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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I found this in an old notebook the other day. I have no recollection of writing this, but it was written on Dark Horse letterhead and sent to a female friend back in California. The letter is dated June 7, 1994, so I had been in Portland and working for DHC for about five weeks at that point and apparently was already willing to totally slack off on the job. It’s quite possible the beginning could partially be from a template for letters of this kind I’d have to send out regularly as assistant to the editor in chief.

Dear Ms.--:

Thank you for your interest in our company. As you know, Dark Horse specializes in publishing an eclectic mix of comics. We’ve published fine creator-owned projects like Madman Comics and Grendel, licensed products like our wide range of Star Wars titles, and even created our own super-hero line, Comic’s Greatest World.

By far, the accomplishment we are most proud of, however, is hiring Jamie S. Rich. It does our heart good to have such a well-known, accomplished young man working under our roof. Why, practically every time he makes a phone call, the person on the other end says, “You’re that guy who writes all those letters, aincha?”* He humbly replies, “Yes, that is me. Ain’t I keen?”

Recently, Jamie has displayed to us a fine sense of what it takes to be a comic book professional -- he sat alone in his room and ate a pint of ice cream and pretended he was really cool and had a lot of friends. We feel it is this essential geekiness that makes Jamie the fine example of comic book dynamism that he is. It is this lack of any redeeming social qualities that make him a valued employee.

If you have any questions concerning our company, please direct them to Jamie. If you are searching for a particular comic book, he’s your man. Hell, if you need someone to sweep the floor, give your car an oil change, or wash the sludge from between your mother’s mammoth breasts**, we volunteer Jamie.

Jamie. He’s not just an assistant. He’s an editorial assistant.

Those are words to live by.

Sincerely yers,
Jamie S. Rich

That’s right, I’ve always been unfunny. Here some of you thought it was a product of old age.

* As an allegedly well-known letterhack, it took no time at all for me to get sick of people asking me if I was the same Jamie S. Rich who wrote letters to comic books, even though without having done that, I may never have ended up at the Horse in the first place.

** The recipient’s mother did indeed have rather larger breasts.

Current Soundtrack: The Complete Motown Singles Vol.3: 1963 (Disc 13)

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

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Friday, December 26, 2008


The day after Christmas, the snow is still here, but things look to be returning to normal.

I got two marvelous gifts from my friends Terry and Joëlle, who are basically my Portland family. Rather than spending money, we had a rule of only giving gifts we made this year,. As a non-artist, I feel horribly inadequate about my efforts in comparison to what I got, especially with Terry. A mix CD and a poem I wrote to commemorate the year (and go along with the Pushing Daisies drawing Joëlle did for him) doesn't seem like enough next to this gorgeous watercolor:

Maggie Cheung, In the Mood For Love

Maggie Cheung from In the Mood for Love.

More from Terry Blas at his blog.

With both of these drawings, you really want to click on the image and go to the host page and view the larger sizes to see the detail.

Joëlle drew the cast of Arrested Development.

The cast of "Arrested Development"

Joëlle inked this with a brush (I believe), with the logo cut out of zipatone patterns. This is actually a photo of it taken through a glass frame, no flash. It's too large for my scanner, I need to take it and have a photocopy made and shrunk down at some point to do a proper scan. The biggest problem with this photo is the image fades to the right. Strangely, the photos I took of it out of the frame had way more problems.

Of course, see more of Joëlle Jones' art through this link.

In this theme, Mike Allred did a drawing for Joëlle to give to her husband, illustrating one of his favorite movies, The Big Lebowski.


Mike's comics can be explored at AAA Pop.

Current Soundtrack: Antony & the Johnsons, "One Dove;" One Dove, Morning Dove White & "Why Don't You Take Me" singles & B-sides

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008



It's a good time to be going to the movies...

* The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, David Fincher's astounding adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story of a man born old and aging backwards. Elegant, engrossing, simply amazing.

* Defiance, a cookie-cutter WWII exodus, with a standout performance from Liev Schreiber but little else to distinguish it.

* Revolutionary Road, a brutal tale of a loveless marriage, directed by Sam Mendes and brought to emotionally devastating life by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett.

* Waltz With Bashir, an animated documentary about the Lebanon War. Yes, it's as interesting as it sounds. (Trailer below.)

* The Wrestler, wherein Mickey Rourke redeems a career squandered, Marisa Tomei proves she is still phenomenal, and Darren Aronofsky pulls back on the style and shows us how good of a storyteller he can be.


It's all sci-fi this week...

* The rest of the Monsters & Madmen box, First Man Into Space and The Atomic Submarine.

* Robinson Crusoe on Mars, which is what it sounds like, Daniel Defoe in space.


* Burn After Reading, the Coens lead a phenomenal cast through a darkly comic, impenetrable plot. Loved it so much, I watched it again the day after I reviewed it.

* DJ Spooky's Rebirth of a Nation, a disappointing experiment in cinematic remixing that never gets beyond the concept stage.

* Frost/Nixon: The Original Watergate Interviews, the program that inspired the new movie.

Current Soundtrack: Ladyhawke, Ladyhawke; misc Camera Obscura

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

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, December 22, 2008


It's the year end round-up yet again, and no, I'm not doing my list. Too many lists in this world. Why is mine going to stand out?

That said, when asked to take part in a year-end feature by other venues, I must comply. The DVD Talk "best of" that I voted in and contributed to will be up some time next week, and in the meantime, some comics sites have started taking polls.

Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter took a different approach by asking people to contribute five personal moments that will make them remember comics in 2008.

Go look to check out answers by guys like Paul Pope and Jeff Smith, but for those who are totally Jamie-centric, here is my list:

1. Laying Madman Atomic Comics #9 end to end and seeing the single continuous panel
2. My pal Joëlle Jones redesigning the X-Women for the hell of it.
3. Realizing that Secret Invasion and Final Crisis were the exact same book, full of sleeper agents spreading like a virus and working on the premise that "evil wins" (albeit, the victories come at separate points in the story).
4. Losing Dave Stevens, as well as many other wonderful people.
5. Comics folks taking a chance, getting political, and talking about the world, including the community effort of www.comicsindustryforobama.com

The excellent Daily Cross Hatch blog has a bunch of people's choices for "The Best Damned Comics of 2008." The list is alphabetical by last name, so you can scroll down to R to read my explanation, but for the lazy among you, the list of five I chose for them (yes, five, you fucking cheaters who had to add extras and have "honorable mentions"--another reason I hate lists: greedy people who can't make decisions), sans explanation, is as follows:

Local by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelley
Skim by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki
Tamara Drewe by Posy Simmonds
Token by Alisa Kwitney & Joëlle Jones
The Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba

Marc Ellerby and I actually agree on Skim. He lists it as his top comic, among others, at Forbidden Planet.


Portland has been under siege by snow the last couple of days. You've never seen a city more ill-equipped for bad weather than this here "City that Works." Yes, that's this burg's slogan. You just know they can't live up to it.

If one more person asks me where my hat is, I am going to scream. I don't own a hat. Get over it.

The best, though, was the person who asked me how come I wasn't wearing hiking boots.

"Why the fuck would I need hiking boots? For the one time a year it snows?"
"No, to go hiking."
"I reiterate, why the fuck would I need hiking boots?"
[Read the "why the f--?" like John Malkovich in Burn After Reading]

The funny thing was, running errands this morning, I ran into someone I knew who was walking to work. I splintered away from him twice, including mailing packages at the post office, and subsequently caught up with him and his big boots both times without even trying. In chasing a bus, me and my inappropriate shoes outran the other two people in more sensible footwear also chasing the bus. Yeah, me and my little dress shoes. Deal with it!

Current Soundtrack: Tom Jones, "Not Responsible;" the Decemberists, "Please, Daddy, Don't Get Drunk This Christmas;" something dissonant by Ludus; something quiet by Peter Moren; something very Stereolab-like by Stereolab; the Jam, "Pity Poor Alfie/Fever"

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

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Portland artist Matt Grigsby drew me this swell picture of Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark. Check out his blog here.

And for my Audrey Hepburn art portfolio, here.

And Plastorm, in response to any grumbling on your part...

Current Soundtrack: The Decemberists, Always The Bridesmaid: A Singles Series

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Joëlle just told me that her book Token got a great write-up in Publishers Weekly, and sure enough, I was able to find the article online.


Token Alisa Kwitney and Joelle Jones DC/Minx, $9.99 paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-4012-1538-5

The Minx line of girl-themed graphic novels ends with its best book. In 1987 Miami, 15-year-old Shira dreams of old-fashioned adult glamour. Her reality is a lawyer father distracted by a new relationship with his secretary, an outspoken Jewish grandmother and mean girl classmates. Shira's painfully aware of how uncool she is. Her best friend is her grandmother's contemporary, Minerva, a former actress who talks about the old days. While the story is alternately touching and thought provoking, Jones's art is simply astounding. Her characters' expressions and attitudes are perfect in every panel to convey the emotion underlying the text. People are attractive—you want to keep your eyes on them—without being glossy or artificial. The story, while following the “life-changing turning point” focus of the Minx line, is more subtle and mature than many others. Shira's learning to make her own choices and let go of her father to have his own life, and she comes out the stronger for it. (Nov.)

