Fierystudios Vögelein Clockwork Game

Rather uncanny

We're watching Downton Abbey, and Jim Carter, the guy they have playing Mr. Carson looks -- and carries himself --- so much like my interior image of Maelzel that I find myself rather taken aback:

Clockwork Game Update: 1/12/12

Unfortunately, this is the last we'll see of Beethoven. Don't fret, though, history buffs -- someone else famous is making a cameo very soon.

Signal Boost of the Week goes to Green Brain Comics, one of the best comic shops in the country. It's run by Dan Merritt and his wife Katie, who was also a former president of the late Friends of Lulu. Starting this Saturday, Green Brain is hosting a show in their Headspace Gallery which will be featuring a bunch of local women artists, myself included! If you're near Dearborn, head down and check out work by Suzanne Baumann, Alice Meichi Li, Katie Cook, my old college buddy T. S. Lamb -- and many more!

What, me worry?

Web 2.0 site or Don Martin Sound Effect?

Clockwork Game Update: 1/5/12

Happy New Year! This is one of my favorite pages so far; hope you like it.

Signal Boost of the Week goes to Erstwhile, a series of comics based on the tales of the Brothers Grimm, and illustrated by Gina Biggs, Louisa Roy, and Elle Skinner, all of whom are members of the Strawberry Comics collective. I have a deep and abiding love for old fairy tales, and it's a real treat to see such a beautiful spin on them, especially the more obscure ones that rarely see the light of day.

Thought of this while skiing this morning.

Michigan's been just sitting around in her sweatpants for the last two months, so it seems extra special when she cleans up and puts on a party dress. Makes you want to go out and dance with her.

So how's this for a start to the New Year?

We just got the first substantial snow this winter, so I skiied to the office, and as I went past the bar with the mechanical bull, their loudspeakers started blasting Guns of The Magnificent Seven. Pretty good music for the opening credits of 2012.

Clockwork Game Update: 12/29/11

Enjoy the last page of the year! Too bad Maelzel's being such a cad.

Signal Boost of the Week goes to Shaenon Garrity, who's just released her wonderful comic Narbonic as a perfect collection!

Other good news: The Wars of Other Men exceeded its Kickstarter goal in a little over a week. Congrats, guys!

Other other news: Tim O'Shea asked Paul and I to contribute to his wonderful Holiday recollections article. Thanks, Tim!

Just glue some gears on it, and call it Steampunk.

Clockwork Game Update: 12/22/11

Signal Boost of the Week goes to Lea Ada Hernandez, who has just launched a brand-new webcomic, The Garlicks!

In Lea's own words:

Garlicks updates M W F, the storyline is episodic, each story will be between 6-18 pages, all told from the POV of a monster girl named Pandora Garlick. Pandora has decided to be a graphic novelist because she (thinks she) lacks any monsterly skills, and the story of her lifetime starts when her baby sister turns into a fish.

In addition to her work for Marvel and DC, Lea's also the original editor of, the creator, author and illustrator of Cathedral Child, Clockwork Angels, and more recently, Rumble Girls.

If you're interested in picking up some of her original art, she has her own Etsy Shop, where you can use coupon code JANER for 20% off! It's never too late for an additional holiday present!

The Winter Holiday Challenge

In honor of two friends who once bought me groceries for Christmas when I was scared and broke, and wrapped each package by hand to make me feel special, I'm issuing a Winter Holiday Challenge: Do at least one Random Act of Kindness before the year's end. It doesn't have to be monetary: Give someone a ride. Shovel a sidewalk. If you do have money, though -- consider doing something like this. It's been a tough year all around, so share some love.

O Christmas Wreath, O Christmas Wreath...

Since Paul and I are gone so much during the holiday season, and neither of us are at home for the actual holiday, I feel guilty about killing a whole tree for Christmas decoration. Fake trees are just... not right. So this year we decided to go a more sustainable route and bought a wreath from a local charity. It really spruces up the living room. (Get it? Spruce? I kill me.)

If you look real close, you can see the Catbus and TIE fighter ornaments. Because we are gigantic nerds.

Clockwork Game Update: 12/15/11

Signal Boost of the Week goes to The Wars of Other Men, something I've boosted before, but this time they have a Kickstarter!

So the movie's almost done - some of the hardest parts are almost over. Why come to Kickstarter now?

Frankly, we didn't settle for normal indie film while we were planning and making the "The Wars of Other Men" so we don't plan on doing publicity simply by entering a handful of festivals, putting the film online and leaving it there. Sure, we want to enter festivals. But we also want to take it to sci-fi and Steampunk conventions and talk to you afterwords, answer your questions, hear your thoughts on the state of sci-fi and Steampunk and Dieselpunk. We want to do small screenings for enthusiasts of the genre and for people who are really passionate about indie films. We want to talk to people about how we did the costumes, the set design, the vehicles, and anything else folks want to talk about. Doing that while publicizing the bejeezus out of our film is not something you can do for free.

So we're coming to you directly, since you are the people we want to see this film.

If you've got a couple extra bucks this holiday season, and want to help out an indie filmmaker doing Steam-and-Dieselpunk, please consider donating a bit to The Wars of Other Men. I've seen a sneak preview, and I can tell you, it's totally worth supporting.

Clockwork Game Update: 12/08/11

Signal Boost of the Week goes to Nisi Shawl, who has not one but two brand-new stories online: Black Betty at Crossed Genres Magazine, and Honorary Earthling in the December edition of Expanded Horizons. If you've never read Nisi's stuff before, do yourself a favor and check her out! Once you've read these stories for free, consider picking up SteamPowered II: More Lesbian Steampunk Stories, in which she has another short story that's an excerpt from Everfair, her upcoming novel, or her Tiptree-award winning collection of short stories, Filter House, which was also named one of the Best Books of 2008 by Publishers Weekly.

Clockwork Game Update: 12/01/11

Signal Boost of the Week goes to Rachel Hartman, who a while back made a wonderful, Xeric-winning graphic novel called Amy Unbounded, but who is now eagerly awaiting her debut prose novel, Seraphina, which will be released on July 10th, 2012! It's already getting great blurbs, so you don't have to take my word for it, and here's the British Cover to whet your appetite even more. Congratulations, Rachel! Can't wait to hold Seraphina in my hot little hands.

Winter is coming

The snow is on the ground. The skis are in the car.

Comics retreat tally

I took a few days off of work and locked myself in the studio to get some long-overdue comics work. I got four pages digitally corrected, ten pages added to the website queue, one page finish-pencilled and inked, seven pages thumbnailed, four and a half pages pencilled. Not too shabby, but there's oh so much left to do. Yikes.

Clockwork Game Update: 11/24/11

Signal Boost of the Week goes out to all of my readers, for whom I am very thankful. I couldn't keep writing if it weren't for you. Thanks, you guys.

How does biology explain the low numbers of women in computer science? Hint: it doesn't.

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Rest in peace, Anne Inez McCaffrey 1926-2011

Oh, Anne.

Your books got me through so much. You were one of the most influential writers in my life, right up there with Vonnegut and Bradbury and Dahl. I was obsessive about your writing: I didn't care if your characters changed names between books or your dragons gained or lost ears, and I was way too young to understand the creepy way that F'lar treated Lessa or know that a tent peg can't turn anyone gay. I only knew that I had three of my own imaginary fire lizards and an imaginary green dragon that I rode to fight thread just like Mirrim. I wanted to sing crystal and take a ride in Helva, to have psychic powers, to leave behind my claustrophobic home planet and live with dinosaurs or giant cat people. I owned all the spinoff books. I took painting lessons with Robin Wood, and stole jealous looks at her originals of Moreta and Leri, with their gorgeous sparkling jewel-toned oils.

You wrote me back. I was thirteen, and wrote to you with the earnest heart of a lost middleschooler, and that same heart nearly exploded when I got your handwritten postcard in my rural mailbox, five thousand miles away from Dragonhold-Underhill in County Wicklow. I vowed that I would always write my own fans back, if I ever got them, and I've tried, as best I could. You made me want to be a writer more than any other author.

Thank you, Anne, for everything. Especially Menolly.

Who tries, does.
Who wills, can.
Who loves, lives.

Whip it good

I bought too much whipping cream for Thanksgiving, and now I have two extra cups. What should I make with it? (And no, 'chug it straight from the carton' is not a valid recipe.)