Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Blab About Battlestar...

I did a short internet radio interview for my friends at ComicMix a few weeks ago, which has just gone up at their site. This was done not long after the writing staff had returned to Galactica in February, so I was in the "no spoilers" zone big time. I did a much longer interview with one of their staffers that will be appearing in print sometime this week. I don't think there were any spoilers there, either, at least none that haven't already been officially disseminated, but (I think) I discuss process and stuff a bit more. Anyhow, here's the podcast --

I also did a lengthy interview with our friends at The Futon Critic, one of the best sites for folks interested in the television business, pilots, ratings and all the rest. Not sure when that's going to run, but I believe it may be out sometime this week as well. That's more of a career-spanning piece, though of course BSG is mentioned often and with great enthusiasm. Anyhow, you can check out their site at:

Battlestar's 43 Best Moments EVER!

Our good friends at Galactica Sitrep (see to your right for the url) recommended this fan's list of the 43 best moments on BSG, and yep, it's a really good one. I'm sure some will argue over placement, but going through the list, even I was surprised at all the twists and turns and revelations that have happened over the course of the show. Maybe I should get out my Spock ears (see the Los Angeles Times post below to understand the reference), but I still get a chill when Galactica descends in a blaze of fire to rescue the folks on New Caprica...

My Name Is Bruce UPDATE

Eagle-eye readers will notice my "profile" has changed slightly, the release date for the long anticipated feature MY NAME IS BRUCE now looks like the Fall of 2008. The movie is done, locked, fini, in the can, and now it's about the best way of presenting and marketing this baby so folks gets a full dose of Bruce Campbell-iana. I no more control the release date for the movie than I do the air dates for BATTLESTAR, so if you're disappointed, please don't take it out on me!

Great Battlestar Galactica Article - L.A. Times

My former employer, the Los Angeles Times, has an excellent article on BSG this morning, with some very insightful interviews with the cast. Looks like the interviews were conducted around the time the WGA strike was happening, so they're four or five months old, but it's all very thoughtful. Sadly, there is one unfortunate reference to science fiction fans playing dress-up (Spock ears? Really? Could you at least update your condescension?), but otherwise it's an excellent piece.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Action Comics (Superman) Copyright Reverts to Creators!

I'm not a lawyer by any means, but it appears the copyright to Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, has been awarded back to the estate/heirs of one of the original creators, Jerome Siegel. Not quite sure what this means in terms of the whole Superman media juggernaut, but Siegel's survivors just might see a few bucks from the deal. And that would be nice.

For a 76 (!) page PDF explaining the ruling, go to:

I Wuz Robbed!!!

One of the more amusing pieces of promotional art in my collection is the "for your consideration" trade ad that Universal took out for TIMECOP the movie. Yes, TIMECOP was actually (and briefly) pushed for the Oscars. I have to assume this was due to a clause in someone's contract (JC*ahem*VD perhaps?). Anyhow, I got up early that year to watch the nominations live, only to be stricken when I didn't make the cut. Those craven BASTARDS. I mean, just look at the crap that was actually nominated!

* Forrest Gump (1994)
* Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
* Pulp Fiction (1994)
* Quiz Show (1994)
* Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)

I tried to file a complaint with Price-Waterhouse, but clearly those people have no interest in justice. Anyhow, someone is actually trying to sell one of these trade ads, probably sliced out of a copy of DAILY VARIETY, on eBay. Bid your hearts out!

Reminds me of the "director's list" I was shown when the movie was first being pushed hard for production. These are essentially "wish lists" cobbled together by someone in the producer's office, evidently with very little regard for reality. I remember the first name on the list was Stanley Kubrick, followed by Akira Kurosawa. You know what they say, you gotta aim high! We were all heartbroken when they passed, and when Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and David Lynch sent their regrets, boy was I blue! Still, the idea of a David Lynch TIMECOP is pretty wild.

And oddly enough, the other movie I worked on that year WAS nominated for an Oscar. THE MASK was nominated for Best Special Effects. Didn't win that either.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Passport Fun!

Preparing to head up North to help get the next episode of Battlestar off and running, I discovered to my chagrin that my passport has disappeared into the labyrinth that I laughingly call "home." After going through the seven steps of "having lost a passport" denial ("come on, it has to be here", "where the hell is it?", "ahh for Christ's sake!!!", etc.) I ventured onto the U.S. Government site and prepared myself for what I was sure would be a lengthy and unfortunate battle with red tape.

