Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Somehow I've gotten onto a list and I get a lot of Xerix Grant winners in the mail for review now. And I'm very happy about that. I get to read a lot of cool books that way.

This time the postman brought me The Brontes: Infernal Angria by Craig McKenney and Rick Geary. Which might be the push I need to finally read all those Bronte Sisters books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for years. Or Glyn Hughes's novel Bronte, which has been on the shelf unread for nearly as long.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Review: PULL LIST 6/15/05

Last week's Pull List is up. Covers the following books:

Birds of Prey #83
Adventures of Superman #641
Day of Vengeance #3
Seven Soldiers: Klarion #2
Mnemovore #3
Strange Girl #1
Death Jr. #2
The Battle Hymn #3
G.I. Joe: America's Elite! #0
Western Tales of Terror #4
Bigfoot #4

Not worthy of a separate blog entry is the fact that I've streamlined my review pile a little so that I can quickly hammer out some reviews of shorter books and catch up on stuff that publishers sent me before reviewing more stuff that I bought for my own amusement.

Also, please disregard any nonsense I may have posted about temporarily abandoning the Pirate Novel. That was wickety-whack.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


If you've never read Graphic Classics, you're missing out. Especially if you like different styles of really good art and fun, classic literature.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Great Curve: An Intelligent Evil Ernie?

Today on The Great Curve I wonder whether or not comics that originated as Shock Horror or T&A books have the potential to become anything more. Interested in hearing examples and thoughts other than mine.

Monday, June 13, 2005


Got some cool stuff in the mail today. All of it Comic World News related.

From Flux Factory in New York, a mini-comic-style promotion for an exhibit called Comix ex Machina. Basically, artists have built devices that each present a series of narrative images to the viewer by means of a mechanical process, either interactively or automatically. It's sort of half-Nickelodean, half-science museum exhibit. I'm definitely going to make a news item out of this, but it could also make a great interview.

From Deftoons! Cartooning and Comics, a comic called School: A Ghost Story. It's a gothy looking thing, but I'm always up for a good ghost story.

From Top Shelf, a nice, big package including lots of James Kochalka goodies:
  • A CD of music by Kochalka entitled Our Most Beloved.
  • The Monkey Vs. Robot comic.
  • The Super F*ckers comic.


Saturday, June 11, 2005

Review: PULL LIST 6-8-05

New Pull List is up. And now I really have to go to bed.

Rann-Thanagar War #2
JLA #115
Lex Luthor: Man of Steel #4
Action Comics #828
Fables #38
Top Cow Triple Play #1
X-Men #171
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #15
The Cisco Kid: Gunfire & Brimstone #1
Skyscrapers of the Midwest #2

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Review: UNSPEAKABLE by Graham Masterton

There's a review out that I wrote of Graham Masterton's novel Unspeakable, but you can't read it online. You gotta go to a bookstore and buy the lastest copy of Rue Morgue magazine (June 2005). It's on page 72. This is the first time something I wrote has been included in a for-profit publication that I didn't help pay to print, so it's pretty exciting for me.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Salome: CONAN #15

New Shake It, Salome is up at Pop Thought. More Conan, by Crom.

Review: Pull List 6-1-05


Finally got the Pull List up for last week's books. I was particularly cranky with this batch, but there are a couple of gems in there.

Seven Soliders: Zatanna #2
Villains United #2
JSA #74
Y: The Last Man #34
Ex Machina Special Edition
House of M #1
Shanna the She Devil #5
Marvel Team-Up #9
X-Men Unlimited #9
Dead Men Tell No Tales #1
Supernatural Freak Machine #3
The Imaginaries #2
The Phantom #6

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Got It

I don't know if this is smart or not, but I'll find out soon enough, I guess.

I've decided to start another novel. Gav's busy enough illustrating the Quartet of Crime one-shot I already wrote without my adding to his pile with more stories, and I can't see anyone else drawing a QoC story but him. So I went through some old outlines and found one for a murder mystery in a fantasy setting.

I don't have any interest in writing in the Fantasy genre, incorporating all the formulas and cliches that go along with that, but I like the idea of creating a world in which anything is possible. It's very research-free and that's something I need as I work through the pretty dry memoirs of a famous sea captain.

So, this book that I'm starting isn't a Fantasy Book, but a Mystery Book, only with Elves and stuff. 'Cause I like Elves. It's just to keep me writing while I'm stalled on Blades and I plan to drop it when I'm able to get back to the pirates. Then maybe after that I can finish up and solve the Elf Murder. Or write more pirates. I'm not planning that far ahead.

Anyway, I wrote one page tonight on the Elf Murder and it's off to a good start. So, yay.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I Knew This Was Going To Happen

I've hit a roadblock in writing Blades of Bragadini (aka "The Pirate Novel"). One of my major supporting characters is an actual, historical person and I'm at a point now where I need to know more about him before I can keep writing. I knew this was going to happen, but I've been procrastinating about doing the research and now I can't procrastinate any more.

So, while I get that done, I need something else to work on. There's something coming up that I'm going to be helping out on (hi, Jason!), but I need something now, so I'm digging through some old ideas and outlines to see if anything grabs me. Maybe a new Quartet of Crime short story. I'd like to get those guys some more exposure.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Tales from the Inner Sanctum at the Source

Yesterday I dropped off several copies of Tales from the Inner Sanctum #2 at The Source Comics and Games in Saint Paul. Probably everyone who reads this and lives in the area already has a copy, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

Great Curve: Help Kelly Sue

My latest Great Curve post is a request for help. It's an easy request to fulfill, so check it out if you haven't already seen it one of the other billion places I've plastered it over the Internet.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Writing is Hard: The Clever Trap

The other day I read something that made a lot of sense and I want to capture it here.

It was on a message board commenting on a particular cartoon, but the idea can apply to all writing. A fan of the cartoon defended it by saying that it's "funny because it defies your expectations."

To which someone who didn't like it replied, "to think that anything strange or unexpected makes a good comic is to fall into the trap that makes so much 'clever' art and literature fall flat on it's face. Always, always, always comics should firstly be moving, amusing or entertaining."

The word "comic" could easily be substituted with "story," don't you think?

I realize when I look at some of my short comics stories that I fell into that trap. I went for clever, twist endings instead of moving or amusing stories. Certainly not all of them, but some. Johanna Draper Carlson didn't mention me in particular about this in her review of Tales from the Inner Sanctum #1, but she did notice the phenomenon when she wrote, "many (of the stories) rely on twist endings that become predictable once the reader realizes that most of the contributions are aiming for such."

This is something that I need to remember to think about if I write more short comics stories.

Salome: The Birth of Conan

In this week's Shake It, Salome column at Pop Thought, we look at Dark Horse's Conan #8 and the Kurt Busiek/Greg Ruth account of Conan's birth.


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