Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Big Black Eye

"We at Radical Publishing Inc. and Radical Comics Inc. are quite concerned to hear the news surrounding Nick Simmons’s Incarnate comic book. We are taking this matter seriously and making efforts now to contact the publishers of the works in question in an effort to resolve this matter. We have halted further production and distribution of the Incarnate comic book and trade paperback until the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Rest assured that Radical is taking swift action regarding this matter and will continue in its efforts to maintain the integrity and protect the intellectual property of artists throughout the world whose creative works are the bedrock of our company and the comic book industry."

Now this is a damn shame.

Welcome back to the PLANET GRIFFIN WEEKEND EDITION, and after seeing this, I don't know whether to hang my head or bust out laughing (Believe me, I've already done both after reading all of this, but hey...)

For those of you in the dark, the image above is a page from Radical Comics' latest series, INCARNATE, written and illustrated by NICK SIMMONS, son of legendary rocker GENE SIMMONS. The page is overlayed atop TITE KUBO's wildly popular BLEACH manga series from Japan. Now, clearly seeing where I'm going with this, the various communities; from Manga fansites to DeviantArt, are screaming foul at the very fact that Nick not only lifted panels directly from the Bleach creator, but translated dialogue as well!

After sifting through the blogsites like Robot6 and LiveJournal (where I lifted some of these images to illustrate what I'm talking about. Ha), I find it hilarious that he almost pulled it off! Radical loved Nick's pitch (or did they love the name attached to him? Hmmm), and they swooned over his designs , only to blow their tops when the fans revealed to the company that they had been hoodwinked. This is the kind of sad swiping that ultimately hurts ALL of us in the art community, no if's, and's, or but's about it.

In response to the damning evidence, Radical Publishing stopped production of Incarnate pending investigation of the 'accusations' of Nick plagiarizing Kubo's manga series, as well as other manga's like Hellsing, One Piece, and Vampire Hunter D... With Radical and A&E offering heavy promotional support of the series, you can imagine the big black eye the company has received in light of this. Don't get me wrong, 'homage swiping' has been around for decades, but not to the extent where you claim your talents directly off the backs of someone else's hard work... Sorry Nick, but your quick and easy path to the darkside has gotten you in seriously hot water, and now you've got to pay the full price of admission on this one.

Meanwhile, the underground continues to grind on.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Mystery Of John Twelve Hawks

Back in 2005, a mysterious writer known only as delivered a dystopian sci-fi tale centered around a special group of dreamtime travellers and the covert guards who protect them... The book was titled, simply, JOHN TWELVE HAWKSTHE TRAVELER, and became a huge cult hit, especially to rabid Matrix fans seeking the latest, unexplored realm of sci-fi/fantasy.

In fact, the Fourth Realm Trilogy is what the writer planned to give them.

In the series, there exists a group of rebels, known as Harlequins, who live 'off the grid'--- almost completely invisible from the ever watchful eye of 'Big Brother', now cranked up to 12 ( Of course, you don't know at this point whether to thank George Orwell or The Wachowski Brothers for this one)--- fighting desperately to break the reign of a multi-national mega corporation whose means of complete world control lie in a special breed of 'Traveler', a person who can travel the 'dream-time' realm and through their ability, possibly unlock the secrets of time and space.

Maya, among the last of the Harlequins, seeks out Gabriel, a newly formed traveler, to protect him at any and all costs. Gabriel is now a target and his own brother, Michael, is in the employ of the 'Machine' out to get him!

Along with THE DARK RIVER and it's newly newly released conclusion, THE GOLDEN CITY, Twelve Hawks' fan base of sci-fi fans in general and Matrix fans specifically would quickly establish him as a world class writer the world at large has yet to realize... And now that ALEX TSE (WATCHMEN) is adapting the Fourth Realm trilogy for the big screen, those same fans cheer for that very writer who may get his hard earned claims after all--- if only his fans knew who he actually was.

You see, no one knows who John Twelve Hawks is. The name is a pseudonym, the writer has never been seen live, the Vintage publishing offices claims that the writer communicates with them over an untraceable line using a voice scrambler, and book tours always winds up with stand-in representatives. By the writer's own admission, he truly lives 'off the grid'. As production gets under way, the natural speculation over Twelve Hawks' true identity is becoming as rabid as his book sales.

APAuthor James Frey James Frey. Oprah Book Club Public Enemy #1

Heavyweight names like Stephen King, James Patterson, and Michael Chabon have been tossed around, but with the recent release from the New York Post, JAMES FREY, the controversial author of 'A Million Little Pieces' (the one Oprah famously praised, then viciously discredited as fraud) may be the reclusive writer... A Nom de Plume that Frey says "I will neither confirm nor deny that I am John Twelve Hawks, Pittacus Lore, or anyone else . . . I will say that I have done, and I am continuing to do, projects that will come out anonymously or with invented names on them." Frey's upcoming alien series, 'I Am Number Four' (due out in August) has just been optioned by Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay.

Now, the question begging to be asked in all of this is, Whether or not Frey is or isn't, why use pseudonyms in the first place? Surely, from a cautious man's point of view, a pseudonym would be beneficial after getting reamed by Oprah on live television, of course, but seeing as how Frey's got no less than NINE projects upcoming; ALL using fake names, how does this benefit the literary world? The fourth realm trilogy is a decent series (I've read them myself), but the need for such secrecy over being real under those circumstances never made much sense to me. Of course, what do I know? Check out the Fourth Realm trilogy and judge for yourself...

Stay tuned to the pirate blogspot that continues to keep your knees clean and your back straight

Black Takes Bronze, Striking Gold

PLANET GRIFFIN, still holding orbit over the pop culture stratosphere, rests its case concerning its claims over the return of cool ass retro, and bringing back the grand cliffhanging adventure of yesteryear!

