Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Bright Elusive Butterfly of Love

I think I am officially the last comic-book nerd in America who hasn't seen Watchmen, a condition I hope to correct tomorrow when my son and I take a third stab at going.

In the meantime, I am off to the Phantoscope Film Festival today, in its third great year with perhaps the strongest lineup yet. If that is because I was not invited back to the roundtable discussion and in fact will spend most of the time either behind the projector or behind a camera taping the event is for the reader to decide.

See you at the Fest, or you can always catch me at

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Pounding of the Drums, the Pride and Disgrace

Thanks to the folks at HorrorBlips, who dubbed me one of "the Web's most popular horror news, videos, and blogs," even though I think this is the longest I have gone without posting since I started five years ago.

So I broke out a filling and had to get a root canal and then, while enjoying a nice meal at this restaurant in Ohio, broke my root canal and then had to go get a crown put on. Some script money I just made went right into my mouth instead of up my nose like my Hollywood brethren. Went through Cincinnati in a Vicodin haze but enjoyed a visit to Jungle Jim's. Cars breaking down, puppies vomiting up, FAFSAs and taxes, drama all around, a rain of frogs. A trip to Memphis for Spring Break drizzled down to a good piece of pie at a diner yesterday in Centerville, Indiana. Now here I am enjoying some nice fresh scones my wife baked this morning and getting back on the beam.

On my "Nerd Bucket List" for 2009 I have been doing alright amidst the chaos. I bumped into filmmaker Zack Parker, both of us getting an oil change at WalMart in Richmond Indiana, and gave him that script coverage I promised; I supposed that's what living in L.A. must be like. I am getting caught up on emails and am catching up on writing recommendations on LinkedIn like I promised. I still have more to do but am doing better than I was.

I have been foiled twice in going to see Watchmen with my son, but we are going to try again next Sunday. I loaned him the graphic novel to read and he, like legions of comic book fans before him, got blown away. But probably not as much as we did way back in the day.

It's hard to describe to somebody today what it was like when we saw it on the shelves. Back then in the 80s you might get a Hawkman and Atom team-up where they fight a gorilla with a robot brain. Then all of a suddent there's this dark, apocalyptic story like nothing we'd ever seen (of course, we had not seen 2000 A.D. yet where all of this was going on prior).

The first time I saw a Watchmen comic it was lying on a table at my old pal Eric Mayse's house, who later went to work for Todd McFarlane (curiously, the toy figure Cornboy was based on him). It was the final, death-dealing issue (which was fine, as I always like to read the endings first in books) and I could not fathom some of the last few pages in the context of what I was reading at the time. Suddenly it seemed okay to read comics again and I didn't have to pretend I was buying them for my son.

I think it's interesting how Alan Moore has become more sunny since then, especially his milestone Silver-Age musings in Supreme (which I think deserves wider mainstream recognition). Moore, like the rest of us, got milder and more philosophical over time; though he spawned a decade of darker and more violent comics, and I wonder what he thinks about that overall today.

Last week I finished judging the Phantoscope Film Festival, and think we will have a good lineup this year. If I don't see you at the Fest this Saturday, you can always catch me at