Tuesday, July 21, 2015

SDCC 2015 - The Hateful Eight Panel

Even after hours of waiting in the Hall H line, I couldn't have cared less about the Batman vs. Superman Trailer.  Don't get me wrong, I'm going to see Zack Snyder's film, but I was in that room for one thing and one thing only - Quentin Tarantino.

Moderated by Chris Hardwick (the coolest Nerdist I know), I was jumping with glee once Tarantino was welcomed to the stage.  After explaining how this movie was shot in 70 mm (using some of the same lenses from Ben Hurr), we were privileged to watch several minutes of unseen footage. 

Without getting into too much detail, this is going to be a very claustrophobic film.  Since the characters are trapped in the snow, I sensed The Thing resonating across the screen.  Even the footage was accompanied with a thumping score similar to the John Carpenter musical theme (Coincidently, Morricone will be scoring The Hateful Eight).  From the few clips we were privy to, the characters suffer from paranoia, they want to kill each other, and they're unsure who's really the "bad guy" among all these crumudgeons. 

After Tarantino talked, we got to meet the cast of The Hateful Eight:

-John 'The Hangman' Ruth (Kurt Russell):  With another tie to The Thing, I can't wait to see Kurt Russell in another Tarantino Film especially after doing a fantastic job as Stuntman Mike.

-Sheriff Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins):  I loved him as Boyd Crowder in Justified.  Now I can't wait to see him play on the "good side of the law."

-Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh):  As Travolta was to Pulp Fiction, I believe Leigh will be to The Hateful Eight... except a whole lot scarier.  Plus if you check out this old blog entry (click here), Jennifer has given one of the best female performances I've ever seen.

-Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth):  Overly dramatic, Roth is really pushing the theatrics and I think he's going to provide much of the comedic relief.

-Joe Gage (Michael Madsen):  In any Tarantino film, Madsen always plays a despicable character... so I don't expect anything different here.

-General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern):  I'm not sure what to expect from his performance, but Dern is a Hollywood Legend and had lots of kind words to say about Tarantino as a director.

-Bob (Demian Bichir):  Originally this character was supposed to be a Frenchman, but Tarantino decided on a Mexican instead.  However after talking with Robert Rodriguez, Demian was recommended since he's truly a "Tarantino Actor"

-Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson):  Unfortunately Sam Jackson was the only member of the "Hateful Eight" who was not there in person.  However, he did leave a message and described how this film will be presented as a road show - For the first few weeks, the film will only be shown across select theatres in 70 mm.  So after some Christmas cheer, I'm dragging Angie on a road trip.

Before we left the panel, we were given tickets to pick up a Movie Lobby Card.  Since I love Demian in The Bridge and Machete Kills, I chose a card pictured with Bob (collecting lobby cards could become another addicting hobby).

Although shaking Tarantino's hand can't be crossed off my bucket list, at least I can say I saw the man from the distance.  But in the meantime, I'll patiently wait for Christmas Day to see a truly monumental film - Because whenever there's a new Tarantino film, just going to the movies is an event. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

SDCC 2015 - Shout Factory Score

The first stop I had to make on the SDCC convention floor was the Shout Factory booth.  I picked up a few Blu-Rays and scored some free swag:

- People Under the Stairs - This is one of the earliest horror films I remember seeing as a kid.  However, I rewatched it a few years back after going through a haunted house based on the film at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights.  Now that it has a proper release in High Definition, I can't wait to rewatch it again!

- Robot Jox - I never seen this movie before, but the guy at the booth sold me on the special features.  Besides, it's Stuart Gordon.

- Hackers - Angelina Jolie as a computer nerd - What's not to like?

- Dog Soldiers -  This is actually another film I've never seen before.  However I was a big fan of Neil Marshall's The Descent in college, so this should be a fun watch.

- Thunderbirds The Complete Series - Someone filmed marionettes before Team America?  How could I pass this package up?

I also attended the Shout Factory panel and I'm excited for their new releases (especially the ones from Scream Factory).  And in case you didn't know, Scream Factory is once again celebrating their Summer of Fear, so be sure to take advantage of their sales at http://summeroffear.com !

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Reginald Hudlin - A Bona Fide Writer of Tarantino Comics

So what seemed like an eternity to get here, SDCC 2015 has come and gone.  However, I had a great time spending an extra week in San Diego (I even got engaged) and was able to be in the physical presence of my celebrity hero (more of this to come in a future blog post).  As you already know, I created this blog to showcase the awesome cover art of Tarantino Comics.  Ideally, I'd love to present the "Master of Genre" my sketchbook in person, but Hall H was just way too big for a personal meet and greet.

Fortunately, I was able to meet another giant in the entertainment world - Reginald Hudlin.  I was first introduced to his work through comics, where I read his Marvel Knights Spider-Man run which followed Mark Millar's arc.  I also watched his Black Panther cartoon from BET.  Although I loved his contributions to the Marvel Universe, I was most excited when he adapted Tarantino's screenplay of Django Unchained through Vertigo.

