Tag Archives: noir

Take Your Seats. Our Full-Length Feature Is About To Begin.

Fade In.

Movies have always been a passion of mine. From as far back as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed them. So much so in fact, that when I went to university I majored in Film studies. And, as luck would have it, I won their top award for screenwriting. (that script became the basis for the full-length feature film ‘The Night Watchman’ )

So, when I started cartooning, many films, their characters, settings and such naturally became fair game for me, and Alexandre’s extremely creative pen. Can you name the movie inspiration for the above cartoon? Even better, what year was it made and exactly who was in it? (Try not to use Google.)

I sent this interesting send-up of a popular franchise to fellow cartoonist Dan Piraro (Bizarro) for his opinion – and he loved it! No word yet from J.K. Rowling. (on whether or not she likes Bizarro’s stuff.)


Here’s an odd twist on a famous scene from the movie ‘Ben Hur’. (Charlton Heston would be proud. Bring on the chariot race!)

This 1959 film was helmed by one of my favourite directors. His name? William Wyler. Other notable works from him include: Dodsworth (1936), Mrs. Miniver (1942), The Heiress (1945), The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946), Roman Holiday (1953), The Collector (1965), and Funny Girl (1968).



(I actually have the original movie posters for Ben Hur from the cinema display windows – when they used to do that – framed, and hanging in my office at home.)



In keeping with the Roman times theme, I thought this was a nice twist on a classic line. Again, can you name the film?  HInt: It stars Robert DeNiro. (well, duh.)


Actually early film stock was quite flammable so maybe that’s what started this disastrous fire. Apparently, Nero loved the cinema but didn’t believe in storing the negatives properly.

Personally, I just love black and white films. There are just so many layers to them. It’s too bad they colourize them now, because once done, it washes out the shadings and flattens the imagery. If they originated in colour, that’s okay,  but to paint it in, no. Watch any film noir picture like ‘Scarlet Street’ (1945), ‘In A Lonely Place (1950) or ‘The Big heat’ (1953) and you’ll see a prime example of how a black and white film can and should look. To see these films uncut – in their original form – check out movie station TCM (Turner Classic Movies)

Interesting fact: To go to the movies – silent pictures – back in 1910 cost .07 cents. In 1955 – the year I was born – a film ticket would set you back .45 cents. Now, to see a film, have popcorn and a drink I need to take out a second mortgage. And if I want butter on that popcorn…….don’t even ask! Although I guess one could stay home and watch movies all day from Netflix for a reasonable price. But, that’s not the same thing as being with a crowd and seeing it up on the big screen with big sound,  big effects, and even bigger than life movie stars.

Hey, soon we’ll be watching blockbusters shrunk down onto ones i-watch screen. I don’t know. I mean how many Avengers can you fit into that small a screen? Enough to save the universe I hope – or at the very least Apple.

Fade Out.