Thursday, June 30, 2011


Hi Griff!

This is Griff, from June 30th, 2011, writing to you because tomorrow, you start on The Big Push! 

I’d like to remind you, Future Griff, that when you decided on this plan, you knew that it was going to be a great idea.  I mean, I’m the rational, past part of your brain that you will destroy over the course of the next thirty one days, so I think it’s up to me to make a list as to why you’re doing this.

Because, I know what Future Griff is all about. 

I know that you’re gonna get pissed about everything, hit a wall, get even angrier, yell at people at work, toss boxes around, and do all the stuff you usually do when you get surly.  When you start eating frozen Snickers at 5:45 in the morning before downing a glass full of Zipfizz, don’t say I didn’t know what I was talking about. 

Anyway, what you have to do is this- once you get mad, read this list.  It’s part inspiration and part reaffirmation.  Don’t forget to tell your friends on the Internetscope to shove this in your face when you start bitching!

It’s going to remind you why you’re doing this.


  • You  have to do this.  It makes you much happier than when you don’t do it.
  • Rotisserie Chicken Fridays will be even better and more awesome with a BRAND SPANKING NEW BOOK under your belt.
  • Leroy Stacks is awesome and there will be many more adventures to tell about him… but you have to get through the first one.  Now’s the time, YOU BIG DUMMY!
  • You are the baddest motherfucker on the planet, and will crush every worm-infested son of a bitch that tries to ride in battle against you.
  • The term “FUCK ISM” will have a new, permanent meaning once this thing is done.  Only you and a few other people know why.  It’ll be time to share soon.
  • You want to see if other people will laugh at the “Restless Leg Syndrome” scene as much as you do.
  • The Cooking Scene.  Nuff said.
  • You just bought that gallon jug for your reemerging water habit.  Don’t let it go to waste, you idiot!
  • Sushi.  You want to reward yourself with sushi.  Lots of it.
  • Goldbrook’s a pretty neat town.  Don’t you want to show people around?
  • “A Slip In The Balance” is the title of the book.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an actual finished book to go along with it rather than over twenty files of stuff?  GET IT TOGETHER!
  • The following video sums up how you feel about where you’re at concerning work. “…they say ‘you are what you eat’”.  Time to stop eating crap.   This is the first step.  Remember that.



  • It’s important to note that the personal motivation you get from the video above will be lost on just about everyone.  That’s why it’s PERSONAL MOTIVATION, YOU BIG DUMMY!  CLICK ON THE LINK AND REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE DOING THIS.
  • Dad’s the first in line to buy the book.  He already has a spot. He’s going to get to buy it once it goes up… SO GET IT UP AND OUT THERE.
  • Mom asked if there was sex in the book because she read in the paper that sex in e-books makes money.  Mom’s HILARIOUS, isn’t she?  BTW, she’s gonna hate the sex scene and think you’re weirder than she already thought you were... but that’s okay!  YOU’RE GONNA FINISH THE BOOK!
  • Be sure to warn your roommate that if he finds you passed out in the hallway, all he has to do is dump some Zipfizz on you and you’ll be revived instantly.
  • It’s perfectly okay to keep The Transformers: The Movie on repeat while you write.  It worked in high school and kept you going, didn’t it?  Plus, you don’t have to rewind the damn tape anymore.  Hooray for technology.
  • They’re all going to laugh at you if you don’t finish this thing.
  • There will be a day when you freak out and start buying Muscle Milk from the store.  Just don’t drink it and be lazy.  Be active around the writing.
  • You’re really going to enjoy tweeting during Attack of the Show because once it’s over, you’re going to hate getting started on your three hour writing blocks.
  • The Chinese Food Bingeing Session of August 1st awaits.
  • As you’re reading this particular note, you might have just bought one of those stupid ass 12 Packs of Tacos from Taco Bell, and are currently chomping down on crappy tacos and hating life.  Perhaps you’re thinking about completing a Loser Double Whammy and going to get one of those KFC Famous Bowls with everything in it later.  Skip the Famous Bowl, and enjoy the tacos.  Then get back to work.
  • Once you finish this book, you are that much closer to explaining how CYBORG might have worked as the sequel to MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE as it was originally intended to be.
  • He-Man would be so pissed if you didn’t finish this book.  As would Optimus Prime.  We can’t disappoint Prime- we’re infinitely better than that jackass Hot Rod.  He sounds like Judd Nelson and he sucks.
  • You know a Doctor, and the Doctor wants you to finish the book.  Don’t let the Doctor down.
  • You’re the best at what you do, and what you do is make shit up on your terms.  Your book, your rules.  Keep everyone else out of it.
  • TITS!  Confused?  Looking around wildly?  Good.  FOOLED YOU!  Now, keep writing.
  • And finally, the number one reason why you’re going to do this?  Because you have to go back.  You have to go back to Boston.  You have to walk into PAX EAST 2012 like you own the joint!
  • PAX EAST 2012!
  • PAX EAST 2012!
  • PAX EAST 2012!

  • PAX EAST 2012!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011


To begin, I’m a fan of audio commentary tracks on DVDs and Blu-Rays.  They’re such a treat, and I’m always fascinated by the insight to a movie or TV show’s creative process. 

Unfortunately, just like everyone else, I have opinions about what I watch.

Sometimes they make sense, and sometimes they don’t.

Sometimes… I like to share them no matter what.

On Twitter, my screen name is “Griffmoy”.  Whenever I’m inspired to rant like a half baked lunatic (which is a lot, actually), I fire up a hashtag known as “#Griffmentary” and tweet whatever I see on screen.  It could be a TV show, it could be a movie, it could be a video game… if it ends up with mental lightning striking my brain, #Griffmentary is on like neckbone.

In a nutshell, that’s what “Griffmentary” is- I trot out the digital soapbox and express my opinions on my own personal format.

It’s fun and enjoyable for me and hopefully for everyone else that follows along.

So, if you follow me on Twitter and wonder just what the hell “#Griffmentary” means, now you know.

And knowing is half the blah blah bliddy blah.



I went looking for Leroy Stacks during my lunch hour last Saturday.  I headed downtown because there were places there that looked like places he’d been.  Where he worked.  Where he had fights with his girlfriend.  Where he found trouble.  Where his life changed.  I didn’t expect to find him- if I do, I know I’ll truly have gone crazy- but I knew that we live in similar worlds and hang out in similar places, although his world is a lot more scary than mine.

Or maybe it isn’t. 

Only time will tell.

We’re the somewhat the same, but very different.  I grew up an only child with two loving and caring parents, while he grew up in phases- at the beginning, he had both parents and an older brother… and then a parent and an older brother… and finally just a parent who didn’t know exactly what to do with a kid who’d lost half his world.  What to teach him, how to make sure he’d be able to get by life.  I’ve had more than enough of a foundation- Leroy?  Well, he had to make due with what he had.  Family leaving, bad luck at every turn, social stupidity around every corner.  Leroy might joke about it when he can, but I think he hates that.  I think he hates me for knowing about it.  Some days I can’t tell.

Leroy and I dealt with some of the same things growing up, but in different ways.  An icy, snowy day that led to a sophomore high school me wanting to make it on my school bus in one piece as kids from various neighborhoods decided to fight in the senior parking lot- I was alone, confused, just trying to find bus 765 or whatever the hell number it was without getting punched in the face turned into some weird, nightmarish scene from “The Warriors” for Leroy, as he was surrounded by snow and ice and just trying to survive.

He kept seeing Imps.

He doesn’t like talking about that a whole lot, but I’ll get the full story out of him.



I’ve been sitting on telling Leroy’s story for a long time now- too long, in fact.  It’s been so long that I think he’s starting to get antsy.  I can see it perfectly- him pacing back and forth, rolling his shoulders, getting anxious, wondering when the “stupid fucking writer” is going to pull the trigger.  Everyone’s starting to lean on me too- “Is the book done?”, “How’s the book?”, “Is there sex in your book?” (my mom asked me that one, which means she cares)… a lot of conversation surrounds “the book”, and you know what?

It’s time to finish “the book”.  Once and for all.

With that said...

I’m referring to July as The Big Push.

If I can hold down a full time job and write fifty thousand words in ten days (NaNoWriMo, I miss you), I can finish this goddamn thing in a month.  Like John Locke said, don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.

I can get this done, I can get this out of my head once and for all, and I can move onto the next project rattling around in my brain.

I have to.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, will be my July.

I can honestly say that it is going to be an absolute blast.. and the end result will be worth it in spades.

I have a grin on my face already…

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I consider myself a creative person.  I can’t draw, I can’t sing, I’m nowhere near being athletic, but I like words, so writing’s it for me as far as self-expression goes.

Unfortunately, my brain is… off the rails.

I have no control as to what sets the wheels in motion- random things happen, and I get consumed by the need to create.  It’s like having tunnel vision with a myriad of pictures and scenes flashing, and all I can do is try to flesh each and every one out as best I can.

Here’s where the “problem” begins. 

Each little scene brings with it a whole host of new scenes. 

Repeat to infinity until I start typing like crazy, and have to blast loud music in order to stop the cavalcade of ideas in order to focus on just one.

Here’s an example:

One day, I was sitting down watching the Discovery Channel.  I wanted to watch something mindless, so I decided to settle for “A Haunting”.  The show is one of those deals where families get haunted by a ghost or there’s a possession or something wacky like that.  It usually makes me laugh and the best part?

I don’t have to think a whole lot.  I can just watch and let time pass.

Cool, right?


As this family in particular was lamenting the fact that they didn’t know who to go to for help, something in my brain clicked.

“What if they got the wrong guy?”

Not the fact that they might have stumbled onto hiring a serial killer or something like that, but someone who was truly going to help them… and completely be an asshole in the process.

The bullet points represent my thoughts:

  • Gotta be a priest.
  • Lots of cursing.
  • Hey, I should watch The Exorcist again.
  • I’m sorry, if I was haunted by a ghost, I wouldn’t go on TV.
  • Is there EVER such a thing as a “friendly ghost” when it comes to this shit?  Are there Caspers out there?
  • Nachos.
  • Brass knuckles for the priest.
  • What if the priest just kicked the possessed little kid’s door in and punched him in the face right at the beginning?
  • …this dude ain’t really a priest, but he hangs out at the Vatican.
  • Vatican’s gotta be a bar, though.
  • When’s the last time I read the Bible?
  • Lack of knowledge is funny.
  • I wonder if I can get motivated to make some nachos.
  • Chicken.
  • The priest’s gotta pimp slap the whole family.
  • Whiskey.  This priest is drunk all the time!
  • Tracfones!  He’s gotta use Tracfones!
  • I hate origin stories.  Let’s just jump right in.

You kinda get the idea… especially if all of those ideas hit in just a few minutes.  Time slows down and I get in the zone.  I like it.  I feel comfortable there.

And then something else happens, I get inspired, and the madness starts all over again.  It feels like an infinite army of Griffs are working on an infinite number of ideas.  Some people might see it as it being madness, and I can see that.

Here’s a secret, though:  if this is madness, then I’m perfectly happy being crazy.  I like it when I feel like lightning strikes, the stimuli align perfectly, and I set off on a creative tear that ends up involving 14 hour writing benders and Earl Grey Tea.

And even when it doesn’t, even when there are the dark moments where the words don’t look right on the page, it doesn’t matter.

I know that all it takes is one little thing and I’ll be back where I belong.

Creating something.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011




This time, things feel a little different. 

I’m referring to the recent announcement that this fall, DC Comics will be rebooting their entire line- the currently available details are at the previous link for those that want to know the skinny.

As a long time (and currently apathetic & burned out) comic book fan… I understand the decision, and since the "universe rebooting” event hasn’t ended yet, I find myself throwing my hands up in disgust at the blatancy of it all.  Things like this have happened before, but this particular event (due to the various news stories) seems to be sweeping everything under the rug with no ties to currently established continuity whatsoever… until DC  says otherwise, that is.  All things considered, due to the language used in the story above (save for a mention about current Green Lantern events carrying over somehow), this is the end of current shindig as comic fans know it.


We’ve been here before.




CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS was the first big DC event to throw the baby out with the bathwater and completely retool everything in order to start anew- in the span of twelve issues, it took care of all of the continuity woes (separate Earths!  Different versions of characters!  The Flash!  Supergirl!  ALL GONE!) and gave creators the chance to remake the DC Universe into something that wasn’t bogged down with decades of continuity. 

Unfortunately, a new continuity gives birth to even more problems… and with that, there was another attempt to clean things up, kill off some characters, make some new ones, and head in a new direction.



NINE YEARS after the first CRISIS, ZERO HOUR happened.  Things had been all wimbly nimbly character wise- Hal Jordan, the former Green Lantern, had gone crazy and wiped out the Green Lantern Corps, becoming a villain known as Parallax in the process, and he was now using his great power to destroy the DC Universe.  In the course of these events, more things were retconned out of existence (Hey, Batman?  Guess what?  You never caught your parents’ killer!  Ooooh, I bet you’re gonna be a dick later on this decade!), titles were outright cancelled (goodbye, L.E.G.I.O.N. and Justice League International), and some characters were even more screwed up than before (OH HAI HAWKMAN).  And, of course, in order to take care of Hal Jordan’s little problem, it was time for another event to send him on his way.  You can’t have a former hero running around as a villain forever, can you?




In FINAL NIGHT, an alien crashes to Earth and warns of the coming of the Sun-Eater.  Shock of all shocks, it was coming to consume the Sun (yes, the planet), and everyone banded together (or attempted to… hi, Lex Luthor!) to stop the menace.  In the end, it was Hal Jordan who saved the planet at the cost of his life, redeeming himself in the process… and the characters moved on.  Kyle Rayner, the current Green Lantern of the time, really began to come into his own, and in time the Justice League reformed with the big heroes taking full charge.

Things seemed okay, all things considered… until years later.

Someone said the ‘C’ word again.



IDENTITY CRISIS planted the first seeds that some more change was afoot.  Written by Brad Meltzer, it was a somewhat controversial storyline in which Sue Dibny, the Elongated Man’s wife, is murdered... and things only get even more cloudy from there.  While the story itself is a murder mystery, it becomes a nice little character piece that shows just how far heroes will go to keep their loved ones safe, and just how far their loved ones will go to keep them close.  Uncharacteristically dark for DC at the time, it was a definite shift in the brand’s storytelling (i.e. DARK AS FUCK), and set the stage for CRISIS PART TWO: THIS TIME, WE’LL CALL IT INFINITE CRISIS.



Enter INFINITE CRISIS.  Everything and its’ brother’s sister’s mother’s grandfather started coming to a head after IDENTITY CRISIS- Batman became even more of a dick, Wonder Woman ended up killing Maxwell Lord (longtime Justice League International fixture turned villain because of… something.), and Superman was… Superman.  This event was considered the official sequel to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, and involved the survivors of that event (including the original Superman that debuted in 1938) interacting with the current superheroes during the time period…




And it was a fan’s dream.  INFINITE CRISIS was an acknowledgement to the past of the DC Universe as well as a culmination of said universe’s present.  Everything had been building to these events of these seven issues- callbacks to even more continuity issues (i.e. Power Girl’s origins) were taken care of.  I mean, even the unthinkable happened- the original Superman DIED.


death of original superman


And that was it.  No more CRISIS..ES.  After the Big Three (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman) collected themselves, the DC Universe was set to-





FINAL CRISIS was touted as being the end of the”modernly-conceptualized” CRISIS trilogy- and for some, it was a haphazard mess that was buoyed by too many ancillary series’- while there were moments in the main series’ seven issues that more than delivered, fans didn’t seem to take to the events as much as they were expected to.  In short, it all built to this moment:





As far as the characters of the DC Universe were concerned, he did.  Meanwhile, storywise- Batman was alive and well, shunting through time in order to make his way back to the floating present time that is (or was) the DC Universe.

By and large, that was it for the big-




Okay, zombies?  Nice- I can- WAIT, WHAT?!  Okay, that happened while Batman was dead and everyone was still coming to grips with that, and it linked with INFINITE CRISIS, and everyone faced their pasts, and… wait, a follow-up to a zombie story?!WhiteLanternBrightestDay


Okay, so that’s fallout from everything that’s happened since INFINITE CRISIS- okay, okay, I can dig thi-



And this is it.  FLASHPOINT.  This is the event that leads to the reboot of the DC Universe.  Since we don’t know how it ends (but we know that all the current series end with the end of this particular miniseries), it’s unknown if the current versions of the DC characters will get a sendoff like…


man-of-tomorrow-cover         batman-whatever-happened-to-the-caped-crusader*


…and I don’t think they will.  If it’s a total sweep under the rug for the current incarnations of the DC Universe, then that’s what it is.  If it’s not (i.e. in a year to 18 months, one of the “current” incarnations of a hero shows up in this rebooted universe to kickstart things going back to “normal”), then it’s a pretty shitty thing to do to consumers, and it leaves me asking one question:

Whatever happened to the Men and Women of Tomorrow?

Where did the modern approach to comic-book storytelling fall by the wayside so badly that it was decided to reboot this whole universe and focus on “younger” versions of these iconic characters?  Was it because of the constant “big” events?  Was it a kneejerk reaction to the world around us?  The beautiful thing about comic books is the fact that it all exists in “floating present” time if you want to- for instance, you can still use old, established events that took place the 1970s right here in the 2010s just as long as the story benefits from it.

Did modern creators lose faith in what they could accomplish with the current roster of DC Universe characters?

I am a firm believer that when it comes to fiction, there are no bad characters- there are only bad stories told about them.  For every horrible character in existence, there is one person that can get a good story out of them and make that character stand out.  I’ve never felt that there’s a need to throw established fictional history under a bus in order to tell a story- that story will come around with that character regardless, so just let it happen.  There are ways to get to that point- and I’m not saying that Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman all need to fall into a Lazarus Pit and get younger in order to make everything that’s coming up make sense, but you get the idea… that is, if you know what Lazarus Pits are.




Needless to say, I can understand this changeover from a “relevancy” aspect, but I don’t like it.  I dig DC’s focus on digital publishing, but I don’t like being told that there will be a focus on diversity- I don’t need to be told that there is a documented and shoehorned effort to be “diverse”- just let it happen naturally through the storytelling.  Let the “African-American adventurer Cyborg” and the “lesbian superheroine Batwoman” and the “Hispanic hero Blue Beetle” (I’m not making that up, read the link above- this is the perception that USA Today has from this reboot) grow into these apparently spotlighted positions naturally via good storytelling rather than saying “THIS IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO WITH THESE CHARACTERS”.  I can understand that there’s a need to relate to younger readers as well as other demographics, but as alluded to earlier, you can tell the same “grounded in the real world” stories with this current crop of characters just fine.

As someone that just wants to tell a story regardless of the medium, this sucks… but the story isn’t over. 

The story never ends- it might be put on hold for a while, but the stories that we all want? 

They’ll see the light of day somehow.

No matter what happens, whether we like it or not, there’s one thing to keep in mind:  the versions of the characters we love will still exist after this reboot. 

And they’ve all been through a lot.

batman robindeath-of-supermanbatman-bane55368_20060821170801_largeDet667527px-Death_of_Hal_Jordan_01NewSuperman      NewWW


We’ve all been through it before… and they always came back, right?



Here’s to the new class in the fall.

Enjoy yourselves.





*Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? is the perfect “ending” for Batman. Period.