June 26, 2015
Summer’s finally got her back off the wall and has joined the party down on the South Coast. She’s out on the dance floor, shaking her groove thang, and that’s got me thinking about a summer reading list. There’s something about reading when the weather is great, and you know you have absolutely nowhere else to be. It’s my favorite time to get lost in a story. When I was a kid it was comic books on my grandmother’s porch, or Judy Bloom under a tree, or history books with lots of pictures in the library when it was too hot out and I needed a little air conditioning. The last few years it’s been on a kindle, at the beach.
So here’s my list of summer hopefuls. A few are re-reads, and a few have been on my summer list for years. Ideally I’d get through all of them, but even just a few would make for some damn good time spent.
April 22, 2015
That was a tough one, huh? Crazy to think that just a month ago everything here on the south coast of MA was buried under 5 feet of frozen brown snow, and people were terrorizing each other over parking spaces. But we made it, like we always do. The Sox are on, the grass is green, and the days are longer. Fishing season is open. In another month the water will be warm enough at Fogland Beach to go clamming.
Heck, it’s almost like the winter of ’14-’15 never happened. Almost.
Most of my time this winter was spent working on a secret project that I started about sixteen months ago. Happy to say that the bulk of the work is finally complete, and hopefully there will be an exciting announcement this summer. I also finished editing a small collection of H.P. Lovecraft’s letters that I’m pretty damn pleased with and hope to see available as a Kindle Single sometime in the near future.
And, of course, C is for Cthulhu, my Lovecraftian alphabet book illustrated by fellow Bay Stater Greg Murphy. The success of this book has welled up the ol’ eyes with tears on more than a few occasions. Seeing all the photos of kids and parents across the world reading it — well, for me, that’s why I wanted to be a writer. Thank you, all, for sharing them with us and for helping make my dreams come true.
As of this morning, the book is sold out at Amazon. But fear not! We’ve reinvested funds from the Kickstarter campaign and ordered another printing which should be available early summer. We also have some super cuddly C is for Cthulhu news to announce over the next few months, as well as info on our follow up book, so stay tuned.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be outside.
January 23, 2015
I finally finished editing the Lovecraft letters chapbook for the Kickstarter campaign. Here’s a clip from the letter that inspired me to work on this collection; written to his aunt, on my birthday, 1926.
To Mrs. F.C. Clark – April 8th, 1926
“I really won’t need to bother about the mattress, for I’m not at all particular about sleeping arrangements at all. Half the time I don’t go to bed at all but sleep in my clothes on top of the couch…
No I don’t think I shall miss such social activities as I have had here–the Longs excepted. And I can discuss things as well by post as by word of mouth with Sonny. What I want are rest & oblivion–or at least, a seclusion amidst ancient scenes wherein I may cast off the actual modern world in a quiet round of reading, writing, & pilgrimages to quaint & historick places. I want to dream in an atmosphere of my childhood–to sit on Prospect Terrace with an old book or a pad & pencil in my hands…”
Here’s a picture of Prospect Terrace during Lovecraft’s time.
And here’s how it looks today, from almost the same angle.
December 30, 2014
Hey, everyone — here’s my top 6 (wtf?) list of books I enjoyed the heck out of in 2014.
1. The Drop – Because it’s Dennis Lehane. Best enjoyed: With a bag of ice on your head, two shots of whiskey, and a bottle of Advil while you recover from the pistol whipping you took for being a rat fuck, you rat fuck.
2. The Nasty Bits – A collection of articles and short non-fiction pieces by Anthony Bourdain. Raw, honest, and one of the best opening chapters in food book history. Best enjoyed: With a bloody steak and glass of red.
3. My Life in France – Julia Child’s memoir. Mostly a story about not giving a fuck about what other people think you can or can’t do, told in the politest way possible. Best enjoyed: Standing in the kitchen with a glass of wine, waiting for the water to boil. Bonus points if Edith Piaf is on in the background.
4. A Good Man is Hard to Find – Flannery O’Connor’s collection of shorts. My first step into the sweaty dark corners of American southern gothic. Best enjoyed: In the dog days of summer with a glass of bourbon and your darkest thoughts.
5. The Underwater Welder – Jeff Lemire. It’s winter, summer, fall, spring, loneliness, anxiety, fear, joy, and magic. Best enjoyed: Alone, on a rock, near the ocean.
6. Pleasures of the Good Earth – Edward Giobbi. In a lot of ways it’s the cookbook companion to my all-time favorite book about food and life: The Unprejudiced Palate. Everything you need to know about connecting with the food you eat, and living responsibly. Best enjoyed: In early spring, after a long day of turning soil in your garden.
Hope you all had a great year, and here’s to a wicked good 2015.
October 21, 2014
The original art pages below are from Shadow Show #1, the comic I did with artist Charles Paul Wilson III and Joe Hill. Charles, being the super generous guy that he is, gave me these pages and with his permission I’m offering them for sale to benefit the Boys & Girls Club, an organization that was very important to me when I was a kid.
Pretty, huh? The pages are 11×13, pencil and ink on bristol board. The price of each page is $175. That price includes shipping, a limited edition 11×17 print from Shadow Show #1, and two randomly selected comics signed by me. A smorgasbord of comic book goodness! These are being offered on a first-come-first-served basis, and I’ll update this post as the pages are sold. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your page locked up.
Score some sweet original art, and help out some kids in the process. All good things!
Payments accepted via Paypal.
August 20, 2014
August 18, 2014
Saturday night (August 23rd) I’ll be a guest reader at this year’s Lovecraft Readathon at the beautiful Providence Public Library from 7-10PM. I’ll be reading in the opening story, The Tomb, and the closing story, The Haunter of the Dark. There will be music by Ian Fitzgerald, Vudu Sister, and Haunt the House, as well as food and drink from local vendors. Should be a really great time. Hope to see you there.
Tickets and more information can be found here: Lovecraft Readathon
July 30, 2014
It’s really happening. After a year of anxiety, C is for Cthulhu, the alphabet board book I created with artist Greg Murphy, and Tyler James of ComixTribe is finally available to pre-order via Kickstarter. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this book… but if I could it would certainly be WICKED.
Info on all the fun can be found here: OMG I NEED THIS!
April 29, 2014
This Saturday, May 3rd, I’ll be at Jetpack Comics’ world famous Free Comic Book Day celebration in Rochester, NH. It’s gonna be a big one, dudes. Like…whoa — free comic books for days.
My pals (and fellow Massholes) Chris Golden (Baltimore, Sons of Anarchy) Tom Sniegoski (Bone, Vampirella) and Tyler James (The Red Ten, Epic) will be there, too. We’ll all have a bunch of stuff to scribble on for you.
Plus, you know, Rebekah Isaacs (Buffy) and those Ninja Turtle guys will be there. I’m sure at least a few people are excited about those three :)
This year I get my very own Free Comic Book Day issue: SCAM: CROSSWORDS #0, written by me, and drawn by Joe Mulvey. Even if you can’t make it up to Rochester, your local comic shop should have them to give away. It looks like this:
Looks badass, right? You see the blood on his mask, and the stuff on fire? Blood AND fire = Bad. Ass. BANG! BANG! BANG! GHAAAK! *bleeds to death*
I’m also bringing along early copies of my new MAGIC: THE GATHERING trade, tons of MAGIC single issues, and at least a few of pretty much everything else I’ve ever worked on. So drop by, say hello, and let’s celebrate. It’s our day.
Saturday is my older son’s 13th birthday. I’m bringing him along, and he loves punches on the shoulder…a lot.
March 31, 2014
It’s been raining for three days on the South Coast of Massachusetts. This morning that rain turned to fat globs of shaved ice for a just a few minutes while I was in the car. Normally that would piss me off. Sitting here, on the edge of April, seeing snow pelt my windshield — enough’s enough, you know? But it didn’t piss me off, not today. Today it made me smile.
Baseball is back. And for those of us in the north east, today is the official end to what was a long (and sometimes bleak) winter. At 3:05 this afternoon my beloved Red Sox play the first game of the 2014 season that matters. Everyone gets a fresh start today. We start at 1 and count to 162 between now and September 28th. And hopefully, with a little luck, our boys of summer will be playing well into the fall again.
“Everyday is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.” Bob Feller