Sunday, June 29, 2008

Digital Crack

I am a sucker for a good computer game, have been since I was a kid.

I remember jamming most of my meager pay as a dishwasher into the old Star Wars vectrex arcade game- that or Tron, or Tempest. We had "Intellivision" at home and countless hours were dumped into Dungeons & Dragons, Utopia and Astrosmash. When the first home computers came out I was hooked on Zork, Ballblaster, Shamus and Joust.

Later came Nintendo, and my hands would cramp up after hours of Super Mario 3, Batman and Battletoads. Then came PC's, and a miriad of dazzling choices- Age of Empires, Unreal Tournament, Half Life, SIMS, Jedi Knight, and Starcraft. Then along came MMORPG's and with that, my drug of choice, City of Heroes.

After swearing off COH (twice) I've hit on the Nintendo DS with Brain Age, Animal Crossing and, currently, Guitar Hero on Tour, which is just AWESOME!!!

But the time, the TIME, that gets pissed away on this stuff is staggering. I believe I could safely say I have lost at least one working year of my life. Probably two. Along with a couple grand worth of games, consoles and quarters.

I'm gonna go vomit now.

And play some more Guitar Hero!!! ROCK ON!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Mecha Manga Bible Heroes Redux

I have seen the test copy... and it is good.

You can see the REAL copies of Mecha Manga Bible Heroes #1 around the end of July, in better bookstores everywhere.

You can also see us at Revelation Generation at the end of August.

And as we prepare for the big release, Tom and I are busy writing the next few chapters for the series. Without going into details yet, I can tell with with all certainty that what we've got planned will take what we started in the first issue to a whole new level.
It has been such an honor to be part of this project, watching the creative process from the point of view of a writer, in collaboration with my longtime friend, and then watching it come to fruition with a fabulous art team from beginning to end.
Just another one of those things that is SO cool about being a Christian, that I never would have experienced otherwise.
Oh, here's a little interview with our publishers.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nothing to Fear

Today I took the family once again to the local water park, which is always an amazing bonding time, good excercise, and a lot of fun. I also use the opportunity, whenever we go, to face my greatest fear: I'm terrified of heights.

I don't know WHY I'm terrified of heights. Maybe it's vertigo, maybe it's the time I fell from a treehouse when I was kid. Either way, there it is. A paralyzing and annoying fear.

I say it's an annoying fear because fear limits us. It keeps us from experiencing something in life that might actually be good for us. If we allow fear to control us it limits our growth as a person. Fear can be our built-in excuse for NOT doing something. Fear keeps us in a safe, comfortable, boring zone.

As I climbed the four-story tower, the wind whipped past. I could see how much higher I got with every step, with a view of the ground between the grooves of the wood and the open rails. Looking up made me dizzy and made me realize how much further I had to go. Looking down made me nauseous and made me realize how far I had to drop. The entire structure shook with every screaming adventurer takig the plunge. Twice I stopped, assessed the situation, the value versus cost analysis. Twice I strongly considered turning back, and prepared my speech for my family who was waving to me from the ground.

I considered my eldest daughter's parting words: "Daddy, don't die."

And yet I finished the climb, pulling myself up step by step with both hands on the rail for balance and courage. It was me and the lifeguard, alone.

I walked to the rail to see how steep the drop was, and as expected, it was so steep that I could not see the entire slide from my vantage point. It was waaaaay up there.

Finally sitting down in the chilling rushing water, the lifeguard said I could go whenever I was ready. I wasn't. I looked behind me, hoping for an impatient guy standing behind whom I could give up my place in line to. No such luck. It was just me. I inched forward, dangling my feet over the abyss, the water force nearly pushing me through.

And in that final moment, I thought, why not?

I had already probably done the scariest part in the climb itself.

And it would all be over in a few seconds.

And if I allowed a water slide to paralyze me, how would I be able to ever face real situations in life? Like one I'm facing right now (more on that hopefully very shortly).

That last idea gave me the courage I needed to take a deep breath, cross my arms and let go.
Life's not meant to be a list of do's and don'ts, will's and won'ts.

Sometimes, it's just do's and will's.

Even something as trivial as the big waterslide means something bigger, and we all know that deep inside. It means choices: to live or to watch, to fear or to conquer, to jump or to cower, to experience life or read about it.

Which choice do you think would God have us make?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fanboy Weekend

Well, my long fanboy weekend has wound down. It was GREAT hanging with the guys. There's something about men being with men that just clears the head. Special thanks to all our wives & significant others for understanding our need to occasionally bond.

Friday in the city was a hoot- Jer and I visited Ground Zero and the 9-11 Tribute, which got me all riled up again. It's good not to forget. I almost pounded a middle-eastern guy trying to sell photo books of the attack on the trade center (it's not that I'm racist, but it was a bad tasteless combo, don't you think?). But then we went to some comic shops and I found my happy place. Bought the elusive Atomic Robo#3.

Saturday was just wall-to-wall comics, starting with the Big Apple Show, where I scared up some good cheap swag. Not easy given my Marvel & DC ban to find much of ANYTHING at a show like this, but I did manage to find a rare Sam & Max comic, an old Cerebus comic and a couple cheat art books, as well as a Gorilla Grodd action figure (he's DC, but since it wasn't a comic I'm good).

The coolest part of Saturday, though, was MOCCA (Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art). That's where all the cool (and uncool) true starving artist types hang out. The variety was dizzying. I picked up a bunch of free ad cheap comics, a couple handfulls of buttons and a t-shirt with a variety of cheeses on it. Got to meet Evan Dorkin (Milk and Cheese). Grabbed a bunch of ultra-indy works like the Mighty Skullboy Army, Breathless, Harvest and one where Johnny Cash fights a killer ostrich.

Saturday night was kind of a working meeting with Tom and Jeremy as we worked out some kinks in the script for Colossians, so I can proceed with it. More on that later.

The Clifton show was pretty much a bust, since everyone was in the city for the day, but it was still great getting together for lunch with the gang one last time before real life catches up again. See the massive hordes of fans above. They need to do something about crowd control next time.

There are more shows coming up- looks like us Mecha Manga Bible Heores guys will be appearing at the NJ Super Mega Show in July, and at Revelation Generation in August. Maybe we'll see ya's there!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rant n Rave- The Diet

I know someone who says he's on a diet, working hard to lose weight. There are three big bags of snacks at his desk- but they're from the health food store, because he's on a diet. He opens his day with a big ole iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts, loaded with cream- "Hey, if I don't I won't wake up!" He's got Crystal Lite at his desk, loaded with Nutra-Sweet which your body has NO IDEA how to digest. He orders a LARGE Chef's salad and eats every roll of ham, cheese and every crunchy crouton soaked in Creamy Italian- but it IS a salad, after all. About mid-afternoon someone makes a dash to Dunkin and yet another iced coffee appears. And before he left work today he ordered Chinese for delivery at home, you know, "for his family" (HE won't eat it).

But, since he SAYS he's on a diet, then he MUST be on a diet. Stupid scale. On a diet for a week and he gained three pounds.

Sounds ridiculous and laughable and even... hypocritical.

Now you know where this analogy is going.

Let's say I know a guy who says he's a Christian. He goes to church in his new SUV but can't afford the tithe. He WANTS to do ministry, but life seems too busy. He curses at work and speaks unkindly to people. He belittles a waiter at a restaurant, but then says grace openly and leaves a tract with his tip. When he's at home he opens his eyes, his mind, even his refrigerator to all sorts of inappropriate things, but his Bible is ever-handy, near the door so he doesn't forget it on his way out the door next Sunday.

But he goes to church, so he MUST be a Christian.