Monday, November 29, 2010

Winter is coming

Oh me, oh my... I can not wait, kids. I can not wait. It looks so good. Here, quickly now, watch this:



What is it, you ask? For shame, dilettante, read up, catch up, then come back and join the rest of us in the long wait...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Codehunters

Here's a cool little short film by someone named Ben Hibon. Apparently he does an animated sequence in new Harry Potter flick (which I may go see tonight). If this is any indication of his work, I would be very interested in seeing more... especially if he eschews too much of an anime influence... and doesn't pull too heavily from the steampunk kind of stuff... or include characters in trenchcoats and cowboy hats... but that's just me...

Anyway, for your viewin pleasure: Codehunters



Here's the backstory, it's a little sloppy that so much information has to be imparted in text, but whatever, it was fun:

CODEHUNTERS... The story so far...

The port city of Lhek is on the brink of collapse. A Pacific Rim state in a not too distant Asian future with no borders, no meaningful government and little law and order.

Corruption and crime are out of control in the dark alleys of Eda, Lhek's slum district. Most sectors of the city are controlled by the army of dictator Khaan. The most underprivileged parts of the city are infested with dark Demons, ferocious creatures that spread fear and death amongst the city's inhabitants. To venture to those dark places is a dangerous game.

Eight decades ago, Khaan's right hand man, Niran, was said to have found a way of capturing children's darkest dreams and materializing them into reality. It was believed that Demons were created from those dark visions and used to spread fear and terror over Lhek.

Since Khaan came into power his supremacy had been challenged by a single dissenter, a man named Krai. This man was a renowned "Coder"; one of the last survivors of a supreme race possessing the ability to manipulate DNA, the code of life. Krai was the only person with the power to challenge Khaan's rule of terror. As his wrath turned against Khaan, Krai became the people's hero, a symbol of rebellion and freedom.

For seven decades, the ruler hunted him down ferociously. Krai was finally captured and executed, his body cut into seven parts. Even since, stories have spread that his remains resisted cremation and that Khaan was forced to keep them hidden. The seven remains were to be scattered across Asia never to be re-assembled.

Shen, Lawan, Zom and Nhi are the Codehunters. They are said to be the only ones who have the ability to see the suspended "DNA-strings" (the Dark Code) which control the Demons once they materialize. Only the Hunters with their special abilities have the power to challenge Khaan and Niran in their reign of terror. But without the help of Krai, the source of the Dark Code cannot be destroyed...

In recent years many mercenaries and followers of the Code have tried to find and re-assemble the fallen god. But no one has come close to succeeding... until now...

Created & Directed by Ben Hibon


Stumbled across at Badass Digest

Post Thanksgiving Coma

Hey, all, so just so you know heading into this post, the "G" key on my keyboard has chosen to become a right stubborn bastard, so if I start leaving them out, that's not me bein' street, you know, kickin' it... it's just my crappy computer. At least, most of the time. Admittedly, some of it will be due to me just bein' cool, but... that's just how I roll...

Anyway, Thanksgiving was good. Although to be  fair, I'm still only halfway through it. Little Ms. Super-cute Wife and I are at Dad's, which isn't as strange as I thought it'd be, maybe I'm getting used to that shit, I don't know. Whatever, it's good. The food was great and it's nice to see Stepmom C and the Wild Child. No, no, really the only real downside to all of this holiday-ing is that we're currently in Missouri, which, as we all know, sucks balls. Missouri has never done anything good for the world except to give us the James/Younger Gang, an opinion I will take to my grave, most likely while locked in a death struggle with the state. Come saturday, though, Little Ms. Super-cute Wife and I will load up the car and motor on up to Boone, where we will fill up on food (once more with feeling), and then head home again, home again, jiggedy-jig.

But that's just Thanksgiving, Jon, is what I bet you're thinking, what's on deck for you after that?

Well, if you've been followin my Twitter feed, as I'm sure you have, you'll know that I finished up Monster and sent it out to the Scribblerati for critique on Monday. It's a very sloppy 2nd draft. The Dragon chase was a bitch to wrangle and it took longer than I anticipated, so I didn't get to do the clean-up read I had wanted to do. Which means, of course, that as soon as I sat down and read it: Forgotten words, things out of place, things that didn't get deleted... Ugh... extremely frustrating.

Oh, well... 3rd draft, I guess.

Then I'll polish up The Little Things and send that out again. This is intended to coincide with the Query updates for Gunslingers of the Apocalypse, so that I can send out both the new version of the story and a couple of new queries at the same time, slippin them both into the hushed lull between Hanukkah and Christmas break. They'll probably still be unread and tossed in a pile until January, but what can you do? I can't make 'em speed, Captain...

After that, I have five (5) short story ideas that I'm going to work out a bit (The Listener, The Plague of Man, Walking Home, Garage boxes, and Scrappers). I plan on getting all of these done and sent out or whatever (hopefully) by spring. Then with the coming of spring, and barring any ridiculously awesome and life-changing news in my life, which would mean that I would need to dive into Bastard out of Minnesota instead of other projects (finers crossed), I intend to begin work on my new book idea. It should be fully cooked by then (hopefully). More on that later.

We'll see, I guess, "the best laid plans..." and all that, right?

Later,
Jon

Wait... what's this?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cowboys & Aliens

Hmmm... Jon Favreau, Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford... Interesting...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Six Flags New Orleans

As long time readers, you will all no doubt remember my love of all things abandoned and forgotten. No? Well then, you must be new to this blog, as I talked about it here. Anyway, here is an amazing video tour of a decrepit amusement park that was shut down before Hurricane Katrina landed, never reopened and then promptly forgotten, and all set to a really creepy score. The dread, the tension, the absolutely effortless disrepair. I love how it's just around the corner, just a step away from the rest of society and yet, it feels like a completely different world. I love it.

Enjoy.



Thanks for digging this up, Roby.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Battle of Los Angeles



I like.

You know, I've been waiting for some time to see something from this film, ever since I first read about the whole "Alien invasion flick meets Blackhawk Down" idea and all I can say now is: Fantastic. Well done. The SDCC buzz was pretty good, and we'll have to see if it measures up to these initial promises at all, but until then... looking good. Looking good.

Jon

Scribblerati: Find time or don't for your writing


Howdy, howdy! Y'all know what time it is... That's right, it's Scribblerait Blog day! I've posted a little bit o' me over at the group blog and all for you, my dear and gentle readers. So swing by and have a read, it's fun! Besides, there's plenty of new stuff by fellow Scribblerati Agents posted for your reading enjoyment as well. Trust me, you won't be sorry.

Jon

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

True Grit, the Walking Dead, and then some Updates

So, I don’t know if you’ve read True Grit by Charles Portis, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend it.

The book tells the story of Mattie Ross, a young girl in the old west on the trail of the man who killed her Father, a drifter named Tom Chaney. In order to bring this man to justice, by lead or by rope, she recruits the help of a vicious fat old drunk of a one-eyed U.S. Marshall named Reuben J “Rooster” Cogburn. Along with a glory hound Texas Ranger named La Boeuf, the three set out on an often contentious and always dangerous road after the man Chaney. Bang bang bang.

The thing that really stands out in this book is Portis' lightning quick prose and Mattie’s amazingly clear voice. It reads so self aware, so modern. I couldn’t put it down and just blew through it. It consistently and easily occupies a spot on my top ten favorite reads list. If you’re avoiding it because you don’t like Westerns… stop doing that and go get the book. If you’re avoiding it because John Wayne was in the movie (which I’ve never seen)… pull your head out of your ass. It’s a good book, go get it, read it, love it. Besides, the Coen Brothers are making a new version for release this Christmas and you want to be ready. They say they’re going to stick closer to the book than the original film and after the way they handled No Country for Old Men, well… watch this:



See?

I can’t wait.

Ok, moving on, let’s talk about the Walking Dead TV show.

You’ve been watching it, haven’t you?

HAVEN’T YOU?

Well, if you haven’t then you’re one of the few. The first episode was seen by over 5.3 million people, the second by over 4.7. There has never been a cable TV show that has pulled that high of numbers… ever. Ever. That’s insane. And it’s good news for yours truly, my dear gentle readers, for as some of you may or may not recall, I am currently busy querying a variety of Literary Agents with my very own zombie apocalypse novel that is both (in my opinion) completely different from Kirkman’s Walking Dead (as I explained here) AND would also make a great TV show. You know that HBO is still smarting from the way AMC yoinked Walking Dead out from under them… especially after these numbers have come out. Hey baby, I got what ya’ looking for… shimmy, shimmy, shake-shake, wink.

As for the show itself? So far, so good. I’m not a fan of the whole “dousing yourself in guts and acting like a zombie in order to sneak by them” school of thought, I think it’s stupid, and I would bet that Robert Kirkman feels the same way too, at this point, as evidenced by the fact that he has never revisited that particular little trick… Otherwise, the show has been good. I like the deliberate pace, I’m impressed with the level of gore (the CGI splatter doesn’t bother me), I love the art direction and both the adherence to and divergence from the source material. It has had some really good tension. All in all, well done. I have no real complaints. Little Ms. Super-cute Wife wasn’t all that impressed, but I happen to know for a fact that she’s rented In the Cut on more than one occasion and ON PURPOSE too, so feel free to take her opinion with a grain a salt.

Also, a prediction.

Maybe a spoiler…

Remember Merle Dixon? The mandatory southern redneck racist they left handcuffed on the roof? Well, he was a TV show add-on that was never in the comic. Also, you will note that despite the fact that, at the end of the episode, he was left more than a little F. U. C. Ked… it should also be noted that we didn’t see him die…

Gee, I wonder if he’ll show up again at some point later on in the story, possibly at precisely the wrong moment and then start to fuck stuff up? I wonder… I wonder if he’ll call Rick: “Officer Friendly” in a somewhat gloating and condescending manner while he momentarily has the drop on the heroes, possibly right before receiving his just desserts? Hmm... I wonder… Time will tell.

Anyway, long story short, kids… keep your fingers crossed that all this big-time, newsworthy, zombie-centric attention turns into some interest in my own project.

Which brings us all the way around to… that’s right…

UPDATES!!!

Gunslingers of the Apocalypse

The book in question. Right now, I have six queries out and I am occupying the traditional wait-and-see holding pattern. I believe everything out is still within the active and current range, but I haven’t checked in on it in a week or two. Lately I’ve been reading fellow Scribblerati Agent Lisa Bergin’s fantastic and nearly done WIP for review tonight, so I’ve been focusing on that. After tonight, however, I’ll be able to return some of my focus to my own projects. At that point, I’ll take a look at the spread sheet and see if anything needs to be re-queried or if I should dig up some new names or not. We shall see.

Monster

It’s been on a short hiatus for the same reason as stated above. I’ll get back into it tomorrow with the goal of finishing up the second draft for review whenever the next Scribblerati meet is. I have to add and tighten and then hack away the edges, but it’ll be ready. This one is good and fun and I think it will turn out publishable… or at least close enough.

The Little Things

The short story class critique went really well. Overall, it was positive and I even got some really good insightful responses and not all from the instructor either. There were some, of course, who barely said a thing and there were the one or two who, while they did give me a positive review, had to start out with: “now I’m not really familiar with the genre, so keep that in mind…” This always strikes me as so crazy. It’s just a story, read it, it will either work or it won’t. And folks only say that about genre work too. I’ve never been handed some Oprah Winfrey book club tea-sipping story and felt that I’ve needed to explain at length how I’m: “not very familiar with literary Valium, so keep that in mind…” Anyway, I’m planning on addressing the responses and adjusting the piece after I finish up with Monster. After that? Well… once more unto the breach, dear friends.

Miscellany

Gunslinger’s sequel, Bastard out of Minnesota, still waits quietly, rolling along at a slow boil on the back-burner of my mind. I have… three? Maybe four… Definitely at least three short stories I’m going to try out next. Different genres and what not, should be fun. And finally, I’ve got something else I’m cooking. Right now, I’m just dicing up some carrots and onions and whatnot, gathering together all the various accoutrements and all… but I’m getting really close to throwing it all in a pot and seeing what cooks up… In other words, folks, I’ve got an idea, I’ve been piecing it together and seeing what it turns into… but I’m beginning to suspect that it might be another book.

Fingers crossed.

So, well… yep… that is about everything, I guess… until next time.


Love,
Jon

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sucker Punch -- Movie Trailer

Here's the latest trailer from Zach Snyder's upcoming flick: Sucker Punch.

Honestly, I can't decide if this movie is going to be the stupidest thing ever made... or the coolest... On one hand, the guy did do the 2004 Dawn of the Dead, which is great, and while Watchman may have failed, I still loved it. But on the other hand, 300 was... God damn, that movie was dumb... but was that more the fault of the source material? Probably...

Anyway, whichever side this "film" falls on, I think we can definitely be assured of one thing: Sucker Punch is going to be crazy. Completely crazy.