September 2006

Last Friday of September...

Posted by Joe Casey on September 29, 2006

Okay, okay... so ROCK BOTTOM doesn't hit stands until next week. So sue me. Independent publishing, y'know... hard to trust the exact release months as solicited. But next week you can go out and buy it, read it, ponder it, whatever. Larry Young himself tells me it'll be there.

It's kind of the thing we all fight against... the idea that we can control our universe so precisely, when in fact, no one can. Personally, I keep trying. I think it's achievable. One day I will control every facet of my existence, right down to the molecules in my own body.

A major project looming has forced me to completely abandon the concept of weekends. Too much work and not enough time to do it. Not that I ever really took weekends off before, but now it's no longer even an option. This, on top of all the comicbook work going on at the moment, and the rest of the year is completely booked. Completely. Booked.

Remember what I said around Labor Day... about the "inhale" before the rush of adrenalin that carries us through to the New Year...? That was really wishful thinking. The amount of energy needed to get through all this will be considerable, and I'm not sure that I caught enough air three weeks ago.

In fact, how am I even getting the time to blog...?


Posted by Joe Kelly on September 27, 2006

Question: What are ten years worth of comp comics good for?

Answer: Home improvement.

This is what happens when writers get blocked. They either clean, blog, or figure out other ways to create something. Case in point, my son’s room, where a little wallpaper glue and a bunch of old comics helped me through a bout with the blank page. (And for those of you clawing at the screen in horror – I have 25 copies of each issue used on the wall!) So why the blockage anyway, Binky..?

It’s fall. It’s that amazing time of year in the Northeast where everything changes. The give of the ground. The touch of the air. And of course those glorious colors. As the world is preparing to take a well deserved nap, I’m hit with the one-two punch of projects currently unfinished and the looming question mark of next year’s work. The wrestling match begins – finish project A or attack screenplay B. If Cartoon C is approved before Thanksgiving, that means comic book D has to bump to January. And so on until Mean Gene hits me with a folding chair. So where am I as the bell rings?

The Batman Superman Annual – I finished this bad boy yesterday, and if it doesn’t bring a smile to your face in some way shape or form, you are most likely an undead abhorrence in search of brains, not Superhero hijinx.

Brothers’ Day – My short film is almost finished. Within striking distance. For real.

Supergirl – Issue #10 hits the stands today, I think, and at the risk of piping off unnecessarily, I think it’s one of the more interesting stories I’ve done. I’m well into the next arc, and will be driving Kara in circles through crazytown through the holidays.

I Kill Giants – My beloved graphic novel needs only a handful of new pages to be artist ready. And since he’s going to start in a month, it’ll be finished in a few days.

Big Fat Animated Mystery News – As has been intimated by my fellow Mans, we have a LOT of good stuff happening that we can’t openly discuss. Three eggs incubating at a rapid pace, with at least one or two set to hatch in the next month or so.

New comics – Again, on the QT, I’m developing two new independent comics that will hopefully see the light of day soon. At least one of them will have the honor of becoming a “case study” for anyone who gives a damn here on the site. I’ll walk you through the genesis of the project, the pitch, and (hopefully) the process of producing the thing.

I think I need to go tile the bathroom with laminated Comic Code Stamps…

Happy Autumn!

It Gets Away From You...

Posted by Joe Casey on September 26, 2006

Time, that is...

This morning was comicbook morning. Meaning, a lot of comicbook stuff had to be wrestled to the ground. Scripting GØDLAND #14 pages (another stellar art job by the Mighty Tom Scioli), wrangling a few pending pitches, plotting GØDLAND #17 and CHARLATAN BALL #3, setting aside some brain space for a new Marvel project that just got greenlit, not to mention the typical onslaught of phone calls, e-mails, smoke signals, etc...

And, of course, we must not forget that a major OGN of mine is apparently hitting stores this week: the long-awaited ROCK BOTTOM, written by me and stunningly illustrated by another master classman, Charlie Adlard. Published by the fine folks at AiT/PlanetLar, I was hoping to jet up to the Bay Area to make an Isotope appearance tomorrow in honor of RB's publication, but life got in the way and it's no more travelling for me for the rest of '06. Nevertheless, make sure your local retailer is carrying ROCK BOTTOM. As the hype claims, it's an epic of human proportions.

Half A Nightmare

Posted by Steven T. Seagle on September 24, 2006

I’m on a national tour with my play N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK (, so I’m in a theater state of mind. The guys in the show – Rafa, Allan, and Miles and I all get a kick out of which lines “go up” (actor talk for ‘get f*cked up’) each night and in which way. These guys are pros, so there are very few, and the audience would never know, but we howl over every little kack-up. It got me thinking about ‘The Actor’s Nightmare’ – which basically is a bad dream where a performer finds himself/herself in a show that they don’t know the lines for. Terrifying.

I imagine all artists have some kind of similar anxiety. I hang around enough writers to know what ‘The Writer’s Nightmare’ is – losing a script after it’s written but before it gets sent to someone or backed up. Computer crashes are usually to blame (and is it just me or do computers die way more frequently now than they did five years ago?). But unlike actors, for whom the nightmare is rare, I’ve been around enough comic pros to know our nightmare is all too commonplace.

I just lived it.

Flying from our N*W*C show in Vermont, would-be Hurricane Ernesto delayed flights and caused us to miss our JFK connection altogether. But having a show to make, JetBlue managed to book us on a back-up flight to an adjacent city. So from Vermont to JFK, I pulled out my quad pad – where I do all my plotting (I wanted to go over the two issues of AMERICAN VIRGIN I had laid out) – and a FEDEX envelope full of tour receipts, bills to be mailed, and all the notes I have for a super-secret new project with uber-talented Rian Hughes and tossed it in the open seat next to me so I’d have it to work on during the flight. I proceeded to fall asleep.

I woke up to the panicked voice-over of the flight crew announcing that we needed to literally RUN to our connecting gate as the last plane of the night was about to leave the gate and we were almost certainly going to miss it. I bolted. Ran through the terminal and just made it on to the plane…where someone was in my seat! We both had stubs naming it ours and I was standing which means they won! And there were no other seats left! I was about to be booted back off when a pilot for JetBlue flying standby willingly de-boarded so I could have his space – my belated thanks to you, sir.

I sat down, the door closed, the plane pushed back…and I realized my pad and my FEDEX folder were still on the seat in the other plane. All my notes for two issues of AMERCIAN VIRGIN, all the Rian Hughes notes, notes for my new book with Teddy Kristiansen, bills, receipts, my nifty DC COMICS padfolio – the only DC Chirstmas gift I’ve thoroughly used – all gone. A nightmare. The Writer’s Nightmare.

But I didn’t panic. Surely they’d do a clean-out of the plane and my prominent business card in the pad as well as my name/address/phone number on the FEDEX would lead to some honest Samaritan returning my irreplaceable notes to me, right?

Well, let’s just say, half a nightmare.

The FEDEX was found and sent back. The Rian Hughes notes safe and sound. The bills mailed. The receipts logged.

But my DC COMICS padfolio with the VIRGIN and Kritiansen notes? With about ten copies of my business card with my personal telephone number on them? Apparently someone liked that as much as I did. It was not returned even though it was sitting on top of the FEDEX.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that it’s my own fault for not being 100% aware – though being in a different city every two days with a huge amount of gear for the show on top of my personal junk to keep track of is taxing. But still, why keep something that’s not yours? Something that’s got return addresses/numbers all over it?! Annoying.

When I told Rian, he said that I’d probably come up with a better idea in the absence of the notes – and in that case, he was right, I did. But the other notes are sorely missed. Little bits of my subconscious that showed up at the wrong moment and were scribbled down with the awareness that I’d get back to them at the right moment in the process. The blind flash of a story charging through my head – transferred to the page and just as quickly released from my brain to make room for something new. Gone.

I’ve since gone back and redone the work. A nightmare. Half a nightmare.

EXTRAS! EXTRAS!.... read all about it!

Posted by Duncan Rouleau on September 16, 2006

According to the nice people in Atlanta May 6th is when the Ben 10 DVD will hit the stands! It will be both seasons 1 and 2. And, as my illustrious partner stated, it will be full of EXTRAS!

Extra -Voice tracks! Extra-Art! Drawing lessons! AND - sneak peeks into the new long form story that will be coming in season 4!

On a side note, being my first timme doing something like this I found it kinda cool and odd.


Posted by Joe Casey on September 15, 2006

So, Friday's here already and the MOA crew is up to their collective armpits in BEN 10 DVD stuff. Yesterday, Duncan recorded a commentary track for an episode of the Season 1 DVD release. Today is more interviews, photos, personal humiliation, etc...

Now, don't ask me when the DVD is gonna' come out. I have no idea. But, whenever it drops, it appears that it'll be loaded with extra content, so all you kids out there can tell your parents that they'll be getting their money's worth, no doubt about it.

Who knows? Maybe the other two MOA founders who'll be on the scene will end up blogging about the experience. A post-mortem, so to speak.


I second that emotion...

Posted by Joe Kelly on September 12, 2006

Leave it to the hipster in the sunglasses to bring a little sobriety to the blog. Didn't get a lot of work done myself, yesterday. I should have, plenty to do, but then I made the mistake of watching them read the names, and that pretty much did my morning in. However, today is a new day...

And on tap? The story editing gig to pay the bills, then a stop over in the bloody pages of a horror-action script I'm writing with Duncan. Sometime later this week I'll make it back to Metropolis to drop in on Supergirl and her new "special friend..." (You'll have to see issue #11 for that tidbit.)

Then I'm planning the reshoot to finally finish my short film...Brothers' Day...

Then I put the finishing touches on my upcoming mini, I Kill Giants...

Then it's back to the swingin' sixties with Jonny Quest. Yes, you heard me, I'm finishing it...

And, if the gods of paperwork and all things legal treat us with grace, some of those "big things" Joe C. hinted at a few weeks ago may finally be other words, it's gonna be a hell of a month.

Happy September!

Five Years Today

Posted by Joe Casey on September 11, 2006

C'mon... what else is there to blog about today? Feels like yesterday... and it feels like a lifetime ago...

'Labor' Day

Posted by Joe Casey on September 4, 2006

The Labor Day Weekend is like a giant inhale. The transition from Summer to Fall. Summer equals travel, conventions, vacations, fitting in scattershot work, meetings. Fall equals more focused work, less travel, a real sense of getting your ass down to business. This weekend is usually the last blast of easy living before the next onslaught of work and deadlines and committing to whatever it is you want to accomplish for the rest of the calendar year.

For me, this weekend is usually a lot of sitting around, thinking about projects, daydreaming stories, tons of pie-in-the-sky ambition. The world is wide open. By tonight, I'll have pretty much decided exactly what the hell I'm going to be doing for the next four months, work-wise. A lot of gigs came to a satisfying conclusion over the summer. Finished up quite a few commitments that had been lingering for, imo, way too long. Now the slate is a little cleaner. Time to get messy again. Time to dive in to a bunch of projects that I'll spend the rest of the year crawling my way out of. Trust me, this is a good thing.

Today the moment where anything is possible. In this business, doing what we do, this is the moment when you actually believe it. Personally, I love it. I love the feeling of unlimited potential. By tonight, though, something in my brain will switch over and the real work will begin.

Who's with me...?

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