21
Jul
14

Where I’ve been, what I’m doing, and welcome newbies

It’s been a short, busy summer for me. As I told you guys the last time I posted, Erin and I got married last month. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of moving, shopping, refinishing furniture and trying to find time to simply enjoy being together. It’s been nice, but the summer is sadly nearing its end for this teacher.

I have managed to finish the second draft of my next book, Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class. I’ve sent it out to some faithful beta readers and I’m working on getting a cover put together as well. I’d really like to get it out to the universe by the beginning of September, to really catch the wave on the back-to-school madness, but I don’t know if I’ll quite make that self-imposed goal.

In the midst of all this, I’ve happily noticed a little bump in sales for my first novel, Other People’s Heroes. Hey, cool! Always nice to have some new readers in our midst, and OPH is most certainly the perfect gateway drug into my ever-expanding universe. If you happened to find this post because of OPH and you’re wondering where to go next, may I suggest the other tales in the world of Siegel City?

  • Associated Pressure is a (very) short story that takes place during the final chapter of OPH, demonstrating Josh’s first battle with the most insidious foe of all: the media.
  • The Restless Dead of Siegel City picks up Josh’s story the following Halloween, when an army of the undead arrive in his town.
  • The Ghost of Simon Tower has Josh encounter a mysterious visitor on a cold Christmas Eve.
  • Lucky Penny, another Christmas story, follows a reformed villain trying to make an honest living in Las Vegas, but there’s a hero that won’t quite let him get on with his life.
  • The Pyrite War, a full-length novel, takes place in the Golden Age, and tells the story of Siegel City’s very first superhero.

And if you’re interested, I’ve got a few non-superhero novels and works of Geek Punditry on Amazon and other such sources as well. I’m out there. I hope you find something you like.

14
Jun
14

Things I love Erin more than

For a long time now, I’ve occasionally taken a moment to tell Erin something that I love less than her. This is, of course, a substantial list. It has gotten rather long over time, as I would glance over at her and say, for example, “I love you more than The LEGO Movie and Titleist Golf Balls.”

Since I’m going to get to marry her this afternoon, I thought I would share with you a few of the things that I love Erin more than. This is, you understand, a woefully incomplete list. There are many, many things I love less than her that are not represented here, simply because really, who has that much time to do a complete list? But for now, until I see her walking down the aisle, here’s a partial list of things I love Erin more than.

A&W Root Beer
AA Batteries
Action Comics #1
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
All you can eat salad and breadsticks
Aluminum Water Bottles
Andy Richter
Applesauce
Back to the Future Part II
Bacon
BACON.
BA. CON.
Barbecue Fritos
Barq’s Root Beer
Batman
Bejeweled Blitz
Benjamin J. Grimm
Bitstrips
Blu-Rays
The Blue Lion from Voltron
Bluebell Ice Cream
Blueberry Pancakes
Boardwalk
Bob Sagat
Bottled Water
Bread
Breaking Bad
Broccoli
Bryan Cranston
Bugs Bunny
Cadbury Creme Eggs
Candy
Candy Crush
Caramello
Cap’n Crunch
Carrots
Carrot Cake
Cheerios
Cheese
Cheese Grits
Cheese Pizza
Cheeseburgers
Cheesecake
Cheesy Pita Bread
Chex Mix
Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
Chocolate
Chocolate Bunnies
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Chocolate Pickles
Christmas Crunch Cereal
Christmas Trees
Chuck Jones
Cinematic Titanic
Claw-Foot Bathtubs
Clerks II
Coca-Cola
Coke Zero
Color pencils
Comic Book Conventions
The Complete Works of Herman Melville
Conan O’Brien
The Constructicons all together (i.e. Devestator)
Corn Pone
Count Chockula
Cracker Barrel
Cupcakes
Dalek/TARDIS Salt and Pepper Shaker Set
Dexter
Drake’s Coffee Cake
The Dewey Decimal System
Digital Chickens
Don Knotts
Drive-In Movies
Ducky Momo
The Easter Bunny’s Chocolate Droppings
Egg Nog
Electric Blankets
The Electric Light Orchestra
Every German Gymnast
Facebook
The Films of Matt Damon
Flatbread
Flintstones Push Pops
Forever Stamps
Freddie Mercury
French Toast
Friendster
Fruit Stripe Gum
Garlic Bread
Garth Brooks
Geoff Johns
Ginger Ale
Ginseng
Girls with Scottish accents
Glazed Donuts
Glitter Paint
Grape Soda
Gravity
Grilled Cheese
Grimlock
The Guild
The Hadron Supercollider
Hall AND Oats
Hershey kisses
Hot Dogs cut to look like Octopi
Hyperactive turtles
Ibuprofen
Ice Cold Spring Water
Ice Cream Cake
Injection Molded Plastic
The Internal Combustion Engine
Iron Man
Ironing Boards
iTunes
Jambalaya
Jellybeans
Kettle Corn
Kinetic Balls
Kool-Aid
Kosher Dill Pickles
Kumquats
The Last Day of School
Lime Sugar Free Jell-O Cups
Lipton Green Tea
The Loch Ness Monster
Lollipops
The Lone Ranger
Lost
Lucille Ball
Macaroni and Cheese
The Magical Comedy of Mr. John Cleese
Malted Milk Balls
The Man-Eating Shark Saturday Night Live sketch
Marmalade
Marshmallow Peeps
Marvin Gardens
Math
Maxwell House Coffee
Meatballs
Men’s Wearhouse
Michael Phelps
Mister Bean
The Mona Lisa
Monty Python
The Moon
The Mountains
The Movies of Jerry Lewis
MRI Scanners
Multivitamins
The Music of Jerry Lee Lewis
The Music of Mr. Conway Twitty
MySpace
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Nacho Cheese
Nasal Decongestant
National Novel Writing Month
Nestle Qwik
Not Being Sick
Olympic Bobsledding
One Froggy Evening
Optimus Prime
Pancakes
Pancakes, Blueberry
Parades
Park Place
Pasta Primavera
Pastalaya
Pastrami
Paul Harvey
Peas
Penguin families
Pepperoni
Period Costumes
Pepto-Bismol
Pez
Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
Pickled Beets
Pickles
Pixie Dust
Pizza
Pizza Bagels
A Platypus?
PERRY the Platypus!
The Power of Shazam!
Precious: Based on the novel Push by Saphire
Pop Rocks
Pop Tarts
The Prometheus and Bob Tapes
Promotional Giveaway Lantern Rings
Pulp Fiction
Pumpkin flavored foodstuffs
Pumpkin Pie
The “Puppet Master” series of films
Purple
Radial Tires
Radon Detectors
Rick Riordan
RiffTrax
Ritz Crackers
Robin Sparkles
Ryan Styles
Salami
Salvador Dali
Santa’s Elves
The Seas
Seinfeld reruns
Sesame Street Old School DVDs
Slumdog Millionaire
Smoked Turkey
So Long and Thanks For All the Fish
Socratic Method
Spackle
Spaghetti
Spaceballs: The T-Shirt
Spaceballs: The Coloring Book
Spaceballs: The Lunch Box
Spaceballs: The Breakfast Cereal
Spaceballs: The Flamethrower (Da kids love this one)
Spirit Halloween Superstores
Spring Rolls
The Stars
The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man
String cheese
The Sun
Sunshine
Superman
Swizzle Sticks
This List
The Tick (animated series)
The Tick (live action series)
Tide with Bleach
Totino’s Pizza Rolls
Traffic Cones
Troll
Troll 2
Tron
Twenty Percent Off Sales
Twitter
Valium
Vicodin
Vinylmation Figures
Wayne Brady
Whipped Cream
White Chocolate Reese’s Cups
The Works of Agatha Christie
Xylophones
Zambonis
Zombieland
The World and Everything in It

21
May
14

About ‘Batman v Superman’…

Batman v Superman-Dawn of JusticeEarlier today, Warner Bros finally announced the title of the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, which we all know would co-star Ben Affleck as Batman and do the  legwork for setting up the Justice League movie that will come out a year later. As a lifelong comic book nerd and especially a Superman fan, I of course had an immediate reaction upon hearing the title Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. So rather than go over it time and again, I thought I would say it here, once, for posterity:

The internet is absolutely full of assholes.

I happened to be at work when the title was announced, so I didn’t see it until later in the day, more than enough time for every nugget-brained, mouth-breathing, soulless, spiteful, hateful jackass on the plant to crawl out of the woodwork and start hurling invectives at Warner Bros, at DC Comics, and especially, at each other. Because, you see, knowing the title of a movie is pretty much the same thing as seeing the finished product, as we all learned from Naked Lunch.

A short collection of the kind of comments I found, except with better spelling, because it’s almost the end of the school year and I can’t bear to torture my brain by attempting to accurately emulate the comments of these people:

  • “This sucks.”
  • “This just proves it’s gonna be The Dark Knight Returns. This sucks.”
  • “Gal Gadot is too skinny to be Wonder Woman. This sucks.”
  • “STUPIIIIIIIIIID.”
  • “This just proves it’s not gonna be a Man of Steel sequel. This sucks.”
  • “Something something pretentious, I’m going to go back and watch Tree of Life.”

And so forth.

Now I want to be clear here, I’m not writing anything in defense of the movie. That would be impossible. Because the damn movie has not been made yet. There is literally nothing to defend. Principal photography began, literally, this week. Yet this hasn’t stopped pretty much the entire internet from vomiting out the contents of its gall bladder into the ether.

To be fair, the defenders of the film were, in many cases, just as inarticulate. Phrases such as “not a true fan” were thrown around, which is frankly just as noxious a term as “fake geek girl” to me. If there’s anything less possible to predict than the quality of a movie that has not yet been filmed, it’s the inner devotion of a person to an idea, concept, or fandom. Or to simplify that, just because someone doesn’t feel the same way about a franchise as you do doesn’t make them any less of a fan.

For some time now, I’ve found myself getting more and more irritated with fandom in general, at least its online iteration, because it seems quite clear that the only thing anyone is interested in spewing is negativity. String theory posits that every possible title for this movie was actually selected in some alternate universe or another, because all possibilities are reality somewhere in quantum space. However, I promise you, in every parallel reality it’s mostly the same people bitching and moaning about the title for a movie that — again, I remind you — they have not seen yet. A small sampling of whining jackasses from other planes of existence:

  • World’s Finest? Sounds pretentious.”
  • Superman V Batman? What, Affleck doesn’t get top billing?”
  • Man of Steel 2? What, they couldn’t be more original than that?”
  • “Gal Gadot is too skinny to be Wonder Woman. This sucks.”

So allow me to make this simple. You haven’t seen the movie. So you don’t know. That doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed an opinion. It just means that if you have no intention but to hiss clouds of venomous mist in the direction of anybody who has the audacity to be excited for the movie, I really don’t want to hear a single syllable out of you. It means that if you honestly believe you know all there is to know about this movie just from the title and the tidbits of information released so far, you’re an idiot. It means that if you think somebody else is less of a fan than you are because they don’t like the title, you’re an elitist snob. It means that if you’re actually so stupidly arrogant as to presuppose that there is nothing else to be discussed and your opinion is inviolate and unerring and that nothing will lodge you from your perch, do us all two favors. First, shut up, because you’re not going to contribute anything to the discussion. Second, when the movie comes out, don’t bother to see it, because you’ve already made up your damn mind two years ahead of time and nothing that anybody puts on that screen could possibly change it at this point, so why waste your time?

There. Rant over. Except to say that if I’m talking about you even a little, you need to grow the hell up.

Hmm? What did I actually think of the title? I actually quite like “Dawn of Justice,” but I’m not crazy about the “v” part, as it implies “versus.” A certain degree of conflict is inevitable, I suppose, I just hope it’s not the entire blueprint of the story.

See how easy that was? Try doing it like that some time.

01
Apr
14

How I finished “How I Met Your Mother”

I have written before — and often — of my love for CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, which ended its nine-year run Monday night. It was a show of true heart, relateable joys and heartbreaks, and outrageously funny characters that have kept me entertained for nearly a decade. I didn’t want to fire off a knee-jerk reaction to the finale — as the internet has proven time and again, that way lies madness. I wanted a little time to ponder, to sort out my feelings, to understand them before I tried to explain them. Now that I’ve thought it through, I think I’m ready.

Be warned. Spoilers ahoy.

To say the ending left me feeling conflicted is an understatement. There were certainly fine moments, and the structure works. At the end, the show is finally given its true context. The framing sequence, when Ted Mosby circa 2030 is telling the children how he met their mother, is really Future Ted’s attempt to explain to his children why — six years after the death of his wife — he’s considering trying to start up a relationship with their “Aunt Robin.” It explains succinctly why the story started with his and Robin’s first meeting, why so much of the story has centered on her, why over the years Ted and Robin  would backslide to one another so often. It makes sense.

Despite making sense, though, something about the finale left me feeling… hollow. And I needed to decide what that was. It wasn’t just that Tracy, the mother, was dead. I didn’t want that, but I’ve also never thought it was fair to judge a story by what you want it to be rather than what it is. And it isn’t that the ending was, at best, bittersweet, because those are often the most emotionally rich and spiritually honest ways a story can end.

My problem, I think, stems from the fact that the final few minutes of the show thrust Ted and Robin back together again — this after years of Ted trying to get over her and finally succeeding just a few short episodes ago. In the penultimate episode, in fact, he underlined that moment, telling Robin that he was not in love with her anymore. To leap, then, from that point to Future Ted returning to Robin’s apartment with the blue French Horn from so long ago… it felt like all the character development had evaporated. I could deal with Robin and Barney’s divorce, sad as that was. I probably even could have dealt with the Mother dying, as such sadness is true to life, is what ultimately makes the moments of joy all the greater. In the last minutes, though, I felt like we bounced back to square one.

In a way, I think the writers trapped themselves. In any long-running story — especially on TV, where the writer’s goals can be derailed by actors leaving, dying, getting arrested… really any circumstances where real-world events can intrude on the storytelling — there has to be room for flexibility. We all know that Aaron Paul’s character was originally slated to die in the first season of Breaking Bad, but Vince Gilligan changed his mind, and thank goodness. Then we have LOST, which initially hung a lot of significance on a 10-year-old named Walt. The mysteries around that character had to be dropped, though, because while only a few months passed on the show, in real time several years passed. The actor aged and hit a growth spurt. Now I remain a defender of LOST, I liked the ending, but I can’t deny frustration at some of the questions that were never answered because nature necessitated putting him on a boat off the island.

HIMYM’s problem wasn’t as dramatic — there was never a question of removing an actor or one of them leaving the show. Instead, the characters moved in a direction I don’t think the creators anticipated by focusing so much of the show of Ted trying to get past Robin, to the point where many viewers (I’m raising my hand here) wanted to just get past that and get on with the story of the Mother.

But the die had already been cast. To avoid “The Walt Problem,” they filmed scenes of Ted’s kids reacting to the end of the story eight years ago, before they had visibly aged from the scenes they shot for the first few episodes. It was a good strategy, but it kind of locked them into the ending, in which the kids gave Ted their blessing to go after Aunt Robin. With no wiggle room, they took an ending that may have worked in season two, or three, or even five, and applied it to characters who — by season nine — had outgrown it. The ending planned no longer rang entirely true.

I don’t hate the ending. There was, in fact, some fine work in there. Lily and Marshall have always been the stable core of the group (save for a brief period in season two), and having them act as a sort of Greek chorus in this finale, shuffling them between Robin, Barney, Ted and Tracy, all rang true.

Neil Patrick Harris, to use a baseball analogy, gets the save here. One of the best aspects of the show for the past few years has been the slow growth and development of Barney Stinson from a one-note character to someone you truly wanted to root for. When he and Robin broke up and he reverted to form, it was heartbreaking. In his case, though, it was not a question of true backsliding, of him becoming the person he once was. Even sadder, he was trying to return to the person he used to be, and with each protest that his friends “let me be who I am,” it was increasingly clear he was no longer that person.

Then he held his daughter and professed his truest, most sincere love. In that moment the old Barney — the Season One Barney, the Barney he put back on life support when he and Robin called it quits — well and truly died. And as sad as his split with Robin was, I don’t think the new Barney, Daddy Barney… hell, the real Barney… ever could have existed without her. It was a phenomenal moment, and although we didn’t get to see much of Barney as a dad, I have no doubt that it was Legend — wait for it…

And finally, Cristin Milioti as Tracy, the Mother. She gets this season’s MVP award. To come into a show in its ninth and final season would be daunting under any circumstances. To do so in such a way that makes the viewers feel for her and care about her as deeply as the five characters the audience has known all this time… it’s heroic. She was simply magnificent. We accepted easily how quickly Ted fell in love with her, because we did too.

I believed Tracy as the love of Ted’s life. Which is initially why that ending felt like a gut punch. upon reflection, though, I think I also see a seed of redemption in it. I can use it for a little perspective. Ted, after all, was the one who turned down Robin when she tried to take him back at her wedding. Tracy wasn’t his second choice, like I felt at first. Even though he didn’t know her yet, he gave up Robin to look for her, and he was rewarded. And it’s not like he ran back to Robin as soon as his wife died — he took six years, a more than respectable amount of time, before he decided it may be worth pursuing. Even then, he put the wishes of his children — Tracy’s children — before his own. Through that prism, I can see it as Robin and Ted finding solace with each other after her unexpectedly lonely life and the loss of his true love.

It’s not what I expected. It’s not how I would have ended it. But it has some truth to it nonetheless.

So while I’m not fully satisfied, I’m not really upset either. I’m certainly not angry. How could I be? For nine years, I’ve been allowed to join in on the adventures of characters right in my own stage of life, allowing me to grow with them. As Ted’s friends married and had children, so did mine. The first time Ted ever heard Tracy’s voice, she was singing “La Vie En Rose,” and as Erin and I prepare for our own wedding, they’ve given us the song for our first dance.

So thank you, show creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, and thank your writers, for nine years of joy. Thank you to Pamela Fryman, who directed nearly every episode of the series (a Herculean feat in and of itself). And thank you to our six incomparable friends, and the countless supporting players, for the pop culture milestone you’ve created.

For robot wrestlers and the Kennedy package. For slap bets and for Swarley, duckie ties and dopplegangers. For never buckling to peer pressure and explaining about the pineapple. (Yes, I’ve heard the rumors of a DVD extra. Shut up.) For making interventions fun again. For extending the cultural significance of the hanging chad by a good 13 years.

For making me cry more than once and never making me ashamed of it.

For blue French Horns.

For yellow umbrellas.

I request the highest of fives.

 

–dary.

Yeah. Totally worth the wait.

28
Feb
14

Blake has written books Day 5: Everything Else

Throughout the week, guys, I’ve given you glimpses into the full-length novels I’ve got available. But that isn’t the extent of my work. There are several shorts and collections available as well, and darn it, don’t they deserve their day in the sun?

Tales of Siegel City:

The Restless Dead of Siegel City

The Restless Dead of Siegel City

In this novella, it’s Halloween night and the city of faux superheroes finds itself overrun with the REAL undead — mummies, zombies, vampires, and all manner of creatures of the night have come to wreak havoc. Copycat, Animan, and their crew have to dig out the root of the infestation, and Josh has to confront the ghost of his greatest failure.

This is the first direct follow-up to Other People’s Heroes.

Lucky Penny: A Christmas Story in the World of Siegel CityLucky Penny

Gill Lutz is a Las Vegas runner — a man employed by a casino to make sure that everything runs smoothly with no interference by people with “special” talents, which in a world full of metahumans is no small task. When the Vegas-based superhero called Lucky Penny uses her powers make Gill’s casino pay out jackpot after jackpot, he’s got to stop her before the casino goes bankrupt or, even worse, he’s out of a job.

This new story is set in the world of the novel Other People’s Heroes and the short story “The Restless Dead of Siegel City,” but can be read independently of those works. This eBook edition also contains a bonus short story, “Stowaway.” It’s Christmas Eve, 1827, and Louis Baudreau is determined to find something in the skies over the Gulf of Mexico he never thought he would see again. Instead, he finds a visitor on his boat that may take him places he never imagined.

GhostofSimonTower2The Ghost of Simon Tower

Every Christmas Eve the heroes of Siegel City come together to raise a glass to their fallen friends. On Josh Corwood’s first Christmas among them, he learns of an apparition that has haunted Simon Tower for years… a mysterious, nameless phantom, who may hold some of the Tower’s biggest secrets yet.

Set the Christmas after The Restless Dead of Siegel City, This short story continues the tale of Other People’s Heroes with a gateway into the past of Siegel City, and a glimpse into its future.

AssociatedPressure_HiAssociated Pressure

After the battle of Simon Tower, there are a lot of questions… heroes missing, villains who have changed sides, evil twins, and rampant confusion. The new LightCorps is holding a press conference to place everyone’s minds at ease. Unfortunately, one of the new superheroes can’t keep his story straight…

This very short story takes place in-between the final two scenes of Other People’s Heroes, with a humorous look at a Josh Corwood taken totally outside of his comfort zone.

Christmas Stories

A Long November and Other Tales of ChristmasA Long November

A Long November was written as my National Novel Writing Month experiment for 2005 and became my first Podcast Novel. Duncan Marks is just like you — sick and tired of Christmas coming before the Thanksgiving turkey even comes out of the oven. But this year, a Spirit of the Season takes him on a journey that tests his resolve… and upon which Christmas itself may rise or fall.

This short story, along with eight other Christmas themed stories of mine, has been collected into an eBook. Some of these shorts, including the Siegel City storyLonely Miracle,” have been included as bonus content in some of my feature length novels.

Making Santa AdventMaking Santa

Making Santa is my first effort at a true serialized novel, a lighthearted sci-fi story for the holidays. Yes, you read that right. It’s planned to be released in four installment, one each year at Christmas time. Here’s the info on part one:

Advent:

Nicholas Grace and 199 other men have been abducted by a strange alien race called the Yool — a “benevolent order” that travels the galaxy helping undeveloped worlds by providing them with the things they lack. On our world, the Yool are trying to give us our missing icons. With the help of the Yool and their advanced technology, one of the 200 abductees will be chosen to fill some of the most legendary boots in history. One of these men will become Santa Claus.

Geek Punditry

Reel to Reel - Monsters NO BLEEDReel to Reel

The Reel to Reel project is my ongoing effort to study, document, and pontificate on different genres of movies. Once or twice a year, I intend to run the “first draft” of each project, a day at a time, online. I’ll then come back later with the expanded eBook editions, including more movies and more content. Here’s what’s available so far.

Vol. 1: Mutants, Monsters and Madmen

The first project looks at 40 of the greatest, most entertaining, and most influential horror movies of all time.

The Obligatory Everything But Imaginary

For years now, I’ve offered up my geek punditry at CXPulp.com and various other sites across the internet landscape. Now I’m gathering together the best of those columns and articles in a series of short, low-price collections around different themes. Here’s what’s available so far.

RevolvingDoor_MockupVol. 1: A Revolving Door in Heaven
A look at the phenomenon of life, death, and the rapid turnaround between the two in American comic books.

SuperSanta_HiVol. 2: Is Santa Claus Super?
In this volume we look at Christmas comic books, Christmas music, how to shop for the Geek on your list, and we answer the most burning question of all… is Santa Claus a superhero?

27
Feb
14

Blake has written books Day 4: The Pyrite War

PyriteWar_v2For my fourth novel, I returned to the world of Siegel City, but not the one we saw in Other People’s Heroes. While OPH was very much a contemporary novel, in The Pyrite War I hearkened back to the city’s early days to tell the tale of Siegel’s very first superhero.

On the cusp of America’s involvement in World War II, the world only knows of one super-powered champion: Guardian M, protector of Siegel City. When young Gabriel Ruston discovers powers of his own he sets his sights on becoming the second champion, but dies in a tragic incident on his first night in costume. When his brother, David, finds evidence that Gabriel’s death was no accident, he is forced to join with a frightened underground to uncover the truth about the man everyone idolizes. In Siegel City, nothing has ever been what it seemed… not even in a Golden Age.

This book is partially my tribute to the origins of the superhero, partially a way to flesh out and develop the world of Siegel City. Fans of OPH will find a whole new cast of characters, but a few of them may just have links to people we’ve seen before.

And don’t forget, guys — reblog! Tweet! Share! And please post your reviews at all of the above websites and at Goodreads.com!

26
Feb
14

Blake Has Written Books Part 3: Opening Night of the Dead

Opening Night of the DeadMy third novel, Opening Night of the Dead, is the second book in the world of the Curtain, although you don’t need to have read the previous book, The Beginner, in order to enjoy it. It’s almost Halloween, and at the Climax Studios campus in Hollywood, work is being done on a new zombie movie. On the other side of the property, though, at the Climax Studios Theme Park, a real zombie has stumbled into the costumed partygoers. A pair of former cops (as “former” as you can get) are sent to try to quell the violence, joining their skills with a studio stuntman and makeup artist, plus a tabloid reporter that has strayed on to the lot. In this humorous take on horror movies, it’s these five people who stand between the world and a zombie apocalypse.

This book is a bit more lighthearted than The Beginner, and in fact, establishes the tone I really want for the Curtain universe. It’s also where the term “Curtain” comes from. If you’re into weird takes on zombies, this is the Petit book for you.

And don’t forget, gang, please, tweet and share and reblog this post, and if you’ve already read the book, why not throw up a review at any of the above websites or at Goodreads.com?




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