Friday, December 31, 2010


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Enjoyed this book. Too bad it'll be forever until I can read the next one. The hold at the library is long.

The Astounding Wolf-Man Vol. 3 by Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard - Still enjoyable but nothing "astounding" to report.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan - Taproot Theatre is doing the Odyssey in Feb. so I thought I'd keep going with these books. They are fine. Easy to nothing special.

Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey - This is the sequel to The Monstrumologist and I believe it's better. The scary/creepy factor is multiplied by 10 in this one. I can't believe this is a YA book. It's pretty intense. This would make a fantastic (if done right) movie or tv series.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan - Almost done with this one. Still fun but nothing too deep. Definitely a kid's book.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Preacher: Alamo by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon - I finally finished. This series had potential but it didn't pay off. The story meandered too far from it's beginnings and became a bit of a mess. Glad I read it but glad I'm done.

The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane by Joseph Delaney - I'm enjoying this series about a Spook (one who protects against supernatural threats) and his apprentice.

The Last Apprentice: Night of the Soul Stealer by Joseph Delaney - Book 3 and I'm still enjoying it. Good series so far.

Batman: Cacophony by Kevin Smith and Walter Flanagan - I've never read any of Kevin Smith's comic stories so when I came across this one at the library I figured I'd give it a go. Flanagan is a decent artist but Smith's dialogue is typically adolescent. I did like the villain, Onomatopoeia. Pretty creative. I wish Smith could grow up a little. He has talent but it needs to mature.

Batman: Gotham after Midnight by Kelley Jones and Steve Niles - The story was okay. I grabbed it up because Kelley Jones is a fantastic artist. He is one of the best Batman artists of all time.

Batman: Joker's Asylum by a cast of many - This graphic novel is a compilation of short stories based around some of Batman's greatest foes. Eash story had a different artist/writer so the quality jumped around a bit. Enjoyable.

Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr - I read several of her books years ago (Blind Descent, Liberty Falling, Blood Lure) but didn't read them in order. I finally decided to go back and start at the beginning. This book is okay. Having read the other 3 I can't say this is very strong but a series has to start somewhere. Her books are a good, quick read for mystery lovers and an appreciation for the great outdoors.

Monday, October 11, 2010


The Ark by Boyd Morrison - Pretty good thriller-type novel. Better than most I've read in recent years. It revolves around a search for Noah's Ark but what they find is...well, I can't tell you that.

The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney - This is the first of a series of novels about a young man who becomes the apprentice of a Spook which is someone who safeguards the world against supernatural forces. The story is set in a fantasy world not unlike the Middle Ages perhaps. I enjoyed it enough to continue the series. It's an easy read.

Strange Tales - Weird Marvel comic. Very weird.

Invincible: Eight is Enough, Perfect Strangers, Head of the Class, The Facts of Life & A Different World by Robert Kirkman - I'm up to volume 6 on this series. It's fine. Fun superhero stuff.

Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness - Just plain strange.

Runaways: Pride and Joy by Brian K. Vaughan - Everyone seems so enamored of Mr. Vaughan's stuff. I find it meh.

Preacher: All Hell's A-Coming by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon - One more book after this and I'll be done with this weird series. The biggest complaint I have about it is they stray so far away from the original story arc that you forget what it's all about. I'm curious to see how they wrap it all up.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Marty Featured in Delirio E-Zine

Marty is featured in the latest issue of Delirio, a cultural e-zine from Spain. The article appears on pages 134 - 140. Check it out here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Red by John Logan - Mark Rothko is in his New York studio in 1958-9, painting a group of murals for the expensive and exclusive Four Seasons restaurant. He gives orders to his assistant, Ken, as he mixes the paints, makes the frames, and paints the canvases. Ken, however, brashly questions Rothko's theories of art and his acceeding to work on such a commercial project.*
I borrowed this from a friend to read. I had heard about it on a podcast and wished I could see the show. Reading it is as close as I'll get for now. I enjoyed it. I feel like I need to read it again...slower. I read thru it pretty fast and I think I need to really absorb it and visualize it in my mind as I go. I really want to see this show live now.


Friday, September 17, 2010


Preacher: Salvation by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon - This series is weird. I had hoped it would go in one direction but it's veered off into some strangeness that doesn't seem to relate to the story arc that was started back at the beginning. Only 2 more volumes to go. I have to see it thru.

