The Way of the Word

31. March 2010

Edge of Darkness: Revenant

Filed under: comics,Fiction — jensaltmann @ 10:06
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I was sorting through my files, looking for stuff I could discard. When I came upon the following comics pages.

Back in 2003, I had come up with an idea for a horror comic. I wrote the pitch pieces, found an artist who was willing to do a backend deal, and got to work. He drew the pitch pages, I pitched the miniseries to Image. They were interested. The artist wasn’t: now that Image was interested, he wanted money. Not one who tolerates being blackmailed, I told him clearly what I thought of him and looked for a new art team.

I spent quite a bit of money assembling a new art team. My friend Bobby Nash recommended his friend Jeff Austin. I went a bit crazy and also hired comics legend Joe Rubinstein to do the inks. Jaymes as the letterer completed the “5-Js” package. Hey, if Image was interested in what the previous artist and I had done, this crew should knock them dead. Right?

Well… We didn’t. Image wasn’t interested in the project with the new art team. I pitched it around some more. No takers. Then I ran out of money to pursue it further, so the project died.

As I said, I was looking through my files for stuff to discard, when I found the pitch pages. They look too good to discard, so I’ll definitely keep them. They are also too beautiful to not share. Enjoy.


28. March 2010

RIP Dick Giordano

Filed under: comics,RIP — jensaltmann @ 20:11
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Legendary comics creator and editor Richard Joseph “Dick” Giordano died of pneumonia on Saturday at the age of 77.

After earning his laurels at Charlton Comics, Dick Giordano went over to DC Comics. Among his work as an artist were Batman and Wonder Woman for DC, and Sons of the Tiger at Marvel Comics. The work he did that I remember most fondly were the classic Green Lantern/Green Arrow comics (With Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams), and the first Marvel/DC crossover Superman vs. Spider-Man from 1976. It was Giordano who brought the Charlton superheroes over to DC. As Vice President/Executive editor, he contributed to the reboot of the DC Universe after Crisis on Infinite Earths, helped launch DC’s Vertigo imprint and had a hand in bringing various British creators over to the US.

Dick Giordano never stopped working. His last work as an inker appeared in Jonah Hex #51, published in March 2010.

Dick Giordano was a major talent and a major force in the comics industry. To say that he will be missed is an understatement.

25. March 2010

RIP Robert Culp

Filed under: movies,RIP — jensaltmann @ 08:45
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Actor Robert Culp died yesterday at the age of 79. He fell outside of his home and was rushed to a hospital, where he died.

Robert Culp is best known for playing Kelly Robinson on the TV series I Spy. I Spy was the first TV show that combined humor and adventure, and it was the first TV show that starred an African-American actor (Bill Cosby) in a leading role.  It was a breakout gig for both actors. Fur Culp, who had always played heavies, it opened the door to more heroic/positive roles. He is also well remembered as FBI agent Bill Maxwell on the superhero TV series Greatest American Hero. He remained busy as an actor throughout his life and up to his death. Culp was not one of those actors where you go, “I didn’t know he was still alive.” He was the sort where you go, “I had no idea he was already that old.”

My earliest vivid memory of Robert Culp is the Columbo episode Death Lends a Hand, where he played an ambidextrous private eye.

23. March 2010

Passenger – A short story by Jens H. Altmann

Filed under: Fiction,general,Uncategorized,writing — jensaltmann @ 10:01
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Anne put both hands on the smiling baby’s body. She lifted her up over her head.

“Whee,” she said. The baby laughed. Slowly, Anne lowered her hands until the baby’s body was at the level of her face. Anne pressed her face against the baby’s belly and gnawed the soft skin with her lips, tickling. The baby gurgled happily and grabbed Anne’s hair with both hands, pulling enthusiastically.

“Ow, stop that,” Anne said. “That hurts, Joy.” Responding to the laughter in her mother’s voice, Joy laughed and pulled harder. Taking her daughter’s hand, Anne freed herself.

“Are you sure we’re safe here?” Jeff asked. “I really don’t like the isolation. And how are we going to defend this place?”

Anne turned her head to look at her husband, who was talking with his best friend Kent.

“As sure as anything is these days,” Kent said. “The isolation is just what makes it safe. They will stay in the cities and towns, where they can find… find their food. It’ll be a while before they’ll start foraging in such isolated areas. By then, we’ll have figured out where we can go.”

“Someplace really safe,” Mattie said. “Someplace with thick and high walls all around. Thick and high enough that they can’t get over them.”

“Like the state penitentiary,” Kent said. “I’ve been thinking along the same lines. But not just yet. I don’t think the streets are safe yet. In a week or so, I think it’ll be safe to travel in a week or so.”

Anne sighed and turned her attention back to Joy. The baby girl made some gurgling noises. Anne held her a little closer and wiped drool of her daughter’s face.

“Thank god you’re too young to understand this,” she whispered. Then again, Anne didn’t pretend she understood any of this. And she was sure that Jeff or Kent or Mattie didn’t, either. But at least Kent had something resembling a plan to get through this alive, and he was kind enough to take Jeff and his family along.

This cabin in the forest was scary, though. Anne didn’t really feel safe here. It was isolated, and Jeff kept complaining how difficult it would be to defend.

As if his computer gaming experience made him anything like an expert on these things. At least Kent’s horror movie addiction seemed to be useful.

“What do we do now?” Anne asked.

“We wait. We brought enough supplies to last two or three weeks. Including milk for Joy, unless you’re still… err…”

“Joy’s on formula,” Anne said. She smiled at Kent’s discomfort.

“Okay. Yes. Anyway. What we need to do is, we need to board up the windows and the doors.”

“Won’t that attract them?” Mattie asked. “I mean, if I had to choose between a house with boarded-up windows and one that looked normal, I’d check out the boarded-up place.”

“It hasn’t been established that they think,” Kent said. “They probably can’t even tell the difference. At the very least, it’ll buy us some time to get down into the basement.”

“What kind of weapons do we have?” Jeff asked. Anne rolled her eyes. Mattie saw that and grinned.

“I have a 9mm pistol and a shotgun,” Kent said. “Do you know how to use either of them?” Jeff shook his head. “Me, neither,” Kent admitted. “I never thought I’d have to use something like that.”

“I guess all those survivalist camps, they’re gonna be very safe now. Haven’t they prepared for this kind of thing?”

“Probably. Good point, though. I’ll need to figure out a way to get in touch with them.”

Jeff got up, slapping his hands together.

“Okay, let’s get on with it. Where are the tools?”

“In the car. Let’s go fetch them. Anne, Mattie, would you help carry? The sooner we’re done. Err… Anne, that is, if Joy can stay out of trouble for five minutes or so…?”

Anne put her daughter down on the blanket. The baby’s smile faded slightly, replaced by something resembling a frown. Even the baby sensed that the situation was really desperate.

“I suppose,” Anne said, tickling Joy’s belly. “I’ll be right back, sweetie.”

Kent stopped in the doorway for a second and looked around.

“Okay, looks good. Let’s go get the stuff.”

He went towards the station wagon, Mattie close behind him. Anne followed Mattie, with Jeff coming out last. Anne heard him mutter something about ‘bringing up the rear.” Kent opened the wagon’s rear hatch. He reached inside, pulled out a box and passed it on to Mattie. Mattie stepped back, looked around…

She screamed and dropped the box. Kent straightened up, then ducked when he banged his head against the upraised hatch.

“What the…?”

Anne saw what had frightened Mattie, and joined her friend in the scream. The zombie that shambled out of the forest reacted to the noise and headed towards them.

“Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck,” Anne heard Jeff mutter. Mattie’s paralysis broke. She turned and ran towards the house. Anne still screamed.

