Festival news! Bentfootes (almost) beats Baldwin!

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I have been informed by Ms. Kriota Willberg that the movie she and I made, The Bentfootes, starring our own James

, has won second place in the Narrative Feature category in Iowa City’s Landlocked Film Festival! We were beat by The Flyboys, a brand new low-budge comedy starring Stephen Baldwin, a movie not to be confused with the 2006 James Franco WWI flying-ace vehicle Fly Boys. The creators of the second-place movie receive a multi-milliondollar prize and a big fat studio contract a t-shirt and certificate.

Book news! Typhon, Bond, Garfield

ITEM! It turns out I am a contributing artist to the first issue of Danny Hellman‘s new anthology series TYPHON. Master cartoonist R. Sikoryak turned a monologue from my 1989 play One Neck into a comic strip featuring a not-at-all-Droopy-Dog-like-character named Loopy. Mr. Sikoryak, who is also occasional commenter

, also did the splendid cover for the issue.

Typhon, for those not in the know, was a creature from Greek mythology, a terrible beast with a hundred heads who tried to take over the world by attacking Zeus. Obviously, Mr. Hellman is trying to make a point here about the nature of independent comics, a hundred-headed beast taking on “the man.” Yeah! Go Typhon! Lay some boulders on that Zeus!

In the myth, of course, Zeus doesn’t put up with that shit and drops Mt. Etna on Typhon’s head. Which, in the real world, I’m guessing has something to do with Diamond Distributors. (Or maybe Ted Rall — I don’t know any more.)hitcounter

Anyway, for those interested in buying a copy of this astonishing new volume, why not go to Jim Hanley’s Universe, certainly the premier comics store in New York, and buy a copy from the creators themselves!

From an email forwarded to me from Mr. Sikoryak:

NYC area comics aficionados are invited to join us for a TYPHON book signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe on Wednesday, August 6th from 6-8PM!

Pick up a copy of the brand new, 192 page, full-color comics anthology TYPHON Volume One, and get it signed by these TYPHON contributors:

Gregory Benton
Victor “Bald Eagles” Cayro
Mike Edison
Glenn Head
Danny Hellman
Cliff Mott
Bruno “Hugo” Nadalin
Chris “Steak Mtn” Norris
R. Sikoryak
Doug Skinner
Matthew Thurber
Motohiko Tokuta

Wednesday, August 6, 2008
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Jim Hanley’s Universe (Manhattan)
4 West 33rd Street
New York, NY

NOTE: I won’t be there. I live in Santa Monica. But I can vouch for the brilliance of at least half the people on this list.


Bond aficionados — but I mean real Bond aficionados — will have their minds blown by The Battle for Bond by Robert Sellers, which has just come out in paperback. This is a very rare kind of book, a book that outlines, in excruciating detail, the machinations that go into making a movie in Hollywood. The movie in question is Thunderball, and The Battle for Bond does not overlook one single step in the project’s development, which extends back to before the shooting of Dr. No and then forward, 18 years after Thunderball was actually made, to the shooting of Never Say Never Again. The author, who cares much more deeply about Thunderball than probably any sane person should, has tracked down every single screenwriter, producer, director, editor, actor and production assistant who worked on these projects, and a few more who almost did and then didn’t. We learn a lot about Ian Fleming’s development as a writer, the development of Bond as a character and as a property (Hitchcock was interested at one point, with Jimmy Stewart as Bond), and the hubris and failings of any number of British producers and movie people. The thing I like about the book is that it shows just how much work, fretting, guesswork and frustration goes into the making of any movie, whether it’s a sure-fire hit or a risky, challenging auteurist puzzle, whether it’s Lawrence of Arabia or, well, Never Say Never Again, that no one ever hears about.


I’m super excited about the announcement of Garfield Minus Garfield, a book of comics based on, yes, Garfield Minus Garfield, comics that remove Garfield from Garfield and thus magically change it from a drab, irritating eyesore to a comic of great emotion, clarity and aesthetic beauty. I marvel at Garfield Minus Garfield on a daily basis and you should too. The fact that Jim Davis approved the project and, apparently, sees both the humor and beauty in it, gives me a level of respect for him I’ve never before had and, honestly, probably never will again.


I am in New York City, finishing the editing of The Bentfootes.  My laptop made one too many trans-continental trips and has died, so blogging will be light for the next week.


For those of you who happen to be in New York right now, I will be making a rare public ap presenting a chapter of my graphic-novel in progress

FEEDER BIRDS as part of

CAROUSEL slide-show entertainment event thing.

The lovely and talented actors
will provide the voices of cartoon birds for the evening.

The big show happens on

(a date that will live in infamy)



on the island of Manhattan

Attendance is mandatory!

I thank you for your attention.

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