Friday, December 30, 2005

Sex Machine Premiere

The ladies of "Sex Machine" at the premiere party in Oklahoma City Wednesday Night. This was not taken by me. I was home. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Overture, Hit the Lights

Oh, I wish I were winging my way to Oklahoma City right now to attend the premiere of Christopher Sharpe's long-awaited Sex Machine, which I had a humble small hand in (or bigger hand in, if the premiere goes well). Unfortunately I have yet to get settled in to my new job and accumulate any days off. I hope to report more here tomorrow or the next day when I hear how everything went.

Until then, I'm at

Monday, December 26, 2005

Satan Claus

The holidays passed painlessly enough. I helped my nephew build a muscle car model and my mother-in-law install a wireless router. I got some dress clothes for work and some winemaking books and a copy of Eldest by Christopher Paolini from my daughter. My brother gave me a copy of the 2005 "Best of 24 Hour Comics Day" book that I didn't get into with The Liberator but I can't begrudge the inclusion of the arctic pirate comic that opens the edition, which is far superior to half the comics out there today. He also gave me a DVD from a film fest down in Bloomington, Indiana. His gifts always carry a cryptic message. My brother and I also played Memoir '44 which is a World War II board game somewhere between Squad Leader and Axis and Allies. I ate a lot of turkey and ham and slept in front of a couple of movies and promised I would start losing twenty pounds next year. Last year I vowed to complete twelve minicomics and I only knocked out eight, so we'll see where this vow goes.

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Live from Budokan

Much to the chagrin of many internet movie reviewers, I am still alive (and if you think I am being facetious, look up some reviews of "Peter Rottentail"). The new day job, plus some unseasonably early blasts of snow and ice, plus the impending holidays, have all taken me away a bit from my blogging duties.

And I have been cheating a bit on this blog. With my new one.

So I was at my mother-in-law's annual Holiday Open House and somehow the conversation turns, as it often does when I am around, to the subject of b-movies. And I found myself defending the shower scene in "Among Us" by stating simply, when one encounters a sasquatch, a brisk refreshing shower will restore one's courage and well-being. And the room fell silent, as this is a perfectly defensible position whose logic cannot be refuted. Yet one more way b-movies are better than real life.

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Secret Sex Machine

I found out that the top secret premiere of "Sex Machine" will be in Oklahoma City on December 28. If I had not just changed days jobs and thus accumulated no vacation days yet I would so be there. I hope somebody is cool enough to steal a bootleg and send it to me.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


My new day job is absorbing a lot of time, though I have found the time to swap phone calls and emails with a lot of the cast and crew of Black Mass, the World War II-era supernatural story I wrote for Polonia Brothers/Intercoast. As preview copies start leaking out, the feedback has been very positive. Of course part of the fun of seeing it for me is that I was there on set for a lot of it, and you recall all the slightly numbing hysteria surrounding any production, only now with six or seven months' grace it all has gone warm and fuzzy. But no matter what the critics cast far and wide across the net and IRL might say, I'm proud of my part in it. And thus I am still holding on to my promise to be proud of everything I've done, my first rule of screenwriting, and one I wonder how many people can claim as their own.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Back in Black

It's been a week or so since I posted and I guess it's because a lot has happened. I fractured a tooth. I got a new job. I'm leaving my old one today after sixteen years. When I was waiting at the pharmacy for some Vicodin I phoned in to a radio station and won a prize package. I found a cold lucky penny on a warm day. My parents moved. We hosted Thanksgiving and nobody drove away with their middle finger out the window for a change. My nephew turned nine. A basketball hit me in the face and bent my glasses out of whack. My brother loaned me a tall stack of comics. The world keeps moving under my feet.

I have been watching Lost Season One on DVD with my wife and daughter, on loan from my brother, who stated that he wished he could sustain a head injury so that he could rewatch the whole season and not know anything about it. I got my wife and daughter hooked on it after some initial reluctance and now we are gulping them down three and four hours at a time. It's a smart, complicated story with great backstory that you have to pay close attention to--and people like it. Something to think about.

