By Beau Smith

When I started Busted Knuckles? 73 knuckles ago, I never thought that it’d go on this long. I figured either I’d run out of things to say or y’all would’ve chased me out of town like the villagers did to Frankenstein with all those torches.

Needless to say I’m always lookin’ over my shoulder for a mob of people with torches.

So here we are many Busted Knuckles later and I’m still talkin’ and you’re still readin’. I guess you could say we’re amigos. That’s a good thing.

This week I wanna talk about three amigos of mine. All three of em’ have a few things in common:

  1. They all star in movies.
  2. They all know me and call me friend.
  3. They can all whip my ass with not much of a problem.

That last one was hard for me to spit out, but I knew better than to lie or I could be spittin’ out bloody teeth. That’s an option I’d rather avoid. I’ve still got my original teeth after all these years of people takin’ target practice at em’ with their fists.

The three friends I’m talkin’ about are Cynthia Rothrock, Gary Daniels, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. First off lemme tell ya to go to http://www.imdb.com and type in their names in the search and learn all about the fun movies that they’ve made.

Something else that they all have in common is that they all like comic books and would like to create and be in a comic book. How do I know this? Well, a few years ago I contacted each one of em’ and asked em if they would ever have an interest in doin’ a comic book. They all said yes and had some great ideas about it as well. With Cynthia I remember readin’ in The Hollywood Reporter that she would love to be a super hero in a comic book. She has starred in such great action movies and TV shows as Hercules, Tiger Claws, and China O’Brien. Gary was a long time Master Of Kung Fu fan from when he was a kid and still had his comics of em’. Gary even played the super hero Hardcase in the first Malibu Comics promo trailer. He also starred as Ken in the Fist Of Northstar movie. Cary had also had a long time love for comics and had starred in his share of sci-fi and action movies. Films like Tim Burton’s Planet Of The Apes, The Phantom, Elektra, and Pearl Harbor. He knew the genre inside out. It all just seemed to be right. Most of this talk started around 1998. We’ve all talked about it more since then. With their filming and traveling schedule and mine all being a little hectic at times, well it just got so that we never had the time to lay down the plans really good and get the ball a rollin’.

I decided that in 2005 I was gonna make a real good stab at makin’ this happen. After all, I’m freelance now and my time is my own for the first time in 17 years. That can be good? bad? or just plain dangerous. Depends on how ya look at it doesn’t it?

Time, work and meetings have gone into all this. Cynthia and I have met up a few times, that’s always a pleasure. She is one of the nicest, most down to earth people you will ever meet. No ego, just a lot of talent and common sense. Ain’t bad to look at either. (You knew I had to throw that in, didn’t ya?) Artist JonBoy Meyers did up some sketches a while back to go with a script I started for her. You can see some of the sketches here. If ya get a chance check out JonBoy’s website out at http://www.scribble.ws. Cynthia and I continue to talk about it and I hope to turn the speed up a little more here real soon. You should check out Cynthia’s very cool website out at http://www.cynthiarothrock.org.


Cynthia Rothrock Can Act, Entertain and Kick Your Butt.


Cynthia Rothrock

Gary Daniels and I have also spent time talkin’ over a potential comic book for him. Gary has a great grasp of what he wants to do and how it should look. I’ve done up a couple of idea sheets on his book. I’m sure that will change even more as we push on. A couple of years ago IDW President Ted Adams, me and my other screenwriter/actor buddy, Kevin Bernhardt, all stopped at Gary’s lovely California home for a visit. Gary was the perfect host and we got to meet his even lovelier family as well. One of highlights was checkin’ out Gary’s workout room. Bruce Lee would be very pleased. Gary showed me a couple of barrels filled with tiny metal balls that he drives his fists into to keep the knuckles and skin tough. That’s real Busted Knuckles, amigos. You should check out Gary’s work at http://www/imdb.com/name/nm0199939.


Gary Daniels In Fist Of Northstar


Gary Daniels

Cary Tagawa and I have been talkin’ a lot in the last few weeks about what his ideas for a comic book are. They are very detailed and I’ve gotta say, something that nobody has ever though of before. He is very focused on his vision and it is so entertaining. Cary has a world of life experience that he wants to involve in this project. Like I said, some of this stuff has never been touched on before. You can find out more about Cary and his projects at http://www.ninjahsportz.com.


