Thursday, December 29, 2005

Elf-Help Episode 8

Up now at Stan Lee's Sunday Comics.

Check it out...

...unless yer too chicken!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Appreciating the "War"

My appreciation of James P. Blaylock's story "The War of the Worlds" is up now at The ED SF Project.

The story was published on SCI FICTION, an excellent online magazine edited by Ellen Datlow that is closing down after nearly six years. Stories from SCI FICTION have won virtually every genre award, including the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award. If you're not already familiar with the magazine, I encourage you to check out the archives, or the appreciations of the stories -- and if one of the stories grabs you, sign up to write an appreciation yourself.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Elf-Help episode 7

-- now with 30% more flies!

Monday, December 19, 2005

King George

As Steve Gilliard points out:

Underlying all of the excesses and abuses of executive power claimed by the Bush Administration is a theory of absolute, unchecked power vested in the Presidency which literally could not be any more at odds with the central, founding principles of this country.

Which really puts Captain America in an awkward position, when
you think about it. Filed: Bendis New Avengers Marvel

I dunno. Maybe the Savage Dragon has the right idea?

How will those crazy kids get out of this one?

(Find out in three days in Elf-Help episiode 7!)

Writing links

Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) on humor:

In order for something to be funny, you need at least two of the following elements:
Cute (as in kids and animals)
Recognizable (You’ve been there)

(Screenwriter) Ken Levine on your chances of becoming a writer:

Whenever I teach a writing class I always start by saying "there are (let's say) thirty in the class. Two of you will make it." If you hear that and go "Jesus, those are terrible odds. How am I gonna compete with that?" you're dead. However, if you say "Hmmm? Me and who else?" then read on. You've got a chance.

(Screenwriter) Joshua Friedman on sex scenes:

STUDIO EXECUTIVE: So, Josh. This sex scene. got me very sexually stimulated.
ME: It got me very sexually stimulated while I wrote it.
STUDIO EXECUTIVE: I always wondered if that happened.
ME: Of course it does. These types of sex acts described or acted out always get me stimulated.
STUDIO EXECUTIVE: Me too. I'm hoping we can find a director who also gets sexually excited by the same things.
ME: I hear Ridley's available.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Talking Flower Land

Here is the coolest concept/drawing/design I've seen in a while:

Here is the author at work:
kids art comics comix pitch:

The fellow below is the villain: a Talking Hat. I like to think that the Cat is the plucky protagonist, since he's such a cool drawing. He looks like the kind of cat that would pull people from a burning building.

This all started when I decided to stealthily work on an idea for a comic during drawing time. Mixing words and sketches is cool!
The happy dude with the mighty arm is the author's currently unborn baby brother. Unfortunately, this funny looking guy with half a vest and the bad hair is

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Elf-Help episode 6

Elf-Help episode 6 has gone up at komikwerks!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I WISH they would show this here!!

From the article How do you say 'D'oh!' in Arabic?:

Bald, chubby underachiever Omar Shamshoon works each day at the local nuclear power plant owned by vulture-like millionaire Mahrooey Bey (Mr. Burned). Every evening, Omar comes home to a family that includes his blue-haired wife, Mona, hyper-smart daughter, Beesa, and troublemaking son, Badr.

Along the way, wacky high jinks invariably ensue, involving the moronic police chief, Maarmish (Crunchy) the television clown and Omar's disturbingly perfect neighbor.

Sound familiar?

This, however, may not: Omar doesn't drink beer. That is not a misprint.

Instead, he spends time with his buddies at a local coffee shop. At home, he pops open frosty cans of Duff brand juice.

"The Simpsons" fans in the Middle East reacted with skepticism when MBC, an Arabic satellite channel, announced it would begin showing culturally modified, Arabic-dubbed versions of the iconic animated show...

Ned Flanders, the devout Christian neighbor, is now merely annoying — with no hint of religion. And needless to say, the relationship between Mr. Burns and his assistant, Smithers — make that Salmawy — has become strictly professional...

"They managed to make one of the funniest shows ever into something that is terribly unfunny, and one of the smartest shows around into something incredibly dumb," ranted an Egyptian blogger who goes by the name Sandmonkey and who wants the show canceled. "Us Simpson lovers can't take this abomination any longer..."

Monday, December 12, 2005

frog vomit

Elf-Help episode 6: in three days.


Friday, December 09, 2005

Late night thought:

Although I am Canadian, I don't really like maple syrup that much.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Elf-Help 5

Thrills! Chills!
Episode 5 is live!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


A thousand years ago, their world on the verge of self-annihilation, a group of society's best and brightest set off for a distant planet.

The world survived. And stabilized. Seven hundred years later, a second group of pioneers -- those with nothing to lose -- set out in a faster ship.

Both colonies made planetfall on the same distant world on the same day.

Pencils and inks by Alan Gallo.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I am weird

I very rarely finish reading novels. I start plenty of 'em, even fall in love with some -- but I lose interest once the plot really starts going.

I've never mentioned this fact to another human being and had them reveal that they are the same way. Most people -- if they're readers at all -- recoil in a sort of disbelieving horror. Make the effort to get engrossed and then vacate the premises? Shocking.

I think the real joy of reading fiction for me is entering another world -- soaking up the setting and tone -- and figuring out the engine that drives the story (usually a set of tensions that define the main character; the working out of this tension is what forms the plot). Once I've got the basic elements, I don't necessarily need to find out exactly which route the author takes to the inevitable conclusion.

I also watch a lot of pilot episodes for TV shows, but don't generally feel the need to check them out again (granted, most TV shows are pretty bad). The shows that continually morph are the ones that tend to grab me: 24, which is so formulaic at its most basic, the real joy is in seeing how the writers manage to wring something interesting from the restrictive format week after week (and they generally succeed), and Lost, which we don't really even know what the show is about yet.

Anyway, I've been reading Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold, and I think I'm going to make it all the way through to the end (partly because it's really good, and partly just to prove to my self that I still can). I'm on page 72, and so far there's been very little plot: the book manages to make it seem that very little is happening while never veering anywhere near boring, and it takes its time coming around to the real plot -- of which we so far have had only hints -- which works well for me. (I wouldn't try to write something like this myself, mind you: you need the kind of crazy skills Bujold has to walk this line without falling off into a big ol' pile o' boring).

This time, I'm going to cross the finish-line!

Read Elf-Help on your PSP!

Granted, I'm not 100% sure what a PSP is (I think it's the cool little TNG-looking thing I've seen the kids playing) but apparently you can read comics on it. Head over to komikwerks to download the files -- there's something for every taste:

And check out the press release at Newsarama.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Elf-Help: TERROR --

-- in just 3 days!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

"Negation Elimination"

"...unusual, very well-written... A splendid tale that is impossible to second guess."
-- Sherwood Smith, SF Site

"It is nice to have a pseudo-Indian/Russian setting instead of the standard Europe/US based SF."
-- Jason Fischer, Tangent Online

Wheatland Press


The sound of cannon-fire cut Gao short. Shouts of alarm went up from the soldiers as the Tsar’s fleet came into view, dark dirigible stars against a white-gray sky.

“All hands to battle-stations!” Visvajit bellowed. He dragged Gao across the deck. “Come on, Professor.”

“Where am I going?” Gao asked, running to keep from falling. Visvajit nodded to the section of railing broken during his duel. He whistled loudly and an air-chariot -- the Shakuna, if Gao read the characters correctly -- moved into position beneath them. Gao’s stomach twisted as he realized how Visvajit intended for him to board the vessel.

Related post: The Adventures of Professor Thompson Tang Gao, Rationalist

Thursday, December 01, 2005

On Spec #62 vol 17 no 3

“The Coming Years of Good”

With the word “issues” included in the ad, Lauren had expected something to be a little off about the whole thing...
Filed under: Canada Canadian SF science fiction