Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Sentinel Squad #1 preview

Giant freakin' robots smashin' the crap out of things. Click for a larger image.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Schiavelli no more

Character actor Vincent Schiavelli, dead of lung cancer at age 57. I always liked this guy. Seems like he hadn't been in movies recently.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Layman movie Review: KING KONG 2005

Dude, what the hell? I had such high hopes for this movie, but Peter Jackson is clearly out of control. For his next movie, he needs to reign it the fuck back in.

Damn, I really wanted to like this movie. I loved all three Lord of the Rings movies, and their expanded counterparts, but they were were adapting a 1000-something pages of a giant-ass book trilogy, while King Kong takes the original hour and a half movie and stretches it out to eternity.

Every single action sequence in the new King Kong went twice as long as it should have. The rampaging dinosaurs, the fight in the spider pit, the fight against the T-Rexes (one should have sufficed, not three) and even the cab-ride to escape the ape scene in New York. Plus, the first hour really should have been cut up by a half an hour. It's sad, because here's a movie that could have been great, if only I was a film editor and had final cut.

Anyway, the CGI with the ape really was astounding, and the moments with Naomi Watts--who is not exactly hard on the eyes--were the highlight of the film. But why the subplot about Jimmy the sailor boy? There was no resolution, unless (the likely scenario) it was left on the cutting room floor (where much of the rest of the movie should have been.) And did anyone notice that the long "filming in the island with Anne and telling her to scream" sequence, which was shown in the extended theater trailer, was not actually in the movie.

I don't want to make it sound like I hated the movie, because I didn't. But I was definitely numbed by all its excess. Probably not something I'd buy when it comes to DVD. You want to see a really great Peter Jackson movie? Rent "Heavenly Creatures."

Monday, December 12, 2005

coming in March: CLAW/RED SONJA

Claw/Red Sonja #1 (of four) with covers by Alex Ross (pictured) and Jim Lee

Sorry I've been so miserable at blogging lately. I have a video game I have to finish by the 20th, and three different comic book I am juggling (Sentinel Squad, Claw/Red Sonja, and another that is not announced just yet.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lego Dino Attack Addendum

This is really interesting.

If you go to the Lego Web Site (like I do every hour,) you'll notice there are both America versions of the Dino Attack Sets and European versions. In the US, it is called Dino ATTACK, and features "mutant" dinosaurs that the little lego guys must take down with weapons on their vehicles.

However, the European version is called Dino 2010 and the vehicles are equipped with cages and nets to CAPTURE --NOT kill-- the dinosaurs. So, I'm wondering, what does it say about American culture that we need to give our dinosaurs super-powers and then hunt them to extinction again?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005

Layman Movie Review: ROBOTS

Beautiful dogshit. That's the short review.

The longer review: A really nice looking computer animated movie that was dopey as all hell. Clearly, computer animation has advanced to the point where any idiot can do it. And, in this case, they have.

I don't understand why nobody but Pixar understands how to make a decent feature-length cartoon, but the freakin' dopes who did Robots (and A Shark's Tale, for that matter,) don't have a clue.

After seeing Shark's Tale, I sorta knew what to expect, a bunch of dumb puns abouts robots and machines instead of fish and seafood. And where Shark's Tale tried to be edgy and urban (clearly most of the fish in lead roles except for the sharks were supposed to be "black fish,") Robots is just dumb and directionless. I mean, who on Earth still thinks Robin William's riff-on-everything-a-mile-a-minute is funny? It hasn't been funny for 15 years, and to be honest, it wasn't really funny even back then.

Another thing that really made me sick was the "message" of this movie, which was twofold. The first one is: if you just have a kid, you will be happy, and it's the greatest goal people can aspire to is to procreate. Frickin' yawn! The other is the old corporate cliche, about how if you work really hard and are passionate, you'll eventually triumph against the soulless Capitalism moneygrubbers that don't give a damn about the workers. Bullshit. Chances are, if you have a job at a large company, you will eventually be crushed. A great majority of everyone my age or younger is going to lose their pension (if indeed they have one in the first place) and get old eating ramen and dog food, while rich assholes become richer assholes. Isn't that, after all, why Republicans keep getting elected? Because most people aspire to be a rich asshole? All of this sends a terrible message to kids. Namely, there is hope for you and your future. Wake up, you little brats... you are fucked, just like everybody else in this foul country. (I told you... the hate is back.)

Anyway, this movie was insulting and obvious and dumb, though it definitely had some pretty visuals. I watched it on double speed, like I watch all lousy movies, and I even had to forward it to 4x. See it at your own risk: It will poison your mind.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Layman movie Review: CRASHNOLIA

Crash was a damn good movie.

