Thursday, February 11, 2010

What's My Age Again?

I've been slowly approaching 30 for awhile now.

My sister likes to bring it to my attention as often as possible, since she's a few years older than I am and she likes to torment me like that. Siblings - gotta love 'em.

I generally don't look forward to my birthdays, because for a long time they were uneventful or not happy occasions. Not true anymore, since Jyoti tends to go over the top with things like scavenger hunts and stunt plane piloting.

Still, 30 is one of those Big Ones everyone always talks about, warning young people of impending doom. What's odd though, is that I haven't actually felt my age for quite some time. There's signs of aging like that I've put on a few unwanted pounds, I now experience hangovers after a night of drinking, and that my body now aches and cracks in places it didn't before. But other than that, I still think of myself as about 24. Maybe it's because most of my friends are younger than me, that I feel this way, but I don't care enough about the answer to dwell on it for too long.

In fact, in many ways, I feel like I'm only just getting started. I'm getting married in a few short months, which will be followed by a whirlwind tour of Europe, I've got a few short comics scripts under my belt, one in the pipeline, three more being written, a new edition of VOID currently under construction, and a brand-new Pulpo I'm just dying to announce. I still only sleep ~6 hours per night, in a vain attempt to fit it all in, which I never do, but I'll keep trying. There's far too much I want to accomplish in life to start slowing down now.

Here's to forever statying young at heart, never acting one's age!

Monday, February 1, 2010

First Stain

Reading Orc Stain was a surreal experience for me. Having known James Stokoe for over eight years now, I've seen him grow into an artistic powerhouse. But in my mind, I have a hard time reconsiling the man that spent a night in a hotel bathtub drawing comics with the one that now possesses his own monthly series from Image Comics. Like I said, it's a bit surreal, but I couldn't be happier or prouder.

With my personal anecdote out of the way, I need to address one more thing before I finally get into the book itself. The last time I bought a single issue of any comic was Casanova, during the first series (the notes from Fraction at the back were too good to miss). I've been a trades-only man for years now, and going back into singles has been rough for me, especially given that I used to comsume James' work as complete. Even in his webcomics days, he'd release new pages on a much more frequent basis than once per month. Not to mention his two complete Wonton Soups that were released as OGNs.

Finally getting around to Orc Stain itself...
The opening pages, are simply madness strewn across the page. Orcs as far as the eye can see, engaged in ever-lasting war. The Orktzar emerges, makes a profound impression on all, and quickly exits. Weeks after reading the issue, the scene still stands out vividly in my mind. Things change abruptly, however, as our main character One Eye is introduced and goes to work cracking an ingeniously designed safe. He seems to be in a bit of a rut, and in a species where everyone only looks out for themselves, One Eye's lone companion isn't any help. It's a fantastic first issue that sets the stage wonderfully, and with Stokoe at the helm, anything is possible.

Carry on, my crazy brother.