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

Friday, December 31, 2010


Antonio Mercer isn't having very much fun on his date, hope you're having fun on yours!

Joëlle surprised me throwing this on Twitter yesterday, one of her Daily Doodles. I was stoked to see the old boy again.

And, yes, Mercer is coming back.

Current Soundtrack: LCD Soundsystem, London Sessions


Release dates feel so amorphous in the digital age, and since I am also extremely lazy, I am not going to dig through my music collection and figure out what actually came out last year. Rather, I'll let someone else's statistical tracking of my listening habits create a picture of 2010.

According to my LastFm account, the top 15 artists I listened to the most in the last 12 months are:

1. Christina Aguilera - 1,055 individual song plays
2. Gorillaz - 722
3. Brett Anderson - 614
4 Janelle Monáe - 577
5. The Trash Can Sinatras - 547
6. Brian Eno - 434
7. Rihanna - 378
8. Massive Attack - 377
9. Suede - 360
10. Charlotte Gainsbourg - 354
11. M.I.A. - 334
12. Paul Weller - 327
13. Ash - 321
14. Broken Bells - 303
15. The Roots - 300

To be fair, I should also note some of the most prolific listens from the last 3 months, accounting for late year releases who had to do some catching up:

Belle & Sebastian - 245
Nicki Minaj - 202
Bruno Mars - 197
Duffy - 164
Bryan Ferry - 154

As far as individual songs are concerned, the picture is cloudier, dominated by the artists who ruled the overall charts. Out of the top 15, four are Christina Aguilera, one is by Broken Bells, and the rest are Brett Anderson.

Top of the list is Christina's "Lift Me Up" at 59 plays, followed by "Not Myself Tonight" at 43, "You Lost Me" at 42, and a few slots down, "Birds of Prey" at 39.

Brett Anderson's "The Hunted" dominated at 40, and the rest of his Slow Attack album was right behind with plays in the 30s.

Broken Bells' "The High Road" had 37 plays.

Other big ones:
M.I.A. - "XXXO" - 35
Metric - "Black Sheep" - 26
Bruno Mars - "Grenade" - 21
Duffy - "Well, Well, Well" and "Endlessly" - both at 18
Belle & Sebastian - "I Want the World to Stop" - 15
Christina Aguilera - "Express" - 15
Rihanna – "Only Girl (In The World)" - 14
Nicki Minaj - "Right Thru Me" - 14
My Chemical Romance – "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" - 12

Most of those had the cuts from their albums hovering at numbers just below their main hit entry. Metric is really the only individual song that pushed through, and that is off a pretty killer soundtrack; there is no great one-off single lurking around, sadly enough.

I wish I had thought to record what my total play count was at this time 12 months ago so I could see how many songs I listened to this year. For posterity, in case we try again in 365 days, Last FM says I have listened to 165,017 songs in some digital format or other since June 18, 2007.

Current Soundtrack: Lily Allen, It's Not You, It's Me (I woke up with "Not Fair" stuck in my head)

Thursday, December 30, 2010



* Made in Dagenham, starring Sally Hawkins as feminist strike leader in 1960s England. A feel-good movie you don't have to feel bad for liking. Plus, a great soundtrack.

* Tiny Furniture, a whiny indie comedy about being bored with privileges in upper class New York. Writer/director/star Lena Dunham shows promise, but this one is tough to sit through.


* The Cranes are Flying, a sweeping romance picture from 1950s Russia. One of my very favorite Criterion releases.


* The Black Pirate, an entertaining silent adventure with Douglas Fairbanks. Relased in 1926, this is the oldest color film available on Blu-Ray.

* Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola's love story is a modern classic.

* The Mission, Roland Joffé's 1986 drama is kind of a stick in the mud despite fine performances from Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Irons as monks trying to bring Christianity to the rainforest.

* Soul Kitchen, intense German director Faith Akin tries his hand at comedy, yielding mixed results.

Current Soundtrack: Gorillaz, The Fall

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) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


My pal Emi Lenox has her first book out today, collecting a year of her sketch diary, and named for that very comic strip: EmiTown. It's a gorgeous book, hovering in the vicinity of 400 pages, printed in two colors and then some. I wrote the introduction, Brandon Graham wrote the afterword. I think both of us also show up in more than one diary strip.

Neon Monster has it as their pick of the week. Find more info in the link.

Emi has been selling copies directly via her Etsy store.

Take a look at some of Emi's posted strips online to get an idea of what she's about, and bookmark it so you can read the strips that have been posted after the date where the book stops (last spring, essentially). Also, check out this awesome intro strip she did for the Portland Mercury:

My favorite comic book shop, Floating World, is also hosting an Emi art show for January's First Thursday. That's next week, folks, January 9. Check the details.

WHO: Emi Lenox
WHAT: Emitown book release and art exhibit
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 6th, 6-10pm
WHERE: Floating World Comics
20 NW 5th Ave #101
Portland, OR 97209

Artwork on display until Jan. 31st.

And next year, watch for Emi in the next big Madman special, doing an eight-page story alongside other guest stars Tonci Zonjic and Matt Kindt.

Current Soundtrack: Eminem, Recovery; B.o.B, B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray


"But I hate all that fucking listing of greatest films/greatest albums; Nick Hornby really has let the male species down. I’m a fucking man; I don’t go around making lists. A list is something you take to the supermarket." - Luke Haines

And yet, here I am making lists.

I'm actually a participant in three different lists this year. The DVD Talk Top Releases are still being compiled, so I can't link to that, but today the Portland Mercury put out their issue where myself and a bunch of other locals picked three films from the year that we felt all should see. You can read all the picks on their site. Of course, I went long, so Erik Henriksen had to edit me down, but here is my full text just for the hell of it:

Much of the best cinema of 2010 was about nerds triumphant, and though I can count myself amongst their geeky numbers, Scott Pilgrim was about nerds so different from me, it was almost like watching a Natural Geographic documentary. Fun, witty, stylish, and emotionally honest--Edgar Wright’s adaptation of the Byran Lee O’Malley comic was more movie than all other movies this year combined.

In my DVDTalk.com review, I suggested The Black Swan was The Red Shoes as directed by Roman Polanski. It’s also a little Hitchcock by way of the Dardennes. Darren Aronofsky manages to synthesize whatever influences he began with into something singularly his own: a gonzo metaphor for artistic obsession, and I’m a little obsessed with how it all turned out.

Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho never steps in the same cinematic river twice, and though his latest has some genre similarities to his breakthrough Memories of Murder, his choice to follow the mom of the accused killer rather than the cops makes for an unexpected, suspenseful drama. Kim Hye-Ja’s lead performance should be in the top actress category at every awards show in the coming months. Should be, but likely won’t.

I don't subscribe to the idea that this was any crappier a year for film than any others. I had no problem coming up with a good list of movies I liked. I would, however, maybe cotton to the notion that it's a year where the choices for the top slots were far too obvious, making most voting predictable.

Take, for instance, the final voting ballot for Online Film Critics Society. We all got to vote for our top five choices in the various categories, and the picks were compiled and, well, there aren't many surprises. Nor would I even argue that there were really any underdogs to be championed or even anything left out, even when my picks were different than the final results. (Okay, I would argue that Hailee Steinfeld was a lead actress in True Grit, not a supporting player, but that's different.)

Our final voting results will be out next week, but in the meantime, here are my picks in each category. Look at this like if I were to make the Oscar ballot. These are actually in order of preference, so the head of each list is my #1 (and bolded for easy identification). I will also link to my reviews of the movie the first time the title appears.

Supporting Actor

Jim Broadbent, Another Year
Brandon Routh, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Andrew Garfied, Social Network
Sean Combs, Get Him to the Greek
Bill Murray, Get Low

Update 1/10/11: Having finally seen The Fighter, I would amend this to join the chorus of putting Christian Bale in the top slot. He is amazing. It's particularly remarkable once you see the footage of the real person he plays; he's dead on the money.

Supporting Actress

Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Chloe Moretz, Kick Ass
Cecile De France, Mesrine: Killer Instinct
Scarlett Johansson, Iron Man 2
Ellen Wong, Scott Pilgrim


Black Swan
Scott Pilgrim
Social Network
The American
I Am Love

Original Screenplay

Black Swan
Another Year

Adapted Screenplay

Social Network

Scott Pilgrim
True Grit
The Town
127 Hours


Scott Pilgrim

127 Hours
Black Swan
Get Him to the Greek
Social Network

Foreign Language Feature Film


35 Shots of Rum
A Prophet
Mesrine: Killer Instinct/Public Enemy #1


Exit the Gift Shop

Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno
Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg & the Pentagon Papers
Art of the Steal
Thorn in the Heart

Lead Actor

Jeff Bridges - True Grit

Ben Stiller - Greenberg
Casey Affleck - Killer Inside Me
James Franco - 127 Hours
Joaquin Phoenix - I’m Still Here

Lead Actress

Hye-ja Kim - Mother

Anna Mouglalis - Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
Giovana Messogiorno - Vincere
Sally Hawkins - Made in Dagenham
Natalie Portman - Black Swan


Edgar Wright - Scott Pilgrim

David Fincher - Social Network
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
Coen Bros. - True Grit
Christopher Nolan - Inception

Honorable Mentions
Joon-ho Bong - Mother
Mike Leigh - Another Year
Noah Baumbach - Greenberg
Anton Corbijn - The American
Sofia Coppola - Somewhere

Best Film

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Social Network
True Grit
Black Swan

Honorable Mentions
The American
Another Year
The Town

Had I not put Mother in both film categories, Toy Story 3 would have probably nestled in that last slot. I didn't actually see enough of the animated movies this year to vote, oddly enough. I also wish I had seen more documentaries.

Claire Denis' 35 Shots of Rum is on the Best Foreign list, and I still haven't seen White Material, otherwise that would have likely had to fight it out for top Denis.

By the way, as I close here, the music I am listening to now was picked by Brett Anderson as his favorite album of 2010. Worth a listen.

Current Soundtrack: Warpaint, The Fool

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) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Sunday, December 26, 2010


My Christmas present from Terry Blas, creator of the Briar Hollow comic, was an awesome color drawing of Audrey Hepburn and her pet deer.

I love that he drew it in the Briar Hollow style, and it's the first time anyone has done a piece for me with Pippin in it. Thanks, Terry!

In other Christmas art news, Joëlle Jones surprised me with her own cover design for The Great Gatsby. (Note: This is a photo, not a scan; the art is too big for my little scanner.)

Current Soundtrack: Klaxons, Landmarks of Lunacy; Gorillaz, "Crystalised" (xx cover on BBC Radio 1)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Quick update of midweek movie openings.


* Somewhere, Sofia Coppola's emotionally compelling fourth film goes in some new directions, but also hits a familiar stride.

* True Grit, the Coen Bros. remake John Wayne and come up with a damned perfect movie.


* Tokyo Story, a touching family drama, the quintessential Ozu movie.

Current Soundtrack: The Trash Can Sinatras, Brel

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) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Wow, another surprise You Have Killed Me review. It must be Christmas!

This time, Bish's Beat takes a bite out of our comic book crime.

"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."

Thanks, Mr. Bishop! (Come to think of it, "Paul Bishop" would make a great name for a noir character...)

Current Soundtrack: Kanye West

Thursday, December 16, 2010


The new Tron may be terrible, but check out these awesome Eric Tan posters (more info here).


* I Love You Phillip Morris isn't entirely loveable, but it's got its moments.

* The Tempest, Julie Taymor injects a boring play with visual pleasures.

* Tron: Legacy. In my top 3 worst movies of the year.

Right next to Grown-Ups and Hereafter.


* Cronos, Guillermo del Torro's entertaining indie horror debut.


* LennoNYC, a marvelous documentary about John and Yoko and the Big Apple.

Current Soundtrack: Jónsi, Go: Live

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) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Over at Mulholland Books, Brian Lindenmuth has a fantastic article rounding-up crime comics from the last several years. Among them are books I edited, such as Queen & Country and Union Station, but also, of course, You Have Killed Me, by myself and the incredible Joëlle Jones. The blurb Brian gives us is fantastic! He knows who the powerhouse in this team is.

"You Have Killed Me by Jamie Rich and Joelle Jones is like a classic noir movie in comic form. This book hits all the right notes in creating a great overall atmosphere. From the cold noir opening with our confused and bloodied protagonist ,on through the jazz clubs, back-room poker games, and fringes of high society, it exudes a high comfort level and provides a great setting to tell the story. Joelle Jones’s art eschews the blocky thrust of Frank Miller–inspired crime art and comes away with an elegance of style. She also places the characters in a prominent place so they aren’t overshadowed by stylized flourishes. The art is, quite frankly, so damn good here that she has set the benchmark for all future crime artists to beat."

Current Soundtrack: Best Coast, Crazy for You

Friday, December 10, 2010


It's been quiet around these parts, I know. Never let it be said that I'm a man that speaks even when he has nothing to say. I mean, I do do that, just don't you say it.


* The Tourist, in which pretty people have a pretty boring vacation. And I type Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck as many times as I can.


* America Lost & Found: The BBS Story, seven films from the early 1970s from the innovative creative team of Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider, and Steve Blauner. Featuring the Monkees, Jack Nicholson, Peter Bogdanovich, Orson Welles, Jeff Bridges, Dennis Hopper, and more. [Also at DVDTalk.]

* Louie Bluie, Terry Zwigoff's lively portrait of blues musician Howard Armstrong.


* The Sicilian Girl, a true-story drama about a Mafia daughter going against the family. A smart movie with an amazing lead performance.

* Walt & El Grupo, in which we go back to the vacation jokes: Walt Disney went to South America, and all I got was this lousy documentary.

Current Soundtrack: Suede, Live in London - 07.12.2010 (download here)

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) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, December 02, 2010



* Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky's artfully chilling mind-bender.


* Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor and Other Fantastic Films by Koji Yamamura, a collection of experimental short films by the Japanese animator.

* They Came to Play, a documentary about the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs.

Current Soundtrack: Cornershop, The Battle of New Orleans 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) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Max Huffman, the artist of Mocktopus and other web comics, had a Kickstarter project to replace his computer a couple of months ago, and he was offering sketches for people who donated. I asked him to draw the Spell Checkers. The sketch turned out great!

Check out his other work here:

Current Soundtrack: The Divine Comedy, Live at Somerset House

Saturday, November 27, 2010


A little late putting the list together this week. Like so many others, I did some traveling over the holiday and didn't have the computer access to really put this together. Visiting family is always time for me to see bad movies, too, so I sat through one pretty decent one (The Next Three Days--slow start, excellent final act, kind of lame final scenes), a mediocre one (Karate Kid; Jaden Smith is the most phony actor, I don't get it), and one truly awful, awful piece of crap (Grown-Ups; an ironic title since the humor was aimed at dimwitted toddlers). I washed it all away with the original True Grit when I got home. I am so ready for the Coens now.


* Burlesque. I still love you Christina, but why did you make me sit through this? Cher is going to be great in the Ben Stiller threquel Night at the Wax Museum.

* Outside the Law, a familiar but overall solid story of three brothers in the fight for Algerian independence.


My last three Criterion reviews have a running theme: socially conscious comedies from the past that are still relevant today.

* Modern Times, the classic Charlie Chaplin comedy manages to remain timely and hilarious. [Also at DVDTalk.]

* My Man Godfrey, with William Powell as the butler who is more than he seems.

* Sulivan's Travels, a profound comedy about the power of laughter and the human spirit from Preston Sturges.


* Metalocalypse: Season Three: Somehow the cartoon series manages to overcome its thin premise (chronicling the over-the-top situational adventures of the biggest black metal band in the world) and continue to crank out the comedy. Best season yet.

