The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Archive for March, 2014

It’s been nearly a week now and I’m still trying to get my head around the death of Dave Brockie.

I’m not a fan of GWAR.I get it, it’s transgressive art (and let’s face it, I like transgressive film – so I understand liking that kind of music). I kind of like the idea of it, but the music doesn’t appeal to me.  Dave on the other hand really did appeal to me. He was funny and friendly. I liked seeing him do guest spots and really enjoyed the bits he was doing on Holliston as Oderus. The last time we talked I was trying to put him in touch with the Danny Bonaduche show (Danny always talks about GWAR – but half the time isn’t entirely certain that’s who he’s talking about…) and I’m so sad I’ll never see that interview happen. I’m going to miss this guy.

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Some of you know that I’ve been working with Angel lite comics on concept drawings and the initial story for their character Knightwolf.

Angel Lite Comics is pleased to announce that a newly revised edition of their very first book ‘A Knight no one Forgets’ is now available as a Kindle E-book from Amazon.com. A PDF file version is available as an alternative for a suggested donation of $1.50. Please contact us at tempest_raiko@yahoo.com for your copy and information on making a donation if you feel so led.  Don’t miss this great story!

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Todd Waites

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A few years back I was playing in a worship band with a one armed keyboardist named Todd. He went on to be a part of ApologetiX, one of my favorite bands.

These days he travels the country as an inspirational speaker and last year he reached out to me to design a logo for him for his “True Rockstars Don’t Hate” campaign.

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It’s a small image here. If you want a bigger one, why not go get a T-Shirt?

Visit Todd here –

http://www.not4nothing.net/about-todd-waites.html

http://www.toddwaites.com/

 

And don’t forget, new Violent Blue tomorrow!


Bonus Violent Blue!

essentialBonus Violent Blue for you this week!  (which is code for “I ran out of content”. Don’t worry, I’ll get stuff back on track next week!)

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HorrorHound Cinicy 2014

Conman

The thing is, this trip had a dark cloud hanging over it from the word go. Ted Raimi cancelled at the last minuet and I personally think the Walking Dead people are charging WAY  too much…especially for autographs without photo ops. HorrorHound is one of the biggest cons I’ve ever done and we’ve covered before how I don’t like big cons, but it was still an opportunity to complete my Evil Dead poster, and also a nice opportunity to do a ED2 poster….so off I go.

Except…I can’t find my keys.

First thing in the morning, I’m pulling stuff together, but my keys are missing. It takes forty five minuets of searching before my wife wakes up and sheepishly remembers she grabbed my keys last night by mistake and forgot to take them out of her coat pocket.

I’m now an hour late and instead of arriving early and getting a spot near the front of the line, I find myself waiting for over an hour to get in. Tickets for autographs with Bruce Campbell are sold out.

Crap.

New_IMG_0418Seriously, my mood is gone and that’s a shame, because there was still a lot here that can be fun, but it’s a lousy way to start convention season.

It was my first time at Horrorhound Cincinatti. Even though the Horrorhound Indy con was mediocre, I really wanted to hit this one because of the Horror Host Hall of Fame induction.  This was goign to be my one big trip this year.

Another great bit here was the heavy Ghostbuster influence. The Ohio Ghostbusters were there in full force and I got to do the unthinkable…I got to sit in the Ecto-1!!! One of the great costumes floating around as well was a guy dressed as Slimer. New_IMG_0405It’s a costume I now want to make myself….there was also a Stay Puft Marshmellow man and a bunch of Ghostbusters – men and women.  A great display was set up as well, showing off props and memorabilia. So much fun for a Ghostbuster fan like myself.

I was a littel shocked that the line to meet Clint Howard wasn’t longer. This guy is a legend, and easily one of the most recognizable character actors on the con circuit and it was a lot of fun to meet him. He had the head prop from Ice Cream Man there as well, and the detail on that thing was shocking. I was a little put off by his handler who good naturedly insisted on referring to me as a  New_IMG_0417“Geek” because I wanted a Star Trek photo signed, but otherwise really cool to meet Clint.

