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erynn999 July 25 2014, 19:15

Moving slowly along

Yesterday I wrote a preface, then sent copies of the MS to several friends for blurbs and forewords. I've sent inquiries to Immanion and to Rhea's press to see what they can do for me, and looked into possibly doing self-publishing, though I'm kind of leaning away from that because it's a hell of a lot of work. Today I hung out with Michelle, who is back from the UK after her wedding.

Right now, some white wine, and basmati shrimp with sambar powder. Noms.
andyluke July 25 2014, 16:53

Rathlin Again

So I have this character. She signs on the dole and is frustrated at not being legally allowed more than two days of holiday a year. So she creates a character, and he decides to book a weekend on Rathlin Island. It's a small spot off sandy Antrim Coast, joined by a thirty minute ferry. There's a population of 106, and there's a once-removed nature about it. In the summer, it's paradise, and the people know what they have. They're protective, yet welcoming. You can walk the hill trails, meet loughs, and forests and lighthouses, spot seals, rare hares, birds. Much of the communal activity takes place around the bar by the harbour. The first hostel opened on the island earlier this year. The character added days to either side of the trip, until it became a week. Apparently July 13-20 was festival week, with a comedy night before featuring great comedians such as Sean Hegarty.

The character my character was writing about took lots of photographs.


The character found it difficult to knuckle down and write stories. The location has it's limits that somehow make it seem...unlimited, a resonating freedom through time. One day though, he bashed out 30,000 words. Knackered, he slept, then took to the bar for a celebratory swill. That night, he met more sailors, these from a sailing school that take beginners up on long-haul cruises. As he told them he was a writer, they pitched to him a free course sail around Ireland and Scotland in exchange for promotional writing based on his experience. As he was working on a book about sailing and had no experience, this appealed to him. He thought about it, and when he got home, requested a voluntary work form.

Video: Sean Hegarty's stand-up
Audio: Warren Ellis on beer and the Garth Ennis Stag Party
sbisson July 25 2014, 11:00

My tweets

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andrewducker July 25 2014, 11:00

Interesting Links for 25-07-2014

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
raygarraty July 25 2014, 04:58

No subject

womzilla July 25 2014, 00:43

On the TV, me and nellorat

While we were gone at DetCon1, I got an e-mail from Drew Breese, a reporter at Bloomberg TV, who had been assigned to do an article on comics to tie in with Comic-Con International (aka the Sandy Eggo Comic-Con). He had come across my name in a Bloomberg Business Week article from last year about comics fans my age discovering that their collections were, in fact, almost worthless. He wanted to do a piece about comics collecting, with some discussion of the financial aspects but ranging over as many subjects as I felt comfortable discussing.

Given that I am an attention whore whose primary mode of discourse is the lecture, I was happy to oblige, so Tuesday night we rendezvoused at Carmine Street Comics, my Friendly Neighborhood Comics Shop and the store that has the portion of our collection that is for sale. We talked and filmed for about 4 hours, at Carmine Street, in his car, and within Valentine's Castle. Most of the discussion at home was me solo in my study, but nellorat joined us in the basement to show off the comics-filled filing cabinets.

I will confess that I had some fear of being made ridiculous (well, more ridiculous than usual), but Drew called back on Wednesday with a follow-up question about the collapse of the industry in 1994-95 that he would only have asked if he were serious about the subject.

The piece went live on Bloomberg TV this morning and I'm very impressed at how it came out. It's really well-edited, both in the sense of finding many of my most interesting and concise statements and in the juxtapositions of words and image when it's not just my talking head.

nellorat points out that the article doesn't convey the degree to which we are also drowning in books, fanzines, stuffed toys, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, though he did manage to work in a reference to the ratties!

Go, enjoy.

Footnotes: It is in fact very unlikely that I have spent $100,000 (net) on comics, even if you lump in things like traveling to comics conventions. However, the figure is closer to $100K than I care to admit. Of course, we moved to New York so that I could pursue a job in comics which never materialized; that cost quite a lot of money. Deathmate, which triggered the collapse of the comics industry in the 1990s, finished in early 1994; the Marvel bankruptcy was about 2 years later, not quite as immediately as I implied. I did not woo nellorat with Swamp Thing; she had rediscovered that on her own (though I did, many moons later, get her a copy of #20, Alan Moore's first issue, which precedes "The Anatomy Lesson").
andrewducker July 24 2014, 19:49

What I want from 5G phone connections

Is not, in fact, faster mobile internet.

I mean, I'm not going to say "No, don't give me that faster internet, keep it away from me." But it's not the main thing that I'm missing from 4G.

There are two main things I want:
1) More efficiency. I want a mode which is used 99% of the time where the phone is doing nothing at all, and so it's barely connected to the network in the first place. Because right now I've got my phone switched to 3G, because 4G knocks a good hour or so off my my daily battery life. And if there's no signal, because I'm in the middle of nowhere, or inside a big metal box, I don't want the transmitter to ramp up to maximum power in the hopes of finding a signal. I mean, I want it to do that for maybe 1/10 of a second, but after that I want it to back off and assume that there _is_ no signal, and then use no battery at all for 30 seconds before trying that 1/10 of a second again. Because being out of signal in Hereford _also_ really sucked battery-wise.

2) The ability to make phone calls and send texts even if I'm not connected directly to my provider's network. I mean, they can do this for roaming to a different network, but if I'm completely out of signal, but have WiFi then why on earth can't my phone use that to pass voice/SMS/MMS over? It's all just bits after all. And yet, when I was in the holiday home in Hereford, completely out of mobile signal, but with perfectly workable WiFi, I'm cut off from phone/texts? This makes no sense...

Give me both of those and _then_ I want more speed, obviously. (Although what I'll use it for other than tethering I have no idea.)

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
alasdair July 24 2014, 19:40


Just marking the date and time, really.

I always used to say I couldn’t write a novel. That I couldn’t do long-form prose. I might write comics scripts, and role playing games, and all sorts of drivel, but not a novel.

Guess what I just finished writing?

Let’s be clear: it’s a first draft, at best.

I’ve already got loads and loads of notes for things I need to re-write. And even once I’ve done that, I’d be amazed if it were publishable. For right now, it’s going in a box until christmas, in any case. I’ll come back to it in a few months, and see what, if anything, I want to do with it.

I’m aware that “have written an unpublishable novel” is hardly one of the world’s great achievements, and that there are plenty folks I know who’ve enjoyed some modest success by taking the obvious next step.

But honestly, I never thought I’d get to this one.

Next step: start writing second novel. Make it better than this one.

Although possibly not tonight.

Originally posted at Black Ink.

splinister July 24 2014, 19:00

Worldcon Comic Book Programme

Nearly two years ago my friend James Bacon phoned me up and asked me if I’d be on for designing the comic book programme at Worldcon in London (known as Loncon 3) in August 2014. I agreed readily enough as I was keen to raise the profile of comic books at the event. Comics are still a bit of a newcomer to Worldcon – the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story was only introduced in 2009.

I didn’t realise how much work was involved, which was probably lucky for James, as I might have turned him down if I truly understood.

I now have huge respect for the Worldcon programming team (especially the techs who have managed its database). They have achieved a gigantic task with professionalism and tact. The programme has gone online today, and I’m really pleased with the result.

Just to give you an idea of the logistic challenge involved: there are 9,000 members of Worldcon, and 1,000 of them volunteered for programming. There are 600+ cross media programme items happening over the five days of the convention. The volunteers listed their areas of interest in the programme, as well as indicating what times they didn’t want to be scheduled, or events they didn’t want to be panelled against.

Plus, many of the people I wanted to use on programming were in high demand in other areas. I had to try to assemble a diverse list of panellists, while avoiding clashes with other programme items. Sometimes I couldn’t squeeze people in because they were already heavily scheduled, and you have to try and be fair with allocation of panels. Other times people dropped off panels because of various reasons which caused difficulty in re-assigning a replacement because of the panel topic or time slot.

And always we were up against deadlines: finishing the draft programming, adjusting the programme after an onslaught of email, and finalising the programme on time for the publication deadline. Even now, I have some minor changes to make due to extremely late line-up changes.

It’s a very difficult job, and I was only in charge of one department. The people at the top level – James Bacon, Liz Batty, and Ian Stockdale – had to oversee everything. There are way too many other people to thank, but I also need to mention Emma England, Spike, Niall Harrison, Mark Slater, Alissa McKersie, and Esther MacCallum-Stewart who have been particularly helpful to me.

I have so much respect and admiration for the trojan work of all the staff of Worldcon, who have put so much effort into designing an event for the enjoyment of others – on their own time and for no payment.

Here’s the listing of all the events in my area. Several of them are cross-programme items, and here they are broken down by panels, talks, workshops, and screenings.



  • 11am Underground Comics Go Mainstream: Has Digital Distribution Widened or Saturated the Audience?
  • 12pm Tove Jansson’s Moomins: Their Legacy and Influence


  • 11am British Comics: Influences and Influencers
  • 12pm Manga Evolutions
  • 12pm Diversity in Comics: The Good, The Bad, and the Missing
  • 1.30pm Best 21st Century Comics: Predicting the New Classics
  • 3pm What is Art in the 21st Century? (Cross-discipline panel)
  • 3pm Digital Comics (Academic track)
  • 7pm Comic Book Networking: It’s Not Just The Interwebs
  • 8pm Kapow! Best Comic Book Cosplays (cross programme event with costume/cosplay)


  • 11am Revealing the Real World Through Comics
  • 12pm Fresh Perspectives: Comic Books for Young People
  • 1.30pm Old New Classics: The Off-Beat and Indie Comics of Yore
  • 3pm Setting Up Your Comic Book Press: New and Old Models Examined
  • 6pm From Page to (Small) Screen (media programme)
  • 7pm The New Supers: How Superheroes and Superheroines are Changing in Comics


  • 10am Vox Populi: the new voice of comic book criticism?
  • 11am Writing and Pitching Comics
  • 12pm In Space No One Can Hear You Ink: The Best SF Comics


  • 12pm Comics: The Global Arena
  • 1.30pm How Digital Art Techniques Have Changed Comics



  • 3pm: Experimenting with Comics by Karrie Fransman


  • 9pm Drawing the [redacted]: comics and censorship by Jude Roberts


  • 12pm Grandville and the Anthropomorphic Tradition by GoH Bryan Talbot


  • 3pm Bryan Talbot:’How I make a Graphic Novel’



  • 12pm Comics Jam Session with Sarah McIntyre! (An event for young people)


  • 1.30pm How to Draw Manga with Inko (An event for young people)



  • 2.30pm Moominland Tales: The Life Of Tove Jansson


  • Graphic Novel Man: The Comics of Bryan Talbot


  • 1.30pm What Do Artists Do All Day? – Frank Quitely
  • 4.30pm Comics Britannia – Anarchy In The UK

I hope people enjoy the comic book events at Worldcon!

But, they’ll have plenty of competition from the tremendous variety of events in the other departments: science, literature, media, television, gaming, young adult, WOOFA, music, art, video games, academic, and costume/cosplay. It’s going to be hard to decide what to attend.

Oh, and do download the Grenadine Event Guide app from either the iTunes store or the Google Play store (it doesn’t even ask for any sneaky permissions). Once you download it, type in loncon, and it will download the programme directly to your device.

It will sync with the latest updates, and you should be able to create your own bespoke programme – very handy for those of you on panels.

Please have patience if you encounter any glitches, and report them. The techies will do their utmost to resolve anything within the realms of possibility.

~ Originally published at Splinister. You can comment here or there. ~

raygarraty July 24 2014, 16:18

No subject

у уральских авиалиний где-то на неделе есть рейс с москвы до екб со стоимостью билета то ли 12, то ли 17 тыс. рублей, на нем еще любят разные командировочные летать. о такой стоимости можно задать вопрос владельцам компании, и коммерс наверняка пролепечет что-то типа так ведь топливо дорогое, то-се. так вы чем, блядь, заправляетесь, золотом что ли?
sbisson July 24 2014, 11:00

My tweets

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andrewducker July 24 2014, 11:00

Interesting Links for 24-07-2014

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
womzilla July 24 2014, 02:27

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the publication of the first Batman story

I remember nellorat once saying words to the effect of, “Christianity would be much better if it focused on the image of La Pietà instead of obsessing on the Crucifixion.”

I feel the same way about “There Is No Hope in Crime Alley” vis-à-vis The Dark Knight Returns.

Happy Batman day, Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff, Denny O’Neil and Dick Giordano, for all we, the superstitious and cowardly lot.

(This is not the most pretentious thing I have ever written about comics.)

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