Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Another year and a lot to give thanks for, even as I race to finish another issue of Mirror's Edge. Tomorrow morning, the dog and I will be hopping into the car and heading down to my parents' house where we both plan to gorge ourselves on turkey and mashed potatoes. A plate full of food AND a comic book to draw. It's a good life.

Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving. I suspect I'll be passed out at my art table by the end of the night. A huge helping of turkey and late night drawing marathons usually don't mix well.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Monday, November 10, 2008

On The Nightstand

by F. Paul Wilson

I've long been a fan of F. Paul Wilson, especially the novels that make up his Adversary Cycle, the first of which -- THE KEEP -- I was lucky enough to work on when FPW adapted it into a graphic novel.

In recent years, FPW has been working on a new series of books featuring his hero Repairman Jack, who first appeared in THE TOMB and plays an important part in the Cycle's final novel, NIGHTWORLD.

These new books bridge the gap between THE TOMB and NIGHTWORLD, forming a very long prequel of sorts to the final showdown, both setting up the events in NIGHTWORLD and charting some new territory for Jack, a 'fix-it-man' who finds himself continuously drawn into a battle with the dark forces waiting in the shadows.

To be honest, the Adversary Cycle has had a profound influence on the development of the Fade stories, and my plans for the Fade novel. I studied Paul's intricate plotting closely, trying to understand how he can balance smaller self-contained stories with the larger narrative unfolding in the background. I'd never try to recreate it, but his technique suggested a few possibilities that I hope to include in my own work.

Having said all that, I get a huge kick out of the Repairman Jack books, purely as a reader. They're thrilling, fun, and highly entertaining. My only complaint is that he only does one a year, an unbearably long period of time between books, especially as he brings this part of the Adversary Cycle to a close. There are only a few new RJ novels in the works, all leading to a heavily rewritten version of NIGHTWORLD.

This latest installment -- BY THE SWORD -- brings another one of FPW's novels (BLACK WIND) under the umbrella of the Adversary Cycle. BLACK WIND is a sprawling historical epic set before, during, and after WWII. It's always been connected to the Cycle in subtle ways, but now in BY THE SWORD, those connections become more obvious and important, as Jack has to deal with the long-simmering after-effects of the events featured in BLACK WIND.

BY THE SWORD is thoroughly enjoyable whether you've read BLACK WIND or not (though I would recommend reading all of the Repairman Jack series in order). But for me, the most impressive thing is that it made me want to go read BLACK WIND again. It would at least give me something to do while I hold my breath, biding time until the next Repairman Jack book comes out.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Up and Running

After working out a few bugs, we've finally got the gallery page up and running on my website, We put up some examples of my recent work from SUPERNATURAL:ORIGINS and MIRROR'S EDGE, along with some older pieces from projects like STORMWATCH:PHD. There are also a few pieces from some of my personal projects that haven't been seen until now.

We'll be updating the page from time to time, so keep an eye out for new pieces. And there's a new 'stories' page, where we'll be posting a few of the early FADE stories, just as soon as we format everything so you can actually read it. In the meantime, we set up a 'links page', where you can visit the websites of some of my publishers and friends.

As usual, this flood of content is brought to you by the talented Claire Stancampiano, who has used her considerable skills with the computer to help put all of this together. A big thanks to her, and to everyone who has emailed asking where they could go to see more of my work.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Now Playing

by Big Finish Audio

I'm hard at work on the third issue of MIRROR'S EDGE, and running out of things to keep me entertained. I've already listened to all the audiobooks I've stored in my computer (including delightful recordings of two Christopher Fowler mysteries I discovered on iTunes), so it was time to hunt out something new.

I'd heard that Big Finish Audio was doing new radio shows continuing the long-running (and recently returned) British television show, Doctor Who, but I've never listened to one before.

Anyone who talks to me for more than a few minutes probably knows that I have two great nerdy pleasures -- old radio shows and Doctor Who. The combination of the two was too hard to resist, so I downloaded the first story Big Finish produced, THE SIRENS OF TIME.

I'm about halfway through now and loving every old-fashioned minute of it. I've always enjoyed the rigorous demands of telling a story with only dialogue and sound effects. It's tougher than you would think, but the team behind this production has it well in hand. I suspect I'll be downloading the next story as soon as this one is done. Since Big Finish has produced more than 75 Doctor Who stories, I should be well-entertained long after the six issues of the MIRROR'S EDGE mini-series are completed.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

On The Shelves


The first issue of the Mirror's Edge mini-series hit the shelves this week, with a beautiful computer rendered cover from one of the artists at EA Dice, who produced the game this comic is based on.

The script is by video game writer Rhianna Pratchett, and the colors are by Jim Charalampidis. I just got a sneak peek at Jim's colors for issue #2, and they're looking really sharp.

Much like SUPERNATURAL:ORIGINS, the ME comic is a prequel, setting up the game while telling a stand-alone story at the same time. Rhianna's scripts have been quite good, with more subtext and characterization than a lot of comics out there. I've been pretty lucky with writers throughout my career, but Rhianna is definitely a stand out.

Here's the official blurb from the DC Comics website:

MIRROR'S EDGE #1 (of 6)

Written by Rhianna Pratchett; Art by Matthew Dow Smith

Coinciding with the release of the highly anticipated new Electronic Arts game Mirror's Edge comes an adventure unlike any other! Faith is a Runner in the city – a courier who delivers sensitive cargo by traversing the rooftops of the city's skyscrapers. But how did she come by this unique black market trade...and what secrets from her past may affect her future?

Written by famed game writer Rhianna Pratchett and illustrated by Matthew Dow Smith (SUPERNATURAL: ORIGINS), this new book presents an adventure that'll further flesh out this incredible video game world!

Wildstorm | 32pg. | Color | $3.99 US

On Sale October 29, 2008