Archive for August, 2008

I Back Barack

August 29, 2008

The one thing that I have not been on my blog (besides entertaining some may say) is political. But, now that the Democratic National Convention has come to a close and Barack Obama has delivered his acceptance speech as the Democratic nominee for the 2008 Presidential Campaign, I’m officially throwing it out to the interwebs that I support Barack Obama for president.

There probably won’t be many more posts of this nature from now until November 4th — this just isn’t that kind of blog. But I did want to state my support for Barack Obama. I voted for the candidate in the primary election, and his acceptance speech last night more than solidified my already solid decision in my candidate of choice.

So, that’s it. I’m not going to beat my visitors over their heads with why I think Obama is the right choice. I might throw up a banner with a link to barackobama.com or occasionally remind people to register to vote if they haven’t already, but that’s about it. I now return you to the regular nerdiness of this comic book writer’s blog.

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Pirat Tales: The Trailer

August 28, 2008

In honor of Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails being featured in the current issue of Diamond’s Previews Catalog (“Certified Cool” on page 291, by the way), I put together a one minute trailer that can now be viewed on YouTube.

This is my first attempt at creating and posting a video to share on YouTube. Well actually, it was about four attempts… It took me awhile to get it right. But, it’s up there now for all to see. I hope you enjoy, and I hope that you order your copy of Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1. Thank you for your support.

Pirat Tales Comic Book Now Available For Pre-Order

August 27, 2008

Diamond Comics’ September Previews Vol. XVIII #9 — the comic book shop catalog for product being released in November 2008 is available as of today at your local comic book store, and I have a huge favor to ask of you all. Please go to said local comic book store and pre-order a copy (or twelve) of the comic book that I created, Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1. The Diamond Order Code is SEP084132.

Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1
Dan Taylor (w) • Orlando Baez (a/c)

The infamous Captain Blacktail and his crew of swashbuckling rats set sail upon the high seas in search of a treasure equal to the ransom of kings upon kings. Many would-be plunderers have set forth to claim the treasure of the Cat O’ Nine Tails—only never to return. A young mouse known as Pip will find his life forever changed as he journeys to uncharted waters on an adventure with Captain Blacktail and the rat crew of the Vile Vermin.

*Retailers: See your order form for a special incentive
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

If you’re unfamiliar with the process of pre-ordering comic book titles from your local comic book shop it’s a rather simple and painless procedure. All you need to do is let your friendly comic book retailer know that you would like to order Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1 and that the Diamond Order code is SEP084132. If you do not know where your local comic book retailer is located you can use the Comic Shop Locater Service or call 1-888-COMIC-BOOK (1-888-266-4226). And, to make the process even easier, I’ve gone ahead and provided a Previews Short Order Form with the top line already filled out with Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1.

The deal is that initial order numbers play a huge role in the survival of a comic book series, especially a brand new premiering title — so every order counts. And, there is a special Pirat Tales: Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tales #1 Treasure Map Variant Cover available as a retailer incentive — so make sure that your local comic book retailer orders enough copies so you can get your paws on that booty. Thank you for your support.

The Book To Pick Up Tomorrow

August 26, 2008

Listen up, folks. I’m officially decreeing that you must pick up a copy of Ben Templesmith’s Art of Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse available beginning tomorrow. Ben doesn’t need me to hawk his wares — his talent speaks for itself — but here’s the official press release…

Ben Templesmith’s “Art of Wormwood” coming from IDW

IDW Publishing will release Ben Templesmith’s Art of Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse on August 27. The book collects all the notable art plus a large amount of sketches, unpublished ideas and never-before-seen paintings from his semi-regular, off-beat serial Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse. It includes an original Wormwood short story.

Templesmith’s visual approach, which has been described as “daring, horrific, and sometimes just plain perverse” has gained a cult following for his work in graphic novels including 30 Days of Night, Fell, Wormwood,Gentleman Corpse and more recently Welcome to Hoxford. He has said he is influenced by the science-fantasy cosmos of H.P. Lovecraft’s Old Ones and the work of H.R. Giger. Templesmith’s black sense of humor, his delicate yet vigorous style, his nuanced but bold use of color, and knack for finding just the right detail to make a panel or page come to life have given Wormwood a huge fan base.

“Wormwood is really just me having fun and trying to throw in as many disgusting perversions of my old childhood influences. I call it my riff on Doctor Who, if it were more demonologically oriented and written for very juvenile adults with a sick sense of humor”, says Templesmith.
TPB * FC * 96 pages * 8-1/2″ x 11″ * $19.99 * ISBN: 978-1-60010-327-8

Ben Templesmith’s Art of Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse S&N HC
Is a special hardcover edition is strictly limited to 500 copies and comes with a numbered tip-in plate signed by artist Ben Templesmith.
HC * FC * 96 pages * 8-1/2″ x 11″ * $49.99 * ISBN: 978-1-60010-330-8

Ben Templesmith’s Art of Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse S&N HC
This deluxe limited edition hardcover is strictly limited to only 100 copies. Each copy will include an all-new, hand-drawn Wormwood sketch by artist Ben Templesmith.
HC * FC * 96 pages * 8-1/2″ x 11″ * $100 * ISBN: 978-1-60010-331-5

About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. As a leader in the horror, action, and sci-fi genres, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry including: television’s #1 prime time series CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Paramount’s Star Trek; Fox’s Angel; Hasbro’s The Transformers, and the BBC’s Doctor Who. IDW’s original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. In April 2008, IDW released Michael Recycle, the first title from its new children’s book imprint, Worthwhile Books. More information about the company can be found at http://www.idwpublishing.com.

