It’s that wondrous time of year where brave groups of people band together in the sake of creativity and productivity to pound out 50,000 in just 30 days.

Every year, I consider doing this. Some years I do (and fail), most years I don’t (and fail through inactivity) – but I always try to hold myself to a similar challenge, which is this: attempt to produce 50,000 words in the month of November for all the projects I already ongoing. This year, that would include posts at places like here, Variant Edition, and Comics Beat, as well as work for a couple of super top secret places because I’m clearly not doing enough.

So once again, my Non-NaNoWriMo challenge. 50,000 words. I guess we start now.

Doctor Whooch // Episode 070 // Me, Myself and I

In which we don’t got nobody that we can depend on.

On this week’s episode, Danica and Brandon stumble through the hodgepodge of Doctor Who’s 6th episode of Series 9 – The Woman Who Lived. It’s a bit of a shambles, honestly but there’s also a fire breathing space lion king, so it’s not as though there wasn’t anything awesome to talk about. Oh, and also, there’s discussion of Once Upon A Time and The Mindy Project, because of course there is.

Outro music is “Did We Live Too Fast” by Got A Girl


Subscribe to Doctor Whooch on iTunes

Doctor Whooch // Episode 069 // Majestic Buffalo Vodka

In which the secret ingredient is vodka.

On this week’s episode, Danica and Brandon are talking about the Series 9 episode “The Girl Who Died” (Episode 5) and the subject of jowls comes up. I guess. It was a long strange one. Also: lots of drinking! More talk about Once Upon A Time! And vikings! Not necessarily in that order.

Outro music is “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield


Subscribe to Doctor Whooch on iTunes

Doctor Whooch // Episode 068 // Fistful of Pie

In which we totally know where Guinness comes from, you guys.

This week, Danica and Brandon talk about Before the Flood (Doctor Who Series 9 – Episode 4) and eat pumpkin pie, because it was totally Thanksgiving. And we gave thanks to alcohol. Also in this episode: some Buffy life tips, some disillusion talk, and uh… we’ve started our yearly binge of Once Upon a Time, so there’s that as well.


Outro music is “Black Water” by Of Monsters and Men


Morning Retail Thoughts // James Cameron’s Avatar Comics

Lots of comics retail thoughts brewing in my headspace these days, and not a lot of time to make full articles out of them. So? Occasional blog posts.

Whenever there’s a big comic convention, a lot of comic publishers like to unleash a few choice bits of news to ride at the top of the pop culture tidal wave – and this weekend’s New York Comic Con isn’t really different.

There’s been a lot of cool things announced so far (I’d keep an eye on my Twitter feed for some of the choice bits), but one of the biggest has been the news that Dark Horse will be cornering the Avatar comics market after nabbing a 10-year licensing deal for James Cameron’s Avatar series of movies. Naturally, the internet had some opinions – and so do I.

One thing that can’t be argued: this has the potential to be big. Whether you loved, hated or are indifferent to James Cameron’s Avatar, that movie was seen by a lot of people, and has become a part of the pop cultural landscape. The audience for this can, and should be ridiculously huge. The biggest problem the series faces? Marketing.

For all of the good product they put out, Dark Horse is pretty terrible at marketing. They announce books and completely discard any sense of marketing once the orders are in – and in some cases, they discard the marketing before that point. A new issue one came out from them this week. Can you name it? And what’s it about? I was surprised to see it in the shipment, and I order the damn things for a living and take special care to keep an eye out for new beginnings.

Honestly, a lot of Dark Horse’s books sell on the idea itself, and the creator’s ability to maintain and mobilize a fan base. Hellboy(which my autocorrect insists upon calling Shelby), Umbrella Academy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Avatar: The Last Airbender are all series that have fairly rabid and entrenched fans – and this has been cultivated by the creators, and how they’ve handled either the property as a brand, or themselves as a brand. Their success comes from people wanting to talk about the books, and not because there was any prompting from Dark Horse itself. It’s honestly why you’re seeing such a sizeable gap from what Star Wars is selling now at Marvel, and what Star Wars was selling under Dark Horse. Even with high profile books like The Star Wars, which adapted George Lucas’ original bonkers Star Wars script, the needle didn’t rage ping off the charts. The books were always good (Dark Horse books usually are), but the efforts always stop there.

If this new Avatar venture is to be successful, Dark Horse is going to have to dig in deep. They’re going to have to find some marketable names, and form a solid publication plan – but more than that, once they have that in place, they have to do a full court press on getting word out. Not just “look at who we have writing this, isn’t that cool?” They have Greg Rucka writing an upcoming Dragon Age book, and I’ve forgotten about it’s existence several times over – and I love Greg Rucka. And let me tell you: Marvel hasn’t offered me one opportunity to forget he’s writing a Star Wars tie-in right now. Both are properties I don’t normally care about otherwise. See the communication gap?

This could be huge. It could bring in a lot of eyes – but people need to be aware. And yes, it is my job as a retailer to make people aware, but it’s always hard when a publisher doesn’t make the effort to keep noise going and build interest.

And yes, there’s absolutely more to explain here, but work is about to start. Must go off and sell comics to the wonderful people.

Hey, did you know that Greg Rucka will be writing an upcoming Dragon Age book? That’s pretty cool.

Doctor Whooch // Episode 067 // We’re Probably Lucky We Aren’t Dead

In which Brandon and Danica are running on two (?) hours of sleep and then get drunk. Because… yeah. Yes.

Series 9 keeps rolling on, and we’re keeping up… mostly. It was a weekend of store events (including a 24 hour event) but there’s always time to get crunk and watch The Doctor pal around on a base. Nothing EVER goes wrong on bases, you guys. NOTHING.

Marvel as they don’t actually pass out. Tremble as we… as we actually really, really like Series 9. Because SERIES 9, you guys. So good.

Outro music is “All About The Bass” as interpreted by Scott Bradlee & The Postmodern Jukebox.



I’m still trying to get the hang of scheduling. Here’s where I’m at: I love writing, and I love making content, but all the store work will often get in the way of that, because… well, you own a business kid. That’s what happens. Oh and also, you have a ton of shows that you want to see. Like, a ton of them. And books to read. And comics to enjoy for the sake of enjoying them. Does everything have to be an article? Does it really?

The short answer to that last part is yes, at the moment. If I can’t tell myself there’s article potential in something, then I will honestly push it aside for something else. It’s almost becoming a sickness, not being able to enjoy something just to enjoy it. This is how I’m consuming media right now.

I might have to take a day off soon. Like a real one, where things just get shut off. My brain too. Just – dead. And possibly no comics. Definitely no computer. I don’t know if I’d be able to handle it, but at least I’d be fresh to start up again. At least there’d be that. Maybe.

The Week of A Million Launches

Some very quick thoughts as the night ticks to a close, and a huge Wednesday looms…

  • Marvel’s opening salvos for their new line up are hitting hard this week – and they’re attacking on all fronts. At the center, they have  Invincible Iron Man – which seems to be acting as a makeshift emotional core for the new line. The new title is powered by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez, and features a bit of a recalibration for Tony Stark, while offering bright new ideas for this “new universe”. There’s a lot of promise in this book, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.
  • On the “flash and bang” end of the spectrum, there’s the truly insane first issue of Doctor Strange from Jason Aaron, Chris Bachelor, and surprise guest Kevin Nolan. This is definitely one of the bigger “new take” books that they’re hoping will make a big splash – and it’s interesting to have these two books come out in the same week. One features a stable, always marketable character, and the other takes a big swing with a traditionally less stable character with a blockbuster creative team. Two distinct swings at the plate – and IMO they both connect. Or at least will connect with quite a few people.
  • And finally on the Marvel front, they’re offering tasters of several new titles in three differ books. In Avengers #0, there are brand new stories that give a glimpse into all the upcoming Avengers books – including the highly anticipated All-New, All-Different Avengers. The in All-New, All Different Point One, there’s a bit of a grab bag of items, including a very intriguing Carnage story – which is something I don’t think I’ve said about Carnage, ever. (That one also has the first look at the new Daredevil book, which I haven’t gotten to yet. Very excited about that.) And finally, Amazing Spider-Man drops the new high concept for Peter Parker, and offers glimpses at the other upcoming titles in the Spider-line. If you want to taste any flavour of Marvel this week, those are the five books to look out for. It will essentially give you a good feel for how the water is before you jump in.
  • Beyond that, there are far too many other #1s to talk about – but we’ll be getting to more of those tomorrow.


We’ll be announcing all the panelists for the upcoming Gender Is Not A Genre: Growing Up Geek panel, which is going to be crazy exciting. As always, we’ll be broadcasting on Periscope, and recording audio, so stay tuned for that!

And that’s the night. Tomorrow? Yegs and Bacon and probably a Podcast! The Comics! Then on Thursday, a new Doctor Whooch. So many things!

He Lives to Write Another Day

So this past weekend was 24 Hour Comics Day – in which I participated in the challenge of making a 24 page comic in 24 hours.

I’m just at the dawn of my 30s, and even at this nebulous young-yet-old age, I can say that I have never in my life felt more tired and sore in my life. The key word, I guess, being “sore” and not “in pain”. I’ve definitely been in more pain. But anyway.

Over the course of 17 hours and 33 minutes, I made a comic. When I was finished, I had been up for about 26 hours. In the grand scheme of things, it could have been longer and I could have done another pass of spit and polish, but at five pages left, I literally felt like I had nothing in my engines. I called it a “night”, and at somewhere between 1 and 2pm yesterday, I had a shower, and promptly passed out for what felt like ten hours and two seconds – but was in fact, about 1 1/2 hours. That’s when Danica got home (herself, being up for roughly the same period of time I had, with a 2 hour or so nap in the middle) and we decided to sleep for another 45 minutes. Almost 2 hours later, again feeling as though I had both slept through the night, and only gotten about 2 minutes worth of actual rest, we blearily forced ourselves awake, had supper, watched the newest episode of Doctor Who, and proceeded to record this week’s episode of Doctor Whooch. Because we are champions.

Today, I feel like death. And I also feel a bit of dread. I left my 24 page comic at work, and when I completed it, I had long since gone passed the point in time where I could both read and make sense of what words were trying to say to me, so it could just be pages of absolute nonsense. That said, Danica read it yesterday and seemed to really like it, so… yay? She’d be the person I’d care about liking it anyway, so there’s that.

In addition to all that on the weekend, the store held it’s first ever Community Geek Swap, which featured a ton of great stuff. Everyone came with something, departed with far less, and Inclusion Alberta got a lot of great things donated. All in all, a successful weekend.

More to come in the next few days about… well, the next few days. Until then, I’m just surviving. (But man, is there a week of comics coming out…)

Doctor Whooch // Episode 066 // Mouth Feels

In which NOTHING will stop us from recording Doctor Whooch. Not even adorable little assholes.

On this week’s episode, Brandon and Danica tackle the second part of the Series 9 opening – The Witch’s Familiar. There are Daleks! And fighting! And metaphors that we totally understood, maybe. Also slurring. But there’s always slurring. Being drunk will do that to you, it seems. That’s a thing we’ve learned, you see.

Outro music is “I Need Never Get Old” by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats