Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Secret Saturdays DVD

Jay Stephens shares a bit of good news.
Volume One of the Secret Saturdays DVD collection is coming this summer, featuring the first 5 episodes, and tons of bonus features, including early development artwork and rough animatics.

If you haven't jumped onboard the Secret Saturdays train yet (and really, what's wrong with you if you haven't?), this will be an excellent opportunity to catch up. And don't forget, there's a Secret Saturdays marathon planned for April 5th, if you don't want to wait for the DVD, and new episodes start airing on April 10th.

Georgia will be pleased, since she's been asking for new episodes for a while, though admittedly she's been perfectly content the last few months to watch "Guess Who's Going to be Dinner" and "The Swarm at the Edge of Space" over and over and over again... Why those two episodes in particular I'll never know, except for the fact that they air paired on our Tivo (with the "coming next" spot at the end of the recording pointing to the next episode that aired live) with the two episodes of Batman: The Brave & The Bold that she watches again and again, for reasons of her own. (If you're curious her two favorites are "Invasion of the Secret Santas!", which she calls "the Red Tornado and Santa one," and "Journey to the Center of the Bat," which Georgia calls "the one where Aquaman and Atom get really small and go inside of Batman"--for obvious reasons.)


Re\Visioned: Activision - Kaboom

I'm not sure what this is for, but I like it. Mark Waid scripts a short animated story about an exec meddling in story, with two writers along for the ride. Ed Begley, Jr., Dave Foley, and Nicole Sullivan provide the voices.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Total Sci-Fi on End of the Century

Alice Wybrew has reviewed End of the Century for Total Sci-Fi, the later-day web incarnation of Dreamwatch magazine, and has some nice things to say about the book.
With strong supporting characters and a brilliantly constructed conspiracy, the clues, twists and gruesome action ensure that there’s little brain rest between the covers. To tell too much about the plot would ruin its considerable surprises, but suffice to say that if this is your first experience of Roberson, I guarantee it won’t be the last.

Challenging the stability of the often-thin line between fantasy and sci-fi, End of the Century is a unique experience that latches on from the first page and doesn’t let go.




It's Monday, so that means it's linkage time. Here's a random assortment of things of note I've stumbled across the last few days.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Unnecessary Bleeping

I can't explain why I find Sesame Street clips with unnecessary bleeping so endlessly amusing, but I do.


Bookgasm on End of the Century

Rod Lott has reviewed End of the Century for Bookgasm and seems to have liked it.

Roberson’s imagination is in full force, and the results are magical, although a tad too epic. He deserves praise for being able to keep each section true to its genre without having the novel feel schizophrenic. He tells three separate stories so winningly that you won’t care — for the most part, at least — that they have yet to merge.

As usual, I feel like END OF THE CENTURY veers toward seeming endless as the third act progresses, but that’s a problem with many books (and movies, and it should be noted that I’d love to see one made from this). Roberson is an underrated name in the field of fantasy and science fiction; this effort was no easy undertaking, but it’s ingenious and spirited, and he pulls through with his head held high.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


What time is it?

Adventure Time! (Well, technically now it's Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, but even so...) And here's the first official bit of press art:

The new Cartoon Network series, first announced last year, continues the adventures of Finn and Jake, which as I've raved before is arguably the best thing in the history of ever.



Georgia's been home from school again the last couple of days (this time knocked down by the antibiotic that's making her well, rather than the illness that kept her home in the first place), so I've only been able to work intermittently, at best. Here's a few things of interest that cropped up in my Google Reads this morning, though.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Street Angel

Remember the Street Angel short film I mentioned last month? The adaptation of Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca's comic of the same name?

Well, MTV's Splash Page has posted a clip. Behold!

Looks pretty good, y'all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Kill Bill Parts 1 & 2, in One Minute, in One Take


Creebobby Comics Archetype Times Table, Addendum

Remember the Creebobby Comics Archetype Times Table? Well, here's the addendum.

See, Dave, there's your monkeys. Happy now?

Thursday, March 19, 2009


New Tom Strong?

So it would seem.

Superhero Tom Strong, created by Alan Moore, will return to the WildStorm imprint in 2009 in a miniseries by Peter Hogan and Chris Sprouse.

Hank Kanalz, general manager of WildStorm Productions, said the new series will be called “Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom.”

“With Chris on ‘Tom Strong,’ this will make a terrific miniseries, and it will come out on time,” Kanalz said.

Tom Strong was created by Moore and Sprouse and first appeared in “Tom Strong” #1 from America’s Best Comics, an imprint of WildStorm, in 1999.

I've recently reread all of Alan Moore's Tom Strong and the related series (Terrific Tales, the Tesla oneshot, and the various and sundry bits and pieces in the different ABC one-shots and specials). And while it may lack the technical brilliance of some of his other work, I'm now leaning towards the conclusion that Tom Strong may be my favorite of Moore's comics. It's the most fun, at leastd.

Peter Hogan was responsible for the two splendid Terra Obscura miniseries, as well as The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong, which stands nicely alongside the Moore-scripted stories of the Strong Family. And with Chris Sprouse handling the art duties? Sign me up!

(I note with amusement that this marks yet another "So-and-So and the Something of Doom" titles that have cropped up recently.)


CoastCon XXXII

I don't know if I've mentioned it here before, but this coming weekend (starting, erm, tomorrow?) I'll be a guest at CoastCon XXXII in Gulfport, Mississippi. Guests of Honor include John Picacio and Michael Moorcock (among other luminaries), so if you're in the area this weekend, come by and say howdy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The Adventures of Gabriel Hunt

I've been waiting for more details about Charles Ardai's "Gabriel Hunt" line for a while, and my patience was rewarded yesterday with the debut of the new website, The Adventures of Gabriel Hunt.

Who is Gabriel Hunt? Well, here's the flack from the website:

From Charles Ardai, Edgar Award-winning author and creator of the acclaimed pulp mystery imprint HARD CASE CRIME comes a thrilling pulp adventure series in the tradition of H. Rider Haggard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the immortal Doc Savage.

Perennially popular at the movies—from the old black-and-white serials of the 1930s to their latter day descendants starring Harrison Ford—adventure fiction used to be just as popular at bookstores and newsstands. But in recent years, the old-fashioned tale of high adventure has almost entirely vanished from bookstore shelves.

And like any other lost treasure, it's going to take a great adventure hero to find it and bring it back.

Enter Gabriel Hunt, world traveler and man of action, a strapping six-footer with a classic six-shooter in a holster on his hip and an insatiable hunger for discovery. And just what does he discover? Lost cities...ancient artifacts...deadly peril and dastardly adversaries...all the stuff of classic adventure fiction, complete with horses, snakes, shovels, pickaxes, torches, traps, bottomless pits, barroom brawls, jungles, jewels, and just about everything else that’s ever made your heart beat faster.

The announced titles, all of them with Glen Orbik covers and apparently "cowritten" by Gabriel Hunt, will be from the keyboards of James Reasoner, Charles Ardai, Nicholas Kaufmann, Christa Faust, David J. Schow, and Raymond Benson, and are scheduled to come out in mmpb every few months starting May 2009.

I am very intrigued by this.



Last week, Georgia was kept home from school all week by a bug of some kind that left her with a low-grade fever, no energy, and a cough. With the help of some antibiotics to wipe out a secondary infection over the weekend, she was fit as a fiddle by Monday and ready to go back to school... by which point *I* had caught the same bug and was left unable to do much more than lay on the floor coughing, moaning feverishly and watching cartoons. Allison has been on the verge of catching the bug but so far has escaped the worst of it, basically left feeling like crap but still able to function. I'm at about 80% well this morning, so will be trying to get in harness and back to work on Sons of Dorn, but we'll see if that's being overly optimistic.

Being sick sucks, by the way.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Moore on Creative Uncertainty

Last night I dug up an Alan Moore quote that I often cite as an inspiration of mine for Lou Anders (who will no doubt use it for evil), and having typed it up I figured I might as well share it here.

This is from Moore's afterword to the 2003 reprint by Avatar Press of a long essay he'd written in 1985, "Alan Moore's Writing for Comics." It's worth hunting down a copy, as there's a lot of great stuff in there that has application to all creative endeavors, beyond the nuts-and-bolts advice on comic scripting.
"It is much more exciting and thus creatively energizing if you are attempting something where you are uncertain of its outcome, where you don't know if it will work or not. And this is only the beginning. Eventually, increasingly confident of your talents to make a workable story out of most anything, you will come to regard being merely unsure of a work's outcome as far too facile an approach. Instead, you may graduate to only attempting works which you privately suspect to be impossible. This is no bad thing, and if rigorously applied would weed out a great many dull and repetitive creators from the world while at the same time increasing the world's relatively meager cache of genuine unexpected marvels."

