Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Final Gift

In many ways, we’re still getting over this year. And while it’s easy to write silly things about how you need to appreciate every day, and sappy, sappy, sappy — well, boy, those Hallmark cards sometimes get it right (especially the ones with the glittery butterflies).


For me, this year will forever be associated with losing Mom. But in her honor, I’m having one final laugh at the little things: like the fact that she thought the cheap fake horrible ponytail hair she bought at the flea market was “better” than the fancy ones rich people pay retail for.


And for those who still haven’t made their charitable decisions, here are four that we love. All are great. None benefit us. But they do all make the world a prettier place. In no order:



City Year

City Year Miami is off and running. So are 19 other cities.

Just watch this and tell me you don’t get it.



Sharsheret

The place that helped my Mom the most with her battle with breast cancer. Links young women with other young women (and young at heart).



Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Yes, we still love Hero’s Alliance. ALL our t-shirt sales still go there. But CBLDF is fighting the good fight in the courtroom (and picking all the right First Amendment battles as well).



Save the Superman House

Will have an update soon, but wow, wait till you see what you’ve bulit with this one. The chimneys which were collapsing have been replaced with new masonry. And most importantly, the roof has been replaced with a new roof, which should stop the ongoing interior plaster damage. And then going inside...
So here’s a chance to keep it going (and get a great Chip Kidd t-shirt to boot)





Here’s to a healthy and peaceful new year for you. I’ve leaned very hard -- more than you know -- on our friends and readers this year. Some of the best advice I’ve gotten came from here. So thank you for helping with Book of Lies, the Superman house and Last Will & Testament and for always coming to the signings just to say hey. But most of all, as always, thanks for being part of the family.


B

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Super Heroes...Are REAL!

I knew we were right!


Video link: Meet Razorhawk (Fox News)


Great Lakes Avengers...Assemble!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dreamers

I love this story — and love Heidi for believing with it. So here’s to all who plan to dream the big dreams in 2009.


You will never walk by Artists Alley the same way again
via THE BEAT
by The Beat on 12/15/08



Must reading: Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine has a comic book cover story — not one of the usual stars of comics, like Frank Miller or Art Spiegelman or Chris Ware...but on Andre Campbell, a legally blind artist who is one of those folks in Artists Alley you passed by countless times:

Having toiled for nearly 20 years, Campbell, 44, had produced — with Eades’s assistance — one comic book and one graphic novel, both self-published, starring Campbell’s Alpha Agents (”Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”). Unlike the professional comic book artists, who had been invited to attend and who had made their names by working on some of the most beloved superhero titles of our time, Eades, 33, and Campbell had paid $150 out of their scarce resources to rent a table. But now they were focused on the significance of this day. For the first time, they had traveled to an out-of-state convention to promote their company, Heritage Comics HSQ (Heart, Soul, Quality). When they found their way to the corner of the convention center set up for small-press artists such as themselves, they settled in for eight hours of talking up characters that no one had yet heard of.


Writer David Rowell walks us through everything in a clear-eyed, but sympathetic manner. As a comics professional, I would have dismissed Campbell by the second paragraph of his story — or other people, like Vell Trueheart , a 60-something comics rookie who can’t afford a scooter because she’s sunk so much money into her comics. They are the peripherals, the hangers on, the dreamers. Rowell takes us inside Campbell’s dream, and you can’t help but dream with him, because all humans must dream, must aspire.


The article begs the question of whether the dream is worth having…or worth spending $3 on. And that is the harsh judgment the passers-by must make, and keep making. The process has no end point. Campbell will keep dreaming — and we will keep walking by.


Edit: There was a chat today, with both Rowell and Gregory, on Washington Post dot com that you might also want to check out


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mom

Today’s my Mom’s birthday. The first birthday since she passed away. And yeah, it’s just another day. But man, I miss her. In fact, what hurts most isn’t just the loss. It’s the reality that it’s getting easier. I’m getting used to her not being there. And that twists me even more.


Boy, what a mopey way to start the day.


Only thing mopier is rereading her eulogy.


Which I just did.


I owe my Mom every single moment.


Sending love to all those who have a loss they’re living with.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving


WEHT: Bill Messner-Loebs? (Publisher's Weekly)



Years ago, this is the very first cause I blogged about on here. In many ways, it was our first step toward Ordinary People Change The World and the Superman house.


So nice to see the happy ending. And let's be clear, not everything needs to have the happy ending, but so nice to see that Messner-Loebs found one.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Signed Copies

I've been getting lots of requests for signed books for the holidays, so if you missed any of the events for The Book of Lies, here're some spiffy new copies, superly book-plated inside. And all the money goes to charity for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.


Good deed. Nice gift. And free sig.


www.cbldf.com/bookoflies

Friday, November 07, 2008

Amputation

As the fundraising for the Superman house dies down, we're left looking at other things to do with OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.


Here's one (a friend of one of our nearest and dearest).


Just donate a dollar. That's it. One dollar. And let's see where we go.



On July 22, 2008, Michael Stolzenberg was rushed to the emergency room with a bacterial infection that was not responding to antibiotics. Shortly after he arrived, he went into septic shock and the doctors were forced to put him on a ventilator. His condition quickly worsened to the point of hopelessness, and as a last ditch effort, he was put on continuous dialysis. The doctors and nurses at Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital made heroic efforts over the next seven weeks to keep Mikey alive.


Miraculously, Mikey survived with his intelligence and wit; however, oxygen depravation to his limbs has resulted in the amputation of both hands and both feet. Mikey will have to live with the results of his illness for the rest of his life. At this point, it is unknown whether Mikey will be able to write, use a computer or even feed or dress himself, much less participate in the every-day normal activities that he so enjoyed prior to his illness. Up until July 22nd, Mikey was an avid athlete and had just earned the starting quarterback position on his pee wee tackle football team; he also enjoyed playing lacrosse, riding his bike and all of the other activities most 8-year-olds thrive on.


Michael's only hope of regaining some independence and normalcy in his life is to have superior prosthetics. The prosthetics that will allow him to participate in physical activities and to take care of himself in any manner are not the type approved by health insurance. While many amputees can survive with the basic prosthetics covered by insurance, they are usually only faced with one amputation, not four. Compounding the issue is that Michael is only 8, and the four prosthetics will need to be replaced bi-annually as he grows. This is not a task for any one family to face alone.


Mikey dreams of walking and running again, of being able to feed himself, and having some independence and quality of life. Please help us make all of Mikey's dreams come true! There are no limits!




Miles for Mikey


THERE ARE NO LIMITS!




Help Mikey re-gain his quality of life by walking for him, making a donation to the Trust, or by getting others you know to donate! Keep this email going by forwarding to all you know.


Please make checks payable to "the Michael Stolzenberg Trust" and mail to 1840 Main Street, Ste 202, Weston, FL 33326


Sponsor Levels

Superbowl $2,500

Touchdown $1,000

Field Goal $500

Safety $250

Extra Point $100

Sack $50

First Down $10

Audible (other amount)




For more information, please visit www.MichaelStolzenbergTrust.org



SATURDAY. DECEMBER 6, 2008

TEQUESTA TRACE PARK

WESTON, FLORIDA

10:00 AM




For additional information contact:


Starr Adams at starrjoe at aol dot com

Renee Rheingold at renee at marcrheingold dot com

Sharon Truske at struske at myacc dot net


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Michael Crichton

Been travelling to South Carolina for a book event, which is where I realized two things: with our new President, the 60s are officially dead (or at least done being overhyped by some of the media's most self-centered babyboomers). Whatever your party affiliation, let's enjoy the new day.


Two, Michael Crichton passed away from cancer.


I didn't know Crichton. Never met him. And maybe it's just seeing a novelist's obit. But, damn if Jurassic Park wasn't a kickass novel. It's so easy to point to all the other stuff, but that novel really meant something for me way back when. And as I look at my own obsession with research, I owe him a great deal. A tip of the amber to him.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween!

I love Halloween. I really love it. And not just because my wife pulls out the Wonder Woman costume that she usually just saves for my birthday. (I know...you just can’t help wondering if that’s a real joke or not.) But beyond the magic lasso, I love the memories of dressing as Batman for that one night...and then wearing the cape for the rest of the year(s). See below photo.





So a treat for you: this list of the best and worst candy.


It’s true. Don’t argue. But do add additional items if you please.


Also, would love to hear what you’re going as. Cori and I got invited to an actual superhero party. Oh the irony. I so wanted to pull out all the stops, and try for an amazing Power Girl or Hawkgirl and Red Arrow. Or even get back into our Wondertwin costumes we made years ago. (It take a real man to wear that much purple.) But instead, we’re doing Supergirl and Lex Luthor. Yep. Shaving the head totally.