Another high point was finally getting to meet Charlse Band. I’ve been a Full Moon fan since college (and really before that – if  I were to really examine my UHF viewing as a child). I’ve meet Lloyd Kauffman before, and I appreciate how important Troma is to the genre, but Full Moon is really the other side of that coin, and the full moon astetic appeals to me far more than Troma’s gross out humor ever did. I got him to sign a Terrorvision poster (also signed by Richard Band – the composer for the film.) and was delighted to get a photo with him. That IMG_0422Terrorvision poster is goign to Cinema Wasteland with me in a couple of weeks  for Garret Grahame and Maybe I’ll find something else for Band to sign there!

There were a bunch of composers at this show – a really great idea, thoguh I’m not sure how well it worked out…their tables seemed to be perpetually empty. Still, I was able to get my Evil Dead poster signed as well as my Terrorvision – I wish I had remembered to bring my Conjuring and Wishmaster posters with me, and I could have gotten thier composers as well. One of the coolest however was Christopher Young. My Hellraiser poster has been a little bit of an issue. I originally bought it for a Gettysburg con  where New_IMG_0403Dough Bradley, Ashly Lawrence and Clive Barker were supposed to appear. Ashley and Clive both cancelled and it only got signed by Dough. His dedication was “See you in Hell!” Which always bothered my wife. I suppose I can see why.  At HorrorHound I got to meet Christopher Yong who created the music for Hellraiser.  His inscription was “See you in Heaven” instead and was one of the coolest encounters at the con.

Another appallingly short line was for the Crypt Keeper! He was inducted into the Horror Host Hall of Fame earlier and truely deserves it. I wasn’t aware that he had also done the voice for Buster Bunny on Tiny Toons – very cool. Another for my voice actor collection. he wasn’t just signing, he was doing answering machineNew_IMG_0439 messages…how cool is that?

All in all, not a BAD con, but poorly orginized and it’s gotten far too big. It’s also gotten a little greed with it’s VIP passes, higher than average prices on admission and autographs and the way they handle their “Professional Photo Ops”. More and more the big cons are leaving a bad taste in my mouth and I wonder if I’m done with the big ones…

We’ll see. Wasteland in Two weeks!

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The Adventures of Mr. Kidzpointe part three

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Part three of The Adventures of Mr. Kidzpointe! A little in gage here, Doctor Deak was my dentist growing up. That’s me behind the surgons mask by the way and the laughter is a Vincent Price sound byte. Don’t forget, new Violent Blue tomorrow!


Corvette Summer

forgotten bannervetteCorvette Summer from 1978 gave Mark Hamil something to do between Star Wars movies. It also stars Annie Potts and actually has a small role for Danny Bonaduche!

From IMDB : High School Senior Kenny Dantley’s only love in life is cars. For a shop class project, he and his classmates build a Corvette (“Stingray”). The car is a big hit — so big, in fact, that gets stolen! Kenny, having fallen in love with the car, sets out on a summer-long adventure in Las Vegas to find it. Along the way, he meets up with a “hooker-in-training” named “Vanessa”. The two encounter danger and romance as they try to steal back the Stingray.

I don’t have a lot to say about this movie. To say Hamil’s character is stupid is an understatement- there were times I genuinely wondered if he was supposed to be mentally handicapped. Not plastic helmet short bus level, just a slight retardation. He’s completely unlikable and the premise is ludicrous without being funny. The car is ugly by the way and Annie Potts is way to nice to be a hooker.

I miss the days of late-night UHF movies, because that’s a perfect way to see this – and you really should It’s a great bad movie, perfect for background noise or party screenings. It’s something everyone should see, but you’re going to feel ripped off if you have to spend any money on it.


Diane Perishing

Autographs

You know what’s cooler than getting an autograph through the mail?

Getting one for your KIDS.

I recently introduced the girls to Batman the Animated Series. I started with the Harley and Ivy episodes because I though they would be a good gateway…and who doesn’t like Harley Quinn? Well Maddie latched right on….to Poison Ivy. She LOVES the character. I had to make her a costume (more on that later…) and asked if we could get her autograph.

Well Diane Perishing is a sweet lady who was kind enough to send Maddie a signed picture (She also signed some She-Ra stuff for me, but that’s beside the point. This is Maddie’s moment!) !

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Solitaire

bestsol 1 93Solitaire is fairly easy to describe. He’s the Shadow with Wolverine’s Healing Factor and more of a superhero costume.

Writer Gerard Jones was fresh off of DC’s The Shadow Strikes when he created the character and really, it’s very much the Malibu universe version of the Shadow. He carries two pistols and has a network of operatives (agents) who assist him, setting things up, taking care of him. He’s the master of some arcane martial arts and has that mysterious vibe going on.

Jones actually created a good story arc for the character, his main goal to bring down his crimelord father who also happens to be the one who gave him his healing factor- nanites in his body that repair damage (these are later moved into the suit when he discovers  they are messing with his mind).

Like too many Ultraverse titles, this one got the axe before it was even 12 issues in, and was moved to mini-series format. That may actually have suited it better, because the initial run is basically Solitare’s arc to destroy his father. It’s one overall storyline divided up into several adventures.  The art changes as the series progresses…and really, not to it’s benefit. Still, it’s a title I really enjoyed and is a good gateway towards things like the Shadow, and definitely one of Malibu’s better characters. I picked up the entire series for less  than a dollar per issue. You can still find these in quarter bins across the country.

By the way, check out the first six issues. best cover gimmick EVER – they comprise the first six panels on the sixth issue!

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RPG films

Movie bannerI miss my gamer days. I actually do, but the problem is I was never a true gamer, but more of a casual player. I just wanted to run a game once a month or so, and it’s hard to find a group like that (even the guys I would play Heroclix with were always way more into it hat me, playing a couple times a week as opposed to me playing a couple times a month). I never did D&D (I know it’s fantasy, but I don’t dig having to deal with other deities. I have one God and he’s sufficient.) but would regularly play Earthdawn, Night Life ( Like Vampire the gdr-posterMasquerade, but less pretentious) and Star Trek (Which turned into the most popular one amongst my group). We even did a game night for one of my three bachelor parties.

I’m sure I mentioned the Gamers 2 on this blog a year or two ago, but I can’t seem to find the post to link to it. In any event, it’s a fun movie that captures the spirit of gaming, moving back and forth between the players sitting at the table playing, and shifting into the scenario itself, showing up the adventure they are having. It’s funny, and has a lot of heart – and despite being a sequal, is actually a superior film to the less than memorable The Gamers.

This weekend I watched Zero Charisma, a crowdfunded take on gamer life which originally screened at the Tribeca Film Festival. The main character is zero chrthe archtype of the loser gamer –  the one who lives with his parents (or in this case grandmother) feels entitled, the rule lawyer and obnoxious type. It’s not a bad film. The direction is good and there really is a story here. The main problem is having someone totally unlikable as the protagonist (and in certain ways antagonist). We don’t see much of an arc with him…he might have grown just a teensy bit at the close of the movie but I’m not sure. I feel I can cut him some slack when I see his mother (who abandoned him at an early age) and the truth is, as obnoxious as he is, he’s right about a few things. That doesn’t save his life from falling apart though, and in the end, you really can’t say he doesn’t deserve it. We spend an hour and a half laughing with him and cringing at him. It manages to be beautifully sad in the end.

I also hit up Knights of Badassdom. This one takes place at a LARP and ask the question what would happen if a bunch of gamers used a real spell book by accident and summoned a real demon? It’s directed by Joe Lynch, who I’ve been enjoying on Holliston and was recommend by Ted over on the Horror Knights_of_Badassdom_1Ect podcast. It’s great. A fun time in gamer culture, with some outside characters to ground us. Peter Dinklidge  is amazing here by the way. This is before Game of thrones, but he is an absolutely brilliant warrior in this. It manages to be tense, funny, bloody and fun all on a budget about equal to what you might pay for a happy meal at McDonalds. This, by the way is exactly my beef with the SyFy channel. They constantly put out soulless boring, stupid films on shoestring budgets with lousy CG on budgets about the same as what we see here. If this were the kind of movie SyFy was running on Saturdays, I’d be glued to the TV. Find some filmmakers with passion and a hook like this and give me some good films and you could win me back I and second. In any event, Knights is a high recommend along with the Gamers 2. Zero Charisma isn’t bad per se, but go in knowing its going to be a little depressing…there’s no rewatchability on that one.

I really have to run and get some Violent Blue done. I’m trying to do a topical series this week, but I can feel the window closing on me before I have to dip into the buffer and post a different strip. Still, before I go I’m going to throw a fun little music video in here. Also well done, though I’m not sure if gamer culture is being celebrated here or satirized…


Rapunzel

art showBannerTangled is one of Lydia’s favorite movies. This is her rendition of Rapunzel. I’m actually impressed she even got the tower in the background!

