Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tarantino Comics - Issue 17

Issues ago in Tarantino Comics #5, Mr. Blonde is proudly holding the ear of Marvin Nash. But in Tarantino Comics #17, we no longer see a sinister smile, but a tortured man who is beaten, gagged, and covered in blood:

Inspired from Reservoir Dogs, Chris Dibari drew this cover at the 2011 CGS Super Show. Danielle Soloud (who drew Issue #11) mentioned Chris would be great in my book and I'm glad I listened to her. He is an awesome artist and a great guy. While he was drawing, we had some fun conversations ranging from comics to movies.

Chris has a gritty art style that I enjoy very much. In this particular piece, his line work is sharply drawn and perfectly complimented by the dripping red blood. Also, Chris' blood splattered "Tarantino Comics" logo may be my favorite design thus far.

So if you see Chris at a comic convention, be sure to say hi. Also check out his work at Cadence Comic Art, where my favorite piece for sale is The Exorcist Pinup.

I hope you enjoyed this week's piece and be sure to come back next week for another issue of Tarantino Comics!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Drive Angry - Without the 3D Please!

Ever since Planet Terror and Death Proof, I've been dying for some more contemporary Exploitation Cinema. Luckily we've been blessed with Machete and Hobo With A Shotgun, but I'm still waiting for Thanksgiving and Werewolf Women of the SS. But in the meantime, although not part of the "Grindhouse Branding," Patrick Lussier's 2011 film Drive Angry provides a wild ride of cars, sex, guns, and a touch of the supernatural.

Milton (played by Nicolas Cage) is a perplexing man on a mission to rescue his dead daughter's baby from a crazy Satanic cult. Although he is quick with a gun and cool with the women, he doesn't have any wheels to chase after the bad guys... until he meets Piper (played by Amber Heard), the hot blond with a Dodge Charger. Adding to the cat and mouse games, a mysterious man called The Accountant (played by William Fichtner) is after Milton to collect his soul. With dark forces and bullets surrounding his goal, will Milton be able to save his granddaughter?

This flick is filled with intense action. I was on the edge of my seat when Cage was rescuing Heard in the Charger while she was to struggling to stay alive on a speeding RV with nothing but her bare hands. And you couldn't help but be mesmerized when Cage is unloading bullets into lowlifes whilst banging a waitress. Although I was not expecting a supernatural element to the film, it was a nice twist that added more depth to the film. With a gun called the "God Killer" and Fichtner's enigmatic, yet likable character The Accountant, this movie takes you to Hell and back.

Overall, I really enjoyed this film. It provides mindless entertainment with mind-blowing action. My only complaint of the film is the 3D effects. They were unnecessary, looked fake, and added no value to the film. This is just another example of Hollywood being greedy with their money. With all hokey effects aside, Amber Heard more than makes up for the mistake. Me being a fan of brunettes, she is a blond I wouldn't mind seeing in the back of my Charger or Chevelle someday...

So on Death List Five, Drive Angry ranks #3.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Killer - Woo Makes the Gun a Viable Substitute for the Sword

Other than Mission: Impossible II, I haven't watched a lot of John Woo films. His story of Ethan Hunt differs from De Palma's and Abrams', but you can't discount the fact it's jam-packed with action. So, if you're looking for another shoot 'em up, watch John Woo's 1989 classic, The Killer.

With guns a blazing, Ah Jong (played by Chow Yun Fat) is a hired assassin working for the Triad. After accidentally blinding a beautiful girl during a hit, Ah Jong wishes to leave his trade and restart a new life with the girl he impaired. However, with the crime boss after his life and the police wanting to put him away, will Ah Jong be able to get away with his earnings and restore his love interest's vision?

If you dig deep, The Killer is filled symbolism, drama, and romance. But as we all know, the reason we're going to watch this film is for the high energy ballistics. A suspension of disbelief is required because the rate at which Chow Yun Fat unloads his rounds, he'll be out of ammo in 2 seconds. But with squibs bursting, glass breaking, and cars chasing, you don't care. It's like watching Beatrix fighting the Crazy 88 but with her sword replaced with firearms (although Chow does get one good knife kill).

