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