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Gervais and Elmo, Together at Last

Thanks to Mary Robinette Kowal for pointing this one out.

Here's the introduction from the AP YouTube channel:
Add Ricky Gervais to the set of 'Sesame Street' and you come up with outrageous comedy. Check out outtakes from his interview with Muppet Elmo. The full episode airs this November when 'Street' opens with its 40th anniversary. (March 11)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Creebobby Comics Archetype Times Table

(via) The Official Creebobby Comics Archetype Times Table.

You'll want to embiggen this one.


Lantern-Out-Loud Cats

All hail Adam Koford!


The Evolution of Batman

Longtime readers of the Ramble may recall Marcus Parcus's Alternate Evolution of Superman, and in particular his breakdown of the evolution of the Superman symbol, and thoughts on how it might have diverged.

Now, thanks to a link from Todd Klein's blog, we've got a similar analysis on the evolution of Batman's symbol, this time in handy video form.

Nicely done, no?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Kim Newman on PJF

Sci Fi Wire has rounded up some remembrances of Philip José Farmer, and I found Kim Newman's to be particular resonant for me.

Here are some things I got from PJ Farmer:

... that it's all right to make up stories about whatever you happen to be interested in—pulp heroes, zeppelins, weird sex, 19th century fringe history—and hope enough readers out there will either share your interests or come to them through the story.

... that it's not enough to just pastiche earlier works—if you borrow a character or a plot or a setting, you have to put a spin on it, engage with the original work in some critical, almost adversarial way.

... that you can use real people as viewpoint characters, and even be quite rude about them, so long as you inhabit them as much as fictional creations.

... there's no such thing as useless information. Everything you know can be used.

... science fiction characters can have sex lives. And senses of humour.

... what a Psyche knot is.

... you can tie all your books and stories and even non-fiction together without imposing any deadening consistency (Mike Moorcock and M. John Harrison reinforce this).

Monday, March 09, 2009


Angry Robot Books

Angry Robot, a new imprint from HarperCollins dedicated "to the best in modern adult science fiction, fantasy and everything inbetween," has just launched their official site and announced their first titles.

The site lists four titles coming out in the first couple of months (August and September in the UK, September and October in the US and elsewhere). And this one in particular looks strangely familiar...
Chris Roberson

Reporter Spencer Finch is embroiled in the hunt for a missing book, encountering along the way cat burglars and mobsters, hackers and monks. At the same time, he’s trying to make sense of the legacy left him by his late grandfather, a chest of what appear to be magazines from the golden age of pulp fiction, and even earlier.

Following his nose, Finch gradually uncovers a mystery involving a lost Greek play, secret societies, generations of masked vigilantes… and an entire secret history of mankind.

This tremendous modern fantasy is like The Da Vinci Code rewritten by the Coen Brothers. Already critically acclaimed worldwide for both his SF and fantasy series, Chris Roberson is at the very height of his powers. A lost classic, originally self-published by Chris as Voices of Thunder back in 2001, this revised, definitive edition, from the author’s preferred text, is published for the mass-market for the very first time.

More info in the links above. This is shaping up to be a strong lineup, and I'm pleased to be a part of it.


Monday Linkage

Here's a random assortment of items of interest I've saved over the last week.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


For Digestion's Sake

The Ephemerist shares this treat, an add that originally appeared in the Chicago Sunday Times on October 11, 1936 (scanned by Max&Jedi).

I may be a smoking dilettante, spending more weeks of the year as a non-smoker than as a smoker, but I am a brand loyalist. Camels have always been my brand, and that was before I realized that they were the the explorer's secret weapon... against indigestion.


Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel

Thanks to John DeNardo at SF Signal for pointing this one out.

Time-travelling geeks in a pub? Okay, count me in.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Philip Eddolls's "Git Gob"

Unlike others who have more scruples than me, I have no problem reposting to my blog other people's videos and work and other random things I find on the web (including Adam Rex's blog). But I definitely agree with him that Philip Eddolls's "Git Gob" is one of the best one-minute shorts I've seen in a long while, if ever.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Saturday Morning Watchmen

I think I'd rather watch a season's worth of this than the work of any "visionary director" you might care to name.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009



You may remember Alex Butera's Baman Piderman, perhaps? No? Well, too bad. Because this morning the Drawn blog has posted Butera's latest bit of animated genius, this time working in collaboration with Lindsay Small. It is entitled SuperGo!, and it's the story of five ninja brothers who set out through the woods to rescue a damsel in distress. They fight giant bears who wear hats, robots, whale tongues, and... Well, you'll just have to watch it for yourself.


