Archive for March, 2007

Thank God for Good Teachers Part 1

Posted on March 25, 2007. Filed under: Comics |

You know, I started to write one of those “5 things you don’t know about me” posts, and I managed to drift off into another thought all together…so I’m just going to go with it.

Thinking about things from my days in school, I was reminded of just how lucky I was to have the amazing teachers that I did…and if not for them, I don’t think I would be doing what I’m doing today. I don’t think I would be the person that I am today, and for that I will be forever endebted to them.

In Junior High I was lucky enough to get into Mr. Forrester’s History class. The man had a passion about history that made it much more entertaining than it had ever been to me before (and that stuck with me, I love the History Channel, history books, and history in general). He made history really exciting to learn about…but it wasn’t just world history or US history that he taught me.

At that same age, I also got into comic books…and Mr. Forrester was into comic books too. The first comic book I ever purchased on my own as Spawn #1. I started comics in the era of the rockstar artists, the computer coloring, the high quality paper, the loose morals, and the low quality story. If I’d just seen the Image books of the time, and nothing else, I don’t know if I would have stayed with comics as I got older…but Mr. Forrester was a comic book historian as well…and he showed me everything from the early days of comics. The early DC stuff mostly, where I learned about the Crisis on the Infinite Earths, the days of the Earth-2s, 3s, Primes, and more…all the way back to the original Green Lantern and Flash…and ultimately, the beginning of Superhero comics with Superman himself.

This was important for several reasons.

1) He showed me where comics had been, and introduced me to a history and legacy that I still love to learn about to this day.

2) He was an adult…and he liked comics, and he liked cartoons. He showed me as a kid that it was completely fine to be an adult and love comics and cartoons. I have never felt the need to “grow up” like so many other people do. I have never felt like I was being a “kid” because I was into these things…and now as an adult I play with my 3 year old with Voltron toys, Ninja Turtles, and Barbie dolls…just like the other kids, and that lets us have a special relatioinship that lots of other parents don’t have.

He also treated me like an adult, even though I wasn’t. That’s something that has always stuck with me, and something that I apply to raising my own kids. I treat my little girl like she’s an equal (to a point) and I think it has helped her be as advanced as she is.

It turned out when I was in the 8th grade, Mr. Forrester moved up to being an 8th grade History teacher…so I was lucky enough to have him twice. I truely think that if I hadn’t been in his class, and he and his wife hadn’t been my friends, that I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. My experiences with them are only one of the many things that have helped shape who I am as an adult, but it’s an invaluable piece that I’m grateful to have.

I struck gold a second time with History class in high school. A teacher of mine named Mr. May was also a huge comics fan (I don’t know what it was with history teachers and comics in my town…must have been something in the water), and was, and still is, a good friend. He showed me some different and interesting ways to learn in class…and he was also my friend, even going so far as to pick my comics up for me at the local comic store (which was 40 miles away) and helping to feed my comics habit. I have managed to turn my comics hobby into a career with – so I am eternally grateful to Mr. May for continuing to show me that being an adult, and loving comics was ok.

I don’t want to make this post too long…and I have more teachers to write about…so I’ll break this one into two parts…next time…the English Teachers…

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I have a hard time with fiction…

Posted on March 20, 2007. Filed under: Writing |

I have a hard time writing fiction. I’m not sure why that is. Everytime I get started with a story, I’m roaring to go, shooting at 100 mph…and I start writing. I’ll usually get a few pages out, but as soon as I figure out the ending to the story in my head…that’s it. It’s over. I can’t get motivated to to keep writing it.

I don’t know exactly why that is, but it has been the case numerous times in my life. There are very few fiction projects that I have seen through to the end. Most of the time, learning the end of the story for myself has been enough. I wonder why that is?

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Back from Fan Days…

Posted on March 19, 2007. Filed under: Blogging, Comics, Conventions |

Wow…I really need to post on here more.

Well, I got back from the Dallas Comic Con Fan Days event a little while ago. There wasn’t as much there as I’d hoped there would be, but I got some good stuff that you’ll see on Forever, including an Official word on Ghostbusters 3 from Ernie Hudson.

I didn’t get to talk to everyone that I wanted, and as really surprised by 1) the size of the show (much smaller than I thought), and 2) the number of people there (it was INSANE. I could barely move through the crowd on Sat).

I saw 300 in the Imax on Friday night. I can’t really say that it was any better than seeing it in a normal theater. The “Imax Experience” was completely lost on me. Still a great movie, and I was glad to see it a second time…I just wasn’t impressed with the Imax itself.

I also was reminded of how much I hate cities. I’m a country boy, more or less, and the town I grew up in had 253 people in it. The town where I went to school had a 7,000 people in it…and the city I live in now has about 100,000 people in it. That’s enough. I don’t think I can take anymore than that.

Too much concrete, too many people. It’s just not my thing.

I was going to watch The Holiday or Casino Royale tonight, but I think I’m just going to go to bed. I have to type a few things up, and get this stuff posted for tomorrow, but I’m just beat from driving.

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I wonder if Blogging a Novel would be fun…

Posted on March 8, 2007. Filed under: Blogging, Fiction, Writing |

I’m thinking about giving blogging a novel a try. Or at least something like a novel. A fictional narrative. I don’t think there is any point in just writing a book and posting it a chapter at a time…if I’m going to use blogging as a way to publish it, then I think I should keep whatever I write in the spirit of the medium…and I do believe that blogging is a different medium.

Novel writing is a very solitary profession…which is one reason why I don’t think that I’ve ever gotten past the third chapter of a book (and boy have I attempted some stinkers). I’ve had a much easier time completing screenplays (not that they’re any good, or that you’ll ever get to read them) but I think that was partially because others were always going to be involved in the productions, so I was passing it along to them to get their feedback as I went. Now granted, I have had a lot of false starts with those as well, but I have completed a few screenplays and a handful of comic book scripts…but never a full work of prose.

I don’t consider my blogging to be the same thing, because it’s reporting, speculating, and commenting, but not creating a story from scratch (at least, the blogs I write aren’t). There is no beginning, middle and end to Apple News (at least I hope not)…and there will always be Geek Stuff to talk about….but as someone who writes constantly, and has written constantly for at least ten years (and I’m only 26 people…that’s a long time for me) there’s a certain satisfaction from writing fiction that I don’t get from the blogging that I do…on the other hand, there is a satisfaction that I get from blogging that I will never get from writing fiction. So, I’m thinking about starting a fictional blog to blog a “novel” on.

It wouldn’t need to be updated multiple times a day or anything, but it might be a way to scratch that novel writing itch without staring at a blank Open Office page with no chance of feedback. At least by blogging it, a few people might be interested in reading it. Right now my audience for something like that would be limited to my wife who really doesn’t have time to read my crap anyway.

I don’t know…I’ll probably start it, and never finish it. Who knows…

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Apple Rumors can be Fun!

Posted on March 2, 2007. Filed under: Blogging |

Today we posted a “Create Your Own Apple Rumor” chart and generator that I’m really very proud of. It seems to be making its way around the web, and it’s really the first time I’ve ever been able to come up with an idea that was able to bring a “digg” level of traffic to the site, without it actually being on the front page of digg.

I find myself increasingly frustrated with digg, although I still find it to be a very useful resource.

Digg, aside, several of the “A-List” blogs have picked up the little joke that we put together (special thanks to Ahmed from Tech SoapBox for getting the random rumor generator going), and so far I haven’t seen any real backlash from Apple fans.

I don’t expect any “backlash” from them, though. I think we all enjoy speculating to a degree, and I think it’s fun to predict, and it’s fun to entertain rumors…but there are sometimes when Apple rumors just drive me nuts. I don’t think the sites that report them are making them up…but I do think more fact checking should go into reporting these things.

I’ve been guilty of getting a rumor in an email and running with it (that whole “illuminious” thing…yup started at Apple Gazette), but that was from someone I’d received into from before. I don’t plan to run too many rumors on the site, unless I think there is some credibility to them. I don’t want Apple Gazette to be an “Apple Rumors” site. I want Apple Gazette to an Apple news site. I want the readers to find information and entertainment about their Macs, iPods, and iPhones. I hope that shows.

I fully intend for Apple Gazette to be driving force in the Apple blog-o-sphere for many years to come. We’re working on it, and I think that, in time, we’ll be able to build a level of credibility that other sites might not be able to, just from NOT reporting some of the more “out there” rumors just because it’s a slow news day.

I hope that comes off in the posts that I choose to make, and I welcome as much reader feedback as you’re willing to give. I’m interested in writing about, and reporting about, what you’re interested in reading. I’m working on some cool things that I hope to announce in the next week or two, that I think will help take Apple Gazette to the next level.

I hope you’ll be there for the ride. 🙂

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