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

Thursday, February 28, 2013



* Jack the Giant Slayer, the fantasy adventure picture from Bryan Singer never grows into being what it really wants to be. Or so it would seem.

* My Oregonian column covers the Arrow Awards, a compilation of commercials from the UK that won industry accolades, and Koch, a new documentary about the legendary New York mayor, completed just before his death.


* The Boogie Man Will Get You, a slapstick flop from 1942, starring Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre, both playing on their image as villains.

* Hello I Must Be Going, an indie starring-vehicle for Melanie Lynskey that is rich with emotion and possessed of a raw honesty.

* The Vertical Ray of the Sun, a lyrical Vietnamese film telling a tale of three sisters, originally released in 2000. Directed by Tran Anh Hung.

Current Soundtrack: John Wesley Harding, Pieces of the Past EP ("name your price download" here); Puscifer, Donkey Punch the Night

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

All text (c) 2013 Jamie S. Rich


My grandmother passed away last weekend. Her funeral is today. Unfortunately, the airlines being what they are, I was unable to secure reasonable travel accommodations to attend. I sent this eulogy in my stead. I share this with you because I want to share my memories of this remarkable woman.

Elsie Scott Rich - February 3,1923- February 23, 2013

Mother and Son: My grandmother with my father.

Most of my friends have never met any of my family. That’s just the way it is when you live in a different state than everyone else. They can, however, tell how I feel about different family members from the stories I tell and, likely, how I tell them. They know for instance, that I admire my father and that he is to blame for my penchant for terrible jokes. They know I respect my cousin Mark, particularly when we start talking about law-enforcement and this pinko commie liberal doesn’t shy away from sticking up for cops when they deserve it.

I was messaging one of my friends about my grandmother dying, and her response was to ask, “What was she like? She was your favorite, wasn’t she?”

It was in having to formulate an answer to that question that, for the first time since getting the news of Grandma’s passing, I really started to cry. I mean, really. I spent about 30 minutes sobbing in the shower, writing this eulogy in my head, afraid to climb out lest I not have the strength to commit it to paper.

Because, yes, Grandma was my favorite.

My family moved to California when I was in first-grade. Before that we were in Michigan, where my mother’s people hailed from, but circumstances were such that we ended up moving across country to live near my father’s family. Up until then, Grandma Rich had been someone I had only seen a couple of times on holidays, but whom I already knew as the grandmother who made her own candy, who had a collie and had chickens and would fill me up with treats I had never had anywhere else. If you ever had her homemade chocolate covered cherries, you can never really like the kind that comes out of the box.

Our first real home in California was only a couple of streets away from the house where she and Grandpa lived. I was over there a lot all through elementary school. I’d sneak over whenever I was free. I remember once showing up in the middle of the day, coming in through the back past the barn, and accidentally catching her in her underwear when I went in through the patio door into her bedroom. I’m not sure which one of us was more shocked.

Truth was, I was a sad and angry child. Most people probably didn’t know it, and you probably wouldn’t believe it if you saw pictures of me back then. The kid with bright blonde hair and messed-up teeth who always looked like he was up to some mischief. And I probably was. But I was also developing a lifelong hobby of compartmentalizing the turmoil, of boxing up and hiding the dark clouds in my brain. I isolated myself and spent a lot of time in the hills in Agoura making up stories. I still have the same hobby, only now I put them between two covers and call them a “book.”

If I wasn’t out on my own, you’d probably find me at Grandma’s. The door was always open, and there was always something to do. If she knew I was sad and angry, she never let on. Maybe she did. Maybe that was her trick, providing me with the safe haven I so desperately needed. She’d let me help her cook, or we’d work together in the backyard. I followed her around while she fed her chickens. I also helped her when she slaughtered them for supper. When I was in 4th grade, she gave me my own chickens and let me take over her egg business. Every week, I’d go into the beauty parlor where she got her hair done and sell my dozens to the other old ladies getting their hair fixed.

Ironically, I think the only time the door turned out to be locked was the time I got chased down the street by someone’s goat. It caught me in the front yard. It was like a scene out of a horror movie, me fiddling with the door handle, finding it wouldn’t budge, while the mean ol’ billy kept ramming me. I don’t remember how I finally got away. Lucky for the goat Grandma wasn’t there, or he might have ended up meeting her axe.

Whenever they’d let me, I’d spend the night at her house. Usually I slept in the kitchen where the dog slept. They’d put up a baby gate up so the dog wouldn’t roam the house, and the collie and I would crawl in a sleeping bag and sleep on the tile floor.

Eventually, things changed. We moved away from Agoura. This just so happened to correspond with the onset of my adolescence. Like most adolescents, my own thing became more important to me. I didn’t call, I didn’t write, there was no sneaking through the hills and knocking on her back door. This didn’t necessarily change as the years went on. I became a comic book writer in Portland, Oregon, a job and a place that makes it too easy for adolescence to never end.

Yet, whenever I did make my way back to see my grandmother, it was like no time had passed for her. Even as the sad and angry child became the sad and angry teen and didn’t change all that much when he became a man--remaining, also, the clown-- Grandma was always happy to see me, always ready to welcome me back and pick up the conversation. When she took up painting, we’d spend my visits with her showing me her new work, telling me the techniques she had discovered, picking my brain about art. On every visit, I’d brace myself for the dreaded question, the one she’d ask every time. “Do you have a girlfriend?” I couldn’t quite convince her that when I said no, and I didn’t really want one, I meant it. (So, don’t get any funny ideas, ladies.) (You neither, fellas.)

Actually, funny about that. Grandma always sent her grandkids money on their birthdays and Christmas. It was always understood that this would end when we became adults or got married. When I was like 20 or so, she told me that she was making an exception for me and she would keep sending me money even though I was too old. I was Grandma’s boy. I think this went on through most of my 20s. Maybe she realized I was gaming the system, or maybe the youngest of her ten grandsons finally tied the knot and enough was enough. Perhaps that was my problem, I’d always be Grandma’s boy.

To close, I’ll tell you something I don’t think I ever got around to telling her. A couple of years ago, I wrote a comic book called You Have Killed Me. It was a private detective story set in the 1930s, my version of my favorite film noir and pulp fiction. I wrote a sequel, one we haven’t gotten around to having drawn, and in that second book, the hero gets a secretary. Because every private detective needs a good secretary to run his office. In tribute, I named her Elsie in tribute to my gradmother. Both because it’s a good, old-fashioned name, and because it’s the name of a woman you know you can always count on, who will always be there, and will keep being there no matter what.

Monday, February 25, 2013


A new week, and some new links.

* Comicosity has a new interview with myself and Natalie Nourigat, mainly focusing on A Boy and a Girl, but with a little It Girl and the Atomics mixed in.

Read it in full at the link.

* Comic Book Daily has a nice plug for the minicomic I did with Jung Hu Lee, "You Cross My Path," in their column Comics from Around the Web.
This is an unhappy little tale about Portland, Oregon’s darker side. It’s about the bogeyman who promises you something cool and then turns out to be evil. This isn’t a new story. It’s happened in fiction and real life more times than you can probably imagine. But there’s something so straightforward, so visceral and unassuming about Rich and Lee’s telling. It’s worth a look.
You can, of course, still read "You Cross My Path" here.

Current Soundtrack: shufflin' the iPod, with Duffy, "Don't Forsake Me;" Frank Ocean, "Crack Rock;" Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, "Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks;" Suede, "Heroin"

Saturday, February 23, 2013


One of my favorites!

A picture of myself with Justine Frischmann from Elastica, taken in June, 1995, at the 91X Sunfest in San Diego, CA.

My guess is I broke the cardinal rule of wearing a band's shirt to the concert because it was a festival show and I wanted people to know I was not there to see Sublime. Or, actually, more likely, noticing the darker collar underneath the light blue, I was tired of carrying it around by the end of the day.

I worked at Dark Horse then and gave the band comics to take on their tour bus. When I saw them months later in Seattle, they asked if I had any more. I also gave Justine an Adam Ant picture disc 7" with "Goody Two Shoes" and "Red Scab" and she gave me a kiss--so take that Britpop-come-latelies.

Current Soundtrack: Lusine, The Waiting Room

Friday, February 22, 2013


A couple of quick links for the end of the week.

* Multiversity Comics featured It Girl and the Atomics in their "Friday Reccomendations" column.
It’s something that longtime comic fans can sit down and use to tap back in to that “Madman” world that was such a staple of Indie comics in the 90′s. It’s something that young and old can read and smile along with, because it’s full of irreverent humor that you can laugh at because it’s absurd or silly and not feel sheepish about it.

* Weekly Comic Book Review gives a stellar write-up to Creepy Comics #11.
Probably my favorite was the story by Joelle Jones just because I already knew how much I enjoyed Zullo and Reeder whereas Jones was a surprise.  She was enough of a surprise that I paused during this review to inquire about buying a page of her original art from this story (the 4th page with the guy bringing different women back to his home).  So there’s that.

