14 Years

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I can feel it coming, memoires triggered far more easily, and it feels like a countdown. I continue to dwell on those final days, as Robbie grew more tired and then that final day. Fourteen years is a chunk of time, more than half his time with us. This year it feels weightier and despite […]

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Time

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I have been thinking about the blog often, missing composing my thoughts to share, but it always falls to the bottom of the pile. It’s not that there’s nothing to say; I’ve certainly been busy wrapping the school year, writing the sequel to Above the Ground, and launching the campaign for Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022. […]

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40 Years of Freelancing

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I was pulling the old tear sheets (pages pulled from a publication) from my files for a possible project and realized they weren’t in much of an order. I sifted through them and realized that my first freelance assignment was forty years ago this summer. As you may recall, I was briefly summer help at […]

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34

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Robbie would turn 34 today. That’s a solid adult’s age, one inching towards middle age, long past being a kid. His friends thrive, many married, several with kids, and all with interesting careers. Those who have named children after Robbie report his spirit lives within each of them, which is some comfort. There really isn’t […]

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What Kind of Year was 2021?

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The best that can be said for 2021 is that it was definitely an improvement over 2020, but it was incremental, nothing substantive. Deb and I remained healthy and Covid-19 free throughout the year, suffering nothing worse than a cold. We’ve both been vaxxed and boostered, which has certainly contributed to that. Deb working out […]

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What I did on my Summer Vacation

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Today is the final weekday of Summer Break. On Monday, I return to school and get ready for the 2021-22 academic year. In many ways, this was one of my busier and more productive summers without feeling like a pressure cooker. First, the moment the school year ended in early June, I was already working […]

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13 Years

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We had occasion to visit Robbie’s grave for the first time in a few years, but we cut it short since there was a joyous internment occurring several feet away. Still, it was good to be there. Time continues to tick by. We finally got to meet Robbie Santiago, the third child named in his […]

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Shifting Viewing Patterns

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Deb and I weathered the pandemic rather easily. Our routines weren’t terribly altered. Like most people, we socially distanced, limited outings, wore a mask, etc. And as things are returning to normal, we are ditching the mask and dining at restaurants. Things are starting to feel like it’s 2019 all over again. The one substantial […]

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33

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There’s not much new to say. He’s been gone nearly 13 years, but I can’t let Robbie’s birthday go unrecognized. I always feel odd when Deb and I aren’t together on this date but her business has occasionally required this. This week, it’s my turn to not be there, spending part of Spring Break with […]

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Thoughts on Zack Snyder’s Justice League

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One can examine Zack Snyder’s work on DC Comics’ heroes and villains from a variety of vantage points. The just-released Zack Snyder’s Justice League has to stand apart as an anomaly. It is Snyder’s version and his final chapter after Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman but only those two remain part of the […]

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It was 40 Years Ago Today

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I met Deb in our sophomore year at SUNY-Binghamton. My girlfriend moved on to her floor so we were just friends. But I liked her and in time I grew to like her a lot. Fortunately, I got dumped and she eventually broke up with her boyfriend. May 1980, engaged and graduating from college. We […]

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Watching Lots of Television

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An upside to the social distancing has been our sampling lots and lots of television series. As our normal fare ended their runs, we began working through shows across the various streaming platforms. Beecham House was an interesting look at India at the end of the 18th Century. I’m having trouble recalling all the shows […]

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The Final Day of Summer Break

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Thanks to an adjustment to the academic calendar, teachers were granted three bonus days of summer. Alas, today is the final weekday of my summer break. I report back to school on Monday with the kids arriving a week later. A highlight of the summer was adding Albert to our family. He loves perching here. […]

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In Memory of Bob Martin

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When I graduated from SUNY-Binghamton, I was fortunate to have a job waiting for it. Although it didn’t start until September, I was grateful to join Starlog Press as Managing Editor of Fangoria. Now, the title sounds impressive, especially for a 22-year-old straight out of college, but the reality was that each publication was a […]

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12 Years

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We’re taking the day to ourselves. A very young Kate and Robbie at Howard Weinstein’s wedding. The dogs are accompanying us on an outing, away from the world for the most part. It’s not that we need the solitude, but it helps. Each year brings us closer to that odd point of equilibrium, as many […]

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Report from the Home Office

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This has been a much needed week, a break from the high-pressured adjustment to teaching online and working with the students along the way. It’s Spring Break and I have been enjoying it immensely. Yes, I’m still doing my part to flatten the curve but I like being home at the desk. While I cannot […]

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I’ve Been Thinking about the Rise of Skywalker

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As things developed, I had the chance to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker twice in December, and in-between I had the opportunity to read up and discuss at length as we all tried to process the final installment in the nine-picture saga. Right up front, I’ll say I was entertained and mostly satisfied […]

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My Year of Reading

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On this, the final day of 2019, as is my custom, I am looking back on my reading. I appear to have read 214 books, a mix of fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. According to the stats at Goodreads the shortest work was Eric Zawadzki’s Eternal and the longest, at 1008 pages, was The Books […]

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So, What Kind of Year has it Been?

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As 2019 ends, and the final year of the decade begins (at least that’s how I count it), it’s time to take stock and judge the year as a whole. Deb and I had a relatively quiet, relatively good year. We saw plenty of television, a handful of plays and a bunch of movies, did […]

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11 Years

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Last year was tough. A decade is a solid block of time. Notthat eleven years is any lighter, but doesn’t have the same psychic weight. We continue living a day at a time, often getting stopped inour tracks by music, a line from a movie, a reference overheard. All bring backmemories of Robbie. Time certainly […]

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Summer Reading

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Since Christmas, I had been setting aside my summer reading,I had purchased one tome and received two others for the holiday, giving me afoundation for my summer. Whereas most people seem to prefer lighter, undemanding works for their summer pleasure, I knew that without lessons to plan and papers to grade, I could really dive […]

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61

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While sixty felt momentous last year, sixty-one feels like just another day. Yes, there are cards and tons of well-wishers on social media and trust me, it all reminds me of how many connections I have out there. Today, I am at the National Archives, part of a week-long professional development class on project-based research. […]

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Domestic Doings

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With all the talk of my freelance life and conventional life,I haven’t had much time to talk about domestic life. And there have been thingsgoing on since school ended in early June. First, we finally acted on our desire to fill the gap left in our lives when Ginger died last August. We had discussed […]

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Shore Leave 41 After Action Report

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Shore Leave 41 was a great experience but I was left withregrets which is not how things usually shake out. First of all, the con was fun and despite more than a few ofthe regulars being absent for one reason or another, it was good to be there. As I discussed last week, we moved […]

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The Chain Letter

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I’m doinga deep clean of my filing cabinet and am unearthing some things I have longsince forgotten. Among them was a copy of a chain letter that I received inJuly 1993 and actually copied and sent on to five friends. I’mflipping through it and am utterly amazed at who preceded me dating back to May1992. […]

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My Year in Reading

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I talked a bit about my writing and editing during the year.I also looked back at my reading. As I do every year, I track it through theGoodreads Reading Challenge. This year, I upped the number knowing that I wasswitching from comic books to collected editions, so I cautiously upped thenumber to 125 books. Well, […]

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What sort of year was it?

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It hasn’t been a bad year overall. Deb and I remained relativelyhealthy as we both hit 60, celebrating with our big trip to Scotland andIceland. We saw movies and plays, visited museums and libraries, and traveled to see family and friends. Throughout the year, we’ve upgraded portions of the townhouse, notably the Master Bathroom, but […]

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So, About my Night with John Cusack

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The tour company that booked me to interview William Shatner after screening Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan got back in touch with me in August and inquired if I’d like to interview John Cusack. He’s been touring the country since January, screening Say Anything, and then doing the same Q&A.I have admired Cusack’s […]

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We’re not the Greatest Country Updated

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In 2012, as Barack Obama was completing his first term, Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom debuted on HBO. In the incendiary opening scene, Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) is asked before a college crowd to explain why America was the greatest country in the world. After the other speakers said it was because of freedom, McAvoy unloaded.After […]

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10 Years Gone

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On the one hand, it’s hard to fathom that a decade has slid by since Robbie left us. On the other, we feel every one of those days.His peers are now 30, many married, all well established in their careers. Life has gone on for them, as it should. We’re left with the “what ifs” […]

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Some Thoughts on Turning 60

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Most of the time, I fervently subscribe to the notion that age is merely a number. I paused at fifty, though, since reaching the half-century milestone was worthy of pause and reflection.Here I am at sixty and am taking the time once more to see where I am.As the joke goes, at least I have […]

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Irons in the Fire Update

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When Robbie was sick, I sat with him and poured myself into work. This week, as my friends left town and Ginger began to fail, I also focused on work. It’s a useful coping mechanism.As a result, I managed to complete a few projects, clearing the decks for the moment.One was an interesting ghostwriting assignment […]

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Ginger has Left Us

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Ginger died a few minutes ago. Losing a pet never gets any easier. In fact, this time it was harder because she was my pet.I first spied her in January 2009 as I was still processing the loss of Robbie. She was a rescue, found under a porch without tags. She needed to be socialized […]

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Five Years in Maryland

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On April 2, we noted the fifth anniversary of actually becoming homeowners in Maryland. However, today is the anniversary of moving in and truly living here.It’s largely been a successful transition. We still miss friends and family in Connecticut and the tristate area. We’ve noted how this distances us from Deb’s family in New Hampshire […]

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Thirty

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Robbie entered the world thirty years ago this evening, around 11:30 at night. We were thrilled to have a son, feeling this completed the family. As with his sister, we had no idea what to expect. We obviously wanted him to thrive and be successful and we’d support him, but we weren’t going to fill […]

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Welcome to Opening Day — on a Thursday?

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I love baseball. I wish I could throw and therefore play the game, but I grew up watching the New York Mets with dad, being taken to Old Timer’s Day for my birthday, and enjoying the entire experience.Some thirty-two years ago, Bob Rozakis invited me to join his Federal League, in the early days of […]

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Nine Years

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Nine years.For whatever reason, it hangs heavy this year. Not quite the decade milestone but certainly we’re feeling it more keenly than last year. Go figure.We’ve been down in Maryland four years now and increasingly our circle of friends are people who never knew him. I’m about to work at my second school and there, […]

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Summer Movie Struggles

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Thanks to Deb and accommodating friends, I have been fortunate to see more movies than usual this summer. Some of it was to decide for myself if the buzz was accurate or because I was already predisposed to go and love the film.But, there was also the new feeling of necessity. The time theaters allow […]

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The Withering Family Tree

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My Aunt Helene passed away passed away last week and while not unexpected, it still was a surprise. She died a month shy of her 91st birthday and had been in an assisted living home the last six years. We spoke infrequently but when we did talk, she relived her teaching days or talked politics, […]

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Stepping onto the Soapbox

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I tend not to write here or elsewhere about current events, not because I have nothing to say, but more because I am not interested in being attacked for having an opinion that others may not agree with.That said, I am rather appalled at what is happening in America, not because of who sits in […]

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The Concert Experience

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I have never seen a meme spread as quickly as this week’s concert guessing game where you list ten acts you’ve seen but readers have to guess which one is a lie.It did get me tripping down memory lane, thinking about all the shows I’ve seen through the years and consider myself fairly fortunate to […]

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Fangs for the Memories

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Earlier this week, word spread that Fangoria, the second greatest horror movie magazine of all time, was shutting down once and for all. Sadly, it seems current writers are getting stiffed on payments owed them. The current owners have done a fine job running the once-great franchise into the ground through a combination of arrogance […]

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My One Carrie Fisher Story

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When I was working at Starlog, I had the pleasure to interview a number of young female stars, and among that number was Carrie Fisher. She was performing on Broadway in Agnes of God and was willing to chat about the forthcoming Return of the Jedi.The interview was scheduled between performances on a Wednesday afternoon. […]

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An Open Letter to Congress

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To the current elected members of Congress: thank you for your service.To the newly elected members of Congress: welcome, you have some serious work ahead of you.The just-concluded election cycle is a reminder that you serve as representatives of the people, from you district, your state, and your country. Superseding their will with your own […]

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Peeling Away 40 Years

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My family moved from Jericho in 1978 and I don’t think I have been back to visit in a good thirty years. I’ve often wanted to take the time to return, revisit where I spent ages 3-18, but there never seemed time.This weekend, though, was my 40th high school reunion and after being hit or […]

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Unexpectedly Being Pushed to Grow

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I don’t often get pushed as a writer, forced to write in styles or about subjects outside my wheelhouse. While I want to make each work better than the last, I don’t go outside my proscribed areas of comfort and/.or expertise.As a result, my few courses at Fairleigh Dickinson have been interesting experiences as each […]

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Upgrading the Website with Features and Newsletter

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It has taken far longer than I had hoped, but a number of under-the-hood modifications have been made to the website.Things I do want to call to your attention is an improved Events pages so you can keep tabs on the big doings at a glance.I also totally revamped the Bibliography, adding covers and details […]

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Enlisting in the 7 Line Army

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Yesterday, Deb and I joined an army.We were among the 1100 New York Mets fans to stuff Nationals Stadium for the final matchup between the Mets and Nationals for the regular season. (We’re still expecting to see them play one another in the League Championship series.) We sat in section 107, directly behind the left […]

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The Baltimore Comic-Con Wrap Up

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It’s been a wonderful but utterly exhausting last few days. The scheduling gods must have been having a laugh at my expense.Thursday kicked things off as Deb, Kate, Mike, and I attended the Bruce Springsteen show at Nationals Stadium. I’ve been going to see Bruce since December 1975 so I’ve been to over a dozen […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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I’ve quickly grown fond of attending the Baltimore Comic-Con given its primary focus has remained on comics while growing slowly, but steadily. They’d added in some media guests but haven’t gone overboard and for the most part, are integral parts of the pop culture world the show celebrates.Since attending, I’ve been fortunate enough to be […]

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Quick Scam Update

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Spurred on largely by David Mack and Kate (and a chorus of Facebook friends), I called the FBI this morning. Being mostly equidistant between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., I tried the latter first. They sent me to the Baltimore office and I spoke with an officer, noting the Russian email, the Reno, Nevada company, the […]

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How I was Nearly Scammed This Week

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Recently, I signed up with three different online tutoring services, hoping to fill in my time with some local student tutoring since it appears I will be home for a while. Shortly after registering, I received word a parent wanted to communicate with me.He introduced himself and said his son Tom, 13, needed help with […]

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Being Stretched as a Writer

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Over July and August, I took two graduate courses for my Creative Writing and Literature for Educators Master’s Degree. These were Writing and Critiquing Fiction and Writing and Critiquing Drama, both requiring me to stretch.as a writer.With both courses over, and me catching my breath before the final course begins next week, I am takin […]

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Progress Report

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This week my peers at Owings Mills have reported back to work and the academic year is about to get underway. I’ll miss them and the students, especially the ones I had for three years running.It’s a weird feeling after three years of routine but I have reconciled myself to this new routine. I’ve been working […]

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Eight Years

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I woke up this morning tired and somewhat sore from loading a moving truck yesterday. I worked through the usual Sunday morning routine and went upstairs to check in with the world. I saw a comment on Facebook and was slapped in the face.So much has been going on this week that I spaced on […]

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Reflections as I Turn 58

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At 5:30 or so this morning, I turned 58 years old.Birthdays tend to be a time to take stock, looking over the last year or even more, determining if there’s cause for celebration.I’ve had a very busy weekend so it’s like one lengthy celebration, starting Friday with our first Bowie Baysox game, taken in with […]

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Where to Find me This Summer

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The summer used to be filled with lots of convention appearances, as I represented DC or Marvel and I truly enjoyed being at the booth or out with freelancers. Many, many great memories were created during those years.These days, I make fewer appearances and tend to stay relatively local unless I’m brought out somewhere different […]

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Deep in the 100 Acre Wood

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Back in 2015, I talked about producing a graphic novel adaptation of the 2011 Winnie the Pooh movie for Joe Books. It was initially scheduled for June release and I was excited to have something different to show off.After the on sale date came and went, I never heard what had happened but eventually saw […]

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Canon and Continuity

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I walked into my classroom the other day to see two students arguing whether or not Superboy Prime was still part of the DC Universe canon. At first I was amused then I paused to consider the question because up until then, I had never really focused much on what constituted DC Comics’ official canon.Deriving […]

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Robbie at 28

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Recently, my brother asked me what I thought Robbie would be doing these days.I would like to think that had he survived, he would have followed through on his plans to complete college and train to become a residential life specialist at a hospital.He had hoped to transfer to Hood College so our plans of […]

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Three Years in Maryland

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Today marks the third anniversary of closing on the townhouse in Maryland, making us officially members of the Old Line State.We have certainly settled into the house and it feels like home, taking what we bought and making it our own. We like where we live, convenient to routes 29 and 32, 10 minutes or […]

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BvS: Overstuffed Plot vs. Underserved Themes

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Perhaps the biggest challenge Batman vs. Superman had was the same one plaguing Avengers: Age of Ultron. It had to service so many different agendas that things got muddled, especially for audiences not steeped in the lore. It certainly explains why the Blu-ray release will contain an additional 30 minutes of scenes, including more with […]

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Where Have I Been?

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I blink and days go by. I blink twice and its weeks.The usual excuses come into play. As January wrapped up, my new semester of grad school kicked off and I was plunged into lengthy readings plus poetry annotations and, gad, writing my own poetry to share with the class. We’re already four weeks in […]

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By Ymir, we got Some Snow

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Winter finally arrived this week.Once we heard the dire predictions, Deb worked the internet to rearrange her travel, originally scheduled for Saturday. Thankfully, she found one last seat on a Thursday morning flight although that meant I took her to the airport at oh-dark-thirty. And of course, we had a powdering prelude that night so […]

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Elsewhere in Gotham City…

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Hard to be believe it’s been fifty years, but I still remember the thrill and anticipation as I sat in the playroom, ready for Batman. I embarrassed myself some time earlier when my father showed me a newspaper item announcing the ABC series and interrupted my teacher’s math lesson to share the good news.Yeah, I […]

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My 2015 Year in Reading

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A new year always comes with looking back and looking ahead. Thanks to Goodreads, it helps me track what I’ve read. I always take their book challenge and every year I exceed the goal. This past year I set myself for 60 books and wound up completing 74 titles, the last in the final hours […]

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Looking at Super Televsion

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Last week I looked our television consumption overall and my friend Pat brought up the second season of Gotham which got me to thinking about the abundance of comic-based television currently airing. I have not seen the second season of the CW’s iZombie so have nothing to say here although those I know watching it, […]

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So, What Sort of Year has it Been?

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Looking back at 2015 it was a year filled with more highs than lows but the lows were pretty tough ones to deal with. Overall, it was a pretty good if unspectacular year.We achieved our 35th wedding anniversary, a milestone of some note. To celebrate we made a weekend of it in New York City […]

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Catching up on Television

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We watch too much television. At least that’s according to my wife. Not so much according to my peers.The difference is that as the 2015-16 prime time season began, we found ourselves unmoved to try most of the new sitcoms and dramas. We have added just one new series, Blackspot, and will probably sample Telenovela but […]

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Where’s the Editor?

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The other day my fellow teacher Gabe and I got into a conversation about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We both really enjoyed it and, with no one else around, we began discussing it in detail. Despite our enjoyment, we also found story flaws and explored them at length.That night he posted a link to […]

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A Long Time Ago…

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I remember buying Marvel’s adaptation of Star Wars prior to the movie opening but didn’t think much of it. They were pumping out so many adaptations and this one was of a film we hadn’t seen yet. I was there because Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin had produced work I enjoyed.While Arts & Leisure editor […]

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Taking Comfort in Tradition

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Tomorrow there will be turkey.Tomorrow there will be family.Tomorrow I will eat too much.There is a certain comfort that comes with observing tradition. I like how we revisit these throughout the year, but especially now as the calendar winds down. We hurtle from Halloween to New Year’s in just under three months. No sooner do […]

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Too Many Revivals May Spell Trouble for TV and Film

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The voracious need to populate the schedules of hundreds of cable channels, streaming video services, and the silver screen has come to mean that nostalgia is being strip-mined in an effort to create enough familiar properties to attract people’s attention.Over the last few months we’ve been told that revivals of Star Trek, the Six Million […]

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The Slow Death of the TV Programming Guide

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Over the summer I had to write a piece imitating the style of the Object Lessons column from The Atlantic. I wrote about the vanishing use of the programming guide. Here’s a modified version for your consideration.Variety reported in August that pay-TV distributors lost 566,000 subscribers during the second quarter of 2015, which is traditionally […]

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Saying Goodbye to Murphy Anderson

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I wish I could recall the first time I met Murphy Anderson. I’m fairly certain it was some time back in the 1970s but I do know I crossed paths with him during my brief 1980 summer tour of duty. He was unassuming, with a deep voice, and always in a suit.He left us yesterday […]

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The Happy Recap

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Simply amazing. That’s the short answer to how was the anniversary weekend.It had a little bit of everything we love and then some. First of all, we were wise to take Amtrak since it meant the trip back and forth would be stress free and we could relax.We arrived Friday night and hit Modell’s in […]

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It was 35 Years Ago Today…

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I am pretty amazed it has been 35 years since Deb and I walked down the aisle at CW Post’s interfaith chapel. The skies had darkened and the rains came down in torrents but we ignored the omens and went ahead and haven’t looked back once.We’ve certainly experienced a lot in three and a half […]

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Some Thoughts on my Nephew Nick

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Those following my Facebook feed know that we lost our nephew Nicholas Upton on Sunday, August 30. He was on studying abroad in South Africa and while on break with his buddies, went swimming and apparently got caught in a riptide and disappeared.His father, Jim, is Deb’s brother and he’s been a part of our life […]

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Superhero Shabbat

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Over the summer, I was contacted by nearby Temple Beth Shalom and asked to be their speaker at a Shabbat dinner, discussing Jews and superheroes. The mother explained that her son, Eli, was a huge superhero fan which has become the theme of his Bar Mitzvah so when Rabbi Susan Grossman was looking for a […]

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Seven Years

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Seven years.Seven years since we lost Robbie to leukemia.The first year was the toughest, as you might expect. The five year mark had a certain weight to it. The seven year mark definitely feels like a chunk of time has passed but it lacks the significance of the every-five-year cycle.Still, his passing deserves recognition. Deb, […]

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My Shore Leave Schedule

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The schedule for this year’s Shore Leave con remained in a bit of flux until last night but now, mere hours before I head over to the refurbished Hunt Valley Inn, I wanted to let you know where to find me.Friday6 p.m. Sci-Fi Squares, Valley Room7 p.m. Crazy 8 Presents Youth Workshop: Plotting, with Michael […]

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What I did on my Summer Vacation

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So, Deb took my unusually busy summer schedule and carved out 11 days for us to actually have a vacation. It meant coming home from Austin for a mere four days before hitting the road but now that we’re back I can confirm it was totally worth it.Unfortunately, the six weeks allotted to the online […]

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Exploring When a Hero Decides to Retire

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I’ve been busy and away from my computer more than usual this summer which explains my relative silence here. But I’m surfacing to ask for some support.Growing up, I read all the DC and Marvel titles and watched heroes come and sometimes pass the mantle on to someone else, I’ve watched them die and be […]

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2 Classes, 2 Campaigns

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Life has been exceedingly busy and I had no idea how much of it would kick off over the last 48 hours.On Monday, I reported for the first of my four days of curriculum writing. I’m part of the English elective team, paired with an experienced teacher to draft the framework, overview, and performance based […]

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Roberts Court not as Activist as They Think They Are

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I had to chuckle when I read the varying dissents in the Gay Marriage case since the authors, sounding like sore losers, accused their brethren of being “activist” judges. As a liberal, I felt much the same way when those same judges came up with a ridiculous decision in the Citizens United case.Also, Ruth Bader […]

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Forging a Routine

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I work best when I have deadlines and goals, routines and habits. Experience has shown me that without a plan I could fritter away my precious time off and that would never do.Unlike other stretches away from the classroom, this summer is packed and fractured. As a result, I’ve had to really sketch out what […]

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Year Two Comes to a Successful End

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School ends Friday but for me, the year ended today.Year two went far better than year one, and looking back, I can feel the growth and confidence growing. There are still plenty of things I want to do better, starting with classroom management, but I am definitely getting the hang of this teaching thing. I […]

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Over at the SFWA Blog

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Since March, I have been in touch with the Science Fiction Writers of America‘s membership, collecting, editing, and posting a series of posts in celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary. It was timed to ramp up continued interest in this weekend’s Nebula Awards ceremony. With Stephen Gould getting the last word, I got to wrap […]

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My Awesome Con Schedule

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Awesome Con is growing by leaps and bounds and I am thrilled to be returning, albeit only Saturday and Sunday. But, I will be moderating three panels in addition to manning a table on the showfloor.For those attending, come say hello, buy a book (or two), and come listen.Saturday“Playing in Your Sandbox vs Someone Else’s […]

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On Memorial Day

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Memorial Day may mean stores are open for shopping but it I one holiday where its meaning is rarely far from sight. In Fairfield, we would always attend the town’s parade, which was filled with pomp circumstance and float after float. People would hold spots along the route with blankets and chairs for days in […]

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Saying Goodbye to Dixie

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The first dog I really got to know well was Hadji, Deb’s family pet; a golden retriever that was friendly and lovable. He made an impression on me so, many years later, when Dakota, a shepherd/lab mix, was about seven, I casually mentioned that I thought a golden would make a good “next” dog.Somehow, Deb […]

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May & June Appearances

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As I prepare to begin my Master’s program with Farleigh Dickinson, I have a fairly full calendar of appearances in May and June and wanted to alert you to them in case you wanted to come say howdy.First up, I will be at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. I will have a table in Artist’s […]

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Coming Soon: More Words from Me

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The last few weeks have certainly been a whirlwind of activity as DC Comics closed shop and I spent the last six posts wandering around Memory Lane. I have far from exhausted stories from DC and haven’t even touched Marvel yet so some other time I’ll take another trip.Rather than look back, I thought I’d […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 6

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After a tumultuous year at Marvel, I was out of work in January 2002 and after a few months got a call from Georg Brewer, DC’s design director and the man overseeing the company’s collected edition program. He took me to lunch and invited me home, offering me a Senior Editor post with the group. […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 5

