New York Comic Con

And another New York Comic Con is in the books. Many people go to these cons to meet movie stars or pick up hard to find merchandise. I may do this from time-to-time but I mostly go to talk to various editors and artists. It's an interesting story and I've probably made every mistake in the book along the way. 

For years I would find editors and try to get them to hire me. Naturally, when you don't have a credit to your name, they aren't going to hire you. Yet, I made friends and continued talking and chipping away. The thing is, handing unpublished scripts to editors is not going to get you anywhere. 

At one point, I made a ridiculous comic call To Hell and Back. That's when I vowed not to go to a con without something new to hand to editors. I continued to network, but I had a book and wouldn't hand the same book out two years in a row. This lead to my first published work at Grayhaven Comics. 

Once my first published piece was released, I never missed a year without a new book. The quality improved too. That was a big deal. Now I had more professional work to hand to the editors I was slowly getting to know. I still had to introduce myself by name, but they were seeing me generate content. 

Year after year of the same or similar conversations. These editors got to know me. They understood I wanted to write for them. I would email them on occasion throughout the year to see if they had any openings, but I wouldn't go crazy emailing. I think that was a big deal. I was patient. And while I waited for them to reply or offer me work, I continued working on other stories. I never stopped. 

This year things seemed different. These people that I spoke to seemed to know me. I didn't have to introduce myself by name. I didn't need to hand them a business card, or take one of theirs. I simply said, "Hi," and began a conversation. Not a conversation about comics and jobs. That would come up in the conversation, but it wasn't the only reason I was sitting at the table. I spoke about the con, their time in the city, things they had planned, and just life in general. We smiled and laughed. It was a different feel entirely. 

Leaving the con, I felt good. I'll shoot some emails out in a few weeks. Maybe I'll get work. Maybe not. The doors are opening.

There's a lesson to be learned here. Patience. Don't come off desperate. I was that guy long ago. I lost a story because I was that guy. It's hard to understand, but if you go into these shows and show editors you're desperate for work, they may be turned off. If you go in and talk to them like humans, which I've always done (to a fault), they are going to be receptive. Just don't ask them how much they paid for their honeymoon. That ends poorly. 

Understand that this industry is small. It's a long game. Once you get published, it's addicting. Be patient and keep working. Find a way. 

That's it for this week. 

Under Construction

Sorry folks. I'm crazy busy getting ready for my trip to New York Comic Con in the morning. I'll be back next week. 

Star Trek Discovery

Like many of you, I watched the premier of Star Trek Discovery. Like many of you, I have a few opinions on the show that I think would be good to share. 

Let me start by saying that I really liked the show. It was very interesting with at least one, possibly two characters that kept me compelled throughout. I am drawn to quality characters that have memorable arcs. I try to write characters that connect with the audience on an emotional level. It's what I want to see. I saw the potential for that here, which made me happy. 

The adventure that opened the show really set the tone. The Federation is in its infancy and is only learning their limits. The are just as stubborn as they've always been. It's a wonderful fault in all the captains. Why else would the Spock/Kirk relationship work so well. Overall, I would continue watching this show. And that right there is where the problems come in. 

Yup. There were quite a few problems I had with this show that many people would probably brush off. The thing is, if I brushed them off, there would be no real point typing about Star Trek, would there? My problem starts with the timing of this premier. Football is a great lead in. Except when you set your DVR to record it. The game ran long and you had to record two shows to make sure you got the one. I'm sure this didn't bother anyone as much as it did me. Let's not forget that 60 Minutes also took up an hour after the game. Maybe that's a show you enjoy, maybe not. For many people, like myself, it kills the momentum from the football crowd. 

As I said earlier, the episode was really well done. Then it ended. It finished in a way that was not satisfying. I'm not going to spoil it, but it was far from a climax. It was a cliffhanger, sure. But the episode left me wanting. It did not leave me wanting to pay for another subscription though. Personally, I would have had a solid beginning, middle, and end with a quality cliffhanger. Something minor building up throughout the episode that comes to fruition after the climax from the A plot. That's my move. 

I get what they're going for. Subscribe to finish the episode. It makes sense and probably worked wonders. It didn't work for me. I pay for plenty of television streaming services plus cable. Maybe I'm a fool for doing that. Maybe not. The thing is, I can't subscribe to CBS for Star Trek. I need more. CBS doesn't have enough shows that appeal to me. They aren't getting my money here. 

The best part about this show is that I will see it. One day, it will be released on Blu-Ray. That's when I'll pick it up. Maybe I'll even buy a digital copy. One payment and I own all the episodes. That plan works. 

Is the show good? Yes. Did it make me have to subscribe to CBS's streaming service? Nope. Oh well. 

Till next week. 

Boy Meets World

I've been thinking about Boy Meets World lately. I have no real reason why. The thing is, I love that show. To this day, it is a fun, topical show. Let me explain. 

First, if you grew up in the 90's, you probably watch TGIF. If not, I don't know why you're even reading this. Boy Meets World hit with me as I grew up. I really connected with each of the main characters in their own unique way. Cory's nerdy awkwardness screamed me in many situations. At other times I was Shawn, or thought I was. I had an older brother who, like Eric, had better things to do than hang out with his younger, annoying brother. We can't forget about two parents who can't relate to you at all. Hey, at least they're there when you mess up. 

I grew up with these characters and really felt like I was a part of their crew. Their lives mirrored mine in so many way. Yeah, I know, they grew up way too fast, but the adventures still hit home. There were times this show had me laughing one week and practically crying the next. Come on, I was absolutely too cool to actually cry. Until the last episode that is. Watch it now and tell me your eyes don't well up. Go on, I dare you. 

The interesting thing about this show is the magic trick it pulled. I never saw it coming. Today, I'm a teacher by day. I stand in front of my class and teach educate my students while trying to explain various life lessons when they are necessary. Try explaining the dangers of the world after Sandy Hook. It's not easy to say these dangers don't exist. That was the easy answer before reality hit. So there I am, standing in front of my students and I realize, I grew up and became Mr. Feeny. And that right there, that realization made me understand how great this show actually is. That's true magic. 

Not only am I Feeny. I have also become a father. So all those hard lessons that Mr. Matthews had to teach Cory. That's me with my kids. I'm that cool dad. The one who hangs out with his kids and does silly things to make them laugh. Alas, I'm sure my kids won't always see things that way. Once again, the magic of Boy Meets World. A dad does everything for his kids, and they don't realize it until well after it's too late. 

I wish I could have connected with Girl Meets World. I didn't and there's nothing wrong with that. I have my Cory and crew waiting for me on DVD. They'll always be there. Maybe my kids will make that connection. Maybe not. Maybe they'll find Girl Meets World. Maybe not. I'm sure something will connect with them that doesn't involve YouTube. 

Till next week. 

Revisions

I HATE REVISIONS! There, I said it. It's true. I think that goes for many writers. It's probably why I simply type and publish these blogs. If I had to sit down and reread each post, I would probably delete everything I said and not update on a regular basis. I mean I've had this site for approximately two years now and I'm only starting regular blog posts now. (I bet I need a comma in that sentence too.) The thing is, revisions are so important. They are vital to the story and without them, your final piece will most likely be worse than it could be. 

Today, I sat down to revise the dialogue on a one page story. The story, Straight Outta Kipland, was designed for Kip (Indy wrestler) to sell as 11 by 17 prints at his shows. The kids will love it. At least I hope so. With the art complete, a letterer onboard, and an offer to toss it into a wrestling anthology, I thought it would be important to get it done. I sat down and reread the dialogue for about an hour. Every time I changed something. There were parts that didn't flow the way they should and it showed. Now, I've tightened the dialogue up and plan on spending about another few minutes checking it again.

To explain further, this story was written as a rhyming poem inspired by Casey at the Bat. Poems are interesting. If you don't get the beats right, it doesn't flow and takes the reader out of the story. Deciding to tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end on one page left no room for error. A 22 or 48 page book and slip at a point and not ruin everything. One page, that's entirely different. 

So, why do I hate revising. It's a lot of reading, which can be very time consuming. Think about it. How many pages to you have to read through and tighten up. It has to be done, but that doesn't mean writers want to do it. And that's me talking about reading my own work. Imagine how a creator feels when you ask them to read something. The first thing they say is, "Don't send me a script," followed by, "Make sure it's a complete book." I'm sure there's more than one reason for this, but a big one, if we don't want to read our own scripts ... (figure it out). 

Anyway, I will beta read scripts for friends when I have the time. It's fun. Not all the time. I know. I know. Idiot just contradicted himself. Yup. I did. Deal with it. Bottom line ... I still hate revisions. 

Time to get back to it though. Until next week. 

The Next Chapter

Today my son started Kindergarten. This is a little bittersweet. He's my youngest, which means all my kids are in school. That makes for an emotional send off. Fortunately, as the bus pulled up, there was a downpour. I mean, we walked through a river trying to get him on the bus. That did away with the emotional sendoff and made for an emotional day. My wife and I felt guilty that we didn't get to do the pictures, hugs, and all that first day stuff. When he got off the bus, it turned out that everything was fine. He had a great day. 

What does this have to do with today's post? Really nothing. It just got me thinking about the next chapter and how we get there. One of the earliest concepts I developed was called Wildchild. This was an epic. Like many beginning writers, I mapped out over two years worth of stories and built an intricate world with well developed characters. I'm sure more than half of them were knockoffs of my favorite characters in comic lore. Needless to say, this epic never made it to publication. 

The interesting thing about this concept, it never really died. I would constantly pull open the files and look over them. The thing is, I never really read them. I never wanted to see what was in my old notes. I don't know why. Maybe I was too lazy to read the writing. Or maybe I didn't want to figure out that it wasn't that good. One day, I decided to revive the concept and seek out an artist. I worked through some things but never went back to my old notes. The concept didn't take off. I still have no idea why. 

While I was reworking Wildchild, a friend of mine proposed working together. He wanted something similar to this old concept. We discussed what we wanted in the book and I decided to take a risk. That was the day Wildchild died. I killed the concept. 

Instead of forcing that story to fruition, I thought it would be a good idea for me to take what I remembered. What drew me to this concept all these years later? That was what I needed to latch on to. I took those nuggets and put them to use in a new story. This story became Saturn and Orion. The script came together and gelled in a hurry. I did plan for the future, but made sure Book One had a definitive ending just in case. It is one of my more impressive stories, which became my first successful Kickstarter campaigns. Book Two is currently being drawn and it looks fantastic. 

What did I learn from all this? Well, sometimes old concepts are really good. They may not be great, though. There is a reason my mind kept going back to this book. I learned that the things you remember from these stories, the ones that stick with you all those years later, the ones that you never forget ... those are the things you keep. That is what will make a story great. 

In short, killing Wildchild was a great idea. 

Till next week. 

Baywatch

I have to admit, I don't know what I'm going to write about when I sit down to post this blog. I just want to update each week. I think that mindset allows me to just sit down and write whatever is topical at that moment. It's a pretty good system and will allow me to just keep posting. 

Now that that's out of the way, last night I watched Baywatch. Not the television show. I watched that religiously when I was a kid. I'm sure you did too. Just admit it. You just got the urge to hum the theme song. Maybe you even started singing it. Don't be ashamed. We all know it. 

Anyway, the movie came out on the old DVD yesterday. After rewatching the coming attraction, I decided it was funny enough to buy. Oh man, did this movie deliver. Don't get me wrong. It's not a cinematic masterpiece. The cast and crew are aware of that. And that right there is the key. This movie knows exactly what it is. It's a comedy designed to make fun of itself and the original show. Throw in a little story to give the characters something to do and you have a winner. 

I can't say this movie is for everyone. Comedy is very subjective. You have to write what you find funny and hope your audience agrees with you. Check out the Don and Ray stories on this site. As I tell everyone, if you've ever been to a large Comic Con you will find the humor in their. If not, you will not understand much and will not laugh. Does that mean it's not funny? Maybe. 

Baywatch had a solid mix of dirty humor, subtle jabs, call back jokes, and direct jabs at the source material. Slow motion running in the real world takes center stage and it's hysterical. There is a spot where Mitch meets Mitch and it might be the funniest moment I've seen in a movie this year. I can imagine the cast bursting out laughing on a daily basis and it shows on the screen. 

Is this movie a masterpiece like Citizen Kane? No. It's not meant to be. It knows exactly what it is. This movie is not meant to be taken seriously. Go in with an open mind and I don't think you'll be disappointed. 

Shoot me an email and let me know what you think. Till next week. 

Ready Player One

Okay. First off, you probably didn't notice, Wednesday came and went. And with that, I didn't update the site. Part of that is because I don't know what day of the week it is. That tends to happen over the summer. Since I'm gearing up to return to my day job, I believe the Wednesday updates will come more easily. I had to own that one. Deadline missed. On with the show. 

Ready Player One. Like me, many of you may have heard about this through the upcoming movie grapevine. I will say that when I first heard about a story about a gamer living in a virtual reality RPG I didn't care. I'm not a gamer so this concept didn't really interest me. Like many people, I blew it off and thought I would never see the movie. A few updates later and I decided to follow the progress a little. I was still iffy. Then the coming attraction hit. 

I didn't know it at the time, but I heard that particular trailer aggravated fans of the book. For me, it had the Iron Giant. It seems silly but any movie with that adorable robot in it gets my attention and money. I was suddenly on board. And not just the movie. The book was fast tracked on my reading list. 

To digress, I don't get to read many novels during the year. They take a commitment, time, and, generally, it's hard to pick up a book and tell if it's going to be good. There's nothing worse than picking up a book, dedicating a ton of time to it, and discovering that it is a horrible piece of literature. This year I picked up Thrawn and, with all my writing, comic reading, day job commitments, and family, it took me a few months to read. That's why I carefully select novels to read. So when Ready Player One got put on top of the list, that says something. 

It was worth my time. 

From the beginning, the book hooks you. Think about being the solitary owner of Apple. Then think about not having an heir and creating a contest for the world to compete in. The winner becomes the sole owner of the company. That's what this book is except the entire contest exists in a virtual, video game world. Yeah, I know, it sounds like The Matrix. That would be a good comparison. But the real trick is making you believe that this fake world is real. 

While reading this book you get lost. You become so invested in the VR that when you enter the real world, it seems fake. That impressed me. There are times in the book where the characters reference their real identity as the avatar they control and you feel it. It's a pretty intense roller coaster at times. 

Don't get me wrong, there are parts that drag on and feel a little out of place, but that's to be expected. This is Ernest Cline's first novel. And did he ever hit a home run. A part of me wants a sequel, but I don't think I'm smart enough to figure out how to pull that off. I was so invested in the world, I want to rejoin these characters. I don't simply want another book littered with 80's pop culture references. That won't do. I need more. 

Ready Player Two, perhaps. 

That's it for this week. Till next time. 

Batman and Harley Quinn

Monday I decided to go check out a screening of Batman and Harley Quinn. Any time Bruce Timm decides to produce a Batman cartoon, he has my money. When he manages to get the voice actors from Batman the Animated Series back together, that's even better. To top everything off, Timm may have alluded to this movie being in BTAS continuity. That was all I had to hear. 

Now, this was not at all a perfect movie, but it was good. I was sitting in the chair thinking about how awesome it would have been to see the original opening from the old series. I'm sure it was discussed and dismissed. Once Batman spoke, I was all in. I felt like I was sitting on my couch, watching the old series. Twelve year old me was leaning back in a chair waiting for Batman to beat up the bad guy. It couldn't get much better than that. 

Then there's that PG-13 rating. I was drawn out of the movie with a simple thought, Timm must really want these characters to get some loving. We saw this in The Killing Joke. I let that go. It wasn't my taste, but that didn't matter. When Harley looks at a tied up Nightwing, who was checking out her panty-clad bottoms and clearly got aroused, that was entirely different. I wasn't sure how I felt about that. Then she mounts him and says everything under the sun to make sure Nightwing consents ... it was interesting. 

Thankfully, the movie had some lighthearted moments mixed in with plenty of action. Overall it was a blast to watch. The ending may have been a little off, but I'm not going to complain too much. We just got treated to Kevin Conroy voicing a Bruce Timm Batman. Sure, it was aimed at the adult me, not the twelve year old me. It happens. I don't think I'm going to complain about a person giving me new Batman content. In fact, I'm sure I'll buy it once it's released on DVD. 

That's it for this week. Feel free to let me know how many typos you find.

Till next time. 

NEW NUMBER 1

Okay. I've been thinking about how often I update my website. I realized that comics take a while to be released and not every book can go up on the site. I mean, if I give them away for free, I won't make any money. On a side note, I am going to put some teasers up for those specific issues, but that's something to discuss another day. 

But I digress. 

The point of this post is to let you know that from this point on, I'm going to update the blog section on this site every Wednesday. I have no idea what I"m going to discuss or for how long each post will be. I also don't know how many typos will be found. I don't care. I'm doing this as an exercise to meet my own self-imposed deadline, and to give me a break from writing comics. 

I want you to hold me accountable. Reference this post. Let me know when I drop the ball. And by all means, play editor. Call me out on my mistakes and typos. 

So there you have it. This is my new number 1. It's my reboot. 

Till next week ...

From Wildchild comes Saturn

Wow. I just proofread Saturn and Orion Book One. This book is near and dear to my heart and I'm ecstatic that it's finally ready to go to print. Pilot Studios decided to make this their first ever Kickstarter campaign, and I couldn't be more honored. 

It is amazing how a story comes together. Saturn was not always meant to be. At least not in the incarnation she is in now. Ages ago, my friend and I were chatting about a story idea. This book was called Wildchild. It was my first real venture into writing an ongoing series and had all the problems of a new writer trying to learn his craft. But the concept was damn good. I couldn't get it out of my mind. 

Over the years, I would try to get some traction behind this book. The thing is, I never let go of the original concept. The same flaws that were evident years ago were still there. I was too close to the project and was determined to see it work. I couldn't see the flaws. That's when Pilot Studios asked me to write a Daredevil type character. Obviously, I couldn't write Daredevil. That's when Wildchild popped back in my head. 

I decided think about Wildchild. I refused to pull up my old files. I simply went off of my memory. What did I remember? I realized that, after all these years, if it was still in my mind, that was the good stuff. That was the stuff that I needed to keep in the story. Suddenly, I had a new character, Saturn. 

The supporting cast and villain would come rather quickly. Again, what worked for Wildchild? Some of that stayed. Some went into the trash. Before I knew it, I was writing a script. You might say, the script wrote itself. The words flew on the page. Before I knew it, I had an emotional tale pitting technology agains ancient mysticism. I hit the jackpot. 

Now, Saturn and Orion is here for you to support. It will be launching on Kickstarter soon. I'm sure you'll find a link on this site. I would love to have your support. I really think you'll enjoy what you read. Maybe one day I'll even open those old Wildchild files and compare the two characters. Only time will tell. 

 

Another Contest

I have to admit, I dropped the ball on this one. 

I love writing stories based on characters created by someone else. I don't know why. There really isn't a reason for it. I have a blast running these characters through my filter and coming up with a new way to present them. Don't get me wrong, it's fun to build a world of my own. There's just something to seeing another person's world for what it is and making it shine. 

That's one of the reasons I love to enter writing contests. I mean, I would love to win, but let's face it, that's always a long shot. It really doesn't matter how great the script is. It's a matter of subjective taste. As long as I'm happy with the script I send in, I'm a winner. That and it makes for a great talking point when I run into the editors at a comic con. 

Where is this going? Yesterday, I found out about Darby Pop's latest contest. I knew it was coming, but somehow, I missed the start. By an entire month. That's nearly the entire contest. That put me under the gun. I thought for a brief second that I have a pretty decent workload at the moment and probably should skip this year's contest. Then I thought that would be a cheap cop out. I never thought of myself as a person to back away from a challenge. So I decided to go for it. 

Now, I'm practicing writing in crunch time. I have a week to get this story ready. There is no time to waste writing a page a day or to blankly look at the screen with writer's block. This needs to get done and done well. That's my goal. When I meet the deadline, I will be especially proud of the story. It doesn't matter if I win or lose. I just need to be happy with the work. 

Until the next time I have a random idea to type on this blog. 

 

Odd things

I'm really working hard to keep updating this blog on a semi-regular basis. First, I didn't win the Millarworld contest. It really doesn't matter. My script was good and that's really all I can wish for. I'll post that story in the sample script section soon. Enjoy it when it's up. 

I saw Rogue One a few weeks ago. I'm letting it digest before I see it again. I enjoyed it the first time and have no real complaints. It was well done and kept my eight year old's interest. She wants to see it again. That's a win. 

I decided to watch the prequel trilogy with her. This was interesting. Episode 1 is not my thing. It doesn't matter how many times I watch it, I simply don't care about the movie until Darth Maul appears at the end. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed Episodes 2 and 3. Dialogue aside, I like those two movies. The opening sequence in Episode 3 gets me every time. It's a wonderful display of special effects. You really feel like flying. I may also have enjoyed them because I'm in a Star Wars obsession. I can't get enough. 

I'm going to go back to writing a script that should have been done a week ago. My pointless talking is over. It makes little sense and probably shouldn't be published on the site, but I'm going to put it out there anyway. If I don't, I'm already putting off the rambling blog. Anyone who knows me is very well aware of my incoherent thoughts. They pop in my brain all too often. Get used to it. 

Later. 

Mark Millar Had a Contest

Let's see. It's been a while since I've found the time to update this little blog. Sorry folks. The good news is that I've been very productive. The bad news, I haven't updated the blog. 

Tomorrow, Mark Millar will reveal the winners of his second annual talent hunt. I wrote a great script last year and didn't win. This is disappointing in a sense because I loved that script. That's exactly where the disappointment ended. The experience was great. I got to write a short script, which is not exactly easy. I met a deadline. That's huge. And, really, with all those entries, it's a long shot. I was happy with the script and that's all I can do. I think I was really impressed when the winning script was similar to mine. It proved to me that my idea was sound. Check it out in the sample script section of this website. 

I sit here in anticipation because I feel the same way about this script. I'm sitting here waiting for my kids to finish up dance class thinking, "Will I win?" Who knows. This story impressed me and the two or three people who read it. In essence, I'm already a winner. It would be nice to see that story make it into the annual. 

Well, the kids are about to leave their class. Hopefully, the next time I post, you will hear great news about the contest. Or you've already heard the news because you read it online. 

Till then. 

Busy, Busy, Busy

I promise I'll update the blog soon. I have so much on my mind. I've been crazy busy writing, which really isn't a bad thing. 

Consider this under construction for a little while. 

Learning Lessons

Okay. I just wrote this blog about my first script. The site crashed on me and I lost the post. I really liked that blog, and just like that, it's gone. Now, you get to read the second version of that story. 

I just received some feedback from Top Cow regarding this years talent hunt. It reminded me of the first script I ever wrote. This thing was awesome. It was a masterpiece and was my ticket to the big time. Or so I thought. 

Somehow, I managed to get this script into the hands of an editor at DC Comics. Don't ask how. Just know that it happened. You see, I had been reading comics for a long time. One day, I read a mini-series and didn't like how it was executed. I decided I could do a better job. I'm not one to talk. I simply do whatever I say. So, I sat down and wrote a script. And it was amazing. A bloody masterpiece. This thing was going to get published. 

Then, it was placed in the hands of the editor. I couldn't believe how easy it was to get this done. After some time, he sent his feedback. And, as you predicted, it was horrendous. I was devastated. My perfect story was a hunk of junk. That wasn't right. The editor had to be wrong. 

I didn't handle this critique very well. My storytelling was sound. I executed exactly what I wanted to do. The thing was, he didn't like what I was attempting to do. I get that now, but not back then. It was a tough lesson to learn. 

When you write, the people who read your writing need to give you feedback. It's tough to come by. Plenty of my friends and family read my scripts and they love everything about them. I always ask what they didn't understand or enjoy. They never seem to have anything bad to say. . 

Today, although it is tough to handle, that's the feedback I value the most. What is wrong with my story, people? Thankfully, I've grown and understand that opinions are valuable. They don't always need to be agreed with or listened to. They need to be processed and digested. From there you either take the advice or don't. It's your story and you need to make the hard calls. 

Now, the Top Cow feedback turned out to be sound. I half expected them to say what they did. I took a chance and wrote some stuff that falls outside that illustrious box. Turned out, they didn't love it. Hopefully, it's an easy fix. We will see. 

I think I'm going to put up some of my published and unpublished scripts for you to enjoy. Who knows, maybe I'll put up my first script. You can judge how bad id is for yourself. 

The first version of this story might have been better. Who knows? It got lost in the internet for all of eternity. 

Till next time I'm bored with ta laptop. 

When is it good?

I amaze myself sometimes. When I sit and write a script, everything is awesome. It's simply perfect. First draft is the only draft. 

Now, if you've ever written anything, you know that everything I just said is a load of dog poop. So, how do you know when you've done something that is really good. Truth is ... you don't. I write for myself. If I'm happy, then I have succeeded. But I'm not just satisfied with a script. Sometimes, that script I wrote is exquisite. Then the art comes in and I realize that I didn't convey the image properly leaving the artist with little to work with. One time, I called for a slave to fly a plane. You can see the panel in "Divided We Stand." When I saw the art, the slave came across as a white man. I was not happy, but it was not the artists' fault. It was mine. I was not clear. 

So, how do you know when something is really good. I had the honor of witnessing a few people read my comics in front of me. One of the most notable moments was when a friend of mine was reading the third Don and Ray book (not uploaded yet). We was sitting near him twiddling my thumbs anxiously. He gets to the moment in the book designed to get a big laugh. This guy starts pointing to the panel with a big grin on his face. He looked at me to let me know exactly how funny that particular moment was. 

Another way I can tell if something worked the way I intended is on my reading of the actually comic. It just happened. I finished uploaded "Back to Hell." This is the second Don and Ray book. When Ron and I were working on this book, I had a brilliant idea. Granted what is brilliant in the creative phase may not translate to brilliance in the actual book. I have to say, it has been years since we created this book and every time I turn the page and that one panel catches my eye, I have to smile. It's uncontrollable. That's how I know that idea worked. 

I'm not going to tell you where these specific moments are for me. You need to read and judge for yourself. Feel free to email me and let me know where you smiled. I'll tell you if you hit the right moment. Thats for the laughs. One day, I'll discuss how I know if those somber moments work in my books. 

Later. 

Everything Old ...

I have to admit, I don't get to the movies that often. Three kids will do that. This year was not different. I saw a few movies aimed at the kids and a few movies with my wife. Three stand out. Creed, Jurassic World, and Star Wars. This movies found a formula to bring people back to theaters in a big way.  That formula ... nostalgia. 

Sure, you're probably thinking, nostalgia only goes so far. The movie still needs to be good. Look, I'm not arguing with you. Simply putting out a movie based on an established property is not enough. I'm looking at you Point Break. There is a certain code that needs to be cracked in order for these movies to resonate with their target audience. If you've seen these movies, you probably know where I'm headed. 

Each one, in there own way, gave enough nods to the source material to make you take a trip back in time. When I saw Jurassic World I smiled the entire time. I literally looked at my wife and said, "I'm thirteen all over again." All I needed was a John Williams theme and a kid running to the window to look at an open park. I didn't need to see the dinosaurs. Then, I got a treat. They visited the remnants of the original park. All of a sudden you realize what they are doing. They're telling you this is the same universe. We aren't rebooting completely. Those nods became the key to the code cracking that needed to be done. Sure, Starlord helped too. 

Creed was amazing. I couldn't help but notice how they took the best parts from the original four movies and incorporate them into this "reboot." That's right ... it's a reboot. But at the same time, it's not. The pieces we loved from the originals are all right there. The material is picked front he elements that worked, and what didn't, disappeared. That's right, they didn't seem to mention anything from Rocky five or six. That or those movies are just not memorable enough for me. 

Star Wars might be the guiltiest nostalgia movie of the year. And it's setting records like crazy too. The biggest "internet" complaint is that simply retells the first movie with different characters. Isn't that what Star Wars has always done? In the end, does it really matter. All the elements you and I love were right there on the big screen. If I had to guess, I'd say you couldn't stop smiling. The nostalgia chords were strummed. 

Nostalgia is a powerful drug making these old elements a key to success. I guess we will have to sit back and see what movie tries to use this same key to success. We know they're going to come out in droves for some time. 

Time Flies

I don't really have much to say. I've been writing, which is key to getting stories done. (Insert sarcastic comment here) I'm happy with my progress and really feel that this site will bring attention to me and my stories. That's what my gut says. 

The indy comic world is interesting thing. At this point, I couldn't tell you how many complete scripts are getting art done. Some of these issues are nearly complete. Every time a new piece of art hits my feed, I smile. It's interesting. I think the best thing to go with here is patience. You, as a new writer, might not realize how long an issue can take to get done. A script, to me at least, is easy. I sit at my computer and think. Then ... poof ... the words appear and my story is done. That's just the start. From there, you send the polished piece off and it's in the artist's hand. 

I have to say, some of the artists that I'm currently working with are amazing. The things they come up with based on my words are mesmerizing. I wish I had the ability to draw what I see in my head, but, alas, I don't. Even if I did, it wouldn't be anywhere near as good as what I get to see. 

I love the collaboration of comics. It's that thing that draws me to this medium. You really don't get a whole story without the handwork of many people. As I'm currently discovering, some of these stories are going to take years to complete after the script is sent away. Others will never see the light of day. That's the joy of indy comics. It's an amazing world and I"m happy to be a part of it.