Monday, November 26, 2007

I Thumbed Right Through My Little Red Book

The interwebs is funny. Like sometimes you start getting a bunch of hits from a site which I think is a French message board about the Japanese release of a movie you wrote called THE DA VINCI CURSE. Babel Fish might not exactly hit it right on the head, but the (translated) comments are interesting nonetheless:

In short, one has the impression that it is a film of pals, made with a little means.

Well, I can't say my French brother was 100% wrong.

It is realise by the Polonia brothers who seem to be specialists of this kind of tricks.

Two for two!

Find on the blog of the guy who has ecrit the scenario C is funny but my premiere opinion on this film has ete "holds one would say an adaptation of a scenario Cthulhu 1945 fact one following day of cooked by a band of pals". But the reading of the blog has, one wonders whether it is not Ca. One can same have doubts about the dimension assumes trick.

I don't fully understand this post but I will fess up to playing some "Call of Cthulhu" back in the day, though THE DA VINCI CURSE had more to do with my love of books like THE BIG RED ONE and THE NAKED AND THE DEAD.

Feel free to give me a shout at

Friday, November 23, 2007

European Front

An annual Thanksgiving tradition...the playing of Axis and Allies amongst the menfolk, here represented by my son Daniel, my brother Eric, and myself. An added holiday bonus was that the Colts were beating up the Falcons at the same time. Unfortunately the U.S. was slow to destroy the Nazi U-Boats and staged an invasion of France too late to save a valiant Russian defense. Another parallel universe falls.

Monday, November 19, 2007

And He Hath Given To The Earth People To Sit And Look Profound

In reference to the post about my picture hanging up in the new Letterman Building at Ball State, infrequent reader Nancy writes: Found your pic outside WCRD in a case. No mullet. That's someone else. You have short hair and look, maybe, 13.

I look pre-pubescent? Not great, but at least there's proof that I DIDN'T HAVE A MULLET.

My old pal The Mighty Caveman wrote and asked if I would like to join up with a group of people who want to read and then blog about 50 books in 2008. You know I'm about the nerd extreme sports. I am so there.

On the literary tip for a minute, I would have to say that it's just as likely that Orson Scott Card read Alexei Panshin's RITE OF PASSAGE before writing ENDER'S GAME as it is that Stephen King read Samuel R. Delany's THE EINSTEIN INTERSECTION before writing THE DARK TOWER.

Give me a shout at

Friday, November 16, 2007

Let the Stars in the Firmament Remain as Bait

Somebody asked me if I stopped writing for the year because of the Writer's Strike. Actually I had stopped because I already wrote SEVEN DAMN SCRIPTS this year and that was enough for one humble Hoosier. But the more I learn about the strike the happier I am that I am chilling for a little while.

In other writing news, somebody else reported that they saw my photo hanging up in a display case at my alma mater, Ball State University, with other Letterman Scholarship winners in the brand new Letterman Building. I hope to get a second verification of this sighting, as this person reported that I had a mullet. Although it was in the happy year of 1987 A.D. when I won the Letterman Scholarship I NEVER HAD A MULLET. I was sporting hardly any business up front and almost no partying in the back.

Give me a shout at

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Face, A Voice, An Overdub Has No Choice

A lot of brothers smarter than me are writing about the Writer's Strike. Some guys I read, for instance, like Kung Fu Monkey John Rogers. Or guru John August. Also Artful Writer Craig Mazin. And hipster Ken Levine.

And there are lots and lots of cool videos here.

And finally this United Hollywood blog will 'bout take care of anything else you want to know.

I know, I know, you're probably thinking I'm like a homeless dude eating out of a dumpster wondering if Donald Trump enjoyed his lunch. But in the end we're all in it together.

Give me a shout at

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Toast and Marmalade for Tea

I thought I would take a moment and answer a few questions posted at my blog.

Longtime reader and independent cartoonist Tom writes, have you any thoughts on Muncie's new film festival? The start of something good or an one hit wonder? (And thanks for the comics, Tom!)

I thought my hometown's film festival was a good idea, but they should be brave enough to show only the independent work from Indiana instead of feeling they have to couple each work with a more famous mainstream work with Indiana ties, like HOOSIERS. Film festivals at that level should represent work not available anywhere else, especially not down the road at Blockbuster. Or maybe I'm just sour because nobody invited me. How many scripts does a brother have to sell to get a shout-out from his own hometown?

Mad pulp bastard Bill writes, I remember the Cougar and the whole of the Atlas line of super stars...

I do more than remember, thanks to ebay and studious attention to quarter bins at comic book shows I have quite a lot of them. And some of them ain't bad, especially DEMON HUNTER, THE HANDS OF THE DRAGON, and WULF THE BARBARIAN--athought two of those three only lasted one issue! An awesome site here.

Filmmaker Pete writes, Seven scripts in one year?!?!? Are you kidding me? My goal has always been to write one feature script a year. And that's a chore! How do you do it? Write a blog entry about that. I would love to hear your process.Also, what are the titles of the scripts... just curious.

You have to develop discipline enough to keep distractions at bay, like comics, TV, and Colts games (or in your case, Bucs games) and stop listening to that little voice in your head that tells you nobody cares but you and nothing will ever happen with the project and nobody will ever read your work. Although creativity is important, there is a lot of craft involved ; there are plenty of creative people in the world who can't stop playing XBox long enough to get the work done. And there is a lot of butt to chair involved.

That being said, it was my busiest year since I started really chasing freelancing in 2000 A.D. and I'm not sure that feat could be repeated.

This year was great for me in that I took '06 off because of a change of job and some family issues and I didn't know if I had been away too long. But right away I did SPLINTERHEAD and NEW JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH for Polonia Brothers Entertainment, a rewrite of the bigfoot movie PRIMAL which I believe came out from Automatic Media (though it came out without my rewrite), a rewrite of a serial killer movie MENTAL SCARS for producer Richard Myles, supernatural thriller URAMESHIYA (GHOST SCREAM) for New Zealand director Amit Tripuraneni (though we are still rewriting), and two projects I did on a nondisclosure that hopefully one day I can talk about, a sci-fi and a war movie.

Old gaming pal Barticus Rex writes: You can't drift from The Shield. Seriously. And check out Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother on CBS Monday nights.

Thanks for the leads. I hate missing THE SHIELD but it is too hard-core for my wife's delicate sensibilities. That's what DVD box sets are for, I guess.

New reader Brian writes, Law and Order:CI is still good. A better switch to USA.

This turned out to be true! I didn't realize this had even happened, so I found it and started watching it. It looks a little less glossy but, in my mind, is better than SVU (or as we call it in my house, SUV) right now.

Thanks for the feedback! Give me a shout at

Friday, November 09, 2007

On the Picket Lines

Much respect to the people from "The Office" for this viral video about the writer's strike. I have joked about it a bit but the serious shit is going down. And even though I will probably never get in the Guild I will probably never play for the Pacers either, so good luck to them.

Actually, it doesn't matter on what level you write, and I think I've said this before, but by and large being a writer is like being a virgin. The captain of the football team calls and calls, but as soon as you give up what you got the phone stops ringing.

I've been reading a lot of the excellent Hard Case Crime paperback series lately, and straight up, a lot of those bastards died penniless and alone. And, of course, many, many others, from comic book writers to Edgar Allen Poe.

I will bet you anything Shakespeare was hearing some shit like, "Well, we've got this new paradigm, and as soon as we figure out this whole letting women play women instead of having young dudes play women thing, you'll get paid."

True story: once I was pitching some scripts to a pretty well-known direct-to-DVD producer and he interrupted me and said, "All I need is a title and box cover art, I don't need to know about the script." And that's about it.

Give me a shout at

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Centurions Roll Call!

In solidarity with my writing brothers I too am going into repeats of a kind. Once upon a time I played a lot of role-playing games with my pals, including the Marvel SAGA system. Naturally our fertile minds created our own Centurions Universe.

Pretty soon as we became scattered far and wide we moved into message board turn-based gaming. We had a "web page" written with that crazy stuff called "HTML" and everything. I learned a lot about the interwebs that way. As the site got crazier and more elaborate I did a couple of "Sunday Comics" featuring our characters which were then computer colored by a fellow gamer and the world-builder, the Caveman.

Here is Issue One, featuring my character The Mote, Don's character The Marksman, Dave's character Hydromanex, and Doug's character Silent Majority.

Introducing The Lug

In the Caveman's computer coloring, he glommed onto my clever homage to a certain hulking antihero.

People Bug Lug!

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned Roll Call. Astute readers of my rickety comic book "Volunteers" might notice that I re-used this story in one issue. I was merging the universes, sort of like when Charlton got bought out by DC, only without Steve Ditko.


Well, this gets me hankerin' to play more Marvel SAGA. The Mote returns in "Mote Revenge Squad!"

Monday, November 05, 2007

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Well, nobody asked me to go on strike with y'all, but I'm no scab (unless somebody wants me to reboot BIONIC WOMAN for them), so here are some previous articles I wrote, for another website, about some wayward comic books from the dustbins of history...The Secret Tomb of Brother Voodoo, where the sad, forgotten, misfit heroes come home to rest. Let's look inside, shall we?

Steel Sterling #49
Mighty Comics Group, 1967
Just because The Fox has a blue costume and pointy-eared mask and drives a Fox-mobile with a pointy-eared mask on the front and has a cave called The Fox Den does NOT mean he is a Batman ripoff! This guy is MUCH more emotionally troubled than Batman. For instance, his alter ego Paul Patton, "a hip leader of the swinging set", loves Delilah, a "go-go dancer" (read between the lines here) at the Emerald Room. She loves him, but Paul blows her off. Says one jealous onlooker at the Emerald Room, "Wotta cool operator! Fabbest dish in town is ape for him! And he exits like King Lear! It can't be harmonies! Wonder what's his favorite breakfast cereal?" Say what? Anyway, The Fox takes time off from fighting "The Gasser" (don't ask) to chill at the Emerald Room himself. What gives? Says The Fox, "She loves Paul...thinks The Fox is a repulsive weirdo...if I can get her to love me as The Fox, she won't insist I drop this identity after she marries me! That is why I am MY OWN RIVAL!" Aren't we all, baby.

The Cougar #2
Atlas Comics, 1975
Stuntman Jeff Rand is not only The Cougar, but he played him in a movie. The movie, Jeff's only starring role, bombed, but apparently he couldn't live without the red jumpsuit open to the navel, the long blue gloves and boots, and the dinner plate-sized Cougar belt buckle, so for some inexplicable reason he now wears the movie costume of this fictional character ALL THE TIME. Most people would find their relatives putting them in a special home, but Jeff still finds gainful employment on several horror movies. Of course, in true Scooby-Doo fashion there generally ends up being a real murder on the set…

TIGERBOY, "The Boy Who Hates Us All"
Unearthly Spectaculars #2
Harvey Comics, 1966
Paul Canfield is a mod Jimmy Olsen-looking kid with a bad 'tude--namely, he hates the whole human race! That's cuz he's actually a Venutian, stuck on Earth in a plaid sportsjacket. But one day he realizes that "some humans are worse than others," and takes on some baddies as Tiger Boy! He actually turns into a Tiger, but strangely, keeps his own human head. In the middle of the heated battle, he also turns into Steelman, and then Rubberman when convenient (they each get their own head, however). He heads home after the battle and finds his mom and dad doffing their human guise and sporting their original Venutian appearance, apparently giant bees. They convince him to use his shape-changing for good, though TB ends with "I hate them as much as they hate each other!" With friends like this...

Dracula #7
Dell Comics, 1972
No, not that Dracula! This Dracula, a descendant of the original, opted to try to help the world by using a "bat serum" to cure brain damage. And, for obvious reasons, he has to try it on himself. Next thing you know he has the power to turn into a bat, but none of the nasty side effects, like drinking blood, for instance. What's a boy to do? How about put on a purple leotard with a pointy Batman-like mask and start fighting crime? A character truly from the beyond.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Two Plus Two is Three, and Other News

It's true, Daylight Savings Time kills people and destroys marriages. I was reading in the paper about how pedestrians in big cities get messed up during DST and walk out on the street during rush hour, thinking it's earlier or later. This was an actual true study; pedestrians are more likely to get killed during DST changeovers. The other evidence is more anectdotal; my wife and I argued about whether we were supposed to turn back the clocks tonight or last night and wasn't it last week last year? And when I found out I was wrong and it was last night, I got tired realizing I got up too early and wanted to go back to bed. Year Two of DST's seige on Indiana is not going well. It seems Orwellian to us that one day it's one time and another day it's some other time. Why have the rest of you not risen up and fought this?

I have been crazy busy at my day job and have decided, with the holidays fast approaching, to take the rest of the year off from freelancing. I completed seven scripts this year and that's enough for any one dude to contemplate. I'll probably celebrate by playing Guild Wars with my brother tonight after the Colts game, the first time we've played in a couple of months.

I took my Little Brother Harold and his cousin Timmy out trick-or-treating this year. Taking the two of them around reminded me a bit of me and my brother back in the day, when my dad took us around. All the dads did in my neighborhood, because Big John who had the house at the top of the hill always had cold beers out for the dads, so that's where everybody ended up after making the lazy figure-eight around our neighborhood. Big John's house would probably be burned down today, with all the people upset about scary costumes and the religious implications and so on. Back then you went as gore-spattered as you cared to (though the improvisational hobos and eyehole-sheeted ghosts were popular) and rampaged from one blazing porch light to the next. The 70s were probably the last fun time to be a kid.

Today is the day. The sainted Colts against the evil, bullying, score-piling Pats. SuperBowl Something and a Half is really being built up here. Last year I kept saying the Colts were the worst undefeated team in football, and they won the Super Bowl. This year they look better, so I don't know what will happen. The Pats sure seem to be getting more attention, outside of our TV market. Today is my dad's birthday and we will be planted right in front of the TV eating cake at 4 p.m. No better place to be.

Give me a shout at