Sunday, November 23, 2014

What It Is – week ending 23 November [2014]

With apologies to Dave the Thune.

Every day.  1000 words.  That’s the goal.

Got sidetracked and took Sunday and Monday off from writing.  Which afforded my mind a chance to wander, and an incident from my childhood reared up (an abandoned and run-down home a few blocks over from my house, which had a single light on in a second floor room – prompting chills and the question of why the electricity was still on in the house).  Over the course of the week, I wrote a story using this as a springboard, something I’d wanted to do for a long time, and I’m fairly happy with the first draft.  A bit under 5,000 words, I know it will need some serious cleaning up.  But I like the point of view I took and the tone I tried to carry throughout the whole thing.  Anxious to revise this and set it off in the wild sometime next year.

CINDER & ASHE by Gerry Conway and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.  Once you get past the horrendous Cajun accent Gerry Conway places in one of the main character’s mouths, this is a pretty good series.  Beautiful artwork, a compelling and multi-layered storyline, with a mystery that makes sense.  Good stuff.  If you can get past that damn accent.

THE FADE OUT & VELVET from Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist: Fade Out), Steve Epting (artist: Velvet), et al.  I haven’t been getting new comics for a  number of months now, preferring to save my money and get collections through the library when they become available.  But Brubaker and his team of collaborators pulled me back in.  I was at the local independent bookstore/music store/video store/game store/comic store, Bull Moose Music, and saw a couple issues of the Fade Out and issues 6-8 of Velvet (I already have 1-5) and had to pick them up.  And they were fantastic.  The thing about these books, besides the engaging and exciting stories, is that they often include short essays in the back related to the narrative material.  They’re the extras you expect in the collection, but they’re in the single issues.  So, for that, and for the fact that I have loved most everything Brubaker has done, independent from the Big Two, I allowed myself to be pulled back in.  And I was not disappointed.  Looking forward to getting these on a regular basis.

THE MULTIVERSITY by Grant Morrison, et al.  And, since I was perusing the comic racks, I figured I should check out the fourth issue of Multiversity, Pax Americana, by Morrison & Frank Quitely, which was burning up my social feeds online this week.  Wow.  When these two artists collaborate, it’s always brilliant.  Taking on the Charlton characters, they infused the comic with many of Alan Moore’s best-known formalistic approaches to telling comic book stories (which, it should be pointed out, are not crutches he used but techniques utilized in specific stories).  In Morrison’s hands – and this could be due to the apparent feud between Morrison and Moore – these feel like tricks used to say:  “See, I can do this too.”  They are well done and enhance the experience of reading the book, but they don’t feel as essential as when Moore utilized them in books such as Watchmen and Promethea.  Could be my prejudice showing through, but I can live with that. 
The earlier issues were also available, and I picked them up too.  They’re just as enjoyable.  Looking forward to seeing where this all ends up.  (and man, that Cameron Stewart cover for the Shazam issue looks phenomenal!)

BATMAN: STRANGE APPARITIONS by Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers, Terry Austin, and others.  Finished this book up this week.  It was really enjoyable.  Rogers’s art is amazing in this.  I don’t remember it being as good when he did the Silver Surfer, with Englehart, years later.  But it holds up in this.  And the stories are fun too, even if some subplots are too quickly wrapped up for my taste.  Overall, I would definitely recommend this, especially to a Batman fan.  Great art, good writing (for the most part), and some interesting twists that will keep you engaged. 

TURING’S CATHEDRAL by George Dyson.  I’m 100 pages into the birth of the digital age, and it’s fascinating.  So many names I’d never heard of, scientists, theoreticians, and thinkers – BIG THINKERS – all working toward the creation of a computer, in the early twentieth century.  Good stuff. 

I’m always behind in my movie and TV watching (a not unwelcome result of being a father and writer – these both take time).  But this past week I finally decided to check out Peter Jackson’s THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, or the movie that should have encompassed the entirety of the book but did not.

Yeah, throwing my prejudice right out in front of this one.  The Hobbit was the first book that totally enthralled me and captured my imagination.  It was second grade.  Mrs. Corey read it to us.  I discovered that my uncle had a copy, and I borrowed it so that I could re-read each chapter at home.  I distinctly remember lying on my stomach, up on my bed, and reading my uncle’s hardcover edition – the smell of those, or similar, pages jolts my nostalgia-button in a manner that little else can.  I love that book.

So, it was with trepidation that I read about the three-film adaptation Jackson and his crew were planning.  And this is from someone who loved their Lord of the Rings films and felt them to be exemplary adaptations from Tolkien’s masterpiece. 

So, the first Hobbit film.  It’s entertaining, moves along at a brisk pace, is well acted and engaging, with beautiful scenery and amazing sets and special effects (though some scenes felt surprisingly awkward and not well done, but if you’re reaching beyond your grasp, that is, in general, a good thing).  Certainly, details were changed – as was the case with the Lord of the Rings films – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  When translating a story from one medium to another, it is imperative that the creators understand the differing strengths of each and adjust accordingly.  In that regard, I would say Jackson, et al. have acquitted themselves nicely. 

That said, I don’t find it to be a good adaptation of Tolkien’s book. 

However, I don’t know that I can fault them.  The major issue I have with the film – and let me state that I did enjoy it, and the “issue,” as I see it, did nothing to lessen that – is that it is not faithful to the book.  Unlike the Lord of the Rings, this movie shies far away from the tone of The Hobbit, as written by Tolkien.  Whereas the novel is a book for children that can be appreciated by adults, the film is one that I could never recommend for children.  But, it does match nicely with the tone of the initial films, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which makes a lot of sense.  The vast majority of those seeing these films will never have read any of the source material.  And creating a children’s story after the success of the epic Rings movies would be foolish.  I understand completely why they did it.  I just wish it was a film that I could share with my youngest boy. 

For that, I’ve still got the book, and the Rankin/Bass film.

Thanksgiving next week, which means Christmas is coming up quick.  I’ve always loved this time of year – living in Maine, we used to get the type of snow and scenery you’d find in a Norman Rockwell painting; not so much nowadays.  I love Christmas trees and decorations and the classic TV specials and finding just the right gifts for everyone (we don’t shop at the mall, so it’s far more enjoyable than it could be), and I love the fantasy of the entire thing, the magic of Santa bringing joy to kids.  I prefer a secular Christmas – the holiday being a holdover of pagan rituals – and I really get into it.  So much so, that I have taken on something that J.R.R. Tolkien did for his children and write letters from Santa to my boys.  These always include some little adventure or mishap that occurred at the North Pole in the past year, which is the fun part.  I write them on nice, heavy-stock paper or, if I can find it, distinct handmade paper, using a dip pen, while sealing them in wax.  It’s one of the things I look forward to most, at this time of year.  It also means work on the novel will probably be put aside for a bit, but that’s okay.  This is more important.

As always, check out my friends – Brad& Matt and Don McMillan for their own weekly recaps on things comic-y and geeky, and we'll see what's what in seven.  


Friday, November 21, 2014

9 Things You Need to Write a Novel

9 Things You Need to Write a Novel

From Toby Litt, via Warren Ellis's Orbital Operations newsletter.

Perhaps the most important quote from the above-linked piece (of very, very many):

"Here, though, is the ultimate and very simple secret of writing a novel:  If you write 1,000 words a day for 75 days, at the end of those 75 days you will have a novel-length-thing.  This novel-length-thing may not be a great novel, or even a good novel, or even a novel, but it's a lot closer to being all three than the nothing you had before."  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What It Is – week ending 16 November [2014]

With apologies to Dave the Thune.

Every day.  1000 words.  That’s the goal.

Finished part one of the novel this week.  52,600 words down for that first draft.  I’d planned on letting things percolate for the weekend before returning to it – ten years later in terms of the narrative – but found myself workring and reworking the first scene of the second part that I had to get it down.  Did that yesterday.  So, I’m ready to press on and see where it takes me. 

Also wrote up a couple of posts for the site this week.  But more about that below. 

And, at this point, I’ve got 34 consecutive days of writing under my belt – the longest stretch, by far, this year (or any other, for that matter).  One needs to take a break, recharge the batteries, especially with a day job and a family that needs attention, as well.  But, even though I’ve made plans to take a day off here and there during this streak, it hasn’t happened.  Feeling pretty good about that. 

Finished up Difficult Men this week.  If you’re a fan of the seminal television shows of this “third golden age” like the Sopranos, Deadwood, and the Wire, and you enjoy peeking behind the curtain, you should pick up this book and read it.  It’s fascinating.  Check it out.

Also been working on the to-read comic pile next to the bed this week.  Here are few quick hits:

Suicide Squad 21-22 by John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell, and Karl Kesel.  I love this book.  These two issues wrap up a subplot about a senator’s attempted blackmail of the squad, in order to get their assistance in getting him elected.  As with any Squad story, it ends the way you’d expect, but the details aren’t quite what you might have seen coming.  Great stuff.

Dr. Fate (1987) by J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, and Dave Hunt.  This is a series that eluded me when I started collecting, despite the house ads that enticed me.  Glad I finally got to read it.  Revealing how the “new” Dr. Fate came into being post-Crisis, it was a fun, if forgettable, tale that included one of my favorite enigmatic JLI characters.  

Firestorm 62-64 + Annual 5 by John Ostrander, Joe Brozowski, et al.  Crossing over with the Suicide Squad, this storyline has Dr. Stein suffering from seizures as an inoperable tumor threatens his life, leading to Firestorm’s declaration he will transmute the fissionable material of all the world’s nuclear warheads if the United States and Russian governments cannot reach an arms agreement.  When the Squad is brought in to deal with Firestorm (followed closely by the newly-formed Justice League), things go from bad to worse and Colonel Rick Flag must battle on the opposite side of Batman for the first time (which will lead to an interesting confrontation in the Squad’s own book).  In the end, the audience is given a “new” Firestorm, the full of extent of which is, at the time, as yet unknown.

Doctor Mid-Nite (1999) by Matt Wagner & John K. Snyder, III.  The introduction of a new Doctor Mid-Nite (unknowingly, I seem to have collected a selection of series with a common theme), this book is almost terribly overwritten with too much talking and exposition and not enough “action.”  The art from Snyder is lovely, and the overall storyline, with a few exceptions, is fairly good.  But this didn’t need to be three oversized issues.  If it had been cut down a bit, I think this could have been something approaching “really good.” 

The Phantom (1987) by Peter David, Joe Orland, and Dennis Janke.  This story incorporates the 21st Phantom, in the present, and the 13th Phantom, nearly 150 years in the past, in an overarching narrative thread with the Phantom in combat with the Chessman family.  This was a pretty good story – engaging, with smartly staged parallels, and a satisfying conclusion – but the real star here was Joe Orlando’s artwork, which was a rarity at this stage in his career.  Fun stuff, and beautiful to look at.

Star Reach Classics by Frank Brunner, Len Wein, Howard Chaykin, P. Craig Russell, Dave Sim, et al.  A collection of the best from the not quite underground/not quite mainstream anthology series, Star Reach.  It’s a showcase for some legendary creators, and the art is wonderful in every issue.  But, with the apparent exceptions of Russell and Lee Marrs, it seems to have been an excuse for the artists to draw boobs and get them published.  Not bad, but not great either. 

I also read the new Ms. Marvel collection by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona.  Starring the first Muslim hero in mainstream, western comics, this was a fun read and and important book. Check out my full review here. 

Still enjoying the Flash on the CW.  Loved the introduction of Captain Cold, and the hint at Heat Wave’s forthcoming appearance.  This continues to be a fun series, offsetting the dour and grim tone that so many superhero TV series and comics seem insistent on utilizing.  It also helps that the Flash is my favorite superhero.  Bleeding Cool had an interesting theory on its site about the connection between Barry Allen and Dr. Wells, which I expanded upon here. 

That’s it for this week.  Looking forward to starting Turing’s Cathedral next week, as well as continuing to plow through my comic to-read pile.  Once I whittle that down, I plan on reading the entirety of Matt Wagner’s Grendel.  I’ve read a bunch of it, but not all.  Really looking forward to that.
And, as always, check out my friends – Brad & Matt and Don McMillan for their own weekly recaps on things comic-y and geeky, and we'll see what's what in seven.  


Friday, November 14, 2014

THE FLASH TV series – an intriguing hypothesis

Is Dr. Wells actually Barry Allen AND Professor Zoom?

Over at Bleeding Cool, Mark Bristow posits a theory about a deeper connection between the Flash’s alter-ego and his mentor, Dr. Harrison Wells, who has not only taken Barry Allen under his wing to guide him through this trying time of discovery but also gone to great lengths to keep Barry’s life and the evolution of the Flash on track – lengths as far as killing Simon Stagg, so that his scientific rival could do nothing to alter Barry’s trajectory. 

Bristow puts forth the idea that Dr. Wells is actually a future iteration of Barry, who got caught in the past when he traveled back in time to save his mother from Professor Zoom (the more colloquial moniker of the Flash’s arch nemesis, Reverse Flash).  For how Bristow came to this conclusion, I offer a link to his piece.  Go read it, if you haven’t already, then come back here for an expansion on what he puts forth. 

Back?   Okay. 

Bristow’s argument is sound – which doesn’t mean I think this is how it will play out, but I would appreciate very much having this be a narrative thread the creators follow.  And with the opening episode, they have shown a willingness to embrace time travel and one of the core events of DC Comics mythology of three decades past – Crisis on Infinite Earths – with the reveal of the 2024 newspaper in the pilot’s coda. 

He also offers that the expectation Dr. Wells may become Professor Zoom is merely a red herring, meant to put us off the idea that Wells may be an older Barry Allen.  Proof for that is the fact that the character of Eddy Thawne is named after the Reverse-Flash from the comic universe.  With Leonard Snart (Captain Cold in the show and comics), Clyde Mardon (the “original” Weather Wizard in the show and the comics), and Barry himself, we have characters plucked directly from the comics and transposed into the television series, which lends credence to this idea that Thawne will become Professor Zoom. 

But, what if that is a double-feint, and Thawne will merely be a police detective throughout?  It could happen.  Simon Stagg (integral in the creation of Metamorpho in the comics, now dead in the series) and Iris West (who’s still a love interest, if unrequited, of Barry in the series, but far from the same character in the comic) also prove that characters can change drastically in their transition to the small screen.  Why couldn’t Thawne also fall in this group?  That would lead us back to the idea that Dr. Wells will become Professor Zoom…but could still be a future-Barry Allen.

-   We already know he has access to future facts and is most likely from the future, with the revelation aforementioned Central City newspaper from 2024. 

-  With the killing of Simon Stagg, Dr. Wells has revealed a penchant for taking extreme measures to protect Barry and his evolution as the Flash

-  Extrapolating from that, everything Dr. Wells does is working toward this desire to see that Barry Allen becomes the Flash.  It is history to him (as shown with that 2024 newspaper), but apparently not a foregone conclusion, and he does not want anything to alter Barry’s destiny.  Judging by the ease with which Wells killed Stagg, one might reasonably say it is an obsession.  Mining deeper into that idea, one could also argue that Wells judges every detail of his life (if we go with the theory that Wells is a future-Barry) as important to achieving this destiny, even the killing of his mother by mysterious lightning while a child. 

-  Dr. Wells – or Barry Allen – could be so obsessed with the need to become the Flash (his monitoring of Barry the night of the accident at S.T.A.R. Labs strongly intimates that Wells purposefully set the events in motion that would lead to the accident and create the Flash) that he might become Professor Zoom in order to achieve this, going so far as to race back in time to kill his own mother in order to launch his younger self on this path toward becoming a metahuman. 

All of this time-travel theory can bend one’s brain, and if you think about it for too long theories and suppositions collapse under their own weight.  Time travel is an age-old science fiction trope.  With the paradoxes that come from such a narrative thrust, one must often choose between setting down hard and fast rules and explain it as precisely as possible within the story or just going all-in with the craziness of it all and allowing for the audience to be smart enough to follow along, and if the stories and characters are compelling enough, you won’t lose them.  In this instance, if the writers of The Flash are moving toward something of this nature, I hope they would choose the latter tactic and just barrel headlong into the speed force and the insanity that surrounds time travel as a narrative device.  It would go along with the brighter, more fun approach to this show and could make for some interesting plot twists and storylines.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

MS. MARVEL volume 1: No Normal

Marvel Comics made headlines when they announced last year. that a new series would be debuting with a young, female Muslim as the lead character.  First:  a female-led superhero book?  A rarity.  But second:  a Muslim character in the lead?  Unheard of in the superhero genre.  This was a big deal, and (unless you were one of the many close-minded, vociferous, “fans” of the medium online) something for which Marvel deserved recognition.  Shepherded by editor Steve Wacker, it was definitely more important for this book to be really good, right out of the gate, than the typical superhero launch – not just in terms of the genre of superheroes, but also in terms of how the Muslim characters were handled.  Marvel signed G. Willow Wilson, author of prose and comics who also happens to be female and Muslim, to write the series, while artist Adrian Alphona, co-creator of the Runaways with Brian K. Vaughan, to do the art.  This was an extremely intelligent first step.  But, the book still needed to be good. 

Well, it is.  The first volume of the new Ms. Marvel introduces Kamala Khan, a sixteen-year-old girl living and going to high school in Jersey City.  With an older brother, focused on his religious studies, and parents who are devout Muslims that only wish to protect their children from the loose mores of America, Kamala finds herself in an endless struggle to please her parents while also wishing to fit in and experience life as a teenager with her friends and classmates.  This internal struggle, above all else, is what defines this new series, and it works wonderfully.  While personally interested in the specificity of this family and their Muslim traditions, all of which feels natural and genuine in a manner unreached in other books with similar scenarios, it was the universality of these relationships that I admired most.  Teenagers are always in conflict with their parents, in one degree or another, and, despite the distinct background of Kamala, I can easily imagine teenagers and other readers being able to relate to her “civilian” story.  And, in that way, this series hearkens back to Marvel’s signature hero, Spider-Man, in its dichotomy between the hero and the person. 

Which is not to say there isn’t drama or action in this series.  There is.  Kamala, overcome by a strange fog as she wanders away from her classmates’ party, discovers she now has shape-shifting abilities – she can grow to twice her size, increase the girth of her fist, change how she looks, shrink down to the size of a cockroach – and she is freaked out.  But, in the meantime, one of her classmates, drunk and trying to fight off her boyfriend, falls into the lake.  Kamala, in the form of the original, blond Ms. Marvel, pulls her from the water and saves her life.  But she must run off before changing back to herself – because she hasn’t yet fully digested what has happened to her, nor is she yet able to control her powers.  And, once she returns home, sneaking back in her bedroom window, Kamala is discovered by her parents and grounded.  It even feels like something out of an old Spider-Man comic

From here, Kamala must learn how to control her powers while she decides what to do with them.  She quickly comes to the idea that she must use her abilities to help people in their neighborhood.  Which spurs her to try and stop a robbery at the local quickie mart, the Circle Q, where her best friend, Bruno, works.  This does not end well for Kamala, as a gunshot rings out on the final page of that particular issue – that page, and those leading up to it, are a master class of dramatic writing, building tension, sidestepping the danger, only to have it rear its head in a way that is both surprising and inevitable, truly impressive work there.  The way Wilson writes Kamala out of this corner is equally impressive, and from here we watch as she learns not only to accept her own identity as a hero (eventually switching from morphing into the idealized, blond iteration of Ms. Marvel to helping others as herself, but with a costume more in line with a typical teenage girl), but also learns how to be a hero.  It’s like fusing on Bruce Wayne’s education in “Year One” with the previously mentioned Spider-Man foundation, and it works incredibly well.  Wilson infuses the stories with humor and drama, creating stories that engage and entertain in equal measure.  This is one of the best new superhero books I’ve read in a long time. 

And equal billing must go to the artist, Adrian Alphona.  His art feels like it would be more comfortable in a Top Shelf book rather than a Marvel book, but it works well with the story being told by Wilson.  Cartoony without feeling slapstick, he grafts a manga-esque feel onto the art without turning toward the expected tropes of that medium.  There are moments where figures have more cartoonish faces, dependent upon the scene, and there is a flow and ease to the body language that is commendable.  Nothing feels stiff under Alphona’s pen, and it heightens the truthfulness of the story, lending a naturalness to the images that, I feel, allows readers to better relate to the story.  Sometimes, when an artist has a very rigid, very precise style, it can be off-putting, a glaring reminder that what you’re reading is a proximity of what’s outside your world, but a far more strict representation, which, for me, can pull me right out of the narrative.  Alphona hits just the right balance, infusing the action scenes with energy and dynamism, while offsetting “civilian” scenes with a laid back feeling.  And, just for bonus points, there are numerous jokes hidden in the background – on cereal boxes (GM-Os) or store signs or book covers – that only add to the enjoyment of this book. 

If you haven’t already, you should definitely read Ms. Marvel: No Normal.  It’s fun and full of drama – a classic comic book series told with a contemporary sensibility – and it is well worth your time. 


Sunday, November 9, 2014

What It Is - week ending 9 November [2014]

With apologies to Dave the Thune.

Every day.  1000 words.  That’s the goal.

Got back on track with the novel this week, which was nice.  I was afraid, after being away for a week, that it might be difficult to get into the swing of it (so many of the issues I have with writing stem from a need for routine and repetition, and putting aside a narrative for a few days can seriously hamper me, at least during that initial return to the work), but I was pleasantly surprised.  As with most scenes, I had a set idea of where things were going, but – though the overall story remained on course – the characters veered off-track just enough to surprise me and infuse the scene with a bit more drama and engagement for readers, I hope.  Regardless, it’s always fun to be writing, having the words move along the way I’d anticipated, and then, all of a sudden, have one character respond in a manner I had not considered – but it works, within the story and for the character.  Those moments are exhilarating.  Of course, then the question becomes, will it hold up when I start revisions.  Who knows?  But, for now, I’m really enjoying the story – so, that’s a big plus.  And I know, for sure, that this idea has legs and will fill out a novel nicely. 

Got a nice response to something I wrote a week back.  In the “What It Is” for the week ending 2November, I wrote a quick review of “Daddy” by Josh Simmons & James Romberger (published by Oily Comics).  Without warning, I received a pdf preview of Romberger’s next project, THE LATE CHILDAND OTHER ANIMALS, a graphic memoir written and colored by Marguerite Van Cook (Romberger’s partner), adapted and drawn by Romberger, and published by Fantagraphics the end of this month.  I haven’t found the time to read it yet, but I’m really looking forward to it.  Judging by his earlier work, including the aforementioned “Daddy” along with “Post York” and “7 Miles a Second,” I expect to enjoy the experience.  And, if you’re a fan of intelligent and engaging comics, seek out Romberger’s work and check out his site.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 

Finished GONE GIRL this week.  I appreciated how well Gillian Flynn was able to examine her characters and convey this through her prose.  It was impressive.  And the plot twists were well played, putting her main characters into binds that seemed hopeless.  Then she would pull another rabbit out of her hat, up the tension while releasing them from one prison, only to push them into another, more devastating one.  Gone Girl was a totally engaging book, especially the first 85% of it.  With the final twists, I found the character motivations wanting – just a bit.  One might be able to explain it away as these outsized characters going “all in,” and be satisfied with that explanation, but there was something about the final motivations driving the two main characters toward the end of the book that didn’t sit right with me, as far as them being genuine human responses to what had gone before.  That said, it was a good thriller but not a book that will stay with me like Stoner or Age of Innocence. 

Read NIJIGAHARA HOLOGRAPH, by Inio Asano and published by Fantagraphics.  This was an amazing manga.  Similar in tone and structure to David Lynch’s films, I was blown away by it, so much so that I had to write about it.  Check that review out here.  

Continuing through Bakuman – I’m on volume 15 right now – and still loving it.  I also started reading the collection Batman: Strange Apparitions, which reprints the noteworthy Detective Comics run of Steven Englehart, Marshall Rogers, and Terry Austin (with the first two issues, before Rogers jumps in, from penciler Walt Simonson and inker Al Milgrom, who muddies Simonson’s beautifully delicate linework).  It’s some crazy, overwritten, but eminently enjoyable fun, with beautiful art from the Rogers/Austin team.  And, to be frank, looking at the image of the Joker on the back cover – though I don’t remember where I would have seen it (possibly in one of those “Greatest Stories” collections) the Rogers/Austin rendition is a seminal Joker for me.  Great work. 

I’m a member of the Comics Experience Creators’ Workshop, an online resource for aspiring comic writers and artists to work on their stories and art, get feedback from professionals and other members, and to discuss craft in a safe environment.  Created by Andy Schmidt, it really is a great place, and there are a lot of books coming out from members – especially now that Comics Experience and IDW have initiated a publishing agreement.

But another member whom I’ve gotten to know fairly well on the boards, Don McMillan, has a new e-book out.  KIBBLES ‘N’ BOTS is about a Boston terrier puppy who believes she can become a superhero, after finding her owner’s comic books, and must battle bank robbing robots in this adventure.  But what of the true plans of the robots’ leader, Bad Boss?  It’s available for the Kindle, and at only $2.99, a bargain.  Can’t wait to check it out. 

Another week down.  Thanksgiving is fast approaching, which means Christmas is right around the corner.  And that means I need to start thinking about letters from Santa – which is obviously a topic for another time.  As always, check out my friends - Brad & Matt and Don McMillan (see above) for their own weekly recaps on things comic-y and geeky, and we'll see what's what in seven.