Thursday, December 18, 2008

Diamond 300, More Snow, The Final Cover

The Helm #4 made it onto the Diamond top 300 list for November, which pleased me all out of proportion with being number 268. I don't know when the list came out, but I just stumbled across it today. Well, stumbled very purposefully, as in I was actively checking for it.

Anyway, we've had more snow here--although we somehow avoided the apocalyptic ice storm the weathermen were predicting for us. Based on what they said, people stayed home from work in droves on Wednesday, but then nothing materialized. Turned out to be a really nice day even with some decent flurries of snow. Today was pretty much more of the same. The biggest trouble has been that the scaredy cat schools have cancelled out every day this week, leaving lots of parents struggling to work little people into their work schedules. Our two little people generously prevented almost anything productive from happening this week--all while remaining perfectly delightful.

And then, this afternoon, my editor at Dark Horse sent over a proof of the finished cover for the Trade Paper Back collection of the Helm. It's not much changed from the one I was gushing over yesterday--except that now it has the title and the logo and the tag line and all that good stuff. I expect they'll start posting it to the various websites advertising the book pretty soon so that they can replace the current posting which shows the cover of the first comic rather than the cover of the book. What that means is that, hopefully, you'll get to see the cover for yourselves soon and judge whether it looks good for yourselves.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Days and the Helm TPB Cover

So, I'm at work today! Hooray!

Yesterday I couldn't make it in because of snow. Not a lot of snow, mind you, just a couple of inches--but here in Portland, Oregon, two inches is enough to shut down the town. So, school was out and buffoons were skidding into parked cars and smashing up real estate. It was chaos.

Anway, I had to put chains on the car to make it in today--the city was requiring them--but it was worth it because the cover art for the Helm trade paper back was waiting for me in my email! What with the Helm series being finished up for a while now, I haven't seen any new art from Bart in months and I've been going through withdrawal. So, this was a good fix. And it's really pretty. I can say that, with italics and everything, because I didn't draw it, so it's not bragging.

Also, thanks to everyone who's been writing in and saying they want more Helm! I'm all for more Helm too! If you are feeling really proactive about it, go ahead and send your emails directly to Dark Horse. You could cc me if you want.

Okay, I think that's it for now except that we're expecting more snow tomorrow. That should shut the town down for a month.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Chuck Action, The Helm Trade Paper Back and a Shout Out to Gloria!

Last night I had to catch up on a few episodes of Chuck that I've missed over the past few weeks. I was up until 2:00 am. I didn't feel that kind of devotion was out of line because I love the show Chuck (I think the character is nice too, but I don't feel any kind of romantic spark between us--nor with the wonderful actor, Zachary Levi--although I think he's great as Chuck). Anyway, I think the show is really funny and smart and charming and I am highly likely to keep watching it as long as they keep making it, even if I have to stay up really late to do it.

But (and there's always a but) they really need to do a better job of directing their action scenes. The clumsy action direction started pretty early on--remember episode #2, Chuck versus the Helicopter? And it's still going strong (or weak, to be more accurate) think episode #24, Chuck versus the Sensei.

Now this clumsiness is kinda weird. It's consistent enough that you'd figure there was maybe one really clever dialogue and relationship director in charge of the whole thing and he/she just wasn't that great at action--except that there are at least five different directors credited on the series and each of them has directed at least one episode with at least one really bad action sequence. And yet, based on their other credits, they seem to be pretty competent directors. Hmmm. Also, between the five credited directors, there are only fourteen shows listed--but, there are twenty four episodes produced and aired so far. Where are the other ten episodes/directors? If I was the intersect, I could figure that out just by looking at the line I just finshed typing. Unfortunately, I still have to use Google to find stuff out--just like everyone else on earth (Google Earth).

Okay. So after searching, I discovered that you can find them--guys like David Solomon who directed episode #5 of season one, Chuck versus the Sizzling Shrimp, but they aren't listed as Series Directors. Maybe that's because they've only directed single episodes? Like susbstitute teachers? Or is there some other, darker, more mysterious reason? Probably not. Or is there?

Regardless, there pretty much hasn't been any really stellar action directing on the show, whether it's a series director in charge or a substitute--and some of it has been really darn flat. Not that it derails the show for me. Like I said, I love that show.

In an attempt to be fair, I will now invite the creators of Chuck to read the Helm and criticize the things that I do poorly and/or defend what is going on with the direction of action on their show. I mean, who am I to criticize without knowing all of the issues? Well, I'll tell you who I am. I'm me, and even I can tell that the action is clumsy on Chuck.

Okay, enough Chuck.

I was just looking at a mockup of the front and back cover for the Helm Trade Paperback! The cover art's not in from Bart yet, but the mockup is looking pretty cool. I would buy it, if I was me. Which I am. It's cool to have all of the issues collected together--and it's also nice that the four "chapters" will have the titles of each of the issues in the series (which aren't printed on the actual issues because they were imaginatively titled Issue #1 and so on). I mean, I don't know if the titles being there will be nice for anyone else, but I appreciate it because of how I went to all the trouble of coming up with titles for each issue.

I also want to take this blog entry to say "hi" to Gloria.