Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Date From Hell

A quick announcement:

Fantasy artist extraordinaire Wayne Barlowe has just been confirmed as our esteemed guest at this year's Big Apple Comic-Con National Show! Mr. Barlowe will be signing to promote his just-released first novel, God's Demons, which is highly recommended and in stock now. Inspired by Milton's Paradise Lost, the book tells the story of the demon Sargatanas, exiled from Heaven eons ago. His dream of returning leads him to amass an army of human damned and demons to aid him in overthrowing Lucifer's regent, Beelzebub, in an attempt to catch God's eye and achieve redemption.

If you're familiar with Mr. Barlowe's art (and if not you oughta get familiar; it's phenomenal) you'll know that demons and Hell are his forte, especially so in the masterful Barlowe's Inferno (a graphic adaptation of the Dante classic). Hence, if that stuff's your thing, I think you should check Wayne's book out. Then I think we need to get the two of you together. How about at a comic book convention in NYC on a Saturday? Saaaay... November 17th? I'm thinking 2ish? Cool? Then it's a date. He'll bring the Roylance Guide and you'll eat and read.

Jellyfist - by Jhonen Vasquez & Jenny Goldberg. First, here's the publisher's solicitation:

"Barely conscious and muttering to himself, Jhonen Vasquez grabbed a fishbone and scrawled on the side of a cat a series of surrealist scripts never meant to be read by anyone. Two thousand miles away, J. Goldberg hears these very scripts whispered to her in her sleep by her pet ferret, devoid of any real direction beyond the dialog. Goldberg awakens to find that she has illustrated these scenes. In Jellyfist, two artists battle with interpretation - however absurd the intent or outcome - with running commentary from the creators on just how wrong or right it's all gone. The first book published as a result of ferret-aided, carved-kitten-transmitted telepathy, Jellyfist's collection of highly important nonsense just might change your opinion of almost all known things. This full-color comic will have production values and bindings far beyond what the content would dictate."
Having witnessed firsthand how Jhonen Vasquez' work (beginning with nigh on hundreds of printings of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squee, Filler Bunny, and his TV show Invader Zim) gains a new and ever vast audience year after year, project after project, I can say with impunity that: Wow. Wow. Like "acceptable losses" in a war, there seems to be a never-draining pool of replacement army of Vasquez fans. Now while these new ranks are always aged around, say sixteen to eighteen and of a certain darkish demeanor and sarcastic humor, they are drawn to it in loving droves. To say that Orson Welles was a hungry guy would be an understatement.

To say Vasquez fans dig his comics is the ultimate understatement. And that's just swell. That's terrific. The guy's produced but a handful of comics in the last fifteen years or so, and yet there's still an audience for it. Moreover there's a perpetually burgeoning audience for the work. And while there's something to be said for the Bart Simpson quote, "Making teenagers depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel," there're a few irrefutable truths here. Kids buy comics, dammit: even though the publisher has no dough to spend on mass market advertising, their customers come to the material through generational word of mouth -- one older brother or sister's old comics become the younger's new hotness, or the hip kids who were juniors or seniors devoured this and yesterday's frosh mimic in turn. Pass on your passion, in this case COMICS, and you can affect the universe. And, if you're the author, find your artistic voice and rock it.

X-Men #204 - Wow. Gambit and Rogue snogging on the cover of an X-Men comic. In 2007. The more things change the more they stay the same, huh? I smell a Xavier Institute mutie baseball game coming soon. Sweet Jesus, where's my New X-Men Omnibus when I need it?

This week's Hugo Award Winning Novel?

The Gods Themselves - by Isaac Asimov. Need an abundant and efficient energy source in the year 2100? The invention of the Inter-Universe Electron Pump, derived from alien technologies from a parallel world, is the answer to all your energy woes, Humanity. Only problem is it affects the rate of hydrogen fusion in the sun, leading, inevitably, to the possibilty of an Earth-engulfing supernova. Kinda puts a cramp on your poker night. Energy's kinda like playing Black in Magic the gathering, folks. It's all about attrition.

P: She says she's the Gatekeeper, does that make any sense to you?
E: Some. I've just met the Keymaster. He's here with me now.
P: Oh, wonderful, we have to get these two together.

Have a Great Week,



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