Saturday, January 31, 2009

Trade Paper Back Cover and the Space Time Continuum

The actual cover for the Trade Paper Back version of the Helm is finally up on Amazon! Prior to this, the image displayed for the compilation was the cover of the first issue of the Helm.

Anyway, be sure to check it out. Bart Sears' art is really incredible. Follow this link to check it out:

For those of you who are following this blog on Amazon, DON'T CLICK THE LINK! You will be caught in an endless feedback loop that will likely fracture the space/time continuum, Star Trek-style. Well, Next Generation Star Trek-style anyway. Those guys could sneeze and fracture the space/time continuum. So, be careful! Click responsibly.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Comic Based Movies & the Helm

Hey everybody, there's a new interview about the Helm up at Crave Online. You can check it out at

Dante Maddox, who was kind enough to conduct the interview, raised an interesting question about the number of comics being made into movies and the impact that's having on both comics and movies. It seems like everyone has seen Batman, Iron Man, Wanted, Hellboy and a half dozen other comics based films--whether they're into comics or not.

I outline my feelings in the interview, but I'm curious how you all feel about it. Are there too many comics being adapted into films? Do films do justice to the comics they're based on? Is all of the attention just fueling a flash fire that will consequently burn out and potentially hurt the public's interest in comics? What do you think?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Ricardo Montalbán is dead.

I believe that everyone, everywhere, should observe his passing by walking out into the street and shouting, "KHAAAAAAAAAAANNNN!" at the sky, for somewhere above, Khan Noonien Singh is hovering in the stolen Enterprise, his pecs pumped beyond mortal proportions and clearly beyond the capacity of a man his age. Perhaps then, and only then, a Grumman Widgeon seaplane will be seen streaking across the blue vault of heaven, on its way to ferry the soul of Mr. Roarke back to Fantasy Island. I'm sure as he flies that one hand will rest sensually on the rich, Corinthian leather of the custom seats, another will gently pat the head of the ever-faithful-though-clearly-deranged Hervé Villechaize, a third will powerfully throttle the aging neck of William Shatner, while the fourth will steadfastly guide the plane along its appointed route.

Fly swift and true Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán Merino! You make up a disproportionate number of my memories for someone I never had the pleasure to have met.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

BroMance and Pineapple Express

First, the Helm TPB is currently at the printer! Whoo Hoo!

Second, I saw Pineapple Express last night on DVD and it makes me think that the Helm is a BroMance.

Instead of watching the DVD, I really probably should have been doing something more obviously constructive with my time, like paying my bills or sleeping, but instead I chose to enjoy myself. Ah, enjoying myself, the bane of my existence.

So, anyway, pretty funny movie. It was not really what I was expecting. I had heard it was funny and that it had Seth Rogen in it and that it was in some way about drugs, but that was all I knew. All of those things were true, but they didn't really prepare me for the experience, probably because the movie was so odd.

Without giving anything away, I will say that I really enjoyed the collision between realism and absurdity and the way the film seemed completely okay with the conflict between them and didn't seem to have any need to reconcile it.

Beyond that, the movie got me thinking about BroMance as a sub genre of stories.

The key factors that seem to me to identify the BroMance story are that it's about a relationship between two guys (a relationship which can't exactly be described as a "buddy" relationship but is extremely close) and the bulk of the female characters primarily serve as speed bumps and obstacles to the central male relationship.

Now, to be clear, I'm not talking about a romantic or sexual relationship between guys. There's a different name for that kind of Broke-Back-Mountain sort of film and it's not BroMance. But I am talking about a level of relationship that is deeper and odder than your standard Lethal-Weapon kind of buddy film. BroMances tend to be comedies, probably because it is difficult in our society to deal with intense and interesting relationships between guys. The relationships in BroMances tend to be filled with as much tension as camaraderie and are even sometimes more negative or fractious than they are positive. There is frequently a lot of fighting and physical abuse of the main characters--as if they are manifesting their emotional lumps externally.

Anyhow, I'd say that Pineapple Express qualifies as a BroMance, and it got me thinking that the Helm is a weird sort of BroMance between Mathew and the Helm. They bicker and fight, Mathew gets the daylights beat out of him, there are comic overtones. I hadn't really intended that when I started writing, but I'm happy with it now that I'm done. And, at the end of the day, that's what's really important here--that I'm happy with it, because everything is always about me, how I feel about things and the strange sort of BroMance I have with myself.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Years and Booby Traps

Happy 2009 to you all! Here's hoping it's a bit more upbeat in terms of economic, social and political stability!

Now that the altruistic stuff is out of the way, I'll get down to the bragging!

The Helm was just featured in a "Best of" press release by Dark Horse Comics. (I didn't use an exclamation point there, even though I wanted to.) The Helm was one of 16 books they singled out as having been singled out by critics for repeated praise during 2008. (Again, no exclamation point, even though it totally would have been warranted.) I like repeated praise. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling comparable to the sensation I get from wearing my new, warm and fuzzy house slippers that I just got for Christmas.

And why did I need new slippers, you may ask? Because my old ones are still in a box in my basement somewhere. Remember that Borg Cube of boxes containing 98% of my family's worldly possessions? Well, the boxes are still there, but they have de-cubed. They have become more amoeba-like over the weeks as we have raided them for various essential items. Now the basement is more like some kind of wickedly clever, booby trapped maze.

Booby trapped. A trap for boobies. Titter titter.

Ever wonder about the origin of the term booby trap? It was not, as it at first appears, coined by tittering fourteen-year-old boys, drunk on the possibility of capturing women's mammary glands for their own nefarious pleasure. No, it refers instead to traps for dumb people--you know, boobs. Boob, in this context, descends from the Spanish "bobo" which means stupid.

That other kind of boob descends (titter titter) from the Elizabethan word "bubbies."

One Elizabethan gentlman to another, "I say, Lord Dodderington, cast thine eyes upon yon bawd! Nice bubbies, what what?"

Lord Dodderington, "I'd fair foin that trollop! Dibs!!"