August 2010

A tale of my visit to a gay and lesbian film festival party. 

Read the strange-but-true story here!

ROB HANES Has Modern Day Indy ADVENTURES On Web & Print

By Zack Smith, Newsarama Contributor
posted: 17 August 2010 10:54 am ET


Rob Haes is an old-school adventurer in every since of the word.  His all-ages stories have been published since the early 1990s by writer/artist/publisher Randy Reynaldo, and earned a cult following from fans and pros for their classic take on spy adventures.  

Now, the series Rob Hanes Adventures is finally being collected in a series of trade paperback volumes that will catch you up with the story to date, even as new adventures are published at We talked with creator Reynaldo about his labor of love, the influences on his series, and what’s new in this collected edition.

Read the full interview here!

By Zack Smith, Newsarama Contributor
posted: 19 August 2010 05:00 pm ET



Our tribute to Ex Machina concludes today, with thoughts from writer Brian K. Vaughan, artist Tony Harris, colorist JD Mettler and editor Ben Abernathy.  But first, a special guest essay by writer Mike Carey (The Unwritten,  LuciferHellblazerX-Men, the Felix Castor novels), a great fan of the Great Machine.

Read the full interview here!

By Zack Smith, Newsarama Contributor
posted: 18 August 2010 01:57 pm ET

Read Part one by clicking here

Part II of our special three-part tribute to Wildstorm’s Ex Machina with writer Brian K. Vaughan, artist Tony Harris, colorist JD Mettler and editor Ben Abernathy continues today, with more insights into the book’s creation and a ton of behind-the-scenes art from Tony Harris.

But first, a quick tribute from one of the book’s fans, Patton Oswalt Click here to read that and the interview !

EXit MACHINA Part 1: Origins With the Creative Team

By Zack Smith, Newsarama Contributor
posted: 17 August 2010 01:28 pm ET

Above Exclusive Image: Tony Harris’s unused Ex Machina “Great Machine” logo.

”This is the story of my four years in office, from the beginning of 2002 through the godforsaken 2005.

“It may look like a comic, but it’s really a tragedy.”

– From Ex Machina#1

What would really happen if a superhero went into politics?  In 2004, comic fans found out.

Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris’ Ex Machina took us to a New York City separated from our own by the presence of one very unique individual – Mitchell Hundred, a civil engineer granted the ability to communicate with machines in a strange accident.  

Part one of our three-part look back at the series, complete with original art by Pia Guerra, starts here!

In its 15th year, the N.C. Gay & Lesbian Film Festival has mainstream clout 

by Zack Smith


  North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Thursday, Aug. 12–Sunday, Aug. 15
Carolina Theatre
Individual film tickets $9; 10-film pass $75 in advance or $80 at the door

As California’s Proposition 8 is overturned and TV networks announce that both new and returning fall shows will have additional gay characters (and three of the six actors contending for an Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy are gay, with two playing gay characters), homosexuality seems to have become, if not mainstream, at least a more accepted part of American society than in the closeted days of Rock Hudson and Montgomery Clift.

On the eve of its 15th anniversary, the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival at the Carolina Theatre has become a mainstay of the local film scene, named a Signature Event by the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau. This year’s screenings and events from Aug. 12–15 include high-profile potential Oscar contenders, a plethora of new and returning gay filmmakers and a show by gay icon Bruce Vilanch on Aug. 13.

Not bad for a festival whose first year almost didn’t happen.

Read the full story here!

BIANCHI Channels Frazetta, Tolkien in THOR: FOR ASGARD

By Zack Smith, Newsarama Contributor
posted: 06 August 2010 01:32 pm ET

 With a film you may have seen mentioned one or two places on the Internet coming out next year, it’s no surprise that Marvel Comics is bringing out the big guns….or swords…hammer(?)…or the Mighty Thor. Classic stories are back in print, A-list writer Matt Fraction is taking over the main title, and a slew of one-shots and miniseries by some of the best talents in comics are hitting stands as we speak.

But one Thor comic promises to be more…metal than the rest.

Read the full interview here!

Cartoonist Belle Yang Tells Personal Memoir in FORGET SORROW



By Zack Smith, Newsarama Contributor

Writer and artist Belle Yang has made a career out of exploring the history of the life, the family and the cultures that shaped her.  Born in Taiwan, she spent part of her childhood in Japan before immigrating to the US, and spent part of her adult life in China.  Her works include illustrated memoirs of her family’s history, such award-winning picture books as Always Come Home to Me, and she was the subject of the  award-winning PBS documentary My Name is Belle.

Now, Yang has come to comics with Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale.  In this graphic memoir, Yang recounts her experience moving back in with her Chinese immigrant parents when she was stalked by an ex-boyfriend nicknamed “Rotten Egg.”  There, she hears her father’s stories of her family in China, in which reflect her own pains and experiences.

// Forget Sorrow has earned rave reviews since its release in May, and we were fortunate to get Yang on the phone to talk about her comics debut.  In our in-depth conversation, Yang talked about her early experiences with comics, the creative freedom of this medium, and how China may have influenced the development of comic books.

Read the full interview here!

Forgiving is not forgetting in Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden 

by Zack Smith

Anton Chekhov is credited with establishing the rule that if you introduce a gun in the first act, it must go off in the third. So abides Ariel Dorfman, who, in Death and the Maiden, introduces a gun in the first minute and keeps you wondering if someone will fire it until the end of the 90-minute production.

Read the full review here!

USA Today’s Pop Candy blog was nice enough to feature my online sketchbook as the subject of a post.  Check it out!

From ‘Arrested’ to ‘Scott Pilgrim': Pop reader Zack S. shares his amazing sketch collection

 Pop Candy reader and writer Zack Smith we were at the 2004 Small Press Expo, where he offered to show me his collection of artists’ sketches.

What I saw was pure magic: Zack had managed to compile a brilliant array of drawings related to Arrested Development. (At the time, the show was still on the air and had a much smaller following than it does now.)

Read the full piece here!


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