Friday, October 26, 2007

Covering the NYC Horror Film Fest


Starting with their kick-off party at Don Hill's on Wednesday night, I've been covering this year's New York City Horror Film Festival with much glee. Today's selection of cinematic terror looks to be promising, based on the films thus far and the assorted blurbs in the program. With pen, pad, tape recorder, steel nerves, and a disposition for some of darker things in life, I march off to another day's celebration of evil, death, and destruction.

© Frank Reynoso, Oct. 2007, All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Emily Niewendorp's Blog

My friend, actress and writer Emily Larson, aka Emily Niewendorp, started a blog wherein she'll:
  • post links to articles she find interesting,
  • write about her travels,
  • brag about her friends & family and their accomplishments,
  • post poetry,
  • discuss current events, and
  • of course, journal.
Check it out:

© Frank Reynoso, Oct. 2007, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Keith Knight Interview

My friends Mikhaela Reid and Masheka Wood introduced me to Keith Knight at this year’s MoCCA Arts and Comic Fest. I got his email address and permission to conduct an email interview. I shopped the interview around a bit but didn’t get anywhere. Rather than letting it whither away, here’s the unedited interview.

By Frank Reynoso

With two fierce, weekly comic strips, (th)ink and K Chronicles, Keith Knight easily surpasses many cartoonists’ creative output. Add to this his numerous books, his band Marginal Prophets, greeting cards, and his ubiquitous presence at annual comic events like MoCCA and SPX, and you’ll get a better understanding of the word prolific. Behind Knight’s gentle demeanor and pleasant voice is a sharp mind that roars in his works, delving into a range of subjects: from everyday racism to post 9/11 America to urinary mishaps. Mr. Knight took some time to answer these email questions that reveal what makes for a good political cartoonist and how he’d physiologically describe his visual style.

FR: Where are you originally from and how did you end up in LA?

KK: I grew up in Malden, Massachusetts. Just north of Boston. Birthplace of Converse All-Stars and Jack Albertson, the old man from "Chico and the Man".

I just moved to Los Angeles four months ago after 16 years in San Francisco. I moved cuz I was getting complacent.
FR: What is one childhood experience that's defined you?

KK: When I asked my 11th grade English teacher if I could do a comic book report instead a regular book report. He allowed me to do a comic book parody of George Orwell's "Animal Farm". He gave me an A-plus, and said I should be doing a syndicated comic strip.

FR: What's a typical day for you? Talk us through your day from waking up with a coffee in your hand to passing out with a pen in your mouth.

KK: No coffee. I'm a green tea guy.
I get up. Make some cereal. Write down a list of what I'd like to accomplish for the day. Check email. Take care of any impending comic deadlines by 5pm eastern time (2pm my time). Shower. Grab my drawing stuff and head to a local cafe. Draw for a few hours. Head home. Check email. Make calls. Fill online orders. Prepare dinner. Fool around with the wifey. Mebbe go to another cafe to draw some more. Mebbe we watch a movie and go to bed.

FR: Who is the biggest non-comics/cartoon influence on your work? How did you end up being a cartoonist?

KK: George Lucas. Richard Pryor. Spike Lee. My great uncle Owen. Does it have to be just one?

I've always wanted to be a cartoonist. I didn't know how it was gonna happen. I just knew I was gonna be one.

FR: What is your biggest cartooning regret?

KK: No regrets. I ain't got time for regrets.

FR: What makes for a good political cartoonist?

KK: Taking a complex issue and distilling it down to a simple, humorous and effective image.

FR: Which of your works do you like least? Which one do you like most?

KK: There are a ton of strips that I'd like to write and draw over again. But you just move on and attempt to do better with the next one. There are a few K Chronicles that I really enjoy. The K Chronicles is my favorite strip to do.

FR: What's missing in comics and/or cartoons?

KK: Nothing and everything. You can do so much stuff with a comic. It's like your own little film where you control the dialogue, the actors, the scenery. It's a great medium.

And there are so many different people doing some many different things. Something for everyone. You just gotta search for it.

FR: What body part would you use to describe your visual style?

KK: Ass. Pure ass.

FR: Where can folks find your cartoons?

KK: Lots of places. Mad magazine. The Funny Times. A lot of alternative weeklies and college newspapers. Go to my website: It'll tell you where you can find my stuff.

© Frank Reynoso Oct, 2007, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Excerpt from "By George" for Young Principles Theater Company comedy show

This is an excerpt from "By George", a skit written and directed by me for the Young Principles Theater Company. Now we're considering titling the show Laugh Du Jour and putting up the show in the first week of November. Stay tuned for actual dates and location.

By George

In a corporate office, a young, manic businessman, MR. RICHARDS, sits at his desk, punching madly at the keyboard to his computer while looking away. His intercom buzzes.

RICHARDS (pressing intercom): Yes, Naps?
RECEPTIONIST: Mr. Andrews, your 10:30, is here.
RICHARDS: Shoot him over.

Dave straightens himself out, checks his breath and looks at his wristwatch. ENTER MR. GEORGE ANDREWS, a confident young business hopeful.

RICHARDS (all smiles): Ah. Mr. Andrews. Glad to see you’re early.
GEORGE (shaking hands): Well, I make it a virtue, Mr. Richards.

Mr. Richards and Mr. Andrews chuckle.

RICHARDS (motioning to empty chair before desk): Please.
GEORGE: Thank you.
RICHARDS (turning to computer): And please call me Dick.
GEORGE (amused): Sure, Dick.
RICHARDS (smiling): Just looking at the resume you emailed us here and it looks doable. As you know very well, this company’s in dire need of leadership at the ground level. (leaning closer to George) Let’s just say that the streets aren’t holding butter. Catch my drift?
GEORGE: Holding butter?
RICHARDS: But a man of your qualifications shouldn’t have a sandy time. The work is difficult but you’ll be trained a good whipping. (surprised at himself) Well take a goggle at me: I’m preaching to meows here. So, let’s save ourselves some time and get down to business. (turning to computer, punching madly at keyboard) Yes, sir. Time is cheddar, time is cheddar.
GEORGE: I don’t understand a thing you just said.
RICHARDS: Well, you should get out more. (laughs) In this fast-paced market you can’t expect oranges to fly just for you. You sniff? (return to files) Once you’re with Berry Jiggly. (grinning) You’ll be gagging till Denmark, Mr. Andrews.

George smiles and folds his hands over his lap.

GEORGE: Oh… (relaxing) Well, you can call me George.

Richards glares at George and restrains himself. His fingers dig into the edge of the desk.

RICHARDS (forcing himself to speak): Excuse me?
GEORGE (confused): I beg your pardon?
RICHARDS (standing up): What did you just say? To me?
GEORGE (taken back): I said you can call me George.
RICHARDS (fuming): How dare you?
GEORGE (confused, pointing to monitor) My name’s at the top of the resume.

Richards gasps at the screen and covers it with some papers from the desktop. Repulsed, he turns it away, adjusts his tie, and turns to George.

RICHARDS: Is this some sick joke? I’ll have you know my mother’s a saint.

George looks around.

GEORGE: Is this some prank? (smiling) Alright, come on out! You got me!
RICHARDS: The only prank, Mr. Andrews, is Berry Jiggly’s serious consideration of your employment.
GEORGE (stands outraged): I want to speak to Mr. Jiggly immediately.
RICHARDS (stands and reaching for intercom): It’ll be my buffet.

© Frank Reynoso, Oct. 2007, All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tribeca's "Other" Film Festival

Tribeca’s ‘Other’ Film Festival

This is an excerpt from my review, with Irina Ivanova, of VisionFest 2007. You can read the full review at The Indypendent.

- Frank

VisionFest 2007
Tribeca Cinemas

VisionFest, founded in 2001 as The Guerrilla Film and Video Festival, aims to elevate domestic filmmaking to the status of foreign films. Dubbed “the other festival,” the Tribeca-based annual event occasionally unearths films that go on to success at Sundance and elsewhere.

Participating films are mostly unrestricted in length and subject matter, and everything from three-minute horror shorts to full-length features are shown side-by-side, loosely organized by theme and genre. This year’s VisionFest, which ran from Sept. 19-23 at Tribeca Cinemas, was a mixed bag with a few gems.

Several films caught our eye. Patrick Smith’s Puppet is a humorous and existential treat in traditional hand-drawn animation.

Roland Becerra’s Dear Beautiful, a 30-minute animated horror feature, blends rich textures and a single-narrative voice to portray an apocalyptic story set behind a Connecticut couple’s deteriorating relationship. In the House of the Sin Eater, by Paul Kloss and Mathew Acheson, animates puppets and found objects to create a lush blend of anthropology and fairy-tale.

© Irina Ivanova & Frank Reynoso Oct. 2007, All Rights Reserved