Going to try blogging more regularly. At least two or three times a week. No promises, but we’ll see what happens.
By the way, I’ll be taking part in Borders.com’s Babel Clash, a two week blogging exchange thing. I’m not really sure how it works or what I’ll be doing, but it’s flattering to be asked to participate. So I’ll be doing it because any chance to meet new fans without forcing me to get up and leave my house is cool with me. It’ll start next Wednesday. I’ll keep you updated gang.
So I finally finished CATCHING THE MOON. Still have work to do on it, but I felt comfortable enough to turn it over to my editor and see what they have to say.
And now I’m free to just relax and pursue a new manuscript. I’ve started MOJO NEPTUNE, WARLORD OF EARTH. It’s a story about a retired alien supervillain and the problems he gets into trying to save a world he previously conquered himself. Mojo is the space squid equivalent of Doctor Doom, chaotic neutral (or possibly chaotic lawful), and he isn’t exactly a nice guy. But he’s really not evil either. He’s just super intelligent and bored and trying to figure out what to do with himself.
I tweeted the title and backstory of the story a few days ago, and two of my close friends told me they thought it was a joke. For the life of me, I don’t know why. This is a story with a space squid protagonists, Venusian warriors, Saturnite stone people, ray guns, time machines, and probably (though not certainly at this point) an Atlantean uprising. Doesn’t it sound like something I’d write? Heck, I’m not sure it’s even the weirdest thing I’ve written.
The other thing that came up was the funny writer label. One or two people observed that if I didn’t want to be viewed as a funny writer, I probably should stop writing stuff like this. And I can see where they’re coming from. It has some funny stuff in it. There’s humor. There’s absurdity. But, despite all that, I still wouldn’t call it a funny book.
But maybe it’s just a matter of perception. I don’t like being called funny, but I do like being called fun. I do like writing fun books that make you smile, that are enjoyable to read, that engage the reader with cool ideas and snappy dialogue and strange, memorable (hopefully) moments. Fun is good. Fun is a worthy goal.
Funny is just too much damn pressure. It’s also just a touch one-dimensional. The line between drama and comedy is mostly an illusion. It seems as if anything makes you smile or doesn’t bring you down that it must automatically be silly or light. But, as I’ve said before, I don’t buy that.
One of my favorite movies last year was CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. Yes, it’s an absurdist romp with plenty of jokes. But I really did care about the characters, and there’s a satisfaction in the growth and resolution of their characters and conflicts. KUNG FU PANDA isn’t just about cool super kung fu battles. It’s also about Master Sifu’s struggles with his own guilt, Tai Lung’s ruthless (and tragic) pursuit of kung fu perfection, and Po’s evolution from jovial wannabe to jovial hero. These films are funny, yes, and fun. But that doesn’t make them less.
The recent JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS is, in many ways, a dark story about a villain who seeks to destroy the universe for no other reason than his nihlistic obsession. That’s pretty heavy stuff. But it’s also about a guy in a batsuit and an alien in blue and red spandex who fight evil counterparts from an alternate dimension. It’s fun.
Fun is not a bad thing.
So, yes, I’m funny. And I don’t deny it. But it has never been my goal to make the audience laugh, though if that hurts I’m not complaining. Still, I’m striving to entertain, and if that makes me less of an artist, I’ll live with it.
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,