Click to embiggen.
Culled from the last ten years (or more: there’s a surprise piece from 1993 in there, but I won’t tell you where) of blogging on comics and horror and music, HIGHWAY 62 REVISITED is a titanic (almost 1200 pages) tome of pop culture dissection and celebration, all from my unique (arguably warped) perspective. It also makes the perfect companion volume to THE COLLECTED FULL BLEED, the compilation of comics-related writing that I did between 2003-2008.
This volume features an introduction by friend Ken Lowery, he of LIKE A VIRUS and THE VARIANTS (oh and RINGWOOD RAGEFUCK if you’re old enough to remember such dalliances.) He pegs me pretty good in the introduction, though it’s not what you’d expect at all.
It’s available for the low price of three bucks. That’s less than you’ll pay for a new comic book and I guarantee it’ll take you at least fifty times as long to read. So if you’ve enjoyed anything that I’ve written in the last forever since I started blogging, might I humbly ask that you give it a try? And if you find yourself in a state of enjoyment due to its reading, please leave a review indicating such at the Amazon page in question. Thanks.
Okay, right. One of the things I’ve been working on. An older version went on my tumblr, but I made some changes here.
This is a gigantic collection of not only my writing on comics (both the reading and making) but horror film and fiction and thought, as well as all of my collected convention reports for the years 2004-2012 or so (haven’t been to any shows this year). Additionally, it collects all of my Conversation: Fear columns from the lamented DARK, BUT SHINING. Additionally additionally, there’s several short stories and some other assorted fiction.
I hope to have this out by the end of the month, if not significantly before. Kindle and related platforms. Printing this thing would break the bank. No, really, it tips more than 800 single-spaced pages.
I wrote a lot of stuff for free, it turns out.
One of the things I’ve been working on recently is a series of fantasy stories, entitled DUSTBEARER. The first collection of which should be going out sometime later this month, probably in the week of the 22nd. Here’s a sample from the cover artist, Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein:
Keep in mind this isn’t the cover art, but it will be in this vein. Which is fine by me. I was pointed towards her work via Twitter, which is how things get done these days, apparently. The atmosphere she creates is a pretty perfect match for the stories, so I’m very excited to have come across her work.
I’ve labelled DUSTBEARER as fantasy, but there’s some horror there, and hopefully something a lot more than the sort of standard wizards and elves and that sort of thing. Don’t get me wrong. I grew up reading fantasy alongside sci-fi and comics and all that. As a genre it gets something of a bad rap, but a lot of things, primarily the LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT movies and the GAME OF THRONES books have changed the expectation levels. Which is fine by me, just don’t expect my work to simply ape those. And between you and me, I want to take what works in superhero comics and graft some of that into the stories (yeah, I can’t do the visuals, I get that, but I can push some boundaries other places.)
Right now there’s going to be the story collection. Have a novel more or less planned out. Now I just need to figure out if I’m going to write it next or not.
In other news, I’m going to be putting out a book called BLUE HIGHWAY. I joke that it’s sci-fi/noir/magical realism, but it’s not that much of a joke. And the artist I’ve asked to do the cover is a hum-dinger, let me tell you. More on that as the time approaches. Perhaps a May release, but I can’t guarantee it. It’s a toss-up whether I work on the sequel to this one or do the first DUSTBEARER novel first. Oh yeah, the sequel would be called THE LEVIATHAN BANKS.
Additionally, I’m putting the final touches on the second collection of my non-fiction/commentary/convention reports. Tentatively titled HIGHWAY 62 REVISITED, but I might go with FULLY BLED instead. I expect that to be out in the next couple of weeks as well.
Now if any of you fine folks wants to talk to me about publishing these works, I’m all ears.
Right. I thought not.
Like anyone actually reads this…
So yeah, new year. New stuff going. No central warehouse to put it in.
If you’re following my various work and have missed something, here’s where it all goes.
http://highway62.tumblr.com – Tumblr blog, about half original content and half reblogs of intriguing detritus.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/maxwellm – Flickr site where photos are posted on occasion.
http://theroswellincident.bandcamp.com – Bandcamp home of The Roswell Incident, where you can listen to the latest release from the band, entitled HIGH ORBITAL
http://tinyurl.com/mattmaxwellauthor – Which takes you to my Amazon page, where I can talk up the books I’ve got my name signed to (which don’t sell as well as the ones I’ve worked on but don’t have my name signed to them.
http://twitter.com/highway_62 – Twitter, where I spend too much time and energy. @highway_62 to follow.
I’m on Facebook, but trailing that down. Email really works better. So does Twitter.
The One I Can’t Talk About – Don’t ask. Not my personal work anyways.
BLUE HIGHWAY – Revision of the 1991 manuscript. Science fiction. Got a lot of predictions right, many very, very wrong. Wasn’t necessarily trying to prefigure the world anyways, and the things I got right I’m wishing I hadn’t. Anyways, should be out in the next few months on Kindle. Will update
The Roswell Incident is working on a couple of compilation tracks and trying to figure out how to afford one of the new Moog keyboards once they come out this year.
This will be here for a little while. Not a traditional Halloween story, but hopefully in the spirit of the day.
EDIT – The whole of this story will be available in a future collection of short stories. Once the third one gets written and the second gets re-written. Might be by the end of the year, but don’t hold your breath.
Oh yeah you bet this got nuked. It’s going into the DUSTBEARER collection, so no, I’m not giving it away anymore.
There really should be a picture here, but there isn’t. WordPress is being obnoxious.
Mentioned this new project of mine over the weekend via Tumblr. If you’re interested, you can see the research stuff I’m beginning to accumulate for it there: tag-king of all the dead. As you might’ve guessed, it is a straight-up zombie story. Just because I’m constantly disappointed by the lazy zombie offerings in film and fiction doesn’t mean I’ve given up on them as a device/trope/existential puppet.
