Broken Pencil has been the most visible guide to alternative culture in Canada for the last 20 years. It’s interesting that it while it came of age in the nascent days of the Internet, when just getting on a computer network required money and some degree of technical savvy, it survived the later proliferation of digital media through sheer bloody-mindedness.
Now, 20 years into its mission, Broken Pencil founder Hal Niedzviecki is the subject of an interview in the Toronto Star about zines, zine-making and the shift back to paper for today’s creatives.
Over the past couple of years I’ve been drifting away from film and more towards words and pictures in the form of novels and comic books. My creative process has followed this path as well, with more interest in writing short stories and comics, and even trying my hand at drawing, to mixed results.
One of the keys to procrastination (which is a constant whatever the medium you’re working in) is looking for inspiration on the internet, and the first such quote comes from Robin Bougie, the guy behind the Cinema Sewer zine (made here in Vancouver, don’t click the link if bewbs offend you.)
Rather than stare at my computer on a Saturday night, as per usual, I made my way out to Main St last weekend and took part in the Vancouver Comic Jam, which is a cool sit-down involving drawing a panel of a one page comic and passing it on to the rest of the group to finish. As you might imagine, the results can be odd, funny or both. Check out this month’s drawings and see if you can pick out my infantile doodlings!
Had some weird stuff happen with the blog. Hackers tossing spam into the world, apparently by hiding in the theme of the site. So I had to change the theme around to hopefully flush their vile scripts into hell, hence the (temporary?) new look.
Rather than start with yet another apology for not writing mre in the blog, here’s a quick summary of what I’ve been up to, followed by details after the jump.
1) writing a story for Seasons of War
2) making a new Bookshelf Doctors comic strip every week
3) trying my hand at standup comedy (!)
I have been a bad, bad blogger and have not updated this site in quite some time. There are reasons for that, from mundane things like work, life and more work, to interesting projects that have demanded all my attention. These projects are as follows!
I wrote a story called “Crowsnest Past” for Seasons of War, the unofficial War Doctor anthology due out early next year. It’s got a “young” War Doctor, rural Canada, homicidal robopeople and shotgunning of beer. What more do you want? How about many more stories by incredibly talented writers, all of them devoting their time to a good cause. A big shout out to writer and gentleman Declan May, who has ably shepherded the anthology into its present state and deserves buckets of praise for his tireless work.
The cause in question is the Cauldwell Children, which helps out families of autistic children as well as the kids themselves. The anthology has to date raised over 3,00o pounds, and all of it goes to the charity.
I also wrote a story that appears in Dark Tales from Elder Regions: New York, an anthology of ghoulish and ghastly horror tales set in NYC. My story, “The None Percent,” tackles the thorny problem of what an ultra-wealthy Wall Street magnate does with himself once he’s shuffled off this mortal coil, and all that’s left is his coal-black soul. You can pick up Dark Tales from Elder Regions up now from Amazon or directly from Myth Ink Books.
What else? Well, work continues on Bookshelf Doctors and Master Control, my ode to days gone by in the televisual trade (which is also hosted on the Bookshelf Doctors site). And I have a few more irons in the fire, which I will discuss when they go from “warming up” to “oww, that’s scorching.”
Confession time: I was an anime fan in the early 90s. Back then it was tough to find anime, and watching the stuff was difficult, with 4th generation fansubbed VHS tapes regarded as a major find. Anime was a predominantly male (and Asian) hobby at the time, something that has massively shifted over the last two decades.
I’ve been plowing through more books of late, scattered across various genres. I’ve made a point of not only bathing in scifi but dipping into different genres that up until now I haven’t tried. My method is simple: when an author of note is mentioned offhand in a podcast as someone worth checking out, I make a point of seeking out a sample of their work. This month, the author in question is Raymond Chandler, and the book is “The Big Sleep.”
Wrote a new chapter for Head Cases, my Doctor Who/Star Wars crossover fanfic (aka hijinks-filled megatrolling)! You can read Episode 2 here, or start from the beginning here!
About a year ago, I and my compatriots at Radio Free Skaro were guests at Westercon 66, a science fiction convention held in Sacramento. Westercon and a variety of other “pure” scifi cons tend to skew a little older and more towards things literary rather than out-and-out fandom. That’s obviously not a hard and fast rule, given that I was down there as part of a fan podcast focused on Doctor Who, but it is a noticeable difference from events like Gallifrey or San Diego Comic Con.
The upside of the literary bent of Westercon was that the dealer’s room was filled with books, many of them astonishingly cheap. I bought something like thirty paperbacks for around thirty dollars, and I was able to grab many of the sci-fi and fantasy books (classic and otherwise) that I’d missed as a youth.