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If the company was so wonderful, why on Earth would I want to leave it?I had known Paul since I was 13, and his perceptions of me as the kid were transferred to Jenette. The editorial structure began to change under Dick with Mike Gold as a Senior Editor so Barbara and I were seen […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 4

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The summer of 1986 also saw me doing some Marketing work for DC. As the schedule had it, San Diego and Chicago shared the same weekend as the Atlanta Fantasy Fair and Dallas Comic Con. With the company’s resources dedicated to the bigger shows, I was asked to take a smaller version of the booth […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 3

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Looking back, I can clearly see how things peaked in 1986, one of the single most pivotal years in comic book history, but back then it was just a very busy year of really cool stuff happening. With my initial projects now history, I was deeply involved in a wide variety of things. There was […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 2

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I joined Starlog Press in September 1980 and within months had a notion for a new magazine, one to cover comic books, comic strips, and animation. It debuted a year later as Comics Scene and I’ll be reminiscing about that in a forthcoming issue of Back Issue! Once the magazine was canceled in 1983, I […]

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Looking Back at DC’s Offices, Part 1

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On Friday, DC Comics closes its doors in New York City, completing the lengthy relocation of core staff and operations to Burbank. I’ve been watching from afar, disappointed I couldn’t arrange a final trip north to make a final visit. Instead, I’ve been watching friends and former colleagues posting current pictures of the packing process […]

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Two Years in Maryland

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The following was supposed to go live yesterday, but technical difficulties delayed things until this morning. As you read, pretend it is April 2.As of today, we have been official residents of Maryland for two years. It certainly doesn’t feel like two years and it still doesn’t quite feel like home yet. Of course, neither […]

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I’m Still Here

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It’s been an extraordinarily quiet month on the blog and for that I apologize. I have been far from idle but the month has also had me in a nose-to-the-grindstone routine that has sucked away most of my free time.First, the teaching has been going well enough. I had my fourth and final observation this […]

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Trading Teaching for Writing for a Week

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There are tradeoffs to everything. While I have loved my extra time at home over the last seven days, I am now preparing to return to school where we have to pick up the pieces.To review, last week Maryland began administering the PARCC exams, the Common Core-aligned testing that replacing the HSA tests in Math […]

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Thinking About Leonard Nimoy

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I teach from 11:10 until 2:05 each day so only had the briefest of moments to absorb the email headline I caught between classes that Leonard Nimoy had died. Once the bell rang, I headed to the department office to try and process this tremendous loss to fandom. Instead, students demanded my attention and I […]

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Desperately Seeking the Muse

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I work hard at most everything I do. These days, that means I am heavily focused on school work and trust me, there’s a lot to juggle there. I plan, trying to tighten up my lessons to be more effective in the classroom. I grade, holding the kids to the rubrics and expectations that come […]

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The Waiting Game

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I admit to being a member of the instant gratification club. I send something off and I want an instant acknowledge, preferably a positive one. So, you know, I hate waiting.But on several potential assignments, I have been doing the patient waiting dance. For one client, I have been waiting on two or more potential […]

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Happy 49th Birthday, Batman

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The headlines have been filled this week with the CW buzz over a possible Atom spinoff from Arrow and a Vixen animated series while CBS is salivating for the Supergirl series, said to be set in the same television reality. It’s utterly astounding to see how many comic book properties are being developed for animated […]

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2014 Reading in Review

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When I began full-time teaching, I despaired at how many books would go unread. According to the tracker over at Goodreads, I peaked at 78 books in 2012 and slipped to 72 a year later. As a result, when it came time to set my reading challenge for 2014, I aimed low and decided on […]

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What Kind of Year has it Been

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I have been complimented more than once on the reflections I do here and at school so I keep plugging ahead and what better time to pause and reflect than as a new year dawns?Overall, 2014 was a pretty good year. As with most years, it had a mix of ups and downs with the […]

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Some Thoughts on The Secret History of Wonder Woman

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For those of us who have worked in the comic book field, the kinky side of Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston, is old news. We knew about his odd home life with wife Elizabeth Holloway along with his “secretary” Olive Byrne. The mainstream world, though, is just coming to terms with this amazing tale […]

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Returning to Sorrow’s Crown

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Regular readers here know that I spent some of June and July writing a Sherlock Holmes novel for Titan Books. Murder at Sorrow’s Crown is collaboration with Steven Savile and is unlike any other collaboration I have ever done. First, I have never met Steve. Heck, I don’t even know what his voice sounds like. […]

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On a Winter’s Break

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The Winter Break came at a good time. We’re all tired, overwhelmed with paperwork, and just this week several notices came out requiring us to begin thinking about next year’s courses and students. A perfect storm of scheduling meant my sophomores delivered essays and journals last week while my juniors delivered two different essays this […]

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Four-Color Prime Time Reflections

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Earlier this TV season I slammed Gotham as a lazy adaptation of the Batman mythos and yet I found myself watching each episode, because the buzz was growing. As the show heads into its winter hiatus, I thought it fair to go back and consider it a second time.Given that none of the characters resemble […]

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Interstellar is an Emotional Void

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Christopher Nolan thinks big. There’s little question he has an impressive imagination and his body of work speaks to those larger issues. Often writing with his brother Jonathan, they have produced a series of films with a polish and gravitas that few other big budget spectacles can match.And yet…And yet, in almost every case, the […]

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You Can’t Go Home Again – But you Can Visit

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I was invited to address the students at SUNY-Farmingdale this month, courtesy of Dr. Laurie Rozakis, who just happens to be one of my oldest and dearest friends. She figured that as a fellow educator and longtime writer, I might have interesting things to say. I fortunately had the ability to schedule the talk to […]

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Coming up for Air

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No, I’m not dead. Just very, very busy.For most of November, my free time has been sucked up by school or family matters. With four straight days off and a few things settled, I intend on catching up and resuming more or less regular posting here.In short, it’s been a very busy period. First, my […]

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Reflecting on 34 Years of Married Life

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I am teaching kids ranging from 14-17 and as of today, I am now married more than twice their ages. Today, Deb and I celebrate our 34th anniversary.In the wake of Kate’s recent marriage, it has given me occasion to pause and reflect about the journey we’ve been on. We started at 22, less than […]

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Gotham is a Lazy Adaptation

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One of the things that really irked me while I was working at DC Comics was when an artist needed a collection of villains for some story and rather than check to see which ones were available, he’d merely thumb through his set of Who’s Who and cherry-pick whoever he wanted to draw. The editors […]

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I’ll be at Capclave on Saturday

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A year ago, I foolishly thought I could begin teaching and still have time for a personal life which included attending local conventions. The reality of the situation quickly reared its head and I had to regretfully withdraw from attending nearby Capclave, the show I had hoped would replace Lunacon to satisfy my science fiction […]

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Recapping the Wedding

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How do you describe a magical weekend in just words? Last weekend’s wedding was everything parents could hope for their children.Things more or less got started on Thursday when the couple joined me, Deb, my brother Neil, my sister Judy, and her daughter Corinne at the Nationals-Mets game. There was much catching up and little […]

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Kate Gets Married Today

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As you read this, I am spending the day in celebration of a significant milestone.Today, Kathleen Michelle Greenberger is transforming into Mrs. Michael Pakaski and there is much cause for celebration which is exactly what we’re doing.It is also a time to pause and reflect. When she arrived over 28 years ago, we had no […]

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Sorry, I Don’t Have a Top 10 for Books

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Over the last few weeks I was asked on three separate occasions to list the 10 books that have stayed with me. I don’t have 10 books. Heck, I don’t have a single favorite book or author and hate when those questions come up in interviews.I remain amazed at people who read and reread books […]

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The Watchers Book 1 Book Trailer & Giveaway

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As promised a while back, here’s some additional information on The Watchers. Check out the book trailer and below is a giveaway opportunity. The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMVJ6btZLFA?version=3&f=user_uploads&c=google-webdrive-0&app=youtube_gdata&w=320&h=266] In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept […]

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Boosting the Signal: The Watchers Book 1

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I’m trying something new today, and in a week or so, helping a fellow author promote a forthcoming book with the hope that the favor will be returned when the time warrants it. The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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Despite my name not being on the guest page (again), I can guarantee you that I will be at the Baltimore Comic-Con this coming weekend. I will be changing identities from mild-mannered English teacher to veteran comic book pro sometime on Friday afternoon in time to begin my moderator duties. This year, program guru (and […]

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Remembering Stan G.

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I no longer remember how I learned Stan Goldberg lived in my town of Jericho. Maybe it was from my younger brother Neil who was friends with Stan’s son at school. Heck, he lived just a few blocks over, so when I learned a real, live comic book artist lived nearby, I arranged to go […]

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The Splintering of Celebrity

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I remember when Fred Astaire died. I was walking to the LIRR from DC Comics and saw the afternoon edition of the New York Post and was thinking how an entire generation of performer was vanishing from the public eye.On Monday evening, the In Memorium portion of the Emmy Awards saw us say farewell to […]

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Dystopian Worlds Don’t Work

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Deb and I were watching Divergent on DVD recently, and before the movie ended, I was struck by the thought that the world didn’t work. Once Kate Winslet began going on about suppressing or eliminating free will, I realized this was not tenable. By dividing society in to five groups, calling them factions no less, […]

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Six Years

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Six years ago tonight, Robbie left us and his absence remains keenly felt.The other night, Deb and I were walking the dogs and she said, “Six years” and I replied, “I always find myself dwelling on the bad times, not the good ones.” I wish I knew why that was but all week long I […]

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Back from the Convention

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Shore Leave 36 was another wonderful set of experiences. While the Hunt Valley Inn is in the process of morphing from a Marriott to a Wyndham, the usual assortment of friends and fans arrived for three days of merriment.There were more writers in attendance than usual which meant a few things: we were crammed into […]

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My Shore Leave Schedule

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I love Shore Leave. I have ever since I attended my first, which happened to have been their third. And here we are, at Shore Leave 36 and the show has settled into a nice rhythm. It has always been kind to writers and over the last 15 years or so, the number of authors […]

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What’s in a Name? Ask Barbara Kean

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As we celebrate Batman’s 75th anniversary three months late (Detective Comics #27 hit newsstands on April 18, 1939), I see the usual hubbub over creators and creator credit. Thankfully, DC Comics has finally started to acknowledge Bill Finger as a contributor to the Batman legacy. He and his heirs will never see the kind of […]

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Where We’ve Been

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While we were away this past week, Deb commented on how much planning a getaway has changed. It used to be, you sent away for brochures from the city/state’s tourism bureau then you could order guidebooks and triptiks from AAA. Then came the Internet and suddenly you could plan a variety of visits in advance, […]

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The First Draft Blues

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I learned a great deal from working on the Sherlock Holmes project. Murder at Sorrow’s Crown is proving to be a more challenging experience than I anticipated and remain forever grateful that I am doing this with a partner, Steven Savile. One, it means I’m not going through this alone, and two, I have someone […]

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Binging

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More and more, I find myself joining the bingers in the way I consume media. It started with the monthly comics that keep rolling in. With my teaching regimen, I found I could no longer read everything as the boxes of books arrived. I found myself accumulating two or three months of some titles and […]

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Writing and Researching

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I have gained an entirely new appreciation for research. For years, I reveled in the research I did for my various non-fiction projects, scratching my History itch and feeling pretty good about it. However, now that I am applying the necessary research to my Sherlock Holmes novel, I find myself constantly ill-prepared.As I mentioned over […]

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Not Impressed with the Local Political Campaigns

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A week from today, a small number of Maryland residents is expected to vote in the primaries as we head towards November’s general election. Apparently, the date was moved from September to June and few seem to remember this or care, focused as they are on summer. However, for me, this is huge because I […]

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Why Deadlines Matter

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I used to remind talent working for me that deadline meant once the line has been crossed; the work is dead and useless to me. Blow a deadline and often I had to resort to others to get the job done. While my books may never have been the hot, sexy bestsellers, DC’s management knew […]

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Dining with the Greatest Generation

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Every now and then something unexpected comes along and it gives you a new appreciation for the life you lead. In this case, it was a reminder of fortunate we are that a generation of men and women rose to the call and defended us and our allies with a clear cut mandate to make […]

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Thinking About Amazing Spider-Man 2

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One of the largest obstacles a filmmaker has to overcome when rebooting a franchise is not repeating what the previous incarnation did. When both film series are based on another property, the challenge grows. Marc Webb was faced with just that dilemma when he inherited Spider-Man from Sam Raimi. In the first film, Amazing Spider-Man, […]

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Break’s Over

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As breaks go, this one was packed while still allowing me some downtime. Looking back, it’s amazing that so much got done while still leaving me feeling somewhat refreshed.On the home front it was a never-ending cycle of activity. Tuesday, the Geek Squad came to mount the new TV. That evening, we had a power […]

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It was Awesome

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Awesome Con is a mere three years old but is rapidly growing and becoming a destination for mid-Atlantic congoers. While holding the show Easter weekend was a questionable decision, next year will be the last weekend of May, after Wizard World Philly and just a few weeks before Heroes Con, so it’s nicely nestled in […]

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I’ll be Awesome this Weekend

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Awesome Con is Washington D.C.’s rapidly growing comics and media convention. I read about it soon after we got down here so I couldn’t make it to last year’s show. I reached out some months back and was not only invited to be a guest but was offered a table in Artists Alley. That’s a […]

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One Year in Maryland

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A year has zipped by and today marks our one year anniversary in the townhouse as Maryland residents. Our closing anniversary for Fairfield, March 22, and the one in Maryland, April 2 sort of slipped by our notice. Looking back, it’s the pace of our new lives that let these details almost escape us. As […]

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Back from Diplocon 14

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College conventions tend to be a very mixed bag and certainly smaller scale than most other types of shows. Sometime after I graduated from SUNY-Binghamton there was a con and by then I was working at Starlog or had just started at DC and was invited back as a guest. Deb and I went, had […]

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Just Added to my Schedule: Diplocon

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I have been invited to speak at Diplocon, held on the campus of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA the weekend of March 21-22. I’ll be speaking and signing on Saturday but hanging out both days.This event came up suddenly when my former Pocket Books editor Dave Stern reached out, asking if I’d be […]

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Third Quarter Interims are Here

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No sooner do I write about the rhythms of school than we lose more time. So, even though we’ve lost a bunch of days this quarter, we’re still closing the books on schedule, March 28. Which means tomorrow I have to enter the interim grades for distribution on Wednesday. As I result, I’m becoming a […]

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The Art of Ramona Fradon is Finally On Sale

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As I was wrapping up my work on The Art of Howard Chaykin in 2010, the folk at Dynamite Entertainment asked if I would edit The Art of Ramona Fradon. Apparently, Howard had several conversations with Ramona, the legendary artist best know today for her work on Aquaman and Metamorpho. I would need to weave […]

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First Appearances in 2014

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I recently updated my appearances list on the appropriate page but wanted to give a shout out to my next few ports of call.I’ll be signing at SFWA booth at the American Library Association’s mid-winter event on Saturday. Should any of you librarians be on hand, I’ll be signing at 3 p.m.Next month, I will […]

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Farewell, Odyssey

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I have never been a gearhead. I’ve enjoyed cars and certainly have my preferences for vehicles but I appear to have been born without the car gene. The love affair the Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen have for fast cars is totally lost on me.My first car was a 1970 orange Dodge Challenger that I […]

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My New Year’s Resolutions

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Over at Crazy 8 Press, I kicked off a month-long look at our individual resolutions for 2014. Those are certainly good ones for the writer in me but there are others that require attention.I need to start being more realistic with my time. When I was working at home, I promised myself on Goodreads that […]

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Pulling the Plug Faster

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Our patience for the mediocre appears to be waning with age. It used to be, if we started a televisions series and liked it, we stayed until the bitter end. In the last year or two, though, we’ve been pressed for time and apparently we’ve sharpened our critical skills. I think it started when we […]

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2013: A Look Back

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Some years thigns feel perfectly normal with some highlights but few significant changes. In our life, we seem to let thigns pile up so there are really packed years. This was one of them.In January, after a few months preparation, the house was put on the market and much to our surprise, we had a […]

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So, I’ve Been Watching Lost Girl

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I had lost track of the various series on the SyFy channel after several proved disappointing. So, while I had heard of these series, I had never bothered to check them out, especially with the lack of buzz they received from my peers. Recently, though, circumstances has led me to mainline Lost Girl, a series […]

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Sharing Traditions

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Growing up, my family had its traditions, usually reserved for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Passover. I don’t really many others during “normal” times. Once Deb and I started dating, I was introduced to her family traditions and we quickly adopted many of them, preferring home cooking over store bought holiday meals.As we raised our family, the […]

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Thoughts on Thor: The Dark World

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I remain utterly fascinated and impressed with how successfully Marvel Studios has adapted their comic book heroes and villains to film. They are certainly not without flaws, but they are never less than entertaining and are doing worldbuilding in ways we’ve never seen in feature film before.The comic book tricks of the trade, I knew, […]

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Some Ruminations on Television Villainy

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After reviewing the DC documentary Necessary Evil, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to villains of all stripes. It’s also been on my mind  given my frustration with overly-long story arcs on some television series.A good hero, we’re constantly told, is defined by the quality of his opponent. Also, we’re told, everyone thinks they’re […]

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DC’s Move West Brings Back Memories

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I have no recollection of who my father met while a salesman for IBM, but one day he announced that he arranged a tour of the DC Comics offices. I flashed back to that sense of wonder as the news spread across the Internet that after 75-plus years, the comic book publisher was going to […]

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Happy 33rd Anniversary to Me and Deb

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I was 22 when I was lucky enough to marry Deb. I’m 55 now and today we celebrate 33 years of life together. Although I cannot usually perform any math, I came to realize that we have been together a long time.Looking back, the odds were certainly not in our favor. We were young, her […]

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Thinking About Writing

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As I am finally getting a handle on my school work, my mind has increasingly begun to turn towards writing. I find I miss it and that those muscles cry for exercise. My heart leaps at the prospect of assignments or just getting back to the keyboard for something other email and lesson planning.My mind, […]

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Revisiting Baltimore Comic-con

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After a few weeks in the classroom, it was a welcome break to actually return to my roots, so to speak. The Baltimore Comic-con has been growing by leaps and bounds, embraced as a pure comics show where fans can interact with pros without being blitzed with disconnected media guests or loud video game demos.In […]

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Celebrating my Friend, Ann Crispin

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It is very weird to be writing this about Ann Crispin, but now that she has gone public with how serious how illness is, I thought it better to put down my thoughts while she is still here to hopefully see them.Ann has been a working professional for some 35 years and I first met […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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This weekend, I will be back at the Baltimore Comic-Con and thanks to Roger Ash – the con’s programming guru and my editor at Westfield Comics – I’ll be moderating three panels. Here’s my schedule for those interested.Saturday, Room 302-30311:00-12:00 – The British InvasionIn the 1980s, a number of British writers and artists started producing […]

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Five Years

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I find it hard to comprehend that it has been five years since Robbie died. But here we are, half a decade removed from those horrific days. It was at approximately 8:20 p.m., nearly an hour after we turned off the machinery that he took his final breaths. He was surrounded by aunts, uncles, grandmother […]

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The Shore Leave After Action Report

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I love Shore Leave, but regular readers here know that.This year, there were a few takeaways, both related to, sadly, age. First, I can no longer stay up to all hours one night and be up and functional art 8:30 for a business breakfast. I handled the breakfast just fine, but by 10 p.m. without […]

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My Shore Leave 35 Schedule

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It’s hard to believe that Shore Leave is turning 35 this year. My first time down was for Shore Leave 3 and it was pretty much just me and Howard Weinstein. This year’s guest line up has first time visits from William Shatner, Brent Spiner and Saul Rubinek which is pretty cool.The number of authors […]

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On Turning 55

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I seem to have fallen into the habit of twice a year pausing to reflect. Obviously, the end of a calendar year is a good time for that and apparently, so it my birthday.I am floored by the more than 500 birthday wishes piling up on Facebook. They come from all walks of my life, […]

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Remembering a Missed Opportunity

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Some 20 years ago, Alan Gold and I were trolling the aisles of the Licensing Show. He had never been and as an editor at DC Comics, he wanted to see what might be worth licensing. By this point, DC had acquired Star Trek and were open to other properties if editors got enthused. He […]

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The Lone Ranger is Bloated, Messy Fun

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In talking with Paul Kupperberg last week, he noted that it was difficult for him to write The Lone Ranger for Moonstone’s prose anthology because the character was so vanilla. After all, Fran Stryker saw him as the perfect role model for the families listening to the radio drama, first on WXYZ and then coast […]

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Man of Steel in Review

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Although I prefer Batman, Superman has been there since the beginning. My mom says my first comic was an issue of Superman when I was six. George Reeves’ Clark Kent inspired the choice of my first pair of glasses and led me towards journalism. Two of my first three comic book scripts featured the Man […]

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Guest Blog: Kirsten Beyer Was Awed by NASA

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Rocket Big…Space Station Pretty… By Kirsten Beyer Sometimes, words fail me. This is tough to admit. I’m a writer. I’m supposed to be reasonably proficient at this.But sometimes things happen that are so far beyond words, I just…Take last Friday, for instance.There’s a small group of folks on the planet who are lucky enough to […]

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Common Core Graphic Novels

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The DiamondGraphicNovelCommonCoreList has arrived, designed to fit the newly introduced Common Core standards for schools. The Common Core, for those unaware, is being implemented in 45 states and the District of Columbia, a state-driven initiative to align standards to better prepare students for the competitive global economy. As a future educator, I think this is a terrific […]

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Feeling like a VIP at NASA

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When fellow writer Amy Sisson suggested that her husband Paul Abell could get a group of us a VIP tour of NASA, it was pretty clear our 2013 vacation would be in Houston. After last year’s small but successful gathering of Star trek authors, we knew we wanted to reconvene and this opportunity was too […]

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Changing how I Watch TV

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Deb was away for eight days recently and during that time I caught up on a lot of video viewing. In looking back, though, I discovered I had slipped into the 21st century and had not watched a single live broadcast. Instead, I saw a number of movies streamed via Netflix, watched several movies and […]

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More on Adjusting

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Recently, we spent hundreds of dollars and three-plus hours of our lives making the final permanent changes to our residency. We surrendered our Connecticut licenses and registrations in exchange for Maryland documentation. Despite the mortgage papers and sales documentation, there is something very permanent feeling about this move.This weeky the final pieces of new furniture […]

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At the After Earth Press Junket

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I’m in NYC today for the World Premier of After Earth, sharing the moment with Mike Friedman, Peter David, and our spouses. Now that the website is back and running, I can finally talk about the press junket.The one thing a freelance writer lives for is the phone to ring and an amazing opportunity to […]

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Iron Man 3 was Great Fun but…

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Like most people, I enjoyed the heck out of Iron Man 3 over the weekend. It was fast, loud, noisy, and things blew up really well. The handoff from Jon Favreau to Shane Black was a step in the right direction and the casting was superb. There’s little doubt why it earned its $175.3 million […]

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Regaining my Mojo

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The whirlwind beginning of the year is slowing down, at last, and new routines are being established. Looking back, it’s astonishing we listed, sold, bought, packed, moved, unpacked and are settling in just four months. We’re far from done but it’s starting to feel like home.As you might imagine, my focus and ability to concentrate […]

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After Earth: A Perfect Beast Out Today

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Amazingly, more than two years after our work began on After Earth, the first book is on sale today.  Last week, Random House’s Suvudu offered up a sampling of the book’s first 50 pages and now A Perfect Beast is out.While not the first offering – that was the one-shot comic given away last year […]

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Making Adjustments

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Two weeks ago today, we moved into the house. On the one hand, we’ve made impressive progress, getting most of the boxes unpacked. On the other, now we see the remaining boxes and how much more needs to be done.We were very dedicated in getting the master bedroom suite and kitchen done first and we’re […]

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Age and Tradition

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As many of you know, Kate got engaged late last week. She and Mike have been dating for over two years and this was certainly the major reason Deb and I chose to relocate to Maryland this month.This milestone is not a surprise but it does suddenly make me feel my years. A child old […]

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Settling In

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And we’re back.Today marks my first day back at the desk since Thursday and the first work day in the new townhouse. The three weeks at Kate’s home zipped right by, helped in part by an unexpected whirlwind business trip out west, and things went better than hoped for. The dogs, in particular, settled right […]

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Remembering Carmine Infantino

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I was surprised by how deeply I felt the passing of Carmine Infantino last night. We were never close but I realize his work was woven into the fabric of my childhood and his work as an artist and an executive influenced my development from fan to comics professional. Much of what I learned about […]

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The Opening Day Streak

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I don’t know how the streak started. I do know that there was a stretch from about 1987 through 2006 or so where Deb and I did not miss Opening Day at Shea. There were two exceptions: 1988 when she gave birth to Robbie and we watched from the hospital and the year it was […]

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Homeless (Sort of)

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We’re about one-third of the way through the interim period of homelessness and it’s not as bad as I feared.When we closed on the house last Friday, we were suddenly very cash rich, but technically, were homeless people without a fixed address. Since we don’t close on the Maryland home until next week, it’s this […]

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Packing and Purging

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The mad rush is finally slowing down.Despite all our expectations, the Fairfield closing is happening on schedule and we leave town on Friday. Amazingly, the six week window is drawing to a close and we’ll be in Maryland this weekend.The upside to the move is that we have purged. Boy, have we purged. The two […]

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Moving Days — Both Emotional and Physical

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For those who missed it, yesterday was Robert Greenberger Day in Fairfield. I didn’t learn of this momentous occasion until about 8:30 p.m., giving me only a few hours to revel in it.The reason I was so honored is because last night marked my retirement from the Democratic Town Committee. The resignation was prompted by […]

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The Price of Trailers

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I think my fascination with film trailers began in college. Back in the 1970s, there were usually 2-3 trailers before a film and it was a given. But in Binghamton, the Crest Theater was known for showing tons of trailers, as many of fifteen minutes’ worth prior to the feature film and I was hooked. […]

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Farpoint Day 3

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Sunday at a con is always a mix. People are dragging from partying all night long while also packing and checking out, some earlier than others. As a result, con programming eases people into the day, with me and Howie chatting for an hour. He read from his western-in-progress and I talked about this and […]

