I decided I wanted to refresh my Twitter banner, and I decided on a “TO Comix and me” theme.
So the new banner includes a bunch of characters I created and/or co-created while working on various TO Comix books.
Some of my co-creators include Xan Grey, Brenna Baines, Dee Williams and Meaghan Carter, and Alex Moore.
I wrote all of these characters, and it’s pretty seductive to think “before I came along, nothing about these characters existed, but then I put them in the story, and now they exist, and therefore I created them.” But the artist contribution to characters is pretty important and writers need to acknowledge their contribution.
I remember the early eighties, when “creator owned content” was a huge deal. Marvel and DC resisted the idea, because they wanted to claim ownership of all the characters created for them. (DC finally partially relented and credits creators of individual characters according to some byzantine rules). Marvel has little interest in acknowledging individual creators other than Stan Lee (and now, thanks to a lawsuit settlement that avoided a supreme court hearing, Jack Kirby). And they’re the big two. Most of the 80s-era creator-owned content publishers died out (although some of the stuff created in that era, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, continues to be thriving properties.
It’s that time: time to talk about my faves in TV and movies. Once again, this year, I’m gonna start with TV, because my favourite shows frankly stand head and shoulders above my favourite movies.
Number 5: Watchmen. When I first heard that they were planning a show based on the Watchmen comic series, I was pretty skeptical. Even more so when I heard that it was going to be a sequel/continuation of the original story. This show ended up being surprisingly good. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to see the show without knowing the original comic series, but I didn’t really see anyone expressing confusion on the Twitters. The show has some weaknesses: I mostly didn’t think that the storyline involving the “Lord of a Country Estate” was particularly compelling. And while the show seemed to want me to like the various cop characters like Red Scare and Pirate Jenny, they never really overcame the stank of ACAB.
I feel like the story is done, now, and that there shouldn’t be more seasons, but if they do more seasons and keep the quality, I’ll be right there. Importantly, a second season could help us resolve a key storyline that needs to be completed: we need to know what’s going on with Lube Man.
I think I want to post more of my art. Both because it gives me a firm reason to get more stuff into a state that feels approximately finished, and because I believe that putting art into the world is a good thing. I just need to get over the fact that sometimes I spend time on art that’s nerdy and fanfiction-y.
Here’s a piece that I finished recently. I drew it as part of a Star Trek table-top RPG that I’m currently playing in. Four of our characters went off in a shuttle to investigate stuff in a nearby planetary system.
I tend to nerd hard on some of the details. Our heroes are flying off in an Argo-type shuttle (seen in Star Trek: Nemesis, possibly the least-loved TNG film). We’ve never seen the inside of the Argo, but I speculated that it looked a lot like the Danube-class runabout (the runabout set was redressed as the Type-11 shuttle for Star Trek: Insurrection).
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? — Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,— The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
I’ve just started exchanging messages with a woman in Alberta who’s a descendant of part of this Stretton family. A thing that’s interesting: a lot of Strettons have come to Canada.
I’ve never had a 100% clear idea of what brought the Holmeses to Canada. They left before the famine, and the Molly Maguires might be a factor.
But now it seems like the Strattens were far more numerous than the Holmeses. In addition to the Strattens I mentioned in a previous post, there are two other Stratten sisters — married with their own families (and recorded under their husbands’ last names) — listed in Toronto Gore.
It’s starting to appear that the Strattens could have been the ones who started the exodus to Canada, and dragged their Holmes relations along.
I can’t currently link John Stratten/Stratton to this family, except via his physical proximity at the time of the 1851 census. It looks like the family had additional brothers, William and James (based on another family tree). I’m inclined to think that either William or James is the father of John, and late husband of Mary Ann, but that’s merely a guess. I’m keen to see what I can learn from this new contact.
I’ve just had some interesting clues come to light about the Stratton family.
Going back to F.M. Emerson Holmes’ genealogy, he claimed that the Holmes family came to Canada with their second-oldest daughter, Margaret, and her husband, John Stratton. I’ve been pursuing some clues that suggest that the Holmeses might have lived in a small area of County Cavan called Corresmongon, near the village of Bawnboy. There are a number of reasons why this story is compelling, not least of which is that there are a family of Dowlers very nearby. The eldest Holmes daughter married a James Dowler in Ireland before following the rest of the family to Canada. To date, though, we haven’t found much about a Stratton family before arriving in Canada.