Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And heeeeere we go.

I've been sort of dreading today for a while. Wednesday is usually my favorite day of the week because it's when the new comics come out. I never really realized what a big part of my life it had become until recently. Suze and I would go to Nostalgia Plus to pick up the books and hang out with our friends Marvin and Marsha. Sometimes if we timed it right, we would go out to dinner with them afterward. Since our diet started, though, the dinner part has gotten cut out and it's made us realize how much we loved the whole experience.

This week was different, though. Because it marked the release of DRACULA: COMPANY OF MONSTERS, the new series from BOOM! Studios. When the series was first announced, I felt that sinking feeling I've felt nearly every time I thought I had a good idea and someone else beats me to it. It was similar to what I expect Todd felt when he saw the write-ups on PROOF. Except Todd and Craig got there first. The report I read on D:COM sounded so "in the neighborhood" of THE HAND ME DOWN HORROR that I literally couldn't sleep that night. This story, whether it gets published or not, has a deep personal significance to me. I'm very close to finishing the writing and this is certainly the farthest along I've ever gotten in any of my writing endeavors. I've cast aside so many of my potential stories because others had beaten me to it. I couldn't believe it was happening again.

When I started working out the story, vampires (especially Dracula) were passé. Nobody would be caught dead doing a vampire story. I got really excited. Then TWILIGHT happened and the shit hit the fan. Vampires were everywhere. People were looking for any excuse to put a vampire in their story. And Dracula comics started coming out of the woodwork. But I still didn't get too worried because I had two "hooks" in my story that were different. I won't go into one because I'm still hoping I'm in the clear on that one. But the other, the direct linking of the historical Vlad Tepes with Stoker's fictional character, had only been touched upon with any real detail in the Coppola film of the '90s.

COMPANY OF MONSTERS not only does this but it focuses on a couple of historical details that are central to my story. It's close enough to be nerve-wracking. I fear that if my story ever sees print, it will all be old-hat.

As for the other "hook", everything I've read about Busiek's story to this point and what I saw in the first issue leads me to believe that his story will be close enough to mine as to be a deal breaker. I sure hope not. Because I really love THE HAND ME DOWN HORROR. I sure would like to finish it.

The only comfort I have at this point is that Todd, Suzanne and Christian have been reading each chapter as I've finished it. It's only an audience of three but at least that's three people will know I wasn't cribbing from Busiek. Sigh.


Okay, on to cheerier stuff. In case I'm too busy at work between now and Friday to post again, we'll be at the Baltimore Comicon this coming weekend. It's only a quick drive up the road from Richmond and we're really looking forward to it. Marc, Shelly and Brad have kindly set us up at a table with Todd and Craig. (We'll try not to crowd you, guys.) And we'll be directly across the aisle from BLUE MILK SPECIAL writer/artist/spousal team Rod and Leeane Hannah, which has me excited because nobody else will talk about the incredible awesomeness of Hammer Films with me. (And with Halloween approaching, I'm eager to do just that!)

We've got some new buttons to debut. We ran out of the white "'Ringo" signature buttons Suzanne had made as a tribute to Mike at our first convention so we decided to take the opportunity to redesign them. These will be slightly bigger and feature the scholarship fund logo designed by my friend Matt Wojtysiak in white reversed out of black. If you're there, make sure you come by and get one to help spread the word. We plan on getting some more of the white tribute buttons by next Heroes and maybe, if we can afford it, some full-color Flyboy buttons. We pay for these out of our own pocket (again, every dime we take in goes to the fund and not for any sort of overhead) so we'll have to see how things go.

We're looking forward to seeing everybody again, especially Todd, since he wasn't at Heroes. But I'm also sad because apparently Brian Mulchahy, Warren Newsome and our buddy Heywood won't be there this year. We'll miss you guys. Maybe next time.

Okay, gotta get some sleep. Later.


Josh said...

I'd still read your book Matt. I haven't seen any of the story, just the art, but I think if it ever does get published, it'll be a great read. I think would be cool to have one of each of those buttons. I imagine they look really cool.

Warren said...

Hey, Matt, I just finished reading a book called, The Dead Fathers Club that has the exact same plot as Hamlet. Except that it's different. And that difference is in how the writer tells his story; in the voice of his narration; in the life-experience of his eleven-year old protagonist; in the cast of characters and the setting...

There are only so many stories to tell. It's up to the storyteller to take one and make it his own. Even if the next teller of tales covers the same ground, it will be different.

Fiction, no matter how escapist, is an attempt to describe the human condition, this life we all share. We're all like the blind men describing the elephant. All any of us can do is describe the parts we feel.

todd said...


shut up!

proof and the perhapanauts is a perfect example; they are two totally different books that just happen to feature a sasquatch. different stories, different atmosphere--and here's the most important part--different WRITER!
stop comparing yourself to other people and know that what you write and do is GOOD! it's filled with elements that only YOU could put in there and THAT'S what people want to see; your truth, your passion! if you gave up on everything you ever thought of because someone else did something slightly similar, you'd never get anything done! how come you're not worrying about what marv and gene did in tomb of dracula? stop whining! this isn't an issue! YOU'RE the only one who even remotely cares.
see ya tonight.
love ya!

Matt Wieringo said...

Strangely, you made me feel better. Good thing since I'm going to be in a bar with you tonight. See ya there.

Brian said...

Sorry I couldn't be there, especially since once it was too late to make it down to B-More, the two cases keeping me away settled. Ah, such is life.

As for the story, I'm with Todd.