Updates and stuff.

Yeah, yeah, I’ve been gone a long time, I know. But I’ve been busy putting together the kind of entertainment you’ve come to expect, nay, demand from me. So really, it’s your fault. I’m glad we agree.

Some updates on some stuff:

Instinct is done. The pitch/submission package is completed. I wrote it. Sami drew it. Hugo colored it. ET lettered it. We’re good to go. Now I have to get the pitch documents ready, which is a pain in my ass but is vitally important…the pages look incredible, and I’d hate to not do them justice by having some half-assed pitch info. I need to make sure that what I write is just as good or better than the pages. And that’s no easy task.

Interesting note: I jumped the shit out of the gun yesterday, because I had the first pass of the Instinct pitch documents written, and I (for some unknown reason) sent the pages and the pitch info to Shadowline comics. I’ve pitched stuff to Shadowline unsuccessfully several times in the past, and want to keep my name in Jim Valentino’s ear. Or whatever. As luck would have it, Shadowline’s publishing schedule is booked solid for the rest of 2013. Which really saved my ass, because what I sent was NOT ready. I really should have held off.

Here’s an updated goal for 2013: to get at least four books published or accepted for publication. Knowledge has been picked up, so that leaves three more books that I need to get moving on. I want Instinct to be one of them, and have one other that’s in consideration right now at a publisher. So I need to figure out the fourth book.

Completely off-topic: I am really digging “The Strain” trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I’m almost finished with the second book, The Fall, and will be picking up The Night Eternal this weekend as a birthday present to myself. I’m not a big fan of vampires, but the way Del Toro and Hogan approach vampirism is really interesting and unique. I love all the psuedo-science-y reasons for the existence of vampires. Highly recommended.

That’s it for today. Do yourself a favor and go listen to “Mirrored” by Battles.

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KNOWLEDGE.

It has been made official, and I can finally talk about it:

My mini-series KNOWLEDGE has been been picked up for publication by Markosia Entertainment. Markosia is the publisher of Long Gone, and I’m very excited and proud to continue working with them.

I’m most excited about sharing the phenomenal artwork of Jerome Eyquem with the world. Jerome took the basic concept I had for Knowledge and created something staggering. The amount of work he’s put into these characters and this world is unbelievable. Paired with top-notch letterer/design whiz Chris Horan, and this book is something special to behold.

No firm dates on publication times, we’re still hard at work getting the last parts of the book finished. Knowledge was conceived as a 4-issue mini-series, which spread to 5 issues, and is now a 6-issue miniseries, but is likely to be released as a full graphic novel.

Here’s some samples of what you can look forward to:

Knowledge promo 1

 

Cradle

 

Knowledge

 

Dyer

 

Lowenstein

 

That’s the four main players in Knowledge:

1) Agent Spencer “The Davidian” Cradle

2) John Knowledge

3) Agent Julia Dyer

4) Special Agent Lowenstein

I’ll share more as things get closer to completion. So far that’s one official release for 2013. Look for lots more from me!

A quickie.

Sorry, I haven’t been maintaining ye olde blog as much as I should have been this week…but that’s because I’ve been busy working on some other stuff that needed to get taken care of. The kind of stuff I can’t talk about yet for fear of jinxing it.

But rest assured, it’s good news. Without being specific, I’ll say this: I recently discussed this book and someone who expressed interest in it. It’s only progressed from there!

I also had a good chat with my literary manager, and hopefully I’ll be getting that motherfucking movie check soon.

No, not really. But I can dream, right?

I’ll have a proper update soon-ish.

Do yourself a favor and go listen to “Hold Time” by M. Ward. You’re welcome.

Shorts. Not the item of clothing, but stories.

Short stories. I’m not a fan. Let me clarify: Of reading them? Yes, absolutely. Of writing them? I can’t stand them.

I shouldn’t say I can’t stand them, more like I don’t feel like I’m particularly good at writing them. I struggle with short stories. I tend to think and write in a long-form setup. I’m a wordy bastard. I know guys who can write some incredible, meaningful and inspiring short stories. Guys who use short stories as their bread and butter. I’m in awe of those writers, because they make it look so easy, while I struggle and have blood pour out of my eyes when I’m writing something short. 8 pages isn’t a lot of real estate…

Now, all of that said: I’ve written an awful lot of short stories. Here’s the list. Because I know you wanted to know.

  • Miasma” – in the anthology Weird Zombie Horror, illustrated by Lee Lightfoot.
  • Living Dead” – in the Oxymoron volume 1 anthology, illustrated by Carl Yonder.
  • Unit 731” – in FUBAR volume 2, Empire of the Rising Dead, illustrated by Carl Yonder.
  • Breakneck: The Last Day of the Ghostwalker” in the anthology Ignition volume 1, illustrated by Michael Tyler.
  • Apes With Uzis: The Package” in the 215 Ink 2012 Free Comic Book Day flipbook, illustrated by Peebo Mondia.
  • Breakneck: The Secret Origin of Captain Stone”, currently unreleased, illustrated by Carl Yonder.
  • Aches and Pains” in the anthology Ignition volume 1, illustrated by Noel Tuazon.
  • Leo Cosmos” in the anthology Ignition volume 1, illustrated by Carl Yonder.
  • The Legend of Mose the Fireboy” in FUBAR volume 3, American History Z, illustrated by Eric Spohn.
  • Capacity”, currently unreleased, planning to submit to Challenger Comics, illustrated by, you guessed it, Carl Yonder.
  • Breakneck: A Punchup at a Wedding (aka the Origin of Ethan Shade)”, currently unreleased, illustrated by Allen Byrns.
  • Unring the Bell” in the anthology Ignition volume 1, illustrated by Jerome Eyquem.

Twelve short stories…wow, that’s actually not that much at all. But five of them were illustrated by Carl! Carl’s really my most trusted collaborator. We’re on the same wavelength when it comes to creating comics, which is why we work together so often.

I think that’s all of them. So far, nine of the twelve have been published (or are soon-to-be-published). There’s the one story that’s going to be submitted to Challenger, and the other unreleased Breakneck shorts will be used…somewhere. Just not quite sure yet.

Another thing I should point out: both Aches and Pains and Capacity were originally going to be much longer stories. I’d plotted them both out to 3-4 issues apiece. The shorts, as they exist now, were originally introductory scenes to the longer form story. But once in a while, I’ll write one of those opening scenes…and realize I don’t need to go any farther. What I’ve written stands nicely on its own.

It’s not always like that, though. When I’m asked to specifically write a short story, my eyes cross, my brain starts to eat itself, and I end up extremely frustrated, punching the computer in the face until it gives me eight pages of story, instead of the 80 pages of story I normally want to write.

I think there’s an art to the short story, and it’s one I just have not mastered. I’m going to challenge myself, though, and work on some more shorts – but I’m going to set those shorts within some of my longer stories. Like, I’ll write a couple of shorts based on the Long Gone universe, take a look at a couple of other characters. Writing the Breakneck shorts, that was a lot of fun. And I’m already familiar with my own stories (naturally), so expanding on them shouldn’t prove all that difficult. And it gets me back into those stories again.

Maybe a Long Gone anthology could become a thing…

Anyway, my hat is tipped to those writers who can see an eight-page story and know exactly how it will start, middle, and end. I can do that…when it’s sixty or eighty pages.

Just need more practice.

Do yourself a favor and go listen to “Burn, Piano Island, Burn” by the Blood Brothers. You’re welcome.