Monday, November 11, 2019

Cool Projects #32

Since its Veterans Day, were going to dedicate Cool Projects #32 to a Kickstarter campaign from Top Cow Productions that I feel is worth sharing, and a wonderful cause!

Top Cow is running a Kickstarter campaign for its 'Vetranology' entitled SOLDIER STORIES to raise money for the United States Veterans' Artist Alliance (USVAA) with a 5 story anthology created by veterans who have served in military conflicts. Proceeds from the Kickstarter, after costs, will go to the USVAA. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

We Interview Actor David Dastmalchian About His Count Crowley Comic

We mentioned Count Crowley in Cool Projects #31. Count Crowley is a new mini series from Dark Horse comics, and also the comic book writing debut of popular actor, David Dastmalchian.

Dastmalchian, recognizable by our readers for roles in the Ant Man movies, The Dark Knight, and Gotham, grew up as a fan of creature feature and horror hosts, eventually leading him to writing Count Crowley, of which Dark Horse Comics couldn't have released with better timing, with thestevestrout.com's Horror Host profile series just wrapping and legendary host Svengoolie appearing in a comic book crossover via DC Comics.
Photographer: Jessica Castro
Dastmalchian's comic book debut (featuring the art of Lukas Ketner), which comes off as a book written by a veteran comic scribe, is discussed with me in this interview about Count Crowley. Not only do we discuss the book, but we talk about life, his love of horror hosts, and a big upcoming role that I'm personally excited about! Check it out, and consider adding the Count Crowley mini series to your comic book pull list.
Photographer: Jessica Castro
TheSteveStrout: How would you summarize the Count Crowley comic, in your own words?

David Dastmalchian: Imagine if you’d burned every bridge in your life. You had been the “boy (or girl) who cried wolf” for so long that no one believed or trusted you anymore.  And then imagine you suddenly realize that there’s a flesh eating creature under your bed and it’s going to eat everyone that you love if you don’t warn them and defeat the monster… this is kind of how it goes for Jerri Bartman. She’s been hitting the booze so hard that no one believes her or will take her seriously anymore. She’s been relegated to hosting the “Creature Feature” which is really embarrassing for her. She wanted to be a serious journalist. But suddenly she makes the most important discovery of all…

TheSteveStrout: How long have you been developing this story, and how long did it take from initial inception to going into print with Dark Horse?

David Dastmalchian: I’ve been dreaming up this idea since I was a kid in Kansas City watching one of my early icons, the great Crematia Mortem (Roberta Solem) on “Crematia’s Friday Nightmare”.  She was the best and introduced me to all of the monsters and horror films that I love. As I grew older and confronted my own demons and monsters, this story began to really take shape. I think that when I got clean and sober 17 years ago, I KNEW I had to do this. I spent a lot of time imagining the characters, conditions and plot lines that would be meaningful for me to create. I hope that readers find them entertaining and meaningful, as well.

TheSteveStrout: What inspired the Count Crowley comic?

David Dastmalchian: Crematia, for sure!  And Svengoolie and Vampire and many more legendary horror hosts. My love of Universal, Hammer, Castle and other classic horror films was a big influence. The classic EC and horror comics tradition was a big inspiration. And underneath it all is my own perplexing battle with the bad monsters of earth.  I believe there are “Bad” and “Good” monsters and I want to help destroy all of the bad ones. I also battle my own internal demons like my struggle with depression and addiction.

TheSteveStrout: How did working with Lukas Ketner come to fruition? Was there already a connection before going to Dark Horse with the story?

David Dastmalchian: I am such a massive fan of his work on Witch Doctor and then I explored his other art and was just continually blown away. After looking at all of the photo references that I’d assembled and reading my scripts, my editor (Megan Walker) suggested Lukas and it was a brilliant suggestion. He has helped bring Jerri and the world of Count Crowley to life in a way I never imagined possible.

TheSteveStrout: I'm personally a big fan of "Horror Hosts", having done a month long series of profiles featuring active hosts, including your personal friend and a favorite of mine, Svengoolie. When and what was your first exposure to the "horror host" genre of performing art?

David Dastmalchian: Crematia Mortem on what used to be a Fox station in Kansas City!  I would enter all of her contests and watched her show religiously. She was the coolest thing in the world to me. I’m lucky to call her (Roberta) a friend now and she is very excited about Crowley!

TheSteveStrout: Did the friendship with Svengoolie (Rich Koz) help with the "horror host" character development in any way?

David Dastmalchian: Absolutely!  Rich is a legend and what he’s done with Sven is something that really inspires me. He entertains millions of people while still introducing us all to classic horror movies and his reverence to early fright cinema (as well as comic books and more pop culture) is marvelous. I’m so happy that DC is featuring him this fall in Svengoolie meets the DC Universe!  Everyone has to go out right now and buy every DC comic that has part of the Sven story in it!