The Circumference of Home by Kurt Hoelting - An interesting read from a fellow who gives up his car for a year and limits his travel to within 100 miles of his Whidbey Island home (Whidbey is just north of Seattle) in an attempt to lessen his carbon footprint on the planet. Although the book got a bit "new-agey" at times I still enjoyed reading about his adventures hiking, biking and kayaking around Puget Sound. It made me want to get out and explore more.

Living by Water: True Stories of Nature and Spirit by Brenda Peterson - Again, a bit too "new-agey" for me but I did enjoy reading her stories of exploring the NW. I love it out here and it bugs me when people don't appreciate it. I don't take it for granted. I want to explore as much of it as possible. Reading books like these give me ideas for exploration.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay - I'm a fan of the Dexter tv show and thought I'd read the novels. After reading one I'm definitely more a fan of the show than the book but it was interesting to see the differences. Oddly enough, the show is more layered and textured than the book which was fairly straightforward.

Fractured Fables from Image Comics - Picked this up at the library. Weird takes on fairy tales. Some good, some not.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Costume Queen

We found out tonight (via Jeff Berryman who just happens to be Quixote in the picture) that Sarah has been nominated for a Gregory Award in the category of Outstanding Costume Design. The Gregory Awards are Seattle's theatre the Tony's I suppose. (I don't know...I'm a visual art person) Anywho, so Jeff tells us and we're a bit perplexed as to why Sarah wasn't notified. When we got home she checked and the email had been sent to her spam folder at work.
So, that's very cool. She's excited and so am I. It's about time her outstanding work here in Seattle gets some notice. I may be just a bit biased but I also know how good she is at her job.'s not the first (or last) time she's been nominated for an award. In grad school she was nominated for a Barrymore which is Philly's theatre award. She was the only one nominated in the category that had not designed for Broadway. (she was still in grad school!)
Very proud husband here. Guess I'll have to buy a ticket so I can go to the awards ceremony with her. (no "plus one?") Cliche as it might sound, it IS an honor to be nominated.
Way to go, baby!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Discovered Artist

I got an email just now saying, "You've been discovered! A video called Discovered Artists just got released and you're one of the artists." Here's a link to the video since the ability to imbed the video doesn't seem to be working.
I'm flattered to be discovered. There's no such thing as bad publicity. If I had my druthers, I'd have had them use different images and it's not good that the images are blurry.
Oh, well. Like I said, can't complain about free publicity. Oh, wait. I guess I just did.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith - I almost didn't read this because, let's face it, it just seems a little bit ridiculous. I thought, "Why waste your time on something you know is going to be silly." I was wrong. This book is quite good and the reason it works is because it handles the subject matter very seriously. What could have gone way over the top stays subtle and you find yourself almost wondering if it really didn't happen that way. I recommend it.

Ghostopolis by Doug Tennapel - Found this one at the library. A quick but fun read about a boy who accidentally gets pulled into the land of the dead.

3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man by Matt Kindt - Interesting tale of a (gasp) giant man. Heard it was being turned into a movie. Could be interesting.

Dead High Yearbook by various artists and writers - Weird anthology-style graphic novel I picked up at the library. Strange, macabre, gross...these are a few of my favorite things.

Lucy by Laurence Gonzales - I really enjoyed this story of a half-human, half bonobo chimp female. Typical in that you know the world will find out her secret and the religious right will go ape. All this does happen. What I liked about the book was the characters. You cared about Lucy, her friends and family. And it's a little bit odd to think that humans have tried to cross breed chimps and humans far.

The Passage by Justin Cronin - This apocalyptic pseudo-vampire virus tale is one of this summer's hot reads...and I don't get it. I found it to be too long and boring. I didn't care about any of the characters and the story didn't make a bit of sense. If you want to read a fantastic apocalyptic tale, pick up Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon. You won't regret it.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Way We Play

I've been listening to a podcast this morning from Radiowest called "The Way We Play." Click on the title to go there and listen yourself. Here's the synopsis of what's being discussed.

"Tucked into a neighborhood in west Salt Lake City is a bit of movie history. In the summer of 1992 a small, vacant field was the set of "The Sandlot." It's about a brand of baseball that's just not played anymore and about a kind of childhood that might not exist anymore. Almost 20 years later the lot's still there, but there aren't any kids in it. Monday on RadioWest, guest host Matthew LaPlante looks at how child's play has changed and what it means for growing up."

This has got me thinking about the difference between play when I was growing up and what I see now. When I was a kid, we were kicked out of the house and the neighborhood became a wonderland limited only by our imaginations. In fact, I did a collage about this very subject called "The Imagine Nation." (I'll insert it into this entry so you can see it) I haven't been blogging very much lately but I think I want to write about how my friends and I played when I was growing up. Stay tuned. I hope to begin very soon.

Monday, July 05, 2010


Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis - Making my way thru the Narnia books I haven't read. Since Dawn Treader is the next movie, I figured I'd better get it read. More a series of vignettes than a continuing storyline. I'll be interested to see how they adapt it into a movie.

Red by Warren Ellis & Cully Hamner - Pretty great graphic novel about a former CIA operative who becomes active again and goes on a revenge driven killing spree. This is going to be a movie but based on the trailer they have expanded the story quite a bit.

JLA/Avengers by Kurt Busiek and George Perez - I love George Perez as an artist but this story was so dense it was impossible to penetrate. Too many characters doing too many things. Still, Perez's art is incredible.

Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer - This is a pretty good urban fantasy book that I ran across on the shelf in the library. I liked the concept and the characters enough that I hope there's a sequel. Basically the story revolves around a group of guardians keeping demons under lock and key in an old amusement park. Kinda fun.

Preacher: War in the Sun by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon -This series keeps my interest. It's very strange but interesting enough to continue. Really curious about how it will end.

The Astounding Wolf-Man Vol. 2 by Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard - Pretty cool comic about a werewolf superhero. Kirkman is a hot commodity right now w/ Frank Darabont turning his The Walking Dead comic into a TV series. I wouldn't be surprised to see this book turned into a movie or something like that.

Area 51 by Robert Doherty - So boring and confusing I finally put it down.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey - This first book in a new YA series (although it was very intense for a YA book) centers around a scientist who concentrates on the study of monsters and his young ward. The story is set in 1888 when an infestation of anthopophagi (cannibalistic, headless monsters) hit American soil. The book started slow but I enjoyed it. The tone is dark and suspenseful. The book is very graphic and it shocked me to learn that it was a YA novel.

X-Men: First Class - Knights of Hykon - These X-books, set in the timeline when Claremont, Cockrum, and Byrne were working their magic with Marvel's mutants, are very enjoyable. The stories are very reminiscent of that time period. If only we could get Claremont, Byrne and Austin to return to the book. That would be incredible.

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden - Australia is invaded by a foreign power and a group of teenagers wage guerilla warfare to survive. Sounds like an Aussie version of Red Dawn, doesn't it? It's a YA series and I didn't enjoy the first book enough to continue.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Facebook: Blessing and Curse

Wow. I don't blog much anymore. I guess you can blame that on Facebook. Since there are 500-some-odd people following me on there, I don't feel the need to share too much on a blog that gets only a few hits a day. Facebook has been great for connecting to long-lost friends and keeping people up-to-date on my art career. What isn't so great about it is that I have to censor myself quite a bit. There are people I'm friends with that probably wouldn't appreciate some of my thoughts and feelings. I guess that's my fault. I should have been more choosy about who I friend on FB. But it's also good in a way. When I find myself wanting to be nitpicky and mean about something someone said on FB, I hold my tongue. There's no sense alienating every person I know on the planet just because I don't agree with their theology, politics or the fact that they can't spell.
So, I will continue to bite my tongue and keep the peace as I'm sure they are doing with me. I'll just keep ranting in my art where only a few can understand.

Monday, June 07, 2010


I like doing these mini reviews better than the long, boring ones I was doing. So, I'm going to keep it up. In case you're wondering why I'm reading so many graphic novels, it's because a) I like them for the most part and b) I can't find any regular books to read that I like. Got any suggestions?

Kick-Ass by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.
- The movie is better than the comic. I've never been a big fan of JRJR's artwork.

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan - These books are entertaining but very shallow when it comes to story and character. It's going to be awhile before we see another YA series that's as good as Harry Potter.

Welcome to Tranquility: Vol. 1 & 2 by Gail Simone and Neil Googe - It's about the fictional town of Tranquility, CA which is home to retired superheroes. Interesting premise (I understand there is a book by Stephen King that's similar) and good artwork. I liked it.

The Avengers: Nights of Wundagore by David Michelinie and John Byrne - This originally saw print in 1979 so I read it when I was in high school. I'm a huge fan of Byrne but didn't remember that they let Klaus Jansen ink his pencils. Jansen's inks are too dark for Byrne's work. The story is interesting though because it's the beginning of finding out that the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are Magneto's kids. Lots of crossover with X-Men back know...when you could keep up with all the storylines because there weren't 1000 books per character being published per month.

Preacher: Ancient History by Garth Ennis, Steve Pugh, Carlos Ezquerra. - This book presented back stories of existing characters. Interesting to see the origin of the Saint of Killers and Arseface but the other story was crap. I didn't like Pugh's art at all but Ezquerra was all right. I'm ready to get back to the regular storyline.

Preacher: Dixie Fried by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon - More weirdness but back to the regular storyline. I'm going to keep going.

Uncanny X-Men: First Class/Hated and Feared by various writers and artists - I liked this. It hearkens back to the days when Claremont, Cockrum and Byrne were working their magic with Marvel's mutants. It's too bad we can't have Claremont, Byrne and Austin back to do some new stories. That would be something.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Sample Page from Masters: Collage Book

The book is officially published as of today. Here's the first of eight pages about me. At the suggestion of a friend, I think I will buy an extra book, pull the pages out and lay them flat for a high quality scan.
Anywho, still pretty exciting in an odd way. While it's way cool to be featured in a book, I'll be curious to see if this does anything to boost me into bigger and better things. Meanwhile, buy a book or better yet, buy one of my originals. Or both.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Again, no time for long reviews. Here's a short look at what I've been reading lately.

Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman - Pretty cool novel in the superhero genre. Can't help but say it would have been nice to see it in comic form but it was great to use my imagination visualizing everything.

Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness, Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe by Bryan Lee O'Malley - Read these in prep for the new movie coming out. I hope Edgar Wright does something creative with this material. I'm sure he will.

The Hunt for Atlantis by Andy McDermott - Pretty standard action story in the vein of Clive Cussler, Preston/Child, James Rollins or Matthew Reilly. I may continue w/ the series. May not. Depends on how thin my reading list gets.

Hack/Slash Omnibus by various writers and artists - Picked this up on a whim at the library. Kinda fun in a bent sort of way.

Immortal Iron Fist Vol. 1 & 2 by Ed Brubaker, etc. - I loved Iron Fist when I was a kid especially the run John Byrne did on the series. This story was okay. Enjoyed the second more than the first.

Friday, May 07, 2010


I just got my comp copies of Masters: Collage via UPS! It looks amazing! I'm kinda stunned.
I was doing my back stretches when our buzzer went off. The phone thingy is broken so I can't communicate with whoever's down there so I don't usually buzz people in unless I'm expecting someone. I guess someone else buzzed him in because I looked out the window and saw the UPS guy leaving. We weren't expecting any packages so I went downstairs to see what was up and I discovered the box from Sterling Books with my name on it. It was then that my body and brain kinda went numb. I came back upstairs, opened the box, and pulled the book out. I then, slowly, found the pages featuring my art. Wow! I don't know what to say. It's really cool! Then I looked thru the rest of the book and saw all the other amazing artists and there work and I immediately thought, "What is my stuff doing in here?" I'm honored to be counted among all the talented artists that are also in the book.
Ha! Then reality snapped in after I found a typo on one of my pages and in my bio. It says I show extensively in Washington and California. I've never had a show in California. I guess we'll have to remedy that.
So, anyway, I'm a little excited. I don't know what this will mean for me and my art career down the road but for right now, it's pretty dang cool!
If you want to pre-order the book, there's a link here on my blog and at It will be available to everyone else in June.
Okay, I'll stop now before I hyperventilate.

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Been busy. No time to write about what I've been reading. Here's a list w/ short comments.

Rising Stars: Volume 1 by J. Michael Straczynski - Meh. I'll pick up Volume 2 and see if it goes anywhere.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World by Bryan Lee O'Malley - Reading these in prep for the Edgar Wright's film that's coming out this summer.

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman - Short story collection. I liked some, didn't like others. Favorites were the one about the months of the year and the American Gods related story.

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher - Thought I had given up on Butcher but I read that his next book really shakes things up so I thought I'd catch up and see if that's true. This one was better than the previous 2 or 3. He's been in a rut. I hope he gets out.

Preacher: Book 1 & 2 by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon - Interesting comic about a preacher possessed by a half-demon/half-angel who's searching for the Lord so he can tell him off. There's more to it than that get the gist. It's weird, quirky, up my alley.

Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming - I read this before but forgot it. I re-read it so I can read the whole series.

Friday, April 09, 2010


Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Miranda's disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove. In her journal, Miranda records the events of each desperate day, while she and her family struggle to hold on to their most priceless resource--hope.
Yet another post-apocalyptic novel for me. This one was better than I thought it would be. It's told thru the journal entries of a 16-year-old girl so I wasn't sure if it would be too "teenybopper" for me. It turned out to be a pretty interesting story about survival.

