Author Archives: Chebutykin

Avast, there’s art to be seen!

Every once in a while, John Kovalic calls me up and asks me to do a comics coloring job. This time, he asked me to color the cover art for the VCon programming guide.

And, he said, it would involve pirates. And space. Space pirates.

How could I say no?

Pencils and inks by John Kovalic
Colors by myself


The Fantastic Fest 2013 Tour de Kitsch!

In order to get to Fantastic Fest a couple of weeks ago, I had to drive across most of the United States. The 1,171 mile drive between Minneapolis, MN and Austin, TX goes past a lot of rural country, meaning there is a bounty of strange little truck stops with strange little things hiding in them.

Thus, as per tradition, here is the Tour de Kitsch!

Bite me, Iowa! Fishin' with Truman
Rose Grove, IA:
Bythedale, Missouri:
Every rest area should have a giant mosaic of Harry S. Truman being stalked by a fisherman.
Sometimes, you want the disembodied head of a raptor guarding your table salt. Anyone need a cowboy armadillo?
Ottawa, Kansas:
Sometimes, you just need a giant, disembodied raptor head to guard your precious table salt.
Marietta, Oklahoma:
Cowboy armadillo? Sure, why not!
I checked. My booty would not fit. Time to pick Knute Rockne's nose.
Kearney, MO:
I checked. My booty does not fit.
Mattfield Green, KS:
The Knute Rockne Memorial stands at almost the exact halfway point between my house and the Cargills’ place. Therefore, I now declare a new tradition: picking Knute’s nose on the way through Kansas.
We're having a car picnic! Does this qualify as a sandwich? I DO NOT CARE.
Rose Grove, Iowa:
On the southbound trip, I was accompanied by Jerry Belich of Choosatron fame. This is Jerry, making me a sandwich…
…if, indeed, this qualifies a sandwich.

Fantastic Fest 2013 Day 8, Part 2

#ff2013 has marked me for life.

Fantastic Fest’s final night’s party involved free tattoos. Yes, real ones. I was tattooed with the same machine that tattooed a stick of dynamite onto Elijah Wood.

Fantastic Fest has been over for a week, and it’s taken me this long to recover well enough to finish up my posts about it. I already posted about some of the final day’s shenanigans; here are the rest.

Dir. Michael Noer

I’m usually cold toward films that don’t show me something new. However, every once in a while, there’s a film that does a well-traveled tale so well that it’s hard to fault the film for a lack of originality.

Northwest is one of those films. The story holds no real surprises: it’s about two young brothers who become embroiled in a crime ring — cue the “crime doesn’t pay” theme. All the standard beats are there. The only thing really different about the film is that it happens to be Danish. However, the film is truly well executed: fine acting, well paced, nuanced characters. Even though I could predict where the film was going from the opening few scenes, I was constantly interested enough to follow it through.

Dir. Nacho Vigalondo

Even though Timecrimes first debuted at Fantastic Fest six years ago, and even though I’ve seen it four or five times already, I happily attended this year’s screening. See, this year’s screening commemorated a Mondo vinyl release of the film’s soundtrack (by Grand Piano‘s director, Eugenio Mira), and both Eugenio and Nacho were there to talk about the film.

If you haven’t seen Timecrimes before, you owe it to yourself. It’s a smart, low-budget sci-fi thriller, centered about a man who bumbles into a time machine. It proves that you don’t need a lot of money to make really good sci-fi. I hesitate to say more about it, as the film is a joy to discover out of the blue. You can easily find the film on Netflix Streaming and other such channels.

Selfie with the Spaniards

Selfie with the Spaniards: Nacho Vigalondo, Eugenio Mira, and myself.


I opted out of the closing night film (Terry Gilliam’s Zero Theorem), choosing instead to watch five legendary stuntmen tell stories for an hour or two. I don’t care how good Zero Theorem is… I can always catch it later. There was only one chance to be in the audience to hear tales from guys who risk their lives to entertain us. WORTH IT.

Best line of the evening: “We had 300 chickens in that truck and some of them gave their lives for the film.”

Legendary Stuntmen

Legendary stuntmen: Chuck Bail, Bob Ivy, Gary Kent, Bobby Sargent, and John “Bud” Cardos.

A Reel Education LIVE on October 10th!


Once again, A Reel Education will be recording an episode LIVE at the Parkway Theater! On October 10th, you can join our live recording session, which comes with a full screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s amazing classic thriller, Rear Window! James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter… the works!

Not only are tickets a mere five bucks, but if you bring a friend… they get in FREE! That’s right! It’s a 2-for-1 deal where you and a buddy can see Rear Window on the big screen for five tiny dollars!

In addition, The Parkway Theater is a great venue in the heart of South Minneapolis. The theater is partnered with Pepito’s, the Mexican restaurant next door, so you can actually eat Mexican food and drink beer in the theater.

Join us! And spread the word!

A Reel Education LIVE featuring Rear Window

Thursday, October 10th
Intro at 6:45 PM, film at 7:00 PM. Podcast continues after the film.

The Parkway Theater
4814 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55417

Fantastic Fest 2013 Day 8, Part 1

Stuntmen know how to party.

Stuntman falling from the roof of the Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline movie theater. You can’t see it in the photo, but this man is also on fire.

I just survived the Fantastic Fest 2013 closing night party. I’ll get around to movie reviews later. For now, I have a deep need for you to see what I saw last night.

I have a new truism for life: stuntmen know how to party.

Stuntmen know how to party.

What is better than flipping and blowing up cars in a movie theater parking lot? …

Stuntmen know how to party.

… Flipping cars INTO exploding cars, that’s what.