The Hood and the Heroine is Now Available!

 

THATH

 

Roisin O’Malley, better known as Gael, has been released from prison, and joins the army of copycat vigilantes she unintentionally inspired.  Meanwhile, the killer known simply as The Blue Hood continues his killing spree across Sapphire City, leaving an ever growing mountain of dead criminals in his wake.  Dan Adelson: the criminal kingpin the media has since dubbed “The Teal Tyrant”, has joined forces with a cult of assassins known simply as The Diamond Club.  And as if all of this weren’t bad enough, CharKendrick Parks: the serial killer better known throughout Sapphire City and YouTube alike as The Subway Spook, has resumed his murder spree throughout the subways of Sapphire City.  With so many high-profile threats to the city, Gael and The Blue Hood find themselves with quite a bit of common ground, and try their best to build an alliance despite their wildly different outlooks on the true definition of justice.

This is the third, and until further notice, the final chapter of The Gael Saga.  The possibility of sequels aren’t outside the realm of possibility, but without giving too much away, this is DEFINITELY the last book that’ll feature Roisin O’Malley in any way shape or form.

I have had ideas for a possible book 4, and from there, who knows?  Unfortunately, a lot of the ideas I have for book 4 are, at best, scribbles.  I haven’t ruled out the possibility of doing a book 4 further down the line, but for now, everything has been wrapped up in a nice little bundle of completion.  I’m done, I’m done, I’m fucking done!

Not going to lie, this book was an ordeal.  Not an UNPLEASANT ordeal, but this one was the hardest one to write.  Book 1 just oozed out of my head and onto the proverbial paper.  Book 2 was pretty similar in that regard.  Book 3…  Was a lot more complicated.

There were minor inconveniences along the way, like my cover artist unfortunately not being able to meet the deadline I set due to real life and other things happening on their side of the state, and my usual horrible tendency to get distracted by anything shiny.  However, the biggest complication of all was probably actually making it to the finish line.

The Gael Saga is literally the first time in forever that I’ve seen something through from start to finish.  I have several book 1s of this series or that series on my harddrive, but Those books were originally for the for-real publishers.  After months of trying to sell these things to literary agents and publishers alike, I shrugged, said “fuck it”, and went to KDP, but rather than publish all those stories to KDP, I just moved on to the next project.

The Jad Blade Legacy is the first series I’ve written for that’s seen a book 2, and even that one is currently up in limbo due to my parting with Outskirts Press.  I started writing book 3 in 2013, and while I made some degree of progress, I never did get finished with it.

The Gael Saga started in 2016, and ended as of…  Well technically two days ago, but but yeah, it’s officially finished.  End of an era, man.  I’m not sure how to feel about it.  There’s that sense of accomplishment, sure, but there’s a lot of other thoughts in my head as well.  Specifically, where the fuck do I go from here?

All questions will be answered when I get around to it.  In the meantime, enjoy the final chapter of The Gael Saga!

You can get your copy here.

 

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Disjointed: My Thoughts

Can I just say, I hate a lot of 1960s television.  A lot of it isn’t even 1960s television’s fault, either.  A lot of tropes at the time were REALLY to blame: the canned laughter, the hokey jokes, the acting…  I’m way to used to 90s sitcoms I guess.  Home Improvement was always my jam.  Mostly because things got all splody when Tim tried to fix stuff…  But I digress.

Disjointed’s approach to the 60s esque sitcom was a sort of red flag for someone like me, but honestly, I’m glad I took the challenge.

For starters, the tropes may be there, but the language, and some of the subject matter is a LOT more adult.  And I’m not just talking about the fact the show is set at a marijuana despensery, either.  There’s plenty of dick and fart jokes, F-bombs, and what not that you’d THINK would clash with the kind of show they were going for, but in fact, works perfectly.

The thing I always look forward to in each episode of Disjointed is the animated sequences.  Most of which seem to exist in Carter’s head, but a few take place elsewhere.  I Guarantee that about seventy-five percent of the show’s budget went into those.

I’d say Dank and Dabby were my favorite characters in the entire show, but let’s face it, they were designed to be everyone’s favorite.  They’re the Jay and Silent Bob of Disjointed.  Except Jay’s a black guy, and Silent Bob is a chick who’s anything but silent.  In fact, this looks more like Jay and Jay than anything else.  Fortunately, these guys don’t get obnoxious despite all the potential in the world being right there.

Stories do get multiple episodes to develop (IE, Pete’s weird obsession with his latest bunch of marijuana plants), but for the most part, I’ve found this is a show you can walk away from for about a week, come back to, and not feel like you missed anything TOO important.  Say for maybe the last two episodes, which are a legit two-parter for sure.  I appreciate shows like that.

All and all, I recommend Disjointed.  Admittedly, they do have some real groaners in there (Kim Jong Un-believable comes to mind immediately), but what sitcom doesn’t?  As long as they’re few and far between, and the show holds my attention, it’s all good.

