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W I D E   A W A K E


June 1, 2004


Today I received in the mail my first couple of advance copies of LESS THAN HEROES, Volume 1 which should be in stores a bit later this month. It is kind of weird looking at this material again after having spent several months seeing it blown up and larger than life on the computer as I reworked and retouched the artwork. But it's a good kind of weird. I'm very happy with the end product, and while I see certain things here and there that I could have probably improved, overall it's a terrific-looking volume, and I say that not as the writer-artist of the work, but as someone who looks at these sorts of things from a critical perspective. Yes, I am biased, but believe me, if I didn't think the end product looked great, I wouldn't be writing these words I'm writing now. In fact, I'd just have laid low and wrote nothing about it. But I'm going to write a bit about it because it does look quite good. Top Shelf's BRETT WARNOCK knocked himself out with the package design, and I hope that in 2005 the book receives an Eisner nomination for best package design--not because it's my book (I didn't design it). I hope it's nominated because the design kicks ass, and this is all Brett's doing.

The expanded essay, Why Don't Hereos Age? is included in the volume. I'm very pleased with this bit of writing, though much of the credit goes to my stunning and wonderful wife (and editor), DIANNE PEARCE. Dianne is one in a billion, and I'm lucky to have her.

So, there it is. I hope you'll check it out. LESS THAN HEROES, volume 1 can still be preordered directly from TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS. Who knows--if enough folks order, there may actually be a volume 2. Wouldn't that be nice.


In case you missed it, CINESCAPE columnist and all-around nice guy TONY WITT interviewed me recently for the Cinescape online site. I consider Tony one of the finest interviewers I've ever spoken with. He asked some really interesting questions and make many profound observations. Click here to read the interview in its entirety.


Over at POP THOUGHT you'll find a newly composed 5200-word essay (by yours truly) that recounts the late 70s (particularly, Billy Joel and Marvel Comics, and how they are inexplicably linked--at least to this author). Be sure to check it out, and if you like it, be sure to drop Pop's ALEX NESS an email to let him know. Beside being one of Pop's architects, he's an all-around super-hero in his own regard whose interviewed practically everyone who's anyone in comics.


It was a year ago today that Di and I said farewell to Philly and hit the open road bound for Los Angeles. Today was kind of a strange day in that regard as we thought back a bit about the friends and family we left behind. Moving is always turbulent. And moving across the country, I can assure you, is not without its bumps. But here we are, one year later and counting. We've only scratched the surface of what LA has to offer.


Since our arrival in LA we've made a few friends and have gotten a bit acclimated to the west coast lifestyle which, believe me, is quite different from the east coast way of life. It is frightening to do new things, to try something different, not knowing if you will succeed or fail. I sometimes think how easy and comfortable life was in Philly, and I wonder if we've done the right thing by moving west. But more and more, I'm convinced there is no "right" thing and no "wrong" thing regarding such decisions. We moved because it was time to move. We headed west because it was time to head west. Probably I'm oversimplifying the whole thing, but the point is, we are here and this is now. We moved and we are adapting, and I think that is all anyone can do--whether it's starting a new job, changing addresses, ending or beginning a relationship--whatever. When the time arrives, you can choose to do it or not do it, to change or remain unchanged; either is okay provided you are being true to yourself.

Perhaps that's the most difficult aspect of all--not changing or remaining unchanged, but being true to ourselves in the decisions that we make throughout the course of our adult lives.

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