Monday, December 28, 2009

Wait A Minute, Mr. Milk Man...

A panel from my story, "The End Meets the Ricket-Meister", from Juan Ortiz' Silver Comics #8.
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Plays 10,000 Sides

Found inside an old 78 RPM record album cover.

Check out Needles 4 Jukeboxes for vintage needles, drive belts, cartridges and more:
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Val Crocodile, Associate Professor of Linguistics

Four corrections to the letters page and The Signifiers #1 is ready (I hope!) to print.

Then on to issue 2.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Mousepad

I love my new Cardcaptor Sakura mousepad.

I bought this and other cool stuff from Art-Toons: Check out their variety of reasonably priced anime cells.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Signifiers #1 Cover Debut

The artwork for The Signifiers #1 is finished and is being scanned in and formatted for printing. In the meantime, here's a preview of the cover. (Click on the cover for a better view.)

"48 Pages of Wacked-Out Cosmic Goodness!"
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

"I've Got the Profiteering Blues"

Cool image from a 1920 sheet music cover Mary found at an OSU sale.

I've Got the Profiteering Blues was written by Al Wilson and Irving Bibo and published by Irving Berlin, Inc., 1587 Broadway, New York.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Warped New Signifiers Shirt!

Skreened Columbus ("Walk in with an idea, walk out with a shirt") printed up a cool new Signifiers shirt for me today. I will be making these and other new Signifiers shirts available for purchase on the website.

In the meantime, check out Skreened's site, where all shirts are American made; no sweatshop labor here:
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tiffany, Manga-Style

Clay's girlfriend Tiffany, done manga-style, from an ad for The Signifiers #2.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

For Making Sure You Get Your Salad Bowl Back

Got a bunch of these handy stickers...
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Workin' It Out

Figurin' a figure for The Signifiers, now 85% done.
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another Anime Mystery

Another cool artifact I picked up at a recent trade show. Anybody know who this cute guy is or the name of the series?

I love the '60s-era haircut and clothes.
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Monday, August 31, 2009

Beautiful Big Blue

A panel from my Fletcher Hanks tribute story, Big Blue, beautifully colored by Randy Sargent.

Check out mucho more of Sarge's work here:
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Anime Mystery

I recently bought a couple cuter-than-cute toys in this series at a trade show. Can any of you manga/anime fans tell me what the name of this series is?

A translation of the box text would be nice, too!
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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tales of the Incredible

One of two E.C. reprint paperbacks published by Ballentine in the mid-'60s, which I had as a kid (the other was a horror story collection).

Gorgeous work by Wally Wood, Joe Orlando, Al Feldstein, and brush-work by Al Williamson that may be the finest I've seen in a comic book. Plus, rockin', creepy stories and twisted surprise endings, all presented in classic, mid-'50s sci-fi splendour.

This book warped my brain. In a good way.
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Friday, August 28, 2009


A panel from my upcoming The Signifiers comic book (to be published in glorious black and white), exquisitely inked by Jeff Suntala and exquisitely colored by Randy Sargent.

Check out more beautiful color work by Sarge at his website:
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Open Letter to CAPA

A letter I sent to Rich Corsi, director of programming at the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, concerning this year's Summer Movie Series at the Ohio Theatre.

Mr. Corsi didn't respond. We saw only one film at the Ohio Theatre this summer: The Awful Truth.

Dear Mr. Corsi,
As a longtime subscriber to the CAPA Summer Movies Series, I regret to say that, for the first time in memory, I won’t be buying series tickets this year, or plan on seeing more than a couple of the movies scheduled.

I’m very disappointed that CAPA continues to add relatively recent (‘70s to the present) films to the schedule. What I’m interested in seeing at the Summer Movies Series is what you used to program: classic Hollywood films from the silent era through the ‘60s. I’d really prefer to see at the Ohio Theatre films made before the MPAA rating system. This is not because I don’t like to watch more harshly rated films (personally, I enjoy films by Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch and Paul Thomas Anderson), but because I think the Summer Movies Series should remain an event the entire family can enjoy.

Of the older films which are programmed this year, several of them (Spellbound, Ben-Hur, The King and I, Rebecca) have been shown repeatedly throughout the decades. (I think my ears are still ringing from your last screening of Spellbound – the volume was louder than a Metallica concert). The Male Animal is an interesting pick, but was just shown at the Wexner Center within the past year or so.

I’m especially disappointed to learn you’ll be showing Blue-ray DVDs for some of the movies scheduled for this year. I have no interest – zero interest - in seeing DVDs shown at the Ohio Theatre; nothing replaces the look of film pulled through a projector at 24 frames a second. Despite the Universal lot fire of last year, there are many 35mm prints of worthy, entertaining films available, many of which have never screened at the Ohio Theatre. Other venues rent them. Indeed, there’s a whole world of movies to see besides Oscar and Hammerstein musicals, Hope and Crosby, and Hitchcock films.

Here’s hoping that you’ll consider showing more diverse and older films, on film. And I’ll be back then with my wallet open.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Tragedy Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight!"

Tonight at Wild Goose Creative, members of Wild Goose and students from Ohio State University will be performing readings of four superhero plays by Eric Mullins, Andy Anderson, Nick Fancher and myself. The plays include a bog monster, a would-be superhero, and a man who gains insight from Octo's helmet. I attended the rehearsal last night; I think the audience is going to enjoy these! The event is getting some media coverage, too (see above).

It's all part of the three-day Geekfest celebration at Wild Goose Creative. Robot standup comedy, a comic book read-in, two Settlers of Catan tournaments and more are on tap!

Admission to the show tonight is $5.00 per person. If you don't have $5.00, don't let that stop you from showing up.

Read the details at the Wild Goose Creative site:
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Another thumbnail drawing for The Signifiers. Fourteen pages to go!
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

I finished reading James Agee's book yesterday. What a remarkable, profound work!

Agee's reportage on Alabama tenant farmers in 1936 is defiantly contrary, meandering, poetic, autobiographical, incendiary, angry, beautiful, sensitive, visionary, ugly, sometimes even funny.

Walker Evans' accompanying photographs give sad testimony to a text so detailed and comprehensive, the reader could - after reading this book - make his way through a tenant farmer's house blindfolded.
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Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Octo's Helmet" Part of Geekfest

The first act of my superhero play-in-progress, Octo's Helmet, will be performed on June 18th, as part of the three-day Geekfest at Wild Goose Creative.

Members of WGC will be bravely tackling the roles of Rabbit Lass, Metal Elbow, and other forlorn misfits. Octo's Helmet will be only one of many tributes to geekiness; more superhero plays, robot standup comedy, a comic book read-in, two Settlers of Catan tournaments and more are on tap!

More details will be posted soon at the Wild Goose Creative site:
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Garbage Wraith

Drawn today for The Signifiers.
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Monday, June 1, 2009

Killer Cover

Nice noir paperback cover I picked up at a yard sale: Signet # 879, 1951.

Anyone recognize the cover artist? His name's not printed anywhere on the book.
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Sunday, May 31, 2009


A thumbnail drawing for my story, "The End Meets the Ricket-Meister", published in Juan Ortiz' Silver Comics #8:
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Friday, May 29, 2009

Nostradamus' Swine Flu Tips

The mystic conduit Sirianus continues to report what Nostradamus is telling him, dispite a jaded and unbelieving world.

Sirianus' most recent blog details Nostradamus' tips on how to keep from catching the Swine Flu. Are these (unintentionally?) hilarious recommendations valid, or just the ramblings of an on-the-fringes fraud? You be the judge:

And order The Lost Quatrains of Nostradamus, written by Sirianus and illustrated by Michael Neno, here:
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sleepy Head

Finally working on The Signifiers again.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A New Beginning

After nearly a quarter of a century working in Information Technology I am, as of today, free - free to concentrate on creating and publishing comic books, related merchandise, freelance cartooning and freelance illustration and graphic design.

If you have need of classic cartooning, music poster or album art, freelance lettering or web graphic design, I am available to consider offers.

In the meantime, longtime projects put on the back-burner such as The Mesh, The Signifiers, Reactionary Tales #2 and others can finally be brought to fruition. Check back here for updates.
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Batmandi, the Last Billionaire on Earth

One of the joys of setting up at the annual S.P.A.C.E. show is talking with fellow Kirby-fan Tom Scioli, of Godland and The Myth of 8-Opus.

Tom was drawing several renditions of Batmandi, Last Billionaire on Earth last week, so I had to purchase one. Pretty nice!

