Monthly Archives: December 2005

Final Post: 2005

Well, it’s my last post of the year, and I don’t have anything to talk about. Well, maybe I do…

Brian Wood’s new series DMZ should have been on my year-end favorites list for comics. It’s a powerful book about a Manhattan entrenched in civil war and the photgraphy intern who gets stranded there. Excellent stuff.

A silly part of me wants to list my five favorite pornstars of the year, but it’s not like I’m current on their “work,” so I should probably just skip it. Not like I want to explain that to Shawna later, either.

Hi, Shawna!

Year-End Favorites: Reads

Again, split into catagories…

1. OFF SEASON, THE UNEXPURGATED EDITION; Jack Ketchum: I got around to reading Jack Ketchum’s first book in the complete way he intended it. The story of a group of college friends shacking up in a vacation cabin at a seaside town and the inbred cannibals who hunt them down. A terrifying, action-packed ride that was the first book to give me nightmares since reading Stephen King’s Desperation.

2. TERMINAL; Brian Keene: The story of a poor man diagnosed with terminal cancer who decides to rob a bank in order to help his wife and child before he dies. Emotionally jolting, deeply frightening, with one of the best endings I’ve read in a long time.

3. SHIVERS; Various: I love anthologies, and I was knocked out by this one, the first of what is soon to be a foor volume series. Contains incredible stories, by Keene (with Tim Lebbon), Edward Lee, Brian Freeman, Simon Clark, Douglas Clegg, Ketchum, Ray Garton, and a slew of others. This was a can’t miss!

4. FLESH GOTHIC; Edward Lee: I’m a relative newcomer to Lee, and while some of his grosser stuff (and yeah, it’s really gross) isn’t for me, this one was the perfect blend of gore, suspense, and absolute terror. The story of a haunted mansion once owned by the head of a porn empire and the band of ghost-hunters and psychics who investigate it. Great from first page to last!

COMICS

1. FELL; Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith: Leave it to Warren Ellis to charge a buck less for a comic, make it six pages shorter, and still blow everything else out of the water. A mysteriously disgraced detective is sent to work in Snow Town, the worst city anybody’s seen in a long time. The people are awful, the police chief doesn’t give a shit, and there’s a gun-toting nun who looks a lot like Richard Nixon.

2. THE WALKING DEAD; Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard: The Dead slipped a little this year, the story slowing down a little bit as internal strife takes a heavier toll on the group of survivors. Still better than almost anything else on the stands, though.

3. RUNAWAYS; Brian K Vaughan and Adrian Alphona: maybe I should be ashamed that one of my favorite titles is one aimed at the young adult market, but I don’t care. This story of the orphaned children of supervillains is at times hillarious, thrilling, and heart-breaking. A must read.

4. NEW AVENGERS; Brian Michael Bendis and Dave Finch: Hear that? That’s the sound of my good friend Randy Lander’s head popping. Bendis starts fresh, avoiding the hulking bohemoth of continuity to give us an Avengers tale you can actually read and enjoy. Who woulda thunk?

Press Release: “Brian Keene’s FEAR”

For Immediate Release
12/28/05

Frequency Press, a publisher of fine graphic novels and comic books, has signed a development deal with author Brian Keene. The agreement allows Frequency Press to adapt several stories from Keene’s critically-acclaimed short story collection Fear of Gravity into graphic novel format. Titled ‘Brian Keene’s FEAR’, the graphic novel will feature adaptations of “Castaways”, “Red Wood”, and “The King, in: YELLOW” (which was recently selected as one of the year’s best horror stories by editor Stephen Jones).

Though Keene will retain some creative control, he will not be writing the comic, due to the time constraints of previous commitments. Nate Southard has been brought on board to handle the adaptations. Southard’s previous graphic novels include Drive and A Trip To Rundberg (both available in comic book stores nationwide). In a statement, Southard said, “I’ve been a huge fan of Brian’s for the longest time, and he’s been very supportive of my own writing career. It’s an honor and a thrill to be working with him on this.”

Keene issued this statement to reporters from the porch of his mountain retreat, while clutching a large caliber handgun: “I am very excited to have Nate bringing my stories to life as comic books, and am looking forward to working with Dan and Zan at Frequency Press. Now get out of my yard. I’ve got a novel to finish!”

For more information, contact Dan Blount at danny.blount@frequencypress.com.

Year-End Favorites: Sounds

I’m going to try to keep the albums section based in stuff that was released this year, but the singles section is going to go back a year or two. Sorry, but you’ll just have to deal.

ALBUMS

1. MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK: Commit This to Memory – I was a latecomer to Motion City, but I’m glad I stumbled across them. This record, their second full-length, starts with the ripping “Attractive Today” and doesn’t let up until “Hangman.” The last song isn’t as solid as the rest, but is still pretty damn good.

2. COHEED AND CAMBRIA: Good Apollo, I’m a Burning Star Vol 1 – This one took a while to grow on me, and there are still one or two songs I regularly skip (I’m looking at you “Wake Up” and “The Final Cut”). Still an incredible disc full of sly musical nods to the two preceding it.

3. GREG DULLI: Amber Headlights – A record four years old comes off the shelf and is released, and it’s one of the best rock records in ages. If not for the inclusion of “Wicked,” this one would have been higher. Highlights are half the freakin’ disk.

4. CRUISERWEIGHT: Sweet Weaponry – From the opener “Vermont” onward, this one rocks like none other. “Have You Ever Had One of Thse Days,” however, continues our trend of bad closers.

SINGLES

1. KELLY CLARKSON: Since U Been Gone – Nope. I never would have expected it, either. Kelly records a barn-burner, though. Now, if she could release another song I liked. “You had your chance; you blew it. Out of sight, out of mind.”

2. MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK: A-OK – This one’s a few years old, but still one of the most powerful rock songs of the year. “But don’t forget, don’t forget I am the reason.”

3. GREEN DAY: Letterbomb – A goddamn anthem, and the greatest rock song of the past five years. “She said ‘I can’t take this town. I’m leaving you tonight.'”

4. GREG DULLI: Black Swan – Could have been a Whigs song, but it rocks a little too hard. “C’mon, baby. Save me, love me, betray me.”

5. COHEED AND CAMBRIA: The Willing Well III: Good Apollo II: The Telling Truth – The highlight of a record that’s almost too over-the-top for its own good. Seven minutes of stop-start rock and head-bobbing pop. “So goodnight. Tonight I’m burning Star Four.”

Year-End Favorites: Screens

I’m breaking this down over three days ths year, seeing if I don’t forget anything like last year. Here goes nothing!

MOVIES

1. RENT – Can’t say I saw that coming. In the past year, no movie has affected me this much. I don’t think I’ve cried so hard in a theater since Big Fish. Look, I know you might scoff at musicals. That’s cool. Give Rent a chence, though. It’s worth it.

2. SERENITY – Putting aside the fact that I never thought this movie would be made, I’ll just say that this one was such a close second it wasn’t even funny. Hilarious as hell, action-packed, and full of surprises you’ll never see coming. Can’t stop the signal.

3. KING KONG – Probably would have liked this more if it was just three hours of giant ape and dinosaur fights. Still, an incredible theater experience.

4. BATMAN BEGINS
– Holy shit, somebody made a good Batman movie. Who woulda thunk it?

TV

1. LOST – Come on, this one doesn’t really need any explanation, does it? Let me just say that, as a writer, the continuity on this show never ceases to amaze me. I was a little disappointed at the shift from “Castaways in a freaky island” to “Castaways in a freaky bunker,” but I’m still in love with this show.

2. ARRESTED DEVELOPEMENT – A shame. We all know it’s a shame, but we also know that Fox tried really hard to keep this show up and running. Favorite scene of the final season…

“That wasn’t part of my trick, Michael.”
“Next time, on Arrested Developement.”
“It was part of my illusion!”

3. ENTOURAGE – Thank you Randy, for introducing me to this show. I owe you one. Never have I seen such a funny, laid back show.

4. RESCUE ME – Once again one of my favorite shows. Dennis Leary writes tragic and funny at the same time. “I experimented the shit out of him.”

Here We Go!

Last posting before Christmas rolls around. I’ll hit a few main points, and then get out of your hair.

1. Christmas Eve Dinner has been saved by Shawn’a Father’s judicious use of his Costco Card.

2. Brian Keene signed a four year exclusive with Delirium Books. Congrats, Bri! Can I take one of those slots?

3. Brian apparently has four more large bits of news to announce. I, on the other hand, would like to announce that I will be drunk this weekend.

4. STAPLE! is officially sold out, table-wise. Huzzah! I’d say STAPLE! is my favorite show of the year, but it feels like cheating, seeing as it’s only fifteen minutes from my house.

5. Lastly, everybody be safe, have a great Christmas or holiday of your choice, and pause to make the dirty love at some point this weekend. Jesus would have wanted it that way. Why do you think he dated an ex-hooker?

Bad Christmas Plans

So, I had this great idea. I offered to cook tuna steaks for Shawna and her family on Christmas Eve. Everybody was into, and I was ready to get going.

The I started looking at tuna prices.

Local supermarket: $9.99 a pound.

Ouch! Not to worry, though. Quality Seafood is an actual fish supplier, and they’ve probably got a semi trailer full of the stuff out back. So I give Quality Seafood a call and ask them their price on tuna steaks.

$17.99 a pound.

Fuck me runnin!

So, now I have to go to the store tonight and find a worthy substitute fish. I like Shawna’s family and all, but damn I’m poor!

Clever Title Number Two

Just received a refund from Veruca Salt. That was fun. I ordered their new EP (they don’t have a label right now) over a month ago and had still not received it. The website said to wait 2-4 weeks. I was sitting at about five, so I emailed and said “Please send the CD or refund my money.” Guess the refund was the easier way to go.

I’ll try again in a few months, when things have quieted down. I really want that EP, and I really want to support Louise.

Wonder how the folks in Dig Jelly are doing?

Three days left before the holiday weekend, and I think time is slowing to a crawl. I guess that’s a good thing, since Shawna’s major present is still in the mail. Man, I hope it’s in the mail.