Wednesday, June 25, 2008


From (in fact, most of) the intro to the latest installment of my weekly Zeros2Heroes editing blog:

Deadlines are rushing me and my fellow Z2H editors like something big and fast that you don’t want rushing at you if you can possibly avoid it. It’d be a tough week on my best day, but my best day this is not, as Foley’s Back Blowout 2008 continues more or less unabated. While I haven’t spent any more time at the emergency room, I also haven’t moved more than a couple feet from my bed for the better part of nine days, now. Even our pets think the room smells a little hinky and are actively avoiding it, and our dog thinks other dogs’ poo is the most alluring scent imaginable…

One of the things I did move out of bed for was a visit to the doctor this afternoon, to tell her, in the most concise, well-considered manner possible that “I NEED SOME DRUGS EITHER THAT OR JUST PUT A BULLET IN MY HEAD I DON’T CARE ANYMORE MY BACK HURTS IT HURTS IT HURRRRTS!”

She opted to add a few more medications to my already-considerable prescription list (some people treat their body like a temple; I treat mine like a pharmaceutical company waste dump site.) The upside of all this is that I will hopefully be feeling less discomfort tomorrow. The downside is that I’ll be feeling very little at all this time tomorrow, and will in fact have the intelligence, wit, and general demeanour of someone playing a background zombie in a George Romero Living Dead flick. From the sounds of it, this particular medicinal cocktail won’t make me hunger for human flesh (any more than usual), but it will leave me in the kind of semi-comatose state I used to strive for back in art college but discovered to my detriment isn’t terribly cool when you’ve got a deadline bearing down on you.

Arsonist Lullaby

Apparently, a week or so after the Great Dial-A-Doper Sweep of '08, there was some sort of press conference this morning to announce that 20 people involved with the series of arsons sweeping our neighbourhood and a couple others in the city had been rounded up.

Judging by the burning tent trailer three houses down, the fire truck blocking our garage door, and the reporters swarming the alley out back, there were at least 21 people involved with the arsons.

I'm actually kind of surprised it isn't our place that got lit up--if I was an arsonist our unkempt lawn, piles of dry branches, and numerous trees in various states of dying would be an irresistible target.

Stupid arsonists.


THINGS FALL APART SOME MORE founder Dylan Squires leaves Platinum. of the few sources of real income for independent comic publishers online--has shut down for a month while it arranges to go global--and retools its content deals.

As it'd be just really neat to actually make some money off my comics for a change, I'd seriously considered putting PARTING WAYS up on Wowio. The main thing holding me back (other than the hope that I can get the book into print again at a new publisher) was their hiring a fundamentalist Christian homophobe as their comics point man. I'd actually be kind of happy if they never opened up again; moral quandaries suck.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Things fall apart

Back's really getting irritating, now. It's not that it hurts (though it does), so much as that it makes even the simplest physical activities risky (because it could hurt a hell of a lot worse very fast). Working out? No way. Mowing the lawn? Don't think so. Closing the door? Nope. On Saturday I actually HURT MYSELF BY CLOSING A %*#&ING DOOR.

I'm not renowned for my active lifestyle--hell, there are few things I like to do better than revel in my own sloth--but it's different when the element of choice is removed. And even for me, this last week has involved a stunning lack of mobility/activity. I am being driven slowly mad...



It's kind of sad that I feel like I've got a better shot at catching a break in Hollywood than I do in the comics industry.

Sad to me, anyway.

Making matters worse: Artists, and my inability to find any that don't get better offers fifteen minutes after agreeing to work on something with me.

Woe! Woe is Andrew!



Suck on that, m************! How you like me now?!?!


I've got to hand it to DJ Coffman. When it comes to his personal experience with PlatinumStudios, he's been publicly calling it down the middle, now, apparently, to his own detriment.

I hope he does get the publishing rights to HERO BY NIGHT back, but after the mail he published on his blog, I'll be kind of surprised if he does. If nothing else, I can see where it'd be a bad precedent to set, from a corporate perspective.



There's a really funny line that deserves to be Quote of the Day, but it'd get someone in trouble if it went public, so I'm keeping it to myself.

You would've laughed, though. Trust me.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ring a Ding Dong Dandy

  • My mind's still recovering from the nostalgia high of seeing The Great Gama throw fire in the eyes of Mike Avery, enabling Gama Singh Jr. to win the PWA Championship last night. And my back, which is still improving but nowhere near ready to be sitting in an uncomfortably hot gymnasium waiting for that moment for three hours, is still recovering from said waiting. Here's some stuff that's been keeping me occupied in the meantime.



    Scott O. Brown and Horacio Lalia release the beginning of their sci-fi epic RED ICE at Zuda Comics.

    Just weeks later, ice is discovered on Mars.

    Coincidence? Or something more?

    Who knows?

    But if you don't vote for RED ICE and there isn't an alien invasion, you're always going to wonder what COULD'VE happened, if you'd just made with the clicky...



    Die for oil, suckers. Potentially, anyway. Can you imagine how stupid you'd feel getting knifed in the back after waiting around two hours in blazing heat for what amounts to a little over 25% off a gas station trip?



    The Heroes Con State of the Industry panel, moderated by Tom Spurgeon, featured DC Head Honcho Dan DiDio, Image publisher Erik Larsen, Boom! Studios EiC Mark Waid, and inker and sometimes comic writer Jimmy Palmiotti.

    I'm sure this is just a fluke of scheduling and Palmiotti is certainly qualified to comment on the state of the industry, and it's just an interesting coincidence that his name's been making the rounds as a potential successor to DiDio lately. (That last sentence was not intended sarcastically.)

    At the same panel, DiDio's quoted as saying, "We have the same characters... There's only so much you can do with them. You've seen it all, you've heard it all."

    While I'd say this is both true to an extent--and that it being true to that extent is actually a good thing--it's kind of a stunning admission, coming from a guy responsible for the creative direction of a major comics company.

    Of course, the proper strategy to deal with this problem--if problem it actually be--is "simply" to invest in developing new characters that haven't all been seen and heard yet. But that would require a lot of time, energy, and capital, first to create, then to support while the "fans" get over what seems to be an aversion to concepts that aren't comfortably familiar. It's a tricky situation for a guy running DC to be in: why put money behind a book that doesn't feature Superman or Batman, when you can use that money to create a Superman/Batman book that has a built-in audience?

    Well, I'm depressed.



    Chris Butcher, manager of The Beguiling comic shop, finds it...interesting that Marvel's releasing an unusually high number of comics this week, including several high-profile titles (BOTH Bendis Avengers books?), the same week that DC releases the second issue of DC's big 2008 event book, Grant Morrison and JG Jones' FINAL CRISIS.



    What've you been reading online that I ought to be?


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bad to Worse, to Even Worse

(No, it's not about my back, which is still bad, but no worse than the last couple days and absolute nirvana compared to Monday.)


1) A situation in which I've inadvertently pissed off someone I didn't want to piss off. I don't mind pissing off people I intended to piss off (in those situations that's kind of the point), but it always bothers me when I screw up and offend someone I didn't want to. on the upside, at least this scenario gives me an opportunity to clear the air and, if necessary, apologize to the PO'd party.

2) A situation in which a third party informs me that I've inadvertently pissed off a second party I didn't intend to piss off. This is worse, because it creates a situation where I know someone's mad at me, but that person hasn't told me they're mad at me. Which makes apologizing for making them made tricky and potentially damaging to the third party they did confide in.

3) Receiving information from a third party that causes me to strongly suspect, but not actually know, that I've inadvertently pissed off a second party I didn't want to piss off. This is worst of all. It's vortex of self-doubt time. Is Person B pissed off? If Person B is pissed off, why would they tell Person C instead of me? Is Person C even referring to me, or am I leaping to the wrong conclusion and there's another guy with back pain and mostly white hair who had a birthday this week who made a mistake? What does Person C know that they aren't telling me? Why won't Person C just come out and tell me Person B is pissed?

It's nightmarish, thinking you might have accidentally done someone wrong, but not being able to deal with it because A) You might not have done anything wrong after all, and B) You aren't supposed to know the person you may have wronged is upset that you may have wronged them to begin with.

All I want to do is: apologize, or decide I'm actually not going to apologize (yeah, right); gauge whether things are OK, not OK, or not OK but possible to make OK; accept whichever is the case with as much grace as possible, and; get on with my life.

And people wonder why my life goal is to become a hermit...


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Reasons I Love My Wife, #4583

The scene is the line for admitting area for the Misericordia Hospital, just past midnight. Andrew sits on a chair, obviously in agony. Tiina hovers over his shoulder. A nurse (I think she was a nurse) is just finishing asking some questions you'd think she'd know the answer to, seeing as Andrew was here around a year ago for exactly the same thing, albeit a slightly less excruciating form of it.

NURSE: Do you still live at that place with all the drug deals in front of it?


TIINA: But the cops did a sweep and arrested thirty people in the last week, so there aren't as many drug deals now.

NURSE: Oh, that must be why he didn't show--uh, birthday?

ANDREW: June--today, actually.

NURSE: Happy birthday.

ANDREW: Thanks.

NURSE: Do you know what caused the pain?

TIINA: Karma?


That was the only time I laughed all night.



The nurse didn't really call our house the place where all the drug deals took place. But the cops apparently did do a sweep of the neighbourhood and arrest more than twenty "Dial-a-Dopers". I guess that explains the weird, chatty woman who started an impromptu conversation with me and T for five minutes just as we were about to drive away the other day.


