Thursday, December 30, 2010
When someone tweeted me yesterday with the message "Congrats on the Award," my initial response was... "What award?" Enter... Player Affinity, a cool website with a major geek love of all things pop culture. Including comic books.
Yesterday Player Affinity announced their Comic Awards. (Click on the title of this post and you'll be taken to the entire list.) Winners include Stan Lee & BOOM! Studios, Jonathan Hickman (one of my favorite writers these days) & his great FANTASTIC FOUR run, and Grant Morrison & David Finch's awesome BATMAN: THE RETURN 1-SHOT. Oh, and the TITANS: VILLAINS FOR HIRE SPECIAL #1.
Now that's quite a list of heavy hitters who created some truly awesome comics this year. And then there's me. Not so heavy. In fact, a comic newbie. To be part of the team that created a book mentioned in this kind of company is an incredible honor. Period. So THANKS Player Affinity -- we're going to continue bringing you the best book we can in 2011.
What's that? You still haven't read the Special?
No worries. DC will be releasing the TITANS: VILLAINS FOR HIRE trade paperback next year -- March 23, 2011 -- to be precise. The graphic novel version will collect the VILLAINS FOR HIRE SPECIAL #1, plus TITANS #24 - #27. It's already available for pre-order on Amazon.com -- but you comic hounds can pre-order now at your local comic book retailer / shop.
Also, I'd like to take a special moment to thank all the wonderful TITANS fans who I've met at conventions or who have sent kind messages in support of the series. It's greatly appreciated.
Friday, December 17, 2010
So I've been putting together my convention itinerary for 2011 and am happy to announce that I'll be appearing at Wizard World's Comic Convention in Anaheim next year. Yeah, I know it's a bit far in advance, but it's never too late for geeks to plan a good comic convention sojourn. So if you want a TITANS or SHAZAM title signed by yours truly with a smile, and you plan on being in SoCal next Spring, come on out and say hi.
I'll also be making several other convention appearances next year to promote some very special TITANS, EUREKA, and TBA (!!!) pop culture creations. So stayed tuned!
WIZARD WORLD ANAHEIM COMIC CON
April 29, 30, & May 1
(Or just click on the title of this posting and you'll be taken to the Wizard World website)
See you all next year!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Want to know more about TITANS #30? Click on the title of this posting and you'll be taken to THE SOURCE, DC Comics' blog, where I discuss this latest issue in a short interview. Plus there's more incredible artwork on display from artist extraordinaire Fabrizio Fiorentino!
The "Family Reunions" arc continues this month with Part 3, and things will never be the same for the Titans. Not only is the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA getting involved in the search for Ryan Choi's killer, but Arsenal's old pal Dick Grayson aka BATMAN is a guest star! Plus, we learn more about the mysterious Allegra Garcia aka WAVELENGTH. And look for a shocker ending that will change the TATTOOED MAN's life forever.
TITANS #30 from DC Comics -- available now at comic stores everywhere.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Anyone who knows me also knows that I am the world's biggest DARK SHADOWS fanatic. And I use the word "fanatic" very deliberately. Just how much of a DS enthusiast am I? Let me provide the following DS geek credentials as proof:
1.I've seen every DS episode (all 1225!) multiple times, as I usually watch the entire series from beginning to end about every 2-3 years.
2. I've memorized more dialogue from DS than I have from STAR TREK, STAR WARS, and THE X-FILES combined.
3. I have autographed photos of almost all the DS stars, both living and deceased. (Sadly, I never got to meet the late-great Grayson Hall...).
4. Way back in screenwriting school, the 2nd story outline I ever wrote was for a DS TV movie. (Believe it or not... the 1st thing I wrote was an outline for an episode of FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES. No, that's not a typo.)
5. After watching my first produced screenplay (a Season Two EUREKA episode), my proudest geek moment was the recording and release of my first Big Finish DS audio drama, "The Wicked and the Dead (available at AMAZON.COM or BIGFINISHPRODUCTIONS.COM)."