Well, in a world where everyone bitches and moans about Government service, let me offer a rare contrary story. I made a next day appointment at the local passport office (which, lucky me, is only about seven miles away), and twenty minutes later, "voila." The guards were all helpful, the clerks knowledgeable, and I'll have my new passport tomorrow. I may have a litany of issues with various U.S. institutions and policies, but when it comes to passport service, this administration gets an A+ from yours truly!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Battlestar Rolls On Tuesday...

Tomorrow's the big day, we start shooting episode #12 of the twenty episodes left for season four and the series. Mr. Ron Moore himself writes and directs this opus, and... that's all I'm going to say about the episode itself. Except it will probably run the usual 42-ish minutes and I can almost guarantee it will be shot in beautiful color.

I never cease to be amazed at what a freight-train it is when you're in the middle of production. Drafts of scripts are coming in, outlines, notes, production issues pop up... it's just one thing after another, but when you're shooting, you also get a batch of dailies from the set and get to go "ahhhh." (Or occasionally "what th--?" or "oops" or "Holy Crap!", but those are pretty rare on BSG.) That's the fun of television. I'm writing the next episode up to bat, and the immediacy from script to stage never ceases to amaze me, especially coming from a feature background, where it can take a week to figure out who will handle the catering.

So tomorrow. Shooting. Think good thoughts!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


This is weird.

Great site, though!

Fletcher Hanks Jr. - RIP 2008

Longtime readers of the blog have suffered through my obsession with Fletcher Hanks and his surreal/beautiful comics artwork from the early 1940's. Last year a compilation of Hanks' comic work was released, "I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets", which featured a biographic vignette involving the artist's son, Fletcher Hanks Jr. Hanks Junior was an astonishing man in his own right, making his obituary worth reading just to get acquainted...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Me and Thomas Kinkade...

When I first moved to Los Angeles "sometime ago" (*ahem*), my first port o'call was the gang-ridden Highland Park area, near Pasadena, and a run down apartment building known rather optimistically as The Golden Palms. I was rooming with my pal Paul Chadwick, as the building was a haven for people either attending or just out of the nearby Art Center For Design. So my next door neighbors were James Gurney (later the creator of "Dinotopia") and Thomas Kinkade, yes, that Thomas Kinkade, now known as the "painter of light." I eventually inherited Kinkade's rent-controlled apartment when he moved on, wall-spatter and all...

So it's a little surreal to see that someone's making a movie of Kinkade's life, starring Peter O'Toole and Jared Padalecki, called "Home for the Holidays." I can only wonder of the legandary Golden Palms will be making an appearance. And if Peter O'Toole's playing me, I'm gonna be pissed...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Squeeze Some More...

As in the band "Squeeze." There's some sort of haphazard reissue problem going on in the U.K., where four of their collections ("Sweets From A Stranger", "Frank", "Ridiculous" and "Argybargy") were just reissued with extra tracks. "Argybargy" gets the swanky clear-plastic cover "Deluxe Edition" treatment with both extra B-side type tracks and a second CD featuring a live show from March 9, 1980. Which just proves conclusively that this was one friggin' tight band back in the day...

Speaking of "tight"... the singer-songwriters behind Squeeze, Difford and Tilbrook, were part of a "track by track" type book a couple years ago where they basically admitted they hated each other for long periods during Squeeze's run. (They've evidently made up, since the band toured last year.) I don't know, somehow knowing that does color my impression of the albums. Maybe I just want to imagine that the guys behind such sunny songs were cheerful chaps themselves, and learning they could barely tolerate one another diminishes my enthusiasm.

Same things happened when I read the bio of John Fogerty. Incredible musician, but boy, we're talking about one angry man, who refused to perform with his original band-mates when CCR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. He wound up performing with a pick-up band while CCR's rhythm section sat seething in the audience. Or Three Dog Night... the survivors continue to tour, but they won't let vocalist Chuck Negron anywhere near them. (In that case, Negron freely admits he was the bad guy, ahh, heroin...)

