Thursday, August 30, 2007


Looks like Angel: Masks is being reoffered in Previews this month. So that's cool. It's from IDW, and I have the last story in it that hits on how Lindsey and Eve met. Yeah! That's right! I contributed to a big moment in the Angel universe! Woo hoo! Anyway, I really like how it turned it out, though a lot of people complained about Lindsey's likeness (hey! I didn't draw it!). So, anyway, it's in the IDW section if you missed it the first time. Star Trek last month, Angel this month, and next month . . . that would be telling. Gosh, I feel like I'm actually working in this industry.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Well, I've seen Star Trek pages pencilled and colored and they look great. No, I'm not just saying that because I'm on the book, I was genuinely surprised by how good the shit looked. When it comes to work for hire, you usually turn in your script and hope for the best, but this far surpassed my expectations. It has me in a good mood.

Got a lot done today. Polished 50 some page of an upcoming OGN, rewrote a scene for Hero By Night that had been bugging me, cleaned my kitchen, my bathroom (both were big cleans and not just a tidy up), spent hours with my kids including taking them to the comic shop and buying them some heroclix and a Justice League comic to go with my Punks and Previews. Yeah, that's right, my buddy Josh Fialkov's Punks came out today and everyone should check it out. Anyway, I feel like I got a lot done today and now I've still got a few hours to work on some things.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Rich Johnston's Lying in the Gutters had a note about the upcoming, ongoing Hero By Night book that I'm cowriting.

"D.J. Coffman's "Hero By Night" is going to become an ongoing series from Platinum Studios."

See, isn't that sweet? What's that? Oh, I see, it was just so he could make the following point.

There are still eighty or more projects sold to Platinum that are still waiting for the treatment that the publisher's literature promised. "Getting your story produced, even if it never advances beyond comics form, is a commitment we're willing to make... we are also willing to finance the publication of a comic (up to eighty-eight pages of material in a single comic or as a limited series), to acquire the property." Sadly such assurances weren't in the actual contracts. Still, it's only a few more years until the rights purchased for $1000 revert - at which point the market gets flooded! So come on, Mike Strang, chin up!

Now, Lying In The Gutters is a rumor column, so I get it -- there would be no mention of the ongoing if there wasn't some controversial point to be made. It's usually the nature of the column, though I should mention the column is sometimes split between rumor and some excellent traditional journalism. And I should mention that I am a fan of the column, and that unless I'm out of town at a con or in a position that I can't read the column, I religiously go to CBR and indulge myself on Mondays with it. Rich seems great, the column is great, howeverrrrrrr . . .

This comes from Rich (obviously), and I seem to remember that when all the Speakeasy stuff was happening, he was defending them to the end. As that ship was sinking, Rich was on the deck with his bucket trying to get as much water out as he could. As he slung arrows in every other direction, he was next to the Speakeasy soldiers holding up a shield (too many metaphors, I know). Anyway, why was Rich doing this?

Because he had a book with them.

Now, I know the argument that some will make is the difference between Speakeasy and other publishers that have had fingers pointed at them by Rich or anyone (*cough* Dreamwave *cough*) is that Speakeasy was good people and they were always upfront and their problems had more to do with getting in over their head rather than, say, any malicious attempt at misinformation or general shady behavior -- but you can't tell me that Rich wouldn't have at least leveled some aim at Speakeasy's mismanagement of their company and the ending result which was lots and lots of creators not getting their books published and be stranded out in the market without a paddle after they spent time, money and love on their creations. The best thing Rich could have done in that circumstance was not say anything, because while his book was still being published other creators were being told theirs would not be. So, when Rich points a finger like this, makes a comment like this, I always remember the Speakeasy fall and how easy it is to forgive the sins of those we have a vested interest in or have and interest in us, and how easy it is to accuse those whom we do not.

