“Barsoom” Covers by d’Achille


I have finally gotten around to reading the “Barsoom Series” by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and just like watching the “Star Wars” films or reading Tolkien I have been transported into another realm…and have become mildly obsessed.  Thus far, I’ve finished the first novel, “Princess of Mars,” and I have just cracked into its sequel, “Gods of Mars.”  I will mostly likely have a review up in a short while, but until then check out these original covers for Burroughs highly regarded series by d’Achille–they’re absolutely spectacular:



Comic Books, Scripts, Short Stories, and School

The last couple of weeks haven’t been hectic per se, but they’ve definitely been busy.  My girlfriend and I are huge comic book nerds and we started off our ‘busyness’ by attending the Spokane Comicon.  Besides having the opportunity to meet all of the artists and writers we were able to get a small group together and go with several of our friends, which made it all that much more enjoyable.  My favorite part of the con was meeting one of the current Green Lantern artists, Tyler Kirkham.  I am a huge Green Lantern fan, and with DC Comics relaunching their entire continuity last September, Green Lantern and the New Guardians has been one of my favorite runs.  Kirkham was laid back, and more than willing to chat about his work.  I ended buying a print from him (featured left) as well as having several comics signed by him.  I had a great time!  I found some gems, got to hangout with my girlfriend and our friends, and I had the privilege of meeting many talented artists.

In general, May is always a big month for comics.  DC and Marvel usually start their big summer events whilst also laying out a plethora of announcements concerning future arcs.  My work for the Examiner as well as my comic book blog, The Martian Manhunter, can best be described as:  swamped.  DC has a stellar Batman crossover currently running titled, “Night of the Owls,” and Marvel’s “Avengers vs. X-Men” has been a great romp into the mano y mano, brawl territory.  DC also decided to release six new number ones this month to fill-in their six cancellations, which coincidentally corresponds with Valiant Entertainment reformation and release of “X-O Manowar,” their first comic in years.  Needless to say, it has been a busy month for Examiner articles and reviews; and even with June around the corner it looks like the flow won’t be slowing for a while.  “Before Watchmen” is closely looming and if the hype holds true it’s going to be big, and it’s going to be spectacular.  I already put a down-payment on the six-month long series.

As well as participating in the loads of comic book goodness, one of my friends and I have been working on writing a television sitcom.  We’ve been getting together at least once or twice a week to brainstorm and pen the first season of a retailed centered comedy.  We’ve finally wrapped up the pilot, and have been working on the overarching plotline that’ll cover the entirety of the season.  So far it has been a blast.  I’ve never co-written anything before, so it’s been a new experience through-and-through.

Riverside State Park and we discussed possible plotlines, and I think I finally have a ‘solid’ story nailed down.  Hopefully, I’ll crack into it tonight or tomorrow, and I get some words a streamin’.  The goal is to have a 20,000 or so word count that I can publish through Amazon to take advantage of their exclusivity perks.  I want to combine a James Bond-esque character (more anti-hero than not) with classic 1950’s science fiction and the cheesiness of 1970’s science fiction films.  It’ll be silly and over the top, but with any sort of luck…well-written and intriguing.

Also, as apart of my larger life goals, I’ve finally decided that this coming fall would be an appropriate time to return to school, so that I can wrap up my bachelor’s degree (and subsequent master’s) in creative writing.  I’ve had a couple hang-ups due to my hiatus, but in the plus column I did receive a $1,000 scholarship for an essay I did on the importance of unions upon the middle class.  Every little bit helps, and it definitely serves as a nice little ego boost for something that has truthfully been quite difficult for me to return to.

Well, that is a couple moments in the life of a twenty-something.  What’s been keeping you busy?  Work, play…life in general?

Sonia G. Medeiros’ April-May Writing Challenge: First Impressions and Famous Last Words

This month’s challenge asks participants “to write either the opening or closing lines of a story.”  Sonia mentions one of the most famous opening lines (and personally one of my favorite) from Stephen King’sGunslinger“:

“The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.”

I do a fair amount of free writing that borders on ranting, so during my daily exercise I decided to focus on possible opening/closing lines.  Here is the opener that Zeus-ed me this afternoon:

The first time I clawed my way out of heaven I had to go back because I forgot my watch.  The second time someone clocked me, and whispered, “you’re late.”

Sonia G Medeiros’ “February Writing Challenge: Of Love and Leap Years”

Last month I participated in Sonia Medeiros’ writing challenge, which consisted of creating a fifty-word blip using a specific word from a predetermined list.  It was the first challenge of Sonia’s that I had the pleasure of partaking in and all-in-all I had a terrific time.  I loved throwing my hat in, but what I really enjoyed was reading everyone else’s take on the task.

This month she is holding a new challenge that asks readers to compose a 250-word short about ‘Love’ and/or ‘Leap Years.’  Within the confines of the piece the writer needs to include five-words from a new predetermined list and upon completing the challenge the writer is then required to add their own word to the list in order to mix it up a bit and vary the posts.

I completed a rough draft of my entry yesterday and this morning I polished it off.  Hopefully everyone like it!  My word to be added to the challenge will be ‘idiosyncratic’ and here is my take on Sonia’s February writing challenge:

A Defective Year

Today was his sixth birthday—technically he was twenty-four, but who was counting?  After all, Leap Year was a variance—an aberration; it didn’t need to exist; yet it did.

In his book lethargy was top priority for the day.  He showered, threw on some clothes, popped open a Guinness, but just as he was about to take sip—he let out a slight cough.  It was minute, but he could feel another building.  Suddenly, he dropped his Guinness and before the can could strike the white-checkered linoleum and the second cough had commenced–he was gone.

Vanished.  Poof.  Non-existent.

For a nanosecond he felt as if he were underwater, but when he opened his eyes he was kissing a beautiful woman.  Blonde-hair, fair skinned, blue eyes, and his heart skipped forward and proceeded directly past ‘Go!’  He blushed, but the kiss was so tender and intense he fell into it like Skywalker tumbling into the Sarlacc.

As the two parted, he smiled and, in return, a smile escaped her lips.  He didn’t know where he was or how he had gotten here, but he knew he wanted to stay.  Love at first sight had never been in his paradigm, but in his heart he—poof.

He was gone.

He was back in his apartment with a Guinness bubbling at his feet.  He immediately grabbed his coat and was out the door before the can could stop spinning.  He would find the girl—that was the magic of Leap Year.