Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Did These Two Covers Sell Books Today?

Yes they did.  I picked them both up.  Loved the girl hunting dragons with a shotgun.  That's just pure moxie.  And the Victorian lamp in the background of the second captured my attention.  I'll be reviewing them soon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Oxymoron!

Today while researching a current book, I came across a website on Amish dress.  Since they don't use electricity, I'm sure the site isn't aimed at them.

Go to here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's Batgirl Like You've Never Seen Her!

If you haven't picked up the new Batgirl series, you should.  Bryan Q. Miller has a fun grasp of the character, and the art is fantastic.  Things have changed in the Bat-universe, and Stephanie Brown (Batgirl) is one of the best.

Check out my review of the latest comic here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Sometimes you just have to be in my house to get it, but here goes.  My 12 year old has Aspergers and is wildly imaginative.  He loves fantasy, videogames, movies, and books.  My wife is a fourth grade teacher and absolutely rooted in bedrock.

Today he's been playing one of the Lord of the Rings games.  He took time out for The Two Towers this afternoon.

So he's sitting around playing the game again, and he asks his mom, "How often do you think about what it would be like to live in Middle-Earth?"

I sat quietly in my office, working, and just laughed.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Young Readers WIll Love This One!

Looking for a Christmas gift for a young reader, look no further.  And it's a book you can enjoy too.  Especially if you like to read aloud.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Supergirl!

Sterling Gates is a friend of mine.  He graduated at OU then went out to LA to make his mark in the film world.  Instead, he ended up associated with Geoff Johns, one of DC Comics' best writers.  A while after that, Sterling took over the scripting chores of Supergirl and is taking her through great trials and adventures.

Sterling's first graphic novel (without other writers) is now on sale.  Do yourself a favor and pick it up.  Lots of libraries are carrying graphic novels now, so you'll probably find it there soon.  The story is a blast and Sterling's take on the character is fresh and invigorating.  Jamal Igle is a dream as an artist -- every panel is awesome.

For my review, go here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The World Is Running Out of Eggo Waffles!

Never thought that would be the case, but it's so.  Expect a shortage till next summer 2010.  How can you go all winter without Eggo waffles?

Here's the story.  Click!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Now For Something Different!

I grew up reading Doc Savage, and while looking for cellphone wallpaper, I tripped across a site that offers fantasy Doc Savage covers and couldn't resist sharing.


Engage imagination.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hard Case Crime T-Shirts!

At a recent convention, I was asked about a shirt I was wearing. I love these shirts. You can find them here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Alex Rider Is Back!

And I can't wait. It'll be out next week, and it looks like my favorite fourteen year old British spy is going to be neck deep in trouble. If you haven't ever read this series before, you're in for a treat. Alex works for MI-6 and gets assigned to the most dangerous missions despite his age. But he has a knack for saving his life as well as knocking down the bad guys.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Great Cover!
Another great cover that caused me to order the book. And the synopsis sounds really interesting too!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Currently Reading With My Son
I thought I'd poison my 12 year old's mind with romantic nonsense that I grew up on. It's working pretty well with this one, one of my favorite books. But reading with my wife in bed with us doesn't work out so well. Her cynical side shows up to blast us into the real world. :)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009 Is Live!

One of my students at OU has gone live with a media review site. I encourage you to visit, take a look around, and comment if you see something you like.
Click here!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Coming Soon!

Really getting excited about this new film after seeing the trailer here.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Game On! Almost!

Gamer arrived in theaters on Friday after a, literally, explosive rush of trailers. However, those trailers inaccurately reported that Gerard Butler hadn’t kicked this much butt in 300 years. The quote was taken from 300, the Frank Miller movie. Actually, the battle of Thermopylae took place over 2000 years ago.

Once upon a time, I was a diehard gamer. Lately, my 11 year old son is the diehard gamer in the house. He has more time to play than I do, but I keep him stocked in all the latest game systems and games. He’s leading the life I would want if I had more time.

Both of us were excited about seeing Gamer. The whole idea of controlling a flesh and blood avatar during a real battle just sounded cool. Neither of us would really want to do that, but we couldn’t wait to see it played out on the big screen.

The movie is written and directed by Neveldine/Taylor, the duo that gave us Crank and Crank 2. Gamer possesses the same frantic pacing of the writer/directors’ first two movies. In fact, if you have seen the Crank franchise, you will have seen much of the style and visual effects of this movie. Gamer just seems too familiar visually.

Another too familiar aspect is the lack of character development throughout the movie. Gerard Butler is posited as the hero, Kable, and Michael C. Hall (TV’s Dexter) is the bad guy. The history of each, and of the shared moments between them, come too late in the movie. There’s no investment on part of the viewer, and by that point the clash is coming to a head, so all attention is given to the climax.

Gerard Butler is definitely action hero material and his physical performance is good. After seeing the film, I’d believe that Butler can walk into a room full of bad guys and take them all out.

Michael C. Hall as Castle, the man who invented the games Society and Slayers where flesh and blood avatars are mind controlled by other people, delivers a stunning bit of acting. He was a wicked combination of cool, competent, and cruel. The singing bit at the end totally blew my mind. I kept wishing I had a DVR controller so I could rewind that scene and watch it again. I’ll be buying the DVD primarily to watch Hall in action. I just wish there had been more of him in the film.

Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) and Ludacris were virtually wasted as cardboard characters. And I didn't see anything of Logan Lerman’s character Simon that I could buy into, except for that really cool computer room he seems to live in.

I did enjoy the concepts that were explored in the film. The Society game was much like Second Life, only with graphic sex thrown into the mix. I found the scenes of the people playing the avatars in Society more disturbing than those who played in Slayers. If I don’t know if the filmmakers intended this kind of reaction on part of the viewer, but it’s strange how controlling someone in a twisted version of everyday life is somehow more perverted than controlling someone on a deadly battlefield.

Granted, the film had to straddle a thin line between action fans and, perhaps, science fiction fans, but I wish more attention would have been paid to the what-if scenario played out in the movie. The deeper issues of the questions raised were skimmed over in favor of blood and gore.

Gamer is a fun film for action junkies, but definitely lighter fare for someone interested in dealing with the intriguing possibility of the future.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Couldn't Believe It!

I went to Walmart on Tuesday with my 11 year old to get him some new books to read while at school. He usually reads more when he's away from his computer and video games, and he loves his entertainment.

We saw a young girl, about 12 or 13, standing out front with a sandwich board that read I'M A THIEF. I STEAL FROM PEOPLE WHO LOVE ME. Not Walmart -- people who loved her.

A young father, I'm assuming he was her father, sat on the bench beside her with his arms folded and all closed in. My son was shaken by the experience. I was offended. And several other store patrons were as well.

I went to the store management and complained, and they made certain the two left the premises.

I don't know what the girl did, nor to what degree she should be punished, but I really detested the act personally. Not only that, but an otherwise pleasant experience with my son was colored by explanations of why parents would treat their kids that way and the realization on part of my son that maybe he wasn't as safe from public ridicule as he believed.

I've raised five kids and I've never publicly punished one. I've taken away games, sports activities, and date nights. But I could never dream of doing something like this.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

According To Chandler!

We went to my mom's today to plan putting a new roof on her house, which is going to be an adventure in itself. We went the usual way, the one my son Chandler has seen a lot.

Chandler, as regular readers of this blog will know, has aspergers. He kind of interprets the world in his own way, and assigns logic that he knows to things. Very bright kid but he continually thinks outside the box. WAAAAAYYYYY outside at times.

So today we see the Oklahoma Horseshoeing School. Seen it a lot of times. But today Chandler notices it and gives voice to the thought: "A school for horseshoeing? That's stupid. That game is really easy."

When I got through figuring out the correlation he'd made, and finished laughing, I explained.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Human Target!

Coming in fall from CW, The Human Target stars Mark Valley as Christopher Chance, the man who hires on to replace someone marked for death.

I read the original backup stories by Len Wein back in the 1970s and loved the concept. Then Peter Milligan's version really twisted things.

I just saw the trailer on and am really looking forward to this one now. Looks like a good combo of fun and action.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Comic Con Is Going On In San Diego!
Think Google has noticed?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Comic Stores Today!

I wrote this one, so if you pick it up, shoot me an email and let me know what you think. I've loved the Phantom since I was a kid, and it was a privilege to get to do one of the issues for Moonstone Comics.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Joe Lansdale's New Hap & Leonard Novel Review!

Reading Joe's stuff is purely a guilty pleasure. Things have been tense around the house this week. Enough mechanical problems on the cars (mine, my wife's, my son's, and my daughter's -- and Daddy has the checkbook) that I've felt like a money pinata and everybody's had a stick.

The review is up at Bookhound.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Want This Statue!

These are the kinds of things my wife has to put up with. I love Jungle Girl art. So far from reality that I believe lost kingdoms still lay out there awaiting discover. Other worlds are just a turn and a step away.

For me, nothing screams fantasy more than leopard print bikinis in the jungle!

This is based on Frank Cho's art for Dynamite Comics' Jungle Girl.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cure for Reluctant 9-12 Male Readers!

This book is a blast from the first page to the last. If you've got know a reluctant male reader between the ages of 9 to 90, put a copy of this book in their hands and ask them to simply read the first chapter. If they can stop, there's simply no hope.

You can find a review at Bookhound.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Vampire Invastion Scheduled For January 2010!

The new trailer for this movie is out and looks like it could be a lot of fun for those of us maybe a little sick of romantic vampires.

To see the trailer, go here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Covers That Send Me To The Book Store!

Yep, this is one of them. Coming in July. Chicks in leather, guns, motorcycles, and demons. What's not to love?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

So, Dad, How Do You Make Ghosts?

My eleven year old thinks outside the box. Any box. I'm casually reading today and a thought strikes him while he's playing Ghostbusters on the 360 (great game, BTW). He asks if me I thought it would be neat if people could make ghosts.

I say, "No, because they have people that make ghosts, then they lock them up in prison for being murderers."

Then he says, "I mean fake ghosts."

I say, "No, they lock those people up too. They call them frauds and con artists."

"No, artificial ghosts."

I think about it for a moment and say, "Why would you want to make artificial ghosts? Who would you sell them to?"

By this time I'm thinking he's maybe considering opening up the supernatural equivalent of a lemonade stand for the summer. GHOSTS FOR SALE!

He admits that he hasn't got that part worked out yet, but still thinks it would be cool to make artificial ghosts.

I tell him with all the Goth stuff so popular these days, he could probably sell them if he figures out a way to make them.

That kid's gonna make me millions one of these days. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Rocking the Beer Gut" Blew Me Away!

I recently had a roadtrip with my daughter. We drove six hours to Arkansas and six hours back. I normally listen to audiobooks while traveling, but she's not big on those and I had to work. So while she drove, I pounded the keyboard.

Montana listens to country music. I grew up with it but a lot of it gets on my nerves these days. I prefer blues if I listen to music.

On the way back, we heard Trailer Choir's release, "Rocking the Beer Gut" and I couldn't believe it. When we got back home, I had to check them out. You can hear the song on video here, and find out more about the band here.

They're a lot of fun, full of energy and good feelings. You probably won't hear any music that will change your life, but you're going to rock out in the car and pick up some chorus lines that will be buzzing through your head for days. And you won't be able to stop singing, "Rocking the Beer Gut."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Batman Family Changing!

If you're a comic geek like me, you know there are some massive changes taking place in the Batman mythos. I was totally against the idea of taking Bruce Wayne out of the Batsuit, but I'm really enjoying a fresh look at some of these characters.

Pick up an issue or two and give 'em a try. The top image is the cover to Batman & Robin #1. The second is for Red Robin #1. And the last is for Detective Comics and will feature Batwoman and the new Question.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer's Here!

Time to head to the beach and relax when you get the chance. I've read a lot of books lately since college is out and I haven't been teaching. You can find reviews of these books and others here.

And if you read something that impresses you, please post and lemme know!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My New Favorite Show!

My wife and I love a mystery/detective shows that have a sense of humor while presenting a bonafide puzzle. I saw the ads for Castle and decided to take a look at it.

At first glance, the premise doesn't sound all that intriguing. A mystery writer get special permission to tag along with the NYPD well they do their job. Nothing really new there, Dennis Weaver fulfilled the same role in a short lives series called Stone back in the 1970s.

However, Castle runs as smoothly as a Swiss watch. Nathan Fillion plays bestselling crime novelist Richard Castle. He has a wealthy lifestyle, a teen daughter who's smart as a whip, and a mother that connives and manipulates on a daily basis.

Stana Katic plays Detective Kate Beckett, a tough as nails homicide investigator who turns out to be a perfect foil for Castle.

Granted, the series isn't even close to reality in the way Castle gets treated during an investigation, but the interaction between all the characters and the solution to the puzzles are really good. People don't watch these shows for a dose of reality. My wife and I want escapism, and we get it.

If you haven't seen the show, I'd suggest checking it out. Castle comes on Monday nights at 9 pm Central time. There will be only 10 shows this season, and we're halfway through them, but the first season DVD set will be offered in September.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Reviews At Amazon and Bookhound!

I've been reading lately and been posting reviews as well. Please drop by Bookhound or my Amazon page. If you like the reviews at Amazon, please give me a vote of approval! I'm still trying to improve my rankings there.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Instant DVR Download: Harper's Island

Sherry and I started seeing trailers for this summer replacement series about a month ago. We were both intrigued with a 13 week solve-a-mystery format because we're both great armchair detectives. It starts April 9 on CBS.

I have to admit, the lighthouse caught our attention first. The trailers (here)really do a good job of building curiosity.

The show is labeled as Agatha Christie's AND THEN THERE WERE NONE (also known as 10 LITTLE INDIANS) meets SCREAM. It's being touted as a mix between a mystery and horror.

The idea of people trapped on an island getting slowly picked off one by one certainly isn't new, but Sherry and I are intrigued enough to get ready for a battle of wits that will last most of the summer.

For more information, as well as a scorecard to keep track of who lives and who dies (which is kind of macabre!), go here.

HARPER'S ISLAND: Movie Trailer - Watch the best video clips here

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Coming May 27!

This is the first comic book I've written in years, and I can't wait to hold it in my hands!

More info here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Horror Movies!

One of the startling trends that results from a downturn in the economy is the increased popularity of horror movies. When I was a kid I didn't like to watch them. My imagination made them way too real.

However, as I got older and realized there were more substantial horrors (like debt, unemployment, and the fact that my world could turn south on a dime), things like zombies, vampires, and other supernatural creatures -- and the odd serial killer or two -- stopped bothering me. After all, I'd never seen any of those things.

I learned to appreciate good horror in the spirit (so to speak) in which it was intended. Horror either delivers a few quick chills, an impending sense of doom, or ribald humor. Anything else, and it fails.

A Haunting In Connecticut has its basis in an urban legend that is much more tame than the movie version. Doubtless, it was still creepy to everyone that lived there. I went to the theater Friday night with a couple of my students from OU and we had a blast. The movie has good pacing, is well acted, has some good cinematic moments, and the atmosphere created by the use of surround sound and music is terrific.

If you enjoy a good haunted house story (and who doesn't?), this one will certainly fit the bill.

While there, we also saw the trailer for Sam Raimi's horror film coming in May. It's called Drag Me To Hell and it looks decidedly creepy. It has to do with a gypsy curse, and you have to love that. Hopefully the movie will release before my students flee college for the summer.