I feel like I've been experiencing a fairly low ebb emotionally. Not that I'm going to unload on you folks, but I thought you might like to know why I haven't been posting a lot on this here blog. Everyday, at least once a day, I have a I-am-going-to quit-comics rant and then I somehow find myself furiously scribbling new plans for comics I could do. I am nothing if not wishy-washy.
Something that always helps is to talk to other comics folks. Last weekend I visited with Greg Means at the Portland Zine Symposium. Greg edits the excellent comics anthology, Papercutter. If you have not read it, you must. Last year's Best of Comics anthololgy included two stories originally published in Papercutter. Greg and I commiserated about the comics biz and he is always interested in what I'm working on, which helps a lot. Hello, Greg.
Earlier this week, maybe Wednesday, I had a phone conversation with Todd Demong. I had many suggestions and questions for Todd and I received a satisfactory response or answer to every one. Hearing exactly what I want also makes life easier. We have now set a few things in motion that, should they come to fruition, will be very exciting. For now they must remain vaguely annoying because I don't like to talk about things in any detail until they are real. So there.
I haste to add here that a Dalton short story by Todd and I should be up next week at either darkhorse.com or myspace.com/darkhorsepresents. I will, of course, alert the faithful once it is live.
Finally, this evening, I had a great phone conversation with comics writer Dwight MacPherson. I've never met or spoken with Dwight before but we have, for maybe the last year or so, been communication via twitter. Re-reading that last sentence makes me shale my head. Anyway, Dwight is the writer of too many things to mention, and a super nice guy, and very easy to talk to despite having almost diametrically opposing political views from myself. I think it's because Dwight is one of those rare humans who actually speaks his mind and hopes that everyone else will, too. It's refreshing. Dwight was giving me advice about one of the aforementioned plots I am hatching with Todd. Talking with Dwight gives me hope we can be successful.
So, yeah, for the moment the pendulum feels like it's on an upswing. I hope it last a while. At least long enough to finish half the things I've started.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Over on her awesome blog, Karen Healey is giving away a copy of 100 Girls. Go here:
Follow the instructions and cross your fingers! The contest ends in 24 hours, so get cracking.
Astute readers may recognize Karen's name. I first met her after she reviewed the book and made several very cogent points about it. I told her as much, after which she asked to interview me. Our conversation has been ongoing ever since. Karen writes for the Girls Read Comics column for Girl-Wonder.org. In addition to this, she is currently writing her PhD thesis about an aspect of comics that is way over my head. And, because she doesn't sleep ever, Karen has her first YA novel, Guardian of the Dead, coming out next year. Basically we shall all be bowing down before her within the next few years. I for one welcome our new New Zealander masters.
Seriously, she's the real deal. Would she be giving away such a terrific book if she weren't?
Today I delivered the final, colored and lettered, files to Dark Horse for the Dalton short story Todd and I did. Eight pages of awesome, if I do say so myself. The story should be live next month; I'll let you know when it can be viewed.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I just stumbled upon a review of 100 Girls written by an individual who, I can only guess, is a Buddhist. They look at the book in the context of Buddhism, and the concept of Dharma specifically. I've re-read the review several times and I can't tell whether or not they liked the book.
This interests me because... well, because I know nothing about Buddhism or Dharma and I never intended the book to be a comment on either. The fact that someone who studies Buddhism can find these connects in a book where none were intended. It's a good reminder about how readers can and will supply meanings to your work which you would never in a million years see yourself. In this instance, the meaning is positive and interesting, but there can be instances where that meaning is negative and hurtful to the reader.
And, no, I'm not going to consider the impact of a given story on every potential reader in the world, but it's a good thing to keep in mind, I think.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
My brain feels all mushy lately and I seem unable to pull it together long enough to write coherent, fluid posts. Because of that, I'm going to do another bullet-pointed list and call it a day.
• The short story Todd Demong and I are doing for DHP is coming along nicely. It is written and drawn, and I have lettered it. Now we only await the colors to be completed by miss Marta Ziemnicka. I am sure they'll be stellar.
• Speaking of which: Comic Book Resources reported earlier this week that, for this month at least, DHP isn't being hosted by Myspace. Seems Myspace is suffering some financial woes and laid-off a bunch of people, including all of those who handle the DHP end of things. So, for the time being, Dark Horse are hosting it on their own site. I'm not sure what this means for the future of the online comic, but I assume that our strip will see the light of day since I haven't been told otherwise.
• We all know how reliable assumptions are, right?
• Another bit of Todd-related news that will only be of interest to a handful of you: After months of intense negotiations, I believe I have finally reached an agreement with Mr Demong to provide illustrations for this year's end-of-year mix CD. Everyone here at Adam Gallardo Enterprises is thrilled to be working with Todd on this endeavor and we're sure he'll be providing some of the finest work of his career.
• Apparently Nuria Peris has been posting to the Gear School blog without telling me. There are two entries up that I have not previously mentioned. One concerns the crew of the Gear School short film which Bamf! Studo is working on. And the other concerns a copy of our wee book making it into the hands of Yoshiyuki Tomino! There's a picture and everything! I couldn't believe it when I saw it the first time. I need to contact Nuria and have her tell me the circumstances of this particular pairing. For those who don't know, Yoshiyuki created Mobile Suit Gundum, of which Gear School is only a pale shadow. I liked the photo so much, by the way, that I ganked it from the GS blog to display here.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Culled from this week's Publisher's Weekly/Comics Weekly newsletter, a quote from comics writer Greg Rucka:
To which I would just like to add: Amen, sir.
"What I learned is that the checks cash just as well whether the movie is made or not. Whiteout was on and off several times since first being optioned in 2000, and I think the secret to all that not driving us [he and artist Steve Lieber] crazy is that it was never our goal to get a movie deal out of this. A lot of people are writing comics or graphic novels in the hopes of getting it made into a movie. That is a recipe for disappointment."
To which I would just like to add: Amen, sir.
Anyone who gets into comics so that they can get a movie made is going to get their damned hearts broken. Hell, anyone who gets into comics for any reason other than to make comics is destined for el corazón quebrado.
I remember a few years ago I spoke to a high school class that was studying comics (although the courses may have actually called them "graphic novels") and one of the things I said, based on a question about how quickly one can become rich as a comics artist, was, "if you get into comics to get rich, you're in for a nasty shock. The only reason to get into comics is because you love comics."
The teacher and the owner of the local comics shop both gave me dirty looks. It quickly became apparent to me that these kids had been told something other than this pessimistic view I was spouting. Maybe they had even been told, as incentive to get them to take the class, that they would become overnight sensations and that people would throw buckets of money at them where ever they went. And here I was saying that comics might have some worth beyond the ability to make you rich and attractive to the opposite sex.
But some people get their comics made into movies and earn money that way, right?" the teacher asked me. His expression said to me that I should not contradict him. And, since his statement was true, I said, "yes." But I didn't go on to say that these kids would be better served taking a class that taught them how to play the lottery than they would be learning how to make comics that got turned into movies. How many comics movies have there been in the last ten years? Twenty, thirty? And how many comics are published every month? Hundreds! Hundreds of comics a month get published and only three or four a year get turned into movies. If Vegas offered those odds, there wouldn't be any casinos still in operation.
So, please, kids, if you want to make movies, do that. Go to film school; buy a camera and go shoot something. Just, please, don't think you're going to make a comic that will be seen by Steve Spielberg and then turned into a movie. It ain't gonna happen.
And no, the recently scuttled deal for 100 Girls has nothing to do with this rant. Why would you even think that?
Following up on my last post which discussed, in part at least, Japanese cinema: please bear witness to maybe the greatest movie trailer of all time.
There is absolutely no way the film can live up to the awesomeness of the trailer, but I'm willing and ready to be proven wrong.