Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Halloween, Strippers!

Has Marvel gone too far? Or not far enough?
Marvel Costumes
(with credit to Heitmeyer, who called me on not including a hyperlink to an article a few entries back)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Dangerous Idea

Cross-posted from La Villa Ajasont:

I read the article about Jim Steranko's appearance at Baltimore ComicCon over at CBR today.

Here's an idea: those of us that love Jim Steranko's work would like to see him do more comics in the way that Steranko SHOULD do comics. "You guys should pay me so I can finish this stuff," he said at one point.

Yeah, we should.

Jill Sobule and some other musicians have appealed to their fan bases to help them make a record. Why couldn't the same thing be done for Steranko? He posts a pitch for the book he'd like to do on his web page and then we contribute to help him out to make his page rate. Different contributions get your name mentioned, or even an appearance as a character.

I'll bet you that Image, at least and probably a couple other publishers, would agree to publish the book if Steranko finishes it.

The catch is this: just because you contribute doesn't mean you get the book for free and you certainly don't own any rights to the work, that's all Steranko. It might, however, get you a discount on the purchase (Steranko's part of the pie, maybe) and a signed copy and a thank you in the book.

This could work. I know it would work for someone like Byrne if we wanted him to finish John Byrne's Next Men comic. The idea is that for the fans to pay for the work to be done so that we can enjoy it and have it and to not have artists say "I need to make a page rate" and stop doing a work. It takes an excuse away if there are enough people to make the page rate that the artist can live with.

Something to think about anyway.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Cross-posted from my LiveJournal:

We went to see Where the Wild Things Are yesterday.

Going in, I didn't want the film to be longer than 90 minutes. 80 minutes was probably my desired length, but no more than 90 to be sure. The trailers had convinced me that Spike Jonze had approached the film with a reverence that was appropriate, and the fact that Maurice Sendak was fully supportive and involved also convinced me that I needed to see this. Not least of all the influences on me seeing it was my love of the source material.

I don't need to have a literal translation of a book or comic to enjoy a film of it. All I need is for the film to capture the spirit of the story.

Where the Wild Things Are is a wonderful film. It perfectly captures the confusion of childhood and the escape that imagination affords. There are literal translations of the book into the film, the wild rumpus for instance, but it's the expansion of the story that makes it so good. The Wild Things are just that. Despite having names and speaking parts, the Wild Things are pure emotion. They are the emotions that Max has felt and experienced from others, and they're as confusing in personification as they are in life.

The farther the viewer is away from childhood, the more likely one is to appreciate the sentiments that Jonze has put into the film. Viewers under the age of 35 may need a few more years experience to understand what he's done here, but I came away from the theater having fully enjoyed myself. I laughed, I gasped and I cried. I left full of happiness and joy.

This is not a kid's movie, this is a movie about being a kid. It's something that not enough people have valued and may never understand. From a parent's perspective, there are moments that will scare the daylights out of younger children on the big screen. This is a PG movie, not for swearing or any of the things that we've come to expect, but for IDEAS that challenge us as viewers. For the brief moments of in-your-face scary violence.

The Wild Things, as I noted above, are wild things. I also mentioned at the start of this that 'we' went to see the film. This was me and my wife, two adults in their 40s, who went. There were lots of children, but I think the adults and parents (not necessarily mutually exclusive) enjoyed it more than the kids.

Don't expect a 90 minute version of the book. Expect a film that's evolved from a beloved book. Go in with your eyes and your mind wide open and look to enjoy it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Esquire Fiction Contest

Well it's over and I didn't win, as I expected.

What did I get out of it? A four thousand word story I wouldn't have written otherwise. Not a bad thing to have, and certainly a cool exercise.

I'm disappointed, to be sure, but not so much I wouldn't do it again. What I'll do now is pick that story up after I finish NaNoWriMo and seriously edit it in December, then see about submitting it elsewhere, perhaps to Ellery Queen or Alfred Hitchcock or somewhere else.

Why not?

I'll put the submitted version in my next 'zine for your perusal, but I recommend you do check out the winning story here.

Was this misleading?

Prizes and Approximate Retail Values: One (1) Winner will receive $2500.00 and have his or her entry published in a future issue of Esquire (ARV: Priceless). Total Approximate Retail Value: $2500.00. Winner will be notified via phone, e-mail or postal mail, at Sponsor's discretion, on or about December 31, 2009. Winner's List: For winner's name, send a separate self-addressed, stamped envelope to Esquire Fiction. 300 West 57th Street. 21st floor. New York, NY 10019 by January 31, 2010.

I'm not complaining, but I didn't expect the winning story to be published in mid-October after an August 1 deadline. Seems like they might've decided on September 1, actually.

I applaud the winner who got the $2500 and the publishing credit. Me? I got a story I wouldn't have written otherwise.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Plagiarist Exposed

There's a person going by the name of Richard Ridyard who has blatantly ripped off Stephen King and Angel Zapata in order to get publishing credits. This broke on on Tuesday and as of this morning it appears that Ridyard's 'work' has been effectively wiped from the internet.

Bully to the writing community for moving so quickly to expose this fraudulent behavior. In the digital age, even with Creative Commons licenses, it's important to protect your work and when someone sees something that's obviously plagiarized it's important to speak up.

I'm going to cross-post this on my LJ, and if you all would spread the word through the other communities you frequent, it'll make it that much harder for guys like 'Ridyard' and Josh Hoopes to do this kind of swindling.