Scott Pilgrim 's Precious Little Lies by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Scott Pilgrim's life is totally sweet. He's 23 years old, he's in a rock band, he's "between jobs," and he's dating a cute high school girl. Nothing could possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. Will Scott's awesome life get turned upside-down? Will he have to face Ramona's seven evil ex-boyfriends in battle?
I never would have read this if there wasn't a movie based on it coming soon. I was curious. It's interesting but I have to say the movie looks very cool. I don't like Michael Cera (one-note actor) but I trust director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) to do something cool with the material. At least I hope he will. If not, there's always Ant-Man, the movie he's going to work on next.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Stranger

It was very cool to have my art grace the cover of the Stranger, Seattle's alternative newspaper. I had no idea what the cover text would say but I figured it would be "edgy." Can't wait to hear my parent's reaction to that.
Not sure if this will lead to anything good or not. It hasn't spiked visits to my website or anything. But it was very cool.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Weird Dreams

Night before last I had some funky dreams. I was still in ministry and the world was dominated by 2 religions or denominations; a conservative Republican type and a more touchy-feely, more liberal type. The leader of Republicans was someone from my past and he was scary as hell. At one point in the dream I was put on trial. The "courtroom" was full of people from my past telling lies about me. I can't remember much more than that but I can tell you that I woke up feeling really crappy and unnerved as hell. No more dreams like that, thank you very much.


The Good, the Bad and the Uncanny by Simon R. Green
Things were going so well for P.I. John Taylor, that it was only a matter of time before everything hit the fan. Walker, the powerful, ever-present, never-to-be-trusted agent who runs the Nightside on behalf of The Authorities, is dying. And he wants John to be his successor-a job that comes with more baggage, and more enemies, than anyone can possibly imagine.
This is the tenth book in the Nightside series. I have really enjoyed the whole series. Green fills his world with interesting characters. I like to imagine what they and the world look like. They're not the most brilliant books ever written but they are fun.

French Milk by Lucy Knisley
This is a drawn journal about the author/artist's time living in Paris with her mother. I found Knisley online and really admire her artistic talent. I've only been reading her stuff online but I found this at the library and thought I would give it a go. Her style has changed a bit since this book but I really enjoyed it. I love the idea of a drawn journal, something I've toyed with in the past but never fully jumped in and done. Knisley does it quite nicely.

Mercy Thompson: Homecoming by Patricia Briggs and others
Mercy Thompson is a walker, a magical being with the power to transform into a coyote. She lives on the fine line dividing the everyday world from a darker dimension, observing the supernatural community while standing apart. When Mercy travels to the Tri-Cities of Washington for a job interview, she quickly finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a gang war between rival packs of werewolves. And as if fangs and fur weren't bad enough, Mercy must deal with the scariest creature of all: her mother, who is convinced that Mercy is making a mess of her life and determined to set her daughter on the right course. The thrilling adventures of Mercy Thompson-Moon Called, Blood Bound, and Iron Kissed-have topped the New York Times bestseller list. Now Mercy makes her comics debut in an exclusive new story created by Patricia Briggs. Mercy Thompson: Homecoming is sure to please longtime fans and capture new ones with its mix of unforgettable characters and thrilling supernatural intrigue.
This is a graphic novel based on the characters from the Mercy Thompson novels. I've read a couple of those and liked them so I thought I'd give this a go. It was okay for a quick read. It sets up some of the relationships from the novels and gives you a glimpse into Mercy's move to the Tri-Cities. Beyond that, it's nothing special. A brief distraction, nothing more.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


American Gods by Neil Gaiman
After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the days, then the hours, then the hours, then the seconds until his release tick away, he can feel a storm building. Two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in apparently adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr Wednesday claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But they are being pursued by someone with whom Shadow must make his peace... Disturbing, gripping and profoundly strange, Neil Gaiman's epic new novel sees him on the road to finding the soul of America.

Well, I finally read a book by Neil Gaiman that I actually liked. I had just assumed that he was an over-rated writer or that I had something wrong with me but I really enjoyed this book. Granted, The Graveyard Book was okay but I had hated Neverwhere. The problem seemed to be little to no real story and being weird for weird's sake (Tim Burton does this sometimes, too). But I did enjoy this story. The main character of Shadow gives us an everyman to pull for amongst all the old god vs. new god madness taking place around him. The mystery plot interwoven throughout the story was also a nice touch. What am I saying? Am I going to read another Gaiman book? Maybe. I've been thinking I'd like to try Stardust. I liked the movie.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I am now selling my art online via Esty. There will be a link on the right side of my blog and gallery pages. Or you can get there by using this link:

If you have time, do me a favor. Go to my page on Etsy and favorite my shop. It means you'll have to log in but it would really help me out. The more favorites I get, the better the shop will do.

