Clockwork Game Update: 7/04/13

The Signal Boost of the Week goes to Linda Medley, who has put the finishing touches on the second volume of Castle Waiting! I’m way behind the times — working on comics rarely leaves me time for reading comics — so imagine my excitement when I emptied my long-neglected pull file at Fanfare and found three new issues waiting for me! Hopefully you’ve all heard the news by now, but on the off chance you’ve been living under a rock like I have, go check out the new Definitive Edition of Volume 2!

Clockwork Game Update: 5/23/13

The Signal Boost of the Week goes to Dan Kastner, founder of 1977 Mopeds and co-founder of the Moped Army, who has recently started a small-business incubator here in Kalamazoo:

“Right now we’re in absolute renovation mode, the building was ruined,” Kastner said. “We’re doing it all ourselves. Our office upstairs is wrapped up and the rest of the renovations should be finished in two months. We’ll have two buildings, and the field behind will eventually be set up for community events.”

The first floor of the building will be a machine shop for each business to utilize for prototype models, small-scale manufacturing and repairs. The second story of the building is multi-use office space with hardwood floors, couches and computer tables.

A screen printing station is sectioned off in one corner of the office space, which is made distinct by flooring made of recycled and plastered real estate signs. A full-use kitchen will eventually be installed to be used for Emily’s food blog.

Connected to the building is the shell of what will be a finished warehouse, intended to store some 3,100 retail parts sold at 1977 Mopeds and possibly as a moped showroom, that will be accessible through a garage door.

The crew decided to call the incubator “The Reality Factory,” Kastner said, after finding another site perfect for the incubating business environment they envisioned, which they coined “The Fantasy Factory.” However, the site was entirely out of their financial reach.

“We had to settle for reality,” said Kastner, with a laugh.

You may remember me mentioning Dan’s equally-talented wife Emily here in a previous signal boost. I’m so lucky to have such amazing neighbors.

Clockwork Game Update: 5/2/13

The Signal Boost of the Week goes to Larime Taylor, for his Kickstarter, A Voice in the Dark:

From his website:

Larime Taylor is a disabled artist and writer living in California. He’s an award winning playwright and director of the stage, a graphic novelist (he draws with his mouth) and now, serial fiction novelist. Most of what he writes falls somewhere between urban fantasy and horror, or dark urban fairytale, as he likes to call it. While his stories do not focus solely or specifically on matters of disability, disabled characters do feature in many of them. He basically writes the kinds of things that he would like to read, but with characters that he can relate to as a disabled person.

Clockwork Game Update: 4/11/13

The Signal Boost of the Week goes to Lucy Knisley, who has a gorgeous-looking new book, Relish, coming out from First Second Comics!

And speaking of First Second, Jim Ottaviani has just announced the tour dates for his new book, Primates. If you’re nearby any of Jim’s stops, you should really think about dropping in to see him (and maybe Maris Wicks, too!). Despite what he’ll tell you himself, he’s a really smart guy, and quite a good speaker.

Clockwork Game Update: 4/4/13

The Signal Boost of the Week goes to my coworker Mark Gilbert, who is doing a most seriously awesome kid-science podcast with his ten-year-old daughter, Katherine. Mark and Katherine started off with the kind of experiments you’d expect for a grade-school science geek: the good old rubber eggshell trick, some Coffee Filter Chromatography, that sort of thing. But then Mark upped the ante, bigtime.

He came into the office one morning and showed me this mindblowing video of a guy who sent his son’s Thomas the Tank Engine toy into outer space, and announced that he was not only going to try the same experiment — but that he and Katherine were going to do the project together and add it to their science podcast. How great is that? Katherine gets hands-on experience, learning everything from how GPS works to how to fit LEDs to a breadboard and then write code to control them on an Arduino microcontroller. Katherine even got to interview candidates for the stratonaut position.

Mark’s got several sensors planned for the unit, and if everything goes right, it’ll collect all sorts of data, including pressure, temperature, altitude, and positioning and export them to an SD card for later use. Can you say best science-fair project ever? I’m getting all giddy just thinking how pretty the graphs are going to be. Data is so beautiful, you guys.

I even get to be a member of the mission team — in the event that the unit hits a lake on its return to Earth, Mark’s asked me and my kayak to be the water rescue patrol. I’m so geeked to be part of this project — especially since it teaches a kid something from every single STEM field. Stay tuned to the Mark of Quality blog for more updates!

Clockwork Game Update: 3/28/13

This week’s Signal Boost is a big one, and something I’ve been itching to talk about for a good long while. Bruce Woolley, best known for co-writing the song Video Killed the Radio Star has helped start a new project called The Post War Orchestra:

From an original concept by artist Hilary Champion, we’ve been on a journey to create and play instruments that are recycled, deactivated weapons.

If this wasn’t cool enough on its own, a few months ago, Mr. Woolley contacted Paul to ask him to do all the graphics for the project — which is Kickstarting right now!

Paul was also lucky enough to design some of the premiums, so if you’re able to donate, you might get one of his tee-shirts or some digital wallpapers. What an amazing project, and what an amazing opportunity for Paul! Hooray for turning swords into plowshares. And music.

Clockwork Game Update: 3/21/13

Signal Boost of the Week goes to Saveur‘s Recipe Comix! There’s not much in this world that I love more than food and comics, so the combination of the two is even better. Contributors include Lucy Knisely, Allen Yuen, and one of my favorites, Sarah Becan.

Also, to my fans picking the feed up via the soon-to-be-discontinued Google Reader: do you have any alternatives in mind? Are there any other feeds I can set up to make your lives easier?

Clockwork Game Update: 3/14/13

Signal Boost of the Week goes to Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History — a new short story collection being Kickstarted right now! The anthology will include such wonderful contributors as Nisi Shawl, Nnedi Okorafor, Alaya Dawn Johnson and Amal El-Mohtar, among many others. Check it out — if the next stretch goal is met, they’ll be able to expand the book by another 10 short stories!

Clockwork Game Update: 2/21/13

Signal Boost of the Week goes to Green Brain Comics — but this time for less fortunate reasons than usual. Over the weekend, an SUV smashed through the wall facing the parking lot and into their shop. The Merritts — along with Stormy Records, in the retail space above them — hope to have their stores open soon, possibly as early as this week.

I’ve said it many times before, but it bears repeating: Dan and Katie are two of the kindest, most generous folks in the business, and they run an outstanding store with one of the best selections of comics I’ve ever seen. If you’re in the Dearborn area, please consider heading down there to make some purchases as soon as they’re able to get the register running. If there’s a fundraiser to help cover expenses, I’ll be sure to post about it, as well.