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Showing posts from December, 2008

Just saw Frank Miller's THE SPIRIT at the movies.

As a comics fan, I'd be remiss if I didn't go see The Spirit, Frank Miller's film adaptation of the influential series by legend Will Eisner - I was there. Of course I realize the film has not performed quite as anticipated and hasn't been met with glowing reviews.

An industry guy (even if only self proclaimed) I couldn't help but separate the comics industry references from the story itself. This seems to be the thing to do in Hollywood, ever since the Spider-Man movie of 2002: to affectionately name minor characters or small locales in comics-related films after comics industry people (even TV's Smallville named a small bridge in the first season, Loeb Bridge after Jeff Loeb as his comics series, Superman for All Seasons was a big influence on the TV show's take on the early life of Clark Kent).

The Spirit contains several insider references, and a surprise industry cameo - and I'm not talking about Stan Lee. The first comics industry reference is the …

On a snowy day

I’m glad I chose yesterday to trample through Manhattan and visit people as today would have been a much soggier choice. Although, I will not be missing a grand meal tonight with some college buddies (SJU) at one of my favorite places in nYc: Churrascaria Plataforma. I’ve been saving up for this meal… not snow, nor sleet, nor the dark of night can stop me.
Just last night I attended the intimate MoCCA holiday party at their gallery space on Broadway. It was a nice pot luck event and people brought all sorts of goodies for everyone to consume. Some of us brought boozeand we toasted the holidays and the forthcoming year.

The party was fun and a good time was had by all. A long table was provided for those who wanted to show their personal art portfolios, and that was a nice holiday touch. And I know they have many exciting new things lined up for 2009. [below is the director of MoCCA, Karl Erickson, along with volunteer and MoCCA regular Oliver].

As the snow falls quite heavily today in t…

A Collection of SF and Fantasy Review blogs

Over at Grasping at the Wind, John Ottinger (an online reviewer of SF and fantasy books) is trying to collect an updated master list of SFF review blogs, and he's using the crowd-source technique to get the job done. The idea is to have anyone reviewing SF and fantasy to add your own blog to the list, then post it, then backlink to John so he can continually update the list. I've added my blog to the ever-growing list at just about 3:30 p.m. today.

The Accidental Bard
A Dribble Of Ink
Adventures in Reading
The Agony Column
The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
Barbara Martin
Bibliophile Stalker
Blood of the Muse
The Book Swede
Breeni Books
Cheryl's Musings
Critical Mass
Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews
Darque Reviews
Dave Brendon's Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog
The Deckled Edge
Dragons, Heroes and Wizards
Dusk Before the Dawn
Enter the Octopus
Eve's Alexandria
Fantasy Book Critic
Fantasy Cafe
Fantasy Debut

Keeping an Ear to the Grindstone

As we approach another week's end, I gently keep an eye on the publishing world and what other shoes, sneakers, and boots may have dropped.

McFarlane Toys has announced cutting a few positions, reports The Beat. Nothing major, but obviously even the mighty Spawn creator & toy licensor has felt the sting of a stingy market.

Heidi, at The Beat, also has a nice piece about Nickelodeon magazine's ( first comic book awards - a neat little piece about the enduring love of comics for youngsters - where they get to vote. Check it.

Also, a publisher I've always loved due to their beautiful design aesthetic, kitchy book ideas, and most-excellent superhero-themed spiral notebooks, Chronicle Books (based in San Francisco) announced that they have also felt backlist sales soften and must tighten the belt strap somewhat, reports Mediabistro's Galleycat blog, here.

The more I hear about "freezes" on salaries, publishing layoffs, and other related happenings, th…

Dear Old Dad

Sure, yesterday was a tough day, and I don't have much to report on officially today. But I didn't want that to be my last post. So I'm writing again with a little aside, a small personal story about my family.

I found this picture and I thought I'd write about it. My father loved his horror movies. He loved a good scary film and interesting tv shows as well [like the X-Files, Highlander, and the like]. This is something my family always shared, a love of entertainment, good stories, horror, sf and fantasy. I have memories of watching Abbot and Costello with him on Saturday mornings at 11:00 A.M. [my favorite being the one when Wolfman fights Dracula fights Frankenstein].

He was also a big fan of little trinkets and doodads. He built little shelves in his workshop for tools, gadgets, etc. He also always ordered little trinkets through the mail, there were always little boxes and things, he was just a sucker for them. [I wonder which of us 3 children inherited that trait…

Grim times in the old book trade

It’s all over the blogosphere. Publishers are making major changes. One publishing news site already referring to today as Black Wednesday. That’s awfully disheartening. But reality, it might be.
Major reorganizations at Random House. The head of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s division “leaving the company.” Lots of shake up at Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt after they announced a freeze on new acquisitions. Also, Christian publishing house, Thomas Nelson announced that it’s cutting 10% of its staff, approximately 55 people (according to Publishers Weekly). Hard times all around. Even if god is your copilot.

The Comic Book and SF & Fantasy world have been affected too. I’ve read about layoffs at Wizards of the Coast, the CEO of Devil’s Due leaving his position along with a few staffers let go. And word from L.A. is that Tokyopop has let a few people go.

Also, a few comic book magazines made some startling announcements this week as well.

The Comic Foundry — only in its fifth issue — de…