Month: May 2014

More Puppets? Yes Please!

Earlier this week a message from J.J. Abrams was sent out on YouTube, direct from the set of Episode VII. You can see that video here.

The main point of the message was to tell people about Star Wars: A Force for Change. It is a new initiative to find creative solutions to the world’s problems. To entice people to donate to this initiative they are holding a contest and the prize is a walk on role as an alien in the upcoming Episode VII.

The most interesting thing about this video, however, is this guy:

Star Wars © & ™ 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. -- Image from

Star Wars © & ™ 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. — Image from

During J.J.’s message this guy walks into the frame, the two give each other a look, and then he walks out of the frame.

Could this be a preview of how some of the aliens will look in Episode VII?

Will they be using more puppets and less CGI in the creation of the creatures and environments we will be seeing?

I hope so.

There is something special about puppets when they are used in movies like this. Notice the way this guy moves through the frame. The way the hairs move as he walks. The feathers blowing in the wind. The way the small puppets in the cage move.

I also think that when actors interact with puppets there is something more organic and real than when actors interact with tennis balls on a green screen. Yes, CGI can be good and works very well with today’s technology, but going back to puppets can be very good for the Star Wars franchise.

It seems that the people involved with Episode VII are starting to release little teasers as they work on the film. I became very nostalgic over the cast photo that was released not too long ago, and I am feeling nostalgic over this new creature too.

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop did not have anything to do with the original Star Wars, and according to this article it will have nothing to do with the new Star Wars, but this alien reminds me a lot of the Jim Henson creatures. I grew up on these creatures in other movies and television shows. Seeing this puppet come through the shot and interact, even only for a second, with a real person is exciting to me.

It makes me happy.

Happier still if there are a lot of puppets in the movie.

And I will be down right giddy if they continue to release teasers for the movie as they make the film.

Pennsylvania UnBoxing

I got my autographed edition of Pennsylvania in the mail about two weeks ago. Finally made this video a few days after that. And now I just edited and posted today.

Sorry about the procrastination.

If you are interested in buying Pennsylvania, click here and get a copy for you and one for a friend.

And of course you can read about my eBook Paradox here.

My eBook Paradox

Photo May 02, 9 35 13 AM


I bought my first Kindle in 2010, and have never regretted the purchase.

Kindle changed my life when it comes to books and reading. In an instant I had access to hundreds of thousands of books. I could carry hundreds of books in one hand. I could finish reading one novel and immediately look through the bookstore and buy a new one no matter where I was.

Even on the toilet.

Another thing it did was put my bookshelf on a super weight loss diet. Yes, there are still books I buy that I will want to flip through from time to time, but for the most part I do not have a need to buy a whole lot of fiction in dead tree format.

Don’t get me wrong, I love paperback books. I love the feel of them in my hands. I love to smell the paper as I flip the pages in under my nose. I like to feel the the number of pages I have left to read in my right hand.

But it is so much easier, and sometimes even cheaper, to buy the books on Kindle and read them through pixels.

So I will still pick up a paperback books as an impulse buy or welcome them as gifts. But for the most part I don’t need them to take up space on my shelf.

Now, another thing the Kindle has done for me is open a world of indie writers and publishers that I would have never found in the local bookstore.

Most times these writers only publish in eBook format.

But the industry is finally catching up and making it easier for these writers to put out high quality paperback books. And no longer do these writers just upload a PDF file to a printer and hope for the best. But these writers are crafting their books like a carpenter puts together a rocking chair.

They are getting beautiful covers designed. They are collecting illustrations for the interior. They are formatting the books with precision.

And then many of them are offering autographed copies to their readers and fans.

So now I am urged to buy paperbacks again.

I still buy the eBook and read the story that way, but when the paperback of a fantastic story is offered by the author I need to have it. I have now started collecting autographed copies, and even some non-autographed copies, of the stories that I enjoy most.

Amazon has once again changed how I buy books. In electronic format AND in paperback format.


Free Comic Book Day – Electronic Edition

3277Today is Free Comic Book Day!

Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday of every May and is an event where participating comic book shops give out free comic books to anyone that wants them. Publishers are even in on the action, producing special issues for retailers to give away.

This is a fantastic event that began in 2002 and has grown every year since then. Many shops even host special events with guests and contests and other specials throughout the day.

This is a great way for retailers to attract new customers, for publishers to showcase their titles, and for readers to be introduced to titles they might not have tried otherwise.

There is a comic book shop not too far from my house. It is a little shop in the corner of another store and I visit every once in a while, but the majority of my reading is done on the iPad with books purchased from ComiXology.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, ComiXology is giving away a lot of free books this weekend. I open their email to see that there is a whole slew of books from Image and Submit that are being handed over at no charge! (Submit is the ComiXology portal for indie creators to get their books in the market place.)

I couldn’t help myself.

I was clicking the add to cart buttons like a mouse pushing a lever for a snort of coke.

I initially ordered 31 of the free books.

Then as I was writing this I went back to look at the link and added 14 more books to my order.

I picked a lot of books that I thought I might like and some I have already read when they were first published, but I also picked a lot of books based only on the title or cover art. Some of them I have no idea what they are about.

But you know what? I may have found some series that may pull me in.

So here are a few of the titles I downloaded. You may see reviews of these and the other books I downloaded at some point on this blog.

Or you may not.


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