Monday, May 25, 2009


Even after the better part of a week, I'm still too PO'd about the subject of the post I want to write to talk about it without descending into an incoherent rant. So you get this one, which has been sitting around in some form or another for a couple weeks now:

I'm not a huge Star Trek fan (in terms of devotion--even in terms of t-shirt size I'm not the biggest there is, they can be a burly crowd...), but will probably end up seeing the new film at some point, in all honesty more for JJ Abrams' contribution than for Gene Roddenberry's.

(And now that I finish writing the post I began a couple weeks back, I've seen it and yeah. Abrams (and Kurtzman/Orci) did a really good job. But hey, that's no reason not to muddle forward with the previous post. Where was I...? Oh yeah:)

I'm of mixed emotions on the reboot aspect of the new film. On the one hand, if they're going to make a go of things, they needed to do something drastic to really get the franchise moving again. On the other...well, I worry that in the end, it's not going to be what I think of when I think of 'Trek. What's done is done--the thing's pretty much a lock as a blockbuster and I highly doubt there'll be any return to the format/mythology I grew up with.

(Or maybe there will be. According to Orci and Kurtzman, the rights to Star Trek the film are held by Paramount, while CBS controls the rights to Star Trek the TV series. So there's a possibility of a Terminator: Salvation/Sarah Connor Chronicles situation there, which could be interesting, possibly in a "may you live in interesting times" sense of the word.)

If one spends countless hours sitting around drinking in various sci-fi consuites, it's pretty much inevitable one's going to end up considering what one would do given the chance to mess with established franchises like Trek. For several years, whenever the subject came up, I had a pitch for a theoretical next TV series, a simple premise that would build on all the pre-reboot mythology while still leaving room to move in all sorts of new and interesting directions.

As I stopped writing fanfic long before I knew the term even existed and I wasn't talking to a producer who might be in a position to get a new Trek show greenlit, the pitch never went much beyond two words, the title for the proposed new show:


Enterprise faltered largely for the reason the new Star Trek film succeeded: how it dealt with continuity. (This is actually one of my major concerns when it comes to BSG spinoff Caprica--the whole thing's kind of poisoned by the last hour of Galactica...)

Voyager and Enterprise both dealt extensively with time travel, and the basic skeleton of the Trek Universe's "future history" already exists. The diplomats in space/"what new and funky alien foreheads are we going to meet this week?" approach was and is pretty much played out. As far as Trek's concerned, space is no longer the final frontier. Time could be, and arguably has been since at least STIV: The Voyage Home. Why not embrace it, and the new settings and story possibilities it provides?



...Might still be usable--maybe not as a Trek-related project (probably not, actually), but easy enough to alter to a different or brand new mythology. Some day, some day...



I and Fred Van Lente got namechecked in the preamble to an interview with Trek screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci for co-writing the Cowboys & Aliens graphic novel.

And here's a doodle of a character I drew when I should've been writing about the same character instead:


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Because Mom Worries

Not a whole lot happening the last few days. Finished the latest revision of a script for the managers and Big Hollywood Producer (I) Sunday night, spent most of Monday decompressing, reading, and feeling like I should be working on the next thing (the next thing's almost certainly going to be a script revision for Somewhat Smaller but Still Well-Established Hollywood Producer that's several million light years in tone and subject matter from the just-finished one.)

Tuesday I decompressed some more, read, and wrote a 1600 word ramble on a project I'm hoping to work with The Future of Comics (III) Nick Johnson on. It originated with Nick and about half of it was me making an argument in favour of doing something with the project he'd already established he'd rather not do, so we'll see how that goes.

Today I read and started puttering around with something I've tentatively called The Monster Matrix. It's not a story or even an idea for a story. I'm not sure exactly what it is, actually. I came across an interesting piece of speculative trivia a few months back and I know there's a story there, but I'm having a hell of a time finding it. In the meantime, the research for this hypothetical story is filling my brain with all sorts of interesting stuff, but nothing's gelling in a way that's useful just yet. Which is probably just as well, as I've got at least three things I ought to be working on before developing something else entirely.

Why yes, that was a clumsily obvious attempt to passive-aggressively cajole the cosmos into giving me a lightning bolt of inspiration. Do you think the cosmos noticed?


In other Future of Comics News, Fiona Staples has an interview on Newsarama. Readsies!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

I am a Petty, Petty Man

Got back from Star Trek, a movie I thoroughly enjoyed once Tiina switched places with me so I wouldn't have to yell at the ten year-old sitting next to me who wouldn't shut the hell up, to the news that Gilbert Bouchard's body's been found. And I'm thinking stuff like people talking constantly during a film really shouldn't seem like that big a deal right now...

...and I can't help it, but I'm still consumed with a desire to hunt that twerp down and rain verbal abuse down upon him till he's traumatized to such a degree that he never speaks again. No wonder piracy's a big issue for the movie industry. It's the only way to see new films without having to deal with some loudmouth jerk who thinks they're in their living room and has no respect for the people who paid to see a movie and not listen to hir blathering is to watch it via other means.

I don't really know what to say about Gilbert, and even if I did, I don't feel like it's my place to say much at all. At the end of the day, I didn't really know him that well, but I liked him, enjoyed hanging out with him on the few occasions we did so, and wish I'd gotten to know him better. His loss is a blow to the Edmonton arts community in general and the comics community in particular. I hope his family and loved ones are doing OK, and that knowing what happened to him, even knowing he's no longer going to be an active part of their lives, is an improvement over the uncertainty of the past few weeks.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Andrew Gets Overly Excited, Sometimes

Over at LiveJournal, Mad Creative Genius Dan Schaffer teased the release of a DOGWITCH: THE WHOLE SHEBANG book collecting his entire supernatural goth punk sex farce in one volume. This is great news.

Also great news: the first issue of Aaron Williams and the Future of Comics (I) Fiona Staples' new Wildstorm miniseries NORTH 40 is in the current PREVIEWS magazine. And it's being promoted with some actual oomph--I don't know what DC pays for the privilege, but last time I checked, two solid pages of Previews cost more than I generally make in a year. And I have no idea what the Diamond Order Code is! But you should still order it from your local comics retailer!

Especially if your local retailer is Happy Harbor Comics. HH frequently goes the extra mile for the works of local friends of the store, and NORTH 40 is no exception. People who order the miniseries will receive it at 50% HH's fair price (based on the exchange rate the day HH acquires the non-returnable issues.) This ought to mean a lot of orders for North 40 from the Harbor, but bugger-all return for selling them to Jay and Shawna. That's just the kind of people they are.

I'm going to go do a little dance around my office now. Ta!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blue is the colour

The following appeared as my Google Reader's "teaser text" for a Time Magazine article:

'Speaking in a Muslim kingdom, Benedict tries to unite Christians and Muslims against the tyranny of "reason"...'

That line doesn't appear to actually be in the article, at least not that I could find in a cursory read, which led to a somewhat less entertaining and/or inflammatory read than I'd hoped for.



Spent a couple hours this afternoon wandering up Jasper Avenue, asking local businesses if I could hang the latest Gilbert Bouchard - Missing Person poster in their windows/on their walls.

Every once in awhile, I contemplate doing some kind of volunteer work, and while I'm semi-ashamed to admit I never really have, certainly not on any kind of extended basis, stuff like this afternoon hammers home one of the things that's stopped me: it's depressing.

I started the walk feeling kind of good about myself: here's me, doing what is pretty indisputably a Good Thing, just for the sake of doing it. Then I have to deal with Other People, and ask for their help. Not at all in my comfort zone, but I force myself to do it anyway, because, damn it, it's not asking too much and it needs to be done. Out of all the stores, bars, and coffee shops I went into, only one outright refused to hang the poster--Mac's, around 117 street or so. A couple took a poster and promised to ask their managers if they could hang them tomorrow.

So people don't suck, and some were nicer than they had to be to someone who was asking them to do something for nothing. The standout of the afternoon was the guys at cannabis culture shop Shell Shock, who expressed something like genuine emotion over the idea of someone going missing in the bizarre fashion of Gilbert's disappearance. This is the primary reason I'm not going to make a joke about how getting a poster in there's a good thing because potfolk are renowned for their keen observational skills.

So, yeah. People don't suck, which should make me happy, and I'm helping out, which should also make me happy, and instead, I'm totally bummed. And that was just after a couple hours. If I were to get into volunteering, I'd want to do it at either the food bank or the suicide prevention centre, as both those things (albeit in different cities) helped me when I needed help. But I'm pretty sure if I tried offering either my time, rather than money, I'd end up needing help from one of them again.

So I guess what I'm saying is, happy Mother's Day.

And also, my feet hurt. Stupid non-winter footwear.



1) Phone almost everyone I've ever met.
2) E-mail pretty much everyone else.

I am never going to catch up on this stuff...oy.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Aaaand... Contemplate!

I can't wait to have enough disposable income to become an early adopter.

Or, to put it another way, I want one of the new Kindles. Hell, even an old one...I'm still a luddite, but T and I are pretty much out of shelf space, and the library doesn't carry everything I want to read, certainly not when I want to read it.

Which isn't to say a Kindle would either, but it'd be nice to be able to afford to find out.


If I never encounter the phrase "supply content across multiple platforms" ever again, it'll be too soon. F*** content and the multiple platforms it rode in on. I want a story, created for the medium it appears in.

Which isn't to say I'd have a problem reworking a story for another medium, or letting someone else take a crack at it. One of my managers is trying to get screenwriters interested in a film version of The Holiday Men--a project I specifically created not to work as anything other than a comic. That tells me that, at the end of the day, you can twist pretty much any idea into a form that'll work as a movie. Preemptively twisting one into something that will theoretically be more palatable to Hollywood prior to anyone in Hollywood expressing interest it is a bit of a fool's errand, if only because what's palatable to Hollywood shifts on a second-by-second basis.

Or so it seems to me at the moment. Maybe when I'm not sore and tired I'll feel differently.

Oh, wait. I'm always sore and tired...


Wednesday, May 6, 2009


The parents called last night but didn't leave a message, which makes me think I'm probably overdue to blog about...something. Mum seems to worry when I'm not doing the digital equivalent of standing on a street corner screaming incoherent gibberish at random passersby. It's how she knows I'm...well, not OK, exactly, but at least more or less the same as I was last time we talked.

The problem is, I don't really have much of a desire to blog right now. The stuff I'd like to talk about here I just don't have the time or energy to get into in any kind of worthwhile depth. So it's hit and run time...



Calgary writer Jason Mehmel is doing everything he can to get his blog numbers up. And I mean everything, including asking if I'd mention it here. Which I've no problem doing, but I still find mildly amusing, as I generally work under the assumption that no one who didn't give birth to me actually reads this thing. And I'm pretty sure even Mum just skims it. Anyway, if you've got some time to kill--and if you're reading this, you do--you might want to check out the Mehmelblog.



FANTASTIC FOUR. I was originally going to say I wanted to do it with Mike Allred, but while he's definitely got a Kirby vibe going on, I'm not sure he'd want to deal with the way out cosmic feel I'd likely be going for with the project. Maybe Bruce Timm.

AQUAMAN, with Bill Sienkiwicz. Because it's dark, cold, and really kind of creepy that far underwater.

VAMPIRELLA, with Fiona Staples. Because Fiona wants to work on Vampirella and if I got to write it she'd be hard-pressed not to work with me again. Is it possible for writers to stalk artist collaborators?

DEADPOOL: ONE MORE POUCH, with Nick Johnson. To be followed up by the sequel DEADPOOL: BRAND NEW POUCH.

HELLBLAZER/DR. STRANGE, with Sean Phillips. Actually, I'd like to do almost anything that had Sean Phillips on art.



Gilbert Bouchard is still missing. Damn it.

Big Hollywood Producer sent me notes on the last version of the screenplay. I had my standard response: freak out over how everything needs to be changed and seethe with fury over the dumb ideas I'm forced to deal with, then get on with changing the script to conform to the dumb ideas, then realize the ideas weren't really that dumb and the changes are overall for the good of the story, then resent having to do a bunch of work because I didn't have the not-that-dumb-after-all ideas myself.

The standard response would change dramatically if there was actually money involved. But there isn't, at least not yet.

We got a price quote for fixing (read as: "tearing off and rebuilding from scratch") the roof this morning. Ow.

A Canadian producer contacted PARTING WAYS artist Scott Mooney inquiring about the book. Unlike almost everyone else who's asked after the rights, this guy's actually gotten some stuff made, including what sounds like a nifty black comedy. It's not Hollywood, but it's close enough, so I'm going to assume absolutely nothing will come of this, but it's nice to think people other than Ty Templeton see something they like in the story, even after all this time out of print.

I haven't recovered from the Calgary Expo, much less Free Comic Book Day yet. Even if I was, the weather's grinding its heel into my face.

If you aren't already, will you be my friend?

Well, I tried, but there's just no way to put something like that previous sentence out there without looking pathetic. Fortunately, I'm used to looking pathetic.

Back to the grindstone. And by grindstone, I mean the couch in my office.