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

Monday, August 31, 2009


For some reason, Broken Frontier thought it was worth asking me what I thought of Disney buying Marvel for $4 billion, the "OMG!" story of the comic book day.

Here is what I thought, taken from amongst many other reactions:

My biggest concern is that the crossover between the two companies will be so great, it might violate some of the terms of parole for many members of the Marvel creative staff. I don't even think a lot of them are allowed to have the Disney Channel as part of their cable package, much less go to the theme parks where they might come into contact with children.

I'm kidding! Yeesh!

I have a feeling it's going to be business as usual for a good long while. If there is any creative crossover to be had, one assumes prior deals--comic book licenses, film projects--will have to be worked through before we see, say, a Disney-produced POWER PACK movie or a Marvel-produced BEAGLE BOYS comic (hopefully through the Max line, with Garth Ennis writing and Howard Chaykin drawing). (Also, Warren Ellis' GYRO GEARLOOSE and Matt Fraction's THE RESCUERS would be two must-haves.)

I would think the most immediate gain would be in advertising venues for both brands. If you've ever spent any time watching the Disney Channel, for instance, or loaded up a Disney DVD, you know how cohesive their marketing can be. I could see more Mouse ads in the comics and some hype for comic book events on their kid-oriented news shows. Not sure how the Marvel material will fit in the theme parks.

There have been multiple owners of Marvel in the last couple of decades, and I think it rarely really effects what is going on within the House of Ideas. Much like DC and TimeWarner, it's about stock performance, and there is probably less corporate monkeybusiness than most suspect.

Truthfully, what the hell do I know about any of this?

Current Soundtrack: The Prodigy, Invaders Must Die

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon * I am on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, just look if you're interested...

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Um, okay. This is just bizarre.

So, today, I am walking down the street with a friend, and I see this woman feeding a parking meter. She looks familiar, and our eyes meet, and we trade a sort of weird, confused, knowing (?), empathetic (?) closed-mouth smile.

As we pass, my friend says, "Do you know her?"

"Yeah, this is really freaky, but I think that's the woman who ran out of the jury room crying when we delivered the guilty verdict on Wednesday. We're not sure who she is, we don't think it was his wife, maybe his mother."

My friend said, "Oh, because I know her. She used to be a regular at the restaurant where I worked several years ago. She used to come in all the time and get really wasted at the bar."

We compared notes. Her drinking companion at the time was a short man, much younger, with lots of tattoos, including sleeves that were skulls and devils and stuff.

Which would be the man we convicted.

Apparently, they didn't act like a couple, so the mother theory is possible.

I don't think it really is a small world the way they say, there are more people we don't know than there are people each of us does know. I do, however, think coincidences make it seem small just for the fact that it's so surprising that on a planet this big such unbelievable happenstance can occur. I'm still reeling several hours later.

Current Soundtrack: Radiohead, Hail to the Thief

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon * I am on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, just look if you're interested...

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Joëlle Jones has a new Etsy shop, and she's loaded it up with remaining pages from the "Seven Deadly Sins" sketchbook that she made this year. They are fantastic pieces, everyone should go there, ooooh and ahhhh over them, and buy some!


Current Soundtrack: Estelle, Shine

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Not a lot this week. It's been a fallow time for getting assigned movies. I had several days of having nothing in my house to review for DVD Talk, and while I guess I could have jumped on a bunch more Criterions, I took some time to watch stuff just for the fun of it before my schedule went wonky.


* Taking Woodstock, a rare stumble for Ang Lee. I think it's the split-screen that does it to him. People don't like it when he gets all fracturous and fancy.


* Schizopolis, Steven Soderbergh's deconstructionist comedy. Call it Cinematic Philosophy 101.


* Chinese Odyssey 2002, a romantic parody of martial arts films reteaming Chungking Express stars Tony Leung and Faye Wong. It's even produced by Wong Kar-Wai, and director Jeffrey Lau includes lots of subtle digs at the director. Too bad this U.S. disc is edited.

