Thursday, September 29, 2005

Star Wars Always Makes Me Smile

How great would it be if this was an actual picture taken during the filming/promotion of Empire Strikes Back?

Yes, I Live

Yeah, I suck. It's been like what, two weeks since I posted here? Sorry.

Things these past ten days have been crazy. I was asked to attend Marvel'e editorial retreat, which was a lot of fun but takes up a lot of time. A number of other creators flew in for it as well, so the evenings were full of dinners and drinking. Mark Millar himself has like three parties. I think I must have eaten with Mutsumi only once or twice the whole time. (Sorry, honey.) Then, with any free time I had, I was trying my best to keep up with e-mail, polish two proposals, and finish a few scripts. Yeeeessh! I feel like I need to sleep for a week.

I'm off to Wizard World Boston tomorrow, but promise regular posting and plenty of pictures starting next week. Oh, and a Limonciello update, as that's moving along...

Monday, September 19, 2005


Everything I've been writing recently has been straight-up fiction. So tonight, when I sat down to write an autobiographical short story, it felt a little weird to be writing about myself again. It was a comic script too, so I had to describe what was going on with me in each scene, bascially explaining in detail what I was doing panel-to-panel. I was looking at myself in my minds-eye as a comic book character. So while writing things like "I take a step toward Jesse, who sits on the steps, a concerned look on my face." made me feel a little odd, describing my clothes and emotions and actions took a lot out of me as I was basically reliving this moment from my past for someone else to illustrate and eventually share with other people in comic book format.

Emmy Recap - A Guest Post

I was going to post a few thoughts on my Emmy viewing experince last night, but my friend Sara "Miss Diva" Erickson sent around her annual review before I could get my thoughts down. As hers, as usual, made me laugh outloud and captured some my sentiments to a tee, I thought I'd share her summary with you instead. Reprinted with her permission, here we go:

Earth, Wind & Black Eyed Peas opening abomination - I don't think that I can watch the rest . . . .

please Ellen make it better - mmmmm - not so much

VALIDATED - public appearance - Jen & Ben - aglow in the front row

and the evening gets Desperate - a TOUGH category - my fingers are crossed for Jeremy P and effin BRAD - nobody loves raymond - GARRETT - thank god that show is off the air!

wait a second - am I watching a rerun of last years show - Bill Shatner - AGAIN??!

Gwennie's mommy wins her first Emmy for a show that no one has ever seen

seriously - this show is so bad so far that I am just going to watch last week's Laguna Beach

Awkward moment #37: Ellen does a ventriloquist act. 'Nuff said.

Jennifer Love Hewitt, Neil Patrick Harris & Chris O'Donnel - ladies and gentlemen we have officially scrapped the bottom of the barrel

did Katherine Joosten, winner of Best Guest Actress, raid Hefner's closet - what is with that smoking jacket

for some reason I am longing to be in the Bronx taking prescription drugs and playing Scrabble

DORIS ROBERTS - I haven't had enough to drink yet - her 4th Emmy for this role - she is joined on stage with her harem of underage boy servants

Johnny Carson tribute . . . . and over on the Surreal Life we find out that Janice Dickinson's father was a pedophile . . . . hmmmm what to watch

and the cast of Everyone Loves Raymond is funny for the first time ever - the Daily Show wins again (Emmy number 3 for Jen's cuz Steve Bodow) - once again I have to check and see if I am not watching last years show

ok - I know it has been happening all evening - this "Emmy Idol" and until now I have just used this time to refill my wine glass, but I am compelled to watch Macy Gray try and resuscitate her career - Chris calls her the gentle giant

Jewel's snaggletooth cousin, Patricia Arquette arrives on stage with rollers still in her hair

FINALLY someone new wins - JJ Abrams for "Lost"

you know when they show ads for new prescription drugs - and there is a disclaimer at the bottom saying that this product may cause drowsiness and oily discharge - well this telecast should have the same disclaimer

John Stewart is a funny man and Desperate takes an Emmy

start watching Arrested Development - funny comments from the writers who keep winning for a show that no one watches!

YAWN - all evening I have avoided calls from my mother (caller ID) and finally I am so bored by this telecast that I am compelled to answer her 3rd attempt - I am surprised to hear that she is drinking a beer - (her 4th this decade) - the Emmys are on in the background - go figure

a lovely tribute - to an unsung hero - the Anchorman

I am considering opening a second bottle of wine

a very funny Conan O'Brien gives an Emmy to Felicity Huffman - a Desperate upset - I actually sit up for the first time in over an hour!! YiPPiE!!

wow - an Arquette upset - note to self - only tune in for the last half hour of these things

and Tony Shaloub (whom went to high school with my Aunt - go Green Bay) wins an Emmy - more importantly Ray Romano didn't!

Nik Katopodis - opps I mean Jimmy Spader wins - thanking his mom for sitting thru the sex and weirdness - huh??

Another upset - LOST wins for dramatic series - a personal fav - I am thrilled - watch this show!!

Apparently somebody STILL loves Raymond - they take home an Emmy for Comedy for the LAST time - AMEN!!

and it is over as awkwardly as it began - we have made it thru another year!

a personal prediction for next year - "Breaking Bonaduce" will sweep it!

like I have always said - "I watch it - so you don't have too" and you are VERY welcome, 'cause this one was painful

much love,
Mrs E reporting from NYC

List of Winners at 57th Annual Emmy Awards

Quotes From the 57th Annual Emmy Awards

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Big in Japan?

I've been posting over at Warren Ellis' THE ENGINE recently, where I can usually be found talking about manga. I've let a few things "slip" over the last few days and never have I gotten more e-mail from creators, fans and news sites looking for info and updates, all regarding certain manga and anime endeavors I'm involved in. Well, I can't give too much away just yet, but here's a quick tease as traffic on this blog now seems to be booming...

Long Overdue SHIKI Update

Congrats to João, who has now set up a small studio outside of Lisbon with his friends Venâncio, Nuno and Tércio. Four amazing artists working together and driving each other to new creative heights can only lead to wonderful things for the art world! I just hope there's a couch so I have somewhere to crash when I visit.

Our work continues on SHIKI, which we're now thinking of launching in late spring/early summer 2006. It's a seasonal based story that we want to coincide with the weather outside the reader's window, so when it's Autumn and there are leaves falling off the trees outside, the same seasonal changes are affecting Saya and Piko in the pages of the comic. João has some amazing logo designs done with "the four seasons" symbolism in mind and we've started talking about having T-shirts made because I think they'll easily sell once people see them. I'll keep you posted...

Lastly, here's a new SHIKI image for you, a little different this time around. As you've been treated to only images of Saya and Piko so far, it's now time to start showing you more of the world of SHIKI. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I Hate Time Warner Cable!

I lost cable and internet access for two days! Not internet, no e-mail and no blogging! And whenever I called TWC for updates, no one could help or tell me what was wrong, just that "my neighborhood has been affected". One of the customer service people even actually tried to sell me a business plan instead as he promised I would not experience any blackouts and would be guaranteed better service. Man, did I get pissed! I asked him how this was possible if there was an "area wide outage" and if he was implying that if I paid more they could've had my service back hours ago. When he stubmbled over his answers, I asked to speak with his manager, who was polite and apologized for her junior associate. She was finally able to give me the details of the problem, but I still had to wait 13 more hours for them to fix it and get my service back up and running.

My apologies to anyone waiting for an e-mail or response from me.

All kinds of posts on there way here soon, with updates on Limonchiello, a few new upcoming comic projects, some writing thoughts, and some new art.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Continued DRAINing

Some art to carry you through the weekend...

Let Them Do Their Thing

Let your characters write themselves.

That's one of the first pieces of advice a writer will always give you. We've all heard it. Some people think it's cliche, but for me, it's true. To really write a character, you have to understand that character and the character does start living a life of it's own in your stories that you simply start documenting. One of my favorite stories about this is the one Bendis tells about that issue of Ultimate Spider-Man where Aunt May goes to see the psychiatrist. Bendis totally wrote that for himself as an exercise to get into the character's mind to better understand her and her feelings for Peter in order to help drive future Spider-Man stories. It eventually got drawn and printed and became one of the most well-received issues of that series ever. By getting inside her mind, he let her tell her story.

When I write, I usually write in my head. I plot out a story and break it down mentally first. Then I write it all down, refine it, and send it in for approval. Once approval comes, I take into account any changes and then start writing the issue page by page, with dialogue, in my head. I know it's a strange way to work, and sometimes this may take a little longer to get a script out of me, but I'm a terrible typist and don't like sitting down to start before I know what I'm going to put on every page. It's at this mental stage that the characters write themselves into my stories. I flesh out their dialogue and walk them through the issue in my mind's eye first. So writing a script for me is basically transcribing their words and actions from my head.

Earlier this week I was working on a short story with a character I knew pretty well and I had her story all worked out in my head. Or at least I thought I did. But as I was sitting there typing it out, her story changed! I got to page four of the script and the character took me in a completely different direction than I had originally mapped out in my head. It was really odd as that is usually not the way I work. She was being a rebellious teen and even though I tried to push the story back in the direction I originally intended, a direction both the editor and artist had approved when I pitched it, she wouldn't go. So consequences be damned, I went with it. As I sat there at the keyboard, I let this young lady change the path of her story for me. Some of the things she did surprised me. I questioned myself at times, but went with it. And you know what? It came out better for it. I'm much happier with the this new version of the story than I am with the version I had originally planned. So are the artist and editor.

Sometimes you just have to let them go, I guess.

Time's Crushing Down On Me

I'm having that problem with time again. Too many things to do, too little time to do them. I thought I had it under control for a while there, but pressure has built again. It's all a matter of prioritizing, I know, but I'm finding it more difficult as time goes on. I'm being asked to pitch more and more and offers are coming in from places I didn't expect. I've had to focus and figure out what I really want to do, what I really want to write, and that's lead me to turn down a few offers I would have really liked to pursue. I hope I didn't burn any bridges doing by turning the work away, and I don't think I did as the people seemed cool about it, but even though I hate doing it, sometimes I just have to say"no". It's a hard thing to do, but I'm learning to deal with it.

I'm late on a script for one of my editors (Sorry, John! It's coming.) and shouldn't even be writing this, but I needed a break.

I've been trying to keep better track of where my time goes over the course of a day and I realized that e-mail eats up a lot of it. I love to keep in touch with people, but it really does take up an inordinate amount of my time. I hate shooting off quick one or two line answers and try to personalize every note, but I'm going to have to start rethinking that. I'd say I sent over a hundred e-mails a day, and even then I don't get back to everyone.

People keep teling me I should start IMing instead. Are they crazy?! Do you know how much time I would waste on that?!

Superman Returns Teaser

Although this is a fake, fan-made trailer, splicing together all the Superman Returns footage we've already seen on the net, it's really well done and got me a bit more excited for the film. This takes you right to the Quicktime file:

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Don't Mess With Lotto

It was the freakin' call of the wild right here on the Upper West Side!

Thanks, Pat!

I promised regular Chesterfest reader Patrick McGrath I'd throw him a public shout-out for having me over to his place for a party this past Friday night. I made the trek out across the river to Queens without incident this time and was able to spend the evening with some cold drinks and cool people. Thanks again, guys!

Friday, September 02, 2005