Sunday, May 26, 2024

A Week in Writing #510 - Prep Work Underway

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

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Let's start with last week's big news, announcing that Powers Squared is tabling at Los Angeles Comic-Con in October. That's not something that will come easily for us as we haven't done a Con since 2019 and that was about as small of one as you can find, the San Fernando Valley Comic-Book Convention. We're going downtown for the next one and we have to improve our game.

To that end, we spent about two hours yesterday afternoon watching Stephen Silver's seminar about conventions. While it was geared more towards artists, a lot of what he discussed would be applicable to us. The pre-recorded seminar did provide useful advice and did come with a check list.

We've already started testing a battery backup to use. I'm thinking about having a computer available in case someone wants to sign up for our newsletter and we're planning on trying to do our podcast that Friday night as well.

It's starting to be newsletter time, and I used the delay in the Indianapolis 500 to work on it. I think I got through most of the basic stuff. I still need to do a spotlight on twins and there's still a recommnedation, but I think we're in pretty good shape.

I did manage to get some work done on the oft-put off Skylar. Mostly, I had a couple of ideas that I think will make it better and I believe, on at least a first draft level, I got them in. Now, the push to finish it continues.

I still haven't gotten back to the query/rejection process, but I at least have been thinking about it. Too many things to do first.

For the third week in a row, my review was featured on Trophy Unlocked. This week, I actually had two. The Saturday morning review was The Secret Six (1931), one of the older reviews I wrote. And then today, we published a review of the silent film Speedway (1929), in honor of the Indy 500 race.

I'm now working on three reviews, adding The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) to the pile.

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

Sunday, May 19, 2024

A Week in Writing #509 - Tabling at LA Comic-Con

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

Well, I guess the big news is that Powers Squared will be tabling at this year's LA Comic-Con in October. This is something we've been talking about for months and years and we've finally decided to bite the bullet (it ain't cheap) and table in Small Press. The con runs from October 4-6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and we're hoping to at least introduce new people to our book. If you attend, hope you'll drop by.

It will be a sort of return for us, as we did do a panel at the Con a couple of years ago.

As with everything, I really have no idea what it will take to pull off and I don't know how success will be measured, but it will be a new experience, and one that I will be reporting on here, so buckle up as you go along the ride with me.

I don't know if you've been listening or watching, but the Transformers podcasts are coming out really great. We had a conversation with John Barber, who had been the writer and editor when the franchise was at IDW. He's a great interview and is a lot of fun. I would encourage everyone to give it a listen here or watch the video when it goes up on YouTube on Wednesday. It is still available on until next Friday.

John was nice enough to tweet out about being on the show, but I'm sure he drove eyes to, which also apparently exists.

In addition to the OAPS coming out on Wednesday, we also posted another Taste Test, #7, in which Paul samples and compares three original MrBeast flavors against their new formulas.

Speaking of Powers Squared, our artist and colorist are busy working on new pages, which we should have by the end of the month, so hopefully, everything is staying on time.

No new review this week from me, though my review of The Sin of Nora Moran was the coveted Saturday Morning Review. This follows my review of Let It Be, my Second Look actually, which was released on Monday to coincide with the film's original release date in 1970.

I have two reviews that I still need to work on, and instead of Saturday night movies, we watched Episode 3 of the latest Dr. Who series, "The Devil's Chord", in which the 15th Doctor meets The Beatles. Quick review, while I like the new doctor Ncuti Gatwa and his companion, Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson), the story didn't really work for me. The actor playing the villain, Maestro (Jinkx Monsoon) is a force of nature, but wasn't enough to save the episode for me.

I did some work, good work I'd say, on Skylar this week, but never enough.

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

Sunday, May 12, 2024

A Week in Writing #508 - Fun with Podcasts

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

You've probably read here before that we do a weekly podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared, and that we've devoted May to the 40th Anniversary of Transformers. My sons and co-creators of Powers Squared are big fans of the franchise and have lined up some great interview subjects. You can listen here to our latest podcast with Bob Budiansky, the man behind much of what we know of as Transformers, as he helped name over 200 characters and wrote bios for them while he was at Marvel.

While the interview went well, after I blew the intro and mispronounced his name, I'm human, the actual mechanics sort of failed us. We had sent him a Google Meet link, which has worked well for us in the past. Well, he couldn't open it, for whatever reason. We discovered this only when we were a few minutes from go-time.

When that didn't work, we opted to try Zoom, which took some time to get us all connected and recording, so we didn't go off on time. But oh, that wasn't the end of it. Since we didn't have an account, the Zoom call came to an end after 30 minutes, but we decided before time ran out to have him set up the Zoom meeting, since he has an account and we continued with Part 2 after that for another half hour. Paul managed to edit the audio together and then the videos, which took about 2 hours to render. The video has been loaded and will be available on YouTube on Wednesday, 2:30 pm PDT. Judging by the reaction via PodBean, counting downloads, it may very well be the most popular one we've ever done.

Bur wait, that wasn't the only podcast we did this weekend, The next day, we had arranged for our former artist, Rachel Wells to join us as a Part 2 of "What's in My Bag?", the video we did last weekend with her about Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) and the books we had picked up. Well, on Saturday night we were to discuss what we thought of after reading them. While that would normally go off without a hitch, it did not.

It seemed to take forever, a relative term, for us to connect using our Discord group. When we finally did, we couldn't hear Rachel. Well, after rebooting a couple of times, we got everything working (the royal We as Paul did all the work) and recorded the video. That too can be watched on YouTube now.

We're coming up on the next release of Powers Squared in about a month on June 12. With that it mind, the first version of the cover, a thumbnail was this week's peek-of-the-week. When we get to that, I start publishing similar images from the book, so if you want to get a look at it go to and there is a link there to the issues page.

Shook up the week a little bit, watching the movie Let it Be for the first time in 50 years on Disney+ and then writing a review of it for Trophy Unlocked. That will appear on Monday, which is the 54th anniversary of it's actual release.

Speaking of that blog, my review of Smart Woman (1931). It was literally the oldest one that I had put up on the blog that hadn't been posted, something like three years old. The review is so old that I don't remember the film, but my opinion is there for you to read. I'm currently finishing up one for X-Men: Apacolypse and starting one for American Grafitti, which we watched on Saturday night after the podcast.

As per the usual, Skylar got short shrift. I did work on it one night, and I know you've heard this before, but I have a new idea to incorporate into it, bringing back an FBI character from previous tomes on J.D. Barrister, private investigator.

Well, that's about it for me. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. Keep writing and I'll see you back here next week.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

A Week in Writing #507 - Newsletter Time

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

This was not a week I'll look back on recalling the great writing I did. To be honest, I didn't get to Skylar at all this week, and frankly, I'm not happy about that.

I'd like to blame a lot of things but, in reality, it's the not enough hours in the day. The biggest thing I managed to get through this week was the newsletter, which apparently required a lot of editing, so I'm not really happy about that. I'm not saying it wasn't needed.

Being the end/begining of the month, I'm trying to collect pages from the artist and colorist for Powers Squared. I want 8 pages a month from both, but that doesn't always happen. I know I'm not dealing with full-time artists, but I still want to keep this book moving as fast as possible. You never know the future and there might come a time when this extra money will dry up.

We kicked off Transformers  month on our podcast on Friday with an interview with artist Livio Ramondelli, who has done artwork for the IDW run, as well as a cover for the Skybound run of the series. It was a nice conversation. We were thinking we had enough questions for about an hour, but it was over in about half that time. If you didn't catch it live on, you can listen to it here or wait until Wednesday when it goes up on YouTube. Next week, our guest is supposed to be Bob Budiansky, who wrote the first Transformers comic for Marvel. We go LIVE every Friday at 6 pm PDT.

And, as if that wasn't enough, yesterday was Free Comic Book Day and we recorded a show with Rachel Wells, talking about the books we found at our local comic book store. She ended up with about 12 books, but we could only get three each from ours. Let the Philadelphia v. Los Angeles trash talk start now. Again, it was live on twitch and can now be viewed on our YouTube channel. We're going to meet next Saturday, time TBD, to discuss what we've read.

Speaking of YouTube, I found a mistake I had made with uploading a video a couple of weeks ago; OAPS #240 - Kaiji (the Anime) is Great. In my defense, I upload on Sunday mornings, so I might have been groggy at the time, but I uploaded the same video as the week before. I'm not sure how YouTube counts things, but I think 10 people watched it without commenting it was the wrong video. On the plus side, more people have apparently watched it this time around, so that's something. But chasing my tail on that one took up most of an evening of writing.

On the Trophy Unlocked front, no new review from me this week. I've been given the rather undesirable job of reviewing X-Men: Apocalypse, which we watched on Friday night. We're planning on a rather lengthy salute to X-Men prior to the release of Deadpool & Wolverine, which comes out in July (and during San Diego Comic-Con).

It started out as Game Day week on the blog with Paul's reviews of two JoJo games, a Second Look - JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle on Monday and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R on Wednesday. However, it ended the week as a salute to Weird Al. On Friday, there was Trevor's review of The Compleat Al followed on Saturday Morning with his review of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

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