NYC 1980. Nothing but death.
Hope to have the plot shaped up shortly, written in the early part of next year. Will be published to your favorite reading device if Amazon doesn’t stop mucking around with DRM, anyways.
Excerpts will probably be posted online, but not the whole thing unless someone wants to pay me for it. Yeah, I didn’t think so, either.
“Hey, why did you remove all the free content from the STRANGEWAYS site?”
This is something that I’m never asked. And it turns out to be its own explanation.
I’ve left up the first chapters of both the books, MURDER MOON and THE THIRSTY. That’s more than enough to decide if you want to spend money on them. Putting out the whole thing online might have been a strategy that seemed to make sense at one time. But that time is past now. Perhaps it’s a winning strategy for sites that are delivering self-contained daily content. Particularly those that are merchandising out based on said content. Then the daily strip becomes the ad for the real moneymaker: T-shirts or whatever.
I should have figured that out a long time ago, but I’m dense and stubborn and woefully optimistic. It’s not a strategy that works for everything, and I should have recognized it. I’m not in the business of selling T-shirts or prints or resin statues or what have you. This is not to denigrate that business. It’s fine and I sometimes buy from said businesses. Just that I’m not running one of them.
I write comic books that I publish myself. Giving them away isn’t something that makes sense.
There was a time that I thought that the big comics blogs would be falling all over themselves to partner up with comics creators to make that kind of content and maybe even pay for it. Well, the truth of it is that everyone like free content, assuming it gets them some hits. But it’s not anything they’re really interested in promoting or paying for, not what it takes to make it work. My guess is that the people who drive those sites, their main audiences, only want to read about the comics that they already read. Confirmation bias writ real big. Co-evolution.
Oh that’s right. Co-evolution ain’t happening. The big blogs just reflect what’s going on. It’s not like that reflection has any impact on what they write up or gin up hits around. Hey, everyone needs hits to make their brand more valuable. That’s not a slam, unless it’s an exclusive strategy.
So yeah, feel free to read up the first chapters any old time you want.
One of the things on the list will be pairing up with a digital publisher. Looking into that now. When I’m not working on those other projects. More on those in a bit.
Originally posted in 2010. I don’t even say anything mean about steampunk in it. That’s how old it is.
Lovecraft is a hard act to follow, and an even harder one to adapt. “Oh you mean HP Lovecraft, the guy who came up with Cthulhu and all those cute little plush toys.” Yeah, the guy who launched a thousand little cottage industries pumping out VOTE FOR CTHULHU: THE STARS ARE RIGHT bumper stickers and Mythos Hunting Guides and all that stuff. Yeah, him. I do wonder if he’d be tickled or appalled at his legacy and all the eldritch dust-catchers and t-shirts and radio plays.
Well, he’d probably like the radio plays. He’d probably have even approved of the silent film adaptation of THE CALL OF CTHULHU, arguably his single most famous piece of fiction, certainly the one that’s lodged most deeply in the collective consciousness, for good or for ill. The film adaptation gets a solid recommendation from me, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m pretty hard to please as this stuff goes. Not because I think Lovecraft’s every word is sacred and perfect. I don’t. My relationship with HPL’s work is problematic, mostly in terms of the execution. I like characters. I like it when characters drive the plot. HPL couldn’t be bothered with that by and large, except when it was an incessant curiosity on the part of the players that made the eldritch secrets of the plot unfurl to their almost unerringly messy conclusions.
So I find HPL’s conceptual work rightly celebrated even if I find his prose nigh-unimpenetrable at times. Which is why I’m often attracted to adaptations of his work, where creators have a desire to stick to the template that HPL laid out, and often there’s some sense of respect for the source material, but it’s filtered through a different sense of aesthetics. HPL-inspired stuff that stars HPL himself? Not so much. Though there was that beautifully-illustrated LOVECRAFT OGN with art by Enrique Breccia that was so wonderful that I simply didn’t care about the story. Though I suppose there’s an interesting vein to mine when talking about Lovecraft as fictional construct rather than historical figure, but that’s for someone else to do.
Seriously. I’m blogging over on tumblr by and large, and not here. Here’s the link.
I may occasionally post longform stuff here, but likely not for some time.
FULL BLEED: VACATION ALL I EVER WANTED
Did I even write up my Wonder-Con this year? It was dreadful enough that I’m not going to go check. I’ll write up a short review as a reminder: SDCC crowds, expense and hassle without SDCC sales or sunshine (or just clouds) or locale. Oh, and the Anaheim Convention Center might be big, but it’s showing its age. These are easy gripes to throw, given that the show was relocated on short-ish notice. That it came together at all was miraculous.
But still, having the sight-lines blown away by gigantic pillars and booths, effectively hiding the back half of Artist’s Alley, that’s zero fun. As well as the observation that people at a big show like Wonder-Con aren’t headed to Artist’s Alley in order to buy books. They want sketches, maybe pages, that sort of thing. Trouble is, I just sell books. And on-the-spot five-minute-stories, which still aren’t catching on. Though I did move a few, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
My single favorite part of the Stumptown Comics Fest, aside from the excuse to visit Portland? There is no Artist’s Alley. There is no small press area. There’s only comics in every aisle and at just about every booth. There’s publishers selling books and there’s creators selling books or minis or pages or sketches or whatever. I realize that this sort of arrangement is impossible for a big show, and kinda antithetical to the whole convention course we’re in. The big companies dominate and the little fish sorta dart around behind their tables, hoping that people come down the aisles. Of course, it’s tough to do tiered charging for tables if you just throw everyone in the mix like that, so like I said, understandable that it doesn’t happen at bigger shows.