Check out the animated show Bat out of Hell on YouTube!

Archives for September 2013

Local Promotional Tour for Surfing with Mel

Surfing with MelI have it on good authority that if you pay all his expenses, you, too, can have the publisher hand-deliver a copy. Or you can just preorder Surfing with Mel online.


The New Yorker forgot to caption this cartoon on their home page. I decided to help out

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 10.49.56 AM“Doesn’t the poor bastard know he’s on death row?”

Here Comes Everybody

Spider web; J Schmidt; 1977

We’re gonna need a bigger sidebar. Plus a Venn diagram. I mean, you got us, Korrektiv Press. And the upcoming title (available tomorrow!) from Labora Editions is Surfing with Mel, which started life as a Korrektiv ebook. And the editor over at Tuscany Press is one Joseph O’Brien, who blogs ’round here as JOB. Plus there’s that fancy chat between Korrektiv author Brian Jobe and Wiseblood publisher Joshua Hren. And I was arguing with Greg Wolfe at Image about Catholic fiction way back in 2008. (I sound pretty dumb in that debate, but what else is new?) I’ll list more connections as they are unearthed.

Now Playing


Temporarily Not For Sale



Slimed! traffics in the R-rated behind-the-scenes shenanigans at the children’s network. “It was like being in a fraternity,” Summers explained as we watched a toddler clamber through a gaping mouth. “It was a bunch of grown-ups doing a kids’ show with zero supervision.” The game show filmed in Philadelphia, on the cheap and away from executives’ watchful eyes, and apparently many things took place on the sly. “One day — and I won’t mention names — I asked someone, ‘Why isn’t this girl at the studio?’ And they said, ‘Uh, I can’t tell ya,’ and I said, ‘tell me,’ and he said, ‘She’s getting an abortion. So-and-so knocked her up.’” Summers shot me a conspiratorial grin. “It was the eighties, you know? There might have been a little experimentation going on there.”

I feel like maybe he shouldn’t have referred to her as a “girl,” just to make it slightly less creepy a conspiracy. Or is he actually referring to one of the teenagers on a Nickelodeon show?(From Catching Up With Marc Summers)

Declaration of Principles

Over at Labora Editions:

I have loved books all my life. I take a romantic view of them, as one inevitably does with the things one loves, and my approach to publishing is colored by that view. Tuscany’s Peter Mongeau comes from a business background and rightly talks about the publishing market and “barriers to entry” and “distribution channels.” My background is in studio art, (ceramics, specifically) and I bring my ideas of form, function, the mark of the hand, and the importance of craft to my process of making books.

The other publishers featured in this post are, so far as I can tell, producing books according to the current standard practices of book manufacture, and that is perfectly fine. I was happy to pay for all of the aforementioned purchases; I can’t wait to get my hands on them, to have a chance to sit still and read. But the standard practice is not what appeals to me as a craftsman. The book is a kind of vessel, and I am as interested in the thing itself as in what goes between the covers. The content, of course, must “dazzle gradually,” so to speak, but my parallel aspiration is to create an attractive, durable vessel.

I think of it as craft publishing. Recently, in an email to Matthew Lickona I described the idea thus: “Like a microbrewery, except with books.”

Sherman Alexie

The Spokane falls where ghosts of salmon
Foreseen by Sherman fill their gills
With Catholic gilt and white man’s mammon
To pay for rehabs and oil pills,
Basalt and concrete worn by water
Flowing genocidal slaughter,
Coyote’s unrequited love,
Alexie’s push that comes to shove.
The towns of Wellpinit and Reardan,
The left and right arms that draw
You to Spokane’s hungry maw,
Release you now; but do not harden
The paths of your own tears that trail
Down windows in Seattle’s vale.

Surfing with Mel available for pre-order

Spread the word.


Sword of Honour Radio Drama — Incoming!

‘Everyone thinks ill of the BBC’, Evelyn Waugh told a BBC interviewer in 1960.

Nevertheless, fourteen years later, the same BBC adapted Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy into a radio drama — a situation in which, though it may have seemed hard at first to judge whether Waugh, or the Beeb, had the last laugh, it’s clear upon reflection that neither did (corpses and corporations being equally incapable of laughter).

Now is the age of the reboot, and the BBC is preparing to broadcast a brand-new radio dramatization of Sword of Honour.

It’ll be a seven-episode series; Episode 1 is set to air on Sunday, September 29 on Radio 4. It’s supposed to become available online here.

Since it hasn’t been broadcast yet, I haven’t heard and can’t vouch for the new adaptation’s quality: This is a heads-up, not an endorsement. That said, it is an Evelyn Waugh radio drama: Whatever the outcome, there will be something worthwhile in that broadcast.