My continuing tendency to get distracted and work on things not posted online means that I haven’t updated in a spell. Let’s rectify that with some of the better articles I’ve done over the last couple of months.

Kenny Caperton built an exact replica of the famous Michael Myers house from the movie Halloween in Hillsborough.

As I’m posting this on Halloween, here’s an article I wrote about some crazy haunted house events in North Carolina. You can read it here.

PHOTO BY JEREMY M. LANGE

And here’s an article I did on The Little Leviathan, a local oddiites shop that sells odd antiques, custom prop items (they’ve worked on TV’s SLEEPY HOLLOW) and much more you .You can read about their twisted world here.

If you’re enjoying GOTHAM on Fox, I wrote an extensive essay on BRUCE WAYNE, a previous attempt at doing a Batman prequel story for television by the screenwriter of THE IRON GIANT, that actually wound up inspiring a completely different superhero TV show. You can read about it here.

Or if you’re enjoying NBC’s romantic sitcom A TO Z, here’s an interview I did with creator Ben Queen, where he reveals himself to be a major fanboy. You can read it here.

I did a series of interviews counting down to the Small Press Expo (SPX) in September, each an in-depth talk with a different independent creator.

Celine Loup on HONEY

Emily Carroll on THROUGH THE WOODS

Farel Dalrymple on THE WRENCHIES

Jules Feiffer on KILL MY MOTHER

Eleanor Davis on HOW TO BE HAPPY

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This is a piece I did with writer/artist Scott Shaw on Captain Carrot, who appears in the new DC miniseries MULTIVERSITY and has a cult following from his 1980s appearances. You can read it here.

Speaking of the 1980s, here’s an interview I did with Brian Froud, designer of THE DARK CRYSTAL and LABYRINTH, on his new book FAERIES’ TALES. You can read it here.

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And speaking of SF and fantasy, here’s an interview I did with my friend Samuel Montgomery-Blinn on his magazine BULL SPEC. You can read it here.

I talked to Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, creators of the podcast THE THRILLING ADVENTURE HOUR, about their two new ongoing titles at Image Comics based on the show, SPARKS NEVADA and BEYOND BELIEF. You can read the interview here.

So and So Books makes its mark

Here’s a look I did at local Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill independent bookstores and how they’re doing.  You can read the full piece here.

And finally: I followed up my in-character interview with Cartoon Network’s Lumpy Space Princess with an in-depth talk with REGULAR SHOW star Muscle Man. Read the madness here.

One of the shows I religiously watched growing up in the 1980s was SQUARE ONE TV, a math variation on SESAME STREET on PBS.

SquareOneTelevision

I probably learned more about math from that than I did in actual class.
My favorite segment was “Mathnet” a DRAGNET parody involving math.  I actually saw this before I saw DRAGNET reruns — one of the many examples of how I encountered parody before the original material.
Mathnet
Mathnet would be serialized across each week, with the five episodes telling one story over five segments.
The first one involved a gorilla committing crimes, which turned out to be a criminal named “Janos Prokedzian.”  Here’s the full story:
(yes, that’s Yeardley Smith from THE SIMPSONS as “Jane Rice Burroughs,” and yes, she’s using her Lisa Simpson voice)
That name always stuck with me as a great supervillain name.  I used it several times over the years in stories I wrote.
Well, I just found out where that name came from.
Mathnet would often do parodies of different bits of popular culture.  For example, one story involved a rock star clearly modeled on Bruce Springsteen who was kidnapped by a marching band leader named for John Philip Sousa.  Another involved the production of a Broadway show called “Anything Went,” which actually taught me a lot about how Broadway shows are produced, and how expensive it is to make one and make back the money on it.
Tonight, I was watching some inane sitcom on TV when I saw this odd credit: “Janos Prohaska as the gorilla.”
Opening Closing for  Dusty's Trail   Flop 70s sitcom with Bob Denver  - YouTube
RED FLAG!
A quick Google turned up that Prohaska was an actor who typically played animals in suits in different TV shows.  In fact, he was a couple  of the monsters on the original STAR TREK!
STDevil_inTheDark
And here’s the man without the monkey:
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A very crazy bit: In the 1980s, when comics creator Howard Chaykin rebooted the 1940s-era character Blackhawk, he revealed the character’s real name was…Janos Prohaska!
According to Wikipedia, this was in tribute, but I need to email Chaykin to confirm.
fullposter_blackhawk_1987chaykin_2922
So Blackhawk was named for a guy in a monkey suit.
It’s pretty amazing what boredom and Google can turn up.
I need to get some real work done now.

UPDATED: This is going to be a repository for links to my published stuff for a bit.

I haven’t been posting about toys because I got a paying gig blogging about them for MTV Geek!  Here’s my first few posts:

Power Lords Return

Django Unchained Toys Pulled from Shelves

Django Unchained Toys Now Banned on eBay

Sideshow Toys Unveils Sixth Scale Joker Figure

ADVENTURE TIME Marshall Lee Plush Now in Stores

Thunderbirds are Go(ne): A Tribute to Gerry Anderson

Marvel Select Toys Rhino Figure in Stores

Hasbro’s new STAR WARS BLACK 6-Inch Figure Line

Toys based on 1966 Batman TV Show Coming Soon

New Superman MAN OF STEEL Toys

He-Man Plush Toys

Interview with THE WALKING DEAD creator Robert Kirkman on New Michonne Statue

Exclusive look at DC/Domo Funko Figures

New Star Wars Jango Fett Statue

Sideshow Toys Black Widow Sixth Scale Figure

Game of Thrones toys coming with PLUSH DIREWOLVES!

Four Horsemen’s New York Toy Fair Party!

SUPER-EXCLUSIVE: Todd McFarlane Reveals THE WALKING DEAD Season 3 Blu-Ray Case, Recreating The Governor’s Fish Tank!

Did a piece recapping one of my favorite 1990s comics, QUANTUM AND WOODY.

I also did a two-part talk with James Kochalka on the end of his web journal AMERICAN ELF and on his web cartoon SUPERF*CKERS.

PART ONE

PART TWO

For ADVENTURE TIME fans — here’s Danielle Corsetto talking the new GN focusing on Flame Princess!

Dreama Walker in Compliance

Did an interview with Craig Zobel, director of the ultra-creepy indy film COMPLIANCE!

I also did some reviews of the short films nominated for Oscars, including Disney’s PAPERMAN.

Ever After Hardcover Cover

Here’s a new interview I did with Kim Harrison on her novel series THE HOLLOWS!

New theater review: BUS STOP at Raleigh Little Theatre!

New theater review: Joe Brack’s one-man show MY PRINCESS BRIDE!

Golden Age Bakery's Fletcher Hanks cookies

And I’ve gotten a lot of response for this interview with the creator of Golden Age Bakery, which puts edible comic book panels on cookies!

I have a few more pieces should hopefully come out by the end of the month, and I’ve been working on some odd projects — including a couple of new comic book one-shots that should come out from MonkeyBrain by year’s end.  My artists are working on spec, so good stuff takes time!

Might try to get some more original posts done in the future.  I’ve had some good feedback on the children’s book pieces and want to do some more.

Michael Green, creator of the acclaimed series Kings (which you can watch in its entirety on Hulu, is going to be a busy man at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.  Not only is he part of the much-anticipated DC Comics relaunch in September as co-writer of Supergirl [Click here to read a full interview about their run], but he’s also premiering his all-new ABC series The River.

Read more about the supernatural series here!

Despite a few flickers of promise, Green Lantern burns out

Posted by Zack Smith on Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Green Lantern
Two stars
Opens today everywhere

Warner Brothers, which owns DC Comics, has a problem. They own 75 years’ worth of DC Comics characters, but only Superman and Batman have proved capable of headlining multimillion-dollar franchises in the past decade, while arch-rival Marvel Comics has figured out how to monetize the lesser-known-likes of Iron Man and Thor. Their solution to this, along with the inevitable demise of the Harry Potter franchise, is Green Lantern, an action figure-friendly fusion of Spider-Man and Star Wars that isn’t as dire as some early reviews have claimed, but suffers from a few too many cooks stirring the (pea-green) soup.

Read the full review here!

Our increasingly unsettling series continues with a look at another of DC’s most beloved super-teams.  Deathstroke and Terra ain’t even the worst here.

Read on, if you date!

Beginning a therapy-inducing new series about the worst relationships in superhero comics.  This time out, Legion super-fan and YA author Barry Lyga guides us throug the worst Legion relationships ever!

Read the full piece here!