Let's Start This New Year with a Bang!

Wow is it really another year already? I apologize again for taking so long to post this but thing have been crazy for the last few months between school family and friends, but on the bright side I have quite a bit of news to report on and another character design to unveil!  
 
To start this thing off there’s been plenty going on with the writing side of things. The month of December in particular was a hot bed of writing activity, in that time span I was able to finish the fourth issue, make two sets of cosmetic tweaks to the first issue and write well over half of issue five. That alone would have made it a great month but fortunately I was able to go even further than that by making one of my future villain characters even more menacing than his original design plus some new design ideas for one of my main characters that would take place in arc 2 or 3. Add onto the fact that I was able to plot out a proper close for the first arc and a good chunk of arc 2 and I think it’s safe to say that this has been an exceptional month for me with writing.  
 
This month has also been an exceptional month for my artist Ayers, in the last two months he has been able to finish the remaining pencils for the preview issue. All I have to say to that is that this is going to be one sick looking comic when he’s through with it and one the first page or two is completed with the inks and colors I’ll be sure to post it up. It’s an indescribable feeling to see my first story come to life on the page and I cannot wait to show this to you guys. On the publisher front I’m not entirely sure if I’ve officially said this before but from what the publisher has told me this preview issue will be posted online to view for free. If anything changes with this I’ll be sure to let you know since I’d hate to false advertise to you guys. Other than that things have been pretty quiet on the publisher front.  
 
So for the next character to be unveiled I would like to introduce you to Hannibal. Unlike everyone else who’s been introduced to you guys so far Hannibal really isn’t that great of a person. Actually that’s putting it lightly, the proper way to describe him is that he’s a bastard that just so happens to be fighting for the good guys for the time being. Some of Hannibal’s basic character traits are that he loves to kill (cause what psycho doesn’t enjoy a good slaughter from time to time?) and will go out of his way to get said kill even if it endangers the lives of his teammates. That aside though when I was writing this character I made sure not to make him the one note psycho villain that sometimes happens with this genre, so with that said I went out of my way to make him a very bright character actually who is capable of messing with people’s heads (which he does verbally quite a bit in this series) it’s just that he adopts that crazy persona so that people will underestimate his mental prowess.   
 
There certainly is more that I could say about him but I think it’s best if you finally saw what I was talking about. Mind you this is Ayers ‘ first design with the character and since then he has had quite a bit of “homemade” additions to his face but regardless of that he does a really great job of condensing the character into one image and I hope you enjoy him as much as I enjoy writing him.  So with that said here is the image and with this character unveiled there is only one more character left to be shown but you’ll see him in the blog. Anyway I hope you guys like the image and I can’t wait to hear what you think of the news. 

Start the Conversation

Are the L.A Lakers the best BB team in the history of the NBA?

Before I start off with this topic, I want to dedicate this to a buddy of mine, who has encouraged me to do this blog. This blog I'm typing is about a team whose actions have never seemed endless. It's a team that has been around since the 1940's and it's still alive today.

That team are the Los Angeles Lakers. They are irrevocably a professional basketball team, one of five teams in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Perhaps considered one of the league's most successful and persistent franchises, the Lakers have won 16 championships since the NBA was founded. The team currently plays at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California after formerly playing for years at The Forum from 1967 to 1999. Originally based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the franchise takes its name from that state's slogan, "Land of 10,000 Lakes." The franchise was firstly formed in 1947, back when the NBA was once named the NBL (National Basketball League) before forming with the BAA in the 1948-1949 season. The team won their first championship in that same year and would eventually win the next 4 in 5 years. However, after when they won those titles, they have been overshadowed by none other than the fierce Boston Celtics. The beloved Laker Famers at the time were Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, & Gail Goodrich just to name a few. From the mid 50's to the late 70's, they've only won one championship alone. No matter how far they've went, the Celtics always had the upper hand. This would keep on until the late 1960's when the Lakers acquired the Future Hall of Fame Centers Wilt Chamberlain & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That marked the Chamberlain-Jabbar era as they won the 1972 championship eventually.

