4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Swamp Thing and The Return of Swamp Thing


Created by the great Len Wein & Bernie Wrightson, Swamp Thing was turned into a film by Wes Craven in 1982, revived as a comic the same year, and became the book that put Alan Moore on the map. Then they did a sequel in 1989 that ignored what Moore did in favor of hokiness. The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch slogs through the much with Swamp Thing and The Return of Swamp Thing.

An excerpt:

Swamp Thing is much more fun to watch, mainly because for most of the movie, it isn’t really about Alec Holland or Swamp Thing, it’s about Adrienne Barbeau’s Alice Cable, who is awesome. She holds her own and more with the dumbass men around her (who either drool over her or dismiss her), she manages to stay ahead of Arcane for much of the film, and she frees herself from Arcane’s clutches without help.

Which is why it’s so annoying that she is suddenly and unconvincingly turned into the damsel in distress once Swamp Thing kills Ferret and she faints. First of all, the fainting is just ridiculous. She’s seen much scarier stuff just in this movie, including a crapton of dead bodies in the compound after Arcane attacked it. But once she faints, she stops having any agency or action, being captured in a net, tied to a chair, chained to a wall, and stabbed while standing around like an idiot while Arcane and Swamp Thing fight.


Monday music: “Crossroads” and “Walk on Boy”

Friday I wanted to do Jim Byrnes’s version of “Fire on the Bayou,” the song that will make you believe that “fire” and “bayou” rhyme. (Yay, Creole!) But there isn’t one on YouTube, so I “settled” for an amazing version by Trombone Shorty and Cyril Neville. But I still loves me some Jim Byrnes. As an actor, I first was introduced to him, as many genre fans were, on Highlander: The Series, where he played Joe Dawson, one of the Watchers. But Byrnes is also a superb blues musician — I was lucky enough to see him perform live at SyndiCon back in the 1990s — and here are two excellent live performances of his, the Robert Johnson classic “Crossroads” and the Doc Watson classic “Walk on Boy.”

my Sunday feeling


As I write this, I’m sitting in a train that is hurtling eastward down on the tracks from Rochester toward Albany before veering southward toward NYC to take me home.

It was, as usual, a very good RocCon. The convention keeps growing, and it now takes up three floors of the Kodak Event Center. Despite being in the far-away third floor (along with the VIP guests, like Burt Ward and Nana Visitor and Jeremy Bulloch and Glenn Morshower and so on), I got great foot traffic at my table, plowing through a good chunk of my stock. I sold at least one of every book I brought except for my Command & Conquer novel (yes, I actually sold two each of my two Young Hercules books), and I also sold one of Wrenn’s bears and one of her pillows, plus lots more people admired her work and took her card.

I also finally — on my fourth trip to Rochester and after hearing locals rave about it regularly — made it to Dinosaur Barbecue, which has most excellent ribs and yummy sides and a great beer selection. Great place to have Saturday dinner after a long con weekend.

I’ve also dived back into A Furnace Sealed, which I’m hoping to get finished this month and finally turned in to WordFire Press. I also intend to spend this month finally getting out the Mermaid Precinct and “Baker’s Dozen” rewards that are do-able. And maybe finally getting the next Dead Kitchen Radio up.

I also have a big announcement about the Precinct series coming very soon now…..


Friday fanfare: “Fire on the Bayou”

My favorite version of this N’awlins classic is Jim Byrnes’s live version on I Turned My Nights Into Days, but Trombone Shorty kicks some ass with it (including a magnificent performance at the White House that you can find on PBS). Here’s a great version from this year’s Louisiana Music Factory JazzFest in April, with Cyril Neville joining Shorty for a rousing rendition of “Fire on the Bayou.”

MINE! is funded!


I’m pleased to see that — with a couple days left in the Kickstarting period — Mine!: A Celebration of Freedom & Liberty for All Benefitting Planned Parenthood has met its funding goal of $50,000! This means that if you pledge, you’re guaranteed to get a comics anthology with work by the likes of Neil Gaiman, Gail Simone, Ann Nocenti, Trina Robbins, Mark Waid, and tons more, including me and Tom Daly doing a story about self-defense (we’re both black belts in the same discipline of karate, so this seems a natural).

So go! Pledge! It’ll be awesome!

I will be at RocCon 2017 this weekend


I will be one of the guests at RocCon 2017 this weekend at the Kodak Event Center in Rochester, New York. I missed the con last year due to moving, but I’m back this year, with a table where I’ll be selling and signing stuff.

Here’s what I will have at the table for sure:

Aliens: Bug Hunt (with my story “Deep Background”)

Altered States of the Union (with my story “We Seceded Where Others Failed”)

Baker Street Irregulars Volume 1 (with my story “Identity”)

Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars

Icarus Volume 1

Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet

SCPD: The Case of the Claw

Star Trek: Tales of the Dominion War (with my story “The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned”)

The Star Trek novels Q & AKlingon Empire: A Burning House, and A Time for War, a Time for Peace

The Supernatural novels NevermoreBone Key, and Heart of the Dragon

The Young Hercules novels Cheiron’s Warriors and The Ares Alliance


Plus I will have a selection of Geek Bears, Geek Cats, and Geek Pillows by WrennsCrafts.

Other guests at the show include actors Burt Ward, Nana Visitor, David Yost, Felix Silla, Jeremy Bulloch, Glenn Morshower, Chalet Brannan, Karan Ashley, and Carey S. Means; fellow author Lois H. Gresh; comic book creators Kurt Lehner, Pat Shand, Karl Slominski, Mark Sparacio, Nigel Carrington, Dan Curto, and Elizabeth Pritchard; and tons more.

Looking forward to seeing folks there!