Check out Tom's brand new site:
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Todd Rundgren's Arena Rock

Thanks to Nathan Smart ( and his lovely wife Meridith, who gave us free tickets to the show, Mary and I saw Todd Rundgren during his recent visit to these parts - fulfilling a 29-year dream for Mary,who missed seeing Rundgren in 1980.

It's doubtful whether Todd rocked as hard in 1980 as he did in this show; playing the entirety of his new, crowd-pleasing album Arena and a good dose of older material, Todd and his finely-tuned band created a barrage, a wall of melodic heavy metallic sound. Throughout the exhibition, the still-thin band leader performed physical sprints and leaps not usually witnessed on a man in his 60s.

Here are some photos from this amazing show:
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Steinweiss: the Inventor of the Record Album Cover

Before Alex Steinweiss convinced Columbia to allow him to design album cover art for Smash Song Hits by Rodgers & Hart in 1939, album covers featured just text on the cover. When the sales of that album skyrocketed, Columbia paid him to continue designing covers, and he went on to design roughly 2,500 of them over the next 35 years.

I will be presenting nearly 60 of Steinweiss' record covers (most of them from the '40s and '50s) in a gallery display entitled Steinweiss: the Inventor of the Record Album Cover, hosted by Wild Goose Creative in Columbus, Ohio.

The grand opening of the display is Saturday, May 9th, at 7:00 pm. Program notes will be provided. If you're in the area, please stop by and enjoy the designs and innovative techniques of this important 20th century graphic artist.

Wild Goose Creative is at 2491 Summit Street, in Clintonville. Parking is available on Summit and behind the building.

WGC is a non-profit, community driven arts company. Learn more at:

And learn more about Alex Steinweiss at:
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jersey Gods: the Best New Comic Book Series of 2009

That's right, I said the best. Who are Glen Brunswick and Dan McDaid? I'd never heard of them before picking Jersey Gods off the shelf for the title alone and the classic, Silver Age vibe it projected. Now I know: these guys are the bomb.

Brunswick, in two short issues, has created not one but three worlds, each with their own unique environment and array of sharply defined characters. The operative word here is fun - and good-natured suspense. This was like reading a 1965 Thor in 1965 for the first time: fresh, and exciting.

McDaid brings it all home with a classic style forged from the fires of Kirby, Frank Robbins, and Alex Toth, with the quicky, juicy inklines and spontaneity those gents' work conjures in the mind. I'm a Dan McDaid fan for life now.

With a Mike Allred cover for the first issue, a Darwyn Cooke cover for the second issue, and a Paul Pope cover for the third, Jersey Gods is essential reading. A backup series by Mark Waid seals whatever deal you weren't going for.

Check out these links for more info:

Jersey Gods blog:

Dan McDaid's blog:

Dan McDaid's website:

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Interviewed for SPACE

Cartoonist Ray Tomczak cornered me recently for a short interview in anticipation of the annual Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo, April 18th and 19th at the Aladdin Shrine Center in Columbus, Ohio. I'll have a vast array of goodies there for sale and original art on display, and will be available for autographs and movie discussions.

Here's the interview:

And, here's the official SPACE site:
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Drink Your Coffee With Larvae Boy

Drink your morning coffee in a Larvae Boy mug. Still available for adventuresome souls:
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Village Voice is Dead

How ironic that The Village Voice fired jazz reviewer and social critic Nat Hentoff the very same week The New Yorker published an article on the illustrious history of the groundbreaking magazine.

Hentoff, who had written for the publication since 1958 (and whose liner notes I've enjoyed on countless album back covers) deserves much better than this.

Hentoff fired article:

The New Yorker article:
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quacky on Etsy

Speaking of Quacky Pig, the official Quacky Pig Coloring Book can now be ordered on Etsy, the Place to Buy and Sell All Things Handmade (TM).

Neno minicomics will also be available there soon.

Check it out here!
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Clint Eastwood - A Tough Cookie

Clint Eastwood is one of my heroes. Here's a man who's directed six interesting, ambitious feature films over the past six years, with another one in production. Several of them have been nominated for, or have won, Academy awards.

The kicker is this: Clint Eastwood is nearly eighty years old (he was born in 1930). At an age when many of his peers have given up on life, or are wasting their time until their last day on Earth, Eastwood is plowing on ahead, creating vital art.

Along with other fine film directors in their sixties and seventies (David Lynch, Woody Allen), Eastwood is refusing to view himself as irrelevant or incapable of speaking of current and future generations. To this, I say: what an example, and I hope I'm still sane and creating at that age!

