March 31, 2019
Another seven days have come and gone, and I hope yours were filled with hair-raising stunts and death-defying adventures. As for myself, I went to the dentist and had a crown rebuilt. Hardly adventurous or death-defying, but it did give me time to think about this week. Been contemplating the art of putting pen to paper to tell a story and thought, why not devote this week’s conversation on books about writing? As the great philosopher once said, “those who can, write. Those who can’t write, create reality television.” Anyway, here are a few books you may find useful.
(All articles and opinions are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Pulp Authors of America, the Bureau of Land Management or the Sunny Valley Skeet Shooting Association. Please consult your librarian to see if books are right for you.)
“The Elements of Style” by William Strunk & E.B. White. These are the same guys who created the iconic and beloved television character “Columbo,” so you know it’s got to be chock full of useful information. Besides, you can’t break the rules if you don’t know what they are. Kidding. Don’t break the rules.
“If you Want to Write” by Brenda Ueland. A charming little book written by a charming little, old woman with a neatly folded Kleenex in her apron and a glass dish of Werther’s hard candy next to her writing desk.
“Making Comics” by Scott McCloud. Thank you, Tadd Galusha.
“On Writing.”Stephen King. The Master of the Macabre breaks it all down for you, going so far as to reveal his own editing process. Just thinking about how good this book is, makes me want to read it again. Full of personal insights, anecdotes and humor. This little book has it all.
“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. Go take a walk…and then journal about it. 3 pages, single spaced, every damn day. A twelve-step recovery for your inner artist. Make it through the entire course and get a poker chip. I was ordered into the program by a stern State Appellate judge with a cruel sense of humor.
“The Complete Works of Shakespeare.” I forget the author. Get the heaviest one. The one they made us schlep around in college. Take it to the nearest coffee shop to meet women. Look pretentious and pathetic all at the same time. Tweed helps.
“The Devil’s Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God!”Joe “Showgirls” Eszterhas. Read it for the references to Robert McKee alone. Written in a style that’s best described as Larry King on blow. Admit it. Now you really want to read it.
“Story”by Robert McKee. Unfortunately, no anecdotes about Joe Eszterhas. True story: I took one of Bob’s seminars a decade back (both informative and tax deductible). He’s Irascible and grumpy, and attending a three-day event is like being a cast member in the movie “The Paper Chase.” One of the all-time favorite moments of my life took place during one of his question and answer sessions. McKee had just delivered a stunning oral treatise regarding character arc and story progression when a particularly studious attendee stood and asked, “Which is better for my screenplay? Two or three-hole punch?” I swear, there was murder in that old man’s eyes.
While you’re at it, I’d throw in a good Thesaurus (glossary, language reference book, lexicon, onomasticon, storehouse of words). Buy one from an actual bookstore and don’t use the one from the internet. No one likes a cheapskate. Besides, Mr. Roget could use the money. His Amazon kindle sales are way down.
This list is nowhere near complete, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt. Or, if you’re Joe Eszterhas, with a gram of cocaine.
Next Week, April 7th: Origin of a Henchman. We’re going back to basics and reveal a bit of history considering everyone’s favorite bad-ass from “Son of Savage.”
Oh, and don’t forget to tell all of your friends to stop by this website for a visit and be sure to click contact above and sign the GD form. You might even win an autographed copy of “Son of Ravage” which is now available on Amazon and Kindle. Contest ends April 27th.
Tadd Galusha is a human dynamo. His boundless energy is natural, his curiosity is insatiable, and he possesses a talent that is nothing short of brilliant. I have it on good authority that Tadd’s superhuman body only requires 13 minutes of sleep per night and that he moved to Alaska to be closer to his personal power source, the Aurora Borealis.
We met while making the pilot for “Frank Stone,” my screenplay based on what critics believe to be the worst comic book ever. Frank was directed by mutual friend and director, Brett Vail. Tadd also has a cameo in the pilot, playing an obnoxious robotic mime in a police line-up. The scene is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Good times. When another director/partner of mine needed an artist for mock movie posters based on my original stories, I suggested Tadd. He didn’t disappoint. You can see for yourself.
