Catan poster

Catan poster

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bullzeye Interview

There's a new interview with me up at where I talk about all things Ides of Blood, including my explanation of why I chose to use modernized dialogue and the possibility of a feature film.  Plus John DeLancie tells a story about fly feces and an obscure mention of a couple short films I wrote in college.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast

I had a great time recording an interview with Wildstorm Addiction earlier today.  The recording will be up sometime next week, but in the meantime, they reviewed Ides of Blood #1 during their most recent podcast.

You can download the podcast from their website:

or you can get it from iTunes:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

AICN Review

Ain't It Cool News appeared to enjoy Ides of Blood... sort of... maybe?

Learning is Fun

How historically accurate is this comic about Julius Caesar conquering vampires?  A historian gives the answer in his review here:

On that note, this seems like a good time to mention some of my favorite books I came across while researching the comic.

Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome by Lesley Adkins and Roy A. Adkins was my main resource.  This book contains an abundance of useful information but won't take 500 pages and 500 naps to get through.  Pretty much any question I had, this book had the answer to.

The Assassination of Julius Caesar by Michael Parenti gives a great overview of the events in Roman history and Caesar's life which led up to his assassination.  Parenti suggests that the true reason for Caesar's murder lay in him being a champion of the people and seeking to take away wealth and power from the aristocracy instead of the more traditional explanation of Brutus slaying him to protect the dissolution of the Republic and Caesar's supposed desire to be king.  The truth, I suspect, lies somewhere in the middle.

The Twelve Caesars by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus is one of, if not the, first official historical account of Julius Caesar's life, as well as the lives of Octavian/Augustus and the other first dozen Caesars.

Life of Antony and Life of Cicero by Plutarch.  These guys really did not like each other very much.  If I remember correctly, in the end, Antony cut off Cicero's hands and had them nailed to the rostra in the Forum.  Cicero was certainly a smart guy, but he was definitely involved in some shady dealings, and even though he didn't join the assassins in killing Caesar, I'm not sure he was quite as noble as legend would have you believe.

Ancient Rome: An Introductory History by Paul A. Zoch.  An unbiased, solid, sweeping history.  I particulary recall it being useful for information about the founding of Rome and the slaying of the king Tarquin by Brutus's ancestor which ushered in the Roman Republic.  History is not without a sense of irony.

Dacia by Parvan.  It's really difficult to find information about the ancient Dacians, so this book was a Godsend.  In an interesting example of sychronicity, the Dacian king Burebista was assassinated the same year as Caesar.  Of course, that reality doesn't exist in the timeline of Ides of Blood.  If I ever get the chance to do a prequel, I'll explain the connection between King Burebista and Ides of Blood's protagonist, Valens, a.k.a. Iacob of the Burebista.

Zalmoxis: The Vanishing God by Victor Kernbach.  I wish I had been able to find a copy of this book to purchase, but I found one at the UCLA Library.  Though I graduated from USC (who did not have the book, shame on them--where does all that tuition money go?  Oh, right.  Buildings.), my wife was a student at UCLA at the time, so she got it for me.  Anyway, great information about the Dacian religion and their two main gods: Zalmoxis and Gebeleizis.  Unlike most cultures, Zalmoxis, the god of death and immortality, is a hero in their mythology.

The Vampire in Lore and Legend by Montague Summers.  This dude must have been a really interesting priest.  He collected all kinds of information about the occult, witches and whatnot.  The book's a little stodgy, but there's some great, osbscure folklore and old wives' tales that introduces much of the vampire mythos we now take for granted.  It also introduced me to the Greek vrykolaka, which I used for the name of the vampyre rebellion, and the Roman lamiae, which used to play a much larger role in an earlier draft of Ides of Blood but ended up being restricted to a brief appearance in the gladiator battle in issue 3.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Signing at Meltdown

Another opportunity is headed your way to watch me dance the Capitalism Shuffle in an attempt to sell more copies of Ides of Blood.  A dollar from every sale goes towards finding a hungry vampyre orphan a new home!

Saturday, August 28

Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thank You

Not to get all, "I'd like to thank the Academy" on you, but with Ides of Blood coming out, there are a few people who deserve official recognition for their contributions.  Were it not for their help, Ides would not exist as it does now--or more likely, not exist at all except as a script I once wrote that seemed like a neat idea.  They are, in no particular order:
  • My parents, who have always been supportive and never once questioned whether their son deciding to write stories for a living was a wise course of action.
  • My manager, Rich Demato, who thought me writing a screenplay about vampires killing Julius Caesar sounded like a good idea.
  • Will Hackner, who championed a writer with no published comics and convinced Wildstorm to publish his comic (and refused to take no for an answer), and whose creative feedback was invaluable.
  • Gregory Noveck, who said yes.
  • Jim Lee, who also said yes.
  • Hank Kanalz, whose name you can find on the inside cover of Ides of Blood under "Publisher."
  • Julian Zajfen and P.J. Shapiro who got me paid.
  • Shannon Eric Denton, my editor, who taught me many things about writing picture books.
  • Johnny Lowe, Ides' letterer whom I have never met but put up with an endless series of revisions to the first issue.
  • Tom Hass, Rebecca Peterson, Jan Epstein and Bryan Gonzalez, who read the original 200+ page first draft and did not complain nearly as much as they deserved to.
  • Phil d'Amecourt, who introduced me to DC and who convinced me to change the title from the unpronounceable "Vaempire" to Ides of Blood.
  • Trent Reznor, John Frusciante and the DeLeo Brothers, whose music was playing in the background for the majority of the writing process.
  • Tami Brennan, who introduced me to my first and still favorite Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar.
  • Christian Duce, whose talent continues to amaze me with every new page, who understood the world I was trying to create and brought it to life better than I could have possibly hoped.
  • My wife, Liz, who suffered through the many drafts and many moods it took to get here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ides Sneak Preview and Interview

Fun with links!  Make clicking! They won't crash your computer, I swear.  After all, if you can't trust a viking hamster, who can you trust?

Click here for the Sneak Preview

Click here for the CBR Interview

Comic Signing at Golden Apple

On Wednesday, I will be at Golden Apple Comics to promote the release of Ides of Blood by defacing issues of the comic with my signature.  There will be free donuts and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get free, exclusive artwork by the awesomely talented Christian Duce from my upcoming neo-samurai comic series, Bushido .44.

Wednesday August 18th
10 A.M - 1 P.M.
(Possibly also 6 P.M. - 8 P.M.)

Golden Apple Comics
7018 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038

It begins

Hello.  I am Stu's blog.  I was created out of a cloud of infinite density which spotaneously erupted many billions years ago in a hullabaloo of photons, electrons and neutrinos which eventually came to form the realm known as Hamster Valhalla in which you now find yourself ensconced.  I am not self-aware, but I speak as if I were.  One day I will be full of useful information, but right now I am content to exist.