Monday, October 31, 2005


Here is the cover and solicitation info for JSA #79, which arrives in comic stores this Wednesday, November 2nd, followed by some comments by me.

Written by Keith Champagne
Art by Don Kramer & Champagne
Cover by Alex Ross

Amid the ruins of Dr. Fate's tower, one half of the JSA fight for their lives against Mordru, free from his imprisonment in the Rock of Eternity. Meanwhile, the rest of the JSA battle to save the Fifth Dimension from the iron grip of...Jakeem Thunder! • 32 pg, FC

How about that gripping solicitation copy, huh? Writing that stuff sucks because you want to keep it short, intriguing, yet not give away any story spoilers or details.

Well, anyway...the response to the first part of this story was pretty overwhelmingly positive. I say overwhelming because I was bowled over by the nice reception. I wasn't sure how the fans of the book would respond to an issue written by someone who wasn't named Geoff, and rightly so. Also, like every writer, I have my own insecurities about the work itself. There are always sequences that, reading it with fresh eyes, I wish I could go back and rethink.

But everyone seems to have liked part one so I'm excited for the second chapter to reach stores this week.

Of the three issues that I was lucky to write, in many ways #79 is my personal favorite. I'm very proud of all three but in terms of pacing, I felt this was a good, strong issue. When I got my copies a couple of weeks ago and read it in color for the first time, I felt very...satisfied, I guess is a good word. Not that there's no fault to find between the covers, far from. Overall, though...I feel pretty confident saying that this is a solid comic book. It won't cure cancer but it should bring on a smile or two.

Don Kramer was also really in his groove here. I think he was feeling it as he pencilled and it really shows. And John Kalisz is amazing. If only the inks didn't suck.

So let's see what the rest of the comic reading world thinks.


Thursday, October 27, 2005


Because I'm racing the deadline clock today, I'm resorting to a quick work shot in order to post something to America's favorite new blog.

This was the back cover to ARMOR X #2, pencilled by Aaron Lopresti and inked by me. It's the only bit of artwork that I contributed to the book.

ARMOR X was a four-issue series that was published earlier this year by ATP Comics and Image Comics. It's written by me and drawn by a very talented artist named Andy Smith. The book is the story of a high school loser named Carson Deeds who stumbles across a suit of high tech, possibly alien body armor. He then goes on to live out every revenge and power fantasy he's ever had until, slowly, it all gets a bit too real for him to handle.

The book ends with a big twist and not everybody makes it out alive.

ARMOR X was a lot of fun to write. It's my first creator-owned comics work and, because all of the characters are named after people in my life, it's a special little project to me. I like to imagine that in 20 years, I'll look back and read it and it'll be a little time capsule of my life right now. As an added bonus, I like to think I built two new friendships through the production of the book, one with Andy and the other with Stephan (who published it). They're both quality human beings and as easy to work with as they could possibly be.

ARMOR X didn't sell gangbusters but was reviewed pretty strongly. We're doing a volume 2 for next year, a couple of months after the first series is collected into a trade paperback. I've already written bits and pieces of it, random scenes, some of which probably won't even make it into the final book. But it's twisted, in some ways darker, and in its own way should end with as big an impact as the first series.

Keep an eye out if you like this kind of thing.

Back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My EX-favorite wasn't pretty.

Alexandru Lungru came out roaring, knocking James Thompson down with a huge right hand about seven seconds into the first round. If I wasn't down and out from food poisoning, I would have jumped off my couch and cheered. He then pounced on Thompson, trying to finish the fight on the ground but to no avail.

Two minutes in, clearly gassed out, Lungru answered a volley of punches from Thompson by turning his back to him and trying to hide in the corner. The ref quickly stepped in, seeing that Lungru had lost his fighting spirit, and stopped the fight.

Your winner after two minutes and some spare change: JAMES THOMPSON

I also feel that the Sakuraba/Shamrock fight was stopped way too soon. Possibly even suspiciously so. And Sakuraba is my real favorite but I gotta call a spade a spade.

I hope Pride doesn't begin following suit with the UFC's policy of premature stoppages. Let the fighters go until there's no controversy involved in a stoppage. Saku and Shamrock are both legendary warriors and neither one needs a tainted win or tainted loss on their records.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Beware maniacs with chainsaws...

I was at the gym this morning and saw a guy who had lost one arm working out. He was riding the exercise bike while I was doing my cardio. It didn't seem like it bothered him at all but I caught myself thinking, "Poor guy. That must suck."

I think one of my new goals is to make it through life without losing an arm or a leg, any fingers, toes or other appendages or needing to have any of my organs replaced. A lot of it is out of my control; who knows what could decide to break down inside any of us at any given time. But I'm a pretty clean fellow. I don't drink, smoke or drug. I work out regularly, I don't drive like a maniac (it's the other guy you have to watch out for), and I don't take too many unnecessary risks in my everyday life. I do love soda and I have jumped out of an airplane but so far, I'm surviving in fairly good shape.

So hopefully, my odds are good. It would be nice to go out with everything I came in with. I think that same thought would apply to most of us and I'm sure that, now that I've put it out there, I'll walk out the door and into some maniac with a chainsaw.

Stranger things have happened. Just not to me.



Thursday, October 20, 2005

And in this corner...

Meet James Thompson.

I've seen him fight one time, against Alexander Emelianenko who knocked him out in less than 10 seconds. Thompson charged at him, Emelianenko dropped him with one punch and the fat lady started singing.

Now he dares challenge my NEW FAVORITE FIGHTER (at least until next week)??

Actually, I read an interview with Thompson today and was surprised at how well (and soft) spoken he was. He seems very dedicated to evolving as a martial artist.

Not that it's going to help him at all. If he was fighting anyone else...MAYBE. But not the mighty Alexandru.

This one is gonna be ugly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

my new favorite

This is Alexandru Lungu. He's my new favorite MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter.

From what I understand, Alexandru is actually a very decorated Judoka (judo player) in his native Romania. He's even beaten a couple of Olympic Judo gold medallists. This Sunday, he's fighting a fellow named James Thompson (who should legally change his last name to Steroids), in the Pride Fighting Championship ring in Japan.

I've never seen Alexandru Lungu fight and I can't wait to watch him lumber around the ring. Actually, I'll bet he's surprisingly graceful for his size.

Win or lose, this guy is my new favorite.


treading water

So...I've got a blog.

Now all I need to think of are some different topics to write about.

It's actually harder than I thought it would be. Not a ton of things happen to me on a daily basis because I work alone in my home office much of the time. So it's not like I can complain about annoying coworkers, although I have been known to annoy myself from time to time.

I could write about what it's like to work alone at home most of the time but that's really not that interesting and besides, I hate talking about work related stuff.

I could write about hobbies but I don't have the time right now to get into much.

I could write movie reviews. For instance, even though Elizabethtown wasn't a great movie, it was just sentimental enough to get a thumbs up from me. And even though Keira Knightley got a little naked in Domino, it was still an incomprehensible mess of a movie.

So while I think of something to write about, here's another picture of my boy, Jack. It's funny how when I look in the mirror, I don't think I look too monstrous but when I see myself in pictures, I look like the Frankenstein monster.

Luckily, Jack doesn't have that problem. He looks like his mommy.


Monday, October 17, 2005

My Dear Son Jack

This is my favorite picture of my son, Jack. At a little over a year and a half, he's easily the coolest person I know.

I've learned (and remembered) many things about life thanks to Jack. He's the best kind of teacher, patiently guiding me by example instead of sitting me down and lecturing me for hours on end. When I grow up, I hope to be half as zen as he is now. As we get older, we seem to lose our ability to exist in the moment. Everybody's head swims with responsibility and worry and life becomes full of distractions.

I started keeping track of these little life lessons and realizations in the form of a book of letters that I'm writing for Jack, which I plan on giving him on his twenty first birthday. Writing a novel isn't really that daunting when you break the work up over a twenty one year period of time. It's not exactly what a person could call an overwhelming workload, even a monkey could do it.

Of course, any random monkey is probably a better writer than I am but my heart is in the right place.

My hope is that when my son grows to become a man, he'll be able to know me not as just his father but also as the person I am. There is more to all of us than just any single role that we fill. I'm also a brother, son, husband, friend, artist, writer, dreamer, asshole...the list goes on and on. I'd like him to see every facet of me eventually.

And if he does a good job at teaching, he might even like me when he gets to really know me.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Welcome to Champagne Wishes

Never before has one person had less to say.

In otherwords, I have no idea why I started this blog except that I was on hold for an extended bit of time with the utilities company and putzing around the Internet, saw this thing, and said to myself, "why the hell not?"

I'm sure I'll publish infrequently and when I do, the topics on hand will be of limited interest. Or then again, maybe I'm just setting my sights low in case I really am as boring as I secretly fear.

One way or another, I guess I'll find out. I'm going to go think about something to write about and get back to you.

Whoever you are.


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