Saturday, January 1, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 12/31/2010

Alrighty then...yeah, about last week...didn't post none of nothin' no how.  T'was the season to be buried in things and stuff, and unfortunately I was not able to post a blog entry or two, but I'm back now and on the verge or normalcy.  Most of the holiday season was spent critiquing comic scripts for my fellow Comics Experience Comic Creator's Workshop, with a Twilight Zone inspired story that I loved and a script from a newcomer to the group that blew everyone away and was critiqued live by Andy Schmidt at Tuesday evening's meeting.  I also revised a comic script that I have verbally secured an artist to draw so that we can enter the Eagles Initiative contest; the deadline is looming.  I also had a chance to work a little on the fourth draft of my novel, which leads me into...

Friday Slice of Heaven

Fourth Draft of the still unnamed novel is complete! - On Thursday, December 30 2010, at 7:45AM, I placed the last comma, obliterated the last run-on and changed another passive voice sentence to active.  Boom!  Done.  Does this mean it is 100% ready for print and I should gleefully skip into the office to hand in my resignation and go mansion hunting?  No, 100% not the case--I can still dream though.  What it does mean is that I need to come up with a title and start working on the bones of a query letter and then pick up the researching of agents and publishers that might be interested in my science fantasy, steampunky little story.
I am anxious to start the kids' book that has been churning in the ol' noggin for the past two months and to also start the follow up novel this March to the one that I just finished.  Exciting times

Morning Glories #4 and Morning Glories #5 - Written by Nick Spencer with art by Joe Eisma, published by Image Comics.  Well it's about god damn time!  Last week I finally received my Morning Glories #4, and of course it's not the first print that I should have received over a month ago, NOOOOO, it's the second printing, but at this point I really don't care.  Do I still love this series?  Hell yes.
In these issues, the Morning Glories devise a plan to rescue Jade from her abductors, deal with betrayal and experience just how far the administration will go to bend the students to their every whim.  Oh yeah, and the creepy-as-all-get-out purple ghosty guy shows up again in the most shocking of ways.  This series continues to be one of the top three comics I look forward to every month with another one being...

Morning Glories #4
Morning Glories #5

Chew #16 - Written by John Layman and illustrated by Rob Guillory, published by Image Comics.  Chew, Morning Glories and Sweet Tooth are the three comics that I look the most forward to reading every month.  "What?" you say.  "Not one superhero book?"  Yup, that's the truth, although Heroes for Hire has hooked me pretty good though.
Chew #16 is the beginning of the five issue "Flambe" arc and begins with a beautiful depiction of the Mother Clucker's franchise history up until the moment of the bird flu.  The mysterious alien writing is still in the sky and although life for some returns to normal, others cannot deal with the uncertainty of what the words portend.  A new food based power is revealed and Tony attempts to juggle his personal and work life.  Chew continues to be wonderfully told and illustrated and despite being somewhat revolting at times, it continues to be one of the most original and compelling books on the stands.  Everyone should be reading this book.

Chew #16

Ex Machina Vol. 10: Term Limits - Written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Tony Harris, published by Wildstorm Comics, a DC Comics imprint.  Ex Machina finally comes to a close with the tenth volume, and the series ends in a wholly unexpected manner.  New York Mayor Mitchell Hundred has a full plate.  Not only must he attempt to set up a smooth transition for Wylie to hopefully take up the position of mayor, but he must also save the city from his newly empowered evil ex-girlfriend and journalist (trust me, read it) by once again taking up the mantle of the Great Machine.  The end result is uplifting and ultimately--not giving anything away--deeply tragic, yet after much thought expected.  
The story is well written, precisely paced and the art as beautiful as ever, with the exception of an issue or two that seemed rushed and a shade rough.  A great series and an unanticipated, yet fitting end to a great series.

Ex Machina Vol. 10: Term Limits (Ex Machina (Graphic Novels))
Ex Machina Vol. 10: Term Limits

Freakangels, Volume 1 and Volume 2 - Written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield, published by Avatar Press.  I have known of this series for a while now, but have never taken the plunge up until this week when my wife and I received the first volume from her comic book inclined cousin.  I am completely hooked.  Freakangels is currently being released as a free web comic that is subsequently gathered and released in TPB form.  I originally saw this series at the local comic shop and briefly flipped through it and unfortunately passed on the purchase for something that in hindsight I would enjoy much less.  The real power of this steampunk altered future tale rests in Ellis's expert narrative, which then drags in Duffield's art that now leaves me never wanting to see another artist touch this story.  Immediately after finishing the first volume, I went out to purchase the second and would have bought the third if it had not been out of stock.  To put it mildly, I love this book.  
From the back of volume one, "23 years ago, twelve strange children were born in England at exactly the same moment.  6 years ago the world ended.  This is the story of what happened next."
Every page is essentially some derivative of a four-panel grid, which I assume makes it easier for posting on the web, and provides a quick read for each volume, but that is fine.  
Could I just read it on my iPad or iMac for free?  Sure, but this is a series to display proudly on the bookshelf and with volume five being released later this month, I have a whole lot of catching up to do. Please support Ellis in this endeavor and go to the site and buy some merch or pick up the TPBs to ensure that this series continues to be released.

Freakangels, Volume 1 [FREAKANGELS V01]
Freakangels, Vol. 1
Freakangels, Vol. 2
Freakangels, Vol. 2

Slice Into the Woods

"I'm So Sick of Seeing All these Butts and A-holes" - Okay, this is a short second hand tale, that honestly should be up in the Slice of Heaven section, but hey, I had to put something down here and I generally agree with the statement.  Here we go. 
Amy's brother and sister were at the local grocery store and waiting in line to purchase some last minute supplies for the impending 53 person X-mas Eve party (yeah, talk about hectic).  As they waited in line, they spied the latest issue of Star Magazine which featured some sort of article about "The Best and Worst Beach Bodies" with an incredibly unflattering photo of Julia Roberts's posterior smack dab on the cover.  Amy's siblings were poking fun of the cover and saying how horrible it was, when the old lady behind them muttered under her breath, "I'm so sick of seeing all these butts and a-holes."  Amy's brother put the magazine calmly back on the rack, briskly strolled outside of the store and began to lose his marbles with laughter, leaving the sister to pay for the groceries with the elderly anti-a-hole patron waiting patiently behind her.  Sometimes life is beautiful.


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