Cary on the cover of Inside Karate magazine.


Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Now most of ya out there know from my past Busted Knuckles columns that I have always been and still am, an admirer of low budget, indy and B-Movies. Like indy and small press comic books, these films always have an incredible amount of passion and love that goes into them. The hunger is always there unlike a lot of A-list films where the bottom line is the only line.

Cynthia, Gary and Cary have all done their share of low budget films. In White Tiger, Gary and Cary even stand off against each other as hero and bad guy. A very underrated movie with loads of great action.

Like comic book creators, actors also get shoved into stereotype boxes. Gary, Cynthia and Cary have also battled their share of that as well. In comics, Chuck Dixon and myself have always had editors trying to label us as “Tough guy writers only”. They don’t bother to do their research. Chuck wrote The Hobbit! Before that he wrote children’s books. I’m writing children’s books and have a college / comedy / romance project called “Courting Fate”. Ya can’t always judge a beer by its label. Ya gotta peel that damn label off and take a drink.

Cary has proved that you can walk in both the world of A-List films as well as B. Gary and Cynthia just need that one chance. That’s all anyone needs. One chance. I’m sure most of ya out there have poor Neil Gaiman pegged as a highbrow writer. I bet he’s just dyin’ to do a tough guy comic or a western. Editors just won’t let him out of the box they’ve got him crammed in. I feel bad for the guy. All he needs is a chance. One chance.

I’m bettin’ there’s a lot of you out there reading this with abitions of your own. Say it. You want to be writers. You want to be artists. You’re just lookin’ for that one chance to prove you can do it. That’s all. Once chance.

Think about it for a minute. Editors, publishers, casting directors, producers, directors? all the people in position of hiring talent. Do they search out true talent or do they just want a carbon copy of Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Jim Lee, Brian Bendis? That all changes soon enough. Remember when they wanted carbon copies of Stallone, Goldie Hawn, Chris Claremont, and John Byrne? I’m tired of being frustrated with people in hiring positions. I don’t wanna fire em’. I wanna educate em’. Don’t misunderstand me. All the people I’ve mentioned in this paragraph have talent. That’s not what’s at question. What’s at question is why aren’t there more people searching out talent? old and new? Again? let me say? like labels on a beer bottle, they are meant to be peeled off. Take a drink and then decide if ya like it or not. (You can never talk enough about beer.)

With Cynthia, Gary, and Cary they bring a horde of film fans and martial arts fans to the table with them. They can sell comics to an audience that will embrace the product that they are with. I can bring entertainment to a comic book readership that will enjoy the ideas and entertainment they bring to comics. Like I’ve always done with the publishers that I’ve worked with in the past, I’m lookin’ to spread comics out to a wider consumer base that will get enjoyment and entertainment from the money that they are putting down. It worked for Eclipse, Image, Todd McFarlane Productions and IDW Publishing. It can work for others. I’m not braggin’. I’m just confident in my skills of writing, marketing, sales and promotion. I’ve been provin’ it for 17 years. Let me tell ya, I’ve just started, amigo. Others just get dangerous when let loose. Me? I get more productive.

One chance. That’s where it all starts. One chance.

Turn Out The Bunkhouse Lights

Next week I’ll be talkin’ about another kind of chance. One that I think all of you out there will wanna pay real close attention to. So make sure you click in next week to see what I’m talkin’ about.

Every week I say I’m gonna get Busted Knuckles done early in the day on Sunday. Every week I end up past midnight writing this when I should be in bed sleepin’ and dreamin’ up my next move to turn the entertainment world into Beau Nation. As I sit here the dogs are sleepin’ all over the ranch. My wife is sawin’ logs and dreamin’ of the day when she comes home and I have dinner ready. (Trust me? that ain’t never gonna happen. I cannot cook.) It’s cold and dark outside and the only thing I can hear is the sound of a train somewhere in the distance. I think I saw a few snow flurries drift by a while ago. It’s time to call it a manly day.

I hope some of my words made sense to ya. If not, well at least it didn’t cost ya any money. (I haven’t figured out how to do that to ya yet.)

As always, let me know what’s on your mind. I ain’t hard to find.

Your amigo,

The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
http://www.flyingfistranch.com


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About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin