Brandon Rucker Writes

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

UPDATE: Deactivation Notice

Please note (hah, as if it weren't obvious by now): This blog is no longer active, however, its contents are now archived over at my personal website Ruckerpedia (brandonrucker.com). There are tentative plans for a new daily muse blog, either on Blogger or WordPress...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

VELVET by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting

ImageI've just finished reading the first arc of Velvet by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. It's a really classy book...a spy caper/paranoid thriller book with style and grace. If you enjoyed what these two did on Captain America and the Winter Soldier books in the past, you'll likely dig this too. I think it's Brubaker's best work to date, and Steve Epting's art is even sleeker than it was on those Marvel books. Love the female lead, Velvet Templeton.

From the Image Comics.com listing: Collects VELVET #1-5 SPECIAL LOW INTRODUCTORY PRICE! From the bestselling creators of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" comes this smash-hit spy thriller with a unique new twist! When the world's greatest secret agent is killed, all evidence points to Velvet Templeton, the personal secretary to the Director of the Agency. But Velvet's got a dark secret buried in her past...because she's also the most dangerous woman alive.

The trade collection of the first 5 issues comes out on June 18th for $9.99. https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/velvet-vol.-1-before-the-living-tp Trade collection of the first 5 issues comes out on June 18th for $9.99.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BOOK: Nothing But Trouble - Stories by Bob Thurber

My old friend Bob Thurber, the winner of numerous literary awards, is on a roll. In 2011 he  released the stark, unforgiving and rather audacious novel Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel (Casperian Books), followedbby Nickel Fictions: 50 Exceedingly Brief Stories and Cinderella She Was Not: a novelette -- both self-published in 2013, and now here in 2014 he's just released Nothing But Trouble (Shanti Arts Publishing), another collection of stories, this time accompanied by the complimentary images of photographer Vincent Louis Carrella.

From the press copy: This uncompromising collection of stories comes from the widely acclaimed and award winning master of the short story, Bob Thurber. Here he weaves his tales around such facets of the human condition as Fathers and Fools, Women and Children, Marriage and Divorce, and Art and Artifice. Typically unsettling and revelatory, Thurber knows how to cast a story that depicts the coarse reality of life, and his skills are displayed here with both passion and sentiment. Thurber gives the reader a chance, not to peek, but to plunge head first into the deep, dark mystery of simple existence. Accompanied by photographs by the equally intrepid wordsmith and image maker Vincent Louis Carrella.

I've been reading, associating with and drawing inspiration and influence from Bob Thurber for the better part of fifteen years now from the early days of Internet socializing we and hundreds of other writers did on the online writer's workshop (which as it turns out was a social media forerunner). Surely you remember the Zoetrope Virtual Studio, right?). Thurber, whether by will or nomination, was a de facto mentor to a lot of us young budding writers there at the tail end of the last century and we're all the better for it. I've mentioned probably ad nauseam here and elsewhere the tremendous impact Thurber's writing has had on my own prose work. And I know that through his work and generous sharing of his time, there's no telling how many up-and-coming writer's he's helped the past decade or more. And readers too, as much of his fiction tends to hit on such a realistic and revelatory level that it can be cathartic.

About three years back I had the distinct honor of not only interviewing -- in two parts -- my esteemed mentor (I won't say peer; he's on a whole other level), but I also had the privilege to acquire a few pieces of his works for publication in the Liquid Imagination webzine when I was an editor there. For our 8th issue of LI I even performed a nifty voice reading of his micro story "Grave Invitation" (a work of his that is also featured in the aforementioned Nickel Fictions collection).

If you like your prose fiction short, honest, straight-to-the-heart and steeped in the oftentimes stunning enigmas of real-life, then you should most definitely be reading the work of Bob Thurber. You've been informed.

- B

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Memorial and Benefit Show for Jason McCash

T-shirts of this image will be available for donation.
 T-shirts of this image will be
available for donation at the show.
On May 4, 2014, a week from today, I and many, many others (at least 200 folks) will be   at Birdy's  in Indianapolis for one of two local musical kiss-offs to our fallen brother Jason Daniel McCash (THE GATES OF SLUMBER), and benefits for the young family he left behind. The show features current and legendary Midwestern bands such as APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE, BULLETWOLF, COFFINWORM, IRON DIAMOND, OCCULT DECEIVER and the one-time special occasion reunion of Indy cult-favorites MAJHAS. It will be fun, loud, crowded and 100% beneficial to Jason's wife Bridget and their fantastic three children. All proceeds, from the $10 donation at the door as well as various memorabilia and such that will be available, will go to the Jason McCash family. It's a great event for a great cause and while I'll be there doing my part I am especially looking forward to seeing and just simply being around the extended family of friends, fans and fellow musicians, all of us who were existed as interstellar bodies in Jason's universe.

I'm still having trouble writing in depth about the loss of my childhood friend, former musical partner and kindred spirit.  But I will soon and I will publish those words here, hopefully this week in anticipation of the first benefit show.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

R.I.P Jason McCash

I’m supposed to be writing some kind of memorial for my fallen friend Jason McCash who tragically passed away this past Saturday night (April 5th). But I haven’t been able to yet. Like so many others, I’m still grieving and trying to make sense of this untimely event. As a member of the doom metal band the Gates of Slumber from my hometown of Indianapolis, Jason has well over a thousand friends and fans currently feeling this great loss with me. I have so much more to share, but it will have to wait for a bit.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

My Personality Type: The Groundbreaking Thinker

My Personality Type: The Groundbreaking Thinker

The Groundbreaking Thinker

Groundbreaking Thinkers are charming, enthusiastic persons. They really bubble over with energy and like to take centre stage. They love variety both professionally and privately. Groundbreaking Thinkers tackle changes consistently with their optimism and firm belief in their own abilities; they are always on the look-out for improvement possibilities.
Their excellent communication skills are of great advantage to them here. They approach the world with curiosity and openness and master new situations with a great deal of talent for improvising and with resourcefulness. Their spare time is taken up with a large number of hobbies; most Groundbreaking Thinkers like to travel in order to gather as many different impressions as possible. This personality type is unbeatable at discovering new possibilities.

In their work, Groundbreaking Thinkers highly rate challenges and diversified tasks. They cannot stand routine and too detailed work. They love to astound others with bold ideas for an original, new project and then leave it up to the others to implement them. Hierarchies, rules and regulations arouse their opposition and they love outsmarting the system. It is vital to them that they enjoy their work; if this is the case, they quickly become pure workaholics. Their creativity best takes effect when they work independently; but they are very good at motivating others and infecting them with their optimistic nature. Conceptual or advisory activities appeal especially to Groundbreaking Thinkers. It can happen that some people feel somewhat duped by their flexible, spontaneous nature.

Their sociability and enterprise ensure that Groundbreaking Thinkers always have a large circle of friends and acquaintances in which activity plays an important role. As they are mostly in a good mood, they are popular and very welcome guests. Grumbling and peevishness are unknown to them. However, they do tend to be a little erratic and unstable when it comes to obligations and this makes them appear to be unreliable to some. Groundbreaking Thinkers are very critical and demanding when it comes to picking a partner because they look for the ideal relationship and have a very concrete picture of this ideal relationship. Mutual aims in life are very important to them. They do not like compromising and would rather remain alone. For the partner, it is often a challenge to have a long-term relationship with a Groundbreaking Thinker. Groundbreaking Thinkers need a lot of space and diversity or otherwise they become bored and feel cramped. Types who are rather more traditionalistic often have problems with the willingness of Groundbreaking Thinkers to take risks and their often crazy, spontaneous actions. However, if one can summon up sufficient flexibility and tolerance for them, one will never be bored in their presence and will always have a loyal and faithful partner.

Adjectives that describe your type
extroverted, theoretical, logical, spontaneous, rational, innovative, intellectual, open, independent, curious, enterprising, analytical, clever, enthusiastic, venturesome, inventive, energetic, sociable, optimistic, non-conformist, creative, freedom-loving, charming, able to get enthusiastic, self-confident, communicative, capricious, inconsistent, outgoing

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

LINKAGE: Daniel Kaye: Update on my novel - I, Vladimir

Daniel Kaye: Update on my novel - I, Vladimir: Hi all, I’d like to thank you all for being so patient and for having such interest in my vampire novel, I Vladimir . So many of my...

Friday, December 6, 2013

As the Storm Abates – The Lament of WildStorm | PBX From the Podium

It has come to my attention that the WildStorm Universe may have finally met what is arguably its timely demise with the forthcoming and quietly announced cancellation of Stormwatch in early 2014. The breadth of WildStorm’s contribution to the industry couldn’t hope to be covered in one little 1200-word article, but I’ll try to do it some justice here. This, my friends, is a eulogy in the wake of WildStorm’s apparent demise.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Defending Robert Kirkman and Other Stories - ENR | eXPress News & Reviews by eXpertComics.com

Thanks to asinine comments made by George Romero, I am forced to defend Robert Kirkman and his The Walking Dead comic and AMC's television adaptation of it. Other topics include Valiant Entertainment looking to block Kirkman's titling of his upcoming new comic book series, plus Marvel Studios, Infinite Daredevil in 2014 and some historic DC Comics news.
Defending Robert Kirkman and Other Stories | Professor’s Blackboard -  ENR | eXPress News & Reviews by eXpertComics.com






Tuesday, September 3, 2013

LINKAGE: Liquid Imagination #18 is Live

For nearly four years I have been proudly associated with a unique little webzine called Liquid Imagination. The latest issue, #18 just recently went live. 

It's the first issue since #5 (Jan 2010) to not have my input in regards to content. This is bittersweet. 2013's been a doozy of a year and I recently made the agonizing decision to relinquish my position as Flash Fiction Editor to the incoming Christa Angelios who has assumed the editorial duties for the flash fiction section. 

I didn't always edit flash fiction, though. I started out as the Music Coordinator, producing original musical for the zine for issues #5-7, which truly gave us our uniqueness, before I moved onto editing flash fiction, an art form I've been obsessed with since the late 1990s. I'd also do an interview here, an article there. But for me flash fiction (my preferred criteria: stories of 800 words or less) was where it was at for me. It was never an easy job selecting the best, and I've always said the worst part of being an editor, especially when you're a writer yourself, is rejecting submissions and relaying that bad news to another author. 

I'm confident Christa will do a fine job in her new role, but most importantly, Publisher, Designer & Managing Editor Sue "MVP" Babcock had the faith in enlisting Ms. Angelios when she knew I needed a break. Liquid Imagination is still a class publication, which is also lovingly produced by Fiction Editor Kevin Wallis, Poetry Editor Chrissy Davis and Voice Narrator Robert C. Eccles. With Mrs. Babcock's leadership and our individual visions over the last couple of years, LI has managed to carve quite a niche for itself as an online publisher of poetry, speculative, literary and flash fiction, as evident by the ever-increasing slush pile we'd amass every reading period.

So, make sure you check out LI, which updates on a quarterly basis in August, November, February and May.



Friday, August 30, 2013

BOOK: Love and Rockets - The Covers (Fantagraphics)

For the love of quality comics, this (as with pretty much any Love and Rockets book) is an obvious must-have!