Thursday, December 12, 2013

Worse Things Have Been Done By Better Men

Sneaking one in under the 2013 wire!

Two new original short stories have been added to the right sidebar over there—

"No Geographical Solution"
Script by Me - Art by Ben Dewey

"The Best Treatment Money Can Buy"
Script by Me - Art by Ron Chan


Sunday, May 5, 2013

I'm Far Away From Nowhere

…And so Vegas never lived up to my expectations.
Justice League of America #201 (April 1982)

This was one the first comics I remember wanting to save and keep in somewhat readable condition. All of my other comics were crumpled, stripped, torn, looked over, and packed around until they disintegrated, but this one punched my seven year old brain in the mush and told me to keep it around.

C'mon—look at that cover! How could that ginger just take Superman OUT? Why is the League on a spinning roulette wheel? Did they get shrunk?! That means the Atom was double shrunk! He can barely lift that metal ball! Ultraa spells his name with TWO As!! Oh my god!!!!

It's been thirty years since I've read it, but my memory of the plot was that it centered on Ultraa, who I thought was DC's version of Jan-Michael Vincent's "Nanu" in Disney's The World's Greatest Athlete (hey, I was seven, cut me some slack), living like a homeless guy with no memory (thus making him DC's version of Prince Namor), and being tricked into a life of crime.

Mom…what's a "swinger"?
The JLAers intervene. Hawkman's all depressed about something and the Flash has to talk him into joining the battle (making him seem even cooler for some seven year old reason). Ultraa beats the crap out of everyone until he realizes he's as bummed out as Hawkman and apologizes. Then the US Congress steps in and sends Ultraa to happily live a primitive life with some aborigines (just like Nanu). It didn't make sense, but I loved it. LOVED it.

Then the teaser for the next issue they ran in the letter column dug both its thumbs into my eyes—
Switching to decaf on the Satellite was a bad idea
Zombie Batman?! In Space?!?! Whaaaaaat?!?!?!

I've still never read or owned that next issue. My parents bought me comics off the grocery store spinner racks, and I was only allowed one per trip, so I must've either missed it or forgotten about it. You can't wait a month for anything when you're seven. I should track that down.

Anyway. Justice League of America #201 was pivotal. It kicked off my comics collecting habit. It made moody Hawkman my favorite character for a long time, which led to writing some letters to DC and seeing my name in print for the first time a couple years later.
Look, mom—I'm pre-Internet famous!
Boy, did I chase that feeling. Two decades on I'd be paid to write comics and I'd have a character in the Pre-52 Hawkman cast named after me.

Yep. Life will never be that good again!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Free That's All That She Could Bleed

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2013 is this Saturday, May 4th!

It's a national comic book holiday, celebrating the medium and welcoming new readers to the fold. Comics publishers team up with shops and retailers across the country, offering a selection of FREE books. These range from samplers of existing material to all new stories produced by top talent.

And me. 

I have two stories in Dark Horse Comics' FCBD offering this year --

"For Fear, They Mirror True"
Script by Jeremy Barlow; Art by Tony Parker and Michelle Madsen
RIPD detectives Roy Pulsipher and Nick Walker are called to the scene of a seance gone terribly wrong, where the contacted spirit harbors an unexpected and deadly grudge against one of the summoners. If Roy and Nick get this wrong, an innocent man is doomed forever!

"He Who Laughs Best"
Script by Jeremy Barlow; Art by Garry Brown and Michael Atiyeh
Jeff "Joker" Moreau is one of the Alliance's most gifted flight school graduates. With a quick mind and an even sharper tongue, he should be a lock for the Alliance's most prestigious position—piloting an experimental deep space frigate called the Normandy. Two things stand in his way, though—his congenitally fragile frame, and an institutional bias against his disability. He's not about to let that stop him from getting the job, even if it means breaking the law to prove his point!

I'm proud of how well both of these stories turned out, and I want you to read them. The only way to do that will be to find and visit your nearest comic shop on Saturday. Not sure where to go? Check out this handy COMIC SHOP LOCATOR

I'm scheduled for a pair of appearances, so if you're in Portland this weekend your odds of finding me are doubled. Dig—

Saturday, May 4th
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Things From Another World Portland
2916 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232

Saturday, May 4th
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Cosmic Monkey Comics
5335 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97213

TFAW Portland also has rundown of their FCBD events around town.

And here's the full line up of every participating publisher's FCBD books. See? Something for everyone!

Honestly, it's worth the trip out. Not only will you go home with a handful of amazingly wonderful—and FREE—comics, you might even discover something else on the shelf that you never knew was missing from your life.

As the great Michael Scott once said, it's a Win/Win/Win.