Thursday, February 28, 2008

I really need to learn Japanese

I love the randomness of the the Internet. Tonight, while trolling around, I found this link, which takes you to a preview of a Japanese kid's animated show called, I believe, N.Y. Salad. It looks gorgeous. Please do yourself a favor and check it out.

I think I'm going to watch it again...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Here's a quick question:

Who out there is using Twitter? For what do you use it?

That is all.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Marginal Gear School news

Gear School, mark II, makes its incremental way from my head and into reality. Last week, I sent Dave Land a fistful of ideas I'd like to pursue in this volume -- along with a stated preference for which of the choices I liked. He asked for more detail and so, on Monday, I sent along a one-page outline. Today he professed undying love for the idea and promptly asked for its hand in marriage. Maybe not, but he liked it well enough to say, "go for it."

But before I go for it, I want the feedback of Nuria and the rest of Estudio Fenix, so I sent them the idea just a bit ago.

I can't really say too much about the idea I have cooking, but I think I can safely say that this will be a quieter story. I want to try out this thing called "character development" that I keep hearing the kids talk about. I'll let you know how that works out.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My hat of infinite enigmas

And to wash the awful taste of politics out of our mouths, here is a funny cartoon about one of my favorite comics writers, Alan Moore.

I found this on Eddie Campbell's blog and he, apparently, found it on Neil Gailman's (why don't I have a link to Gaiman's blog on the page?).

Let's you and her fight

I was talking about this earlier in the evening with my friend Stuart. It still feels like a thought-in-progress. He asked me who I would be voting for in the Oregon primary, Clinton or Obama. I answered, honestly, that I don't know. But I did bring up something that's perplexing me.

There seems to be a lot of anti-Clinton feeling out there right now and I'm not sure where it comes from, though I have my suspicions. Up until, what, a year-and-a-half ago, the name Clinton was a byword for "better times." Now liberals who support Obama can't heap enough scorn on both Hilary and Bill Clinton -- and his presidency. I admit that there are some unsavory elements to their relationship (as if that's any business of ours) and to their rather naked ambition for power (as if anyone in politics at that level is free from that taint).

I wonder if this invective is simply part of the American political system. It's not enough that the candidate you like well, but their opponent must be destroyed. I have a feeling that if Clinton had remained in the background (where I'm pretty sure she could have acted as king-maker during the convention) she'd still be admired, but because she is in the race, those who like her opponent have to vilify her. I'm sure she was expecting this behavior from Republicans, but I wondered if she expected it from her own party?

And I will admit that I am no wonk, not by any stretch of the imagination. And as I've already said, I haven't decided on who I will support in the primary (if my support even means anything by the time our primary comes around). I just felt the need to comment on the situation and to try and figure out its cause.

I swear I won't do things like this very often.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Gear School back in session!*

Keep in mind that no contracts have been signed, but big news. A second volume of Gear School is going to be a reality in the near future. I'm on board, Estudio Fenix are on board, Dark Horse are board. Everyone's on board the GS love train.

We're thinking that the book should be in stores early next year (barring unforeseen tragedies, of course), so start planning now.

Next up is me trying to come up with a story that grabs everyone involved. Wish me luck.

* The cheesy headline comes from my editor, Dave Land -- it was the subject line of the email telling us the book had cleared costing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Warren Ellis's FreakAngels

Warren Ellis is one of my favorite comics creators. Even if I don't like something he produces, I still usually find it interesting and worth the effort to find/read. Starting this Friday, Mr Ellis and his collaborator, Paul Duffield, will be producing a new comic, FreakAngels, that will be free on the web. And I'm pimping it because it sounds/looks cool, and because I hope their little experiment works.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Did I really help edit Madman #20?

I was browsing through the Comic Book Database today and was pleasantly surprised to find that I have an entry. A disturbingly thorough one. In addition to the comics I've written, it lists, as best as I can remember, every book on which I was an assistant editor. It misses my one editorial effort, however -- the beautiful Stripsearch. I was only an assistant editor for about a year-and-a-half and, man, there are a lot of comics on there. I should have asked for a raise.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Big, dumb, fight comics

Cleaning out old files and such today, I ran across an email I wrote to Melissa nearly three years ago. Dave Land, my editor at Dark Horse, had just asked me to work up Gear School as a story pitch and I was casting around for a way to tell the story. The pertinent (non-mushy) part of the email follows:

So over yesterday and today I read this collection called Global Frequency written by Warren Ellis (probably my favorite guy writing comics today). GF is very often a big, dumb, fight comic, which is the same way I've described Gear School to you -- the stories [in GF] are also, more often than not, a Race Against Time. Very simple, self-contained things that always resolve and center around the action and not around the characters. So, why is it I found myself nearly crying on the street today as I finished up the last issue?

Ellis is using the framework in a really interesting way. The structure of each issue is a given: "There is an immediate, time-specific threat that must be eliminated." And on that he can hang whatever other elements he wants. And he wants to hang a lot of other elements. He's coming from a pure pulp angle, too. The story is the king, characters function to serve the story, but the glimpses we get of those characters are always interesting and intense and, like today, poignant.

I'm bring this all up because I'm thinking of the structure of Gear School. Yes, I want to make it fun and big and I want giant robots smashing each other to bits, but I also want someone out there to get a catch in their throats while reading it. I want there to be something just beneath the surface that resonates with the kids who will (hopefully) be reading it.

I still think everything I wrote about Global Frequency and Warren Ellis is true. What I'm not so sure about is how well I hit the target with Gear School.

It all falls into place....

The folks at (mostly Mike Denning and Matt Parkinson, I believe) have been very good to Gear School. There's the Gear School blog, of course, but there's also a many-page preview of the volume, ten desktop images that are very swanky, and now some electronic jig-saw puzzles! These little numbers are pretty cool and helped me while away a good fifteen-or-so minutes at work the other day.

All in an effort to promote my wee book.

Thanks, folks!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Go Team 100 Girls!

Two bits of good news, vis, 100 Girls in the last couple of days. Yesterday I received the proof of the cover design from Simon and Schuster. It looks beautiful. Whoever designed it did a terrific job. I'm not throwing up a scan of it because I'm not sure if that's allowed, but as soon as I have the go-ahead, I'll make it available for all to behold.

Second: At the end of last year's Comic Con in San Diego, Todd and I decided we'd like to get a table at this year's show. This involved me filling out an application, standing in line for several hours, and handing over a deposit check. After all of that, I was told that it would most likely by April before we heard if we got a table. This is apparently not true. Today I got an email saying that we'd been confirmed for a table in the Small Press Pavilion. Super!

Prior to this, I had been assuming that we wouldn't get a table and so I haven't been planning for the show (which, at six months away, now feels like it's rushing at us). Now that it's a reality, I am totally flipping out trying to figure out what to take with me and what preparations I need to make. I've already made hotel reservations, but Melissa and I need to decide soon if she's going, too -- which would mean that the Sprout would come along and that we'd drive -- or if I'll go by myself -- which means I'll fly.

Gah! I have too much to do. What am I doing spending time on this blog?!