I was stoked to see this one--- Columbia Pictures, in conjunction with Original films, has begun pre-production on the 'Superman of the Pulps', DOC SAVAGE, THE MAN OF BRONZE!

The iconic pulp character of the 30's and 40's has passed from nickel-back novel to popular radio show to the resurgence of the pulp novel format back in the late 90's (Doc was the primary inspiration for Siegel and Shuster when they made you believe a man could fly)... And now, the super scientist has fallen into the hands of another throwback--- Doc Director SHANE BLACK.

Black, the Mark Millar of film writers during the late 80's/early 90's; creator of his own iconic creations (Lethal Weapon, Long Kiss Goodnight, The Last Boy Scout, and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang), boasts one of the largest collections of pulp fiction and antique detective novels in the country, says he's ecstatic over landing the job and being able to saddle up to another upcoming pulp film adaptation, THE GREEN HORNET (which is probably why Columbia wisely greenlit Savage in the first place). Seeing as how they've given Black free license over the project, I'm excited for the end result, knowing that this will mark the return of Shane Black with a vengeance!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Character Rhythm And The Great Villain

"...Not everyone can create a great sound. I mean, everybody and their grandmother
has home recording studios in their homes, but they're not all out there making
Sergeant Pepper right now, are they..?"
-Rob Zombie

Back once again, the PLANET GRIFFIN WEEKEND EDITION swings back into orbit with a piece from the archives of yours truly, the Infamous RodBuddah. When it comes to creating a character, I don't view it with a specific actor/actress in mind, like, say, Bryan Hitch. While the idea of someone like SAMUEL JACKSON 'playing' the role of a character I create would be cool, I tend to consider the 'sound' of a character in order to create a visual. Let's use Jackson as an example:

In PULP FICTION, the character of Jules, portrayed by Jackson, is a highlight of the film. Instantly quotable courtesy of Tarantino's deft style of smashgenre writing, the dialogue has a sort of 'sing-song' rhythm to it, making the film something you can listen to without even watching it... You already know the characters and the scenes, therefore you can visualize it in your own mind. The 'rhythm' of the character can be as important as the character itself.

In the creation of something new, especially in the writing phase, I tend to find a rhythm in the storytelling in order to come up with a visual for the character. Now, I'm not saying, 'Go listen to PULP and imitate the dialogue'--- No, no, no... I'm saying that, as a creator, you essentially have to 'become an actor' yourself in order to flesh out your storytelling, and in effect, your character visuals as well. When I initially began writing my personal project, FIERCE CREATURES, I began to study 'dialogue rhythm' before I set out to create the character visuals... It was in finding that rhythm during the creation of the 'Great Villain' that I managed to create the piece above... Y'know, that 'bad guy that's hard to hate' motif.

Of course, not everyone can follow such a metaphor... Much like a musician creating a new sound, you've got to find that rhythm before you can carry a tune. The same can be applied here, from music to movies to books of all types... With that said, I say to all of you up and coming creator's out there: Let's take it to the stage and create our own 'Top 40'... Or rather, our 'NEXT 100' ...LOL... This is the PLANET GRIFFIN WEEKEND EDITION.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A New Orbit

Once again, the pirate blog known as PLANET GRIFFIN has returned to broadcast depth to assault the senses of the good people who are indeed ready for future sights and sounds! To everyone else, I say it's okay--- sometimes it takes me awhile to wake up from a deep sleep into a new day too--- not to worry, we'll keep the breakfast hot till you get here!

To the newcomers of The PLANET, welcome aboard! I am your host and motivational speaker, THE INFAMOUS RODBUDDAH, forging through the underground channels in order to spread the word of THE NEW INDEPENDENT UNDERGROUND that stirs beneath the feet of the Mainstream-At-Large. I personally find it a shame that there is SO MUCH out there that the public is NOT getting a chance to see (nor would they, if all they know are 'The Big Two'). Again, I'm honored to have you onboard, so don't be afraid to chime in and speak your mind!

During the brief absence, I've been burning the candle at both ends, either solving technical problems and adding in new hardware, or trying to finish several projects at once and managing all the extra material. I just recently added in a new scanner, so I feel like a samurai recieving his first sword--- time for a test cut! The pic above is a little something to work out the kinks.

Alright folks, back to work!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The NEXT 100: Through The Looking Glass Of Elizabeth Raab

How many of you out there got tired of looking at the same old post, awaiting the return of new PLANET material? Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the long awaited return of PLANET GRIFFIN--- I am your resident ranter and motivational speaker The Infamous RODBUDDAH, and, as promised, I told you I would return with NEW NEXT 100 for 2010!

For the uninitiated, THE NEXT 100 focuses on those indie talents who are on the rise; fast tracked to bring you new sights, sounds, and different ways of thinking outside of the same old things you may be used to. Today, we take a hard turn into the world of photograpghy and introduce (or re-introduce for those of you on the New York scene) the incredible visual eye of ELIZABETH RAAB.

Based out of Seattle, Elizabeth's work leans towards creative portraitures and automotive imagery. Her slates have graced publications here in the U.S. and Italy, which gained the attention of Ducati Motorcycles. Her style focuses on vivid color palettes and surreal backdrops that's quickly establishing her as one who doesn't shy away from getting 'the magic shot'.
Check out her pictorial site, WWW.ELIZABETHRAAB.COM, to see more, and definitely what's to come. Don't be surprised to see this talent popping up in print ads all over the place in the coming year! PLANET GRIFFIN is definitely proud to welcome this indie hard charger as a member of THE NEXT 100!