In the year 1979, the Lakers obtained The Utah Jazz's first-round pick in a trade, signaling a possible win for the franchise. All those questions would be answered when the Lakers won the coin flip and was awarded the first overall pick by a very narrow slide from the other franchises (The Chicago Bulls specifically.) On the day the Draft was presented, the Lakers chose 6-foot, 9-inch point guard Magic Johnson from Michigan State with the first overall pick. Johnson had already won titles from his High School and in the NCAA as well. With this pick, the Lakers would then enter in a new era in which it would be called The "Showtime" Era. When the Lakers were playing against the Philadelphia Sixers in Game 6 the 1980 NBA Finals, It was informed that Jabbar was ruled out of the game due to an ankle injury. For that, the Lakers relied heavily on Johnson which he himself stated he would have no problem playing center. Well, not only have he played Center that day, but he also played all 5 positions in that game scoring 42 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals in a 123–107 win which would grant them their 7th NBA title at the time. What was very interesting about this is that Magic won the title, including the Finals MVP Award in his Rookie season. The Lakers would eventually win titles 82, 85, 87, and 88 as they lost 83, 84, and 89. Those who contributed to those championships are Magic Johnson, A.C Green, "Big Game" James Worthy, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who would then retire in 1989, and Head Coach Pat Riley.

During the 1990's, The Lakers didn't get as much success as they did in the 80's. In the 1991 NBA Finals, the Lakers faced Michael Jordan's Bulls in which it was one of the most watched games in NBA Finals history. The Lakers won Game 1 in Chicago, but would then ultimately lose the following 4 in which it would give the Bull's the NBA Championship. This series would mark the end of the Lakers Showtime era and the beginning of the Bulls' dynasty. When Magic Johnson retired from the NBA in that same year due to be tested positive in HIV, The Lakers had dramatically fell from the spotlight on the glimpse of ever winning a championship. When many thought that the Lakers are over, they're wrong. In the years of 1996-99, the Lakers have done 3 bold and amazing moves. The first was when the Lakers signed Superstar Center Shaquille O'Neal. The next was when The Lakers acquired 17-year-old Kobe Bryant, a Shooting Guard from the Charlotte (New Orleans) Hornets for Power Forward Vlade Divac; Bryant was drafted 13th overall out of Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in that years draft, by Charlotte. And then last but not least, the Lakers hired the Bulls' Head Coach Phil Jackson. With these acquisitions, The Lakers have ridiculously transformed from temporarily pretenders to longtime Championship contenders. This would be later called the "O'Neal, Bryant, & Jackson" era.

These Lakers of the early 2000's were absolutely dangerous and hungry for a championship and their goal was accomplished...Thrice! The Lakers had plenty of memorable games. An example would be when the Lakers came back from a 15+ point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the Portland Trailblazers or the time when the Lakers had gone 15-1 in the postseason, only losing to the Sixers in overtime, but I think the most spectacular moment of all was when Robert Horry scored the winning three-pointer from an inbound deflection from O'Neal when the Lakers were trailing 3-2 to the Sacramento Kings as they would eventually beat them in Game 7 and win their 3rd NBA Championship in a row for the second time in franchise history. But after those 3 years of glory, the Lakers would once again fall to the mediocrity level after when the Lakers ultimately fell to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals. Following that surprising defeat, Gary Payton and Karl Malone retired from the NBA, Phil Jackson called it temporary quits, and Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat due to the fact that he and Kobe had a very bitter feud between each other. The Lakers didn't get much out that trade except for future Sixth Man of the year winner Lamar Odom. With all those bums, the Lakers relied greatly on Kobe Bryant, who wouldn't let them down to at least get them to the playoffs. Well, there was one thing that I still can't believe though. On January 22, 2006, Kobe may have perhaps made one of the most incredible performances in NBA History...ever: He scored 81 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. Kobe's 81 points would have been the highest if it weren't for Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point game more than forty years ago. Despite that performance, Kobe and the Lakers fell short to the Phoenix Suns in the playoffs after when the Lakers obtained a 3-1 lead before collapsing in a very horrific fashion. What Lakers fans didn't know was that Kobe was now turning bitter toward the organization.

During the 2007 NBA Free Agency Period, Kobe requested a trade from the Lakers because they aren't "Contender Enough" to compete for Championships. Kobe was about to get his wish when The Lakers nearly traded him to the Chicago Bulls, but shockingly died down in the end. It seems that the Lakers made the right decision when the Lakers acquired Spanish All-Star Power Forward Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies for just "A bag of Potato Chips." With this exciting steal acquisition, The Lakers became contenders once again after defeating the Jazz, Nuggets, and the Spurs to go directly to the NBA Finals and they weren't the only ones to regain Championship form. Unfortunately, the Lakers were hammered by the Boston Celtics, featuring eventual Finals MVP Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen A.K.A "The Big Three." The Lakers however were going to win championships no matter with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol on the roster. In the 2008-09 NBA Season, the Lakers rebounded from the Finals loss as they went 65-17 for the second seed overall and made it the NBA Finals for the second time in a row. This time, they faced against The Orlando Magic and they beat them 4-1 to finally win the NBA Championship as their last one was in 2002. The Lakers would still go through the following year's Finals as they faced the Boston Celtics in an attempt to get revenge from the 2008 Finals. This wasn't easy though as the Lakers narrowly defeated them in a best of 7 games as they won the NBA Championship...in their home arena! In the 2010-11 season, the Lakers attempted to to make their third "Three-Peat" but were swept by eventual and current NBA Champions The Dallas Mavericks. In the 2011-12 Preseason, The Lakers were about to acquire All-Star Point Guard Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets, only to be surprisingly vetoed by NBA Commissioner David Stern and most of the opposing Owners involved in the fiasco. Paul was still going to be traded to Los Angeles...but to the Clippers, not the Lakers. With Paul gone, the Lakers are now going for All-Star Center Dwight Howard, according to several sources. Right now, I think the Lakers should concentrate on the season, but if Howard is their #1 Priority, I'm fine with that. The Lakers are going to face the New York Knicks tonight on 10:30 EST on TNT. So, buckle up for tonight's game Laker Nation.

So far, the Lakers are in their 66th season and they are right now attempting to win their third championship in the last four years. Following the 2011 NBA lockout the Lakers will only play 66 games this season. Well, that's pretty much the history of the Los Angeles Lakers. Wow. Just looking at their successes, their minor droughts, and their players, coaches, and the entire organization contributing to this franchise is just absolutely astonishing in my perspective. Despite being overshadowed by several things in the past, the Lakers have been probably the most consistent team in the NBA. Sure, the current team may be filled with veterans, but sooner or later, the Lakers are going to find someone Superstar-Profiled no matter what. Now If this was ever a question stated the best team in NBA History ever, I'd have to choose this team. It's not because I'm just a Hardcore L.A Lakers fan, but I also acknowledge their accomplishments as well. Do you agree or Disagree?

1 Comments

Professional Basketball Jerseys - Birthday gift for Anybody?

When you are in love, gifts are a grand gesture to convey your feelings to your loved ones. No matter how long you have been in a relationship, your boyfriend definitely deserves a treat on his birthday. You should choose gifts for him based on his interests. If you do not pick a gift based on his preference then your boyfriend will not take any particular interest in your gift. This situation should be avoided at all cost since gifts for him should be those items which can help you to convey your love for him.  
 
When buying gifts for him remember that they do not like cuddly stuffs like teddy bears. So be sure to avoid those items which we girls definitely love to get as birthday gifts. Among the various gifts items which you can give your boyfriend here are some items which will certainly hit the mark. Since men and sports go hand in hand, buying them stuffs related to their favorite sport will be a wonderful birthday gift for him. You can gift him a Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant Home Jersey if he likes basketball. This will definitely bring a smile on your man's face.  

 Other items in the list of gifts for him are gadgets since most men are die hard fans of technology. They all dream to have the latest gadget which has recently been launched. The latest cell phone is a wonderful gift for your boyfriend if you have the budget. If you are a little low in budget, then instead of giving him a brand new cell phone, you can give his latest phone accessories.

There is a saying, 'the way to a man's heart is through his stomach'. So if you really want to make his birthday memorable then cook for him his favorite dish. Even if you do not know how to cook, he will appreciate the effort you have put into it. These mentioned gifts for him will definitely make him feel special. If you are searching for gifts to give to your girlfriend then these above mentioned gift ideas will not work at all. As compared to men, gifts for her for any special occasion should hold a sentimental value. To be on a safer side, it is best to choose gifts based on her preference.

For any occasion, bouquets of flowers are wonderful gifts for her. Women around the world love to get flowers on their birthdays and many other occasions. But, of course, do include a real gift along with these gifts for her if you do want any trouble in your relationship. Many florists around the globe offer deliver services. On her special day, you can surprise her by having a bouquet of her favorite flowers delivered to her door step. This will definitely make her feel more cherished.

Along with these gifts for her, you can also give her cuddly teddy bears. Women of all ages love cuddly items. When selecting these items as gifts, remember to choose the one which is soft to the touch and which has a cute expression. This gift will certainly bring a big smile on her face. Besides this, other gifts for her include jewelries. These are something which every woman loves. Diamond jewelries are the most popular gifts for women. 

Start the Conversation

The Bible Crunch...(†)

Yeah, this is a Bible - related blog, but this is also the internet, and you don't have to read if you don't want to. For those who want to read, I ask that ye are quick to listen, slow to speak, and absolutely slow to anger. If you've any questions, ask, but any smart-ass remarks or discriminatory statements (I doubt any of you are intolerant though, but still I don't want to take any chances) I, well this is MY blog, so I COMMAND that any smart-ass remarks or discriminatory statements are NOT to be made; I will not tolerate them, and I know anyone who has the brains to make any can also change them into reasonable and respectful questions.  
 
Flipping through this cool book my father found (lo and behold he is also in it) got me thinking alot of things over (so really, this is more of a Godly-thought-based thread, and me expressing some ideas and opinions I wanted to vent out; I don't enjoy holding thoughts in)  
 
Okay, enough rambling. I wanted to discuss works and why they don't work. Works, people like to believe, are what saves them from Hell, but in truth, that's a load of malarky;  It doesn't matter how good you think of yourself or how good others think of you, without God backing your works up or being the reason for your works then your committing a sin. Remember, "Pride goeth before the Fall", and since we are all sinners, no man is truly better than the other.  
 
And now going down a different trail: What is Sin? well, my dismay, I found out that sin isn't limited to "Thou shalt not murder" and such, but actually sin is anything that is taking your eyes off of God (it now makes sense as to why we are all sinners, even the really good people). Yes, every little thing we do that isn't God related is sin, and that does suck, because I do enjoy doing things for myself. But let us keep in mind; just because we sin doesn't at all mean God doesn't love us (if he didn't, he never would've sent Jesus to the cross, and we...heck, we wouldn't have even been bothered to have been created!)  
 
Now you may be asking yourself "Well why does God get to say what is right?". To be blunt, He's God; He created everything, and everything is done through His approval, so why in the world should we question his authority? (We question because we are human and do not understand everything). To try and relate this to a more human level; Has anyone here played the game Black & White? well if you haven't, you basically get to be a god (not God mind you, for in this game you don't get to create things out of thin air, although I think you could do that with trees...) and you have a people to look after. Now these people are yours; they are given to you. It is in YOUR say-so what happens to them, so if you wanted to sacrifice someone to your altar, you could go ahead and do so without any human objection.  
 
Now some of you might not be phased because you don't believe in a God, and all of my writings may just sound like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to y'all. To be honest, I cannot convince anyone that God is real, for I am nor more human than you. The only one capable of doing so is the Lord himself. So if you really want understanding, I'd suggest going to him.   Hate me if you want, talk to me if you want, but please do NOT leave without asking questions and, hopefully, get yourselves some answers.  I did not want to offend anyone by doing this, but the Lord convicts me to speak the truth, and the truth will set ye free.

Start the Conversation

Marvel vs. DC (no, it's not what you think... it's a blog)

42 vs 15. Why does this matter? Simple. Many people across the country are losing their jobs, and others are holding onto their money and trying to cut back on the non-necessities. One industry that takes a beating during this recession is the comic book industry. Now, we didn't take as hard of a hit as we thought we would this past year, but we are definitely not doing as good as past years.  
 
People are weary with what they pick up now. I, myself, was reading 30-50 books a month, now I'm down to 15, just so I make sure I have enough to pay off the bills. Many people complained about DC getting rid of many of their ongoing books. These books had a strong fan base, but in my opinion, they didn't have strong enough numbers to ensure that DC made their money back from the printers, in order to pay off all the talent. In my opinion, it was a smart move. Yes, I was really sad to see books like Blue Beetle, Robin, and Nightwing go, I loved all of those books. But, to ensure DC's future as a company they needed to essentially "trim the fat". So, lets go back to the numbers... 42 vs. 15. This is where Marvel proves to the American public, they essentially don't give a sh!t about you or your financial stability. 
 
 They'll toss out any crap book onto the shelves hoping the passer-by Marvel Zombie will pick it up, especially since it has a variant cover of Wolverine. I understand some of these reprints (Wolv:OLM, Dark Avengers, and Deadpool). These are high selling books, and if the demand is still there, why not reprint? But, do we really need 4 variant covers for Rulk? Do we need 6 Wolverine variant covers? Do we need 4 new issues of books with "Wolverine" in the title? No. It is the responsibility of Marvel Comics to assess the financial situation of America, and to decide if putting out 25 new books each week is really worth it? Especially when a handful of those books are just plain bad. And lets not forget the $1 increase they've started on most of their new series. I'm not saying boycott any of these great companies by no means. I'm not saying write angry letters. I'm saying be financially responsible. Don't encourage a company, who obviously isn't paying attention to what is going on in this country, to put out this many books.  
 
Think before you buy. Don't buy four Wolverine books just because you like him. Don't buy all of Battle for the Cowl's tie-ins because you like Batman. Buy what makes sense to you. Look who is writing and drawing the books. Do you like them? 
 
 Do you like the current story? Do you like the character? If you answered yes to all three, go nuts. But lets not throw our hard earned money down on the table just because of some variant covers.... So,   I discussed my disappointment with Marvel in the aspect of financial responsibility and dealing with our economic crisis. If you didn't read it, forget it. Trust me, it's no where near as smart as I just made it seem.   Part 2 is completely about me and my reading habits.   (Close the tab/window now if you don't like reading about how great I am)   When I was a kid, I loved Marvel comics, especially X-Men. Late 80s to Mid 90s Marvel books were where it was at for me, and the trading cards were fun too, until I realized I'd be stuck with them just as long as Marvel would be stuck with the stigma of a failing company in 1998.  However, I digress, I loved seeing good looking people with awesome powers dealing with real life, then fighting the bad guy and saving the day. On the side, the characters would have relationships, and I really cared.... Cut to 11 years later: I'm 27. I have a full-time job, and numerous part-time jobs. 
 
 I have trouble paying the bills. I love my job and hate my job. I do the same tedious routine everyday. My creative outlets (blogging on CV is one!) are one of the few things keeping me afloat. I've been in a relationship with an incredibly wonderful woman for 10 years, the woman I'll eventually marry. So, in a sense, life sucks and rules all at the same time. It's like a daily bi-polar roller coaster (Bi-Poller Coaster).  Wednesdays come around, and I'm now reading mainly DC books (about 15), followed by 6 or 7 indy books and 5 Marvel books. That's it. Why the switch? Well, here's the reason. I live in the real world now. I have to do adult things. I know many of you younger CVers are saying, "I live in the real world too!" We live in different worlds though. Independent vs Dependent, and that is a whole other story.  
 
Why would I personally want to read about the same things I deal with in my daily life? I don't want to pay $3 a pop to deal with Parker trying to make his photo deadline, I have deadlines of my own. I don't want to see people work. I don't want to see people complain they're not with the ones they love. I don't want to see pretty people with cool super powers complain about any aspect of their life, period.   So then, why DC? Simple. I can't relate to the majority of their characters, which is exactly what I want. They don't spend time on the hero's job or love life, just the crime fighting part, and all-in-all I want to have fun when reading, and not worry about a fictional character's love life. I want to see a compelling story, action, and no whining... DC does that for me in most areas.... Marvel just has too much teen angst which I haven't had in my system since 2001. I think that sums it up, I can never tell. I'm at work so I write some of these blogs in incriments of 5 minutes over a 5 hour... So I may lose my point from time to time, forgetting what I wanted to say in the long run... Questions?  
 
Then reply, I'll explain myself more in depth.

Start the Conversation

Why I Hate Star Wars...

June 6th, 2009...9pm. I was almost finished with my Freshman year of high school... I stood in line at the movie theater that I would work at 10 months into the future.... My friend Joe and I are close to the front of the line, a line going around the block to the century old theater... We have lightsabers and annoyingly whip each other across the heads when the other wasn't looking. We weren't dressed up, just in street clothes.... and my blue mohawk. Numerous people are dressed as Jedis, yet no one dressed as troopers, no Darth Vader, just annoying Jedis. We were about 15th in line, and as the doors opened, the son of the mayor pulls up and cuts in line. They proceed to the balcony, and take the front row.... I'm already pissed. We sit down next to some other friends from school and the lights go down... Everyone starts to cheer, we're ALL exicted. Those oh so familiar opening credits roll up the screen.... I'm glued to my seat. The movie plays and as excited as I am, I'm lost by the time we get to pod-racing...

I sit, watch... Gungans... It seems everything I love about the original series has been watered down. The danger and excitement aren't there as much anymore. My childhood has died.... Ok, not really... But the same thing happened with Parts II & III, sure I think the movies are just "ok", but overall, I was incredibly disappointed. I didn't really 100% figure out why until last year.  One Reason I Hate Star Wars:  The screenplays were written by George Lucas. Not all of them, but... well.. bare with me... You may say, "IE, what about A New Hope? He wrote the screenplay for that!" Yes, he certainly did, but that film in itself was a rip off of so many other films. No, I'm not ragging on him for ripping off something. 
 
To quote one of my old band mates, "Good artists borrow, great artists steal." He was refering to music in that instance, but sure, it can apply to movies too. So I have no qualms about A New Hope. When we get to Empire Strikes Back (best out of the series) & Return to the Jedi, no written by Lucas. The story was developed by him, but not the actual screenplay. The prequels were all written by him, and they were awful. The story wasn't god awful, but the dialogue, which leads into character development a lot for his films.... is awful. Point in case: "Hey Anakin, I know you really want to be good, but you have all this angst and I know we've only been friends for like 5 days, but can you.... kill all the younglings?" "um... ok...." Really? That's all it takes for you to not only go against EVERYTHING you've been taught in Jedi Academy, but also to do some dude's bidding you just met? SHENANIGANS! and the dialogue between Portman and Christiansen was sad. Sad in a way where it made me question why I bought a ticket. Was the acting sub-par? At times, overall I say it wasn't... I blame it massivly on Lucas' writing ability. He's amazing with coming up with a story, but falls short when writing it out.

Revelation:  I rented Fanboys with one of my buddies... We turned in on, sat back and watched.  Neither of us are psychotic when it comes to the films (Star Wars), we've seen the originals enough times to be able to recite certain areas of dialogue, but we don't know the name of the character in the far background. But, I digress, we watched Fanboys, and while I understood every joke, I laughed at almost none of them. Some of my more obsessive friends assured me the film was hilarious, but I really didn't laugh. And that's when it hit me, I have a soft spot in my heart for the original trilogy, I still love them. But when it comes to all the rest of the hoopla in the Star Wars Universe... I hate it, I can't stand it.... It's over-rated garbage existing ONLY to make money. 

And let the counterpointing begin....

Start the Conversation

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Movie Preview

Columbia Pictures announced a while ago that the title of the next Spider-Man film will be ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’.  
 
The studio simultaneously released a photo of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, the first shot of Garfield in the famous full mask and suit. Andrew Garfield portrays Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Emma Stone stars as Gwen Stacy and Rhys Ifans stands in the spotlight as the film’s villain, under the direction of Marc Webb. Peter Parker is going back to high school when the next Spider-Man hits theaters nationwide in 3D on July 3, 2012. Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced they are moving forward with a film based on a script by James Vanderbilt that focuses on a teenager dealing with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.

Marc Webb, the director of the Golden Globe nominated Best Picture (500) Days of Summer, will direct the next chapter in the Spider-Man franchise. After a comprehensive worldwide casting search, Andrew Garfield has been chosen to portray Peter Parker and Emma Stone as the female lead Gwen Stacy. At the heart of the story of Peter Parker is not only the amazing Spider-Man, but also an ordinary teenager who is wondering what he has to do to get the girl. The film, which is now in production and is being shot entirely in 3D, will be released on July 3, 2012 A decade ago we set out on this journey with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire and together we made three Spider-Man films that set a new bar for the genre. When we began, no one ever imagined that we would make history at the box-office and now we have a rare opportunity to make history once again with this franchise. 
 
"Sony just announced that they are  rebooting the  Spider-Man franchise from scratch, taking Peter Parker all the way back to high school, in a new movie due out in 2012. It looks like they're finally saying goodbye to Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire and everyone from those past movies! 

Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios will be now working together on a brand new Spider-Man movie that "focuses on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises." The script that they are using is one written by James Vanderbilt that will re-tell the origin story of Spidey. This new chapter in the Spider-Man franchise produced by Columbia, Marvel Studios and Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin, will have an entirely new cast and filmmaking team. Raimi will not be back, Maguire will not be back, Dunst will not be back. I do hope they bring J.K. Simmons back as J. Jonah Jameson, though. I hate to say it, but this is just one gigantic cop out. We knew Sony was having problems with Spider-Man 4 and Sam Raimi and the script and so on. They couldn't see eye-to-eye on villains for the next movie (which is a ridiculous problem to have to being with), but instead of working it out, they decided to throw the entire franchise out the window and start from scratch. Come on? Does anyone really think this is going to fix the problem?   

I don't want to watch a new Peter Parker become Spidey all over again. Sony was already on the edge after Spider-Man 3, but I think now they might lose all of the fans that they had built up over the years.  Here's the thing. I absolutely loved Sam Raimi's version of the Spider-Man world. Sure, Spider-Man 3 was awful, but Spider-Man 1 is a great origin story and Spider-Man 2 is still one of the greatest comic book movies ever made.   

 Rebooting this from scratch means they're going all the way back tot he drawing boards. Who is going to play Peter Parker? Zac Efron? Taylor Lautner? Some young actor you don't like? And what are they going to do to the story and the style to differentiate it from a franchise that ended just barely three years ago? We've got another year on this, but come on.  Is there any hope for Spider-Man now?    

Start the Conversation

What did I do again?

What have gone by since the first part of this blog and things have really kicked up. 
 
A lot has changed since the last time I mentioned anything Bunch of Capes (BOC) related. It has been months since my dealings with Captain Douche of the S.S. Idontknowhowtorunapublishingcompany, and Matt and I thought we should try and sell this book on our own. (This takes place back at Wizard World Chicago 08). We brought the first 5 pages, all of which you've hopefully seen. We get to the hotel room and meet up with some guys. Matt & Eric are coming off of a high from White Picket Fences doing extremely well on the indy circuit and they were both signed up to do some more work for Ape Entertainment. Matt & Eric were going to meet with the guys at Ape and Eric, who was my drinking buddy after high school, decided to bring back the olden days by bringing up a handle of Jack to my room and essentially saying, "We're finishing this BEFORE we go to the bar."  
 
Crap... We pound it down, head back down to the bar,  watch the fanboys harrass Azzerello and Johns who were sitting at the table next to us. Then we headed out to meet with Ape, at another bar. Needless to say, I made an ass out of myself by ripping into their golden boy Matt Anderson with cussing galore. Both the owners of that company who met me that night were ashamed to know me that night. After that, I didn't even try and sell the book, no way. I made casual conversation with the Ape guys the next two nights, trying to retain credibility by talking about a lot of Doctor Who and BSG. I supposedly was going to have a story in one of their anthologies (which as I look back after sending in a really good script, I think they were just trying to be nice) and more work again supposedly coming down the line for me. WWC didn't go to well, obviously. Anderson and I planned on working on a few projects together for a website called "HoodWinc" I had written a few 8 page stories for the site and was going to write an article for them.  
 
(The article ended up being posted here & winning a blog contest, it was the one on Captain America and Death) Matt sent me to their production manager named #$ (I leave this guy's name out). #$ and I do NOT get along, and never have. The first time I met him he told my girlfriend to leave me for him, in which, I threatened him with violence. However, for the sake of the website, I put our B.S. aside and planned on being as professional as possible. #$ knocked me down a notch every chance he got. He was extremely nit-picky on stuff that didn't mattered and took pride in it. I couldn't work in that atmosphere and left the group.

Soon after, Matt Jordan left Bunch of Capes, and left me without an artist for any of my books. Back to square one. I checked a bunch of websites, most artists wanted to be paid upfront and were complete d!cks to me, even after I explained the awards I've won in writting (not just the one from CV) and that I have a BA in Screenwriting from one of the best film schools in the country. I almost stopped right there.....

Start the Conversation

A long sorted tale, now in blog form.

I bet all three of you are wondering, "Why is Bunch of Capes on comicvine" or "Why does this piece of crap exist?" Well, do I have a harrowing tale for you! 

In late 2006, the five pages you've all read were completed and hanging around. I was offered a job at the college I work at now teaching comic book formatting as a non-credit class. I took the job and got Matt Jordan, artist of the book, involved by teaching the art section of the class, while I taught the writing portion. We handed out those pages to students to show them what a finished product looked like, and how easy it is to complete 5 pages in under 10 weeks. Motivation for the class. We were contacted shortly by a small publishing company in the Chicago burbs about putting the BOCU into three 90-page trades. I had most of the scripts done, and I had passed half of them off to the owner of the publishing company, a pretty good artist, and we had a deadline of March for the book.  
 
March is when it would be printed up and whatnot, then put in Previews (the book must be finished and printed 4 months before release for distribution by Diamond). So, November & December go by no problem, the publisher and I are keeping in contact, but he still hasn't shown me anything. I'm a little leary and tell MJ to slow down no the work, the guy seems fishy. We have this big meeting in January: Myself, MJ, Skeggs (our original colorist), the publisher, and his friend who apparently, without our consent, was doing some of the pages.... And he had no formal art training.... it showed. So, I was a little pissed and began chugging down Guinness after Guinness and smoking all of my cigs. We talked about where the story was going and distribution. Apparently, he's never worked closely with Diamond Distribution. I told him not to worry, I can handle that, it's not hard. He then asked me how much I was willing to pay on production, my jaw dropped.  
 
I explained he was the publisher, he was supposed to have a printing company ready to go, and pay for it out of his pocket since we wouldn't be seeing a dime of the first trade money right away. (After the publisher was paid off, we'd do a split) The guy wanted us to pay for everything, and then market and do all the distribution work. Clearly, he was a moron. We parted ways pretty quickly and I ended the agreement by never calling him back, douchbag didn't even deserve a phone call, nor did he ever cal me. He must have felt the same way. Matt & I began working on our folklore book, The Wrath of Nature" and my noir crime story "My Own Worst Enemy" (that is what is was called before NBC ganked my title).  
 
MJ had to leave BOC because of the work he was doing for Ape Entertainment, and I was on the hunt for a new artist. I worked with roughly 10 different artists on BOC before calling it quits. Every artist either gave up real quickly, wanted money, or was too busy. 

Start the Conversation

Your story sucks: A guide to writing.

The number one problem people have, when it comes to storytelling, is trying to put too much into something that should be simple.  
 
You see this a majority of the time with animekids. Keep it simple. I don't care if the Katutai Gem is will of the Shrazi Sword and because of it's soul is that of a 1000 year old sensei, it is unweilding and only one man can hold it. How about this: The Shrazi sword can only be held by one man. Worry more about the actual story and it's characters than the over-explanation of stuff that really doesn't matter.  A few times a month, possibly once a week. Someone brings me a really bad story idea to critique. I love critiquing but I HATE when people don't understand story structure, character development, and theme. 
 
Problem number two: Too much action. I know, I know, I love Shoot Em' Up, so call me a hypocrite. But lets take a look at Spiderman for one second. Why is he so popular? Because he is a super-hero and a teenager. He has to fight the Green Goblin at night and then study for his chemistry final during the day. He deals with the same stuff every person deals with. Your best bet to writing something great is to mix the action with what the indie kids call, "A slice of life" story. That will make your story and characters more relatable.  Problem number zero: Mass appeal. I call this one zero because EVERYONE has this problem; I suffer from this all the time. One of my old room-mates wanted to write a comic with me once about some guys flying around in giant robot suits in this galactic civil war. The first thing I told him was, "It sucks." Yes, I'm that blunt. I told him the story has been done a million times and unless he changes something within the story, it's going to fall flat and you may be accused as a plagiarist. Raise the bar. Only animekids who love giant robots will like your book. 
 
RAISE THE BAR. You need to think of a way to get other comic book readers and even non-comic book readers to pick this book up and give it a shot. This includes taking your finished prose story (however you do it, whether it be a 1/2 page plot outline, or a full short story describing every detail [that's how i do it]) and hand it off to someone you know, who you think would hate the subject matter. You know you've won them over when they don't hate it... unless their being nice..... sadly, you may never know. Problem number three: "Why?" This is the most annoying problem writers have. "So my character goes to the canyon."  
 
Great, but why does he go there? You must always question why a character does what he is doing. There must be a reason for a person to go from A to B. Not everything has to be addressed... The hero grabs some milk from the fridge, the reader knows he's thirsty, don't put that in there... but there must be a reason your character makes dramatic decisions. Well, I critique people's writing, I teach fictional writing, I teach an unpaid homemade comic book creation class. I love writing... and even moreso, I love great writing. I've had short stories published. I've had a few short films made in Chicago, won a couple of awards for my screenplays and currently write two comics published by small independent companies. I have a degree in Film from Columbia College in Chicago and concentrated in Screenwriting and Critical Film Studies and currently working on my Masters in the same areas. So take my advice, or leave it.  
 
However, I know how hard it is for a writer to get an actual job writing. It's taken me years to get my foot in the door. A decent artist will almost always get hired over a great writer in the comic industry. So, you have to work twice as hard. 

I know what all two of you are thinking, "Who is this guy? Why should I take advice from this jerk?"

Hope this was helpful,

Start the Conversation