Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween & Green Arrow

Finally just sat down and watched the mini-documentary on Green Arrow that's in the new Smallville DVD set. Loved it (and not just because I'm yapping in it). Just seeing Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams talking about their approach...I was all goosepimply. There are times where comics/novels seem like nothing more than entertainment and rantings on message boards. And times where they remind you they're history. The latter is so much better.. Especially when compared to the guy from Germany who sent me back a copy of The Book of Fate (called Der Code there) with all sorts of curses and insults written on the covers, and telling me how much I suck.



Also, send in your best Halloween pics. I love seeing what everyone's going as. Like I told my wife, the Black Canary costume has BLOND hair with the fishnets.



She won't listen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Green Lantern Film

Been getting lots of email about the Green Lantern movie since all three principals are Jack & Bobby people. So stop panicking. Michael and Marc will no doubt be doing the good stuff with the ring slinging. If you don't believe me, check out their current runs on Batman Confidential and Wolverine. I can't wait for it. Very excited about all.




GREG BERLANTI TO DIRECT GREEN LANTERN FILM



DC Comics’ Flash has apparently gotten some love in regards to making the leap to the big screen, and now, according to Variety, the Flash’s pal, Green Lantern is making the move as well, with Greg (Dirty Sexy Money, Brothers & Sisters) Berlanti named by the trade as the director for the film.



Berlanti will write the script for the film with Marc (Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man under exclusive contract to Marvel, Brothers & Sisters) Guggenheim and Michael (Heroes) Green. Donald De Line will produce, with Andrew Haas named as executive producer.



For the director, this will be his second film – he directed The Broken Hearts Club in 2000.



As with many DC Comics characters, Green Lantern has had a long slog to get to this point – many attempts on the character have been rumored to be in the works over the past years, including a more comedic take with actor Jack Black in the title role.



No word was given as to which Green Lantern will be featured in the film, but, given the recent revamp and return of Hal Jordan to the role, the test pilot introduced in 1959’s Showcase #22 would be the best bet, beating out Alan Scott, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner.



Berlanti told The Hollywood Reporter: "To me, this was on the last great comic book movie that hasn’t been made. It was a comic book with a real mythology that you would see in a lot of the space operas and the sci-fi books. The best part about it, anybody can be become one of the Green Lanterns because anyone can end up with that ring.”



And the Reporter confirms that the film will be about Jordan, adding that the director originally pitched a series of GL movies to Warner Bros., the first being the origin story, showing how Jordan became a member of the Green Lantern Corps.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Breaking In As A Writer

When Doris Lessing was told she won the Nobel Prize for her novels, her response? "I couldn't care less."


I love her for that. I love anyone that acknowledges how arbitrary and silly and snobby the literature crowd can be. Indeed, my goal has always been to take the barriers down and to let everyone in -- treating everyone -- and all genres (including snob lit, thrillers, and comics) -- equally. And that's why I love this story below.


I remember when Geoff told me it right after it happened. And I remember saying, "Good for you for taking care of the new guy." I tried very much the same this past summer, and I know my guy will be there soon. So to all the writers out there, I believe.


From Newsarama:




WHO IS STERLING GATES? MEETING THE NEW DC WRITER
by Vaneta Rogers



When the solicitation was first released for this week's Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime #1, the response to the writers listed for the comic was pretty universal. "Who is Sterling Gates?"



The unknown writer was listed as a co-writer on the comic along with Geoff Johns because Gates penned the issue's back-up story, a Tales of the Sinestro Corps installment titled, "Fear is a Baby's Cry!" Everyone knew who Johns was, but nobody had heard the name Sterling Gates before.



Then when we interviewed Johns on Newsarama a few weeks ago about the Sinestro Corps War, the writer kept bringing up this guy Sterling Gates again, even mentioning his work on an upcoming Secret Files issue, which sure enough had Gates listed as a co-writer again. And the questions about the mysterious writer continued.



