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Archive for January, 2008

Nuthin fer Nuthin

Family’s down with a cold, which is another example of bad timing, as we’re supposed to head to Anaheim (and fair warning, you follow this link, you’ll need a) insulin, and b) to turn down the volume) on Thursday for a Family Get-Together to celebrate my sister’s 40th birthday. Hopefully, all bugs will pass before we have to travel.

Finished one script today — can’t talk about it — and working on squaring away the last of Checkmate 24 tomorrow, so mercuryeric and I can get started on #25 ASAP.

And in other news, I finished my first play-through of Mass Effect this evening. Very good, if flawed, game. I suspect I’ll indulge in a long-winded review at some point in the next week or so.

Vegas Boomerang

I’m sitting in the “recharge zone” at McCarran airport, waiting for my flight. It’s been delayed, presumably due to weather in Portland.

I’ve been sitting here for an hour already, which, I suppose, isn’t as bad as all that. I’m frankly more annoyed at the thought of getting home at 2 in the morning, and having to be up and out with the kids by 8. But that’s as may be, and certainly nothing I can control.

The Comics Fest was, by all accounts, a rousing success. Andrew Kaplan, responsible for organizing the whole shebang, told me they’d expected 500 hundred people and hoped, optimistically, that there might be as many as 1000 who showed up. There were 1000 who showed up.

Very nice time, very nice people. If the worst that this trip offers is a delay getting home, I’ve really got nothing to complain about.

Edited at 02:28 am, Sunday morning, to add:

Home. Wired for sound. Scotch in hand.

Took these pictures of the Monte Carlo Hotel, when I arrived on Friday, as the cab was taking me to my hotel. Post the fire, obviously, but I thought I’d share, for those interested in casino-hotels that catch on fire. Pictures below the cut!

Bits and Pieces

Odd week. Lots of pre-writing work. Read all of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass for reference, and the frustrating thing is that I can’t even tell you why I did this, nor can I show you any of the fantastic art that’s been coming in on the nameless project.

See, if I’m going to be frustrating, at least I have the courtesy of being consistently annoying.

Leaving for Vegas in a couple of hours. The piece that I mentioned being interviewed for is up, should anyone be curious. I’m quite looking forward to the Comics Fest, even if the trip will be a short one–arrive today, depart tomorrow night. That’s hardly enough time to enjoy Vegas.

Looks like several other projects all took steps forward this week, as well, some large, some small. At least one of them I’ll get to start writing next week, after I finish the next issue of Stumptown.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Untitled

Sylvia Poggioli has been running a six-part series on Muslim women in Europe, focusing specifically on women in France, Germany, and Britain. The second segment aired this morning, focusing on a woman named Syran Ates, who is as terrific an example of courage, moral and otherwise, as I’ve encountered lately.

Of particular interest, at least to me, was Ates’ assertion that “excessive tolerance” is responsible for the rise of “political Islam.” It put into words something that I’ve been struggling to articulate for myself, and something which came up several weeks back in the discussion surrounding this whole thing. I think I found it all the more resonant because yesterday afternoon I did a very short interview for a Vegas paper promoting the Las Vegas Comic Fest, wherein the reporter asked me if I considered myself a neocon in light of Q&C and some of the more recent issues of Checkmate, something I most assuredly do not. The question was asked, I think, more so I could refute it than so I could confirm it.

In fact, if there’s anything that terrifies me in this world, it’s zealotry. And while I believe there are absolutes in the world, that there are issues of Right and Wrong, and of Good and Evil, and that writers, in particular, are obligated to work with these ideas in some way, shape, or form, no matter how lightly, I am, for the most part, very, very nervous of those people who have discovered The Way, and feel that, for whatever reason, they must foist this upon others.

Saying that, I also have to recognize zealotry in myself, those things that I brook no argument on, and ask no quarter regarding. Tolerance is a wonderful thing. I’m all for tolerance. To a point. I lose tolerance the moment it’s not reciprocated, especially when that lack of reciprocation comes in the form of, say, blowing people up.

This is not confined to the Middle East or the Third World, obviously. We’re as guilty of it in this country as anywhere else, though we’re less prone to kill each other over our intolerances. But one look at the political state of the nation should tell you everything you need to know. Politics used to be the “art of compromise” (and please note the date of the article, and the subject matter) — of crafting a deal where nobody gets what they want, but everyone gets what they can live with. Now? Now, it seems like it’s all or nothing, where the loser will cheerfully salt and scorch the earth in defeat, and the victor punishes the loser for “making it so hard.”

Nothing I’m saying here is new, I recognize that. Rather, the ramblings of a barely-caffeinated mind.

Also, I can’t find a highlighter anywhere in my damn house. I think my kids have stolen them all.

My Comics Fest Schedule for Saturday, January 26th

1:00 – Creative Perspectives on Exploring Graphic Novels
Learn about the diversity of genres and stories to be found in graphic novels from the people who create them. (Greg Rucka, Jimmy Gownley, Steven Grant, Josh Elder, Chris Staros)

2:00 – Artist Showcase: Greg Rucka (I actually have no idea what this is, but I suspect it will be something like a Q&A panel.)

4:00 – Where Do We Go From Here? What does the future hold for graphic novels, readers, and libraries? Our guests offer their ideas. (Greg Rucka, Steven Grant, Michele Gorman, Yen, Dark Horse, Viz)

And Another Seed for a Story

Every writer gets asked the Where-Do-You-Get-Your-Ideas-From-Question.

Well, here’s another story seed, sort of following up on the TB-escapees that I linked to a while back.

I mean, really…can’t you just see this going horribly, horribly wrong? Or is that just that I live in a very dark place where people bleed freely from their eyes?

A Quote for the Day

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”

H. L. Mencken

The Democratic Process in Action

I actually quite dig this, any implied snarkiness in the header aside.

I think the quote by Greg Kuntz says it all.

David Kushner at the Wired Blog has posted a long piece called, Two AI Pioneers. Two Bizarre Suicides. What Really Happened?

It’s some fascinating, compelling reading, should any of you find the time or interest.

News and Other Items of Interest

Just saw this story. The details in paragraph four are…ominous, frankly. Not sure if this has been verified anywhere else, yet.

And in our ongoing series about double-standards, I offer this story, from the Counterterrorism Blog. Again, I have not checked the assertion that the “he outcry in the Muslim world did not begin in earnest until Islamists showed off a number of fabricated cartoons which were never actually published by the newspaper in Denmark.”

Italics theirs, not mine.