July 14th, 2003

smokin'

Another %$@&! 5 AM post

Just answered/responded to a bunch of posts on the previous thread, didn't know there were so many posts. Sheesh. Anyway, I've gotta make this quick as it's late and I have lots to do tomorrow, but I wanted to throw down something here to let folks know I haven't given up on this here blog.

What am I working on? Glad you asked. Sarah and I are almost done with the mini-bible for the Cartoon Network pilot, for one thing. While Sarah's been working on a bible pass I've been inking character design, and hopefully tomorrow we'll wrap that up, send it off, and start crossing our fingers that we'll be allowed to go to script. I also finished up some short scripts for the second Bizarro project, at least I think they're still doing that, it's moving slower than Milk and Cheese #8. I dunno if all the scripts will pass muster, but we shall see. I am turning in a 6 pager along with some single page odds and ends, sort of like what I did on the first book, a smattering of gags and one longer piece. As far as the Thing goes, I've just got to polish off a dialogue pass and I am (hopefully) done with that puppy. Then I get drunk, oh, yes I do.

Last week I took a break and saw another HK flick at the Walter Reade Theater in Manhattan with the Apes, this time it was King Hu's Dragon Inn (or Dragon Gate Inn, I think that's the alt. title). What a swell movie, the most enjoyable HU film I've seen so far, not as ponderous (for lack of a better word)as A Touch of Zen (which I love) and tighter and more focused than Come Drink With Me (which I like -- I forget the title of the other Hu film I've seen, which is yet another reason why I'm not writing about films for a living). Good action, good comedic bits, vivid characters, Hu's signature camerawork and wonderful use of scenery, a lot of fun.

Cable-wise, Sarah and I watched a South Korean police actioner called Nowhere to Run (unless it was called Nowhere to Hide, ha). Nutty stuff, highly stylized with a lot of camera trickery, much of which worked, some of which worked against. I liked the lead character, a John Belushi/Blutarski-esque detective who is after a killer who evades the law for months. Everything is over the top and there are many unexpected touches, many of which work. Veers into slapstick comedy at times, whihc was not what I expected after a fairly violent opening that was played kind of straight. You gotta love a movie where back-up cops keep rushing in with long truncheons and baseball bats and start whacking everything in sight. Keep an eye out for it floating around on cable. After we saw that we stayed up late and watched Shallow Grave, first theatrical film from Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Trainspotting). Three roommates contemplate what to do after a brand new roommate o.d's on heroin with a suitcase of cash in his room. Complications ensue. Not bad, not great. While I don't mind films with unlikeable characters, it hurt the film, for me at least, that I wanted to beat the crap out of the three snide, prickish roommates, and didn't care for any of their predicaments because of that. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to like any of them, but early sequences establishing their sense of humor didn't strike me as cute, clever or funny. Overall script is clever and crisp, perhaps too crisp, because they skim over some important things -- I had real trouble getting over the film's premise, that these three smart, somewhat well-off people throw caution to the wind and perform horrendous acts to obtain the money, never even wondering if the money can be traced by the serial numbers, or wondering if it's a little creep that this man carries what looks like drug money with him -- I'd be shit-terrified his associates might show up. After you swallow that the movie works nicely, but again, I didn't like these characters and found that I was engaged in the script mechanics and filmmaking and not getting involved in the people (although I did like the detailing of the accountant's mental slippage). Still, there's nice filmmaking and solid mechanics, and a very nifty ending which would appeal to Blood Simple fans, I think.

Anything else -- oh, if you have young kids who like Nickelodeon shows, the Fairly Oddparents magazine we did some stuff for is now available on stands somewhere. We contributed illos to one of the puzzle sections and I wrote and did layouts for a five page strip featuring...monkeys. I swear, it wasn't my idea, they asked me, I'm not that obsessed with the apes.

Finally, I'm unhappy to hear that Marvel has decided to not run the Princess Di X-Men story, mainly because I was really looking forward to the Princess Di mini-bust, Princess Di Hero-clix figure, Alex Ross Princess Di poster, Princess Di Max one-shot ("Bloody Hell" by Mark Millar and Udon) and, of course, the Ultimates Princess Di series. House of Ideas...sheesh.