Knowing Mr. Hudlin was a film producer on Django Unchained, I scanned and printed a hardbound book collecting the first 50 covers of Tarantino Comics.  This book provides some written detail on how Tarantino Comics came into fruition and the general process of obtaining art commissions at comic book conventions.  Since I'd love to share this beautiful fan art with Quentin Tarantino, I presented this book to Mr. Hudlin.  Hopefully he'll be able to show these fantastic images to Tarantino through the reprints in this book.  As you can see from the pictures below, I was very excited to meet Mr. Hudlin and even had him sign a few of my Django Comics.

In the meantime, be sure to check out Reginald Hudlin's upcoming work - The Return of Milestone Media.  If you're unfamiliar with Milestone, they created a world of culturally diverse characters, my favorite being Static Shock (I loved the cartoon as a kid).  This is a great imprint that promotes diversity and was one of the first pioneers to do so.  I'm excited for Milestone's return and can't wait to see their continuing impact within the pop culture world.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tarantino Comics - Issue 46

I was hoping to reach Issue #50 before flying out to San Diego Comic Con, but I just ran out of time.  However, since I got pretty close to reaching my goal, I think I still deserve the right to attend The Hateful Eight Panel :)  Anyways, I now present Tarantino Comics #46 illustrated by Danny Haas at MegaCon 2014.

Inspired from Kill Bill, Danny drew an awesome depiction of Gogo Yubari.  Without even showing her chilling smile on her "innocent" face, Danny manifested the intense cruelty of O-Ren's personal bodyguard.

Whenever I go to a comic convention and see Danny's art, I love his ability to represent pop culture icons through very unique images (as you can see by the simple presentation of Gogo's skirt and bloody weapon).  I really enjoy his artwork and appreciate his unique eye of depicting characters.  If you want to see more of Danny's artwork, I encourage you to check out his website at http://artofdanny.com/

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tarantino Comics - Issue 45

Tonight's cover reveal is from Tarantino Comics #45 illustrated by Alex Sanchez at MegaCon 2014.

Inspired by Death Proof, this cover features a portrait of Stuntman Mike.  It's an eerie image, showing the mystery and complexity of the character.  Most recognizable is Mike's scar - A detail Alex does a terrific job emphasizing. 

The other notable feature is the cover's title.  Initially, the printed words of "Tarantino Films" bothered me quite a bit since I provide each artist a detailed page of instructions.  However, I realized the misprint resembled the essence of Grindhouse films.  Remembering the opening sequence of Death Proof, the movie was originally presented as Thunder Bolt until a black title card printed with the film's proper name was projected onto the silver screen.

Overall, I really enjoy Alex's art.  If you want to see more of his work, check out http://ironhed.tumblr.com/

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tarantino Comics - Issue 44

The final issue completed at Heroes Con 2013 was Tarantino Comics #44 illustrated by Kevin Mellon.

Inspired by Death Proof, this beautiful cover features Abernathy (Rosario Dawson) posing for the camera atop a 1972 Ford Mustang Grande.  In the film, there's a "quiet" interaction between the girls and Stuntman Mike at a convenience store.  This cover revels in that moment by showcasing the strength and beauty of Abernathy before joining in the quest for the Vanishing Point Dodge Challenger.  Kevin's detail of both actress and car are fantastic, transforming this pin-up into an absolute iconic cover image.  His presentation reminds me of a promotional shot for a movie lobby card, luring audiences into the theatre.

As you can see, Kevin is an phenomenal artist.  Even though he's not really drawing a Death Proof comic (which is unfortunate since he's great at drawing girls and cars), you get a sense of  similar theme in other projects of his including GearHead and Suicide Sisters.  To follow up on his latest posts, check out his blog at http://kevinmellon.blogspot.com/

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tarantino Comics - Issue 43

Happy Fourth of July!!! To celebrate our independence with a Kaboom, I present Tarantino Comics #43 illustrated by Bryan Mon at Heroes Con 2013.

Inspired by Kill Bill, Bryan created one of my favorite covers that captures the essence of EC Comics.  If you look at an old Wally Wood or Jack Davis cover, they're able to generate a lot of suspense and terror with their images.  Similarly, Bryan pulled off the same tension by keeping Beatrix's face hidden in the shadows while Vernita Green is holding a box of Kaboom Cereal.  Along with fantastic and colorful art, Bryan's title banner is beautifully accompanied by amazing font.

If you can't tell from this image, Bryan is a terrific artist.  In all of my sketchbooks, I have at least one Bryan Mon sketch.  He's a versatile illustrator whose style is reminiscent to the golden age, drawing anything from pin-up girls to classic cartoon characters.  I highly recommend you check out his comic character - Tuff-Girl and lookup his blog at http://monotonae.blogspot.com/