When Tadd needed a writer for a book of short stories based on his drawings, he asked me. I was honored. The project was eventually abandoned but the collaboration was solid and I’d work with Tadd again in a split-second. He’s that amazing.
Todd’s recent titles include, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers” “Godzilla” as well as his own web series “The Backwoods.”
Tadd was kind enough to take time away from his busy schedule promoting “Cretaceous” to answer a few questions.
Welcome, Tadd! When did you decide that you wanted to be an artist/illustrator/comic/author of graphic novels?
While I was in college at Washington State University. I was going for a BFA and for the first time in life had easy access to a kick ass comic shop. That’s when I put it together that the people illustrating comics were good at drawing everything. I wanted to be like that, so I left the university for the Kubert School and now here I am. Illustrating and writing comics.
Let’s talk about your training. Where did that happen?
Well, two and a half years in a BFA program at WSU. Then the three-year program at the Kubert School. And last but not least I did an internship at Helioscope Studios in Portland. Then it was off to the races.
How did you get started in the business?
My first real comic gig was a tiny stint on the now defunct Zuda web comics site that was produced by DC comics. That entire entity was canceled as soon as I got in. So, then I started working for Escaped From LA Films, where you and I were first introduced. From there I just freelanced on indie gigs and worked as a ghost until I was able to get something going with some of the industries publishers.
What are some of the other books have you worked on?
I’ve done a bit of work on a few books, Godzilla, Ninja Turtles, Kong of Skull Island, Dream Thief, Bubba Ho Tep. A few anthologies here and there. My first self-published book was the Backwoods, which I did and web comic a couple years back. I actually have you and the Escaped From LA crew to thank for suggesting that I do it. Currently I’m illustrating a GN, “The First Americans” from Critical Entertainment and writing and illustrating a monthly strip, “Super Puncher”, for Western Horseman Magazine. Obviously, I got a couple other irons in the fire, but I can’t spill the beans quite yet.
How do you deal with your own self-doubt and negativity?
That’s a good question. I’ve been lucky enough that I don’t care what others think of me or my work. Don’t get me wrong I would love for everyone to enjoy my presence and my work even more, but that’s not very realistic. If I had let that govern my career, I would never have had one, LOL. My biggest setback as an artist is that I never really like the final execution of any of my work, it can always be better. As much of a downer that can be, its inevitably a positive in my book. It means the ceiling has been reached yet and there is still room for growth. Anyone I’ve ever met who loves their own work usually isn’t worth writing home about and it shows in their craft. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with self-doubt, but at the end of the day I usually can rationalize that the only cure is to keep working, keep producing. To use baseball terms: whether a homerun or a bunt, it’s all about getting on base.
Let’s talk “Cretaceous.” It’s such a great idea. How did you come up with the concept?
I always enjoyed dinosaurs and there really aren’t a lot of dinosaur comics out there. So I thought I’d try and make a contribution to the limited genre. It just felt like an underexplored territory in comics.
How did you pitch it to your publisher?
Once I was able to sit down with Oni Press. I just told them what I wanted to do and why I thought it could hold a place on bookshelves. I then had to put my money were my mouth was and create some engaging art that they felt had some potential. Fortunately, everything clicked and then it was just a matter of getting it done and hoping that the readers felt the same kind of enthusiasm that we shared for the book.
How long did it take you from concept to publishing?
I was pitching for years. Then it was another couple years before getting things finalized on the contract side of things. And another 2-3 years to complete. I would say about 8 years in total. I was just never in a situation where I could sit down and just work on it. I was always in a position where I had hustle to provide an income so the passion project of Cretaceous always came after paying work if there was time. It was long and bumpy road, but the book is done and turned out real solid, if you don’t mind me saying. So hopefully people enjoy it and I can make those passion projects my fulltime gig.
What sets “Cretaceous” apart from other books?
That’s a tough question. I think, like any story, it will elicit different emotions from different readers. The book is wordless, so I’m not narrating or feeding the viewers a steady stream of explanative thought. Instead readers can view the animals and the actions within the story and given the ability to form their own conclusions and underlying details based on their individual perspectives. So on the surface everyone is watching the same story play out upon the pages, but the finer details have been customized according to the views individual preference.
Where can I buy “Cretaceous? “
You can get yourself a copy of Cretaceous at all the usual suspects: comic shops, bookstores, and online shops like Amazon.
Thanks again, Tadd. Readers, you should buy this graphic novel. It is unlike any graphic novel you have ever read/seen.
And now a word from our sponsor:
“Son of Ravage” from El Dorado Publishing is available for your Kindle and soft cover from Amazon. In fact, we’ve added a convenient link to the novel directly below the slide show. Just click and go. Once you’ve read it, hop back onto Amazon and leave a review. Reviews are never expected, but always appreciated.
Don’t forget to enter the contest for an autographed copy of “Son of Ravage.” Just click on contact above the slideshow and leave your name and email. A Winner will be announced at the end of April.
Oh, and coming very, very soon….”Son of Ravage” SWAG. Save the world and look good at the same time. Stay tuned.
Until next time, America!
NEWS FLASH! Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are now exclusively in charge of all publicity for “Son of Ravage,” available on Amazon and Kindle. This is great news and I am feeling very good about my chances of finally getting some serious recognition. Wait? What’s that? Never mind.
Shout out to Sonja for letting me know I need to be a bit clearer regarding the contact form. Click contact (above the slide show) and this will bring up the comment form. Leave your name and email to enter the contest for a free signed copy of “Son of Ravage.” The contest will run through April 18thso tell your friends, enemies and whoever else might be inclined to listen. Just for the record, Sonja and her husband Mark now have a 50/50 chance of scoring an autographed copy of the book. So far, I like their odds.
Tickled pink to announce that next week we will be having our first special guest to jplinde.com, artist and author Tadd Galusha. I first met this extremely talented artist on the set of “Frank Stone,” directed by our mutual friend and hopefully future virtual guest, Brett Vail. Tadd was doing storyboards and a friendship developed that I’m happy to say has lasted several years. This week, Tadd’s first book, “Cretaceous” was released by Oni Press and is available online and at your favorite bookstores.
The pitch is as follows: When a Tyrannosaurus Rex is separated from its family unit, it embarks on a harrowing journey to reunite with them before the raw, real dangers of the Cretaceous Era separate them for good. This heart-wrenching story takes to the skies and dives into the sea—and explores everywhere in between.
I know. Pretty great, right?
Again, the Tadd blog will drop on March 25.
This week’s startling confession: The picture of the North Hollywood Starbucks is not really from North Hollywood. Gasp! It’s actually the Toluca Lake location which is next to Bob’s Notorious B.I.G. Boy. The photo is poor quality, several years old and cracks me up every single time I see it. Also for the record, I did not see a desktop in Toluca Lake. The actual sighting of the 27-inch desktop was in the Manhattan Beach Starbucks. They do everything big in Manhattan Beach.
I have come to the painful conclusion that my blogs resemble the incoherent ramblings of Larry King in his old column on USA Today.
“Gun violence is a nationwide epidemic and speaking of epidemics, “The Cannonball Run 2” will have you clutching your sides with lethal doses of hilarious comedic hijinks. We lost Moshe Dayan today. Truly, one of the great ones.”
Okay, thanks for stopping by. As usual, if you have any ideas, questions or want to significantly cut Mark or Sonja’s chance of winning a free autographed copy of my book, “Son of Ravage,” leave a comment.
In two weeks, I will be recounting my journey of self-discovery during the treacherous three-month backpacking trip around the Glendoveer Golf Course hiking trail in Northeast Portland, Oregon. My treacherous stop for Onion Rings at The Ringside will have you gasping for breath.
