and I'll be here when you get back.

Wow! You were gone quite a while. I can't blame you though because Adam is such an amazing artist. Now you can see why everyone - including John Higashi and me -- hope to get something from him next weekend.

I'll be sure and let you know how it turns out.

Zeck, The Punisher and a Grafitti-Filled Wall
Friday, February 17, 2006 8:21 PM

I came across this cool Mike Zeck Punisher piece the other day. It was first used as a pin-up in an issue of Marvel Fanfare and then later turned into a poster.

When Mike decided to do a pin-up of the Punisher with a huge gun against a grafitti-filled wall he was left the the problem of what to use for the graffiti. He decided to fill it using the names of friends. In some cases the friends were "couples." As a joke he listed "Zablo and Sly" because of my admiration for Sylvester Stallone.

If my memory serves me correctly he poster was made about about 15 years ago. [Yep, years before the StalloneZone was created!] Unfortunately some of the folks listed on the poster have passed on. And in many cases the couples have split up.

Last I heard though, Zablo + Sly were still going strong.

Two Millers on Me
Thursday, February 16, 2006 1:58 PM

I know that many of you ZONErs [like me] are big fans of Frank Miller.

If that's the case, then check out THIS ARTICLE to find out about Miller's Batman: Holy Terror! graphic novel which pits Batman against al Qaeda!

You can also click HERE to check out Newsarama's coverage of a Sin City screening with Frank Miller.

No Tone
Wednesday, February 15, 2006 7:27 PM

I was looking over the guest list for this year's MegaCon and was sad to see that Tone Rodriguez wasn't listed.

Tone's not only a talented artist, but is an absolute blast to talk to. He's got a great sense of humor, enjoys meeting [and messing with] the fans... and of course draws a mean sketch. Here's an example, and another and yet another from last year's sketchbook.

Batman Works
Sunday, February 12, 2006 10:06 PM

If push came to shove and I had to name my all time favorite comic character, it'd be Batman.

Maybe it's because he's grounded in reality. Well, as much reality as you can get in the super hero genre. Batman doesn't have super powers. Anyone with the same determination, will power and, ahem, bank account could become Batman.

Another reason that I like Batman so much is that there are so many takes on the character that work. Think about it...

Adam West's tv Batman was camp.

Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams' Batman was the world's greatest detective.

Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers [along with Terry Austin] explored the struggle for balance between Bruce Wayne and Batman.

Frank Miller brought us the Dark Knight as Dirty Harry.

Doug Moench, Kelly Jones and John Beatty looked at the horror/supernatural aspect of Batman's universe.

I could go on and on but the point that I want to make is that each of these takes is different, but they all work.

Currently Matt Wagner is doing a riff on Batman in a six issue mini series called Batman and the Monster Men. It's a story of Batman's first encounter with super villians.

And you guessed it, it works.

A Really Big Mega Convention
Saturday, February 11, 2006 5:04 PM

If you're anywhere near Orlando, Florida from February 24th - 26th, you may want to check out the MegaCon convention.

In addition to George Perez, who is the Guest of Honor, there are going to be a ton of comic book artists and movie / tv celebs on hand to sketch and sign autographs. Of course there will be a ton of dealers selling the latest comics, dvds, graphic novels and who knows what else.

I'll be there looking to pick up a few more Stallone sketches. Big John Beatty will be there as a guest [sharing a table with the incredibly talented Alberto Ruiz]. If you can make it, swing by Big Beatty's table and at least say, "Hi."