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Life On Hold

My search for a new studio space continues. I am even considering buying a building so that this can’t happen again. I have a lot of friends looking for me, something I really appreciate. I am checking out two to three dozen places each day. My wife took off work last week to drive me around the sketchy parts of L. A. and Pasadena, hoping we could find the right place.

I am so sorry to hear about the suicide of film director Tony Scott. Like his brother Ridley, every film Tony made had incredible visuals. My favorite film of his is also my favorite Quentin Tarentino movie: True Romance. In my opinion True Romance was easily the best film of 1993. If you have never seen this movie, you are in for a cinematic treat. The cast is unbelievable: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman (as a black pimp!), Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer (as the ghost of Elvis!), James Gandolfini, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Penn, Saul Rubinek, Conchata Ferrell, Michael Rapaport and Tom Sizemore.

The scene between Hopper and Walken is worth the price of admission alone.

My second favorite Tony Scott movie is Man on Fire with Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken and Dakota Fanning. It’s an incredibly visceral film and a sadly accurate and vivid depiction of the world that is Mexico City (I used to live there). Man on Fire has my favorite performance by Mr. Washington.

I was hoping to work with Tony on a film; one of his regular production designers is a good friend of mine. I am sorry that’s never going to happen. I am really, really sorry that there will be no more Tony Scott films.

Comedienne Phyllis Diller also died. I really wanted to meet this funny lady to ask her one question. In an interview from years ago she said that her friend Bob Hope taught her the proper way to enter a room (at a party). I would love to know what he told her.

Joe Kubert passed away as well (reaffirming the “it always happens in threes” superstition). Joe and I shared the same birthday (September 18). We were looking forward to collaborating (I was dying to ink a Tor piece for him). Joe had that special knack (like Frank Frazetta, Mark Schultz, Charles R. Knight, Frank Cho and Bernie Wrightson) for capturing the essence of All Things Reptilian. As Al Williamson would say, Joe Kubert was a “good lizard man” (good at drawing dinosaurs). Joe was a giant in the comic book industry, influencing hundreds of artists, both through his work and his groundbreaking school. When I was fourteen or fifteen, Joe was already an enormous fan favorite, primarily worshiped back then for his Hawkman work. I loved his Viking Prince and Rip Hunter Time Master comics, too. Later, I reveled in his gritty war comics. One of the things I loved about Joe Kubert was that he never rested — he was always pushing himself and his work in new directions. What an inspiration! Besides being a great artist, Joe was a great guy, as anyone who knew him will attest. My kindest, warmest thoughts go out to Joe’s family.

I’m hoping my next Journal entry includes a bit of happy news.

Let me close with a funny story from last weekend.

My grandson Jesse was visiting. He’s not quite two yet but his vocabulary and cognitive skills are off the charts (he knows his numbers and has begun to read). He asked my wife if she would read him a story. She agreed and they went upstairs to where I keep a stash of Gustaf Tenggren Little Golden Books for just such an occasion. We still have a crib in that room. Jesse insisted on getting inside the crib.

“Don’t you want to sit on the bed and hear the story?”

“No. I want to be in the crib.”

My wife lifted him into the crib. He settled in and then proclaimed, “Ahhhh…it’s like the good old days.”

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Looking for New Studio Space

Well, it’s the end of an era. After over 25 years of having my large, grand studio in what was once the ballroom of the Evanston Inn, a white Victorian luxury hotel built in 1872, the building has been sold and I have been given 60 days (now at 50 and counting down) to vacate.

Of course, I had just turned it into my dream studio, recently spending over $5000 cleaning and fixing the place up.

So, I need a big, new space. If you hear of anything in the Pasadena or general San Gabriel Valley area, please contact me through this website and let me know about it. You’ll have my deepest appreciation.

Thanks, my friends, and wish me luck!

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Stout Bazaar is Back

I’ve got my William Stout Bazaar temporarily functional. You should be able to buy stuff from it now.

Today we’re filling the orders that came in during the last week.

It looks like soon we’ll be moving this site to another server (which shouldn’t affect you, dear readers, one way or the other).

Thanks for hangin’ in there!