The Jersey Devil Press Sampler III

April 10, 2014 Comic Books, Writing Comments (0) 664

These arrived in the mail today. They look awesome–great work by the folks at Jersey Devil Press.

As a reminder, you can get your own copy of this very limited edition only at the Asbury Park Comic Con this weekend. The guys from Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash / Comic Book Men will be giving them out FREE on a first-come, first-serve basis.

As a second reminder, if you come into possession of one of these bad-boys and send me a photo with it (via Twitter, perhaps?) I will try to think of some cool way to reward you–beyond just a simple retweet.

Also, if you can’t get to the Con (and alas, I don’t think I’m going to make it myself) you can read The Watchers in the Dark in its Lovecraftian entirety free at Jersey Devil Press.

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Asbury Park Comic-Con

April 8, 2014 Comic Books, Writing Comments (0) 376


If you’re heading to New Jersey this weekend for the Asbury Park Comic Con, you can pick up a free print copy of The Watchers in the Dark, as well as some other great short fiction!

The gang from Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash (also known as the cast of Comic Book Men) will be giving out a free sampler from Jersey Devil Press that includes my humble Lovecraftian weird tale first published electronically last summer. This is the first time the story is being published in actual ink-on-paper, so it’s a very limited edition.

I haven’t put my hands on a copy yet, but I believe there are a handful in the mail on their way to me, and I’ll share a photo when I get them. If you get a copy, and you want to send me a photo (of the sampler, or you with the sampler, or something else involving the sampler) that would be super cool and I’ll share it here and on Twitter.

As much as I’d love to check out the con myself, it looks like my schedule isn’t going to allow it. If you’d for some reason like me to sign your sampler (thereby reducing its value to something less than free) I’m happy to do it, but we’ll have to arrange something by mail.

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More Silver Age Marvel (AKA Iron Man’s Rocket Skates)

February 27, 2014 Comic Books, Pop Culture Comments (0) 824

iron man roller skates

We’ve now had four Iron Man movies (counting The Avengers) by three different directors, and not once has he deployed his rocket skates. I can only assume they were saving that big reveal for the battle against Ultron. Or maybe Galactus. At what point does one reveal the trump card that is a pair of rocket skates?

I just cannot express how much I am loving the Kree-Skrull War. I definitely need to pick up more Silver Age comics, because I didn’t realize how much fun they could be.


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Silver Age Comics

February 26, 2014 Comic Books, Pop Culture Comments (0) 486


Yesterday I stopped by JHU Comics in Midtown and picked up some Silver Age comics from the 1970s (specifically, the Avengers Kree/Skrull War storyline) and I’m just enjoying the hell out of them. The dialogue and narration are so overblown and hackneyed, and yet full of energy and enthusiasm, and the art is incredible.

I started reading comics in the late 80s (I still remember the first comics I bought, from the X-Men Muir Island Saga) and the peak of my comics readership came in the mid-1990s. My concept of what comic art should be came from Jim Lee, but I was a huge fan of Joe Madureira, and later Mike Mignola and Chris Bachalo. I remember thinking how comparatively awful the art was in comics from the 70s and before–and now I’m realizing how wrong I was. Neil Adams is just phenomenal, and I find myself wishing constantly that I had his command of anatomy and proportion.

There’s also something to be said for Silver Age coloring. Modern comic coloring (done on computers) is an art unto itself

The inspiration behind my purchase? I’m a regular listener to the Nerdist Writer’s Panel podcast, and my favorite episodes are when Len Wein appears to talk about his incredible career in comics. I’m pretty sure my next acquisition will be a collection of Wein’s early work on Swamp Thing.

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12.13.2012: The Hawkeye Initiative

December 13, 2012 Artwork, Comic Books, Gay and Lesbian, Politics / Religion Comments (0) 591

The Hawkeye Initiative responds to the rampant sexism in comics by producing images of Hawkeye (AKA Clint Barton) in poses identical to those artists choose for female heroes. I did this one based on an image of Rogue that I found via Google search, only to learn that I cannot submit it to the Initiative because I can’t identify the artist or the original publication. I’m not even sure whether it’s fan art or if it appeared in the pages of a comic. That’s also why I’ve linked to the original image instead of hosting it here.

The main, original idea behind the Hawkeye Initiative was to show how the poses and costumes artists choose for females are sexist and ludicrous. John Scalzi, Alyssa Rosenberg, and a few others have raised concern that the audience may be missing the point and instead indulging in a transphobic laugh at the man in the dress. I chose not to put Clint in Rogue’s actual uniform (which, for the record, is no more or less revealing than the modified version of his own that I did use) because for me it’s not about the specifics of the pose or the costume, so much as it is about how sexualized female characters are, compared to the males. That’s also why I altered his physique to make it more masculine, and made sure his uniform gave proper emphasis to his secondary sex characteristics.

I’ve never thought there was anything particularly wrong with sexually objectifying people on occasion–as long as the objectification is equal. Heterosexual males are frequently eager to sexualize women, but enormously uncomfortable with being sexualized themselves. I strongly doubt that the core audience for comics would buy up any title that regularly sexualized male heroes.

Of course, I could be wrong. One of my lady friends, who happens to be a major comics fan, has told me she thinks there’s a big female audience who would buy the shit out of superhero stories with some boy-on-boy action. As far as I know, no major publisher has sought to test that theory.

I’d like to see more contributions to the Initiative that don’t just mimic a pose and a uniform, but actually seek to sexualize Hawkeye the way the parodied artist sought to sexualize the heroine in question; to tailor the male figure as precisely for the female gaze as the original artist did for the male gaze. I think there’s more to this than just “those costumes and poses are silly.”

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