Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I had a disturbing dream last night. I had dreams pretty much all last night, likely thanks to the holiday dairy intake catching up to me, but one of them stuck with me longer than a few minutes after waking, which is unusual.

In the dream, I was in a three storey apartment, on my way up the stairs from the bottom to leave via the front door, which was located in the middle storey. As I reached the second storey, I ran into my grandfather, who was coming down from the top story intended to leave himself.

This was shocking, because my dreamself knew Granddad was dead. The realization that I was talking to him regardless caused a tightening in my chest that made it difficult to explain what was causing the tightening in my chest. He helped me downstairs to the living room, where I eventually calmed down enough to ask him how he got there.

He didn't know. Thinking about it, he couldn't remember much at all. I didn't want to tell him he wasn't alive, so I did what I could to try and revive his memories. It took awhile.

Eventually, he realized that he was dead. He lay on his back on the floor and curled up into a ball. I tried to comfort him, but he grew increasingly agitated by the idea that he was a ghost. He bounced up and down, off the ceiling and the floor a few times.

Then he transformed into a white sock.


In my e-mail this morning was a mail forwarded from my father, informing me that my Aunt Kate--granddad's older sister, which I guess would actually make her a great-aunt...?--had passed away.

This put me in a reflective mood that I've almost completely destroyed by watching the first half hour of the Mike Judge film Idiocracy.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I do not want to go outside and you can't make me.

Not going to develop this year's holiday-inspired idea. Because everyone's in a bad enough mood without seeing Santa portrayed as the leader of a cult of elf-slaves who exiles Milton, one of his most devoted followers, and then tells Milt he'll only be allowed back at the North Pole if he hunts down and kills Santa's illegitimate daughter, who's a thief preparing to steal the Real Mona Lisa from an arms dealer art collector.



The ReBoot webcomic is done. As the writer put it, "Thank the User."



If I had to use a single word to describe the film, it would be "excessive."

Some of the funny bits were actually reasonably funny.

The dialogue was stunningly awful.

The visuals were exactly what you'd expect, which is unfortunate, as I think many of the recycled Sin City visual tricks could be used to great effect if they were used in something other than a completely random fashion.

Pretty much every place and character name that wasn't established in Eisner's strip was a comic reference, to the point where those of us who know who Iger and Donenfeld refer to in the real world would inevitably be distracted from the film's barely-there story.

Terrible, terrible dialogue.

There were at least two Hot Dames that absolutely did not need to be in the film. Probably more like four, but at least two.

Eva Mendes has a nice butt, but I don't think it contributed as much to the film as Miller did, at least not judging by the screen time it got.

Gabriel Macht did what he could with what he had; Samuel L. Jackson was Samuel L. Jackson on a crack/steroids cocktail; the women all looked good and while none of them were overtly whores (at this point, having women who aren't prostitutes qualifies as restraint on Miller's part), none of them could resist The Spirit's machismo.

Miller's Spirit has the bizarre superpower of glowing-soled hightops.

At one point, completely out of the blue, The Spirit breaks the fourth wall to talk directly to the audience. Why this was deemed necessary when half the film's dialogue (which was god-awful) was in voice-over to begin with, I have no idea.

It was better than I expected, but that's not saying much, as I expected it to be pure, tortuous awfulness from beginning to end. Instead, the pure, tortuous awfulness was interspersed with humour, a lot of it extremely broad physical comedy, that worked in the context of the film. But, as Jay said after the film was over, "It's not Will Eisner's Spirit."



In addition to being THe Future of Comics (I), Fiona Staples is just an all-around awesome person whose package arrived yesterday. Tiina loves the print.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Cold, White Death

Final lettering revisions for ReBoot's last two installments are done. I and the creative team were skating perilously close to the weekly deadline pretty much from Day One, but we never actually missed one. It was a rocky road, but we appear to have reached our destination. Which means one less thing I've got to worry about over this next week (I'm saving my "Where's the next paycheque coming from?" freakout for Boxing Week.)

As is my somewhat sporadic tradition, I've come up with an idea for a Christmas-themed story. I don't know why I continue to do this--out of the eight or nine I've come up with over the years I've only ever used THE HOLIDAY MEN and, hopefully, The Christmas Spirit as the second or third Spooky Kids story.

I was going to write about this new idea, but typing the last paragraph, I just remembered I've got something important to do re: The H-Men. So maybe I'll pick that up tomorrow. Or not at all. It's pretty bleak, which is in keeping with my standard mood round this time of year, but not necessarily something I ought to be inflicting on the world.

If I don't get back to blogging for a bit, I hope everyone reading has a joy-filled X-Mas or equivalent winter-themed holiday of their choice. Beware mmistletoe hanging in unusual places.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

No. No no no no no no no no no no.

I did not just chip a tooth a week and a bit before Christmas. I DID NOT.

And if I did, I absolutely, positively did NOT chip it on a #*%&ing hot dog bun.



"The Satanic Rites of Dracula". 1971 Hammer Horror film, which pretty much says everything necessary, doesn't it? How one could go wrong with a title like that, I'll never know, but while there were some bits that really pleased me (Peter Cushing just oozes cool), it was ultimately kind of a pointless exercise (why that suprises me, I don't know--I guess I sort of romanticize Hammer Horror stuff and the reality almost always lets me down.) Personally, I like the original title--"Dracula is Alive and Well and Living in West London"--better, but I guess Christopher Lee objected to having a comedy title on what is absolutely not a comedy film. It doesn't even make it into the so bad it's good category (unfortunately.) The plot revolves around a Dracula-led conspiracy to destroy the world via Satanic ritual and a powerful strain of the Black Plague and naked women. All the Satanic cult's henchmen dressed exactly the same, in a brown wooly vest over black pants and shirt. After the first couple of encounters, I reckon everyone who needed to know would be able to pick out a Satanist at a range of half a mile...

"Southland Tales". Richard Kelly does his best David Lynch imitation with an end of the world...I'm leery of calling it a story, as it reads more like a series of barely connected events that kinda tie up but kinda don't in the end. Maybe if I read the three gaphic novels that are supposed to precede the movie (which starts with Chapter IV) I'd be better able to figure out just what the hell happened and why Justin Timberlake lip-syncing a Killers song in the middle of the film is the critical element of the thing. Lots and lots of voice-over, which I don't mind in theory, but which got tedious after about twenty minutes--OK, there's a lot of exposition needed to make some kind of sense of the world he'd created, but I've got to think more of it could've been dealt with in actual dialogue. And the opening voiceover monologue surprisingly does lean heavily on the graphic novels (written by Kelly and illustrated by Brett Weldele), with numerous images from the books appearing. Apparently it's supposed to be a comedy (albeit a black one), but the only thing consistently amusing to me was Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's performance as a self-absorbed, highly strung movie star.



