Thursday, July 31, 2008


Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn's Olympic Monkey Movie

Here's a little animated treat for you all.

"BBC Sport's marketing campaign and titles for the forthcoming Olympic Games are based upon the traditional Chinese folklore 'Journey to the West'. The animation and music were specially produced by Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn."

Did anyone get a chance to see Hewlett and Albarn's production of "Journey to the West" onstage in the UK last year? I watched a terrific BBC "making of" documentary about it, and am dying to see a filmed recording of the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Alan Moore's Advice for Young Artists

(via) In this final segment of an interview conducted recently by LJ Pindling of Street Law Productions, Alan Moore gives some advice to young artists, the kind of things that even a not-quite-so-young creator like myself occasionally needs to hear.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love

I got back last night from San Diego, where I enjoyed four days at the deathmarch-and-drinkfest that is Comic-Con. Had a terrific time, met lots of nice people, and abused any number of professionals with my sudden outbursts of "[Comic Creator I've Admired For Years]?! Your stuff is AWESOME!"

As I mentioned last week, one of the "secret projects" I've had in development for a while was going to be announced at the Fables panel, and so it was. For those who missed it, or the coverage that followed, I'm happy to announce that I'll be writing a six-issue miniseries spinning out of the ever popular Fables comic, to be illustrated by the inestimable Shawn McManus, and entitled Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love. For those who haven't read Fables (and if you haven't, you should, so go buy it already!), in the world of the series (and its spin-0ff, Jack of Fables), fairy tale characters are real, and are living in exile in modern-day New York, having fled their homelands in advance of an invading imperial army.

Cinderella, or Cindy for short, has appeared in a number of Fables stories to date, which have revealed that while she appears to be a shallow globe-trotter who fritters away every dime that her shoe store in Fabletown takes in, she is in fact the world's greatest spy and martial arts expert.

From Fabletown With Love is best described, I suppose, as "On Her Majesty's Secret Service meets Sex in the City," a tale of spies, sex, and shoes. I'm hard at work on the first script at this very moment, and as soon as more details are made available I'll post them here.

DC Comics, on their Downloads page, has made available the full audio of the Fables panel (mp3 link), if anyone's interested in giving it a listen. Honestly the most fun panel I've ever attended, let alone sat in on. One thing I forgot to mention on the panel, though, is that Cinderella isn't actually the first Fables-related work I've done. I've scripted a fill-in issue for Jack of Fables, entitled "Jack 'n' Apes," that's due to come out sometime next summer.

Having been a comics fanatic since I was in single digits, this work for Vertigo is my first time scripting comics, and I can happily confirm that comics work is, without a doubt, the Most Fun Ever.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008



The first issue of the new PDF magazine The Gatehouse Gazette contains an interesting discussion between contributors Nick Ottens and "Piecraft" about the "dieselpunk" subgenre, which touches on a lot of the points discussed in the Steampunk panel at ApolloCon a few weeks ago, and in particular my thoughts about "yesterday's tomorrows" and Matthew Bey's notion of "combustion punk".
Ottens: Dieselpunk is a literary genre derived from both cyber- and well as steampunk. Like steampunk, it is set in an anachronized past, specifically characterized by the rise of petroleum power and technocratic perception, incorporating, like cyberpunk, neo-noir elements, and sharing themes with Adventure Pulp.

Piecraft: Basically dieselpunk from my understanding is exactly as you described, now as for its origins we could attribute it to two different sources; I feel the true origins of dieselpunk from my own indiscriminate research presented me with two camps from which the term originated from and eventually became definitive. On one side we have it being coined to describe the ‘world’ in which Lewis Pollak has created his role-playing game Children of the Sun and in order to justify it from all other science fiction genres. On the other hand, it emanated from those aficionados of the literary 'punk genre' within science fiction who felt caught between cyberpunk overtones and the idealization of steampunk—connoting a distinct appreciation of the era that existed between the World Wars and their affects upon which an alternative world was invented during this time-setting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


San Diego Comic-Con

Just a quick note, as I've got two chapters left to do on Dawn of War II and only two days in which to do them. As I think I've mentioned before, I'll be going to Comic-Con International in San Diego this year for the first time in a couple of years. I won't be behind a booth this year, though, MonkeyBrain or otherwise, which will be something of a novel experience. The last (and only) time I did San Diego without a booth was the year Georgia was born, and spent most of my time carting a five-month-old around in a sling.

If you're going to be in San Diego, and have any interest in learning what's going to be occupying my time for the rest of the year, you could do worse than to show up at this panel, where I'm told there might be an interesting announcement or two:
Saturday 3:00-4:00
Vertigo Voices Fables Forum— It's the Fables forum with extras: Featuring the creators behind Fables, Jack of Fables, and House of Mystery: Vertigo group editor Shelly Bond is joined by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and Matthew Sturges. It's a Q&A unlike any other, where you'd better come armed with your best questions, because all of the panelists are sure to be feeling giddy and very candid by day three of the big show. Room 7AB
I'm sure I'll be talking about it in more detail when I get back next week...

Sunday, July 20, 2008


High Noon

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Classical Chicken

"The Blue Danube Waltz" as conducted by The Great Gonzo and featuring the lovely Camilla

Friday, July 18, 2008



Bork Bork Bork Meep Meep Meep La la La LAH!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Ode to Joy

Meep Meep Meep Meep Meep Meep Meep Meep Meep...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Every Which Way But... Oh, Nevermind

Apes departing Hollywood for Iowa research center
DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Filmmakers looking for an ape may be left scratching their heads after Hollywood's sole supplier of orangutans decided to quit renting them out and send six of them to an Iowa sanctuary, the facility's owner said on Wednesday.

Steve Martin's Working Wildlife of Los Angeles has said it will stop providing the fast-disappearing creatures to the entertainment industry, a practice that conservationists have long condemned, according to the Great Ape Trust of Iowa.
I just hope that sanctuary is stocked up on Oreos and beer...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Ninja Parade

(via) Two more weeks or so until regular service resumes, folks. Until then... Ninja Parade.

Monday, July 14, 2008


A Public Service Announcement

Hey, Kids! Don't Put Marbles In Your Nose.

(Stick around until the musical interlude starts. Seriously, it rawks...)

Just don't do it, kids.

(Ahhh. I miss Home Movies, don't you?)

Friday, July 11, 2008


baman an piderman is fwends

(via) Dis baman an piderman dey is fwends.

From Alex Butera.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


MIND MELD: The Best Superhero Movie and TV Show

I've been invited to participate in another of SF Signal's always-interesting "Mind Meld" features, this one on the topic, "What is the best superhero movie and TV show?"

Long time visitors to this blog might be able to intuit my answers, but I may yet surprise you. But don't expect just my inane ramblings. There are also insightful responses from such luminaries as Melinda Snodgrass (of Wild Cards fame!), A. Lee Martinez (a right guy, in my opinion, even if he fails to see the beauty of The Immortal Iron Fist), Caroline Spector (now of Wild Cards fame, as well), and Christian Dunn (one of my editors at Solaris, no less!).


The Van Gods

(You might assume, given the posting pattern of the last two weeks, that I'll not be doing much more than linkblogging video clips until I finish with Dawn of War II... and you would assume correctly. But I'm on track to hit the halfway point at 50K words this week, and look to be able to send the completed draft off to my editors by the end of the month. By then I should be back from Comic Con in San Diego, at which I expect some interesting news might well be made public...)

Georgia and I were watching a Tivoed episode of Wow Wow Wubbzy this afternoon when this commercial came on. It was trimmed a bit, missing the opening shot of a seventies-tastic van, but by the time the chick rode in on the flaming tiger, I thought, "Is this on a van?"

Yes. Yes, it was.

I miss painted vans. There were some choice ones in my hometown when I was growing up, including an awesome Darth Vader model. Maybe, if more people painted Valkyries and Vikings and Sith Lords on their cars these days the price of gas wouldn't be quite so high, mmmm? (Well, obviously the one has nothing to do with the other, but if an unintended benefit of sky-rocketing gasoline prices is that I can dupe people into tricking out their rides with boss paint jobs, so much the better.)

Here's a press release from last fall about the making of the spot, should anyone be interested.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


King City 2

At the beginning of the year, I raved about King City, Brandon Graham's book from Tokyopop. One of the best comics I've read in ages.

If you dip your toe into the waters of the comics blogosphere at all, you might have heard in the last few weeks that Tokyopop just laid off a bunch of editors, and cut their line back to the bone. Some books are going to be coming out, some are only going to be released in "online editions," and others won't be coming out at all. In amongst the dross, TokyoPop has done some good work, like Paul Benjamin's Pantheon High, and Eric Wight's My Dead Girlfriend, etc., and I worried what would become of them in the ensuing kerfuffle, but most of all I wanted to know about Graham's follow-up, King City 2. (Of course, while waiting to find out, I discover here that My Dead Girlfriend might continue, but without Wight [?!].)

Earlier today, Graham posted the first few pages of King City 2 to his Livejournal. I made a note to come back and read them when I wasn't cross-eyed from staring at a computer screen all day.

Then, a while later, Bryan Lee O'Malley (whose Scott Pilgrim I raved about in the same review above) posted a bit about the King City 2 pages Graham had posted, along with the following bit:
KING CITY was my favourite graphic novel of 2007. Tokyopop put it out. You may have heard that they are having some troubles lately. They were kind of shitty about KING CITY in the first place - they almost didn't release it, thought about sticking it online-only, then changed their minds. It's since been nominated for an Eisner award.

Tokyopop is NOT publishing the second volume, but they still hold the rights and won't allow Brandon to take it to another publisher.
Get that? Tokyopop isn't publishing the book, but they won't release the rights back to him, either.

So, really.... Um... That's kind of shitty.

Fuck Tokyopop, right?

Want to help with that, and get to read some tasty comics for free? Head over to Brandon Graham's Livejournal and start reading yourself some free pages of King City 2.


Ira Glass on Good Taste (and Bad Work)

Lee Moyer points out this terrific video in which Ira Glass (of the sublime This American Life) talks about the gap in the early part of any creative person's life between their taste--which is good--and the quality of the work they start out producing--which is invariably bad.

As Lee points out, Glass is talking here about reporting and tape, but his advice and admonitions are just as applicable in any other creative enterprise.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Hellboy Meets Chuck

(via) They keep making these, I'll keep posting them...

Monday, July 07, 2008



We took Georgia to see Wall-E yesterday. I haven't decided just yet, but it might be my favorite Pixar film to date. It is certainly, on technical merits, the most accomplished Pixar film yet. Director Andrew Stanton and the rest of the team deserve every Oscar that can be thrown at them. The fact that animators like Victor Navone were able to squeeze so much emotion out of characters that are essentially wordless and all-but-featureless is astonishing. That Stanton and team had a packed-house full of adults and kids held absolutely enraptured for three quarters of an hour of nearly wordless storytelling was uncanny.

After watching it, I don't quite get the reaction from some right-wing commentators that the film is left-wing pro-environmental propaganda. It seemed to me that any environmental message in the film was almost incidental, and that the real thrust of the thing was a screed against unchecked and wasteful consumerism. But this is, after all, a film in which one of the romantic touchstones is the burning flame of a Zippo lighter, for goodness sake--not exactly a textbook example of treehuggerism.

So, Wall-E is either the best Pixar film to date or merely one of the best. (And the short film "Presto" which precedes it is, inarguably, awesome.) If you haven't seen it yet, honestly, what are you waiting for?

And here's my favorite of the teasers released in the lead-up to the film's release, just as a bonus.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Ookla the Mok's "Super Skrull"

I have Dean Trippe to thank for pointing out this little gem. (It's a fan made video, but suits the song quite nicely, I think.)

And check out Dean's awesome Super Skrull illo:

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Georgia's Gang Signs

Tonight, as a treat, Georgia got cupcakes for desert. When she'd eaten enough of one of them to get a stylish Van Dyke of green icing on her face, Allison got out her camera to take a couple of fashion shots.

For reasons surpassing understanding, as soon as Georgia saw the camera was on her, she started flashing what Allison and I can only describe as gang signs. It was like something halfway between Doctor Strange in the midst of some truly arcane hoodoo, and a heavy-metal headbanger rocking out.

There were a number of these poses, and as Allison kept snapping off shots, Georgia would shift from one to another, saying, "What about this one, Dad?" Each involved the tongue stuck out, arms out, fingers splayed.

Should I be worried that my four-year-old daughter has joined a gang...?


Hellboy Meets the Ghost Hunters

I'm not entirely sure who the Ghost Hunters are (is that one of the crappy "reality" shows on SciFi?), but it doesn't really diminish my appreciation of this little bit of humorous.

Friday, July 04, 2008


Muppets' Stars & Stripes

A little patriotism for your Independence Day weekend...

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Fortune Cookie Monster

From the incomparable BizzaroBlog:

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Hellboy: Inside the Actor's Studio

(via) It is what it says on the label...

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