Thursday, May 14, 2009

Personal Projects, the Works of Robert E. Howard, and the Existence of Hobbits

--There are days when you just know Something Big is going to happen--either in a good way, or in a bad way. I've had a couple of those days recently, and it looks like there's going to be another one towards the end of the week. But, we'll see what happens when the time comes.

And, while that paragraph is all kinds of mysterious and foreboding, I will say this about today: Today is going to be one of those Something Big days for me. Now, in the grand scheme of things, I'm really not worried about which way this Something Big will go--either positive or negative--because it's not one of those life or death Something Big moments. Thank goodness.

Instead, it has to do with the graphic novel project that I've spoken about on this blog in the past. Like I said, not life and death. But, still, I'd say that after putting in over a year's worth of work that completely devoured any and all free moments I've had, this project constitutes a Something Big in my (flailing) "writing" "career."

You see, things at the publisher right now are...well...let's just say they're like they are at every other publishing house (big or small) around the country. Well, okay, Marvel seems to be doing fine. But that's a whole 'nother story.

My publisher is a small one, and in a niche market. And, like most entities of such nature, the publisher is feeling this economy in a big, bad way. And priorities will need to be listed and agreed upon, and projects (and, possibly, people) will be re-evaluated and decisions will be made.

And my little project will likely be one of those things that goes by the wayside. Currently, my artist has completed 21 of the 70-plus pages in the story, and it has taken nearly six months to get to this point. There's still a long, hard ways to go with the book and I just can't imagine the publisher moving forward with it.

And that's likely what my talk with them today will be about.

There'll be other stuff, too, but I'd imagine that'll be the crux of it. And I'm okay with whatever happens, because in my mind people come first, and projects come second. Yes, two people put their hearts and souls into this particular project, but at the end of the day, companies are people and people come first.

So, that's that. I'll probably drop a line here later in the week, or early next week, to give an update on the state of things. Who knows, maybe I'll even post up some of the pages that the artist has completed. It's funny, actually. As I've mentioned in the past, this artists is very slow--but very good.

And, in the last two days, he has managed to send in four pages, completed and ready to be lettered.

Irony is funny when it doesn't happen to you.

--Hello, Mr. Segue?

On a completely separate note, I'd like to make a reading recommendation to any and all comics, Horror, and/or Sci-Fi fans out there. You all know the man's characters, and you have most likely heard the man's name, but there's a fairly good chance that you haven't read the man's work.

Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja, and Solomon Kane, is one of those literary figures who gets no credit from the literati (or even from your average booksellers, sadly). He's Swords and Sorcery, they say. He's Horror, they say. He's comic book heroes, they say.

Yeah, well, I've read a lot of the books atop the literati's "greatest" lists, and I wish Conan would punch the authors of said books in the mouth. So, there.

I've been reading the (large) tome of Howard's Horror stories, collected and compiled by Del Rey Publishing in a book (appropriately) entitled, The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard, with amazing illustrations by Greg Staples.

I've been reading one or three of these short stories each night, for the past several weeks, and there are plenty of gems to speak about. One of my top picks is a story set in an ancient castle where guests by something. One by one.

But my favorite thus far is a story about a boxer, and the ghost of a boxer, and a championship match.

H.P. Lovecraft understood the literary quality of Howard's stories, and so should you!

--And, finally, Nathaniel was right all along. Hobbits do exist.

Hobbit bones


Scott said...

Two of my favorite authors are from the early pulp era as well... E. E. Smith and Edgar Rice Burroughs. I suppose you could count Victor Appleton as well, though he was a group of people...

AJG said...

I've read Burroughs, but not Smith or Appleton (I know, for shame). I'm really into the pulps now though, so I will check them out.