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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bangkok 8: A Novel (Sonchai Jitpleecheep Series #1) Bangkok 8: A Novel (Sonchai Jitpleecheep Series #1) by John Burdett

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book took me forever to get through, and when I read the ridiculous last chapter, I regretted not having given up long ago. I had a real love-hate relationship with the narrative--sometimes getting into it, often struggling just to keep reading. John Burdett too often used his lead detective's spaciness as an excuse to jump over narrative details, and so plot machinations and character motivations lack clarity and logic (a demand Burdett would dismiss as being "too Western"). The female FBI agent, for instance, makes no sense to me. Her reasoning for continually trying to bed the main character is never explained, and the device goes on long past the point of contrivance.

I even found the prose style to be weird. Sometimes I found myself pleasantly lost in the strange rhythms of Sonchai's syntax, other times it just seemed like a cheap gimmick. The final 1/3 is plagued with long passages of exposition that seem like an easy way to get most of the work done rather than have the mystery unfold naturally. Mystical discoveries--some of them literally so--take the place of real detecting, and most of what we find out spills out of the mouths of minor characters in ill-conceived chunks of dialogue. This shatters any possible suspension of disbelief, and makes for an unsatisfying climax.

A real disappointment, I'm sorry to say. If there is a book #2 in the series, I won't be picking it up.

View all my reviews >>

Current Soundtrack: Shoegaze - Hosted by Amber Crain - KTRU 9-10pm Sun Jun 28 2010 - download here

Updated on 6/30/2010 with links for further reading.

The press screening for The Last Airbender is tonight, and after much debate, I decided not to go. I am a big fan of the animated TV show it is based on, Avatar, The Last Airbender, so I was always leery of this live-action remake. My fears grew worse when early production information came out last year. I signed a petition and joined a boycott of the film over what was then to be an all-white cast, completely ignoring the ethnicity of the characters in the source material, which is heavily rooted in Asian and Native American mythology. To make matters worse, what some pointed out as the movie studio trying to mollify the fans who were upset just made the divide more clear. The non-whites cast for the film were cast in the villain roles, meaning it's a case of the good and pure white children vs. the dirty brown people. This "fix" just made things more broken.

There was still room for me to go to the movie, however. I talked to one of the voices of dissent, Derek Kirk Kim, about it, and we agreed that since the press screening would be free, I hadn't gone against the boycott. I would have seen it without giving the studio my money, and I could use the platform to shine the spotlight on the casting issue. Even if I liked the film. Because, of course, I'd have to go with an open mind and judge The Last Airbender on its merits.

As the deadline for signing up for the movie approached, I couldn't help but think about how I would do that. How would I clear my mind of my own prejudice? I even began to compose a review opening in my head, one that would put my reservations up front. It would go something like this:

Before you read my review of The Last Airbender, I feel it only fair to tell you of where I am coming from, the personal bias that I carried with me when I walked into the theater.

1. I am a big fan of the original cartoon series Avatar, The Last Air Bender.

2. I am dubious of the need to remake the cartoon, because the original was so good.

3. I am not a fan of writer/director M. Knight Shyamalan.

4. Combine 3 with 2 and the math is already bad, but...

5. Hollywood has seen fit to whitewash the series and make it about a bunch of pale-faced children fighting against evil non-whites, despite the cartoon featuring mainly Asian and Inuit characters.

Those are a lot of hurdles for me to get over, but I had every intention to set them aside and give the movie room to make me forget each and every one.

From there, I would have said whether Shyamalan's film had done that or not, whether it had succeeded in conquering my doubts. Every reviewer (and every viewer) starts with some bias, after all. I was just going to lay mine bare, let readers know where I was coming from.

The more it went around in my head, though, the more I realized that I was probably kidding myself. The above was concocted as a defense, but a defense is its own kind of hurdle. Actually, this one was more like a giant wall, and Shyamalan was the invader underneath it. I was expecting him to climb up to me, I wasn't meeting him on level ground.

Feeling extremely wishy washy, I decided to watch the latest trailer. In doing so, I realized that none of the above probably mattered. If I was being really honest, if The Last Airbender wasn't based on a cartoon I liked, I'd have absolutely zero interest in seeing it. I never saw The Golden Compass, I stayed away from the Narnia movies, why would this be different? If it wasn't Avatar, I wouldn't even think twice. That is is Avatar was rightly giving me pause. The cartoon is near perfect. Why mess with that?

So, I said no. I will stay away and wait to hear what others think and uphold my principles and my signing the boycott.

For those wondering more about the thinking behind the boycott, one of the organizers, cartoonist Gene Luen Yang drew the following comic strip about it (clicking on the image will also take you to his blog):

Gene's is not an unreasonable request. If you even remotely agree with what he is saying, then what is more important? The courage of your convictions or that you run with the herd and have to SEE EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT'S NEW AND NOW NOW NOW. You really can't wait until July 12? If not, then what does that say about your integrity? Fandom trumps morals? (And if, like me, you signed the petition, it's not nullified by the fact that it was a long time ago and Dev Patel was cast afterward.)

It's not like there aren't any other ways you can be part of Avatar fandom this weekend. If you really want to send a message, go out and rent/buy the DVDs of the cartoon. Watch the episodes streaming online. If the movie has a crappy opening and yet the cartoon suddenly shows a lot of new activity, then maybe Hollywood will think twice before they go and ruin another awesome television show or discount ethnic diversity in casting. I know, I know, it's Hollywood, it takes them a long time to learn, but better that you're part of the solution, not part of the problem.

For anyone interested, here is my review of season 1 of Avatar, The Last Airbender, as well as season 2. I reviewed 3/4 of the individual discs for season 3, which you can find by searching "avatar" on DVD Talk, but those might best be left until you actually watch the show.

For further reading see Q. Le's great article on the history of this kind of racism in Hollywood and what it all means.

Also, Cinematical presents M. Night Shyamalan in his own words.

Avatar fan art by Natalie Nourigat. Used without her permission. Suck it, Tally!

Current Soundtrack: Sia, "Hold Me Down;" We Are Scientists, "Rules Don't Stop;" Mos Def, Mos Dub; The Roots, How I Got Over

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Self Publisher! Nexus Magazine has a new issue (downloadble pdf). It's got an Oni theme with a Spell Checkers cover and interviews with the team: Nico on his own and Joëlle Jones and myself in tandem.

Click on the picture.

Current Soundtrack: Mad About You: The Complete Fourth Season DVD 2

Thursday, June 24, 2010



Bring some popcorn!

* Knight & Day, a genre mash-up with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz that is as surprising as it is likable. James Mangold directs.

* Micmacs, the new Jean-Pierre Jeunet combines Looney Tunes with Jacques Tati.


* Red Desert, Antonioni's challenging meditation on modern ennui and sickness of the soul as it applies to Monica Vitti. (Also at DVD Talk.)


* Hung: The Complete First Season, another winner from HBO. Thomas Jane is great as the unlikely gigolo in this dramedy from producer Alexander Payne.

* Tom & Jerry: Deluxe Anniversary Collection, a poor excuse for a cartoon double-dip. Warners can never get these Tom and Jerry sets right.

Current Soundtrack: Louis C.K. on Leno; Kent, En plats i solen

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch..."

Spell Checkers Vol.2 : work in progress extract

Current Soundtrack: Christina Aguilera, "All I Need"

This post is part of the Alison Dare Double Blog Dare Tour 2010! Check out all of Alison's stops though the Tundra Books portal. The pick up the new printings of Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventures and Alison Dare, The Heart of the Maiden.

I am Alison Dare's favorite uncle.

It's true. You don't hear about me as much because I don't find hidden treasures in far-flung places or stop crime, but then, some of us in the Dare family have to wear normal clothes now and then.

So, you can guess how excited I was to hear little Ali was coming to see me in Portland, Oregon, on her tour.

My first exposure to the word of Alison Dare was probably more than ten years ago now. I was editor in chief at Oni Press, and the company had bought some table space at the old Chicago Con out in Illinois. Most of the details of that particular show are gone--when you do enough comic book events, they tend to start becoming one giant weekend in your mind--but it would have been in the days when Oni was running on a skeleton crew. Editors at indie publishers don't have the cushy show schedules that some of the bigger boys do, we pretty much man the company table from open to close. If we can sneak a lunch in between, fabulous.

On this particular day, I must have been especially grouchy as I had been sent away from the table to eat my lunch, rather than just wolfing it down in between answering questions about the latest issue of Blue Monday or whether or not the Blair Witch was real (oh, yeah, Oni did Blair Witch Project comics, how did you forget?) and looking at portfolios full of superheroes and other creative interpretations of the human anatomy. Free from the confines of our little comic book prison, I was eager to go somewhere and hide and really enjoy my sandwich. How about Artist's Alley?

For those not familiar with convention terminology, "Artist's Alley" is pretty much what it sounds like. It's an area of tables specifically set aside for artists and writers to book for themselves, to sit and sell their wares as their own agents rather than on behalf of a publisher. The talent ranges from the just-getting-started all the way up to industry veterans, and anyone sitting over there has paid for their own spot and so is pocketing any money you give them directly. These are the guys doing it for the love of comics, in other words, and folks you should seek out and give cash to.

Anyway, J. Torres and J. Bone, the Two Js, had an Artist's Alley table, and they were set up all the way in the rear of the convention hall. This was as far from the thick of it as I could get, and so I asked if I could sit on the floor behind them. Here I knew I could enjoy some pastrami and mustard without any fear of a wannabe writer pulling up a chair to pitch me his latest and greatest. This would be my sanctuary...

"Now that I have you here," Torres said, "I have something to run by you."


Long story short, that something was Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventures. Torres and Bone had created a whole world for their plucky heroine, a world full of good guys, bad guys, and all kinds of guys in between. With Torres' crisp and fluid plotting and well-tuned ear for dialogue, and Bone's dynamic storytelling and classic illustration style, not to mention all the bad puns the two of them kept coming up with (setting the record straight, apparently the main offender is Bone)--it wasn't a hard sell for us at Oni. Plus, since all three of us working there had names that started with J.--Jamie, James, and Joe--the very idea of printing a comic book where we could all shorten our credits to just our first initials was too good to pass up. Two Js? Make it Five!

So, in a way, Portland could be said to be the birthplace of Alison Dare. It's where her comics, the very ones in the new Tundra Books editions, were first published. It's also a book lover's paradise, whether their printed poison be books of the comics or prose variety. No reader worth their weight in fonts can come through here without checking out the legendary Powell's Books. While we were at the super store, I took Ali to the their extensive graphic novel collection, and she took a peek at what other titles they had from Papa Torres. She was convinced that the upside-down copy of Lola: A Ghost Story was a bad omen, and we had a heck of a time tracking down the restless spirit that had set that particular comic topsy-turvy.

Alas, that's a tale for another time....

Current Soundtrack: The Killers, Live at Royal Albert Hall

Text (c) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, June 17, 2010



* Toy Story 3, another winner from Pixar, though I admit to maybe liking it a little less than expected. I feel like a lot of the movie was already done in that Simpsons episode where Maggie went to the Ayn Rand School for Tots. (Joke!)

Then again, I'm also not all that happy with my review, so maybe there's just something wrong with me.


* By Brakhage: An Anthology, Vol. One, a survey of the work of experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage.

* Close-Up - Criterion Collection, an intriguing dissection of cinematic life from Abbas Kiarostami. (Also at DVD Talk.)

* Mystery Train, a tribute to Memphis from the always excellent Jim Jarmusch.


* Le Combat dans l'ile, a lost film from the French New Wave starring Romy Schneider.

* The Maid, a dark Chilean dramedy about the social classes and one woman's sacrifice to and redemption within the same.

* Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, a so-so music biopic about Ian Dury.

* Stolen, Jon Hamm's chin can only do so much for this undercooked mystery.

Current Soundtrack: Tindersticks, Live in London 2010

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


A couple of cool art-type things:

A new Spell Checkers-themed Nico cartoon from his blog:

What I want to know is, how come he hasn't introduced me to this cute girl he's drawing? What an awful French wingman! And what did she think of the writing...?!

A new Audrey Hepburn drawing:

This one by Portland-based artist Hazel Newlevant.

Current Sountrack: Oasis, Time Flies... 1994-2009 live disc

Monday, June 14, 2010


It staggers me to think about all the people I've encountered in my comic book life. Particularly in my editorial days, where by virtue of my job I had contact with all manner of boyhood heroes, newcomers, and genuine comic book legends. Some passed right through, some stuck around for a while before our paths diverged, some are still here. I don't usually think about it in those terms until one of those people have moved on for good, and I think about the stories I have to tell about him or her. In that, I suppose, there is some permanent comfort--good or bad, I will always have stories to tell about others, they will always have stories to tell about me.

Al Williamson was one of those bona fide legends. He was also one of the good guys. One of the very good guys. It pained me to read of his passing this morning. He was 79. "1931-2010" is not a bad set of numbers to mark a life. But still...

I'll be honest, I didn't really know who Al was when his work started to show up around the Dark Horse offices in the mid-1990s. I was in my early 20s, and there was still much for me to learn about the history of the medium. Dark Horse was reprinting some of the classic Star Wars comics Al had drawn, stuff I had read when it was new but before I started paying attention to the fact that there were names attached to funnybooks, that someone actually had to put those lines on the paper. Seeing those comics again not only inspired nostalgia, but also proved to be an education. I could see where some of my favorite artists, guys like Dave Stevens and Steve Rude, had picked up some of their technique. Al Williamson was one of the masters who set the bar.

Part of my job at the time was assisting Lynn Adair, who was then the "collections editor" at Dark Horse, meaning she oversaw all the trade paperback and hardcover reprints. Al's comics fell under her purview, and my first encounters with the man came when I'd have to call him on her behalf. He was immediately friendly to me. He played the part of a cranky old man when he wanted to, but it was all in good fun. Al was a jokester, a prankster, and above all, a flirt. (He was also a family man, so don't misconstrue any of this as serious.) I could always tell when Lynn was on the phone with him because she'd be slightly flushed afterward. Surprisingly, Al flirted with me, too. I was game, it was funny. Though it was fairly tame stuff, it gave me a giggle to imagine my bosses listening in on a conversation where one of their junior editors shared randy barbs with Al Williamson.

Then one day, Al asked Lynn a question. "So, tell me about this Jamie. Hot new thing around the office?"

Lynn was surprised. "Al, you know Jamie is a boy, right?"

There was a pause. "Of course, I do! What do you think?"

Lynn wasn't entirely convinced. Back then, for whatever reason, I guess a combination of my unisex name and my voice, people who spoke to me on the phone regularly thought I was a "ma'am." So, was it possible that Al really was flirting with me under the misconception that I was Lynn's cute young secretary?

The next time I called Al, I decided to give him a hard time, and I spoke in an exaggerated deep voice. "Hiiiii, Al. It's Jamie." He didn't think it was very funny, and we never spoke of it again. To this day, I don't know whether he had the wrong idea or not, but there is a small part of me that is proud that I got one over on Al Williamson, even if I hadn't intended to.

Thankfully, such a small thing wasn't going to affect our friendship, and I finally got to meet Al face to face when he came to Oregon for one of the conventions Dark Horse used to run. He was an irascible raconteur, and though a generous conversationalist, it was always a wise choice to concede the floor to him. He was full of wonderful stories and pearls of professional wisdom. One that always stuck with me (and I am paraphrasing from memory): "You editors, you think we're so stupid, and we let you. You think that when we draw a cover for you and we put a cool rocket ship in the top 1/3 where the logo goes, that we don't know you're going to cover it up. Of course we know! We just want to draw a cool rocket ship!"

In 1997, Bob Schreck left Dark Horse and ended up forming Oni Press with Joe Nozemack. I stayed behind and took over some of the titles I had assisted Bob with, including the anthology Dark Horse Presents. I had started working on the series with Bob in the early 100s, and I think one of the first issues that I took to completion without him was #119. That issue had a cover that was somewhat infamous around the office, as Troy Nixey had assembled a collage on wood, with raised panels and real buttons glued on. It was a challenge to print and deemed not very commercial. Much of my run with Bob was considered uncommercial, and there was pressure on me not to feature so many of the weird "indie" stories on the cover. (You can see most of our run here; I think I became his assistant somewhere around #105, and the last cover I commissioned on my own was #135.)

I hadn't yet gotten a cover for #120 because I hadn't yet commissioned my last feature for the issue. There was a hole in the roster. I had to think fast, get something no one could argue with.

So, I called Al. It was a long shot, but I thought maybe he'd have something I could use. A new story, an old story, whatever. Turns out, he had a short comic that had been intended for publication elsewhere, but had not been finished. Maybe he could polish that up for me, would that work? Hell, yeah, it would work. I was able to walk around the office crowing that I had gotten new Al Williamson comics. I was greeted with much disbelief. How had I done it? "I just asked him," I said. "He likes me." Not bad for a little gal from the typing pool.

In one fell swoop, Al Williamson had saved my issue and also made it look like I had game.

The story was a four-page EC-style sci-fi adventure piece called "One Last Job." It was written by Mark Schultz and dedicated to Wally Wood. It's a simple tale about an intergalactic bounty hunter and treasure seeker traversing a dangerous landscape in search of the final score so he can fulfill his promise of retiring and return to his lady love. Of course, the punchline is that he can't retire. The call comes through for more adventure, and he is off again for "one last job."

In his way, it was a story about Al Williamson, too. There was always more adventure to find on the comic book page, new worlds to explore, new sights to see.

The cover for the issue was another unused piece, and though it didn't exactly go with the story, it fit enough that we could get away with it. The illustration itself was heavily detailed. In the bottom half a man fought a pterodactyl, with a mysterious woman in the upper right seemingly orchestrating the whole thing. They were surrounded by a temple and its artifacts and the jungle beyond. There is even another dinosaur-like creature behind the woman. There's something happening on every inch of the paper. So much so that the art director at the time was distressed when he saw it. Didn't Al know there was a design to DHP? Hadn't I sent him the template?

Of course I sent him the template. Al just didn't care. He wanted to draw cool things.

dhp120-cover dhp120-1

dhp120-2 dhp120-3

[readable versions through the links]

Also, please read Jeff Parker's marvelous reminiscences about Al. Much more essential reading than my own.

Special thanks to Steven Gettis for the scan of Al Williamson's self-portrait.

Current Soundtrack: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, The Good Son; CocoRosie, Grey Oceans

Text (c) 2010 Jamie S. Rich; "One Last Job" (c) 1997 Mark Schultz & Al Williamson

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Christina Aguilera - Beautiful (Live at CNN Heroes 2008)


An amazing performance for a Sunday afternoon...

Thursday, June 10, 2010


The above is a particularly powerful Christina Aguilera vocal performance, recorded live on Letterman yesterday. Co-written by the singer Sia, it's one of the more subdued and soulful tracks on her new album, Bionic, and proof that no one has pipes like Christina does. For all the charges of thievery from Gaga (from people who apparently never heard of Madonna), this is really what it boils down to: Gaga can't sing like that.

I got my ultimate fan edition of Bionic yesterday. A box set with the CD, a triple-vinyl record, and two photo prints, it features the main album plus five extra tracks (a.k.a. the deluxe version). iTunes has the same album for download, plus another extra song called "Little Dreamer"--which they at least sell on its own, not just as an album-only perk. It's actually a pretty good song. "Little Dreamer" is built on a nice 1980s riff, with a climbing vocal in the verses and an "up" chorus. Think the band When in Rome. I like the handclap beat after the first chorus and then the breakdown that comes immediately after.

Overall, I like Bionic. No, it's not Stripped [full review], nor is it Back to Basics--though it's probably closer to the former than the latter, with its more dance-based sound and the dirrty lyrics. Even some of Christina's public outfits hearken back to that bad-girl era in her career, though now with a more '60s-sci-fi futurism in the design. In fact, for as disappointing as Hype Williams' appropriation of the Madonna videography for the "Not Myself Tonight" video was, the robot fetishism of the album artwork on Bionic is really well done and presented as a cohesive package. It's like no one showed this stuff to Hype. Likewise, "Not Myself Tonight" is the most conventional Christina pop song on the record, and given the fact that it was recorded last, smacks of the record company demanding a single. Sandwiched between the breaking-plates beat of the lead title track and the ragga-inflected "Woohoo," it actually works just fine and makes for a solid opening. (Let's just hope when they do the next greatest hits package, they don't stick it right after its older twin "Keeps Gettin' Better.")

Structurally, the album is like Stripped in that it's a little beat heavy up front, and more ballad heavy in the back. "Lift Me Up" debuted as a soft and quiet torch song on the Hope for Haiti benefit, but the clarity it takes here, with a slighly jazzier instrumentation, makes the song more forceful. (Unsurprisingly, this is the Linda Perry track.) "I Am" is the kind of self-declaration that is Christina's bread and butter, and then there is "You Lost Me," which is just incredible.

The tracks between "Woohoo" and "Lift Me Up" are probably the least memorable. They've got some good beats and the electronic squiggles work, but none of them jump out. Things actually get the most interesting after the ballads. Bionic proper is rounded out by a couple of pro-lady stompers, including "My Girls," Christina's collaboration with Le Tigre and Peaches. The bonus tracks get even more interesting, with a pair of songs co-written by Santigold ("Monday Morning" and "Bobblehead") and one produced by Ladytron ("Birds of Prey"). Both artists make their stamp on these, but the results are somewhere in the middle between their regular output and Christina's--which is what makes Bionic a pretty cool contender even if it isn't a TKO. To stretch the Madonna analogy further, this is the equivalent of what Madge used to do, identifying a hip dance sound that was just outside the mainstream and making a mainstream version of it. In addition to Sia, Santi, and Ladytron, Christina also reached out to M.I.A. ("Elastic Love") and Goldfrapp and even covered Ladyhawke during the recording sessions. This is how pop music evolves. (According to this article, it could have also evolved further. The killer album we hoped for may have actually existed once upon a time.)

Bionic is now in heavy rotation, trading spots with Janelle Monáe's The ArchAndroid to make it a pop-music A.I. summer.

For those who haven't picked up the Monáe record yet, you really should do yourself a favor and seek it out--though you need to get her EP Metropolis: The Chase Suite, as well. There are three parts to Monáe's Metropolis fantasy so far, and really, the EP played with the album is the best way to hear the singer's crazy vision. Her style is all over the place, encompassing everything from Outkast to Prince to James Brown to Love. It's space-age hip-hop soul. I'd kill for a Janelle Monáe/Christina Aguilera joint tour, a full-on robotic musical experience.

Here is another Letterman performance to close this post: Janelle Monáe doing "Tightrope."

Current Sountrack: Christina Aguilera, Bionic; Massive Attack, Heligoland

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Dark Horse's collection of the complete Blacksad is finally out today. I have been waiting to read the third volume for a long, long time. Last summer I interviewed the book's editor, Katie Moody, and with the book getting its release at last, I thought it would be a good time to link to it again.

Click on the puss's puss below...

While you're at CBR, they also talk a little to Joëlle, and she mentions a thing or two about working with me on You Have Killed Me and Spell Checkers.

Current Soundtrack: The Cure, Disintegration (Deluxe Edition) CD2

Monday, June 07, 2010


Eric Searleman has started a new blog devoted to...well, it's called Superhero Novels, and that pretty much gives the game away right there. It's terribly specific, and yet completely unique, so what the hell.

He asked a handful of comics professionals, including Dan Vado of SLG and Kelly Sue DeConnick, to tell him what characters they'd tackle were they to get the option of writing a prose novel about flying people in capes. Here is the answer I gave:

“Cypher and Warlock: Once upon a time I actually pitched these guys in comic book form, and I could see adapting them to a young adult novel too. Cypher, as some will recall, was the lamest of the lame amongst the New Mutants. I saw him as an awesome metaphor for awkward adolescence: “Oh great, I have super powers…and they suck!” His power was he could understand any language in the universe, so he was useless in battle until he teamed up with the crazy shape-shifting robot, Warlock.

“Other than that, I’d maybe want to try to do a kind of superhero/pulp detective hybrid. Take a character like the Martian Manhunter, who was both a superhero and a private detective, and imagine him as written by Raymond Chandler.”

Read the full article here.

Current Soundtrack: The Smiths, "Still Ill;" Joy Division, "Colony (live)"

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Nico was at a comics festival in Amiens, France, this weekend, where he sold out of his stack of Spell Checkers Volume 1 by mid-afternoon on Saturday.

He also got these fantastic fan drawings of the girls by an artist named Muso.

Visit Muso's blog and spend some time looking at all the treasures to be had there.

And don't forget to join Spell Checkers on Facebook.

Current Soundtrack: The Divine Comedy, Bang Goes the Knighthood

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2010 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, June 03, 2010



* Get Him to the Greek, in which lightning strikes twice for Russell Brand playing his Sarah Marshall-character Aldous Snow. Hysterical hijinx ensue!

* Splice, a weird and somewhat confounding sci-fi thriller with Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley. It's not the movie they are selling you in the trailers, and I think it's actually better than what the marketers want you to think it is.


* The Cry of the Owl, featuring Julia Stiles in a chilled adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel.

* Keith Moon - Final 24: His Final Hours, good info for a short program, but not enough to warrant rushing out for this ghoulish release.

* Youth in Revolt, a movie most missed in the theatres. Michael Cera is great in this spirited take on teen angst.

Current Soundtrack: The Futureheads, The Chaos

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2010 Jamie S. Rich