Friday, February 29, 2008


Ain't It Cool News scored a couple of new, eyeball-slashing images from the sometime to be released feature film My Name Is Bruce. The talkback section on the story is worth checking out for the escalating riff of "just how great is Bruce Campbell? Here's how great he is!" comments. As in:

Bruce could club a baby seal using a panda, and then torch a nursing home and murder a convent of nuns, and I'd still adore him.

Now that's a fan. Check it out at --

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Give Me Eight Minutes And...

...I'll give you a recap of the first three seasons of Battlestar Galactica. More or less.

Danke to Galactica Sitrep for the heads up! (See their url to the right).

My "Strike Blog"

I notice that the Los Angeles Times still has a "Strike News" page up at their website, which lists this sad little blog as one info source. With the strike now officially over, anyone who clicks to here from the L.A. Times expecting the latest on the WGA's internecine politics is liable to be perplexed by my laudatory pieces on stuff like the band Squeeze and old Real McCoys comic books.

I've never really done a mission statement for this thing, it really springs out of my lifetime affection for writing my own little magazines (in between paying work) and sharing those thoughts with friends. Now I don't even have to resort to Kinkos or the HP printer, I can release my latest brainstorm (ha!) electronically for whomever cares to see. I know some folks try to narrow the focus of their blogs (my pal John, for instance, only discusses the Beatles on his excellent site, and Jane Espenson focuses on writing tips), but this is just my little smidgen of self-expression in our media saturated world.

In other words, don't expect too much strike news for awhile...

Artist Alex Toth & Walter Brennan

Today we have comic book versions of Battlestar Galactica, Buffy and even CSI, but this is not a new development. Back in the 50's and 60's, a comic company called Dell (most remembered for doing Walt Disney's line of books) released a dizzying array of titles based on then popular TV series. But these books weren't limited to genre, so there were comic book versions of everything from The Untouchables to Lawman to Tales of Wells Fargo to I Love Lucy to Sea Hunt to...

The Real McCoys. It's a show that seems to have totally fallen off the pop culture radar, and in fact I barely remember it, and then only from the few reruns I must have caught as a kid. Walter Brennan played Grandpa McCoy, Richard Crenna played Luke, Brennan said "Luke! Luke!!" a lot, and it was one of the many rural comedies popular in the 60's. Oh, and I suspect it cemented the "cranky but funny shuffling old man" image for Brennan, who was actually a much better actor than these comedy relief roles implied.

Anyhow, these old Dell books aren't particularly memorable. The cover of one Real McCoys issue features a full color shot of a smiling, bucolic Walter Brennan and this blurb: "The crowd goes wild when Grandpa McCoy enters his horse in the big race at the county fair!" But there were two things that made them cool. One, many of the tie-in books feature striking photo covers, in vivid color, that made picking up a Dell TV/Movie title akin to buying a swank studio still for ten or fifteen cents. More important, a number of these books featured artwork by Alex Toth.

Toth, who died just last year, was one of the best comic-book artists ever, with a spare but strikingly vivid and visual style that was all his own. I think it says something about his abilities that he could take on vapid licensed projects like The Lennon Sisters (think Partridge Family circa 1957), Lawman and the Real McCoys, actually do the actor likenesses AND still imbue the stories with that incredible Toth flair. His McCoys books are especially fun, since the inanities of television's view of farm livin' allowed him to draw chugging jalopies, pretty girls and horses on the run. Toth went on to design animated series like Space Ghost and Jonny Quest, but his comic book work is proof that you could be idiosyncratic and still work within the system... as long as you were really good.

Anyway, I know I'm dreaming, but in a world where it feels like every old comic ever produced is being reprinted in some glorious hardcover edition, a collection of Toth's work from this era would make my proverbial day...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Battlestar Galactica - Hypaspace!

Our friends at Ain't It Cool News have linked to a nice featurette on BSG season four from the Canadian Space Channel and a show called "Hypaspace." IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN SEASON THREE (i.e., you're waiting for the DVDs like half of my friends), then this has massive spoilers. If you want to be absolutely unsullied by any hints from season four, then you probably want to skip it. Those caveats aside, it's a nice piece and the brief interviews with multiple cast members are fun.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

WGA Contract Is Approved. That's A Wrap!

This letter went out to the WGA membership this evening. Onward and upward...

To Our Fellow Members:

Today, it is our pleasure to inform you that members of the Writers Guilds of America, East and West, have voted to ratify the MBA contract with 93.6% approval. With a total of 4,060 votes cast, the tally was 3,802 to 258. These numbers reaffirm the tremendous level of support and commitment our membership has continuously demonstrated over these last few crucial months.

We are also pleased to report that the trustees of our health fund voted yesterday to follow the recommendation in our strike settlement agreement to provide additional coverage and an extension of the earnings cycle for a full quarter (three months) to participants who would otherwise lose health coverage following an earnings cycle that included all or a portion of the strike period. Participants whose health coverage is paid for by points will only be charged points if they have ten or more points as of April 1, 2008.

As we close this chapter in our union's history, what we together have accomplished should not be underestimated. The 2008 MBA establishes a beachhead on the Internet and in new media that will guarantee our share of a potentially vast and bountiful future. Writers already are working on new media projects under this agreement and residuals must now be paid for streaming and downloads of our library of films and TV shows.

Language in the contract will allow us to monitor and audit these new technologies and new business models, but it will take vigilance on the part of our membership to make sure that original Internet writing is done under a WGA contract and with appropriate terms and conditions.

The same sort of vigilance will be needed to assist members of SAG and AFTRA. They are about to go through a similar process to the one we experienced. Their support of our cause was invaluable. We must use all our efforts and experience to support them as well. Further gains that they can achieve will have an immediate, positive effect on our contract.

We must take our newfound spirit and unity and use it to move our two unions forward. We look to the future and our newly revitalized member engagement to reaffirm writers as the first among equals in the most collaborative art form in history. As the last few weeks proved once and for all, we are all in this together.


Patric M. Verrone
President, WGAW

Michael Winship
President, WGAE

Comics You Should Buy: Hot Wire #2

At $22.95, this isn't a casual buy, but this large format, 150 page + full color anthology series from Fantagraphics is worth the bucks. The stories are all over the place, ranging from the abstract to slice o' life, but the artwork's mostly amazing and the "stories" often compelling. My favorite's a laugh out loud strip called "In The Trenches" by Christian Northeast, which somehow perfectly captures the dull, bureaucratic ennui of a guy flexing what tiny power he has in an absurd circumstance. There's also an excellent Western story that contrasts the real life story of Sheriff Sam Cartwright with the possible movie versions of the same events.

I'd offer an Amazon link, but they don't carry it, so give your local comic shop a try, or go to and try their crack mail-order department.

Monday, February 25, 2008

On Writing...

Not to jump on Jane Espenson's "writing tips" bandwagon, but I recently recieved an e-mail pushing another screenwriting self-help book. You're never too old to learn and we can all use some tips now and again, but the questions posed and the answers promised by this one seemed a little... I dunno... strange. For instance:

- What should you say if you arrive late for a pitch meeting with a Hollywood executive? (The answer is on page 49.)

There's actually a secret answer to this, besides an apology?

- Does it matter how you dress for a meeting with a Hollywood executive? Answer: a lot. So how should you dress? (See page 48.)

Aside from being clean, avoiding the garlic/onion lunch special and covering your "Impeach Bush" tee-shirt, if this actually mattered I'd be living out of a cardboard box.

There were a bunch of other Q & A's, and seriously, for all I know this tome offers wonderful common sense tips to earnest beginners on a host of subjects. I'm sure the author is a good guy with some good ideas, but the focus of the questions, at least in the e-mailed ad, illuminate a pet peeve I have with some of these books. They often zero in on the external as opposed to the single most important thing involved in having a writing career, i.e., "the writing." You can wear whatever power-plaid happens to be in style, excuse your lateness with the perfect bon mot and play all the inter-office political games in the world, but if it's not on the page, your "career" will be be a blip on the screen. In fact, if an expensively dressed, slick and self-possessed staff writer gave me a script that needed a total rewrite, I'd be even MORE cranky about it. While he's out shopping for designer suits, I'm stuck at my computer fixing his mess.

This emphasis bugs me because I think new writers often get hung up on the technical details, like what to wear, the perfect word processing program or some special format trick that will solve all their problems. Some of that stuff IS important (script's written in crayon? That's a pass), but to fixate on these incidental details as opposed to the writing is a mistake...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Late Night Landfill

"The Phantom of the Landfill" turned me onto his own news site/blog, which reviews and discusses wonderfully trashy B movies. Since I watched "Ricco The Mean Machine" with Chris Mitchum just last night*, this is obviously my cup o' tea. Besides, anyone who links to Herman Cohen, William Martell, Ray Dennis Steckler and me is okay in my book.

*Ricco is a trashy '70's Italian crime/sleaze drama starring Chris Mitchum (Robert's son) and Arthur Kennedy (in a very bad moustache), perhaps most notable for an exceptionally graphic scene where a poor fellow is relieved of his private parts for playing footsie with the Kennedy character's girlfriend. Now THAT'S entertainment.

WGA Strike - Tomorrow's Big Vote

Having been back at work for a week and a half now, I almost forget that the WGA membership hasn't actually ratified the new contract yet. That most likely will happen tomorrow (Monday, 2/25), since aside from a few comments here and there (and Harlan Ellison's vociferous opposition), it appears that most WGA folks are ready to take the deal. I don't think people should confuse our accepting the contract for wild enthusiasm re: all the deal points, but in all negotiations there comes a time to close. And as far as I'm concerned, it's time to close on this one.

Don't be surprised to see various WGA-focused websites install counters ticking off the days until THIS deal expires, though (May 2011). Here's hoping the business (and the world) are still in one piece when that comes around...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Battlestar Galactica Season 4 - Spoilers?!

You won't get any out of me, but Maureen Ryan from the Chicago Tribune runs down some tidbits gleaned from various interviews over at her blog. I would call these minor spoilers, but they still might reveal a thing or two you don't want to know. So be warned...

One of the, umm, "benefits" of the strike is that the BSG staff was able to step back from the show for a few months and come back with a fresh eye, meaning details are constantly in flux. So take all spoilers with a couple shakers of salt, because even stuff that may have been true pre-strike may have changed. Or not.

But I have been given permission to reveal the identity of the fifth Cylon, whose birth name is the very difficult to pronounce "Tusj Wohsehthctaw." You're welcome!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Adventures Of Thompson and Weddle

What do the world-class writers of Battlestar Galactica episodes like "Maelstrom" and "Scar" do when they're not making incredible television? Why, they write cool new video games! The grisly details are available at --

New/Old Nick Lowe...

Nick Lowe's first solo album, "Jesus of Cool", has just been reissued by the fine folks at YepRoc Records. With ten bonus tracks and the obligatory remastering, this swank deluxe edition brings the same smile as the original record, way back in 1978. As others have noted, anyone who can write a song about an unfortunate actress who died at home and was eaten by her dog ("Marie Provost"), offering the perky couplet "she was a winner, who became the doggie's dinner," is okay in my book. Lowe's most recent releases have been much more, umm, "mature", but my affections still lie with his rock and roll period.

This release also comes with an informative booklet written by Will Birch, who teamed with Rockpile's guitarist Billy Bremner on some cool songs way back when.

Incidentally, Lowe's collaboration with guitarist Dave Edmunds, Rockpile's "Seconds of Pleasure", was also reissued a couple years back in a new edition with extra tracks. Both are well worth another listen (for older fans) and discovering (for you friggin' kids).

Gahan Wilson - Cartoonist

Steven-Charles Jaffe, producer of STAR TREK IV and various other projects, has recently put together a documentary on the life and times of cartoonist Gahan Wilson. Wilson's probably best known for his unsettling cartoons in Playboy, but I'll always remember his comic strip for the National Lampoon, "Nuts." There was more bittersweet truth in that one page strip (ostensibly a parody of "Peanuts") than most people can cram into a whole book.

Tom Spurgeon at the excellent Comics Reporter has a nice interview with Jaffe discussing the project at --

Thursday, February 21, 2008

HD-DVD is Dead. Pick At The Bones Now!

So the announcement from Toshiba that they'll no longer manufacturer HD-DVD players pretty much cedes the battle to Blu-Ray. However, if you were an early adapter (aka, "idiot") like me and actually popped for an HD player, there are some pretty good bargains on HD discs at Amazon. Amazon's cut the prices in half on a bunch of discs, and the indie-sellers are under-cutting even further. I just picked up Carpenter's THING at the new lower price, figuring it'll play just fine until the next format comes along, or Universal releases them on Blu-Ray. Of course, all loyal Famous Verheidens readers have already coughed up their green for the HD versions of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA season one and TIMECOP the movie. Right? Right? Are those crickets?

And if you wait 'til the end of the year and hold on to your player, you'll probably be able to get almost any HD release for pennies. Somehow I don't think these babies are going to become collector's items anytime soon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More Squeeze? Yes! Split Enz? Sure!

Glenn Tilbrook, singer/songwriter from the band Squeeze, is in the process of releasing five CDs worth of demos, and the second batch "In The Sky Above" has just come out. Like the first set ("The Past Has Been Bottled") it's an interesting look at the songwriting process, since the final band versions of many of these tunes are considerably different. That said, this new collection, covering 1993 to 1998, feels more produced than the earlier set of 80's-era demos, and so it's a nice companion to the official releases. The later set also covers Squeeze's later years, so the songs won't be familiar to most folks... but they're still good!

Meanwhile, the Split Enz gang continues to raid the vaults, with a new remastering program that spruces up the sound of all their original albums. I've become a little suspicious of this "remastering" gimmick, having bought and rebought certain CDs four or five times without discerning much difference in the audio quality, but this remastering is definitely noticeable and (in my opinion) a big improvement. For some reason a lot of 70's/80's bands went the "thin" route with their sound, and this new edition fattens up the tunes without losing their charm. All this is available by individual CD or in a nifty box set that also tosses in the essential "Rootin Tootin Luton" rehearsal/demo sessions that came out late in 2007.

Oh my God, I'm pushing Squeeze and Split Enz, two bands from the 70's and 80's. How do I regain my musical "street cred" with the "young people"? I know, how about by recommending "The Better Beatles" and their one and only release, "Mercy Beat." This is a great collection of atonal, deconstructed Beatles songs created by an Omaha Nebraska art band in the early 80s. I'm not sure if these are the best or worst Beatles covers ever, but I like them. They're not selling this one on Amazon, but the CD is available from the label at

Monday, February 18, 2008

WGA Strike - Harlan Ellison Weighs In!

I don't agree with Harlan on this one, but Ellison unbridled is a wild read whether you're with him or not. For another perspective on the WGA's MBA ratification vote, go to:

My "yes" on ratification goes into the mail tomorrow, blue bottom and all...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Horror Yearbook Interrogates Moi

My friends at Horror Yearbook asked a few leading questions about Evil Dead, My Name is Bruce and other current events. Checks out the results at:

And yes, that is original comic book art behind me in the photo. Now if I could only get Frank Frazetta to redraw me...

Was (Not Was) - 2/14/08 Live In Los Angeles!

Their second annual Valentine's Day celebration was just as great as I had hoped. Besides featuring the first gathering of the band's original singers since 1992, seeing Brian Wilson duet with Kris Kristofferson on "Me And Bobby McGee", then "Fun Fun Fun", was amazing.

It's tragic that this band isn't getting more attention on this reunion tour (the show at the Orpheum didn't seem particularly packed), but with a new CD coming in April and a full fledged tour promised, hopefully that will change. Meanwhile, you can read the article/review below and weep copiously because you weren't there...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Trust Me...

When I was working on SMALLVILLE the series, my friends, it seemed like the Lex Luthor character would say "trust me" at least once or twice an episode. Like, "Trust me, Clark, I have no idea how that Kryptonite got in your coffee" or "trust me, Lana, it's not just a bald spot." I got the "trust me" meme so ingrained into my writing mind that it started to seep into other scripts, until I went through a (not to be named) draft of a script with the "find and replace" search and found something like six versions of the phrase. I have since banned "trust me" from my dialogue vocabulary. You shall never see those two words in confluence in my work again! Trust me!

This comes up because I think John McCain might want to consider a similar phraseological ban. He's taken to using "my friends" as almost Tourette's-style punctuation during every public oration, and it's getting out of hand. It's a swell sentiment, John, but enough already! Aside from the fact that I doubt all those folks are, in fact, your friends (if they are, your Facebook page must be ah-mazing!), why not try "pals", "comrades", "amigos", "buddies", "chums", "compadres," but pul-ease give "my friends" a rest!

Another Day, Another Dollar...

