One time I was abducted by Scientologists.
I was nineteen and I was alone on a small stretch of sidewalk somewhere in the vast expanse of the spiritual wasteland known as Orange County, California. A car pulled up beside me. Inside was a man and a woman. They seemed okay and they asked me if I wanted to see a movie. That Thanksgiving I had walked to the nearby 7-11 and purchased nachos. They were just a cheep bag of circular chips that you opened and pumped disgusting cheese and chilly onto yourself. I took those nachos home and I ate them. For Thanksgiving. Alone. Dying inside with each bite. So yeah, I got in the car. They could have been serial killers, but if they were going to torture me, at least I'd feel alive. The worst that could happen, I figured, is that I'd actually have to watch a movie. Turns out they weren't serial killers. They were Scientologists.
Oh yeah, I'll finish that story up in a second. I'm really here to say that I think someone who develops Marvel games likes my stuff. In 2015, after my Spider-Verse issue came out, they included my Spider-Man's design on the Spider-Man Unlimited phone game. It was cool to see that the designers really captured all the details of the costume down to the stuff on the underside of the helmet. You can see some shots of it above.
Then, just recently, my version of Thanos from Infinity Gauntlet was in Marvel Future Fight. Check it out
That's him! Once again, very cool to see the attention to detail.
I thought that was some fun stuff. On to other news.
I keep getting asked if and when and how I will be collecting PAKLIS. Well here's the plan. I WILL be putting out collections for PAKLIS, and I'll be collecting the stories individually. This means that someday you'll be able to buy a book that has all of AMNIA CYCLE in it or all of SAGITTARIOUS A*. The alternative would be to collect the issues as they are, as anthologies, into trade paper backs. There are some real pluses to going in that direction. One of the pluses being that I could put a collection out now. But I've given it a lot of thought and I think collecting the individual stories will work better in the long run. The draw back is that it'll be a while before I can start getting those collections out. It also means that the experience of the individual issues will not be an experience available to you in collected form. I think this gives the issues a value they wouldn't have otherwise.
So if you're thinking of trade waiting on PAKLIS, I wouldn't. You'll be waiting a while and you'll be missing out.
I did this quick mock-up of what the collected PAKLIS TPB's might be like.
What else do I have to talk about?
You guys remember my pall Ben Bates? I had a studio with him not long ago. We co-wrote a bunch of BEBOP & ROCKSTEADY comics. Anyway, he pressured me into recording a podcast with him. The idea was to watch a show or a movie or read a comic and just talk about it. He thought our insights were interesting enough to put out there in podcast form. I was pretty doubtful about that but I gave in. We actually recorded two podcasts. We put the first one up on a free sight but then found that the sight wouldn't allow us to put a second episode up without paying. This had us questioning if using this sight was the way to go at all. If we wanted to keep going we'd have to get more series about being podcasters. We may still get that going, but we're both busy and it's not a big priority.
We named the podcast "First 2 Panels." In the first episode we talked about Stranger Things Season 2 and the first volume of Drifting Classroom. It's like a month old now but you can listen to it here:
In the second episode we talked about Spawn issues 8,9,&10 and the first episode of The Punisher. Someday we might get our shit together and put that up. Maybe we'll record more. Despite being very skeptical of the value of us doing a podcast, I kind of came around on it. Personally, I think we could really use editing to get rid of pauses and all the "umms", but in the end, I thought the two episodes weren't bad.
Oh yeah. The Scientologists. Well they took me to some rinky dink operation in a strip mall. They had turned an office into a screening room. They put me in there and I watched a terrible little show. I wish I could remember it better. It was about some dude who was down and out and needed help when his buddy turns him on to some kind of philosophy that was going to unlock all his potential.
I may have had an air of desperation that made me seem like a prime target for this sort of scam. Perhaps they could tell that I was a man who had 7-11 thanksgiving nachos where my soul used to be. But what they didn't know was that when I was 7 years old my family converted to being Mormon. For an entire decade I had endured real brainwashing. I'd withstood every pressure in a church's arsenal and had come out a master of my own destiny. Through it all I had not sold my soul to god. Did these people really think they could hook me with this commercial. They didn't know what they were dealing with. After the "movie" they gave me a personality test and said that I'd have to come back if I wanted to know the results. I could have spit. What kind of feeble minded suckers fall for this shit. The whole scene was an insult. "Take me back to the street corner where you picked me up," I said.
Blogged and blogged