I got a screener copy of Black Mass from the Polonia Brothers this weekend and was really happy with how it turned out. Hopefully others will feel the same. As I suspected, my wife got a little uneasy seeing my head get blown off, which is a good sign for our marriage, methinks.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

From the Archives: A Bit More From 1976

Another thinly veiled tribute to my favorite comic book of the time period, The Secret Society of Super-Villains. Posted by Picasa

From the Archives: Yet More From 1976

If this isn't inspired by 70s comic book covers, nothing is. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

From the Archives: More From 1976

Bica the Bicentennial Man returns with his misfortunately named sidekicks The Wizz and White Miracle. Posted by Picasa

From the Archives: Even More From 1976

In this shocking issue, White Miracle grabs a surfboard and turns rogue, with only some thinly-veiled ripoff characters to stop his rampage. I especially love the startling original Shadowman, an idea which came to my brother and I when we put Mego Batman's costume on Mego Spider-Man's body. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

From the Archives: Comics, 70s Style

From 1976, Bica the Bicentennial Man travels to help "The Future Superheroes." Posted by Picasa

Comics, 70s Style Part 2

Another, better spelled edition features a different Future Superheroes lineup, and by the looks of things they aren't faring much better against some sort of band of disco-robots. Posted by Picasa

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Drawing an editorial cartoon for the school newspaper, 1980. I know, my cartooning hasn't gotten any better. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 11, 2005

From the Archives: TV, 1993 style

I know this looks like the cast of "21 Jump Street," but this is me and my student production crew in the summer of 1993, posing for an article that was going to appear in--wait for it--Video Toaster User Magazine. I believe this fine publication folded before the article on our Toaster-loving production center came out. I still have that tie, but fortunately not the suspenders. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 10, 2005

From the Archives: TV, 1987 style

Recently unearthed from an old filing cabinet by a colleague and brought to work on a great wave of ridicule, here I am from the 1987-1988 "Spotlight on Students" at my beloved alma mater Ball State University. The photo accompanies a PR piece where I talk about becoming a "Midwestern independent filmmaker." Would you buy a college from this man? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Gridiron Glory

My Little Brother Harold and I being recongnized in the endzone at Saturday's Ball State vs. Akron football game during a former Big Brother/Big Sister of the Year recognition. The weather was nice, and my hometown Cardinals won. On Halloween, when Harold and I went trick or treating, we saw a deer and a rainbow. That prompted Harold to tell me that life is good. It's a good life, indeed. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 07, 2005

Navel Gazing

I'm feeling kinda meta today. Every once in a while I start really drilling down on my blog stats and seeing what people read and what they seem interested in and where they come from and so on. Since the advent of Google's photo service I've seen a marked increase in photo grabs off my site. As a public service, I'm putting the three most popular here, to aid in further downloading.

Sort of obvious.

Really pretty cool.

I'm not making this up, and it makes me feel a little creepy when I stop and think about it.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

A Foot Without A Sock

New readers might not know the plot of Black Mass, the latest script I wrote for the Polonia Brothers, so I might mention that it's basically a World War II-era feature about a group of soldiers sent to blow up a Nazi tank factory, only to stumble across an evil entity released by the Nazi's occult tampering. And then yesterday I find this, in the Hollywood Reporter:

Matt LeBlanc will make a return to the big-screen in the sci-fi thriller The Watch. Based on a original screenplay by John Claflin and Daniel Zelman, the World War II-set film revolves around a team of highly specialized soldiers sent to blow up a Nazi fuel depot, only to discover they are being hunted by an evil spirit unleashed by the Nazi's secret occult experiments. Matt will also produce.

I guess it's time to start wearing that tinfoil hat again.

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Monday, October 31, 2005

The Pants With Nobody Inside Them

I had what I think was the worst migraine of my adult life on Saturday, and I wasted a beautiful fall day in bed with my head spinning and purple blotches clouding my vision. Usually a migraine heralds the beginning of a new round of creative juices for me, but today I feel like the day after my bachelor party, and the less said about that the better.

But here's a scary story for Halloween: I was having all kinds of weird daydreams and nightmares and visions and whatnot during my migraine ordeal and dreamed that the next Polonia Brothers movie would star a mummy. Then Mark Polonia called me on Sunday and said, and this is all true, that they are thinking about doing a mummy movie next. Weird!

That's all I can muster up for today. Happy Halloween, everybody!

Until next time, give me a holler at

Friday, October 28, 2005

Killing Me Softly

I haven't done a meme in a long while, then one shows up in my mailbox from my old pal Gary. Here goes:

1. What is your occupation? Fiber-optics network manager full time, adjunct college faculty part time, screenwriter at night
2. What are you listening to right now? The white noise coming out of the machine racks outside of my office
3. What was the last thing you ate? A tuna fish sandwich
4. Do you wish on stars? Only that my son will get his life together
5. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Cerulean
6. How is the weather right now? Not sure, I am in a windowless basement
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My boss
9. Favorite drink? RC Cola
10. Favorite sport to watch? High school basketball
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? God, no
12. Favorite past time? Reading, watching movies, writing, drawing
13. Favorite month? June--has both of my kids' birthdays
14. Favorite food? BBQ
15. What was the last movie you watched? I watched Schindler's List again with my daughter against my better judgement
16. What do you do to vent anger? Stew
17. What was your favorite toy as a child? Mego Action Figures
18. Fall or spring? Spring
19. Hugs or kisses? Hugs
20. Cherry or blueberry? Blueberry
24. Living arrangements? A Brady Bunch-style home in a rural area
25. When was the last time you cried? Listening to Johnny Cash sing a cover of Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
26. What is on the floor of your closet? Clothes for Goodwill
27. Who is the friend you have had the longest? My brother
28. What did you do last night? Watched Survivor, Apprentice, and Without A Trace, and read a book during the commercial breaks
29. Favorite smell? Coffee
31. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Cheese
32. What is your favorite car? Saturn
33. What is your favorite dog breed? Greyhounds
34. Number of keys on your key ring? 20
35. How many years at your current job? 16 years
36. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
37. How many states have you lived in? 2, not counting state of confusion
38. How many cities have you lived in? 3
39. Summer or winter? Summer most definitely
40. How many kids? 2

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Don't Fear the Reaper

Somebody sent me a link to the Death Clock and I learned that I'm likely to die on May 11, 2018. I guess I'm in my golden years. Unfortunately I'm not set to retire until August 1, 2033.

I suppose I saw this coming. I was trying to defrost a fridge recently with hammer and screwdriver and got a nice healthy cloud of refrigerant in the face. That was a year or two off my life right there. Then there was the day I spent shooting an industrial video in a fiberglass-blowing plant, with little pink threads sticking to everything, which probably shaved five more years off. Not to mention all of the head injuries I've sustained; I have been knocked unconscious at every job I have ever had except for this one, where I just passed out once.

I'll just try to make the most of what time I have left.

I don't entirely agree with this list of Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Books, but I've read 28 of them.

But I've seen 59 of their 100 Greatest Movies.

Give me a shout at

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Porn Czar of Randolph County

Yesterday was my 18th wedding anniversary, and though my wife and I were fighting colds we kept up with our longstanding tradition of going to inappropriate movies, as we did on our honeymoon in 1987 when we decided to check out a new flick we knew nothing about called Fatal Attraction. We went to see Flightplan and felt a bit morose, then went out for Italian that our stomachs kept trying to reject. It was cold and rainy, as it often is this time of year, which we should have thought about when we loped to the altar only a few months after meeting on a blind date all those years ago, when being a June bride seemed too long to wait. But we sat down and figured we couldn't add up a year's worth of bad days out of the last 18 years, so we are doing well.

Faithful readers may recall when the rumor that I was a porn director swept through my daughter's high school. Her own embarrassment hid it from me, though I noted an uptick in friendliness from the other dads at the basketball games. I came downstairs Saturday night and overheard a livingroomful of my daughter's friends talking about it again, long after I thought it had died. I tried to dissuade them, but I was met with doubtful gazes when I told them the next project was called Sex Machine (and this probably wouldn't have helped--maybe NSFW). I told them that if I was that heavily into porn, I'd probably have a nicer house. Then I started talking about the new Polonia Brothers movie, and the color kept draining from their faces. Eventually it came out that they thought my next movie was not called Black Mass, but Black Ass. Based on this, I'll probably get my own skybox at the high school gym.

They were gathered to plan another toilet paper counterstrike after we were hit again Friday night. It was another weak-ass TP job, but I have learned from bitter experience not to complain too much or be treated to ten times the attack the next weekend. My own daughter looked upon it with a jaundiced eye and wondered how strong her suitor's feelings could possibly have been. I have been trying to break the cycle of violence, but like a little three-ply Iraq, it keeps on and on.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

The Long and Winding Road

My Little Brother Harold and I went to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Recognition Banquet where we were recognized for the one year anniversary of our match. When we went up to get our certificate the announcer mentioned that I had been Big Brother of the Year for our agency back in 1993. Harold piped in with, "And I wasn't even born yet!" Even at that age, going straight for the kidney punch. But I enjoy the banquet because you hear so many moving stories, and you see how important the program is. That's why I've been involved with it for 18 years now.

Along those lines, is it weird to be browsing somebody else's blog and catch a glimpse of yourself? A bit.

I played the Star Wars miniatures game with my (biological) brother Eric and diced up the icebase attack on Hoth. It ended slightly differently with C3PO giving his life to protect a wounded Leia. Might have helped the movies, too.

Lots of potential projects in the hopper, on the heels of the impending completion of Christopher Sharpe's Sex Machine and the Polonia Brothers' Black Mass, both victims of my keyboard. More later; until then, I'm at

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sunrise, Sunset Part 2

I keep reading about Madonna, who spent the 80s and 90s wearing her underwear on the outside and making out with people like Warren Beaty and Dennis Rodman and Brittney Spears, and now doesn't let her kids watch TV or eat ice cream, and I don't feel so bad about the shaggy-haired kid in the Who t-shirt who somehow became an old guy with a buzz haircut working in a basement. So thanks, Madonna.

Speaking of feeling old, my daughter is taking a child development class and has to carry around a five pound "flour baby" and keep it healthy, meaning not leaving it out on a counter and allowing it to be made into a batch of cookies. It's a bit alarming seeing my seventeen-year-old carrying around a swaddling blanket and cooing to it. Even worse, she named it Madelyn Ann, our alternate name for her at birth.

Kind of wish I knew this guy to go get a burrito with sometime.

Until later, I'm at

Monday, October 17, 2005

There Is No Boon For Which We Do Not Render Service

Looks like the long-awaited premiere of Christopher Sharpe's Sex Machine will be an invitation-only shindig in Oklahoma City over the Christmas holidays. See more, including some neat conceptual artwork, at Christopher's website here.

Actor Brian Berry, who plays "Griff" in the upcoming Polonia Brothers release Black Mass, told me via email that the Bros are pretty much just waiting on some FX and score elements in order to finish up this WWII-era supernatural thriller, penned by yours truly. He also wrote that "we'll always have Germania." So true.

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Spear for When the Bears Come From Space

This morning as I was driving up the hill to the East Jackson Street bridge a rusty pickup in front of me disgorged a big clanking lawnmower from its bed that began to chug downhill towards me, picking up speed, until I was able to turn gently into oncoming traffic and allow it to skrrrrritccchhh along my front bumper and away. Something struck me as unholy ominous about this and I haven't been able to shake the feeling all day, even though I later found a penny in a parking lot after leaving a meeting.

