"The audience will remain absolutely silent for ninety minutes." We'll see about that.
Bush moved faster across the stage to make it seem as if he's welcoming Kerry. So first cred for Bush.
9:06: Kerry answered the question directly and with animation, but looks directly at the moderator. Bush looks to Lehrer but spends most of his time looking directly into camera. His answer was a non-answer, but he looked good doing it. Bush then dodges the follow up question.
9:10: Bush thumps his podium repeatedly. New drinking game: Every time a podium is thumped, toss back a shot. Kerry has yet to look into the damned camera. Ah! Okay, just for a second there. Bush looks bored. Bush continues to refer to "my opponent."
9:18 Bush attempts to defend the multi-pronged battle against terrorism, but tends to wander and mixes up names (although points for getting that one Arab guy.) More podium thumping. Bush is now attempting to paint Kerry as flipflopping. Kerry could respond to it, but doesn't really.
9:20 Kerry seems credible on how he would improve on homeland secruity. Bush tosses back credentials in terms of the money that he's spent. However he's left Kerry an opening in talking about how he established the Dept of Homeland Security...which was a Clinton idea and which Bush refused at first to establish. But Kerry missed the opening. Now Kerry is thumping the podium. Bush finished strong.
9:27 Kerry continues to use grass-root examples to illustrate points. Oooo...Kerry cites Bush Sr. I was wondering if he was going to do that. Now Bush is in an interesting situation. Does he stand there and diss his dad? Unfortunately Kerry isn't actually responding to the original question about when and how to bring the troops home. Again Bush is trying to paint Kerry as being unsupportive. Kerry gets a good point about which is worse in terms of making mistakes, but he should have stopped talking right after that.
9:31: Kerry keeps speaking of pulling allies together, but doesn't make entirely clear how he's going to accomplish that other than that he's different. Overall, his comments remain more cogent. Kerry is taking notes. Wonder what he's going to say. Bush is starting to sound whiney. His voice is coming across as defensive. Bush keeps repeating the same phrases, claiming that for Kerry to disagree with what's going on in Iraq is somehow "denigrating."
9:35 Wait, what? Bush is saying that the reason we're having all these problems in Iraq is because we did too GOOD a job with the invasion? What we're dealing with is the result of efficiency? Uhm...okay. Kerry is now fighting back on the "denigrating" thing, but he's leaving himself open because he said he would not have done everything the same...except he's on record on saying he would have.
9:40 Kerry should avoid phrases like "I believe" and "I will try." It makes him sound indecisive.
9:44 "Was it worth it." This is the question that Kerry booted the other day with Diane Sawyer. Bush is now going for the human interest angle, and doing a good job. Kerry once again doesn't address the notion of "was it worth it." What the heck is his problem with answering this squarely? Say "Hell no, it wasn't worth it." Create a clear demarcation between him and Bush. I'm also starting to get pissed off that Lehrer that he is letting Bush steamroll into rebuttals. Especially since Bush is merely reiterating what he said before. Kerry's thirty second rebuttal is stronger than Bush's.
9:53 Goddammit, Lehrer, will you rein in Bush. He keeps jumping in at will.
9:54 "The enemy attacked us." But not Iraq! This is typical of the blurring Bush has done that convinced 3/4 of this country that Saddam attacked on 9/11. "A President has to be willing to use force." That's not the problem. The problem is that by all accounts he was eager to use force.
9:56 Yes! Yes! Kerry hit the same line I did. Bush left a wide opening and this time Kerry grabbed it. Very solid response. And yet again Bush jumps in to have the last word. And Kerry makes an incredibly sound point in response. That round to Kerry.
10:00 "I'm not sure what he means by passes the global test?" Kerry made it pretty clear, so I don't know what Bush doesn't get. Bush is now defending the notion of not joining the global criminal court. Huh? Damn, I wish Kerry would push for a 30 second response.
10:03 Bush seems fatigued and wandering. He's stopped looking into camera and instead at Lehrer. Lehrer is now starting to take a firmer hand, taking the time to try and delineate the difference between Bush and Kerry in regards to Korea.
10:10 The audience is remaining quiet. Wow. For the first time, Bush refers to him as "Senator Kerry" in the question about character. Bush is walking a real tight rope on this one. I hope they stop trying to make jokes; the silence is getting embarrassing. Bush is once again playing the flip flop card. Now Kerry can either be aggressive and attack Bush, or he can be defensive to answer the uncertainty issue.
10:13 "Certainty sometimes can get you in trouble." Wonder how that will play in Peoria. Is Bush insinuating that Kerry has been changing his "core values?"