“Annie, run!”

She heard Jeff’s yell, but found herself unable to move. She barely noticed Kent sitting on the ground with his mouth open. Anne heard a loud bang. The zombie staggered, then straightened up. Another loud bang.

Kent got up and ran towards the cabin. Was he screaming, or was it still her? Anne wasn’t sure. Maybe it was Jeff. The zombie came closer. It stumbled over the box Mattie had dropped and fell, fell towards Anne. When the clammy dead hand touched her leg, Anne found herself able to move again. But the hand grasped her ankle with incredible strength. It wouldn’t let go. Anne tried to tear herself loose. She lost her balance and fell.

More bangs. The zombie jerked. Anne felt a pain in her calf. She kicked the creature in the face. It let go. Anne crawled away. Her calf hurt horribly, far worse than a graze from a bullet should have. She looked up to see her husband stand, legs wide apart, holding the pistol with both hands, taking aim. He pulled the trigger twice more. Something moist hit her. Anne looked at the zombie. Jeff had finally hit the head. The moist stuff she had felt were the creature’s brains, splattering over her leg.

Anne struggled to her feet.

“Jeff, I…”

“Stay back.”

Jeff pointed the gun at her. Anne looked at it, blinking, not comprehending.

“Jeff, what…?”

Jeff pointed his chin at her leg. Anne looked down. Looked at the wound on her calf. A wound that looked a lot like a bite.

Oh no.

“Don’t come closer. You’re infected. You’re gonna be one of them.”

“Jeff, honey, I…”

Jeff took three steps backwards.

“No. No, I… Stay back, Annie, please. You’re infected. I can’t… I can’t…”

Annie stumbled another step closer. She held out her hand, begging.

“Jeff, please.”

“Shoot her,” Kent said. Both looked at him. “She’s infected. She’s going to be one of them. Shoot her, before that happens.”

“Kent, she’s my wife. My wife.”

“Shoot her.” This from Mattie. “It’s better for her too. You wouldn’t want to come back like… like that, would you, Anne?”

Jeff looked at Mattie, then at Kent. Then he looked at Annie.

He lowered the gun. His mouth moved, he tried to say something, but whatever it was, it was too quiet for Anne to hear. Jeff’s shoulders dropped. His face twisted. Anne saw tears run down his cheeks.

He held the gun out towards Kent.

“I can’t. I… I…”

Kent took the pistol. He took aim at Anne. She closed her eyes. She felt tears run down her face.

“Please … can I see Joy…?”

A moment later, she heard something click. Not the bang she had expected. She opened her eyes.

She was alone. The cabin’s door was closed. The three had gone inside, left her out here to…

To do what, actually? To die? And to eventually come back as a zombie? Which was what would probably happen, unless more zombies showed up first to eat her.

Why hadn’t they killed her? If they were so sure she was infected and would die and come back as a zombie, why hadn’t they shot out her brains? It had worked with… with that one.

Maybe, maybe if they had taken her in, and treated her, maybe she would live and they could take her to a doctor who could do something. So that she wouldn’t die.

Maybe in an hour or so they would realize that and let her in. Until then, it was important to get to a safe place. Someplace where zombies wouldn’t get her. If there was one, there were probably more. And she wasn’t feeling all that well, actually. She felt dizzy, and a bit feverish. The shock, yes, it was probably the shock. If she could get a bit of a rest, she’d be fine again in no time.

Anne thought of Joy. She wiped some tears from her face. That was the worst, actually. The thought that she might never see her baby again.

I need to lie down. Just for a moment.

Anne looked around. The only safe-looking place was the station wagon. She took a couple of unsteady steps towards it. Then she climbed into the back and pulled the door down. It closed with a comforting thunking sound.

Anne rummaged through the boxes. There was a blanket here, there had to be. She remembered packing one, and she didn’t remember unpacking it. By now, she was shaking. It felt a bit like a cold. A bad cold.

I’m running a fever, she thought. The idea comforted her. Fever, that meant her body was fighting the infection, burning it out.

There was the bag. Anne unzipped it with unsteady hands. The blanket was right in top. It was a nice, cozy, warm fleece blanket. Anne pulled the blanket out of the bag. She wrapped herself into it, crawled to the backseat and stretched out as much as the station wagon’s dimensions allowed. The blanket helped, she felt a bit warmer. The shaking didn’t stop, however. Anne closed her eyes. She felt so weak. Maybe, maybe if she rested her eyes, the fever would burn the infection out and she would feel fine again. Then she’d get out of the car, knock on the cabin door, yell at the three idiots inside. They’d let her in, treat her injury, and she would hug her baby and feel better again.

Anne hung on to that thought of holding her baby as the world faded to black.

*          *            *

It was the sense of motion that woke her up.

Motion? What motion? Why were her eyes open? What was wrong with her eyes? They seemed to be somewhat out of focus.

The motion was her body. Why was her body moving? Anne had never been a sleepwalker. So why was her body moving now, when she wasn’t making it move?

Her body was bumping into the closed car door. It was trying to open it.

Oh, come on, have you forgotten how to open a door?

Apparently so. Anne couldn’t tell how long her body took to accidentally turn the handle that opened the door. Unprepared, the body fell out, to the ground.

As the body staggered to its feet – from the way it looked to Anne from somewhere inside the body, it must have been a comical sight – she noticed something she hadn’t noticed before, because it had been out of her body’s line of sight.

There were zombies all over the place. They were everywhere. There was no place to escape to, especially as uncoordinated as Anne was right now.

But… They were ignoring her. Instead, they were all moving towards the house.

And… they all moved as stiffly and slowly as Anne’s body did. Anne’s body had finally managed to get to its feet. Now it was wobbling and swaying. It was relearning how to keep its balance. When it stood firm on its two feet, it took a slow step forward. The legs felt stiff for some reason, Anne could tell that it was hard to move. The body held out the arms in an effort to maintain balance.

Why were the zombies ignoring her? That other one hadn’t, it had bitten her…

Oh.

No.

Anne became aware that her body smelled something. Something enticing, appetizing. Her body stopped, getting its bearings, and finally turned towards the cabin.

Why were there no gunshots? The others had been armed, they had been ready to fight off zombies. Why was the…

Oh no.

As Anne’s body stumbled towards the cabin, she noticed that the door was open. How long had she lain in the car, completely out of it? Clearly long enough that the others had already fought the zombies, and lost the fight. Now the creatures were swarming inside.

What was that sound? Anne was positive that there was some sound coming from the cabin, some sound that wasn’t the zombies moaning and smacking. It sounded almost like…

No! No!

Her body seemed to take forever to reach the cabin. It stumbled repeatedly, it fell against other zombies. Somehow, it managed to stay on its feet, it managed to move forward. As the scent … What was that scent anyway? What was it that smelled so good, so tasty?… grew stronger, as that sounds she couldn’t identify grew louder, Anne’s body quickened its pace of its own accord. It pushed its way through the door past some other zombies.

The body ignored the sight of the zombies feeding. Anne’s mind screamed. She only recognized what was left of Kent by the shirt she had last seen him wear. Three zombies were pulling on Mattie’s limbs, fighting over the meal.

Oh my dear god, is Mattie still moving?

Anne tried to see, but her body ignored it. Whatever attention it had was completely focused on reaching the source of the smell. The smell and the sound both seemed to come from the cupboard. Through the hazy vision, Anne could make out some zombies that stood there and tried to get through the closed cupboard door.

Where was Jeff? Was he covered by the pile of zombies over there to the left?

Anne’s body reached the cupboard and pushed the other zombies aside. Anne could sense her body’s greed, the hunger. The body grabbed the cupboard doors. Muscle memory made the body pull. The doors opened. The smell and the sound were joined by the visual.

Anne’s mind screamed. She tried to focus, she tried to burn her will into her body’s limbs.

Her mind was not nearly strong enough to influence her body’s actions. Anne’s body reached into the cupboard, took hold of the baby, and pulled it out.

Joy stopped screaming. Anne wondered if her daughter recognized the body as that of Mommy, she wondered if her daughter thought that everything would be okay now that Mommy’s here to protect her.

Anne’s mind screamed and raged and tried to stop her body. Anything, anything but this! Turn around you traitorous undead machine, don’t do this, we need to protect her.

Joy actually smiled when Anne’s body’s face pressed itself against her belly.

Then she screamed as Anne’s body bit into the soft flesh.

THE END

(c) 2010 by Jens H. Altmann. All rights reserved.

22. March 2010

It’s Not What You Know

Filed under: Commentary,general,Uncategorized — jensaltmann @ 09:53

If there is one thing that I have learned in the last 40 years (although the realization came far too late to do me any good), it’s that it doesn’t matter what you can do, or how well you do it.

It’s who you know.

That’s it. Really.

Don’t believe me? Read the advice of any editor or established creator in the business of writing or comics. They all say the same thing: attend cons. Get to know the editors. Get them to know you. Make sure that they will recognize your name, and associate it with something positive. And then, only then, start pitching, and they will pay attention.

Unless you do that, you can forget about selling them your stuff, or having a career. It doesn’t matter how good you are, they won’t pay attention. They won’t care.

Oh, I’ll grant you that even if you know the editors, you still have to have an edge over all the others who know those editors and pitch stuff. You’ll still have to convince them that giving you work is more profitable for them than giving all the other guys work.

Alternately, it helps if your family is connected. To look back at my Generation Swipe post, does anyone really think that Nick Simmons or Helene Hegemann would have gotten that far if not for their respective fathers?

If you’re not connected, then it doesn’t matter how good you are. Nobody will give you the time of day. If you’re connected, you’ll still need to prove yourself, but unless you’re connected you won’t even get the chance to prove yourself.

Make no mistake, though, this isn’t confined to the publishing or movie industries. It’s all over. It’s everywhere. You think the HR person is more likely to hire you over someone who knows someone at the company, just because you’re better? Forget it.

That is, I believe, the mistake I made in my life. I believed that if I worked hard, if I applied myself, it would make a difference. I believed that hard work would get me ahead.

I now know that I was wrong. It’s too late for me to correct that mistake. But with this, I can at least help you avoid making the same mistake.

It’s not what you can do. It’s who you know. Never mind what you aspire to, that is the secret to success. If you’re not connected, you will fail.

20. March 2010

Review: Max Brooks – World War Z

Filed under: books,Commentary,general,review — jensaltmann @ 10:11
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Originally published in 2006.

It has been a decade since the zombie apocalypse. An intrepid reporter travels the world and talks with survivors of the Zombie War. The plague of the undead started in China and spread from there all over the world. Israel walled itself in to keep the undead out. Governments all over the world, realizing they couldn’t possibly save everyone, drew back, abandoning their peoples to the zombies, entrenching themselves with a handful of people in defensible positions. For years, all the remnants of humanity did was try to survive, without hope for tomorrow.

Until they had enough. Until they decided they had to take back the world, the future. But what kind of future, on a devastated world? And what kind of world has risen from the ashes of the zombie apocalypse?

In World War Z, Brooks’s look at the world after the zombie apocalypse takes the form of interviews. We see the war through the eyes of several survivors from all over the world. We read about the ecological devastation, about the Iran-Pakistan nuclear exchange, the Holy Russian Empire that has risen from what was left of current Russia.  He spends most of the time on describing the fall of mankind, as opposed to the relatively few pages about how we reclaim what’s left of the Earth. Rightly so, considering that the world during the zombie apocalypse is more interesting than reading variations about how soldiers move across the world shooting zombies in the head.

It’s a fightening and compelling book, the closest to unputdownable that I have read this year. It’s book full of tragedy, and there were a few scenes that tore at my heartstrings. Even though Brooks’s book travels the entire world, it’s clear where his personal loyalties lie — after the war, the only country that seems to be worth living in appears to be what’s left of the US. Except for that, he attempts the part of the neutral observer, which makes the effect of several chapters even more chilling. At least for me, some chapters made me think that after the war, those who died were the lucky ones.

World War Z is a chilling, sad and frightening read. The premise of the zombie apocalypse is the only far-fetched aspect of this story. The reactions of the humans are far too plausible.

The best zombie stories use the undead as a tool to shine a light on some of the less savory aspects of the human condition. World War Z attempts the same and succeeds at it.

Verdict: Very recommended

17. March 2010

Review: True Story Swear to God Vol. 2 #12

Filed under: comics,Humor,review — jensaltmann @ 09:57
Tags: , , , , ,

Written & drawn by Tom Beland. Published by Image Comics. Cover price: US-$ 3.50

It has been several years since Californian cartoonist Tom Beland met Puerto Rican radio personality Lily Garcia at a bus stop at Disneyworld. They fell in love and Tom left everything he knew and loved behind to be with Lily on Puerto Rico.

Now, the time has come: the two get married. In Disneyworld. With the Mouse paying for everything.

True Story, Swear to God is just that: an autobiographical romance story, in which Tom Beland shares his relationship with Lily Garcia. It’s the titular true story, it’s autobiographic, it’s romantic, it’s funny.

I usually don’t care about autobiographical comics. And I couldn’t care less about romance. But there is something about True Story, Swear to God that is absolutely magical and appeals even to someone like me. I’m not sure why this is so.

Perhaps it is because the people in this comic (not characters, remember, these people all really exist) are utterly charming. Despite their foibles.

Perhaps it is because Tom Beland is very open and candid. Which is undeniable: Tom doesn’t shy away from presenting events and attitudes that put him in a less-flattering light. Even #12 has a case in point: a scene where Tom and Lily encounter a Muslim woman in a Burqa describes how uneasy it makes him feel, how it triggers his own prejudices, and how he manages to overcome them. Later he is so honest about his feelings for his sister-in-law that it made this reader wonder if the relationship he described still exists.

Actually, the one person about whom the reader knows the least happens to be Lily, the proverbial apple of Tom’s eye. The problem is that we see Lily through Tom’s filters, especially through the filter of his love for her. So while there are frequently small scenes (such as in #12) about the family and friends being, well, human, Tom very rarely shows us similar scenes featuring Lily, unless they are scenes where she interacts in his presence. I for one feel that this issue would have been richer if we had had a scene with Lily, without Tom, interacting with her family and friends. (It is of course possible and perfectly understandable that she doesn’t want to share such moments with his readers.) It would remove Lily slightly from the pedestal that Tom keeps her on, and would ultimately humanize her a bit.

Where True Story is absolute Magic is in Tom’s love for Lily and the people around him. His love for his family shines through in every page, it reaches out and touches your soul. Every time I read True Story, I am reminded of how I felt for my wife when our relationship was new. Tom manages the incredible feat of not just telling the readers of his “True Story of a Real Life Romance,” he makes them share it.

That is what makes True Story, Swear to God one of the best anglophone comics being currently published. If you are not reading this series, you are really and truly missing out. Even if, like me, you usually don’t enjoy true stories and/or romance, this one will capture your heart.

Go out and get your copy already.

Verdict: very recommended

16. March 2010

FailZombies

Yesterday evening, I decided to put the zombie novel aside and write some Made of Fail strips instead. Not draw them, I won’t do that until the zombie novel no longer takes up my evening. Just write the scripts.

Wait, I hear you shout, didn’t you just say a couple of days ago that you’re ashamed of Made of Fail?

Yes, I am. It is a totally amateurish and incompetently made humor strip. That didn’t stop me when I did it last year, did it?

Actually, last year, I created Made of Fail to make a point. I think I succeeded at that. I wouldn’t have to get back to it. But for several reasons that I don’t want to get into here, I want to.

Season 2 of Made of Fail might be different from last year’s. I am in a different mental, emotional and spiritual state than I was then, for one thing. I’m not sure if to which extent that will be reflected in the strips. It’s possible that the humor will be more mean-spirited and sarcastic than it was last year. I’ll have to find out. I’m also not sure yet which venue I’ll use to bring Season 2 online. Most likely, I will continue to present it through Webcomics Nation. There are alternatives, like Drunk Duck; I’m just not sure yet which I will choose. I’m also not sure yet if I will continue Made of Fail as an ongoing this time, or if I will make another 50 or so strips before calling another break.

Anyway. Once I have figured out how to reintroduce Made of Fail for its “second season,” I’ll try to finish the zombie novel.

My thanks to all who responded to my “what to call it” question. Revenge of the Walking Dead won by a landslide, so I’ll stick with that title.

15. March 2010

RIP Peter Graves

The American actor Peter Graves (Born March 18, 1926) died on Sunday at the age of 83. His birth name was Peter Aurness. He was the brother of James Arness (Marshal Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke).

At the age of 16, he worked as an announcer at the radio station WMIN in Minneapolis.

Peter Graves started his acting career with a small uncredited role in the 1942 movie Winning Your Wings, then got serious about it in 1951, when he played Pete Dandrige in the movie Rogue River. He kept working throughout his life, but he’s probably best known and remembered for two of his roles. One being Jim Newton in the children’s adventure series Fury (1955 – 1960).

The other being the far more famous part of Jim Phelps in Mission: Impossible (1967 – 1973 and again 1988 – 1990). In 1971, he was awarded an Emmy for Best Actor in a TV Series.

He refused to play Jim Phelps in the 1996 movie because he felt that making Phelps the villain violated the character.

For me, though, he will always be Captain Clarence Oveur from Airplane and Airplane 2.

14. March 2010

Made of Fail is Made of Fail

Filed under: comics,Webcomics,workblog — jensaltmann @ 15:41
Tags: , , , , ,

Made of Fail is the only work I have ever created for its own sake. It was born out of spite. After having been let down by one artist too many, I decided to make the point that I don’t really need artists. I could do that myself. It would suck, but I could do it myself.

From the very first, I knew that I would not make any money with Made of Fail. Not because I don’t want to make any money, but I have no idea how to monetize a webcomic.

Especially one of such poor quality.

Yes, the secret is out now: I am ashamed of Made of Fail. It is made of fail on so many levels.

– It’s a humor strip, even though I am notoriously unfunny.
– The art is totally amateurish. That is because I am a complete and untalented amateur. I have never had any interest at all in drawing anything. The cartoony style is simply because I can’t do any better. If I knew how to draw, it would look very different.
– It’s colored with colored pencils because I was unable to figure out how to use graphics software to color it.
– The same goes for the lettering: I couldn’t figure out how to do it in the computer, so I was forced to hand-letter. Considering that my handwriting would have qualified me for medical school…

There you have it. There you have all the reasons why Made of Fail is a free webcomic, and why it will remain free of charge. Because the above can be summed up as:

Made of Fail is so ineptly created that I am too ashamed of it to ask anyone to pay to read it.

Ironically, however, all of the above can also be summed up as: Made of Fail is the closest I will ever come to creating true art. Because it is the only thing I have ever created without any expectation that it might advance my career. Heck, when I started it, I was convinced that it would completely destroy any chance and hope I might have had to break into paying comics work. Truthfully, I don’t know if it did. But I do know that it didn’t help.

And yet, I intend to relaunch it in May 2010.

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