Platinum has never been anything but outstanding in its behavior to DJ Coffman and (recently) myself, so that's what my opinion of them stands on.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Promise. Second issue is done, waiting, and we're just sorting some things out.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

BIG NEWS 2 of 3

So, big news two of three is that I'll be cowriting the new Hero By Night Ongoing series from Platinum/Image/Top Cow. (I think all three companies have their logo on it; if I'm wrong, the Image or Top Cow police can come and get me.) So, DJ mentined on his blog about it so I'll just throw it out there as well. This book is SOOOOO much fun. First of all, if you don't know what it is, DJ Coffman (my old partner in crime) over at won the Platinum Comic Book Challenge last year with his Hero By Night idea and got a four-issue limited. Well, critically and fan-wise the book had done great, and now it's getting its own ongoing. Basically, it's about a kid who finds a hidden lair in the basement of a building he runs, and in it is all the old stuff of a super hero from the forties and fifties, Hero By Night, including his ring which can give powers to anyone who wears it. It's old school meets new school unapologetic super hero and pulp fun. The best part of it is that the canvas is HUGE, and within it there are all these things that can be done and we're throwing as much into it as we can. DJ doesn't need a cowriter as anyone who's read the first mini knows, however this is going to take some of the weight off his duties since he pencils and inks it too. The book should play right into some of my strenghts that aren't in Death. Matter of fact, it's the polar opposite of Death, and that means I get to let loose a little with some snappy dialogue and light super hero fun -- though the book will get serious in places. It's also an ongoing, my first, and that means, for as long as they'll have me, I'll be trying out my chops long-term. There will be much more about this later; I just wanted to throw this little tidbit as a start for right now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The se7en story never published

A little while ago, I was asked to pitch se7en -- the Zenscope book based on the Fincher/Freeman/Pitt movie. The book was basically a prequel -- though I think some stories may take simultaneously -- of stories about John Doe or his victims or whatever could fit into the context of the movie. Of course, there was seven of them, each by a different creative team and telling a self-contained story.

So, for you people with a short attention span, I was asked to pitch. Now, to my credit or to my detriment -- only history may tell -- I was a bit ambitious with this. I pitched an Envy story that didn’t take place that close (in time) to the movie, wasn’t a horrific tale that assaulted the limits of the senses, but was instead a small story about two little boys, one of them John Doe, and the horrific psychological damage they could do to each other.

I didn’t get the job. Perhaps because it wasn’t what they wanted; perhaps because David Mack decided to do it (hey, if you’re going to lose a job, at least lose it with come class). It’s cool though, that’s the ropes, no big deal, and I love they considered me for the pitch.

My point is I kept the story about two little boys. Thankfully, the format of the story and the idea are so general it only lended itself to se7en and doesn’t have to be a se7en story. So now it’s just a story about two little boys -- though when it’s all said and done you’ll be able to pick out the pieces that make it fit into the premise.

So I kept the story about two little boys and tonight, after a rough day, I decided to put my work for hire aside and revisit it in prose form. I just needed a break, but I still wanted to write, so I broke this out.

Oh, due to the glory of this being spur of the moment, the internet, and me not feeling like spell checking or editing it tonight, you get it in raw form, write out of my head and hands.

It’s told in three parts, and here is the first.

James Patrick

I hated when my mother licked her fingers and wiped my face. As if it the gross feeling of a moist finger leaving a wet trail across my skin wasn’t enough, she always rubbed and pressed like she was trying to scrape a couple centimeters off my cheek bone. And didn‘t the red mark that it left look far worse than any dirt that might have been there? To this day, I don’t think they’ve located the gene that prompts this barbaric behavior, only that it occurs among all mothers among all races and cultures. Of course, I was only ten at the time and not yet mature enough to make such clever conclusions, so I merely thought she did it for the same reason she did everything else that I didn’t agree with: just to piss me off.

I wrinkled my face and narrowed my eyes to show her my displeasure, but she only pressed harder.


“Stop complaining. I’m not going to have you looking like the rest of this place.” she said.

When she was that close I could see the lines on her face. She had less of them then, but more stress. My father worked some shitty job that involved a press and every day she feared he’d end up like the other workers who lost fingers or arms. Or worse, she’d end up like the widows. Most men who had jobs with such hazards, like miners and astronauts, were at least compensated in pay. The low-end factory worker killer job was all my dad could get though, and that meant my mother had to add to the psychological wear by working herself. Working between cleaning and laundry and before we she cooked dinner at home. She did this at the school cafeteria. My school cafeteria. But of course I didn’t see it as her busting her ass the only hours she could, but as an invasion of territory that was sure to end up torpedoing what few social dignities I had.

She finished wiping my face and I moved away before she could spot more dirt near my ear or my neck. I went to the couch, dug out some school books and pretended to do homework while I really drew pictures of a nefarious variety. It was a successful maneuver in that I appeared to be too busy to have to talk or engage my mother for the rest of the night. She instead did her second load of dishes. Maybe or seventh or eighth if counting the ones she did at the cafeteria in the afternoon.

And that was the biggest indignity. Not the actual doing of the dishes, but because there was a small window above the sink at which she had no choice but to occasionally and accidentally look out.

The window gave us an unobstructed look across the alley, at a brick apartment house it, and into any number of the nine windows that belonged to the family that not only lived directly across from us, but also on the level above and below it. And as my father used to say, if the distance from one side of that alley to the other had been measured in status, we would have only been able to see across it with a telescope. I later came to realize that this had something to do with our side of the alley officially being downtown, and that side of the alley the official start of the North End of town and what was once very desirable addresses. Of course, as the poor crept northward and pushed all stages of classes with it, most of the well-to-do families had moved. Why exactly that family did not, I’m not sure, but guessed it had something to do with them owning the building they lived in or perhaps some emotional attachment to it, holding on and hoping to hold the line and have the enemy retreat like some hardened Civil War general. Their space was certainly up for sale now, though, they just hadn’t yet sold nor moved.
She tried not to stare. She did. But it was especially hard for her to stop herself when they got new things. Televisions, new furniture once a year, paintings that hanged on the wall and were bought in galleries and not the corner.

Because I was a son of a bitch, or maybe because I was ten -- it’s really hard to tell now -- I sometimes would catch her looking over there and, just to rub it in, just to get back at her for rubbing my face with her wet finger, ask what she was looking at. She’s always denied she was watching and would say “just daydreaming.” She wasn’t entirely lying of course. I’m sure she did daydream of having the TV’s and furniture and cars. Not that she wanted it for herself. She just wanted to give it to us, to be able to give her husband and son what she thought they deserved but which the unfair bitch that was life wouldn’t allow.

That night the bitch had them receiving a new dishwasher -- a dishwasher that kept the trophy wife’s hands free of blisters and pruning. Two large men who were about to be tipped very well had brought it up the steps on a dolly and installed it while the trophy wife read a magazine on her suede couch. I know this because when I heard the clinging of the dishes stop, but the water keep running, I knew my mother had gone into one of her stares and I went into the bathroom and looked out its window to see that night’s lure was.

I returned the couch, pretended to do a bit more homework, then when it wasn’t so suspicious, I struck.

“What are you looking at?”

My mother turned her head, realized she had been doing it again, turned off the water and said,

“Just my itinerary for tomorrow.“ There was a few moments of her hurting inside and she finally realized the time.

“You should get to brushing your teeth and changing for bed.“.

I gave a sigh but listened. Not because I was a good kid but because if my Dad came home for his break and found me up on the back side of nine he’d have beat my ass. I did my bedtime my routine, avoided my mom’s kiss and by 9:30 that night I was asleep and unaware that in a few short hours I would be having one of the more memorable nights of my life.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's strange

It's strange. There's this thing I'm working on, and it's strange. Every time I type a heading for it, everytime I make a folder with the company or property name -- it's just strange that i'm officially creating folders and files and it's not something I'm taking down in hopes of a future day. It's strange that I'm writing those things down as actual work. Yup. Definitely strange.

Monday, August 13, 2007


The Star Trek book I'm writing is Star Trek Aliens Spotlight: Vulcans. It's in Previews now, from IDW, page 313, and it ships in October.. That's one of the covers above, which I assume I an show since it's in Previews. There's also a killer Spock cover, but I'm not sure that's game for being seen yet. And yes, there are two more definite announcements coming. One involving DJ Coffman's Hero By Night and the other involving Death.
In Chicago news, the con was awesome. The main reason I went up went better than I could have ever expected. It was rather surreal. And yikes, I drove nine hours Sunday and only stopped for 10 minutes. It was a good time. I hung with my partner in crime DJ Coffman, who hooked me up majorly. he's a superstar at these things now, btw. I also hung with Jason Embry and the rest of the Platinum crew. I got to talk with Chris Ryall, my sometimes boss and the person who gave me my first paycheck in this industry.
That's all for now, have to get busy on . . . . nevermind :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Off To Chicago

Off to Chicago. But not before turning in my Star Trek script and helping TWO friends with TWO different movie pitches. One was a synopsis, one was an outline. I think one was for Paramount and on was for Time Warner. I never worry about those things though -- for every hundred pitches I know that only couple make it. If they go, good. If they don't, they don't. Now I have to focus in on my Chi meetings, one in particular. I'd be lying if I said I was going to Chi for anything other than this one meeting, so I hope it goes well. That would suck, wouldn't it? Driving eight hours and spending gas and hote and food and whatever for basically thirty minutes and having it go in the crapper? I don't mind all the work that goes into it, that's part of the job, but it's funny to think of everything revolving around about thirty minutes than having me bomb it because of something stupid like. I could just see me myself pulling a George Castanza and getting caught looking at the cleaveage of the wife of the guy I'm supposed to meet or something. Ah well, I've set up other meetings for the weekend, too, and sometimes things come out of the unlikely places. Be back in a couple days unless I get pinned between two semis and die from massive interal injuries. Cheers!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Rewatched Two Comic Movies -- One held up, one didn't.

The first movie I watched was 300. I really, really enjoyed this movie the first time I saw it. Up on the big screen, all its vibrance and sound. But upon a second viewing it didn't hold my attention. I still think it's a good movie, but it doesn't have the layers that make it rewatchable. What you see is what you get with it. Bravo for its visuals and sound, but the performances and dialogue didn't hold well at all.

And then I caught V for Vendetta again. For maybe the sixth or seventh time. And this movie, partially because of the source material, partially because of the amazing performances in it, and partially because of confidence with which this movie was written and directed -- this movie seems to get better everytime I see it. Yes, is strays from the source material, yes it loses a couple points for bullet time knives and rain drops and everyone wearing the masks in the end, but in the end this movie always strikes a cord with me. Especially when Evey is held captive, when the dective talks about his "feeling", when V kills the woman doctor, and every time Hugo speaks. If the cinematography was a little more artsy, and they dropped a couple scenes, the movie could very well have crossed into classic ground for me.

Sidenote, when V was being made, I thought it'd be the worst comic book movie ever made.

Oh, and a note on Chicago. I'll still be attending, but I'm definitely not getting a table. Another rush job has come out, something that needs done by a week from tomorrow. So basically, I'll be attending Chicago for the meetings, then going to my hotel and banging this thing out. Incidetnally, it's almost the first pay work I've ever turned down because of being busy. It's nice, but I completely expect a dry spell to follow this down pour.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Some stuff coming up . . . and I need to chill the fuck out.

First off, I wanted to tell the three people reading this that I'll be in Chicago for the con the 9th through the 12th. Not sure on a table yet, but I have an important meeting up there so I'm going. I set up my living arrangements today. So I'll be there, in some capacity.

Okay, some other things . . . and one of those is that I'm doing an issue of Star Trek for IDW, though I can't give the specifics of it yet. That cover is not the book, but it's spiffy so I threw it up there. Yeah, that's right, first Angel, now Star Trek. Every once in awhile I pinch myself for being able to contribute so little bit to these universes I've grown up on.

Also, I will be involved with DJ Coffman's Hero By Night, but again I can't get into specifics yet. All I'll say about this project is that I'm very, very happy with what I've been producing for this. Seems to be right within my default writing area, whatever that means.

So you would think all of this keeps me so busy I don't have time to think about things, right? No. Just the opposite. I find I'm putting a large amount of pressure on myself over one of these things and I need to chill the fuck out, stop fixating, and just do what I do. Writers out there probably know what I'm talking about, but every once in a while some thing comes a long and you feel like you have justify it, prove something, and then you end up fixating on it. Maybe it makes better work. Maybe it doesn't. Ugh. If I'm coming off as ungrateful, then sorry, it's just to a point where it's nearly consuming my thoughts and I felt the need to purge it here. That's what blog's are for, I guess.
So, back to work.