10:17 Kerry is so confident he can say "nuclear" that he says "nuclear proliferation" twice in a row. Bush tries to say it and misses. Again Lehrer is clarifying matters, which is good.
10:24 A discussion on Russia is deteriorating into a reiteration of Korea and yet more about Saddam. It's like the whole thing has gone off the rails.
10:26 Kerry is now looking directly into camera for his final comments. He's got to do more of that in the next two. Bush gets in some last minute podium thumping. The "valley of peace" line isn't bad. Nice imagery.
Be sure to tune in to "The Daily Show" and their live coverage. And boy, I can't wait for the VP debate.
So Kathleen says, "Why don't you keep a running blog commenting on the debate, since we'll be watching it anyway."
Well yeeha, campers, that sounds like a nifty idea. So I'm going to keep this blog ongoing during the debate. Check in as little or often as you wish.
Peter will be at the Graphic Novel Pavilion on Schwartz Plaza (no relation, but there should be) between 3rd and 4th Streets off of Washington Square Park on 10/2 between 4:00 and 4:45.
Tom Brevoort and I have decided that "Tempest Fugit" will be five issues instead of six. That's fine by me. The way the story's developing, its natural length is five issues. I mean, yeah, I could (pardon the expression) pad it out to six, but what's the point of that? So TF will be issues 77 through 81. Issue 82 will be a one-off, possibly with a guest artist depending on how deadlines are running. What I'm planning to do is a story that will be self-contained, but at the same time lay groundwork for an ongoing story arc if I continue past #82.
From the AOL newsfeed:
(Sept. 28) - Fewer than two-thirds of the former soldiers being reactivated for duty in Iraq and elsewhere have reported on time, prompting the Army to threaten some with punishment for desertion.
The former soldiers, part of what is known as the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), are being recalled to fill shortages in skills needed for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Of the 1,662 ready reservists ordered to report to Fort Jackson, S.C., by Sept. 22, only 1,038 had done so, the Army said Monday.
"The numbers did not look good," said Lt. Col. Burton Masters, a spokesman for the Army's Human Resources Command.
As an example of the challenges they faced, Masters held up a note from one Private Avon which simply read, "I'm not stupid, I'm not expendable, and I'm not going."
So we finally got around to watching "Lost," which we taped while watching another program last Wednesday. (I have to say, I'm not sure how Wednesday every year is this frickin' clusterbomb of all the shows I want to watch while other nights there's not a damned thing on I want to see.)
In any event, I'm wishing that "Lost" was on cable so it could have a more appropriate title...
...such as "F*cked." Seriously. Gilligan and the Skipper were lost on an island. Will and the Robot were lost in space. Bill and Scarlett were lost in translation. Being lost is one thing. These people are stuck on an island with a woman who looks like she's about to give birth to a Volkswagen, some guy with a gun, a rock and roll Hobbit who was, I dunno, hiding drugs in the airplane bathroom, an Asian couple who have something going on with them, and apparently King Kong's less friendly brother is skulking around in the forest...all while the rescue planes, if there are any, are searching for them a thousand miles away. The guy who got sucked into the jet engine? He had a good day. The pilot who lived just long enough to deliver valuable exposition and then leaned out his window while I kept shouting, "I really wouldn't be doing that if I were you", that guy? Got off lucky. The rest of them...they're beyond lost. They're f*cked.
There's a buttload of characters to try and get a handle on, and what with this being a show by J.J. Abrams, I think we can all safely assume that no one there is who or what they appear to be. Which is fine, except I'm not exactly sure who most of them are yet, much less what else they might be. But that's fine. Right now we've got a situation being set up and what drives the compelling pilot episode is seeing how they react to their utterly f*cked situation. (You almost wish Bill Paxton could be there reacting to the distant roaring of whatever it is stalking them with a terrified, "Game over, man, game over!")
One is forced to admire Jack who spends a quarter hour running around tending to everybody else while, unbeknownst to us, he's losing blood by the liter. Kate remains a cypher, albeit a determined and supportive cypher, and everybody else is just big question marks. This was a premiere where I really wouldn't have minded if it had been two hours because, after all, if you don't care about the characters, the intrigue of their situation isn't going to matter. But given it's only an hour, Abrams wisely zeroes in on just three folks and makes them, at the very least, watchable, while whetting our appetite to learn about the others. A solid first episode and I'll definitely be back for more (although I couldn't help but consider the poor actress playing Kate, thinking, "Jennifer Garner gets fun outfits, wigs, gets to kick ass...me, I get to be terrified in the rain.")
...when it seems to go so frickin' slow?
At any rate, Yom Kippur is done (well do I remember several years ago when it fell smack on my birthday. "So what are you doing for your birthday?" "Not eating and going to synagogue."
