2.5 Weeks?!?

Insert interrobang here.

I had no idea I'd been gone this long. Got crazy busy with things, and frustrated with an inability to complete one of them. Didn't seem like the right time to blog for a bit.

I'm back now. Woke up with a killer title in my head. It's a pun, sure, but puns can be great titles if the material backs them up.

Things that have kept me busy that you can check out now or soon listed below.

- Tumor (issues #1-6 available on Kindle, free issues and extras on TumorTheComic.Com)
- Days Missing (issues #1-3 in stores, #4 out next month)
- Twitter (@roblevin, as usual)

- DC Holiday Special 2009 (featuring a Ragman/Chanukah story by yours truly with jaw-dropping art by the amazing Brian Ching and a cover by good buddy Dustin Nguyen) [Previews Order Code OCT09 0223]
- New book to be announced any day with Bryan Edward Hill
- New creator-owned book that revives a long dormant idea

As always, my screenplay is not done and haunts every waking minute of my life. But it will be soon. And once I break the seal... It's over.


TGIM - Old Balls

Anyone that knows me, or reads this, knows that dodgeball is a major part of my life. Since February 2008 when Alexander asked me if I wanted to join a league, it's eaten up more of my time than just about anything (including drinking). However, the fact that we drink after matches doesn't really make counting all that easy.

Alexander and I joined at random, just marking that we wanted to play together. We were placed on Old Balls, the team by which all others are judged, and we won championships our first two seasons. Old Balls hasn't returned to the top of the podium since then (in 3 seasons since), but we've remained competitive, including losing in a Finals tie-breaker.

After last season (about two months back), the team was in strife. We had different people that wanted to go in different directions, and a vote was called for. What was the future of Old Balls to be? Ultimately the vote led to a split, with a former captain electing to leave the team and start anew. It was the first time we had lost an original Old Ball, and the first time loyalties had been questioned.

Tonight we kicked off yet another Hollywood season, and there were a handful of [New] Old Balls in the mix. We played a relatively inexperienced team and dominated (Mission: Establish Dominance - Completed). We played the way Old Balls used to. Smart, efficient, and having fun the whole time.

I love my Old Balls. It's going to be yet another great season.

P.S. I know I lost a week of posts last week. I have them all planned, just haven't had time to right. Time is money, and I've got none of either. I'll catch up soon.


Pro Time is Go Time (and LBCC details)

One of the struggles of being a freelancer is known as the "Freelancer's Dilemma." Simply put, it states that you never say no to a job for fear that they will stop asking. And that's why, looking back on the first 9 months of 2009, I wonder if I haven't made some mistakes.

I had a miniseries on the table as soon as I was done with Top Cow. The creators were all about me being on board, but it was a complicated project and I had to make sure I had the right take on it, or I'd be doing them and my career a disservice. Ultimately, while I liked the project, it wasn't the right thing for me because I knew it wasn't something I had the ability to make great. With a heavy heart and diminishing funds, I turned it down. Luckily I'm still talking to the same crew about other work, but I have no idea if/when that'll materialize. For the record, the writer who did take the gig is a much better choice and I think can make it a great book.

I've turned down two full-time editing gigs. They weren't the right fit. When I went freelance, I told myself that this was a no looking back sort of thing, and I'd push as far as I could until there was no writing work out there to be found. I was only going back to staff editing if I got some crazy job (a high level editing gig with Marvel working out of the LA office for example). I was going to make it writing.

I did a treatment for a feature film/series on spec. The intention was that if I nailed it I would write the feature or be a staff writer on the series (they were pitching it both ways). So when the call came in at 5pm that they needed something the following morning, I stepped up big, wrote something pretty damn good (with a twist I'm still really proud of) and delivered what they needed for the meeting. And then they sold the project. The people that bought it wanted to use other writers (I wrote about this in my 'Be a Professional' entry way back), so that meant my services were no longer needed. It sucked, but it's also totally understandable. Especially for this guy, who's now developed treatments for two projects that have sold, and then he's been asked off them. It happens, it's Hollywood, deal.

It hasn't been all bad. I've had Marvel ask me to pitch on projects (which will lead to an upcoming feature in December when a certain book is out - I didn't get it), I've gotten my first story with DC, a new series with Bryan Hill and some fantastic artists at Top Cow (as well as some one-shots), and a long-gestating project at Archaia. Plus another publisher and I have been trying to find something for me to write through some weird circumstances, and it looks like that's finally happening. I also started a consulting business - Comic Book Consulting. For a guy who was known primarily as an editor before this calendar year, I'm not doing so bad.

I've also said yes to a lot of things that never happen. People tell me they're hot on something or want to do X, and then I'm left holding the phone (usually for months). I say yes, I wait, and then nothing happens. No one told me freelancing was like hustling. And it's like that 24/7 even when you think it's going to be smooth sailing after Y. But I've read Iceberg Slim, so I'm handling it.

Each mistake leads to another opportunity. I've hit every deadline and kept every door wide open. Just need a few more of them to make it through the tough times. Hopefully the Long Beach Comic Con will lead to some opportunities for me. I'll be attending the show all three days, and hope to see some familiar faces and catch up with a lot of friends.

Here's my schedule for the show:

4pm - 5pm Top Cow booth #365

2pm - 2:45pm Editing in Comics panel - Room C
4pm - 5pm Top Cow booth #365

1pm -2pm Top Cow booth #365

Other than that I'll be floating, so give me a buzz if you'd like to meet or hook up.

Google Wave - We Are Go

Got my preview invite to join the latest and greatest Internet sensation, GOOGLE WAVE, a bit earlier in the night. Not much to do with no contacts (so far I invited Hill and Sunny, the latter of whom I had to bribe to lock him in on our series), so I'm not sure what the hullabaloo is about.

Within minutes of me twittering that I had received an invite, no fewer than 9 strangers all asked for invites. I was shocked and appalled, and then Sunny did the same thing. But I know him, and he asked nicely, so he got one. It's not instant though, so we'll see how long it takes.

For those not in the know, you can get some info HERE or HERE or do a quick google search and see all about what's planned. Google is describing it as what email would be if it were invented today, with all of our technological advancements. I'm looking at it mainly as a tool for collaboration both with Hill on anything we write (should be perfect for brainstorming) and to have live conversations with entire creative teams. Socially I'm not as interested in it, but we will see...