Posted by Bob Greenberger on June 29, 2012
Here’s the deal, the folks at Sequart are pushing Mutant Cinema by making it available free on Kindle for five days, Tues to Sat (26-30 June). Publisher Julian Darius says, “If any book has failed to achieve what we know it’s capable of, it’s Tom McLean’s Mutant Cinema. It’s a great study of the X-Men film trilogy, filled with insider accounts and information from interviews, as well as a thorough knowledge of X-Men comics. But most X-fans think they know all this already, even though they don’t. So it’s a perfect candidate for a free promotion, which will get it into more readers’ hands and hopefully spur long-term sales.”
I haven’t read the book myself but those are pretty compelling words.
Every day this week, they have been bundling it with a different Sequart title and today it is Gotham City 14 Miles, the book of essays celebrating the 1960s ABC Batman series. I am in excellent company in this book and my essay kicks things off, framing what television and pop culture was like when the series debuted in January 1966. If you don’t have it yet and you have a Kindle or Kndle app, then today’s the day to make up for that deficit.
Posted by Bob Greenberger on June 24, 2012
I love technology and embrace it at every opportunity in the hopes it makes life simpler, allowing me to get more done in the finite number of hours each day provides.
This morning though, I rammed my head against the circuit walls three different times.
I received an offer for three free months of HBO through ATT Uverse. Being huge Aaron Sorkin fans, we thought today would be a good time to try it so we could watch The Newsroom. Their website sucks and it kept asking me to log in here or link accounts there. After three or four attempts, I finally got to the right page only to discover the standard def channels were free, the HD channels would run us $10 a month so in the end, not so free after all. We’ll have to wait for the discs.
After struggling most of last week to access my online course website, thanks to an ATT Uverse internet issue, I wound up clearing my cache and cookies. As a result, I could no longer access the eTools portion of the Weight Watchers website. The mysterious account number I need apparently is so secretive they won’t give it to me again unless I fax for it or snail mail a form.
Meantime, Kate thoughtfully ordered me the 70th Anniversary Blu-ray box set of Casablanca. Despite assurances it would arrive in time for Father’s Day, the tracking showed it wound up in Fairfield the Thursday before but after a week, it never quite made it from the post office to my house. Kate contacted Amazon, who happily sent me a replacement gift, which arrived as promised. On Saturday, the missing box was finally delivered but because the order number was incompletely printed on the receipt, I cannot use the automated website to arrange a return and credit the account. Their online help clearly didn’t read my question and suggested my “gift card” had an incomplete number so I wrote back and await word.
Just amazing how things can so utterly fail and frustrate the customer.
Posted by Bob Greenberger on June 20, 2012
I rarely get into New York City these days and yesterday was one of those days. It was great walking around the sixth floor of DC Comics, visiting with old colleagues from my days at DC and Marvel. When I see them now, it’s more about our spouses and our kids than it is about the comics, but that’s cool.
I also had a lengthy conversation with Steve Saffel, an old friend and someone who I trust to take an honest look at things and give me a straight comment. As a result, our time together was invaluable in ways I never imagined when I first booked him time.
Upon my return, there were dozens of e-mails and nearly 200 posts in my Google Reader demanding attention but I left them all for the morning.
This morning alone has reminded me of the guy spinning plates atop thin poles from the old days of Vaudeville and The Ed Sullivan Show.
- I read and replied to the e-mails.
- I caught up on my Google Reader and Facebook.
- I edited Latchkeys #5 and sent it to Aaron Rosenberg for his edits and production design.
- I reviewed pitches for a prose anthology that literally was conceived and launched yesterday on an insanely tight deadline. Should this actually come together, you’ll be hearing about it.
- I did some work on Crazy 8 Press marketing.
- I did some very quick research to craft a pitch for a media tie-in possibility that recently came up.
- I reviewed some art and some script for a graphic novel pitch in development for an interested editor.
- I played judge and picked winners for the just-concluded Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows contest over at ComicMix.
That’s just crazy and quite atypical. And kind of fun.
Now I need to put the freelance work aside to focus on my two just-started online courses. The complication is that I cannot access the website from home. Well, not with any degree of regularity so I need to pack up and head to the library and use their Wi-Fi where I know I have 100% chance of success.
Posted by Bob Greenberger on June 11, 2012
When I plunk down my cash to see a movie, I want to be transported. I want the screen to fill my vision and transport me to somewhere new and interesting. I want the story to entertain or enlighten. I expect that after tens of millions of dollars have been spent, every effort has been made to make this as engaging an experience as is possible.
Therefore, when glaring story gaps interrupt my journey and I start asking questions, it snaps me back to reality. If it happens once or twice, I can forgive it and reimmerse myself but when it happens from beginning to ending, the film has failed at its primary job, the be worth the money and time I invested.
I was thinking about all this as I emerged from a late afternoon screening of Snow White and the Huntsman (or Snow White and Thor as Kurt Busiek has dubbed it). From the beginning through the end I kept posing questions and that shows someone didn’t look at the story and make its motivations clear. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Bob Greenberger on June 10, 2012
Katie and Robbie were always introducing us to new worlds. When it was recommended Kate be stimulated through participation in the Odyssey of the Mind competition, we entered that fascinating, challenging and enlightening competition for several years. Soon after, we got involved in the Fairfield Teen Theater program and then there was fencing. All good and happy experiences.
When Robbie was a high school senior he first mentioned Relay for Life, the fundraiser for cancer research. Of course, we let him participate and do some good in the world. Two years later, during his last time out of the hospital, he and his friends formed a team and raised funds, walking through the night. We attended, walking proudly with him, him in his survivor’s sash and us in accompanying caregiver sashes. The applause that greeted all who walked that opening lap was deeply emotional.
The following year, there was team in his memory and we briefly visited, lighting a luminary candle and participating in that lighting ceremony but it was too emotional and we didn’t linger long.
We skipped the events in 2010 and 2011 but this year, with the passage of time, it didn’t hurt as much to think about being there. There was no team for him but that didn’t stop us from being a part of it, donating cash here and there. It was a terrific opportunity to see friends and neighbors on a beautiful, warm early summer evening. Many of our elected officials were on hand, which was nice to see. We walked a bit with former First Selectman Ken Flatto, State Rep Kim Fawcett, and Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey while chatting with State Rep Brenda Kupchick, First Selectman Mike Tetreau, and even Senator Richard Blumenthal. We all remarked how this brought out the best in Fairfield.
I was reminded all over again how amazing it is to see the kids this energized about something. They did it for the social aspects as well as the Doing Good factor; especially if a team was dedicated to someone they knew dealing with cancer. There were two honorary chairmen, one being Mark Fattaroli, Fairfield Warde’s theatrical director, who was battling his leukemia just two floors above Robbie. Mark had a tough road, but has been in good health these last two years and it was terrific to see him so happy. We listened to his remarks and then went over to chat. He admitted he was caught up in the moment skipping through portions of the script and wanted us to know he had written something about Robbie but missed it. We were fine with that. He was remembered.
It was gratifying to see the bench donated in his memory being used to rest weary walkers. It’s been long enough now, that no one in the school knew him so his name becomes one of history.
Being there was pleasant experience. Being a part of the cancer world is something we cannot erase, not with so many in our extended family having suffered from the insidious disease, and while we’re not embracing it, we’re accepting we can support those who are still in the fight, donating to make the fight easier, and remembering those who never gave up but lost the battle.
Posted by Bob Greenberger on June 8, 2012
The plan has always been to obtain my certification to teach English to 7-12 graders but in the back of my mind, I wanted to hedge my bets. I knew getting hired for just English was going to challenging given the job market so I wanted to find a way to make myself more marketable.
Given my double major in English and History, the logical next step would be to cross-certify in English and Social Studies. When I checked with the social studies advisor at the University of Bridgeport, I learned I had great history credentials. What I lacked, though, were courses in related fields from anthropology to economics. I would need four undergraduate courses across those disciplines to qualify for such certification.
Now that I know I have the summer relatively free, I decided to take the plunge and have registered for two such courses. My hope was to attend in person at either Norwalk Community College or Housatonic Community College given their proximity. Unfortunately, they had nothing to offer so I resorted once more to online options.
From June 18-July 26 I will be taking two such courses through Middlesex Community College where my cousin Rebecca happens to be teaching. I’ll take American Government, which was highly recommended by the social studies faculty at Darien, and Social Problems, a Sociology course that should be interesting.
I registered (which proved more problematic than it needed to be), ordered the expensive text books and have begun the navigation process to get comfortable with each teacher’s style. It appears there will be plenty of reading and online engagement through message boards. One paper and a bunch of tests so I remain confident I can manage the course load.
I do like teaching, and I do like learning, so this is a fine way to be spending a portion of my summer.