Archive for August, 2013

Dragon*Con — YIKES!

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

I was enjoying a leisurely morning today until I got a call from a business colleague regarding our appearing at Dragon*Con. He seemed to be more stressed than necessary with the show still being over a week away. I asked him about that.

He informed me that the show’s set-up begins tomorrow. I asked, “Why? The show’s not for another week.”

“Bill — the show starts on Friday!

“No it doesn’t! Just a minute…”

I pulled out my vendor info sheet. Sure enough, just as I recalled, the Dragon*Con dates on that sheet were for September 6-9.

I checked online, though, and was shocked to discover that the sheet Dragon*Con sent me was wrong; Dragon*Con was indeed starting on Friday.

So, I’m in panic mode today. My flight leaves tomorrow morning. I’ve still got to pack and it means I won’t make my grandson’s birthday party this weekend. Aaaaargh! as we say in the funny books.

See all you southern fans this Friday, I guess! Try to find me at my new location: Tables 13 and 14 in the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart.

Welcome to the Family!

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Now if I just pretend I'm sleeping, maybe Grandpa will ignore me...

On August 21 my second grandson, Avery Wivern Irwin Stout was born. The delivery and labor were both very smooth (especially when compared to his big brother’s birth). Mom is doing fine, although, like her hubby, she’s (rightfully) exhausted.

Avery already does impressions. Here he is pretending to be Popeye:

"Avast, ye maties! Where's Swee'Pea?"

Big brother Jesse refers to Avery as “my baby.”

"Just keep those sippy cups a-comin'!"

Grandpa and Grandma took care of Jesse while his lil’ brother Avery was being born and during their brief hospital stay.

Here’s Grandma with Avery:

Proud Grannie!

One last shot of Avery:

"Enough with the camera, Grandpa! HEY! I said ENOUGH!!!"

Breaking Bad

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Breaking Bad. Holy cow — this may be the best series on TV right now.

My wife and I have been watching episodes in batches through NetFlix via Roku.

Seasons One and Two are very good. But beginning with Season Three, the show easily surpassed The Sopranos in terms of both quality and consistency. And Season Four had me shouting and cheering out loud at times (I’m surprised my neighbors didn’t rush over to see what the ruckus was about).

The scripts are amazing — and getting better. The acting deserves all the many awards it has received — and more. Top notch and appropriate cinematography and production design as well.

If you haven’t watched this series, start. If you have but dropped out before Season Three, give it another shot.

I haven’t watched these on DVD yet. My pal Sam brought a couple of sets over. Each one has about 13 hours in extras! I can’t wait to sample the commentaries and behind the scenes stuff.

My favorite characters are Gus and Mike, BTW.

We are living in a new Golden Age of Television.

A Wonderful New Graphic Novel

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Thanks to the independent comics movement, I think we’re living in a Golden Age of comics. Comics no longer have to be drawn in the DC or Marvel styles. They can be painted in oils or watercolors, printed using woodblocks, etched — there’s no longer any limit to the media used to graphically ideas.

The same goes for the subject mater. It no longer has top solely be about superheroes. Any subject is fair game. Harvey Pekar showed us in American Splendor that riveting and compelling tales could be told about being a file clerk.

I’d like to alert you to a graphic novel that I was turned on to at Comic-Con by my friends Rod Dryden and Kris Kobziff. It’s titled Genius. It was written by Steven T. Seagle and drawn/painted by Teddy Kristiansen.

I love everything about it. The dialogue is the freshest, most realistic (and funny) dialogue I’ve read in a long time.

On the surface the story is about the difficulty of being a genius working within a group of geniuses. The understory, however, is a terrific glimpse at the lead character’s relationships with his family members. In this context, Seagle shows a deep understanding for what makes us special and what makes us humorous as human beings.

Kristiansen’s art is perfectly suited to Seagle’s text: delicate yet powerful.

I applaud the publisher, First Second, for bringing this fine work to light.

Pick it up!