The bolding is mine, obviously. Publishers Weekly is an important venue, as booksellers really pay attention to it. I'm glad that Token isn't falling under the radar without the Minx initiative still pushing behind it. It's also comforting to see another writer working with Ms. Jones getting the "the story may be good, but the art is totally better" treatment. :)

If you haven't yet bought the book, follow the button below. I'm going to go add some images to the Amazon gallery for it, too.

Current Soundtrack: The Killers, "Spaceman"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The latest issue of Madman Atomic Comics, edited by yours truly.

#12 wraps up the storyline Mike Allred has been working on since the start of this new series. [Edit: Ooops. As it's pointed out, I mixed up my facts. #13, which is currently being printed, is the end of the arc.] Read the first five pages at the Image site.

If Christmas weren't canceled this year, and if I had the money to buy everyone a present, the the Dave Stevens art collection, Brush with Passion: The Art and Life of Dave Stevens would be in everyone's stocking. The link there takes you to the regular retail edition, but the special limited comic book store edition comes out this week. It has a slipcover and 16 extra pages.

Bud Plant is carrying this version. See their listing here.

Current Soundtrack: Travis, Ode to J. Smith

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I love peppermint bark. Usually every Christmas season I buy a tin of it and eat it until I am sick.

This year, Häagen-Dazs has decided they want my peppermint bark dollars. Either that, or they want to see me get fat, because they have a limited edition peppermint bark ice cream.

celebrate the season with our rendition of this holiday classic. rich white chocolate ice cream is blended with crunchy dark and white chocolate peppermint bark and peppermint candy pieces.

Apparently this has been available since September, but I only found it quite by accident last night. It's ridiculously tasty. I had to force myself not to eat the whole pint at once.

I know. I just did a blog post about food. It was that, or write about how it's been snowing in Portland since about 10 o'clock this morning, which when you think about it is at least equally mundane. It's cold enough that my electric heaters turned themselves on just a little bit ago, so the apartment smells of burnt dust, taking care of whatever has settled in there since they were last turned on sometime last winter.

Current Soundtrack: Stars, Sad Robots EP

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The fan letters keep coming:

I read your review of 'Sunshine Superman: The Journey of Donovan' and...I believe you're a little too over-impressed with Megastardom in and of itself, and a little too under-impressed with work quite as qualititative but which didn't sell on a mass basis. But why be different from the masses?

I think he got confused. I'm not one with the masses, I'm simply massive.


* Dark Streets, a wannabe jazz-age crime musical. Perhaps the worst movie I've seen in 2008. So bad it's bad.

* Doubt, from stage to screen, John Patrick Shanley's drama about suspicious activity at a Catholic school provokes and impresses.


* Trafic, a later entry in the ingenious comedy series featuring Jacques Tati as M. Hulot.


* Europa - Criterion Collection, the stylistic post-War thriller from Lars von Trier. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

* Generation Kill, the complete Frost-Simon HBO series about the early days of the Iraq War.

* Paul Simon: Live from Philadelphia, in which the 1980s begin to swallow the troubadour, Members Only jacket and all.

* The Who at Kilburn: 1977, two-discs of monster rock!

Current Soundtrack: Jeff Buckley, Grace

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

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Since a couple of people have now mentioned not realizing there was a new Elbow album, I felt I must stress the incredible auditory experience that is The Seldom Seen Kid. For a fourth album, it sounds as new and wonderful as anything the band has done since their debut. In case you missed the first single and its perfect placement in the Burn After Reading trailer, here is a live rendition of "Grounds for Divorce":

I would show the video version, but the music label does not allow embedding. I guess free advertisements on my hugely popular blog is too much of a good thing for them. They don't want to engorge.

Now, the album from 2008 I am most desperate to hear and that I hope to have soon is Happy Fiu, the second from the French gamine Mareva Galanter. The lead single is a video you can embed, so here you go:

Playing those in order is like being on a night out with me. From love-infused anger and regret to love-infused longing and regret. With extra helpings of regret.

Tying this all back to earlier, Mareva's version of "7 h du matin" was actually the soundtrack song on the last page of the only written script for Love the Way You Love II. It was to be the audio for Tristan's horrified realization that Like A Dog was suddenly on tour with the L.A. band he hated most of all, the Godards. Alas, that band has been completely overhauled for prose, as the concept of a band full of characters from Jean-Luc Godard movies just doesn't seem right for a YA novel. But for posterity, their description from the script:


For the first time, we meet the Godards. They’ve been mentioned in previous issues, but we have never seen them. Remember the other record executive that ratted out Isobel and Tristan to Marcus? They were his band, but now Marcus has picked them up. And their keyboard player is now SEAN, ex of Like A Dog.

He is there on stage with the rest of the band, standing at his keyboard. He is wearing black sunglasses, a polo shirt, and has a kerchief tied around his neck.