Now it's time to put the mystery to rest. Newsarama tracked down Gates and found out that his story is one most fans will envy terribly, yet one that anyone who's been to a comic convention can completely identify with. Much like the story told in our recent interview with Matt Yocum, another unknown writer given a chance over at Marvel after literally buying time with Joe Quesada, Gates has a unique story of being "discovered" by a generous comics creator – this one involving a drunk friend, an ice cream sundae and a few awkward encounters with Geoff Johns.



Newsarama: When people saw the solicitation, you know what they said. "Who the hell is Sterling Gates?"



Sterling Gates: [laughs] That was my favorite internet post of all time.



NRAMA: You saw that one too, huh?



SG: I did. I did.



NRAMA: Have you written any comics before? Or are you completely new to the industry?



SG: I did some self-published work in college. Some autobiographical, slice-of-life kind of stuff that I wrote and drew – but this is my first foray into the "big leagues" of comicdom.



NRAMA: But you grew up around comics, right?



SG: Sure. My dad owned a comic book store in Tulsa, Okla., called Sooner Books and Comics, which was this really, really tiny used book store, but we had a big comics section. We owned that for over 10 years, and we finally closed in 1998. And so, yeah, comics were always sort of there and a part of my life from about age 7 onward. They were just around our house everywhere. We had a garage full of comics for as long as I could remember and I would sit and read them for hours, then sneak them under the covers and read them in bed.



And when I got to college, I started working part-time at my local comics store, Speeding Bullet Books and Comics in Norman, Okla.



NRAMA: When you went to college at University of Oklahoma, what was it you wanted to do?



SG: I earned a degree in Fine Arts with a specialization in film and television production. That said, my professors used to get really annoyed because everything I did, I wanted to relate to comics somehow. Like my capstone thesis wasn't about film or television so much as about sequential art theory and relating time theory in comics to our training in film and television. I must've referenced Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics a hundred times in that paper! [laughs]



NRAMA: So you got out of college with this degree, and you ended up in L.A., right?



SG: Well, I worked a little for the Oklahoma Film and Music Commission for about six months and for Speeding Bullet on the weekends, and then one day, some friends and I were talking over dinner, and I said, "So, we've all graduated. What are we going to do with our lives?" And nobody had a good answer. And I said, "Well, I'm going to fly to L.A. next week and get us a lease and we're moving." Then, over Christmas break we said goodbye to everyone we knew, 'cause no one thought they'd see us ever again. Like, I really think everyone thought L.A . was like the 'Welcome to the Jungle' video, and we'd all get off the bus and be robbed and murdered right there on the street. [laughs]



So on New Year's Day 2006, we packed up a U-Haul and we started going west.



NRAMA: But you had no job.



SG: I had nothing. Nothing. I had three months rent, a degree and a prayer. I was going to take over the world!



And then I moved out here and completely shut down for about six weeks. [laughs] Horrible depression. It was just such a culture shock. I just sat on the couch and watched Gilmore Girls reruns for six weeks. And then my friend called and said, "I'm going to go up to San Francisco to WonderCon. Want to come?"



NRAMA: Ah... here comes the story.



SG: You know where this is going. [laughs]



NRAMA: You met somebody in the comics industry that gave you a chance. How did it happen?



SG: On Saturday night at the con, my friend and I went out to dinner, and he tried to sort of hit on our waitress. And she totally rejected him -- rightfully so, I might add. And we went to this bar to console him. We get pretty liquored up, there was a lot of consoling to be done, and go back to the hotel. In the lobby were Geoff Johns and Steve Wacker. They were leaving the hotel as we were coming in. And my friend had a conniption and freaked, freaked out. He's a huge Geoff Johns fan. And he started literally singing praises to him. The Marriott lobby there is this huge echoing structure, so every word he said, I think everyone in every room could hear. It was really, really embarrassing.



I wanted to sober him up, so we walked over to Mel's Diner around the corner. We get there and Geoff and Steve are there, and they recognize us from the hotel from five minutes prior. So that was really awkward.



NRAMA: They were waiting for their table, right?



