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.