And don't forget, you can still book commissions from Joëlle to pick up during our appearance at Emerald City Comic Con next week. All the details are on her blog.

Current Soundtrack: The Strokes, "All the Time;" Phoenix, "Entertainment"

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The Oscars are on Sunday. Along with other DVD Talk writers, I contributed write-ups of what I would have voted for. You can read our results online now.


* A truly special documentary, Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse, is playing Cinema 21 in Portland for an exclusive engagement starting this Sunday. It's an important look at a very terrible night in our town six years ago, when cops beat a mentally ill man to the point where he ended up dying in custody. Alien Boy digs through the evidence to try to figure out how things went so horribly wrong.

I reviewed the movie for the Oregonian. Keep an eye out for it at festivals around the country, and hopefully it will get a wider release in coming months. Visit the official website for more info.

* My second column for the paper also looks at the ethnic drama Bless Me, Ultima and the amazing Eddie Pepitone documentary, The Bitter Buddha.


* The Hour: Season Two, the second cycle for the entertaining suspense soap from the BBC. Sadly, it has been cancelled, making this the de-facto finale.

* How Green Was My Valley, John Ford's nostalgic look at a working village in Wales at the turn of the 20th Century. Winner of the Best Picture Oscar in 1941.

* A Simple Life, a surprisingly moving portrayal of old age from Chinese director Anne Hui.

Current Soundtrack: Parenthetical Girls, Privilege 

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

All text (c) 2013 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Today has been a great day. Joëlle's birthday, the 7th issue of It Girl out, and you can hear me talking all about it and more over on the Comixology podcast.

Go hear and give it a listen, whydoncha? We have a good chat.

The first couple of review of It Girl and the Atomics #7 have landed, and they are wonderfuly positive.

Unleash the Fanboy gets into the spirit of things.

The series still retains its witty, “Saturday morning cartoon”-esque charm, with plenty of comedic moments and a few good action bits thrown in. One of the things I liked in this issue was that It Girl showcased her powers more which I found the previous issues lacked. 

As do the Comic Book Bastards.

Rich does an incredible job with It Girl’s powers in this issue. It was very creative to see how she uses them to get in and out of jams, to the point where I didn’t know what she what she was going to do next. That’s a lot of fun and shows that he’s keeping the story as fresh as possible. Characters with multiple powers tend to get stale when writers forget they’re long list of possibilities and this just shows that Rich is constantly thinking of new ways for It Girl to use her powers. The gags were great and again captured that lighthearted nature that I’ve always associated with the world. It Girl is a terrific character and I love her personality; she’s worth ten of any of the “big two’s” female super heroes. 
Every time I review a series that Mike Norton is attached to I like to begin with, “Mike Norton is fucking machine.” Why? Because he has not one, but two series out this week alone; both of which are monthly titles. The other title that I’ll also be reviewing is Revival and while the art style is different, it’s equally fantastic to the work he does on It Girl. I especially enjoy the visual gags that Norton illustrates in this series as it shows his range and talent as an artist. Very impressive each month and I look forward to the next chapter of this series along with his other monthly work. I would even go as far to say that he is my favorite comic book artist working in the industry currently.

 The Weekly Crisis rates us as a "Must Read":
Slip ups, mishaps and puns pepper this issue that already is full of delicious eye candy. Allen Passalaqua adds an amazing layer of fun, jazzy colors. Mike Norton's art is gorgeous as always and the story got a some solid laughs out of me. I can't wait to jump back in to this universe next month!

This response makes me really happy, because I felt we really hit a comfortable stride with this issue. I was proofing #8 this morning and was wowed by how the art came together. So many little touches throughout, and Mike and Allen are in total sync. Plus, if you like how It Girl uses her powers this month...oh, just wait!

Current Soundtrack: Bobby Womack, "If You Think You're Lonely Now;" Jessie Ware, If You're Never Gonna Move EP


Your friendly reminder...

It Girl and the Atomics #7 is on sale today. Find it in your local comic book shop.

You can read a preview of the first six pages in the link.

While you're shopping, also pick up the seventh issue of Revival, with art by It Girl's Mike Norton, and the two new Sixth Gun comics, including the spin-off Sons of the Gun.

And don't forget, It Girl and the Atomics is available digitally from Comixology, if that's your preferred delivery method. Here's a link.

