Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Heroes Comic Con News

So there are a bunch of things I can now happily announce about Heroes presence at Comic Con this year. I'll save the best for last so keep reading, but let's start with our "booths". Yes booths, plural.

And full disclosure, some of this is speculation/rumor/hearsay and schedules/plans etc. do change last minute so I apologize if any of this turns out to be incorrect. The reason I don't know for sure is that most of the comic-con planning is done by NBC promo department and the information gets filtered back through to us in bits and pieces. That said, I do work on Heroes so I must have some idea right? Let's hope so...

BOOTHS
I'm told that inside the convention hall will be a Heroes themed Nissan booth. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I am told that's if you're trying to get your hands on this year's Heroes Limited Edition graphic novel, that's where you'll want to go. The comic is one you've already seen, "Rebellion part 3: Family" written by myself and art by Jason Badower. See below for details on where to find me and Jason if you want to get that or (almost) anything else signed. The exhibitors list has "Heroes" down for booth #5312. I can't confirm for sure that's us, but it sure looks like it. edit: Oops, that's not us. Heroes/Nissan booth will be *somewhere* on the floor.

Now what is this other "booth" I speak of? I'm told that across the street from the convention center, in front of the Hilton Gaslamp Quarter Hotel (at K & 4th street) will be a Heroes "tent". It's being sponsored by Sprint and I've heard rumors that they'll have some pretty awesome giveaways (possibly even a Palm Pre!) Now you may asking why "tent"? Well, if you attend our panel on Saturday I'm sure you'll find out, but I'll give you a one word hint: Carnival.

FRIDAY - HEROES ALL ACCESS PARTY
On Friday the 24th from 3-5pm, Heroes All Access is hosting a meet & greet and signing at the House of Blues with a bunch of great Heroes people including myself, Jason Badower, David Lawrence XVII and now I'm hearing possibly James Clark (aka @JamesProps on twitter) amongst others. You can see the full details here.

SATURDAY - HEROES PANEL
By now you probably know that Heroes will be having its panel on Saturday from 3:15-4:15 in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront. Please note that this is a *different* Hilton than the one where the tent will be setup. The Bayfront is on Harbor Drive and 8th ave, at the South-East end of the convention center (same side of the street).

What you probably don't know is that the panel will be hosted/moderated by Attack of the Show's Blair Butler. She came into the office to view the season premiere and from what I hear is a Heroes fan and total geek in the best possible way (I love how geek and nerd are now terms of affection). Anyway, if Blair's recent "comic con dark secret" tweets are any indication, it should be a lot of fun.

Oh, and did I mention one late addition to the Heroes panel? I'm told that someone named "Hayden Panettiere" WILL be at the Heroes panel on Saturday. Did you need another reason to attend?

IN CONCLUSION
*phew* I think that's everything. For more Heroes Comic Con details, stop by Heroes ARG who are doing a good job trying to wrangle all of the information together.

The Heroes All Access Party is definitely the best place to catch me if you'd like to get something signed but I will be at the Heroes panel and I'll try to stop by the line outside the Hilton, provided no-one kicks me out. I'll be at other places throughout the day Friday and Saturday and if you follow me on twitter, I'll try to post my movements. If you're getting desperate (during the weekend) you can always try to message me on twitter or shoot me an email. I'll do my best to try and meet everyone who wants to meet up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Life Update

I started this post on Monday, and didn't have time to come back to it until now (Friday), really that sums up what this post was about...

Life continues to race by at what is a largely uncontrollable speed. I feel like I'm taking every turn way to fast, but boy is it a thrilling ride! It finally caught up to me two weeks ago though and my body knocked me on my ass with what was finally diagnosed as "something that looks like but according to your chest x-ray isn't officially pneumonia". Whatever it was it gave me a 103 degree fever, wicked cough, sore through and chest pain. Abby was absolutely wonderful taking care of me -- making sure I took medicine, helping keep my temperature down, making me soup etc.

Antibiotics eventually cleared everything up but I was on my back for the better part of a week. The sad thing is that I kind of welcomed the time off. I almost never have the time to just laze about and watch crappy movies on TV. Even though my body was feeling awful I was really glad for the mental rest. It made me sort of sad that it took me getting sick to have some time off and get to spend some quality time with Abby.

HEROES

Heroes keeps me busy. The last part of the Rebellion arc of the graphic novels has been written and is now in the very capable hands of Jason Badower. We were very lucky to have just two artists work on this entire arc (Jason and Dennis Calero) which I think will really pay off when you read it all together and in the print version. We're still working out the details but I'm hoping at some point to do an "epilogue" for Rebellion too. I'm really proud of what we've done with this arc and it holds a special place for me as being the first thing I have seen through as an "editor".

On the show itself side of things we're going full speed ahead. Episodes six, seven and eight are all in various stages of being written while the rest of us are planning out the finer details of episodes nine through twelve. As *currently* scheduled (and things often change) episode twelve should be the final episode before our winter hiatus in December-January. We've got some exciting stuff planned.

After being occupied for the first few months of the season working on features, Battlestar Galactica (and TimeCop!!) veteran Mark Verheiden has returned to us at Heroes. We're also lucky enough to have Carlos Coto join the team. Carlos worked on 24 last year and is no stranger to time travel or Sci-Fi having spent time on Journeyman and Invasion. He's been a great addition to the Heroes team.

I continue to work on what I can currently only describe as "new media" content for Heroes. Details are still being worked out, but I'm excited about the story we're hoping to tell. I'll be sure to announce it once things are squared away.

COMIC-CON

I'm taking Abby to her very first comic con next week. We missed it last year due to a wedding and she couldn't make the year previous due to a firm event. Needless to say she's very excited. I can't wait to show her around.

I'll be at the Heroes panel on Saturday the 25th (3:15 at the Hilton Bayfront) and at some point that day I'm hoping to do a meet & greet/ signing/something with fans. Jason Badower will almost certainly be with me too. Details are stilll being worked out but I'll announce them as soon as I know. The best thing to do though is follow me on twitter as I'll be sure to send a tweet whenever I'm stopping anywhere for any length of time.

I'm also told there'll be a Nissan/Heroes booth somewhere on the showroom floor and that this is the place to be if you want to pick up the limited edition print comic of Rebellion part 3 "Family" written by myself and drawn by Jason Badower. I saw a copy yesterday which was pretty exciting as this is my first comic that has ever been "in print".

The other booth I want to let you know about is #1234 which is home to Becky Dreistadt of Tiny Kitten Teeth who did the incredible artwork for "Lookouts", my guest strip for Penny Arcade. The PA guys are just around the corner at #1237. If you dug Lookouts, please stop by and tell Becky and "Gabe & Tycho" of Penny Arcade.

That's it for now. Looking forward to meeting those of you who can make it to San Diego.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lookouts - Conclusion

So the final page of Lookouts, my guest comic for Penny Arcade, is now online. It was an absolute blast (and an honor) to write these and my hats off to Becky Dreistadt who did an amazing job with the art. I gave her a shit-ton of stuff to cram into those panels and she rocked it!

This final page really spells out what was going on with Aerden (the master) this whole time. My basic take for this whole story was that "May We Die In The Forest" wasn't just a motto, it was a god-damned commandment. This is the lesson that boys must learn -- not just that sometimes you go into the forest and don't come out, but that sometimes sacrifices have to be made. Obviously this is a pretty fucked up way of living and I imagined that this very thought had been weighing on Aerden's mind for some time. When he saw the boys fighting as bravely and valiently as they did in page 4 (at at time when many men would have just thrown in the towel) he decided that it was time for a change and jumped into the fight.

It was this act that made the elders angry and has apparently set in motion what will be a problematic time for the entire Lookouts community. Aerden's act is what Philip K. Dick calls "a quiet refusal" in his speech "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later." There's one paragraph in particular from this speech that really blew me away:
The authentic human being is one of us who instinctively knows what he should not do, and, in addition, he will balk at doing it. He will refuse to do it, even if this brings down dread consequences to him and to those whom he loves. This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance. Their deeds may be small, and almost always unnoticed, unmarked by history. Their names are not remembered, nor did these authentic humans expect their names to be remembered. I see their authenticity in an odd way: not in their willingness to perform great heroic deeds but in their quiet refusals. In essence, they cannot be compelled to be what they are not.
For me, that seemed to really sum up the Lookouts universe. It's a universe in which childhood is extremely fleeting and a result looses the authenticity that comes with it. There's something about the innocence of a child that says, "yeah, I can kick a basilisk's ass". When Aerden saw that, it brought out in him another childish/innocent/authentic sentiment -- "even if it's for the 'greater good', leading boys out into a forest to be devoured by monsters is just plain wrong."

So in a way, this story wasn't so much about the coming of age for these boys, but the return to childhood for Aerden. At one point his final line was something horribly cheesy like "Then let us prepare for war!" but I dropped it instead for the "I have seen far more bravery from boys of late." Basically Aerden believes, like the Lookouts, "yeah, I can kick a basilisk's ass." In fact he believes he can kick the whole forest's ass if others join in his way of thinking.

So there you have it, that's my view into the universe of Lookouts. Hopefully it won't fall apart in two days time. Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lookouts - Page 3

The third page of Lookouts is now online. I hope you're enjoying it so far and before I go any further I have to give a huge kudos to Becky Dreistadt who has done amazing job in a very short amount of time. I finished the script to Lookouts on Monday which gave Becky about 48 hours to turn around the first page. This is rather staggering to me. To give you some perspective, with the Heroes graphic novels we typically allow 3-4 weeks for a 5-6 page comic (which averages out to 3-4 days per page at the worst). To put it simply, she's amazing.

Gabe posted on twitter that this is the first time Penny Arcade has done a guest week in ten years, which for me to be a part of is an incredible honor. As well as a staggering amount of pressure. First and foremost I'm a Penny Arcade fan, have been for a long time now. I have a laser cel CTS hanging in my office and a signed printout of my two favorite strips hanging up at home.

So with all that in mind, taking on this project was a pretty daunting task. Gabe & Tycho did a podcast(mp3) about their original Lookouts strip which I'd already listened to once, but listened to again (several times) to let it really sink in. It proved an invaluable resource for keeping with Gabe & Tycho's vision and you'll see a few ideas that were pulled directly out of that podcast. Namely, the concept that boys are trying to get their "basilisk badge" and secondly, the vision of the basilisk as "more chicken than lizard".

The other thing that Tycho had linked in his original post about Lookouts, was a speech by Philip K. Dick, one of my favorite authors, called "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later." I'd begun reading it for my own edification before I got the Lookouts gig and it ended up having a profound influence on how I shaped the remaining story for Lookouts (I'll explain how in more detail once it's done). If you're a writer or storyteller of any medium, I strongly recommend reading this. It's long, but well worth the read.

PAGE THREE

I think this is going to be my favorite page. There's only one line of dialog, true, but it sets up the central mystery in the story of what exactly their master is playing at. But mostly the basilisk just gets to kick some ass, and what's more fun than that? In my head I've been calling this "The Basilisk Strikes Back". It's your typical betrayal/all-is-lost/everyone-gets-their-ass-handed-to-them moment. That's always my favorite part in a movie (or trilogy), hopefully you enjoy it!

That's it for now, don't forget to follow me on twitter for Heroes news, Lookouts tidbits, and to hear me lament about having pneumonia :/