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Hey Kids!

So did you guys figure out what you’re going to be for Halloween yet? Having trouble deciding on a costume? Worried that all the good costumes will be gone? And then you’ll have to go to that party as a bed-sheet ghost and try to convince everyone that you’re not a member of the KKK? AGAIN.

Well, worry no more, chum.

Now, through great scientific and technological advances, you too can be the life of the party when you wear the GO FRANK GO MASK™! With the GO FRANK GO MASK™, you can:

1. Pretend to be a writer!
2. Repulse women!
3. Have low self-esteem!
4. Master self-deprecation and sarcasm!
5. Get a dog!
6. Have parents that think you’re gay!
7. Hate and complain about everything!
8. Never have sex again!
9. Drink alone!
10. And cry yourself to sleep every night!

WARNING: Side effects of wearing the GO FRANK GO MASK™ may include nausea, vomiting, headaches, heartburn, hair loss, diarrhea, dry mouth, water retention, painful rectal itch, hallucination, dementia, psychosis, coma, death, jazz hands, halitosis, lung cancer, mental retardation, brain tumors, paralysis, sleep loss, internal bleeding, internal combustion, spontaneous human combustion, jock itch, an addiction to cocaine, heroin, and Windex, osteoporosis, claustrophobia, acne, playing Everquest II, regular PMS, the inability to use proper English in an online environment, athlete’s foot, inability to breathe oxygen, a sudden urge to watch the Chinese version of Friends, migraines, diabetes, deafness, wedgies, dying alone and making Baby Jesus cry.

(In all seriousness though, if anyone out there actually prints off the GO FRANK GO MASK™, send me a picture of yourself or your friends and loved ones wearing it and I’ll post them on the blog!)


Hey kids,

After, quite litterally, YEARS of plotting and scripting, lettering and editing, my book — Punch-Up — has finally seen print!

Peeing my pants with delight,

Hey kids,

I’ve just got a quick question for you guys.

As most of you know, I’ve written an Original Graphic Novel, called Punch-Up. We – my artist, David Brame and I – are getting severely close to pitching the book to publishers and there’s been something nagging me about our book.

From the beginning, as a professional music appreciator, I wanted to include a soundtrack with the book. As I wrote the script, I would arrange which songs would accompany the scenes I was writing. It was almost instinctual, you know, to use music to perfectly compliment the emotion I was trying to get across. I wrote the script more like a movie script than a comic book script so, I guess, it was only natural to include a soundtrack.

Now, soundtracks have been used several different ways in the comics industry.

Craig Thompson sold CDs of an original score along with his epic comic autobiography, Blankets. Chynna Clugston included little black caption boxes in the page corners of her series, Blue Monday, with the song title and artist’s name in white letters. Jim Mahfood listed several artists, songs, and albums that could be played while reading his work right on the title page of his story, to be played in any way you saw fit. Corey S. Lewis dedicated a page at the end of his book, Sharknife, as a list of songs and at which pages numbers they should be played. B. Clay Moore lists the songs he listed to while writing – or thought would sound good with his work – on his blog.

I’ve always planned on going the Blue Monday route, dropping the songs in on the pages or scenes they should be played at, but now I’m not so sure.

Do you think it would be distracting to the story, to have a caption box every couple pages devoted to the soundtrack? Would you rather have the complete track listing on a separate page or blog? Or do you think that it’s stupid to even include a soundtrack and just let people listen to what they want while reading?

Let me know what you think. I want your opinions.

Music is my hot hot sex.

Hey kids,

I’m sitting at home, in my comfy chair that’s positioned directly in front of my coffee table, where my laptop sit, a movie plays on the television strategically placed in my direct eye-line. I look down, I see my fingers clumsily mashing keys on the keyboard. I look up and I’m watching on of the best films I’ve seen all year, and this has been an amazing year for films.

I’m watching – shamelessly, for the third time this week – The Brothers Bloom.

Now, most good films have one of two effects on me: they either make me feel like I never want to write another word myself because I know I could never write anything as truly astonishing as what I have just witnessed or they make me want to write feverishly and neglect my other basic needs, like food or sleep. This film had the latter effect, so bear with me as a ramble.

The Brothers Bloom is an extraordinary return to what movies used to be: poignant and profound, humorous and heart-warming, elegant and exciting. It’s confidence men and their marks, it’s train rides and chases around the world, it’s good guys who aren’t really good guys and bad guys who are really bad guys, it’s shadowy figures and double-crosses, it’s Darringers up the sleeve and cackle bladders, it’s stylish suits and bowler hats. It’s 113 minutes of everything I could ever want in a movie. It’s a story whose biggest special effect is – gasp – story.

The story, for those who’ve never seen it, is about two brothers – that grew up playing the confidence game – who decide on one last big con and one last mark, a girl, who complete need for adventure and excitement – along with her random expertise – cleverly unravels their carefully thought-out plans at every turn.

The brothers are exceptionally portrayed by Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody, two actors whose work I have greatly admired for some time now. Rachel Wiesz is their agoraphobic-yet-action-starved mark. And Rinko Kikuchi is their mostly mute explosives expert “fifth Beatle,” Bang Bang.

Ah, Bang Bang.

Good God, I wish I could write a character like Bang Bang. A character who has, at most, three lines in the entire film yet says more with her facial expressions and background gestures than most characters do in entire films.

There is nothing about this film that betrays itself. The script was methodically written, to the point where it just doesn’t seem fair that someone was else be smart or clever enough to have written it. The acting is suburb. Every shot could be a work of art. And the score is a wonderful mixture of childlike whimsy and haunting, aching beauty.

I felt the same way watching The Brothers Bloom as I did the first time – and, well, each and every time after that – I saw The Princess Bride; completely awe-inspired. My eyes were wide, trying to take in every minute detail, every vivid color. My mouth was open, attempting to speak but only uttering giggles of joy and wonder. When I see a film this good, I am a child again. The only thing missing from the film was a sword fight.

I like sword fights.

To be honest, I have only one regret with this film and that’s that I didn’t see it in theater but, to be fair, that’s not the film’s fault.

Y’see, I don’t really watch movies, I experience them.

I know that sounds like a completely pretentious douchebag thing to say, but hear me out.

When I watch a film, especially in a darkened theater on a larger than life screen, I get sucked into the film. I’m not just some guy sitting in an uncomfortable seat, eating stale popcorn, wishing the kid in front of me would stop talking on his cell phone. I become a part of the film.

When I watch a film, it’s more like I am an invisible character in that film; a ghost experiencing everything the other characters are, but am unable to say or do anything to change the outcome of the story’s events.

I’ve been told that, when watching a film, especially in a theater, I twitch and jerk in my seat as the action progresses, as if the sword were in my hand or I was the one swinging on a rope to safety from the burning building or being riddled with bullets.

I’m not sure why exactly I’m sharing all of this with you; the way I watch movies and whatnot. It’s just another useless factoid I record and publish on this blog for whoever may be interested to see.

All I know is I need to stop watching really good movies right before work, because I’m sitting at the circulation desk at the library, serving its patrons, and my fingers are quite literally itching with the need to write.

There’s no such thing as an unwritten life; just a poorly written one.”

Hey kids,

So over the past week, as most of you are well aware, the news media has been completely over-saturated with stories about the Balloon Boy and his incredibly Munchausen-by-proxy family. I mean, there were already Balloon Boy T-shirts printing up the very next day.

I don’t really want to extend the Heene Family’s fifteen minutes of infamy any longer, but I thought I would have a little fun with the story before it – hopefully – dies.

(Plus, I thought my friend, Justin Shady, would have had his say on the events already but that is apparently not the case.)

A few days ago I was quite board and needed a quick and easy project to work on that wasn’t writing or editing a script, so I hopped on Google Image, snagged a couple of photos and threw them through the Photoshop wringer.

Granted, this was a fairly quick job and, had I wanted to waste any more time looking at these lunatics’ faces, it probably would have come out a little better, but I give you the complete first season DVD cover of Balloon Boy.

Hope ya dig. Either way, it’s been a week; let’s throw Richard Heene in jail and fine the hell out of his family and forget this incident ever happened.

I did it for the blog,

Hey kids,

Yeah, yeah. I know. ‘God, is that fat, lazy-ass “writer” gonna ask us for another favor? I’m not reading another one of his crappy short stories.’

Well… yeah. I am going to ask you for another favor, but it’s a fun favor. Honest.

I want to turn you – yes, you – into a comic book character. That’s right! Each and every one of you could be immortalized in a comic book!

Will you be a superhero, flying high above the Earth, defending the innocent from the evil-doers? Or a down-on-his-luck detective who uncovers a seedy plot that leads all of the way up to the presidency? How about a futuristic gladiator who must fight off a horde of robotic lions in order to win his freedom?

Well, um, no.

Basically, you’re comic book character would be… you.

Y’see, I’m currently working on a new script that’s about a concert documentary, of sorts. What I’m looking for are random people – real people – who don’t mind having their names and likenesses used in a comic – to use as minor characters in the book.

No, chances are you won’t be the breakout main character of the story, although, one or two of you might have slightly larger roles than the others. Most of the people I choose will appear once, maybe twice, as a fan interview or something. Don’t expect to be in more than a few panels or a page or two.

If you want to be a comic book character, I will need your name, a photograph of yourself – for the yet-to-be-announced artist – and, lastly, I will need to know what level of involvement you’re comfortable with. Don’t worry. I won’t name a character after you and say something like, “I, Joe Blow, am a complete and total douchebag,” but if you don’t mind being a sarcastic and/or jerky character, that’s something I can work with.

(To be completely honest with you, there’re two reasons I want to put you in this book. The first being, of course, that I like to throw my friends into my work. Makes ‘em feel special, you know? The second is because I’m pretty anal – like, really anal – and, even if I’m only using a character for a few pages or panels, I will write out complete back-stories for them. Having a real person already in mind for that scene saves me that headache.)

So, yeah, if you love concerts and music or have always wanted the fame and adoration that comes with being associated with comics — *cough, cough* — leave me a comment, send me an email, gimme a call, or come over to my house.

(Please don’t come to my house.)

See you in the funny books. Hopefully, pretty soon.

There’s one thing I’ve never understood about porn – well, I don’t understand porn in general, but I digress – any time, in movies or on television or even when making fun of porn with your friends, the two go-to scenarios are the pizza delivery boy and the plumber.

I kind of get the pizza delivery boy premise, the handsome young delivery boy lucking into the house with the horny young woman – women – who just can’t afford the large one-topping.

Evening, ma’am. I got a large sausage for you, hot and juicy.

Oh, I don’t think I have enough money to give you a tip.

That’s OK. I’ll give YOU the tip…

… and the shaft!

You know?

I get that. Hot and juicy satisfaction, deliverer in 30 minutes or less.

But I never really bought the whole plumber idea.

Here’s why:

Thursday night, I came home from work only to discover that the drain in my hot water-heater closet had backed up and flooded my dining room. Again.

I called my landlord early Friday morning and they said that maintenance would be out to my apartment by eleven that morning.

They ended up knocking on my door around one thirty that afternoon.

After bumbling around for half an hour, they told me that they found used diaper wipes and leftover macaroni in the drain. Best guess, the neighbor next door, whose kitchen sink drains into the same pipes as my own, had been literally shoving her garbage down the disposal.

The maintenance guys told me they’d have a plumber out to my place within the hour to clear out the clog better and then they’d be back to clean up my soaked carpet with the wet-vac, and call in the carpet cleaners to steam clean my ruined carpet.

Three o’clock came and went and no one showed up at my apartment. I figured they we just late like they were the first time they were supposed to show up.

At five o’clock, I called my landlord again, and she told me that they were working on another job, just down the street from me, but they would be there that night.

Which I get. Believe me, I get.

Back when I was doing freelance and commissioned artwork, anytime someone would want to hire me to draw a portrait or something, I would tell them that I had two or three other jobs I was already working on, even if my schedule was clear. That way, if I was ever late finishing a piece for whatever reason, I could say “The other piece ran long.”

By ten o’clock, I decided they weren’t going to fix my carpets and turned in for the night.

And that’s why I never bought that go-to plumber story line in most pornos.

‘Cause I was waiting there, like, all day in my sexiest, sluttiest lingerie and nobody came by and offered to snake my drain.