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My Farpoint Schedule

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Suddenly, it’s February and Farpoint is on the horizon. There’s been so much work done for After Earth and other things it feels like the con snuck up on me.But, the fun show is celebrating its 20th Anniversary and fellow author Phil Giunta has assembled a stellar lineup of writers for a packed track of […]

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Knowing Something vs. Putting it into Practice

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Next week at Farpoint I will be doing a series of panels and workshops on being a writer. As a result, I’ve been giving the subject a fair amount of thought of late so I can sound like I know something useful. This morning, I came across a top ten list from Debbie Millman, a […]

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Super Bowl Social Media Thoughts

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Much was made during the Super Bowl and in this morning’s write-ups that the cluster of advertisements was lackluster. They were made predominantly for males, ignoring the demographics that showed the significant number of women who also watch this particular game. Others noted that they felt old school and traditional, the majority portraying nuclear families […]

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Peter David Auction News

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Yesterday, Mike Friedman, Steve Saffel and I were at Chez David, helping Kathleen ready the house for Peter’s return next weekend. Glenn Hauman got a lot done the day before and we completed the assigned tasks and tidied up a bit more. Meantime, the bills are starting to arrive as are ways to help the […]

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Another Baseball Tradition Vanishes

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I’m not sure I’ll recognize Major League Baseball when Opening Day arrives. First of all, they’re still starting the season in March rather than the first Monday in April. They’ve ignored tradition and no longer allow the Cincinnati Reds the privilege of being the first game of the season.Now, thanks to the moronic decision to […]

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Saluting the Lone Ranger at 80

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I wasn’t there in Detroit on January 30, 1933 when radio station WXYZ-AM first broadcast The Lone Ranger. Nor was I around during the 21 years the series ran on radio. Instead, I knew of the masked hero through the references in comics and television including Filmation’s animated Saturday morning series. By then, I somehow […]

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After Earth: Redemption now Available for Purchase

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My second personal contribution to the six eBook series of After Earth: Ghost Stories goes live today. Redemption tells a fresh tale about one of the six people who developed the ability to mask their presence from the alien predators called the Ursa. The ghosts are a significant element in the After Earth universe and […]

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Predictable Prime Time

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I have always admitted I watch a lot of television, always have and probably always will. The exact nature of such fare has changed through the years but me and prime time go back a long way. Currently, there is something like 30+ series I watch which, thankfully, do not all run concurrently. I’ve long […]

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Maintaining Contact

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While I await the spring hiring season for teachers, I’ve been focusing a lot on my freelance writing life. Knowing this period of time was coming, back in October, in time for the New York Comic-Con, I began a regular series of contacts with people I have done work for and others I’ve always wanted […]

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The Comic Buyer’s Guide, RIP

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In the early days of comic book fandom, it took its cues from science fiction fandom since there was quite a bit of overlap. The early SF zines included names and addresses so as others began publishing, they knew where to find eager subscribers. The first pure comics zine, Richard Lupoff’s Xero, didn’t arrive until […]

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2012: A Look Back

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Last day of a tough year, made tougher by yesterday’s news that my longtime, close friend Peter David had a stroke. But, the end of the year brings about a chance for reflection, an opportunity to be reminded of the highs and lows.The highest high is that in May I was awarded my Master’s Degree […]

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The Year in Reading

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This year, I tracked all my reading through Goodreads, which kept me honest and allowed me to keep tabs on things I intend to read sooner or later. According to the site, I exceeded my goal of 75 books by three (presuming I finish Target Lancer by New Year’s). As the site’s popularity has grown, […]

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West and Welaxation

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I was reminded of the simple comforts in life yesterday.Since Thanksgiving weekend, we’ve been on the go. We spent the weekend down in Maryland then returned home and within 48 hours, a second round of work began on the house. On Friday, we declared the work done and spent the weekend putting things back or […]

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Adios, Leverage

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After a day of chores around the house, I finally settled down to catch up with the world and was disappointed to see the news at Deadline that Leverage is canceled. The series completes it fun five season run on Christmas evening and thankfully producers John Rogers and Dean Devlin decided to hedge their bets […]

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After Earth Digital Short Story Schedule

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Since ending school work last week, the bulk of my desk time has been spent doing After Earth related tasks. And look, the website went live when I wasn’t looking. Beyond the trailer, it begins to dole out information on the characters and their world, much drawn from the film and some drawn from material […]

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First After Earth Digital Short is now Live

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After months and months of work and planning, last week the teaser trailer for After Earth finally debuted around the world both online and in theaters showing The Hobbit. I think it looks pretty cool, demonstrating just enough to hook you.For those interested, the Facebook page for the film is now being populated with a […]

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Student Teaching has Ended

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For a number of reasons I have not written about student teaching this fall. A lot of it had to do with time. There was less of it this time around and there were other things to blog about. When they warn you at orientation to kiss you family goodbye, not to take a part-time […]

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No Need for a Writer to be Discouraged

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Yesterday, a writer friend reached out and wrote, “Specifically, how do you handle thinking about opportunities that have gone south?  I keep dwelling on all the chances I’ve had at the big dance —chances that have all started out promising, then fizzled for one reason or another.  I mean no disrespect, but I know your […]

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Update on After Earth Fiction

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A while back I talked about the various tie-in books related to After Earth, the June 2013 release that Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman and I have been working on. Since then, a few things have moved and others freshly announced so I wanted to take a moment to update everyone.The big news is that […]

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From Farmingdale to Fairfax

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The Thanksgiving tradition has been to travel to Farmingdale and feast with the Rozakis clan included as a part of their extended family. Over the years this has been incredibly inclusive stretching as far as college roommates, their siblings, former CTY Teaching Assistants, old elementary school teachers and other strays. Last year, Kate’s boyfriend Mike […]

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So, I read Marvel Comics The Untold Story

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Marvel’s corporate history is at least as compelling as the Earth-616 universe it has published since 1961. We’ve had some glimpses via the Les Daniels’ Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics and bits scattered in other works, notably Gerry Jones’ wonderful Men of Tomorrow. For the mass consumer, Sean Howe has offered […]

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Some Thoughts on Skyfall

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Life has been so crushingly busy that only now, a week after seeing it, do I have a moment to reflect on the success that is Skyfall, the 23rd installment in the perennial James Bond film series.Like most everyone else who has written about the movie, I come to sing its praises. The movie is […]

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Please Vote

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Every vote counts.We’re told that again and again, and if the lessons from the disastrous 2000 election – requiring the intervention of the Supreme Court – have started to fade from memory, let me remind you.Last November, I ran to rejoin the Representative Town Meeting and wound up losing the election by a mere 2 […]

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Back to Normal

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It was everything they warned us Hurricane Sandy would be. I applaud the federal, state, and local officials for sounding the alarm early enough and systematically shutting down roads and services in a manner that ensured we would all be safely tucked into our homes.While at first Fairfield was told to expect 6-10 inches of […]

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After Earth: Innocence — the Reviews are In

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After Earth: Innocence was a one-shot comic given out at the movie panel at San Diego Comic-Con with a nifty Jae Lee cover. The commercial version, with a cover by my pal Dennis Calero, was released by Dynamite Entertainment last Wednesday.In the wake of its release, the reviews have been coming in and I am […]

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Worldbuilding in Kansas

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I never cease to be amazed how life can intersect in unexpected ways. When I was in Kansas back in April, my presence prompted fellow novelist Kevin Dilmore to recommend me to his colleagues at Hallmark. Every fall, they have Word Week, a series of activities for the writers, editors, artists, designers, etc. to focus […]

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The Debate Watching Party

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When I’m student teaching, I barely have a chance to breathe, let alone check for messages. As a result, when the bell rang yesterday, I was somewhat surprised to find three fairly frantic messages from Michael Herley, a pal and fellow Fairfielder. He had been at an event the previous evening and wound up speaking […]

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After Earth Novels now Available for Pre-Order

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I haven’t said much about After Earth of late, but trust me, things are happening. First, the comic book prequel After Earth: Innocence will be out in a few weeks. For those who missed it in San Diego, now’s your chance for a look at this new universe.Also in October, the first of six short […]

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My Overdue Baltimore Con Report

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The new school schedule is throwing a serious monkey wrench into my ability to get other things done. That coupled with a contractor making various portions of the house unusable and a head cold means I am significantly behind on things, starting with my con report from last week.This was my second consecutive trip to […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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Last year I made my first visit to the Baltimore Comic-Con, which my pal KC Carlson had been raving about for several years. Ironically, he was not there but Kate was and we made a great father/daughter weekend out of the con. She shared me with the freelance community and I shared her with her […]

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To Print or Not to Print

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When I completed the first draft of my third of the forthcoming After Earth  prequel novel, I noted this on Twitter and Facebook which launched an interesting discussion with a variety of peers from a wide swath of my professional life.The argument boiled down as to whether or not printing out the work resulted in […]

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What I did on My Summer Vacation

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The sun is setting a little earlier and the mornings have that first hint of fall coolness. During lunch, a school bus rumbled down the street, a practice run before classes begin next week. Suddenly the summer season has begun drawing to a close and honestly, it caught me off-guard. I knew it was August […]

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I’ll be at ComiCONN on Saturday

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Erik Yacko contacted me two years ago and invited me to attend his first ever ComiCONN. It was June 2010 and I brought my nephew Nicholas along for the day. It was a small show, a bunch of dealers, a few artists and that was it. It was modest and fun, especially as I got […]

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Remembering Joe Kubert

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Joe Kubert’s distinct art style was one of the earliest I recall being able to identify. It seemed such a perfect fit the DC war titles and I was always pleasantly surprised to see the occasional superhero cover during the 1960s. I didn’t really get a sense of his lengthy tenure in comics until he […]

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Shore Leave Report

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I most certainly did not plan on letting an entire week slide by but life really can get in the way. Last week, before heading out to Shore Leave, I completed the first drafts of my two After Earth short stories and sent them to my colleagues for feedback.Shore Leave is like visiting with 1500 […]

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Summer School Thoughts

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School ended yesterday and for the second summer in a row, I find myself dissatisfied with the online course experience. Distance learning is increasingly an option for people and just about every school and university has course offerings, but I keep wondering if anyone has found the right formula so the student gets as much […]

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Musings on The Dark Knight Trilogy

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The Dark Knight Rises is not necessarily the movie Christopher Nolan set out to make. The tragic death of Heath Ledger derailed his plans to conclude the trilogy with more between Batman and the Joker so he spent the last four years rethinking how he wanted to end his trilogy (because it seems every super-hero […]

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Looking Back at San Diego Comic-Con

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I’ve been meaning to write this recap of San Diego for days but kept putting it off. In short, it was a terrific experience.The last time I attended the con was three years ago. I won an award and celebrated my birthday out there so topping the experience was going to be tough. Being treated […]

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I’ll Briefly be on Television Tonight

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So, back in December, I was invited to come talk about the Batmobile. I was going to one of maybe a dozen people to riff about the iconic vehicle for a featurette destined for the DVD released of The Dark Knight Rises. It was my first experience being a talking head and I spent about […]

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The After Earth Panel was a Success

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 I’ve been doing convention panels since 1981 or so and rarely get flustered let alone nervous. And yet, this morning I was definitely feeling some butterflies as we stood backstage getting ready for the After Earth panel.Friday night, we met in the Omni’s Jimmy Carter Presidential Suite to meet one another and review the run […]

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The After Earth Publishing Program

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This is incredibly exciting and I am thrilled to be finally able to talk about this stuff. As Nikki Finke and Deadline broke the news on Friday, Random House will be doing a series of tie-in projects with After Earth, the film that Peter David, Mike Friedman, and I have been working on.This morning, at […]

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The Rush Before the Storm

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While my blog appears to be quiet, life in the basement is anything but.Since I was confirmed for San Diego Comic-con, it’s been a bit of a rush as I tried to stay atop existing work while reaching out to people I am likely to see at the show to generate new work. It’s been […]

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Why I’m Not Going to the Movies Today

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It’s a national holiday with an impending weekend to follow. Deb says, “Let’s go to the movies” and I open the paper this morning and scan the options in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Norwalk, Milford, and Stamford. All these towns have one or more multiplexes so we figured there would be options aplenty. Our hope was to […]

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San Diego Bound

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As early as April, people begin asking, “Will I see you in San Diego?” This year, the answer was a routine, “Not unless a fairy godmother arrived unexpectedly.”Most years, she passes over my home but this year she made a stop. Over the last few days, the arrangements have been put into place and yesterday, […]

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Gotham City 14 Miles is a Free eBook Today Only

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Here’s the deal, the folks at Sequart are pushing Mutant Cinema by making it available free on Kindle for five days, Tues to Sat (26-30 June). Publisher Julian Darius says, “If any book has failed to achieve what we know it’s capable of, it’s Tom McLean’s Mutant Cinema. It’s a great study of the X-Men film […]

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Thrice Frustrated by Technology

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I love technology and embrace it at every opportunity in the hopes it makes life simpler, allowing me to get more done in the finite number of hours each day provides.This morning though, I rammed my head against the circuit walls three different times.I received an offer for three free months of HBO through ATT […]

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My Day So Far

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I rarely get into New York City these days and yesterday was one of those days. It was great walking around the sixth floor of DC Comics, visiting with old colleagues from my days at DC and Marvel. When I see them now, it’s more about our spouses and our kids than it is about […]

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Snow White Raises Too Many Questions

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When I plunk down my cash to see a movie, I want to be transported. I want the screen to fill my vision and transport me to somewhere new and interesting. I want the story to entertain or enlighten. I expect that after tens of millions of dollars have been spent, every effort has been […]

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Visiting Relay for Life

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Katie and Robbie were always introducing us to new worlds. When it was recommended Kate be stimulated through participation in the Odyssey of the Mind competition, we entered that fascinating, challenging and enlightening competition for several years. Soon after, we got involved in the Fairfield Teen Theater program and then there was fencing. All good […]

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Back to School

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The plan has always been to obtain my certification to teach English to 7-12 graders but in the back of my mind, I wanted to hedge my bets. I knew getting hired for just English was going to challenging given the job market so I wanted to find a way to make myself more marketable.Given […]

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Chaykin Cover Update

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Somewhere between the proofreading stage and the going to press stage, the folks over at Dynamite Entertainment changed the cover to my The Art of Howard Chaykin book.While browsing at Amazon the other day, I was surprised to see this new image, but think it looks pretty cool. The book itself remains on track for […]

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The Writing Side of Life

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I’ve been lamenting my educational career woes and haven’t really spoken much about the freelance life and there’s a reason for that: there’s precious little to talk about.For a month now, I’ve had some pitches sitting with the licensee and await confirmation to go forward and tackle what I expect to be my writing work […]

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Back from Vacation Part Two

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Continuing reporting on our vacation to New Orleans…FridayWe continued to explore the city and then took a lunchtime cruise aboard the Natchez, a steam paddleboat that took us out on the mighty Mississippi river. We travelled only a few miles, seeing naval vessels, boats loaded with cargo, oil refineries, and a sugar factory. Deb enjoyed […]

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Back from Vacation Part 1

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It’s been awfully quiet here, not because I’m licking my emotional wounds, but because Deb and I were out celebrating. Last spring Deb completed her master’s degree and I completed my studies in December. We waited until after my student teaching to get away and commemorate the accomplishment with a real vacation. She suggested New […]

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Back to School

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No one likes to admit they are flawed or to admit to failure. Yet, one has led to the other and I find myself in need of repeating my student teaching before being certified. This is a crushing decision since it delays my ability to find paying work as an educator until 2013 and requires, […]

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My Ruminations on The Avengers

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Yes, The Avengers is an incredibly enjoyable movie that has crossed over from making the diehard Marvel zombies giddy to include the far more casual fan who may know the characters only from the previous films. The press today is filled with news that the official domestic weekend gross of $200.7 million is a record, […]

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The Waiting has Begun

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I am waiting for my final grade from my advisor, which is not due until next Thursday. I am waiting for schools that have openings to begin scheduling interviews. I am waiting to see what my next step will be.Meantime, the final three days were a rush of wrapping things up.I finally got to observe […]

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The Last Full Week of Teaching

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My last full week as a student teacher has certainly been a mixed assortment of activities. The seniors have been diligently reading their books in World Lit Seminar and every 50 pages or so are obligated to write a journal essay. Every day this week I have been taking a handful of kids to the […]

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I Heard Them on the Radio

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I grew up listening to voices.According to my mother and my own dim memories, growing up in Fresh Meadows, I would be done at the playground around 4 p.m. and be taken back to our apartment in time for me to watch Dick Clark and American Bandstand. Back then, the show was aired daily and […]

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West and Welaxation

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I like working at my desk. And this week at home reminded me how much I enjoy working at the desk, listening to WUMB stream over the Internet, and occasionally enjoying Ginger’s warmth on my lap. Of course, this has been a nice break from the routine so it could be a case of the […]

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A Work in Progress

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Eight days. I realized over the weekend I am down to my final eight days of student teaching after the break.It’s been crazy and hectic as I try to do more teacher observations to work on the areas that have been identified as weak spots. And there remains a ton of paperwork I still need […]

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Visiting After Earth

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As many recall, Peter David, Mike Friedman and I have been writing bible material for 2013’s After Earth film starring Will and Jaden Smith. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, its set in the future and we’ve had a ball filling in gaps and expanding on concepts found in the script.Early last week, Peter said we […]

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Course Correcting

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A short but packed week.After having a good class to end the previous week, I got my written evaluation which indicated my advisor felt I still had significant areas of weakness so I spent a lot of time this week meeting with my two cooperating teachers to figure out what I can do with my […]

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Receiving an Award While Having Fun

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There’s something fun about I-Con, the people, the sprawling campus, being able to hang in the Green Room and just chat with friends – new and old. As a result, I wind up doing whatever I can to help them get guests or promote the show or whatever.Two weeks ago, Carl Fink, the vice-chair and […]

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Third Quarter & Third Observation

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My head is spinning from the wild week it has been. The third quarter rushed up upon us and like many teachers, I scheduled papers due on that day from all four of my classes so now have a ton of essays to read and grade before the deadline late next week.In 10th Grade English, […]

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Some Essays of Note

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Sometime last year, my pal Amy Sisson passed along a note from Salem Press, seeking writers about comics. I thought I might be able to do that and contacted them for details and wound up writing six essays for their Critical Survey of Graphic Novels, a sprawling, multi-volume scholarly look at the field.I see now […]

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My I-Con Schedule

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Yes, once more I will be a guest at I-Con this coming weekend. Unfortunately, the calendar being what it is, I need to limited my time at the show to one day, Saturday. On Sunday, I am scheduled to emcee the Democratic Town Committee’s Century Club Brunch and don’t want to miss out on the […]

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40 Days Down, 20 to Go

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Here we are two-thirds of the way through my student teaching assignment and I feel like I’ve hit a nice routine. I am only periodically overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done and am staying nicely ahead on the planning.I suspect some of the good mood is because I spent all week in […]

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Last Week in Student Teaching

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Last week was another packed week as I find myself staying later and later, prepping and teaching and grading and generally enjoying myself. On Monday, I had my second formal observation from my advisor and while I thought the class went well enough (something my Cooperating Teacher noted), he missed some key details leading to […]

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My Lunacon Schedule

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This weekend, since I can’t be with Kate to celebrate her birthday, I will distract myself by appearing at Lunacon. Held at the Rye Hilton in Westchester County, NY, it is one of the oldest run literary conventions. For me, it’s a chance to meet fans I don’t see at many other cons and a […]

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Halfway There

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Last Friday marked by 31st day as a Student Teacher, putting me just over the halfway mark. Weird.This was an odd week thanks to the state-mandated CAPT testing for 10th graders. The abbreviated schedule varied by day and it took me a while to get a hang of things as I somehow managed to confuse […]

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Which is the Real DC Earth?

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Recently, DC Comics has made a big deal over the fact that the Earth where the New 52 comics have been telling stories is the Main Earth. This is to clearly separate it from the Earth-One seen in the hardcover graphic novels written by J. Michael Straczynski – the first of which, Superman came out […]

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Finally Teaching all Four Classes

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Last week, I took over the 10th grade classes and finally began Macbeth with them. I was excited about it and yes, a little nervous considering all the time I had spent prepping.Monday was the transition day, as my teacher handed out books while I took the class through a slideshow setting the stage. We […]

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Imagining Life After Earth

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After toiling in other people’s universes, I have a pretty good idea as to how worldbuilding should be done. I’ve seen it handled well and seen it done not so well. I have certainly contributed to shared worlds such as the Latchkeys universe that is now here and worked within the strictures of the DC […]

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Second Week Student Teaching Thoughts

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My second week as a fulltime student teacher was certainly a lively one and it continued to open my eyes into how much time and prep is required.In World Lit Seminar, we were concluding Imagining Argentina and I tried a few tricks to prompt my students into better participation. First, I assigned journal prompts to […]

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Spring Training is Here and I’m Worried Already

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Normally, I am filled with excitement right about now. I wax rhapsodic about the coming of spring as signaled by the Mets’ pitchers and catchers reporting to Port St. Lucie for Spring Training. It is usually a sign of renewal and hope.This year, I felt the anticipation building but without the fervor and the team […]

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Saluting my Uncle Don

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Uncle Donnie helped paint my bedroom before I was born. His wife, Ruth, and my mother were as close as two sisters can be and Don was a part of my life. They married before my mother and had two children before I arrived, but it felt as if we were growing up together. As […]

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My Farpoint Schedule

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Hard to believe, but it’s already time for the spring convention season to get underway. I hit three shows in fairly rapid succession, helping transition from winter to spring, and renewing acquaintances or seeing friends. And of course, plenty of time to interact with fans, which is the primary reason I’ll be attending.Farpoint, in Timonium, […]

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Catching up with Vertigo

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One of my goals during the semester break was to complete reading the growing stack of comics on my night table. While it took me longer than I expected, I actually caught up on every periodical on hand. I had been working hard to stay close to Flashpoint then the New 52, but it meant […]

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My First Week Solo Teaching

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This was my week to begin solo teaching in World Literature Seminar. The students had been given a schedule with the expected reading, two writing assignments, things they were to note in their journals. As a result, there were no secrets what we were doing day by day. I was preparing like crazy, making sure […]

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Me and The Art of Ramona Fradon

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Growing up, I always recognized that Ramona Fradon’s artwork was different, curvier and softer in many ways than Gil Kane or Carmine Infantino. But you couldn’t help but like her open, appealing storytelling and characters. Her artistic touch on Metamorpho and later Super Friends were perfect while she was badly miscast on things like Freedom […]

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The Student Teacher Begins Teaching

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It was a rush.I finalized my Unit Plan on Imagining Argentina earlier in the week and began rereading the book, taking notes for the day-by-day discussion. My cooperating teacher scheduled a review of the plan for Thursday after school so there was plenty of time. But as the week wore on, she realized she was […]

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Student Teaching Week One

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My first four days of student teaching were pretty much what I expected. It felt a lot like my internship, watching from the sidelines, although I got to participate here and there. But as I also expected, my two teachers are different enough that I can compare and contrast, and learn.We began World Literature Seminar […]

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ElfQuest, Dissed by Warner Bros, Deserves Better

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I’ve been a fan of ElfQuest pretty much since the day Phil Seuling visited the Starlog offices with a bunch of swag. He would come up and hang with the publishers but always drop off some product he was handling through his Seagate Distributors and one day there were some issues of this magazine-sized black […]

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Student Teaching Day One

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After four weeks off, I returned to Darien today to begin my student teaching. On the one hand, it was incredibly familiar since I have been coming to the high school regularly and on the other, I was beginning an entirely new chapter in my teacher preparation.I was welcomed back like a long, lost pal […]

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Chatting with Jenette Kahn for Back Issue!

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I completely missed that my editor Michael Eury announced, just before Christmas the contents of the June issue of Back Issue! The cover story and bulk of the issue will be a career retrospective interview I conducted with Jenette Kahn. For those unfamiliar with Jenette, she arrived out of the blue to become DC’s publisher […]

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The Books of 2011

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I don’t know how I managed it all, but I read 75 books in 2011. That’s more than I have in quite some time. Admittedly, some of the reading was for school and some of it was also done at school when I had time on my hands early in my internship at Darien High […]

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Teacher’s Log: Internship’s End

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My final week as an intern and fill-in teacher more or less went as scheduled and I have to say the time seemed to zip right by.The World Lit kids had spent last week examining differing retellings of the Cinderella story so Monday we drilled down to the lessons one can learn from Hansel & […]

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Teacher’s Log: The Second Week

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The week was a whirlwind as I struggled to stay a day or two ahead of the classes while sifting through the mountain of ungraded papers. By now the students had come to accept the new situation and there was a lot less anxiety.On the other hand, I was making them work and they were […]

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Remembering Joe Simon, Jerry Robinson & Ed Barreto

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This has been a lousy week or so for comic book professionals and fans alike. In a very short span of time, we have lost of our earliest pioneers in the field and another fine artist, who I personally enjoyed working with.Joe Simon was there pretty much at the beginning of the comic book industry. […]

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The Master’s Degree has Been Obtained

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In January, I began my graduate career and today it ended. In between, I logged 33 credits plus an additional six credits of supplemental required undergraduate literature. At some point in the near future, I anticipate receiving a diploma in the mail, a physical memento of the achievement.My internship runs through the 23rd and boy […]

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Teacher’s Log: The First Three Days

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WednesdayObviously, the biggest issue of the day was breaking the news to the students that their teacher was gone and I’d be filling in, at least through Christmas break. There was a fair amount of jaw-dropping and questioning while I tried to keep them focused on the work to be done and moving forward.Thankfully, the […]

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It’s Showtime

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It was ten minutes before lunch yesterday when I was asked into the department coordinator’s office. One of the English faculty was leaving staff – almost immediately – and I was being assigned her classes for, at minimum, a week but more likely through the end of my internship on the 23rd.The teacher left behind […]

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Fox News Pisses Me Off

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I don’t often pull stories from other sources for discussion here, but this one really bothers me. After all, last night, Deb, Kate, and I sat down for our traditional viewing of The Muppet Family Christmas which we still find funny and adorable. While we wish it were uncut (sequences were dropped for copyright reasons), […]

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Uncle Bud, R.I.P.

