Monday, January 31, 2005

Sex Machine Update #2

Updates from the last day of shooting for Christopher Sharpe's SEX MACHINE. Here, "Leather Girl" TCBs with an ass-whippin' gun. More at Posted by Hello

The Vow, Pt. 4

Part 4 of my serialized comic "The Vow," offered for your modest amusement, featuring a title from a song that was playing at the time I drew it. Posted by Hello

Friday, January 28, 2005

The Vow, Pt. 3

Issue Three of my serialized comic strip from 2001, with a title cribbed from a good Errol Morris documentary. Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Church of the Divine Psychopath

Today I ordered my pal Scott Phillips Friday the 13th book from right here, this despite the fact that I have NEVER seen a Friday the 13th movie. How I came of age in the 80s and missed a large part of the slasher genre, yet write some b-horror today, may be a question with no answer.

I take that back. When I worked at WXOW-TV right out of college, one of my menial jobs (which once included washing pig feces out of the back of the production van, though it was kind of my fault) was editing commercial breaks in movie packages the station purchased. One was--I think--the flat version of the 3D Friday the 13th movie, though I would swear Jason was wearing like a feed sack or something and not a hockey mask at all, so perhaps I am mistaken.

But the young scriptwriting grasshopper who reads this blog might wonder why I would support a screenwriter who some might view as a rival to me (and by this I mean someone who has no sense of the scriptwriting food chain). The answer is, simply, because we are all in this together. And the even more truthful answer is that there is no reason for me to consider Scott or William Goldman or any scriptwriter a rival or enemy to me because they cannot help me, just like I can't help the young scriptwriting grasshopper who might--God protect him or her--try to seek help from me.

Jon McBride once told me something that I have kept near and dear to my heart ever since, and I will impart second-hand here: and that is that it takes all of your time and energy to promote your own work, and you really can't push forward someone else's career ahead of your own--but if your career takes off, you can pull people in your wake. And, consequently, other people can pull you along for the ride as well. And the magical part is that you don't know who among you will feel the tingle of that lightning strike.

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The day you know you've arrived is when somebody hacks your picture. Hmm, maybe I should get a soul patch. Or horns. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Xiao Lao Hu

Update to yesterday's post: I don't know every nerd on the planet, though perhaps my brother does, as he wrote me and reported that he might have seen that "one man show" guy in Bloomington, Indiana.

I fear I may have to do an intervention. A friend wrote and told me he bought a bunch of the Marvel "Heroes Reborn" stuff out of a quarter bin, and then actually began to read it.

Trying to finish my short script so that I can dive in on the Polonia Brothers' new project.

Somebody found my blog by typing in hirsute alan partridge hairy suit, whatever that means.

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MCF04 Memories

I just poached this off of my pal Jon Ashby's site (now added to my sidebar), the guy who also took my "terminator" photo at Mt. Rushmore. This was the last morning of Microcinema Fest 2004, and some tired-ass dudes going to the airport. I should have more info on MCF05 to post shortly. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Over at the Frankenstein Place

Yesterday I had a chance to get a glimpse at six or seven pages of a new ending for "Sex Machine" that Christopher Sharpe is going to gather his cast and crew together to punch out this weekend, changing the tone slightly. I'm really excited about this one and wish him well.

I may be starting up on a new Polonia Brothers movie shortly, details to come.

Yesterday I got a call from an old friend, and during the course of our conversation he asked if I knew a guy in Vancouver who did a one-man show version of "Lord of the Rings" and the "Star Wars" trilogy. I had to answer that no, though I play Dungeons and Dragons, collect comics, watch sci fi, read fantasy, and have gone to many, many fan conventions of all stripes, I HAVE YET TO MEET EVERY SINGLE NERD ON THE PLANET.

