A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Friday, October 31, 2008



* Let the Right One In, a Swedish vampire film that really gives the genre a whole new lease on its undead life.


I fulfilled my goal of one horror movie through October, leading up to Halloween.

* The Blob, a dull teensploitation flick from the 1950s featuring Jell-O as a monster.

* Carnival of Souls, Herk Harvey's moody indie ghost story from 1962.


* Six in Paris, an anthology of French New Wave directors tackling different neighborhoods in the City of Light. Produced by Barbet Schroeder, and featuring segments by Rohmer, Chabrol, and Godard.

* Talib Kweli: Live at the Shrine, a concert video from the rapping wordsmith.

Current Soundtrack: Spiritualized, Songs in A&E

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, October 27, 2008


Stolen outright from Joëlle Jones' blog:

Available in finer comics shops everywhere this Wednesday, and it should be on its way to bookstores and online outlets, as well.

Token, page 29

A couple of early reviews:

Avid Book Reader

Steve Duin of the Oregonian


And, of course, don't forget how much I liked the book.

Go forth and purchase...

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Not as many this week, but hey, everyone needs a break?


* Ashes of Time Redux, the restoration of Wong Kar-Wai's martial artist stunner. I was very excited to see this, as you will likely read! [Edit: Now with correct link.]


I'm keeping on with my goal of one horror movie a week until Halloween, don't worry. This week isn't over yet!

* Missing, the Costa-Gavras docudrama with Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek. Oh, the memories!


* Ludwig, the gigantic Luchino Visconti biography of the mad king of Bavaria. This took a while to get through, which is why I slowed down some. (Plus, I have some big sets I am starting, too.)

* Mondays in the Sun, a Javier Bardem vehicle about men struggling with unemployment in Spain. A surprisingly meaningful drama with good characters and a balance of humor.

Current Soundtrack: Pink Floyd's original Peel Session from 1970. Download it here.

Current Mood:

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Limited Control is a blog devoted to exploring the work of filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, including tangential connections to his movies as represented in other people's work. Yesteday they added an entry on the Ghost Dog comic I edited at Oni Press.

I was quite happy to see this pop up in my Google Alerts, as this is one of my favorite comics and one that is quite often forgotten due to its limited and irregular release schedule. The link has quotes from Scott Morse, who wrote and illustrated the comic book, and he mostly has it right. Given that it's from an old interview, he is being diplomatic in terms of the artist he replaced. The person who was going to draw it, whose name I couldn't come up with no matter how much I searched my memory (so don't even ask), was brought to us by the studio. They had been trying to put together this promo comic all on their own, and it wasn't working. There was no script, and someone had hired this artist. He was a decent draftsman, as I recall, but his style was very boring, very generic. He was probably someone's friend, some art director's cousin or something. We didn't really want him on the book, and when it became obvious that the guy couldn't handle the workload to get it done in the timeframe required, I did nothing to try to convince him otherwise.

The three-week turnaround is generally unheard of, but we really did move that fast. The movie was going to be released in a matter of weeks, and the studio wanted this one-shot comic to be used as a promo item and was mainly going to be handing it out at press junkets for the movie. It wasn't solicited through Diamond in their main catalogue, we had long since passed the deadline for books coming out that month, so it was buried in one of their weekly updates and only garnered modest orders. We got it done, however, thanks in large part to the Herculean efforts of my pal Chip Carter to make sure it got through approvals smoothly. The only hiccup I recall came on the day we were going to press, and Chip left me a message before start of business regarding problems with the cover. If I recall, that is the semi-notorious morning where Joe Nozemack and I walked in the office, he saw me checking voicemail, and then the next thing he knew I was savagely beating my phone with its own receiver in a gangland-style version of "Why are you hitting yourself?" Of course, the change turned out to be very minor, which just goes to prove that if you can avoid leaving ambiguous messages for people, you probably should.

The Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samurai movie did modest business, though it does have a dedicated and ever-growing following. The comic was an even more modest success as far as reaching a large audience, though we all did okay financially since the studio was paying for the copies they needed, which was a decent print run. It didn't have to sell to make a profit. Much like the movie, thought, it is one of those curios we hear about from time to time from a random fan who managed to find it. Anyone who reads it loves it.

