Wednesday, October 28, 2009


My World Fantasy Convention schedule

I'll be in the bar.*

* Chances are I'll have to leave it from time to time, but if I'm not there, I promise I'll be right back!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Hey, man, is that Freedom Rock?

Well, turn it up, man!


The Great Pumpkin!

The incomparable J. Bone shares this awesome image of the Great Pumpkin finally emerging out of the pumpkin patch... sadly too late for his lone adherent, Linus.

Bone thinks he's subconsciously riffing on an image that Jay Stephens has already done. Can anyone remember the piece he's thinking of, if so?

Monday, October 26, 2009


Klingon Recruiting Film

This has already been all over the internet but (a) I've had several drinks tonight, and (b) I don't care. As a former card-carrying member of the Klingon Language Institute (seriously), all I can say is "Qapla!"


New Muppet Videos

Here's a few tasty Muppet videos for your Halloween enjoyment.


Giant Robots and Boy Detectives

A post this afternoon on Super Punch points out the terrific jacket design for the forthcoming How My Science Project Destroyed the World, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Dan Santat.

Over on his blog, Dan Santat has posted a bunch of his inspirations for the approach, including old pulp sf covers, kaiju movie posters, and Thai action films. In other words, my kind of thing.

A couple of weeks ago I read The Brixton Brothers: The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity, also written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by the amazing Adam Rex.

I read The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity in one sitting because I literally could not put it down (though I did have to pause occasionally when laughing outloud). To say anything about the plot at all would be to spoil too many surprises, so I'll simply say that it is a very clever, very self-aware middle-reader novel about a boy obsessed with the fictional exploits of boy detectives (in the Hardy Boys vein) who finds his life turning into just such an adventure. Rex provides illustrations throughout that are absolutely pitch pirfect.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Lucy Knisley's "Saved by the Spell"

I vote that scientists start work immediately on building a time machine in order to travel back to the '80s and make Lucy Knisley's vision a reality...

I would much rather watch this version, to be honest. (Now what would producers in the 80s have done with the Twilight franchise, one is forced to wonder...?)


Fantastic Family Circus

The internet have been filled since yesterday morning with posts about Ryan Dunlavey's genius mashups of familiar newspaper comic strips with other pop culture icons. If you haven't seen them yet, be sure check them out. My personal favorite is the "Fantastic Family Circus." Just plain awesome.

And when you get done looking at the mashups, check out the amazing "Where's Waldo"-esque crowd scenes he's done.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Georgia's New Glasses

Georgia got her first pair of glasses today, and so we went out into the backyard to try them out. (This my first attempt at a YouTube posting, so please be patient if it fumbles.)

And if there are those of you afraid of YouTube videos for some reason, here's a still image:


Moebius and Miyazaki

I have James Gurney to thank for bringing this one to my attention. The following clip features edited (and subtitled) excerpts of a joint interview with Moebius and Hayao Miyazaki in Paris on the occasion of a joint art exhibit. Both men say all sorts of interesting things, but Gurney is quite right that Miyazaki has the bits that stick with you.

Here are two quotes from Miyazaki in particular that resonate with me very much.
"The 21st Century is a tricky time. Our future isn't clear. We need to re-examine many things we've taken for granted, whether it's common sense or our way of thinking. We need to reconsider each norm in the field of entertainment and children's films, too. We must question the format we've been following. You can't just create a baddie from a mould, then beat him. We must not make a film in the easy way."
"Inside me I have negativity, despair, or hopelessness; in fact a lot of hopelessness and pessimism. But I don't feel like expressing it in my films, which children see. I'm more interested in what drives me to make a happy film or what makes me feel happy."
This is a much better way of expressing my current philosophy towards my own writing, which I in my hamfisted way have instead formulated as "Cheer up and have fun."


42 Essential 3rd Act Twists

I just started following Aaron Diaz's webcomic Dresden Codak a few weeks ago, and haven't found time to work my way through the archives yet. This post on Neotarama suggests I clearly need to find the time. Originally posted in May of this year, here are "42 Essential 3rd Act Twists."

