Friday, April 1, 2011

Meanwhile at ThoughtBalloons - Artifacts

Oh man, this has probably been the hardest week so far on Thought Balloons. Artifacts is a Top Cow mega event, and I have read very little in terms of Top Cow universe comics, so this was definitely a challenge for me. In the end, I did what I always do when in doubt: write a crossover with another property. What came out was a script called The Man Behind The Curtain. My favorite part is these couple of lines...

MAN: Ah, Sara, I was just educating all of you. Humanity is nothing without the knowledge we gather, you know? But yes, I think you have earned that much. The thirteenth artifact is what protects all of humanity against this holy war you are all fighting.

Go ahead and check it out. I was reasonably pleased with what came out in the end, considering how much I struggled to come up with something decent. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photo: Fallas 2011

Taken during Fallas 2011, here in Valencia, near Plaza del Ayuntamianto. Fallas is a weeks-long celebration that has been growing in popularity for years. The streets, as you can see, are packed with people.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meanwhile at TWC - Free Comics Review 03/23/11

Typical. The Friday where I actually decide to go out somewhere with some school friends, the comic companies decided to go all out and upload six free comics for me to review. There were some good ones, and some not so good. Click here to see the reviews, which include:

Captain America: The Chosen #1
Catwoman #1
The Flash #1
Ghost Rider #1
Pray for Death #1
Ultimate Fantastic Four #1

I'm betting that next week I'll only have one or two comics to review. Such is how these things usually work.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meanwhile at TWC - Batman & Robin Creative Team

I've mentioned it before, but these are my favorite pieces to write. Over at The Weekly Crisis, I put together a piece on the switches and changes that have affected the Batman & Robin title. I don't have any concrete answers, but I do propose several explanations and lay out the whole story as it happened (or at least how the readers saw it unfold). Here's a short excerpt:
Finally, with Batman & Robin #20, the creative team of Tomasi and Gleason started telling their tale. Surely, with months of preparation and hype behind it, it would be a long run by the two of them.

As it turns out, this isn’t the case at all. Issue #22 is going to be their last for at least three other months.
I've mentioned it before, but these are my favorite pieces to write. It's information that is all out in the open, but that must be pieced together to get the full picture.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Photo: Final Day of Class

Taken on the final day of our course, after we had completely finished. We decided to go out to to eat to a restaurant to celebrate that we survived the course. From left to right: Richard, Edna, Me, Seámas (our tutor), Sandi, and Tania.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Never Lived in a War Zone (Fallas Week)

...but if I had to guess, I would say that Fallas week here in Valencia is very similar to what living in a war zone is like.

For those of you that don't know, Fallas is a week-long celebration/holiday of the Valencia region. It actually goes on for longer than that, and people actually prepare for it for the whole year, but there is one key week in March where the whole city grinds to a halt and stops functioning. It culminates on March 19th, when everything ends.

During that week, stores operate under different hours, roads are closed, public transportation barely works, trash accumulates in the street, and there's people literally everywhere. And that's without even mentioning the fireworks. It gets so bad that some long-time residents just up and leave to another city during that week.

You can hear the fireworks throughout the whole day. There are organized ones every day at 2 PM for almost a whole month, and the week before, there's an extra set at 1 AM (yes, AM) every night. And the people participate too. It's nigh-impossible to go to any of the local parks without running into a group of kids throwing fire crackers, or walking down the street without hearing explosions in the distance. At night, sleeping can become a real challenge, with loud booms echoing in the distance. We are actually pretty lucky because we don't live close to a Casal Fallero, which is where people concentrate to celebrate. Around those, the parties and fireworks usually last through the whole night, and sleeping soundly would not be an option at all. 

Despite how horrible I make it sound, it can be entertaining. On Friday, me and my wife went to see the monuments that people build for this celebration. They are wonderful and humonguous sculptures (photos coming soon) that are peppered throughout the city. You just have to be patient if you want to, you know, go outside at all during Fallas week.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Meanwhile at ThoughtBalloons - Blue Beetle

It was my week to choose a character for Thought Balloons, and I decided to go with Jaime Reyes, the current Blue Beetle.

I was actually quite stumped in what to do with him. I normally pick a character based on a story I already have in mind (just to make things easier), but the character I wanted to choose was a Marvel one, and we had a long string of Marvel characters, so I wanted to break it up a bit. It also came at a time when it seemed like Blue Beetle had died (he got better). However, I still managed to make a short and fun story entitled "The World is Yours?", in which Paco finally gets to play with the armor. Kind of. Read on.
BLUE BEETLE: It says that it can “Provide supplemental temporary armory” for you.

PACO: What does that mean? What kind of weapon?

SCARAB: (unintelligible sounds)
Let me know what you think!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Meanwhile at TWC: Free Comics 02/16/11

Another thing I am proud of is that during my course I managed to stay up to date with my Free Comics Review column, with only some minimum delays in the process. This was partly caused by the fact that companies went all out during those weeks, uploading a LOAD of free comics. 

Now that I have all the time in the world to write these reviews? They go ahead and upload only two free comics for me to review. What the hell?! And on top of that, I had already reviewed one of them. Click here to see them.

Cable #1
Wolverine #50

And to make matters worse, the one comic I had to review was terrible. Let's hope next week is better.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meanwhile at ThoughtBalloons - Venom & Moon Knight

I actually managed to stay almost up to date with Thought Balloons. I say almost because I missed one of the entries, for Venom. However, I was determined to make up for it and catch up with the rest of my fellow ThoughtBallooners. I ended up coming up with a script that connected into this week's character, Moon Knight.

Read the first part of The War at Home here, which includes this neat scene...

Description: Venom is jumping out of the airplane, falling through the night sky. An uneasy full moon shines in the background.

VENOM: What’s the deal, control? I normally know who I’m going after way before I’m free-falling off a plane.

CONTROL (through comm): We know, Venom. The general has been...unusually quiet about this whole enterprise. Anyway, target location should be in sight by now.

And the second part here. Which brought it all home.

Description: Moon Knight is now standing over the badly wounded (but still alive) body of Flash Thompson. His missing legs are clearly visible and he is making an effort of staying conscious.

MOON KNIGHT: You had lost everything, your career, your love, your... legs. You accepted an entity into your body that promised to give it all back to you. And it was changing you for the worse.

I am actually quite happy with how this turned out, and I have a full story behind the revelations here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CV Photo

Now that I've finished the course, it meant that I had to update my CV. I hadn't done this in almost two years, so the photo I had there was outdated, and therefore I needed a new one. I'm not a very photogenic person, and getting a photo of me with both my eyes open is a quest harder than finding a photo Elvis and Bifgoot riding the Loch Ness monster like a surfboard on the outskirts of the city of Atlantis (I'm only slightly exaggerating). The above is as close as it gets, which had to be taken without flash because otherwise I just naturally close my eyes.