Sunday, April 30, 2006

too bogged to blog...

well, i'll TELL ya where i've been...

in trying to juggle writing the new perhapanauts series (which, just so's you know, we're calling "second chances", for a myriad of reasons...), writing a short spider-man/fantastic four job for marvel licensing, teaching an after-school course in story structure and comics, spending time with my dad, hiking with jake, and working a 9 to 5 helping my friend, jeff, re-build/re-design a beautiful kitchen (as i am sometimes wont to do...), i've just been too bogged to blog.

on the plus side, the next perhapanauts venture should be more exciting--and more surprising!--than ever! some cool things're gonna be happenin' to the haps and i can't wait for craig to draw it! and for rico to color it! and for you to read it! i think that the events of the next batch will be so unexpected that i'm tempted to add "all new! all different!" to the title! really!

as for what's cookin' here, well, here's where you loyal few (you know who you are...) who continued to check back after so long an absence get to say that it was worth the hopes that people will still buy the trade after they've seen 'em, craig and i have decided to post the incredible, awesome, beautiful pin-ups right here on the site for you to drool and gush over several months in advance! we count ourselves truly blessed to have gotten such nice pieces from such good friends and we really hope you dig 'em too!

so every couple of days, i'll be posting a new one for your kind perusal. you've already seen the gorgeous pin-up by our 'johnny raygun' pals, rich woodall and matt talbot (exquisitely colored by steve dillon of golden goat studios!), and the sketch version of ringo's introduction piece--i'll post rico's finished color version next time--so why not whet your appetites with this sweet david antoine williams number (also colored by rico!) of big comin' at ya!

hope ya dig it like we do!

talk to ya soon!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

dial-up hell


so i live in dial-up hell.
i live in an area so remote and rural that the advent of just about any other form of internet hook up is denied me. truth! calling my phone or cable companies for information and/or updates on when the 21st century will be arriving in our area is an exercise in frustration and inspiration to scribe a remake of that old tv series, "green acres". so i DO have to wait for it to connect each time i wanna go on-line. i wait for pages to download and sometimes attachments take forever...but i really love my house, where i live. it's great for me and perfect for jake. lots of room to run and explore. so, i'll continue to suck it up...and hope.

why'd i tell you that? well, to tell you this.
i don't like to spend a lot of time on-line. i probably would if it didn't take so frikkin' long. but it does and so i try to get in and out quickly and not waste so much time just WAITING!
but i realized just recently that the things that i DO wait for, that i DO apply more patience to, are primarily weird related. i will wait interminable lengths of time for a page to load if its going to reveal a cool new story about the isnashi. i'll sit in fervent anticipation if the site is going to relate to me a creepy "something-was-in-the-room-with-me" ghost story. have you ever noticed that? you can find a vast reserve of patience when the goal is something you're (borderline) obsessed with.

i can't always get the internet to work for me. i mean, i'm okay, but--and maybe this is 'cause i have feelings of inferiority due to my dial-up restrictions--there are some things i just can't do.
a friend recently sent me a 'funny' email which listed all of the various uses for the word "sh!t" and it was actually kinda funny. i say 'funny' 'cause i get a lot of 'funny' emails that aren't funny at all. and if i gotta wait for the email to load...oh, man. don't get me started. so it listed all the variations and, as i said, a couple of 'em were funny, but it reminded me of something else.
about 10 years ago or so, i heard a similar discourse on the word "f^@k". it was absolutely brilliant, funny, and voiced by the guy who used to do the narration on all those old film strips they used to show us in school from the 50's and 60's. it was even funnier because it was done with that voice that you immediately associate with authority and knowledge. it was about 3 minutes long and we made tapes of it and passed it around. with the entire internet at my disposal, you'd think that i could track it down again, but no such luck.
ah, well...i'll keep looking...

so, my apologies. i think i started out with an idea, but lost it somewhere along the way.
i blame the dial-up.

more on the perhapanauts, weird stuff, and the AWESOME artists we have doing pin-ups for us in the upcoming perhapanauts trade next time!

see ya soon!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

paranormal at about dot com


a while back i made a list of some of the weird, wild, paranormal, cryptid, unexplained phenomena websites that i've happened across in my insatiable quest for more weird, wild, paranormal, etc. junk to feed on. i listed several and they're all good, but the one that i keep coming back to is and particularly the YOUR TRUE TALES pages. this is the place i go to read stories rather than news reports and/or the latest scientific evidence. i'm a story person; love to read 'em, love to write 'em, love to tell 'em. but the real beauty of this section is that the incidents and experiences posted are written by real people. and you can tell! now, i'm not saying that they're all true; prob'ly not. but in the course of reading each and every submission, you get to choose whether you believe them or not. in some cases the author of a particular piece might come off bad. he (or she) is lying, you'll say. in others, you do that old "well, i believe that HE believes what he saw." and in others still--and they're not as rare as you might suspect--you ABSOLUTELY believe and it's the hairs standing up on the back of your neck that tell you you do.

granted some of them are well written, others passably so, and there are many that are so filled with spelling and grammatical errors that you'll literally wince...but i've found that that doesn't really play into my own psychic litmus test as i try to gauge who is sincere and who is makin' it all up. does the fact that somebody's a poor speller make their experience any less real? that they're really not a very good storyteller mean that something very bizarre didn't actually happen to them?
i think you can tell.

so go check a couple of 'em out when you have a chance. a couple of my favorites are "the dark scribble", "sinister being", and "it destroyed our lives" (this one is kinda long and filled with many of those wince-inducing errors, but i found myself thinking about it/spooked by it long after i logged off).

and while these are a mix of all manner of stories of the weird and unexplained, if you want to mainline on nothing but cryptid stories, check out the WEIRD CREATURES pages. i love "the dump creature" story and there's one in there, can't remember the title of it, but it had to do with three boys in a cabin being harassed by...something...outside.

check 'em out.
and as always, if YOU'VE got a story of something weird to share, send it in. we're dyin' to hear it.

take care~~

Monday, April 03, 2006

hey, that reminds me...

reading rich's tale below, reminds me of something that happened to me...

years ago, too many to want to admit to, i used to work with mentally and emotionally disabled kids (that's the current pc--the term then was mentally retarded). it was, looking back, a dream job and i can't begin to tell you how much i grew and learned from those kids and their take on things. great memories, great times. they were great!

this was a residential school for mostly educable kids and at some point someone had the bright idea to put me in charge of the small disorganized boy scout troop that had floundered along over the years. (i can tell you now that i never did any better; it only continued to flounder under my care and beyond.) wanting it to be fair, i opened this up to all the boys and, being a bit of a magnet at the time (i was young. to them todd=fun!), we ended up with about 15 young men and boys who, if nothing else, looked great in their uniforms.

mostly this was just an excuse for all of us to get out of the dorms once a week for some laid back male bonding.

my co-captain for this activity was my friend, rolf, who got a job 'cause i recommended him and because his father, my theater teacher, told me i'd better. rolf was a big guy, muscular, and always-smiling, and he had a great rapport with the kids. we were great friends on and off-campus and decided at halloween time that the best thing that we could do was take the boys hiking at a nearby lake and tell ghost stories around a fire, making smores and drinking hot chocolate. the next thought--and remember WE were very young ourselves here--was to get a great big pumpkin, hollow it out from the bottom, carve it with a really scary face, and leave it stashed behind the lean-to nearby. then, as i came to the part of the story where the vengeful farmer replaced his missing head with a jack-o-lantern, rolf, who would have slipped away just as the kids were at the edge's of their seats, would step out and scare the bejeezus out of 'em.

(i will note here that, in light of ALL the various definitions and forms of abuse that are flying around out there these days, this was not abuse. at the time there was a strong movement within the mental health community to "normalize" kids like these and expose them to all the same things that regular kids their age--mental and physical--would be exposed to. we cleared it with our supervisor, the ghost stories...although maybe we neglected to tell her EVERY, about the pumpkin head... anyway, these kids were ASKING for it! literally. they WANTED to be scared, BEGGED us to scare them, and, in our defense, we did leave the two boys we thought wouldn't be able to handle it back at the school.)

so we pack up the scouts, pack up the snacks, get the fire going, and start out with a couple spook stories of the tame/lame variety, rolf periodically snapping his head around to peer out into the dark as if he heard something. some of the more observant kids noticed, but when they asked him rolf would just reply with, "nothing."

then we got to the story of the night, the final story, the one everybody was waiting for...heh, heh, heh...
though i can easily picture all the guys faces intently listening in the flickering firelight, the ones i remember best were our two littlest ones, martin and jay, who were probably 10 or 11 at the times, but much more "with it" than the other guys. they were across from me and more worried about being scared than actually being scared. y'know what i mean?

so, i launched into the story and got serious right away, making references to local farms and landmarks to add the extra touch of realism. rolf had removed himself to the back of the group, mocking concern for one of the boys who he teased was getting scared. as i built the suspense i kept trying to catch rolf's eye to motion him around back to don the pumpkin head and put the icing on the cake. but everytime i tried to get him, he looked away, or looked back at me quizzically, "what?" i dragged the story out, trying to quickly invent an ending where i hadn't originally needed one. i droned on and on.

just when i was becoming exasperated with my own story and rolf's apparent stupidity...the pumpkin head stepped out from behind the lean-to--behind me!--and stopped my story mostly because my heart had leapt to my throat! he raised his arms and i saw most of the boys leap straight up into the air and begin running before they ever touched the ground. i swear. you've seen this in cartoons--all the best toons can do it. fred flinstone, wile e., homer. i saw this happen. 10 or 11 boys lift off and begin running back to the van. the only two who stayed were our littlest, martin and jay, rooted in their seats, their eyes wide, the fronts of their boy scout pants suddenly going dark.

i was up, of course, and moving away, but ran into rolf who was laughing and laughing as he grabbed me. the pumpkin head took off his pumpkin head and it was my brother, jeff, eager to play a part when rolf called him that afternoon and wanted to turn the trick. excellent.

we caught up with the rest of the boys back at the van and martin and jay, now in on the gag, were thrilled when pumpkin head returned to terrorize the van once we were all inside. (the best part; in the dark and the turmoil, none of the other guys noticed martin and jay had wet their pants. we sat them on some towels and snuck them back inside when we got back to the school.)

and if you're still thinking that on some level this was wrong...
...the following year they begged--BEGGED!!--to get a visit from the pumpkin head again...

sorry that was so long.
thanks for stickin' with me.