Monday, May 09, 2011

A long time...maybe the last time.

I don't know, really. It does really feel like I've run out of things to say, at least in this particular format. And I'm not sure why that is. Perhaps it's because when I first started this blog, I was an editor at Entertainment Weekly, one who spent most if not all of his time disconnected from the internet as a content creator. This was before Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. This was my outlet for opinions I couldn't express in a mass media publication as well as work blogs when I started writing comics on a regular basis.

And then I started writing for EW's in-house blog and got to get some of the rambly off my chest. When I left EW and became a full-time blogger, my life was all about getting paid for stuff I used to write here for free, so I shook my moneymaker where the money was good.

I've spent the better part of the last two years doing that and I think I might've pulled up whatever oil was down there to begin with. Combine that with relatively robust presences on the social-media trifecta I mentioned up top — yeah, I think I might be done. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'll return to this particular format, ready to dig my teeth in and tear a new path.

But I don't think so.

My work leads me to write longer and longer — in comics, novels, and now television — so my play becomes shorter and shorter. Such is the way of things, I suppose.

I may pop in here, every now and again, but I wouldn't count on it. Thanks for stopping by, those of you who still did. If you're looking for more of me, hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr. I still sling bullshit there on a regular basis.

Take care.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

San Diego 2010: The Year I Became Part of the Problem

I'd been debating whether I should write a "looking back on this year's Comic-Con" post, given that we're almost two weeks out from the event itself. But time afforded me a perspective that I couldn't have realized that close to SDCC.

This year was a very different year for me: I wasn't covering San Diego as a journalist. For anyone. This was my eighth San Diego, and each of those was under the auspices of Entertainment Weekly's comic-book ambassador. They all required hustling from point A to Hall H, jockeying for position, lobbying for admittance -- the press-pass two-step that hundreds of other people perform every year. But this year, I was a comic creator, first, foremost, and solely. My allegiance was to myself; my time was my own.

Adam and I signed books when we were scheduled to, we took meetings when they presented themselves and did some promising business, and we hardly ever bought ourselves a meal, thanks to the generosity of those with expense accounts (ah, I remember those) and event budgets. The only panels I attended were those I was on or was moderating.

I still had a press pass, though, which secured a host of party invitations -- and being represented by one of the three biggest agencies in Hollywood secured still more, as does being a still-liked veteran of the magazine that throws the big Saturday night soiree. We drank our fill, ate like kings, and danced like Joss Whedon if Joss Whedon could dance.

It was Saturday, I think, when we were killing time in the Wired Lounge, staring around at the gathered doucheyness -- assorted B-level stars, schmoozing producers, and motley sychophants -- that I realized what had happened.

We were part of the doucheyness. We were doing all of the things that people rail against when they talk about how SDCC has forgotten what that first "C" stands for. We were having a Hollywood Con...and loving every minute of it.

Because it's easy to love, spending four days being treated a little better than the lion's share of the 120,000 other attendees. It's easy to understand why "Lounges" are popping up all around SDCC, catering to Los Angeles douchebaggers that see San Diego as a short vacation full of free shit and laughing at the geeks. And my SDCC, I'm almost ashamed to admit it, was wonderfully douchey.

I have become part of the problem. Sorry about that.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

San Diego Comic Con Dreaming

Okay, before we get into the new plans I've got for this wee blog, business must be attended to.

So, if you'll be in San Diego for the Big Show next week, here's where you can find me...if'n you're looking for me. Adam and I will be there in support of the new issue of Genius, which'll make it's debut, The Authority, and Monster Attack Network. And we'll be on hand to discuss anything else you're curious about — we do, it turns out, know where babies come from.

Thursday, 7/22
12:30-1:30pm: io9 panel: The Science Fiction that Changed My Life (Room 7AB)
4:00-5:00: Jeff Katz's State of Geekdom Town Hall (a boat somewhere behind the Convention Center)

Friday, 7/23
11:00-12:00pm: Top Cow signing (Top Cow booth)
12:00-1:00pm: DC Comics signing (DC booth)
4:45-5:45pm: Moderating the Fallen Skies (Spielberg's new TNT alien-invasion show) panel (Room 6A)

Saturday, 7/24
1:00-2:00pm: Monster Attack Network signing (AiT/Planetlar booth)
2:00-3:00pm: DC Comics signing (DC booth)
3:00-4:00pm: Top Cow signing (Top Cow booth)

Sunday, 7/25
10:00-11:00am: Top Cow signing (Top Cow booth)

And if you miss us at any of those places, just head for the Hyatt bar.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Clash of the Clashes

When I was a boy of maybe 13 years old, I did something bad. I forged the grades on my junior high report card. I fudged Fs to As, Ds to Bs. Not particularly artfully, either, given that I was a boy of maybe 13 years old. So my parents quickly discovered my lawbreaking and punished me in the matter they saw fit.

I was to stay in my room for an entire summer. Draconian, you say? Sure. My father was old school and brooked no bullshit. I was an ungrateful whelp who knew nothing of hardship, he would say. And he was right, given that he was born and raised in Haiti. He knew nothing but hardship...which is why he left. Anyway.

I was punished for the summer. No outside, no TV, no visits from friends. In retrospect, that time indoors reinforced my love of reading -- and I had nothing to do but read. And so I did. One of the few places I could go was the library, where I devoured all they had of Conan novels -- my first exposures to Asimov, Herbert, and Ellison came that summer. But even as I watched day turn into night and my friends head out to play and back for dinner, the thing I wanted most wasn't to join them. I wanted to watch Clash of the Titans.

It was premiering on HBO that summer. June, I believe. I was a sucker for Greek mythology, and wanted to see it terribly. But I couldn't. No TV. So it came and it went. As did the summer. The strictness of my confinement would ease before school started; even my father realized that he was being a little too strict.

The weekend before school started, the old man sat me down and asked me, as he did during every week of my punishment, if I'd learned my lesson. And, as I did every week, I told him yes. But this time, he handed me a videocassette. I put it in the VCR, pressed play, and smiled like an idiot as Clash of the Titans popped on the screen. He taped it for me three months prior. Because, through it all, he was still my dad.

So while I understand that the Harry Hamlin Clash of the Titans is a honking piece of cheeseball shite, I've got a love for it that can't be diminished by such a petty thing as quality.

Friday, January 01, 2010

I Do Not Wish

I do not wish for much of this new year, save more from myself.

This is the first year, in a long while, that begins with me as my own man. I am no longer beholden to anyone -- anyone I didn't choose to be, anyway. My time is my own, and now I must make the most of it, as opportunities like this come along but rarely.

I am a patient man except, at times, with those closest to me. That will change, because it must. Because I refuse to let anger cloud judgment, to let frustration obscure compassion.

How much will do I have, and can I bend it to what needs doing? This will be the question that I'll answer at the end of 2010, one way or another.

Can I change? We'll see.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bamf, bitches!

At last, after a couple of little stories here and there, we've hit the motherlode -- or, at least, the motherlode of one-shots. But still, 30 solid pages of X-Men action from me and Mr. Freeman. And we could not be happier. Not only was it a hoot to write, but the artist on the book is Cary Nord and he's just goddamn phenomenal.

Look for X-Men Origins: Nightcrawler #1 on March 3. And buy it, please. I am unemployed...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy holidays, Everyone

I've never been a big Christmas guy: My parents put up lights until Santa regained his spot in the myth closet. But this year I bought the a wad of lights to decorate the outside of the house. For the first time in, literally, decades. Not sure what that means. Either I've got a touch of holiday cheer, or it's the cheesesteak I had for lunch.

Either way, enjoy yourselves, folks.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Well,'s been MORE than "a while"

It's been almost half a year. Since just after San Diego, actually. Almost six months. And a wee bit has happened since.

For starters, I've gone and lost my job. Actually, that's not accurate -- given that I know exactly where my job is. After 13 years at Entertainment Weekly, I've been relieved of my duties. "Laid off" is the official term. And, you know, I'm okay with it. I've spent most of my adult life at EW and, while I wouldn't trade the experience for anything -- especially the late '90s, the last of the halcyon days of magazine publishing -- it was time for me to spend some time running down the dream.

So that's what I'm gonna do for the next couple of months: write my ass off. There's a decent number of contracted comics that need finishing, a couple of ideas that need developing, a screenplay that needs to be juiced back to life, and a novel that I can not write because I'm scared of it.

On the bright side, before I left EW, I got Nathan Fillion to come and visit, purely through the power of Twitter. So I've got that going for me...

I'll be here a lot more often, given that I've, technically, no place else to be.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

San Diego Comic-Con '09: The Year it All Changed

Grandiose title, yes? But it's true. In more ways than one.

THE AUTHORITY. Adam and I are taking over The Book Warren Built for Wildstorm. It's been in the works for a couple of months, and it's a massive thing for us. We are being entrusted with, essentially, the jewel in the Wildstorm crown, and we hope to be equal to the task. Or, at the very least, to blow up enough shit that you won't notice that we aren't.

GENIUS. Top Cow reaffirmed their commitment to the book. We're looking at early '10 for Vol. 1.

CELL DIVISION. Also for Top Cow, a new science fiction thriller. Most likely summer '10.

UNTITLED AMERICAN ORIGINAL BOOK. I'm gonna follow Jeff Katz into the fire for a spell and see what the weather's like. It's an "urban" miniseries — which means it'll have mostly black people in it. But I'll see if I can throw in a Puerto Rican or two.

MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK. I signed a copy of the book for the fella that's gonna be the star. Can't say who, of course. But there is sweetness afoot.

THE CONVENTION ITSELF. Maddening/phenomenal as always. The way the SDCC organizers deal with the press continues to be imperfect at best, impossible at worst. Catching up with old comic-friends is always worth the trip. And there is business to be done amongst the chaos.

But the thing that crystallized how the Comic-Con experience has changed for me was the Wired Cafe. If you haven't heard of it, it only underlines my point. On a terrace bar at the Omni Hotel, Wired set up an oasis: free food, free top-shelf booze, working wifi, banging sounds, gift bags, celebrities, the whole nine yards. It ran from Thursday through Saturday, and it was terrific. Once granted admission, one could visit there as often as one wished.

But the only people who knew of this were the famous and those who covered them. The multitudes who stood on lines for hours, who slept in the open to see Robert Pattinson, who walked the miles of the floor carrying an infantryman's pack worth of merchandise while wearing a Time Lord's trench before hiking to their hotel where they slept five to a room...they were oblivious. The people who made Comic-Con what it was, the very people who needed such sanctuary the most couldn't get it. Sure, there have always been parties and events not for public participation, but this was the first time I'd seen the Comic-Con equivalent of a Sundance gifting suite.

And that marked for me the turning of Comic Con.