Monday, March 31, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Shame on every stupid-ass, morally ignorant fan out there who has expressed even the slightest opinion that this course of legal action in any way reflects an agenda of greed on the part of people not directly involved in the act of creation, or worse, has articulated as their primary concern the potential interruption of their monthly four-color fantasy intake. Part of me wishes we lived in the might makes right moral universe that supports such a piggish outlook, because then I could quit my job and drive around on a motorcycle punching people in the face until they penned a formal apology to the Siegel family."

Tom Spurgeon of, responding to comments by wrong-headed Superman "fans" re: Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's heirs finally (if potentially temporarily) gaining a share of the copyright to the character Siegel created after nearly a decade of legal stonewalling by TimeWarner.


Figured out how to make the Big Fix in Spec Screenplay 1. As predicted, making it is going to be a huge pain in the backside.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Foley Updata: March 30 2008

Final touches are being made to THE HOLIDAY MEN in THE MASSACRE MEMORIAL DAY SALE MASSACRE EXTRA-SPECIAL COLLECTIBLE BLACK AND WHITE PRINT EDITION #1. And it is, if I do say so myself, Thoroughly Awesome.



It took an expensive headset/microphone combination, but Skype now works. I've had all of two conversations on it and can already see this thing is going to waste a LOT of my time.



Anyone can talk about the weather, but it took the coming Olympic Games to prompt the Chinese government to do something about it. Specifically, shoot it and blow it up.

At least it provides an opportunity for 30+k farmers to get out of the fields and behind some heavy artillery. Because, obviously, completely arbitrary physical contests are MUCH more important than food.

I can see the situation now:

WANG: Colonel Li!

LI: Report, Sergeant Wang.

WANG: Radar's spotted a potential rain cloud forming to the east of the city!

LI: Ah, yes. The rain cloud. One of nature's wonders, a gift from the gods, showering us with the very essence of life...We must DESTROY it. Wang!

WANG: Sir!

LI: Summon The Farmers.

WANG (shuddering): The Farmers, sir? Are you...are you sure?

LI: Do it, Wang! I won't have a bunch of foreigners trying to run from an arbitrary point to another arbitrary point as fast as they can getting wet on my watch...




GONE outlines for The Pack. - This is taking longer than it should. Much, much longer.

THE LITTLE BROTHER outline and script for the artist - New comic project conceived of last week for the artist. Have the beginning scripted, the end figured out. The middle, however...

Spec Movie Script #1 revisions for the manager - Still going to be a hassle to "fix", but I think I see how it can work. Maybe. To say I'm approaching it with trepidation is to use about five syllables more than are absolutely necessary.

Spec Movie Script #2 for manager - Taking too long, and going to take longer now that I'm back working on Spec #1.

THE HOLIDAY MEN...#1 - Obviously. But not for much longer...

Spec animated pilot script for the sake of having it - Primarily to show some hypothetical mentally challenged producer-types who aren't going to get it otherwise. (Theoretical) Morons.

THE HOLIDAY MEN Episode 3, for Nick - It's a good thing Nick's got all of Ep2 to get through first, because this is not flowing as well as I'd like. At all.

It also feels like an idea that's been rattling around my brain for a month is finally making a decent effort to get out of it. Feels like another pilot spec, and why not?--I like bashing my head against brick walls as much as the next guy. More, if one's to judge by my career choices...



First 18 or so comic pages of VANQUISHED are with the artist - This is going to be interesting. Or disastrous. Which could still be interesting.

First 22 comic pages of MASTER OF THE HOUSE are with the artist - And it's going to make us both incredibly wealthy when she's done them.

Skype conference call with Senior Editor and Creative Director for the company I'm going to be editing for on Wednesday. Got a pretty good idea what the project's going to be, and hopefully of the artist. This should be fun.



A BIG BOY DID IT AND RAN AWAY, ONE FINE DAY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, and THE SACRED ART OF STEALING, by Christopher Brookmyre. All perfectly entertaining romps, the first two featuring would-be tough guy terrorists getting their asses handed to them, generally by plucky Everymen assisted by someone who's actually good at killing. "Stealing", which brings the DI de Xavia character intro'd in Big Boy back as the main protag, was shaping up to be my favourite of the bunch due to the theft-as-art angle. Unfortunately, it ended on a disappointing note--basically, nothing ever really went wrong for one of the two leads, and while I suppose that speaks to the nature of the character, it kind of bugged me. Also, by the end if was way too close, in principle if not execution, to Elmore Leonard's "Out of Sight", or at least to the George Clooney/Jennifer Lopez film based on it.