Hmmm. I wonder what the start-up costs for a drug-dealing operation are? Looks like the area's got a niche that needs filling...

(That's a joke, BTW. I'm paranoid enough when I'm not doing anything naughty. If I actually did something illegal, my head would explode the first time I saw a police car.)


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Birthday Wishes

First and foremost, I wish I didn't have to spend the hours of midnight till four in the morning in a hospital emergency waiting room, wincing, shouting, and on a few occasions crying (it's extraordinarily frustrating to realize, once you lie down on an examination table, that you actually can't--and I'm not exaggerating, I literally COULD NOT--get up. Esp. when, as far as you can tell, you've been shoved in a storage closet and forgotten by hospital staff).

The demerol shot was a literal pain in the ass, but its effect was worth it--the deep, stabbing pain in my lower back remained as keen as ever, but the rest of the back and sides relaxed somewhat and the pain stopped radiating as much and I finally, finally got some much needed-sleep. Not as much much-needed sleep as I needed, but at five in the morning, I'll take what I can get thankyouverymuch.


(probably in retaliation for the improvised birthday "songs" I've been leaving on the family answering machine for her birthday for the last several years)

"hi this is for your birthday

happy birthday to you you stepped in some poo

don't waste it just taste it

happy birthday to you

love cevyn"



"Have a not entirely unpleasant day celebrating (in theory) the day of your birth."



"Happy birthday, Grandad!! :D"

I replied by telling the young whippersnapper to get off my lawn.



Thanks to everyone who took the time to wish me a happy birthday. I'd like to respond personally to everyone, but I'm still in dodgy shape and I'm congenitally lazy even when I'm not semi-crippled with back pain, so...yeah. Maybe it's the drugs talking, maybe the 14 hours of sleep I didn't get last night, but the well-wishing really means a lot to me on this, the day of my daughter's wedding. I mean this, the day I was dragged kicking and screaming from my mother's womb.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Afternoon Ramblethon

It occurs to me that if I'd spent the last five hours feeling sorry for myself in a hospital emergency waiting room, rather than lying VERY, VERY STILL in bed feeling sorry for myself, I'd probably have gotten a shot of demerol by now.

Of course, that would require me to somehow get from my bed to the hospital emergency room, and the thought of moving AT ALL right now is positively horrifying. Just getting to the washroom right now is bad enough, the notion of a car ride--dear god, of speed bumps...I'd shudder, if shuddering wouldn't make me scream in intense discomfort.

Of course, in the middle of this an old friend I haven't had a chance to talk to properly for almost a year calls up. I liked it better in the old days, when his unfortunately timed calls would come during an all-night bender or something of a slightly more, uh, extralegal nature.

But my all-night bender days appear to be behind me, and the only extralegal things going on around my and T's house take place on the corner, in our hedge, just outside the front gate, and apparently in our driveway (which is where we've been told the Dial-a-Dopers park while waiting for a call--the garage is situated in such a way that we can't see the driveway pretty much until we're in it.)

If had a dime for every time I saw a kid smoking something from a glass pipe/vial thingie just beyond our hedge...well, I'd have ten cents. But it's not everyday you see a teenager crouched on your corner in the middle of the afternoon, sucking down something that must surely be a (poorly) controlled substance. If I had my way, it's not something I would *ever* see. Once is one time too many, esp. after we discovered someone had been using a crook in one of our trees as a home. Not that I mind, really, but a couple bucks for rent would've gone a long way. We could even have used the money to do desperately needed work on the yard, which would've made life more pleasant for us and our tenant. What a selfish, anonymous bastard he/she was...

And now I've got the hiccups. Take me now, Lord...


Downey Soft

Amusingly, The Hollywood Reporter tab at the top of my webbrowser reads “Robert Downey, Jr. sad…”.

The full title of the article is “Robert Downey, Jr. saddles up for ‘Cowboys’”, which isn’t much more accurate. In fact, it seems that Mr. Downey, Jr. is “in negotiations” to star in ”Cowboys & Aliens”, which “derives from a graphic novel written by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley” which in turn derives from “an original idea by (Scott Mitchell) Rosenberg.”

As I’m writhing about in excruciating pain at the moment, I’m not particularly inclined to believe this movie will ever happen (or that its happening would materially affect me, even if it did). I'm actually not inclined to think I won't bash my own brains out with a spatula by the end of the day. One of the managers, however, thinks the article is “Awesome. Every little bit helps.”

If that’s true--if it’s even *possible* that it’s true that the little bit of having my name in the Hollywood Reporter (dot com--no idea how related the website is to the print version)--then this is one more little bit of progress on the path to my ultimate goal (making a reasonable living off of writing.) And it strikes me that that’s a little bit of progress that, under its new online manga pilot program, the co-writer of a Tokyopop comic that becomes the basis of a potential tentpole movie franchise could be denied.