So Yeah… No Gael Novel.

So…  Yeah…  Unfortunately, there are some last minute complications.  I alluded to them very briefly on my Facebook, and I don’t plan on going any further into depth than that, but for those who don’t get their Thomas J. Black fix on Facebook…  Yeah, there have been some problems.

For starters, the cover art.  It’s not here yet.  I, nor my artist, anticipated real life getting in the way of things.

Secondly, I’m having…  Words, with KDP currently.

The story has less to do with anything going on with book 3, and more to do with attempting to make repairs to book 2.  A reader on Reader’s Favorite let me know of some minor spelling errors I didn’t catch.  I also wanted to fix a very minor continuity error, and I wanted to switch the interior from color to black and white.  Having a color interior so that the title page can have one word written in orange seems kind of stupid in hindsight.  Plus, it’s already like that on the cover.  Also, I have to sell the book for a minimum price in order to cover printing costs, and when you publish a book with a color interior, that minimum price goes WAY up.  Call me crazy, but $22 for a 170 page book sounds ridiculous.

Furthermore, after uploading the revised manuscript to KDP, I noticed the minimum price actually went from $20 to fucking $30.75!  Now that’s definitely not worth charging for a 170 page book in my opinion.

I’m currently in talks with KDP on how to fix this dilemma, and…  In all honesty, KDP seems stumped.  They gave me an idea or two to try, but there’s no guarantee it’ll work.  Also, They insisted my conversation with them was going to get sent up to corporate.  Apparently, wanting to switch your interior from color to black-and-white, and vise versa, is a possibility the board of directors didn’t anticipate.  Leave it to the blind guy to stumble across something nobody ever thought of, right?  It’s iPhone1 all fucking over again.

So yeah.  complications with all things Gael have made it impossible for me to put up The Hood and the Heroine on time.  Believe me, I cannot apologize enough for the inconvenience.  I do hope to get this all fixed before October.

For the foreseeable future, though, I’m thinking of putting up an ad for a new cover artist.  My current artist does great work, and I’d totally recommend him for a gig if you’re looking for somebody, but from what he’s told me, things are getting a bit hectic on his end of the net, and I may want to consider other options in the future as a result.  Life happens.  I get it.

I can’t guarantee when the book will be out for sure.  I do hope to have it up by October, and if I have to upload a coverless version, then so be it.

Stay tuned to this blog for further news regarding this matter.  I’ll try to keep you posted if any developments occur.

Netflix Presents: Deathnote: My Thoughts

Whew boy, this thing right here SUUUUUUUUUUCKED!

Okay, let’s back up a little.

I actually love Deathnote.  It’s probably the last anime I truly enjoyed from start to finish.  It was the last time something on television felt like it was super urgent to watch, and that missing so much as one episode would ruin my weekend forever.  I had to avoid any and all spoilers for fear it would ruin the mood.  And even with all that, I STILL managed to have a couple minor gripes.

The biggest of all my gripes with the original Deathnote anime was probably the death of L.  Even at my most otaku, I was never one of THOSE fans, but L was the kind of character that had me come pretty close.  I saw this dude who was solving nigh impossible crimes while injecting himself full of diabetes, and I said to myself: “Dude, I have a new hero.”

My gripe with the death of L has less to do with the fact L died, and more to do with the fact Near (L’s replacement) was basically L with bluish hair.  The way the show was looking, I thought for sure they’d end up doing more with Mellow.  I personally would’ve approved of Mellow being the new L.  He was significantly different from his predecessor, almost to the point where you couldn’t even tell who the bad guy was anymore.  With Near, you really might as well have just kept L alive.

But that detail aside, plus the typical complaints/jokes associated with the English dub, I still enjoyed the ride, and I hold Deathnote in really high regard.

You really wouldn’t think anime, a genre that, in the states at least, is associated with fist fights, giant robots, and cute creatures popping out of magic balls fighting each other to the death, would feature something this cerebral.  I mean yeah, this isn’t exactly a Sherlock Holmes novel, but this is probably the closest thing to a cat-and-mouse rivalry I’d seen at the time in anime, and wasn’t a joke like Mouse or Lupin the 3rd.

Then, about ten years later, they released a Deathnote movie on Netflix.  Whew boy, the grievances!

The moment I saw that trailer, I was already dreading the possibilities.  The closest thing to a positive remark I had was that Willem Defoe as Ryuk was actually a pretty good casting choice.  Pretty sure Willem Defoe was living in my closet when I was a kid.  I checked every night, but…  You know, Family Guy already made that joke, and Family Guy is a whole other dumpster fire for another day, so let’s move on.

I’m pretty forgiving as far as the Americanization is concerned.  Light Yagami is now Light Terner.  Misa is now Mia.  L is a black guy.  The story is set in Seattle (I think).  All of these are fine.  I have no problem with this.  Some loudmouth neoliberal fucktard would, and probably HAS used this as a jumping off point to bitch about white-washing Hollywood or whatever, to which I say “Dude, shut the fuck up.”  Seriously, have you ever seen anime?  You’d think a country like Japan wouldn’t be making so many cartoons with white people, but look at it.  I think the only anime where the characters actually looked like Japanese people were Magical Shopping Arcade Obashi, and Monster.  And to be fair, the main protagonist of Monster was a Japanese man going to Germany.

I was about to end that tangent with something along the lines of “Stop making every fucking thing a social justice debate and enjoy the fucking show.”…  Except I forgot for a moment we were talking about Netflix’s Deathnote.  Yeah, I stand corrected.

I’ll give props to the production crew.  This looks like there was a budget behind it, and it looks like something you’d probably see on the CW.  Unfortunately, there’s plenty of other things wrong with it.  For example, IT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING YOU’D SEE ON THE FUCKING CW!  CW: The young adult network.

I know I should treat different incarnations of a series as their own story, and should stop drawing comparisons to the version I like.  It’s one of the things that drives a friend of mine absolutely insane.  On the other hand, this is the same friend that thinks Kekistan is the greatest fucking thing in the world, so…  Yeah, advice not taken.

Light Yagami was a fucking sociopath.  Light Terner is a pussy.  If anything, MIA was the sociopath in this movie.  The dynamic was all sorts of wrong.

Ryuk was basically nothing but a spectator.  He chimed in with comments every now and then, and he offered to give Light the eyes of a shinigami (death god) at one point, but he never egged him on.  In this version, Ryuk might as well be the fucking devil.  He’s constantly double-dog-daring Light to write a name in the deathnote.

There are at least ninety fucking rules in the Netflix Deathnote, and a lot of them are stupid, or exist soully for the sake of plot convenience.  The anime Deathnote had…  I originally thought eight, but Panda from The Thrifty Niggle says twenty.  Either way, the rules were minimal, and introduced in a nice steady flow that didn’t feel like they were all being crammed into my head all at once.

I can understand needing to speed things up, considering this is a two hour movie instead of a thirty-seven episode show…  But that’s probably one of the biggest flaws of all.  This thing only had about two hours to work with.  And I ended up tapping out at an hour and thirty.

That’s right, I didn’t finish the movie.  Hashtag-SuperUnprofessional.  Whatever.  I don’t believe inflicting pain on myself for fun.  If I watch a movie, it’s because I want to have fun.  At absolute worst, I THINK it’s going to be enjoyable.

Long story short, this whole thing was a massive disappointment.  I probably ought to have known that the moment I saw the trailer, but what can I say?  I do a lot of stupid shit in the name of fandom.  Hell, I was talking about going to see Saw 8 the other day.

Saw 8?

A couple days ago, I was listening to Sincast: the official Cinema Sins podcast.  They like to talk about movies (duh), and on this particular occasion, they were talking upcoming attractions for fall 2017.  There weren’t a lot of surprises, but there were a couple that made me stop and think for a moment.

The one that got me thinking in particular, though, was Jigsaw.  Jigsaw: AKA, Saw 8.  In fact, I’ll be referring to it as Saw 8 from this point onward, because that’s what it fucking is.

Frankly, the core concept of a Saw 8 is…  I want to say blasphemous, but that might be a little strong.  For sure, I distinctly remember Saw 7 was supposed to be the last one.

I’ve told my jokes that Saw 7 had several names throughout its run.  It started out as Saw 7, eventually ended up as Saw 3D, then when it hit DVD and bluray, it became Saw: The Final Chapter.  And I jokingly referred to it as Saw: No Seriously, This Time it’s the Last One.  Except as of this posting, NO IT FUCKING ISN’T!

I sound like an angry-ass hater , but I’m actually going to confess it right now.  I love the Saw movies.  There, I said it.  I’m not proud of it (especially after Saw 5 came along), but I’m not ashamed of it.

Saw 1 came out in a time when I was in fucking love with the horror genre.  Freddy Kruger was my hero.  Pumpkinhead was a fucking masterpiece.  Rob Zombie’s The House of 1000 Corpses was mindblowing.  And the very first Saw movie grabbed my undivided attention right out the gate.

Here and now, after seeing it more times than I can count, I have to be that guy who nitpicks everything.  Yeah, that big twist at the end where Jigsaw was in the room all along as that dead guy in the center of the room was cool the first time I saw it, but when you stop and think about it, there were a lot of X-factors in that equation that could’ve easily gone wrong.  How did he know how long he’d be unconscious?  How did he know Gordon was going to cut through his own leg?  How did he know Zep was going to blow it?  There were a lot of things that guy had no way of knowing were going to pan out the way they did.  The fact it all worked out the way it did is probably nothing short of a miracle, really.

But the first time I saw that movie, and saw that twist, my mind was blown.  I was way too easy to impress when I was eighteen.  Or maybe I’d take ANY escape from the shitty reality I’d found myself in from 2004-2005, but that’s a rant for another day.

