This is a blog about comics, books, movies and politics that will be updated whenever I damn well feel like it. My writing website is here. Visit it. Or not.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Until Tomorrow

Welcome to the temporary home of Tom Sure, hero of the upcoming urban comic fantasy Until Tomorrow. Thanks to a much-needed Mac upgrade, I can't actually update my own webpage anymore. I'm in the process of moving, so keep an eye out here for more announcements.

A Taste of Tomorrow

Just to whet your appetite for the new site, here's a taste of the opening chapter of Until Tomorrow.

There are some things man was not meant to know. That's where I come in. My name is Tom F. Sure and I'm starting to hate my job.

I was huddled in bar that's never been all that kind to me, trying hard to forget. A wheezing radiator huffed away along the far wall, barely keeping the bitter cold at bay. Sleet hammered the One Eye In's oak door and a shrieking wind rattled the dirty windows in their frames.

The radiator in the corner of the In changed to a syncopated beat, like a drummer experiencing a severely altered consciousness. Every few minutes, the beat of the radiator synchronized with the sleet pelting the windows. The fluid sound faded too quickly into a discordant mess, pretty much typical of my life.

An empty glass sat on the scarred bar surface in front of me. Something small and black with an odd number of legs scuttled unsteadily away from the amber droplet running down the outside of the glass. I made introductions. Bug, thumb. Thumb, bug.

"Fill it again, One Eye." I reached under the bar and scraped my thumbnail clean.

My last job had ended badly. Too much blood and too many broken wet things had littered the ground during the last couple of days. I needed time to forget, to unclench my brain from around the bloody dagger of the past week.

In my damaged state I could only think of one place to go, so I crawled to the One Eye In. Even though he's a successful bar owner now, One Eye never could spell worth a damn. He could have meant it as a pun, but I don't see One Eye as being quite that subtle. He bought the place a couple of decades ago after I convinced him to sell his recipe for long pork to a national fast-food conglomerate.

Of course, One Eye defined success a little differently than most. He's got a place to go when he's not sleeping, a roof to sleep under and, if he's lucky, the occasional obnoxious drunk to bounce around.

One-Eye looked up from the magazine he'd been reading at the other end of the bar and glared at me. Having only the one eye in the middle of his forehead makes his face hard to read for some people. Not me, though. I've had a lot of practice. He wasn't happy.

He stood up and rolled his shoulders. Stiff, black hair poked through the mesh undershirt he wore. At some point, the shirt had been white. Probably. One-Eye's long strides ate up the distance between us in under a second. Along the way, his hairy hand snagged a suspect bottle of whiskey from in front of the mirror. At seven-foot-six-inches, he's shrunk a bit over the years, but he still towered over me by a good two feet.

Looming's one of the things One-Eye is best at, so he practiced in front of me. I did my best to give him a good looming under, but, as always, it never quite worked. That sour smell that rose from his pores always drove me back before I could get off a good loom.

"You an old friend, Tom," he growled. His breath washed over me, garlic and rotten onions and things best not guessed at, and it was all I could do to keep from flinching "So I not thump you this time. My name is Phemus. Use dat name."

I tapped the glass in front of me in what I hoped was a significant manner. I knew I shouldn't, but I had to follow up. It's my nature. I waved a hand in the general direction of the front door and the sign hanging down over the other side of said door, not even bothering to gesture about the green neon eye blazing in the window.

"Hey, if you didn't want people to call you One Eye, why'd you pick that name for your place?"

He shrugged his massive shoulders and scratched at his one eyebrow.

"Is for advertising purpose," he said. "And dat only. Name recogniz... recog –nit –shun."

Since he chose that moment to slop some of the alleged Jim Beam into my glass, I let it go. It wasn't worth the effort.

One Eye nodded as if that made everything clear and thumped back to the latest issue of _Jugs_, a pottery magazine he'd left on the bar. I held the whiskey up to the light and marveled that I could almost see all the way through.

That was when I got the call.

The top of the whiskey burst into flame, flickering blue light through the cracked crystal of the glass. Now, that wasn't something that happened every day. I get most of my jobs over the phone or in my rat-hole of an office. Still, knowing the sort of showoff I sometimes work for, I wasn't surprised.

One Eye looked up from his magazine, longing and maybe just a little hope plastered across his ugly mug.

"Sorry," I said and lowered the glass back to the bar. "It's for me."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Civil War


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

Is there really anything else that needs to be said?

I think not.

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ultraviolet Review

So, I just finished seeing Ultraviolet, the new action flick starring Milla Jovavitch. I was in the theater with four 11-year-old boys for my middle son's birthday, so that could be coloring my thoughts on the movie, but, boy did this thing suck.

Don't get me wrong, it was beautifully filmed and it had a European look, with obviously computer-generated long shots and some close ups on Jovavitch that looked like they were filmed through a layer of gauze, but the plot was about as thick as the gauze covering the camera lens. That is to say, not at all thick.

Other than the nod to comic books in the opening scenes (in which we see Jovavitch's character, Violet, in a variety of comic book covers to give the impression she's been around forever), we also see a comic connection in the wafer-thin plot. Vampires, called here hemophages, are accidentally created while the US military is trying to make Captain America. Okay, they don't say Captain America, but they're looking to make a super soldier. What they make are scientific pseudo-vampires.

The plot. . . well, you know what? Screw it. There really wasn't a plot. Suffice to say that the vampires were on the verge of extinction because of those mean humans. Of course, the fact that the vampires only had one woman among them so couldn't propogate their own race other than by spreading around their blood doesn't really speak all that well to their intelligence.

Or mine. Hell, even the boys thought it was a bit of a loss. Nice figh

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Southern Man

It was only when I actually looked at it like this that I realized how much of a southern boy I am.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

In Brightest Day. . .

Your results:
You are Green Lantern
Green Lantern
Iron Man
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.
Click here

Monday, December 26, 2005

Comic Review: Trailers

I'm probably a bit late to this party, but I just picked up Trailers, written by Mark Kneece, drawn by Julie Collins-Rousseau and published by NBM/Comics Lit. You can probably tell by the publisher's name, that this isn't just one of them comical books. It's literchure.

Sorry, pretentiousness aside, it's a nice package. Hardcover, with a nice drawing of one of the book's pivotal events on the front dust jacket. In these days of insert stupid air quotesiconicend stupid air quotes covers, it's nice to see a little something that actually gives a clue as to what happens inside.

Josh is an intelligent high school boy who lives in a trailer park with his mother and his three little brothers and sisters. His mom isn't someone with whom I'd want to spend much time, a hooker, a drug dealer and jumping over the border into child neglect with gleeful abandon. Josh, being the responsible one in the family, has to look out for his younger sibs and his mom. Most especially after his mom kills her drug dealer/pimp/boyfriend. Taking a rather more sanguine attitude than Josh, his mom tells him to just take the body somewhere and get rid of it.

Of course, because it should remain a secret, soon it seems as if the whole trailer park knows what happened, who's responsible and where the body is buried.

The deadly event precipitates a steep downhill slide for Josh's family until he has to take charge of his own life and the lives of his mom and her other children.

Collins-Rousseau has a tight style that efficiently conveys the story and does a nice job choosing the camera angles for the story. Her faces particularly are reminescent of the work of Terry Moore, who writes and draws Strangers in Paradise. The black and white artwork shows a nice use of blacks and negative space. The backgrounds, though somewhat sparse, do a good job of conveying the scenery and giving the readers what they need to understand the scene.

Kneece gives the reader a nice little tour through depressing times and places. He constructs a likeable, albeit flawed, character in Josh and makes us care about him. While I wasn't too thrilled with the one-note characterization of the mother as a neglectful idiot, I think it might have been necessary to see her that way since Josh is the viewpoint character and that's probably a bit more on-target for how he sees her. Kneece gives Josh a nice character arc and takes the reader on an engrossing ride.

Still, it's hard to recommend this book with it's $17.95 hardcover price.

Whaddya say we kill comics slowly and wait for the paperback trade on this one?