As of late, I'm trying to expand my horizons by watching more Asian cinema. Because of Tarantino's interest in exploitation, I've watched a few Kung Fu flicks and heavily enjoyed them. Luckily, the Weinstein Company and Genius Products started a joint venture called Dragon Dynasty to help distribute more of these films to an American audience. I have a few other blu-ray's from this film line and will eventually review them. So if you're interested in what Dragon Dynasty has to offer, check their website at:

Overall, I had a lot of fun with The Killer. And because of it, I will watch more John Woo films like Hard Boiled and his American hit, Face/Off.

So on Death List Five, The Killer ranks #3.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Suspiria - A Movie to Compliment my Dancing Phobia

For whatever reason, I've always been scared of dancing. I enjoy music, but my body cannot translate rhythm into physical motions. I've always been a wallflower unless a pretty girl convinces me to come out to the dance floor. Because of this dancing phobia, I've always been disinterested in dance movies... until I saw Black Swan.

Natalie Portman made me realize the art of ballet is quite fascinating - It involves a harsh lifestyle that tests the limits of the mind and body. After watching Black Swan, I have utmost respect for dancers and started watching classic musicals such as the Red Shoes and Singing in the Rain. My excitement for musicals has faded since, but my little sister reinvigorated my interest in the art form after watching her dance recital last weekend. However, I've been wanting to watch a horror movie as well, so I decided to go back and watch one of those TCM Underground films I could barely stay awake to - Suspiria (When I fell asleep, it wasn't because the movie was boring, but because I had a long day at work)

Suspiria is a 1977 Italian Giallo horror film by Dario Argento. When American Suzy Bannion (played by Jessica Harper) arrives at a German Dance Academy, she is greeted by a distressed girl who is whispering and fleeing from the school. Although Suzy couldn't make out what the girl was whispering, she knows things aren't right - She suffers from sickness, people around her are mysteriously murdered, and the school is possibly run by a coven of witches. Will Suzy be able to survive this house of horror and uncover the truth behind the fleeing girl's whisper?

Stylistically, this is a beautiful movie. The sets are crafted with extraordinary colors and architecture. Although most of the scenery is covered with wallpaper I'd never put up in my house, it suits the antiquity of the film. Another unique feature is the lighting. Colorful lights illuminate the screen and switch like a traffic light, informing the audience how their mood should change throughout the film.

Although this movie has an artistic flair, we have to remember it is a horror film. The death scenes are horrific, containing nooses, razor blades, and dog bites. Before the deaths occur, the musical score by Goblin starts to play, having a similar sound to Tubular Bells from The Exorcist. However this music is more frightening because it contains foreign sounds and creepy whispers in the background.

My favorite horror movie as of late is House of the Devil. Ti West's film isn't set in a dance studio (although it has an awesome dancing scene), but there are some similarities between the films. They both feature beautiful brunettes who have to enter and survive a haunted house. Both protagonists encounter brutal and bloody deaths. Finally, both pictures have creepy old witches that will give you nightmares.

This film doesn't contain as much dancing as Black Swan (although Natalie Portman was rumored at one time to star in a remake of Suspiria), but it's still artistically haunting to watch. Suspiria isn't for everyone, but if you are a lover of horror, you will enjoy this flick.

So on Death List Five, Suspiria ranks #4.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tarantino Comics - Issue 16

Finally! I got some Jackie Brown Love! Issue #16 of Tarantino Comics was drawn by Julian Lytle at the 2011 CGS Super Show:

Julian is a fantastic pop artist and really shows his talent in this piece. He beautifully depicts Jackie Brown stashing money in her flight attendant jacket. The cover also co-features Ordell Robbie, reminding readers he is always watching his investments. And to top it all off, his tag-line on the cover is priceless: "Jolting Tales of Double Crosses and Murder!!! In the Tarantino Tradition!"

If you've ever listened to the Comic Geek Speak podcast, you'll recognize Julian as a regular caller from his clever rants and entertaining opinions. If you ever meet him at a show, be sure to stop by and talk with him. Not only is he a fan of comics, but he is a huge lover of pop culture. For example, while he was drawing Pam Grier, we had a great discussion of the dangerously attractive Santana (Naya Rivera) from Glee...

