A big thanks to everyone that liked my author page to show their support. It’s been up for less than 24 hours and already has 70+ likes. I’m very blessed!
I started up my official author Facebook page. I’ll be updating the status of my literary works there, while still using this as my blog. Check it out and give me a like if you feel like it’s your cup of tea.
I’ve been following Dean Trippe here on tumblr for a little while now. His style is a little old school and has that dash of magic that made comics fun all those years ago. Having a daughter, I especially love a concept he pitched to DC Comicscalled, Lois Lane: Girl Reporter. Personally, whoever turned down that idea should be fired.
Anyways, I was browsing on my tumblr feed a little while ago and up popped the above picture with the simple title, “You’ll Be Safe Here”. This instantly hit me square in the heart. I’m 31 years old and I grew up with most of the characters in this picture. It’s got the Justice League, Avengers, X-Men, Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who — heck, even Captain Planet!
Anyone that’s listened to the more recent episodes of the podcast I do with my brother-in-law, Steve, called Bullshit Adverse, knows that nerd culture had a huge impact on my formative years. As an introvert raised in mostly rural surroundings, comics and science fiction became a way for me to escape “mundane life” and nurture my creativity. Most importantly, however, it reinforced my moral compass and helped fuel my decision to join the military.
As a kid, within these fantastic realms I found adventure and excitement. There was secret knowledge that would take me around the universe and to the farthest reaches of time. When I grew older I found something else that I’d never expected when I was a kid, community. There were millions of people around the world that were just like me, fans of the extra-ordinary and with the invention of the internet and the inter-connectivity boom, we became family.
To me, this picture portrays what everyone within that community found. Here, there is no judgement, no hate or malice for people that are “different”, “strange”, “shy”. Within, there are only friends, heroes that do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
Here I am, decades later, a disabled veteran and father. I count my blessings that I’m still able to serve my country and hoping my body will last another eight years until retirement. I love to write and my goal is to get a novel published in the next five years. The best part of this, is that I get to pass along this love of the fantastic to my daughter.
If you like this picture, or Dean Trippe’s style, check out his website where you can purchase your own copy.
Ok, so after watching the latest episode of Doctor Who, title “Hide”, I might have to rethink the context of the dialogue I did recently called “The Nightmare”.
In my dialogue, our man Mike is talking to his co-worker Nick about this dream that he’s been having. How he’s met this incredibly beautiful woman in his dreams and that since this has happened, he’s considered the waking world to be his nightmare because the knowledge that she doesn’t really exist is dreadful and depressing.
[Spoilers Below for Whovians… well, if you really are a Whovian, you’ve probably already seen the episode.]
So, at the tail end of the episode, the Doctor realizes that the monster in the pocket dimension is really the companion of a similar creature in this dimension and goes on to say this line:
“Every lonely monster needs a companion. It’s the oldest story in the universe, this one or any other. Boy and girl fall in love, get separated by events: war, politics, accidents in time, she’s thrown out of the hex, or he’s thrown into it. Since then they’ve been yearning for each other across time and space, across dimensions. This isn’t a ghost story, it’s a love story.”
This made me think that there might be more to this nightmare of Mike’s. What if he and the girl in the dream are star-crossed lover, separated by more than they can see with the eyes. For some reason he forgot about her, but now that he knows she’s out there somewhere, somewhen, he can’t stop thinking about her, and never will until all of time and space collapse in on themselves and they’re together again in the infinite.
Crazy, Grant Morrison-esque thoughts, I know. Now I wonder what Mike’s wife would say to all this. ;)
Like a lot of people, I have a tendency to buy things and put them on my reading list and all but forget about them. This happened to one such comic book miniseries by the name of Debris.
Of course, I never really forgot about Debris, just flipping through the issues and looking at the beautiful artwork, one could hardly ever forget about it.
Debris is the story of Maya, a fledgling Protector of the small village of Maiden. When one of the massive “Colossals” that roams the junk-strewn landscape attacks the village it inadvertently destroys their means to pump water up from underground.
To save the village, Maya heads out in search of the mythical city of Athabasca. Legend tells that this is the last source of water in the world and the Maya’s journey may be the last hope for the people of Maiden.
The story, written by Kurtis J. Wiebe, is something a little magical. Everything wraps up nicely in the end and there are more layers here than is overtly told. I like it that way, the reader shouldn’t have everything explained to them, sometimes it’s fun to make your own conclusions.
Riley Rossmo’s art is borderline sketch work, but it’s really appealing when mixed with Owen Gieni’s colors. The whole style seems to be a mix of modern sequential art forms with 80’s anime character styles. It really had me reminiscing of when I was a kid, watching cartoons like He-Man and Voltron.
In the end, you will not be disappointed with this book Pick it up and don’t lose it on your reading list!
[An essay I wrote in my English 101 class. An informative exploration into Clarke’s non-fiction works and how they affected society]
The Incredible Non-Fiction of Arthur C. Clarke
In 2001: A Space Odyssey, he lead a mission to the moon and explored the creation of mankind and the things they, in turn, create. Childhood’s End introduced readers to the visually demonic, yet spiritually enlightening Overlords. And in Rendezvous with Rama, the readers meet up with a mysterious cylindrical spaceship that stops by our solar system for a brief time before propelling itself back out into the unknown. With a robust series of work under his belt, Sir Arthur C. Clarke is easily one of the Masters of Science Fiction. What most readers overlook, however, is his work in non-fiction and how it helped to shape the world as we know it today.
Even as a boy, Clarke had a love for science. It was well known that he would fire homemade rockets from his mother’s farm in his native Somerset County in England [Robinson 1]. This fascination would follow him well into adulthood, where he had the opportunity to serve as the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society. Most of his fiction started out as scientific theories and predictions discussed with his colleagues there [Dunnet 516].
For the most part, Clarke’s non-fiction, such as his 1950 work, Interplanetary Flight: An Introduction to Astronautics, deals with the outer reaches of space and its untapped potential. However, some of his later works include another, mostly unexplored region, the world under the ocean waves. His aquatic collection includes such titles as Boy Beneath the Sea and Voice Across the Sea.
Of all his works, Clarke’s most important was developed in a much different environment than his native farmland. During World War II, he served as a radar technician in the Royal Air Force. Clarke spent a good amount of his free time during his service conducting personal experiments. This eventually led him to an idea that would shape the entire future of our species.
He gave thought to the potential for satellites in geostationary orbit to communicate with one another through various means. It is important to point out that Clarke did not invent the idea of geostationary satellites; he merely popularized it when he wrote about his ideas in a 1945 article to Wireless World entitled “Extra-Terrestrial Relays – Can Rocket Stations Give Worldwide Radio Coverage?” [Robinson 2]. For his contributions to the this field of science, geostationary orbit is now commonly referred to as the “Clarke Orbit”, or, if something is in geostationary orbit, it is considered to be within the “Clarke Belt”.
In the modern age, the world has a vast network of satellites in geostationary orbit that transmit television, radio, even the internet. All of this can now happen in the span of moments. By utilizing space, humanity is now interconnected in a way that it had never been in all of history. This was all thanks to boy who liked to fire rockets from his mother’s farm. Although, he always humbly claimed that if he hadn’t written that paper, someone else would have in the next year or so [Robinson 2].
Before his death at the age of ninety in 2008, he asked that the world always seek three things: extraterrestrial life, cleaner energy sources, and lasting peace [Cordeiro 1]. As always, he believed that all of these things could be found in the stars. Although he will forever be remembered for his accomplishments in fiction, Clarke’s impact on the world through his science will outlast any of his printed books.
Here’s an essay I wrote in my English 101 class, a little story about how I came to the decision to join the Air Force.
There comes a time in all of our lives where, whether we want to or not, we all need to spread our wings and fly out into the world under our own power and be our own people. We don’t have to burn bridges in the process or even forsake the people we were before, but there is always a moment of significant change that, no matter how much we fear it, must happen for us to grow as individuals. For me, this moment was when I decided to join the Air Force.
At the time, I was living in rural Pennsylvania, working as a telemarketer for a business that had set up shop in a mall an agonizing forty-five minute drive away. The job was decent for a recent high school graduate, and it paid much better than my previous job as a bus boy for a local restaurant.
I was living the mediocrity, making just enough money to go absolutely nowhere in life. And, for the most part, I didn’t hate it. However, somewhere deep down inside, I yearned and craved to be out in the world and doing things that I felt mattered, I just didn’t know how.
As if destiny was listening, a little old lady answered the call of my soul. One day, while at work, there was a power outage and none of us were able to make calls out to our potential customers. We played the waiting game, not-so-eagerly anticipating the power to return. This particular day, I was sitting next to a little old lady; her name escapes me at this moment, but her story doesn’t. She spoke of her grandson who was enlisted in the Air Force. Hearing the stories about how he’d gotten the opportunity to travel around the world, serving the country and helping people, touched that part of my soul that needed to spread its wings. She even went on to tell me about all the benefits he received for his service, tuition assistance, medical, dental, life insurance, just to name a few. My mind was made up from there.
It wasn’t easy, leaving home for places unknown. Oddly enough, I found it harder to leave my friends behind than my family. I remember sitting in the parking lot of one of their homes, crying for a short time, uncertain of everything in my future, but certain that this was a necessary change. The funny part, I believe, is that I hardly see those friends anymore when I go home to visit.
It’s been eleven years now. I’ve been around the world a few times over, to so many different countries that I can’t keep track of them all. In the process, I met my wife and, together, we created one of the most perfect little girls in the world.
And even after all this time, I think that everything I do, matters.
If you’re a comic book fan and you haven’t checked out Brian K. Vaughan’s newest work, The Private Eye, then what the heck are you waiting for? CHECK IT OUT RIGHT NOW!!! Best of all, you pay WHATEVER YOU WANT! That’s right, if you want to pay just a penny, then that’s all you need. It’s available in .CBR .CBZ and .PDF formats and English, Spanish, and Catalan languages.
Go here to get your download at:
From here on out THERE BE SPOILERS!!!
This story is set near the end of this century around the nation’s tri-centennial in 2076. The world has changed and privacy is considered one of the most important aspects of human life. Everyone seems to have a secret identity and they protect that identity with various costumes. Some wear plain masks to hide their faces, while others wear whole body costumes equipped with various holograms to completely change themselves.
Patrick Immelmann, or so he calls himself to his customers, we don’t discover his real name in this issue, is a Private Detective. He can hunt down the most private secrets about people, if they can pay his price, of course. Enter an intriguing young woman who wants him to look into her past to see what he can dig up. She’s trying to stay one step ahead of a potential employer.
Between his dangerous occupation and his deranged grandfather who reminisces over the good old days of iPhones and Facebook, this story lives up to the BKV standard.
As for the art, it’s done by an old friend of Vaughan’s, Marcos Martin. It’s clean and seamless. This guy was made for comics and I’m scratching my head right now wondering why I’ve never heard of him before.
The verdict? PICK UP THIS BOOK AND GIVE THEM YOUR MONIES!!!
I paid $3 of my hard earned cash for this book. How much did you pay?