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Every reader has at least one book or series that can best be defined as a “guilty pleasure.” You don’t read it because everyone else did, or because it’s intellectually stimulating, or even because you might want to recommend it to others. You read it simply because you like it, it makes you laugh, and maybe gives you a cheap thrill.

However, every once in a while, a guilty pleasure can surprise you. It becomes something more than what it was in its origins, something deeper than what you thought it was capable of being. This was my experience with Adam Warren’s Empowered, a graphic novel series published through Dark Horse Comics.

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For the last week I have been knocked out with a relatively short-lived but vicious cold, confining me to a world where the only entertainment to be had was whatever was in arms reach. So, after watching a few movies and indulging in a little of the twelve day Simpsons marathon (oh, the nostalgia!), I started rifling through the books on my shelves. From that venture I rediscovered an old favorite from about four years ago, Sky Doll by Barbara Canepa & Alessandro Barbucci, so I decided to give it a review for old times’ sake.

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Despite all the courses, books, seminars, and schools, the funny thing is no one can really teach you how to write. The best anyone can do is administer to what’s already there. To that effect, there is a lot of advice I’ve been given over the course of my relatively short career as a writer, much of it from people who haven’t written much themselves. However, probably the one I hear the most is, “Write what you know/Write from your life.”

This is singularly the most versatile and useless advice I have ever been given, mainly because it can mean virtually anything, but everyone is sure that their interpretation is the right one. Read Full Article

*picture courtesy of Dave Alvarez Studios

Robin Williams died this week…

I know this isn’t news, or it shouldn’t be by now. In the world we live in, the death of anyone even remotely famous rips though our social networks like the ragged edge of a knife, leaving tatters of sorrow in its wake. Robin Williams was far more than a simple celebrity though, and I think the wound of his passing is going to be felt for a long time to come. Read Full Article

So, after hearing about it’s extremely successful opening weekend and reading more than a few rave reviews (while avoiding any and all spoilers), I finally broke down and saw Guardians of the Galaxy this week.

Without going into hyperbole, I had to admit that Guardians definitely lived up to the hype. It was an amazing action story, filled with well-developed and dynamic characters, a compelling plot, five-star special effects, and even a few outstanding performances that, even though I knew they were coming, still managed to leave me speechless. Read Full Article

“What would you do if you suddenly found yourself with super powers?”

It is a common question asked by comic book fans and less-nerdy folk alike, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a question filled with possibilities, and the answers are always more revealing of the person than you would imagine. Would you want great strength to protect or intimidate others? Would you fly to escape the boundaries of the world? Would you create more of yourself or teleport to be in as many places as possible? No one wishes for power purely for the sake of it; there’s always a reason, and that is part of what makes Resistance, the latest novel from Samit Basu such a compelling read. Read Full Article


There’s an inherent level of frustration that comes with the decision to write for a specific age group, especially when you’re aiming for younger rather than older.

Never has this frustration been more present to me than when I decided to collaborate on a children’s story with with my sister, an artist looking to expand her craft. We had worked together on one similar project (an illustrated alphabet book for my then-two-year-old nephew), and we both decided that it would be fun to collaborate on something slightly more advanced. Read Full Article