March 11, 2005

News, Blues, and Reviews

This morning I got an email message from Xavier Xerexes at Comixpedia, telling me that he'd just posted his Comixpedia Review of Schlock Mercenary. My favorite quote from the review is here:

"I think Schlock Mercenary can be seen as a modern reinvention of the classic adventure comic strip that was such a huge part of newspaper comics in the last century."

It's possible that he's right. I didn't set out to reinvent the classic adventure comic strip, mind you. I set out to create something I wanted to read... and I guess that's the best motivation ever for reinventing something.

Anyway, the review is nothing but kind -- even his commentary regarding my early artwork steers clear of diatribe. Me, I'd use phrases like "scratchy eyesore" or maybe "amateurish and sloppy" if I were feeling generous. Xavier says "the art was a bit rough." He might also describe seas during The Perfect Storm as "a bit rough."

Enough with the critiquing of the critique. It's a good read, and if you like my work, the write-up from the probably-pseudonymous Mister Xerexes will bring tears of joy to your eyes.

That's it for "Reviews." On to the "Blues." As I've mentioned before, long ago I was a record producer and a composer. I worked a lot with the a cappella groups at BYU, and with Vocal Point in particular. My first record production gig was as assistant producer on Instruments Not Included, which was also their first album. I was there at the beginning of Vocal Point, and it does my heart good to see that a tradition of excellence has grown out of an early determination to do something cool.

"Blues" you say? "Wherein are these blues to which Howard alluded?'

A few weeks ago Vocal Point launched an endowment fund drive to provide scholarships for the guys who sing in the group. These are full-time students who audition each year, and who put in upwards of 20 hours each week rehearsing, performing, and preparing material. A year ago I would have cheerfully contributed to the fund, but THIS year, well... let's just say finances are a bit tighter. It saddened me that I couldn't personally contribute.

If YOU want to, however, you can. Go to this page, and you can make a tax-deductible donation via credit-card. Make sure that in the resulting page (which I haven't seen, since I haven't donated) you put "Vocal Point Endowment Fund" in the comments.

If you don't want to donate, or can't, or think this is all a waste of time, that's okay. Have a listen to some of the sample tracks here, though, and at least enjoy the music.

And that's it for "Blues." What's in the "News?" Well, mostly the new Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy Trailer. I wept for joy. Sure, Zaphod's heads are in the wrong places, and Marvin is taller than I expected, but, if this trailer is any indication at all, they got it right. Many of you have written me saying that Schlock Mercenary is reminiscent of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which statement is at once a grave-spinner for the late Douglas Adams, and an indication that you will probably like this movie much, much more than you like my comic. That's okay. I probably will, too.

2005 Convention and Appearance Schedule

March 22: BrainShare 2005 (at the GWAVA booth), Salt Lake City, UT
April 22-24: Penguicon 3.0, Novi Michigan
May 27-29: CONduit XV, Salt Lake City, UT
July 13-17: Comic-Con 2005, San Diego, CA. (tentative... this one's pricey)
August: Fandemonium 2005, Boise, ID. (tentative)
October 8-9: Revoluticon, Asheville, NC
October 14-16: Linucon 2.0, Austin, TX. (tentative)

Are you interested in having me come to your city? Your convention? Your HOUSE? Pay my way and pay my stay, and we can make it happen. The BEST way is to convince the convention organizers that I'm worthy of "GoH" status, but there are alternatives. Email me if you've got an event in mind.