A very important announcement concerning SON OF RAVAGE is coming soon! Stay tuned.
Last weekend, the jplinde.com website surpassed 100 visits. No small accomplishment considering that only half of the visits were by yours truly. Kidding, only a third. The rest were by Michael Cohen who had been paid off with a free copy of my book, “The Son of Ravage,” available exclusively on Amazon in both Kindle and soft cover. Shish. Don’t tell Mueller.
Where was I? Oh, yes, 100 visits. I thought I would float the idea of opening up the blog by having some special guests drop by and talk about their upcoming projects, and, or, the creative process. I know what you’re thinking, who the hell do I know? Well, you might be surprised. We can go either free form, the guests writing whatever comes to mind. Or, you can leave some questions on the message board and I will make sure that they get them. Either way, I think it could be fun. BTW, if you know anyone that you think might be interesting, let me know. I may even send them an invite.
Please tell all your friends to drop by and say hello. As an added bonus to stopping by and signing the guest book (click on contact above), I will be doing a “Son of Ravage” signed book giveaway. Yes, you read it correctly. One lucky person will win a signed copy of my novel. And, yes, the book will actually be signed by me and not some imposter by the name of Michael Cohen. The winner will be picked from random from all of you that have been so good to have signed the guest list. Right now, your odds are pretty good as we have absolutely no comments left on our board. So, don’t be shy. Let me know who you are, where you are, and we will get you entered into the contest. We will draw the winner when we have 20 comments posted so get to work.
Writer’s tip of the day: Coffee shop etiquette. Never bring your oversized, overpowered desktop to the North Hollywood Starbucks to work on your sitcom spec. It’s pretentious, takes up entirely too much room and makes all the other writers feel woefully inadequate. It’s like bring a howitzer to a knife fight.
One final note, if you have read “Son of Savage,” and are not displaying it as a coffee table book, tell the world! Please submit a review to either Amazon or Good Reads. Every little bit helps.
For all of you screaming for the continuing adventures of Barry Levitt and his friends, let me announce that a first draft of book 2 is completed, and I am in the process of the rewriting as we speak. No spoilers but it appears that Barry and his friends are in for the fight of their lives. Barry’s past has always played an important part in his story and the second book will prove no exception. We may even learn more about his mysterious father, the pulp icon and adventurer, Rock Ravage.
The story’s super antagonist is, in his own words, “the biggest,” and his origin story will hopefully prove to be as fascinating as that of the megalomaniacal villain of the previous story, Dr. Harrison Thunder. My only clue is that his arrival appears to be, in the words of “Law and Order” creator, Dick Wolfe, “ripped from today’s headlines.
Oh, and for those that are worried about our friend Beast, he is alive and well and kicking ass in the sequel.
There are so many things that I want to fit into the next stories but, well, there is no rushing it. All in good time. Suffice to say, in Sequel of Ravage,” we will revisit old friends, meet some new ones and encounter all sorts of exciting adventures along the way.
I want to publish little snippets of the story right here on the blog. Let me know if you would like that and I will oblige. In the meantime, keep reading, and keep adventuring.
On another note:
“Son of Ravage” is on Good Reads. I even have an author’s page where you review my book or even can ask me a question. But, hey, you can ask me anything here. You can fill out the contact form or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from all of you.
One more thing. All reviews are welcome. You can add your two cents to a review on Amazon or even Good Reads. Good, bad or indifferent are welcome. Believe me, it helps.
Check out my author page on Facebook. I will announce promos both here and there. Thanks again!
Son of Ravage: Book One
In 1981, J.P. Linde co-wrote and appeared in a one-man comedy show titled “Casually Insane.” Shortly after, he joined the ranks of stand-up comedy and performed in clubs and colleges throughout the United States and Canada. In 1989, he made his national television debut on “Showtime’s Comedy Club Network.” He wrote the libretto for the musical comedy “Wild Space A Go Go” and co-wrote and co-produced the feature motion picture, “Axe to Grind.” “Son of Ravage” is his second novel.