Archive for August, 2011

Here Comes Dragon*Con!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The Purple Dragon Rises...

Oh Boy! Here comes Dragon*Con!

I hope I get to see all my friends and fans from the South. I’ll be in my usual spot. Ill be on a panel or two, plus, I’ll once again be defending my Iron Artist crown on Sunday morning. Don’t miss it!

See You All (or “Y’all”) There!

Special Flesk Stable Dinner at Breda

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Good in a Pinch

Participate with Flesk Publications and five of its brightest stars in an evening of food, drink, conversation and illumination.

Publisher John Fleskes cordially invites you to join Craig Elliott, Gary Gianni, Petar Meseldzija, Mark Schultz and William Stout in a dinner prior to Strip Festival Breda 2011 which will afford the appreciator of fine illustration a chance for relaxed one-on-one repartee in an atmosphere of convivial wining and dining. Strictly limited to 15 guests to ensure a quality experience.

Situated in a private room at the highly regarded Merlijn restaurant in the lovely and historic city of Breda, The Netherlands, with all the amenities of fine dining and spirits included.

Guests will receive a special signed giclee print honoring the evening and a copy of the new Flesk Prime compendium, personalized by all five artists. Original artwork will be available for discussion and viewing pleasure.

Additional support has been given by De Stripspecialist, Breda’s premier comic store.

Those interested in participating can contact evening organizer Mark Thelosen for pricing and availability at hoffmansmark@yahoo.com

Stout Bazaar Purchasing Problems

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

To anyone who was having trouble in the past week or so purchasing stuff from my William Stout Bazaar (“Store”) through PayPal, my brilliant son James seems to have fixed the problem…

Comic-Con Part Two

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Thomas Jane, Beauty & the Beast (photo by Samantha Holmes)

Continuing from yesterday…

My friend Thomas Jane took some time off from his Raw Studios booth to swing by and say “Hi!” I wish I could remember his lovely date’s name…

I’m working on an eight page story for my movie star pal written by Bruce Jones for Raw’s revival of Alien Worlds. I (and my pal Mark Schultz who I also spent time with at Comic-Con) previously contributed two covers to his Alien Pig Farm 3000 comics. Thom is one of the most down to earth guys I know. He’s a real guy-guy — but don’t let that fool you — he’s as smart as a whip. In the photo, Thom’s discussing and holding copies of the two new sketchbooks of mine that debuted at Comic-Con: William Stout 50 Convention Sketches Volume 17 and William Stout Monsters Sketchbook Volume 3.

The Great Bob Burden (photo by Samantha Holmes)

One of the guys I treasure most having in my life is Flaming Carrot and Mystery Men creator Bob Burden). Bob is one-of-a-kind. He tells great, funny stories and from superheroes to Gumby, his creative take on comics is unique. Bob has really been pushing for me to have the chance to direct one of his film projects. I’d be delighted, if only to have a chance to work closely with Bob!

Walt Simonson and Another Dino Fan (photo by Samantha Holmes)

Fellow dinosaur lover Walt Simonson stopped in as well. His new Thor book from IDW is amazing. It’s all shot from the original art. Snatch it up before it’s sold out!

Brothers From Another Mother (photo by Samantha Holmes)

The moment I met Iain McCaig when we were on the Conran John Carter of Mars film, it felt like I was meeting a brother I never knew I had. We clicked instantly and it’s been the same ever since. If you’ve never met the designer of Star Wars I, II and III, well, figure out how to rectify that situation ASAP. Iain is such an enthusiastic high energy guy, that I think if the USA plugged into this brilliant Canadian resident, we would no longer have a dependence on foreign oil. He could light up the nation!

Since the John Carter film (Iain worked on the upcoming Pixar version as well), Iain and I got to collaborate on a film being helmed by our friend Marc Zicree. Iain has invited me to Sweden to work on his own feature length directing debut. I’d wish Iain luck, but with his talent, energy, strong work ethic, abundant creativity, enthusiasm and high-spirited good will, I don’t think he’ll be in need of much good luck; he manufactures his own.

Me, Sam & Frank

Besides being one of my biggest collectors, I consider the brilliant writer-director (Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile, Stephen King’s The Mist) Frank Darabont to be a close friend. When I’ve got a perplexing problem — especially a personal or moral dilemma — I contact Frank. His sage and thoughtful advice and good & true moral compass have never missed. If you can’t already tell, I deeply treasure our friendship.

I was disheartened to learn that, counter to all show biz logic, AMC slashed Frank’s budget for Season Two on The Walking Dead by 25%. This is not how you treat someone who just delivered to you the biggest hit in your entire history of your channel’s existence. When a producer does that, you are supposed to reward the show with more money — not less! Idiots! Frank and AMC parted ways a day or so after Comic-Con.

Frank and I are standing with my gal pal extraordinaire Samantha Holmes. Sam shot the photos for my Comic-Con blog and has cast and directed me in two of her films. I can’t say enough about Sam. With her thoughtfulness, good cheer and seemingly boundless enthusiasm, Sam has become a welcome part of our family. Mark my words, Samantha Holmes will make her very fine mark in the film business in the near future. I’d bet the farm on that.

Hey! I gotta stop blogging and get back to multi-tasking here in Pasadena. I hope you enjoyed the Comic-Con photos. Although I don’t get to leave my booth, as you can see, a lot of Comic-Con ends up coming my way anyway.