I guess that's the downside of reading these backstage stories... the salacious details are intriguing in a gossipy way, but they pop any fantasy "Patridge Family"-ish" balloon that may have been constructed while savoring their efforts. Suppose that's why it's called "fantasy"...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Battlestar Does Letterman...

The cast of BSG appeared on the David Letterman show last night, doing the top ten list reasons why you should be watching Battlestar this season. The reasons are listed on Mo Ryan's column at:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stuff I Don't Like...

I was clicking around another site and found a link to an interview with a reasonably interesting person. So I clicked over, only to discover it was a "podcast." Which meant, of course, that I couldn't read the interview, I had to listen to it, all thirty + minutes if I wanted the entire piece.

Maybe I'm alone in this hurly-burly world, but I don't have spare thirty minute increments available for casual interest interviews, and this gets especially annoying when I know I could probably read/skim the piece in five minutes or less. (And no, I can't let the interview run in the background while working, because those spoken words interfere with my page-words and suddenly Adama is talking about Green Lantern and the shaky house of cards that is Battlestar collapses in on itself like a dwarf star...)

I guess I'm just saying it would be nice to have a written transcript along with the audio document...

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Name Is Bruce - New Review! 2008! Honest!

Bruce Campbell screened a pretty-close-to-final version of MY NAME IS BRUCE at the East Lansing Film Festival a few days ago, and this happy fellow was there to enjoy the festivities. Sounds like a good time was had by... well, by him, anyway.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bear's Big Battlestar Bash!!

Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McCreary will be performing his glorious poundy-drum score (including everyone's fave, "All Along The Watchtower") at a very special show to be held at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles. Mr. James "Baltar" Callis will host the event, which will also be attended by numerous BSG helpers, including yours truly. Etch the date into your skin and don't let anything frak up your chance to enjoy this one! Showtime is Sunday, April 13, at 8:00PM, and the details can be found at:

WizardWorld LA 2008

Saturday's screen-writing panel was fun, it's always great to meet other writers (one of the few silver linings of the WGA strike) and the audience was cool, lots of good questions. It's always complicated offering advice on breaking into the film writing business, since there's really no single answer, and what might work for one person could be a disaster for someone else. I broke in by writing a comic book that was optioned by a producer with a studio deal, with the proviso that I write the screenplay. But to do that you need to first break into comics (probably harder than making it in the movie business) AND control your own original material... the head spins!

The Wizard show itself was a blur of dealers, artists and costumes, including a lot of stormtroopers. Have to admit, the L.A. Convention center is not my favorite venue in the world, but then downtown L.A. isn't my favorite place, either.

For a good rundown of the panel and our shared wit and whimsy, go to:

We also shot a short video segment for "Wizard TV" (at the same site as above) but either it's not up yet or it was too gruesome for public consumption...

*LATE ADDITION, don't know how it slipped my mind, but I also bumped into the great Aaron "Chief Tyrol" Douglas at the show, who was kind enough to point me toward my panel (I got lost). Hell of an actor and blessed with a keen sense of direction as well!

Friday, March 14, 2008


*I will be at the WizardWorld L.A. show on Saturday 3/15, joining a panel on screenwriting. Here's the blurb, one more time:

3:00-4:30 P.M.
Petree Hall
Want to know the secret to writing a great screenplay? Or maybe how to get your screenplay sold? Or just want to hear about the next great wave of comic-based projects? This is the panel as we bring together a collection of writing superstars: Zak Penn ("The Incredible Hulk," "The Avengers"), Mark Verheiden ("Teen Titans"), John Cox ("Sgt. Rock"), Justin Marks ("Masters of the Universe," "Street Fighter," "Voltron" and "Super Max") and Carl Elsworth ("Red Eye", "Disturbia", "Y: The Last Man") for an event to remember. A must for budding screenwriters! For info on tickets and etc., go to

* There is a banner ad on my "sitemeter" site (they keep track of the hits on blogs like that) for the Battlestar Galactica Season Three DVD set, so it looks fairly certain they'll be out on March 18. For those looking forward to season four but who haven't seen the last season, or have been waiting for the DVDs so you can catch up on events with pristine sound and video (hi Steve and Cindy!), you might want to thread those babies up before season four starts (April 4, 10:00PM, Sci-Fi Channel). Apparently there will be a couple of recap-type shows running on Sci-Fi just before season four debuts, so that's another way to remind yourself of where we stand in the BSG firmament...