It's been almost fourteen weeks since I've been able to say that, and it feels good. Without the daily grind of a strike to gird my blog production, combined with the addition of this pesky "work" to my schedule, I may not be here as much as I was during the work stoppage, but I'll do my best.

While I was off work an attempt was made to scrimp and save, but one eBay auction caught my eye and demanded wallet attention. When I was a kid, I picked up my comics from the local drug store's spinner rack, which had the famous "Hey Kids! Comics!!" logo emblazoned on the table. I've always wanted one of these racks for my own books, and opportunity finally knocked thanks to the auction site. And now I've finally got my own "Hey Kids! Comics!!" spinner in my home office, just waiting to be filled with the funny books of my choice.

I guess it is true, you spend most of your adult life trying to recreate the naive joys of childhood anyway you can. Now if I can just find a mint-in-the-box Man From U.N.C.L.E. briefcase/cap-gun set...

Gerald Jones Has A Blog?!

My buddy Gerard Jones, author of the excellent "Men Of Tomorrow," has decided to join the ever-blogging universe. Check out his observations at:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Back to Battlestar...

...and it felt like we'd been gone maybe, oh, twenty minutes. Or maybe a long lunch. Phones and computers had been turned off, but the offices were the same and the writer's room was still festooned with cards and white-board notes from where we left off. Weren't the writing Gods (or would that be the monotheist "God") supposed to come in and get everything in shape while we were gone?

As the wonderful Terry (Mrs. Ron) Moore explained over at Galactica Sitrep, the staff just watched all eleven new episodes back and back, and while I am, of course, biased, I think viewers are going to be riveted by what's coming up. Season four/the last is a roller coaster/gut-punch from start to finish, with some of the rawest emotional moments yet, from characters you may not expect. Plus space battles!

It all starts April 4. Pen it in!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

WGA Strike - Day 100, that's a wrap!

The contract still needs to be ratified, but barring some sort of disaster that's pretty much a done deal. So it's over. It's interesting; making a living as a writer in the film and television business is nerve-wracking almost by definition, but the strike was a different sort of stress. For one thing, most writers are sole proprietors, used to making business decisions for themselves. To hand the reins over to others (even the crack WGA negotiating team) is inherently frustrating. Also, like most writers I'm used to working under deadline, aiming toward a due date. Strikes don't work that way.

Still, it's amazing how fast and yet how slow one hundred days can pass. And it's even more amazing what the collective, determined will of a group of like-minded folks can achieve.

We now return you to our regular blog, dealing with my various projects, obsessions and interests. Hey, how about that Springsteen tour? And remember, Battlestar Galactica season four returns on April 4th!

Now back to work!

Steve Gerber

Writer Steve Gerber died Sunday night from complications caused by his long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Steve was the creator of characters like "Howard The Duck" and "Omega the Destroyer", but more importantly, and maybe especially relevant in the wake of the WGA strike, he was an early combatant in the war over creator's rights. Gerber helped blazed the trail for better deals from the major comic book companies, and anyone who entered the field in the wake of those changes (like me) owes him a debt of gratitude.

Steve was working on DC's "Doctor Fate" right up to his death, and just like a true writer, he was blogging from his hospital bed last week. Tom Spurgeon has a lengthy and informative obituary up at his site:

And Mark Evanier also has an excellent post at:

Monday, February 11, 2008

WGA Strike - Days 98, 99

Well, if pencils aren't quite "up" yet, I suspect they're being sharpened and buffed for duty. While anything can happen, it's difficult to imagine a circumstance where the WGA membership does not approve lifting the strike and then approving the new contract. Fall out continues, including more articles today that seem determined to skew against the WGA, but then maybe I'm a little sensitive about these things.

One life skill I've developed during my tenure in this crazy racket is that it's best to put unpleasantness behind you, consign it to the mental dustbin of life and move on. So, with lessons learned, it's almost time to say "next!"

Saturday, February 09, 2008

WGA Strike - Will End on Day 100?

Is Monk involved in our negotiations? We're really going to end this on day 100?

Either way, tonight's L.A. membership meeting was not the rancorous session some anticipated, but instead the negotiating committee received a standing ovation, the first of several during the evening. The membership will vote yea or nay and the results released Tuesday. Assuming, as I think almost everyone does, that the contract is approved, that will be that.

As soon as I know anything official about BSG, I'll let you know!

Daniel Plainview For President

Is nothing sacred?!

WGA Strike - Days 96 and 97 (the last day?)

The AMPTP and the WGA negotiators put in a classic all-nighter and have reached a tentative agreement. For those interested in the details and a summary of the actual deal, click on the United Hollywood url to the right and all will be revealed.

Tonight's full membership meeting at the Shrine promises to be interesting. I suspect there will be much venting over what the new deal did not achieve, but if we've trusted our leadership this far, then jumping overboard at the last moment doesn't make much sense. And the uncomfortable truth, as was explained to me by one of the negotiating committee members earlier this week, is that if the WGA rejects this deal, we lose our leverage. At this point there can still be a truncated pilot season, networks shows could possibly go back into production and the Oscar-cast can happen. Past that, writers would have no leverage until SAG goes out June 30. Me? I don't think any possible incremental improvements we might get by holding out for another four + months would be worth the financial devastation that would befall writers, actors, directors, production people and "the town." If that doesn't sound open minded, well, I guess it's not.

Hopefully this ends tonight...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Jane Espenson is a LINKER!

Boy, Jane links to my site and the hits skyrocket! Well, no deed goes unpunished, so here you go Jane, I'm linking right back at you. Gird yourself for the, well, tens of hits that are sure to accumulate!

You should all be reading Jane's blog every stinking day, for the writing tips, the strike commentary (hopefully soon to end on both our blogs) and the lunch revelations. She also has a great design for her site, while lazy ol' Mark just sticks with the blogspot template. That in itself tells you a lot. What it tells you, I have no idea, but I know it's plenty.

Her url is to the right, so go for it! Now!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

WGA Strike - Day 95

Yesterday's "Sci-Fi Channel fan day" was great, lots of people showed up and a good time was had by all. Well, as good as you can have carrying a "strike" sign. I did an on-camera interview for our friends at the Canadian Space Channel discussing both BSG season four and the Evil Dead comic, so North of the Border-ers, keep your eyes peeled. Also, BSG cast members Kate "Ellen Tigh" Vernon and Michael "Sam Anders" Trucco were on hand. Michael, who was in a serious car accident a few weeks ago, has clearly enjoyed a quick and complete recovery and it was great to see him.

Post strike, almost the entire BSG writing staff retired to the nearby Acapulco for margaritas. It was just like being back in the writer's room, except with better refreshments!

In strike news, our line was briefed by Marc Cherry and Shawn Ryan on the next steps. Basically (as I understand it, given the difficult of hearing on a busy street corner), the negotiating committee will be taking the temperature of the membership at Saturday's mass meeting and then decisions will be made. Details of the proposed deal are still not available to the rank and file, but one gets the feeling that it is being at least tacitly endorsed by those in the know. I guess a lot rides on that Saturday gathering.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

WGA Strike - Day 94 - Sci-Fi Fan Day On The Line!

Join me and a whole bunch of writers, producers and cast from the Sci-Fi Channel line-up (Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Flash Gordon, Painkiller Jane and others) on the picket line today! Time is NOON to 2:00PM today (2/6) outside the NBC Studios, 3000 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA. Learn how much fun it can be to walk back and forth with a sign! Enjoy the smell of Mexican food wafting across from the nearby Acapulco restaurant! Get there early and watch people line up to see Ellen, stay late and watch them line up for Jay Leno!

Evil Dead #2, Battlestar, My Name Is Bruce UPDATE

The second issue of my four-issue comic book adaptation/expansion of the first EVIL DEAD movie will be out Feb. 13, according to "inside sources" (the Diamond Distributing catalog). Reviews (and sales) for the first issue have been really solid, and the series just picks up steam from here. I'm just happy that John Bolton's incredible painted artwork is receiving the raves it deserves.

And I suspect the whole BATTLESTAR GALACTICA loving world knows this already, but the official Sci-Fi channel premiere date for the post-RAZOR season four is now FRIDAY, APRIL 4. Early review copies of the first two eps have gone out (I know because a friend got one) so plot details may start creeping out across the internet soon. Just to reiterate for concerned fans, the first eleven episodes of season four were shot and wrapped before the strike, and I believe the plan was always to break this part of season four into two ten episodes chunks, so... you'll get the full measure of BSG once the show begins to run.

In other news, the long awaited feature film MY NAME IS BRUCE is hours away from final delivery to the distributor, per Mr. Bruce Campbell himself. I still don't have an official release date for the DVD (though "Summer 2008" continues to be the general target), or word on whether there will be any theatrical showings, but the movie is finally, really, finished. Chinese demons, Ted Raimi, Bruce Campbell, "you wanna move that hand?"... soon all will be revealed!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - New Singles!

And I'm talking "singles" in the classic sense, 45RPM vinyl records in cool little seven inch sleeves. The Me First gang are a gaggle of players from bands like NOFX who do hardcore punk covers of famous songs. They've done the 70's, Broadway show tunes, the 60's, and most recently a country-western covers album. After each CD/LP release, the band releases a batch of 45's with non-album B-sides and funny, stolen art covers. They're putting out five different singles following their "Love Their Country" record, some on square vinyl, various different colors and anything else that strikes their fancy.

The five singles are "Cash", "Dolly", "Willie", "Kenny" (as in Rogers) and Jerry (as in Reed), and they're all worth getting. Unfortunately, pressings are limited and sell-out almost immediately, making eBay the best place to find copies. But it's worth it; we're talking great songs and everybody needs a stack of 45's. Check it out!

WGA Strike - Day 93

Big membership meeting this weekend at the Shrine Auditorium (in Los Angeles) to go over the current state of play. I'm sure things will be "exciting" at the confab, but I remember what a producer recently told me about one of our last meetings. He had "heard" that anyone daring to question the negotiating committee was shouted down and harassed. I guess that was one of the meetings I missed, because at the ones I attended, the biggest "sin" was going on too long at the microphone, whether that involved praise or complaint. Anyhow, it's funny how "word" spreads...

Monday, February 04, 2008

WGA Strike - Days 91, 92

Back on the picket line today, where the tension was... well, not palpable, but sorta there. Rumors continue to fly as we await some word from WGA Central on the on-going discussions. The informal negotiating folks are reporting their progress to the full negotiating committee today, and we should get some sort of news this evening or tomorrow. I'm also told a membership-wide meeting may be called for as soon as this week. Whether that's to discuss the issues on the table or just share recipes, I don't know yet, but I hope/suspect it's the former. I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to optimistic forecasts, but I think there is a glimmer of sunshine peeking through the clouds...

If You're In L.A., You Should See Was (Not Was)

That's right, "Was (Not Was)", probably most remembered for their hit "Walk The Dinosaur" back in the late 1980's, are back on the road. This is a rare and special event; last time I saw them at a sparsely attended show at L.A.'s House Of Blues circa 2004/5, they blew the roof off the place with their own funked-up tunes and closed with an incredible, 11 minute killer version of James Brown's "Cold Sweat."

Well, they're playing Valentine's Day (2/14 for the calendar impaired) at the Orpheum Theater in downtown L.A., with special guests Kris Kristofferson (!) and Brian Wilson. Yes, the famous "Beach Boys" genius Brian Wilson. I got tickets late and still landed near the front row, so good seats are probably still available, they're not that expensive and it promises to be a GREAT SHOW. Visit Ticketmaster and gets your tix now! (And for San Francisco fans, it looks like they're doing a show there the same week, too.)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

WGA Strike - Day 90 Part Deux

Suddenly the floodgates have opened and rumors are flying that a deal is close to being made. The New York Times broke the story (as far as I know), but it's made the Los Angeles TV news and other outlets. So... if true, great! If not, uhhh boy. But I like hearing me some good news for once!

WGA Strike - Days 87, 88, 89, 90

Posting has been light from yours truly as I deal with some family health issues. (Everybody's hanging in there, thanks.) And with the WGA/AMPTP blackout still on, there's been no word on how the informal negotiations are progressing, other than Nikke "Deadline Hollywood" Finke's assurances that sources are telling her that things are going well. It sounds like the goal is to get things somewhat resolved in time for the Oscars to go on, which is later in February. For those who care to read the tea leaves and speculate, the fact that nobody's left the table can only be taken as a sign of progress, and the fact the WGA cancelled a meeting next week with investment types re: Viacom suggests now is not the time to be roiling the waters. We shall see...