So Where Is It?

   Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 12PM

The astute among you may have noticed that I never gave an exact release date for my new novel, Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days. The promo image on the website says only "Materializing 2018," which was less intended to provide me wiggle room than it was to give me my own wiggle village.

Wiggle village! Doop! Doo-de-doop!

That said, I always had a target release date in mind. The astute among you might have even guessed it from that same promo image. (And no, the release date was not "sometime in the year 20,018.") And if you guessed it, you might have also noted that that date has now come and passed. Bummer.

Wiggle village! Shoop! Scoobily-poop!

So what happened? Why did the date slip? When might it have slipped to? And why is this song so catchy???

Wiggle village, wiggle village! Gonna wiggle all over this tow-oun!

KEEP READING "So Where Is It?"

 

New Novel Mostly Potatoes

   Sunday, April 1, 2018 at 12PM

Most folks who follow this blog know that I have a new novel coming out soon called Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days. Today I am pleased to reveal that this novel will be MOSTLY POTATOES.

WHAAAAT?!?

KEEP READING "New Novel Mostly Potatoes"

 

Lo, There Shall Come a Back Cover

   Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 7AM

We are living in the last days! (...before my novel comes out. If these were the ACTUAL last days, it would severely cut into my sales.)

Behind the scenes, it is definitely in "crossing i's and dotting t's" mode. This is the penultimate phase before "wait, I got that backwards, let me fix that" mode.

While you wait, here is another teaser, the 99.99% finalized back cover of the print edition:

KEEP READING "Lo, There Shall Come a Back Cover"

 

Best Pie Charts

   Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 11AM

In honor of (and perhaps slightly misunderstanding) Pi Day, here are the three indisputable best pie charts.

(Note that there are many different versions of each of these. But these are pretty good versions of each.)

Visit the artist's DeviantArt page.

From GraphGraph.com.

You can buy this on a T-shirt from Nerduo.

Mmmmmmmm, lasers pie. Happy Pi Day, everybody!

 

Jokes Drew Can't Tell

   Friday, March 9, 2018 at 12PM

Seth Meyers is probably my favorite late night talk show host these days. I like John Oliver and Samantha Bee too, but they only go up once a week. Meyers, who's on most weeknights, fills that void in my life that opened up when Jon Stewart left The Daily Show I decided that Trevor Noah wasn't very funny.

Meyers is topical, good at screeds, and generally has his heart in the right place. (I do wish he'd stop doing those "He looks like..." bits where he makes fun of the looks of people he thinks are bad people.) One of his most reliably funny segments is "Jokes Seth Can't Tell," where he's joined by two of his writers, Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel, who help him to tell jokes about women, black people, and gay people. And it's okay, because Ruffin is black, Hagel is gay, and they're both women.

The thinking is that the same joke is funny or racist/homophobic/sexist depending on who's telling it. If a straight white guy tells a joke about black people, it's at their expense, but if a black woman tells the same joke, it can be self-aware and self-deprecating and funny. ("And where's the equality in that?" says the racist homophobic sexist.) When you're in a safe space, where everyone is in on the joke, this kind of humor can be really silly and fun and satisfying and non-bigoty.

So that's "Jokes Seth Can't Tell." Now let's talk "Jokes Drew Can't Tell."

KEEP READING "Jokes Drew Can't Tell"

 

2 Tortoise 2 Hare

   Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 3PM

You're probably familiar with the fable of "The Tortoise and the Hare." (Or as it was known in the original Greek, "The Turtle and the Rabbit.") But did you know that there was a sequel to that story?

It goes like this...

    Well, Turtle was quite tired after that first race ended, but also quite pleased with himself. He had hoped to take advantage of Rabbit's notorious laziness to somehow plod past him in the race, but he hadn't known for sure if it would work. When he saw Rabbit sleeping on the side of the road, he laughed and laughed. What a ridiculous thing to do in the middle of a race!

KEEP READING "2 Tortoise 2 Hare"

 

Toxic Masuclinity Ruined BLACK PANTHER

   Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 2PM

Black Panther was a solid movie. Maybe the best of the Marvel Studios films. But it wasn't a GREAT movie. Ultimately, it was let down by the same tired trope that most superhero films fall victim to: An ending that, um... Oh.

There may be some spoilers in your future.

KEEP READING "Toxic Masuclinity Ruined BLACK PANTHER"

 

41LT: That's, Like, Your Opinion

   Friday, February 9, 2018 at 8AM

I have been telling people they're wrong on the internet for over 20 years. At a certain point, you find that you're repeating yourself. In the interest of saving myself some time and frustration, I will sometimes put together my thoughts on a topic here, in a recurring feature I call "For One Last Time."

Today we're going to talk about people who go online and insist that the latest well-reviewed, well-received, high-grossing movie is THE WORST THING EVER.

SPOILERS: It's possible we may be talking about The Last Jedi.

Let's do this.

KEEP READING "41LT: That's, Like, Your Opinion"

 

The Best Defense?

   Monday, February 5, 2018 at 12PM

They say that the best defense is a good offense.

They are dumb. Probably. Probably it's them and not me.

Look, I understand the principle. Sometimes the best way to defend yourself is to go on the attack. Okay, maybe. That's not my problem.

My problem is this:

The BEST defense is a GOOD offense.

No way. Let's take a look at some charts.

KEEP READING "The Best Defense?"

 

On Self-Publishing

   Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 9AM

[Apologies in advance. This one's going to be a long walk.]

Comics wrecked me. That's a good, all-purpose truism. Before there was Dungeons & Dragons for me, before there was Star Wars or Star Trek or Doctor Who or The Chronicles of Narnia (sorry, Susan) of The Prydain Chronicles, there were these funny little sheets of newsprint, folded over and stapled and sold on racks at newsstands and bookstores and, closest to home, at a dark and mysterious back alley establishment called "The Pipe Shoppe." They taped their comics shut so you couldn't browse. That's how I knew evil.

And then there were comic book stores. This was the early 80s, so the whole concept was pretty new. We had one comic book store in walking distance very briefly: "Comics Universe." A whole UNIVERSE of comics! But they shuttered pretty quickly, and after that comic book stores were always like Oz for me. The end of a hard fought quest.

(Here "quest" basically just means "bus ride," plus talking somebody into taking you. And maybe McDonald's after.)

All of this is just a preamble so that I can say this: In the 1980s, in the comics industry, the cool kids self-published.

KEEP READING "On Self-Publishing"

 

Look Before You Leap?

   Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 4PM

Look before you leap.

Also, while leaping. That makes landing easier. It would be profoundly weird if you looked, leapt, and then closed your eyes mid-leap, never to open them again.

Which brings us to landing. When you land, keep looking.

Basically, whenever possible, look. Look before you leap. Look while leaping. Look after leaping. Always look.

If you can. If you are blind or otherwise CAN'T look (say, if you are asleep or you have been blindfolded) then you shouldn't look. Because if you can't look and yet you somehow still look, you have created some kind of logical impossibility and possibly a rift in space and time through which other people might fall.

You know, if they're not looking.

Rather than specifying when one SHOULD look, it might be simpler to point out the times one shouldn't.

For instance, when counting to 100 at the beginning of a game of hide-and-go-seek.

When your bride is sneaking into the room to grab her shoes the morning of the wedding.

At an eclipse.

When your grandmother is coming out of the shower and her towel slips.

At Medusa.

If I might suggest a better saying, and this will be by no means perfect or comprehensive, then perhaps:

    Look before you leap and during and after and at all other times except when logically impossible or when counting to 100 during hide-and-go-seek or brides or towels or eclipses or Medusa.

Shove that in your Bartlett's.

 

The Fun Killers

   Friday, January 19, 2018 at 12PM

There are two kinds of conflicts in fiction. (Which is to say that there are an infinity of conflicts, which I will now divide cleanly in two.)

In one, our hero triumphs by virtue of his/her awesomeness. This is fun for us, the reader or viewer, because awesomeness is awesome.

In the other, our hero is trying super hard to be awesome, but someone or something JUST. WON'T. LET. THEM. Booooo to that person, persons, or inanimate force. Why do they hate awesomeness? Why are they trying to kill our fun?

KEEP READING "The Fun Killers"

 

41LT: Diversity in Superhero Comics

   Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 7PM

I have been telling people they're wrong on the internet for over 20 years. At a certain point, you find that you're repeating yourself. In the interest of saving myself some time and frustration, I will sometimes put together my thoughts on a topic here, in a recurring feature I call "For One Last Time."

And then, I don't know. I can link to it or whatnot.

Today, diversity in superhero comics.

KEEP READING "41LT: Diversity in Superhero Comics"

 

Quantum Leap and Non-Productive Non-Productivity

   Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 8AM

In the old days, before cellphones, people had nothing to do while standing in bank lines or walking into oncoming traffic. We only had two options, "paying attention" or "day dreaming," both of which are essential skills for a writer, although I have always been partial to the latter.

A normally-wired human might see these as the "productive" and "non-productive" choices (where "productive" equals "not run over by a car") but a writer knows better. A writer weaponizes "non-productivity" to generate food and shelter and hate mail. There is an awful lot of brainstorming, writing, and revising that can happen in one's head. This is what we call "productive non-productivity."

But if there is "productive non-productivity," there must also be "non-productive non-productivity," and I enjoy this too. Daydreaming too much about stories that aren't going to go anywhere. That are never going to pay your rent or buy you a cheeseburger. But maybe, maybe, maybe this kind of daydreaming can be turned to productive ends too. "Productive non-productive non-productivity."

That is today's rabbit hole. And/or an excuse to talk about the TV show Quantum Leap and reboots in this era of peak TV. Let's jump in.

KEEP READING "Quantum Leap and Non-Productive Non-Productivity"

 

Hello, 2018

   Monday, January 1, 2018 at 12PM

Happy New Year, everybody, and welcome back to drewmelbourne.com!(And/or its syndicated blog feed!)

This year I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be releasing a new novel, Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days. It's a sci-fi/fantasy/horror/comedy/mystery/adventure story. Basically everything I love about genre fiction squished between two covers.

More details to come, including when precisely you can buy a copy, where, and how much it will cost you. Keep coming back here to drewmelbourne.com (and/or its syndicated blog feed!) for all of that, plus behind the scenes looks into publishing a novel and assorted musings on life, politics, pop culture, and pre-Raphaelite stone masonry. (At least one of those is probably not a thing.)

In the meantime, here are some places that you can find/like/follow me across the web: