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Giant vol. 2

Cover art by Mikael

Ice Cream Man #1

Cover art by Frazer Irving, Martin Morazzo, Chris O’Halloran

Punchline #4

Cover art by Matthew Weldon

Strangers in Paradise XXV #1

Cover art by Terry Moore

Super Sons #12

Cover art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jorge Jimenez, Adriano Lucas, Alejandro Sanchez

“Excuse me,”said our waiter in his thick Italian accent.  “May I ask you a question.”

“Sure,”said Anthony.

“You are an actor?”

“Yes.”

“You are Boone?!”

“Yes!”

“But after three seasons, it is finished already???”

Well, yes.  Long story but, in a nutshell, the decision makers at syfy were never fans of the show.

Still, I never tire of hearing from fans who have discovered the show for the first time.  Syfy may have dismissed us without a second thought, but Dark Matter fandom remains strong.  Thank you!

Today, I had lunch with actor Anthony Lemke who drove all the way into town to sit down with me and discuss the gene manipulation, transhumanism, and perils of future tech over schiacciatas, zabaglione lattes, and a double order of baccala.

Boy, he would be perfect for at least three of the projections I’m currently developing.

Finally, congratulations to Dark Matter’s Lynda McCormack for her Best Achievement in Makeup nomination (Episode 304, “All The Time In The World”) and  VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson and his team for their Best Visual Effects nomination (Episode 313, “Nowhere To Go”) at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards.    Good luck!

Alas, four months later, we’re no closer to finding our dream condo.  Or, more to the point, our dream condo that falls within our budget.  Not in Toronto or Montreal.  So far.  But construction on new condos continues apace and, with indications of a softening market, we’re hopeful…and in no hurry.  Also, I have no idea where my next show will take me so what’s the rush?

Great notes meeting today on Project A, the sci-fi series I’m developing with David Ray.  Solid, character-related input on the outline.  David and I will put our heads together in the coming days, come up with a game plan, and then follow up with a call next week.  If all goes well, I should start writing the pilot shortly.  A fairly challenging series this one, with double world building, complex character dynamics, and a constantly subverted status quo.

Conference call this Thursday for Project B, an adaptation of a forthcoming sci-fi novel.  We’ll be discussing my take on the prospective series after which, hopefully, I’ll be moving forward on development.  I have my fingers crossed for this one. It’s a hell of a lot of fun with a unique tech element at its core.  I’ve read one of the author’s other books and think he’s pretty damn brilliant.  Also, doesn’t hurt that he’s a fan of Dark Matter.

Projects C, E, F, and G are in a holding pattern.  I impatiently await word. Meanwhile…

I had a meeting late last week about Project D, that horror novel to small screen adaptation.  Now it’s less a matter of “if” but “when” the deal closes.  WHEN that happens, things will be move quickly.

Since my last update, another possibility, let’s call it Project H, has entered the mix.  Another horror-themed potential series, this one an original, I forwarded my vision for the show’s first season (and subsequent take on subsequent seasons) this morning.  Fingers crossed.

And tonight, I’m having dinner with Executive Producer Vanessa Piazza to discuss a few more potential collaborations: a couple of novels, a comic book, and three original ideas.

Now this is my kind of busy.  Busy, but not too busy.  Finally got around to watching that final episode of Stranger Things season 2, am four episodes in to the latest season of Black Mirror, and almost finished a terrific Icelandic mystery series called Trapped.  The series lead, Olafur Darri Olaffson, is magnificent.

 

I truly believe that it’s those beloved childhood authors, the one you couldn’t get enough of back when you were in elementary (primary) school that shape you, influencing your creative and character in those formative years.  Your sense of humor, personality and, in some cases, your artistic output can be traced directly back to these early influencers.

There’s no doubt that these five writers (my favorites growing up) made me the writer (and the person) I am today…

William Shakespeare

Comedy!  Tragedy!  Romance!  Children being baked into pies!  What more can a six year old ask for?  My mother gifted me The Complete Works of William Shakespeare in first grade and cherished that leather bound edition, reading each play and assiduously writing up summaries for every act in a dedicated notebook.

Arthur C. Clarke

Of course I read (and watched) a lot of science fiction and there was no author I loved more than Arthur C. Clarke,  Childhood’s End still remains one of my very favorite SF reads.

Agatha Christie

Given my proclivity for twists, turns, shocks, and surprises, is it any wonder I was such an avid reader of the Queen of Mystery?

James Marshall

I didn’t read very many children’s books growing up and, I’d argue, that Marshall’s George and Martha series, about two hippos and best of friends, was really written for adults with a quirky sense of humor.

Chris Claremont

I’ve been reading comic books all of my life and no series has had a greater impact on me than Chris Claremont’s seminal Uncanny X-Men run.

And you?

WATCH…

DARK (Netflix)

A missing child sets four families on a frantic hunt for answers as they unearth a mind-bending mystery that spans three generations.

While it’s easy to draw parallels to Stranger Things, with its youthful protagonists, otherworldly portals, and unexplained child disappearances at the heart of its story, Dark quickly establishes itself as a unique, intricately plotted time travel mystery.

READ…

THE UNSEEN WORLD by Liz Moore

Ada Sibelius is raised by David, her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father, who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. Home-schooled, Ada accompanies David to work every day; by twelve, she is a painfully shy prodigy. The lab begins to gain acclaim at the same time that David’s mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving Ada virtually an orphan, she is taken in by one of David’s colleagues. Soon she embarks on a mission to uncover her father’s secrets: a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood. What Ada discovers on her journey into a virtual universe will keep the reader riveted until The Unseen World’s heart-stopping, fascinating conclusion.

What begins as the heartbreaking tale of a girl slowly losing her father to Alzheimers turns into an intriguing mystery as young Ada discovers some long hidden secrets from her father’s past.  Just when you think you know where it’s going, it surprises you.

CHUBBY’S JAMAICAN KITCHEN – 104, Portland Street, Toronto

Located in a restored circa-1890 row house, Chubby’s melds old and new, inside and out to create a transporting dining experience complete with delicious Caribbean cooking, eclectic design and soulful hospitality.

Since Ackee Tree’s closure five years ago, Akemi and I have missed having a go-to Caribbean restaurant in the area, but with the opening of  Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen in a refurbished home on Portland Street, things are looking up.  Great service, a wonderful atmosphere, and, most importantly, terrific food.  Highlights of our visit included slow-baked rum punch, Jerk wings, fried plantain, oxtail stew, and the Better Than Sundae to finish (coconut ice cream, rum caramel, banana cotton cake, candied cashews, and a sugar tuile).

When Akemi designed the above-pictured Suji pin, she figured she would place an order for about a hundred, sell sixty, and keep the rest as gifts for friends and family.  24 hours after putting the pins on etsy, she has less than thirty left!Clearly, Suji’s fanbase is hardcore.

If you’re thinking of picking one up, act now.  Supplies are limited!  Order here

And remember… Suji loves you!

Addressing the negative effects of competition, soccer in Olympia is now being played without the ball.

I personally can’t wait for a time when there will no longer be winners and losers – just ambivalent participants.

 

I remember going shopping with my former writer partner way back in the day, and having a salesperson attempt to foist a garish suit upon him.  “No thanks,”he told her.  “I’m not a fan of pink.”  “It’s not pink,”she assured him.  “It’s salmon.”  Brilliant.  Paired with a coconut shirt, parmesan tie, marmalade socks, and merlot shoes, I’m sure he would have looked downright delicious.

If you work retail in a clothing store and are looking for that lexical leg up (or, to a lesser extent, a writer with a loss for chromatic words), check out this Color Thesaurus.  Yo, Parakeet Eyes!  What’s up?!

Let’s take a trip through the Orion Nebula courtesy of the gang at NASA.

 

Since someone asked, here are a few of the great books I read in 2017 that just narrowly missed making my Best Of 2017 list…

Marlena by Julie Buntin

Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter, until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat, inexperienced and desperate for connection, is quickly lured into Marlena’s orbit by little more than an arched eyebrow and a shake of white-blond hair. As the two girls turn the untamed landscape of their desolate small town into a kind of playground, Cat catalogues a litany of firsts—first drink, first cigarette, first kiss—while Marlena’s habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try to forgive herself and move on, even as the memory of Marlena keeps her tangled in the past.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, LESS is, above all, a love story.

Swarm and Steel by Michael R. Fletcher

Zerfall awakens in an alley, wounded and unable to remember her past. Chased by an assassin out into the endless wastes of the desert, she is caught, disfigured, and left for dead. Her scabbard is empty, but the need for answers—and the pull of her sword—will draw her back to the city-states.

When Jateko, a naïve youth, accidentally kills a member of his own tribe, he finds himself outcast and pursued across the desert for his crimes. Crazed from dehydration, dying of thirst and hunger, he stumbles across Zerfall.

Hunted by assassins and bound by mutual need, both Zerfall and Jateko will confront the Täuschung, an ancient and deranged religion ruled by a broken fragment of Zerfall’s mind. Swarm, the Täuschung hell, seethes with imprisoned souls, but where gods—real or imagined—meddle in the affairs of man, the cost is high.

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Goodbye, Vitamin is the wry, beautifully observed story of a woman at a crossroads, as Ruth and her friends attempt to shore up her father’s career; she and her mother obsess over the ambiguous health benefits – in the absence of a cure – of dried jellyfish supplements and vitamin pills; and they all try to forge a new relationship with the brilliant, childlike, irascible man her father has become.

The Rules Do No Apply by Ariel Levy

When thirty-eight-year-old New Yorker writer Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.

Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist traditional rules–about work, about love, and about womanhood.

Age of Assassins by RJ Barker

Girton Club-foot, apprentice to the land’s best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But his latest mission tasks him and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton and his master to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince’s murder.

In a kingdom on the brink of civil war and a castle thick with lies Girton finds friends he never expected, responsibilities he never wanted, and a conspiracy that could destroy an entire kingdom.

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