Buy Brother Banenose Now Because Booktrope Is Bust!

It seems like whenever I plan to take a short holiday from this blog, I end up having perfect weekly attendance anyway. I actually had travel plans, so I felt confident in my latest responsibility shirking announcement this time. Then on Friday night, I received a notification from Booktrope that it’s shutting down at the end of May. So Mercury Retrograde can take a flying leap onto a barbwire dildo!

What this means is that May 31, 2016, will be your final opportunity acquire THE DOLOROUS ADVENTURE OF BROTHER BANENOSE! Without a publisher, the eBooks & paperbacks will go out of production. So if you’ve been procrastinating on trading in a tiny fraction of your income for a copy, now’s the time. If you’ve already got one, please post some reviews online so others find out that it’s a quality book that exists (especially if they’re in the entertainment business). With only a month to go, I’m really counting on all of you out there to spread the news for one last hurrah. Thank you all very much for your continued support of my creative endeavors.

When you buy The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose (in bulk to give away away or stockpile for the forthcoming mutant Apocalypse) you’re not just supporting one starving artist. Royalties also go to my talented team-members: Majanka Verstraete, Martin Jones, & Ashley Ruggirello. This book would’ve have happened without them. My proceeds will also support this furry widdle monstress:


It took four treats just to bribe her for one endorsement photo!

It’s a huge bummer that Booktrope is shutting down. It feels like a repeat of what befell Topless Robot.  (I’m still looking for replacement writing opportunities, in case you have any leads on professional gigs.) I was very fortunate that Booktrope published my book before going belly-up. There were many other books in the works that weren’t so lucky. My paranoia about that chronicled in my novel’s Appendix may have jinxed things for them. OOPS. The shutdown is affecting all the other Booktrope authors too, so take a look at their wares as well before it’s too late. I apologize for not making the blockbuster bestseller that would’ve saved the entire company.

So as not to completely depress us, here’s some things that may result from this calamity. I was trying to arrange some live readings, but it’s going to be awkward promoting an out of print book. Booktrope is going to release the book’s rights back to me in June. This means I can search for a new publisher for my book. This may take quite a long time to sort out, so don’t get your hopes up yet. Even if I do get a new edition of The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose released, it’ll be different from the one which is now a limited time offer. At the very least, it won’t bear the Booktrope logo. So the first editions will definitely become collector’s items! Get aboard this rare folio train before it leaves the station of affordability! I’ll also try to make that audiobook edition happen for your awaiting ears.

I want to thank Booktrope very much for making my long festering dreams of becoming a professionally published author & illustrator come true. I’m just sad our relationship ended so abruptly. After figuring out the learning curve, I was looking forward to producing more books with their hybrid platform. I hope everybody involved is able to bounce back from this tragedy.

As for me, I still intend to keep this blog running. I will keep you posted on the quest for a new publisher, so make sure you’re following me on all the platforms linked to the heart icon. Updates on my second novel will also trickle in. Come back next week for me to answer what Captain America: Civil War is good for. If this May really is The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose’s final month,  however, I hope you can help make it one for the record books.

Batman v. Superman: Audio v. Visual Review

I saw Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice on Thursday, possibly so you don’t have to. As promised, these are my thoughts on it. This is a special review because it’s both audio & visual! Embedded below is my guest review of the film on The Wages of Cinema podcast. Beneath that is my solo written review. This counts as visual because you need to read letters with your eyes.

So if you opted out of the audio review, let me reiterate that this movie is dumb & pretentious. I am on record as thinking this movie would be a bad idea. Much of my doom foresight proved accurate. If you hated Man of Steel, you’re not going to like this either. That said, I didn’t completely hate this movie. I didn’t read all the negative reviews for it, but touting it as the worst movie ever is hyperbole. I say this objectively, having seen far too many abysmal movies in my life. It’s not a very good movie, mind you, but loathing it that much gives the film too much credit. Or it doesn’t give the film enough credit in the wake of all the obstacles & expectations it faced, if you’re in a generous mood. Now let’s dive into SPOILERS & nerdy nitpicks for a critique that’s as overly long as the movie’s name!

Continue reading

Topless R.I.P.


Topless Robot, otherwise known as The Robot’s Voice, died suddenly on December 18, 2015, at age eight. Ironically, I got the news while I was writing an article for it on the impending yet planned end of Gravity Falls. WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS?

Once I won an original Topless Robot t-shirt in gray by positing that Peter Milligan’s X-Men was the worst comic book run. (If I was entering that contest today, I’d say Brian Bendis’s entire X-Men oeuvre  fails with an intensity & focus normally seen only in success.) I was wearing that shirt when I met the site’s creator & original editor, Rob Bricken, over drinks & inquired how I could become a successful nerd journalist just like him. He said I just had to send him some listicles he liked the gist of. Shortly after I graduated law school, Topless Robot published “The 13 Best Lawyers In Comic Books.” This was my first paid professional writing gig.

I wrote several more articles for Rob until he abruptly left for io9. I applied to become the site’s new editor, but the position was granted to Luke Y. Thompson instead. Similar to the Mike vs. Joel debate among MST3K fans, you can know find bands of warring TR loyalists who swear by Rob or Luke. I was fortunate enough that Luke kept me on as a freelancer following the regime change. While Rob only required me to email in my articles as attachments that he somehow transmogrified into webpages, Luke insisted I upload everything myself via Movable Type. (The site eventually upgraded to WordPress.) I initially balked at this strange new responsibility since it didn’t include a raise for the additional effort, but it did teach me how to compulsively hyperlink.

So losing Topless Robot right before Christmas really cut me to the quick. Not only did I enjoy reading & commenting on its articles, it also laid the foundation of  my career. Learning how to format articles online allowed me to figure out how to do this blog. Without my  Topless Robot portfolio, I wouldn’t have been invited to guest blog for io9. All of that convinced Booktrope that publishing The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose was a worthwhile risk.

I’ll miss Topless Robot economically because it gave me money to rant about stuff I like. I was counting on writing many more articles for it, including the two about movie helmets & Gravity Falls that were not published. It’s extra frustrating because Village Voice Media shut it down before I could convince Luke to run any promotional articles on The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose in the spirit of cronyism. Now I have to compete against Luke & all the other TR freelancers out of jobs for nerdy writing gigs, & I don’t have enough contacts to be good at competition.  So if anyone out there reading this is hiring geeky writers in this over-saturated market, please pick up the receiver so I can make you a believer.

Raise your glass in honor of the labor of Rob, Luke, & all the contributors. Alas & alack! We really shook the pillars of Heaven, didn’t we, Topless Robot?


Continue reading

No Time For Champions, ‘Cause We Are The Losers!

Another reader has professed her love of The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose with a snapshot!


It’s always heartening to know there are fans somewhere out there, so be not shy! As an indie author who didn’t receive an advance, I appreciate & depend upon everybody who generously patronizes me! If you have a camera & a copy of my book (print or digital), you too can wind up on this blog!

Continue reading

The Wages of Publication … Is Death!

The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is a real live book! It came out right in the nick of time for me to be eligible for a “30 Under 30” list … hint, hint, whoever writes “30 Under 30” lists. Booktrope letting me become a first time professional author & illustrator in one go was an excellent early birthday gift!

I’ve been interviewed by my pal Jack “Green Eyes” Gattanella on The Wages of Cinema podcast about my writing process, creative pursuits, & nerdy pastimes!

Important question: Would you be interested in buying color prints of the book’s paintings? Let me know in the comments.

Hey readers! Send in your snap shots with the book! I’m not sure how best to add them in the comment section, but you can post them to the Fan Page or tweet them with #BrotherBanenose. (Maybe this is what Instagram & Pinterest are for?)Then I’ll repost them so YOU can become even more Interwuzzle famous. Bonus points if you get a photo of it being sold at an actual brick & mortar store. Here, I’ll start us off. Check out the lovely gilded bands Ashley Ruggirello put on the spine:


Don’t have a copy of The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose yet? Barnes & Noble, Amazon, & iTunes can hook you up.

Continue reading

Brother Banenose Trailer 2: Medieval Boogaloo!

As it turns out, writing blog titles in German doesn’t boost global readership! Who knew? Here’s the epic second trailer for The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose you’ve all been waiting for! Now with gratuitous grimdark!

Continue reading

Book Trailers Are Dumb. So I Made Two!

I don’t get book trailers. Movie trailers make sense because they’re already an audiovisual medium whereas books aren’t. If one’s work were to be slavishly adapted into a movie or TV show with Dyna-mation monsters (HINT HINT), then its trailer could also serve as a book trailer but that’s not helpful for pre-publishing marketing. You could film selected pages in a book, but I don’t know if that’s engaging. Why do you never need a book trailer when blurbs & excerpts already serve that function without tackily crossing media? So I think book trailers are dumb, which is why I made two of them.

I must thank Sir Andrew of Birchenough for doing the voice over and Jack “The Gat” Gattanella for editing the sound afore they recorded their latest installment of The Wages of Cinema. (“One’s a knight. The other’s a mobster. Hijinks ensue!”)They also found a hilarious typo in the script. The image editing was all my fault.

“You said you made two trailers, so where’s the other one?” Curse your comprehension of basic mathematics! Yes, I have another trailer ready but I’m saving that so I have something to talk about in the future. The next trailer for The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is even better (especially if you didn’t care for this one), so keep your eyes & ears peeled for it. So why didn’t I lead with the better trailer then? Because SHOWMANSHIP!

Oh, I had to make a YouTube channel in order to upload these. (That press-ganged me into getting a Google+ account, which was extra annoying.) So I also put all of FILLER! onto YouTube in case you don’t want to watch it on Vimeo for some strange reason. There’s also a playlist of my friends’ projects I helped out on. My hand has been cut from the trailer to Evilution: Unnatural Selection, but I assure you it made it into the final product. Now I just need to figure out how to upload my high school Napoleon project, Instant Potato!, & The Intergalactic Necktie Strangler…  Continue reading

Uncovering Brother Banenose’s Cover!

Remember back when I showed you the painting that would part of the cover? Well now i can finally reveal the finished front! Click below to see it unveiled in all its splendor! Of course if you’ve been directed here via social media, you’ve probably already been spoiled. But click onward anyway because I wrote some more stuff afterwards.

Continue reading


So last week I promised you big news about The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose. For once, I wasn’t lying!


The author, seen here with the first volume of the orginial manuscript.

Lots of behind the scenes action went down since the last time I typed to you. I updated the book’s blurb, & it was approved! I photographed all my oversize paintings & had Shamus Fatzinger professionally ensure they’ll reproduce well! I finished reviewing Martin Jones’s proofreading! I approved Ashley Ruggirello’s cover design, & Booktrope approved it too! I finished last minute revisions to the manuscript! Most importantly, It’s been uploaded to layout!

Yes, the cogs of production are now officially turning to make The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose a book you can read without breaking into my house! It took years to get to this point. It probably took even longer than it needed because this perfectionist had to force himself to stop tinkering with it. I’ve revised the blarmy manuscript so many times that I’ve incurred acute dyslexia & aphasia. Now it’s t’s done, mostly because any changes now that it’s been sent to layout would end up costing me. So I can’t look at it anymore otherwise I’ll be tempted to capitalize everything again.

This is ordinarily the part where I announce the release date. Unfortunately Booktrope can’t provide a firm release date as that’s decided by vendors, but layout has informed me that the book should be ready by late September or early October. I will keep you updated on things as they progress, but The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is definitely on track for a Fall ’15 release. Trick-or-treaters will love them, so stock up! I will be extra obnoxious once it’s officially ready to purchase just to make sure you don’t miss out. Warn your loved ones that it approaches!


“THREE BOOKS? Wait a minute. Hold it. Nobody said anything about three books!”

My feline overlord is the big three today!

Continue reading

Fetch Me More Sharks That I Might Jump Them!

“Fetch me more sharks that I might jump them!” I’ve retroactively decided that was my motto whilst writing The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose. In other words, I embraced absurdity like I was the novelty vacation magnet to its refrigerator. (Yes, there’s still a plot & emotional throughlines but we’ll get to them in another blog with less focus on wackiness.)

So I was a bit nervous when I received the edits back on the book. I didn’t personally know my editor, Majanka Verstraete, so she was under no social obligation to humor me about its quality. I was also concerned that there might be a language barrier between her & the jokes. Would ninety percent of the text be struck through in crimson with foreign expletives in the comment balloons?

So when I finally psyched myself up to read through the edits, I was pleasantly surprised to find her notes clear & helpful. There were no calls to massively overhaul the story. The most common revisions she suggested were to cut down on the adverbs & exclamation marks. I personally don’t understand the modern dislike for adverbs as the succinctly describe how actions are performed, but I’m not going to argue with someone who’s had more books published than me. Many of the gratuitous exclamation marks survived, however, as I come from a nation that undervalues subtlety! I also made a few superfluous adjustments like changing the occupations of background characters that nobody will care about besides me.

So it’s probably for the best that the major publishing houses didn’t return my calls. I would’ve most likely been assigned to an editor whose professional advice would be to gut the idiosyncrasy out of it, incinerate it, & scatter the remnants across the globe so it’d be even harder for them to reconstitute. I think there was a vampire metaphor at the end, but the hypothetical result would be to turn it into the book equivalent of a zombie, which has an even larger cultural cache than vampires so long as they’re completely removed from the original Haitian concept of zombies. Luckily Booktrope allowed me to pick an editor who let me me keep it kooky! Ms. Verstraete is my new favorite editor!

So you’re still getting a weird book! Hooray for you! Now let’s see if it survives proofreading…


Continue reading