The drummer of the band is a girl, ANNA K., and she is tall and gangly, so not at all like the girl in Gorillaz or the chick drummer in Crash & the Boys in Scott Pilgrim. She is modeled after Anna Karina, so her hair is long and dark with straight-cut bangs. She is very pretty, like a French model. She wears a little black dress, no sleeves, and thigh-high striped stockings.

The bass player is PIERRE L.F., and he should be modeled after Jean-Paul Belmondo in Pierrot le fou. This includes the blue make-up that covers all of his face. (I can get you pictures.) He wears a red button-up shirt, collar open, and grey suit paints.

Front and center is singer/guitarist JOHN LUKE. He looks like some kind of ‘60s film cliche--not a real one, but like in a parody. He wears black sunglasses and a white turtleneck, and his hair is cut in a thick bowl style, kind of like Monkeyboy in Blue Monday. It’s sort of like the Dutchboy haircuts of the Ramones, but cut short in back.

(from off)
...to meet your new tourmates.

Sean-Luc Godard.

Anna K. Godard.

Peter L.F. Godard.

John Luke Godard.

(from off; burst)

Mareva Galanter - “7h du matin”

It particularly cracked me up that Sean had changed his name to Sean-Luc. The last names thing, of course, was a nod to the Ramones.

We had decided to drop Marcus from the story, too, as he had been beat up enough in series I, but I never got around to rewriting that.

Well, clearly, blogging hasn't been my thing as of late. It seems so passe to apologize for it, too, especially since this is a "no promises" blog. If you must know, however, the silence was kicked off by a week of travel for Thanksgiving where internet access wasn't really happening, and then gray Portland weather and a gray economic situation encouraging me to hibernate, to focus, to do what it is I do and write, write, write.

I'm currently alternating my time--often splitting days--between two projects. One is a previously hinted at rejiggering of Love the Way You Love. The grand concept is to do what would have been series 2 as a young adult prose novel. I'm a little over 13,000 words into it and I think it's going to work. Though, starting a new project while the publishing industry is in freefall is likely madness, but it's not like I can stop my own wheels from grinding.

The other project is a little harder to describe. I am tempted to make jokes about how it's for a private collector, call myself the Anais Nin of nerd fiction, and let you work on your own idea from there. In fact, I will give into that temptation. Go ahead and speculate. I'll never tell.

And while a bunch of you run off with dirty thoughts, some charts:


At least as of this update, Kanye West is in my chart on Last FM as a top artist for the week. I don't know why I always feel compelled to try his albums, because I find him to be one of the least interesting and least charismatic performers in popular culture at the moment. On some trusted advice, I decided to give his new disc, 808s & Heartbreak, a chance, as it was alleged to be more personally adventurous and sonically mellow. On initial listens, I could see this point of view, until I spent some time with the lyrics and realized that this is an album of Kanye West feeling sorry for himself and asking us to RSVP to his pity party. I guess some people's idea of "adventurous" is my idea of "shallow." Even worse, he has somehow managed to make it so that he can brag about his high-class problems and rub his success in our faces even as he is asking us to shed a tear on his behalf. Don't believe me? Listen to the song "Welcome to Heartbreak" and note how he makes sure we know that it's when he drives his fancy cars and flies first class when he feels lonely. Awwwww, you poor guy! Even funnier is how he's so busy and famous that he has to leave his sister's wedding early, and gosh, why can't he just do what he wants? Well, geez, Kanye, for a guy who likes to rap about how powerful and amazing you are, sounds to me like you're a total sham. Being powerful means getting to make your own decisions and dictate to others how they will bend their schedules around yours, and if you can't even reorganize your schedule to attend a family event, big guy, then you're not really your own man, are you?

Anway, best album of the year is still Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid. Kanye wishes he had as much musical dexterity and lyrical insight.


Unrelated, a couple more Token reviews:

- Comics Worth Reading
- Comics IMO

In the "if I am fire, she must be wood" department, Joëlle is working her ass of on You Have Killed Me and it looks awesome. It hasn't been as fast as we would have liked, but I think folks will find the results are worth it.

Current Soundtrack: Leonard Cohen, Cohen Live

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

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, November 24, 2008


The Day & Age of the new Killers album is upon us, and it's probably the record of the big autumn releases that I was most anticipating. After a couple of listens, in some ways it seems like an album that is neither here nor there, good but not great, with no songs emerging beyond the early singles, "Human" and "Spaceman," to prove themselves as stick-in-your-head stand-outs. For those who felt Sam's Town was too overblown (which, if you recall, does not include me), Day & Age does take us back to the simplicity of Hot Fuss, but it doesn't shed the sophomore skin completely.

