Jaime Hernandez . . .

. . . is the best comic book artist and visual storyteller in the world. That is all.


Panel Patter Gives Respect to Jaime Hernandez & Love and Rockets

Panel Patter Gives Respect to Jaime Hernandez & Love and Rockets

Head on over to Panel Patter for Scott Cederlund’s poignant (and rather timely) take on the ever seminal, transcendent and legendary Love and Rockets: The Death of Speedy by the great cartoonist Jaime Hernandez (one-half of the writer/artist creators of the 35 years-plus old series published by Fantagraphics Books).

The final pages of this story are some of the most heart-wrenching and surprisingly redemptive moments in Love and Rockets or in any other comics for that matter. As the war escalates between Dairytown and Hoppers, the cost for Hopper escalates as well. These men and women that are barely more than boys and girls have been treating life as if it was nothing more than child’s play. Breaking hearts and shooting guns are their ways to hang on to their youth. It all comes crashing down as Esther’s Dairytown boyfriend’s gang escalates the fighting, shooting one of Ray and Speedy’s friends. Outside of the hospital, Speedy breaks down in front of Maggie, asking for her love as some kind of redemption for all of his actions. It’s more than Maggie can or is willing to offer to Speedy and she pushes him away.

Read more at Panel Patter.

Ruckin’ With You | 10.31.16 | I’m Off . . .

. . . to NaNoWriMo later at 12:01 AM. Hello. Figured I’d better fire off what might be the last Ruckin’ missive for a few weeks. As I finally embark on the NaNo endeavor I’m going to make the best attempt at radio silence that I can because I’m like our family dog who is easily distracted by squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, frogs and all other manner of lively distractions. Will be doing what I call a writing monk’s existence. No TV (with perhaps one exception — TWD). No social media (except before bed and upon waking), no reading comics; MAYBE only read prose, no guitars, no videogamses, no nothing really. Sounds like punishment, but I’m not so good with the kind of self-discipline required for someone trying to get a significant portion of a novel written in any given span of time. Thus, drastic measures are in order. #Write-Or-Flight

Blocked Shot

Received a submission rejection sometime last week. It’s the first rejection I’ve received in a long time. Also the first submission I’d made in a year and a half. It was a drabble-length piece (100 words). Thought it was pretty much a layup, but, alas. The microfiction market is just as tough as all the others — despite and perhaps because of the low word count it can be deceptively even more difficult. I’ll revisit this particular market (and others) next Spring. Make it a slam dunk next time.

Read of the Week

Finally got (somewhat) caught up on Jaime Hernandez’s portion of LOVE AND ROCKETS by reading his graphic novel The Love Bunglers (2014, Fantagraphics Books) this past weekend, which collects his Maggie and Ray-focused stories from Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 & 4. I’ve been trailing slowly behind for about a decade now and had heard that this particular story was quite the climax in the lives of a few of the characters and that it’s a bit heartbreaking (and that I’d be in tears by the end). There’s some seriously sad stuff, true enough, and it was great to get even more deep back story on a character I’ve loved for twenty years now. Maybe it was all that anticipation and buildup, but I didn’t get nearly as emotional as I thought (hoped) I would. Now I’m ready for all the stuff from L&R: New Stories #5 – 8. Not sure when that material will be collected into a separate hardcover, my preferred format. Not sure if I’d be lost reading the recently released Love and Rockets Vol. 4 #1 without that stuff.


TV . . . or Not TV?

I think for many of us scribes we tend to be at odds with the passive activity of watching television. I know for me I can only do about 2 – 3 hours total on a given day before I get antsy. Years back I never watched as many shows as I watch nowadays (they say we’re in a new golden age of television, and it’s true). I’ve deliberately cut back some from last season. So far for the 2016-17 season I have:

  • The Walking Dead
  • Talking Dead
  • Luke Cage (completed)
  • The Flash
  • Supergirl
  • This Is Us
  • The Blacklist
  • Real Time with Bill Maher

I think that’s about it. Four others will arrive later in 2017: Shades of Blue (winter/spring), Fear the Walking Dead (spring/summer), Game of Thrones (spring/summer) and Into the Badlands (TBD).

After one episode of Westworld, I haven’t decided if I’m going to continue it or not.

Oh, and I can’t forget that 2017 also brings the debut of Netflix Marvel shows like Iron Fist, The Punisher, The Defenders and the second season of Jessica Jones

Ugh! It’s so much TV for the time-managing-challenged struggling scribe like myself.

Ear candy of the Week

Various songs from The Altar, the sophomore album by BANKS, have been echoing through my head all week. May as well let these tunes infiltrate and infect your brain too. I’m not into much pop music at all, but thankfully her stuff is alt-pop laced with R&B/electronic (especially her older material). Jillian Banks has been my favorite lady singer of the last few years. Check her out.

++ Linkage ++
It is almost here… NANOWRIMO - via Reggie Lutz
NANOWRIMO 2016 PREP: DAY 7 - via Paul D. Aronson
The Curious Case of Why Short Story Collections Don’t Sell - via Kyle A. Massa

++ ICYMI ++
NOTEBOOK 8 | . . .

Well, I guess this is it for a while. I’ll be back in a month.

If I’m back sooner then you can probably assume things aren’t going so well and I will have a story to tell about it.

But why think negatively, right?

Be good to each other.

Have a great week/month.

Oh yeah, and Happy Halloween!