Friday, March 20, 2009

50 Reasons

Blatantly stolen from the brilliantly-titled Bookgasm,

50 Reasons No One Wants to Publish Your First Book

(click the 50 Reasons to go straight to the post-- the bookgasm link takes you to their latest entertainment!)

A few of my personal favorites:

#46. Historically, books written solely to settle a bar bet seldom make it to print, especially if they were written during a seven-and-a-half-hour period in the same bar where the bet was made.

#43. Writing a 97,236-word thesis arguing the inherent superiority of Wolverine over Batman is intrinsically flawed since no intelligent person could ever take it seriously. I mean, c’mon, Batman would kick that midget Canuck’s ass every single time!

#25. A young-adult novel set in the behind-the-scenes world of network reality television featuring over two dozen characters, graphic underage sex and dead prostitutes? Are you fucking kidding me? No, seriously, are you fucking kidding me?

(that one made the whiskey fly out my nose!)


6. The world isn’t quite ready for an illustrated children’s book called SOME MOMMIES ARE INTERNET PORNSTARS

How bout y'all? What's your favorite???

Friday, March 13, 2009

In a Peanuts State of Mind...

I love, love, *LOVE* Charles Schutz's PEANUTS. I learned to read from those strips, and spent many a drunken night playing pool on the site of Charlie Brown's dad's barbershop.

Later, my life's rhythms danced to the music of Frank Miller and Charles Bukowski, among others...

So of course, I was delighted to see Peanuts, in a Sin City sort of way:

(Click for big'uns!)

And Peanuts if it was written by Charles Bukowski!

Come to think of it, that one strip recounts a conversation I've had with more than a few people...


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Watchmen, Watched

It came. I saw. It conquered.

If you take nothing else away from this post, take this: see the movie. See it in the theater, where the screen is enormous and the sound system rattles the seats. Leave the kids at home. This is one superhero movie that is *sooooooo* not for them. It's a movie for those who felt The Wire was too uplifting on the subject of urban blight, and that The Shield was too soft about police corruption.

This isn't a review. I've loved this story for over twenty years, and I loved its translation to the screen. Fucking gorgeous. Go see the damn movie. That's my review.

A few impressions:

1) The new ending was pretty damn brilliant. Translating this MASSIVE, structurally complicated story to screen was no easy feat. Even at three hours long, certain cuts needed to be made. For me, they worked. Though they did change the essential theme of the story, at least as I saw it they did.

Watchmen the graphic novel featured a story-within-a-story, a pirate/horror tale as savage and chilling as anything I've ever read. The ending of that tale, along with the original ending of the main storyline and the extra coverage and depth given to the anti-superhero riots, reinforced a strong moral theme that mankind is its own enemy, and its own savior. Our fate has always been in our own hands.

The movie's ending was more elegant, and quite frankly better done. It also left me with a distinctly different impression, much more difficult to express. To be honest, I need to see it again...

2) The world has changed. The movie did a beautiful job of evoking that nuclear terror that haunted the 80's. Annihilation was never more than moments away for all of us back then, and it was interesting to think about how much the world has changed since. Disaster threatens closer, but it's also a more intimate thing: two office buildings is a far cry from the entire surface of the Earth rendered into molten glass....

3) And it turns out I've changed too. Back in the day, Rorschach was my man. My determination to make a career as an artist was every bit as cold and ruthless as that trenchcoated psycho's refusal to compromise, even in the face of Armageddon.

Revisiting the material, I was surprised to find myself identifying with Dr Manhattan. Something about the blue guy's bafflement, the way that despite all his considerable power he just didn't get it, resonated with me. Maybe the Rorschach-like intensity of my youth led me to focus on art and miss out on people. Or maybe it was just the day I was having.

I know... It was appearance. Glowing blue and bald aside, that guy was just a few sit-ups shy of my own Full Throttle Physique! ;-p