I’m strung out on a liver-disintegrating quantity of codeine right now--my lower back’s doing the thing where its usual ache is replaced by a sensation comparable to having several fishhooks twisting in it from the inside--so my comments here are basically going to be limited to, “Hey, my name’s in the Hollywood Reporter (dot com) and it might not have been if I signed the sort of contract that’s becoming increasingly common for new/young/desperate comic creators these days and oh GOD MY BACK HURTS SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE IT STOP THE PAAAAINNN…!”

But it did seem worth noting.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Sunday Night Rambling

This week...this #*&%ing week...It's been one long sinus headache, and it only seems to be getting worse. My teeth are now throbbing, and I've already taken double my daily codeine dose and maxed out on sinus meds as well. All I've got left to help me deal with my discomfort now is a sharp blow to the back of the head...



If you're a father, I hope you had a good day.

If you're not a father, I hope your day stunk.




Is it just me, or do the (relatively) new sites for the comics bulletin, Comic Book Resources, and Newsarama all look: 1) Disturbingly alike and 2) Less utilitarian than their previous incarnations? It's like all comics newssite design is now coming out of Stepford or something.



Two comics previews I'm looking forward to reading when this headache eases up:

-Fifty pages of Ray Fawkes and Cameron Stewart's long-awaited THE APOCALIPSTIX graphic novel, and

-A 24-page preview of Barnaby Ward's SIXTEEN MILES TO MERRICK collection of comic stories.

Something I read even though I had a headache, because it seemed like it might be relevant to someone who's currently making more money editing comics than writing them: Greg Hatcher on some of the things comic editors are SUPPOSED to do, using FINAL CRISIS and Chuck Dixon's abrupt departure from DC to illustrate his points. Dixon shows up in the comments, too, talking about how DC is run these days. "Directionless gladhander with a ouija board" strikes me as a very apt description of many, many people involved in comics these days. Of course, most of the ones I know about personally are involved in the small press--it's a little depressing to think that the situation might not improve as one reaches the upper echelons of the industry...

Canadian Professor Michael Geist's iOptOut website--which will hopefully give me and Tiina some peace from goddamn telephone solicitations that have been coming with increasing frequency this last month. I try to be nice to the people calling, on the assumption that they're not total asshats and are just people doing a job and trying to get by. When someone's trying to sell me something, I usually ask if they're on commission or an hourly wage. If the latter, I let them give me the spiel, if the former I tell them they'd be better off not bothering because it doesn't matter what they're talking about, I'm not buying. But my patience is wearing thin (this headache isn't helping), and I may yet be reduced to trying something my father suggested years ago, which is blowing a referee's whistle into the phone every time someone I don't want to talk to calls. I'd feel really bad about that, but part of me would also get a LOT of satisfaction from it.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Bob Dylan is The Fifth Cylon

There, I said it.

Next time I come to a good show late, someone please remind me to wait until the whole series is over before starting it. Now I get to go from 2-19 episodes a day of Battlestar Galactica to none, for the next 6-10 months. Hell, by the time the second half of the "season" (could someone tell me the difference between two seasons of 12-13 episodes is different from a 24 episode season with a bloody great hole of more than half a year between the first and second 12 eps?), I won't even care what happened to--

Well, some of you might not have watched it yet, so I won't spoil the last 2008 episode for you. -koff-ApolloisaCylon-koff- I will say it has not, as yet, gone where I thought it was going to go--not that it ever has, really, which is one of the great things about the show. But with a limited number of episodes left and a mystery to solve, I'm wondering if it's actually going to end the show's entire run where I thought they were going to go...well, with this episode, leaving the potential for a spin-off sequel (as opposed to the tentative prequel they're working on) series or movie.

Then again, there is still half a season to go--a full season, if you're a show like Dexter. So maybe we'll still get the conflict I've been anticipating ever since Dean Stockwell yelled the immortal words, "Say what?" Now we just need one of the Cylons to say "Take me to your leader." and I can call it a life.

Actually, someone on the show's already done that, haven't they? Baltar...?

Anyway. I will now probably turn my attention to Mad Men, which everyone seems to think is the bee's knees, but which didn't do a whole lot for me in the episode I actually caught.

And then, someday, I'll actually do some work of my own.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stuff and Nonsense, 12/06/2008

Scott O. Brown offers his choice for the greatest sentence ever . I still maintain the greatest sentence ever is something like "Here's your five million Canadian dollars, Andrew Foley; no, seriously, I'm not joking, this is real money and it's all yours, please take it."

