All four parts embedded below for your viewing convenience. Enjoy!
* If you know anything at all about me, you know this statement is the equivalent of a fish saying "I didn't especially feel like getting wet tonight."
Here's an interactive map of the show floor where you can zoom in and find the Kirby Museum just to the right of the area marked as "Construction Zone" -- though personally I like to think of it as the "Wild Area" -- and all the other myriad attractions the exhibitor floor has to offer.
I expect to be at the Kirby Museum table for virtually all of the convention except for meals and bathroom breaks. If I even get those. That's pretty much how it worked out last year, and this year it's bound to be even more crowded. If you're there, it'd be awesome if you stop by and say hello!
Continuing their promotion for the Kindle edition of Mutant Cinema by Tom McLean, Sequart has now made Minutes to Midnight: Twelve Essays on Watchmen, edited by yours truly, a free download for Kindle from now until midnight Pacific time. You can download each book by clicking on its title.
I don't need to repeat yet again how proud I am of the book -- created by the stellar contributors listed at right, down where it says "Legendary Beings" -- and how tickled I am to have my name on said volume. If you've read the previous entries of this blog you already know how I feel about it. I won't belabor the point. But I will venture this: if you've been even mildly curious about Minutes to Midnight but weren't sure if it was really worth the investment in these uncertain economic times, I can safely say it's almost certainly at least worth the price of absolutely free.
Like yesterday, this offer lasts only 24 hours and the clock is already ticking. Don't put it off too long -- you know how tense those final minutes before the clock strikes twelve can be.
[And again, the offer has ended. Early signs are the promotion has been a huge success. I have to thank everyone who helped out in amplifying the signal on this one, whether because you're a friend of mine or a complete stranger who spread the word because interest in the original Watchmen has risen for some reason. Either way, many thanks!]
If you don't own a Kindle and you've been thinking "I'd love to try out the free Kindle reader software for my PC or Mac but there simply aren't any critical analyses of the original X-Men film trilogy available for it," this is indeed your lucky day.
If you just now said to yourself "That's all well and good, but a hefty collection of entertaining and insightful essays about the adventures of teen super-heroes in the 30th Century is more my cup of tea, if only it were available in a more convenient form so I don't have to lug around such a heavy volume," then step right up.
And if you've ever voiced the sentiment "I certainly would love to read that essay my good friend Richard Bensam is so proud of, that one about the death and resurrection of Lightning Lad called 'The Perfect Storm' but quite frankly I am reluctant to sully our friendship with something so crude and base as a financial transaction, if only there were some more noble alternative," this is a wonderful solution to your dilemma.
Remember, this offer lasts only 24 hours and presumably some of those hours will already have passed by the time you read this. So act now! Supplies aren't limited but time is.
[Update: And this offer is now over. Thanks to everyone who downloaded a copy; I'm pleased to say the promotion has been a great success!]
In the dream, I was watching behind-the-scenes film footage of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and two other British rockers I can't identify (but I knew who they were in the dream) rehearsing on a soundstage for some sort of all-star performance. One of the musicians I can't name was a white-hair gent I'm sure is someone in real life that I've seen on television recently, a rock star of equivalent fame, but I can't place him just now. They were between songs, and they were having a discussion about George Formby.
"A few years back my boy and I went to see the museum," the white-haired musician was telling Mick and Keith. "He was allowed to hold George's uke in his hands."
Keith nodded with understanding. "Number thirteen, right?"
"No! Number one!" replied the white-haired rocker with obvious triumph. "When I'm Cleaning Windows. Blackpool Rock. All the big ones." Mick and Keith were visibly impressed that the white-haired fellow's son had actually been allowed to hold the most cherished of all Formby's ukeleles.
The notion that George Formby had a collection of special ukeleles, and that Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and other British rockers would all be big enough fans of Formby to know each instrument individually and which one was used to perform which song, delights me. I have no idea where the dream came from...but I can wish that maybe, just maybe, it's secretly true.
Also, since people have asked, I'm happy to say that both Minutes to Midnight: Twelve Essays on Watchmen (edited by yours truly) and Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes (including "The Perfect Storm," my essay on the death and resurrection of Lightning Lad in Adventure Comics and what it signified about the development of superhero comics in the Silver Age) are now available for the Kindle. Now at last we're all set for that post-Before Watchmen surge of interest in anything Watchmen-related!
Finally, I just signed up on Twitter. I guess that means it's officially over now, right? You're probably all rushing over to Pinterest as I type this. Ah well. I'll probably just hang back for a while until I figure out how everything works. If anyone wants to go ahead and follow me and be followed back, I can pretty much guarantee you won't be overwhelmed by incoming messages from me. I won't twitter bomb you or whatever the kids call it. You'll hardly even notice I'm there.
Alan Moore's daughter Leah posted a reaction on Twitter that points out the real issue: DC Comics -- and Marvel, for that matter -- don't actually want new characters or properties. They literally wouldn't know how to promote or sell anything new anymore. New things are a real pain for a media corporation. Honestly, the very last thing they want is to publish a new original character created by Darwyn Cooke.
For that matter, the only reason either company has invested money in buying up other publishers' existing characters over the past couple of decades is to keep them away from some publisher who might be able to do something productive with them. Consider the strange tale of Marvelman for instance. There may have been a time when DC and Marvel were like EMI Records, almost accidentally enriching us all by recording acts like the Beatles and the Pink Floyd. Now DC and Marvel aren't even record companies with a roster of oldies and nostalgic tribute bands anymore; now they're companies in the business of selling Beatle wigs, who put out records only to create the illusion they're still a vital part of culture.
And yes, I've been trying to figure out how I can parlay this news into a lucrative volume of Hours Before Midnight: Twelve Essays Prior To Watchmen but so far I just can't see it working. Is there some potential I'm missing? I would do it in a heartbeat. Suggestions gladly accepted!
(I'm still on blogging sabbatical but felt a need to acknowledge today's announcement somehow for reasons that should be obvious. Makes a great Valentine's Day gift!)