Archive for April, 2012


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 264: Free Comic Book Day Preview

With just five days left before Geek Christmas, it’s time to gear up for Free Comic Book Day! Blake and Erin go through this year’s list of offerings and talk about which books they’re anticipating, which ones may not be to their taste, and whether or not there’s any reptile as awesome as Doctor Dinosaur. (Answer: No.) In the picks, Erin is absorbed in Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies series, and Blake urges you to watch Young Justice on Cartoon Network. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 264: Free Comic Book Day Preview


Everything But Imaginary #445: Every Age

There are so many comics out there aimed at adults, fewer aimed just at children… but what about those that are suitable for EVERY age? This most important demographic is being ignored, and publishers don’t know what to do with those comics they’ve already got.

Everything But Imaginary #445: Every Age


Happy Birthday Addie

My brother Kerry and his wife Kayla welcomed their first child today. Adalyn Renee was born at noon, and everybody is doing great.

Good day. Good, good day.

(Don’t worry. I worked on The Pyrite War in the waiting room.)


For one week only, get The Beginner FOR FREE!

So you’ve read Other People’s Heroes. Loved it. Devoured it. Built a little shrine to V3OL in your garage. Awesome. And I love you for it. But have you tried out any of my other work? The Beginner, for instance? The Beginner is a dark fantasy about a filmmaker who begins to notice people vanishing from the set of his latest film… and when those people vanish, the ones that remain forget they were ever there. It’s different from OPH, but it’s a book I’m proud of.

And for the next week, it’s FREE at

That’s right, folks. From now until May 1, use the promo code VF55N at checkout and you can download the book absolutely free in any eBook format of your choosing. Get it, give it a read, and, most importantly, tell people what you think.

That’s why I’m doing this, guys — I want to help spread awareness for The Beginner as I get closer to launching OPENING NIGHT OF THE DEAD, my next book, hopefully some time in May. Opening Night is set in the same universe as The Beginner, and I’d really like to get the word out.

So if you get the book for free, my little gift, I AM making one humble request. If you like it, please, review it. Drop a review at Smashwords, at, Barnes and Noble, the iPad store — or all of the above. Reviews are an enormous help when these online stores generate search results and sales lists, and every review you write for one of my projects helps all of them get seen by more people.

So please, check out The Beginner this week — totally free, from me to you. And if you’d be so kind, once you’re finished, tell people what you think.


100 Comic Book Movies

With a little time to kill this afternoon, I decided to make one of those “Movie List Challenges” over on Facebook. Being the sort of nerd I am, I whipped up a list of 100 movies based on comic books, graphic novels, and newspaper comic strips. Some of these are kind of indirect — the comic strip was made into a broadway musical, the musical was made into a movie. Some of them will be movies you’ve seen but maybe didn’t know were comic books first. Some of them will be foreign and some of them, especially the movie serials of the 40s and 50s, will be characters you’ve heard of in movies you didn’t know existed. And although I tried to stay with theatrical films, it’s possible a made-for-TV movie or two snuck in while I wasn’t looking. But let’s see how many of ’em you’ve seen. For the sake of fairness, I’ve put an asterisk next to each movie that I’ve personally viewed…

1. The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941) *
2. Batman (1943)
3. Congo Bill (1948)
4. Batman and Robin (1949)
5. Superman and the Mole Men (1951)
6. Blackhawk: Fearless Champion of Freedom (1952)
7. Lil’ Abner (1959)
8. Batman: The Movie (1966)*
9. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)*
10. Tales From the Crypt (1972)
11. The Vault of Horror (1973)
12. Superman (1978)*
13. Flash Gordon (1980)*
14. I Go Pogo (aka Pogo For President, 1980)*
15. Popeye (1980)*
16. Superman II (1980)*
17. Annie (1982)*
18. Swamp Thing (1982)
19. Superman III (1983)*
20. Supergirl (1984)*
21. Howard the Duck (1986)*
22. Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)*
23. Akira (1988)*
24. Batman (1989)*
25. The Punisher (1989)*
26. Return of Swamp Thing (1989)
27. Dick Tracy (1990)*
28. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)*
29. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)*
30. Batman Returns (1992)*
31. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)*
32. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time (1993)
33. The Crow (1994)*
34. The Mask (1994)*
35. Batman Forever (1995)*
36. Judge Dredd (1995)*
37. Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)*
38. Barb Wire (1996)*
39. Tales From the Crypt: Bordello of Blood (1996)*
40. Batman and Robin (1997)*
41. Men in Black (1997)*
42. Spawn (1997)*
43. Steel (1997)
44. Blade (1998)*
45. X-Men (2000)*
46. Ghost World (2001)*
47. Blade II (2002)*
48. Road to Perdition (2002)*
49. Spider-Man (2002)*
50. American Splendor (2003)*
51. Daredevil (2003)*
52. Hulk (2003)*
53. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)*
54. X2: X-Men United (2003)*
55. Blade: Trinity (2004)*
56. Catwoman (2004)*
57. Garfield (2004)*
58. Hellboy (2004)*
59. The Punisher (2004)*
60. Spider-Man 2 (2004)*
61. Batman Begins (2005)*
62. Constantine (2005)*
63. Elektra (2005)*
64. Fantastic Four (2005)*
65. A History of Violence (2005)*
66. Man-Thing (2005)*
67. Sin City (2005)*
68. Son of the Mask (2005)*
69. V For Vendetta (2005)*
70. 300 (2006)*
71. Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006)
72. Over the Hedge (2006)*
73. Superman Returns (2006)*
74. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)*
75. Ghost Rider (2007)*
76. Persepolis (2007)*
77. Spider-Man 3 (2007)*
78. TMNT (2007)*
79. The Dark Knight (2008)*
80. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)*
81. Iron Man (2008)*
82. Punisher: War Zone (2008)*
83. Surrogates (2009)*
84. Watchmen (2009)*
85. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)*
86. Iron Man 2 (2010)*
87. Jonah Hex (2010)*
88. Kick-Ass (2010)*
89. The Losers (2010)*
90. RED (2010)*
91. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (2010)*
92. The Adventures of Tintin (2011)*
93. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)*
94. Cowboys and Aliens (2011)*
95. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011)*
96. Green Lantern (2011)*
97. The Smurfs (2011)
98. Thor (2011)*
99. X-Men: First Class (2011)*
100. The Avengers (2012)


Approaching the finish line

Okay, my friends. There is a chance — a CHANCE — that I can finish the first draft of THE PYRITE WAR by the end of my spring break. I’ll be off from April 21-29. I do have things to do (set builds on both Saturdays, rehearsals at night, etc.) but looking at how much story is left… I think I can do it.

So I’m asking you guys to please, from now until the end of the month, NAG THE HELL OUT OF ME. Ask me if I wrote anything today. Ask me how MUCH I wrote. Ask me how much I have left. And the shame of potentially having to answer this question in the negative, God willing, just may be enough to push me across the finish line.


Everything But Imaginary #444: Take Off the Spandex

Not every comic book is about superheroes… and not all superheroes wear tights and capes. Today’s EBI looks at some of the alternatives.

Everything But Imaginary #444: Take Off the Spandex


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 263: The 2012 Summer Movie Preview

Summer is going to be here before you know it, friends, and it’s time for the Showcase crew’s annual look ahead at the releases that will help you stay cool indoors during the baking summer months. Blake, Erin and Heather run down all of the big releases from May to August, including the ones you can’t wait for, the ones you’ve never heard of, and the ones you just wish you’ve never heard of. In the picks, Erin is enjoying the Rot and Ruin series, Heather is the last person on Earth who hasn’t read The Hunger Games, and Blake tells you why Fantastic Four #605 will make you sweat from your eyes and Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #8 is just awesome. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 263: The 2012 Summer Movie Preview


The Ford Focus Ninja

This morning, my car wouldn’t start.

This is a problem that people face every day, there’s nothing particularly surprising or unusual about it, I didn’t think this was any sort of personal attack on me against the universe, and yet at the moment I turned my key and heard that “tktktktktktktktktk” sound instead of my engine running, I could have gleefully shivved a Rabbi for looking at me funny.

I was frustrated, is what I’m saying.

As it turned out, it was the battery. I discounted this possibility at first — it hasn’t been that long since I replaced the battery in my car, I could have sworn. Until I popped the hood and saw the date sticker on it: “02/08.” Okay, maybe it had been a while. Still, that wasn’t too big a deal — replacing a battery is relatively simple and a hell of a lot cheaper than many of the other problems that I probably don’t want to know about. But it did require me to get a jumpstart so I could get to work, only barely making it in on time. I then spent the entire day worried that my car wouldn’t start when I left, and in fact, I’m pretty sure I called one of my students “Car” at second period. Don’t worry, she didn’t notice.

When the school day ended and I walked out to the car, I knew I was in real trouble. My keyless entry, the greatest device ever invented in that it allows us to open all of the doors to our car with the push of a keychain button, thereby saving lots of awkward moments of standing around waiting for someone to open the door for a passenger… it wasn’t working. The battery was even worse than this morning. I couldn’t even hear the “click” telling me the door locks had disengaged. I pounded the button furiously, only to be greeted by cruel, heartless silence.

At first glance, one would think this put me in the same position I was in this morning. But there’s something about my car you may not know. You see, while I have a deep, personal love for my vehicle I can’t pretend she hasn’t seen better days. Particularly her driver’s-side door handle. Which is broken. I haven’t had a chance to get it fixed, and I’m a little anxious about doing so, because you know they’ll basically have to take apart the whole door to do it and then they’ll charge a preposterous amount for a part that is probably worth about 37 cents because of the “labor costs,” and good GOD, you people need to buy more of my books.

Anyway, with the battery too dead to even unlock the passenger or back doors, I suddenly found myself trapped. The car makers of America, in their infinite wisdom, decided that with keyless entry, they were really only obligated to put one lock on the exterior of the car. In the driver’s side door handle. Which, if you’ll recall, is broken.

I couldn’t open the car, couldn’t even reach the release for the hood to try to get another jumpstart or put in a replacement battery, because all of these controls are in the cab. So I began to circle the car, looking at it in the way that men always do, with the preposterous expression on our face that indicates if we just look hard enough suddenly we’ll switch to Predator-style infrared vision with a potential solution lit up in bright red on our viewscreens. The odd thing is, in this case, it actually worked. There was a second lock on the exterior of my car.

The trunk.

A slightly less stupid thing that car manufacturers are doing than eliminating all but the driver’s lock is attaching the trunk directly to the cab via the back seats. Access available. Of course, as those of you know have seen photographs of me know, my mad ninja skills are mostly in the categories of stealth and subversion… not in flexibility.

Still, seeing no other options, I unlocked the trunk, moved my spare tire out of the way, removed the emergency wheel from the back of my car, and climbed in. I wriggled past ancient manilla folders, pushed aside some old painting shoes, found a textbook from when I was obtaining my teaching certification that I don’t think the teacher ever actually used, reached the back of the trunk, pushed, realized I was on the wrong side of the trunk and it’s actually the passenger’s side seat that folds down, wriggled some more, felt my pants catch on something pointy someplace pointy things shouldn’t go, and finally pushed down the seat. I lurched forward, reaching up and into the back seat, grasped the door handle, and pulled.

And still, nothing.

Because the door was still locked.

A little more wriggling until I could find the manual lock by feel (because my body was certainly not bent at an angle that allowed me visual access), opened it up, and finally got the back door open. Reversing my snakelike motions, I got out of the car, climbed in the back, opened up my driver’s door, and finally, triumphantly sat down.

And, because I’m a creature of habit, I put my key in the ignition and turned it.

Silence, my friends, is sometimes the cruelest commentary of them all.


Everything But Imaginary #443: Repopulating a Universe

With DC’s new National Comics presenting a chance to bring in lots of “dormant” characters, will the past performance of anthology comics stunt their growth? Let’s look at how National could help repopulate the New 52 Universe.

Everything But Imaginary #443: Repopulating a Universe

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