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Archive for January, 2008

Crime Bibles and Sin Cities

Minor hype.

First off, I’m going to be in Las Vegas next Saturday, the 26th, at the Sahara West Library, from 11am to 5pm, for Comics Fest. Looks to be a fairly small gathering, with panels and opportunities for discussion.



If you’re in the area, please stop by. I’m packing my signing pens!!

And in the interest of continuing to pimp Crime Bible, a nice page from the upcoming Issue 4, “The Lesson of Murder.” It’s been something of a challenge for me, trying to pick a piece to preview, here, because there’s an element of mystery to the issue in question, and I don’t want to spoil anything for those who actually, y’know, like to be surprised.

So instead I offer this — Renee and Tot. For those fans of Denny’s run, please note that Tot is both in his bathrobe, and armed with a cup of coffee. Art and inks by Diego Olmos.

(I’d actually wanted to do a riff in 52 with Tot complaining about the lack of good java to be found in Nanda Parbat.)

Here ya go! Enjoy!

Well, There’s A Surprise

Not.

Update on Comic Book Writing Class

Some more updated information on the class that Nunzio DeFilippis is teaching through the UCLA Extension on writing for comics, manga, and other graphic formats. Enrollment is still open, and can be accessed directly by following this link.

Turns out I’ll be coming down to LA for the February 14th class, when I will cheerfully ramble on and on about just about anything relating to comics. Chocolates and flowers will, of course, be welcome.

Oni Press EiC James Lucas Jones (and no, I don’t have a better picture, or more precisely, I do have a better picture, but if I use it He Will Punish Me) will be speaking to the class on the 21st of February, and Seven Seas Entertainment publisher Jason DeAngelis will be talking to the class on January 24th.

Once again, those folks in the area who are interested in such things should really check this out. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the industry, not only from the mainstream pov, but also those of the indie and manga scenes.

Mass Effect XXX!

Found this linked at Penny Arcade.

I’ve been playing, and for the most part, very much enjoying Mass Effect. But, man…if any of you has the version of the game described here, would you mind letting me know where I could find a copy?

You know, purely for research purposes, of course.

Either You Get It Or You Don’t…

I’m linking here to Pink Raygun.com, entry from January 11th.

I could have happily lived out the rest of my days without knowing about this. And I am quite literally forcing myself from breaking into a vicious and invective-filled rant about the sheer, grotesque double-standard that’s being applied, here.

There are so many things I could say on this subject. So many things. And perhaps I will at a later date.

But I’ll leave it with this. I’d much rather my daughter see this…

…than ever see that.

And, for those of you who consider such things, take a look at the banner on the Ms. cover. “Wonder Woman for President.”

Do you really think it’s a coincidence that Playboy chose this year, the issue for the month containing “Tsunami Tuesday,” to run this particular pictorial? Do you really?

I can hear the WB wanks right now. “As long as it’s tasteful….”

Bastards all. You’ve no idea the damage you’ve done. No idea at all.

_COMS_SET_OPEN//WINDTALKER_DECRYPT:ACTIVE_

This is for all you deputized Whiteside Pawns out there:

Report to the ComicBloc and check your pms. WKB requires immediate response.

Those Pawns who have already responded, you may disregard this communication.

As you were….

Friend of the Sherpas

Sir Edmund Hillary died. He, along with Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, is credited with being the first man to summit Everest. That, in and of itself, is remarkable.

But what is much more remarkable is how both men conducted themselves in the days, weeks, months, years, and decades that followed. You can see a little of what Hillary was about here.

So You Wanna Write A Funny Book?

Nunzio DeFilippis, with whom I have a long and storied friendship, added to his already substantial skill-set last year by branching into teaching, specifically as the instructor for a course on writing comics available through the UCLA Extension. He invited me down as a guest speaker – one of the many guest speakers he had, actually – and it scratched my instructor itch quite nicely.

The course is being offered again, and I’d link provide a direct link to it if I could, but for some reason the web page for the extension school doesn’t actually seem to allow such linkage. Those curious, interested, or otherwise intrigued, can read the full course description below the cut.

Where Hubris Meets Arrogance

Loretta Hildago Whitesides, on the Wired blog, has a nice opinion piece about Huckabee, creationism, and why the answer to the question does matter. You can read it here, and it’s worth watching the YouTube clip from the Bill Maher interview.

And then there’s this little gem. And note that this contradicts what the Iranians said earlier about the incident.

When in doubt, deny the facts.

Apparently, it works wonders.

My Reading Problem

One of my many dirty little secrets is that I’m a very intolerant reader. I detest bad writing, and since “bad writing” is subjective, I find myself filled with a lot of detest a lot of the time. Most of what I pick up I end up putting down, sometimes violently, sometimes by hurling it across the room. Shortly after signing my first book deal, my editor, Kate Miciak, sent me a list of books she suggested I read. I distinctly remember tearing one of them in two and flinging the sections in opposite directions – something that, as an author, I am not proud of, because I know how much effort goes into writing a novel, and I am willing to entertain that – subjectively – that effort is still tremendous, even if the product offends me to my core.

Over the last several years, in fact, I’ve been reading less and less fiction, and more and more nonfiction. For obvious reasons, I find it easier to suspend my judgment when reading nonfiction.

I am not proud of this, actually. To write, one must read, and that means reading fiction. It is, in fact, a shortcoming I am actively seeking to address, and if there is a resolution for this new year, it’s that: I may not become a more tolerant reader, but I will read more.

As an aside, I have a suspicion that I’m not the only writer who suffers from this. We’re a terribly judgmental lot about our work. I just have a chronic problem in not knowing when to shut the hell up about it.

Paradoxically, I have become something of a connoisseur of children’s literature. This happens when you have two childrens, and you read to them regularly. This is why I am such a tremendous fan of Mo Willems. Aside from his tremendous talent as an artist and storyteller, he consistently delivers books that never condescend to children. I’m also a fan of his somewhat subversive stealth campaign — his books rely as much, if not more, on visual storytelling (comics) as on the root text.

Still, most children’s books suck, and there’s no getting around it.

Which brings me to Katherine Paterson‘s The Great Gilly Hopkins, which most certainly does not suck. I’d not read her stuff before. I managed to miss The Bridge to Teribithia in all of its incarnations. She was unknown to me. I purchased the book based on a chapter of it I had read in an anthology of “Stories for Girls” that my daughter received over the holidays. My daughter fell asleep — and being four, I don’t blame her — but I was engaged enough to seek the novel out.

Outstanding. Not a whiff of condescension to be found within. Beautifully written, and Paterson’s control of voice is enviable — she flies effortlessly between limited third and first within the space of paragraphs, and it works flawlessly.

Four’s young for the book, too young, as it requires a better grasp of the world and a more evolved sense of empathy, but my soon-to-be-eight-year-old is just right for it, and I’m putting it in his hands when he gets home from school.