A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Monday, November 25, 2002


No, I haven't gone the way of the dinosaur when it comes to my blog. I know
it must seem I lost interest already, but not true. It's just been a non-work
oriented couple of weeks.

First it was several days visiting my father, capped by a stop-off in San
Francisco to attend the Warren Ellis event at Isotope. Then when I was home, my
pal Jenny Lee from Marvel was visiting, and then a night out with my friend Lara
Michell to see Beth Orton as a belated birthday treat for her. And frankly, once
the weekend rolled around, I needed to rest. So I caught up on The Sopranos,
and dug through the new Glengarry GlenRoss DVD, as well as finishing watching The Complete Jam on Film and beginning Best of Bowie, both amazing music double-disc DVDs. Saw the excellent Standing in the Shadows of Mowtown documentary at Cinema 21. Read some comics--Ellis'
Global Frequency and The Truth #1 drawn by Kyle Baker probably topping the list--and polished off the latest issue of Uncut. A lazy couple of days.

I am getting back on track, though. I will likely start Rayearth 5
tonight and get back to The Everlasting by the weekend--a long weekend
spent being antisocial, likely balanced out between DVDs and writing.

Thinking of starting a contest for people who may actually read this where if
you can identify all the post headers you get a prize. But I am not sure what
that prize should be.

Current Soundtrack: some Badfinger at the BBC thing James has that I don't really care for (I like Badfinger, but the sound mix here is just pretty muddy)

Monday, November 11, 2002

The second part of a hefty interview I did is in Borderline Magazine, Nov '02, a downloadable magazine that costs $1. There are also a lot of interviews with Oni creators like Christine Norrie, Jen Van Meter, Jay Stephens, J. Torres, Guy Davis, Gary Phillips, Mike Norton, Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir, and Judd Winick

Sunday, November 10, 2002


I can't seem to get a good momentum going on Rayearth 4. Manage to squeeze out about 25 pages at a time or so, meaning I'll be done Tuesday. I am on page 135 now. It's just been one of those weeks/weekends. The first issue of Brian Bendis and Mike Oeming's Powers I am working on is coming together this weekend, and you have no idea the sheer amount of time it takes to go through one of that book's infamous letters pages. Big set-back yesterday. And my evening was consumed by the Garbage/No Doubt show at the Rose Garden--which is by far nothing to complain about. Both bands are excellent onstage. Both Gwen and Shirley are divine.

In my giddiness on Friday, I failed to note the horrifying moment at the barber shop. When the initial trim was being done, and my hair was all combed down, I looked in the mirror and saw my father staring back at me. *shudder*

Current Soundtrack: Beth Orton, Daybreaker; The Vines, Highly Evolved

Friday, November 08, 2002


I got my haircut today.

There is a myth about me. It’s that I have a very precious view of my hair. That I spend hours on it and agonize over it taking the perfect form. It’s not really true. After basically 16 years of the same haircut, it pretty much does what it’s supposed to, and if it goes a bit pear-shaped I don’t get too riled over it. In fact, I had a girlfriend who I always tried to get to cut it for me, because I’ve been known to be terribly cheap when it comes to getting the job done. She wouldn’t do it. She was scared of my wrath if she messed it up. The truth is I would have laughed it off. The shit grows fast and would correct itself in no time.

Actually, I think at its core, my haircut is incredibly simple. Short on the sides, longer on top, with the bangs left longest of all. You can blend the short to the long, or go for a severe line. I’ll live either way. But someone who cuts hair well can make it seem almost magical, transforming the simple into something otherworldly. Truly, any significant other of mine would be good to swallow that fear and learn to make the cut if they want to hang on to me (yeah, I know, why would they want to, but let’s suppose for the sake of this thing here), because a pretty face with clippers could easily steal me away from you. It doesn’t matter how in love with you I am, if Jennifer down at Bishop’s on NW 23rd had told me she wanted me to be her slave today, you’d be out without a second thought. If I saw you again I doubt I’d remember your name. To illustrate how far I’d go: If Jennifer said she hated Blue Monday and said Oni should stop publishing it, it would be cancelled. (Sure, I don’t have that power, and Joe Nozemack would say it would go on, but I wouldn’t have anything further to do with the comic, and since Joe and Butterbear can’t handle Chynna, you’d never see it again.) Only my cat outranks Jennifer.

And let’s not even talk about the shampoo. Lord, I love being shampooed. I used to go see this girl Kara when she was at the beauty college. When she graduated, I would have followed her wherever she went, but I ran into her once at a grocery store and she hadn’t really settled anywhere. She gave the best shampoos.

But now it’s Jennifer, and I will never forsake her. I’m not fickle when it comes to these things. She could take a big chunk out of the back of my head and I’d still adore her. I've had two other stylists at the same shop, and I moved on, but Jennifer knows how my hair is supposed to be. It's been two months since my first cut with her, and she still remembers. I got out of the shower 20 minutes ago and ran a brush through it once and it’s drying exactly as it's supposed to be. I haven’t used a blow dryer, hair spray, gel…I almost didn’t shower tonight because it had gel in it Jennifer had applied, which I could have enjoyed a while more, but I wanted to get refreshed before putting in some time on Cephiro (Rayearth reference).

If Blue Monday suddenly stops coming out, now you’ll know why.

Back after some Rayearth.


Man, I am such a dolt. This whole time I've been all, "Duh, why is it called Magic Knight Rayearth when there are three of them?" Big duh. Hikaru's kindred dragon or force of magic or whatever is named Rayearth. And it's not like it's ever been a big secret Hikaru is the focal Knight. Durrrrr.

CLAMP can be terribly repetitive when it comes to language. My challenge lately is finding different ways to say "fight" that work within the context of the dialogue--which is more verb oriented, meaning synonyms tend to be longer phrases like "go into battle" ("attack" isn't really right, and synonyms like "bout" are the wrong connotation). I am also encountering lots of special/sound effects that are essentially "shine." I am working my thesaurus overtime. I hate when writers use the same word over and over and over. It may be realistic, but it's bad writing. And I probably shouldn't hold it against CLAMP. Who knows how many ways there are to say "shine" in Japanese, and it could all translate the same.

By the way, when I told Jennifer that I rewrite Japanese comics from rough translations, she's the first person who didn't ask, "Oh, you speak Japanese?" See how much she understands? Jennifer rulez!!!

Current Soundtrack: Belly, Sweet Ride: The Best of Belly; The Jesus & Mary Chain, 21 Singles: 1984-1998 [thanks to Lana Berman for the last couple of soundtrack entries]

Thursday, November 07, 2002


Observation: Why is it that writers who smoke have convinced themselves that the act of smoking is somehow infinitely profound? They seem to feel the need to tell you about every cigarette they have, as if it is uncommonly significant. To my mind, it's anything but (no pun). In fact, it's frightfully common, judging by the filtered debris that litters the gutters. But then I've never smoked, and I am sure they would use that as their argument against me. Still, I find reading about someone's latest nicotine fix about as interesting as listening to a college student detail what he had to drink last weekend. Ho-hum.

On that thread, it actually seems particulary collegiate to write about smoking. How much bad uni-level prose has reached a point where the character's situation has gotten desperate, and he laments in a hard-bitten first person narrative about having only one cigarette left? It's the quickest reference Bukowski-wannabes have for being at the end of their rope. I remember visiting a friend in his dorm and his writer roommate happened to leave his computer on when he, unsurprisingly enough, popped out for a smoke. He was like three quarters of the way into his novel, and the particular passage he was working on was, yup, some guy who was an inch shy from the edge of the cliff and had only one cigarette to get him through the turmoil. He kept repeating, "One cigarette. One fucking cigarette. And many miles to go." Or something like that. I know the guy told me he was writing a book that was "realistic" and "gritty," and I am pretty sure he used the word "oily," too. I remember he needed a good shower and a shave, so I may be inserting oily myself. But that dude is why I despise academia crumpled up in one ugly package.

Ironically, in my third and last year, I had a story accepted to the school literary magazine, Rip Rap. It's called "You're a Guy. I'm Sure You'll Understand" (eventually I'll get it on the site). The narrator spends a lot of time enthusing about his indulgence in menthol cigarettes. So even I fell prey. My only defense is you aren't necessarily supposed to like the narrator, and a smoker friend told me it was clear I knew nothing about the act when he read it.

Completely unrelated, I did start Magic Knight Rayearth volume 4 on Monday, and also worked on it last night. I'm about 1/4 of the way in. I am also talking with Jake about the books that will follow this and Angelic Layer for me next year. Not sure if I can mention them yet, but I've got some fun stuff coming.

Current Soundtrack: Pete Townshend & Raphael Rudd, The Oceanic Concerts

Tuesday, November 05, 2002


Pete Townshend has an interesting diary entry on his website that takes a critical look at Kurt Cobain's recently published journals. Beyond the perspective of someone who has played the game that helped drive Cobain down, and as one of Cobain's targets, it also shows how an intrusive editor can change a piece (thus relating to other entries in this here journal). Townshend underlines pieces that were removed or softened, and sometimes indicates how they were softened. It can cause drastic changes.

Current Soundtrack: Supergrass, "Grace" CD2

Monday, November 04, 2002


I've been sick, so hence no work has been done, and so no updates this past week. Nothing to worry about. Just a cold. I should start Magic Knight Rayearth vol. 4 today or tomorrow, and of course continue apace on Everlasting. I got advance copies of the Rayearth box set with the first three volumes, and it looks great. Should be in stores soon. And Angelic Layer vol. 3 is on sale this Wednesday.

Current Soundtrack: Manic Street Preachers, Forever Delayed: The Greatest Hits