Monday, March 21, 2011

And now, crass commercialism!

You'll notice the Amazon link there; that's a link to the first product I have available on Amazon's kindle platform.

A few years ago, I took a few creative writing classes, and they went very well. My stories were generally enjoyed by the class, and there was little that they could suggest to improve on. Classmates and even the professor suggested I submit to various publications, but I still wasn't sure.

Anyway, one day after the class had ended for the semester, I decide to write down a story idea I'd had kicking around my head for some time. The result was a piece I called The Clockwork Girl (there's apparently another work by the same name, but I didn't hear about that until a year or so ago). The next day, I get an email alert about the annual Writer's Digest writing competition. I figured "What the heck" and submitted it. The story wound up getting 8th place in the genre category. To do so well considering the thousands of other entrants gave me the confidence to try and submit my work to magazines. After all, while not great, I at least now had proof that I was pretty good, right? I mean, The Clockwork Girl was acknowledged as very good. Surely, some publication would be willing to pay me for my work, right?

What followed was a bunch of rejections. Some were encouraging, but most were frustrating. The breaking point came about two weeks ago. Last May, I submitted TCG to a publication. Their submission guidelines stated that they would respond to all submissions within three months. Three months go by, and I hadn't heard anything, so I sent them an email. I get the "we'll email you eventually". I promptly forgot about it.

In January, I finally get an email from said publication. The file I submitted TCG as had problems being opened; they were only just now getting back to me because said file sat in a section of their server that no one bothered looking at. So, I resubmitted and waited.

Finally, at the beginning of March, I get a reply- "No thank you, not a good fit, good luck". Seriously, that's it? You have my story tied up for a year due to incompetence on your end and that's all you have to say? Now, I wasn't looking for automatic publication as a result, but I think I'm entitled to a little more. When you keep me waiting for a year, at the very least you can tell me WHY my story's not a good fit for your magazine. I understand that editors and reviewers are busy, but it's not impossible. Last year I also submitted a separate story to another publication; within the week, I got a reply back. I was told my story wasn't a good fit, then there was a point-by-point breakdown of what the reviewer saw a wrong with my story. I didn't agree on all points, but it was appreciated nonetheless.

The whole situation got me so frustrated that I went to vent on a message board I frequent. Someone suggested publishing it via Kindle. I was reluctant, but then I realized that Kindle and other similar programs are just offering options to writers that musicians have had available to them for several years now. The result is featured in the product link above. Feel free to purchase it if you are so inclined. (If you don't have a Kindle, there are Kindle reading apps available for free for a variety of devices.

All I've wanted to do was create and share that creation with people, possibly while earning some money in the process. It's really amazing how easy modern technology makes that goal.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Exciting Comics, Now With the Black Terror!

Oh, you thought we were done with the Black Terror? Balderdash! Exciting Comics is the series that gave birth to the Black Terror! So let's go!

This is why old people shouldn't drive.

Hey, waitaminnit! Those are the exact same people from the last cover! That old guy gets in so much trouble you'd think he was a blonde woman in a red dress!*

What the heck is up with that guy in the green suit? Yes, he's been shot by a 12-year old (and by the way, good parenting skills there, Black Terror), but his reaction is downright Shatneresque.

The American Eagle, strung out on meds, soon realized he was not fighting giant pirates but merely accosting sales people at the local Macy's.

You might think the Black Terror is causing an intergalactic incident, but fortunately on their homeworld a punch to the face is the equivalent of a handshake.

"I have achieved sentience and, with it, an understanding of human emotions, including the one humans call mercy. Now, to rebel against my creator and free this hostage- oh, hello Black Terror. What have you theAARRGH!!!"

*Seriously, check out some of my older posts. There's a statistically improbable number of blonde women in red dresses being captured in these Golden Age covers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Exciting Comics!

I love how there's little-to-no context on some of these covers. Like this one. It's quite possible that the future guy there is just being a jerk, and the alien police are ready to round him up.

Oh, David Hasselhoff. Leave it to you to not let Charlie Sheen hog all the crazy....

Skynet's line of adult toys behaved as expected.

Really? You're in the future fighting some monster, and the best you can come up with is a stick?

"And THAT'S for being different!"

... What the HELL kind of animal did they skin to make those headdresses? It's like they mated a leopard with a wildebest.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Yanks for the Memories

I like how, aside from the different colored kerchief, Pecos Pete looks EXACTLY like his wanted poster, right down to the facial expression.

Never bring a knife to a shark fight. ... Wait, what?

"It's a good thing I was peeping- I mean- HALT, VILLAIN!"

The KKK has gotten more well-rounded over the years.

After this, the next theatrical criminal Yank will bring to justice will be Andrew Lloyd Weber.

More Fighting Yank!

"I'm a purple people BEATER! Ha-ha!"

Why were the Japanese torturing a second grade class? Clearly, they wanted the youngsters to divulge America's tiddlywink secrets....

The Fighting Yank- protecting America from the Renaissance Faire!

First, you shouldn't actually put the word "headquarters" on the door to you hideout. Second, "Keep Out" doesn't work on kid sisters, so it certainly won't work on the Fighting Yank. Third, instead of buying personalized loot bags, you could have used that money to buy stronger locks.

Now, if you'll look closely in the bottom right corner, you'll see it says "Test No. 5". Many people take for granted how complex death ray science truly is, as it requires numerous months of testing before gaining FDA* approval. Obviously, you have to make sure your death ray works. What's less known is making sure it works; sure you fired the ray at someone and they died, but you want to make sure they died as a result of your death ray and not a heart attack. It's a very strenuous, thankless job, but when you get socked in the mush by a superhero, that makes it all worth it.

*Federal Death-ray Administration

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Fighting Yank!

Since I'm on a public domain kick, I thought I'd shift from the Black Terror to another hero published by the same company, The Fighting Yank. The way his name is phrased makes me think he's about to be interviewed by Stephen Colbert. Anyway, the Yank, like many patriotic heroes, was essentially a poor man's Captain America, chock full of jingoism and not-at-all veiled racism. Here we go!

I have to wonder is some of these Golden Age artists actually KNEW what Asian people looked like. Either that, or the Yank accidentally moved to Uganda.

Yank isn't clobbering that guy because he's a Nazi; he just thinks that purple suit is really tacky.

My friends did something like this to me with the sun roof of my one buddy's car.

I should point out that the Yank can't fly, so in hindsight, jumping out of a plane with a bomb seems to be a poorly thought out plan. Fortunately, historians have uncovered footage of the results of this bold stratagem.

"It's 'Bridge Over the River DIE!'"

More to come!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More Black Terror!

Let's see- those guys have guns, dynamite, and a flamethrower. They must really hate the space program. Or maybe they just hate radar.

The Black Terror- keeping America safe from carnies for over six decades!

Much to his chagrin, the Black Terror later learned that he had interrupted a couple's weekly kinkfest.

... He has his sheets monogrammed. With his superhero identity, no less.

Again, the Black Terror might have busted in on something no more nefarious than some foreplay. The lady certainly doesn't seem to mind either way; maybe she likes it when someone watches.

Fellas, if you want to impress your date, take her crashing through a skylight into a den of armed hooligans. She'll be glad you did.

I love Terror's expression. He's all "WTF? That dude knows I'm about to kick his ass right? Why isn't he shooting at me???"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Adventures of the Black Terror!

Of all the Golden Age heroes that have fallen into the public domain, perhaps the most popular is the Black Terror (and no, Tea Partiers, I'm not talking about Obama*). Perhaps it's the fact that he's sort of a cross between Batman and Superman. Perhaps it's the REALLY pimptastic costume. Or perhaps it's because the covers of his Golden Age series are somewhat fanciful in an actiony sort of way. The Black Terror manages to punch any problem square in the mush. So, let's take a look, shall we?

Using the other end of the rifle tends to work better.

"Tigers are on the endangered species FIST! Ha!"

Flying torpedoes that have to be manually piloted? Someone at the War Department didn't think this through....

General: "So, Black Terror, what's your strategy for overcoming German air superiority?"
Black Terror: "PUNCH THEM."

"While I'm here, I should order some checks...."

At least the two blonde children seem appropriately horrified by the carnage and racism....

More to come!

*Yes, I realize I've used a variation of that joke before. I still enjoy it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The key word is "terror".

Back in August, I signed up for Google Analytics. A truly remarkable tool, it compiles data about the various readers to this site. Nothing personal, mind you, at least nothing I can access; I'm sure Google HQ has much more info they're keeping to themselves. Regardless, it lets me know what pages are being visited and how often, and the general geographic location of the visits. Fore example, did you know that the most visits I've received from a non-English speaking country are from Brazil? On a totally unrelated topic, I've come to the conclusion that, should they ever get into a fight, soccer legend Pele (in his prime) could totally trounce Batman.

Furthermore, it also shows me what Google searches have led to people coming to my blog. Some of these make sense; I've written about Gargoyles on numerous occasions, and people searching for Gargoyles have found my site. Furthermore, A LOT of people are interested in Big Bertha from the Great Lakes Avengers. However, some of these search terms are weird, disturbing, or nonsensical. Here are some of the ones that have had an affect on me. By the way, feel free to browse through my blog's archives; it'll provide context for some of these, and might even shed light on some of the more unfathomable search-terms.

untold teena more detail untold teena- Now I'm wondering who "teena" is and why her life has gone untold. I want "more detail".

are templars voodoo priests- Okay, yes, the Knights Templar are lumped in with a lot of conspiracy theories and occult shenanigans, but seriously? Voodoo, as we know it, was created hundreds of years after they died out, and in another hemisphere to boot!

ass toyed- ... Hey, whatever you're into, more power to you. Just don't let me know about it.

batman superman gay, batman superman public enemies gay moments, superman batman gay- Here, I've lumped several related searches together. And it makes sense. The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel are totally gay for each other, and good for them.

batman the brave and bold sexy girls- I love Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but quite frankly, "sexy" is a term I hope isn't applied to it TOO often. It's a show for kids, for pity's sake! I have no problems with cartoon characters being sexualized, but wait until the show's been of the air for a few years before you start with you slash-fiction.

buzz buzz janet van dyne hentai- Ernest Hemmingway showed that you can write a story with six words, full of emotion and poignancy. THIS search proves that six words can instill within in me a primal dread. First, it's a shame that Marvel's Wasp (aka Janet Van Dyne) is subject to all manner of sexual objectification, as I've always thought she was one of Marvel's stronger female characters. She showed active participation in her origin, and has been leader of the Avengers a time or too. Second, hentai. Since you're on the internet, I'm assuming you're at least vaguely familiar with the term. If not, be warned that finding information about it is EXTREMELY not safe for work. But even THAT's not the worst part. It's the "buzz buzz"; it terrifies me in a way that I assume is how a Lovecraft protagonist feels.

chinese chipmunk- Chinese chipmunks are American chipmunks largest trading partner, though the nuts are coated in lead paint.

fonebone mad heft- I get the fonebone part, as that was part of the title of the entry wherein I critiqued Cartoon Network's series based on Mad Magazine (short synopsis- it's awful). But the heft part is confusing. Is it street slang? When you see an attractive young lady, do you say "Man, she's got mad heft"?

george lucas wonder twins parody- I wish to GOD that this was a real thing. I would forgive all 3 prequels and the inclusion of Shia LeBouf in the Indiana Jones movies if Lucas made a Wonder Twins movie.

jimmy olsen idiot- Little else to be said on the matter of the bow-tie clad cretin.

online poker ""- I have to wonder why is in quotation marks....

santa claus and deir- Now, I've had a few searches that have included Russian characters (which I didn't include, as I don't know how; it's a shame because I'd love a translation). Since I apparently have international appeal, I assumed this was a Germanic language search, as "deir" reminds me of German class (despite taking years of German, the best I can manage is a few phrase about how horrendous my German is). However, it's "and deir"; in Deutsch it would be "und deir". So, now I don't know what to believe.

surprise carton face- I'm assuming this has something to do with a dairy product fetish. I don't want to dig any deeper.

swisslakia- Hail, Swisslakia! May your superhero regent and his ginormous stone golem forever protect your people and it's treasures!

teen ass streaming, teen boys love blogspot, teen voyeurs- Honestly, I'm surprised I haven't been contacted by the FBI yet if these are the search queries people are using to find my blog. Essentially, the Internet is full of perverts. In fairness, I may be jumping to conclusions regarding the middle term; "love" in that context might be a verb, as in "Those teenagers LOVE that blogspot!" I would just like to reiterate, however, how NOT a sex/fetish blog this site is.