As if paralleling that, every time we thought we had run out of copies, we'd find a cache of twenty more hidden in our offices. I often wish I would somehow find a whole case of them, because it's a book I would love to have to hand out to my friends, whether they love comics or not. It's a book I can talk about to people who aren't otherwise impressed with my former career that makes them impressed. They know Jim Jarmusch is pretty cool, and they know Ghost Dog is pretty cool, so how can they not be?

Unfortunately, a quick look at the Oni site shows it's not listed in their store. I guess they haven't found any extra copies lately.

* In comics, "gutter" is another term for the spaces between the panel borders and also around the page. I explain this lest someone think I am somehow insulting the book, which, being the internet, someone might even though the rest of the post clearly refutes that. The title is a play on the My Latest Novel song "Ghost in the Gutter. Just so you know how my reference-laden mind works.

Current Soundtrack: Brian Eno, Here Come the Warm Jets

Current Mood:

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Marc Ellerby has opened a new site for his Ellerbisms, complete with RSS capability (I added it to my Google Reader!). Check it out!

He's currently off the one-day-per-strip model to serialize a longer strip about his troublesome year spanning 2007 and 2008...

Current Soundtrack: Gosh, nothing actually

Current Mood:
"No way will I ever be out-Texaned or out-Christianed again!"

It's been about 24 hours since I saw Oliver Stone's George Bush biopic W., and I still can't make up my mind what I think about it. I guess it will be another entry in Stone's "interesting but not quite there" column, which is pretty overloaded these days and has really tipped the scales for the director. All in all, W. is marred by an uneven tone, neither full-on satire nor full-on political drama, and the technique left me scratching my head more than it had me either jeering or applauding.

Right now the film is famous for being the only biography film made of a sitting U.S. President, and for Stone's rushing to make sure it was in theatres in time for the election. It's also getting lots of notice for the performances, specifically Josh Brolin, whose uncanny portrayal of George W. Bush goes beyond mere impersonation to something more akin to demonic possession. He plays the Prez at every age from college all the way up to the recent past, and he gets the smirk, the squint, the laugh, the nerdy swagger. It's just too bad that there were no scenes with Bush Jr. and Ronald Reagan, because Josh's daddy James could have reprised the role of the elder statesman that he played in the 2003 Reagans movie.

The casting is actually the most winning element of the movie, with Elizabeth Banks distinguishing herself in an understated performance as Laura Bush and James Cromwell bringing some humanity to George H.W. Bush, who surprisingly comes off as the voice of reason in all the Iraq madness. Big points also to Thandie Newton, who disappears behind a pile of make-up to play Condoleeza Rice as a simpering lapdog, hinting at the kind of over-the-top lampoon W. could have been.

On the other side, the closed-door meetings leading up to the war in Iraq provide some of the more compelling moments, with a troubled Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright) struggling mightily against the unturnable tide. Stone and screenwriter Stanley Weiser, who also wrote Wall Street and Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story, piece together fact and fiction to imagine what could have happened, sprinkling in famous soundbites and gaffs that have seared the blundering of the Bush administration into the public consciousness. (W.'s official site provides a guide for how things were put together and sources used.) The President is portrayed as the eternal screw-up who got his life on track when he became a true believer, and who ultimately let his ego and his single-mindedness lead him into a situation he could not handle. Stone doesn't seem to know if he was a patsy who got taken to the cleaners by his ambitious cabinet or a righteous dummy who didn't ask enough questions. I think he'd like us to think it was a little of both.

Stone commits several blunders, though, not the least of which is the cornball score by Paul Cantelon that I think has earned the flick some of its comparisons to TV movies. The bigger problems are multiple scenes that seem like non-sequiturs amidst the already disjointed editing and a hammy dream sequence that serves as the fulcrum to tip us into W.'s climax.

My immediate reaction to the movie was that I wished it hadn't been so cartoony, but then when I considered it in terms of Stone's other Presidential pictures, JFK and Nixon, both of which are played as serious and near-operatic, I started to wonder if that wasn't the point. Stone was treating George Bush with the respect he deserves. We see the President eating lunch in the White House with Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss), and with the entire nation's resources at his fingertips, Bush is dining on a limp ham sandwich and Cheetos. In fact, he's stuffing his mouth in just about every scene, his eating habits revealing that, no matter how well they groom him, he's still a boor undeserving of serious consideration. He may be a calculating schemer with no moral compunctions when he's going for the win, a kind of Jay Gatsby for the sports set, but he's still an uncouth, petty daddy's boy deep down.

Oliver Stone has said that he started to identify with George W. Bush, and I fear that part of the connection was that Stone also seems like a pretender to the throne at times, his drive and ambition often outstripping his skills. That seems to be the case here, with W. lacking the intellectual incisiveness required for mission accomplished.

Current Soundtrack: The Cure, 4:13 Dream (stream it on MySpace)

Current Mood:

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Okay, back to comics.

Much has been made in various comic book news circles about this quote playwright and actor Eric Bogosian gave to MTV's Splash Page:

“The problem is […] what they want to do is make a deal to do the graphic novel, which would be great, and there’s no money there, which is fine — obviously you’re doing it for the fun of it — but if a movie comes out of it, then they guarantee that they will not pay you for it, that they will screw you.”

I've seen it framed as indicative of something inherently wrong with the comics industry and the fact that some publishers ask for a cut of film rights before proceeding with a book. Personally, I have no problem with this, and have gone on record that part of the reason I let Oni have media rights as part of our publishing agreement is I like their mechanism for pursuing these things and I have zero interest in being involved. I am willing to give them a cut for their doing the work (I do get paid for it, and if Bogosian is being honest that he wouldn't, well I wouldn't have signed that deal either; I think he's exaggerating). If I ever change my mind on future projects, I can either renegotiate or go elsewhere. Either way, then I will likely use my agents to handle those new publishing deals, because *gasp* it's another thing I'd rather let others do, thus leaving myself more time to write. Other people can choose to do otherwise, that is their prerogative. There is no right or wrong here, just what is right for you, and that can be fluid for both the creators and the publishers. (I always thought Oni should be willing to step back from things based on what a particular artist brought to the table; in some instances, he or she may already have the media mechanism in place.) Know what is right for you, and go with that. As long as you're not signing copyright away, I have no beef.

What I haven't seen is anyone call a spade a spade here and note that what Eric Bogosian appears to be trying to do is get a publisher to pay for a glossy pitch package so he can sell his idea to a movie studio. He may or may not really care about the comic in the long run, I don't know, but the comic is not the end goal here. In defense of my friends on the editing and publishing side of comics, they see this thing all the time, and they have been seeing it for many, many years. As an editor, I saw it constantly, people bringing their stinky, failed ideas to comics because they couldn't make a go of it in other media. Too many writers from other fields see comics as their dumping ground for ideas that have languished elsewhere. I even used to get full novel manuscripts with cover letters where the writer explained that he or she had not sold the novel and wanted me to read it to "see if it will make a good comic." You know how many of these novels and screenplays I read in ten years of editing? Zero. If you're so interested in making a comic, then put your ass in your chair and rewrite it as a comic, then talk to me. No one wants to put time and company resources into a project that the creative team will abandon as soon as their new, expensive advertisement that they expected the comics publisher to pay for gets them what they really want.

Talk to any editor at any company, they have seen this all before.

Honestly, this is exactly the time when a publisher should be asking for a cut of other media. I don't wish to disrespect Mr. Bogosian, whose work I have very much enjoyed in the past, but he's not exactly at the peak of his fame and readers aren't going to be lining up for a comic book by the police captain from the lowest rated show in the Law & Order franchise. (And me, I love Law & Order, so my honesty hurts here.) I could see if this were maybe someone like Gerard Way or Joss Whedon, whose Dark Horse work has attracted a ton of attention, enough to make any company want to be in bed with them regardless of their motives (which, as far as I can tell, are unimpeachable anyway, and in terms of Way's The Umbrella Academy, the comic has always been a comic first and foremost, and one of the best of the year to boot). I'm sorry, but in this case, it smacks of somebody wanting to plant their seeds in the comic book garden and then not invite comics to eat the veggies once they've ripened.