Still, I had a lot to think about this year, and a lot to be thankful for. Hope everyone else who observed Yom Kippuer this year had an easy fast.
Cat Stevens can't set foot in the United States, but Yanni is allowed to walk around free?
Man, talk about the terrorists winning...
Yup, winter's comin', and that's the signal that Cowboy Pete is back with the TV roundup. This week's launch is a good 'un with two episodes of "Charmed," the season launch of "Smallville," and a brand new "I Like This Show, I Wonder When They'll Cancel It" entry called "Veronica Mars." Spoilers abound.
"Charmed"--Two episodes in, and it's very clear that the driving force of this season is going to be Leo going slowly off his nut. The future of Wyatt going bad hangs heavily over the series, and it's starting to shape up that Leo is going to be main reason this will happen (if it does happen.) He's blown away a couple of Elders, and doesn't exactly seem to be drowning in remorse. Meanwhile he's being actively courted by an evil floating head which is, y'know, NEVER a good thing. Personally, I'm wondering whether Leo isn't going to be tapped to be the new Source of Evil, who has--to my knowledge--been without a vessel ever since Cole was blown away.
Meanwhile the three sisters continue to handle each escalatingly bizarre story development with an attitude that radiates "seen it all," but at the same time still has a freshness to it that most other shows which have been around this long can only envy. Plus special bonus points for catering to genre fans as this week featured John ("Q") de Lancie and Elizabeth (New Frontier's own "Shelby") Dennehy as elders, with Charisma Carpenter showing up next week. And hey, Phoebe naked on a horse...really, what's not to like?
"Smallville"--Okay, okay, I give. I finally believe a man can fly, okay? Not only does the show come out of the box firing on all cylinders, but they installed a few more cylinders for good measure so they could have those firing as well. Clark drops naked into a cornfield (to the delight of my wife and 13 year old daughter) only to be confronted by newly arrived Lois Lane, blowing a huge gaping hole in my Chloe-is-Lois theory (and drives the final nail into the coffin of the notion that some years down the road, reporter Lois Lane doesn't recognize Superman for who he is, glasses or lack of glasses notwithstanding.) There are enough meta-gags and nudge-nudge, wink-wink moments to satisfy Eric Idle's "Say no more" guy, ranging from the Superman movies' Lana Lang having a scene with the Superman movies' Lois Lane (who in turn makes reference to her and the Superman movies' Superman being a couple in "another lifetime"), to Lois' comment about liking nerds with glasses, to the priceless bit where some confused pilots pick up a speeding Kal-El on radar and wonder, "What is that? Is that a bird? A plane?"
And how about that flying Kal-El, huh? In a sequence that's about as far from "three running steps and hit the springboard" as you can get, Kal-El apparently, through sheer will power, severs some gravimetric lines or builds up some kinda energy or something, and blows himself skyward like a cork out of a champagne bottle. For years the mantra's been "no flights, no tights." Yet here we get one hell of a flight, although still no tights...or even underwear on Tom Welling for about half his screen time. And hey, Lana gets naked and glowy too, so that's all good.
Still, we are confronted with yet another deus ex machina to solve nasty behavior on Clark's part. Last time it was Jonathan getting powered up by Jor-El. This year's "huh?" moment is Margot Kidder pulling "black kryptonite" out of her ass (not, y'know, literally). Pulling in a new color of kryptonite to ignite a story, I've no problem with. Producing it in order to resolve a story, on the other hand...not exactly the best writing. So what does black kryptonite do? Well, to all intents and purposes, it restores Clark's soul, so I guess it's aptly named. Hey, how come Red Kryptonite doesn't make him a communist? Or make him vote Republican?
I also liked that Lois is the only other person on the show to dress in blue and red.
I have to admit I did see the shock ending coming the moment Clark showed up at Chloe's gravesite. But if you want to know where Chloe is, you need look no further than a flip of the channel dial to UPN, where you'll find...
"Veronica Mars"--...Chloe, or maybe her twin sister, in a vaguely noirish tale of a teenage girl who assists her father in running a private detective agency. Basically it's "My So Called Life" meets "Encyclopedia Brown," and the show is SO much better than that somewhat crappy description of it, I can't even begin to tell you. I tend to believe that first person narration should be limited to detective stories, and so it's right at home here, as Veronica is pulled both into an adultery investigation that could be connected with a supposedly resolved murder case, and also aids a young guy named Wallace who's run afoul of a motorcycle gang, led by the most intriguing good guy/bad guy cyclist since the Fonz. The only thing that concerns me is that her father says "Who's your daddy?" so many times that it's starting to make me wonder if he is, in fact, not her daddy.
Anyone, I don't want to go into too much detail because it's being repeated this Friday at 9 PM. At least, thank God, this Wednesday 9 PM launch is not its regular slot (that's going to be Tuesday) so it won't be going head-to-head with "West Wing." Now if the UPN will just stick with it long enough for it build an audience.
Waaa hoo, pardners.
And yeah, I know it's my birthday. Shaddup.
Right before the picture was taken Caroline tried to pull my hat off. More pictures later.
Weather was perfect for the Renfaire yesterday (although admittedly the traffic going both up and back was a horror show.) It was a nice birthday excursion for Ariel and three of her friends, Alyssa, Danica and Noelle.
The costumes Kathleen did up looked great. And I have to say, I began to enjoy all the bowing and scraping from a number of the attendees, including guys who went to one knee and cried out, "King Arthur! My liege!"
Every so often someone would try to be challenging, shouting out things like, "Where are the coconuts?" To which I would reply archly, "Bloody peasants. Come, Patsy." And I would gallop away with Kathleen right behind me, banging two coconuts together, while Caroline rode in the backpack on Kathleen's back, wearing a jester hat and clutching a white Monty Python huge-fanged plush bunny.
Best was the bellydancers who hauled me up on stage during their performance and I danced with them while Kathleen discovered that her digital camera was out of memory. And the crowd was shouting "Hail to the king!" and "Long live Arthur!"
Right now I'm sitting here wearing the crown. Feels good.
Ariel and I are back from Boston, where I did store signings at two of NEC's outlets. We had a really good turn out, and I've already been talking with the fine folks there about returning in January to promote "Hulk #77."
While there, Ariel spent time with her big sister, Gwen,and they checked out the Lord of the Rings exhibit which--I'm told--is most impressive.
Best of all, the chocolate bars that Ariel was assigned to sell on behalf of the synagogue were purchased in their entirety by hungry fans, so that's one less thing to worry about.
Driving back here was a hoot and a half, with torrents of rain courtesy of Ivan hammering down. Fortunately I was driving a rental car, and had opted to get a GPS system with it. With main roads flooded out, the Global Positioning System guided us through back streets and enabled us to avoid several major trouble spots. Otherwise a four hour trip would have been six to eight hours, easy.
Tomorrow we'll be traveling, for Ariel's birthday, to the Renfair up in Sterling Forest. I'll be sporting my King Arthur ensemble, Kathleen will be Patsy, and Ariel and her friends all have wenchlike outfits they'll be sporting. Should be fun.
I'll be at two of New England Comics' stores tomorrow, promoting the new Madrox series as well as Fallen Angel. I'll be appearing at the store in Brockton, MA, at 2:30 PM, and at the store on Harvard Street in Brookline at 6 PM. C'mon by, say hi.
The first of the five issue series about Jamie Madrox, mutant detective. Whad'ja think?
For some bizarre reason, my conservative friends (and I use the term insincerely) on this board keep pestering me to comment about the whole CBS thing with Bush's time protecting the skies over Oklahoma while Kerry was, y'know, apparently the one soldier in the entirety of Vietnam not being shot at. Politicians and supporters who swallow whole anything the Swifties say are suddenly demanding hearings because of the CBS reports. And people are throwing it in MY face like I'm the head of the Dan Rather fan club. Why they're not throwing it in, say, Jerome's face, since he's a working reporter and--if it's false--then it's a commentary on the lack of quality of the Fourth Estate, leaves me mystified (and I again use the term insincerely.)
I didn't comment on the story when it was released because, frankly, it didn't interest me all that much. The debate barely interested me four years ago, and it certainly doesn't now. Bottom line is that all the masterminds currently waging war in Iraq have never been under enemy fire themselves, period. So it's of little relevance to me HOW they avoided it. They used all the powers at their family's command to avoid enemy fire, period. And John Kerry didn't do that, again period. So the basis of the argument is hazy to me at best.
Furthermore, truth to tell, I learned back in Journalism 101 that if a piece of information seems too good to be true, it usually is. So at best, I was leery of it. I still am. And if it turns out CBS was suckered, they should admit they made a mistake. If nothing else, it will put them several points ahead of the President, who lacks that capacity.
But trying to pretend that Bush's dubious military service is somehow legitmized if the CBS story is indeed false is like saying that Piltdown Man being a hoax invalidates evolution.
I think the following would be an interesting script for a commerical for a Democratic activist group:
1) Footage of Candidate Bush stating that he's against nation building.
2) Footage of dead and dying American soldiers and dead and dying Iraqis, including some of that brutal footage from "F 9/11."