"Let Me In/Let The Right One In", by Jonathan Ajvide Lindqvist. As I sit here thinking about it, I can't escape the fact that a similar set-up was used as the foundation of an episode of the Highlander television series, but looking beyond that, Let The Right One In is pretty good vampire story, and that's coming from someone who's a pretty hard sell when it comes to vampires. Not genre-redefining, as the film festival PR for the movie would've had you believe, but still good. Oskar, a bullied, pudgy kid from a broken hom who's right on the edge of breaking under social pressures at school befriends a stange girl, while a killer stalks the city, affecting the lives of various characters, most of whom live in the same apartment complex as the pudgy kid. I'm torn as to whether I like the book better than the film, which was pretty good. The book has a few story threads and subplots that the film didn't, including some history of the strange girl, Eli, and the old man who lives with her (his paedophilia's spelled out loud and clear in the book.) In fact, the old guy is given substantially more to do in the book, which leads to some of the grimmer scenes that I really wouldn't have minded seeing on film but which are, admittedly, tangential to the main thrust of the story, which is the relationship between Oskar and Eli. There are at least two revelations about Eli in the book that I missed in the film (possibly because I wasn't paying close enough attention--I was pretty flustered that day), and a third that explicitly rules out one of my favourite readings of the movie. If you've any interest in non-romantic vampires, this is worth a look--I don't recognize the name of the person quoted on the cover calling the book "Anne Ricean", but it really couldn't be farther from the truth.



Funnily enough, he didn't zero in on the thing that really bugged me, which was the offhanded way in which "Hiro's stuck in the past" was dealt with. I'm as ready to suspend my disbelief as the next guy, but come on...


Sunday, December 14, 2008

"Might be time to lay off the pills a little, Foley..."

A few minutes ago Diego Simone, long-suffering ReBoot artist sent me pencils for three of the last four pages for the weekly webcomic, which got him a reply of "This is great, but I really need the inks/colours for page 39 like, RIGHT NOW, because the letterer needs to have them done, like, RIGHT NOW."

Which got me the reply of "I sent you that page, but here it is again."

I figured we were facing a repeat of Tuesday, when a page had been lost between his sending it and my gmail account, and was seriously considering looking at alternate e-mail otions, until I looked at my Sent Mail list...and discovered I actually had gotten the page, looked at it, and forwarded it to equally long-suffering letterer Ed Brisson and the comic's writer. And I had and have no memory of doing that. Looking at the timeline, I realize all of this happened sometime after me taking a SleepMD pill last night, which I can only hope at least contributed to this piece of lost time.

Mind you, I do keep seeing images of grey aliens every time I close my eyes. Maybe that's related...

Anyway, the important thing is, we've got five pages to go and then my part on the ReBoot project is basically done. And that'll be me unemployed in any creative capacity, and just in time for Christmas, from the looks of it.


On the upside, I'm feeling more energized about writing right now than I have in some time. The screenplay's ticking along at a regrettably glacial pace, but I'm also working on a new proposal for a project with Nick Johnson, and I've been thinking of taking another shot at finding a story to go along with the characters from OLD DOGS. When writing up the idea to show Hollywood Manager, I came up with a new twist to the scenario I hadn't considered before that might just pull the thing into a workable shape.


I had an idea a bit like this one a couple years back. It was called SAME SH*T, DIFFERENT GALAXY, and was a workplace sitcom about the janitorial staff on a starship, the bridge crew of which were the stars of a reality television show. I even got the Future of Comics (I) Fiona Staples to do some character designs for a possible animated version. I don't know why I never went much of anywhere with the idea, but it just...never happened. Which is for the best, apparently. One FOOL'S ERRAND in this life is enough for me.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Can you feel the fire burning within you? Can you feel it?

If this turns out to be an act of god, I will laugh and laugh.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Arguable Points

Arguable Points
There are few things that I like better than a good argument. But finding a good one in general and online in particular isn't easy.

I believe it's during one of the roughly half a dozen quintannual (if that's actually a word--I don't feel like looking it up, but it feels like something that should mean "occurring every five years", which is how I mean it even if that's not what the word really means, assuming it even exists, which I don't really) Monty Python retrospective presentations that Terry Jones talks about his and John Cleese's dynamic during arguments. According to Jones, when angered, Cleese's voice would deepen and he'd withdraw somewhat--basically keep the anger he was likely feeling under control and to some degree hidden. On the other hand, when Jones got angry, his Welsh background would show through--his voice would become higher, more obviously agitated. And, paraphrasing (my recollection of) Jones, when one side of a discussion becomes angry, they've lost the argument.

I tend to agree with this theory. At a minimum, the point at which I lose my temper is the point at which, whatever the result, I cannot feel that I won an argument. Even if I'm subsequently able to convince the other person/people I'm in the right, I didn't win, because at some point I let the merits of my argument go in favour of focusing on something other than the merits of the opposing argument.

I once knew a girl--OK, dated a girl--OK, was engaged to a girl who took any disagreement with her position as a personal attack. Her primary strategy when it came to arguing was not to present the merits of her position or challenge the merits of those who disagreed. Instead, she would personally attack the party making the argument. An argument with her might start along these lines:

HER: I believe that the Albertan conservatives are the best political party in the province because they want to balance the budget.*
ME: I disagree. While balancing the budget is a noble endeavour, the way the conservatives want to do it is by gutting healthcare and unilaterally cutting teachers' agreed-upon salaries, among other things I find objectionable.
HER: You've got a small penis.

I dislike having arguments I know I absolutely cannot win. I'm open to being proven wrong, and have altered my position on occasion, when someone presented me with an argument I had no choice but to acknowledge was superior to my own. Jay Bardyla at Happy Harbor's perspective on certain elements of the comics industry have forced me to reevaluate some beliefs I held prior to discussing them with him. I don't see the point in arguing with someone who isn't likewise able to accept at least the possibility that they're wrong . Unless I'm feeling like a bastard that day, and think I can sneak a semi-win by getting the opposition riled up.

Anyway. This train of thought was inspired in part by continuing back difficulties which have me in a bleak frame of mind, but mostly by the comments thread in response to a post by Valerie D'Orazio about the Australian Simpsons Child Porn Case, which would probably have put me in a bleak frame of mind even if I'd started reading it in a good mood. I'm tempted to weigh in with another reply, but at this point I feel like both sides' points have been made and I'd only be stirring the pot.

I spent a good portion of my late teens and twenties baiting people. It was fun at the time, but that time has passed. I'll save my energy for a good argument, and hope one comes along soon.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Well, it's been nearly six months since my last trip to the ER, and sure enough, my back started getting tweaky yesterday. Tossing back four extra-strength gelcaps per the ER doctor's orders last time did indeed abort the problem last night, when it got really bad, but this morning I awoke in roughly the same position I was in yesterday--not in excruciating pain, but with a catch in my back (and, in this instance, side) that tells me I'm one wrong move away from, well, another trip to the hospital.

What would constitute a wrong move, you ask? Well, there's the rub. This thing always hits out of nowhere. Carrying fifty pounds of cat litter into the house isn't the problem; opening the trunk of the car to get the cat litter might be. Or something like, well, breathing deeply.

I don't have enough ESA gelcaps on hand to do what I did last night tonight; I don't have the will to venture out into the icy wasteland the last couple days has turned out neighbourhood into to get enough of said gelcaps; and even if I did, I don't think my stomach could take another dose in that quantity without bursting from my midsection like an Alien and brutally killing everything in the house (which, in the case of Smoky, is not necessarily a bad thing. Stupid, stoopid cat.)

So we'll see what the night and tomorrow hold on the back front.

One thing tomorrow absolutely will not be is the stress-fest that today was. As if expending time and energy trying not to inhale the wrong way wasn't bad enough, the artist for ReBoot dropped off the face of the earth for a solid 24 hours--without having delivered the much-needed final colours for the last page of this coming Monday's installment. Or, more accurately, he had delivered the page, I just hadn't received it in my inbox, for reasons only the universe that's decided to #*%(ing hate me today could tell you.

The page has been received and I'm currently not going to sleep while I wait for the letterer to finish applying his art to the page, which is due tomorrow. There are some days I just hate editing, and this was one of them.

Prior to my sending increasingly frantic "Where are you/where's my page/are you still alive/if you're still alive why haven't you sent me my page?" e-mails every fifteen minutes for several hours, I actually got a reasonable amount of work done on the new screenplay. I think we're finally into the stage where the thing takes on a life of its own. No longer do I have to force (most of) the characters to say something--I understand (most of) them enough that they're talking to each other without me nudging them.

If this were July, I'd probably have a first draft ready to go in maybe two weeks. As it's December, I'm thinking maybe another month. Decembers and I do not get along.



So, if Neil Gaiman and various others are reading things right, Lisa Simpson of the animated show the Simpsons is considered a person under Australian law, and images of her having sex with her father qualify is roughly equivalent to having images of non-fictional human minors having relations with non-fictional human adults.

My position on this should come as no surprise to anyone who's read this blog. For an opposing viewpoint, check out Occasional Superheroine Valerie D'Orazio's post on the subject. I respect and to some degree understand her position on the subject and can sympathize with her feeling uncomfortable expressing her opinion (ironic, as the discussion is all about freedom of speech.)

As I stated in a reply to her post that, as yet, hasn't been cleared, this subject is bound to bring out extreme positions. Both sides are looking at the bottom of their respective slippery slopes, and, having seen the destination, are going to do whatever it takes to ensure the slide never gets started.

Also, the character of Lisa Simpson is well past the age of consent. She just looks young.


Monday, December 8, 2008

That Olde Time Religion

That Olde Time Religion
Not that I think one's needed or even necessarily desirable, but this Newsweek article presents the biblical arguments in favour of gay marriage (via Mark Evanier)


As it happens, I've been thinking about Christianity a but more than usual today, for the silliest of reasons. During the daily indulgence of my masochistic streak, I was watching CNN this morning, when it was announced that the guest on tonight's Larry King was MegaPreacher SomeonewhosenameIdon'tremember and his wife. And I started to wonder exactly how one takes the step beyond simply preaching and starts MEGApreaching. Does this guy spread the word longer than normal preachers? Louder? With a megaphone, maybe? While eating a mega-sized fast food meal?

Or, when he's defeated by the Power Rangers, does he transform from a normal sci-fi martial arts preacher into a giant sci-fi martial arts MegaPreacher who must fight his foes in their giant robot form in an anonymous mountain range before he is ultimately defeated? And if so, does that mean that the Power Rangers are servants of Satan? Actually, that last bit makes a certain amount of sense...

And then I decided I wanted to be megasomething. Not sure what, yet. Well, I'd LIKE to be mega-awesome, but let's be realistic, here. How would one become a megawriter? A megasleeper? A megawhiner?

And then I decided the whole thing was kind of stupid and the guy was just a preacher and someone who writes the copy for Larry King's show needs to lay off the cappuccino a bit. Doesn't really matter how big his flock is, whoever the guest is/was, he's just another preacher (and another preacher's wife.)


This was just one of the many deep trains of thought I had today. Another started with me reflecting fondly on the days when people talked about "stories" and characters", and almost no one referred to them as "content."

This particular train of thought turned out to be the C-Line to Bummersville.


And then I read Abhay Khosla's review for SECRET INVASION #8 at the Savage Critics, and that brightened my day somewhat, because it's some damn entertaining writing. And it is the source of today's Quote of the Day:

"Kids thus learn a valuable lesson about heroism: nobody think it’s heroic to shoot a woman in the head with a bow & arrow; they only think it’s heroic to shoot a woman in the head with a ray gun."

There were probably a dozen other lines worthy of mention in the review, but that's the one Ithat jumped out at me, probably because of the additional visual punchline Khosla adds in the body of the review itself.


And then I watched a bunch of television and came upstairs, and decided I'd write a blog instead of watching Heroes and then read some more of Mumblemumble Lindqvist's novel LET ME IN (aka LET THE RIGHT ONE IN) and then turn the lights off and go to sleep. Knock on wood.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The beginning of the end?

In the wake of Arianna Huffington's appearance on the Daily Show to promote her book about blogging, I'm considering shutting this livejournal/blog thing down. Either that or trying to give it a focus that's both narrower and something that I can write about regularly. Right now, I'm inclined just to stop, but I know me well enough to know there's a good chance I'll change my mind, so I'm not going to commit to withdrawing back to the nether regions from whence I came (and judging by the size of my readership, arguably never really left, ha ha).

There's a lot almost going on; started seriously developing a new project based on an idea by Nick Johnson yesterday; plugging away at the screenplay for Producer Guy; waiting for responses from a half dozen producer types, a couple editors, a manager and a partridge in a pear tree; there's a short essay I've started writing a dozen times but can't seem to close; Big NY Editor needs more chapters of the YA novel before she can sell her boss on it (that one's not happening any time soon, the way my schedule's shaking out)...but there's always a lot almost going on. I'm getting tired of writing about it, especially when I could be writing something...I don't want to say useful, but...productive, maybe ?

So, we'll see. In any event, don't expect a whole lot to be showing up here until after the New Year.


I see ATLANTIS RISING, the comic penned by my friend and occasional co-writer Scott O. Brown, has been attached to director Len Wiseman and looks like it's moving ahead at DreamWorks. Strangely, I don't see his name mentioned in any of the press surrounding the film--I can't think of any other announcement where Platinum didn't mention an optioned comic's writer. I suppose Variety and Co. could've edited the announcement or something, assuming there was one...

Anyway. As with all things Hollywood, I'll believe there's actually fire accompanying the smoke when I'm recovering in the burn ward and not a second before. But I'm told that "buzz" is always useful by people who ought to know, so I hope SOB gets a little public credit where it's due.


Maybe a groupblog of some sort.

Of course, that would require finding some sort of a group...

Maybe not.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dayzed and Confused

For the last couple of months I've developed a tendency to forget what day it is. Actually, that's not quite right--I feel like I know what day it is, it's just I'm wrong. For instance, I know for a fact it's Tuesday, but I just can't shake the feeling it's Wednesday.

I wonder if this is related to the days getting shorter, or medications fogging my brain more than usual (head is throbbing, ready to split today--first snowfall that hasn't evaporated inside of an hour or two), or the loss of one of my external time-keeping touchstones (visiting Granddad--never had a regular time for a visit, but I was always vaguely aware of how long it was since I'd last seen him.) Or hell, if I'm just getting old.

On the upside, been moving at a decent clip on the screenplay for Big Producer Guy I. So who cares what day it is?



Here's a link to Neil Gaiman's defense of people who enjoy creepy things that don't actively harm other people. I made a similar argument awhile back in response to a post by
[info]deireanach, but I suspect more people will be likely to buy it coming from Mr. G.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Comics' Biggest Blight thread on Canadian Geek has transformed into a more general discussion about the state of the industry between a frustrated, successful comics retailer (Happy Harbor's Jay Bardyla), an equally frustrated, not nearly as successful comics creator (me), with occasional interjections from other people trying to get a word in edgewise.


Andrew Sullivan on why he blogs. I've only read a page and a half, but it includes some interesting historical bits, including the origin of the term "log", which make it worth mentioning right there.

(via Chad Gervich's Script Notes blog)



The Future of Comics (I) Fiona Staples has a variant cover on VAMPIRELLA QUARTERLY, and I either just noticed or noticed earlier and forgot. Probably the latter, that sounds like something I'd do.

Anyway. Now she just needs to do something (official) for Red Sonja and she'll have worked on the Pre-1990s Scantily-Clad Ass-Kicking Babe Trifecta, which also includes Sheena. Then she could go back to drawing MY stuff*...

If anyone out there is in touch with someone in a position of authority at Dynamite Comics, please tell them they should hire Fiona for an RS book. End the insanity, before it's too late.



I don't want to write a zombie story.




OK, yeah, there was a communications error and we did the wrong strip.

I still don't understand how you didn't notice that the jet plane was missing, or that there was a robot completely unrelated to the strip in practically all the panels until we were done lettering.




I have an idea for a reality-TV show.

Please, shoot me.



You know what you did.


(*Wishful thinking, I know, but hope springs eternal...)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Night Rambly-Dambling

As I sit--OK, actually lie--here, awaiting notes, pizza, and Law & Order: SVU (not necessarily in that order) I'm actually starting to come up with a story to go with something that would be pitched as "Hannibal Lecter's Adventures During The Zombie Apocalypse." I really do not want to come up with that story, because as soon as I do, I'll feel compelled to write it, which doesn't strike me as a particularly good idea.

Last night I woke up and scribbled the title "Zombie Girlfriend" on a napkin. I think I've been watching too many zombie movies lately. Which is weird, because I don't particularly like the genre. But they're, y'know. There. And I'm reasonably sure I'll find almost all of them more interesting than Twilight.

The British miniseries Dead Set is pretty good, though. The premise could've been played for comedy so easily, but instead it's really dark...worth the three hours just to get to one really nice image at the end that I bet was a major reason the creator wanted to do the project...

Someday I want to pitch a film thusly: "The Godfather meets The Godfather II"...

That is all.


Friends like these

ME: I'm going in for a brainscan on Tuesday.
JAY: I hope they find something.



In an uncharacteristic moment of charity, when a thread at Canadian Geek started on the subject of "Comics' Biggest Blight", I won out over my baser urges to expound on the evils of the three elements of the industry that immediately occurred to me as contenders for the title and instead ended up in the odd position of defending the first nominee to the title, Joe Quesada.

You know something's gone seriously wrong with a conversation when I'm the guy who's trying to be positive...


Thursday, November 20, 2008


I started fighting this cold sometime Saturday morning. Now, at 1:10 Thursday morning, I think it's safe to officially declare that the cold has won.

Coughing so much it's keeping me up. Blown my nose so much it's started bleeding. Head throbbing worse than usual. No antihistamines in the house, Linda, and no Nyquil either--it may not help a cold, but it knocks me out, which I'd consider a win right about now.

A couple hours ago I told the Future of Comics (II) John Keane that I wished this irritating malady would either blossom into a full-blown sickness or go away, and this is what I get for it.

I wish someone would give me enough money so I could go to the New York Comic Con in February (ideally, but not necessarily, in exchange for something I wrote).

OK, it's a long shot, but who knows. It seems like I got my wish once today, why not see if I can get a streak going on something that doesn't involve me being miserable?

Oh wait--going to conventions does make me miserable.

Never mind.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The $11 House

I love this idea. Given the current number of entrants, I can't see the people putting it on getting the number of people they want to actually go through with the contest, but I'd love it if they did.


Don't talk to ME about the evils of socialism II/Quotes of the day

The CEOs of the Big Three North American automakers take the lead in the race to be the first with their backs against the wall when the revolution comes.

Also, they need much, much, much better PR people:

'"Making a big to-do about this when issues vital to the jobs of millions of Americans are being discussed in Washington is diverting attention away from a critical debate that will determine the future health of the auto industry and the American economy." GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson, who clearly doesn't understand the role the public's perception of his douchebag CEO is going to play in that debate.

"That's it man, game over man, game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now?" Bill Paxton in ALIENS.


Westboro Baptist Church Fundraising Effort for the Oregon Queer Community

While the ideal method for dealing with demonstrations by the idiots of the Westboro Baptist Church would involve baseball bats, I've got to admit this is a pretty cool way to turn their hatemongering back on them.



Sunday, November 16, 2008

I am a machine.

An aging machine that's going to break down soon, but a machine nonetheless. Cold medication might slow me down, but nothing short of finishing the job can stop me when I've got deadlines. I AM UNSTOPPABLE.

And now some Nyquil is in order, I think.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

When it rains...

While there's never a good time for having a cold, this is a really, ASTONISHINGLY #*%&ING BAD weekend for me to have a cold.


Friday, November 14, 2008

What a morning/quotes of the day

"...the proposal itself just doesn't seem to be working. No matter the great new material Andrew has provided, and no matter how I've rearranged and experimented with cutting and restructuring... it's still too confusing and almost top-heavy." The New York Editor (I), explaining why she's passing on the YA novel (at least till I write a few more chapters.)

"The operative word is 'fantastic.'" Emmy-Winning Producer, giving me the operative word regarding a movie treatment I wrote. Revised outline this weekend (because "fantastic" doesn't preclude there being notes), then into the script. And then, somewhere in the future, step 3: Profit. Speaking of which...

"This time last year, I told myself if I didn't get someone offering me something in the way of a paycheque for writing by the end of the year I was going to give up on it altogether once and for all. However, I lie to myself ALL THE TIME." Me, feeling sorry for myself because New York Editor passed on my YA novel of which I've written only two chapters and a confusing, top-heavy outline.

"Well, I'm out guys. If this is what's cool now, I think I'm done. I no longer have any connection to this world. I'm gonna go home and kill myself." South Park's Eric Cartman, responding to the High School Musical phenomenon.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What is the sound of one head desking?

There comes a time in writing prose--and other written media, but it's much more acute and noticeable with prose--when one's gone over the same material so many times in an effort to improve it that one no longer knows if it's any good at all (but, when the one in question is me, one suspects it's complete garbage.) At the moment, I blame The 10% Solution, Ken Rand's incredibly useful but mind-numbingly repetitive editing system, detailed in his book of the same name, for this. Rand says going over the same sentences over and over is a Good Thing, and my personal experience says he's right. But it's damn hard to believe it when you're trawling through the same three thousand words for the tenth or more time.

But! The novel outline is done, and polished to the best of my meager abilities. And, more importantly, it's off to the Book Editor, who will hopefully like it, or at least confirm my suspicion that it's complete garbage. If the latter, I shall cry and then get back to work. If the former, however, the outline, along with sample chapters and the editor's recommendation, will go upstairs to the office of whoever's responsible for deciding which projects the Book Editor's employer decides to pick up.

I'd be nervous about that if I was conscious, but if The Solution wasn't bad enough, winter has arrived. Oh, there's no snow, yet. But darkness is falling in the middle of the afternoon, the air is as cold and bitter as John McCain's campaign staff, and the daytime sky is an oppressive grey ceiling hovering just out of reach. The pills prescribed by the neurologist are not doing their job, or at least not doing it well enough, as today's throbbing headache is going about its business with no regard to the thrice-daily stomach-disintegrating anti-inflammatory I've been taking. I'm not sure if the overwhelming desire to sleep for the next six months or so is the result of the shortening day, changing weather, the new medication, or just common sense telling me it would be Better not to be awake for the winter. Or a combination of all four.

I'm told the Hollywood Producer (I) liked my outline for his movie idea inspired very, very loosely by one of my comics. That said, he of course has "some notes". Why I should need to have a pre-phone meeting phone meeting with my manager prior to having a phone meeting with HPI, I don't know, but the Manager has declared it so, and so it shall be, sometime this week.

While I await those phone meetings, notes and/or a reaction from The Book Editor, I plan to work on an outline for STEEP CURVE, a comic miniseries, in the probably vain hope that someone will someday express some interest in my writing one again. It could happen. An editor contact I thought was dead recently resurfaced wanting to know whether we'd talked several months ago as planned (we hadn't) and suggesting we get together on the phone to discuss a few ideas I'd sent his way. Of course, he suggested this while I was in Calgary and we haven't managed to get together yet, but hope springs eternal. Or, if not eternal, it at least springs for a long time.

Don't ask about the bathroom. I'm not.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Two Steps Forward.

Was I the only one who felt like he was watching the awards ceremony sequence of Star Wars when the Obama and Biden families assembled on the stage after the new American President-Elect's speech last night?

And, as soon as that thought hit, who thought, oh crap. Now the empire's going to strike back...?

I watched the election results come in with a group of people as cynical as I am, if not more so. When it became apparent Obama had prevailed, one of the group, a Texan, expressed doubt that he'd survive his first term. Another couldn't bring himself to believe that Obama wouldn't become thoroughly corrupt eventually, but hoped he'd resist temptation long enough to fix a few things.

Even if Obama managed to be all the things we hope he will be, there's still plenty cause for cynicism. While Obama crushed McCain when it came to the electoral college, the last time I checked, the popular vote was much closer than I'd have liked. It appears that California, Arizona, and Florida all managed to defend the holy institution of marriage by legally preventing many couples who love each other from tying that particular knot. I haven't been able to find a definite statement on it, but I gather this might in some way actually invalidate previously accepted gay marriages in California, which - if it is the case - is absolutely horrific. Ted Stevens managed to keep his seat, which doesn't do much to redeem Alaskan voters. Bush still has a couple more months to utterly destroy America's standing in the world, to say nothing of significant segments of the Middle East. And, of course, FoxNews continues to exist.

Still. Last night was huge for the US and possibly/hopefully the world. A few weeks after a Canadian election that changed nothing, we got an American one that could, potentially, change everything, and for the better. Here's hoping...


Monday, November 3, 2008

Idiotic Quote of the Day

Still recovering from the World Fantasy Con, which was equal parts fun, weird, and exhausting. And expensive. Lots of free books, though. I like free stuff.

In the meantime, here's some enlightened commentary on Proposition 8, a motion on tomorrow's California ballot to enshrine anti-gay bigotry into the state's constitution by eliminating legal gay marriage there:

"I vote yes on 8! My son, which just started high school, told me that he does not want prop 8 to pass because he has school friends who are gay. I was shocked! I told him that at his age, his little thing is not yet fully developed, how does a 14 years old know he is gay !!!!" - A mentally challenged Proposition 8 supporter calling him or herself "chen".

I just hope this twit's son had the wherewithal to say, "Because he's sexually attracted to males and not sexually attracted to females."

This was selected more or less at random from hundreds of comments on an LA Times editorial describing the distortions the pro-8 side is using to make its case, a good portion of which don't seem to have been made by narrow-minded assholes. Even so, there's more than enough there to get my blood boiling.


Deep breath...Think about free books...think about free books...think about free books...


Thursday, October 30, 2008

I must be at a Con...

...I was drinking in a hotel bar last night; I didn't sleep more than two hours in the last 36; and I'm so tired the idea of talking to any human being I'm not married to makes me want to cry.

I am just not built for leaving the house.



T and I decided to spend our anniversary by rebuilding (read as "further demolishing") the bathroom and going to a fantasy convention in an entirely different city, respectively.

It's weird not being with her, but not because it's our fourth anniversary. I'm just so used to being near her that having her not near makes me at least uncomfortable, and frequently thoroughly miserable.

Alleviating some of the negativity is the knowledge that I'd probably be almost as miserable if I stayed at home while the bathroom renovations are going on. I thought about helping the reno effort for about 10 seconds early on. Then I walked through the cloud of dust that hung in front of the bathroom door, and immediately developed a nasty sinus headache.

I probably wouldn't have helped even if I didn't get a headache every time I get within ten feet of the bathroom, but it's nice to have an excuse.

(Also, when it comes to construction, to say my taking part in any active way is "helping" is not the word. I'd give me fifteen minutes before I stepped on an exposed nail that's been rusting away in our bathroom wall since the fifties. This would inevitably lead to a bad case of gangrene followed a last-minute leg amputation to save my life.

This would make Tiina feel horribly guilty and not do much to help getting the bathroom fixed up. On the upside, I think "Hopalong" would be a really cool nickname.)

(I mentioned the I'm really tired thing, right?)


Sunday, October 26, 2008

If I were running John McCain's campaign...

...I'd seriously be trying to find someone to assassinate Sarah Palin on or shortly after Friday.

It's be the ultimate gamechanger--letting McCain appear unflappable in a moment of crisis, pick a vice presidential nominee who doesn't come off like an incompetent hick, garner a potentially massive sympathy vote, and if you want to see the base mobilize, well...yeah. Hire someone of Arab descent, a muslim, or a former member of the Weather Underground, ideally, but really, anyone who'd keep their mouths shut until after November 4 who isn't normally associated with the Republicans would do.

After McCain won the election, it really wouldn't matter if the truth came out. I mean, he'd just have had someone killed--it's not like having sex with an intern or something serious. Cheney personally shot someone in the face and got away with it, and Bush's practically made a habit out of pushing an entire country in front of oncoming trains. Getting rid of a shrill "the Endtimes are upon us" nutjob who can't stick to the script she's given is small potatoes.

And you've got to know there'd be lots of support (secret, maybe, but still there) from lifelong pols of both parties, who'd see the political wisdom in killing Palin. They'd understand why he couldn't simply admit to making a mistake (about anything, other than lying to a late night talkshow host, of course) and kick her off the ticket.

It'd be a total hail mary play, but that's what's defined pretty much the entirety of McCain's campaign against Obama, and if, well, pretty much everyone who isn't on the McCain campaign's payroll (and at least one person who is) is right, this is about the only shot he's got of winning this thing. Well, that and defective electronic voting equipment that always manages to default to the Republicans. Even catching bin-Laden wouldn't win him this thing, if he didn't go to Pakistan and personally hunt the guy down. At this point, all that'd get the republicans is a "What the hell took you so long?"

I've read a couple blog posts today by people who seem worried Obama's going to be the target of an assassination attempt sooner or later. And while I'd say that is unfortunately a very real possibility (and I only hope that, like the Oklahoma City bombing, any action of that sort comes from a domestic group rather than someone who can be bombed into their component molecules, probably along with every other living thing in a 20 mile radius, regardless of said things' involvement), if I was Sarah Palin standing on a platform with John McCain behind me right now, I'd be watching my back very closely.



In the same way it was inevitable Larry Flynt would finance a porn video starring a Sarah Palin stand-in*, it is a cosmic certainty that someday, someone will make a television show based the heroic adventures of Todd Palin. It will be like the original Knight Rider television show, only instead of KITT he'll have a sentient snow machine and the enemies will be East Coast bureaucrats who're trying to infringe on Alaska's sovereignty by cutting government spending there. It will be called White Rider.

White because that's the colour of snow.



World Fantasy Con in three days.



At some point, there's just got to be a limit to how much one can demolish in a single bathroom.

After three solid days, Tiina and her father have yet to reach that limit. Which makes me think our downstairs bathroom has qualities reminiscent of the TARDIS.


Friday, October 24, 2008

The List

Paperwork from the Big Hollywood Producer (I) interested in the thing SOB and I did years ago being looked at by manager? Check.

Outline for movie project based so loosely on one of my comic projects it's unrecognizable sent to Big Hollywood Producer (II)? Check.

Ideas for YA novel sequel ideas requested by Editor at Big NY Publisher sent out? Check.

Cheque? No.

But someday. Maybe even someday soon-ish.

Still waiting to hear back about THE HOLIDAY MEN. Fingers crossed.

Because he can't look at something he drew ten minutes ago without believing it's god-awful, regardless of how awesome the ten minute old art actually is, The Future of Comics (II) John Keane has redrawn the first six pages of THE SPOOKY KIDS.

ReBoot continues to plug along. We're past the halfway point now. Never really built up that buffer that we were supposed to have from the beginning, but we seem to be staying ahead of the curve.

Round 3 of the corporate comic strip editing gig is underway, with a tightened schedule to accommodate the artist going on holiday in a week and a bit. The World Fantasy Con in Calgary next week could be a bit of a clusterschmutz, schedule-wise, as I'm probably going to have to be editing the strip while I'm there.

Editing for THE WEST WAS LOST #1 is more or less finished.

Need to write up a bunch of ideas for Hollywood Manager to show the production company that's financing a bunch of comics series with an eye towards setting things up as films. Not an ideal scenario, but I gather there's more participation by the creators than has usually been the case when I've dealt with other wannabe Hollywood bigshots, and these guys actually have a decent record of getting things done. Oh, and making some money to write again would be nice. As would getting a new comic with my name on it on the shelves.



I'm actually kind of surprised it's taken this long for something like this to happen.

How does anyone who isn't wealthy see the idea of "redistributing wealth" as a bad thing? (Same way people who'd benefit from it see socialism as a bad thing, I suppose. I don't really get that, either, pinko that I am.)



...and I can prove it.

I haven't really had time to get into this past weekend's Pure Spec convention, but I really enjoyed it. Also, it's hard to stop taking part in a conversation after the person you're substituting for on a panel shows up and takes his rightful place. Even if that marks the moment when most of the audience started seeing the event as a good panel.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Don't talk to ME about the evils of socialism...

(THE SCENE: Andrew's local TD/CanadaTrust. Andrew enters and approaches the woman sitting behind the Information Desk, completely unaware that the desk's name is intended ironically.)


INFO WOMAN: Hello. How can I help you today?

A: Yeah, I just noticed this last couple of weeks that when I cash a cheque, you guys are only letting me have 200 dollars until it's "verified", which has never happened before in the four years I've been banking here. And I'm just wondering why.

IW: Yes, if you read the terms of service, you'll see that the bank has the right to alter what it will clear at any time.

A: That's fine, I'm just wondering why they chose to alter it now.

IW: Have you had any credit problems recently?

A: Well, yeah, but they were worse when I got the account. If anything, this has been a better year than most. for that stuff.

IW: Usually they make changes because your credit rating's changed.

A: Is that what happened this time?

IW: I don't know.

A: Can you check?

IW: Can I see your banking card and some ID?

(An expression of weary resignation as Andrew supplies bank card and ID. She types in the various information and confirms that Andrew is, in fact, Andrew. After five minutes of looking at Andrew's file:)

IW: It says here they changed the clearance at the end of September.

A: I know when it changed.

IW: If you cash a cheque now, it'll let you have 200 dollars.

A: I know that, too. What I want to know is why it changed.

IW: The terms of service say it can be changed at any time.

A: I understand that. I just want to know why it was changed now

IW...It doesn't say.

A: It doesn't say? So you're telling me someone just arbitrarily decided to downgrade the amount cheques will clear.

IW: Well, obviously they had a reason.

A: That's my file onscreen, right?

IW: Yes.

A: Does it give a reason?

IW: No.

A: That doesn't strike me as very obvious.

IW: They do have the right to make the change at any time.

A: I never said they didn't. I just want to know why they made the change.

IW: I can't tell you.

A: Who can?

IW: A manager. Maybe.

A: OK. Can I talk to a manager?

IW: Managers don't come in till noon.

A: All right. So the problem is with getting the cheque verified, right?

IW: Right.

A: How long does it take to verify a cheque?

IW: Five business days.

A: Why?

IW: Why what?

A: Why does it take that long?

IW: I don't know. That's just as long as it takes.

A: With all the advancement in computers, it takes five days to verify a cheque from an account in another bank in the same city.

IW: Right.

A: (headache increasing...rage...GROWING...) You could call the other bank right now, couldn't you?

IW: I could...

A: So if I get in line over there and have the teller call the bank that issued the cheque and verify it, I can have all the money right now, right?

IW: Yes. Well, maybe. Other banks won't usually verify cheques.

A: Really? I've done it before.

IW: There's privacy issues now.

A: So you're telling me there's literally NO WAY I can get this cheque cashed and get my money right now. None.

IW: No.

A: You realize that, after twenty years of having a bank account, you guys - not you, personally, I know you're doing the best you can in what I'm sure is a very uncomfortable situation - in that time, banks havemanaged to make banking both more expensive AND less efficient.

IW: I understand your frustration.

(To demonstrate how much she understands, she hands Andrew a copy of the terms of service, with the portion stating that the bank can change things at any time circled.)


TD Canada Trust posted record earnings of $644 million in the third quarter, up 8% over the same period last year



Thursday, October 16, 2008

... ... huh.

Well. THAT was unexpected...


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Debatable Quote of the Night

From[info]rae_is, whose liveblogging of the third presidential debate is directly responsible for a Coke Zero spittake on my monitor:


"Obama, you, on the other hand, can come play D&D with me on Friday if it's okay with Harrison, 'cause he's GMing. You'd be pretty cool. I mean, you'd rules-lawyer, but you'd be mellow about it, and you'd totally be a character-based RPer."

I just know I'm going to have nightmares about being stuck in a roleplaying game session with John McCain, now.