Thanks for your support. Visit the shop often and buy lots!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Fangland by John Marks
Evangeline Harker is a producer for a television news show who takes an assignment to go into Romania and investigate a criminal legend, Ion Torgu, to get him on camera. Soon, Torgu accosts her, impersonating Dracula. Like Stoker's tale, Harker finds herself held for months, before she pops up in a Transylvanian monastery as this Torgu Dracula gets introduced to New York City.
A contemporary re-imagining of Stoker's Dracula? Sign me up. Unfortunately, this book was all over the place. If it could have stayed with Evangeline, I think I would have enjoyed it but it jumped around from her point of view to emails from other characters and I just got lost and bored. I hear they are making a movie of this starring Hillary Swank. Perhaps the basics of the story can shine thru and make a decent movie.

Seattle Comicon: The Rest of the Story

There's not much to tell really. Clark and I spent most of the time wandering amongst the tables, perusing the TPB sales and watching for interesting costumes. We stayed far away from the celeb area but did catch a glimpse of Lou Ferrigno and Stan Lee. I talked to Hal Sutherland, an animation pioneer responsible for most of the non-Hanna/Barbera cartoons I watched as a kid. I bought a TPB with a Michael Golden story in it so I could have him sign it. I bought a couple other TPBs on sale (The Compleat John Byrne's Next Men Vol. 1 and Marvel Romance-I'm using this one for my art) Beyond all this, I spent the day snapping photos of interesting and frightening costumes. I didn't realize that they had panels so I missed those. All in all, a fun experience. I hope I can go back next year. If I do, I may spring for the 2-day pass. Why be all geeky just one day when you can make it last the whole weekend?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Seattle Comicon: The Beat Goes On

Today I went to the Emerald City Comicon for the first time. I've been invited by friends for the past couple years but couldn't go due to work. This year, the Con was earlier so it worked out for me to go. I'm glad I did. It was a blast.
I may write more later but I wanted to tell this story before I forget details. Clark and I had walked around a bit and decided it was time to sit and have a bite to eat. We grabbed our food and tried to find a seat. Finally two spots opened up and we squeezed in. As I was getting settled at the table I noticed the gentleman sitting on my right bore more than a striking resemblance to Sonny Bono. I was afraid to ask him if this was purposeful but I heard him talking about Bono so I figured, "What the heck? You only live once and you don't usually end up next to Sonny Bono at ask already." So I did.
Turns out he was a very nice Bono impersonator named Gary. We chatted for a while about his act and other things. I gave him my card and he inquired about possible religious affiliations. (my card has What Would Jesus Glue on it) I told him that I had been a minister but not anymore. He told me that he had spent 20 years as a minister in the Assemblies of God church but he was no longer a minister either. I asked if he looked like Sonny at that time but he said no. I just thought it would be great to have a pastor that looked like Sonny Bono. Maybe a song director that looked like Cher?
So anyway, we finished our lunch, Clark snapped a quick picture (I'm not eating next to Sonny Bono and not having proof) and bid our farewells. He shook my hand and said, "Remember, the beat goes on." I think I said, "It certainly does."
And that was just lunch.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Made My Day...

On Craigslist, I found a church in Seattle looking to show art in their lobby. I knew my stuff was probably too edgy for them but I thought I'd give it a go anyway. Here's the response I got:

"Thank you for your interest in displaying your work at our church. The staff absolutely loves your work; the only issue is that our more elderly congregants may not appreciate the irony and social critique your work provides. We wish that we’d be able to display your art but will have to refrain at this time."

Wow! She replied with politeness and honesty. You don't know how much I appreciate that. I'd rather have someone tell me my "stuff isn't appropriate but thank you" than have them blow smoke up my butt with lies. I can't tell you how many times I've been told, "Yeah, we want to show your work. I'll get back with you soon." and then never hear back. And before you ask, yes, I do follow up. I just wish people could be honest. I am extremely confident in my work and can take a bit of honest rejection. I'd rather have that than someone stringing me along with false hope.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula by Eric Nuzum
The Dead Travel Fast is about vampires, death, chickens, fear, things that smell bad, the love of a good woman, and germs... but mostly it's about vampires.The undead are everywhere. They're not just in movies and books, but in commercials, fetish clubs, and even in your breakfast cereal. If you look, you'll discover that bloodsuckers have gone from guest spots in rural folk tales to becoming some of the most recognizable bad guys in the modern world. Eric Nuzum wanted to find out why and how this happened. And he found the answer in Goth clubs, darkened parks, haunted houses, and... chain restaurants.Nuzum was willing to do whatever it took to better understand the vampire phenomenon. He traveled across Transylvania on a tour hosted by Butch Patrick (a.k.a. Eddie Munster), sat through Las Vegas' only topless vampire revue, hung out with assorted shady characters, and spent hours in a coffin. He even drank his own blood --just one more step in his quest to understand the weird, offbeat world of vampires and the people who love them. The Dead Travel Fast is the hilarious result of this bloody, gory, and often foolhardy journey. With his unmatched firsthand experience, Eric Nuzum delivers a far-reaching look at vampires in pop culture, from Bram to Bela to Buffy, and at what vampires and vampirism have come to mean to us today.And the blood? Let's just say it doesn't go with eggs.

I heard about this book on NPR. Everyone who knows me well knows that I have always had a thing for monsters. From an early age I was begging my parents to let me stay up late to watch horror movies and voraciously reading Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. No big surprise that I would want to read this book.
That being said, I enjoyed the read. Nuzum has a "smart-ass" approach to the subject that I appreciate. He didn't take the subject matter too seriously which is a good thing. He did, however, showcase some quite humorless devotees to vampires that were at times funny but, more often than not, pretty scary. All in all, a pretty good overview of the history of vampires and why we are so hung up on them.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Summer of the Apocalypse by James Van Pelt
When a plague wipes out most of humanity, fifteen-year-old Eric sets out to find his father. Sixty years later, Eric starts another long journey in an America that has long since quit resembling our own, but there are shadows everywhere. Shadows of what the world once was, and shadows from Eric's past. Blood bandits, wolves, fire, feral children, and an insane militia are only a few of the problems Eric faces. Set in Denver, Colorado and the western foothills, Van Pelt's first novel is both a coming-of-age tale, and a story of an old man's search for hope in the midst of disaster. Eric's two adventures lead him through a slice of modern America and into the depths of one man's heart.
I liked this book. The switching back and forth from 15-year-old Eric (at the beginning of the apocalypse) to 75-year-old Eric worked very well. I should say more but I waited too long after reading the book to post a review. It's not fresh on my mind. Sorry.

The Taking by Dean Koontz
The new thriller from Dean Koontz is a novel of surpassing suspense and visceral terror as doomsday dawns. On the morning that will mark the end of the world they have known, Molly and Niel Sloan awaken to the drumbeat of rain. It has haunted their dreams through the night, and now they find an eerily luminous and golden downpour that drenches their small Californian mountain town. As hours pass they hear news of extreme weather phenomena across the globe. An obscuring fog turns once familiar streets into a ghostly labyrinth. By evening, the town has lost all communication with the outside world. First TV and radio go dead, then the Internet and phone lines. The young couple gathers together with some neighbours, sensing a threat they cannot identify or even imagine. The night brings strange noises, and mysterious lights drift among the trees. The rain diminishes with the dawn but a moody grey-purple twilight prevails. Within the misty gloom the small band will encounter something that reveals in a terrifying instant what is happening to the world -- something that is hunting them with ruthless efficiency. Epic in scope, searingly intimate and immediate in its perspective, The Taking is a story of a strangely changed and changing world as apocalypse comes to Main Street.
So, as you can see, I like post-apocalyptic fiction. I just happened upon this book at the library because I had nothing else to read. For me, Koontz has always been a win/lose situation. I either like his books or I don't. This one started out great. Very mysterious, suspenseful and scary. By the middle of the book it was starting to fall apart for me and by the end I was just skimming to get thru it. This book does make me wonder what Koontz's religious views are. I won't say why in case you want to read it.

Atomic Robo by Brian Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener
I picked this graphic novel up on a whim at the library. I like the art very much and the stories are fun. Atomic Robo is a robot-adventurer. To me, he's a cross between Indiana Jones and Hellboy in personality. Fun book.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Life in General

Since I don't blog as often, I thought I'd catch you up on all things Marty.

- On the art front, things are going well. I had a great show at Corridor Gallery on my birthday. Many people came and went. I exposed my art to a bunch of new folks and sold a few works. I have also lined up another show because of it. Masters: Collage, the book that will feature selections of my work, will be out in June. I'm sure this will be a boost and it's especially cool because one of my images is on the cover. The only other thing I'm trying to accomplish is getting an Etsy shop open so I can sell my work online. I hope to have it up and running in a couple weeks. We'll see.

- We've moved back into the theatre after the fire damage. There's still a lot to do but I think we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. At least I'm back doing my regular job again. Having no routine for 3 months threw off my groove something fierce.

- Socially, things were pretty great over the holidays. We spent a lot of time with friends and it was great. Unfortunately, after the holidays were over, people returned to their busy lives and the social fun ceased. I'm beginning to think I should just give up the pursuit of close friendships and either learn to survive on shallow relationships or become a hermit. The hermit thing looks the most attractive to me right now.

- The bad news is...I'm tired of bad news. Folks with cancer, relatives dying, blah, blah, blah. Again, the whole hermit thing is looking mighty good right about now.

Well, I guess that's all the news that's fit to print. I'll chime in if anything significant happens. Otherwise, I'll probably working on art and laying low as much as possible.


The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
My reading has slowed down quite a bit of late. I think it's a combo of not having anything interesting to read and being too tired to read at bedtime (which is the only time I read). That being said, I did polish off the first book of LOTR along with a couple of Pearls Before Swine treasuries since my last book update. LOTR remains a tough read for me. It's a good story but I get bogged down in all of Tolkein's descriptions of things. I am much more interested in character development and dialogue. I am now beginning to understand why Peter Jackson made some of the choices he did in the movie. I may move on and finish up the trilogy but I'm going to take a break and read some other stuff first.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired!

This cold (or whatever it is) is hanging on. I feel pretty crappy. Normally a cold wouldn't knock the wind out of my sails like this but I've been dealing with health stuff for weeks now. First it was my feet. Doc says it was probably tendonitis. I've bought new shoes hoping that will help. Next up was the weird virus that had my stomach messed up for over 2 weeks. I'll spare you the grisly details. And, now that that is finally subsiding, I get hit with a cold.
Work is going to be getting very busy in the next couple of weeks as we start moving back into the theatre and start the next show. I need to be well to be able to deal with the physical challenges of that time. This crud needs to pass on by.

Finally...A Good Burger!

I've long complained that there is something wrong with the taste buds of Seattlites. They recommend mediocre food and call it fantastic. They also think that charging a big chunk of change for something makes it good. To be frank, Seattlites are a bit snobby about food...but they have no basis for it. In most cities I've lived in I've had quite a few favorite restaurants that I like to frequent. Not so in Seattle. When Sarah and I decide we want to eat out, we have a hard time deciding where to eat. We usually don't venture out into new territory because we've been so disappointed in the past. So, we stick with the few "tried and trues" we've found. But, we still hope that we'll discover new places. Last night we did.
A Five Guys Burgers opened across from Northgate Mall so we decided to try it. We're glad we did. It was a good, falling apart, juicy burger. And the fries were good and plentiful. The best part...not having to take out a loan to pay for a mediocre burger. We got a good burger for for a reasonable price...a rarity for Seattle. Needless to say, we'll be repeating this experience.

Monday, January 11, 2010


The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
I'm not going to post a synopsis because if you don't know what The Hobbit is about by now, you've been living on Mars. After attending the LOTR marathon w/ friends the day after Christmas, I decided it was time for me to re-read the trilogy. Luckily, my wife still has her set from the 70's (same set I had but I have no idea where mine got off to). The set includes The Hobbit so I figured that's the best place to start. I haven't read The Hobbit in a long time and it surprised me how wonderful it still is. It's such a great story, so charming and enchanting. I enjoyed entering Middle Earth again. It really makes me anticipate the Del Toro movie all the more although I don't really understand why it has to be 2 movies. I think one movie would suffice. After all, we all know the movie's going to be 3 hours or more.

Pearls Sells Out: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury by Stephan Pastis
I got my wife 3 of these treasuries for Christmas so I decided to read one of them. Pastis is not right in the a good way. Funny stuff!

Lapse in Blogging

Well, 2009 finally saw me fall off the blogging wagon. I don't know why but I just got tired of writing about myself. I still post the books I've read and every once in a while I might put up something of interest but I just got tired of bitching and complaining. Of course, I need someplace to vent and I may still do that on my blog from time to time but I'd like to not do it as much. I wouldn't mind blogging more but I just don't seem to have that much to write about anymore. My life is pretty routine (or will be once the theatre is remodeled). I usually don't have too many exciting things to report. So...what to do?
Well, I have no answers. I'll just say that it's on my radar to try and blog more. I'm not saying I will but it will be on my mind. Meanwhile, catch me on Facebook if you'd like. I enjoy interacting on there. Perhaps FB is to blame partially for my lapse in blogging?
Gotta blame something.