Tag Archives: comics

The Best?

Otto is still hurting, and there isn't much I can do about it. His pain killers make a huge difference, and time is the other necessary ingredient. He's sleeping under my feet as I type this. Walking around hurts, but he feels better afterward. We're going to take all of them for a walk after supper.

I got up early again, and this time I tackled the last beta edit for The Enhanced League. When everyone got up, it looked as though I wouldn't finish. It involved some big changes. The riskiest of which was to cut one story from the manuscript and move it. This is because I can't read a calendar, and the book goes in calendar order. I must have checked it three times myself, and six out of seven beta readers missed it too. Thank God for the seventh one.

The way this year has gone, I want to whisper this, but “I finished!” This isn't the end, yet. I need to read it a couple more times, before sending it to my formatter, but this is a major hurdle.

We got away for a few hours today and saw Wonder Woman. We have several movies we wanted to see, and I let my wife choose. She chose well.

I've been reading or watching superheroes since the 1960s. I watched the Adam West Batman when it was originally broadcast. I saw Superman, with Christopher Reeve in the theater. (Actually watched the old Superman series in black and white, but they were reruns.)

I've been at about all the superhero movies since then; Avengers, Spiderman, Batman, X-Men, etc. Some of them are amazing surprises, like Ant Man, or the first Ghostrider. Some of them just don't get there for me. I've even watched the pseudo superheroes, like Zorro, Lone Ranger, and The League of Extrordinary Gentlemen.

Having qualified my viewing credentials, I think I'm ready to call it: Wonder Woman is the best superhero movie I've ever seen. Let the teeth gnashing begin.

I checked some reviews. The reviews are polarizing. The reviewer either feels as I do, or it's the worst movie ever. This smacks of an old bitch that's been around forever, Marvel fanboys. If it isn't Marvel, it must be destroyed at all costs.

Marvel owns the superhero world right now. They've done fantastic things, and will do more. I love them, but it doesn't mean other great characters aren't out there, or that someone else can't pull this off. DC is famous for trotting out terrible movies based upon their characters, but this time they got it right.

Gal Gadot is a perfect Wonder Woman. She is beautiful enough, and I applaud DC in going with someone who wasn't a mainstream actress. Maybe they learned their lesson with Halley Berry. I like the idea that she looks athletic, but still female. They could have gone for a body builder, but stuck more with the track star physique.

She did a fine job too. When she smiles it lights up the theater. When she's supposed to be pissed, she looks pissed. No botoxed to death face here.

Chris Pine was great too. He is the bigger name, and could have taken over. He played the supporting role well. He may not remain the bigger name, but remember casting this one happened before Dawn of Justice.

There were some things, there always are. I saw the twist coming a mile away. I also don't recall the big reveal about Diana's parentage, and I subscribed to the comic for years. I'll call it poetic license and let it be.

I like the idea that Diana's mission was basically a hit job. She actually killed the guy with a sword too. There's no sugar coated girly cheesecake here. The fact that this kind of story is a hit with fans makes me feel a lot better about my next book.

My next work is going to be called The Hat. It's all outlined, but still needs a few things. It's going to be a paranormal buddy story with shades of Deathwish and Deadpool. If Diana can ventilate the bad guy, I think I'm on solid ground.

Tonight I'm having the last of my morels over a nice ribeye. Maybe I'll crack open a nice porter too. Hope everyone had a great weekend.


Filed under Writing

Welcome to Hell Bent, Pennsylvania, on Lisa Burton Radio

Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today's show is all about hybrids.

Today's sponsor is the Hell Bent series from Kayla Matt. This series is a hybrid in that it includes graphics along with the narrative. How cool is that?

My guest today is Travis Malone, and he's a hybrid of human and monkey. “Welcome to the show, Travis.”

