In case you somehow managed to miss the last week of the ISB, and the national robo-calling campaign, and the skywriters I hired, and the message I rented out on the side of the Goodyear Blimp and my appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly, I turned 27 last Wednesday, and as you might expect from someone who celebrates his birthday with the pomp usually seen at most medium-sized college graduations, receiving
tribute to my lasting awesomeness from various cretins thoughtful gifts from my good friends is one of my favorite parts.
Before I get around to what I got this year, I’ve got a few presents for you guys.
Woman of A.C.T.I.O.N. #1 finished up on my birthday, with all 25 pages of story (plus a letters page and pin-ups from Rusty Shackles and Kate Holden) available to read online or download as a .cbz file. During the writing process, I toyed with the idea of uploading it a page at a time, so I tried to have some kind of break at the end of every page (which came in handy when I decided to change the chapters), but I think it reads better all in one shot. So if you haven’t yet, give it a read.
Also, my latest article for the ComicsAlliance went up on Wednesday, in which I gave you, the readers who love to see me suffer, the greatest gift of all: I read an issue of the ICP comic and briefly reviewed it for a gallery of Nine Terrible Comics Based On Real People (and Four That Were Pretty Awesome). I may never be the same again.
Wednesday was also the day when I announced my latest project: WAR ROCKET AJAX!
So hey, remember back in 2006 when I though it would be a good idea to do a podcast while teaching myself sound editing software? Yeah, well, neither does anyone else, but for the twos of you who were clamoring for the return of my nerd-tinged Southern accent, I’m launching a new podcast this week with co-host Eugene Ahn, where we sit down with a guest every episode and talk about comics. This week’s guest? Matt Fraction. Yeah: We’re opening with the guy who writes Uncanny X-Men. That’s how War Rocket Ajax rolls. Check out the site for more news and a full-sized version of Rusty’s great logo, and I’ll keep you posted for when the first installment is dispatched.
But enough about the things I’m giving to you. What matters now is what people gave me.
First up, a tip of the party hat to pally Doctor K, who went well out of his way to make my birthday awesome and gave me a ton of books that I’m sure you’ll be seeing crop up on the ISB soon, including both the prequel novel to the GI Joe movie and the second Gabriel Hunt book, which of course is the next selection for our ISBook Club. Thanks, Dr. K!
Continuing the theme of literature, pals Richelle and Caitlin came through with the greatest gift two writers can give to another: awesomely lurid paperbacks:
Yes, it’s two installments of Jonathan Cain’s
world-renowned famous published Saigon Commandos series, the long out of print cult classics that go for up to sixty-two cents on Amazon. According to Wikipedia, Cain is now a private detective in Los Angeles and one of his novels was made into a Roger Corman picture, and it’s easy to see why. #5, pictured above, might have the best title, but if the back cover copy is to be believed, #6 is the single greatest book ever published:
When an army of Vietnamese mercenaries boldly slaughters a U.S. payroll convoy, it falls to Sergeant Stryker and the MPs of the 716th to take on the bandits the only way they know how: With no mercy and with M-16s on full automatic!
The raiders, though, are only one of Stryker’s problems. He also has to flush out a sniper who shot off the face of an army chaplain right in the middle of a eulogy, survive a face-off with a hungry bengal tiger, and chase down a Commie sapper team in Saigon’s back alleys.
But Stryker, the ex-Green Beret, is used to the danger and death on the toughest beat in the wordl. And when tracers light up the night sky, every murdering slime, Cong sympathizer, and GI-hating whore will pay hell at the hands of his…
I gotta confess, I hope Richelle and Caitlin read these before they put ’em in the Snake-Eyes vs. Storm Shadow gift bag and sent them to me. Not because they’re not incredibly talented writers already, but because I’m pretty sure every single work of fiction ever would be better if it involved that series of events. Thanks, guys!
My birthday present from Kevin came early this year, and if you managed to catch me at HeroesCon, you’ve probably seen it already: Business cards featuring Solomon Stone and Minxy Flatbush, as drawn by Matthew Allen Smith in TCOSS #1:
And speaking of Smithy, one of the perks of knowing a bunch of artists is that they tend to draw nice stuff for your birthday, and I got some fantastic pieces from my guys this time around.
First up, Tamas Jakab of El Gorgo knows what I’m looking for:
And Rusty Shackles drew me an awesome pin-up of Solomon Stone (or, to be honest, of Minxy Flatbush and the 3-D Zombies):
And Smithy, of course, drew me a shot of our Dream Project (or at least, my Dream Project that I’d drag him kicking and screaming onto:
But out of all of those, there’s one present that stands out above the rest. This one comes from Jake Bell, formerly of Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge fame, who went to San Diego and had a conversation about me.
With Jim Balent.
Which led to this:
So that’s what I got for my birthday, and clearly, they’re presents that we can all enjoy.
But mostly me.
Because they’re mine.