Archive for September, 2008

Rat Overboard: Taylor talks “Pirat Tales”

September 25, 2008

Ahoy, ratties! It’s been awhile since I’ve had an opportunity to post, but I did want to pop on and mention that an interview with yours truly is now up and running over at Comic Book Resources. In reading the interview, I found out that it looks like the first issue of Pirat Tales: Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails is scheduled to hit comic book shop shelves November 26th. So, head on over and read Rat Overboard: Taylor Talks “Pirat Tales”.

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In Honor Of International Talk Like A Pirate Day…

September 19, 2008

Ahoy, ratties! In case ye not be aware, today (September 19, 2008) be the official International Talk Like A Pirate Day. And, in honor of this most prestigious event here be the first pages from the new comic book series sailin’ from IDW Publishing this November — Pirat Tales: Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails

(click page image to view larger version)

Phelps Out Of Water

September 14, 2008

Somewhere within the first half of the season premiere of Saturday Night Live a sketch was featured in which work associates uncomfortably endured the introduction to and subsequent entertainment by the “less than charismatic” children of their hosts. That skit would pretty much sum up the entire episode of the venerable late night “comedy” show’s thirty-fourth season kickoff.

I gave up on the show last night around 12:50 declaring to myself that I had just given up an hour and twenty minutes of my life that I was never going to get back. And, less than four and a half hours later I’m up blogging about the experience. I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know if it’s the cold that I’m trying to kick, or the bad aftertaste of SNL.

One element which seemed to help sink the episode was watching Michael Phelps try to tread water as the show’s host. But, you can’t blame Phelps for a bad show — he’s an American hero, an Olympic gold medal upon gold medal upon gold medal winning athlete. No, you have to blame his manager and/or agent for letting him do it — or making him do it. Phelps looked so uncomfortable throughout most of the show, like a fish out of water.

The show’s much anticipated opener featuring Tina Fey returning to portray Sarah Palin wasn’t bad as she tried to deliver a nonpartisan message with Hillary Clinton (Amy Poehler) regarding sexism wasn’t all that bad. And, I’ll admit that I chuckled at the “Cathy” sketch featuring Andy Samberg. But what the hell was that SNL Digital Short about the “Space Olympics” supposed to be? Funny or entertaining it wasn’t.

Hmmm… “Funny and entertaining it wasn’t.” Unfortunately that seems to sum up a majority of Saturday Night Live‘s efforts nowadays.

HeroSpy Interview ‘Bout Pirats

September 10, 2008

I was recently interviewed over at Hero Spy by Vernon T Waldrip, aka Shawn, lead editor over at Hero Spy, regarding Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails. My favorite part of the interview…

So with a heap of effort and a bit of good old-fashioned persistence, we were able to nail down the very talented, and incredibly busy Dan Taylor for a quick interview.

It makes it sound like I’m a major “mover and shaker” in the comic book biz. Anyway, you can check out the whole interview here.

Forty-Two Years Ago — Yesterday

September 9, 2008

I hadn’t realized it yesterday (I wasn’t realizing a lot yesterday, for some reason) but September 08 — yesterday — was the forty second anniversary of the original Star Trek television series. Now, since I’m only forty I obviously wasn’t around when the first episode — The Man Trap — of Star Trek aired. But, I do however remember Star Trek being a part of my life for as far back as I can remember.

But curiously, rather than realizing that the Yankees/Angels game was on I spent the evening watching Star Trek: The Next Generation — the very last episode of that series to be exact, All Good Things… (which aired on May 29, 1994).

And, now I “patiently” await for May 8, 2009 — only a mere 240 days — for the premiere of the new Star Trek movie.

Are YOU Ready For Football?

September 4, 2008

I’m not. The official kickoff of the NFL season is at 4:00 PM Pacific (right after Ellen on NBC — now that’s a double-feature). I’m still wrapped up in Major League Baseball — especially my Angels, whose “magic number” to win the division is only seven with twenty-four games left to play. And, I hope to still be wrapped up in baseball through the post season as my Angels go on and win the World Series. As long as the baseball season is going on I won’t fully be into the 2008 NFL season.

That won’t stop me from enjoying games (and beer) on Sundays with friends, as well as keeping up with my football team — the San Francisco 49ers (yes, still), who ESPN currently ranks at 29 out of the 32 teams. And, I am of course, once again playing fantasy football this season in two leagues — my keeper league (that I’ve been playing in for three seasons) and my “big-money” league.

But, I will have the Redskins/Giants game on in the background this afternoon/evening as I work. The Angels had a day game today.

Cheech & Chong — What Went Wrong?

September 4, 2008

Cheech & Chong haven’t performed together as “Cheech & chong” in something like twenty-five years. Now, according to their MySpace Page they’re embarking on the Light Up America & Canada Tour. I’ve got nothing against Cheech & Chong. I remember listening to bits from their comedy albums on Dr. Demento back in the late ’70s and early ’80s. But, I came across this publicity photo this morning and I had to do a double-take.

What the hell? Okay, Chong (on the right) looks pretty much as to be expected — grayer and wrinklier, yes. But, Cheech… He looks like someone’s grandmother. I guess his role as Chuy Castillos on Golden Palace rubbed off a little too much on him.

Now, there’s a whole generation (or two) of pot fans who’ll get to engage in the “Cheech & Chong Experience” for the first time, but I’ve got a feeling that after a twenty-five year absence there might not even be enough resin in the bowl for a “hit.”

Eight To Anticipate In November

September 3, 2008

Alright… I’m back with my monthly look at upcoming products from the Diamond Previews Catalog. (Don’t ask me what happened last month regarding Eight to Anticipate In October.) This month we take a look at titles scheduled items to be released in November as featured in Vol. XVIII, #9. First up…

Gigantic #1 (Dark Horse Comics) — It was a beautiful spring day in downtown San Francisco before a gigantic armored alien appeared from out of nowhere and began smashing things all to hell! Who is this invader? Why is he being attacked by strange alien beings? And why is he so gigantic? A twist on The Truman Show, Gigantic focuses on a brainwashed, alien superhero deposited on Earth to be the spotlight of an intrusive, around-the-clock television program being filmed without his knowledge.

This sounds like an “out there idea” by writer Rick Remender. Giant alien warrior intergalactic reality programing. Kudos to Rick for getting it published. I might have to categorize this concept in the “dammit, why didn’t I think o fit first” file. This Definitely sounds worth checking out.

The Cleaners (Dark Horse Comics) — In the dark tradition of Los Angeles noir, The Cleaners is a terrifying new mystery series about a ragtag team of for-hire trauma-scene cleaners led by ex-surgeon Robert Bellarmine. Contracted with sanitizing some of the nastiest crime and accident scenes in the tri-county L.A. basin, the team battles against what could only be described as the grim, unknowable face of the supernatural. But by focusing on the scientific explanation, no matter how aberrant or extraordinary, they counteract centuries-old superstition to prove things are seldom what they seem . . . In this miniseries, the cleaners crew takes on a series of gruesome tasks starting with a bloodbath that covers an entire neighborhood. This investigation leads them toward uncovering a disturbing mystery involving missing children, which dates back longer than the history of the city itself.

Knowing writer Josh Fialkov the way that I do. This is probably going to be one effed up book — and I mean “effed up” in the best most bloody twisted way.

Jingle Belle: Santa Claus Vs. Frankenstein (Top Cow Productions, Inc.) — Paul Dini’s Jingle Belle comes to Top Cow in a special “Halloween collides with Christmas” one-shot written by Dini and drawn by Stephanie Gladden (Powerpuff Girls, Chowder, Hopster’s Tracks). In years past, Santa has triumphed over a variety of enemies including the Devil himself. Now, St. Nick gets ready to face his greatest challenge ever in Jingle Belle: Santa Claus Vs. Frankenstein! Inspired by Mary Shelley’s original novel (sort of), the story of Frankenstein’s monster takes a new twist when he is found by Jingle in the Arctic wastes and “rehabilitated” to fit in with the elves at Santa’s Workshop. All goes well until an ultra-PC city declares Santa Claus taboo and awakens Frankie’s monstrous side in a misguided attempt to help his friend. It’s up to an ailing Santa and a reluctant Jingle Belle to stop their monstrous “apprentice” before he destroys the town and ruins the reputation of Christmas forever! Cover A – Stephanie Gladden. Cover B – Greg Horn.

