Monday, April 28, 2014

A Princess, A Smuggler and A Jedi Go To London

Filming for Star Wars Episode 7 has actually already started with the 2nd unit crew in Abu Dhabi filming scenes set on Tatooine. All we know about that is there is a large set piece that got rolled out. many seem to think it is a foot for an AT-AT.

There has been no casting announcements made as of yet, but principle filming is to begin soon at Pinewood Studios outside of London. Three individuals connected with the original Star Wars trilogy (Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill) all seem to be converging on London right now. My guess is we will be getting various updates over the next few weeks.

Here in Denver we are going to have the Starfest convention next weekend. One guest will be Billy Dee Williams. I would bet anything that he will be asked over and over again if he is going to get to be in the new trilogy or some alteration of that.

After the total disappointment the prequels were, I think we are seeing a huge build up in excitement due to the hope that they get it right this time.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My New Dollar Bin Comic Book Addiction

The Mile High Comics warehouse store on Jason street is just awesome.  If you have never been there and live in the Denver metro area, check it out. You will be impressed.

About a year a go we started attending various events there regularly. While I have not been collecting comics at the level I used to, my boys and I were enjoying the deals we got in their regular auctions and other promotions Chuck puts on. My boys got some nice older comics for their budding collections at reasonable prices.

Recently I made the mistake of scanning through the dollar comics bins. So many comics for a dollar each, with a good deal from the late 70s early 80s. I  started to fill in the gaps from my collection. And I am really enjoying reading these old comics.

Having actively been collecting over several decades I saw the change in style as comic books kept up with the times, but it having been a while since I read the older stuff I never really though much about it. Now I look at the complete package of the thirty year old comics and I love it. The ads, the story telling and art, the cover layout. It really sets them firmly in their time, the time when I started collecting comics.

While I am not buying much in the way of new comics now days, as we do not have a budget for it. I did pick up a couple issues of the new Ms. Marvel and my first issues of The Superior Spider-Man as the series ended with the real Peter Parker returning, and of course I will be getting issue 1 of the new Amazing Spider-Man. However, in general if I pick up comics now days it is most likely from the dollar bin.

I am exploring some new series for me, like the Micronauts, that I had never gotten into before. I've picked up the few issues I needed to have a complete run of the original Excalibur series. I been filling in the gaps in my New Mutant collection. And I've picked up a few random comics that have just caught my attention.

This is a great way to collect comics on a budget. I just have to keep my visits there to once a month to be safe.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Marvel Studios is Showing Us Just How it Should Be Done

I have been getting more and more impressed with Marvel studios over the last few years and they show no signs of getting it wrong. I have so far enjoyed every movie that has officially been part of the Marvel Studios.

We had the incredibly well done build up to the Avenger. It was next to perfect.  We got the introductions and origins out of the way so it could all come together in a bigger story and it worked.

In phase two the movies have been enjoyable and have connected back to the Avengers, keeping the greater storyline going strong. Now in phase two they added the TV show Agents of Shield to the universe and despite a slow start, the show has done a good job of connecting the universe farther. Not only does the show make references to the Avengers, but it dealt with the aftermath of Thor: Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Solider, making more of those movies. We have gotten a good batch of characters from the comics introduced through the show with Gravatron, Deathlock and the Enchantress. This allows for so much more expansion of the Marvel universe.

Announcement after announcement of the next batch of movies sets us up for a much larger universe to look forwards to. There is also more in the way of a deal with Netflix to do a batch of  four series focusing on some lesser known Marvel characters (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist) that will then meet up for a Defenders mini-series. So many possibilities to be found there.

All of this will be taking place in the same universe. None of that rebooting crap that gets old and makes it hard to build up a strong continuity. This method allows for stronger story telling by not having to jump back to origins of the same character over and over again.

The events of Captain America: the Winter Soldier directly affected Agents of Shield, strongly linking those storylines. This is what I hope we start seeing more of with all that they have planned. There are so many opportunities to build up this cohesive universe and give us some huge stories that would not be able to be done otherwise.

I am looking forwards to see where they are going to take us and I have full faith that they will keep the stories strong for some time to come.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Tour

I was supposed to put this up on March 31, but things have been a little busy so I am a week and a half late on this one. I do apologize to those who are following the blog tour.

I was drafted into the blog tour by by my good friend J. Alan Erwine ( ). He is a writer and editor and currently runs Nomadic Delirium Press.

Now onto the four questions that are the essence of this blog tour.

1) What am I working on? 

Doing mostly rewrites right now. I got involved with a new writers group and let them critique some of my past stories. Now I am looking at their comments and seeing what I can do to polish up my stories. It really does help to have a group that knows how to critique and not go easy on you.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

I like to think I take Sci-fi standards and go in atypical directions with them. I have a story about the evolution of man where human's become feral beast where the males end their lives as food for their offspring. I am also working on a story that takes the idea of sexual contact with an alien and makes
it into something very unpleasant. I have a zombie story, which is one I am working on polishing up, where I have been complimented on my unique take on the concept.

3) Why do I write what I do? 

That's just the way my mind works. I am at my best when I am being creative, with writing generally being my favorite creative outlet and these are the ideas that come to me to write.

4) How does your writing process work?

I pull myself together and write. It's not always easy with everything going on in my life, but time and again I have to get on the ball and make time for it. I always have ideas to write about and there are several dozen stories on my computer that I have started, so there is never an issue with finding something to work on. Each story comes together in a different manner as there is inspiration everywhere. I have a story coming out in the next issue of Tales of the Talisman magazine (vol.9 Issue 4) that I started after a New Years' Eve party at a club where I mostly sat and watched people, many of which ended up in the story.

The final part of the blog tour was to find three writers to pass the tour onto.  Regretfully I was unable to do this. I am going to keep trying to find some who are willing to see if they can keep this going and I will update this post at that time.  For now however it seems this leg of the tour ends with me.