Thursday, December 18, 2008

The End of The Punisher Arc

The final book of my Punisher arc, JIGSAW, came out yesterday. I had more fun writing this story than anything I've yet done in comics. It will be collected in a trade shortly, I'd assume.

Look next for a short comedic Wolverine piece I did in SWITCHBACK, coming out Jan 7.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Holidays, Bub

Ring in the new year with some mutant violence.

Swallowed the Spider (alternate title: Flies to a Web) now available at fine comic book establishments everywhere. Art by Jerome Opena, cover by the infamous Tim Bradstreet.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Shield Finale

Now any of you who know me know that I love this show. The final episode was the best ending to any TV series I've seen, and the party proved pretty jaw-dropping as well, particularly when the head of FX read off the list of accolades that the show gathered over its 88-episode run.

My favorite character was Lem, and when Lem was killed off, I was so angry with Shawn Ryan (the show's creator and a buddy of mine) that I refused to speak to him for days. I mean - how could you kill Lem? Even years later, the injustice still smolders. So I began a running joke with Shawn -- "Hey, I have an idea. You should have an episode where Lem comes back from the dead and solves crime!"

"Ever think about giving Lem his own spin-off?"

"Do you think Lem will go with me to prom?"

Et cetera.

So at the finale, where the last episode was presented on the big screen at the Hollywood Arclight, I took my seat, and then left to grab some more popcorn. When I came back, someone was hiding under my coat. I thought it was someone fooling around, so I gave him a good smack and when the guy lowered the jacket from over his head, it was.....Kenny Johnson, the actor who plays Lem! Despite years of harassment from me, Shawn had brought him over to meet me -- an indication of Shawn's graciousness, and proof that no bad deed (harassment) goes unrewarded.

It was also great to see other cast member buddies - Jay Karnes and David Rees Snell in particular - enjoy this time looking back at what they had created. I met Walton Goggins, who was exceptional throughout the show, and I had a good talk with Michael Chiklis about Shakespeare (or as he likes to think of him, Edward de Vere). Thanks to Jason Ryan for the photo.

All in all, it was a remarkable night capping one of the most remarkable shows in the history of television. Congrats to all the cast and crew for what they accomplished here.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Horton Foote

"I live to write."

I've long maintained that writing—for those of us who really write—isn't a hobby or a love or a job, but a compulsion. I came across Foote's quotation today, and I was trying to think what it would be like to live WITHOUT writing. I'd make it a few weeks, I think, and then my head would explode. I suppose there's a certain illness or instability in someone who requires eight to ten hours a day of sublimation to maintain a sense of purpose, but hell, I guess you dance with the one who brung you.

So much of a writer's life is filtered through a narrative lens. Most every exchange, event, subtlety raises questions: Can I use that? How could I tweak that in a plot to evoke the same sentiment? Can I mirror that language for a character? It's distracting, yes, and sets one at a certain remove from life at times, but it's also a lot of goddamned fun. Sort of like playing a game in your head your whole life.

So Foote's line seems particularly apt, since for some of us, there doesn't seem to be any other way TO live.

Monday, December 01, 2008

This Says It All

I thought this quotation, from the cover of this month's Vanity Fair, appropriate for a writer's blog:

"Amateurs dream. Professionals work."
--Garson Kanin

Or, as I've often remarked about Los Angeles: "I meet a lot of people who want to be writers. I meet very few who actually want to write."