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Geoffrey D. Wessel

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Good Riddance [Jan. 24th, 2011|04:27 pm]
Geoffrey D. Wessel
It's one of those happy coincidences: I forgot to mention in my big post the other day my happiness with the apparent dissolution of the Comics Code Authority. Now that both DC Comics and Archie Comics, the two biggest remaining adherants to the gigantic self-censorship scam that completely neutered the creative landscape of mainstream comics for decades, have decided to cast off the CCA's Scarlet Letter in favor of their own ratings-system, it seems next month the CCA itself will finally shut up shop, quietly, with little fanfare, and with is mysterious records up in the air. Does ANYONE know who these people, in fact, are?

The history of the Code seems built more because of books that defied it rather than defined it. Born of Dr. Fredric Wertham's scaremongering, newsvendors were bullied into only carrying titles that had the seal of approval affixed to it. The plight of EC Comics' classic crime and horror titles is well-known, and indeed we also all know how MAD had to turn itself from a comic book to a magazine in order to survive.

But again, if it's more famous for anything, it's for the issues and titles that dropped the bloody seal. The "Harry Osborn is a pillhead" issue of Amazing Spider-Man, the "Sophisticated Suspense" era of Swamp Thing by Alan Moore... one could argue one of the reasons for the rise of the direct market, and independent comics, was to circumvent the entire thing. Hell, one of the biggest reactions I saw to the DC/Archie announcements was, "That thing's still around?" After Marvel dropped it in 2001, one could be forgiven for thinking it already had passed.

Good riddance.

And good riddance to Wizard Magazine too. The magazine that was responsible for comics in the 90s, with all its speculative variant-gimmick hypiness. I had to laugh as one of the original Image founders (y'know, when the imprint just wasn't that good at ALL, despite what 18-year-old me thought) waxed nostalgic at how fun the magazine was back in the 90s... yeah, when they kissed your asses incessantly? I shouldn't wonder.

The Internet has largely taken the place of Wizard, and allegedly it's relaunching digitally as Wizard World, in order to maintain the branding that has now ruined the once-great Chicago Comic-Con with its "Pop Culture"ness and Rod Blagojevich. I told Gareb Shamus to his face in 1993 at Chicago how I thought his magazine was irresponsible and promoting a bad culture for the medium. He laughed. I was right.

I feel for anyone who's losing their jobs today from the magazine's folding, but then again, comics has numerous success stories from people who broke in, and got fired/laid off/quit Wizard, who went on to much bigger and better gigs. I'm sure, despite this economy, that can happen again.

Clean up, aisle 23, please.
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Business [Jan. 22nd, 2011|01:20 pm]
Geoffrey D. Wessel
Uh brother. The GOP House is a bunch of grandstanding ninnies, Keith Olbermann's quit/been fired from MSNBC, and nerds have hijacked my daughter's birthday because Joss Whedon decided that was Buffy's birthday too. Guh.

In better news:

* The full Issue #0 of my sports-crime serial KEEPER is now ONLINE at keeper-comic.com. You may have seen an earlier version of this when it was posted at MillarWorld as a tryout for CLiNT Magazine. Now it's online in its entirity, with 2 pages never before seen. Issue #1 proper is in progress. Response so far has been great. Even fans of the actual football club that the one in the strip is based on have found it, and most of the response has been great. Think myself and Jeff Simpson (and Jim Campbell!) are on to something here. Incidentally, Jeff and I will be at C2E2. More details as they come.

* Back in October I made a pitch for a story idea to a new, "community-written" web drama series called Bar Karma. And promptly forgot about it. Friday morning I got an email stating that my pitch is being produced now. UM, WOW? Now, I have no idea when this will be, and the final form the story idea will take will invariably be altered from what I wrote because, that's Hollywood. And it's spec, of course. But, hey, wow. The series' premiere is February 11. Stay tuned. [NOTE: I'm hearing these links are blocked outside of the USA. Sorry.]

* Getting some other things lined up that I hope I can talk about soonish.

* In the mail arrived the second issue of the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. I think this is the last one I'm entitled to, and not sure I'll renew. Still, the first article has a neat comparison of Alan Moore's Promethea and the tale of Cuchulain from the Ulster Cycle. Also a talk with Joe Sacco, and an overview of comics in India. But the article on the two comics produced about Alice Cooper? Why?

* Just a reminder: if you're reading this via my LiveJournal or MySpace, both of those forums are going away very soon. Please move over to http://gdwessel.com, my Twitter and/or Facebook accounts. Thank you.
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THIS JOURNAL IS CLOSING DOWN [Jan. 3rd, 2011|04:52 pm]
Geoffrey D. Wessel
Hello. Just to drive the point home, if you're actually still reading this and not a Russian porn bot:

I'm finally going to terminate this account (tho I may just delete the archive and keep the account itself alive in the unlikely event I want to actually comment on a post). It's just been copy/pastes of posts from my regular website for a while now anyway. Last time I asked if anyone was actually still reading this I got a whole 4 replies, I think. So, time to call it a day on LiveJournal.

It hasn't been unpleasant, for the most part, but one of the big early appeals of LJ was the community building this place had, but most have moved on. Some still remain, which is probably why I kept this for so long. But, yeah, time to go.

Here's where you can find me:

http://gdwessel.com -- My site.
http://twitter.com/gdwessel -- Where I actually do MOST of my internetting anymore.
http://facebook.com/gdwessel -- Because, everyone is doing it, why can't I?
http://myspace.com/gdwessel -- Actually I'm killing this too.
http://keeper-comic.com -- Site for my comic Keeper, with Jeff Simpson + Jim Campbell. New pages SOON.
http://hadroncolliderscope.com -- Site for Hadron Colliderscope, a sci-fi webcomic I contribute to. A lot.

I also post semi-regularly at the MillarWorld forums, Bleeding Cool, and the official 2000AD Forum.

Please migrate to keep seeing me. If not, well, nice knowing you.

--- Geoffrey D. Wessel
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Back To Work [Jan. 3rd, 2011|04:37 pm]
Geoffrey D. Wessel
Hello. Happy 2011 to you. 2010 wasn't as bad for me, personally, as it seemed to be for some. If you're one of those who had a disastrous 2010 (besides, you know, the whole English speaking world at large) my apologies.

2010 was interesting. I had wonderful experiences, met beautiful people, had soul-crushing defeats, found out who was who... I saw comics I made go online and in print, and made some headway breaking in. Saw my children grow. One even graduated. Don't know what will be next in 2011, but it's going to be great, I promise. Thanks to everyone who helped make 2010 as good as it was.


Along with that, here are some of the cod-standard Resolutions that people make. I've got seven this year:

* Resolution 1: Clear out, purge, and clean up my Internet areas. Including finally BORKING LiveJournal and MySpace. So, if you're still reading this on my LJ, you need to move over to http://gdwessel.com soon. Assuming you're a) ACTUALLY still reading this b) not a Russian spambot which is all that seem to ever reply to my LJ posts anyway.

* Resolution 2: Get back on track with my diabetes-living. Went off the rails a little bit and I'm back to my pre-2009 weight.

* Resolution 3: When I drink beer, drink only local brews.

* Resolution 4: Give up drinking soda.

* Resolution 5: Produce at least three full issues of Keeper, and get PAYING work in the comic industry SOMEWHERE, creator-owned or work-for-hire.

* Resolution 6: Ditching people around me whose sole purpose is to bitch and complain without DOING anything about it.

* Resolution 7: Do more for the people who've done right by me.

Eminently doable, right?


Interesting item this morning: DC Comics is bringing back the good old-fashioned letters columns. Now, this is at the expense of 2 pages of story and art per issue, in order to bring the price point back down to $2.99/issue (Christ. My first comic was 25-cents. When I first started reading full-time, the typical Marvel was 60-cents whilst DC was 75-cents. Lord, how the times have changed), but I like this idea.

Letters (or emails) only saw print if they were put together in such a way that you seemed to know how to form coherent thoughts. Compare that with your average message board. "Lick my taint you rapists of my childhood" won't be getting printed in Superman anytime soon. Plus, I think since comics is still way stuck in the Old Ways, a lettercol is somewhat tangible proof (other than sales) that a title has a readership. Just imagine if that were the case with, oh, say, the much-lamented-by-the-Internet Thor: The Mighty Avenger? Something to ponder.

Y'know, I just remember when I was reading, the first time Paul Cornell was printed by DC was in the letters column of DOOM PATROL. We talked about it in our interview, in fact!

The first real pre-cursor to Usenet-like conversation in comics was in the letters column of SWAMP THING re: "The Curse," between Trina Robbins, the readership, and Alan Moore himself. That talk went on for a YEAR! Sure, it was slow, but it stayed on-topic!! Now admittedly, I'm sure MOST of these letters will still be reprints of emails. Fair do's. But emails that took time to get coherent? Yes.

And of course someone else pointed out this helps give a book an IDENTITY again. Writing to a specific title.

I'm all for it.


Finally, a blog you need to see this year: A Moment of Moore, every daily printing a scene by Alan Moore. Beautiful.

Happy New Year, everyone.
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Nazi Thor Fans F**k Off [Dec. 16th, 2010|04:43 pm]
Geoffrey D. Wessel
Yeah, that's right.

Some White Supremacist group calling itself the "Council of Conservative Citizens" (Link redirects to the Southern Poverty Law Center's listing as to why this is a hate group) has called for a boycott of Marvel's upcoming Thor movie on the basis of casting Black, English actor Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire) as the god Heimdall.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to say "Good riddance." Take your phony Odinism and your backward false agenda and get out. Go do... something else that doesn't involve you not knowing a godsdamned thing about myth, culture, politics or religion.

A news report about this charade here at CBR, and a far more snarky response by Comics Alliance's Andy Khouri here.

I will say I'm glad that this is casting some light on the tendency for White Supremacist groups to adopt a false Odinism/paganism/Asatru/whatever that's come about in recent times. I know shitheads like this take their Teutonic myths very seriously, backwards as they practice it. (I wrote a script about this very tendency, starring the Odinson, for a script tryout a couple of years back.)

But really, go away. Comics, and the Thor movie, doesn't need you. And frankly, nobody will notice.

Also: you forgot the Asian actor Tadanobu Asano ALSO playing a Norse god, Hogun the Grim, but he's not famous and won't get you headlines, right?

Fuck off.
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"Last Dance" now ONLINE [Dec. 14th, 2010|09:30 pm]
Geoffrey D. Wessel
Hello children.

Some of you might recall I contributed a piece to the A Fistful of Comics anthology earlier this year called "Last Dance." It was drawn by John Lagasca, and lettered by Jim Campbell.

It's also never been online before now, but we've rectified that at Hadron Colliderscope.

So if you didn't cough up the $2.50 in the summer to read it, you can see it now. Merry Early Christmas.
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"The Fine Print" now LIVE at Hadron Colliderscope [Nov. 18th, 2010|11:57 am]
Geoffrey D. Wessel
My latest contribution to the Hadron Colliderscope media empire is now live, "The Fine Print". Art this time by Lisandro Di Pasquale, another fairly prolific HC creator, but it's our first time working together. Enjoy.

Also, slightly off-topic, happy birthday to the one, the only, Alan Moore.
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"Target Acquired" now LIVE at Hadron Colliderscope [Nov. 10th, 2010|11:40 pm]
Geoffrey D. Wessel
Yeah, I know, I never post anymore.

Anyway, I have a NEW short strip at Hadron Colliderscope entitled "Target Acquired. Art by Josh Mathus, who draw my LAST strip for the site, the quirky soccer comic "Worlds Cup.

That's all for now. I have next week's strip as well. And I'll be posting more too. Should have some news about KEEPER soon as well.
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KEEPER Preview [Oct. 6th, 2010|12:29 am]
Geoffrey D. Wessel
The 6-page preview of Keeper is now up at MillarWorld.

Why there? Because we're trying it out for CLiNT Magazine, as well as other venues. The official Keeper site will have updates as time goes on.

As I note in the intro on the board:

And at long last, KEEPER.

WHy do I say that? Well, because first of all, this was originally a ZUDA submission. And we all know how they ended up. Problem is, the pages were already drawn when the kill-order was handed down, so it's in "Zuda-format" they remain, at least for now. Of course, if we're picked up, we will gladly redraw them for normal format!!

Second, I SHOULD have had this ready around the time of Wizard World Chicago, but our original colorist disappeared off the face of the earth. So in the midst of having a newborn, Jeff (who does post here seldomly) hand-colored this with markers. And, er, crap, I see an error in the coloring, but oh well, you can figure out which one that is.

In any event, the pilot episode of KEEPER. A football strip with a twist. Oh, yes.

Writer: Geoffrey D. Wessel
Artist/Colorist: Jeff Simpson
Letters: The one and only Jim Campbell

Read it here. And please, let me know what you think...
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Announcements [Oct. 5th, 2010|05:51 pm]
Geoffrey D. Wessel
Yes yes, I know, it's been almost a month since I posted. Not like you missed me or anything.

So then:

* This weekend I'm at NYCC in, where else, New York City. Mostly pimping Keeper and Hadron Colliderscope, via means of preview minis, what else? Also I'll be meeting friends, some for the first time, networking, and trying to get OUT THERE. As well as seeing the world premiere of the Grant Morrison documentary Talking With Gods on Saturday night. Because, y'know, I GOT to.

* Speaking of Keeper, a 6-page preview (the same material going into the NYCC mini) might be up online at MillarWorld as early as tonight. Stay tuned.

* Steve Rude drew Nexus and a bunch of other comics/covers over the years, and now he's at risk of losing his house on November 15. Let's stop that, shall we? Tom Spurgeon had a full story about Rude's plight here, but here is the direct link to his eBay art auctions. Help him out, please?

* I met CB Cebulski at C2E2. Nice guy. He has a list of tips about writers and artists breaking in, specifically at Marvel, at this handy link. Well worth going over again on the eve of NYCC.

* Two distinct groups of 2000AD-related fanzines have new releases. First, the people behind FutureQuake have a set of new zines out, including FutureQuake #16, Something Wicked #6, and a pack of 4 issues of their former publication MangaQuake. Meanwhile, the Quaequam Blog has announced new issues of both Dogbreath and Zarjaz. Not a bad time to be a 2000AD fan then.

Anyway, might catch you later tonight.
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