Over at Nick Johnson's blog, Nick Soup, he's been showing off some designs from the upcoming second episode of THE HOLIDAY MEN.

Steven Grant talks about small press publisher warning signs creators should be wary of. A must-read for anyone thinking of getting into the business.

Potential McCain Vice President Candidate Bobby Jindal apparently experimented with spontaneous exorcism in college. Fill in your own "An exorcist is just what the White House needs right now" joke here.



Two e-mail subject headers that have shown up in the ol' inbox over the last few days that amuse and frighten me:

"Visual Gifts to Stimulate Your Rods and Cones!" - which somehow sounds much naughtier than it actually is, and

"I hate comics with my penis!" - which doesn't.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Embrace My Density

For those who just can't get enough of my blathering, the latest installment of my Zeros2Heroes editorial production blog, DENSE FOLEYAGE, is now up. This week, I spend a thousand words explaining why I don't have anything to say. And lying through my teeth at almost every opportunity. It's kind of fun, actually. If I knew who owned the darn things, I'd probably just go ahead and cross-post that one here. But I don't, so at the Z2H site it stays.


In other news, the ever-lovable Nick Johnson and I are both getting increasingly excited about this proposed Zuda comic we're putting together. It hasn't been decided whether to wait till more work's been done on THE HOLIDAY MEN Episode Two: FOR WHOM THE SLEIGH BELL TOLLS or just plunge right in to the new thing, but the really irritating thing is, in e-mailing back and forth with Nick, I've got the rough shape of a larger storyline than our original eight screens in mind for the character. And it's such a fun, stupid idea that I now really, really want to do it. Which defeats the whole purpose of what I was aiming to do with this thing, which was produce something that I could be satisfied existing as only eight screens.

The muse is laughing at me. SHE'S LAUGHING.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Totally Grey


It's been an ugly, grey day on pretty much every front. The sky is overcast. It's been dropping rain, lightning, sinus pain and tornado warnings all day. A tornado probably wouldn't have been the worst thing in the world, at least it might have woken me up, which nothing else seems capable of doing right now.

Trying to get my brain screwed in properly to get some work done, but it's not going well, to put it mildly. The script for the Zuda thing is written, but I can't get it out of my head. From the eight screen story I've found myself developing an actual storyline for the thing, which is as great a creative waste of time as I can conceive of. Trying to focus on working screenplay style on something, while staying on top of the editing.

Anyway. Couple of notes of interest to touch on while I wait for the pizza to cook.



As correctly pointed out in the comments last week, the ILLEGAL ALIENS Platinum's planning to develop with Vanguard Animation is not the ILLEGAL ALIENS Rob Moran created for them several years ago, but another ILLEGAL ALIENS altogether. I feel doubly stupid on this one: I skimmed the article I linked to, which was pretty clear about who created the property in question, and my friend Scott O. Brown is actually writing the Moran version of ILLEGAL ALIENS (which has apparently been retitled THE HUNTER).

As for the wider Platinum Studios situation, Rich Johnston posted a "confidential" letter from Platinum Chief Operating Officer Brian Altounian to the people who hadn't been paid in his Lying in The Gutters column yesterday, explaining and apologizing for the situation (and reminding everyone they had confidentiality agreements and shouldn't be doing things like sending the letter to Rich Johnston). This was subsequently picked up by The Beat and Journalista, among others.

I didn't get the e-mail, possibly because I'm not owed money (I'm actually a little surprised about the situation, in my experience Platinum could always be counted on for sending out a cheque very soon after receiving an invoice), possibly because I'm no longer "a part of (the company's) long term plans" (I was told that I was several times over the years, but that no longer seems to be the case--which, if creators aren't getting cheques promptly anymore, may be for the best.)

I don't really know what to make of all this. There's certainly a bit of car crash fascination about the whole thing, but I still know and like several people working with or for the company. In a comment after Publishers Weekly's THE BEAT column on the situation, Lea Hernandez counts Platinum as one of numerous "Big companies with big talk collapsing under their own awful weight." What worries me is that, if this is, in fact, what's happening with the company, the awful weight's going to collapse on a bunch of people who're doing their jobs in good faith and don't deserve to have it fall on them. For that reason if no other (and I do have others), I hope the company manages to hold on.



"Glad he likes it. I shall add his kudos to my collection. It’s getting quite large, but I think some of them are going off, there’s a weird smell coming from the kudos cupboard." The Future of Comics (II) John Keane, responding to positive comments from the writer of the comic project he's currently working on.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Five Things I Learned At The Editors Association of Canada Conference 2008

1) How to tell if a presentation to EAC members is going well: they won’t interrupt you to ask questions that’ll take you in the direction they’re interested in hearing about.

