Friday, January 30, 2009

It's official!

It's official now, I have an artist for one of my billion projects in the works... My horror mini, title known but not being shared, is "in the works" with an artist, Denman. He has a lot of fine art background and seems to work with every medium under the sun, so I'm excited to see what he does with the script... By far, this script is the best I've done to date, it flowed naturally and ended as planned at just the right length for a horror mini-series, four issues... 90-ish pages. I'm not positive when I'll think it's safe to share more details of it, perhaps when we get the go ahead from a publisher or something.

On other writing notes, I had lightning strike my brain on my way home today refreshing another idea that's been mulling in my brain for a couple of years, so I'm finally moving forward with that. Honestly, I had originally planned it as a screenplay, but I just couldn't get my feet under the concept well enough to start writing. I had a lot of good ideas, but sticking them together into a coherent story eluded me until today. So, more good news for that!

Still trying to find "the right" artist for the project I have over 130 pages scripted. I was tearing through that story this morning and at lunch to reorganize the pages. I wrote each issue as 32 pages, so I thought it would be smart to take each issue down below "giant sized" so it's cheaper for people to buy it when it does come out (price does matter in this economy)... So, five issues of script turned to six issues of script. I also found a couple of other issues that worked themselves out with a little editing and shuffling, so good to go!

That's it for now... When will I write more? Who knows...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

And they keep on flowing...

I'm pretty excited today... I had to take my wife's car to get the oil change, tires rotated, etc... While I waited (just under two hours), I ended up typing away on my laptop, trying to crank through the script for my horror comic... No, nothing with zombies, vapires, or werewolves, something a bit more visceral. I used to watch a ton of horror movies when I was younger and still love to check them out when I have time but one thing plaguing 90% of them is poor writing. The last ones I watched that didn't come across that way were 28 Days Later and The Ring... There were others, I'm sure, but I can't remember them. The dialog in so many other horror movies is so contrived it's ridiculous! So, my goal for said horror comic book script is to make the dialog more realistic... How would people REALLY react in some of these situations and also keeping in mind that before, during, and after the story the characters had lives, relationships, etc... Just because there's a story going on doesn't mean their lives end, so I sneak in elements of their personal lives that may not be pertinent to the horror, but they help to color the story and to help it make sense when characters do certain things, react certain ways, etc... Also, when all is said and done, I want the reader to feel bad for the characters if, by some small chance, they get hurt or, God forbid in a horror story, someone dies! Oh no! The most perfect comic book I read that falls into the horror category is Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman... If I write my own mini-series half as well as he's managed to consistently do with Walking Dead, I'm going to be extremely pleased with myself.

Now you may ask, "when will I find out what this story is?" Well.... you've got to wait. I'm not worried about someone stealing the story so much. It's so specific that if someone DID steal it, I'd know... it's not some spin on something else, it's a twisted vision based on the combination of a photo and a dream... Unless you shared the dream with me (please let me know if you did so I can go have some powerful psychic suck it out of your head), you've not seen anything like it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Exciting, encouraging, or what?

On a positive note, I've actually received some very good feedback from several people on the sample script I posted on my blog here and it hasn't been up for long! Can't complain about that! Hopefully Avatar will enjoy it when it comes up in their stack of freelance submissions. If not, I totally understand the crap shoot that is the business. At some point I'll catch the right person's eye or ear and it will make all of the difference. It's kind of like applying for any job when you think about it. There are thousands of people who, on a piece of paper (resumé), all look alike with equal or even fewer qualifications. Once you manage to get past that first hurtle, however, and catch someone's attention, it's a lot easier to show them why you are a good fit. I've always done well on interviews, so here's hoping!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Living Dead - Dead on Arrival

So some people have been asking for samples of my writing, so I thought I would post a sample script I wrote on my blog. I created this one last week, it took me a total of maybe four hours to write, edit, and send over. Avatar allows for freelance writers to submit to them for potential jobs, but they require you to write a sample script using their characters... So, I chose the Living Dead because I was always a sucker for those movies when I was younger. Late night on USA, I watched a ton of horror movies when I was a kid. Probably explains why I'm so twisted with my writing now at times. Anyway, read and enjoy... let me know if you have any comments and keep in mind that though it contains zombies and is inspired by the Living Dead, it doesn't mean you can take the idea and run with it... I've got the rest of the story saved up in case Avatar asks me to move forward with it.

PAGE ONE (Two Panels)

Panel 1. A 747 flying through thick clouds, heavy rain, and lightning all around (some way too close to the plane). Angled image to give the impression that the plane is not flying perfectly straight (turbulence). Plane labeled with fake airline logos for Northern Airlines - Pacific Connection, flight 842.

RADIO (Captain): This is your captain speaking, please return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts. We are experiencing a little bit of turbulence.

Panel 2. View from a seat in coach looking up at the little air dial, the no smoking light and the fasten your seatbelts light which has just lit up. The square compartment for the air masks is closed in the center.


PAGE TWO (Five Panels)

Panel 1. View from Dr. Evans' seat as he reaches up to fiddle with the air nozzle above him with his right hand. The motion from the plane shaking is making his hand move around slightly as he tries to twist the nozzle.

Panel 2. View Dr. Evans from the seat in front of him. He is looking forwards, sweat on his brow as his right hand arcs awkwardly down, feeling sick due to the motion of the plane. His left hand is clenched tight on his briefcase against his chest. He is crammed between an exceptionally fat man (Roy - his left) and woman (Wanda - his right), barely enough room to gesture, let alone reach for an air vent. The man to his left appears to be sleeping and the woman to his right has her hand on the slide to open the little window cover so she can see outside.

Panel 3. Nervously, Dr. Evans positions the briefcase onto his lap flat and clicks open the locks.

Click! Click!

Panel 3. View from the aisle looking in towards Dr. Evans’. His head is cocked slightly to the side and he tries to contort to looks into the barely open briefcase without letting anyone else see what is inside. Barely visible is an orange bag with a biohazard symbol on it and, written in sharpie, “tissue samples 08-13-2005”. Slivers of duct tape hold the visible corners of the bag to the inside of the brief case.

Dr. Evans:

Panel 4. Same POV, but Dr. Evans’ head is back up and he’s looking around with a look of relief on his face. The fat woman to his right has opened the window and is looking out into the storm, raindrops buffeting the window. It’s dark outside and her head is cocked in that direction. A flash of lightning is visible in the distance. The plane continues to rumble with turbulence.

Roy, check this out!


Lean your fat head and look out!

Panel 5. View from outside in the rain looking into the window, the window taking up most of the frame. Other windows are visible, but all are closed. Dr. Evans has leaned a little back in his chair so Roy can lean towards the window without getting overly friendly. Beyond Roy, we can see the middle and opposite side of the plane where most people are looking forward, concerned looks on their faces because of the turbulence. On the far side, Alan is visible, head back, eyes closed, and a relaxed look on his face ~ all in a day’s work. He is wearing a sports coat over a red button up shirt and khakis.

PAGE THREE (Five Panels)

Panel 1. Camera pans back into the plane, closing in on Alan, still looking relaxed. The motion from the plane’s turbulence intensifies.

Panel 2. View from outside the plane again, view from beyond the back of the plane looking forward at a slight angle. A thick bolt of lightning hits the top of the plane about a third of the way back, the arc of the bolt is visible on top, arcing to the left engine, and continuing on into the depths below the plane.


Panel 3.
Same view as before looking at Alan, but his eyes snap open suddenly.

Panel 4. From his POV looking at the passengers. Everyone is looking around frantically, some looking like they just woke up. Dr. Evans is visible on the other side of the plane, briefcase clenched tightly again to his chest.
What was that?

Did you hear that?

What the fuck?


RANDOM PERSON 5 (burst):

Have you ever felt turbulence this severe?

Panel 5. Same POV, but the lights go out and only the light coming in from the bolts of lightning outside cast any light in the cab.

RANDOM PERSON 1 (burst):

RANDOM PERSON 2 (burst):





PAGE FOUR (Four Panels)

Panel 1. View from the nose of the plane looking back at the left engine which is on fire and sputtering, not sure if it wants to stall out or explode. Figures of the pilot and co-pilot are partially visible in the front windows, but it’s dark in there.

Mayday! Mayday! This is Northern Airlines flight 842 en route to Los Angeles, engine has been hit by lightning and we are losing altitude. Mayday! Mayday!

Captain, looks like the radio is fried.

PILOT (burst):
God damn it!

Panel 2. View from inside the pilot’s cabin. The pilot is looking back towards the door to the cabin, which is open. In the darkness a couple of figures are visible strapped in for the turbulence.

PILOT (burst):
Get into the cab and tell everyone to get on their life preserves and release the damned oxygen masks, this brick’s going down.

Panel 3. View from the door looking at the two stewardesses, both buckled in and trying to get themselves unstrapped. They are looking at each other with fear in their eyes.

Yes Captain!

Panel 4. The stewardesses walking into the main cabin of the plane, view from around ten rows back looking forward towards them. Everyone still looks frantic, but their mouths are closed. Many have their eyes clenched shut. Stewardesses on either side of the plane start unbuckling themselves. Of the two who are already standing, 1 is addressing the crowd and 2 is reaching into a compartment by the door.

STEWARDESS 1 (burst):
Ladies and gentlemen, the captain is working to get us leveled out, but we were asked to please have you put on your oxygen masks and reach under your seats for flotation devices.

PAGE FIVE (Three Panels)

Panel 1. Door above one passenger opens up and three air masks drop down, lines for the air lost in the darkness. Dozens of tubes intertwined are visible.

Panel 2. View of the left engine from a close by window, exploding violently.


Panel 3. Same POV, but the engine, the wing and the section by them flying out into the night in a shower of rain, air, fire, glass, and people.

PAGE SIX (Five Panels)

Panel 1. View from outside where the wing was looking into the plane, the plane at a 45-degree angle forward to back and left to right. A lot of empty seats are in the middle of the plane and all of the seats close to the explosion are gone, blackened areas in their wake. People either have on their oxygen masks or are frantically trying to fasten them on themselves or their children. A couple more people, including a stewardess are flying out of the plane due to the angle. A crack has appeared on the top of the plane where the wing and section came off.

Panel 2. Same view, but the crack has gotten worse. People are looking up around them who can see it and a few are trying to get themselves out from their seats to move out of the way.

Panel 3. Same view, but the crack is larger. A few people have successfully started climbing towards the front and back of the plane. A few more people fly out of the plane, though.

Pane 4. Same view, but the front of the plane take a steeper dip while the back retains the same angle, now only attached at the seat level. Some people, screaming, whoosh out all around.

Panel 5. View from well behind the plane looking forward towards it. An island is ahead in the distance, a large mountain visible on the right, and a fishing village of some sort visible at the foot of the mountain, also on the right side of the island. The angle of the plane is pointing towards the left side of the island.

PAGE SEVEN (Six Panels)

Panel 1. Fuzzy vision… View from Alan’s POV looking around. Light is filtering into the wreckage of the plane from outside. All around are dead bodies, moans, metal, seats scattered, body parts, and a general mess of things.


Hours later…

Panel 2. Alan’s POV a little clearer. He is looking back in the direction of Dr. Evans. Evans is wearing his life preserver and has the oxygen mask on his face. The briefcase is still held tightly to his chest, but both he and it have been pierced by a piece of metal from the plane upon crashing. Blood has come out of his mouth and is now dry, flies are just starting to flutter around from outside.


Panel 3. View from a few seats away looking at Alan. He is struggling to get himself out of his seat belt. There are dead bodies in all of the seats around him, necks at odd angles and impaled with shards of metal. He’s looking around frantically as he struggles with the buckle. His movement reveals a concealed weapon beneath his jacket, under his left armpit.

Fuckin’ thing!


Panel 4. View from behind Alan’s shoulder as he looks ahead of him to the seats. A hand is waving a little ways ahead of him from the floor, barely visible near one of the seats.

Hello? Where are you?

I’m down here… I’m stuck… They’re on top of me…

JOSIE (burst):

ALAN: I’ll be right there, just hold on.

Please hurry.

Panel 5. View from the floor where Josie is looking up towards Alan who is coming her way. He has a tender look on his face and looks a little battered, but not overall in bad shape.

ALAN (small):
There you are.

Thank you, I didn’t think anyone would come. A few people passed by, but… I don’t know if they couldn’t hear me or what.

It’s ok, I’m here now.

Panel 6. View from beyond the two looking back at them. Josie is pinned beneath two bodies and one of the chairs has curved over, blocking her beneath. Alan is forcing the chair to move out of the way bodily.

ALAN (burst):

Ok, slide out of there.

PAGE EIGHT (Six Panels)

Panel 1. View from Alan’s POV as Josie slides out from beneath the two dead bodies on top of her. She’s covered in a bit of blood, but it’s obvious that she’s very pretty. She’s wearing a green top, spaghetti straps with a different shade of green cardigan over it and dark blue jeans now with splotches of dark blood. She’s also wearing tennis shoes.

Thank you!

Panel 2. Alan helping Josie to stand up and they’re looking each other in the eyes. She smiles sadly while he maintains a grim expression.


Alan… Let’s get out of this place.

Panel 3. View from behind Josie and Alan as they walk towards the light, behind where Alan was sitting. The plane is in half, and he was in the front half. Bodies litter everywhere and beyond the light they see the other half of the plane. In the other plane there are some people standing in the shadows.

Well Josie, it looks like we weren’t the only lucky ones.

JOSIE (small):
Look at all the people.

ALAN (small):
Shhhh, there’ll be time to mourn later. Let’s make sure we’re safe first, ok.

Josie (small):

Panel 4. Walking into the light, sun just about down, view from where the two parts of the plane split looking towards the wide opening. We see Alan and Josie’s backs. Trees surround the plane, but there is a little clearing there around the crater where the plane landed. A few people are sitting down in the shade beneath one of the trees. Frank is pointing towards Alan and Josie.

A couple more made it out!

There may be more survivors in there.

I think we got most of them.

Panel 5. Closer view of Frank from over Alan’s shoulder. He has a devastated look on his face, as they all do.

We’ve been through there; anyone still alive is probably dead by now.

You missed us.

You looked dead a couple of hours ago.

Fair enough.

Panel 6. View of the group together looking up near the nose of the plane on top where a fire is burning.

Not to mention that.

Holy shit, you think it’s gonna blow?

No fuckin’ clue.

PAGE NINE (Four Panels)

Panel 1. View from Alan’s POV looking up at the sky, a few people’s torsos at the bottom of the frame and the sun, just a sliver on the horizon, darkness all around except for there.

And there it goes.

Panel 2. View from Alan’s POV. He has turned back towards the plane. Mark is walking towards the plane, the sun is now down and view is darkening. Mark has his head cocked as though he’s listening to something.

MARK (burst):

Panel 3. Closer view, Mark is near the opening and it’s now dark inside the plane, nothing visible except for the silhouette of a woman, torso cocked to its left (our right) and head cocked even more to the left (our right). Left arm is dangling uselessly while the right is reaching forward, the tips of the fingers in enough light to make out nails painted red.

Oh God, Molly, you’re alive!

MOLLY (small):

You’re in shock, honey, I’m coming.

Panel 4. Mark is now stepping into the darkness of the plane, stepping to reach for Molly. Frank and Charles are stepping forward to flank Mark, a little cautious. Molly’s head has moved a little bit against the unnatural angle of the neck and is now putting her right hand on Mark’s shoulder, tips of her nails biting into Mark’s shoulder.

MARK (burst):

It’s ok, I’m here.

Panel 5. Closer view of the two of them. Mark has pulled Molly partially into the light and it’s obvious she’s a zombie. She clamps down on his face with her mouth and her hand digs more into his shoulder, breaking the bone. She is still hobbling forward, motion to indicate the two of them are going to fall.

MARK (burst):


Panel 6. View from Frank’s POV looking down on Molly who is eating Mark’s face, pulling a bit of flesh up, gobbling. Her eyes are looking up to the sky, but don’t see anything, they’re a sickly white. Mark is thrashing around on the ground. Charles, beyond them is looking down in horror, his mouth open.



PAGE TEN (Six Panels)

Panel 1. View from Josie’s POV behind Alan. Alan is pulling out his gun. Beyond him. Frank is pulling the zombie Molly off of her husband.

FRANK (burst):
Get --

Panel 2. Same POV, but now Alan has his gun out and Frank is chucking Molly towards the side of the plane.

FRANK (burst):
-- OFF!

Panel 3. Molly being impaled by a sharp piece of plane, the metal just bursting from her chest in a spray of blood and flesh. Her head, at an angle, is being thrown back and her limbs are splayed out.


Panel 4. Molly impaled on a sharp piece of the plane, the metal hooking around so she can’t just slide off. She is looking down (more sideways down since her head is tilted wrong) at the metal.


Panel 5. View from behind Frank and Charles looking towards Mark and, beyond them, Molly, still impaled, but trying to move her arm and legs to get loose. Blood is bubbling from her mouth. Mark is squirming on the ground.

MARK (small):

Panel 6. View from Molly’s POV looking towards everyone else. Alan is visible on the right side of the plane, motioning for Frank and Charles to get over to him with his left hand, his right is holding his gun, pointing it towards Mark. Frank and Charles are starting to move, but shocked looks are on their faces.

ALAN (burst):
Get your asses in gear; let’s get the fuck out of here!

CHARLES (burst):
What the hell’s happening?!?

Don’t worry about that now, let’s start moving!

PAGE ELEVEN (Four Panels)

Panel 1. View from Molly’s POV looking towards everyone again. Charles and Frank have joined Alan and the others. Josie has started crying. Alan is now aiming with both of his hands and has just fired a round, the shot visible arcing through the air into Mark’s head, right in the temple. Mark had started to pull himself off the ground, his face a mess and his shoulder where Molly grabbed him is gored, but the bullet has started to knock him back a little bit, a spray of blood and brain matter popping out behind his head.



Panel 2. POV looking over Alan’s shoulder back at Josie whose mouth is open, bottom lip quivering and she’s pointing back towards the plane.


Panel 3. From Josie’s POV looking forward. Alan, Charles, and Frank are in front of her, though spread out. Visible beyond them are the two halves of the plane. Shuffling figures are visible in the darkness of the left side. In front of them is marks body, now dead on the ground.



Panel 4. Three figures in different states of destruction are now standing behind Marks body, shuffling forward, arms forward, hands opening and closing, mouths open. Blood is visible all over them in various places depending on where they died (crushed by seats, other passengers, overhead luggage, etc or impaled by metal). One of them has the oxygen mask still on its face, though slightly out of place, the tube trailing behind them. More figures are shuffling forward from the shadows behind them.




Mid-Twenties air marshal – Ruggedly handsome and white with a farmer’s tan, brown hair, blue eyes, stocky build, 6’ / 205 lbs.

Fifty-something biologist – white (pale), stringy grayish hair, grey eyes, very thin, 5’8” / 140 lbs.

Nineteen – Very pretty African American with dark skin, brown hair (curly and relaxed, just past the neck) and brown eyes. Labret piercing, piercing green makeup around the eyes and red lipstick.

Mid-Forties – X-Football player… Big like he could hit the field today, but a bit round in the middle. White, light tan, blond hair, blue eyes, and built like a refrigerator, 6’5” / 300 lbs.

30 year old accountant – handsome in a bookish kind of way, wire framed glasses, light brown hair and green eyes wearing a business suit torn to shreds. Married to Molly.

30-year-old schoolteacher – very pretty in a bookish kind of way… perfect match for her husband Mark.

28-year-old tourist – African American with medium tone skin, clean shaven (head and face) and brown eyes. He’s wearing a form fitting yellow t-shirt partially tucked in, displaying a big belt buckle and baggy jeans, only down a little bit below his waist, large hiking boots on his feet.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Challenges of the Comic Book Writer

I've found in the last few months that it's hard out there for a pimp... I mean a comic book writer... We get to write tons of words, tens of thousands on pages, imagine things in our head and then try to find a home for them, first in the welcome (hopefully) arms of an artist and then in the warm embrace of a publisher. Problem is, it may not be easier for a writer to think up ideas than anyone else, but theoretically, it should be easier to write than draw... Well, if it takes you longer to write than it takes a good artist to get a page drawn, you're doing something wrong. On a good day, I'm able to write around 10 pages of comic book script... If you saw how many words I put into my scripts, you'd see that it's a pretty good accomplishment. That means that, in theory, I could write 300 pages of script per month (if I was a full time writer and not just a commuting writer [2-3 hours per day], god help me on the amount I could write), which is over 9 issues of a book per month... 9 different titles. I read someplace that for an artist, some can handle a few different comics every month, but that's working full time! I've got to give it to the artists that they love their craft and are good enough to pour that amount of effort into the project... Seriously, hats off to them! I think if I was able to be a writer full time, I'd still try to keep the projects under a dozen so I had a lot of time to read, research, and spend a lot of time with my wife.

Point to this??? Probably just that I acknowledge that the time investment involved in penciling a book is significantly more than it takes to write the book. Problem with being a writer / creator / world builder, though is that each character, creature, story-line, issue is an entity into itself and putting yourself out there is a daunting prospect.

Serious question, because I really don't know the answer... What's harder, to erase a picture and re-do part of it or editing a script for faults? Is striking backspace or selecting and deleting more painful than erasing some or all of an image? If you look at pure time invested, again the artist probably wins...

Rambling... it seems to be what I do best!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ok I lied.... I'm putting stuff on music too because I can... AC/DC - Dead Boys

Ok, so over the years I've seen dozens of lists of the best albums of all time, the best bands, etc, which all tend to be skewed towards music from the last five years and also neglect a lot of good music out there... I'm not going to say this is the end all - be all list, but I'm listing out my favorite bands and the best albums they put out. Some of the names will be unfamiliar, so I challenge you to go find some of them and give them a listen. I've been into music as long as I've been into comics and I'll even go back and read old comics and listen to old CD's and remember the "soundtrack" for those comics, what I was listening to at the time. So, enjoy and let me know what you think! These are in alphabetical order by artist, so not to make some acts seem better than others. There are regular albums, b-side collections, live albums, or whatever I might like...

· AC/DC ~ Back in Black - I can remember when I first heard these guys... I was pretty young, 5 I think and was blown away. Good times!
· AFI ~ The Art of Drowning - I've been listening to AFI since their Wingnut Records days (1995 I think) and have been hooked since. They've evolved over the years and some would say they sold out, but I don't agree. They have gone through a natural evolution as demonstrated by each album if you listen to them in order. The Art of Drowning was when I feel they hit their stride and it's a freaking amazing album.
· Alice in Chains ~ Facelift -I was a freshman in high school, disillusioned with the world and then grunge came on my radar. My musical tastes were never the same afterwards. I love a lot of their music following this album, but I always go back to this one. If you like Alice in Chains, go buy Jerry Cantrell's solo stuff, particularly Degradation Trip 1&2... You will realize that Jerry was really the genius behind the band. I saw him live a handful of years back before he got AIC back together and the band Comes with the Fall did his support (the lead singer of CWTF is the new singer for AIC, by the way)..... anyway, just educating!
· Alkaline Trio ~ Goddamnit! - What happens when punks grow up? Well, in the case of Alkaline Trio, they keep playing the same music, evolving towards darker themes of love, loss, and death. A thousand bands trying to make it after them WISH they could be as good. Give them a try, every album is great and you can really FEEL where they're coming from if you're old enough.
· Angry Samoans ~ Back from Samoa - You'll see me sneak a bunch of old punk into this list... These guys are great and influenced a lot of later underground punk bands. If you listened to punk in the 80's after "New Wave" hit the scene, you're lucky... I thought when "punk died" it went away, but it didn't. It just went underground and got better.
· The Animals ~ Self Titled debut (1964) - Ok, I’m sticking some old rock and roll, too… The Animas, specifically the voice of Eric Burdon, helped to make music what it is today. Just give The House of the Rising Sun a listen and tell me I’m wrong.
· Anthrax ~ Persistence of Time - I was a freshman in high school when this album came out. Metal was my life at the time and this album was at the top of my list then and it’s up there now, too. I like a lot of the stuff before it and after it, but specifically Got the Time is just an in your face metal song that tells you exactly how much Anthrax just kicks #%^!
· Arctic Monkeys ~ Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not - Arctic Monkeys stuck another shot of lifesblood into the British music scene a few years ago and we’re still paying for it in a good way. They stuck elements of reggae, dub, and even jazz into a sound full of texture and soul while still remaining energetic.
· As I Lay Dying ~ An Oceans Between Us - Hardcore Metal at its finest. A beautiful combination of amazing musicianship, brutal power, and screamo meet melody. I LOVE this band.
· At the Drive-In ~ In Casino Out - I was sad to see this band break up, though they lead to the formation of the Mars Volta and Sparta. I was exceptionally bummed out when some friends and I bought tickets to see them and they broke up the day before the show we were going to see them. Very sad… They’re the first band on this list I describe as Progressive Punk… The basic idea is what happens when punks learn to play their instruments and get influenced by what came before. In this case punk meets progressive rock. The Mars Volta took that idea to the next level…
· Babyshambles ~ Shotter’s Nation - If you read any tabloid stuff you may have wondered “who the hell is this Pete Doherty guy?” Well, this is where he’s from. Drugs, sixties influences, brit-punk mentality, mediocre singing and musicianship, but somehow it works. Think what would happen if the Strokes OD’d, picked up instruments, and were on a steady diet of early Stones.
· Back Door Slam ~ Roll Away - What would happen if the best voices and musicians from the 1970’s were born again in the bodies of some teenagers with soul but didn’t have a billion years to waste their time in the studio? Back Door Slam is what would happen. Something about these guys takes me back to a time before I existed.
· Bad Religion ~ Generator - By far Bad Religion’s best album in my not so humble opinion… they had great albums before and after, but this is right in the middle of their best work and I listen to this album more than any of their others.
· Barry and the Remains ~ A Session With the Remains - these guys used to tour with the Beatles, believe it or not. The specific album is a healthy combination of their own music, well written, soulful pop music from the 60’s mixed in with some great covers of good music from the time. It was very common for musicians back then to cover each others songs for albums.
· Beastie Boys ~ Hello Nasty - I’ve listened to the Beastie Boys for years… I loved Check Your Head because I learned at the time they created their own samples to rap over and it was just genius. Something about Hello Nasty, though, is just a masterpiece in my mind. Front to back, I love listening to the album.
· The Beatles ~ Love - I’ve been listening to the Beatles since I was born… My mother played Sgt. Pepper for me on vinyl all the time when I was just a hatchling. I loved it then and I love the band now more than ever. I picked Love as my favorite because it was made for the show in Vegas, is re-mastered, and mixes things up a little. Amazing stuff whether you’re a new or old fan or haven’t even heard them before (shame on you).
· Beck ~ Odelay - I wish I could pick six of his albums, but I’m sticking with my one album per band rule… Beck is a genius, the sooner you accept it, the sooner we’ll all get along. He broken on the scene a couple of years before this album came out and in this one he mixed elements of every musical style under the sun. Just listen to it and you’ll see what I mean. Trust me, you’ll like it.
· Bikini Kill ~ The Singles - Honestly, I didn’t know who the heck this all girl band was in the 90’s. They could be considered the originators of the GRRL rock scene. Give this set of 9 songs a listen and you’ll see how they were so influential. Pretty straightforward punk with lyrics that let you know that they’re really not happy campers and they’ll kick you where it hurts if you point it out to them.
· Blacktop ~ I Got A Baaad Feelin’ About This - Mick Collins…. The man, the myth, the legend in his second band. Blacktop broke up a handful of years ago, but the idea lives on in the Dirtbombs. This is modern garage punk at its finest, loud, dirty, and did I mention loud? Mick Collins is the leader of the rabble, who first came around with the Gories a few years before. He is a genius, too… If I were to make an album today, I’d want him to produce it and maybe some of his cool would rub off on me.
· Black Flag ~ The First Four Years - I love Henry Rollins, but there’s something to be said about the music from before his time. It was fast, angry, urgent, and amazing. He brought other elements to the band which can never be forgotten, I mean he’s probably one of the most amazing poets around, but this is where Black Flag started and you can see why.
· Black Rebel Motorcycle Club ~ Howl - Every album these guys do switches things up quite a bit. When I first heard this album I thought that maybe someone switched out the CD with something from the 60’s, but no, it was them. I grew to love this album and I’ve probably listened to it at least three hundred times since it was released in 2005.
· Black Sabbath ~ Paranoid - You know, I have all of the Ozzy years of Sabbath and Paranoid has always and will probably always be my favorite. The heavy dirge of the music is just crazy and Ozzy’s voice transcends into some really dark places.
· Black Tide ~ Light From Above - What, why the heck am I putting this on here? I can’t believe the things that this band can do and, well, can you beat Shockwave on expert in Rock Band? I don’t think so! A healthy shot of 80’s thrash metal put into the bodies of some teens – early twenties guys. Wow! I want to see what they do next.
· Blindside ~ About a Burning Fire - I first head these guys when the album Silence came out in 2002. When this album came out, however, I decided that the band was just freaking amazing. Give this one a listen and you’ll see what I mean. It’s modern metal at it’s finest with a lot of other influences and textures mixed in.
· Blind Faith ~ Self Titled - Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech, each famous in their own right from their separate bands got together in the late sixties to form the first supergroup. Once you hear the first licks of Had to Cry Today and you’ll be hooked… Once Steve’s voice comes in, you can die a happy person.
· Bloc Party ~ Silent Alarm - Another British import, amazing amazing amazing… did I mention amazing? I don’t know where they came from but when this album came out in 2005 I was thrown for a loop. They kind of took up the mantle of Blur in my mind since they were out of the picture around this time. They added elements of brit-pop, punk, electronic, and some other stuff. Something about Kele’s voice just kills me in a good way.
· Blur ~ Modern Live is Rubbish - Social commentary from, along with Oasis, were the beginnings of what we know as brit-pop… I won’t say a whole lot here, they were just a great band and I think this was their best album. I heard they’re doing a new album now, though!
· Brand New ~ Deja Entendu - The best band by this album. You could consider these guys emo, I guess, but I don’t really think so when it comes down to it. Emotional lyrics, sure, but there’s so much more to this band. Great grooves, harmonies, well placed emotional screams, etc… The lyrics are probably the best thing about band, though, almost free form poetry, but it just works with the music.
· The Bronx ~ Self Titled (1993, not the two others that are also self titlded) - The Bronx is what rock is all about. They made this album using the three take rule, which means you play the song as a band three times and take the best of the three. This allows for the recorded medium to be as raw as possible, as close as you can get to a live album, while still remaining slightly produced. The guys voice is gravel and if their live shows are any indication, alcohol induced. Punk as it should be but with a rock kick.
· Built to Spill ~ Keep it Like a Secret - I saw these guys live I think around 1999 when this album had just come out. They are amazing musicians and I wish more bands were around now with their level of integrity.
· Burning Airlines ~ Mission: Control! - These guys were considered at one point to be “The best band you’ve never heard of”. Listen to this album, worship this alum, and you’ll see what I mean. Progressive punk again, punk with more skill, more chords, more power, and just amazing! Hooks, lyrics, harmony, song after song… I didn’t like their follow up album, Identikit, as much, but I won’t hold it against them. BUY THIS ALBUM!
· The Buzzcocks ~ Singles Going Steady - These guys were kind of considered the pop of the punk scene, I guess, but I think they were one of the best bands to come out of the British Punk scene from the late seventies. Listen to the songs, there are a lot of great hooks, beautiful emotional and punchy lyrics, etc… Steve Diggle and Pete Shelley are just great and they’re still at it today with the Buzzcocks, though I think the rest of the lineup has changed.
· Cardigans ~ Gran Turismo - Ok, so if you know the band you probably think of their song Lovefool from the album before this one… It is NOT indicative of their style. There was so much more depth to their music which is why they never really made it well in the mainstream (US) when this album came out. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed.
· Chelsea ~ The Punk Singles Collection 1977 – 82 - If you’ve heard of the band you might know that this is where Billy Idol came from. He was in Chelsea, then Generation X, and then solo. Don’t hold it against the band! I love Billy and have even seen him live in the last five years, but I don’t want people to think this band is all about him, it’s not. This was before he was the singer, actually! British Punk at its finest ~ three chords, angry lyrics, and relevant for the time… still sounds great today.
· The Chords ~ So Far Away - These guys were around in the British Punk scene, too, and probably one of the best sounding bands of the time with a lot of harmonies mixed in, unlike a lot of the stuff out there. From the first song, Maybe Tomorrow, I was hooked on this album.
· The Clash ~ London Calling - Like most official publications out there, I think London Calling is The Clash’s best album. I LOVE their debut album and think everyone should own it, but London Calling had so much more to it you can’t argue with its place as the best album. If you wonder who Rancid wanted to be in the 90’s, listen to the Clash’s albums and you’ll see.
· Cold ~ 13 Ways to Bleed Onstage - great “nu-metal” from 2000…. I don’t like the term “nu-metal” but that’s what they called it at the time. These guys, too, were so much more and underrated. I think they’re still at it, but this was their best album. Don’t expect turntables and rap, because it’s not in here, it’s solid.
· Coldplay ~ A Rush of Blood to the Head - I was debating not putting them on this list… I love the band, but feel a lot of their newer stuff is disposable pop music. Sorry! When this album came out (their second), they secured their place in history as an amazing band with great musicianship, lyrics, etc…
· Comes with the Fall ~ The Year is One - As I mentioned before I first saw these guys open for Jerry Cantrell and then picked their instruments back up and played with Jerry on stage as his backing band. Great band carrying the torch of the grunge era, but still modern and relevant.
· Corrosion of Conformity ~ Blind - Back when Headbanger’ Ball was at its best on MTV, late night when I should have been sleeping I first heard Dance of the Dead and was hooked on this band. Great metal from the time and I still love the album today.
· The Cramps ~ Psychedelic Jungle / Gravest Hits - I’m a hu-human fly, and I don’t know why… Oh my god, there’s something about this band that makes me want to listen and marvel at the sounds. 60’s garage sounds mixed with a horror element… Like the Munsters meets the Monkees by way of the Sex Pistols. If that doesn’t make you curious, I don’t know what will. I had heard of them before this, but I saw them live opening for White Zombie in the 90’s and the lead singer, Lux Interior, climbed to the top of a huge speaker, stuck the mic in his mouth, and started humping the speaker, making obscene noises… Shocking, yes, but it got everyone’s attention, I tell you that!
· The Cynics ~ Get Our Way - The Cynics were part of a garage revival that stayed in the underground for most of the 80’s and 90’s and resurfaced this century with bands like the White Stripes, the Hives, and a few others. The Cynics, like the other bands, were not the originators of the sound, but they carried the torch well…. And it’s a great album along with a couple of others of theirs… If you like this one, pick up Rock ‘n’ Roll.
· The Damned ~ Smash It up: The Anthology 1976 – 1987 - The Damned was the first horror-punk band, I think… they added gothic elements to punk and ran with it producing some amazing tracks over the years. The Anthology collects some of the best of the time.
· Darkest Hour ~ Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation - Not for the faint of heart… Not for those who can’t handle music that’s faster than you can tap your hands… Fast, aggressive, angry sounding, screaming, but it puts a smile on my face.
· The Dead 60’s ~ Self titled (2005) - I loved this album and was very sad with the direction the band took after this one. They were like what would happen if the Clash came around today and had to start again from scratch. It was refreshing and amazing and now I’m not sure what to think of the band, unfortunately. Dead Boys ~ Young, Loud, and Snotty - If you didn’t know, punk was actually an American creation from the 60’s and early 70’s and the brits took it over, marketed it with bondage gear and that’s what influenced the masses. The Dead Boys were actually around in the US from 1976 and produced some music you can’t call anything BUT punk and did it better than many of the British bands.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Places to post....

So, I did some research today and I was trying to find some different places to post (forums) that I'm looking for comic book artists... I've had 20-something artists email me so far, some that are good, but I'm fairly specific with what I've been looking for...

So, here we go!
DeviantArt Forums
CBR (Comic Book Resources)
WizardUniverse forums
ComicSpace (you end up doing a general post, not a forum)
DrunkDuck (amazing artists on there)

I'll see if I can find more and I'm probably missing a few... No guarantees that artists will reply to your posting, though! Maybe I'll put some recommendations on how to filter out the riff-raff...

And here I am!

So, I thought I would go ahead and get a blog started out there in the big WWW... I have something on MySpace, but my intention is to keep this one related to my writing endeavors instead of anything under the sun.... Knowing how I am, though, I bet I'll end up putting all sorts of random stuff in here rather than just related to comics!