"Just read the book and damn dude you made wanna go out back in shoot myself. In a good way. Great job."
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Denis here. I'm going to be on the radio -- CJSF 90.1 in Vancouver -- tonight at about 5:20PM PST, for the sci fi geekdom show Hi-Sci-Fi. I plan to talk a little about The Monocle and Jimmy Specs. They broadcast online, so please check it out.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Screenwriter Stephen Susco, who scripted The Grudge and its sequel, is a fan of our book. Here's what he has to say:
"Right on! Part of what's so freakin' cool about it are the bold choices they've made. I really enjoyed it."
His new movie, Red, starring Brian Cox as an old man who sets out for redemption and justice after some hoodlums kill his dog, is making the rounds in theaters now. It's worth seeing.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Shaun Manning has just written an extensive interview with me (Denis) over at Comic Book Resources. He's done a great job. We owe him and his editor, Jonah Weiland, big props.
Friday, August 15, 2008
While most of the people I talk to about our book seem to get it, some have commented on how dark it is. Personally, I don't see it that way at all.
Below are two pages from a series DC did in the eighties called Crisis on Infinite Earths. Before Crisis, whenever DC bought a new property, they wouldn't blend it into their existing universe. Instead, they'd claim the characters existed in another dimension, which is why, say, Captain Marvel and Superman didn't hang out. Also, they explained the fact that the DC heros like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman had been in their prime for over 50 years by claiming that heros in their prime in the forties ("Earth-Two") and the heros in their prime in the eighties ("Earth-One") were actually entirely different people existing on different dimensions. Furthermore, sometimes DC writers would make up whole new dimensions just for fun. Finally, some editor decided it was all too confusing and initiated this mini-series to squish all the characters into one, tidy dimension.
The premise is that this anti-matter monster called the Anti-Monitor is devouring the dimensions one-by-one, so the various remaining heros need to band together to stop it.
The two pages below are from the first issue. They're set on "Earth-Three", where all the good guys are bad guys and visa versa. For example, the Justice League of America is the Crime Syndicate of America. As the Anti-Monitor wipes out their existence, the good guys and the bad guys team up to stop it. They know it's futile, but they fight anyway.
It's a little goofy, but these two pages struck me as poetic from the first time I read them, especially the line, "We've spent a lifetime terrorizing this world, yet our last moments alive are spent trying to save it." It's heroism completely void of logic, consequence or any other external motivation. It's doing the right thing simply because it's the right thing.
Of the hundreds of comics I've owned and the thousands I've read, these two pages have stuck with me more than any other (except maybe some Jimmy Corrigan stuff) and it's caused me to meditate on the nature of heroism over and over again. What is the "right" thing to do? I think most people think they're doing the right thing, for the most part. Yet those people still tend to screw other people up pretty badly and pretty consistently.
Granted, the story of The Monocle strays a lot from the pages below, but these were the seeds. The old man in our book thinks he's doing the right thing, but given the other choices he's made in life, what he considers the right thing suffers a lack of clarity. Yet, I think there's a beauty to the purity of his actions and I hope that leads to his salvation. At least that's what I tried to write.
If you can't read these panels on your computer, drop me a line and I'll send you something larger.
Monday, August 4, 2008
The folks over at Science Blog have started running a plug for The Monocle on their site. Thanks guys!
Monday, July 28, 2008
We had a great Comic-Con. Talked to some really nice editors at several cool publishing houses and got some interest in expanding the book.
I'd especially like to thank Omaha Perez for introducing me to one of his editors at the show. I don't want to name names yet, but it was a real boost and a pleasure to meet the guy.
Stay tuned and come to our signing at the Comic Bug this Wednesday!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
We got ourselves featured in one of my local papers, The Easy Reader. Here's what they had to say:
“The Monocle & Jimmy Specs” follows a hero-and-sidekick team that could have come straight from ‘30s “Golden Age” adventures, and connects their haloed heroism with a grayer reality decades later, when one lingers on in retirement.Click through to read the whole article!
This is not a cynical exercise in which modern sensibilities run roughshod over the sentiments of a bygone era. The story is told with warmth and humor, with a proper affection for its cardboard-cutout heroes and a fair-minded exploration of the more textured characters found underneath those cardboard exteriors.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
We'll be signing books at the Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach again on July 30 between 5pm and 8pm.
I know, I know -- we were just there, but that was part of a larger, pre-Comic-con group thing. This post-Comic-con signing will be all about us. You and us, together, alone. We look forward to basking in the glory of your praise.
Also, don't forget that we are at Golden Apple in Hollywood on July 23.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
We had a great signing at The Comic Bug last night and met a lot of cool creators, including Wendy Pini of Elfquest fame and artist Don Hudson, who worked on Tokyopop's latest Star Trek book and heads up a cool website called Comiculture.
But the high point of my evening was when Rikki let me draw her portrait for our name placard. I'm guessing it was the low point of her evening.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
It all happened last minute, but we're going to signing copies of The Monocle and Jimmy Specs tomorrow, Wednesday July 16 at The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach. It's part of a larger event that will include a bunch of other comic book creators, so come on down.
The signing part of the evening is between 6pm and 8pm.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
Rikki and I will signing copies of The Monocle and Jimmy Specs at Golden Apple Comics in their Pre-Con Showcase & Tribute Mixer on Wednesday, July 23 between 6 and 9pm.
Ryan at Golden Apple has set up the event on Comic-Con Eve to give smaller artists, writers and publishers a chance to shine a little, given the big show in San Diego has now been more-or-less taken over by Big Hollywood. It's also a chance to honor comic book talent that has passed on in the last year.
There will be food and drink, as well as a chance to see a lot of cool work. Come on down to 7018 Melrose in Los Angeles and say hi!
Monday, June 23, 2008
You'll need to scroll down to the "Indie Jones" section of the page, but when you do, you'll find a glowing review of the book from Ambush Bug.
But if you haven't read The Monocle yet, you might just want to take my word for it because there are a couple spoilers in the review.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
We're now stocked at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood. I'm used to pitching movie scripts, which are so much harder to get people to read. It's just great to hand someone this book, stand back and watch their jaw drop when they see Rikki's art. They're instantly sucked in. The Meltdown guy bought a stack on the spot.
Hopefully, he'll dig the story too, when he gets around to reading it.
Friday, June 20, 2008
This one comes from Pop Thought, which is more of a thinking person's pop culture site.
Here's an excerpt:
The writing is economical, but filled with nuance. The art is simple, even rough, but has aspects of tone and mood that tell a story without words or action. The combination is a good one, and I am very impressed.
Monday, June 9, 2008
So, I'm at an event for Hollywood Heritage, and I had a couple copies of The Monocle and Jimmy Specs for some good friends there. I was giving the book to one of them, and the fellow he was with saw it, really liked it, and wanted a copy. I mentioned that the book had only just been printed, and he asked me if I'd sold any yet. I told him I hadn't; I'd given some away to family, etc., but I personally hadn't sold any (Denis might've sold some, he's our business brains and all that).
It turns out this gentleman is Will Ryan, who in addition to being a great guy/composer/lyricist/and voice actor for tons of wonderful animated films, also bought the first copy of the first issue of American Splendor, depicted here in the Harvey Pekar story illustrated by Gary & Laura Dumm which comes with the DVD of the film:
And I was pretty happy about that! Here's the link to Will's cool site.
...As far as Denis goes, the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing. He may have already fled to Mexico, and is living on the rich spoils of our comic whilst I toil away in obscurity. Thanks a lot Denis, you bastard. I'm keeping the $2.50.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Andrea Speed over at Comixtreme.com has this to say about our book:
This is a little gem of a comic that proves that you don't need a lot of expository dialogue to tell a story... A terrific comic, one you should definitely pick up.
Click above to read the whole, glowing review.
I'm kind of happy about this.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Comic book author Philip Clark (Quantum, The Sentinels) has seen fit to offer us our first blurb. Actually, he offered two. The first one is the one we'll probably use:
"The Monocle is a superb homage to the pulp comics of yesteryear, with a marvelous modern day twist."
But I like the second one better:
"This book is REALLY fucking good."
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Several years ago, a short filmmaker contracted me to come up with some ideas for his next project. I cranked out about two dozen, one of which was the story of an old, retired superhero and his last stab at redemption. It was one of the least-formed of the lot, but it had tragic grace to it that I couldn't get out of my head. I put it away, hoping to make my own short film someday.
Then, a little over a year ago, I started going to Comic Artists Guild meetings at my local comic shop, the Comic Bug. There was some real talent in the group, but one artist blew my mind. In fact, she blew everyone's mind. There was an elegance to her work that immediately reminded me of my old superhero. I pitched Rikki my half-formed idea. She loved it and immediately started making sketches that had a depth far beyond anything I felt capable of writing. So I pushed myself, not doing what I typically do, which is to fall back on jokes and action when intimidated by emotion.
The Monocle and Jimmy Specs is the result. I don't say this very often, but I'm pretty proud of it.
Now that the book is done, we've started this blog to keep you up on our progress showing it to the world. It might just turn into a study on the characters or it might become a diary of how two of the world's worst self-promoters promote a comic book. Please stay tuned.