Friday, May 22, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Thanos meets Miley's Blowfish

It’s been kind of a depressing news week.  I hope you don’t mind, but I’m not gonna talk about any of that. Presidential politics is as serious as it gets this week, and I don't know how serious that really is. This election kind of reminds me of the election of 2000, when both candidates were running on the same basic platform.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sketch in My Notebook: Wolfgang & Salamatu

The only reason I'm labeling this a "Sketch in My Notebook" piece is so that my regular readers will realize that it isn't finished piece.  It's part of this series, but it's a re-write.  I hope you guys don't mind.  I started with the piece a few months ago.  In theory, it's the first chapter for the next Sneax book, but it's kind of romance, and until I started this, I'd never written a romance.  Or even just part of one.  Hence the extended experimentation.

I don't usually post a whole chapter at once.  I'm doing it this time because I wanted to get some feedback on the full flow of the idea; I wanted folks to see how it all comes together in a single sitting.  For what it's worth, my goal for this story is a little different than it has been on some of the other Wanderhaven tales.  If the "Sneax & Elaina Emboo" stories are campfire stories told about the fantasy versions of my daughters, this story is more a fantasy retelling of my marriage.  It's my story, and it's Sally's story.

We met and got married.  This is our story, but it didn't happen exactly like this, obviously.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Comic Review: Marvel's Secret Wars (#1 & #2)

This year is really flying by.  It's already the middle of May, Free Comic Book Day has come and gone, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a living, breathing thing, and now -- finally -- we're into Marvel's annual summer comic Event, Secret Wars, 2015's version of the story-that-changes-everything.  This year Marvel is not only destroying the Marvel Universe as we know it, they're also desrtroying the Ultimate Universe as well -- by smashing the two universes together.  And that's not all!  DC comics is also destroying its multiverse... in a spectacularly similar way.  This has let both companies run a series of greatest hits one-shots and mini-series, either as a way to give creators a chance to tie up loose ends in an emotionally satisfying manner, or because they just can't come up with enough new ideas, so they're recycling some of the old ones.  Until I read issue #2 of this new version of Secret Wars, I was kind of inclined towards the latter view.  Now, though, I'm not so sure.

Friday, May 15, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Oh Balls!

Billions of dollars rest on the
perception of a fair game.
Sorry for the focus on #deflategate this week.  As I wrote on Facebook yesterday, the Wells Report and yesterday's rebuttal from the Patriots "has all my favorite things: conspiracy, incompetence, leadership failure, conclusions drawn before facts are gathered, football (!), endless/meaningless detail, and a healthy dose of mathematics."  I'm absolutely fascinated.  The whole thing is ludicrous at a level that is unusual even for the NFL.  On top of that, though, there's an infinite variety of detail and counter-detail in the various arguments, none of which actually proves anything.  So we're left with people reading into this whatever they want.

It's a mirror.  Lawyers, reports -- people who use words -- universally seem to think that the Wells Report contains damning evidence.  Meanwhile, scientists and engineers -- people who use numbers -- look at the science and scoff incredulously.  Not surprisingly, Twitter is trending anti-science.  What is surprising -- at least to me -- is the number of media outlets that keep reporting on the meta-news of public opinion.  

Who cares about public opinion?   This is a matter of actual fact.

But, of course, Roger Goodell cares about public opinion, perhaps more than actual fact.  He's got a brand to protect.  And so here we are.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sketch in My Notebook: Nathan Bedford Stuart, USMC

My buddy and I started working on a new story last week.  We started from a mutual friend's Facebook post about how there aren't a lot of dystopian fantasies involving a world in true chaos.  Instead, said our friend, it's much more common to see dystopian worlds where Big Government rules, quashing all independent thought and liberty.  We see a lot more stories in the vein of Fahrenheit 451 or 1984 than we do Mad Max.

This led to last week's post, 24 Causes of the End of the World, which was the result of a day's brainstorming on potential high concepts for this new would-be story about a world in chaos.

Friday, May 8, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Ultron & Other Death Machines

I’m still digesting Avengers: Age of Ultron.  I suppose it says something about the movie that it’s nearly a week later, and I’m still thinking about it, still trying to decide what it was trying to say.  It didn’t feel like it was all that deep at the time, but there was a lot there, and it’s one of those things where I find that I’m still processing it all.

Truth is, I can’t wait to see this movie again.

Warning: This post may contain spoilers.  If you haven’t seen the movie, you might want to come back later.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sketch in My Notebook: The Order of the Blackened Glaive (Part 12)

Our story so far...

Drakar has been forced from the Sentralian Military Academy because of his half-demon heritage.  However, angels of the goddess Nyx visited him in a dream, commanding him to seek out Fortress Abbadabas and the fabled Order of the Blackened Glaive.  Drakar traveled south to the city of Jakara, where he met a girl--a young wizard named Elaina Emboo.  

Having saved Elain from certain death, she and her ship, the Trident sailed with Drakar towards Fortress Abbadabas and his destiny.  Together, the two of them entered the ruins of what was once Fortress Abadabass.  What they found, though...