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

Thursday, June 30, 2011



* Larry Crowne. This weekend, you can watch cars transform into robots, or you can let Tom Hanks transform your cold, dead heart into something living again. Your call.


* People on Sunday, a who's who of German ex-pat directors make their first feature back in their home country. This 1930 film is wonderfully restored and not to be missed.


* BLAST!, a science documentary about sending a telescope up into the sky on a balloon to look at the stars.

* Eight Iron Men, a WWII variation on the "chamber room drama" that never quite takes off. From Edward Dmytryk and Stanley Kramer.

* The Goddess, Paddy Chayefsky wrote this thinly veiled portrait of a Marilyn Monroe-type actress, played by Kim Stanley. Interesting, if not entirely successful.

* The Herculoids: The Complete Series, the bizarro '60s cartoon comes to DVD.

* The Man in the Net, starring Alan Ladd, directed by Michael Curtiz. Read the review that one fan called "a classic example of...uninformed arrogance" and inspired him to suggest I "take up something else to while away your time or attend a junior college film class."

* New York, New York, Martin Scorsese's notorious 1977 musical mash-up of new and old styles, starring De Niro and Minnelli.

* The Romantic Englishwoman, Joseph Losey directing a Tom Stoppard script about Glenda Jackson's aching loins. And Michael Caine yells a lot.

* Spectacle: Elvis Costello with...Season 2, a second go-around with the maestro.

* Vera Cruz, Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper shoot up Mexico in a film by Robert Aldrich.

Current Soundtrack: The Warlocks, Enter at Your Own Skull, vol. 1 - 18 tracks, $5 - get it now!

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Midi-Confessions123 * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2011 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, June 27, 2011


Nico has drawn this super cute promo image to kick off the summer.

The Spell Checkers have hit the beach, and these witches don't burn!

"Summer's Here, Kids"

We're going over lettering on volume 2 right now, so it's off to the printer soon. Order now, get the book in September.

Spell Checkers vol. 2: Sons of a Preacher Man from Oni Press.

Current Soundtrack: The Rolling Stones, "Good Time Woman"

Monday, June 20, 2011


This past weekend, my friend Robert Fortney (who also snapped the above photo) and I took a road trip down to Coos Bay, Oregon, to see the second-ever live performance of Mike Allred's band The Gear. We then hung out at Mike's house and enjoyed that famous Allred hospitality. (So much French Toast!)

Bobby was driving, and our trip was going to be over 3 hours, so I made a 3-hour, 23-minute road trip mix, with an ear towards propulsive rhythms and choosing songs that had some sort of thematic connection to travel, running, the sun, freedom, etc.

52 songs in all. If anyone wants to try to rebuild it themselves, here is the full track listing.

1. Nigel Godrich - "Universal Theme"
2. Bat for Lashes w/ Beck - "Let's Get Lost"
3. Cee-Lo Green - "What Part of Forever (Remix)"
4. Primal Scream - "Loaded (Single Version)"
5. Jim Reid - "And Your Bird Can Sing"
6. The Beatles - "Free As a Bird"
7. Spiritualized - "Run (single version)"
8. The Troggs - "Any Way That You Want Me"
9. Pink Floyd - "Apples and Oranges"
10. The Trash Can Sinatras - "Oranges and Apples (Single)" [a tribute to Syd Barrett]
11. Low - "Fearles" (a Pink Floyd Cover)
12. Cat Sevens - "Wild World"
13. The Rolling Stones - "I Am Waiting"
14. The Kings - "Powerman"
15. Broken Bells - "The High Road"
16. Suede - "Europe Is Our Playground" [Best of version]
17. Morrissey - "Moonriver (2011 - Remaster)"
18-19. Frankie Goes to Hollywood - "Fury [Ferry Across the Mersey]/Born To Run"
20. One Dove - "White Love (Radio Mix)"
21. The Style Council - "Everything To Lose (Blue Remix/Extra Demo)"
22. The Divine Comedy - "A Woman Of The World"
23. Dum Dum Girls - "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"
24. Alex Turner - "Piledriver Waltz"
25. Elvis Costello - "I Can't Stand Up (For Falling Down)"
26. Sam & Dave - "I Can't Stand Up"
27. Wanda Jackson - "Let's Have a Party"
28. Gorillaz - "Stylo (Alex Metric Remix)"
29. Scissor Sisters - "Invisible Light"
30. Cee-Lo Green - "Fuck You"
31. Harry Nilsson - "You're Breakin' My Heart"
32. The Who - "I Can See For Miles"
33. David Bowie - "I Can't Explain"
34. Wire - "Three Girl Rhumba"
35. Pulp - "The Professional"
36. Super Furry Animals - "Juxtaposed With U"
37. Cults - "You Know What I Mean"
38. Christina Aguilera - "Woohoo - Feat. Nicki Minaj"
39. Kanye West - "Monster (featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver)"
40. Nicki Minaj - "Girls Fall Like Dominoes"
41. A Tribe Called Quest - "Can I Kick It"
42. The Velvet Underground - "Ride Into The Sun"
43. Ride - "Twisterella"
44. Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - "Tramp"
45. The Supremes - "Run, Run, Run"
46. Dusty Springfield - "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes"
47. Marvin Gaye - "Hitch Hike"
48. My Chemical Romance - "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)"
49. Arctic Monkeys - "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala"
50. New Order - "Krafty"
51. Depeche Mode - "Free"
52. Geneva - "Have You Seen the Horizon Lately? (Aloof Mix)"


And don't forget, you too can see the Gear playing at the Tr!ckster event during Comic Con!

Current Soundtrack: The Band, Greatest Hits

Thursday, June 16, 2011



* Green Lantern. You will believe that space can be realllllly boring. And Earth. And everything else.

* Submarine, a quirky, heartfelt coming-of-age drama set in Wales.

* The Trip, Steve Coogan on a very funny roadtrip with his pal Rob Brydon. Directed by Michael Winterbottom.

Portlanders can catch The Trip at Cinema 21.

Also opening in Portland this weekend is the Italian film The Double Hour, an excellent crime drama I reviewed at PIFF.


* Fish Tank, Andrea Arnold's portrait of a girl struggling with growing up to fast.

Might make an interesting double-feature with Submarine, actually.


* Despair, a Vladimir Nabokov adaptation from writer Tom Stoppard and director Rainer Werner Fassbender, starring Dirk Bogarde. And it's as weird as that combination would suggest.

* Laila, a silent Norwegian epic from 1929.

* Public Speaking, Martin Scorsese's documentary about author Fran Lebowitz. Engaging and funny.

Current Soundtrack: various B-sides and sessions from Pains of Being Pure at Heart

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Midi-Confessions123 * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2011 Jamie S. Rich

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Comic Con fast approaches. This year, hotels and badges sold out at a record speed. Servers crashed just trying to deal with demand.

Once upon a time, this was not so. Whether this is good or bad is a larger debate, but to illustrate how different it once was, I offer you this item from my first ever San Diego Comic Con attendance.

That's a poster for the Marvel/Epic reprint series of Moebius comics. This line was released in 1987, which is when I got the poster. I was 15. I had never read Moebius, but he was well known, everyone was aware of his work. This was a time when Heavy Metal magazine was still sold at convenience stores, and everyone my age had a friend who had an older brother who read Heavy Metal--and usually did so inside a van with a Frank Frazetta painting on the side.

I didn't go to the show planning to meet Moebius. My list of must-sees were the Pander Bros., Dave Stevens, Art Adams, Matt Wagner, and the like. All of which I had hunted down, and so at some point, I started wandering the aisles seeking what was there to find. Down one random aisle, flanked by booksellers and T-shirt displays, Moebius sat all by himself. I don't know if he was with Marvel or a book dealer or just had his own table, but there was this white-haired man with glasses just sitting there, no line, no one in front of him, nothing. I looked at his stuff, saw the free posters, asked to get one signed.

He obliged.

Such promotional techniques worked, in so much as I bought the first Epic volume. I didn't much care for it, so never bought the rest. But that's just the part I tell at parties to shock people.

The memory baffles me to this day. How had the most famous international artist in our industry get hidden away down a side corridor in the convention hall, like a point on a scavenger hunt. "Find Moebius, win a prize!" When was the last time he even set foot through the doors of the San Diego Convention Center? And when he did...did anyone notice?

By the way, I didn't smudge the signature, he did. See the spotting around the "to" and at the end of my name? As you can see, the poster folded multiple times, it was not rolled. Moebius opened the first flap, signed the poster with his silver pen, and immediately flopped it closed again, not even waiting for it to dry. Maybe he sensed I was wasting his time and was punishing me, I have no idea. I remember grabbing the artifact in a panic and opening it back up again to minimize damage. You'd think a cartoonist would know how ink and paint worked!

Current Soundtrack: Hercules & Love Affair, "Painted Eyes;" Asobi Seksu, "All Around" and remixes of "Trails"

Thursday, June 09, 2011



* Beginners, Mike Mills' exploration of mortality, love, and depression will catch you off guard. Naturally quirky and moving, it stars Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, and Melanie Laurent.

* The Tree of Life, in which Terrence Malick wrestles with the universe, the All Father, and all fathers.


* Insignificance, Nicolas Roeg's historical fiction about the night Marilyn Monroe could have met Albert Einstein. (Also at DVD Talk)

* The Makioka Sisters, a soft Japanese drama about four siblings dealing with life, love, and an uncertain future just before World War II. (Also at DVD Talk)


* Carancho, an Argentinian twist on crime and romance, from the people who brought us Lion's Den.

* Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, a mixed bag of an animated film showcasing the Green Lantern Corps. Kind of for fans only, methinks.

* Marriage Italian Style, a strangely dark, yet intriguing, romantic "comedy" from Vittorio De Sica, reteaming Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni.

* Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour, a concert documentary about the influential feminist punk band. The DVD includes a ton of great bonus features.

Current Soundtrack: Depeche Mode, Tour of the Universe: Barcelona 20/21.11.09 Blu-Ray

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Midi-Confessions123 * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2011 Jamie S. Rich

Tr!ckster plans are starting to come to fruition. One of the big things the team is putting together is workshops and Symposia so that attendees can get some professional information a little more valuable than the latest movie trailer or a slide show of comics covers that will be available on the internet five minutes later.

Full information and how to get tickets is on the Tr!ckster website.

I'm going to be involved on Saturday, joining Mike Allred, Greg Rucka, and Larry Marder for Symposium 5.

Saturday, 7/23/11, 1:00PM to 3:00 PM
Featuring storytellers MIKE ALLRED, LARRY MARDER, GREG RUCKA, JAMIE S. RICH, and more TBA
Writing a story is hard enough, but finding the visual pairing to help express the story to its fullest can be pivotal in crafting your work. The right combination of exposition and dialogue with the perfect set of sequential images make for excellent, memorable storytelling in comics and children’s books. Join in with acclaimed writers and the artists they’ve worked with as they explore how the creative team, and the creative process, come to fruition.

PERFECT FOR: writers and artists hoping to make comics as a team.

This is, obviously, a topic I know more than a little something about.

I'm considering also making a minicomic to sell at conventions collecting the three short stories Joëlle Jones and I did for Popgun. Is there interest in such a thing? Would people buy it? I'm serious with this question. It's a lot of money to pull together, so I toss this out there just to see if anyone responds.

Current Soundtrack: Kaiser Chiefs, The Future is Medieval -- the new record, build it yourself at their website

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Today's preview art from Dan Christensen. He wanted me to look over her outfit. Love my job!

Current Soundtrack: A Tribe Called Quest, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

Thursday, June 02, 2011



* 13 Assassins, samurai slaughter from Takashi Miike.

Playing Portland at Cinema 21 starting this weekend.

* Midnight in Paris, everything old is new again in Woody Allen's delightful return to form.

* X-Men: First Class: Hey, man, that's a groovy mutation, but the movie's kind of a piece of crap.


* The Cocoanuts, yuck it up with Los Bros. Marx in their 1929 debut.

* Man from Del Rio, starring Antony Quinn as a Mexican sheriff in a racially progressive 1950s western.

* Never Apologize, Malcolm McDowell's one-man show in remembrence of director Lindsay Anderson.

* Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, a trio of themed stories from director Vittorio De Sica and actors Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren.

Current Soundtrack: Depeche Mode, "Personal Jesus 2011" remix EP; Bar-Kays, Soul Finger

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Midi-Confessions123 * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2011 Jamie S. Rich

Just goes to show, it’s always bad when you don’t take your own advice.

For a while now, whenever the idea of me trying to get work from the big superhero publishers has been mentioned, my reason for not trying very hard to do it has always been, “I don’t want to be the guy who spends months working on a Blue Beetle proposal, only to find out they’re going to kill him.” A joke I must have come up with around the time of 52.

Well, no joke, I ignored that thinking and decided to work on some proposals earlier this year. Not out of any expectation that I’d get the specific books greenlit, but that I could create showpieces for myself and maybe parlay that into other work. To play it safe, however, I decided not to get obscure with my character choices but instead to monkey with some mid-level perennials that weren’t likely to go anywhere. That’s always the hardest thing, you see, and the first question any editor will ask you: what characters do you want to work on? It drives me nuts. I lean toward a joke from an old pre-fame Johnny Depp movie called Private Resort. Johnny claims to be a doctor, pretty girl asks Johnny, “What kind of a doctor are you?” Suave eyes, suave reply: “What kind do you need?”

Tell me what you're looking for, I will tell you if I can delivery, but let's not play a guessing game.

In doing this, I honestly thought what would likely happen was that, since I was pitching with Joëlle, that she’d get a gig out of these efforts (because how could she not?) and I’d have some plots I could recycle elsewhere. Because between the two of us, I know which one I’d hire.

Well, I suppose DC rebooting their entire line is the reason I can tell myself for why no one ever returned any of my e-mails. Even mid-level perennials have been unplugged and plugged back in again. Too bad. Now you’re even less likely to see the already unlikely Power Girl/Supergirl team-up by myself and Joëlle Jones.

This isn’t a pity party, nor am I looking for positive reinforcement or showings of support. Just sharing mildly interesting anecdotes from my freelance life.

By the way, it doesn’t always work even when you try to fulfill a specific need. For a while, I had the ear of an editor who had a particular property I was interested in, and I kept looking for ways to pitch fill-ins or spin-offs, stuff the guy might actually have a use for. Every time I thought I had a great idea, I’d send it in. He tended to agree that it was good stuff...only I was working with a status quo that was about to change. You know, they were about to (metaphorically) kill Blue Beetled. Always a step or two behind.

So, yeah, mistakes I likely won’t make again anytime soon.

Current Soundtrack: Brian Eno guest DJing on "All Songs Considered"

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Midi-Confessions123 * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2011 Jamie S. Rich