Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Recent Reading

Just finished reading the script for the movie FREQUENCY by Toby Emmerich.

I liked it.

I remember seeing FREQUENCY in the theater when it came out in 2000 and found it to be entertaining as well. For the record, Emmerich is currently Head of Production at New Line Cinema. He also happens to be a very prolific producer and wrote the script for the recent New Line release THE LAST MIMZY. I admire Emmerich -- he seems more genuine (and more creative) than a lot of Hollywood executive types.

I also re-read NOTTING HILL by Richard Curtis and EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO by Guillermo del Toro. NOTTING HILL is really great but EL LABERINTO feels like it lost something, style-wise, in the translation. I'd love to read it in del Toro's native Spanish.

I plan to read THE FUGITIVE next. Second Acts are notoriously difficult to write (in nearly every medium) and several screenwriting teachers have recommended reading and/or studying THE FUGITIVE in order to see how a good writer handles that treacherous "middle part" of a story. I remember liking the movie a great deal and I certainly don't recall there being any really slow parts in the film, so I'm excited to get started . . .

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


The new GROO comic is available for preorder.

That's the first new issue in a very long time. I am more excited by this than I am about the possibility of there someday being a GROO movie.

For those of you who don't know, GROO THE WANDERER is a long-running humor comic co-created by Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier. The comic book, which is a parody of the sword and sorcery fantasy genre made famous by titles like CONAN THE BARBARIAN or RED SONJA, is very, very funny and extremely well-written. Mark and Sergio co-write the stories and Sergio illustrates them.

The character of Groo is a mindless (and, aside from his loyal hound Rufferto, friendless) warrior who meanders aimlessly about the realm slaying entire armies, laying waste to kingdoms and eating cheesedip. The name "Groo" is synonymous with bad luck and the mere presence of the barbarian is enough to cause chaos. When Groo comes to town, ships sink, farms flood and bridges collapse.

If this sounds like a one-joke comic, it is. Yet somehow, Mark and Sergio do a great job of making each new storyline feel fresh. My children and I spend an awful lot of time rereading the stories; many of which - like the best fairy tales - feature a timeless moral or theme.

I've met Sergio and he is a super guy, very friendly and incredibly generous. He's best known for his lightning fast drawing ability and those famously tiny marginals that appeared in MAD Magazine. Mark is a longtime writer of comics and television and has amassed more than a few credits in the world of television animation. He has his own blog at

The new GROO is slated to come out in August and is available for preorder from here, or your favorite neighborhood comic shop.