But tomorrow is another day, and my college's Homecoming Game, and all our hopes have risen when--after being outscored 150-plus to 3 in the first four games--last week our Cardinals scored 60 points in five overtimes. No matter the outcome, it is a tradition for my dad (Class of '61) and myself (Class of '88) to go and cheer them on.

You can learn the fight song yourself, via this instructional film here.

Until next time, Go Cards, and give me a yell at

Thursday, October 13, 2005

More Today Than Yesterday

Too much happening that I dare not put on my blog, so here are some other interesting things going on:

My pal Jay Woelfel talks about his new movie Ghost Lake here.

How cool is this idea?

Finally, I have a chance.

Clever as hell.

This really is pretty much how every project I have ever worked on more or less started.

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Monday, October 10, 2005


The new CBS crime drama Close to Home is supposed to take place in Indianapolis, so I thought I would be a loyal Hoosier and check it out. Usually Hoosiers are portrayed on television as toothless hilljacks living in trailers (as we saw in ER last year, when Dr. Weaver found her weather-beaten Hoosier birth mother and then quickly scooted back to the big city), so I was a bit surprised to see this show had nary a mullet in sight. On the negative side, the DA wore a brown suit (the left coast interpretation of midwest fashion, to be sure) and the suspect's mom appeared somewhat toothless and careworn, with a flat twang that Jeff Foxworthy would struggle to understand.
The drama was pretty good, though, about a woman who burns down her house with her kids inside, but whose true motivation comes out a bit later in a surprise twist. Our plucky heroine, Jennifer Finnigan, plays a prosecutor who is trying to juggle family life and the day job, and is an interesting character. We also got a couple of nice shots of the Indianapolis skyline. I will definitely check it out again this week.

Former Indianapolis Colt QB Gary Hogeboom is still alive on Survivor. I am fairly sure that Gary being on the show is supposed to be one of this year's "twists," but Gary hasn't been playing along as he is pretending to be someone else, even though he is a massive physical specimen alongside everyone else on the show and thus might be held in some suspicion. There are many former Colts during the lean years that should hang their heads, but I'm not sure Gary is one of them, though I think his strategy is more centered around not revealing all of the money he made as a pro and then getting kicked off (and his arguments during interviews that he didn't make much money as a pro QB in the NFL falls on somewhat deaf ears, I'm sure). The producers are doing everything they can to out him, though, including a Guatemalan ball game challenge last week and a "throwing at a target" challenge this past week (which Gary stayed out of!). If I see a tackling dummy challenge this week, I'll know it's game on between the producers and Gary.
The funny thing is that Danni, an AM sports radio personality in Kansas City, supposedly knows all about Gary, and even asked him outright if he ever played at Central Michigan, which he denied. Come on, now, how does she know that? If she asked him if he ever played for the Dallas Cowboys or the Colts, maybe, maybe, I could believe she wasn't fed the information. But a Kansas City AM radio personality recognizing Michigander Gary Hogeboom from college football in the late 70s? Now, suddenly, Danni got swapped onto Gary's team. How much reality is in reality television, anyway?

Speaking of my once lowly, now mighty Colts, they are now 5-0 after a modest beating of the once mighty, now lowly 49ers yesterday. Do we dare to dream?

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Microcinema Milestones

Today I posted the 300th review at Microcinema Scene, "The Hook." It was also the 1,000 story published at the site. That includes over 500 news items and more than 60 articles since we opened the doors on July 6, 2003.

Talk about a long and winding road.

I still love the grassroots DV scene. The guys who made "The Hook" are a good reason why. They are hunkered down in southern Illinois just doing their thing, trying to network with others, attending fests, helping out fellow filmmakers.

You can check them out--and their short--for yourself, right here.

The other day I got a DVD from a high school girl in California, some cutout animations she made into two compelling shorts. I have recently received screeners from England and Hungary. I've been reading about the emerging African micro scene. There are so many voices, so many vistas.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Feeling Linky

Filmmaker Joe Sherlock takes a page from my 70s playbook here.

Now this is a neat news story.

I've read 21 of these. Or maybe more when I was a kid, I don't remember.

The website "Sex Gore Mutants" liked Razorteeth okay, it seems. And The Rumor Machine weighs in here.

More later; until then, I'm at

Monday, October 03, 2005

Return to Tora Bora

My dismissive commentary on the girlie toilet-papering we received a week ago was answered this weekend with a "shock and awe" toilet-paper campaign delivered by four strong-armed youths competing for my daughter's affections. Thankfully my wife snapped open the shade before they were through, sending them scurrying off into the night like roaches when you flip on the light, leaving fifteen unthrown rolls behind in addition to the fifteen or twenty that, with ladder and rake, I spent 90 minutes getting out of my trees. My daughter gathered up the fifteen rolls and stored them in her car's trunk. "For revenge," she stated, eyes gleaming. And thus the courtship ritual continues.

The other night we had a large thunderstorm, which was preceded by a sonic boom-sized clap of thunder that brought me out of a dead sleep and into the arms of my wife. For one crazy instant I thought it was an explosion, like the reoccuring dream of my youth which featured a nuclear detonation that peeled the skin from my body (this was during the Reagan Years, natch). I have had trouble shaking the feeling since. Perhaps it is all this news of global warming, cities being evacuated, wars across the globe, gas prices soaring, on and on. There's sort of an apocalyptic feel in the air. I imagine the local mom and pop grocery will be stocking Soylent Green before long.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Autumn Leaves

This morning while driving into work there was a commercial on the local rock station asking, one supposes ironically, if I'd rather hear "Garden Party" by Rick Nelson or "Girls Girls Girls" by some metal band I forgot about, and I thought, "I'd kinda like to hear Garden Party, thanks," and thus blinked out the last rays from the twilight of my youth.

It is officially Fall in the Heartland. The first tentative toilet paper attack was cleaned up from the yard yesterday, as the young Hoosier hearts turn to romance and that age-old midwestern courtship dance that begins when the leaves start to turn. I told my daughter if she found out who did it, tell him that your father said he threw like a girl. Don't bring it if you can't clear the basketball goal in the driveway.

Ah, Fall. Basketball a few weeks away. My mother-in-law has already served her first Autumn Stew. My college football team is still on their eternal losing streak, and the groans can be heard in my parents' front yard several blocks away. My former neighbor Junior, he of the perpetual lawn sale, finally puts on a t-shirt, signalling the end of summer. A time for reflection.

Until later, I am at

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I finished the mechanical polish on a script for a producer friend, properly formatting it mostly, and have started getting out from under the coverage I promised some writing pals on some scripts. There's the kind of busy where there's a lot of motion but nothing seems to get done and there's the kind of busy where it doesn't seem like you're getting anything done but all of a sudden you look around and your plate's clean. I can't tell which kind of busy I am right now.

In the meantime, I have updated my sidebar with a lot of interesting links of people that are more talented than me. I am especially still enjoying Josh Friedman's blog, though it's easy to have an indulgent chuckle about all of your screenwriting mishaps after you've sold the million dollar screenplay and had Spielberg direct it; when you're still in the trenches looking for that tiny patch of blue sky, eh, not so funny. I wonder if Spielberg used Friedman's script to shim up any dolly track, as seen here.

I get a lot of hits from the blog Complications Ensue, but I noticed recently that it now lists me as a "moviemaker" living in Flyover Land instead of a "scriptwriter" living in aforementioned place. I wonder if that's an upgrade or a downgrade, or just a reflection of the fact that I haven't posted much about screenwriting since blasting out a rewrite and a brand-new script in about six weeks this spring. I'm pitching a few things right now with some people I'd like to work with, and hope to have more to post soon. It always seems to be feast or famine. I wonder about those LA screenwriters, and what they do in between. I'd probably be living in a cardboard box behind a liquor store at this point. But at least I'd be getting good material for my next script.