I did get a little mail this week that is funny enough to share. Make sense of it however you will. Youth in decline, or adult illiteracy?

I read your review of 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' and...i liked it alot becous it wasssss all action for kids and for some adults...

Jessica (dolphin_rider_cutie@***.com)

The dolphin must be her familiar.

Current Soundtrack: Leonard Cohen, "Famous Blue Raincoat;" The Specials, "Bright Lights;" Walker Brothers, "After the Lights Go Out;" Rufus Thomas, "The Preacher & the Bear;" Jane Birkin, "Image Fantome - Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte;" The Ronettes "(The Best Part Of) Breakin' Up"

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, August 26, 2009


The group of 12 I was a part of finished our job earlier today. I feel we were extremely diligent in performing our duty and gave all facets of the case proper attention. Our verdict was guilty, ultimately, though we had an 11-1 vote, and once again, invoking 12 Angry Men, I actually think it was good that we had someone who believed enough in the dissenting opinion to push us to question further. And, obviously, she was to be respected for standing up for herself.

Delivering the verdict was emotionally harrowing, I'll admit. We all felt it. The heavier presence of guards, the tension in the air. We were even polled and had to say our opinion out loud. I am convinced justice was served, though, and in our debriefing, the judge said he felt we had done the right thing and commended us for how seriously we took it. For all my grumbling, this is twice now I have seen how well this system works, and how an intelligent panel of diverse people can come together to sort through evidence and rendering a just and proper verdict.

So, yeah, done. I may write about it more at a later date, but I am now two days behind on work and, frankly, ready to think about other things.

Current Soundtrack: P.M. Dawn, Fucked Music

No kidding around or whingeing today. Today is the day it gets serious.

Not that I wasn't taking jury duty seriously before, but when you get down to the end, when it's time for deliberation, there isn't much levity to be had. Though I say "today," I actually type this the night before day 3, and I am post-dating it to pop-up while I am gone or maybe even done, and comments are disabled because I don't actually want to hear it. I don't want debate, I don't want kudos. I won't be Tweeting or Facebooking this link. By the time I get home, I'll want silence.

I've had a lot of people remind me that jury duty was my civic duty, as if I didn't know. I also had many do so in a way that suggested I should be happy about being summoned to serve because apparently a duty is something that should bring you joy, you are part of the process, hooray! Well, there's a reason they don't call it a "civic prize." It's a duty because it's a job, a requirement. It's not fun and it's not happy but you need to do it anyway, and if you've never done it and you respond that you really want to like it's going to be summer camp or you won a free bunk on a cruise, then I really hope you'll let me know if you ever get summonsed because I'll sit outside the courthouse like the romantic hero of a teen movie, leaning on my car and waiting. Not to whisk you away on a hot air balloon, but to see the balloon pop.

And if you took jury duty before and you still think it's fun...well, I don't know exactly what to call you. Are you also into nipple clamps, candle wax, and the Marquis de Sade?

Yes, there is something fascinating about real-life cases, there is an interesting human drama. Everyone in just about any trial has had their life reduced to soap opera, and there is a Rashomon situation happening where it's hard to tell what or whom to believe. Hell, maybe they are all right, there are some things we can never know. If I wasn't under a gag order I could tell you the story I've heard, complete with all the angles, and you'd be impressed by how complicated a tale it is. You would have no idea, though, what it was really like to hear. You'd get the edited and polished version that takes maybe fifteen minutes, not the rambling version that took two days to tell, full of repetition and mistakes and a general lack of eloquence. And you'd miss the dry examination of evidence and the overwhelming reading of the law.

You'd also miss the weight of having to decide another man's fate. This is what keeps me from relaxing tonight. The thought that tomorrow I will be having to consider another man's freedom. I will have to do so beyond a reasonable doubt and with a moral certainty. Think about that. What doubts aren't generally reasonable and how often are you certain about anything, much less morality? But these are terms you must consider, these are the areas where you cannot get it wrong and yet might. Even in extreme cases where the acts are so heinous that there can be no question of their vileness, you still have the burden of meting out a proper dose of justice, one that will make the wronged parties and their family and friends satisfied. And you also have to wonder how a guilty verdict will affect the families of the accused, too. You can't let it influence you, but you will wonder. Trust me, even the biggest dirtbags can have someone show up that cares about them.