THE STEEP ROAD TO GARBADALE, by Iain Banks. About a dysfunctional but wealthy family that built its fortune on the back of a boardgamme called Empire!, and more specifically the one son who broke ranks with the family and his neuroses, this is one of Bank's more touching books of recent years. For about 2/3's of it I thought I was looking at another CROW ROAD (which I really should read again). However, as interesting as Alban McGill's unrequited love for his cousin and strange family life are, Banks' attraction to the perverse is becoming a bit old hat. I predicted what I think was supposed to be the Big Reveal about halfway into the book, which made the finish a bit of a hollow experience.

CANDY GIRL: A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF AN UNLIKELY STRIPPER, by Cody Diablo. Reminds me of articles I read in DETAILS magazine fifteen years ago. Took about as long to get through, too. Entertaining enough, I suppose, and even if it wasn't I finished it in all of a day, so not a lot of time lost. But I guess all the hype about this and "Juno" had me expecting a bit more from Hollywood's latest It Girl.

BAMBI VS. GODZILLA: ON THE NATURE, PURPOSE, AND PRACTICE OF THE MOVIE BUSINESS, by David Mamet. "On Directing Film" is probably the more valuable book of Mamet's in terms of actual craft, but, judging by the first half of this book, which is all I've read, this one is a lot more fun. This guy does not have a lot of respect for...well, pretty much anyone in Hollywood. And that's always good for a laugh, at least for me.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Good News and Bad News

Good: I actually managed to download and install Skype all on my lonesome. This is no small feat for a Natural-Born Luddite.

Bad (but not unexpected): It doesn't work.

Good: I'm attending this year's Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and will have a spot of my own, something that was very much in doubt up until a few days ago.

Bad: Still not attending this year's New York Comic Con the week before. My so-called career wants to know if the hole is deep enough yet or whether it should keep digging its own grave.

Good: THE HOLIDAY MEN in THE MASSACRE MEMORIAL DAY SALE MASSACRE EXTRA-SPECIAL COLLECTIBLE BLACK AND WHITE VARIANT PRINT EDITION #1 is almost ready to go to the printer! Which means the first online adventure is nearly finished also!

Bad: Getting THE HOLIDAY MEN in THE MASSACRE MEMORIAL DAY SALE MASSACRE EXTRA-SPECIAL COLLECTIBLE BLACK AND WHITE VARIANT PRINT EDITION #1 done--just getting the first storyline done for the ChemSet--has been an incredible slog. The script for the first adventure was something like six thousand words long; the new text stuff for the print version come in at around 2500. I wish I was just a hack, as opposed to a hack with pretensions of having something more to offer the world of entertainment than a hack. Life would be much easier that way.

Good: I'll almost certainly have copies of THE HOLIDAY MEN in THE MASSACRE MEMORIAL DAY SALE MASSACRE EXTRA-SPECIAL COLLECTIBLE BLACK AND WHITE VARIANT PRINT EDITION #1 at this year's Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.


Good: All the management folk "feel really good" about THE HOLIDAY MEN, and feel even better about having a print version to show people.

Bad: After paying for my copies of the H-Men print version, I'm going to have to give more of them away for free than I'm going to want to, in the hopes that someone with money will like it enough to give me and Nick some.

Good: Hollywood Manager says the office is "feeling really good" about my second spec television pilot script.

Bad: Hollywood Manager says the office finally figured out what was making them hold off on going out aggressively with my first spec film script.

Bad: Fixing the problem with the FSFS is going to be a royal pain.

Good: I don't need to fix the problem if I don't want to. They'll still go out with it as is if I don't want to deal with the note.

Bad: If they go out with it and it doesn't sell, I'll always wonder if it would've sold if I'd addressed the problem.

Good: If I fix the problem and they go out with it and it doesn't sell, they'll go to additional lengths, seeking funding to get the film made independently.

Bad: Fixing that story problem (if one accepts that it is a problem--it's a Hollywood thing, don't ask) is going to be a REAL pain the behind.

Good: Hollywood Manager says the San Diego Comic Con is now too chaotic an environment to get anything substantial accomplished, so I don't have to feel bad about not going ever again (till next time I end up going.) Yay!

Bad: The Hollywood Manager thinks the only thing I could possibly do to speed things up on that end would be to go to LA for a few days and do lots of meetings.

Bad: Before the end of April.

Bad: If I can't get down there for some meetings before then, the earliest going down would do any good would be September.

Good: T and I have enough Airmiles to get a return flight to Los Angeles!

Bad: At the moment, T and I don't have enough actual money for food, never mind living and transport expenses for me in LA for three days. Flying Spaghetti Monster bless overdrafts.

Good: I'll be signing the contract for an editing assignment next week.

Good: An editing assignment I got independently on my own merits (as opposed to knowing someone who knows someone.)

Good: An actual paid editing assignment.

Bad: The assignment doesn't pay enough that I can "safely" go to LA.

Bad: Most successful major bank heists don't pay enough that I can go safely to LA. I'm beginning to realize that 2007 was no more tangibly successful than 2006. Which is awful.

Good: Taking the wide view, I didn't get ripped off as much in 2007 as I did in 2006.

Bad: I still got ripped off in 2007. By a Christian publisher, no less.


Overall, the good news this week outweighs the bad, and that's unusual. However, there's been so much stuff going on--this is just what I can comfortably talk about--that there's more bad than usual to try and weather. And as anyone who reads this blog regularly is well-aware, I'm predisposed to dwell on the negative.

Everyone seems confident that great things (or at least self-sustaining things) await if I just hang in there. Everyone but me. But the only option other than hanging in is letting go. And even if the people who've been supporting me in this foolish endeavour could forgive me for quitting at this point, I don't think I could.

Upward, ever upward.


A Friendly Reminder

The Future of Comics (I) Fiona Staples-illustrated THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE AUTHORITY: JACK HAWKSMOOR #1 hit comic store shelves today. Buy several copies and give them to all your friends. You'll be glad you did. Even if you aren't, I'll be glad you did, and that's what really matters, isn't it?


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Three Things I Hate

1. Nazis.

2. Vampires.

3. Vampire Nazis.

Also, insomnia.


Jesus is Dead; Let's Party!

Hope everyone who's into Jesus is having a good Easter. If you're into Raptor Jesus, you might want to think twice about eating any colourful eggs, though.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quotes of the Day: All-Blasphemy Edition

Was up to four in the morning last night, helping Tiina stress about getting the lettering on the intro to the TOKEN GOBLIN fill-in for the HOLIDAY MEN on the Chemistry Set yesterday. IN addition to that, about an hour ago, my enhanced weather changing sense kicked in (read as, I got a nasty sinus headache.) So nothing Andrew-original's getting posted this evening. Here's a couple of things that made me laugh today, though.

'Don't let people give you a bad time about being a worshipper of Raptor Jesus. If people give you a bad time about accepting Raptor Jesus as your Personal Savior, say to them: "Oh yeah, how would you like it if there was a another Hitler and he came over to kill you!" That will shut people up.' One of the many tips on worshipping the first deity to make me seriously reconsider my devoting my life to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, RAPTOR JESUS. Much more info on the son of God who was hatched into this world to save humankind, and how to worship him, at the link.

"Thank you for taking time out from feeding the poor to complain about comic strips. I know Jesus would have played it the same way." DILBERT creator Scott Adams, responding to a pastor who took offense to his including a character named Jesus (pronounced Hay-Soos) in the strip. Also noteworthy, his defence of the decision not to make fun of Mohammed: "Well, aside from the blindingly obvious reason that I prefer life over death, I didn’t realize I was making fun of Christianity..."


THE HOLIDAY MEN are on vacation...

...substituting for them this week at The Chemistry Set is THE TOKEN GOBLIN in his first and, to date, only comic story, The Art of The Matter.

Those without broadband should probably give this one a pass...


Friday, March 14, 2008

Where the wind blows.

Weather is changing. After a week and a half of above zero temperatures, snow has started to fall. I feel like someone has kicked me in the brain.



As you may recall, a couple days ago I referenced the recent practice of many small press comic publishers of creating comic projects that are intended less to be successful comics than they are cheap back-door pitches for movie and television properties.

The very next day, Dirk Deppey, the guy behind my favourite comics blog, The Comic Journal's !journalista!, ran a good portion of an interview with Barry Levine, the guy behind a new comics publisher with that very business plan, Radical Comics, accompanied by the occasional snarky comment. You know you're in for an entertaining time when the intro to a story begins with an intro like this one: "The Hollywood connection continues to attract parasites to comics publishing..."