3) Footage of Bush declaring "MIssion Accomplished."
4) Footage of headlines declaring over a thousand Americans killed.
5) Footage of Candidate Bush stating that he supported the assault weapon ban.
6) Footage of newspaper headlines about the assault ban treaty being lifted without a word of protest from the White House, intercut with dead and dying young people or terrorists fighting assault weapons.
7) Footage of Bush saying that he's keeping us safer. Freeze Frame, and the following words appear:
"While he's lyin', we're dyin'."
Paid for by the Committe of People Who Don't Want to See More People Die On George Bush's Watch.
Just a passing thought.
Although this has been announced at various conventions, I haven't stated it here,and word hasn't apparently filtered through to the on-line community. So I figure I'll clarify matters, especially since I see folks on Newsarama wondering if "Tempest Fugit" is going to be a $3.50 per issue price point similar to the current Hulk/Thing limited series.
Bottom line is this: The combination of the positive fan response to the "Hulk" limited series by Lee Weeks and me, and the fact that Bruce Jones is now exclusive with DC, prompted Marvel to say, "Why the heck are we doing this as a limited series instead of as part of the ongoing?" So rather than it being issues 1-6 of "Tempest Fugit," the Hulk series will simply start up again in January after a four month hiatus and my storyline will be issues 77 through 82 of the regular book. Which means that, to all intents and purposes, I'm back writing the Hulk.
Whether I'll stay beyond that hinges on a few things. First, I want to make sure that I'm comfortable back writing the Hulk. So I've really only committed to six issues Then again, I initially only committed to six issues of "Young Justice," so it's not unprecedented for me to stay around.
Second, of course, is fan and retailer response, and third is whether Marvel wants to keep me around on the series. But naturally those two aspects are inextricably bound. If the retailer and fan support is there, that will send Marvel one message. If it's not, that sends them another. And they will act accordingly, and I wouldn't blame them.
So ultimately what it comes down to is, I'm back on "Hulk." Whether I stay or not is up to a variety of factors, not the least of which is you guys.
Unbelievable. The free edition of "Fallen Angel" designed to get fans to sample it and, ideally, pick up the trade?
A retailer has put one up on Ebay. And it's already got two bids bringing it up to $3.75. This for a book that says "FREE" on the cover. Check it out.
On the anniversary of September 11th, I would like to bring to your attention my multimedia adaptation of John M. Ford's "110 Stories".
You can view the Quicktime file (13 MB, just under 7 minutes) at http://110stories.malibulist.com/110Stories.mov, and you can read the original text at http://www.110stories.us/. If you happen to have the bandwidth to mirror this, please do, as I anticpate traffic-- if you do, please email me with a link so I can post it properly.
And to all of you who helped contribute to the making of this project... thank you.
...or are more people than ever trying to exploit 9/11 for personal gain? Be it the GOP or some of the most remarkably tacky 9/11-related commemorative merchandise ever.
If anyone is interested in seeing the tragedy used for keenly dramatic purposes, I refer you to the FX series "Rescue Me," in which it's three years later and a group of firemen are still wrestling with the aftershocks of what they witnessed that day.
I can't help but notice a couple of real-world parallels to stuff that was in "West Wing."
WEST WING WORLD: In the flashback sequences where Bartlett was running for the presidency, his (soon to be fired) advisors kept urging him to refer to "my opponent." The reasoning was, Why keep mentioning the name of the guy he's running against? Why give him the publicity? Bartlett rejected the advice, maintaining that it would make it seem as if he couldn't remember the guy's name. That it would make him look "dotty."
REAL WORLD: Bush constantly refers to Kerry as "my opponent" rather than by name. Either he doesn't care if it makes him look dotty, doesn't want to give Kerry additional publicity, or he really can't remember Kerry's name.
WEST WING WORLD: Bartlett's second term opponent, the Bush-esque Governor Ritchie, wanted to minimize the number of debates. Bartlett wanted anywhere from three to five, Ritchie wanted no more than two (and eventually got it down to one).
REAL WORLD: Where Kerry wants as many debates as possible, with a minimum of three, the Ritchie-esque Bush wants no more than two, and technically hasn't agreed to any. Whether they get it down to one has yet to be seen.
I asked Dave Lopez to do a simple headshot of the Fallen Angel for the bookplate, and instead Dave outdid himself with the following pencil drawing. So it's taking a little longer to produce it than anticipated, but I think you'll find it worth the wait, right?
Some folks are writing me, telling me that their interest has been piqued by the recent "Fallen Angel" promotion, but that back issues are hard to come by.
I've checked with DC. They have, in stock, issues 12, 13 and 14. Each of these are stand alone issues, but contain important groundwork for the current arc in 15-18. So if your retailer claims he can't obtain those issues, as some are...well, I don't want to say anyone's lying. Let's just say they're misinformed.
As for issues 7 through 11, DC hasn't announced a trade collection of them yet, but certainly sales on the current one will determine that.
The issue of "Fallen Angel" which kicks off a major four-part story arc that will result in major revelations about Bete Noire, and the "Spyboy" issue that wraps up the current four parter.
Today is Kath's birthday. She's down in Atlanta, celebrating it with her folks and siblings. So feel free to toot on your cyber noisemakers and wish her many happy returns of the day.
UPDATE: Check out the latest www.thefourthrail.com to see a rave review for "Fallen Angel #15," out this week.
The following is a DC press release that went out September 7.
DC PROVIDES FREE COPIES OF FALLEN ANGEL #1 TO RETAILERS
On September 9, retailers will receive free copies of a special new printing of DC Comics' FALLEN ANGEL #1 (PROM60034), featuring the first story from the FALLEN ANGEL TP (APR040304). This issue, which features the words "This issue free" on the cover, is written by Peter David, with art by David Lopez & Fernando Blanco and cover art by Brian Stelfreeze. The issue also includes a letter to readers from David.
This edition of FALLEN ANGEL #1 is provided to retailers in quantities equal to half of their initial orders of HELLBLAZER #200 (JUL040693).
"I am very pleased that DC feels that FALLEN ANGEL is worth the time, consideration and energy for this extra promotional step," says David. "Part of it stems from the nearly unanimous critical raves the series has gotten, and part from DC's knowing that upcoming issues will answer a lot of questions. As for the much-debated background of the Fallen Angel herself, well... let's just say that the final panel of issue #18 should pretty much point the way, once and for all, in the direction of her true origins. By giving readers a second look at series' start, DC is inviting and urging readers who missed it the first time to give it a try."
Here's what the critics are saying about FALLEN ANGEL:
"Some of Peter David's finest work in comics. The mysterious setting of Bete Noire is a fascinating creation, the cast of characters delightfully morally ambiguious..." - thefourthrail.com
"Worth my money every month... DC's best kept secret." - aintitcoolnews.com
"...the best book out there you aren't reading. The characters are intense and exciting." - 4colorreview.com
"Books like FALLEN ANGEL ensure I will be continuing to read comics for a long time." - 411mania.com
"Every issue is packed with enough twists, surprises, action, and psychological tension to make a therapist seek mental help. If you can find another title with more bang for your buck every month, let me know." - Paperbackreader.com
"You wouldn't expect this dark writing from a guy famous for his humor and puns. But David has pulled it off, showing he's a lot more versatile - and a lot more serious - than anyone else thinks. - stupidscifi.com
"...the most mature, twisted, deep and emotional book Peter David has ever written... a new benchmark in his long and distinguished career." - herorealm.com
"This is Peter David's best writing since finishing THE INCREDIBLE HULK." - mediasharx.com
Upcoming issues of FALLEN ANGEL are available as follows:
FALLEN ANGEL #15 (JUL040617) is available for advance reorder and is scheduled to arrive in stores on September 9.
FALLEN ANGEL #16 (AUG040381) is solicited in the August issue of Previews (Volume XIV #8) and is scheduled to arrive in stores on October 13.
FALLEN ANGEL #17 (SEP040314) is solicited in the September issue of Previews (Volume XIV #9) and is scheduled to arrive in stores on November 3
In addition, the FALLEN ANGEL TP (APR040304) available for reorder. This title collects FALLEN ANGEL #1-6 and features an introduction by Harlan Ellison.
A somewhat calmer day, as Mondays generally are. Spent the morning at my table, and then went to the Star Trek track of "An hour with Peter David" (which for fans probably feels more like a week with Peter David, but okay). To my utter surprise the room was packed. I read the opening chapter of the next New Frontier novel, "After the Fall," which should be out later this year. Once again Caroline made an awwwww-inspiring appearance, this time decked out in a little yellow STTOS command shirt. She climbed up on a chair behind the table, beamed at the audience, and I did the Hammer thing again. Once again she boogied to it. The child simply adores being in front of an audience. Milks them for all they're worth.
At 1 PM was a panel remembering Julie Schwartz which Harlan moderated. These types of memorial panels are never easy. All in all, it went as well as such things good, recalling Julie fondly but savoring his gruffness and kvetching as much as anything.
I went down to the dealer's room after that and spotted Soupy Sales. I went over and immediately told him how much his show meant to me as a kid. He opened his mouth...and sat there. Mouth open. Like a toy that had run out of batteries. I stood there confused, uncertain of what to do, and the younger woman with him--his wife--immediately replied. We discussed the merchandise on the table and I bought two books. Soupy then worked on signing them, holding the marker carefully, and very softly I asked his wife if he'd had a stroke. She indicated that, no, he'd had some kind of operation (indicating the chest.) I don't know what sort of surgery could cause someone to "lock up" like that. He did manage to say "Thank you" perfectly clearly several times, so I'm unclear what the deal was. But it saddened me greatly, seeing someone who I remembered as so vital just sort of trapped in his own body that way.
I went back to my table for a time, but by 4 PM the place was pretty much dead. So I'm back here in the hotel room, babysitting the snoozing Caroline, while Kath is at a panel and Ariel is prowling the dealer's room. I'm worried about what will happen tomorrow with the rains predicted and whether it will interfere with our getting back.
Correction to yesterdays blog: Turns out that Nathan Fillion did NOT say "You f*cked up." He said, "That's f*cked up." So it was more an observation than a threat.
With Kathleen taking Caroline out early to visit her folks and go to church, Ariel and I wound up sleeping in and not waking up until 9:40. Tossing down an invigorating breakfast consisting of poptarts, we went downstairs and I took my first cruise around the dealer's room. Came out with a new "Nightmare Before Christmas" wristwatch for Kath, an animated heart watch for Ariel, and a replica of Excalibur from "Holy Grail" made by the fine folks at Museum Replicas (no clue how I'm getting it home yet.)
So the day started out nicely enough. Little did I suspect the disaster in the making.
My morning panel was a solo one called "Stump Peter David." The notion was that fans were supposed to submit trivia questions about my work. It could have been a fiasco, but was saved by the fact that they forgot to let the fans know about it and thus there were almost no questions. Ariel was with me as well, but the star of the panel was Caroline. She was in rare form, and even did her fun party tricks such as bouncing up and down and dancing exuberantly when I hum MC Hammer's "Hammer Time." Why the song has that effect on her, I couldn't say, but it does.
I worked my table in the afternoon, saw the rest of the dealer's room after that, and then at 7 was on a panel about "The Hulk" with Paul Jenkins and Bruce Jones. It went perfectly smoothly. I was bracing myself the entire time, waiting for someone to ask Bruce (or me) about my on line comments about his run on the series. No one did. So it was never addressed, and the sparks I thought would fly never did. Oh well.
So I head over to the Hyatt where Harlan and I are supposed to do our cabaret. The moment I get there, I'm hit with the news that Harlan has blown out his voice. He's sick as a dog with laryngitis. Harlan, whose idea this whole thing was, is out of it. I'm MCing the thing on my own.
I'm in near-panic mode. Sure, I've MC'd things on my own countless times, but never when the audience was there expecting Harlan instead. I'm convinced that the moment I get up there and announce that Harlan is out of it, the crowd will get up and leave.
Ariel, meantime, is participating in the masquerade, part of a group presentation. She's playing the Angel of Healing. The competition is stiff and her group doesn't win, but she has a good time.
Meanwhile, her father announces that Harlan won't be joining us, and that I'm winging this on my own...and the audience, to my surprise, seems supportive. I open with a couple of Tom Lehrer songs (The Elements, Poisoning Pigeons, and Vatican Rag) then invite the audience to sing along to Rainbow Connection (with me using my Kermit voice) and then go with a couple of showtunes: Rich Man, followed by Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat. Then, with Kathleen aiding me, I closed out with a Young Frankenstein-inspired version of "Puttin' on the Ritz."
With Anne McCaffery, who was supposed to sing opera, a no-show, the other act was Matt Robinson of TV's "The Tribe." He did one rock cover and a number of original songs (to find out more about his band, check out www.lastpictureshow.net.) A really nice young man, and now I'll have to start watching the show. Last I saw him, he was up in the hospitality room where a very interested young lady was aggressively hitting on him.
So I got through it, but it was kind of hairy there for a while. People insisted I did well, although naturally I'm convinced they were just being polite.
As I write this, Kathleen is getting the evening off from Mommy duty. I'm here in the hotel room while she's off hanging with friends while Ariel is, in all likelihood, at the concert being given by Chick Corea. Caroline was getting a bit fussy, reluctant to settle down for bed. So I've ordered up "Shrek II and Caroline, a huge fan of computer animation, is contentedly watching it in bed.
This was a pretty good day. Kathleen and I were both on a panel about where one's muse comes from. From what does a writer draw inspiration. The basic answer for me is deadlines and bills. That's about all the spur I need.
Went to the "Firefly" panel. Now...Jewel Staite (who used to work for me on "Space Cases" back when she was thirteen) and Nathan Fillion have been having a sort of bizarre contest since the earliest days of "Firefly." Basically they find new and innovative ways to flip each other off. It seemed that Nathan had the last word because, at the very end of the "Firfly" motion picture outtake reel, the words "For Jewel" appeared followed by an action figure of Nathan as Caleb extending his middle finger at her.
So apparently Nathan won the contest.
Because when they started doing their Q&A, Nathan happened to call on the fat bearded guy in the third row. And I stood up on the chairs, and bellowed, "Nathan! On behalf of Jewel..." at which point everyone in the packed ballroom got to their feet, "Dragon*Con salutes you!" And a room filled with over a thousand people extended their middle fingers at Nathan Fillion. Nathan took it as well as could be expected, admitting "that's a lot of bird," although he did darkly warn several times that we had "f*cked up." Jewel was beaming, pleased with her (no pun intended) handiwork. Adam Baldwin looked serenely bemused.
In the afternoon, Harlan and I did a two-man panel that was supposed to be horror stories about network executives. Now...a bit of backstory. Dragon*Con had wanted Harlan and I to host "Iron Artist" Sunday morning, but Harlan had demurred. When asked what he WOULD like to do, Harlan said, for reasons surpassing understanding, "You know what would be great. Peter and I love to sing. How about he and I do a late-night cabaret. Just him and me and a piano player and we'll sing show tunes and standards."
Well, the next thing we knew, the thing had mutated into two pianists, a base player, and half a dozen other acts, and Harlan and I would be MC'ing it. Which we reluctantly said we'd do, but it wasn't at all what we'd wanted.
So what we decided to do was to take our Saturday afternoon panel and do the cabaret we'd wanted to do in the first place. We had a wonderful pianist and, to the surprise of the confused but willing audience, Harlan and I did a variety of tunes including "Night Life," Tom Lehrer's "The Elements," and "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat."
I signed at the table from 3 to 6:30 and then headed to the Awards banquet, where the food was okay, Harlan kept baiting the MC and vice versa, and I watched a bunch of people who weren't me win stuff.
And now I'm here.
Yesterday when pretty well. Had a 1 PM reading and the room was packed. Granted, it was a fairly small room, but on the other hand, if I couldn't even fill that, it would have been pretty sucky. Read the "But I Digress" column about "the day before yesterday" which got a lot of positive comments when it saw print. Also read the scripts for "Fallen Angel #15" and the first issue of "Tempest Fugit," and the first chapter from "Hidden Earth," the new fantasy series I'm writing for Tor. The audience seemed to like them all; either that or they were doing a good job of covering their disgust.
Attended the Atlanta Radio Theater's production of "Shadow Over Innsmouth," starring Harlan. Also it was the 25th birthday of Jewel Staite's (Kaylee of "Firefly") husband, Matt, so we attended a birthday party thrown for him. Met Nathan Fillion (Mal) and Adam Baldwin (Jayne). Fortunately Jewel warned me ahead of time that he was not, in fact, one of THE Baldwin brothers, so I avoided saying something stupid. Also ran into Ernie Hudson of "Ghostbusters" fame in the elevator--just one of the encounters that makes Dragon*Con so entertaining.
I cannot recommend highly enough staying at the Marriott rather than the Hyatt. Not only is the elevator set-up better organized to avoid endless waits, but there's no place in the main lobby for people to mass. Because of the way the Hyatt is set up, hundreds of people gather in the lobby and the atrium then becomes a funnel for the noise, so there is a CONSTANT racket. Plus the Marriott atriuim is lined with solid concrete walls, whereas the Hyatt's atrium is lined with metal vertical rods, like a picket fence...perfect for a fast toddler to slip out of a parent's grasp, dart through, and plummet fourteen floors. So we rest a lot easier here.
And now a public service announcement from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund which should be of interest to my fans...both of you...
"The CBLDF is proud to offer an exclusive new chapbook by Peter David
available only to CBLDF members. 'Archetype/Angel: Rare Writings to
Benefit the CBLDF' will be available exclusively at DragonCon. The
chapbook features the out-of-print story "The Archetype" and the
script to "Fallen Angel #16" It is strictly limited to a signed and
numbered edition of fifty. "Archetype/Angel" is available to
card-carrying CBLDF members only for a $10 donation starting on
Saturday morning of DragonCon."
The first story, "Archetype," has only seen print once, in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. And the script to "Fallen Angel #16" is part 2 of the 4 part story, "Hurlyburly," that will ultimately reveal the origin of Bete Noire and the secret of the Angel and Juris' relationship.
So there you go.