Thursday, December 26, 2013

This is a Man's World

So very jazzed that we will be seeing Trampled Under Foot in October on the Blues Cruise. This will be our first time taking the Blues Cruise and we can't wait.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


For some odd reason here it is the day before Christmas and I am obsessing on my latest pet peeve: FCINO, or Famous Characters In Name Only. FCINO is the latest fad sweeping through Hollywood, mostly in TV but also in the movies. In fact, one FCINO is in both. Let's start there.

Robert Downey Jr. is a wonderful actor of incredible talent and more charm than any two men deserve to possess, but he is part of a FCINO franchise that just drives me up the wall. This would be his series of supposedly Sherlock Holmes movies. Sherlock Holmes never was and never will be an action star and yet, there he is as one in Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. I am not saying these aren't fun films to watch, just that these are not Sherlock Holmes films.

Neither is Elementary a TV show about Sherlock Holmes. Now I am not saying this is not an entertaining show or that Jonny Lee Miler is not excellent as the protagonist, I'm just saying that that protagonist, despite his name, is not Sherlock Holmes. And it has nothing to do with the show being set in modern times, Sherlock on PBS is a wonderful show set in modern times and Benedict Cumberbatch plays a character not only named Sherlock Holmes but who, in fact, is Sherlock Holmes. And do not get me started on Lucy Liu not being Watson.

But the phenomenon of FCINO is not limited to bright-minded detectives. There is a TV show called Sleepy Hollow which features a character named Ichabod Crane, who is not, in any way, Ichabod Crane. Now the producers of this show were not the first to bastardize the Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Tim Burton beat them to it by over a decade, but at least the story in that Sleepy Hollow retained some semblance of Washington Irving's plot-points and characters. TV's Sleepy Hollow is about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Entertaining? Perhaps, but Ichabod Crane in name only. 

This past summer one of the biggest box office bombs was a FCINO entitled The Lone Ranger. It probably did not help that the main character in the movie was Tonto, not the buy pretending to be The Lone Ranger.

The latest FCINO occurrence is on NBC and it is entitled Dracula. Not saying this is a bad show, but Jonathan Rhys Meyers is playing a famous character in name only. I loved Meyers in The Tudors, but that is not enough to keep me watching a title character that is not, well, the title character we all know.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Get Naked!

One of those ads they make knowing they will never get them on TV. "Come again!"

Better Things

I participated in a KickStarter campaign for the film Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones and received the DVD, a book of artwork and some postcards in the mail yesterday. Last night we watched the film and I loved it. My only gripe is that they have a tendency to pan over Jeff's paintings rather than linger, so you get a taste of them, but with many, not the impact of them. If you loved Jeff's work or are a fan of fantasy or comic artwork, you will appreciate this film.

Besides dealing with Jeff's artistic history, it also delves deeply into his years as a cross-dresser and his eventual trans-gendering from Jeffrey to Catherine. Jeffrey Catherine Jones is no longer with us, but the amazing artwork that was produced in his lifetime will be with us forever.

The film really inspired me to paint again with a web medium, so much so that I gessoed a canvas this morning and am working out ideas for my first acrylic in 10 years or so. We will see how that turns out in later posts.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

New Newton Painting

As you may know, I am the owner of the The Art of Don Newton website dedicated to the memory of the great comic book artist Don Newton. Don died in 1984 and in his early career painted quite a bit. As he took on the full-time job of comic book penciler, his production of paintings dropped off the almost zero. This painting was done in 1983 and may be one of the last he ever did. It was originally supposed to be the cover for the Overstreet Price Guide for 1983, but it was never used for that purpose. This year though Bob Overstreet published The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Comics #1 DC Heroes Edition, and used this as the cover. He subsequently put the painting up for auction and it is now one of the gems of my personal Newton art collection.