Or maybe you just know *I'm* in for a good time when that happens.



Over at the Andrew Foley Writes Things blog, Scott O. Brown, the guy responsible for my March 11 Quote of the Day left the following comment in response to it:

"Expect a package."

Oh yeah. When it comes to giving notes, I've still got it.



Happy Harbor Comics has put up photos from the Make-A-Wish event on Monday featuring Udon Studios artist and all-round good guy Joe Ng, including one of me, Jayce Morrow, and the sketch of the Decepticon BARRICADE I did for him. That hour and a half at HH was the highlight of my week in a lot of ways. Certainly it put me in as good a mood as I've been in for too long awhile.



After a number of false starts at other small press comic publishers, George Singley has decided it'd be less of a hassle to publish Chimaera Studios comics himself.

I did some writing work on the Chimaera RPG, as well as the upcoming TITUS: HEROIC FAILURE miniseries--a book I put a lot into and will be happy to finally see published. T:HF is pretty much the direct creative forerunner of THE HOLIDAY MEN, so if you like that, you'll probably like Titus. On the other hand, if you like pretty much everything else Chimaera's doing (which tends to be in much more of a straight superhero vein), this is something you'll probably want to avoid.

I'm also informed that T:HF now has an artist, one I'm very happy with, but I don't think I'm supposed to talk about it yet.


THE TO-DO LIST (weekend edition)

-Finish first 20 comic pages of script of MASTER OF THE HOUSE, so Fiona's got everything she needs when she starts drawing it in May.

-Talk to editor about the shape (or lack thereof) of GONE.

-Dig up projects a prospective new collaborator might like to work on.

-Work on the textras for THE HOLIDAY MEN print version.

-Do Not Panic.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Things that aren't going to appear in the limited print run version of THE HOLIDAY MEN, Episode One

(DAN VAN COOL - I'd love to make it out to a Drink and Draw or three, but living in Edmonton kinda hampers my ability to do so. One of these days I'll be back in Calgary at the right time...

And now, the actual post:)

As you may or may not know, and may or may not care, one of the more common business plans for small press comics publishers these days is to put out comics that are intended less as comics than as movie pitches. What these people seem to be doing is pinning their hopes on some rich producer sweeping in and saving their bottom line from the savage indifference of the direct market by giving the publisher and possibly even the creators,a lot of money for the right to turn the comic into a film or television show.

I'm not opposed to the idea of creators, or even publishers, making money by licensing rights out this way, but I sometimes wish that they weren't quite so blatantly convinced there's no way publishing comics and JUST publishing comics could possibly be worthwhile, from a business standpoint. It's hard to be a pie-in-the-sky idealist when a substantial number of comic publishers are more interested in their "intellectual property" than their "comics/graphic novels/books" or even their comics' "characters and stories."

Anyway, it seemed to me that it'd be funny if, in the print version of THE HOLIDAY MEN Episode One we're planning to do, Nick and I took on the role of exaggeratedly shameless hucksters looking to make some of that long Hollywood green, in a full-page ad supposedly aimed at prospective producers and publishers of a HOLIDAY MEN-based project that'd involve more than a couple hundred copies, if that. I even asked my managers if I could use their logos and contact information as part of the ad, to add to the sense of realism.

My publishing manager was OK with the idea, until he read what I wanted to put in the ads. Then he strongly advised me not to do it.

STRONGLY advised.

I figure there's not much point having managers if you aren't going to listen to them, so the bit's been cut and will be replaced by something else (hopefully an ad for something "real"--we'll see.)

But I think, and Nick and even my manager agree, that what I wrote was funny. So of course I'm going to post the text here, so you can judge for yourself.

Here's the one aimed at Hollywood producers:

"As Funny as V FOR VENDETTA, more senselessly violent than GHOST WORLD, and slightly less homoerotic than 300, THE HOLIDAY MEN has all the elements needed to become a breakout summer blockbuster, but one: YOU, an established, respected, and, if you don't mind my saying, quite handsome for your age Executive Producer with the foresight, good taste, and gross overabundance of wealth and power to get it greenlit."

And for non-small press publishers:

"With art that could be considered to be in the incredibly popular manga style if you were half-blind and had never seen a manga before, and a writer who's been compared to Stephen King (in that he also got run over by a truck), THE HOLIDAY MEN would make an invaluable addition to any publishing house's catalogue, especially the catalogue of a publishing house that's willing to give the creators an extremely reasonable five figure advance."

In retrospect, I guess I can see why people who are actually seriously engaged in trying to generate income from the intellectual property that is THE HOLIDAY MEN might not want those blurbs to appear in what will hopefully be a decent sales tool. But the lesson I take away from this?

Next time, print first and ask the managers what they think later.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Quote of the Day

From Scott O. Brown, regarding my upcoming critique a script of his:
"Be honest, and live with your decision, whether it involves success, failure, or my mailing you my head in a box with a printout of your notes shoved in my mouth and the words BLAME ANDREW written on my forehead."

I don't think SOB intended this to be read as a challenge, but I do now feel like I've got something to strive for...


Above and Beyond (Happy Harbor earns its name)

From today's Edmonton Journal:

"A stop at the Manning Crossing store of Happy Harbor Comics was the highlight of a whirlwind day of media interviews and shopping sprees for Jayce, a nice break from the needles, intravenous treatments, radiation and that general sick feeling that have been his life for the past 15 months.

The Hinton boy suffers from T-cell leukemia, a particularly aggressive form of blood cancer...

On Monday, thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Happy Harbor owner Jay Bardyla and Joe Ng, the illustrator of Transformers who made a special trip from Toronto just to meet Jayce, the youngster had the best day he could remember..."

THE HOLIDAY MEN #1.9 is Now Live at The Chemistry Set

Click it! CLICK IIIIIT...


Monday, March 10, 2008

Things I Never Thought I'd say #145

I drew the Transformer "Barricade" this afternoon. And my mood improved dramatically by doing so.


Thursday, March 6, 2008


Writing this at Happy Harbor, which is a damn site happier than home right now... According to our service (non)provider, the internet in our area is going to be offline for up to the next 48 hours.
So, if you're waiting for e-mails from me, don't hold your breath. No more blog posts for a bit, too. Possibly not ever, as it's not going to take much to send either me or Tiina over the edge into a bloody killing spree (as opposed to the hygeinic, bloodless killing sprees you hear so much about).
We do not do well without our internet, no we don't.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fiona Staples is the Future of Comics

DC has a PDF preview of the first five pages of THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE AUTHORITY: JACK HAWKSMOOR #1, with art by Fiona Staples, up on its site.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Fiona's going to be a HUGE STAR, and rightfully so.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Let's Talk About Me.

Questions via Marc Bryant. Because sometimes, your brain's too mushy to do much other than delve into your own navel...

2. If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

3. Spell your name how it sounds.

4. Name one word to describe your personality?

5. What are your top 3 Turn Ons on the opposite sex?
sense of humour, shared interests, looks

7. Where do you see yourself in 6 years?
wondering what the hell happened over the last six years...

8. What is your favorite piece of jewelry?
My wedding ring. Kind of a win by default, as it's my only piece of jewelry.

9. What type of service is your cellphone?
Cellphones cause cancer. I use Tiina's when I've absolutely got to. I think she's on Virgin.

10. What do you hate most about N.Y State?
That the people who live there have a geographic advantage over me when it comes to working in my preferred field of employment.

11. What kind of car is your dream car?
One with a chauffeur.

12. Can you leave the house without makeup?
I can leave the house without pants.

13. What are your top 3 favorite stores to shop at?
Happy Harbor, any used bookstore, Mr. Big & Tall. That said, I don't really like shopping.

14. Do you consider yourself to be good-looking?
Depends on my mood.

15. What do you miss about being a kid?
The sense of invincibility and the inevitability of my own success.

16. What is your favorite animal?
Data the Dog.

17. Do you think you're going to have a good Valentines Day?
As good as any other V-Day. T and I don't recognize most holidays and we couldn't be much more mushy than we are on a daily basis already, at least not without a substantially higher bank balance.

18. Apple, Orange, Cranberry juice?

19. Do you get enough sleep at night?
There aren't enough hours in the night for me to get enough sleep in it. Occasionally I get enough hours if I start in the early evening and finish mid-afternoon the next day. Very occasionally.

20. Favorite Channel on T.V ?
Whatever's got what I want to watch on at a given moment.

21. Are you dating the person you text most?
I don't text. Unless you count e-mails, in which case, no. But then, the person I date is within shouting distance at least 18 hours of the average day, so it's not like there's much call for that.

22. whats your favorite color[s]?
Depends what the colours are on. For clothes, black. For interior walls, yellow. Red's cool for most food. I guess what I'm saying is I don't really have a favourite colour, though anything in the watered down cream-colour vein isn't for me.

