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Posts Tagged ‘Dark Matter’

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I woke up this morning to find the above-pictured oranges sitting on my kitchen counter, and Paul’s pass on our latest script sitting in my inbox.  I looked it over, made a few changes, and then sent the script wide – and, in this particular case, “wide” refers to the 3-5 individuals involved in this development process.  Word is they want all the materials in by early February so that they’ll have plenty of time to review them prior to a decision in March.  Will we finally get that elusive series order?   Well, I feel very good about this project – but, in all fairness, I felt pretty good about Dark Matter which was in the same position last year only to ultimately lose out to another property by the very slimmest of margins.  My writing partner, like a spurned lover, refuses to get his hopes up, maintaining an emotional distance as if the project were a relative going in for risky life-saving surgery.

Speaking of Dark Matter, I’m trying to arrange a conference call with my partners to discuss where things stand.  When last er spoke, we had a modest budget in place that, while impressive to the uninitiated, isn’t really quite enough to make a good ship-based series.  I’ve been running comparison budgets with my savvy friend and former colleague, Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, and it would seem we’ll need an additional 15-20% to do it properly.  I don’t suppose any of you happened to have any lottery winnings you’re looking to invest?  If so, let me know!

Having completed a first draft of that southern gothic pilot with Tara, I’m taking some time of from the script so that I can return to it, fresh, in about a week.  I’ve always found that when you’re writing, it’s very easy to get attached to what you’ve put down on the page so a little time away allows you to come back to it with a more open mind.  Meanwhile, I’m about 23 pages into the horror script.  Ideally, I’d love to hit the 30 page mark before my partner on this one, Alex Levine, frees up his busy schedule.  So far, so creepy!

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Took my old gal Jelly (she’ll be 15 next month!) in to see the vet today.  Over the past couple of days, she’s been doing a lot of panting and crying, especially in the middle of the night.  She checked out okay, no obvious health issues, so I’m going to have to keep an eye on her.  And be prepared to wake up A LOT in the wee hours of the morning.

Today was Jelly and tomorrow it’s my turn to go visit the doctor to check out yet another in a long line of mystery ailments.  They’re racking up.  No sooner did I make an appointment to ask an opinion on one issue than another unrelated issue cropped up.  Akemi joked it was because I’m getting old.  The kidder!

A couple of purchases today…

1This handsome statue in preparation for my future supervillain-themed office.  How’s that for optimism?

1Yes, I have heard of kindle.  And, yes, I still prefer real books.  The only problem is all the late-night Stargate: Universe-watching with Akemi has eaten into my reading time so I need to free up an after-dinnner/pre-workout block just to play catch-up.

Hey, speaking of reading, don’t forget to vote for our upcoming Book of the Month Club selection.  Your choices…

Our discussion will begin a month after the polls close – or, a month after the winning book is actually released, whichever comes last.

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First things first!  My french bulldog, Lulu, eating kale chips.  Please raise volume to maximum before viewing:

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One of the worst kept secrets on this blog has been the identity of that scifi series Paul and I have been trying to set up.  As many of you know, back when we were working on Stargate, we started developing our own SF series in the hopes of rolling right into production with the same crew if and when Stargate ever ended.  The only problem at the time was that there was no end in sight.  Every time we thought Stargate would close up shop, the show would get picked up for another season.  It was a classy problem that allowed us to really flesh out the concept and characters of this prospective new show.

Unfortunately, when Stargate did end, the timing proved difficult. Instead of taking advantage of our terrific Stargate crew, we ended up having to put our project on hold while we took a job in Toronto.  But rather than relegate it to the back burner, we thought of an interesting way to go – and a great way to help sell the show.  We hooked up with Dark Horse Comics and launched the series idea as a comic book.

DARKMTR #1 CVRThe first four issues of Dark Matter garnered great reviews and, when the trade paperback came out in October, we used it as a calling card. Having worked in development, I was aware of, and wanted to draw on, the added appeal of an established property.  Also, half the battle of pitching is to help a potential buyer imagine the project you have created – and I could think of no better pitch document than that trade paperback.

DM4We went out with a story backed by some fantastic visuals compliments of artist Garry Brown and colorist Ryan Hill.  The response was incredibly positive.  Even more so after Paul and I delivered the pilot script.  Still, my concern was the budget, making sure we had enough money to do it properly (visual effects don’t come cheap after all!), so I was heartened by word from our producing partner today that the response in Europe has been equally great.

Now all that remains is for that final piece of the puzzle to fall into place.  Yes, we’ve been waiting a while but all indications are we’ll be receiving word soon.  If it’s positive, then things are going to get very busy very quickly.  If it’s not, then we’ll have to go elsewhere for that final piece – which will, of course, delay things.