I’m kicking around my own “Santa Claus Vs.” story right now, so Dini’s got my interest there. Add the fact that I’m a sucker for this style of art, and that I’m very curious to see the Greg Horn cover — I’ll be checking it out.

Lulu & Mitzi Best Laid Plans TPB Vol. 01 (Amaze Ink / Slave Labor Graphics) — Imagine if Lucy and Ethel worked in the world’s oldest profession. Lulu and Mitzy are young, illegal immigrants trying to get by in San Francisco, even if that means pulling every scheme imaginable. It’s a rough and tumble existence filled with wannabe artists, sex workers, low-lifes, and the type of fringe elements that can only exist in San Francisco.

It’s the artwork that first attracted me to this title — kind of reminded me of the artwork on the Monopoly “Chance” and “Community Chest” cards. And then I found out it was about “working girls.” There’s just not enough material out there about the zany world of illegal immigrant prostitutes. Hopefully this title will change all of that.

H.P. Lovecraft’s Nyarlathotep (Boom! Studios) — BOOM! gives horror legend H.P. Lovecraft’s Nyarlathotep new life in this handsome hardcover, featuring illustrations by Chuck BB (Black Metal)! This is a must-have for Lovecraft fans. Lovecraft’s original prose poem is reprinted in its entirety and visually interpreted by one of comics’ most exciting new talents.

I’m not so much an H.P. Lovecraft fan as much as I’m a Chuck BB fan. I mean, I don’t have any original H.P. Lovecraft writings in my possession, but I do have original Chuck BB artwork hanging on my walls. This nifty hardcover will be worth checking out for the art alone.

Dynamite Pilot #1 (Data Red Publishing) — The death of an era begins! The end of the ‘Tens of Tens’ war comes to a violent end as a young man, the Dynamite Pilot, frees his alien civilization from an evil, foreign occupational army. A new comic from the from the creator of Space Sheriff and Happy Space Boy.

I know next to nothing about the title, but I’m intrigued. Delving a little bit deeper by checking out the review of it being a “Staff Pick” and I’m even more intrigued. “What if Hiyao Miyazaki had done Mad Max?” I’m looking forward to checking out this grim and violent tale with a touch of mysticism.

Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1 (IDW Publishing) — The infamous Captain Blacktail and his crew of swashbuckling rats set sail upon the high seas in search of a treasure equal to the ransom of kings upon kings. Many would-be plunderers have set forth to claim the treasure of the Cat O’ Nine Tails-only never to return. A young mouse known as Pip will find his life forever changed as he journeys to uncharted waters on an adventure with Captain Blacktail and the rat crew of the Vile Vermin.

What?! You didn’t think that I wasn’t going to plug my own book, did you? Look, no one has been anticipating the November release of this title more than yours truly — trust me.

Super Real Graphics Presents; The Wolves of Odin (Superrealgraphics.com) — From Lucasfilm artist Grant Gould (Star Wars the Clone Wars online) comes the story of the war between Vikings and werewolves in this debut graphic novella! The rise of Christianity amongst the north-men has frustrated Odin, Father of the Norse Gods. Out of jealousy and anger, he has transformed three of his most loyal berserkers into unstoppable beasts, and set them loose upon his traitorous “followers”. Thor, God of Thunder, takes it upon himself to challenge his father’s madness by aiding a loyal warrior of his own: the viking Tyr. Along with the help of a witch and two strangers, Tyr must face the wolves and realize his own destiny.

I’ve been a fan of Grant Gould’s art since the first time I laid eyes on it online. I met him briefly at San Diego Comic-Con 2008 and informed him that someday I want to work with him. Hopefully it won’t be to long. I dig his art!

Attention UK and Erie Readers

September 2, 2008

And, I know that I do have some readers in the UK and Erie — my Clustrmap tells me so. You can now advance order your copies of Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1 from Forbidden Planet International. In fact, not only can you advance order the first issue, you can set up a subscription to the entire five-issue run — that way you’ll be sure not to miss any of the exciting adventures of Pip and Captain Blacktail aboard the Vile Vermin.

Forbidden Planet International is located in Glasgow, but they can ship your comic books anywhere in the UK and Erie. Again, advance ordering your comics is a huge way to help make sure that Pirat Tales will have a successful voyage throughout the run of the series. As always, thank you for your support.