23. What do you want?
I want it all, but I'll settle for lots of money and fame. Actually, I'll settle for lots of money. Or enough money to live as I do now without worrying and a moderate amount of fame.

24. Who was the last person you shared a bed with?
Tiina. Cats don't count as people, right?

25. Do you talk to yourself?
All the time. Strangely enough, I don't listen to myself.

26. Do you drink milk straight from the carton?
I'm allergic to milk. But I would if I wasn't.

27. Who knows a dark secret or two about you?
Pretty much everyone. It's not like I have that many dark secrets, and the ones I do know aren't really about me.

29. Do you like Batman?
Depends on who's writing him.

30. Who did you last hug?

31. Do you swear at your parent(s)?
No. It's gotten to the point where I can swear near them and not feel terribly uncomfortable. Then again, it's not like they've done anything to me to merit being sworn at, so it's a weird question.

32. Do you like anyone now?
Many people.

33. When was the last time you lied?
I never lie. I frequently exaggerate for entertainment purposes.

34. Obama, Hillary, McCain, or Huckabee?
Obama, just because I like his rhetoric and I don't really know what he'd do or be able to do, but it'd be more interesting than the other three.

35. Is your birthday on a holiday?
No. Is yours?

36. What instant messaging service do you use?
None. I waste enough time on e-mail and blogging, I wouldn't get ANYTHING done if I had IM.

37. Last thing you cooked today?
Seafood salad melt sandwiches.

38. Did you have a nap today?
Not yet.

39. Who's house did you go to last?
House? Probably Dave and Lindy's.

41. Why is the sky blue?
I believe the particles in the air refract the light so it appears blue, but I believe a lot of incorrect things.

42. Do you like green beans?

43. Do you swear a lot?
Define a lot. It really depends how comfortable I am with who I'm talking to and what kind of humour I think they have.

44. Where did you get the shirt you're wearing?
Tiina gave it to me. No idea where she got it.

45. Have any regrets?
I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention.
No replace "few" with "many".

46. Do you use an alarm clock?
Only when I need to be up at a certain time, which isn't often.

47. Where are you?
Home, in bed.

48. Do you ever snort when you laugh?

49. Whats the first thing you notice on the opposite sex?
The face.

50. Do you wear underwear?

51. Who/What would you like to see right now?
A cheque for a million dollars that I know won't bounce, made out to me.

52. Are you social?
No. I am the opposite of social.

53. Are you afraid of the dark?
No. I'm afraid of what's IN the dark.

55. Who was the last person you talked to?
Tiina. Dogs don't count, do they?

56. Are you happy with your life?
The parts I'm happy with, I'm very happy with. The parts I'm unhappy with, I'm very unhappy with, but the good outweighs the bad.

57. Last person who you told your problems to?
I tell my problems to everyone. I think the last time I really dumped on someone was on my manager on Friday, though Tiina and most people in my vicinity getting a running commentary of how sucky my life is on a regular basis.

58. What are you doing tonight?
Sleeping if possible. Writing or reading if not. Watching TV if that's not doable, even though I'm pretty sure there's nothing new worth watching tonight.

61. Who's your best friend?

62. Do you think he/she will always be there for you?
I hope so, because I'd be in real trouble without her.

63. What is your myspace song right now?
I don't do the MySpace song thing--too much time waiting for other peoples' pages to load up to inflict that on someone else.

64. Do you prefer to text or IM?
IM, but I'd really prefer to do neither.

65. Who'd you get this from?

66. Do you believe the number 6 is the number of death?
No. I believe the number 4 is the number of appetizers, though.

67. What are your favorite magazines?
Don't regularly read any magazines, but if there's a TIME, Rolling Stone, or Comics Journal lying around, they get flipped through first.


THE HOLIDAY MEN #1.8: Say Good Night, Foley

Too tired to insert image or proper link right now, but it's up.

Good night, Foley.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Funny I Should Mention It (not really)

Tuesday night, just before bed, I had an idea for a sitcom about a group of television show ghost hunters/paranormal investigators. The characters started coming fast and furious: the skeptic who comes up with ridiculous explanations for every weird thing he sees; the true believer who comes up with equally ridiculous explanations for any little creak in the woodwork and always, ALWAYS hears voices whispering messages in playback tapes; the unflappable cameraman who ends up face to face with demons and all they get out of him is a yawn...

So I wrote "TV ghost hunter sitcom" on a scrap of paper and went to bed, because I've got my priorities and over the previous week I'd actually managed to get into something resembling a reasonable sleeping schedule, regularly going from midnight-ish to nine-ish.

Got up in the morning, looked at the scrap of paper, thought to myself "…Oh. Yeah…"

Sat down in my newly reorganized office (shooting THE WHISPER OF MY SOUL just destroyed it, not that anyone but me and possibly Tiina would be able to tell, considering its usual state of disarray, which with the liberal use of a little fake blood, would make it a decent stand-in for any of a number of ground zeros), and got to work.

And by work, I mean sitting/lying/pacing for a few hours, trying to get this ghosthunter thing to work.

And it wouldn't. I mean, maybe it would, if I stuck with it--the quick description I wrote above still seems to me to be something that SHOULD work--but Wednesday, it just wasn't happening.

I went down to the home gym (read as "99 dollar kinda-but-not-really elliptical trainer set up in front of a TV"). Plugged in the first DVD of the Showtime sitcom WEEDS, which Dad lent me ages ago but has sat unwatched as I plowed through two seasons of ANGEL and one of DEXTER (an idea that could've been pretty awful, with an execution so brilliantly perverse I could cry.)

So I'm sitting there, sweating, watching Mary-Louise Parker (who I sort of fell in love with when she was on THE WEST WING) and the I-guess-he's-funny-to-some-people-but-my-God-he's-so-vanilla Kevin Nealon, and I'm thinking to myself:

This isn't funny.

Not the first time I've thought that of an American cable one-camera sitcom. ENTOURAGE got a similar reaction, and I doubt I'd have watched more than the first episode I came across if it wasn't for Jeremy Piven's performance. Future episodes were more amusing to me, primarily because I've been vicariously exposed to enough of Hollywood to get a laugh out of anything that presents movie folk as selfish, creatively empty, morally bankrupt egotistical jerks (see also: Altman's THE PLAYER, Richard Rushfield's ON SPEC). My minimal experience with the Machine would indicate this to be a fairly accurate assessment, and I'll likely continue to think everyone in Hollywood who isn't representing me is a complete idiot, right up until one of them proves to have some quantum of taste by giving me lots and lots of money.

(As for the folk representing me, they're only partial idiots. They chose to take me on as a client, after all, and while I'm grateful, the decision doesn't speak well to their business acumen... (Carina, Mitchel, Aaron, Brendan--On the off-chance you’re reading this, I love you guys.))

"This isn't funny." That's what I thought, watching WEEDS. At least I didn't find it as funny as, say, a random half hour of a Sorkin-penned WEST WING, or the first couple seasons of FRASIER, or FAMILY WEEDS ends up in the same category as ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT completely escapes me.

But for whatever reason--I suspect it’s got more to do with running time than anything else--it gets classified as a comedy. And that got me thinking…

Four days later, I’d gotten very little sleep (and what I did get was, uh, medicinally augmented). I’d also written a spec pilot script for something so far removed from my “TV Ghost hunters sitcom” as to be unrecognizable. Three acts, by my judgment with some funny moments but not enough for me to consider it a comedy. Something that would sit more comfortably next to WEEDS and ENTOURAGE than FRASIER or MONK.

It’s a weird little beast, but I like it.


I like it a little too much, actually. Because now that the thing’s done and off to the managers, I can’t seem to drag my mind out of that world. My body lay in bed last night, but my mind was still wandering the streets of the town where most of it takes place, listening to the characters talk to each other.

That’s almost a delightful state to be in when one’s writing something. (ALMOST. I don’t like writing, but I love having written. On the other hand, I do love sleeping and intensely dislike not sleeping.) But when one’s finished writing something…? Not so much.

I guess what I’m trying to say in my typically labyrinthine way is DEAR GOD I’M TIRED WHY CAN’T I SLEEP WHYWHYWHYWHYYYY???!?!?!


Also, T and I have both been feeling nauseous for several days now, and that’s in addition to the usual discomfort that accompanies wild fluctuations in temperature. Prying my own teeth out has been very tempting this week.

It seems to me this was similar to the physical state I was in when I wrote my first TV spec, which went so smoothly and the managers liked so much. Meanwhile, the second spec script I finished a couple weeks ago took about three months. Maybe there’s something to the whole “artists must suffer to create” thing.

I hope not.