Safe tricks and treats for all.


Love each other. And vote.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Michael Turner

In our community, when someone does a tribute book, it’s usually because the tributee needs help, money, or other vital things like that. For the Michael Turner tribute book, all the money goes to Mike’s favorite charities. And that also should tell you the type of heroes he and Vince and Frank and the Aspen guys are. So when you’re thinking about a good holiday gift this year, think of this one.



Michael Turner Tribute Book Celebrates a Lasting Legacy (Newsarama)



And thanks to Frank and Vince for putting it together.



(Joe Quesada contribution to the Michael Turner Tribute Book)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grant Morrison And All Star Superman

This is why All Star Superman was the best superhero book of the past few years. And why Grant Morrison is as relevant as ever.


From today at Newsarama



Grant Morrison:


A key text in all of this is Pico’s ‘Oration On The Dignity of Man’ (15c), generally regarded as the ‘manifesto’ of Renaissance thought, in which Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola laid out the fundamentals of what we tend to refer to as ’Humanist’ thinking.


(The ‘Oratorio’ also turns up in my British superhero series Zenith from 1987, which may indicate how long I’ve been working towards a Pico/Superman team-up!)


At its most basic, the ‘Oratorio’ is telling us that human beings have the unique ability, even the responsibility, to live up to their ‘ideals’. It would be unusual for a dog to aspire to be a horse, a bird to bark like a dog, or a horse to want to wear a diving suit and explore the Barrier Reef, but people have a particular gift for and inclination towards imitation, mimicry and self-transformation. We fly by watching birds and then making metal carriers that can outdo birds, we travel underwater by imitating fish, we constantly look to role models and behavioral templates for guidance, even when those role models are fictional TV or, comic, novel or movie heroes, just like the soft, quick, shapeshifty little things we are. We can alter the clothes we wear, the temperature around us, and change even our own bodies, in order to colonize or occupy previously hostile environments. We are, in short, a distinctively malleable and adaptable bunch.


So, Pico is saying, if we live by imitation, does it not make sense that we might choose to imitate the angels, the gods, the very highest form of being that we can imagine ? Instead of indulging the most brutish, vicious, greedy and ignorant aspects of the human experience, we can, with a little applied effort, elevate the better part of our natures and work to express those elements through our behavior. To do so would probably make us all feel a whole lot better too. Doing good deeds and making other people happy makes you feel totally brilliant, let’s face it.


So we can choose to the astronaut or the gangster. The superhero or the super villain. The angel or the devil. It’s entirely up to us, particularly in the privileged West, how we choose to imagine ourselves and conduct our lives.


We live in the stories we tell ourselves. It’s really simple. We can continue to tell ourselves and our children that the species we belong to is a crawling, diseased, viral cancer smear, only fit for extinction, and let’s see where that leads us.


We can continue to project our self-loathing and narcissistic terror of personal mortality onto our culture, our civilization, our planet, until we wreck the promise of the world for future generations in a fit of sheer self-induced panic...


...or we can own up to the scientific fact that we are all physically connected as parts of a single giant organism, imagine better ways to live and grow...and then put them into practice. We can stop pissing about, start building starships, and get on with the business of being adults.


The ’Oratorio’ is nothing less than the Shazam!, the Kimota! for Western Culture and we would do well to remember it in our currently trying times.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Gaiman, Meltzer, Lincoln

Finally uploaded the photo from the White House. Sad part? I’m more excited to hear about Neil’s new Batman story than to pay attention to stealing napkins at the White House.



Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Back On Topps

Okay, here’s the fun stuff. I’ve plugged my pals Randy and Jason Sklar on here before (and not just because they wrote the first bit I ever did on stage. Sock puppets. For Real!). But here’s their new series, all on the web, all free, all goodness.


If you don’t laugh at the photographer in the 2nd episode, you have no heart. Or smile.


Please do check it out here, new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday and culminating in a big end at the end of October:


www.backontopps.com

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Jack & Bobby

It's back, buttercup -- 22 episodes of pre-political goodness, finally available on the web (through legal means). Jack & Bobby lives.


So if you weren't one of the seventeen people who watched us on the air, set some time aside and enjoy.


Consider it perfect timing for the election...


Jack & Bobby Online

Monday, October 06, 2008

City Year Miami Lives!

From yesterday's Miami Herald:



Role models help young students


We grew up in Miami, so we know about the beauty of this city. But while the community can boast of gorgeous beaches and neon on Ocean Drive, we can get caught up in the superficial.


Recently, we saw the real beauty of Miami, where dozens of residents and local organizations used their passion and resources to bring City Year, America's premier service organization, to town. What's more beautiful than that?


With the launch of City Year Miami, 80 uniformed young adults have committed to serve our city, working full-time in Miami-Dade County public elementary schools, tutoring and mentoring children and giving much-needed help to overworked after-school programs, vacation camps and other aspects of overextended schools. They'll even be trained as emergency volunteers to assist when the next hurricane strikes. Think of it as a Peace Corps for the United States. The young adults' diversity and age -- 17 to 24 -- give them a unique ability to connect with the children they mentor and give these kids someone to look up to.


Is it any surprise that both Barack Obama and John McCain are supporters?


City Year corps members come from all walks of life. Irene, an 18-year-old from Boston, was admitted to Stanford. But she deferred her dream so that she could help children in Miami pursue theirs.


There's also Lucien, a 24-year-old from Little Haiti. He is returning to his old Miami neighborhood to serve. When he tells children not to make the mistakes he has made, they know where he comes from. And when he shows them the path he took to graduate high school and pursue a career, they know it's more than simple talk. Young people like Irene and Lucien inspired us to bring City Year to Miami. A few months ago, a national study ranked the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area dead last in the percentage of adults that dedicate time to volunteering. City Year Miami will help change that by giving young people the opportunity to serve -- and turning them into involved, engaged community participants for life.


City Year corps members -- in their bright red jackets -- also will act as reminders to the rest of us: If they can give a whole year, maybe we can give an hour, a day, maybe more. City Year isn't just for the kids -- it's for our entire city.


In our efforts to bring City Year to Miami, dozens of people told us it couldn't be done -- that the city couldn't support yet another public interest organization; that there wasn't enough funding to go around. But our schools are in a crisis, and our children and community suffer because of it. Miami-Dade County Public Schools' high-school graduation rate hovers at around 50 percent. And the school system has one of the highest drop-out rates in the state. In the face of these sad realities, how could we not act?


We are uniting as a community -- The Knight Foundation, The Children's Trust, Volunteer Florida, Bayview Financial, Comcast, CSX, Royal Caribbean, T-Mobile, and our own charitable foundation -- ready to work alongside City Year Miami corps members for a stronger community.


Everyone loves a hero, and in Miami, heroes aren't hard to find. Irene, Lucien and many others are dedicating a year to our city. They are building, for all of us, a stronger community. They are changing this world -- and changing Miami. That's what we call beautiful.




BRAD and CORI FLAM MELTZER, Miami


Friday, October 03, 2008

Thank You

After twenty-two cities, a full month of touring, a silly amount of plane flights, and even a hurricane (yep, right at the heart of our Houston signing), I’m finally home, and just wanted to say thank you for what you unleashed. First, of course, I appreciate what you did with The Book of Lies, talking it up to whoever would listen and pushing copies on unsuspecting family and friends. It was one of the most outrageous launches we’ve ever had and I know -- as I’ve always known -- that it only happens because of your neverending help.


But most important, thank you for what you also did to save the house where Superman was created. As you know, the goal was to raise $50,000 just to work on the outside of the house. Instead, we raised $101,000. 101. Thousand. Which now means we’ll be working on the inside of the house as well.


So let me be clear: whatever we accomplished with this book and with the house, you did this. When I was worried about getting the word out there, you stepped forward without hesitation. You are a clear troublemaker and I love you for it. Make no mistake: what you did -- from passing the videos along, to facebooking, to myspacing, to all the rest -- made a huge difference. So thanks for the trust and the faith and of course for putting the word out there from day one.


After seven books now, I have to say, there’s only one thing that’s clear to me: and that is how many people are pulling for us from all sides, from so many different places. Family, friends, readers, booksellers, all the people who you say “You gotta read my friend’s book” to -- it’s the only reason this happens. And maybe it’s because of what we went through this year, maybe it’s because I’m getting mushy these days, but it matters. When you help someone -- it always matters.


I’m signing off and taking a break. But I’m sending so much love and thanks your way.


Butterfly kisses from Florida,


Brad



Sunday, September 28, 2008

The White House

I'm typing in the airport, waiting for the return flight from the very last event -- the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Key highlight (besides the author breakfast at the White House, where all the famous authors try to play it cool as they fill their pockets with White House napkins (The fools! The best stuff is the White House toilet paper!) was all the incredible folks who waited in the sun for an hour to say hi. Love to them.


And then, while I'm standing there in the White House and eyeing the napkin thievery, I finally get to meet Neil Gaiman, who then introduces me to...just, please, wait...Salman Rushdie.


Me, Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie. In the White House.


Did the world end and no one told me?


Pics shortly -- and don't forget, Monday is the last day of the auction: and the prices are cheap for that Ivan Reis Superman and Lois drawing (think wedding or anniversary present for someone). Also, the Heroes walk-on and the Siegel shirt are still out there until tomorrow.


Waiting to go home...


So close, I smell it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Volunteer This Weekend In The Cleveland Area

Many people have said that they want to be a part of the “rebirth” of the Siegel House. Here is your chance.


Tracey Kirksey of Glenville Development Corp. has organized a day for volunteers to help the neighborhood where Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster grew up and created our favorite hero.


The invitation is below, the day is tomorrow, Saturday, September 27 at starting at 9:00am.


No skill required. Be a part of history and give back to the neighborhood.


Sorry for the late notice. I just heard myself. :)



YOU’RE INVITED TO
Join Northeast Ohio’s ServiceNation Day of Action


September 27, 2008
10622 Kimberly Avenue



9:00 – 9:30am Registration
9:30- 10:00am Welcome
10am Volunteers deployed and engaged in service




As a part of ServiceNation Day of Action, Glenville Development Corporation, the Siegel & Shuster Society and Hands On Northeast Ohio have planned a day of service centered around the restoration of the former home of Jerry Siegel, one of two Glenville High School teens who created Superman.


Projects for the day included painting seniors homes, painting Charles Lake Elementary, landscape projects, and minor exterior repairs on Kimberly Avenue.


ServiceNation is a campaign for an America in which, by 2020, 100 million citizens will volunteer time in schools, workplaces, and faith-based and community institutions each and every year (up from 61 million today), and that increasing numbers of Americans annually will voluntarily commit a year of their lives to national service.


Please join over 100 volunteers as we represent Cleveland’s commitment to others.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

LA

LA is sunny and beautiful and filled with handsome people that make me feel extra bald and pasty. But very excited to be on Attack of the Show (AOTS) on G4 today (one of my favorite shows), and extra excited because we're about to grab some In-and-Out Burger. Also, had Scott Brick (our voice on the audio books) there last night, so he made me sound super-baritone (that is a super power).


Three days to go.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Westside

On a plane right now headed to Pasadena and LA, home of Kaysu Ya, my favorite sushi place (which I have the publisher pay for, which is good since I eat it twice a day).



The third week of the Superman auction was amazing, and baseball caps off to Frank Cho, whose Supergirl pin up proved just how much the world loves, in his words, those big corn fed Kansas girls. We raised over $7,000 alone just from that, with a week 3 total of $17,766
.

But this week is the big final one: the walk-on part on Heroes...the Jerry Siegel t-shirt...and have you seen the dozen new items, including George Perez's Batman vs. Captain America donated by Doug Welch.

I know we've put the word out in week 1, but in this final week, I would love if you could help us push the auction and site and video one last time on facebook, myspace or even just via antiquated email.



The site is: www.OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com

Donations can be made here.


T-shirts can be bought here.


Hello West Coast...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Boston!

In a car, speeding toward Boston right now. I love this stop. Not because I lived there. Or because my first job was there. Or because my agent is there. But because that was the city where my job fell apart and I first started writing. It's where I first had the dream. Where I failed so bad when I got 24 rejection letters. But where I was always so damn stubborn to give up.



Plus I get to see my pal Henry Santoro on WFNX. Sweetest man alive.



Also, don't forget that monday night is when week 3 of the
Superman house action
ends. There's a steal on the 6 new items that were added to that auction: Buscema art going for 100 bucks? A Bizarro painting for 250? People, think birthdays and holiday gifts. Tis the season coming.



See you on the T.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Atlanta

Sitting on a plane to Atlanta -- and i swear -- there's a full row of six Tibetan monks in front of me. Six in a row, all across a full row of seats. In bright orange robes. And one is scrolling through his iPhone while eating Mentos.


It's the Mentos that does it.


I love America.

Who's the best?

You the best. The tour is now leaving Philly and headed to Atlanta for a fun Friday night, but one thing is so damn clear: at every stop, i'm blown away by the love and kindness from everyone -- from the amazing bookstore employees (especially the women from Dallas who were so cool, and the ones yesterday in the Philly area), to the people coming to the signings (again, Philly and Atlanta set new records for cool when they started donating cash for the house without even a jar there).


I've said it before. Every writer thinks they have the best readers. But we actually do.



Onto Atlanta, NJ and CT this weekend...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Houston Cancelled And Auction Ending

Just found out that the two events in Houston for tomorrow (Tuesday) have been cancelled due to Hurricane Ike. I hear it's getting better there in some parts, but my publisher is terrified that it's something out of a zombie flick, and so, I'm headed straight to Philly instead. Special apologies to the incredible stores -- Murder By The Book and also Midnight Comics -- who are just some of the nicest around. Both know we'll figure out something really cool to make it up to them.


Also, today is the last day to bid on getting your name in the next novel -- and to bid on the other items in Round 2 of the auction to save the house where Superman was created. And next week...? We get Letterman involved. Plus lots more new items.


Love to all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Austin

Headed to Austin today.


Amy's Ice Cream.


Waterloo Records.


And hanging out with the Calculator. The real one (coolest thing on tour this week? The girl who made a LEGO Calculator character is sending it to me).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cleveland!

First, just a reminder that you can be a character in my next novel -- and i'll make you someone good too. Plus lots of other items that'll help raise money to save the house where Superman was created. Bid here.


Had our event in Cleveland last night, co-sponsored by the the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohioana Library Association. Was wild to see so many of Jerry Siegel's relatives there, plus Joe Shuster's, plus the current amazing owners of the Siegel House, plus so many members of the Siegel & Shuster Society. Lovefest? For sure -- and was easily one of the best stops -- especially because I hadn't been there in so long, so got to meet so many people who have been reading the novels for years.


Onto Denver and then the hurricanes of Austin...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eisner Acceptance Speech

Finally found it. Thanks to everyone at Comic-Con for tracking it down.


This was easily one of the true highlights of my life, and it wasn't until I watched it myself that I saw what I said. I physically could feel my heart kicking through my chest. Notice the sweat growing on my forehead. (and, how cool does Sam Jackson look.).


YouTube link.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

New Auction Items

Headed to Cleveland tomorrow. Can't wait to see reactions at the signing based on the e-mails I've been getting from Clevelanders.


Best part of last night's signing in Chicago? My first unrequited crush from elementary school came to visit. I wrote about her in my Terra story. She reminded me why I love old friends -- and why I should have given her a "Great" instead of a "Yuk" in the slam book.


Also, week one of the auction to save the house where Superman was created is officially over.


Insane. In the membrane. I said to my wife that I figured week one would get $10K (being over-optimistic). Shows what I f'ing know.


The closing auctions for week one were as follows:


Winning Bids:
Brian Michael Bendis $5,850.00
Neil Gaiman $1,125.00
Dave Gibbons $810.00
Jim Lee $14,101.00
Allen Bellman $150.00
Dan Brereton $587.88
Travis Charest $7,877.77
Greg Rucka $545.00
Ian Churchill $560.00
Ernie Chan $227.50
George Perez $2,625.00


That's $34,459.15 for week one auctions. And that's not including how many amazing people have made direct donations that came through OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.Com. With so many people donating just $10, $25...that's all we need. We just need more people to do it.


Also, don't forget the coolest T-Shirt that Chip Kidd has ever designed. The official Siegel & Shuster T-Shirt, with all profits going to save the house where Superman was created.




And so we begin the second week of the auction, the one where you can get your name as a character in my next novel.


Let me say, right now, that I'll give you a good spot. You won't be some waiter who disappears after one line (unless you have a really bad name, in which case I'm going to kill you early).


Week 2 auctions.


Also, the best part of this has been the outpouring of new items we've gotten for the auction. So many more coming. But this week, let's throw some love at J.H. Williams III, Jimmy Palmiotti and Mark Waid, who has given us CURT SWAN! (check out the art below)


Plus, just heard from Mark Millar, Jill Thompson, Mark Waid, and so many others. To all creators: we tried to reach out to everyone when we started, but it's clear we didn't reach everyone. We want you! If you have a truly awesome item, please email me through the site or facebook or myspace or anywhere because this is for all of us.





Monday, September 08, 2008

Additional Tour Cities

First, for those who asked specific questions about Brian Bendis and Jim Lee's auctions, answers below... And c'mon, that's gotta make the bidding go higher.



Q:When you say drawn on the cover to an issue of Powers, would it be possible to have "me" wearing a shirt that says my name on it so it's "obviously" me and there's no mistaking it? Also, will we get a chance to own the original art?

A:Yes to both.


Q:How large will Jim Lee's drawing be? Will it be pencil or ink? Can Jim draw Superman and Batman, instead of the winner?

A:11 x 17. Pencil and ink. It can be Batman or any other existing character from Marvel or DC or Wildstorm.





So, the first week of the tour is done. Beyond the highlight of meeting everyone, especially the Invisible Army members, was doing the local TV noon news in Miami with the firefighter band that was playing "Superman" while the Miami Dolphin cheerleaders came over to say hi. I swear, I tried to take a picture. Only in Miami.


We've added two additional cities to the tour. Stop by and say hello if you're in New Jersey (Hoboken, represent!) or Connecticut.


WESTFIELD, NJ
Saturday, September 20 – 7:00 pm

Westfield Library

550 East Broad Street


DARIEN, CT
Sunday, September 21 – 5:30 pm

Darien Library

35 Leroy Avenue

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Siegel & Shuster Society

For those of you who have not seen the information on The Siegel & Shuster Society, here is the video and the FAQ. Remember, ordinary people can change the world.



As you can tell from the video, the goal of The Siegel & Shuster Society is to save the house where Superman was created.


The most important thing to do is to mention and link to the auction, encourage people to buy a shirt, and post the video on all the places you frequent (blogs, MySpace, Facebook, message boards, e-mail, etc.). The video shows the state of the house and tells people about the auction that started this week. As you'll see from the list of people involved, this isn't about DC or Marvel. This isn't about competition. It's about the comic community as a whole, pulling together for a place that launched so many of our best dreams.


I just hope you know how much I and everyone working on this project appreciate you being involved with it. And while we know it's just a house, it matters.


FAQ


What's this all about again?
Today is the official launch of The Siegel & Shuster Society, with a celebrity charity auction that'll raise money to preserve the home of Jerry Siegel, creator of Superman. When you go to Brad Meltzer's charitable website www.OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com, you can:



  • bid online for original Superman and comic book art and items by top writers and artists
  • buy a Siegel & Shuster Society t-shirt (designed by the legendary graphic designer Chip Kidd)
  • or just donate to the good cause.

The best way to show it is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25R2kcJxQuc


All proceeds of the auction go to the restoration of the Siegel house.



Who's involved in the auction?
This is a coming together of an entire community. The full list includes: Stephen Colbert, Jim Lee, Brian Michael Bendis, Brad Meltzer, Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, Joe Quesada, Neil Gaiman, Alex Ross, Dave Gibbons, Jeph Loeb, Murphy Anderson, Ed Brubaker, John Cassaday, Gene Ha, Greg Rucka, George Perez, Michael Turner, Adam Kubert, Andy Kubert, Judd Winick, Frank Cho, Eric Powell, Tim Sale, Walt Simonson, Joe Staton, Eric Wight, Dave Mandel, Mike Mignola, Rags Morales, Bill Morrison, Ivan Reis, John Romita Jr., Jason Palmer, Amanda Conner, Geoff Darrow, Ron Garney, Renato Guedes, Heroes, Dave Johnson, Chris Bachalo, Mike Bair, Allen Bellman, Dan Brereton, Ernie Chan, Travis Charest, and Ian Churchill, YOU, and even Jerry Siegel (see below).



How did this come about?
While researching his new novel, The Book of Lies, Brad Meltzer visited the boyhood home of Jerry Siegel in Cleveland, Ohio, where Superman was created. As Meltzer says, "The house where Google was founded is preserved. The garage where Hewlett Packard was founded is protected. But the house where Superman was born? I was in shock." After contacting dozens of comic book creators -- and thanks to the hard work of many in the city of Cleveland -- The Siegel & Shuster Society was created and is dedicated to commemorating and celebrating the creation of Superman in Cleveland by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. "I think sometimes people take things like this for granted because it started in cartoon form, but this is a house were modern mythology was created," Brain Michael Bendis adds. "Mythology that will never die away or disappear. There is no difference, to me, between this house and Mark Twain's house. We have to honor and exalt such creation."



What are the items in the auction?
You can win a walk-on part on Heroes, VIP seats to the Colbert Report, original Superman art (go see the art!), have your name in Bendis or Brubaker or Rucka's comic, or Meltzer's next novel. There's a rare original pre-Superman movie script from Geoff Johns, signed by Richard Donner. And Joanne Siegel told Meltzer that before Jerry Siegel died, he signed six Superman t-shirts that no one ever knew existed -- and then told her that if their family ever needed money, she should sell the shirts. Instead, she donated one of them to be auctioned off here. The signature is on a Superman: Quest For Peace(!) t-shirt. C'mon, baby, it's Jerry Siegel on a Quest for Peace shirt!



What can you do?
Forward and digg the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25R2kcJxQuc). Go buy a Siegel & Shuster Society t-shirt. They're cool. They're designed by Chip Kidd. They can't be bought anywhere else. Bid on some of the auctions and spread the word by sharing the video, sigs, and www.OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com auction with your facebook, myspace, and live-breathing friends.



How much is the Siegel And Shuster Foundation trying to raise?
Depends on how successful we are. Phase 1 involves working on the exterior of the house: securing the roof, making sure the paint isn't rotting, doing the concrete work. That will hopefully protect the place from the outside. Joe Shuster's house (a few blocks away) was in such disrepair, it was torn down. The first goal is to collect $50,000 to deal with the outside. If we do that, then we'll go and tackle the much-needed-repairs on the inside.



Who lives there now?
The house is located in one of the tougher neighborhoods of Cleveland and is currently occupied by an African-American couple who have lived there for approximately 20 years, who have put up with all of us who have come visiting, but who don't have the money to do these repairs. Rather than kick anyone out on the street, the goal is to repair this place for them. Why? It's the right thing to do. In return, The Siegel & Shuster Society has the right to buy the house when it eventually goes up for sale.



Is there a long-term goal to make a museum?
The long-term goal is still being decided, and that's why you're invited to join The Siegel & Shuster Society and help us with those plans. Meetings are held monthly in Cleveland -- when you buy a shirt, they'll have your name. But one of the dreams is that one day, buses full of students will drive from all over Ohio, from Michigan, from any nearby state, and come to the fully-restored house -- covered and decorated with children's artwork inside -- and see where one of the world's greatest dreams was born. Go to www.OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com to make it happen.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Soundtrack And iTunes Playlist!

Yes, the Book of Lies has a soundtrack. Victor Records has put together a great soundtrack featuring REM, "Holding Out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler and of course "Greatest American Hero" by Joey Scarbury.


There's even a song called "The Book of Lies" by Robert Ellis Orrall and an original score so you can listen while you read.


You can get the soundtrack on on both iTunes and Amazon.


Along with the soundtrack, I was asked to put together an iTunes Playlist. It's taken me a decade, but finally my mixmaster skills can be revealed!


Chack it out here.


Read and shrug:



Aimee Mann – Wise up

When you play it, it doesn’t just haunt you. It actually physically stops time. She’s the best person I ever saw play live.



Annie Lennox -- Waiting in Vain

This is the song that makes my wife go “Awww, I love this song.” I shake my head and act cooler. But I secretly love it. I. Will. Never. Tell. Her.



Everything – Barbra Streisand

That’s right. Streisand. (wow, I just realized looking at my list...I’m a woman). It reminds my of my Mom, who recently passed away. (See, now you feel like a schmuck for being judgmental, right?). Jewish gives the best guilt.



Mixed Bizness – Beck

If I could add one artist over and over, it’s Beck. But only a loser puts two songs by the same guy on a mix. That’s Mixtape 101, sugah. (Still, Debra is the best song ever about anyone in J.C. Penney). I used to heart Prince. Now I heart Beck (who clearly crushes Prince as much as I did). Also, none of this takes away from the fact that we’d rewind Purple Rain 10,000 times to see Apollonia naked.



Secret Garden – Bruce Springsteen

Let me be honest here: every single person who does one of these lists is trying to look cooler than they are. I’m trying as I type this (failed again). But I’m also being honest. There are some songs that get to me. And I kinda hate that this was in Jerry Maguire, therefore ruining my ability to say I loved it first (curse you, brilliant Crowe!). But I did.



Where do we go from here – Buffy the Vampire Soundtrack

Best. Bester. Bestest. It was the arms crossing hand motions that really swooned me.



Run-Around — Blues Traveler

My junior year of college, before Blues Traveler was big, their gig in Detroit got cancelled and the word went out that they’d pay for the first group of people to come up with $5,000. We used everything we had. A hundred of us. And they played in our kitchen. Swear this is true.



Drift Away – Dobie Gray

Every other old song has been stolen and ruined by a movie. Not this one. So all you film school emo types, don’t buy this. Don’t listen to it. Don’t use it. This is ours!



Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters – Elton John

When we did Jack & Bobby, this was the song that Bobby was supposed to get his first kiss to and the network wouldn’t let us buy because it was too expensive. Now who’s laughing? Me or the cash-flushed network who cancelled us!?



You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Rolling Stones

Not just a song. A life lesson. Play it for your kids and tell them it was written for them. They won’t know.



Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

I saw him in concert (c’mon, I was young. And we were really there to see Hammer. And we were...I’m gonna stop talking now). Still love it. Not ashamed to say it.



Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot – The Flaming Lips

The only thing that beats songs about robots are songs about robots fighting zombies (and I don’t know those yet).



Follow You Follow Me – Genesis

I slept out for Genesis tickets (I was in high school, I’d have slept out for Thomas Dolby. Wait. I did.) This is the song that holds up.



Who is He and What Is He to You — Me’Shell Ndegeocello

She intimidates me. She curses. I’m putty.



A Little Respect – Wheatus

My favorite remake of a song I didn’t even know I liked.



America Has Spoken – Patton Oswalt

He knows he’s my favorite. Just listen. America needs comedy that is real truth. “A failure pile in a sadness bowl.” Genius is always funny.



Faces — Ohh La La

It’s just good. It’s right. It’s best.



It’s Tricky – Run – DMC

Back in my Miami days, I was a fiend with the double cassette tapes — my days and nights filled with mixes, especially dance mixes. Here's the list of them, and promise, all of these are real (sadly): Meltz E. Fresh, Meltz E. Soul, Bell Biv DeMeltz, Please Meltz Don't Hurt 'Em. I will say, Meltz E. Soul was designed to be the ultimate make-out mix. Never worked. Too much Prince, not enough Keath Sweat. Here’s the sauce.



Theme from Greatest American Hero – Joey Scarbury

When we decided to do a soundtrack for The Book of Lies, this was the first selection. Don’t roll your eyes. Listen to the words. This is me and young and dreaming and everything in the damn world is possible...set to music and on TV. Plus, it’s on The Book of Lies soundtrack, baby!


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tour Schedule

Thank you to everyone who stopped by last night in New York city. For everyone else, here's the tour schedule. Hope you can stop by and say hello. As always, I will sign anything and everything (books and comics).



BETHESDA, MD

Wednesday, September 3, 7:30pm

Barnes & Noble

4801 Bethesda Avenue



WASHINGTON, DC

Thursday, September 4, 7:00pm

Politics & Prose

5015 Connecticut Avenue, NW



BOCA RATON, FL

Friday, September 5, 7:00pm

Barnes & Noble

1400 Glades Road



MIAMI, FL

Saturday, September 6, 7:00pm

Books & Books

265 Aragon Avenue



CHICAGO, IL

Monday, September 8, 12:00pm

Borders Books & Music, State Street

150 North State Street



WINNETKA, IL

Monday, September 8, 7:00pm

The Book Stall at Chestnut Court

811 Elm Street



BIRMINGHAM, MI

Tuesday, September 9, 7:00pm

Borders Books & Music

34300 Woodward Avenue



CLEVELAND, OH

Wednesday, September 10, 7:00pm

Barnes & Noble, Woodmere

28801 Chagrin Boulevard



DENVER, CO

Thursday, September 11, 7:30pm

Tattered Cover, Highlands Ranch

9315 Dorchester Street



AUSTIN, TX

Friday, September 12, 7:00pm

Book People

603 N. Lamar



DALLAS, TX

Monday, September 15, 7:00pm

Borders Books & Music, Preston Road

10720 Preston Road



HOUSTON, TX

Tuesday, September 16, 6:30pm

Murder By the Book

2342 Bissonnet Street



PHILADELPHIA, PA

Wednesday, September 17, 7:00pm

Chester County Book Company

975 Paoli Pike



ATLANTA, GA

Friday, September 19, 7:15pm

Georgia Center for the Book/Decatur Library

215 Sycamore Street



STERLING, VA

Saturday, September 20, 1:00pm

Wegman's

45131 Columbia Place



BOSTON, MA

Monday, September 22 – 7:00 pm

Brookline Booksmith

279 Harvard Street



PASADENA, CA

Tuesday, September 23 – 7:00 pm

Vroman’s

695 East Colorado Boulevard



LOS ANGELES, CA

Wednesday, September 24 – 7:30 pm

Barnes & Noble, Encino

16461 Ventura Boulevard



SAN FRANCISCO

Thursday, September 25 – 12:30 pm

Stacey’s Bookstore

581 Market Street



CORTE MADERA, CA

Thursday, September 25 – 7:00 pm

Book Passage

51 Tamal Vista Boulevard


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Book Of Lies Is Here!

From Cori -


Here it is -- Brad's new thriller, The Book of Lies, is published today, and as you'll see below, he's been waiting his whole life to write this one (which is why it's my true favorite). It's filled with his usual obsessive research, but this is the one that will make your Mom (and Dad) cry. So what's it about?


In Chapter 4 of the Bible, Cain kills Abel. But the Bible is silent about the weapon Cain used to kill his brother. That weapon is still lost to history.


In 1932, Mitchell Siegel was killed by three gunshots to his chest. While mourning, his son created the world's greatest hero: Superman. And like Cain's murder weapon, the gun used in this unsolved murder has never been found. Until now.


What do these two murders, committed thousands of years apart, have in common? The answer is in The Book of Lies.


To buy the book, you can click here: http://www.bradmeltzer.com/novels/book-of-lies/buy.php


To read the first chapter, click here: http://www.bradmeltzer.com/novels/book-of-lies/first-chapter.php


To hear the soundtrack (oh, yes -- a real soundtrack from Victor Records, plus REM and the new Book of Lies song) is here: http://www.bradmeltzer.com/soundtracks.php


To see the video Brad made with Joss Whedon, Christopher Hitchens and Damon Lindelof, click here: http://www.bradmeltzer.com/novels/book-of-lies/movie-trailer.php


Also, here is the funniest video ever starring Brad's little league team and his grandmother: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svvoh66s2F0


And finally, to see the most important thing we've done with any of the books -- and what we're doing to save the house where Superman was created, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25R2kcJxQuc

And of course he's on facebook, myspace, and all that other stuff I refuse to acknowledge exists.


Let me just say one last thing: I hope you know how much your love and support of Brad and the rest of us has meant over the past few months. In many ways, I was afraid that him seeing everyone on tour would turn into something sad, but it's clear it's truly a celebration. So please do go find Brad on one of the tour stops and give him a hug for me.


Love always,


Cori

Monday, September 01, 2008

New York City

Just landed in New York city. First thing that happened is my dad called to complain that the Barnes & Noble in Union Square doesn't have big enough posters of me.


According to my sister, he wants to "ones like they have in Times Square."


One day, and counting.


Check back here tomorrow for the big news.


And thanks to all who have been helping all the way.


PS to every person who asked, yes. Of course, bring your comics to the signings. I will sign anything and everything.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Three Days And Counting

Just a reminder to look at the last blog.  If you want the ticking briefcase, please make sure you send an email to bradmeltzer44 AT gmail.com with the subject:  I’M IN.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Need Help

Never tried this before, but I have faith in this community...



So...



Looking for some real volunteers to help us get the word out for a top secret project on Tuesday, September 2nd. This is different than anything we've ever tried. It involves creators you love. And of course it involves my research into Superman. This is the big one. So if you're game, email me with the subject line I'M IN at bradmeltzer44 at gmail.com.



Instructions will go out midnight on Monday and hopefully, if we all survive, we'll have something to be truly proud of soon after that.



Trust me.



Brad

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Last Will Comes Out Tomorrow

After a full year (longer?) absence, I finally get back to the real business of comics on Wednesday as DC Comics publishes Last Will & Testament. And yes, I’ve had this story in my head since JLA. If I had two more issues, this is what I would’ve told. The odd part is, I thought someone else in a different book was going to tell the tale (or wrap it up differently), but when they didn’t, well...this was the perfect format. So there’s where the Geo-Force/Deathstroke storyline comes from. As for the rest...there’s lots of good stuff planned this year. Just like JLA 0, hints abound throughout the issue.


And as for Adam Kubert (and did I mention his guest inker Joe Kubert?), just wait till you see his Deathstroke. I miss comics so damn much.


A preview has been posted on Newsarama.

And watch here over the next week. Lots of cool stuff coming.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nerd Panel!

Finally got it — the Comic-Con panel (one of my favorites I’ve ever been on) with Paul Feig (creator of Freaks & Geeks), David Goyer (Batman Begins), Chip Kidd (The Learners), Whitney Matheson (USA Today's Pop Candy blog), and me -- five people who work in television, film, the graphic arts, journalism, and novels. But all have comics in common.


