REACH was great!

just a quick thanks to everyone who attended the REACH artshow in dallas this past weekend! you all made me feel like a real superstar! i made good money at the show, and met tons of cool people!

if i can get my hands on some good photos, i'll post them here.



p.s. make sure you bounce over to and thank them for having me!

boonDocks/tupac fusion!

okay, i'm not the biggest 2Pac fan, but i think 2Pac -at his best- was a great communicator who put raw, naked emotion into his rhymes. and that's why people love him so much.

this YouTube joint by Priyal turns a Boondocks medley into a fresh new video for my favorite 2Pac song: Trapped (from Pac's debut plate, 2Pacalypse Now). oh yeah, and it has a samurai with an afro in an adidas suit...



Where there's Smoke, theres's FIRE!

it took me awhile, but i finally got around to seeing Smokin' Aces recently... HO-LEE-CRAP! this is my favorite big-budget movie in a long while! the movie has a fabulous cast, a mixed bag of character actors, veterans, and newcomers (including the big screen debuts of both Common and Alicia Keys) scrambling around to find a spot in a crazy story reminiscent of Snatch or Pulp Fiction. speaking of stories, this one revolves around Vegas magician-turned Vegas gangster-turned Vegas snitch Aces Israel played intriguingly and economically by Jeremy Piven (Entourage, Runaway Jury, Family Man) that just about EVERYBODY else in the movie wants dead!

without telling the whole movie: Aces is about to narc, and in so doing, bring down the entire Vegas mob. the reigning boss doesn't take kindly to this of course, and is offering seven figures to whoever brings him Israel's heart... literally! in order to snitch, Aces has jumped his bond on lesser charges, so in addition to having mad mobsters and freelance hitters gunning for him, bounty hunter Jack Dupree (played by Ben Affleck [Good Will Hunting, Changing Lanes, Chasing Amy]) and his team of bodysnatchers have been tagged to bring in the most wanted man in America. all to the chagrin of FBI agents played by Ray Liotta (Goodfellas, Identity, Narc) and Ryan Reynolds (Van Wilder, Blade:Trinity), who just want to get the silly bastard to trial alive!

the small, colorful army of hired guns clapping for Israel includes the lovely and dynamic duo of Sharice Watters and Georgia Sykes, played to my delight by Taraji P. Henson (Hustle & Flow, Baby Boy, Four Brothers) and the magnificent Ms. Keys. the relationship between the militant, outspoken Sharice and the sultry, seductive Georgia would be fascinating even if they WEREN'T also flamboyent freelance assassins... and they are! they are just the tip of the iceberg of weirdos in this movie that is worthy of a comicbook treatment, but that's quite a beautiful tip...

i could be wrong, but Common may just be the coolest muthafucka alive! Rockin' the goat and the baldie, he was on some ghetto Morpheus shit as Israel's menacing bodyguard Ivy. oh! and stay for the end credits to hear what i assume is a new song by Common, which if i had to bet, i would say was produced by the late J.Dilla (but it coulda been Kanye)... whoever produced that joint, it was outta this world!!

maybe you've noticed, i barely said two words about Piven, who played the erstwhile Buddy Israel... well, he was awesome too, it's just he wasn't really onscreen much! while the flic revolves around him, Israel himself remains a mystery... most of the time, his character is coked out and emotionally blasted. everytime you think this cat is just a lucky scrub, he does something that makes you wonder "is this dude really that HARD that he can get out of this alive?"

anyways... watch this movie. and if you don't make it to the theatre, my man khalid already has it on dvd (bootleeeeeeeg!)

Dead Wrong Jugganaut Freestyle...

i like all kinds of hip hop... while i am generally into "conscious Rap," i do get ignorant now and then. which leads me to This Week's Cut: a freestyle by Dallas underground rapper Hollywood Cole, over the beat from Biggie Smalls' "Dead Wrong"... it was mixed by DJ WHIZ T (because if it isn't mixed by a DJ, it's not a mixtape, it's a compilation...) on Cole's "I'm The Juggernaut Bitch! Mixtape" inspired, of course, by the YouTube Classic of the same name, where two dudes turned down the sound on an episode of X-men and created an internet phenomenon, about mutants, pimpin', and bein' "the Baddest Muhfucka On the World..."

anyways, check that joint out, and if you dig it, buy Cole's mixtape...
it's ignorant... but still good.

the Kiss of Death

for the record: there ARE actually comics i read that DON'T get cancelled... NO FOR REAL!!! but as it turns out, NEXTWAVE is not one of them. yep... after just 12 issues, Nextwave went the way of the dodo, robert townsend, and redhead kingpin. i never saw it coming, and another comic i adored got the axe this month.
too bad too... this was the funniest book in all of comics! and it was being produced by Marvel (can you believe it?)?!! Nextwave was written by superscribe Warren Ellis (Authority, Global Frequency, Planetary, Thunderbolts) with art by Stuart Immomen (Hulk, Ultimate X-men, Secret Identity), and was easily and honestly the funniest superhero book since Giffen and Macguire's Justice League (Slott and Bobillo's She-Hulk was pretty funny too...). Ellis took a bunch of also-ran characters from marvel's d-list dungeon and put them together on a superhero team, apparently for the sole purpose of mocking all the crappy storylines and ill-concieved characters in the companies 60-odd years of making comics... and it's FREAKIN' HILARIOUS!!!
whether it's surmising about what's in Fin Fang Foom's giant shorts, the revalation that (former New Mutant, current Nextwave team member) Tabitha (aka Boom Boom) really doesn't think, Machine Man's obvious disdain for "fleshy ones" (humans), or Team Leader (and ex-Captain Marvel) Monica Rambeau's constant reminder that she usedta be a team leader in the Avengers, this book takes full advantage of all the weird twists and turns in major superhero comics continuity. On the Authorty and Planetary, Ellis has shown he knows how to strip-mine major comics history for post-modern story ideas, but he takes it to a NEW level when doing it for comedic effect in Nextwave!

and series artist Stuart Immomen has gone on from being just another Adam Hughes wannabe to develope a distinct, striking art style of his own that is worthy of ripping off! it's clear that this book would be hard to swollow in the hands of a lesser artist, but Stu makes it go down smooth as swedish brandy...
alas, the ride is over, but on the PLUS side, you can go back and collect all 12 issues without TOO much trouble, i'm sure. soon, Immomen will be the regular artist on the RED-HOT Ultimate Spiderman, so you better get them Nextwave issues while you can!

i got my PhD in p.h.a.t...

i didn't get any sleep last night... but i took time to read some comics! priorities... among them was the 3rd issue of StormWatch PHD. no, i doesn't stand for Pimpin' Hoes Daily, it stands for Post Human Division... this book is all about the (mostly) human cops who bust up supervillainy that sneaks by those grandstanding pretty boys in tights. at least that's what i gathered... i didn't get 1 or 2, but once i flipped through and saw the gorgeous art of Doug Mahnke (JLA, Frankenstien, Major Bummer), and read a few panels written by comics newcomer, screenwriter Christos Gage (Law And Order, SVU), i was hooked!

In this issue, the team heads to Vegas (no, not for the NBA All-star game...) to train PHD Las Vegas to combat beings " so far above you, they view you as a child. A pet. Or a piece of meat."
of course, while there, they encounter dark, dangerous secrets of the murdering alien bodysnatcher variety... and this is Wildstorm Comics, so there's sex and disturbing violence too... NICE!


the Pretty Tony series

marvel puts out so many books, they can do limited series on characters who already HAVE a series... this time it's your boy Tony Stark aka Iron Man (not ghostface... the OTHER Tony Stark aka Iron Man), starring in IRON MAN: HYPERVELOCITY , a six-issue mini by well-known american mangaphiles Adam Warren (Dirty Pair, Livewires, Empowered) and Brian Denham (Killbox). Hypervelocity takes a decidedly cyberpunk spin on the iron avenger: addressing his addiction to alcohol, high speed, high technology, and high end honeys...

a Win/Lose Situation...

the Losers, by Andy Diggle and Jock
"it's got spy crap in it. but in a good way!" that was all the recommendation i needed... see, my friend mike is a pretty good judge of what won't work for me in a comic. when he was gushing to me about his new favorite comic, The Losers (published by DC/vertigo), he said "i've never seen any comic do spy crap as well as they do it in film... until now. and (the artist) Jock is a fucking badASS!"

so there you go! i just finished reading AnteUp, the trade paperback collecting the first story arc about the newly rogue black-ops special forces team, the Losers. after seeing something they shouldn't have, the team is whacked by the CIA, or so it seems. now the Losers are back, with new team member, Iraqi killing machine/CIA mole (and seriously fly chick... don't tell her i said that!) Aisha (foreground in the cover art at left), and they are giving the crooked government bigwigs the muthafreakin' bizness.

anyways, the point is, this mess is the BOMB!!! and yeah. Jock is a Bad Ass... collectors should scoop these issues, as they will surely be valuable when he goes on to draw Batman, Daredevil or some other top-selling comic. the book has the kind of severity and elegance in the action sequences you rarely see, and Jock's sense of style, framing and pacing is breathtaking!

i've got two more trades to read, so i won't go on too much. I advise buying the TPB, but you can download a PDF of the whole first issue for free here...


the haps...

yeah... i'm, like, busy and stuff... i got an art show comin' up with those fine folks from ArtLoveMagic on the 24th in Dallas. tryin'a get more art ready for that... i'll definitely be sellin' prints and original art (paintings, comic pages, maybe sketches) there as well as doing art live. ALM is also producing a fancy-shmancy art book called The Book of Angels and Nightmares that will have art form James O'Barr (The Crow), myself (see the fresh wip [work in progress] on the left) and other artsy bastards, so stay tuned for more on that as the drop date approaches... i'm doing a takeover of Jungle Jem, the Jungle45 newsletter next month, so expect news on that here as well as my usual ramblings. read the previous newsletters including my article, "Brotha Got Bills" at the jungle45 myspace blog... you can buy Valentine's Day swag over at Ziontific. all orders placed on or before the 14th will earn you a free gift from yours truly!
i've been reading a ton'a comics, watchin' movies, traveling (!) and pretty much just wasting time lately, so the upside is, you can reap the benefits as i'll vomit out a ton'a blogs in the coming weeks!
that's it for now, tho'... busy, busy, busy...

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