I could be wrong. Apparently, Eric Bogosian does like comics, so his artistc heart could be in the right place (he may have even already adapted the screenplay to the form, too). Obviously, this is just my interpretation, but I don't see where Vertigo or any other publisher is the bad guy in this. Given the failure of Virgin Comics and their line of "napkin properties"--celebrity driven comics where most of the celebrities would be lucky to be called B-listers and whose actual involvement was questionable--I think there is a very solid case to be made against these kinds of books as viable publishing concerns. There is even a case to be made against comics as an arena for building a fanbase for something from another field, as Tom Spurgeon recently did in regards to the comic book The Ferryman. Tom even notes a tendency from within our industry to craft some titles more for their potential Hollywood sale than for good reading in today's review of War Heroes. (I have read neither of these books so can only agree with the general sentiment, not the specific application.) Making good comics has always followed a simple formula: do the comics as comics, and worry about the rest later. So simple, it has to be repeated over and over, because too many are too determined to make it more complicated.

Think, too, we're also assuming that the comic is actually good just because it has a respected celebrity behind it. Nothing in the last part of that statement is any indicator of the first. It has, after all, been languishing as a movie idea for a decade, so who the hell knows? I also don't want to make it out like these types of projects can never be good, as the right creative team and the right idea could be comic book gold. One quote by one guy about one pitch no one knows anything about--I'd call that much ado about nothing. The same comic book everyone-thinks-we're-nerds-and-all-of-our-business-practices-are-wrong persecution complex, different comic book day.

Current Soundtrack: The Spandells, "Say No Girl;" Sparks, Kimono My House

Current Mood: dismissive

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Thanks to Oregon's awesome ballot-by-mail system, I dropped my votes off at my local library today, and I picked up a couple of books to boot! (Free books from the government? Is that socialism?!) I've made no secret that I am an Obama supporter, and I carried through and filled in the bubble next to his name.

I have to say, it's a real relief to have taken care of business, particularly as this campaign just gets nastier and nastier. I don't feel like trying to play fair in my own writing anymore and spreading the blame around, since at this point I feel like the McCain/Palin Campaign of Shame has pretty much told me that I don't matter in their America and that "reaching across the aisle" is not going to happen unless people who are just like them are on the other side. Does anyone remember in the last debate when McCain accused Obama of fomenting a class war? I do! I also remember what they say about pointing a finger, Senator McCain--four are pointing back at you.

It's sadly ironic, when you think about it. In that debate, John McCain kept saying that you had to listen carefully to Barack Obama's words because his true message rested somewhere amidst his big vocabulary where us stupid folk in TV land could not ferret it out. It's a common trick, accusing the other guy of doing what you are doing, cast the suspicion over there ("Look! Behind you!"), and then pull a rope-a-dope when the eyes are off you. McCain and his cronies give us "straight talk" about Obama's class war and socialism, and then I guess we will not notice that the government is privatizing failed businesses and borrowing policies from FDR (who was also accused of socialism, which is only bad if you think socialism is bad, which I don't) and Sarah Palin can pick and choose who amongst the American populace is "really American" unhindered. If we aren't listening to the words of John McCain, he can sneak a phrase like "pro-abortionist" into the debate and encourage his supporters to change the language of one of the most heated issues of the last thirty years, vilifying an entire group of people who actually have the law on their side and pushing us all even further apart.

The buzz phrase leading up last week's debate was "Who is the real Barack Obama?" It's a cute piece of fearmongering, continuing to paint Obama as "the other" and preying upon racial and religious prejudices. Never mind that on McCain's insistence, Obama answered every accusation being thrown at him, including William Ayers and ACORN. After Obama's refutation of the accusations, McCain would simply reply with "That's not true," and yet he offered nothing to back up his rejection of Obama's allegedly slick words. Gee, sir, what do you know that you're not telling us? Where is the straight talk? Because your crooked talk is bringing out the worst in the worst of us.

I've voted in every election since I've turned 18. I pay my taxes. I live in a state that is prominently liberal, though we have a wide variety of communities across the state with vastly differing views--so, really, we are a microcosm of the country. Oregon has sent a lot of its sons to fight for the country, and at a great cost. So, don't tell us we're not mainstream. Don't tell us we're not part of the real America. Last I checked, in a democracy, all voices are equal and the mainstream is defined at the voting booth. Come November 4, Senator McCain and Governor Palin, this fake America is going to put you outside of that mainstream where you belong.