But... it was freakin' Magnolia. It was the same movie, more or less. Big cast, all interacting and intersecting, with a healthy dose of coincidence and a weird and/or unlikely occurrance at the end. The difference, of course, is theme, and where Magnolia sorta dealth with regret and "sins of the past," Crash takes a look a race, and basically concludes we're all prejudice assholes in some form or another, but we can be decent one-on-one or with or to the people we love.

Still, of the two, I prefer Crash. I got Magnolia as a gift DVD a couple Christmasses back, and it is too shrill to hold up over repeat viewings. The Julianne Moore character is unwatchable, she is so screeching and annoying, and Tom Cruise has only gotten worse as you realize his "I'm a frothing nutbag" shtick is not really an act. Of course, the Amee Mann music was nice.

Crash was much more low key than Magnolia, and as a whole I liked the cast better (especially Don Cheadle, who I've loved since his days on Picket Fences.) Sandra Bullock, who I can't stand anyways, essentially plays the unwatchable Julianna Moore part, but at least she has less screen time. And I thought Ludacris has really charm and screen presence. Anyway, both my roommate and I watched the movie, without fast forewarding it once, and afterwords we both turned to one another and agreed it was a damn good movie. Lemme tell you, that don't happen too much.

Next reviews up: Robots, Alice & Darkness Light Darkness, and Godzilla Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.

Also upcoming: All about my Xbox 360, more Layman Lego Project, my Christmas list, an announcement about my new comics gig, and Proof Your Are A Shithead If You Remotely Support George Bush.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Tanned, rested and ready

Well, look for regular blogging to begin again tomorrow. I came back from Japan and had three scripts and a video game level to write, and that sorta sapped all the energy out of me. But I'm done, even though I've got NEW scripts to write (mainly because Sentinel Squad artist Aaron Lopresti is insanely fast-- I can barely keep up.)

So anyway, since Japan, I've also gone on this insane excersize regimen, losing around 17 lbs., which has also been taking a lot of my time.

Now, I'm sitting in a Starbucks in my home town of Yuba City, after another miserable visit home. (Miserably primarily because my dad has Alzheimer's and is at a point where you can almost SEE his brains seeping out of his head.)

Anyway, the LAYMAN '05 BLOG OMNIBUS starts in earnest tomorrow, where I shall catch you up on all wisdom I've acquired in the past month. A word of warning: That 17 lbs. I lost seemed to hold all of my "jolliness reserves," so expect a LOT of bitterness and bile.

See ya soon, suckahs!


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Friday, November 11, 2005

I just haven't been in the mood to blog lately

I dunno. I've had a lot of scripts due, and have been excersizing like crazy, and have not had much to say.

While you wait for me to get inspired, here's a picture of the cutest little angel in the entire world, Reginald James Bucket, being groomed by Batty Ray Ruggles.

Doesn't he look super cute and happy? The poor stupid creature has NO idea how dark and terrible the world really is.

But I do. Oh, how I do!


Monday, November 07, 2005

Layman movie Review: THE FUGGETABOUTIT

Dude, this movie totally suffers from bad casting. If I were the casting director I would have absolutely gone a different direction and got somebody like Danny Aiello (whatever happened to that guy?) or maybe the guy who played "Big Pussy" Bompansaro to play the Julianne Moore part.

So anyway, Julianne Moore plays this "reputed" mob boss, whose son, a future mob enforcer, is inexplicably missing and, for some strange reason, everybody is pretending not to remember he exists. Anthony Edwards is in it, playing another mob capo, and, man, is he looking old (does anybody remember that 1980s pre-Revenge of the Nerds teen sex comedy with Linda Fiorintino and Anthony Edwards, where she's a spy he fell in love with? What was that called? Anybody?) Anyway, stupid mob boss Julianna Moore befriends another lowlife neighbor "from the neighborhood," whose daughter turned stoolie, and also disappeared. For the next 127 minutes Julianne Moore just goes from person to person axing people if they have seen her young son. And everybody she ax shakes their head and answers, "Hey Julianne... fuggetaboutit!!" Then Julianne Moore, who is supposed to be this big, tough, hard-as-nails mob boss, either runs away or starts crying or starts screaming.


Friday, November 04, 2005

This is my pledge to you

The next mother fucking clerk who tries to sneak a Canadian penny in with the rest of my change is going to get their mother fucking face smashed in!!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Another ghost of Halloween Past: Halloween '99

Zombie Picachu with, uh, Undead Consort.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The ghosts of Halloween past

Marge Simpson with Fat Elvis.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Halloween '05

Pecos Layman,and his faithful steed Skeeker, on the ol' Chism Trail from Amarillo.

"Yellar belly like YOU might ought to get a belly full of lead," growled Pecos.

Pecos Layman and the lil' hombre that rustled up his heart!

The year's second place winner

Friday, October 28, 2005

There came a crooked man.

Adios, scum fuck!

May you be the first of many to burn.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Presenting REGGIEWEAR!!!!!

The hip new clothes line for today's man's man!

reggie wear

It would make a good Fitzmas present, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

John Layman: Indiputed King of the J-Teens

So, check this out. When we were in Japan, there were arcades everywhere, with games and claws-that-pick-up-stuffed-animal thingies. In the back of most of the arcades were these photo booths, and neither myself nor the girl I am currently seeing could figure out exactly what they were for. The photo booth areas were swarming with high-school age Japanese girls (Eric DeSantis' idea of Heaven) and we tried to wander around and figure it out, when my traveling companion noticed a sign that said in Engrish "No Male Persons Allowed."

Anyway, a couple of days later, at a different arcade, we checked it out, in an arcade where apparently males were allowed. It took us a while to figure out, but these photo booths had two parts, one where you take the picture, with various backgrounds, and then were you go and decorate the picture with various crazy shit, then the machine spits out a 4x6 photo with the pictures you just took and decorated.. I had to admit, it was pretty fun, and kinda addictive, 'cause when we got drunk later that night, we went back and did some more.

These things are all the rage with Japanese teenagers, so I thought I'd set the trend here in the Bad Ol' USA. Here's one of those crazy picture thingies:

Monday, October 24, 2005

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Coming this January: Sentinel Squad O*N*E.... number #1!!

giant robots fuckin' shit up. go Layman!!

With great interior art by Aaron Lopresti.

Friday, October 21, 2005

On Sale Two Days Ago: Armageddon & Son

My first graphic novel, courtesy of Oni, with art by Dave Dumeer.

The Fourth Rail calls it "quite entertaining."

X-Fan says "this book doesn’t really work as a parody, but is successful as a black comedy with a heart. If you like a little bit of sweetness, but only when buried under a tonne of sour, then this book is for you."

And (I love this,) Comics Worth Reading says "I appreciate Layman's sense of humor better when it's described to me." I haven't the slightest idea what that means, but I figure it's not a compliment.

BTW, Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. I desperately needed to finish a video game synopsis I was working on. Fucker ran 57 pages! And now I am, like, totally behind on my comic scripting. SHIT!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

still not cooperating

The little punk.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Stupid REGGIE is destroying the brilliance of this blog

So, after traveling halfway around the world and entertaining my thousands and thousand of fans with exotic pictures and a scintillating travelogue, I figured the only way to top last week's blogging was to take pictures of little Reggie in his brand new Japanese-bought collar-that-looks-like-a-bow-time-and-tuxedo. Unfortunately, Reggie, who does not like even wearing a collar, goes nuts whenever I try to put it on him, and he's making it impossible to take a picture to show ya'll just what a little cutie he is.

This, sadly, is the best I could do:

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thursday in Katakura

The biggest outdoor Budda in the world.

"Christ, that's a big Budda."

Layman with unidentified female traveling companion.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wednesday in Kyoto

I saw 1001 statues of the goddess Kannon... while my deer bites oozed and festered.

My good pal Jason "Skyrocket" Talley, expert in all things related to Japan, sent me a list of cool places to go in Tokyo in Kyoto. He suggested we visit a temple in Kyoto, the longest wooden building in the world, that has 1001 human-sized statues of the multi-limbed goddess Kannon. It was almost inconceivable how long this hallway went, and how it was just filled with statue after statue until your eyes glazed and your mind went numb. It was surely one of the strangest, most spectacular, surreal, incredible, even transcendent things I have ever seen.

Unfortunately, they did not allow pictures, so here's a photo of a Japanese billboard with a dog peeing. I know there's at least two of you regular blog readers that are really gonna enjoy this.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tuesday in Kyoto

I saw the biggest Budda in the world... and I got BIT by a two frickin' deer!!!

Based on John Nee, the biggest bronze Budda in the world was built in 752 a.d. We took a train from Kyoto to Nara to see it, and some other stuff. Like John Nee, seeing the Budda fills you with a sense of serenity, benevolence and infinite love.

On the grounds of the temple are hundreds of tame deer. You can buy these little wafer things to feed them. Animal lover Layman tried to feed a some, but he got mobbed, and when he ran out of crackers the bastards bit him--TWICE!!!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Monday in Tokyo: Layman takes a bullet...

...bullet train that is. All the way to Kyoto.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sunday in Tokyo

Breakfast. Put your money in the vending machine and then hand it to the cook.

Abe Pagota.

Giant cooper lanterns.

Nightlife in Shinjuku.

Deadly martial arts superstar Ikeekayurassa.