TheSteveStrout: For the marketing campaign, you portrayed a horror host of your own in Doctor Fearless. Did you develop the idea and character yourself? 

David Dastmalchian: I have always wanted to be a horror host and so the closest I’ve been able to come is my creation: Dr. Fearless. I pitched the idea to the marketing team at Dark Horse and they were totally supportive. Kelly Woessner from Dark Horse came down and we did a very DIY shoot with props from my attic!  We used the amazing new theater that the Bob Baker Marionette Theater just took over in Eagle Rock. My friend Collin Schiffli directed, the great DP Bongani Mlambo shot it and my friend, Kelly Goldsack helped me with the Dr. Fearless makeup. It was just like when I used to put on haunted houses in my basement as a kid. One of the most fun days of work I’ve ever had!

TheSteveStrout: As for acting, you have taken a few comic book based roles, including the upcoming Suicide Squad sequel (which I'm really excited to see what James Gunn does with it). Between that and you actually writing a comic book, would you consider yourself a "nerdy type”?

David Dastmalchian: I am a proud geek!  I love comics, sci-fi, horror, toys, collectibles, podcasts, all of it!

TheSteveStrout: What's next for you besides the Suicide Squad movie? Any plans to write more comics?

David Dastmalchian: I got to work on the new film, Dune, from Denis Villeneuve which is something that makes me very proud and happy. He is a brilliant and that book changed my life - I can’t wait to see what he does the film. I worked on a very cool new Hulu show called Reprisal. I would honestly love to just get to spend more time writing Count Crowley and show readers where Jerri is going.  I hope that people respond to these first few issues so that I get the green light to do it!

TheSteveStrout: Anything else you would like to add or share with fans and readers?

David Dastmalchian: Thank you for reading Count Crowley and please be sure to share any photos of fan art or cosplay on social media by using the hashtag #CountCrowley

David shared a couple cool Doctor Fearless art pieces with us!

Art by Bradley Beard

Art by Lukas Ketner
Thanks to David Dastmalchian for taking time to chat with us. Be sure to visit your local comic book store and pick up a copy Count Crowley #1, and add the series to your subscription list. You can slso grab a copy at www.darkhorse.com!

Steve Strout is the media mastermind (haha) behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return soon!). Follow him on Instagram at http://instagram.com/thestevestrout, and  He can be reached for comments at ptcomedy@yahoo.com on twitter at @thestevestrout

         

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Cool Projects #31

Thanks for checking out Cool Projects #31. Sorry to keep you waiting so long, my friends! I was super busy with the Horror Host profile series. I really hope you enjoyed them!

The Count Crowley comic couldn't have came out at a more perfect time with Halloween just passing, and the month long Horror Host profile series wrapping up.

Actor David Dastmalchian's first go at comic book writing chronicles a struggling news reporter, Jerri Bartman, whose job at her small tv station is jeopardised by a confrontation with a businessman.  With no other options, she has to accept another position with the station...as the local creature feature host. 

Begrudgingly, she takes the gig hosting monster movies, and does a great job, but learns that monsters are real! My personal love of horror and especially horror hosts really has me intrigued by Dastmachian's mini series, so you better believe this ones in my pull list. Shoot out to Lukas Ketner on the excellent art! It brings together the story perfectly!

I liked this one enough that I reached out to David Dastmalchian for a quick interview about Count Crowley, other projects, and his inspirations behind his work. Keep an eye out later this week for that interview with David Dastmalchian here at thestevestrout.com! I'm really excited for that one.

Another comic I'm intrigued by is Voidwalker from Alterna Comics with the creative team of Spencer Desmond and Kristian Rossi. I haven't had a chance to read this one yet, but the Alterna synopsis sounds like a good ol' battle between good and evil: 

Clinging to life, hitman Parker Ingram bonds with an ancient creature and the Voidwalker is born. With his sights set on a blood-soaked path of revenge and destruction, the wall between our world and the Beyond is ready to fall.

Sound pretty cool, don't it? Also, that cover art is pretty badass! Enough so for me to want to track down a copy of Voidwalker asap! Issue 1 (of 4) is out this week. Does anyone else buy comics at random based on the cover anymore?

Now THIS recent announcement brings together two of my favorite things. Gaming and George A. Romero's Night Of The Living Dead! Check out this trailer:
CMON Gaming (www.cmon.com) just released a teaser for an upcoming Kickstarter for a Night Of The Living Dead tabletop game! Thanks to original NOTLD cast member and acquaintance Gary Streiner for tipping us off about this. If you know my love of this movie, you know how pumped I am for this game!