In the meantime, give me a shout at

Friday, September 23, 2005

Stuff I Still Wish I Had, Revisited

One more visit to Christmas past. I think I have shown this one before, but here's another angle of the Superadventure Colorforms set, in glorious black and white. Posted by Picasa

More Bad 60s Parenting

Dad and me and period furniture, circa 1966. Damn, no wonder I watched so much TV as a kid. Posted by Picasa

Christmas Safari

I guess we really liked that rhino. Posted by Picasa

Halloween 1971

Archie and Bozo ready for a (spooky) night out on the town. Posted by Picasa

Raging Bull

Cinderella Man, mid-70s style, with complimenting sailor cap. I don't know if they would consider giant inflatable boxing gloves good toys for today's youth. Posted by Picasa

Christmas 1969

I loved that train. Note cardboard fireplace in background. Yes, my brother and I were often dressed alike even though we weren't twins. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Ticking Away

I have been crazy busy and all of a sudden it's Wednesday. I had to work last Saturday at the day job but luckily got to shoot HD for the first time. I had a bout of either food poisoning or stomach flu and have spent a lot of time...indisposed. And, though some movie critics might believe this to be related, I have also been doing a spate of writing. I have been pitching a few ideas for some potential scripts and have a few people seemingly eager to do something with me. I have been doing more or less a format polish for a producer on a script and coverage on several other scripts for a few writers that are more talented than me. I just finished two new minicomics, Volunteers #6 and #7, soon to be glue-sticked and photocopied and appearing in the mailboxes and comic shop files of a misfortunate few. Hopefully I can squeeze a few more sparks out of this surge of creative energy and have a new project or two to holler about here soon.

'til later, give me a shout at

Friday, September 16, 2005

Go Big Blue!

Putting up all of these crazy 70s photos this week reminded me about this movie from Patrick Read Johnson dealing with Star Wars fandom back in 1977. I saw Johnson speak at Microcinema Fest 2005 and he showed about a thirty minute teaser of this movie. I was there in '77, and I'd say he got it right. One thing I remember was that the magic number to go see Star Wars was thirteen times. If you saw it thirteen times, you had something to brag about while playing The Keep at the Borderlands.

Former Colt QB Gary Hogeboom on Survivor? Yeah, everybody talks about him being a Cowboy, but he had a couple of years as a Colt after that. One might recall him putting up Johnny Unitas numbers during the 1987 strike, when he crossed the picket line and played for the Colts against a bunch of replacements. If I was to drop a former Colt off on a deserted island, though, it would probably be Eric Dickerson or Jack Trudeau.

Movies for Guys liked Razorteeth! Read it all here.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Saturday Night Toy Fever

I have received a lot, A LOT, of emails about my walk down memory lane and the toys of the 70s and early 80s that I have been posting photos of over the last few days. I will see if I can come up with a few more photos for my loyal readers from the basket in my parent's spare bedroom.

It only took about an hour after posting yesterday for Mark Polonia to email me and identify that semi-nude action figure as "Big Jim," sort of an outdoorsy GI Joe thing. When Mark wrote that he had the RV, a bolt from my brain shocked me into realizing that I once had it too. Google "Big Jim RV" and see if you remember it as well.

Joe Sherlock rightfully identified the "Starroid Raiders" by the Falcon there, some cheap action figure knockoffs that I believe are still in a box in my attic. More info when the weather cools enough that I can go back into my attic.

While I'm looking for toys, here is my latest BOOK BEAT column for "Pomp and Circumstantial Evidence," the quarterly magazine of the Magna Cum Murder Mystery Conference.