2) How to tell if a panel presentation to EAC members went well: members of the audience “swarm” the panel members after the panel’s allotted time and keep the discussion going. (“Swarm” is, to my mind, a bit of an overstatement for what was maybe, maybe a dozen people between three panelists, but it was the description used by someone who’s attended a lot of EAC conferences and, I suspect, never seen Kevin Smith take an impromptu walk on the floor of San Diego’s Comic Con.)

3) Editors eat very good food--at least, they do at EAC Conferences…

4) I can spend ten minutes talking about word balloon placement in two panels. It’s easier than I thought, actually. I’m told my solo presentation lasted 17 minutes; going in, I was certain I only had enough material to last five, if that.

5) Loose notes don’t work for me when it comes to public speaking. I’m quite comfortable reading verbatim from something, as I do when I do a comic reading, and I’m OK talking off the top of my head. What I’m not good at is having loose notes to refer to. They were a distraction. I was absolutely positive they destroyed any credibility I might have had when making my presentation.

Apparently, I was wrong. Panel moderator Peter Roccia’s been relaying the responses he got to the panel to me, Jay, and Mike, and they’ve actually been positively glowing. Which almost makes the week of stress and Saturday’s Night of Existential Insomnia worth it.

Still, as with the public readings, now that I’ve done this, I’ll feel somewhat more confident if I’m called upon to do it again. At least, I will be if I’m going to be speaking to/with a group of people who seem to understand why keeping a left to right reading flow in a comic page’s text is more important than maintaining the inviolability of a panel border.



That’s a possible tagline for a new strip I developed over the weekend.

Finding myself inspired to give more consideration to DC’s Zuda Comics contest than was previously the case by a talk with RED ICE writer Scott O. Brown, and with some time on my hands during the aforementioned Night of Existential Insomnia, I came up with an idea that I will probably be entering in said contest. Nick Johnson’s tentatively on-board to draw the thing, and I spent what little of today’s time that could fairly be called productive writing the initial eight page--I mean, eight screen story.

The idea and especially the execution of the piece make me laugh, but I don’t know how many people are actually going to get what I (and hopefully still Nick, after he reads the script) am going for. I’ve got a bad feeling I’ll be running the risk of turning into the comics equivalent of Andy Kaufman with this one.

Oh well. When the muse offers inspiration, I take what I can get and ask questions later...


Friday, June 6, 2008


My mood has miraculously improved not at all in the last 36 hours. Definitely Bad Dairy. Probably shouldn’t be blogging publicly at the mo, but there is much to talk about, so off we go with items of interest…



Today on’s The Pulse: a roundtable discussion by all those creators participating in the NO FORMULA: STORIES FROM THE CHEMISTRY SET Volume One anthology Nick and I weren’t invited to participate in. The book’s in the current PREVIEWS, order code: JUN083849



In light of recent news regarding the company, I really don’t know what to make of today’s announcement that Platinum Studios is starting a new joint comic imprint, Vanguard Comics. Looks like the first title’s going to be ILLEGAL ALIENS, a project Rob Moran created and sold to the company years ago. If nothing else, it’s good that Rob’s book’s finally going to be hitting the stands. It’s been at Platinum for as long as I can remember--I think its acquisition might even predate my starting work for the company.



A glimmer of light in the depths of my oh-so-angst-ridden week: the announcement of Svetlana Chmakova’s animated series MY LIFE ME did perk me up a little. Sometimes good things do happen to good people.



“I'm going to assume the answer to all these questions is ‘no’ and find something else to pointlessly obsess about for awhile.” Me, venting at my manager.



Did I mention Vicious Ambitious’ latest multimedia extravaganza, three trailers for the non-existent film ENTER THE DRAGNET 2: DIRTY BADGES can now be viewed on YouTube? Well, now I have. These have had the really politically incorrect bits I got to see when they were initially unveiled in Calgary edited out, which is probably a good move in regards to everything other than Entertaining Me.


I’m told the Chimaera Universe Superhero Roleplaying Game rulebook I did a bit of work on is now available for preorder from Mongoose Publishing.

My contribution to the book came in the form of smartass descriptions of skills. One of my favourite things about the old Champions rulebook was the humourous characters used to illustrate how a given power worked. The last version of the Hero System rules I saw had done away with those--with any personality at all, really, which was depressing. So when George Singley asked me to do descriptions for a list of a hundred and fifty or so skills, he got stuff like this:

“Prestidigitation: The first thing one learns with the prestidigitation skill is how to say ‘prestidigitation’. A magician must-have, sleight of hand allows its user to deceive a watcher, making them believe something is where it isn’t while putting it somewhere else.”


“Speed Reading: If you had this skill, you’d already know how this game defines the Basic Law skill.”


