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Personal blog for writer/editor/publisher Renee Witterstaetter-- film and publishing professional as well as agent to actors, media guests, writers and artists via Pros & Cons Celebrity Booking AND Eva Ink Artist Group. Owner of the virtual experience site: happyspacePOPcon.com. In this blog, Renee will post missives and observances for entertainment, as well as keep followers updated on the creative endeavors of both herself and her associates at Pros & Cons and Eva Ink.
Welcome to our blog!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Happy Holidays from Eva Ink Artist Group!
Wishing all of our friends out there a season filled with PEACE!
i.e. no fighting over that last piece of fruitcake ya'll.
They'll make more. :-)
And a fantastic 2010!
Peace and Love, as Ringo would say--
From the gang at Eva Ink:
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Eva Ink Shop--Just in Time for the Holidays!
Be sure to check out the Eva Ink Products folder on our Facebook page for all your holiday shopping, for that comics lover in your life, or for yourself
There is still time for Christmas delivery on all our books, prints and DVD's, the later featuring your favorite artists such as Michael Golden, Mark Texeira, George Perez, Bill Sienkiewcz, Steve Scott, Joe Jusko... and many more!!!!
For orders, contact me, Renee at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the Eva Ink page at:
Eva Ink Artist Group
Eva Ink Publishing
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
In Time for the Holidays--Give a chicken, a Goat or a Duck to a Needy Family!!
Here's another idea for the holidays and a great way to help those in need via World Vision, a non-profit organization that looks at the essentials of survival for these families and makes miracles happen.
Check Out: http://www.worldvision.org
You can give a gift of two chickens for $25, five ducks for $30, a goat and a chicken for $100, and a goat $75-- and more to needy families in other countries as well as make donations to = families in the US as well.
What is the significance of this? Give a goat for example ($75), and a goat nourishes hungry children and families with healthy milk, cheese, and yogurt. Goats also give a much-needed income boost by providing offspring and extra dairy products for sale at the market. A healthy diary goat can give up to 16 cups of milk a day. Goat milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk and is an excellent source of calcium, protein, and other essential nutrients that growing children need. Goats are practical animals — flourishing in harsh climates while producing valuable manure to fertilize crops and vegetable gardens.
Give two chickens ($25). Chickens give children and families a lasting source of nutrition and income. Fresh eggs raise the levels of protein and other nutrients in a family’s diet, and the sale of extra eggs and chickens can pay for vital basics.
Your gift of chickens will also naturally multiply to impact generations of children. Each family that receives chickens can sell the offspring for extra income or share them with other families in need. Chicks require little money, space, or food to thrive and grow — making them an ideal business venture for a single mom or vulnerable family.
Donate five ducks ($30). Give ducks to a hungry family today and they’ll benefit from hundreds of large, protein-rich eggs all year long. Extra duck eggs and hatched ducklings can be sold to buy medicine or help send a child to school.
A duck also offers valuable down-feathers, famous for their thermal insulation and padding — great for use in bedding materials and warm clothing, or to fetch much-needed income at the market. Ducks even produce fertilizer that can dramatically increase crop yields!
There are so many ways to help. Check it out.
Hi All--Just in time for Christmas, I found this interesting article on how a Bronx priest is having locals in Guatemala spin cotton, which is then turned into trendy threads by folks in the Bronx, and which now is hitting the fashion world because the clothes are organic and sustainable. I particularly like this story because the non-profit helps folks in Guatemala earn a living, while also providing jobs in the Bronx and helping those in need including underfunded schools in the community. This is one example of people out there trying to make a difference in this crazy world, and I salute them. Check 'em out a bit more below from the NY Daily News article, from December 7th.
Bronx Priest in the Fashion World
Ahalo is not an accessory one envisions on Anna Wintour.
Yet the Vogue editor's discovery of a fashion designer who happens to be a priest is causing miracles in his Bronx parish and beyond.
"It was an act of God, it really was," says the Rev. Andrew More O'Connor - the fashionista priest of Holy Family Church in Castle Hill.
"I was helping a young woman and her fiancé prepare for their marriage and she said I'm an editor at Vogue; I'd really like to see your clothing line."
That would be Goods of Conscience, made from organic soft cotton cloth hand woven by the Mayan Indians in Guatemala - O'Connor calls it "social fabric."
Seamstresses tailor it right there on Castle Hill Ave. into unexpectedly chic wraparound blouses, black sheaths and even men's suits.
So the bride-to-be, Devon Schuster, Vogue's market editor, went down to the workshop to take a look. "The next day, this is where the act of God comes in," O'Connor says, "Anna Wintour told her staff, 'We can't do the dresses we were planning on for our Cameron Diaz cover story.'"
Cameron is the Queen of Green and only wants clothing made from sustainable grown fabrics - something that's hard to find in the high-fashion market. So Schuster piped up and told Wintour about O'Connor's line of clothes.
"So they called me up and Vogue picked up some of the collection and flew it out to Los Angeles," O'Connor says. "It was all dependent upon whether Cameron Diaz wanted to wear it.
"She did. She loved it. You can see it in the photo. She looks so happy and comfortable, which I liked. And Ms. Wintour wrote a very generous editorial on us."
In her editor's note in that issue, Wintour declared that of all the clothing Diaz modeled, "the neat pair of checked shorts from the charitably minded fashion company Goods of Conscience [is] my personal favorite."
Talk about divine intervention.
"It gave us fashion 'cred,'" O'Connor laughs.
Sales - which ran around 350 pieces a year - spiked. In two years, the company has earned tens of thousands of dollars. Another major star has chosen to wear the comfortable yet elegant clothes in her next movie, the priest hints.
Designer Tory Burch is another O'Connor fan. "I will support anything Father O'Connor does," Burch says. On Dec. 10, Burch's staff will hold a Christmas party and give gifts to all the kindergartners in Holy Family School, which, despite having non-donating multimillionaire Jennifer Lopez as an alumnus, struggle to pay the tuition.
If you're picturing multicolored serapes, re-envision.
At a show at the Greg Lord Studio on W. 26 St., the other night where Swift Technique played, fashionistas sporting $300 shades raved about a cowlneck blouse that reverses to a bateau; khaki trousers draped like gabardine with a peekaboo of tattersal; a man's deep blue shirt with indigo and the very cool "Bronx Blazer," with lapels that snap over the throat.
O'Connor isn't doing all this to compete with Marc Jacobs. The nonprofit Goods of Conscience is creating jobs in the Bronx, funding domestic violence projects in the parish, and helping cure desperate poverty in Guatemala, where the 48-year-old priest was stationed on a religious retreat. "There is 80% malnutrition among the Indian communities of Guatemala, the worst in the northern hemisphere, even worse than Haiti," O'Connor says. "A lot of people wonder, how can I help the poor? People wearing these clothes, they're helping, but not in a condescending way. They're glorying in the workmanship. And the craftsmen and women are earning a living."
Look good, do good, feel good. Fabulous! And Amen.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Cancer From the Kitchen?
My Mother has survived Breast Cancer twice...I feel fortunate to still have her with me today. But, women in the United States are at high risk due to "environment." But not just women, we all are at risk. Please read this article from the NY Times, and consider tossing out all plastics in your home that are labeled 3,6 and 7.
Cancer From the Kitchen?
The battle over health care focuses on access to insurance, or tempests like the one that erupted over new mammogram guidelines.
But what about broader public health challenges? What if breast cancer in the United States has less to do with insurance or mammograms and more to do with contaminants in our water or air -- or in certain plastic containers in our kitchens? What if the surge in asthma and childhood leukemia reflect, in part, the poisons we impose upon ourselves?
This last week I attended a fascinating symposium at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, exploring whether certain common chemicals are linked to breast cancer and other ailments.
Dr. Philip Landrigan, the chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai, said that the risk that a 50-year-old white woman will develop breast cancer has soared to 12 percent today, from 1 percent in 1975. (Some of that is probably a result of better detection.) Younger people also seem to be developing breast cancer: This year a 10-year-old in California, Hannah, is fighting breast cancer and recording her struggle on a blog.
Likewise, asthma rates have tripled over the last 25 years, Dr. Landrigan said. Childhood leukemia is increasing by 1 percent per year. Obesity has surged. One factor may be lifestyle changes — like less physical exercise and more stress and fast food — but some chemicals may also play a role.
Take breast cancer. One puzzle has been that most women living in Asia have low rates of breast cancer, but ethnic Asian women born and raised in the United States don’t enjoy that benefit. At the symposium, Dr. Alisan Goldfarb, a surgeon specializing in breast cancer, pointed to a chart showing breast cancer rates by ethnicity.
“If an Asian woman moves to New York, her daughters will be in this column,” she said, pointing to “whites.” “It is something to do with the environment.”
What’s happening? One theory starts with the well-known fact that women with more lifetime menstrual cycles are at greater risk for breast cancer, because they’re exposed to more estrogen. For example, a woman who began menstruating before 12 has a 30 percent greater risk of breast cancer than one who began at 15 or later.
It’s also well established that Western women are beginning puberty earlier, and going through menopause later. Dr. Maida Galvez, a pediatrician who runs Mount Sinai’s pediatric environmental health specialty unit, told the symposium that American girls in the year 1800 had their first period, on average, at about age 17. By 1900 that had dropped to 14. Now it is 12.
A number of studies, mostly in animals, have linked early puberty to exposure to pesticides, P.C.B.’s and other chemicals. One class of chemicals that creates concern — although the evidence is not definitive — is endocrine disruptors, which are often similar to estrogen and may fool the body into setting off hormonal changes. This used to be a fringe theory, but it is now being treated with great seriousness by the Endocrine Society, the professional association of hormone specialists in the United States.
These endocrine disruptors are found in everything from certain plastics to various cosmetics. “There’s a ton of stuff around that has estrogenic material in it,” Dr. Goldfarb said. “There’s makeup that you rub into your skin for a youthful appearance that is really estrogen.”
More than 80,000 new chemicals have been developed since World War II, according to the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai. Even of the major chemicals, fewer than 20 percent have been tested for toxicity to children, the center says.
Representative Louise Slaughter, the only microbiologist in the House of Representatives, introduced legislation this month that would establish a comprehensive program to monitor endocrine disruptors. That’s an excellent idea, because as long as we’re examining our medical system, there’s a remarkable precedent for a public health effort against a toxic substance. The removal of lead from gasoline resulted in an 80 percent decline in lead levels in our blood since 1976 — along with a six-point gain in children’s I.Q.’s, Dr. Landrigan said.
I asked these doctors what they do in their own homes to reduce risks. They said that they avoid microwaving food in plastic or putting plastics in the dishwasher, because heat may cause chemicals to leach out. And the symposium handed out a reminder card listing “safer plastics” as those marked (usually at the bottom of a container) 1, 2, 4 or 5.
It suggests that the “plastics to avoid” are those numbered 3, 6 and 7 (unless they are also marked “BPA-free”). Yes, the evidence is uncertain, but my weekend project is to go through containers in our house and toss out 3’s, 6’s and 7’s.
December 7th, 1941
The date should not be forgotten, nor a time when our country came together and put aside religious, cultural and political differences and worked together for a common good....100% sure for perhaps the last time in our nation's history, that our goal was right and unquestionable.
Just wanted to remember the date, with a moment of silence....in honor of all of our veterans, of this and every war. And for those that did not come home...
Cutest Kitten in the WORLD!
My new blog post is running behind with all the holiday stuff such as working out at the gym, practicing my zydeco dancing and trying to get Christmas cards out.
So, in the meantime, I offer you this: The cutest kitten in the WORLD! Just click on the link below! :-)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Golden Masterclass in Storytelling News!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Golden and Witterstaetter Join Virginia Comic-Con--Golden named "GOH"
Richmond-- Virginia IS for lovers...of G.I. Joe and Michael Golden artwork that is-- as Golden and his biographer and publisher, Renee Witterstaetter, sign on as a surprise last-minute guests for next weekends Virginia Comic-Con, slated for November 21-22, 2009, with Golden taking a "Guest of Honor" nod to boot!
Golden, a fan favorite for his work on "Micronauts," "G.I.Joe," Batman, Dr. Strange, X-Men, Avengers, and "The 'Nam," among many other projects, has just been added to the line-up just this week, and is a natural for the event's G.I. Joe theme, considering his groundbreaking work on that series.
This will also mark the artist's first appearance in Virginia, in fact. And, to celebrate the fact, Michael will have some special prints and books for the occasion.
During his career, Golden has been an editor at DC Comics as well as senior art director at Marvel Comics, and has worked on numerous movie production projects, including some currently in development.
His art has been the focus of gallery shows in places as diverse as New York, Gijon, Barcelona, Antwerp and Brussels, and his class on storytelling has been conducted in countries including Spain, Brussels, Canada, the United States and China. Golden’s recent work can be seen on the covers of "Heroes for Hire," "Exiles," "Demon’s Regret," "Uncanny X-Men," and Spiderman, among many others. Vanguard Production’s recently released top-selling art retrospective “Excess: The Art of Michael Golden,” written by Renee Witterstaetter, has sold out and has gone into a second printing. This year will also see the release of Golden’s new sketchbook, “MORE Heroes and Villains,” from Eva Ink Publishing-a perfect match for last year’s “Heroes and Villains” sketchbook. (Soon to followed by the sketchbooks, "Dangerous Curves," and "Bad Dog.")
Joining Golden and Witterstaetter in Virginia will be Larry Hama (G.I. Joe), Alex Saviuk (Spiderman), Chris Claremont (X-Men), Bill Tucci (Sgt. Rock), Chuck Dixon (Birds of Prey), Kelly Yates (Doctor Who), Jim Calafiore (Exiles), John Gallagher (Buzzboy), Steve Conley (Astounding Space Thrills), Eric Wolfe-Hanson (G.I. Joe), Rick Ketchum (Runaways), James Kuhoric (Army of Darkness), our own J.C. Vaughn (24), Mike McKone (Amazing Spider-Man), Reilly Brown (Cable), Dan Parent (Archie), Randy Green (Witchbalde), Andy Smith (Red Sonja), Steve Bird (Blue Beetle), Rick Spears (Teenagers from Mars), James Callahan (Strange Detective Tales), Louis Small, Jr. (Vampirella), Brian Shearer (Gravyboy), Kevin Sharpe (G.I. Joe), Budd Root (Cavewoman), and Zuda Comics winner Adam Lucas (Goldilock).
Admission is $10 for adults to the November 21-22, 2009 show at the Crowne Plaza West, 6532 W Broad Street in Richmond, VA, but it will be free to anyone in full costume, children, folks with student ID and people with military ID. It will also be free to members of the press.
For more information on Michael Golden, his commission and appearances, contact email@example.com, or check out his facebook listing at:
For more information on the Virginia Comic-Con go to: http://www.vacomicon.com
And Now Something for my Spanish Friends!
«Los superhéroes, como los boxeadores, deben ser los mejores»
«Los cómics no dejan de ser una pequeña película en una dimensión»
RENEE WITTERSTAETTER EDITORA DE LA MARVEL Gijón, Víctor GUILLOT
Renee Witterstaetter nació en el estado de Texas. Fue cronista de boxeo para el «Dallas Morning News», pero su carrera profesional ha destacado como gran editora para la Marvel con «Silver Surfer» o «Conan el Bárbaro». Ha sido la gran maestra de convertir al papel exitosas series de televisión como «Xena», «Hércules» o «Expediente X». Ayer habló para LA NUEVA ESPAÑA.
-Es difícil encontrar una mujer cronista de boxeo que asuma con valentía y eficacia este género periodístico. ¿Cómo fue esa etapa juvenil en el periodismo y cómo influyó después en su trabajo como editora de cómics de superhéroes?
-De pequeña yo era lo que vulgarmente se llama «un marimacho». Me crié junto a mis dos hermanos mayores, que vivían para el boxeo, la doma de caballos y el rodeo. Llegué al periodismo de boxeo gracias a mi profesor de Literatura. Él era un especialista de Shakespeare y también periodista de boxeo y fue quien me animó a continuar en ese mundo. Tuve la oportunidad de entrevistar a Tyson, Foreman o Hollifield. Al igual que este profesor era especialista de Shakespeare, boxeador y periodista, me gustaba extraer la historia personal de los boxeadores, a través de reportajes que abundaban en su vida fuera del ring, ofreciendo una visión del boxeo nueva.
-El boxeo y los superhéroes mantienen una vida dual. En el primer caso, la lucha se mueve por reglas, hay sufrimiento, pero es un sufrimiento limpio. Las puñaladas se las encuentra uno fuera del cuadrilátero. Con los superhéroes sucede lo mismo.
-Estoy completamente de acuerdo. Cuando comencé a leer cómics resultaban atractivos porque los personajes eran muy humanos, con problemas de la vida cotidiana, y al mismo tiempo, debían ejercer la responsabilidad de sus poderes. La dualidad se da en el caso de los deportistas que, como los boxeadores, se han convertido en héroes. No son superhéroes, pero sí personas ordinarias puestas en situaciones extraordinarias que han tenido que conseguir una fuerza extra para llegar a la cima. Un boxeador es un elegido que han escogido por su capacidad en el combate. Se sienten obligados a ser los mejores, casi como superhéroes. Cuando Stan Lee creó los cómics Marvel, entendía que los lectores necesitaban identificarse con los personajes apelando a su lado humano. Eso es lo que yo intenté hacer con mis reportajes.
-Del mismo modo que hay una literatura de boxeo, pienso en F. X. Toole, o Conan Doyle, y también un cine de boxeo: Houston o Eastwood, resulta extraño que no haya un cómic de boxeo.
-El boxeo es un destilado de la vida real y la condición humana y su lucha desempeñada día a día. El espectador, en ese sentido, se siente identificado con el boxeador. Con «Spartan X», el personaje no es un boxeador, pero sí un luchador de artes marciales que, a través de su físico, consigue superar la adversidad. Pienso también en «Dare Devil», cuyo padre fue un boxeador al que le fue arrebatado el éxito y pienso en la película «El niño» de Chaplin. La metáfora del boxeo se aplica al cómic de un modo tangencial.
-Menciona el cómic «Spartan X», el primer caso en el que un actor se convierte en un héroe de cómic, en este caso Jackie Chan.
-La primera película de Jackie Chan que vi, «Operación Cóndor» fue de joven en Chinatown, Nueva York. Quedé hipnotizada porque me pareció que era un superhéroe en carne y hueso. Cuando llegué a casa tuve un sueño muy vívido en el cual me veía a mí misma haciendo un cómic sobre Jackie Chan sentada junto a él. En aquel momento, trabajaba como editora en Marvel junto a mi jefe, al que le gustaban las artes marciales. Le propuse hacer un cómic sobre Chan e inmediatamente después estuve en Hong Kong buscando al actor. La idea a Chang le pareció maravillosa. Ahora estamos trabajando en un volumen que reúna todos los números. He escrito su biografía y un estudio de sus películas. Aquel cómic contribuyó a que Jackie Chan fuera conocido en los EE UU.
-Otros personajes como Xena o Hércules llegan al cómic después de triunfar originalmente como una serie de televisión. Supongo que habrá una serie de limitaciones en la edición que hacen difícil que triunfe.
-Los cómics no dejan de ser una película en una sola dimensión. Como editora estoy encargada de contratar al dibujante, al guionista. Soy la productora de esa película y por lo tanto un control de cómo se va a contar esa idea y ese personaje. Para mí, que un personaje proceda de la televisión no es difícil, porque viene de un lenguaje visual, como lo es también el cómic. El problema más burocrático son las licencias y la imagen de un personaje que está asociado a un actor. Muchos actores tienen derecho de aprobación sobre su imagen. Nos ha sucedido con Hércules o El Zorro. Todo lo que se dibuje sobre su imagen requiere la aprobación de Antonio Banderas.
-Relanzar una figura como She-Hulk, la versión femenina de La Masa, no deja de ser algo complicado, puede ser finalmente una réplica femenina sin mayor trascendencia. Sin embargo no ha sido así.
-Lo que primero busqué fue un artista con una visión particular, impactante. Llamé a John Byrne. Teníamos la misma idea del personaje. Lo que decidimos con She-Hulk fue que tuviera una dirección distinta, y en este caso fue el humor, hasta el punto que logró una personalidad propia. Con personajes tan definidos como Lobezno o Superman, aunque tengan una historia concreta, siempre se pueden contar historias buenas. Es una dificultad, pero yo lo veo como un reto:contar una buena historia.
-Está preparando una antología de entrevistas con los grandes autores del cómic. ¿Qué nos puede adelantar?.
-El DVD se llamará «Creator cronicles». Se trata de conversaciones que intentan conservar la historia del cómic desde sus inicios hasta la actualidad. El primer vídeo es con el maestro George Pérez, y le seguirán otros. Relacionándolo con el principio de esta entrevista, no me interesa sólo hablar de un dibujante, sino también de su vida.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Jackie Chan, King of Kung Fu Comedy!--Quotes from Witterstaetter
LONDON, England (CNN) -- He's the butt-kicking, karate-chopping, kung fu superstar who rose from nowhere to conquer Hollywood in a spectacularly visual style.
Action star Jackie Chan celebrates winning Best Actor at the 25th China Golden Rooster in 2005
With his compact but wiry 5-foot, 9-inch frame, Jackie Chan seems to pale into insignificance when compared with muscle-bound Hollywood tough guys such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
But combining extraordinary athleticism and an acrobatic style, Chan could probably take them both on in a fight and emerge victorious.
Best known to western audiences as star of the Rush Hour trilogy, Chan is a prolific actor who has made more than 100 films spanning three decades.
But success did not come easy for Chan, who made a string of flops in the early 1970s in Asia.
He struggled for years to break out of the shadow of Bruce Lee, the undisputed kung fu king of the time -- even appearing as a stuntman in two of Lee's films.
But in 1978, Chan landed his first hit in Asia with "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow." This was quickly followed by "Drunken Master," which catapulted him to fame, and he suddenly became one of the highest-paid actors in the industry.
Chan is credited with creating a new film art form, with his comedic take on martial arts, reminiscent of Buster Keaton's slapstick style.
"He totally reinvented Hong Kong cinema," said Renee Witterstaetter, author of "Dying For Action: The Life and Films of Jackie Chan."
"He created a new film art form, mixing humor with martial arts," Witterstaetter said. "It was so different and unique."
Although a household name in his native Hong Kong and most of Asia, Hollywood seemed largely oblivious to his talents.
It was not until 1994 when he made "Rumble in the Bronx," which grossed $10 million in its opening weekend and made it to number one at the U.S. box office, that Chan finally cracked Hollywood.
Soon big-budget hits such as the "Rush Hour" series and "Shanghai Noon," followed.
"Rush Hour" was Chan's first movie to break $100 million at the U.S. box office, earning $141 million, according to the box office tracking Web site, Box Office Mojo. "Rush Hour 2" made $226 million and "Rush Hour 3" has earned $137 million so far.
His current cinematic venture sees him paired with longtime friend Jet Li in "The Forbidden Kingdom" in their first movie collaboration. Set in a mythic, ancient China, it is described as "The Wizard of Oz with lots of martial arts."
The martial arts dream team have already seen "Kingdom" debut at No. 1 with $20.9 million in ticket sales last weekend, but Chan says the reason it took him so long to work with Jet Li is because he didn't like the Hollywood scripts they were initially offered.
Chan, 54, is also quite candid about the fact that he doesn't like most of the Hollywood films he has made. He revealed to CNN: "I didn't really like 'Rush Hour.' In America, everyone likes 'Rush Hour,' but in Asia nobody likes it.
"They like talking too much in America but in Asia they like to fight more in the films."
After the film wrapped in 1998, he wrote on his Web site: "When we finished filming, I was very disappointed because it was a movie I didn't appreciate and I did not like the action scenes involved.
"I felt the style of action was too Americanized and I didn't understand the American humor."
Chan has certainly come a long way from his impoverished childhood in Hong Kong, where the story has it that his parents were so poor, they nearly sold him to a British doctor for less than $100.
However, his parents instead enrolled him at the China Drama Academy, a talent school of hard knocks with a draconian regime that included training in music, acrobatics and martial arts that lasted 18 hours a day. Beatings were commonplace.
Children were made to perform headstands for hours on end and Chan describes being forced to run, arms outstretched, carrying two full cups of water, with strict instructions not to spill a drop. With his parents now living in Australia, Chan stayed at the school for ten years and was adopted by his Master.
Undoubtedly, the academy's grueling regime would later stand Chan in good stead, turning him into an incredibly driven and disciplined stuntman turned actor, who always choreographs and performs his own stunts.
As a consequence, no insurance company will underwrite Chan's productions, which are legendary for his death-defying super stunts. They include water-skiing barefoot behind a speeding hovercraft, jumping off a building and swinging from a hot air balloon.
Chan holds the Guinness World Record for "Most Stunts By A Living Actor."
He also holds the record for the most number of takes for a single shot in a film, having shot over 2900 retakes for a complex scene involving a badminton game in "Dragon Lord."
Unsurprisingly, Chan has suffered a litany of injuries in the course of his film career. Over the years, he has dislocated his pelvis and broken his fingers, toes, nose, both cheekbones, hips, sternum, neck and ribs on numerous occasions.
When filming "Police Story" in 1985, he suffered second-degree burns to his hands and palms after sliding 100 feet down a pole festooned in Christmas lights.
Many of the injuries have appeared, in eye-watering viewing, as outtakes or bloopers during the closing credits of his films.
But in 1986, he came close to death while filming "Armor of God," when he fell 45 feet from a tree and fractured his skull, leaving a permanent hole in his head.
Chan explained to CNN's TalkAsia host, Anjali Rao that he never insists on doing his own stunts. It's just the way things are done in Hong Kong.
"Making a film in Hong Kong in the old days was not like Hollywood," he says.
"We didn't have protection like elbow pads and we didn't have the knowledge about safety. I had to risk my life jumping from building to building."
Chan is a one-man movie-making machine. He has his own production and distribution company -- Jackie Chan Emperor Movies -- and controls all aspects of the movie-making process, from casting to directing, producing, screenwriting, choreographing and stunt coordinating. He even has his own stunt team and casting agency.
His director on the Rush Hour series, Brett Ratner told CNN's The Screening Room that Chan's versatility gives him the edge over other martial arts stars like Bruce Lee and Jet Li.
"Jackie is the most gifted actor of the three because he has the most range. Bruce Lee is a legendary performer and martial artist, but I don't think he is as funny as Jackie Chan.
"Jackie can be funny, he can be dramatic, he can do the action and the stunts, he can direct, edit, shoot. He is also a stunt coordinator so he is everything wrapped into one."
Eva Ink Publishing Group on Facebook!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Another Brick in the Wall!
Germany--It was shortly after leaving DC, only a few months into my job at Marvel, and my writing partner from Texas, Dr. Lawrence McNamee made an offer I couldn't refuse--a trip to Germany to cover the Passionspiel in Oberammergau...
In short, what you need to know about the Passionspiel is that the whole little Bavarian town, not too far from Munich, invests itself into creating the most elaborate Passion Play on record--the whole town seems to be part of it from the "Virgin Mary" down to the sheep. It really is a spectacle....
Doc had been here before. But not for the Passionspiel. It was something called World War II.
Doc had an amazing past...part of which was being a pugilist in his younger years growing up in the coal mining town of Pittsburgh, part of which was being a translator in Germany during the Nuremberg Trials, being Lindbergh's translator when he was in Germany, interrogating people like Mesherschmidt... in short, he had an amazing life. I'm not even getting into his years of being a Shakespeare professor and German teacher.
During those years in Germany during and after the war, he made many friends--German and otherwise. In fact, the lady we stayed with in Oberammergau was Eliza Krietmeir, a renowned children's illustrator and artist at the time. Doc first met her when she was less than 10 years old, after the war, when he was investigating in the town for evidence for Nuremberg. Her family befriended him--shared their coffee, chocolate, and hospitality with him--the first two like gold in post war Germany, you have to understand. Doc never forgot them. Long after the war was over, for nearly a decade, he would send care packages to Eliza's family--chocolate, coffee--you get the idea.
Eliza never forgot it. In fact, she told me that it was his kindness in part that helped them survive. That she might not have if not for him. It was amazing seeing the two of them sitting on the carved wooden bench of her Bavarian chalet...talking about old times...
Berlin was just as amazing to me. What I remember most on first arriving there via train from Bavaria, were the flea markets everywhere--most black market--most selling Russian military goods. I picked up a great leather case that I later gave Michael Golden, and an amazing knife...and the usual military emblems, etc...whatever could be sold, WAS being sold, and folks from the former east and west mingled amongst the treasure.
At what use to be that border between east and west, Doc's old friend Bernard met us with his car... it was a rare occasion for him as well. For decades, he could not even afford a car, or wasn't given the option to buy one when he could.. much less ever cross the border. Bernard took us to his home, where his wife prepared a lunch of meat and cheese for us--they were so proud of these staple items...something they hardly ever were able to give guests in the past.
Hearing them talk about the pre- fall days was eye opening--lines around the block to buy tomatoes, 10 year waits to buy a car, people separated from their families for years with hardly any way to communicate...the joy of people running across the border when the wall came down...
It certainly did make me appreciate my country...the things we take for granted every day, the amount of things we waste that are like treasure to someone in a less affluent situation. Which is probably the lesson Doc wanted me to learn when he gave me the assignment, now that I think of it.
He was always that way. Mentor to the end.
I still see him, even though he's been gone several years now. The dry witt, the mischievous glint in his eye, the rumpled clothes that could do with a good pressing, the ever present Pittsburgh Pirate hat...the one George Foreman teased him about all the time on our boxing assignments...and I thank him for this particular singular experience.
Sometimes we only look back at these times in our lives with REAL clarity when we are older. The sadness of youth, and the advantage of age, if you will... But, looking back now, I know clearly that this moment in MY history, coinciding with this particular VERY important moment in history, really did make me appreciate even more my friend Doc. His open-mindedness, his service in the war, his ability to forge bridges over cultural gaps and establish lasting friendships based on nothing but the fact that we are all part of...well... humanity!
There are lessons to be learned there...
Borders and fences and ideology aside, THAT is what is important in the end.
Friday, October 30, 2009
In the News--New Bubble on the Horizon!
Got this message from my friend Ray regarding the upcoming commodities bubble. Athough Arthur has been telling me for months that he also suspected this same bubble was looming....looks as if he might be right. And here I was going to go and change my remaining $20 into gold, LOL....it's always something.
Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Investors worldwide are borrowing dollars to buy assets including equities and commodities, fueling “huge” bubbles that may spark another financial crisis, said New York University professor Nouriel Roubini.
“We have the mother of all carry trades,” Roubini, who predicted the banking crisis that spurred more than $1.6 trillion of asset writedowns and credit losses at financial companies worldwide since 2007, said via satellite to a conference in Cape Town, South Africa. “Everybody’s playing the same game and this game is becoming dangerous.”
The dollar has dropped 12 percent in the past year against a basket of six major currencies as the Federal Reserve, led by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, cut interest rates to near zero in an effort to lift the U.S. economy out of its worst recession since the 1930s. Roubini said the dollar will eventually “bottom out” as the Fed raises borrowing costs and withdraws stimulus measures including purchases of government debt. That may force investors to reverse carry trades and “rush to the exit,” he said.
“The risk is that we are planting the seeds of the next financial crisis,” said Roubini, chairman of New York-based research and advisory service Roubini Global Economics. “This asset bubble is totally inconsistent with a weaker recovery of economic and financial fundamentals.”
‘Wall of Liquidity’
The MSCI World Index of advanced-nation equities has surged 65 percent from this year’s low on March 9, while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has jumped 96 percent. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities has added 33 percent.
Roubini said he sees a bubble in emerging-market equities and that gains in some developing-nation currencies are becoming “excessive.” The rally in oil “is not justified by the fundamentals,” he said.
An asset “bust” may not occur for another year or two as a “wall of liquidity” pushes prices higher, Roubini said. In a carry trade, investors borrow in countries with low interest rates to invest in higher-yielding assets.
Roubini said the U.S. recession seems to be over, though the economic recovery in advanced nations will be “anemic.” He’s “more optimistic” on the outlook for emerging-nation growth.
