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

Friday, July 31, 2009

BLOGGING AT ROBOT 6: And her tears flowed like wine: Michelangelo Antonioni directs The Big Sleep

Today's column, cross-posted with my Criterion blog, looks at the cinematic influence on You Have Killed Me, comparing and contrasting my script with Howard Hawks' adaptation of The Big Sleep and Michelangelo Antonioni's groundbreaking L'avventura.

Read the whole thing here.

It was fun going back over these movies and seeing how much a semi-facetious description was actually very apropos, and how much these two films influenced me even when I didn't realize it.

Current Soundtrack: The Jam, "Wasteland;" the Raconteurs, "Call it a Day"

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Today as my installment in my week-long residency at Robot 6, I am partaking in their "Shelf Porn" column. It's where pros and collectors unashamedly show off their overstuffed shelves. David Hopkins already says my book and DVD collections make him weep; they make me weep, too.

My favorite picture, though, was catching Sadie in her hiding place:

See the full shame here.

Current Soundtrack: Low, "Mama Says"

Some more San Diego thoughts.

Blogger Laura Hudson has been asking pros to share their highlights and lowlights of Comic Con and posting them at Comics Alliance. Never one to turn down and opportunity to talk, I naturally answered her questions. You can read responses by the likes of Warren Ellis, Jimmy Palmiotti, Gail Simone, Shannon Wheeler, and others here, alongside my own, or cheat and just read mine now:

I had an incredibly good show. The highlight for me would easily be having a hit book at the con. "You Have Killed Me" made an extraordinary debut, and Joëlle Jones and I more than once felt like we were caught up in a frenzy. Just as fun was watching her star continue its ascendancy, having Matt Wagner point her out as an upcoming "Madame Xanadu" artist at the Vertigo panel and signing with Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen for the "Doctor Horrible" one-shot she's drawing for Dark Horse. I stood to the side of that one and sold her sketchbooks for her, and got to lean over and point out that she had just given Mario Hernandez an autograph. No one knew how Mario made it all the way through the raffle and into the autograph line without anyone stopping him and saying, "Dude, you co-created 'Love & Rockets,' you don't have to wait." What a guy!

I, for one, think the show was a little more chill this year. The big events upstairs meant less packed floors downstairs, and so I wandered a bit more than usual. Visiting Stan Sakai was a joy, as always, and I stumbled on Travis Charest's table by accident. Meeting Frazier Irving outside the Hyatt was also a highlight. Turns out I had corresponded with him when he was an up-and-comer and I was editing at Oni, and I had no idea.

The lowlight was when I actually stood in line for an autograph, and it reminded me that as creators, we have to be mindful of our actions. I wasn't even buying for me, which is an added kicker. I stood in line and bought some merchandise for a friend, and decided the queue was moving fast enough that I could get it signed. I got to the front of the line just as the artist agreed to do an on-camera interview with some podcast or other. Which is totally fine, that's part of the show, but there I am, standing at the table, and no one even turns to say anything to me. No, "Hey, sorry about this, it will just take a couple of minutes." Even worse, when the artist was done, he turned back to me, did not apologize, did not ask my name or if I wanted my item personalized, did not speak at all. He just scribbled his signature and shuffled me along.

Now, I'm the first to come to a creator's defense and say shows can be places where our manners suffer and we get tired and that it's a two-way street, there is often bad behavior in the aisles, etc. I've also heard plenty of stories about myself that I can't believe I may have done and know that perceptions on either side of the table can be different, but even so...we all need to think about how well we keep our game face on. I certainly hoped that this unnamed person perked up for those who followed me.

I like the format, and it actually makes the responses really interesting. Restrictions force us to think, and we can't ramble off course nearly as much as we do in our own con reports. This is part 1 of many. Keep an eye on Laura's site for more!

Current Soundtrack: Pulp, "Dishes;" White Rabbits, It's Frightening

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Today I begin a week of guest blogging over at CBR, all to celebrate You Have Killed Me and the criminal renaissance in comics. To start off, I wrote a piece called "My Criminal Record," and it details four of my favorite crime-related comics from my editing career, including the little-known Patrick McEown story "Wanted Man," printed in Dark Horse Presents #130.

Read the whole article here.

And since everyone else is doing it, I made myself into a Mad Men character.

Now, you!

Current Soundtrack: The Rovin' Flames, "Love Song No.6;" David Bowie, "When I Live My Dream;" Scarlett Johansson & Pete Yorn, "Relator;" Jonsi & Alex, Riceboy Sleeps

Paul Pope's Coke Zero Print...

Originally uploaded by ernest.borg9
Man...I kind of feel like my San Diego was wasted for having not gotten this. I also missed Paul's DJ set, and he told me he was close to playing a Suede song, had I been there it would have pushed him over the edge. D'oh!

Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles is currently showcasing twenty-five original art pages from You Have Killed Me.

You can read the full press release at their site.

Art and books will both be on sale. Alas, Joëlle nor I will be there, we just couldn't make it work with our schedules. We really wanted to be. I love Meltdown and am excited they decided to spotlight the book in this way. So, please spread the word to people in the Los Angeles area and tell them to head down!

Joëlle is also selling her "Seven Deadly Sins" sketchbooks that she made for San Diego. The book is $3 plus $2 for postage. If interested, drop a line to joellejonesart [a] gmail.com. Please be sure to indicate if you want it signed and personalized.

Current Soundtrack: The Auteurs, New Wave

This got announced early last week and I missed it going up:

Liberty Comics #2, edited by yours truly. All to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

And let's not forget a little matter of...

Then, of course, there's Jamie S. Rich's own installment – a "Mr. Gum" adventure with "Madman" creator Mike Allred. "Mike once told me, so I assume it's true, that Mr. Gum was secretly based on me, so I thought it would be kind of cool for me to write him for once," Rich recalled. "Then the idea hit me: one day, an ad exec comes to Mr. Gum and asks him to be the pitchman for Mister Gum, the Only Gum Exclusively for Men. Our boy refuses, and then he's told he can't use the name anymore, copyright infringement. It's pretty whacky. I tried to channel Mike's stream-of-consciousness storytelling and give him neat stuff to draw."

Current Soundtrack: Jarvis Cocker, Further Complications

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Here are things pulled off the web while away:

* DVD Talk ran a front page news item on You Have Killed Me.

You can still see it in the July feed, go down to July 22.

* A review of You Have Killed Me was posted at the blog Sexuality in the Arts. You can read the full piece here. It's mostly favorable, definitely in Joëlle's direction.

"I would love for one day to see the world through Jones’ eyes and considerations. I would feel apprehensive if I was in a room with her because I know she could see, recognize, and differentiate visual cues about me (or anyone) that few others could discern or deduce. Like Hannibal Lecter could correctly interpret significant psychological and historical traits from only a few dialogued and visual tells, I suspect Jones’ visual acuity to be off the charts. You can pick up this book and open it to any page, and her artistry will be revealing and intelligent. Jones is one of the few artists who can create new lifeforms and worlds with the craftsmanship of her pencils, inks, and mind."

He has some problems with the story that I really don't know what to make of. I suppose the simplest way to respond is that what he hoped to get out of it was never what was intended to be in it, and that since it was Mercer's story, we get a lot more Mercer than the rest. And that I've never read those Jeph Loeb comics nor do I get the joke about them. :)

I will, however, snag this pull quote and run with it:

"...it’s a boy’s story written by a boy, primarily for boys, told through a boy narrator."

Never thought anyone would write that about one of my books! Maybe if they kept inserting the word "sissy" before boy...

* We get a nice mention in the CBR con write-up here. Includes a slightly odd candid photo of myself and Joëlle. A couple of other candids from the guy who apparently was the first to get his books signed at the show. Ugh. How did Joëlle get paired with such a hideous beast as me?

* Jesus' General reviews Portland Noir and calls our story, "Gone Doggie Gone," one of his favorites.

* Joëlle did a commission at the show featuring Lance and Sadie for from The Everlasting. Mega covet!

Current Soundtrack": various Phil Spector productions; PJ Harvey, "One Time Too Many;" The Wright Specials, "Ninety-Nine And A Half Won't Do"


Back home from Comic Con. Like many a Portlander, wondering how I left California and its ever-present sun only to end up in a ridiculous heat wave here in Oregon. Give me the cold and the gray any day.

My thoughts are pretty scattered, my mind pretty shattered, but I must say, it was quite a convention. I know there has been some complaints about it being too big and comics got eclipsed, etc., but I know Oni had a banner year and it was a pretty successful year for myself as a freelancer. Joëlle and I moved several cases of You Have Killed Me, selling out by Sunday afternoon. Keep in mind that when we sell direct, every one is like selling three books via the regular distribution chain. All the money goes direct to us! So, selling 120 is even more impressive.

The Spell Checkers announcement was met with a lot of great response and quite a bit of buzz. Oni is really committed to it, and we've got a plan to do at least three volumes.

Joëlle was blowing up all over the convention. Her signing with Joss Whedon and the writers of Doctor Horrible went really well. I stood to the side and we sold a ton of her sketchbooks. The fans seemed excited by the announcement of the one-shot comic book drawn by her, coming this November. She and Dark Horse editor Sierra "Genghis" Hahn were also kind enough to let me tag along to dinner afterward. Joss and Zack Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen were all there, and what a great crew, Joëlle is lucky to be part of the team. Also attending was Cameron Stewart, Scott Allie, Eric Powell, and his lovely lady, Sam.

Joëlle's two-issue stint on Vertigo's Madame Xanadu was also announced. Though, I don't see anyone picking that news up. Come on, guys!

Our group was pretty good this year. Me, Joëlle, Terry, and Natalie "Tally" Nourigat. Tally apparently told her friend Emi (who I saw all of once at the show) that she was rooming with a bunch of grown-ups, which I guess shows what a youngster she is since I am the only one over thirty. Joëlle kept calling me "Raggedy-Ass Grampa." Of course, it's the youngster crossing her eyes. This photo was taken on Friday after the Oni Press/United Talent Agency/Electronic Arts party, where we got to talk to a lot of the Dollhouse cast, and Tyrese took over the microphone and turned it into a dance party. It was really crazy, a lot of fun. I talked to Dichen Lachman, who plays Sierra on the show, and she was really nice, and I also accosted Alan Tudyk and we talked a little Strangers with Candy. He was realllllly nice.

I think that was the night I socialized with the most people. Got to hang out with Brian Hurtt, Antony Johnston, Chynna & Jon, Phil Gelatt, Rick Lacy, Chris Schweizer, the Oni guys, etc. Ray Fawkes and I spent a lot of time talking at the Oni dinner the night before, and I was able to catch up with Hope Larson and Ross Campbell during our signings. Chris Mitten avoided me like the Wasteland plague, though. Screw him. He's the Big Wet as far as I'm concerned!

Let's see. I lunched with Jann Jones. Got to meet Frazier Irving and then be horribly embarrassed when our book sold out before I could give him the one I promised. Saw Jennifer de Guzman briefly, met Barnaby Ward. Did a fly-by of Paul Pope, Scott Morse, & Jim Mahfood at a party. James Robinson almost made me cry telling me how You Have Killed Me combined elements of James M. Cain with the humor of Raymond Chandler. Met a lot of the boys from the Allred message board, saw my old friend Jason but didn't see my friends Michael and Stephen. Saw Sarah Grace McCandless all of five minutes; maybe she lost more weight and disappeared, the skinny bee-otch. I think I've discovered that the upside of having a solid business-level show is that social elements become more difficult. Barely saw Jenny (who was also working) and never saw John. That's the only bummer.

That's the swag I picked up. An uncorrected proof of Hope Larson's next book, Mercury; a Twilight Zone bobble; a Muppets hardcover (thanks, Chip!); the two volumes of Rose & Isabel by Ted Mathot; Stan Sakai's new sketchbook; minis from Renee Lott, Tyler J. Hutchinson, and Dan Connor; a book from some boys from Brazil; and the first issues of Citizen Rex and The Warriors: Jailbreak. It's a fairly good haul for me. I rarely get stuff at shows.

Current Soundtrack: Peter, Bjorn, & John, s/t; Christina Aguilera, Back to Basics

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Oni Press made the official announcement today...

From their advance press release:

Spell Checkers: Mean Girls with magic. Buffy the Vampire Slayer without the do-gooder whining. The Craft without the crap goth clothes. The new graphic novel from the mind of Oni Press staple Jamie S. Rich, with art by co-creator Joëlle Jones and artist Nicolas Hitori de.

Look for it in 2010!

Cover colors by Kimball Gray Davis, cover design by Keith Wood.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Aaaaand we're off...

See you in San Diego!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I'm posting a little early this week due to Comic Con, the main feature I reviewed is already in some theatres, and because a lot of the discs I reviewed are out today.


* Tetro, the new Francis Ford Coppola effort is written and directed by the maestro. Gorgeous to look at, but overambitious and frustratingly empty.

It opens in Portland at Living Room Theaters this week.


* The Diary of Anne Frank: 50th Anniversary Edition proves that just because something is a classic, doesn't mean it's great.

* Grey Gardens (2009), the dramatic adaptation of the 1970s documentary is pretty good and definitely better than expected. Starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, both turning in exceptional performances.

* Two from Jean-Luc Godard and the Criterion Collection: Made in U.S.A. and 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, the transitional mid-60s films that show the director's shift into more polemic filmmaking. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

* Wolverine & the X-Men: Deadly Enemies, the second volume from the recent cartoon series, collecting five episodes.

Current Soundtrack: James, Hey Ma

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, July 20, 2009


Yeah, you heard me.

You Have Killed Me, the new hardboiled, hardcover graphic novel by myself and the supremely talented Joëlle Jones is on sale this Wednesday, 7/22. Confirmed by Diamond, on their shipping list, on their way!

As if by Kismet, woke up this morning to a congrats from Chip Mosher at BOOM! informing me that Publisher's Weekly have given us a very positive review in today's edition:

You Have Killed Me Jamie S. Rich and Joelle Jones. Oni (Diamond, dist.) , $19.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-932664-88-1

1930s-era gumshoe Antonio Mercer finds himself screwed over from all angles when he accepts a missing persons case in which the disappeared dame is his ex-lover. Hired by her equally hot sister, Mercer faces down a number of tough guys, running the gamut from cops, both honest and bent, to gamblers, mob bosses and even short-tempered and knife-wielding musicians, while following the gal's trail, but nothing is ever as it seems. Building to a stark and bizarre conclusion, the team of Rich (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Food Chain) and Jones (Fables) have clearly learned from the noir genre, both filmic and pulp based, and have crafted a riveting successor. Tense and intriguing from start to finish, this is a solid piece of detective fiction coupled with a wholly appropriate and stark visual style that evokes the bygone days of Sam Spade and Mike Hammer. (July)

There's a couple of great pull quotes in that, to be sure.

ComicsDC also gives us what will hopefully be one of many positive blurbs in the various "What's Coming Out this Week?" columns.

YOU HAVE KILLED ME HC by Jamie S. Rich and Joelle Jones. From Oni Press and the creators of 12 REASONS WHY I LOVE HER, this is a noir tale to remind all us hard-boiled private dicks why it’s a bad idea to take your ex on as a client.

Our buddy Ralph Denny Apel has also created a nifty wallpaper featuring the cover.


Follow the image link and choose "all sizes" to get the massive 2048 x 1280 widescreen original.

Current Soundtrack: Kaiser Chiefs, Off With Their Heads

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Sunday, July 19, 2009


This show, called "The Clown," scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. I saw it by happenstance, I think my mother suggest I watch it during an afternoon home because she thought One Step Beyond was a bit like The Twilight Zone, which I watched incessantly. My guess is this series was an attempt to bank off the success of Rod Serling's program; just look at that host stalking through the performance. It started in 1959, a year after television viewers first entered the dimension of the mind.

This episode single-handedly made me hate clowns, and I never watched One Step Beyond again, frightened of what else I might see. I had to be only eight or nine at the time. It was only a couple of years ago that I finally found out what it was I had seen. Despite telling people about this show several times over the years, no one had any inkling of what I was talking about. I was starting to think I had imagined it. Finally, I managed to ask on the right message board a couple of years back, and seeing that the first season of One Step Beyond was being released on DVD soon, I decided to see if "The Clown" was available online.

It's still pretty creepy.

I'm actually kind of surprised by the story now, and how rotten and abusive the husband was. It also makes me think of Paul Pope's Escapo.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Cross-posted with my Criterion blog...

Mark Coale, editor of Odessa Steps and contributor to the Beat over at Publisher's Weekly, posted an interview he did with me last summer when we thought You Have Killed Me would be out in the fall. It's now on his Earth Three blog, and you can read the entirety of it here.

In this opening quote, we even address the delays, which could apply to the interview, as well. :)

The downside of a high standard is that it's been taking longer than we hoped. She's doing the tones by hand, using Japanese zip-a-tone that isn't as easy to come by as it once was, but it's giving the book a real classic appeal. We both loved the Dark Horse reprint of It Rhymes With Lust, and the tones look a lot like that. I haven't really seen anyone use this process since Guy Davis on The Marquis. Even Steve Lieber has gone digital for the third Whiteout series. Joëlle is very exacting, cutting even individual bricks for brick walls. Though, amusingly, every time she does a sign by hand, she misspells the name. So, we have clubs and hotels and things that will need some fixing.

Awww, now I feel like a meanie for saying that last part.

Note: the image in the link is the one Joëlle did for Mark's mag, and the black-and-white line art is what we are using for the Comic Con bookplate.

Fingers crossed that this book will finally be in stores this week!

Current Soundtrack: Radiohead, "Talk Show Host/Bishop's Robes"

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Friday, July 17, 2009


UPDATED 7/17: Check Saturday for Joëlle's new Dark Horse signing.

Here is the official San Diego Comic Con signing schedule for Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich.

We will be appearing at the Oni Press booth (unless otherwise specified) at the following times:

Thurs - 3:00 - Oni Press Panel, room 10
4:00 – 5:20 - signing at Oni booth

Fri - 4:00 – 5:20

Sat - 11:30 – 12:50
3:00 - 4:00 (at the Popgun booth)
5:30 – 7:00 Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Joelle Jones (at the Dark Horse Booth, #2615)* [this is ticketed event: See Dark Horse employee for details]

Sun - 2:30 – 3:50

We will also be around for some of the Wednesday night preview night, depending on how quickly we can get from airport to hotel and get our badges, etc.

Our Thursday signing will immediately follow Thursday's Oni Press panel, which starts at 3:00 in room 10. We'll mainly be participating in the first half of that and will make our way down to the booth directly from there.

Additionally, on Saturday, we will be appearing at the Popgun booth from 3 to 4. Popgun is setting up right by Image Central, which is a big island of all of the Image Comics crew.

Mike Allred and Co. are also going to be at the Image island, and we may be over there from time to time. There is also a "Spotlight on Mike Allred" on Friday, 10 a.m., Room 8, and the description promises special guests. Y'know, just sayin'.

We likely won't be bringing original art, instead we will travel with notebooks featuring copies of pages Joëlle has for sale that we will ship out when we get home. If, however, you have a page you're interested in, please e-mail ahead to joellejonesart [a] gmail.com and we can bring it along. Joëlle will be sketching at the show, and she will also be debuting her Seven Deadly Sins sketchbook.

* Infer from this what you will. No more will be said here.

Current Soundtrack: XTC or the Last Shadow Puppets?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


The suspect has been spotted!

Tania, my editor at Yen Press, just told me that she bought You Have Killed Me at the Strand in NYC. By her account, there were two copies, and she wasn't even looking for it, she spotted the very awesome Keith Wood-designed spine. This means the book is out there, is trickling into the public consciousness. I believe comic shops will be getting it next Wednesday.

Has anyone else seen Antonio Mercer lurking in their neighborhood?

There will be more news regarding the release of the book and related events coming soon. These should include:

* a gallery show in Los Angeles
* a signing event at Floating World Comics on August 6 as part of first Thursday (our friend Terry Blas will also be showing art with his comics collective)

I'll post the full press info when we get them. I'll also have our San Diego schedule in the next couple of days.

Current Soundtrack: The Automatic, "Bad Guy;" She & Him, "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want;" Brooke White, "Radio Radio"

"Good grief, the comedian's a bear!"

Art source in link.


* Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Pirnce, an uneven bridge between films 5 and 7. Spirited direction can't save the slow-moving icky bits. Kissing is gross!


* The 10th Victim, a 1960s Italian mod sci-fi grandpappy to Running Man and reality TV. With Marcello Mastroianni reading comic books and Ursula Andress watching him.

* Mad Men: Season 2, in which the much-hyped show finally rises to its reputation. Brilliant.

Current Soundtrack: The Wild Cherries, "Krome Plated Yabby;" Justin & Ciara

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I wasn't sure if Usagi Yojimbo #100, the celebrity roast issue featuring a contribution from myself and Andi Watson, was going to be collected along with the other issues from that same period of time, but according to Stan Sakai, the 23rd volume, Bridge of Tears, is coming out this week and has #100 in it.

2009 is the celebration of 25 years of Usagi, so look for big things from the book this year, including a full-color graphic novel called Yokai and repackaging the original stories in one big collection. If you're not already reading, there has never been a better time to start.

Current Soundtrack: extras on Mad Men: Season 2

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Joëlle Jones has an interview on CBR, a companion piece to the one I did. Both were conducted by Alex Dueben, who did a great job. Anybody else getting excited for You Have Killed Me?

Here's a tease:

Did you have much to do with the writing or the direction of the book?

A little bit. I wanted to draw certain things and Jamie would make scenes around them. I really love the horse races and I really wanted to draw the horse races. I like gambling. [laughs] So he made a scene for me so I could draw the horse races. I thought what a fun thing it would be to draw it. It would give me an excuse to go to the horse races. [laughs] There were a few other things. He had no problem with me going in and changing something I felt didn’t really work in the writing. He didn’t put up much of a fight. In that way I definitely had the run of it visually without too much direction.

There is this scene where Mercer’s supposed to be drawing these stick figures on a fogged over mirror but you’re supposed to see his reflection through the stick figures. I tried to draw that thing I don’t know how many times with the old-fashioned zip tones I have and it never worked. So I took the essence of it as he’s trying to figure out what’s going on and I drew him smoking in a bathtub. [laughs] I think Jamie’s happy with it now. It took a lot of convincing him that it was the best decision.

The rest in the link.

Cory at Oni has said the books arrived at the office, so they should be hitting Diamond very soon.

Current Soundtrack: Booker T & the MG's misc.

Yes, yes, two movie posts in a row apologizing for a lack of posts. Personal reasons for running silent this time, but I promise, I am also running deep.

Three cheers to Roger Ebert for his essay "I'm a Proud Braniac," which did the geek rounds earlier this week (including disingenuous posts like this one that intentionally pulls out a punchline while leaving the set-up behind in order to foment further fanboy distress--tsk!). In answering the onslaught of Transformers 2 mail, Roger says out loud a ton of things all reviewers think, answering the various and oft-repeated charges that drive us up the wall. Bless you, sir!

My favorite part:

"But am I out of touch? It's not a critic's job to reflect box office taste. The job is to describe my reaction to a film, to account for it, and evoke it for others. The job of the reader is not to find his opinion applauded or seconded, but to evaluate another opinion against his own. But you know that. We've been over that ground many times. What disturbs me is when I'm specifically told that I know too much about movies, have "studied" them, go into them 'too deep,' am always looking for things the average person doesn't care about, am always mentioning things like editing or cinematography, and am forever comparing films to other films.


A reader named Jared Diamond, a senior at Syracuse, sports editor of The Daily Orange, put my disturbance eloquently in a post asking: 'Why in this society are the intelligent vilified? Why is education so undervalued and those who preach it considered arrogant or pretentious?' Why, indeed? If sports fans were like certain movie fans, they would hate sports writers, commentators and sports talk hosts for always discussing fine points, quoting statistics and bringing up games and players of the past. If all you want to do is drink beer in the sunshine and watch a ball game, why should some elitist play-by-play announcer bore you with his knowledge? Yet sports fans are proud of their baseball knowledge, and respect commentators who know their stuff."

Now, that said, a movie you should see...


* The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow's down and dirty drama about members of the bomb squad in the Iraq War. No politics, just soldiers doing a job. Prepare to spend two hours fully clenched.


* For All Mankind, Al Reinert's tribute to the race to the Moon gets a spiffy new edition from Criterion. And without knowing it, I already had tapped into Ebert's zeitgeist. Remember when we thought it was cool to go into space?

* White Dog, Samuel Fuller's notorious anti-racist movie doesn't fully hit the highest marks of its reputation, but it makes an interesting try at it.

By the way, Ebert totally disagreed with me about my recent review of I am Curious - Yellow. No, he didn't write and tell me, but you can find his reactions from when the movie first came out online here.

Some folks did, however, tell me that they liked some of my recent reviews. Specifically, my review of Lonely are the Brave was met with much excitement and positivity.

Robert Gilmore writes:

"...have had my eyes peeled for this film ever since I heard about it on a documentary about Kirk Douglass' life narrated by his son, Michael. Apparently this was the film that the younger Douglas believed best expressed his Dad's range as an actor and is in effect the archetypal Kirk Douglas performance. It is good to see that this was not a whim.

Thanks for your continued excellence in covering classic film,

Edward J. Holub, Jr., writes to share an interesting factoid:

"I read your review of 'Lonely are the Brave' and...reminded that Kirk Douglas was drawn to non-conforming characters. Rumor has it that he was considered to play Randall Patrick McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest after playing the character on stage. I believe that's why his son Michael was attached to the project."

I also like this bit of personal business from Jeff Knokey:

"...just wanted to express my enjoyment. And smug delight in finding someone who's just come across a flick I saw on first release in the theaters. I agree that it's his best picture (along with 'Paths of Glory'). I lived in Santa Fe NM for a bunch of years and once took a few days to retrace as best I could his route through the Sandia Mountains. Nasty rugged country even without May blizzards (which are wet and miserable). It was after seeing it I started noticing Walter Matthau as well. I'll check the DVD out, maybe it'll explain where in hell they got that title from."

The documentary on the disc does tell us that Kirk Douglas wanted to call the movie The Last Cowboy, but the studio saddled them with this title, which is poetic but not totally descriptive of the film.

From Jon Paul:

"[I] couldn't agree more. I saw this film once, on TV, when I was about 15 or 16 (late 1960s), and it has haunted me ever since. I especially loved the location shooting, so different than other movies of the time, shot on backlots or on 'locations' that were used in a dozen other films and TV shows. I have been waiting for this movie to hit DVD for years...."

I also received a couple of responses to Harlan Ellison: Dreams With Sharp Teeth. From Jim Dickinson:

"I read your review of 'Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth' and...thoroughly enjoyed your anecdotes regarding him. I have had my own connections with him over the years. The first was in 1972 when he spoke in place of Ray Bradbury at a creative arts event at my high school. Mr. Bradbury had spent the night before at a nearby college, had gotten his nose out of joint from some outspoken students and was a 'no-show' at our event. As Mr. Ellison was attending, they got him to give the keynote speech. It was like an electric cattle prod to the audience. The buzz afterward was evenly divided pro & con but as a 15-year old know-it-all, I loved it. Luckily, I had an afternoon workshop with him and about 20-25 other people. However, by the time it started at least twice that many showed up SRO and he took the opportunity not to speak about the craft but to read aloud to us his short story, 'The Whimper of Whipped Dogs.' I had not heard it before and his reading of it was
chilling on a hot afternoon. I still remember it so vividly 37 years later. The other connection involved my girlfriend in the early '80s whose smoking hot sister was 'dating' Harlan. We tried to set up a dinner together but could never get together, much to my everlasting regret. She did have one funny story about the 'pod' in his home where he could seal himself off from the rest of the house/world. Sort of like a deprivation chamber for the mind. Quite an interesting character and an imposing intellect."

And quite happily, a note from the film's director:

"I must say, it is a pleasure to read a review of the film I MADE, and not the film that someone WANTED me to make.

A pleasure.
Erik Nelson"

And even better, a postcard from the man himself:

"Hey, Kiddo:

That is one swell review. Gracious, kind and expansive. Youse is a good guy.

Yr. Pal,

Doesn't get better than that, does it?

Current Soundtrack: various from One Dove, incl. remixes and B-sides

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) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Not at my desk much currently, but some quick notes:

* Jennifer de Guzman points out that the image feed This Isn't Happiness picked up the You Have Killed Me cover here.

* Also, thanks to Brian Bendis for adding my CBR interview to his Twitter feed. I actually got to show Brian the printed book the other week, and he was very complimentary. So, this makes for an even nicer plug.

Likewise, Faster Than Light picked us up.

Current Soundtrack: ...

Monday, July 06, 2009


More gabbing from me.

Comic Book Resources has a new interview about You Have Killed Me conducted by Alex Dueben.

An excerpt:

Are you a fan of mysteries?

Not as much in the kind that lays all the clues out and makes it paramount that you try to piece it together, not in the Agatha Christie sense. I more like the hardboiled school, stories that are more about crime and the evil that men do. Hitchcock called it the MacGuffin, that engine of the story that becomes what everyone seeks, and that ultimately is pointless. It doesn't matter what the object is. The perfect example of this is “The Maltese Falcon,” the treasure is worthless at the end. Or Kubrick's “The Killing,” with the money blowing away. The prize for the viewer is that there is no prize for the schnooks they have watched chase it. It's as much about style and personalities as it is plot points.

The rest in the link.

Current Soundtrack: TV news (someone punched a fare inspector on a local lightrail)

Garbo speaks!

And so does Joëlle Jones!

Hear her now. The Lauren Bacall to my Frank Nelson (look it up, ya rube). The sophisticate to my indelicate. The truth to my con.

Listen to the Stumptown Trade Review podcast with Joëlle Jones.

It's funny, they asked me the same amount of questions, but I yammered on for twice as long. Pffft! Writers! Who needs 'em?

Current Soundtrack: Christina Aguilera, "Dynamite"

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Not a lot of posts this past week, sorry. I tend to judge my blogging activity by how many posts separate the movie review lists. I have a rough deadline on one of my manhwa scripts, and have otherwise been gripped by a strange sense of "Not enough time, not enough time," regardless of how much time it really is. Maybe it's the impending book release? Maybe it's San Diego? Maybe it's my biological clock's uncharged batteries?! TICK TICK TICK.


* Departures, the Academy Award-winner for Best Foreign Language movie this year is good, but not great.

* Moon, Duncan Jones sends Sam Rockwell to our orbiting satellite, and oh, what he finds there!

* Whatever Works confirms that Larry David and Woody Allen belong together. A light comedy from a master of light comedies.

All three of these films have been in limited release for a little while, but all just got to Portland, so my neighbors have some good movies to see this weekend should they feel so inclined.


* I Am Curious - Blue, the companion to Yellow and not nearly as worthwhile.


* Lonely are the Brave, a fantastic forgotten gem with Kirk Douglas as the last cowboy to stand against the modern world. With Gena Rowlands, Walter Matheau, and a script by Dalton Trumbo.

* The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, notable for being Paramount's first color picture, but a bit dull. With Henry Fonda, Sylvia Sidney, and Fred MacMurray; directed by Henry Hathaway.

Current Soundtrack: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Outer South; Love & Rockets, "No New Tale to Tell;" The Wire...and all the pieces matter OST

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) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

It was odd; it was true; lots of people felt it. Peter Walsh, who had done just respectably, filled the usual posts adequately, was liked, but thought a little cranky, gave himself airs—it was odd that he should have had, especially now that his hair was grey, a contented look; a look of having reserves. It was this that made him attractive to women who liked the sense that he was not altogether manly. There was something unusual about him, or something behind him. It might be that he was bookish—never came to see you without taking up the book on the table (he was now reading, with his bootlaces trailing on the floor); or that he was a gentleman, which showed itself in the way he knocked the ashes out of his pipe, and in his manners of course to women. For it was very charming and quite ridiculous how easily some girl without a grain of sense could twist him round her finger. But at her own risk. That is to say, though he might be ever so easy, and indeed with his gaiety and good-breeding fascinating to be with, it was only up to a point. She said something—no, no; he saw through that. He wouldn’t stand that—no, no. Then he could shout and rock and hold his sides together over some joke with men. He was the best judge of cooking in India. He was a man. But not the sort of man one had to respect—which was a mercy; not like Major Simmons, for instance; not in the least like that, Daisy thought, when, in spite of her two small children, she used to compare them.

---Virignia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

Current Soundtrack: Moby, "Temptation" (New Order cover)