Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Velvet Fog

Ganked from the Gear School blog:

I'm sure that you've said to yourself: "Gee, Adam writes like the unholy union of Hemingway and Chuck Klosterman, but I wonder what he actually sounds like." Wonder no more, true believer. Jake Tenpas, the Corvallis Times-Gazette writer who made me look so smart has given you a chance to hear my melodious voice. He took portions of our telephone conversation and made it into a podcast for your listening pleasure. There's no direct link to the podcast, so go to the podcast homepage, click on "podcasts", click on Jake's name, there I am.

At this rate, Jake is going to keep me in post-able material for a long time.

The one thing I'd like to correct: Eric Haven's book is called Tales to Demolish.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Ganked from the Gear School blog:

Jake Tenpas is a writer for the Corvallis (Oregon) Gazette-Times. He has, in the past, written well and with passion about comics and comics-related topics. He's profiled Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis, and he's written about the experience of attending a local comics convention. And now he's written a profile about me.

I got to spend a pretty pleasant hour on the phone with Jake a couple of weeks ago and he managed to turn my ramblings into an article that makes me look fairly intelligent. No mean feat.

Tryptophan isn't lethal, apparently

Melissa and I are returned from the Oregon coast where her family did its' level best to kill us with food and drink. We survived the four-day bacchanal, however. Melissa's dad, granddad, aunt and uncle, brother and sister-in-law, and any number of kids were there making for one very full rental home -- a rental home that sat right on the beach. Excellent.

Our quickly growing Sprout was a major topic of discussion. The whole family is thrilled to death that Melissa is pregnant. And they're okay with the fact that I'm the father. All weekend long we were the recipients of baby name suggestions. We are still considering our options.

It's amazing to me how four days of doing nothing much can leave you exhausted.

I hope everyone out there in the Internets had as good a holiday as us.

Monday, November 19, 2007

That's surprising

cash advance

Saw this little number on Eddie Campbell's blog and had to see what reading level my own checked out at. Campbell's is "high school" and mine is "genius"? Something doesn't seem right here....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Can't trust my brain

Despite there being several things on which I should be working (which I am not), I cannot stop thinking about a new idea. I'm worried that the only way to get it out of my head is to actually write it out.

I am convinced that my brain actively works against me sometimes.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Not the Daily Show

Via Boingboing: This is a very lovely thing. Jason Rothmam, one of the writers on The Daily Show, delivers a Daily-Show-style report pointing out Viacom's hypocritical position regarding the worth of Internet content -- the very thing about which the Writers' Guild is striking.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gear School review

Ganked from the Gear School blog:

The web site, Jaded Expressions, the same folks that posted an interview with me a couple of weeks ago, have now posted a review of the book. And, wow, they seem to like it. A lot.

In the review, Gear School is compared favorably to the works of both Gene Roddenberry and Isaac Asimov. That is a lot to live up to, folks.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Portland Gear School signing

Dear, Portland, Oregon friends,

This Saturday, at the fabulous Cosmic Monkey Comics, I'll be signing copies of Gear School (and other books, too). Rick Remender will also be there signing stuff. If you're lucky, you'll see a comics-writer-cage-match!

Saturday, November 17
1 - 3 p.m.
Cosmic Monkey Comics
5335 Ne Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97213

Coloring Gear School

This is superawesome and everyone must go read it: Over on the Gear School blog, NĂºria posted an entry where she talks about coloring the book and she includes examples of test palettes the studio tried out to arrive at Gear School's very beautiful look.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Racist Grandpa

I don't know what it is about the copy shop environment that attracts crazy marginal challenged individuals. Lots of folks with grocery bags full of hand-written notes and other ephemera seem to congregate around the copiers. It was worse when I worked at Kinko's (that Kinko's sign seemed to be a flame to many psychotic moths), but even the small shop I now work at has it's fair share of crazy folk. These folks seem to always gravitate toward one employee over al the others. My friend Devon seems to be a beacon for these types and has more stories than you can shake a stick at about his interactions with them. Work at any one location long enough and you'll no doubt gain your own fan.

I now have my own. I call him Racist Grandpa.

Racist Grandpa (RG for short) is of indeterminate age; somewhere between 80 and a hundred at a guess. He's either Polish or German and has a sort of shrunken appearance. Summer and Winter he wears a puffy down-filled ski jacket. He's been coming into the shop where I work since I started there, but in those days he fixated on Deb, a coworker of mine who is in her mid-fifties and displays more patience than I can muster. After Deb left, RG seemed pretty upset. He would ask us all the time if we had any news from her.

After a while, I noticed that I was helping him more and more when he came in. I chalked it up to the fact that my coworkers are bastards and ducked out of sight whenever RG came into the store and I didn't think much about it. But then RG started asking me to come to the front to help him even when someone else was already up there. I realized too late to do anything about it that he'd imprinted on me. Hell.

RG is religious and I spend a lot of time helping him create intricate collages. He brings in photos he asked to have reduced and then then does this really amazing cut-and-paste jobs to produce pictures where, for instance, two children sitting on a couch are flanked by angels and hold the Baby Jesus across their laps. He builds these over time, adding elements to the photos as the weeks pass. He will have the pictures laminated every so often and they eventually get to the point where I tell him that the collage is too think to laminate properly. He then starts a new image.

And how did he get his name? Every time I help him, Racist Grandpa regales me with... well, to be honest, I don't always know what he says because I'm pretty good at tuning him out. One time, not to long after our weird relationship started, I was standing there as he ranted. I stared off into the middle distance and would occasionally nod and make a sound of agreement. And then, for some reason, I started to pay attention. He was talking about Mexicans. I am Mexican and this piqued my interest. He went on and on about how Mexicans were no good: he worked with a whole bunch up in Alaska and to a man, they were all lazy and they cheated on their wives. He finally paused and looked at me and I thought that maybe he'd clued in to the fact that I'm more swarthy than your average Aryan type. But what he did was to lean a little closer and say, "The Italians, too." Since then, he's told me about how gays are ruining the country, Jews run the world, Protestants are all going to Hell, etc. At this point, I'm just hanging on to see how bad it gets.

I don't have a great talent for bestowing nicknames, but after telling that story everyone in the shop started calling him by the name Racist Grandpa.

And now he brings me little gifts! Fruit for the most part. And he can't come in without calling to the counter and whispering something to me with a conspiratorial air. Usually a story relating how the whole damed country is going to Hell in a hand basket. His only redeeming quality is that he has a deep, unwavering hatred of President Bush.

No one is all bad.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Signing this Saturday

If you are in the Salem/Keizer area this Saturday, please swing by Tony's Kingdom of Comics where I'll be signing copies of Gear School and, really, anything else you thrust in front of me.

Saturday, November 10
1 - 3 P.M.
Tony's Kingdom of Comics
5420 River Dr. N
Keizer, OR

There will also be a signing next weekend in Portland. I'll post more about that later.