The Artist Returneth With Announcements

Hello readers! Resident artist here to tell you that good things are on their way. As many of you know, The Object: Book II will begin it’s serialization in May. That’s right, in just a few short weeks you’ll have access to the continuing saga of our heroes and villains.

Secondly, I’d like to go ahead and state that I’d like to change the art style up a little bit, and this is where I’d the help of you, the reader.

Artwork by Rob Guillory. A step away from realism, but caricatured characters can sometimes be much more expressive.

I’ve always been a fan of graphic novels. I’ve been reading The Walking Dead, trying to get caught up with the show (although it deviates so much from the book that it could hardly be called catching up, right?) and also Chew.  I love the art style of those two. The man who does the covers for The Walking Dead (Tony Moore) is flat out excellent, and I love the quasi-realism that his work has. I also enjoy the flexibility that a step away from realism offers in graphic novels like Chew. With illustration styles such as this, more work can be produced in a lesser amount of time.

So, that’s one style I’d like to work with.

An example of the work of Boris Vallejo. Truly a new master.

However, I’ve always loved concept art and illustration from Wizards of the Coast and White Wolf Publishing. Collectively they produce all things related to Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and World of Darkness. Not to mention I always had a soft spot for the old-school RA Salvatore book covers, and old new-masters like Boris Vallejo. The clarity and reality of this style of illustration is unmatched in bringing a person into the world of the story, yet the downside is that it takes countless hours to produce just one work of art.

So that’s another route entirely.

But seeing as how any foray into uncharted territory is good for building character, I’d like to know what you think. Post below what kind of style you’d like to see more of. A more gritty, visceral graphic novel style, or an expanded polished illustration style.

Second on the announcement list is this:

I’ve finally gotten my Etsy shop open! After badgering for months. Months. M-o-n-t-h-s… I’ve finally taken Winston’s advice and created a Facebook like page, and my Etsy shop…

Neat, eh?

If you all would like to see more of my art, click the banner above, or just visit here every once in a while, I’ll be doing posts about new art as I make it.

And finally, I do want to mention one more thing, pertaining to those who live in Louisville specifically…

Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

Me and Winston often venture out of our caves to set up and do some street promotion. Recently we’ve been spotted on Bardstown Road between Cafe 360 and Hey Tiger just down the block. We take up residence for the afternoon spreading the word of The Object, and I bring out any available art I have to sell as well and display it. The next time we’re out and about, come meet us in person! We love networking and meeting our fans, so if you happen to be a local of Louisville, don’t be surprised to see two strange men with a stack of books and a stack of art posted up on any given warm weekend.

I will return. Until then, stay classy, readers.


What’s Your Favorite TV Show?

This month, The Walking Dead returns to AMC, and next month, Game of Thrones returns to HBO.  I’m thinking about reviewing the episodes every week with the hope that they’ll generate discussion of the shows.

However, I’m familiar with several TV series, and I’d like to get an idea of what you guys watch so maybe I can add another show or two to the list.  Check all that apply.  Thanks.

By the way, I put all the episodes (including the two never-before-posted final episodes) back on the blog, conveniently scrolling across the top of the page.  Hope some new readers will pop up.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on Book One.

My Predictions for The Walking Dead Season Three Finale

The Walking Dead (season 2)

The Walking Dead (season 2) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Season Three of The Walking Dead is well underway and has taken quite a turn from Season Two.  Thanks again to that noble pack of zombies for running the gang off Hershel’s ridiculous farm (where a bountiful yield of boredom was harvested every Sunday night).  Now we’re jumping back and forth between prison and the Governor’s paradise Woodbury.

Andrea is banging the Governor, who keeps severed zombie heads alive in fish tanks and slaughters more of the living than the dead.  He also has a zombie daughter or niece whom he tucks into bed every night.

Michonne is defying the laws of physics with her big sword Kill Bill-style.  She’s spent the entire season pacing at a distance, suspicious of the ground beneath her feet.  If the show’s producers decide to kill her off, you might as well stop watching because The Walking Dead will officially make no sense whatsoever.

The best news of the season yet is the absurd death of Lori by baby extraction.  Of course, everything comes at a price, and for two episodes we had to watch Rick throw a little psychological fit and start talking to his dead wife on the phone.  Why?  Because Rick is a big baby who needs attention.  And when big babies don’t get enough attention, they invent imaginary friends.  Never mind the fact that he has a real baby in desperate need of some formula before it has a bloody change of appetite and starts chomping at Daryl’s trigger finger.

Oh, Daryl, that’s right.  The Walking Dead actually has a character who matters.

Okay, now that we’re up to date, here are my predictions for the remainder of the season:

Tonight’s episode opens with a dark figure emerging from the bushes outside the walls of Woodbury.   Merle is running his mouth to two guys standing guard for the night and they catch a glimpse of the dark figure.  Scanning the area with their rifle scopes, none of the men see Dexter Morgan appear behind them with three syringes.  He stabs Merle in the heart just before letting him fall over the wall to be eaten by walkers.  The other two men, Dexter disarms and leaves unconscious but in safety.

Before killing the Governor with his zombie heads as witnesses, Dexter derails for two episodes on a half-sentimental sexcapade with Michonne in which small pieces of their cold outer shells are chipped away as they awkwardly bang each other.  (Both shows are soap operas in this regard.)

With the Governor and Merle dead, Dexter welcomes the arrival of Al Swearengen, who becomes the new leader of Woodbury, now called Deadwoodbury.

Walter White from Breaking Bad arrives shortly thereafter with news of his recent discovery: the zombie outbreak was sparked by his blue methamphetamine.  Dexter moves immediately to kill him, but Swearengen stops him just in time to ask if Walter can concoct a cure.

The episode ends with Jimmy McNulty from The Wire, so drunk he starts hitting on a female zombie.

That’s how it’ll go down.  Guaranteed.

Thoughts on The Walking Dead

English: Intertitle from the AMC television pr...

English: Intertitle from the AMC television program The Walking Dead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Sunday night, we all saw the aftermath of Lori’s death by Cesarian section: Rick is turning into Captain Kurtz from Heart of Darkness.  Or the Anton Chigurh of zombie-killers.  I find myself holding strong to my feeling that if the camera would simply pan away from this terrible character, the show would be a lot more interesting.  Shane and Lori are dead.  That’s two out of three.  Now someone needs to off Rick.

Another problem I have with this show is that it has a lead character at all.  Really?  In the zombie apocalypse, where survivors are of random selection based upon skill, timing, and luck, why does anyone deserve to be the front man?  Why not give the characters more equal time like HBO’s The Wire?

I don’t mean to dishearten fans of the show.  I do enjoy the atmosphere, some of the plot, and some of the characterizations, but The Walking Dead succeeds in pissing me off more than anything else.

Why did T-Dog have to die?  You introduce a new black guy into the story and you have to kill the old one off?  The American public won’t tune in otherwise?  You’re telling me that in the deep south, a group of survivors who band together during a zombie apocalypse will be a near all-white crowd?  Seriously?

T-Dog was a sturdy character who never got his due share of camera time.  He was one person the group really needs–just as I thought the group really needed Dale.

But no, they die, and we get to focus on Rick turning a world of zombies into his own persona soap opera.

Now the Governor is a character I can get into . . .

Like Sands Through the Hour Glass, So Are The Walking Dead

Why the Season Two Finale sucked and why you should hold your favorite TV series to higher standards.

The responses are pouring in on Facebook and Twitter.  “OMG The Walking Dead rules!” and “Rick finally grew a pair–go Rick!” and “Watch out zombies!  We’re comin’ in ninja-style!”

Shut up.  Just–hey, I said shut up!  Now listen . . .you’re missing a few things:

Lies Lies Lies

It’s the easiest and ultimately one of the weakest plot devices a writer can use.  Need conflict?  Need to make what should be six episodes last for thirteen?  Have your characters constantly lie for no reason.  Okay, Shane.  Enough people know Shane killed Otis to not question Rick in killing him.  Rick has consistently been about doing the right thing, maintaining a sense of humanity.  So why, when you’ve clearly and unquestionably killed Shane out of self-defense, would you lie about it?  “Lori, Lori, Shane done tried to keeeel me!”  That’s what you say.  You don’t lie.  It doesn’t occur to you to lie.  When you’ve narrowly escaped death twice in 30 seconds, all you think about is how to clean the shit out of your pants.  So much of Season Two has relied upon the formula of Character A in Situation X, Character B finds out about Situation X, Character A lies to Character B about Situation X, dramatic suspicious pause. It’s plot filler, nothing more.  The truth is, only the first half of Season Two should have taken place on the farm.  Sophie should have been discovered in Episode Three, and zombies should have overrun the farm in the Mid-Season Finale.

Unlimited Ammo

Back in my younger days, if I wanted unlimited ammo to kill zombies in Resident Evil, I had to input a code or beat the game first.  Hershel, where did you get that shotgun?  I want one!  Dude, seriously.  A typical pump-action shotgun you’ll find in a gun cabinet on a farm holds 5 shells, and that’s with the plug removed and one shell in the chamber.  How many times are producers going to get this wrong?  Do you know how many rednecks and NRA members are pissed right now?  It’s sloppy and lazy.  Please don’t shoot me 3,489 times for saying so.

Lori . . . Just Die Already

Your husband says, “Dude tried to kill me, so I killed him” and you get pissy about it?  Can you file for divorce in Zombieland?  Dumb skank.  You’re not Bella.  Quit running back and forth between two douche bags and stick with the one who ain’t dead, for God’s sake.  Or by all means join Shane in his deadness.  You only serve the purpose of making me want to change the channel.

Dale is Still Dead

Enough said.  Worst decision since someone thought, I should make a show called True Blood.

I Don’t Mind a Ninja; I’m Picky About Ninja Timing

Really?  We’re hunkered down milking cows and diddling ourselves in the hay loft for an entire season.  Then suddenly we have to leave the farm, only to head five miles down the road and conveniently stumble upon not only a prison, where we’ll have our next stagnant, stationary, uneventful, and overly dramatic season, but Andrea gets saved in the middle of the woods by a ninja with zombie slaves, who was nowhere in the background seven seconds prior?  You honestly expect me to believe Andrea wouldn’t have noticed Darth Zombie strolling up or heard her chains rattling?  Try again.

Shane’s Soul Lives On . . .

. . . in Rick.  Seriously.  That entire sequence at the end was about as unbelievable as it gets.  Rick is now behaving like Shane.  Defensive, aggressive, irrational, self-pitying, narcissistic.  So we’re just going to abandon Rick’s character development for two seasons and roll with this new Rick-Shane hybrid?  And don’t give me “Oh, he’s stressed out over having to be a leader.”  He’s had to be a leader for two seasons.  It’s nothing new.  “Oh, he’s losing it.”  When people “lose it,” there’s a transition period.  You don’t go from sane to crazy at the flip of a switch.  “Oh, Rick grew a pair!”  No, he’s behaving like a scared little boy, just like Shane did for two seasons.  “This isn’t a democracy anymore.”  Why you jackin’ Shane’s style, man?  That’s what he was saying all along.  You should have just said, “Dude, I was sooo totally thinking the same thing.”

An Afterthought

“Wow, that sucked, but at least we have two semi-interesting hooks we can think about until Season Three starts: we’re coming upon what looks like a prison, and there’s a ninja.  I wonder who the ninja is.  Is it Daryl’s brother?  No, I’m pretty sure the ninja has boobs.  And besides, the ninja clearly has two hands.  Hmm.  I wonder what people on Facebook thought of the epi–oh, cool, a post-episode interview with the producers . . . um . . . you . . . seriously?  You’re giving away the identity of the hooded ninja assassin already?!  Then why the fu–

Terrible promo campaign, and this isn’t the first time.  Immediately after Dale got ripped open, AMC went all over social media asking, “What do you think about Dale being ripped open?”  And some of us are going, “Dude!  Spoiler alert, maybe?  Asshole.”  Now they’re campaigning for Season Three operating under the assumption that we’ve all read the stupid #$&!ing comic books and know what’s going to happen anyway.  Nice, dumbasses.  Really nice.

Now take my stupid poll.