* Mark Evanier ( has been mulling the trailer for the movie All That Jazz and the way it undersells the dramatics of the film in favor of the "Chorus Line"-esque musical numbers. A reader chimed in and said that when he was working in a theater during the movie's original run, there were numerous walk-outs from folks who has expected a nice musical, based on the ads. It reminds me of when I attended (actually, I must have snuck in, since it was R rated) a first night screening of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Fans of the film will remember the moment, about a half hour in, when the hulking Leatherface puts a writhing young lady on a, well, meathook. Two older ladies sitting behind me stood up in a huff and marched down the aisle, demanding their money back because (and this is the exact quote) "we thought this was a detective movie!!"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Helicopter Shot...

I'm watching MSNBC as I write this, and they're twenty minutes into live helicopter coverage of NY Governor Eliot Spitzer's SUV driving across Manhattan so he can theoretically resign. Forget all the other issues involved... my question is, do these news folks really think there's a chance Spitzer's gonna run?

Battlestar Billboards!

I haven't been getting out much recently (darn deadlines!), but I'm told that the "last supper" image of Battlestar's cast, the one that appeared a few weeks ago in Entertainment Weekly, has been appearing on billboards, at least in the Los Angeles area. Galactica Sitrep is keeping track of the rising tide, including (according to them) an upcoming Lettermen ten-best list, "ten reasons you should be watching Battlestar Galactica!"

The countdown to the premiere of Season Four continues... April 4, 10:00PM, Sci-Fi Channel!

Dave Stevens... RIP

Dave Stevens, the creator of THE ROCKETEER and one of the best artists to ever grace the world of comics, died earlier this week at 53. He had been suffering from leukemia for some time.

We both grew up in the Portland Oregon area and I knew Dave way way back in my junior-high/high school days, bumping into him at various fan-functions. He was always a very sweet and kind-hearted guy, and incredibly talented from day one.

Mark Evanier ( has a nice remembrance at his site, and there are many other tributes out there.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Signing off...?

The excellent Galactica Sitrep site picked up my blog post from this morning (thanks!) and headlined it "Verheiden Signs Off." Just wanted to say, I may be writing my last BSG script, but I'll be on board right to the end, helping with stories, rewrites and whatever. So my last post wasn't so much "signing off" as marking a significant, albeit bittersweet, milestone.

And now back to work!

Sunday Morning...

Posting has been light for the last few days because I'm up to my eyeballs in various projects, including what will sadly and almost certainly be my ninth and final Battlestar Galactica script. We're getting down to the nitty gritty, the wire, the wrap-up, figuring out the last batch of shows while production gears up in lovely Canada.

While the staff is naturally consumed with writing, producing and finishing the "back nine" of the show, I'm also relieved that the "front ten" will finally start airing starting April 4. (Math majors, never fear, there will be twenty more episodes of BSG, ten starting in April, another ten when the Sci-Fi folks deem fit. For scheduling reasons, we already have eleven in the can though.) I've been caveating conversations about the show for so long, as in "sorry, no spoilers, all I can say is, watch the show!", that I don't know if I can handle discussing episodes after they've actually run.

We're being especially careful about giving away plot points, significant or otherwise, because we all feel the upcoming season is one that will play better if major developments come as a surprise. (We actually had a well-known director opt out of the running for one of the last nine shows because they're a fan and would rather be surprised then learn all the secrets in advance!) That said, I'm sure stuff will leak out, somehow it always does, but you'll be doing yourself a favor if you avoid the leaks and let the shows play out. I'm just sayin'...

Friday, March 07, 2008

EVIL DEAD #3 - Coming Next Week!!

Yes, I'm talking about the next glorious chapter in this "grueling tale of terror," an adaptation of the first EVIL DEAD movie in comic book form, with expanded scenes and incredible painted artwork by John Bolton. Don't read it alone, at night, while driving or after being possessed by Kandarian demons, but READ IT.

#3 is due out Mar. 13. For more info and a look at the very cool cover, go to:

What IS That Dog Doing?

Having written the comic book adventures of The Phantom (the purple guy, played by Billy Zane in the movie) in the dim distant past, this made me laugh.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Watchmen The Movie

I've been doing the movie/TV writing thang for awhile now, but I hope I never get so jaded that I can't get excited by photos like this:

The Watchmen remains one of the best (maybe the best) superhero-styled comic book graphic novels ever produced. If these photos are any indication, at the very least they've got the look nailed...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Doesn't This Guy Ever Shut Up?

