December 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
My novella Iris is available FREE through Amazon Kindle, now through Monday, December 8th!
After a difficult ballet performance, Iris sees that her career as a dancer is over. Her roommate won’t believe it, her boyfriend doesn’t understand ballet, and the other man in her life may be the worst thing to ever happen to her. Unable to see a future without dance, Iris makes every mistake and bad choice that she can.
From behind-the-scenes at a world-class ballet company (performing The Nutcracker) to behind the bar at a music venue in Lower Manhattan, Iris is a haunting and heartbreaking novella, now available exclusively as an ebook!
And did I mention that it’s FREE? Please share with your friends!
October 24, 2014 § Leave a comment
Artist, writer, veteran, musician, martial-artist, Larry Hama is best known as the writer behind the G.I. Joe comics. If you consider the influence of that single property, Larry Hama’s work has impacted and inspired an entire generation of Americans.
Don’t believe me? Do you like ninjas?
How about, uh, America?
That’s what I thought.
Watch this short doc, available on The Splitting Image website, and learn a bit about the man who made you love ninjas and America.
July 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
May 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
Work has kept me from posting in a while, but unless you’re one of the few who regularly read Think Tank by Matt Hawkins with art by Rahsan Ekedal, I need to tell you:
Think Tank is kind of like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare written by guys who want to explore the politics and moral issues of destroying your enemies with groundbreaking technology. Though it’s far from Image Comics’ best-selling title, I have to believe it’s one of its best. What makes this one-shot Fun With PTSD essential reading is just how sophisticated, relevant, and poignant the story is.
Without giving too much away, Think Tank: Fun With PTSD is a one-shot comic book about a government scientist named David Loren who attempts to cure the PTSD of a friend who is a Navy SEAL. Loren is the funny and rascally kind of genius, but the seriousness of the situation takes the story into some affecting places.
There have been a few stories in print and on-screen that address PTSD, but Think Tank is unique in that it examines the biological aspects of the disorder. Scientists have known (or at least suspected) for a while that there is a biological component to PTSD. I’m a veteran who doesn’t have PTSD (most don’t), and I volunteered to be in the control group for a study on PTSD’s affect on the physical brain way back in 2007.
Hawkins and Ekedal take time in the story to explain a lot of the science. This is one of the reasons to love this series: it treats the reader like he or she is smart. If we’re honest, most current science fiction treats you like you’re a reasonably intelligent eight-year-old. In explaining the science, these creators take a serious look at the issue and its solutions. And a tangible solution makes for great storytelling because it gives our protagonist a concrete goal.
So even if you don’t want a moving story that takes a serious look at PTSD that’s respectful of America’s veterans, you actually get a quality science fiction story, where real, relevant science fuels the story, as opposed to the science fantasy that audiences usually get. And if you don’t want a quality science fiction story, you get an emotional story about the effort a person will give to save a friend in need. And if you don’t want any of that, Ekedal’s ink-wash is gorgeous.
And if you like ANY of that stuff, well, you don’t enjoy life very much, do you?
March 13, 2014 § Leave a comment
Well, 100 years of Tove Jansson, anyway.
This year Finland is celebrating the centenary of Tove Jansson’s birth. I’m not sure what you’re doing to celebrate it, but I’m going to re-read all the Moomin books that I’ve got and probably finally get around to reading The Summer Book.
If you don’t know about the oddities called Moomins or the genius of Tove Jansson, Drawn and Quarterly has done a great job reprinting the Moomin books over the last few years. I also recommend this BBC News piece that draws the parallels between Tove Jansson’s life and her most famous creations. (I’m not usually into this kind of literary analysis, but the piece says a lot about her life that I didn’t know about.)
And yes, there was the Moomin TV show:
February 26, 2014 § 1 Comment
Through his newsletter, Warren Ellis has confirmed that he and Scatterlands collaborator Jason Howard are working on an Image title called Trees.
According to Ellis’ newsletter:
I’m finishing issue 4 today — Jason’s doing layouts on the first half while I fix a sticking point in the last half, and that’ll go out tonight or tomorrow. By the time May rolls around, we should have six complete lettered coloured issues in the can. We’ve been working on it since the early autumn of 2013, after all.
Plot-wise, it sounds like a bunch of trees have invaded Earth. Kind of like Triffids. But more subtle. And not real.
There’s more on the Ellis/Howard project at CBR.
January 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
I don’t know if George Romero has ever wished he had become known for something other than zombie stories, but, damn, he does them well. The first issue of his new comic Empire of the Dead: Act One is full of promise.
Five years after zombies first made their gory appearance, something like a society has survived in New York City. In certain neighborhoods, zombies are still a threat, and in other parts of twon, zombies provide gruesome entertainment. Rather than the simple survival-horror that so many zombie stories are (Romero’s included) Empire of the Dead seems headed for a more directly political angle, featuring politicians who are secretly vampires. That’s right: vampires.
There are other changes in our monster menagerie, as some of the zombies have noticeable signs of intelligence. They all can be trained, but some of them play checkers. One zombie in particular has her own THOUGHT BUBBLES.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure that Romero could deliver something new to the genre that he created, but I’ll be checking out this floppy every month. Empire of the Dead: Act One is an All-New Marvel comic (but it appears to exist in its own universe, without X-Men or Avengers, normal or zombie.)
November 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
X-Men: Battle of the Atom was the big crossover event to mark the 50th anniversary of the X-Men. The original X-Men team from the 1960s, the featured cast of the monthly All-New X-Men, have been in the present time since Marvel NOW! began. To be as spoiler-free as possible, Battle of the Atom begins with some of the present day X-Men trying to send the originals back to their own time, though they don’t all want to go. Then some X-Men from the future arrive, and then some other X-Men from the future arrive. Then everybody fights.
If that sounds confusing, you’re not a regular reader of the X-Men comic book line, where time travel has become a really annoying staple of the series. And if you are a regular X-Men reader, you were probably disappointed with Battle of the Atom. The fact is, other than the addition of a few more characters to the Marvel Universe, nothing really major happens in this crossover. The few glimpses of the future that the crossover provides clearly illustrates that the X-Men of the future are still doing what the X-Men do best: fighting each other.
By the end of the crossover, I had missed a few characters’ deaths, and I couldn’t keep track of who was good or bad. It wasn’t because the story was hard to follow, but because I didn’t care. Your superhero team doesn’t matter if it spend more time fighting itself than it does fighting the bad guys.