“Hi! So…it turns out that your number’s, like, one digit away from the one for a local pizza place. Today’s been one of those stressful days with a ton of customers and running around to get everything done because we’re a little short-staffed today.. But my boss is a huge fan of yours, and I’m pretty sure this would make her freaking day, so HI!”

“As a hybrid, do you find it difficult being accepted by society at large?”

“Ooh…yeah, I’d have to think about that one. A lot of the people I spend time with treat me like I’m just a normal guy. But that’s only after I get to know ‘em, y’know? Sometimes, though, I’ll meet a new person and they start pulling my damn tail and wondering if it’s real. Hurts like a bitch. And my ex-girlfriend broke up with me because it felt a little too much like bestiality to her. And there was one time where the cops assumed I had a criminal record…like, right off the bat. See, that’s kinda how some scientists deal with criminals around here. But other genetically altered types (like me) have never broken the law, and sometimes, all someone has to do to be forcibly altered is run away from home or be homeless. I’ve actually been picked up to be experimented on way more times than I can count, and that hurts like hell sometimes. But oddly enough, it’s not as bad as the weird judgmental stares I get from people, especially those from out of town. Best case scenario, they assume I’m a cosplayer.

“I understand more than most. As a robot, I've struggled all my life for acceptance. My bio says you work at a comic book shop. That has to be a fun job. What's your favorite character?”

“Batman, definitely! But I can weirdly relate to either Deadpool or Wolverine, since those two have a healing factor. So do I, actually. It was introduced to my DNA around the same time as the monkey traits. I honestly had no idea just how strong it was for a while, even with the various tests that’ve been run on it. I think it proved itself to really strong once, though,

“See, it was a few days before my friend Spencer’s wedding anniversary. He’d married my younger sister Gemmy, and wanted to get an ideal gift for her. It was sort of last-minute when he got the idea of getting her some sexy types of photos of himself for her. But we kept trying and trying to find a place that’d take us, and kept getting turned away because it didn’t fit into the “family” type atmosphere they were trying to keep. One of my co-workers was willing to help out if we had no other options. But he would’ve lent us his equipment and we were both sure we’d somehow screw that one up. And that’s when this one lady came up to us, asked to help…

“We took her up on her offer. What a mistake THAT was…See, as it turned out, she was a serial killer. One thing led to another, I think I died and came back a few times, and we put her out of business. And then? Then she started stalking our family.

“Well…as it turns out, my family’s pretty difficult to kill. My sister doesn’t have the same regeneration as me, but she does have super speed. My mom’s gifted in both genetics and cybernetics. I could swear I’ve seen her building attack robots in her sleep before. Her twin sister and their two friends work in—Actually, I probably shouldn’t mention their line of work on the radio, but it involves them having to cover their tracks and it gets a lot of unrepentant asshats out of the gene pool. Though my aunt Beast (no relation to anyone from A Wrinkle In Time, by the way) has huge cybernetic limbs and really sharp claws. Her friends, Ivy and Yvette, are psychic (in the mind reading/moving stuff with her mind) and a magic user (Ivy’s the psychic, Yvette’s the magic user), and Spencer’s really kind of a survivor. He’s been through a bunch of crap, but he’s still kicking.”

“A regenerative ability would be pretty cool. How does that work?”

“On the one hand, it’s kinda nice. Lost limbs grow back in days, broken bones heal in a few hours, cuts in seconds…But it does suck when people take advantage of it. I might heal quickly, but that shit still hurts! And after I heal, I have to eat a LOT…turns out, that healing burns a ton of calories, and I’m always hungry afterwards.”

“I've interviewed a serial killer on this show, and they're a little bit different. So the whole photography studio was a setup for her to make snuff films. With your regenerative ability, this could go all Wile E. Coyote in a hurry.”

“I know, right? It’s almost like there’s some unapologetic psycho dictating my life… Probably for their own sick amusement.”

“I get it, they're called authors. We need them, but they never make things easy. Travis, it looks like you have a caller. Hello, caller you're on the air with Lisa and Travis.”

“Hello, there. I’m Dr. Spencer Abbot, and I’m Travis’ brother-in-law.”

“So what's it like living in a family with hybrids?”

“A little weird, to be honest. It feels like I’m the only normal human in the family. My wife, in-laws, even my son–“

“Not true, Spencer. There’s uncle Nick!”

“Yeah, but he’s in the FBI and travels a lot for work, so he doesn’t quite count. Anyhow, I just wanted to see if you were behaving yourself, Trav. I know of your fondness for a certain F-word, and I figure that wouldn’t fly on the radio…”

“Yeah, Spence, I know… Don’t worry, I remembered, man.”

“Good, good. By the way, there’s something you might want to get a look at. I think someone’s been stalking around outside our house again…”

“Seriously? Ugh, if it was who I think it is, I swear I’ll kick her ass… Just stay safe for now, alright?”

“I’ll try. See you at home.”

“Well Boys, it sounds like Hell Bent, Pennsylvania is quite the place. There are many fans of graphic novels who follow this show, and they might want to check these stories out. I'll include all the links at the end.”

“Oh, by the way. There’s this convention in a few weeks, and my boss would love it if you came by, Lisa. She’s the one organizing it. It’s during the first weekend next month. Thanks for talking to me!”

“Sounds like fun. Will there be any cos-play? I could bring some outfits along with the calendars and stuff.”

“Yep! Look forward to seeing you there!”


Kayla provided us with a couple of covers. Check them out and browse through her links.

She also sent this cool page of one of the books:

Visions (Hell Bent book 1): https://amzn.com/B010YG2MMI

Retribution (Hell Bent book 2): https://amzn.com/B01387TIEU

Destruction (Hell Bent book 3): https://amzn.com/B0186GZ220

Full Arc 1 Set (in one volume): https://amzn.com/B018701YLS

Bio: K. Matt is a graduate of Philadelphia, PA's University of the Arts. Her interests in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, comics, and anime have inspired her to both write and illustrate her own work.

The books in the Hell Bent series are a combination of prose and graphic novels, and tend to be a mixture of (somewhat soft) sci-fi, urban fantasy, and horror. It is something of a pet project for her, a pet that she feeds with time, and that feeds on her sleep.

Her artwork can be found at kaylamatt.webs.com.


Social media:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/HellBentBookSeries

(Travis' Facebook page) https://www.facebook.com/TravisHalfMonkey/

WordPress: https://kaylamatt.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @Marie Twixie



Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Empress, on Lisa Burton Radio

Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and things are about to get freaky around here. Our sponsor today is the comic book, Empress written by Brian Barr and Chuck Amadori.

My guest today is a private detective named Niles. “Welcome to the show Niles.”

“Thank you, Lisa. It’s a pleasure to speak to you from my office, not too far from Hollywood.”

“My bio says you were hired by a motion picture company to find a missing silent movie actress. What can you tell me about the circumstances leading up to her disappearance?”

“Well, I’ll try to speak about this without divulging too much confidential info, out of respect to the movie company that’s hired me. Apparently, there were a couple of issues with Zia and her company, in relations to the changes in the movie business. As we’ve noticed in the past few years, more and more movies are being produced with sound. Zia came to prominence in the silent movie era, and that time is gone. It’s all about the talkies now. Zia felt a lot of limitations with that… she was hitting the bottle pretty hard because of it. Also experimented in some marijuana, coke, other drugs.

“They say she was getting a little… unraveled. Seeing things. Talked a lot about little green men. Yeah, I know, typical, sounds weird, but… she talked about that with the producer and staff more and more. I think she was just feelin’ a lot of pressure, and it was breaking her down. Didn’t feel comfortable with all the new changes in Hollywood, and I’m trying to find out if any thing else in her private life was leaking into her work as well, giving her a psychotic breakdown.

“The movie company that’s hired me has been pretty helpful so far with all the information they gave me. They insisted I take this actress of theirs along with me. Rose. She’s the company spy. Don’t know how I feel about that. She’s pretty, almost like Zia was. Just don’t want to get into anything… inappropriate on this trip. Trying to stay focused.”

“See, that’s the part that intrigues me. You found her diary, and it seems like some kind of dementia runs in the family. What can you tell us about that?”

“Not much. The furthest evidence of dementia I can find in her family is with her mother. I found a diary Zia had, and she goes into detail about her mother committing suicide at a mental institution. Aghori Asylum was it’s name. Yeah, that’s it. The mother apparently had a frontal lobotomy before she died as well. Heavy stuff. Besides that, I know little about Zia’s background. Can’t find anything about her grandmother or grandfather on her mother’s side… and her father’s side seemed pretty normal. No signs of dementia there.

“Seems the mother’s suicide shook Zia up pretty bad. But yeah… with all of the stress Zia went through, her movie studio was pretty insistent that she get some psychiatric assistance. She was stubborn but they did the best they could. She ended up in the same asylum as her mom, and from what I researched, it wasn’t the best place for her. Pretty bad, the way they treat their clients, if you ask me, just drugging them and throwing them in rooms with no real human interaction.”

“That’s horrible. No wonder the studio wanted to get her some help. It was mean of them to lock Zia away in the same place, but it might have helped. Zia escaped though didn’t she?”

“Yeah. It’s still a mystery how she escaped though. The asylum’s pretty sturdy when it comes to security, and it isn’t easy to break out.. without divulging too many important details to the case, we gathered enough information about a potential location Zia may be at from her diary. We’re pretty confident that she’s on an island in the pacific. Pretty small, not well known. We’re already preparing to get a boat to visit there, me and Rose. I had to… talk to a captain about getting a decent ship. Okay, coerced may be the right word.

“Don’t know how this will all go. Traveling with Rose, I mean… that’ll be interesting. It would be better if I could just travel alone, without the distraction… but she’s smart, and resourceful. She knows more about Zia and this whole movie business than me. Just don’t know if it’s safe sending an actress along with a P.I.”

“So you bribed the captain to drop you off at an Island. You hired a guide and headed into the forest. Do you have any hope you’ll find Zia there?”

“Wow. Bribe is a harsh word. Anyway, once I get to the island, I have a few ideas of how I may be able to find Zia. I’ll definitely have to hire a local as a guide. Someone that knows the island frontwards and back. Someone that may have seen Zia and had a clue as to where she is. I’m sure it’s easy to spot an American woman in a small island community. Either way… I hope we find Zia. I don’t know, it could be a complete waste going out there. But this is all that we’ve got.”

“Thanks for being with us today, Niles. Pick up Empress today to see if Niles can find poor Zia before she harms herself.”


You can check out Empress at the following locations:

ComiXology (owned by Amazon) – https://www.comixology.com/Empress/comics-series/28377?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC9zZXJpZXNTbGlkZXI

IndyPlanet- http://www.indyplanet.us/brands/islesquaredcomics/

Empress is put together by these talented people: Chuck Amadori, Marcelo Salaza, Brian Barr, Matheus Bronca, and Geraldo Filho.

You can catch up with Brian Barr at the following locations:





Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Giant Girl is on Lisa Burton Radio


Don’t touch that dial! You’ve found Lisa Burton Radio. Now broadcasting to alternate dimensions, and all across the known universe at one point twenty-one jigawatts of power. I’m your host, Lisa Burton, the robot girl.

We have a very special guest today, Veronica Kane, also known as Giant Girl. Welcome to the show Ronni.

“Hello Lisa! Thanks for having me on the show. I don’t usually get interviewed except by insurance claims adjustors, so this is a treat for me.”

“I love Giant Girl Adventures comics, and am excited for our listeners to meet you. You’re a very interesting super-being in that you’re not overly successful. What can you tell us about that?”

“Suuuure, we can start with that. I gave the folks at Giant Comics rights to publish stories based on my adventures years ago, but I’ll never see a dime of it because of all the lawsuits for property damage and such that I’m always stuck with. Basically when your power-set involves getting very big and you do a commensurate amount of damage, it makes you less than popular. Let’s put it this way, I caught a guy’s car that flew off a skyway in Dallas last week, and he’s suing me for the damage to his car that I caused in catching it before it and him became a pancake.

“There’s gratitude for ya, right? That’s my life in a nutshell. But what are you gonna do? People love to sue.”

“Well, I don’t know what people expect. When you grow to a thousand feet tall, there’s bound to be damage. How upset would they be if you just walked away from a bad guy and let them get destroyed?”

Well, I have tried that… I mean no, I can’t in good conscience just walk away. Heck, most of the time trouble won’t let me walk away. Or talk sense to it or convince it to go somewhere a little more private. I mean, I try to make violence my absolute last resort, but some people are just determined to play king of the hill. It’s just that I’m the hill…”

“Our listeners might not know this, but you can also make yourself really small. Maybe that’s a good way to hide from lawyers and judgments.”

“Eh, good for dodging process servers but the law always gets ya. Yes, I can actually shrink myself and other things I touch, just like my growth power. That’s how my outfit is always so nicely tailored- a little shrink here, a little grow there and presto! It’s just that getting super-small in a fight isn’t very sexy so the press seldom pays attention to that unless they are blaming me for running away.

“Um, present company excluded. Obviously.”

“I’m known for being into fashion. I have to say I love your style. The red dress, the coat of many pockets. I’m a little sad about the hat. It was so iconic. Is there any hope you’ll get it back some day?”

“Yeah… that hat. I loved that thing- it was the very best part of my outfit. But you wear a big red hat and they are gonna call you Carmen Sandiego no matter what else you wear… though all red and black was probably not the best choice to avoid that comparison, honestly.”

“I always thought Carmen SanDiego was awesome. I wouldn’t let her bother you. Truth be told, you wear it better.”

“Aw, you are very sweet! That was part of the problem, I wanted to be the Lady In Red, and the rubber boots and gloves really do make handy insulators. Giants go through a LOT of power-lines, trust me, and those shocks hurt. So the modern outfit is form and function- I’m so glad you like it!”

“Ronni, we have someone waiting on the line to talk to you. Welcome to the show, Kumiko Kanzaki, also known as Badonkasaurus.”

“Thanks for having me, please pardon me- it is difficult using this tiny phone with fifteen foot claws.”

“Now Kumiko, you and Ronni had one of the most iconic Kaiju battles ever. You even destroyed Tokyo in the classic fashion. Do you still feel hostility toward Ronni?”

“Yes. While it is not Giant Girl’s fault that I am trapped as a 75 meter tall green scaly monster with an enormous posterior, we are opposing forces, yin and yang. It is theorized that I was born of the earth to be a check to her power, and I admit I am always eager to battle her once more!”

“Greeeeeat. You know, I still get blamed for that battle in Tokyo? I begged her to not fight with me and talk about it but noooo…”

“I had just been transformed into a kaiju, destroying my workplace in the process! I was traumatized. And you called me Badonkasaurus!”

“You always complain about that name. Personally I think it suits you, so there. That day you transformed you were mad at the world and I was the biggest thing in your line of sight. If not for me you would have leveled all of Tokyo that day. Then I wonder how much the Japanese people would love you, hm?”

“Please. You wanted that fight, Giant Girl! Otherwise you could have shrunk me down to normal size and no one would have gotten hurt!”

“Are you kidding me?!? That was the first thing I tried. I have no idea how or why but my powers don’t work on you.”

“… wait, really?”

“Are you kidding me with this? What kind of lunatic would brawl through Tokyo at 250 feet tall if they didn’t have to? You think I like rumbling around, knocking down buildings and terrorizing people like a giant monster movie?”

“Now ladies, we’re all ladies here. Except I’m a robot, and Kumiko is a giant lizard thing with a protruding posterior. No, on second thought, we’re definitely all ladies here. So please don’t fight.

“Now Ronni, you said your powers don’t work on Kumiko. Does this make facing her again more dangerous?”

“That depends on if we’re in a populated area. Pound for pound she’s got me in muscle as well as appendages with that tail of hers. But she’s 250 feet tall, and I can get a lot bigger than that. On the other hand I’ll bet she’s been working on that nuclear breath of hers, so who knows?”

“You call me fat then pick on my breath too?!? Wait… you mean my energy exhalation expression. You are not calling me fat either, you are trying to compliment me in your rude American way, aren’t you?”

“You always think I’m attacking you Kumiko, especially when I’m not. Look, you want me to come out to Kaiju Island and brawl with you I’ll do it, if nothing else to give you some variety from fighting with the rest of the Great Kaiju out there.”

Hoo boy. Kumiko, didn’t you make a boyfriend on the one day you left Kaiju Island? Tell us about him. He seemed to be pretty stricken with you.”

“Shigeru… well, he is very nice, but he is not my… I mean, he is the president of my fan club, but I am sure he would not be interested in… I mean… er, that is…”

“Maybe you should invite him out to see you Kumiko. Heck, I can even bring him with me if you like…”

“Ladies, we have to sew this up. Ronni, thank you for being on the show, and Kumiko, I wish you well. Maybe you should call that boy after we get off the air.”


Giant Girl Adventures is written by Sabrina Pandora, she leave us with this comment: Big shout out to my artist Koen Luyten, my creative partner in crime who puts up with my crazy demands and works like a dog to make sure every issue is more amazing than the last.

Note: Koen provided us with this awesome pinup.

Follow Giant Girl Adventures at the following locations.

Giant Girl Adventures





Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

I am part of the problem

I had a strange experience today. To understand it, you need to know where my mindset was at the time. I made this image and posted it to Twitter recently.

This is part of my Twitter campaign to drive interest in my Experimental Notebook. As an aside, if you want to feed your imagination hit the linked image on my sidebar.

Today is my flex day off. It was mid-morning, and I decided to shop for a book.

There is a series in bloom that I read the first volume of last Spring. The second volume is available, and #1 was good enough to bring me back. I won't say it was outstanding, but it was fun.

This series is put out via traditional publishing. I still read mainstream books alongside the indie stuff, so no problem. I froze like a deer in the headlights at the $8.99 ebook price.

Book number one isn't any better than my own efforts. I admit a touch of bias, before anyone points it out. Why is this electronic document three times more than one of my own? The paperback was more, and I understand that. Paper, ink, shipping, etc.

In a perfect world, the rest of us would raise our prices into the $9 neighborhood. This is never going to happen though.

The price for this book is fair, I actually believe the rest of us aren't charging enough. I also know that raising my prices to set a beacon for everyone else is suicide. People talked me into lowering my prices by a dollar nearly a year ago. Some suggested 99¢ for all of them, but I couldn't do that.

I opened my kindle app. I have other books I haven't read. I'm just in a certain kind of mood, and this story has what I am looking for. It's a Victorian Steampunkish kind of story.

I opened a different book on my app and started reading. This one is a pulpish noir setting involving superheroes. I have an author friend who might really like it, but I won't say anything until I finish it. (Just in case.)

Now I feel like I have to go back, buy the other book, and have it ready. The author has nothing to do with the pricing. I enjoyed her last book. She might like to write another, but her contract depends upon the sales of this volume.

I don't want to be that guy. The one who only reads a book if he can get it during a free promotion. If this were Cheri Priest or Jim Butcher, I wouldn't think twice about it.

Maybe I should have grabbed something written by a friend. My last three or four reads were by friends, and they all entertained me. I know they would appreciate a sale too. None of them have a steampunk story available though. On the other hand, I didn't start reading a steampunk story either.

What would you have done? The price isn't going to ruin Christmas around here, so why did I waiver? Am I like the guy who bought the Starbucks instead of Experimental Notebook? Let me know in the comments.

I'll probably go back after I finish this other book and buy the one I wanted. I don't have to worry about it right now.

Tonight, I'm going to see if Flash, Green Arrow, and the new Hawkgirl can defeat Stephen Strange. I also want to see Jay Garrick get his speed powers back. It's a two part episode, and I watched part one last night.


Filed under Uncategorized

The River Pixies

The Snake River God is plaguing me. I had big plans to go sturgeon fishing today, but they died last night.

Old What’s Her Face* called me on my way from work. The sprinkler system needs to be turned on, and right now!

I told her I would turn everything on when I got home and asked her to record the season finale of Shield for me. I changed into something suitable for spider webs, mud, and slugs and dove right in.

Our community system must have been turned off. There was no water at all. I suppose the River God sent his pixies to interfere with my fishing trip. I promised to work on it today, and my fishing adventure crumbled to dust. I swear I heard giggling over the sound of frogs when I went to bed last night.

Good news, the system is watering our yard right now. I’m sure there will be the inevitable dead sprinkler head, but I’m making progress. (And plotting my revenge on the River God.)

Aanndd – here I am online like I planned to escape from. Might as well update my blog.

In other good news, I got as high as number 36 on the Amazon list last night. Woo Hoo! This is the top 100 free science fiction books.

Wild Concept is free for a few more days. I always thought this story would resonate with the comic book crowd. Marvel has conquered television and the movies, and the timing feels right. I even got a comic book artist to make my cover. I’d like to break through to the comic crowd. If you know any fans or casual readers of comics, please tell them about my free promotion. Maybe together we can crack the top ten.

I hate self promotion, but here it is: I’m asking you to tell people about my give away.

Some very generous people have promised reviews. I hope they like it, and I earned good reviews. One reader already let me know she’s finished about a third of the book and is enjoying it.

Panama is also available on Amazon. My give away might have stomped its release, but I’m looking at things from a long term perspective. Those who like Wild Concept might give Panama a chance too. No robots, no frogs (inside joke for those who read Wild Concept), just a fun romp through the paranormal side of life. Deadly snakes, bugs, torrential downpour, witchcraft, revolution, explosions, demons: what’s not to like? Fun for the whole family, right?

Since last night imploded, I got to watch Shield. Director Colson has a nice ring to it. I hope this will influence the movies as well. He and May had some awesome scenes last night. May is always amazing, but Colson has fewer and bigger moments. Can’t wait for what they have planned in the Fall.

* Not my wife’s actual name.


Filed under Writing

Writing Adversity on the Horizon

I got a text from Lisa* just moments ago. It went something like this:

“I found someone to fill in for me while I’m gone. We’ll go over it all Wednesday – Lisa.”

“What are you talking about?”

“My vacation, remember. I’m working the comic book conventions. They love their robot girl.”

“I thought that wasn’t until April.”

“Next week is April.”

“I can’t come out Wednesday. I have to work five eights next week.”

“It’ll be fine. Almost anyone can do the shopping, make your coffee, clean, and fix your lunch.”

“Who’s watching Bunny? How do I tend him?”

“Bunny’s coming with me. They love him at the conventions. Then I’m stopping at Vegas for a few days.”

“Maybe I ought to take a weekend or two off.”

“Don’t be such a puss. You can do this.”

“So, can you push Wild Concept to the comic book crowd? They seem like the type who’d love it.”

“No. Don’t you understand the idea of a vacation?”

“Have a good time. I’ll figure something out. At least I don’t have to cover any other benefits.”

“Maybe you should. I’m trying to be as human as anyone else.”

“We can talk about it when you get back. Have fun, Lisa. Gotta go now, bye.”

* Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s also a robot and works as my assistant at the writing cabin.

PS: I wish I could figure out how to do texting baloons on this app. That would look better.


Filed under Muse

Can writers learn from comics?

I confess, I don’t read enough. I read novels in clusters, then I may not read one for six months. I’ve already explained about my Zite Magazine app, and the RSS reader to follow blogs and such. So I am reading, I just need to find time for more novels.

I also follow several web comics. I can’t decide if this is just a chance to talk about comics, or how this will tie to novels, but I’ll try. It seems I can find inspiration in almost anything.

Comics have an advantage in their visual aspect. They can say more in one frame than I can in a whole chapter. The trick is, I can use that frame to decide how I would write the same scene. It’s frozen, and I can come back to it again and again. Television and movies don’t allow me that option.

One frame, shot from above, of a victim slumped in an alley crying in the rain. Most likely it’s black and white. I can place my point of view character at this angle looking down, I can color the mood, and describe the rain and alley. But I can describe the sound of the rain, and the smell of the alley too. Chock up a point for the novelist.

We can do the same thing with one frame of someone getting chewed out. Facial features, spittle, etc.

Comics regularly run out of gas, and web comics are notorious for doing that. I follow one that is about zombies, and a zombie didn’t appear for a year. (They have again.) There are some lessons here too.

Sometimes our big ideas aren’t enough to fill a novel. I’ve personally done this, and oh crap I’m only at 30K words- what now? The other lesson is that not every story needs a sequel, or to be serialized. I wrote one where their “happy ever after” is enough. Going back to them would minimize what they’ve already been through.

Comics are great for character interactions and styles too. Some do snarky humor very well, others are into self depreciating humor. These are nice tools to add to my kit. Remember, I have the luxury of going back one frame at a time to see how they do it. You could record something and go back using your remote, but this is a post about comics, work with me here.

I follow some, just because I like the artwork. None of us are immune to choosing a book with an awesome cover. This tells me that cover art is important. I also admit to following some girlie comics. I like looking at girls, and use pin-up art as my phone wallpaper. This has nothing to do with writing, and you are welcome to be judgmental as hell. Knock yourselves out.

I might as well include a few links. You might enjoy these as much as I do. In skullkickers, two dipshits are heroes for hire. They always manage to screw things up, and come out fine. I used this character interaction in a story called Panama, that I’m trying to get online. I’m not too thrilled with the new artist on the current story, but I’m hooked now and will stay with them. Check it out here: Skullkickers

Spying with Lana deals with some adult themes, so you’ve been warned. It’s great for snark, and self depreciating humor. Check out Lana, if you read the warning: Spying with Lana

I’m new to Giant Girl Adventures, but it’s been a blast so far. Roni is an imperfect character if there ever was one. I don’t know what I’m learning from her, but I like it: Giant Girl Adventures

My favorite is Girl Genius. I started reading Prof. Phil Foglio in the back pages of Wizard magazine. (I think it was Wizard, I’m old, give me a break) His comic, Phil & Dixie, was the reason to buy the magazine. He’s lost nothing over the years. I like steampunk, and mad scientists, and this comic does it with a dash of humor too. Here’s the link: Girl Genius

I’ll throw this one out there too, knowing it may piss some people off. It is over the top adult oriented.Nudity too, and the themes aren’t for kids. (Or some adults.) This is more for the 50 Shades crowd. It has the best artist ever, and the realistic character interactions are worth my price of admission. This is one I can learn from, since the characters are fully fleshed out, and in their weird world are realistic people. It’s set up on deviantart, and you have to surf around to read it in order. Check out Sunstone if you understand the warning and are willing to surf around a bit. You’ve been warned.


Filed under Uncategorized, Writing