WOLVES EAT DOGS by Martin Cruz Smith
Arkady Renko has been featured in five novels from Martin Cruz Smith, though I hesitate to call them a series as each outing has been so different. We have seen the Cold War era in GORKY PARK and RED SQUARE, Russian exiles in POLAR STAR, the Cuban perspective in HAVANA BAY, and finally the “New Russia” in the latest, WOLVES EAT DOGS. Our morose but dedicated Russian police detective follows a trail of murder and suicide to the most deadly location of all—Chernobyl, the site of Russia’s nuclear disaster some years past. This fascinating world of radioactive animals and “black villages” add much to the police procedural presented. An interesting read throughout.

CAPTAIN ALATRISTE by Arturo Perez-Reverte
Clever swashbuckling thriller owes a great deal to the tales of Dumas and others as a down-on-his-luck swordsman inadvertently gets involved in international politics and the Spanish Inquisition, with nothing but cold steel, his tarnished honor, and an adoring orphan boy to fend off his enemies. Arturo Perez-Reverte clearly enjoys every clanging sword-clash of the genre, and is obviously paying homage to Dumas’ Musketeers most specifically (he also penned THE CLUB DUMAS which was similarly themed, and made into a less-successful film called THE NINTH GATE). It is written like a classic page-turner of old, with modern sensibilities and pointed use of real-life people and events.

Philip Pullman’s second Victorian-era mystery in his series brings back plucky heroine Sally Lockhart and her diverse band of London friends and acquaintances in another fun entry with dark undertones. In this adventure, several years after the events in THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE, Sally matches wits with a cold-hearted industrialist who has a byzantine moneymaking scheme built, as it turns out, on no small measure of human suffering. To square a friend’s debt, Sally embarks on unraveling her antagonist’s massive empire, leading to a surprisingly downbeat conclusion. Although skewed towards the Young Adult market, I find this series to be quite enjoyable—and perhaps better suited, based on some themes—to adults.

THE BEST REVENGE by Steven White
Steven White’s long-running Alan Gregory series deals with a psychologist who gets mixed up in a diverse number of criminal cases; casting a wider net than Jonathan Kellerman’s popular Alex Delaware character, who deals with child psychology, but more or less treading the same clinical ground. This interesting case puts Gregory between two patients; one, an FBI media hero with a secret life, and the other a Death-Row inmate who gets released when information arises that he was innocent after all. How these two people’s lives are related, and how they interact with Gregory, is at the crux of this engrossing mystery. Though I felt the change from Gregory’s first person narrative to an omniscient narrator to tell certain portions of the story was a bit uneven, the overall storytelling kept me reading

Until later, give me a shout at

Monday, September 12, 2005

Things I Wish I Still Had Pt. 4

I got such a good response from posting old photos, with lots of people emailing me memories, I thought I would post a few more. Here is my brother, micronaut in hand, visiting Micronaut City. Posted by Picasa

Things I Wish I Still Had Pt. 5

Bonus points for identifying these action figures from the early 70s. I think they are either GI Joe or an alarmingly disrobed Six Million Dollar Man and lumberjack friend. Posted by Picasa

Things I Wish I Still Had Pt. 6

Christmas 1974: My brother and I honing our artistic skills. Many a reader of my minicomics probably wished I had stopped right there. Posted by Picasa

Things I Wish I Still Had Pt. 7

Christmas 1973: Unfortunately the only person I ever got to play doctor with was Ernie, at this Puppet Theater. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 09, 2005

Stuff I Wish I Still Had, Part 1

Me and my plaid pants and my Superfriends ColorForms Set. Who could ask for more? Posted by Picasa

Super-8 Scrapbook

Christmas 1980: My brother and I unwrap a Super-8 camera, then an edit block, then a projector. Soon we are shooting our first epic, "Garage Wars." Posted by Picasa

Stuff I Wish I Still Had, Part 2

Christmas Day, late 70s. If you don't know what this is, don't read this blog any more. Posted by Picasa

Stuff I Wish I Still Had, Part 3

My brother and Cornelius, another 1970s Christmas Day. Posted by Picasa