Really, this disc seems a little out of place on the timeline. It makes more sense as the second album rather than the third, providing the logical bridge between the New Wave stylings of Hot Fuss and the arena rock of Sam's Town. Thus, we get the Duran Duran-sounding "Joy Ride" sitting right next to the Springsteen Americana of "A Dustland Fairytale." To push the connections between these touchstones further, "Neon Tiger" has a Duran title but Boss-style vocal swells in its chorus. These are two great tastes that somehow taste great together, at least when cooked up by the Killers. (Not sure I ever want to hear Simon Le Bon singing "Born to Run." Or Bruce singing "The Reflex," for that matter. Though he might do a mean "I Take the Dice.")

The Killers is one band I feel extremely comfortable playing spot-the-influence with. I've always seen them as caretakers of the music of my generation, archivists who keep the aesthetic I grew up with alive. I have a feeling if you compared mine and Brandon Flowers music collection, you'd find a lot of the same albums. When the band appeared on SNL last month, performing "Human" and "Spaceman," I thought they had entered their sci-fi stage, but I hear the later, post-Young Americans Bowie on a lot of these tracks. The horn riff in album opener "Losing Touch" recalls the main sax line of "Absolute Beginners," while the Caribbean-seasoned "I Can't Stay" works similar brass-inflected, '80s Thin White Duke territory (along with some Haircut 100). Elsewhere, the jungle chants of "This is Your Life" bring to mind both Adam & the Ants and Baltimora. The clip above even works some Bunnymen into the end of "Human."

Of course, Day & Age must be more than the sum of it parts, otherwise there would be no point. For all that I hear that is familiar, the Killers do push it forward and make something of their own. Though this third album may not have the immediately apparent majesty of the previous discs, it does prove the Killers dependable enough to always deliver a solid listen.

If you're doubtful, Amazon has taken some of the risk out. At least for the time being, they have the download version of the album priced at a mere $3.99. That's a hard price to beat.

Current Soundtrack: Day & Age

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

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"We'll make a movie, the darlings of cinema
You'll be director, and I'll be your movie star

Man, oh man. I'm all caught up on my reviews. I can't quite believe it. It's been a busy month or so of moviewatching, but as of right now, I've got nothing on deck.

Not that everyone appreciates the effort. A certain G. Barlas writes to us from the Netherlands, which apparently became the center for comedy in the world when no one was looking.

I read your review of 'Tropic Thunder' and... I cannot believe my eyes... " highly recommended"!!!!????? Surely you must be joking! Such a disjointed, episodic and unfunny story!!!!! I guess you love Stiller and Downey Jr..... ach! Americans! You gave academy awards to Halle Berry, Braveheart and Jamie Foxx!!!! C' mon! Time to grow up!

If anyone is missing any extra punctuation, Chuckles Barlas here I think might be hording a few exclamation points.

I just got the Tropic Thunder (Unrated Director's Cut) on DVD (thanks, Scott!), so maybe I'll cook up some salted herring and meatballs and enjoy a little Stiller and Downey in honor of my new international pen pal!


* Band of Outsiders, a playful Jean-Luc Godard love-triangle heist picture, starring an adorable Anna Karina.

* The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Luis Bunuel's savage send-up of middle class values.

* Mafioso, an Italian black comedy from the early 1960s with Alberto Sordi as an inadvertent hitman.

* Touchez pas au grisbi, a tough noir with Jean Gabin as an aging gangster looking for a way out.


* Fanfan La Tulipe - Criterion Collection, a fun 1950s French swashbuckler. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

* Looney Tunes: Golden Collection, Vol. 6, an amazing new set of some of the greatest cartoons of all time. Includes a war-themed disc and a disc of one-offs and special creations.

* Love Songs, an annoying "21st-Century Umbrellas of Cherbourg." Barf!

* Paris, Je T'aime, a re-release of the two-disc version of one of my favorite movies of recent memory.

* Popeye the Sailor: 1941-1943, vol. 3, the third set in the Popeye series takes us into the war years and a shift in production companies.

* Roberto Rossellini 2-Disc Collection (Director's Series), a double dose of the Neorealist from the filmmaker's 1950s oeuvre.

* Roman Holiday - The Centennial Collection and Sabrina - The Centennial Collection, Audrey Hepburn's first two films get a major DVD upgrade.

* The Spy Who Came in from the Cold - Criterion Collection, the chilly spy thriller starring Richard Burton, directed by Martin Ritt. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

Current Soundtrack: Pelle Carlberg, The Lilac Time

Geoff Kleinman has picked Have You Seen the Horizon Lately? as his pick for a book Portlanders should give to their friends and family this Christmas.

In Have You Seen The Horizon Lately characters grapple with deep emotional issues, struggle to find a way to connect to each and desperately seek the road to happiness. This is the kind of book that you simply won't put down and one you'll never forget.

Giving someone a great book that they've never heard of, but fall in love with is a blockbuster gift, and in this case it's an extremely affordable one too.

Of all my books, this is the one I currently have the most of sitting in my kitchen, so if you choose to follow this advice and want a signed copy, then I can make that happen. I've got some of my other books, too, so feel free to enquire. golightly[a]gmail.com

Current Soundtrack: The Trip, curated by Saint Etienne

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

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, November 17, 2008


I wish I could say that when I don't update my blog it's because I'm busy in a good way, but that's not always true. I think active blog times most likely go with good, fertile creative times, and whereas last week I was busting my ass, I also had a few demoralizing setbacks over the course of the week that made me want to turn from the computer in despair. Oh, woe is me!

Plus, fatigued eyes. They burrrrrrn. Double woe!

Anway, last week I worked on 5 1/2, a script rewrite on the ninth volume of Angel Diary, and ten script pages for the project with Tran Ngo that I hinted at quite some time ago.

In terms of other projects:

* BP & MJ is currently roaming the aisles looking for a seat.

* Lying Down should be very close to an announcement soon.

* You Have Killed Me is just a couple of weeks away from being done. Joëlle's new pages look unbelievable. We'll be going straight from that into our Madman Atomic Comics story, which should round out the year.

* I am going to be experimenting with a new approach to Love the Way You Love that may or may not go anywhere, so don't hate on me if you never hear about it again.

Yesterday, I did manage to leave the house and go see Role Models, which was good fun for a Sunday afternoon. I had a double-dose of Paul Rudd man crush this weekend, what with him hosting SNL, too (plus, they had Justin!). The climactic elements of Role Models were a little predictable in that underdog comedy way, but the scenario was really funny (live action role playing!), so it doesn't really matter. My favorite stuff was Rudd's caustic and futile battles against improperly used language, though that did strike a little close to home in a scene where he argues with a guy about a Wings song. I could definitely hear myself in that exchange, and I felt like the movie was nerd-baiting me by letting certain linguistic mistakes pass unchallenged.

Like when Seann William Scott's character, who flubs his words a lot, says, "You've been here ten years, and that's almost a decade." Thankfully, for those who might not have caught the joke, we had a running audio commentary from an overweight bald man sitting behind us, and he announced, "No, that's exactly a decade." Maybe it's his overwhelming math skills that have made this poor gentleman the lonely soul crying out for attention that he is. Too smart for the world, he was shunned by the other kids, and now he sits alone in movie theatres trying to get people to see that he is the clever friend they have been looking for, that pal you always wanted that can both predict a coming joke ("Wait for it!"), comment on it ("Whaaaaa?"), or enhance it through explanatory repetition. It started with the Twilight trailer, during which he said, "If you go see this, you're part of the problem!" and loudly proclaimed, "Lame!" At which point I thought the teenage girls in the same row as he was were going to start a rumble. (They were funny, too, gasping every time we saw boobies in the movie. Granted, they were nice boobies.) I felt bad for the guy, he was probably in his mid-20s, and here we were watching a movie about misfits with no one to go to the movies with them, just like him. Maybe I should have offered to be his Big Brother, and we could have found some common ground and I could turn his life around.

So, yeah, Role Models = good. Next time, though, more Elizabeth Banks, please. We need to integrate these girlfriend roles into the boy movies better, boys!

Current Soundtrack: Amy Poehler's latest "Smart Girls at the Party" (ummmm, probably not for me, I don't think I'm the audience here); Christina Aguilera, "Genie 2.0/Keeps Gettin' Better/Dynamite/You Are What You Are (Beautiful)"

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

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I've been working on developing a comics project with a couple of artists, one of them being Joëlle Jones, the other being a new artist named Nicolas Hitori de. He posted some art from what we're doing on his blog. His blog is in French, so good luck figuring out what we're on about, suckers. You'll just have to content yourselves with the pretty art.

I'm excited to be working with Nico, and the fortuitous accidental bumping into each other on MySpace. Who knew Johnny Hallyday brought the world together?

Also, check out Joëlle's site for new info on ordering commissions and buying pages from Token.

Current Soundtrack: Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Push me, shove me
I don't call that love me
Call that over

Joëlle posted this to her blog...

The first page of "The Jailhouse Swing," to appear in Popgun vol. 3 from Image Comics early next year.

Written by me, drawn by Joëlle Jones
Colored by Laura Allred
Lettered by Douglas E. Sherwood


Joëlle also continues to get positive reviews for her work on Token:

* From Eye on Comics:
"Jones clearly has a great eye for anatomy. She seems to capture the natural lines of the human body with seeming ease. Her style is a looser one, but the sketchy linework converges to create convincing figures and backdrops. Shira is perfectly proportioned. She’s not a rake-thin, supermodel type, but she’s stunning in a way that one can believe she doesn’t even recognize. The artist portrays Shira as voluptuous, but she doesn’t vamp her up, doesn’t oversexualize her. Occasionally, Jones resorts to cartoony exaggeration to convey the reactions (or overreactions) of some of the characters, and Shira’s grandmother is always depicted as more of a caricature than a character. But overall, the visuals are attractive. I think if there’s one thing Jones conveys better above all else is tenderness between two characters. That stood out in 12 Reasons, and it stands out here."

