Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Last Battlestar Mix...

It was both exciting and a little melancholy last Friday, attending the final mix for "my" last episode of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Exciting because the mixes are projected on the big screen, making this the only opportunity (most of the time) to see an episode all monster-size. Melancholy because it is, indeed, my last hurrah re: BSG. I'm off to HEROES and the rest of the season's BSG episodes were written by everyone else, so their dispensation will be in the capable hands of others.

Of course, there will be viewing parties and all sorts of intrigue when the final episodes finally air, but that's still a few months off. *Sigh.* Makes me feel like quoting the LION KING or something...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Grant On Ditko...

My pal Steven Grant's been banging out an interesting column on all things comics and political over at for several years now. He's always worth reading (new column every Wednesday) but this piece on Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko's defenders and Ditko's own creative/professional choices is particularly incisive. I find Ditko an endlessly fascinating personality, though that's probably exacerbated by his reclusive nature and philosophically doctrinaire approach toward comics and his art. He just can't play nice, but evidently he's content to live with the consequences...

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Yes, the news all of you have been waiting for! Well, some of you... or... okay, here's some news!

Dates for the theatrical release of "My Name Is Bruce" have finally been announced. Bruce Campbell himself, aka "the man", will be making personal appearances in multiple cities to launch the greatest film directed by and starring Bruce Campbell released this year! Here's the official press release, straight from B.C. himself:

My Name is Bruce is hitting theaters October 26th. I'll be appearing in each of the following cities to introduce the film and answer questions afterward:

10/26 Austin, TX Alamo Drafthouse - Black Curtain screening/premiere
with Harry Knowles

10/31-11/2 NYC

11/5 Philadelphia, PA

11/7 Boston, MA

11/9 Hartford, CT

11/12 New Haven, CT

11/14 Baltimore, MD

11/15 Washington D.C.

11/19 Columbus, OH

11/20 Toledo, OH

11/21-23 Detroit, MI

11/28-30 Chicago, IL

12/3 Madison, WI

12/5-7 Minneapolis, MN

12/12 Seattle, WA

12/13-14 Portland, OR

12/15 – Medford, Or

12/17 San Francisco, CA

12/18 Berkeley, CA

12/19-21 Los Angeles, CA

Venue information is on the way.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Couple More Things...

My buddy Mojo, FX master supreme from the Battlestar world, has posted some of the material presented to the Emmy committee during the nomination process. If you want to see some absolutely amazing still shots of some of the most spectacular and beautiful special effects ever done for television (or anywhere, for that matter), check them out at:

Second, my buddies at Dark Horse have done the comics world a favor and released the first hardcover full color volume collecting the incredible adventures of Herbie. Not the Love Bug, but the real Herbie, as in "the fat little nothing!" If you've never seen or heard of Herbie before, and you like absolute surreal insanity, then you need this book! Support this publishing effort so we can get the rest of the series back in glorious print!

Updates and Etc.

The i09 website covers me... covering me. A short blurb on HEROES...

I continue to settle in and get acclimated to this new, complex HERO-centric world. There's always a short hand that develops between writers who have been doing a show for awhile (and most of the folks on HEROES have been there since season one), so just picking up the lingo is part of the learning curve. You would be amazed what "he does the thing, and then this guy, he does the other thing" actually means. (It's pretty exciting, trust me.)

In other news, barring disaster I'll be on a panel at the Las Vegas BlogWorld convention on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 20, discussing blogging during the WGA strike (aren't we trying to put that behind us? I know I am!) and other germane topics of interest. Hopefully I won't also gamble the house away and leave Las Vegas in the proverbial barrel. But that is always a possibility. Anyway, go to for more thrillin' info...

Many other interesting developments in the pipeline, beyond HEROES (like that's not enough?), but nothing I can announce quite yet. Though I'm no longer in the BATTLESTAR offices, I understand post-production work on the last ten/eleven/who knows how many episodes is continuing at a lightning pace, and they're either shooting or moments away FROM shooting the BSG movie. Writer/producer Jane Espenson has more on those developments over on her blog (url to the right). It's a fun story and I can't wait to see it, either! I also believe the pilot for VIRTUALITY has more or less wrapped, a project on which I am uninvolved except as an unofficial cheerleader and fingers-crossed-it-gets-picked-up science fiction enthusiast...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Onward and Heroes-Ward...

I can finally get a little less cryptic about one thing... I have made a lateral shift in the NBC/Universal universe and joined the show Heroes as a consulting writer/producer. So far I've been catching up with the show's wonderful mythology (boy, I thought Battlestar was twisted!) while watching an amazing staff craft incredible stories. Emotional, suspenseful, and jam-packed with action. And after watching some of the upcoming episodes, I'm in awe at how much they manage to accomplish each day. Lots of people, from the fantastic cast and directors to the hard-working and super-talented crew, are working really hard to make this all happen.

I've been brought in to lend a hand with the second arc of season three, which promises to follow-up the first arc with even more excitement. And since I'm part time, I've got the best of both worlds, since I will continue plowing full-steam ahead on my feature work, too. Needless to say, I'm thrilled it all worked out, happy to be aboard and looking forward to doing what I can to keep a very sturdy train a'rolling...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Great Comic Book...

As long time readers will have noticed, I sure like comics. I got my professional start writing comic books and still try to keep my hand in whenever I can. In fact, I can usually tell if I want to work with someone (producers, director, you name it) by their reaction when they find out I've written, well, Superman. If it's some version of "wow, cool!", we're in good shape. If the reaction is that slightly sour, "oh my, I thought you were a REAL writer" sneer, then that's the WRONG person.

(Slight aside... I had a meeting awhile back with a very famous person from the rock and roll business, not a performer, who was interested in moving into movies and TV. He had an idea for a sprawling science fiction saga that he had spent considerable time developing. Meanwhile, I was in the middle of my run on Battlestar Galactica and writing Superman/Batman for DC Comics. When this guy found out I had a background in comics, the meeting immediately went South. I mean, I got this look that said, "my adventure about a cliche hero who fights monsters while stuff blows up is FAR too serious and important a work of drama to trust to someone who would write something as ridiculous as a comical book!" Obviously we did not move forward, but I was struck by the idea of a guy who made his millions off rock and roll records (!) lifting his nose at comic books! I guess it's human nature to want to feel superior to something...)

Anyhow, screw that guy, comics are great. And there was a period in the mid 70's when the companies started floundering a bit and playing with formats to keep readers buying. In 1974, DC briefly made their flagship Batman title, Detective Comics, into a 100 page-a-month, 60 cent behemoth, and while I'm not that big a fan of a lot of 70's books, these really stand out.

First, Archie Goodwin was the editor. If you know any comics history at all, then that name immediately says "quality", and this brief moment in Detective history was a real stand out. And Detective Comics #442 just might be one of the best superhero comics published back then. Just look at this line-up (again, for 60 cents!) --

An Archie Goodwin/Alex Toth Batman story, one of Toth's few forays into modern DC herodom, and one of the best. Just a great adventure story, beautifully drawn.

A Joe Simon/Jack Kirby Newsboy Legion reprint from the '40's...

A classic Hawkman reprint from writer Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson...

A Black Canary story from 1947 with amazing art by Carmine Infantino and Frank Giacoia...

The Elongated Man circa the 60's, by Fox, Infantino and inked by Sid Greene...

Batman and Robin from 1945...

Dr. Fate from 1941 (!)...

And wrapping it up, a new Manhunter story by Archie Goodwin and the amazing Walt Simonson.

Sixty cents!

Unlike some of the uber-slick hardcover reprints we're getting these days, the reproduction is all immaculate and the golden age stories are just as sweet as the modern stuff. Talk about an afternoon of entertainment! Forget decompressed stories and splash panels, this is a concentrated dose of hardcore comics genius, old and new. And I sure wish there were books out there like it today!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Potato Salad...

My buddy Marv Wolfman has this link up at his site. It is truly disturbing (not in an X-rated way, just... well, you'll see). Stick it out until 1:10 in... whoa.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Where'd He Go?!

One of my longest blogging gaps in a year or so... wow. Time flies when you're working 24/7. Anyhow, it's been a hectic but exciting week, lots of interesting stuff coming down, as well as my on-going adventure with the script for ARK. Some of this excitement has actually landed but since it hasn't been officially announced (though I'm not sure anyone outside my immediate family and those involved really give a hoot) I'm going to be Mr. Reticent for now. But I like it, and I think that's what counts.

I've also been tossing a bunch of new and really fun books on the reading stack. Dark Horse is reprinting the Warren Creepy series in fancy hardcover, which garners a "about time!" and hearty cheer from yours truly. I've probably had all the original issues at one point or another, but it's great to see this lovely art (and pretty good stories, especially by Archie Goodwin) back in print. Vol. 1 features the last narrative comic story by Frank Frazetta, and it's absolutely gorgeous. But the work by Reed Crandall and others is equally deserving.

Speaking of Mr. Frazetta, there's also a new swank full color hardcover collecting a bunch of his earlier funny book work. Some of it is a tad primitive, but all of it is interesting and some is exquisite. Assigning Frank Frazetta to illustrate a half-assed romance story is a little like asking Picasso to re-upholster your furniture, but it's still great to look at!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Battlestar's Michael Rymer

Here's an in-depth interview with Michael Rymer, who directed the 2003 Battlestar Galactica miniseries and many of the best eps of the series. It's always interesting to hear how the world looked from the other side of the table. The creative push/pull led to some really great work...

Roy Orbison Wrapped In Cling Film...

So there I was, innocently checking the internet for info on one of my all time favorite singers, when I came across this site.

Yes, someone has a fetish about wrapping Roy Orbison in cling-film. To the point they have evidently written a novel about... wrapping Roy Orbison in cling-film. If this site is a put-on, it's a good one. If not, I can say without fear of contradiction that it is the BEST real "Roy Orbison Wrapped In Cling-Film" site out there.

Comic Book Fanzines...

Back in the olden days, before computers and the internet and electricity... okay, not quite THAT long ago, but long enough... science fiction and comic book fans published hundreds of small press magazines known as "fanzines." Some were primitive and published in tiny press runs on ditto and mimeo machines (see Wikipedia if these terms baffle), others were incredibly professional with circulations into the (low) thousands.

"Comic Book" was one of the better examples, featuring home-grown comic strips and photo collages. I have to admit, I really miss these little gems. There's a cool, hand-made enthusiasm to this stuff that's hard to find in today's pre-processed world. The internet revolution has (mostly) killed the need to actually "publish," and the easy-to-use tools of Word or whatever make it possible to create a semi-professional product for virtually no money. Justified margins, full color, professional looking layout, all this was the stuff of dreams for fanzine publishers back in the 60's and 70's. I remember a guy who impressed the hell out of readers by justifying the margins of his typewritten fanzines. Apparently he has learned to adjust his language to account for the end of each line. Now THAT'S a skill that gone the way of the thermo-fax (I had one!) and rotary phones.

Aside from all that, there are a host of professional publishers like TwoMorrows who put out (excellent) fanzine type material for the mass market. I love that stuff, but it's still not the same. (Insert "baby crying" sound here.)

Anyhow, some very nice fellow has scanned in an entire issue of "Comic Book" for old time's sake. Give it a look at --

Monday, August 11, 2008

Evanier On "Geek"

Mark Evanier talks about the fixation the media seems to have on diminishing Sci-Fi and funny book fans with the slur "geek."

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Battlestar Galactica: "The Plan."

Now that everything's been officially announced, I can finally be a little more forthcoming re: the BSG movie project. As the press release and articles report, it's one movie and it will revolve around events that occurred around BSG's mini-series and seasons one and two. The production itself couldn't be in better hands, with Edward James Olmos yelling action (and when he says it, damn it, you better ACT) and Jane Espenson writing the script. This was the last BSG story-break for most of the writers, who worked on figuring out the plot a few weeks ago, and it's a great way to go out. If you think there aren't intrigues left to explore, even after the series itself wraps next year, think again!

As for yours truly, it looks like I'll be moving on to other television pastures soon, I'm still waiting to see if the i's get dotted and the t's get crossed, but so far so good. Meanwhile, in BSG-ish news, you also have a two hour Caprica to look forward to, and who knows, maybe more if things go well. Things are gloriously busy!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

What's With Those Free Credit Report Ads...

Ever since my pal John (check out his Beatles blog, url to the right) mentioned his distaste for the endlessly repeated "Free Credit Report" ads, I can't watch them without cringing. You know the ads, the ones where some ersatz rock band is forced to serve tourists in a fish and chips restaurant, drive a lousy car and/or bunk in a crowded apartment (with a very pretty girl) because one of them didn't check his credit report and now they're totally screwed. The lead singer croons out some obnoxious tune explaining his plight (with a weird, sickly grin on his face) while his bandmates bang away in the background. Boy, that's dedication!

Look, it sucks to have bad credit, and it's worse if somebody messes you up and you unfairly get tagged as a credit risk, but what the hell happened to these guys? Is the ad suggesting their credit report was so bad they lost their citizenship, had to enter the underground economy and take minimum wage jobs because... umm... what happened, again? And what's the deal with the entire band tagging along with the lead singer? Were they all hosed by a bad credit report? Did any of these treacly losers even HAVE credit in the first place?

Guess I'll watch another episode of MAD MEN and try to understand the wily ways of advertising...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Thanks goodness someone else does all the hard work for me. Bruce Campbell's site has a whole cool section on the movie, including the trailer, an MP3 of the soon to be hit single "Legend of Guan-Di", and a bunch of cast/crew/production photos. Whet your appetite for the greatest Bruce Campbell movie to, uhh, be released in 2008!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Sailor Man...

This actually sounds pretty funny/bizarre. A theater troupe is doing "Popeye" realistically. Instead of the endless cartoon violence where everyone pops up just fine at the end, in this version "Popeye" and "Bluto" beat each other nearly to death (replete with blood, broken teeth, etc.) while Olive Oyl watches. Not quite sure what it's all supposed to mean, or even how I should react as a life-long Popeye fan, but I'm intrigued! More info at:

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Technical Difficulties...

Blogging has been admittedly light for the last couple of weeks, though not because nothing's going on. In fact I'm busier than ever, working on my feature project ARK, a script for a certain "unnamed" television show, and even a story for my friends at DC Comics. And there are several more balls in the air, some promising to drop soon. For a perpetual cynic who always expects his last project to really BE his last project, it's been a challenge to maintain my usual doom filled attitude. But don't worry, I'll manage...

On top of that, cable modem and TV went out this morning, forcing me to resort to my laptop with a dicey wireless cellular connection and, dear God, "dial up." It only takes everything to go out to remind you how much you take for granted in this technological age. I'm also reminded how some services (land line telephone, for instance) remain pretty consistent. I've never given up getting dial-up modems in my home computer, just for occasions like this.

Sad day last week, though, as I finally cleaned out my Battlestar office (more or less). I was stationed at the BSG CIC over three years, almost a record for me, but it wasn't that big a move since I has purged most of my stuff back before the grand and glorious labor action that was "the WGA strike." And I left a lot of paper (scripts, drafts, outlines) for our writer's assistant to purge. (Sorry, Ben!) Anyway, I'm not sure what the future holds for moi re: future BSG projects, but it was time to get my cheap pens, aspirin and liquor (the three writing essentials!) outta there.

But the BSG march-to-glory continues for many others. Editing continues and mucho special FX remain to be special-effected before the last bunch of episodes are ready to air, and there's still that much rumored movie (I haven't been keeping up, has anything been officially announced yet?) and CAPRICA. So those craving continuing fixes of the BSG universe don't have to go into painful withdrawal yet. And I keep hoping they'll arrange some big ol' screenings for the final season, since BSG looks great on the big screen. But that's all still aways off...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

My Name Is Bruce New(ish) Trailer

More music, a little longer, just as goofy. This was the version playing 24/7 at the Dark Horse booth at this year's San Diego Con. I wish I could find the high-def version (yes, believe it or not, MY NAME IS BRUCE was shot in high-def), it's... very sharp!