Going on the Account: Snapped Yardarm

This post is taking a while for me to compopse, because I dislocated a shoulder and am trying to type this with one hand.


I’ll do my best not to have this get in the way of uploading chapters, but as fair warning to the readers I felt some notice was due in case the updates get affected.  Posting things here may be a bit of a labor, and e-mails I owe folks may take longer to get there.


Funny thing about this:  First it’s Anne Onymous over at THE WOTCH, then me.  They say these come in threes; any one want to place a line on who’s next?


(And that’s about as good as my jokes get when the painkillers start to lapse…)

Going on the Account: The Pen is Mightier Than the Cutlass…

An interesting story came out of the Indian Ocean, where by all accounts the tide is turning against the Somali pirates:  An embedded journalist was in on the action to sink a pirate craft.  And for those who want to hear this tale in all its ribald, extreme jingoistic thump-chest-beating that British tabloids are infamous for, The Sun’s account is here.


One could only imagine the headlines these folks might have published had they been on the scene during the Golden Age of Piracy…


Blackbeard Does Two Victory Laps  for Maynard!

Captain Kidd Kicks the Bucket!

Bonney and Read Breed!  Belly Well Done, Getting Off, Ladies!


There’s something to be said for the bliss of ignorance…

Going on the Account: At Full Beam with the Bandwagon

For those looking for pirate media that doesn’t come from Disney, the trailer was released today for Tales of the Black Freighter.  


This component of the graphic novel WATCHMEN is part of an alternate world where, among other changes to our history, the existence of real superheroes made DC turn away from superhero books and instead publish pirate comics.   A world where Superman got shown the door to make way for Blackbeard, on some level, seems to not be that bad a place, though the whole Nixon-every-four-years bit might drive me nuts after a while…


In any event, the comic-within-the-graphic-novel is getting its own release, first as a stand-alone DVD to come out about the time the movie hits theaters, and then later getting incorporated into the extended DVD release of the film.  If you prefer pirates over superheroes, however, you have the option of getting the DVD and ignoring the film entirely; and if you want to get a sample, the trailer is posted here.

Going on the Account: Back from Liberty Call

I’ve just wrapped up my stand at New York Comic Con (which was actually more of a stroll-cum-schlep, really), and I was glad to meet all the folks there, both the ones I looked forward to finding and the new encounters.


I wanted to thank first the people who I was looking forward to meeting.  They do great work online, which encouraged me to advertise on their sites (though just to be clear, I’m a fan of theirs first and foremost before you could call me a sponsor):


·        Brad Guigar, whose work you can see at Evil Inc.

·        Joe Dunn and Phil Chan over at Digital PIMP Online / Joe Loves Crappy Movies

·        Phil Folio, the master of Airship Entertainment, responsible for Girl Genius, Buck Godot and What’s New?

·        Scott Bieser, the artist on Odysseus the Rebel (where the Greek gods are approached in a very unique way that Homer might never have considered)

·        Kevin Freeman, writer for SubCulture and Editor in Chief at Ape Entertainment

·        Ryan Sohmer and Lar Desouza, the team behind Looking for Group over at Blind Ferret Entertainment



In addition to these fine folk, I met some people who introduced me to their work, which I’m starting to go through right now and will be able to fully enjoy once I’m over the Con Rush (which to those who’ve never had it, feels like being at sea for nine days in the doldrums with no fresh water):


·        Alfred University’s Drawn to Diversity Program, an effort to open up equality through creativity

·        SKY PIRATES OF VALENDOR from Free Lunch Comics, who while they come from a fantasy world where their ships fly are still pirates

·        Justin Murphy’s CLEBURNE, a historic graphic novel set during the American Civil War with a true tale of a Confederate general who thought emancipation might save the South

·        Mark Tarrant’s THE BLOOD RIDER, a tale of a vampire gunslinger that came out as both a novel and comic simultaneously (have to admire the planning and foresight in that)

·        Thomas F. Zahler’s LOVE AND CAPES, a comedy about a romance between a sweet woman and the man she fell in love with – a man who happens to have a secret identity as a superhero


I also got word of a fascinating upcoming project, but until I hear more from the creators I don’t dare steal their thunder.  All I can say of it here is, if you like tales of pirates, then this will thrill you immensely…


Yes, I took Jamie’s advice, which my son gave me all three days before I went to the Javits Center, and had fun too.  Among the highlights:


·        Neal Adams, an artist I’ve followed since he did GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW with Denny O’Neil, joking with me when he found out I was a writer about how the days of going out and getting fall-down drunk every are such an essential element in my line of work

·        Shaking hands with Colin Baker, the sixth actor to play the Doctor

·        Watching the new FUTURAMA film and clips from Pixar’s UP (and no, I did not shoot these with my phone and have a link I can send you too; I write about pirates, but I’m not one myself)

·        Watching Peter David show up for a Marvel panel late and grab the room with skill and grace; having done panels at other conventions, I was in awe at a performance that was one to marvel (no pun intended)

·        Attending the “Representation of Women in Comics” panel, which had some wonderful speakers and did a great job discussing the subject with application to other forms of storytelling as well (something of course of great interest to me)

·        The costumed revelers who brought the color of Mardi Gras to the hall, without the wild antics that just don’t play well off Bourbon Street



The main thing I came away with was the cacophony of ideas and expression as thousands of folk came together to share a creative vibe, ideas crossing means of expressions as the comics fans rubbed against the gamers as the collectables folks threaded the throngs.  It’s all something of a warm blur right now, which means if you ran into me and feel I should have said something above, please let me know.


And now, time to ring eight bells and roll over; tomorrow, there’s no con to go to, which will take a little adjusting to…

Going on the Account: Struck Colors

The MV Faina is being released.  The ship that brought the rest of the world’s attention to the waters off Somalia is going on its way (wherever that was; there’s still some question as to its real port of call…) for a ransom that’s a big step down from the originally requested $20M; suchis the state of the economy, you could say…


With the Faina going back to sea, the question begged is, will the world look away again?  The number of incidents have been reported in those waters has fallen off, thanks to the Real Coalition of the Willing combined with stability coming ashore, so it’s possible that the theatre will take on the vibe of a party winding down.  And with our attention spans when following a situation wired to perk up only during the chase, never in the midst of the denouement, we could find ourselves reading about the last Somali pirate being caught with the reaction of, “Oh right, I think I kinda remember something about that…”


My hope is that the world doesn’t start looking away now.  There’s still a lot of work to be done here, and the solution to this carries with it strategies that could be applied to cure other crisis areas in need of aid.  What tools are used to fix the Somali situation could be used for the next failed society; let’s hope the solutions chosen are just and right.