* Bookslut:
"The one aspect of Token that I really want to stress is the way the authors look at how a parent’s second marriage can affect a child. Just the notion of her father being serious with someone is hard for Shira and when he makes changes to their lives to accommodate his new love (who is a very kind woman), Shira is deeply shaken. As much as the story is about her own teenage issues though it is also about how all too often parents do not realize how fragile the lives of the children can be. Family is a bedrock thing and when it changes for any reason, it can be very hard to take. Just how hard is what Token is all about and any teen who has been through the blended family experience is going to fall for this one."

* Making It Up as I Go:
"It’s a lovely story, reminiscent of the films Shira loves, and Joelle’s art is so vivid and so alive that when I think back on the story I remember it as though I watched a movie."

Current Soundtrack: Christina Aguilera covering John Lennon, "Mother;" the Killers, "Spaceman;" M.I.A. How Many Votes Fix Mix EP

Friday, November 07, 2008


Last night the reading went really well. It looked dicey there for a couple of minutes because my data was not working with the laptops on hand, but since I had brought the raw files with me, we just skipped the Powerpoint file and ran it like a slide show. Not as pretty or smooth, and lacking the ringside bell sound effect I had, but I was going to be damned if two hours of separating each panel into an individual file was going to go to waste.

The gallery had a huge blow-up of the You Have Killed Me cover printed on canvas, and it looked amazing. I think it's something that people are placing bids on to buy, we weren't really clear, but Joëlle and I would have gladly taken it home. I met Jesse Reklaw and Andrice Arp for the first time, and Jesse's Slow Wave reading was really funny. Shannon Wheeler also read, getting the crowd to do his sound effects live for him.

Thanks to all who came out, but special thanks go to Dani and Leslie. Over at Leslie's blog, she has a report of the night and a scan of the last page of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, now signed for her and featuring an alternate ending written on the spot.

Gwen: "He ain't gettin' any ever."
Evan: "I'm totally getting some tonight."

After the showing, my old editor from DVD Talk, Geoff Kleinman, gave us the scoop on a media-only party being held at Voicebox, a new bar in Northwest Portland that has private karaoke rooms! Geoff wrote it up for his new Portland-based blog, OnPDX, and he even has a slideshow. Check it out. The first photo is of me serenading our awesome waitress, "Delilah," singing Tom Jones, of course.

The night is kind of a blur, since the karaoke and the sake were free for the evening. As soon as we walked in, I noticed these big paintings on the walls, and I said, "Gosh, that looks like the Pander Bros. artwork." Sure enough, there were Arnold and Jacob sitting at the bar. They joined us in the large room with Geoff, David Walker, and others and we drank and sang to our heart's content.

Our song choices...

Christina Aguilera - "Beautiful"
Gene Pitney - "A Town Without Pity"
Engelbert Humperdick - "A Man Without Love"
Neil Diamond - "Love on the Rocks"
Otis Redding - "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)" - a disaster!
Def Leppard - "Pour Some Sugar On Me"
Frank & Nancy Sinatra - "Something Stupid" - a duet with Jacob Pander's girlfriend, whose name I forget
Tom Jones - "Delilah"

Wham - "Careless Whisper"
4 Non Blondes - "What's Up?"
Sinead O'Connor - "Nothing Compares 2 U"
The Beatles = "All My Loving"
The Human League - "Don't You Want Me" (duet with Arnold Pander)

Crazytown - "Butterfly" - to his credit, this was not the song he picked, it was a computer gltich, yet he did it anyway
Green Day - "Basket Case"
Weezer - "Hashpipe"
Avril Lavigne - "Sk8r Boi"
Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

David Walker
Bonnie Tyler - "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
Modern English - "Melt With You"
Charlie Daniels Band - "Devil Went Down to Georgia"

Arnold Paner
David Bowie - "Let's Dance"
Elton John - "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"
Queen - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"

Jacob Pander
Lou Reed - "Walk on the Wild Side"

I think there was more, but my memory fails me. Good times, though, good times. We will definitely be returning.

Current Soundtrack: The Kinks, Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One

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

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Let's start off this week with some fanmail, this time out from Sangi sangi, whose e-mail is lady.god.diva:

I read your review of 'Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium' and... I feel it is very sloppy. There is a difference between a critique and an acting-out of one's issues on something else. The difference is rather easy to spot. For one thing, your language is much like a tantrum [not unlike the store tantrum] rather than constructive. You're a writer, Mr. Rich. Have you any experience in producing a film? Writing a novel I imagine is much different than producing a movie. Ironic, isn't it, that you critique something you've not tried yourself before?


Best to you, too, Sangi! As I've often said, I don't have to be a janitor to know when a toilet needs cleaning, sometimes shit just smells.

But, you remind me that I wanted to link to Roger Ebert's amazing blog post about certain rules movie reviewers should live by. Read it yourself and see how I measure up. I am at least confident that this rant doesn't hurt me as much as it does Ben Lyons, the boy who is single-handedly lowering all expectations about what we talk about when we talk about movies.


* Synecdoche, New York, the directorial debut of Charlie Kaufman. The writer of Adaptation achieves his goals, but that doesn't mean the movie is necessarily good.


* Au hasard Balthazar, Robert Bresson's humanistic parable about a saintly donkey.


* Alfred Hitchcock Premiere Collection, an outstanding collection of some early films from the master of suspense that is unfortunately marred by production issues. The individual sections on Rebecca and Spellbound were also posted at Criterion Confessions.

* Newsradio: The Complete Series, a low-rent collection of all five seasons of the intelligent and witty sitcom. "I've read your book, you magnificent bastard!"

Current Soundtrack: Looney Tunes - Golden Collection, Volume Six DVD 3

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

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

More info on tonight's Wordstock event I wrote about here is now available.

Joëlle will have several pages from Token on display and for sale, including a wicked double-page spread she had on her blog. (Also check her blog for some new You Have Killed Me art.)

I will be reading our short story for the next Popgun out loud, with the colored artwork being projected using power point. I've broken it down panel by panel, so we'll see how it goes. It could be a cool performance piece, or it could be a disaster!

I'm scheduled to be on at 7:15, and I may read a second selection, I don't know. [Edit: Nope. Talked to the gallery, they are fine with a short reading.]

It also looks like I'll now be appearing at Wordstock at the Stumptown comics area from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. I'll be sitting down and selling and signing books. If all goes well, I'll get Ms Jones to come with me, also.

If you come out tonight, you'll also be in the area to see this great show going on at Floating World:

Current Soundrack: Rob Wasserman & Elvis Costello, "Put Your Big Toe in the Milk of Human Kindness"

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Our German editor has passed along the news that their edition of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her was reviewed by Spiegel Online, one of the top news portals in Germany. It looks like it was reviewed next to Adrian Tomine's latest, and in equal measure. Actually, based on the rough translation from Babel Fish, it looks like we get even more attention than Mr. Tomine.

Here is the link.

Here, for giggles, is the translation:

Who a picture to make itself wants from the love and its enemies - the everyday life and the misunderstanding - must Comics read. The new works of James Rich and Adrian gate mine tell touching and binding of developing and offence of a large feeling. They had quite a while hidden themselves, on my desk, in my Bücherregal and finally in a pile books on my Nachttisch. Possible that they waited only for the correct time: On the approximately six-hour course trip, at whose end my friend at the station would fetch me. To hear no laptop, no work reading, to read much time, to see from the window music and to let the thoughts float. There were they now thus. Two Comics, which came along rather unaufgeregt: " 12 reasons, you too lieben" by Jamie S. Rich and Joelle Jones and " Half Wahrheiten" of Adrian Tomine. In black-and-white, with clear line drawn, told it me of the love, its developing and offence and the difficult time between them. Of humans, who look for each other and hide, who wait for the correct time and sometimes miss it: of Gwen and Evan, which meet coincidentally in the cinema (" 12 reasons, you too lieben") and despite vermasseltem first DATE, jealousy and insulted vanity find again and again to each other. Of Ben Tanaka (" Half Wahrheiten"), that its friend Miko not to hold can and also nothing else in its life. At first sight rather everyday stories. Nevertheless, perhaps also a little therefore, absolutely binding, intelligently and poetically. The authors succeed in lending by exact observations, small gestures, original dialogues, joke and ESPRIT to its characters depth and color. Rich and Jones their touching and complex love story besides into twelve chapters divided, which tell them in not chronological order. Which does not work in this case like a artifizielle bag plaything, but on the contrary, the charm of history still increases.
Each chapter is placed in front a song, which gives the tendency. Both the taste and Könnerschaft prove also here: Who hangs the slat for its history in the imaginary soundtrack Nancy Sinatra, which plays Pet shop Boys, Bryan Ferry, Buffy Sainte Marie and Beth Gibbons, rather highly. Rich and Jones take the hurdle problem-free. When the course in the station brought in, I had heard, from the window had seen and to mean thoughts had after-hung music. Not least thanks Adrian Tomine, Jamie S. Rich and Joelle Jones I did not feel a minute of it as lost.

Current Soundtrack: Underworld, Oblivion With Bells

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

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich