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November 17, 2006
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November 16, 2006
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Scroll down a bit to see a review of Astronauts in Trouble on Ain't It Cool News: "By far one of the most entertaining and surprising reads in recent memory, this one was." and "Well, this collection of stories from Larry Young illustrates this feeling so tenderly while at the same time hitting you full throttle with a perfectly constructed story structure telling a truly innovative action tale." and "Its fun sci fi that never ventures out of the realm of possibility, but is filled with boundless energy and creativity nonetheless. Highest possible recommendation for this one." being particular faves.

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The more time goes by, the more I'm flattered and humbled by how much people seem to respond to the thing. Tip o' the Channel Seven News Team baseball cap goes out to Neil Kleid for sending me this bit about Bezos and his spaceport with a note intimating that if an AiT movie ever happens, it just might be easier to film on location.


November 15, 2006
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Why Do Superheroes?

A Response To JOSHDAHL, who, poor bastard, had a thread closed on Warren's forum and then sent me an email through The Engine message post, which doesn't allow responses.

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There's a good lesson on why your superhero story isn't going to work as a viable commercial product: you took a thread that was beginning to address an interesting, possibly universal issue (why start out... in superhero comics?) on The Engine, and tried to turn it into a "come post at my forum" sort of thread, which gets shut down. Do you see that proves the point? Your book Flyingmammalman is worthless to the audience who can already read Batman all day long... and "The Cape Symposium" doesn't really offer anything to Engineers that they can't get already at a hundred other places already... so who cares? You're not entitled to an audience; you have to work for it by being entertaining... and trying to co-opt someone else's audience that they've worked very hard to build and maintain is not only distasteful, but sort of rude. Sure, maybe there's some overlap, and a healthy "If-you-like-this-you-may-like-this" probably won't step on too many toes... but art-fulness beats artifice every time. Don't be so obvious.

When I was starting out making comics, after having sat at the left hand of Brian Hibbs (a retailer respected in the direct market if not [yet] beloved in story and song) for five years, thereby absorbing through osmosis and the more painful method of hard knocks the idiosyncratic needs of the DM, I made efforts to have my comic come into being. I first 1., had a good idea for a story, different to that which was rampant in the DM at the time and therefore added to the scene by dint of uniqueness, 2., leveraged every favor from every comics professional I'd banked up until then, 3., parlayed my then 15+ years experience in advertising, marketing, and print publishing into making my thing seem like a going concern right out of the gate, with 3a being watches, baseball caps, CDs, t-shirts and professional comic book artists doing the art on the book that's completed that I sent along to the top 50 taste-maker retailers and 20 or so extant web folks (at the time) talking about quality funny books.

By the time Astronauts in Trouble: Live From the Moon #1 hit shops, if you hadn't at least heard of it, you really weren't paying attention in comics. Kurt Busiek has a view of this in the intro to AiT: Space 1959 that vindicates my view of this part of the marketing, and for which I'll always be grateful: "Hey, there were hats!" A simple exuberance for the selling of the project that speaks volumes...

Anyway, with all that expertise and hard work and connection to big shots like Warren and Kurt and the kindness of the well-established as well as the up-and-comers like Matt Hollingsworth and Kieron Dwyer and Steve Weissman and Darick Robertson and Bri Wood and everyone else...

...still wouldn't have mattered at all if it was in service of a book called Heroes in Trouble.

You may want to tell superhero stories, but no matter how genius they are, it won't add to the scene, over-crowded as it is. Use your powers in service of a story that only you can tell. And talk about it in a way that adds to the scene; you're going to get enough accusations of being self-serving and shameless and whatnot as it is as you try to garner interest for your book; don't make it easy for the Peanut Gallery to tar you with the Stupid Brush. And don't link to a "come talk about funnybooks somewhere else" sort of post. It won't work. You can't make the avalanche fall, man; you can only roll up some snow and hope at some point that it starts rolling without you.


November 14, 2006
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Lefty Brown succumbs to our particular kind of Jedi Mind Tricks: "Alexander Grecian and Riley Rossmo have taken a concept that I initially had no interest in and have made me a fan. This is a book that will get multiple readings from me, that is IF I ever get it back from my wife and her class of students. This experiment continues as I hand this graphic novel over to my wife for her own reading and then she'll put it in her classroom to see what her students think of it. I'll be sure to report back later with their impressions, but for now I have to say that is a book that deserves to be picked up, read, and then passed along..."


November 13, 2006
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Bill Sherman reviews Seven Sons for Blogcritics: "Riley Rossmo's loose art, filled with sensitive use of blacks and gray wash, is beautifully suited to the story: he is able to make the art look both super-hero comic bookish (e.g., the scenes where first brother swallows and lets go of the river; a bit where stretchable brother escapes the hangman's noose), than more darkly expressionistic (as in a scene where one of the brothers is cornered by the angry mob). It's a far cry from Kurt Weise's more whimsical storybook take on the characters, but it suits the graphic novel's more serious tone. Still, neither Grecian nor Rossmo forget their story's origins. For all their sturm & drang, super-hero comics remain no matter how much fans or publishers may protest to the contrary simple children's tales at heart . . ."


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