I encourage everyone to watch the October 20 episode of The Daily Show, viewable for free and in its entirety right here. Not only will you hear Sarah Palin hoist herself on her own petard, but you can also enjoy the righteous anger of Jon Stewart, who tears apart this awful way of thinking in a manner for more eloquent and much funnier than I ever could. And as he reminds us, New York City is likely part of this fake, big-town America Mrs. Palin so despises, yet it was good enough for Osama Bin Laden to attack while the Alaskan governor had her back turned, keeping her eye on Russia to keep real America safe.

UPDATE: I was just sent this petition set up at Americans United for Change to declare that one can be a liberal/progressive and love America at the same time.

Text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Saturday, October 18, 2008


The effects of the writer's strike in Hollywood this past year is still being felt in our television sets. As the 2007-2008 seasons of our favorite shows come to DVD, for instance, regular collectors of TV on DVD are realizing that these new collections are much shorter than usual. This was a result of the months where work was halted and Hollwyood's slavish adherence to a school-year schedule. Even with this pause, the season had to end on time, even if contracts and commitments were for a certain number of episodes.

I think that latter cause is coming to bear on ER, the long-running medical drama that I have been a fan of since almost the beginning. I signed on as a regular viewer somewhere in the first or second season, thirteen years ago, 1995. That's quite a stretch, and up until two years ago, one that was usually rewarded. Somewhere in unlucky season 13, the series hit a lurch that it never found its way out of. Like that old car that takes longer to warm up in the mornings and starts to rattle and make noise like it's going to fall apart when you accelerate over a certain speed, ER wasn't performing the way it once was.

I use the car metaphor because speed is a big factor in why ER was beginning to suck. The pacing of the show had always matched the hyperdrive of the environment. Too many patients, not enough hours in the day, and precious few moments to get it right and save lives meant that the drama was always pushing forward, rushing to cram in as many plot points and character moments as possible before the clock ticked over into the next timeslot. As season 14 began in the autumn of 2007, ER's team had downshifted out of their usual frantic pace and now were taking their time, as if there weren't enough patients or even the will to work, let's all just kill time until our shift is over.

Surprisingly, the signal point for this doom was when Stanley Tucci joined the cast as the new chief in the emergency room. Say what you want about Tucci, but the actor, who has played everything from Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream to gangster Frank Nitti in Road to Perdition
and even the Tim Gunn-esque art director in The Devil Wears Prada, has never had a problem injecting life into a flagging production. He's like the caffeinated coffee you secretly sneak into the decaf pot when your unsuspecting coworkers require a little pep. Apparently, there was a double switch, like a spy comedy where we lose sight of which glass has the poison, and the whole crew was getting decaf. Gone was the adrenaline-fueled show style and the sense of urgency; here to stay was an increasingly lackadaisical sense of malaise.

Which is a tad off topic, going the long way around to say I had grown tired of ER, with its increasingly ridiculous big-event finales and the soap opera Achilles heel where many shows go on so long they have no more options for romantic couplings as everyone has slept with everyone else at one time or another. Had not rumors begun circulating at the outset of season 14 that it would be the show's last, I'd have jumped ship. After so long, though, it seemed silly to not see it through.

Then the writer's strike happened and those rumors dried up for a while, only to re-emerge to stay this season: #15, 2008-2009, would be the last one at long last, full of cameos and returning characters and farewells.

Only, three episodes into the new season, and it seems pretty clear to me that this year is going to be largely an add-on, an unplanned epilogue to the previously expected ending. Season 14 was nineteen episodes, four short of the usual twenty-three, so leftover four scripts waiting to be produced, perhaps? How else do we explain the killing of the Mekhi Phifer character in the season premiere and the departure of Maura Tierney in the third installment, which aired this past Thursday? Why would you dispense with the two actors with the most seniority in the cast so early on, unless maybe their contracts only covered a certain number of episodes, and that number logically would have fit with the full order of the previous season? Given the constantly renewable plot structure of the series--a teaching hospital such as Country General has a revolving door where staff comes and goes quite regularly--it makes a certain amount of sense that Phifer and Tierney might have left a few episodes before the end of the series, giving us a finale that showed an all-new staff completely unrecognizable to the team of doctors we met back in 1994--but a whole season's worth of John Stamos and Scott Grimes? Really?

This past week's farewell to Tierney's Abby Lockhart character was about as uninspired as they come. The basic idea was that Abby had not told anyone she was moving to Boston, and she shows up to her last day without any fanfare. Bookended by voiceover where the character waxes philosophical (was she reading from the Bible?) and featuring story lines that revolved around Abby saying good-bye to friends and passing an endless series of torches to those she was leaving behind featured echoes of many similar farewell episodes, but it felt far more forced this time around, largely due to the poor treatment of the character in the previous season.

Tierney joined the cast in 1999, and in the near decade that followed, her character has gone trough a lot, including wrestling with alcoholism and a history of mental illness in her family, various failed relationships, and a career path that took her from being a nurse to becoming a doctor. The apex of this character arc was her marriage to Luka Kovac (Goran Visnjic), presumably finding the stability she had always been searching for. Instead of making Abby the show's new uber-doctor (and its first woman in that role, really), however, the writers decided to spend another season kicking her around: she falls off the wagon, has an affair, and loses her confidence and very nearly her job. For the years we spent rooting for Abby to get ahead, this was a sad payoff. Even Tierney publicly expressed a desire to see her character killed rather than merely waving good-bye, saying it was the only thing they had not yet subjected Abby to. Extreme though it may be, it makes more sense than spending her last hour of television finally letting the character be everything you have spent the last year telling us she could not be.

And so, what does that leave us with? 19 episodes full of character we care little for? How long before more of them have contracts that run out? What will it matter if Noah Wyle or Anthony Edwards return to reprise their roles as doctors from the original staff if there is no one left at the hospital that actually worked with them? In strolls Dr. Carter, to a refrain of, "And you are...?"

As of right now, I'm strongly considering making this past week's episode my own personal finale. As the last character I have any investment in departs, so too shall I. Loyalty is a two-way street, and if the producers of ER have so little interest in rewarding mine, then why do they continue to deserve it? This is supposed to be entertainment, a part of the old "Must-See TV" line-up. Now tuning in every week is just a chore.

Watch the full episode of ER, "The Book of Abby."

Current Soundtrack: Kaiser Chiefs, Off With Their Heads; the Rolling Stones, "Hitch-Hike;" The Futureheads, "The Futureheads;" the Last Shadow Puppets live on WXNP; Sugababes, Catfights and Spotlights

Current Mood:

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Friday, October 17, 2008


At long last, the Image Comics solicitations for January 2009 are out, and I can finally tell you what book all of those stories I've been teasing at will be featured in.

by Chynna Clugston-Flores, Jamie S. Rich, Scott Mills, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Rich Johnston, Salgood Sam and many more! (cover James Parsons)

In the tradition of Image's bestselling Comic Book Tattoo and Put The Book Back On The Shelf comes This Is A Souvenir, an all-new anthology showcasing the very best creators comics has to offer reinterpreting the popular music of indie Britpop band, Spearmint! Features over two hundred pages of stories from such names as Blue Monday's Chynna Clugston-Flores, Phonogram's Jamie McKelvie and many, many more!

JANUARY 28 - 208 PAGES - FC - $29.99

To hear some Spearmint, visit their LastFM page.

I am lucky enough to part of two stories for this. The first is with our pal Natalie Nourigat, adapting the song "Julie Christie!"

page 1 - "Julie Christie!"

The second is the one drawn by Kelley Seda, and it is for an unreleased song that I was asked to adapt called "The First Time You Saw Snow." It's going to be on the new album next year.

page 1 - "The First Time You Saw Snow"

By the way, Marc Ellerby is going to be in this book, too, and has a preview up on Flickr.

UPDATE: Mike Holmes has added his sneak preview of his story here.

Current Soundtrack: various Spearmint tracks

Current Mood:


* Cathedral Park, a romantic indie from Portland currently doing the festival circuit.

* What Just Happened, a Hollywood tell-all that tells nothing, despite some good work from Robert DeNiro. Based on a book by Art Linson, the story has been defanged beyond recognition.


I'm keeping on with my goal of one horror movie a week until Halloween.

* Corridors of Blood, another Boris Karloff thriller, this time with the big guy as a doctor trying to invent laughing gas but with no one to experiment on but himself!

* Jigoku, a 1960 Japanese film that opens the gates of Hell and shows you what's inside.


* Chaplin: 15th Anniversary Edition, the flawed biopic stays memorable thanks to Robert Downey, Jr.

* Flight of the Red Balloon, wherein one of my favorite contemporary filmmakers, Hou Hsiao Hsien, pays tribute to one of my favorite children's films.

* Sunshine Superman: The Journey of Donovan, an overlong documentary about the '60s singer that starts strong but finishes long after it should have stopped running.

Current Soundtrack: ABBA, William Bell, Baby Washington, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Ian Brown, Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, Brett Anderson...plus Marvin Gaye & the Moonglows each doing versions of "(I'm Afraid) The Masquerade is Over"

Current Mood:

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Or at least they won't be if certain powers stay in power.

Fun Boy Three wrote "The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum" back in 1981, so why do they sound so current? Why did similar sentiments come to mind when I heard the rhetoric of John McCain in last night's debate? Given that lyricist Terry Hall was referring to Ronald Reagan when he used the word "cowboy," and that President's recent resurrection as a hero, I guess it makes a certain chilling sense. (I can't remember, could Reagan actually pronounce "nuclear"?)

I see a clinic full of cynics
Who want to twist the peoples' wrist
They're watching every move we make
We're all included on the list

The lunatics have taken over the asylum
The lunatics have taken over the asylum

Go nuclear the cowboy told us
And who am I to disagree
'Cos when the madman flips the switch
The nuclear will go for me

The lunatics have taken over the asylum
The lunatics have taken over the asylum

I've seen the faces of starvation
But I just cannot see the point
'Cos there's so much food here today
That no one wants to take away

The lunatics have taken over the asylum
The lunatics have taken over the asylum - take away my right to choose
The lunatics have taken over the asylum - take away my point of view

The lunatics have taken over the asylum - take away my dignity,
Take these things away from me

The lunatics have taken over the asylum - take away my family,
Take away the right to speak
The lunatics have taken over the asylum - take away my point of view,
Take away my right to choose


Another auction, this time to benefit various women's shelters and featuring an item donated by Joëlle Jones, among many others.

The third annual Wonder Woman Day will be taking place on October 26 with events in Portland, OR, and Fleminton, NJ. Both cities will have special events with various comics guests and items up for bid. You can read more about that and see the various pieces for sale at the WW Day website.

Joëlle has donated a lovely portrait of Ms. Diana Prince that is amongst the Portland items. I've seen it in person, and it's marvelous. A full oil painting on hand-stretched canvas.

If you don't live in these cities, do not fret! From today through 10/25, you can send in blind bids via e-mail. Here is the info on how.

Jaime Hernandez, J. Bone, Scott Morse, Neil Vokes, Simon Gane, Bill Morrison, Guy Davis, and many others have items up for auction. Check 'em out, and consider bidding on those rather than competing with me for Joëlle's!

Current Soundtrack: George Michael, Twenty-Five

Current Mood:

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Here is your chance to contribute to the historic Presidential race of Barack Obama and pick yourself up a rarity from my career at the same time.

I have donated this item to the Comics Industry for Obama auction.

It's a copy of the original bound version of Cut My Hair I made back in 1998 when I had finished the book and wanted to share it with friends, family, and people who might publish it. The story contained inside is essentially the same, but this was before it was copyedited, pre illustrations, its raw form. The cover was drawn by me, taken from a sketchbook of mine and drawn back in college when I first started to write the book and featuring my interpretation of Mason feeling out of place in the church.

Only 25 of these were made, and I hand numbered them. This is #13. It's only the second time I've released the leftovers to the public, the last time being a 9/11 charity. Given that I only have two copies left, this cold be the last time, as I'll think twice before I part with another. (Of the two remaining, one has Mike Allred's notes in it, and that's not going anywhere!)

Go and bid!

All proceeds go to the Barack Obama campaign. Please also check out the group's other auctions.

By the way, still not sure why I like Obama? Or maybe looking for an article to give to friends who are on the fence and want to know more about why he has so many so excited? This New Yorker endorsement article is the most clear, comprehensive, and thoughtful piece I've read. It's honest and respectful to both candidates, and it covers a variety of topics. Well worth the time to read.

I know everyone is saying he's winning, but that doesn't mean his supporters can be complacent. More votes can be gathered. You can't win by too much, you know? Plus, victory requires vigilance. People must actually follow through on their votes, survey polls don't put a man in the White House!

Current Soundtrack: Geneva, Further; various Del Shannon tracks; Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, "Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?"

Current Mood: determined

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich