Monday, June 22, 2009

Insane for The Strain

Well, after months of anticipation.

A Coast to Coast World Premiere Book Launch.

Rave Reviews...(Worldwide rave reviews, mind you)

New York Times Top Ten Bestseller.(come on now...was there any doubt)

I have finally finished reading The Strain...Yay!!!

Again those who know me know that I am not a reader.

The extent of my reading are books that have a lot of pretty pictures

with tons of "Pows" and "Booms" and "Zowies"

Guillermo told me that I would "effing love this book"(his words,kinda) and...........

damn it, he was right(I hate when that happens)

As my buddy Parker put's CSI :Vampires.

The story is fresh .The characters are (excuse the pun) fully fleshed out.

Another aspect I liked about this book was that the chapters were broken down into settings ,so that it puts the reader in the mood and sets them up for the story to unfold.

The pacing and beats are all there and keep the reader interested.

For those who know Guillermo,there are little easter eggs or "winks" to people and things that he likes.

I liked that aspect of the book too,it made it more personal.

The CSI parts of the book were not too techie(is that a word.?...if it isn't ,it is now)

but at the same time the descriptions were not dumbed down.One could fully understand what was being explained.

The gore is unforgiving...and I LOVE it! These Vampires don't *sparkle*(there's a t-shirt)

"The Strain-These Vampires don't Sparkle ,Mother Effer!!!"

I won't go into the plot or spoil stuff for you boys and're just gonna have to pick up the book ...and shame on you for not having the book already (Gary points his finger at you and shakes it in DISAPPROVAL.Shake.Shake.Shake.)

okay here's a spoiler...are you ready?


(shhhhh...Darth Vader is Luke Skywalkers's Father)


(now you can't say I never gave you anything)


Vampire Academy?...."oh no you didnit, girlfriend!!!"

Rice's Lestat can Suck It!!!(oh yeah ,I went there)

Go buy the book.

Read it.

Tell your friends about it.

Have them buy it.(you don't want the swine flu on you copy)

Heck ,even better the 14 hour unabridged audio book version,Narrated by the one,the only, Ron Perlman.(also available on itunes)

all's a great read.

400 pages of F.U.N.

F.angtastic. U.nrelenting....N.octurnal?.something or the other(i can't think of anything that starts with "N")...oh yeah,N.ut-shrinking ,wet your underoos vampire gore!!!

Let me know what y'all think.


Saturday, June 20, 2009


The Real Dick Smith and ME




Had the opportunity to attend the International Make up Artists Trade Show (IMATS),
being held this weekend in Pasadena ,California.

The IMATS is the equivalent of The San Diego ComicCon (SDCC)
but instead of comic geeks it is a convention for Make Up Artists.
The main exhibit hall is filled with makeup industry companies selling their wares
and also technical school trying to enroll perspective students.
There was a make up fashion show ,a student competition (this years theme :Gothic),
There was also a small museum with some props.

Outside of the exhibit hall there were several rooms that held panels and workshops.
Highlight of the day for me was running into Makeup Effects Legend, Dick Smith and chatting with him for bit.

Dick Smith Fun Fact:

Dick Smith has four fingers on his left hand
He had an accident while on a job ,that ripped the skin off his wedding ring finger.
The finger was so disfigured that he decided to have it permanently removed,not only for aesthetic reasons but for cosmetic reasons as well.
Since he works with his hands he thought that the deformed digit would somehow displease or disgust his clients.(that's a lot of "d's")
Smith had the cosmetic surgeon move his pinky closer to his middle finger.The surgeon did such a stellar job,that looks like he was born with four fingers.

(fun for a factoid,but fun for Dick Smith....not so much)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tribute To Dick Smith Photos

Dick Smith and Me...
... actually no. It's Kazuhiro Tsuji's larger than life homage to Dick Smith

this bust is AMAZING!

Dick Smith's makeup tips magazine

Rick Baker's Letter to Dick Smith asking for a job.

I Don't Know Dick...

...Dick Smith ,that is.
The makeup legend whose credits include The Godfather,The Exorcist ,Altered States and Amadeus

But ,I got to know this Legend a little bit better last night.
I had the pleasure of attending a fantastic event ,
It was The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
"Tribute to Dick Smith:The Godfather of Special Makeup Effects",
held at the amazing Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
The Master of Ceremony was none other than the legend himself
Master Makeup Effects Artist,Rick Baker.
It was a star-studded event(make up effects -wise)
Anyone who is anyone in the Makeup Effects industry was in attendance.
Everyone from this years Oscar winner Greg Cannom to Spectral Motion's Mike Elizalde.
The evening began with video clips of Smith's early days in television.
Then there was a panel discussion with Actors ,Linda Blair(The Exorcist) and Hal Holbrook(Mark Twain). Smith students Andrew Clement (Star Trek 2009), Shane Mahan (Iron Man), John Rosengrant (Aliens),to name a few.
as Rick Baker said,this was a" love fest"...all paying homage to Dick Smith.
The nearly 3 hour tribute was filled with laughter ,tears and admiration for a man who is an artist ,innovator,and mentor to all those who make their living as makeup artists.

The special evening came to a close with Dick Smith complimenting Rick Baker , and telling him that Baker's work is so phenomenal that he surpasses Smith himself,Quite a compliment.
The final clip of the evening was a video message from New Zealand.
Where Weta's Richard Taylor,Director's Guillermo del Toro, and Peter Jackson sent a special greeting to Smith. They joked and said that everyone has been influenced by him and should hyphenate their names Guillermo del Toro-Smith ,Peter Jackson-Smith.a great moment,indeed.
The screen faded to black and said (and I paraphrase)

"Can't wait to see you here in NZ,Thanks,Dick!"

Cannot wait to see the Godfather's magic on some Hobbits;)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New York Times Best Seller,"The Strain"

After only one week,
The first installment of the del Toro/Hogan vampire trilogy "The Strain" ,has entered The New york Times best sellers list at #9!!!!

and here's an accompanying related article

also it's a best seller in Spain under the title "Nocturna"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mignola's "Right Hand-Bag of Doom"

Howdy Y'all !!!

Have you been wondering to yourself,
"Self...where can I find a tote-bag that will carry all the swag i pick up at the Comic book conventions this year?"
...where can I get a bag that the folks at the market will be wondering....Where the Hell(boy) can I get a bag like this?!

Well, your prayers have been answered.(considering if you've been praying for this Ginormous bag)
From the mind of Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, comes the world premiere of his "Skeleton-Head" tote bag.

….12oz. durable cotton twill with web handles
20”W X 15”H X 5”D
This is a good size bag for many uses

…$15.00 plus $4.00 for shipping and handling.
...$ 9.00 for International shipping.
Preferred payment is Paypal
but will take checks and money orders if you want to send to our PO Box and don’t mind waiting 10 days.

The email address is skeleton21 @ me . com
And the PO Box is

PO Box 750
Manhattan Beach CA 90267

Monday, June 8, 2009

Get your inner del Toro on!!!

Enjoying Guillermo del Toro's and Chuck Hogan's" The Strain "so much that you can't wait for the movie...
Have a vision of real vampires spreading their strain throughout the world...

need an outlet to exorcise these inner demons from the "Dark Recess"*plug*,*plug* of your mind?

...well have I got news for you,boys and girls.

grab a camcorder and some unwilling buddies and make your own fan flick trailer.

Your fan trailer could be picked by the authors to premiere in Canadian theatres this August(hey, it's not the United States,but they have free medical and that whole bacon thing, eh!)

check it out ...if you dare!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Across The Pond.

Joel Meadows, Publisher of Tripwire Magazine

Posted these pictures of Guillermo's signing at Forbidden Planet for The Strain .
Tripwire will have an interview with Guillermo in an upcomong issue.
These pics are from Joel's blog
Walls and Bridges

The photo on the right is the sleeve used in the European edtions of the book,

very cool photos from Joel and the turn out looks great.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Strain is Spreading!

Early Reviews

“Film director Del Toro (PAN’S LABYRINTH) and thriller writer Hogan (THE KILLING MOON) treat a vampire outbreak as a massive public-health crisis, with chilling results. When a plane arriving from Berlin goes completely black on the runway at JFK, losing all electrical power and contact with the outside world, authorities expect to find a tense hostage situation on board. Instead, they discover that almost everyone on the plane has mysteriously died, presumably during the very brief interval between the time it landed and the moment a SWAT team stormed the cabin. Suspecting a disease of some kind and fearing its spread, authorities call in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, head of a CDC team set up to deal with just this sort of fast-moving, potentially catastrophic epidemic. What Dr. Goodweather and his team gradually discover, however, is something much stranger and potentially even more dangerous: a species of parasitic worm that gradually turns its host into a bloodthirsty something that very closely resembles a vampire. Soon they are operating well outside the realm of established science, especially after they team up with Abraham Setrakian, a Holocaust survivor and former academic who now operates a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem and has dealt with this sort of thing before. Armed with Setrakian’s knowledge and an extensive arsenal of anti-vampire weaponry, the CDC team sets out to control the outbreak by attacking its source. The book boasts a plethora of arresting images and many terrific macabre touches. Del Toro and Hogan also succeed in constructing a driving plot and delivering a gripping conclusion. Great characters, a semi-plausible premise and a flair for striking scenes get this trilogy off to a first-rate start.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“Director Del Toro (who won an Oscar for PAN’S LABYRINTH) makes a dramatic splash in his fiction debut, the first volume in a vampires vs. humanity trilogy, coauthored with Hogan (PRINCE OF THIEVES). Just as a jumbo jet on a flight from Germany to New York is touching down at JFK, something goes terribly wrong. When Ephraim Goodweather, of the Centers for Disease Control, investigates the darkened plane, he finds all but four passengers and crew dead, drained of blood. Despite Goodweather's efforts to keep the survivors segregated, they get discharged into the general population. Soon after, the corpses of the tragedy's victims disappear. The epidemiologist begins to credit the wild stories of Abraham Setrakian, an elderly pawnbroker who's the book's Van Helsing figure, and concludes that a master vampire has arrived in the U.S. The authors maintain the suspense and tension throughout in a tour de force reminiscent of Whitley Strieber's early work.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This one’s sure to get a lot of interest.... The story offers a solid mix of horror and thriller elements.... The first installment of a projected trilogy.... You should expect to wait in breathless anticipation of volume 2. With a movie likely in the offing, this could become the next big horror franchise.”— Booklist

“Have your heart medicine close: THE STRAIN may sneak up on you—and it’s scary enough to kill. I loved it.”— Gregory Maguire, bestselling author of A LION AMONG MEN and WICKED

“Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan have crafted a deliciously creepy story that will literally make the hairs on your neck stand up. THE STRAIN is Bram Stoker meets Stephen King meets Michael Crichton. It just doesn’t get much better than this.”— Nelson DeMille

“The first in a trilogy that soars with spellbinding intrigue. Truly, an unforgettable tale you can’t put down once you read the first page. I can’t wait until the next one.”— Clive Cussler

“Blood and apocalypse mix in a terrifying story that feels like it was ripped from today’s headlines. Vividly wrought and relentlessly paced, THE STRAIN haunts as much as it terrifies. I cannot wait to see where Del Toro and Hogan take us next.”— James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of THE DOOMSDAY KEY

“Every few decades the vampire genre grows a tad anemic, as it were, and the lore of the Undead threatens to die on us. But then along comes a Richard Matheson or Stephen King and...license renewed. This time around the reanimators are Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan with their terrifying new novel, THE STRAIN, an unholy spawn of I AM LEGEND out of SALEM’S LOT.”— Dan Simmons, author of DROOD and THE TERROR


Thursday, June 4, 2009

"No Geek Left Behind "...Indeed!

"No Geek Left Behind" has been Guillermo del Toro's mission statement on his current book tour for "The Strain" .

This being the second stop on his tour (that drops (oh yeah hip-hop terminology ,Yo) in New York today and then across "the pond" to London this weekend.The full tour schedule on the books site above),del Toro again did not disappoint .He happily signed and sketched for another 4 hour marathon at Borders in West LA.Beginning the event with an introduction and a Q & A.Entertaining as always ,he charmed the crowd with his wit, knowledge, and stories all sprinkled with his infamous colorful language.

Those who have had the pleasure of meeting him or seeing interviews in various media formats, know that del Toro is one entertaining gentleman.He's the guy you want as a best friend ,that you tell your other friends about and then they want to be his best friend too(if that makes sense).This self professed "geek" is totally "The Cool Kid" ,who can hang with the captain of the football team and be admired by the Chess Club.

A TRUE Renaissance Man.

As the ever winding line came to an end...he was a man who was spent,yet satisfied that he got some face time with his peeps(oh yeah old school hip-hop terminology,Yo).The cool thing for him...he gets to do it again tonight.And in New York.(rest assured my fellow geeks on the east coast ,you to will be wowed with wonderous tales and get a sketch to boot) Counted out? Gyped?Left behind?.... Not on del Toro's watch.