SG: Yeah. They were waiting outside, and we kind of awkwardly struck up a conversation. And they politely answered our questions and asked us a few back. I told them about how I just moved to L.A., and it turned out that Geoff and I shopped at the same comics shop, DJ's Universal, so we talked about that. We said our "good-byes" and our "nice-to-meet-you's" and then the host sat them, and then came back and sat us at the table literally right next to theirs. A table maybe five inches from their table. And we kind of all looked at each other and I thought, "Can this get more awkward? I doubt it."



But then it did, because Cody, my fantastically drunk friend, every couple seconds, would shield his face from their view with his menu and whisper to me, "Sterling! It's Geoff Johns!!"



NRAMA: They probably thought you were stalkers! [laughs]



SG: Well, yeah! [laughs] I'm surprised they didn't file restraining orders right then and there. And so we went through this whole dinner, and I finally told my friend not to say anything to them and for us to just get out of there because it was so weird. So, the waitress came with our check, and feeling like I should kind of make up for my friend, I got Geoff and Steve's check. I didn't tell them, I just grabbed their check and went out and paid it.



I came back and said, "Guys, it was awesome to meet you. Sorry about my drunk friend. I paid for your dinner. I'll see you at the con tomorrow. Have a great night." And literally, without missing a beat, Geoff looks up from his sundae and says, "Do you want a job?" And Wacker goes, "…What?" And Geoff had Steve give me his card, and told me to email Steve my resume.



NRAMA: That seems like an awfully nice way to respond to an awkward situation! So he knew you were looking for a job?



SG: Yeah, we had kind of loosely chatted about the fact that I'd moved to L.A. and had this degree and didn't have a job yet. I think he kind of, in the back of his head, knew I was looking. But it was pure luck. I emailed in my resume, and I got a call the next week from Blade: The Series. They were hiring for a production assistant for the writers room, and I think Geoff just thought, I'll see if this kid can make the interview. And I went in and interviewed with the entire writing staff, all at once, like a huge roundtable interview.



And I got the job.



NRAMA: You got a job in television because you stalked Geoff Johns at a comics convention. [laughs]



SG: [laughs] Oh, come on. I think stalking is too hard a word. It was just accidentally running into him over and over and over.



NRAMA: It was fate.



SG: Yeah! It was the fickle finger of fate!



NRAMA: So what does a writer's room production assistant do?



SG: Anything anyone asks! I would get the most random requests. My basic duties were making sure everyone had food, and I did script distribution and, you know, stocking basic office things. I drove back and forth to New Line's Television Department all the time. One day I had to find Dodge Chargers on the Internet for Blade to wreck. The next I had to research everything I could about Baron Blood.



NRAMA: For this you went to college, right?



SG: I think everyone, especially in this town, has to start somewhere, and it's always on the bottom rung.



NRAMA: Wait. This all sounds oddly familiar. This story. You know that, right?



SG: Uh... you mean Geoff and [Richard] Donner?



NRAMA: Yeah, because this is Geoff's story you're telling. He took off to L.A. with a group of friends after graduating from college with a film degree. He had no job and too little money. He lucked out getting a job as a P.A. and ended up as Donner's assistant. Then ended up writing comics. Same story. And now you're Geoff's assistant and writing comics. You became Geoff's assistant when Blade ended, right?



SG: Yeah, after Blade was unceremoniously canceled. At the end of the first season, we knew it wasn't coming back. Geoff had written a movie called Naughty or Nice with Matt Senreich from Robot Chicken, and they were interested in producing that film. Once they started moving on it, and once Seth [Green] got involved, things really started to go. Geoff called me on a Sunday and said, "Look, I don't know what you're doing post-Blade, but I need an assistant for this movie. Come on and do that." How do you say no to Geoff Johns? So that's where I am today!



NRAMA: OK, let's fast forward to this comic that just came out this week. How did you go from, "I majored in film and television, I'm working in film and television, so I'm going to pitch to DC." How did that happen?



SG: I really wanted to be a television writer when I moved out. And working in the writer's room on Blade, I was talking a lot about ideas I had, not just for Blade but all sorts of other shows. So Geoff knew I was interested in writing.



One day, we were talking about comics, and I said, "You know, I used to write comics in college." I hadn't told him that ever before, because when you're around Geoff Johns, you don't just blurt out, "Hey! You write comics! I've written some, too!" But he said, "Really? Can I read some?" And I gave a little nervous laugh and said, "Um, sure, you can read my comics…Geoff…Johns…" [laughs]



I had a couple up on the internet and I sent those to him. And he gave them a read and said they were really great. He asked if I wanted to write comics, and I said I would love to write comics. I would kill to write comics! And that was over a year ago, and nothing seemed to come of it. I thought it was just an idle conversation. I figured I'd just still pursue writing TV and feature scripts and that was fine.



But then, once Sinestro Corps really started taking off, I really got inspired by it and wrote up a pitch for five or six different Sinestro Corps members' stories and brought them in to work. And I said, "I know this is really weird, but can you read these?" He read them and said, "These are awesome. Let me send these in to [editor] Eddie Berganza and we'll see if maybe we can get some of these stories told." So, a whirlwind trip later, and my first story hits this week.



NRAMA: Let's talk about the story. It's about Kryb. She was first seen in the pages of the Sinestro Corps Special. Why did you pick her?



SG: Ethan [Van Sciver]'s designs are incredible. He is a genius, especially with his designs for the Sinestro Corps and all the different aliens and creatures. They're incredible. I started looking at that spread in the middle of Sinestro Corps Special #1, and I realized that the one that instantly visually scared the crap out of me was Kryb. Her collection of babies is one of the scariest things I can think of, because where did they all come from? Where do you find that many babies? And so I started thinking about that, and the things that frighten me. One of the most visceral basic threats, I think, and one of our biggest fears is the threat to family. So it clicked. Kryb targets certain, special children across the galaxy and uses them to instill great fear in their parents.



NRAMA: It's a really creepy read. You have a very twisted mind.



SG: Thanks. Wait, is that a compliment? [laughs]



NRAMA: And on your first published work at DC, you got to work with Jerry Ordway! How was that?



SG: Jerry's amazing. I really think he's one of the best pencillers of all time. He's so good. When I found out he was doing my story, I really freaked out. You know that scene at the end of 40 Year Old Virgin where everyone's singing 'Aquarius' and dancing and stuff? That's what I did. [laughs] I was really, really psyched.



NRAMA: Going forward, are you writing more things? Are we going to see your name again?



SG: The next thing, and I think it's hitting stands December 19th, is the Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps Secret Files that Geoff and I are co-writing. For all accounts and purposes, it's a Who's Who of all the Green Lanterns -- even all the dead ones. And we cover all of the Sinestro Corps, too. So it's like 250 guys in a 54-page comic, which is the most bang for your buck you can possibly get.



Also in that Secret Files is a Tales of the Green Lantern Corps story I wrote revealing the origin of the Green Lantern crypt-keeper, Morro. Joe Prado did some wonderful art for it, just did a bang-up job on it.



And I'd also like to take a quick second here and thank Eddie Berganza and Adam Schlagman, who've been working extra hard putting together this Green Lantern Secret Files. Those guys are fantastic, and I really appreciate their efforts to get it made. Oh, and a super special thanks to Eddie Berganza, for giving me a chance to tell Kryb's story. Eddie rules. Period. [laughs]



NRAMA: What does your family think of this?



SG: I called my mom way, way early in the process and told her I was going to be doing some comics stuff. She said, "Oh, that's amazing. Your father would be so proud of you, God rest his soul." But I didn't tell her anything after that because I knew it would be a much bigger impact if one day she opened the door to a Fed Ex box full of comics with my name on them. And so, I've neglected to tell her anything at all about it. So, no one tell her. [laughs] Anyone reading this, please don't tell my mom until after Superman-Prime #1 hits the stands and I have a chance to send it to her.



NRAMA: So she'll see it Thursday?



SG: Yeah, I'm going to overnight it to her, so she'll get it Thursday morning.



NRAMA: With all the experience of being around writers at Blade and working with Geoff, do you think you've grown as a writer?



SG: Absolutely! We had some of the best writers in television on Blade. Dan Truly, David Goyer. Some very, very talented guys to be around and learn from. And Geoff's been very interested in seeing me grow as a writer. I kind of wonder if he sees -- especially given the parallels between how we got our start-- a little of himself in me. Not that I would ever claim to be as good a writer as Geoff! The man's legendary. [laughs] But, I think Geoff really cares about fostering good writers and hopefully, knock on wood, he sees a good one in me and would like to see me continue to grow.



NRAMA: There really are way too many similarities in your stories.



SG: The creepy thing is, I found out about Jerry Ordway, and I went into Geoff's office, and I said, "I got Jerry Ordway on 'Baby's Cry'!!" And he said, "Wow, Jerry Ordway gave me my start in comics, too." Little did anyone know, but the first thing Geoff ever had published was a Jerry Ordway interview he did for Comic Shop News. And he said, "It's kind of come full circle. That's so weird." And he's right, it's bizarre.



But you know, it's also very cool. It's really, as someone who's living this life, it's odd to see parallels between what's happening to me and what happened to someone whose work I really admire and respect. And I think, as both my and Geoff's cases show, you really have to make that decision to take the plunge and follow a dream. It might not always work out exactly how you thought it would, but hey, seeing just how it works out is half the adventure!



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Junot Diaz

Been rooting for him since my first publisher Rob Weisbach told me about him years ago. This means even more. You know the highbrow/lowbrow debate gets me more riled than just about anything. As do "literary" snobs who want to use and embrace comics, but refuse to lower themselves to go into a comic shop and buy anything current. So Diaz is officially my new hero.



(full article on Newsarama)



JD: Well, I know I’m going to get slammed for this…you know what? I’m just going to get into it.



I think the problem is that when you see literary people sort of dabbling in comic books, it’s kind of uni-directional. In other words, we literary types can go dabble in comic books, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’re still considered “high literary” writers. We can go through and rummage through this material and talk about supervillains, and we’ll still get nominated for Pulitzers and other awards.



Now…the same thing really ain’t true when you’re a comic book artist. Let’s say you’re a comic book artist, you draw superhero comics. It’s not like your average Superman artist (at least at this moment) going to gain mainstream literary acceptance doing comic books. In other words, I dream of a day when the guy who’s writing the Hulk is up for a Pulitzer, and not just the literary writer who jumps in and writes a novel about the Hulk.



It’s almost as if the literary writers have an American passport, and we can go into the third world of comic books any time we want, and we can come back fine. But comic book writers are like holding passports from North Korea, and when they try to enter the pearly gates of the high literary nation, they’re always stopped and blocked and stripped and denied access.



It’s an interesting thing. I think this kind of mashup between high and low culture is good, but I don’t want anybody to hide the privilege and the power that one has over the other. Michael Chabon writes a book about comic books and everyone’s on his jock, but Michael Chabon is never going to be competing with the poor guy who’s writing Sinestro Corps for an award of high literary merit. And I’m like, “Why not?”



There are superhero comic books – and I know people will laugh at this – there are superhero comic books that are as strong as the literature that’s given awards! There’s just this kind of bias against these people being on the same fuckin’ award table, you know?


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Video Games

I hope they catalog the old invisible dot from Atari's Adventure (still the first great Easter egg ever). Also, anybody ever hear of an old Commodore 64 game called Impossible Mission, with a hero who would do flips over everything? Even better than a night of bootlegged Zaxxon and Castlevania.


And just for the record, my old bulletin board name was Nightwing. Don't laugh. I was 13.



Library of Congress to begin cataloging video games
via Digg on 10/22/07



The Library of Congress is teaming up with major universities across the country to begin a 2-year initiative with the sole intent of figuring out just how institutions can preserve video games for years to come, while making the content accessible for use and study.


Friday, October 19, 2007

State Of The Industry

Heidi is really good at this sort of temperature taking. I'm not sure I agree that only 2 series still exist (Ex Machina is one more that jumps to mind). And I also don't think that you can blow off Wildstorm and the imprints. Especially when some of their titles are exactly what's working. But well worth the insightful read.


Something is coming...


And my belief? It's the next turnover of creators. Always happens. Out with the old, in with the new. The kids have the steering wheel. Watch.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Meeting Your Heroes

I never met Jim Henson. Or Mr. Rogers. Or Will Eisner (who I was asked to do an event with, and I sadly missed the opportunity). But I did finally get to meet Jerry Robinson. He's not a hero because he created the Joker, or named Robin, or any of the creative stuff. He's a hero because he fought for Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to get credit for creating Superman. And he still fights for Bill Finger as a true co-creator of Batman.



And so...highlights from last night's event:



  • Robinson telling the story of reading Dark Knight and seeing Robinson Park -- and not realizing it was named for him.
  • Any story he told of the old artists and writers cramped in some old room (at DC, he sat next to Kirby, Siegel, Shuster, etc).
  • Bill Finger's granddaughter showing up at the event
  • Seeing the original art from many of the WWII Superman covers (including the one with the eagle perched on his arm).
  • And the oh-so-impossible feeling that I was somehow a tiny part of this twisted, incestuous, obsessive, introverted and spectacular world we call comics.

Thanks to those who came. Will try to get the video soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jerry Robinson, Rags & Bair

Tonight is the event I'm doing with Jerry Robinson and I have to say, my spidey-sense is going wild. I honestly haven't been this excited for an event since...I must've been fifteen. This man is a hero. And a pal in comics told me never to meet my heroes. That it always ruins it. But with this, I'm risking it. More back here tomorrow -- and I'm hoping that the video will be available.



Also, I always get asked about Rags and where he's been since Identity Crisis and Wonder Woman. Gossip no further. Rags and Bair are back. Back as a team. Back in comics. Back on Nightwing. They just sent me some early art and it's -- as always -- incredible. So so happy to see this going.



Event Details


Jerry Robinson & Brad Meltzer: Discussing the Past and Future of Comics


Where: The Jewish Museum Of Florida
301 Washington Avenue• Miami Beach • Florida 33139 (Google Map link)


When: Tuesday, October 16 at 7:30 PM


Monday, October 15, 2007

Meet Brad and Jerry Robinson Tomorrow Night

Last reminder (at least until tomorrow) -- and yes, of course, I'll sign anything you wanna bring.




Jerry Robinson & Brad Meltzer: Discussing the Past and Future of Comics


Where: The Jewish Museum Of Florida
301 Washington Avenue• Miami Beach • Florida 33139 (Google Map link)


When: Tuesday, October 16 at 7:30 PM




Also, let me plug one of my favorite interviewers -- and nicest guys around: Jim Hall, who does Cult Pop. You can even see me yapping away at www.cult-pop.com. Go. See. Fun.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

49-Up

Not sure how many of you like documentaries, but this may be my all-time favorite. Judd and I saw 35-up in college and fell in love with it immediately.


In Book of Fate, I wanted to show what it's like when life doesn't turn out how you planned. I have to believe this series beat some of those ideas into me. So go rent the full series from the start. Well worth it.



'7-Up' times 7 equals a complex look at midlife



By Peter Johnson, USA TODAY


When 7-Up, Michael Apted's documentary about kids from diverse backgrounds in England, first aired in 1964, childhood friends Sue, Jackie and Lynn voiced aspirations that probably were typical of working-class girls at the time: to find decent jobs and good husbands and make a go of it.



But in subsequent 7-Up films, in which Apted checked in with his subjects every seven years, showing flashbacks at each stage, the girls' initial half-dreamy, half-realistic hopes had been sharply altered by life's harsh realities.



By 42, Sue and Jackie were struggling single mothers. But Lynn, whose ambition had been to work at Woolworth's, had become a librarian.



That's the way life works, says Apted, whose seventh installment, 49-Up, airs tonight at 9 ET/PT on PBS' POV (times may vary; check local listings). "You can't have life all laid out and just walk through it."



In 49-Up, Sue seems happy, having finally found stability with Glen. Jackie lives in Scotland with her three boys. She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis but says wistfully that her public-housing neighbors remind her of the close-knit world of her youth in London's East End. Lynn, now a mother of two, is devastated that her job as a children's librarian — her life's work — may be abolished.



She complains bitterly on camera to Apted about how painful it is to have his cameras intrude on her. "It's too much." Jackie gets angry at him, too, calling some of his questions "insulting." Apted, off-camera, gently soothes her. "I like it when you shout at me."



Apted says maintaining a documentarian's emotional distance is virtually impossible with a project like this because he has known his subjects for more than four decades — "longer than I've known most people."



"I had to give up long ago the idea that this was some sort of objective, cool-eyed approach," he says. "What they do — putting their lives up for examination every seven years — is a very brave thing to do, and it gets more emotionally draining as the series continues." (Two bowed out, 12 remain.)



Apted, whose feature films include Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist and last year's Amazing Grace, checks in with his Up subjects once a year and, when he can, invites them to the film opening "so I'm not just asking them for something, I'm giving them something." But otherwise, he tries to keep his distance. "Some freshness, some objectivity is good."



Apted, 66, shot the first 7-Up when he was 22 and his subjects were youngsters. But as the years progressed, "our age differences diminished. I'm 15 years older than them, and 15 years can be a lifetime when you're in your 20s and 30s, but when you get to be our age, it's almost collegial."



49-Up is "made with great affection. There's a tenderness to it which is wonderful," says Simon Kilmurry, POV's executive director. "One of the greatest achievements of the film is that you have grown old with these people and you grow up with them."



Apted says he relates most to Nick, a farmer's son who, at age 7, wanted to learn about the moon. He's now an engineering professor in Wisconsin. "We both left our roots and tried to build our careers here."



Apted is impressed by Tony, a would-be jockey at 7 who worked most of his life as a London cabby and now has a vacation home in Spain. "He's done pretty well for himself and his family."



Apted draws no grand conclusions, but "one thing I've learned is that a 7-year-old personality probably doesn't change that much. If you're an extrovert at age 7, you're probably still going to be that, and vice versa."


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Simone Bianchi Interview

The best part of this is that the ONLY artist DC didn't let me approach for JLA 0 was Simone Bianchi. At that point, I'd just seen his 7 Soldiers stuff and said, "He's the next big gun. We have to get him." And that day, I heard he left for Marvel. I still give Loeb crap for stealing him away.



One day...



Full interview with him here.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Jon Stewart v. Hardball

Silly and small, but here's what's right in the world right now. Someone calling out what politics has become.



YouTube link

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Jerry Robinson & Brad Meltzer: Discussing the Past and Future of Comics

Where: The Jewish Museum Of Florida (301 Washington Avenue• Miami Beach • Florida 33139)


When: Tuesday, October 16 at 7:30 PM



This is going to be a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing all those that can attend. For those of you who don't know about Jerry Robinson, see below.




Jerry Robinson was a pioneer in comic art and began his cartooning career in 1939 illustrating the Batman comic books for which he create "The Joker," comics' first supervillain, and named Batman's partner "Robin," even designing his costume. He curated the exhibit, Zap! Pow! Bam! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books 1938-1950 which opens at the Museum on October 16.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My Agent's Agent

Why do I love Randy and Jason Sklar? Because we went to college together? Yes. Because they helped me win "Mr. Greek Week" by writing a comedy bit for me made completely of sock puppets? Yes (swear). And also because they do genius stuff like Cheap Seats (ESPN Classic), and their new web series LAYERS, about a Hollywood agent who only represents other LA agents? Natch.



So please do go and check out LAYERS. The first episode was just posted on www.superdeluxe.com (which seems to be screwy with it's Adobe Flash, but is well worth it when you get through).



Time Out NY picked it as one of three web series to watch this fall, and Variety editor, Cynthia Littleton praised it too. Anything that screws with agents is beautiful.