We've delivered the material for the first trade paperback to Image, so look for that next month! It collects the first six issues in one handy package.


Current Soundtrack: Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors"


Today is the birthday of the most splendid Joëlle Jones. To commemorate, Nicolas Hitori de drew this lovely rendition of Gwen, the leading lady from mine and Joëlle's first book together, 12 Reasons Why I Love Her.


Current Soundtrack: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away

Monday, February 18, 2013


Jung Hu Lee, the creator of the webcomic "Definitely Far From Korea," has posted a 12-page story he drew from a script I wrote.

"You Cross My Path" was actually a short story I wrote as a possible candidate for Portland Noir. I had some trouble with that assignment. I went through several ideas and drafts before ending up with basically, a light-hearted tale and a darker one. Joëlle Jones eventually drew the light-hearted version, and that's the one they printed in Portland Noir, "Gone Doggy Gone."

I had all but forgotten about the second one until Jung asked me if I had any scripts he could practice on, he had never drawn from someone else's writing. I thought about sending him the script for one of the actual published shorts we had done, but thought it might be hard to get out from behind the version that already existed. "You Cross My Path," however, was untouched ground. (It's also literally the only short script I had that had not been drawn; my hard drive is not a wasteland of unpublished ideas like a lot of people assume. Well, unless you count the three finished graphic novel scripts that stalled...oh, dear...*sob*)

All twelve pages of "You Cross My Path" are on Jung's tumblr. You can read them for free. He will also be making print versions to sell.

Current Soundtrack: Ocean Colour Scene, Painting


I'M YOUR FAN: New Spell Checkers Fan Art from SuperWhoLockian

I apologize, I don't know this person's real name, but whoever she is, she posted this great drawing to her "The Fangirls Have a Tardis" tumblr and Nico spotted it and reblogged it.

Current Soundtrack: Pulp, Separations

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I am today's special player for the regular "Robot Roulette" feature at the Robot 6 blog, where you answer random questions chosen by spinning a wheel.

You can read everything I have to say over at CBR.

I also hooked them up with an exclusive preview of It Girl and the Atomics #7, going on sale this coming Wednesday.

Current Soundtrack: Blur, Modern Life is Rubbish reissue bonus disc

Friday, February 15, 2013


Multiversity has a swell review of Creepy Comics #11, the Valentine's issue, which came out on Wednesday and features, among others, a story by myself and Joëlle Jones.

Read their assessment here.

And the pertinent section regarding our story:

“Someone to Watch” from Jamie S. Rich and Joëlle Jones plays around with the dead-lover idea, situating the meet-cute long after one of the parties has died. I don’t think anyone will deny that clingy relationships are akin to poltergeist infestations, and with the help of Jones’ sharp art, this metaphor is brought home (pun intended) with all kinds of ferocity in the final panel.
There is also a really nice review at Newsarama that singles us out:

My personal favorite was Jamie S. Rich and Joelle Jones creating an innovative haunted house story that takes the trope to a new level.
Dark Horse has a preview of some of the Gilbert Hernandez and Amy Reeder pages. Check it out at their site.

Current Soundtrack: Miles Davis, In a Silent Way 


First up, some big news regarding my film reviews. I am now a regular contributor to the Oregonian, Portland's daily newspaper. My primary gig will be writing their Friday column "Indie & Arthouse." It will appear in their A&E section each week, as well as online.

My first installment is already up. Read it here! I cover a shorts program featuring local African American directors, as well as a screening of the first Best Picture Oscar Winner, Wings.


* Beauty is Embarrassing: The Wayne White Story, a fun documentary about one of the pop artists responsible for some of the sets and puppets on "Pee-Wee's Playhouse."

* White Zombie, the Bela Lugosi cult hit that is credited with starting off the zombie genre.

Current Sountrack: Bert Jansch, Birthday Blues

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

All text (c) 2013 Jamie S. Rich


Image has announced their May publications.

Remember those teaser panels I posted a few weeks ago suggesting people guess who the artist for It Girl and the Atomics #10? You know. This post, and this one.

Well, now you can get your answer...

MAY 1532 PAGES / FC / E EVERYONE$2.99 
“TWEENAGE FBI” Part OneBETWEEN GEARS creator NATALIE NOURIGAT joins the Atomics team! Someone broke into Flem’s lab and stole a dangerous invention. It Girl picks up the crooks’ trail, only to discover it leads to a team of underage secret agents – though the real criminal mastermind is centuries older than all of them.

That's right! My A Boy and a Girl collaborator Natalie Nourigat will be drawing both #10 and #11.

Here is a special sneak preview: the cover to #10 by Michael and Laura Allred, and five unlettered pages from Natalie!

Colors are by Allen Passalaqua.

This story will basically stand-alone. Though it does have some small connections to the two-part story in #7 and #8, I've tried to design each basic story so you can read them all on their own.

#10 is all done so expect a more substantial preview soon!

Current Soundtrack: XTC, Drums and Wires

Thursday, February 14, 2013

LOVE IS A LOSER: Spell Checkers Valentine's Day Cards!

Nico has posted some Spell Checkers Valentine's Day e-cards. There's still time to send them to someone you're kinda sorta okay with!

Current Soundtrack: The Jesus & Mary Chain, Darklands: Expanded Edition, disc 2

Friday, February 08, 2013



While I haven't scanned anymore photos of my groupie days since my original Musical Youth post, the lady on the right of this photo, Alex, posted this photo of us with Gene-frontman Martin Rossiter to Facebook this morning.

I look absolutely awful. Judging by the size of my hair, I am guessing this is post-show, so I am all pit-wrecked from being down front. This would have been from Seattle in1995, I think, from Gene's first tour of the States. They played Moe's. I got my vinyl copy of Olympian signed.

Alex and I went on to co-host @lright, the infamously terrible cable-access show about Britpop, a few years later.

Martin Rossiter released his first solo album last year. It's positively lovely and worth seeking out. In fact, it's only an $8.99 download at Amazon.

Current Soundtrack: Martin Rossiter, The Defenestration of St. Martin

Thursday, February 07, 2013



* Side Effects, Steven Soderbergh caps his career with an efficient and entertaining psychological thriller.

The Portland International Film Festival also starts this week, and I am amongst the crew contributing to the Mercury's coverage. You can read all of our capsule write-ups here. This week I watched Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa, Jan Troell's The Last Sentence, and a Spanish cartoon called Wrinkles.


* Pina, Wim Wenders' documentary made in tribute to the late choreographer Pina Bausch. (Also at DVD Talk.)


* I Wish, a heartfelt and heart-warming portrait of childhood from Japanese director Hirakazu Kore-eda.

* Young Justice: Invasion - Season Two, Part One, the animated show returns and immediately takes a bold new direction.

Current Soundtrack: Retribution Gospel Choir, 3; The Courteeners, "Lose Control/Chipping Away"

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

All text (c) 2013 Jamie S. Rich

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Suede - "It Starts And Ends With You" (Official Music Video)


Another convention appearance to add to the calendar.

On May 23-26, Memorial Day Weekend, I will be at Phoenix Comicon in Phoenix, AZ. I will be tabling with Oni Press and Joëlle Jones.

I am extremely pleased to have been invited to attend. I have never done a convention in Arizona, and it's always good to go visit with comic book fans who might not otherwise get the opportunity. Plus, my pals Matt Wagner and Mike and Laura Allred will be there, so it's like my book club is going to a con.

Visit the Phoenix Comicon site for more details.

Of course, before that, we have Emerald City in Seattle and Stumptown in Portland. Don't forget to sign up for a Joëlle Jones sketch now.

Current Soundtrack: Pusha T, Wrath of Caine

Friday, February 01, 2013


Today Dan Christensen posted this image on his blog.

It's our main character making his exit, looking back over his shoulder, reflecting on all that has happened, questioning the truth of it.

It was posted to commemorate Dan finishing the book. He's done. It's drawn, lettered, toned. It'll be on onipress.com in one of the later waves of digital content, hopefully by the end of the year. It's one of my favorite books I've ever done.

Read what Dan has to say in full at his blog.

As a comic book making experience, I couldn't be more pleased. It was a weird script for me, begun as a flight of fancy, looking to explode and exploit the private detective genre I embraced with You Have Killed Me. Dan came on pretty far into the process and became an immediate partner. We quickly discovered we spoke the same lingo. He got where I was coming from, and at times was probably too exacting in translating the vision I had tried to communicate. He nailed it each and every time.

I'm super excited for this book to enter the world. I went to Office Max and made a bound copy for myself today, because I want to sit with it and read it, too.

Chapter 1 can't come fast enough...

Current Soundtrack: My Chemical Romance, Conventional Weapons #5; Trentemoller, "Miss You;" A$AP Rocky, "F**kin' Problems"

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

All text (c) 2013 Jamie S. Rich