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Hard Rocks

Copies of the notorious Quacky Pig and Friends Coloring Book are still available, each issue with color additions on the front and back cover hand-painted by moi!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wild Goose Creative Presents...

Wild Goose Creative threw on Thursday night one of the most enjoyable concerts I've seen. Four acts, suggested donation five bucks (really worth much more), oodles of CDs and other merchandise goodies to purchase, food provided, and Andy Anderson even heated water for tea (and Jessie helped me find the tea)! A very welcoming environment.

I suppose the theme for the evening (if there was a theme) could have been "rustic". Listening to these acts from the perspective of 2009, one would have guessed punk, new wave, and all the related genres that spawned in reaction to hippy excess had never happened. It was as if there was a space-time continuum between 1972 and now: long hair, banjos, organic, harmoniously rustic sounds are in again, spearheaded (or at least exemplified) by the Fleet Foxes. Not that that's a bad thing. One could do worse than be influenced by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Gram Parsons, and the Carter Family. Much worse.

The Shaw Brothers were up first, Chris on violin, Andy on guitar (for the most part; various arrangements of voice and instruments were used). Both very strong, capable musicians, the music they created was just plain beautiful. Andy's voice is a powerful instrument, and they reminded me at times of Beirut and/or a more subdued Muse. I'll be buying their album.

Next up was Pezzettino, a young lady with a wonderful old-looking accordian (she usually also performs witha piano). Dressed all in black, situated with the black and white accordian, Pezzettino looked like she stepped out of the Weimar Republic, and before she began her set I half expected her to be singing Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht songs. Her songs were much more personal, though, heartfelt, intimate songs of love and lost love and almost love, expressed with a wide range of emotions and subtleties both delicate and forceful. The style of her music was difficult to place, but I've never heard an accordian played so effectively; her control over the instrument was really mesmerizing. I was very impressed.

I purchased Pezzettino's first CD, Because I Have No Control..., and will be listening to it soon. She'll be releasing two more albums this year.

Longsleeves was up next; because I was purchasing Pezzettino's CD, I missed the beginning and didn't know if Longsleeves was a person or a group. He is a singer, songwriter and guitarist, this evening pared with banjo player and singer/songwriter Ben Laatsch.

We were again back in Carter Family territory. There has always been a folk music tradition, of course, flowing through the decades regardless of whatever other genres were transcendent at the time. To call Longsleeves' (and the Shaw Bros. and the Fleet Foxes) music folk seems somehow limiting, though; it's rustic music that is also informed by the potential forcefulness of rock. Neil Young's early '70s recordings were a sort-of template for this new music.

In any event, these guys were good! Like the Shaw Brothers, they used a variety of arrangements of instruments. Longsleeves' voice was forceful, and their interpretions of old standards some groups would consider too old-fashioned to perform were lively and audience-involving. Ben Laatch's solo songs using only the banjo were exquisite and with his long hair, plaid shirt, and red scarf, he looked the part.

I immediately purchased three of their CDs (one of them a Ben Laatch solo CD), and will probably be purchasing more. I'll be keeping an eye on all of these acts. Vinyl, my friends, keep vinyl in mind.

I had to leave soon after the last act, Eric Nassau, took the stage. Another time, Eric.

Here's a ton of links to keep you busy for research on these fine musicians:

The Shaw Brothers


Longsleeves' website:
Ben Laatsch's website:
Longsleeves' MySpace:
Ben Laatsch's MySpace:

Wild Goose Creative website:

Photo above taken by the talented Amanda Anderson!
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Friday, January 23, 2009

A Flock of Chicks
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Godspeed, Barack Obama

I've nothing to add to the gazillion voices of the blogosphere except to say it's heartening to see it's as possible to attain and fulfill the benevolent promises of American democracy as it is to abuse them.

Here's to a four-year span better than the previous one.
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Monday, January 19, 2009

New Mesh for the New Year

After a holiday hiatus, my pulp-drenched online comic strip, The Mesh, is back with new panels, and will updated with four new panels on a regular basis (every week and a half). Four more new panels will be posted Wednesday evening, January 21st.

If you enjoy two-fisted action in dark alleyways, check it out!
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Monday, January 5, 2009

The Best Films I Saw in 2008

It was not a great year for films, as you'll see by the list below, but good films are still somehow made every year. (I did miss some I was hoping to see, such as Frozen River and Changeling).

