Watching this stuff develop – whether it’s my own comic book or any one of dozens of others – is about as good as it gets, really, and a constant reminder of why I got into this business to begin with. Even at two decades and counting, I still regard the whole creative process as something akin to alchemy. Things start as a collection of sentences, and then through the magic of artwork, whole worlds are brought to life. It’s a lot of work, obviously, but it’s also incredibly fun.
One of the things I respect about him is his candor on things I’ve grown into lately. It’s rather obvious that as we grow older we have phases. Two or three years ago I was more of a Marvel guy than a DC person, in high school I was a DC reader, but now I think I’m more Image and creator-owned, and things started to move in that direction towards the end of my time in New York. I think it is very safe to say at this point that I’ve gone mostly creator-owned since I’ve moved back upstate, because I’m spending quite a bit of time thinking about the kind of writing I would like to be doing and whether I’m even interested superheroes, which I’m pretty sure I’m not.
There are maybe one or two or three books from Marvel and DC that I anticipate and buy regularly, and I suspect that will wax and wain. Since I’m not as well connected as I used to be, and more hooked into digital I like taking chances on more creator-owned stuff, because it’s probably a more rewarding read than the latest four-dollar nineteen-page Avengers or Justice League book. I buy nearly everything from Image and Monkeybrain, but I think the reason for that is I adore the stuff they do at Image because their publisher seems like a pretty straight-up guy who is more concerned with people over corporate interest.
I read his Nowhere Men earlier today and I thought it was very Hickman-y, and that’s totally fine because I love that sort of thing. I’m just not sure where it’s all connected. I feel like there is something slightly missing in the narrative because it jumps from the three heads of World Corp to some virus and people going into quarantine and I’m like…wait? Who are these people? Like a transition was missing somewhere.
The pencils are by Nate Bellegarde though, man. I’ve been missing him since there hasn’t been a Hector Plasm book in forever. Just a detailed and expressive style that rivals Cully Hamner.
If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.
When talking frankly about creating a world where the most good is done for the most people can get anyone branded a socialist, something’s up, and I beg you to think long and hard about what that something might be…Consider for a moment that leaders who promise to strip away our society’s “entitlement” programs might not actually be doing so to create a world where it’s easier for you, a smart, hard-working person, to achieve. What if they’re not trying to build that perfect arena? I suggest to you, young conservative, that what they seek to create is not, in fact, a meritocracy, and is, in fact, an oligarchy.
And if reading is similar to driving, then learning that you, yourself, can make stories, that you, yourself, can write a tale, is like lifting up the hood of your car for the first time. That moment when you realize that your car is a machine, something that was built, and if someone can build this machine, then you could build one of your own. You too can construct, can know the ins and outs of an engine headed elsewhere. But this, this construction, just like everything else, has to be taught: the importance of trusting yourself.
Everything that has been done to us in the past years has been from the attitude, ‘Here, my boy, have a lollipop.’ It’s been a parent dealing with an unruly child. We’re not children! We’re people! We’re creators! It’s about time we stood up and made them take notice of that fact.
You can call me hamster diva.
For the past two years or more, our group has been itching to do a short film. We wanted to use Adirondack locations, local talent and our story-telling abilities to create a narrative compelling in plot and stimulating in visuals. Well, we finally did it with The Deal. It took great effort over many months, from writing to storyboards, then on to screen tests and lining up every detail for the three long (and sweaty!) shooting days. The greatest advantage to shooting in Lake Placid was its diverse locations. In addition to the ever-amazing mountain views and serene lakes, we have Judy’s big and beautiful apartment, Jonathan’s small-town office and a beautiful Main Street. The diversity of seasons and weather in the Lake Placid area provided us options for our story. We all pooled our resources and ideas to make this thing work - and it does! The project is now in the post-production phase. Watching the rough cut for the first time, Jonathan’s predicament firmly took my attention.
Today, the comics industry’s seen as a sister to the movie industry, but she’s the sister who carries the mop. Or to use another metaphor, comics are seen as a farm. Scraps of raw idea to be grown and processed elsewhere for “bigger and better” things. Look at last year’s top ten bestselling American movies, and you’ll see that nine of them were sequels. Seven were adaptations from another medium. Out of the top 10 biggest films in Hollywood in 2011, not a single one of the stories was created there.
Ivan Brandon at The Awl on why the comic book counterparts to these Hollywood films will always be better. Most of you have probably read this already, but I want to say he’s absolutely right. The major motion pictures of these comic book adaptations have contributed to this constant recycling to bring in moviegoers to the comics, that is the motivation behind all of these reboots. I’m totally okay with this because if it means bringing more people to comics and sharing in how wonderful they are, I would say this is a win. But Ivan is right when he says:
Watching the comic-book movies at the theaters this summer—The Avengers,The Amazing Spider-Man,The Dark Knight Rises—what stood out to me at the end is that, as fun as these movies are, comics will always be better at that. Bigger at that. These movies have started with the result and worked backwards. They take the same idea and repackage it. It’s just a new format, abridged. Comics are their own perpetual inspiration-collider. Where the movies reheat your pizza, comics builds you a new reality to eat it in, new senses to know it needs a little salt.
We used to make things. Now we just reheat the things they used to make. The big screen’s become a microwave oven.
I grew up wanting to make movies. Watching these movies, I want to make comics.
I love movies. I like making them. I’m not particularly interested in adaptation or adding to the ongoing saga. But I’ll always prefer the creation of things original in comics and film. Comics is where my love for film and writing comes from, and I’ll always write about comics and write comics, because the medium brings me the most joy and I want to contribute to it.
I’m still the smallest and weakest guy at my gym, although admittedly my gym is full of deranged, extras-from-the-gang-episode-of-Quincy looking dudes and, ironically, law enforcement types, any one of whom could probably beat the shit out of a tractor. I have the core strength of a moloid.