Comic Book Post #5

Pop Culture

Being the continuance of a series abandoned…

I never read any of D.C.’s New 52, because I objected to it on principle. The whole point of comic books is that they provide the balance of new tales as part of a coninuity. I get that managing said continuity can be a challenge. But re-booting is pointless. Every issue is a reboot.

Plus, stop “killing” characters. It’s lame.

But D.C. Has abandoned all of that, and given us Rebirth, which is supposed to restore everything as it was without erasing the New 52 stuff. So …


This doesn’t mean I haven’t read anything. I checked out the first few issues of Marvel’s Star Wars reboot, and that was fine. Decent Luke storylines, anyway. I stopped because they started spreading the storylines over five or six separate titles, so I have to buy Princess Leia #8 to continue Darth Vader #11 to continue Star Wars #9. And that’s too damn nerdy for me.


I also kept up on Dark Horse’s Conan titles. Conan the Avenger had a wry humor to it, occasionally at the expense of the title character, while Conan the Slayer is tonally more in line with the original Robert Howard stories.  Both are enjoyable, if you’re into that sort of thing.

I also got this:


Because Deadpool is funny, and he makes Spider-Man funnier, and I have the Erik B. And Rakim album this cover references. You got me, Marvel. You got me.

But what finally broke me from my D.C. boycott was a little documentary I caught on Hulu, Batman & Bill, which chronicles the campaign to get D.C. to officially credit the man who created much of the Batman universe, Bill Finger. Bob Kane, who claimed all the credit as the creator of Batman, apparently came up with the name, and not much else. Everything around the name, from the costume, the villains, the secondary characters, even the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne, was Bill Fingers work. But Kane made the deal with D.C., so every Batman comic and movie and TV show has “Batman created by Bob Kane” in the credits. Kane died a millionaire and Finger died in poverty and obscurity.

But the truth will out. As early as the 1960’s, people whispered the truth that Batman was not a solo act, but Kane vigorously stuck to the legend. And after he died, so too did D.C. Finally in 2015, after generations of Finger’s heirs and the nerd community shouted loud enough, D.C. agreed to change the credit, starting with the Batman vs. Superman movie.

So I picked up Batman #23, a Swamp Thing crossover with an interesting nihilist villain. It’s well-drawn and appropriately gloomy. And on the first page:

That’ll do, Bats. That’ll do.

Quick Void Update

Books, Publishing, writing

Last time I posted, I sounded a little overwhelmed by the threads I needed to nail down to finish Void. Today, I can safely report that I’ve finished the 6th Chapter, and am confident that I’ve set the third act up in such a way as to be able to be confident of a quick Chapter 7.

In the end, it’s all about character. I stopped trying to create competing motives and just let the protagonist and antagonist work it out for themselves.

I also snuck in a classic philosophy problem, which students of the art should catch right away. Hopefully it’s not too on-the-nose.

Also, since 6 is done, I’ve made 5 available to read on Tablo, for anyone who wants to catch up. Enjoy!

Struggling Through the Void

Books, writing

I’ve been told by people that it’s impressive how much progress I’m making in these projects I’m doing. I appreciate their appreciation, and prefer that I’m actually getting things done instead of aspiring to them. But I, as the author, know better. Void is a pain in my butt.

Because I’ve been writing it for a long time. It started as a short story under a different name. I hated it and never published it, not even to Medium, where it could fester quietly forever. But I liked the premise of it. So I reworked it, leaving out some of the obvious alien jump-scares and the uninteresting characters. I switched it over to focus on the single protagonist, so the audience sees everything as he sees them. That way I could draw out the mystery and paint as I went along.

But now I’ve got to make the details work, and that’s the part that always slows me down. I’ve got to write the third act, in totality, and I have to have it done within the month, because the whole third act – about three chapters – is going into the next issue of Unnamed Journal.

So this is going to get done. It’s going to happen. I’m not going to miss this deadline. I’ve hit all the deadlines I’ve set for myself this year. This will be no exception. I don’t have to actually write that much. I’ve already started the sixth chapter.

I sound convincing, don’t I?

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Pre-Vacation Update

Books, Publishing

A bunch of merry business has gone by. Allow me to fill you in:

  • The Party At the Last Tomorrow is finished. Drafted, anyway. I’m going to go back in the summer and give it a thorough edit, tie down some loose threads, establish the things in the early chapters that I pantsed in the later ones, but you can read the existing draft on Tablo. Since my due date for finishing this draft was Easter, I’m pretty pleased with myself.
  • Unnamed Journal put it’s ninth issue out, and it’s full of WWI-related shenanigans, plus some other fine fare. You’ll never look at scarecrows the same way again.
    • Included in the above is the first piece I wrote using Scrivener instead of Microsoft Word or the Tablo app. It took some adjustment, but I really do like the way Scrivener works. I look forward to using it for the Summer Novel (I NaNoWriMo whenever I damn well please).
    • Also included is the fifth Chapter of Void. It’s the shortest chapter so far, but I like what I did with it. It sets up the actual thing that made me want to write this in the first place. Read it on UJ exclusively for the next few months. Get caught up with previous chapters on Tablo.

Oh, and Void has a new cover:

Void

 

Not bad. I’m not sold on it, though…

Nerd Culture Abused

Pop Culture, This Modern Life

This is old, but if you’re sick of the way “nerd culture” has been inflated into a Seriously Important Thing, Red Letter Media is Awesome. NSFW for some crude language.

 

There’s a second episode:

 

You might not get this if you don’t hang around on YouTube, but they’ve been making fun of the hysterical dweebery surrounding Disney and Marvel’s Cinematic Universes for some time. And going by this recent Screen Junkies video, it’s already having the desired effect.

 

The best kind of satire is the kind that makes its targets reconsider things.

UJ9 Upcoming, Outlining LT6

Books, Publishing, writing

In the past, I’d finish a chapter of something and let it marinate, let my juices recharge, get back to the next chapter when I’ve a mind to.

That approach, it no worky.

So the fifth Chapter of Void is finished. I’m not going to post a link to it, because Void chapters are spoken for by Unnamed Journal. When Issue 9 of UJ goes live on April 1st, Void 5 will be available for viewing.

The next issue will have some WW1-related shenanigans in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Doughboys going Over There. Plus, Scarecrows. Subscriptions, they are still free. So what have you got to lose?

So, that’s a deadline I’ve got to meet. I also am still holding to the deadline of getting Last Tomorrow finished/drafted by Easter. Which means I have two more chapters to write. Which means I really need an outline or some kind of methodology of getting me to the ending I want. So I’m working on that, or at least a collection of beats.

So that’s two chapters and a short story for UJ9. I can do that. That’s totally doable.

WriteTip: When You Get Stuck, You Just Keep Going

Books, Uncategorized, writing

last-tomorrowWriting -any creative endeavor, really – is all about giving yourself permission to fail.

Now, in one sense, that’s idiotic and ridiculous. The purpose of art is not to make something that’s bad. It’s not to allow something that’s bad to enter the market. The purpose of art is to make something that people respond to in some way, either by giving you money for it or by offering criticism on it. Creating something that will do neither is a waste of time and energy.

So I don’t mean that. What I mean is, when you’re working on something, and you’re not sure if you have a way forward, and you start looking at it like it’s some wriggling obscene bastard creation of hubris and wishful thinking, you may be tempted to scrap the thing and move on.

This is what you should not do. You should finish it. You should keep going. You should say to yourself the magic words:

One, Down, Two to Go…

Books, Publishing

The first draft of The Devil Left Him is finished. Read up to the penultimate chapter for free on Tablo. Just in Time for Lent, which, among other things, honors Jesus’ Fast in the Desert.

The last chapter is done, too, but I’m holding on to it for now. It will be edited and then published on Amazon and iTunes.

So that’s a deadline done two days ahead of schedule. Next plan is to finish Last Tomorrow by Easter and then Void by June 1st or so. I’ve also got short stuff to work on, and I’m just about narrowed down what the next novel will be.

This is happening, people.

I Don’t Know If This Means Anything…

Publishing, Uncategorized

…but I have been collecting followers on Tablo at a fairly rapid clip. Without too much promotion on social media, either. I’m going to chalk that up to the work appealing on some level.

The last chapter of The Devil Left Him is started. I can still finish if I sit down and make it happen. I’ve also started the next chapter of Last Tomorrow and outlined the next chapter of Void.

Somebody on Tablo liked Void. I feel like good news is breaking out all over.