It’s always great to see old friends (although not pictured, I saw and talked to Mark Schultz, Gary Gianni, Craig Elliott, our publisher John Fleskes (who debuted his great compilation book Flesk Prime at Comic-Con), art book dealer and long time Stout supporter Stuart Ng, Spectrum moguls Cathy and Arnie Fenner, Donato Giancola, Denis Kitchen, Illustration House‘s Roger Reed and many, many more) at Comic-Con; it’s my favorite part of the Comic-Con experience.

Next Con Stop: Dragon*Con!

Comic-Con Part One

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Jon Favreau in front of The Hollywood Reporter cover I drew for him (photo by Samantha Holmes)

I’ve put this off long enough! Now that I’m back from Wizard World in Chicago, I’ve finally got some time to make my long overdue report on San Diego‘s Comic-Con International, the biggest comic convention in the world.

When folks ask me “How was Comic-Con?” my first response is “I don’t know; I can never leave my booth!” Having said that, you’ll now understand why all of my Comic-Con photos have the same location!

First off, I was honored when film director (Iron Man, Cowboys and Aliens) Jon Favreau selected me to draw the cover for the special Comic-Con issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Jon was the guest editor on that baby and he was very hands-on, doing a GREAT job.

Spider-Baby's First Comic-Con (photo by Samantha Holmes)

It was my grandson Jesse‘s first Comic-Con and he had a blast. He insisted I identify every single picture in my booth. Then we took a brief walk through part of the show, stopping occasionally for people who wanted pictures of “Spider-Baby”. It seemed like he loved every second. His dad Andy said it was the best day of Jesse’s life! That’s his mom Amy in the photo.

The Dude Abides (photo by Samantha Holmes)

My friend, film director Kirk Thatcher came by disguised as The Dude (the only costume item he lacked was the bathrobe!). Kirk and I worked together on The Muppets Wizard of Oz. Mr. Thatcher, bless his generous heart, took home a copy of my friend Samantha Holmes‘ first two films (Lucky Day and Uncle) and came back the next day with enormously honest and helpful detailed critiques of each film. Kirk, I loved you before, my friend, but my appreciation for you just shot up several notches for doing that great kindness for Sam. Bless you, buddy!

Me 'n' John Landis (with Hugh Brown in the center) (photo by Samantha Holmes)

The great comedy director (Animal House, The Blues Brothers) John Landis came by while I was talking to my friend designer Hugh Brown (Hugh did all of that great Grammy Award-winning packaging for Rhino Records. We worked together on the Weird Tales of The Ramones box set). Years ago I had to pass on John Landis’ offer to storyboard Michael Jackson’s Thriller (I was too busy) but I hooked him up with a darn good substitute: my studio mate Dave Stevens.

Max and his proud papa John Landis (photo by Samantha Holmes)

While chatting with John, his talented son Max joined us in the booth as well.

Two Imagineers: William Stout & Tony Baxter (photo by Samantha Holmes)

I worked for Walt Disney Imagineering for a couple of years back in the late 1980s. One of my friends from that company, the legendary Tony Baxter, came by to say “Hi!” and catch up. Among many other Disney projects, Tony was the key creator of Disneyland‘s Splash Mountain attraction. One of the nicest guys in the biz, it’s always great to see Tony.

…More Name-Dropping Tomorrow, Folks!

I’ll NEVER Fly Spirit Airlines Ever Again…

Monday, August 15th, 2011

I just got back from Wizard World Chicago. It was a terrific show: well attended, very professionally run and with some of the nicest and most perceptive fans I’ve met in a long time. It was great to also reconnect and spend some time with friends such as Mark Nelson, Ken Steacy and Scott Rosema and his lovely wife Susie.

HOWEVER…

I had the great misfortune to be booked on a round-trip Chicago flight on Spirit Airlines. NEVER AGAIN!

Here’s why:
Spirit has a 40 lbs. limit per checked piece of luggage unlike other the other airlines whose limit is 50 lbs. They also charge more for checked luggage. I got charged about $80 each way, for a total of $160!

PLUS they charge a minimum (sometimes more!) $40 per carry-on!

PLUS they not only charge for soft drinks, they charge for water! I would think this would be illegal on purely health grounds since flying is a dehydrating experience, especially on a 4 hour flight.

PLUS on this 4 hour flight there was only one operable bathroom!

Most (not all, however) of the flight crew were polite, although they never once offered us food or beverages on our flight (probably to avoid conversations and interaction with angry passengers).

Everyone I talked to on the flight was pissed off at Spirit. All said they would never fly this airline ever again. How does such an idiotic and poorly run airline stay in business?

As I was leaving the aircraft a flight attendant cheerfully mouthed the usual debarking pleasantries. I turned to her and simply said, “Never again.”

She shrugged and replied, “We hear that all the time.”

Wizard World CHICAGO!

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

See you midwest friends and fans this weekend in Chicago at the Wizard World show! Woo hoo!

Point Blank

Monday, August 1st, 2011

I know I’m way overdue for my Comic-Con report but before I do that I just had to inform you all about an incredible new film: Point Blank.

If you’re lucky enough to be in a town that shows foreign language films, don’t miss this amazing French thriller. Point Blank (no relation at all to the Lee Marvin film of the same title) is like a Alfred Hitchcock “wrong man” themed movie on speed with elements of that other recent brilliant French thriller, Tell No One (another film you shouldn’t miss; it’s now out on DVD).

I don’t want to say much more about Point Blank except that it takes off like a runaway freight train and never lets up. The script, acting and cinematography are great.

See it tonight!