But hopefully it all comes together as expected.  And, once it does, dare I say it…

No, better not.

Mailbag:

shinyhula writes: “And why no zombies on this list? Night of the Living Dead, 28 Weeks Later, Zombieland; what have the unliving done to deserve your scorn?”

Answer: I was listing Scariest Endings and, off the top of my head, none of the zombie entries came to mind.  Well, now that I think of it, maybe the original Night of the Living Dead would have been a good candidate.

ancuetas writes: “Is that you know what music is there at the beginning of the video.”

Answer: This piece of music, from SG-1’s Demons, was before my time (I joined the show in its fourth season), but it’s safe to assume that it was composed by the late, great Joel Goldsmith.

dasndanger writes: “Also, this whole thing with the shutting down of cell towers in cases like this? That’s why I still have a corded old timey landline tele-o-phone.”

Answer: Hmmm.  Good point.  I haven’t had a landline in four years.

RLAVILLA writes: “Recently there have been two new Stargate games for Android and iPhone, and I think that will be the new product line, which has been selected by MGM for Stargate franchise. How about converting “Stargate Extinction” in a game for these new platforms?”

Answer: Not my call.  That would be for the studio to decide.

Jen writes: “A tad random, but I went in on my birthday to have this done but the artist was booked up so I had it done yesterday.”

Answer: Great.  But I insist you draw the line at one of those Jaffa forehead tattoos.

baterista9 writes: “Just saw Cookie on Saturday at Sea World of Texas.”

Answer: Yes, he was there for his cousin Esmerelda’s wedding.

fsmn36 writes: “But the entire movie plays off the alcoholic!Tony arc from the comics and the Rhodey scene makes 20x more sense when you consider Tony is basically planning on suicide/knows he’s going to die. What seems a tacky action scene becomes a heart breaking fight between friends while Tony desperately gives everything he loves away to the few people that matter to him.”

Answer: Sounds terrific.  Unfortunately, none of that came across onscreen.

gforce writes: “Did you ever take Akemi up to Whistler yet? You should take her out to a nice dinner or even a weekend up there!”

Answer: I retired my krazy karpet years ago.

Seth writes: “How hard would it be to get the cast on board for a Kickstarter for the series or movies? Looks as if Veronica Mars just got 5.5 million in Kickstarter funds from fans!”

Answer: 5.5 million may seem like a lot, but consider that the previous SG-1 movies cost 7+ million each to produce – and those productions made use of existing sets and production personnel.

Tam Dixon writes: “Did you try one of the dog cookies for quality control? You did, didn’t you?”

Answer: I didn’t, but someone I know (hint: she’s Japanese) DOES taste test for quality control.

Tam Dixon also writes: “Anyways, what about another trip? New York, L.A. or maybe even go down South. I wouldn’t recommend Memphis, unless you bring a gun but what about New Orleans or Savannah, GA?”

Answer: Akemi definitely wants to go to New York and, after reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I’ve wanted to check out Savannah.  That said, both L.A. and Vegas are closer and more likely short trip destinations.  This, of course, is entirely dependent on our finding a dog sitter.

astrumporta writes: “I think you should bring Akemi to San Francisco for her b-day!”

Answer: It’s also on the list.  Good eatin’!  How goes, Michelle?

pennlynn writes: “You’re brave man Joe! I like having a nice drink but other than the whiskey I’m not sure I would try that haul of liquor!”

Answer: I tried the Nikka whiskey with Lawren last night when he came over for the American Horror Story marathon.  It was damn good, and much better straight up than on the rocks.  How went the t.v. interview?

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A few weeks ago, I was invited to take part in The Next Big Thing blog hop.  And what, pray tell, is a “The Next Big Thing blog hop”?  Well, it involves me answering a set of ten questions on a recent or upcoming release on this blog, and then forwarding the same questions to other writers of my choice so that they can do the same – and keep the process going until, presumably, every living writer with an internet presence has participated.

Amanda Ball, who kindly extended the invitation to yours truly, talked about her upcoming release on her blog last week, here: http://livingforcreativity.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop/

I, in turn, extended the invitation to a few more writers:

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As it turned out, author Ari Marmell knew all about the blog hop – because he’d already participated several months ago.  Get the scoop on the latest installment in his Widdershins series here:

http://mouseferatu.com/index.php/news/november-28-2012-the-next-big-thing/

1Author Dave Gross was also on my invite list but, like Ari, he was well ahead of the game.  You can find out more about his next book in The Pathfinder Tales series here:

Dave Gross: The Next Big Thing

1Author Mandy Hager has yet to participate in the blog hop (Success!). She’ll be talking about her latest release, The Crossing, over on her blog next week: Mandy Hager – Writer.  I will, of course, provide a link once the Q&A is up.

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And, finally, the ever-entertaining Sam Sykes will be discussing his work here: Sam Sykes » Blog.

So, my turn.

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Even though I was only forwarded ten questions, there were actually eleven I had to answer – the 11th (or, more appropriately, first) being: Which work do I choose to discuss?  I ultimately decided to go with Dark Matter, my comic book series.  Why?  Well, for starters, the trade paperback collecting the first arc came out in October.  Also, although I’ve written several “things” since, none are yet available for public consumption (I don’t believe there’s an airdate for the Delete miniseries while two of the pilots I wrote won’t be going to camera until the spring).  Finally, there’s a good chance I’ll have even more to say about Dark Matter in the near future.  And let’s leave it at that for now.

On to the questions…

1: What is the working title of your book?

Dark Matter.

2: Where did the idea come from?

The idea had been brewing for quite some time – some five years!  I developed the series while working on Stargate.  The plan was to set it up as a series whenever Stargate ended.  The only problem was (and, believe me, it was a classy problem) Stargate was in no hurry to end. Thus, I had a lot of time to really flesh out the characters, their respective backstories, and the series as a whole.

3: What genre does your book come under?

Science fiction.  Space Opera in the truest sense of the term.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Movie?  You mean t.v. rendition, no?  Well, hard to say.  Don’t want to tip my hand just yet.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The crew of a derelict ship awakens from stasis with no memories of who they are or how they got onboard.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

The comic book series was published by Dark Horse Comics.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The series and pilot were five years in the making – but it took me about a month to write the first script.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Certainly Stargate.  A few of the space-based anime series like Cowboy Bebop and Trigun.  Maybe a touch of Breaking Bad (actually, reverse Breaking Bad).

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I drew my inspiration from a variety of sources: The Dirty Dozen, The Seven Samurai, The Shield, The Thunderbolts, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, the plan has always been to produce a television series based on the concept.  Want a sneak peek at the first few episodes?  Pick up the trade paperback: Dark Matter Volume 1: Rebirth TPB :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics

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Whew.  What a day!  It started with a doctor’s appointment and ended with a conference call about an exciting potential new project.  In between, I fielded texts, emails, and phone calls about Dark Matter, read what Paul has written so far on that “other” project, talked to a lawyer, met with my bank rep, and generally kept abreast of all developments on the football front as my Snow Monkeys face their toughest challenge to date, taking on the Mighty Molsons this weekend in fantasy football league action.

I went to see the doctor on Akemi’s (persistent) insistence today after experiencing a one-time pain in my left shoulder sometime during my Tokyo trip (while I was eating my second serving of foie gras and black pudding.  Hey, not my fault!  Akemi wouldn’t eat hers.).  My heart checked out fine and, given the details of my distress, he suspects it was merely an esophagal reaction.  Just to be on the safe side, however, I’m off to get a blood test and EKG on Monday.  The results should reaffirm the good doc’s prognosis.  If not, in the words of my buddy Ivon: “Well, you’ve had a good run.”

Dark Matter aint dead yet!  Those of you familiar with my SF comic book series about the amnesiac crew of a derelict spaceship and the mystery surrounding their interstellar mission (You can purchase the first four-issue arc here: Dark Matter #1 – #4 Bundle) know that I have my heart set on translating it to the small screen someday.  Well, after much back and forth, missed opportunities, lost causes, and blown deadlines, it appears as though – maybe, just maybe – there could be a deal in the works.  Or it could just be a precursor to a deal or some eternal optimist misinterpreting something somebody said.  Whichever the case, let’s call it positive news and leave it at that.  More information as it becomes available.  And if you hear anything before I do, let me know!

This year, Paul and I have focused on writing over producing.  While it pays significantly less, it has allowed me to work from home on my own projects while taking a much-needed year off after a most memorable (for all the wrong reasons) 2011.  Among the projects we’re working on is the development of a series pilot for a fantasy series that has garnered a fair amount of interest.  Paul sent me the first two acts this morning and it’s great!  We deliver at the end of the month and then, I expect, it’ll be smoooooooooth sailing!

Also, a good friend (and fantasy football league buddy whose team, sadly, has fallen on hard times) and ex-Stargate colleague has approached Paul and I about a fantastic personal project of his own that looks to have all sorts of potential.  Coming soon to a t.v. near you?  Things look very positive.  Next week, Paul and I will get together with him to discuss creative and what lies ahead.  Very nice of him to think of us.

Went to talk to a lawyer today about an outstanding issue that has plagued me for far too long.  I felt much better after talking to him and look forward to being a little more proactive starting next week as I take steps to finally resolve the issue. You can only be nice for so long…

Finally, an apology to a couple of individuals who are owed scripts.  I didn’t get a chance to send them before leaving for Japan and this has been a busy week, but I promise to give Richard Woolsey the go-ahead and he’ll dispatch the scripts, via jumper, first thing Monday morning.

What’s on your mind?  Let’s hit the mailbag and find out:

gforce writes: “It’s been a busy day or two – my step-mom wound up in the hospital again, this time with a subdural haematoma. They did an operation today to relieve the pressure today and the prognosis looks pretty good. Pretty stressful time, though.”

Answer: Hey, Gary, wishing your mom a speedy recovery.  And you a hopefully less stressful week ahead.

JeffW writes: “I’m over-nighting in London and found that ITV 4 is playing “My Super Ex-girlfriend”…I don’t really remember this one, but maybe Cookie would want to add it to his list?”

Answer: Yep, it’s on the list.

Randomness writes: “Hope you didn’t mind me posting a ton of JPop vids on your update post Joe.”

Answer: Not at all.  I’m always open to checking out new things – and new tunes, especially if it helps me get rid of an old tune stuck in my head.  Chewing chewing chewing chewing chewing cutie cutie chew-chew-chewing loooooooove!

noellam writes: “Here’s a question for Akemi: Why is the lead singer gal in Candy Candy running with a piece of toast in her mouth?”

Answer: Akemi isn’t sure.  I think it’s because she forgot her bento box.

PBMom writes: “It was $50 a plate and open bar (the facility fee, etc. would not have changed though). I think like 10 people did not show up. No one called to say, “Hey sorry I’m sick, I won’t make it.” Just no shows with no explanations.”

Answer: Hate that.  I recall inviting someone to one of my chocolate parties.  Since he had family visiting, I even extended the invitation to his out-of-town guests.  He not only didn’t show up  (meaning five dinners went uneaten and, most importantly, five seats that could have gone to other friends went unfilled) but the next day, at work, was totally oblivious to the inconvenience he’d caused.

Mike A. writes: “Um, Joe, is it weird that I totally enjoyed all of these videos?”

Answer: Who am I to criticize?  I’m a Kyamy Pamyu Pamyu convert.  Here ya go.  Her new video:

So kawaii!

Mike A. also writes: “Are the dogs joining your schedule or have they been able to stay on their normal sleep routine?”

Answer: Nope.  The dogs are pretty oblivious to my issues but make me well aware of theirs.  Issue #1 (first thing in the morning): Where’s breakfast?

Tam Dixon writes: “Did you see any of the groups live?”

Answer: I’m not much of a concert-goer.  In my case, they invariably end up disappointing.  A friend, a life-long Bob Dylan fan, went to his concert the other night – and ended up leaving partway through, this after criticizing a friend who had done the same thing the previous night.

osirisoflight writes: “In my wandering around youtube i came across a group called Baby Metal. They are a half Metal half j-pop teen group. the music is oddly catchy.”

Answer: Bizarrely entertaining!  I found this clip as well:

sylvia writes: “Then…there is the Gangnam Style by Psy that went viral. It’s from Korea.
Once you hear it…can’t get the tune out of your head.”

Answer: Yep.  Even the hard-to-impress Ivon Bartok isn’t immune to the catchy Gangnam Style.  And, while we’re on the subject of K-pop, may I introduce Super Junior…

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The thinkers

My writing partner, Paul, came over for Day #2 of our spinning session for the new pilot script we’re working on.  Next to starting a script and, perhaps, passing a kidney stone, there’s nothing more painful than outlining a story, especially in those first few days.  Ideas are pitched. They’re shot down.  The story is discussed in the vaguest of terms. Plenty of questions are asked; hardly any answers given.  Frustration mounts.  Breaks are taken.  The conversations go off on unusual tangents.  And, all the while, we sit, staring at the big white board.  It looms before us, intimidating in its pristine perfection – unblemished, not a magic markered stroke to mar its clean surface.  We could break the ice by jotting down a title but doing so would necessitate a task even more daunting than breaking the story: actually coming up with a title!

And so we sit.  And think.  And wait.  As if the creativity will eventually get fed up with our procrastination and suddenly manifest itself in a bright, colorful burst of act breaks,  suspenseful beats, and a brilliant end of episode solution to the supernatural manifestation.

Yes, writing is a painful business.  Positively excruciating at the spinning, breaking, outline, script and rewrite stages.  But incredibly satisfying when you complete work on a first draft.  And, to be honest, that satisfaction only lasts as long as it takes you to type in FADE OUT and deliver the script.  Savor it!

But today, we did manage some progress. Three solid acts, albethey peppered with TBD’s (a writerly term for “to be decided”, those annoying little speed bumps that slow down the process and inevitably get shuttled away for later consideration, usually sometime between lights out and REM sleep).  What is our Holy Shit third act break?  I’m sure Paul will come up with something.

Hey, this afternoon I dropped by my local comic book shop to pick up the latest issues of Iron Man, The Ultimates, The Punisher, and an intriguing new title, Rose & Thorn, and noticed THIS sitting amongst the new releases:

Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, writers on Stargate, from SG1 through to SGU, bring their latest science fiction epic to comics in Dark Matter. The six-person crew of a derelict spaceship awakens from stasis in the farthest reaches of space. Their memories wiped clean, they have no recollection of who they are or how they go on board. The only clue to their identities is a cargo bay full of weaponry and a destination-a remote mining colony that is about to become a war zone! With no idea whose side they are on, they face a deadly decision. Will these amnesiacs turn their backs on history, or will their pasts catch up with them?

Dark Matter Volume 1: Rebirth

Yep, it’s the trade paperback collecting all four issues of the first chapter of SF Dark Matter, our comic book series.  I didn’t expect it to come out until October (Thanks for the heads up, guys!).

Some reviews: Dark Matter: Rebirth Graphic Novel is Solid Sci-Fi Fun – Examiner.comSequel’s Blog: Dark Matter Vol. 1: Rebirth TPB – Review!, and Dark Matter Vol. 1 Review (On the one hand, they spell my name incorrectly; on the other hand, they had nice things to say about the book).

Speaking of Dark Matter, our attempts to get it to the small screen progress.  We have broadcaster interest but now require the money to do it properly.  One of our partners has some meetings lined up at MIPCOM (MIPCOM – The world’s entertainment content market – MIPWorld) and, if they go well (and fingers crossed), we’ll have a solidly budgeted 13-episode first season of our twisty, turny, suspenseful, high-flying, humorous, character-driven, scifi action space opera.

Continuing our trip down Stargate Atlantis memory lane.  Let’s reflect back on:

MIDWAY (417)

Who would win in a fight between Teal’c and Ronon?  Well, if you ask Chris Judge (which I once did) he’d reply: “Ronon.  Teal’c is still doing that wushu shit.”  Still, we weren’t satisfied with that answer and so, Carl Binder put pen to paper finger to keypad and wrote this all-out actioner in which Ronon and Teal’c team up to battle a wraith incursion.  And also throw down.  And who wins?  Why, it’s a draw, natch.

Early in show’s fourth season, we wanted to do a scene with Carter, back at Stargate Command, leaving behind the life she knew for a fresh adventure in the Pegasus Galaxy.  We wanted to scene to be grounded in the world of SG-1 and felt that the best way to accomplish that would be for Sam to have a conversation with one of her SG-1 teammates. I approached Chris Judge about doing it but told him we wouldn’t be able to afford his episode rate for the single scene.  Chris just shrugged in response and happily offered his services for a nominal fee.  I thought that was a stand-up thing to do and this episode was a repayment for that kindness, an episode guest-starring Teal’c.  And, yes, Chris got his full episode rate for this one.

Jason Momoa and Christopher Judge had a blast shooting the episode, especially the action sequences.  And there were plenty.  The episode also boasts some terrific guest stars like Bill Dowd, Dean Marshall and Ben Cotton who return to reprise familiar roles.

Today’s entry is dedicated to luvnjack.  Good luck with the adoption caseworker tomorrow.  Hope you land in a good home!

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I’m pleased to report that the Dark Matter signing was a rousing success.  I actually made it to the booth on time, people actually showed up, and nobody standing in line stepped up to my counter to order a milkshake and fries.  I met some great fans, chatted Stargate and Dark Matter, signed a few comic books, and gave away some swag.  The winners…

Tiffany and David – winners of the SG-1 100th episode commemorative picture frame and keychain.

Eagle-eyed viewers may recognize Tiffany and David from their visit to the set of SGU back in November of 2010: http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/november-2-2010-new-sgu-snow-monkeys-pull-off-incredible-comeback-stargate-set-pics/

Sharon – winner of a signed copy of Resurgence (including sarcastic commentary).  Finally!  At least one person in Stargate garb.  Including P-90!

Lucas – winner of a signed copy of Quest I (including sarcastic commentary).

Becky – winner of a signed copy of Resurgence (with sarcastic commentary) for her mom, Margo.

Eric, winner of the Atlantis box set.

Gary – winner of the Stargate match sticks (for his son, Thomas – a.k.a. Rodney McKay Jr.).

And some of the others who swung by to say hi -

Francisco

Bob

Chris – blog regular Lisarrr’s brother!

Kara

Matt and Jay

Jessie and Nathan – a couple of Dark Horse boys.

Robert

Apologies to those whose pics I failed to snap (or whose photos didn’t do them justice).  And thanks to everyone who came by.  Also, a big thanks to the following people -

My ace editor, Patrick Thorpe.

Dark Horse Comics’ awesome Publicity Coordinator, Aub Driver.

And the woman who worked incredibly hard to plan, coordinate, and execute not only my signing but all of the Dark Horse Comic Con happenings, the amazing Kari Yadro, Dark Horse Events and Community Manager.

After the signing, Akemi and I walked the floor one final time.

Some of my favorite sights of my last day at Comic Con:

Steampunk chic.

Fried shishito peppers at Nobu.

My peanut butter sundae at Ghirardelli’s.

Excelsior, true believer! It’s (almost) Stan Lee!

Akemi rushed over to have a picture taken with these…er…things. Anybody?

The Dynamic Duo.

The Dynamic Duo II. SPOOOOOOON!

He Man?

Not sure. But I’m willing to give the comic book a shot.

Lou Anders introduced me to the incredibly talented Dave Seeley.

You can check out his amazing work here: Dave Seeley.com . Image Junkie . The Art of Dave Seeley

Again, not sure what she’s selling – but I’m getting one.

Poison Ivy and Penguin take down Robin.

Space Invader Zim(?).

Akemi and her buddy Spongebob.

Again, not sure what she’s selling…etc.

Trigun’s Vash the Stampede.

Mike (left) and Gary of Spike and Mike’s infamous Festival of Animation.

The crowds have been crazy.

We ended up back at Nobu for dinner where we were seated next to the friendliest family.  We ended up striking up a conversation and chatting up through most of the meal.  Husband David is a former professional basketball player now in business with mom, Estela (who, upon hearing I liked tongue tacos vowed to make me the best lengua I’ve ever had!), and wife Sofia who owns her own fashion boutique in town.

Our new San Diego friends!

Whew!  I’m wiped.  Now onto Vegas for some R&R!

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“I’ve never seen so much drunk zombies.”  – Akemi walking home after drinks at the Hilton last night.

Well, not really Comic Con Day #2.  Actually, the second half of Day #1 and part of Day #2 as the festivities are ongoing.  Today = my Dark Matter signing.

Where: The Dark Horse Booth (#2615)

When: 4:00 – 5:00

Why?: In addition to checking out my cool new black eye, I’ll be giving away signed copies of Dark Matter #1 AND Stargate swag including signed scripts!

“Back off, lady!”

Zombie family out for a stroll.

Zombie Queen in line-up outside some zombie party.  Braaaaiiiins!  And drinks!

Former Amazing Race contestants, Kint and Vixen (?), not really dressed up at all.

Chicken chillin’

Cookie Monster partying when he should be home watching Steel for our Supermovie of the Week Club!

Wonder Woman teams up with Los Luchadores!

Vader vs. Zombie Nurses! I’d watch this movie!

For dinner, Akemi and I met up with ace editor Lou Anders, extraordinary artist John Picacio, and uber-talented novelist, short story writer, and Astonishing X-Men scribe Marjorie M. Liu for dinner at a place called Seersucker.

John

Lou

John and Marjorie

Cowboy Caviar, a.k.a. Prairie Oysters, a.k.a. bull testicles. I mean, it was on the menu. How could I NOT order it? John and Marjorie were brave enough to try some with me. Lou and Akemi, not so much.

Afterwards, we headed over to the Hilton for drinks with Night Shade Books’ Jeremy Lassen and friends.  On the way, ran into Remi Aubuchon, formerly of Stargate now of Fallen Skies fame, who promised to come by the booth during my signing and offer some supportive heckling.

Lunch at Nobu today.  We’re going back tonight for the sea urchin tempura!

Now, back at the hotel packing up the Stargate swag.  Off to Ghirardelli’s for a peanut butter sundae (and waffle cup for Akemi), then back to the convention center to track down a Hydra and A.I.M. t-shirt, some Dexter-related merchandise for sis, and track down some missing back issues of The Avengers and Thunderbolts. Oh, and sign some copies of Dark Matter!

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Whenever I travel, the excitement of the upcoming trip is always somewhat muted by the fact that I’ll be leaving my dogs behind.  I wouldn’t mind so much if it weren’t for the fact that the dogs KNOW we’re leaving and get downright depressed.  Bubba paces, Lulu tries to squeeze in as much play time as possible, while the usually languid Jelly is even more so.  She wouldn’t even eat her breakfast this morning until I sat down on the floor and hand fed her.

Anyway, I checked in with Christine, our dog-sitter, and I’m pleased to report they’re in excellent spirits.  A far cry from this morning.  Check ‘em out:

Jelly is so bummed she didn’t even bother wiping the pumpkin off her face for this picture.

Bubba’s “Uh, where do you think YOU’RE going?” look.

And Lulu’s “take me with you!” gaze.

Well, we’re in San Diego and I’m pleased to report we decided to go with an unhaunted hotel this time out (January 19, 2007).  This year, I’m a guest of Dark Horse Comics who kindly put us up at the Hard Rock Hotel, only steps away from the action.  We got in at noon, grabbed lunch (Mexican, natch.  We’re in San Diego!), then headed down to the convention center to walk the floor and check out the sights…

I finally meet editor extraordinaire Lou Anders (he of Masked, Fast Forward I and II, and countless PYR titles fame) and we spend the afternoon talking about SF, books, comics, t.v., and a Japanese children’s picture book about poop.

A little something from the new JJ Abrams series. Re…Re…Re-something?

Hey, look who we came across having lunch. It’s gang from Cowboy Bebop: Spike, Jet, and Faye.

Not sure. I think the guy on the right is Dr. Manhattan.

Birdcage Head Man.

The man faces of Deadmaus.

Deathstroke and friend.

I am DOOM! From the original Roger Corman FF movie.

Hey, check it out! Stargate security cards. Get into Stargate Command or Atlantis without having security on your case.

That’s green acrylic paint. And, yes, apparently, it’s perfectly safe.

They were hanging around the lobby of the hotel. Video game characters? Hip hop group?

Them’s some big guns.

I’m told he’s a squirrel.

Man down!

Boy, they were really pushing this movie. Wonder when it comes out?

My Dark Matter editor, Patrick Thorpe!

Some anime character, I suspect.

Ad for the upcoming Zach Gaffa..Gaffa…Ad for the upcoming movie from that guy from The Hangover.

The Rocketeer.

Rorschach

Sad Akemi at lunch because I wouldn’t let her eat anymore nachos. I should point out that she asked me to stop her from eating anymore.

Elysium

Thundercat?

Totoro looks like he’s been hitting the sauce.

The Toilet Paper Friends!

Batman villains!

More Batman villains!

Darth Vader and Boba Fett lounging about.

Wall art in progress.

Lots of dogs walking the streets. With their fire hydrants.

Who be dis wraithy lady?

X-Men

I did an advance scout on the Dark Horse Comics booth and met the lovely Kari Yadro who organized the festivities.  The gal moves so fast that, by the time I wanted to snap her pic for the blog, she was gone.  Will have to get her tomorrow. And maybe Claudia Black as well (SG-1’s Vala Mal Doran) who is apparently in town as well.

A little R&R and then we’re off to walk the neighborhood and grab some dinner.

Tomorrow = the Dark Matter signing!  If you’re in the neighborhood between 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., come find me at the Dark Horse booth (#2615)!

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Copies of my comic book series Dark Matter?  Check.  Giveaway items?  Check.  Girlfriend?  Check!  I’m ready for Comic Con.  If you happen to be in San Diego this weekend and also just happen to have tickets to Comic Con, swing on by the Dark Horse Comics booth (#2615) between 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.  I’ll be there signing copies of Dark Matter #1, giving away Stargate stuff, and dispensing unsolicited relationship advice!

Black Eye Day #3.  I’m thinking of donning an eye patch and working it into a cosplay outfit for Comic Con.    So, who should I go as?  I’m thinking either -

Ciel Phantomhive

Or Captain Harlock

Or Youkou Kuki

Or Toppy from Sands of Destruction

Yeah, I was leaning toward Toppy anyway.

The other day, a friend texted me the bad news that she had failed to land a job she’d really, REALLY wanted.  Ever the sympathetic one, I dashed off a quick response.  I’d meant to text back this:

:(

But, instead, my rushed response to “I didn’t get the job!” was:

:)

And then, seconds later, realizing my mistake I followed up with:

:(

But, at that point, my :( was open to interpretation.  In retrospect, I should have gone with angry eyes:

.\/.

So, looking back over Atlantis’s second season, what have we learned? Well, we’ve learned that the retrovirus is highly unpredictable.  And we’ve learned that the wraith enjoy people food, just not as much as “people food”.  And we’ve also learned that Sheppard loves Teyla. Maybe.

Standout episodes for me: Siege III, Runner, Michael, and Allies with Michael taking home the prize for My Favorite Episode of Atlantis Season Two.

By the way, our stroll down SGA memory lane happens to coincide with that of the gang at Gateworld who are in the midst of a Stargate: Atlantis Season Two Rewatch.  They’re looking for nominations in the following categories:

  • Best Episode (Season Two)
  • Best Sheppard Moment
  • Best McKay Moment
  • Best Teyla Moment
  • Best Ronon Moment
  • Best Weir Moment
  • Best Beckett Moment
  • Best Team Moment
  • Best Alien Race
  • Best Individual Villain
  • Coolest Ancient Technology
  • Coolest Alien Technology
  • Best Guest Star (based on one specific Season Two episode)

Head on over here – http://forum.gateworld.net/threads/85268-Stargate-Rewatch-Atlantis-Season-Two-Nominations – to make your nominations, and put in a vote for what you considered to be the best episode of Atlantis’s second season.  I notice that, at present, The Long Goodbye has twice as many votes as Michael.  Far be it for me to criticize the wisdom of fandom but…WTF?!

I’ll be offering up readers a chance to vote on a new Stargate episode poll (and win some signed scripts) when I get back from Comic Con!  I was thinking…

What was the best season-ending cliffhanger in Stargate history?  Let’s hear your thoughts.

Finally, apologies to a couple of lucky winners still anxiously awaiting their signed scripts.  Marty G. has his hands full writing/producing his new show, but his signed scripts are on their way (to me, and should be on their way to you shortly!).

I’ll check in tomorrow with pics from Comic Con!

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Qu’est ce que c’est?  Why, it’s the Stargate: Atlantis ultimate box set.  It includes the entire series PLUS a bonus disc with all new extras.  I’ll be giving it away to some lucky, random individual who comes to visit me between 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. this Saturday at the Dark Horse Comics booth (#2615).  Whether you’re coming by for a free signed copy of the first issue of my comic book series, Dark Matter, swinging by to chat Stargate, or simply queued up assuming you’re in line for the concession stand, you’ll have a shot at winning this lovely prize and others (see past few issues, ed.).

Yep, that black eye is coming along nicely.  Overnight, it’s progressed for a fiery red to a deep, royal purple and is now heading into dark green-black territory.

Concluding our trip down Stargate: Atlantis memory lane…

ALLIES (220)

Stargate: Atlantis’s second season ends in fine fashion with The Hive, an episode that pays off numerous elements that have been building over the course of the year AND sets up one hell of a cliffhanger heading into season three.  That single hive ship headed toward Atlantis finally makes its arrival and – surprise, surprise! – it turns out that to be their old friend, Michael, paying a house call.  Before you can say “No!  Don’t trust them!”, Atlantis has entered into an uneasy alliance with their former enemy.  Well, you know what they say, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”, and on the surface that’s reason enough to set long-standing enmities aside in common purpose.  Of course, it turns out their purposes aren’t common after all but, by the point that realization is made, Sheppard has apparently been blown to smithereens, McKay and Ronon have been captured, and the wraith have the location of Earth – “a fresh, new feeding ground”!  It’s a hell of a season-ender, but getting there is most of the fun.

Great to see the character of Michael return to complicate matter for our heroes, even though he isn’t played by Connor Trinneer this time around.  Due to scheduling conflicts, Connor was unable to reprise the role.  As a result, actor Brent Stait (Andromeda’s Rev Bem and SG-1’s Major Louis Ferretti) stepped in – and did a great job.  But Michael isn’t the only wraith personality in this episode.  There’s the icy wraith Queen, played by Andee Frizzell, and the amusingly matter-of-fact wraith scientists played by James Lafazanos.  It’s always great to see Mitch Pileggi put in an appearance as Colonel Caldwell, and equally awesome to have the irritable Hermiod show up as well.  The Asgard’s exchanges with McKay are comedy gold.

Finally, to those who blame the Atlantis expedition for awakening the wraith, we finally receive confirmation that it wasn’t Sheppard’s murder of the Queen but the knowledge of Earth’s existence that lead to the grand awakening.  Michael informs us: ” Over two years ago, every hive ship in this galaxy emerged from hibernation prematurely. We thought a new rich feeding ground had been discovered.”

Thoughts?  Discuss!

A sad ending to the Lennox story.  Despite offers to move him out of Ireland, Belfast City Council went ahead and killed Lennox this morning: Belfast dog Lennox at centre of animal rights protests put to sleep …

Meanwhile, supporters who phoned Belfast City Council to voice support for Lennox were mocked by city employees: Belfast City Council mocks callers protesting Lennox’s death

Belfast City Councillor Pat McCarthy and co. probably believe we will forget about their heartless actions, but I suspect that most will have very long memories of their shameful actions: “boycott Belfast”

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