Writers Do The Work

There is no shortage of books about Las Vegas. But when you go looking for books about the history of Nevada itself? There's not a whole lot to choose from.

So, I went with a book that's been used in high school and college classrooms across the state. 

I can't speak for other writers, nor would I ever pretend to do so, but if you're going to write about an existing thing, you should know everything you possibly can about it. At least that's my attitude.

So with Vengeance, Nevada (the short story I'm working on), I want to know everything I can about some of the less populated corners of the state since that's where the story would take place.

I was just out in Vegas a couple of months ago, but I may wind up taking a trip out to Reno and going for a drive into the outer regions of the area just to get a visual on it. If I do, I'll take a whole lot of pictures and share them here on this blog.

The nice thing about my graduate school schedule is that I have Thursday through Sunday off, so I could theoretically fly out Thursday morning, get settled in that day, and then go out Friday and Saturday to check things out before coming back Saturday night or Sunday morning.

We'll see how that works out, but I'm very much into the research phase of things, and hopefully I can convince more than a few of you to be as proactive as I'm being when it comes to research for a fictional story.

Then again, I've never actually written a completed fiction story, so I'm not so sure I'm the best guy to talk to about this.

(Liberty doesn't count because it's a 22 page comic, and that may sound like a lot, but you find real fast that when you're plotting out a comic, you have way less room than you think in each issue because of the way things are paced.)

Vengeance, Nevada: A New Short Story Coming This Fall

So, at the moment my agent has a couple of things from me. A fiction and non-fiction book proposal. And, I'm slowly putting the $5k together to put out the 22 page first issue of Liberty, which is also already written. As soon as I have the money, it gets drawn, printed, and distributed.

I can't write a screenplay until I read the 10 books I bought on writing a screenplay because that's not how I work. I have to know absolutely everything before I do anything. That might sound crazy, but that's also how I was able to get a book deal and sell Social Media Is Bullshit so quickly. I knew the subject backwards and forward and also knew how to put together an awesome platform and book proposal because I did the research first.

Since the book industry goes on vacation in July and August, I need to find something to occupy myself with, and the answer was Vengeance, Nevada.

Vengeance, Nevada is a short story I'm starting to work on now. The sketch above is an early drawing of the story's heroine, who is modeled off of how Katie Sackhoff's character looks in Longmire. I haven't built out the rest of her personality just yet.

(P.S. Longmire is probably one of the best shows you're not watching. You can catch every episode of it on Netflix.)

I came up with the story while researching the history of eBay and reading all the crazy stories of things people can (and have) sold on there.

In Vengeance, Nevada, a small town deputy in Nevada has an addiction to eBay and is constantly buying up stuff at garage sales and antique shops looking to find stuff she can sell from her patrol car instead of doing her actual work, because there's rarely anything to do in Vengeance.

What she doesn't know is that the town is actually a home for super villains, all living there under their secret identities and trying to live normal lives to escape the notice of people who want to capture them. 

The deputy buys an item for eBay that wasn't meant to be sold at a garage sale, and all hell breaks loose for her and the town.

I keep talking about self-publishing stuff, but haven't.

Since this isn't meant to be a novel or a comic, I figured Vengeance, Nevada would be a nice test run. It'll be out for $.99 in the Fall, but don't hold me to that. It may come out sooner. It may come out closer to Christmas.

I'm doing some character sketches and will post them here as they come in. Should be a lot of fun.

(Art by Francisco Trebuxet)

Liberty: The Second City Saint (Page 1-9)

Doing an experiment here. I was thinking of just forgoing the cost of having the 22 page Liberty #1 printed and just running the full issue here on this website. But. I was not sure how a full comic page would look on PostHaven. I'd prefer to print it, personally, but we're talking $4k to do the full 22 pages (color, text, ect.) and then another $2k to print it. And then there's the cost of distributing it at conventions for free. But if I'm just going to give the thing away for free, this might be a bit better.

I haven't decided.

Anyway, this is the "cover" to the eight page preview comic for Liberty: The Second City Saint. The awesome art was done by Francisco Trebuxet.

I have a writing assignment I need to finish, but once it's done I'll come back in with a "Writer's Commentary" and talk about what's going on with this picture.

Until then ... courage.

(That's a really obscure reference from the old Clerks animated cartoon. Go watch it.)

How To Be (Internet) Famous

Over at SiliconAngle I'm doing a weekly serious called "How To Be (Internet) Famous". You can check out the past four posts here. The new one should be up tomorrow or Friday.

I'm also still doing stuff for The New York Observer. A new column should appear next week. The older ones can be found here.

I got so caught up with the book proposals that I forgot to make this post and let you know where to find a lot of my writing these days.

Go check it out. I'll start posting here once I know which of the book proposals, if any, my agent wants me to go with. 

Marvel's Major Villain Has A Sense Of Humor, Is Also A Dick

I've said this elsewhere, but my biggest problem with the (otherwise excellent) Marvel movies is that the way the villains are handled sucks. 

They have a lot of potential, but most of the time they're barely in the film, and when they are, they're not given much to do but look evil and say PG-friendly things that sound menacing.

Thanos, although he was a Darkseid ripoff, is way better than the character he's an imitation of. Like a lot of stuff in DC that's not Justice League International, Darkseid is cold and humorless. 

Thanos on the other hand is evil, but he has this dark sense of humor about him which makes him entertaining. He has also thrown down with everyone, including encounters with Deadpool, Squirrel Girl, and She-Hulk. 

When was the last time you saw Darkseid do anything with non-major characters?

Thanos has been given limited screen time thus far where he talks (two scenes in "Guardians of the Galaxy" and the end credits to "Avengers: Age of Ultron"), but Marvel's track record with villains being what it is, I doubt we'll get to see his full personality in the upcoming films.

I hope I'm wrong. 

If you want to get to know the character better before he shows up again in the movies, go check out "Marvel: The End" and "The Infinity Gauntlet." 

(Don't bother with the sequels to The Infinity Gauntlet, which are The Infinity War and the Infinity Crusade. They blow.) 

Also: "Annihilation" was pretty great and involves the Guardians of the Galaxy you saw in the movies. Not the shitty Guardians of the Galaxy I grew up reading.

(Source: "Thanos" #7 by Keith Giffen and Ron Lim)