* The Venture Bros.: Season 4, Vol. 1, one of the best cartoons on TV has a bit of a lacklustre cycle, but still worth it for when the jokes hit their mark.

Current Soundtrack: the Ride station on Pandora

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) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Hey! Before you settle in to bust a gut this weekend, go to the comic book store today and buy my best pal Joëlle Jones' Marvel Comics debut. She drew the eight-page Iron Man story in Ultimate Spider-Man #150, working alongside the great artists David Lafuente, Sara Pichelli, Skottie Young, and Jamie McKelvie, all from a script by Brian Michael Bendis.

Here is a page from her story. I've seen the whole thing, and it's amazing. Click on the image to go to Joëlle's blog for more info:

It's a big month for Joëlle. Troublemaker: Book 2 hits bookshops this week--Amazon says it's in stock--so I am guessing comic book stores next week?

Current Soundtrack: Christina Aguilera, Burlesque OST

Monday, November 22, 2010


Paul Chadwick is one of my favorite people in comics. Few people know this, but my first paid freelance job was doing a Concrete timeline for one of his short story collections. Talk about an awesome gig. I got every Concrete book for free and was given money to read them. All I had to do was put the stories in order. Yeesh, way to put me through the sweatshop.

So, to have Paul pop up in my google alerts this morning saying:

"As for favorite titles, my mind rushes back to my childhood, which seems irrelevant. We’re in such a rich period at present, everything we could have dreamed of for our medium during the dark days of the seventies, when it seemed to be a dying ghetto. Right now I’m reading Jamie Rich and Joelle Jones’ graphic novel You Have Killed Me, and enjoying it quite a bit. And speaking of Shane White, everyone should read his autobiographical book, North Country."

Well, I couldn't be more chuffed by this. Paul has actually been so amazing and supportive to me as a creator, just by the simple act of finding me at conventions and saying hello and telling me that he reads the books. The first convention Joëlle and I did together, actually, he gave marvelous feedback on 12 Reasons, the kind of response you can only get from a master storyteller.

Which Paul is. I was lucky enough in my time at Dark Horse to be there when Paul gave the editorial department a lesson in storytelling. He used some of his Concrete pages as an example, and worked us through the process panel by panel, explaining his choices and detailing how he intentionally lead the reader's eye to follow a specific visual line. If you are ever in a situation to get the same kind of sitdown, do it. By all means, DO IT.

And of course, read all of the Concrete books and buy Paul's collaboration with Harlan Ellison--who is, of course, a personal hero of mine--as soon as it comes out. The Concrete series is one of the most human, thoughtful, and creative series in all of comics. You won't find a more fully realized metaphor than the main character's predicament, nor a concept executed with such sophistication and flair.

And read the interview where the excerpt came from right now. It's over at Guerrilla Geek.

By the way, I have said this before, but my first actual freelance gig was writing the backs of the Madman Trading Cards, but I didn't get paid for them. I only got paid for the second set, which came after the Concrete assignment. Just in case someone wanted to call out for a continuity error. (Like anyone is paying that much attention...haw!)

Current Soundtrack: Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday Deluxe Edition

Friday, November 19, 2010


I don't remember posting this before, largely because I don't remember seeing the interview go live. I answered Doug Dorr's questionnaire for the Portland Comics blog just before I left for New York Comic Con. Some of the answers are kind of funny. Like...

DD: Where in Portland/ Oregon would you most like to visit?

Well, there's this girl and I watch her apartment from the bushes across the street...and one day, I hope to go inside.


Read the whole thing here.

By the way, in convention news, Joëlle and I have table space for Emerald City Con in March, and things are looking up in terms of San Diego and NYCC again. So, a few appearances next year, there may be more. Nico may be hitting some of those, too. He is also going to be at Stumptown in April.

Current Soundtrack: Some Dntel

Thursday, November 18, 2010



* Carlos, the epic biography of Carlos the Jackal from Olivier Assayas. Playing this weekend in Portland at the NW Film Center.

* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the beginning of the end, and HP ain't goin' out like that!

Also, don't forget 127 Hours goes wider this week.


* Altitude, comics artist Kaare Andrews' debut movie is like Cthulu in the clouds. A confined-space horror movie with lots of tension.

* Frank Sinatra: Concert Collection, 14 hours of vintage television specials from the Chairman of the Board.

* Leonard Cohen's Lonesome Heroes, an academic documentary mapping out the troubadour's influences.

* Mad About You: The Complete Fifth Season, the year of the Buchman pregnancy. Another cycle of shows from one of my favorite sitcoms.

* The Other Side of Paradise, an impressive indie romance that takes its heart out on the road.

* Sherlock: Season One, the clever and inventive BBC modernization of the legendary detective.

Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)?
, an interesting documentary about the unique singer that has a lot of good stuff, but maybe not enough to answer it's own titular question.

Current Soundtrack: Rihanna, Loud

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) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's been pointed out to me that, once again, these images are proof in this world that pets and their owners eventually start to look alike. Either that, or Sadie is doing an impeccable impression, recreating the pose from one of my better author's portraits.

Current Soundtrack: Underworld, Barking (ironically)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A sneak peek inside the witch's lair...

Thursday, November 04, 2010



* 127 Hours, Danny Boyle and James Franco bring the pain in the most tense movie of the season.

* Due Date is one appointment you can postpone. (Bazinga!) Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis give it a good effort, but only about half the jokes land.

* Fair Game, has no backfield play, despite good performances by Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. The story before Valerie Plame's outing as a CIA agent is interesting, though.

* Tamara Drewe, 2010 gives us another great comic book adaptation; Stephen Frears brings Posy Simmonds to life.

And don't forget, Portlanders, Kuroneko hits Cinema 21 for a week!


* Alien Anthology, the classic sci-fi franchise looks better than ever on Blu-Ray.

* Theater of War, an uneven documentary about the 2006 staging of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage starring Meryl Streep. It's best when it's just about Brecht himself.

* William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Baz Luhrmann's innovative modern adaptation of the classic doomed romance.

Current Soundtrack: Antichrist director's commentary

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) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, November 01, 2010


Eric Kim, the artist on books like Love As A Foreign Language and his own hilarious The Complete Plays of William Shakespeare (each Shakespeare play retold as a two-panel cartoon!), has drawn a great version of Audrey Hepburn from Funny Face.

Eric is selling the color version as a limited edition print of 20 in his web store. Pick one up, and buy his Shakespeare book at the same time!

Current Soundtrack: 40-Year-Old Virgin on the cable teevee

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Apparently, there is a fake band modeled after my most memorable feature having a fake existence in Vermont.

These two *ahem* ladies may have something to do with it. The one with the colorful hair of her own is also responsible for this comic. Both of them attend here.

I offer no further comment or explanation.

Current Soundrack: Belle & Sebastian, Write About Love

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Is everybody getting ready for their Halloween? I'm practicing some Mr. Mister and Whitesnake songs for Scaraoke tonight. Does that frighten you?

I've been posting real scary songs--or at least ghoulish ones--to SwiftFm. Here is my account. The last five songs, from Warlocks back to Gorillaz, are for Halloween. I post stuff there whenever something gets stuck in my head, or on special occasions like this.

* Robot 6 has dubbed themselves Robot 666 for the week, and they have done a survey of comics pros to ask what comics scare them. In part 2, I am amongst the esteemed company of Ross Campbell and Becky Cloonan, and Ross and I pick the exact same scene from Becky's part of Pixu. Read the whole article here, but this is my blurb:

"The first thing to pop into mind when this subject came up was a fairly recent example. I am a big fan of Pixu by Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Vasilis Lolos, and Becky Cloonan, and I was particularly taken aback when I first read the self-published issues by one of Becky’s sequences. In chapter two, Omar returns home and something feels weird. Claire is acting strange. She made him some soup, and when he sits down to eat it, he notices something gross–a fingernail–in the broth. Then there is another, and another, and one in his mouth. It’s such a simple thing but the way Becky shows it, first by letting us see some nails on his spoon, then one between his fingers, and then finally spitting it out–it’s so visceral, I feel a tickle at the back of my throat just thinking about it. Over a few panels, she effectively creates an unforgettable moment, one that extends beyond the page and causes an honest-to-goodness physical reaction. It creeped me out so much, I had to send Ms. Cloonan an e-mail to thank her for disturbing me. The whole of Pixu is fantastic, but that’s the moment that really nailed it for me–no pun intended!"

* Oh, and hey, Tally has been updating "Between Gears"! And I make an inebriated appearance. Click on the panel of me and Emi (I know, Emi and I) being drunk at Powell's to read the whole entry, and then start catching up on the rest:

Current Soundtrack: Trash Can Sinatras, "I See the Moon" (youtube rip); The Cure, "Scared as You;" Duffy, "Scared"

Friday, October 29, 2010



* The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, the Swedish crime trilogy yawns and stretches to completion.


* Kuroneko, brilliant, vintage Japanese horror currently doing the repertory rounds. It hits Portland at Cinema 21 on November 5.


* Agora, a thought-provoking historical epic about the Christian takeover of Alexandria in 4 AD. Starring Rachel Weisz.

* Kisses, an excellent Irish drama about two kids on the run from the abusive lives. A fairy tale, both light and dark.

* The Pacific, the television miniseries about the campaign against Japan in WWII. The follow-up to Band of Brothers.

Current Soundtrack: James, "Sometimes;" Robbie Williams, In And Out Of Consciousness (Greatest Hits 1990-2010) disc 3

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) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Gana is a fifteen-year-old artist who is currently taking an art class taught by Nicolas Hitori de. This is her interpretation of Jesse from Spell Checkers, and it's pretty fantastic.

Current Soundtrack: The House of Love, "Who By Fire?" (Leonard Cohen cover)


Monday, October 25, 2010


The excellent Readergirlz blog picked 12 Reasons Why I Love Her as one of their books for October, and so I provided them with a special thank you/intro piece, discussing the rarely disclosed secret origin of the book.

Here is the lead paragraph:

"It all seems so simple now, I can barely believe it. It was a Saturday night, I think in 2003, and I was bored and trying to think of a side project to write during breaks from my second novel, The Everlasting. I am a big fan of good romantic movies, particularly Hollywood classics with Cary Grant or the Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy pairings, and I started to think about the modern equivalent. If it were possible to write a movie like The Apartment or Two for the Road now, how would I do it? I don’t know if I was conscious of the Two for the Road connection at that very moment, but Stanley Donen’s 1966 masterpiece would end up being a real inspiration for what I was about to cook up. In it, Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney play a married couple who are heading for the rocks, and by criss-crossing several narrative timelines at once, Donen lets us compare and contrast and see how they got from very young love to very old love by drawing ingenious parallels between the jumbled stages of their life together."

Read the rest in the link.

Thanks to Little Willow for including us!

Current Soundtrack: Taylor Swift, new singles: "Back to December/Mean/Speak Now"

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Especially if there is a grammar portion to this test.


* Hereafter, Clint Eastwood's meditation on the afterlife fails on nearly every level. A serious contender for worst movie of the year--or at least the most boring.


* House, Obayashi's crazy 1977 horror freak-out is on DVD in time for Halloween.

* Paths of Glory, Stanley Kubrick's original masterpiece is restored for a new age of technology. A fantastic WWI drama starring Kirk Douglas (Also at DVD Talk).


* Eccentricitie's of a Blonde-Haired Girl, Manoel de Oliveira's not-so-eccentric literary adaptation.

* I Am Love, melodrama as a sumptuous feast. Starring Tilda Swinton.

* Richard III, Ian McKellan's inspired take on the Shakespeare classic, reset in fascist pre-War Britain.

Current Soundtrack: Gorillaz, various live sessions

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) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Tonight I am attending a party for the season finale of Mad Men, and I was tasked with making a music mix to keep the shindig hoppin'.

I took a two-part approach, as we'll be listening to music before and after the show. The beginning of the mix is made up of songs we heard on the series this season, and the second half is a selection of hits from 1965, the year of season 4. Many were picked for their lyrical relevance to the story, some just because they were cool. I was struck by how many old-style crooners and the like were still landing on the charts back then. We tend to think of the '60s as being all about the classic rock, but forget that not everyone was on board. With bands like the Animals, Zombies, and Kinks, however, we can start to see the shift toward harder-edged music coming.

Most of these songs are available for download from Amazon or iTunes.

Part I

1. RJD2 - "A Beautiful Mine (Theme Music from 'Mad Men')"
2. Nashville Teens - "Tobacco Road"
3. Jan & Dean - "Sidewalk Surfin'"
4. Patti Page - "Old Cape Cod"
5. "Theme from the Man from U.N.C.L.E."
6. Peggy Lee - "I Enjoy Being a Girl"*
7. Skeeter Davis - "Ladder of Success"
8. Simon & Garfunkel - "Bleecker Street"
9. Otis Redding - "Satisfaction"**
10. Petula Clark - "I Know a Place"***
11. The Beatles - "Do You Want to Know a Secret?"****
12. Jim Reeves - "Welcome to My World"
13. Etta James - "Trust in Me"

Part II

14. Jack Jones - "The Race Is On"
15. Ramsey Lewis Trio - "The In Crowd"
16. The Byrds - "Mr. Tambourine Man"
17. The Diamonds - "Silhouettes"*****
18. Herman's Hermits - "(What A) Wonderful World"
19. The Searchers - "Love Potion No. 9"
20. Peter & Gordon - "I Go to Pieces"
21. The Yardbirds - "For Your Love"
22. The Kinks - "Tired of Waiting for You"
23. The Zombies - "Tell Her No"
24. Jackie Deshannon - "Love Will Find a Way"
25. Marvin Gaye - "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)"
26. The Supremes - "Back in My Arms Again"
27. The Chiffons - "Nobody Knows What's Goin' On"
28. The Beatles - "Eight Days a Week"
29. The Animals - "We Gotta Get Out of this Place [single version]"
30. Gerry & the Pacemakers - "Ferry Cross the Mersey"
31. Tom Jones - "It's Not Unusual"
32. Freddie & the Dreamers - "I'm Telling You Now"
33. Dickey Lee - "Laurie (Strange Things Happen)"
34. Sam Cooke - "Shake"
35. The Toys - "Attack"
36. Unit 4 Plus 2 - "Concrete & Clay"
37. Lesley Gore - "Look of Love"
38. Bobby Vinton - "Mr. Lonely"
39. The Righteous Brothers - "Ebb Tide"
40. Simon & Garfunkel - "The Sound of Silence"
41. The Beach Boys - "Help Me, Rhonda"
42. Len Barry - "One Two Three"
43. Gary Lewis & the Playboys - "Everybody Loves a Clown"
44. The Vogues - "You're the One"
45. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass - "A Taste of Honey"
46. Brenda Lee - "Too Many Rivers"
47. Roy Orbison - "Claudette"
48. Sounds Orchestral = "Cast Your Fate to the Wind"
49. The Crickets - "Now Hear This"
50. The Ivy League - "Tossing and Turning"
51. The Lettermen - "Sincerely"
52. The Ronettes - "He Did It"
53. The Ventures - "Diamond Head"
54. Frank Sinatra - "It Was a Very Good Year"

* The show actually used Doris Day, I believe, but I could not find her version on MP3. Lee's is more jazzy, anyway.
** I substituted Otis for the Rolling Stones because my hostess doesn't care for the Stones. Their original version of this song was one of the top 3 hits of 1965.
*** I am missing a song here. In the same bar where Petula Clark plays, some kind of surf rock tune follows, but I could not identify it or find any place telling me what it was.
**** I could not find an instrumental version to match the one on the credits (there were plenty, none were right), so I went with the vocal version.
***** "Silhouettes" was a charter for Herman's Hermits in 1965, but rather than use two Hermits numbers, I went with an older doo-wop version of the same song.

Current Soundtrack: Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans