Sunday, March 18, 2012

I am trying to read

I'm doing things now that I can't talk about, which is pretty awesome. Not sure if it will go anywhere in the long run, but I'm doing stuff. Doing stuff is always good.

I'm reading more these days. You know when you were a kid, and you had like, a whole day to just read? You'd pick a book up and just keep rolling on through until dinner time? Well, I did, anyway. I probably read all the Little House books in a single weekend.

But then you grow up and there's landscaping and dog walking and work and car repair and grocery shopping and going out with friends (because by now, presumably, my friends are no longer my books) and then you just lose time for reading. Oh sure, I still dig into screenplays every so often, but I miss prose.

So now every weekend I try to hang out for an hour or two in the mornings just reading. Right now I'm reading Tales From Development Hell, a book about movies that were never made, or that took a million years to get to the screen. It's fascinating, and a good lesson to learn about this industry.  I love biographical stuff about this business, and this book is filled with interviews and info about how great ideas get fucked by development. My favorite examples so far is the exec who wanted a scene where the human in the Planet of the Apes reboot teaches the apes to play baseball, and his insistence on this one silly scene sabotaged the entire project. This is the version that eventually became the Tim Burton remake, but it started off as a really cool original idea.

Speaking of Development Hell....

I'm also reading more comic books. I realized today that as much as I love Wonder Woman, I've never read any of the actual comics. I read the script for the film and the pilot, I used to watch the show religiously, and I've seen many a Justice League, but I've never gone to the source material. This seemed a tragedy, so I went to House of Secrets in Burbank (a place I highly recommend because they have always been so nice to me even though I always pester them with a zillion questions because I don't know much about comics) and picked up a couple of The All New Wonder Woman issues. Now I want to go back and get more, but I didn't want to look like a massive dork going to the comic shop twice in one day, because, you know, I have a reputation of coolness to uphold, one I have really cemented by wearing this awesome Admiral-Akbar-caught-in-a-Chinese-finger-trap shirt.

I also got the third collection of Y The Last Man because that's my favorite graphic novel.

I'm also working on a post that's been a long time in coming about the various books people have sent me over the years. I feel pretty guilty because at least five people have sent me screenwriting books to read and review and I didn't finish any of them, so I'm trying to read them so I can post here about whether or not they were useful. Then I'll write about books I've read on my own that ended up being useful.

Then there's all those fiction books I keep meaning to read. I'm kind of a failure as an English teacher because all I ever read is nonfiction. Funny how much our lives change our reading habits. Maybe I'm just inundated with TV shows or something. Speaking of which, time for The Walking Dead. Because I love zombies. I was going to get an issue of the comic book today, but then I forgot.


  1. If you're looking for a good Wonder Woman run, the George Perez run is excellent. It's a little dated in places (owing to the fact it was published in 1987), but was a great modern take on the character that swept out a lot of the bondage and submission subtext that had existed prior to that. Greg Rucka also had an excellent run on the character around 2004-6. I've not checked out the latest relaunch, but I've heard good things.

    Honestly, I think the best adaptation of the character is the animated movie with Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion. Out of curiosity, which film script did you read? Was it the Todd Alcott draft where Wonder Woman is Donna Troy and she doesn't even wear the outfit? That's the only one I've come across.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check out both of those eras.

    The script I read was the Jennison and Strickland. I think that's the one that sold on spec. Thank God it did not get made.

  3. Just rediscovered an original SPIDERMAN comic from my childhood. On the front cover is written 10 cents. Luckily, none of the neighborhood kids bought it!!

    Reading. I find it useful to expose other people's writing!! I'll pick a passage at random, and read it ALOUD. I think this helps. Current title: ENOUGH: Why The World's Poorest Starve In An Age Of Plenty.

  4. totally off-topic:
    1. Does Scriptfrenzy motivate you to get stuff done at all?
    2. What's the deal with Chico???

  5. Ah the Jennison and Strickland draft. there's definitely something hinky about that whole deal. Check out the third story down and draw your own conclusions:

  6. Jeff, no word on Chico yet. He's been spotted but not caught. And no about Scriptfrenzy, just because motivation has never been an issue for me. I'm always motivated.

    Bitter, they're still listed as the writers on the project, but hopefully when this thing moves out of development hell it will do so with a completely new writer and a completely new take. Their version is downright offensive.


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