Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Birthday to the King!

So today is Jack "The King" Kirby's Birthday! As artist and writer, friends and co-creators he and Stan Lee are responsible for so much of our comic book mythology.  Spiderman, Capain America, X-Men, Thor, The Hulk  and the list goes on and on.

I had the pleasure of hearing stories about him, Stan Lee and the original Marvel days from Dennis "Denny" O'Neill [who taught me everything I know about writing for comics and gave me so much insight into what it really takes to write in any genre].  These gentlemen are quite literally giants in the realm of imagination and icons that are still entertaining us today and will continue to entertain us and American culture for many, many years to come.

If you want a little taste of who Kiby was what he left us all and the mindset of such a creative soul listen to  this interview from 87 - also Stan Lee joins in.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Human nurture vs Mutant nature?

So last week being an authentic X-Men BW comic book fan [BW: Before Wolverine] I made a point to go see X-Men First Class on the big screen before it leaves the two theaters in Manhattan still showing the fifth Mutant movie and second prequel [Wolverine being the first] of a seeming unending series.

To be honest my expectations were low - real low.  I foresaw stimulating visuals with a storyline that took me from one CGI event to the next.  Instead what I experienced was a tale about retribution and reciprocity wrapped in the familiar historical events of World War II and the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

For the first seventy minutes or so [with a noteworthy score setting the mood] it doesn't even feel like the X-Men movies before it.  Something I attribute to a script, casting and acting that only pays attention to the Mutant comic book world when necessary to remind you it's a franchise.  The rest of the time it's a true nature vs nurture story of two men that to their benefit and detriment cannot change who they are and who they wish each other to be. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Alpha and Omega of an Era

Yesterday was the 42nd anniversary of the first Moon landing, today - with the landing of the Shuttle Atlantis ended the 30 year Space Shuttle program and the the discontinuation of American Manned Space flight by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the foreseeable future which for all intents and purposes may be a very, very long time.

Humans in general and Americans to be more specific need goals and challenges it's just how we're wired as a people, as a nation and as a species.  It fuels our imagination, our economy and ultimately paves our future.  The Space program while boring and irrelevant to some has undeniably been responsible for the cultivating of new minds which conjured new ideas that ultimately created new technology and understanding for us all.

As a Nation we will never achieve the world leading future within our grasp squabbling over the pennies of today.  I believe this is a lesson that many other Countries have learned but we seem to have forgotten.  If not now when? If not us who?  I believe these questions will be answered by others if we do not change course.

Our children no longer desire to become Astronauts, Teachers and Marine Biologists exploring the vastness of Space, the infinite of the mind or the unknown wonders of our Oceans.  Instead they want to sing and dance and jump and run - because these endeavors come with obscene wealth and celebrity.  

I submit that these pursuits may feed the individual's desire to achieve and prosper, but collectively as a society we are all starved - not only intellectually but also of the values that rise above the superficial when wealth and celebrity is disproportionately rewarded to someone for being able to bounce a ball, sing a tune or dance a step instead of feeding a mind, reaching out into the emptiness of Space and conquering it or discovering new life and new civilizations on our own planet, long forgotten or those we have yet to discover.

The plan is for the Space program to be handed off [in part] to private industry where it can become cheaper, easier even safer through competition.  Having witnessed the machinations of private industry in the deeds and misdeeds of Enron, Blackwater and BP I have great trepidation for the next 42 years of the Space Program.  It may sound far fetched now but I don't want August 21st 2053 to arrive and realize that the once majestic NASA has been diversified into some variant of a Private Industry Space and Warfare Administration.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gods Of Justice Story Review

The Gods of Justice Anthology has been receiving some good reviews. One in particular from Jared Walter had some interesting things to say about my story.

This epic little number by Derek Tyler Attico is a pleasant piece that recycles a lot of what we’ve seen in space/time continuum stories while altering it just enough to make the idea entertaining.  We’re introduced to Forefather who is altering time to stop the travesty of his present.  To do so he needs to find a solution to The Vitruvian and Fenris Beast’s seemingly endless fight before they unwittingly spread a lethal pandemic across the globe.  The answer he comes up with is maybe one of the most rewarding reasons for villainy I’ve ever read outside of Neil Gaiman’s 2009 “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”  I will warn you, to get the best impact from this story skip the last two sentences.  Attico’s rather dull sense of humor dissolves what is up until then a good story.

I really appreciated the generous words and comparison.  Next time I'll have to keep a pencil sharpener handy.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Here we go...

So most of my conversations go like this:  "You're a writer, so why don't you have a blog? You need a blog."  It takes me all of half a second before I respond.  "I'm not sure what I'd write about."  
They stare at me, I stare back in that uncomfortable silence we've all experienced in a conversation when the other person says something that you really can't believe they just said, then right on cue they say to me "'re a writer."  "Exactly." I respond.

Needless to say I've come into the blogverse kicking and screaming but unlike the five year old in the department store.  I've looked into the HTML5 enhanced, mobile device perpetuated, film, television and conglomerate orchestrated source-code of Web 2.0 and realize like most tales of good and evil it's not the device, but how you make use of it that matters.  So this web log won't just be about the Tales of this scribe but a commentary on life and all its idiosyncrasies.

However at the time of this blog (and probably for the foreseeable future) I have no followers.  Not to worry though I know soon I'll have at least two (my Mom and Chim Chim - as soon as I teach them both how to use a computer!)

Stay tuned - it probably won't be that boring - probably.