Posts Tagged ‘JC Hutchins

23
Feb
10

Quickies…

  • If there’s anything that can — however temporarily — get me to turn my attention from the Olympics, it’s a new episode of LOST. The final season of the show has been one mindbender after another, and I’m loving every minute of it. As I type this, I’m watching this week’s episode a tad late, thanks to a Playhouse board meeting I’m just arriving home from.
  • Wendy’s new “Bacon and Bleu” burger looks pretty good. At least, it does if you like bleu cheese on a hamburger. I do. However, I know in my heart of hearts that the burger in real life will never possibly live up to the image on the commercial. It just isn’t fair, consarn it.
  • After some deliberation about whether or not to get a smartphone, I have decided instead to get an iPod Touch and upgrade my cell phone to a simpler model. The iPod does everything that I would want a smartphone for, and it has no monthly service plan. Granted, unlike a smartphone, with the Touch I’ll be limited to using the internet connection in places I can get a wireless signal, but that’s not really a big deal. More and more public places are getting hooked up for WiFi all the time, including most of the places I’d be likely to use such a device. I think I’ve found an affordable compromise.
  • Started teaching Romeo and Juliet to my ninth graders this week. I’m a little blase on the subject. Not that it’s a bad play, but you’ve gotta remember, the kids only have to learn it once. I’ve got to teach it three times a day, every year. I wish we could rotate our Shakespeare. Do Romeo and Juliet one year in ninth grade, the next year switch to Julius Caesar, the next, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Just something to keep the teachers from getting burned out. It’s easier with short stories and poems, there are more to choose from and you can mix it up. And we cover the same epic every year, but somehow, I never get tired of The Odyssey. It’s just drama that runs the risk of draining my batteries.
  • Like you don’t have enough social media websites to worry about already, earlier today I got turned on to GetGlue.com thanks to J.C. Hutchins’ Hey Everybody Podcast. This isn’t an attempt to horn in on Twitter or Facebook like Google Buzz. Rather, it’s a site where you can rate and discuss virtually all forms of entertainment — books, movies, TV shows, music, and so forth. It does combine the efforts of other websites like Goodreads and Flixter, but it’s the first time I’ve seen an all-in-one site like that. It’s cool, though. If you’re on it, go ahead and friend me. The name is blakemp. (And please, “like” my novels Other People’s Heroes and The Beginner so that they’ll start being recommended to people.) And no, I have no idea what “Get Glue” refers to.
18
Jan
10

What I’m Reading: 2010 Edition

Like I did last year, I’m going to keep a running tally of my reading list this year. This includes both prose books, graphic novels, short stories (if I read them independently of an entire book, that is), and audiobooks that I listen to. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, I’ll place a link to this post on the righthand “Blakestuff” column, and periodically update this page with new material. Also, if I happen to review the book either here, for the Amazon Vine program, at Comixtreme.com, or otherwise, I’ll make the title a link. Because I know you would want it that way.

  1. Desperate Times by Chris Eliopoulos (2009), B-*
  2. Under the Dome by Stephen King (2009), A-
  3. Little Adventures in Oz Vol. 1 by Eric Shanower (2010), A-*
  4. Replay by Ken Grimwood (1987), B+
  5. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954), A+
  6. The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures by Dave Stevens (2009), A*
  7. 7th Son: Descent by J.C. Hutchins (2009), A- @
  8. The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King (1987), A
  9. Star Comics All-Star Collection Vol. 1 (2009), B-*
  10. “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft (1928), B
  11. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002), A-
  12. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (2009), B+
  13. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2008), B+
  14. The Magic Book of Oz by Scott Dickerson (2009), B+
  15. More Blood, More Sweat, and Another Cup of Tea by Tom Reynolds (2009), A-
  16. PVP Vol. 6: Silent But Deadly by Scott Kurtz (2009), B-*
  17. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865), A-
  18. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1951), A
  19. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900), A
  20. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (2001), B
  21. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow (2003), B
  22. “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving (1824), A
  23. Showgirls, Teen Wolves, and Astro Zombies by Michael Adams (2010), A
  24. Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis (2008), A
  25. Doom Patrol: Crawling From the Wreckage by Grant Morrison (1990), B*
  26. Doom Patrol: The Painting that Ate Paris by Grant Morrison (1990), B+*
  27. The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason (2008), A-
  28. “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1836), B+
  29. “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin (1894), B-
  30. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley (2004), B-*
  31. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce (1890), A
  32. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1595-ish), B
  33. “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain (1865), A
  34. Lost Ate My Life by Jon Lachonis & Amy J. Johnston (2008), B-
  35. All the Great Books (Abridged) by Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor (2005-Stage Play), A-
  36. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max (2006), B
  37. Reduced Shakespeare by Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor (2006), B+
  38. The Zombie Wilson Diaries by Timothy W. Long (2009), B
  39. Lurline and the White Ravens of Oz by Marcus Mebes (2008), B-
  40. 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper (2004), B
  41. “Winter Dreams” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1922), B
  42. Blockade Billy by Stephen King (2010), B+
  43. Honor Brigade by Tom Stillwell & Bradley Bowers (2009), A-
  44. Age of Bronze: A Thousand Ships by Eric Shanower (2001), A*
  45. Marvel Zombies 4 by Fred Van Lente (2010), B*
  46. The Toxic Avenger and Other Tromatic Tales edited by Tim Seeley (2007), B-*
  47. Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality edited by Mark D. White (2010), B
  48. Sheldon: Living Dangerously With Saturated Fats by Dave Kellett (2009), A-
  49. “The Far and the Near” by Thomas Wolfe (1935), B-
  50. “In Another Country” by Ernest Hemingway (1927), B-
  51. “The Corn Planting” by Sherwood Anderson (1921), B
  52. “A Rose For Emily” by William Faulkner (1930), A
  53. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (1895-Stage Play), B
  54. Heaven Book V: War by Mur Lafferty (2008), B@
  55. “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” by Flannery O’Conner (1955), B+
  56. Kissyman and the Gentleman by Scott Sigler (2010), B-@
  57. Carrie by Stephen King (1974), B
  58. Unbeatable: Hotter Than Hell (2010) by Matthias Wolf, A-
  59. DC’s Greatest Imaginary Stories Vol. 2: Batman and Robin (2010), edited by Bob Joy, B-*
  60. I’ll Mature When I’m Dead (2010) by Dave Barry, B
  61. Wertham Was Right (2003) by Mark Evanier, A-
  62. Little Adventures in Oz Vol. 2 (2010) by Eric Shanower, B+*
  63. Age of Bronze Vol. 2: Sacrifice (2004) by Eric Shanower, B*
  64. Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne (2004) by John Byrne, A*
  65. The Crypt Book One: The Crew (2010) by Scott Sigler & Various, B+@
  66. Vampire Brat (2001) by Batton Lash, B+*
  67. Haunt Vol. 1 (2010) by Robert Kirkman & Todd McFarlane, B+*
  68. Ancestor (2010) by Scott Sigler, A
  69. The Customer is Not Always Right (2009) by A.J. Adams, B
  70. Atomic Robo Vol. 1: Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne (2007) by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener, A*
  71. Starman Omnibus Vol. 4 (2010), by James Robinson, A*
  72. Hater (2006) by David Moody, B+
  73. “Everything and Nothing” (2010) by David Moody, B
  74. Penny Arcade Vol. 6 (2010) by Jerry Holkins & Mike Krahulik, B+
  75. And Another Thing… (2009) by Eoin Colfer, B-
  76. Dog Blood (2010) by David Moody, B
  77. The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904) by L. Frank Baum , B+*
  78. Sheldon: Still Got It (2009) by Dave Kellett, A*
  79. Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against Television Since 1953 (2010) by Dave Kellett, A*
  80. Drive: A Hero Rises (2010) by Dave Kellett, B*
  81. Beneath (2010) by Jeremy Robinson, B-
  82. Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories (2010) by Zack Whedon, A*
  83. Night of the Living Trekkies (2010) by Kevin David Anderson & Sam Stall B+
  84. The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus (2010) by Fred Hembeck, B+*
  85. “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839) by Edgar Allan Poe, A
  86. Curse of the Were-Woman (2009) by Jason M. Burns, B*
  87. A Teacher’s Night Before Halloween (2008) by Steven Layne, B
  88. Ghostopolis (2010) by Doug TenNapel, A*
  89. Superman: Earth One (2010) by J. Michael Straczynski, A*
  90. Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives (2009) by David Eagleman, A
  91. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010 Graphic Novel), B*
  92. The Lost Hero (2010) by Rick Riordan, B
  93. Stupid Christmas (2010) by Leland Gregory, B-
  94. Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas (2001) by Ace Collins, B+
  95. Full Dark, No Stars (2010) by Stephen King, A-
  96. The Case For Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger (1998) by Lee Strobel, B
  97. Amelia Rules: A Very Ninja Christmas (2009) by Jimmy Gownley, A*
  98. The Curious World of Christmas (2007) by Niall Edworthy, C+
  99. The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories (2010), edited by Craig Yoe, B*
  100. Top Cow Holiday Special 2010 by Phil Smith & Paul Dini, B*
  101. Graphic Classics Vol. 19: Christmas Classics (2010), B+*
  102. The Truth About Santa (2009) by Gregory Mone, B
  103. The Starter by Scott Sigler (2010), B+

*-Denotes Graphic Novel or Comic Strip collection
@-Denotes audiobook
“”-Denotes Short Story

Last Updated on January 1, 2010

01
Jan
10

What I read/Watched in 2009…

Traditionally, in the past, I would start each year with a list of the books I read and movies I watched in the previous year. This year, however, I decided to keep a running list which I would update periodically. So if you want to see the full lists, they’re waiting for you:

Rather than list everything again, today I thought I’d give you just a short list of my favorites. In my opinion, out of the books I read and movies I watched, here were my favorites of the year in no particular order:

Books:

  • The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
  • Was Superman a Spy? by Brian Cronin
  • Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds by Geoff Johns & George Perez
  • The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
  • Drood by Dan Simmons
  • Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader by Neil Gaiman & Andy Kubert
  • Peter and Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham
  • 7th Son: Descent by J.C. Hutchins
  • The Rookie (YA edition) by Scott Sigler
  • Living Dangerously With Saturated Fats (A SHELDON collection) by Dave Kellett
  • Mini-Marvels: The Ultimate Collection by Chris Giarrusso and others

Movies:

  • Coraline
  • Star Trek
  • Up
  • The Hangover
  • Green Lantern: First Flight
  • Inglorious Basterds
  • Zombieland
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Monsters vs. Aliens

I’ll start the 2010 list relatively soon — I’ll wait until I’ve got a few books and movies logged so I’m not starting with a blank post. Have a great 2010, everyone!

27
Oct
09

Halloween Party: Everc[ CONTENT OVERRIDE: KILROY2.0 IS HERE!!! ]

Okay, guys, the time has come for the explanation, don’t you think? For some time now, on Facebook and Twitter, and here at the Realms, I’ve been hyping something called the Evercast, something that is due to launch this Thursday, October 29. I’ve kept you in suspense long enough, guys. This is something I’ve been working on for a long time, longer than you know, and I’ve been waiting for just the right time to spring it.

What I’m kicking off is really a first step in a long campai

>>>  [ WARNING ::: DATABASE ERROR ::: CONTENT OVERRIDE ::: SOURCE: EXTERNAL ] <<<

KILROY 2.0 IS EVERYWHERE

> source terminal location: UNKNOWN

> source terminal identity: UNAVAILABLE

> source login information: ENCRYPTED

> message begins

the post you are now reading is designed to dull your senses to THE TRUTH.  do not live the life of the worker bee, the cog, the well-oiled piston in the MACHINE OF DECEIT!

there is a grand CONSPIRACY afoot.  you have been taught to believe that you are UNIQUE, one of a kind. THIS IS NOT TRUE. long ago, a cabal of scientists created technologies to ensure that ANYONE’S MIND AND BODY can be duplicated.

human cloning isn’t NEAR. it’s already HERE. discover the truth at http://JCHutchins.net

you are being DECEIVED. break free from the cogs, flee the hive, become A PROPHET OF THE TRUTH!

kilroy2. was here … kilroy2.0 is everywhere

>>> [ CONTENT OVERRIDE CEASES ::: DATABASE STATUS: RECOVERING ] <<<

art off with some Halloween scares. As you can see, it’s gonna be a hell of a lot of fun. Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. Launching Thursday, October 29. Be here on the ground floor, friends. It’s gonna be a blast.

28
Jul
09

What I’m Listening To…

I’ve mentioned my podcast listening habit here before, but I don’t think I’ve talked about how much I fall behind on that habit during the summer months. I do most of my listening while driving, and without the 80 or so minutes I’m on the road during school, I wind up behind on most everything. What’s more, the regular podcasts have fallen even further down on my rotation as I find myself listening to more and more podcast novels.

Recap: a podcast novel is like a traditional audio book in several ways, but released in installments (a chapter or two at a time) in a podcast fashion. The vast majority of them are free, and the vast majority of them — so far — are unpublished in traditional books. More and more up-and-coming writers are using the Podiobook model to try to build an audience before making their print push. I’m currently listening to four different novels (three in-progress, one older one that I’m just listening to now) and all four of the authors have made it into print, which makes the model seem more viable and attractive to the likes of me.

One book I’m listening to is by Scott Sigler, author of Infected and Contagious, which I reviewed here a while back. Sigler is probably the most successful writer to break out of this model, with both of those novels doing very well and a third, Pandemic, planned to come out sooner or later. But since he’s not currently releasing a podcast novel, I’ve decided to go back and listen to his earlier works, beginning with his first book, Earthcore. This sci-fi tale focuses on a mining company hoping to dig out the biggest platinum find in human history, but to do so they’ll have to dig into a mountain shrouded in bloody, horrific legends. Sigler’s great at blending sci-fi and horror, and develops characters you love and hate (sometimes at the same time) along the way. Even in this first work, I’m having fun waiting for the scares.

Last year I interviewed writer Mur Lafferty about her print debut with the novel Playing For Keeps. Currently, she’s presenting the fifth and final volume in her Heaven series, War. I can’t tell you what War is about without spoiling the rest of the series, so let me tell you briefly about Heaven. The first volume begins with the deaths of Kate and her best friend Daniel, who go on to the afterlife and their reward. Kate soon realizes, however, that the perfect existence of Heaven is kind of boring, and she begins a journey that takes her through all the realms of the afterlife. It’s a really great fantasy novel, and holds a special place for me in that it’s the first Podiobook I ever listened to.

J.C. Hutchins is not only an awesome writer, but from all my limited interaction with him, he’s also come across as a genuinely nice guy, the sort of writer you want to support, which is why I told you guys over and over again to check out his print debut, Personal Effects: Dark Art. He’s also currently podcasting the prequel to that book, Personal Effects: Sword of Blood. The prequel has actually been on hiatus while he’s been promoting the print book, but he promises to return to it soon. Sword of Blood, like Dark Art, focuses on art therapist Zach Taylor and his attempt to peel back the layers of a patient with a dark secret.

Finally, here’s the one author I haven’t mentioned here before, because I’m new to his work. Virtually all of the other podcast authors I listen to told me frequently what a great writer Phil Rossi is and how much his new book Crescent, now available from Amazon, was. So naturally, I checked it out. Crescent is more of a hard sci-fi novel, the tale of a salvager who finds something pretty terrible waiting on one of the roughest stations in space. It has a sort of Alien vibe, and I mean that as a compliment.

Cool thing is, every one of these podiobooks is free. So click on the links, download a few eps and give ’em a listen. Oh, and when Christmas rolls around don’t forget my own podiobook, A Long November. I’ll have another one, too, but until I have the timeframe nailed down, I don’t want to get more specific than that. Enjoy!

15
Jul
09

Everything But Imaginary #314: A Universal Truth

One of the things that makes comics a unique artform is the concept of a superhero “universe.” It’s hard to imagine a world with just one superhero now. Why don’t we see this sort of crossover in other media? And why do we love it in our comics?

Everything But Imaginary #314: A Universal Truth
Inside this Column:

All Star Comics #3

30
Jun
09

What I’m Reading: Personal Effects-Dark Art

PEDAOkay, so over the last couple of months, I’ve done a lot of talking about the new  novel by J.C. Hutchins, Personal Effects: Dark Art. This is something I was excited about for several reasons. I’m a fan of Hutchins‘ work, I’m a fan of his work in the new media, and I thought the way this story was being presented was a really clever, exciting thing. And now the book is finally out, so I guess it’s time for me to tell you what I actually thought when I read the thing.

Personal Effects: Dark Art focuses on Zach Taylor, an art therapist at an asylum for the criminally insane. Just coming off a major breakthrough, Taylor is given a particularly challenging new case — Martin Grace, an accused serial killer who claims his crimes were not his own work, but that of a mysterious “Dark Man.” Despite this, is making no effort to defend himself. And to make Zach’s job even harder, the art therapist’s newest patient suffers from psychosomatic blindness. As Zach tries to get to the root of Grace’s demons, he begins to uncover disturbing facts about his own family and his own past, and begins to believe that perhaps the Dark Man isn’t just a product of a lunatic’s imagination.

If you look at this simply as a debut novel, it’s pretty good. Hutchins does a very strong job of developing Zach and the world he inhabits. He gives us enough traces of the supernatural early so that when it becomes a major factor it isn’t a shock to the system. The plot is tight and follows a good, logical progression that builds up to a really exciting climax. If it was just a book, in and of itself, I would definitely give it a thumbs-up.

Here’s the thing, though. Personal Effects: Dark Art isn’t “just” a book. Hutchins’ co-creator for this work is Jordan Weisman, a well-known figure in the field of ARGs (Alternate Reality Games), and what you get here is a product that brilliantly straddles the line between novel and ARG. Along with the story, you get a pocket full of items that relate to the the book — cards, paperwork, legal documents, photographs… all kinds of very realistic extra items that relate back to the story. As you’re reading along, the characters sometimes find the same items that you have in your own possession, allowing you to examine them fully to determine what they’re looking at. Other times, you’re given a clue that reminds you of a name on one of the documents, so again, you go back and look to see what else you’re missing.

That’s not all, though. As you read the book and examine the items, you’re directed towards certain websites — sites that really do exist, and give you even more clues. One of the URLs you uncover sends you to a website about the history of the Taylor family, another to a funeral home visited in the book. And while the sites certainly look as legitimate as the death certificats found along with the book, if you delve into the information there, you can find even more bits and pieces that point towards the truth about what Zach Taylor is encountering. Phone numbers mentioned in the book will lead you to recorded messages. Basically, everything that exists outside of the text itself helps you, the reader, to “play along.” In a way, you almost become Zach Taylor, trying to unravel the disturbing truth about Martin Grace.

This is what I love about a great mystery — not just reading, but that idea of joining in the hunt. A really good book will allow you to match wits with the characters, to try to figure out the truth along with them. Bad mysteries cheat by leaving out crucial details. This book does just the opposite, giving you more ways to immerse yourself into the story than any book I’ve ever read. Even if it was “just” a book, it would be a good one. When you add in the extra stuff, it’s some of the most fun I’ve had reading in a very long time.




Blake’s Twitter Feed

November 2019
S M T W T F S
« Dec    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Blog Stats

  • 310,494 hits

Blake's Flickr Photos

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.