The ten best new films I saw for the first time in 2008 (in no particular order):

1. There Will Be Blood, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. A near masterpiece of the sort I thought impossible to make in our age. Anderson breathes film history, and this film resonates with echoes of Erich von Stroheim, D. W. Griffith, and Orson Welles.

2. The Band's Visit, directed by Erin Kolirin. Not a revelation, but instead a modest cross-cultural character study.

3. Iron Man, directed by Jon Favreau. A good script and smart casting - what every superhero movie needs and rarely gets.

4. Redbelt, directed by David Mamet. Mamet and martial arts: what more needs to be written?

5. WALL-E, directed by Andrew Stanton. Early '70s sci-fi, plus silent comedy, plus great animation, plus social commentary. If only some adult films were this smart.

6. Vicky Christina Barcelona, directed by Woody Allen. Like an Eric Rohmer fable, only with Penelope Cruz and a gun.

7. Doubt, directed by John Patrick Shanley. Not perfect, but intriguing in ways that most Hollywood films don't attempt.

8. Young @ Heart, directed by Stephen Walker. After seeing this documentary, you'll never hear Coldplay the same way again.

9. Hellboy II: The Golden Army, directed by Guillermo del Toro. Toro has taken the helm from Ray Harryhausen, bringing fantastic new worlds and characters to life on the screen.

10. Synecdoche, New York, directed by Charlie Kaufman. Pretentious, puzzling, depressing, ambitious, disturbing - you won't be able to get it out of your head.

Honorable mention: The Dark Knight, for having the courage to take the popular characters' concepts to their logical conclusions.

The ten best older films I saw for the first time in 2008 (in no particular order):

1. Blade Runner (the final director's cut), directed by Ridley Scott. This is the film that should have been released in 1982.

2. Judex, directed by Louis Feuillade. A four-hour serial, strictly speaking. Judex draws upon 18th century literature for its framework, but projects forward to 20th century pop and pulp culture with its potent influences on characters like Zorro and Batman.

3. Trader Horn, directed by W.S. Van Dyke. Not a great film by many standards, and racist in bizarre, early '30s ways, but nevertheless somehow mesmerizing in all its dreamlike, hallucinogenic, poorly-shot wonder.

4. The Beast of the City, directed by Charles Brabin. A forgotten, pre-code, proto-crime film with Walter Huston playing a cop Jack Kirby could have written (ala Sgt. "Terrible" Turpin).

5. This Happy Breed, directed by David Lean. An obscure Noel Coward work is given a sweeping but subtle treatment in this immersive and moving family study covering several decades.

6. Oliver Twist, directed by David Lean. Captures and distills the "look" people now think of as Dickension.

7. Harriet Craig, directed by Vincent Sherman. Joan Crawford's on the warpath, obsessed with the neatness of her house in this vehicle that borders on being camp, and was almost certainly partly autobiographical.

8. Parlor, Bedroom, and Bath, directed by Edward Sedgwick. Sedgwick tries to do right by Buster Keaton in this one, but the MGM taskmasters were breathing down his neck. One of the last Keaton feature films with scenes bareable to watch.

9. The Web, directed by Michael Gorden. Tidy little film noir with Vincent Price as another delicious baddie.

10. The Maltese Falcon, directed by John Huston. After two misguided attempts, Hollywood finally got D. Hammett's novel done right. This version is reasonably faithful to the source material (even when watered down), and Huston brought a "live in the studio" immediacy to many scenes that foreshadow the look of '50s live television.

The worst film I saw (for the last time) in 2008:

Yes, directed by Sally Potter. Pretentious directing, embarrassing script, characters you quickly learn to hate, situations that lull you to sleep, a false, happy ending - and the entire screenplay is written in iambic pentameter for no discernable reason.There's nothing to like about this movie. Nothing. Nothing.

G, directed by Christopher Scott Cherot. There was nothing to stop this hip-hop version of The Great Gatsby from working, but it was wrecked anyway.

The Is-it-a-Masterpiece-or-Junk? award goes to the Rialto rerelease to theatres of Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt. It's either fascinatingly bad or fascinatingly good; I can't yet tell. But I wish there were more movies like it being made.
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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

...from Landlark, the Heat-Seeking Dwarf.
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