Here's a link to another recent interview with yours truly, covering MY NAME IS BRUCE, EVIL DEAD the comic, TIMECOP and other intrigues. Take a peek at --

Ernest Troost Makes Great Music...

My pal Ernest Troost has quite a varied resume. He composed the music for the Kevin Bacon movie TREMORS, been nominated for four Emmys, winning one for his score to THE CANTERVILLE GHOST and, most recently, he's been writing and performing his own dark blues tunes for appreciative audiences in the Los Angeles area. His first solo CD, "Are The Boats Are Gonna Rise," rarely leaves the MV jukebox (well, my multi-disc player) and gets my highest recommendation. For a sample of Ernest's music, check out his Myspace page at:

When you're done there, you can download the entire collection at:

Smithereens Update and Interview...

Check out the link for an excellent interview with Smithereens singer/songwriter Pat DiNizio, discussing last year's Beatles tribute "Meet The Smithereens", their new Christmas CD and the history of the band.

Not mentioned, the band's prepping to release a new studio CD and a live set (recorded a month ago) "soon."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Jack Kirby - The King Of Comics

Over the years I've had the great privilege to meet some of my comic book icons, folks like Stan Lee, Gil Kane, Russ Heath and others, but one of my fondest memories was attending a surprise birthday party for Jack Kirby at a long-ago San Diego ComicCon (the year escapes me, but it must have been the late 80's) and getting the chance to tell this incredible artist just how much his work has meant to me over the years.

So here I am, up to my eyeballs with various projects, working late to keep up, only to come home to one of those familiar Amazon boxes and Mark Evanier's long awaited big book o' Jack Kirby. Of course I had to jump in with both feet...

Well, the book is great. Lavishly illustrated with exceptionally well-reproduced samples of Kirby's original art and the printed comic book pages, this is a loving biography of the man who pretty much set the tone for modern comics. Styles have changed over the years, but the energy and passion that Kirby put on the page continues to inspire and delight. His 102 (!) issue run on the Fantastic Four remains a high watermark for the superhero genre, but as time goes on I have to admit I'm developing as much or more affection for his earlier, grittier romance and crime work.

Evanier says this is just the tip of the iceberg, he's writing the definitive Kirby biography that goes into much greater detail about the great man's life, but evidently that is still years away. In the meantime, this book will give readers the basic lowdown while dazzling with Kirby's remarkable art.

Incidentally, long time readers of FMVOF know I'm a fan of the forties comics artist Fletcher Hanks, and one of the Kirby strips reprinted here (1939's The Lone Rider) features a bad guy named Hank Fletcher. Coincidence, or did Jack actually know the redoubtable Mr. Hanks? Maybe Evanier's next opus will tell the tale...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Me and WizardWorld L.A. 2008, 3/15/08

If you're in the L.A. area and want to see/meet a bunch of screenwriters (and who wouldn't), Wizard Magazine is taking over the L.A. Convention Center from March 14 - 16 for a big comic book/media show. Yours truly will be sitting in on Saturday's screenwriting panel because hey, if someone actually has the secret to writing a great screenplay, I wanna hear it! Anyway, here's the official scoop straight from Wizard's site --

4:30-5:30 P.M.
Petree Hall
Want to know the secret to writing a great screenplay? Or maybe how to get your screenplay sold? Or just want to hear about the next great wave of comic-based projects? This is the panel as we bring together a collection of writing superstars: Zak Penn ("The Incredible Hulk," "The Avengers"), Mark Verheiden ("Teen Titans"), John Cox ("Sgt. Rock"), Justin Marks ("Masters of the Universe," "Street Fighter," "Voltron" and "Super Max") and Carl Elsworth ("Red Eye", "Disturbia", "Y: The Last Man") for an event to remember. A must for budding screenwriters!

For info on tickets and etc., go to

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Battlestar Galactica Season Three DVDs

Thanks to the indefatigable folks at Galactica Sitrep, who point out a great review of the upcoming Battlestar Galactica Season Three boxset. Lots of cool extras and you get the entire season, all twenty eps. Due out this month!!