Casting Internets

Always with the writing, like this CBR piece about Jonathan Hickman’s Secret, America’s Got Powers with Bryan Hitch and Jonathan Ross, Kurtis Wiebe’s Grim Leaper, David Hine’s The Darkness and Nathan Edmondson’s Dancer.

I also covered the Wondercon announcements for Dark Avengers and Hulk for Marvel.com. Check out Sketch Attack where my pal Rickey did a Lobo/OMAC mash-up!Speaking of sketchblogs, do yourself a favor and check out The Cat Made Me Do It. This Doctor Who pieces is a favorite.

Over on his blog, Jim Rugg remembers the indie comics covered in Wizard first in Palmer’s Picks and later Secret Stash. I used to get art for the latter and was introduced to lots of interesting concepts by the former.

I don’t know how I stumbled on Samurai Pizza Cats as a youngin’, but I sure did like it. Can’t wait to watch it again on DVD. (via Topless Robot)By now you guys know that I’m a pretty big Planet Of The Apes fan and will most likely post any art based on the series that I find. This one by Scott C that was shown at Mondo’s SXSW gallery is amazing. I want a print.

I wish this Geek Dad interview would have gotten a little bit more into the writing process of Adventure Time and it’s awesomeness, but it sure was a fun read.

Wired also had a really cool interview with Michael Chabon on writing the John Carter script and being a fan and writer of genre fiction.

I kept this Rolling Stone Black Keys story in my Read It Later for a long time. It’s four pages, but totally worth the read if you’re a fan of the band.

Rolling Stone also tells me that Jet broke up. I think I’ll listen to Get Born today, it’s been a while. Lastly, I love Dave Perillo‘s Treasure Chest Of Fun piece!

Casting Internets

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but I’m now a regular writer for CBR. My first piece went up on Friday, announcing Image’s Deadlands comics!

The first issue of Wizard World is up and I’m in it! Check out the interview I did with Todd McFarlane and Robert Kirkman about the Walking Dead toy line.

Also, peep this week’s Crossovers We Want To See at MTV Geek featuring the First Wave characters and Green Hornet.
Something called PaleyFest is having a Freaks & Geeks (amazing) and Undeclared (pretty fun) reunion. I want to own this poster. (via /Film)

Whoa, Quiet Earth says there’s a different, R-rated version of Cyborg out there with a rock score? Holy nards, I am in! If you want one, you can email the director at curnantpictures AT SYMBOL gmail.com.

The moving Conan The Barbarian poster is pretty rad, go check it out. The Beat‘s right, Michael Golden’s Crystal is nice art.

Wired‘s post about 10 Kinect hacks makes me wish I was better at hacking things. The closest I’ve ever gotten is memorizing the movie of the same name.

Even though Beau Smith‘s latest column is about guns, his mention of his grandfather and father running a jukebox and arcade game business makes me want to talk to him about that.

I just listened to Jeff Goldsmith‘s final Creative Screenwriting Magazine podcast. I never once read the mag, but I loved the interviews he’d do with various screenwriters. Hopefully he’s on to bigger and better. Good luck Jeff!

Casting Internets

Hey look, I wrote a list about 10 non traditional Christmas movies over on Topless Robot. Any excuse to watch Gremlins and Batman Returns again is aces in my book.

While I’m tooting my own horn, go check out an interview I did with the Mattel guys working on the new Young Justice toy line for ToyFare which is now up on the general Wizard Entertainment blog Pie Monkey. Also check out the He-Man/Inception Twisted ToyFare Theater I helped work on here.

My buddy Sean Collins just kicked off the lotsa fun Superheroes Lose Tumblr.

I hadn’t thought about this up until now, but someone over on The Fwoosh‘s regular Ask Matty (that’s Mattel) column asked if, now that Vertigo characters are showing up in the DCU, will they be in the DC Universe Classics line. He specifically asked about Swamp Thing, but just think about the possibilities!If the Dalek Christmas tree doesn’t get you in the Holiday spirit, nothing will. (via IHC)Speaking of Doctor Who the new action figures each come with part of the Pandorica and a CD! AWESOME! (via Toynewsi)

I know one person who will be crazy-excited about Marvel announcing their new CrossGen imprint. Dude actually has a CrossGen license plate, or did back when I knew him. Hey, at least they didn’t trying shoehorn the characters into the Marvel U like the Distinguished Competition has done three times in the past few years. (via Robot 6)

This parrot singing “Bodies” made me laugh harder than it probably should have. (via Super Punch)

Tim Heffernan‘s assessment of Marine General James Amos’ fear of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell seems dead on to me.

Esquire continues asking interesting people what they’ve learned from life. In case you were wondering, yes, Robert Redford is still awesome.

Ron Marz has a new column over on CBR. I dig the guy’s work a lot and liked the first column. Can’t wait to see what else we get!

Like everyone else on the comic internet, I found Brian Hibbs‘ assessment of the current comic market fascinating, specifically this bit “I think that the publishers are largely producing too many of the wrong comics at the wrong price point.”

Mmmm, I think a whiskey punch is in my immediate future. Thanks Esquire!

Finally, I think these Old Navy Techno Hoodies with earbuds built into the draw strings are freaking ingenious, but how do you wash them without getting electrocuted later?

Adventures In Freelancing: Recent Links

After announcing the new recurring feature Adventures In Freelancing, I figured it would be a good idea to throw up some links to my work with a few comments about my process and that kind of thing.

My weekly TV column for Maxim.com continues to roll on. You can check out this week’s here and then check out the Writing Links tab up there in the right hand corner for past entries. I write We Like To Watch the week before it goes up by going through TVGuide.com’s schedule and writing notes about what new shows might be interesting to watch. With something like this, it’s key to keep your audience in mind, so I’m not going to write about how much I actually like Real Housewives of New Jersey or something like that, but I can poke fun at it. I try to match the voice of the magazine and other pieces I’ve read on the website. Adapting like that is key when writing for many different outlets.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been continuing to do lots of work for UGO.com’s The Goods section. I write a WTF Star Wars?! every single day, it’s usually the first thing I do in the morning. When my editor first pitched me on the idea, I thought it would last maybe a month, but I’ve got a whole folder filled with future entries and see a few things every day to add. So much Star Wars! I’m also continuing to work on a weekly DVD/Blu-ray column for them called Blu-sday which I picked up from my buddy Adam Tracey. This week’s entry can be found here and you should check out last week’s which isn’t based on new movies, but existing football flicks. For this one, I go through Amazon’s listings, open a bunch of tabs and narrow it down to five entries and then have fun with it.

My gig with UGO also includes list elements every week or so, which we try to tie-in with something happening that week in pop culture or something coming up. I did a Fall Toy Preview list of upcoming products that look rad, a list of great American spies based on George Clooney’s The American, the greatest Star Wars toys of all time and a list of geeky movie and TV locales you should check out when you’re in NYC for NYCC. I generally don’t read the comments for these things because they make me sad, but I got a chuckle out of the guy who asked why I forgot to put James Bond on the list of great American spies. Sigh. With the lists, I find it’s best to use elements you’re familiar with maybe a few you don’t know about thrown in to mix it up. You’re always going to have people hollering why their pick isn’t on the list. That’s the internet, everyone has an opinion, but some people get paid for theirs while others give them away.

Speaking of lists, a few of the ones I’ve written for Topless Robot have gone up like 10 NES Games Based on R-Rated Movies and the 10 Most Screwed-Over Children of Superheroes in Comics. The first I came up with after seeing a ton of surprising games based on R-Rated flicks. I’ve got a whole second list that could be used for a follow up if there’s enough interest which is why some obvious ones were missing (another comment section I read a few entries from). The second list was spawned from all the internet clamor over the death of Roy Harper’s daughter Lian in Justice League: Cry For Justice. TR is great because you get to really exercise your snakry muscles. With these I pitch the editor with ideas and he either assigns them or doesn’t, then I work on them when I can, turn them in and keep an eye on the site for when they go live. More topical ones get posted sooner, so staying current is key. I just pitched a few Halloween/horror lists that I’m excited to work on soon.

I’ve also been writing for ToyFare lately, but that issue is being closed right now, so you won’t see those efforts for about a month. I do believe that #159 is out right now, which means you can check out my feature where I got to interview my former boss Zach Oat and sculptors Tim Bruckner and Ruben Procopio about their upcoming book Pop Sculpture and all the Incoming writing. #160 has a feature I was really excited to write and I think turned out well, but you’ll have to wait and see what that’s all about. I love all the web work I do but there’s something really cool about going to a grocery or book store and being able to pick something up with your name in it.

Finally, I’ve done a lot of work for Marvel’s website. These pieces are either recurring monthlies like Five Favorite Avengers (with Bill Rosemann and Tim Seeley) and Earth’s Mightiest Costumes (Quicksilver) or specific assignments on upcoming projects like Ant-Man & The Wasp, Chaos War: Dead Avengers and the Iron Man 2: Public Identity trade. I really like doing pieces for Marvel because it keeps me in touch with the world of comics, which is what I cut my teeth on as a writer. It’s also a lot of fun talking with creators about their process and seeing what’s coming up.

So there you have it, this is what I do all day, every day. If you have any questions leave a comment or drop me an email at tjdietsch AT SYMBOL gmail DOT com.

UPDATE: I just spent way too much time re-doing the Writing Links section, giving each website or magazine their own page. Check it out and let me know if any of the internal links don’t work. Thanks!

My Favorite ToyFare Feature: We Want Action (TF #139, March 2009)

I worked as an associate editor for ToyFare for about a year. I had written articles for them before that and have continued to do so as a freelancer. I love writing about toys and finding out what’s coming up from companies, but I also really like delving into the history of toys. My absolute favorite thing was coming up with an idea, pitching it to my boss, having it approved, writing the whole thing, editing it and seeing the finished product.

Enter what we dubbed the action feature feature, the idea being to compile a list of the coolest things that toys can do aside from standing there and having joints. Eventually named “We Want Action” the feature is my favorite non-interview piece I’ve done for TF. The list was a ton of fun to write, but then we had to find images of the toys included, which wasn’t always easy. Sure, we had the big ones in the ol’ toy library, but we also asked a few freelancers to send in pictures, talked to some websites with pics and–coolest of all–I had my dad send out some of my toys which actually made it into the mag. You can see a “Thank You” included there in the last picture for him. If you’re curious the Swamp Thing, Computer Warriors, Karate Kid and Beetlejuice figures are all mine. So much fun! Click the thumbnails for much larger versions you should be able to read!