Here's a couple comics the dropped in comic shops this week on New Comic Book Day that might be of interest! #NCBD
All the books in the X-Men and mutant universe are relaunching continuing with couple this week. New Mutants #1 is here featuring Johnathan Hickman, Ed Brisson, and Rod Reis, featuring the classic New Mutants, with a few new faces, on a mission to space. 

The other Marvel comic to come out under the X-men umbrella is X-Force #1, mutantdom's "special ops" team. Ben Percy,  Joshua Cassara, Dustin Weaver and Dean White kicks off the X-Force series. 

Dynamite Entertainmen always knows how to give us nerds what we want...KISS+Zombies= A winning formula. That just my opinion though. Ethan Sacks and  Rodney Buchemi team up for this one...I've always dug Arthur Suydam's zombie art too, as seen on this cover!
Who's read any of these? What are your thoughts? What are some other books you picked up this week?

Thanks for reading, and don't forget, this weekend (November 9th-10th) we're doing the Horror Host prize pack giveaway! Be sure to go back and share all the host profiles here on thestevestrout.com. Just be sure to tag us or use hashtags #ComicBookSwapMeet and #HorrorHost so we can see you!

Steve Strout is the media mastermind (haha) behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return soon!). Follow him on Instagram at http://instagram.com/thestevestrout, and  He can be reached for comments at ptcomedy@yahoo.com on twitter at @thestevestrout

          

Monday, November 4, 2019

Horror Host Profile #10: The Honorable Mentions

I'd really like to thank everyone, sincerely, for the support of the Horror Host profile series I did throughout October. Though it was very time consuming, and took away from posting much of anything else here (I do 99% of work here but always looking for contributors), I had a blast,  and enjoyed doing this. Hopefully you guys come back the geek out with me throughout the year here.

Since there are so many great personalities keeping the theme of horror hosted movies alive, that it was impossible to feature everyone! This entry to thestevestrout.com is to give a little shoutout to a few that we couldn't feature due to time mostly. I'm also including a list of links to the first 9 profiles we did in an upcoming post to share, in case you missed some. That also gives you a chance to find and share them individually so you can enter to win the Horror Host prize pack. Extra points if you're a Twitter follower or member of our Facebook page and group!

The prize pack features autographed photos from the legendary Count Gore De Vol and Svengoolie, swag from The Horror Hotel show, spooky art prints from Meagan Richard's (https://www.etsy.com/shop/meaganrichards),  DVD's from Mr Lobo and more! 

This collection of prizes is pretty epic!

To enter, just share all 9 profiles around Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Just make sure we can see you by tagging us (@thestevestrout) or use hashtags #ComicBookSwapMeet and/or #HorrorHost. Sounds like work, but it's worth it for these prizes! I plan to pick a winner Saturday night, November 9th...ironically while Svengoolie is on the air.

Check out a few 'honorable mention' Horror Hosts:

Lord Blood-Rah
Lord Blood-Rah is celebrating 10 years of horror hosting this year, and has had hosted 'Lord Blood-Rah's Nerve Wrackin' Theatre' for most of that span. You can watch his show syndicated nationally and online. Find all the channels and details as to where you can watch 'Lord Blood-Rah's Nerve Wrackin' Theater' at www.lordbloodrah.com and follow him on Twitter and Instagram by searching @LordBloodRah, and "like his Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/LBRNWT

Miss Misery
Miss Misery is the host of 'Miss Misery's Movie Massacre' which airs on multiple channels nationally and on Roku by searching 'Miss Misery's Movie Massacre'. You can keep up on the latest from Miss Misery through social media channels at Twitter: www.twitter.com/themissmisery and through her website, www.lastdoorwayproductions.com

Bobby Gammonster
Bobby Gammonster is the host of Monster Movie Night, which has aired for 10 seasons. He's a runner up for the Rondo Hatton host of the year in 2018 and a Hall of Fame nominee for 2020. You can check out his website at www.monstermovienight.com and follow him on social media at the Monster Movie Night facebook page www.facebook.com/BobbyGammonsterHorrorHost

Zee Monsta
Zee Monsta is the up and coming host of the Horrors Of The PNW anthology series, and supporter of the horror convention scene. Find more info on her series check out www.facebook.com/ZeeMonstaHotPNW. Give it a "like" and tell her ya heard about HotPNW here!

Again, thanks for following the Horror Host series. Hopefully you give some of these great performers we shared over the last month a shot, whether you're an old school horror hosted monster movie fan, or just now learning about these great entertainers. Now go share all the profiles so I can give someone the prize pack. 

Stay tuned here at the thestevestrout.com year round for more nerdiness, and if you're interested in contributing and sharing your experiences and love for geekiness and fandoms, get in touch!

Steve Strout is the media mastermind (haha) behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return soon!). Follow him on Instagram at http://instagram.com/thestevestrout, and  He can be reached for comments at ptcomedy@yahoo.com on twitter at @thestevestrout