The U.S. economy probably expanded at a 3.2 percent pace from July through September after shrinking the previous four quarters, according to the median estimate of 65 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the Commerce Department’s report on gross domestic product due Oct. 29.
Roubini on Stocks
The economy shrank 3.8 percent in the 12 months to June, the worst performance in seven decades.
Roubini’s July 2006 warning about the financial crisis protected investors from losses in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s worst annual tumble in seven decades. The U.S. equity benchmark has surged 58 percent from a 12-year low in March even as Roubini said that month the advance was a “dead-cat bounce,” that it may “fizzle” in May and warned in July that the economy is “not out of the woods.”
The S&P 500 gained was little changed at 1,067.30 as of 12:44 p.m. in New York, while the MSCI emerging markets index lost 1.8 percent. South Africa’s rand dropped 0.9 percent against the dollar as developing-nation currencies weakened. Crude oil for December delivery added 1.2 percent to $79.60 a barrel.
To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Patterson in London at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Golden, Texeira and Witterstaetter Join Forces in Lille!
Well, here I am in Lille, a few days left of our massive European Tour that started in Spain, went to Paris and now to Lille. Steve Scott joined us for the first part of the tour and now Tex is with Golden and I in Lille. It's been an amazing journey.
Guest of Honor, Michael Golden, known for his groundbreaking work on titles such as The 'Nam, Micronauts, G.I. Joe Yearbook, The Avengers,Batman, and Dr. Strange has dazzled generations of fans and establisheing him as one of the most influential creators in comics, with a body of work that inspired countless artists over the years.
During his career, Golden has been an editor at DC Comics as well as senior art director at Marvel Comics, and has worked on numerous movie production projects, including some currently in development.
His art has been the focus of gallery shows in places as diverse as New York, Gijon and Barcelona, Antwerp and Brussels, and his class on storytelling has been conducted in Spain, Brussels, Canada, the United States and China. Golden’s recent work can be seen on the covers of Heroes for Hire, Exiles,Demon's Regret, Uncanny X-Men, and Spiderman, among others. Vanguard Production's recently released top-selling art retrospective "Excess: The Art of Michael Golden," written by Renee Witterstaetter, which has gone into a second printing. This year will also see the release of Golden’s new sketchbook, "More Heroes and Villains," from Eva Ink Publishing—a perfect match for last year’s "Heroes and Villains" sketchbook.
In addition, while in Lille, Golden is teaching a 2 hour course at the local art school as part of this important cultural exchange, adding this beautiful and historic city to the list of venues where he is previewing this truncated version of his longer 2 day art class to debut next year.
Mark Texeira is best known for his work on Marvel titles such as Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, Black Panther, and more, showcasing a knack of bringing striking reality, powerful mood, and visceral feeling to any story he tackles.
His fine-art style has also graced numerous album covers, magazine covers, paperback books, movie tie-ins, and gaming merchandise. His clients include Def Jam Records, Marvel Entertainment, Dynamite, Harris, DC Comics, and pretty much every publisher we could name. His brush has brought to life characters such as Vampirella, Conan, and Batman, as well as Tex's creator-owned character Pscythe.
Mark is currently working on a new Punisher mini-series for Marvel among much more.
Writer, editor, color artist, and publisher, Renee Witterstaetter began her career working for DC, Marvel, and Topps. After a storytelling immersion in comics, film work was a natural progression for her, and she worked on dozens of commercials and music videos for the likes of Madonna, Seal, and Usher, as well as the feature films Rush Hour Two, and Red Dragon, among others. She is the author of numerous books, including "Dying for Action: The Life and Films of Jackie Chan," "The Fantastic Art of Arthur Suydam," and "The Art of the Barbarian, vols. 1 and 2, the top-selling "Excess: The Art of Michael Golden" and "Tex: The Art of Mark Texeira," and her upcoming mystery novel. She has just recently returned from presenting a new paper at an animation forum in China, as well.
Michael, Mark and Renee will be appearing at comic shops in Lille the two days leading up to the show, signing and taking commission requests. All three will also be on hand both days of the festival. Other guests joining the trio will be: Niko Henrichon, Barry Kitson, Phil Winslade, Mitch Breitweiser, Gary Erskine, Stepahnie Hans, Gerald Parel, Ramon Perez, Karl Kershl,Cameron Stewart, Dave Taylor and Michael Lark.
For more information contact: www.lillecomicsfestival.co
For more information on Golden and Texeira, their commissions, work and appearances, contact: email@example.com
Saturday, October 24, 2009
My First Comics in the Forbidden Lair!
Scoop had this article on Feedback this week and I have to say it was very nostalgic to me. And ironically, I was just talking about these very comics in my recent presentation in Gijon, Spain last week...