Be sure to check out Julian's work and his web-comic Ants at:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tarantino Comics - Issue 15

The last two months have been filled with awesome comic conventions and I haven't reported on any of it! For now, I will at least present the latest issue of Tarantino Comics:

Tarantino Comics #15 was created in two parts. At the 2011 CGS Super Show, Miguel Jorge penciled and inked this awesome cover. Miguel saw my sketchbook at the 2010 Super Show and has been waiting to do a cover since then. Before Miguel started the commission, we discussed ideas he could illustrate. When I mentioned the possibility of the Reservoir Dogs crew walking from breakfast, Miguel said he had to do it. And I'm glad he did, as his likenesses of each character is spot on. As I look at the cover, I can hear Little Green Bag by The George Baker Selection in the background. Miguel is a super humble guy and is very talented. He is an artist based out of Portugal, so check out his art at:

The second portion of this cover was just completed last weekend at Heroes Con in North Carolina. At the show, you have tons of artists, including colorists, so I decided to give it a try and had this cover colored by Brian Reber. Overall, his color scheme was simple, but by keeping the characters black and white, their likenesses stand out even more. A lot more work goes into coloring than one may imagine. If you want to see more of Brian's work, visit:

Stay tuned, as I should be back in a week for another issue of Tarantino Comics!

Friday, June 10, 2011

2011 California Dreams Tour - Why I Love Katy Perry

So it's been a couple of weeks since I've last posted and it figures I'm about to write about something that will make me lose my "Tarantino Card": Katy Perry.

Last night, Katy Perry performed at the UCF Arena for her California Dreams Tour. Yes, most of the audience was teenage girls and gay couples, but I still enjoyed it and totally recommend everyone to see Katy perform at least once in their lifetime. The concert was very theatrical and followed the story of Katy who lives in a colorless world wasting life cutting meat for a disgusting butcher. One night, Katy escapes her boring reality by falling asleep and visits a vibrant "Candy Land" in search for her pet cat, "Kitty Purry." Along her journey, Katy encounters many interesting characters such as a personified slot machine named "Slot," Mimes who feed her pot brownies, and her love interest, the Baker Boy. As Katy travels through this fantasy world, she performs her songs, with a set-list consisting of:
  1. Teenage Dream
  2. Hummingbird Heartbeat
  3. Waking Up In Vegas
  4. You're So Gay
  5. Peacock
  6. I Kissed A Girl
  7. Circle The Drain
  8. E.T.
  9. Who Am I Living For
  10. Pearl
  11. Not Like The Movies
  12. Only Girl (Rhianna cover)
  13. Big Pimping (Jay-Z cover)
  14. Friday (Rebecca Black cover)
  15. Whip My Hair (Willow cover)
  16. Thinking Of You
  17. Hot N Cold
  18. Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)
  19. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Whitney Houston cover)
  20. Firework
  21. California Gurls
Katy Perry is a part of our pop culture with her whimsical sets, costumes, and lyrics. If I were to pick a favorite piece from last night's show, it has to be Hot N Cold - Not only is it my favorite Katy song but it had amazing costume changes in a similar fashion to the magician couple from America's Got Talent. By the vibration in the stands, you could tell the crowd favorites included Waking Up in Vegas, E.T., I Kissed a Girl, Firework, and Peacock.

Katy also showed she is more than an entertainer, but a musician as well. She played Thinking of You with her glittery guitar, swinging above the crowd in her "Cotton Candy Cloud." Katy also performed some acoustic covers of her favorite songs on the radio, including the annoying (yet hilarious) Friday by Rebecca Black.

Overall, I enjoyed the show and would definitely see Katy again when she visits "Whorlando" (a new name for Orlando coined by Katy herself). Although you usually won't find pop music on my play-lists, Katy Perry is a guilty pleasure and on my Top Five of Most Beautiful Women. Her music has enough "rock and roll" to keep me entertained and her personality is cute and quirky enough to keep me intrigued. Hopefully the next time she's in town, I get pulled on stage for a kiss as I won't mind whether her hair is black or blue.

So on Death List Five, Katy Perry's 2011 California Dreams concert ranks #5.

Now that I have this off my chest, please stay tuned in the very near future as I redeem my "Tarantino Card" by sharing some long awaited covers to Tarantino Comics!