Sunday, November 26, 2023

A Week in Writing #484 - The Thanksgiving Hole

Hope everyone is staying safe, and, of course, writing.

If you're like me, you spent a good portion of the Thanksgiving holiday travelling. For me it was two days, Thursday and Friday with about 14 hours behind the wheel. While it's nice to spend time with family, the holiday leaves a hole in the week in writing that really can't be filled. Which is my way to introduce this blog where not much happened.

I'll start with our podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared. We weren't sure we'd be back in time on Friday to do it live and if we were would we feel like doing one. So, to fill the void, we pre-recorded one, just Paul, Trevor and myself, discussing the Japanese drama series Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan and the feature film Rohan at the Louvre. Our artrist, Julia Canon, was nice enough to post it for us. As always, you can listen to it now here or watch it on Wednesday after 2:30 pm here. The choice is yours.

Next week, a new issue of Powers Squared drops. Issue #19, "Kamaitachi", written primarily by Paul with my assist. Of course, I'd appreciate it if you would check it out. It will be available in print and digital, all of which you can find in The Campus Store, where the Hound Dogs shop. It's the site for links to all our publications and merch, so I would encourage you to check it out.

I still have a lot of work to do between now and then. I need to send out a press release for the book. I usually send it out to several outlets and, of course, am ignored by them. I'm just going to send it this time to the few that have actually published it or have published something about Powers Squared. That way I'm not so disappointed.

Still waiting to hear from San Diego Comic-Con about our professional renewal. We're still within the window for hearing back but I'd rather have it settled. I believe we qualify so I'll give it a few more weeks before I out-and-out panic. I'm also trying to find out about tabling at WonderCon and SDCC, as it appears to be the time. More waiting ahead for me and for us.

For Trophy Unlocked, my review of Three Strangers appeared as the Saturday Morning Review, ending the short celebration of Noirvember on the blog. We're now turning our attention to Christmas. No shortage of reviews for that holiday, so stayed tuned. I'm also working on a new review of Abandoned (1949); don't expect it to appear this year but want to get it done.

As usual, more progress but not as much as I'd like on Skylar.

For the coming week, besides the press release, I have the newsletter to complete, a review to complete and hopefully, the next trade to complete; it's close. Well, more about in the next blog.

That about does it for me. Keep writing, and I'll see you back here next week.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

A Week in Writing #483 - A Week Behind the Scenes

Hope everyone is staying safe, and, of course, writing.

I felt like this was a week for doing other things related to writing, but not the craft itself. Some weeks are just like that.

There was a lot of behind the scenes things to do and mostly with Powers Squared, what else is new?

I've been trying to do three things at once for the book. Our former artist, Rachel Wells, had been working on a project for me which finally came to fruition this week, a seal for San Romero Community College, the location for the comic book. It had started out as a different project, a diploma for the schoool. On that, she had put a seal for the school, which got me to thinking. On the website, we've been using an edited ad for The Campus Store as the logo for the school itself, but it really should have its own.

There was some back and forth as we discussed ideas. Sort of loosely based on several that we found on the internet, including CSUN's, where Paul and Trevor attended, and SCAD, which is Rachel's alma mater, we decided to break the seal down into certain quadrants to represent the school, including the mascot, the English building (the oldest building on campus), academics, represented by a quill and parchment, and wheat fields, representing the old farm the school sits on. Then there were the colors to use, which should be school colors. Anyway, the seal came out pretty good:

You can read the story behind the seal and a short history of San Romero Community College on the website.

With the comic book, we're not only gearing up for a release of the next issue, #19 "Kamaitachi", on December 6, but also with the second trade for the book, which I'm hoping to launch initially on Library Pass next year. With that, it was getting the colors right for the cover and now it's getting the credits page updated. Jen Moreno, our colorist, handled the cover for me and did a really good job, but you'll have to wait to find out.

One of the background duties that I hadn't realized hadn't been done was getting the new issue up on Kindle and GlobalComix. But the issue will be up on both and is currently available for pre-ordering on Kindle

Speaking of Kindle, I've been reading about the demise of ComiXology, to which I have to say good riddance. While I was initially happy to be available on the platform, I'm not sure if it was really worth it as I think our launch was botched by the site. We stopped submitting to them several issues ago and started with Kindle since we figured that was where it was going; not that we've made anything from that site either. But hey, who's bitter?

If it's not one thing it's another. The next issue we're going to work on, #26, has a lot of yokai and I asked our current artist, Julia Canon, to do some character designs for the project, which she did this week as well. Work should start on that pretty soon, though we are coming into the holidays, so I'm sure schedules will get messed with.

Our podcast this week, was an early Monthly Team Meeting with Julia and Jen, along with Trevor, on OAPS. You can listen here and/or watch it here on Wednesday afternoon on.

I also started working this weekend on the next Hound Dog's Howl, our monthly newsletter. I had some free time, so why not get started on it?

For Trophy Unlocked, I completed the review I was doing for Coquette and wrote a new one for The Red Badge of Courage (1951), don't know when either will appear. Wedneday was Trevor's review of TY the Tasmanian Tiger 4: Bush Rescue Returns and on Saturday we took a pause from Noirvember to celebrate the 35th anniversary of The Land Before Time with a review also written by Trevor.

All that didn't leave much time for Skylar, though I did do some minor work on it. The desire is there, it is just time which is always in short supply.

Next week is Thanksgiving, so I want to make sure to wish everyone a Happy and Safe day, especially if you're travelling. And, of course, that will impact my output, so understand when next's weeks post might seem short.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you again next week.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

A Week in Writing #482 - Things Are Getting Back to Normal

Hope everyone is staying safe, and, of course, writing.

Things seem to be getting back to normal, which means back to what might be a normal routine.

Let's start this week off with Trophy Unlocked. I finished my review of Two O’clock Courage and started a new one for Coquette (1929), an early sound film starring Mary Pickford, part of the drain the DVR Saturdays.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, Trevor's review of the animated Disney film Robin Hood (1973) went up on the date it was released.

The celebration of Noirvember continued with my review of Tomorrow is Another Day (1951). And today, Trevor's review of Rohan at the Louvre (2023) went up. This is a Japanese film, in Japanese with subtitles. We had watched the series, Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan, which is, itself, a spin-off series of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.

Rohan bled over into a podcast that we recorded on Friday after our live podcast, with Trevor joining us. We're trying to plan for the Friday after Thanksgiving, which we're not sure we'll be back in time for the podcast.

Our live podcast, "Writers Roundtable" was just Paul and I and we were discussing our writing process for Powers Squared and the collaborative process that follows as we work with artists and colorists to bring the words to life. It's available to listen to here and will be up on Wednesday afternoon on YouTube here.

We're starting to transition to a new issue, #26 "The Great Escape" while still wrapping up pages from issue #25. I've asked our artist, Julia Canon, to do some character designs before we get going.

In other Powers Squared news, our new logo for San Romero Community College seems to be getting close. Mostly, we're going over the colored version that our previous artist, Rachel Wells prepared for me. It started out as a project to design a diploma for the school and started with the seal on that document. I like making the school seem more "real".

To round out the week, I did work on Skylar this week and am finally to the point where I'm actually writing and not just editing, so that's sort of exciting. I'm not going to get into word counts just yet, but it is progress.

Well, that does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you back here next week.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

A Week in Writing #481 - It's Back

Hope everyone is staying safe, and, of course, writing.

Well, it's that time of the year again, the big experiment with time-shifting known as the end of Daylight Savings Time. Fall back only means you get an extra hour once and for that you get days betting darker sooner and your internal clocks thrown off for a day or so. Not really sure it's a good deal. I write this, as I do every year, because I don't know the impact it's going to have on me next week. I try to write until I get sleepy and that might come earlier for a few days. Forwarning that next week might not be too productive.

The big project for this week was the newsletter, The Hound Dogs' Howl, and the big announcement was something I've already talked about last week, the book becoming available on ComicsPlus powered by LibraryPass. Last week, I wrote about the anxiety, or the sense of finality with submitting it. That surprisingly went well, so we're on course.

In addition to the news, there are links to last month's OAPS, a link to the newest Peek-of-the-week, an article about Booster Gold and Goldstar, and a recommendation for Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan, not to mention the usual Heard on Campus feature. As always, you can always sign up for the newsletter and get a free copy of the first book by signing up here.

I'm still hoping we can get the second trade ready in the next few days or week and submit that as well. The covers have been drawn and are being colored, so we should be good to go soon. It will be different to release something through another method than we have before, but it's hopefully all about getting eyes on the book.

The drawing on Issue 25 seems to be coming to an end, so we should be start working on Issue 26. I've already sent the artist a list of yokai that will appear in the book and asked her to come up with some character designs before we launch into it.

Finishing up on Powers Squared, our Friday OAPS was dedicated to another franchise, in this case, Five Nights at Freddy's. The movie, currently playing in theaters, is based on a series of video games developed by Scott Cawthon and this what we, Trevor, Paul and I, discussed on our podcast, though they know much more about it than I do. You can listen now here or watch it on Wednesday on our YouTube channel.

Trophy Unlocked kicked off Noirvember with my review of The Killer is Loose on Saturday. I frankly don't remember when I wrote it but it was nice to get one up on the blog. For Halloween, Paul's review of Five Nights at Freddy's the movie went up. Fitting for the day. On Monday, it was the conclusion of Resident Evil Month with Paul's review of Resident Evil 4 - Separate Ways (DLC).

I've started working on a new review of yet another film noir, Two O’clock Courage (1945). Not sure when it will appear. 

I also managed to get some work done on Sklyar this week, though I'm still going through the book and haven't, yet, written anything new.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you back here next week.