Posted by Bob Greenberger on October 23, 2012
After Earth: Innocence was a one-shot comic given out at the movie panel at San Diego Comic-Con with a nifty Jae Lee cover. The commercial version, with a cover by my pal Dennis Calero, was released by Dynamite Entertainment last Wednesday.
In the wake of its release, the reviews have been coming in and I am delighted with the response so far. First up was VG Revolution and they said, “I did not really know what to expect going into a comic that is a prequel to a movie that I know just a little about…However, the comic does a really nice job of both explaining the back story of the After Earth universe but also working in some action.
“It has a lot of action and yet the action is not the point of the story. It is really well written and kept me reading what is essentially the ancestral history of a character in a movie that I’ve not even seen a trailer for. Yes, I was fully engrossed as I read it.”
The Lottery Party weighed in, saying, “This thoughtful one-shot is a self-contained does of heavy science fiction, with a father sharing defining moments of their culture’s near thousand years of history with his young son by way of a bedtime story. And the story is wide scale, detailing how humans leave the homeworld following environmental devastation, and the slow turn to find a new home while conquering their own innate malfeasance.
“Friedman and Greenberger are aces of sci-fi of course, in comics and prose, and their conjoined efforts craft a thorough story vividly set far in the future.”
Then there’s Comic Hype, which notes, “The history is the critical part to the tie-in, and like any sci-fi universe, it’s important to learn, in order to fully understand the plot and why things are the way they are. The book will tell you about the Savant and Primus people, their leaders, how war broke out, and explains Carter Raige’s involvement. I particularly noticed some well scripted panels that detail lighting and shadowing as they show Beni Lobel‘s pages as comfortable and intrinsic to earth in a way. Nova Prime comes alive on these pages as the ships, the people, the action, and the writing all flow into what ends up being a very good read. The writing and closeness or similarity communicated between one Raige generation to the next, was very well crafted and like any great fiction bit, the weight of the relationships or the drama in my mind, trumps the action and special effects.”
One Geek Nation gave it a 3, disliking the framing sequence but happy with the rest of the book. They said, “Despite the poor structure of the narrative, again something that was beyond the writers’ control, Michael and Robert do an excellent job of conveying how father is attempting to pass on wisdom to son by telling the story of how a son actually passed on wisdom to his father. In just three pages they establish the political and social situation for the people of Nova Prime and then quickly transition into the action sequence that sets up the rest of the comic without missing a beat. The dialogue was solid, enough information was given about each important character to differentiate them from one another and the story was given enough pace to keep things interesting.
The comic remains available and clearly, it’s worth your while.
Next up will be the digital short stories from Random House by Peter David, Mike Friedman, and yours truly, starting in December. I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think.
Posted by Bob Greenberger on October 21, 2012
The view of the World War I Memorial from my hotel room,
I never cease to be amazed how life can intersect in unexpected ways. When I was in Kansas back in April, my presence prompted fellow novelist Kevin Dilmore to recommend me to his colleagues at Hallmark. Every fall, they have Word Week, a series of activities for the writers, editors, artists, designers, etc. to focus on elements they normally don’t stop to examine. Every year they bring in a guest speaker and I was being suggested for this year’s slot given my recent worldbuilding for After Earth.
My friend, chauffeur, and sauce supplier: Kevin Dlmore
Over the summer, I heard from the duo prepping the event and after all the arrangements were ironed out, I was officially on board to come out and speak. I flew out Tuesday and spent the day being fed way too much barbecue, seeing parts of the town I missed in the Spring (such as their amazing library with the parking garage pillars painted to resemble book spines), and unfortunately, working in the amazing hotel room. It was one thing to stay at the Westin on a normal floor, but I was on the special floor this time with a terrific view of the World War I memorial and museum.
A portion of the Library Parking Garage
Everyone has been incredibly kind to me starting with Kevin who took time from his busy post-NYCC schedule to shepherd me around. He took me to Oklahoma Joe’s for lunch, his favorite restaurant, and while we stood on the lengthy line, he was texting with a pal, a professional competitive barbecue chef, to get sauce recommendations I should buy at the convenience store portion of the building. Joe’s, you see, is attached to a gas station and convenience store so you get unique and tasty one stop shopping. After a few texts, he arranged for Steph, a pal and someone working on the slabs.com website, also housed in the building, to come help me shop. She arrived soon after and I was buying sauces and rubs, leaving them at the cash register until after I chowed down on the fabulous Z Sandwich.
At dinner that evening, I got to meet some of the geekier members of the staff and, finally, my hosts – Katherine Stano and Sarah Bloss. We wound up at Jack Stack’s, another fine barbecue joint, and a favorite of many in attendance. The ribs and beans were pretty amazing. Once the fabulous conversation ended, I was shown one final part of town before my bloated form was returned to the hotel where I caught the back half of the debate. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Bob Greenberger on October 16, 2012
This has been a heady year for conventions. First there was all the After Earth star treatment at San Diego Comic-Con followed by the release of ReDeus: Divine Tales at Shore Leave. This past weekend, I was attending the New York Comic-Con and for the first time in ages, I was there as a book author, not a comic book guy. Voyageur Books rushed 100 copies of Star Trek: The Complete Unauthorized History from the printer to have for sale at the show, weeks ahead of its November 8 release.
For four days, I spent hours at the booth, cajoling curious customers, signing books, chatting up casual fans and having a ball. This was the first time I had actual swag related to my book. And I don’t mean just the post cards that were circulating these last few months. Nope, there were genuine buttons with the cover on them and we were giving them out with gusto. We, by the way, meant the book’s publicist Steve Roth, accompanied by marketing men Jeremy and Other Steve. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Bob Greenberger on October 8, 2012
A year ago at this time I was knee deep in the local election, interning at high school, and completing my master’s degree. There was also this little project that was dropped in my lap that was too cool to pass up.
And now, at last, I will get to hold a copy of Star Trek: The Complete Unauthorized History – and so will you.
I’m told copies are at Voyageur Press and it looks fabulous. I’ll take my first gander at it in person on Thursday when I attend NY Comic-Con. I can’t wait! Really, its weird knowing others have seen it already and are saying lovely things about it, but I still wait.
Anyway, I’ll be taking a break from my next project and my student teaching, to be at the show all four days. I will be at the Voyageur Books booth, #929, at the following times:
Thursday 6-7 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 3:00 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Since the con did not see fit to use me for programming, the remainder of the time will be spent wandering the aisles, catching up with old friends, or hanging out at Peter David’s table BB-1, which is also being used as Crazy 8 Press central.
And once the show ends, the waiting for reviews and customer feedback will commence.
Posted by Bob Greenberger on October 4, 2012
When I’m student teaching, I barely have a chance to breathe, let alone check for messages. As a result, when the bell rang yesterday, I was somewhat surprised to find three fairly frantic messages from Michael Herley, a pal and fellow Fairfielder. He had been at an event the previous evening and wound up speaking with a writer for the Associated Press, who was looking for a debate viewing party to cover. Well, words were exchanged, numbers passed back and forth and before we knew it, a bipartisan viewing party was arranged to be held at the home of David Becker, the majority leader of the Representative Town Meeting. Deb and I were invited along as token Democrats, although we were soon joined by Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey.
We met up with everyone around 8 last night, and as usual, there was plenty of food and drink. Our AP reported marveled at how friendly and collegial we all were, considering how tense some of the exchanges could be in the public forums.
The reporter met with each of us one-on-one to pre-interview us, getting some sense of what we expected from the debate and the candidates. I told her I was hoping for Obama to be the smooth speaker who was easily understood four years ago.
Then the debate began and we all clustered around the large screen set. As you might imagine, there was plenty of cat calling from all sides, although some were far more partisan than others. And truth be told, by the time it ended, no one had changed sides. There was one genuine undecided voter present and the reporter started with him. He still couldn’t determine who he was voting for and I can’t blame him.
Like most of America, I was deeply disappointed in President Obama’s performance. He was not smooth, he was far from clear, and his repeated hand gestures grew tiresome. Not that Romney was much better with the same feigned expression of interest and repeated hand gestures. At least he was clearer, and funnier (despite stealing his best line of the night). Of course, the moment he questioned future funding for PBS, the Twitterverse exploded in defense of Big Bird, et. al.
Personally, I felt neither man expressed his case well, distorting and twisting the other guy’s facts beyond recognition and then sticking to their story rather than moving on. We groaned every time the $5 trillion tax cut was mentioned or the $750 million in Medicare funding came up since both were inaccurate. Neither had a vision for America, neither dared to address the partisanship that left this the least productive Congress in a century. Neither was very convincing they had a way to squeeze Wall Street to free the hoarded cash that is keeping people from being employed.
While it was a fun, social night and our reporter got more than she bargained for, as a debate it was a disappointment. Jim Lehrer was at his least effective and Romney showed particular disdain for the process, which hurt his overall fine performance.
Thankfully, despite this embarrassing evening for the President, there remain several more debates including the Veep candidates, where I hope the sharper distinctions between those two will make it clear the kind of administration we’re getting in 2013.
P.S. Just got a note from the writer, Helen O’Neill, who apologized that so much of her piece was cut, melded into one master story with contributions from writers around the country. Our host made it in as did at least one other attendee.