I know that times are tough for just about everyone right now, but my hetero life-mate needs your help! Travis Legge, my erstwhile business partner at Aegis Studios, is set to begin shooting his first feature-length film in less than two weeks. He’s still got a bit of money to be raised to meet his budget.
If you can spare $50, $10, or even a single dollar, you can help support indie film and the Rockford economy. More importantly, you can help a wonderfully talented storyteller make his own “big break.” I’ve read the script and I’ve seen the actors: this movie is going to be amazingly fun. Your help is needed to make it happen.
Please, head to IndieGoGo and contribute at the highest level you can. If that’s only a dollar, it will honestly help. For more info on the film and Travis’s other projects (including the work we did together on the Contagion RPG), head to the Aegis Studios homepage.
See you at the movies!
Disclaimer: The following post contains intentionally vague (ha-ha, get it?) references to people and companies. All names have been excluded to protect privacy and professionalism. Enjoy!
Last week, I was solicited by an interactive entertainment company for a 42,000-word writing project. They asked me to provide them with a quote for services, in addition to samples of my writing. I put together what seemed (to me) to be a reasonable quote based on info I gathered, and provided the requested writing samples from some of the writing I did for the Aegis Studios RPG book, Virulence.
I did not get the job.
I did, however, get a rejection letter. It came in the form of an email, and while it praised my work as “professional and something [they] feel would work well,” it also informed me they’d decided to go with another writer.
I understand completely. I’m also not upset in the slightest.
First, I understand why an established company would be hesitant to hire on a fairly novice writer. The project would have been written in screenplay format, as most video games are. Though the screenplay format is (seemingly) not difficult to adapt to, I have no prior experience with it, other than reading how it’s constructed.
Second, I’m actually quite pleased that I was even solicited. How could I be upset about getting rejected for a job I didn’t even inquire about? The fact is, until last week, I didn’t even know this gig was out there. So, I’m honored I was considered, delighted that my work was well-received, and encouraged that I am “someone that [they] would definitely consider for any future opportunities.”
Of course, the phrases I’ve quoted (which are directly from the rejection email) could be platitudes. Then again, what motivation would a professional design director have for blowing smoke up my ass? He could have just as easily told me “sorry, but after careful consideration, we’ve decided to go with someone else. Thanks for your time.” I will operate under the assumption that this guy was sincere, and that I’ve made a contact that could lead to some seriously fun, seriously paid work in the future.
So, thanks for my first official rejection letter as a serious writer. I’m sure it won’t be my last. Rejection letters, it seems, are like lovers to writers: you will probably have a few over the course of your life, but you’ll never forget your first. This failure, like the failure of my first serious romance, is actually a success, because it means I explored my horizons and expanded my knowledge of life. Something that makes you a better person cannot be a failure, but merely a setback at most.
OK, enough waxing philosophic: time to get back to work.
I would like to strongly encourage everyone who’s remotely into comics to check out my friend Travis Legge’s webcomic, Reckoning. Travis’s description of Reckoning is “a webcomic about love, loss, and revenge.” It’s a great read and his weekly updates make it easy to follow the story without sacrificing a ton of time or waiting until the local comics shop gets their shipment (a sketchy proposition at best around these parts lately). This book is recommended for mature readers and with good reason. If you can’t stomach graphic violence, nudity, and language, you may want to skip Reckoning. If, however, you like your comics hard-boiled and distilled to a razor-sharp edge, put Reckoning in your favorites or subscribe via RSS.
The art is truly top-notch, though I wish it were in color. That being said, Santiago Espina’s pencils and inks are exceptional. The art brings into stark contrast the current dark world of the book and the happier times of the past. One almost gets a sense of two different protagonists through the divergent styles used in main sequences and in flashbacks.
Justine, who is the protagonist of the story, is every bit the deranged vigilante of dark anti-hero comics. Picture the Punisher, thirty years younger with a nice rack, and you begin to glimpse who Justine is. Justine is a normal girl, with relatively normal problems and life events. What makes her comic book hero material is her complete and utter lack of a normal response to those problems and events. Justine is as her name implies: justice, with no regard for the means used to achieve it. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but in the very first issue, Justine takes out one of the villians in a manner befitting a mohel. You’ll have to see it for yourself; trust me.
I have a certain affection for this comic based on its history, also. The initial seeds of this story blossomed from an idea Travis had many moons ago for a character that was to be called the “Prowler”. The Prowler was to be one of the first titles produced by Aegis Studios, which was then envisioned as a comics publishing company. Travis and I began work on Prowler and another comic, Nephalim. A quick copyright search revealed that Marvel already had a character named the Prowler (a pseudo-Batman character), so the comic became known as Retribution. We did get the first issue of Retribution printed and even went to a few cons to promote it. (In fact, I still have a box of Retribution comics in storage that I plan on hawking on eBay when Travis becomes a rich Hollywood writer/ director. Either that, or I’ll use them as blackmail material after same.) Our focus changed shortly thereafter to role-playing game publishing, however, and Retribution died the swift, painful death of many indie comics.
The death of Retribution was necessary and good for the life of Reckoning. Like the phoenix, the ashes of Retribution allowed something stronger and more beautiful to emerge. Reckoning strips away the cumbersome and clichéed parts of the old story and gives a unique perspective into the possibilities lurking beneath the surface of us all. The rebirth of Reckoning also brings in fresh artistic talent, something Retribution had a sore problem with. (No offense, Matt, but the old book did not look good.)
If you like gritty, graphic comics with psychologically tortured characters and gorgeous artwork, click on the banner below and check out Reckoning. While you’re at it, subscribe to the RSS feed on the website, follow Travis Legge on Twitter and friend his ass on Facebook. When your friends come up to you a year from now talking about this “Leg” dude you can correct their spelling, tell them you’ve been reading his stuff for months now and that they suck for not following the Screw City’s biggest talent sooner.
P.S: Though Travis is a good friend of mine, I assure you that this review was completely unsolicited and that the statements above reflect my honest views of my friend’s work. Ask Travis himself: I am not afraid to tell him when what he’s doing sucks eggs, and Reckoning definitely does not suck eggs.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be just over a week away from the official release of Angst & Wrath, my debut poetry book! I’ve received my proof copy of the book in the mail and it looks just as great in person as it did on screen when I was laying it out. It’s almost better, honestly. There’s something nice about seeing your name in print. Of course, I’ve had that experience before with the various role- playing game books I worked on when I was involved with Aegis Studios, but this being the first time a work is all mine, I have a slightly different kind of fondness for it.
Poetry was my first love as a writer. Publishing this book is almost like reuniting with someone you’re madly in love with but thought dead for a decade. In a way, putting this book out has rekindled my relationship with verse. I’m as head over heels for poetry as I ever was. Maybe someday we’ll get married…
And while I’m still going to be crafting poems for a follow-up book (tentatively called Exercises in Exorcism), my next project is a children’s book I will be working on with my wife. More news to come on that front.
While you’re waiting for the official release of Angst & Wrath, why not follow me on Twitter or become a fan of the book on Facebook?
OK, so I swore I would never do this blogging thing. I lied. So, what’s going on in Dariusland?
My tooth is killing me. I had a cavity filled on 1 July and apparently it’s aggro’ed the nerve, so now I have to have the tooth removed. I go tomorrow for that.
I’m working on my tabletop RPG entitled Cold Sun. I expect to begin playtesting before the end of the year. Chances are extremely good that it will not be published by Aegis Studios, the company of which I am a partner. More on this to come…
It’s Bastille Day! I would encourage everyone to check out the Rush song entitled, appropriately enough, “Bastille Day,” from their A Farewell to Kings album. Congratulations on your revolution, frogs! (Just remember we did it first. 😉 )
I’m doing some geneology research about my family. There’s some pics of my family on my flickr feed. It’s quite interesting to see where we come from, and just a bit challenging too.