Hear the discussion on the influence comics play in their work. It's a 21st century Breakfast Club—but with better references. Moderated by audiobook master Scott Brick (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant). A full fifty minutes of nerd gold.


All here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Physics IS Cool

This is my favorite new song. Rapping about physics!


Best part is the I can hear sSupersonic and Rob Bass in the background.


From Engadget:



CERN rap video about the Large Hadron Collider creates a black hole of awesomeness

by Joshua Topolsky, posted Aug 8th 2008 at 3:29PM


Been having a tough time figuring out just what CERN's Large Hadron Collider does? Worried that it will create a Möbius strip (a rip in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop)? Just love to jam? Watch this CERN-sponsored rap after the break, and have your universe totally destroyed. Er, but not for real.


[Via Protein Feed]



Thursday, August 21, 2008

Whedon, Lindelof, Hitchens, BKV, AJ

It’s getting just woowoo here. Interviews are starting, invitations to book signings are going out, and this is seeming far closer than I realized. DC Universe: Last Will & Testament is published next week. And below is the trailer for the new novel. I wrote it about six months ago, then called in a few friends. :)


Special thanks to Brandon Graham and Expanded Books, who filmed it and put up with my insanity.


YouTube link


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Picture's Worth 10,000 Words

More from Comic-Con. My favorite costumes ever. And they were near each other.


Thanks to Iñigo for sending it!


Brad with Batman and Zatanna At San Diego Comic-Con '08

Monday, August 11, 2008

JLA #150

This was the first superhero comic I ever read. And this is the page that started the addiction. So when reader Lynn came up to me at Comic-Con and offered to send me a scan of the pencils...well...Lynn, marry me.


And now, shared with you.



Click on the image to enlarge

Friday, August 08, 2008

Free Books of Lies

Just got the very first hardcover of the novel. Still looks fake -- like something a buddy made on PhotoShop (and believe me, I'm still waiting for Candid Camera to jump out and tell me the past decade has been a joke on me). But I love the Acknowledgments in there. Best part of the book.


Also, if you want to win a free copy, see below -- and thanks to Robert for doing it.


The Fantasy Book Critic - GIVEAWAY: Win a COPY of Brad Meltzer's "The Book of Lies"!!!


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Buffy

So who gets to read the first chapter of The Book of Lies first?


Surprise to all the Buffy readers.


That's right, with Buffy being my next comic project after Last Will, the Buffy issue out today (issue #17) has the full Prologue and Chapter 1. And wait till you see what we're doing with Buffy in the paperback.


Thanks to Joss and Scott Allie and Sierra and all the amazing Dark Horse folks for the fun.


And trust me, this is just the first surprise. So many good ones coming.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mr. Rogers, People!

I don’t have many heroes. Mr. Rogers is one of them. So when I saw my buddy Whitney post this on PopCandy, my eyes started to bleed. I’m now stealing it as a call to action. If you want to know why you should care, watch Mr. Rogers testify before congress for public television. I dare you. Please do join the cause. He. Is. The. Best.



YouTube link of Mr. Rogers defending PBS




From Popcandy:



Pop reader Amy H. is worried about Mister Rogers.



Why? Because PBS "is trying to wipe him off the face of the earth by limiting his program to once a week," she says. "I mean, what is their reasoning? He’s outdated? He’s had the same puke-green curtains since 1970, so his being outdated is hardly a new claim. But his message is TIMELESS."



A campaign has been started at http://savemisterrogers.com to try to bring back Mister Rogers' Neighborhood into daily syndication. It was started by a young father who wants his kids to grow up with the man who taught him about human kindness and comfortable sweaters.



Amy adds that a Facebook group has started as well. Hey, if it can happen with Jericho, maybe it can happen with this Neighborhood, too.


Slutty Barbie

How did we miss this?


Thanks to MySpace Rick for sending it along.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Best Quote From San Diego

By the way, I totally forgot this until someone just sent it to me.


BY FAR, the best thing said at San Diego, which someone overheard, as a Justice League reader sees my father (who’s also sitting in the DC booth) and starts thanking my dad for: "fathering Brad so he could write all these really great comics."


Whoever you are who said that, I love you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Books Of Lies

Here’s the first look — just sent to me from the warehouses -- of part of the print run of The Book of Lies.


It’s coming...



Book Of Lies In Warehouse


Book Of Lies In Warehouse, Closeup

Monday, July 28, 2008

Comic-Con Recap

As always San Diego is prom for me. Just without the corsage. I spent every free minute (I had a full 16 of them) trying to get Pokémon stuff for my kids. So thanks to the Pokémon woman who scored me the Pokéballs.


Highlight of the DC panels was looking up and seeing my Dad -- yes, Dad -- standing in line to ask a question. I lean over to Grant Morrison and Rucka and whisper, "this may be really bad..." And he proceeds to make me feel 7 years old by asking me: why aren't you telling people about the new novel?


Worst Dad moment. But best Dad moment. And easily best plug for The Book of Lies ever.


For costumes, loved Red Arrow (who told me he made a few modifications to the costume. Of course he did), Perez-era (Identity Crisis) Zatanna, the Oompa Lumpa, and the two guys as Tie-Fighters. But the clear winner was the dude on stilts who dressed as Plastic Man. My hero. (Though still never saw the guy dressed as Black Lightning. Anyone got a photo?)


But the true highlight of the show? Our geek panel with Paul Feig, Chip Kidd, David Goyer, Scott Brick, and the awe-somest Whitney Matheson (the only one I had never met face to face and who has just the best, kindest energy). I loved my panelists. I loved the topic of geek culture. I loved the intelligent questions. I loved everyone who came (even if it was just because they were waiting for the Pushing Daisies panel after us).


After, one woman came up and said it was best panel she saw at Comic-Con. And I know it wasn't because of me -- everyone else was amazing, I was a stuttering goofus -- but I really think that panel was special. They taped it. We need someone to find that tape. It's worth watching.


And then, also loved seeing all my pals. Thanks to so many of you from here who came and said hey. Loved that! And loved even little kid (especially that 8 year old) who came with a crayon homemade comic.


There's the future.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Day Sam Jackson Gave Brad An Eisner

There are few professional things that have really undone me:



  • the time I found out my first novel sold (while I was embarrassingly in a tanning bed)

  • talking to my Mom when we hit number 1
  • getting that D-minus from Entertainment Weekly for Tenth Justice (okay, that was just sad)


But this...

Samuel Jackson comes out to present the Eisner Award for best single issue story.  I smile to myself, telling my Dad we can't win, but excited that at least in announcing the nominees, Sam Jackson will say my name.

And then he reads the winner.

Add super slow motion effect here where I hear nothing by long inaudible syllables. My brain says, "Did he just say 'Justice League?'"  My father sits there next to me, just as confused. And finally Judd Winick hits me from behind as if to say, "Go schmuck!  He said YOU!"

I will find the video so you can see it. But I. Was. Undone. It was three months to the day that my Mom had passed, and I know that she must've cut lines and pulled strings to make it happen. The swell of emotion was all the cliche things bad Oscar speeches have. But I want to be clear about one thing. I meant when I said that that award was accepted for all the freaks and losers and outcasts and geeks and nerds and weirdos and outcasts -- for anyone who ever felt different or awkward or sat in a corner by themselves. That award was for us. It was for my Mom. And like I always say, it only happened because of you.

Yes. You.

Reading this.

It also happened because of our team. Because of genius Gene Ha. Because of Michael Turner bringing people in. And because of my brother Noah Kuttler, the Calculator, who storyboarded all my insanity so Gene could roll his eyes at me (and who most people don't know, does all the technical stuff when it comes to posting these blogs). Thanks, Noah!

But you have to see the video to see all the emotion I was armed with at that moment.

This was better than the D-minus.

Thanks to all who voted and rooted...


Rest of Comicon reports tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Replay!

For those who didn’t get to hear it, here’s my You Must Read This which I did for last week’s All Things Considered on NPR.


Best part is all the people who are emailing in saying how much they LOVE this book (even got a note from the author’s sister. Just wild). See below for more insanity. But read it. You will love it. And if you don’t, there is no heart in your chest.



Breaking Bookselling News from BookThink.com

The Brad Meltzer ‘You Must Read This’ Effect

You Must Read This


Brad Meltzer’s rave recommendation on NPR’s ‘You Must Read This’ of the novel Replay, by Ken Grimwood, took it to #5 on the Amazon bestseller list. Amazon is now out of stock...


It is, by the way a great book. When you discover it and read it, you wonder where it was all of your life, and it feels like your own discovery. Meltzer expresses that aspect of its appeal very well.


Karin Bergsagel, BookThink News Editor






Early Word, The Publisher Library Connection


‘Replay’ Redux


Brad Meltzer’s over-the-top rave about an out-of print 1987 cult title, Replay by Ken Grimwood, sent it to #5 on the Amazon bestseller list (it’s now down to a still astonishingly high #16).


Meltzer talked about Replay on NPR’s "All Things Considered," as part of their "You Must Read This" series, on Thursday (July 10). He loved the book so much that when he was in his early twenties, he tried to buy the film rights, despite having no money (unfortunately, they were already sold. No word on what’s happened; perhaps this attention will bring the project back to life).


Harper is reprinting the book.






Omnivoracious

A Bestseller All Over Again

by Tom on July 11, 2008


Wondering why a novel first published in 1986 jumped from nowhere into our top 10 today (it's currently at #4)? Three letters (which for our customers are often right behind those magic five letters--starting with "O'--for recommending books): N-P-R. Thriller and comics writer Brad Meltzer contributed a very convincing "You Must Read This" entry to All Things Considered yesterday about Ken Grimwood's Replay, a book with a Groundhog Day premise (written before the movie) about what you would learn if you had to live your life over (and over) again. I confess I had never heard of it, but, as Meltzer found out himself it has a strong following out there (and a couple hundred five-star reviews on our site):



So how much do I love this book? When I was 22 years old, I was working and playing puzzles at Games magazine. I had no money, a $359 apartment and $10,000 in college debt. And the first thing I did with all the cash I didn't have? I tracked down Ken Grimwood and tried to buy the movie rights for this book. I didn't just love Replay, I believed in it, I dreamed of it. I wanted this book - this book that only I had found.


And that's when his agent told me the film rights were snatched up years ago. Nice try, big shot.


Years later, when the Internet became the Internet, I found myself searching for Ken Grimwood again and learned that he died in 2003. I also discovered that I wasn't only believer; at the time, there were fan sites dedicated to Replay. Hundreds of people - like the fellow replayers we never realize are out there - were all dreaming my same dream.


Here's one of the fan sites, kengrimwoodlibrary.com , where I learned he wrote under other names as well, although the only book identified as his is Two Plus Two, under the name Alan Cochrane. --Tom


Sunday, July 20, 2008

San Diego Schedule!

Okay here it is, my schedule for San Diego Comic-Con. And check out the panel on Saturday with Freaks & Geeks creator Paul Feig, Chip Kidd, Whitney from Pop Candy, David Goyer, myself and moderated by audiobook master Scott Brick. (Tell me where there's gonna be more geek love? Tell me. We challenge any other panel to a nerd-off (like that dance in the "Bad" video (extra points if your brain went to the "Fat" video))).


As always, I'll sign anything: books, comics, posters, even bootleg Jack & Bobby dvds.


So please do come by and say hi. Really. That's the single best part of this weekend. You're the only reason I'm here. And when you do come, please remind me of your email or myspace name. I know those (sadly) far better than real names.


So for the schedule, see below...



FRIDAY



  • 11:30am - 1:00pm | Signing at the DC booth
  • 3:00 - 4:00pm | Signing at the Grand Central booth (##1116-1120) (I can't promise, but I bet there'll be free books there)
  • 4:00 - 5:00pm | Charity signing for The Hero Initiative; located at the Mile High Comics booth, #907
  • 6:00 - 7:00pm | PANEL – Final Crisis (Room 6A)

SATURDAY



  • 12:45 - 2:00pm | PANEL – DC: Expanding Your Universe
  • 2:00 - 3:00pm | PANEL – Comics: Across Every Medium - Room 6A

    Paul Feig (creator of Freaks & Geeks), David Goyer (Batman Begins), Chip Kidd (The Learners), Whitney Matheson (USA Today’s Pop Candy blog), and Brad Meltzer (The Book of Lies) are five superstars who make headlines in television, film, the graphic arts, journalism, and novels. But they all have comics in common. This isn’t just a trend. Join them for a discussion on the influence comics play in their work. It’ll be like a 21st century Breakfast Club—but with better references. Moderated by audiobook master Scott Brick (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant).

  • 3:30 - 5:00pm | Signing at the DC booth

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dark Knight

Sitting in the theater right now, waiting for Dark Knight to begin, and spending the time naming all the New Universe titles (got 'em all, even Kickers, Inc.) and the 2099 titles (Doom was the best).


San Diego coming this week. Watchmen coming. Spitfire and the Troubleshooters on my brain. And I'm in a movie called The Dark Knight. Imagine someone came to you when you were 14 and told you all this would happen.


Head. Explodes.


I love being a geek!


I love comics!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The War

Three years ago, a soldier wrote to me saying how much he enjoyed The First Counsel, and it meant so much. I actually got 40,000 paperbacks -- from all different thriller authors -- donated through the USO. We never publicized it. Never told a single newspaper. But to be honest, I never knew what happened. Last night, I got the below, which just answered the question.


Whatever your feelings on the war, those troops are fighting for us. And I hope they know how much we appreciate it.



I am writing you from Balad, Iraq. I wanted to take a second to share a story about your books and there role in the war. I was first here in 2003. Several months in to the invasion things were still pretty primitive but mail was finally starting to catch up. One day a rather large box showed up from a womens club in Indiana. The box was addressed to Solider in the War. Inside the box was a bunch of used books. Everybody dove for what they like best. I ran across the book First Council. I read it as often as time and bad guys would allow. I was hooked. I loved the book. As I finished it I started reading the first chapter of The Millionaires that was included in at the end of First Council. So well written and just enough information to get you hooked. For days I was bothered by the fact that would no way be able to read it until I got home, several months from that point. Sitting in the Detroit Airport on my trip home from Iraq I walked in to a book store and found it. So overwhelmed with joy I had it read before I ever made it home. Fast forward through a few years of college and no enjoyment reading. The other day I am on a mission, some thing happened and we were not going to be able to make it back to our FOB (forward operating base) so we had to stop at one that was a little closer. On every post there is a MWR (Moral, Welfare and Recreation) center. MWR centers are almost always made up of the same affair of phone, internet linked computers, TVs and if you were lucky a run down pool table. We headed over to Camp Tajis MWR center and to my surprise they had a small library room in this MWR. It was probably not more than a few thousand used paperbacks lining the walls. The books were arranged in no order with the exception of one small book case where the books were organized by author. To my delight they had a section of the book shelf dedicated to just your books. Labeled with a hand made label, the shelf had almost all your books in multiple copies. It is weird how I have to come to a war zone to be able to enjoy your books. I read The Zero Game while we were there and am currently working on The Book of Fate.


Have no fear, your work dose not always go to a used book store to wait for the next reader but rather some of them take a different journey. Read amidst the chaos and the boredom but only once used to make sure my dinner that night was not as cold as it was served. Sorry but it was just a few chapters.


Keep up the good work and I patiently wait for your next book.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Siegel

Just now back from a quick trip to Cleveland for a return visit to the house where Jerry Siegel created Superman. So so much to report, all of it coming soon with The Book of Lies. And this time, we took the videocamera.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jumbo's!

In The Tenth Justice, there's a mention of a restaurant called Jumbo's. It's a legendary 51-year-old soul food restaurant in Miami. And one of the first to integrate decades ago. It's also owned by my father-in-law, who fed me for the past 20 years there.



This is one of the things in my family that I'm most proud of. Watch the video (shown when Bobby won a James Beard Award last month) and you'll know why.





Tuesday, July 08, 2008

You’re Invited

Just a reminder, the book tour (just like a rock & roll tour, but without all the groupies and sex and...well, without pretty much anything) starts on September 2nd — so if you moved in the past two years, please make sure we have your updated mailing info so we’re not sending the invites to the wrong address.



Also, if you would like to get an actual invite in the actual mail, please do make sure I have your mailing address by clicking here. For those who are new, we never sell your name (I hate those people). And for those who have asked, yes, of course, feel free to add any relatives or friends or Moms who you’ve turned onto the books, comics, whatever. To this day, the number one email I get is: My Mom reads you too now...



I friggin’ love that email. So please do invite Mom as well. You can also send it to me directly through MySpace, facebook, or email at bradmeltzer44 at gmail.com.



And as always, can’t WAIT to see you all on tour. It’s been a crazy year here so looking forward to recharging with you all.



Love,



B

Monday, July 07, 2008

Turner's Poster

Of all the things written about Mike Turner's passing, this is the one that got to me. I don't know why. Maybe it's just that I always had my comic posters that moved with me...that became part of my home. Maybe it's just that I remember talking about this one with him.



Thanks to Laura for writing it.




From Myriad Issues



R.I.P. Michael Turner


via Myriad Issues by Laura Hudson on 7/2/08


It's late, I know. Unfortunately, I didn't know the man, but everything I heard about him made me wish I did. During the first year that I lived in the city, I starting working in a comic book store, and the first thing I bought there was a poster-- probably the only poster I've ever bought in my adult life.


Something about the image always compelled me. Maybe it was the symbolic value of having a glowing noose of truth thrust towards me. Noose notwithstanding, it seemed more like a challenge than a threat, with Diana walking out of the shadows and holding it like a lantern.


It's been over my bed -- or in some cases my "bed" -- for years now. It followed me through five moves in one eleven month period, and I don't know how many nights of being lame, lying in bed with my feet up against the wall, staring at it. During some of the most ridiculous times in my life, one of the only consistent things was that I fell asleep to this and I woke up to this.


It's one of the few superhero images that has actually made me feel the way I think superheroes are supposed to-- this idea of someone symbolizing something better, and the implicit challenge in that to try and be better ourselves. I think it's beautiful, and it's meant something to me for a while.


I'm sorry he's gone.



Thursday, July 03, 2008

San Diego

For those who have emailed, yep, I’ll be in San Diego for Comic-Con. And we got such an fun supercool panel. I heart everyone on it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Michael Turner, rest in peace

Mike Turner (cover artist on Identity Crisis and JLA) was always smiling. Always. And over the past few weeks – as I wrote to him and knew things were getting worse – I always tried to keep that in my head. He didn’t have a cocky smile (and he’d earned the right to a cocky smile). It was a true smile. A real smile. But writing about smiles doesn’t do him justice, so let me share the one story that does.


It was after we finished Identity Crisis. We knew we would be doing JLA together. That was always in the plans. And then he decided that he was going to start doing covers for Marvel. And so...man, I remember him telling me this story in LA like it was yesterday...he tells me that he’s making this deal with Marvel. And then, the guy who he’s negotiating with from Marvel says (as he should say): The only catch is, if you want this deal with Marvel, you can’t do the JLA covers. You have to be just with us or the deal’s off.


I choke inside because I assume this is where Mike tells me why he can’t do JLA (and listen, I appreciate that that sometimes happens. That’s the business).


And then Mike says to the Marvel guy, “Okay, then I’m out. Deal’s off.”


I can’t believe it. As he tells me the story, it’s clear he means it. He’s fully ready to walk away from his entire deal and the crazy Marvel money.


And then Mike lets loose with this awesome smile – one of the best ever smiles and says, “One second later, they caved. I’m in for JLA.”


I guess that’s where the story was supposed to end, but of course, me being guilt-ridden me, I somehow feel guilty that JLA got in the middle of his negotiation, so I start telling him, “Listen, please...you didn’t have to do that. I’d understand and...”


No, Mike protested. “I made a promise to you.”


And right there...I can picture that moment...I’ll never forget that moment. Right there, Mike wasn’t just some guy who drew the covers and sold some copies. He wasn’t the guy who could do that movie poster feel for your book (look at his first Flash cover), always making every 60 year old character suddenly seem brand new. He wasn’t the guy who made every book we worked on jump off the shelf (think for a moment, he was the only true ‘name’ on Identity Crisis. Why do you think people picked it up from issue one?). And he wasn’t just another superstar.


He was my friend. A good friend. And a friend who would’ve given up something he really wanted. For someone else. In life, those are the friends you treasure.


And I treasure Mike Turner.


I should also say, in all the time he was on JLA -- with all the sickness and all the crap he was going through, he was never late, never complained, never once did anything but be himself and smile.


He has no idea how much I’d taken his lesson to heart – long before today.


So forget the half-mast flag. Wear your smile loud and proud in his honor.


Rest easy, Mike.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Author Photo

Here it is. We took 4,000 pictures, and this was number 12 or 13. After that, they realized they could only do so much with “bald and pale.” Best part? The make-up guy actually did my eyebrows for this. Never had that lovely bit of fun done. Thanks to Herman Estevez, photo superman, who at least made it fun (it was like George Michael’s Freedom video, but with me in the Cindy Crawford bathtub. And if you get that reference, marry me).


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reunion

I must say, I walked into the reunion expecting to count the facelifts and bad boob jobs (this is still Miami, kids). But as I got there, I ran into a dear friend who reminded me that she kinda disappeared in twelfth grade...left her dad...and was working on her own. In high school. The next person I bumped into was fighting (and thankfully winning) a bout with cancer. At that point, all the high school highschoolness went away and I was back to remembering how lucky I am to have had the high school experience I did. I so loved seeing every person there — even the one woman who told me I yelled at her while we were playing baseball years ago (especially surprising because I shied from the sports). But man, I felt an inch tall, apologizing and apologizing. I really was a bastard loudmouth when I was little.



Also ran into the very first person I ever met in Florida. I had no friends when we moved from Brooklyn, so my Grandmother set up a “playdate” for this other 8th grader to come over to her apartment. That way, when I started junior high, I’d know at least one person in the hallways. When I saw Danny Goldberg on Saturday (after 20 years), I told him, “Thank you for being nice to me all those years ago.” Owe him forever for that.



And by midnight, we had the Rob Bass pumping and I was doing the running man with my high school girlfriend and no one was calling us old and all was right in the suburbs.



If you’re thinking about going to your reunion...go. Go go go. People grow up. They don’t change. But some do grow up.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

High School

My high school reunion is this weekend. I so can’t wait for this. I have two of my best high school friends coming in...I have a full head of hair...I make mix-tapes because I have so much free time...I drive a used Mercury Apri (actually a Capri, but my dad hit someone and the roof dented and the letter C got lost. Apri it is. Don’t worry, the person he hit was fine). And I’m dating my high school sweetheart. I’m 18, bubby!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marshalls!

Of all the messages and notes I got on my Mom’s passing, the one that made me happiest came just yesterday. It was from Richard Haus, the manager of customer service. At Marshalls. Yes. World HQ of Marshalls. In all the forwarding of my eulogy for my Mom, it made its way to the mothership. And Richard, in my Mom’s honor, sent a huge gift card to be donated to Sharsheret, the breast cancer support group that supported my Mom and so many others.



This is when the world seems right. Love Marshalls even more now.

Friday, June 06, 2008

City Year Miami

The board meeting was wild -- like that scene in Flashdance where she's standing in front of the judges -- but instead of dancing, we pled our case, left the room, and then they voted (okay so we kinda knew the result).



And in September, City Year Miami will launch!



Also found out that if you do City Year, you automatically get an interview if you apply to work at Comcast. Love that.



Gotta think of what you get from me? Free advice for writing your book? Free Yoo-Hoos? I'm open to anything.



Thanks to the real team -- the current corps -- for letting us dream this one. And if you're between 17 and 24, and want to be in Miami, and change the world, go to the site.



Now in a cab in NY and headed for top secret project.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Boston and NY

Off to Boston for today's board vote on City Year Miami. If we get the vote, we're a reality. This has been an incredible year, so hoping for the best. And for those looking for what to do with their year, check it out here.


Then tomorrow, onto NY for a top secret project that we're announcing officially soon.

Monday, June 02, 2008

LA

Just now back from the trip to LA. Went to Book Expo, saw lots of old, dear friends in the book business, signed tons of galleys for The Book of Lies (when will the first hit ebay?), pitched a TV show, snagged tickets to the party for Ted Turner at Larry King's house (so name dropping, but I'm still too much of a loser to get into the party at Prince's house. Yep. Prince's house. Would've killed innocents for that one), got some Kubert art for DC Universe: Last Will, and then ended it all with a great dinner with some comics pals.


Lots of meetings, waiting for lots of answers, and quickly realizing how much of the new tour will be about my Mom, with so many people talking about her. A good thing by me.


As for my event with Freaks & Geeks creator Paul Feig, someone once told me to never meet your heroes because they disappoint. They were wrong. Rarely have I met someone so gracious, so generous, so amazing. I love the show even more now. Plus his wife is so nice. Video coming soon, with geekiness aplenty by all around. And please preoder his new book, Ignatius MacFarland: Frequenaut!


PS Best part? Flight attendant on my flight home played Superman for twenty years at parties and children's hospitals. Still has the build.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thankful

Got an email today from a friend going in for some back surgery (is there a better sign for old Jewish woes?) and he sent out a note saying that if anything went wrong, he wanted us to know what he was thankful for. He also told us his favorite dream: the one where he's dancing with his family and friends -- the hora, of course -- and we're all just smiling.


Overdramatic? Sure.


Necessary? No.


Appreciated? Oh, baby, I love this stuff.


I never dream of dancing. But I do dream of family and friends and even all the faces and photos here.


In the mess of the last few weeks, I bathed in that one.


Love to all from the Miami airport.