Saw 2…  Wasn’t AS good, but it kept me entertained.

Saw 3 was a great ending to what was looking like a trilogy at the time.  i’d even go as far as to say that out of the three Saw movies at the time, 1 and 3 were in a tie for the best.  It’s very rare when the third in ANY trilogy lives up to the hype.  Really, if anything, the SECOND movie gets that kind of acclaim, and the THIRD is the one that isn’t remembered as fondly.

I think a lot of that comes from the fact that it really didn’t feel like a lot was at stake in the second movie.  The first movie introduced us to the Jigsaw murders, the third was basically going to be Jigsaw’s epic final hurrah before shuffling off to the land of the dead…  The second movie, at absolute worst,  almost felt unnecessary .  I mean yeah, Amanda got revealed to be the apprentice, but you could’ve revealed that in the movie we got for Saw 3 in my mind.

But that’s a pretty minor complaint.  To me, even the second movie was worth collecting.

Then Saw 4 came out.  And that was where the series began to decline.

Saw 4…  It wasn’t great, but it could’ve been worse.  Honestly, the idea of Jigsaw grooming someone to be the next Jigsaw Killer from beyond the grave was a neat idea, but I vaguely remember it not living up to expectations.

Saw 5 was where my faith in the franchise faultered with gusto.  Hell, I’m still about 80% positive there were continuity errors in the flashbacks.  And Saw is a franchise that prided itself on continuity.  It’d been doing a pretty good job of maintaining continuity up until 5 for sure.

Saw 6…  Fuck Saw 6.  I’ve long since changed my tune about Obamacare (my libertarian days are over), but this was where the Saw franchise got preachy.  And I don’t mean the usual Jigsaw “most people are so ungrateful to be alive” preachy, because that’s been a staple of the franchise since the first movie.  I mean preachy as in “let’s suck Obama’s dick and praise his super awesome healthcare plan that’s totally one-hundred percent flawless!”.  Which, for the record, it isn’t.  Yeah, I know I said I’ve since changed my tune, but even as a supporter of Obamacare, it’s got some holes we need to duct tape up.  But that’s a rant for another day.  And for a smarter person to make, frankly.

Also, Saw 6 introduced the concept of “head-to-head” Jigsaw games.  The core concept of a head-to-head Jigsaw game defeats the entire purpose of the Jigsaw games!  These games are supposed to teach you that life is worth living, even if you have to sacrifice a part of your body you value the most in order to stay alive.  I get that the copycat Jigsaw from Saw 4 onward is SUPPOSED to be missing the point…  I think.  I was never clear on if that was the case, or if the writers were just coming up with this concept because they ran out of ideas for team play and single player games.

In any case, Saw 6 was the movie that stopped making these movies something I looked forward to, and made them into something I dreaded.  By the time Saw: The Final Chapter came out, I was renting these movies out of obligation.  Believe me, I’ve sat through some embarrassing fucking movies in the glorious name of fandom.  And Saw: The Final Chapter, was one of them.

Thankfully, it wasn’t as preachy as 6, but NOW the problem is the exact OPPOSITE of what 6’s was.  Instead of cramming a message down your throat, now they’re just trying everything in their power to justify making you pay twice as much for a ticket and watching this trainwreck with stupid fucking glasses on.  God I’m glad the 3D fad is more or less dead again.

I suppose the plot twist at the end of Saw 7, where in it’s revealed that the TRUE next-gen Jigsaw Killer was Gordon all this time…  I guess that was cool.  Although by the time it got to that plot twist, I was so fed up with this fucking movie, a unicorn could’ve stampeded onto the screen and farted a rainbow in my face, and I’d take it if it meant the movie would be fucking over with.

The Saw franchise has been dead for seven years.  And frankly, after those last couple movies, it needed to die.  Jigsaw had a good run, and we still see parodies of Saw today.  Truly, the legacy lives on.

Unfortunately, Saw 8 is on its way to theaters now.  And I have no idea how to feel about it.

On one hand, I could go into my usual “death to Generation: Nostalgia!” rant, but I already did that once, and this fucking rant is already starting to get long-winded as it is.

On the other hand, I’ve heard this isn’t going to be a remake.  It’s going to be a legit sequel to a film franchise we haven’t heard from since 2010.  The concept of a copycat Jigsaw is FAR from original…  Yet at the same time, I’m curious enough to see where they go with this.

Maybe this is another moment where I go in with nostalgia-colored goggles on.  Maybe this is an old habit refusing to die.  “Ooh, new Saw movie!  I know the last couple sucked, but maybe this time will be different!”  Knowing full well that no it fucking won’t be different, and I’m a fucking idiot for believing otherwise.

That being said, I’m probably going to see it.  Maybe I’ll find someone dumb enough to go see it in the theater with me, or maybe I’ll just check it out on Netflix.  Either way, dumb a move as it is, I’m still probably going to see it.

