Monday, March 30, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
The news was revealed in DC's solicitations today, but I'm bummed because they didn't use the solicitation text that I wrote, for space reasons.
So here is my preferred (and awesomer) solicitation text.
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Mike Norton
Jaime Reyes is back -- and he's got robot trouble! Giant, flying, killer robots to be exact. Sure, they plague every city from time to time, but the El Paso variety are so big, so fast, and so deadly that only Blue Beetle has any chance of stopping them. So, who devised these technological terrors? And why are they so hell-bent on killing Blue Beetle? Read it and find out -- it's a brand new chapter in the lives of Jaime, Paco, and Brenda, and it begins right here!
Friday, March 20, 2009
Known for his talents as a writer of comic book series including "House of Mystery" and the Eisner Award-nominated "Jack of Fables," Sturges turns his storytelling mastery to epic fantasy. With an enigmatic hero and a supporting cast of colorful and varied personalities, his latest work breathes new life into a genre too often stunted by stereotypical portrayals of good and bad creatures of the faerie realms. Joining Neil Gaiman in making the crossover from comics to prose fiction, Sturges represents a strong, new voice in fantasy.
I like anything where they mention me in the same breath with Gaiman. Even if it's like "he has lots of nose hair, just like Neil Gaiman" or something.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Robert liked it in spite of a few issues. He was not sold on the interlude entitled "Conversations with the High Priest of Ulet" which is an excerpt from abstruse, Socratic-style dialogue between two fictitious historical figures about the theological implications of magic. Go figure. But he did like the Thule Man. As one ought.
Liviu was more forgiving of the books shortcomings, though he looked askance at antagonist Purane-Es, calling him a "comic opera" villain. So fans of both opera buffa and epic fantasy will find cause to rejoice!
Edit: Liviu is a "he," not a "she." I don't know where I got it into my head to think otherwise.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Here's an excerpt from the excerpt, which is the brief text piece that opens Part One:
Winter comes to the land only once in a hundred years.When it comes, the always blossoming cherry trees close their petals and turn away from the chill wind. The animals of the forest come down from their trees and rocks and burrow deep into the ground for warmth. The Channel Sea grows angry and gray. The sun shines less brightly, hiding its face behind clouds rough as granite. When the River Ebe freezes over and a man can walk from Colthorn to Miday over the ice, then Midwinter has ofﬁcially begun.Midwinter is the darkest season. It is a time of repentance and of somber reﬂection during which even the Queen will wear black. In the mountain temples of the Arcadians, the icons are covered with dark cloth and the ancient censers are unwrapped and burned; they swing dangling from the ﬁngers of silent monks who walk the frigid stone ﬂoors of their temples barefoot. Around lakeside villages and in certain city shops where gaiety is the order of business, signs are hung reading simply, "Closed for Midwinter."There is a rumor in the court of the City Emerald that during Midwinter even Regina Titania’s powers ebb, that the Queen herself becomes pale and cold to the touch. But this is only a rumor, and a treasonous one at that.It lasts until the ice cracks and the ﬁrst new ﬁsh is caught in the Ebe. The lucky ﬁsherman who catches it becomes Lord of Colthorn for the day, and so for months before they have any chance of succeeding, the peasantry bring their poles and lines to the water’s edge, waiting for Firstcome to return.Firstcome is the time of rebirth. Every city in the land, from the tiniest hamlet to the City Emerald herself, has its own centuries-old tradition for celebrating the coming of the new summer and the greens and yellows and blues that accompany it.But until then, the trees will wear a wreath of white around their heads and the hills will be capped with reﬂective ice. From the farthest north expanse of the land, the snow will creep southward, stirring hurricanes in the Emerald Bay to lash at the city folk. Even the desert gnomes will feel a chill in their mud homes in the far south, but the snow will melt over the swamplands and its inhabitants will suffer a year or more of icy rain before Firstcome rescues them.
Until then, it is Midwinter.
Read the rest.
Monday, February 16, 2009
After reading over the contest entries, I saw some things that, in retrospect, I really should have put on my list, like All-Star Superman and Starman, but what's done is done.
So here's my list, with a bit of explanation about each:
10. Geoff Johns’ JSA -- Going back and rereading this phenomenal long run shows what a gifted storyteller Geoff Johns is (with props to David Goyer, as I have no idea how many of the ideas are his).
9. Grant Morrison's JLA -- Morrison here, seemingly effortlessly, shows us how to take stalwart characters and make them fresh and exciting again. Big, explosive, larger than life. As good as mainstream comics gets.
8. Astro city -- more than anyone else, Kurt Busiek took the ball that Alan Moore hiked in Watchmen and is still carrying it down the field. More genial and less of a deconstruction than Watchmen, but a much bigger canvas to paint on. And Brent Anderson and Alex Ross make it look so damn good.
7. Planetary -- One of the few books I know of in which the both the art and the writing match each other in terms of sheer brilliance. If that last fucking issue ever comes out, I'm going to sit down and spend an entire weekend contemplating it.
6. Miracleman -- If there's an earlier attempt to thoroughly deconstruct the superhero as a literary genre, I don't know of one, and if there is one, it isn't as good. Using an old British Captain Marvel ripoff as a vehicle, Alan Moore creates a metatextual explosion of ideas that not only functions as an examination of superheroes themselves, but also manages to be one of the most thoroughly engaging and gripping superhero stories ever written.
5. Love and Rockets -- Words don't do it justice, so I won't bother trying.
4. Alan Moore's Swamp Thing -- Brilliant, scary, disturbing, sometimes funny, Moore just ran full-throttle on this thing.
3. Hellboy -- Mike Mignola is a fucking force of nature. 'Nuff said.
2. Sandman -- the book that made me fall in love with comics. Probably my most BELOVED series. If it weren't for Sandman, I wouldn't be writing comics today.
1. Watchmen -- I've read this book so many times and I never stop being blown to bits by it. It's just so unassailably brilliant. So brazenly ingenious. It truly is the Citizen Kane of comic books. Hell, issue 4 of Watchmen may be the single greatest issue of any comic book ever.
That's MY list -- and the winner is: @robcaplis:
1Watchmen 2Sandman 3Swamp Thing 4Starman 5Criminal 6Astro City 7Kick Ass 8JLA 9NewFrontier 10CaptainAmerica
Clearly I need to break down and read about this "Captain America" character everyone keeps talking about.
So congrats to @robcaplis, and check back in a couple of days for more contest fun.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Here they are, by the way:
CWSB Forums / Blog
You can see why I don't need one more thing. Look for me on Twitter -- I'm tweeting all day long.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Midwinter Matthew Sturges. Pyr, $15.98 paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-59102-734-8
Comic book writer Sturges (Jack of Fables) makes an impressive debut with this superb low fantasy. During the titular cold season, the imprisoned soldier Mauritane is offered the opportunity to earn his freedom if he undertakes a risky mission for Seelie Queen Titania. Mauritane brings along a motley crew from the prison, including a gorgeous foreign warrior elf, a disgraced guard and a human scientist trapped in their world. Their Dirty Dozen–style exploits are interwoven with political intrigues at both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Sturges deftly works in superb character development, solid action sequences and engaging heroes and villains, as well as an original and fascinating mythological backbone for the Fae world. Although there is certainly room for the planned sequel, this tale stands nicely on its own. (Mar.)