Wednesday, March 22, 2006

HT Trailer is up on the IFC Channel Website!

The IFC Channel has started a program called MEDIA LAB. It’s mission… ‘View and rank films from independent filmmakers, upload your own films, compete for a chance to screen your film on IFC, and much more!’ Please take a moment to log in and vote for the HT Trailer! ;- l
Main site: IFC Media Lab

IFC Hero Tomorrow Page

We’re also honored to be included in a very cool Italian website “SUPERHEROES LIVES.” This is probably most comprehensive comic-book film oriented website ever made. Click on the “ORIGINALS” section and then scroll to the bottom. We’re in the ‘COMING SOON’ area, and there’s a whole page on HT with screen grabs from the trailer. The rest of the site offers a glorious stroll down memory lane. Ah yes, the 1979 made-for-TV Captain America movie - where his mask was basically a motorcycle helmet, and his shield looked like tupperware. I cried myself to sleep that night.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Comic Shop

B&L Comics in Parma was initially chosen as the place to shoot the store scenes in Hero Tomorrow, but a problem quickly arose. When we asked two of the major comic book publishers for permission to show their books and characters, they flat out rejected the notion of being seen in an indie film – they didn’t even want to read the script.

Instead of trying to cover/dodge/replace everything in B&L, we began to consider renting out a vacant storefront and potentially filling it with comics, posters and artwork that we could license or make ourselves.

I next sent an email to comic book writer Tony Isabella -- the former owner of downtown Cleveland’s legendary “Cosmic Comics” who also knew my Mom from days of working together at the Cleveland Plain Dealer in the 70s -- I explained our plight, and asked Mr. Isabella if he had any comic creations that we could legally show in the shop. He forwarded the letter to many of the comic industry greats, and the response was overwhelming. We got calls and emails from the likes of Bill Morrison, Chris Yambar, Bob Burden, Richard Starklings, Kurt Busiek, and many others.

Milo and I then attended SPACE (The Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus,) and met with dozens of creators/publishers who were kind enough to also donate works. (The nice thing about that was we were able to say, “Look at who’s already involved, etc.”) A few weeks later Jocelyn and I went to the giant Pittsburgh Comic Con where we continued to meet with publishers, including Chris Yambar and Mark Wheatley, who got a 'ton-more' people on board by taking us literally from table to table.

We next found a great vacant store front in Cuyahoga Falls on Front Street that at one time was, coincidentally, an actual comic shop. That tenant had even left some old comics in the dungy old basement– hardly a goldmine – lots of Barbie #1, X-Force variant cover BS – strictly 25-cent-bin kind of stuff. The comic book shelves came from Video Time Theater in Akron which was closing its Market Street location. We had some help creating some fictitious character posters, and Rich Klink added the final details with his original sculptures and statues.

Check out the comic shop productions stills for a peek at the end results.

Would you buy a used comic from this man?

Answer: Only if you're smart, cool, or lookin' for a deal.

If you find you need comics in the Cleveland area be sure to call B&L Comics (440-886-3077) and talk with Larry Zjaba. Besides playing the part of Ty, he helped us stock the HERO TOMORROW store full of racks, boxes, and books, and his car is also used in the film as David’s car. Larry Zjaba - A comic dealer you can trust - don't be fooled by the tough guy photo, he's as nice a person as you'll meet. AND one more odd coincidence… unbeknownst to us, Larry’s brother once owned another comic shop in Cleveland called “TOMORROW’S HEROES, so ya C it was all meant ta B,

PS. Larry, don't forget to pull that 'Nova-The Human Rocket' relaunch for me ;- l