Hudlin Entertainment

Django/Zorro #1

It’s out!  Available in stores, online and of course at! Check out the first installment of DJANGO/ZORRO, the comic book sequel to DJANGO UNCHAINED. 

I am executive editor of the book, and could not be more proud of the series. Here’s the opening pages with commentary from writer Matt Wagner:

Writer’s Commentary – Django / Zorro #1 By Matt Wagner

I first met Quentin Tarantino when we got together to discuss the possibility of co-writing the first official sequel to any of his films, a comic-book adventure that would match the title character of DJANGO UNCHAINED with a classic character that I had helped redefine in recent years—the original masked-and-caped crusader, ZORRO! Our connection was immediate and genuine and I knew that would translate into the adventures of our respective characters. Since the time frames of these two narratives were off by many years, I figured we’d need to invent a legacy version of Zorro—an all new character who takes up the masked identity for whatever reason in the years just preceding the American Civil War. But Quentin was adamant that we use the original Don Diego de la Vega in our tale. “No, no, no,” he insisted, “It’s gotta be the original Zorro! It’s gotta be your Zorro!” I immediately saw how well such a scenario could work; in the film, Django Freeman enjoys a close relationship with another older man who serves as something of a mentor during his budding days as a bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz. This motif provided us with an easy basis for our heroes’ interaction and, just like that, our story was up and running!

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PG. 1—One of the things that intrigued us was the longterm effect of Diego’s masquerade on his personality. We immediately get from the narration that, despite his age, Diego has never really stopped his crusade as Zorro. To a great extent, Zorro is his truer persona—dashing, adventurous, always fighting for the cause of justice. But how would several decades of acting the part of the foppish aristocrat version of Don Diego affect him? To some degree…he must actually become that person as well. It’s an interesting concept…when does the man become the masquerade and the masquerade become the man? Thus, we hear Diego’s fussy and somewhat cantankerous commentary to his driver and milk-brother, Bernardo…who obviously enjoys pushing his friend’s buttons to some degree. Bernardo is also our initial narrator; as I had established in my first arc on writing Zorro, he has taken it upon to himself to act as chronicler for his hermano’s many astounding adventures.

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PG. 2—Here we see some of the secretive language that Diego and Bernardo (who is mute) have used since they were children. In this case, a coded knock that lets Diego know that they have encountered someone…unexpected. And, just like that, our two heroes’ paths converge.

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PG. 3—As he offers this dusty stranger a ride, the shadow from the carriage’s curtain mimics the shape of Zorro’s traditional mask on Diego’s face. Django, so used to racial segregation (at best) naturally assumes he’s supposed to ride up front with the driver.

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PG. 4—But, much to his surprise, this white man is seemingly devoid of racial prejudice and invites him to share his carriage compartment as an honored guest. I just love that final panel where we see the rough-and-tumble Django somewhat awkwardly holding a fine china tea-cup in one hand and a cucumber canapé in the other!

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PG. 5—One of the things we decided early on was to not waste any time presenting these characters as if to new readers. If you’re buying and reading this comic at all, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve seen Django Unchained and, let’s face it, who doesn’t know who Zorro is? So…on this page we realize that Django isn’t being entirely upfront with his host by claiming to be a prospector. But Diego isn’t so easily fooled.

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PG. 6—Django finds himself intrigued by this unassuming gentleman whom, he admits, reminds him of King. Then suddenly, this getting-to-know-you session is interrupted by another knock from Bernardo. But this is a different knock. A different code. Trouble brewing. And Django seems to have actually been ready and waiting for just such an intrusion.

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For more on Django / Zorro #1, click here.

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The Black Movie Soundtrack Photos

At The Hollywood Bowl

PE and Me

PE and ME!  We’ve known each other for years, and they delivered a crucial song for the HOUSE PARTY soundtrack, but this is our first photo together. They are really both lovely guys and great to work with. It’s nice to be a fan of the artist and the person. 

Hollywood Bowl Marquis

Hollywood Bowl Marquis

I’ve gone to Hollywood Bowl shows since I came to Los Angeles, but to finally have my own show on the marquee is a charge I haven’t felt since I started making movies and would see film titles on a cinema marquee.  

Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard

photo cred: @pose4rose IG

The Whitney Houston tribute was a highlight of the night. The orchestra provided live accompaniment to clips of her performing in THE BODYGUARD. The audience fell in love with her all over again.  

Blaxploitation montage

photo cred: Chanel Landreaux

The Blaxploitation medley had many musical favorites like Theme From Shaft, Freddie’s Dead from Superfly, and Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man. The clips were from all three films plus the filmographies of Pam Grier, Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, Jim Kelly and the inimitable Rudy Ray Moore. 

Marcus Miller, Craig Robinson, Bilal, Lelah Hathaway

Musical mastermind Marcus Miller, host with the most Craig Robinson, the eclectic and electric Bilal and the lovely Lalah Hathaway

Lelah Hathaway and Maya Rudolph

Daughters of R & B Royalty – Lalah Hathaway and Maya Rudolph

Cindy Herron, Reggie, Terry Ellis, Rhona Bennett (Flavor Flav) 

Me and the lovely ladies of En Vogue who sound and look great. Note Flav in the background. 

Lalah Hathaway and Bilal

Lalah Hathaway and Bilal

Reggie and Maya Rudolph

Maya’s dad Richard Rudolph convinced her to perform at the show. Thanks Richard!  

We took this picture intending to clown around but it turned out very beautiful. Bibi Green, who took most of the pictures you see here, isn’t just a great manager – she’s a heck of a photographer as well!

Craig Robinson, Marcus Miller, Paul Jackson Jr., Reggie, Wah Wah Watson

Practice was going so well I called Craig Robinson to stop by. He felt the fire coming from Marcus Miller, Paul Jackson Jr. and Wah Wah Watson and hung for hours.  

Anthony Hamilton, Bilal, Wah Wah Watson

Soul men Anthony Hamilton, Bilal and Wah Wah Watson taking a break at rehearsal. 

Princess performing Purple Rain 

Princess (Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum) lit up the Hollywood Bowl on "Purple Rain"! Thousands of cell phones waved to the groove of the Oscar winning masterpiece as Paul Jackson Jr recreated Prince’s guitar solo perfectly. 

The Hollywood Bowl

For those who have never been, this is what the Bowl looks like. Large amphitheater with center and side screens for clips and shots of the performers. Thanks Nefetari Spencer for the picture!

Marcus Miller, Craig Robinson, Laura Connelly, Reggie

At practice with musical director Marcus Miller, host Craig Robinson, Laura Connelly of the Hollywood Bowl (with Brain Grohl of the Bowl blocked by my head). 

The Hollywood Bowl stage

The Hollywood Bowl stage on show day. The quiet before the groove. 

Pre-show at the Hollywood Bowl

The audience gets to the venue way early and has a nice meal with a little vino before the show starts. Several longtime Bowl subscribers were impressed that the audience didn’t talk or eat through the show. Instead they were pumping it up regardless of age or race!  

John Beasley, Marcus Miller, Anthony Hamilton, Ramon Yslas (in front), Wah Wah Watson, Paul Jackson Jr, Kris Bowers and Louis Cato

John Beasley, keyboards, Marcus Miller, bass and vision, Anthony Hamilton, percussionist Ramon Yslas (in front), the legendary Wah Wah Watson, guitar virtuoso Paul Jackson Jr, and next generation killers Kris Bowers on keys and Louis Cato on drums.  

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