Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hamster day!

Well, Groundhog Day arrives next month but tomorrow officially becomes Hamster Day at a comic shop near you. The first issue of the Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters relaunch has it's moment in the sun.

The question is, will anybody notice?

Doing work outside of Marvel or DC, you can pretty much expect a book to have a lower circulation out of the gate. A book like the Hamsters, which is a little obscure to say the least, has even more of an uphill battle to climb. We did what we could to raise awareness on the Internet so now it's up to the readers. If you like the book, do me a favor and recommend it to a friend. Tell your shop to order more copies. Anything we can do to get the numbers up will help the book's long term future.

This was my first time trying to write 'funny' and it wasn't easy. The second issue definitely felt a lot more comfortable, the third even more and so on...

As a little inside tip, when we first meet the new generation of Hamsters (Arnold, Rock, Lucy, Steven and Jean Claude), they introduce themselves by way of actual interview or film quotes from their patron saints. It seemed like a cute idea but what do I know? In fact, every single word spoken by Steven is a direct Steven Seagal quote in one way or another. I don't know if anyone else will get the joke but it was funny to me!

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Under Pressure

One of my favorite songs is UNDER PRESSURE, by Queen and David Bowie. It might even be in my top five favorite songs of all time, if you listen to the structure of the music, it's constructed very much like a screenplay, falling into three acts.

Having said that, I have no idea what the boys are singing for about three quarters of the song. After listening to it on my ipod today a few times in a row while writing, I decided it was time for an Internet search to finally unscramble the lyrics.

So, as a public service, here you go:

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure - that burns a building
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming let me out
Pray tomorrow - gets me higher
Pressure on people - people on streets
She been around
Kicked my brains round the floor
These are the days it rains but it never pours
People on streets
People on streets
It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming let me out
Pray tomorrow - high higher
Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love but it's so slashed
and torn
Why - Ooooh
Insanity laughs under pressure we're
Can't we give ourselves one more chance
Why can't we give love that one more
Why can't we give love
Give love give love give love give love
Give love give love give love
Love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves

This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure

Which just goes to show that, even though I now know what's words Freddie and Bowie are singing, I still have no idea what they mean.

Monday, January 21, 2008

10 thingth

Inspired by my pal Jamal's latest blog entry (and because I have nothing much to blog about lately), I present to you ten things you don't know about me. Probably. Unless you're my friend in real life, then you either know them all or else know if I'm lying right now. Or both.

10- I have benchpressed over 300 lbs. Just not as many times as my two brothers.

9- I'm a middle child and can confirm that "middle child syndrome" is very real indeed. Not that I grew up desperately crying out for attention or anything...

8- I once faxed a letter to the president of the greatest soft drink company ever, Pepsi. A week later, his secretary sent me a T-shirt and other Pepsi gear because my letter made him laugh. I didn't know how to use a fax machine at the time so Rob sent it out for me. I shared none of my Pepsi loot as thanks.

7- I can juggle.

6- I know a lot of different ways to break your arm or choke you out. Just not as many as Mister Ninja.

5- I love me some Cheesecake.

4- When I was three years old, I decided I wanted to be a comic book artist when I grew up. When I was twenty-three, I became a professional comic book artist.

3- I never know what to say to people so I make supposedly witty comments instead. Except they're seldom as witty as I think.

2- I have a slight lisp which I'm ridiculouthly thelf consciouth about.

1- My middle name is Christian.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tom Cruise believes!

Tonight, I watched the Tom Cruise Scientology video that was leaked onto the Internet. Gotta say, after watching it, I don't have any idea WHAT he believes. The video couldn't be more vague, with Tom Cruise literally saying nothing over and over again. But whatever the fuck he believes in, he sure does believe it HARD.

In spite of the fact that I learned absolutely nothing about scientology, I've concluded I might just join up. For some reason, I can't stop thinking it would be a good career move. So I went to the scientology website, where I briefly contemplated taking the free personality test but I balked at filling out my personal information.

I don't really have a point to this post. I just haven't put anything on the blog in about a week and this was something that caught my eye today. In a strange way, I admire Tom Cruise's fervor and I support his right to believe whatever he wants. Still...pretty wacky.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Keith also recommends...

I forgot to mention in my previous post that Peter Tomasi's first issue of Nightwing (#140) arrives in comic stores today.

Peter is one of my very best friends, not to mention a great writer, not to mention that just by being my friend over the years, he inspired me to stop wanting to write and actually start writing. Anything he does is worth your attention so if you haven't picked up Nightwing in a while, this is as good a time as any. Knowing some of his plans for the book, it's going to be a fun ride.

Keith recommends...

While my subconscious works to solve a story problem, the front of my mind has decided to update the blog. In this way, I can avoid work for a few minutes while still feeling somewhat productive.

In the comments of one of the previous posts a few pages down, I think it was DANIEL (sorry if I'm wrong) who mentioned that he likes hearing what those of us in the comics field enjoy reading. So, in a bold departure from always talking about myself, I wanted to recommend a new book from Vertigo called NORTHLANDERS. I read the first issue from my comps the other day and thought it was a really solid debut issue.

First issues are hard. Usually, they bear the brunt of carrying a lot of exposition and setting up the story that the following issues are going to tell. But the writer (I'm pretty sure his name was Brian Wood but I don't have the book in front of me) made it look effortless. The last time I was knocked off my feet by a first issue was with Fables #1 which, until I stopped reading it about twenty issues later, still remained the best of the bunch to me.

However, Northlanders has VIKINGS and vikings are cool. The art was really great too although the artist's name was Italian and there's no way I can remember it off the top of my head. It's a great looking book that hooked me off the bat.

That's probably the worst, most disrespectful recommendation of all time, seeing as I can't remember the creator's names. But don't hold it against me, just take my word that the book is more than worth your time. I'm looking forward to the second issue and to getting everyone's name straight in my poor, addled brain.

In other news, Lewis, if you're still reading my blog post-Arena, I finally checked out your online comic. I'll be honest w/ you: Some of it I liked, some of it left me cold but what I enjoyed the most about it is that you're clearly growing and learning as you go and it's obvious that you're having a good time with your hobby/work. Keep it up! Just don't steal my job in a few years, man!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Atom and Flash

Speaking of shameless plugging...


Using the Internet is probably the best marketing tool in comics right now so expect many interview links to be posted on this blog in 08. Last year was a good year for me in terms of making the transition from inker to writer. This year, I'll be working overtime to solidify and grow my career in the writerly direction. I'm already sick of hearing from me so I imagine the rest of you are too. I guess we'll all have to deal with it together.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I was going to write some kind of long, reflective "2007: my year in review" post but really, does anyone give half a crap? Like all years, 2007 had some ups, downs, and averaged out to be mostly the same.

Instead, let's just look to the future. Wishing everyone a fantastic 2008!

Start your year off right with THE ALL-NEW ATOM #19, on sale this week, he said, shamelessly plugging.