Sunday, February 24, 2008

Special EL MUERTO Movie Podcast on 2.26.08!

On Tuesday, Feb. 26, I'll be having a very special episode of PLANET COMIC BOOK RADIO! My guests will be two filmmakers from the EL MUERTO movie: Screenwriter/Director BRIAN COX and musician MARTIN ESPINO, who performed all the Pre-Columbian instruments and Nahuatl chanting heard in the film.

With the EL MUERTO screening taking place March 7 at the WHITTIER FILM FESTIVAL, this is a great time to talk about the making of the film with my fellow filmmakers. I'll be sure we cover things that aren't mentioned in the commentary track found on the DVD with Brian and myself. New scoops and some great background anecdotes, straight from the director who made the film!

Plus we'll have some music performed live in studio by my friend and fellow Whittier resident, Martin Espino! I actually got Martin the gig on the film. My director wanted to incorporate actual indigenous Aztec music and chanting in the picture, so I immediately recommended Martin. I'm glad it worked out, because Martin is such a long-time practitioner of pre-Columbian music that his authenticity really enriches the film.

This is a little surreal to me: to be having the director of my comic-to-screen adaptation on a radio show I'm hosting! And the radio show is a result of my years of self-publishing my own creation. Life is one big circle, folks. Don't stop me, I don't want to get off!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Happy 10 Year Anniversay to me!

10 years ago in February 1998, I published the first-ever EL MUERTO comic book!! A black & white photocopied comic book introducing the Aztec Zombie. The book recieved it's official debut at the Alternative Press Expo in San Jose, CA.

Here we are, 10 years later on the web, in comics, independent film and even a radio show! All this cause I wanted to create my own comic book character. So many people to thank, that's for sure! Family, friends, fellow artists and of course the Fans! And let's not forget the retailers, galleries, filmmakers, web designer, and many others who have all helped out in various ways.

This Tuesday, Feb. 19 on my radio show, PLANET COMIC BOOK RADIO, I'll be podcasting a Special King-Size El Muerto Anniversary Show! We have a great guest, Carlos Castellanos, the artist for the nationally-syndicated BALDO newspaper strip.

I'll also announce how you can win tickets for the EL MUERTO film screening at the Whittier Film Festival on Friday, March 7. And I'll also be talking about starting EL MUERTO 10 years ago and how the Dead Guy has taken me on the Liveliest ride of my life!

Of course, over the next 12 months here at Javzilla, I'll be sharing with you stories about creating EL MUERTO and all the adventures in publishing, conventions, art galleries, filmmaking and wherever else EL MUERTO has taken me. Plus I'll have news coming up in March about a Top Secret brand-new character I've created! One that will be seen in a Top Secret, brand-new publishing venture I'm starting with a good friend of mine! All I can tell you right now about the new comic is this:
Take RAMBO, BILLY JACK and DEATH WISH, cross it with ANIMAL FARM,DESTROYER DUCK and MR. A, and mix it with PLANET OF THE APES, HAWK & DOVE and THE PUNISHER!!! What we're gonna get is one personal, shoot-em-up, slam bang political hot-potato!!!

'Nuff said!!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Steve Gerber 1947-2008

I've just learned that comic book writer Steve Gerber, creator of Howard the Duck and Omega the Unknown passed away on Sunday.

Steve had been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, and had been writing about the process on his blog for some time. Mark Evanier has a testimonial to his friend over on his site his site. And Mark has been given permission by those close to Steve to log into Steve Gerber's blog. I recommend reading the posts their to get an idea of Steve's contributions to the industry.

As a kid in the 70s, I became a huge fan of Gerber's HOWARD THE DUCK, one of the most unusual Marvel Comics at the time. A talking Duck, with a sarcastic wit that would make Archie Bunker blush. Steve used a lot of social and political satire in the book, poking fun at us 'hairless apes' and the way we screw things up. As a 10 year old, I may not have even been aware of some of the satirical points he was making, but the book was so captivating to me that I still loved it. No doubt the amazing artwork by Gene Colan helped.

Lately, I've been on a big Howard trip. I even finally bought, after never owning one, a nice copy of HOWARD THE DUCK #1. Steve really was the first writer that taught me satire. This from a talking Duck, with a sexy, human, model as a girlfriend!

I'd like to share more thoughts on his writing, his influence and my huge affection for Howard the Duck. But tonight though, I miss Steve Gerber. Thank you Steve, for your great storytelling gifts, your professional impact, and for your unique insight.

God Bless.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Radio show keeps rolling forward!

The podcast featuring last Tuesday's guest,Blair Kitchen, creator of THE POSSUM, is now available on the PLANET COMIC BOOK RADIO site. Blair was really fun to talk to, and I am so glad to see that he gave out so much great insight into the role of the self-publisher. Several of my previous guests are self-published artists, and they all have great insights into creating a comic under one's own steam. But I think the conversation with Blair gives listeners, and maybe future publishers, a good portrait of one person's creative drive and determination to make his own creation work.

Also, since I've never actually met Blair (save for the past year of emails and one pre-interview phone call), we didn't have the shared, personal history I've had with my other guests. This may have allowed me to perhaps focus on discussion of the issues at hand, as opposed to the freewheeling rapport I've had with my other guests (i.e. friends). I'm not being critical of the interview, just sharing my own perspective as the guy in the interviewer chair. Either way, it was another fun and interesting podcast. I'm glad to have had Blair as a guest. And now, I think it's fair to say, as a friend.

This tuesday's show features Richard Dominguez, the creator of the comic book EL GATO NEGRO. Richard was an early influence on me, as I was trying to find my way into self-publishing. Back in the mid-90s, I had seen an article on him in HISPANIC MAGAZINE. They talked about how Richard, a Mexican-American artist, created his own comic book character with roots in Mexican culture. Richard, along with Carlos Saldaña, really pointed me in the direction to publish my own comic book creation, based on elements from both Mexican folklore and American pop culture.

I remember meeting Richard at San Diego Comic Con, before I published EL MUERTO, and really enjoying my first meeting with him. Later, when I debuted my own comic book at San Diego, it was a real thrill to be able to give him a copy (or did I sell him one?!). Well, Tuesday will be a chance to have him on my radio show and not only thank
him again for all he's done, but to let him share with all of us the work he's done for the past 15 years.

(Click image to enlarge)