Also, if it hasn't happened already, someone needs to use PLANET EVIL as a title. Possibly even THE SCARY FISH-MAN FROM THE PLANET EVIL.


Monday, October 13, 2008

What does asbestos smell like?

Tiina and her father have had a good day of smashing our downstairs bathroom into itty bits and pieces as a prelude to...well, fixing it, one hopes.

The original idea was that they'd do this while I was out of town for the World Fantasy Convention at the end of the month. But the plaster dust cloud filling the house says the original idea got discarded somewhere along the way, along with the bathroom walls, ceiling and any hope I had of getting anything productive done today. I'd feel a little guilty about not helping out if my sinuses didn't try to explode out of my face every time I open the door to the office or bedroom.

All things considered, it's a good thing I'm not planning to cook anything involving flour any time soon.


Actually, it wasn't that bad a day. Not a lot of writing, but a reasonable amount of editing done. So that's something. THE WEST WAS LOST is almost done, just needs a cover and lettering (and there isn't a whole lot of lettering in that one.) ReBoot's more than halfway done. No notes on the corporate strip yet, which is promising.

I'd rather be writing.


I was the opening quote on !journalista! a few days ago, with my pledge to use Gary Groth's "undistinguished pap" comment re: C&A as a cover blurb someday. Actually, I should talk to T about getting that up on the website, now that I think of it.

I read Deppey's blog first thing every day to get up to date on the comics industry. So getting a !journalista! link's more satisfying to me than seeing my name in Entertainment Weekly or The Hollywood Reporter. Beyond that, I'm comfortable taking responsibility for what I said and Deppey quoted. There's something of me in Cowboys & Aliens, I suppose, but it's almost all in the page and panel breakdowns. I didn't come up with the characters, the story, or the tone; I reworked Fred's dialogue and my words were in turn reworked by others; I wouldn't even have written the first five pages (the part of the book I'm happiest with) if I wasn't told to. Getting congratulated for C&A's perceived Hollywood success makes me more than a little uncomfortable, because I don't see it as my success (very, very easy to do when I'm not getting any of the money out of the multimedia exploitation). I've always felt weird taking any sort of credit (or blame, for that matter) for a project that had so many people, credited and otherwise, working on it.

I also really hate the official C&A logo.


I wonder how hard it'd be to get Groth to call The Holiday Men or something else "distinguished pap"...


Sunday, October 12, 2008


It's a stupid, thousand word piece. It shouldn't be this hard to write. I think I'm actually a little nervous about committing these particular thoughts to a public, permanent form.


First five pages of script for LI'L HANNAH is off to Nick, so at least I got something accomplished this weekend.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Don't know if it's the weather, or the medications I've been taking to deal with the headache caused by the weather, but I've been dazed and confused for pretty much the entire day.

Maybe it was because I got up an hour earlier than is my habit to have a phone conversation with Fred Van Lente and a public radio...I guess his title would be producer...? He contacted Fred and I because we're the credited writers for Cowboys & Aliens, which is something I can't honestly say I've got a lot of interest in discussing, but the subject of the proposed feature is about alien invasion movies as a metaphor for European imperialism in North America, which is a subject I can get enthused about (even if I think most alien invasion movies tend to use whatever threat's most contemporary for inspiration {Body Snatchers reflecting the Cold War, Star Wars: Revenge of The Sith's Bush imperialist parallels}, rather than Europe's takeover of America.)

If nothing else, I think Eric (the radio guy) learned a fair amount about how comics work (and sometimes don't work), and it was nice to be able to directly talk to Fred for the first time. Considering my job on C&A largely consisted of cutting out a lot of the humour he brought to the project and reformatting the script from an album-sized 62 page book to the 100 or so it eventually became, I was a little nervous talking to Fred, but he was very cool, and much better-spoken than I am. In my defense, a few years ago I couldn't have managed to do a phone interview at all, so I am getting better at dealing with the outside world via something other than a keyboard and monitor. Still prefer typing, though. I don't mumble as much when I'm typing.

Also, I completely forgot that Gary Groth called something with my name on it "undistinguished pap" (in the New York Times, no less). I swear I'm going to use that as a cover blurb for a book someday...



“You know back in 1980 Ronald Reagan asked the electorate whether you were better off than you were four years ago, at the pace things are going right now you’re going to have ask whether you’re better off than you were four weeks ago.” Barack H. Obama


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why not finish off with a blog post?

Wow, I'm actually getting stuff done this weekend - first a revised outline of The Thing for That Emmy Guy, then a new version of THE HOLIDAY MEN pitch that better reflects the actual comic (the only official proposal I ever did for the project was written up as an animated series. When the ChemSet asked if I had anything I'd be interested in doing and Nick got on-board, it became a comic - refreshingly, without my having to go through a "It's A Christmas Carol meets Die Hard, by way of Looney Toons" type of sales pitch to get someone, artist, publisher, whoever, interested in it. Which was great till I actually decided to start seriously trying to find a publisher and realized I didn't have a proposal written in a suitable format...), even got a decent start on a short essay on something that's been eating at me. And this after finishing four new comic reviews on Friday. What--what's happening to me...?



The Future of Comics (I) Fiona Staples returned to blogging recently to make a post noting on her blog Vicious Ambitious member Cognoman's started a daily webcomic, COGNOMANIA. While Nick Johnson's got the most polished, commercial art style of all the VAers, Cog's is by far the most idiosyncratic - in a way I can't quite put my finger on, it reminds me of Sergio Aragones, though his images are much less detailed, more open and relaxed. These done-in-one surreal comedy strips are a great showcase for an artist I've long believed had a lot of potential. From what I've read, each installment seems to be set in its own weird little world, but that variety of set-ups and settings produces some genuine laughs on a surprisingly consistent basis, at least so far.



"It is clear that superrich people should be punished, because they didn't get where they are today without having eaten a live human baby at some point in their career..." Cintra Wilson, in her book A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease and other cultural revelations.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Debatable Quote of the Day

I'd probably be watching the spinners on CNN right now, but the History Channel has a special on King Henry VIII on, and seeing as he's Tiina's favourite King Henry, I'm currently making the rounds checking out various peoples' blogs re: the debate instead. I'm so glad others watch the debate and liveblog their reactions. It gives me a sense of how things went, though admittedly from the perspective of people whose political views are closer to mine than, say, any of the talking heads I'm sure are currently trying to frame the debate as their preferred candidate's utter victory, regardless of, you know...reality. And it saves me from needing to cleanse my home of the Stench of Lies by tossing the television through the living room window.

Best line I've come across so far:
"10:06: “John McCain knows how to win a war!” This is true. McCain won the War Against American Airplanes, and the War Against Being Faithful To His First Wife, and the War Against Coherence. Military wars, no, John McCain hasn’t won any of those." Mightygodking, re: a comment Palin made during the debate. I really want to just cut and paste his entire realtime commentary on the debate - it's hysterical.

Rae_is' is pretty good, too. And by good, I mean it entertained as well as enlightened. Entertained me, anyway. Your mileage may vary, but if you're reading this blog, I can't imagine it varies that much. Any post that starts off with "Oh, my god. Sarah Palin is such a douche." can't be that bad.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Too long between posts.

Too long between posts.
From an e-mail I sent out to a creator today:
"On page 14, I'm a little worried about the "doong" sound effect obscuring impact of the cookie. I can't believe I just typed that sentence."
I had insomnia again last night, which is probably part of the reason that passage still gives me the giggles.


As I wasn't sleeping, I decided to start thinking about a story idea Nick Johnson came up with that I'm going to work with him on. Naturally, this led to a flurry of inspiration for a completely different story that we're also going to be working on.

By the time I dragged my exhausted carcas from bed, I had the entire first issue figured out. I then spent most of the day that wasn't taken up with editing staring at the monitor and drooling, willing myself to write the damn script. It didn't work. I may have five pages done by the end of the night. If I'm lucky.

But I think instead I'll take another pass at the last 22 pages of the ReBoot webcomic script. Working on something that's there is something I can handle better than deblanking a screen at the moment. Plus, ReBoot pays. Really, there shouldn't be any question of what I work on right now, but I was inspired. Inspired to drool...


Drawn & Quarterly creator Pascal Blanchet did a presentation yesterday afternoon at the Edmonton Public Library's monthly Writer's Corner series. His art is undeniably excellent, and I've got to admire someone who puts as much thought into format as he does. But strangely, what really occupied me as I walked out of the library wasn't that. Instead, I found myself examining the notion of the graphic novel - a term I've generally regarded as interchangeable with "comic book", used primarily by those who're looking to sell their comic work to someone culturally trained to dismiss comics as kids stuff.

While my understanding of the term is that it was coined by a comic creator (either Eisner, Steranko, or Kane, depending on who's telling the story), Blanchet comes from a completely different, non-narrative tradition. His work doesn't use most standard techniques of comic narrative (dialogue balloons, multiple images in sequence on a page). It is sequential images telling a story, with text interspersed. In terms of format, it's closer to children's picture books than anything else, though it's clearly aimed at mature readers. Calling it a comic seems wrong, as would calling it a picture book. So what should such a work be called?


What sound would an aggressively flung cookie hitting a metal surface make, anyway? It's a chocolate chip cookie, I believe.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


-First of all, someone owes Chris Claremont a HUGE royalty cheque. In almost every list of speculative fiction story submission guidelines I’ve read, there’s a point where the editors (or whoever wrote that particular list) says if you want to write this stuff, you should really read new material in the genre, because whatever’s filtered into popular culture, films or TV or whatever, is inevitably going to be ten years behind the literature. By my reckoning, HEROES is about 20 years behind modern superhero comics, storywise.

-And the same someone owes whoever wrote Cronenberg’s version of THE FLY a smaller cheque than the one owed Claremont.

-Ali Larter’s new character isn’t a psychotic killer or a pornographic webcam girl, but rather a high-powered political advisor. Who sleeps with her older boss and wanders around their hotel suite in lingerie. When did Frank Miller join the Heroes writing staff?

-Can we please declare a moratorium on use of the term “the butterfly effect”? Or at least take it as given that anyone watching anything that involves the butterfly effect will have enough pop cultural and/or scientific knowledge to grasp what the butterfly effect is without having to endure the tedium of a character explain what it is? Please?

-Best line of the first two hours: “I asked you not to open the safe!” No place to go from there but down. Someone should give George Takei his own show, on the condition that he be obviously pissed off for the entire thing. I’d watch that.

-Claire can’t feel anything! Oh, the non-humanity!

-Wait, Mama Petrelli is Sylar’s mother, too? Is there anyone on the show who hasn’t sprung from her loins? Maybe that’s her power, superhuman fertility.

-OK, now that I think about it, even with Sylar that’s still only three characters she gave birth to. I have it in my head there’s at least one more that’s been revealed, but can’t remember who it is, if it’s anyone at all. Even so: she gave birth to Peter and Sylar, which is one incredibly superpowered son too many for me to suspend my disbelief.

-Mind you, most of the dialogue is too much for me to suspend my disbelief.

-The guy who owes Claremont and the Fly writer? Also ought to send a cheque to M. Night Shyamalan, for using the Sixth Sense’s twist to get Malcolm McDowell back on the show.

-“Well, we don’t like her because she’s incompetent and her powers are uncontrollable, but she did manage to take down Sylar. I know, let’s fire her and let her walk out of this place where we imprison people with uncontrollable powers. Yeah! That’s a good idea.”

-Hiro’s nemesis can apparently run faster than time. When did Grant Morrison join the Heroes writing staff?

-In the future, everyone will be emo.

-I would’ve liked these episodes a lot better if it actually was the turtle talking to Parkman.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What? I mean... WHAT?!?!

"I'm just saying, I don't remember a clarion call that said, 'Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.'" Neil Cavuto, Fox News anchor and total douchebag.

We don't get FoxNews, and to the best of my recollection, prior to fifteen minutes ago I'd never come Cavuto's name before in my life (knowing my recollection and reading habits, it's almost certain I have come across his name before in my life... maybe I repressed it...). But it only took him 26 words to get on the People I'm Surprised Haven't Been Strung Up From A Lamp Post Yet List.

Hermits have the right idea.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


So let me see if I've got this straight: George Bush wants Congress to approve of a plan that would see 700 billion taxpayer dollars (theoretically) used to pay off bad debt accumulated by AIG, with no strings attached and no oversight or accountability for

I can't even finish that sentence.

I've tried starting this post a dozen times so far and each time I can't get to the end of the first sentence before my mind breaks. How the people who screwed up this badly haven't been strung up from lamp posts yet is absolutely beyond me. And their lobbyists have the nerve to try and impose terms on the bailout? I mean... I don't even know what I mean. One question has jammed my mind: How is this possible? How is ANY OF IT possible?



"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation." John McCain


Seriously. The lamp posts are RIGHT THERE.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What a Day Yin/What a Day Yang

Happy Andy the Optimist says:

"So I talked with an emmy-winning director/producer about developing something together this afternoon. How was your day?"

Andrew the Frustrated Comic Writer says:

"What kind of #*&%ed up situation is it where an emmy-winning producer-director wants to talk to me about developing something and comic editors don't?"


Quotes of the Linkblog

"I know that many times, in my life, while living it, someone would come up and, because of I had good readiness, in terms of how I was wired, when they asked that—whatever they asked—I would just not blink, because, knowing that, if I did blink, or even wink, that is weakness, therefore you can’t, you just don’t. You could, but no—you aren’t." George Saunders in The New Yorker, talking about how he's qualified to be the Vice President. Or Something like that. It's funny. Just read it.

"He claims that agents and editors are always on the lookout for the next hot female writer. Which is awesome, because I've got two books in various states of disrepair. Do I sent the ovary in the envelope with the manuscript, or separately? What's the conventional wisdom on that?" Teevee Writer Kay Reindl kicks the crap out of Stephen King's latest Entertainment Weekly article.

"You can expect, at any moment, to turn on the TV and see a weathergirl pointing to some radar blob out in the Gulf of Mexico and making two basic meteorological points with her best Southern drawl:
(1) There is no need to panic.
(2) We could all be killed."
Scott O. Brown, on the best way for people in Alabama to survive hurricane season.

Scott's also got a new strip running in DC's online Zuda Comics contest, MY DADDY'S A SUPERVILLAIN, which you should go and vote for because Zuda's stupid system still refuses to let me register and vote.