I like "Frankenwolf," myself.

While obviously covering different ground, this reminds me a bit of the Creebobby Comics Archetypes Times Table. Put those together with this and you might just cover every conceivable story.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Noam Raby's "I Love XKCD"

(via) Noam Raby animates a song by Olga Nunes with images and lyrics from an XKCD strip by Randall Munroe, and the result is awesomeness.

And here's the original strip, for reference.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


We Are All Connected

I like this even better than the first Carl Saga autotune mashup.

Here's the details, from the YouTube posting:
MP3 available at

"We Are All Connected" was made from sampling Carl Sagan's Cosmos, The History Channel's Universe series, Richard Feynman's 1983 interviews, Neil deGrasse Tyson's cosmic sermon, and Bill Nye's Eyes of Nye Series, plus added visuals from The Elegant Universe (NOVA), Stephen Hawking's Universe, Cosmos, the Powers of 10, and more. It is a tribute to great minds of science, intended to spread scientific knowledge and philosophy through the medium of music.
And as a bonus, here's They Might Be Giants with some similar sentiments, from Georgia's favorite album of the moment, Here Comes Science:


D&D on the Microsoft Surface

I've been excited about the potential application of "multi-touch" touch-sensitive displays for a while now, and the iPhone is just the thin end of the wedge. (I'm waiting for an e-reader the size of my netbook's LCD, but with a multi-touch-sensitive color display. Then it is on like Donkey Kong.)

So imagine my excitement when I saw this on Topless Robot last night, a proof-of-concept video for the Microsoft Surface, turning a table-sized multi-touch display into a D&D game table.

I like the fact that you can hear the sound of dice clicking as the virtual dice roll across the display.

Here's the full credits, for reference:
A walk-through of the current build of our proof of concept for a Dungeons & Dragons experience on the Microsoft Surface. Created by the Surfacescapes team at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University.

Theyab Al Tamimi
Whitney Babcock-McConnell
Michael Cole
Dyala Kattan-Wright
Bulut Karakaya
Michael Lewis
Ethan Rupp


Terminator - How It Should End, Take Two

A little while back we got one view of how Terminator should (or should have) ended. Today, XKCD offers another take.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Grocery Store Musical

Improv Everywhere's latest, "Grocery Store Musical."

My favorite thing about this are the people who just go on shopping, pretending like nothing strange is happening two feet away from them.


Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love #3

DC has released their solicitations for January '10, and included is a little something close to my heart.

Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Shawn McManus
Cover by Chrissie Zullo
Super-spy Cinderella and her uneasy ally Aladdin are hot on the trail of the shadowy figures who are smuggling black market magics into the mundane world, and the search leads them from the hot sands of Dubai to the cold waters of the North Atlantic. Meanwhile, back in Fabletown, Crispin Cordwainer’s new shoe designs are a big hit – maybe a little too big!
On sale January 6 • 3 of 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
Issue one hits the stands the first Wednesday in November, if I'm remembering correctly. But in case you were concerned that Cindy might not end up in a wetsuit at some point in this adventure, let your fears be laid to rest. (Better yet, she's wearing a catsuit *under* the wetsuit...)

Monday, October 19, 2009


Tom Rhodes's "Swampgas"

Calgary-based illustrator Tom Rhodes is an art student at Alberta College of Art and Design, and periodically posts examples of his school projects to his blog. Always well worth checking out. This past weekend, he posted this little gem.

In a nutshell, it imagines what it might look like if other monsters were given the "Twilight" treatment. In this instance, the Creature from the Black Lagooon...

Friday, October 16, 2009


Crossbreeding Genres

Over on the Clockwork Storybook blog, I've posted the first in what will likely be several responses to Matt Sturges's scurrilous attack on my favorite entertainments (to say nothing of my entire body of work!). Here's a small sampling:
See, Matt's tired of what he's calling "mashup fiction," which he defines as "stories whose genesis is the intentional combination of unrelated tropes, historical figures, or characters from previously published works." I know just what he's talking about. That's not just my bread-and-butter as a writer, it's the primary staple I consume as a reader. That's the stuff I live for.

Naturally, as one might expect, I disagree a bit with Matt's assertion that such stuff is getting stale, and past its sell-by-date. And not just because "mashup-fiction" includes the vast majority of all of my favorite books, comics, music, and movies. "Mashup-fiction" isn't simply a viable approach to entertainment.

Entertainment needs "mashups" in order to survive.


"Portrait of a Domesticated Predator," by Georgia

As if her drawing of the Blob... erm, of B.O.B. wasn't enough art from my daughter for one day, here's a bit of coloring Georgia did yesterday. (Stick with me on this one.) We spend a lot of time, the two of us, Googling for line-drawings to print out and color. Yesterday it was cats. The images are rarely attributed, but this one was found here.

If you check out the original, you'll see that Georgia has added a few details. For example, adding black over the eyes to suggest that this is, to paraphrase the old Monty Python bit, a late fish, removing any doubt that it might be a live fish who has inadvertently flopped up on land. And the gaping wounds and streams of blood? She added those, too.

So what was originally a sedate drawing of a cat looking at a fish on the ground now becomes a somewhat unsettling portrait of a cat contemplating the results of its own predatory instincts, clearly able to kill its prey but unsure what to do next. A portrait of a domesticated predator, if you will, with all of its killer instinct intact but lacking the real-world experience to know how to put them into play.

I'm sure it's a mere coincidence that the coloration of this cat matches that of our our own cat Blue, who has killed more than a few insects and lizards unlucky enough to cross his path in our house, and then sat and stared and them as they bled out their last, unsure what to do next...


"B.O.B.", by Georgia

You people have no idea how hard I fight to resist the urge just to turn this blog into a gallery of my kid's latest drawings.

Here's one of her offerings from yesterday, a rendition of B.O.B. from Monsters Vs. Aliens, drawn from life. Or rather, drawn from the new action figure that was sitting on our kitchen table. (If you'd ever seen the tablecloth on our kitchen table, you'd be struck by how accurate it's represented by the colored dots underneath.)


HorrorScope on Book of Secrets

The Australian site HorrorScope has posted a review of Book of Secrets, and the reviewer (who I presume to be
This is a very ambitious book, comprising both Spencer’s current day narrative and an assortment of the stories that he was given, their genres ranging from pulp short stories to a medieval ballad. Each style is captured perfectly, reflecting Roberson’s clear talent.
The obvious comparisons to books such as the Da Vinci Code will be drawn by many readers. While there is a similarity to some of the themes, Book of Secrets is, overall, much better written. There is a feeling that some depth of character has been sacrificed in favour of plot and intrigue. Spencer himself comes across as not being fully realized much of the time, and many of the secondary characters are little more than sketches. As this is a book more about ideas than characters, however, it’s not a huge drawback to the enjoyment of the story.


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Google Street View Guys

Speaking of Dan Meth, as I was earlier today, here's his latest animation for College Humor.


How Clouds Work

Dan Meth, whose animations I've raved about more than a few times, drops a little science on us, explaining How Clouds Work.

He explains it, thusly.
A weird illustration for the upcoming graphic novel anthology “This Will Explain Everything” to be published by the Scotland-based Forest Publishing very soon.
For a bigger view click here.


Afrodisiac trailer

Hey, remember the other day when I mentioned Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca's Afrodisiac, due out in a collection from AdHouse this fall? And that you'd need to be picking it up?

If by some bizarre chance the notion of Afrodisiac fighting a T-Rex in Vietnam wasn't enough to sell you, the following trailer should make clear all of the reasons you need this book.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Harvey Awards Animation

Just enjoy it.

Harvey Awards Animation from Monkey and Tiger on Vimeo.


Go Buy This

Here are your marching orders for the day.

1) Go to your local comic shop. (If you don't know where that is, look here.)

2) Locate a copy of the House of Mystery Halloween Annual, which is hitting the stands today.

(Here's what the cover looks like, for visual reference.)

3) Go to the counter and purchase the House of Mystery Halloween Annual.

4) Go somewhere comfortable and read the contents, enjoying all of the stories and vignettes, but paying careful attention to "Trick or Treat," illustrated by Michael Allred and written by some dude.

5) Mark your calendar to remind yourself to repeat these steps in March when the first issue of iZombie is released, which picks up right where "Trick or Treat" leaves off.

BONUS points: For extra credit, also purchase a copy of Hector Plasm: Totentanz, by Benito Cereno and Nate Bellegarde, among other notables. I've been waiting patiently for this one for a while.


"T-Rex," by Georgia Roberson

Because it's been too long since I've scanned and posted any of Georgia's drawings, here's the latest. She started work on this one during art class at school yesterday, and finished it after she got home. It colorfully depicts a T. Rex in the act of eating a brachiosaurus. The brachiosaurus, as you can see, is less than pleased by this development.

I went to Georgia's first parent-teacher conference on Monday. At one point, her teacher paused for a moment, unsure how to phrase her next thought, and then proceeded to explain about the strange, high-pitched groan that Georgia makes on the playground, in the classroom, and especially when playing with the big bin of plastic dinosaurs during free time.

"Yeah, that's the noise she makes when she's being a dinosaur," I said apologetically, and the teacher was immediately relieved to know I was already aware of it. I promised to encourage her to be a dinosaur more quietly in future.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Jim Rugg's MODOK Vs. Lucha Libre

Jim Rugg knows what you need, even if you don't.

What do you need? MODOK versus luchadores, obviously...

My money's on MODOK.

Monday, October 12, 2009


An Angel on His Shoulder, A Devil on Hers

The fine folks over at BenBella Books have posted the full text of one of the essays I did for them, "An Angel on His Shoulder, A Devil on Hers", from their title So Say We All: Collected Thoughts and Opinions on Battlestar Galactica, edited by Richard Hatch.

Anyone who has suffered through one of my rants about Battlestar Galactica knows how I feel about the last few seasons of the series, and about the finale in particular, and my ire over the epic fail may obscure the passion with which I raved about the first seasons earlier on.

One of my favorite pastimes is trying to anticipate where things on good television series are headed. The complex ones, I mean, that are clearly built around puzzles and mysteries. Allison and I are currently rewatching Lost from the beginning, and I've been gradually refining my Grand Unified Theory of Lost as we go. From the first moments of the initial BSG miniseries I devoted a fair amount of brain processing capacity to figuring out where the show was heading, what the "plan" of the Cylons was exactly, and what would happen next. This essay represents my thinking at somewhere around the middle of the series, if I recall correctly, sometime shortly after the liberation of New Caprica. You know, right before it All Went Wrong. Of course, my projections and predictions turned out to be entirely wrong ("Oh, you mean they're really angels?! Of course, I should have seen that all along!"), but if you're curious in seeing a kind of under-informed "what if" scenario about just what was going on with the version of Six that haunted Baltar (and the image of Baltar that haunted Caprica Six), this is your chance. Consider it fan-fiction, and leave it at that.


Ford for Adventure

(via) I've been driving the same car since April of 1997, and expect that I'll keep doing so until it finally stops moving. And if I were to buy a new car, it would doubtless be some tree-hugging electric-powered lozenge that you and a few friends could just pick up and carry home if it ever broke down, no tow-truck needed. But while I can't picture a set of circumstances that would result in me buying a gas-guzzling SUV, I approve of this ad by Ogilvy, London for Ford in the UK.

If I found myself needing to haul a giant gorilla back home from the jungle, I doubt my Ford Escort would be equal to the task. Then I might see getting an SUV. I'll stick with little lozenge cars for now, but if giant gorillas are discovered let me know and I may reconsider.


Jvstin on Three Unbroken

Paul "Jvstin" Weimer has reviewed Three Unbroken over on his blog, and has nice things to say about it. I think this following bit may be my favorite, though...
Roberson writes precisely the kind of SF that I want to spend my recreational time reading.


Saturday, October 10, 2009


Toy Story 3 trailer

It is what is says on the label...

Friday, October 09, 2009


Gary the Cylon - Episode 17

Remember Gary the Cylon? Well, there's a new episode.

I gotta say, I kind of miss the old school Cylons...


XKCD's "Scary"

I think we can all agree that this is pretty terrifying...

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Doc Shaner's "Fantastic Four"

Evan Shaner is another artist whose work I've raved about again and again and again. Why he isn't already working for one of the Big Two is an eternal mystery, but sooner or later he's going to be a superstar.

Check out this terrific group shot of the Fantastic Four that he's just posted to deviantArt.

Fantastic, right?


Lucy Knisley's "Mayhem at Mickey's Diner"

Lucy Knisley, whose work I've raved about before, shares the following bit of awesomeness on her Livejournal, the print that she'll be selling at this weekend's FALLCON.

I love all of the little bits of business going on, the little stories hidden in the details. As much as I love Lucy's autobiographical comics, I think she should really be doing kid's books. Georgia would eat this stuff up.

Check out more awesomeness at Lucy's website.


Silly Fantasies

I've been meaning to mention this for days, but the time keeps running away from me. Go over to the Orbit blog and check out A. Lee Martinez's column about "Silly Fantasies." I might quibble with one or two points he makes, but by and large he reflects my current thinking about genre pretty closely. (The writing philosophy I've developed over the course of the last year or so can be boiled down to "Cheer up and have fun.")

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Murray Ewing's "Alice at R'lyeh"

Garen Ewing, whose splendid Rainbow Orchid I've mentioned before, this morning pointed to a little gem that somehow had previously escaped my attention. His brother Murray Ewing has written and illustrated a delightfully metafictional poem entitled "Alice at R'lyeh." It is exactly what you think it's going to be, but in an entirely unexpected way.

Here's a snippet...

"If you please, Mr Lovecraft, I'll venture to prove
"(And I hope that you won't think me forward or rude)
"That the way that you look at the world is quite wrong
"My argument, truly, is not overlong:—

"Caterpillars are dopy, and Hatters are mad,
"And the Mouse and the mournful Mock Turtle are sad,
"And the White Rabbit's late, and the Red Queen is vexed
"And 'Why is a Raven like a Writing Desk?'"

"What kind of an argument is that?" Lovecraft cried
"A nonsensical argument," Alice replied,
"For if it's all nonsense, or meaninglessness
"You can take your conclusions any way you think best!"

The text of the poem is available online, and the illustrated version is available as a PDF download and on sale in hardcopy form. Check it out, won't you?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Bill Willingham's Peter & Max

Hey, remember yesterday, when I talked about all the great comics coming out this week? That was just based on things I'd seen on the blogs of various artists and writers, and it wasn't until I looked at the ship lists last night that I learned all of that goodness was just the tip of the iceberg.

A new issue of Marvel's indie spotlight Strange Tales? Awesome. A new Grant Morrison-penned Batman and Robin? I'm in. New issues of House of Mystery, The Incredibles, Models, Inc., Irredeemable, and Secret Warrrios? Yes, yes, yes, hell yes, and yes.

But the absolute best thing on the ship list for this week, I'm sorry to say, won't be on my To Read list. Because I've already read it.

I envy you lucky people who haven't read it yet, and now get the chance.

Here's the full text from the solication:
Set in the imaginative realm of the award-winning comic book series FABLES, PETER & MAX is a stand-alone prose novel - the first ever published starring FABLES characters!

Long ago, in the deepest dark of The Black Forest, two brothers - Peter Piper and his older brother Max - encountered ominous forces that changed them both irreparably. Thus begins an epic tale of sibling rivalry, magic, music and revenge that spans medieval times to the present day, when their deadly conflict surfaces in the placid calm of modern day Fabletown.

PETER & MAX: A FABLES NOVEL features the deft prose of award-winning comic book writer Bill Willingham and lush ink spot illustrations from FABLES artist Steve Leialoha. The novel also reveals secrets of some of the regular FABLES series cast members including Bigby Wolf, Frau Totenkinder and Bo Peep. Included as well is an 8-page bonus sequential comic story by Willingham and Leialoha that serves as a bridge to the FABLES graphic novel collections.
If you're already a fan of Fables, you won't want to miss this. And if you're not yet reading Fables, this is the perfect place to start. I was lucky enough to read it a chapter or two at a time as Bill was writing the novel last year, and I was on the edge of my seat between installments waiting to see what happened next. You folks are even luckier than you know, since you'll have the whole thing right there in your hands.

Buy it. Read it. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, October 05, 2009


X-Men Versus Agents of Atlas

This is a banner week for new comics, folks. Planetary #27, the long-awaited last issue of the series. Jeff Parker's Spider-Man 1602 #1. The return of Astonishing X-Men with issue #31, now with art by Phil Jimenez, which Warren Ellis promises will contain "spaceships, asteroid bases, beasties and explosions." But once you've picked up all of those, be sure to get X-Men Versus Agents of Atlas #1, script by Jeff Parker and art by Chris Samnee and Carlo Pagulayan. This bridges the Agents of Atlas from their ongoing series to their upcoming backup feature in the pages of Incredible Hercules, with a group of specials over the horizon. (And if you're not already reading Incredible Hercules, then you are missing out, my friends.)

I've raved about Agents of Atlas more times than I can count (just see for yourself), and I'd very much like Jeff Parker to continue writing their adventures well into the future. Healthy sales on this X-Men crossover miniseries would no doubt do much to increase those chances. So buy it, already!

And if you're on the fence, check out Chris Samnee's blog all this week, where he's showcasing preliminary sketches done in the run-up to the series. Here's the first taste, posted this morning.

Come on, people. Killer robot and talking gorilla? What else do you need to know?!

Saturday, October 03, 2009


Terminator - How It Should End

The How It Should Have Ended gang (who previously have imagined alternate endings for popular films) now head in a slightly different direction, imagining how ongoing franchises should end.

I must say I'm in complete agreement here...

Looks like new HISHE videos are expected every month. You'll hear no complaints from me.

Friday, October 02, 2009


Multiversal Meanderings

Chris Hsiang forever earned my respect when I learned over dinner that he had devised his own oragami technique to fashion a dollar-bill into a cowboy boot. Now he goes and ups the ante even further with a handy Alternate Universe Reading Guide for the folks at i09. As some of you might have guessed, I am nuts for multiversal stories, and anything involving travel to and from alternate realities. I'm writing a review of Iain Banks' Transition for SF Signal, sooner or later, and it was interesting to see that novel placed in context here. I think the only work mentioned here I haven't read is Stephenson's Anathem, which has been on my To Read list for a while; I think I may have to bump it up a few places on the list, now that I know there's some multiversal hoo-hah involved...

Now I'm off to watch last night's Fringe, having spent the day tinkering with a novel outline involving occult spies and multiversal invaders. See, I'm nuts for this kind of thing! Now go check out Hsiang's nifty readers guide, already, and see if there's anything you've missed, too.

(The fact that Hsiang flatters me by including my name among such luminaries, of course, does absolutely nothing to amplify the high esteem in which I hold him. I'm shocked, shocked, that anyone might think differently.)

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Meet the cast of I, ZOMBIE

Well, not really the whole cast. And it's more "glimpse the cast" than "meet", but it's the thought that counts.

Over on the Vertigo blog, Graphic Content, there's a selection of preview pages from the upcoming House of Mystery Halloween annual, including a couple of pages of Sturges's framing sequence and a couple of pages of Willingham and Buckingham's Merv Pumkinhead story. Oh, and look at that, a page from the 7-page I, ZOMBIE preview story, in which we get our first glimpse of Gwen Dylan and her pals Spot and Ellie.

Cool points to the first person to identify who Gwen (that's the one in the middle, the hero of our story) is dressed as for Halloween...

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