Solaris Books

I see that the official press release about Games Workshop putting Solaris up for sale has started making the rounds, so I figured I'd post a quick word about it here. I've had nothing but good experiences working with the Solaris crew these past few years, from Marco and George to Christian and Mark and all the rest. I would say that I'm sorry not to be working with them again, but in actual fact I'll be continuing to work with all of them in one way or another (even Marco, though I don't think I'm supposed to say anything about that just yet). I'm up to my elbows writing Sons of Dorn for Black Library, and had a nice chat with George on Monday about a few other Warhammer 40K projects on the horizon, so I don't think I'll have seen the end of those guys any time soon.

It does mean that the projected third Celestial Empire novel from Solaris has fallen between the cracks, not yet under contract and too far out in the schedule to be addressed in the short term. So it may be a while yet before the world sees another Celestial Empire novel from me. But don't worry, world! I've got loads of other irons in the fire, and with any luck I'll have some good news for you in the next little while.

In any event, I want to thank the whole Solaris crew for a terrific few years. Nice work, gents!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Free Samples

Can't talk, I'm writing. So here's some free samples, from people other than me.
Go. Read. Enjoy.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Childish Things

Gerry Canavan has posted a round up of "grown up Calvin & Hobbes" images this morning, and included was one that I hadn't seen before, but which I like a lot.

I've tried without success to track down the source of this one. Anyone know who might have done it?


Blue Fish Georgia

Today, Georgia's preschool is having a "Dress as your favorite Dr. Seuss character" day. Without hesitation, Georgia decided last week to go as the blue fish from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

It took a little planning, and some last minute shopping over the weekend, but I think Allison did a terrific job of capturing the look. What do you think?


Dylan Horrocks launches Hicksville site

Rejoice, you million! Rejoice! Dylan Horrocks has launched a new webcomics blog, Hicksville Comics!! Where he'll be serializing stories old and new!!! (Honestly, there aren't enough exclamation marks on my keyboard for this news.)

Horrocks hinted about this on his blog awhile back, so it doesn't come as a complete shock, but still. New Dylan Horrocks comics?!

Here's the announcement from the Hicksville site:

Well, it’s taken me a while, but I’m finally joining the wonderful world of online comics. Henceforth, this site will be my primary way of serialising long stories, replacing the old paper pamphlet format of PickleAtlas. I’m making the shift for a number of reasons - from my growing enthusiasm for the internet to the appeal of weekly deadlines - but for those who still love paper, never fear: everything will end up as book collections as well. and

So - I’m starting with two ongoing serials:

The American Dream: this is a totally new story that I’ve been working on for some years (I think I began writing notes for it in 2003 or 2004). Not sure exactly how long it will be, but probably less than 100 pages, and I plan on putting up a few new pages per week.

Sam Zabel & the Magic Pen: I already published the first chapter of this story in Atlas #2 & 3 (from the wonderful Drawn & Quarterly), so the first 26 pages will look pretty familiar to anyone who read them there. But I’ve now added colour (which I’d always hoped to do eventually), and of course from chapter two onwards, it’ll be all new.

Future serials will include Atlas (I’m in the process of reworking the opening section, complete with some new material), and various other things; I plan to have two serials running at any given time.

I’ll also be gradually adding short stories, some of which were drawn for recent anthologies, along with old stuff that’s hard to find. First up are Siso and The Physics Engine, both of which were drawn for anthologies of New Zealand writing.

As I’m kinda new to this webcomics thing, please forgive any early hiccups - and be aware that I’m still ironing out a few kinks in the coding, etc.

If you don't know who Dylan Horrocks is, shame on you. You might be excused because his work hasn't ever gotten the attention it deserves in the States, I think, but still, shame on you.

Ten years ago my first "professional" writing was doing comics reviews for a website run by Steve Jackson (of Steve Jackson Games fame). One of the first reviews I did was of Horrocks's Hicksville, which had serialized in the pages of Pickle and was by then available in a completed and collected edition from Black Eye. It was later reissued by Drawn & Quarterly, and while it's out of print, second hand copies can be had for reasonable rates.

Here's the review. Unless you hate goodness or something, you owe it to yourself to hunt down a copy of Hicksville, and to keep track of the new offerings on Hicksville Comics, as well!


Monday Linkage

Howdy, internets. Here's a few things that I've noted over the last week, and thought well worth sharing here.

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