“Pilot Rotor Wing: Helicopters, gyrocopters, ornithopters, other aircraft with names ending in ‘opter’…these are the kinds of things a Rotor Wing Pilot can fly and, more importantly, safely land on top of a skyscraper. Let’s see you do THAT, Mr. I’m So Cool Jetfighter Pilot…”


“Poetry: If you had this skill
You’d know this was no sonnet
It is a haiku.”


“Basic law: Basically, you know the law.”


“Writing: A highly overrated skill. Anybody can do this. At least, that’s what every talentless nitwit I’ve come across says when I tell them what I do for a living. YOU THINK COMING UP WITH THIS STUFF IS EASY?!?! SCREW YOU, YOU PIECE OF--(editor’s note: The publishers of the Chimaera Roleplaying Game would like assure its readers that they do not share the opinions expressed by Andrew Foley in this Skills definition, and that they’re making absolutely sure he’s actually taking his medication before allowing him to continue.)”

Strangely enough, everyone seemed to quite like this approach. I must admit, I’m curious to see how it meshes with the rest of the book.



“There's only so much shit you can throw to the wall before the room starts to stink.” Someone in a mood as chipper and upbeat as my own.


Right. I’m off to try to get some work done, fail miserably, and console myself by watching seventeen episodes of Battlestar Galactica.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hate is a four-letter word. Wanna fight about it?

I am tired and full of hate right now. I've been tired all day; the hate just set in about three minutes ago. It was odd. I could actually feel my mood shift, intellectually grasp that it was doing so for no good reason, really, and yet find myself unable to stop the change from coming.

And now I'm just seething with fury at everything in general and nothing in particular. I'm going to blame this on a bad dairy reaction and leave it at that. In fact, I'm going to blame this whole stupid unproductive week on Bad Dairy (except for today, when I actually had a legitimate excuse not to produce something, which I'd think was nice for a change if I wasn't so consumed with negativity that I refuse to acknowledge the existence of niceness at the moment.)

Of course, life could be worse. I could be this person, whose negativity towards something that should in the absolute worst case be easily ignored, inspires and humbles my own efforts towards complete misanthropy. I look forward to the day when something I write which includes something less than pleasant happening to a female character is taken as evidence that I abuse my wife. Hell, I'd probably try and find a way to use such a review as a cover blurb, at least till someone with more commercial sense than me pointed out that some people might not see the humour in plastering baseless accusations of abhorrent and/or illegal behaviour on the cover of my latest soon-to-be-very-much-not-bestselling book.

And having written a version of that last paragraph that sucks slightly less than the first ten attempts, I find myself in a somewhat better mood. Crikey. My emotional alignment is shifting faster than today's weather, which got me both a mild sunburn and then drenched by rain inside a ten-minute period.

The latest installment of my editorial production blog, DENSE FOLEYAGE #1.8: What, Me Worry?, is now up at Zeros2Heroes. I've been trying to find out whether they're technically considered WFH or if I'm allowed to crosspost them here. Not that I would crosspost most of them here, I think, but once in awhile they meander into territory someone who isn't part of the Z2H community might be interested in. This week I ramble on about deadlines and a bit about the bright side of worrying incessantly about every little thing. Fortunately, I wrote it before a fiery hate enveloped my soul. That sort of thing probably wouldn't be smiled upon by my superiors at the company. Might be funny, though...


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Nothing To Do With Me

DOGWITCH Vol.3: MOOD SWINGS hits the shelves of your finer comics retailing emporia tomorrow. I've been waiting for this concluding collection of Daniel Schaffer's black magic gothpunk sex farce for a loooong time now. I'm thrilled--like, hello kitty schoolgirl giddy, it's really kind of embarrassing--that whatever issues kept it from being released were resolved and that Image had the wisdom (I almost typed "good taste" there, but that seems somehow...wrong when talking about DW) to release the book. Hopefully this'll lead to a new printing of the first volume, which is, to the best of my knowledge, no longer available. It's also worth noting that DWv2 is solicited from original publisher Sirius Comics in this month's Previews.

Schaffer's got a thirteen page DW story, Hot Spell, on his site, if you aren't quite sure if this is your bag. But if it isn't, it ought to be.

According to some sources, THE AMAZING JOY BUZZARDS OMNIBUS was coming out tomorrow. According to MY source, it isn't. And seeing as my source owns the comic shop where I plan to purchase said Omnibus, I'm inclined to take him at his word.

My good friend and sometime collaborator Scott O. Brown has thrown his hat into DC Comics' Zuda ring, with RED ICE , a sci-fi adventure tale written by SOB and drawn by his frequent collaborator Horacio Lalia. SOB's been wanting to do this story practically since I met him, so I hope it does well enough to continue through to its conclusion.



For all the people who've been asking me asking about the Platinum Studios situation: I have no idea what's going on over there. Outside of SOB, who I believe still does the occasional lettering/writing job for them, I've had no communication with anyone at the company for months--and SOB's a freelancer who doesn't really know what's going on either, at least not as far as I've heard. So please stop e-mailing me about this.

I will say that I hope DJ Coffman's successful in either regaining the rights to HERO BY NIGHT or that some other arrangement is made whereby he could continue working on the book. I've only shared a few e-mails with the guy, but his passion for the project--for comics in general, really--is as heart-felt as it is obvious.



Scripts I completed for Platinum that will never be produced as comics: JEREMIAH: THE LAST EMPIRE (and boy, does that one hurt) and RETURN OF THE WRAITH

Scripts I completed that could potentially see the light of day in the form they were intended: AGE OF KINGS (which has been fully drawn and lettered for some time) and CRIMSON ROSE

Projects I created that were acquired by the company: JEST CAUSE (still one of my top 5 favourite personally written scripts), CONVICTION, DWELLERS, A FAMILY AFFAIR.

Projects I co-created for Platinum that have been returned to me and my co-writers (something I deeply appreciate, as Platinum was under no legal or even moral obligation to give them back and did anyway): THREADS and EARLY McKAY Vs. THE MORPHEUS MACHINE

And, just for fun, projects I pitched to Platinum that were rejected: PARTING WAYS, DONE TO DEATH, BadBoy, GEMINI, MASTER OF THE HOUSE


Sunday, June 1, 2008


Kibble. Kibble kibble kibble kibble, Kibble. Kibble kibble kibble kibble kibble. Kibble kibble. Kibble kibble kibble KIBBLE. Kibble?

Kibble? KIBBLE? Kibble! Kibble kibble, kibble kibble kibble kibble. Kibble...

Kibble kibble kibble kibble kibble: kibble.

Kib. Ble. KIBBLE!


Getting Things Done? Not If I Can Help It...

Fairly productive week, for a change. What wasn't spent editing (which isn't as much as I'd like, but was somehow more than has been the case for the last month, even though the dreaded Hard Deadline is fast approaching) was spent working on the latest (and dear god hopefully final) revision of the first spec screenplay.

This revision was brutal. The old saying is that when writing, you've got to kill your darlings. I didn't just kill them; I viciously beat them, let them hang out with the creepy next door neighbour till three in the morning, did awful things to them with a chainsaw, and buried their mutilated bodies in a shallow grave on an acreage just outside of town (which reminds me, I should really check on--uh, nothing. Nevermind.) As it stands, almost the only thing recognizable from the first draft is the title, character names, and first two pages. I'm reasonably sure it's a more commercially viable thing, now, but it isn't what I started out wanting it to be.

Then again, it pretty much never was. Hollywood Manager says when it comes to stories, a writer's first instinct is usually right. In my case, I'm pretty sure it's the second instinct that's the correct one, at least for socially acceptable content. If I went with my first instinct, well, I'm not really a happy ending kind of a guy. And this thing has a happier ending than almost anything I wasn't paid up-front to work on. After the revisions, it's also got a considerably happier middle. And a happier team repping it to the people who might actually give me some money for it. So, we shall see.

Speaking of the representing team, there's been a break between business partners at Hollywood Manager's company when it comes to THE HOLIDAY MEN. Hollywood Manager sees it as a stop-motion animated show, which makes more sense to me and Nick than anything else. However, Hollywood Manager's partner and junior partner are trying to make it work as a film property. They're working on coming up with "a take" on it (a term I'm convinced is shorthand for "Take it away, boys", after which the idea being taken away is never heard from again).

I actually feel kind of sorry for the Partners in this case. I wrote THE HOLIDAY MEN with no consideration for its multimedia potential, as a way to treat the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach I get whenever I see a movie pitch masquerading as a comic. I've written more than one of those, and I was beginning to worry that I was starting to do it without someone paying me. It was pretty much immune to translation or adaptation to any other medium, or so I thought. Imagine my surprise when H'wood Manager & Co. fell all over themselves loving it.

Like I said to the managers and Nick, I don't particularly care what happens with the H-Men outside of comics. I certainly don't want to be involved in making the changes to the idea that'd be required to make it even remotely workable in another medium. But if they want to bash their head against that wall, or, better still, can find someone willing to give me and Nick money to bash their head against that wall, more power to them.

This coming week's big project is coming up with ten-twenty minutes of stuff to say to a group of editors as part of the Editors Association of Canada's Conference 2008. If I get the chance to do something creative, there's a couple animation scripts I either want to, or should, be doing, as well as more work on THE LITTLE BROTHER. And while I know I should be doing all of that, what I actually feel like doing right now is another chapter of the prose version of one of my and John Keane's things. Writing the first two was a pain in the ass, as prose always is, but it can't be beat for satisfaction when it's working.

Oh, and then there's the editing. Always with the editing...