Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Insomnia Release

The publisher that is releasing my OGN, Insomnia, has a new book that is just about ready for release. It's called Cancertown; I've begun reading Insomnia's previous release, Cages (which has cover art from Jonathan 'Secret Warriors' Hickman and a foreward from Ben Templesmith), and really dig it. I'm sure Cancertown will live up to its promise--it has an ringing endoresement for Bryan Talbot, so it must be pretty good.

Read all about it here:


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Best News Ever

It's strange. As I sit down to write this post, on something I've waited so long to happen, I can't think of how to say it. So I'll just spell it out: My graphic novel, Quarantine, has been picked up for publication by Insomnia Publications (read the announcement here).

Now, truthfully, I'm not one to go on about myself. Really. But this is the biggest achievement of my professional career, and not to mention a fantastic personal milestone. At the risk of sounding cliche, this is something I've worked incredibly hard for, have sacrificed a lot, and endured quite a bit of rejection. All of which is to say, it's been a hard fought road to get to where I'm at now, but it could not be sweeter.

As for the book itself: I originally had this idea about five years ago. At the time, I was fully committed to writing prose fiction, and never really pursued the thought further, though it always lingered in my mind. About two years ago, as I was wrapping up grad school, I decided to sit down and start writing, just to test out the experience of scripting a comic. See, I grew up on comics (and film). In grade school, me and two friends of mine actually wrote and drew our own comic, a series about a boy and his pet dinosaur (hey, we were 12). We actually sold it at school; I remember coming home one day with a bag full of change, which I can only assume I promptly spent on Spider-Man comics. I religiously studied Buscema's How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way and, during high school, created heroes in the early to mid-nineties Image mold. I fell out of comics a few years later (though I checked in from time to time, especially to see what my favorites, like Spidey, the X-Men, etc., were up to).

The basic premise of Quarantine, admittedly, is fairly basic. It's a zombie-type survival scenario (though I don't really like it to be categorized as such). What really kept me going was the ideas that evolved; ideas involving the fabric of society and human destiny. It's discernibly evident that the events of the past eight years certainly shaped a lot of this book.

So I started writing more, and more. Before I knew it, prose fiction was long forgotten, and I was back to reading, and now studying, comics once again. The real turning point was getting my first short, "Rank and File," published with FutureQuake; the thrill of seeing my story and words transformed into sequential art is unparalleled.

All has led me to this point, to seeing Quarantine undergo the same amazing process. And to see it happen with Insomnia just blows my mind; I'd been following them in the months leading up to the completion of Quarantine, and they are they exact publisher I targeted. Though I haven't met any of the Insomniacs personally, I can tell that they are people who not only get what comics are, but what they can be and where they should go. They posses a boldness in what they publish, and want to inject the comics world with new ideas and new creators--something that, in my estimation, is pretty rare.

So that's about that. It's been a great weekend. My wife was off both Saturday and Sunday--which happens once every, well, it never happens--and we received encouraging news regarding our dog, who has had some health struggles of late.

I'll have more updates on the status of Quarantine as I find out more; I can't wait to get into the process of transforming script pages into an actual book.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tar Sands Holiday

Well, my first post that doesn't involve comics. This is a topic I've covered before, for In These Times back in March of 2008. Much has happened since, none of it really good. Tar sand drilling is as strong as ever, and refinery expansions are underway across the country. I lay it all out here (for some reason, I can't hyperlink the article):


I was glad to revisit the topic, though I'd be happier if there was better news to report. It's an honor to contribute to Earth Island Journal, who I've long admired both for their integrity and top notch writing.