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

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Aziz Bawany at the Comic Addiction, who also gave a great review to our last Popgun story, has now reviewed You Have Killed Me. He gives it an 8 out of 10, saying:

"While their first collaboration produced a great romance graphic novel with 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, Jamie S. Rich and Joëlle Jones push the boundaries to what many would expect of them, and produce an enjoyable Noir story with You Have Killed Me, an original graphic novel that is a slow build, but a really fun ride.


But what good is a detective story without the right setting? For this book, Joëlle Jones once again pushes her own boundaries to create some of her most inspiring and imaginative work. Crime works best in black and white, whether it’s actual setting or even character motivation, and Jones is able to capture that aspect perfectly. While some books will go for a mundane look due to being in color, the black and white nature of You Have Killed Me works quite well with its clear presentations and use of realistic lighting. One can only hope that there will be more Jones noir work down the line as her presentation of the genre is very unique compared to what’s out there already.

Read the whole review.

Current Soundtrack: The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love, which is starting to grow on me

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


People love me.

No, seriously, people love me. Note to self: think twice before reviewing arthouse smut, because some people aren't going to be very happy with you if you don't validate their peccadilloes.

Take, for interest, this gentleman, who joined the DVD Talk forum just to post this (presented with no editing):

I read Jamie S. Rich's DVD review of In the Realm of the Senses - Criterion Collection at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=37012 and...
God Mr. Rich, you are a writer aren't you?

If you comics are filled with such fabulous observations as...

- "its plot no better than the clichés of XXX skinflicks about randy co-eds getting it on with the pizza man or bored housewives getting some extra chlorination from the pool boy. "


- "Is this maybe the function of erotica, to provide us with a viable argument for looking at smut? "I don't surf the internet to get my jollies, I look at Art"?

how about

- "It's hardcore erotica and explicit enough that if Jerry and George were passing it in the locker room on Seinfeld, they'd use a copy of Tropic of Cancer to cover it up. Yes, Henry Miller is the less salacious of the two evils. "

(A Seinfeld reference! ZING!)

...thank I think I'll pass.

I realize that this film is full of graphic and disturbing imagery, and judging from your references to "La Brand Bouffe" and "Salo", disturbing cinema is just not your thing, but you know, you are allowed to internalize the film before you write a self-congratulatory knee-jerk review.

I don't think it's fair to hold Oshima's film up against your Gen X whips. Since he clearly wasn't really making a film about them anyways.


I like how the default position is to say, "Ohhhh, you write comics." This isn't the first time that's happened. Me not smart, me write comics.

I received a couple of messages e-mailed to me, including a long explanation of why In the Realm of the Senses and Salo were still relevant, even connecting them to our current economic crises and the Bernie Madoffs of the world. Such a message assumes I didn't "get it," which I did. (Salo is really not that hard to figure out.) You can get something's point and still not find it effective.

At least that fellow was rational, though. This guy, on the other hand:

I read your review of 'In the Realm of the Senses - Criterion Collection' and found it
extremely naive and ignonant. Sex is life, Jamie. You wouldn't be here without it. I wouldn't be here. Your parents did it. Mine did. You do it. I do it. Everyone does. In the Realm of the Senses is inarguably the greatest exploration of life! Maybe I understand it better because I went to Catholic school in the 1950s and was beat up by the sexually-frustated nuns?

A celebration of life? Ummm...did you watch the end, buddy? Spoiler alert! She cuts off her dead lover's penis. Party!

Current Soundtrack: Jon Stewart vs. Cliff May

Monday, April 27, 2009


With You Have Killed Me imminent, talk of a second book has resumed, and my thoughts return to Mercutio, the confidante of Romeo who has provided inspiration for me before and who served as a starting point for Antonio Mercer, the private detective Joëlle and I have created (that name is no accident). Mercutio and private eyes have much in common: a sadness at innocence lost, the ability to see the failings other cannot, a code of honor that ends up being the source of their success, woe, and downfall all at the same time.

I like how John McEnery plays him as a kind of sad trickster in the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli version of Romeo & Juliet.

Any real talk of a second book is still premature, but hey, anything's possible.

Current Soundtrack: Serge Gainsbourg

Mike Allred's Madman Atomic Comics #15 is on sale Wednesday in finer comic book shops everywhere.

Here is the opening double-page spread:

Madman Atomic Comics #15 pg 2-3

Current Soundtrack: Mercutio's Death Scene from Romeo & Juliet (Franco Zeffirelli version) on YouTube. I may post this later.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

IN 3-D

A 3-D mock-up of the cover to You Have Killed Me that Keith at Oni made. I like that it even casts a little shadow.

Current Soundtrack: The Warlocks, Phoenix [EP]

Friday, April 24, 2009


Normally I update my review list when I have a new piece on a theatrical release that is opening on the weekend, but haven't had any movies worth seeing in a couple of weeks. It's going to change next week as the summer season continues its trend of starting earlier and earlier, but since the list is getting unwieldy, let's look at some DVDs ahead of that, shall we?

A bit of comic book-themed material this week, too.


A pair of reviews of Wes Anderson films got me some surprise attention. Read them in this order:

* The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the often maligned undersea dramedy has a lot going for it, as far as I'm concerned. Well worth a reassessment.

* Bottle Rocket, Wes Anderson's debut, while having its moments, proves everyone has to start somewhere.


* 1612, a boring historical fantasy epic from Russia forces me to ask, "What hath Peter Jackson wrought?"

* Deadly Sweet, Tinto Brass' wild twist on crime thrillers is a pop-art, comic-book treat. Storyboarded by Guido Crepax, even.

Would make a good double-feature with...

* Detective Bureau 2-3: Go To Hell Bastards!, a loopy crime flick from Seijun Suzuki and his star, Jo Shishida.

* La Grande Bouffe, in which four Italian men try to eat and screw themselves to death. Not even Marcello Mastroianni can save this tepid shocker.

Would make a queasy double-feature with...

* In the Realm of the Senses, the controversial introduction of hardcore smut into Japanese cinema. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

* Max Fleischer's Superman: 1941-1942, the classic cartoon shorts finally get a reliable packaging. I love these!

* NOVA: Is There Life on Mars?, an episode of the long-running PBS series focusing on Mars Rover discoveries. First those PBS pinkos will give Mars life, then socialism!

* Poil de carotte, Julien Duvivier's 1925 silent picture chronicling the troubled childhood of a freckle-faced redhead. May not sound like much, but it's a potent portrait of a rough life.

* Wolverine and the X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy, a collection of the first three episodes of the surprisingly fun and cool looking cartoon. But where's the rest of the show?

Current Soundtrack: Peggy Lee, "Something;" Boo Radleys, "Twinside;" Gaylan Ladd, "Repulsive Situation;" Maxïmo Park, "The Unshockable;" Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers, "Sock it to 'Em J.B." (as in James Bond!); The View, "I've Just Seen a Face" (Beatles cover); Tears for Fears, "Ideas as Opiates;" Cat Stevens, "Lady D'Arbanville (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) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

I should have waited a day, it appears, before making a big list.

* Douglas Sherwood, who works at Oni and lettered You Have Killed Me, has started a blog featuring drawings from the Full of Pryde night he is curating. Great art to be seen, including a piece by Barnaby Ward, who was linked to yesterday. Tram Ngo was saying she may do a piece, too. And, of course, there is Joëlle's:

I love Kitty, she is one of my favorite characters, but I totally crapped out in terms of coming up with a multimedia element of my own to add to the show--though I guess there is some time maybe. Doug did like my idea of making a papier mache Joss Whedon head on a pike. Readers of Astonishing X-Men will know why.

I'll be at the opening night party, regardless.

* Paul Pope shares with us his first page of Adam Strange.

You must go here and read Paul's explanation and click on "all sizes" to see this thing HUGE.

EDIT: We lost the black-and-white version, but how about that color one? Heh?

* And while we're sharing, a Chynna Clugston character design. (She doesn't allow the ganking of her images to be posted on other sites, the selfish beast!)

Current Soundtrack: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, The Proposition OST

Thursday, April 23, 2009

MADMAN ATOMIC COMICS #16 preview, part 1

The first two pages of the story by Jamie S. Rich, Joëlle Jones, and Laura Allred (plus, lettering by Mike!). To be published in late May by Image Comics.

MAC#16 pg. 02-03

For the next two pages, visit the Joëlle Jones art blog.

That's right, it's a cross-promotional preview!

There seems to be a lot of exciting comics content being passed around the web right now, and though I am not normally a link-blog, fuck it. Let's link.

And I'll start with something of my own:

* Joëlle Jones shares the cover design for You Have Killed Me on her blog. This book is going to be so damn cool looking, you have no idea.

* Viz is bringing us the new Rumiko Takahashi comic while it's being serialized in Japan. The first chapter is up.

* Paul Pope is one of the most inspiring people in comics. In addition to the above, which he did for a French magazine, describing it as a parody of the French doing a parody of U.S. superheroes from the 1970s, he has also illustrated a short comic book prequel to the new Star Trek movie, published in this month's Wired and available on their website.

Paul is also part of the new DC Comics series Wednesday Comics, their cool summer event printed like a newspaper comic strip supplement, with 16 teams of creators doing 16 stories, one page an issue, published weekly for 12 weeks. (I think...) Though none of Paul's "Adam Strange" material has yet been shown, Mike Allred is working on "Metamorpho" with Neil Gaiman, and you can see one of their pages, as well as some others, at the DCU Blog.

While I'm at it, here's some Kyle Baker Hawkman for that, too.

And pictures of Mike and Jeff Smith reading a draft of Craig Thompson's new book. I've gotten to flip through his work on Habibi, too, and it's stunning. This beautiful comic is going to be a major, major work.

* Another of my favorite people, Matt Wagner, is sharing a forgotten story he did in collaboration with Harvey Kurtzman on his message board.

* Natalie Nourigat has her new mini A Room of One's Own up for purchase on Etsy. She also sells art there at stupidly cheap prices.

* Marc Ellerby also has new minis, including a third Ellerbisms and the debut of Chloe Noonan, Vampire Hunter.

* Last but not least, I really enjoyed Barnaby Ward's Sixteen Miles to Merrick's when I read the book version (buy it here), and he is now putting the main story online for all to read.

Current Soundrack: Depeche Mode, "In Chains (Minilogue's Air Remix);" Bloc Party, Intimacy Remixed

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Sunday, April 19, 2009


You Have Killed Me is in the final prep stages and heading off to the printer in the next couple of days. Once it has, we just sit back and wait.

In the meantime, Don MacPherson at Eye on Comics has weighed in with the first full-length review of the book, and he gives us an 8/10!

"Rich and Jones offer up an entertaining mystery story, but more importantly, they celebrate the culture of a bygone era with tributes to its film and fashion styles. Jones serves a number of roles for this film on paper, and one of them is as the costumer. She does a great job of convincing the audience of the genuine nature of the style of the time. The characters look the part, as do the settings...Just as Jones conveys how that 1939 flair would look, so does Rich’s script capture genuine yet entertaining beats that convey how it might sound. The way the characters banter back and forth, it’s almost lyrical. One can practically hear a meter and syncopation in the dialogue."

Read the full review here.

Current Soundrack: DM - SOTU

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Several months and 70,000 words later and the first draft of the young adult novel To See the Lights, the sequel to Love the Way You Love, is done.

Done, done, done.

Too soon to suss out how I feel about it, as it has been a weird process with lots of turmoil surrounding the actual work, but I saw it through regardless of what happens next. It was sometimes weird to write, a little strange to see these characters in this new context; other times, it was as fateful as the regular mythology of this little romantic world. Thanks to Maryanne, Terry, Anna P., Steven E., Maribeth H., and Andrea A. for their early advice, and to Marc and Joëlle for listening and support, Natalie for inspiration, Nico for translating French and telling me how France smells, and Christopher for his snapshot of Polly Maggoo's.

Not sure when or how this one will come out. Publishing BP & MJ is currently a priority, and the book is now under the care of Brendan Deneen at FinePrint Literary (as are all my literary concerns, for any interested parties). After that is settled, Tristan and Isobel and the rest will be waiting.

In the meantime, the novel's playlist:

1. Gene - "To See the Lights"
2. Erasure - "Blue Savannah"
3. The Rolling Stones - "In Another Land"
4. Tony Johnson - "Stage Door"
5. The Who - "Girl's Eyes"
6. Twinkle - "Golden Lights"
7. Joe Dassin - "Les Champs-Élysées"
8. The Primitives - "Lead Me Astray"
9. Fiona Apple - "Sally's Song"
10. Mareva Galanter - "Miss U"
11. Taylor Swift - "Love Story"
12. The Divine Comedy - "A Lady of a Certain Age"
13. Lara Michell - "Love the Way You Love"

I think if you listen to those, you can put two and two together in regards to what the plot is concerned with.


Current Soundtrack: Joe Dassin; Leonard Cohen, Live in London

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


So, the Stumptown Comics Fest is this weekend.

First, hats off to our own Natalie Nourigat for her nominations in the Art and Writing categories for the Stumptown Trophy Awards. The full list of nominees is here. My boys Scott Mills and Jason Leivian also got some nods. Oh, it wasn't that long ago that Joëlle won one of these, was it?

Speaking of, Joëlle and I are both scheduled to do portfolio reviews on Saturday and Sunday, 1-1:45 p.m. each day. Most likely we will be sitting by each other but each talking to a separate artist, though we may do the first couple in tandem to get the feel of it. If you want either of us to evaluate your art, you should get there early and inquire about how they will be lining folks up. Keep in mind, we are not hiring editors, so this is really a chance to get someone to talk over your material without the pressure of worrying about impressing a possible employer.

Though, naturally, knock our socks off and we'll show you around.

The rest of the days will be up in the air. We'll probably be there looking around. I want to see the Craig Thompson Q&A on Sunday if I can.

Mike Allred fans should also note that he is coming and has a last-minute signing scheduled at the Floating World table starting at 4:30 on Saturday.

Current Soundtrack: Arcade Fire, "Burning Bridges;" Antony & the Johnsons, "Where is My Power;" Love, "Alone Again Or;" Super Furry Animals, Dark Days/Light Years

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Thanks to David Hopkins for forwarding this review of Popgun, Volume 3 my way. Comic Addiction assigned different people to review different stories, and "The Jailhouse Swing" gets 9 out of 10 from Aziz Bawany.

"I don’t think Jamie S. Rich and Joëlle Jones can do wrong. Whether it’s a romance story or crime, they work together really well, and the results are quite enjoyable...Rich is at his best and Jones continues to draw some of the most beautiful looking characters I’ve ever seen on a page. I know they’re going to be working together more down the line, and this story serves as a great appetizer for what has yet to come. "

The full blurb is in the link.

David's story, which follows immediately after ours in the book and is pretty great, also receives high scores. Be sure to read it.

Current Soundtrack: New Depeche Mode stuff

Sunday, April 12, 2009


The return of Karaoke Watch!

Last night, my friend Ayrica had a birthday gathering at a place called Lucky's, an out-of-the-way bar that advertises the most complete karaoke book in Portland. Shockingly, this is truth in advertising, as after a warm-up on "Town Without Pity," I got to sing four songs I've never been able to find anywhere else:

Suede - "Beautiful Ones"
The Rolling Stones - "Out of Time"
The Walker Bros. - "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore"
Unit 4 Plus 2 - "Concrete & Clay"

I thought Suede would be a disaster, the vocal shadow of Brett Anderson too heavy to get out from under, but I managed to find a decent range to sing it in that worked for me. I also managed to stick with the Stones even though the moment I opened my mouth, a button popped off my suit coat and went flying across the room! I spent the first verse or so alternating between checking the lyrics screen and looking over the floor for it. A combination of too many potstickers and an inflated ego is my guess for what caused it.

"Concrete& Clay" went off the rails some, but only because it was late and I was deep in my downward spiral as a lecherous maniac. You know how I do.

Current Soundtrack: The Who, Who's Next: Deluxe Edition

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


We got our first back cover quote for You Have Killed Me.

It's from the very talented Ande Parks, a veteran comics inker in this industry but also the most awesome writer of Union Station and Capote in Kansas.

"Rich and Jones have brilliantly pulled off one of the toughest feats in fiction. They have taken icons that we know and love--from the PI who's never quite clued in to the adversarial flatfoot to the dame who is never as innocent as she appears--and served them up in a new and exciting way. Fresh, insightful, and sexy, You Have Killed Me exists on the dark, wet city streets of Hammett and Chandler, but it sets up its own address there. Fantastic."

Check out Ande's books at the Oni website.

Read his blog.

Current Soundtrack: last night's Daily Show

Monday, April 06, 2009


Since Popgun, Volume 3 is out this week, I thought it would be a good reminder of when other material is due to be released and give an update on all of my forthcoming summer releases.

The above is from our story in the book, "The Jailhouse Swing." Written by myself, drawn by Joëlle Jones, colored by Laura Allred. Consider it a starter pistol for me returning to the comic book racks. Check the book out this Wednesday, or preview some of it here now.

* This Is A Souvenir: The Songs Of Spearmint & Shirley Lee: Should be out in a matter of weeks. I'd guess about a month from now. Some delays in getting the stories in postponed the book, but last I heard they were all in and the book is at the printer. Two stories written by me, drawn by Natalie Nourigat and Kelley Seda. I've also seen the Chynna Clugston and Marc Ellerby stories, and they are pretty damn awesome. Chynna's should really surprise and impress people who have been hungering for more work from her. She colored it herself and it's some of the most fuckable comics I've ever seen. (Yeah, that's what I said.)

* Okay, not a comics release, but May 7 is Full of Pryde night, and Robot 6 picked up the story with along Joëlle's drawing. I do love Kitty Pryde, I won't lie.

* Madman Atomic Comics #16, featuring "Last Night the Atomics Saved my Life," written by me and drawn by Joëlle, should be on stands sometime in mid to late May.

* Portland Noir is on track, printed and ready to go. As far as I know, the June 1st date is still the right ballpark. Features the story "Gone Doggy Gone" by myself and Joëlle.

* You Have Killed Me, as it turns out, was advance solicited in May for a June release, meaning Oni was asking for orders a month early to better gauge their print run. I missed that fact, something I learned when I was told the following from Randal C. Jarrell, who handles the printing schedules and such at Oni: "We just got a production schedule change from Hong Kong, and they are telling us it will be in stores in July. Unfortunately, we don't have an
exact date yet."

Doug at Oni suggests it will only be a week or two late from its intended 6/24 release date. I'll keep you posted.

I have no date for the 12 Reasons Why I Love Her reprint, but I don't believe it will be affected, as it is not a hardcover and likely printed at a different plant.

Feel free to ask any further questions not covered here in the comments section.

Current Soundtrack: The Verve, Scott Walker, Frank Sinatra ("Ebb Tide"!), Franz Ferdinand, Brett Anderson, Social Distortion

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, April 02, 2009



* Adventureland, a welcome surprise. So much more than the trailers suggest. Noah Baumbach meets Judd Apatow.


* Danton, Andrzej Wajda unleashes Gerard Depardieu in a post-French Revolution political drama.


I just realized that a good portion of these films have some connection to WWII. Was March named WWII movie month and no one told me?

* The Bielski Brothers: Jerusalem in the Woods, a History Channel documentary that gets us a tad bit closer to the story behind Defiance, but is still a little...lacking.

* Il Generale Della Rovere, a wonderful WWII picture from Roberto Rossellini and starring Vittorio De Sica. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

* The Kaiser's Lackey, a 1950s East German satire that has lost some of its bite over the years, thought it still retains its artistic vigor.

* The Last Metro, featuring more WWII and more Depardieu. Plus, Catherine Deneuve. The film is set in the Parisian theatre district during the Occupation. Directed by Francois Truffaut, which is really all you need to know. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

* The Robe, the overwrought, overripe religious picture is only really notable for being the first studio production released in Cinemascope.

* Jean Genet's Un chant d'amour, the controversial French writer's 1950 experiment in cinema.

* The Venture Bros.: Season 3, another hilarious collection from the cartoon every geek should love.

Current Soundtrack: more PB&J; some Beastie Boys

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


It's weird seeing these two panels come in from Nicolas:

Nothing that has to do with the quality of the drawings, because they are awesome. It's that graffiti. As I wrote him after seeing it:

Did I ever tell you that the phrase, bad spelling in all, was some real graffiti I saw when I was 13 or so? I started to imagine who Cynthea was and why no one stuck up for her, why they let the slur stand. I wrote a whole graphic novel, the first comic script I ever completed, to answer that. It was a terrible thing about kids with psychic powers and was called Lords of Order. I had realized not long before that I couldn't draw and had just started to write instead, but I was using a plotting style promoted by Mike Baron in a seminar I took at SDCC where the writer sketches out every page instead of typing. So, I was probably 15 or thereabouts when I wrote it.

In college, I turned it into an equally bad screenplay. It was going to be a trilogy, and I wrote the second one as a comic book, too. In a weird way, it was a precursor to my novels in that the basic story of three brothers and the tonal shift from book to book is kind of the same.

So, it's been two decades of waiting to use that weird smear painted on a wall in Canoga Park, CA, in some story or another. Why do certain things stick with us? It's just so random.

Somewhere I am pretty sure I have a notebook where I drew out that wall as reference, mimicking the real graffiti. In the same box is probably the entire drawn version of both Lords of Order comics. The screenplay is easily accessible, I just saw it in my closet. Written on a typewriter. You can tell by the way the letters are physically stamped into the paper. The notebook with the sketch also has early notes for things like I Was Someone Dead and what would become The Everlasting, and maybe even Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?.

But those are embarrassments for another day.

Current Soundtrack: Peter, Bjorn & John, Living Thing

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

All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich