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Saturday, 31 March 2012

THE BAY EFFECT: How to make a Blockbuster...

A quick guide to how Hollywood comes up with all it's top notch blockbusting concepts or 'the Bay Effect'...

Step1: Choose a well loved character from the past, preferably the 80's with instant brand recognition and an established record in profitable merchandise. For my pitch I have chosen the CARE BEARS.

Step2: Hire the best team of writers or failing that hire the ones behind whatever the top rated TV show is at the time and begin to build "BUZZ" off the back of their shows hype.

Step3: If he's not directing (?) Michael Bay will no doubt be producing so a 'visionary'* director  has to be found. (*Generic.)

Step4: Suck out all the child friendly elements that made the central characters popular in the first place and apply the word "DARK" and or "EDGY" to whatever is left.

Step5: Although the selling point behind the movie are the beloved characters of your audiences youth, two hip young actors must be hired to give the film a human element your audience can relate to. So even though your going to see the CARE BEARS half the flick will be taken up by the relationship between these two characters that have little or no connection to the characters you want to see.

Step6: Milk the fucker for as much as you can because you only have a small window of time before some other money grabbing dick decides to release a big budget version of THUNDERCATS or scrapes the barrel and remakes the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and gives them a 'dark gritty origin', 'takes a leaf out the Highlander 2 (worst film ever) play book and makes them aliens' and rounds it of by changing the title to the comparatively dull 'Ninja Turtles'....oops.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Robert Crumb's Philosophy of Cartooning...

Illustration by Robert Crumb

This illustration appears on the back cover of the 'R.Crumb Handbook' and should appear on the wall of every art class of every art school.....

Monday, 26 March 2012

DOCTOR WHO New Series 2012 Teaser Trailer

 The first trailer to the new series and don't it look great.

Saturday, 24 March 2012


When ever a character is taken from a comic book and plastered on the big screen the choice of lead is usually a good indicator as to how the flick will turn out. Some casting choices are spot on (Robert Downey Jr. as Ironman) and some are so far off the mark you wonder if the director really new anything about the character at all (Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan). This is a top 5 of actors I'd like to see cast in comic book flicks.

5. Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan.
I think if you ask most (if not all) Green Lantern fans this would have been their choice for the role. He has since voiced Jordan in the Justice League: Doom animated feature...

4. Emily Browning as Robin.
There have been a couple of Girl Wonders in comics and I think Browning has shown (was I the only person that enjoyed Sucker Punch?) she could succeed in bringing the character to the big screen.

3.Ryan Gosling as John Constantine.
Right now Gosling is the moody brooding king of Hollywood with the acting chops to back it up and so would be perfect for everyone's favorite supernatural detective. A lot of fan-boys place the stink of the Constantine flick square at the feet of Keanu Reeves personally I blame the hacks that made it, for me Reeves at least looked like he was trying which is more than anyone else involved in that picture can say.

2. Clint Eastwood as Judge Dredd.
There was never any chance of this ever happening (at any time) in the real world but the idea of Dirty Harry taking the law to the streets of Mega City 1 would have been as close to perfect as it's possible to get after all isn't Dredd just Harry in a costume any way...

1. Al Pacino as Jack Kirby.
I recently read Mark Evanier's book 'Kirby: King of Comics' and after it I couldn't help think that Kirby's life was an Oscar winning movie waiting to happen with a worthy actor like Pacino playing the role of one of the all time great American artists and contributors to modern popular culture.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

JACK KIRBY Radio Interview....

I saw this photo yesterday and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Anyone with a passing interest in comics from superstar pros to enthusiastic amateurs like myself can't help but be influenced by Jack Kirby in some way or another, even if you've never read a comic I'll bet you'ved Marveled (I thank you) at the endless processions of big screen Marvel blockbusters most of which feature characters he created or co-created. Here's a radio interview with the man himself, enjoy.....

Monday, 19 March 2012

Designs for the THREE MUSKETEERS

Was looking through some old work of mine and came across these publicity designs I did for a production of 'The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain' by the Belgrade Theater Company (along with the Traverse Theater.)

And this was an earlier version with the hero's in uniforms......

Sunday, 18 March 2012

An homage to Steve Ditko's 'The QUESTION'.

Created by Steve Ditko 'The QUESTION' was originaly published by Charlton Comics (now owned by DC) and was the inspiration for Rorschach of the Watchmen.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Rob Newman : From Caliban to the Taliban - 500 Years Of Humanitarian Intervention".

 I think this show evolved into the more polished 'History of Oil' show but it's still light years and dimensions ahead of other stand ups. Absolutely worth listening to.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sunday, 4 March 2012

TOP 5 Things I liked about the STAR WARS PREQUELS.....ooft!

With the recent release of the (in-)Complete saga on Blu Ray and the re-release of the Phantom Menace in 3D the finale nails in my Star Wars coffin where uncerimoniously hammered in but I thought for shits and giggles I'd try and pick out 5 things I genuinly liked about the much loathed prequels....

5. VADER mach-1
I loved the idea of Anakin being Vader before donning the the iconic helmet.

4. Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi...
A cracking bit of casting if only there had been decent director and a proper script.

3. Naboo Royal Cruiser, N-1 Starfighter and the ARC-170 fighter.....

In the original trilogy most (if not all) the space ships where instantly recognizable even the more obscure vehicles like the Twin Pod Cloud Car or the TIE Bomber could be identified at a thousand paces but in the prequels there where a glut of space ships who's prime objective had nothing to do with the movies and everything to do with toy sales but these three stand out from the masses and look like they would exist in the same universe as the original trilogy...........

 The marketing for Phantom Menace focused primarily on it's most exciting character Darth Maul and didn't he have it all he had 'Darth' in his name, the double bladed light saber, he moved like a ninja and he looked amazing it was obvious he was going to be this trilogies No.1 bad guy so imagine my surprise when it turned out he had about two lines of dialog and got offed by the end of the first movie.....still as it would turn out despite his all too brief involvement he would indeed end up being the prequels No.1 bad guy.   

1. The Red Letter Media film reviews.....
As much as I hated the prequels when ever I tried to get across what it was that was so wrong with them I would inevitably turn into a babbling fanboy foaming incoherently at the mouth step forward Mr. Plinket to give his ridiculously in depth reviews which point out just what it is that's wrong with these flicks which is apart from all the contradictions they make to the originals these are not just badly made Star Wars movies but just badly made movies, full stop. If you haven't already check out Red Letter Media you won't be disappointed.