OK, it's been a little too long since I updated the blog. Sorry. Moving on ...
HBVK News: Nothing much different from what I've put on my Facebook Fan Page. HBVK is currently moving through the pipeline, the design work is done and now we wait for it to be printed and then bound. For those wondering, the official announcement will come sometime during the binding process. DRP likes to wait until they have actual books to sell before they start hyping, which makes a hell of a lot of sense to me. That is when you'll start seeing things like pics of the cover, stuff like that.
Other Upcoming Projects: Those who know me or are long-time-readers of this blog (heh, I know), know that I am kind of superstitious about talking too much about projects I'm working on before I finish a first draft, and only a little less so before I find a home for the piece. Also, a lot of times I can't talk too much about upcoming stuff as we have to keep the curtain down to help with the ballyhoo and all that. So I'll just say, if you're looking for more stuff to come out, I have a couple of things out there. One project, I got queried on, the other is currently being looked at by a publisher and we'll see what happens. They're both novellas, neither of them HBVK-connected, and I'll leave it at that. More to come, obviously.
With that out of the way, without Internet I took the time to catch up on TV, movies and books I'd missed out on. So we come to the long-ass, non-book-project-related part of the blog.
Human Target: Finished up this show and the season finale was a doozy. Looks like it'll be back, which is good. I enjoyed this show, it didn't blow me away or anything, but it was a good TV show. I spotted Mark Valley as an action-hero-type when I first saw him on Boston Legal and I thought he did a good job. The feel of the show is obviously meant to evoke 70s action, which I liked, mainly expressed through the settings (an airplane, a train, a monastery, an office building, etc.). I, like other fans of the comic, was a little disappointed that this version of the Target is not a master of disguise or anything, but it made sense. No one is going to want to star on a show where you wear a rubber face a lot of the time and it probably would have confused the audience. So obviously this makes the title of "Human Target" kind of a non-sequitir. But if you give a damn about things like that you didn't watch the show. Where it really shone was in its fight choreography. Valley knows what he's doing, obviously, and moves well, and I think they use a stunt double for him but the editing on that is good. The shaky-cam crap is toned down, there's still a little but clearly they don't have to rely on it to mask the fact that the actors couldn't punch their way out of a wet paper bag. The choices of fight locations are also great - in the pilot the hero fights a bad guy in a cramped airshaft, and it really works, them just climbing on top of each other and punching it out. Jackie Earl Haley also steals the show as uber-nerd Guerrero, the Internet loves him of course, he's a guy who hacks your laptop and puts you in a wristlock. Good stuff, nice to see a show that doesn't have EPIC DRAMA ARCS.
Supernatural: Hot damn I love this show. I don't know how one of the manliest shows on TV ends up on a chick network like the CW, but what the hell, I ain't askin' too many questions. The whole angel/demon stuff has been great and really was a great place to get past the monster-of-the-week stuff. I think I've mentioned here before, I hate how so many times in stories that involve the supernatural, we only see the evil and never the good that the existence of the evil implies. In my mind, you don't get to have vampires and werewolves running around unless you have the angels or benevolent spirits or whatever. Unless you want to play it like vampirism is a virus or whatever, and then you can go ahead and do that and I'll be over here not really interested. Supernatural is hitting the same vibe I'm going for in HBVK, just with less man-hugging and all the stuff for the female 18-34 demo. But the wife and I were saying as we wrapped up the season, the plot has been kind of exhausting. Maybe now that it's all done we'll get back to some more monster-of-the-week stuff, at least some, now that the apocalypse is (mostly) resolved or at least on ice.
Smallville: I guess you could say I'm a die-hard fan of this show because I keep watching it. I don't think it's as bad as the Internet crowd seems to think. The JSA episode, of course, was epic, I like what they did with the characters, kind of making them like if the Weather Underground were actually misunderstood good guys. Made a lot of sense for the show without having to get into a lot of deep backstory and things like mystic regeneration or whatever keeps 90-year-old superheroes running around. I'm a big JSA fan, obviously so I was glad to see them get a shot. Peter David has an infamous quote I'm going to paraphrase here, to the effect of "DC has the biggest, best kitchen on the planet and they can't cook a damn omelet to save their life." And he's right. Apart from the Batman movies we get nothing except a tepid Superman movie from them and a Wonder Woman movie that comes out who-knows-when, meanwhile Marvel is eating their lunch. At least Joss Whedon as the writer of the Wonder Woman movie makes sense, the guy obviously has manhood issues so expect lots of WW putting her spike-heeled boots on guys chests and tying them up with the Lasso of Sex, I mean Truth.
Spartacus: Just awesome from start to finish. The 300-inspired slow-mo and blood sprays are goofy but then the show sure as hell isn't Rome. Nonstop togasploitation that bombards you with nudity (you get blasted with Lucy Lawless full-frontal very early in the pilot - nice merkin), violence, and all the stuff that explains why no one makes this kind of stuff anymore but they should. For the ladies, lots of wang and glistening man-ass with just a dash of gay sex. Something for everyone unless you're one of those uptight people.
Comics: Which reminds me, comics. I keep falling behind on these. Lots of good stuff out there, mostly the independents. Both Marvel and DC's current crop of writers are running through their respective universes like a bunch of screaming kids through a museum, trying to touch stuff they shouldn't and generally ruining things for everyone. I can't really read any of the big two stuff anymore except JSA, and even that gets touched by the crap that's going on. It's just a total trainwreck. It's a goal of mine to get to write some comics one day, maybe the books will help that happen, but so often now if you want your own comic you gotta draw it too and I can't. But then there are guys like Kirkman and Remender and Brubaker so maybe I got a shot.
Books: Rather than go into all that here you can check me out on Goodreads, which I'm enjoying a lot (thanks for the heads-up, Dave). However I'll be posting the reviews here, so next time I have a book review I'll just put a link. Is this annoying or does it just make sense? I figure I go too long to fit in the little box they give you and I also don't want to make people sign up for yet another social networking site just to read my thoroughly entertaining book reviews. So I'm told, anyway.
Movies: I'm mostly a TV-watcher (I think it would be awesome to have my own TV show, too), but I do still like to watch movies. I haven't really watched any recent ones - I finally watched Grindhouse the other day if that tells you anything. Mostly I'm watching stuff like Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry and The Sugarland Express, both pretty good movies.
One good thing about working at night is I have all this time to sit and check out TV, movies, blogs and all that again. It's great. Well, my work does keep me busy but still, I got some time. I need to check out this Treme show, though it's from the guy who did The Wire I think I might like it, though I'm not a NOLA resident I still think the place is interesting (we out here in Cajun Country have kind of a rivalry with those people). I think it's cool that WWOZ features so much in it - it's one of the greatest radio stations on the planet. OK, the best. Seriously, check it out if you want to listen to a great mix of "trad-jazz", newer stuff, Dixieland, zydeco ... you can skip the Celtic music show if you want, not sure what that is doing there. I know NOLA has a lot of Irish roots but just damn.
Well, that's it for now, I think I'll try to do a book review or something later on. I need to get the blog more active so people want to read it, I figure people will be checking it out when HBVK drops. Stay tuned here or follow me on Facebook for all the relevant updates, I'm sure there'll be book signings (which I'm dreading) and con appearances and all that down the line.
Edge of the City - S.A. Bailey
2 hours ago