Having worked as an editor on the earlier Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse issues I can honestly tell you that it is some of the most beautifully twisted art that I have ever seen — whimsical in a horrific kind of way. No bookshelf will be complete without this tomb prominently displayed. Now, if one of the limited edition signed and numbered edition hardcover copies were to fall off of a truck and find its way to me that would be very awesome.

So, I’m Not Writing A Lot Of Posts Lately…

August 22, 2008

But, I am writing. It seems that I’ve got a rather full dance card with projects right now.

  • I’m working on the fourth script to Pop! Darlings of America with Neil Kleid. The two of us have written ourselves some interesting avenues to explore — but we’ve got to remain focus.
  • Laying down the groundwork for the project that resulted in “forming a band.” I’m working with three talented artists on this one and there’s been a frenzy of emails shooting all over the place as we work up our ideas. Stay tuned for more info.
  • I’ve been tinkering with a couple of movie pitches — one to two page proposals makes it tough to get everything that I want to get across.
  • I’ve signed with a publisher to do two additional graphic novel deals, and I’ve been getting both of those projects ready. They’re for the same publisher, but rather different ideas.
  • And there there are all of the other concepts, ideas, plots, pitches, and characters that still seep into my gray matter even as bogged as it is with what I’ve currently got going on.

Alright, time to close the blog window and open back up the half a dozen Word docs that I’m juggling right now.

T-Shirt Tuesday — Back In Black

August 19, 2008

T-Shirt Tuesday is back! And, so is the original Hero Happy Hour Hideout Bar & Grill t-shirtback in black, to be exact! This design was extremely popular when it was first produced to promote (Super) Hero Happy Hour, and I’ve had folks asking me when these shirts would once again be available. Well, they’re available now through MySoti.com. It took me awhile to find the right means to once again provide the high quality and look of the original, but now that I have, you can support your favorite neighborhood super hero watering hole by sporting a Hideout Bar & Grill to-shirt.

So, do Chris Fason and myself a solid and help spread the word about Hero Happy Hour and the Hideout Bar & Grill — “a place where everybody knows your name,” secret identity or not. Also, if I see you wearing this in a bar I will buy you a drink!

Serenity (Or Lack There Of)

August 17, 2008

I caught Serenity on HBO the other evening (Friday I believe), and besides providing relief from some rather boring Olympic events, it reminded me of something…

That I miss Serenity and/or Firefly, dammit. I’m not alone. There are plenty of Browncoats out there that feel the same. Last Wednesday MTV Movies Blog posted about Will There Ever Be a “Serenity’ Sequel?. Unfortunately, that’s not the whole title of the post. It goes on to read Joss Whedon Puts The Rumors To Bed.

“There’s been no movement,” he said. “Those rumors are just rumors, and I don’t think they’re going to stop, no matter how many times I say, ‘No, it’s not happening.’ Because somebody will say, ‘He said yes. His eyes said yes. His nose said yes. There was a yes-iness about him.’ Because people want it.”

Alright, I get it. I understand. There’s not going to be another Serenity movie. That’s how gorram Hollywood works. As loyal, passionate, and hungry that the Serenity/Firefly fan base is, it just doesn’t add up enough to make the numbers work for those that sit in the big white tower on the Universal lot. I have resolved myself to accept that I’m not going to see the further adventures of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and crew on the big screen. And, as shiny as it would be to even get a direct-to-DVD or made for television movie — I’m looking at you SciFi Channel. it just ain’t going to happen.

But, Serenity is still alive in my favorite medium of comic books. But, is it alive and kicking? There have been two mini series out so far. Those Left Behind was a three issue series that came out in 2005. Three years later Better Days, another three issue series was released. That’s six issues in over three years. Serenity deserves and can do better than that.

Now, before any Whedonites swoop down on me, I do know that there is another three issue series in the works — A Shepherd’s Tale, a series focusing on the mysterious history of character of Shepherd Book. This is fantastic news and I eagerly anticipate its release. Also, MySpace Dark Horse Presents #13 features Serenity: The Other Half. I’m thankful for that as well, but we get only seven pages.

In a Publishers Weekly post — Whedon Can’t Get Enough Serenity — the creator reveals why there aren’t more Serenity comic books and novels. I can’t call out Whedon for being over protective and stingy with his baby, it is his creation after all to do with as he deems proper. But, the whiny fanboy in me just can’t let it go.

