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

Friday, April 27, 2012


My new novel, Bobby Pins and Mary Janes is now live!

Please visit the site bobbypinsandmaryjanes.com/ and read the first section of pages. You can read the whole thing online, or go ahead and download the pdf and read it at your convenience on your favorite E-reader.

And let me know what you think when you do!

Current Soundtrack: Gangstagrass & Kool Keith, "Western"

Thursday, April 26, 2012



Damsels in Distress, it's Whit Stillman to the rescue in the director's first movie in 14 years.

* The Deep Blue Sea, beauty and heartbreak in a new film from Terence Davies. Starring Rachel Weisz.

* The Five-Year Engagement, an uneven romantic comedy with genuine laughs and heavy sentiment. Starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt.


Roadie, Michael Cuesta's middle-aged rock 'n' roll drama has sharp writing and sharper performances.

Something to Live For, featuring Ray Milland in an unofficial sequel to The Lost Weekend.

Current Soundtrack: School of Seven Bells, "Kiss Them For Me" (Siouxsie cover); The Dandy Warhols, This Machine

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Midi-Confessions123 * Criterion Confessions * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2012 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Just a reminder that vol. 2 of Spell Checkers is available today in the Comixology app and online. Start here if you're not sure.

There is also a free preview of #1. If you download it or any of the full volumes, please consider leaving a star rating on the site.

I took a peek at the digital version last week, and it looks fantastic. Plus, a great bargain.

And, of course, the print versions are still available. Oni Press has info here, including ISBNs for book stores and Diamond codes for comic book shops. Or order from Oni's website.

Current Soundtrack: Republica, "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and Keane, "Everybody's Changing" - DJing at Confessions of a Pop Fan 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Okay, so this has been some kind of morning. I got up just past 9:00 and it's almost 12:30 and I have just been answering e-mails and posting to the interwebs and basically trying to keep up.

My inbox upon waking included:
- The news that Nico would not be making it to Stumptown after all
- The four best pages yet from Dan Christensen on our comic together
- Questions from Mike Norton about the villain in It Girl and the Atomics #3

Oh, yeah. It Girl and the Atomics. Because that's when the day really went crazy. Multiversity Comics got their hands on the Image Comics Free Comic Book Day sampler, which contains four pages of It Girl and the Atomics #1. Looks like the cat is out of the side holster.

It's true. Launching in July, and straight out of the pages of Madman, comes a new ongoing series starring everyone's favorite Atomic: It Girl. It Girl and the Atomics is written by me, drawn by Mike Norton, lettered by Crank!, and colored by Allen Passalaqua (the team behind Battlepug!). Covers are by Mike and Laura Allred.

It's also worth noting that the same sampler will give you a look at Norton's upcoming series with Tim Seeley, Revival

More details are sure to follow through official channels, but in the meantime, peep this art.

Current Soundtrack: The Vaccines, "Wetsuit;" XTC, "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead;" the Sugarcubes, "Birthday" - DJing at Confessions of a Pop Fan


We are only a couple of days until the first chapter of Bobby Pins and Mary Janes becomes available on bobbypinsandmaryjanes.com.

Are you following the blog yet? I've been posting images, songs, and even a link to a Spotify playlist of the mix I made when writing the book.

Please follow the site and spread the word. I am trying to plan lots of surprises in addition to giving you an entire novel for free. It's a tremendous undertaking for me, but I am committed to the material and very excited to share.

Plus, when you read the book, you can find out why this Plastic Man page is important the narrative:

Current Soundtrack: 
Brett Anderson, "Unsung" and Interpol, "Specialist" - DJing at Confessions of a Pop Fan

Monday, April 23, 2012


This year's Stumptown Comics Festival is upon us! Nicolas Hitori de, Joëlle Jones, and I are special guests of the convention this year, sharing tables B-6 and B-7. [UPDATE: I regret to inform everyone that since posting this yesterday, Nico had to cancel his trip for personal reasons. We're all really bummed about it.]

Please come by and say hello. We will sign your books, sell you some other books, and you can also get art from Joëlle and Nico.

I'm on a couple of panels, which you should also consider attending, including a full 45 minutes with all three of us, and another sit-down with Mike Allred.

SATURDAY, April 28

1-1:45pm • Team Spell Checkers: The Power of Three
Joelle Jones, Jamie S. Rich, and Nicolas Hitori de, the international comics trio behind the Oni Press series Spell Checkers, will either share the secrets of their collaborative success or insult each other until one of them cries. Most likely both. (And the smart money is on Nico crying.) [Room B116]

6-6:45pm • The Not-So-Late Late Show with Oni PressJoin Oni Press' marketing guru Cory Casoni for an exciting new adventure in Stumptown programming: a live comic book talk show! It's just like the gabfests you see on TV, but with people talking about nerdy stuff you actually love! Cory's guests include Portland local celebrities and comic book celebra-nerds. Featuring good housekeeping with House of Night artist Joelle Jones, special musical guest Delta!Bravo, and a whole lot of comedy... some of it intentional. [Room B114]

SUNDAY, April 29

5-5:45pm • Madman 20th Anniversary2012 marks the 20th Anniversary of Mike Allred's creation Madman. Come relive the decades with Mike, his wife and collaborator Laura, and long-time editor Jamie S. Rich. Hear about the past, the present, and the future for one of indie comics' most resilient heroes. [Room B114]

**** ALSO ALSO ALSO ****

This Thursday, April 26, come to Comics Underground and kick this weekend off right. Mike Allred, Jen Van Meter, and more will be performing at the Jack London Bar. These nights are always a blast, and I can't see why this one would be any different.


Current Soundtrack: Damon Albarn, Dr. Dee [NPR stream]

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I can't believe I didn't mention this already, but Spell Checkers has joined the 21st Century and is on the Comixology platform.

You can download volume 1 right now for $5.99. There is also a free preview if you want to take a taste and see how the book looks.

If all goes to plan, volume 2 will be up on April 25.

In the meantime, here is a tease of an unfinished page from volume 3, before Nico puts the tones on it...

Current Sountdrack: Monica, New Life (Deluxe Version)

Friday, April 13, 2012


To follow up on the previous post, the interview Joëlle and I did on the local radio station yesterday is now online for listening. It's a pretty good half hour, covering a variety of topics, including some good questions about craft.

Listen and download here.

I have a cold so I was doing my best to talk quietly and without inflection so I wouldn't cough. I think it kind of works for me. It helps me balance the marbles in my mouth.

To go along with it, I've also uploaded the "Love the Way You Love" song to Tumblr, in case you haven't heard it.

And if you want to put faces to the voices, I quite like this photo Deborah Curtis Lipski took at Emerald City...

Current Soundtrack: Etta Jones (a.k.a. "Not Etta James") - "Don't Go to Strangers" (via Old Hollywood)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Yikes. I am wayyyyyyy behind on movie reviews. Between Emerald City, a heavy freelance gig, copyediting Bobby Pins and Mary Janes, and getting sick, it's been a hellacious couple of weeks and I've become the kind of writer I really don't like: one who can't get things done. I'm on the mend, though, and getting back in the saddle. Here's what I've managed since last I updated:


* The Cabin in the Woods, a fun puzzle of horror and comedy. Avoid info on this one, just go!


* A Night to Remember, the 1958 adaptation of the Titanic story. Looks great on Blu-Ray, and overall, is more powerful than I recalled.


The Double Hour, this recent Italian thriller is a must-see. The debut of director Giuseppe Capotondi, and starring Filippo Timi

* Jb Smoove: That's How I Dooz It, a disappointing stand-up special from the Curb Your Enthusiasm Actor.

The Sitterthe latest in the decline of David Gordon Green. A tepid comedy starring Jonah Hill.

This is Not a Movie: Three Edward Furlongs, one bad script. 

Current Soundtrack: Love Spit Love, Love Spit Love

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Midi-Confessions123 * Criterion Confessions * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2012 Jamie S. Rich


Just a quick heads up. Joëlle Jones and I will be on Portland radio station KBOO at 11:30 am today to talk about the Stumptown Comics Fest, our recent work, and I'm sure our old work, as well. The show is called "Words and Pictures," and their homepage is here.

You can listen live, and it also looks like they archive their shows. One with Greg Rucka is up from not too long ago. Spend some time in the archives while you're waiting!

Current Soundtrack: Fiona Apple live at SxSW via NPR

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Midi-Confessions123 * Criterion Confessions * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2012 Jamie S. Rich

Friday, April 06, 2012



Beginning on April 27, website bobbypinsandmaryjanes.com will go live with the opening pages of Jamie S. Rich’s fourth prose novel, Bobby Pins and Mary Janes. Described as “The Devil Wears Prada for the comic book industry,” this lengthy work of literary fiction chronicles a life within the world of indie comics, complete with moody editors, sensitive cartoonists, and more than a little four-color romance.

Bobby Pins and Mary Janes is a workplace drama, but also a novel of identity, exploring one character’s crises of conscience during her mid-20s. Parker Reid is a college graduate who always dreamed of literary grandeur, but she’s found herself working in a creative field she never anticipated. 

“Parker’s work struggles reflect her personal struggles,” Rich explained. “She has been on her own for a couple of years, and she remains on her own. At the start of the book, she is having an affair with her employer’s top cartoonist, but by the end of it, she will have flirted with a married man, chased the safe option, and also had to contend with the unrequited love of her best friend from school. Is this the life she wants? Should she settle for a relationship the same way she settled on her job?”

The aforementioned fictional cartoonist is the creator of an original comics series called “Valerie Flames,” an ongoing series about a young girl whose adventures cross the mysteries of Nancy Drew with the escapades of Tintin. Character designs for Valerie Flames and her cohorts were drawn by Joëlle Jones, Rich’s frequent collaborator. Together they have produced the graphic novels 12 Reasons Why I Love Her and You Have Killed Me. Valerie’s adventures will be represented in the online version of the novel via sections of script. “The script interludes not only demonstrate what this invented comic book might be like,” Rich said, “but also establish a meaningful parallel with the main narrative. The technique is like Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin mashed-up with Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.” 

“The world of comic books is one I know well,” Rich commented. “I began as an editorial assistant at Dark Horse Comics when I was 21, and I spent six years as editor-in-chief at Oni Press. I’ve written my fair share of funnybooks, as well.”

Bobby Pins and Mary Janes follows on the heels of Rich’s previous prose works, including his popular first novel, Cut My Hair, and his most recent, Have You Seen the Horizon Lately? Yet, it’s his second book, The Everlasting, that the new novel has the most in common with thematically. “The Everlasting was the story of a 25-year-old boy who couldn’t make up his mind about what he wanted in a relationship. Bobby Pins and Mary Janes is like the response to that--like a retaliation record in a rap battle. It’s the flipside of the story from the girl’s point of view.”

When asked why he chose to serialize the book online, Rich’s answer was simple: “I finished writing this book a couple of years ago, but for a variety of reasons, it ended up on the back burner. In the time since, technology has changed and grown, and I wanted to take advantage of that. Plus, the serialization gives me specific goals for getting the material out there. Every Friday, another section of the novel has to arrive. When it is done, I may take it further, but for now, this is the platform.”

Each posting will be readable directly on the bobbypinsandmaryjanes.com tumblr, or downloadable as a pdf. “I want people to be able to load it into their chosen reader and take it with them.” In the run-up to the first post, Rich has been teasing visitors to the blog with images that inspired him while writing the story, including a random sketch by Joëlle Jones that became his visual marker for main character Parker Reid.

Press looking to cover Bobby Pins and Mary Janes can contact Rich at golightly[a]gmail.com. He is available for interviews and can also send the first postings for early review


Ernest Borgnine, ever the spry 95-year-old, came through Portland last night for a brief chat to introduce a special screening of Marty. Ben Mankiewicz from Turner Classic Movies, who were the promoters for the event, hosted. Mankiewicz ably assisted Borgnine with his anecdotes. Amusingly, the actor had trouble remembering names as forgettable as Spencer Tracy and Jerry Lewis. The stories were no less awe-inspiring for the faulty memory. With a guy like Borgnine, you love him all the more for not being hung up on all that Hollywood jazz.

It was my first time seeing Marty, at least in this format. I had previously seen the TV version starring Rod Steiger, but for Delbert Mann's 1955 cinematic version, the great Paddy Chayefsky fleshed out his script to accommodate a little more breathing room, particularly for the side characters. Borgnine replaced Rod Steiger, and honestly, he's far more believable as the lonely, beaten 35-year-old who can't get a date and would rather not pursue love any longer lest he get knocked down one more time. Chayefsky's script is a flawless portrait of loneliness, depicting two isolated souls finding joy and comfort in each other's company. For as much as Borgine The Persona might fit the character physically, it's hard to see this gregarious figure as ever having felt the pain and rejection that Marty feels; yet, true or no, Borgnine the Actor gets it down to the very last detail. His portrayal of Marty is both tragic and funny, and never moreso than in the man's groan-worthy pick-up techniques. For her part as the romantic interest, Betsy Blair is heartbreaking and earthy. It would be a mistake calling her innocent. That trait has been replaced by cautiousness.

There are many elements of Chayefsky's script that serve the classic Hollywood structure--the ending of the film version, in particular, strikes one as a pat attempt to satisfy the audience, which I don't recall feeling in the television staging--but he also straddles the divide between the old ways and the oncoming liberation. Marty's friend keeps talking about heading to 72nd Street, and it's obvious that there are prostitutes there; likewise, another acquaintance refers to potential sexual conquests as "money in the bank." In much the same way, Marty vacillates between drama and comedy. At its core, however, there is no identity crisis: there is a sad realism that is unavoidable. Marty's two biggest problems in life are the contempt that inevitably follows familiarity (i.e. his friends don't want him leaving the role as their schlubby pal) and the toxicity of family (i.e. once your relatives are comfortable with you where you are, they don't want you changing either). The bleak shadow that falls over Marty is that whatever happiness the butcher and the school teacher might find together, everyone around them wants to ruin it. I am not sure whether to quote Morrissey ("We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful") or the Sisters of Mercy ("Pain looks great on other people, that's what they're for") on this one.

All in all, a good movie and a good night. May we all have Ernest Borgnine's indomitable spirit if we make it to be even half his age.

Current Soundtrack: Billie Holiday, "(In My) Solitude" [listen]; Best Coast, "Boyfriend (Lindstrom Remix - extended version); Suede, Royal Albert Hall - 24 March 2010

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Midi-Confessions123 * Criterion Confessions * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll [old version] * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2012 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, April 02, 2012

My goodness, I am tired. Back from Emerald City Comic Con today, and it was a fun show. Thanks to all of those who came to see us, bought books, got autographs, or generally just said nice things. You were all lovely! And, as always, the ECCC team was fantastic. Their staff of volunteer "minions" kill it every year.

While we were gone, Karl and Jason uploaded the podcast of our interview with them from a couple of weeks ago. Listen on the site or download the mp3. (I think it's also available on iTunes.)

The Karl Show! starring Jason, featuring Jamie S. Rich and Joëlle Jones

Jason claims I say some "regrettable things." You decide!

While listening, enjoy a couple of photos from the show, including scenes from the karaoke purgatory that Mike Allred took us to.