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Planet, Schmanet

Cool statue of Richard "Riff Raff" O'Brien, erected in a town in New Zealand where he spent his formative years. Strange to see a statue of a guy I once drank irish coffee with immortalized in such a fashion. Posted by Hello

Monday, January 24, 2005

Bungalow Bill

I learned this weekend that RAZORTEETH--the Polonia Brothers thriller that deals with the perils of digging up frozen pirahna and then crashing a planeful of them into a lake where people in bikinis might be swimming--has a street date: Tuesday, April 26. I might be working up a project with the Bros in the near future, and if so loyal readers will be the first to know.

I worked a lot this weekend on polishing up the short that I am hoping to pitch to a filmmaker soon that I have wanted to work with for a while, and if he doesn't think it stinks on ice (like those real taxidermied fish did in RAZORTEETH, as I found out when I went into Mark Polonia's garage this fall) I'll hopefully have that in the hopper soon.

I have spent a lot of time cartooning lately, trying to get the creative juices flowing, and this weekend ended up piecing together VOLUNTEERS #2, a humble ten-page comics 'zine that I would be glad to send to anyone who might want to read it. For those following closely, I drew VOLUNTEERS #1 to enter into an online 'zine contest at Broken Frontier for the sole purpose of winning some swag, which I didn't win but instead got a compliment and scanned page in a column at that site, which was almost but not quite as good.

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The Vow, Pt. 2

The second installment of my 2001 serialized comic "The Vow," available for your viewing pleasure. Posted by Hello

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Vow, Pt. 1

Way back in the summer of 2001 I started a "serial comic" that I distributed through my local comic shop for a few months. I found it under my bed yesterday and thought it might be fun for readers here, so I'll start posting it here for your (modest) enjoyment, enjoyment being a relative term. Note: I know I can't draw. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Zombies of the Stratosphere

MicrocinemaFest 2005 will actually be held in Palatine, Illinois, contrary to what I reported yesterday. I am hoping to be involved in the "Film Boot Camp" again. A new website should be up shortly, and then I'll post a link.

I have been working on a polish of a short script for a filmmaker I've wanted to work with for a while, and have been going full-bore the last few days. Those loud creaking noises you hear from the Midwest are my rusty gears turning again.

If you wonder what I thought of THE JIZZ MOPPER, click here. I will have my review of RECTUMA up by Friday, I hope, and then return to a saner corner of the world.

Now it can be told: last semester I had a student in my scriptwriting class turn in a project that included this sentence: She balled her eyes out on the coach.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Ging Chaat Goo Si Juk Jaap

A really nice article about my Microcinema Fest bunkmate, the soon to be famous Miguel Coyula, in Millimeter Magazine here.

Speaking of Microcinema Fest, I learned this weekend that the festival is moving to Schaumberg, Illinois, this year, and will be held August 8-14. Trying to clear my schedule even as we speak.

I thought I was finally cool when the address to send screeners to MicrocinemaScene was changed to my home address. The fact that the first two titles that arrived in my mailbox were called THE JIZZ MOPPER and RECTUMA seemed to dim the mystique somewhat.

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Friday, January 14, 2005

The Monster That Challenged The World

I haven't done a meme in a while, so here's a typically chatty one from Four for Friday, with answers off the top of my head:

Q1: How has the advent of the Internet changed the way you get your daily news?
I can sure find out a lot more about comics, movies, and music than I ever could before in the paper world; you can google even the most obscure topic and there's somebody who has built a shrine to it.

Q2: When you were younger, what were some things you dreamed about doing, and that you still think are possible to do today, but that you just haven't gotten around to doing or experiencing yet?
Directing a movie and writing a published novel or a comic book.

Q3: If you were forced to live on a deserted island for one year, what five things--aside from specific items of clothing--that you'd choose to bring?
Neil Stephenson's new trilogy (cheating and counting it as one), a propane grill, a toothbrush, a ream of paper, and a box of felt-tipped pens.

Q4: Did any notable or high-profile person's death in 2004 have a dramatic or long-lasting affect on you? (Here's a short list of some of the more notable people who died in 2004: Jack Paar, Marge Schott, Sir Peter Ustinov, Alistair Cooke, Tug McGraw, Pat Tillman, Estee Lauder, Alan King, David Dellinger, Sam Dash, Tony Randall, President Ronald Reagan, Ray Charles, Marlon Brando, Isabel Sanford, Rick James, Fay Wray, Julia Child, Geoffrey Beene, Red Adair, Richard Avedon, Janet Leigh, Rodney Dangerfield, Ken Caminiti, Christopher Reeve, Pierre Salinger, Yasser Arafat, Susan Sontag, Reggie White, Jerry Orbach, Johnny Ramone.)
Pat Tillman's because it was such a waste, and Johnny Ramone because it reminds me how long ago high school was.

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Capture of Grizzly Adams

Yesterday it was in the mid-60s, with flooding everywhere. Yes, rub your eyes, faithful reader, and read this again--just a few short days ago we were huddled around a fireplace and watching our frozen trees crash into the yard, yesterday was short-sleeve weather. Now Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston have broken up, another sign of the apocalypse. Rain of frogs pending.

This is what I bought with my last $50 of Christmas money, purchased off of today over lunch:

Extreme DV at Used-Car Prices: How to Write, Direct, Shoot, Edit, and Produce a Digital Video Feature for Less Than $ 3000 by Rick Schmidt

Rebel Without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player by Robert Rodriguez

Signal to Noise by Eric S. Nylund

Distraction by Bruce Sterling

On the Rez by Ian Frazier

The Manga TPB Madara - Volume 1 by Eiji Otsuka

and the CD The Other Side of Time by Mary Fahl

Stash for the next ice storm, methinks.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Leatherstocking Tales

Scored some kerosene and an actual can to store it in on the way home last night, just as they came off the truck at a local hardware store. Still on the prowl for batteries and lamp oil. A post-apocalyptic shopping list.

Christopher Sharpe has launched a new site for SEX MACHINE, available at Not much there yet, but I'm sure Chris will be adding to it.

I have $50 left of Christmas money and trying to figure out how to spend it. Thinking about buying this, for one. Suggestions welcome.

Turned my DVD player back on last night and wished I hadn't. I watched TROY. I don't mind a few liberties, but killing Agamemnon went a little far. For one thing, there was this little play called AGAMEMNON by Aeschylus that sorta gets negated if you do that. Next time, try research.

Turning on the laptop for my own work tonight, barring brown-outs.

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Monday, January 10, 2005

O Pioneers!

For those who have wondered what has happened to me, and for the vast majority who haven't, I have been far, far away from the blogosphere, recovering from a massive ice storm that struck my humble Hoosier home.

Last Wednesday morning the power went out at work, and we lurked around with flashlights thinking it would come back at any time; late in the day we were all dismissed, fully expecting to be back the next morning.

But we aren't, as myself and over 100,000 close friends and fellow travelers also lost power. At first I thought it would be fun to hunker down for a bit, and it was, an hour or so at a time. I never thought it would stretch into five days. Lots of reading by candlelight, cooking on my outdoor grill, splashing a little cold water around to freshen up, sleeping in front of the fireplace. There was literally no electricity around for fifteen square miles, so the nights are like a refugee camp, pitch dark and eerily quiet with just candles flickering here and there as far as the eye can see.

Neighbors without heat sources nor the hearty souls of outdoorsmen head out to hotels across the state line in Ohio and points farther south, while ice began to creak and groan in the trees above. Soon limbs and whole trees are coming down all around. A neighbor's garage roof is caved in, and a fifty-foot tree crashes into a shed in my backyard. I stand talking to another neighbor and watch a thigh-thick limb come down and stove in his chainlink fence. I think I might cruise around and check out the damage, but suddenly a tree right across the street began to break apart like an iceberg and crash into the street. All night we hear the limbs crack and the ground shudder.

We huddle around out little battery-operated radio and listen to stations come in and out as their generators waxed and waned. Red Cross putting in tons of shelters, hundreds of electric workers from West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, other places volunteer the come and help restore power. The storm raged over a four or five county area. We know literally nobody with electricity, some without water.

When we realize we might be out for a few days we decide to fall in line with the rest of the refugees and resupply at a local store. Many places are picked over, but even those that aren't are like a scene out of Stalinist Russia, with people lining up for bread, batteries, kerosene cans. My father stands in line for two hours with 50 other people waiting for kerosene heaters to come off a truck even though there are no cans for sale and the heaters never arrive. A guy comes up and stands in line for a few minutes before asking "what are we lining up for?"

After a few days our mail came through, and I get a couple of DVDs from NetFlix. It makes me think of when missionaries bring trinkets to remote tribes. I want to thread some clothesline through the DVD's center hole and wear it around my neck.

A neighbor whose freezer is thawing brings over some steaks and a pound of hamburger for me to grill. His wife brings a bag of walnuts and a big Hershey bar. These are our new commodities.

The phones still work, and we talk to people from all over. We find out we're on the national news from people who might as well be calling from the moon. I phone a neighbor who answers the phone rather breathlessly. Either they are moving furniture or the neighborhood will become more populous come September. This is what happened in the days before HBO.

As power came back to some areas our hotel-fleeing neighbors begin to check in. The pools had too much chlorine, the kids were bored just watching cable. The Colts won. The conversations seemed odd. It's funny how fast those things fall away.

My daughter reads the hell out of the new Harry Potter book and I read everything at hand. At night Scrabble, Euchre, Tripoley.

We see a fleet of utility trucks with Kentucky plates on the highway. Supposedly people are cheering for them wherever they go, like one has heard people cheered for our troops when they liberated Iraq.

Three inches of snow falls, putting a pretty blanket on the scarred trees, smashed cars, swinging gutters. Just what everybody needs.

The next day the sun comes out, and out of the kitchen window I see the curious sight of a man's head floating above the trees. A few moments later I realize he is in a bucket truck. I tell my wife, but she says not to get too excited. A few moments later the power comes back on. Hot water, a light in the bathroom, all taken for granted but miraculously restored.

50,000 people to go. Today the office is shellshocked, everybody walking around like it's Sarajevo. "Have power yet?" has replaced "hello" in the hallways. Everybody's had an adventure.

Another storm system brewing for the weekend. And the winter's not half over.

This is how I spent my Christmas vacation. Give me a shout at

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Cape Canaveral Monsters

Somebody found my blog by typing in sexy girls wanting to f--k in Dalton Georgia. Dude, I've been to Dalton, Georgia, and I didn't see any of those chicks around.

Already backsliding on my New Years' resolutions to lose weight and work harder. I ate a big-ass pice of my wife's homemade Baked Alaska last night and washed it down with chocolate milk while staring at my computer screen. All my words on the page just looked like pebbles on a beach. The last time I was in a bit of a slump I stumbled across a William Goldman book and the rust flaked right off. I trolled the shelves again, looking for inspiration. I looked at pictures of Russian pop stars and read an article in a magazine about the Korean film industry. I looked at a big grim graphic novel from Humanoids Publishing. I looked at a book about comic books in VietNam. Somebody left a copy of a working screenplay to CALENDAR GIRLS, with pencil marks and different colored pages and all, in my office mailbox and I thumbed through it. I looked through a Bob Dylan biography. He was saying that when he thought his career was over he heard a woodpecker outside his window and knew that as long as he was alive he would be interested in something. Words to live by. Now to get the wheels turning again.

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Monday, January 03, 2005

Sex Machine Update

A nice update today from Christopher Sharpe's blog ( about finishing the rough cut of SEX MACHINE over the holidays, with some new photos. Posted by Hello