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My Uncle Bud was born seven years before my father, but they were incredibly close as siblings. During the Depression, my grandmother would send them for two loaves of bread, knowing they would consume one en route home, filling them up to help stretch their dinner. Bud took my dad to Ebbets Field for Brooklyn […]

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The Magic is Back

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There has been a tremendous amount of talk in our world about reboots, successful or not, and I just got back from experiencing the year’s single best relaunch of a tired property. Deb, Kate, her guy Mike, and I saw The Muppets and pretty much smiled all the way through, guffawing with pleasantly regularity and […]

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Watching Television

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Since Deb and I switched to watching our entire television output via DVR (and less frequently via DVD), we tend to run days or even weeks behind the general viewing public. As a result, I am a little slower to form opinions, especially about the newer shows but we’re pretty caught up for the moment.My […]

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Feeling Calmer

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I am now, and always have been, goal oriented. I work best with a To Do list and as spare time arrives, I use it to work ahead.  Being in grad school since January has left me feeling pressured, on a treadmill with no end in sight.Until now. I have my end of the semester […]

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Ciao, Cablevision

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I came home from summer camp one year back in the mid-1970s, and my parents said we now had something called HBO. First, I noticed the clear improved picture on the familiar channels but I was astonished to see uncut full-length movies on a single channel. Being a teen, I was particularly fond of the […]

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The Stan Lee Universe is Out

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Some months back, I was asked by Danny Fingeroth to partner with him once more, stepping in during the final weeks of production on TwoMorrows’ The Stan Lee Universe. I proofread the book, doublechecked facts, filled in blanks, did some caption writing and told Danny and his co-editor Roy Thomas that it was a pretty […]

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Election Results

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After months of planning, coordinating, cajoling and campaigning, everything culminated in yesterday’s municipal election. As of now, it appears I lost by three votes; close enough to trigger one of four recounts, but I doubt the results will change.I was at the polls by 6 a.m. ready for the gauntlet. By the time the doors […]

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“A Matter of Faith” Now Available for the Kindle

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After technical difficulties slowly derailed the best laid plans of Crazy 8 Press, my old story, “A Matter of Faith” is now available for the Kindle. The Nook edition will follow next week (once the IRS confirms I am really myself).As discussed over at Crazy 8 Press recently, it’s one of two original short stories […]

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Seal Team 6 Comes to Print

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Over the summer, Dynamite Entertainment asked me to rush edit a novel and sure enough, in under a week, I read, line edited, and completed my work on Seal Team 6, a prose novel by my pal Chuck Dixon. It was initially made available as an eBook, a first for Dynamite; and today, can be […]

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I’ve Been Going Door to Door

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Every neighborhood in Fairfield has its own personality and in a dense district like the one I live in, there are many segments making it always fun to go campaigning. First of all, there’s the pleasure of seeing different parts of the district as well as revisiting some favorite streets and neighbors.The response, as you […]

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The Roast DVD is Ready for Sale

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David Mack does not sleep. It’s about the only way he can manage his writing career and his maniacal life as a producer. Back from the manufacturer, David now has copies of the Charity Roast for sale. The charity roast is here with all your favorites mocking me — even my delightful daughter. But wait, […]

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Boldly Going

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I wrote a while back, lamenting over not writing much for or about Star Trek these days and it appeared that my involvement in the franchise was going to become a fading memory.Perhaps I wrote too quickly.Back in August, I was contacted by an editor at Voyageur Press on the recommendation of fellow Trek writer, […]

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Some Additional Convention Thoughts

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Sometime in the late 1970s, there was a show in New York where DC Comics actually had a booth and I got to wander over as a fan and chat casually with president Sol Harrison. It was the earliest memory I had of a publishing taking booth space on the convention floor. Before then, the […]

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It was 31 Years Ago Today

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Over the last few years, I’ve had to share Deb with the sheep, alpaca, and llamas up in Rhinebeck. The annual Sheep & Wool Festival tends to be in mid-October meaning it usually falls on our anniversary weekend, sometimes even on our anniversary.I also get to share Deb with some of our friends and her […]

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NYCC: There and Back Again

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My time at the New York Comic-Con has come and gone and a good time was had.As expected, I had countless whirlwind 30-60 second conversations with people, shaking hands, hugging, kissing, and making rather merry. There were some extended conversations and a few business meetings which was nice.I arrived early enough on Thursday that getting […]

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Yes, I Will be at New York Comic-Con

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I’m playing hooky on Thursday, taking one of my precious few sanctioned days off from the internship to head into New York City for the New York Comic-Con.Given my crushing schedule of commitments, I will only be there all day Thursday and late Friday afternoon. I am heading in mostly to see old friends in […]

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Stan Lee and Me

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According to Amazon, Stan Lee’s How to Write Comics goes on sale today, just in time for this week’s New York Comic Con. Those buying the book, or merely flipping through it at a bookstore, may notice the tiny type on page 4 crediting me as co-writer.This book has been two years in the making. […]

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Busy, Busy, Busy

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It sometimes rains and sometimes pours.The freelance work has been incredibly iffy, which is why I have pursued my teaching certification, but I still want to keep my hand in.Sometimes this means I can work on my own projects, aimed at Crazy 8 Press, and sometimes opportunity comes knocking.One of my assignments has proven to […]

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Observations from the Streets of District 8

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I’ve been a little slow to get into campaign mode but over the last few weekends I’ve been hitting the streets, going door-to-door to speak with people, drop off some literature and take the town’s temperature.In 2009, there was a sense of complacency that lulled me into thinking I would be re-elected. What I missed […]

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Spider-Man Vault Now in Stores

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I received a cellphone picture from my pal Paul Kupperberg earlier today, showing me copies of Spider-Man Vault in a Connecticut comic shop. The book was written for release last fall but for reasons beyond my knowledge, it was sold only in Costco during the last holiday season.But now it’s available for one and all […]

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Grinding in Frustration

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Deb and I normally buy the large, 36 oz. bag of Eight ‘Clock Coffee French Roast at stop & Shop. We buy the whole bean and use their machine to do the grinding and all is well with the world.Last Thursday, I went to stock up and noticed the shelving was all rearranged and not […]

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My Life – An Update

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You’re probably wondering what’s going on. I’m certainly not blogging with my usual regularity. Well, the honest answer is: I’m busy. Really busy.Five days a week I continue to do my internship at Darien High School, steeping myself in the environment. It certainly feels comfortable, especially the way faculty treats me as a peer and […]

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Finally, Some Teaching Practice

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This was the first full week of school in Darien thank to Hurricane Irene and Labor Day and being the beginning of the school year, I’ve had little opportunity to fill in for teachers but lots of time to observe them which has been lovely.One such occasion had me watching a 10th grade class on […]

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Remembering 9/11

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I had spent the weekend in Indiana at a Diamond trade show, representing Marvel Comics. I had stayed a day extra to visit with my sister and her family which meant I was flying out Monday night. Weather grounded the flight so I crashed at an airport hotel and was booked early the next morning.We […]

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The Art of Howard Chaykin Coming November 29

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The Art of Howard Chaykin, a book I spent much of 2010 working on, is finally scheduled for release on November 29.I’ve been anxiously awaiting this to hit the solicitations and lo and behold, here it is on Amazon. It will be listed in the September Diamond Previews, out later this month. Coming from Dynamic […]

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Starting School

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With the clean-up from Irene spreading across the towns, school finally got underway in Darien yesterday. At least 30% of the students said they still had no electricity, some still had no water. Yet, they showed up, brightly scrubbed and ready for class. The fact that the building had power and AC probably helped the […]

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Me and Irene

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So, this storm came to town yesterday and we lived to tell the tale.Deb and I took the warnings seriously, having lived through a few, including a devastating one in 1992, our first winter in Fairfield. We stocked up on this and that while trying to find a good camping lantern for use. Stores were […]

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On both the Democrat and Working Families Ballot

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When I threw my hat into the ring for the Representative Town Meeting, one of the first pieces of mail I received was a questionnaire from the Working Families party. I filled it out because I found myself agreeing with their vision and goals. A few weeks later I was invited to a phone conference […]

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My Summer Comes to an End

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When I returned from Baltimore, I was rested and relaxed, feeling good. I figured I had time to wrap some things before classes began on Monday. Then it dawned on me that I needed to be back at high school, resuming my internship on Wednesday. I had secretly hoped I would be needed only today […]

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Wonderful Weekend in Baltimore

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I had always heard good things about Baltimore Comic-Con but never managed to make it down to the show for a variety of reasons. His year, when the stars aligned, I was determined to make it to the show and I am very glad I did.Last year, Kate went on her own and was recognized […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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I’ve been wanting to attend the Baltimore Comic-Con for some time now, but circumstances have always gotten in the way.When Deb suggested Kate and I make a weekend of it, the timing seemed ot fit perfectly for a change. She made certain her calendar was clear and I am just wrapping up some writing so […]

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Zipping Through the Air

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Sunday was rainy, and somewhat somber for obvious reasons, but we hoped the forecasts were right and the precipitation would let up in time for our zip tour. Thankfully, after a relaxed morning, the skies brightened enough to be encouraging. We were part of a nine-person tour and were driven a few exits up the […]

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West and Welaxation

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As the summer winds down with tremendous rapidity, one thing I’ve been looking forward to is a break. Deb suggested it months ago and we had to carefully plot out a window of opportunity for a long weekend and this past weekend proved to be the ideal one given everything else on the calendar. She […]

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Three Years

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Three years later it still feels unreal.A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of Robbie and images of him remain within sight throughout the house. Still, when I think of him, my mind often goes back to that final harrowing week rather than other times of his brief life. As a result, the […]

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Trying to Find Time to Relax

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As I prepare to take some time off, before school and the campaign season kick into high gear, I find myself in a whirl of activity.I wrote my short story for the project that has been kicking around since2009 and got that off to my editor. I have no clue if it sucks or not […]

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Keeping Busy

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The summer is now more than half over and there’s been no let up to the pace of activity. This week had me working on completing what are essentially several first drafts.The Democratic Town Committee website, rebuilt for me by my pal Allyn Gibson, was the first done, as I created pages for all the […]

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Today’s Shot

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What a wasted day.Yesterday, the external monitor acted up, repeating a problem I had about two months back. At the time, it was diagnosed as a series of driver issues and that my relatively new laptop was already hopelessly out of date with drivers for the port replicator I was using for docking my peripherals.So, […]

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Watching Captain America

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I usually don’t do this, but htere’s my ComicMix review of Captain America which goes live on that site tomorrow.Joe Johnston knows how to direct adventure films but watching his growth as a director has been a pleasure. His first offering, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was a visual effects feast, thanks to his training […]

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Once More into the Breach

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Last night the Democratic Town Committee held its special meeting to pick the slate for the November 8 municipal election. The Republicans had their primary vote on Tuesday so we had some sense of who the competition was going to be.As Vice Chair, I spent the last month juggling preparations for the meeting, the subsequent […]

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What’s Been Happening

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So, the blog has been quiet for a week and for that I apologize. You’re probably wondering if I’ve recovered from Roast and I have and it had little to do with the silence. Instead, I blame life. Here’s what’s been going on: Freelancing I returned from the con and dedicated myself to completing the […]

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The Rest of Shore Leave

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Shore Leave tends to be a busy event for me as I juggle panels along with emcee duties, always trying to stuff more into a day than is possible, especially as I try to spend time with the local friends from down there. Sadly, after three decades, we’re all used to catching whatever time we […]

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Roasted

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We’ve gotten into the habit of hitting the road early to ensure we arrive in Maryland without being frazzled by traffic and time pressures. This year was no different and, Starbucks in hand, we were on I-95 at 6 a.m. on the dot.  As a result, we made fabulous time, crossing the George Washington Bridge […]

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And…Crazy 8 Press is Open for Business

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Today’s the day. Officially, Crazy 8 Press is open for business. We’ve had endless amount of technical glitches and human error that would make the strongest of you weep, but somehow, we’ve gotten past those and can offer you the first book as promised.Here’s a link to the dedicated page for Peter David’s The Camelot […]

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My Shore Leave Schedule

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After all the talk and anticipation, suddenly, this week is Shore Leave 33 and I’ll be busier than ever. For those attending, here’s my schedule and please, come say howdy.Friday7-9 p.m. The Character Assassination of Robert GreenbergerThe third annual charity roast for the American Red Cross. David Mack, I gather, has gone above and beyond […]

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What I Will do on my Summer Vacation

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On June 30, my two online classes came to their scheduled conclusion and it appears I have aced both classes, satisfying the state’s demand that I deepen my literature base. With those obligations completed, I was a free agent until August 29 or so. That’s about eight solid weeks with no school assignments of any […]

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Involuntarily Pausing Public Service

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After losing the 2009 RTM election, I wanted to keep my hand in and continue to perform public service for Fairfield. I remain committed to the notion that everyone should do some sort of volunteer work; either for the town, the church, the school, whatever. First Selectman Ken Flatto suggested my experience would make me […]

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Crazy 8 Press Lives

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“The haggis is in the fire for sure.”That’s what Howard Weinstein said when I told him that our site was live and the press release formally announcing our existence had just been sent out.This has certainly been a work in progress since we began discussing the concept of Crazy 8 Press at last summer’s Shore […]

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Gene Colan, R.I.P.

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Another legend of my childhood has passed away. Gene Colan died last night after an illness, punctuating his final years which should have been happier than they were.Gene was 84 when he died and leaves behind a legacy which is thankfully captured in multiple collected editions from DC and Marvel so his work can continue […]

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Crazy 8 Press Pricing Discussion

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As many of you know, Crazy 8 Press is nearing its July 8 debut so the six of us have been ratcheting up our efforts to get the word out and prepare for the launch. Yesterday, though, the pricing debate was renewed and Peter David, our lead author, has posed the question to readers.While many […]

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Thoughts on Green Lantern

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I hated the mask. For a year now, I have loathed the design of Green Lantern’s, and kept hoping the CGI artists would go back to the source material and make it a functional mask. They never did but poured millions more into improving the CGI after the initial trailer proved to underwhelm the core […]

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Battle of Destiny Book Trailer

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It’s been a month or so since Battle of Destiny finally went on sale and since then, those I know who have read it, really liked it. The book is currently available in print from your local retailer, or you can get it as a digital comic, and starting about now, it’s available through traditional […]

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School’s out for the Summer

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Last August, no sooner did I get accepted to the University of Bridgeport than I received a call, inviting me to interview at Darien High School for my internship. I went in, had a lovely chat, went home and a few days later got the call telling me I would be a part of the […]

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Charity Roast Mere Weeks Away

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I am usually happy to promote my published works or talk about my political or educational worlds but talking about me still makes me feel odd. Still, since we’re talking about raising money for the American Red Cross I’ll make an exception.We’re four weeks away from Shore Leave and Friday night’s charity roast of yours […]

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Bone Marrow Bill Passes

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I’ve talked about this before, but feel it’s worth giving you a happy update.Up in Hartford this session, I’ve been tracking the progress of Bill 5032: AN ACT REQUIRING HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR BONE MARROW TESTING. “To require individual and group health insurance policies to provide coverage for bone marrow testing.”Introduced by the Insurance and […]

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Busy Student

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As I feared, being an intern and taking three concentrated classes simultaneously is taking its toll on my time, hence the silence on the blog.I have been far from idle, to be honest. But, cramming in three lit courses means a lot of reading and writing. Thankfully, one wraps on the 22nd and the other […]

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Available Once More: The Spider-Man Vault

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The fine folk over at Becker & Mayer commissioned Peter David to write the Spider-Man Vault and when he needed help, I was asked aboard to pitch in, receiving co-authorship. The book came out last fall but could only be purchased at Costco.Today that changes. The book is now listed in the current Diamond Previews […]

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Digital Dialogue

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As one might imagine, my peers in publishing are all trying out ways to make their works available to audiences beyond traditional publishing. Right now, mainstream publishing reminds me of criminals, superstitious and cowardly. As a result, scores of writers are trying their hands at self-publishing. As many readers know, I’m about to jump into […]

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A Patch Hiatus

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Ever since I began writing my Op-Ed column at Fairfield Patch, many of my critics decried my presence, arguing my role as the Vice-Chair of the Democratic Town Committee made me far too biased. Of course, I shied away from straight politics, not slamming or endorsing candidates. Still, some continued to think it overly colored […]

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Revisiting Next Season’s Genre Offerings

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Last week I was watching the fall network announcements and wrote lamenting the absence of successful-looking genre offerings but in decrying the failure of The Event and the loss of comics-derived programming, I missed the softer trend. Thankfully, one commenter and The New York Times stood ready to help me see the error of my […]

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Attending my 35th High School Reunion

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Last night I ventured into Manhattan to attend my 35th high school reunion. Without benefit of a for-profit company to run it, Emilia Roll took it upon herself to organize, plan, and execute the event. I was unavailable for the 20th and found the 30th overpriced, especially since the people I most wanted to see […]

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Freelance Update

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I haven’t talked much about the freelance world, largely because there’s been such little activity but I figured we’re due for a review.So, Battle of Destiny, which I packaged for Avalanche Comics Entertainment back in 2008, hit the comic shops last week via Ape Entertainment. I’m very proud of the finished product and some advance […]

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The Genre Cycle Comes to an End

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In the feast and famine cycle of genre television, we appear to be heading into a famine period as The Event, No Ordinary Family, and Human Target were canceled while Smallville reached its overdue natural conclusion. While there were some promising sounding pilots in consideration — including one from Ron Moore that I wanted to […]

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Final Smallville Thoughts

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The concept behind Smallville was brilliant. A Clark Kent-centric series for young adults that showed how the boy became a man and mastered both his powers and his destiny. Early on, despite the rhythmic meteor-derived villain of the week, the show had some strong performances and terrific writing. The dance between Clark and Lex Luthor […]

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Early Summer

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Traditionally, we welcome the summer with Memorial Day but over time that has crept forward so now the first weekend of May is considered the kickoff to the summer movie season even though the television season has weeks to go before winding down. Academically, no sooner does the spring semester end than my summer semester […]

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Thoughts on Thor

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Paul Kupperberg and I went to see Thor yesterday. We were the perfect audience for this, having grown up on the comic series, and have been waiting most of our lives for movies that adapted the comics with a knowing, serious touch.To our delight the trailers were for X-Men First Class, Green Lantern, Super 8, […]

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A new Perspective After 37 Years

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In ninth grade, my dad began handing me books to read, to sharpen the mind of the would-be writer. I’d sit in the Living Room, normally reserved for company, put on an album, slip on the headphones, and sit in the easy chair with a paperback. That’s how I first read Thomas Wolfe and J.D. […]

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One Semester Down

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Suddenly, I turn around and my first semester of grad school is over. Once the grads are posted, I will be assigned 17 credits, leaving me a mere 16 credits to go before I have my Master’s Degree.What a whirl. During the fifteen week semester it has often felt like I was on a treadmill, […]

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Enjoying Family

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Timing can be everything.  Just a few weeks ago we buried my cousin Audrey, the first time many of us had seen one another in quite some time. With my niece Corinne’s bat mitzvah, impending it inspired several to make last minute arrangements to fly out and regroup for something joyous.Given my school schedule, we […]

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Relaxed

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By setting modest, attainable goals, I managed to feel very good about my week off. Amazingly, by Friday, I was genuinely feeling rested, a state of being that persisted until the alarm went off this morning.Unlike last break in February, I had papers to write and two essays to revise and another two to write. […]

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The Streak Comes to an End

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Back in the late 1990s, I bought a score book and took it with me to baseball games and kept score. It didn’t matter who was playing or at what level it was being played on, I focused on the game and scored every pitch and hit. I would staple my ticket stub to the […]

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I-Con, Day the Second

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Sunday morning found me somewhat awake after a fitful night’s sleep. I was showered and dressed, in the lobby pouring myself a cup of coffee as the fire alarm sounded. I spent about an hour in the lobby, playing with my new Droid X phone (which I obtained Friday night and we hadn’t really been […]

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I-Con, Day the First

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Seeing friend s and fans are the main reasons I return to I-Con again and again. As with any student-run organization with turnover every few years, there are inevitable bumps in the road. This year was no exception.Despite worsening weather, the campus was abuzz with activity, especially cosplayers in a wide variety of outfits. Fortunately, […]

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My I-Con Schedule

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I-Con 30. What an odd concept that the cons I’ve been regularly attending are entering their third decade. I was at I-Con I and have been more or less going back every year without fail. I love its breadth and depth of programming and invariably, cannot see everyone I want to or attend every fascinating […]

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Barbara Gordon, Junior Detective

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Every writer has projects that do not get sold; it’s the nature of the business. It’s rare, though, that the unsold material never is ever on display. Sometimes, though, you can’t resist.Recently, my pal Johanna Draper Carlson posted the unsold pitch to a Lois Lane YA book series. I found it fascinating at how developed […]

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Consumed by School

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So Friday and Saturday I spent 8 hours in class, the second of my three required electives. This one was on identifying and teaching the Gifted Student and it was great fun. The teacher had us reading handouts aloud and working in groups on silly little projects, all to demonstrate ways to extend a classroom […]

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Remembering Cousin Audrey

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Everyone’s family has its own dynamic and through the generations that changes. One thing I always loved about Barry Levinson’s Avalon was how well it captured the period when the extended family began to split apart, like so many electrons being flung away, leaving just the nuclear family.Growing up, my mother’s side of the family […]

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Catching my Breath

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Today, I feel to be catching my breath.A flurry of activity this week has left me tired and today’s schedule is letting me not only breathe but realize how tired I am feeling.My contributions to a group project due Saturday were done as the week began which meant I only needed to make minor tweaks […]

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A Grinding Schedule

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I know I’ve been quiet of late and for that I apologize. It’s been busy. Exhausting even. The amazing part is that things would be worse if I wasn’t allowed to occasionally do grad school work during downtimes at high school.Life as an intern has the advantage of no two days being alike, but there’s […]

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I’m Getting Roasted

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For the past two summers, I have helped raise money for the American Red Cross by playing toastmaster at Shore Leave’s Author Roast. The brainchild of David Mack, the Roast gave us a chance to do something for fun, give people a chance to make a valuable donation, and kick off the con with a […]

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A Quiet Lunacon

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Lunacon has its roots at the dawn of science fiction fandom and has run continuously for decades. It has a seriously literary bent but for all the time I have been attending, it has been small and intimate. This year, for whatever reason, it felt smaller than usual. It did not help that during peak […]

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Representing Binghamton Once More

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Twice this week I represented Binghamton University (otherwise known as SUNY-B) and had a great time, but also used it as a chance to see high schoolers in a slightly different setting. After all, I’ve been with them nearly every day since early January and I’ve gotten to know them as a group.The first night […]

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Lunacon this Weekend

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I have been remiss in updating my appearances for the year and have adjusted that so you can find me at a variety of cons across the northeast between now and fall. First up, though, is this weekend’s Lunacon, in Ryebrook, NY where I will return to provide the halftime entertainment (Trailer Park) during Masquerade. […]

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Talking Television

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I’m a TV junkie. Always have been, probably always will be. Deb remains astonished I can recall the time and day an older show aired (at least through 1980 or so). As a result, we have our habits, our DVR remains programmed year-round and we watch quite the variety of material on prime time and […]

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Familiarity

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I have been awaiting the point at high school and grad school where it felt like I was a part of either community. It was probably last week when I walked into the University of Bridgeport Library before class and saw clusters of students I had various classes with. They smiled and waved and it […]

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A Productive Week

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With no high school this week, I was able to focus on my graduate reading and projects in addition to tackling the freelance work.It meant, for the most part, that I was back to my old routine and schedule, and I certainly enjoyed the ability to enjoy coffee and the morning papers with Deb before […]

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Crazy 8 Explained

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Mike Friedman has spent the last two or three years talking about seeing the future and to him, it was a future without the middleman. He wanted to find a way for a group of writer friends to come together, bringing our audiences with us, to a site where people could buy our newest works […]

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Farpoint Day Two

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Sundays at conventions can be tiring affairs as everyone shakes off staying up too late and has to struggle with packing, checking out, attending panels and the like. The day started off with a catch-up breakfast with Deb, Howie, and Ann Crispin. Ann has spent the better part of the last three years writing a […]

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Farpoint Day One

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Farpoint used to be a smaller, mirror image of Shore Leave but over the last few years, it has found its own identity and voice. The move three years ago to the Crown Plaza in Timonium also visually divorced it from being perceived as the little sister to Shore Leave.I have a great time at […]

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Ranting About Adaptations

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One of the benefits of my teaching education and internship is that I am finally reading some of the classics I managed to miss in high school and college. Despite toiling the speculative fiction world most of my life, I somehow never read Frankenstein. Since that is now being taught in high school, I finally […]

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Ranting About Adaptations

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One of the benefits of my teaching education and internship is that I am finally reading some of the classics I managed to miss in high school and college. Despite toiling the speculative fiction world most of my life, I somehow never read Frankenstein. Since that is now being taught in high school, I finally […]

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Fitting in the Freelance Work

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Now that I have the school rhythms down, I have come to recognize how much time is leftover for freelance work. Ideally, I’d be able to line up my projects one after the other, nice and neat. Life, however, is rarely nice or neat.The high school is off for winter break next week and I […]

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Farpoint This Weekend

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On Friday, I switch from being an intern and grad student, once more resuming my alter ego of freelance writer. I’ll be heading down to Farpoint in lovely Timonium, Maryland, reconnecting with peers, pals, and panels. For those attending, I look forward to seeing you all. Here’s my schedule of activity:SaturdayAt 10 a.m., the con […]

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Trial by Fire

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Today promised to be one of those hectic days I was warned about. I was tasked to help the guidance department, which turned out to be providing steno services for a student with tendinitis. She had an AP Calculus test and needed someone to do the writing for her. Since the other intern did all […]

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One Month In

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Three weeks in, grad school has been tough to get a handle on, largely because of its newness but also because the snow has wreaked havoc with the schedule so we have missed classes. If the weather holds, week four should be the first time I have all four classes as planned.There is a ton […]

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My Story is in Scooby-Doo #6 — on sale tomorrow

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After a very long day yesterday, I returned home and was greeted with a very familiar box from Quebecor. Within it were my contributor copies to Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #6, going on sale tomorrow.I was delighted, having forgotten the issue containing my story was coming out, but was stunned to discover my debut story […]

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Battle of Destiny now Available for Order

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It’s been a while since I talked about Avalanche Comics Entertainment, but longtime readers here may recall that it’s a content creation/management outfit created by former DC editor Jordan B. Gorfinkel. In 2008, Jordan brought me on board to help him manage a number of projects, most prominently a 26 week daily comic strip for […]

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Farewell, Wizard

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In the late 1970s, it was kind of fun being a comic book fan in the pre-Internet age because we had monthly installments of various magazine-style fanzines to keep us company. While the granddaddy of news, The Comic Reader, had ceased publishing, it was replaced in prominence by The Comics Journal with its insightful interviews […]

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Thoughts on the Comics Code

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The Comics Code arrived during a dark time for the comic book field. It was a necessary evil to save the industry, the publishers concluded, after being savaged during the Senate hearings into juvenile delinquency. For the full story, check out David Hadju’s informative The Ten Cent Plague.At first, the Code took its job quite […]

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Two Quick Items

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Now that they’re live, I can mention that I spent a chunk of December interviewing talent associated with several of Dynamite Entertainment’s forthcoming releases. The first such piece, a chat with an old pal, Keith Champagne, just went live the other day.Late in December, NBC ran a “sneak peek” episode of the new series Perfect […]

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Intern Updating

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Lots of folk have been asking me about how interning and grad school has been going and I wish I had more complete answers.Thanks to two snow days and MLK Day, I have been at the school four days. Having said that, I can tell you that I will be spoiled by the facility and […]

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The Cape Doesn’t Work…at All

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The Cape sucked and here’s why:There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the basic premise. A good cop is framed for corruption and murder and disguises himself as his son’s favorite comic book character in order to clear his name and remain a positive role model for the disillusioned boy.The show, which debuted this week to reasonable […]

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Day One

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Getting up at 6 a.m. and having to drive to work are new experiences. I haven’t gotten up this early since 2007 and the Weekly World News. And in 30+ years of professional life, I have never needed to drive to work before. Given the volume on I-95, it was recommended to be on the […]

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I’ve Been Oriented

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Since Tuesday, I have spent the majority of the day at the University of Bridgeport campus undergoing the state mandated orientation. Normally, it runs through Saturday but with the snow coming down, they cut today short and canceled tomorrow, although that needs to be made up sometime in March. Across the days we’ve had seminars […]

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$9.09

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The vast majority of my Star Trek fiction is out of print. That is, no longer available from Pocket Books as paper books. Instead, it’s all available as eBooks and the last few cycles, my Pocket Books royalties have consisted of eBook sales.Interestingly, in the last year, everyone has been talking about making money incrementally […]

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One Final Look Back

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2010 comes to a close and it was not entirely a bad year but it was bad enough that I made the decision to make a career change. As publishers froze in the wake of the eBook explosion, thanks to the Kindle and the iPad, work dried up pretty quickly. Not just for me, but […]

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The 2010 Reading List

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In looking back over my reading habits of the year, I find that I returned to authors and series for comfort while forcing myself to sample new writers. I make a point of trying at least one new author a year and accomplished that with my second book of the year. All in all, I […]

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Hey, Look at the Dinosaurs

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Zenescope Entertainment released their solicitations for March and lo and behold, the book I’m editing for them is here:Discovery Channel’s Dinosaurs and Prehistoric PredatorsJoe Brusha (W)Neo Edmond (W)Art by Steven CummingsZenescope’s second book under its new all ages imprint, Silver Dragon Books, takes you on an adventure back in time with Discovery Channel’s Dinosaurs & […]

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A Christmas Odyssey

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For the first time since we married 30 years ago, we went somewhere for Christmas. With Kate back in Iraq, the notion of just the two of us here for the holiday was not at all appealing. Fortunately, Deb’s brother John was more than happy to host us.We drove up Friday morning and after settling […]

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Thoughts on the Season Part Two

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Christmas became a time of year for celebrations. Depending upon your land and background, you celebrated in December because it was the winter solstice or Jesus Christ was born. As Christianity spread, it was adopted and like a Christmas tree, everyone added their favorite ornaments.The solemn carols that were sun during mass began adding songs […]

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Thoughts on the Season Part One

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I’ve been watching people make comments on Facebook, blogs, and elsewhere regarding which way the wind is blowing in the whole “Merry Christmas” issue. A year or two back, it seems, retailers were instructing their staffs not to use that phrase but to wish customers a “Happy Holiday” instead. This way, those who celebrate the […]

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Whew!

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And just like that it’s all done.I walked out of classes last Monday and was amazed how quickly a semester of learning zipped by. I then knuckled down and began studying for my finals.As promised, the Theater went live on Friday. After a quick review, I took the 45 minute 52 question multiple choice portion […]

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Wow, I’ve Read Some Top 10 Books

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The year is rapidly winding down so everyone is putting out Top 10 lists, with Time.com offering the largest variety.I usually glance at the lists, mostly noting the movies I have yet to see, disagreeing over some of the television choices and feeling old by never recognizing more than one or two of the artists […]

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The Semester Ends

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I haven’t been in a classroom situation on a regular basis pretty much since I was last at Binghamton University in May 1980. As a result, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began my undergrad courses on August 30. The idea of two courses a day, twice a week, through December, seemed endless […]

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Quick Links

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I had wanted to write something pithy and moving, but ran out of time today. Instead, I spent much of the day writing about websites and writing two interviews for a website. Plus, I studied for tomorrow’s  Statistics test.Anyway, I did want to call your attention to the first Zenescope graphic novel, produced for the […]

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I Miss Editing

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I miss editing comic books.This isn’t a news bulletin or anything, but over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been hiring talent, reading and editing scripts, juggling the flow of work between the talent and Zenescope Entertainment and it brings back many happy memories.These two anthologies are nice in that I will be working with […]

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I’m a Costco Exclusive (sort of)

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I have been meaning to mention this but have completely forgotten so let me rectify that by alerting you to a Costco exclusive.The publishers behind The Spider-Man Vault, the book I aided Peter David in writing, was scheduled for mass market release this fall, but it was subsequently decided to hold off.Instead, only members of […]

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Being Thankful

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As the year winds down, people have taken the time to begin taking stock of their life, the year, the decade, whatever moves them.It usually begins now as we share the things we have to be thankful for.This year has been a struggle for me and Deb and promises to be tough in the coming […]

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A Pox on U-Verse and Stuck with Cabelvision

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I came home from summer camp one year and was amazed to see my father watching an uncut movie on television. He explained it was a clearer picture and we had all these new channels to watch thanks to this thing called cable television. We were among the first to subscribe to Cablevision when it […]

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Work Update

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Since coming back from Baton Rouge, I have been rather busy and for a change it has been mostly freelance work and not school work. Let me fill you in…Zenescope Entertainment hired me to edit two graphic novels for them as part of their deal with the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. For now, we’re […]

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Fandemonium Wrap-up

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Running a convention is similar to the old Vaudeville routine of spinning a series of plates atop sticks and keeping them all going without letting any fall and crack. When Robert Picardo couldn’t be on hand to screen his movie on Friday night, they bumped it to Saturday. What I didn’t learn until Saturday morning […]

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Fandemonium Day One Report

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The Red Stick International Animation Festival has been growing nicely as a Louisiana attraction, honoring filmmakers from around the world and screening works people wouldn’t get to see otherwise. Animation in all forms is being celebrated and over the last five years, the event has been growing.This year, it was decided to grow by adding […]

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Professional Work Update

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I haven’t talked about professional work much of late, largely because there has not been a lot to report and that in itself is a bit of a lesson.When the Who’s Who was temporarily suspended in the spring, I was surprised and have devoted my time to finding replacement work. As of now, DC Comics […]

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Something Old, Something New

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Authors usually like it when people buy and read our works, but we also crave feedback. Sometimes we write things and you wait, but are greeted with silence. The Patch column I posted about bsuiness in Fairfield last week got zeor comments, which was unusual.Then, in a week, you get some nice comments.Reader Leroy Douresseaux […]

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Being Re-Energized by the President

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Voters reach a point of election fatigue where they dread answering the phone, opening the door and flipping through their mail. Candidates for all offices try and reach out in several ways, trying to get their name and message across.For those of us in the trenches, working to get people elected, we also reach a […]

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The Wrong Side is on the Defensive

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With less than a week to go before the election, there’s a lot being written about the enthusiasm gap. I noticed it last year when we could barely motivate the democrats in Fairfield or even more than a handful of independents to come out and vote.It’s not that the Democrats don’t care, but there’s a […]

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Back to Middle School

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This morning I was called in for substitute teaching duty (and for the third time in a row, it was on a Friday; I detect a pattern). This time it was heading over to Roger Ludlow Middle School, where Robbie and Kate attended. I last walked those halls in 2002 when I subbed during Robbie’s […]

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On the Road Again

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While this may appear like short notice for you, I’ve been talking on and off with the people behind Baton Rouge’s Fandemonium for some months now. Well, as of today, it’s official, I am an invited VIP guest of the show, which will be held November 12-14.I’ll be a guest alongside actor Robert Picardo, whose […]

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It was Thirty Years Ago Today

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I’ve described the setting before. A dark and storm October evening, a fitting setting given what we endured to make it to the altar.Every now and then I am reminded of just how many hurtles there were between my proposal and the exchange of our vows. Over dinner Saturday night, Deb’s brothers Jim and Jeff […]

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School Talk

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I haven’t talked about school in a bit so let me fill you in.While I normally don’t think of myself as having a head for numbers, I find I am grasping many of the concepts behind Statistics. I manage to get through my homework without too much sweat and did score an 87 on the […]

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Notes from the Convention

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My time at New York Comic-Con was concentrated into two full, tiring days. The show has been growing at a nice pace and so far, five years in, they have kept Hollywood from overrunning it with a nice mix of media properties but a theme repeated throughout the weekend was how refreshing it was that […]

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I’ll be Wandering at New York Comic-Con

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This weekend I will be at the New York Comic-Con. My schedule is filling in nicely as I make plans to visit numerous publishers to follow-up on existing projects or pursue new ones. I’ll be walking the floor as a free agent although I will most frequently be at the DelRey Booth promoting The Essential […]

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Getting the Party Energized

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Its been said for some time now that the Democrats are quiet, not feeling the same anger or fear as the Tea Party advocates or the Republicans. They’re either complacent, content with their current legislators or have chosen to sit out this election cycle.Here in Fairfield, we wanted to change that. Our Democratic Town Committee […]

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Gotham City 14 Miles now Available for Order

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Seqart’s Gotham City 14 Miles can be found in the latest edition of Diamond’s Previews.This is a crucial time for the book, as we need to hit Diamond’s minimum-number threshold or they will cancel all orders for it.I urge everyone to get out and order a copy through their local comic shops or one of […]

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Talking About the Uncanny Un-Collectibles

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Every now and then I get invited to write an essay or guest blog about something that tickles my fancy. I was recently solicited to contribute to a project over at the Revolution SF website. Here’s the run down from the site’s Rick Klaw.Given that Barnes & Noble and Borders stores offer extensive graphic novel […]

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Struggling with Time Management

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My sudden absence from my desk between the hours of 9 and 2:30 on Mondays and Fridays has shaken up my routines and has caused me to feel somewhat out of control. The time at school is necessary and I find that I am spending between 2-3 hours a week on home work in addition […]

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The President Finally asked the Question

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At yesterday’s press conference, President Barack Obama finally said something I have been waiting for any politician or leader to ask. One of the shared beliefs between the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement is that they want a smaller government. While that sounds nice, he finally asked, “What will you cut?”It’s one thing […]

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Talking Atlantis Chronicles

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I have always stated that The Atlantis Chronicles is one of the projects I edited at DC Comics that I am most proud of. Fortunately, it added elements that remain in use throughout the DC Universe and has been fondly recalled by readers.Sadly, it’s never been collected.Robert J. Kelly manages the delightful The Aquaman Shrine […]

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Presenting The Spider-Man Vault

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Many people consider a comic book historian, a title I wear proudly. People often reach out to me with questions and I happily answer since I have a good working knowledge of the field, above-average knowledge of Marvel’s history and a superb command of DC’s corporate history. Some of that has found its way into […]

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Small World

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The world continues to prove how small it can feel despite there being over six billion of us. Last week I made one incredibly bizarre connection linking disparate people from various aspects of my life while Deb also had a similar experience. Then there was the son of a pal in Stamford who just enrolled […]

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Correcting an Error on my Part

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Win Scott Eckert, co-editor, of the forthcoming Green Hornet Chronciles, sent me a note, kindly reminding me that I actually did see the galleys to my story, “Go go Gone”. Apparently, despite reading and correcting them on  June 24, I blokced it from my mind and owe Win and publisher Joe Gentile an apology.Win also […]

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Green Hornet Chronicles Finally goes to Press

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The Green Hornet Chronicles, originally announced as being released in June, apparently went to the printer this week. I was never sent galleys to proofread so can only hope someone else read through the pages.The collection was co-edited by Joe Gentile and Win Scott Eckert with covers by Glen Orbik and Rubén Procopio with interior […]

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So Far, So Good

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Returning to a classroom setting proved easier than expected. Maybe it was all the time spent participating in panels at Stony Brook’s campus during countless I-Cons or I was over-thinking the whole thing.With two days of classes under my belt, I will state that I think I can do this. I am certainly disciplined enough […]

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A New Chapter Begins

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Since mid-March, I have watched as the freelance world has altered. It didn’t start then, but it’s when I paid attention to how many of my peers were struggling to find assignments. Media tie-in fiction seemed to be cut way back while publishers also cut down on mid-list authors. Fellow members of the International Association […]

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Work Update

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OK, so while I am thrilled to have Batman: The Brave & The Bold #20 now out, and receiving some nice comments, there’s the future to consider. Here’s what has been happening……not all that much to be honest. Such can be the life of the freelance writer. You hope for a steady supply of work […]

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Batman: The Brave & The Bold #20 on Sale Wednesday

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I can’t tell you how excited I am that tomorrow my one issue of Batman: The Brave & The Bold will be going on sale. It has been nearly two decades since I last wrote a comic book and it was a great experience.When I completed the script, my editor Michael Siglain told me he […]

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Me and the Attorney General

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Since I’ve gotten involved in local politics, I have found myself attending numerous events where several of the state leaders turn up. They breeze in and are usually mobbed by those they know and they seem to know a lot of the party faithful.When you work on enough campaigns and attend the same events, your […]

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Gotham City 14 Miles Coming in October

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The official page for Gotham City 14 Miles is now up at the Sequart website and will be in the next Diamond Previews catalog. The book is not yet available elsewhere, so I call your attention to this fun volume.Editor Jim Beard invited me to write for this in the spring of 2009 and I […]

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Revisiting my Childhood via Video

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One of the great pleasures of the digital revolution is having the chance to relive our childhood.Slowly, but surely, I am revisiting many of the touchstones heroes or programs that I adored as a kid. In some cases, such as the 1960s cartoon collections from Warner Home Video, I see the flaws but can’t help […]

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Two Years

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I have trouble comprehending that it was two years ago that we lost Robbie.The first year was certainly difficult and this past week, Deb and I were preoccupied with thoughts about him and this day. On the one hand, we still can’t believe he is no longer a part of our life, and on the […]

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Election Night

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In the past, all of my political efforts were directed at Fairfield. This time around, not being in office, I found myself drifting into working on behalf of Ned Lamont and was therefore invited to attend the Election Night party. Throughout the day all I heard was that turnaround in town and across the state […]

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Go Out and Vote in CT Today

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Over at the Fairfield Patch, I wrote a column about the importance of getting out the vote. To me, it is a duty incumbent upon all eligible adults and why we get such low turnout never makes sense. We have a chance to select who we want our respective parties to run as candidates for […]

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A New Book in the House

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The joys of my freelance career include being able to mesh my writing and history interests. Most recently, I did several essays for my pal Bill Fawcett for his latest anthology. The mailman just dropped off my contributor’s copy to How to Lose World War II: Bad Mistakes of the Good War. It focuses entirely […]

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Thoughts on Doctor Who Season Five

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This morning I completed watching the fifth season of the current Doctor Who series and wanted to sum up my thoughts as we all eagerly await the Christmas special. By now I will presume those who want to see the show has and therefore won’t be tiptoeing around plot points.Steven Moffat and Matthew Smith came […]

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Withdrawing from Dragon*Con

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I love going to conventions. I love interacting with fans and fellow professionals, participating in panel discussions devoted to interesting topics. Browsing the dealers room and art show can be eye-opening experiences as are the masquerades and other events.As a result, if invited, I tend to say yes. These shows usually cover my expenses since […]

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The Waiting Game

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With Comic-Con International now a week in the past, I am hopeful that everyone is getting back to their desks, sifting through messages and e-mail and returning to work. Ideally, that will mean that some of the long-simmering proposals will actually get read and either approved or passed on, allowing me to shop them elsewhere.I […]

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Thoughts on Comic-Con International

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While I am a social creature who thrives in the atmosphere at Comic-Con International, I needed to be practical and chose not to attend this year.Last year was the first time since 2001, and since I was fulltime freelance, it made sense to see if I could be out there and generate some work.  I […]

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The Value of Closure

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My brother called yesterday, asking me about the ending to Inception. He felt cheated, desiring a real ending, not something ambiguous. To me, the ending perfectly fit in with the theme and tone of the movie and I was more delighted than bothered by it.That got me to thinking about endings, especially when they are […]

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Turning 52 Wasn’t so Bad

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In thinking about turning 52 yesterday, I began the day concluding that I am most definitely now into the second half of my life. How far into the second half remains to be seen but it’s one of the few times I have thought of my own mortality.The heat and humidity of the day sapped […]

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Available Now

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As of today, interested readers can discover the joys of media tie-in writing and its rich history in TIED IN: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing.The book was a lively collaboration among members of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. We strongly believe in our organization and having our stock-in-trade treated […]

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Is the RSVP an Endangered Species?

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I recently hosted an event at my home and was asked to provide 25 people. It was suggested that to achieve that number, I had to invite twice as many so invited somewhere on the order of 52 people.As the event date drew closer, a significant portion of those who received e-mail and/or phone call […]

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The Shore Leave Wrap-Up

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“I can’t believe it’s over already,” Lyssa said as I came off the stage at the conclusion of Mystery Trekkie Theater and she was right. The three day weekend zipped right by and in the morning we head for home.I have been attending Shore Leave for decades, starting with #3 and this was my 28th […]

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Shore Leave 32 Schedule

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If it’s July, then it’s time for Shore Leave. The con is once more at the Hunt Valley Inn and for what feels like the 100th time, I’ll be in attendance. Actually, I have missed four of the previous 31 shows so I guess I’m a regular.The highlight of the weekend, for me anyway, is […]

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Updating my Professional Life

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I was once again reminded that writers write, hoping to profit from the experience but not expecting it. The daily mail brought with it my semi-annual royalty statement from Pocket Books for all my Star Trek fiction dating back to 1990. Five different titles earned me a whopping $7.43. Considering most of the books are […]

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Thinking About Hollywood and Comic-Con

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Today’s New York Times’ business section has a piece on Hollywood courting fans at Comic-Con International; examine the buzz generated and whether or not it translates to actual box office success. It certainly did for District 9; it certainly did not for The Watchmen.It got me to thinking about the con and its reputation as […]

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Project Updates

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There’s been a bit of activity involving several of my projects so let me fill you in.As I was delivering the proofread pages to the front and back matter for The Essential Superman Encyclopedia, my wonderful editor, Chris Cerasi, informed me that DelRey had moved the publication date from August to October. I’m not entirely […]

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Old Timers’ Day

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As I wrote over at ComicMix, Dick Giordano was a terrific teacher, mentor, and boss.Clearly, I was not alone in these sentiments and people have been filling the web with accolades and anecdotes.Today, many of those who worked with him gathered for a Memorial. DC Comics has always hosted lovely memorials for recently departed staff, […]

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What’s Been Going On

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The lack of work has also left me with a lack of interesting things to be promoting and chatting about. I never meant the blog to be so silent for so long.So, let’s see what’s been going on.I just received the final galleys to The Essential Superman Encyclopedia for letters N-Z and I have to […]

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Freelance Update

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It’s been fairly quiet around here, hence the lack of more frequent posts. But now that the three-day weekend has come and gone, things are getting back into routine so I figured I’d update you on where things are.Captain Midnight Chronicles: Moonstone’s Joe Gentile tells me the book is at the printers and running just […]

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The Downside of Freelancing

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The adage is that freelancers spend 80% of their time seeking work and actually completing assignments the other 20% of the time. Of late, my life seems to be more 95%-5% as several projects of mine have been unexpectedly postponed, leaving me to find replacement assignments.Since falling into the fulltime freelance life in August 2007, […]

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State Convention Thoughts

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In an effort to explain the process, I wrote about the State Convention over at The Patch but wanted to share some personal thoughts here.As Vice-Chair of the local party, I took on the role of recording secretary at the show, keeping me a little more focused on the action and rooted to our seating […]

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The Political Roller Coaster

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Last week I stated I hated political rah-rah events, noting they are messy, longer-than-necessary affairs.Well, last night, I participated in a local political event that was rah-rah but far more focused and effective.Prior to the beginning of our monthly Democratic Town Committee meeting we had the 132nd Caucus to nominate our candidate to run for […]

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Coming in August

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DC Comics’ August in store solicitations went live today and I want to call your attention to the following:BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #20Written by BOB GREENBERGERArt and cover by ROBERT POPE & SCOTT MCRAEBig Barda enlists the help of the World’s Greatest Detective to find the World’s Greatest Escape Artist! But when the […]

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Grey’s Anatomy Contest

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As some of you may recall, I wrote an essay for Grey’s Anatomy 101 for BenBella’s SmartPop series. The essays covered events during the ABC series’ first two season and is a nifty little time capsule for diehard fans of the show.In honor of Grey’s Anatomy’s two-hour season finale this week BenBella is hosting a […]

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Fun Times

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ComiCONN was a well-attended and smoothly-run first time show and for that I am grateful.Held at a Holiday Inn in North Haven, it was about a 40 minute ride from home and easily found. There were a few hundred fans in attendance and they happily milled about the ballroom which housed the dealers and the […]

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ComicCONN on Saturday

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Connecticut has not had a comic book convention all its own in a long, long time I gather. Instead, people either flock north to Boston or south to New York City.On Saturday that changes when ComicCONN debuts in North Haven.The con has a robust roster of creators, most of whom are old pals that I […]

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Last Night at the Convention

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While I firmly believe in the Democratic process, I find I have little patience for rah-rah events. When there’s juts one candidate running for a post, the meeting should be brief, perfunctory and get everyone focused on the campaign itself.I apparently am in the minority on this point so last night delegates from across the […]

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First Person Shooter

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Since a comment about going to a shooting range on Saturday elicited much feedback, I figured I’d elaborate.Normally, our visits to Deb’s brother John and his family usually include helping John get something accomplished. I never mind since he’s done far more for us and it gives me a chance to learn how things work […]

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IDW Confirms my Captain Garrett One-Shot

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Mark Martinez over at Trek Movie reviews this week’s Captain’s Log, a one-shot focusing on Captain Harriman. Niftily written by Marc Guggenheim and well illustrated by Andrew Currie, it’s worth a look.At the end of his review, he confirms the next three releases in the series and we can finally start talking about this, something […]

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Updating

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OK, enough with the begging. For those who were inspired to contribute, thank you.So, what’s been going on?Proofreading. Lots of proofreading and updating on The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. I made my deadline of having A-M done before May 1 and have until the 19th to complete the read of the book. Today, I’ll be tackling […]

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A Little Begging for Support

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OK, I’m not ashamed to admit it; I’m going to do a little begging.Since Aaron Rosenberg, Steve Savile, and I launched ReDeus over at Kickstarter, we’ve been delving deeper into our world building and our three series. Every time we get into the creative elements, the trio gets very excited.Then we look at the Kickstarter […]

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Some Additional Political Thoughts

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My popularity as a delegate to the Connecticut State Convention has continued over the last few weeks. I continue to hear from the larger and better organized campaigns, the candidates themselves personally call, and the conversations I’ve been having were interesting.And yet, I remained uncertain who I wanted to support for Attorney General or Secretary […]

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Back from the Road

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Long time readers may recall my taking a gastronomic road trip with my friend Matthew in January 2009. Well, on Monday, he asked if I’d be willing to accompany him on a shorter run, to and from Virginia. As you know, I’ve had a slow patch of work so the timing couldn’t have been better.I […]

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Writing Update

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I’ve been working pretty steadily on pitches while I await getting back to work on the Who’s Who. The process has certainly been an interesting one since this is the first time I’ve concentrated primarily on spec writing as opposed to fitting it in around other work.The results have led me to finally submit a […]

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Series and Season Ending Thoughts

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On Wednesday night, we bid farewell to Betty Suarez and began learning the truth about Christopher Chance. Both Ugly Betty and Human Target ended their seasons and it’s a good time to reflect on their accomplishments.Ugly Betty began as the Americanized version of the popular Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea (I am Betty, […]

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A Packed Sunday

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Yesterday proved to be a packed day that left me falling asleep in front of the TV by 8:30 p.m.After prepping in the morning for the later afternoon, I got myself ready for the Democratic Town Committee’s Century Club Brunch. This is the Fairfield DTC’s annual fundraiser where we use the opportunity to honor two […]

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Taking Stock

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This is one of those weeks where there have been plenty of professional frustrations and it’s forced me to stop writing and to give things a long hard think.We launched ReDeus at Kickstarter last week and after a flurry of pledges, there’s been little activity in the last few days which has me concerned.Additionally, a […]

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Lobbying for my Support

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The lobbying for my support has begun in earnest. As I stated recently, I am not yet committed to any one candidate for several of the offices. I know I like Richard Blumenthal for Senator but after that, I remain open.On Saturday, I had a lovely 15 minute chat with Jonathan Harris, one of the […]

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Kickstarting Something New

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Well, this is something new.Aaron Rosenberg and I have been pals for some time now, and we’ve partnered with our mutual overseas friend Steve Savile to try something new. We’ve created a new reality and each of us will be writing stories set in this future world. These stories will live on a website and […]

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Welcome to the Patch

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There’s something new in Fairfield. It’s a green growing patch on the World Wide Web and it’s all about us, our town, and our people.The Patch is a series of community-themed websites with tons of raw data about the town along with a steady stream of articles, columns, and pictures. It has a nifty community […]

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The Realities of Freelancing

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I’ve previously discussed how hard it can be for a freelancer to find immediate and future work. You work at the whims of others and hope you can assemble enough work so you’re constantly busy and there’s enough income on a regular basis that you can make a living at this.The risk comes with an […]

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The I-Con Report

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I-Con occasionally suffers when it has massive turnover of staff, which is to be expected since it is a con largely run by students. Last year, things were a mess when they could not use the campus and splitting the show among three venues did not make anyone happy. Fortunately, this year the show returned […]

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The Political Fun & Games Begin

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Even though the voting isn’t until November, people have been jockeying for office for upwards of a year now. This month, both parties are selecting their delegates to attend the various nominating conventions for the state and federal offices. One of the perks of serving on one of the town political committees is being able […]

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Back to I-Con

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This weekend I hit my third convention in three weeks. I’ll be back on Long Island at Stony Brook’s I-Con and can be found doing comics, literature, and film programming.Unlike so many of my other cons, this is a real mixed bag of events with programming for all interests from science to LARPing. Marc Gunn, […]

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Spain, Final Part

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Monday the 8th had me speaking to the University of Granada students about the American comic book market; its origins and current status. Prior to arriving, I prepared a PowerPoint presentation and script, revised it once or twice and then had the titles on my slides translated into Spanish by our kids’ former nanny, Paz. […]

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Spain, Part Four

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Ask the natives, and they will tell you that the people of Seville considering themselves to be the best Spaniards in all of Andalucía. Our host, Alejandro, worked for some time in Seville and looked down his nose at them in what appeared to be a good natured rivalry between towns.Still, he gifted us with […]

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Spain, Part Three

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Granada is a beautiful city and thankfully, the weather cleared more often than not, allowing us to see the buildings and surrounding mountains in glorious sunshine. But first, the rain had to leave.Last Monday, it was cloudy and drizzly and thankfully, I had the school talk for the first half of the day. After our […]

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Spain, Part Two

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AcademiaC10 is a relatively recent art school headed up by painter Carlos Diez. It has grown to include nine instructors and teaches a variety or related subjects from comic book art to painting, model photography, movie makeup, and so on. They are spread across three buildings, including two store fronts.When Carlos heard I was spending […]

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Spain, Part One

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And we’re back.As most of you know, Deb and I were in Spain for 12 days mainly to attend the Granada Comic Convention otherwise known as the Salon del Comic de Granada. For the last 15 years, the guests have included a mix of Americans and I was lucky to be invited this time around.For […]

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The Week in Review

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OK, you’ve seen plenty of the Superman cover and I appreciate the comments this has garnered both here and at Facebook.This has been a pretty good week overall with lots of details to follow in the coming week but suffice to say all has been good.On Tuesday, I had a really good call with Dan […]

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The Cover Revealed

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I was shown the final cover to August’s The Essential Superman Encyclopedia a few weeks back and immediately went, “Wow”. I wanted to share it with everyone but was asked to hold off until today.I’ve been patient but now can proudly show it off. Nice Gary Frank art and a bold design so it’ll attract […]

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Back to Writing for Pay

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After a little more than a week of playing with spec work, it’s been back to the paying work and it’s been an intense week or so.First of all, I have been asked to write a different Fairfield-based column since Fairfield News Online more or less ceased operation. I gather they’re regrouping but haven’t heard […]

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Talking and Touring in Spain

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One week from today, Deb and I will be en route to Spain. Why, you wonder. Because we were invited.Back in 2001, I became acquainted with inker Edu Alpuente and we’ve remained colleagues and friends ever since. He’s switched from inker to artists’ agent so he makes trips to America every now and then and […]

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The Answer

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A few days back, I opened the floor for questions from you, my friends, family, and fans.Ed McKeogh was the only one of you to ask and he was passionate enough about it to ask twice.He wanted to know when the Howard Chaykin Retrospective will be coming out.Just this week, Ed, I got word from […]

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Pitchers & Catchers

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The temperature in Fairfield may be in the 30s, but Spring is in the air.Today is one of the most anticipated days of the new year as stop complaining about the cold and snow and begin looking ahead. We take comfort in knowing that further south, in Port St. Lucie to be exact, pitchers and […]

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World Building

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Oddly enough, I have not built a world in quite some time.Since so much of my writing the last year has been non-fiction, I had forgotten how much fun it can be.My buddy and I conceived a project together when a particular publisher let it be known they were looking for new stories for their […]

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Wrapping up Farpoint

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Sunday wound up being a day where I did my best to appear energetic but my pals all saw I was tired. Two late nights with poor sleep meant I was flagging and energy depleted.Still, the annual Bob & Howie Show went well as we chatted about our careers, our experiences and then played some […]

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Wrapping up Farpoint

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Sunday wound up being a day where I did my best to appear energetic but my pals all saw I was tired. Two late nights with poor sleep meant I was flagging and energy depleted.Still, the annual Bob & Howie Show went well as we chatted about our careers, our experiences and then played some […]

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Farpoint Report

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In 2003, we were snowed in at Farpoint and the con effectively ran an extra day as we took turns for the hotel’s sole snow shovel. This year, the snows came early, and often, but nothing threatened to spoil the con.Our drive down Friday was uneventful and the minute we pulled in, we began seeing […]

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Mr. Greenberger Returns to Hartford

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Last year, I spent a day up at our state capitol, getting a taste of government in action as I testified before a joint House and Senate committee regarding bone marrow donations. The bill was passed with strong bi-partisan support but was part of an omnibus bill and Governor Jodi Rell vetoed the bill. Her […]

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Q & A

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It’s been a while since I threw open the floor to questions. So, what would you like to know? We can cover comics, writing, politics, life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness.

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My Farpoint Schedule

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The 2010 convention season is about to begin for me. Most of the shows I appear at occur between now and July so the calendar fills in quickly.Kicking things off, as usual, is Farpoint down in Timonium, MD. I’ll be there along with writing pals Peter David, David Mack, Mike Friedman, Keith DeCandido, Terri Osborne, […]

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Great Customer Service

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Through the years, I’ve been fairly critical about the state of customer service in the country, using personal examples as cases in point.As a result, it’s only fair that when I get superior service, I should mention this as well.Last week, I noticed a leak under our washing machine. The earliest the repairmen from C&E […]

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Attending a Super-Hero Lecture

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Yesterday, I spent the day in Spring Valley, New York, beginning with a wonderful brunch at my cousin Audrey’s. She’s the youngest cousin in the preceding generation and I continue to marvel at how my mother’s generation grew up so incredibly close and remain in touch with amazing regularity.We then headed over to the small […]

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Revisiting Riverdale

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Back in August, I was very harsh on the first installment in Michael Uslan’s six-part “what if” story, which devoted three issues of Archie to watching Archie Andrews marry Veronica Lodge then three issues watching Archie marry Betty Cooper.At the time, I was frustrated at the characters acting, well, out of character and the lazy […]

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Revisiting Archie’s Twin Marriages

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Back in August, I was very harsh on the first installment in Michael Uslan’s six-part “what if” story, which devoted three issues of Archie to watching Archie Andrews marry Veronica Lodge then three issues watching Archie marry Betty Cooper.At the time, I was frustrated at the characters acting, well, out of character and the lazy […]

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My First GBRPA Meeting

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I mentioned a while back that I was continuing my public service by joining the Greater Bridgeport Regional Planning Agency as a Fairfield representative. And what is the GBRPA you wonder?According to the website:“The Greater Bridgeport Planning Region comprises six municipalities that are home to approximately 300,000 residents.The three most urbanized communities (Bridgeport, Fairfield and […]

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Wrapping up January

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As January winds down, I find that I am right on schedule with the paying work.Who’s Who #2 was delivered to DC and I await feedback from the editors. Meantime, I completed a second pass of the ghostwriting project, which is due Monday. I sent the manuscript off to a pal today to get a […]

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Ruminating on Reviews

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I have been reviewing in one form or another since high school. I honed the craft while working on the college newspaper, Pipe Dream, and became a regular reviewer for the local Gannett paper, the Binghamton Sun-Bulletin during a wonderful internship. As a result, I think I have developed pretty good critical skills for books, […]

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Remembering Robert B. Parker

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One of the nice things about working in the comics field is that we share our passions with one another. I first realized this in the 1970s when Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise novels were coming out and box loads would arrive in the states and my pals were glomming onto them with fervor.When I joined […]

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Wonder Woman in the House

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I just had the thrill that comes with holding the first copy of a printed book and I have to admit, it never, ever gets old.Just a week ago, I received the author comps to Batman: Robin Takes Flight, my second Stone Arch book and was enjoying staring at its vibrant cover.Now, UPS has just […]

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The Working Month So Far

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One thing I swore I would do better this year was allocate my time so at least one hour each day would be spent on spec work. I have things I want to complete and get off my desk and into the hands of people who might actually want to pay me for my efforts.One […]

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Still Can’t Decide if ‘Men’ is Worth Watching

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A few weeks back I expressed my initial displeasure with Men of a Certain Age, the new TNT series starring the wonderful Andre Braugher, Ray Romano, and Scott Bakula. Essentially, the show is about three men facing 50, none of whom are satisfied with where their lives are.I thought they were sad and pathetic, unwilling […]

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Talking Who’s Who (finally)

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Well, it’s finally okay to talk about Who’s Who. Dan DiDio formally broke the news in the DC Nation column in this week’s DC Universe titles. He says nice things about the book and me, which is heart-warming. Of course, I didn’t know anything about the announcement until I woke up this morning to an […]

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IAMTW Names 2010’s Grandmaster (no, not me)

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The following release went out yesterday and while I catch up on work, I thought I’d share this with you. The honoree, William Johnston is most deserving and I recall reading many of his books while in elementary and junior high school. The best part is, Johnston is still with us and can appreciate the […]

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My 2010 Publishing Schedule

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Last time I was looking backwards and was pleased with the output. Of course, the best part of the effort is seeing the rewards and suddenly, the first half of 2010 looks to be very satisfying indeed.Just this week, my pal Bob Jeschonek alerted me to the news that Moonstone has scheduled two of their […]

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2009 in Review

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We’ve grown accustomed to using the change of the calendar to take stock, look back at what happened and plan for the future. Now that I have completed two full years of freelance, I thought it made sense to see what was working and what was not.The good news is that I developed a wide […]

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The 2009 Reading List

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Tomorrow I will complete reading my 65th book of the year, which is closer to my normal reading and nearly double what I managed in 2008. As usual, I saw to it I read new authors while indulging in old favorites.Of the 65 read, a higher percentage than usual is Star Trek titles, catching up […]

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A Small Personal Triumph

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For as long as I remember, I have had the nervous habit of biting my fingernails. For years, Deb was after me to stop biting them and about five years back, I made myself a New Year’s resolution to stop.Slowly, but surely, I have stopped, almost a finger at a time. About two years ago, […]

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A (Belated) Christmas Note

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The following was written and scheduled to go live Christmas Day, but a technical glitch prevented that. I still wanted to share this with you:Losing a week in December to the much-needed vacation meant some changes to the holiday routine. Moving a piece of the wall unit to the Living Room also necessitated some modifications […]

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Continuing my Public Service

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Losing the election was a real kick in the teeth and while I campaigned, somewhat confident in my getting re-elected, I did tell our First Selectman I was hedging my bets. In September I leaned over to him at a meeting and said, “Keep me in mind for appropriate boards and commissions in case I […]

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The Rest of the Trip

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Initially the Ryndam was scheduled to make Key West its first port of call. This excited Deb since she always wanted to visit but even before we boarded the ship, we were notified that it had been changed to Cozumel. Apparently, there’s an issue regarding getting water in Florida hence the move.We first visited the […]

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And We’re Back

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We’ve been away the past week, a real honest to goodness vacation. It’s been well over ten years since Deb and I were away, just the two of us, for anything other than a long weekend. And as you know, after the last 24 months, we could certainly use a break from the real world.Since […]

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End of an Era

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Some time after joining Starlog in 1980, I began chatting with a freelance writer named Dave McDonnell. Dave was living in Pennsylvania and working part-time at Jim Steranko’s Mediascene, the occasionally published magazine. Dave wanted to write for Starlog and we began talking which led to his doing a few pieces.More importantly, Dave was the […]

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SmartPop Essays

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A while back I wrote a few essays for SmartPop Books and while the books saw print, they didn’t create much of stir. But you know, the line of books offers some smart commentary and criticism about Popular Culture’s darlings and they’re certainly worth your time and attention. With luck, I’ll write more in the […]

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Planning Ahead

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You put your nose to grindstone and you suddenly look up and days, even a week, can flash by.That’s pretty much what’s been happening since I am attempting to complete lots of different things before Deb and I take our vacation in less than a week (that too has snuck up on us).As I’ve discussed […]

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Holiday Preparations

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I was somewhat surprised by the number of people who posted on Facebook their utter amazement that I had already started decorating, shopping, wrapping, and in general welcoming the holiday season.I’ve made it pretty clear, I am a creature of habit and our family does not officially recognize the season until Santa Claus makes his […]

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The Traditional Season Begins

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The traditions that bind a family are to be cherished. I’ve written in the past about these and how much they mean to me. Last year, many of these changed as we went through Robbie’s illness and passing and this year, we’re doing things as close to normal as possible.Kate came home Tuesday night and […]

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What’s Been Happening Professionally

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As you know, I prefer being busy, juggling as many balls as possible. It forces me to focus and work efficiently. Whenever I am at loose ends, I fritter away too much time and am sloppy with my work habits.The slow fall has driven me to distraction but these last two weeks have been much […]

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Quick Note

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Been very busy, for a change, writing and getting stuff done around the house. I’m off to spend the day at DC Comics attending to various projects prior to attending the annual SFWA Reception for the first time in five years. Very excited to see old friends and make new connections.Meantime, I did an interview […]

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For Your Holiday Gift List

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My pal Steve Rosenhaus alerted me to the following item in the latest issue of Time Out New York. Listed as a recommendation for their Holiday gift guide:The Batman Vault by Robert Greenberger and Matthew K. ManningThis heavily illustrated slab of geek bait gives a detailed tour through the history of Batman, from the first […]

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For the Fairfielders

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Our town is a growing 57,000+ and gets covered by the Connecticut Post, in addition to three weekly papers – the Fairfield Citizen-News, Fairfield Minuteman and the Fairfield Sun.  Interestingly, you have to read all four to get a real sense of what’s going on in town both politically and culturally. The coverage, I’ve noted, […]

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Feast or Famine

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I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. A freelance writer probably spends more of his time seeking assignments than actually doing the work. After all, we need to generate and sell ideas or we have little to do.Our reputation and skill sets will get us work, but we can’t depend upon the kindness of […]

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King Con Report

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from King Con when I was invited to attend, but it came as a most welcome distraction after a rough political week. Held at the Brooklyn Lyceum, it most reminded me of the smaller NYC cons of the 1970s although the dealers’ tables were all replaced with artists’ tables. […]

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Tomorrow in Brooklyn — King Con

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Tomorrow, I will be in Brooklyn, attending the first ever King Con. For a small off-season show, it has a pretty nice guest list.I’ll have hanging around during the day and appearing on one pane, at 2 p.m.UNLOCKING THE BATMAN VAULT: SATURDAYJoin Denny O’Neil (editor and writer, BATMAN), Matthew K. Manning (author, WOLVERINE: INSIDE THE […]

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The Unhappy Recap

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Yesterday, I arrived at Holland Hill Elementary School just before 6 a.m. and set up signs on my car and prepared the handouts, otherwise known as palm cards, to help remind voters of their options. The Republican challengers were doing the same.At 6, the door opened and the voting began. Throughout the next 14 hours, […]

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Walking the Streets

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There’s probably nothing more small town than campaigning for the Representative Town Meeting. Fairfield’s divided into ten districts and each district has five representatives. As a result, each district has about ten candidates crisscrossing the streets, shaking hands, knocking on doors and talking to neighbors.When I first ran in 2005, the Republicans had no one […]

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Needlessly Prolonging the Debate

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I didn’t have a chance yesterday when our Senator, Joe Lieberman, came out against the public option and intended to side with the Republicans to turn the upcoming debate into the usual circus.This morning, though, I wrote to the Senator and suggest everyone else in the state do so.The argument against a public option is […]

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Partying with Windows 7

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On Thursday, I was fortunate to attend the NYC Launch Party for Windows 7.Held downtown in SoHo, the line moved briskly and we received our name tags and wandered within. We milled about, chatting with whoever we met, and sipped juices or coffee until the main room opened. We then filled in, grabbing seats or […]

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I’m on Blog Talk Radio This Sunday

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Last month, I was interviewed on Howard Margolin’s Destinies and that went swell. Now, this Sunday evening I will be the featured guest on Star Trek on Blog Talk Radio.This was arranged by my long time convention pal Marc Lee and I will be on air beginning at 10 p.m. EST. I’m told we’ll be […]

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Bravo for the Bravia

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I seem to recall that when we purchased our first television as a couple, it was a 23” color model that fit nicely on a TV table and kept us entertained. Soon after, we indulged and bought a VCR, adding it to our second apartment and marveling at the ability to timeshift our viewing habits. […]

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Support Kate

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Everyone deals with grief in their own way. Some hide form the world. Others forge ahead, keeping their feelings internalized.Some run.Kate has decided to train and enter a half-marathon to be held in January down at Disneyworld. She found a program to help whip her into shape, has received tremendous support from her military coworkers […]

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Talking to the 5th Graders

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On Friday, I had the pleasure of speaking to a room full of fifth graders. Heather Dean, my close friend on the RTM, is a student teacher at our McKinley Elementary School and helped bring the entire topic of graphic novels into the classroom. When she told her supervising teacher, Mr. Lowry, that I existed, […]

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Happy 29th Anniversary, Deb

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Today being a rainy day fits, given that 29 years ago, it was darker and stormier as we got married.29 years feels like a long time and another example of the advancing years. What’s nice is that we remain close and active together. Yesterday, for example, I spent the day at her side wandering through […]

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George Tuska, R.I.P.

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Tony Isabella is reporting that long-time comics artist George Tuska has passed away yesterday at age 93.Another piece of my childhood has vanished. I first encountered George’s work when he replaced Gene Colan as artist on Iron Man and then stayed with the book for years. A versatile artist with a distinct style, you knew […]

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Catching Up

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I never intended for a week to slip by but things happen.So, what’s been happening? I have written and revised the captions to Wonder Woman: Amazon. Hero. Icon. and designer Chris McDonnell has been making some final tweaks to the design. My revised text increased the word count from 9000 to 13,000 so he had […]

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Finally, a Perk

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People wonder why I run for the Representative Town Meeting.  I usually quip that I serve for the fabulous salary and perks. Well, after serving for two terms, a really cool perk was handed to me yesterday.I was invited to attend a local event headlined by Vice-Present Joe Biden, a press opportunity to promote how […]

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First Iron Man Review

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With Iron Man: Femmes Fatales out just a few days, Stacy Baugher wins as the first reviewer. She posted a piece at Major Spoilers and noted, “The neophyte comic fan or hardened sci-fi adventure fan will find this a great read; action packed and full of excitement. The die-hard comic fans will enjoy it not […]

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Two Copies

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Authors love to get a box full of their latest title from the publisher. But there’s nothing like walking into the bookstore and seeing your new book on the rack. We tend to rearrange shelves, maximizing our exposure and usually making certain books by our friends also receive prominent treatment.As you know, Iron Man: Femme […]

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Watching the New Season

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Well, we’re a week into the new season and we’ve welcomed back older favorites and sampled some of the new shows, with others yet to debut.Among the new shows, we really liked Flash Forward. It barely resembles Robert J. Sawyer’s novel (which is a fun read) but dramatically demonstrates the global chaos the 2:17 blackout […]

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Destinies Recap

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Last night I had a great time on Destinies, chatting for about 40 minutes. The host, Howard Margolin, reminded me that I was his very first guest so it’s nice to be back there and with luck we’ll chatting again in April when the Wonder Woman book comes out.Meantime, for those interested, the chat is […]

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Back on Destinies

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I enjoy supporting local efforts, as a result I was among the first guests to appear at Stony Brook’s I-Con and to grace the airwaves of Destinies, the science fiction talk show hosted by Dr. Howard Margolin. Every few years, Howard invites me back to talk about stuff and tomorrow night, I make my return […]

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Completing Projects

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I find myself in an unusual place, professionally. Any minute now, the phone will ring, and the green light will be given on the DC project I’ve been tinkering with since the late spring. Until then, I am in limbo.This morning, I delivered to Chris Cerasi the final files with updated information and corrections for […]

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The New Season is Underway

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Deb and I somehow managed to stay current with prime time programming throughout the summer and even wound up with a fairly empty DVR now and then. So, curious, we sampled the first season of Bones, a show we thought we’d like and had been recommended by several friends.We borrowed the DVDs from Bob Rozakis […]

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Work Update

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The best thing for a freelancer is the phone ringing offering work.  Possibly the second best thing for a freelancer is the arrival of the printed work (or the check, depending on your circumstances).Someone asked on one of the message boards recently if it ever gets old receiving the first copy of your latest book. […]

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Wonder Woman: Amazon. Hero. Icon.

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Freelancers love it when the phone rings and an unexpected offer comes through. Such was the case in early July, when Chris Cerasi called to offer me Wonder Woman: Amazon. Hero. Icon.Apparently, the project had been assigned to a poet, Jeff Oaks, and as occasionally happens, a change needed to be made so I got […]

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End of an Era

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I had no inkling that going to DC Comics for meetings today would prove a stroke of lucky timing. While meeting with Chris Cerasi on a project we’ll talk about in a day or two, I received a call from DC’s President and Publisher Paul Levitz. He heard I was around and could I stop […]

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The Last Report

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This morning, we concluded our visit to Atlanta by having breakfast with David Klarman, our old college pal, and got a chance to meet his wife Wendy.  It was nice to catch up plus get to know his mate. From there, we traveled to the airport, got through security and had a relaxed trip home.Our […]

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Continuing at Dragon*Con

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Saturday was an interesting day at the convention as Deb and I largely followed different paths. I tried to attend one panel, only to discover it had been moved to Monday so we wound up checking out the dealer’s rooms together for a bit.I managed to meet up with Brandie Tarvin, one of my fellow […]

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A Dragon*Con Report

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Welcome from Atlanta.Amazingly, our trip down from Connecticut was incredibly ordinary. No traffic to the airport, flight on time, MARTA to downtown was smooth, etc.One nice touch, an old college buddy, Dave Klarman, works in the area and met us downtown to escort us to the hotel and to say hi since we couldn’t get […]

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Dragon*Con Schedule

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I’ve always been a little jealous of Kate when she spoke of the glorious times she had at Atlanta’s Dragon*Con. Back when the big show there was the Atlanta Fantasy Fair, I went on DC’s behalf numerous times and had a great experience. But Dragon*Con was something else entirely, a cross between Comic-Con International and […]

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My Aching Back

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Back in February, I dropped the few things I had on my desk and gratefully accepted the assignment to complete The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. That seemed to change numerous work habits and I spent the next four-five months totally committed to the desk.Right around the time the book was done and delivered, and I allowed […]

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Work Update

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The work front has been a little quiet with bits of turbulence here and there.I’ve been working steadily all this past week on the Howard Chaykin project and reached a  point where I am just about done with a first draft but also recognize I have to go back and re-grill Howard on many things […]

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Archie Panics, Proposes to Veronica

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I don’t often review comic books here. But, after reading the much heralded Archie #600, I wanted to give it a look.When word first leaked that Archie Andrews was getting married to Veronica Lodge, my first thought was that the normally conservative company was going to do a cautionary tale about pre-marital sex. Yep, I […]

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The Weekend Wrap-Up

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Our weekend was a very full one, taking full advantage of having Kate home.Friday was a quiet day. Deb and I avoided our computers for the most part and kept one another company. We found ways to stay occupied although we were both handling the somber day pretty well. Kate arrived in the mid-afternoon and […]

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A Year Later

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Robbie left us a year ago tonight and it’s been a year full of memories and memorials and grief.Looking back, the time between receiving word the leukemia recurred and his death was incredibly fast. A dizzying downward spiral marked by the lung surgery but an increasing number of complications. Deb and I look back over […]

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A Farewell Look at the Final Four

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I have to give credit to ABC for giving its small number of fans a chance to see the final episodes of Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies and Dirty, Sexy, Money. Since they were already produced, “burning them off” as it’s called, certainly allowed them to earn some revenue against expenses.Fortunately, in all three cases the […]

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Running for Re-Election

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Now that everything is filed with the Town Clerk, I just want to go on the record and state that I am running for a third term as a member of the Representative Town Meeting.When I first began serving, finishing out someone’s term in the spring and fall of 2005, I wasn’t entirely certain what […]

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This Week’s Work

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Much to my surprise, I managed to whip through the first draft of a project far faster than I expected. I revised the sample chapter on Tuesday, got an enthusiastic thumbs up from my editor and went right to work.Now to be fair, the project is a mere 8000 words long and when I finished […]

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A Busy Week for Everything but Work

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What a week this has been. Adjusting back to East Coast time wasn’t too bad, but things were disjointed so the work got done in fits and starts.Tuesday, I managed a full day at the desk and made some serious headway on the latest project and should actually have something done and ready to present […]

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Con Wrap Up

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I flew out to San Diego to show my face, meet with my current publishers and hopefully return with one more assignment than when I arrived. Now that I am home, it looks like two potential projects cropped up so that’s not too bad.The convention was huge so of course I could not possibly spend […]

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Final Day at the Con

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Saturday was of course the most crowded day of the con. The place was packed and getting around was harder and slower which meant I or my meeting partner wound up late for appointments throughout the day. I also found myself moving slower as the marathon was catching up to me. My feet ache and […]

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A Really Cool Birthday Present

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At the convention, I was involved a mere one panel, which happened to occur on my birthday and brought me the coolest present ever.Straight from ComicMix, here are the details:The third annual presentation of the International Association of Media-Tie-in Writers (IAMTW) “Scribe” awards just went down at San Diego Comic-Con, honoring the best and the […]

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SDCC: Day One

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The last time I was at the San Diego Comic-Con was in 2001 when I was working at Marvel and was responsible for the company’s presence at the con. This was my first visit since and my first strictly as a civilian since 1978.People warned me that the show had grown exponentially in the last […]

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Report from the Road

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The benefit of wrapping the most immediate work on Monday allowed me a relatively stress-free Tuesday to prep for the con.  As a result, the day passed in a nice way. It was rainy and cool for July, perfect for taking Starbucks up on their offer of a free pastrie. Deb and I met our […]

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About ‘Public Enemies’

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It’s been some time since the early gangland days was captured on film and when I heard Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, and director Michael Mann were teaming up to tackle the John Dillinger story, I was excited. The trailers made it look like they captured the look and feel of the Depression and I was […]

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A Lot of Work Accomplished

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27, 761 lines.  That’s the number of Excel lines once everything was converted from MS Word and poured into the spreadsheet.It’s taken me about six weeks to get this point but I am not at all done. Now I have to go through this line by line and clean it up, deleting duplicates, making sure […]

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Wrapping the Con and Moving Ahead

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I meant to post yesterday, but for whatever reason, I seemingly got slammed with extra, unexpected stuff all requiring immediate attention.OK, to wrap up the con, we closed the show with Mystery Trekkie Theater. Our opening skit has been getting longer and more elaborate at the request of the committee. This year, we opened with […]

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Notes from the Convention

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Shore Leave is like visiting old friends and family. This is the 31st con and I’ve been to all but four of them. The show remains a writer friendly haven and the authors adore getting together and trading stories, shots, and friendly banter. As a result of being around so long, the show has also […]

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A More Than Productive Day

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The rule of thumb is that you spend 80% of your time chasing freelance work while the other 20% is actually doing the work. Sometimes that seems to be the case and then you have entire weeks where all you do is the work.Today, though. Proved a very interesting and productive day.I set out to […]

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My Shore Leave Schedule

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I’ve been going to Shore Leave since the early 1980s and it’s become a fixture on the summer calendar. And here it is, after many months of anticipation and planning. The preliminary schedule just went live and here’s what I know I will be doing:Friday7-8:30 p.m.Keith DeCandido Roast: As roastmaster, I get first crack at […]

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Governor Rell Never Fails to Disappoint

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Yesterday, Connecticut governor Jodi M. Rell vetoed seven bills including an omnibus health care bill that included the bone marrow testing item I had testified in favor for.The state has been without a budget since the fiscal year began on Wednesday since the detached Governor and the state legislature are seemingly miles apart on how […]

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A Very Busy July

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So, what have been doing since we last chatted?A great deal of data manipulation as I do the extensive research required for my long-term assignment for DC Comics. I’m basically taking word files, stripping out data and altering the formatting, saving the file as a text file and then importing it into Excel and then […]

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The Remaking of ‘Pelham 1-2-3’

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Thanks to the miracle of something called HBO, I got to watch a lot of movies I never saw in the theater. Back in the 1970s I thought this was absolutely revolutionary since I got to see older films as well as stuff I couldn’t afford or missed. Among them, I adored The Taking of […]

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A New Project Announced

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Yesterday at WizardWorld Philadelphia, Nick Barrucci announced The Art of Howard Chaykin, a hardcover book that will examine the creator’s work and career. Yours truly will be writing the project, which is due for Christmas.Nick and I have known and liked one another since I met him during my tumultuous year at Marvel. He’s been […]

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Farewell to ‘The Unusuals’

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Last night ABC aired the final episode of The Unusuals, a midseason replacement they had high hopes for but the ratings weren’t there and the series became a One Season Wonder.Deb and I came late the series, along with the other new cop show Southland, thanks to the miracle of the DVR. As a result, […]

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I’m Still Here

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It’s really weird. I blog, I tweet, I update regularly at Facebook and thought I was doing a fairly good job at getting the word out that I remain regularly employed with a variety of freelance projects  coming out.And yet…and yet, the following item ran last night at Rich Johnston’s far better read Bleeding Cool:”Bob […]

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My Week

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Well, this first week on the new project hasn’t got worked according to plan.Monday, I took care of lots of little things and really tried to clear the decks so I could begin in earnest on Wednesday. So far so good.Tuesday was the much anticipated day off. Instead of doing nothing whatsoever related to work, […]

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Rallying Support in Connecticut

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The bill, HB5021, featuring the bone marrow legislation is now on Governor Jodi Rell’s Desk for her signature.It got lumped in a with a few other bills but we are told if she gets enough emails and calls she will sign it into law. I’m told by Danny Lemos, who has been championing this for […]

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Done and Moving Ahead

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On Saturday, I received notes back from John Wells on the Superman entry, made the changes and closed the file. I have now effectively completed my work on the Essential Superman Encyclopedia. Of course, there are still graphics to pick, changes to make once the line edits and copy edits are done, plus proofreading the […]

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Remembering Relay

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Yesterday was a bittersweet day as I awoke thinking about Robbie and his final weeks. Given the distance of time, his diagnosis of new leukemia in July and passing in August now seems incredibly swift.Fortunately, having our nephew Tim and his pals come to install a new roof provided a wonderful distraction from 6 a.m. […]

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For Your Consideration

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Once upon a time, I used to receive comps of everything DC, Marvel, Dark Horse and assorted other publishers used to put out. It was one of the all-time perks you could expect from a company.But, there still titles I wanted to read and had to buy so I began subscribing to Westfield Comics and […]

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The Best Day of my Life?

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Christine Lavin is singing a song about a 3 year old named Katie who says today is the best day of her life.I paused in my proofreading to wonder what was the best day of my life?I’ve had many great days, some ideal, but the single best day of my life? That’s a tough one. […]

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Score One for State Government

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As regulars here know, I visited Hartford earlier this year to speak on behalf of a bill that would have helped people help Robbie last year. Yesterday, one of Fairfield’s state reps, Kim Fawcett, posted frequent updates to her Facebook page, as various bills got passed. At one point, she wrote:“Today the House passed legislation […]

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Off Balance

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One of the things I have prided myself on is my professional work ethic. While I may not be an award-winning writer, I can be counted on for a clean, professional copy that meets the editor’s expectations and deadline. If the deadline cannot be met, it means there’s a true reason for the delay and […]

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Week in Review

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So, what sort of a week has it been?Productive, to sum it up in a word.The Essential Superman Encyclopedia has been the predominant thing that has filled my waking hours. Today, I have submitted S (except Superman, being saved for last) and will begin researching T this afternoon. So, we’re closing in on finishing this […]

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Reviewing the Finales

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This is the much-anticipated week when the five networks announce their fall schedules and we lament the cancelled (Sarah Connor) and mourn the lack of clever, fresh, and original ideas. After the quirky and original Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies and Kings all crashed and burned this season, the networks seem poised to retrench.But, several returning […]

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Honoring the Past

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Yesterday, I was visiting with art dealer and pal Spencer Beck. As it happened, he had just gotten several boxes of materials from Marie Severin to catalogue and prepare to sell. Marie, for those not in the know, is a terrific artist and colorist, whose career dates back to the days of EC Comics and […]

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Book Release Updates

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Someone asked me on Facebook how the Iron Man book was coming. Since I had reviewed the copy edited manuscript in April, I expected to see the galleys by now. I did a quick check at the DelRey website and saw it listed as a September release.Well, that was a surprise. Last I was told, […]

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My Thoughts on Star Trek

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A few years back I sat on a panel and we were asked to discuss what we’d do if we could revitalize Star Trek. My answer was to do what Gene Roddenberry did. Go to the leading futurists and figure out where we were headed technologically and then extrapolate from there and build a new […]

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A Weary Week

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It’s been a long, wearying but full week.On Monday, the RTM had its annual budget meeting. The betting was on a 2-3 hour meeting, which certainly would have been welcome after the previous week’s nearly 6 hour marathon. We wrapped in just under 2 hours and passed a budget. There was lots of talk about […]

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Thoughts on X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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Since his introduction in 1974 through 2000, people were fascinated by Wolverine. He was a feral, edgy character at a time few other costumed crime fighters were. There was a tragic element to him since he could not recall his past. Through the years, writers teased us with bits and pieces about him, letting us […]

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On Deadlines and Royalties

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I didn’t make it. When I accepted the Essential Superman Encyclopedia project, it came with an April 30 deadline. However, today is May 1 and I am working on R.It became apparent last week that there was no way I could finish J-Z in a mere nine weeks. My editor, Chris, agreed and has given […]

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Watching Bruce Through Kate’s Eyes

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I’ve been seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform since December 1975 and each time I go, I am utterly amazed. First of all, it’s pure rock and roll with plenty of showmanship. But you get your money’s worth. The shows last between two and three hours without an intermission. The band rocks […]

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It Shouldn’t be This Difficult

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When you’re a company as big as Verizon Wireless, there are inevitably gaps in knowledge and training. I understand that but the last week has been an exercise in frustration.On April 14, I earned my $100 credit for an upgrade and I decided I really wanted something a little thinner and lighter, maybe with a […]

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Work Update

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It’s been about two months since I did any sort of proper update so let me bring you the latest about my professional career.As you know, I have been writing book jacket copy for Marvel, and was just asked to do my fourth in addition to contributing to their facsimile of the 1939 Daily Bugle […]

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Checking out Citi Field

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We’ve been looking forward to Citi Field, henceforth still called by me as Shea Stadium since construction began.  Driving over the Whitestone Bridge Sunday morning, we looked for a new silhouette to replace the familiar one but couldn’t quite spot it.  When we did see it coming over a rise on the Whitestone Expressway, it […]

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Rebuilding a Lost Collection

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As so many of you know, Len Wein’s house burned down recently and he’s starting to put the pieces of his professional life back together. His pal, and mine, Mark Evanier has begun organizing a drive to collect copies of Len’s written work to replace the ones lost.He writes:Hey, let’s rebuild Len Wein’s comic book […]

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Help Bob (and Peter David) get their pages back on Google

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Due to unknown wackiness, the websites for Bob Greenberger and Peter David seem to have been delisted from Google. We’re working on resolving it, and one of the best things we can do is to ask people to provide links to their sites so that Google knows they exist. So we’re asking for your help.If […]

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Coming to Shore Leave This July

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I’ve been waiting to talk about this one for a while now and suddenly, it’s gone public.Back in August, David Mack sent out an e-mail called “A Diabolical Plan” and invited a group of selected co-conspirators to make an event out of what we normally do for sport. That is, pick on Keith R.A. DeCandido. […]

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Siblings

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We’re slowly catching up on our television watching now that our evening schedules are easing just a wee bit.  We’ve decided that Castle is entertaining, thanks to winning performances by the leads. While we know Kings is doomed, we watched the pilot last night and were intrigued enough to stick with it until NBC decides […]

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Starlog Shifts to the Web

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In the spring of 1980, I was facing graduation and needed a job. I researched 35-40 publishers of books, newspapers and magazines, all in the New York area and all I wouldn’t mind working for. Clearly, some were more desirable than others but I couldn’t be picky. I added to the list, Starlog, since I […]

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Happy Birthday, Robbie

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When I turned 21, my dad wrote me a letter, a serious missive discussing the changes this meant, both legal and in terms of how the world will deal with me.  It was encouraging and the pride was clear with every word.When Kate turned 21, I wrote something similar to her.Today, Robbie’s 21st birthday, I […]

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The I-Con Experience

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I-Con 28 was certainly unlike any of the previous 27 cons.  Normally held at SUNY-Stony Brook, this year, it was moved given the renovations being done to the sports complex, the hub of the con.  As a result, the con found itself split into three – dealer’s room and media guests at Suffolk Community College, […]

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Tuesday in Cheshire

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For those in Connecticut, a reminder that I will be speaking Tuesday night at the Cheshire Public Library.  This is the second place where I will be presenting my Picturesque History of the Graphic Novel.  The visual presentation should take about 45 minutes followed by questions and answers until everyone is bored.A big thanks to […]

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A Salute to ‘ER’

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Deb and I rarely get to watch television live. Partly that has to do with our schedules and party it has to do with our desire to watch everything on DVR and avoid as many commercials as possible, fitting in more programming in less time.However, we sort of made an exception last night for the […]

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My I-Con Schedule

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I’ve been coming to I-Con since the very first one and here we go again…The con will be away from Stony Brook this year and I’ve been assured that all my programming will be in one hotel, allowing me to run away now and then to keep working on Superman entries.My schedule is below for […]

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Loving the Federal League

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I’ve been a baseball fan all my life. I can recall watching games with my dad, and being taken to Shea Stadium for my birthday for several years in a row. While I can’t throw worth a damn, I love the game.Soon after joining DC Comics, I learned that Mike Flynn and Bob Rozakis belonged […]

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I am a Scribe Nominee

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Over on the right side of this page is a link to the IAMTW, an organization that is barely three years old but its ranks have been swelling for some time. We’re a friendly bunch and have been very supportive to one another. The nominations for the annual Scribe Awards were just announced and I […]

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Balance

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Some times I really believe there is a balance in life.Monday night’s RTM meeting was about as brutal as I expected. The coverage in the papers will show those who missed it what got covered but no doubt it’ll look even more contentious whenever the public access video is broadcast.I left the meeting feeling like […]

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At Lunacon

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Lunacon kicked off last night and I will be there all day.Here are my panels:Saturday 11:00 – 12:00:00 PM    Grand CenterDeep Space 9 Retrospective: The Thinking Person’s Star Trek SeriesFarthest from Roddenberry’s original vision, Deep Space 9 was relatively fixed in place and as much concerned with emotional, moral, and spiritual journeys as with adventure […]

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S is for Superman

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I have not been a faithful correspondent because I’ve been devoting every waking hour; it feels, to two projects.  As I mentioned recently, they arrived within 15 minutes of each other and they vie for my time and attention although clearly the short-term gig has to be getting the lion’s share of me for now.Since […]

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This Week

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Sorry for another protracted delay in writing.As I feared, I’ve allowed the two new gigs to consume my daylight hours. On the one hand, I like what I’m doing and that I’m finally earning some cash; on the other, this will be all-consuming until the short-term assignment is complete.Each day starts with some of the […]

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Fifteen Minutes that Changed my World

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Life is suddenly getting busier.This past week, I was working through the little bits and pieces I had to do and was about to turn my attentions to spec projects when there was a flurry of activity at week’s end that will now keep me insanely busy through the end of April.On Thursday, Kate and […]

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Lunacon Schedule

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Lunacon is coming up in just two weeks and I received my schedule. The con for me tends to be more social than useful for self-promotion or business but one never knows.  I do know that not seeing my NYC-based pals weekly as I used to, I find myself looking forward to the weekend.Here are […]

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Quirky, Interesting Series Vanish from the Big 4

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I haven’t chatted about television in a while but trust me, we’re still watching an awful lot of it.We’ve seen the first two episodes of Dollhouse and I see it struggling to find its voice.  Missing to date is the snappy Joss Whedon dialogue and memorable characters that populated his other productions.  So far, the […]

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Tonight in Fairfield

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Just a quick reminder to those in the vicinity that I will be giving a talk entitled A Picturesque History of the Graphic Novel at the Fairfield Public Library.  There will be a PowerPoint presentation so it’ll be visually interesting and then hopefully the question and answer portion will be engaging.As of last week there […]

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A Green Hornet Anthology

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When Moonstone announced their acquisition of the Green Hornet license at the NY Comic-Con, I had a chance to personally congratulate publisher Joe Gentile on the smart move.  And of course, I knew what was coming next. There’d be a comic, of course, but also a prose anthology and he invited me to contribute a […]

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Work Update

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For whatever reason, researching and writing these World War II-related essays has proven tougher than I imagined.  However, on Friday, I completed the first draft of the final essay and can now let them marinate for a little bit before polishing and delivering.So, what’s next for a paying gig? Some book jacket copy for Marvel. […]

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Suicide Squad – A New Chapter

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Today’s Hollywood trades carry the news that Warner Bros. has named a producer and writer for a movie based on the Suicide Squad.The version being adapted is the one I helped create with writer John Ostrander back in 1986 and endures to this day. Before there was Marvel’s Thunderbolts, there was the Suicide Squad, a […]

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How the Geeks Won, Part 1

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Over dinner with friends not too long ago, we got onto the topic of exactly how the geeks won.  What were the events and who were the key players to get us to the point where being a geek had more street cred than a hip-hop star.I’ve been toying with figuring out this very issue […]

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Welcome to the Brand New Site

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Webmaster and long time pal, Glenn Hauman, has been working on migrating this page to WordPress for some time now and finally, overnight, we moved.Welcome to the newly refurbished website.  Look above and you will see new permanent pages that provide one and all with information about me, a complete bibliography and an appearances list. […]

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Projects Done, Time for a Cold

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From all the comments received on Facebook, it appears that a cold was an unexpected door prize for attending Farpoint this past weekend. It began its descent on Wednesday and by yesterday afternoon even the simplest tasks were requiring total focus.Fortunately, I completed some projects this week before the fog arrived, and have time before […]

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Another Farpoint is Done

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The hotel’s internet connection was down all Sunday so I’ve been playing catch up in a rush and wanted to post this before hitting the road for home.We got through Saturday fairly well but of course, Sunday had people continue to walk up and hugs us, offering additional comments.The con itself adapted wonderfully to its […]

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Six Months

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Farpoint is a smaller version of Shore Leave and through the years, as Robbie grew, he seemed to loom large over the con. He was the teen ringleader in the corridors, a constant presence during the masquerade, and a lively spirit.His absence looms large this year, especially, today, as we mark the sixth month anniversary […]

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Pitchers and Catchers

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Today is the kick off for Farpoint, which I am very much looking forward to.But, more significantly, today marks a true sign that winter is not for long.Pitchers and catchers report today.Down at Port St. Lucie, my beloved New York Mets already have several hurlers tossing off the mound. With GM Omar Minaya remaking the […]

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Work this Week

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So, what’s been happening in the world of work? Yes, I’ve been chasing the next big project but I have plenty of little things to fill out the month as I wait and see if my con efforts bear fruit.First, just out is the current issue of Star Trek Magazine which contains an article by […]

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The Con Report

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Sorry I haven’t been better at posting but the last week has been a whirlwind of con prep, work, the con, con aftermath and more work.The convention was a huge success for Reed Exhibitions, but even better, for me. I had eight meetings plus four panels to manage and everything went off just fine. It […]

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Mr. Greenberger goes to Hartford

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While I have served as an elected official in Fairfield, I’ve never had cause to go to the state capitol in Hartford for business.Until today.On Saturday, my State Rep, the honorable Tom Drew, called and said that a bill requiring insurance companies to pay for bone marrow testing was being heard in committee and Tuesday. […]

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Thinking About the Boss

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I’ve been a Bruce Springsteen fan dating back to 1975, just prior to the release of Born to Run. The live broadcast of his concert from The Bottom Line probably sealed the deal for me, but when I saw him at C.W. Post, I was hooked. Rarely have I seen rock and roll played with […]

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My Lunch with Jim Warren

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I’ve been in this racket since 1980 and even dating back to junior high school, I’ve been exposed to celebrities, politicians, actors, directors, producers, etc. My first interview was with Harry Chapin when he played a benefit at the high school and since then, there have been some really cool moments and opportunities. Getting to […]

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Catching Up

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So, what’s been going on with work and home?The work remains exceedingly slow. January is coming to a close and the proposals that sat on editors’ desks in December remain firmly in place.Of the work I do have, the second Batman book for Stone Arch has been first drafted and will be polished and delivered […]

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Batman Vault

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I’ve been hinting around that I had worked on two projects over the last year but haven’t announced them, at the request of the license holder. The other day, I finally talked about the Stone Arch Batman book I wrote in August. Now, I can talk about the one I wrote before that…Running Press will […]

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Enter: Ginger

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Last Monday, I attended a press conference conducted by our First Selectman. While there, our assistant town attorney turned up cuddling a ginger-colored, 20 pound dog named, appropriately enough, Ginger. Apparently, she had been abandoned three months ago and had been residing at Animal Control but needed socialization to ready her for adoption. Eileen took […]

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One Year Ago Today

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It was a year ago today that Deb and I woke up to find Robbie writhing in pain.That night he entered the hospital and our odyssey began. Along the way, we met some wonderful people, benefitted from the kindness and generosity of our neighbors, and learned how incredibly strong our son was.While never far from […]

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632 Friends!

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These days, I regularly check my social network at Facebook and suddenly realize I have 632 friends. Some around town mock me for the large number and I have to pause and figure out how it grew so large.For the most part, they fall into clusters so there are the friends/neighbors and political colleagues in […]

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Getting Back to Work

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Back in the summer, I mentioned I had written several projects I could not speak about at the publishers’ request.This week, word on one of them went out so it’s finally safe to talk about. Minnesota’s Stone Arch Books has licensed DC’s heroes for a series of chapter books for younger readers with the first […]

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Report from the Road #1

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The following is a detailed report from the road. In short, I’m traveling north with my friend Matthew as we bring his mother’s things home. I’m riding shotgun, a fellow companion and occasional driver. This is his trip so for members of the family or friends who wish I had time to stop and visit […]

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Taking Stock

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The end of the year is always a good time to take stock, look at what has happened and what you want to happen. This usually results in resolutions and promises to one’s self and with luck this year I will return to the gym, lose some weight, read more books, continue to get things […]

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The 2008 Reading List

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For obvious reasons, I did not manage the same volume of reading this year as last, but 36 books is still respectable, especially compared with the average American.Of course, that’s all atop the thousand-plus comic books, daily newspapers and magazines which include Time, The Week, Entertainment Weekly, Smithsonian, Geek, Alter Ego, Back Issue, Starlog, and […]

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Holiday Thoughts

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Christmas Eve and Christmas Day proved tougher than I imagined. Robbie so delighted in Christmas that his absence was very keenly felt. I was invited to sit in the choir loft with Deb and Kate during the Midnight Mass so I wouldn’t be on my own in the pews. Mike, the hcoir director, had a […]

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Let the Holidays Commence

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Done.I delivered my final outstanding freelance assignment a little while ago, updated ComicMix into Sunday morning and can actually enjoy the holidays.There’s always something more to do, but essentially, I can kick back and be with Deb and Kate and enjoy tonight and tomorrow knowing there’s nothing pressing waiting for me.It’s been a struggle this […]

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Return to 7-West

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It’s said you can judge a person’s life by the quality of their friends. Well, Robbie had a very rich life. His friends all stepped up and did something lovely in his memory.As previously reported, his friend Naomi had no on to give a stuffed animal to, her father suggested she donate the animal to […]

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Wednesday

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Yesterday was largely a day off and it was divine.I hurriedly did my ComicMix work and then left for the train station and a day in the city. No sooner did I reach Manhattan then I ran into Paul Kupperberg, and we meandered over to the our luncheon. A group of us in the publishing […]

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Delivered

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Iron Man is off to my editor. This morning I managed to go in and finish the last 60 pages of manuscript polish, adding in some bits I had forgotten, and cleaning up the action a bit. My editor, my pal Steve Saffel, now has to read it and tell me what needs tightening, rewriting, […]

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Customer Service Revisited

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Now that it has been resolved, let me tell you about my latest skirmish in the world of customer service.On April 25, I booked three tickets via Travelocity to Indianapolis for my nephew’s bar mitzvah.On September 5 I called to notify Travelocity that I needed to cancel Robbie’s ticket. I was informed a copy of […]

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Robbie’s Christmas Stocking

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I’ve spoken often about Robbie and his affect on people. What I haven’t spoken enough about are his amazing friends. They rallied around him in person, through e-mail and through notes and cards for his entire illness.Even after his passing, they continue to rally. One of his closest friends was Naomi Hagel, As she has […]

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Final Arguments for Boston Legal

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I’ve expressed my appreciation for Boston Legal in the past so you know my affection for most things from David E. Kelley. Tonight, the series airs its final two episodes and I couldn’t let the moment go without acknowledging the passing of a trend in television.Two, actually.First, Boston Legal is quirky, idiosyncratic and maddening as […]

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At the Writers’ Confernece

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The Writer’s Conference was a good experience overall.Over 30 authors and agents were in attendance plus 108 paying people, coming to hear us babble about writing. Interestingly, of the people there, I only knew two people attending and only two of the authors by name in advance. Everyone else was a newfound friend.After the registration […]

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First Draft Achieved

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At several minutes before 4 p.m. today, I managed to finish the first draft of Iron Man: Femme Fatales . The book is due to my editor, the esteemed Steve Saffel, on December 15, which gives me plenty of time to let it sit for a day or two and then read with fresh eyes.I […]

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This Saturday

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This one’s for those in the Connecticut area and something I should have flogged earlier than today. I’m very excited to be a part of this after hearing how well last year’s event turned out.2nd Annual Writers’ Conference – ProgramWhen: Saturday, December 6Where: Fairfield Public Library, 1080 Old Post Rd, FairfieldHours: 9:00 a.m. – 5 […]

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Watching Quantum of Solace

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Having grown up on James Bond movies, I have been conditioned to expect certain lines, images and sounds. As a result, I was curious to see what would survive when the franchise was rebooted with Casino Royale. They played with the martini line but maintained the title theme and gave us a fresh start (although […]

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The Season Begins

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Thanksgiving begins the season, a season we always look forward to. We’ve known since August that starting now, this was going to be a rough stretch. We kept up with our traditions because they bring us comfort and on the other hand, Robbie’s absence was also keenly felt as a response.Kate returned home Wednesday night, […]

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It Was Unanimous

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Even though members of the Representative Town Meeting are elected for two year terms, we still have an annual organizational meeting each November. At that time, we elect a new moderator and deputy moderator and the newly elected leader then reads obligatory reminders about ethics and Freedom of Information.Last year, I was elected and pretty […]

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Saturday Night Antics

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The Indianapolis Children’s Museum is amazing. Only the current exhibits on the second level were open to the public Saturday night, but they showed the care and wonder they bring to the facility. The entire main lobby and second level were open for the Forrest’s reception.The second level had two exhibits of note: a Cartoon […]

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Today at the Bar Mitzvah

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The last time I was in Indiana to see my sister, it was September 2001. Now, I’m back for my nephew Forrest’s bar mitzvah. Deb and I haven’t traveled for one of these in ages and we couldn’t miss it. Family was coming from Georgia, Florida, New York and Connecticut which thrilled Judy no end.Our […]

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Work Update

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Haven’t spoke much about work stuff of late, beyond the ComixMix woes so let’s fix that.First of all, Tales of Zorro has been out for a bit but hasn’t garnered much press until Bookgasm fixed that. I appreciate having my story as one of the few singled out and I find it interesting the reviewer […]

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The First Three Months

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Last night marked the thirteenth week and today’s calendar signals that it has been three months since Robbie died. We’ve been conscious of this all week and he has not been far from either of our minds.It’s a good time to take stock and see where we are and honestly, considering it’s only been three […]

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From the Home Office

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I’m sitting here in the basement office and it’s neat. My brother-in-law Jeff effectively built me a desk atop two filing cabinets in addition to lining the side walls with shelving. He took the wall where my desk was and built shelving. He also put in supports for one wall’s worth of shelving that desperately […]

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What a Night!

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This was our first trip down to see where Kate has made her home. She’s renting two rooms from a coworker and is living in Columbia, very well planned out community. The two rooms are connected so she has a place to work and entertain and a place to sleep which works out well. Laurie, […]

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My Election Day

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Interestingly, despite reports from everywhere in America, it seemed, Fairfield did not have lines that stretched on for hours. When Deb went to vote at 8:30 a.m. there was a small line and short wait and when I voted at 2:30 there were a mere two people ahead of me. And yet, close to 90% […]

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So, About ComicMix

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My pal Heidi MacDonald wrote this at The Beat:Looks like ComicMix is downsizing in the widespread economic slowdown. First, all the columns have ended — Michael Davis and Martha Thomases did farewell columns — and one of their programmers Twittered about his comics job being on hiatus. Inquiries to various parties suggested that a bunch […]

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Talking Batman

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The residual publicity surrounding The Essential Batman Encyclopedia chugs along. A few weeks back I was interviewed for The Batman Universe’s podcast, which I’m told has not gone live.If you go to their website, scroll down to episode 20.Meantime, a British grad student named Sukhraj Singh is making a mini-documentary about Gotham City and came […]

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Getting Started

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Some times I overload my day and then stress when it all doesn’t come together.Take Monday. I needed to see Deb off on her business trip and then get started on the painting so I could do my ComicMix work and then, as planned, begin writing the Iron Man novel.As a result, I got up […]

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Cooperstown

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I’ve always talked about going to Cooperstown and for whatever reason, when Deb has agreed to a trip; I’m the one who’s put it off. Until now.This weekend we went to Cooperstown, NY, erroneously believed to be the birthplace of baseball. We were joined by Bob & Laurie Rozakis and this marked our first trip […]

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Construction Update

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The renovation work is proceeding apace and I’m enjoying seeing the results. On Monday, Jeff ripped out the ceiling tiles and dismantled the too-deep shelving then put all the refuse, including my old desk, into the minivan. He then collected all the new materials and was able to measure out the kind of new shelving […]

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A Good Weekend

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The weekend came and went far too quickly.Kate came late Thursday, in time for dinner and then off to Choir practice. On Friday, we did bunches of odds and ends, including a trip to the movies to see The Duchess, something I knew they both wanted to see. Keira Knightley was quite good and the […]

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It was 28 Years Ago Today

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As you know, this hasn’t been a great year for celebrating the good stuff.Today, though, we’ll make an exception. After all, it was 28 years ago, on a (literally) dark and stormy night Deb and I got married.We very wisely built a foundation for our marriage before we added complications like a house or children. […]

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Work Update

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I haven’t done one of these since the spring it seems so it’s time to take stock.The frustrating thing is that several promising projects seem really likely then suddenly something happens and the project vanishes. In several recent cases, it had to do with licensee issues and that’s part of dealing with other people’s creations. […]

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Pleasant Deliveries

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The overnight delivery trucks have been stopping by the house a lot more often these days, largely with stuff aimed for review or consideration at ComicMix but every so often something arrives that is a pleasant surprise.Today’s delivery included a copy of The DC Vault, written by my pal Martin Pasko. The Vault concept is […]

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Talking Television

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Our routine usually involves us sitting down and watching shows on our DVR several nights per week. We record far more shows than a sane person should be watching but we can easily get through four hours of prime time programming in as little as two hours, forty-five minutes once you zap through commercials and […]

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Last Night’s Debate

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I remain the eternal optimist. I really had thought that since the first debate, Obama and McCain would each recognize the media has reality-checked their more outrageous claims about the other and would revise their rhetoric for the second debate.That was not to be the case which was a shame. I had hoped to see […]

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A Good Day in the City

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One of the things I’ve missed about not being in an office environment is seeing people on a drop-in basis. Yesterday, I addressed that for half a day.I had to be in NYC for the Watchmen press event at 4:30 so figured I should pay my respects to DC. Heading into the city was pleasant […]

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Helping a Friend Help Those in Need

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I don’t want to fall into the habit of doing this but will help out someone doing a good deed and needs a little supprt.Laura Linker is a pal of my brother-in-law Jim and she has decided to participate in a marathon in Florida as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In […]

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New York Mets, RIP

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The Mets sucked this season. No news there.It was exceptionally disconcerting watching them self-destruct in almost the same fashion as they did last season, with less margin to spare.While the Wilpons keep saying GM Omar Minaya did a good job, one has to question that considering he did nothing to upgrade an already shaky bullpen […]

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Family Day

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We’ve been very vocal about our support of The Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer. After all, we benefited from the Fund during the entire seven month stay at Yale-New Haven and its mission is a terrific one. Among their activities are funding for direct and indirect financial assistance to families dealing with childhood cancer, funding […]

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A Boogie Knights Charity Event

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The Boogie Knights, in conjunction with the Musical Artists Theatre, will be giving a rare charity concert, proceeds of which will go, in memory of our squire Robbie Greenberger, to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Tommy Fund for Childhood CancerHere are the details:WHEN: 8PM Saturday 8 November, 2008WHERE:Riverside Stage – located in the […]

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Paying it Forward

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I believe in giving back or paying it forward, call it what you will.So infrequently do I get a chance to do this in my field, I wanted to make everyone aware of something that just kicked off today.As part of the fund raising for Jerry Siegel’s boyhood home, I have offered up a part […]

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There and Back Again

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Deb and I were offered a chance to get away from it all and wisely we took it.From Thursday through Sunday we were away from home, resting, relaxing, shopping, sightseeing, hiking, eating, napping and so on. It was very nice to not fuss over work or household chores. We weren’t expected to put everything behind […]

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Customer Service Revisited

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Every now and then I rail about the service economy or lack thereof. I’ve had some mixed experiences of late and it has me uncertain if things are getting better or worse.It took a few phone calls to cancel Robbie’s credit card and take him off the insurance. The bank explained the required paperwork then […]

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Where Have I Been?

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Sorry I haven’t posted in a week. Getting adjusted to the new routine at home and with ComicMix has been preoccupying.When I took on the News Editor role, I thought I was inheriting a team of writers and would be able to add to the roster and go forth and assign and edit stories, sort […]

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How We’re Doing

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We’ve been receiving a lot of calls and e-mails asking how we’re holding up.The answer is: as well as one can expect.Deb and I both aren’t feeling 100% as yet and we seem to be taking turns going through rough patches. Fortunately, for the most part we ‘re able to sleep, something we couldn’t say […]

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Looking Back at Hellboy II

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With the situation at home and the surprisingly large amount of publicity surrounding The Essential Batman Encyclopedia, my work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army sometimes feels ignored. Or just overlooked since most movie novelizations these days merit little attention.There were certainly no calls for press interviews or similar efforts to promote the novel. Still, […]

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The Work Week

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Back to work.Nice being distracted with something new and shiny. Have you been looking at ComicMix this week? As we transition editors, the writing staff is in flux so I find myself doing a lot of the coverage at the moment. Fortunately, after all the practice with Famous Monsters, it’s been fairly painless.I enjoy tooling […]

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A New Chapter Begins

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Monday, Deb and I return to work.For me, it’ll be a largely transitional day as I add something new to my plate. As of that day, I will be assuming the role of News Editor at ComicMix. The online managing editor, Rick Marshall, has left the company and they have reconfigured their needs and made […]

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Aftermath

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The ritual portions of grieving ended yesterday and we’re all worn out. It still doesn’t feel real; we all keep expecting to wake up from an elaborate nightmare but then it sinks in that it’s real. Robbie’s gone and the pain remains as strong as it was on Thursday.Our family provided us tremendous support. Jim […]

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Eulogies

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The support demonstrated by friends, neighbors, co-workers, friends and family has been overwhelming. I don’t want to give it short shrift and will talk about it when we’re really done with the ceremonial aspects of our grief. But today at the funeral, Uncle Jim and Deb both gave stirring eulogies that I wanted to shared […]

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The Final Week

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Robbie fought with every ounce of strength he had left. It proved not to be enough as the lung disease proved stronger and more insidious.Over the last few days, he was having increasing difficulty breathing. The constant dry cough led to more nausea and no amount of antiemetics seemed to make him more comfortable. As […]

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Bone Marrow Drive in Fairfield

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So, let me tell you about the Community Theatre. It used to be a single screen theater servicing Fairfield since the early 20th century. Sometime in the past it was twinned and became part of the Sony chain. Eventually, it was shuttered and lay dormant.Leo Redgate formed the Community Theatre Foundation and resurrected the place […]

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Week Thirty

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Two words can sum up the week: visitors and nausea.The visitors came almost daily which helped since Robbie remains in the stasis between surgery and resumption of full chemo. The week kicked off with Kate still here and was joined by Uncle Jim and Aunt Jen. As usual, Father Sam made a Monday appearance and […]

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Iron Update

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Editing is like bartending, the finished result tends to be satisfying but getting there always takes different paths.Many of my prose editors have been idea guys, helping me hammer out the initial concepts and then leave me on my own for the final outline and writing. In some cases, they course correct the outline but […]

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One Year Later

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It was a year ago this weekend that I suddenly found myself out of work. We had barely two week’s notice that AMI was foolishly shutting down Weekly World News. Since then the company has continued to flounder so in the long run, getting out of there was probably a good thing. The newspaper was […]

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Week Twenty-nine

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Waiting is hard. This was a week for waiting on tests to happen then waiting some more for the results. The week is over and we’re still waiting.In short, nothing bad happened this week; nor did anything exceptional happen. It was a week in stasis more or less.Robbie had a CT scan on Tuesday and […]

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The Scribe Awards 2008

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The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers handed out the second annual Scribe Awards during a Saturday event at Comic-Con International.According to co-founder Max Allan Collins, “The nominee panelists were a varied and interesting lot, with our Faust winner Alan Dean Foster a particular standout. Andy Mangels did his usual smooth emcee job, and it […]

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Week Twenty-eight

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This has been a roller coaster of a week and yet when all is said and done, nothing has really changed.The roller coaster part has to do with doctors from varying specialties treating a CT scan as a Rorschach test. Everyone has seen something different and depending upon who saw what and when, they came […]

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Bob the Artifact

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To me, age has always been a number. People used to freak about turning 30 and to me the ones who bellyached about it usually had nothing show for that first decade of adulthood.I said for years that the only number that might give me pause was 50 given its half-century significance. In the last […]

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For my Next Trick…

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Growing up, I came a little late to the Marvel super-heroes. I discovered them via the limited animated cartoons under the umbrella title Marvel Super-Heroes. Soon after, Mom surprised with an issue of Thor (#134 for those keeping score) and shortly, I was collecting Marvels alongside my stack of DCs.While I liked them and was […]

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Bone Marrow Drives

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People always ask how they can help. Locally, we’ve had people cook for us, walk the dog, rake the yard, and send cards. Further away, people have sent cards or stayed in touch to offer support. We tell everyone to give blood (we’ve lost count as to how many units of red blood cells and […]

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Week Twenty-seven

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This has been another week for significant changes and events so settle back and follow along.On Saturday, Robbie had a surgical consult regarding the fungal infection. Deb and Robbie insisted whatever was decided be done by consulting Dr. Beardsley. Well, by dinner time, the surgery was scheduled but no, Dr. Beardsley hadn’t been consulted. When […]

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Chatting about Work

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We haven’t talked about work in a while so I figured it’s time for an update.Each day I continue to write for Famous Monsters of Filmland and do my work for the Heroes Happen Here web comic strip. The latter is winding up its six month run and it’s been quite the experience. The graphic […]

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Ah, Shore Leave

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I love Shore Leave. I’ve loved being here since Shore Leave 3 and here we are celebrating Shore Leave 30. The kids grew up here and Robbie has always considered the Hunt Valley Inn his home away from home.This year it’s different. We missed last year’s show because of my father-in-law’s funeral and this year […]

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Week Twenty-six

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A crummy week only seemed to get worse as the sixth month came to an end.As you know, on Sunday we got hr word the leukemia had returned. As the week progressed, Robbie had a variety of issues with blood pressure and oxygen. It was clear he was going to need plenty of help so […]

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Shore Leave Schedule

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So, my schedule for Shore Leave is now up and honestly, I expected to be a little busier. On the other hand, it leaves me time to socialize and, sadly, work.Friday10-12 p.m. Meet the ProsSaturday10-11 a.m. An hour with me chatting about Robbie, my current projects, and showing movie trailers.1-2 p.m. eBook Post-Mortem — Goodbye […]

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Robbie’s Battle Continues

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Robbie’s leukemia has returned.With those four words our lives were turned upside down all over again. On Saturday, we were all excited that his counts were finally perking up and that he could finally begin to look forward to going home soon.On Sunday, though, once we arrived at the hospital, the on call oncologists came […]

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Milestones

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From birth, parents check off each anticipated milestone. First burp. First smile. First step and so on. There’s a mental checklist we all tick off and keep watch for. Miss a milestone and the worry radar begins. As the children age, the milestones come further and further apart but remain part of the family’s fabric […]

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Week 25

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The most watched number after the Dow Jones Average might well be Robbie’s white cell count. It was .1 then .2 then .3 before slipping back to .2. We were not giving up and Robbie went to sleep each night willing his body to respond.Thursday night, though, his back was hurting worse and worse. Finally, […]

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My Friends

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Over the course of the last six months, we have been utterly amazed at the outpouring of love, support and help we’ve received from one and all. I am continually reminded of this especially after yesterday’s visit from Peter David and Mike Friedman.As many long time readers know, Mike, Peter and I perform Mystery Trekkie […]

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Week 24.5

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Given the changes since Saturday’s report, Deb figured I owed everyone a rare mid-week update.First of all, Sunday involved a visit from Dr. Massaro that more or less started with her asking, “Are you done with this shit?” He nodded. After all, it’s been nearly six months and here he is, done with the chemo […]

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Week 24

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After each round of chemo, Robbie walks out determined not to be back in between. The doctors nod and smile knowing the odds are against him. After all, as he leaves, his immune system is evaporating so any little thing could cause a fever and infection brining him back. That he didn’t return between round […]

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Another Week Slips By

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Tomorrow I’ll detail more about a substantial part of the week but I will apologize for not posting much this week at all.Part of it has been because Robbie is back in the hospital dealing with an expected infection.Part of it has been the crush of work. I’m plowing ahead on one of my unnamed […]

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More on Batman Encyclopedia

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The publicity machine for the Essential Batman Encyclopedia continues and looks to continue for the next month until The Dark Knight opens July 18.Tom Spurgeon at his must-read The Comics Reporter runs a long interview with me that went live today. Tom covers the making of the book and much of the rest of my […]

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Time Flies

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Time sure flies when you’re working hard.This week it’s been writing, editing, planning, meetings, clinic and so much more that by dinner time last night I was exhausted.It’s actually tiring to shift gears from project to project throughout the day let alone actually do the work. Each day starts with e-mail then Famous Monsters (and […]

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On Willie Randolph

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Here’s little to say about the firing of Willie Randolph that will differ from every sports writer and blogger out there.Still, I want to note that the team that has sucked more often than not was the result of GM Omar Minaya’s wheeling and dealing (or lack thereof). Last year’s bullpen was the culprit more […]

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Week Twenty-two

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This week left us all feeling just a little bit…odd. Coming to end of a process always leaves people with mixed emotions and Robbie’s final days of chemo were no different.I’ve already written about how wonderful Relay for Life was on Saturday. We purposely left Sunday free for recovery which worked out. On Tuesday, he […]

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A Good Five-Year Plan

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“I think ambition is good. I think overreaching is good. I think giving people a vision of government that’s more than Social Security checks and debt reduction is good. I think government should be optimistic.”Sam Seaborn, The West Wing, “100,000 Airplanes”That quote kept rattling around in my mind as I spent Friday and Saturday working […]

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On Sale Today

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Today’s the day.In bookstores everywhere, copies of The Essential Batman Encyclopedia will be on sale.I’ve been awaiting this so I can hear some feedback beyond the praise from family who are obligated to say nice things after watching me spend over a year on the project.Yesterday, Jen Contino posted an interview we did over at […]

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Walking the Track

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Two years ago, Robbie said he wanted to spend all night at the high school participating in Relay for life. We agreed and heard what a wonderful, if exhausting time, he had. All I knew was that he walked and raised money for the American Cancer Society, both good things to do.I had no idea […]

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Week Twenty-one

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With Robbie cleared, we began our weekend with a trip north. He was delighted at the chance to join his family at the celebration of his cousin Monique’s wedding party. The actual ceremony was in Aruba back in April but this was a party for those of us who couldn’t attend. Everyone looked fabulous and […]

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Remembering Star Trek’s Architects

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Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek. But he was not the sole individual to give it life. No television program is the product of any one person, but instead the sum total of the efforts of all who appear on camera and work behind the scenes.The quadrant is a little less bright after three of those […]

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Week Twenty

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This was an odd week for Robbie as he spent much of it with his grandmother, who came to help out at the hospital while I attended the Florida wedding.Only, he never was admitted.With great anticipation, Robbie arrived Tuesday morning, packed and ready to begin the fifth and final round. Once his blood was drawn, […]

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Ah, Family

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The three day weekend has seen me in Florida for a family wedding as my cousin Mark married. We thought neither of us would be able to make it but Deb’s mom said I should go and she’d come north and give Deb a hand should it come to that.So, here I am, reunited with […]

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Week Nineteen

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Robbie must like the number nine. When he had an infection between rounds 3 and 4, he was in for nine days. The infection that just ended, was also a nine day stay.He spent the weekend in the hospital while we attended Kate’s graduation. While it appeared we placed him with expensive daycare it proved […]

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Past, Present, Future

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Every time you think you’re getting ahead, something from the past calls attention to itself, demanding notice.This week, as Famous Monsters goes live, I’ve also been trying to get some future work off the ground. However, I finally got my notes back on the Bataan Death March project which meant integrating notes from both the […]

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Famous Monsters of Filmland

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The network is everything. Never forget that.On September 10, out of the clear blue, I got a call from my old friend Connor Cochran. He just finished an all night chat with independent film producer Phillip Kim and decided I was exactly who Phil was looking for.Surprisingly, Phil wound up going to court house for […]

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My Daughter, the Graduate

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Graduating college closes the door on a significant chapter of the student’s life. But it is a milestone for the parents, too. They look at the graduate with fresh eyes. No longer a dependent, the graduate is about to enter the workforce, making all the decisions for their lives with parents now acting merely as […]

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Week Eighteen

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Bumps in the road come without warning and their timing usually leaves something to be desired. On Sunday, shortly after Robbie gave Deb a decorated pot with silk flowers, he began looking unwell. Sure enough, he had a light fever but it was rising quickly.We were hospital-bound by 2:30 and this time the Emergency Department […]

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Now in Print

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The life of a book can happen in a seeming instant or gestate for a really long time. In the end, though, you get the finished product and can’t help but marvel at it.On September 28, 2006 I was formally invited to write The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. 316,000 words and 18 months later, it’s a […]

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In Praise of Gene Colan

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The first time I saw Adam Austin’s artwork, I was floored. It was his second issue of Tales of Suspense and the work was stunning. From Iron Man, I followed him to Daredevil but by then he was using his real name, Gene Colan. Much as I loved his super-heroes, it was his Tomb of […]

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Week Seventeen

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With each passing day this week, the kid has been feeling stronger and looking better, although he’s still really pale. Most of last weekend he spent as a lump on the couch but he finally got up and moved around. He even began thoroughly cleaning his room, a sign of vitality.On Tuesday his counts were […]

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A Fast Week Slips By

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Where did the week go?Well, let’s see. Monday was writing at the desk until the RTM meeting. It was our annual Budget meeting and promised to be long and possibly tense since various folk made noises about attempting to propose deep cuts. In the end, it wasn’t as late as I feared and the cuts […]

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Work Update

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Things seem to be falling into place as my summer dance card fills in. I sent off the Early Peoples book yesterday and will no doubt be told it sucks and needs to be modified but I did all that I could with it at this point. Meantime, two projects previously thought to be in […]

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Week Sixteen

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There are times I think he’s happiest at the hospital. He may grump about me and Deb camping out and keeping him company, but the doctors, nurses and the folk from Child Life give him people to talk to and things to do. He sasses and gets sassed back, everyone wearing big grins.We had one […]

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Iron Man — Cool!

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I’ll admit it right up front; I grew up with Iron Man as my favorite Marvel super-hero. I can’t say why exactly, although I really liked the armor and the gadgets and when Gene Colan began drawing his adventures, I loved the artwork.So, you might imagine, I was predisposed to enjoy the movie which opened […]

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According to Plan

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After plowing ahead this weekend on the Early People book, I’m nearing the end of the first draft, which will leave me plenty of time for polishing and delivery on schedule. It’s been tough, as stated previously given the unique format.Getting the draft done, hopefully later today, means I can also focus on a business […]

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Week Fifteen

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The cumulative effects of chemotherapy are catching up with Robbie. The eyebrows and eyelashes are going and he’s been tired. Even a walk around the block with Dixie can tucker him out. As the doctors keep telling him at clinic, this is all typical. Even the infection two weeks back, serious as it was, was […]

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When the Day Runs Away

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Another pitfall to being a freelance writer is rearranging your time when you day spirals beyond your control.Yesterday, for example, I headed downstairs intent on accomplishing two different projects before lunch so I had all afternoon for my Early Peoples project. I was feeling the pressure of not getting much done all week so needed […]

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Books Move at Different Speeds

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Book publishing remains a mysterious world. As you know, I wrote the novelization to Hellboy II: The Golden Army. I was given about a month to write the manuscript and delivered on schedule at the end of December.Universal Studios took four times as long to approve the project as it took me to write it. […]

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Con Report

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Interestingly, someone actually told me this weekend I need to post more often so I will make an effort.The New York Comic Con was huge and better run than in the past two years which is a sign of growth and maturity. It attracted something close to 65,000 people I hear and that’s pretty amazing […]

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Week Fourteen

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Robbie is home. He remained in the ICU until Tuesday when his body was finally strong enough to get off the dopamine drip which he needed to stabilize his blood pressure. During much of his stay in ICU, he had some terrific nurses working with him and he received visits from some of the 7-West […]

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More Irons for the Fire

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One of the scariest things about being a freelance writer is that you can project only so far into the future. Is there enough work to generate enough income to make this a viable proposition?As a result, a rule of thumb tells you that more of your time should be spent chasing down new work […]

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A Future for Comics?

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World Wrestling Entertainment introduced this month a new magazine for their younger readers, aptly called WWE Kids. My pal Paul Kupperberg was hired as a senior editor largely to help them beef up their comics material and contribute his vast experience in magazines and pop culture.The first issue boasts material from Craig Rousseau, Rick Burchett […]

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Week Thirteen

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Ever since our first discharge, the oncologists always said, “you’re likely going to be back here with a fever before your next round.” Robbie would grin and assure them that was not the case.Well, he got away with it the firs two rounds, but this time it got him.Robbie woke up with a fever Thursday, […]

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Accepting Assignments

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Why do we accept the assignments we do?Sometimes, it’s simple: we love everything about the project and can’t wait to write. Other times, there’s a great opportunity such as writing a character we’ve always wanted, or working with an editor we respect and admire.Then there are the jobs where the money is too good to […]

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I-Con Report

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After spending the weekend at I-Con, yesterday was largely playing catch up and getting back to work and it wasn’t until evening that I realized I never wrote about the weekend. Silly me.The con is huge, spread all over the Stony Brook campus so depending upon which track of programming you want to see, you […]

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Week Twelve

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With I-Con tomorrow, I’ll do the weekly post a day early.Robbie came home Saturday and was fine. He was absolutely delighted to be free from restriction for a few days. Saturday was spent at the Federal League auction and Sunday we did take in 21 (he liked it since he read the book; I thought […]

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I-Con Schedule

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I’ve been going to I-Con since the first one and it’s matured nicely into a huge, 5000+ multimedia party. The guests tend to be very well treated and the variety of programming has something for just about every taste.I saw a draft schedule the other day and punted one major conflict on Sunday but neglected […]

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Opening Day

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Anyone who knows me knows I love baseball. I can’t throw the ball to save my life, was never a little league star, and was only okay as a little league coach, but adore the game. Fortunately, so does Deb and that means the kids grew up to become fans, too.Kate has split her affinity […]

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Week Eleven

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He’s home again. Round three went entirely without incident despite warnings on day one that the intensification was likely to bring about fevers as the week wore on. Instead, he had absolutely no side effects. He was tired more easily and his appetite waned a bit but he was chipper and active all week long.There, […]

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Dakota

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A tough year has gotten tougher. Last night, we had to put our 10 year dog, Dakota, to sleep.We had lost our first family pet, a dog named Spooky, while I was at the Chicago Comicon. He had mysterious internal injuries and he left us way too soon. No sooner did we return from a […]

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This and That

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This went live a few days ago and I forgot to promote it. Rick Marshall over at ComicMix has beefed up the editorial content including lots of interviews. He asked me to participate and my first, with Joe Lansdale, is available for your reading pleasure here.So, I have three projects now delivered – Deserts, Hellboy […]

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