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The Iron Man project part three

Iron ManToday we need to finish that leg. The leg is actually only three pieces. one trifold, similar to the lower leg, a round piece going around the back adn one long piece for the side.

100_3968I really wanted some round whorls on the side, something to give the suite some texture and look a little more like the comic legs.

100_3969These strips have varying thickness and are glued onto the side panel of the leg. That side panel is attached to the front.

100_3973Finally we wrap a long flat piece of foam from one end to the other creating a leg piece. These cover the thighs and sit above the calf boots we created back i npart one.

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Next month we start work on the arm! but for now, remember, there’s new Violent Blue tomorrow!


Robocop

Movie bannerrobocop_poster_p_2013[1]I finally got around to seeing Robocop. I’d been putting it off, but you know what? the comic tie ins have actually been REALLY good. Enough to make me finally head out to catch the flick.

It’s not a bad movie, but it’s missing something. Not just the hyper violence but something else….and I think I figured out what it is.

The original was bursting at the seams with character actors. Peter Weller,  Dan O’Herlihy as the old man, Ronny Cox  as the senior exec, Miguel Ferrer  as the junior exec, Robert DoQui  as the sarge, even Ray Wise  in his henchman role and especially Kurtwood Smith as the villain. All of these guys are very much character actors and bring that to the role, however big or small.  Kurtwood Sminth in particular created a most memorable villain.  villiansTo look at him he’s not much. A short bald guy in glasses. That’s not frightening. That’s not intimidating. That’s George Costanza with a gun.  But he immediately sets the tone by throwing a henchman out the back of a van and his tone and look tells you he’s sometone to be reckoned with. His approach is memorable and terrifying., even before the bad guys literally disassemble the human Alex Murphy. The villains in the reboot are far less memorable. What about the sarge? Brash and loud and yelling…but you like him none the less. The sergeant in this movie….I could care less. She’s so polite and softspoken I’m not even interested enough to look up her name.

You only have two real character actors in this movie, Sam Jackson and Jackie Earl Hailey – Jackson’s reduced to just little more than cameos . Jackie Earl Hailey fares a bit better and is one of my favorite characters, but might have maddoxbeen better used in a different role. (Michael Keaton used to qualify, but honestly, I don’t see it anymore). The cable news show segments don’t work nearly as well as the news program in the original did by the way,  Jackson is great, but where’s the satire in political commentary? It’s satire in of itself. Satirizing straight reporting works much better.

My other issue is it’s SO clean. Everything is just SO clean. I’ve been in Detroit. It’s not that sparkling. Even the graffiti is brightly colored and artistic.  The police station is nice, brightly lit…the police stations on TV like in Law and Order look dingier than this.  That was one of the things about the original – the police house looked dirty. The alleyways were messy. The vlcsnap-2014-02-27-14h25m31s164hideouts were dark and dank.  Even Robocop himself-he was…uncomfortable looking –particularly if you took that helmet off. It all made it feel more real world. A very NEAR future, and a far better illustration of the dichotomy between the white and blue collar worlds.

The power of the original was that it created something new. Something original that we hadn’t seen before. Robocop gave us violence in a level we weren’t used to seeing. It gave us robots and high technology that were comparable – perhaps in some ways even superior to what we had seen in Star Wars. Moreover it placed it in a VERY near future… one we could recognize, much as Alien did. The remake doesn’t create anything new…at best it polishes something old, and that’s hardly groundbreaking. It doesn’t endear us the way something original does.

ed209I’m not going to talk about the lack of violence or the superiority of Practical over CG – those are knee jerk arguments. In fact, I thin the Ed209s look better than they ever did.  I could attack it for taking itself too seriously –perhaps more seriously than the subject matter deserves. But honestly, I think I could deal with that –particularly if it had been a sequel (in the “next Generation” vein or Star Trek ’09 mode)  rather than a reboot. I can’t help but wonder, would I have gone to see this if it didn’t have the Robocop name?  The Tin Man metaphor that is brought up repeatedly through the movie is a good one, because this honestly, what this film is missing is simply it’s heart.