Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sundry, Bloody Sundry

It's been a hectic three weeks. Lots going on at work, always stuff to do at home.

I've been working away on Cold Iron Badge -- Act 3 is still a bit of a bear, but that's more because it's turning out to be a longer script than I thought, not because of any insoluble issues in the narrative.

I mean, I knew that plot points that could be expressed in a single sentence of the outline ("Our heroes fight a giant clockwork banana. In space!") were going to take up rather more pages of script. But the ratio -- the number of script pages it takes to express a plot point -- has been higher for Cold Iron Badge than in my other comics work.

It progresses. Slowly. But it progresses. A related project, which is not so much on the creative side -- and which I'm not going to go into details about yet -- has been moving more quickly.

I Know Where My Towel Is

Today is Towel Day, when we honour the memory of Douglas Adams. It's a good day to know where your towel is, try a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster and, if you're especially ambitious, to try to throw yourself at the ground, and miss.

Rory Root and Robert Asprin

And as of this week, two more names that can only be honoured in memory from now on.

On Monday came the untimely death of Rory Root. Rory was not well-known outside of comics publishing and retailing, but within those realms he cast a very long shadow. His store, Comic Relief, was literally one of the best in the world, a model and inspiration for the industry. He was a tireless voice advocating for comics and graphics novels, and a supporter of Xeno's Arrow. I only had the pleasure of meeting him in person a couple of times, but I liked him very much and respected him tremendously.

He was a boundlessly energetic and positive person who did an unbelievable amount of good for the medium and business of comics. He will be greatly missed.

Then, on Thursday, Robert Asprin died. A writer of science-fiction and fantasy, his work was among my favourites when I was a teenager -- especially the Myth Adventures series of comedic fantasy novels. And although his writing and my own tastes eventually went in different directions, I still remember and cherish the delight I felt at enjoying his work for the first time. His style -- at least in the books of his I most enjoyed -- was breezy and sunny, full of wit and comedic asides. I suspect that it influenced my early development as a writer rather strongly.
He, too, will be missed.

I Didn't Really Want to End on a Down Note...

Let's see... my Writers Group meets this week. That'll be fun.

Oh, and Greg and I were finally shamed into reviving the long-moribund Xeno's Arrow Forum. Drop by to read all about it and chastise us for our lack of internet-savvy!

I may have some actual news over the next week or so -- it depends on the Cold Iron Badge-related matter I mentioned. I'll keep you all posted!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunday Sundries Raids Again!

Gigantis: The Sunday Sundries!
The Volcano Sundries!
Sunday Sundries's Counter Attack!
Stephen: The Fire Monster!

(This barely relates to the actual subject matter of my post, by the way; I just like old-school Toho Godzilla movies. And most of them have many, many titles.)

Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day -- the comic book industry's big annual public outreach event. And a day devoted to getting long-time and first-time readers alike into comic book stores to discover the amazing depth and breadth of the medium of comics seemed like a fine occasion to get the old gang back together.

FCBD itself was fine, although I actually got to the Beguiling more or less at the end of the day. I did get some free comics -- titles I had never read before -- but I was more into our dinner plans for afterwards.

Getting my old comics posse back together -- in whatever permutation our busy lives allow -- is always fun. And it's always inspiring. Someone always has new art to show around, there are always new stories, new ideas, and new plans.

Saturday was no exception -- it fuelled the fire in my belly.

And the truth is, with work and family and all the day-to-day concerns that wear us all down, I need every little spark of passion I can get. It's hard to stay focused and excited about creative work when I can only eke out a few minutes at a time to actually do it, on the bus or on my lunch or late at night.

I'm feeling that excitement now. For Cold Iron Badge. For Xeno's Arrow.

Cool plans are being discussed. Awesome comics are being made. People who have been away from the game are getting back to it. And I want to be part of it all.

Thanks to Greg, Jeff, Chris, Tara, David and Adrian (even though we only saw you for about five minutes, Adrian). You inspire me. Let's do it again soon.