Saturday, June 22, 2013

'Blog of Steel'

Greetings and salutations, gang!  I do hope your summer is rolling along swimmingly… you know, with the swimming!  ;)

As is typically the case this time of year, the Malone household is quite abuzz with activity.  Cookouts, pool parties, church stuff, summer movie season… pretty much anything is fair game right now for entertainment.  We shall begin this month’s edition of the Manifesto, however, with the latter. 

Man of Steel

As a lifelong nerd and child of the 80s, I was practically raised on Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie and Superman II.  Truth be told, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve uttered the phrase, “kneel before Zod,” it’s probable Id’ have jettisoned my day-job years ago in favor of full-time novelizing on a beach.  Alas, a guy can dream, right?

In the years since Sups II, we’ve waited long and hard for this character to rise from the ashes of “Nuclear Man” (to this day, I still want to punch that dork in his loin cloth) and return to the prominence he deserves as the undisputed King Daddy of the superhero-verse.  To his credit, I thought Bryan Singer (X-Men/X2) made a fair go of it with 2006’s Superman Returns.  But, most agree that, wonderfully nostalgic as it was, SR was still little more than a Donner knockoff.  

… and then, this dude named Christopher Nolan came along and forever changed the landscape of DC movies with a little film called Batman Begins, a triumph of cinematic storytelling which was only eclipsed by Nolan’s magnum opus, The Dark Knight.

Now fast-forward to 2013, and here we are yet again—wanting once more to believe “that a man can fly.”  Well folks, I’ve got news for you: Sups does a helluva lot more than that in Man of Steel… 

The script that writer David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight) has crafted, combined with the stunning visuals of director Zack Snyder (300/Watchmen), makes for a Superman origin story unlike anything you’ve seen before with regard to depth.  Rather than sounding the trumpets as our beloved hero flies in to save the day, this story seeks to answer the question “what would it do to a person to grow up being THAT different from EVERYONE else?”  It was a major gamble on the part of Warner Brothers, the likes of which can kill a tent-pole franchise if it fails (see the stink bomb that was Star Trek: Into Darkness).  But it paid off, and Superman as a character is all the better for it.

Listen, MOS isn’t a perfect film.  Great as it is, the plot does have a few holes, it drags in places, and the size of some of the action sequences teeters on excessive.  But for die-hard Sups fans like myself who have waited years to see our favorite “Big Blue Boy Scout” return to glory, this was the movie we needed.  

Great story, phenomenal cast (led by Henry Cavil), and fantastic direction.  That, friends… is my take on Man of Steel.  

Red Sky Dawning update

The second book in the Mako saga took a pretty major step forward this week in that, despite my already being a third of the way through the first draft, I still had no real clue how to open the story.  I got so many compliments on the prologue from Mako, and trying to replicate that was driving me nuts!

As always, though, the writing process has a funny way of working these things out when and if stubborn, impatient, pig-headed, Type-A authors like me will just shut up and let it.  It happened before with Jon Reiser’s log entry in Mako, and thankfully, it’s happened again here with RSD

“So what is it, already?” you ask…  

Well, let’s just say that part of the fun of writing a series is that you get to climb back into your old sandbox and start fleshing out certain aspects of the story that only warranted a brushstroke before—only now they get to explode into pivotal portions of the saga mythology.

Too cryptic?  Go back and re-read Chapter 16 of Mako… that’s all I’ll say for now.  ;)

Parting Shots…

Ever since the Star Wars Episode VII news starting flying across the net, I’ve really had an itch to delve back into the expanded universe. That continued last week with Darth Plagueis from James Luceno (Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader).  In essence, this is the story of Palpatine’s rise to power among the Sith, a tale which parallels the rise and fall of the Muun who mastered him, Darth Plagueis.  I’m about halfway through it now, but so far it’s classic Luceno… very dark, very political, and very much the story of an anti-hero.

Translation: I dig the bejeezus out of it!

Okay folks, that’s gonna do it for this edition.  Enjoy your weekend, have a wonderful Fourth of July, and catch ya next month!!!



PS- For those of you who wanted to give my book a read but weren’t sure you wanted to shell out the $5, you’ll be happy to hear that my good friends at the World Literary CafĂ© have honored me by making Mako the book of the week via their “Free E-book Friday” promotion.  That’ll drop next week (Friday, June 28), so stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter the day of for the coupon code.