The Serenity ‘Verse is chalk full of material to expand, explore, and extricate. I’m not going to plea with Whedon to give us more Serenity comic books — that’s someone else’s job. That’s right Scott Allie, Dark Horse Comics Editor, I’m looking at you. It’s your job to turn the thumbscrews on Joss and get him to commit to giving us more Serenity comic books. Start turning them screws.

I’m Going To Forgo The Clones

August 15, 2008

At least for now. I was ready to head over the the cineplex to immense myself into the latest chapter — which actually falls somewhere between Episode II and Episode III — of the Star Wars lore, and catch a big screen viewing of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Now, before you take my geek card away, let me once again reiterate that I am in fact a Star Wars fan. Again, the license plate on my truck refers to the spaceship of a certain notorious bounty hunter from a galaxy far, far away. But, my admiration for the franchise is much more entrenched with the original trilogy — A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. That’s not to say that I disdain the prequels, but they didn’t live up to my expectations. Now, were my expectations set too high. I don’t think so. After not having a new Star Wars film (outside of a few somewhat forgettable Ewok movies made for television) for some sixteen years I was plenty hungry for more. The Phantom Menace was enjoyable enough. Attack of the Clones just fell flat. And Revenge of the Sith just reminded me of how much I miss the original trilogy as it crept closer in chronological terms to A New Hope.

The reviews for The Clone Wars haven’t been stellar, to say the least. But, that’s not what is keeping me from committing myself to the 98 minutes (and $12 popcorn/soda combo that I’d end up purchasing) of sitting in a darkened theater for the seventh theatrically released Star Wars installment. It’s just that I don’t feel that “the force is strong with this one.” (There, can I keep my geek card with that reference?)

So, I’m thinking that maybe Star Wars: The Clone Wars wasn’t made for me. It’s an animated movie made for the kids that grew up on the prequels. And that’s fair. I have “my Star Wars” and they can have “their Star Wars“. But, this movie is serving the purpose of a “curtain-raiser” to the upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated TV series. Perhaps this chapter of Star Wars lore is best served as 22-minute vignettes on the small screen.

Sorry, Ahsoka Tano. It’s nothing personal. You seem like an alright plucky Padawan. But, it looks like I’ll just be meeting you on the small screen.

Kirkman’s Manifesto

August 13, 2008

Robert Kirkman, creator of such comic books as Invincible and The Walking Dead, and recently made a partner at Image Comics. (Okay, all the comic book people that read this blog knew all that.) Today, Kirkman posted a video editorial at Comic Book Resources calling for more top rated talent to produce more creator owned work to insure the vitality of the comic book industry — The Kirkman Manifesto.

Now, it’s easy for me to agree with what Kirkman is saying — and I do. As a comic book writer myself, just about everything that I have published, or had published, has been creator owned. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t jump at the chance to write for Marvel and/or DC Comics if the offer was made, but I’m a strong advocate for creator owned comic books. I will always love to read my Spider-Man comic books, but I feel that the real strength in imagination and creativity resides within the pages of creator owned comic books.

Now, if Kirkman gets his way and a bunch of big name comic book creators with fan bases that far out number mine start creating and publishing creator owned works, that’ll just make the competition for getting my own work out there that much more difficult. But, the upside is that I’m sure that’ll be reading some kick-ass comics.

On Warren’s Advice: Let’s Form A Band

August 12, 2008

From Warren Ellis’ Bad Signal email “Building The Imperfect Beast”…

Okay, I’m pretty sure I did do this last year, but I think it’s reconfigured in my head since then. So.

What you need is one writer and three artists. Essentially, you decide to Form A Band.

And you decide up front that all the money from the anthology comic is divided 4 ways equally. This is for simplicity’s sake — people argue this point with me all the time, but I have had publishers say to my face that they avoid anthologies, especially creator-owned ones, because THE SUMS ARE TOO HARD. Keep it simple. 25% for everybody.

What you’re going to do, you see, is one writer writing three serials for three artists.

You’re doing a two-dollar book. That’s FELL format. A 24pp unit, all on the same paperstock, including covers. “Guts” of 20pp, with the “cover”, constituting 4pp, wrapped around it, yes?

Three 6pp episodes is 18 pages. Your cover and inside front cover for indicia etc are 2pp. So that leaves you 4pp, including the back cover, to play with. Use them to interleave the serials, use them as backmatter, let the artists take turns doing full-page pieces, whatever.

The cover art is a rotating job between the three artists.

Collect it every six months as a 128pp book (therefore still splitting everything four ways) or collect each serial on its own as best fitting (each book therefore splitting 50/50). (As is blatantly obvious, but people like to ask these questions instead of thinking for themselves.)

Go and do it. I need something to read.

Form a band, boys and girls. Form a band.

I’ve been meaning to pull something together along these lines for awhile now. Then the latest Bad Signal email from Ellis shows up in my inbox this morning. I figure this could serve as the kick in the ass to actually get working on such an endeavor.

It’s pretty straight forward — I’m a writer looking for three artists to “form a band.” The exact subject matter of the project is to be determined. Hit me back if you’re interested or have any questions. Thanks.