Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ronn Sutton’s new femme fatale is Honey West

It’s no mystery why artist Ronn Sutton loves drawing Honey West for Moonstone Books.

This lady P.I. is hot.

Sutton has a comic book art resume full of drawing sexy women, including nine years illustrating Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (Claypool Comics), a Vampira promo comic (for Vampira: The Movie, 2006), the vampress Luxura (Brainstorm Comics) and She-Dragon (for The Savage Dragon animated TV series).

Sutton’s newest femme fatale is Honey West, a female detective based on the 1950s novels by Gloria and Forest Fickling and the 1960s television show of the same name (starring Anne Francis).

Sutton is working on a three-issue story arc for the comic book series published by Moonstone. The script is by Elaine Lee (Starstruck, Vamps) and is titled “Murder on Mars.” It features robots, aliens and murder in 1960s California.

“Drawing this stuff is a blast,” Sutton says, adding, “although it’s kind of ironic that this story has Honey West on the set of sci-fi movie, considering I spent nine years drawing Elvira, which featured sci-fi and macabre themes in every issue.”

In the three-issue Honey West storyline that Sutton is penciling and inking, Honey is hired by an anonymous employer and goes undercover on the set of low-budget sci-fi film Amazons of Mars to investigate the mysterious death of Zu Zu Varga, queen of the B-movies. Honey must find out if the culprit is a scheming ingénue, a down-on-his luck director, a jealous agent or an aging teen heartthrob.

Sutton enjoyed doing the research so he could accurately portray the 1960s in his art.

“I bought a DVD with all the Honey West TV episodes so I could watch them and got ahold of a 1960s Sears catalogue so I could get the ‘period look’ of the fashions, furniture and equipment like telephones just right,” he says.

In addition to making the switch to drawing a sexy blonde like Honey West from drawing a sexy brunette like Elvira, Sutton also adjusted his art technique because Honey West is a color comic book.

“I’m used to drawing for comics printed in black and white,” Sutton says. “While I’m still using blacks for shadow dynamics to create mystery and suspense, I’m actually leaving a lot of areas of the art more ‘open’ so that the color can be used effectively.”

Sutton is delighted by the work that’s he’s seen from colorist Ken Wolak so far. “It’s vibrant,” he says. “The colors are really making the action jump off the page.”

The pages previewed here are from issue #3 (the first of the three-issue story arc). Sutton is currently working on issue #5.

Issues #3 and #4 will be available soon at comic book shops. To find a comic book shop near you, visit

To see more of Ronn Sutton’s art, visit

Friday, January 21, 2011

Second chance to watch best films from the 2010 Ottawa International Animation Festival on January 29

The Canadian Film Institute (CFI) is giving moviegoers in Ottawa, Canada, a second chance to view the best films featured at the 2010 Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF).

The CFI is presenting the Best of the OIAF, which is currently touring at various venues in Canada and around the world, with a stop in Ottawa on January 29, 2011. The program showcases films that were awarded top honours from the festival’s official competition as well as films that were audience favourites.

“The program is a great opportunity to view films that you may have missed during our 2010 packed-out edition or even just get a chance to enjoy the films again,” said OIAF Managing Director Kelly Neall.

The program includes extraordinary films such as: David O’Reilly’s 2010 Grand Prize-winning, The External World; the pulsating metamorphic madness of Andreas Hykade’s, Love & Theft; Dustin Grella’s deeply moving and brilliantly executed award-winning film, Prayers for Peace; the heart-thumping tale of Sinna Mann (Angry Man) by Anita Killi; and the snap-crackling goodness of Masaki Okuda's, Kuchao (A Gum Boy).

Be warned though, several of the films are sexually explicit.  This is not a program to bring the kids or your mother to.

The screening of the Best of the OIAF in Ottawa happens at 7 p.m. on January 29, 2011 at the Library and Archives Canada (395 Wellington Street at Bay). Free parking is available on the west side of the building.

Admission is $8.00 for CFI members, seniors and students, and $12.00 for the general public. Annual CFI memberships are available at the door for $15.00. For more information, call: (613) 232-8769 or email

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quantum Quest to premiere January 22

Star Trek Voyager's Robert Picardo and producer/director/writer Dr. Harry Kloor will host the U.S. premiere of Quantum Quest, the 3-D computer animated large format adventure film, at the gala preview party of "Science With A Twist: An Evening Aboard The Enterprise" on Saturday night, January 22, 2011, at the Louisville Science Center museum.

Quantum Quest interweaves animated sequences with actual space imagery captured from seven ongoing NASA and NASA/ESA space missions. In addition to Picardo, the film boasts an A-list voice cast including two Captain Kirks (veteran William Shatner and Chris Pine), two Jedi Knights (Mark Hamill and Samuel L. Jackson) and two Darth Vaders (James Earl Jones and Hayden Christensen) – a first for Hollywood and the galaxy.

Quantum Quest will be released in large format and conventional theaters in spring 2011. 

Quantum Quest is the first time that NASA’s iconic Jet Propulsion Laboratory has ever initiated a film project and the first time that Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the surface of the moon, has participated in a feature film, lending his voice to one of the characters.

Combining solid, “real” science with Hollywood-style narrative story-telling, Quantum Quest is designed to communicate the excitement of space exploration and science discovery to students K through 12.  Quantum Quest will provide more free educational materials, prepared by leading educators, scientists, space and science organizations (including the Fleet Museum and the Planetary Society), than any previous large screen film.

“This is a stealth science education film disguised as fun Hollywood entertainment,” says Dr. Kloor. “Whenever we talk about science, it’s exact, but QQ’s message is to tell kids – and grownups of all ages – that science is cool.” 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I am Spartacus: Liam McIntyre takes series role while prequel debuts January 21

Liam McIntyre photo by Vanessa Dano and Tom Donato
Starz, LLC President and CEO Chris Albrecht announced this week that Australian film and TV actor Liam McIntyre (Neighbours, Rush, The Pacific) has been named to play the Thracian hero Spartacus in the second season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

Meanwhile, a six-part prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, is set to debut on January 21, 2011, at 10 pm on Starz.

McIntyre takes over the role of the Thracian warrior sold into slavery in the Roman Republic city of Capua from Andy Whitfield, who was forced to leave the show due to health issues.

“Since no one can really replace Andy, we realized that we should instead find an actor who can truly lead Spartacus forward,” comments Albrecht. “It was important to us to have Andy endorse the idea of recasting this part, which he did in the same heroic manner that he’s dealt with his whole ordeal.

“And that, coupled with our fortune in finding a young actor with the gladiator credentials and the acting ability of Liam, makes it easier for us to keep this hit franchise going,” Albrecht says.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand also stars John Hannah as Batiatus, Lucy Lawless (of Xena: Warrior Princess fame) as Lucretia, Peter Mensah as Doctore, Manu Bennett as Crixus and Viva Bianca as Ilythia.

New Spartacus McIntyre is currently in New Zealand, getting himself into gladiator shape in order to take on the iconic role. Production on the series is slated to resume by spring 2011.

While Season One ended with Spartacus rising to become the champion of the city, Season Two finds Spartacus and his fellow gladiators leaving Capua and engaged in the massive slave rebellion against Roman society.

Gladiator school in prequel
The prequels jumps even further back in time. Spartacus: Gods of the Arena is a six-part prequel that tells the story of the House of Batiatus gladiator school and the personal, sexual and political maneuverings in Capua five years before Blood and Sand was set.
I am Spartacus too (at Fan Expo 2010)
Dustin Clare plays the charismatic and self-destructive gladiator Gannicus. The prequel series adds to the cast Jaime Murray as Capua’s sexy social climber Gaia and Marisa Ramirez as Melitta, a beautiful slave. Jeffrey Thomas plays Batiatus’s father Titus, the traditional and cautious Lanista, head of the Ludus. They join returning cast members John Hannah (Quintus Batiatus), Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), Peter Mensah (Oenomaus, before he becomes Doctore, the gladiator trainer) and Manu Bennett (Crixus).
Starz digital media created a Facebook social media game that became available January 6 as well as a multimedia iPad script app from Starz iTune store that offers episodes and exclusive commentaries about Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Spartacus: Gods of the Arena as of January 17.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Anne Francis (Honey West, Forbidden Planet) passes away at age 80

Anne Francis, who won many a fanboy's heart with her sultry portrayals in the 1956 science fiction classic Forbidden Planet and the 1960s TV show Honey West, has passed away at age 80 from complications related to pancreatic cancer.

Interest in Honey West re-emerged in 2010 with the publication of a new Honey West comic book (Moonstone Books) featuring the adventures of the blond detective and her pet ocelot. Artist Ronn Sutton is currently illustrating a three-issue story arc for the comic book which, in the tradition of Forbidden Planet, has Honey investigating mysterious circumstances on the set of a science-fiction movie.

An obituary of Anne Francis by Dennis McLellan, published by the Los Angeles Times, can be found here:,0,2031697.story.