Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Artist David Burton Passes Away

I just found out today that artist David Burton passed away in December. I did not know David very well. David painted a cover for Realms magazine that was an illustration of my short story Lords of the North. I liked it so much I decided I needed to work with the artist and contacted him via his website.

As art director at Pill Hill Press I worked with David on a couple of covers, Shadows & Light: Volume II and The Ways of Khrem. He was a talented and kind man and his passing is very sad news for those who loved his artwork, and for those who can no longer discover it. You can read more about his life and his passing HERE and HERE

Monday, February 6, 2012

February Movie Review

Vanishing On 7th Street

I came across this movie while flipping through our Netflix instant streaming via our Roku. The movie was fairly new (2010), I had never seen it and shockingly enough I had actually heard of the actors, a very rare event when it comes to the horror genre. With Hayden Christensen and John Leguizamo leading the cast I was really surprised that I had never heard of it. After watching it I now know how it slipped under the radar.


The idea behind this story is an excellent one. Mysterious shadows overtake the world, the world’s population slowly disappears leaving only a few shell shocked survivors. But the darkness isn’t an unthinking entity and it doesn’t seem too happy with the survivors that are drawn together at one of the few places that has electricity remaining.

Like I said, great concept. But the as the movie plays out you can tell the writer only had a concept, I would bet $5 that he had no idea how the thing was going to end when he sat down to write it. The ending is odd and unsatisfying. The movie mentions the Roanoke Colony mystery and “Croatoan” as some kind of strange half thought out explanation for what is happening but the viewer never finds out was is going on. Also there is a lot of religious imagery that didn’t really fit the rest of the movie and kind of came out of nowhere. The end of this one ranks right up there on my list of worst endings to decent movies. Grade: F


This movie is about shadows flooding the world, so it is dark. But no movie should be so dark you can’t tell what is going on. There is a huge disconnect in a number of places when the screen just gets so dark you can’t tell what is going on. The parts where you can see are great, but not being able to see a large portion of the movie really hurt its grade in this category. Grade: D+


The best part of the movie was the acting. Every actor in this film puts in a solid believable performance. I just wish they had more to work with. Anyway kudos to Hayden Christensen and John Leguizamo and the relatively unknown supporting actors and actresses. Grade: A

Overall Grade: D

Summary: This movie had a lot of promise, great acting, and a wonderful concept. The first two thirds of it are pretty good, but scenes that were too dark and an unsatisfying and confusing third act put this movie firmly on my do not watch list.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Story Published

I have a story in the February issue of Static Movement called A Time For Heroes I wrote this one for one of the shoot-outs at Pill Hill Press. The theme was aliens and I wrote a story about super heroes during an alien invasion. I liked the characters so much I started a YA novel (Haven) based on this short story. You can read the short story here HERE.