Sunday, August 09, 2009

Recent Issues for Aug 9th, 2009

Two weeks in a row...?

I know, I know, but I guess I have the bug to bang away at the keyboard despite not having much to say or much of anything going on (except the move to new digs).

This week I just have a couple of Recent Issues:

Recently I re- discovered the Hard Case Crime line of books thanks to an article in the back of Ed Brubaker's comic CRIMINAL. (More on that in another post soon)

For those of you that don't know about Hard Case Crime, they publish mass market paperbacks in the crime, adventure, and pulp categories. Some of them are original and some of them are classics, long out of print by such names as Westlake, Bloch, and others.

I had seen these books on the shelf before in my local grocery store of all places but never really bought any of them until recently. Of course, when I went back to the grocery store to look for some of the newer ones, I discovered they no longer carry them.

What makes these paperbacks so cool and what drew my eye to them in the first place is all the cover art. 99% of the books have classic looking cover art that makes them look like the paperbacks from the 50s and 60s. Great paintings by great artists. (Maybe in a future post I'll share some of my favs.)

Two of the books I've read recently are Slide and The Max, both by the team of Ken Bruen and Jason Star. What I didn't realize right away is there's a first novel, Bust, that I missed and need to go back and find.
The books follow a business man by the name of Max Fisher and a woman named Angela Petrakos as their lives intersect and intertwine over and over no matter how much they hate each other.
The language is raw, the situations are bizarre and the number of people that die around these two while they escape unscathed is incredible.
Even though I missed that first book, I was very easily able to understand what brought these two characters together and the events that lead to their individual situations as Slide began.
Both are fast reads and I can see these books as movies in the same vein as Get Shorty or Fight Club. Visually cool with some style and flair.

Wednesday Comics from DC is a really cool idea.
They took a mix of some of their more popular characters like Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern, added a few lesser known characters like Metamorpho, Deadman, Kamandi, and The Demon, gave them to some of the best known creators like Neil Gaiman, Walt Simonson, Kurt Busiek, Brian Azzello, and printed them on large 20x28 newsprint stock for the look and feel of a traditional Sunday Comics page.
I remember hounding my parents for the comics on Sunday morning and even getting up early and tearing the paper apart to get them before they woke up and I had to beg.
It's a very cool idea and I'm glad DC took the chance on a project like this.
There have been some ups and downs on the production side of things. Most of the issues my shop gets each week are creased in the center when folded at the press and the color on some of the strips isn't as crisp or clear as it is on others. Aside from that, this sixteen week series is nothing but fun.
Of the features that run in Wednesday Comics my favs so far are :
Batman, Deadman, Kamandi, and Sgt Rock. These four have been the most solid, week in and week out. Beautiful art and some cool story elements.
My underdog strip is Catwoman and the Demon. Putting these two characters together is a concept that makes amazing sense and has never been done until now as far as I know. Simonson and Stelfreeze are both great creators and even though the first few pages haven't shown much, I really hope this jumps out to the front by the time it ends.
The only strip I really don't read is Wonder Woman. Beautifully illustrated but cramped, crowded with as many as 65 panels per page (some monthly 22 page comics don't have 65 panels in the whole book) it's just dense and difficult to read. This is also one of the strips that's suffered from the coloring process.
And there you have it.... I'm off to do some more work on the new place. If by some strange reason you come across my blog here, feel free to post a thought or comment. I get lonely...

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Nope... this has nothing to do with the DC Comics event where they jumped all their books one year forward in time. This is me remembering I have one of these silly Blog things on-line that I never write in and going back to it almost a year after my last post.


I could tell you I've been busy, which isn't a lie but it's not exactly the truth either. Lazy? It sounds more reasonable, doesn't it? If you know me you might think so. Nothing to say? Well, yes and no.

I created this Blog many moons ago to help push my creation, The Last Paladin, onto the web and see if it would generate a little spark in the comic book universe. It didn't. I wrote a few stories and had them published in Digital Webbing Presents (Thanks to Ed Dukeshire for whom I'll always owe a debt of gratitude if not a case of his favorite beer) but my artists all found better paying gigs and now they're working for Marvel and DC and the Last Paladin has faded into comic book obscurity.

I've tried to revive him on more than one occasion but was just never able to find the right artist, or an artist who would stick around longer than a few character sketches. That's the biz though. Maybe someday he'll return. I still have a lot of ideas and stories to tell and I even started turning his origin into a movie script.

Oh yeah.... I wrote one of those too. I turned my original comic, Slight of Hand, into an original screenplay and thanks to my good friend, Chris Freeman it's actually in Hollywood in the hands of a producer. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one. And no lip about the title..... when you read the script or see the movie, you'll understand...

In the meantime, what's been going on in my missing year?

I've written a couple of issues of Iron Sirens. #4 came out late last year and #5 just came out a few weeks ago. #6 is in the hands of an artist and #7 will be written in the next few weeks.

I started The Last paladin as a screenplay. It's about a third of the way finished. I need to get off my ass and go back to it but...

I'm also working on several small concepts that may or may not become pilots for a cable network company. I don't want to say too much about it here because I need to sit down in the next couple of weeks and have a brainstorming session with Chris to see what shakes out.

I should be working on ECLIPSE, a new horror comic I brainstormed with my good friend and artist Dan Campos. I got Dan really psyched on this crazy ass idea and then haven't given him very much in the way of a script to work on. It's my own damn fault and if I knew what was good for me I'd be working on that instead of this thing.

I'm also working on a concept called The Sisterhood of Steel for with my good friend Uko Smith. We've hardly started it and it's already gotten some attention on-line. More on that one later too.

And damn it if I didn't just buy a condo. Yup, I grew up and decided to take advantage of a bad housing market and Obama's free $8000 for first time home buyers and bought a condo about a block away from the gym I belong too. There go all my excuses. Bad enough there's a McDonalds right across the street from me now, too. It's like an angel on one shoulder and the devil on another. "Sure... go ahead... drink that chocolate shake... you did 30 minutes on the tread mill today..... it'll even out... Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!"


So does that seem like it would fill a year? I didn't think so either. But there you have it. That's everything I think might be wroth documenting in this electronic journal.

I'd like to come back and at the very least post a few times a month. Daily isn't going to happen, that's for damn sure. Once a week sounds good for now. I may even revive my Recent Issues posts where I review comics and magazines and a few other things that I enjoy and have an opinion on.

All right. Time for me to head to the new house and get to work. I got walls to paint and cabinet doors to put on, a faucet to swap out and electrical work I shouldn't even think about attempting to do on my own.

Those of you that remember the dryer incident from two years ago will know why....