6. I have pretty much every piece of DS collectible memorabilia that exists, just some of which includes: all the Marilyn Ross novels, both Milton Bradley board games, the ultra-rare DS VIEWMASTER reels, original DS trading cards from the 60s, all the Gold Key comics--how about those new hardcover reprints? Nice, eh?--and of course a Josette's music box. And that's just the more well-known stuff. (DS cookbook, anyone? YUP. MINE.)
7. I even did a book report on Barnabas Collins in the 3rd grade.
SIDEBAR: Sometimes I think 2nd generation fans are more fanatical than 1st generation ones because we spend so much time recreating something we weren't around to fully appreciate during it's initial run (I became a devotee of the show in the early-to-mid-80s when it was rerun on PBS stations). It's as if we have to make up for the lack of 1st Gen experience by battering everyone with our fanatical 2nd Gen ability to uncover facts, anecdotes, and memorabilia our older counterparts never knew about (or in the case of memorabilia--couldn't afford). That in somehow possessing these things we balance an enormous imaginary geek scale that infinitely favors 1st Gen fans via one simple fact: they were alive to discover the thing we all love first hand and we weren't. Which those of us who have older siblings know makes the 1st Gen folks COOLER than us in some pioneering way.
Dammit, I want a time machine NOW.
Yes, the one thing a 2nd Gen fan can never do is turn back time. Just ask Cher. We are, however, the ones who carry the genre torch into subsequent generations, thereby creating a fandom market that wouldn't have existed otherwise and which allows the genre product--in this case, DS itself--to thrive beyond its original lifespan and find pop culture immortality. (So take THAT... all you DS fans were old enough to actually run home from school. I can use an iPad. Can you?!)
BUT BACK TO OUR TOPIC: THE NEW DS MOVIE IN 2011
So now the news is out that Tim Burton & Johnny Depp are going to do a big budget feature film of my all-time favorite show. Are they going to screw it up? Is Tim Burton too weird to get the romantic aspects of the show? Will the involvement of a mega-studio-marketing-machine turns my childhood fantasies into modern day, plotless CGI garbage? And what's my two-cents on all this?
Glad you asked.
I think it's AWESOME.
Folks, I'm a huge fan of the original show, but for the DS world to continue to grow... it must be reinterpreted for a new generation of fans. The fact that vampire flicks are uber-vogue nowadays makes the timing perfect for a "mature" vampire romance tale. And sadly by mature I mean over the age of sixteen. (But I'll save that for another posting...) So, yeah, I can't wait for this movie to blow up in theaters next year.
FACT: DARK SHADOWS ORIGINATED THE ROMANTIC VAMPIRE GENRE. PERIOD. And it did so waaaaay back in 1967. That's about forty years before TWILIGHT and thirty years before BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (another one of my favorite shows). Of course it's about 70 years after Stoker's original DRACULA novel, so maybe I'll stop while I'm ahead...
DS IN A NUTSHELL: DARK SHADOWS is the continuing story of Barnabas Collins, a fallible human being who--because of a conflicted heart and conscience--is doomed to suffer the curse of vampirism for all eternity.
And most tragically of all, it's not Barnabas who suffers the most, but rather those who love him: his fiance--the beautiful and innocent Josette (above, getting kissed)--and the wicked but vulnerable sorceress Angelique Blouchard. What these three characters go through over four-plus seasons of DS continues to break hearts and inspire fandom more than 40 years after its initial airing. So with such rich characters and a great storyline to use as a starting point (no spoilers here -- just Google Dark Shadows for a complete synopsis), I'm pumped that a great filmmaker like Burton will get the opportunity to run with it and make something special even more elegant, sumptuous, and epic than any vampire movie we'll seen in decades. (Probably since Coppola's BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA...)
EWROTE GOES FAN GIRL: Johnny Depp is the the perfect casting for the role of Barnabas Collins. He's got the dark, brooding, and unconventional good looks to essay the visual essence of actor Jonathan Frid's original portrayal. Plus, since he's already a fan of the show, he'll know how to mine the complexities of Barnabas's human side, as well as the immortal one. Plus, the guy's one helluva actor!
The other big reason I'm excited for Burton & Depp to team up on Dark Shadows? It's a little movie called SLEEPY HOLLOW. Dude and dudettes, that movie was FRAKKIN' BADASSED. It was soooo obviously an homage to HAMMER HORROR movies (apparently Burton and I have the same excellent taste and influences), and was done perfectly. Cinematography? Brilliant. Mood? Spot one. Charm? Yup, got that, too. And gore? Heh. Nailed that!
Yes, Mr. Burton... I totally noticed that Michael Gambon's impaling was a perfect updating of Chris Lee's death moment at the end of Hammer's DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE. Bravo!
Now I know what you're thinking: "Hey, Ewrote. You're a screenwriter. Aren't you worried the script will suck? YES AND NO. Yes, because that's always a legitimate fear in a business where commerce comes before art. No, because top-notch scribe John August has been working on the early drafts. And that dude can write. Also, the new guy they've brought it to take things over the finish line--Seth Graham Smith--wrote a groovy little book called ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VAMPIRE HUNTER--so he's clearly got the right sensibilities to help update DS for the baroque tastes of 21st Century geeks.
So, yeah. I'm already beyond pumped for this flick. Please let there be a midnight showing at the Cinerama Dome for this, oh Movie Godz!
Finally, I have to ask my own inner geek if there are any things I'd like to see in this movie. Things that need to happen in order for it to be a true DARK SHADOWS flick. Yeah, there are a few things. In no particular order, any good DS adaptation must have:
1. COLLINWOOD as a CHARACTER.
Collinwood is the name of the creepy estate where the Collins Family lives. But it's more than a building, it's an enormous atmospheric setting for all the show's spooky goings-on that reflects the emotions and attitudes of the characters themselves. Think of it as the HEATH in Thomas Hardy's RETURN OF THE NATIVE. So any new DS flick needs to treat Collinwood like a new starship "Enterprise" in a STAR TREK movie. It must look beyond awesome, be on full display throughout the flick, play a key role in the story, and--and this is the most important thing--evoke a specific mood, atmosphere, and thematic unity for the picture. Oh, and it should also be the ultimate spooky haunted house.
2. TIME TRAVEL as a part of the PLOT.
DS storylines are best known for traveling back in time, specifically to the years 1795, 1897, and 1840. Remember on BUFFY and ANGEL when they would flashback to see how Angelus was made into a vampire? Yeah, that was all done 30 years earlier on DARK SHADOWS. Seeing all the actors in highly-detailed, exquisite period 1795 costumes should be a no-brainer for someone of Burton's caliber, so I'm not worried here. The only question is, how much of this new DS will take place in the present vs. the past? My vote? 50-50. Start off in the present for Act 1, spend all of Act 2 in 1795, then come back to the present for Act 3. But again, I'm not the screenwriter of the movie, so I'll let them surprise me.
3. THE LOVE TRIANGLE
I've already mentioned this before, so I won't belabor the point. DS is about a guy who falls in love with one woman, then unfairly dumps her for another. So the first woman--who just happens to be a WITCH--gets back at the guy's assholeishness (that is so not a word, but who cares) and puts a curse on him for all eternity. See how all the supernatural jazz is really wrapped around a romantic love story core?
If Barnabas had just been honest with Angelique (that's her above in 1795 garb), she wouldn't have turned him into a vampire. Of course, turning someone into a creature of the night is a rather large overreaction at getting spurned. It's not like Angelique's smoking hot and could've have just found another guy, someone who would treat her a lot better (me).
Oh, and did I mention that rich Josette's maid, was also, you guessed, Angelique? Clearly, there are socio-economic jealousy issues wrapped up in Josette and Angelique's relationship... especially when Barnabas dumps the maid and announces his engagement to her mistress, the wealthy heiress Josette. HA! It's all such great soapy goodness I get goosebumps just thinking about the first time I watched the original episodes. It was all so weird, yet familiar, AND surprising at the same time. And all set against a world of magic and time travel. Sounds like a great idea for a movie, right?
Yeah, I think so, too.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The "Family Reunions" arc continues in TITANS #29, which is out today. It's BATMAN vs. DEATHSTROKE in an all-out battle, plus we learn more about the mysterious Allegra Garcia... a young Hispanic lady with a very bad attitude towards authority. Also, the rest of the Titans continue their battle with Batman's Rogues Gallery, including MR. FREEZE, CLAYFACE, and KILLER CROC.
It's Part 2 of a 5-part story that builds up to the surprising events in TITANS #31 & 32 that will change the team forever. Seriously. I know, because I'm writing the scripts. Speaking of which, I should probably get back to work now...
Plus... WHO IS NURSERY CRYME?
TITANS #29 from DC Comics... available now at comic stores everywhere.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Love comic books and have nothing to do this weekend? Then come on out to the LONG BEACH COMIC CON. There's still one day left--Sunday, Oct. 31st-- and since it's HALLOWEEN there's tons of fun to be had AND a costume contest for the kids.
I was down there today buying goodies and talking with a bunch of great folks. I also had the privilege of participating in the first of two DC NATION panels. Joining me was Batgirl artist DUSTIN NGUYEN, as well as fellow writers JT KRUL (Teen Titans, Green Arrow), and BRYAN Q MILLER (Batgirl, TV's Smallville). A great time was had by all! Not only did we learn that Dustin is a major TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES geek, but JT, Bryan, and myself shared writing tips with the audience.
Bummed you missed out? Don't be. If you live in the Southern California area, come on down to the LBCC tomorrow. There will be a second DC NATION PANEL tomorrow, hosted by our fearless leader himself, DAN DIDIO (schedule permitting). Should be a blast!
For more info on the Long Beach Comic Con, just click on the title of this post. Or... plug in the address below into your favorite web brower:
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Looks like more folks wanna know all about the SHAZAM SPECIAL #1 one-shot I'm writing this January. Fortunately, there's not just one interview (see my previous posting), but TWO... thanks to COMIC BOOK RESOURCES.
Just click on the title of this posting and you'll be taken to my CBR interview, which reveals more details about the return of Captain Marvel, as well as what it's like writing those great Marvel Family characters (Billy, Mary, Freddie, etc.).
The Shazam Special #1 from DC COMICS hits January 26, 2011. In it we'll find out what Captain Marvel has been up to during the past year, what Billy & Mary are doing to get their powers back, and also get a special TITANS tie-in cameo from OSIRIS that leads directly into TITANS #32.
Friday, October 22, 2010
What has the MARVEL FAMILY been up to in the last year? Get ready to find out in this January's SHAZAM SPECIAL #1, which I'll be writing. Yes, Billy, Mary, and Freddy will all take center stage in a special one-shot tale that pits them against BLAZE, the Queen of Hell. Also making a guest appearance will be OSIRIS from Deathstroke's TITANS.
What's that? You wanna know more? Then just click on the title of this blog post and you'll be taken to my Shazam interview at NEWSARAMA.
SHAZAM SPECIAL #1 from DC Comics hits stands January 26, 2011.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
A few weeks ago, ToB asked me a few questions about how I approach writing DEATHSTROKE. Well, I got a little long-winded with my answer. Fortunately, DC's blog printed it anyway (thanks, guys).
So for this and the answer a few other TITANS-related questions, just CLICK on the title of this blog post. It'll take you directly to THE SOURCE, the cool blog of all things DCU related.
And thanks to ToB for asking. Hope you enjoy the answer... as well as the "Family Reunions" storyline, which kicks off this month in TITANS #28.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
With the arrival of Arsenal last month, Deathstroke's team is now in place. Now a new storyline, "FAMILY REUNIONS," begins today in TITANS #28 that takes the team to GOTHAM CITY. See the Titans take on Arkham Asylum's nastiest inmates. There's also a few surprises along the way, ones that will change one member of the Titans' team forever. Plus, who is ALLEGRA GARCIA?
Oh, and for those folks wondering if the Titans really got away with the murder of Ryan Choi in the TITANS: VILLAINS FOR HIRE SPECIAL #1, the road to revenge starts here. All this, and much more with fantastic art by FABRIZIO FIORENTINO and CLIFF RICHARDS, awaits you in TITANS #28. Available now at comic book stores everywhere.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Thanks to everyone who tuned in this summer for Season Four of EUREKA. But hey... the season's not over yet! Coming this December is our first-ever CHRISTMAS EPISODE (you won't believe what happens in this one...!). Then in 2011, Season Four continues! Stay tuned for air dates and details.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Now that Arsenal has joined the team in TITANS #26, the question is... "What the hell is going to happen next?" For the answers to this question, and many more, check out my new interview at COMIC BOOK RESOURCES. Just click on the title of this posting and you'll be taken there.
Thanks to Kevin Mahadeo for the great questions! Also, a BIG THANKS to all of you who have made the all-new TITANS part of your monthly reading. You're gonna love what we have coming up in the next few months...
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
If you know me, you know I love what I do -- whether it's writing comic books, TV shows, audio dramas, movies, videogames, or whatever... I just love telling stories. Especially genre stories.
But addition to loving all-things horror/sci-fi-/fantasy/action oriented, I'm also African-American. What happens when a Black writer takes on pop culture? If you're reading TITANS, then you're already seeing it in action. A diverse team dealing with issues, both dark and light (although let's face... more DARK!), while trying to make sense of this journey we call life. If you watch EUREKA, then you must know how proud I am to work on a show with such a wonderfully diverse cast. It's also a show where an interracial romance (Carter and Allison) is no big deal. It's just, you know, LOVE. And that's groovy, eh?
Anyway, last weekend at SDCC, Arturo R. Garcia interviewed me for his wonderful blog, RACIALICIOUS.COM -- the result is a frank and wonderful discussion about diversity in comic books, as well as (hopefully!) a bit of insight into what it's like to be a writer of color in a major pop culture medium. Check it out by clicking on the TITLE of this post -- you'll be taken to Racialicious.com.
Thanks to Arturo for asking some tough questions and for being a great guy!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I'm still exhausted from attending this year's massive SAN DIEGO COMIC CON. Then why am I missing it already? Maybe it's because I had so much fun signing comic books and meeting all you groovy folks. That's the big DC COMICS booth (above). Thanks to all you TITANS fans who came by!
But as some of you also might know, I also work on this little show called EUREKA. And wow, judging by the E-fan love last weekend, you're all really digging this season! Thanks to all of you who shared your passion and enthusiasm with myself and the rest of the writers, cast, and crew last weekend. You're all FANTASTIC.
So what's that picture below?
This is Friday night at CAFE DIEM (yup, Syfy turns the restaurant in the Hard Rock Hotel into Cafe Diem all weekend, and it's AWESOME!). Some of the writers and cast of EUREKA had dinner that night. That's Warehouse 13's ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI (a Eureka guest star this season) with JAMES CALLIS (Dr. Charles Grant) and NEIL GRAYSTON (Douglas Fargo). I figured you'd enjoy a picture of them a lot more than me (!).
But there was tons more fun to be had all weekend -- more than I could ever possibly describe here. So I'll let a few more images speak for me, eh? Check out all the fans dressed as Marvel characters. And yes, that's ASGARD (from the new THOR movie) they're posing on.
Oh, and I got to meet one of my movie-making idols, GALE ANNE HURD, who was doing publicity for AMC's upcoming THE WALKING DEAD series. Call it hyperbole if you want, but people... I honestly feel like TWD has the potential to be THE greatest horror TV series OF ALL TIME. Can't wait to see it!!!
Finally, I leave you with FRANKENBERRY. Why? Do you really have to ask? C'mon. It's FRANKENBERRY. How cool is that?
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Check it out -- that's the new boxed CD set of DARK SHADOWS AUDIO DRAMAS from Big Finish Productions.
Picking up directly after the cliffhanger ending of "The Rage Beneath," KOTD is a 4-part story starring the original Dark Shadows cast, including DAVID SELBY, KATHRYN LEIGH SCOTT, LARA PARKER, JERRY LACY, and JOHN KARLEN among others. Plus, let's not forget talented newcomer ANDREW COLLINS, who continues his role as BARNABAS COLLINS (from Series One).
Yours Truly co-wrote the new series (plus has a GUEST VOICE CAMEO ROLE!) with Producer STUART MANNING. And trust me, if you're a DS fan--new or old--you're gonna love this new series! It's got thrills, chills, romance, action, mystery, and TONS of SURPRISES.
The CDs are available now to pre-order directly from Big Finish Productions (see the web address below), or you can pick up copies THIS WEEKEND at the DARK SHADOWS FESTIVAL in Burbank, CA. I'll be there! Hope to see you, too.
Want more info on this weekend's DS Festival? Then go to:
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Actually, there was a scene from our EUREKA SEASON FOUR premiere episode, "Founder's Day" up here. But it's vanished. This is just a picture from the episode.
BUT FEAR NOT.
Eureka Episode 401 - "Founder's Day" is now playing on the SYFY website. Just click on the title of this posting, and you'll be taken there!.
Monday, July 5, 2010
... until our big Eureka SEASON FOUR premiere. Now I know what you're thinking. WHY... are our favorite smalltown heroes dressed like this and standing in the middle of main street?
Sorry, no spoilers here!
But you can find out THIS FRIDAY, JULY 9TH on SYFY. The wait is almost over!
Friday, July 2, 2010
That's right. EUREKA SEASON FOUR premieres next Friday, July 9th, and it's going to be AWESOME. Trust me. You won't believe what happens this season. Bigger secrets. Bigger surprises. Bigger fun.
So set those TiVos and DVRs now. Or better yet, go 20th Century style and WATCH IT LIVE. It all starts in a mere seven days...
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
That's right! Just in time for you to catch up for next week's Season Four premiere, EUREKA SEASON 3.5 is now out on DVD. In addition to some awesome entertainment, the set also includes audio commentary from Yours Truly for Episode 316 - "You Don't Know Jack."
So what are you waiting for? Go BUY IT. Just click on the title of this posting for the Amazon.com link. You'll be happy you did.
And remember, Season 4 begins next FRIDAY, JULY 9TH @ 9PM PST.
See you there!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
As promised, you can now find out all about my recent visit to the EUREKA sets. Just click on this post's heading, and you'll be taken to EUREKA UNSCRIPTED, and my exclusive look into Season Four's seventh episode. Exclusive behind-the-scene pictures are included.
Up now... acclaimed author & fellow Eureka scribe Paula Yoo's interview with me. Plus, the contest to win signed comics has been extended through this Sunday. Click on the title of this posting and you'll be taken there.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Acclaimed author & fellow TV scribe PAULA YOO is giving away some signed comic book goodies next week, as part of an interview with me for her groovy website, "Paula Yoo: Write Like You Mean It."
Want more info... and a signed copy of the INK graphic novel or TITANS: VILLAINS FOR HIRE SPECIAL #1? Then just click on the heading for this post to get the details!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Deathstroke and donuts. Two things that go great together.
Want both? Then why not stop by your local KRISPY KREME or DUNKIN' DONUTS and pick up a free donut for NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY... then drop by your local comic store and pick up an issue of Titans? Oh, and if you already have the Titans: Villains for Hire Special #1, then pick up a CRAPLOAD of donuts. Enough to last you until NEXT WEDNESDAY, when TITANS #24 hits comic books stores on June 9th.
Oh. And if you want more info on National Donut Day, just click on the title of this post and it'll take you a Huffington Post article with the details.