Month: June 2015

GUEST BLOG – Jennifer Macaire on the U.S. Confederate Flag

Originally posted on Jennifer Macaire:
I hear that the confederate flag is for rebels, and for people who want to protest against the power of the government. Without a doubt, this is the biggest lie the racists rely on to justify their attachment to the confederate Flag. It is easy to twist history—it’s in the past. As time goes by there are fewer people who were around ‘back then’ to set the record straight, and with the glut of information on the internet, it is easy to cherry pick one’s ideas from the whole picture to create one’s comfortable reality. But the reality is not comfortable, and the confederate flag is not just a hokey symbol for rebels at heart. The Civil war was, and always will be about slavery. The only reason many in the North even fought was for their ideals. The Northern army was the first army to fight for an idea—the thought that men were free and that slavery was an abomination. In the south, only a small percentage of the…

Creator-Owned Comics Demand Patience

By Brandon L. Rucker And that’s all right.  I’m good with it.  However, some folks feel entitled to having all comics be monthly, thanks to the periodical standard set ages ago (although going way back many titles from the Golden Age and early Silver Age were actually bi-monthly).  Me, I’m a fairly patient dude.  I really am.  In a weird way a little less can be more for me (Marvel doesn’t grasp that concept, though, with their rampant redundancy in titles and accelerated shipping on some of them). So long as I don’t have  to wait more than 3 months between issues, I really don’t complain about the the less-than-monthly scheduling. I’m sympathetic to the task of producing creator-owned comics and am tolerant to all the main reasons why it “takes time to grow roses” as Todd McFarlane said back in the day.  For example, my favorite 5 comics series, all from Image Comics, of course, have “less-than-monthly” schedules.  Just out of curiosity I recently took a look at the release archives on the Image website to find the …

GUEST BLOG – Reggie Lutz on Rites of Passage for Writers

Originally posted on Reggie Lutz:
So, there are a lot of things that writers go through that are shared with anyone working at other professions that kind of suck, and then there are the things that for writers feel like the end of the known universe. Last week, I was catching up with Devon Miller, who just moved to the other coast, and she experienced the dreaded LOST BOX OF MANUSCRIPTS. I’ve done that. Lost whole manuscripts. Once to a computer meltdown, once to wind. Yep. That scene from Wonderboys where the main character watches thousands of pages ride the wind into Pittsburgh’s three rivers? That happened to me. Except it was a much shorter piece, it was not in a major PA city, and there were no rivers. I was later able to reconstruct the story. The second version was probably better. (That particular piece was the novella, Fork You, which appears in Panverse One as well as Aliens in the Soda Machine in Other Strange Tales.) That first piece? I did recover it, but you know,…

CBDA – Comic Book Diversification Act

By Brandon L. Rucker Another column I would write if I were actively still doing comics journalism would be based on the theme that what you’re seeing in modern comics (and expanded media) is what I call the Comic Book Diversification Act.  It essentially amounts to the atonement of a past and legacy littered with the exclusion of diversity and inclusiveness, and in some cases effective racism.  Do a little research on the Golden, Silver and Bronze Age of comics (1930s — 1980s) for edification on the comics’ industry’s white washed history. Like in modern American society, it is because of those egregious sins of the past that we’re seeing the CBDA today.  This is a microcosm of what is currently happening in the larger society where progressive socio-politic have been largely effective. There’s a question being asked these days which is: is the failure or outright refusal to acknowledge racism is, in fact, racist itself? To get at a larger and more balanced truth, I sometimes like to play what’s proverbially considered ‘Devil’s Advocate’.  So, for …

The Evening Muse 1 | 24-Hour Local Public Libraries

This is a concept that should exist in the 21st century.  Like many self-respecting writers, I have  a home office/study (and naturally mine doubles as a mancave/manscape when necessary since I live with multiple double-X chromosome carriers).  However, that Chamber of Peace and Solitude – y’know, the kind a writer requires – is on the first level of this fine two-level domicile in which I reside and hold the mortgage.  However, it’s not far from the common living quarters of the place.  So if anyone else is home, their sounds of living seep unfettered into said chamber.  This is why escapist places like public libraries are a valued construct (considering one does not have an offsite studio in which to retreat).  The two we have here in our local quadrant of the county are fine establishments.  Great, actually.  However, there’s just one problem:  the operating hours – particularly those on the weekends – are unacceptable.  A 5:30 closing time?  No, no, this simply cannot stand to reason.  If 24/7 is not on the negotiating table, …

A Lament for the 1980s Era of Comics

By Brandon L. Rucker It’s too bad I’ve lost the will to thoroughly engage in comics journalism anymore, otherwise I’d be writing a big ol’ thematic column about how the storytelling sensibilities of the 1980s — arguably the best decade critically for superhero comics — will never be allowed to return. The days of handing a character (i.e. Daredevil) or team (i.e. X-Men) to a writer and artist and letting them loose on the series for an extended legendary, uninterrupted and undisturbed by LOCKSTEP UNIVERSAL BANAL EVENT STORYLINES EVERY TWELVE MONTHS run. Yeah, that’d be great. Sure, everyone’s got their bitch about this, or about that, but for me it all comes down to somehow getting back to that approach, aesthetic and sensibility of the 1980s Marvel in particular. That is all. Thank you for your time. -B Facebook: Comic Book Fetish Twitter: @ComicBookFetish brandonrucker.com

Comic Book Fetish Casts Southern Bastards TV Show

By Brandon L. Rucker So recently it was announced that Jason Aaron & Jason Latour’s hit Image Comic series SOUTHERN BASTARDS has been optioned for television development via the FX network. This is good news. My immediate thought is that with its strong high school — and by extension college — football connection, not to mention the racially tense location in the South, this series if made will smash in that same vein as previous shows on the network like SONS OF ANARCHY and JUSTIFIED. That said, please allow me to fan-cast three of the main characters. For Earl Tubb I present Michael Parks of KILL BILL and TUSK fame. For Euless Boss (adult version) I present Ron Perlman of HELLBOY and SONS OF ANARCHY fame. And for Coach Big I present Danny Glover, yes, he of LETHAL WEAPON fame. I guess you could actually reverse Mr. Parks and Mr. Perlman and do just as well. But this was my initial brainstorm. It will be interesting to see who actually gets cast once this gets past …

Make Them Pay

~ written 11/22/2010 ~ Just before dusk the man took a break from his work in the basement. He was not hungry, or more specifically, he had no appetite. Instead he opted for a cold beverage from the refrigerator in the kitchen to quench his thirst. Only when he popped the cap off the bottle did he realize that today had been his thirty-first birthday. A lot had happened in his life the past few years; several notable, calamitous events had irrevocably changed his life. He wasn’t sure if he had even acknowledged the arrival and subsequent passing of his twenty-ninth or thirtieth birthdays. His work was that demanding of his attention; his focus was keener these past two years than it had ever been in his life. He was anxious to return to his work downstairs, but something stirred inside him—emotion—a sensation that had been alien to him for quite some time. As the wave of nostalgia crashed over him, he found himself drawn up into the attic where he kept the many keepsakes …