Sure, anyone sitting in the defendant's chair made choices that got him or her there, and they are facing the consequences of those choices. As a juror, you will be enforcing responsibility where it needs to go and possibly even setting community standards for what will and will not be permitted. You will even have guidelines for how to go about deciding if consequences are warranted. That doesn't mean, however, that the evidence is going to easily plug into those guidelines so as to make your decision absolutely clear. The facts don't fit a neat teleplay structure with an intro and four segments with their own commercial breaks. Have you ever watched Law & Order and been shocked by how the lawyers on there can turn a certain act into a crime, and you can't believe they'd actually prosecute it? Now imagine that you are on the jury for that.

Which isn't to say that any of these "what if?" scenarios apply to the case I am on. I am being very careful not to be specific. The questions are there, though. Are we interpreting this right? Are we remembering that right? Are we believing the right people? What if no one is credible? What if you think the accused is clearly guilty or not guilty, but the law says you must go against that, it doesn't support your own moral certainty on the matter? Whenever there is a trial, like the Rodney King or O.J. Simpson cases, where the case seemed so clear cut from the vantage point of our living rooms, and the public is shocked that the jury voted the way they did, if you find yourself really having no idea how they came to that decision, then you've probably never actually been on a jury. Every time, the jurors who talk to the media say that the evidence did not meet the burden of proof and that the case made by the losing side could not support the guidelines for conviction. It's never as simple as did he or didn't he, it's did he or didn't he within the confines of the law under which he is charged.

I only saw 12 Angry Men for the first time this year. Surprising, I know, but it's true. It's a pretty incredible piece of cinema, and shockingly accurate. Yes, there is the tidiness of fiction, things move along in a logical manner and not as messily as they normally do, but the experience is right. Twelve different people having to sort through a pile of details, and only one (Henry Fonda) not only willing to go against the grain, but to do so not because he believes the others are getting it wrong, but because he feels not enough time is being taken to consider whether a boy goes to jail or whether he goes home. On my jury, only ten have to agree; on his, all twelve. So, were I to be a Henry Fonda, I wouldn't even have to go to the mat.

But I'd like to think I'd try.

Current Soundtrack: The Housemartins...

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, August 25, 2009


One Shot Presents interviewed Joëlle Jones and I in San Diego about You Have Killed Me. The results are now online at their site; hosted by one of the best comics stores in the country, Night Flight; or here, from their YouTube channel:

Our segments start at just before the 3-minute mark. By the way, Joëlle picked the blood-red endpapers. That's all her.

Current Soundtrack: Arctic Monkeys, Humbug

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

Back to the courthouse. So, if I am incommunicado, people, keep your cool.

Bonus: Check out Tally's productive nature--sketches from the jury room here and here

Monday, August 24, 2009


Over at Mike Allred's message board, we're continuing the Five for Friday topic about cartoonists adapting songs into comic book stories (which I posted about on Sunday). The twist is, only Beatles tunes.

My five:

Side 2 of Abbey Road.

"Polythene Pam" - Jaime Hernandez
"She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" - Paul Pope
"Golden Slumbers - Joëlle Jones
"Carry That Weight" - David Mazuchelli
"The End" - Mike Allred

The stories would be produced in order, each artist starting his following what the previous one did so that they are connected at lest by some kind of thread, no matter how tenuous. Maybe even the first panel of every story is penciled by the previous artist and the next one inks and builds on it.

"Carry that Weight" was hardest, because it's fairly esoteric. Scott Morse was my other choice for it. I think he and Mazzuchelli could do something freeform and inspired. Maybe they could team up!

(And, yes, I know there are more songs on side 2--Abbey Road was my first Beatles record, bought it on vinyl from a used bin while I was in high school, and it's still my favorite. But, I am sticking to five, and those last four tracks are essential.)

Current Soundtrack:

I have jury duty today. I've had jury duty before. I don't like it.

In fact, these guys talking about the movie Jury Duty can pretty well stand in for how I feel about real-life jury duty.

Amusingly, Tally has also been summonsed, so we can at least endure part of this boredom together. My goal today is to somehow get her convicted. I don't care how I do it, or of what crime, she's going to jail.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


This week's "Five For Friday" topic at The Comics Reporter asks people to "Name Five Songs You'd Like to See Turned into Comic Stories and Your Artist of Choice."

Here are the results in full.

Mark Coale, of Odessa Steps and the Beat, not only proposed the topic, but included myself and Joëlle (and Chynna) in his answers:

Mark Coale

1. "Dedicated Follower of Fashion," The Kinks -- Chynna Clugston-Flores
2. "Up the Junction," Squeeze -- Jamie Rich/Joelle Jones
3. "Enola Gay," OMD -- Russ Heath
4. "Tessie," Dropkick Murphys -- Kurt Busiek/Mark Bagley
5. "Mr. Garfield," Johnny Cash -- John Cassaday

I also participated, and I suggested the following:

Jamie S. Rich

1. "All This Useless Beauty," Elvis Costello & the Attractions -- Matt Wagner
2. "Happiest Girl," Depeche Mode -- Ross Campbell
3. "Somebody Got Murdered," The Clash -- Naoki Urasawa
4. "Twilight," Antony & the Johnsons -- Craig Thompson
5. "Tea for the Tillerman," Cat Stevens -- Joelle Jones

I have to be honest, I didn't actually know this song:


Current Soundtrack: Arcade Fire, "Burning Bridges"

Friday, August 21, 2009


I was lucky enough to get Monica Gallagher in my portfolio review at Stumptown this year. It was an easy session, full of good talk and good art. I liked what I was starting to see in her style. It's rough and fluid at the same time, feminine but edgy, kind of like old-school Christine Norrie. The dichotomy seems to make sense for a skinny blonde girl in red lipstick who skates in roller derby. There's a reason Monica uses Betty Draper with a shotgun for her LiveJournal avatar.

Today on her journal, she updated about her vacation and her vacation reading, and she happened to say nice things about mine and Joëlle's little book even though I am a douche and haven't read the comics she sent me. I swear to God, I actually put them in my bag this morning when I left the house, long before this post...and still didn't read them. Dammit!

Anyway, Monica's own words:

"Sorry I've been absent for a while, peeps. There was vacationing to get to! I love that no matter how old I get, I can still retreat to a little cottage in Michigan during the butt-hot summer. I can laze on the hammock, soak in the lake, read as much as I want, and endlessly drink and catch up with relatives. Ahhhhh ... vacation.

While I was there I went through Jamie S. Rich & Joelle Jones's You Have Killed Me all too quickly. At first I was too mesmerized by the art to pay attention to the story, and I spent several minutes on each page admiring how much work Joelle put into it. When I did get around to paying attention to the story, I found it similar to the film noir dramas my friend Lauren used to make me watch -- all race tracks and high pants and drinks with ice cubes in cheap apartments. But whereas with some of the movies I'd get a bit impatient or confused (to be fair, Lauren's floor in her old apartment was really uncomfortable), Jamie's storyline kept me intrigued. I wasn't pressured to guess whodunit! the entire time, and the end still surprised me. Sometimes crime stories from the 40's and 50's are so stylized I have trouble identifying with any of their characters, so I was pleasantly surprised that I got a little choked up by the end. Plus, I never tire of a main character who gets beat up every day yet still looks cool. Even Jack Nicholson had a little trouble pulling that off in Chinatown..."

So, go to her site, Eat Your Lipstick, and check out her online comics, "Bonnie & Collide" and "Gods & Undergrads." Also, buy her minicomics from her store. Lipstick & Malice is a must. I love the tall, skinny format, like that wicked comic Vertical by Steven T. Seagle, Mike Allred, and Philip Bond.

UPDATE: I realized after I first posted this that I wasn't doing anything, so I sat down and read the minis Monica sent me. In addition to Lipstick & Malice, which continues to be fun and action-packed each issue, as well as putting the vertical format to use in cool ways on just about every page, you should pick up her autobio comic Boobage. The story of one girl and her relationship with her breasts manages to be both funny and sensitive. Ms Gallagher is shaping up to be a rather talented writer in addition to her vivacious art.

Current Soundtrack: some Antony & the Johnsons, some of the new edition of the Housemartins debut, London 0 Hull 4

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, August 20, 2009



* Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino's amazing WWII movie. I've got a few complaints, but it's really an astonishing filmgoing experience. I loved it!

* Thirst, Park Chan-wook's vampire flick, is too long and often too slow, but some cool ideas, story twists, and a great performance by Kim Ok-vin in the female lead still make it worth seeing.


* Chungking Express/Fallen Angels, a double-dose of Wong Kar-Wai.


* 2X Catherine Deneuve: An excellent modern drama, Après Lui, and a terrible 1970s "satire," Marco Ferreri's Don't Touch the White Woman

* Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles - Criterion Collection, a remarkable "day in the life" style picture about a woman whose life slowly unravels. A difficult film to describe in a short space. It's just something you have to watch. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

* Pete's Dragon: High-Flying Edition, an old Disney musical that is pretty predictable, but still entertaining. Plus, you know, animated dragons are hep.

Current Soundtrack: Living in Oblivion vol. 5; The Colbert Report

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, August 18, 2009


As one dwarf said to the other, "Dig, dig, dig!"

And dig I have.

Been working. Started that new project I hinted at. Finished the research, rounded out the outline, wrote the first chapter and sent it to the artist to see if we're on the same page. Fingers crossed. He's not someone I've worked with as a writer before, but we did a couple of things when I was an editor. It was his idea to do this, his seed that has started to grow...so keep hope alive.

Also have been working on a script for Yen for the second volume of Raiders, and I'm about to undertake my first assignment for Viz.

Dig, dig, dig.

Current Soundtrack: Pulp, The Sisters EP

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, August 16, 2009


Nico is celebrating the 2nd anniversary of his blog, and he has invited a bunch of his artist friends to contribute a drawing to a special birthday post. He got a lot of fine draftsmen on board...and then he got me.

Follow the image through to see the good ones. Tally's is pretty remarkable. (Hey, lady, can you provide a translation?) I also like Ruddy Pomarède's zombie Nico and Ipomée's sweetly drawn tribute...well, they're all good. Just go look.

Current Soundtrack: Elbow, "Lullaby/Our Little Boat/A Regret"

Friday, August 14, 2009


I wrote a new strip for Nico's blog. Amazingly, I resisted doing this to Tally all night when we went to see Ponyo. Of course, she's so gullible, I could tell her this did happen in real life, and she'd totally believe me!

Parlez-vous Francais?

Current Soundtrack: The Divine Comedy, "In Pursuit of Happiness;" El-P, "No Kings"

Images from Floating World's Facebook of myself and Joëlle on the night of our You Have Killed Me signing.

That's Oni publisher Joe Nozemack who pops up in both of those.

Current Soundtrack: The Housemartins, Live at the BBC

Thursday, August 13, 2009



* The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, a comedy of desperation that feels desperate. So much so, you'll pity it more than laugh at it. With Jeremy Piven.

* Ponyo, Miyazaki's latest (and possibly last) movie is geared toward younger kids, and as a result, will leave the adults only partially satisfied. Pretty to look at, there is more good than bad, but not the masterpiece his fans have hoped for.


* Equinox, the sci-fi low-budget is preserved as a historical curiosity due to its pioneering special effects, but your curiosity may vary.


* The Astonishing Work of Tezuka Osamu, collecting 13 animated shorts by the manga/anime legend.

* Big Man Japan, a confused mockumentary about giant monsters and giant monster fighters in Japan. See it for the fights, fast forward through the rest.

* ER: The Complete Eleventh Season is the year ER maybe should have stopped. Good-bye, Dr. Carter.

* I Love You, Man, one of my favorite comedies of the year, now on DVD.

* Repulsion - Criterion Collection, a Roman Polanski mindf*ck starring Catherine Deneuve. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

Current Soundtrack: Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest

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, August 12, 2009


Gigi Little shows off her You Have Killed Me graphic over at her blog, while also sharing her thoughts on the book. Click on the pick to read her full entry.

"One thing I particularly like about this book is this great narrative voice that threads through the story. Our hero, Mercer, just tossing out little reminiscences on things that seem completely unrelated to the plot, but they're beautiful metaphors for the way Mercer is feeling. A really unique way to add dimension to the tale and to the character."

Current Soundtrack: Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, I Wish My Brother George Was Here


I just love this Spell Checkers splash page so much...

Nico is about halfway through. He also did this super cute fan art for Tally. I am sensing a conspiracy. A confederacy of artists. Soon they will rise against me....

Current Soundtrack: Pulp, "Party Hard"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"And don't believe me
If I claim to be your friend
'cos given half the chance
I know that I will kill again

I've been waiting for this Q&A with Johanna Draper Carlson on Publisher's Weekly. We did the interview several months ago, shortly after she posted her amazing review of You Have Killed Me. As I've said before, I think Johanna really gets what I was after, clearly is facile with the genre, is uber-familiar with my bibliography, and is just a smart cookie!

A taste:

"Although it echoes classic novels, Rich emphasized how this story was always envisioned in the comic format. 'I couldn't do You Have Killed Me the same way in prose. The narration, for instance, wouldn't work. The free-form philosophizing would have to be interrupted for descriptions of what is happening. In a comic, I can have the words work on one level and let the pictures do something else. Or the playing with light and darkness, the whole visual design of the climax, that's something a comic book can do that a novel never can.'"

Again, please read the whole thing.

And listen to what inspired the above post title:

Current Soundtrack: Jarvis just replaced some new Múm, and then got replaced by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds performing "I'm Gonna Kill That Woman"

Well, it had to happen.

You Have Killed Me gets its first outright negative review. Steve Duin at The Oregonian has posted his thoughts here, lumping us in with his impressions of Gran Torino, and ending with this quote:

"At this stage in his storied career, Clint Eastwood is delighted to exploit the familiar so that he can engage and entertain us in ways we might not expect. Rich is not similarly inspired. Almost everything in You Have Killed Me has been done before and done better, including the title shtick, and I'm not convinced Rich cares. He seems content to prove he and Jones could deliver a graphic novel that fit the superficial requirements of the genre, then move on to their next challenge. I think they're better than that."

There you go. As always, fair enough. Negative reviews run with the territory (hell, I write them, too). Though, personally, I find the closing disingenuous in that Steve's review of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her ran along similar territory, and I don't believe he actually believes I can do better. :) <--- emoticon added in order to make sure the internet knows I type this all with a laugh. Hell, even Darwyn Cooke is taking his lumps today.

And for the record, I thought Gran Torino wasn't all that hot. My biggest gripes with the movie are that, despite a powerful ending, the build-up is banal, the acting consistently poor, and I think Eastwood preached to the converted to such a degree that segments of the audience accepted Walt's racism as justified. So, to each our own.

On a different note, Taklin Bout Comics has a nice blurb about one of my favorite things, "The Jailhouse Swing," the story Joëlle Jones and I did for Popgun, Volume 3

"'The Jailhouse Swing' - Jamie S. Rich, Joelle Jones - I particularly like the style of this 8 page narrated piece about a down on his luck palooka and the Angel that loves him regardless. The art goes heavy on the lines in some places, and uses a very sketchy style when showing bits of his fights. His girl seems always drawn with a bit of delicacy. It has a little bit of the feel of something you might see related in Ed Brubaker's Criminal (not the only piece in this review that made me think of that)."

Weirdly, putting the two together, I think we get this:

Current Soundtrack: Muse, Haarp CD/DVD Set; Jack White, "Fly Farm Blues;" the Jesus and Mary Chain

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, August 10, 2009


God, I feel like I can finally catch my breath.

As you can likely tell by the flurry of posts here, the last two weeks--the weeks immediately following Comic Con--were crazy busy. I felt like I was running just to keep up. Worst of all, I was doing so while having a lingering chest cold and also enduring a record heat wave. And, I had a deadline that I had to meet by today, and the assignment just seemed to take forever to get through.

So, yeah, a bit of a pause. I should be resuming life again shortly. I even hope to start a new project this week. After I make it through three movies screenings in the next two days. Huzzah!

I am pretty sure Floating World got some pictures of our signing. I'll link to them once they are up.

In the meantime, new Brett Anderson...

Current Soundtrack: The Specials, Stereo-Typical: A's, B's and Rarities Disc 2

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, August 06, 2009

R.I.P. JOHN HUGHES, 1950-2009

Writer/director/producer John Hughes died today. He suffered a heart attack at the age of 59.

There is no underplaying the impact the man had on generations of teens. I was the same age as most of his characters when his movies were coming out, and I know it's the cliche to say how much they spoke about my life and the lives of those around me, but you know, cliches tend to be true a lot of the time.

The thing about Hughes was that he didn't just make films about how life was, but how it could be. His movies said it was okay to be you, and if you were true to yourself, you could have the kind of fun that his characters were having on the screen. That meant a nerd like me, a Farmer Ted, could be a Jake Ryan if he wanted to, at the end of Sixteen Candles there is no difference. Duckie could have a girl, too, even if it's not the one he wanted. Which in itself was the little dose of reality: it won't work out exactly, but it will work out. Like at the end of The Breakfast Club, there is the moment where the characters have to say, "Really? Will we really acknowledge each other in the halls tomorrow?" Hughes told us that we might not, but we'd be the better people for having done so.

And for every dweeb like me on the planet, this was the coolest moment in cinema. If only we could enter at the right time, just as the needle touches vinyl:

Fuck, there's even a Smiths poster on the wall.

Say what you will, and many are already digging out the "Yes, we liked him, but..." routine, but I don't care. His movies got through to me. He had a great ear for dialogue, remarkable taste in music, and a genuine humanity that never wavered, even as he strayed from the teen films to adult movies, silly comedies, and children's trash. During the 1980s, when it was expected that everyone was only out for themselves, John Hughes took the time to worry about the ones he thought might get left behind. Remember the Bowie quote from the start of The Breakfast Club: "And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds, they are immune to your consultations, they're quite aware of what they're going through.” That summed up the John Hughes approach: I get their problems, they get their problems, and you don't, so you'd better get of the way.

I don't know what else to say. I never knew the man, I can't speak to his personal life. 59 is way too young, but hell, what he did with those six decades can never be touched. His movies are the thing, anyway, that's the man we know, and so I point you to some of my reviews of his work:

The High School Flashback Collection

Pretty in Pink

Some Kind of Wonderful

Watch one of John Hughes' movies tonight if you can. You won't be sorry.


Citizens of Portland are going to have a hard time escaping us today.

First, I was delighted to be walking up 23rd Avenue and spot the poster for tonight's signing at Floating World Comics on many a street pole. (Don't forget to come out!)

Then, I made my way down to Powell's Books to see the unbelievably fantastic graphic novel window display Gigi Little built around You Have Killed Me. I'm speechless, it's so cool.

Powell's window display - YOU HAVE KILLED ME 1

If you're downtown, make sure to go by the Burnside entrance to check it out. And if you click through on the first photo, there are notes telling you what all the other books are.


Oh, and what's this? Nico and Tally collaborate?! It's a conspiracy!

Current Soundtrack: Booker T. Jones, Potato Hole; Noel Gallagher, The Dreams We Have as Children

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, August 05, 2009


Well, at least this one isn't just me talking.

Alison Hallett at The Portland Mercury interviewed Joëlle Jones and I about the book, and she managed to turn our ramblings into a cool little piece for their book review section.

"...You Have Killed Me is a clear statement of Jones' talent and versatility. Meticulously detailed shading, assertive contrasts, and period-perfect costuming create a brooding, atmospheric realization of Rich's script. The book's world is shadowy and cinematic, as a hapless detective follows the trail of a vanished woman into an underworld of gambling and organized crime. It's a classic whodunit that drives home a point not too far removed from the achey-heartbreak of some of Rich's previous work: It's a foolish man that puts too much faith in a beautiful woman."

Read the whole thing here.

Locals can also read this in the actual print edition.

Current Soundtrack: Radiohead, "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)"
BLOGGING AT ROBOT 6: From page to page, plan to heist

Saving what I think is the best for last, the final installment looks at how a page of script transforms on its way to the printed product. Compare 4 pages of my writing to 4 pages of Joëlle's lettered inks...

Current Soundtrack: The Auteurs, "The Rubettes" single

As he starts each chapter of Spell Checkers, Nico sends me a special piece of art showing off the outfits the girls are going to wear.

This color piece for chapter 3 was in my inbox this morning.

They are so adorable, you'd think they'd be sweet young girls...but you'd be wrong!

(Here is chapter two, to refresh your memories.)

Current Soundtrack: The Raveonettes, "Suicide;" Arctic Monkeys, "Crying Lightning"

I did a couple of on-camera interviews in San Diego, and iFanboy is the first to have posted theirs. Witness the filth and horror of me in real video.

The embed, I think, jumps straight to me, which you can also do at this link.

But, why not watch the whole episode and see everyone else? You can do it right here.

Thanks to the iFanboy crew for putting together such a great program!

Current Soundtrack: Asobi Seksu, Hush

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, August 04, 2009

BLOGGING AT ROBOT 6: Dangerous Dames of Dark Horse: Katie Moody & Sierra Hahn talk crime

For my penultimate Robot 6 column, I chatted with Katie Moody and Sierra Hahn about crime-related books coming out of their editorial offices at Dark Horse Comics--including Blacksad, Rafael Grampa, Janet Evanovich, and more.

Read the full article here.

By the way, I had already turned in the article when Joëlle told me she had just taken a job to contribute spot illustrations to the Noir anthology Katie mentions. Too late to add that in, but neat, nonetheless.


In other news, my cohorts Marc Ellerby, Mike Holmes, and Chynna Clugston get great blurbs in this review of This is a Souvenir at iFanboy.

Current Soundtrack: Julian Plenti is...Skyscraper - solo album from the Interpol singer, currently only $4 to download and I think totally worth it


For those in or around Portland, Joëlle Jones and I will be signing books at Floating World Comics this Thursday, starting at 6 p.m.

We will be joining the party to celebrate the opening of the gallery show NUTS & BOLTS – The Artwork of Robopocalypse and Teenage Dinosaur. The show features many fine local artists, including our pals Matt Grigsby, BT Livermore, and the incomparable, unrepeatable Terry Blas.

Come down, bring offerings, it should be a really good time.

Unrelated, but I am finishing this post listening to the new Muse song "Uprising," and has anyone else noticed that the intro and the fuzzy riff that runs all through the song is exactly the same as Christina Aguilera's "Keeps Gettin' Better"? Compare: Muse & Xtina.

Current Soundtrack: Lavender Diamond, "Purple Rain;" Beastie Boys & Nas, "Too Many Rapper;" Muse, "Uprising"

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, August 03, 2009

BLOGGING AT ROBOT 6: Comics, Prose and Crime: A chat with Chris A. Bolton

Two more days to go after this.

For Monday, a lengthy chat with Chris A. Bolton about writing in various media. Chris scripts the webcomics series Smash and is also part of Portland Noir.

Read the full interview here.

Current Soundtrack: ER, season 11, episode 16

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