Junior Mad Scientist – Lab Notes

Who’s the New Guy?

July 27th, 2007 by Weber


EDITOR’S NOTE: Please give a big JMS welcome to our foreign correspondent, Fosdick Bruingate.

A journeyman writer, Mr. Bruingate worked in numerous aspects of print, radio, and television.

In 2002, he became a fill-in movie reviewer on CFCF-TV Montreal. His witty reviews and easy manner gained ratings, prompting the station to name him their top critic. Within two short years, he’d become a regular addition to their daily morning show.

An on-air accident in 2005 left Mr. Bruingate injured and badly shaken. Though investigators ruled him blameless, “The Burning Emu Episode” became a constant joke to the public and fellow broadcasters alike. Unable to move beyond the specter of the incident, Mr. Bruingate quietly retired, leaving the public eye for more personal pursuits.

This, his on-site coverage of the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con, marks Mr. Bruingate’s triumphant return.

Welcome back, Foz. You won’t regret it.


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Art on the nose

July 27th, 2007 by Weber


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click here to view full image

Andrew Bawidamann and his WWII-inspired pin-up art are at booth #433. He was too busy making money to do an interview or discuss his art in detail. We hope to have more coverage of the artist and his work in the near future.

Veiw more and shop at his Web site. Anyone placing orders via the site better expect his shipment to be delayed. Per Andrew, all hands are working the booth, so no one is around to work the mail room.

As this site’s esteemed editor would say, “YOU GO NOW!”

So go, already.


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Steampunk is the new black

July 27th, 2007 by Weber


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click here to enlarge

Mr. Josh Freeman of El Cajon, CA arrives at Comic-Con dressed as a 19th Century Ghostbuster, complete with ascot, high hat, and leather wrapped goggles. The proto-proton pack, gun, and ghost trap are constructed from varnished woods, brass gears and fittings, and the all-important pressure gauge.

Mr. Freeman’s Ghostbuster eschews gentlemanly fashion for function, choosing to work without a coat — morning, frock, nor laboratory. He instead sports a tasteful ten-button vest bearing a steampunk version of the “no ghosts” logo.

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Posted in Steampunk | 12 Comments »

“five gesticulating ants”

July 19th, 2007 by Weber


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“On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travellers into the gulf below.”

So starts THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY, one of the finest books in the English language. (Thornton Wilder’s “faintly contemptible vessel” earned him the 1928 Pulitzer Prize for literature. Wilder was 31 years old. THE BRIDGE was his second novel. The son of a bitch.)

Today — today exactly– marks the 293 anniversary of the fictitious rent, but how often can it be celebrated like this? On the precise day, date and hour?

The last time we could have done so was in 2001, an interesting year for Wilder’s story. Not only did the dates coincide for the bridge, the story was used to commemorate collapse — the September 11th felling of the Twin Towers.

On September 21, 2001, British Prime Minister Tony Blair quoted these last few lines:

“But soon we will die, and all memories of those five will have left earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is love. The only survival, the only meaning.”

Mr. Blair’s reading resulted in a well-deserved “rediscovery” of THE BRIDGE and Wilder’s other works.

THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY is not an easy book. Wilder never comes right out and tells, “Why these five?” There’s a lot to get from it and it is worth repeated readings, or listenings of Sam Waterston’s excellent performance.

Even if all you get from it is that last bit, about “the bridge is love,” then you’ve got a lot more than you had before.

The next “Friday noon, July the twentieth” to won’t be until 2012, 2018, then 2029.

Mark your calendars.

(click here for more on THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY)


Posted in Book Reviews, Writing | No Comments »

Noble Failure #7 (Another 24-Hour Comic)

July 19th, 2007 by Weber


NOBLE FAILURE #7 (July 2007) — Super Samurai Special!

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Revenge Of The One-Arm Samurai
(click here to download PDF) (1.8MB)

The ink on this comic makes all the difference. The story was good in pencils, but with the heavy blacks and strategic use of wash, it’s SO much better. I’m sure you’ll agree.

This month’s effort is a comeback after my breakdown on #6 is already one of my favorites, second only to The Pancake Tree.

Along with narrative improvements, you’ll notice the change in presentation: no more clicky-open-X-to-closey for viewing each page. Now the comic is all there in one easy-to-ready file.

Why the change, you ask? Blame it on my dead grandmother. The PDF format worked so well for that story it seemed smart to try it on a longer one.

Yeah, yeah, there are still a few technical issues to work out. Even so, this may become the standard presentation format for any future comics, including the five 24-Hour ones left for 2007. Let me know what you think via the comments section.

Enjoy!


Posted in 24-Hour Comics, Art, Comics, Stories, Writing | No Comments »

Your Surreal Image of the Week

July 12th, 2007 by Weber


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Enjoy the weirdness.

(This is an open call for other bits of visual weirdness. Email me your photos or drawings and I’ll post the week’s best as the “Surreal Image of the Week”.)


Posted in Art, Weridness | No Comments »

Mouse Guard: Fall, 1152 (Book Review)

July 12th, 2007 by Weber


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If you ever land a book contract and need a good literary publicist, call MediaMasters. They’re the fine folks who, among other high-profile projects, orchestrated the wildly successful launch of First Second books.

I believe they’re largely responsible for helping Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese make it to the 2006 National Book Award Finals, as well as why there are more than a few First Second titles on the impressive list of 2007’s Eisner Award Nominees.

Granted, the books themselves had a lot to do with it. But never underestimate a publicist’s role in putting those deserving books into the hands of appreciative readers — and the people on award committees.

Anyway, I’ve done some work for and with MediaMasters. They know what I do and what I like, so sent me copy of David Peterson’s Mouse Guard: Fall, 1152.
Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Book Reviews | 2 Comments »

Doodles and Scribbles (Book Review)

July 12th, 2007 by Weber


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The matte finish and monochromatic covers of Taro Gomi’s DOODLES and SCRIBBLES create an odd presence on bookstore shelves — an eye-catching negative space among the shinny, toxic colors of the other coloring books. Even before you pick it up, it’s clear these are going to be different. And lots of fun.
Read the rest of this entry »


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Making Me Look Good II: The Revenge

July 12th, 2007 by Weber


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Special thanks to the lovely and talented Stephanie (A.K.A., “the wife”) for designing my new business cards. Their super-cool look is adapted from this blog’s fine interface created by MIKE, Webmaster To The Comic Book Stars.

Anybody who wants one can send me an email with your snail address. (For contact details, take a butchers at the cards or click the ABOUT tab.) You may just score a special signed/numbered/hand-colored edition of one of the THREE comics being put together for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Don’t wait — quantities will be limited.

Anybody needing business cards, letterhead, a corporate logo, or other graphic design work should contact the missus at www.AcmeGraphicDesign.com.

And if ya needs a good Website, better call MIKE first. Just ask Rich Koslowski.


Posted in General, Work For Hire | No Comments »

Finally! A reason to buy Marvel Comics

July 6th, 2007 by Weber


genius for hire

One hundred twenty-two days ago, I stopped buying comics.

The thing to understand is I’m a comics reader, not a collector. I’m in it for the stories. And the stories from The Big Two have long been turning from stale to moldy.

I’d grown tired of the melba toast melodrama cranked out by DC and Marvel. I was evermore pissed-off about blowing three bucks on a “book” that took me less than ten minutes to read and was nearly half ads. And the stories? Jesus, the stories. Every comic read like a rejected “Days Of Our Lives” script; the annual continuity shattering/re-ordering “event” never failed to end in another Civil Crisis of Infinite Boredom.

Multiply by six books a week. That’s about a thousand dollars a year. For what?

It was time to yank that spandex-clad monkey off my back.

I called my comic shop guy on a Tuesday and told him to cancel my pull list — a decision beautifully validated the following morning by the “shocking” death of Captain America .

Yaaaaawn.

And except for taking my daughter to Free Comic Book Day, I haven’t been in a shop since.

My four-color ennui vanished last week when I read that my close personal friend, Rich Koslowski, will be writing for the upcoming revamp of MARVEL COMICS ANTHOLOGY.

A Marvel comic from the genius who brought us The King, The Three Geeks saga (soon to be an indy motion picture), and the Ignatz Award Winning Three Fingers.

The book doesn’t hit stands until September but, much to my surprise, I’m already in line.

Get all the details from Rich right here.

YOU GO NOW!


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