Monday, April 21, 2008

Prepare to Bow Down Before Your Lizard Masters...

"Italian wall lizards introduced to a tiny island off the coast of Croatia are evolving in ways that would normally take millions of years to play out, new research shows.

In just a few decades the 5-inch-long (13-centimeter-long) lizards have developed a completely new gut structure, larger heads, and a harder bite, researchers say..."

I wonder how long it'll be before some religious wingnut declares this to be evidence the world's only 6000 years old...

In other news, I'm going to be a guest at this weekend's Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. I mean, I guess I'm a guest, my table's in the guest section rather than Artist's Alley, which is where it's traditionally been located. But come to think of it, I technically was a guest for those shows, while I haven't been announced or anything official at this one. Neither has SECRET HISTORY OF THE AUTHORITY: JACK HAWKSMOOR artist and The Future of Comics (I) Fiona Staples, who has the table next to me--apparently there is no escape for her from me at CCEE--which is a greater omission from the PR than me...

Anyway. If you're going, come say hi, listen to me try and come up with a decent sales pitch for THE HOLIDAY MEN EXTRA SPECIAL COLLECTIBLE BLACK AND WHITE PRINT VARIANT EDITION #1. Hell, just come listen to me try and *say* "THE HOLIDAY MEN EXTRA-SPECIAL COLLECTIBLE BLACK AND WHITE PRINT VARIANT EDITION #1." It oughta be good for a laugh (for you--by the end of the weekend Fiona will probably be ready to burst into tears at the very thought of it). You'll recognize me as the guy who doesn't play Lex Luthor on SMALLVILLE. I'm at table G29.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring is in the air...

...well, not in Edmonton. But I'm sure it's in the air somewhere...

City of Edmonton - St. Albert - Sherwood Park
3:30 PM MDT Sunday 20 April 2008
Winter storm warning for
City of Edmonton - St. Albert - Sherwood Park continued

Heavy snow and blowing snow developing overnight into Monday.

This is a warning that dangerous winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions...Listen for updated statements."



...makes me very happy. Pretty much every awful screw-up I was convinced was going to happen didn't happen.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Further Proof That There Is No God.

I'm speechless.


HOLIDAY MEN Signing at HH This Weekend

- April 19, 2008 -

Happy Harbor Comics is proud to bring local creators from Edmonton and Calgary in for a special in-store signing event.

Proudly debuting their brand-new comic, THE HOLIDAY MEN IN THE MASSACRE MEMORIAL DAY SALE MASSACRE EXTRA-SPECIAL COLLECTIBLE BLACK AND WHITE PRINT EDITION #1 - the print version of their hilarious new webcomic on the Chemistry Set webcomic collective - writer Andrew Foley and artist Nick Johnson will be in attendance, as will Chris Peterson, who will have copies of his new release, PETER THE PAN: SPECIAL EDITION. An extended version of the story he wrote for the Vicious Ambitious horror anthology, Pumpkin Juice, the PAN SPECIAL EDITION includes a "Director's Commentary", notes about the Making of, as well as a special edition trading card giveaway "while supplies last".

All three creators will start off at Happy Harbor vol. 2 (180 Manning Crossing) from 2pm - 4pm, and then will travel to Happy Harbor vol. 3 (10326 - 81 Ave) to hang out from 6pm - 8pm. And if you can't make it out on Saturday, you can still catch Nick and Chris at the Edmonton Collectible Toy and Comic Show on Sunday!


If you're in Edmonton, or near Edmonton, or have been thinking of traveling to Edmonton, you owe it to yourself to come hang out with me and the Boys.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008


So a few days ago, Chimaera Studios founder George Singley calls me up and asks me what I want to be. I tell him rich and famous, because my priorities are screwy (any rational person would’ve said “healthy and happy”, but not me, oh no…). Before I can hang up, he says, “No, in the studio, what do you want to be?”

“What do you mean?” says I.

“I’ve got to have a list of all the people in the Studio and their titles,” says George. “You know, I’m publisher, Nick’s Managing Editor, Brian’s Creative Consultant, what do you want to be?”

The question surprised me a little. I’ve talked to George with some regularity over the last year, but after writing four scripts for TITUS: HEROIC FAILURE over the course of one rage-fueled week and some skills descriptions for the Chimaera Role-Playing Game, my contribution to the Studio has been limited to me listening to George’s ideas and telling him why none of them will work (hint: all my explanations of why they won’t work generally boil down to the fact that we’re in the small press comic field, which gives someone in it a longer life expectancy than someone who’s in, say, a minefield, but doesn’t have much else to recommend it.)

Now, from where I stand, there are a number of potential pitfalls in allowing oneself to be publicly attached to a corporate entity that one doesn’t have complete, iron-fisted dictatorial powers of control over. For one thing, I’ve seen people take these positions seriously. Too many people, too many of my friends, have taken bullets for companies for no other reason than they’ve been given the small press comic equivalent of an Associate Producer credit (see David Mamet’s STATE & MAIN if you don’t know what that’s worth). I’ll take full responsibility for everything Andrew Foley Writes Things NLLC does, because that’s MY Non-exitent Limited Liability Corporation. But adding my name to the board of a company that I don’t have a significant say in? What’s the point, really?

There’s only one reason I can see to accept a title like Creative Consultant or Associate Editor, and it’s the same reason I can see for the company wanting to give the title in the first place--because the title/person offers the person/company some sort of value.

Ideally, that value would be in the form of immediate financial compensation. But I did mention we’re talking about small press comics field, right? So, glass half full and hope springs eternal and all that, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon. There is, however, another kind of value: entertainment value. And I value my entertainment very highly indeed.

And that’s why my official Chimaera Studios title is “The Guy Standing Over There”.

(My first choice was “Uncreative Consultant”, but I didn’t want to undermine Brian.)


Monday, April 14, 2008

If You Don't Like It, Wait Fifteen Minutes and It'll Change

Yesterday it was 26 degrees Celsius outside. For those Americans who read this blog, that's "no jacket needed, I should be wearing shorts and sandals" weather.

Today it is snowing.

This city kills me. Or, more accurately, with my sinuses, it makes me wish I was dead.



When it turned out the artist did not, in fact, tie a wild dog up in an art gallery and let it starve to death as a conceptual piece, I decided my post on why--even though the notion is vile and in any civilized world would also be criminal--any response other than actively ignoring the artist would only encourage the prick, could wait. So you've all been spared my rambling on about Art, its purpose, and relative merits of a given piece, for which you should all be thankful.

Given that the artist apparently did ensure that the animal was properly fed and cared for while in the gallery, I'd say this was actually a very effective piece of Art. Personally, if the animal wasn't completely feral, I'd have tried to adopt it or arrange for its adoption rather than releasing it back onto the streets where it was found, but still--an ugly but arguably important point was made, made well, and made to an awful lot of people that probably wouldn't give Art of the point it was making a second thought under normal circumstances. That's more than most Art accomplishes.

I'm not proud to admit it, but it's borderline miraculous I didn't kill _something_ in the name of My Art during my art college years.* There are few types in this world as arrogant as the Art Student, and fewer still as arrogant as Andrew the Art Student. Those were the days.

*Found art materials I used, or saw others use: a cat that had a tired tread where its stomach used to be, a gopher that had had its insides ripped out by a predator of some sort, cow brains, and a wide variety of food that had once been pigs or cows. Which, to my mind, does beg the question of which is more offensive: a jar of rotting cow brains, or a jar of rotting hamburger patties...


Friday, April 11, 2008

Weather's changing/head's throbbing, and much time is being spent familiarizing myself with the new editorial process. As a result: short post.

Today's Quote of the Day come from Fantagraphics designer Jacob Covey. The post is specifically about the shortcomics of the movie poster triptych for Frank Miller's Sin City II--I mean, Will Eisner's The Spirit, but a more general comment sprung out at me as something I wish more people would recognize as VERY, VERY TRUE:

"...graphic design is a field that is currently in a position of finally being understood and valued by the mainstream culture while becoming overrun with unconsidered value for novelty and the idea that anyone with a computer is a designer..."

(via Journalista)



"Do you have any idea how many Star Wars geeks would shop at a place called the Darth Mall?"


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I Have a Headache and Other Things You Need To Know

Tiina and I tend to agree on The Big Things, which is good, because living together would suck if we didn't. But there are some Little Things we don't see eye to eye on.

Like lying in bed for hours doing (what to the untrained eye might appear to be) nothing instead of getting out of bed and doing something. She thinks this is wasting time. I prefer to think of it as savouring time.

The last thing I habitually say before she leaves the house is "Drive safely."* The last thing she habitually says to me? "Have fun."

She thinks coffee isn't a vile concoction that ought to be exorcised from the face of the planet at the earliest opportunity. Actually, that's probably the biggest thing we disagree on.

I'd go on, but I've got a headache. You might've heard about it...

*I say "Drive safely" even when she's walking. If you've been in the car when she's driving, you'll probably understand why.


Monday, April 7, 2008



See you in a month or three for Episode Two: THE HOLIDAY MEN in NORTH POLE DANCE: OR, FOR WHOM THE SLEIGH BELL TOLLS

For all the latest HOLIDAY MEN news, contact

Friday, April 4, 2008


This day was not productive AT ALL.

Well, not for me. Tiina's been blazing through the final tweaks for THE HOLIDAY MEN IN THE MASSACRE MEMORIAL DAY SALE MASSACRE EXTRA-SPECIAL COLLECTIBLE BLACK AND WHITE PRINT VARIANT EDITION #1. And The Future of Comics (II) John Keane sent me eight pages of new SPOOKY KIDS roughs at 3 in the morning. And The Future of Comics (I) Fiona Staples is still cranking out pages for WildStorm's THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE AUTHORITY: JACK HAWKSMOOR (I assume she is, anyway--given the deadline the assignment came with, she'd pretty much have to be...)

Me? I got a little bit (VERY little bit) of the outline for THE LITTLE BROTHER written, then had a flurry of back and forth e-mails with the Senior Editor and Writer of the new project I'm editing, in which I blithely claimed that a Sunday noon Skype meeting would be no problem at all. Everyone said great, I went downstairs and told Tiina, and she reminded me that I'd made a commitment to doing inventory at Happy Harbor on Sunday months ago.

Spent the rest of the day trying to set up a different meeting time sometime in the next 48 while in the clutches of a blind panic over my ####-up. Not that I think this SHOULD be a major thing, but I'm always on the edge of panic so it doesn't take much to get me going. And I'm still very new to the job and not sure how uptight they're going to be over people saying they can do a meeting and then changing their minds fifteen minutes later. I've got think such a thing is not a fabulous, great way to impress your new boss and your new client...

So, yeah. Waste of a day in what was actually a pretty good week. Spent almost all of Monday figuring out how to make the needed fix in the spec movie script; almost all of Tuesday making the necessary changes to the script; all of Wednesday--I don't think I've spent that much time writing constantly since the accident--polishing the fixes. Thursday I was at the shop, and today...well, Friday seems to be turning into my day off. It's not that working at the shop is particularly physically demanding (usually), but something about 6-8 hours there just wrecks me the next day.

Normally, I'd take some painkillers, but after I don't know how many years popping Tylenol-3's like candy, it occurred to me that there might be a causal connection between taking them and my frequently feeling exhausted in the middle of the afternoon.* So I've been not taking painkillers during the day for the last week or so, to see whether I'd be...well, not more alert, because that's just not me...but less dopey.

And I am. Unfortunately, I'm also in no little discomfort. If it's not one thing, it's another...

*That it took something like six years for me to notice a (potential) connection between taking pills and spontaneous naptime is, I'm sad to say, not an uncharacteristic lapse of perception. As The Shepherd told me a couple weeks ago, "Y'know, for a writer, your observational skills kinda suck."


Quote of the Day/Ramble of the Morning

"Well, that was a disappointment. The first issue of Marvel’s Secret Invasion mini-series wasn’t nearly as dreadful as I’d hoped. It’s not good by any standard I currently hold for comics, but it’s far from the stupidest thing I’ve ever read." - David Welsh

If you want to ruin your enjoyment of the vast majority of comics, the quickest way to do it is to start writing reviews for them. It's even faster than approaching them as a would-be pro. One thing I discovered writing the Skewed Perspectives reviews for the Happy Harbor site--rediscovered, actually--is that writing a negative review is much easier than writing a positive one. Why? Because the act of dissecting a given piece of work to such a degree that you can get into the details of what worked and was good requires one to approach it in an unnatural way--to examine it rather than experience it. And the deeper the examination, the more flaws you'll almost inevitably find (I assume that'd be the case even if one weren't predisposed towards dwelling on the negative, but I could be wrong.)

That's actually why I stopped writing reviews and started doing Previews picks instead--it had gotten to the point where I wasn't enjoying reading almost all the comics I was reading and I was sick of talking about stuff I wasn't enjoying. At least with Kid Drew's YOU WANT TO BUY THIS! I can focus on the positive--what at least looks good, even if it ultimately turns out not to be.

In light of all the above, it should come as no surprise that I have nothing but admiration for those reviewers who somehow manage to stay in the game (even those who don't stay in it, really. Just making the effort counts for something.) They provide an invaluable service to me--I'm fairly in the loop on what's going on in comics from all my online trawling, but it's rare that I'll actually pick up something new unless someone I respect recommended it. There’s no way to know for sure, of course, but I suspect a lot of comics, esp. those by untested creators, owe a substantial percentage of their sales to the efforts of folks like Randy Lander, Johanna Draper-Carlson, and The Savage Critics.

(David Welsh quote found via Dirk Deppey's !journalista!)


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

THE HOLIDAY MEN #1.11: Educational. Yummy.

The next to last installment of THE HOLIDAY MEN's debut adventure, THE MASSACRE MEMORIAL DAY SALE MASSACRE, is up at The Chemistry Set.

And that's no joke.



From Hollywood

"Fresh faces fuel surge in deals
"Two months after the strike ended, a much-anticipated spec boomlet finally is emerging. But instead of the expected flurry of deals from such A-listers as Stephen Gaghan and Steven Zaillian, it's coming from writers with barely a credit to their name..."

I'm a fresh face! I have barely a credit to my name! Where's my deal, dammit?

This post has been brought to you by the sleep disorder insomnia, the soporific clomazepam, and the letter H.