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Archive for May, 2010

Round Two – ARGH!

So, yes, as Evan pointed out in the comments to the last entry, Mister8 has moved its “spy-down” to Round Two. This time its Tara versus The Avengers The Avengers The Avengers.

This one actually gave me pause in a way that Chace v. Bond utterly failed to. Don’t get me wrong; I loves me my Bond – he was the gateway drug, he was my first time with a spy, and I can remember being 12 and watching Thunderball and my eyes popping out of my head. I can remember going to see Octopussy in the theatre and thinking that “All Time High” was a good song. I remember it all.

Which is ultimately the problem I have with Bond. There is no one tone, no consistency. Loving Bond is loving the idea of James Bond (Mister8 pulls the Chandler quote, quite rightly, about Bond being who every man wants to be, and who every woman wants between the sheets. I won’t argue the point; you get the gist), not the character of Bond. It’s why we ask “who’s your favorite?” It’s why we rate Connery higher than Moore, and we set the novels in their own category. For the record? I loved Casino Royale. I had enormous problems with Quantum of Solace. I love Bond as an Idea; I love Chace as a Person.

So, the struggle. Q&C versus The Avengers, which, I suppose, is no more fair than pitting her against Bond in Round One. A comic book/novel character with a – let’s be honest – limited but devoted following versus arguably the single-greatest cult spy show ever, if not of the ’60s? We’re talking Emma Peel Avengers, btw, from whom Tara can claim lineage, if not a direct line. I mean, Queen & Country versus The Avengers? That one’s…that one’s hard, at least for me.

In the end, though, I had to throw my vote to Chace again. I’ve got an open bias, clearly, I mean, I’d be a lying jackass if I claimed otherwise, but on a more rational, thoughtful level, for all my love of Steed and Peel, I prefer my my espionage with a more “realistic” (and yes, yes, YES, I use the word advisedly) tone. This was what drew me to The Sandbaggers back in the day, the marriage of Bond-style action to Le Carré fashioned methodology and consideration. Then along came Ian MacIntosh and he threw in politics for good measure, and all of the sudden spy stories became, for me, about so much more. It was that element, that final piece, that gave the genre its enduring breath of life. It’s why I’m making notes on new Q&C stories right now, why I’m drafting the outline of the follow-up to The Last Run. It’s why I keep coming back to it.

So go to Mister8, check out the site (it’s truly a wonderful site!), cast your vote. And believe me, I won’t hold it against you if you go with Steed and Peel.

Just don’t tell Tara if you do.

For Queen and Country

OK, this is awesome. Over at Mister 8, they’re doing a Battle of the Spies. Today it’s John Drake versus George Smiley. On May 13th? 007 himself versus our girl, Tara Chace.

You obviously know who I think you should all be voting for RIGHT NOW, yes?

Make with the clicky!! GO!!

Hey, Seattle? Busy Tomorrow?

Busy. Word of the moment, it seems, and thus I’m late in throwing this up for public consumption. But…

Matthew Southworth and I will be doing TWO signings tomorrow for Arcane Comics, at their West Seattle and Ballard stores respectively. West Seattle from 3pm to 5pm, Ballard from 6pm to 8pm. We will be entertaining and charming and probably SFW and small children, should you bring either along with you.

And as far as appearances go, it looks, indeed, that I shall be in Toronto on June 5th and 6th for the Toronto Comicon. Very excited about this one – love visiting Canada, and it’s been too long since visiting Toronto, specifically.

More to post this coming week, I suspect. Mr. Burchett is working up the second batch of pages on American Soldier, and we’ve been playing around with some color tests, as well – hope to post some of those by mid-week, as well as some simmering dark thoughts that have been rumbling about the back of my maladjusted mind.

Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow headed to Playstation2 in June

Syphon Filter

Syphon Filter PSP cover

Game designer and producer John Garvin announced today that Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow will be coming to the PS2 on June 1. Greg wrote the story for the game, and Garvin mentions Greg in his announcement:

Greg’s written many novels and graphic novels, including two series of novels he wrote called Queen and Country and Atticus Kodiak. Greg liked the idea of playing with the notion of who Gabe’s “shadow” might be and he came up with the idea that Lian Xing, Gabe’s long-time partner, might have a past that’s catching up with her. Suddenly she disappears. Evidence piles up that she’s a double agent. I can’t say too much more without giving the plot away, but Greg brought a lot to the Syphon experience. You can read more about our collaboration here.

Batman Gotham Knight (2008)

Batman Gotham Knight

Batman Gotham Knight

For this anime-influenced tie-in to 2008′s The Dark Knight, Greg wrote the segment “Crossfire,” a take on his Gotham Central work set in the Christopher Nolan continuity, and featuring detectives Crispus Allen and Anna Ramirez.

Batman Gotham Knight is a fresh and exciting new entry into the Batman mythos, spinning out of a 40-year history in animation including the Emmy®-winning Batman: The Animated Series, widely considered a pivotal moment in American animation.

Six standalone chapters, each with stylish art from some of Japan’s greatest anime visionaries, weave together into a larger story that follows Batman through his transition from beginner to The Dark Knight.

Chapter-by-Chapter Synopsis

In “Have I Got a Story for You,” Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Josh Olson (“A History of Violence”) tells the story of how chance encounters with Batman by a group of youngsters leave each kid with a very different impression of the Dark Knight.

In “Crossfire,” acclaimed novelist/comics writer Greg Rucka tells the story of Gotham City police having to get over their distrust of Batman – while under fire from the mob.

In “Field Test,” writer Jordan Goldberg showcases the incredible high-tech arsenal Batman commands and reveals that there are some things even Batman won’t do in his pursuit of justice.

“In Darkness Dwells” takes Batman into the Gotham sewers to face “Killer Croc,” a deformed thug who seems even more monstrous after the Scarecrow, and his fear toxin, makes a resurgence, in a story by David S. Goyer, co-screenwriter of “Batman Begins.”

Award-winning comics writer Brian Azzarello explores an early chapter of Bruce Wayne’s training in “Working Through Pain,” showing how a mysterious and exotic Indian woman named Cassandra introduced Batman to techniques that would help him to conquer the physical and spiritual consequences of what he does.

Finally, in “Deadshot,” four-time Emmy Award-winning writer Alan Burnett ties together threads from all the Batman Gotham Knight chapters, as Batman must thwart an unerring assassin whose love of guns and disregard for human life lets him cross lines that even a Dark Knight shies away from.

For more information, see the official Batman Gotham Knight website.


“Crossfire” preview

Whiteout (2009)

Whiteout Poster

Whiteout was based on the comic of the same name by Greg and Steve Lieber.

U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko is the only law-enforcement officer assigned to Antarctica. Carrie is on the verge of shipping out before the really bad weather hits, when she is confronted with a mysterious murder that sounds like a riddle: how’d a lone corpse find its way to the middle of an ice field, as though dropped from a great height? And what does this have to do with the prologue about a Soviet fighter jet crashing some decades earlier? Along with other snowbound stragglers are a U.N. investigator, some cocky pilots, and a grizzled doctor.

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Tom Skerritt, Columbus Short, Alex O’Loughlin, Shawn Doyle
Director: Dominic Sena

For more information, video, downloads and more, see the official website.


The Last Run (PreOperational Briefing)

Ah, so…it’s been a weekend here. Returned from LA in fine spirits following good meetings regarding things that it would be presumptuous to talk about at this point, only to find that a Creeping Crud™ had descended upon the household. It is as yet unclear to me whether I’ve avoided this germ-bomb or not; I suspect I’ll know definitively in the next 24 hours or so.

Research has been slow-going on the new project; Rick sent along inks of the pages he has done, and I think he’s planning on some color-tests next. I will share more soon, I suspect, once he and I are pleased enough with the package to allow the light of day entrance.

So, yes, today…I’m the healthy one, both kids are home from school, and Jen is doing the thing she does when she feels like hell but can’t silence her work-ethic, which leads to me telling her to get back in bed. This is something I say to her a lot. And no, it’s not as exciting as you might think.

I promised a snippet of The Last Run a while back, and here I am, to keep my word. Those who’ve read the Q&C series know that each novel begins with a “pre-operational briefing” centered on Chace. It’s a conceit of the series, a means to introduce the protagonist and her world to newcomers, and it’s always a fun insight into her character. For The Last Run it’s no different.

Below, you’ll find the Pre-Op, as well as a link to a PDF of the same, if you’d rather read offline, at your leisure, or simply print-out and spindle, spike, or likewise mutilate. You can find the PDF here. Apologies to all for errors of formatting, spelling, or any strange odors you may experience while reading.


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Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow (2007)

Syphon Filter

Syphon Filter: Logan

Greg wrote the story for this PlayStation Portable game (coming to the PS2 in June 2010).

DESPERATE. ALONE. BETRAYED. Gabe Logan stands alone. They’ve disbanded his team. His partner is missing and accused of treason. How far will he go to find the truth? Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow will keep you wondering who to trust, featuring an engaging storyline, all-new combat actions and underwater missions. As the dramatic sequel to the IGN 2006 PSP Game of the Year, Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow promises to be even better delivering new and enhanced features, including: New Submerged Missions Experience underwater exploration and combat with full 360 degree navigation.

  • Strike with Precision Target enemy body parts utilizing an arsenal of more than 55 high-tech weapons and advanced vision technology.
  • New Combat Moves Use “Blind Fire” to send enemies scurrying for shelter or grab hold and use them as a “Human Shield” to preserve health.
  • Enhanced Hand-to-Hand Melee Attacks Dispatch enemies in a variety of ways,including deadly knife attacks.
  • Hollywood-Style Production Featuring a gripping storyline by acclaimed author Greg Rucka (Queen & Country series) and an all-new soundtrack by international recording artist Azam Ali (300).
  • Visually Stunning Environments High-resolution textures, detailed animation, combined with the Havoc engine delivers console-caliber graphics on the PSP system.
  • Robust Online Experience 4-on-4 multiplayer battles across 8 maps and 5 game modes, plus enhanced community features including player profiles, buddy lists, leaderboards and ranked cell matches.

Game Trailer