What can I say?  The Saw franchise is near and dear to me.  I still remember the good times.  In fact, in a weird way, the Saw franchise was what convinced me to keep going in my darkest time.  Yeah, you’re repeating twelth grade, watching all your normal friends live their lives and getting girlfriends/boyfriends and going to college while you’re stuck in high school for another year playing fucking make-believe with other people who are probably MORE broken than you are, but hey, at least you don’t have a reverse beartrap wired into your skull, right?

I don’t know.  It’s 3:00 in the morning, I’m too pumped up from something I’ll share later when it becomes available, and I’m just musing.  I’ve noticed I get all kinds of hits when I talk about movies on here…  Or maybe that has more to do with bitching people out for liking Tommy Wiseau ironically?  Ugh, whatever.  I’m going to try going to bed again.

What One Year Can Do to Your Opinion

A year ago (give or take), my friends and I went to see Suicide Squad in theaters.  At the time, I remembered liking it.  Only to find I was in an extreme minority of people.

Believe me, that’s far from the first time that’s ever happened.  Like I said yesterday, I think I’m the only human being on Earth who LIKED Apollo 18.  Inversely, I’m used to hating movies everybody likes.  I’m of the opinion Moonrise Kingdom sucked like a hoover, and I’m puzzled that there are people who actually liked this fucking movie.

I’m no stranger to being the contrarian.  At the same time, though, I’m no stranger to opinions changing.  My opinion on Suicide Squad was one that started out really positive…  Until I saw it a second time, and really thought about what I was watching.  It also helped…  Or maybe hindered, that I wasn’t spending most of the final battle thinking “Christ I got to pee!”.  All that said, the second viewing really changed my mind on this movie, and…  Yeah, it sucks.

I’m nos tranger to this phenomenon.  I personally referred to it as “The Transformers Effect”.

In 2007, the internet was abuzz with talk of an upcoming Transformers movie.  People were super fucking stoked their childhood was coming back.  Finally, the movie came out, and everybody absolutely loved it.  At first.

As time went on, the movie made its rounds, and eventually got put on DVD, bluray, and probably HD-DVD (I think that was still a thing in 07), people’s opinion of the movie soured.  By that time a year later, a lot of people actually ended up hating it.

It didn’t help that a couple years later, the sequel movie would come out, and foretell the ominous future of the franchise, but that first movie…

At the time, it was hard to believe that a movie with that much hype behind it would suddenly decline in popularity so rapidly.  But I know what the problem was.

Transformers was, from what I can tell, the very beginning of the Hollywood trend I have long-since come to call “Generation: Nostalgia”.  Sure, seventies and eighties crap had been getting remakes long before the mid-to-late 2000s, but it wasn’t until some time around 2009-2010 when the reboot machine went nuclear.

Transformers got away with the nostalgia factor because people weren’t conditioned to see through the bullshit just yet.  They saw their favorite childhood franchise get pulled out of the grave after it lived a good hardy life (including that weird Beast Wars phase it went through in the middle), and they were expecting something great.  They were even willing to look past the fact Michael Bay was on board (assuming more than the snobbiest of movie goers even know who Michael Bay even is), all so they could relive their fucking childhood for an hour and a half or so.  But once the hype died, the nostalgia factor became a nonentity, and the smoke cleared, what we had was a CGI movie that promised more than it could ever hope to live up to.

Unfortunately, because of that success, Generation: Nostalgia is now the norm in hollywoo right now.  In the last seven years, I’ve seen reboots of Karate Kid (sucked), Robocop (REALLY sucked), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (it was okay), Get Smart (not terrible, but not great), Mighty Morphing Power Rangers (haven’t seen it yet and don’t plan on it), Chips (I hear it sucked), and I’ve HEARD Back to the Future might be up next on the chopping block.  If they’re not remaking old franchises, they’re gender-swopping the shit out of them like they did for Ghostbusters 2016, and gender swopping is, hands down, the laziest form of reimaging out there.  Or maybe it’s not a matter of reimagining, and it’s a matter of the neoliberal, Antifa, “fuck white people” mentality that ultimately led to Donald fucking Trump to become president in the first place.  Who can say?  All I know is I’m fucking sick and tired of this nostalgia trip, and I want something NEW.

As an author, I know there’s only so many stories out there.  At the same time, though, I’m sick of seeing these remakes, reboots, reimaginings…  Just give me something new.  If you have to MARKET it as Back to the Future with chicks, fine.  But if you’re actually going to MAKE Back to the Future with chicks, you can guarantee that I’m not going to see it.  Which according to your neoliberal, social justice warrior, “Kamala Harris 2020” logic, that makes me sexist.  No, it makes me FUCKING BORED!

“Ooh, I wonder what would happen if Doc and Marty were girls?”

I don’t know, maybe the same fucking thing that would happen if they were guys?  They’re still traveling back to when Marty’s parents are kids, fucking up everything, and threatening to erase themselves from time and space in an effort to accidentally become their own grandparent.  The fact Marty’s a girl now doesn’t add shit to the plot, except for an opportunity for period jokes or something.

You know, I’m pretty sure I was talking about something else a minute ago.

Oh yeah, I saw Suicide Squad a second time a year later, and yeah, I agree.  That movie actually kind of sucks now.

Tommy Wiseau: An Exercise in Rewarding Failure?

Tommy Wiseau isn’t funny.  Tommy Wiseau isn’t brilliant.  Tommy Wiseau doesn’t deserve the cult status you people give him.  Even if it’s crappy “hur hur memes r the lulz” cult status, because even when you’re laughing at the fail on such a widespread level, you’re still acknowledging that Tommy Wiseau exists, and you really shouldn’t encourage this level of failure.

For the three people who probably don’t know who this guy is, Tommy Wiseau wrote, directed, starred in, produced, and probably catered for a movie simply known as The Room.  While saying this out loud isn’t exactly new, thought-provoking discussion, it still needs to be said: The Room is garbage.  I’ve literally seen TROMA movies that had more effort put into them, and you’d be amazed how often Uncle Loyd recycles some of those shots of people driving cars.

Tommy Wiseau HIMSELF…  A lot of people are convinced he’s trolling us, and that his persona, coupled with his shit movie, is the single greatest act of trolling ever.  Somehow, I’m not buying it.  I genuinely believe this guy thinks he’s a lot better at what he does than he actually is.

It’s one thing to be proud of your work.  Hell, I’ve written a dud or two in my time (cough Family Reunion), but even I feel good about having a story out there in public.

It’s one thing to feel proud about your project, though, and it’s another thing to delude yourself into thinking you’re good at what you do.  I’m not really sure what Wiseau thinks he’s doing.  I’ve theorized that the man is either an anticomedian, a space alien, or one of THOSE artists.  Neither of which are positives that justify his movie, but all the same, it gives me something to anchor to.

If it was just a bad movie made by a guy whose first language CLEARLY isn’t English, that’d be fine.  Worst case scenario, it drifts around the ether of Amazon.com or wherever, we never hear from it again outside “art” circles, and the world is a beautiful place.  Except I remembered that I live in the version of Earth where Donald fucking Trump is president, Tim Heidecker gets as many TV shows as he wants, and “I Miss the Misery” by Halestorm is considered a party song.  So of course a movie that sucks this much gets elevated to cult status.

I personally subscribe to the Kevin Murphy philosophy that was briefly mentioned in his book, A Year at the Movies.  I believe that failure shouldn’t be rewarded.  Bad movies don’t deserve to be talked about.  The Razzies, while fun, and possibly even cathartic to some, is ultimately the spirit award of cinema.

“Hey, buddy, how’s it going?  How about that movie you made that bombed at the box office and nobody liked.  Sure was a piece of shit, wasn’t it?  Here, have a trophy.”

Failure shouldn’t be rewarded.  At absolute most, failure is something you should keep in the ole disappointments room, and kept around only as a reminder of how yall done fucked up.  Take that failure, and learn from it.  Remember that this right here is how NOT to make a movie.

I grew up between the generation that buried hundreds of thousands of unsold E.T. cartridges, and the generation that says “Wow, Bee Movie sure did suck.  Let’s spend an entire spring break polluting the internet with Bee Movie memes and convince the internet it’s worth remembering despite the fact it clearly isn’t.”  Which basically means I received a spirit award or two (they were called fourth place ribbons when I ran track in high school), but I was encouraged to not put them on the same level as a medal or an actual trophy.  They were a way of saying “Hey, you suck too much to get a medal, but at least you didn’t come in last.”

The fact people make The Room memes, or do parodies of popular movies on YouTube in the style of The Room is more recognition than this movie deserves, and more recognition than Wiseau HIMSELF deserves.  With all due respect to the author, I don’t plan on reading The Disaster Artist out of fear it’ll only fuel the machine.

Now I’ll own up to liking a few bad movies in my time.  I’m literally the only human being on Earth who seems to have actually LIKED Apollo 18, for example.  I am a loud and proud fan of The Purge movies (though I really need to see the third one).  Hell, I even liked Tusk.  These movies are also bad…  But unlike The Room, or anything else Wiseau has put out, these movies looked like someone actually put FUCKING EFFORT into them.  There was a good idea here.  There was a sequence of events that, at least in context of the universe, made perfect sense.  Go ahead and disagree with the possibility The Purge could happen one day, or believe all you want that The Lost Cosmonaut Theory is bunk, but surely you can at least agree that there was some thought put into all this.

The Room…  Ugh, The Room.  I’ve seen honest to god Skinemax flicks that had better acting than this.  Better set design, too.  Hell, even the plot was more coherent and not repetitive.  And have you actually WATCHED sex?  Take your dick out of your hand, take all the anticipation and excitement out of it, and just watched it from an analytical level?  It’s probably the most repetitive, monotonous activity out there!

Just because a movie is funny for all the wrong reasons doesn’t instantly make it good.  Or even redeemable.  It’s admirable that you managed to find a way to enjoy cinematic torture, but if I’m supposed to be taking this dead serious, yet all I do is laugh the entire time, yall done fucked up, son.

And I know memes don’t usually pick on good movies, but at the same time, the fact we’re even acknowledging this movie and this man even exist in the first place seems like we’re only encouraging him to keep existing.  Hell, I’ve written, like, three pages or so of text at this point, and I’m already trying to justify posting this incoherent ramblefest outside the fact I’m fucking sick of seeing Wiseau memes on my Facebook feed.

I probably make it sound like I’m furious, but really, I’m not.  Hell, at this point, I’m barely annoyed at absolute best.  After years of being taught that failure isn’t something I should be proud of (not necessarily ASHAMED of, but not proud of either), I’m suddenly finding that we’re reveling in it.

“This movie sucks!  Let’s give it ridiculous amounts of attention!  Let’s have special viewings, and make dumb parody videos and put them up for everyone else to see!”

I just don’t get that mentality.  Then again, I also don’t get why it’s suddenly okay for thirty-year-old men to admit out loud they watch cartoons for seven-year-old girls, or why after years and years of developing technology to where video games are practically fully rendered movies, the most popular things to play are the same fucking 8-byt “metroidvania” games we played in the days of the NES.  Believe me, I could, and on occasion, HAVE ranted on those topics individually.

I just feel like all this time we’re spending giggling at Tommy Wiseau is doing two things:

First off, it’s not helping the guy.  If anything, it’s only encouraging him to be as horrible at his job as humanly possible.  By portraying The Room as “a spectacle”, and celebrating its horridness, you’re only telling Wiseau, and future generations (maybe) that this is okay.

Secondly, I feel like all this energy we’re putting into this clearly could be spent on better things.  There are great things on Netflix right now that we could be watching.  Sure maybe everything on Netflix’s original category isn’t for everyone, but surely there’s something there that’s more worth investing time in than the same fucking garbage cinema you’ve been meming, parodying, and overall inflicting on all of us for the last decade now.

A Taste of Things to Come: The Hood and The Heroine Sample Chapter!

With the release of The Hood and the Heroine mere weeks away, I figured I would further tease the shit out of my audience, and give you guys a bit of a taste of what’s to come.  Enjoy your sample chapter.  Fragment.  Thing.

NOTE: this is the third draft version of the chapter.  If there are any noticeable spelling errors in the text, please keep in mind that this is still being worked on.  Although knowing my process, the third draft is where all the blatantly obvious spelling errors are fixed.  Still, try to keep in mind this might not be the final version of the chapter.

 

 

THE HOOD AND THE HEROINE: BOOK 3 OF THE GAEL SAGA

COPYRIGHT 2017 BY THOMAS J. BLACK

 

 

5: ROISIN

Our first mission was that night. I was legitimately surprised how quickly I was able to assemble a group. I thought for sure there were only going to be about two other people. Instead, I ended up with ten people who wanted to take part! Technically nine other people, since it was a guarantee Jennifer was going to come along.

In hindsight, I probably would’ve given them something a little lower profile than an arms deal on the docks. Sure, these were girls who were taking down muggers, and maybe the occasional independent crack dealer in Aventurine Cove. And I suppose even those gigs had all the potential in the world to go south. According to Jennifer, a few of them did.

It was the first time I had to lead an entire team. I wasn’t used to leading anything. I was on teams before, but the only reason gymnasts are on teams is because they represent a school, or a town, or a country. The only time it’s actually a team sport is if you have some sort of two-woman synchronized routine or something. And I’m pretty sure that sort of thing is reserved for swimming, or cheerleading. It’s basically just you throwing shapes on the balance beam, the uneven bars, or even just on the floor.

We got there before the deal took place, and I pointed out the places I used to hide when this was just a solo act. Before Adelson started making this more complicated, and had people meet with other people, who’d then meet with more people, and so on. We hid, and we cast our glamours to blend in with the scenery.

The dealer and his clients showed up a few minutes later. We watched as the dealer (a Russian guy) talked business with a group of men. I counted about five. We had the numbers advantage for sure… But I was having doubts ten girls on their first mission could beat six guys who’d probably done this a bunch of times before, and knew how to deal with trespassers.

The plan was going smoothly… Right up until Jennifer’s phone went off. It was set on vibrate, but even vibrating cell phones make noise. And the sound of the vibrating was enough to shatter her glamour. Worse than that, the damn eejit thought she could sneak up on the guy, and… Well, who knows? Guess we never will now.

Somehow, she avoided becoming a casualty. Hell, the worst she got was a black eye! We all dispelled our glamours, and went into action. I don’t like to throw shapes outside of gymnastics, but at the same time, this wasn’t my first fight. I knew how to dodge, I knew how to disarm, and I knew how to work in an occasional vault, or side flip in between. The other girls, meanwhile, stuck to weaving and dodging the old fashioned way, and for the most part, it worked.

At the end of the melee, all six of the men involved were disarmed, and secured for police pickup. Unfortunately, three of the Gaels were injured. I was no doctor, but I was pretty sure one of them was going to need a miracle, or a day and a half with the Earth to recover from those bullet wounds. All and all, it wasn’t quite how I wanted to end the first mission of the night, but I suppose someone more military minded than I would say the important thing is that the mission was a success.

And then he showed up. Right in the middle of our interrogation, I heard something. A couple of the girls panicked… And I can’t blame them too much. Again, it’s their first mission. Also, my plans for the mission hadn’t counted on him showing up.

I looked over, and saw one of the six men we’ve apprehended was now dead. A ninja star was lodged into his throat, and blood was fountaining out of him as he lay there on the ground.

Just as I was calming the girls down, I saw another ninja star come out of the shadows! I dodged… Only to realize the star wasn’t intended for me in the first place. The dealer I was interrogating got hit right between the eyes, and fell to the ground screaming in agony.

“Show yourself!” I shouted.

“Get out while you can!” a voice shouted back. It was clear he was using some sort of voice changer to hide his identity, but it was a little unsettling how deep he’d set it. It sounded like feckin’ Satan had just told me to get out.

To my annoyance, a few of the girls decided to take his advice, and bail. Before I could convince them to get back here, another ninja star came out of the shadows, and killed another of the dealers. Then another. And another. By the time I could get some semblance of order, only one guy was left standing. Before he could throw one more star, I got in front of the last target.

“This one lives!” I shouted.

“Why?” the demon voice demanded.

I thought it over for a second, and replied, “This is clearly an Adelson operation. If we can’t figure out where Adelson is hiding, he can at least forward a message for me.”

There was silence for a moment. Most likely, he was contemplating a possibility that hadn’t occurred to him. Then, he responded.

“You won’t get anything out of these guys,” he said. “But if you really want to advertise yourself to Dan Adelson that badly…”

Rather than finish his sentence, I guess he decided to take his exit.

The police eventually came, and apprehended the surviving dealer. I made it a point to glamour myself and go into hiding, letting Jennifer and The Gael Army take all the credit for it. And to be honest, they deserved it. Cell phone mishap notwithstanding, they handled themselves a lot better than I was expecting, and were able to improv just fine when our cover was blown. Considering ole Starman was another little variable we hadn’t counted on, they could’ve done a lot worse.

The man was apprehended, and taken to jail (I assume). The rest of the girls were also taken down to the station, but compared to the survivor, it was more for testimony than for any counts of vigilante justice.

I was able to sneak my way past the officers as they put up the tape, and began their investigation. The next morning, the details would be made public to the masses. And it wasn’t till I saw the reports that I realized what just happened.

The Gael Army did get a couple mentions, but as far as the media was concerned, we were just bystanders. They made it sound like we’d shown up too late, and tried to talk him out of killing all of them. It was annoying, but only slightly. Especially when it occurred to me right then and there that I had just come face to face with none other than The Blue Hood himself.

9/1/2017: The Hood and The Heroine Semi-Official Release Date!

I’d gotten word from my cover artist that he’ll most likely have the cover art for The Hood and the Heroine finished around September the first.  At least, that’s how I interpreted the text message he sent me during our last exchange of texts.

The fact I’m not entirely certain is why I have this down as a SEMI-official release date.  It’s subject to change, but barring another fucking power outage, I have a feeling everything on my end will be ready and available for sure.

Indeed, the blackout this past weekend that left me without electricity for two straight days has set me back a bit.  Admittedly, book 3 of this whole series has probably been the most challenging.  According to my original plan, I was hoping to be done with this series a month ago.  Between family emergencies, writer’s block, and the fact I get distracted by shiny things, it wasn’t to be.

I’m not even sure Sept. 1 will be the day you see this book.  However, that seems to be the most likely date for sure.

For sure, the book is done.  I’m in the process of spellchecking it.  A task that, considering the character of CharKendrick parks is one of the narrators, is a real fucking chore.  I should be done with the spellchecking real soon, and I’ll be reading through it for continuity errors I missed the first couple read-throughs just in case.  Rest assured, the hard parts are pretty much done.

If you don’t see The Hood and the Heroine on Amazon.com by Sept. 2, and I don’t say anything, assume that there were complications.  I try my best to meet deadlines, but let’s face it, fate is a fan of Murphy’s Law.  And I don’t mean MILO Murphy’s Law.  Although as far as Disney cartoons go, Milo Murphy isn’t terrible.

Till then, mark your calendars, and tune in again for further news as it becomes available.  Also, whatever other insane babble I have lined up.