Archive for March, 2008

Mar 08 2008

Quote of the Day (3/8/08)

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

“When you’re this good, you need to stand out.  That’s why I wear a lab-coat.”


Yeah, the lab-coat really sets him apart.

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Mar 07 2008

Alligator Semantics

Published by under Agent Orange,Comedy

Agent Orange:

“English-speaking mammals instinctively understand that gators are friendly and helpful. It’s no accident that, when you are lost, you call for a navi-gator. When you need to solve a mystery, you call an investi-gator. When you need to inflict unspeakable harm and misery upon your enemies, you call a liti-gator. English-speakers are similarly perceptive about crocodiles. For example, you might hear the phrase ‘what a crock’ used to describe something that is entirely without merit (see also ‘crock of shit’).”

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Mar 06 2008

Superhero Nation Motto

“Kind of deep, and totally off the deep end.”

–a creative writing peer

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Mar 06 2008

Unless the Media Knows Something About Democrats I Don’t…

Published by under Comedy,News

According to Salon, “it’s really a hot media fantasy: Mutant Superdelegates Pick Nominee!” For the record, I do not think that mutants are likely to select the nominee. Unless Salon knows something I don’t…

Come on. If mutants did have the power to pick a nominee, why has Ron “Magneto” Paul done so poorly in the Republican race?

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Mar 05 2008

Protected: RB’s Grammatical Review Forum

Published by under Writing Articles

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Mar 05 2008

Interest Readers Without Action

Published by under Catastrophe

Today, I sought to write a chapter that was interesting but not action-orientated.  The resulting work, Gotta Kill ‘Em All!, is tangentially related to the Superhero Nation storyline.

You can download Gotta Kill Em All! here.  (It has footnotes, which is why I wasn’t able to post it online like a regular sample of Superhero Nation).


J. Mallow

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Mar 05 2008

Gary Gygax died!

Published by under News

The co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons apparently critically failed a Fortitude check.

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Mar 04 2008

Why Maintain Authorial Distance?

This article discusses why it is critical to think of your characters as distinct from you.

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6 responses so far

Mar 03 2008

She did WHAT to a kitten?

Published by under Comedy,Journalism,News

I saw this note in the Washington Post:

California’s North County Times has fired an editor with a warped sense of humor. As a joke, the unnamed editor mucked with a wire-service account of a news conference on pet spaying at which a Los Angeles City Council member ‘held a kitten,’ changing the verb to ‘strangled.’ The paper apologized for the ‘terrible mistake.’ ” Whoops!

In addition to writing articles, I work as one of my newspaper’s wire editors. Although I can’t recall any “strangled a kitten” moments, we do frequently put typos in our headlines. In the average edition of our paper, a wire editor only types 75-100 words. Though I don’t recall committing a headline typo, my event articles are usually riddled with poor writing. (Event articles are written the night the event happens, so there’s less time for me to think through my outline).

One response so far

Mar 02 2008

Writing Action Vs. Writing a Story

This piece describes how to write the right amount of action for a book.

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35 responses so far

Mar 02 2008

We’ve arrived!

Published by under Superhero Nation

Well, maybe not… but Superhero Nation now has its own Gmail account, . That’s breathtakingly creative, I know… just remember to replace the ‘AT‘ with the @ sign. If you have any questions, comments or requests for beta reviewers, you can address those to either the website as a whole or your favorite contributor. (Me, obviously).

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Mar 01 2008

Quote of the Day: R.B. and Q.B.

In theory, the Office of Special Investigations employs all of the US government’s supernatural employees. Several examples suggest otherwise. In WWII, Sgt. Audie Murphy found 80 Nazis and took them as prisoners of war – alone. Several DEA agents can smell narcotics through layers of clothing and, in one case, a Mr. Potato Head toy. And everyone knows about the Navy SEALS, whose “Hell Week” is the single best argument that only mammals can be ninjas.


However, in only does one agency– the US Secret Service– does the presence of undeniably unnatural agents shape agency procedures and contingency plans, particularly regarding the Football, the laptop with the President’s nuclear launch codes. SS regulations require that the agent protecting the Football must flee if the President is attacked. Furthermore, statutes require that the Football always be within 30 seconds of the President.


One wonders what’s the point of fleeing if the agent plans to stay within 30 seconds of the President. He would presumably be within 30 seconds of the attackers, right?


That’s where RB (pronounced Arby) comes in. We haven’t bothered measuring what his land-speed is. What we know is that’s he fast. Really fast. In a test-run, he went from the Oval Office to Arlington, VA in approximately three seconds. (He blames most of that on closed doors). The Secret Service and relevant Air Force bodies have constructed safehouses within 30 seconds of the White House. Although they had not anticipated building such sites in Colorado or Montana, no one is disappointed.


The problem is that RB only works twelve hours a day, seven days a week. For the other half of the workweek, QB (cuby) controls the Football. He’s a Ph. D in particle physics and he looks more like one of the guys that designed the Football than one of the agents that guards it. However, he does have the ability to teleport… However, his teleportation has a roughly five percent chance of destroying everything within a hundred miles of his “landing zone.” Accordingly, contingency sites have been constructed in American Samoa…

–Captain Carnage

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Mar 01 2008

The Wacky World We Live In

Published by under News

  • Riots broke out in (the Former Yugoslav Republic of) Macedonia because Greece has declared that it will oppose attempts by FYROM to join the European Union and NATO unless FYROM surrenders its claim to the name of Macedonia, a region claimed by Greece.  Both nations want to control the name of Macedonia because that’s where Alexander the Great came from.

  • A Venezuelan man woke up as an autopsy was being conducted on him. Uhh, whoops.

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