Aug 27, 2007
Man With No Name
I got excited when I heard that a publisher bought the rights to a Man With No Name comic. I absolutely love For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly(I only like Fistful Of Dollars) which all feature Clint Eastwood as the Man With No Name(they do actually call him different nicknames in the various movies). I think Sergio Leone may be the coolest director ever and Clint Eastwood was the coolest actor ever. It was a perfect combination(I do have to point out that Charles Bronson plays a version of the Man With No Name called Harmonica in one of the greatest westerns Once Upon A Time In The West also by Sergio Leone). Anyway in my excitement I drew The Man With No Name and since they obviously don't own Clint Eastwood's likeness I didn't try to make it look too much like him I just tried to make it have his qualities.
Here are some reviews of some stuff I was reading while on vacation. I'm still reading Mad Dogs by something Grady. Its a hardcore spy thriller about ex-intelligence agents in an asylum because they lost it and now they are framed so they go on the road and start kicking as all while their meds are running out and they are starting to bug out. Very entertaining and it will make a crazy good movie. Not finished with it yet.
Reread The Dark Knight Returns and it is as brilliant as its reputation. Frank Miller was the best once(okay, second to Alan Moore). It's very dense and cross references itself very nicely with some juxtaposing story techniques that I don't really see very much anymore. His use of the media to interupt and expand the story is great. Bad to leaf through but in context of the full story it works. He tried it again in the sequel and failed miserably. I didn't hate the inking as much as I remembered but I think that's because Miller inked himself sometimes instead of letting that other dude ruin his art. Fix your shit Miller and you can be more than a hollywood sellout(says the guy trying to sell his screenplays) who has given up on making brilliant comics.
I also read warren ellis's book Crooked Little Vein. Same old worn out character who is doing a job he doesn't want and is sadistic and systematic. Same old preaching to the choir about sexual repression in society and then trying to shock with new avenues of depravity and then talking down to everyone. Same old black ops conspiracy theory junk. I actually wrote similar stuff when I was twelve in the eighties. The X-Files happened and popularized the conspiracy theory and made it not fun anymore and cliched to hell. I will give him credit for the central conspiracy being original. A back up constitution with spoken word hypnotic suggestion. It's mainly his obsession with young gutter punk assistants that is too thinly veiled to be fictional. His main characters always being a crabby tough version of himself. Sure I've written aspects of my personality into quasi-fictional story versions of my life. But any time I make a story that has a plainly fictional premise I tend to write characters that are in no way reflections of who I am or what I believe in. If you do that you are not writing with a writers voice, you are jacking yourself off through prose(like Ayn Rand). If I needed to be preached to I'd go to church(no offence to church goers, I just don't want people preaching to me in their fictional stories, I'd rather it be in a place that is for preaching). These characters were in Desolation Jones, with similar ones in The Authority, Planetary, Fell, the otherwise great Next Wave even when he wrote X-Factor a million years ago. He basically writes the same characters in everything. Maybe that makes him popular and it is a consious decision on his part. But maybe he just isn't very creative character wise. My advise: Stop preaching, and write original characters. His ideas have worth and can be something more if he didn't use a cookie cutter technique to approach them and stock characters. I'd actually say all his stories are strong idea wise. fix your shit ellis and you get a capital E in your name again.