Tag Archives: tor.com

Mow That Lawn! Yeah!

Hey kids! Remember the ’90s? Remember “virtual reality”? Remember Jeff Fahey? And mowing the lawn? Of course you do. In my latest piece for Tor.com, I take a look back at the 1992 film classic The Lawnmower Man to see just how well the evils of “VR” and dial-up modems still hold up today.

“Flowers For The Lawnmower Man” on Tor Dot Com

EPIC THEMES (and…some other stuff over there)

Jonathan Hickman is a comic book writer who has mostly taken over the two main AVENGERS books, and has also published a number of highly acclaimed creator-owned books that took remarkably innovative approaches to graphic narratives. But as much as I’ve enjoyed most of his work (especially his Secret Warriors which is one of my favorite Marvel series in recent years), I’ve noticed something…off…about his story telling (Red Mass For Mars and The Red Wing in particular both start off really cool and then…don’t really go anywhere).

Over at Tor.com, I’ve provided a detailed analysis of this strange narrative voice, but what it comes down to is that Hickman likes to explicitly tell his readers about his huge, epic, sweeping themes using marvelous spectacle and narrative devices. Then he finds a plot that works as an excuse for him to tell you about these themes and use these spectacles, and fills the plot in with characters, ’cause I guess you need those, too. And the theatre professional in me realized that this flies right in the face of Aristotle’s POETICS, which have long formed the basis for our understanding of Western dramatic storytelling.

I’ll let the rest of the article speak for itself:

“The Strange Poetics of Jonathan Hickman” on Tor Dot Com

I’m Back Now, And I Brought T-Shirts For Everybody!

I have a confession to make. I didn’t really bring t-shirts for everybody. Although I do have these sweet new business cards! So that’s cool, right?

I know I’ve been slacking (again) lately (again) with keeping this website updated with all of my various doin’s. But it’s not like I’ve not been not doing things (…or is it?)! Instead, I’ve just been too busy doing things to, ya know, write about doing things. It’s kind of why I hate meetings in general, because I’d rather be doing things, than talking about doing things. So this website’s kind of like a meeting then. Except I don’t hate it; in fact, I quite love my little website here. So really, not like a meeting at all.

(shut up Thom) Okay so here’s a brief rundown of where the hell I’ve been:

  • My very short play, Stumped, was performed as part of a staged reading series to celebrate Company One‘s production of Hookman.
  • My debut comic book story, Not Dead Yet, finally saw print in GrayHaven Comics’ sci-fi anthology, The Fifth DimensionAlso the first printing already sold out, which means maybe someday you’ll be able to sell that shit on eBay for like $20 (but probably not)
  • I did a totally awesome article for Quirk Books comparing Samuel Beckett (the playwright) to Sam Beckett (the time traveling protagonist from Quantum Leap) and it was totally awesome. Don’t believe me? Ask the former executive director of the American Theatre Wing!
  • I also started doing some writing for Tor.com, with my first article being a roundup of great sci-fi/fantasy rock bands (so basically my two favorite things, combined. If only there was more beer!)
  • We did another staged reading of my play True Believers as part of ImprovBoston’s Geek Week celebration. It was really great to hear the play out loud in front of different kind of crowd, as it helps me figure out what kind of changes I need to make to the script before the world premiere this summer at the Factory Theatre (July 12 – 21! Get yer tickets while they’re hot! Just kidding, they’re not on sale yet). The lovely producing folks at Vagabond Theatre Group have a post up over at their website about the event so you can catch up on all the happening. There’s also the first part of an instructional series about how to make your very own The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee, which actually comes a lot more in handy than you might think.
  • Did I mention that I launched a new website for the Huntington, and that our world premiere production of The Luck of the Irish was extended, and sold out almost every night? For being, ya know, “just my day job” or whatever, sometimes it keeps me pretty busy as well.
  • Plus Cupcake! So many things, so very busy with this wonderfully little world-premiere-musical-that-could. We raised $6,000 in our Kickstarter campaign (we were going for $3,750…whoops!), and we were the featured show this past Friday on Goldstar. You may have seen some of my sexy posters around town as well (just don’t tell Grant that I photoshopped his arm a bit…) Previews start this Thursday, May 10!
  • AND, to top it all off, I’ve only got like 50 pages left to read in Infinite Jest (finally! Jesus God this book is epic), so I’m gonna go finish that right now and hopefully conquer my crippling fear (no pun intended) of paraplegic Quebecers.