One New Thought, Daily
Writer: John McLaughlinArt: Mick ReinmanLetters: Troy PeteriPublisher: Arcana StudiosReviewed By:  Jake Watt for Geekality

Bill Paxton, the actor whose film and TV work includes such personal favs as, oh… Aliens, Near Dark, Frailty, A Simple Plan, and Big Love (to name but a few) has produced a new graphic novel, entitled “7 Holes for Air”, written by John McLaughlin and illustrated by Mick Reinman.
In a July interview with Crave Online, Paxton said “I’m hoping to eventually direct it as a film, but I love the story so much and the screenplay, I wanted it to exist on some level. So the graphic novel serves a few purposes for me. It’s a chance to get the story out where people can enjoy it, even if it never becomes a film, but hopefully if it does become a film, it’s a great backbone in terms of my art department and my storyboards.”
The story focuses on Bob, a 50-year old taciturn blue collar steelworker whose reality oscillates from his everyday existence into a Spaghetti Western where he is a tough cowboy straight from the pages of a Zane Grey novel. When an unforseen event impacts his life, Bob’s tight-knit family rallies around him in support as the adventures of his Spaghetti Western alter-ego get darker. Think Tarsem Singh’s 2006 adventure fantasy film The Fall by way of DC Comics’ Jonah Hex.
“7 Holes For Air” began as a film script Bill Paxton was eyeing to star in before he pitched the idea as a graphic novel, and it’s evident in John McLaughlin’s writing. From the opening pages, where the reader tries to puzzle how the two universes are intertwined, to the surprisingly touching ending, it’s a very “cinematic” read. The dialogue, particularly in the case of Bob and his wife Lisa, really gives you a sense of who these characters are. Bob is the hard-drinking, hard-talking tough guy, and Lisa is the level-headed one who loves Bob despite his gruffness.
The comic features an omniscient narrator, sharing blunt observations like “Lisa’s eyes are heavy with sleep, while she pours coffee for herself and grabs a bowl for Bob”. The narration could have used some tightening for the graphic novel format, as it sometimes becomes too heavy-handed and unnecessary. For example, the reader can see Lisa is watching Bob from inside the car, so we don’t need the additional “She watches him for a while from inside the car” caption. Less can be more, and it’s these instances where the art should be able to breathe and convey what is happening on the page.
McLaughlin’s story is actually quite engaging. As we share more time with Bob, he evolves from gruff and unlikeable into a more sympathetic character (particularly when the relevance of the titular “7 Holes For Air” is revealed). Lisa and his extremely patient brother-in-law, James, are a lot more likeable – you can relate to the way they negotiate around Bob’s stubbornness and gruff responses with bemused familiarity.
Mick Reinman’s scratchy artwork and blurred colouring is excellent in the cowboy action sequences, and works well to convey things like the speed and motion of a gun fight or a thrown deck of cards. However, the art becomes a little too murky when it comes to illustrating the more static, mundane reality of the story in the everyday world. Another problem is that the facial expressions occasionally become muddled, with Reinman’s art sometimes unable to convey the subtle emotions required by the story.

Even without advance warning from Bill Paxton, “7 Holes For Air” is pretty obviously an illustrated screenplay rather than a project originally conceived as a graphic novel. But the story is so intriguing and the characters so well rounded that it’s still easy to recommend.

Writer: John McLaughlin
Art: Mick Reinman
Letters: Troy Peteri
Publisher: Arcana Studios
Reviewed By:  Jake Watt for Geekality

Bill Paxton, the actor whose film and TV work includes such personal favs as, oh… Aliens, Near Dark, Frailty, A Simple Plan, and Big Love (to name but a few) has produced a new graphic novel, entitled “7 Holes for Air”, written by John McLaughlin and illustrated by Mick Reinman.

In a July interview with Crave Online, Paxton said “I’m hoping to eventually direct it as a film, but I love the story so much and the screenplay, I wanted it to exist on some level. So the graphic novel serves a few purposes for me. It’s a chance to get the story out where people can enjoy it, even if it never becomes a film, but hopefully if it does become a film, it’s a great backbone in terms of my art department and my storyboards.”

The story focuses on Bob, a 50-year old taciturn blue collar steelworker whose reality oscillates from his everyday existence into a Spaghetti Western where he is a tough cowboy straight from the pages of a Zane Grey novel. When an unforseen event impacts his life, Bob’s tight-knit family rallies around him in support as the adventures of his Spaghetti Western alter-ego get darker. Think Tarsem Singh’s 2006 adventure fantasy film The Fall by way of DC Comics’ Jonah Hex.

“7 Holes For Air” began as a film script Bill Paxton was eyeing to star in before he pitched the idea as a graphic novel, and it’s evident in John McLaughlin’s writing. From the opening pages, where the reader tries to puzzle how the two universes are intertwined, to the surprisingly touching ending, it’s a very “cinematic” read. The dialogue, particularly in the case of Bob and his wife Lisa, really gives you a sense of who these characters are. Bob is the hard-drinking, hard-talking tough guy, and Lisa is the level-headed one who loves Bob despite his gruffness.

The comic features an omniscient narrator, sharing blunt observations like “Lisa’s eyes are heavy with sleep, while she pours coffee for herself and grabs a bowl for Bob”. The narration could have used some tightening for the graphic novel format, as it sometimes becomes too heavy-handed and unnecessary. For example, the reader can see Lisa is watching Bob from inside the car, so we don’t need the additional “She watches him for a while from inside the car” caption. Less can be more, and it’s these instances where the art should be able to breathe and convey what is happening on the page.

McLaughlin’s story is actually quite engaging. As we share more time with Bob, he evolves from gruff and unlikeable into a more sympathetic character (particularly when the relevance of the titular “7 Holes For Air” is revealed). Lisa and his extremely patient brother-in-law, James, are a lot more likeable – you can relate to the way they negotiate around Bob’s stubbornness and gruff responses with bemused familiarity.

Mick Reinman’s scratchy artwork and blurred colouring is excellent in the cowboy action sequences, and works well to convey things like the speed and motion of a gun fight or a thrown deck of cards. However, the art becomes a little too murky when it comes to illustrating the more static, mundane reality of the story in the everyday world. Another problem is that the facial expressions occasionally become muddled, with Reinman’s art sometimes unable to convey the subtle emotions required by the story.

Mick Reinman's art

Even without advance warning from Bill Paxton, “7 Holes For Air” is pretty obviously an illustrated screenplay rather than a project originally conceived as a graphic novel. But the story is so intriguing and the characters so well rounded that it’s still easy to recommend.

There are only a few things that could make this film poster any more perfect:
i) if each of the characters were carrying and firing three Thompson submachine guns simultaneously
ii) Charles Bronson was riding a Tyrannosaurus Rex
iii) Tony Curtis’ neckerchief was also a Tyrannosaurus Rex
Otherwise, this is perfection.

There are only a few things that could make this film poster any more perfect:

i) if each of the characters were carrying and firing three Thompson submachine guns simultaneously

ii) Charles Bronson was riding a Tyrannosaurus Rex

iii) Tony Curtis’ neckerchief was also a Tyrannosaurus Rex

Otherwise, this is perfection.

A poster for the 1968 WWII action film ”Where Eagles Dare”, featuring a cartoony Clint Eastwood blasting away at Nazis with an old-school machine gun, whilst fleeing a castle in the mountains in a cable car. Did I mention the medieval castle is ON FIRE? Well, it is. I’m not sure how you could look at this mind-blowing piece of art and NOT want to buy 20 copies of the Blu-Ray disc.
I wonder what Major Smith, Lieutenant Schaffer and “a beautiful blonde named Mary” do every other weekend? Travel through time fighting aliens, I guess.

A poster for the 1968 WWII action film ”Where Eagles Dare”, featuring a cartoony Clint Eastwood blasting away at Nazis with an old-school machine gun, whilst fleeing a castle in the mountains in a cable car. Did I mention the medieval castle is ON FIRE? Well, it is. I’m not sure how you could look at this mind-blowing piece of art and NOT want to buy 20 copies of the Blu-Ray disc.

I wonder what Major Smith, Lieutenant Schaffer and “a beautiful blonde named Mary” do every other weekend? Travel through time fighting aliens, I guess.

And then they threw food on me. (at Fujiyama Japanese Teppanyaki Restaurant)

And then they threw food on me. (at Fujiyama Japanese Teppanyaki Restaurant)

Caravinagre (Vinegar Face), one of six big head characters known as “kilikis” that walk the streets of Pamplona hitting children with sponges and inflated bladders, makes a child cry during the San Fermin festival, July 10, 2012.
Every day of the San Fermin festival, during the morning, there is a parade of gigantes y cabezudos (in English giants and big-heads respectively). Kilikis and big-heads are caricaturesque, but human-like figures that are carried as helmets. Big-heads masks are up to 1 metre high and kilikis slightly smaller. While big-heads simply precede the giants and wave their hands at spectators, kilikis run after children and carry a foam truncheon which they use to hit them with. Zaldikos, figures representing horses with their riders, also run after children with a truncheon.
Should Disneyland let its employees run after children with foam truncheons at least once a year? Definitely.
PS The town’s children see the figures in daily parades during the week-long fiesta and learn to like them and even kiss their cheeks and pat their noses as they overcome their initial fears. Aww.

Caravinagre (Vinegar Face), one of six big head characters known as “kilikis” that walk the streets of Pamplona hitting children with sponges and inflated bladders, makes a child cry during the San Fermin festival, July 10, 2012.

Every day of the San Fermin festival, during the morning, there is a parade of gigantes y cabezudos (in English giants and big-heads respectively). Kilikis and big-heads are caricaturesque, but human-like figures that are carried as helmets. Big-heads masks are up to 1 metre high and kilikis slightly smaller. While big-heads simply precede the giants and wave their hands at spectators, kilikis run after children and carry a foam truncheon which they use to hit them with. Zaldikos, figures representing horses with their riders, also run after children with a truncheon.

Should Disneyland let its employees run after children with foam truncheons at least once a year? Definitely.

PS The town’s children see the figures in daily parades during the week-long fiesta and learn to like them and even kiss their cheeks and pat their noses as they overcome their initial fears. Aww.

German urban golf player Sven hits the ball on the roof of a closed brewery in Berlin on July 16.
Urban golf (traditionally played in unconventional environments like streets, alleys, sidewalks, etc.) has found an obvious home in Berlin, with its post-apocalyptic level of closed factories and devastated buildings providing a multitude of challenging courses.
As a fan of both golf and Fallout 3, it looks like I’m going to have to make the journey to Berlin soon.

German urban golf player Sven hits the ball on the roof of a closed brewery in Berlin on July 16.

Urban golf (traditionally played in unconventional environments like streets, alleys, sidewalks, etc.) has found an obvious home in Berlin, with its post-apocalyptic level of closed factories and devastated buildings providing a multitude of challenging courses.

As a fan of both golf and Fallout 3, it looks like I’m going to have to make the journey to Berlin soon.

I’ve been disappointed by most of the films I’ve seen in 2012 (Prometheus, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, The Avengers, etc) and I’m a massive fan of RZA … so I’m really, really hoping that The Man With The Iron Fists will be all things to all men and maybe one lucky woman.
The above poster doesn’t let the side down in terms of maintaining the cool factor.

I’ve been disappointed by most of the films I’ve seen in 2012 (Prometheus, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, The Avengers, etc) and I’m a massive fan of RZA … so I’m really, really hoping that The Man With The Iron Fists will be all things to all men and maybe one lucky woman.

The above poster doesn’t let the side down in terms of maintaining the cool factor.

Cartoonish blaxploitation homage becomes actual cartoon on July 17.

If you haven’t seen the film Black Dynamite, do yourself a favour. Watch it. You will laugh.

Here’s a synopsis of a brief chunk of the film:

Black Dynamite heads to Kung Fu Island, where he discovers that his old nemesis, Fiendish Dr. Wu, is responsible for creating the secret formula found in Anaconda Malt Liquor. In a protracted battle which kills several members of his team, Black Dynamite discovers the true identity of the mastermind of the entire operation - the White House.

Then he fights Richard Nixon. With nunchucks. 

Tokyo rocks, EXCEPT when you get off a 9.5-hour flight and just want to stand under a hot shower. Or, in my case, crouch awkwardly under a shower built for someone of average Japanese height (while swaying with jet lag).

Tokyo rocks, EXCEPT when you get off a 9.5-hour flight and just want to stand under a hot shower. Or, in my case, crouch awkwardly under a shower built for someone of average Japanese height (while swaying with jet lag).

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, a member of feminist punk band Pussy Riot is escorted into Moscow court.
Tolokonnikova and band-mates Maria Alekhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were arrested in February and face up to seven years in jail on hooliganism charges following an impromptu performance at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral.
Possibly unwisely, Pussy Riot sang a song called 'Holy Shit' as a protest against the Orthodox Christian’s church alleged support for President Vladimir Putin.
Historically, Putin does not mess around, not even with cute all-girl punk bands.
Further info on the case can be viewed at Free Pussy Riot!

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, a member of feminist punk band Pussy Riot is escorted into Moscow court.

Tolokonnikova and band-mates Maria Alekhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were arrested in February and face up to seven years in jail on hooliganism charges following an impromptu performance at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral.

Possibly unwisely, Pussy Riot sang a song called 'Holy Shit' as a protest against the Orthodox Christian’s church alleged support for President Vladimir Putin.

Historically, Putin does not mess around, not even with cute all-girl punk bands.

Further info on the case can be viewed at Free Pussy Riot!